Invest in 2014!

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‘Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.’ Ecclesiastes 11:1 (NLT)

I read Ecclesiastes 11 and I fell in love with it! Profound words abound in it, please kindly go through the entire chapter as soon as you can.

I want to share an insight with you today, my dear friend. A version of the natural law of harvest is ‘reap, sow’. The year is new and still very young, there is the danger of being complacent and not doing the right things on time, in time. Before long, the year gets halfway and then almost over. Before you get caught unawares by time’s move, I say, if you are looking to reap bountifully this year, you must invest in it! Reap, sow. How do I mean when I say invest?I mean doing good things that will bring back positive results and yield profits for you, both in cash and kind.

Preach to souls about Christ. Learn something new. Acquire a new skill. Get that degree. Plan that proposal. Do something good that will bring back something better. Set targets, maintain focus and succeed in achieving your set goals. Most of those who celebrate at the end of the year and count their blessings and achievements do not get there overnight. There was a process. They invested, waited and reaped. Investing in this year does not have to do with money only. You could invest your time, energy, focus and even much more.

If you carefully select that venture with God’s guidance, and you invest wisely, you will reap bountifully. If you have never done this before, that is, investing in a year, let this be the first. Change the story. Make this a year of note through diligent investment, even as the Lord helps you.

Above all, the most profitable place to invest into this year and always is the Kingdom of God. Win souls for the father. Pay your tithes, sow seeds of faith and give generous offerings. You will see the Saviour’s words in Matthew 6:33 manifest in your life if you do this faithfully. The father pays those who invest in his kingdom, please become one of them today.

Keep this in mind, ‘To make huge returns in 2014, you have to make huge investments in it, and the best place to invest into is the kingdom of God.’

God bless you more, beloved.

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CAUTION: NOT ALL THAT APPEAR GOOD ARE GOOD.

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Everything godly is good but not everything that appears good is godly. Believers, we need to employ discernment in every decision that we make in the pursuit of any cause. Let’s not make random decisions based on our intuition instead of on the leading of the Holy Spirit. Only, if we do this can we do the things that are really good. Let’s draw illustrations from the scriptures:

1. ‘Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,
and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ “  Matthew 4:5-6 (NKJV)

Here, the devil’s challenge might have seemed harmless to an undiscerning person. An overzealous person might have gladly jumped at this and would have failed woefully. The truth remains that Jesus is the son of God. The devil knows this truth. The Lord does not need to prove himself to the devil. Hence, he didn’t have to do the devil’s bidding. Someone else could have viewed this an opportunity to prove his sonship. He could have thought that doing it would bring glory to God. The devil was quoting the scriptures and the challenge appeared ‘good’, at least to fulfil the scriptures. But the Lord knew better, that was why he gave him this response:

‘Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ “
Matthew 4:7 (NKJV)

Tempting God is a bad thing, so ultimately, the devil’s challenge was a bad one. Beloved, please apply discernment even in your spiritual work. If some people call you up and ask you to come and perform some miracles to prove that the Lord liveth, be careful enough to ask the Lord for guidance and obey whatever command he gives to you before taking any steps whatsoever. The challenge could appear ‘good’ to demonstrate your faith, but is it good to the Lord? Find out and obey him.

2. ‘Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. 
Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, 
“Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
John 12:3-5 (NKJV)

In the passage above, Judas appeared to be a concerned fellow. He appeared to care. His question appeared ‘good’. But was it? What was his motive? Let’s find out.

‘This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.’ John 12:6 (NKJV)

Summarily, Judas’ seeming care was nonexistent. He had a selfish undertone to his concern.

Friends, looking at these two examples, we can conclude that goodness lies in the motive or inspiration for an action or activity. If the motive for an action is good, then the deed is good. If the motive for a seemily good action is evil, then that deed is evil. A motive can only be adjudged to be good if it is pleasing to God. So, only the things that are pleasing to God are truly good.  Anything that appears to be good but displeases God is bad. We need to find out what God wants through prayers and bible study.

Please be cautious as you proceed on your journey home. May the good Lord help you discern what is good every step of the way in Jesus name.

Have a wonderful week ahead.

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God knows what you think.

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A note to my christian siblings who have stayed focused on God and have not intentionally yielded their minds to evil thoughts:

If you’ve ever found yourself with the wrong things on your mind or heard the wrong things being said in your thoughts,which you never intended, just believe that God knows what you really think. He sees your heart and knows your intentions. From personal experience, I can tell you that sometimes the wrong things pop up in one’s thoughts, even blasphemous things and then the devil comes around and starts to accuse one of wrongdoing, bringing along with the accusations feelings of guilt, condemnation and inadequacy, even though he knows that the thoughts are his. Christians, beware of this ploy from hell! God knows what you think! Never accept any thought that comes into your mind that was never intended by you. Whenever these come, rebuke them in the name of Jesus. They are darts from the enemies.

