Confidence

Hebrews 10:35
Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.ESV.

Ever noticed how some people exude confidence no matter the situation? Whereas others fidget, hesitate, and cast doubt without any effort. Confidence is the assurance of knowing who you are; especially after your strengths and weaknesses are battle tested. But more importantly, great confidence comes when you truly know God really loves you, goes before you, and will carry you when times are tough based on continual experience. Real confidence is the balance between knowing yourself and knowing your Maker.

Today many people have a false illusion of how real confidence is developed. Parents raise their children under the illusion of self-esteem. Whether Johnny or Susie fail or succeed, they create the illusion that their child is the best. Johnny may run the race and finish last, but instead of facing the reality of failure and learning from it, parents discard the truth for wanting to make the child feel good about themselves. They confuse performance with self-worth and end up damaging the child’s natural inclination. Instead of helping the child discover their real identity in Christ, we create a platform of measuring their self-worth through performance.

The same in our relationship with Jesus. We grow in confidence as we lean on him and witness how he responds to our dilemma. He may not change our circumstances, but will always provide a way for us to move through it. Afterward we will come to know more about ourselves and substantially more about our Lord.

Confidence is developed when we fail, learn from it, and grow from it. We learn how to succeed and how to properly fail. We learn humility along with confidence. Humility in understanding who we are in Christ and always confident in Him.

No we don’t need false adoration, nor flattery to feel good about ourselves. We just need to know who we are in Christ and trust him to take us through the ups and downs of life. Through this sanctifying process, we gain confidence and assurance. We truly come to experience, realize, and know His grip on our life.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

God Prepares the Way

1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—
Ephesians 2:10 ESV.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

One of the joys of walking with the Lord is knowing He goes before you. Instead of manipulating circumstances or people which causes division and relational conflict, Christ-followers have the distinct honor of leaning on their heavenly Father in searching out the best means before them.

The fact is God has an eternal investment in you and wants you to succeed in life. However, not the way many people think of success. His desire for you and me is to build Christ-like character which leads to a productive life. The problem is most people want a productive life without the character.

When you know that God cares for you more than you realize, wants what is best for you, and has already prepared the way for you, your only challenge is to discover it and walk through it. How does one discover it?

Simple answer: By growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ; not only intelligently, but relational. We need to hunger for a love relationship so intimately with Him  that we can rest our heads on his “bosom and hear his heart beat.” We need to develop a relationship with Him were we know how He communicates with us. Whether through His Word, Spirit, our conscience, that slight nudge, or that inspired thought that comes outside our mind, we need a thirst for more of Him and less of us.

Biblically we see how John the Baptist prepared the  way for Christ. How His Father led Jesus through planned events which fulfilled scripture and proved that He is the Messiah. We see how the Spirit led apostle Paul throughout his ministry. We see the same with many others throughout the Bible. Even Jesus mentioned that he is preparing an eternal place for us.

In summary, you were created to do good work which God prepared beforehand for you to do (Eph.2:10).  Lean on Him and He will unwrap it for you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Accountability – Maybe

Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity…Heb. 6:1 ESV.

Imagine if God didn’t do his job. If He decided to take time off and leave the universe operating by itself; without anyone accountable or responsible for its maintenance. Some in fact believe that is precisely what God has done. These are our deists friends. They believe God created the universe, walked away, and then left everything for us to operate and finish the work. Yet we are reassured throughout Scripture that God is on his throne and continues to be involved in the lives of his children. He is not an absentee parent. He takes personal responsibility for the rearing of his children.

Now some of us may prefer to have him neglect his involvement in their life, but I for one appreciates his graceful, untimely interventions. Otherwise this life may have been over a long time ago.

Yet all this leads to the question, “how accountable are we in our relationships and responsibilities?” Do we accept personal responsibility for the development of the relationship or just expect everything to fall into place without effort? Are we accountable too others for the contribution of the relationship or expect the other side to do all the giving and we just take?  Or are we control freaks who need to dominate and control the relationship?

If we haven’t taken the time to understand the impact we have in the lives of others, maybe it’s time to evaluate. Are we carrying our share of the load or leaving it for others? Maybe it’s time to accept personal responsibility for our actions and be held accountable by others. Maybe it’s time to grow up and become the person we were designed to be.

A part of maturity is accepting our role in the lives of others. That would include our mates, parents, siblings, neighbors, work associates, fellow citizens, and yes, even God. He’s done most of the work already. We just have to accept our role in the matter. Is it too hard of a matter to be held accountable by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords? It’s His story. We have the privilege to participate with him and hold up our side of the relationship. And our relationship with Him includes everyone else in our tiny world. So maybe being accountable to others isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe it’s the one thing still holding us back from experiencing life the way He designed it to be.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Faith, Freedom, Flourish

 “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.” 2 Peter 2:19 ESV.

Faith leads to freedom and freedom allows people to flourish. The apostle Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians that “wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” He also wrote that “freedom is not to indulge the flesh, but to serve one another humbly in love” (Gal. 5:13).

 

Ever notice where countries have the freedom to live out their faith, the people usually flourish? Whenever you can choose your future without dominant external influences, you have the opportunity to fully express your God-given gifts with others. Otherwise, in countries (and companies) where people are controlled by others, the people’s behavior are typically measured without the activation of the inner heart. People may go through the motion without being engaged in the process.

