Your Vocation Is Your Ministry

1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: ESV.

One of the more difficult aspects of Christ-like living is restructuring our thinking. It is said that re-learning takes three times more effort than learning it correctly in the beginning. For most of us, we are typically set in our habits, thought patterns, and perceptions within the first 20% of our lifetime. The remainder years we either spend fine tuning them or redressing them. As a Believer, we most likely will spend more time morphing into a new creation where our new friends and family members wouldn’t even recognize the old person of yesterday.

One of the areas we slowly begin to change is our perception of ministry. Initially we may see ministry as something the church leadership does. Later we may see ministry as those other people helping the less fortunate. It is only later that we see ministry more broadly as simply serving those around us.

Somewhere in time we in the western world have been educated to believe that ministry is something spiritual and every other occupation as secular. Yet the Bible shows us that God sees everything as spiritual AND physical. He doesn’t segregate the two. He knows we need both the physical elements to live and breathe and the Spirit to live up to our human potential.

A good example is work.

How does God provide food, clothing, and shelter to people? Isn’t it through people who are gifted in the specialties of their roles within the business community? As these people serve one another are they not exercising their gifts in their service for one another?

When the early Church ordained deacons to serve the widows and orphans they selected men full of the Spirit of God and gifted for the responsibilities. God has ordained the institutions for the role of providing human care. From government, family, education, medical, law, business, entertainment, etc., God provides a place for all of us to serve one another with the gifts He has graced us with.

So the next time you feel less worthy in your vocation, remember God has gifted you to serve others. Your role is just as important as any pastor or church minister in the eyes of God. Therefore ask yourself, how can you best serve others in your marketplace?

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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Dull, Blind & Ignorant

Acts 28:25-27
“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
“‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’ ESV.

Do you recall a time when you looked but never actual saw what was happening? Or heard someone speak to you, but never really grasp what they were saying? Or even acknowledged the factual answer but never truly understood the significance?

When the apostle Paul preached the gospel to the Jewish leaders at Rome, his frustration came through by finishing his discourse with the above passage from Isaiah.  He basically called his audience a people with dull hearing, blind eyes, and intellectually ignorant of God. Yet he also gave them a way out. If they were willing to acknowledge their inability to hear, see, comprehend and accept his message, they will be healed by God.

The Bible calls this repentance. To make a 180 degree turn from self to God; away from sin and toward holiness; away from prioritizing your estate as #1, to serving Jesus and His Kingdom as the primary focus of your life.

It is not until an addict can acknowledge their problem, before healing can take place. The same with God. Until a person can accept the reality of their hopelessness apart from God, healing cannot take place.

So if you can hear, see, and know but are having trouble listening, perceiving, and comprehending, maybe it’s time to do some serious business with our Lord and Savior. He is a professional at restoring life to His original intention. He can do the same with 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

 

 

Bold Confidence

Ephesians 3:12
in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. ESV.

The Hebrew view of faith from the old testament emphasized Chutzpah or high confidence rather than just a mental exercise. This concept is also re-emphasized in the new testament from the Book of Hebrews. Faith is more about knowing you know because of the living experiences you walked through rather than just an analytical dream you conceive in your mind. We sometimes like to make practical applications into something religiously mystical. But faith is that bold confidence your body, soul, and mind expresses when you are faced with a challenge or opportunity.

How is this faithful confidence built? Isn’t it through life’s experiences? When we try something new and learned from the experience, don’t we grow our confidence? When we try and fail or succeed at something, don’t we gain confidence in the process? Isn’t it the same in our relationship with our Lord?

Yes we can have confidence apart from our Lord and in ourselves or abilities. But that isn’t the bold confidence we are speaking about here. That confidence is built solely on human skills and abilities and will eventually fail you. The Chutzpah we are writing about is that bold confidence you develop when you leaned on the Lord and in hindsight you know he carried you through the ordeal.

It is eating food and drinking water every day for forty years in the desert like the nation of Israel in their exodus march. It is like a teenager defeating a lion and a bear to defend his family’s sheep like David. It is a beauty pageant winner standing before the autocratic King risking her life to save her nation from genocide like Deborah. It is a confidence built through the actual experience of trusting God.

It starts with the small things in life and grows from there.

We all have been given faith by the Holy Spirit. But unless you use it, you will never experience the joy of knowing your heavenly Father and the riches He shares with His children.

Faith is fully alive when confidence exudes boldness. But it only starts when you place your trust in the God of reality.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Why Be A Student of the Bible?

Deuteronomy 8:3
..but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. ESV.

The Bible is a book that reveals the portal of life. Within its pages are the lessons learned by those who have gone before us. As you peruse each chapter, you come to realize that human behavior, experiences, and desires have remain the same for thousands of years. Or as one historian stated, there is nothing new under the sun except technology and fashion.

As you read, you will become a student of history, psychology, and human relations.  The Book becomes your manual for everyday joy. Throughout its pages, you discover more of God’s character, purpose, and story. You discover where real peace and prosperity comes from and how to attain them. You learn to separate real Truth from the lies thrown your way each and every day. You come to experience and share the power of love from God’s heart.

You learn to quickly recognize the hypocrisy and fears in yourself and others. But more importantly, you find the faith which leads to the dismantling of these ugly demons in yourself and others.

As you read and study the events, circumstances, and lives of people who encountered God, you realize you have more in common with them then not. And more importantly, over time you will come to know the Author of Life and your place with Him. You will uncover your true identity and purpose which will lead to a more meaningful life of adventure and passion.

You may even come to realize that the Book was personally written just for you. That the God revealed through its pages truly loves you and wants what is best for you. That He wants a personal relationship with you. That He is nothing like the stern grandfather you may have heard from others. Instead, He is the loving Dad who provides, protects, and shares life with all his children.

When you come to the place where you recognize there are more Pros than Cons to study the Bible, then do the smart thing; make the commitment. In hindsight, it will be one of the best decisions you will make in your entire life time. Or it may be one of those regretful choices that you would have liked to have changed. Either way, your choice today will determine your quality of life tomorrow.

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

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

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