Follow the Rabbi

Matthew 23:8
But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers.ESV.

 

Jesus was a rabbi. A super rabbi. Most rabbi’s are knowledgeable of the text but not all rabbis interpret the text.  Jesus was the youngest of the super rabbis’ of his time and truly interpreted the Scriptures. When he approached Peter and Andrew and said if you follow me I will make you fishers of men, the youngsters drop their nets and left the family business to pursue the opportunity to become like their rabbi.

In Jesus’ time, it is estimated that one of 10,000 men had the gift to memorize the bible in its entirety. Those who didn’t have the gift went on to learn the family trade. With Andrew, Peter, James, and John, the family business was fishing. So when Jesus approached them and invited them to follow him, it was a honor that normally wasn’t available for those who weren’t gifted with super memory.

For when a Jewish lad turned twelve, it was then determined whether or not they were gifted to be a rabbi. Those gifted would have at least memorized word by word the entire first five books of the old testament. If one wasn’t able to recite the text accurately, they were led to follow their father’s trade.

So Jesus went recruiting disciples who initially didn’t qualify. The apostle Paul wrote later in 1 Corinthians 1:27 “But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.” What most of us will eventually come to realize is the outcome depends more on God than us. When Jesus invited us to the table to become his disciple, he didn’t choose you because of your great beauty, memory, or skill-set. Instead, he chose you because he loves you and wants to prove to you and others that it is what God is doing and not what you are doing that counts. This is Jesus’ story. We are included in His narrative. We follow him because He is the super rabbi that we want to become like. He is our passion. He is our strength. He is our hope. In the end, it is a humble honor and privilege for us all to follow the Rabbi. How about you?

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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved
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Change

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.ESV.

 

One constant we all deal with each and every day is the continual process of change. Change happens every day. In hindsight, one could easily admit that life is designed to produce change. People make decisions that impact your life. Processes change. Circumstances evolve where everything is different today than it was yesterday.  When our foundation is shaken, life becomes unstable and unpredictable. The future looks bleak and the current situation unmanageable. Yet there is one constant that always remains the same: GOD.

Malachi 3:6 and Hebrews 13:8 state that HE doesn’t change. He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Jesus summarized his message to his disciples of the blessed life in Matthew 7:24-27. He reminded them that when all of life’s constant problems and troubles are thrown your way, you better have a solid foundation under your feet. The words he spoke previously pertained to how we can live a more richer life than we ever imagined. But without a sure foundation, life can be treacherous.

Change with God is a whole lot better than change without Him. When one leans on him through the good times and bad, one becomes reassured that He is always there for us. Instead of suffering anxiety, worry, or self-pity, you come to realize as you trust HIM that something very good is going to come out of the mess you are currently in. Yes you may have to suffer for a while, or longer, but the end will definitely be much better than the beginning.

HE doesn’t change. As HE delivered the children of Israel, as HE leads his Church, and as HE prepares a place for you and me for eternity, we know HE is faithful and committed toward the fulfillment of HIS plan to birth a new age that will include you and me forever. As He blessed others, He will bless you. So let’s build our life on HIS foundation and watch in amazement what HE will do for you in your corner of the world.

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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Does God’s Love Abide In You?

Romans 5:5
…because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. ESV.

When a terrorist commits their act of violence, does God’s love abide in them? Would a person who is in love with the Almighty kill innocent people in the name of their religion? As the debate continues, do guns kill people or is it a matter of what is inside the heart of the person?

In John 5:42, Jesus was speaking with the religious leaders who where criticizing him. His comment though was true then and remains so today. “But I know that you do not have the love of God within you.” Again in Luke 11:42, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”

Without the love of God vibrating in us and through us, we are just empty containers seeking fulfillment in all the wrong places. We pursue our goals and dreams thinking we will find the answer there. We cover our hurts and pain through addictions which gives us a momentary escape, but when reality comes back the ugliness of our situation still face us. So like an insane person, we repeat the harmful process over again. At times, the unholy anger may build up until the human spirit explodes in violence.

