Showing posts with label Life Tools. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Life Tools. Show all posts

Monday, 10 December 2018

31 NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS AGENDA

Here are  the things you can do and things not to do in 2019 and beyond to have unique year;

1. Keeping your seed instead of planting it. Many people stop at saving. It's very, very difficult to save and have all you need to maintain your lifestyle especially after retirement. When you save, your savings are seed; plant it. When you just keep the seed (saving money) some seeds begin to die (eaten by inflation and the like). That's why I recommend that you read about the different types of investment vehicles you can use to grow your savings. I am not necessarily talking about putting the money in a business, because you can easily lose money in  business. I am talking about putting it in an investment.

2. Walk with people wiser or stronger than you. In 2019 and beyond, surround yourself with people who will inspire you, who will make you feel you can do better, who will challenge you on.

3. Check your dressing or appearance. Don't put on 'anything' just because it covers your nakedness. Your appearance tells a lot about you. Iron your dress neatly. Don't wear dresses in the name of fashion or trend . Wear more decent but fitting dresses. This is the slogan Simple but Classy.

4. Check how you talk. Before you open your mouth, be minded of who you are talking to, where you are talking, when you are talking and also know that your integrity is at stake. In every situation, choose silence over speech unless you don't have any option.

5. Visit old people's home to appreciate them also orphanage and children in need of special care.  Don't let them feel unwanted or neglected in the scheme of things.

6. In 2019 and beyond, be more prayerful. You can't live your life thinking things occur merely logically. There's a Supreme Being who makes things happen, pray to him.

7. Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose. By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. You should not even lose that person's friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them. If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.

8. In 2019, always think Positive while being Realistic. When you see tigers praying to God, don't join them. You can be positive that they won't 'chop' you since they are praying but be realistic too that after the prayers, they'll remain tigers and God will feed them with flesh.

9. Buy gifts for your love ones. In 2019, try and do something 'small' for parents . You have no idea what  goes on in their minds Let them feel you are not far off

10. In 2019 beyond, Invest more, save less, spend less. Put your money into investment ventures. Buy T-bills, buy shares, buy fixed deposits, import some goods and sell, be a stock broker, etc. In fact, get more than one stream of income!

11. Many known names have gone and life goes on. The point is, don't work your life out. You won't take your work with you when you die. You are not as important as you think, calm down. Take time off work, go and do medical check-up, visit your family, visit gardens or the beach and appreciate nature, etc.

12. Don’t shy away from asking questions. Questions are the only way to increase the wealth of knowledge, therefore, never shy away from asking them. Ask questions that make you understand how things work and how they can make things work.

13.Never spend money you haven't received. Don't even promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. If someone tells you "Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9am and pick thirty thousand"don't go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.








14.Immerse yourself in learning. You must get involved in learning by actually doing things. Find things out, connect with people, and join groups in various stages of your life. But whatever you are learning, get yourself completely immersed in it. Do things that require a higher level of awareness and stay fully concentrated in whatever you are reading.

15.Make a decision and take action. Whatever the situation is, don’t be afraid to make decisions. And once the decisions are made, don’t hesitate to take massive action to gain momentum. It is because every vision requires action and if you don’t actually work on it, you can never achieve success.

16.Keep track of your progress. You need to keep records in order to see the patterns and go back to see how you have been doing. You need to see whether you are taking the right actions in order to reach your goals. When you track your progress, you become aware of the weak points and make an effort in getting them fixed.

17.Nurture your network. In order to become addicted to achieving success, you have to socialize with people that you respect and also the ones that are moving forward. Once you create a network, it will help you to tap into opportunities that can come across through connecting with other people.

18. Be reliable. Stay honest in your dealings by fulfilling the promises that you make. Do things that you said you will do and never step back from that. It will make you reliable in the eyes of the people and they will be comfortable dealing with you.

19. If you want to save, whenever you receive money, don’t start spending hoping that you’ll save what remains. Normally what remains is zero because as long as money to spend is available, the numerous things you can spend it on are also available. And things to spend on even incite their 'relatives' so that you spend even more than you had planned. When money to spend is not available, we naturally find a way of doing without it. That's why I've learnt to save with an investment club. Once I send money there I assume I no longer have it. Before you spend any money, put your savings aside then spend what is left after saving.

20.Never borrow money that accrues interest to start a business. That is to say, never borrow money to start a business expecting that the business will generate income to pay back the borrowed money plus the interest.

21. In 2019 and beyond, start thinking or planning towards doing more for humanity.

Never spend money you haven't received. Don't even promise someone money based on a promise you have from someone else. If someone tells you "Ezra, come to my office tomorrow at 9am and pick thirty thousand"don't go out to buy items on credit based on this promise, with the hope that you will pay off your creditor when the promised money comes; it may not come as promised and this will leave you in problems with your creditors.

22.When you get an opportunity to meet a very wealthy person, never ask for money. Ask for ideas on how to make money. They may even choose to give you money on their own after seeing that your ideas are great, but let getting money from them never be your objective.

23.Pursue something. Don't walk in the entire 365 days without having something particular in mind to achieve. Start a building project, buy a car, pay some school fees, start some job. Just do something!

24.Thinking about short-term only and forgetting about long-term or thinking about the long-term and forgetting about the short-term. For instance, Lydia was told that there's money in land. She saved money over a long period of time and bought 30 acres of land. Now she has the land but she is always broke. She is always complaining. She's disgruntled and she doesn't seem to see herself earning from the land in the near future. Now, let's ask ourselves Having 30 acres of land and no money to feed your family or take a child to hospital, is that wealth or poverty? I think Lydia only looked at long-term needs and forgot that she has short-term needs that require money. What of those who find they are one paycheck away from salary? Are they thinking about the long-term needs?

25.Never lend someone money you are not willing to lose. By the time you lend someone money, be contented in your heart that should the person fail to pay, you will not die. You should not even lose that person's friendship if they fail to repay the money you lent them. If you feel the person might fail to pay you and this will not affect your relationship with them, then lend them money. If their failure to pay would make you hate this person’s entire clan, please advise the person to go to the bank.

25.Never append your signature to guarantee someone on a financial matter if you are not willing or able to pay the money on their behalf. Do I have to explain that one? No, it's self-explanatory.

26.Avoid keeping money you don't intend to use in the short-term within easy reach. For instance, don’t walk with one hundred thousand naira in your pocket when all you plan to do in a day costs twenty naira. There are always expenses available to gobble any money that is within reach, so if you don't want to lose it, put it away in a safe place.

27.Avoid keeping money in inappropriate places e.g. in socks, under the pillow, in a pit, in the sitting room, in the bra, in a travel bag that you will place somewhere in a bus impulse buying is a devil that will keep you busy!

28.Spending money on an item that you can do without (at least for the time being). These days when I pick money from my pocket or wallet, before paying for something I ask myself What would happen if I didn’t buy this? If I find I can live with the consequences of not having that thing, I smile and walk away.

29.Paying an amount for something that's not the minimum you can get that same value for. In other words, if you are along east Legon road and you pay fifty thousand naira for a shoe that you can get at thirty thousand at Makola  market, that's a except for those who have achieved financial freedom.

30.Consistently spending all you earn or more than you earn. It's like having a drum where you have an inlet that's smaller than the outlet. It will never get full. And should the inlet ever reduce significantly the drum will run dry. If you do it the other way round and the inlet is bigger, it will get full and even overflow. Hence, we have to always ensure we are widening the inlet while narrowing the outlet – all the time. Your side hustle comes in handy!

31. Imagine yourself as a gardener. Have you ever seen a gardener preparing the soil before planting seeds? They are always glad when it’s time to reap the benefits of their harvest. Think of crops as revenue streams, networks, and hobbies. It will make you understand that in order to receive, you have to give first.

Good luck and have prosperous new year ahead.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

THE NECESSITY OF FAITH

Faith can make all the difference between something happening and not happening. Jesus could do no mighty work in His hometown because of unbelief. The Lord is sovereign. He can do whatever He wants whenever He wants with whomever He wants. He doesn't need our opinion. He doesn't need us to vote on it. He just does it.

