Have you heard God referred to as our Abba Father?
Perhaps this is a new phrase to you, or perhaps you’ve stumbled across it in Scripture.
Either way, what does Abba mean?
What does this name reveal about God’s character?
Let’s explore these questions together!
He who holds all things, holds me.
First, God is our Creator. (Genesis 1:26-27, Psalm 139:13-16)
He created us in His image, Imago Dei, with intentionality and joy, calling His handiwork “very good indeed.” (Genesis 1:31)
And when the Imago Dei within us was marred by sin (Genesis 3), He promised to rescue us (Genesis 3:14-15), becoming our Redeemer. (Galatians 3:13-14)
More intimately, God is also our Abba, our Father, and we are co-heirs in His Kingdom. (Romans 8:14-17)
When we accept God’s gift of forgiveness, made possible through the substitutionary death and resurrection of Jesus (Galatians 2:20), God sends the Holy Spirit into our hearts, transforming us into His sons and daughters, crying Abba. (Galatians 4:6)
We know we are God’s children by the witness of the Holy Spirit within us.
In Romans 8:16, Paul wrote: “The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children[.]” Because we are in Christ, we live as children of God in an intimate and joyful relationship with Him, not one of fear and bondage. Now we cry, “Abba, Father!” (Romans 8:15)
We bring every care and concern to God the Father by crying out to Him. Do not hold anything back, because God is there for us. We can trust God loves us because He sent His only Son to die for us and to give us eternal life. (John 3:16) Our Abba is our comforter, provider, defender, and protector, giving us all we need.
But what if we grew up in a family devoid of this kind of fatherly love?
As a child and into young adulthood, I didn’t know how to relate to God as my Father. This could be because I had a tumultuous relationship with my dad, who was an alcoholic. My family walked on eggshells as we didn’t know if today’s dad would be loving or angry and violent. As a tween, I remember praying outside in the front yard, trying to drown out the yelling from inside the house. How was this the same dad who gently pinched my cheek, smiling at me earlier?
Thankfully, God lovingly reached my heart in my adult years, and I found the relationship I needed with my Abba. This also helped me to forgive my earthly dad, who had since passed. Now I experience the tender loving care of my Abba and recognize that even when I didn’t know it, He was always present with me, taking care, providing, and protecting me. Looking back, I see how He led me to the days when I would sit closely at His feet in fellowship. (Luke 10:38-42)
In Mark 14:36, Jesus shows us how to respond to God as Father in the cool grove of Gethsemane. In agony, Jesus prays, “Abba, Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup away from Me. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what you will.” Our Abba meets us in our suffering and gives us the strength to obey Him. Like Jesus, we pray and worship in God’s presence, communing with each other.
We are privileged to draw close to God the Father by His Spirit.
Daughters of God, approach His throne of grace with boldness, receiving mercy and grace in your time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
The beautiful truth is that our Father Abba delights in His children. (Jeremiah 31:20) Even when we sin, God remembers us. His love is unconditional. God’s heart yearns for us with endearing compassion. (Psalm 103:13)
We are God’s chosen, treasured possession. And as His holy and beloved people, we show our love for Him by obeying Him and pursuing Him with single-minded devotion. (Deuteronomy 14:1-2)
It is comforting to have my heavenly Father ever by my side. When I feel alone, unloved, not so special, or passed over, Abba reminds me I am always loved, special, and never passed over.
Beloved ones, come to your Father who loves you to the end of time.
Who meets you wherever you are, delighting in, remembering, and forgiving you.
Cry Abba, and be His holy people, chosen ones, and precious treasure.
“Dear heavenly Father, thank You for Your tender loving kindness. Today is the day You have made. And I rejoice and am glad in it.”
This prayer begins my day, assuring me in our together morn and throughout the day that the One who holds everything in His hand also holds me.
Remember, the One who holds everything holds you, too.
Prayer is central to our ministry as believers in Jesus as we carry eachother’s burdens and intercede for one another. Our team is honored to share the work of praying alongside you!
Authentically living out a life of worship to the God who rescued us from darkness requires accountability and intentionality. Join a GT POD and take the next step in your faith journey!