Among all of the different names for God found in Scripture, one of His most special, intimate names is "Abba." This is a term of endearment for a father, most similar to our word "daddy." Scripture reveals that when we place our faith in Him, we become God's sons and daughters. Because of this, we are invited to call Him "Father." Today, we are going to discuss this name for God and discover how our relationship with God as Father changes everything.
Name someone who has had a wise, fatherly impact on your life (your answer can range from your own father, to another relative, or to someone whom you are not related to). Describe their impact.
1. Is the concept that God is your Heavenly Father easy or difficult for you to comprehend? Why or why not? Some of you may have a strained or non-existent relationship with your earthly father. If that is the case, the good news for you today is that God is your perfect Heavenly Father and He will never let you down.
2. Read Ephesians 1:3-8. What are the benefits of earthy adoption? What are the benefits of the spiritual adoption described in these verses?
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding.
3. How does the understanding that you can address God as Father (Luke 11:2) change the way you pray?
Jesus said, “This is how you should pray:
“Father, may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
4. Read Galatians 4:1-7. What is the inheritance promised to believers? How does this inheritance give you hope today?
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. They have to obey their guardians until they reach whatever age their father set. 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.
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 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. And because we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, prompting us to call out, “Abba, Father.” Now you are no longer a slave but God’s own child. And since you are his child, God has made you his heir.
5. As our Heavenly Father, God gave us His Word to communicate His truth with us. How is Scripture "a lamp to guide [your] feet and a light for [your] path" (Psalm 119:105)? How are you meditating the truth of Scripture each day?
6. Why does God, as our Heavenly Father, discipline His children (Hebrews 12:6)? When was a time you faced the Lord's discipline (maybe that time is now)? If you are currently facing His discipline, what sin do you need to turn away from?
For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.
7. What is the result of understanding how much God, your Heavenly Father, loves you (Ephesians 3:18-19)?
And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
The Christmas season is a tangible reminder of just how much God loves us. He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to earth to die on the cross for our sins. Make plans to attend one of our Christmas Eve services where we will celebrate the gift of Jesus and invite a friend who does not know Christ to come with you. We also encourage you to make plans to serve in one of these services in order to be a part of helping others experience the great love of God. After all, when we have experienced His love, it is impossible to keep to ourselves!
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For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us.
The government will rest on his shoulders.
And he will be called:
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.