What do you call your father? Your mother? Your grandparents?
When you talk to your parents you probably call them mom or dad, right? My guess is that you don’t call your dad by his first name. And you probably don’t call your mom “Mrs. So-in-so.”
The names “Mom” and “Dad” are actually perfect for who your parents are. These names are not too familiar – like calling them by their first names or a nickname as if they were a friend or a sibling. And these names are not too formal – like call them Mr. or Mrs. or Sir or Ma’am all the time, as if they are just a boss or a ruler.
The names Mom and Dad are just right.
In the Bible it tells us that we can call God our dad too. Listen to how the Apostle Paul says it here in Romans 8:
Romans 8:14-15. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
How do you think about God? What is he to you? Is he a policeman? A genie? An old man on top of a mountain handing out good advice? A mean teacher waiting to yell at you? A grandpa that comes and hands out candy and then goes back to his own house?
Do you think about God as your dad?
Paul uses the word “abba.” This is a word that Jesus used all the time to describe God. It means dad. And just like our word “dad” it wasn’t too familiar and it wasn’t too formal. It was just right. Jesus totally trusted his Abba. He listened to his Abba. He obeyed his Abba. He loved his Abba. And mostly, he knew that his Abba loved him.
And now we can relate to God in this same exact way – the way Jesus does. We can call God, Abba. Because we are connected to Jesus, we can trust our Abba. We can listen to our Abba. We can obey our Abba. We can always know that our Abba loves us no matter what. And we can love our Abba too.
And we can “cry out” to our Abba, our Dad, for help. Why? Because through Jesus we are now God’s adopted kids.
The only time Jesus didn’t call God, Abba was on the cross. On the cross Jesus cried out “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In that terrible moment Jesus was carrying our sins and wasn’t able to call God his dad. So he just called him God instead. Jesus went through being disconnected from his eternal Abba so that you and I could be connected to Jesus’ Abba eternally.
And that is what we are – God’s eternal kids. The Trinity is our forever family. And Jesus is our big brother that will never, ever give up on us.
Because of Jesus we are in God’s forever family and he is our Dad.
With Jesus we can cry out to our Dad at any time and in any place.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
There’s lots of great adoption stories out there that can illustrate God’s love for us. Obviously Annie is a classic go-to.
And here’s a version of “Good, Good Father” that you can sing together.
Because of you I am in God’s family and he is my dad too. Help me to always trust our Abba like you do.
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