More Than You Expect

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us… Ephesians 3:20 NASB.

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Sometimes I stop and look back at the last forty years of life and shake my head in disbelief on how I failed to trust God in the difficult circumstances of everyday living. I believed in God most of my entire life but didn’t really believe Him until the second half of living. Again, if I could have, I would have. But life is a learning experience preparing us for eternity.

If we could reset the time, there would be a few (if not many) areas of life we would change. One area would be to remove the limitations I placed on God and myself.

I knew about God love, but how much he loved me was an issue. I didn’t know we are one of God’s favorites. My attitude was He constantly tested me for personal pleasure. He would throw me into situations that would take my breath away. He would challenge me with circumstances that would cause severe financial crisis’s. I didn’t receive blessings from Him (I mistakenly believed), but pain and sorrow.

However, in hindsight, I now realize how much He cared for me by protectively allowing one of his favorite children to go through trials, circumstances, and challenges that would strengthen me and learn to trust Him. I’ve also came to realize how many limitations we place on ourselves because we limit Him.

The more we came to lean on Him, the more we trusted Him; and the more we partnered with Him, the more He revealed Himself to me. Not with his physical Presence, but through the people, events, and circumstances of life – through His Creation.

Today, I am more amazed at how He works through others to reveal His blessings. The way He brings people into your life, the way He works out circumstances to bring about events which speaks to you, and the way He gives you the strength and courage to seek out the best.

Everything is possible with Him. He knows what is best for you. Yes, you and I have limitations. However, God has no limits. He is eternal. He is omnipresent. He made a commitment with you at creation. We just have to accept His authority in our life and get out of His way.

He is always going before you. Talk with Him. Ask Him how you can best present yourself to others. Trust Him. Lean on Him. He is doing a work in you for His glory, not yours. When you surrender to His goals and objectives, you allow Him to work through you. The result is a manifestation of His greatness. Your talents which He endowed you with and your skills which you have developed are join together with His purpose and His love for you. Together you will see more abundantly what He has in mind for you. And you will come to realize He has more in store for you than you can ever think, ask, or imagine.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Love and Respect

Romans 12:10 (CJB)

Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect.

 

loveandrespect3

There are relationship principles taught throughout the Bible when practiced makes the Kingdom of God come alive. One such principle is the relationship between leaders and followers. This would apply in business, government, and yes even the little-league baseball game.

This principle is built around the godly concept of love and respect. Both attributes are necessary for the relationship between two parties to be fully engaged. In summary, the follower is to respect the authority of the leader and the leader is to love the follower. What does this look like in a practical setting?

In the home, the Bible teaches that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (Eph 5:25). Which means he is willing to sacrifice his life (time, money, possessions, goals, body, etc.) for her. On the other side, the wife is to respect (show honor) for her husband. Both sides are to mutually submit one to another (Eph. 5:21).

In the workplace, bosses are to care for their employees as unto the Lord (Col.4:1) The employees are to serve their leaders as serving Jesus Christ (Eph.6:5). Love and respect show up again.

In government, we are instructed to honor the emperor (I Pt.2:17). The king is to operate from a position of steadfast love and faithfulness (Proverb 20:28). Again, love and respect show their power.

What if the other side doesn’t cooperate in the relationship? Simple answer: You do your part and let the Lord do His. We pray and ask our heavenly Father to shower His grace upon them. Since He has shared His grace upon us, don’t we want all to experience the same joy? I’m sure we don’t have to be selfish with him. He has so much more to share with others; and isn’t it exciting to watch how He gently invades the lives of others? You will find during your life travels that much grace is going to be handed out toward others who may not fully understand the ways of God. You just may be the prayer warrior who introduces our Rabbi to them. So, let love and respect find their way into your relationships and see how the kingdom of God comes alive in your 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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Non-Fatal Failure

Isaiah 41:13

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” ESV.

In business over the years, we have seen how fear of failure has dismantled the career path of many executives and managers. If you haven’t come to the point yet where the decision you need to make is so overwhelming, than you haven’t faced your worst enemy yet. Whether the decision to sell your business to a competitor, fire a key employee, or take on more debt for the sake of unknown growth, many leaders have struggled and anguished through the process.

At the same time, I am always amazed at how certain business-minded entrepreneurs step back, view the same unknown horizon, and make the prudent decision without hesitation. The main difference we have seen with believers and unbelievers is the refreshing faith and trust that whatever happens is non-fatal in the long term.

Yes, one may economically dissipate everything that took years to acquire and build; and when one associates success with self-worth, the burden can be overwhelming. Yet let the truth be told though, these men and women have learned whether the venture is successful or not will not diminish one’s value as a person. In other words, failure is non-fatal.

When one reaches the point in life where their relationship with the living God is the most important thing and everything else takes a second position, then the outcome of what lies ahead doesn’t really matter in the long term. One can easily walk away from everything and know that with God’s help everything can be restored.

The difficult challenge is not the acquisition of the physical toys and building blocks that surround us but the fortitude of character built from inside your soul and expressed through the world around you. The pain for most believers typically is “not the what is in it for me battle” but concern for the weaker minds and hands of those who are dependent on you for their livelihood. Most people who surround you are probably more focused on what you can give them rather than trusting the living God to provide everything for all of us.

Failure most often is the starting point toward learning who God is and how you can join Him in His work for mankind. Failure is painful when you place your trust in the outcome to solve all your problems. Failure is also a problem when you accept your god as the solution rather than the obstacle to overcome.  But with the Triune God, failure is never fatal. Only the starting point of discovering who you truly are in Christ.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Benefit of Capitalism

Isaiah 48:17 ESV.
Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go.

Capitalism is simply an economic system that allows people who own something to trade with others without outside interference. The decision whether to buy or sell is between both parties. Each party owns something and exchanges the item at a price mutually acceptable by the other. There are no outside influences who have final say of the matter.

Today’s garage sale is a good example of a capitalistic system in action. The homeowner owns used clothes, toys, and tools that they no longer need. However, the items may still be valuable to someone else. Therefore,  they advertise in the weekly paper and hold an one day sales event selling their wares at the best price. In many cases, people negotiate a price acceptable for both sides.

Pure capitalism is rare. Most places where capitalism thrives, the government creates laws to allow it and the moral fiber of the people police it. The freedom it allows creates an environment for opportunity to be rewarded but also the naive and innocent to be harmed. The fruit of capitalism is generally a byproduct of the heart of its people.

With capitalism someone owns property or an idea and has the right to convert it into monetary results in exchange for services or products for the benefit of others. When people generally oppose capitalism, they most often are blaming the heart and moral fiber of a person rather than the system. The same issue arises with violence and guns, overdoses and drugs, and a host of other harmful acts conducted by people against themselves or others.

In a free economy astute people understand that labor leads to savings, savings builds capital, capital allows investment into businesses and ideas, and businesses and ideas produce wealth. Everyone in a free economy has the opportunity to work, save, and invest for a wealthy lifestyle. However, many choose to bypass the savings/investment and jump into debt so they may experience the “good life” now. The result is slavery to a lender, one’s possessions, and a bleak future.

What needs to change for a people to flourish is a matter of the heart. This is a subject politicians avoid, greedy business people exploit, and religious hypocrites deny the real solution. When the hard heart of a person melts in the hands of their Creator, capitalism becomes the ideal human method to bring about human flourishing for all parties – rich, poor, male, female, educated and uneducated. When capitalism is built upon the solid foundation of God’s Grace and Truth, the person grows, the family is provided, and the community experiences the richness of our Creator’s wealth. A capitalistic system just makes it easier for you and your neighbor to enjoy more of the fruits of your labor.

So don’t blame capitalism for our problems and think a better system would be socialism or another ism. Instead, focus on the Source who made every good and profitable system in the universe today. Connect with Him and allow your roots to be fed and nourished through Him. You will come to experience the richness and Shalom of life within Him and through Him.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

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

Vocational Discipleship – Following Christ in the Workplace.

