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Summary: Many of us are special objects of God’s love -- not because we are special, but because He made us special in His eyes.

Beloved of God

(I Thessalonians 1:4-6)

Intro (acknowledging Father’s Day)

1. A clergyman walking down a country lane and sees a young farmer struggling to load hay back onto a cart after it had fallen off.

"You look hot, my son," said the cleric. "Why don’t you rest a moment, and I’ll give you a hand."

"No thanks," said the young man. "My father wouldn’t like it if I rested."

"Don’t be silly," the minister said. "Everyone is entitled to a break. Come and have a drink of water."

Again the young man protested that his father would be upset. Losing his patience, the clergyman said, "Your father must be a real slave driver. Tell me where I can find him and I’ll give him a piece of my mind!"

"Well," replied the young farmer, "he’s under the load of hay."

[source: www.ahajokes.com]

2. Some dads can be patient, but even patience has its limits.

Like all human beings, dads can learn a lot from dad. In a sense, being a good dad is reflecting the ways of our heavenly Father to our children -- like unconditionally loving them and making them feel special.

Main Idea: Many of us are special objects of God’s love -- not because we are special, but because He made us special in His eyes.

I. Can We KNOW That We Are Chosen (4)?

A. YES!

We can know. "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life." I John 5:13

But what are "these things?" Evidence that Jesus is living inside you!

B. Brothers and SISTERS with other true believers

1. I John 3:14 reads, "We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love our brothers."

2 Peter 1:10, "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure."

2. We are now part of a new society…not based on income, education, color, politics, or career…CHRISTIANITY IS A PERSONAL FAITH THAT IS LIVED OUT IN A COMMUNITY OF FAITH AND A COMMUNITY FAITH THAT IS LIVED OUT INDIVIDUALLY IN DAILY LIFE…

3. This being Father’s Day, I might mention the importance of men feeling like they are in a spiritual brotherhood…Men’s Bible Study/Men’s Meetings -- a start

4. Often we guys identify with our co-workers, fellow hunters, or sports enthusiasts -- which is fine -- but sometimes we miss the most important camaraderie…

5. One sign of our being chosen by God is the love that we develop for fellow Christians, even though we may have little in common besides the Lord…

C. Specially LOVED by God

1. "Paul reminds them that God loves them (beloved) and that He chose them (election). The two go together. When we love someone, we naturally choose them." (David Guzik)

2. Two tracks in God’s love: His general love for all mankind, and His special love for those He has chosen…

3. We know God loves us not because everything in life goes well (because it doesn’t), but because God the Son became man to die on the cross for us; His love was both spoken and demonstrated:

Demonstrated: Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Spoken (of His Son): "Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations." (Matthew 12:18)

4. Children should have no doubt of the following: (1) dad is the family leader and (2) though dad works hard and has his interests, I know my dad loves me; he tells me that he loves me and he demonstrates that; my dad does not just care for me out of duty, he specially loves me.

5. Children of alcoholics or drug addicts grow up believing that their dad loved his substance more than he or she…most kids know their dads love them, but they do not know that their dads love them specially…

D. CHOSEN by God

The NASB and ESV capture the tenses of Ephesians 2:4-5, "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved…"

God experienced His special love for us in the past (with which He loved us) and it is obviously a unique love that He does not have for those He will never regenerate…

E. This DOCTRINE is nothing new (see John 6:37. 44)

Main Idea: Many of us are special objects of God’s love -- not because we are special, but because He made us special in His eyes.

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