The Highway Of Praise
Highways are turnpikes or expressway with free flow of traffic. Highways don’t have traffic lights or stops, since they are usually interstates or inter-city roads. They are freeway devoid of obstacles and encumbrances. Like highways, praise for the believer is the surest way of overcoming hindrances and obstacles, and getting our desires established after praying. The under-listed are ways to travel on the highway of praise, and the results we get as we journey in PRAISE.
Praise is comely: “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright” (Psalms 33:1 KJV). The synonyms of comely are beautiful, proper, pleasing, good, and attractive. Praising God is good for the health and makeup of the believer. It makes the praise-full believer attractive and beautiful. And God relishes the praise of the pure, blood-washed believer (Scripture reference: Psalm 92:1-4).
Revel in thanksgiving. To revel is to take great pleasure and delight in something. Delight yourself in the Lord your God and He will grant your heart desires. The one leper who was healed was recorded to have returned to thank God “with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16). Also, the lame man who was healed by Peter and John entered the temple walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3: 8-9). We are to thank God with high praises, wild jubilations, and effusive singing.
Ascribe greatness to God: Thanksgiving extol God’s goodness. Praise extols His greatness. Worship extols His holiness. To ascribe greatness to Him (i.e. to praise Him) is to eulogize Him about His works. His works are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:3-4), great (Psalm 111:2), wonderful (Psalm 139:14), incomprehensible (Job 37:5), and visible in creation (Romans 1:20). The greatness of someone is measured by the greatness of their work. As we magnify His greatness, God in turn does great things for us, in us and through us.
Increase is a result of praise: Just as warm air rises from the earth and condenses to form clouds which in turn fall as rain on the earth, so also when praises rise up to God the resultant effect is a rainfall of blessing. This waters the earth and causes the earth to yield to mankind. The desolate places of this earth are places where nothing is going up (Zechariah 14:17). A Christian who is praise-full will experience increase, much blessings and divine interventions (Scripture reference: Psalm 67:5-7).
Sacrifice of praise is highly regarded by God: A sacrifice is something offered to God at a cost. A sacrifice of praise is when we offer praises to God in distressful and inconvenient times. Paul and Silas offered a sacrifice of praise to God while they were in jail and severe pain which they suffered after being bodily tortured in Philippi. They sang praises to God in this unpalatable moment and the result was an earthquake which loosened every prisoner’s chains (Scripture reference: Acts 16:16-34).
Eleventh hour miracle is an outcome of heartfelt praise: We are in the eleventh month. The eleventh hour is defined as the latest possible time before it is too late. I believe sincerely that a heartfelt, continued praise offered to God will make Him do in this eleventh month what He hasn’t done in the last 10 months of 2016. “Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart” (PSALM 37:4 AMP).
Conclusion: The highway of praise will take us from glory to glory, victory to victory, faith to faith, and triumph to triumph. As the year begins to wind up, engage this spiritual tool to the utmost, and you will experience His great blessings. Have a blessed month!
Building A Tower
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:28-30, NKJV).
As the year begins to come to an end, many are already reflecting on year 2016. The year, thus far, may have been great for some and not too great for others. Regardless of where you may find yourself, this period is actually the time to begin to project and plan for the future. Doing such an endeavor is like building a tower.
Building a tower is far different from putting up a shanty. It could be akin to starting a new building project, starting a new line of career, starting a new business enterprise or becoming an entrepreneur. It could also be a spiritual assignment; every believer, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, is building a spiritual edifice (1 Peter 2:5). It could also be committing to raising up godly children in an era of increasing decadence. Thus, building a tower is like doing something of significance. The following are some truths of how to BUILD:
Believe in God: “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do because I go to My father” (John 14:12). The quoted scripture is Jesus’ word to believers. Having faith in God is very crucial to doing mighty works. It activates the divine in the life of the believer, making him or her to see the possibility and attainability of anything. That is why Jesus categorically said: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). Towers are built by believers who believe in a mighty God, with whom nothing shall be impossible.
Understand your assignment: To build a tower, it is imperative one knows and identifies the tower he is assigned to build. We are only divinely empowered to do things in line with our God-given assignment. Nehemiah was assigned to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. He was burdened, passionate and restless about the broken walls. What is your assignment? What are your burdens and passions? What arouses godly anger in you? They are pointers to your assignment.
