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Summary: In focusing on the various qualities of God’s Father-like love, I hope to capture not only how much you matter to God, but the nature of how to relate to him accordingly…that is, How To Live In Response To God’s Love.

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In focusing on the various qualities of God’s Father-like love, I hope to capture not only how much you matter to God, but the nature of how to relate to him accordingly…that is, How To Live In Response To God’s Love.

Let me begin by asking you: “Do you know why you are here today?”

• Some of us might respond that we’re here because: 1. worship of God is central to your life, 2. because you want to be a part of those seeking God and his purposes, 3. because a friend invited you.

• A variety of reasons…but my desire is to let that question fall deeper upon our souls…for I’m referring not simply to here in this gathering of worship, but of here in this world, of existence itself. Do you know why we’re here?

• HERE LIES THE GREATEST QUESTION OF THE HUMAN SOUL.

• a question which I believe carries 3 related and subsequent questions:

1. Am I Planned?

2. Am I Known?

3. Am I Wanted?

1. Am I Planned?

…Child of chance, or child of choice?

…Is my existence incidental or intentional?

…Am I a mistake left to live in the margins of life, or was I really “made to order” and given a special place?

• In answer to this question, many of us of course think initially of what was communicated to us by our parents…In my case, they had 2 girls, wanted a boy, said I started quiet as an infant…and have been making up for it ever since. My parents thought of having 4th, but I was enough energy.

• I was planned…yet I still brought many surprises along the way…In truth, no parent plans on who we really are, and this can leave unspoken doubts within our souls.

2. Am I Known?

Apart from the question of original intent, we may wonder if we are forgotten…

• Is there any ultimate knowledge of our inner existence: not the small portion we make known, but the vast unarticulated part that even we find ourselves challenged to really know?

And ultimately…

3. Am I Wanted?

Are we acceptable? of any ultimate value? Even if I am planned and known, can I be certain I’m still of any good…that I’m wanted?

If we are to really call God our father, a heavenly Father, these are the first and perhaps most formative questions we must consider.

For when we think of the quality of human fathering, the most fundamental failure is that of a father...

• for whom this relationship with their child was not intentional, but incidental

• one who doesn’t know their child

• one who doesn’t want their child

It’s been said: “Anyone can make a baby, but you must choose to have a child.”

• A true father is more than a biological parent…yet some of us have not realized deeply enough that quality in God’s relationship to ourselves. We know something of Him as a cause and contributor, but not of his conscious choice for our existence.

*God has been revealing to my heart just how far adrift our perceptions of His involvement can be…how uniquely he has designed, known, and destined us, both as a church and as individuals.

Our life as a church is the result of our understanding that God has formed us…called us into a unique relationship to one another, has called us to a unique role in our community, and a unique role with other churches.

• He’s planned for us…knows us…and is filled with desire for us.

• This is true of our lives as individuals as well.

One of the most beautiful descriptions of this knowledge comes from King David in Psalm 139 (vv.1-6, 13-18).

Psalm 139:1-6

O LORD, you have searched me

and you know me.

2You know when I sit and when I rise;

you perceive my thoughts from afar.

3You discern my going out and my lying down;

you are familiar with all my ways.

4Before a word is on my tongue

you know it completely, O LORD.

5You hem me in--behind and before;

you have laid your hand upon me.

6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

too lofty for me to attain.

Psalm 139:13-18

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

15My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

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