Monday, January 27, 2014

Setting Goals in 2014

It is amazing how time flies. We are already in the fourth week of the New Year. At this particular time of the year we make New Year’s resolutions, however many of these resolutions are just wishes that never become reality. It is therefore not enough to just make resolutions; it is more profitable to set goals. What is the difference between a resolution and a goal? A resolution can be defined as “a firm decision to do or not to do something”, whilst according Napoleon Hill “a goal is a dream with a deadline”. For example a resolution is deciding to loose weight in 2014; however a goal would be to decide to loose 10kg by going to the gym three times a week, by the 30th of June 2014. There are different types of goals such as spiritual goals, financial goals, family goals, health goals etc. Goals can either be short-term, intermediate or long term i.e. achievable within 1 year, 2-5 years and 5 years upwards respectively.
Essentially, goals must be SMART i.e Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Time bound. As the year unfolds, it is a time to Reflect, Refocus and Review.

1.      Reflect: It is time to reflect on 2013. Ask yourself a few questions. How would you describe 2013? What are the lessons learnt? What were your highs and lows? What areas of your life do you intend to improve on in 2014?? What are your dreams and goals for 2014?

2.      Refocus: “If you fail to plan you plan to fail” What goals would you like to set for 2014? What milestones would you like to achieve? Maybe you want to spend more time with God by having daily quiet time or you want to give more or spend more quality time with loved ones. It is not okay to just think these, it is important to write them down. It is also important to ensure goals are SMART.

a)      Specific: The goal must be detailed enough to give precise direction to the task in hand. It must be clear, easily understandable and unambiguous.
b)      Measurable: The goal must be measurable. You need to be able to assess/measure whether you are on target or not. This enables you to track your progress.
c)      Achievable: Your goal must be realizable or attainable i.e. capable of completion.
d)      Realistic: It is good to dream big however you must also face reality. For instance it is unrealistic to set a goal to buy a plot of land by the end of 2014 in banana island, with a monthly income of N50, 000 with 5 dependents.
e)      Time bound: Goals must have a specific time or period of completion. This would enable you to measure your progress periodically.

3.      Review: On a final note it is not enough to just set goals; you must constantly review those goals in the course of the year and on a daily basis. A recommended approach is to write your goals in a journal and review them every day after your quiet time and commit them to the Lord.

As you plan ahead, it is also important to remember that you cannot achieve all these goals on your own. We must commit all our goals and plans to God. The Bible says in Proverbs 19:21 “many are the plans in a person’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails”. However as you spend time with God and ask for direction, you will find that the goals you set will be in alignment with his will and plans. John 15:7 says “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you ask whatever you wish, and it would be done for you.”

Embrace your challenges

Do you sometimes wonder why you are going through the challenges or tests you are going through? Do you ask yourself if you are going through the challenge because of a sin committed by you or by your parents? Do you sometimes think maybe it is a curse or that God doesn’t love you? Be rest assured that you are going through the challenge you are going through because you are favoured. You have been chosen by God to show His glory, so that the workings of God would be manifested in you.

Take a look at John 9v 1-7, the story of the blind man. In verse 2 the disciples asked Jesus “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents that he was born blind?” Jesus replied saying, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him”.

At a recent sermon from the Potters House, the preacher said “you are not going through the challenge you are facing because you are cursed but you are going through the challenge because you are favoured.”

In John 11 When Jesus heard that Lazarus was sick, He said “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it”.

Noah was given a challenge to build an ark for 120 years not because he was cursed but because he was favoured. Joseph went to the pit and prison not because he was cursed but because he was favoured. David faced Goliath instead of his brothers not because he was cursed but because he was favoured. Daniel went into the lion’s den because he was favoured. Moses left all the trappings of glamour in Egypt to be a shepherd to someone else’s flock because he was favoured. Abraham conceived his son in old age because he was favoured. Hannah’s womb was delayed because she was favoured. All these happened so that the workings of God may be manifested.

Today I encourage you to embrace your challenges and see yourself as favoured. See yourself as privileged to see the manifestations of the workings of God in your life.

Friday, January 10, 2014

A Fathers advice

Muhammed Ali's advice to his daughters... An incident transpired when Muhammad Ali’s daughters arrived at his home wearing clothes that were quite revealing. Here is the story as told by one of his daughters: “When we finally arrived, the chauffeur escorted my younger sister, Laila, and me up to my father’s suite. As usual, he was hiding behind the door waiting to scare us. We exchanged many hugs and kisses as we could possibly give in one day. My father took a good look at us. Then he sat me down on his lap and said something that I will never forget. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Hana, everything that God made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. Where do you find gold? Way down in the mine, covered over with layers and layers of rock. You've got to work hard to get to them.” He looked at me with serious eyes. “Your body is sacred. You’re far more precious than diamonds and pearls, and you should be covered too.” From the book: More Than A Hero: Muhammad Ali's Life Lessons Through His Daughter's Eyes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Does God Exist?

I recently read a very profound article on a website The article tackles the question most people ask themselves in their lifetime. Does God exist? Enjoy

Please send in comments

Question: Does God exist? Is there evidence for the existence of God?

Answer: The existence of God cannot be proved or disproved. The Bible says that we must accept by faith the fact that God exists: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6). If God so desired, He could simply appear and prove to the whole world that He exists. But if He did that, there would be no need for faith. “Then Jesus told him, ‘Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’” (John 20:29).

That does not mean, however, that there is no evidence of God’s existence. The Bible states, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world” (
Psalm 19:1-4). Looking at the stars, understanding the vastness of the universe, observing the wonders of nature, seeing the beauty of a sunset—all of these things point to a Creator God. If these were not enough, there is also evidence of God in our own hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11tells us, “…He has also set eternity in the hearts of men.” Deep within us is the recognition that there is something beyond this life and someone beyond this world. We can deny this knowledge intellectually, but God’s presence in us and all around us is still obvious. Despite this, the Bible warns that some will still deny God’s existence: “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” (Psalm 14:1). Since the vast majority of people throughout history, in all cultures, in all civilizations, and on all continents believe in the existence of some kind of God, there must be something (or someone) causing this belief.

In addition to the biblical arguments for God’s existence, there are logical arguments. First, there is the ontological argument. The most popular form of the ontological argument uses the concept of God to prove God’s existence. It begins with the definition of God as “a being than which no greater can be conceived.” It is then argued that to exist is greater than to not exist, and therefore the greatest conceivable being must exist. If God did not exist, then God would not be the greatest conceivable being, and that would contradict the very definition of God.

A second argument is the teleological argument. The teleological argument states that since the universe displays such an amazing design, there must have been a divine Designer. For example, if the Earth were significantly closer or farther away from the sun, it would not be capable of supporting much of the life it currently does. If the elements in our atmosphere were even a few percentage points different, nearly every living thing on earth would die. The odds of a single protein molecule forming by chance is 1 in 10243(that is a 1 followed by 243 zeros). A single cell is comprised of millions of protein molecules.

A third logical argument for God’s existence is called the cosmological argument. Every effect must have a cause. This universe and everything in it is an effect. There must be something that caused everything to come into existence. Ultimately, there must be something “un-caused” in order to cause everything else to come into existence. That “un-caused” cause is God.

A fourth argument is known as the moral argument. Every culture throughout history has had some form of law. Everyone has a sense of right and wrong. Murder, lying, stealing, and immorality are almost universally rejected. Where did this sense of right and wrong come from if not from a holy God?

Despite all of this, the Bible tells us that people will reject the clear and undeniable knowledge of God and believe a lie instead.
Romans 1:25declares, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.” The Bible also proclaims that people are without excuse for not believing in God: “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).

People claim to reject God’s existence because it is “not scientific” or “because there is no proof.” The true reason is that once they admit that there is a God, they also must realize that they are responsible to God and in need of forgiveness from Him (
Romans 3:23,6:23). If God exists, then we are accountable to Him for our actions. If God does not exist, then we can do whatever we want without having to worry about God judging us. That is why many of those who deny the existence of God cling strongly to the theory of naturalistic evolution—it gives them an alternative to believing in a Creator God. God exists and ultimately everyone knows that He exists. The very fact that some attempt so aggressively to disprove His existence is in fact an argument for His existence.

