Daily Devotionals

Identity Theft Week 1: Wednesday

And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6

When Jesus came to earth, He taught us so many things about God. One of the things He taught was extraordinary. It was actually an invitation. He taught that we were invited to address God as Father. Now, this was a completely different way of thinking for His day, and this teaching would have been radical. It’s true. You see, Scripture teaches that when we place our faith in Christ, we are adopted into His family, and because of that, we can address God as Father.

Paul talked about the invitation to call God “Father” in Galatians 4. In this chapter, He taught that God sent Jesus to free us from sin so that He could adopt us as His children (verse 5). He explained just what that adoption meant. “because we are His children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, ‘Abba, Father’” (verse 6). Because we are adopted into God’s family when we place our faith in Him, we can call Him “Abba, Father.” Now, the word “Abba” is a term of endearment most similar to the word “daddy.” This father-child relationship described in this verse is one of the most personal relationships, and it carries with it certain rights, privileges, and responsibilities.

One of the most incredible privileges of father-child relationships is that it means access. It does not matter if the parent is the king, the biggest movie star, or the star athlete everyone is talking about. Children have access to their parents. In the same way, because we are children of God, we have access to Him. Because He is our Heavenly Father, we can always come to Him with our joy, sadness, successes, and struggles. We do not have to receive permission to pray to Him. We do not have to have it all together before we go to Him. We get to come to Him as kids of the Most High King.

Moving toward action

My friend, if you have placed your faith in Christ, you are a part of the family of God. Listen to Who You Say I Am by Hillsong Worship for the next few minutes. As you listen to this song, let the truth of God’s word sink in that you are a child of God, and that changes everything.

Going Deeper

Galatians 4:1-20 (NLT)

Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had. 2 They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 3 And that’s the way it was with us before Christ came. We were like children; we were slaves to the basic spiritual principles of this world.

4 But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 5 God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.6 And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” 7 Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.

8 Before you Gentiles knew God, you were slaves to so-called gods that do not even exist. 9 So now that you know God (or should I say, now that God knows you), why do you want to go back again and become slaves once more to the weak and useless spiritual principles of this world? 10 You are trying to earn favor with God by observing certain days or months or seasons or years. 11 I fear for you. Perhaps all my hard work with you was for nothing. 12 Dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles—free from those laws.

You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you. 13 Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News. 14 But even though my condition tempted you to reject me, you did not despise me or turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where is that joyful and grateful spirit you felt then? I am sure you would have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible. 16 Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?

17 Those false teachers are so eager to win your favor, but their intentions are not good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay attention only to them. 18 If someone is eager to do good things for you, that’s all right; but let them do it all the time, not just when I’m with you.

19 Oh, my dear children! I feel as if I’m going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives. 20 I wish I were with you right now so I could change my tone. But at this distance I don’t know how else to help you.