Psalms 92:1-4 – It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Upon an instrument of ten strings, and upon the psaltery; upon the harp with a solemn sound. For thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands.
God is delighted when His children recall and recounts the good He has done in their lives. Whenever that’s done; God is moved to do more.
In Luke 17:15-19, Jesus expressed His commendation to the Samaritan that came back, and made him whole.
Luke 17:11-19 – And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
In I Kings 3: 5-14, Solomon gave thanks and praises to God who had chosen him to rule after David over a mighty Kingdom and numerous people. (The speech pleased the Lord…). God gave him all that he didn’t ask for….
In 2 Chronicles 20: 1-25, when three nations gathered to fight against the children of Judah, the only thing Jehoshaphat and the children of Judah were able to do was to sing songs of praises to God; such that their enemies began to deal with themselves.
“And when they began to sing that The Lord is good and His mercies endure forever, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and Mt. Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten”.
The Bible tells us how David testified to how God had helped him to kill lion and bear with his bare hands, and he was therefore confident that the same God would help him defeat the Goliath of Gath, and God did.
1 Samuel 17:32-37 – And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
If you look back enough, you would be able to see the good things that God has done for you so far; either in the course of this year or in your entire life.
Jacob testified how God had been very gracious to him, such that in a space of just 20 years, he had become so mighty and wealthy, having started with nothing.
Genesis 32:9-10 – And Jacob said, O God of my father Abraham, and God of my father Isaac, the Lord which saidst unto me, Return unto thy country, and to thy kindred, and I will deal well with thee: I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies, and of all the truth, which thou hast shewed unto thy servant; for with my staff I passed over this Jordan, and now I am become two bands.
There is a Yoruba adage that says, “The one that is think-full will be thankful”. Those who are not grateful are those who usually do not think deep or well enough. God wants us to thank Him always. For if not for Him, we couldn’t have been able to help ourselves, and vain is the help of man.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – It is of the Lord ‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
My work today is to take your focus away from whatever your present circumstances might be and to concentrate on all evils you have escaped and all blessings you have received from God in the course of the year.
– The journeys you have made…
– The food and drinks you have taken
– The air you have breathed
– The medicine you have taken
– The dreams you have had
– The accidents you even may have had.
None of these has seen the end of you. God had preserved you and I for a purpose. We need to be grateful to Him.
In biblical days, the patriarch of faith were not only grateful in their heart and with their mouth; they would go ahead to demonstrate their gratitude by raising an altar unto God and offer sacrifice for what He had done for them:
In Gen. 8:20-22, when Noah came out of the Ark and saw how God had been gracious to him, he built an altar and offer burnt offering to God. God was moved to bless him the more and vow not to destroy the earth again as He did.
Genesis 8:20-22 – And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more everything living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
– You are here, God had kept you safe from an evil episode… how grateful are you?
In Gen. 12:8, when Abraham arrived in Canaan according to the promise and protection of God, there he built an altar and made sacrifices to God.
Genesis 12:6-8 – And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord, and called upon the name of the Lord.
– How did you arrive here? May be it was a wilderness experience before you arrive… how grateful are you?
In Gen. 26:23-25, when God settled Isaac in Canaan and blessed him to the extent that he became the envy of a nation; he was thankful to God, he built an altar and made sacrifices to God.
Genesis 26:23-25 – And he went up from thence to Beersheba. And the Lord appeared unto him the same night, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father: fear not, for I am with thee, and will bless thee, and multiply thy seed for my servant Abraham’s sake. And he builded an altar there, and called upon the name of the Lord, and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.
– In the midst of famine, you live in plenty, people are even envying you… how grateful are you?
In Gen. 35:1-7, Jacob went to Bethel, built an altar to make a sacrifice to God who delivered him from the hands of his brother Esau who would have wasted his life. God was happy with him and blessed him the more.
– People have sworn that they would have you for breakfast, lunchtime has even passed, you are still afraid of supper… how grateful are you?
In Exodus 15: 1, Moses and the children of Israel gathered to praise and to thank God for delivering from slavery in Egypt, Pharaoh and his hosts, having walked through the sea on dry ground.
– God had delivered you from a form of slavery, He made you walk through a form of Red Sea… how grateful are you?
In Joshua 4:1-8, when God miraculously took Joshua and the Israelites through the Jordan River, the hindrance to entering into Canaan. Joshua was asked by God to set up twelve stones where they dwelt that night as a memorial for what God had done.
We are gathered here on 30/12/18 in the Land of Mercy, to set up an invincible stone and altar unto the living God as appreciation to Him for all that He had done for us in 2018, not to even think too far behind.
I Sam 7:5-17, prophet Samuel gathered the Israelites in Mizpeh to seek the face of God; when their enemies heard that all Israel had gathered together, they decided to attack them. The Israelites were not prepared for war, so God fought for them with thunders and lightning.
After the victories, Samuel built an altar and offer sacrifice to thank God.
I recall that on a day like this three years ago, we could not have a Sunday service (27/12/18). The Prince of Leeds subdued the whole area where we are now underwater for 24hours. If God had not been on our side, that was to be the end of Everlasting Father’s Assembly as we knew it then and still know it now.
Guess what, other floods could have happened after that which God had not permitted.
Should I tell you of spiritual attacks; physical attacks; financial attacks; character attacks; etc.; which we have experienced? God has helped us to overcome all. Why won’t we be grateful?
I believed as families and as individuals, you must have experienced similar scenarios as well. It is not your strength or that of another that has helped you. It was and is still the Lord!
Hitherto, the Lord has helped you. Glory to His name.
The magnitude of what had come against us and the manner we escaped from it; demonstrates that it can only be God. When you are faced with a little challenge and you scaled through, it is possible to think you were smart. But when it was a big deal; and it didn’t deal with you permanently, surely it can only be God.
On the same ground where God defended the Israelites under Samuel at Mizpeh, they had lost 4,000 and 40,000 men before under Eli. They even lost the ownership of the Ark of the Covenant. But 20 years later, it was a sweet lasting victory for them.
The year 2018 had its ups and downs. You may have lost a symbolic 4,000 or 40,000. Today, a sweet and lasting victory over 2018 are yours. Glory be to God!
Psalm 126:1-3 – When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.
I am always emotional whenever I try to testify to God’s goodness. It is because He has done so very much for me. I’m not sure how long it takes for flesh to completely decay from bone; but mine would have gone a long way by now.
When Samuel raised the stone and said the place would be called Ebenezer. He actually said the meaning was “Hitherto, has the Lord helped us”.
I checked the meaning of the word hitherto in the dictionary. It means, “up to this time; until now; to here; to this place or point;” etc.
So when Samuel said hitherto, what he meant was that up to this point, it had been the Lord that had helped them.
What that also meant is that there are other points ahead to be covered; mapped and owned.
There other challenges ahead to be faced; confronted and overcome.
There are other glories ahead to be attained; won and enjoyed.
Such that Samuel moved forward from Ebenezer. You too shall move forward from here. Truly, challenges may be ahead of you; but you shall overcome.
Truly, territories may lie ahead of you; but you shall occupy.
Truly, glories may lie ahead of you; but you shall obtain.
Where the children of Israel gathered on that day is called Mizpeh – meaning watchtower.
As we gather here and peeping into 2019, I declare that it shall be a year ultimate victories for you. Natural victories; supernatural victories; all round victories shall be yours in Jesus name.
Sermon delivered on Sunday, December 30, 2018.