Incline your ear to hear: Building a tower isn’t a child’s play. You must have a word or inspiration from heaven that will enable you to continue, especially when the going gets tough. God is always willing to speak as long as we are willing to listen. God will speak as long as we are focused on seeking Him wholeheartedly and patiently. God will also speak in line with our prompt obedience (Scriptural reference: Jeremiah 29:12-13).
Leverage on what you have: You can’t build a tower alone. To build a physical structure of that magnitude, many experts will be needed. For example, to build a great career, business or ministry, mentors are needed. Identify your resources and leverage on them. Leveraging means laboring with wisdom. It means using other people’s talents, resources, experience, money, time, etc. Nehemiah leveraged on his connection with King Artaxerxes to get materials for the building of the wall (Nehemiah 2:7-8).
Do your due diligence: Our main text says we should count the cost of building. In this modern day and in secular parlance, it means do due diligence. Failing to plan is planning to fail. A man of God said “it is prayer and planning that makes us co-laborers with God.”
Conclusion: The Bible says we should lay up treasures in heaven. In other words, build a tower in heaven. To make heaven and reap dividends there, all the afore-mentioned points are important. Have you received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you building your tower in heaven? With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can build towers here and in heaven.
The Ability To Wait
“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time I will wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14, KJV);
“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare would I wait, till my release should come” (Job 14:14, ASV)
In today’s fast paced world, a world of instant messaging, instant coffee, instant skyping, etc., waiting is becoming increasing difficult, particularly for the younger generation. But anyone who will walk with God and make strides in the spirit realm have to embrace the concept of waiting. Our God uses waiting and patience to prove our faith and infuse maturity in us (James 1:2-4). Holding on during intense, pressured moment builds capacity in us and forces us to seek God. Waiting makes us abide with the process of life and perfect the process of development. For example, a pregnant woman carrying a child doesn’t have a choice but to accept and abide with the inconveniences of pregnancy. She has to go through the process (i.e. nine months of pregnancy) in order to get a favorable outcome. The scriptures say it is good to both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentation 3:26). Our opening text tells us that waiting time is akin to warfare or examination time, and how we utilize such a time matters a lot. Below are some truths to consider:
Wait Actively: Waiting isn’t always synonymous with passivity or inactivity. The Bible says we should rejoice in anticipation (Romans 12:12). The prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, while waiting for rain to fall after a drought of three and a half years, kept on requesting his servant to go check the clouds. He was active while waiting. Waiting time is crucial, and hence must be taken seriously. We must learn to listen to divine instructions during our waiting period. We should also learn from the eagle which goes into waiting to renew itself. It retreats and goes into seclusion for many days to pluck off its weak feathers and beak, allowing new ones to emerge. We are to use waiting time to seek God, do spiritual warfare, memorize scriptures, perfect our art, chill and allow a new ‘us’ to emerge.
Wait Expectantly: A vision, goal or dream always speaks at the end, and not at the beginning. This is what makes the goal or dream worth waiting for. If you desire it, and the desire is within God’s will for you, it shall surely come to pass. Faith in God approves God, and this approval is pleasing to Him (Hebrews 11:6). His faithfulness to fulfill promises is always evident to all when the dream is realized (1 Thessalonians 5:24). When one keeps looking to God for a desire to manifest, it commits Him to perform. Make bold statements about your desire and proclaim it on the rooftop for people to hear. This kind of action propels God to manifest His power and glory to you.
Wait for the coming of the King: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord, see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, ……, You also be patient, establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7-8). A faithful employee is one who does his work diligently at all times whether the employer is present or not. Jesus is coming back, and it’s only those who endure to the very end shall be saved. Endurance means staying ability. The way we live our lives is proof of whether we believe or not that Jesus is coming back. We should live in a state of preparedness always before God, so that we will not be caught napping at the coming of the Lord (Luke 12:35-40).
CONCLUSION: It is divine providence to sometimes delay manifestation; hence, the need for us to develop the ability to wait (John 11:5-6). Also, cutting corners or short circuiting the process will always have adverse consequences. But abiding and embracing the process results in favorable outcomes.
