Saturday, March 16, 2013

Learning to Cry "Daddy!"

Throughout His Word, God refers to Himself by many different titles. Each of these titles possesses a specific meaning which is intended to convey a unique characteristic of God's holiness, might, and provision. In light of this fact, it is no surprise that God first revealed many of His titles to Israel in order to provide His people with a fuller and more intimate understanding of His nature.

When we confine our search for titles to the epistles of our apostle, Paul, we find an interesting trend. Unlike the Hebrew Scriptures which emphasize an endless array of God's characteristics, Paul confines His depiction of God almost exclusively to one title - that of Father.

Of course, Paul often refers to God simply as "God," but even in those cases He often includes the title "Father" along with "God." In fact, in every single one of his epistles, Paul begins with a brief self-acknowledgement followed by the greeting, "Grace to you and peace from God, our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ." The only exceptions to this rule are his letters to Timothy in which he includes "mercy" with his greeting: "Grace, mercy, peace, from God, our Father, and Christ Jesus, our Lord." 

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul extends his greeting by referring to God as the "Father of pities and God of all consolation." Then, in Ephesians 1:17, he calls Him the "Father of glory."

Clearly, Paul made it a point to emphasize God's nature as our Father above the many other titles He possesses. As imitators of Paul and members of His evangel, we would do well to take this fact to heart as we come into a greater realization of God's relationship to us. We are privileged to view God in a much more intimate way than Israel previously had been allowed. Having the spirit of sonship, we can cry "Abba, Father!" (Rom. 8:15) and call God not only by the title Father, but by the affectionate, warm title, "Daddy!"

When we fully grasp this amazing and heart warming truth, all our fears subside. For, what child fears a loving father? When we recognize the comforting closeness of our Dad, it is impossible to not trust Him. For, what son or daughter refuses to trust completely in their daddy when they know he is working all out for their good (Rom. 8:28)? 

No matter what we face, we know that it is part of our Father's perfect plan for our lives and that it is for our good! We have, literally, nothing to fear!

In John 13, we see a beautiful image of what our relationship to our Daddy looks like. In this passage, the beloved disciple John is "lying back in the bosom of Jesus." As the visible image of the invisible Father, we can look to Jesus to see what our relationship with the Father looks like in tangible form. We can picture ourselves, like John, resting against our Daddy in complete comfort and peace.

If you have not come to view God as your perfect, loving, and comforting Father, turn to Paul's epistles. Do not hold yourself hostage by a false, fearful view of God as a tyrant or the view Israel had prior to Christ's death and resurrection. Be a son or daughter as you are a son or daughter. Be at peace as you picture yourself resting in your comforting Daddy's loving arms. 

© 2013 by Stephen Hill

No comments:

Post a Comment