Sabbath School Lesson for September 30-October 6
Overview of Lesson 1, God’s Mission to Us (Part 1)
Memory Text: “Then the Lord God called Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ ” Genesis 3:9 NKJV
What to expect from this week’s study:
- Sunday: The God Who Reaches Out to Us–God has always wanted our companionship, before our creation, and even after Adam and Eve sinned.
- Monday: The God Who Longs to Be With Us–God desired a relationship with Abram, Joseph, Moses, and all those who lived before Christ.
- Tuesday: The God Who Became One With Us–God loves us so much, He sent His Son to be with us in human form.
- Wednesday: The God Who Continues to Be With Us–God hasn’t forsaken us, even after Jesus’ death on the cross.
- Thursday: The God Who Will Come Back for Us–God anxiously looks forward to our spending eternity together, after His Son returns to earth for us.
- Friday: Our challenge: How we can join in God’s mission
God intentionally looked for Adam and Eve, in order to renew their torn relationship with Him after their disobedience. His first mission-related question in the Garden of Eden, “Where are you?”, should become ours, giving us a chance to help fulfill His mission of saving humanity.
The purpose of our study this quarter is for us to play an active role in that mission–not just talk about it and plan strategies for doing it, but to actually get our hands and feet moving to accomplish His mission.
Before we can understand the mission of God, we will first attempt to know and understand the God of mission. Having a better understanding of the missionary nature and activities of God will guide us to have the determined mindset we will need for our God-given work.
Sunday: The God Who Reaches Out to Us
The book of Genesis presents a God of love, who loved us enough to also give us freedom of choice. If there was no choice but to love, it wouldn’t be the kind of quality relationship God craves. It wouldn’t feel like love to us either, if we were forced to give it. Force has no place in God’s Kingdom, nor in His mission. Each must have the freedom to choose whom they will love.
Another lesson learned by Adam and Eve, early on in the Garden of Eden, was the way God intentionally went looking for them after they had sinned. One might expect God to go searching for them with stabbing questions like: “What have you done?” or “Why did you disobey Me?”. But instead, He merely posed the question, “Where are you?”, revealing His love and desire to find them, no matter how far they had drifted away from Him.
God knows we are lost without His redeeming love. And He will go looking for us, even before we go searching for Him. We may even be running from Him. Let us not be hesitant to apply this noble attribute of love by willingly going wherever needed to reach a lost soul. And let our questions not be condemning, but full of loving compassion.
- Why did God ask this question, when His omniscient/all-knowing mind already knew the answer?
- What motivated Adam and Eve to hide from God after what they had done?
- How did God respect their feelings and adjust His reaction to their sinful deeds?
2 Corinthians 5:19
- What part do we have in the reconciling work of God?
- How should we go about searching for sinners as God did?
- What did His example with Adam and Eve teach us about this reconciliation?
Monday: God Who Longs to Be With Us
God’s desire to be with us was evident, way before His Son was born and lived among us. All through the Old Testament times, He let His desires be known to Adam’s descendants that He longed to be with them. What a wonderful mission legacy we have in the stories of the Old Testament.
The plan of salvation was demonstrated by Noah’s participation in the mission to save a remnant from the Flood. God’s mission was then carried out when their language confusion at the Tower of Babel made them all scatter across the globe.
Other notables who were called out to share in God’s mission were Abraham, Joseph, and Moses. Each one was told by God that He desired a covenant with them–a special relationship with them. He made it clear that He would be with them, and would bless and keep them. And He did.
For years, the sanctuary system of worship was meant to point to the promised Seed, to their future Redeemer. All its ceremonies related to Jesus Christ, whose name “Immanuel” means God with us.
Genesis 28:15, 39:21 Exodus 3:12
- What did God promise Abraham, Joseph, and Moses?
- Why do we need God’s presence?
Exodus 29:43, 45
- How was God’s presence felt in the sanctuary service?
Tuesday: The God Who Became One With Us
The promised Seed, spoken of in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3:15), at last became a reality with the birth of the Messiah in Bethlehem. His name, Immanuel, “God with us”, said it all (Matthew 1:23). God wanted so bad to be with us, that He arranged for His Son to take human flesh, so He could demonstrate firsthand what His mission was.
God’s character and mission were boldly demonstrated in Christ’s ministry. They saw Him, “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14), as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). He was the way to be reconciled with their God, the truth about how much God loved them, and the way to eternal life together with the Lord.
With love and humility so great that He would go that far to reveal Himself, we mustn’t hesitate to go anywhere God can use us to help fulfill His mission of love and inclusion. None are exempt from His love. We must constantly look for ways to express His life-saving grace, wherever we are sent.
- What can we learn from these verses about God’s purpose for sending the Messiah?
- How does John explain the divinity of Christ and how does he reveal His mission here on earth?
- How is He the way, the truth, and the life to you personally?
- Explain why this description of Jesus must be declared in every mission endeavor we pursue.
Wednesday: The God Who Continues to Be With Us
How fitting that Jesus’ final week was during Passover, the Jewish celebration of their escape from Egyptian slavery. Like all the other emblems in the sanctuary service, it pointed to the Savior, who provided their escape from Satan’s bondage of sin. God did miraculous things for the children of Israel during and after their escape. They had good reason to celebrate their freedom.
Jesus, too, did many glorious works, as part of His ministry. It was indeed an active missionary example for His followers. He left them with these words about His mission: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:1).
Probably the most familiar verse in the Bible, John 3:16, also informs us of the loving, giving nature of His mission. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” God loved us so much that He did something: He sent His Son. And, Jesus not only loved us, but He put that love in action by dying for us on the cruel cross.
Looking forward to when He would leave this earth, Jesus assured His disciples of His presence. Matthew 28:18-20, known as The Great Commission, included the promise that “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
- What was Jesus’ mission here on earth?
- How was Jesus’ death part of His mission?
- What is our mission now?
- How does Jesus’ presence help us fulfill His mission?
Thursday: The God Who Will Come Back for Us
As Jesus came close to the end of His mission on earth, His disciples must have been disturbed by the evident heaviness of His heart. He had wept over Jerusalem, washed their feet, identified His betrayer, and announced Peter’s denial. The alarming seriousness of the grievous events at hand were at the least making them uncomfortable.
Jesus sensed their confused and depressed feelings and He provided as much comfort as He could by promising to return and take them with Him someday to heaven. John 14:1-3 must have been music to their ears. “Let not your heart be troubled…I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”
The promise of His presence repeated to all the human race sustains us even now. How we long for our redemption to be complete. Even in the earth made new, God promises to be with us and be our God (Revelation 21:3). His eternal desire to be reconciled cannot be denied. What a comfort it is to know of His love for us.
- How does this verse verify our longing for the Second Coming?
- What does this tell us about the reason for the earthly sanctuary?
- In what way was God with them in the tabernacle?
Friday: Our Weekly Mission Challenge
Pray every day of the coming week for God to open your heart to be part of His mission.
Learn the name of someone in your life you don’t already know–a neighbor, coworker, shopkeeper, bus driver, janitor, etc. Begin praying for him or her each day.
For Discussion: Why does it help to pray for someone before we may have an opportunity to share Jesus with them?
Next Week: God’s Mission to Us (Part 2)
To read the Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly and see more resources for its study, go to