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Opinion: The Wonders of Grace

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By Tolulope A. Adegoke

“You cannot rise above everything without knowledge – insight that comes from above! The knowledge from above is the one that elevates you! So divine knowledge is a grace-provoker! Grace, on the other hand, is the heavenly key that unlocks every vast and difficult door!” Tolulope A. Adegoke

The grace of God is one indispensable factor for self-discovery, true success and lasting accomplishments. The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians 15:10, says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am…” Whatever you will become, it is grace that determines it; wherever you will reach, it is grace that determines it. Again, in Ephesians 4:7, the Spirit of God says through Paul, “But to every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” This means that when we say that a person is gifted or talented, we are simply saying that such a person is endued with grace!

It is grace that causes your gifts to be seen. It is possible to be gifted or talented and remain hidden. It is grace that uncovers talents. It is grace that uncovers the treasures that are inside of you! Grace is what strengthens the weak! In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Apostle Paul says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. ” Apparently, therefore, the strength that the weak can enjoy is only accessible by grace.

Without the gift of grace, a person’s destiny can be easily frustrated. So, if destructive frustration is to be eliminated from the path of your destiny, it can only be achieved by divine grace. Ephesians 2:4-7 says, “

But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. “

Therefore, the grace of God is the greatest demonstration that He loves us.

Again, Paul, in 1 Corinthians 1:4, says, “I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.” When the grace of God is upon the life of a man, he does not fall behind in anything. It is therefore important for you to understand that grace is a non-negotiable factor in the race of life. This is why you must not only be loaded with grace, but must increasingly be so.

See, friend, you can not run the race of life successfully without grace. It is the grace of God that makes the pursuit of destiny without depression or frustration. Grace means that we are doing the race with God, which provokes ease and breakthroughs, against all odds! Here is the way Zechariah 4:6-7 beautifully puts it. Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts. Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it. “

Here is something else to blow your mind. There is no record of achievement recorded in Scripture that can not be broken in this generation. You only need to obtain greater grace. Hebrews11:39-40 confirms to us that God has ordained every feat you can see to be broken: “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.”

This means that whatever we can see written in the scriptures is not yet the perfect or final result-because God said He has better things for us! In fact, as the Scripture says, everything written in the past was written for our learning, so that we may, through the comfort and patience of the scriptures, have HOPE!

Everything recorded in Scripture was written for our learning. That is to say, all the amazing feats recorded in Scripture were written as patterns for us-if we can do what the champions did, if we can engage what they engaged, then we must see what they saw or even beyond! Hebrew 6:12 says: “That ye be not slothful, but followers of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

The example of Joseph is particularly interesting and instructive. He is such an interesting picture in Scripture because he exemplifies the possibilities of God for every one of His children. Genesis 39:2-6 says: “And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master, the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him; and he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer of his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he did not know what he ought to have had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. “

The grace of God was so mighty upon Joseph that even while in a foreign land, he was well-favoured. The effect was that Potiphar literally handed over his house to him. Again, by the time Joseph was wrongfully sent to prison, the Bible notes that the prisoners were basically handed over to him to manage (Genesis 39:21-23).

When Joseph eventually interpreted Pharaoh’s dream, Pharaoh practically handed over the entire nation to him. Genesis 41:37-41 narrates, “And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants. And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, “Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art. Thou shalt be over my house, and according to thy word shall all my people be ruled: only on the throne will I be greater than thou.”

What am I highlighting here? Grace can transit a nonentity to a celebrity overnight; it does not take time; it takes GRACE! So children must understand the power of God’s grace and make the most of it.

It is equally important to see that the grace of God in the life of Joseph was provoked by the force of divine WISDOM, as Pharaoh himself testified. The grace of God upon his life functioned on the platform of divine wisdom. No wonder the Bible tells us that wisdom is the principal thing, because where there is wisdom, there is grace, and where there is grace, you become great – that is, you emerge as a hero!

Observe closely what I call the kind of wisdom that Joseph demonstrated divine wisdom. This should reveal to you that the wisdom that makes great is not natural wisdom; it is not diabolic wisdom; it is not academic wisdom-it is wisdom that comes from above. And here is the truth: Without wisdom-the wisdom that comes from above-you cannot end up above all! The wisdom that is above is the one that sets you above! So, divine wisdom is a provoker of grace! While grace is the divine opener of every great and impossible door!

