I ALWAYS PREPARE THE PROGRAM FOR THE NEXT YEAR’S CONVENTION, LATEST, 3 DAYS AFTER ONE CONVENTION IS OVER
I LOST MY SON ON A TUESDAY AND THE FOLLOWING FRIDAY, I PREACHED AT THE HOLY GHOST SERVICE. IT WAS A SERMON RECORDED A MONTH BEFORE (I WAS NOT LIVE).
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT IS COMING AHEAD, BE PREPARED
ALWAYS LIVE AS IF TOMORROW MAY NEVER COME. YOU ONLY HAVE TODAY; TOMORROW BELONGS TO GOD.
EVERY CHILD OF GOD MUST LEARN TO ALWAYS BE GRATEFUL TO GOD. INGRATITUDE IS DANGEROUS
GOD HAS BEEN GOOD TO YOU, PLEASE LEARN TO BE GRATEFUL. DO NOT WAIT TILL HE BEGINS TO REMIND YOU ALL THAT HE HAS DONE FOR YOU
BE THAT ONE WHO WILL ALWAYS COME BACK TO GOD TO SAY ‘THANK YOU’
GRATITUDE IS EXTREMELY POWERFUL; IT GIVES YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER ASK FOR
LET PEOPLE LOOK DOWN ON YOU WHEN YOU ARE DANCING FOR GOD, DO MORE AND HE WILL RESPOND
– Pastor E. A. Adeboye on “FOR WHOM THE HEAVENS OPEN (Part 30)” || RCCG Online Sunday Service || 19th November, 2023 ||
We are moving on to part 30 in our series, THE ONE FOR WHOM THE HEAVENS OPEN and we’ve been using Joshua as an illustration. Today we are looking at Joshua 6:22-25. Last week we emphasized the importance of never delaying and I’m believing God that God had cured all of us from that terrible sickness of delaying. We must always live as if tomorrow may never come because it may never come. You only have today; tomorrow belongs to God. I have a practice and I want you my children to learn from this: after every convention, I go into hiding, to rest. Church Gist. But also to prepare the program for next year’s convention. Latest, 3 days after one convention is over, the program for the coming convention is ready. That is how urgently you must treat time. You don’t know what is coming ahead, be prepared. That had been my motto since I became born again. Many of the tracks that I wrote in those days had the title, “Be prepared” – part 1, 2, …be prepared. I am hammering that thing again because it must sink into our hearts. We treat time carelessly – be prepared.
When I lost my son on a Tuesday and the following Friday, the people saw me preaching at the Holy Ghost Service, they were wondering, “how?” What they didn’t know was that the Holy Ghost Service of that Friday had been recorded a month before. I didn’t know what was coming, but the recording was ready. Church Gist. It was during the Corona Virus something when we were doing everything by recording – be prepared; you only know today, only God knows tomorrow. Don’t ever waste time again. Always be in a hurry – that’s the way to be successful all the time. So you students – my children who are students, don’t leave revision till when examination is at the corner. Keep revising constantly – that’s how to make “first class”.
Today, now we have to deal with a woman called Rahab. You remember the story of Rahab: when Joshua sent 2 spies to go and spy the land, there was only one place they could stay in the land, it was in the house of the harlot, Rahab. It was an open house, she was more or less the hotel available. Then, some people noticed that, “ah, 2 spies had come to town and they are in the house of Rahab.” But Rahab knew that these people represent God and she hid them, protected them from the soldiers who came looking for them and because she did this, the men promised her, “when we take over this City, we will save you alive. Church Gist. But make sure you bring everyone belonging to you to come and dwell with you in this house because anybody outside this house, we will kill. But anybody within this house, we will preserve.” This one is telling you something about family salvation. We will talk more about that later on. Don’t leave your people out in the world. Trouble is coming upon the world, you should know that by now. I told you in those days, “Corona Virus is a forerunner of several other things that are yet to come.” Move on to the side of Jesus Christ now and you won’t have to fear the future and don’t leave any member of your household out. Make sure they’re all saved. We will learn more about that later on.
In any case, now, Israel had taken over Jericho and Joshua said to the 2 spies, “go and get that harlot and get every member of her family as you promised.” What are the lessons that we must learn today?
