Abba Father

Up in the hills of east Tennessee some years ago a young unmarried woman gave birth to her son. It was a previous era in which children born out of wedlock were ostracized and criticized. No one knew who the father of little Ben Hooper was. All his young life he was an outcast. Whenever he was in public people could be heard whispering, “Who do you think his father is?” 

Parents wouldn’t let their children play with him. Adults scolded him in public. In school the teacher set him apart and none of the children would associate with him. As a result he became a virtual recluse.

A new young preacher came to town.  Ben Hooper heard folks talking about the young preacher who was friendly, kind, and loving. Quietly one Sunday Ben slipped in the back door of the church and sat on the last seat in the house. He was encouraged by the pastor’s message and continued to come back. He always slipped out before the end of the service and no one spoke to him.

One Sunday Ben was so caught up in the message and warmed by the pastor’s message on love he didn’t get out quickly enough and got caught in the crowd. He looked up and right in his path was the preacher. The preacher smiled at him and said, “Whose boy are you?”

A hush fell over the crowd. The sensitive minister recovered quickly and said, “Oh, I know whose boy you are. Why, the family resemblance is unmistakable. You are a child of God.”

“That’s quite an inheritance you’ve got there, boy. Now, go and see to it you live up to it.”

Years later Ben Hooper said that was the day he first realized he was loved and had self-worth. Yes, it was years later when the outcast Ben Hooper, Governor of Tennessee, said that was the day life took on meaning for him. His awareness of his inheritance gave him a bright new outlook on life.

Ben Hooper was on his way to becoming a new creature in Christ.

An awareness of whose child he was, God the Father, changed the course of his life. The dignity of being a child of the King comes from the royal blood that flows in your veins. His DNA is your DNA. Act in a way becoming of your Father.

God is our Father and we can let His Spirit live through us in a way that is a natural reflection of who is in us. When our lives become aligned with His truth, and this truth naturally expresses itself outwardly, there is a sense of fulfillment.

Jesus prayed, “Abba Father….” (Mark 14: 36) Abba is a term of intimacy and obedience. We know it best as a beautiful term indicating intimacy, but fail to realize it as a term indicating obedience. May we pray it with the understanding of its meaning, “Here I am dear Father committed to obeying you.”

Ben Hooper’s realization that God was his father changed his life. So our lives are changed by it. Pray with a full understanding of gratitude, “Abba Father.”