Tag Archives: have

You Are God’s Masterpiece

Here are 3 things that happen when God turns you into a masterpiece.

Written by Joy on 01/02/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Jesus, Life Change, New Life, Personal Transformation
“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:8-10

The Bible says when we accept Jesus, we are forgiven and given new life. When you start your new life, God crafts you into a masterpiece. Here are 3 things that happen when God turns you into a masterpiece.

You are Forgiven
Do not let your past mistakes keep you from living the joyful life God wants you to have. Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). God’s love and grace is bigger than any sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from ALL unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

You Show Other People How Great God Is
You are a living, breathing testimony of God’s grace and love through Jesus Christ. God says He picked you to be part of a new family, meant to show the difference He can make in a life. “You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9).

Your life is like a beautiful painting that gives recognition to its painter. As God’s masterpiece, you should “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

You Become the Light of the World
Jesus sets you free from the slavery of sin when you accept Christ. Sin won’t control you anymore. God gives you the Holy Spirit, who is the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. (Romans 8:11) When you have the Holy Spirit, you will reflect God’s love, peace and patience. (Galatians 5:22-23)

The Bible says “We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7). That’s why you will lead people to Jesus when God’s light shines through you. Are you ready to let God turn you into a masterpiece? Click here to start your new life with Jesus.

Pray this week:

to shine God’s light in your words and actions

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How Nigerians use Bitcoin

Werner van Rooyen 
Over the past few months, Bitcoin adoption in Nigeria has increased dramatically. Not only does the African country top Google Trends charts for Bitcoin-related searches, but wallet downloads and trading volumes are also growing exponentially.

As the virtual currency continues to gain ground, we asked our Nigerian customers: how do you view Bitcoin and what do you do with it?

Below are the results in an infographic on how often they use their Bitcoin wallets, if they use it more as a payments system or an investment tool, whether they trust it or not and what they think the Bitcoin price will be over time.

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What Happens When We Die?

Rich or poor, in spite of all our efforts, everyone will die sooner or later. There are many opinions about what happens when we die. But what does God have to say about it?

Written by Dan Lee on 01/06/2014
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Death, Eternity, Heaven, Hell, Jesus
“And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment . . .” Hebrews 9:27

Death is Certain
Rich or poor, in spite of all our efforts, everyone will die sooner or later. There are many opinions about what happens when we die. But what does God have to say about it?

Eternal Life – Two Kinds
God’s word, the Bible, tells us that each person’s soul lives forever. Today’s scripture from Hebrews tells us that after death comes judgment. This leads us to one of two destinies: Heaven or Hell.

We know that Christians, who have received God’s free gift of salvation and forgiveness, will spend eternity in Heaven. There, they will have loving fellowship with God and His people. Sadly, those who have rejected Jesus Christ will not go to Heaven. The Bible teaches that their certain destiny is Hell. In hell, suffering, hopelessness and regret last forever. There is an absence of God that brings deep grief.

Heaven is the best possible place to spend eternity and Hell is the worst. The difference between these two outcomes is very big.

The Decision is Yours
Church attendance won’t get you into Heaven. Nor will living a good life, or doing good deeds. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Later in Romans we find that “the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

We must first admit that we are sinful and separated from God. Then we must turn away from our sins, turn to Jesus Christ, and ask for God’s forgiveness. By believing that Jesus took the punishment that we deserved, we accept and receive God’s gracious gift of salvation by faith. “For as many as received Him, he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believed in His name” (John 1:12).

Don’t Delay
No matter your age, there’s no guarantee that you will live until tomorrow. In Luke 12:16-21, Jesus told a story of a rich man who trusted in his possessions. “But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’” (Luke 16:20).

I urge you: Don’t wait another day to come to Jesus for salvation. Find out how to accept Jesus Christ today.

Pray this week:

To thank God for sending His Son, Jesus, to offer forgiveness of your sins.

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If God is Good, Why Don’t I Have Enough Money?

How and When Can I Claim the Promise, “God will supply all your needs?”

