Hope & Grace International

Lesson 10: YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU

YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER LOVES YOU

Everyone ---please turn off your cell phones.

Some of you had fathers who were kind and loved you very much.  Others had fathers who did not know how to show love. Maybe he was a drunk or cruel or a polygamist or always away working or had some other issue in his life that kept him from loving you the way you would have liked.  Some of you, your father died when you were young so you don’t know what it is like to grow up with a father.

A good father loves, protects, comforts, provides for, disciplines and trains his children, preparing them for a positive future. But every father, no matter how good they are, fails at times.  Now you have a new Father who will never fail you. He is your heavenly father who loves you more than you can imagine.

Say: God is my Father and He loves me personally, passionately and unconditionally.            

  1. You don’t have to earn your heavenly Father’s love; He loves you just the way you are.

Romans 5:8 God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. NLT

Ephesians 2:4-5, 4 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, 5 that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) NLT

1 John 3:1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! …NLT

  • Do you remember what grace means? Grace is the favor and blessing that God pours out on us even though we do not deserve it.
  • God loved you before you ever thought about Him.
  • God loves you because He is good NOT because you are good.

Discussion Question:  Explain what you have believed you had to do to receive God’s love. Discuss it.

  1. The Father’s love for you is forever, he will never grow tired of you.

Jeremiah 31:3-4, 3 “I love you … with a love that will last forever. That is why I have continued showing you kindness.  4 … I will build you up again, and you will be rebuilt. You will pick up your tambourines again and dance with those who are joyful.  NCV

  • When you fail He will build you up again.
  • He wants you to be full of joy.

Do you believe that God is your heavenly Father who loves you so much that He will never reject you?

Discuss what this means.

  1. You are never out of the heavenly Father’s thoughts—He never overlooks you.

Psalm 139:16-18, 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. 17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! 18 I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me! NLT

  • Your Father in heaven is never too busy for you—you can come to Him anytime.
  • You are special to your Father in Heaven.

Say Together: “God is my Father and He loves me personally, passionately and unconditionally. 

Discussion Question:  Why is it hard for you to believe that your Heavenly father really loves you?

  1. The Heavenly Father promises to meet all your needs.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. NIV

Mathew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  NIV

    • Trust your Heavenly Father.
    • Tell Him your needs.
  1. The Heavenly Father promises to protect you from the enemy.

Isaiah 54:17 No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.

This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me, “declares the Lord. NIV

  • It is important to have faith in your Heavenly Father. He is with you when you are facing trouble Hebrews 13:5-6 … For he [your Father in heaven] has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” 6 So we can

Confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” ESV

John 16:33 … In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” NIV

Discussion Question:  Share an example with us of when or how your Heavenly father has protected you

  1. The Father corrects you because He loves you and wants you to grow strong in your walk with Him.

       Through friends. Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. NLT

Through the Bible. 2 Tim 3:16-17, 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 17 God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work. NLT

Through trials. James 1:2-4, 2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.

4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing

       nothing. NLT

God doesn’t cause bad things, but when they happen, He uses them to help us grow in faith and obedience to Him.

  1. Jesus gave an illustration of how much our heavenly Father loves us.                      

Jesus told a story about how a father loved his sons. Both of these sons did not appreciate their fathers love at first but later they realized how greatly he loved them. What are the comparisons between this father and God our Father?

Luke 15:11-32, 11 Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12 The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.  13 “A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14 About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15 He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16 The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.  17 “When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18 I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19 and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”‘

20 “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21 His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’  22 “But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23 And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24 for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began. NLT

(The older brother was self-righteous because he thought he earned his father’s love because of his hard work. But the father also dealt with him in mercy and compassion. Luke 15:25-32)

Let’s have a discussion: 1. What spoke to you most in this story?  2.  What does this story teach us about God?

  1. About people? 4. What do you need to do this week to obey the truth in this passage?

Dear Heavenly Father I thank you for this teaching on Your great love for me!  Please help me to come to the place that I really believe and receive Your love.  Heal my heart from all the wounds that cause me to reject love so that I can freely accept your love and call you, Abba.

Say: God is my Father and He loves me personally, passionately and unconditionally.

 

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