THANK GOD, NOT YOUR STARS!
"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad” (Psalm 34:1-2).
Have you had the experience of rendering assistance to someone or giving them a gift and instead of expressing gratitude to you for your kindness, they turned around to praise someone else? If you have experienced such a situation, then you must know how hurtful it is.
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Very few things can be more hurtful to us than to witness the appreciation of our good deeds directed at someone else who is mistaken to have done the deeds. It is even more painful when someone deliberately seeks to take the glory for our efforts. You can imagine how an author feels to see his works plagiarized and a name other than his name given accolades for the works. These situations are commonplace in our time and day, and a lot of persons suffer the pain of such misjudgments. However, it does appear that this is the situation God also has to deal with as His works are so often credited to persons and things that had absolutely no part in the matter. Do you wonder how this is so about God? Let us consider this for a moment.
Have you never heard people say to themselves “I thank my stars” or someone say to another “thank your stars”, after having escaped a dangerous situation? But have we really considered the contribution of the stars that made escape possible in the dangerous situation? I have often heard this statement by people who have escaped an accident that caused injury and death to some other people. For not being one among the casualties, people have often chosen to thank their stars. They claim their luck put them out of danger while others were not so lucky. Is it really true that it was the stars or our luck that kept us out of danger and from being victims? Certainly not, God had everything to do with it. The invisible but mighty arm of the Lord God pulled us out of the grave and instead of thanking Him, we thank our stars. I listened to the testimony of Benny Prasad, the holder of the Guinness Book of record's world's fastest man, who has traveled to all countries of the world including the Antarctica in the shortest time (He traveled to all 245 nations of the world including the Antarctica in 6 years, 6 months and 22 days!). I noticed how he gives all praise to God who helped him in all his journeys and says he constantly has to tell people who bid him luck in his travels or say he was lucky to make all the journeys, that it was solely by God's blessing and not luck. Let us take a cue from Benny Prasad and glorify God for all our accomplishments. Many owe their being alive at this moment to their survival instincts and they would not realize that there would be no instincts if God had not put it there. Friends we ought to thank God and not our stars.
We live in a generation that people try so hard to put the mention of God out of society. They call it secularism, and hence credits for supernatural occurrences must be attributed to some form of humanist theory. It has been a long term agenda of Satan to get men to the point that they will not even thank God for creating them uniquely in His image and so many in our time have so been deceived. They have cooked up some theories, notably the big bang theory and theory of evolution, to contest the truth of God’s creation of the world and all that is in it (Genesis 1:1-31). Thus many would rather thank the Scientists like Darwin for proposing these fables about the origin of life, than thank God who has beautifully and wonderfully created us (Psalm 139:13-15). Such men praise the inventors and technologists for technological developments and forget God who has given man wisdom to use the materials He created to accomplish these developments. Think of Iron and Steel, our famous construction materials, God put their ores down in the earth and gives man the wisdom to dig them out and refine them for various uses. God alone had made all things. Think of all other materials, our computers, spaceships, etc, and you will see that God made them all and deserves all our praises. No man no matter his ingenuity can attain God-status, and so while we commend their efforts and contributions, we must acknowledge God and give Him the praise.
Many people thank their intellect and acumen for their successes in life. You hear them talk so highly of their dedication and hard work that got them to the height they have attained. They cannot see what God has done for them at all. They boast of themselves as being self-made men and women. However, intellect, dedication, hard work and smartness, though being good virtues, cannot guarantee success. For everyone who became successful by intellect, there are a thousand others with even more intellect but who cannot have a breakthrough. Why not thank God instead of praise yourself? This was the mistake King Nebuchadnezzar made in ancient Babylon. God had helped him to conquer the then known world and he had become a great emperor, but he thought he achieved that status by his own might so he set about to boast about his fame but since he would not acknowledge God, He left him all alone for seven years in which he fell from being a great emperor to roaming about the forest like an animal. The once great Nebuchadnezzar became just like an animal, eating and living out in the wild for seven years until He acknowledged that God rules in the affairs of men (Daniel 4:1-37). This soon becomes the fate of those who forget God. A rich farmer once had so great harvest and abundance and instead of thanking God for it, he set about to break his old barn and build a bigger one saying to his soul “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry” and he had no regard for God but in the end his soul was requested that same night and he could no longer have any of those things he thought he got all by his own power (Luke 12:16-21). God is certainly a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24) and He will not share His glory with any man. Let us take to heart the admonishment “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18).
Many praise their parent and all other people who assisted them to get to the heights that they have attained in business, profession, and in society, but they would not mention God because they cannot see what He has done for them. It is good to thank those who have helped us in our life’s progress, yet above all else we must thank God who made these people willing to render assistance to us. Obviously there have been children of the affluent who had all the resources to help and sponsor them but chose not to even identify with them. if you had parents who did so much for you, appreciate them, yet give the glory to God.
The worst show of ingratitude to God is done by those who praise the gods of this world for the things that Jehovah, the Almighty God, has done. God blessed these people with the breath of life, He blessed them with good health, He gave them wealth but they took it all and used it to praise idols of stones, wood, silver and gold. They turn from the God who created the universe and begin to serve the elements of the universe, the sun, the moon and other heavenly bodies. They sing praises to demons instead of sing of the power of the Living God. When God blesses them with a bountiful harvest of their farmlands, they mistake it to have come from the spirits of their ancestors and idols and so they offer of these produce as sacrifices to idols in festivals like new yam festivals and all such heathen ceremonies. Indeed God is merciful, He makes the rain to fall for both the righteous and the unrighteous, yet the unrighteous would begin to praise the foul gods of this world for the rains. If only they realized it was not the idols and gods that they have chosen to serve who gave these blessings. Satan, the Thief, certainly has no blessings to give (John 10:10). He delights to take the glory for the things God has done, but we must give God all the glory due to Him.
“Give unto the LORD the glory due to His name; Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness” (Psalm 29:2). Dear friend, this is a call for us to give unto the Lord God the glory due to His name. We have been guilty of giving the praise we ought to give to God to ourselves, to other people or to the gods and idols of this world. This indeed is a grievous sin and we must repent of this now and from this time we must ascribe unto God praises for all He has done. Our language at all times in all we do must not be without “I thank God for doing this for me”. The freethinkers of this world may fancy themselves to be all and all and see nothing of God, but we who have known the greatness of our God will never cease to praise and glorify His name. Best of all, appreciate God for the wonderful gift of salvation from sin and damnation in hell and for the opportunity He has made for you to dwell with Him in Heaven forever that He has freely offered you through the atonement made with blood by Jesus Christ who died for your sins. Take that great gift joyfully believing in Jesus Christ and surrendering yourself to God totally. Today is your day of salvation and Jesus Christ is ready to save you from your sins and the eternal punishment that awaits all sinners, the eternal torment of hell. He is also ready to save you from sickness and all other problems you are faced with today. Make Him your Lord and Saviour right now by praying to God and asking that all your sins be forgiven by His mercy through Jesus Christ. Determine today to live your life henceforth in obedience to God's instructions as a son or daughter obeys the father. Talk to God in prayer right now and He will hear you and save your soul.
“Dear God, I know I’m a sinner, and I ask for your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that you raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do your will. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.” If you have this prayer with the whole of your heart, then be assured God has heard you and saved you. You now need to seek out a church around you where you will get to know God more and be baptized so you can live the new life you have received by Christ death and resurrection. God bless you.
From this day forward let us no more thank our stars but let us render all praise to Him who does all things by the power of His might – Jehovah, the Almighty God.
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