The Renewing Of The Mind
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
Christianity is a way of life that is opposed to the ways of this world. Personal transformation and change in the attitude of people always start with a change in their thinking patterns and thoughts. Becoming a born-again Christian doesn’t automatically mean there has been a complete, overnight change in the person. God’s intention is to change our mentalities, stereotypes, mindsets and patterns from a worldly perspective to His own perspective. The rate at which an individual Christian changes is a function of his or her cooperation with God in the process of mind renewal. To renew means to make new or to renovate. Below are vital truths about RENEW:
Renew the mind: The mind functions as an umpire between the spirit and the flesh or human nature. It decides which direction to take. It makes the decision between choosing the higher way of the spirit or the lesser way of the flesh. Any way this pendulum swings determines our outcome or action. The Bible says we should put off our old nature and take on the new man which is created in true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24). It is every Christian’s personal responsibility to do this.
Enlist inspired thoughts: The Bible is God’s inspired book (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible carries God’s breath. It isn’t a mere or ordinary book. Therefore, by consciously imbibing the Word of God, (for purposes of instruction, reproofing, encouraging and correcting) you are allowing divine thoughts that carries great potential to impact supernatural qualities on you. It was an inspired divine thought which Jacob had through a dream that made him wealthy in a very short time (Genesis 30). We enlist inspired thoughts by Bible meditation and prayers.
Negate and shut down wrong thoughts: The mind is the battlefield. The Holy Spirit seeks control of our minds and Satan seeks same. As Christians, we have the power to control our minds and thinking. We own our minds just like we own our hands and eyes and ears. Whatever thing we own, we have control over. We should never give our minds over to thrash and seductive information which demonic entities always peddle to us. We are not to entertain evil thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5). To entertain someone is to invite the person over into your house, feed the person, and keep the person comfortable in house. Every time we entertain an evil thought, that’s what we do. And there is always a heavy price to pay for such accommodation and entertainment.
Elevate your thinking: “Brothers do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20, ESV). Spiritual maturity results from mature thinking. To elevate one’s thinking, one has to expose the mind to superior and quality thoughts. God’s thoughts are superior thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Gideon’s thought of himself was transformed from that of a weakling to a mighty man of valor when he was exposed to quality thinking. Also, Abraham transitioned into a model of great faith when he was exposed to quality thinking. As the quality of our thoughts improves, so does the quality of our lives (Proverbs 23:7). What information do you regularly expose your mind to?
Wash with the blood: Renewing the mind is to regularly have our minds cleansed. We take time daily to wash our bodies, cars, etc but hardly do some people take time to cater for their most vital part i.e. the inner man. God made provision of the blood of Jesus to cleanse our consciences from guilt and feelings of insufficiency, so that we can approach Him and fellowship with Him (Hebrews 10: 19-22). Regularly avail yourself of this provision by having a mentality of access to God which the blood of Jesus had provided for us.
CONCLUSION: To repent is to change one’s way of thinking, and hence one’s direction in life. Have you repented by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus? Have you repented from dead works? Renewal of the mind is only perfected when genuine repentance is in place.
Born Again To Rule
“For if because of one man’s trespass (lapse, offense) death reigned through that one, much more surely will those who receive (God’s) overflowing grace (unmerited favor) and the free gift of righteousness (putting them into right standing with Himself) reign as kings in life through the one Man Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)” (Romans 5:17, AMP).
To rule simply means to reign, dominate and exercise control and authority. It is to have influence over something and have something(s) in subjection. Jesus, in His earthly journey, ruled over poverty, demonic spirits, sicknesses, death, grave and over weather elements. He came to show those who will receive His abundant grace and gift of righteousness a model to follow on how to operate and reign in this world. Below are valid truths to consider and imbibe:
Reign with Christ: King David, an Old Testament saint with uncanny insight into the New Testament, stated in Psalm 110:1:“The LORD said to my Lord, sit at My right hand till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” Jesus ascended to Heaven to sit at the right hand of God, a position of great power and authority. Born again believers are positioned and seated with Him in the heavenly place of great authority from where we operate and reign over everything contrary (Ephesians 2:6). The hosts of heaven are always eagerly waiting on us to exercise our legally given authority in this realm.
United with Christ: Every born again child of God is one with Jesus Christ. We received abundant grace and the gift of righteousness through the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary. Grace and righteousness, which Jesus freely gives us, are needed for us to rule and reign in this world. Grace is for empowerment, while righteousness is our positioning and location. We are representatives of the divine order in this realm, having been made partakers of His divine nature. We are spirit beings and gods because of the Word of God personified in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As Christ is, so are we here in this world (1 John 4:17b).
