Radical In Christ
Biblical Insight into Jesus, Business, and Life in Christ.

Mar
03
“As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:4

rejection 2

You are included. Those words are most encouraging when one begins to understand God’s plan of redemption.

For years, I thought that God only loved me if I performed in a religious manner. If I lit my candles, went to church every Sunday, gave money, and reduced the amount of swear words that came out of my mouth, God would be so-so satisfied and maybe bless me with more than a so-so life.

When the good news of Jesus Christ first etched into my mind, I couldn’t believe it. It sounded radical. Impossible. What is the catch? What strings were attached and conditions not being conveyed?

Growing up in today’s world where one is constantly being rejected for either one’s ideas, potential relationships, or business ventures, one usually becomes gun shy and defensive. We slowly build walls around our heart. Each rejection causes another defensive wall to cover up the pain. Eventually, we have so many defensive guards in place that we can’t even experience life any longer. We live a shadow of who we were created to be.

We experience rejection through a multitude of events. For example, divorce, job terminations, unwanted pregnancies, first love breakups, sibling rivalries, etc. The problem isn’t rejection. It is our response. If we are fragile without mature roots in Jesus Christ, we become defensive or offensive. Either approach though causes pain within ourselves or in others through destructive means. If we withdraw within ourselves, we cover up the hurt. If we live in denial, we are lying about the situation. If we attack the other party, we will only cause greater harm.

However, with mature roots in Jesus Christ, we follow the lead of our Rabbi. We forgive. We pray for the other person asking God to intervene and bless the other party. We transform rejection into the opportunity for good to come about. We lay it down at Jesus’ feet and ask Him to intervene and make things right.

Generally speaking, rejection occurs when one of our idols fail us. The pain may hurt for awhile. But instead of allowing it to damage us, we use the pain to allow God have his way with us and them. Not an easy thing to do without God. Humanly speaking, almost impossible for most. With God, who includes us all in Jesus Christ’s work of reconciliation, rejection becomes the cornerstone of a new beginning. Our idols are dismantled. We grow as a person. Others are blessed through our prayers. God’s domain expands. We learn to live in a healthy relationship with God, others, and self. Over time, we discover that rejection becomes the catalyst for something good. Only because Jesus made it and makes it possible.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Feb
27
“You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3 ESV

idols 1

What makes something an idol? Why is an idol so destructive in your life? Or is God simply on an ego trip?

Setting aside any religious understanding you may have on idols, let’s look at it from a practical point of view.

What was the first idol that appeared on the world scene? Would you believe it involved an archangel. The Bible states that God created Lucifer more beautiful than any other angel. However, rather than show gratitude to God and walk humbly with Him, Lucifer began to look at himself. He basically began to look at himself as superior to God. His pride turned himself into an idol. The result was a failed coup of heaven and banishment from authority within God’s domain.

What was Adam’s and Eve’s sin? Didn’t Eve make the forbidden fruit an idol? Rather than spend more time with God or Adam in developing their relationship, her focus became the fruit. Upon the Serpent’s temptation, she allowed the idol to supplant her relationship with The Lord. Like Satan before her, she wasn’t satisfied in keeping the relationship between her and The Lord in place. She was created to be like God, but limited in her physical attributes. She wanted more. She wanted to be more like God and took circumstances into her own hands to make it happen. She wasn’t going to wait for God to bring it about in his way and schedule. Her idol became her Achilles heel.

An idol is simply anything that comes before God. Generally speaking, idols really don’t exist anywhere but in our hearts and mind. Whatever takes the place of God in our worship, love, and passion is a candidate to become an idol. Money, power, sex, food, friends, family, country, religion, science, are some of the candidates that we convert into idols. By themselves, they are usually neutral and generally very good for our well-being. However, whenever they become more important in our life than the Triune God, we have crossed over into idol worship.

The result of idol worship is generally a kick in the pants. Idols are false strongholds that empower us away from God and reality. God has designed a divine order in how life works. When we build our life outside of his order, holes and craters will appear. The result is usually pain and sorrow and maybe even premature death.

God created us. He made us to worship him. He designed us to walk with Jesus Christ. He encased us to have fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Like any healthy marriage relationship, a third-party (mistress) takes away the intimacy between the two. The same is true when an idol comes between our Heavenly God and ourselves.

