Don’t Lose Your Crown

Revelation 3:11

I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

Whenever I hear people speak about escaping earth for heaven so they may retire into a life of ease, I smile. Likewise, whenever I hear others speak about the purpose of life is heaven, I stop and wonder how familiar they are with the below Scriptures. And again, whenever I feel beaten up for the week and ask myself is this struggle between self, Satan, and the world’s system worth the battle, I like to reread the below verses from the Bible.

Revelation 2:26

The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations,

Revelation 20:4

Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also, I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 5:10

and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.”

2 Timothy 2:12

if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us;

Luke 19:17

And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’

We have been given a crown. It’s yours to keep or yours to lose. It is yours not because of your efforts, but because Jesus wants to share his life and plans and hopes with you.

You are now being trained to effectively wear your crown. As a parent, husband or wife, teacher, lawyer, entrepreneur, supervisor, politician… you are being prepared for eternity while you serve others today in your daily role.

The crown is already yours. You are learning to lead not by lording over others, but how well you serve others. Today your domain probably is quite small. Tomorrow though, your domain may be substantially larger because of the effort and time and diligence you embarked for the sake of others.

But don’t take your crown for granted and don’t waste the opportunities that come your way. Instead, always let Christ lead you first as you lead others. For this is your daily service as a crown bearer.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Find Yourself…

Luke 9:24-25 (VOICE)

If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued, healed, made whole and full. Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything—if the whole world is in your pocket—but then your own life slips through your fingers and is lost to you?

Back in the late sixties, the hippy generation coin the phrase “find yourself” which eventually made itself into conversations, books, and movies. While indulging themselves in drugs, sex, and pleasure, they turn their back on the establishment in search of meaning and purpose. They saw the hypocrisy of the current generation and used the excuse to escape any personal responsibility for their corrupted behavior. Their solution was to openly display the carnal behavior of human passion. Though they recognize the cultural problem, their method was just as self-indulging as the institutions they disdained.

Contrary to some, Jesus wasn’t a hippy. In His culture, He was considered a super rabbi who interpreted the Scriptures in a most unique way. His ability to mix Scripture with the human psyche made Him an authority of His time (Luke 4:31-33). When you are the designer and builder of a project, you have more insight than those who come afterward. History demonstrates Jesus was there in the beginning of time and therefore knows more about human life than those around us.

Jesus statement is geared toward the human heart and all of us who recognize the emptiness and hunger for more than what we see around us. His solution is for humanity to find something much larger than just survival, or earning a living, or accomplishing a major goal. If one wants to find purpose and meaning with life, the solution is to surrender the self and join Him on His quest.

Our natural inclination to give up all our dreams and desires doesn’t come easy. Most of the time only after we are beaten to the pulp emotionally, physically, socially, or financially do we consider His words. Yet those who have surrendered to King Jesus and His plans for humanity, can vouch His words are true. When one puts everything on the line to support Him in every area of one’s world, He becomes the center of life and we experience a taste of heavenly living.

In hindsight, when one recognizes they have been rescued, healed, and made whole, then life becomes a living testament of experiencing God’s Kingdom on earth every day. We want everyone to know the real Jesus and His Father and the Spirit which empower us to maximize our human potential while we help build His Kingdom on earth today.           

If you gain everything you always wanted but your soul is embattled and crippled beyond despair, wouldn’t you trade everything to know the peace and love and joy which radiates from God and puts meaning and purpose in everything you see, think, and do?

The hippy generation recognized the problem but not the solution. If you want to find yourself, you first must lose yourself in the arms of Jesus.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Undesirable Mike

Romans 7:14-20

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

The Bible speaks about the old and new man which is a metaphor of the person before and after conversion. Paul writes here in Romans approximately twenty years after his surrender to Lord Jesus, the internal battle between the carnal magnet of human passion and our heavenly desires.

I personally like to identify myself before conversion as undesirable Mike. He is the one that metaphorically has died. He is the old self. Full of carnal desires, lustful eyes, and a whole lot of pride for living. Whenever he comes alive, the stench even overcomes me.

We live in a cultural that glorifies sin. Greed, pride, and self-promotion are just few of the carnal desires that are magnified as OK. Sex outside of marriage, manipulating others for personal gain, and a me first mentality are politically correct attitudes accepted by the majority of people.

The problem is not having the correct knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of sin and its solution. Many religious institutions seem to emphasize the problem and understate  the solution.

Sin is the antithesis of God’s heart. When people live within the confines of God’s heart, they flourish. When we live outside of His attitude and character, people suffer. Yes, you may find short-term pleasure at the moment, but the long-term negative impact will eventually hit you and those around you. Sin isn’t just a personal act or thought, but a community suffering another a broken relationship.