Watch out for the Book titled: “The Power of an Empowered Zero” (From Zero to HERO) by Tolulope A. Adegoke. Foreword by Dr Yomi Garnett (CEO/Chancellor, Royal Biographical Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania U.S.A., U.K., Abuja, Nigeria.) Edited by Ola Aboderin.

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Food for Living: The Power of Persistence

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By Henry Ukazu

Dear Destiny Friends,

The difference between success and failure is persistence – Dr. Yomi Garnett

There’s no doubt that there are many components of success. Some of them are courage, sacrifice, hard work, element of luck, role of mentors, destiny helpers, consistency, persistence, networking and grace of God.

But persistence happens to be one critical factor that determines whether one will go far in life or otherwise. All however, are dependent on ability to exhaust all options.

The power of persistence in everyday activity cannot be overemphasized. In reality, it’s usually difficult for one to pursue a task when the odds are against the person,  and that’s where persistence becomes pronounced.

Persisting comes in various ways. As a student, it takes persistence for a student to continue reading a particular course or material even if the they find it difficult to comprehend. As a business owner, it takes persistence to continue trading when a loss is recorded. And as a husband or wife, it takes a combination of patience and persistence for to forge ahead in spite of challenges.

What really is persistence? It is ordinarily the quality that allows someone to continue doing something or trying to do something even when the odds are against him. Persistence shows how dedicated and passionate a person can be in the cause of pursuing a project.

Being persistent is a crucial factor in achieving success both in personal living, career, academics and in every walk of life. Being persistent is a key to unlocking the doors of opportunity and progress as well as helps to maintain focus on what really matters.

In the journey of life, it is persistence that shows the distinguishing trait between great leaders and achievers. If we look through every industry and culture across the globe, there’s one consistent trend among successful individuals, and that trend is the ability to persevere. Some of the greatest leaders of the world, who have achieved greatness through persistence include Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr., Colonel Sanders, Mark Victor Hansen and Steve Jobs. These persons persisted beyond the norm, and reached their goal.

A case study of Abraham Lincoln is very symbolic because he lost several elections, had challenges in marriage, failed in business, but he persisted and became the Presidential of the United States of America.

It’s instructive to note that persistence is about believing in oneself and finding a way to reach the result when the odds are against you. A further analysis of Abraham Lincoln shows that he failed in business at the age of 21, was defeated in a legislative race at age 22, failed again at business at age 24, overcame the death of his lover at age 26, had a nervous breakdown at age 27, lost a congressional race at 34 and 36, lost a senatorial race at 45, failed to become vice president at 47, lost a senatorial race at 49, and then finally was elected president of the United States of America at age 52.

There’s also the famous story of Thomas Edison trying 9,999 times to perfect the light bulb – and he couldn’t do it. Someone asked him, “Are you going to have 10,000 failures?” And he responded, “I didn’t fail; I just discovered another way not to invent the electric light bulb.”

Time and time again, individuals are stopped along their journey because of a certain failure. Note that just because you failed once doesn’t mean you or your project are defined by the failures. It simply means, as Thomas Edison believed, you found one more way it can’t work. It also implies that you are one step closer to achieving the result.

The major step in overcoming the adversity that comes with persistence is clarifying your why. By identifying the purpose behind your goal, your “why” will push you through challenging times.

It is your persistence that can show passerby how passionate you are about a cause.

Let me share a personal story with you; as an author and prolific creative writer, I have always loved the idea of having a large audience reading my weekly contents. I decided to take the bull by the horns by visiting one of the biggest media houses in Nigeria (Sun Newspaper) to seek an opportunity to showcase my work. After engaging with one of the managerial editors, he advised me to send my weekly articles to him for review. The moral of this story is the importance of being persistent. No one embarks on a journey just to waste time and money on projects one is not passionate about.

Being persistent in life can help you to stand out among your peers, it will help you to secure promotions or job opportunities. It will also help you to grow personally and professionally.

