Summary: To what/whom was Jesus referring when He says, "...who is in heaven..." in this prayer He is teaching to His disciples? It is none other than the Sovereign Lord of all Creation!
Date Written: February 12, 2014
Date Preached: February 12, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Study on the Lord’s Prayer
Sermon Title: Who is in Heaven… (Sermon 3)
Sermon Text: Matthew 6:9-13 [HCSB]
Essence of the Text: Jesus wanted His disciples to know how to pray…
Essence of the Sermon: Jesus wants believers today to know how to pray…
Objective of the Sermon: Prayer is vital for the believer, but prayer is not so much in the words as it is in the attitude behind those words. This model prayer lays forth a template that guides the believer in the direction of their prayer and the attitude of their heart.
The first week we looked at prayer from an overall perspective, that it was not FOR God but it was for us to draw into a more intimate time and relationship with God.
He knows what we need and what is going on in our lives, so we don’t have to TELL Him to let Him know… BUT we do need to tell Him so that we are in communion with Him and learning to trust Him and lean on Him.
Last week we looked at the object of that prayer. We looked at the term, “Our Father” and we saw how the Father figure is an important figure in the lives of humanity… the view people have of God is often based on their view of their human father. Sometimes that is a good thing and other times it can be a hindrance to someone trying to grow closer to God.
This week I want to speak about WHERE the object of our prayer is located. Yes God is omnipresent and everywhere at all times, but we have a locale that we place God in for a purpose… that locale is Heaven.
We have a tendency as humans to centralize a dwelling place with home. We have our ‘home’ we go home to…a place where we live, sleep and eat and we tend to associate heaven as God’s home.
But where is heaven? What is heaven? Is it a place? Is it a condition of life? Is it another dimension of being? Is it far away? Is it right in front of our noses? I believe ALL of these questions are legitimate questions and deserve honest answers…
As believers, we are FAAAR too vague when it comes to the spiritual realties we speak about every day. If God is in heaven, then we should know something about heaven… right? If God is our Father and heaven is His natural environment, it stands to reason we should have some understanding about what that realm is really like!
In reality God’s abode… or God’s home is ALL of space and time as He is all present, and all powerful… There is NO one location that can contain Him! BUT here Jesus wants us to connect with God on an intimate level and the focus of our prayer is TO God ‘in heaven’…
The fact of the matter is that God dwells EVERYWHERE and there is really no words to ANY language that can articulate the location of God, so what Jesus does here is gives us a central focused location… one that is spoken about throughout Scripture… that is HEAVEN…
The word ‘heaven’ is derived from an Old Anglo-Saxon word heave-on which means to be lifted up or uplifted. It implies the thought of a place or a state of being which is above the common life we live here on this world.
In the Bible, heaven is used to describe 3 pretty distinct places or realms. First, we find the word heaven used with reference to the earth’s atmosphere (…the heavens…)
It is used to describe that protective shield that covers the earth and prevents deadly cosmic radiation from killing us all! The formation of clouds are said to be formed ‘in the heavens’… rain, hail or snow is said to come FROM the ‘heavens’
We normally associate LIFE with the atmosphere; as Isaiah said in Is 55:10, “…for as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and does not return, but waters the earth and makes it to bring forth buds that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater…”
Second we can see heaven from a MUCH broader sense of when we see the word ‘heaven’ or ‘heavens represent all of outer space. We have the things we can see with our eyes and directly affect our lives like the sun, moon and stars, but the immense nature of how HUGE our universe is… simply boggles our minds!
But there is a third viewpoint and it is that heaven is the realm of God… at times in Scripture it is described as a definite place, such as the “New Jerusalem”… a HOME specially prepared by God FOR His believers!