One of the most amazing things about God is that He invites us to speak to Him intimately and personally, in spite of the fact that authority figures are typically addressed formally. For instance, if you have a teacher named John Smith, you call him Mr. Smith; you don’t go up to him and say, “What’s happening, John?” Likewise, you don’t address your doctor by his or her first name, nor do you talk to the president of your company casually. Generally speaking, positions of rank, influence, or high office demand the respect of a proper title. It follows, then, that Almighty God, the One who made the heavens and the earth, would want us to address Him just as formally. Yet while we are instructed to honor His Name, the Lord wants to know us intimately, and He invites us to call Him Father. Even more astoundingly, Jesus taught us to call him Abba, which means daddy or papa. Far from being an aloof Lord who keeps His distance from His children, God invites us to know Him as we would a parent and to address Him with confident assurance in His care for us.
My friend, the Lord is your papa. Just as you would approach the most loving parent or grandparent you can imagine and run into their open arms, so your Savior invites you to know Him tenderly and intimately. Through the blood of His Son Jesus, God has welcomed you into a safe and warm relationship that has the power to set every part of your heart free. No longer do you need to meet the demands of a world that’s impossible to please, nor must you follow the compulsion to perform for people’s pleasure. Because you have been reborn in Christ, you do enough and you are enough. When your Lord looks at you, He feels the same deep affection and compassion you do when you look at the ones you most care for. Because of His tender mercy, you can open your heart to His Spirit and allow His perfect love to bless you with boundless compassion and kindness.