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

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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.

 

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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

Be Fruitful

Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it… ESV.

Colossians 1:9-10 – we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God… ESV.

 

fruitful

God’s first instructions to mankind taken from Genesis 1:28 was to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” Nothing has changed since then except humanity’s natural inclination to first try it their way.

At the very beginning of man’s timeline, our heavenly Father gave us the personal responsibility to exercise wisdom, imagination and creativity to manage His earthly domain for Him.  The Bible calls it stewardship.

Like the manager of a company given the responsibility to grow the business for the owner, we likewise have been given the assignment to improve the world around us. When we take the focus away from ourselves and on others, we find needs to be satisfied. As a steward, we analyze the resources at our disposal and best deploy them toward satisfying the needs of others. In business, we receive the reward of developing a relationship with a person who becomes our customer. Through this process, we are financially compensated that allows us to purchase the resources we need to do it again and again. As we keep repeating the process, our client base grows, our resources under management grows, and the more people we can serve.

The challenge for most of us is locating that sweet spot where our natural gifts and talents intersect the needs of others and is fueled by our passion. Some of us may not recognize what our strengths are; others have placed mental or emotional limits on themselves; and then others are so wrapped up in themselves that they are blind to the need of others.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians mentioned his prayer for them was that God may supply the strength and internal fortitude to walk with our Lord and be fruitful in their work. Maybe some of us (if not all) need to invest more time praying for the same resources. Maybe we are not as fruitful as we can be because we are trying to accomplish our dreams apart from God. Maybe instead of striving for more, working longer hours, and chasing after dollars, we ask Him to show us how to rest in Him and learn from Him how to be more fruitful. Most of us will become pleasantly surprised how He has a way to open doors, bring people into your world, and generate opportunities beyond our wildest imagination.

God wants you to be fruitful in your work. But more than this, He also wants you to be fruitful in His relationship with you. Make Him the center of your life and then watch how He showers you with His fruitful Grace and Presence in your corner of the galaxy. For wherever He goes, the world around Him grows more fruitful.

This is the reason Jesus stated in John 15:5 that you will bear much fruit as long as you remain in 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

Do Good

1 Peter 2:15 – For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. ESV.

Imagine a world where every person’s focus is to seize opportunities to do good for the person next to them!

It comes more natural with those who are close to us, but how about those people not within our inner circle?

Not our next door neighbor, but our next, next door neighbor; not the person who we have similar interests; but the one whom we have nothing in common.

Want to intentionally be more Christ-like? Why not set a goal of touching at least one other person each day with a little goodness? Ask God to lead you and watch a three-fold cord become strengthen: your relationship with the Triune God, your relationship with another person, and God’s relationship with each of you.

Also in a way, to do good in response to evil thrown your way allows you to imitate our Heavenly Father who does the same every day. Besides, it may be kind of fun to watch the perplexed face of others when you respond with goodness rather than retaliate with a form of violence (Romans 12:20-21).

Every movement begins when one person makes the commitment to act. Therefore, why not form a committee of one (you) and with Christ, go change your corner of the universe by planting seeds of goodness?

Besides, isn’t the Christian life an adventure of sharing God’s goodness with each other anyway?

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