A NEW LIFE IN CHRIST

If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; all things have passed away, and behold, the new has come. Many people think being a Christian exempts you from the daily struggles and challenges of life. This is not so! In the New Testament, Jesus encourages us to enter the narrow door instead of choosing the most accessible and most convenient option-the broad door. This means we are going to have to make decisions that do not favor us most often all for the sake of dying to ourselves and giving up our lives for others.

We take confidence in the assurance that He will always be in our presence wherever we find ourselves. Even though he is unseen, He continues to work continuously on our behalf by listening to our prayers and performing dumbfounding miracles in our lives which include giving us life and protecting us from harm.

One of the best things that can happen to any individual is the day he comes to the realization of the need to accept Christ as their Lord and Personal Saviour. The Bible says if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe with your heart that God raised him from the dead, you shall be saved. This means Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. As stated, He is the only way, the truth, and the life. No one goes to the Father except through Him. What do we do once we have become Christians? Attain Spiritual Maturity!

Spiritual maturity is something that should be a priority for every Christian. It’s essential in our lives for how we serve God and interact with other people. However, there are levels to spiritual maturity. The Bible describes new believers as feeding on “milk.” We need to come to a point where we are no longer “spiritual babies” but mature into “spiritual adults.” The most important reason is for our lives to reflect the nature of Jesus Christ.

Just as a toddler starts by taking milk before solid, God expects us to grow gradually in our walk with Him. We will often falter and ask for forgiveness, and that is normal. He is a loving father who is always ready to welcome us back to his arms, just like in the account of the Prodigal Son and the parable of the lost shepherd. We have to connect ourselves as branches to the vine and draw our strength from Him for, without Him, we will wither and fall.

Being initiated in him warrants that we have to be baptized. Baptism means we bury our sins with his death and identify ourselves with the most significant act in human history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism in itself doesn’t save us but salvation does, for salvation comes by faith alone. Your guilt before God is removed the moment you trust in Christ. But baptism is your testimony to, and the inward assurance of, your passage from the old life to the new life.

In Ecclesiastes 4:12, The Bible states that “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” It is thus essential that every new believer finds a Bible-believing church and stays rooted in this church. The more he feeds on God’s word and stays connected to a community, the better he can stand in faith and extinguish the enemy’s flaming arrows.

Scripture says we should not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another in Hebrews 10:24-25. The church’s physical gathering is a glad and visible expression of its spiritual nature. Believers are, therefore, the called-out people of God, united by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior.

Challenges do happen once in a while. The task of living a fully God-centered life is no walk in the park, as the lives of the greatest and most fully converted Christians who have ever lived—the saints—will attest. Indeed, Christianity lived to the fullest involves struggle. But we take a stand using Romans 5:3-4, which states that “We also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”

Hope is found in the promises God has given us – promises of freedom from sin. We can find so much hope in Scripture through the gift of eternal life made possible through His son, Jesus Christ. No matter what trials, temptations, or pain we may suffer, we can always hold onto the hope God extends to us.

Right now, there are billions in the world who desperately need to hear the salvation message and you are called to share Jesus with them. They are in the nations far off, but also in your office, school, and city. They shop in the same stores you do and work out at the same gym. They are your neighbors, your friends, and your family members. Who could you reach with Jesus’ love today?

Let us enjoy the new life we have found in Christ and focus on the blessings He has promised for His children till the end of time.

This blog post was inspired by completing a Devotional by Ruben Cunha – New Life in Christ.

God bless you for reading, and have a wonderful day!

WINNING THE WAR IN THE MIND

In my devotion this morning, the story of the battle of Moses with the Amalekites was highlighted as a key text in my Bible plan: Squad Goals. In this war, the tide of the war was being controlled by the hands raised by Moses. The Israelites began to lose any time Moses showed signs of tiredness. However, they won anytime he raised his hands. Just to have a fair advantage, he made two of his friends support him, and eventually, the Israelites triumphed over the Amalekites. My attention was also drawn to a time in history when the Israelites were being chased on their way from Egypt, as they made their narrow escape from Pharaoh.