The nature of our warfare is very unique and the mind is the battlefield. So the devil keeps trying to  keep one’s mind occupied with sinful thoughts to either make one fall or wear one out. Apostle Paul said here that:

‘For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.’
Ephesians 6:12 (NLT)

Those evil thoughts that come up are amongst the unseen tools of the devil to bring one down spiritually. They should be resisted persistently. It could be very tiring wading off these thoughts if one were trying by one’s own strength. So, the best approach is to let the Holy Spirit help one. The first step to victory is not to accept the thought. The second is, not to dwell on the thought. The third is, to ask for cleansing by the Lord. This way, you are using the spiritual weapons of warfare that are available to you as a believer.

‘For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,’
2 Corinthians 10:4 (NKJV)

As a christian, you have advantages and the devil knows. The fact that he knows doesn’t mean you should lose them or let him take them. As a matter of fact, he can’t take these advantages from you without your consent one way or the other. So, don’t allow him. He knows that God loves and supports you. He knows that you are heaven-bound. And he knows that he can’t rid you of the advantages unless you get distracted. Those unintended evil thoughts are some of his ploys to exploit you. DON’T GIVE HIM A CHANCE. Once those thoughts prop up, nip them in the bud. Rebuke them instantly. Resist the devil very strongly. The verse below supports such resistance:

‘Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.’
James 4:7 (NKJV)

Jesus wants you to prosper and God wants you to enjoy eternal life. The love God has for you is too much to be swayed by what the devil does. Don’t be deceived. You have to keep your heart on Christ and let faith rule your mind as you study more and more of the living word of God. God knows what you think and he won’t judge you for thoughts that you never intended as long as you do not accept them.

Stay victorious. We will soon get to heaven.

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Follow God.

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I just read through Psalm 23 and the connections between the verses struck me. The psalmist wrote things that were not as clear to me as they are now and I’ll like to share them with you.

To start with, it is important to emphasize the fact that God knows the best places that could ever be. As the creator of the world, he knows more geography than humans could ever discover. So if you are searching for that perfect location, God is the best guide to have by your side. David wrote in the verses below that:

‘He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name.’ 
Psalms 23:2-3 (NLT)

One, the Lord leads one to the best places where one can find peace. Two, as one walks with God, one can’t grow weary because he renews one’s strength. Three, for the honour of his name, he guides one along the right paths. Our God doesn’t fail. He can’t be embarrassed. He gets it right all the time because he is perfect. That he guides one along the right paths to bring honour to his name should give us the confidence that God does not lead randomly. He is intentional in his plans for us. And surely his end in sight for us is not disgrace but honour because his name has to be honoured. As he gets honoured, we stay successful and get it right always. Our lives become shining examples for others to follow as we follow God.

Also, following God’s lead gives one the confidence that all is well regardless of what could be happening around one. That Jehovah is with one is more than enough to scare the scariest of terrors. David said here that:

‘Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.’ Psalms 23:4 (NLT) 

When one is sure of God’s presence, a divine peace that mortality can’t explain surrounds one always. David followed God and enjoyed the benefits of God’s presence in a human’s life. We can enjoy these benefits as well if we submit totally to the master’s direction.

My friend, it is not too late to change course and follow God’s route for your life. Let him be the captain while you enjoy the ride with him to untold heights of greatness in life. Don’t worry about the challenges, he will grant you victory ober them. Be reassured that with God leading you, YOU CANNOT FAIL IN LIFE.

Follow God and never stop.

God bless you more.

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A better tomorrow!

How time flies! 2013 is just a few days from being over. Don’t worry, those goals that couldn’t be met this year could be given a better approach and thus achieved even next year. So, start planning to introduce new strategies and avoid the mistakes you have made this year even as you stay optimistic. Friend, I want to share something very interesting with you. A reason to be excited about life and what tomorrow holds. Today doesn’t have to always determine tomorrow especially if it isn’t good. God can bring about a tomorrow that is entirely alienated from what today might have brought you. Let go of the heartbreaks and failures. With God, there is a better tomorrow!

‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

The same God who said this concerning Israel is still the God who is our father. He made this declaration concerning Israel, and as his beloved, believe him for the same goodness too. All the more why you should search the scriptures is to discover the various promises God has for you as his child, as someone who loves him,promises like the ones in Psalm 91:14-16. God keeps his words. If he says he will, yes he will. So if he says there is a hope and a future, yes there is! I believe that, as his beloved, I have a better tomorrow ahead regardless of what today might look like. I believe that there is an oasis beyond the vast stretch of encroached land that fills the horizon today. Friend, please resonate my optimism. For yourself. For the church. For your country. For your family. Believe that there is a better tomorrow.If you believe it in your heart, it will eventually manifest in the physical too, at the Lord’s time and according to his will.

