Abba, Father

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

Romans 8:14-16

This past Father’s Day was the 18th time I have been blessed to celebrate this day as a father. I feel especially blessed as I was able to spend the day with both my son and my dad. I do not know how long God will give me with my dad and my son as life is short and we are not promised tomorrow. I go back to the day my son was born, and remember the details of his birth as if it was yesterday. Rebekah likes to tell the story of his birth from the time we left to go the hospital to the exhausting and emotional delivery of our baby boy. He is no longer a baby, and it is sometimes hard to see him grow up even though this is what we raised him to be.

I recently went to work to pick up personal items from my desk, and it was littered with individual photos of our kids, Lanie, Nate and Kate, and pictures of them all together. The term “dad” is special to me and it comes with a close and special relationship. This relationship is one in which you seek the approval of your dad no matter how old you are. Even if you do not doubt whether or not your dad loves you, you still seek his approval and want him to be proud of you. I cherish the cards I have received over the years, even the ones that are filled with scribble marks and undecipherable pictures. There is just something special about being a dad, and I am grateful that I still have my dad around to celebrate this day with.

I did not always see eye to eye with my dad growing up as I sought my own way in life. He repeated many sayings to me throughout my childhood and I now repeat these to my kids. He raised me to love God, love my wife, and to love my family. I saw in Him an example of someone who was not perfect, but he did desire to walk with and please God. He was always fair with me, even though my younger self would argue that he was not when I was growing up. He would always tell me that life is not fair and that I had better learn that lesson early in life. This hard lesson came to a head when he was substituting as an umpire in my little league baseball game, and he called me out stealing third, even though it was clear to me and my mom that I was safe. Still, I had no need for Marvel and D.C Comic superheroes as I felt I had the real thing living in the room next to mine. Although I am grateful for my earthly dad, I am even more grateful for my Heavenly Father.

The term, “Abba”, used in the verses above carries it with the special relationship between a father and his child. It speaks of an affectionate relationship and one that shows a child’s dependence on his father. It is our Heavenly Father who gives good things and He knows what we have need before we even ask. Matthew 6:8b states, “…for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” James 1:17 tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Our God knows what His children need, and we can always cry out to Him as a child cries out for help.

Is God your Father? Do you have an intimate relationship with Him? Do you cry out to Him or do you try and live life on your own terms? Are you walking with the Father or have you strayed away? Will you heed the Father’s call or will you continue to stray? I can think of no other relationship I would rather have than walking side by side with my Heavenly Father.

Stay in the Fight!

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