Abba, Father

The combination of words “Abba Father” appear three times in the Bible.
We would like to read them and let them flow into our hearts, and even more, let it glow our existence here in this world. It can make us free.

So many of us are trapped in pain, in hurt, in the performance trap, we should be trapped in the “Abba Father trap”. Why? Because it is a trap that brings us close to our Fathers heart, it will make us free, it will make us do what we cannot do in and off ourselves, it will make us victorious. The trap of true love from a loving Father is the strongest trap we could ever find ourselves in. It is the trap that Jesus was in.
He wanted to be close to the Father, He wanted to be in His presence and His presence alone was enough for Christ. The hardest time for Christ was when He was separated from His Father. Christ could do all and carry all, as long as His Father was with Him.

Christ could endure all things because His Father was with Him and He knew it.

We are living in a world where we will never be filled as were are intented to be filled. We are living in a world that is incomplete and it will never become complete.

We are living in a world where we will never be free from hurt and pain.

God has subjected this world to vanity (Romans 8) and in this world we will experience pain, hurt, disappointment and shattered dreams. We all do.

So many of us have tried to fill ourselves with the things of the world. We all have an empty-ness inside of us that needs to be filled. It just needs to be.
We can fill it with the things of the world and realize we loose a little bit of ourselves and off our dignity each time. Let us look at ourselves? Is this not so? Whether we want to know it or not, we will loose ourselves and our dignity. However, we can also choose to let Papa fill the voids in our lives and start glowing.

Like Christ, who sought His Father in His life and wanted to be close to Him, we should also seek to be close to Him and be victorious as He was victorious. Being close to Him is not merely to do His will but also one of seeking the face of Him who is our new life. It is not only about performance, it is also about relationship. It is about seeking and finding Him.
Being in the presence of Him will truly make us free and at peace.
Being together with Papa will bring all things to where they need to be.

Mar 14:34  And he saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: abide ye here, and watch.

Mar 14:35  And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass away from him.

Mar 14:36  And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; remove this cup from me: howbeit not what I will, but what thou wilt.  

Also, Romans 8: 15 and Galatians 4: 6

The context of these verses.

Romans 8: 12- 17

These verses speak of children of God.

  • What comes to our minds when we think of this?
  • Do we see intimacy in these verses? 

We see in these verses the concept of bondage in contrast to being adopted.

  • What comes to your mind?

Galatians 4: 1- 7

These verses speak of intimacy.

  • No more a servant but a son. (v. 7) 

In Christ we have become a son and a daughter of God. Now, what do we think when we read this. When we think of God, do we feel distance or do we feel closeness.
I do know what God wants you to think, God wants you to feel closeness. But do you feel such? 

Perhaps the most familiar Christian concept of God is as Father, for God is addressed in the Lord's Prayer as "Our Father, who art in heaven....".

When we look at Jesus' own terminology, "Father" is by far his most frequent term for God.

  • Joh. 17: 1, 5, 11, 21, 24, 25,

1. The words Abba Father. 

The word Abba comes from the Aramaic language, and was incorporated into use by the Jews in their prayers to God.
It simply means father. And yet, in each occurrence of the word in the New Testament, it is immediately followed by the Greek, pater, which also means father.

In many cultures of the world, children have an affectionate name which is given to their parents.

  • These names are commonly simple words framed by the mouths of infants.
  • For example, a father is often called by young children, ‘dada', which eventually becomes ‘daddy', or ‘papa'.
  • Were we to continue through various societies and cultures, we would find similar names of affection.
  • The word Abba, given it's simplicity, may be much the same; a name of intimacy by which our heavenly Father is called.

To often I believe we focus so much on the fact that God is God, that we lose sight of the fact that He is also our Papa.

  • Indeed, it is important to acknowledge His greatness as the Creator of all things, the Sustainer of the universe, the Almighty One, however, these things ought not be acknowledged to the exclusion of or at the cost of an intimate relationship with Him.
  • The phrase, ‘Abba Father' bears with it a double understanding of God's nature as our Father.
  • The affectionate, unpretentious word Abba, expressing a childlike love, and trust and comfort.
  • The more formal, Father, conveying an intelligent understanding of our relationship to God in Christ Jesus. When the two are combined, the fullness of our emotional  attachment to and intelligent comprehension of our heavenly Father is encompassed.

Paul writes about this in 1 Tess. 2: 7- 12r
Paul and the other Apostles were the ambassadors of Christ. They were a copy of the great Christ and Christ a copy of the Great Father. Can we see our Great Gods fatherly and motherly qualities? Fatherly and caringly qualities.

Isaiah refers to it in

  • Isaiah 49: 14- 23
  • Isaiah 66: 12- 13

Can we see God as the one who nurtures us? Can we see Papa as the one who takes us on the knee? Can we see Papa as the one who is truly in love with us?
Can we see Papa as being the one who can fill our all in all?
Can we see being in the presence of Papa as our biggest need?

2. Christ and His church.

It is like Christ and His church.

  • Christ is head, but He also cares and supplies.

