Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“14 Because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 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.’”
Verse 15 is a powerful verse. Essentially what it is saying is that as a Spirit-filled believer, we don’t live in bondage like we did in our former ways—we don’t live in fear anymore. We no longer live in a position of servitude. Instead, we’re children of God! In fact, we’re not brought into God’s household as slaves but rather as one receiving the Spirit of sonship or adoption.
Think about that for a moment: you and me lost and without hope, through the blood of Christ, have now been brought out of the squalor that made up our lives and placed in God’s family. I can think of people I know who have been adopted into a new family. Each one of the children came from terrible situations; situations that looked hopeless. Then, they were brought into a new family. Each one accepted with full rights of sonship.
Recently, I watched a show where an adopted son spoke to his father about what it meant for him to be given his father’s name. It was powerful. He spoke about how it was unbelievable to him that not only did the father give him his name, but he truly became his son. He was so humbled and moved by the willingness of his father to take him in and give him his name. It transformed this young man’s life. So it is with us—we’ve received the Spirit of sonship!
Just like the young man who wept as he shared his gratitude with his father, so we do the same when we cry out spontaneously “Abba, Father”. We realize that God’s Spirit bestows on every believer the rights and privileges of God’s own children. Think about how powerful that is.
Don’t let the word “Abba” confuse you. Abba is a word that is hard to translate—it has the idea of intimacy, like a child who calls out to its father by saying “daddy”. It’s a great picture of our relationship with a God who is so infinitely high, yet so intimately close.
And understand this: what is most important is that the Spirit enables us to experience the same kind of relationship to the Father that Jesus did, who also called God “Abba.” We are no longer slaves to sin—we are adopted as children into God’s family, as evidenced by the Spirit that cries out within us that God is our Father.
*From what you have just read and considered, what is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the Gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live out this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the Good News today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.