VIDEO OPEN UP THE SKY

March 15, 2102

OPEN UP THE SKY – DELUGE BAND WITH LYRICS

Open up the sky fall down like rain I don’t want blessings I want you

(It should say open up the sky fall down like rain on the first one)

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A Daily Blessing

I ask the Father in his great glory to give you the power to be strong inwardly through his Spirit EPHESIANS 3:16

Here is a scene repeated in Brazil thousands of times daily.…

It’s early morning. Time for young Marcos to leave for school. As he gathers his books and heads for the door, he pauses by his father’s chair. He searches his father’s face. Benção, Pai? Marcos asks. (Blessing, Father?)

The father raises his hand. Deus te abençoe, meu filho, he assures. (God bless you, my son.) …

Father and child part for the day, a blessing requested, a blessing willingly given.…

We should do the same. Like the child longing for the father’s favor, each of us needs a daily reminder of our heavenly Father’s love.

31 Days of Blessing

Inheriting God’s Promises

Hebrews 6:11-12

The Lord wouldn’t have made all the promises in the Bible if He didn’t want to give His children great blessings. Yet we cannot be presumptuous and simply assume such benefits automatically belong to us. So how can we claim God’s promises with the expectation that He will take pleasure in answering our petitions?

There are certain questions we must ask in order to test the needs we bring before our heavenly Father. These include:

• Does this promise meet my personal need or desire?

• Am I asking with a spirit of submissiveness to His will?

• Can God fulfill this request without harming another person or interfering with His will in someone else’s life?

• Does the Holy Spirit bear witness to my spirit that the petition pleases God?

• Will God be honored by fulfilling this?

• Does my request to claim this promise contradict God’s Word in some way?

• If God fulfills this promise, will it further my spiritual growth? Once we have satisfactorily answered these questions, inheriting God’s promises depends on three requirements. First, we need to have faith. Our Father wants us to trust Him, and He rewards those who do (Gen. 15:6; Heb. 11:6).

Second, we must be obedient to whatever we know is His will for us—we’ll never attain His best if we knowingly disobey. And third, we must have patience and be willing to wait for the Lord’s perfect timing. Doing these things is well worth our while, considering the blessings He longs to give us.

The Vanishing Serpents

“For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.” (Exodus 7:12)

Like the future image of the beast, which will seem to have life, these magician-induced serpents can only have been “lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). Neither men nor demons can really create life; this is a prerogative of God alone, who “created every living creature” (Genesis 1:21). However, both human magicians and demons can generate hypnotic mental states and occult hallucinations which ungodly people like Pharaoh may be deceived into seeing as real physical entities. When their demonstration was over, however, nothing was left. Even their rods (not “serpents”) were gone, for Aaron’s genuine serpent had made a meal of them. In a true miracle of creation, Aaron’s God had transmuted the dead atoms of a wooden stick (just as He later made it to produce blossoms and almonds, Numbers 17:8) into a living serpent, capable of consuming other sticks which only appeared to be serpents.

The deception of the magicians was revealed when they were unable later to imitate Moses’ miracle of turning dust into lice throughout the land of Egypt (Exodus 8:18). Interestingly, many people believed for many centuries that similar phenomena—which they called “spontaneous generation”—occurred naturalistically, but this notion was scientifically demolished by Pasteur over a hundred years ago. Only the living God can create life!

The miracle of Aaron’s rod is also a parable. Aaron’s rod of life took on the nature of the serpent, just as Christ was made sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21). But then it swallowed up the other serpent-rods, and the sting of “that old serpent” was put away. Thus, “death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55). HMM

It is good for me that I have been afflicted

“It is good for me that I have been afflicted.” (Psalm 119:71.)

IT is a remarkable circumstance that the most brilliant colors of plants are to be seen on the highest mountains, in spots that are most exposed to the wildest weather. The brightest lichens and mosses, the loveliest gems of wild flowers, abound far up on the bleak, storm-scalped peak.

One of the richest displays of organic coloring I ever beheld was near the summit of Mount Chenebettaz, a hill about 10,000 feet high, immediately above the great St. Bernard Hospice. The whole face of an extensive rock was covered with a most vivid yellow lichen which shone in the sunshine like the golden battlement of an enchanted castle. There, in that lofty region, amid the most frowning desolation, exposed to the fiercest tempest of the sky, this lichen exhibited a glory of color such as it never showed in the sheltered valley. I have two specimens of the same lichen before me while I write these lines, one from the great St. Bernard, and the other from the wall of a Scottish castle, deeply embossed among sycamore trees; and the difference in point of form and coloring between them is most striking.

