Friday, March 30, 2012

Are you a WINNER???

Bible Passages:

v      Philippians 3:14

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

v      Philippians 1:10

10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ

While most people believe that the pursuit of success is a modern day obsession, nothing could be further from the truth. Down through the ages, ambitious men and women have pursued lofty goals and aspirations with the hope of achieving financial and physical comforts. Even in the Bible, we can see verses and passages that teach us how to be successful. Do you want to be successful? Another word for success is winning. Are you a winner? Do you have the qualities of a winner?

Qualities of a WINNER:
-    One of the biggest challenges in achieving our goal is being able to stay focused. To be focused, our wants should be very clear to us. We should have a clear picture of what we want to achieve. Like in winning, it should be clear in our mindset that we want to win for us to be able to win. Then staying focused on our goal—winning, is very important. There may be very much noise around us but these noises or distractions should not be entertained. Staying focused is a key to winning.

-    Self-control is saying “no” to ungodliness (behaviour that does not please God) and worldly passions (allowing things to be so important to you that they contribute to sinful behaviour). The Bible indicates that everyone is to be self-controlled. When we choose to have the Holy Spirit live inside of us, God helps us to maintain self-control. Self-control is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Ask God to help you remember to ask for help when you are tempted to lose self-control.

-    You will never achieve any modicum of success without being self disciplined—John Shackleton. Self-discipline is need for us to be successful. Just like staying focused on our goals, self- discipline should also be included in the package. What should be done now, should be done—one implication of having self-discipline. Successful people are willing to get up earlier, stay up later, work harder and never stop. They will outpace their competition every time. Why? Because self-discipline isn’t a once in a while thing—it is a process. We need to work it out through frequent practice and consistency.

-    Perseverance is commitment, hard work, patience, and endurance. Perseverance is being able to bear difficulties calmly and without complaint. Perseverance is trying again and again. Perseverance in needed for us to win. “Winners never quit, and quitters never win!”

-    Loving what you do is essential to a successful life. The need for passion depends entirely on your personal values. Loving what you do can help us have focus on our goals.

-    Trust in the Lord with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might. Trusting God is the most important ingredient to success. Many books would teach us to trust ourselves, trust our abilities, trust your guts, your instincts, etc. But the Bible clearly says that we should not put our trust on man, much more ourselves. Only trusting God will lead us to a successful life. Being dependent on God simply expresses that we can do nothing without God. Thus, God would reveal his power through us.

A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents,
works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.
-Larry Bird-

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Generous Hands

 Bible Passages:

v      Luke 6: 38

38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with this measure you use, it will be measured to you.

v      Proverbs 11:24-25

24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. 25 A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

There are many ways we can give. Giving does not only refer to financial giving. Money is just one means of giving. We can be able to give in many ways. You? In what ways do you give? Giving is something that we need to do willingly and not because of obligation or for compliance. Ask yourself, have I been generous to anybody this past week? Have I given anything to anybody this week? Here are three common ways we can give for us to be able to practice our giving as our act of service to our Lord.

3 T’s of Giving:
1.       TIME. (Matthew 6:33)
-    33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
-    One of the best things that we can give is our time. Time is so precious. Time is not to be wasted but instead should be used meaningfully.
-    We should give God our first priority, then our family, then others.
-    Giving our time is sacrifice on our part. Usually sacrifices are difficult to do but if we do give our time happily, we would be happier ourselves.
-    Spending time with your family is one way of sharing or giving our time. In our busy world today, do we even have time for your family? Your kids? Even your wife or husband? God teaches us to value our family. One way to show that we value them is that we spend time with them.
-    Precious moments are more important than the amount of money we give them from our monthly salary. Money can be found when lost but time when lost can never be retrieved again.

2.       TREASURES. (1 Timothy 6:6-7, 17-19; Romans 12:13)
-    6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
-    17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. 19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
-    God has given us many blessings—to be specific, financial blessings. True? Filipinos have this mindset that what we have is just enough for our self or our family that is why we don’t have any extra to give to others. Guilty? If only we would understand God’s heart, we would embrace the responsibility to give to others—not just to our self and family.
-    God blesses us for us to become a blessing to others. There are many people out there that need our lending & helping hands. Would we be willing to do such task having known the many blessings that we have received from God? Practice having a generous heart.

3.       TALENT. (Matthew 25:14-15, 28-29)
-    14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. 15 To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey.
-    28 “‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. 29 For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.
-    Just like giving our time & treasures to others, we can also give or share to others our talents. Talents should not be hidden or be kept to your self. Try sharing your talents. God has given each one of us talents—talents that we can share to others. Talents that we can perform that when other people will be able to see, they would praise God. Talents that are glorifying to God. Reflecting on the “Parable of the Talents”, God blessed the servant who cultivated his talents and even gave him more talents for him to cultivate more. But to the one servant who just hides his talent and never minded cultivated his talents, the talent was taken away from him.

“If God sees us being responsible with the little that we have, God would entrust us with more.”

"Give of yourself willingly, and from the heart.
For it is in the act of giving, that the channels for receiving - are also opened."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Change your Mind, Change your Life"

Life is not complicated. Actually, we are the ones making life complicated. Life does not need to be complicated. I have learned this lesson. God gave us life and to have it lived abundantly. What a wonderful promise!!! But why is it that there are many people living in regret? It is because they choose to.. Changing our mind will help us change our life. Our mind is very powerful. Wrong mindset will tend to destroy our lives. And to think that we did this to ourselves. We don't need to suffer having this wrong mindset. Why suffer?? Change your wrong mindset.. Live a happy life.. I once heard this saying from one of my mentors in life, "Our happiness should not depend on things happening around us but our happiness should depend on him who gave us life--Jesus! Set your eyes upon Him--FOCUS.. Don't lose hope 'coz our hope is in him...See the ROSE as an example, inspite of the many thorns surrounding it, still the rose grows to be beautiful and attractive.. Be like a rose!!!