What Does It Mean to be Father-Defined?

Our aim at Laurel Canyon in 2014 is to be God-shaped–as individuals, families, and a congregation. One aspect of being God-shaped is the willingness to be Father-defined. To define is to state or set forth the meaning of, to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of, to determine or fix the boundaries or extent of someone or something.

At the core of being God-shaped is this recognition: “There is an ultimate definer and I’m not him.” God wasn’t made for us; we were made for him.

For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the LORD, and there is no other.” (Isa 45:18)

Which is why Isaiah confesses what he does in Isaiah 64:8.

But now, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

So here’s the question: “Am I allowing him to be the ultimate definer?”

  • Of objective reality — truth, righteousness, law, wisdom, justice, goodness, worthiness.
  • Of my identity — origin, inherent significance, meaning, purpose, future.
  • Of my home life — the nature of manhood and womanhood, marriage, parenthood, childhood.
  • Of my stewardship responsibilities — time, money, resources, possessions.
  • Of my opportunities — to share the gospel, to serve others, to encourage, to discipline.
  • Of my individual calling — to be holy, to be steadfast, to abound in good works, to worship.

This sermon was delivered on January 12, 2014.

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