God Waste’s Nothing

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. Matt. 26:8 ESV.

Jesus was visiting Simon the leper at his house when a woman came to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment. She poured it on his head as he reclined at the table. The disciples saw it and became indignant because they believe it was a waste of money. However, Jesus’ reply was on the act itself which came from her heart. He took the situation and directed the focus toward the gospel message, his coming burial, and her worshipful testimony.

God waste’s nothing.

You & I may look at a situation and develop an expected outcome that we consider good or bad. However, God looks at the heart of the people involved and turns it into a teachable moment for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear; hopefully you and I.

Jesus was having dinner at a tax collector’s house surrounded with other undesirables (in the eyes of the Pharisees). These teachers of the Law questioned Jesus’ association with people who were sinners. Again Jesus took the moment to share the gospel message.

God waste’s nothing.

What may look like contempt to us, or a challenging moment, may prove to be the changing point in our lives. Every act, every circumstance, every situation, is truly a moment of time God works to create His masterpiece in each of us. God is always working through the good and the bad for our benefit.

God waste’s nothing.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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

 

 

Faith, Character, Wisdom

…so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:5 ESV.

When you review the last 40 years of my life with the people who entered into our small world, most have more faith then they generally believed. There limitations usually came from the so call general education they received from others. Some were consistently placed in positions that limited their thinking or distorted their view of life. Others were surrounded by people who put the fear of the unknown in their heads. And some went the other extreme believing fantasies and lies while living in denial. In fact, most of these people put more faith driving down a two-lane road then exercising the awesome gift they already have in their possession.

Faith comes from God. He allocates as He desires. A little is all you need. The problem is most of us would rather rely on ourselves, or our associates rather than trust God.

When one’s journey takes them into the deep crevices of life were darkness penetrates the soul, and we survive, nothing will ever be the same again. For most of us, it is in the pits of life when we recognize Jesus as He shares His faith, character, and wisdom with us.

After such an ordeal, we realize what real faith is and the assurance we have from Him. We begin to recognize the Godly character and wisdom we lack and desire to have. Typically, after such an experience, we want more of Him.

So we pursue him through religion, but eventually discover how empty and unfulfilling performance-oriented living becomes. We cram our brains reading and studying philosophies of the great minds who have gone before us. But soon realize they don’t have the answers either. We may bury our pain with drink, food, or sex. But the demons remain. Only when we surrender our heart to Jesus, will we experience the real fruit of godliness.

When He enters into our lives, we learn to follow his ways. When He carries us through our struggles, we learn to trust Him. When He answers our prayer requests, we pray more. When He instructs us through His Word, we gain wisdom for living. When He shapes and molds our character, we experience the fruit of His masterpiece.

Over time, He shows his love for us by molding us into the character, faith, and wisdom He manifests.  Grateful we become because of the workmanship He displays in us and through us. With humility we learn to exercise the fruit of His work. He receives all glory, honor, and respect because we know where we came from and now appreciate where we are in the hands of our Maker. He is the Teacher, we are the student. He is Lord, we are His subject. He is the Source, we are the recipient.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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

 

Blind, Broken, Busted

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I (Jesus) advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:17-21 NASB.

Pride blinds us all. We look at the physical dressing around us instead of the inner heart and convince ourselves that everything is all right. Yet deep inside, we know something is not right. Instead of dealing with the issue, we ignore our conscience and keep doing the same thing. Maybe it will go away.

Yet the knocking continues. Even while your bank account keeps growing, your dreams become reality, and your fame spreads throughout the marketplace, that gnawing feeling will not leave you alone.

What is happening?

Your Father God is calling you. He is happy for your success. But wants you to also experience the real treasures of life. So He keeps calling you. He keeps knocking at your door. He is waiting for you to open the door. He wants to break bread with you. But more importantly, He wants to share His life with you.

He wants you to experience real wealth; the riches from His storehouse. He wants to cloth you with the same holiness he wears. But more importantly, He wants to share his authority and influence with you to positively impact the world for others.

So don’t ignore him. Don’t push him aside. When your inner ear hears the knock, just lean against the door. He is waiting with open arms to meet you. When you two meet, you will experience the greatest high this life has to offer.

Compared to Him, we are all blind, broken, and busted. Yet with Him, He takes away our pride, shame, and pain and replaces them with his rich treasure chest of humility, love, and joy.  He will change your life forever.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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

 

Slavery of Religion

 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules:  “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”?  These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings.  Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence. Col. 2:20-23

Religion is man’s attempt to appease God. The practice and mindset is typically built around the premise that you are separate from God. If you want God’s favor, you have to do something to manipulate God your way. Contrast to real Christianity, where you are already reconciled to God. Not because of what you do, but what the Triune God has already done.

Real Christianity is an abiding relationship with the living God. A relationship built upon the finish work of Jesus Christ. Whereas religion typically is man’s idea of how one must perform to merit God’s blessings.

Throughout history, in the name of religion, mankind has done harmful acts one-to-another in the name of their idol god. From sacrificing babies at the altar to performing immoral sexual acts, all in the name of their god. In current times, we may have become more civilized, yet we still have the tenancy to practice religion rather than build an intimate relationship with the ONE.

We may burn candles, flog ourselves, sacrifice money, refrain from marriage, establish higher-than-God-standards of righteousness, ordain certain days more holier than others, deny modern conveniences, cloth ourselves in special outfits, refrain from eating certain foods, practice special or secret rituals, refrain from listening to certain music, place higher importance on “spiritual” occupations, vote for specific political parties, and the list goes on and on and on.

When the act becomes more important than the heart of a matter, and when the task has greater priority than the relationship, be careful. You may be emphasizing the religion rather than enjoying a relationship with the living Lord.