There were at a crossroads! There was no way either ahead of them, and after their encounters with God, they had decided they were not going back into slavery. Then! God showed up! He instructed the Israelites to be still and watch him be God – The Creator of the Heavens, Earth, and everything in it. He went back into his creation and carried out an edit; just for his people by carving away in the Red Sea so his people could cross to get to the Promised Land. All that it took was for Moses to win the battle in his mind before he could be used by God.

In life, we wage war. The Bible states that there is adversity who roams like a waging lion seeking who he will devour, and he would never stop until he achieves his mission. This means he is already fighting from a position of defeat. So as a Christian, bear in mind that it is easier to rise than to fall because we have the advocate; the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit being part of the Trinity is our mark of salvation till the end of our tenure on earth.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, an entire discipline in modern psychology has identified the neural pathways that link our habits to our behavior. As Solomon stated in Proverbs, “As a man thinketh, so is he” We are a total of our predominant thoughts, and our lives steer in the direction of our daily thoughts which transform into our behavior and finally our character. This breakthrough in psychology has identified the solution to many problems, which range from addictions to eating disorders and eventually relationship challenges. A key way of treating these challenges is to deal with the root cause of the problem; which stems from our thinking. Paul tells us that our thoughts shape our lives in Philippians 4:8-9. This means it is expected of us to think about things that are noble, right, pure, lovely, and excellent, and put them into practice.

We can transform the train of our thoughts by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in us. He is the one responsible for molding and shaping us into his required vessels for his purpose. First of all, we have to disbelieve the lies that the devil has fed our minds with and become rooted in the word of God which is truth. We can then end the vicious cycle of thoughts that are destructive to us and hamper our relationships with others.

The problem with how we attack our problems is that we go after the challenge instead of dealing with its root cause. Like the analogy of a gardener who cuts off a tree branch in an attempt to uproot a tree obstructing access to his house. This method won’t work! Changing a behavior just by removing the behavior is absurd. The neural pathway that leads me to the behavior is the problem. Thus, if you stop a behavior, it will come back.

The only way you can change a behavior is, by removing the lie at the root of the behavior and replacing the neural pathway that leads to the behavior with positive thoughts.

What I have learned from this devotion is the four-pronged principle which helps with removing toxic thoughts patterns and helps us think right.

The first is the Replacement Principle. It is expected of us to know the Bible, listen to Bible teaching, and get God’s word into our hearts so we can wield the sword of truth against the lies of the enemy.

The second is the Rewire Principle. As Christians, we have to be transformed by the constant renewal of our minds, as stated in Philippians. This principle means we have to rewire our brains. God’s word empowers us to break out of old ruts of destruction and latch onto new paths that lead to a prosperous and abundant life. By making constant declarations over your life, you dig new trenches in your life that will speak and inspire you.

The third is the Reframe Principle. Even though we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we perceive them. We all have cognitive biases that cause us to see things in ways that do not reflect reality. But the power of cognitive reframing changes how we view the past and the future.

The last is the Rejoice Principle. This key principle changes our perspective through constant prayer and praise. Even in the storms of life, we can learn to trust in God who is the pioneer of our faith, and rejoice over troubled waters by staying mindful of his presence. Praying thus changes our brains and gives us peace by deploying angels to work in our stead.

Decide today that you will not think like the rest of the world, and let God transform your thought patterns. Let him strengthen you and empower you to do what He has called you to do. You are more than a conqueror through Christ and He is more than enough. When God changes your thought patterns, he will change your behavior and eventually change your life.

Thanks for reading and have a wonderful day!

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim

THE EASTER BREAK

Hello readers! Pardon my prolonged absence from my blog. I know you all miss my blog posts and the stories I have to tell. I am at that point in my life where I am juggling a lot of things, trying to achieve them in the shortest possible time. In the last four months, I am on the verge of completing a ton of French lessons I started when the year commenced on Duolingo. Also, I have started learning how to code using Datacamp, and finally, I am also chasing the passion of being a businessman by pursuing a Master’s program in Business Administration. Not forgetting this important assertion; I am now a full-fledged member of our church choir. A whole lot going on right? 

