Do not set your mind on high things?

“Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.”‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What can this really mean? Do not set your mind on being CEO? Do not set your mind on being The President of your country? How does one determine what is high and what is low?

We can’t just take half of a verse and expect to understand it! We must take a look at the other half. It says “.. but associate with the humble.”

So the Apostle Paul is not saying we should not be willing to do “great” things! He is not saying that it is wrong to desire to have great influence! I believe he is saying that we should not be too high minded to associate with common people! In other words no matter how blessed you get, never lose touch of how things are with those who don’t have.

Loosing strength in my right arm and leg has made me so much more compassionate for those who are physically limited in one way or the other! Associating with the humble is a great we to continually learn humility.

Yes I decided to share a little about what I meditated on today. I’ll continue with my updates tomorrow.

How my typical day looks like.

  • Morning devotion and prep for school and children go to school – 6:30 – 9am. I’m involved with everything.
  • I help to make and eat breakfast – 9 – 10am
  • Exercises and prayer walk and scripture declarations – 10 – 11am
  • Nap (if any) or make Nigeria bound calls! – 11 – 1pm
  • Lunch prep and eating – I help Olu so that I can get to exercise my hands. 1pm – 3pm
  • Check my emails and website and blog – 2:30 – 3:00
  • Prepare and walk to pick the boys from school – 3:00 – 4:00
  • Talk to the boys and answer questions and do another round of exercises and blogging – 4 – 6:30
  • Check more computer stuff? Read scriptures, entertain a guest if any, have dinner- 6:30 – 8:00
  • Bed time – 10:00pm
  • So that’s the frame work. If there are doctors appointments, we just slot them in!

I have a verse I meditate on each day! Keeps me focused on God!

Thanks for reading.

 

What you say has a lot to do with what you receive!

When I first read an exposition on Mark 11:23-25, I was in secondary school and it was in a book by Kenneth E Hagin! Over the years I have read that passage over and over again and I am still amazed at how powerful the message in those verses are.

“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” – ‭‭Mark‬ ‭11:23-24‬ ‭NKJV‬

What are you saying?

Recently the Holy Spirit and I had these discussion!

  • Holy Spirit: What are you saying about your health?
  • Me: I am saying what you told me!
  • Holy Spirit: Great. When you recover, will people be surprised?
  • Me: Not really I suppose, because I’ve told everybody that you have promised me 100% recovery!
  • Holy Spirit: Good! Is there anyone close to you who does not know that you expect to recover fully?
  • Me: No, Lord! Even the inanimate objects in our home know it?
  • Holy Spirit: Why do you think that is?
  • Me: Hmm, I think it’s because I believe you! Are you saying that the reason I’m not speaking some of your promises is because I don’t believe? Oh… please forgive my unbelief! I believe you Lord!

Check what you are saying

We automatically say what we believe! If those closest to you have never heard you say something! Then check if you have God’s word! And if you have a word from God and your friends don’t know it, maybe you really don’t believe the word from God!

For example. If I am trusting God for a my full recovery and you don’t ever here me say “I am going to be restored” or something similar, then maybe I am not sure that I will recover.

I am placing an emphasis on what people here you say because God used it to show me that when I am quiet, my belief in Him needs help. Are you trusting God for a wife? What has God said to you about that? Are you trusting God for the repair of your marriage? What is the word from God on that? Check your words today! See if you are having trouble with believing God’s word and make the necessary adjustment.

Work on having a word from God that you believe!

This is why I quoted the scripture above. Don’t focus on what you will say! Start by working on believing a word from God. Once you are sure that God has put what He promised you in place, you will find your mouth ready to speak. Try to read and meditate on scripture until you are absolutely convinced that God is committed to His word to you! Then you should find yourself wanting to share your experience with close friends. That is the proof that you believe God’s word to you.  At that point you can encourage yourself to speak more of God’s word and resist other words that oppose God.

Take Action

It’s your turn to take action. Start receiving God’s best for you today! Remember you don’t start by speaking. You start by getting a word form God, then you believe and as an outflow of your belief, you speak and keep on speaking because God does not fail. You will receive.

