Have you experienced the Lord’s loving-kindness? – Think and testify
By Pastor Aderemi ADELUGBA, —
Jeremiah 31:1- 5, “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.” 2 This is what the Lord says: “The people who survive the sword will find favour (Grace) in the wilderness; I will come to give rest to Israel.” 3 The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. 4 I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt. Again you will take up your timbrels and go out to dance with the joyful. 5 Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit.
We see that, the main reason the Lord was going to bring restoration back to Israel was simply because of His loving-kindness. Your testimony is the act of God’s kindness. Your desire would come to pass through the Lord’s loving-kindness. We do not deserve anything by our own ability. There are people who can speak, read, talk, argue and articulate situations better than us, but they have not received the type of blessings and favour the Lord gave to you. There are people who have more degrees than you, but have not even achieved a quarter of your achievement. There are other people who have been in this country for many years, and are yet to be established. That is why I have come to ask you this question “What is it that the Lord has done for you”
Psalm 63:1-3 states, because thy loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. The health, the strength, the ability, and the joy you have are all the product of God’s loving kindness. So begin to think on why you deserved His kindness? Can you make sense of it? Can you appropriate your effort to the success you have achieved? Peradventure, you may think it is because you know people in high position, that has brought you this far. No. It is the mercies and kindness of God. The Lord promised Israel a lot of things in Jeremiah 31: 1-6. These include, families, settlement, health, grace, everlasting love, and, said he will draw them near through his loving-kindness. The Lord will do all these unto you in Jesus name.
He is our help in ages past and our hope for the years to come: In 1 Chronicles 4:7, Jabez was a man that was full of sorrow. 2 Chronicles 4: 9 – 11 – Jabez was more honourable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request.
The reason why we have to re-visit this story is simply because, the man Jabez, suffered for so many years, when the transition from sorrow to honour came, the loving kindness of the most high God was the medicine that cured his sorrow. And he became more honourable than his brethren. The inspiration is that, you must cry to the Lord, for all shame and sorrow to disappear. He cried out that the Lord will bless him and bless him indeed, and this happened to him. I pray that the Lord will show you kindness in Jesus name. If there had been any fault in the circumstance of your birth, which has made people to write you off, we pray that the Lord will change your story suddenly in Jesus name. There are few things that people do not realise in this scripture, the fact that it took this man so long to realise that, he was actually out of God’s favour and kindness, and the fact that, the man was living in sorrow, and people of the world must have said a lot of things to him, without even realising how terrible his life was. I pray for you today, that as many may have condemned you, from today, you will have a breakthrough in Jesus name. In the RCCG, worldwide, this year is our year of “Overflow”. Therefore, the Lord’s favour and kindness will overflow, and things would begin to happen for you in Jesus name. What happened to Jabez, was a serious overflow – His blessings were beyond measure.
If you must enjoy the kindness of God, you must begin to be determined and exercise faith: Things don’t just happen, it happens by faith and determination. In 2 King 7: 3-9. 3 Now there were four men with leprosy[d] at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.” 5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives. 8 The men who had leprosy reached the edge of the camp, entered one of the tents and ate and drank. Then they took silver, gold and clothes, and went off and hid them. They returned and entered another tent and took some things from it and hid them also.
Something amazing happened to these four lepers who were always at the gate suffering. They were at a stage in their life where death was approaching, because they asked each other the question regarding their future, and they said, why sit we here until we die? This question suggests to me that they were out of God’s favour, they had no hope, no future, and everything seemed dimmed for them. No way forward, but they exercised faith that something good would happen to them, that in their travels, that they would enjoy the kindness of God, and, truly the windows of heaven was opened unto them. This is a great testimony of how the Lord has been with us as a church for the past 2 years, and the way He has shown us his kindness.
The Kindness of God does not require strive or popularity: In 1 Chronicles 13:13-14 – So David did not take the ark with him to the city of David, but took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. Thus the ark of God remained with the family of Obed-edom in his house three months; and the LORD blessed the family of Obed-edom with all that he had. Obededom was not a popular man in the city. He was a man people thought they could just dump anything in his house, and would die. But, When Obededom received the ark of God in his house, the kindness of God continued to dwell there. His condition was as if he had won a lottery. He won more than lottery, because the Lord is the one that maketh rich and added no sorrow. The kindness of the most high God made his sorrow to depart, the Lord showeth grace unto him, and the people of the city went about recounting how the Lord has blessed a wretched man. I pray the Lord will single you out for his promotion and favour and kindness in Jesus name. You will be able to tell of the Lord’s goodness in Jesus name.
Sermon delivered by Pastor Aderemi ADELUGBA on August 17th 2014.