In Jesus’ mighty name! Turn to your neighbour and greet them, “Emmanuel”. Give your neighbour a handshake; say, “Emmanuel”. Give your other neighbour a handshake; say, “Emmanuel”. Give the neighbour behind you a handshake; say, “Emmanuel”. Give the neighbour in front of you a handshake; say, “Emmanuel”. And greet the viewers all over the world on Emmanuel TV, “Emmanuel”. Good Morning, Church! Tell your neighbour, “Happy New Year!” Now I want you to turn to your neighbour and say, “Neighbour, in this new year 2020, keep your eyes on God, not on the means He might use.” Once again, say, “Neighbour, keep your eyes on God, not on the means He might use.” Tell your neighbour. Say, “Neighbour, God alone is the Source of our expectations.” Now, tell your neighbour. Say, “Neighbour, cut down your expectations of people and step up your expectations of God, because God is not a man, who disappoints.” The SCOAN Sunday Service You may have your seats in the presence of God, in Jesus’ name. Yes, brethren, God is not a man who disappoints. If you trust in yourself this new year, you are doomed to disappointment. If you trust in your friends, your neighbours, your family, remember one day they can die and leave you. But if you put your trust in Jesus Christ, you will never be confounded in time or eternity. If you put your trust in Jesus Christ, you will walk in victory, even in the midst of adversity, because God is reliable. Tell your neighbour. Say, “Neighbour, God is reliable, God is dependable, God is trustworthy. I put my trust in Him alone”. Do you know the reason why I have begun today’s message in this tone? Today it is so common for people to rely on those who are unreliable, for people to depend on those who are not dependable, for people today to put their trust in people who are not trustworthy. And when you do this, what happens? You set yourself up for disappointment. You open the door to disappointment, to bitterness, to resentment, to hurt, because you trust those who are not trustworthy. The truth is, brethren, we are living in a danger zone where the Bible says, “Everyone lies to his neighbour.” Whom can we believe? Only God. There is no other source of truth in this world; there is no other source of reliability in this world outside of Jesus Christ. He is still the steadfast One, still trustworthy, still reliable. That is who our God is. So, today I want to talk about a principle that must anchor your life throughout this new year 2020. And the principle is very simply this: LOVE EVERYONE BUT TRUST ONLY GOD Tell your neighbour. Say, “Neighbour, love everyone but trust only God.” Now, quickly turn with me in your Bibles to the Book of John 2 and I’m going to read from verses 24 to 25. And the Bible reads thus: “But Jesus would not entrust himself to them, for he knew all people. He did not need any testimony about mankind, for he knew what was in each person.” Jesus knew, as the Bible says in Jeremiah 17:9, that the heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. This is what Jesus knew; He knew what man is made of. This is the reason why I want to talk about this principle for the new year. LOVE EVERYONE BUT TRUST ONLY GOD If you take a look at society today, and this is mirrored in our own lives as well, if you examine yourself, you will discover that many people today have imprisoned themselves with bitterness and resentment because they have been disappointed by man; they have been let down by those they look up to; they have been hurt by those they helped; they have been betrayed by those they least expected. You can see examples of this everywhere in our society. Many people today have invested so much in a particular business and at the end of the day our business partner, that we invested so much in, turns around and dupes us. What about relationships? You see many people today entering a relationship emotionally, investing in the relationship, thinking it may likely lead to marriage; suddenly you find that your partner has been cheating on you behind your back. In our work place, many people that we have trained up – people that we have been teaching and our apprentices – some of them later turn against us after all that we have done. What about that person you thought was a friend and you confided in them privately about your personal life, about some challenges you were passing through? Little did you know that that friend started using your own weakness against you and gossiping about you behind your back. Or the person you’ve done good to, you’ve helped, you’ve done good to them, you’ve supported them, and they repay you with evil. All of these scenarios that happen commonly in our society today have caused people to become bitter, discouraged, depressed, cold-hearted. In some extreme scenarios, which we unfortunately see played on our television channels and on the pages of newspapers, you see people today even commit suicide because they have been disappointed by men. We hear that, “My girlfriend left me” – the person committed suicide. You hear, “This businessman that I invested so much in, he deceived me” – the person committed suicide. You end your life because you have been disappointed or betrayed by men. I want to ask you today – examine yourself. Have you ever been disappointed by someone? Have you ever been betrayed by someone that you least expected? Brethren, let’s not deceive ourselves – it’s painful! Yes, it is painful! People of God, if you close your hearts from helping others because of a bad experience you had in the past, if you become bitter over betrayal, if you become discouraged over disappointments, then you only serve to fulfill satan’s purpose to take you out of the will of God. A bitter heart cannot serve God in Spirit and truth. Prophet T.B. Joshua says, and I quote, “If you leave one relationship embittered and resentful, you will enter the next relationship with the same attitude.” What happens?
