Achieving Greatness (1)

Achieving Greatness (1)

Our meditation today shall be on what to do to achieve greatness in life.

Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty man on the earth.
1 Chronicles 1:10

Before this passage, all the preceding verses are mere genealogy, stating who gave birth to who and in what order. But, in verse 10, there is a break from the routine of “A” gave birth to “B”; in this verse, we read about Nimrod, who was not just given birth to, but went ahead to do what most of his forbears did not do; he began to exert and work on himself until he became a mighty man and left his footprints on the sands of time. This is how to achieve greatness.

From Nimrod’s story, we can deduce two disciplines that set one on the path of greatness: choices and self-application. He definitely did some things differently from the other people whom we read about in verses 1-9 and 11-54. Apart from the fact that he must have made certain painful choices and decisions; how he managed his time, what he would do and not do, when he would sleep and wake, what and when he would eat, where he would go and not go, and so forth – his decisions and choices must have been very unpopular as those things that make for greatness are rarely done by most people.

And having made a choice about what he wanted to do or be, the Bible records that “he began” to do it. That is the second discipline to greatness – beginning. Many people have brilliant ideas of what they want to do. But most of those ideas never see the light of day, as the conceivers never get to execute them for various reasons, including procrastination, over-analysing the idea, or trumping up excuses as to why they cannot start. Nimrod had, even more, excuses to blend with the crowd, because in his days there was nothing like electricity, no vehicular transportation, all movements were done on barefoot, all the tools they had then were crude and probably made from stone.

To continue tomorrow…

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

Understanding God: How to Become a Hotcake

Understanding God: How to Become a Hotcake

How to Become a Hotcake

O You who hear prayer, To You all flesh will come.
– Psalm 65:2

In life, business and other pursuits, the value you bring to the table is proportionate to the patronage you enjoy, which in turn determines your greatness as an individual, or profitability as an organisation. No one exists for him/herself alone; we are all made for each other. The same way no company is set up to cater to its own needs alone. Each firm has the consumers in mind, and most of its activities are geared toward soliciting or retaining the customers.

The greatness of an individual is determined by the number of persons he is able to influence, the same way a corporate institution derives its relevance from the number of clientele it is able to serve satisfactorily.

Now let’s bring this home by considering God, the Creator of the universe and everything therein. As of today, the world’s population is estimated to be over seven billion people. And considering that a large percentage of that population acknowledges the supremacy of God and professes allegiance to Him, that means God must be big!

But, mind you, God is not sought for His own sake alone. If anything, most of us seek God because of what we can get from Him, as against what we can give to Him. The Psalmist lends credence to this verity by saying that all flesh comes to God because He hears prayers. We seek God because He is able to meet our expectations. That is why He is much sought after by the seconds all over.

This is a lesson for us. You have to add value to people for them to seek you. The more people you are able to create value for, the more patronage you will get, the more your spheres of influence will increase, and the more prosperous you will become.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

Understanding God: How Does God See? (2)

Understanding God: How Does God See? (2)

Here is a conclusion of our meditation on understanding God, particular with regards to how He sees, perceives, analyses and judges a matter.

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
– 1 Samuel 16:7

Here are the applications of this knowledge about the perception of God to people and things:

In your relationship with God, and in your service to Him, knowing that He is more particular about why you are doing what you do will liberate you from falling into the trap of becoming impressionistic by putting on a show or playing up to people’s expectations of you, as against God’s requirements.

Therefore, when you find yourself in church or other gatherings of believers, the way you dance, the way you worship, what you say, and your general conducts will have a deeper meaning to you, since you are aware that while some people may be impressed by your spirituality or displeased by the lack of it, what they think or say has little effect in the eyes of God who knows the motive behind your actions. And, in your service, knowing that what you do may have no particular impression on God, if it is not done from a sincere heart, can be a liberating factor for you; not minding that people are hailing you for it.

