I don’t know where heaven is. Those who study space constantly find that what they understood to be the limits of space in reality are only gateways to more expansive space. Using man’s fastest conception of speed it would take millions of light years just to reach parts of what our most powerful telescopes reveal. It is mind boggling to consider the size of the known universe and just how tiny our little planet is compared to the countless galaxies that surround us.
And beyond what we can see or even imagine, is a place called heaven. Is was there that Daniel was taken in vision.
As I was watching all this, “Thrones were set in place and The Old One sat down. His robes were white as snow, his hair was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, its wheels blazing. A river of fire poured out of the throne. Thousands upon thousands served him, tens of thousands attended him. Daniel 7:9-10 The Message
God is so big and powerful that human expression is unable to define Him nor can mortal man ever hope to explain Him. He speaks and life begins. Before there was time He was. He is God and God alone.
Yet man, with all of his frailties and steeped in a life of sin, is the object of God’s love and compassion. It is humanly illogical that God would concern Himself with our little world, let alone give Himself to save us. It is an outworking of a love that defies logic and is as unexplainable as the galaxies that surround our little world.
This love Jesus came to display. He lived it and showed the lengths that our Heavenly Father would go to in order to redeem us. In language that man could understand Jesus explains the mindset of God.
Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:1-14
Our world is that lost sheep.
This quarter as we immerse ourselves into the teachings of Jesus we will find a constant theme – God’s redeeming love for man. Every message given, every miracle performed points back to the love of God. We’ll explore how Jesus walked and talked among men. And in doing so we will hopefully find reason to imitate His example. The love we study and discover should be the love we live and give.
As a child finds strength, direction and confidence from its earthly father, so too may we find strength, direction and confidence from our Heavenly Father. God has left no stone uncovered for our salvation. All of heaven’s choicest gifts are ours. We are not left to fend on our own.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:16-17
Here are a few Hit the Mark questions for this week’s lesson discussion:
- What does a “good father” mean to you?
- How do you explain God being our Heavenly Father to those who are experiencing tragedies in life such as violence, poverty, persecution, diseases and misfortunes?
- Is the following statement True, Mostly True, Somewhat True or Not True: We (Christians) are the primary way that God’s love is expressed in this world? Explain your answer.
- Explain how Jesus showed compassion.
- Explain what a compassionate Christian lives like.
- Explain what a non-compassionate Christian (oxymoron alert) lives like.
We close this week’s lesson on Our Loving Heavenly Father with John’s salutation to the church. John, who basked in the love of God, gives a fitting greeting to us all as we begin the journey of this quarter:
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love. 2 John 1:3
Until next week, let’s all continue to Hit the Mark in Sabbath School!