Making Difference with thanksgiving ~ Pst. Adesoji Oni
Topic: Making Difference with thanksgiving
Text: Matthew 5:43-48
Preacher: Pastor Adesoji Oni
Matthew 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Jesus in his lifetime tried to use a lot of things to explain certain things to us, and there is one of the very obvious things that Jesus had said, making a difference between us and those who have no understanding; i.e between the believers and unbelievers. From the passage we read, Jesus was trying to tell his disciples about the beatitude. He gave them some key things to note, he established that you don’t need to give love only to those who love you but also to those that are your enemies, he said “do good to them that hate you, he went further to say if you show favor to only those that are good to you, what then is the difference between you and those on the other side?” In verse 46-47 he now said if ye love only them that love you, what then is your reward?
Naturally, we know that when someone have been good to you, you will always respond fairly to those things. For instance, when persons who have helped me in life recommend people to me, I take is with utmost attention, so that they will know that I really appreciate what they had done for me. The only difference is that, even if I have never known you before, because I am a child of God I try my best not to deviate from what I should have done as a believer. So what Jesus is saying is that, if you do what a believer is supposed to do, then is means you will go beyond doing what ordinary people would have done. As I read this scripture, the Lord ministered to me and said to a natural man, thanksgiving is offered in reaction to the benevolence received from God or someone else. Most of the time we have to react, we give out because we have received something; that is natural to a man. Therefore, I we give thanks I reaction to what God has done, then what is the difference between us and the natural man?
Beyond the natural response that every man could possibly exhibit, as children of God you don’t wait until when you have received before you have the attitude of gratitude. Gratitude isn’t our natural response to trouble. Our natural response to trouble usually include fear, complain, and even discouragement. I’ve heard some people say I have done this and that but to no avail, what’s the use and why do I need to continue. All this is because they lack understanding. Thankfulness is the best choice to any one that has chosen to be great in life. You can’t be great without been grateful; even in the natural sect, people expect that you will at least say thank you when they do something for you. But God wants us to make thanksgiving as a choice in our lives. Phil. 4:6 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
Hab. 3:17-18 “Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”. Don’t respond to how you feel, respond to who God is. God has out a difference between us and the people of the world; people of the world may respond like that because they are limited in understanding. Exodus 11:7 “But against any of the children of Israel shall not a dog move his tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know how that the LORD doth put a difference between the Egyptians and Israel”. There is a difference between us and the unbelievers, when you give thanks when things are not going as you thought, you are in the heart of faith and faith is crucial to our living as believers on earth. If we must actualize our destiny as believers, we must live by faith. 1 Thess. 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”. You know we are not here on earth to do our will but to do God’s will.
WHY IS THANKSGIVING AN ACT OF FAITH?
1. Anything not of Faith is sin. Romans 14:23
2. A believer is to walk and live by faith and not what he sees. 2 Cor. 5:7, Hab. 2:4, Heb. 10:38
3. We cannot please God without faith. Heb. 11:6
4. Thanksgiving we give to God is our password to God.
WHAT THEN IS FAITH?
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. So those things you are trusting God for but you have not received, you need to give God thanks for them in faith as though you have received it. Through faith, great testimonies had happened. Hence, we need to cultivate the culture of exercising our faith. As you go through this message, I don’t know what you have passed through but you must know that God is bigger than whatever you have passed through in life. Focus on him and he will roll the reproach away.
If you are yet to surrender your life to Christ as your Lord and Savoiur, God is able to save you and deliver you from all forms of destruction. Say Lord Jesus, come into my life, be the bishop of my soul, thank you for saving me in Jesus name.
- Father in the name of Jesus, I pronounce this blessing to your children.
- You will never know a better yesterday. The spirit of the Lord will guide and keep you. In Jesus mighty name I pray. Amen