Category: GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

What Kind of Gratitude Do You Show God?

By Dr. Abayomi Sanusi –
A gratitude, or ‘Thank you’ is an expression in response to the perceived benefit of an act, situation or event. It is rampant in society; can be a subtle indicator or strong evidence of the state of relationships, but does not always express the same thing. Each time gratitude is expressed there is a narrative behind that expression. There is a reason or a purpose. Before asking you how and why you say ‘Thank You’ to God I want to explain the seven plus one different kinds of gratitude I have come across in meditation. The different types of thanks:
The Seven Plus One different types of ‘Thank You’
The Encouragement ‘Thank You’
This type of gratitude is an advance or belated expression of inducement, persuasion or encouragement. The sort of encouragement to perhaps nudge a person to voluntarily fill out a questionnaire or form to help somebody else, or stop at the red traffic light to avoid mishaps. It can also be a form of inducement to refrain from something potentially undesirable thus indirectly benefiting others. A polite ‘Thank you for not smoking’ can be an example.
The Contractual ‘Thank You’
The contractual ‘Thank You’ is an expression of mutual agreement or understanding. An expression of satisfaction between parties similar to the contentment of an employee who just got paid for work done. It is the satisfaction of discovering you just received exactly what was promised by the retailer you handed your hard earned money over to; and there was no horse-meat in your beef lasagne. The terms of a deal have been adhered to, and all parties are satisfied. The contractual ‘Thank you’ is not mandatory, but there is understandable relief, perhaps contentment involved.
The Politeness ‘Thank You’
The sort of gratitude shown by a glad person when they receive something they deserve. Gratitude shown for recognition, or acknowledgement of hard work or achievement. A winner of an Oscar of Bafta award may say something like ‘This would not have been possible without my fans, director, friends and family. I thank you for your support’ .
The award, recognition or success is the result of that individual’s actions. They have earned it. Depending on the individual the politeness ‘Thank You’ might not necessarily acknowledge the effort of God, but puts the deserving individual in the spotlight.
The Unsolicited Favour ‘Thank You’
This is a straightforward expression of gratitude for a help, a favour, or a good act not asked for, expected or demanded. The unsolicited favour may or may not be deserved but it had not been requested, and there may elicit a feeling of surprise and sense of relief. Examples can be varied: someone opening the door, holding the elevator, unexpectedly paying a bill, getting you out of trouble, and so on. The gratitude is warm, genuine, and well deserved. Most people, I suspect, have a recollection of an unsolicited act of kindness they have had to be grateful for.
The Solicited Favour ‘Thank You’
Gratitude following the fulfilment of a requested favour is deserved and heart warming relief. It is an expression of satisfaction, an uplifting answer to an incessant pleading or fervent prayer. It is often a reinforcement of fraternity between well acquainted persons. It may turn an acquaintance into friendship, and a mere friendship into something yet deeper. Anyone who has declared a testimony after answers to their prayer have an idea of the feeling that goes with this kind of gratitude, influenced by the gravity of their testimony.
The Negative ‘Thank You’
The negative ‘Thank You’ can be very easy to recognise. The intention may not be to express a feeling of grateful appreciation of approval or contentment. It is an ironical gratitude, and is a wonderful indicator of the quality of a relationship. Examples may be nuanced in various clever ways but the following are good illustrations: “Thank you for your application but I am sorry to inform you that…..” or “Thank you for not interrupting……” or “Thank you for not messing it up……” or “Something bad has happened thanks to this person…. ”
The Danger-Terror ‘Thank You’
This is another kind of negative gratitude, where the person expressing the thanks expresses their ‘Thank You’ in fear, terror and difficulty. There is nothing polite, encouraging or hopeful, and they are not grateful, pleased or satisfied. The sayer of thanks feel they have to express gratitude to avert future suffering from the person terrifying them. It is a hostage situation ‘Thank You’ . I pray you will never experience or have to say such.
The ‘YOU Did It’ ‘Thank You’
There is a certain expression of a deeply heartfelt gratitude that is not just an expression of happiness or joy, but also a celebration of an individual’s spiritual surrender in recognition of their vulnerability to the person they are grateful to. It is often said in response to a miracle performed, an impossibility made possible, recognition of salvation, sanctification or sundry gentle acts of awe and wonder. This kind of gratitude is a mark of a deepening relationship between a person and their creator. It is pleasing to God, and is an act of worship. It comes from a certain level of knowledge or realisation. Until personally experienced, it is extremely easy to confuse this class of gratitude with those of unsolicited favours, solicited favours, and even the gratitude of politeness favours.
The Exhortation
How much do you thank God? Why do you really thank God? What is the purpose of your thanks given to God? Do you try to persuade Him to do something for you? What kind of gratitude do you show?
In 2 Samuel 22 the background to his overwhelming sense of happiness and joy was set, and David poetically demonstrated the politeness, solicited and unsolicited kinds of gratitude. In verse 50 he states “ Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name”. The role and effort of God was duly acknowledged in each feat of awe described, and in each case all the glory was duly given to God. But this still fell short of the ‘YOU did it’ kind of gratitude. In verses 21 and 22, we clearly see why!
Psalm 100 comes close to the kind of knowledge and realisation that elicits and backs up the ‘YOU Did it Gratitude’. Verse 3- Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. The role of the beneficiary is initially passive; a spiritual enlightenment that triggers the thanksgiving.
Jesus demonstrated the ‘You Did it’ kind of thank you most purposefully. In John 6.11- Jesus took a few loaves and fish, gave thanks and distributed them such that fed a great multitude. He did not ask for a miracle, He just went about to do what He does normally. Jesus had a level of revelation beyond his disciples, and in calm fashion tried to open their minds up to understanding God more (John 16.25-27). In John 11.41-42 Jesus demonstrated a level of relationship with God. He subsequently became wanted for more persecution, prosecution and death. (John 11.53)
Although we know Him to be deliberate, careful, sober and very prayerful; as recorded in the scriptures, Jesus Christ giving thanks before an act of miracle is not a common occurrence. The thanksgiving was not a condition for the performance of the miracles. The miracles themselves, following the saying of the ‘YOU did it’ gratitude, propelled Jesus to the next phase in his purpose, destiny and fulfilment. He soon afterward tasted of extreme suffering, physical death and re-unification with His father.
This level of gratitude is exclusive of encouragement, persuasion, and inducement; has nothing to do with agreements or contracts, politeness, or even the soliciting or free giving of miracles. It is more like an overwhelming sense of fellowship expressed upon a revelation of an aspect of God’s person you previously never had a clue about! (Matthew 17.6-7 Acts 9.5-6)
Is ‘Thanksgiving’ what you do normally? Do you realise the kind of gratitude you show God? Psalm 103.13-14, 22, 1-2; Phillipians 4.6-8
Conclusion
I pray that God will open your eyes and mine; with an interaction deep enough to bring us to a place where you and I individually already know He always hears and does what we ask of ( What a disposition!). Alas!, saying an ‘Amen’ to that prayer is hardly trivial; but requires the sort of dedication, surrender and persistence in God nobody ever recovers from. What sort of gratitude do you express to God?
What Kind of Gratitude Do You Show God, by Dr. Abayomi Sanusi as delivered at the RCCG Everlasting Father’s Arena, York on Sunday 17th March, 2013

