Tag Archives: Abba Father

Sunday – ABBA

John 6
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do?
31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.
33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” They said, “give us that bread every day.”

What is the general theme of the passage?
The crowd was fed but Jesus knows they still don’t understand the purpose of His miracles.  They’ve found Him and have come up with a plan: encourage Jesus to “give us that bread every day” like Moses did, because we want “to perform God’s works, too.”  “If you want us to believe in you” we need more! Jesus reminds them God is offering them a lifetime of more…because He is “the true bread from heaven.” 

What does it say about God (or Jesus or the Holy Spirit?)
Jesus understands what it is the people are committed to — getting more for themself!  Jesus is aware of their obvious needs.  What they intend as manipulation, Jesus turns into the opportunity to tell them the truth they need to know.

What does it say about people?
Sin’s intent has found a way to program people with a split personality of faith that desires to A) “perform God’s works” at the same B) it looks for the reward it thinks it deserves.

Is there truth here for me?
There are sincere moments when I want “to perform God’s works, too,” but there is also evidence that sinful split personality still exists in me.  The sting I experience when a really good deed I’ve done, in secret, is attributed to someone else is the reality of truth Jesus uses as opportunity to show me truth I need to know.  I am not immune to trying to manipulate God for more…even in the sincere goodness of a secret moment of grace extended to someone else!  The “True Bread of Heaven,” has seen the need of a heart locked in A) and B).  Jesus has transformed that heart’s desire and an undeserved reward into the Life God has promised for those who “believe in the one he has sent, ”…you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “ABBA! Father!”  Romans 8:15b

Poetry by the Book – Galatians 4:1-7

Poetry: Literary work in which special intensity is given to the expression of feelings and ideas by the use of distinctive style, rhythm and structure.a

The heir,
the owner of all the estate,
is no better than a slave
as long as he is a child.
Until the date set by the father,
he is under guardians and trustees.

 So with us!
We were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe
when we were children.
But when the time had fully come,
God sent forth his Son,
born of woman,
born under the law,
to redeem those who were under the law.

God has sent the Spirit of his Son
so that we might receive adoption as sons.
So through God,
crying, “Abba! Father!”
into our hearts,
you are no longer a slave
because you are sons.
And if a son then an heir!

a My structure was created from the RSV Bible using verbatim sentences and phrases.

This Then…123

Matthew 6:5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.  9 “This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,

Hallowed: regarded as holy; venerated; sacred

This, then…
1. Abba, your name itself is holy.
2. Your name is the prayer.
3. Your name is sacred in the life of your creation…my life.
I’m grateful you have chosen to be an eternal presence in the world you made.  I’m thankful for your willingness to teach me my life is your blessing.  Teach me to see holiness through your eyes not through rules of my own making. 

A Matter of Hearts

Galatians 4:4 But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. 6 Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

I’m lucky enough to have had good experience with a father’s love. It’s not quite the straightforward story you’d imagine though.
An excerpt from my post on 2/3/16
I was baptized when I was about 12. There was some huddled whispering among relatives at that time that was mysterious to me. Some of the mystery became clear shortly after my baptism when I learned the only Dad I’d ever known wasn’t my birth father at all but the process for adoption had been put in motion.

I really can’t add the word “step-” to this father because he was as real a Dad as one’s heart could hope for. It was his role in my life that formed my image of how a father’s caring and love worked in daily life. In case that sounds too syrupy, he was not a perfect man, by any means, but he knew about being a gentle and caring Dad. The truth is I’ll have to wait for some eternal future date to discover whether there is reality to my hope about his status with God.

But I am absolutely sure of this: that caring, humanly imperfect man played a part in helping me understand that adoption was A Matter of Hearts; his, mine and ours.   The heart of that adoption made room, much later, for a new reality that “God [could send] the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.”

From John Piper February 10, 2007
The deepest and strongest foundation of adoption is located not in the act of humans adopting humans, but in God adopting humans. And this act is not part of his ordinary providence in the world; it is at the heart of the gospel.

Abba, Father…Thanks for both of your hearts.