Be careful of what you think as the Lord sees all that goes on. Do not block your blessings by negative proclamations. Always confess the positives. Your thoughts sometimes birth your words, so in other to forestall any ill utterance, it is better to ponder on the right things  in your mind. Let’s see the Lord’s response to the Israelites as an example of the importance of saying the right things:

‘So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the Lord, I will do to you the very things I heard you say:’
Numbers 14:28 (NIV)

What are you saying in the ears of God today? Beloved, I believe in God for a better tomorrow, please do too. And as you believe it, begin to confess it in faith.

Think right. Speak right. There is a better tomorrow right ahead.

God bless you more.

Have a plan: Be specific.

As a sequel to the earlier post on planning, I’d like to share an insight with you, my friend. Planning is good,however,to get the best results,one has to be specific in his or her plans. You have to customise that plan to fit the project’s purpose. Conversely, you need a plan that’s tailor-made. Let’s examine this illustration: Supposing a man wants to embark on a journey of 40000 miles and he begins to plan for the trip. He plans to fill his car’s fuel tank to full capacity. Although, at full capacity, the tank can only hold fuel enough to travel for just 500 miles. Now, does he not have a plan? Going forward, would he succeed with his plan? He planned but his plan wasn’t specific to his purpose. He could start smoothly but he will definitely run into some problems because he didn’t have the foresight to customise his plan to suit his purpose.

To plan effectively, you need to understand your purpose. Only then can you make the best plan that suits that purpose. If you know that you would be in a marathon race, your training plans would be specific to that and not for a 100m dash. Don’t etch your plan in a hurry, take time to be sure that you are giving the project the best approach.

As said in the previous post, you must involve God from the start to the end of your planning process. He is the alpha and omega. He has the ultimate say in your affairs. Efforts could be made but success is of the Lord. 

‘So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.’ 
Romans 9:16 (NKJV)

His presence in the process makes the difference. His mercy ensures that one’s plan does not end in futility.

Involve the Lord. Know your purpose. Customise a plan. Proceed with faith. Experience success.

It shall always be well with you.

HAPPY NEW MONTH.

 

Are you ready?(The Preparation)

You must have been thinking ‘ready for what?’ in response to the interrogative title of this post. Ultimately, you must be ready for the Lord’s return as a believer. This post is to encourage you to examine your readiness ‘for the next level’.

A lot of people including myself aspire to reach levels higher than we are presently,a better land, greater pastures etc.Fortunately,God as a wonderful father has the best of fortunes ready for his children. So, as a heir of God, be rest assured of a golden future with Christ by your side. However, there is an important question that you need to answer, ‘are you ready for that future?’

Let’s learn from Esther’s story. Esther, Mordecai cousin, was  a young woman who was fortunate to be among the young women selected as potential replacements for Queen Vashti who had been dethroned by King Ahasuerus. In Esther 2:12, it is recorded that there was a special treatment that each of the young women had to go through. This was a stage of preparation. In other words, to be at their best, to be good enough for the king, they had to be made ready. Even though they were good enough to have been chosen in the first instance, they had to be made ready for the higher position they were aspiring to be at. This means that one might need some requisite skills to succeed at a higher level. Only when one possesses the finesse and skills needed, can one be deemed ready for that higher level. Friend, are you ready? Do you think that you have all the boxes checked? That higher level that you are aiming for could require more technicality and poise, do you have those already? You might possess the natural talents needed to exist at that level you are aiming for like the young women did, but to succeed at that higher level, you need to polish and sharpen those talents.You need to be prepared like the young women were, you need to be at your best. Being ‘good’ is not ‘good enough’, at the top, only the best is good enough. So, to consider yourself ready for that top level, check to see that you are at your best. And if you are, then congratulations on having the father’s grace as an advantage to succeed.

A lot of times you could hear people complaining about the lack of opportunities, but the truth is, are they ready were the opportunities to come right now?  Can they fill the shoes that they are asking for? If you are really determined to reach that height, my friend, then you must be at your best.

”You don’t conquer Everest, thinking and climbing like you do to reach an upper bunk of a double-decker.”

”If 4-foot deep pool is your domain of excellence, you had better learn floating skills to survive in the Pacific.”

The quotes above are to buttress the importance of you being ready to reach and conquer that next level.

Pray to the father for help so that you will be able do all that you have to do to be ready when the call comes in for the next level.

Stay victorious!

A step of faith.

‘When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him.’
Genesis 26:12(NLT)
That year in which Isaac planted and reaped a hundredfold was a year in which a severe famine had struck the land. It wasn’t the optimum condition for any farmer to sow seeds under, however, he did it, the Lord blessed him and he was extremely successful.

