opinionBy Charles Olowojoba
Psalm 136:1-4 "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. 4 To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever."
God deserves my thanksgiving: I deserve nothing. People murmur when they feel they deserve compensation for their contribution- may be they have fasted or prayed or kept away from obvious sins. We deserve nothing! It is of His mercy we are not consumed. His compassion fails not.
1. He is good. God is good. Psalm 136:1 "1O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2. He is merciful. He forgave me when everyone else thought I deserved to pay for my sins. He said to the woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you but go and sin no more." He was there to help me when no one else thought I deserved it.
3. He gave his life for me and to me. He exchanged his life for mine. He gave me a brand new life. He did not patch up my messed up old life or try to reform it. No, he replaced it with a new one. He took the old one that was completely messed up with sin, guilt and condemnation and riddled with fear, sickness and disease and gave me something completely free of sin, guilt and condemnation; full of life and joy. I am a new man!
4. He preserved my life. Psalm 30:3, "3 O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. 4 Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness."
5. He delivered me from my enemies. Psalm 18:46-50
6. He believed in me when no one else did.
7. Others will help you from a distance, but God is there real close especially when you need Him the most and no one else cares.
8. He saved me, healed me and keeps me in good health.
9. He has delivered me from the plans of all those that hate me.
10. He has provided for me at critical times when everywhere looked dry.
How Do You Show Gratitude To God?
1. By deliberately expressing your gratitude to Him for His numerous blessings. Mention specific helps and thank Him intentionally for them. Psalm 103:1-5, verse 2 says, "Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits"
2. By sharing your testimony in church, neighbourhood, office, etc. By testifying of His acts of faithfulness, kindness, and mercy in your life. Psalm 105:1 "IO give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds AMONG THE PEOPLE. 2Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works. 3Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD."
3. By refusing to do things that grieve Him. Have you heard people say, 'is that what you do to repay me after all I have done for you?' Do only those things that bring honour and glory to His name.
4. By offering yourself and skill to serve him in the church and in the world. Rom 12:1, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Give him your body, skills and talents to use. This is sacrifice and service. And the bible says it is reasonable.
5. By giving back to Him a sacrifice of thanksgiving. This way you recognize and acknowledge Him as your Source. Every good and perfect gift comes from God. Exodus 23:14-17; Matt 16:22 "...what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" How much do you consider appropriate to give to the Lord in thanksgiving for sparing your life and the lives of your loved ones? He deserves your best and your all.
What happens to those who don't give thanks? Deut 28: 47-49,
"47Because thou servedst not the LORD thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things; 48Therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies which the LORD shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things: and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee."
• They groan under the oppression of their enemies
• They simply dry up and fade. They diminish and lack all things. This is a description of extreme poverty. Those who are always murmuring and complaining never amount to much.
• They never know satisfaction and fulfilment.
• They may lose their lives
What happens when you give thanks?
Psalm 67:5-6, "5Let the people praise thee, O God; let all the people praise thee. 6Then shall the earth yield her increase; and God, even our own God, shall bless us. 7God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear him."
• You enjoy the presence of God
• You enjoy the deep joy and peace of God
• You position yourself to receive more.
• The earth yields its increase unto you.
• God blesses the thankful in every way. God makes more investments in the life of the thankful knowing that he or she will not forget.
• You are delivered from all forms of captivity.
Make thanksgiving and praise your lifestyle and you guarantee the manifestation of the presence of God in your life all the time. This year will not see your end, you will see the ends of many more years in Jesus name!
Rev (Dr) Olowojoba is Snr. Pastor of Dayspring Bible Church, Sabon-Lugbe, Abuja and President, Dayspring Christian Ministries Int'l.