What CBN2021 Has taught me thus Far.

What CBN2021 Has taught me thus Far.

Capacity Building Network, Cohort 2021 (CBN2021) began the first quarter of this year. We just concluded phase one of the program, and Abogede Marietu share her experience and what she has learned in this piece. If you are still wondering whether CBN is for you, you need to read this patiently to the end; maybe it will help you make an important decision that might forever shape your life.

This great platform has been a plus to me, and I wouldn’t want anything more than to continue to the end haven successfully finish phase 1. I have learned a lot from the orientation to the very last topic of the last session in the previous phase, and I must confess it has been awesome. My eyes were opened to many things that I possibly won’t have learned if not for such a platform as this.

On Personal Branding

I have come to understand that life generally moves on the wheels of a relationship. The tool that will help me influence what people perceive about me is “branding.” This means that no one is without a brand, but not everyone is conscious of their brand. To be a successful brand, I must be intentional and intentional. I need to know who I am, my values, my mission for life, my vision, and my story. Effective branding is done according to one’s vision for life, as its purpose is to facilitate career growth. To top the cake on the ice, I was enlightened that the essence of school is not just to obtain the paper tagged as a certificate but to master the act of learning.

Writing Skills

I learned that writing is a journey, to become successful at writing, I need to keep writing with guts to challenge the abnormalities of this generation, I need to know what to write about, how to write it, why I am writing, who I am writing to the lessons of my writing.
Practically, in a bid to develop my writing skills, I must see writing as a gift, picture a friend’s face, and talk to him about my topic. This makes me more confident in writing.

Building Financial Intelligence

Another topic of interest to me was financial intelligence which gave me foresight into how I can leverage money to live a convenient life. I learned how to boost my financial intelligence by engaging professionals, having a big picture, tracking my expenses and net worth, consuming financial intelligence content, attracting big investors, learning financial techniques, and engaging insurance.

These and many more I have been privileged to learn in my quest for more knowledge. If you would love to be part of CBN2022 to gain all this knowledge and much more. Feel free to contact us.

Your Smartphone and God’s Grace

Your Smartphone and God’s Grace

If you are reading this post, you most likely have a smartphone, either an android phone or an iPhone.

When you bought the phone, some applications came with it. Those applications are basic features you need to be able to use the phone conveniently. But you will agree with me that there are some things you cannot do with the phone unless you visit the Playstore on your android phone and Appstore on your iPhone and download the apps. For example, simply because you have a smartphone does not mean you can do mobile banking if you don’t download and activate your bank application on your phone.

Google and Apple are aware that there are many things you need to do with your phones, but they can’t possibly build all the applications and make them come with the phone. Or maybe they can, but for reasons best known to them, they didn’t just do that. Rather, they built a platform that enables you to download as many applications as you can to help you use your phone more efficiently.

Imagine buying a very expensive android or iPhone and refusing to download other apps required into your phone. Although you will be able to use the phone, there is a limit to what you can do with the phone. To even take it further, some applications merely downloading into your phone does not mean you can use them. You have to subscribe with your money to be able to maximize the full features.

Follow me –we are going somewhere.

This analogy may not be a perfect one, but it can help us have a real-life idea of what the Grace of God or Divine grace is. When God created man, He programmed him with basic capabilities and capacities. This basic feature is so sophisticated that man could do and has done many wonderful things with it. You don’t need to go back to God to use this capacity to do “great things.” The operative word being “great things.”

You don’t need God to make money. You don’t need God to excel academically. You don’t even need him to become a global figure. In fact, you don’t need God to achieve anything that has no eternal value. God has deposited that innate capacity in you already. You can struggle your way into becoming something great in life. That’s the fact.

But then, as believers, we have not been called to do just “great things.” Hear what Jesus has to say “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even *greater things* than these because I am going to the Father.”

What kind of work was Jesus doing? The works that have eternal value. If you must become like Jesus in both life and action, you need something more than the basic features that God has given to every man. You need to download more applications into your system from the App store. In fact, you need to subscribe to and activate these applications. And it is called – The Divine Grace.

The Concept of Grace

I will say, Divine Grace, is God acting in your life to do what you can’t do on your own. In other words, the Grace of God is the help of God. So, any man that operates under the Grace of God works at a level higher than the natural realm. It’s more than doing the basic things of this life. Everything that God has ever done on earth beyond natural human capability has been by his Grace. The salvation of mankind from sin, Satan and Flesh, has to be by Grace.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”… Titus 2:1; For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesian 2:8.

