HOW TO FINISH 2018 STRONG & START 2019 FLYING

Maybe you are like me wondering where the year has gone. And you are currently reflecting back on the success and as well as the mistakes(failures) of this year. Maybe you are yet to complete the plans you had for 2018; that course you started, the business you plan to start or maybe you are yet to finish reading the book you started and the list goes on…

You’ve been thinking…

I’m not going to make it. It’s too hard. It’s too much work. This is just too hard. There is so much left to do in such a short time. 

A lot of people would just walk away. But if God is speaking to you — if you’re hearing that still, small voice telling you, “You are not a quitter. You’re a finisher!” — then put your blinders on. It is not over yet!

This is not the time to start feeling anxious, overwhelmed due to mistakes and bad choices you have made during the year. No matter what you have left to achieve this 2018, you can achieve it in 2019. Don’t beat yourself up! As long as you have life, NOTHING is impossible with God on your side.

Don’t. Give. Up. 

Listen to what God is telling you to do. He is calling you today to go back to the drawing board. Check in on your goals. Revisit those areas of failures and re-evaluate. Don’t wait until January 1, 2019 to start planning, START NOW!
You need to have a renewed mindset before the end of this year to be able to start 2019 much STRONGER. And where better place to start?

Below, I have listed some tips to help you as we prepare for 2019. These steps are drawn from examples in the Bible which aim to get you to start thinking differently now as we approach the end of 2018. Finishing the year with a different mindset is, in fact, finishing strong. 


FINISH 2018 WITH THESE 4 POWERFUL  TIPS

1. PLAN NOW!

Count The Cost

“Beginning well is a momentary thing; finishing well is a lifelong thing.” 

Ravi Zacharias

Starting something new is always exciting. Even though we may initially have fears, I think, in general, we all look forward to a new thing. Often, I’ve ventured out into new phases of my life. I can still remember my first day of elementary school. It was scary but exciting, simultaneously. Every idea for a new project, venture, or journey breeds deep excitement in our souls. In life we all love to start, be it dating, marriage, joining the workforce, college, the gym, business, a ministry, a creative project, or a family. Whatever it may be, we all look forward to the beginning of something new because it always sounds and feels magical in our minds. We get a feeling of euphoria which we hope will never disappear. Starting is infused with positives only, and our thoughts may roam the expanse of possibilities, and the results always end well in our minds. Starting is terrific, but there is something more powerful than starting. It is finishing. 

Jesus, in one of His teachings, addressed starting and finishing. While He was speaking on following, He used natural examples to reiterate His point – in Luke 14:28 – 37
Life is full of many great starters, but unfortunately, the numbers dwindle with finishers. When we stop for a moment and look at the world today, globally, or even in our communities, we can see the effects of the starters that never finished. 

Jesus urged us to count the cost before we start because He knew the giddy feelings we would encounter once we have ideas that sound great to us. He knew we could get so caught up in starting and forget the cost involved to finish our assignments. I have seen and experienced so many heartbreaks and disappointments, so many tears and sleepless nights, all because I didn’t count the cost.  I didn’t consider the whole picture,  creating my own failure. God works differently from our world system. 

The Word tells us, “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will.”
(Ephesians 1: 4-5 NIV)

God knows the end from the beginning Isaiah 46:10, God counts the cost to the end, and then he started creation. So too, we must count the cost before we start anything, and calculate a strong finish even before we begin. 

2. DON’T PROCRASTINATE.

Be Committed To Achieving Your Goals like Jesus

“Do not be lazy. Run each day’s race with all your might, so that at the end you will receive the victory wreath from God. Keep on running even when you have had a fall. The victory wreath is won by him who does not stay down, but always gets up again, grasps the banner of faith and keeps on running in the assurance that Jesus is Victor.” 

Basilea Schlink

Jesus’ whole assignment on earth was to finish the work His Father sent Him to do, and He counted the cost before he took His first step in time. Jesus moved and operated with the end in mind. Every step, every word, every prayer, every miracle, every sermon was done with great resolve to finish. Jesus was motivated to finish because His sole purpose was to do the will of His Father. It was the Father’s heart to save us, to have us draw near to Him without the issues of sin, judgment, and condemnation. 

Jesus’ ability to finish His assignment on earth would not only save us, but serve as proof to all humanity that God was real, and sent Jesus to save us. When we desire above all else to do the Father’s will, we will be fueled to finish what we start, and in finishing strong we bear witness to others that God is real. When things get hard but you keep smiling, keep trying with joy and peace, people around you will stop and take notice. They will give credit to God because of the fruit of your staying the course. 

