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“God shows no personal favoritism to any man”
That hit me recently while reading Galatians 2 and it’s a fact! But sometimes it is hard for us to understand because as relational beings it seems logical to show favoritism. Am I meant to give the same opportunity I would give my brother to a total stranger? As a matter of fact, you may be the subject of a family meeting if you act like that.
But in thinking of this phrase I realized something, the reason we tend to show favoritism is because we have an “economics mindset” of limited resources and opportunity cost, if you know what I mean.
That is not the case with God who always produces stuff in excess and with whom all things are possible. When you can give everybody that come the same opportunities and still have much more to give others that may come, there will be no need to show favoritism.
Imagine walking into a mall or market, where valuable things are on display for sale -only, you don’t need to pay for anything (say goodbye to window shopping). That is how God sells as He clearly said in Isaiah 55.
But then you know you’ve got a problem when one look at the goods in the mall/market creates a sudden-onset fear to enter the mall, “talkless” of attempting to price. “My money no reach that one” you quickly advice yourself.
In real life with regards to our human relationships, it plays out some worth like this: Sometimes when you look at other people’s life you can get the impression that God seems to be showing them more favour than you. The resulting effect arouses unspoken funny feelings like envy, jealousy and covetousness.
I assure you, these are products of that economics mindset, because when you remember that God is not limited in resources and that He shows no personal favoritism, you will be confident to enter the same mall (God’s Word), and purchase your own blessings with your free currency (Faith).
If you see anybody that God blessed to any degree, it’s an exciting indication that you can receive your own blessing from God. Instead of being depressed when someone else gets blessed, rejoice because the mall is open to everyone, and it is FREE. In fact if you walk right in, you’ll find lots of goodies with your name on them.
For there is no difference, the same God is RICH unto all that call upon His name.
He is such a boundless God. Favoritism is not in His dictionary, is it in YOURs?
Some time ago I was anchoring a small group hangout and we were discussing disappointments. So I asked this question: “Have you ever felt that God has disappointed you?”
What followed next was a brief awkward silence…
Someone in the group finally answered, YES.
Then came the interesting part. The reaction of another participant was an expression of bewilderment, like did this person understand the question? How can God disappoint you?
It was even more dramatic when I (the Pastor) said; “I have felt like God disappointed me.” Continue reading “Have you ever felt that God disappointed you?”
“When I’m lost in the mystery, to you my future is a memory, because you are already there”
That’s a line from one of my favorite Casting Crowns songs. I love that song! Do you know it? The song was not referring to a man but to God. And that is one of the attribute of God that I love.
Sometimes though, it can be frustrating, especially when I seem to have no clue on how the dramas of life are going to play out and I don’t seem to be getting any clear direction from God, to who my future is a memory. I guess you know what I mean.
Those times when you are looking for a job but nothing seems to be coming out, or a loved one is badly sick and you have no clue if they will recover, or you have a financial obligation and time is fast running out but you have no clue where the money will come from.
What do you do in such times?
In my experience, I have come to realize that when you can trust God against all odds in a dire situation, you may not always get what you expected but you will always look back at that event with joy because the outcome will be better than what you expected -and you could not have been able to predict it!
Even though it was a mystery to you, God had it all under control.
He always works all things out for the good of they that love him (or should I say) trust in Him.
Truth is, the outcome of your present situation is already history to God
Plus He knows how to bring you into His history if you’d trust in Him.
I like the way Apostle Paul put it. He said Thanks be to God who ALWAYS leads us in triumphant procession in Christ (2 Corinthians 2:14). In other words, when you stick with God even when things seem to be going “south”, you will always come out victorious.
So what do I do when my future seems like a mystery?
I simply trust, rest and do what is noble and sincere in my heart per time.
I may not know how to change the situation I am currently facing but I know the one who has the whole world in His hands does. I am persuaded that He will always come through and give me the victory when my heart is stayed on Him. He will for you too.
Your future is already here, ‘cos He lives in you.
7 BILLION PEOPLE (and counting) living on the Earth today. Diverse tribes, different faces, unique thumbprints. Yet a few things about life on planet earth are universal.
Like when you start something new.
The passion, the fire and zeal burns flaming hot
… for a while.
Then after some time it seems your enthusiasm smolders away. Especially when things don’t seem to be progressing as you planned.
It seems inevitable that enthusiasm will naturally fade away if you don’t consciously maintain it. And a lack of enthusiasm obviously leads to low productivity.
Henry Ford once said that “enthusiasm is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. With it, there is accomplishment”. This is even more so for us as Christians. Paul said in Romans 12 that we should not be slothful in business but be enthusiastic in service. Tall order for me, I don’t know about you.
But over time, here are a few simple tips that have helped me maintain my enthusiasm:
- First, I talk to God about it because He is the one that works in me both to will and to do his good pleasure. And since He expects me to serve Him in the works of my hands with enthusiasm then he will also be an expert in helping me maintain enthusiasm. This has helped me much because God always injects me a fresh burst of energy whenever I ask Him.
