(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
I am taking a break from 8 Promises From God About Your Children. I want to concentrate on a Scripture that Saint Paul wrote to the church in Corinth. The apostle had to rebuke them for certain unchristian attitudes and actions, reminding them of previous work among them, when Paul led many (or most) of them to faith in Christ. Here is I Corinthians 4:14 through 16:
I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you. For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
Paul was their spiritual father, having given them new birth and life in Jesus! They were his spiritual children! There are other times the apostle alludes to this spiritual birthing:
- Concerning Timothy…
✞ In I Corinthians 4:17 he told the church in Corinth, “For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ....” ✞ Speaking of Timothy to the Christians at Philippi, Paul wrote in Philippians 2:22, “...you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he serves with me in the gospel.” ✞ In the first epistle to Timothy, there are two references: ➔ Paul addresses his letter in I Timothy 1:2 – “To Timothy, my true son in the faith....” ➔ In I Timothy 1:18, the apostle charged “...son Timothy, according to the pro- phesies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage a good warfare ....” ✞ In his last written epistle, just before Paul was martyred, he said in his second letter to Timothy, II Timothy 2:1, “You therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
- Apparently, Paul had led Titus to faith in the Lord, for in Titus 1:4 he writes, “To Titus, my true son in the common faith….”
- He wrote from a Roman prison to Philemon, the owner of the runaway slave Onesimus in Philemon 1:10: “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, whom I have begotten while in my chains….”
I took the time to establish this spiritual relationship of being the parent (father or mother) of one whom you might lead to faith in Jesus Christ! Why? Because my wife Hope and I led my mother to the Lord when she was in her sixties!
- I became my mother’s father (spiritually speaking).
- So (spiritually speaking) I’m my own grampa!
There is a country song by the same name, I’m My Own Grampa! Written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe, performed by Lonzo and Oscar in 1947, Ray Stevens is one of the later artists to sing a rendition. He even mapped out a family tree showing how he could be his own grampa! (see diagram above).
Just for fun, here are the lyrics of I’m My Own Grampa! See if you can follow the logic!
Now, many many years ago
When I was twenty three
I was married to a widow
Who was pretty as could be
This widow had a grown-up daughter
Had hair of red
My father fell in love with her
And soon the two were wed
This made my dad my son-in-law
And changed my very life
My daughter was my mother
‘Cause she was my father’s wife
To complicate the matters
Even though it brought me joy
I soon became the father
Of a bouncing baby boy
My little baby then became
A brother-in-law to dad
And so became my uncle
Though it made me very sad
For if he was my uncle
That also made him the brother
Of the widow’s grown-up daughter
Who, of course, was my step-mother
I’m my own grandpa
I’m my own grandpa
It sounds funny I know
But it really is so
I’m my own grandpa
My father’s wife then had a son
That kept them on the run
And he became my grandchild
For he was my daughter’s son
My wife is now my mother’s mother
And it makes me blue
Because, she is my wife
She’s my grandmother too
Now, if my wife is my grandmother
Then, I am her grandchild
And every time I think of it
It nearly drives me wild
For now I have become
The strangest case you ever saw
As husband of my grandmother
I am my own grandpa
It doesn’t stop there either!
- I have two older brothers whom I have led to the Lord. That means (spiritually speaking) I am my brothers’ father! So I am my own father also!
- My wife and I led our granddaughter to faith in Jesus. So (spiritually speaking) I am my granddaughter’s father! That means, I am my own son!
- My daughter, age eight, led her sister, age nine to Jesus. So (spiritually speaking) she is my daughter’s mother, making her my second wife! (Now, Hope, don’t get jealous!)
All this to say, as Christians, we can have fun! I think God has a sense of humor! After all, He created the likes of you and me!