The essence of this post was inspired by a Bible plan I started a couple of days ago with the help of a friend, Erica. This plan elucidates the Story of Easter as narrated in different passages by the disciples. 

Even though I haven’t completed this plan yet, I place a high value on being called a Christian and this takes precedence over everything. I am cognizant of the fact that because of the love He has for me, God will send forth his only son to come in the likeness of man to die for my sins just to draw me closer to Him. Do you know what this means? He values my relationship with Him and is willing to go to all lengths to ensure that I commune and interact with Him daily. 

The story starts with the triumphant entry into Jerusalem on a colt. In one of the daily devotionals last week, the writer wondered why Jesus would keep a low profile the majority of his life, and finally decide to make such a grandiose entry into Jerusalem. My attention was drawn to the fact that His coming had already been prophesized so He just had to come in the likeness of a man and align himself according to the prophecy. He performed so many miracles that no man ever in his entire life would. He cast out demons, raised the dead, and healed the sick all by his touch and the sound of his voice. 

Before the disciples held the Passover feast, he went into time and outlined the plans perfectly to ensure the feast was going to be a success, even though he had never been there physically. He geographically visualized the place and had a man meet his disciples just to ensure that his body, which was His Word, would be shared by the breaking of bread. During the Last Supper with his disciples, he foretold the agony he was going to endure and again informed them of whoever was going to betray him. 

His manly nature prayed several times in the garden that the cup would be taken off him; as the agony, he was going to go through for our sake had been revealed to him. Even in the heat of the moment of his arrest, He attached the ear of a man who had been struck by the sword of Peter. He even predicted that Peter, despite his temperament which made him the rock on which he built His church was going to deny him three times before the rooster crowed. 

Despite his triumphant entry, man made him go through the humiliating experience of carrying a cross amid jeers, and a crown of thorns to Golgotha where he was crucified in the middle of two thieves. “A man who knew no sin became sin so that we would become the righteousness of God“. Can you believe that even on his deathbed – on the cross, he was still praying for us? That our sins would eventually be forgiven. 

The astonishing event that happened in history is the tearing of the veil that separated humanity from divinity, that man could confidently walk to the throne of grace with boldness and obtain grace in their time of need. 

After his death was confirmed, an angel announced his resurrection by rolling the stone that secured his tomb, to grant easier access for the disciples to see and know He is the God of the living and the dead, and to comprehend the ultimate power that he wields. 

He continued to perform miracles even after his resurrection and emerged amidst his disciples even where their doors were locked out of fear.

This God is a merciful and loving Father. If He showed such a kind gesture by sending his own Son in the form of a sacrificial lamb just to bridge his relationship with us, what is He not willing to do for you? Surprisingly, my attention has been drawn to the Bible verse that states emphatically that we would receive whatever we ask for in faith countless times this week. 

It is my prayer that as I have commenced my annual leave, he will draw me closer to him and let me know Him more and more. And that my service in his vineyard in drawing other believers closer to him would never go wasted. Finally that He would grant my heart desires and prayer requests. 

As you start your day, bear in mind that God watches over you constantly and never sleeps nor slumbers. Move in the grace and favour he has destined for your life and emerge out of your day victorious, achieving all your goals in Christ Jesus.

After one of the services at church on a fateful Sunday

Have a wonderful day!

Eliezer Bernard Owusu Ntim

SPIRITUAL GIFTS AND THE CHURCH

In recent times, the church has come under constant scrutiny. People have refrained from participating in church activities because they believe that the same people who profess Christ are the same people who engage in unspeakable crimes in our society. In my personal devotion last week, God is beginning to teach me something. This is about how Christianity is not about following the crowd, known as the mass effect, but an individual relationship with God. It takes its pride in being deeply rooted in His word – The Bible. This means to be a practical Christian, the bible should be your guide.

Today I shall delve into spiritual gifts and their essence in the modern-day church. A gift is defined as an endowment, talent, or quality acquired without compensation. This gift is not bestowed on you based on your merits or achievements but freely given to you by a generous father.

