“I write to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one.” 1 John 2:12-13
God has saints of several degrees, and some of them have more communion with Him than others. From among the multitude, He chose twelve to be with Him. From among the twelve, He chose three: Peter, James, and John, who were of the privy council. From among the three, He chose out John, as His bosom-favorite, of whom it is said five times in John’s gospel, that “he was the disciple whom Jesus loved.”
So now, at this day, God has His “babes,” who live upon milk. He has “children” also, who know their Father and are assured of His love. Moreover, He has His “young men,” who go out to war and fight the Lord’s battles victoriously. And He has “fathers” in Israel, who abound in grey-headed experience and wisdom–for they knew Him from the beginning, and they remember His words.
It is a great mercy to be one of God’s “little ones,” yes, the least of all; to be a star, though not of the first magnitude; to be a disciple, though not a John; not one of the three, nor one of the twelve, nor one of the seventy.
It is a mercy to be new-born, to be taken into the family of God and household of faith. But to grow up to a perfect stature, to be a man in Christ Jesus — 0h, how great a mercy!
Lord, You know my desires. Perfect that which concerns Your servant, that I may rise to be a father in Christ!
Devotion by Karl Heinrich von Bogatzky (1690—1774)
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