Jesus gained physical, emotional and mental strength to run his race to the finish because he kept his eye on the prize. Perhaps today you are caught in the web of having had a great start, but now the trials, obstacles, hardships, and torment is causing you to want to quit and walk away. I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on the prize and the end product. Keep your eyes on Jesus because He, along with the saints that have gone on ahead, is cheering you on. It might be dark, it might be lonely, but know that you are not alone. Keep your eyes on Jesus, remember how He finished, and know that you can finish also! 

3. BE DIFFERENT FROM THE REST.

Learn from Apostle Paul 

“Follow boldly in your Master’s steps, for He has made this rough journey before you. Better a brief warfare and eternal rest than false peace and everlasting torment.” 

Alistair Begg

The Apostle Paul was a tremendous visionary, full of passion, and pursued his vision no matter the cost. He didn’t begin on the right track in his pursuit of souls. He was a Jew born to the tribe of Benjamin, and he was very educated in the Law of Moses. He was full of zeal for defending the law he held in high esteem. Therefore, he passionately pursued anyone that would seek to go against this law. He was notorious for persecuting the followers of Jesus because the gospel of Jesus Christ went against the spirit of religion. He was a unique person from the start.

One day, Paul was on a mission to bring to prison all who would dare to follow Jesus Christ. While on the way, he had an encounter with God, face-to-face that changed his course forever. In reality, what happened was mind-boggling, and one could only reason it was God who brought about this sudden change. Paul went from one side of the spectrum to the opposite side; he would now become the persecuted rather than the persecutor – (Acts 9 NIV).

A new path was now charted for Paul, and he would have to count the cost of this call. He would have to decide if he would die for the cause of Christ. He knew of the opposition unleashed against the church of Christ. He was present at the stoning of an innocent follower of Jesus, named Stephen. Paul was no stranger to the torment, pain, and persecution that awaited those who would dare associate with Jesus and his teachings. Nevertheless, Paul counted the cost and set out to start a new race–one that would change the course of the Gentile world. Even though Paul was a Jew, he had a more significant impact on the Gentile nations, and he traveled extensively planting churches and feeding the body of Christ with wisdom from the Holy Spirit. Today, two-thirds of the New Testament is written by the Apostle Paul because he counted the cost. He depended on the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction every step of the way. The Holy Spirit would reveal to him the persecutions he would face, the imprisonments, the beatings, the public humiliation, the loneliness, and even his death. With all that he faced, he kept Jesus before him, and the will of the Father to make disciples of all men.

Paul could have chosen the life of the persecutor to gain status, position, and wealth, but would have spent his eternity in torment. After counting the cost, he chose not to gamble away eternity and headed to the starting line of the call that would cost him everything. I want to encourage you today to meditate on the life of Paul and weigh the choices before you. Count the cost on both ends of the spectrum and see God move in and infuse you with strength as you chose his will!

4. BE GENUINE 

“If I fail, I try again, and again, and again. If YOU fail, are you going to try again? The human spirit can handle much worse than we realize. It matters HOW you are going to FINISH. Are you going to finish strong?”

Nick Vujicic

The wisest king that lived, other than Jesus, said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV.

When we ponder this thought, there is so much depth that lies within. Today, when we look around, it seems like every month there is a new line of clothing, bags, shoes, new miracle-working pills, slimming equipment, or countless cheap do-it-yourself gadgets. The infomercials and commercials are endless. But after a few months, we lose interest only to find something new is on the market. When we look at the designer labels we know they get their title not only from their price but because they have been around for years. They have worked hard and long to create a brand that can be trusted. Their products are long-lasting and reliable. After many products have come and gone, these designers stand the test of time, proving them to be genuine. So too, it is with believers. When we stay the course, keep our eyes on Jesus and count the cost, then our lives declare to the world that the Jesus we serve is real. 

A test of time, trials, persecutions, delays, and obstacles are all considered “time in the furnace”, but it is always necessary to show value and the genuineness. As we read through the pages of the Bible repeatedly, all the men went through great testing, trials, and persecution. Through it all, they have finished strong because they counted the cost, kept their eyes on their God, and still today the nation of Israel stands to prove to the world they are the nation separated unto God. 

The Apostle Paul urged us to get rid of the heavy weight of sin or impurities that have only the ability to weigh us down in Hebrews 12:1 – 2  He also encouraged us not to get tired in the journey but to keep doing good because the reward that awaits us is greater than the troubles we face in the present. Jesus received the reward of the souls he died for.  The Apostle Paul received Jesus as his prize and added more souls to the kingdom of God. Today you can also receive Jesus, His strength, His grace, His mercy, His anointing, His wisdom, and His endurance to finish stronger in 2019!

Thanks for reading!

Love,

Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement

So, I’ve been studying the great book of Jonah these last couple of weeks. Can I just say this, Our God is just crazy amazing!

I think everyone including me has heard of this story as a child at their church’s Sunday school or someone had referred to it some way or the other. And like you I was fascinated by it!

Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever studied this book as deeper nor understood it better until now.
It amazes me how Jonah can experience the fullness of God’s Mercy himself even when his mission was to send the message of Grace to the Ninevites!

Jonah is quite a Character! And so relatable…
He reminds me of me really!
Let’s go on this great journey with Jonah, shall we?

Continue reading → Mercy Triumphs Over Judgement

He Really Does Leave The Ninety-Nine To Find The ONE!

Every time and Again and again . . .
You are the ONE He’s chasing after! 
This piece was originally published on The Daily Seed back in April 2014.
Four years later, I heard the Reckless Love by Cory Ashbury which inspired me to revisit this beautiful reminder and prompted me to share it again.

Lost and Found

Chosen one, I am glad you made it here today. What a privilege to be alive!

I just want to inspire you with these few words today.  I encourage you to read on…


Bible Passage: Luke 15:1-10

Before you read, I want you to open your hands with your palms facing up. Sit for a moment in stillness and ask your heavenly Father to tell you important words that you need to hear today. Tell Him that you are open to His guidance.

Now read the passage.

By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing and when you got home call in your friends and neighbours, saying, ‘celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it – there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over  ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

“Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbours: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it – that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”


In this passage two things – A Sheep and A Coin – are lost and then found. And both are celebrated upon their return.

As you think about the two stories of the lost items, which story hits you the most right now?

Think deeply why that story jumps out at you today. Read it again and put yourself in it.


When have you felt lost? Why did you feel that way?

In both stories, A Shepherd, A Woman – proactively went after the lost item.


How does it feel to know that God Himself is proactively pursuing you for the simple yet profound fact that He loves you deeply?


Notice the element of celebration in these stories.

How does this celebration make you feel? What should you begin to celebrate in your life or in the lives of others?


Today, I celebrate the Love of God in my life. I know I am loved by The One who never gives up on me. He comes looking for me every time I purposely wander off and when I frequently get distracted by the storms of life.

And In the lives of others, I celebrate the joy that fills God’s heart when the lost is found.


Listen for God in these areas:
  1.  What might He be communicating to you regarding your lostness?
  2. Regarding the fact that He desires to find you?
  3.  Regarding how He celebrates your life?

Recognise what God is doing in your life today – in the spectacular and in the mundane – and then celebrate it.

Remember, you are the ONE He’ll leave the ninety-nine for. God will not stop until He finds you. He is crazy about you!

Enjoy the fresh start today. Freedom lies in the love of our Father.

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Freedom: the humble will find mercy

Freedom happens when we humble ourselves.

When we are humble, we rely on and trust in the saving power of Jesus alone to save us not in our own ability.

Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

While studying John chapter 8, I realised that this chapter speaks volume about the condition of our hearts. So much wisdom and revelation in one chapter!

These are some interesting points I gathered whilst reading…

  • John 8 1-11 described the scene of Jesus teaching the scribes and the Pharisees. Whilst teaching, a woman caught right in the middle of adultery was brought to Him – not to be saved but to be condemned, openly shamed and killed. The woman is undoubtedly guilty of adultery, and according to the Law of Moses she should be punished by death. Instead Jesus did something unexpected. He sets this woman free. However, the revelation I received from this event is this. Although it was never recorded the type of conversation that had happened beforehand between her and the accusers but what I noticed is that this woman never tried to justify her sin when she got to the presence of Jesus but instead she humbled herself. I hear you say, well she had no choice but to humble herself as she was in a vulnerable situation. Yes, that’s correct! I can think of many vulnerable situations that I clearly needed help that pride stopped me from obtaining! What I believed happened here is this -she encountered something amazing that day, which is greater than anything she has ever known. She met with LOVE in flesh.  She met face to face with LOVE Himself and and all she could do was surrender.  I’m guessing from this woman’s story, this is someone that has been trying to fill a hole in her heart by sleeping with men, searching for a real love but all in the wrong places. So, when she finally met with the LOVE she has been searching for all her life face to face, Jesus, a stranger who showed her what true love and kindness is. She bowed in humility and surrender. This is how her story changed forever.

The love of Jesus humbles us to surrender


  • The other part of the story. People will condemn you and leave you worse off than they found you but Jesus said “I won’t condemn you. Go and sin no more” John 8:11. This is what freedom looks like when we admit to our sins and repent. “And therefore, there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” Romans 8:1

Freedom has no condemnation only Victory!


  • John 8:12-30 Upon all the teachings and actions of Jesus in the previous verses. He continues to implore the Pharisees to believe and turn back from their wicked ways. It was clear they were not ready to let go of what they know or have been taught. They believed in God but not in Jesus. They believed in the law of Moses but not in the saving grace of Jesus. And just like us today, we choose what is convenient to believe in and when it suites us to follow Him. There is no shame in admitting we struggle. Jesus made that clear in the previous verses, He is made perfect in our weakness. Remember, “the Proud will never see God”. Freedom happens when we truly let go. If you want to be free, Let GO!

I can’t, Jesus can, Let Him.


  • John 8: 31-59 Finally, after Jesus had demonstrated and taught them what True Freedom is they preferred to remain as slaves by hiding and “defending and justifying” their sins. Even though they know the Word of God, they fail to comprehend the key message in this chapter which is ‘JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND LIFE’. Similarly, a large number of us”Christians” are like these Pharisees, “the educated people of their day, cautious, law-abiding”. Too often we rely on our own wisdom and ability to be perfect. We believe we know what is right for our lives. Just like the Pharisees, we justify our actions because we think we know “the law” and our interpretation of the law is “right”. We pick ‘n’ choose what to and not to believe. Self-reliant! Proud much? The Pharisees preferred to remain captives bound in the chains of “law” as to admitting that they’ve been wrong all along and be set free. What a pity! Imagine, to stand in the presence of Jesus, the Saviour, the Son God and God Himself in flesh and still be living in bondage? Listen, majority of us Christians are still living in bondage today and yet we claim Jesus is our Saviour?! Jesus can only make His home where He is allowed! It is when we give Him full access to all areas of our lives can we then receive complete freedom. So, if you want to be free stop boxing Jesus out, stop thinking that only you can deliver yourself. That’s pride!

“Is He Lord in every aspect of your life?”


Let us think back to when we’ve tried to do things by our own strength. How we failed woefully and yet we refuse to admit we are struggling. We continue to hide under the illusion of freedom.

Get rid of pride and receive true freedom today!

“You can’t whitewash your sins and get by with it; you find mercy by admitting and leaving them.”

Proverbs ‭28:13‬ ‬‬

‘So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free. ‘

John 8:36 

 

REST

 Then Jesus said,

 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 

Matthew 11:28 NLT

Can you believe it’s December already?

I can… in fact I have been dreading it!

The honest truth is that there are so many goals and plans for this year I haven’t accomplished yet. I find myself in a place of doubt, constantly asking myself when will it be my turn? I need to see manifestations now!

I have been feeling burn out, disappointed, emotionally tired and spiritually exhausted. I can’t even tell you…these past couple of months  I’d admit that I gave in to fear and the lies of the devil . Shame overcame and overwhelmed my heart…placed too much of my attention on the very mountain, forgetting I serve a mighty God that can move and make them plain.

Through it all, I know it is not over yet! In God’s plan, there is no time limit.

Even though I’m yet to see the manifestation of all the prophecies and prayers, I will patiently wait and while I wait for His glory, my prayer is that I am graced to yield to His teachings. To Love Him more than His blessings. I pray that I am spiritually matured to say that even if God does not to bless me  with one thing that my heart truly desire, He will still be my God. To be matured and rooted in His Word and have faith that He is able and He will do it in His own time!

Hebrews 11:1 says…“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

So guys, as the year is running to an end, let me encourage you with these words.

Even though you are yet to see what you’ve prayed for and it seem as though you’ve been waiting forever. Jesus has promised you rest in the wait… don’t let your heart be discouraged. Do not be anxious of anything but instead pray about everything.

Jesus plans for you are good and it has no iota of evil. He is not a liar and if He said it, He will do it. If you can’t see the manifestation of all the things He promised you now, I know and I want you to cling on to HOPE that He is able to do more than we ask of Him. He is able to turn this season around. Jesus is taking you through a journey – your journey to the manifestation.

Use this season of waiting to get ready for 2018.

In the place of prayer write down your God given vision.

Make it plain.

Put a circle around the key words. Circle it as a symbol of covenant between you and God.

Continuously pray over it. Prayer is key! Pray that He shows you new strategies and guidance.

Remember, For God to have shown or speak to you about it, He has released it in the spiritual realm. Prayer, purposeful prayer is needed to bring it into physical manifestation.

Finally, I will leave you with this verse,

 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”

Psalm 32:8