However, He has chosen to primarily accomplish His purposes through human instruments. Now if I were God, I would not have made that selection. If I were God, I would just do things myself. Why put trust in humanity? We have proved to be absolutely undependable. But God has primarily chosen to do His work through people.

When God wanted to part the Red Sea, He didn't need Moses to hold up his rod. God was doing the work. But He commanded Moses to stretch out his rod over the sea, and it parted. God didn't need Elijah to pray for fire to come down from heaven. God didn't need Noah to build an ark. He could have created His own ocean craft for the animals, Noah, and his family. But God worked through human instruments to accomplish His purposes.

It is interesting to note that Jesus did not heal everyone. But He did heal those who called out to Him in faith. An example is the blind man who heard that Jesus was coming his way. He cried, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Someone told him to be quiet, but that made him yell even more. So Jesus heard his cry, stopped, and he received his healing.









The bible defines faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. It is evidential and substantial

Hebrews 11:1-2 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.

Faith is a spiritual force that commits God’s integrity to make good His promise. In other words, if God has said anything to you and you have faith, you therefore have committed His integrity. Faith is a guaranteed access to all your inheritance in life; it is a bridge that connects you to your destination.

As a child of God you are supposed to have faith and believe in your prayers and also the word of God – Romans 12:3b. As a believer, you should learn to understand the need to develop and strengthen your faith. Faith has only one source and grows through only that source according to Romans 10:17. The source of faith is the word of God.

Romans 10:17 – So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The prayer of faith is making decrees based on His words with deep conviction and settled assurance (James 5:13-15) There is a prayer called prayer of faith; not just prayer alone. In the kingdom of God, it is not just prayer that works; it is prayer wrapped in faith that produces good and desired results -Acts 20:9-12.

As a Christian, there are procedures to achieve a prayer of faith in order to achieve good results. God will not hear a prayer that is not backed up with his words – 1 John 5:14. Hosea 14:2. Faith works with believing; it is the assurance that the prayers are answered and it is done even before you see a physical manifestation.

Mark 11:24 – Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

The prayer of faith is not seeing the physical before believing; it is believing before seeing physical manifestations. As you begin to pray with faith, so shall all your expectation that are in accordance with God’s word come to pass in your life in the name of Jesus –Amen!

God responds to faith. Unbelief hinders His work. It is through faith we unleash His power on our behalf.

But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Acts 16:25

The Bible defines faith this way: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Another translation puts it this way: "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see". The fact that we have faith in God, in spite of dreadful circumstances, is a testimony of God. Our faith is our title deed. It is our proof; our confident assurance. It is instilled in us by God himself. And that is a powerful witness to a lost world that doesn't believe in God.


We know from the stories of the early church how many of these courageous men and women, and sometimes even children, were martyred for their faith. Even as they were being executed, suffering horrible deaths, we read of them calling on the Lord and asking God to forgive the people who were doing this to them. And there are many accounts of their executioners coming to faith as a result of seeing their faith in God as they went into His presence.


The story of Paul and Silas, who sang praises to God at midnight after being beaten and thrown into prison, is another evidence of faith. It resulted in the conversion of heir jailers. Theirs wasn’t a case of mind over matter. It was faith over circumstances. Paul and Silas didn't have the guaranteed assurance they ever would get out of that prison. But they were able to see things in perspective and demonstrated great faith in the bleakest of circumstances.
Can you still trust God even in the bleakest of circumstances?

Friday, 30 November 2018

UNDERSTANDING YOUR CALLING

One of the foremost facts required for a successful preaching ministry is to know what message you have been sent to preach. The next very important fact is to know where you are sent-the city and people you are sent to. When Jesus sent His disciples out, He told where to go.







It interesting that some of the great men of the Bible who were known for certain things fell in those very areas. When we think of Eljah, courage comes to mind. He walked into the court of Ahab and Jezebel, the king and queen of Israel, and told them it would not rain, except at his word. He challenged the prophets of Baal to a contest that was won as he called upon the name of the Lord. Yet later we read how he ran and hid in a cave because Queen Jezebel put out a contract on his life.