Written by GodLife on 25/10/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Benevolence, Giving, Money, Poverty, Providence, Provision, Riches, Unemployment, Work
“And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

It’s shameful when someone says, “You are poor because you do not have enough faith.” The Bible says when they make godliness a way to get rich, they have “corrupt minds” and “have turned their backs on the truth.” (1 Timothy 6:5-6) David did say, “I have been young and now I am old, yet I have not seen the righteous abandoned or his children begging for bread.” (Psalm 37:25) But there’s a big difference between “wealth” and “begging for bread.” How can you keep from missing out on all your loving Father has for you?

Put His Kingdom First
“God will supply all your needs” was the Apostle Paul’s promise to those supporting his missionary work. He went to plant a church elsewhere and they sent him money more than once. (See Philippians 4:15-16) We can’t claim that promise in every case. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.” (Matthew 6:33). There’s a condition: God wants to come first in your life — every part it. Including finances, relationships and entertainment.

Watch How He Provides For Others
Another great provision promise is in 2 Corinthians 9. This also is for those who put His Kingdom first: “Now the One who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for all generosity, which produces thanksgiving to God through us. ” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11). In other words, they can watch how God provides for His work to see that He will provide for them as well.

Ask How Much Is Really Enough
Desire for riches is a snare. (1 Timothy 6:9-10) Following Jesus begins with embracing a cross. (Luke 9:23) “…the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” (Luke 9:58) Although Jesus had His physical needs met, He was poor (2 Corinthians 8:9) by this world’s standards. Here He told His followers that the things others think are “essential” are not part of any guarantee for the righteous. But we, through His poverty, become rich with “an eternal inheritance, held in reserve in heaven, that will never fade or fail.” (1 Peter 1:4)

Pray this week:

God, I know you are good: you gave your only Son so that I could have eternal life! Please give me your view of what is enough for me and help me be content.

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What do You, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Bono have in common?

It's easy to tell you what you likely DON'T have in common with them – fame, fortune, and good looks

…Okay, Fame and fortune… 

… but here's what you DO have in common with Bill, Warren, and Bono.

24 hours in a day, and a sphere of influence.  

The same thing every human on the planet gets.

It's what you do with those 24 hours, and that sphere of influence that matters.

As a leader, or an aspiring leader, we study successful people and look to emulate them.  Too often however, we limit our perspective of what makes them successful to money, position, titles and influence.

"Work hard and get rich" are goals that will leave you empty.  How will you know you've arrived?

Each of these people are highly successful in what they do, have earned a great deal of money in the process, but have followed their passions and have individually committed to using their resources to make a difference in this world.

Dan Pink, in his latest book Drive:The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us highlights the research that shows that in cognitive based tasks, money is a poor motivator for increased performance.  What does drive performance (or results) is the amount of Autonomy ( the desire to direct our own lives), Mastery (the urge to get better and better at something that matters), and Purpose (the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves) we have in our careers and lives. (If you would prefer the animated version of the book, check out RSA Animate's treatment of the book below or at the link here)

What do You, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Bono have in common?

Which gets me back to the things you have in common with Bill, Warren and Bono.

Each of these men have, and have had, 24 hour days to accomplish what they did. Just like you do.

Granted, they may have had connections and resources that you don't, but they didn't have any more time than you do.

They also had passion which motivated them. If you look at them now, you will see how their passions now drive actions that are having a profound influence in our world.  These guys are PASSION DRIVEN, and you should be too.  And they are working to something bigger than their careers. They choose to spend their time doing impactful things that align with their passions – both in their career and personal life.

If you are a leader (or want to become one), and can't articulate WHY you are in this career, then perhaps it's time to reconsider. If you are spending 100% of your time, energy and resources on making money, then perhaps it's time to reconsider. 

If you are not impacting your sphere of influence to do something in the service of something larger than yourself, perhaps it's time to reconsider.

