WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
AUGUST 22, 2022
TOPIC: NOBODY HAS ANY JUSTIFICATION FOR NOT THANKING GOD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then Moses said to Korah, ‘Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?’” (Numbers 16:8-11 New King James Version).
I often say that when someone is alive but fails to give thanks to God or praise Him, he is giving the impression that he is not better than the dead! Psalm 115:17-18 says, “The dead do not praise the LORD, nor any who go down into silence. But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” (New King James Version).
Nobody hears the voice of the dead. They can’t talk, shout, lift up their hands, dance, and so on. Jonah said, “But I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay what I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD” (Jonah 2:9 New King James Version).
If the fish that swallowed Jonah had eaten him, he would have been dead. He wouldn’t have been able to talk of sacrificing to God with the voice of thanksgiving. But inside the belly of the fish, he showed that he was better than the dead. He said he would give thanks to God and pay his vow.
Ingratitude is a sin. When Jesus healed ten lepers, and only one of them, a Samaritan, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, Jesus didn’t overlook it. He asked for the whereabouts of the other nine lepers. He wondered why it was only the Samaritan leper that came back to give glory to God (Luke 17:11-19).
Nobody has any justification for not giving thanks to God. Perhaps, those who are ungrateful to God feel that He hasn’t done anything for them that deserves thanksgiving to God. Some may think what He has done is too small to expect thanks from them!
Some are like Israel (Jeshurun). They are obese! Obesity! I’m not talking about obesity in the usual sense. They are fat; they have everything. Therefore, they forgot God. “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; You grew fat, you grew thick, You are obese! Then he forsook God who made him, and scornfully esteemed the Rock of his salvation” (Deuteronomy 32:15 New King James Version). That’s the wrong way to live.
If you’re alive, you should thank Him; you should praise Him. Psalm 100:4 says, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name” (New King James Version).
Ephesians 5:20 says you should give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to Colossians 2:7, you should, among other things, always be thankful. But human beings don’t always do that. Thanksgiving is not appealing to many people. Most of those who pray to God are more interested in asking Him for things.
Comparison hinders thanksgiving. Human beings always like to compare themselves with others. They look at where they are compared to where others are. They compare what they have with what others have. Comparison is the reason for many people’s ingratitude toward God. Comparing yourself with others is not wise (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Moses said to Korah, “Hear now, you sons of Levi: Is it a small thing to you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to Himself, to do the work of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to serve them; and that He has brought you near to Himself, you and all your brethren, the sons of Levi, with you? And are you seeking the priesthood also? Therefore you and all your company are gathered together against the LORD. And what is Aaron that you complain against him?” (Numbers 16:8-11 New King James Version).
Take note of that phrase: “Is it a small thing”. The New Living Translation says, “Does it seem insignificant?” Instead of Korah, a Levite, thanking God for the privileged position that God had given him, he led a rebellion against Moses and Aaron. He behaved as if what the LORD had done for the Levites – the position He had put them – was a small thing or insignificant.
Numbers 16:1-3 says, “Now Korah the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, with Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, and On the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men; and they rose up before Moses with some of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty leaders of the congregation, representatives of the congregation, men of renown. They gathered together against Moses and Aaron, and said to them, ‘You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?’” (New King James Version).
Comparison blinded Korah’s eyes from appreciating what the LORD had given him and the other Levites. He and the other rebels were envious of Moses and Aaron for the role the LORD had given them among the Israelites.
Consequently, they perished. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, along with their households and all their followers, and all their belongings. Fire also came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who had joined them in their rebellion and were offering incense.
Is it a small thing to you what the Lord has done for you? Do you feel that the gift of life, good health, protection, preservation, or provision is insignificant?
Many people take for granted things that God has given them because they don’t see God as the source. It’s only when they lose some of them or they’re denied the enjoyment of them or access to them, temporarily, that they begin to see that they are all God’s blessings.
James 1:17 says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.
Is it a small thing that the Lord has kept you alive to see this day in the midst of the evils in this world? Is it a small thing that you’re not on hospital admission? Maybe you’re even in the hospital, but is it a small thing that you’re still alive? In what ways are you better than those who have died?
Are you not being ungrateful and not appreciating what the Lord has done for you? Do you call little or small God’s kindness to you? Nobody likes what’s going on in the world, but it could have been worse without God. Yes, I say it again: It could have been worse without God. I told some people that if with all our prayers things are at the level they are, they could have been worse if God had not responded to our prayers.
Lamentation 3:22 says through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. God answers prayers. He has been answering. If not for God, it could have been worse than this! I don’t expect the atheists to agree with me. But the children of God must keep praying. We must never stop praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Colossians 4:2 says to continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6 New King James Version).
Give thanks to the Lord for being alive notwithstanding what is happening in the world and around you. In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20).
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him (Colossians 3:17).
It is not a small thing that the Lord has done for you. Nobody has any justification for not thanking God. Give Him thanks.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for taking You or all You have done for me for granted. I am grateful to You, Father. I thank You for all You’ve done for me and my family, Your church, and my country. Holy Spirit, help me to continually offer thanksgiving to God. I pray that men and women everywhere will give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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