About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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In Abba's Presence


Dwight L. Moody was one of the most impactful Christian evangelists of the 19th century.  He was born on February 5, 1837, in Northfield, Massachusetts.  He died on December 22, 1899.  Moody's father unexpectedly passed away at the age of 41 when Dwight was only 4 years old.  As you might expect, Moody missed his father.      


On one occasion when Moody was a father himself he closed his office door, expecting to spend some quiet time with Jesus as he studied his Bible.  Within minutes his little son opened the door and walked into the room.  "What would you like son?" Moody asked.  "Nothing daddy.  I just want to be with you," the little boy answered.  How could Moody, or any father, ignore such a heart warming response.  Moody's little son wanted nothing from him.  He just wanted to be in his father's presence.  That would bring joy to the heart of any father.   


As many Christians know, the Aramaic word "abba" roughly corresponds to our English word "daddy."  It's found in Mark 14:36, Romans 8:15, and Galatians 4:6.  Abba was an affectionate word spoken by young Jewish children in reference to their father.  Hebrew tradition only permitted biological children, not slaves, to refer to the father of the household as abba.       


I don't call my heavenly Father Daddy because I feel it's too trivial of a designation.  I have no problem with others referring to God as Daddy as long as they understand, which many don't, that Daddy is a consuming fire (Hebrews 10:27) who requires our utmost respect.  In its cultural setting Abba demanded respect, reverence, and obedience.  The same Daddy who puts his loving arms around us will discipline us if necessary.  He is no "sugar daddy" as the popular term puts it.     


Our heavenly Father must be overjoyed when we spend time with Him, especially when we sit in His presence and ask nothing from Him.  Spending time with Him should be our priority in life as it was for King David.  "One thing have I desired of the LORD, and that I will seek after, that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and enquire at His temple" (Psalm 27:4 KJV).  How much different would the New Testament temple (church) be if as individuals our desire was to sit in the presence of our LORD, "behold His beauty and enquire from Him."  


Dwight L. Moody once told a friend that you can't breathe out too many times before you have to take another deep breath in.  How true.  If you ever want to breathe out the life of the Spirit of God, you must first breathe Him in, and that requires you spending quality time with Him.       




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