Abba, Daddy, Father: What’s in a Name?

Once again, I recently heard another sermon where the preacher used Jesus’ words of “Abba, Father” from Jesus words of prayer while He was here on earth to interpret the relationship we must have with our God as one that relates to Him as our “Daddy.”

If you missed reading my earlier post, I made the suggestion that using such terms to relate to God the Father lacks the respect and reverence for our God that Scripture clearly calls us to have. I emphasized our need to be “child-like” in our love of God, not “childish”.

It’s not my desire to list out on this blog the stories from the Old Testament scriptures where God punished His Chosen People, the Israelites, for their lack of reverence for Him. Unfortunately this side of God seems to be brushed aside nowadays in favour of a “Jesus-is-my-boyfriend” mentality in our love of Christ, most evident in our modern worship music. While the softer side of God may have been more readily revealed in the New Testament with Christ coming in love to sacrifice Himself for us, we easily forget the reverence with which we must come with before God.

Yes, Christ tore the veil. Yes, Christ made a way, so that we can have an intimate relationship with Him, restoring the relationship Adam and Eve enjoyed with God bit by bit. But Him making a way does not tear down the need for us to come with heads and hearts bowed down before Him in reverence for who He is–the Creator God!

This fact was most evident for me as I listened to this sermon on Jesus and prayer, and specifically on the Lord’s Prayer. I’ve found most preachers tend to dwell on the first line alone, suggesting we start our prayer with Father, Daddy, to emphasize that close relationship. Leaving the second line out to pasture, “Hallowed be Your name.” Hallowed be Your name! Your Kingdom come! Your will be done!

As Jesus taught His disciples to pray, perhaps we can say it is not blasphemy to refer to God as “Daddy.” But as is clear from the Lord’s Prayer, do not speak His name in such a way without also honouring his Deity and Greatness. Speak it with great humility of heart, bowed before the Creator of all the universe.

“Yes, you are my God! my Father! my Daddy!! And I stand before You, humbled by your Greatness, by your power, by your grace and mercy. All that I have is yours! I feel your love and grace EVERY day. And I’m humbled that such a Great being would care enough to care for me and offer His salvation to a man so poor in spirit!”

It is truly the attitude of our hearts that matters. Not the lip service we pay. Love Christ with all your heart, soul, and mind. And honour and revere Him by your actions, by your spiritual fruit.

Question:  How do you show your reverence for a Holy God in your daily lives? What simple ways do you bring honour to the Creator of all things?

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