Sacrificial Giving – It can change your life!

What is sacrificial giving?

Giving is taking what you have and handing it over to another person or organization. When you give, you relinquish control of the property that you give out. Not all giving is sacrificial. You could give out what you don’t need anymore or things that are causing you some inconvenience. In this case, you are giving because it helps you declutter your home. This kind of giving is good but it is not sacrificial giving and as such it is not the focus of this article.

Sacrificial giving is the type of giving that involves a decision to let go of something that you could be using for the benefit of others. It is so called because you are choosing to forfeit the benefit of having the gift so that another person or organization can have that gift.

In my post on tithing, I covered that fact that everything we have belongs to God and that Sacrificial giving - photogiving the first 10% as tithes to God is our way of showing gratitude to God. Tithing is sacrificial giving. You could always use 100% of your income. Choosing to let go of 10% is sacrificial. There are other types of sacrificial giving that I would like to highlight in this post. Every type of sacrificial giving is a principle for increasing your capacity to give.

Types of Sacrificial Giving

  • Tithes (already discussed in Christian Financial Management)
  • Giving at church above your tithes
  • Alms (poor, widows, orphans etc)
  • First Fruit offering
  • Donations for special projects
  • Donations towards a cause
  • Giving to parents
  • Giving to Spiritual leaders

Please take note that all sacrificial offerings are to be taken from the 70% of your income left after you have taken out 10% for Tithes, 10% for savings and 10% for personal development except in very extraordinary situations that we may consider at a later time.

Giving at church above your tithes

Any money or gift you give at church above your tithes is referred to as an offering. A free will offering is like a seed sown. It comes back to you in multiple folds. Take a look at the following scriptures to help in understanding this.

Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (ESV)

16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.

From the above scripture you can conclude that it is a good idea to bring an offering every time you attend a church service. The offerings helps to keep such meeting going. There are lots of bills that need to be paid to keep the church door open. If any church (body of believers) want to continue to enjoy the comfort of their building and all the services available to the members then I encourage you to bring an offering every time you go for a meeting.

Always have a desire to give!

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV)

If you do not have so much to give, then simply enjoy the worship service and believe that God will provide for you next time. The essence of this scripture is not to put the people under a bondage or under pressure. It is to teach us to show our gratitude to God and support the upkeep of the “house” of God. Since you do not have something to bring, you can come with thankful heart and give yourself afresh to GOD. Never miss a meeting simply because you don’t have cash on you.

In the scripture above you may have noticed that number of times the people appeared before God was 3 times a year. This is not all the time each individual appeared before God. It is the number of time ALL the males appeared before God. Whenever you use the church building, equipment, children facility etc, make it a principle to give. It moves the work of the kingdom forward and opens you up to receive. The motive for giving is to bless the work of God. The blessing is simply a result of God’s law of sowing and reaping.

Giving Sacrificially to the less privileged – Alms

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. ~ Hebrew 13:16 (NKJV)

42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. ~ Matthew 5:42 (NKJV)

28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need ~ Ephesians 4:28

God is love! Love always gives. If we say we love someone, then we would also want what’s best for them. If it is in our power to make life a little easier and move them along on their path to being a blessing, we must do it.

I believe that most people have what it takes to bring value to the market place and get paid for it. However from time to time, we all need a boost. Giving to the poor or needy is simply giving them a boost. My prayer is that no one should stay poor and needy. Maybe the best thing to give to the poor and needy is hope, support and a way to earn a living.

How giving sacrificially to the poor will change your life

When you give to the poor, the joy that you bring to their lives, has a way of motivating you to do more. It also helps to create more joy and hope on the earth. The person you helped may get out of the problem they were in and they will help another person.

I encourage you to always look out for an opportunity to help. No matter how little your resources are, there is someone who has even less.

Giving Sacrificially – First Fruit Offerings

Honor the Lord with your wealth
    and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
    and your vats will overflow with good wine. ~ Proverbs 3:9-10

When the children of Israel, got into the promised land, they were instructed by God to take some of the first fruits of their harvest to the Priest as a show of gratitude to God. As a result, believers are encouraged to take the best part of whatever they produce to the “house of God” for thanksgiving.