You can do good works by your natural ability, but you can’t do God’s work effectively without subscribing to his Grace. And as believers, we have not been called to do good works. Anybody can do good works. The earnest expectation of the creation from the Children of God is not good works. The creation has seen a lot of good works. We have been called to God’s work and what empowers a man to do God’s works is the Grace of God.

The Purpose of Divine Grace

Now let’s look at the purpose. To what intent is the Grace of God revealed to man?

For salvation

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”… Titus 2:11; For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesian 2:8. By now, you should be aware that no level of goods works can save a man from his sin; only the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary can.

For instruction

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to everyone. It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age. Titus 2:12. The Grace of God does not bring freedom to sin but freedom from sin. That’s why one of the fundamental functions of Grace is instruction and teaching. The scripture above made it clear what the Grace of God teaches us to do.  There is a particular passage that we have often misinterpreted;

“Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” – Romans 5:20.

This passage does not mean Grace is only available amid abundant sin. It does mean, if you are living in sin, the help – which is the Grace of God – is available right there to help you overcome that sin. Note that nothing in a human’s innate ability can overcome sin. Only the Grace of God can. But once you overcome that sin and decide to move deeper into Him, you will begin to work in His deeper grace.

This is what I mean; a man who lives in sin needs the grace to overcome it. But when the same man overcomes the sin and advances into doing greater things for and with God, he receives the Grace for the work as well.

Using our mobile app analogy, some people are just satisfied with the free version of some applications, but others have gone beyond the free version and have launched deeper into the paid version. Both the people using the free and the paid versions use the app, but at different levels. Similarly, a sinner who needs to overcome his sin and a Christian who is casting out demons and getting people baptized in the Holy Ghost are using the same Grace, but both are operating at different levels of Grace.

May we desire to move past the level of just asking for Grace to overcome sin; brethren, they are deeper things we need to do for the kingdom, and it’s urgent. We can afford to keep on wasting time on the elementary of faith. It’s time to launch into the deep.

For Help

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace *to help us in our time of need*.” Hebrews 4:16.

The Christian life is a journey; it starts with conversion (salvation) and continues with transformation (growth). This journey starts with Grace, continues with Grace, and ends in Grace. After we have been saved by Grace, we need the same Grace for the transformation process of becoming like Christ.

Simply put, the Grace of God is for help. As seen in our smartphone analogy, you wouldn’t download and activate any app if you think you don’t need it. You can’t possibly download all the apps. But if you need a function beyond what your basic apps can do, you quickly visit the Appstore or Playstore.

Similarly, for a Christian, the help of God comes in the package of his Grace. So, when you say, God helps me, you are saying God, make your grace abound in my Life. It also follows that it is somebody who is insufficient of himself that needs help. Listen to what Paul reported about God when he asked him to take away he turns on his flesh. “And He (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

You might have heard that you are unlimited, but that’s not true. No man is unlimited. God fashioned man to be a dependent being – to depend on fellow humans and on Him. Like a smartphone, you may have an unlimited inherent capacity, but some of these capacities cannot be launched until you subscribe to God’s apps store – His Grace. Until you realize that you are not independent of God, you cannot work in the Grace because his grace is for help, and if you don’t need help, you don’t need his grace. God does not waste His Grace.

Accessing and activating Divine Grace

If you want to download more apps into your smartphone, what do you do? You simply go into the AppStore and download it. All you need is a smartphone and access to the internet. The smartphone stands for salvation, and access to the internet talks about prayer. Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has already been granted access to divine Grace. All you need to do is to download this grace and activate them in the place of prayers.

It is important to mention that if you have not accepted the Grace of God at the salvation level, it will be difficult for him to instruct, teach and help you. It’s like buying a smartphone. If you don’t have an android phone, you cannot access the play store, neither can you access the AppStore if you don’t have an iPhone. Salvation is your ticket to access the Grace of God.

Have you been saved by the precious blood of Jesus, or better put, have you accepted the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary? If no, you can do it right now. There is very little God cannot do with your life if you don’t have a special relationship with him through his son. You can just whisper to him right now and ask him to come into your life and save you. That’s all you need.

But if you have done this before – “So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most”. It’s amazing that this statement was made for Christians.

Conclusion

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

 

 

 

ESSENCE – WHY GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE MONEY

ESSENCE – WHY GOD WANTS YOU TO HAVE MONEY

“When the purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable.” Myles Munroe:

The tendencies to misuse anything is very high if you don’t know why it was made. That is why you will find a warning on drugs that says ‘keep out of reach of children”. Because they do not understand what it is and why it’s made, so they may mistake it for food and eat it. For the same reason, the manual is an integral part of any new product you bought; it tells us why the product is made, what it should be used for, and how it should be used.

If you are a child, as far as money and riches are a concern, God, out of love for you, will keep it out of your reach. That’s because if you only know how to spend money, and not why you have the money in the first place, you are in a dangerous disposition. It accounts for why several Christians have made money the Lord. They fail to understand that money is designed to facilitate your worship of the Lord, not to be your Lord.

We always ask God for money, but only a few will seek his face to understand the purpose of money. That’s why this topic is very crucial; it helps us to understand not only how to spend the resources that God has given to us to also know why God decides to give us that money in the first place.

The Life

Now, to understand why God gives you money as a Christian, you need to first understand why God even gave the life at all. This is because money isn’t the only thing God gives you; it is just a fragment of the life he has decided to give.

First, when you hear the word life, what comes to your mind? Anyone?
In summary, life can be broken into four major components – Time, Energy (strength), Resource, and Network (People). In other words, how you use your time, what you do with your energy, how you spend the resources at your disposal, and what you do with the people that God brings your way defines your life.

Therefore, to understand why God will entrust financial resources into your hands, you need to understand why He will ever give the other component of life.

The two forms of Objective

If you have ever done any academic research, you will understand that they are two kinds of objects in research – the broad and the specific objective. The broad objective talks about the project’s overall goal, what you intend to achieve or contribute to the body of knowledge at a particular time, while the specific objectives are the individual steps you will take to reach the overall goal.

God has both broad and specific objectives for humanity. He had something in mind before He said, ‘come, let’s make man in our own image”, there’s a reason he didn’t give up on man even after he fell in the garden of Israel, and that is his broad objectives.

His specific objectives talk about how he intends to achieve the ultimate goal, and guess what? He has made you the custodian of the specific objective. He’s counting on you to achieve these objectives for you.

It is expedient to note that God’s specific objectives change from generation to generation and differs from one person to another. But at the end of the day, they all work together for good and achieve the broad objectives.

It will interest you to note that, the day you gave your life to Christ, you were adopted by new birth into his Kingdom, and God is counting on you to achieve his broad of objective. So, every kingdom citizen has a specific objective assigned by God.

Made for His Pleasure

Going through the scripture, we can understand what God’s broad objective for creating the world is. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you what your own specific objective is. You have to find out by yourself, and you can do it through intimacy with him.

In order words, as long as you have no relationship with God, you cannot truly understand the essence of the money you have, so this message tonight is not even useful to you.

Haven said that what is God’s broad objective? We can find the summary in Revelation 4:11; I Love the old King James version.

Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure, they are and were created.

Yea, there it is. God created everything, including you, and decided to give you the power to make wealth, just for one purpose and for the broad objective of giving him pleasure. Just like a man who plants and tends to a Garden, he does it, not for the garden’s sake, but for his pleasure. So that He can behold it, admire it, enjoy its sumptuous, juicy, and succulent fruits, as well as enjoy the views. All these he does for himself and not necessarily for the garden. Shey, you get it!

In summary, why God wants you to be rich is that he should be able to derive pleasure from you. Come to think of it, which rich parents will love their children to suffer. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills; the scripture says the earth is of the Lord and the fullness thereof.

Why wouldn’t he want you to represent him as a true son in true riches? But when you give you the power to make wealth, remember that it is for his pleasure first of all and not mercenarily for your comfort first.

This understanding will lead you to go back to him and ask him to guide you on spending the money, where to invest it and what to use it for. Because you just know that it is for his pleasure.

Have you discovered the specific objective for your finance? Could you share with us how?

The Blood Money Psychology

The Blood Money Psychology

Emaka grew up in a village in Enugu. One day, his childhood friend returned from Lagos with the latest car.

Emeka wanted to be rich, too. So, he begged his friend to take him to Lagos so that he can hustle and make his own money.

On reaching Lagos, it turns out that his wealthy friend was an occultic man and he convinced him to join the occult group. Emeka was resistant at first, but after some more persuasions, he succumbed and used his father, mother, or somebody he loved dearly for rituals. He became extremely wealthy.

If you are a Nigerian born in the early and mid-90s, I bet you can relate to this story.

I grew up with two terrible mindsets about money.

The first one was influenced by Nollywood, and it is that every wealthy person belongs to an occultic group.

Where I spend the early part of my life, seeing an extremely wealthy person was a privilege we could not afford. My definition of wealth was any family who could afford a generator, television, and maybe a fancy car (Fancy – referring to any other vehicle apart from 504 or 505 Peugeot).