You may not recognize the idols in your life. God does. He knows your spiritual condition. That is why I am most grateful for Jesus Christ. His act of justification on our behalf and the outpouring of his grace only demonstrates his awesome love for us. I for one am thankful that he cares enough for us that he takes the time to help destroy the idols in our lives. We may not like the process, but the fruit at the end of the day is most scrumptious.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Feb
24
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Isaiah 57:7 ESV

good news 1

Dr. Timothy Keller states it best when you compare the difference between religion and Christianity. He likes to state that religion gives advice, but Christianity is simply good news.

Religion is about working to improve the human condition via self-help. Whereas Christianity is accepting the fact that Jesus Christ has already completed the act. One is based on performance. The other is simply accepting the fact it is done.

The news that God’s grace is enough; that our obedience is simply showing our gratitude to Him, is Good News. When we start with giving advice, obeying because it makes us feel good about ourselves, and performing acts in exchange for blessings, than we have crossed over into playing religion.

The Good News is that Jesus Christ is our savior and his life, death, resurrection, and ascension completes the work of salvation. We now simply participate with him in his work of redemption, reconciliation, and restoration. He leads; we follow. We belong to him and gladly submit to his authority. He is the Good News that we faithfully accept. Apart from Him, there is no good news, just more advice.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Feb
20
“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 ESV

bible 1

Ever read a book that you couldn’t put down because it was like the author wrote it knowing everything there is about you? She knew what excited you. She took you from an emotional high to a painful low. She knew what got your goat. She knew how you thought. She knew what you would do next and deliberately turned the next chapter against your perceived ideas. Everything about you that you haven’t shared with another soul was being drawn out of you through the pages of the story.

Now some people may shy away from such a novel. Others would want to read the sequel and couldn’t wait until the story became a movie. Such a book would probably be a number one seller for years.

Some people may not be aware of it, but the Christian Bible has been a number one best seller each year it has been in print. It is a book that truly understands you and me. It has violence, sex, power, political intrigue, suspense, surprise outcomes, and other unbelievable results. It showcases romance, rags-to-riches stories, and the difference one person makes in the lives of others. It captures human nature at its finest and worst. It explains how you are wired and what can be done to transform it. It is a story with more plots than a graveyard.

You want to know why you behave the way you do? Read the book.
You want to better understand why others are the way they are? Read the book.
You want wisdom in dealing with the people in your world? Read the book.
You want your life to have greater adventure and excitement like the movies you enjoy? Read the book.
You want to develop a relationship with someone who understands you better than anyone else? Read the book.

As you read the book you discover more about its invisible Author. You come to know the people who He associates with; the people who are drawn to him. As you read the book, you begin to better understand yourself, your motives, and your potential. You learn better ways to relate with others. You become more like the heroes written in the book. You understand their pain and joy because you share in the same venues.

The more you read, the more you begin to realize that the book truly understands you better than anything you ever read before. Then you begin to realize it is so because its prime Author created you and wants to have an ongoing, long term, intimate relationship with you. It begins when you read the book!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Feb
17
“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16 KJV

faith 1

So many translations; so many different opinions. What is a person suppose to believe?

There is debate among Biblical scholars that the verse in Galatians 2:16 is correctly written in the King James Version. Newer Bible versions have altered the meaning by using the word “in” versus “of.” (I have underline the two places above). The problem is the meaning. When we use the word “of” we are placing the emphasis on Jesus’ faith. When the word “in” is used, we are placing the emphasis on our faith.

I will leave the scholarly details for those who are better trained to educate. Instead, I will simply say that I lean toward the KJV interpretation because it makes more sense from a holistic basis.

If I am justified based on my faith, than what is the difference between human works of law and human works of faith? Both employ an emphasis on saving oneself by oneself.

On the other hand, if I am justified by the faith of Christ, than it is not my work, but Christ’s work. He made it all happen and grants us the grace to accept it.

My part is to believe in Him. He lived, died, and was resurrected on our behalf. He is the cornerstone. The faith or trust that I have in Jesus is because He did it, is doing it, and will accomplish it. He made it all possible.

Even the faith that I have in him is a gift from him. Through the Holy Spirit, he has empowered us to believe. Yes, I had to acknowledge that Jesus is who he claims to be. Yes, I had to ask for the Holy Spirit. And yes, I submit to the authority of the Father/Son/Spirit.

It is a relief that my tiny belief is being upheld by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that simply a breath-taking, grace-filled, and life-giving fact that makes one more thankful and grateful for our Triune God sharing His life with us without heaping religious burdens on us? I for one am more at peace for placing trust in Jesus’ faith than in my own. How about you?

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

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