THE WORLD IS MY STAGE

THE WORLD IS MY STAGE

You may never see my face on the cover of Time Magazine,

You may never watch my interview with Larry King,

But the world is my stage.

I may never be an household name like

“Michael Jackson” or “Christiano Ronaldo”

But the world is my stage.

When I encourage a teenager in Ogudu

To never give up on her dreams,

I am changing the world.

When I give clothes to a poor widow in Mechanic Village,

I am making a mark on the sands of the world.

When you sponsor a child’s education in Guatemala,

You are influencing the world.

When you lead an elderly man in Wengding to Jesus,

You are leading the world.

When we touch a heart,

We are touching the heart of the world,

The world is my stage, the world is your stage,

The world is our stage.

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

…giving lives a reason to live…

WHEN RIGHTEOUSNESS DOESN’T PAY 3

           Joseph had just been jailed for a crime he didn’t commit. He had been sold as a slave by his very brothers. They had fabricated his death when he was very much alive. While things were just getting better, his master’s wife framed him for attempted rape. No one would have blamed him for being bitter against the world-particularly his brothers, Mr. and Mrs. Potiphar.

The prison warden found Joseph faithful in administering the affairs of the prison. He was so confident of Joseph’s competence that he didn’t have to bother about what was under his care, (Genesis 39v21-23). Joseph chose to be useful even in jail. He decided to add value to the lives of the prisoners. He didn’t make the mistake many of us are guilty of. When doing the right thing leads us into trouble, we conclude that doing the right thing is not worth it. A Church member hurts us after we lend a helping hand. We then decide never to help another Church member.

Never judge whether something is right or wrong by its’ result-especially in the short run. The fact that an accountant embezzles company funds and successfully covers his tracks doesn’t justify his actions. The fact that you were ridiculed and ostracized when you confessed to your course mates that you are a virgin doesn’t mean being a virgin is wrong.

We should do the right thing simply because it is the right thing. Ultimately good will win and doing the right thing will pay. As long as we choose the right path, we have this assurance-“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”, (Romans 8v28, The Voice).

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 …giving lives a reason to live…

WHEN RIGHTEOUSNESS DOESN’T PAY 2

           Joseph was faithful in serving Potiphar. He was his most trusted and committed servant. No wonder he committed his affairs into Joseph’s hands. However, Joseph was not only good at his job, he was also good looking. Mrs. Potiphar couldn’t keep her eyes off him. She persisted  with her proposal to sleep with her but Joseph was firm. If he wouldn’t budge, he had to leave. Her plan succeeded. She accused him of attempted rape and Potiphar didn’t waste time sending him to prison.

Joseph had been a devoted employee. He had chosen God’s standard over the pleasures of sin. What did he have to show for it-a life behind bars. However, Scripture says “But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness and caused the prison warden to like Joseph”, (Genesis 39v21, New Century Version).

God did not abandon Joseph in prison. Although, on the outside Joseph was unfortunate, inside he was still blessed. God lavished His favour on him such that he found favour with the prison warder. God’s faithfulness remains with you even when doing the right thing doesn’t pay. As long as God is with you, your challenges will turn into testimonies. He will vindicate you.

The converse is true when we sacrifice godly values because of what we stand to gain. We lose the greatest asset anyone could ever possess- God’s Presence. Sooner or later, we lose more than God’s Presence. The devil will never give you success for nothing. The good news is God is ready to give us a fresh start. All He needs is a heart ready to live according to His Word.

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

WHEN RIGHTEOUSNESS DOESN’T PAY

            When Joseph was tempted by Potiphar’s wife, he chose to say “No”, responding “How could I violate his (Potiphar’s) trust and sin against God?”, (Genesis 39v9, The Message). Mrs. Potiphar decided to lie against Joseph that he tried to rape her. When she told Potiphar, he took her side and sent Joseph to prison.

