Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Life Is Business


“Life is business”, this was the thought that cropped up in my mind while meditating on some scriptures yesterday morning. It got me thinking and the more I thought on it, the more the truth about it dawns me.
Life is business and until we understand this to be the case, we may not really make the most of it. No matter what you do, you are involved in one sort of business or another.  Entrepreneurs are not the only ones in business, we all are- whether students, athletes, employees, civil servants or politicians.

I am aware that many definitions exist for business.In the midst of this multitude of definitions, they all seem to agree on some fundamentals- that business is about meeting needs whether through buying and selling or through the provision of services with the aim of making profit.To the conventional and myopic mind, profit is all about money. So when you tell them about life being business, they see you as being materialistic, money conscious and carnally minded. What they don’t know is that some profit (rewards) come in terms of satisfaction derived from meeting needs or experience gained from rendering services, others come as greater opportunities for jobs well done and yet some others come as recognitions (awards) for services rendered. In other words, profit could mean different things to different persons. However, whatever profit means, it comes in response to the activities you have engaged in. In other words, “profit” is the consequence, wages, rewards, gain (or loss), recompense, result, or outcome of the (business) activities one has engaged in and how those activities were done.

Personally, I define business as harnessing resources to achieve set goals, targets or objectives. You are in business if you know how to harness available resources (time, money, people, materials) to achieve set objectives. If as a student you know how to harness your time, money, network of friends, materials to achieve academic set goals, then you are already in business. The same goes for pastors, politicians, athletes etc. The entrepreneur, whom we all know and agree to be in business,does no different! The earlier we start being business minded in our approach to whatever we do in life, the better for us. The call for business mindedness is not a call to be greedy, selfish, materialistic, capitalistic or crafty. All these are some unhealthy practices people carry into business. To view business only from such perspective, and thereby discouraging business mindedness is myopic and counter-productive. It’s like viewing life only from the prism of sin, wickedness and unrighteousness and thereby, refusing to be involved with life. To be business minded is to be serious in our approach to issues; to be result oriented; to be solution driven; to be opportunity sensitive and investment minded. It means to be creative. Whether we like it or not, so long as we are on this side of eternity we are either consciously or unconsciously buying or selling something both tangible and intangible things. Business minded mindset is what will help you plan and set goals for your life, invest your resources and seize and maximize opportunities in pursuit of these goals. It will help you reduce wastages as much as possible. Imagine what will happen if civil servants approach their work with this mindset. Whatever you don’t approach with this mindset is leisure or pass time. And I don’t think that’s how you want to approach your life. Shrewd businessmen would always tell you it’s “business before pleasure” “business instead of games” or that “time is money”. “Let’s mean business” is yet another business terminology we often employ whenever we want the other party to get serious in whatever we are doing.

It may surprise you to know that the Almighty God is business minded. HE’s always result oriented and HE expects us to be as well. HE never does anything just for the fun of it. When HE sent HIS Son to the earth, it was with the specific objective of harvesting souls. HE “invested” HIM as it were, and harvested (and still harvesting) millions in souls.When God calls a man, HE sets out objectives the man must endeavor to achieve. As it is with the Father, so it is with the Son- HE was business minded (result oriented) while on earth. No wonder as a child, HE asked HIS earthly parents when they came looking for Him if they knew not that HE must be about HIS Father’s business?( Luke 2:49). He further declared, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work” (John 4: 34).In another place HE said, “My Father worketh hitherto and I work”.  That was HIS approach to HIS Father’s business and no wonder HE was very productive ‘cos HE never joked with it. HE expects nothing less from us. “…I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit…and every branch that beareth not fruit HE taketh away…(John 15: 16, 2) “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth forth not good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Matthew 3:9). We have been called to a life of productivity. One scripture amongst othersthat really underscores this fact is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25: 14-30. Those servants who traded with their talents and gained other talents were commended and rewarded by the master. On the other hand, the servant who refused to invest and utilize his was condemned.  

Life indeed is business and God is interested in how you run the business of your life. HE is not pleased when you not productive. “He spake also this parable; a certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and south fruit thereon, and found none. Then said he to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground?” (Luke 13: 6-7). 

Your life is business and in fact, a serious one for that matter. Please don’t let it fail. Be serious about this business- Learn, plan, strategize, and act-because in the final analysis, you shall be rewarded both here and in eternity on how well (or badly) you’ve handled this business of life. To live otherwise is to live a frivolous and wasteful life. Selah!

Thanks for your time and please let me know what you think about this article.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” (2 Corinthians 13:5)

It is obvious from the above scripture that the onus of probing and searching ourselves lies with us. Although it admonishes us to examine ourselves in relation to our walk and relationship with the Lord Jesus, self-examination, on a broader scale, applies to other areas of our lives as well. It was Socrates who said, “an unexamined life is not worth living”. Call it whatever you wish to call it; self-examination, self-evaluation, stock taking or self-audit, the truth is, no man ever makes progress in life without a habit of periodically evaluating his life. Highly successful people do this as often as possible either daily, weekly, monthly or yearly as the case may be.Even companies and organizations know the importance of this hence they hold periodic meetings and carry out audits to review progress and ascertain the health or otherwise of their firms.

When you fail to examine or evaluate your life/activities, even nature and circumstances have a way of compelling you to. Some have been forced to re-examine their diets and eating habits after some bouts of health challenges. There are also those who were offered the opportunity to re-examine their activities within the “comfort” of police cells. Activities they never spared a thought about until it landed them behind bars. It reminds me of the case of the prodigal son in Luke 16 who at a point in his life, the Bible said, "came to himself" and did some thorough evaluation of his life. His decision at that point was the beginning of his restoration. Thanks to the consequences of his wayward and promiscuous lifestyle or else he would have continued headlong in them to his eternal destruction. Friends, there comes a time (or times) in a man’s life when he needs to be alone and reflect on his life and activities. Such times are what I call personal checkpoints. If you don't have or observe them, you are done for. Do this regularly; don’t wait until crisis forces you to do it. It will help you plot a graph of your life and measure your progress. Before you start pointing fingers at imaginary enemies as being responsible for your stunted growth, do a self-examination first to be sure yours case is not self-inflicted. Most times we (our habits and activities) are our greatest enemies.

Apart from helping you know your bearing per time, self-evaluation is the first step to personal development. Even failure could be a blessing if we would re-evaluate and take stock. Whenever you sincerely engage in this, you tell yourself some home truths about your life vis-à-vis the issue under review- be it spiritual, financial, marital, business, academic etc. It helps you come to terms with your strength and weaknesses. In other words, self-examination helps you carry out a personal SWOT (strength, weakness, opportunities and threats) analysis. Some far reaching personal decisions are often taken during such exercise. Doing this also helps you pray effectively and intelligently about the issue. The often you do this, the greater your chances for progress and development.

What are your goals this year? How often do you evaluate your life and activities in relation to these goals? If a graph of your activities so far this year is plotted, will it show movement towards or away from these goals? Do you have checkpoints: pointers that alert you whenever you are drifting off your plan for achieving your goals? If you do a self-audit of your life, it may stun you to discover that you have not really made progress towards your goals this year, your tight schedule of activities notwithstanding. 

What kind of relationship and associations do you keep? How healthy are they? If “an unexamined life”, according to Socrates, “is not worth living”, I dare say, an unexamined relationship is as meaningless and purposeless as an unexamined life. Don’t let crisis force you to have a rethink on that relationship, 'cos the experience may leave a sour taste in your mouth. Be wise!

How is your relationship with God? Take an audit of your work and walk with HIM. Or are you so busy that you don’t find time out to do some spiritual stock taking? Are there worrisome signs and signals that suggest that all may not be well with you spiritually? Will I be right in saying there was a time you prayed more, studied more, evangelized more and love more than you do now? The Lord Jesus told us in Revelation 2:5 to “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen and repent”. But to do this, calls for self-examination or else we won’t know from when we fell. Do it now! The Bible says if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. Let’s not fool ourselves; if there wasn’t a possibility of derailing, there wouldn’t have been any need for the call to examine ourselves whether we be in the faith. “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he falls” (1 Corinthians 10:12). Selah!

Thanks for your time and pls, remember to drop your comments.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Don't Take Grace for Granted.

"And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail. And David girded his sword upon his armour, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him"- I Samuel 17: 38-39.

One scripture we have often misquoted or, at best, quoted out of context is Philipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I don't intend to take anything away from it, but truth is, you cannot do what you have not learn to do. No matter how often you quote and claim this scripture even with a faith as high as mountain Everest, you cannot fly an aeroplane if you are not a pilot. Neither can you operate on a patient if you are not a surgeon no matter how anointed you are. These are basic facts of life, we don't pray them into being. We learn and master them! The good new is that, going by that same scripture, we can learn to do whatever we desire to learn. Failure to learn, breeds mediocrity even in the Church. When you expect "grace" to do for you what you should do for yourself, you set yourself up for mediocrity or outright failure. That's taking grace for granted. Please, don't! Don't get me wrong, anointing, prayers, faith and grace have their places, but there is also the place of learning, mastery and development of whether a skill, a profession, a trade or a talent. The Church is littered with folks who have refused to sit down and learn before embarking on the voyage of destiny/ministry. This is has not been the practice in Bible days, even The Lord Jesus spent years preparing for a 3 1/2-year ministry.

In our opening text, we read about what transpired at the battle front. David said, "I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them". In other words, he was like saying "I've not used them before, I'm not skilled in their usage, therefore I don't know how effective they are". "Let me use what I've mastered over time while I trust God for victory", I imagine him saying. We know the outcome of it- a resounding victory. Pls don't tell me that God directed the stone to Goliath's forehead. While this MAY be the case, I believe David's mastery of the use of slings played no small rule. David understood that no man learns to use a weapon at the battle front. The best time to do that is in training. When Abraham set out to rescue Lot, the Bible said he armed  his TRAINED servant, three hundred and eighteen of them (Genesis 14:14). When you arm a man who has not been trained, you set him up for failure. Whether you arm him with position, money, people, or opportunity, if he is not prepared or trained, forget it! No wonder Paul cautioned about ordaining novices as Bishops in the Church. The rod with which Moses lead the Israelites (and parted the Red Sea) was not picked up by the road side, rather it has been his rod right form his days in exile. He however, surrendered it to the Lord, and it was later referred to as "the rod of God". That's what happened when we yield our ability (skills, talents etc) to God. They become HIS and you can imagine what happens when God takes over our abilities, skills, talents etc. Under such arrangement, you can expect the Holy Ghost to teach you things never before known by man. You can expect HIM to amplify the effect; that was how a David could kill a Goliath with a sling. 

In Matthew 25:15 on the parable of the talents, the Bible said, the lord of the servants gave talents "to every man according to his several ability". It was not their lord's responsibility to develop or use these talents for them even though he was the one who employed them for the task. That's my point! What are those deposits of grace (gifts, talents) in you begging for development. God won't develop them for you, that's your responsibility. There are challenges and opportunities lurking in the corner, they don't need your permission to present themselves. And when they present themselves, what you make of them is a function of your level of preparedness. How many times have we messed up opportunities simply because we were not prepared for them?May this not be the case with us this year in Jesus' name! Amen!!

What assignment has God given you, what task has He called you to do? Develop and master the use of that "rod" or "sling" in your hand. Go for the necessary training. Failure to do this will not be an excuse at the end of the day if you failed in this assignment or task. What have you set as goals this year for which you are currently fasting and praying, believing God for? Whatever you are asking for will not drop from the skies, they more often come as opportunities. But are you prepared for them? Are you a student? Study as if it all depends on studying. Don't take grace for granted, God is not a magician! Are you in ministry, in business, or a career person? Don't be a jack of all trade and master of none. Let people know you for your expertise and skills. When you do your part, coupled with the grace and anointing of God not even satan can stop you. #Selah!

Thank you for your time!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

What Seest Thou?


"Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what Seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the LORD unto me, Thou has well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it".- Jeremiah 1:11.

Let me begin with the conventional thing to do by wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year! Wait a minute. Is the year still new, being already 10days old? Of course, it is. But make no mistake, it is fast becoming old because at the last count, I haven't met anyone today for the first time this year.  Meaning, we may soon stop using the phrase, "Happy New Year!". Well, until then, Happy New Year once again.

I have had a few "competing" topics to blog about but have been highly constraint by time. However, I think this particular one won being, in my opinion, the most appropriate for this time of the year. 
In the scripture above, The LORD asked the Prophet Jeremiah what he saw and after the Prophet had answered, The LORD told him he had well seen and as a result, HE would hasten HIS word to perform it. The average Nigerian Christian, whether protestant or orthodox, has had a full dose of new year prophetic declarations concerning 2013. However, if we must have these declarations come through in our lives, there are a few things we must know and do, one of which, is the subject of this blog. 

In the game of life, what you see is what you get. Hope you know that life is a game? O yes, it is! Mind you, when I say 'game', it doesn't mean its a game of luck. Every game has rules and even if there are atoms of luck, it responds to the right and skilful application of the rules and principles governing that game. In fact someone defined LUCK as "Labouring Under Correct Knowledge". Life is a game of principles and strategies. And you must play by these principles if you must win in the game of life. One of such principles is the principle of vision (or visualizing)

If you must win this year, you must consistently visualize your expectations. That is, your imagination and thoughts must align with your expectations and goals.
This is important for a number of reasons, some of which are:

What you see is what you possess. When God told Abraham that HE would make him a father of nations, it was pertinent for Abraham to begin to see himself as such even when he was yet childless. This was why God brought him out one night and asked him to look up into the sky and count the stars. In another place he was asked to lift up his eyes that as far as he could see would be given to him for a possession. (See Genesis 13:14-16; 15:5-6). Prior to that point, in Chapter 12, God had given him the promise but his faith, as it were, seemed shaky. But after God had had him visualize the promise in 15:5, in vs 6, the scripture recorded that Abraham believed God. If you can't see it, you can't believe it. And if you can't believe it, you can't possess it. No wonder Yongi Cho said, "seeing his possessing". True faith sees. In Hebrews 11, most of the heroes of faith acted on the basis of what they saw. Are you finding it difficult grasping the promises of God? Spend time visualizing and meditating on the them. You have to move from the realm of hearing to seeing.

How far you go in life is a function of how far you can see. There is something about seeing your expectation or goal that energies you and makes you never wanting to give up no matter what. The Bible says The Lord Jesus endured the cross, despising the shame because He had His eyes fixed on the joy that was set before him, Moses forsook Egypt not fearing the wrath of Pharaoh because he saw Him who is invisible, and 2 Corinthians 4:16 -18 declares "for which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day...while we LOOK not at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen (Our rewards in the heavens)" (emphasis mine). Quitters don't see and seers don't quit. Those who give up in life are those who lost sight of their goals. If you see a glorious future and hold unto it, no amount of failure can deter you from pursuing it.

Your life flows in the direction of  what you see. Put another way, your vision defines your direction. Here's a simple practical example. If you were to move from your present location (where you are now) to a new one, say from your office to the car park, you don;t just move about aimlessly. As you move, your eyes go first, then your body follows. You don't set your eyes in the opposite direction to the car park and expect to have a smooth movement down there. You may not have thought of this, but truth is, your life consciously or subconsciously flows in the direction of what you consistently visualize in your mind. "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he"- Proverbs 23:7. Let me share this experience with you. I started praying for job when I was in third or final year in the university (that's some 12 or 11 years ago now). Guess what? I had a picture of a job of 15k in mind and when I later shared it with a brother, He screamed, "What! What is 15,000? When you should be thinking of 70K and above". Even though I started praying for such mega job, I subconsciously held unto the 15k kind of job. You know what? My first job after service was on a salary of 15k. Here's another one: I recently stumbled on my 2005 new year list of expectations and one of the points was (a new) job on a particular salary level (in fact the exact amount was stated in it). I was surprised to discover that my present salary is just that amount. It was a surprise 'cos I had forgotten about it. I didn't just get a new job, I got the salary I had expected as well even though when I first started it was on a salary lower than that.
Without vision, your life will have not direction. Spend time visualizing the attainment of  your goals and expectation before setting out in pursuit of them. Remember your life flows in the direction of your vision.

Your transformation begins with what you see. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord"- 2 Corinthians 3:18. It is what you behold (see, visualize) that you are transformed into. "Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind"- Romans 12:2. If you can't see it, you can't become it. Some Christians have difficulty living above sin because they have not imagined (visualized, conceived) the possibility of a life without sin; the same holds true for prosperity and success. You can never be prosperous or successful with a consistent image (or picture) of poverty or failure in your imagination. What's your perception of your yourself? How do you do see yourself? You are not limited by your location or background. You are limited by your vision. If you can't see it, no amount of physical effort can make you become or achieve it. One of the important battles you will have to win is that of guarding your imagination and thought life- the battle of the mind. This explains why Proverbs 4:24 admonishes us to "keep (our) heart with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life". Why? Because what you see consistently in your imagination will definitely manifest in your life.
Looking into the glass of 2013, what beholds thou? This year won't be any different for you if you still hold on to the failures and disappointments of 2012. If that's all you still see, I'm afraid you will be setting yourself up for a repeat of them this year.
But I'm sure you see opportunities, greatness and success this year? If these are what you see, hold on to them 'cos what you see is what you get.