Tag Archives: bible talks

The Way You Are

Did you help Jesus die on the cross???

Or did you share in His suffering on the way to the cross???

I think we can safely agree that the answer to both questions is a loud and resounding NO.

By dying for us on the cross Jesus ensured that ALL our sins are forgiven.

He also ensured that we have a permanent guarantee of salvation.

Jesus didn’t die on the cross ‘with’ us.

He died on the cross ‘for’ us.

Unfortunately we seem to have developed a rather different kind of Christianity.

One in which we were actually there with Jesus – being nailed to the cross with Him.

One in which we carried our own crosses as we staggered with Jesus to Golgotha.

In-fact we were also whipped by the Roman soldiers at the same time as Jesus was!!!

Weren’t we?????

Hmmm…so why do we behave as if we were?

We have devised our own formulas for earning God’s love – via our own power and our own will.

Unfortunately there is only so far that our own power and will can take us.

I had an interesting conversation with a friend of mine about a book called ‘The Secret’.

The question on both our minds was whether this book is God based or not. I went to sleep pondering on this. When I woke up the next morning the answer was clear.

Yes – the universe does have power. However that power stems from God. God created the universe and every drop of power that it has comes from God – not the universe.

In other words let’s not attribute one miliscule of God’s power and glory to the universe or anything else.

God shares His glory with nobody.

He sent His son to die for you so that He can forever be at peace with you.

He then blessed you specifically with unbelievable talents in order for you to serve Him – through His purpose for you.

The peace of mind that He so desperately wants for us is supposed to enable us to quit worrying, in order to focus purely on fulfilling our purpose.

However, as a result of our determination to do it on our own – by our own strengths and formulas – our minds are not at peace enough to focus fully on His purpose for us.

When God asked Solomon what He wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom. God blessed him with a wisdom like no other person on earth. In-fact his was a wisdom so great that rulers from across the planet journeyed thousands and thousands of miles just to witness him in action.

But guess what?

They all knew where the wisdom came from. They all recognised that his wisdom came from God.

In other words the glory was the Lord’s.

Your purpose, the very reason you are still alive, the very reason you are reading this article is for the sake of God’s glory.

This is why I continue to emphasise this important point; and be warned – I will do so over and over and over again.

Your talents are not for your sake or your glory. They are for the sake of God and those around you.

So you are successful and have millions, billions even, in your bank account. You have the best cars and the most amazing houses. But will you be taking them with you when heaven calls?

Maybe I’m wrong but I very much doubt whether an old man/woman on his/her death bed will be lamenting about not having made enough money. I’m pretty sure that the main concern will be whether or not he or she fulfilled their purpose in life, and what kind of legacy they are leaving behind – for the sake of God and others.

The really successful people in the world today didn’t set out to be marvelously wealthy. The wealth naturally followed as a result of their dedication to creating value for others.

Bill Gates wanted to make sure that every home has a computer.

Ford wanted to ensure that every man on the street can afford a car.

These guys were passionate about adding value to people’s lives. They were passionate about serving mankind.

Is it any wonder that Bill Gates has basically taken it upon himself to use his billions to eradicate malaria in Africa?????

Their number one passion is to better people’s lives.

We live in a world which is fast becomming all too much about money money money.

Don’t get me wrong now, I’m not saying that money is not good or that I don’t want any.

Sure I do!

Who doesn’t want comfort???

But an environment in which people will do anything for money can only spell doom.

Sorry people – not trying to make you depressed.

I’m merely trying to wake us up – myself included.

For Nigeria to change we need to think less about ‘money’ and ‘self’ and more about ‘purpose’ and ‘service’.

My purpose?

Helping you identify what your purpose is, and helping you to achieve it.

I have a vision of a Nigeria in which every man is his brother’s keeper.

– helping one another to be the very best they can be -in order to love and serve God, and to love and serve each other

-a Nigeria in which every man and woman has equal opportunity to succeed and prosper, for the sake of each other and for the sake of our country.

Whilst this cannot happen over night or by magic; it can happen over time if we all play our part – by discovering and fulfilling our purpose.

We are all here for a purpose. If we all discover what our purpose is and pursue it with all our hearts / strength and minds, Nigeria will most definitely become the great nation it was always destined to be.

Why?

Because it will be a country that is focused on God’s purpose.

The way you are is not by chance.

You are the way you are because God designed you that way.

– To love and serve Him,

– To love and serve others

– To love and serve your country.