Your Light Will Shine

BY DR. ADEREMI ADELUGBA –

Today is Palm Sunday by the grace of God. It is important to reflect and learn from the event that took place during the last week of Jesus earthly ministry. The ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ was full of miracles, healing and power. Several people, who never had the opportunity of meeting with Him prior to that time, were blessed to have taken part in His triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The light of our Lord Jesus Christ continued to shine, even as the people planned to kill Him. Public recognition and outpouring of love for the King of kings was without measure as He entered into Jerusalem. It was necessary for the Lord Jehovah to show His face to His critics at this moment in time, so that the purpose of God would be fulfilled. He stepped out with amazing power and boldness, following the miracle of bringing Lazarus back from dead (John 11: 31-43). If there is anyway, the enemy has hidden your face, and caused you to remain there, you will come out with boldness, and the light of God will shine in your life in Jesus name.
The main text of this Palm Sunday is to share with you, how the light of God shone in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, even at the point of Him being crucified (John 12:12-19). The scripture declares in Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. There is difference between light and darkness. When darkness is removed from your life, there would be a replacement with light, this light is the power of God, and will shine upon you in Jesus name. You will not experience darkness in Jesus name.
Palm trees and red carpet party: John 12: 12-13, shows how many people went out to celebrate the light of God in the life of Jesus Christ, when they heard that He was coming to Jerusalem. The people of the land accepted Him and celebrated Him. They took palm trees and organised a red carpet reception for the Lord. The Lord will cause all those who are planning a coup against you to accept and honour you in Jesus name. They will sing your praise, and, you will be called champion in Jesus name. In Judges 11:1-11, Jephthah was completely rejected, disowned and expelled from the city of his birth. The scripture recorded that in the fullness of time, the same family members and community who expelled him, went back to look for him, so that he could fight and win war for them. Jephthah was made their champion and leader. The light of God that was gone from his life shone again. The Lord will make you the leader of your community in Jesus name and the light of God will shine in your life in Jesus name.
God will fulfil His prophesy in your life: John 12:14-16, shows fulfilment of prophesy which was declared by Prophet Zachariah (Zach 9:9-10). The Lord God rode on the horse and entered into the city with power and authority. Every prophecy spoken into your future for progress, achievement and success will begin to come to light in Jesus name. The Lord will arise and have mercy on you. David was a man who was greatly honoured. He became king, despite all oppositions, and, the light of God was upon his life. In I Chronicles 17:16-27, David called to remembrance the promise of God, and, the Lord of heaven honoured and fulfil His words in Him. You will be greatly honoured in Jesus name.
Light can shine through testimonies: The light of God can shine in your life when God answer your prayers, and, put testimony in your mouth. The light shone in the life of Jesus when people saw the miracles he wrought.
In Matthew 21:11, “and the multitude said, this is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee”.
When the multitude saw the miracle of how the dead Lazarus was brought back to life, they did not need special anointing to declare that, the Lord is the King of all kings. They recognised the power of God, they received Him and they testified that He is Jesus the Lord of Lords, and, they magnified Him. I pray for you that, your families and friends will hear the testimonies of God concerning you and, they will serve your God in Jesus name.
The light of God was shinning in Apostle Paul’s life. In Act 19:1-20, Apostle Paul went about doing the great work of God. He was teaching, baptising, instructing, healing and building champions. He healed a lot of sick people by the grace of God. People who were afflicted used Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons and received healings. This is the light of God. However, some vagabonds and exorcists wanted to try the power, they thought it was a mere joke. They tried to heal people possessed with demons by their own effort for profit making. They gathered together people with evil spirits, and attempted to drive the spirit out from them. The difference between light and darkness is not in your ability, it is in the power of almighty. The evil spirit recognised the difference between the light of God in Paul’s life, and, the darkness that existed in those exorcists. They spoke out, defended themselves and, cleaved unto them.
Acts 19: 15-16 15 and the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? 16 And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.
Conclusion: The power in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ represents light. That was the reason why the light cannot be quenched. Everywhere He went, darkness bowed for Him. When He triumphantly entered Jerusalem, the people bowed and darkness disappeared. Therefore, let your light begin to shine before men today and forever, that people would hear your testimonies and good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Excerpts of a sermon delivered by Dr. Aderemi Adelugba at the RCCG Everlasting Father’s Arena, York on 24th of March, 2013

