There are countless names by which we call God. In Song Of Songs He is called “Lover,” “Beloved” and “Friend.” Through the Old Testament He was called “King” and “Creator.” In the New Testament we see Him called “Jesus,” “The Messiah,” “Friend” and many more. One of my favorite and perhaps the most commonly used term is “Father.” As Father’s Day came and went, I am reminded of the ultimate Father and reminded that I and all who follow Him are Children of the Almighty Father.
“How great is the love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
1 John 3:1
That verse in 1 John puts it better than I can imagine, what a great love it is that our Father calls us His children. That is amazing. We have been called Children of God. As children, we receive a direct line from the Father. There is no need for us to follow any one thing or any person; instead, we have access to our Father like any child might. We get to ask our Father anything we want and because He is a good Father, He delights in giving us the desires of His heart.
Another wonderful passage that speaks to God as our Father is in Galatians 4:6-7:
“Because you are son (and daughters), God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but a son (and daughter); since you are a child, God has also made you an heir.”
What another powerful passage. We are told that not only is He our Father, we are intimately connected to Him. The departing of His Spirit into us which calls out “Abba” is a sign of intimacy. The word “Abba” is referenced often throughout the New Testament but seldom is it directly used. There are only three times in the New Testament (according to the New International Version) where Abba is used, two of which are when Jesus cried out to His Father to “take the cup” before He was to be crucified. The third reference is the verse in Galatians.
I think the frequency of Abba in the New Testament is a sign of its importance. The fact that it is only referenced three times shows that is it reserved for the most intimate of uses. When the Spirit was sent into us, we call out Abba. When we accept God into our hearts and lives, we begin an intimate relationship with our Father, Abba.
Sometimes it is hard to understand why “Abba” is an important term of endearment for “Father.” In Hebrew, “father” is actually “Ab.” So when someone calls someone a father in Hebrew, they would normally say “Ab” not “Abba.” The reason “Abba” is so intimate is because it is what a baby first says when it is learning to say dad or daddy. It is easier for a baby to say “Abba” and “Imma” for “daddy” and “mommy” instead of “Ab” and “Im.”
The fact that Jesus cried out “Abba” and we are told the Spirit in us calls out “Abba” is a sign that we not only call him Father, we affectionately call him “Daddy” or use a more intimate term than simply calling Him our Father.
I think what I am trying to get at with the term “Abba” as Father is that we are called to be close with the Father. We do not have to call Him Father, instead we can call him Dad or Daddy. He is supposed to be the guide in our life for all we do, an intimate figure for every day.
Great God, Merciful Kind, Almighty Father, Abba… Thank you for your love. You are so good, a lion laying with the lambs. Thank you, Abba.