Well, some of us were not privileged to be part of that league. So, we usually sneak out at night to stood by the window to see movies. If we were lucky enough, they would open their curtain or, better still, allow you to go in (if you are a friend to the family).

The type of movies we watched those days were full of something like my introductory story.

These stereotyped storylines were made for entertaining, but the unintended consequences were that it was gradually implanting on my innocent, naive, and young mind, a wrong perspective about wealth.

This kind of plot was so consistent in Nollywood movies that it became so real to me. So much so that I began to see any good car on the road as a product of ‘blood money.’

The second mindset was influenced by a church I attended for six months after my secondary School while I was doing computer training.

We were doing a series of Bible studies on the end time, and what I understood then was that all the world’s wealthiest people are potential antichrist.

So, as far as I was concerned, once you are a billionaire, you have pitched your tent with the devil.

It was so serious that I concluded that it’s impossible to be wealthy and influential and yet be part of the Kingdom.

What those mindsets did to me was to take away my confidence, becoming rich. I told myself, “since I wouldn’t want to use my parents or siblings for ritual and I do not want to be an antichrist, the best thing is to just remain in the middle class. After all, godliness and contentment is a great gain.

The good news is all those mindsets have changed because I realized they weren’t true. Thanks to the balanced doctrines of FCS KSU and Chapel of Restoration. My first two years in the University were more of a mindset reform and spiritual transformation than they were of Academics.

I also come to learn that an average Igbo man who migrated from his village to Lagos does not have to be an occultic member to make money. Most of them (if any) do not belong to any cult at all. Their wealth is a product of determination, commitment, and divine empowerment.

I am a firm believer in the fact that God gives the power to create wealth, and a man can yield to him and build capacity to lend to nations. That’s the scripture.

In case you are still having similar mindsets about wealth as I had before, I want you to know that it’s not your fault. We are all products of our nature (genetic make-up) and nurture (environment). You may not be able to change your nature but can unlearn everything you learned from your environment that is toxic. That’s what life is all about, learning, learning, and relearning.

Guess what, I can help you with it. I will be writing a series of posts about how you can develop a healthy mindset about money in August. You can subscribe to the series for free at https://bit.ly/MMwithnick

Stay tuned!
#Growwithnick

The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle – A Review

The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing by John C. Bogle – A Review

Compiled by Aina Joseph

Chapter one – THE PARABLE

In the first chapter of his book- The Little Book Of Common Sense Investing, John C. Bogle succinctly used a simple parable of the Gotrocks family that was originally narrated by Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and the infamous Oracle of Omaha. Bogle, whose parable seemed convincing enough, argued that the more active is your investment, the more tax you pay, and the more your money goes out as commission to the intermediaries.

Thus, sustainable investment and a wise investor will diversify but, at the same time, keep fees low and build over the long term. Hence, the need to invest in index funds or other mutual funds because they provide a better opportunity and platform to do this successfully.

Bogle pointed out that the higher the level of an investor’s activities are, the greater the cost of financial intermediation and taxes, and ultimately this will lead to a less net return from the shareholder.

Chapter two – RATIONAL EXUBERANCE

Many investors make the mistake of holding a stock for a short time, and when the market is down, they tend to lose their money. Rather than using this route, John C. Bogle advised investors to buy and hold stocks for a long time.

Although there are ups and downs in stock investing, in the long run, the aggregate shows that you will earn more. This is what Bogle referred to as rational exuberance.

He proved that for each $1 invested in 1900, the return would be $43k over 116 years. Although no one may live up to 116 years, your next generation can, thus, long term stock investing is a way of building generational wealth.

The author also noted that stock trading involves forecasting “swing in investor’s emotions,” and to do that accurately is impossible, but predicting the long-term success of a company carries a remarkable higher odd of success. Conclusively, there are two types of investments; speculative investment or stock trading and a long-term investment like index funds.

Chapter three – CAST YOUR LOT WITH BUSINESS

Rely on Occam’s Razor to win by keeping it simple. Occam’s Razor: when there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one. So how do you cast your lot with business? “Simply by buying a portfolio that owns the shares of every business in the United States and holding it forever,” the author suggested.

He used William of Occam’s expression of 1320 to buttress his point. “When there are multiple solutions to a problem, choose the simplest one” It is a simple concept that guarantees you win the investment game played by most other investors who – as a group- are guaranteed to lose.

To focus on the long-term investment, the best parameter to look at is the business and their number and not speculation surrounding individual stocks.   

John Bogle claimed that the S&P 500 is highly profitable. He did this by comparing the performance of the S$P 500 and the total stock market over some time. He expressed how major government parameters are utilizing an index fund to achieve a long term guaranteed profit from the investment.

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