Many times the mechanics of faith are the same. The difficult part to identify is the heart of relationship with our heavenly Father. Only He knows for sure. So why not ask your Father-Son-Spirit how you can improve your relationship with Him? And yes, for those who value religion, don’t worry –  God also works through religion. You will also find Him in business, government, education, entertainment, sports, medicine, and every other institutional field. For wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Cor.3:17).

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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

Jesus Christ Chose You

But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— Col. 1:22 ESV.

Before you were ever born, you were selected by Jesus Christ. Before you even heard the name of Jesus Christ, you were forgiven. And before you even acknowledged his existence, you were already included in the Triune circle.

The Incarnation teaches us that God chose himself before the foundation of the world as the sacrifice for humanity’s entrance into the heavenly. Entering the world in human form, He (Jesus) clothed himself with the darkness of the world. All sin, deception, anxiety, pride, shame, and blindness was captured within his humanness. God joined humanity and humanity joined God in this act of divine sacrifice.

The result is Jesus Christ lived and died a vicarious life. He represented you and I as our substitute to defeat Satan and restore humanity’s relationship with our Heavenly Father. In the process, you have been forgiven because of His sacrificial life & death. He did it for you and I.

Not only forgiven, but His resurrection and ascension into heaven paved the way for you and I into a new creation. He is the first of a new humanity.  The physical and spiritual merged together.

Though we are already included in the circle of life with the Triune God, many are still ignorant or in rebellion against him. We haven’t accepted the reality of Who He IS and our position with Him. There lies our chose. Whether or not we want to share life with him or not.

The Bible uses several examples to highlight this point. One is adoption. You, the child, have been adopted by the parent (God). Your decision isn’t to select the parent for adoption but whether or not you will become fully engaged into the family culture. The adoption has already occurred. You can either rebel against your new parent or accept the reality that you have a new guardian who truly cares for you. A new home with permanency.

Another example is marriage. In the first century Biblical culture, the woman didn’t decide who she was going to marry. The selection process was negotiated by the parent and/or groom. As a newly engaged bride, your choice was whether or not you will become fully engaged with your husband and learn to love him. As a newly married couple, you can choose to become fully engaged in a mutually shared relationship or not. The consequences of your decision is yours to make.

Lastly, a disciple didn’t choose his rabbi teacher. It was the rabbi who selected the student. Many may wish to learn at the feet of a great teacher, but the final decision wasn’t theirs to make.

In all three examples, adoption/marriage/discipleship, the instigator of the relationship wasn’t us, but the other side. Our chose is simply to accept our position in the relationship and become fully engaged in the relationship. The same is true with Jesus Christ. He has already chosen you. Will you accept your divine position and become fully engaged?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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

Too Much

A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched. Proverbs 28:25 ESV.

When our daughter was a child of around 2 or 3 years old and learning the art of communications, her Mother and I would smile at times when she wanted second helpings of Mom’s special dessert at the dinner table. When asked how much of a portion she desired, her reply was “too much.” In other words, she wanted more than just more.

Being a child, we smiled at the innocence of youth having an open heart and speaking with frankness. Today, and over time, she has learned to adjust her behavior and exercise self-control when it comes to food. Yet even today we sometimes lovingly tease her with such memories.

But what of the child that doesn’t learn the trap that desiring too much can cause? What becomes of them when they reach adulthood? Per today’s Scripture, a greedy man (or woman) instigates turmoil among the people in their world. Greed may win you more of whatever you desire, but the price is strained relationships. Now if relationships mean nothing to you, then you have a deeper problem. The love of God may be missing in your life.

The good news is the fruit of the Holy Spirit includes self-control. Self-control is of great value for yourself and for those around you.  Self-control places a lid on your greed. Self-control allows you to fill your cup with enough to enjoy and share with others without pulling you and others down into the muddiness of sin. Self-control installs boundaries personally made for you.

So if “too much” is an issue in your life, ask your Heavenly Father to make more room for His Spirit to live and work within you. You will become pleasantly surprised how much of His Spirit he is willing to share with you in your growth and development into the image of his Son.

In fact, if you are greedy, you probably want more of His Spirit so He can redeem your greed into another masterpiece of self-control. Then you will have a living testimony of God’s workmanship to share with others. Just be aware and willing to pay the short-term cost for the long-term gain.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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

Brighten Your Corner of the World

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matt.5:16 ESV.

Life is a dance with the Almighty. As you yield your heart and follow His lead around the dance floor of life, you find yourself growing in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your countenance begins to change. Over time, those previous broken areas of your life are now radiant with a newness and vibrancy for life. You have come to the place where you realize that the Triune God actually loves you and lives in you.

He not only lives in you, but he is working to transform you from the inside-out. The more you deny yourself for His name sake, the more His light shines through. The more you submit yourself to His healing touch, the more His light radiates through the pain. When you come to realize that the only good within any person is what God produces, the quicker you begin to experience the full riches of His glory.

God especially loves to share Himself with those who draw close to Him (James 4:8). So as He opens our eyes to serve others, He will provide the means. As He opens our ears to hear, His Spirit leads us how to best reply. As He leads us into opportunities to do good, we follow with assurance.

The light others see is God’s presence shining through the broken jars of humanity (2 Corinthians 4:7). We no longer hide God’s work in us and through us. We are not even concern whether our right hand knows what our left hand is doing (Matt. 6:3). Instead, we just let God’s love and grace lead us to do good work for His glory. The outcome is His light shining through for others to see. When you follow the lead of the Greatest Dancer in your corner of the world, people will notice. And you don’t even have to try to be noticed. Just let the light of Jesus shine through you each and every day.

Happy Easter!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  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