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.” – Romans 8:15
Before I became a Christian, I didn’t have a clear view of God. I knew He had created the universe, but God seemed nothing more than a force at times. I did pray often, especially in high school, but my religious upbringing taught me to read prayers out of a prayer book. So every night I opened that book and read my prayers to God. I never felt a connection with Him though. My prayers felt like nothing more than fulfilling a religious duty.
I didn’t realize that God wanted to be a Father to me. When we give our lives to Christ, God adopts us into His family and we become his children.
When my pastor adopted a couple of boys and a girl, they by law became his children. They have just as much claim on him as his natural son does. My pastor’s adopted children now have his last name. He has listed them in his will as heirs.
God has placed His name upon us too. He has made us heirs to the kingdom and joint heirs with His Son, Jesus Christ.
More importantly, though, my pastor loves his adopted children with a true fatherly love. He shows them his love through caring for them, providing for them, teaching them, disciplining them, and listening to them.
God loves us with that true fatherly love. He concerns Himself with our every need, always looking out for our best interests.
God provides for us. He knows what we need and puts those provisions in place. I’m so thankful that God provides me shelter, food, and clothing. He has also provided me with many dear Christian brothers and sisters.
God teaches us. He shows us through His Word how we should live our lives. He also teaches us through the example of Jesus Christ. When we don’t know what to do, we can go to our Father’s Book and learn how Jesus dealt with similar situations.
God disciplines us. Every good father knows that a child needs discipline to grow into a strong adult. God wants us to grow in Him, so He sometimes disciplines us to keep us on the right track.
God listens to us. We don’t need a prayer book like I once used. We can talk to Him from our hearts. We can share our needs, our desires, our dreams, and our frustrations. God listens because He loves us.
We can crawl up in God’s lap and rest our head against His chest. We can look up into His gentle eyes and say, “I love you, Father.”