Joseph was a man who was obedient to God, he was missing
in action for much of Jesus’ life. God allowed Jesus to
experience the loss of his beloved earthly father. Through this, and
even because of this, Jesus learned to cling more closely to his
Heavenly Father. God doesn’t say we won’t have trouble in this
life. In fact, he warns us that we will have trouble, but he
promises to never leave us, abandon us, or forget about us in those
I want to read
one more Scripture to you. It was before Jesus went to the cross. Joseph
was long gone by this time.
Mark 14:32-36 from a child-friendly Bible.
In this prayer,
Jesus called his Heavenly Father, “Abba.” This is a remarkable
name! Do you know what it means? It means “Daddy!” God was
personal to Jesus—he was his Daddy!
Whether or not
your earthly father is here today, or for whatever reason is missing in action too, God wants to be your Abba—your Daddy!
God wants you to learn to cling to him. The Scriptures tell us that
Jesus understands all that we go through in this life; he was tempted
in all kinds of ways, yet he did not sin (Hebrews 4:14-15). You see
Jesus could have sinned by becoming bitter and angry towards God over
the loss of his earthly father. He might have thought that God
didn’t love him. But he knew better! Jesus wants you to know that
you have a Heavenly Father, an Abba-Daddy, who cares for you! You can
go directly to him with your sadness, your joys, and all of your
questions (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 14:6).
This is a promise
from God: if you ask Jesus to be your Savior and Forever Friend, you
will be adopted into Abba-Daddy’s family; you become his son or
daughter! (See Romans 10:13; Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6.) God wants
you to become well acquainted with him. There’s only one way to get
to know your Abba-Daddy, and that’s by reading his Word; it’s his
love letter to you. You must read it or have it read to you. The book
of John is a great place to start.
pray: “Dear Abba, thank
you for understanding all of our joys and sorrows. Thank you for
teaching us that you are our Daddy, who loves and cares for us. Help
us to cling to you and read your Love
Letter daily. Help us to be like Jesus, who lived in obedience to you. Amen.”
connection: Give each child a penny. Point out the message on it, “In God We
Trust.” Tell them whenever they see a penny, they should pick it up,
read the message, and be reminded that their Abba-Daddy loves
them—he can be trusted. You might also have them decorate a small
jar to store their pennies. See the Mile
of Pennies devotional for more ideas to coordinate with
If you are able to distribute The Gospel of John
to the children, you might have them write in the front
of it, "To ______________ (child's name), From my
Abba-Daddy" and write the date.