PurposePursuit

WISDOM

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The story of King Solomon and his historic request for wisdom, knowledge and understanding instead of wealth, power and influence is perhaps one of the most discussed stories in scriptures. I believe more than anything else, that the story illustrates the importance of wisdom in leadership and the priority it must take if effective leadership can be experienced.

There is another story in the New Testament that I believe also illustrates in practical terms the importance of wisdom in leadership and in life generally. Scriptures tell us about one conflict that the early church had to deal with and which threatened the spread of gospel save for the timely intervention of the church leaders. The Gospel had been taken to non-Jews and the issue arose whether the new receivers of the Gospel needed to be conformed to the traditions of the Jews and the impossible demands of the Mosaic Law which the Jewish Christians still felt bound to follow. For instance, would the non-Jewish believers be required to submit themselves for circumcision? Would they need to obey laws about Sabbath, the Passover etc.?

Resolving this issue would require more than conventional wisdom. Only the wisdom of God and the working of the Holy Spirit could bring the body of Christ to agree on what the way forward should be. Thankfully, there was one man, Apostle James, who was gifted with the wisdom of God and as the leader of the Church in Jerusalem, his wisdom brought the church to safety. (See Acts 15:12-21)

So, when James wrote in his epistle about how to be wise, he knew what he was saying. He was the Solomon of the early church. And by virtue of his wisdom, he was the leader who could break the silence and proffer solutions to critical issues that threatened the unity of the church.

Let’s take a quick look at James recommendations for us all who desire to have his kind of wisdom. There are two things James asks us to do if we want to be wise.

  1. LIVE WELL: James says it’s the way you live not the way you talk that counts. Wisdom is first a matter of behaviour before it is a matter of words. People who will be wise must pay attention to the patterns in their behaviour. We must shun any attempt to twist the truth to sound wise. James says that’s not wisdom – it’s animal cunning, devilish conniving. Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced.
  1. LIVE HUMBLY: Another point James makes is that boasting that you are wise does not make you wise. Trying to look better than others or get the better of others is the very definition of foolishness for those who compare themselves with others are not wise. Mean-spirited ambition isn’t wisdom either. To build a reputation of wisdom, you have to live humbly. Such humility is a product of an encounter with God’s grace.

On the whole, we must always remember that true wisdom comes from God alone and as we interact with God’s Word, God’s wisdom rubs on us. As we live Kingdom Life, we demonstrate Kingdom Wisdom for the benefit of our own lives and those around us.

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts in the comment section. What does wisdom mean to you?

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JustPurpose

JustPurposeDaily|130917

Good evening dear friend. Trust your day was splendid.

There is a story in Exodus 17 about how the people of Israel went to battle with the Amalekites. Moses directed Joshua to remain on the ground to lead the army to fight the battle while Aaron, Hur and Moses himself went to the top of the hill. It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. Soon, Moses’ hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. Thus, his hands remained steady until the sun went down. Joshua defeated Amalek and its army in the battle. (See Ex. 17:10‭-‬13)

I am sure you may be familiar with that story. It illustrates how important it can be to have people who will hold your hands and remain steady until you get victory. You are not a superhuman, there is only little you can do even with God’s help before your hands begin to grow weary and then you’ll need backup in form of friends, mentors and proteges who will not only remind you of the necessity of your victory but also provide you with the kind of support you need to pull through.

Now, note that Aaron and Hur were not the only reasons Moses was able to remain steady until Isreal won. There was a stone that was set under him to help him stay steady. So, it is not always only about human help otherwise, you’ll soon weary your helpers out too. You need to have as your foundation an ever present help in times of trouble.

I’ll like to see the stone as an illustration of the role the Holy Spirit plays in our lives as we go about God’s purpose. You see, your Aaron and Hur can get weary too but not the stone under you. It is great to have people around you to help you remain steady in the pursuit of your life assignment, but beyond all human helps, you have to learn to rely more assuredly in the help only the Holy Spirit can provide.

God is helping us. Amen.

Read Your Bible, Pray and Obey!
#JustPurposeDaily|130917
©AimPurpose IfeOluwa
Benin City, Nigeria
📞08130956465|m.me/aimpurpose

PurposePursuit

GROWTH

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Do you remember MR NIGER D?

That was the acronym we were taught to illustrate the seven attributes of living things. For any organism to qualify as a living thing it must demonstrate these features of movement, reproduction, nutrition, irritability, growth, excretion, respiration and death. Don’t worry, this is not a post about biology, my focus actually is on the issue of growth.

Growth refers to the process of increasing in size, amount, value, or importance, developing physically, mentally, or spiritually. Growth is a natural expectation of life. It is the process by which life is expected to multiply in ability and capacity. Thus, when an organism is not growing, we say there is a problem, as if to say it has failed in the function of exhibiting life because growth is the mark of life’s supreme beauty.

The interesting thing about this however is that growth is never automatic. It is always the result of a process. Yes, growth and time are relatives, but their relationship is that of quality and not quantity. We can measure growth vis-a-vis time, but we cannot force growth because of the uncontrollable nature of time’s quantity. The point is, an organism does not grow because of a change in the calendar. On the contrary, it grows because of an intentional investment of time and resources in its development. This is why nutrition is very important to growth. A child that will grow needs food not a wrist watch.

Let me bring this home. There is an expectation that is placed on us who do purpose to grow in our capacity and capabilities. At the end of every 365 days, we roll over into another year, but how much newness do we experience in our realities? Just like a child can continue to celebrate his birthday even though he has not been able to talk despite his advancement in age, our growth is a process that depends not on the quantity of time we have used but on the quality of investments we have put into getting better.

Now, there are two kinds of growth. The first is what I call downward or internal growth which is the kind of growth that is hardly noticeable yet incredibly fundamental. It is the kind of growth by which a tree grows its root and by which human beings develops their internal organs. The second is the upward or external growth. It is the kind of growth people easily see but its quality depends on that of the internal or downward growth.

Jesus told the story of the farmer whose seeds fell on the rocky ground and sprouted immediately. The external/upward growth was quick but it didn’t last under the scorching sun because the internal/downward growth was imperfect. This is the major lesson among others, that I hope you glean from this post. Our Growth must first be downward before it is upward if we will survive the scorching sun and triumph over the drenching rain.

How far do you desire to go in the pursuit of your purpose? How high do you desire to rise? If you really want to go far and reach beyond the skies, I beg you to pay attention to the depth of your roots. Be intentional about your growth especially as it relates to your capacity and capabilities. Invest in your personal development. Keep it in mind always, that growth is never automatic. It is a process. Today and always, I pray God helps us to embrace that process. Amen.

I call you blessed.