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Sep 10, 2017

Our Father

Our Father

Passage: Galatians 4:4-7

Speaker: Pastor Chris Riedel

Series: Lord, Teach us to Pray Sermon Series

Category: Prayer

Keywords: abba, dad, father, prayer

How do you begin your prayer?


But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children. And because you are children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a child, and if a child then also an heir through God. - Galatians 4:4-7

This week’s message focuses on God the Father, as Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father.” We consider the story of the loving father who welcomed back his son—his prodigal, the son who rejected his father—with a party and new clothes! But what if you did not grow up with that example of father? Maybe you had one who did not show love, or as in my case, didn't have a father present to really form the concept? For some of us, the idea of father is challenging, in some cases painful, or in the least confusing. What then is our impression of this father God that Jesus teaches, if we did not experience that relationship of love and trust?

In Galatians 4, Paul paints again the picture of the loving father, but this time using the language of adoption, of a father who makes a deliberate choice to bring a child into relationship, into family. Thankfully, those people were in my life: my grandfather who always had Life Savers in his pocket and taught me work ethic, and my mother’s cousin Herman who drove us to church and put the doll house together at Christmastime. Finally there was my “Uncle” Bill, a friend from church, who along with “Aunt” Till and their three boys took us camping and on boat rides. Still today each time I see him, he is quick to hug me and say “You’re the daughter we never had.” This is the adoption of which Paul speaks, that God adopts us into His family through and with Jesus Christ. And we become heirs! We are legally and legitimately part of His family, given full access to His home, and truly become His children, loved and welcomed, fed and cared for. In Ephesians 2:6, we are told that God has raised us up with Christ, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places, so that we are now siblings with Christ and have a place beside Him with God! This paints the picture not simply of a welcoming father, but of one who goes out and brings in children who may feel they have no home, a father who reaches out and raises up those for whom father is a hard thing to consider.

If you struggle with the thought of father, please know that God is the father who adopts you, loves you, and reaches out to raise you to a choice seat beside His Son. If you know the love of a father through relationship with your own, or relationship with someone who reached out to you to demonstrate this type of love, thank God for that today. And if you have a surplus of parental love to share, the ability to show God’s adoptive, freely-given love, look around to see who God may be calling you to love. Do you know a child who could use a surrogate parent, even to enjoy a meal at Panera or be part of a cheering section at soccer? Is there a single mother or father who needs support that you can give? Whatever your situation, I encourage you to pray for a nudge from our Heavenly Father, for direction in where is calling you to share His love today.



Father God, thank you for loving me always. Thank you for reaching out to me, for raising me up to a place in your family, in your home. Thank you for the people you have placed in my life to teach me your special brand of parental love, and lead me today to share that with another. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.

Written by Betsy Hudson. Betsy is Director of Grow Ministries and also is Youth Leader at Arcola Church. She is also engaged in studies at Wesley Seminary.