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Today's Devotional

What great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! 1 John 3:1

After Sherman Smith recruited Deland McCullough to play American football for Miami University, he grew to love him and became the father Deland never had. Deland had great admiration for Sherman and aimed to become the man he was. Decades later, when Deland tracked down his birth mom, she shocked him with the news, “Your father’s name is Sherman Smith.” Yes, that Sherman Smith. Coach Smith was stunned to learn he had a son, and Deland was stunned that his father figure was literally his father!

The next time they met, Sherman hugged Deland and said, “My son.” Deland had never heard that from a father. He knew Sherman “was saying it from a place of ‘I’m proud. This is my son,’ ” and he was overwhelmed.

We too should be overwhelmed by the perfect love of our heavenly Father. John writes, “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1). We’re as dumbfounded as Deland, who didn’t dare think someone like Sherman could be his dad. Is it really true? John insists, yes, “that is what we are!” (v. 1).

If you believe in Jesus, His Father is also your dad. You may feel orphaned, alone in the world. But the truth is, you have a Father—the only perfect One—and He’s proud to call you His child.

What does it mean to you that you’ve been chosen to be God’s child? Who can you show love to as a mentor?

Thank You, Father, for being my dad. Help me live as Your child.


The gospel of John; 1, 2, and 3 John; and Revelation were all written by John, who called himself “the disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23; 21:20). As one of the Twelve, he was part of Christ’s inner circle, which included his brother James and Peter. They witnessed Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–8) and the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:49–56). And they were nearby in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36–38).

Christ’s love motivated John and is a central theme of his writings. We see this clearly stated in 1 John: “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (3:1) and “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (v. 16). The magnitude of God’s love and how we’re called to love in response is a key theme of 1 John 4:7–21.

By |2023-11-05T01:33:24-04:00November 5th, 2023|
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