Samson was known for his superhuman strength in which he could kill Philistines with a bone or whatever objects that happened to be around at the time. Yet Samson was brought down in immorality. We know of Abraham's faith, yet he lied on at least two occasions by saying that his wife Sarah was his sister, for fear that the Egyptians would kill him because of her. The Bible warns, "Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (1 Corinthians 10:12). Sometimes the areas in which you fall are the areas in which you think you are the strongest. Usually, when you know you are weak in an area, then you will be watchful and keep your guard up in that area. But when you think you are strong in an area you then to lower lower your guard in that area.

But unguarded strength is a double weakness. You may be cautious in your area of vulnerability but lower your guard in the area in which you think you are strong. And that just might be the area in which you fall. So be careful. It is just when you think you are not going to fall that you are in greater danger of falling.

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14:10).

The Lord Jesus called the Holy Spirit the Father that dwelt in Him, identifying the Holy Spirit as the One who worked miracles through Him while He walked the earth. Furthermore, in John 8:38, He said, “I speak that which I have seen with my Father….” It’s thus clear that Jesus walked in union with the Father in an extraordinary way. He did nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit.

He said in John 5:19, “…Verily, verily, I say to you, The Son can do nothing by himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” He was always conscious of His inseparable oneness with the Father. No wonder He was such an outstanding success for us to emulate. We must walk in union with the Father as He did.

Having received the Holy Spirit, the Father lives in you now, for you’re His temple. So, like Jesus, you’re in the Father, and the Father is in you. Become conscious of this reality. Become conscious that you’re not alone. You don’t have to try to reach out to the Father; He’s in you. You don’t even need to cry or yell for Him to hear you. Everywhere you go, you go in and with the Father who lives permanently in you.

The Holy Spirit is your Father for real. He knows you more than you know yourself. There’s nothing about you that’s strange to Him. He’s more passionate about your success than you could ever be. Simply accept what He sees you to be, and endorse the picture; then, you’re ready to walk in union with Him.

1 Corinthians 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Galatians 4:6-7 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 2 Corinthians 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Real men of God pay attention to needs. Ministers of God are always on the lookout for ways to help others. When they see a need, they seize the moment to meet it, just as the Bible commands us: "Therefore, as we have the opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith." (Galatians 6:10). When God puts someone in need right in front of you, He is giving you the opportunity to grow in servanthood. Notice that God says the needs of your church family are to be given preference. It is a great privilege to serve them because they are dear to God.
We miss many occasions for serving because we lack sensitivity and spontaneity. Great opportunities to serve never last long. They pass quickly, sometimes never to return again. You may only get one chance to serve that person, so take advantage of the moment. "Never tell your neighbours to wait until tomorrow if you can help them now." John Wesley was an incredible servant of God. His motto was: "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can."

That is greatness. You can begin by looking for small tasks that no one else wants to do. Do these little things as if they were great things, because being faithful in little things will bring you great things.

Conclusively, for you now to be successful in the ministry which God has placed before you , you need to understand your calling. Now, how can you know your calling ? You can identity your calling by doing the following;








1. Pray fervently; Keep asking God in prayers to get it right
2. You add fasting; If prayers alone don't work out well, introduce fasting into it.
3. Search the scripture; read and meditate in His words. By doing this, heaven can open and insight to your vision and mission can be revealed.
4. Try praises ; introduce praises to it. The more you praise God the more He raises you.

The more you understand your calling the easier to get vision and mission accomplished! Understand your calling today! 



Friday, 9 November 2018

22 SMALL BUSINESSES YOU CAN START WITH 100,000

It is not how small you start , what matter most in life is how is big you become. Here are the twenty-two small businesses you can begin with less than or equal to one hundred thousand naira;

1. ANKARA CRAFT : You can train to make bags and slippers plus other dressing accessories from ankara craft. This is in vogue in addition to dress beading and stoning.

2. Aso-Oke Beading and Stoning: If you are a tailor add this to your shop. Aso-Oke Beading and Stoning has become sometimes in vogue now, and this is another sweet business one can start with 100k. You just have to learn how to bead and unlock your creative mind.

