His Name is Abba Father

“For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15

This past week my two-year old niece clearly used my name, and it melted my heart. When she used my name, it made me feel like she was getting to know me and cared who I was. That feeling made me think about how our heavenly Father must feel when people call on His name, especially the name “Abba.”

“Ab” is both a Hebrew and Aramaic word for “Father.” The term Abba is an Aramaic word used in the New Testament. It is thought that ab-ba is an affectionate form of the word ab, Abba being a term that young children would first learn to speak, similar to da-da or ma-ma. I remember the joy I felt when my girls first called me mama, an endearing term they still use today. I imagine God feels tremendous joy when His children first call out to Him as their own personal Father.

The term Abba is an informal name, but being informal does not mean disrespectful. There are times when I stand in awe of God and feel overwhelmed by His greatness, which makes it even more of an honor to call Him Abba, my Father. God is an awesome God that wants to have a close and personal relationship with me.

Because Abba is a name thought to be the first name for God used by young children, there is a significance of a nearness to the one they are dependent on. When the term Abba is used, it carries a meaning of intimacy and reliance (See Mark 14:36 and Galatians 4:6).

In addition, Paul gives another meaning to the name Abba in Romans 8:15, and the meaning is that of an adoptive father. For any of us who make Jesus our Lord, our spirit becomes new, or born again. With the new birth, we are received back into the family of God, not as a servant, but as a son or daughter. Whatever your earthly father was like, God is a good father who longs to care for you, provide for you, and protect you. Your Father God does these things because He loves you. He is Abba, and He longs to know you and for you to know Him.

Application: Before Jesus was taken captive and crucified on the cross, He called out on God to relieve Him of His mission, if it were possible. In His cry, Jesus called Him, Abba, Father (Mark 14:36). God is there for you whether your situation is well or if you are in your darkest hour. He is your Father, and He deeply cares for you as His child. Call on Him.

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