231115 – What Do You Call God?

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” — Romans 8:15 

I grew up wanting nothing more than to get out of my hometown. I saw myself living in a big city with loud traffic, sky rise hotels, and hot-dog carts with mediocre food. When I graduated high school, I did just that. I moved 650 miles away from my home. I didn’t get to move to a mammoth metropolis, but I still accomplished my dream of escaping my hometown. It was fun at first, but I really started to miss my family. I would call my mother every night. I missed my dog. I missed my family’s cooking. I really missed my bed. The only thing that kept me going through those long semesters was knowing that I would get to have holidays with my family. There is just something comforting and calming about spending time with your family.  

Romans 8 teaches that God adopted you and me into His family.  

Adoption is a beautiful thing. A family decides to take in a child as their own — loving them, caring for them, and treating them as they would their own child. It gets me emotional just thinking about it. This child had no home, but now they do. This child had no parents, but now they do. It’s a beautiful picture of selflessness, sacrifice, and the gospel.  

You were adopted by the creator of the whole universe. Heaven is now your home. God is now your father. In Romans 8:15, Paul teaches that we get to call God “Abba.” This is an ancient pet-name that people would give their dads. Think of it like “papa” or something like that. However cheesy it seems to call your father by a pet name, this sums up our entire relationship with God — it’s deeply personal. God is not some distant dictator. He is a loving parent who is ready to swoop you up into his arms whenever you are hurting. He will help you learn. He will show you love.  

When you truly begin to see your relationship with God as a deeply personal, perfect, and father-like relationship, it will radically change how you see your life too. You are beloved by your Abba. You are seen as valuable by your Abba. You aren’t just His child, you’re His adopted child. He chose you. The only reasonable response to this revelation is whole-hearted praise and gratitude.