Ephesians 5: 22- 33

He is head.
G2776 kephalē
1) the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment.
2) metaphorically anything supreme, chief, prominent
2a) of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife
2b) of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church
2c) of things: the corner stone

He is the saviour.
G4990 sōtēr
1) saviour, deliverer, preserver

He loves the church.
G25 agapaō
1) of persons
1a) to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
2) of things
2a) to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing

He gave Himself for it.
G3860 paradidōmi
To surrender, that is, yield up, intrust, transmit: - betray, bring forth, cast, commit, deliver (up), give (over, up), hazard, put in prison, recommend.

He nourisches it.
G1625 ektrephō
1) to nourish up to maturity, to nourish
2) to nurture, bring up

nour·ished.
1. To provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth; feed.
2. To foster the development of; promote: "Athens was an imperial city, nourished by the tribute of subjects".
3. To keep alive; maintain: nourish a hope.

He cherished it.
G2282 thalpō
1) to warm, keep warm
2) to cherish with tender love, to foster with tender care

cher·ished.
1. To treat with affection and tenderness; hold dear: cherish one's family; fine rugs that are cherished by their owners.
2. To keep fondly in mind; entertain: cherish a memory.

Paul confirms these words to Christ and the church.

  • “Even as the Lord the church”.

When we look at all that Christ is for the church, one of them is being the head. However, the other five qualities is about caring and giving.
Do we see this?

We have a vital connection with Christ.

  • Joh. 15: 1- 6

So we know that Christ gives the church nourishment and cherished the church. These concepts carry the meaning of feeding us and off keeping us warm.
We are all looking for being fed and being kept warm. God our Papa can truly keep us warm and being fed. He gives it in abundance.

Papa is like Christ, Christ is a copy of the Father (Hebr. 1: 1- 3)
Our “Abba Father” can truly keep us warm and being cared for in our most innermost.

Christ was filled and complete and so can we. Christ was at ease when in connection with His Father. We are living in a world in which many people come to God for the things that He supplies.

Let us think of this for a moment. When our children only come to us for things we need, would we be happy? When our children are only happy when we give them what they think they need would that make us happy?
No, it would not make us happy. It would make us happy when there biggest desire is to be our presence.
So is our relationship with God one of being in His presence.
We seek this when we pray to Him, we seek this when we are lost in Him.

3. The Role of Father in Bible Times

If we are to understand the term "Father" in the Bible, we must be willing to explore a different culture than our own.

For most of history and in most cultures of the world, fathers have been the primary figure in families.

  • We might need to suspend our twenty-first century bias concerning the role of father, so that you can understand what "father" means in the Bible.
  • Only when can we do that, can we appreciate and comprehend what it means to call God our Father.

As Otfried Hofius puts it:
"In the patriarchal societies of antiquity, the father figure is endowed with two particular characteristics. On the one hand, the father rules as head of the household and the person to whom most respect is due, having absolute authority over his family. On the other hand, he has the responsibility of guarding, supporting, and helping the other members. Both these characteristics are also present when a deity is described or addressed as father."

4. Reclaiming God as Your Abba.

You may be struggling just now. Your relationship with your own father may have been distant, perhaps non-existent.  We are living in a world where most fathers have not done as they should have been doing.
For sons as well as daughters, coming to terms with our own fathers is essential to our psychological health and maturity, but is sometimes oh so hard, sometimes nearly impossible from a human standpoint.
However, with God all things are possible. And that is the good news today.
However, it means that we need to do some work.

I would guess that father-child relationships were no less hard in Jesus' own time, when some fathers may have assumed it as their legal right to beat on their wives and children -- even more than in our own day. So why does Jesus teach so strongly, so incessantly, about his Father, about our Father?

I believe that Jesus is trying to heal and bring wholeness to both men and women who have been wounded by their human fathers and relationships. Jesus is trying to help you and me know a Father who loves us and will not do us harm, a Father who will not slap us around, but will encircle us in his arms and let us feel his love, a Father who will not let you go. My dear friend, Jesus wants to reintroduce you to his Father, to your Father, so that you might be whole spiritually and emotionally.
Reclaim your birthright to know and enjoy and love Abba as your Father. Perhaps this will be the frontier of your quest for God.

5. How do we do this?

This means that we need to claim and stand on our identity in Christ. How do we do this?
We do this in faith, we do this by allowing the words of our beloved Papa speak louder then anything else. We need to let His words dwell in us richly.
We have filled our hearts with the words of this world and they need to get out of our hearts and we need to let Papa's words enter in.

What did Paul say:

2Co 10:3  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh
2Co 10:4  (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),
2Co 10:5  casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6  and being in readiness to avenge all disobedience, when your obedience shall be made full.

We need to read the words of our beloved Papa and let them flow into our hearts. We need to bring every thought into captivity to His thoughts.
Flow so hard and deep that it will press out all other thoughts we have and have been there for so long. Thoughts that have kept us in bondage.

We need to pray that He will work in our hearts. We need to seek His face just for the sake of seeking to be close to Him.
We just do not need to pray for what we need, we need to pray for being close to Him.

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