Carryover. The cycle of hurt, the cycle of disappointment only seems to continue. If you are not careful, and you leave a relationship embittered and resentful, you may find yourself being used by satan to inflict that same hurt, disappointment, on another relationship. What am I here to tell you, brethren? It is not worth damaging your heart for the sake of mere flesh and blood. Isaiah 2:22 reads thus: “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils…” For everyone who is here today, everyone watching all over the world, we all have our individual beginning and end. Only God has no beginning and end. In our journey through this world we must never forget that we are just in a market. No matter how long you live here, you will one day leave here. We have our beginning and we have our end. Only God has no beginning and end. That is why trust is reserved for God, not man, because that person who said he will pay your debts back next week, do you know whether he will be around next week? That person who promises, “Yes, I’m going to play this, do this, I’m going to keep my end of the bargain” – do you know what will happen to them in two or three weeks or one month’s time?, when James 4 says that “life is like a mist, a vapour that appears for a while and then disappears”. Turn to your neighbor. Say, “Neighbour, I love you but I don’t trust you because you have a beginning and you have an end.” I only trust in God who has no beginning and no end. Do you know the reason why you should love everyone and trust only God? Because tomorrow is a mystery. You may own now, you may hold now but God owns tomorrow; God holds next. Tell your neighbour. Say, “Neighbour, I love you but I don’t trust you because tomorrow is a mystery.” Only God holds tomorrow. That is why we must stop putting our hope and our confidence in man. I’m not saying we should not love everyone, this is what the title of this message tells us: LOVE EVERYONE BUT TRUST ONLY GOD When I say, “Love everyone”, I am referring to the love for Christ’s sake, not love for selfish, classic or material reasons – you know, “tit for tat”, “I give you but I expect this” – No. I am talking about love without expectation, love without conditions or strings attached. When you love someone without expecting something back from the person you are giving, then you are sowing seeds in the Spirit. The challenge we have today is that we have certain expectations from those we give to. We expect them to, at one point, reciprocate or we expect them to appreciate or say, “Thank you.” We expect certain behaviour from those we give to. And perhaps when the opposite occurs: we help someone and later that same person turns around and turns against us. When such a situation happens, what do we do? We close our hearts, “Why should I help more people? The person I helped – look at what happened to me.” And thus you step out of the will of God. When you give to someone, their reaction should not determine your action. Whether they reciprocate or not, keep giving. Whether they appreciate or not, keep helping. Whether they say, “Thank you” or not, keep sharing. Because you are sowing seeds to the Spirit. Let me try and practicalize this for you. If I could just have one volunteer, please. OK, thank you very much, sir. This is a very simple illustration. Now, our brother here is person “A”. As a Christian, I want to give something to my brother. I’m going to bless him with this beautiful apple. My brother, there you go.
