Summary: “Praise is awaiting you, O God, in Zion; and to you the vow shall be performed.” Psalm 65:1
Theme: Thanksgiving to the Lord
Text: Psalm 65; Phil. 4:4-8
It is very important for us to know the way into God’s presence. The Psalmist points out the way that God has ordained: We enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. It is only as we come to God with thanksgiving and with praise that we have access into His presence. Unless we learn to approach God with thanksgiving and praise, we have no access into His presence. As the songwriter writes “count your blessings, name them one by one, count your blessings, see what God has done; count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.” Counting our blessings can only result in thanksgiving to God and this is what Daavi Sika has decided to do today as she celebrates her 65th birthday. Psychologists today are repeating what the Bible has always been saying, that sincere gratitude and thanksgiving is the healthiest of all human emotions. Thanksgiving to God brings us into His presence as it acknowledges Him as the source of our blessings. Coming into His presence can only result in further blessings and we are all witnesses of God’s faithfulness and blessings in Daavi Sika’s life.
We all have many reasons to give thanks to God for His goodness and for His abundant blessings. Saying thank you to God enables us to have a proper perspective of ourselves and of God. We cannot really be thankful to God when we are filled with pride. The proud put their trust in themselves and so feel that they have no one to thank but themselves. We can also not be thankful to God when we are always criticising and complaining. Instead of being grateful for God’s provisions many people spend their time looking for something to complain about or they take God’s blessings for granted. A wise person once said that if the stars only came out once a year, we would stay out all night to watch them. But because they are there every night we have grown accustomed to them and do not even notice them.
The Israelites witnessed many miracles before and during their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. In spite of all this they were always grumbling. They grumbled when they encountered the red sea and they grumbled whenever they encountered a problem. They even grumbled about the manna that God miraculously sent from heaven. Instead of being thankful they grumbled and many of us are no better than they were. Daavi Sika, however, has a grateful and thankful heart. In her own words she says, ‘I felt that I needed to publicly acknowledge that without the Good Lord’s Grace we would not have made it this far. I feel like saying with the Psalmist: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, then the flood would have swept us away”. I was 30 years when I started Flair, 35 years after, by His Grace, we are still on our feet. I want to thank Him for my wonderful family both living and of blessed memory, my loyal friends, and my customers. I want to thank Him for the privilege of touching the lives of the numerous young people who have passed through our institution. I want to rededicate myself, Flair, its work, and our future plans, and pray for His guidance and enablement for the years ahead.’ Daavi Sika has thankful heart and is teaching us also to be thankful for we have every reason to be. Our greatest reason for being thankful is our relationship with God. Jesus Christ has made it possible for all of us to enjoy this relationship. The only thing that we need to do is to invite Jesus Christ into our lives as Lord and Saviour.
We can only be thankful to the Lord when we have a relationship with Christ. A thankful person will have no problem feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, or doing whatever is necessary to glorify the name of the Lord. You can easily notice the difference between such a person and the one who serves out of a feeling of obligation, a feeling of guilt or the need to draw attention to him or herself. A thankful person will spend time with the Lord and witness about Christ. Salvation is God’s most precious gift to us and those who are thankful for their salvation will want to share it with others.
Our greatest need is the forgiveness of our sins. God, through Jesus Christ, has provided the way for our sins to be forgiven and we need to share the good news with others. During this service Mr. Kofi Kponkey will be baptized. His baptism is a result of people who are thankful to the Lord for what He has done for them and again I will quote the words of Daavi Sika ‘The adult baptism is very significant because Kofi Kpontey has been a member of staff for over 25 years. Over the years we have tried to invite him into the Christian family. It is only now that he has agreed to be baptized.’ Bringing another person to Christ is saying thank you to Him for what He has done in our lives. Let us also follow Daavi Sika’s example and show our thankfulness to the Lord by witnessing to others and bringing them into the Kingdom of God.