January 04, 2009

Return to Our Father

Romans 8:1-17

And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15


Absent fathers are a major problem today. Young men who grow up in homes without a faithful father often think that violent, macho behavior defines real manhood. Young women who grow up without a faithful father often develop unhealthy relationships with older men in search of the dad they never had.

Christians confess that God is our Father. But is he absent too? Some fear so. The world is so messed up. Where is the Father God whom the Bible speaks of?

God is as close to us as the Spirit of Christ. In Romans 8, the apostle Paul declares that the work of Jesus leads to the pouring out of the “Spirit of sonship” on all who believe. Christ’s Spirit poured out at Pentecost brings us into a new relationship with the Father. God is our Father because we are adopted as children through the work of the one and only Son. In fact, through our relationship of faith, we can now call God “Abba.” That’s the close, intimate name that a small Jewish child uses when speaking to his or her daddy.

Maybe you are someone who’s seeking a caring relationship with a human father you never knew. If so, I pray that you find healing for the hurt you’ve experienced. And I know that the place to experience strength for that healing is in a relationship with the divine Father, who is always there when you need him.

Father God, we call out to you in the name of your Son, Jesus. May we experience a warm welcome into your family, and the continued blessing of knowing you as our Father. Amen.

About the author — Bob Heerspink

Dr. Robert Heerspink was director of Back to God Ministries International from 2006 until 2011, when he passed away. He had previously pastored several Christian Reformed churches. Bob loved to write and was a frequent contributor to the Today devotional.

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