28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" 29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'
The man who asked this question, “What is the greatest commandment” I bet had a lot of possible answers in mind. I bet he was thinking “Do not murder” would be the greatest commandment. Or maybe “Do not take the Lord’s name in vain” would be the greatest commandment. However Jesus went a completely different direction. He said to Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, mind, soul and strength.
I think that there is a problem with some people… a misconception maybe. The misconception is this, I think there are a lot of people who view God as a dictator, as a mean, vindictive Zeus-like character up in the clouds throwing lightning bolts down at all of the puny humans who do wrong. That is an unfortunate way to view God.
People really dislike being unjustly classified and I think that sometimes we unjustly classify God in a negative way. That is really sad and really unfair. I don’t think that you will ever truly appreciate your relationship with God if you view Him in such a narrow way. The way that Jesus teaches us to view God is as a loving father who cares about our every concern. As you all should know sometimes a father has to discipline his son regardless of how much they love their child. That is how we should view God, not as a hateful, dictator but as a loving father.
Jesus gives you an example in His life of how we should relate to God. In the book of Mark 14:35-36 Jesus was going to be handed over to be crucified and He went to the garden of Gethsemene to pray. This was His prayer. 35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 "Abba", Father," he said, "everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will."
Jesus cried out to God by saying “Abba Father” That doesn’t translate very well to English but basically it is a very personal way to refer to your father. It’s like calling Him “daddy” and that is the relationship with God that Jesus teaches us to have.
I believe that the word daddy however still doesn’t describe the word Abba very well. I want to take it a little bit deeper than just “daddy.” Can you remember when you were three or four and you were physically very small and couldn’t do a lot of things. Do you remember how big and strong your father looked those days. Your dad was like Superman and he was stronger than anyone or anything and so when you were in trouble you cried out to your daddy. Your father took care of what the problem was and then you crawled into his arms and it felt as though you were safe and secure because you were in your father’s arms. That is the word picture that goes along with the term “Abba” and that is how God wants you to view Him.
I hope that today if you are struggling, that you will run into the arms of your Heavenly Father and let "Abba" make everything right.