18th January 2012

“Yo, Blair!”

“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’”
Galatians 4:6 (NKJV)

You might remember that this was how President George W. Bush greeted our then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at some conference or other a few years ago.

It provoked the British media into a frenzy of outrage. They expostulated that such a greeting was disrespectful to the high office of the British Prime Minister. Mr Blair, however, never objected. He seemed to accept it as a familiar, comfortable greeting between two close friends.

In Christian circles we have many who similarly argue that God has to be addressed with great care, to show respect for his majesty and his offices as Almighty God.

But that’s not what Paul tells us.

He actually taught us to consider our God as Daddy, following the example of Jesus Christ, who so addressed his father in prayer (Mark 14:36). Three times in the New Testament that familiar form is used. It is the word that a young child would have uttered, even as a young child would use “daddy” today.

Does that show disrespect? No. Actually, it shows the proper respect for the relationship we are in with our God, which is as sons of God (2 Corinthians 6:18). It also shows the love that the Father has for us—a love similar to a parent for a young child. It is similar, but not the same, because God has already demonstrated his love for us in that he sent his only Son to die in our stead for our sins. Jesus reconciled us, but the Father never stopped loving us.

Gracious Father, Daddy, you have confirmed your love for us by revealing what you have done to restore that love that you have always had for your creation and us. We ask for your help to fully appreciate it, to fully reciprocate it through the living, in our being, of the life of your Son. In Jesus’ name.

Study by John Stettaford

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