Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Day 1: Father

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

I have been doubly blessed. I have always known the love of my earthly father. One of my earliest memories is being thrown in the air and caught by my father. It was a thrill to feel the knot in my stomach as he released me and then caught me securely in his strong hands. When I had a bad dream, I could run to my parent’s room and curl up in the bed. In my father’s presence and house there was security and safety. Many a day, my father would pray at the kitchen table, “The Lord will provide.” And God did provide and so did my father. I had the privilege of bearing his last name and folks recognizing and identifying me as “Rev. Copeland’s daughter.” I remember at one point as a child wanting to be just like him, even imitating the way he ate. I proudly told people, “I’m a block off the old chip.”

Then I have been blessed for my children to have a wonderful father. Even before I gave birth to children, I saw the love that my husband had for his three older children. One of the things I knew right away about my husband and admired and respected so much about him was his deep love for his children. I learned so much about the love of a father through witnessing my husband’s sacrifice for his children.

The best human fathers are providers and protectors. They give their children security and identity. They sacrifice and love. Fathers carry that seed that bring life.

God is our heavenly father. He is the ultimate father. The Giver of life. God spoke creation into being, but he lovingly molded man and breathed into man his own breath and he became a living soul. God desires to have a relationship with his children. Our father wants to be our daddy.

Jesus called God “Abba.” The title “Abba” wasn’t formal. It was intimate. It was Abba—Daddy. Jesus was close to the father. As a matter of fact, he said he was one with the father. He spent time with God. He was from God. Jesus is God. In Jesus’ relationship with God we see intimacy. And we also see identity. When Jesus was baptized and came out of the water, God said, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.”

  God is not a distant curmudgeon waiting to strike at the smallest infraction. He is a loving father. Abba. Daddy. Even if you don’t know your earthly father, you can find identity, security and intimacy with your Heavenly Father.  

We are God’s children. We can call Him Abba.  We don’t always understand what He’s doing or what He’s asking of us. Sometimes we don’t like it. Sometimes it doesn’t feel good. But it is for our good and because He has a plan for us and always wants the very best for us. We hurt ourselves when we disobey the father.  He is a provider and protector. And we cannot fathom even imagine the love the father has for us.

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11

All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3 (New Living Translation)

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God's Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." Romans 8:15

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 (New Living Translation)

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 (NIV)

I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 (NIV)

Reflection and Response

Think of the best fathers you know. How are they like God, the ultimate father?

I praise God for being a father who…

I thank Him for…

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