Through my work in this ministry, I have encountered many Christians who seem to live in the fear of God’s wrath. They far too often see God as a harsh task master, ready to punish them for their every mistake. With each subsequent sin, they fear their salvation is in jeopardy. This seems to me to be a far cry from the relationship Jesus calls us to have with His father. Jesus tells us that He is our brother and God is our Abba Father. So who is God to you, a loving Father or a task master to be feared? I invite you to read more….
Abba is the Aramaic word for “father.” Jesus referred to His Father as Abba in Mark 14:36. In Rom 8:14-17, Paul tells us we are children and heirs of God. In Galatians 4:6-7 we read: “As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir, through God.”
Despite having been clearly told by Jesus that God is our Abba Father and He is our brother, many people still fear God’s wrath. Luke tries to calm this fear in 11:11-13 when he tells us: “What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the holy Spirit to those who ask him?”
As Christians, we know God as Trinity. God is three persons in one God. Each person is God, yet each is distinct. Love is the foundation of the Trinity. Each person of the Trinity is in a full loving unity with the other persons. Love unites the Trinity. The Trinity is Love. God therefore is Love, and He loves us as His children.
Our God is not a God who hates those who disobey Him. Our God does not hate us at one moment and love us at another according to our actions. As Christians, we believe in a God of UNCONDITIONAL LOVE! Our actions and our sins do not cause God to love us less.
God is also a God of justice; however, God’s justice is so intertwined with his unconditional love that it challenges everything we understand about justice. God knew we would sin, even before we were born. God’s unique form of justice is described in Romans 5:8 when Paul states: “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” We therefore are called to a loving and familial relationship with our Abba Father. We are not called to a fear-based relationship with God. We need only repent and believe in Jesus.
How do you, as a Christian, approach your relationship with God? Is God a task master ready to smite you each time you fall short of His commandments or every time you sin? Do you see his love for you as conditional? Does He love you when you are “good” and hate you when you are “bad?” So allow me to ask you again, who is God to you, a loving Father, or task master to be feared?
Heavenly Father, I know you love me. I also know that I fall short of your love far too often. Help me not to live in fear, but rather to trust in your care for me. When I fall short, please correct me with fatherly kindness and patience. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
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