Sorry to sound preachy. As always, this blog post is written primarily to myself. Consider this my public journal. If I've given you pause to think today, then it has certainly been worth my time to share… and follow my passion, and leverage my sphere of influence.

So… armed with at least two of the things that have made Bill, Warren and Bono "successful", what are you going to do about it?

My final thought is a quote from Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life  

"Killing time is suicide".
Rick Warren

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For the first time, bees have been placed on the endangered species list

After years of study, the US Fish and Wildlife Service has placed seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees on the endangered species list, the first time any bee has received such classification.

The service worked in conjunction with the Xerces Society, which advocates for invertebrate species, as well as local Hawaiian officials, to study the status of the bees. On its website, the Xerces Society noted seven species of the insect have been listed as endangered: Hylaeus anthracinus, Hylaeus longiceps, Hylaeus assimulans, Hylaeus facilis, Hylaeus hilaris, Hylaeus kuakea, and Hylaeus mana. In 1996, the service listed 33 species as “Species of Concern.”

The bees are native to Hawaii, and have been declining for a number of years due to intrusion from non-native plants and animals, as well as habitat destruction due to urban development. Scientists note that these bees are integral to the Hawaiian ecosystem as pollinators, and that they are “critical for maintaining the health of plants and other animals across the islands,” according to conservation and restoration team manager Gregory Koob, of the Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu.

Now that the bees have been placed on the endangered species list, they will receive additional protections from the federal government designed to help boost the species population and protect them from harassment from humans. These protections appear to be critically important as bee populations across the United States have declined in recent years. Other species appear to be poised for protection: the Service is considering endangered status for the rusty-patched bumble bee, which can be found across the United States.

 by Andrew Liptak  @AndrewLiptak Oct 2, 2016, 11:30a

 

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Discover His Plan For You

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith
the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give
you an expected end (Jeremiah 29:11).
God has a plan for your life; a destiny that He
created you to fulfil. Some people aren’t
aware of this and as a result, they live empty lives. Some
others don’t believe that God could have a plan for
them; but why wouldn’t He? He created you! Discover
His plan for you and walk in the light of it.
God’s Spirit is in you, to build, strengthen, and
guide you in the path of your divine destiny. Yield
yourself to Him and let Him carry out His ministry in
your life. You can’t do it on your own; you need Him
to help you. Jesus said in John 16:13, “Howbeit when
he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you
into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but
whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he
will shew you things to come.”
The Holy Spirit knows your future and everything
about your life, and it’s His delight to help you discover
your purpose in God, so you can fulfil your destiny in
Him. He created you to bring Him glory. Therefore,
live for Him. Study the Word and always fellowship
with the Holy Spirit in prayer. Be effective in the local
church, and as you do these things, you’ll discover your  specific purpose in Him, and how to live and enjoy the good life He’s pre-arranged for you.
The Bible says, “For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ
Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that
we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live]”
(Ephesians 2:10 AMP).

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Don’t Keep It To Yourself

Our opening scripture addresses those who
win souls to Christ; they’re destined to shine
as the brightness of the firmament and stars for ever
and ever. This lets you know how important you are
to the Lord, if you’re a soul winner.
Soul winning is God’s number one job, and as His
children, we’re to take the message of salvation to the
nations of the world; it’s our mandate: “And he said
unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the
gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The Gospel
is man’s only hope; it’s God’s power to bring men
out of sin into righteousness, and out of darkness into
His marvellous light. Only through the Gospel can
men receive eternal life and become partakers of the
divine nature.
Through the Gospel, life and immortality have
been brought to light (2 Timothy 1:10). Therefore,
to know the Gospel; to be saved and then keep it to
yourself means you’re not fulfilling the will of God.
You must tell others about Christ and the power of
His Gospel to save them and make them partakers of
Don’t Keep It To Yourself
Psalms 42-44
Romans 3:1-31
Ephesians 4:1-10
Isaiah 48
Prayer
Dear heavenly Father, I thank
you for making me a true and
dependable minister of the
Gospel, an ambassador of Christ.
I’m effective today in turning
many to righteousness, and from
darkness to light, through the
power of the Holy Spirit that’s at
work in me mightily. I shine as a
star forever, because I’m a soul
winner, in Jesus’ Name. Amen

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Apple may finally be ditching the most hated iPhone feature

Apple may soon be ditching the 16GB iPhone, if recent reports are to be believed. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that Cupertino's next iPhone, due out this fall, will start at 32GB, not the much-loathed 16GB model pundits and consumers have come to hate.

SEE ALSO: Leak shows iPhone 7 will likely have big camera changes

According to the Journal's source, the next iPhone will come in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB models — likely due, at least in part, to the expected camera improvements that will accompany the next iPhone. 

The latest report is in line with earlier reports that also suggested Apple's next iPhone will top out at 256GB of storage (though at least one of those reports claim only the larger iPhone 7 Plus will be available in a 256GB option.

Of course, as with just about every iPhone rumor, we won't know for sure until Apple formally introduces the device (likely in September) though the Apple rumor mill is starting to give us a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Starting the iPhone lineup at 16GB is unacceptable and has been for years
While we may have mixed feelings about losing the headphone jack, which is looking increasingly likely, we're pretty confident that no one will miss the 16GB iPhone. In fact, we're more confused as to why Apple has stubbornly hung onto it for so long. As Mashable's Christina Warren summed up last year ahead of the iPhone 6S launch, starting the iPhone lineup at 16GB is unacceptable and has been for years.  

We take more photos and videos than ever, apps are bigger than ever, we watch and listen to more media offline than ever. The base model's storage space isn't enough for even the most basic tasks anymore.

So let's hope that, if nothing else, this is the one iPhone rumor that proves to be true and we can — finally, finally, finally — say goodbye to the 16GB iPhone.

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The Chinese billionaire who wants to out-Tesla Tesla

Jia Yueting has all the trappings of a successful Chinese tech entrepreneur with global ambitions.

A self-made billionaire who got his start as the IT guy at his local tax bureau, Jia’s flagship internet-video company now sports a $15 billion market capitalization and a buy rating from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Donning hoodies and t-shirts, he boasts of plans to take on Apple Inc. in smartphones and surpass Tesla Motors Inc. in electric cars. Jia’s Faraday Future has lured staff from Ferrari and BMW, and won the backing of Nevada’s governor to construct a $1 billion auto plant in North Las Vegas — about 400 miles from where Tesla broke ground on a giant battery factory in 2014.

Yet for all of Jia’s accomplishments, the 43-year-old tycoon has failed to win the confidence of one key man. Dan Schwartz, Nevada’s treasurer, says he’s skeptical Jia can secure financing for the car plant, a project that needs government support for power lines, water mains and roads. Schwartz, the former CEO of a private-equity research firm in Hong Kong, wants more transparency on the funding before signing off on state bonds for $120 million of infrastructure improvements.

SEE ALSO: Tesla Challenger in China Plans to Debut $106,000 E-Roadster

The crux of Schwartz’s concern is Jia’s reliance on equity-backed loans, a financing strategy that could leave Nevada taxpayers vulnerable to the whims of China’s volatile stock market. Jia has pledged 87 percent of his holdings in Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp. — his flagship firm — for cash that he then plowed back into his companies, regulatory filings show. The stock, which was halted in Shenzhen for the first five months of 2016, has dropped 11 percent since it resumed trading on June 3, a move that heightens Schwartz’s fear that a margin call could prevent Jia from funding the plant.

 
Yueting Jia during a discussion titled 'Ecosystem Of The Future' as part of the 20th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum at the ExpoForum Convention and Exhibition Center.
IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES/STOYAN VASSEV/TASS
“You can see where this leads,” Schwartz said in a phone interview. “His Internet company is successful, but that doesn’t generate the billions of dollars he’d need. Where’s he going to get the money?’’