Salvation is the hallmark of every Christian, and this is typically attained by professing your faith in Jesus, confessing his Lordship with your mouth and believing with your heart that He came to die for your sins. However, Christianity is a way of life founded on the roots of love and compassion for humanity. For it is by grace we have been saved, and not our works, that we should boast off. Thus the concept of grace itself is a gift.

Spiritual gifts are given by God mainly to edify the church and propagate this word; thus, you are likely to lose if gift if you stray away from either his word or the Christian community. Because we are vessels in the hands of the Potter, he chooses whether He should mend us into that of gold, clay or wood. Also, he expects us to honour him with our gifts if we expect to receive more from him.

Spiritual gifts reflect God’s supernatural ability to show up in our lives in various ways. The gifts are predominantly ministry, manifestation and motivational gifts.

Gifts of ministry work with what believers do to serve others and meet their needs. This is how we minister and administer the love, grace and truth of God to others. The Bible provides a list of these ministering gifts and their purpose. This highlights the roles of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers in the church in propagating the knowledge of God.

Gifts of manifestation are given for the common good of Christians. To one there is given a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge, to another faith by the same Spirit, to others miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. All these work for the good of all Christians.

Gifts of motivation are how the spirit of grace moves through us motivating our words and actions. This guides the perspective with which we relate consciously with others. If your gifts are to serve, then serve. If it is teaching, then teach. If it is to encourage then give encouragement, If it is giving, then give generously. If it is to lead, do it diligently.

Gifts are great, but it is more important to know how to love God. We live because he loved us first, and without love, all the actions supposed to be gifts would be empty.

Have a blessed day!

THE MIND OF CHRIST

It is with the mind that we serve the Lord. The mind is indeed a battlefield. I have realized that in our walk with God we need to be transformed by the renewal of our minds daily. The Christian walk is a life-long journey.  Being a Christian does not make you immune to the normal mood changes that affect people. There are times you will feel angry, happy and sad. But the Bible says it is normal to get angry, but the sun should not set on your anger.  Even in your anger, you should not sin. Do you know how intense this is? We have found people commit acts of betrayal in their bouts of anger. This should not be our portion.

People universally think Christians are timid; probably because the temperament the Holy Spirit fills us with; the temperament of peace and long-suffering. I wonder if there’s anything like that. But we are being encouraged to have the mind of Christ in everything that we do and anyone that we encounter. We should ask ourselves, will our leader act this way if He was in our shoes?  That’s difficult! We should not think of ourselves highly that we should, but be modest in our thinking and judge ourselves according to the measure of faith God has distributed to each of us.

Faith is an important measure in our journey with God. Without faith, it is impossible to please God, for whoever approaches His throne must believe that He is fully capable of rewarding your action of faith. It is just like knowing an authority figure can help you out with a request and paying a visit to his quarters. It is likely your request might be granted. However, we are being encouraged to be careful of the things that we pray or ask for, because we might get them.

Being a man in our part of the world is not an easy task. We are really taught not to make demands or nag, neither are we taught to express emotions. It is expected of us to employ that stoic attitude no matter the change in tide of whatever circumstances surround us. This subjects us more to intense nervous breakdowns and other debilitating health issues. But who the Son sets free is free indeed. This includes taking our thoughts captive and demolishing any arguments and false pretensions that exalt itself against the knowledge of Christ. This demands that we surrender our entire being to God to be used effectively by Him. From this stance, the battle has already been won, and victory is ours.

The Bible admonishes us not to fight with weapons of this world, but with weapons of the spirit. Before we fight, we are to protect ourselves with the full armor that we can use to extinguish whatever battle tactics are cast our way. The weapons we fight with are mighty through God to pull down strongholds. This includes preformed mindsets that go contrary to the word of God. We are to adopt a mindset of abundance and believe that God can provide for all our needs according to his riches in glory. So ask!

My favorite verse is found in Philippians. “Do not worry about anything, but with everything with prayer and supplication, submit your requests before God, and the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”  This verse has the power to calm me down anytime I feel anxious. With this, I know whether I need rain or shine, I just have to go to the Father in prayer, and his fresh fire shall fall down heaven. For He is the only one who can rain down food on a desert, in the midst of a famine, and pour down his dew when there is a heavy drought. He gives perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm.

Our thoughts define who we are. We have been given an amazing brain which is efficient at multitasking, and this includes thinking. Anytime our thoughts lead us down a spiral, our attitudes follow. Like a car tire stuck in a deep rut of mud, we find ourselves unable to drive out. We are to think positive thoughts and filter out the negative ones; otherwise we become prisoners held captive in a cage of disbelief, believing the lies which affect everything and everyone around us.

We have been given the mind of Christ. This means we are heirs to the throne. To dig out the rut, we have to find scriptures and the truth that helps us overcome the rut of lies. When negative thoughts come, we have to redirect and train our minds to think the right thoughts. Find freedom in the truth and His words and believe they are for you.

Who we allow in our life and personal inner circles affects our gratitude quotient and the type of thoughts we think on a daily basis. Good company always produces good character.

May we find the peace to live out today to the fullest, and be productive in all our endeavors.

Have a wonderful day!

Eliezer

THE LOVE OF THE FATHER

Lately, I have understood that everything in life happens for a reason. It has been orchestrated from the beginning to happen and we are just in alignment with the orchestra, dancing to the tune of the harp and lyre being played. One thing I have begun to imbibe is, the closer you get to God, the closer He gets to you. The way you get to God is by reading, studying and researching His word.

Another thing humans fail to recognize is the omniscience of God. In our dealings with other people, we turn a blind eye to the fact that someone might be watching. King David states in the Psalms. “Where could I go to escape from You? Where could I get away from Your Presence?” He was terrified that every single action of his was being seen and recorded by his best friend. He actually wanted a timeout. I wish it was that easy.

The Bible states that Darkness and Light is the same for the Father and the night is as bright as the day. There comes a time in our life where we have to take that step of Faith, such as changing our jobs, pursuing our passions and choosing a spouse. We usually want a nod from close friends and family before we take that step because we gain confidence from their approval. But with the Father, you need no validation from human beings; because he knows the end from the beginning. Even before you were born, He knew you and allotted the days you will spend on earth in His book before you began numbering your days. Can you imagine the expanse and intensity of your relationship with Him? I doubt you can.

Averagely, a human thinks about 40,000 thoughts a day. There are times where we lose ourselves in our thoughts that someone has to nudge us before we come back to reality. This happens frequently when we encounter a very distressing situation. I have realized that when you get closer to God, he automatically aligns his spirit with yours and scans your mind. Just like a computer’s antivirus, he filters and quarantines the negatives thoughts that keep you awake at night and fills your ear with goodness. Those who are led by God’s spirit are God’s children and by virtue of that, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his children. You begin to emanate glory and favor, and other good things. Then he makes your life a living testimony and guides you in the everlasting way. Even when you walk through the deepest valley, He has promised that He would not leave you. Even through the blasting furnace, He is there with you. Remember the prodigal son? He intends to draw us closer to himself every time.  He does this through real life experiences and subtle conversations with people each and every day. He loves you and will give up whole nations just to save your life. Like the Good shepherd, He will leave the intact ninety-nine just to track and save the lost one.

For eons, human life has been devalued and there is a reason. The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. The enemy works hardest in letting us believe we have no worth and our lives do not matter. He robs us of our happiness and saps the little joy that we have. Even though we look happy outwardly, we are starving inwardly. The adversity makes us think we are worthless and our lives have no meaning and purpose. But this morning, I need you to reject that lie that has been imprinted in your mind. You are the son/daughter of a King and a child of the most High God. Do you know what this means? You have access to the throne room. As the veil was torn into two, a direct connection was established. All we need to do is go to the Father in the sincerity of our heart and talk to Him, and just like any good Father, He will heed our prayer. “Through salvation our past has been forgiven, our present is given meaning, and our future is secured.

It is important to understand your mission and the purpose for which you were brought to the world. This is your ministry. Your contribution might be saving lives in the hospital, or impacting lives by teaching. Whatever you do, make sure you are doing it to the glory of God.

