Summary: The evaporation cycle in nature reminds us of the way God sends blessings to us (as rain) and how our blessings/praises are to rise to him.
1. Importance of Rain – DEEPLY ROOTED
Parnell Bailey visited an orange grove where an irrigation pump had broken down. The season was unusually dry and some of the trees were beginning to die for lack of water. The man giving the tour then took Bailey to his own orchard where irrigation was used sparingly.
"These trees could go without rain for another 2 weeks," he said. "You see, when they were young, I frequently kept water from them. This hardship caused them to send their roots deeper into the soil in search of moisture. Now mine are the deepest-rooted trees in the area. While others are being scorched by the sun, these are finding moisture at a greater depth."
2. Ecology Movement has reminded us of the stewardship that we owe God’s creation
3. Within that creation are certain activities that remind us of key teachings of God
a. We have noted – stars in darkness and coming dawn; daily activities-sleep-new day
b. Today – evaporation cycle; drought makes us painfully aware of its importance
c. A Mystery: All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again. Ecclesiastes 1.7
4. 27 For he draws up the drops of water; they distill his mist in rain, 28 which the skies pour down and drop on mankind abundantly. Job 36.27-28
I. Blessings Come Down from God
10 “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55.10-11
A. Above to Below: God’s Process for Blessing Us
1. Manna – Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. Exodus 16.4
2. Mt. Sinai – 18 Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord had descended on it in fire. The smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain trembled greatly.19 And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.20 The Lord came down on Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain. And the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up. Exodus 19.18-20
3. Yeshua (Jesus) Came Down and went Up
4. New Heaven and New Earth will come down
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. Revelation 21.1-3
B. Blessings from God are by Grace
In the comic strip, Dennis the Menace, Dennis and his little friend, Joey, are leaving Mrs. Wilson’s house with their hands full of cookies. As you may remember, Dennis is not always very considerate toward the Wilsons who are his next-door neighbors (especially Mr. Wilson).
But Joey says, "I wonder what we did to deserve this?"
Dennis answered, "Look, Joey, Mrs. Wilson gives us cookies not because we’re nice, but because she’s nice."
1. Israel’s Choosing by God –
6 “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.7 It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the Lord set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, 8 but it is because the Lord loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the Lord has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Deuteronomy 7.6-8
2. Application to us – Ephesians 2.8-10
C. God’s Blessings Are Beyond Belief – 20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3.20-21