Christian are under no obligation in the new testament to bring in a first-fruit offering. However, I find that the blessing attached to bringing the first part of your products to God is eternal in nature.

Whenever I start a new business, I take a portion of the first sale and give it as first fruit offering. The first fruit offering is different from the tithe. For you to tithe, there must be a profit. You give a tithe of the profit. The first fruit is simply taking a portion of the first sale and using it for thanksgiving.

If you are earning salaries, then taking a portion of your first salary (above your tithes) to honor the Lord for the job is excellent. Some people offer their entire first pay. This is equally good as long as it is not done out of fear or pressure. All sacrificial giving must be done willingly and cheerfully.

How honouring God with your wealth will change your life

There is a promise attached to honouring God with your wealth! MORE WEALTH! When you remember that everything you have and are belongs to God, then it becomes clear that if you honour the Lord with everything you have, including your wealth, God will make it possible for you to have more. I believe that favour is attached to honouring God. Whenever you honour God by declaring to everyone around you that God is your source, God in turn honours you by making it possible for you to do more.

Giving Sacrificially towards church projects and worthy causes!

Special projects at church or special causes that we may encounter are opportunities to honour God with our wealth. For example when there is a building project at church or a group of people need help to overcome a challenge. It is always a blessing to be part of such projects. Like every type of sacrificial giving, it will cost you but it will also bring joy to you.

Giving Sacrificially to Parent and Spiritual leaders

Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. ~ Galatians 6:6 NLT

The Bible encourages every believer to learn how to give good gifts to their spiritual leaders. Anyone who takes the time to teach you spiritually is being used by God to bless you. It is important to take the time to appreciate what God is doing in you through that person by sharing what you have with them.

Parents make lots of sacrifices for us. It is a good habit to plan to send them a gift or two from time to time. Nothing is too small to give to your parents.  You can also give them your time by helping them run errands. Whatever you can do to bless them is good.

My experience of sacrificial giving

As I conclude this post, I would like to share my person experience about sacrificial giving as well as unexplainable receiving.

In the first few years of full time ministry, we had very little income and lots of bills. The money that came in was much less than the money that we needed to spend. We had to trust God to provide the balance from time to time.

I remember praying one day to God and asking why things were so difficult. I said something like, why would someone not send us money regularly to meet our needs? Why am I not getting a steady flow of income?

God at that point dropped a thought in my life that totally changed our finances. “How many people are you giving to regularly?” That is what God dropped in my heart. Immediately I saw that when I am not giving regularly, I have stopped the flow of giving and receiving.

As a result of this insight, I realized that giving to others was a blessing to them and to me as well. I could actually plan to give. Look for opportunities to give and trust God to receive from Him. So we started to sow regularly into a pastor’s life. I gave more consciously, realizing that whenever I get that nudge to give, it will be the answer to someone’s prayers.

It’s been many years now and I can testify that we have received way more than we have given. Not only are we satisfied and overwhelmed with the reaction from those that we have been opportuned to give to, we have actually received so much more that we can ever imagine.

 What next? Oh Lord! Please Enlarge my capacity to give.

Take a look at your budget. See how much you can give. Ask God to show you where there is a need. Then gladly meet that need. As you give to meet that need, ask God to enlarge your capacity to give!

When your capacity to give is enlarged, it means you have more resources in your hand to manage. God never asks us to give what we don’t have. You give from the abundance that God has given you. You give because you are able to. You give because you are glad that you are not the one in need of the help you are rendering. You give because you know that the resources in your care was designed by God to meet those needs.

How to give with a tight budget

When your budget is tight and your income can hardly meet your needs, you should still give. First you give your tithe 10%. You can adjust your savings to 5% and personal development to 5%. Then you ask God to show you someone that you can give to.

When you find someone in need, give to them. You may need to skip a meal, you may need to keep using that old shoe for an extra month. You may even need to give the Lardlord a little less than you planned to as part of the payment. Whatever it takes, make sure that you give something to someone above your tithes.

How do you know who to give to and when?