- Secondly, I ruminate on the vision again. Basically I spend time thinking on what I hoped to achieve and why I started out in the first place. I focus on the benefits I hope to derive from it which is mainly quantified in things like results, degree of fulfillment, impact in someone’s life, etc. This helps me recapture some of the enthusiasm I experienced when I started out.
- Thirdly, I celebrate little results. Even though things may not have panned out as I expected, I endeavor to focus on the successes and not the setbacks. Once I was having a discussion with my small group in Enugu and someone in the group said that something I had mentioned from the pulpit liberated her from her old way of thinking. Wow! That simple testimony stirred my zeal afresh. As I focus on those little and seemingly insignificant successes, I get the pump to move on.
- Finally, I determine to keep moving no matter the circumstances. There are still moments when it would seem like no reason is inspiring enough, but even when I don’t feel enthusiastic about what I’m doing, I pick myself up to do it anyway. Interestingly by so doing, most times I find myself back into the joy of doing it.
So don’t give-up. You need to stay in the game if you want to maintain enthusiasm.
My list is definitely not exhaustive. If you have any tips/technique that has worked for you please share it in the comment box. It will help me as well as many others. Thanks.
Did you know that your body is better adapted for long distance endurance running than any mammal? Big up to Usain Bolt, but it is Haile Gebrselassie that actually displays our real potential as people. In simple English, you and I are naturally built to go “the long haul” than to do a dash.
I find comfort in this new knowledge because in our 21st century life on a fast lane, speed seems to be more celebrated than perseverance and consistency. We live in a world where there is almost instant everything. Innovation is defined by “How much Faster is it?” or “Does it make things Shorter”. And it has its pecks: Life is easier and somewhat sweeter.
However on the flip-side, it builds the notion that whatever is not instant and within a short time frame is no good. When endurance, stamina and consistency gets the back seat, the default mindset becomes to accomplish in a dash, things that would have required the long haul for better output. It mounts an undue pressure and sets the perfect stage for a burn-out.
I have learnt that this is a wrong mindset to have in navigating the race of life, especially if you are running with God.
I believe that’s why God designed our bodies to be better suited for the long distance. You can also see this attribute all over nature. For instance, you can’t have an instant palm tree. So it is perfectly normal after all, not to expect everything to happen overnight.
Scripture says in Hebrews 12 “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us”.
The most efficient way to run your life’s race is not as a 100 meters sprint, but a long distance marathon. And that requires perseverance, persistence and consistency.
Now you see why that knowledge encourages me. I am already built for the long haul.
I don’t have to feel bad when a project I started out on doesn’t seem to be progressing as fast as I expected (judged by the instant mindset). Rather I stay motivated and persist in consistently the things I know are right irrespective of the length of time, because when I will finally get there, it will be much “sweeter” than if I took the shortcut for a dash.
Then I will be functioning at my optimal. No hurry, No pressure. Even wine tastes sweeter with age.
Can you attest to that?
Recently I went to the barber’s shop to get a haircut. While cutting my hair the barber tried to sell me some barbing accessories. The only thing was, he had a funny approach. Continue reading “Overcoming Self-Consciousness”
Mark Zukerberg recently revealed a new milestone for the Facebook Corp. that for the first time ever, one billion people (1 in 7 people on the planet) used Facebook in a single day. That is a staggering amount of users.
But let’s face it, sometimes Facebook can be boring.
Some other times it does a good job of capturing your attention from crazy facts or photos to fun videos. Often times however, when I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, I get intrigued by a particular type of post I come across often. The one that always arouses my curiosity is the kind that tells you to:
“Type a comment and share if you want to receive a blessing.”
These posts normally have high amounts of LIKES and SHARES. So I usually ask myself: Does this post attract so much interactions because it is very engaging or is it the promise of a blessing that motivates the engagements?” Most times I think the obvious answer is the latter.
As Christians there is a temptation for our actions to be motivated by the hope of a #Blessing.
Sometimes we do things because we fear that if we don’t do it, the blessing we are expecting will not come. Do I have a witness?
This begs the question: “Is the Blessed seeking for a Blessings?”
We tend to lose sight of the fact that we have been GIVEN all we need for life and godliness not because of our actions, but because of our knowledge of what Jesus did for us. By grace you have been blessed (saved).
One scripture that has helped me tremendously in my relationship with God in this regard, and is still helping me is Romans 8:15. It says that we did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear but we received the Spirit of adoption as sons by whom we cry Father.
A major difference between a Slave and a Son is that the slave acts based on fear but the son acts based on responsibility. That singular thought is liberating.
AS A SON, MY ACTIONS SHOULD NOT BE MOTIVATED BY A PROMISE OF A BLESSING.
It should simply be because I’m responsible. Sons don’t seek for His blessings by the things they do, they do them because they are responsible. No fears; No pressure.
So when I come across such posts on my newsfeed asking me to do something for a blessing, I usually disregard it. But when I come across a post that interests me, would be a timely word of encouragement to someone else, or promotes the Kingdom of God (my family), as a responsible son I like and/or share. No fears, I’m a BLESSED son.
You are too, if you believe in Jesus.
[tweetthis remove_hidden_hashtags=”true” remove_hidden_urls=”true”]As a son of God, your actions should not be motivated by a promise of a blessing, nor fear. [/tweetthis]
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