Today many people may think they are free, but their actions truly define them. Ask yourself, are you the master of your smart phone or the slave of it? Are you free to select what you wear today or subject to the approval of others? Are you in control of your time today or do you allow your watch to dictate your every move?

These are only a sample of questions you can ask yourself to determine how free you truly are. No matter your answer, remember we are actually free in Christ. He made it so. You can choose to follow him or not. You can decide to live with Him or apart from him. You can surrender your desires to him or allow your lusts and cravings to rule you. You are free to decide and act upon it.

We all have more freedom than we realize. The question though are we truly living as free people and experiencing its rewards or have we blindly enslaved ourselves by living outside the faith of Christ. For remember, Christ-like faith leads to freedom and freedom allows people to flourish.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Good. Better. Best.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15 ESV.

Over the years we have noticed the challenge some people have in making decisions. They typically struggle always looking for the “right” answer. The tenancy usually is the fear of making a “wrong” decision. For some reason, they have never learned the art of making wise choices. If this is you, hopefully the below will help you.

For most decisions, the issue isn’t right from wrong. For right and wrong are moral dimensions. In most cases, the decision isn’t whether something is morally right, but which is the better choice. Now if you were deciding on becoming a prostitute or selling illegal drugs, then we have a moral dilemma. Sin is never a good choice to make. However, for most times the decision isn’t whether to sin or not, but to determine which is good, better, or best.

So the next time you are pondering a choice to make, gather as much information, opinions, and hard facts within the time restraints you have. Then review and analyze each option based on the top three important values you have determined to be. You will usually end up with one, two, or three options. Pray and ask our Lord for direction. Set a deadline when you have to make the decision. Keep praying, meditating, and evaluating each option before your deadline. Be sure to count the cost in time, money and resources. Are you willing to pay the price with your remaining choices? If not, eliminate it. When the deadline comes, choose one that your gut is telling you and commit to it.

You will not know which is good, better, or best until somewhere far in the future. So don’t fret, question, or become discourage. Instead, exercise your plan, keep seeking direction from your heavenly Father, and run with it. You may have to make some minor adjustments in the process, but continue in that path until you have hit your preliminary review date. This is the date you established when you made your decision to determine if the choice was a prudent one and you will continue moving forward or events and circumstances arose which makes the current choice a reason to quit or readjust.

Generally, you are seeking to make something good, or something good even better, or turn something better into the best ever. They all are going to be at least good. So enjoy the process, thank God for the opportunity and help, and go make it work. Bottom-line: leave right and wrong for the moral decisions – good, better, and best for all the other choices.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Building Trust

Whoever gives thought to the word will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the Lord. Proverbs 16:20 ESV.

Trust is a two way street. You may want to trust the other person, but can they trust you? Former President Ronald Reagan loved to quote the expression “trust and verify.” In my experience with others, this simple advice truly works in today’s culture.

If you are having a trust issue with another person, you may want to use this approach. Don’t trust them with everything at one time. Instead, build trust one promise at a time.

Likewise if you want to be considered a trustful person, behave as one. Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Instead, when you make a promise, keep it. Live your life with “yes” or “no” as your promise. You will find over time that when people trust your words, your character and ability, your influence for God’s Kingdom will be more quickly accepted because of your proven actions in the past.

Doesn’t God behave the same way with us? When he personally makes a promise to us, doesn’t he keep it? It may not be on our schedule (isn’t God always late in our human opinion), but in hindsight we will see how everything works out better than we could ever expect. Even when God put Abraham to the test in potentially sacrificing his own son, He was building a trustful relationship one act at a time. God knew Abraham’s heart; afterward Abraham knew his heart and God’s heart – leading to mutually trust which builds a stronger relationship.

We can do likewise. First become a person who can be trusted. Then work to build trust with others. And always lean on building trust with our Lord in everything you do.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Let God Change Your World

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new. Revelations 21:5 ESV.

Ever great change begins when one person decides to make a difference in the life of another. Every movement begins when one person serves another. Any one act, any one word, and any one thought has the potential to change your world.

Yet potential changes nothing but the fantasy of mere dreams. Real change occurs only when work becomes focus on a specific outcome.  When your chosen work aligns with your God-given gifts, and most importantly, when the Triune God champions your endeavor, then you know only time will separate your work from final completion.

James writes that faith apart from works is dead (James 2:17). That one needs to act out ones belief for faith to turn into positive results. However, those beliefs need to be grounded in the reality of  Jesus Christ. Otherwise we may be guilty of stealing from Him, plagiarizing him, or even working against him.

Faith also teaches us to rely on Christ for leadership. Instead of seeking God to bless our endeavors, we seek out what God is already doing and ask if we can join Him. Most often, He will gladly share the spotlight with you. Sometimes though He has other plans and you may have to pass on the adventure. Either way, when you rely on directions from your Heavenly Father, you can be assured His Will is already accomplished. You just have to ride the wave toward the shore.

So when you live each day realizing that our Lord may give you one moment, one word, or one act which may positively influence a person’s life or even the course of human history, doesn’t that make your time and life more meaningful in your relationships and pursuits? Think about that…

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved