Obstacle Course

Acts 20:24

But I (Paul) do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (ESV)

At times, life feels like an obstacle course.

Luke the writer of Acts wrote about Paul speaking with the elders of the local church where he identified his purpose with them and mentioned the many trials and obstacles he had overcame and the many that still awaits him in the future. You and I are no different than Paul in regard to facing the challenges of life.

As a believer and follower of Jesus Christ, our intentional purpose is to serve HIM and HIS Kingdom. Whatever life throws our way either temporarily prevents one from moving forward or propels one to fulfill their purpose.

Without purpose, life is a happen chance and we simply go with the flow of the moment. With purpose and aim, this same unplanned event may prevent us from moving toward our intentional mission. The same situation and circumstance have different perspectives depending on one’s course laid out for them.   Which is why, more days than not, I say life resembles an obstacle course to overcome.

Life is an obstacle course because everyday events and circumstances are pivot points either bringing you closer to God and strengthening your character and faith in HIM or to awaken you from your spiritual stupor.

Life is an obstacle course because when pain and suffering occur, one either leans more on HIM and your relationship with HIM becomes more intimate and deeper, or further distances you from being aware of HIS presence.

Life is an obstacle course because constant distractions take your mind away from your purpose as your human nature seeks the easy and quick solution without concern for the long-term consequences.

Life is an obstacle course because the culture bombards you with emotional appeals to satisfy your every desire without considering the cost.

Life is an obstacle course because constant short-term pain for long-term gain becomes tiring without needed rest and refreshment from the Spirit.

Life is an obstacle course because lies, doubts, and personal inadequacies keeps one constantly seeking the truth of a matter.

Life is an obstacle course because managing the personal relationships between one’s body-soul-spirit with others is a constant exercise of wisdom to balance individual freedoms with community peace.

You could list more that impacts your life and the course you have chosen.

Yet, I am grateful and thankful through all the challenges and opportunities which come our way. Why? Because we have a faithful and committed God who has an eternal purpose in mind for you and me. Every obstacle and every situation are times for HIM to reconstruct and build a new you. The you HE plans to bring with HIM in HIS eternal Kingdom as HE prepares you and I for good work now and in the new age to come.

So, this is why I believe each obstacle that comes our way is simply another opportunity for us to learn more about HIM and HIM preparing you and me to better serve others.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Seeking the Meaning of Life

Acts 17:24-27

The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place,that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us…

Are you a Seeker?

Have you come to the proverbial doorway questioning your beliefs?

You know the “how’s” of life, but now you have arrived at the spot where you are questioning the “why’s.”

Why do you believe what you do?

You were going along your merry way when out of nowhere the question arises in your mind, “what is life all about?” “Is there a meaningful purpose behind all of life?” If so, “what is it?”

Looking back, I believe most people will not confront the truth until they wrestle with those existential questions that normally come around after one of our core beliefs are shattered by reality.

When I was seventeen, the question “what is life all about” hit me in the middle of the hallway in school between classroom changes. It was surreal. I never had given the question any thought until then. I was entering my senior year of high school and making plans for the next phase of life – facing the army draft, college, trade, work, and all those other responsible decisions one faces as they mature.

That question started the quest to seek out the answer.

I wasn’t seeking God, career path, or anything else but to answer the question of the meaning to life – is there a planned purpose behind life?

Looking back and after reading the encounter others have with similar situations, I come to realize that is one way God works with all of us. He drops a metaphysical question into our minds which we can’t immediately answer and afterwards the search begins.

For example, C.L. Lewis reveals his encounter with God through his book “Surprised by Joy.” There he opens up and discusses how the emotional experience of a deep, abiding joy excluded from any type of external circumstance or situation led him to the Lord.

If you read about the life of other classical saints and writers, you will discover a similar trait. Most encountered a tipping point in their life where they questioned one of their core beliefs and found themselves exposed to a lie. They then turned to find the truth.

Most of us today will start off first questioning our faith – what we believe or don’t believe. Since there are three major faith camps in the world today – eastern religions, secular religions, and western religions – we begin investigating their merits. Eventually each faith will reveal itself and their position about God, creation, and life’s meaning.

Many others and I after studying into the life of Jesus Christ, now bow our knees in honor and respect to serve HIM and HIS Kingdom. We acknowledge HIM who HE claimed to BE and what history writes about HIM.

Likewise, over the many years of praying, practicing, and abiding in Christ, we have witness and experience the fruit of a Godly life. The spiritual riches revealed throughout the Bible are real and encountered by those who have surrendered themselves to the King of Kings. And after one taste a sample of Kingdom living, one isn’t easily fooled by smoke and mirrors and empty rhetoric by those who desire God’s blessings but fail to accept HIS authority in their lives.

So, if you are seeking the truth, or simply the answers to those perplexing life questions, keep searching, be open to all possibilities, and wherever your hunt leads you, remember knowing who GOD IS and is not sets the foundation of all your other beliefs. And your beliefs will lead you either to a more meaningful, purposeful life or a life of emptiness and desperation.  You will recognize the answer by the fruit produced from those beliefs.    

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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-Present | Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Joy-Giver

Ecclesiastes 2:26

For to the one who pleases him God has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner he has given the business of gathering and collecting, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind. ESV

The Book of Ecclesiastes is written from a twin perspective: Life is a vapor and God is a Joy-Giver.

When I first read the Book as a seventeen-year-old seeker, I was initially depressed of its message of vanity, meaningless purpose, and nothing to be gain remarks. Yet some twenty years later, the rest of the story became more apparent.

Yes, from birth to death you come into the world with physically nothing and you shall leave with nothing, but in between is the Godly experience which shall shape you for eternity.

The Book reminds us that God is the giver of good gifts for our enjoyment. Whereas most people today seek after the fleeting ideal of happiness, real joy awaits them in the presence of the living God. However, until one acknowledges the Source, one shall always climb the ladder on the wrong wall and find disappointment.

God is the most enjoyable Being in the universe. He has created us to have a personal relationship with HIM. When we evade HIS presence and shy away from HIS goodness, we only harm ourselves. But when we learn to share life with HIM, HE openly shares HIS life with us.

Joy is HIS natural character. The fruit of HIS Spirit includes joy. He can’t help being joyful. And HE has created us in HIS image. Joy awaits us, but without HIM our pursuit is continually empty. When you and I learn to dance with HIM on HIS dance floor of planet earth, we align ourselves with HIS rhythm, HIS purpose, and HIS values, and begin to experience a deeper relationship with HIM; joy becomes the by-product of the with-God life.

Yes, this physical life is temporary. Time moves quickly and life is a vapor, as our physical self is here like a blade of grass, and then no more. But God has greater plans in store for us. Today HE wants you and I to experience the richness of a Godly life. He allows us to compare the temporary physical highs with the permanent reality of HIS character as a foretaste of what we may expect through eternity and beyond. So, if you haven’t yet done business with the Almighty, you are missing out and time is growing short.  How about taking a moment and discover the difference between the temporary sensation of happiness with the permanent high of joyful living? HE awaits your decision. And for those of you who already know the difference, isn’t HE an awesome JOY-GIVER!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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-Present | Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved