Abba Father

father:child

 

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”  Romans 8:15

We often think of this as a word picture of God.  But we rarely think that God would be an Abba Father for us because we don’t deserve it. We think He will only be that for good people. We’re too normal, and nothing special.  But that’s not biblical – your Abba Father has blessed you with all spiritual gifts and an eternal inheritance.

Your name is written in the Book of Life.  You are Christ’s friend and a new creation.  He has laid claim to you and won’t let you go.  You are heirs of God and a joint-heir of Christ.

You are the fragrance of Christ and being transformed into his image as an adopted son and daughter.  No one will be able to separate you from Him. Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. You are not just “normal”.  You are special in God’s eyes.

You used to be average…ho hum.  But now you are God’s child, Christ’s friend and complete in Christ and lacking in nothing and seated with Christ in the heavenly family.  You’ve been bought with a price.  God has a high affection for you.

We need to not just remember our inheritance but to live like it. In his book entitled The Christian Atheist, Craig Groeschel writes in a letter to the reader at the beginning: “Christian Atheists are everywhere. They attend Catholic churches, Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches, nondenominational churches, and even in churches where the pastor says “GAW-duh” when he’s preaching.”

His point is that Christian Atheists look like Christians, but their life style doesn’t match their beliefs. They believe in Him, but don’t really know Him. One litmus test Groeschel suggests is how you refer to God may give a clue as to how well you know Him.

I’ve been married for over 50 years. My wife knows me. She knows my thoughts, my interests, my weaknesses, my strengths.  She probably knows them better than I do.  I, in turn, know her just as well. I know what makes her tick, and what makes her crazy and what makes her laugh That’s a relationship – one based on knowing each other to the extent we know what the other are thinking.

What Groeschel suggests is how well do you know God?  Do you know him like I know my wife and she knows me?  Or, do you think of Him as some distant entity that is not involved in your day-to-day life or your decisions?  Do you know Him well enough to have a continuing conversation with Him all day long. Do you feel His love for you?

Well, I do.  I had an accident last week on my bicycle where a woman ran me down at 35 miles per hour. My body did $1,000 worth of damage to her car.  I walked away with just a couple of scratches.  I spent 5 hours in the ER where the doctor was convinced that something had to be wrong with me, and he was determined to find it.

That accident was a visible demonstration of God’s love and protection for me. I didn’t deserve it. That’s called grace. When I call him Abba Father, I do so knowing that He loves me and protected me in a supernatural way. It’s like He put me in a cocoon when I was hit by the car.

The next generation is in desperate need of people who will live out their role as sons and daughters of the living God.  When you cry out Abba Father, your heavenly Father hears you and He sends the Holy Spirit.  It is time for us, as God’s church and God’s bride, to ask for help.

Let His kingdom come, as it is on earth and in heaven.  Not because we are worthy, but because He is our Father. He wants us to demonstrate His relationship with us to others who might be skeptical. It’s all right to be skeptical, but at the end of the day, every believer should live a life that shows that they know that God loves them.

Eric Metaxas wrote an award-winning book on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer entitled Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. I was struck by one incident In Bonhoeffer’s life which transformed him while he lived in New York City for 6 months.

He frequented the Abyssinian Church in Harlem and was struck by their joyous music. Harlem was described as a “downtrodden African American community.” He heard “the Gospel preached and its power manifested.”  The Abyssinian Church had close to 14,000 members by the mid-1930’s.  Bonhoeffer was staggered.

For the first time in his life, he “saw the gospel preached and lived out in accordance with God’s commands.” He encountered believers who lived as though God is real in their lives. He had never seen that before. It transformed him and his theology.  God is real, but we often don’t act like it.

It was the experience of listening to “negro spirituals” that convinced Bonhoeffer the importance of music to worship. When he returned to Germany, he brought back recordings of the gospel music. which became his most treasured possessions.

He played them to his students in Berlin and later elsewhere. “For many of his students, they were as exotic as moon rocks.”

That’s our challenge:  living a life that reflects our beliefs. Living a life that shows we know God, and that we feel His presence in our daily lives.  Living like God is real, not just somebody who is present in a church on a Sunday morning. We also need to  worship Him as a real God, an Abba Father.

MENTOR TAKEAWAY:  As a mentor, reflect on your life. Does it reflect that you know God, or know about God?  The next generation is looking for authentic relationships.  They can tell if yours is real or not.

WORSHIP: Listen to the lyrics of Chris Tomlin’s Good Good Father : “You are Perfect in all of your ways.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqybaIesbuA

 COMMENT:  I would be delighted at comments on this or any other post. You can comment by clicking on the icon at the top of the page, or emailing me at otterpater@nc.rr.com.

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