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

 

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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

Business Is Ministry

“There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.” 1 Corinthians 12:5 NIV.

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Sometimes we cause problems for others without realizing the impact of our words or actions. Those who have a platform to impact others will give an account for their work. This includes Church pastors, Bible teachers, and ignorant believers.

I include ignorant believers with pastors and teachers under the assumption that they are believers but at times may be ignorant of the subject matter. This is so true when it comes to the Body of Christ outside of the four walls of an organized faith community.

Somewhere, someone once taught that Pastors and missionaries are the most important roles in the world today. That CEO’s, government leaders, and moms are secondary in God’s eyes. Yet when one truly understands the Bible and the work of the Holy Spirit, one may want to step back and evaluate the importance of each.

Jesus himself stated that man shall not live by bread alone but with every word that comes from the mouth of God. He didn’t elevate one over the other but considered both important for the human experience.

The church mission is important. So is the mission of business, education, government, etc. If people didn’t focus on building houses, hospitals, schools, roads, clothes, and farms, would we even consider God’s word?

Business is a ministry because business serves the needs of people. The word ministry simply means service. God instructed us to serve one another. We serve one another by providing material and spiritual food for each other. We serve one another by sharing and adding value to God’s creation.

All the gifts of the Holy Spirit also operate outside of the four walls of a church community. The gift of leadership is exercised as a witness within the public forum. Like any gift, it may be used to glorify God or for selfish pursuit. Whether behind a pulpit or a corporate boardroom, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are shared for the means of serving others and glorifying God, or solely for personal gain.

Church is in session outside of the four walls of a faith community for more hours than one hour Sunday morning. The only difference may be sermons are being preached through the attitudes and actions of Christ-following CEO’s, CFO’s, COO’s, senior managers, supervisors, and technicians throughout the day. Instead of praising God through music, these people are praising God through their God-given gifts of service creating new start-ups, jobs, and products for the masses.

Contrary to many pastors who have gone through their denominational, institutional training, there are many different ways to conduct a church service. What they may be comfortable with is simply one way. Could it be possible that a business model led by Spirit-filled believers could also be a church service? A place to worship our great God? A place to learn how faith, love, and hope play out in the real world? A place where the offering is self-sacrificing service to others?

Sometimes we need to take a step back and look at how BIG our God is and realize that the world is our pastoral home. That business is only another way for believers to serve their King, His subjects, and His domain. God’s world, His church, and His people can change the culture around them; but only when the Body of Christ removes the self-imposed limits and allow God’s Kingdom to expand outside the four walls of a faith community.

 

 

Values, Beliefs, Relationships

“If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.” I Corinthians 3:14 ESV.

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What is the foundation of your life? And how do you focus your energy toward building upon it?

After a 30+ year career in corporate America (and still going), plus 40+ years following Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, I’ve learn many lessons the hard way. One of those lessons include how to determine what is more important for the long term.

I’ve seen short-term solutions that caused severe long-term problems. I’ve also seen solutions that blessed everyone involved in the matter. Not winners-losers, but winners everywhere.

The core of those favorable long-term solutions were built on Biblical values. They were deliberate decisions based on Biblical beliefs. In addition, those decisions that placed the importance on relationships proved invaluable over and over again.

Yes there were temporary setbacks. However, in most cases, they were just timing situations that had to be worked through.

If a young person entering the business profession today asked me, “What areas should I invest most of my personal development toward”?  I would simply reply: seek out Eternal values, base your beliefs on reality as revealed by the Triune God through the pages of the Bible, and learned everything you can about how to be a blessing for others.

These three friends when chosen and acted upon will open the doors for you to see opportunities, improve your relationships with others, and give you a mental perspective attuned to the living God. In other words, which values, beliefs, and relationships will lead you toward a life worth living?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

Who Do You Trust?

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalms 28:7 NIV.

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The best marketing tool any person or organization has at their disposal is available to all. It doesn’t require a college degree, large capital investments, nor a unique sales strategy. It is as old as the universe, but as young as a new born baby. When employed it saves time, paperwork, and builds strong relationships for a life time. It is a five letter word that needs to be exercised in every conversation and repeated out loud when negotiations seem to be falling apart.

That word is TRUST.