If you are reading this article it means that God still has a plan for you.

In other words you still have a wonderful opportunity to fulfill your God given purpose.

God hasn’t given up on you, so why give up on yourself?????

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On His Shoulders

Anybody that knows me well will tell you that Segs has an irritating fondness for Mondays.

Another week

Another chance to get up and go again

An opportunity to reach even greater heights

Or maybe it’s simply because my social life is nothing to write home about these days??!!!

Yep – I confess – aside from working six days a week my passion for watching series such as Homeland, Game of Thrones, Suits and The Good Wife seems to have dealt a vicious and quite possibly fatal blow to my desire to socialise!

How on earth did I manage to start talking about my dire social life?????

I am supposed to be talking about Handel’s Messiah.

Back we go.

I’ll say it again – what an absolute masterpiece!

I’m sure Handel regularly plays his magnificent work of art for God in heaven; especially the Amen finale.

That awesome piece of music was surely a direct download from the maker of Heaven and Earth Himself.

Attending an enchanting performance of Handel’s Messiah on a cold December evening at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago with my dear brother Tols, still ranks as one of my favourite nights of all time – at least so far anyway – let’s hope there are many more to come.

Hey – life begins at 40 so I’m sure there will be many more glorious nights.

Ever since that wonderful December evening at the Albert Hall I’ve developed a peculiar habit of playing Handel’s Messiah in my car every December – without fail.

Every year, as soon as we land on the straits of December, Handel’s Messiah takes the number one spot on the car stereo – over and over and over again.

I never realised why until now.

Yep! In Segs’ world Christmas time is Handel’s Messiah time; especially the song ‘For Unto Us A Child Is Born’.

I want to share a little thought /reality
with you today.

For a long time I used to wonder just how heavy that cross was – you know – the one that Jesus carried for miles and miles before eventually being nailed onto it.

In order to get an inkling of its immense weight I would imagine myself – or at least try to – carrying an Oak tree.

Not a pleasant thought.

A few days ago it suddenly dawned on me that the weight of an oak tree is nothing compared to that cross.

The weight of the whole world was on that cross.

The weight of sin

The weight of wickedness

The weight of evil

The weight of shame

The weight of condemnation

Even the weight of all our hopes

Oak Tree????

Gotta be kidding me!

The weight of an Oak tree is child’s play compared to how heavy that cross must have been.

“And the government shall be upon His shoulders”

Handel’s Messiah (Isaiah)

Not only did He take all the issues and problems of the world on the cross but He also carries on His shoulders the weight of governments – past, present and future.

Indeed he is the head of the imminent everlasting government.

Can you remember when as a child your dad would sometimes lift you up and prop you on his shoulders? Especially when in amusement parks etc.

No???

Well I do!

And if you didn’t experience that then you seriously missed out! Sorry.

Anyway, as I remember it, as soon as I was on his shoulders I felt completely at peace – in control – in authority.

It’s the same for us.

Christ carried all our sins / issues / problems / guilt / condemnation on that cross.

Indeed by His death and resurrection he is carrying us right now.

You sit not in the realm of law and sin.

You sit on the shoulders of the King of kings – in authority and in peace.

Enjoy the view.

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IT’S UP TO US.

‘David said to the Philistine, “you come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…

“I often try to imagine how intimidating Goliath must have been.

The bible says he was over nine feet tall.

Over Nine flipping feet!!!! Continue reading

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What’s It All For?

Boy oh boy did I delay on this one!!

The skeleton of this message had been in my mind for quite a while, but sensing that I might not enjoy writing it, I..er, ….. well to be honest I just kept pretending it wasn’t really there, in the hope that I could get away with not having to write it at all.

So much for that plan working out!!

I’m sure that by the end of this article some of you will be wishing it had. Lol

Romans 8 vs 28 says that ‘All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose”.

I’m currently on my way to Gbagada to facilitate a Sales course.

Continue reading

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Life’s Too Short

I had an interesting conversation a few days ago with a dear and ‘old’ friend of mine about how short this life really is. Sorry mate, but whichever way you look at it you are now officially old!!!

Yes yes I know, so am I.

Moving on swiftly.

Having agreed on the fact that this life is indeed short, he pointed out the importance of trying one’s very best to enjoy each and every day.