So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:17 ESV.

Church is in session. No, not just Sunday morning within your faith community, but also 24/7 within your workplace.

When you come to the realization that ‘Church’ as described through the pages of the Bible is not a building nor a institution, but people coming together in community, it changes everything. For starters, it unlocks one’s mind to the work of God. Typically, his saints assemble together to worship, pray, and learn the Word. But is the format followed by your local faith community the only way “to do church?”

If church is people, and people assemble together for various reasons, and people worship God in various manners, who are we to question the format that is followed? There are common themes mentioned throughout the Bible when saints come together. they may pray, sing, and share the Word with each other (Col.3:16). Jesus himself mentioned that real worship is done in spirit and truth (John 4:24). But how can this be done in today’s workplace?

What about the small group Bible study that meets once a week around lunch time? Isn’t this church in session? What about a private business whose executive team are strong believers? As they speak, make decisions, and serve their customers from a heart of godliness, are they not worshipping their heavenly Father by doing his Will on earth as in heaven? What about the prayers being offered for each other during the day? What about the music one is listening to with earplugs while preparing a financial spreadsheet? How about the mini-counseling sessions taking place at the water fountain where the foundation is God’s Word? And more importantly, how about the actions of believers being constantly displayed through the good times and tough times? Aren’t we witnessing the gospel message to others through our words, motives, and behavior?

The workplace is our mission field. But more so, where two or more are gathered together, a community of Christ-followers are doing Church with their Lord among them (Matt. 18:20). It may be unorthodox. It may not fit into a 20th century mold. But when a community of believers gather together and worship their God with the gifts and talents He gave us for His glory, isn’t this Church in session? When Biblical principles, attitudes, and behavior are displayed as a living testimony for others to witness, isn’t this Church in session? When the Word is being preached without being spoken, isn’t this Church in session?

Don’t limit God. Instead let the world see what Church is truly all about: the love of God in community serving others and praising Him for His glory. Yes, even in the marketplace.

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

 

Pop Theology

“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 ESV.

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Pop psychology, fantasy football, and social networks have one thing in common. They distort reality. A little knowledge may make one feel invincible for the moment. Professionals know. They cringe whenever another book is written to provide a simple solution to a complex problem. It only makes their role more challenging. Or general managers of sports franchises laugh when one compares their role with the football fan who gains a little knowledge of building a winning team. And of course, social networks make one feel connected with others even though the person on the other end may not be who they present themselves to be. Yet each industry fulfills a need and thereby creates a large following enriching its creators.

Christianity in the western world is no different. We have distorted the knowledge of who God is through our pop theology. Typically a well-meaning author slices a small piece of the Gospel message into a short statement to emphasize its value. Instead of digging deeper into the subject matter, most of us simply take the musical one note and build our internal heavenly vault. Over time though we become frustrated. Instead of experiencing a full, enriching life with God, we struggle with anxiety and begin questioning whether or not Christianity really works.

Take, for example, the concept of Holiness. Western Theology has built a view of God based on a moral science of law. So when we discuss a Holy God, western theology generally speaks about Holiness as defined along the lines of righteousness. When one takes this legal view of God, our view of God becomes distorted. Instead of a loving Father, God becomes a judge looking to punish people. This one attribute of God then becomes our distorted major view of who God is.

However when one comes to know who God truly is, one comes to see Father-Son-Spirit as a mutual supporting Being full of love, joy, and peace. A God who is full of grace for others. A God who is for you, not against you. A God who created the entire universe and included you in His plan to share His life with you. Holiness isn’t defined any longer from a legal aspect, but from a relational sphere within the Triune God. God is Holy. Holiness is simply the full reflection of the total divine nature of God Himself.

So be careful of pop theology. Seek to understand the foundation of any statement that emphasizes one point of the gospel. Realize it is only one small part of a larger picture. And of course, continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ so you will not fall victim to the latest pop fad.

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