“‘Papa, I come to you this morning’ has a totally different feel than ‘Almighty God and Everlasting Father.’ Even if you do not start out that way, addressing God with a coat-and-tie formality you would never have wanted between you and your dad will end up starching the relationship. ‘Papa’ is what Jesus gave us. ‘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.” . . . Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father”’ (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:6).
“The point is not the words; the point is the fruit, their effect. Stained-glass language reflects a view of what Jesus is like; it shapes our perceptions of Him and, therefore, our experience of Him. Whatever the term may be, just ask yourself: Does this sound like His actual personality? Does this capture His playfulness, infuriating the Pharisees; His humanity, generosity, and scandalous freedom? Does this sound like the Jesus at Cana, at dinner with ‘sinners,’ on the beach with the boys?” —John Eldridge, Ransomed Heart