To receive the blessings of persistence, one must set specific and measurable goals; one must have a positive mindset and outlook towards life; one must have a good support system in times of adversaries; one must learn from setbacks, challenges and experiences of life; one must be proactive by being flexible if initial plans don’t work as planned, and finally but not the least, one must endeavor to celebrate small wins.

Below are some reasons persistence is important.

Overcoming Obstacles: Persistence allows you to push through difficulties and obstacles, and also navigate round roadblocks.

Learning from Failures: Persistence helps you learn from your mistakes. When you encounter failures, you don’t see them as permanent defeats. Instead, you view them as experience and opportunities for growth and improvement. Persistence will make one gain valuable insights and refine one’s strategies.

Developing Resilience: Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. Persistent individuals build resilience because they don’t let setbacks crush their spirit.

Inspiring Others: Do you know your persistence can motivate other people? When people see your relentless pursuit of a goal, they may feel inspired to overcome their own challenges.  Your example becomes a beacon of hope and determination to others.

Overcome Fear and Self -doubt

One of the biggest challenges one will face when developing persistence is overcoming fear and doubt. Fear can take different forms, such as the fear of poverty, fear of flying, fear of failure, etc.

For persistence to work, it requires dedication, determination, and a willingness to keeping going even when things don’t go as planned. With the right attitude, anyone can learn how to use persistence as a way of leading with failure and overcoming obstacles in their life.

Being persistent is necessary for any progressive being who wants to achieve success in life or their career because it will help the person to stay motivated, overcome obstacles, gain experience, and ultimately reach their goals and vision in life.

In leadership, persistence is determined by adversity, commitment to vision, resilience against criticism, in spirituality, persistence is determined when one’s faith and uncertainty is tested, or exercising patience when waiting for divine timing, as an entrepreneur, persistence is determined by one’s ability to be resilient during setbacks.

In conclusion, it is important to state that persistence is a critical trait for anyone who wants to achieve their goals and turn challenges into opportunities, staying motivated, and having a good support system to overcome any challenges because it requires dedication and commitment.

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator.  He’s the founder of Gloemi. He’s a Transformative Human Capacity and Mindset coach. He is also a public speaker, youth advocate, creative writer and author of Design Your Destiny and Unleash Your Destiny.  He can be reached via info@gloemi.com

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APC Declares Monday Okpebholo Winner of Edo Guber Primary Election

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared Monday Okpebholo, the Senator representing Edo Central in the National Assembly, as the winner of its rerun governorship primary election for the September 21 gubernatorial poll in Edo State.

The APC, on Thursday, held a fresh direct primary election across the 192 wards in the 18 local government areas of Edo State, after it declared last Saturday’s shadow election inconclusive.

Nine aspirants contested the election after three aspirants, including Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu, former Deputy Governor, Lucky Imasuen, and a former Permanent Secretary, Earnest Afolabi Umakhihe, withdrew from the race.

Earlier, the APC had mandated a seven-man Gubernatorial Primary Election Committee chaired by Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to supervise the direct primary election.

The party, however, replaced Uzodimma with Cross River State Governor, Bassey Otu.

Declaring the results of the shadow election on Friday at the collation centre, Lushville Hotel and Suites, Gapiona Avenue, Government Reservation Area (GRA), Benin City, Otu said Okpekholo polled 12,433 votes to defeat his closest rival, the lawmaker representing Ovia constituency in the House of Representatives, Dennis Idahosa, who scored 6,541 votes.

Born on August 29, 1970, in Udomi-Uwesan, Irrua, Edo Central, Okpebholo, whose name also coincides with his Okpebholo ancestry, was popularly nicknamed Akpakomisa from childhood because of his survival of the tough times occasioned by the numerous water borne disease at the time.

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Economic Hardship: Sanwo-Olu Slashes Fares by 25%, Approves 3-Day

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Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced a 25 per cent slash in transport fares for government-owned transport schemes.

Sanwo-Olu, who made this announcement during a live media chat tagged: ‘Sanwo Speaks,’ on Thursday, said that civil servants from levels 1–14 will begin to work three days a week as part of measures to ease the economic challenges.

He explained that the forum was meant to intimate residents of measures adopted to reduce the economic burden on Lagosians.

The governor noted that workers in the teaching sector will, however, maintain the five-day-a-week work schedule, while the government will ensure additional transportation support for them.

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