Do you know whose child you are?

by Doctor Abayomi Sanusi –
I thank God for the opportunity to share with you these words, mere reminders of the scriptural precepts you are already familiar with.
Who is He to the world?
God, the father, maker of heaven and earth is described in various philosophical ways that reflect how people of our current society perceive, or fail to perceive Him.
To some He is a terrifying, fearsome and unapproachable phenomenon. To others He is just a figment of imagination, and cunning construct to fill a void in human understanding and experience. Others claim He is exactly that void: an unexplainable emptiness and a vague existence. A vast number have resolved to simply ignore God altogether!
Who is He to the Christian?
Christians however have a different experience and response to the question of who their God is. Responses to describe Him range from father, saviour, deliverer, lover, sanctifier, healer and friend. And many more. These are indeed biblical as are the description of God as the Christian’s ‘alpha and omega’ (Rev 22.13), and everything they could ever wished Him to be. (Rev 21.2-4). God is all these and even more to the Christian, such that the emotional and spiritual interaction they share manifests powerfully in every aspect of the Christian’s physical life. (John 3.6,15) (Eph 5.25-26) (Mat 5.16)
Why it matters?
The bible tells us we are His children (Mat 5.45). God’s mission, influence and interactions with us makes it such that individuals and societies can only either act on God’s behalf, or fight against Him. As there is the clear battle-line between good and evil, you personally can either be on God’s side or fight against Him. (Gal 5.16-18) (James 4.4).
As children come to naturally resemble their parents through active emulation and the inevitable process of growing in physical stature, Christians ought to become more like Jesus. As obedient children pleasantly drawn to their parent, God out father draws us closer, and shapes every aspect of us to the plan He intended for each Christian. We often overlook the fact that although quiet and potent, this task of Christian transformation is backed by the highest and most potent power available or imaginable.
Salvation and Peace is achieved after believing in God and giving one’s life to Him. Continuous fellowship with Him follows. The natural result is a peaceful and victorious life. The Christian then continues to desire for God and do His will. The assurance of a victorious and rewarding afterlife keeps this salvation joyful, and our sojourn on earth worthwhile. Phil 4.7, John 8.42, Rev 22.13-14
So, do you really know?
It is important to know who your father is. This knowledge is important not only for the acknowledgement of identity and a sense of purpose, but also for the verification of where a person is currently positioned in the overall context of the purpose of their life. As a young teenager the meticulous and almost obsessively detailed record of the physical genealogy of Christ Jesus in Matthew 1 v 1-3 used to perplex me. However the historical significance is of important relevance (v 17-18) and has spiritual implications. Your personal spiritual landmarks are of equally important significance! It is vital in the journey of becoming even more like Jesus.
Consider your current relationship with God with that of Jesus when he declared publicly that He knew the Father hears Him (John 11.41). And the realisation by the lost son who remembered his father’s kindness and wealth (Luke 15.17,18,21).
I pray you will dedicate your life to Him and begin to enjoy God’s Salvation and Peace anew, and with that Most Potent of Powers prepare for that peaceful and victorious afterlife, by becoming more like your father.
So do you know whose child you really are? If so, are you enjoying the benefits of being their child?
Excerpts of a sermon deliverd by Dr. Abayomi Sanusi on 7th April, 2013 at the RCCG Everlasting Father’s Arena, York