The financing questions surrounding Jia’s foray into the U.S. electric-car market are becoming more common around the world as China Inc. embarks on an unprecedented overseas shopping spree. The nation’s firms, which boosted outbound direct investment by 62 percent in January-May from a year earlier, are branching out even as rising debt levels and weak profits at home cast doubt over their ability to secure stable funding.

Financing Plans

Faraday, whose 1,000-horsepower concept car has drawn comparisons to the Batmobile, says it has the full support of Nevada’s governor and is pushing forward with the city of North Las Vegas on infrastructure planning. The 800-employee carmaker — a separate company from Leshi that’s majority-owned by Jia — has sought to address Schwartz’s concerns, but could “technically” build the plant without the state bonds, Faraday spokeswoman Stacy Morris said in an e-mailed reply to questions.

 
Jia has invested more than $300 million of his own money into Faraday and the firm will announce a round of outside funding within weeks, said Winston Cheng, a former Bank of America Corp. investment banker who now runs corporate finance for Jia’s companies. He said the size of the funding would be “meaningful” and come from Asian investors, while declining to provide more details.

“I don’t understand why he’s trying to kill these high end jobs in the state of California and Nevada,” Cheng said in an interview, referring to Schwartz. “It baffles me.”

Goldman Bullish

City, county and regional government agencies are already working with Faraday on infrastructure for the plant, and the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development has approved funding for worker training, the GOED said in an e-mailed response to questions from Bloomberg. Tesla — which is named, like Faraday, after a 19th century pioneer in the field of electricity — declined to comment.

SEE ALSO: Tesla’s Deliveries Miss Due to ‘Extreme’ Production Ramp-up

Leshi, the publicly-traded centerpiece of Jia’s empire, shows few signs of financial distress. Profits increased 20 percent in the first quarter, while its quick ratio, a gauge of the firm’s ability to meet obligations over the coming year, is in line with the median for Chinese companies as a whole, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Leshi’s Altman Z score, a measure of bankruptcy risk, suggests trouble is unlikely.

 
Visitors look at FFZERO1, a Faraday Future's concept car, during Beijing International Automotive Exhibition on April 27, 2016 in Beijing, China.
IMAGE: VCG/VCG VIA GETTY IMAGES
Analysts are bullish on the stock, with 9 of 11 forecasters tracked by Bloomberg giving it the equivalent of a buy rating. Goldman Sachs issued a price target of 70.22 yuan on June 22, or 35 percent above its Monday close. The bank declined a request to interview its Leshi analyst.

Investors are less sanguine, with Leshi shares sinking for six straight days after they resumed trading last month. At 105 times projected earnings for this year, the stock is more than twice as expensive as the median China-listed company. The firm has recorded negative cash flow for the past two quarters, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Shares slipped as much as 0.9 percent on Tuesday, before closing 0.4 percent higher.

Stock Loans

“It’s a matter of time before problems emerge,” said Wang Zheng, the Shanghai-based chief investment officer at Jingxi Investment Management Co., which oversees about $300 million and is avoiding Leshi shares in part because of concerns over its financing strategy. The company’s high valuation reflects the appeal of “concept” stocks among Chinese individual investors, Wang said.

Jia and his family have pledged about $5 billion of Leshi shares as collateral for loans, amounting to a 35 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from the company’s first-quarter report. Jia also sold 2.5 billion yuan ($375 million) of Leshi shares in June 2015 and lent the proceeds back to Leshi to "relieve the company’s financing pressure.” He later entered into a contract with an asset management firm to exchange 100 million shares, or about 5.3 percent of the company, for cash that he then lent to Leshi interest-free. Jia pledged to repurchase the stake after Leshi repays the money.

“The company is capital strapped,” said Dai Ming, a money manager at Hengsheng Asset Management Co. in Shanghai.

State Politics

For Schwartz, Jia and Faraday Future need to explain more clearly how they plan to provide stable financing for the Nevada project. Only then would he consider supporting a state debt sale to fund the plant’s infrastructure. He said it’s his role as treasurer to bring the bond before the state’s board of finance, whose chairman is the governor, for approval.

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