Pause. Evaluate January 

Development experts spend quite a substantial amount of their resources on monitoring and evaluation when executing a project. In fact, they hire officers in charge of this unique area even before the project starts. Why not at the end? This is because they do not underestimate the role of monitoring and evaluation. Measuring their successes and failures as they go through a project ensures they are charting the right course and perhaps, saves them more resources. If we determined to make good use of this new year, we can as well take a cue from the development experts – monitor and evaluate our progress with our various goals monthly.

Pause. Let’s go back to January 1. It’s been 30 amazing days already. How have you fared? Have you started working on your resolutions yet? Are you spending more time in prayer and reading the word? Are you working on acquiring that new skill, reading those books already or building yourself up in a specific capacity? Are you practicing that good saving habit? How about that new business? Have you started working on the proposal? If you haven’t started, it’s not too late to put down some goals, of course, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Don’t allow the year to pass by without you placing some demand on God, the Father.

One practice the Bible encourages is the writing down of our visions as stated in Habakkuk 2:2,

Then the LORD replied: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets …

There are certain ideas and dreams that God has laid in our hearts. You may choose to call them resolutions, goals, dreams, ambitions or aspirations, but, take a paper or your phone, state them and include how the Holy Spirit has directed you to work towards them. You can only know the mind of the spirit when you spend time praying quality prayers.

This month, we learnt that the Holy Spirit makes everything possible for believers, hence, it is important to involve God in our plans. We also learned that whatever you ingest is what we bring out as Christians, therefore, we should be wary of what we allow into our senses. Let’s learn to build ourselves up by taking in the right stuff – which will help us achieve our bigger goals. It could be reading more books or watching videos that can build our intellect.

Take some time and cast your mind back to the beginning of the year and take an assessment. Do you like how you’ve spent the month? If you do, keep it up! If not, let’s involve God and work towards the various ministries that God has before us.

It’s been a great start but we trust that God has more in store for us. Let’s hold Him by His word!

3 Biblical Principles to Having a Successful Year

Christian Blog Ghana
Dr Emmanuel Sogah || Medical Doctor|| Budding Minister

When the clock strikes midnight on the 1st of January, there seems to be some glimmer of hope that the New Year will automatically be better than the previous one. It is not bad but to have a successful year requires deliberate steps and like a soldier preparing for war, it is important to have a plan and strategy.

People start the year with different ambitions and resolutions but half-way, they lose hope even though they believe the will of God for them is to have an amazing and successful year.

To ensure 2018 becomes one of the best years yet, believers are required to follow these principles as listed by Dr. Emmanauel Sogah: 

  1.  Abide in the Word

If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you – John 15:7

To have a great year, you need to be a person of the word.  It is in the word that you’ll find strategies and ideas to accomplish whichever goal you list. When there is a union between the Christian and the word of God, whatsoever you ask will be granted.

In God’s mind, there is no prayer of a Christian that should be rejected. Jesus in his earth walk demonstrated that when he, for example, spoke words to the fig tree and it was done (Mark 11:12-25).  As a Christian, this should be our everyday experience – when we speak we ought to receive answers and that can only be done when there is a perfect union between the Christian and the word of God.

  1. Allow the Holy Spirit to Influence you

The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. – Luke 1:35

After setting our goals for the year, we wonder how we are going to achieve them. Just as Mary conceived her baby after she was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit, so shall we achieve our goals this year by the influence of the Holy Spirit.  This point is also emphasised in Zechariah 4:6

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.

If you are going to achieve anything, then it is going to be by the Holy Spirit. It is also important to fellowship with the Holy Spirit by praying with other tongues. He (the Holy Spirit) will help you as emphasised in Romans 8:26.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.

The Spirit gives us insight into the future for us to understand the details of projects we wish to undertake. The Holy Spirit also helps us in our shortcomings when it comes to goals we have set for the year. Joshua received unorthodox directions from God to march around the walls of Jericho, seven times (Joshua 6) in order to bring the walls down. If we are going to succeed this year, we’ll need to go by the strategies of the Holy Spirit which is sometimes uncommon and not according to the systems of the world.

  1. Pursue Excellence

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge…. – 2 Peter 1:5-8

Ensure excellence is seen whatever you do as a Christian this year. Be steadfast and immovable in the decisions you take. Pay attention to expressing your inward virtues.

If these things (aforementioned) are in you in an increasing measure, fruitfulness will be inevitable.

You can also click on the link below to listen to the audio.

New Year Resolutions – Are they relevant to Christians? 

Back in Senior High School, a very good friend and I used to joke that our new year resolutions must be more terrible than the previous year. We resolved to be more ‘sly’ with our seniors, ‘cut’ school functions and simply break more rules because to us, in the previous year, we had been good but new year resolutions meant doing things differently.

Even though we were not confident enough to put into practice those resolutions, the perception we had added some excitement to the way we approached our seniors. That was also a wrong mindset and a not-so-good way to start the new year.

New Year resolutions are often defined as a tradition where individuals resolve to achieve certain goals (positive) and quit undesired behaviour.

Some of us, while we grow have stopped believing in new year resolutions because of personal reasons. We used to make lists of things we wish to achieve in a particular year but halfway, we realised we could not achieve them, hence, the decision to do without them.

We’d love to lose weight, continue our education, find better jobs, start our own businesses, find life partners, move out of our parents’ homes among others. These are some examples of new year resolutions.

The new year does not automatically change who we are. We do not become superhumans because the clock struck 12 midnight on 1-1-2018 but as Christians, we believe God’s mercies are new every morning and He’s a faithful God (Lamentations 3:22) who has the interest of His Children at heart. That is the reason He’d like to see us succeed each day and that is the reason we believe in positive new year resolutions.

From a personal experience with this blog, anytime I listed ideas of topics, I realised I was able to follow through proving right Habakkuk 2:2:

“Write down your visions on scrolls…”

Do not just fold your arms and watch the year pass by. Prayerfully seek the face of God on what He’d like to achieve with you in 2018 and list whatever He reveals to you. Go back and ask Him how He’d like you to achieve them. Hold God’s hand every day through quality prayer time and word study and see if you will not achieve what you had on that new year resolutions’ list.

We’ll be here at the end of the year to take your testimonies.

Happy New Year!