PurposePursuit

Doing Purpose in a Recession

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It is no longer news that Nigeria’s economy is currently in a recession. While some politicians will like us to believe that recession is only a word, the unpalatable experiences of people that we hear everyday communicates the reality of the times we are in. Lots of people have lost their jobs because employers cannot afford to pay their workers, businesses have shut down because incomes no longer tally with expenditures, and there is only little money in circulation.

So, the question that struck my heart as I pondered on this issue and the many harrowing stories I have heard and read about how people are struggling to survive in the situation we have found ourselves is this: Are we expected to still do purpose when our pockets scream inadequacy and our stomachs exclaim want? Is there a way to thrive in our pursuit of purpose even in this recession?

First, I believe it is necessary for us to agree on the point that money is a necessity for the pursuit of purpose. There is a common saying in my church that money is the bicycle for the gospel. The reasoning behind this is simple. Money is the legal tender on this side of eternity. Without money, your options are limited. Money is not everything, but it is an important element of our lives. I once read that one-sixth of the gospels, including one out of every three parables Jesus told, touches on stewardship. He wasn’t a fundraiser. Someone has observed that Jesus dealt with money matters because money matters. For some of us, though, it matters too much.

So, in a recession when money is scarce and things are more expensive to buy, the effect on our pursuits of purpose can be very significant. Many people may not be able to host events as much as they would want to because they cannot afford it. Others will not be able to give as much as they want to because quite honestly, they don’t have. Yet, stagnancy in our pursuits of purpose because of lack is not God’s will for us. God’s plan is for us to live and operate in abundance and like I said earlier, understanding how to experience this as our reality ought to be our foremost preoccupation.

Contrary to what common sense may tell us, the time of recession is not a time to do less than we always do. Rather, it is a time to do more.

  1. We must GIVE more

Ironical right? Well, scripture says, “one man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” (Prov. 11:24-25 NIV) To stay afloat in our pursuits of purpose in these days, we must give more.

  1. We must LEARN more

The greatest asset anyone can acquire now is knowledge. This is not a time to wallow in ignorance, our pockets will suffer for it, and more importantly so will the people we serve. We must seek to know how we can do things more effectively and efficiently. We must forge relationships with people who are thriving so we can know what they know. We must know more.

  1. We must SAVE more

Research indicates that most households tend to spend 10 percent more than their income, no matter what the income level. To thrive in these times, we must change the narrative. Walking in abundance would require discipline. We must commit ourselves to spending less than we earn. We must save more.

  1. We must SERVE more

This point is tied to the first point. We must not compromise on the quality of the work we deliver in service to humanity. We must renew our commitment to consistency and persistence of purpose.  Apostle Paul was a man who knew what it is to be in need, and to have plenty yet he did not relent in his pursuit of purpose. He had learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. We must too.

  1. We must TRUST more

This is the last but certainly not the least. In Jer. 17:7-8, scripture declares that “blessed is the man who trusts in God, the woman who sticks with Him. They’re like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers — never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season.” So, more than anything else, our trust in God must be solid now and always.

On a closing note, I am confident of two things. One, the recession will not last forever. Like Bo Bennett has said, as sure as the spring will follow the winter, prosperity and economic growth will follow the recession. Two, to borrow the words of J. Hudson Taylor, when God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will never lack God’s supply. I hope you find this post helpful to navigate these times. It is my sincerest prayer that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Amen. (Phil 4:19 MSG.)

Blessed? Let me hear your thoughts.

You matter to me always.

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PurposePursuit

Doing Business with Time.

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Photo Credits: http://taxcredits.net/

For a while now, I have found myself thinking about the issue of time and our estimation of its value. I have come to understand that Time is the currency of life. In all that we do, we trade with time. Indeed, the quality of our lives depends on the effectiveness of our usage of time. You know the cliché, time is money.

As I pondered more on this issue, I realized that because our pursuits of purpose involve people, we are traders in the business of time. Our quest to share our life messages with people is a request for people to exchange their time for something we claim we have to offer.

The question then is: how much value do you have to exchange for people’s time? If I spared you five minutes of my time to listen to your message, would it be worth it?

This was the question that bothered my heart as I read Timi’s post on the new ERT features on the WordPress reader. Your stopping by to read my post this week reflects your desire to spend some time to hear what I have to say either to help you find God’s purpose for your life or to make you more effective in the pursuit of God’s purpose for your life. It is my sincere hope that at the end of today when you balance your account, the time you spend here will be worth the value you got.

But then, the quality of what you have to offer those who listen to you everyday, every week and all the time is a function of what you are also exchanging your time for. If you spend your time feeding on junks, you can only offer me junks in exchange for my time.

This is why you and I must read. It is why we spend time with God. To remain fresh. To have value to offer for time. It is why we must spend our time and money to develop ourselves. Because very soon, people will have to give more than their time to listen to us. They will have to pay money to hear us. But what would we have to offer then? What do we have to offer now?

PurposePursuit

Money and Your Pursuit

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Last weekend on JustPurposeDaily, I attempted a discussion on the issue of money and the pursuit of purpose. I have decided to share those thoughts together as a blog post to emphasize the necessity of putting the role of money in the right perspective.

Money, according to my knowledge of Secondary School Economics, is the earth’s legal tender. It is with money that possessions are acquired and purchases made. In fact, it is said that money answers all things. In the pursuit of your purpose on earth, your interaction with money is inevitable.
Thus, it becomes necessary that we learn to put the importance of money in perspective lest we misplace our priorities and fall for the evil that befalls them who gain all to lose all. One thing the Bible says about money is the fact that money is a master. Christ warns that we cannot serve both God and Mammon (referring to all of the earth’s materialistic tendencies.)
If you will fulfil purpose, you must get a mastery of money so that it means nothing to you when compared with your love for your Lord. The love of money is not in the possession of it but in an obsession for it.

You can exhibit your mastery of money in two ways- Giving and Contentment.
When you learn to give money based on your understanding that all that you are and have belongs to God and you have the duty to be a faithful steward living only as the Master pleases, you begin to exhibit a control over your possession, and money becomes your servant. There is a reason why the giver’s hand is always at the top. He decides the fate of his money!
When you understand that the quality of your life is not in what you have, you will learn to be contented whether or not you have. Godliness plus contentment is one of life’s richest equations. Money has no control over him whose joy comes from God and not things.

It is true that finance is one of the greatest concerns of anyone who has got a strategy for the pursuit of his purpose. Someone once told me he has big ideas but he does not have big money.
First, you must understand that the provision for your pursuit of purpose is purely God’s business. This means that you must settle issues with Him in prayers instead of engaging in needless worry.
Second, know that God has a fund raising strategy for every project. It is His project after all. Your duty is to believe in God’s ability to provide and to do whatever He tells you to do. It is God who gives the ability to make wealth. It is He who gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater. You can trust Him.

To close, I believe that God raises some people to be Kingdom Financiers. These are people that He gives remarkably supernatural abilities to make wealth as well as the ability and passion to give. If you have a knack for business or you find that you always have money as well as the urge to give it, perhaps this is a ministry God would be committing to your hands. I want to beg you to seek his face on how you can begin to participate in his strategies to finance kingdom projects.

In the final analysis, whatever we possess for ourselves will perish sometime soon; only what we do for the King, the kingdom and humanity outlive us.