Scripture Reading — Romans 8:12-17
By [the Spirit] we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. — Romans 8:15-16
“Abba, Father” is a beautiful word picture that portrays the balanced relationship God desires with each of his children. Together these words capture for us the healthy balance of how children of God may view and approach the heavenly Father.
Abba is an affectionate name used by children in the Jewish culture for addressing their father; it’s similar to our word Daddy, communicating a sense of childlike dependence, love, and vulnerability. When we cry out, “Abba,” we are expressing our complete trust in and dependence on our Father God. We call God “Abba” because Jesus paid for our sin and removed our guilt so that we can personally approach God. The picture of a little child in Daddy’s strong arms is a portrait of our dependence on and intimacy with God himself.
Pairing “Abba” with “Father” helps us balance our view of God, combining Abba intimacy with Father respect. We are to respect God and even fear the Lord as Maker of the universe and Judge of all living things. At the same time, we are welcomed to trust and rest and find comfort in Abba’s tenderness as he leads us through the journey of life. Have you discovered the joy and comfort of getting to know your Abba, Father? It’s essential to a healthy spiritual life.
Abba, Father, thank you for expressing your love for us and inviting us into relationship with you. Help us know and enjoy all the benefits of full life with you. In Jesus, Amen.