Many children have terms of endearment for their parents and grandparents. While these names may not make sense to an outsider, to those inside the relationship those names evoke the fondest of memories. One such term that is used in the New Testament is “Abba” and it means “daddy”.

The term Abba conveys a sense of utter trust and intimacy between a child and a father. So much so that it is even carried on into adulthood. It was in the Garden as Jesus prayed on the night he was betrayed, “Abba! Father! All things are possible for You; remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.” (Mark 14:36 NASB) In His hour of deepest sorrow and emotional pain, Jesus cries out to the Father with the most intimate name he knows – Abba. While His Father is high and exalted above all the universe, He is also “Daddy”.

I read the story of a tourist in Israel years ago who was walking with his tour guide in a residential neighborhood. As the walked, they saw a man park his car in front of a house. Immediately two small children ran out the front door to welcome him home from work, crying out “Abba! Abba!” until he hugged and kissed them and carried them back into the house.

It is that same spirit that we have as Christians in our hearts, because God is now our Father and we are his children. Paul wrote about that relationship in letters to Rome and the churches in Galatia.

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery leading again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, “Abba, Father.” (Romans 8:15 NET)

And because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, who calls “Abba! Father!” (Galatians 4:6 NET)

Think about that! We now have the privilege of using the intimate name that Jesus himself used when addressing is Father! And because of the love relationship we have with God, we can call Him Abba because we have been brought into the family as adopted children.

I think that is what the Hebrew writer had in mind when he said this:

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

We don’t have the boldness of a trusted advisor or even a daily servant. We have the same boldness to enter into His presence as the King’s children have. It is not based on talent, experience, or status. We can come to our Abba Father at any time simply because He is our Daddy and we know how much He loves us!

The Apostle John summed it up best:

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1, 2 NIV)

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