Instead of allowing the love of God soothe us, we withdraw. Instead of forgiving and allowing the love of God to be released, we bind our hostility until our emotional tank explodes. When one begins to understand and experience the love of God in their life, only then the victory for wholesomeness and Shalom becomes real.

We were born to have a relationship with the Invisible God. The Bible reveals who HE IS. As James 4:8 states, “Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” He has built within humanity the means for you and I to experience life the way He originally designed men and women to function. This is not religion but a way of life built around having an intimate relationship with your Creator. So if you have tried everything else and are still running empty, maybe it’s time to do business with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let Him know you are ready to follow Him. He will lead you.  He will reside in you via the Spirit. In the process, his love will embellish you and you will enjoyably share his love with others. And when someone asks you whether or not God’s love abides in you, you will only smile and place the focus on Jesus Christ. For you know that the love of God resides in you only because 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Divine Perspective

Isaiah 55:8-9
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.ESV.

 

 

 

In hindsight, I was fortunate to find a mentor who demonstrated through their life and words what a successful business life was all about. Now in the autumn of life, I still appreciate the support and wisdom of those who have gone before me. Why re-create the wheel? Life’s lesson have taught us it is easier, more economical, and more effective to build upon the work of others rather than venture into an unknown path. The arrow scars from my youth are still there as a reminder that some ways are better than others.

The same with life in general. When one has a choice to follow either the latest guru or the divine designer of the universe, who would you choose? Would you rather study the book of an author who writes one or two #1 best sellers or the One who has repeatedly, year after year lead all books as the #1 seller?

Each of us maintains a perspective of the events that unfold before our eyes. For example, three people viewing the same accident may see differently depending on their angle of the situation. The same with us. We typically view a situation from a historical perspective rather than a future outcome. The only One who grasps the future is the One who simultaneously views the future, present, and past. He is Lord, Creator, and Sustainer. The Bible reveals who he is. More importantly, He wants you to know He is available to be your mentor. You only have to ask Him. So why not take advantage of such a relationship?

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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Hurricane IRMA After Impact

Psalm 40:5
You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.ESV.

 

God is good all the time. Even when hurricanes hit land.

We sometimes like to think that God’s business is to protect us from all harm. That we should never experience pain nor discomfort. That every day should be a party without any negative events. Yet when hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, volcanoes, and lighting storms come, don’t they reveal our helplessness at the moment? In fact when these overbearing events occur, how do we respond?

Do we blame God for our discomfort? Do we immediately seek ways to control the uncontrollable circumstances? Or do we acknowledge our helplessness before God and seek His immediate leadership of the situation?

Questions arise: When some people lose everything and others escape without any inconvenience, is one group of people more holier than the other? Why does good things happen to bad people and bad things to good people? If God is always good, why does natural disasters occur? Why do people have to suffer, lose their entire belongings, and experience the pain of homelessness?

During times like this I have to remind myself God is in control. Many humans may not believe so because God operates with a greater purpose than the personal satisfaction of one person. We typically see events from our limited perspective rather than God’s eternal, universal view. From the same event, we may suffer while another may be blessed. Could it be there is a greater purpose being worked out here that we just haven’t grasped yet?

In addition, ever notice how life is designed with natural phenomena built into the equation? My meteorologists friends remind me constantly that humanity has not yet learned how to control the weather. We can forecast patterns but we cannot yet manipulate these natural laws in a large scale for our benefit. So the thought of being dependant on a God for our weather is difficult for some people to manage. For a Being to be so powerful to diminish the power of a category five hurricane at will makes one feel very small indeed.