Whilst I fully agree with him I can’t help thinking that it’s such an unfortunate shame that in reality we spend most days worrying about everything and anything; from our bank account balance, to our health, to kids’ school fees, to that transaction, to what’s going to happen tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, next year and the year after that!!! Continue reading

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BACK TO BASICS

I want to make it very clear that this article is not designed as an attack on the church or church leaders, in any shape or form. Indeed I believe that we are ALL at fault. I’m hoping that this article will open eyes and stir hearts. If it doesn’t, then I genuinely hope it encourages someone else to write something along the same lines with much greater impact.

The only message one seems to hear when attending the average church in Nigeria is ‘prosperity prosperity prosperity’. It is so common and so monotonous that it is almost beginning to sound like those ‘clanging symbols’ that the bible talks about.

Jesus came to earth as a carpenter. He personified humility and love. He personified simplicity. He rarely preached in a church building; and on the second occasion that He did, he was upset by what He saw – a place of business.

Jesus, whom Christianity is all about, told us to ‘go and do likewise’. In other words He wants us to love unconditionally, to give to the poor and needy – both in provisions, time and love, to heal the sick, to encourage and uplift those around us; to spread the great news that He has done all the ‘works’ that will ever be necessary for our permanent justification and righteousness.

When Jesus said that ‘money is the root of all evil’ He obviously wasn’t saying that money is evil. He simply does not want us to have money as the root and centre of our focus. The more money becomes the root and centre of our focus the more likely we are to compromise our faith and principles because of our innate and passionate desire to have it.

Unfortunately the constant prosperity preaching we are bombarded with in our churches isn’t helping at all. There is so much focus on what we must do and how we should do it in order to be ‘blessed’. So much so that Christianity in many churches today has more or less become a formula for blessings and breakthroughs. The result of all this is that our hearts are straying further and further away from God.

Remember, God looks at the heart and not what car we’re driving, how big our house is or how much we have in our bank accounts. It’s almost as if our only focus is earth. The whole point of our faith is that we are assured of blissful eternity in heaven. But way too many of us live our lives as though everything is about this place called earth; as though earth is the final destination.

I am not saying that one should not aspire to be the best they can be or to be successful or wealthy. Indeed, as a staunch Welfare Capitalist who believes that everyone should be given equal opportunity in education, health and housing etc, to go on and do as well as they want to do in their careers, such a notion doesn’t gel with me at all. But this should not be the main focus of Christ’s body. Money and success, as we have defined it, should not be the biggest and loudest messages coming pulpits across the country.

The greatest commandment is to love God with all our hearts and all our minds and all our strength. The second greatest commandment is for us to love each other in the same way.

How often do churches focus on love for one another? What is unconditional love? How do we serve one another? How can we transform our society into one of love, mercy and selflessness? What does it mean to have a heart for God?

Not service in order to be blessed. But service because we love God and love each other.

These are all topics that we should be focusing on more in our churches.
The fact is that we ALL (I know I certainly do) need help in this area – individually, and as a society.

A dire consequence of the constant prosperity preaching is the effect on young people. The youth of today are basically being brought up in an environment that is telling them that money is the root and pinnacle of success. As most of you know, I coach and train people. I often ask delegates what their goal in life is. About 60% of them say ‘I want to be very rich’. When I ask them why they want to be very rich they tend to get stuck.

Many are chasing wealth but don’t know why. This constant desire and chasing of wealth will more often result in frustration, emptiness and anxiety. Worse still, it results in a nation of ‘self’.

Listen out for the loudest Amen in church and you’ll find that it is when the pastor says something like ‘God will bless you’.

I’m not saying there is anything wrong in saying that. However there is a danger in there being too much focus on this, as it inevitably leads to a rather selfish society; the very antithesis of Christ’s message.

Christianity is fast becoming a faith of ‘self’.
We need to go back to basics; back to the heart of Christ.

I wrote this article because I sincerely believe that we ALL need help in this area. As far as I am concerned church leaders have a huge responsibility to help to create a selfless and loving society.

Every Sunday we pray for God to heal our land. We pray for God’s kingdom to reign in our leaders’ hearts.

Guess what!!!!

We need to start praying more fervently for God’s kingdom (of love, humility, service to God and service to each other) to reign in OUR hearts.

For our country to change, WE must change.

We must change from being a people of ‘self’ to being a people of ‘selflessness’.

The tool that God wants to use to change our hearts and mind-sets is the church.

This is a responsibility that church leaders must embrace.

We need to go back to Love and Service.

A nation in which we are our brother’s (and sister’s) keeper.

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