The specimen nurtured amid the wild storms of the mountain peak is of a lovely primrose hue, and is smooth in texture and complete in outline, while the specimen nurtured amid the soft airs and the delicate showers of the lowland valley is of a dim rusty hue, and is scurfy in texture, and broken in outline.

And is it not so with the Christian who is afflicted, tempest-tossed, and not comforted? Till the storms and vicissitudes of God’s providence beat upon him again and again, his character appears marred and clouded; but trials clear away the obscurity, perfect the outlines of his disposition, and give brightness and blessing to his life.

Amidst my list of blessings infinite
Stands this the foremost, that my heart has bled;
For all I bless Thee, most for the severe.
—Hugh Macmillan.

He will give grace and glory

“He will give grace and glory.” Psalm 84:11

Bounteous is Jehovah in His nature; to give is His delight. His gifts are beyond measure precious, and are as freely given as the light of the sun. He gives grace to His elect because He wills it, to His redeemed because of His covenant, to the called because of His promise, to believers because they seek it, to sinners because they need it. He gives grace abundantly, seasonably, constantly, readily, sovereignly; doubly enhancing the value of the boon by the manner of its bestowal. Grace in all its forms He freely renders to His people: comforting, preserving, sanctifying, directing, instructing, assisting grace, He generously pours into their souls without ceasing, and He always will do so, whatever may occur.

Sickness may befall, but the Lord will give grace; poverty may happen to us, but grace will surely be afforded; death must cone but grace will light a candle at the darkest hour. Reader, how blessed it is as years roll round, and the leaves begin again to fall, to enjoy such an unfading promise as this, “The Lord will give grace.” The little conjunction “and” in this verse is a diamond rivet binding the present with the future: grace and glory always go together. God has married them, and none can divorce them. The Lord will never deny a soul glory to whom He has freely given to live upon His grace; indeed, glory is nothing more than grace in its Sabbath dress, grace in full bloom, grace like autumn fruit, mellow and perfected. How soon we may have glory none can tell!

It may be before this month of October has run out we shall see the Holy City; but be the interval longer or shorter, we shall be glorified ere long. Glory, the glory of heaven, the glory of eternity, the glory of Jesus, the glory of the Father, the Lord will surely give to His chosen. Oh, rare promise of a faithful God!

Two golden links of one celestial chain:
Who owneth grace shall surely glory gain.

Pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for my beloved

“Pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved.” Song 7:13

The spouse desires to give to Jesus all that she produces. Our heart has “all manner of pleasant fruits,” both “old and new,” and they are laid up for our Beloved. At this rich autumnal season of fruit, let us survey our stores. We have new fruits. We desire to feel new life, new joy, new gratitude; we wish to make new resolves and carry them out by new labours; our heart blossoms with new prayers, and our soul is pledging herself to new efforts. But we have some old fruits too.

There is our first love: a choice fruit that! and Jesus delights in it. There is our first faith: that simple faith by which, having nothing, we became possessors of all things. There is our joy when first we knew the Lord: let us revive it. We have our old remembrances of the promises. How faithful has God been! In sickness, how softly did He make our bed! In deep waters, how placidly did He buoy us up! In the flaming furnace, how graciously did He deliver us. Old fruits, indeed! We have many of them, for His mercies have been more than the hairs of our head. Old sins we must regret, but then we have had repentances which He has given us, by which we have wept our way to the cross, and learned the merit of His blood. We have fruits, this morning, both new and old; but here is the point—they are all laid up for Jesus.

Truly, those are the best and most acceptable services in which Jesus is the solitary aim of the soul, and His glory, without any admixture whatever, the end of all our efforts. Let our many fruits be laid up only for our Beloved; let us display them when He is with us, and not hold them up before the gaze of men. Jesus, we will turn the key in our garden door, and none shall enter to rob Thee of one good fruit from the soil which Thou hast watered with Thy bloody sweat. Our all shall be Thine, Thine only, O Jesus, our Beloved!