familyRead Romans 8:14-15
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father” (v. 15).
The family is one of the beautiful analogies used in God’s Word to describe the new life in Christ. The image stirs up emotions of closeness, sharing, and belonging. These emotions are magnified when an orphan is adopted into a family unit, and for the first time in life he experiences those feelings.
Sadly, that picture of the family is, for some, only a distant dream. Fathers are obeyed out of fear rather than from love and respect. Mothers shout and condemn rather than encouraging and supporting. In that kind of a home, “the spirit of bondage” has scarred the biblical analogy.
Even sadder, however, is that some Christians view God more like the dysfunctional father than as “Abba, Father.” They live in fear of punishment for an inadvertent sin, and their fear makes it impossible to draw close to their God.
Today, take a moment to draw close to Him. His arms are outstretched; His face has a welcoming smile. There is no freedom like the warmth and joy of the presence of God. (Gordon Snider)

Long my imprisoned spirit lay,
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night.
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray.
I woke; the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off; my heart was free.
I rose, went forth, and followed Thee. — Charles Wesley

Slavish fear is banished by the presence of Abba, Father.

This devotional entry is the Monday, July 6, 2015 entry from Opening the Word.