When it comes to sacrificial giving, you must let the Holy spirit lead you. I suggest that you plan on following the scriptures as presented above. Prepare to give offerings when you attend meetings. Look for opportunities to help someone who does not have as much as you. Give to your leaders. Support godly projects. In every situation, let the Holy Spirit guide you.

 
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Christian Financial Management – How to have more money!

I really do not believe that there should be Christian Financial Management. Money is the e83db40a2ce91c72d252440dee4a5b97e771e7d51fb0144092_640_wealthsame for a Christian and a non-Christian. The principles for wealth creation will work for anyone regardless of their belief system. The need to talk about Christian Financial Management comes from the fact that there are some grey areas in wealth acquisition that a christian will not approve of. There are also time tested Biblical principles that have been secularized which must be highlighted and “redeemed”. In this article and the next one, I hope to highlight principles which any follower of Jesus can practice to become excellent managers of the money that comes their way.

God is the source of all things and it all belongs to God

There is a principle I call the 10-10-10-70 Principle or the 70-10-10-10 principle which I use to simplify Christian Financial Management. This is a very ancient principle, all I have done is to name it and interpret it in the light of our current experience. Before I describe and explain this principle, it is important to be reminded that God is the source of all things and it all belongs to GOD.

The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and those who dwell therein. ~ Psalm 24:1

universe photoThink about it! God is the owner of the universe. The sun provides all the energy we need on earth. Take out the sun and we will all freeze and its all over. God created humans (you and I) and placed us here to enjoy the abundance that He created. The first and most important principle for excellent Financial Management is that you came with nothing and you will leave with nothing. None of these things belong to you. You are simply managing them. You have access to as much as you need. You can use as much as you have capacity to manage. When your time is up, EVERYTHING that you have will be handed over to other people and you will have no control over what they do with it. You may have some influence on how it is initially shared, but really you cannot do anything if the people choose to go against your wishes.

Remember! Nothing on the earth is yours forever! You can manage as much as you have capacity for, but as you leave, you must leave everything behind. Think about it as living in a hotel. You can use everything in that room for as long as you are there. Once your time is up, you leave the room, return the keys and walk away.

Our stay on earth is also like a hotel. You can use everything in it and when you are done, you leave it all behind including your body. This to me is a powerful reminder that everything belongs to GOD.

Once you realize that God is the source of wealth and the owner of wealth, then you can also agree that there is no scarcity in God. There is enough wealth for all the current tenants on earth to enjoy. If there is anything that you need and is not yet discovered or designed, God has already giving us the power to discover, design or create whatever we need.

26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” ~ Genesis 1:26-28

Know it! Meditate on it! Believe it! Everything you need to excel on earth is available in abundance. There is absolutely no scarcity in God. Any form of lack is not a as a result of scarcity of resources on earth. It is the result of mismanagement of the available resources or a misunderstanding of the abundance that is available in God.

I don’t know how much money you have at your disposal, I would like you to know that you can always have more or less depending on your call and your desire to be a blessing to others. If you determine to manage what you have properly, follow biblical principles, you will have more! You will be fruitful and multiply. I believe that God want’s all his children to be fruitful and multiply. Scarcity and lack is not part of God’s plan for us.

The 10-10-10-70 Principle for Christian Financial Management!

What is this Principle?

  • The first 10% of your income “belongs to God” – Tithes
  • The second 10% is savings
  • The third 10% is for personal development
  • The last 70% is what you have to spend

There are many variations of this principle in different financial management books. This exact structure was impressed upon my heart several years ago and I have been trying to follow it and I know that it has been a great blessing. In this first article, I will only consider the first 10% which “belongs to God.”

10% of your Income should always go to God – Tithe

What is a tithe? Simply put, it means 10% or tenth. Abraham was the first to give a tenth of his spoil to a priest to show gratitude to God.

19 And he blessed him and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Possessor[a] of heaven and earth;
20 and blessed be God Most High,
    who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”

And Abram gave him a tenth of everything. ~ Genesis 14:19-20

What Abram did here was in response to the mercy of God over his life. I believe that giving 10% of what belongs to God back to God is just a way to say:

“Thank you God! I know you own it all, you even own me. I give this back to you in gratitude”.