            This was the same Joseph who was Potiphar’s most valuable employee. He was so productive that His Master put him in charge of his affairs. The only thing outside Joseph’s supervision was Potiphar’s wife, (Genesis 39v8-9). Joseph had an impeccable record. It is not recorded that Potiphar confronted Joseph to listen to his own side of the story. What we know for sure is that he didn’t waste time putting Joseph in jail. That was the reward Joseph got for all his faithfulness.

            The truth is doing the right thing will not always pay instantly. We live in a society where corruption is celebrated and righteousness is ridiculed. Someone might conclude that if he had given in to madam, he would have commanded more wealth and influence. They might even suggest that if they had been strategic enough, Potiphar would have never found out. However, Joseph would never have become the Prime Minister of Egypt. God wouldn’t have given him the interpretation to Pharaoh’s dream along with the solution to the famine that would occur. They would have probably died of famine and God would have raised another deliver to preserve the nation of Israel.

            Doing the right thing ultimately pays as illustrated in Joseph’s story. Sooner or later, we lose when we choose the path of compromise. God’s grace is always available to stand for the truth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

FIGHTING TEMPTATION

            While God is faithful to help us on the path of destiny, the devil works to frustrate us. One way he achieves this is to tempt God’s Children. Temptation has the power to take us off course. While Joseph was doing well in his career, temptation came knocking at his door in the person of Potiphar’s wife, Genesis 39v7-20. Joseph would have enjoyed unusual favour with Mrs. Potiphar. He probably would have commanded more influence and wealth if he had danced to her tune. However, he chose to say “No” to the tempter’s voice.

           Numerous destinies are sacrificed on the altar of compromise. This is largely due to the fact that for many people “The end justifies the means.” In a society like ours where poverty is prevalent and success is defined as material acquisition, it is very easy to sacrifice sound values for prosperity. However, God’s grace is sufficient to help us in times of temptation.

           The height of success Heaven bestows on you depends on the depth of your character. 3 John2 (NKJV) attests to this with the words “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” We end up short-changing ourselves when we take short cuts on the road of success. Another Scripture, James 4v3 (Contemporary English Version) alludes to this when it says “Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.”

            God will not commit certain resources in some peoples’ hands simply because of their character. A man who commands Heaven’s resources has dealt with his character. Fortunately, that is a battle we can all win.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

GOD IS WITH YOU

            Last time we explored how faithfulness empowered Joseph to maximize his opportunity in working for Potiphar. However, there was another dimension to the success he experienced at work. The answer is found in Genesis 39v2-6.

            The Message Translation of the preceding Scripture says “God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.”

             You need God-given help to fulfil a God-given dream. The presence of God enabled Joseph to enjoy favour with his master. It also made his work successful. God doesn’t expect us to achieve our dreams with our wisdom or effort. The most critical factor in our lives is the presence of God. As long as God is with you, you will shine wherever you are. A God-favoured man will always find favour with man. You can’t keep him down.

             Joseph was successful not only because of what he did but more importantly who he was. He was a man called by God for a specific purpose. A notable speaker once said “Success is first within, then without.” The God in you will turn all you do into success.

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

GOD IS WITH YOU

            Last time we explored how faithfulness empowered Joseph to maximize his opportunity in working for Potiphar. However, there was another dimension to the success he experienced at work. The answer is found in Genesis 39v2-6.

            The Message Translation of the preceding Scripture says “God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.”

             You need God-given help to fulfil a God-given dream. The presence of God enabled Joseph to enjoy favour with his master. It also made his work successful. God doesn’t expect us to achieve our dreams with our wisdom or effort. The most critical factor in our lives is the presence of God. As long as God is with you, you will shine wherever you are. A God-favoured man will always find favour with man. You can’t keep him down.

             Joseph was successful not only because of what he did but more importantly who he was. He was a man called by God for a specific purpose. A notable speaker once said “Success is first within, then without.” The God in you will turn all you do into success.

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

YOUR BEST OPPORTUNITY

            Joseph had just been sold into slavery by his brothers. His father had been deceived into believing his favourite son was dead. His present circumstances were a far cry from the dream of greatness he had. The last thing on his mind would be working as a servant for someone. However, Joseph did not respond to his circumstances the way most of us would be prone to react.

            He chose to serve Potiphar his master. Some might be quick to assume that he had no choice. After all, he was as good as dead if he dared to be rebellious to his master. However, I believe Joseph served Potiphar out of faithfulness, not fear.             

            Genesis 39v4-6 (The Voice) alludes to this with the following words, “Joseph became the favorite of the household and rose in the ranks to become Potiphar’s personal attendant. In time, Potiphar made Joseph overseer of the entire household and put him in charge of everything he owned. From that moment, the Eternal One blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake, a blessing which seemed to cover everything Potiphar possessed from house to field. Potiphar entrusted everything to the care of Joseph. With him in charge, Potiphar had no concern about anything except for his private affairs, such as the food he chose to eat!”

             Joseph made the best use of his present opportunity. Don’t trivialize your present opportunity no matter how small it may appear. If you are unfaithful as an employee, you will not succeed as an employer. If you are not faithful with little, how will you be faithful with much? Maximize your present opportunity, it is your best opportunity for promotion.

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

WHEN THE DREAM BECOMES A NIGHTMARE

            In Genesis 37v5-11, Joseph had a dream. In the dream he was powerful and influential. He was so convinced about the dream, he told his family about it. Even when his brothers made mockery of his revelation, he did not pass an opportunity to remind them of the dream.

            Fifteen verses later, his brothers conspire to sell him to the Ishmaelites. They plan to deceive their father into believing that a wild animal killed him. Joseph is sold to foreigners as a slave. His father mourns his death. His brothers believe his dream is dead and buried.

            I can’t help but wonder what must be going through Joseph’s mind. He must have had countless questions, Why didn’t God deliver him from being sold into slavery, Why did He allow his father to buy the lie that he was dead, How would his dream ever come true with his present circumstances, How is he sure that the dream is not a figment of his own imagination?

            Joseph could have chosen to be bitter against his brothers. He could have resolved to serve Potiphar his master half-heartedly. He could have decided to abandon his God. Rather he chose to be faithful even as a slave. The King James Version of Genesis 39v4 says “Joseph found favour in his (Potiphar’s) sight, and served him”. The American Standard Version used the words “He ministered unto him”. Although, he couldn’t control the situation, he maintained a positive attitude.

            He could maintain a positive outlook because he knew God was with him. No matter how hopeless things may appear, know that God is with you. He has not given up on you. He still believes in your dream.   

            

 

            

 

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

YOUR FUTURE IS BEAUTIFUL

 

…giving lives a reason to live…

 

SHARE YOUR DREAM 4

            We have established the value of having a mentor on the journey of fulfilling our dream. We all need to connect to a mentor. This can be achieved through various means. We can read their books, listen to their cds. In this era, where the world is a global village, the social media can bridge the gap. Everybody has an access to a mentor. The nearest person who has achieved what you aspire for is a good candidate for a mentor.

             Irrespective of the means of connection; we need to take the first step in initiating the mentor-protégée relationship.  A mentor can only successfully groom someone who is willing to learn. That is why the protégée needs to be humble.

            Another ingredient required for the mentoring process to be productive is accountability. This can involve seeking the counsel of a mentor regarding the choices we intend to make. We can think we have a fantastic idea only for our mentor to burst our balloon with his candid opinion. This is where humility is critical. He has walked the road. He has seen the signs. He has been there. We need to listen to him if we want to succeed and avoid the heartaches he has faced.

             In as much as we need human mentors, our ultimate source of inspiration should be God. Human mentors are human. That means they can be wrong. Every counsel from man should align with Divine Wisdom.

            As you locate your God-ordained mentor, you will gain wisdom that will pave the way for outstanding success. You will fulfill your God-given dreams.