How do we know God exists? As Christians, we know God exists because we speak to Him every day. We do not audibly hear Him speaking to us, but we sense His presence, we feel His leading, we know His love, we desire His grace. Things have occurred in our lives that have no possible explanation other than God. God has so miraculously saved us and changed our lives that we cannot help but acknowledge and praise His existence. None of these arguments can persuade anyone who refuses to acknowledge what is already obvious. In the end, God’s existence must be accepted by faith (
Hebrews 11:6). Faith in God is not a blind leap into the dark; it is safe step into a well-lit room where the vast majority of people are already standing.

Read more:

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Be fruitful and Multiply - Seeds of greatness

Be Fruitful and Multiply- Seeds of greatness.
If you have noticed most of the fruits we eat contain seeds. If you take an orange and cut it into two equal halves you will notice that there are at least a dozen seeds in each orange. Each seed has a potential to become a tree, bearing fruits which contain seeds of their own. So assuming an orange has a dozen seeds, this means this orange has the potential to produce a dozen trees with countless number of oranges and seeds in its lifetime. The same logic can be applied in other fruits like apples, watermelons, pawpaw etc.

In Genesis 1:11 God said “let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed and fruit trees yielding fruit whose seed is in itself, each according to its kind, upon the earth”.
Now if God took time out to put so many seeds in a common fruit, how much more would He do for us who are created in His image. 

According to Genesis 1:27-28 “God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them: and God blessed them, and said to them, be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth”.

The first command or role given to man is to be fruitful and multiply. If God says we should be fruitful and multiply, it means he has deposited many seeds of greatness in us, just as he has done in the case of an orange.

When God created you, He blessed you and said you should be fruitful and multiply. It is a command that must be obeyed. There are hidden resources in you. You cannot even imagine the potential you have. Just visualize the seeds in a single orange fruit and imagine what your own seeds of potential are.
You are greater than that orange, you are not just greater, you are created in the likeness and image of God. Imagine the hidden potential in you. Imagine the great things you have been equipped to do. The greatest men that have walked the earth weren’t born with a cape, special DNA or two heads. The difference is that they were aware of their potential and did something about it. They obeyed the command to be fruitful and multiply. We are all gifted and our gifts represent the seeds of greatness God has deposited in every one of us.
Accordingly it is not enough to just have seeds in us, those seeds must be put to work. They must be sewn. Unless the seed of an orange is put to the ground, it becomes useless and dies with all its potential. There is a story in a book by Joyce Meyer titled book “A leader in the making”, that emphasizes the need to develop our seeds/potential.

“There is a gold mine hidden in every life. A young man found a vein of gold in a mountain. He tried to get it out himself but kept failing repeatedly. He felt like giving up, but instead he went into town and asked a mining agency to come take a look at it. The mining company surveyed the mountain and the vein of gold and wanted to buy it. They offered the young man a large amount of cash if he would sell it to them. 

The young man thought about it and decided that rather than selling it to the mining company, he would keep it and learn all he could about mining. Over the next year he studied practically day and night. He read every book on mining he could lay his hands on, took every course on it he could find and talked to every person who would give him any information about it. He did nothing else for that entire year but learn about mining. He laid aside everything else in his life in order to devote his entire attention to learning how to mine gold.

At the end of the year, he went back to the mountain and began to dig out the gold, it was tremendously hard work, but in the end he had millions and millions of dollars.”

Truly, there is a gold mine hidden in every one of us. As we have started a new year, I implore you to take time out to discover your “seeds” and put them to work and to be fruitful and multiply in all areas of your life. You have the seeds in you to bear the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. God has deposited the Holy Spirit in you, to be able to manifest the fruit of the spirit. You have the seeds in you to be the best father or mother to your children and the best spouse to your loved ones. You have the seeds in you to make a difference in this world and achieve great milestones. It is up to you to obey the command given to you by our creator which is to be fruitful and multiply.