Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” Galatians 4:6
This month my church is reading through the gospel of John, which has been referred to as the greatest statement of trinitarian theology ever written. What pressed into my heart the deepest during this reading of John, though, was Jesus’ passionate pointing to his heavenly Father.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus reveals a Father who is loving, tender, compassionate, forgiving, and righteous. Jesus’ description points us back to a God who is a “father of the fatherless / and a champion of widows” (Psalm 68:5); furthermore, Galatians 4:4-5 reads, “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” Best of all, He’s a personal God–one who knows each hair on my head (Luke 12:7).
A Beautiful Picture of My Relationship with Jesus
As a father myself, I long to be this type of father for my children, but know I fall short. Kids, however, in their beautiful innocence, tend to see past our sin and view us with an unstained perspective. I was recently reminded of this on a Tuesday afternoon. There I was at The Hyppo Coffee Bar, my favorite coffee shop, sitting behind my computer, when I heard, “Dad!”
I looked up from my screen to see Kinley, my smiling, eight-year-old daughter, strawberry popsicle in hand, rushing over to me.
We shared a long hug and laughed for a solid minute straight. I didn’t even worry about the people around us overhearing us. This was not a military homecoming or even a surprise meeting. We had seen each other that very morning. It was just that it was so unexpected.
I didn’t know my mother-in-law was going to treat my daughter to a post-movie treat, and she didn’t know I’d be doing my work there. In fact, Kinley was so laser focused on what popsicle she was going to get, and I was so immersed in my work, that she passed right by me on the way to the register and neither one of us noticed!
Thankfully, though, Kinley spotted me once she had taken her first bite. And as kids often do, my daughter provided a beautiful picture of what my relationship with Jesus should be like.
Access To Our Heavenly Father
Because of the work Christ did on the cross, I should be rushing to my heavenly father with all of my requests–with a thankfulness for the grace he offers me. And the rest of the Galatians passage reads, “And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’” (4:6). “Abba,” as you likely know, is typically translated to “Daddy” or “Dear Father.” Be encouraged, brother or sister: The veil is torn, and we have access to our heavenly father!
In John 17, Jesus prays for all believers in the following way: “‘I pray . . . for those who believe in me through their word. May they all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I am in you’” (20-21), and “‘Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that they will see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the world’s foundation’” (24).
How lucky are we to have a father like this, one who loved us before the world’s foundation was set.
My encouragement for you today and every day is to run into your Father’s arms. Through the mundane, through the victories, through loss. No matter what you are facing, cry out: