Advent Flow #12 - NAME OF GOD: Abba
"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
NAME OF GOD: Abba
by Steve Wells
When I was given the name of “Abba” to do a writing on, I was excited and weary all at the same time. I’ve always loved my Dad, Jim, but it wasn’t until I held my first child that the word “Father” gained a whole new level of importance and meaning. When you read this devotion, my family and I will be experiencing the 1 year anniversary of my Father’s death. It’s been tough to experience the loss within me, but even more disheartening is to watch your child grieve the loss as well. Additionally, I have watched other mothers, siblings, wives, sons and daughters…my friends…mourn over the loss of their fathers. I’ve heard stories of fathers that inspired and some that were truly heartbreaking. I could go on and on about this, but I will spare you. I did want to tell you this: The only way that I was able to stand firm on my faith during my grief was through my relationship with Jesus Christ and His relationship with his Father, God. This gave me comfort and peace.
Did you know that “Father” is used of God in the Old Testament only 15 times while it is used of God 245 times in the New Testament? As a name of God, it stresses God’s loving care, provision, discipline, and the way we are to address God in prayer. Abba is the Aramaic word meaning Daddy, Father. It’s a term of warm affection, intimacy, and respect for one’s father. It is a distinctive New Testament revelation that through faith in Christ, God becomes our personal Father.
All of us have a father, but not all of us know our fathers. Father is just a title to some. I have a friend who told me of his biological father and how it was hard to respect him and he struggled to be with him in his very few moments spent with him. Yet, he still had the privilege of calling one man, “Daddy,” his stepdad who adopted him and raised him as his own. Galatians 4:4-7 and our main scripture for today, Romans 8:15, talk about adoption and being brought into the family of God as sons and daughters, heirs to the kingdom of heaven.
As you go through the rest of this day, reflect on those you call “Abba (Daddy), Father” and think of the ways in which they loved you. For those who are foreign to a loving Father AND for those who are familiar with having a loving Father: God, your ABBA FATHER, wants to graft you into his family tree by way of adoption. He wants to offer you sonship through his Son, Jesus Christ. He wants to make you heirs to the kingdom of heaven. I believe that in every heart of stone, lies the longing of a Father who will embrace them with warm affection and intimacy that leads to Heaven’s gates.
Think back on who you considered to be your Abba (Daddy), Father. What were the attributes or words that best describe that person?
As you see the world around you as a Mother or a Father, a brother or a sister, how can you pay it forward to those who long for an “Abba?”
Is there anyone in your life that you think needs to hear that there’s a “Abba” in Heaven who loves them? Pray for them this week that they would come to know the love of their Abba in Heaven.