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“children running and shouting through the Temple, ‘Hosanna to David’s Son!’ . . . Jesus said, ‘Yes, I hear them. And haven’t you read in God’s Word, ‘From the mouths of children and babies I’ll furnish a place of praise’?’” (Matthew 21:15-16).

Easter dawned on the horizon as Christ marched through formidable gates to redeem His house of worship. With every step across the courts of women and Gentiles He manifested God’s presence among those furthest removed from the holy place. In strode the One Who would make all things new.

The resident authorities balked at change. The current state of worship served their lifestyle of disdain and exclusion. Sizable gifts impressed them, not whether men offered them from their hearts. The swindling of poor worshipers failed to prick their conscience. Priests and politicians shared the drink of corruption. The Temple rulers shrugged away such apostasies.

But, oh, those children.

Jesus foreknew the Temple purification would meet resistance. Sanctification always does. He took time to weave a whip, readying His physical instrument as He prepared for battle against unseen forces. While we don’t know the inner details of this quiet time, Christ maintained perfect concordance with His Father throughout His life. That He prayed during these moments requires little conjecture.

God’s maelstrom thundered across the Temple as He flipped wooden tables over onto the stone floors. Merchants pawed across the marble tiles to recover spilled coins. Christ’s whip cracked over their heads and spurred them to flee the halls. His voice echoed off the smooth walls, declaring the purpose of His Father’s House. And His task was not yet complete.

Sanctification requires more than cleansing filth away.

Enter those relentless little worshipers. As the children ran through the Temple, the Lord used their praises to help cleanse the Temple by renewing its divine purpose. It wasn’t enough to stop doing wrong. The right type of worship had to fill God’s house again. Worship like a child who loves the Lord.

Scripture defines Christians as “temples of the Holy Spirit” (1Corinthians 6:19). Just as the driving out of money changers represented something larger in need of removal from the place of worship, our lives tend to harbor elements that don’t belong. Our sin nature clings to its corrupt old ways and resists change. Despite human and supernatural opposition, Christ’s sanctification can renew our lives. If we submit to His ongoing work of transformation, He drives out residing powers that don’t belong. Pride, selfishness, all manner of sinful strongholds flee out of the halls with a pathetic squeal.

A purged Temple isn’t fully cleansed yet. After the Lord relieves my soul of a nasty attitude, renewed purpose must complete His work. I need to reorient my spirit and fill the cleansed spaces with the worship He desires. Whether He prescribes certain actions or a discipline of stillness, complete renewal means submitting to renewed purpose. I must worship Him with the relentless praise of a devoted child.

Not childish, but child like. Knowing my utter dependence upon Him, yet comfortable that He carries me. Filled with awe and wonder. Accepting the unexplained. Believing without seeing. Trusting with all my soul. Loving Him with all my heart.

Will you join me in worship today, accepting the royal status as His transformed child?

 Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there” (Matthew 19:14-15).

“‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me'” (Matthew 18:3-5).

“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15

The term father draws a myriad of emotions from the heart, each one dependent upon past and present relationships. A man who contributed his genes to a child’s physical development might choose to remain present in the child’s life. As a papa, he could shelter, feed, and clothe his child. Some fathers take the full responsibility of nurturing the child’s heart and connecting their spirits to God. These men earn the esteemed title bestowed upon them by their kids–Daddy.

Many daddies have learned to love beyond what their fathers offered them in the past. Present relationships with their own children resonate with beautiful chords of fatherhood instead of the sorrowful tones they experienced from their parents.

Regardless of their pasts, daddies hold a precious opportunity to model heroic love.

Father’s Day brings joy to those of us who had or are devoted daddies. A swelling crowd of aching hearts look on this day with regret, questions. An inner chasm still hungers for approval, security, love. Bitterness often lurks in these empty souls, draining away life and joy. Resentment thwarts current and future attempts to connect with other hearts.

Whether our paternal relationships bring cause for celebration or grief, ending the definition of fatherhood with men delivers grave risk. Human fathers, no matter how heroic, cannot fulfill our needs for love or security. Only God can offer the true love of Abba to our spirits. He alone can meet all of our needs, including renewal from childhood emptiness and pain. Our Heavenly Father exceeds the most heroic man by an unfathomable degree on every point. You name the area of provision, from love to creating life, and He’s outdone all men. Recognizing God’s difference from human fathers bears vital healing for those who didn’t have loving daddies.

He is not at all like your father.

Even if you never realized His presence, Abba has always been there for you. (Psalm 139:5-16)

Even if you didn’t notice His outstretched arms, Abba has always loved you. (Jeremiah 31:3 and John 15:13)

Even if you never listened to Him calling you by name, Abba has accepted you. (Rev.3:20)

Even if you never heard the truth about who you are, Abba extends you a place as a son of God. (Galatians 4:6-7)

Even if you didn’t experience it yet, Abba offers you security. (Psalm 34:7,22 and Jeremiah 29:11, 33:6 and Romans 8:31-39)

God alone can sustain true righteousness, so we have no other with whom to compare His nature. It’s no wonder we fail to grasp how much He differs from men. The truth remains vital to our soul, however. The All-Powerful Creator knows you better than you know yourself, and loves you with extraordinary passion and tenderness.

Whether or not you have a daddy to honor this Father’s Day, take time to celebrate your Abba.

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