God bless you. This is from my heart to you. When I give this to my brother, the moment I give it, I should not expect certain behaviour from him. Many of us today, when we give, we expect the person to come and say, “Thank you.” Or we expect the person, later on if we face our own trouble, we expect the person to come and also help us. We expect the person to pay us some respect, we expect the person to treat us in a certain way because we have given to them. But Prophet T.B. Joshua says this and I quote, “It is better to give to those who are ungrateful than to give to those who are grateful, for then we will have God as our Paymaster.” The problem today is that when I put up certain expectations of my brother because I’ve helped him, what I am doing is setting myself up for disappointment. Because who knows tomorrow? Only God. The brother I’ve helped today, tomorrow he may turn to someone who lies against me. He may turn to someone that betrays me. He may turn to someone that spreads false rumours about me, despite the fact that I’ve given to him. If I have now put my expectations on him, I will set myself up for bitterness, set myself up for disappointment, set myself up for resentment. That is how many of us close our hearts and stop helping people because of a negative experience we have had. Remember what I said at the beginning of this message: “Keep your eyes on God, not on the means He might use.” By the time I give this to Mr. “A”… Sir, you can go back to your seat with that blessed apple. I may have given him; I have forgotten about it, whether he said, “Thank you”, whether he appreciated, whether he reciprocated or not. By the time I face a challenge of my own, what I have given to Mr. “A”, God is going to put it in the heart of Mr. “B” to come and help me, someone who was not there when I gave him, who didn’t know the response, the reaction, because I have sown seeds to the Spirit… When you sow the love of God, you shall reap the love of God, whether the person says, “Thank you” or not, whether the person appreciates you or not. God will now put it in the heart of person “B”. God can use any means and he will now come and give me what I was looking for. Tell your neighbour. Say, “Neighbour, cut down on your expectations of men and step up your expectations of God.” Love everyone; trust only God. Thank you very much, sir.
Take an apple. It is better to give to the ungrateful than to give to the grateful, for then we shall have God as our Paymaster. People of God, as I draw this message to a conclusion, I want you to take a lesson from the case of Peter in Luke 5. Peter sat frustrated and disappointed by the seaside. The disappointment could be written all over his face after a night of toiling and struggling without any seeming reward. And in that critical moment Jesus Christ met Peter and told him, “Put down your net for a catch.” The anger and the frustration in Peter were enough to provoke an emotional outburst, but even though Peter was burning on the inside, he kept his cool and he said, “Lord, if You say so – the Author and Finisher of my faith, the Lord of the winds and the waves – if You say so, I will let down the net for a catch.” In other words, he was simply saying this: “I know that if I labour by Your order and under Your direction, I cannot labour in vain.” This same principle applies to everyone here and everyone watching today. If you labour under God’s direction, you cannot labour in vain. What you have been doing; the prayers and tears of many years, the good works that you have been doing in private that no one saw, that word of encouragement you gave to that distressed and depressed brother, that smile you gave to the person who looked downcast, that time you introduced Emmanuel TV to that person in bondage of addiction and they received their freedom, that time you just gave a small bit of money to that person on the street – that was in such a terrible situation – God has a record of what you have done. They will issue you into beauty and glory. God is faithful to fulfill His promises. He is not a man that disappoints. Whatever you have done for God’s sake, the reward is great. Don’t give up. Don’t become bitter because of betrayal. Don’t become hard-hearted because of hurt. Don’t become disillusioned because of disappointment. Don’t close your heart to help because of negative experiences in the past. That’s faith. Faith is a trust that arises out of the fact that the other party is reliable, dependable, trustworthy. God cannot fail. So, brethren, in conclusion: If this principle anchors you throughout the new year 2020 – love everyone; trust only God – nothing will shake your faith in God, nothing will separate you from the love of God, nothing will affect your relationship with God. I can say this with such assurance because the message I’ve given today, if there is anyone who exemplifies this message – “Love everyone; trust only God” – it is Prophet T.B. Joshua. I have seen personally the fact that no person, no man has come in between him and his relationship with God. He continues to give, to support, to invest, irrespective of whether the people reciprocate or not, because he knows he is sowing to the Spirit. And today we are all beneficiaries of the reward that God is continually giving him. LOVE EVERYONE BUT TRUST ONLY GOD Help your neighbour but don’t put your hope in them. Care for your neighbour but don’t put your confidence in them. Love your neighbour but don’t trust them. Trust is reserved for God, who has no beginning and no end. May God bless His Word in the midst of our hearts, in Jesus’ name. TT Robert Begier 10/01/2020
RV: Mel Flowers 11/01/2020