Rom.8:15-16 - “For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” We are dearly loved as children (1 Jn.3:1), provided for as children (MT.6:25-34, LK.11:9-13), given gifts as children (James 1:17), disciplined as children (Heb.12:4-11), protected as children (Ps.91) and cherished as children (Ps.139:17). Our response, then, to our Father’s love is love for Him (1Jn.4:19) and a life of obedience to Him, imitating Him as all children do their parents (Eph.5:1). None of this is understandable to the natural man (Floyd McClung put that best saying no one has ever rejected our Father God, only false impressions of Him) but it is made know to me through His Spirit (1 Cor.2:9-16), dwelling in me (1 Cor.3:16, 6:19, Eph.1:13). I don’t think I could ever have understood my Heavenly Father’s love in the capacity that I know it now as a father. Last night at 3:35 am, Eliana was throwing a fit. Erin and I were exhausted, having been up past midnight with the students who were here for a half night of prayer. Out of the blue, as she was screaming, I was handing her to Erin and clear as day she stopped her tantrum and loudly exclaimed, “Mama!” Our perspective changed from being frustrated to overjoyed. The exhilaration of hearing her first word, and that being a call to us as her parents is unimaginable to anyone who hasn’t experienced that first hand. I am convinced my Heavenly Father has no less joy when communicating with me. She has repeated “mama” twice today! Thank you God for your Father’s heart towards me and for revealing a small glimpse of that to me by allowing me the joy of being a father myself.