TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

This must be said.

It grieves me when I wake up early to go to work only to find another man who had woken up much longer than I did preaching to souls that need to be preached to.

I am not saddened that they preach, but I think that if you’d go through all that sacrifice to do a noble thing, then that thing should be done right.

Painting pictures of hell, creating awareness about the existence of demons isn’t what the gospel is about. In fact, a strong rebuke against sin isn’t what the gospel is about too.

All that will never CHANGE a man. Only the gospel is the saving power of God. Only the gospel CAN make men be BORN AGAIN.

Think about it…The only reason why a *danfo driver uses a seat belt is because he sees that he is approaching a Lastma official. The instance he gets past the checkpost, he throws it away like we dispose used toilet paper. The Fear of *Lastma bends him to use the seat belt, but as soon as the sight is gone, he returns to his posture as a non seat belt user.

All those sermons about hell and the rest only put fear in the hearts of men. Fear bends people’s will, it doesn’t change it. As soon as the picture you paint fades from their heart( and it will fade b’cos really, we’ve got important issues like fuel to think about too ‪#‎lol‬), they soon return to the very things you tried to save them from.600x600

The gospel is the GOOD NEWS. It is a story of LOVE and perfect love casts out all fear. The Gospel doesn’t DEMAND change from people who can’t even change in the first place, it OFFERS change to those who would BELIEVE. The gospel doesn’t say go to church, rather it says God is running back to you, open your heart to him. The Gospel doesn’t demand that you love God, it preaches that God loves you, has sent his son to die for you so you can be forgiven of ALL sins, and so you can receive NOW, eternal life.

Think of it, who wouldn’t love God back after he has received God’s love and forgiveness. And love is the fulfillment of all the Law. When we see the love God has for us, we are propelled to reciprocate the love to him and the people around us.

So the next time you decide to preach the gospel, ask yourself, is my message a GOOD news? If no, then it’s probably not news at all.

Before you repost that facebook message, will this sow the seed of LOVE in men’s heart? If it won’t, then it is probably not worth your time.

Selah

*A Danfo bus is a commercial peassenger bus popular in Lagos Nigeria

*Lastma is a traffic enforcement agency in Lagos.

Plans, Purposes, and Pursuits

imagesPlanning is so important that even God in all his might doesn’t fail to plan. He always has a plan- A plan for the whole world and a plan for you and i. That’s why he is way ahead of the adversary because the next set of moves he’d make are plain before him. He is never caught off guard. (Jer 29:11)

So if God makes plans, why don’t you?

Some take consolation in verses in Matt 6 which advices that we take no thought of what we will eat and drink and of our tomorrow. But really, that verse had no reference to planning! What Jesus was addressing in that portion of scripture is worry; and even though there is a thin line between both, there is also a huge difference between them.

So if God makes plans, why don’t you?

Worry is negative. It drains you. It is an abuse of your imagination and as such should be avoided. Planning is positive. It requires you to stretch yourself, task your imagination, and exercise your faith in God and his abilities in you and through you.

In Luke 14:28 Jesus advises that whoever who set out on a project must first sit to count his cost to see if he has enough to complete it. He said that whoever fails to do so is at risk of failure and shame. Planning is a preparatory act that can’t be ignored. Opportunity only favors the prepared; the man who has planned.

Many people refuse to plan because they don’t want to risk failure. They have probably set goals in the past that they failed to meet and are afraid to repeat the same. I heard once that If you aim at nothing, you will hit it a 100% of the time. Refusal to plan and set goals for those people will never make them better. If you refuse to take risks, you might not fail, but you’d definitely not win. So I advise that you set those goals. Really, you have nothing to lose but everything to gain.

Opportunity only favors the prepared; the man who has planned.

When you make plans and set goals properly, you’d most like succeed at them. Properly means that you set appropriate and worthy goals and that you map out strategies to score them.

Other people fear making wrong plans that are contrary to what God has planned for them. In someone’s opinion, why make plans for myself when God has already made some for me? My question to that is- is that a submission to fate or a confession of faith? The former I dare to say. God indeed has plans for you but he won’t force them on you. He needs you to take those plans for yourself and work them out through his help. Proverbs 16:3 (GNB)- Ask the LORD to bless your plans, and you will be successful in carrying them out.

is that a submission to fate or a confession of faith?

My plans? I want God plans! So do I. Nothing stops you from making God’s plans for yourself. God is always trying to let us on in on the plans he has for us. Php 2:13(GNB) says God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose. Isa 55:8 wasn’t referring to you. It is the wicked man that God asked to forsake his ways. Yes, God’s thoughts and plans are higher and better than the ones we can make for ourselves. But God wants us to know that we can attain those thoughts (1Cor2:9-10). He has no glory in hiding them from us but takes all glory in us living them out.

So, don’t be afraid to make plans for your life. Set BHAGs and pursue them. Commit your desires to God who is able to do immeasurably than you can plan for yourself and watch him do wonders through you and for you. You’ve got nothing to lose!

 

Afolabi Soaga

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L.O.V.E

I have heard a lot of people say that there is no such thing as true love. I completely disagree.

Quite evidently, there is a lot of falsehood and deceit everywhere. In many cases, counterfeits are usually produced in larger quantities than the original because they are cheaper and easier to make; but the existence of fakes isn’t disproof of the existence and reality of an original, as a matter of fact, it proves it.

When Jesus hung on a tree on our behalf, he proved and preached 1 Corinthians 13 in its truest and purest form. No greater love than this, than a man should die for another, and Jesus did die for us. Even in fairy tales, the greatest expression of true love is painted as when a man sacrifices his life for his lover.

How then does this relate with your search for true love or the existence of it.

In several places, the bible relates the love Christ has exemplified for the church with the same a man should have for his wife. A husband is required to love his bride as purely, deeply and intimately as Christ loves the church. That love should be so strong that it makes him one with his wife such that he loves her no less than he loves himself.

This Christ-like love is God’s expectation and requirement of us as men. We are not expected to give anything less. God won’t ask us to give something we are not able to afford. For every expectation God places on a man, he accompanies with it the capacity to fulfill it.4199531-you-are-in-love-normal

photo credit: Google

I therefore have no doubt about man’s ability to love his spouse truly and deeply, or on the existence of pure and true love.

We all just need to come to that point where we decide that we won’t give anything less nor settle for anything not true.

It is equally important that we don’t succumb to the idea of the non-existence of true love as claimed by several people who have probably had bad episodes in their lives’ drama.

It’s a lie you and I shouldn’t believe nor accept. Because our beliefs are simply thought patterns we have dwelt on for so long and have accepted as truth. As a result, they become self-fulfilling prophecies of our fate. The realities of our thoughts soon become the realities of our lives. If we choose to join the band wagon of people who claim and believe that only fake love is obtainable, then fake love would be all you can attract to yourself and give to others.

We must come to terms that true love isn’t just a fairy tale fantasy that is possible only in Disney movies, but rather a present day reality of a wise few who dared to believe in its possibility. We must believe that pure love is attainable even in this degenerated generation of ours.

We must believe that love is indeed beautiful and that we have the capacity to give and receive it in its whole, pure and best form; and that even if the true love doesn’t become everybody’s reality, it can and will be ours especially if we commit ourselves to giving it.

When you think this, that’s just what you’d get.

#IBelieveInLove

Soaga Afolabi

IWrite, ISpeak, IINspire

i wont give my life to christ, pls dont give yours!!!

WARNING: this piece is hazardous to the religious mind of a Christian. Reader’s discretion is advised. 🙂
I have spent the past 5 years of my life as a student of the prestigious and highly religious Obafemi Awolowo Univeristy, ile-ife, Nigeria. About 2 to 3 years of that time, I served as a pastor to a campus fellowship…… a responsibilty I’m pleased to have been trusted with because it gave me a platform to bless people. Those were perhaps the best periods of my life. Having said that, something like what I titled this piece many would reason should not be heard from my lips and many of my friends and colleagues will be deeply surprised and some disappointed I am posting something like this. Despite all, I choose to maintain and stand upon what I’ve said; it isn’t a mistake, I won’t give my life to Christ and if you stick to this a little longer you’ll know why and probably opt to do the same.
First, I searched through the KJV bible (using my e-sword) and shockingly, I did not see ‘literarily’ anywhere in which Jesus asked me to give my life to him (methodology: type give your life to christ( or me) in your bible search engine and scroll through the results if you find any). I searched the epistles again which I personally attach a lot of importance to and disappointingly I still couldn’t find any such request or instruction there. Desperate to be convinced, I opened the highly contemporary THE MESSAGE translation hoping someone would have sneaked in something king James mistakenly omitted but it was still the same story.
All my life as a Christian, I’ve seen and heard many preachers (myself inclusive) ask people to give their lives to Christ. All that while all of them seemed to have used a bible when preaching but now I wonder which bible they got that idea from because I can’t seem to find it in mine.
I then decided to do something else. I replaced the ‘g’ from give with an ‘L’ to get the word live. I re-did my search and this time I came across some scriptures and I’ll love to point your attention to the one below
2Co 5:15 And He died for all, so that all those who live might live no longer to and for themselves, but to and for Him Who died and was raised again for their sake.
(AMP) emphasis mine

We are asked to live for him rather than give our lives to him. Now, this is the point I get to say that living for Christ and giving our lives to him pretty much mean the same thing. It’s just plain semantics but I believe it got some people’s attention but before you get at me for that let me now also state and explain the point I am really trying to get across. What I really want to bring out here however is that our life is meant to be lived not given away. God gave us life so we can live it and not just keep it or store it up somewhere.
Here is the problem with ‘giving our lives to Christ’. Most people who have this mentality tend to fall into either of these 2 groups. The first group are those who claim with their mouths to have ‘given Christ their life’ but who then go behind and take it back by the way the live that life. They are the ones who live life as they please with no regard for the precepts and instructions of God (they place all the importance on the moment they ‘confessed Christ’ and have no regard for the period after that).
The second group are the ones who ‘give their life to Christ and refuse to do anything else with it. They prefer to leave it all to him so he could do it all for them (looking at this closely, most people here do it not out of love for God but rather out of fear of hell and a selfish desire to have him do things for them). Many people that live with this give-away mind-set refuse to really live life. They are the heavenly-conscious-earthly-irrelevant-people who have trusted their lives in God’s hand waiting for Jesus second coming and doing all they can to avoid the world, its people and its system so as not to get ‘corrupted’ with the sins of this world. They won’t go into politics, entertainment, business or anything. They are okay with just getting by….they sing ‘this world is not my own, I’m going home one day to meet my God’.
So its like 2 extreme positions. Those that are over-living and those that are not living at all. Once again, balance is our problem.
Really like Dr Myles Munroe said, there is indeed no greater burden than freedom as freedom requires the highest level of responsibility. Christ has bought us freedom. However, he didn’t pay the price of his life so that we can be dummies and robots for him, rather like the verse above said, he wants us to live our lives for him. See this…..he lived because of us and died/ gave his life FOR us so we can die to self first and then LIVE FOR him. Christ expects us to be responsible enough to live right, choose right and by our living, reveal his love and wisdom to the world, spread his gospel, all of which will eventually bring glory to his name.
So salvation is not an escape route from hell as some people view it, but rather a door into a new life of kingdom responsibility. God wants us to live life and do good works here on earth while we are at it. He didn’t ask us to receive him only to wait till when he’ll return to receive us, but rather that we should get busy living our lives to establish his kingdom here on earth. In essence, the essence of salvation is not so that you will make heaven but beyond that, that we should create heaven here on earth for others around us thereby leading them in the process to God.
Jesus instructed in Luke19:13b that we occupy till he comes. In other words he was saying get busy with living life! Jesus was telling you here not just to give your life to him, fold your arms and expect him to keep it for you only, but rather that you live your life, unleash your potentials, make impact, and Achieve Greatness.
Let me state it clearly again as I conclude. Giving your life to Christ and living your life for Christ really mean the same thing. I made that decision for him a while back and it is the best I’ve made so far and I stand by it. What I have tried to point out is the problem having a ‘give your life to’ mind-set creates. It produces Christians who are either living life in their own terms with no regard to God’s will and desire, or Christians who have decided to stay alive but stop living life because Jesus is coming soon. If you fall into any of the 2 camps, you need to get out now! Start living life and this time live it for him. To do that, you’ll have to ‘die’ to self first so you can begin to live for a greater cause (john12:24-25). Remember he lived first and then he died and now he lives for ever. So live for him on earth, be his representative, touch lives, make impact, create an heaven experience for those around you, invade the systems and take over them for God, bless your generation and leave your foot prints on the sand of time. Christ’s finished work avails you all these and more. To whom much is given much is expected…. Achieve greatness.
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun
@inspireda4

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extra-milling: the untold version of joseph’s tale

One of my favourite authors is Malcolm Gladwell. He is a terrific writer and I just love the way he writes his stuff. I recently stumbled upon his latest work I believe, which is David and Goliath and having read just the introductory chapter, I was amazed once again how he brought me to see another perspective on the famous bible tale of the dwarf who slayed the giant.
I’ll be doing something similar to that today with the story of joseph of the bible; the young Hebrew boy who went to a foreign land and was made a prime minister there, against all odds. Joseph is a good example of a man who rose from the gutter into stardom. A man who was one day a failure and the next a success. Who defiled all existing status quo and set new standards in a place he had no business being in the first place. An example we all in some way would love to pattern our lives after or at least pray to God to make of us as well.
Let me give a brief summarized story of joseph. First he was a boy his father loved but his brothers envied. Also he had a gift, a talent; he could dream dreams and give interpretations to them. Somethings led to some other things and his brothers envy went overboard to the extant they decided to sell him into slavery. And while in slavery, he rose up the ranks from being the new slave to being the steward in charge of all his master’s business. The bible didn’t really tell us how he did it; it only told us of the results his methods produced which was that his master saw that everything he place in Joe’s hands prospered. Hopefully by the end of this article, I’ll suggest what probably led to that. From his master’s house he found himself in prison for what he knew nothing about. And while in prison, from being the latest inmate, Joe became that prisoner that was trusted with the responsibility of being in charge of other prisoners (the lad was living like the warden). He rose again. How? We’ll soon find out.
Then on a faithful day, he was summoned by the king to INTERPRETE a dream. That night, Joe shaved his beards and prepared himself to meet the king. Then he interpreted the dream and ALSO gave a solution to the impending problem the country was about to face. And so he was made the prime minister.
Now that is only a summary. There are parts I didn’t emphasize. But growing up, we’ve always read this story and felt that the key to joseph’s success story was God’s favour. And so we pray a lot for favour. At other times, what we glean out from his story is how helpful gifts and talents could be. And so we pray for talents and abilities because as we say it ‘a man’s gift will make room for him’. Others find some other lessons that space and time won’t permit me to mention here. Now those stuffs are not wrong; but i don’t believe that’s all we can see from this story. I believe some crucial points are often not noticed or mentioned when Joe’s story is being said. Here are some:
First is his ability to recognize an opportunity and to make the most of it. When he was interpreting the butler’s dream, he didn’t have to shave but for a king, he had to look like he could provide a solution. He recognized the opportunity as a ticket into bigger stuffs and so he didn’t treat it lightly.
An opportunity well taken today will present us greater opportunities tomorrow.
Second which is my main point of emphasis is that he was an extra-miler. All he was required to do was interpret the dream of the king. But joseph having it engrained in his character to always go the extra mile and do more than what Is required, not only interpreted the dream but also, suggested a solution to the problem at hand. And so he was made prime minister not because he prayed and fasted; not even because he had the gift of interpreting dreams but more because he had a culture of going the extra mile.
That was probably his method at Potiphar’s (his master) house and at the prison that made him get promoted the way he was when he was at those respective places. Talent is never enough for greatness, hard work and diligence must be mixed with it to produce greatness. God detest slothfulness and life rewards anyone who is willing to do more and give more. Ever wondered why people are paid extra for working over-time. They don’t just get paid extra, they are paid more per hour worked because it is a principle of life. And so if all you were to cover was 10 miles to get 100 percent, an extra 1 mile will not provide you an extra 10%; but rather, it could provide an extra 100 percent where possible.
Organizations world over are looking for employees who will not only do what they are paid to do, but rather over and above that. Those are the kind of people they employ and they are also the ones that get the promotions and pay raise whenever the opportunities arise. Ralph waldo Emerson said that if a man writes a better book, preaches a better sermon, sings a better song, or builds a better mouse trap than his neighbour; though he makes his home in the forest, the world would make a beaten path to his door step.
There are obviously other things we can learn from joseph’s story, but this one I believe is crucial. So I encourage that you do that extra today and see what tremendous magic it could do for you.
Love
Soaga Afolabi Olusegun

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