10 Day Devotional Challenge – Day 1
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Our Father (ABBA)
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
When I think of my dad, I remember walking hand-in-hand with him and how safe I felt. He had a ready smile, a warm embrace, a habit of constantly humming in his deep bass voice, a quick wit, and was physically strong. (The Africans used to call him, “Big Bull Elephant.”) Daddy was my rock and shelter, my provider and guide.
Abba is a Greek word that is translated as “Father” in English. According to HELPS Word-studies, Abba is “the term of tender endearment by a beloved child ― ‘daddy,’ ‘papa.’”
When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord, we become children of God. We belong to the family of God and God becomes our Heavenly Father.
I’m thankful I had a healthy relationship with my father. I realize that not all earthly fathers are good and not everyone is able to appreciate what it means to have God as our Heavenly Father. If your earthly father is/was mean or abusive, I pray you are able to get the help you need to receive healing.
God, Our Father, loves us unconditionally (Romans 8:31-39). There is no man or woman who loves us absolutely unconditionally. Our being human means we are sinful, selfish, and we fail. People may reflect God’s love, but God is the only One who is perfect and capable of unconditional love.
I am a people-pleaser at heart. I am also capable of doing many things. During my first year of Bible College, I was voted onto several committees. The problem was, I kept saying “yes” to everything and everyone. Mr. Graham Crouch, our class advisor, called me into his office one day. We chatted and he asked several questions. Then he told me, “Ruth, you can’t do anything to make God love you more, and you can’t do anything to make God love you less.” He encouraged me to rest in God’s love and make choices accordingly. That’s a profound lesson I’m still learning.
God, our Father, wants a relationship with us (John 3:16-17). God has done everything necessary to make it possible for us to have a relationship with him. But he lets us decide whether we want a relationship or not. Like a loving earthly father, our Heavenly Father wants us to communicate with him by talking to him and listening to him. God delights in our spending time with him by reading his Word, praying, being quiet before him, and telling him how we feel.
God, our Father, delights in meeting our needs and giving us what we want (Matthew 6:24-34). Unlike our earthly fathers, God has the power to do anything and knows what we want and need. God provides our needs directly or through people. In Matthew 7:7, we are told we will receive when we ask, find when we seek and have doors opened when we knock.
God, our Father, teaches us important lessons (Matthew 5). God knows what we need to learn, and he patiently teaches us through experience, through his Word, and through other people. He knows how much we can handle and often repeats lessons for our benefit.
God, our Father, is never too busy for us (I John 5:14-15). God is not limited by time or energy or ability. We never receive a busy signal from God.
God, our Father, protects us (Psalm 42:4). God knows all things—our limitations, our weaknesses, what bothers us, and when we need help. He not only provides instruction and spiritual armor for us, but he also protects us.
God, our Father, fights on our behalf (Deuteronomy 1:30). We may not even be aware of God’s protection, because we are not often granted the ability to see the spiritual forces at work in our world.
God, our Father, disciplines us (Hebrews 12:1-11). We all know what it is like to be around a child who is not disciplined. God disciplines us so that we are able to grow in grace, defeat sin in our lives, and bring glory to him.
God, our Father, gives us an inheritance (Galatians 4:1-7). In Ephesians 1, we are told that the Holy Spirit is given to us as a deposit or guarantee of our inheritance. I Peter 1:4 informs us of our inheritance, which is in heaven, will not “perish, spoil, or fade.” Our inheritance includes eternal life, blessing, position, and being a fellow-heir with Jesus Christ.
Think About It
What do you appreciate most about God, your Father? To express your appreciation, journal your thoughts, or respond in another way that is meaningful to you.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the privilege of being called your child. Thank you, too, that you love me unconditionally, that you provide for me, discipline and teach me, and fight for me. I look forward to becoming closer to you on this earth, and knowing you fully when I am in heaven. In Jesus’ name, Amen.