The slave is a mere child born into a heritage of chains. He drags his bare feet across the hot ground, scabs on his knees, scratches on his arms. He owns nothing except the dusty tunic hanging like an oversized sack on his famished frame. He is no one. He is no one’s.

At least, for now.

Because in a few moments, his new master will come and purchase him for a few pieces of silver.  The slave hangs his head between his knees, waiting and waiting in agony. I hope the new master is kinder. I hope he does not whip me nor starve me, the orphan slave thinks. His doubts remain. Masters in this world are as cruel as his fate.

Suddenly, his seller yanks his chain. “Bow, you fool!” The seller seethes through yellow teeth.

The town bazaar erupts in a buzz. Gasps ripple across the crowd as men on grand horses come trotting into the god-forsaken market. A prominent figure dismounts, approaching the slave and the seller. The locals bow, noses touching the ground. They fail to hide their shock before this man.  There is no mistake. It is surely him approaching the filthy child.

It is the King coming to make his purchase. His scarlet banners flutter above him, the royal guard surrounding his flanks, embellished  in silver armory.  As he walks, he carries the air of power and intention. Today is no surprise for him.

The price is set in the market’s scrolls, yet the King does not take a second glance at the deceitful price. A sack of gold coins plops before the seller’s feet, heavy and brimming.

“I will purchase him now,” the King proclaims. “Take off his chains.”

The orphan looks up, eyes widening, mouth agape. He forgets to bow and all the words fail him. It feels strange to have no chains weighing him down. Before he mutters a sound, one of the King’s men sweeps him up, covers him in a velvet robe, and places him on a horse.

 It happens like a dream, like a swift turn of a page, where one chapter ends and another story is suddenly written.

The crowd watches the King. This is unorthodox. It is nothing of protocol, yet the monarch is firm in his decision. He has scoured the kingdom for this lost child. And now the child is found.

“You will live with me,” the King says. His smile is as bright as his glinting crown. “None of your slave clothes, none of your chains—none of your past—will ever compare to what you’ll have now.”

“Tell me what to do,” the child says, for in all his life, he has known his due. All slaves are to work, and work is the only thing that proves his worth. “I’ll slave for you and pay you back in full for your purchase.”

The King’s smile wavers as he places a gloved hand on the child’s small fingers. “You can never pay me back in the same amount of gold. You do not have to.”  The ruler mounts his horse, now towering over the locals with regal elegance. He glances at the purchased slave.

There is something new in the King’s eyes at this time. Is it mercy? Is it compassion?

The warmth of his gaze spreads over the child’s chest, more soothing than the embrace of his late mother’s.

This is love. A Father’s love. The child is sure of it.

“Let it be known today that this child is no longer a slave. He is now my son. “ The King declares. “And He will live with me and wear royal garments. He will learn to walk as one of royalty, and he will inherit  my authority over the cities.”

 The King professes his decree. The whole kingdom never dares to oppose his word, for everyone knows that the King’s word is more binding than one’s qualms.

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Maybe you feel like the slave child,  stuck and chained by life’s circumstances; bound to a cycle of sin, wallowing in feelings of worthlessness; perhaps even desperately trying to “work” your way into pleasing the King.

It’s my prayer that you shed off the slave’s mentality. The Father King has come to set you free, to purchase you at a blood price through Jesus. He has come in all authority to change who you are—to rewrite your story and overwrite your past.

May your heart see that He is  far more gracious than these words can contain. The King does not only offer you freedom, He offers you a place at His table, a seat with His family, and an inheritance this world can never steal nor compare to. It’s one thing to be saved from chains; it’s another thing to be made royal.

You are called for a  fresh start at the King’s courts.

You are not destined to be a mere slave.

You are pursued and made to be His son, His daughter.  You are meant to be His.

This is who you truly are.

Galatians 4: 3-7
So also, when we were underage, we were in slavery under the elemental spiritual forces of the world.  But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”  So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.

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