I Believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
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.
Invite the Holy Spirit to aid you in addressing God as “Abba, Father.” Speak this most intimate name of affection a child would use for their “Daddy,” over and over. Did you find this difficult? Awkward? Forced or natural? If you feel resistance to this way of addressing God, ask yourself where the resistance comes from. What makes it difficult for you to conceive of and believe in God as a good Father? So often the failure of our earthly fathers makes it very challenging to approach and believe in God as a good and loving Father. Invite the Holy Spirit to begin or deepen a process of healing in your life. Pray for the healing and restoration of your vision of God as loving Father. It will take time.
This relationship also involves love. If God be my Father, he loves me. And oh, how he loves me! When God is a Husband he is the best of husbands. Widows, somehow or other, are always well cared for. When God is a Friend, he is the best of friends, and sticketh closer than a brother; and when he is a Father he is the best of fathers. O fathers! perhaps ye do not know how much ye love your children. When they are sick ye find it out, for ye stand by their couches and ye pity them, as their little frames are writhing in pain. Well, “like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” Ye know how ye love your children too, when they grieve you by their sin; anger arises, and you are ready to chasten them, but no sooner is the tear in their eye, than your hand is heavy, and you feel that you had rather smite yourself than smite them; and every time you smite them you seem to cry, “Oh that I should have thus to afflict my child for his sin! Oh that I could suffer in his stead!” And God, even our Father, “doth not afflict willingly.” Is not that a sweet thing? He is, as it were, compelled to it; even the Eternal arm is not willing to do it; it is only his great love and deep wisdom that brings down the blow.
—From “The Fatherhood of God”
Express your questions, doubts, curiosities, and conundrums.
Write any fresh affirmation stirring in your heart and mind from today.
Now affirm the Apostles’ Creed aloud:
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth, I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord . . .
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