First things first and using your gift(s).

Amos, I liked how you used Praedo’s law, the 80/20 and provided some keen insight into that. I think working in our gift area is a component. I also believe we need to work to perfect our skills by diligent practice. Yes MJ was born tall and athletic yet as I recall he was cut from his 9th grade basketball team. But that didn’t deter him rather it prompted him to practice harder and longer.

Similarly with the ‘hick from French Lick’ – Larry Bird. It helps being 6’9″ no doubt but he wasn’t extremely athletic but he was focused. He supposedly would take 1,000 shots every day outside his normal practice.

One more. Hershel Walker was known for his grueling workout pgm where he would 1,000 pushups and sit-ups daily.

According to researchers, it takes approximately 10,000 hours on average (20 hr of dedicated focused practice x 50 weeks = 10 yrs) to be most excellent and a legit expert.

And you need to be gifted in an area. They are connected.

Purpose & Passion.

God made each of us special and unique as you adroitly pointed out. That is His sovereign marvelous creation that works.

And God expects us to use our freewill to align itself with His design for maximum effectiveness, which I think you explored and would agree with. That 20% sweet spot that accounts for 80% of our productivity.

I think it was Aristotle who said, “Know thyself” being essential to excelling. Which is good but #2. Knowing God is #1.

Putting those two together is where we find super-natural success. Even the word says it. Super = God, Natural = self.

I really liked and gleaned some good stuff from you, as usual.

I have a question. Was all the time, maybe the 10k hours, you spent becoming a PHD a waste? Were you ignoring God during that time? Or worse, disobeying Him?

Obviously, you are honing your pastorial teaching, leading gift currently. My thought and one thing that makes God great and truly God is that He, and only He, can choose to use anything and everything to His glory. Dare I say even Satan and sin.

Joseph had the gift of administration and God also gave him a few presents including those revelation dreams yet Joseph had to endure the betrayal of his brothers and near execution, being sold into slavery, extended prison time, more betrayal and being forgotten by those he helped, and a false rape charge. That definitely wasn’t easy.

Similar hardships beset every great person of the Bible.

If we look at the parable of the talents we see God gives each of use literal ‘talent’. Different amounts but we all have some natural abilities. The question is how do we use them? Do we employee them for exponential growth or hide them out of false fear and lameness?

In that parable, we see that God is into healthy capitalism for sure.

I realize this is a lengthy reply. I am trying to make two points. First, it the combination of our God-given purpose and passion that will cause use to be in that sweet spot but it’s NOT without trials and challenges to overcome.

Second, the reason anyone succeeds holistically and certainly spiritually into eternity is by putting God’s will and interests first. That is what David, Joseph and Daniel did foremost. Certainly what each of us need to do. In my morning devotional as I am reading Tony Evans’s book ‘Called for a purpose’, I came across this. With the World Series happening and Atlanta in it, I thought you might especially like it.

First Things First

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. MATTHEW 6:33

One day, a man who had two cows told his wife they should sell them. He and his wife could keep the money from one cow, and they could give the money from the other cow to God. But the next day, the man walked into his house looking sad. “What’s wrong?” his wife asked. The man thought for a minute and then replied, “God’s cow just died.” When you seek first your own dreams, your desires, your plans, your programs, your agenda… God’s cow is always the one that dies. He always gets what’s left over. The first thing to suffer is time with Him, obedience to Him, or commitment to His plans. And yet at the same time, you may still pray, “Dear God, bless my rule, my reign, my plan.”

Yet God is not going to bless any plan but His. The secret to living out the fullness of your destiny is found in one word: “first.” It represents your highest priority—to advance the rule of God and His kingdom in every area of your life. We read this word in Matthew 6:33: “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” There is a hierarchy in God’s kingdom, and He is always first.

You can listen to a million sermons, read a million books, and pray a million prayers over a million years, but none of those things will empower you to live out your destiny until you put God first.

God must be first. In baseball, if you miss first base, it doesn’t matter whatever else you do after that. If you miss first base but go on to touch second base, third base, and home plate—and even if everyone congratulates you when you get there—you are still out. If you miss what is first, it doesn’t matter what else you do. Change one thing in your life, and you will get to watch that one thing change everything else.

From this point forward, put God first in all of your life. Not because it is His request, but because it is His demand. God promises that when you do, “all these things will be added to you.”

You will experience the fullness and maximum potential of who you are along with the blessings He has in store for you as you enter into what He has ordained you to be.

Great God and King, I put You first in my heart, my mind, my schedule, and all that I do. I make this commitment to You today to go to You first in the decisions I make, to read Your Word, and to seek Your wisdom. Thank You for that which You have promised me when I make You first in my life.

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