I welcome you dear friends to the second half of 2014. My prayer is that it would be for you a better and more fulfilling half. You will end the year 2014 well! You will finish strong, in Jesus name!
My encouragement to you today comes from a book I’ve been reading the past few days. It is written by a very good friend of mine, Gbenga Sesan and it is titled In My Own Words.
“1 minus 2 is impossible until you know the answer. In my elementary school, we were told that it was impossible to subtract a higher number from a lower one. The unanimous answer, in the rare moments the questions was asked, was a loud “impossible!” But a few years later, in secondary school, I was taught that if a higher number is subtracted from a lower number, I will have a negative number. It was no longer deemed impossible simply because we knew better than when we were in primary school. How many times in life are we almost tempted to call certain things impossible? If you could just learn more about the problem, you will soon come to terms with the fact that “impossible” is just an excuse we give when we do not have enough knowledge to tackle a problem. The answer may be strange, but every problem has a solution…. 1 minus 2 is not “impossible”; you only need to gain enough knowledge to know the answer.”
What do you call “impossible”? Go ahead, acquire enough knowledge and tackle the problem. Impossible is nothing! And with God on your side, nothing shall be impossible unto you! I do hope you find this encouraging and motivating as I have, as we enter the final half of the year. You will succeed!
Gone are those days when we thought that godliness had no earthly benefit. Those were the days when being born-again meant being the scum of the earth. Popular choruses were “Take the whole world and give me Jesus…” Believers were so heavenly conscious that they were of no earthly relevance. But those days are gone! Now we know better. We are godly and we are successful. And, our songs have changed. “Give me the whole world and give me Jesus…” seems more like what we sing nowadays. We are more easily to be charged with being earthly good but of not much eternal consequence! We have gone from one extreme end to the other.
Before you start thinking otherwise, I’m not advocating that poverty is synonymous with piety. One can be rich and righteous. Yet another can be poor and be sinful. If righteousness were equal to prosperity, then the most righteous men on earth would be the top dogs on the Forbes rich list. And thus the likes of Carlos Slim, William Henry Gates III, Folorunsho Alakija, Oprah Winfrey, Aliko Dangote etc., would be the most holy men and women on earth!
God does bless his people! You can be righteous and prosper! And you can be godly and broke too. Yeah! Remember the story Jesus told in Luke 16:19-31 about the rich man and Lazarus. That is sufficient an illustration.
An error has gone forth in the church: “If you do not have money, you must have missed God somewhere. Conversely, if you’re wealthy, then you must be in sync with God.” I say, no! You cannot worship God and mammon!
This is the whole counsel of God as revealed in 1Timothy 6:5-10:
“They think religion is a way to make a fast buck. A devout life does bring wealth, but it’s the rich simplicity of being yourself before God. Since we entered the world penniless and will leave it penniless, if we have bread on the table and shoes on our feet, that’s enough. But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time. Lust for money brings trouble and nothing but trouble. Going down that path, some lose their footing in the faith completely and live to regret it bitterly ever after.”(Message)
Aren’t we guilty of “using” God to achieve our selfish ends? Are we not fast slipping into this error of equating godliness with gain? A heart search is pertinent here, before we slip so far away from the kingdom of God than when we were infidels. This is not to knock any valid truth of God’s word no matter how much it’s been bastardized but to restore believers back to the straight and narrow. Bottom line: Gain is not godliness. However, godliness is great gain. You will still hear me on this matter. YOU WILL SUCCEED!
Years ago as an undergraduate, I took a summer teaching job. Whenever I entered the classroom I always took a bow and greet the students as “ladies and gentlemen”. One of the students asked me why I did that one day. I answered her, “Because I see you not as what you are right now but as who you will be years down the line!”
“When I see people, everyone, every human, I understand that I am in the presence of greatness. Maybe potential greatness, or greatness unpolished, or greatness unfound, but every person has the ability.” (Kat Cole) I concur! Every human being carries the imprint of the Almighty.
This quote inspires what I’m sharing with you today, dear friend. Don’t just see people as they are; see them as they can be. So much more important for those of us who have a responsibility for others, whether as parents, bosses, pastors, teachers, heads of department, etc., in any leadership capacity. That is why I wrote the book That I Look Like A Beggar Does Not Say I Do Not Have A Throne! And it is why I volunteer to train and mentor under-privileged kids at Paradigm Initiative Nigeria’s Ajegunle.org project. It’s also why I’ve made it part of my life’s work to build a leadership center for youths where they can be trained and given an opportunity to discover and develop their innate potential for greatness.
Everyone you see is pregnant with destiny. Beneath every face is a precious person loved and valued by God. Respect that always. Never look down on anyone except you want to help them up. Look within your sphere of influence and do something to help someone today. You will succeed!
I read this story just recently and it touched me. It illustrates what I taught in my book, That I Look Like A Beggar Does Not Say I Do Not Have A Throne!
“Juan worked at a meat distribution factory. One day, when he finished with his work schedule, he went into the meat cold room to inspect something, but in a moment of bad luck, the door closed and he was locked inside with no help in sight!
Although he screamed and knocked with all his might, his cries went unheard as no one could hear him. Most of the workers had already gone, and outside the cold room it’s impossible to hear what was going on inside.
Five hours later, whilst Juan was on the verge of death, the security guard of the factory opened the door and saved the life of Juan. Juan then asked the security guard how he got to open the door, as it wasn’t part of his work routine, and he explained thus:
“I’ve been working in this factory for 35 years, hundreds of workers come in and out every day, but you’re one of the few who greets me in the morning and says goodbye to me every night when leaving after working hours. Many treat me as if I am invisible. Today, like every other day, you greeted me in your simple manner ‘Hello’ at the entrance when resuming for work. But curiously, after working hours today, I observed I’ve not heard your “Bye! See you tomorrow.” Hence I decided to check around the factory. Unknown to you, I look forward to your ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ every day. To you, I am someone. By not hearing your farewell, I knew something had happened. Then I sought and found you.”
One lesson from this story is this: Small kindnesses have big impact. A little kindness goes a very long way. Never look down on any man. The person you ignored today may be the one to save your life tomorrow.
Has this blessed you in any way? What other lessons can you draw from this? Please share. I’m waiting to hear it. YOU WILL SUCCEED!
“MEN ARE NEVER DULY TOUCHED AND IMPRESSED WITH A CONVICTION OF THEIR INSIGNIFICANCE UNTIL THEY HAVE CONTRASTED THEMSELVES WITH THE MAJESTY OF GOD.”
I came across this quote from John Calvin, the reformer in my notes. It’s remarkable how this particular quote has helped me to stay humble and have a realistic sense of who I am in God’s eyes.
Have you ever contrasted the majesty of God with the nothingness of man? What did you find? Let me hear your views. Cheers!