Abba, Father Galatians 4:4-7 (NKJV)
4 But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
From the moment I read these verses in preparation for today’s blog, I’ve been drawn to vs 6..And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”
You see, I’ve been on a journey for the past year and a half with my dad as he draws to the end of his days on this earth….he has lung cancer. And up until this time, most of our conversations “around” faith were legalistic…law based and pretty much absent of grace. The “Good News” was at most a way to quickly end the conversation. This began to trouble me more than ever before...did dad really know that Jesus was his Lord and Savior?...that God the Father had sent His Son to live, die and rise again in glory so that he (dad) could be an adopted son?...and how in the world was I, a son, going to ask that of my father?...and if I didn’t, what kind of son was I?..where was my faith? Was the “trouble” I felt in my heart…a sort of rift in my spirit…a nudge toward what my Heavenly Father had at hand for me to do?...and no matter how uncomfortable it made me feel, was I going to be obedient to my Father, trusting in Him, so that I could be his instrument of grace in my dad’s life?
Well, I’d like to be able to say that I responded with an immediate “yes Lord”!…but it just didn’t go down that way. It took a lot a prayer, patience (mostly on His behalf with me) and work at listening to God, before I could respond….and I promise you, in my heart of hearts, I know that it was not because of anything I did, but all because “God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts.” And in that, I am so thankful that the Lord has opened up so many doors of conversation, sharing & prayer…yes prayer…me praying for my dad..and folks, that ain’t never happened before! Oh, and yes, dad does profess Jesus as his Lord and Savior! Hallelujah!
In all this, sometimes in the place of my heart where as the boy of my youth, I yearn for the affirmation… the approval and encouragement of my daddy…I now as a son of my father, am so very thankful for the touching of our hearts that the Lord has blessed us with….and so enters in “Abba, Father”…
…Abba is an Aramaic word for "father" used by a child in intimate conversation within the home. When children addressed their father as Abba, they were expressing affection, confidence and loyalty. One of the most remarkable aspects of the life of Jesus was that he addressed God as Abba in his prayers and taught his disciples to do the same. So striking and significant was Jesus' addressing God as Abba that even in Greek-speaking churches Jesus' Aramaic word for Father was heard as the believers called out to God in prayer. They called God Abba because the Spirit of Jesus was assuring them within their hearts, the control center of their emotions and thoughts, that they were children of the Father. (IVP Commentary)
In closing, I’d like to share a thought my dad shared with me that was another one of those “I ain’t never heard” blessings to me: “Jimmy, you know that little song..He’s got the whole world…it’s true, you know. What’s true dad? You know…He’s got the whole world in His Hands.”