Having a working knowledge of this insight can also help you in the way you live and do things. Knowing that God is never deceived will help you to be true to yourself in whatever you do or say. Even if such does not make you popular among people, you would have derived greater satisfaction from the fact that you are on the same page with God motive-wise. And even if you are misunderstood and vilified initially, staying true to yourself will eventually make you come across as a sincere person.

In your relationship with others, a knowledge of this perception of God will help to put a rein on your saying and deeds toward others, no matter the degree of your intimacy with them. Since you know that God is not particularly thrilled by what you say or do to people, but He is conscious of why and how you say/do it.

If you take God’s perspective into cognisance in all your dealings with fellow humans, you will find that you are less impulsive, less abrasive, more restrained, more thoughtful, and more sincere in your relationships and interactions. And there are no surer routes to maturity than those.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

The Story of Soul

The Story of Soul

There once was a man named Soul who was walking in a garden. He was whistling a real sweet tune for he was saved and had the joy of the Lord, but he was a baby Christian. As he was walking, a beautiful and seductive woman came out from behind a tree.

Startled, he said, “Hello, I’m Soul, what is your name?”

She replied, “I am Temptation, I have what you want.”

“What do I want?”

“You want to do all things which are of the flesh,” said Temptation.

Soul replied, “O.K., lead me.”

So he and Temptation went off and fulfilled the desires of the flesh. When Soul returned to the garden, he met a man named Condemnation. Condemnation said, “Hey, I see you have met my friend, Temptation.”

He said, “Yes, who are you?”

“I am Condemnation, I come after Temptation. We work hand-in-hand.” Then Condemnation jumped on Soul’s back and began to beat him. He hit him in the face and kicked him when he was down. This went on for several days.

On about the third day, a man named Mercy came running and said, “I command you, Condemnation, to stop beating Soul.”

Condemnation snickered, “Make me.”

So Mercy unsheathed his sword and cut Condemnation in two.

As Soul watched in astonished pain, he was overtaken by the power of Mercy. Mercy walked up to him and said, “I have dealt with Condemnation before. He should not show up around you anymore.”

Soul replied, “How can I ever thank you?”

“Well,” replied Mercy, “I was sent here by God and He told me to introduce you to a dear friend of mine. His name is Redemption.”

Redemption walked up and said, “Hello Soul, I see that you are not doing well.”

Soul replied, “Not until Mercy came along. It is a pleasure to meet you Redemption.”

“Well”, said Redemption,” I am glad to meet you. Are you ready to accept me?”

“What do you mean?” asked Soul.

Redemption said, “Well, when you accepted Jesus and decided to walk with Him, then you chose to accept the things of Him and His love. I am a part of Jesus’ love. I help you feel forgiven. You will never have to deal with Condemnation again. Temptation may come around, but I have someone I would like for you to meet who can help you with that. His name is Grace.”

Grace walked up to Soul and said, “Hello Soul, I have been waiting for you. In fact, all three of us have been waiting to meet you. I will help you take the way out of Temptation that God gives you as it comes up. The last person we want you to meet is Faith.”

“Hi Soul, I am Faith, and I will help you stay strong and keep your beliefs strong,” said Faith.

Soul began to cry. When he began to cry Redemption said, “This is what we were here for. Jesus redeemed you, saved you by Grace through Faith and gives you His Mercy. Jesus loves you Soul.”

Soul said, “I love you, Jesus.”

— Author Unknown

Meditation: But Israel shall be saved by the Lord With an everlasting salvation; You shall not be ashamed or disgraced Forever and ever.Isaiah 45:17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

Insights From Psalm 23

Insights From Psalm 23

Our meditation today shall be a line-by-line exposition of Psalm 23.

The Lord is my Shepherd (Who purchased me at a very high price – the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son. As a sheep, I know nothing of myself, nor can take any independent action on my own that will do me much good (Psalm 95:7, 100:3). Therefore, as my Shepherd, He is the One responsible for my feeding, guidance, protection and general well being);

I shall not want (Because my Shepherd, Who is the Owner of the heavens, the earth and all its fullness, ‘supplies all my needs, as they arise from time to time, according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:13)).

