Who's the Ultimate Daddy? What is the truth about His love?
My Heavenly Daddy, Abba, has infinite love for me.
My Daddy was a big man. I remember as a little girl that my hand looked so tiny in his. While he seemed fierce to most non-family members, he had a kind and gentle heart -- until you messed with one of his girls. His love was fierce.
One standout memory was when Hubby and I came to visit not long after our miscarriage. We were devastated, and I was especially so. Doctors had told me for years that pregnancy was a long-shot. So, losing the baby seemed like additional confirmation that we would be childless.
But when another guest/family member told me that the miscarriage was actually a sign "because God never gives children into a home with a couple who would be bad parents," Daddy went into full-blown Poppa Bear mode and kicked the woman out of the house. So much for family Christmas.
But that's what daddies do.
Daddy wears track shoes
In Luke 15, we see the story of the prodigal son. Verse 20 shows us the daddy's response to his return. Daddy runs to him. In the culture of the time, to see a man - the leader of the household - running would be very unusual. He would have to lift his robes, and it was humiliating to show his legs in public.
The daddy even shows the older son grace. He leaves the feast to explain why they should celebrate his brother's return.
Abba = Pater = Daddy
In the Old Testament, the word is Abba[AHB-uh] or 'Ab[AHB]. In the New Testament, it's the word Pater[PAH-ter]. Either way, it is a word that denotes a close bond, a connection. We are not to think of a faraway deity. We are to revel in the joy of this family relationship.
In John 10:27-30, Jesus says, "My sheep hear My voice and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish...no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are one." And Christ Himself told us to use "Father" when we pray as recorded in Matt 6:9-11, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven..."
It's been said that your own father is your first model for your Heavenly Father, and maybe that's why some people can only view Abba God as harsh and punitive. But when we establish a Pater/child relationship, we will open the door to special treatment. Psalm 103:13 (NIV) says, "As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him." In this case "fear" doesn't mean we cower and tremble. No, it is telling us to treasure and revere God. His love for you is legendary. Do you love Him?
Isaiah 63:16 says, "Doubtless You are our Father though Abraham was ignorant of us, and Israel does not acknowledge us. You, O LORD, are our Father; Our Redeemer from Everlasting is Your name." And Jesus on the cross is the ultimate proof of this.
Prayer - using 4 Aspects of Prayer
Adore - Abba! Daddy God! You receive us as Your children. Your paternal love for us is so great that You gave up Your Holy Son for us. Such boundless love!
Admit - There are times when I do not demonstrate my reverence for You as my Father. Times when I do not spend time with You like I should. Please forgive me for my indifference and unwillingness to build our relationship.
Ask - Pater, we ask for the grace and mercy You long to give us. For a true hunger to experience You more.
Acknowledge - We thank You, Father, for providing for our needs. For answering our prayers. For protecting our lives and our hearts, even in ways and situations we do not know.