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

Jul
29

carpenter 1

“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon?” Mark 6:3
“And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:16-17

What we know about Jesus comes mostly from the gospels. He entered into public ministry around the age of thirty (Luke 3:23). Prior to that time, he worked as a carpenter in the family business (Mark 6:3). A carpenter during the first century was more general than today’s specialist. Today, carpentry is classified in multiple categories from rough carpentry to finish carpentry, from specializing in roof replacement to cabinet making. In Jesus’ time, carpentry involved everything including general contracting, cement block building, and wood carving. Jesus being the eldest most likely ran the family carpentry business after the death of Joseph.

What makes Matthew’s witness come alive at Jesus’ baptism is the statement that our Heavenly Father made BEFORE Jesus’ public ministry. The statement was that He was “well pleased with His Son.” The statement was made BEFORE his Messiah ministry. Father God made the statement after watching Jesus conduct the routine, everyday life of business, family matters, and personal engagements for approximately thirty years.

Our Father loved Jesus not because of what He accomplished or did not accomplish, or was planning to accomplish, but simply because He loved Him. Up-to-that-time, living a private life, before the fame, glamor, and public testimony, Father God was well pleased with Him. Before the miracles, the healing, the preaching, and the teaching, Father God was well pleased with Him. Before the Last Supper, trial, death and resurrection, Father God was pleased with Him.

Our Father God loves us so much more than we may ever recognize. Every sacrifice, every act of kindness, and every matter done for His glory is known by Him and doesn’t increase His love for us. It’s not about the praise nor fanfare. It’s not even about the outcomes. It is having a personal relationship with the God of the universe who knows you because He designed you, gifted you, and prepared a place for you in His plan.

We now live in Christ and simply looking forward to the time when the same words from Matthew 25:21 are spoken to us: “Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” Imagine what a difference a carpenter walking with the Triune God could do today in his business, family, and community? Or is this simply just too radical for someone to believe?

I am rooting for you with Christ!
 

Yours 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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Jul
25

reflection 3

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 ESV

Every time I hear a message about God encouraging the nation Israel through Jeremiah with the above words, I cringe. Most of the time I hold my breath because someone most likely will extract a portion of this scripture to illustrate a point without fully expounding its ramifications. I have been taught to read scripture in context first, understand its cultural and historical significance in its time, and then expound its application into today’s world. Most of the time lately this scripture is used from the pulpit as a short cut to motivate people to trust in God with their future plans.

When read in context, one quickly recognizes that the Lord made a specific promise to Israel. After being disciplined through seventy years of exile, He will restore their nation. A specific prophecy for a specific nation for a specific time in history. What this scripture truly reveals is that the Lord’s purpose will always be accomplished.

What does this mean for you and me?
* God has a plan He started at the foundation of the universe that includes you.
* It is God’s plan, not yours or mine.
* Our plans most likely are not God’s plan.
* The earlier we learn to accept God’s plan and join him in it, the quicker we will experience a deeper relationship with Him.
* As we develop a deeper relationship with Him, the greater His Spirit lives in us, influences us, and empowers us to live life the way He originally created life too be.
* The brokenness of sin slowly dissipates from our lives and is replaced with the riches of His eternal glory.
* We don’t have to wait for heaven; heaven arrives now in Christ as He lives in us.

We do not have to take scripture out of context to make a point. God has a plan that includes you and me. His desire is for all humanity to join him within the Triune God circle. Today, we are heirs, children, and servants of the King of Kings. He joyously and lovingly invites us to now participate in His work to redeem all creation into His original intent (Romans 8:20-21).

So why misuse scriptures to make a point? Isn’t the truth already radical enough?

Yours 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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Jul
22

wow

 

It seems most of the time when I study the scriptures into the life of Jesus, another Instagram moment hits me.  Ever notice whenever Jesus meets someone who exercises faith in God, He affirms the moment with words of praise and encouragement?

Take for instance:
The Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:24-30;
The centurion in Luke 7:1-10;
The prostitute in Luke 7:44-50;
The hemorrhaging woman in Luke 8:40-48.

In each of these moments He recognized the person’s faith in Him; not a blind faith in something out in the universe. He not only recognizes it, but uses it as a teaching moment. Like a sales meeting acknowledging someone’s achievement for the week, He praises the act and the person’s belief and trust in Him. Whatever the situation, He would recognize God’s influential impact at the moment and express it for the sake of others.

How about us? Do we acknowledge the theophanies (God’s manifestation in our journey) with people we meet and associate with each day? Marketplace Bible Institute & Resource Center has just started a comment page for people to share what God is doing in their workplace. Why not take a moment and share your experience with others? You may enter the blog from here. What better way to share your faith with others? Just another way to be radical in Christ for God’s glory and the sake of others.

Yours 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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

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