Focus: God loves us dearly like a father loves his children.
Function: To encourage the hearers by reminding them how endearing they are to God, and how endearing God should be to us.
Text: Mk 2:13-3:6
Intro: 1. Came home and heart sweetest sound, a chorus of ďDaddy!Ē 2. There a word like that in Hebrew and Aramaic - Abba (Regularly, itís Ab, like Dad) 3. Jesus used this word in his prayer in the Garden a. Jesus had intimate relationship with his Father b. I and the Father are one 4. Is it okay to pray to God as our Daddy? Some say it irreverant 5. Does a holy God want that kind of intimacy with us? I. Letís go back to beginning of nation of Israel - In the wilderness A. (Exo 4:22( - Israel is Godís ďfirstbornĒ What does that make God? B. But this not sound the same as a Father, God came in a burning cloud! C. (Dt 8:1-5) - God refers to himself as a Father. D. Look at what happened his his son - (Hos 11:1-11) a. A parent never gives up on his children does he? b. God would not, could not give up on his son E. A more powerful parental image: a. Isa 66:9-13 - God is like a mother b. Jesus echoes same image when laments over Jerusalem (hen & chicks) -But his people were not just a son to God II. God was a husband and Israel the bride A. (Hosea 9:10) - God met his bride in the wilderness, but they turned away B. But God not give up on his wayward bride (Hos 2:14ff) C. God will meet her again in the wilderness as before (Isa 40:1-11) D. Guess who is preaching in the wilderness at beginning of Gospels! -When we hear about Godís firstborn in the New Testament who do you think of? III. Jesus appears to be Godís firstborn in the New Testament A. (Heb 1:5-6) - Who is the firstborn? Jesus. He is the Son of God B. See many paralells between Israel as firstborn & Jesus 1. Jesus called the son of God 2. Jesus tempted 40 days in wilderness as Israel was 3. But he is not the only firstborn C. (Heb 12:23-24) - Who is the firstborn here? (Hint - Word is plural) D. Thatís right we are Godís children, his firstborn ones - Now what does that mean for you and I? IV. God loves you more than you can ever know A. (Gal 3:26-4:7( - Thereís that word, ďDaddyĒ - He has always wanted intimacy B. Son does not have to win a good Daddyís love, he already has it 1. (Gal 5:1) - Donít try win Godís love through legalism 2. (Gal 5:6) - Faith working through love NOT legal requirement Concl: 1. God Loves you - He is your Daddy 2. Two kinds of legalists, the smug arrogant one, and the struggling one a. Donít know what to do about the satisfied one, but if you are struggling b. Come to Jesus and he will give you rest 3. Inv: Have you responded to Godís love?