1. Beware of ingratitude. Every child of God must learn the big lesson, always to be grateful. Proverbs 17:13. Ingratitude is dangerous. That is why we always teach our children, (I hope we all do) that whenever somebody gives them something we say, “and what should you say?” We teach our children to learn to say, “thank you.” 1 Samuel 15:1-29 – we see that probably one of the worst offences that anybody could commit is to be ungrateful to God. If God has been good unto you, please learn to be grateful. Church Gist. Don’t wait till God begins to tell you all that he has done for you because by the time God begins to tell you, “I did this for you, I did that for you,” you know you’re already in soup. God told King Saul, “you are small, you are the smallest of your family, smallest of your tribe yet I picked you up and I made you king, is this how you reward me? I sent you on an errand and you said you feared the people more than you fear me. I picked you up, I made you what you are.” God told him, “you’re finished.” Don’t wait till the Almighty God begins to remind you of what he has done for you. That song writer says, “count your blessings, name them one by one.” Not only will you see what the Lord has done, so it will help you to praise him, to appreciate him more. Psalm 103:1-5; 2 Samuel 12:1-14. Be careful what you’re rewarding God with. He’s been good to you, learn to be grateful to God. Some of you will say, “what has he done for me?” Church Gist. The fact that you’re still breathing this morning shows God has been good to you. That’s why the Bible says, “all the things that have breath should praise him.”
Then, after we have spoken about the danger of ingratitude because of time, let’s talk briefly about the power of gratitude … because in this story Joshua is saying, “let’s show gratitude to Rahab.” Gratitude is extremely powerful; it gives you more than you can ever ask for. 2 Chronicles 1:6-15. Church Gist. When Solomon offered a thousand burnt offerings to God, he was saying, “God I am grateful.” Let them call you crazy when you’re praising God. God will react, he will respond. When God gave him a blank cheque and said, “what do you want?” He said, all I want is wisdom so I can do the job you have given me. God said, alright, what you didn’t ask for I will give you.
People wonder why I still dance – at least once a year in agbada singing ‘ewi’ (a modern poetic practice) to God. I know where I am coming from, I am the Son of a second wife, I don’t qualify at all. I’ve said it before, if I were the Saviour, I won’t save Adeboye but He saved my soul. There might be one or two of you listening to me, you might be quite as bad as I used to be and he saved your soul, show him gratitude. Let them look down on you when you’re dancing for God, let them look at you and say, “you’re serving him too much.” Church Gist. Do more and he will respond. After all, the Elders have a saying, “the child who is grateful for what is done for him yesterday will receive more.” How much more the Almighty God? Luke 17:11-19. You could feel the pain in the tone of the Lord Jesus Christ when he said, “10 were cleansed, only one came back to say, Thank you, where are the other 9?” Beloved children, be that one – the one that came back to say thank you.
I’ve told you before that several times when we are travelling, my driver will hear me suddenly say, “thank you Jesus” and he will look back wondering what has happened (laughs). Church Gist. Things are happening all the time. That you’re alive is by his mercy. When you were sleeping he was the one standing guard over you not the the security people. I mean, there are forces of darkness that you can’t lock out, that your security guard can’t even see but there is God watching over you.
2. The story of integrity: integrity simply means when you promise, you fulfill it. That you let your yes be yes, your nay be nay. Matthew 5:37. “We are coming back for you” – that’s what they told Rahab and they fulfilled their promise. Psalm 15:1-4 says that when you swear that you will do something and then you discover, “ah, I made a mistake in swearing,” you must still fulfill your promise. Ecclesiastes 5:4. Then, remember that God is a covenant keeper. Church Gist. Deuteronomy 7:9; Jeremiah 1:12; Numbers 23:19. Once He speaks, He will bring it to pass. 2 Corinthians 1:20. He’s your father if you’re a child of God and like father like son. Your father keeps his promises, keep your own. Your father is a covenant keeper, do the same. You know what? If you stay true to God, if you’re a covenant keeper like your father, He will stay true to you.
Consider this story of Joseph for example: Genesis 39:1-9. Yes, Joseph ended up in prison but at the end of the day, from prison he got to the throne. Consider Daniel in Daniel 1:1-21. Children of God, you must be different, you must stay true to God in any land even in foreign land. God remained true to Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. When the great trial came and they threw them into the fire, the 4th man appeared. Stay true to God. Church Gist. When they threw Daniel into the den of lions, the Almighty God was there. Stay true – once you make a promise, be true to your promise. You know one thing? Romans 3:4. We’re living in a world of compromise. Refuse to compromise, refuse to bend the rules, stand by your committment to God. Joshua said, we are committed to this woman, we promised her and everybody in her household. We must fulfill our promise.
Then, there’s something most interesting about the whole story: Rahab the harlot, they brought her out and she began to live in Israel. If you read Matthew 1:1-16 and pay particular attention to verse 5, you will discover that Rahab was in the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus came through Rahab. Rahab was one of the great great great great great grandmother of the Lord Jesus Christ. You know what that is saying? The one to whom you’re being grateful today might be waiting somewhere in the future to solve all your problems. Church Gist. Rahab was one of those who brought the Saviour to the world. How grateful we should be to Rahab! How grateful should we be to Joshua, the Covenant Keeping Leader? I believe that you should cry unto God today that every promise you have ever made and broke, that God will remind you so you can put things right and that God will give you the grace that from now on, whenever you make a promise no matter how inconvenient, you will fulfill it.