Friend, sincerely, it is not every time that one wants to undertake a laudable project that one gets the best of conditions. Sometimes, the projected start date might even coincide with the worst conditions ever. This should however not deter one as long as two criteria are met.

First, what is the Lord saying? If the Lord says ‘go ahead’, please obey him instead of the instinct of ‘no’. He owns the universe and he knows better than you do, so trust him with your treasure. So, you need to know what the Lord has to say concerning your project and only if you have a cordial relationship with him can you enjoy this divine consultancy. The second criterion to be met is that of having your seed ready. The seed here refers to everything you need to succeed in the mission, both physical and intellectual. If you have all these ready and the Lord has given you his approval, then you can march on,irrespective of what the physical conditions are saying. Having met the criteria, you have to step out with courage. Don’t be rooted to that spot in fear. Move! If the Lord has promised to bless the work of your hands and you refuse to proceed, please know that you are standing as a barrier to the promised blessing. If Isaac hadn’t sowed the seeds, what grains would have been multiplied? If you don’t step out in faith, what work would be blessed?

It is however important to know that any move devoid of these criteria being met is not a wise one. Don’t go out in fierce conditions without being ready and knowing what God has said. If one fails, it is due to a lack of understanding.

May the Lord bless you with the vision, courage and preparedness that you need to succeed.

I look forward to your testimony of success.

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HAVE A PLAN.

 
“But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it?
Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.
They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’
Luke 14:28-30 (NLT)

Friend, the importance of you having a plan cannot be overemphasised. It is a necessity! As believers, we are the children of a meticulous and articulate father and it is best that we should be like him in all our ways. Never be left stranded due to planlessness as that doesn’t augur well for the wisdom that you possess as a Christian. The illustration used by the Lord Jesus Christ in the verse above denotes the importance of having a plan.  Never see faith as a substitute of not having a plan. Never fold your arms and say that you won’t plan because you have faith. Infact, your faith should birth a plan that shows that you are sure of success. Be an example of foresight and wisdom to the people around you as they behold your meticulous way of doing things as the Lord helps you. While drawing up a plan, one must involve the Lord,else, one’s planned efforts end in futility. A very declarative statement concerning this is seen in the verse below:

‘You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.’ Proverbs 19:21 (NLT)

In essence, if one keeps planning outside God’s purpose, one will keep failing. But if one’s plan corresponds with God’s purpose, success is inevitable. The only way to have such an effective plan is if the plan is designed with the Lord involved all through. Practicals steps to involving the Lord in your plans are:

1. Tell the Lord about the project in prayer and invite him into your affairs.

2. Ask him for wisdom to plan well.

3. Study the words of God as concerns what you want to do.

4. Listen to the Holy Spirit as he guides you through.

5. You could as well involve men of God for divine counsel, as you are led by the spirit.

These done and being sure of the Lord’s approval, press on in faith  with the plan and do exceedingly great exploits. My friend, as you go into this week, please draw up a plan of what to be achieved this week and how to go about it, the Lord guiding you.

Don’t live a planless life.

STAY VICTORIOUS.

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(consulted for some Bible verses: scripturemenu.com)

NEVER TOO YOUNG

‘Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith and your purity.’ 1 Timothy 4:12(NLT)

Timothy was endowed spiritually as stated by what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 4:14. He had a responsibility and Paul as an elder in ministry was admonishing him through his letter to him. It is good that one has a mentor in ministry who is genuinely concerned about one’s growth and development as a servant of the most high. I pray that may the Lord bring a connection between you and your appointed mentor in the journey of faith in Jesus name.

My friend,as long as the Lord has set you apart for a purpose and set you in motion for that purpose, you are never too young. Regardless of your what some people might say to spite you as regarding your age, hold on tenaciously to the promise of God to you and stay completely submissive to him. The Lord is perfect and so whatever time that he decides to send you forth is the perfect time,irrespective of how young you might be.

However,it is important to live an exemplary life so that one’s ministerial purposes might be most effectively achieved. Paul advised Timothy to be an example in his speech, lifestyle, love, faith and purity. This should be the same for you, beloved. It might appear scary to mount that podium and speak to the older members of the congregation or it could look impossible to take that microphone and lead the adult church in worship, but never forget that the one who has commissioned you is bigger,stronger and greater than any opposition that could ever exist. So walk in the confidence of the Lord being on your side and go on to do great exploits. Besides, since the Lord told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that his grace is sufficient for him, you can as well rest in the confidence of serving the same God whose grace is sufficient for you!

Just concentrate on following the Lord wholeheartedly and staying clear of sin as he leads you to heights unforetold. YOU ARE NEVER TOO YOUNG!

Stay blessed. 

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