The Ten Commandments outline behavior which is good for relationships between oneself and God, and oneself and neighbor. Trust, truth, and peace are byproducts of living within their boundaries. Yet the magnetic pull of Satan’s nature infiltrates our very being. We may come to know what is the best behavior in a situation, but the execution of what is good fails us. This is what Paul describes here.

The solution.

Jesus Christ open the doors for you and I to receive the Holy Spirit-God’s very own nature now lives within us. His presence and impact in our lives becomes more noticeable as we surrender ourselves to King Jesus. It is just not following his teachings, but acceptance of Him as your savior, lord, king, hero, friend, and brother. 

When you open your heart and head and soul to him, you begin a relationship that becomes the most important one in your life. You will place sin beneath your feet and God’s character becomes your banner lifted high above your head. Sin will not destroy His relationship with you, but its negative impact will rob you of a more fruitful, abundant life. Sin only blinds you from Him. He is always with you and only wants you to turn away from yourself to Him.

You discover the enemy is not primarily Satan, sin, nor the culture around you. Instead, you accept personal responsibility for your actions and realize your need to walk closer with your God. He becomes the center of your life.

Money, sex, power, and fame are small gods who will grab your attention. If the Triune God is not more important to you then them, they will destroy you. Father-Son-Spirit want to be the center of your life. When they are, and you exercise your natural God-given abilities for the service of others, you experience life the way God design humans to flourish.

Sin is living outside God’s design for you and I. When undesirable Mike appears, he is being his natural self. When God’s presence within Mike is given room to express Himself, God’s goodness arises. My wife, family, neighbors, and associates all love this Mike. But the undesirable Mike always seem to sneak into the picture for attention. The quicker I recognize him, and remove him from the action, the more blessed and happier life with myself and others become real.

Focus on the new you and let the old you die. Don’t try to improve the old you. Instead lean on Jesus to show you how you were designed by Him and then walk it out. It will take faith and trust, trial and error, and breakthrough and failure before one day you will wake up and recognize the work God is doing within you. You only wish you would have started earlier to capture the true meaning and purpose for your life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Top Ten For 2019

Ecclesiastes 11:6

 Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.

ten1

This past year, the top ten pages with the most views were:

1) Where is God’s Domain

2) Jesus is Our Reference Point

3) A Mirror Image of Jesus

4) Kingdom Reality

5) What is God’s Greatest Expression of His Love

6) What New Creation?

7) Build Strengths, Compliment Weaknesses

8) What is Salvation All About?

9) Spiritual Stupor

10) Rest in Christ

Again, THANK YOU for allowing me to share the love and joy of Jesus Christ through this blog. The exercise continues to be therapy for my soul.

Hopefully you likewise have found some encouragement or insight in your walk with Jesus Christ through these pages.

As always, my one prayer for you is for you to truly live-out and experience the radical, blessed and wonderful life found in the relational love of the Incarnate Triune God!

Always Rooting for You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christmas, Government, God

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

xmas1

U.S. News recently wrote an article regarding the mass social demonstrations taking place around the world. From Hong Kong to Europe, from Iran to South America, people are expressing their unhappiness with their situation against the government. Large crowds are showcasing their displeasure and frustration through the streets. Those in government realize they need to appease the people or they may lose their power. The question is how without surrendering their hold on the people.

Six hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, and approximately one hundred years before Israel was taken captive by the Babylonian empire, the prophet Isaiah wrote the above words which now is common verbiage with Hallmark cards. A prophecy that points to God’s government under the leadership of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus made his public appearance, his main message pertained to government. He spoke about the difference between God’s Kingdom and the current rule. Since the beginning of time, government has always been the issue between people. We have had families, tribes, nations, and empires with various forms of government. They have all failed in due time. The one government however that has outlasted all others is the Kingdom of God.

God’s Kingdom is a government based from the central heart of God via His Spirit. A government which provides law and order for relationships between people. Whether we are speaking about the law and order between individuals or nations, the Kingdom of God is relevant to how people maneuver between each other for the greater good and for self-interest.

God’s government is an outflow of His character. When we make the effort to put His ways before our natural inclinations, His impact is felt. Though short term there may be struggles and pain, the long-term outcome always flourishes. God’s way allows humans to flourish within boundaries established for the common good. Historically we have seen glimpses of His ways among the people. Daniel and Solomon from the Old Testament highlight people living within secular environments yet flourishing.