3. Bead Making: I’m not sure there’s really much to say here. All you need is training, passion, creativity, unique designs and styles, then adequate marketing. You absolutely don’t need 100k to start this. The machine is not expensive.

4. Home Service Barber: This is another profitable small-scale business. The beautiful thing about this is you bring your services to your clients for an extra token above regular. The starting capital to get the equipment and I’m sure you know we have rechargeable clippers.

5. Tutorial Classes: If you have NCE or any higher degrees set this up. No matter your age, this is another well-paying job, either as part-time or full-time. Many families are willing to spend what it takes for their children’s success and there’s one subject you’re well versed at. Just close the gap, meet their need for a fee.

6. Internet Services: Forget the extensive coverage of internet and the fact that people can assess it on their phones, Do you know how much applicants pay just to have Jamb applications filled online? You need a good system, printer & ISP. People pay as much as 1k per application

7. Production Of Zobo, Smoothies, cocktail, small chops, cupcakes and chinchin : You’d realize the importance of this combo cant be ruled out. You can render these services with 100k startup capital + proper marketing, branding and packaging....just get a good place to learn how to make them.

8. Re-Invest Your seed Capital in an existing business: Not everyone has the head for business but they can sniff opportunities. You can always sow your money as operating capital and draft an agreement on profit sharing. You can at least support your investment by bringing customers so the business can thrive. Market it on all your social media pages and who knows.

9.Production of Hand-Made cards: Do you know people pay good money for these thing made of paper and strawboard. This is one business you can start with less than 100k. Imagine you want to give a dignitary something they won’t forget, you certainly can’t buy them clothes or shoes because they have it all.

10. Bedsheet/Beddings Production: Pay a visit to Lagos Island, or Aba where they sell bulk materials, pick good designs and I tell you the guys who will sew it for you are just within the same Market. You can start will less than 100k and diligently grow your money.

11. Shirt Production: A sweet side hustle. There are tailors in Lagos Island or Aba, better learn the skill it will save you all the heartbreaks imaginable. Materials ranging from N700 – N1k per yard, sew for N1500/2k, Sell for N5-7k.

12. Boxers: Schedule a trip to Aba Market. The cost of production of boxers, you can get one for as low as N300, all you need is to package it in 3s, and market these babies properly beg your friend on twitter for RTs, we buy 3s pack boxers for 1500-2500 sell yours for 1200 gradually grow.

13. E-Payments and POS Business: You can get POS machine from your Bank, and activate online banking: If you live in a place where banks aren’t much you can handle e payments for people and make your small change. I paid someone N200 to withdraw 10k most places, ATM queue can be crazy.

14 Mobile and Electronic Accessories: Mobile and electronic Accessories such Pouches, Chargers, USB cables, HDMI cables, earphones and more, can be sourced on Alibaba, Ali Express, Deal Extreme, etc. The more you buy the lower the price. And they are light, so shipping won’t be a burden. Sell on here or Jumia and co.

15. Popcorn: We all know this, we buy every time. Bags of corn – Branded Nylon Sugar, Salt and Butter. The beauty of this is when properly made, its aroma will attract its customers. Manual sealing machine -7/9k Popcorn Machine is 65k on Jumia Popcorn can be served anywhere. It costs less than N40 to make a pack of popcorn

16. Branding – Sales and Customizing:Sales and Customizing of Football Team Football team supporters always want to show how much they’re rooting for a team.

17. Snail Farming ( Highly recommended ) : Snail farming in Nigeria is even more popular, due to its relatively cheap cost of startup and If you market your products well, your business will thrive. This is a business you can start from your backyard. Best in mind, snails take almost a year to mature so patience is key! This is one of the easiest farmings you can take up.

18. Fairly Used Goods: Fairly used goods such as Jeans, Tops, t-shirts, shoes etc. They could be sourced at Badagry, even Cotonou. 100k can’t get you a bale but you can select and mix them. Wash then and pack neatly. Marketing is all it takes, you’ll Sell and see your money multiply.

19. Cleaning Services: Some people find it hard to clean their apartments cos they’re busy from Monday to Friday and Saturday they have engagement and on Sunday all they wanna do is rest. Your tools won’t cost you up to 30k and you can clean 6 apartments a weekend. Cadet Taiwo in Ede is making good money out this.

20. Home Cooking and Delivery: You can cook a variety of meals well and apply customer service, People will pay good money for your services, You can run this from home .

21. Digital Marketing:The success of any business is in its ability to effectively reach its teeming customers and this is achieved by effective marketing: Get a Used Laptop and Smartphone, temporarily your smartphone can double as your hotspot. Persistence and Passion is Key.








22. Cakes and Confectionery:This is one business that always comes to play, people celebrate, and bakers are always consulted. Get the required skill, a decent oven, passion and customer service! You’ll grow.

Truth is there so much one can do with very little, it takes persistence, focus, interest and above all hard work. We can’t all be rich but we all shouldn’t be poor.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

DO WHAT YOU SAY AND SAY WHAT YOU DO

Christ said, "Not every one that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven." Matthew 7:21. The test of sincerity is not in words, but in deeds. Christ does not say to any man, What say ye more than others? but, "What do ye more than others?" Matthew 5:47. Full of meaning are His words, "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." John 13:17. Words are of no value unless they are accompanied with appropriate deeds. This is the lesson taught in the parable of the two sons.  
 
This parable was spoken at Christ's last visit to Jerusalem before His death. He had driven out the buyers and sellers from the temple. His voice had spoken to their hearts with the power of God. Amazed and terrified, they had obeyed His command without excuse or resistance.  

When their terror was abated, the priests and elders, returning to the temple, had found Christ healing the sick and the dying. They had heard the voice of rejoicing and the song of praise. In the temple itself the children who had been restored to health were waving palm branches and singing hosannas to the Son of David. Baby voices were lisping the praises of the mighty Healer. Yet with the priests and elders all this did not suffice to overcome their prejudice and jealousy.  

The next day, as Christ was teaching in the temple, the chief priests and elders of the people came to Him and said, "By what authority doest Thou these things? and who gave Thee this authority?"  


The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy. Psalm 147:11

The priests and elders had had unmistakable evidence of Christ's power. In His cleansing of the temple they had seen Heaven's authority flashing from His face. They could not resist the power by which He spoke. Again in His wonderful deeds of healing He had answered their question. He had given evidence of His authority which could not be controverted. But it was not evidence that was wanted. The priests and elders were anxious for Jesus to proclaim Himself the Messiah that they might misapply His words and stir up the people against Him. They wished to destroy His influence and to put Him to death.  

Jesus knew that if they could not recognize God in Him or see in His works the evidence of His divine character, they would not believe His own testimony that He was the Christ. In His answer He evades the issue they hope to bring about and turns the condemnation upon themselves. "I also will ask you one thing," He said, "which if ye tell Me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?"  
The priests and rulers were perplexed. "They reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven, He will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men, we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We can not tell. And He said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things."

"We can not tell." This answer was a falsehood. But the priests saw the position they were in, and falsified in order to screen themselves. John the Baptist had come bearing witness of the One whose authority they were now questioning. He had pointed Him out, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. He had baptized Him, and after the baptism, as Christ was praying, the heavens were opened, and the Spirit of God like a dove rested upon Him, while a voice from heaven was heard saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Matthew 3:17.  

"Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29.

Remembering how John had repeated the prophecies concerning the Messiah, remembering the scene at the baptism of Jesus, the priests and rulers dared not say that John's baptism was from heaven. If they acknowledged John to be a prophet, as they believed him to be, how could they deny his testimony that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God? And they could not say that John's baptism was of men, because of the people, who believed John to be a prophet. So they said, "We can not tell."  

Then Christ gave the parable of the father and the two sons. When the father went to the first son, saying, "Go work today in my vineyard," the son promptly answered, "I will not." He refused to obey, and gave himself up to wicked ways and associations. But afterward he repented, and obeyed the call. The father went to the second son with the same command, "Go work today in my vineyard." This son made reply, "I go, sir," but he went not.  

In this parable the father represents God, the vineyard the church. By the two sons are represented two classes of people. The son who refused to obey the command, saying, "I will not," represented those who were living in open transgression, who made no profession of piety, who openly refused to come under the yoke of restraint and obedience which the law of God imposes. But many of these afterward repented and obeyed the call of God. When the gospel came to them in the message of John the Baptist, "Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," they repented, and confessed their sins. (Matthew 3:2.)  

"Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," they repented, and confessed their sins.  Matthew 3:2.

In the son who said, "I go, sir," and went not, the character of the Pharisees was revealed. Like this son, the Jewish leaders were impenitent and self-sufficient. The religious life of the Jewish nation had become a pretense. When the law was proclaimed on Mount Sinai by the voice of God, all the people pledged themselves to obey. They said, "I go, sir," but they went not. When Christ came in person to set before them the principles of the law, they rejected Him. Christ had given the Jewish leaders of His day abundant evidence of His authority and divine power, but although they were convinced, they would not accept the evidence. Christ had shown them that they continued to disbelieve because they had not the spirit which leads to obedience. He had declared to them, "Ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. . . . In vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matthew 15:6, 9.  
In the company before Christ there were scribes and Pharisees, priests and rulers, and after giving the parable of the two sons, Christ addressed to His hearers the question, "Whether of them twain did the will of his father?" Forgetting themselves, the Pharisees answered, "The first." This they said without realizing that they were pronouncing sentence against themselves. Then there fell from Christ's lips the denunciation, "Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you. For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not; but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him."  

Christ did not say to them, Ye cannot enter the kingdom of heaven; but He showed that the obstacle which prevented them from entering was of their own creating. The door was still open to these Jewish leaders; the invitation was still held out. Christ longed to see them convicted and converted.

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. Matthew 15:9

John the Baptist came preaching truth, and by his preaching sinners were convicted and converted. These would go into the kingdom of heaven before the ones who in self-righteousness resisted the solemn warning. The publicans and harlots were ignorant, but these learned men knew the way of truth. Yet they refused to walk in the path which leads to the Paradise of God. The truth that should have been to them a savor of life unto life became a savor of death unto death. Open sinners who loathed themselves had received baptism at the hands of John; but these teachers were hypocrites. Their own stubborn hearts were the obstacle to their receiving the truth. They resisted the conviction of the Spirit of God. They refused obedience to God's commandments.  
The priests and elders of Israel spent their lives in religious ceremonies, which they regarded as too sacred to be connected with secular business. Therefore their lives were supposed to be wholly religious. But they performed their ceremonies to be seen by men that they might be thought by the world to be pious and devoted. While professing to obey they refused to render obedience to God. They were not doers of the truth which they professed to teach.  

Christ declared John the Baptist to be one of the greatest of the prophets, and He showed His hearers that they had had sufficient evidence that John was a messenger from God. The words of the preacher in the wilderness were with power. He bore his message unflinchingly, rebuking the sins of priests and rulers, and enjoining upon them the works of the kingdom of heaven. He pointed out to them their sinful disregard of their Father's authority in refusing to do the work appointed them. He made no compromise with sin, and many were turned from their unrighteousness.  
Had the profession of the Jewish leaders been genuine, they would have received John's testimony and accepted Jesus as the Messiah. But they did not show the fruits of repentance and righteousness. The very ones whom they despised were pressing into the kingdom of God before them.

But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up.  Matthew 15:13

In the parable the son who said, "I go, sir," represented himself as faithful and obedient; but time proved that his profession was not real. He had no true love for his father. So the Pharisees prided themselves on their holiness, but when tested, it was found wanting. When it was for their interest to do so, they made the requirements of the law very exacting; but when obedience was required from themselves, by cunning sophistries they reasoned away the force of God's precepts. Of them Christ declared, "Do not ye after their works; for they say, and do not." Matthew 23:3. They had no true love for God or man. God called them to be co-workers with Him in blessing the world; but while in profession they accepted the call, in action they refused obedience. They trusted to self, and prided themselves on their goodness; but they set the commands of God at defiance. They refused to do the work which God had appointed them, and because of their transgression the Lord was about to divorce Himself from the disobedient nation.  







Self-righteousness is not true righteousness, and those who cling to it will be left to take the consequences of holding a fatal deception. Many today claim to obey the commandments of God, but they have not the love of God in their hearts to flow forth to others. Christ calls them to unite with Him in His work for the saving of the world, but they content themselves with saying, "I go, sir." They do not go. They do not co-operate with those who are doing God's service. They are idlers. Like the unfaithful son, they make false promises to God. In taking upon themselves the solemn covenant of the church they have pledged themselves to receive and obey the word of God, to give themselves to God's service, but they do not do this. In profession they claim to be sons of God, but in life and character they deny the relationship. They do not surrender the will to God. They are living a lie.  

"Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." Hebrews 4:7.
The promise of obedience they appear to fulfill when this involves no sacrifice; but when self-denial and self-sacrifice are required, when they see the cross to be lifted, they draw back. Thus the conviction of duty wears away, and known transgression of God's commandments becomes habit. The ear may hear God's word, but the spiritual perceptive powers have departed. The heart is hardened, the conscience seared.  

Do not think that because you do not manifest decided hostility to Christ you are doing Him service. We thus deceive our own souls. By withholding that which God has given us to use in His service, be it time or means or any other of His entrusted gifts, we work against Him.  

Satan uses the listless, sleepy indolence of professed Christians to strengthen his forces and win souls to his side. Many, who think that though they are doing no actual work for Christ, they are yet on His side, are enabling the enemy to pre-occupy ground and gain advantages. By their failure to be diligent workers for the Master, by leaving duties undone and words unspoken, they have allowed Satan to gain control of souls who might have been won for Christ.  
We can never be saved in indolence and inactivity. There is no such thing as a truly converted person living a helpless, useless life. It is not possible for us to drift into heaven. No sluggard can enter there. If we do not strive to gain an entrance into the kingdom, if we do not seek earnestly to learn what constitutes its laws, we are not fitted for a part in it. Those who refuse to co-operate with God on earth would not co-operate with Him in heaven. It would not be safe to take them to heaven.  

There is more hope for publicans and sinners than for those who know the word of God but refuse to obey it. He who sees himself a sinner with no cloak for his sin, who knows that he is corrupting soul, body, and spirit before God, becomes alarmed lest he be eternally separated from the kingdom of heaven. He realizes his diseased condition, and seeks healing from the great Physician who has said, "Him that cometh to Me, I will in no wise cast out." John 6:37. These souls the Lord can use as workers in His vineyard.

Sunday, 21 October 2018

WORK AND SELF RELIANT

Work is honourable. Developing the capacity to do work will help you contribute to the world in which you live. It will bring you increased sense of worth. It will bless you and your family, both now and in the future. Learning to work begins in the home. Help your family by willingly participating in the work necessary to maintain a home. Learn early to handle your money wisely and live within your means. Follow the teachings of the prophets by paying your tithing, avoiding debt, and saving for future. Set high goals for yourself, and wiling to work hard to achieve them.

Develop self-discipline, and be dependable. Do your best in your Church callings, schoolwork, employment, and other worthwhile pursuits. Young men should be willing to do what is needed to be prepared to serve a full-time mission. Heavenly Father has given you gifts and talents and knows what you are capable of achieving. Seek His help and guidance as you work to achieve your goals. The Lord has commanded us not to be idle. Idleness can lead to inappropriate behaviour, damaged relationships, and sin. One form of idleness is spending excessive amounts of time in activities that keep you from productive work , such as using the internet, playing video games, and watching television.











Do not waste your time and money gambling. Gambling is wrong and should not used as form of entertainment. It is addictive and can lead to lost opportunities, ruined lives, and broken homes. It is false to believe that you can get something for nothing. One of the blessings of work is developing self-reliance. When you are self-reliant, you use the blessings and abilities God has given you to care for yourself and to find solutions for your own problems. Self-reliance does not mean that you must be able to do all things on your own. To be truely self-reliant, you must learn how to work with others and turn to the Lord for His help and strength. Remember that God has great work for you to do. He will bless you in your efforts to accomplish that work. Work and pray





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