I had another great blessing last night. Christian was trying to remember the nine fruits of the Spirit which he learned about Sunday morning (thanks Jeff!) For my devotional time last night, I thought I would spend some time in Galatians 5 (where the fruit are discussed). Still exploring the spiritual disciplines, I wanted to do some lectio divina (aka 'Sacred Reading'). To quiet my heart I began with a breath prayer. "Abba, Father, be glorified." After a few minutes repeating this, I opened my NKJV Chronological Bible and turned to Galatians 5:22. On that very page guess what there was sidebar about? Was I in for a shock.
In big bold print I see... "Abba Father" (!!!) There I found a discussion about the word 'Abba', which is the Aramaic word for Father. But it's the personal intimate word used by children. In English the closest equivalent is "Daddy". So in the process of a dad looking up some Scripture to bless his son, the Father blesses this dad His son with a moment that rocks my world, as I shift my attention out of Galatians 5 and back into chapter 4. For you see there, I am reminded of an absolutely mind-blowing truth - I am literally an heir of God the Father, creator of heaven and earth. He no longer calls me a slave, and not just a friend (awesome though that is), he calls me His heir. Here's the passage that led to the sidebar on Abba, on why knowing God is such a personal and awesome thing...
"What I am saying is that as long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a slave, although he owns the whole estate. He is subject to guardians and trustees until the time set by his father. So also, when we were children, we were in slavery under the basic principles of the world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir." (Galatians 4:1-7, NIV).We all belong to God; He made us and that is a condition common to all. Under sin, we are all separated from Him, but He longs for us to be in right relationship with Him. Because this is something we cannot do on our own, he made a way, through Jesus Christ His Son. Jesus, born of a woman, born under the law, was able to redeem (pay the price to get someone out of slavery) those of us born of woman, under the law. Not only that, as our sins are paid for by Him, the Spirit of God in Christ now lives in our hearts, and as He is in our hearts we are adopted and are now sons and daughters of God - no longer slaves but now heirs. My sons are adopted, and this is a special blessing on my life like no other, but to know that I am adopted, and loved that much more by my heavenly Father... words can't describe the joy found in this. Abba, I love you!!
God longs for you to know how much He loves you. He longs to call you friend - to call you son / to call you daughter. All that it takes to do this has already been done by Christ. Will you call on Him?