As you step into today, be rest assured of the favor and glory you carry today. Touch the heart of whoever you encounter today.

Have a wonderful day!

Eliezer

PRUDENCE

Knowledge is the principal thing. In all thy getting, get knowledge and above all, get understanding. My devotion this morning emphasizes how God expects us to beg for knowledge not search for knowledge. This means he is the source of all knowledge.

Many of us want to live life on the edge and experience all there is. Yet we have been instructed to choose prudence, otherwise we always tumble into a trap. Prudence is defined as “the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason”. This also refers to the skilled use of good judgment in the use of resources.

The Book of Proverbs says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Fear in this parlance, is defined as profound reverence and awe toward God. This means we are aware of his virtues and we practice the things that make Him happy. As we do this, he floods us with his rain and fills our thirst with a downpour of insight. All his decrees are road-tested and does not leave us disappointed. In fact, He becomes our personal teacher, assistant and guide.

As we wait to be found by Him, He reveals himself to us when we search for him with all our heart. Like the parable of the lost coin, He expects us to seek him like we try to find hidden treasure; especially in the dark. Then we will succeed in learning about God and knowing all His ways. For it is the Lord who gives wisdom and from Him, comes knowledge and understanding.

In our dealings with people, He wants us not to take advantage of the weak and the weary, the poor and the innocent. We are to treat others fairly and engage with a community of believers(people testified to be of good conduct and unquestionable character) which is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The wisdom we will gain will be like a fragrant incense which rises pleasingly to the Lord. The insight we will gain will provide us with a long, pleasing and happy life. We will not be afraid when we go to bed and we will sleep soundly through the night, because we know who has got us! The joy we will experience would be more than we have ever imagined with our corn and wine.

The knowledge we will gain directs our steps and teaches us what we have to do. For there is a time of planting and there is a time of harvest. For it is a disgrace to sleep through the time of harvest. It is time for us to reap bountifully from everything we have sown from the beginning of our lives.

Wisdom calls out to us like a shield and treasure. It helps us make the hard choices that go against our desires. It should be our guide and direction. Whoever finds wisdom finds life and gains favor in the sight of God and man.

Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful Monday.

Eliezer

CHOICES

We all want things that will make us happy, healthy and complete. As children, we thought the world was only full of giggles, smiles and laughter. Being gifted with the latest toys sent us running helter-skelter. However, being an adult, I have realized that wants will always remain insatiable and there are times you get hit with bouts of pain and disappointment. Like the classic Oliver Twist fable, we will always want more. When we drive a simple car, we always think upgrading that car will finally give us the satisfaction we desperately desire. This applies to desiring a bigger house, better job or fancy trip. We always get back to square one when these demands are met ultimately.

When these fail to fulfill us, we reach for alcohol and other recreational drugs to soothe our aching hearts. Sadly, they leave us disappointed yet reaching for more.

As the year draws its curtains down, it is time for us to reflect on how the year has unwinded for us. Most of us might have formed resolutions at the beginning of the year. Introspectively, we have to go over these and double up our steps trying to achieve and check most of them before the year ends.

It is perfectly normal not to meet all the targets we set for ourselves, especially when the expectations are high. Take a break from it all, relax and breathe. Get back on your toes when you are done. There’s a lot more to achieve.

As cliché as resolutions sound, they have been very instrumental in my life and upbringing. My laid-back friends describe me as being too ambitious. However, the parable of the talents in the gospel demands that we put to use the skills, abilities and talents that we have been gifted with. Because when the Master comes, he is going to demand results of whatever he entrusted us with.

I have some friends who say they haven’t identified their talents even in their adult age. If you think this way, you are not alone. I have been there before. It took a conscious effort of reflection and prayer to uncover and unearth my talents.

When God reveals your talents to you, he rewards you with satisfaction and fulfillment even in the midst of chaos and despair. Talents take a lot of hard work and persistence to hone, because they usually come in the bud stage.

