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FATHER’S DAY by Daily Bread

Jun 19, 2016
Abba, Father
Tim Gustafson
Romans 8:12–17
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. Psalm 68:5

The scene belonged on a funny Father’s Day card. As a dad muscled a lawn mower ahead of him with one hand, he expertly towed a child’s wagon behind him with the other. In the wagon sat his three-year-old daughter, delighted at the noisy tour of their yard. This might not be the safest choice, but who says men can’t multitask?

If you had a good dad, a scene like that can invoke fantastic memories. But for many, “Dad” is an incomplete concept. Where are we to turn if our fathers are gone, or if they fail us, or even if they wound us?

King David certainly had his shortcomings as a father, but he understood the paternal nature of God. “A father to the fatherless,” he wrote, “a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families” (Ps. 68:5–6). The apostle Paul expanded on that idea: “The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.” Then, using the Aramaic word for father—a term young children would use for their dad—Paul added, “By him we cry, ‘Abba, Father’ ” (Rom. 8:15). This is the same word Jesus used when He prayed in anguish to His Father the night He was betrayed (Mark 14:36).

What a privilege to come to God using the same intimate term for “father” that Jesus used! Our Abba Father welcomes into His family anyone who will turn to Him.

Heavenly Father, I want to be part of Your family. I believe that Your only Son Jesus died for my sins. Please forgive me and help me live a life that pleases You.

A good father reflects the love of the heavenly Father.

The Holy Spirit indwells every believer in Christ and is the source of our spiritual life (Rom. 8:9–14). He is the seal and guarantee (Eph. 1:13–14) that we are God’s children (Rom. 8:15–16; Gal. 4:5). As His children, we have a duty to the Father not to live according to the sinful nature (Rom. 8:12) but to “put to death the misdeeds of the body” (v. 13; Col. 3:5–11). We are to be “led by the Spirit of God” (Rom. 8:14; Gal. 5:16–18) and to “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25). In the Spirit’s power, God’s children display the characteristics of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control Galatians 5:22-23.

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