Christmas time reminds us that a world government with a benevolent King has already been born, prepared for leadership, and is now executing His plan to fully establish His law and order on His planet. Today, those of us who have surrendered to His kingship are experiencing the riches of His bountifulness. Tomorrow, everyone who chooses Him as their King will likewise experience the richness of His leadership.

Wherever you are, you have been given the privilege and honor to build a colony under the Kingdom of God. From your family to workplace, from your local community to national politics, you have been given all the resources you need to unlock God’s government with all the people in your world.   As Paul writes in Colossians, everything was made by Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ, and for Jesus Christ.  Christmas is a time to celebrate Him. Enjoy the day in Him.

Merry Christmas!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Victorious Reward

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

victory2

 

We all need motivation at times. When those dark days make their appearance, the quicker we recognize them, the faster we can move onward. Typically, these are the days where the sun is covered by clouds, the dampness of the air blows through my bones, and everything I touch seems to turn into another problem to resolve. In days like this, I sometimes like to read the two chapters in the Book of Revelations which the apostle John wrote while exiled on the island of Patmos.

These two chapters highlights the victorious reward that awaits you and I at the end of our journey in this age of humanity. The verses remind me there is effort on our part to pursue the victorious life and the reward awaits us as long as we finish. Whether we run the fastest marathon ever or simply come in last, we win. But without Jesus Christ there is no victory. He has gone before us and laid out the table and throne room for us to share with him.

That is one party I look forward to celebrate with everyone.

Take a moment, read these scriptures, and meditate on each one. They highlight the reward awaiting us for all our efforts here on earth at this time in this place.

 

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Rev. 2:7

The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death. Rev. 2:11

To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Rev.2:17

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over

the nations—that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Rev. 2:26-28

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Rev 3:5

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 3:12

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Rev. 3:21

So, whenever you find yourself wallowing in a self-pity party of one, stop and remind yourself what awaits you for all the struggle, decisions, and effort you make each day for the kingdom of God. Yes, there are many days where the Spirit is rejoicing within you. But on those days where you simply feel tired, defeated, and unfocused, why don’t you remind yourself that the best still awaits us.

In those days when the motivation is gone, I am also reminded of Jesus’ words,

“He who endures to the end shall be saved.”

 And likewise, Paul’s words, “But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Afraid to Pray?

1 Timothy 2:8

Therefore, I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

pray2

Why should anyone be afraid to pray? To ask the God of creation to intervene. For help in solving a problem larger than us. Or maybe a blessing on our love ones. Yet I occasionally come across people who admit they are afraid to pray. When we dig deeper, we generally find the challenge lies in several spheres.

One, which is the general challenge for many pertains to change. We are so focus on our goals and priorities that we don’t want to change what we are doing but add a blessing on top of everything we are already in pursuit. If we surrender to God, we believe there goes our dreams.

Or, we don’t because only falsely believe only weaklings pray. Us self-reliant and intelligent beings have the delusion everything is under control. We don’t need any assistance. We can handle everything ourselves.

Or, there are those who feel unworthy to pray and come to the throne room of God. Who am I to petition God? We blindly disbelieve God has no time for us or what we request is not important in the scheme of world events.

Whatever the obstacle, Paul writes to Timothy and encourages him to remind us all to pray. Why? Because prayer is the means of communicating with the living God. Unless we pray, we will never know God as He wants to be known. You cannot have a personal relationship with anyone unless there are two-way communications.

Pray allows us to see God in action. When we pray and make our requests to Him, removing any personal expectations on how and when, we witness God’s reply. Sometimes the reply comes in a word, sometimes in a thought, sometimes from others speaking to us directly or indirectly. The Bible showcases people being responding by God through a vision, dream, and yes even through a donkey.

For those who are afraid to pray, I ask “how is it working for you?” For those who have surrendered themselves to King Jesus, I likewise ask “how is it working for you?”

When one repeatedly experiences answers to prayer, one learns to pray constantly and everywhere. How one looks or sounds or trips over their words in the process, doesn’t bother them any longer. The reason? Because they know Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercedes for them. Jesus knows what being human is like. He gladly takes our requests and intervenes to the Father on our behalf. When we come to realize this, we learn not to emphasize prayer, but the power of Jesus Christ. Therefore, we long to pray and be in communion with the living God: every day and everywhere.

Fear has to do with punishment. Prayer is the loving means to a loving God who wants what is best for us. Sometimes it requires change; other times it requires sacrifice, and other times it requires self-denial. But the Christ follower says Amen for they know the process of discipleship leads to Kingdom fulfillment and real satisfaction in this life and the next.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved