Text: Philippians 1:3-5
By: Whiskey, Joshua
Good day to you all beloved Saints. I’m delighted to stand before you today and I’m grateful to the Church for giving me this opportunity. Today we see in our world many people approaching God for various problems they have, and because of these problems you see people cry out loud to God with sorrow filled in their hearts, wanting God to take away such thorn on their flesh and these thorns they wish God would take it away and never return them back to their lives.
In the Bible, thanksgiving means devotion, sacrifice, praise, or an offering. It is about responding to God’s goodness and grace with gratitude. The word for giving thanks in the Old Testament means to raise hands to God in gratitude.
Thanksgiving is not just about expressing gratitude for material blessings or good circumstances, but about recognizing that everything we have comes from God and acknowledging His sovereignty over our lives.
Philippians 1:3-5 (NIV): “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”
Philemon 1:4 (NIV): “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers.”
Ephesians 1:15-16 (NIV): “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.”
“But if you stay with me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!” (John 15:7, NLT)
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6, NIV).
Although prayer requests may have lots of meaning, for the purpose of our discussion this morning we are narrowing our definition to mean tending a request to God for a particular problem and looking up to God for a Solution.
We have lots of Reasons to go to God in prayers asking Him to minister to our problems and our pains.
In our World today and even in our society, we’ve met people that gave us huge reasons to God for their Lives and appreciate them for their good deeds which spoke for themselves.
And we’ve probably come across some persons that gave us enough reasons to regret having met them. And some of the good ones we’ve met we are always grateful to God (Thanksgiving) that our path crossed and the ones that gave us a hard time we would always pray to God to take them away from our lives.
Barnabas, having needed someone to go into the ministry, recommended John Mark to go along with Him for the journey but Paul refused because of his previous attitude of leaving them right in the journey at Pamphylia (Bad Recommendation).
Acts 15:36-38 (NIV): 36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 but Paul did not think it wise to take him,
because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work.
Although, the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas over Mark’s involvement in the next journey was significant enough that it led to them parting ways.
Barnabas took Mark with him, while Paul chose Silas as his companion after which (Acts 15:39-41). Here we also found Paul at some point speaking well about Demas saying in Colossians 4:14 (NIV): “Our dear friend Luke, the doctor, and Demas send greetings.”
In this passage, Demas is mentioned alongside Luke as one of Paul’s fellow workers and friends. At this point, there is no indication of any negative issues with Demas. Philemon 1:23-24 (NIV): “Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, sends you greetings. And so do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, and Luke, my fellow workers.”
Similarly, in the book of Philemon, Demas is listed as one of Paul’s fellow workers along with Mark, Aristarchus, and Luke. Again, there are no apparent concerns raised about Demas at this point. However, the situation changes later. In Paul’s second letter to Timothy,
he writes while being imprisoned in Rome, and his tone regarding Demas has shifted:
2 Timothy 4:9-10 (NIV): “Make every effort to come to me soon, for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica.”
In this passage, Paul expresses deep disappointment and sorrow over Demas’s actions. He reports that Demas had deserted him, likely abandoning the ministry and Paul’s company to pursue worldly desires.
The phrase “because he loved this world” suggests that Demas may have been drawn away from his commitment to Christ and the mission by the allure of worldly pursuits, we have also heard of cases where Husbands turn to become thorns on the wife they married.
And we hear a lot of requests telling God to touch the heart of the Husband to Change and come back to God. Also, we’ve heard of people doing business with their fellow Christians and probably because of the unfairness from the brother or sister,
we hear words like “I NO DEY BUSINESS WITH ANY CHURCH MEMBER AGAIN” and possibly the kind-hearted ones pray that God forgive them.
This instance with Demas highlights the reality that even among those who were once considered fellow workers and friends, there can be individuals who may fall away from the faith or abandon the ministry. Paul’s expression of regret over Demas’s desertion reflects the heartache he felt when those he had labored alongside turned away from the gospel.
The example of Demas serves as a cautionary reminder of the importance of steadfastness in faith and devotion to Christ, even amidst the temptations and distractions of the world. It also highlights the complexities and challenges that leaders and ministers may face in their relationships with those they work alongside in the service of the Lord.
Many times, we have seen people being placed on prayer requests just for God to help them turn a new leave.
A Sister in Lagos who was transferred to a different branch of Her company, but then her new boss found nothing interesting in her but hated her for no reason even at the point she just resumed work. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
The Church at Opete had to put the Boss to prayers and fasting because she had the very opportunity to sack her if she wanted. But then God answered their prayers that even when her fellow employee had plotted evil against her while in her workplace through the help of the CCTV cameras the Boss who hated her was able to defend her. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
Also, there was a point whereby things got missing from the Church that the Church Would always have to go to God in prayers for that to be refunded back to where it was stolen from.
Honestly, it’s not really a good moment to cry to God for one to be changed because of one’s bad lifestyle that’s affecting the growth of one and people around them. People today are very sorrow filled and at this current time in our lives lots of individuals are running away from things that would threaten their peace of Mind, even me. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
And most times Peace of Mind is so underrated by some people that they do not actually take it into consideration because they feel that it’s not important. But then Give me some time to talk about Peace of Mind.
Peace of mind is a state of inner calm, tranquility, and contentment. It is the absence of mental disturbances, worries, anxieties, or overwhelming negative emotions. Having peace of mind does not mean that life is free from challenges or difficulties, but it refers to the ability to manage stress and remain emotionally balanced even in the face of adversity. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
Aside from the People that make us to Cry to God, we have People that make us to be Thankful to God all the time. These people are very cherished in our lives, we love them because they’ve showed us what it means to love, they are very caring and devoted to God. They consider others better than themselves. They are kindhearted, they give us reasons to go on in life’s challenges. They inspire us in our deepest Hour.
They try as much as they can even when we know that they are weak. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
A Clear example in the Bible is Philemon and Onesimus (Philemon 1:4-7)
In the book of Philemon, Paul writes a personal letter to Philemon, a fellow believer, and a slave owner. Onesimus, a slave who belonged to Philemon, had run away and, during events, encountered Paul during his imprisonment. Through their interactions, Onesimus became a believer in Christ. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! ● Paul’s letter to Philemon is filled with gratitude and appreciation for both Philemon and Onesimus. He writes, “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers because I hear about your love for all his holy people and your faith in the Lord Jesus” (Philemon 1:4-5, NIV).
THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
Paul commends Philemon for his love and faithfulness in Christ, acknowledging the positive influence Philemon had on fellow believers. Furthermore, Paul also expresses gratitude for the transformation in Onesimus’s life, as he became a faithful brother in Christ. Even in our world today we can be grateful to Mary Mitchell Slessor who fought tirelessly to stop the killing of twins even if not we wouldn’t have been having Peter and Paul, Chidiebere and Chidinma and Many today. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
We are very much grateful to William Tyndale (1494-1536): An English scholar and translator, William Tyndale’s work in translating the Bible into English made the Scriptures more accessible to common people, significantly influencing the spread of the Reformation and the English language. Even when it was dangerous to do so as at that time. Even in our Community we can be grateful to those that always come out whenever our Transformer blows, they try as much as they can to make sure they rally round to get it fixed. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! Even in the Church we can be grateful to our beloved sisters in the Lord who make every effort to make sure this place is clean before Sunday worship. And we will continue to put in prayer requests to those sisters who haven’t seen reason to be coming even when appointed. We can be grateful to God for those who always visit us when we are down even when the church is not aware of it at all. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
We can be thankful to our Ministers for giving us a well-defined pattern for teaching not just what anybody loves to teach but who also have taught us the Importance of Evangelism. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
We can be thankful to the Beautifully Married men up there. Who makes the beautiful Display for us to see clearly what the speaker is saying. We can be thankful to those who always put smiles on our faces all the time. We can be thankful to our great Champion youths of COC Grey for their numerous effort and love for God and for holding the banner strong of our annual youth lectureship for over years now. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! We can be thankful to those brothers responsible for making sure that the Generator is working in good condition and for Brother Prince who is readily available when the generator develops any minor fault.
We can be Thankful to Brother Emetefeh Obarokore for helping with the electrical appliances in the Church. And a lot more we can be grateful for. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
Brethren whenever we find ourselves what can we be remembered for? What are the things people would say that you have done and speak good about you for. Do we bring sorrow to people, or do we bring Joy to them?
As a boss are you the type that treats your workers like slaves because you are paying them peanuts. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
As a Husband, are you the type whereby when you are coming back from work, they sorrow that you are back again… “Oooo Daddy is back Again”.
That whenever you return from offshore your kids jokingly ask you Daddy when you are returning to Work. The Bible says to you today in Colossians 3:21 (NIV)
“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! Are you the type of Wife that whenever your husband returns from Work, he stays out with his friends just to stay away from your nagging. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! Are you the type when you visit other congregation people don’t take notice. Know that that’s a silent message and you need to think about it.
Do not give reasons to people to always put you to God in prayers because of your bad Behavior or lifestyle rather give them enough reasons to thank God that they met you and for also for what you are doing in their lives. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
If people don’t seem to be appreciating, you for what you are doing or probably giving people reasons to Regret in 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV) the Bible says: “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves.
Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
THE BIG QUESTION FOR US TODAY!!!
“WHAT WILL YOU BE REMEMBERED FOR?” When People Remember you will you bring Smile to their face again or Sorry, we are Remembered by What We Have DONE!!! THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? ONLY REMEMBERED VERSE1 Fading away like the stars of the morning, losing their light in the glorious sun– Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling, only remembered by what we have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! CHORUS Only remembered, only remembered, only remembered by what we have done; Thus, would we pass from the earth and its toiling, Only remembered by what we have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
VERSE2 Shall we be missed though by others succeeded, Reaping the fields we in springtime have sown? No, for the Sowers may pass from their labors, only remembered by what they have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! CHORUS Only remembered, only remembered, Only remembered by what we have done; Thus would we pass from the earth and its toiling, Only remembered by what we have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! VERSE3 Only the truth that in life we have spoken, Only the seed that on earth we have sown; These shall pass onward when we are forgotten, Fruits of the harvest and what we have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! CHORUS Only remembered, only remembered, only remembered by what we have done; Thus, would we pass from the earth and its toiling, only remembered by what we have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
VERSE4 Oh, when the Saviour shall make up His jewels, When the bright crowns of rejoicing are won, then shall His weary and faithful disciples, all be remembered by what they have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!! CHORUS Only remembered, only remembered, only remembered by what we have done; Thus, would we pass from the earth and its toiling, only remembered by what we have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!
VERSE2 Shall we be missed though by others succeeded, Reaping the fields we in springtime have sown?
No, for the Sowers may pass from their labors, only remembered by what they have done. THANKSGIVING OR PRAYER REQUEST CHOOSE ONE!!!