OPEN HEAVENS DEVOTIONAL
DATE: MONDAY DECEMBER 26TH 2022
THEME: DIVINE LOVE ll
MEMORISE: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
READ: John 11:1 -45
1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
Divine love is good, but then, what are the benefits of being loved by God? Let us use Lazarus as a case study. Lazarus was sick and his sisters sent to Jesus saying, “Lord , behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.” Jesus loved Lazarus and it was obvious to everyone, but what was His reply?
When Jesus heard that, he said, this sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
When God falls in love with you, every challenge you face will lead to a testimony. The day you discover that you are beloved of God, you can begin to rejoice because each time a challenge comes, God is going to bring a testimony out of it for you. In fact, the greater the problem, the greater should be your rejoicing.
For those who God loves, He will from time to time give them a new testimony and you cannot have a new testimony except you have a new problem. A testimony is the result of a problem that is miraculously solved. That is why when l face challenges, l rejoice. I rejoice because a new challenge means a new testimony is on the way. In fact, those of us who are convinced beyond any doubt that He loves us look forward to challenges because we know that, with every challenge, there would be a miracle around the corner.
Do you believe that God loves you? If you do, why do you worry so much about the challenges facing you? Why do you lose sleep over something that He has already decided to use to bring glory to His name? Beloved of God, don’t worry yourself unnecessarily. You can relax, God is planning to use your story to show the whole world how great He is. You just ensure that you don’t do anything to make Him change His mind about loving you, then leave the rest to Him. He will shock your enemies.
New challenges mean new testimonies for God’s beloved.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: 1 John 4- 3 John
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A ADEBOYE
HYMN 27: WHEN LIFE’S BILLOW YOU ARE TEMPEST TOSSED
1 When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one;
Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
2 Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
yCount your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
3 When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your Lord on high.
4 So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.