This shows that tithing was already in place before it came into the levitical laws

30 And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. 31 If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. 32 And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord.33 He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed.’” 34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses for the children of Israel on Mount Sinai. ~ Lev 27:30-34

The tithe (10%) belongs to the Lord! The whole (100%) belongs to the Lord! Bringing the tithe to the house of the Lord is simply an acknowledgment of the fact that everything including your very life belongs to the Lord.

Tithing is an honour!

It should never be a burden. It should be exciting every time you have income, to offer first 10% as a joyful act of gratitude to God. I believe that anyone who learns to offer this 10% joyfully to God, has broken out of the scarcity mindset and entered into an abundance mindset. Our GOD is a God of abundance! 10% is just a benchmark! We should be giving more when we have more at our disposal. That is why in the new testament, tithing is not an issue. A heart that is filled with the spirit of God is always willing to give all! Tithing should never be an issue for a regenerated believer in Christ Jesus.

Tithing should be a joy! Not a burden.

If you find it hard to give at least 10% of all your income regularly, it is not because tithing is difficult, it is because you believe you don’t have enough or your heart loves your possessions more than God! There is an idol somewhere. In my experience as a pastor over the years, I have noticed that as people really fall in love with God, tithing is the least of their problems. They are happy to give much more than 10% even with very little teaching on tithes.

Tithing is a Principle for Christian Financial Management

Master it and money will no longer be an idol in your life. Master tithing and you will be the one in control of how the remaining 90% is spent. Tithing is God’s remedy for living from pay check to pay check. Take hold of your financial future today by determining that the first 10% of your income is not yours to keep. It belongs to God. It is your thanksgiving for the life you have, the skill you have and the grace you have that makes it possible to earn a living.

How do you give money to God who you cannot see?

In the Bible times, tithes were given to the Levites because they were devoted to the service of the temple. They had no portion in the land, all they had was their service to the Lord.

21 “Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting. – Numbers 18:21

The Levites also had to pay a tenth of the tithes they received to the Lord.

26 “Speak thus to the Levites, and say to them: ‘When you take from the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them as your inheritance, then you shall offer up a heave offering of it to the Lord, a tenth of the tithe. ~ Numbers 18:26

The tithes of the Levites were given to the priest. The tithes made it easy for the whole nation of Israel to enjoy a very rich worship experience. The Levites and the Priests, took care of the tabernacle and then the temple when it was built. In turn the tithes from the other tribes was given to them by God.

In the new testament, because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, every believer is a priest unto the Lord.

you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture,“Behold, I lay in Zion. A chief cornerstone, elect, precious,And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient,“The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; ~ 1Peter 2:5-9.

If we are all priests, then all we need to do is channel our tithes to make it easier for us to build the Kingdom of God. Our tithes should be given to any church where we are receiving our spiritual nourishment to ensure that the great work that is being done continues. It is from these tithes that the employees of the church will be paid. It is from the tithes that the Pastor of the church is paid. We all as priests before our God, give our tithes to move the Kingdom of God forward.

Tithing helps you to become conscious of what church family you commit to.

It is interesting to note that when believers pay their tithes to a particular church, it is because they believe that God has approved that church. I do not think that anyone will give 10% of their income to an organization that they think is ungodly.

I pray that believers all over the world will recognize that the money in their possession belongs to God and as such, they must manage it wisely.

In conclusion, please remember that all the money you have belongs to the Lord. The first 10% is never for you to spend. It is for the Lord. For the work of ministry. Release it to the church family where you are being fed spiritually or where you are serving. Rejoice that you have something to give. Determine by the grace of God to always have more tithes every year for the rest of your life. Delight in bringing more and more to the Lord for the work of ministry. This is the first step to having more money and managing your finances properly.

In my posts over the next 3 weeks, I will be considering the 90% of the income that is left after the tithe has been paid to God. If you want to read study more about tithes, here is a good place to start.

Find below a copy of the slides I used for this message a few years ago.