[reprinted from November 1, 2010]

So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.   Romans 8:15-16 (NLT)

Scripture records many references to ‘children’ or a ‘child’. Many of them I have often read in regards to my own children and their upbringing. I have certainly regretted that I did not read Scripture, much less study it, when my older children were growing up. It would have been life-changing for them and me to be reading the best ‘How to…’ manual on the market! Recently I’ve been reading those wonderful Scriptures about ‘children’ again. My focus has been a little different as I think about God’s children, no matter what their age, chronologically.

Even children are known by the way they act, whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right.   Proverbs 20:11 (NLT)

Others may know me as a Christian and usually by my actions, correct? Do I walk my faith or just give it lip service? Is it rooted in my heart and bearing fruit throughout my life or just rhetoric?

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.   Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

Discipleship is an essential in every church or fellowship. Evangelism is the beginning. How much emphasis do we give Sunday School or Bible Study in our lives? Do we ‘teach our children’ and set the example so well that they just know it is a part of their lives – like brushing their teeth? If they do not do it, spiritual decay will occur!

Don’t fail to discipline your children. They won’t die if you spank them.
Physical discipline may well save them from death.   
Proverbs 23:13-14 (NLT)

Even in the Church, we could have debates about ‘corporal punishment’ of God’s children, couldn’t we? We as members of God’s Church are very reluctant to call a Child of God to task. When we see a brother or sister in sin, we do not want to offend them, so more often than not – we let it slide and say nothing. More often than not, I tell myself that I am to just pray. Now, I suspect that is truly what I am to do in most situations. But God could also ‘call’ me to speak to my friend with the guidance of His Holy Spirit – and I ignore the summons. God told Ezekiel that it was a serious thing not to speak when he was called to do so. The ‘blood’ of those people would be on his hands! (Ezekiel 3:18)

Growing up is sometimes a reluctant phase in my life. Growing up means taking responsibility for my actions and realizing that there is more than just me in the world. Temper tantrums and self-indulgent ways are childish and are not characteristics of a mature Child of God.

Children can teach me a lot about the love of God. As a parent, I saw just a ‘peek’ of how big God’s unconditional love is for me as I have felt this unconditional love for my own child. That kind of love is all-encompassing and has such height and depth to it that I cannot see an edge. ‘Abba Father’ is my example just as an earthly father and mother are examples. Abba is the First and Last.

Abba Father written and sung by Hillsong Worship Team


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