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Summary: Jesus said that the Father is "pleased" to give us the Kingdom. That's significant in giving us confidence in His willingness to back us as we move forward for the Kingdom.

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A QUESTION: Was the church a good plan?

- We look around at the questionable things that sometimes happen in the name of the church and have to wonder, “Was this a good idea?” I know I’ve wondered.

- Is God up there shaking His head at us? What is God’s view of the church and giving us the mission of spreading the gospel of Christ?

- Cf. to the anxiety that a father would have letting his 18-year-old son drive his prized ’68 Corvette. “I don’t think this is a good idea.”

HOW THE FATHER FEELS ABOUT THE CHURCH AS HIS PLAN: The Father is “pleased.”

- Luke 12:32.

- This word “pleased” is so important, but first let’s look at the rest of v. 32.

a. “Do not be afraid”

- The temptation to fear and to feel overwhelmed is always there. It’s especially prevalent when you think of the vast and daunting mission that we’ve been given as the church.

- But Jesus here says, “Do not be afraid.” I think this is an acknowledgement that we are tempted in that direction, but that God has more for us than we realize.

- We can live with confidence. We can live with boldness. We can live unafraid.

b. “little flock”

- To me this is such a term of endearment. Jesus knows the numbers are small, but the call of God is still there.

- They are just a “little flock.” That doesn’t mean that Jesus isn’t still planning on doing something great through them.

c. “pleased”

- This is the main word I want us to take in this evening.

- The sermon title tonight is “one word that makes us bolder in faith.” The word “pleased” is that one word, because I believe when we understand it there is a truth there that will open the door to much greater boldness.

- Why is that?

- It’s because this word gives us an open window into the heart of God and His thoughts toward the church.

- Jesus doesn’t say, “The Father has to give you the Kingdom.” That is, it’s not His preference, but it’s the only choice He’s got.

- Jesus doesn’t say, “The Father is willing to give you the Kingdom.” That is, there might be better options, but this is one that He’s ok with leaving on the table.

- No, Jesus says, “The Father is pleased to give you the Kingdom.” That is, He is doing this with a full heart and great anticipation.

- I want us to soak in that word “pleased” for a minute. Ponder the idea that God loves the idea of giving us the Kingdom. He delights in us being the plan. He isn’t doing it begrudgingly. He is “pleased” with that plan.

WHY DOES THE FATHER FEEL LIKE THAT?

- What is it that makes the Father so “pleased” to give us the Kingdom?

1. WE ARE OBJECT LESSONS IN GRACE.

- Salvation comes by grace and we are object lessons of that grace.

- We were not deserving of salvation and still Christ died for us. We are living examples of what grace can do. That makes us the perfect messengers.

- Think of a doctor who does gastric bypass. We all know the health problems that come from being severely overweight. Say you go into the doctor’s office for a visit to consider such a surgery and the nurse talks about her experience with having the surgery herself and how transformational it was. It’s helpful to hear of someone’s experience that has been there. She is an object lesson.

- We don’t just share the message of the gospel of grace; we embody the gospel of grace.

2. HE DELIGHTS IN OUR GROWTH.

- Not only is our salvation something that pleases Him, but our spiritual growth does as well.

- The gospel is one that doesn’t just give eternal life, it also gives abundant life. He has provided us with all the resources we need to be able to be victorious over our sin. He has provided us with the opportunity to live in close connection with Him. He has provided us with the chance to grow to be like Jesus.

- As we use those resources and, in so doing, grow spiritually, God delights in that.

- An obvious analogy is our children. As they grow and learn new skills, we as parents delight in their progress.

3. HE ENJOYS SEEING US EMPOWERED AND EXCELLING.

- What God has done for us is not just about us, though – it’s also about the impact we can have in the world and on the people around us.

- He enjoys seeing us empowered to change the world. He loves working through us. His Holy Spirit is eager to do those things.

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