You are welcome to the first Sunday in the month of April. In many churches, today’s service is one of thanksgiving. Indeed, we have cause to thank God. With a few minutes of reflection we would appreciate the goodness of God to us. Some people with whom we started the year are no more. We are alive not because we are righteous but God in his mercy has kept us alive.
Even as we continue to thank God, we must remember that in the Christian world we are still in the Lenten season. It doesn’t matter if your church is partaking or not. Or even if you had your fasting earlier in the year, we must not lose sight of the essence of fasting, the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, his crucifixion and the climax of the activities of our Lord, which is His death and resurrection.
One lesson that we must not forget in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ is His love for us.
Jesus Christ came in human flesh because of Man.
He came to save, deliver, to set free the captives, to heal, to comfort among others.
The Holy Bible tells us that after the 40 day fasting, Jesus received power.
Luke 4 vs. 18 & 19 is our reference, “ The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the broken hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. To preach the acceptable year of the Lord”.
Brethren, if Christ didn’t love us unconditionally, he would not have come in human flesh, be born in a manger and go through 40 days of rigorous fasting.
Even as a Christian, ask yourself sincerely, have you reciprocated his love? Not many of us can answer in the affirmative yet love is an important part of Christianity.
The Holy Bible calls it Charity.
Imagine what our Lord Jesus when through. People lied against him, they conspired to make false accusations, he was betrayed, beaten, humiliated and nailed to the cross all based on falsehood.
There is someone out there who is being persecuted; the good news for you is that with God on your side, you will have the last laugh over your enemies.
As recorded in Matthew 22 vs. 34- 40, a lawyer Pharisee asked Jesus, “ Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”
Our Lord Jesus replied in verses 37-40 “ Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself”.
Do we really show godly love to one another? Even in the church there is politics.
Brothers and sisters, run one another down to curry favour from the pastor. Is this the kind of love that our Lord Jesus taught us? Definitely, not.
Some people go to church keeping malice with others yet they receive Holy Communion. Are they not deceiving themselves?
Even when we are unjustifiably being persecuted, Jesus commanded us in Luke 6 vs. 27 &28 “ But I say unto you, which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you. Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you”.
At a time like this, we need to show love to one another. Show love to the work of God with your service, thanksgiving and praises all the time as a demonstration of our love for Him who first loved us.
Brethren, I am discussing the love of God because many of us do not show love to fellow human beings.
Many of us treat our domestic aides as if they are less human. Many who have been blessed do not care about the poor. When last did you visit an orphanage or an old people’s home to make a donation?
It looks simple but it is something that we must do as Christians. Giving to the poor, care for the less privileged are secrets to prosperity, physically and spiritually.
Do you doubt me? Let’s take a look at Proverbs 19 vs. 17 “ He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will be pay him again”.
Take a few minutes to reflect deeply on this, and you will appreciate its full meaning.
This season as we wait on the Lord, it is important that we show love to fellow human being.
We are reminded in 1st Timothy 1 v. 5 “ Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned”.
Brethren, at this time in particular, let’s demonstrate love for one another as Christ did for us.
See what God expects of us and what we stand to gain in Jeremiah 7 vs. 6&7 “ If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt, Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever”.
In other words, the demonstration of your love to the less privileged guarantees you the attention of God. As you attend to their needs, God will attend to your needs too.
Next week is Palm Sunday, as Christ made a triumphant entry into Jerusalem; you shall triumph over all challenges in Jesus name.
I admonish you, not to allow 40 days of lent pass by without your fasting.
What is important now, is not the duration of fasting but self-denial and the reward of the Almighty God.
May God bless you exceedingly this week in Jesus name.