It is normal for us to have addictive tendencies. These addictive tendencies propel us to strive for more and achieve the best that we can. They drive us to think creatively and put our talents to good use. It is important that we strive to remain addicted to Him and his word. For his word is our light, guides our path and shapes our vision.

To those of us who have fought unspeakable battles this year, still keep fighting. Keep pushing and holding on to that faint invisible thread. Notice how diamonds are refined by fire? Tough battles in our lives make us stronger, faster and better. They help us move from victory to victory. When others walk, we run. When others run, we bolt. When others bolt, we leap! When others leap, we fly! Because we have our backbone and victory being resident in the promises of the Creator.

Even though, I have not achieved all the resolutions I set for myself this year, it is a clarion call to stay focused and sharp; giving my set goals my best shot before the year ends.

Remember happiness is free and you call the shots. Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember to enjoy a healthy life to the fullest.

Have an amazing day and a Happy November!

Eliezer.

IMPERFECTIONS

In my devotional today, I learnt that community is necessary for growth as a believer. Fellowship is the hallmark of Christians. It is essential that we encourage each other in our day-to day activities and our walk as Christians.

Seeking God is a conscious effort. It is just like growing up. It is normal to fall when you try to walk for the first time. It is more of a journey rather than a destination. Everyone has their misgivings and that is what makes us human. It is totally normal for us Christians to falter sometimes. There is no need to be so hard on yourself. When you sidetrack, kneel and go before God in total reverence to Him. Acknowledge your imperfections and ask Him to strengthen you and give you the grace to continue this walk of Faith. There is no one perfect. Not even one.

Even in your pain and anguish, you know God is keeping you strong and opening new doors for you. It may not be evident, and you may not understand what you are going through. But in the end, it will make sense. Remember you are inscribed in the palm of His hands, He knows your every being and has destined you for great things. New opportunies, better connections and above all grace!

It is through grace you have been saved and not by your own strength. If it had been your strength, trust me, you would have faltered a long time ago.

As you step into today, it is my prayer that He gives you the grace to overcome any obstacle that comes our way. May Joy fill our hearts and mouth. And may favour locate us wherever we find ourselves.

Have a blessed Saturday!

INFLUENCE

My devotion this sunrise spoke about the power of influence. About how influence helps in impacting other people’s lives and reaching out to help others. This is a snippet of what I learnt.

Influence is defined as the power to change or affect someone or something. This is also defined as the power to cause changes without directly forcing them to happen. We have seen people reach high levels of influence in their careers and lives. Time Magazine lists the 100 Most Influential People in the World in this hyperlink. https://time.com/collection/100-most-influential-people-2021/ These are people who either rose from places of riches and power to make significant influence in their personal lives and the lives of others. Examples include Michelle Obama, Prince Harry and Meghan and Elon Musk. In a recent global shutdown, we know how people/businesses were rendered stagnant when social media was down for some hours. Some teens described their worlds as being a standstill because they couldn’t log in to interact with other users and posts.

We all influence those around us whether we are aware of it or not. Perhaps it is when we lead in some sphere of life as a parent, teacher, team leader, captain of a sports team or board member. At some point in life there will be people looking up to you or observing you. Does our behaviour contradict the very truths we are trying to get across to others? Does your lifestyle reflect one that is entirely in love with Christ and submitted to God?

Influence doesn’t come to us instantaneously. It is something we have to work build and grow intentionally. Everyone of us has influence, but our influence is different with different people. We can influence others positively or negatively; the choice is ours. There are people who monetize their influence, gain and craft and even money from it.

What is essential to recognize is that how we influence impacts our results. If you influence others through manipulation, over time you will lose trust. If you influence others through skilled collaboration, you will gain trust and respect.

Even the world of business hinges on influence. You cannot buy or sell a house, advance in your career, sell a product, or even gain employment opportunities without building healthy relationships. The truth is that learning how to influence people is about centering on the humanity of others.

It is important to be authentic because it is hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself. Get comfortable with your uniqueness first, and then get out there and influence others. Come up with exciting and interesting ways to keep people engaged. Be creative!

The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority

Ken Blanchard
PhotoCredit : GoogleImages

Have a wonderful day!

Eliezer.