Also God’s plan for mankind is not a human utopia in this age, but a trial run preparing people today for an eternal home tomorrow. When natural disasters occur, God’s love goes into action through the hands and feet of people who understand the need to serve the less fortunate with their blessings. God’s Kingdom moves into action through the various institutions and services designed to lend a helping hand restoring life back to “normality.” If it wasn’t for God’s goodness, disasters would lead to a continual downward spiral of destruction rather than the restoration of humanity.

I am thankful and relieved that IRMA didn’t destroy everything in its path. Yet for those who lost everything, I pray that God leads them to see His abundance and direct their steps to restore all things. For those who were fortunate to escape serious harm, I pray that we find ways to help our neighbors rebuild their lives. For we are in this all together; sharing life’s hardships and challenges, while gaining knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ who is preparing you and I for greater service now and into all eternity.

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

Hurricane IRMA Before Impact 

Psalm 107:43
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the Lord. ESV.

Today we get to meet IRMA. Initially, IRMA was scheduled to visit the other side of the state. However, as usual the majority of the forecasters were incorrect and IRMA decided to flex her muscles. Therefore, two days ago we started our preparation. Besides hanging the metal storm shutters over all the windows, loading up with food and supplies, and making sure our neighbors were likewise prepared, we did a short Bible Study on storms.

Yes Jesus stilled a storm a couple of times, and God even spoke to Job through a storm. Yet it was Psalm 107 that I stopped and reread several times. This Psalm wasn’t about any physical storm per say. Instead, the writer gave several examples of life where God intervene in the storms of people’s lives. When the people acknowledged their hopelessness and cried out for HIS help, God intervened.

These were not righteous people, but sinners who have come to the end of their rope. People who were wandering lost in the desert, chained in prison, caught in the folly of their personal sin, and battered at sea by storm waves. The common thread is God heard their repentant spirit and redeemed them.

HE turned their world from desert to pools of water. He took them from where they were and blessed them right where they stood. Like He has done so many times over, He raises the needy out of affliction and makes their life to flourish. From these actual situations, we see the love of God in action.

Today we again get to see the love of God in action as we bunker down and hold on to HIM facing the wrath of IRMA.  Our prayer is simply for human life be spared and let God magnify HIS name through all the earth from this destructive act of nature. Until then, we have prepared ourselves as best as we can and now lean on HIM.

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

 

Knowing God’s Heart Through Suffering

Romans 8:18
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.ESV.

Some Christians are drawn to God by obtaining a ticket to heaven. Others come to God by first experiencing the fruit of His hands. Yet most if not all will eventually come to truly know HIM through the pain in their life.

Suffering is an experience that most of us avoid at all costs. We find ourselves fleeing from those who may be hurting because of the uncomfortable feelings they reflect in us. Yet the Bible continually highlights how through suffering we cry out to God. Through suffering we realize our limitations and dependency on others. We come to see a side of life that our human side wants to avoid. Yet through pain, most of us learn to lean on God and actually see Him carry us through our ordeal. It is through the suffering that we really come to know the heart of God.

Since He lives in us, we are connected with Him through the Holy Spirit which gives us the privilege of calling Him Papa. Just like a blessed child sitting on the lap of their Daddy, being bounced and playfully being entertained, so is it with us. Yet most of us get so busy with life and forget the eternal relationship we possess with Him, we need a catalyst to draw us back. Without suffering, most of us would totally ignore God.

So instead of having a self-pity party with the pain you are going through, cry out to your Daddy. Be frank with Him. Be open with Him. Be totally transparent with Him. He may or may not change your circumstances, but you will discover the internal fortitude (shalom) He provides so you both may travel through the pain together. In hindsight, you will realize how the hand of God moves you to come to know His heart through your suffering.

God Almighty is your heavenly Dad. He cares for you and wants what is best for you. Like the athlete, short term pain leads to long term gain. Suffering is the least desired but eventually the most practical way for us to experience the heart of God in our life.  Therefore, the quicker you can learn to lean on him through the ordeal, the faster you will come to realize his hand in your 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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved