Living To Please God (4)

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  1. Appreciation and Thanksgiving.
    Matthew 25:14-30. Luke 17::11-15.
    I Thessalonians 5:18. 1 Corinthians 15:57.

To appreciate is to recognise with gratitude a good deed done to oneself by another person. And to hold very dearly such a person by placing value on him or her and according them honor or respect on account of such good deed received.

Thanksgiving meanwhile is expression of gratitude, especially to God.
Indeed, both Thanksgiving and Appreciation are ONE, and can be applied to God as a means of acknowledging His doings, His tender mercies , loving kindness and uncommon favors to us as His children. . We will take appreciation and thanksgiving as one in this conversation because both represent a show of gratitude , respect and honor to God .
Apostle Paul enjoins the believer to always express thanks that is . to appreciate God in all things.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 :” In everything give thanks : for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”.
So, we are to give thanks to God because it’s the will of God for us to do so. This also means that God is pleased to receive an offering of Thanksgiving from us, His children. No wonder the Psalmist admonishes us in Psalms 100:4:” Enter into His gates with Thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”
Even our prayers and supplications are to be rendered with Thanksgiving, a show of gratitude to God, whose grace, mercy and favor we are seeking, indeed craving for. When we recognize God as being worthy of our Thanksgiving, we will not struggle to give Him every honor that is due unto Him, including our TITHES and offerings. In fact, the Bible challenges us to honor God with our substances, including our first fruits to witness greater outpouring of blessings. . Proverbs 3:9-10.( We will converse more on this in due course. )

As with God always, He is not a slave driver. He attaches reward for obedience in all His commands. In Luke 17:11-19, Jesus healed some 10 lepers. The initial instruction was meant to cleanse them. And of a truth they became healed with their leprosy disappearing. However, as they went to show themselves to the high priest, whose duty it was to pronounce them healed, one of the lepers- noticing that he had actually been healed- turned back to appreciate Jesus for his healing. The other nine walked away though healed.
When Jesus saw the one that came back to thank Him, He added another blessing to his healing. This time He made him whole.. fully restored to his natural l body condition. Yes, whereas the nine had scars of leprosy, the ONE who showed APPRECIATION was made whole .. without scars of a healed leper. That is the joy and reward of Appreciation and Thanksgiving.

Also, the ONE talent servant in Matthew 25:14-30, was punished or harshly judged because he didn’t appreciate his gift , as to do business with it. He did not try at all, not to talk about him failing .He did nothing.
Many of us believers are like this one talent servant because we feel cheated in God’s giftings. We complain that we cannot sing because we have bag voice, cannot dance because of bad leg, cannot preach because of poor education , cannot pray because we lack time or support the gospel because we lack financial capacity. We complain almost about everything, , thereby making God look unjust, unfair and horribly partial.
Hmmm, where do you fit into? In a world where handless and legless ( I don’t want to use amputees because some were born without any ) human beings are bestoding like a colosus, and indeed they are. And some of us — with all the features of complete creation– are happily sleeping and waking for 24/7 with complains of one disadvantage or the other. Paul says in all things, we should thank God. When you do the Thanksgiving, God will open your eyes to what you can do- even with your so many deficiencies. Amen.

6 Diligence and Hardwork.
Proverbs 22:29. 6:6-9.,2Thessalonians 3:10-12. 1Timothy 5:8.

” He becomes poor that deals with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent bears rule .
“He that gathers in summer is a wise son: but he that sleeps in harvest is a son that causes shame” Proverbs 10:4-5.

The Almighty God detests laziness in any form- physical, mental or spiritual. This explains why even after creation, he gave man the responsibility of cultivating the ground for his feeding and upkeep: The principle of seed time and harvest time.
Centuries after creation, this principle has not changed. Where a man refuses to labor hard, it will not be impossible for such a man to wrestle with poverty all through his life’s journey. Indeed, laziness breeds poverty and lack and, somehow, breeds sicknesses and diseases. Isn’t it true that more poor people die from preventable diseases than the rich.
God wants His children to work hard and to be diligent about it. Diligently working hard means the application of carefulness and excellence in your work. It demands that the rough edges of work are finished with finesse , pleasantness and graceful appearance. Diligent hard work demands that you dutifully cross the ‘t” and dot the ‘i’.
Hard work challenges a man to race when his contemporaries are also racing. The old saying: : Time waits for nobody is true with life’s journey. When a man doesn’t race out with others due to his own fault, such a man will be at the mercy of those ahead of him. That is why the Bible says the hand of the diligent will bear rule.. to have dominion over the poor, the lazy and the laggard.
As believers, we must not work to depend on miracles to achieve what others achieve through honest labor. Yes, miracles come when human efforts had failed. Paul told the Thessalonians that if any man does not work, such a man should also not eat. Poverty arising from laziness is a disgrace, a shame and a curse that should not be associated with the man who bears the Cross.

Today, we see many youths who do little, but want to reap bountifully. No, it doesn’t work that way. God doesn’t reward laziness. What you sow is what your land will yield unto you. Galatians 6:7 says it all : Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for what so ever a man sows, he will reap. It doesn’t matter how much prayers, and how long the prayers last or who made such prayers for you, the fact is that prayer cannot give you what hardwork would sponsor. Check out the Scriptures, God has always rewarded hardwork and dliigence. Abraham had all kinds of livestock. Jacob labored for 14 years to gain Rachel and Leah. Apostle Paul boasted that he labored more than all the other apostles. He also didn’t eat the bread of idleness as a missionary. He became a tentmaker to support himself.
As we Converse, there are parents who do everything for their kids and wards, including stacking funds for them. This is irreligious because it runs contrary to the WORD of God. As His children, we must soil our hands to reap bountiful harvests . Think of thousands of men and women and youths who throng the pews across the lands seeking and searching for miracles– when what they need is simple occupation., a skill. And then watch God do the rest for them after He has proved them faithful. Perhaps, the church will begin to reintensify her r messages to shore up the confidence of the faithful to know that diligent hard work is the way to wealth creation, banishment to poverty and sustainable family heritage. ( To be continued). Kindly share.
Happy Sunday. God bless.

Pastor Okoro can be reached on: 08051000562

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