He makes me to lie down in green pastures (He locates and establishes me in conducive environments – in my house, my business, my school, my company, my church, my ministry, and my world in general);

He leads me beside the still waters (He gives me restful means of sustenance that are without stress, pain or any trouble to draw from).

He restores my soul (He renews and refreshes my spirit, soul and body with all the good things they need for health and maximum performance).

He leads me in the paths of righteousness ((Psalm 78:52) So that I do not stray from the right course in my exuberance or ignorance, not because I merit it, but)

For His name’s sake (Because He has the reputation of being The Good Shepherd, who can never abscond His responsibilities nor change His nature from good to bad (John 14:1). That is the reason I am assured that I am in a good hand and that…)

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death (Even when I find myself in dangerous or life-threatening situations that portend evil or great calamity) I will fear no evil (Why?)

For You are with me (Since I am not leading myself anyway, but I am a protégé of The Good Shepherd).

Your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Instead of beating and intimidating me, even when I get presumptuous and behave wrongly as I tend to do from time to time, You only use Your shepherd’s rod to gently guide me back to the right course, without any mark of harm or injury on my body).

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies (Without them being able to do anything to stop me from enjoying the delicacies. Why? Because you are right there watching over me to ensure that I’m safe. While my enemies are only confined to a distance, glaring at me morosely without their being able to do anything to harm me. And they dare not move near, otherwise they will have to contend with You, the Mighty Man in battle).

You anoint my head with oil (of gladness and ability to do all that you have nurtured me to do),

My cup runs over (Because you simply did not stop pouring on me until I am overflowed with the abundance of your goodness).

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me (Not sorrow, not sadness, not disaster, not mourning, not fear, not evil, not grief, not poverty, not frustration, not failure, nor pain, but goodness and mercy shall be my experience)

All the days of my life (that is all the Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays that I live!),

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord (Since that is where He will always lead me to for rest. For He will never leave me in the house of a stranger. Therefore, I am certain of always being in His pleasurable presence during the day (Psalm 16:11) and the secret place of His fortress in the night (Psalm 31:20))

Forever (and ever. That is as long as I am here on earth, and even when I transit to heaven above. Amen).

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord
Forever.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

Understanding God: How Does God See?

Understanding God: How Does God See?

Understanding God – how does He see, reason and analyse matters?

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
– 1 Samuel 16:7

Subsequently, we’ll be devoting several editions of this devotional to exploring God, the Creator of the heavens and earth as well as everything in them; the Supreme of all beings, without a predecessor or contemporary. The aim of this treatise is for us to have a deeper understanding about the nature of God, His ways, His approaches, His manner of thinking and His mode of operation, among other pertinent knowledge.

The first thing we will consider about God is His way of perceiving, considering or analysing people and things, which ultimately informs the conclusion He makes on such. The scripture above tells us that God does not see things the way humans see them. Since what you look at is what you see, this passage tells us that the focus of God is entirely different from humans’. Going further, the scripture says, whilst humans centre on the appearance, God only looks at the heart – the core that influences the appearance.

Due to our physical nature, we are inclined to appreciate the tangibles. But God looks beyond that. While we focus on the overt part of things, God considers the covert. Man dwells on the what, but God asks about the why; man considers the gifts, God looks at the reason behind the giving; man hears the sayings, God listens to the unsaid, man cheers the performance, God lauds the motive; man reacts to the actions, God considers the reason, and so on.

Understanding this particular nature of God can be a liberating factor for you. On the one hand, it will help you to ascertain the WHY of whatever you are doing or about to do. On the other hand, it will help you to exercise a measure of restraint in making a conclusion, either good or bad, about anyone or anything. Since you may not know the reason such a person is doing what they do, and it will be a classic exhibition of human foible to jump to a conclusion about him/her.

To be continued tomorrow…

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

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