Leaders are followers: Leaders are rulers. The lion is a leader in the animal kingdom because it rules in that domain (Proverbs 30:30). Great leaders are made, and not born. They are made by following other great or greater leaders. Elisha became a mighty prophet by following Elijah. Esther became a queen by following the instructions of Mordeccai and Hegai the king’s eunuch. Paul reigned by following Christ and in turn asked believers to follow him (1 Corinthians 11:1). Following Christ’s instructions, observing His modus operandi and imbibing and practicing same will make us rule and reign in this world.
Exit wrong association: With Brexit still fresh in our minds, the vote for it was a vote to leave a supposedly unlikely association. It’s often said that we are the average of the five closest people to us. If the five closest to you are winning, the likelihood is that you will eventually win if you aren’t winning presently. Associations are strong; they make or mar us. Because Jonah was in some people’s boat, they suffered loss; calm was restored when he exited from the boat. Jump into Jesus’ boat today, if you haven’t done so; and begin to reign.
CONCLUSION: The closest enemy and most difficult for us to rule over is our sinful human nature. The degree to which we conquer the Adamic nature in us is the degree to which we reign and rule. For one to exercise authority effectively, one must subject to the higher authority of God Almighty. Apostle Paul said he always had his flesh in subjection to the laws of God (1Corinthians 9:27). Receive fresh grace this month to begin to rule and reign in Jesus’ name.
Operating In God’s Economy
“And do not seek what you should eat or drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you” (Luke 12:29-31).
God has an economic system that is diametrically opposed to this world’s system. As born again believers in God’s Kingdom, it is imperative for us to know how His economic system operates so as to avail ourselves of the blessings therein.
God’s economy is free from anxiety: Our opening text says God knows we need material things. As a good Father, He provides sufficiently for His children. It is only weird children who will doubt their parents’ willingness to give them the things they need, particularly when they know their parents can afford it. It is an assumption for many children that their parents will provide for their needs. The Psalmist emphatically says he has never seen the righteous forsaken and his seed begging for bread. It is necessary for us to also see God as our Source and Provider, and not just our Savior and Healer. Anxieties about finances and supplies simply shows we have little faith (Luke 12:28).
God’s economy is free from greed: The wealth of the world is predicated on and motivated by greed. The craving to have more and more rules the world’s system. Jesus said a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions even when he has a lot (Luke 12:15). Though God wants us to have things, He doesn’t want things to have us. Things are not God. One of the reasons why God commands us to give generously and regularly is to avoid been consumed by greed. A man of God said: “the only proof you have conquered greed is your giving.”
God’s economy is not just monetary: The net worth of an individual is his Assets less Liabilities. Money can only answer to things, and not all life’s issues. For believers in Christ, our net worth is much more than riches or what it can offer; our real asset is our relationship with God (Jeremiah 9:23-24). God told Abraham (and by extension us) that He is His exceeding great reward (Genesis 15:1). True riches are more than things. True riches refer to the ability to get prayers answered, ability to hear from God, ability to have peace of mind in the midst of turmoil. It is also good health, divine favor, divine wisdom, etc.
God’s economy is a partnership: Jesus entered Peter’s boat on Lake Gennesaret by purpose. There were two boats, but He entered Peter’s and ended his financial struggles and toil (Luke 5:1-11). Tithing is neither an old nor new covenant issue; it is actually a timeless covenant issue. We are stewards of God’s possessions because He owns all things; we don’t own anything. He owns it all. This understanding should help us surrender our finances, business and careers to Him. When He becomes our senior partner indeed, our heavens open and lack disappears. God is looking for trust worthy partners like Peter.
God’s economy is a mindset: God’s economy rest solely on the law of seed time and harvest (Genesis 8:22). It is about sowing and anticipating the harvest from the seed intentionally planted. It is about having a mind that seeks to glorify God in all things and at all times. It is a mindset of possibilities in spite of odds. Isaac planted in famine and his crops yielded supernaturally (Genesis 26:1-3, 13-14). It is a mindset that doesn’t give up. Isaac kept on digging wells till he got to Rehoboth (the place of his enlargement). This mindset is totally opposed to that of this world. In the world you accumulate for leverage; in God’s economy you liquidate for leverage (Proverbs 11:24-26).
CONCLUSION: Are you a bona fide member of the Kingdom of God. If not, accept Jesus as Lord and Savior today. If you are, are you operating fully in God’s economy? Receive faith, courage and a heart of obedience to begin to operate God’s economy.
Your Thoughts Are Entities
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8, KJV).
An entity is synonymous to something real, living and separate. An entity is an object not necessarily material. Many times, we don’t think of our thoughts as objects that are real and living. A certain man of God said the most important things in life are your thoughts, and the most powerful things in life are the words that we speak. Our words emanate from our thoughts and thinking patterns (Matthew 12:34). Below are some things to consider:
Thoughts Are Real: Our values and beliefs are shaped by the way we think and all these determine who we are. Our destinies are also determined by our value and belief systems. Jesus said: “The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things”(Matthew 12:35, AMP). What we produce in our lives are the results of our thinking patterns.
Thoughts Are Changeable: The Bible enjoins us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2). Humans are “programmable” creatures. Our brains register events of pain and pleasure, and have a tendency to replay and repeat them even when they are destructive. Habits are formed when we keep allowing the brain to replay events of pleasure. The Word of God and the Holy Spirit in the believer are powerful change agents. As we fix our minds on the Word of God, we gain quality and higher thoughts that eventually produce quality mindsets and people.
Thoughts Are Entities: We live life from within us. We draw inspiration, and otherwise, from our minds and thinking patterns. Until God convinced Gideon he was a mighty man of valor and capable of defeating the Midianites, Gideon wasn’t ready to make any move against them. But once his thinking pattern changed about himself, he made the move against the Midianites (Judges 7:14-16). The battle of life is won or lost, first and foremost, in the minds of men. Thoughts are entities.
Thoughts Are Controllable: The clarion call is to always be conscious of your thoughts. Our main text above says we should focus our thinking on noble things. The Amplified version of 1 Corinthians 14:20 says: “Brethren, do not be children [immature] in your thinking; continue to be babes in [matters of] evil, but in your minds be mature [men].” Adult people take charge, while infants don’t. We are to take charge of our thoughts (Proverbs 4:23). Psychologists tell us it takes approximately 21 days to change a particular thinking pattern.
Conclusion: Repentance is always as a result of deep, reflective thinking. The prodigal son, upon seeing how low his life had sunk, made up his mind to go back to his father’s house, where there is abundance. God has given us the responsibility to decide what manner of life we want. It’s not enough to desire a quality lifestyle; we must be willing to pay the price for it by changing our thinking, and as a result our ways. Have a blessed month.
Made By Grace
“So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace” (Romans 11:6, NIV)
Biblical grace has a few definitions: It is God’s power at work in the believer (Acts 4:33). Grace is also unmerited favor and kindness of God brought to man by Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 8:9). Grace is also charis, from where we have the word charisma, which is a divinely conferred gift or talent (Romans 12:6-8). Below are some different manifestations of grace that is expedient for the Christian in order to maximize life here on earth:
Sufficient Grace: “And He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness… Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). God spoke to Apostle Paul (and to us), in the above-quoted Scripture that His ability is at our disposal whenever we are at our wit’s end. When we are helpless in ourselves is really when Divine help is most available. There is need for Christians to carry the mentality of sufficient grace particularly in times of distress.
Sustaining Grace: This grace makes the believer a finisher. It sustains the believer in times of great opposition and challenges. It also enables the believer to hold on and finish well. Zerrubabel, the Governor of Judah, was encountering challenges from the Samaritans in finishing the temple he started. Zerubbabel was instructed to shout “Grace Grace” at the place of the construction (Zechariah 4:7). Grace will produce divine supply to finish whatever He has purposed to do in our lives.
Sanctifying Grace: The Word of God sanctifies and cleanses through the vehicle of grace (Acts 20:32). The grace of God does not justify sin, but justifies the sinner. The woman, who was caught in adultery by the Pharisees and scribes and brought to Jesus, was instructed by Him to go and sin no more (John 8:1-12). The words Jesus spoke to her were empowered words of grace that produced divine ability in her, which effected a transformation in her. This grace produces discipline in the Christian, enabling him or her to fulfill divine purpose, and to live above sin (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Superabundant Grace: “That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7, NKJV). Divine grace is always massive and cannot be maxed out. In reality, we cannot earn divine blessings by our own efforts. God’s intention is always that by blessing us beyond our imagination, the undeserved blessing will spark off thanksgiving, worship and outright obedience to Him. If divine blessings are truly earned by human effort, it will result in boastfulness which God abhors. This grace is released because of the ministry of Jesus (Galatians 3:13-14)
Saving Grace: “For it is by free grace (God’s unmerited favor) that you are saved (delivered from judgment and made partakers of Christ’s salvation) through (your) faith. And this (salvation) is not of yourselves (of your own doing, it came not through your own striving), but it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8). Our ultimate salvation, as Christians, rests totally on the grace and mercy of God.
CONCLUSION: As money works for rich men, so does God intend that His grace should work for the Christian in this world. The currency we spend and invest in as Christians is the grace of God. The grace of God is a maker of enviable destinies. Align yourself with God today and let Him raise you. Stop abusing grace by justifying sin, and stop killing grace by condemning those God has justified. Step up in grace by the grace of God.
Living Intentionally In 2016
Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil. Therefore do not be vague and thoughtless and foolish, but understanding and firmly grasping what the will of the Lord is (Ephesians 5:15-17 AMP).
To be intentional is to be deliberate about something. It is to take utmost responsibility for one’s life and actions.
Set Goals: One definition of goal is the end to which effort is directed. Apostle Paul says he presses towards the goal for the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:12-14). He had a goal in mind he was aiming for. Having no goals is like playing a football match without a touchdown line or playing soccer without goalposts. Goal setting also involves identifying something one wants to accomplish, and then establishing measures to accomplish it within a set time frame. Nothing is dynamic until it first becomes specific.
Redeem The Time: Time is the only commodity that is irreplaceable in life. Note that time is a commodity to be traded. When it is diligently and wisely used, it yields handsome dividends. Time invested in good education produces a strong mind over time. Time is of such great importance that when someone spends time with us, we thank them for their time. While money is replaceable, time isn’t. To redeem the time is to be diligent and maximize the opportunities we get in life. It also means having a sense of urgency about one’s assignment because the days are evil. To make the most out of time, one has to be careful to avoid procrastination and idleness.
Die Daily To Self: Living in pleasure (of sin) is not living intentionally. Apostle Paul said I die daily (1 Corinthians 15:31). Jesus said we should carry our cross daily and follow Him (Luke 9:23). The cross implies the crucifixion of the sinful Adamic nature in us. To die daily is to (daily and regularly) deny our human nature of its lusts and cravings. It is to tow the line of self discipline by the help of the Holy Spirit resident within us. By dying daily we are able to manifest the holiness and glory of God to our world (2 Corinthians 4:10-12).
Lean On Grace: Grace, as defined by someone, is the power of God available to meet our needs without any cost to us. Grace is a maker of men and destinies (1 Corinthians 15:10). Grace makes us accomplish great things for God (Zechariah 4:6-7). A resolute mind isn’t enough to live intentionally in 2016. His grace is greatly needed. Even when we fail, we are able to recover ourselves, dust ourselves up and continue by His grace (Proverbs 24:16).
Do The Expedient: The expedient things are the helpful and beneficial activities we engage in. By doing the expedient regularly, we cultivate good habits. Psychologists tell us it takes 30 days to change a habit. The convenient is contrary to the expedient, and it usually doesn’t deliver good results. Doing the convenient all the time is akin to cultivating poor habits that will never yield great results. Success is not a product of one time event; rather, it is a product of a string of expedient activities.
Give Yourself Away: “Now when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation he fell asleep” (Acts 13:36, NIV). Jesus said he came not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom (Mark 10:45). You are never remembered for what you get; rather, what you are remembered for is what you give. To intentionally live is to serve your generation according to the will of God. Look for ways to serve in your family, church etc in 2016.
Sow Seeds: The law of reproduction is predicated on planting a seed (Genesis 8:22). Every seed reproduces after its kind. Deliberate living is to plant seeds of what you intend to harvest. Farmers are deliberate seed planters. A farmer who doesn’t plant in the planting season will have nothing to harvest during harvest seasons. Prudent farmers don’t consume all their harvest. Every harvest includes the seeds for the next planting season, and the number of seeds sown determines the size of the next harvest. Believe in this principle to your benefit; ignore it to your disadvantage.
Conclusion: May your life take a leap forward in this leap year in Jesus’ name, as you make every effort to live intentionally. Happy New Year!