Trust is becoming a rare commodity in today’s world. We have witnessed the disintegration of the marriage relationship; the hostility between races; and the ineffectiveness of governments around the world. Whenever trust is broken, lives are shaken. Dreams are dismantled. Both parties become losers – some in the short term, others in the long term.

Former president Ronald Reagan is given credit for resurrecting the phrase “Trust but verify.” Maybe we all need to practice this concept more often with the people in our world.  In fact, maybe we need to first begin the process with the Creator of the universe. Do we truly Trust Him?

His #1 seller the Bible provides multiple scriptures of the relationship between Him and His people and the importance of Trust. There are a multiple of scriptures where God wants us to trust him. And how do we learn to trust Him? One way is simply to put Him to the test. For starters, don’t ask him for something to spend it on yourself (James 4:3). Instead ask for the sake of others. Learn to lean on Him. Take baby steps. Ask, Seek, Knock (Luke 11:9-10).

Trust is built over time. It is two people coming together and first agreeing on the primary principle of the matter. From there, the talk is verified with action. The action leads to more talk. More talk leads to more action steps. Trust is slowly built after both sides verify each other’s action and witness the true character of the other person. When the real character appears, only then can we know how far we can truly rely on the other person’s words and actions.

So no matter if it’s a business matter, a family matter, or a governmental matter,  trust is the glue that strengthens, magnifies, and unleashes the potential in all relationships. Let trust be your friend today.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

How Many Words Does It Take?

The more words, the more vanity, and what is the advantage to man? Eccl 6:11 ESV.

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How many words are enough?

Ever found yourself in a situation where you tried to talk yourself out of? Whether being pulled over by the police for speeding, or caught by your significant other with your hand in the cookie jar, we try to justify ourselves by heaping words upon words. How has that worked for you?

When you are trying to persuade someone to your way of thinking, do you continue to heap words upon words hoping that the person will collapse from the mere weight of them?

When you find yourself in a conversation when silence blasts loudly in your ear, do you have to open the mouth so noise comes out or can you refrain and enjoy the quietness for the moment?

Most of the time it is not how many words we convey that matters. What truly matters is if we care, are open to the other person’s point of view, and respect the person for their opinion. Many times by asking the key questions and listening will lead you to accomplish more than battling with a maze of words.

Ever notice in many of Jesus’ dialogue with others, he was short and direct to the point. He didn’t try to outweigh others with more words. Instead the few words used hit their mark and he allowed the Spirit to work within the life of the other.

The book of Proverbs also states several times that even the fool when silent looks wise.

So the next time you are tempted to out talk the other person, stop, listen, and choose your questions carefully. Totally understand their point of view before succinctly giving yours.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

What is Real Servant-Leadership?

       “But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” Luke 22:26 ESV.

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There was a time in the business world where organizational guru’s came out of the closet teaching that we need to become more like Jesus in our leadership role. Companies took the principle from Scripture and a new wave of management sprung forth. However, like many guru’s who have gone before they neglected to teach the entire subject. Instead of expounding on the entire subject matter of servant-leadership as practiced in God’s Kingdom, they took away the substance of leadership and left behind only the form.

The example of Jesus’ leadership style is a case of point. Yes, Jesus practiced what he preached. He came to serve others rather than to be served. His entire ministry was about teaching and serving those around him. However, he didn’t give people what they wanted solely because they asked.

Jesus admitted more than once that he could do nothing apart from God. That he did as his Father led him. He practiced servant-leadership by first finding out what his Father wanted done and doing it. In other words, servant-leadership apart from God is simply people pleasing. The works Jesus did he did through the power of the Holy Spirit. He was simply the conduit. He served others likewise because he was on a mission from his heavenly Dad.

Real servant-leadership is serving others with Jesus Christ. It is asking him for direction. It is seeking his Will on the matter. When we serve others without Christ’s input, we are simply in the people pleasing business. But are we pleasing Christ? Maybe Jesus has other plans for this person’s life? Maybe instead of serving the other person, we may be inhibiting the work of God and making it more difficult for the person in the long run. Maybe, we are manipulating the situation for our sake rather than allowing Jesus to truly invade the person’s life.

So next time you want to practice servant-leadership which is the way the Kingdom of God operates under, be sure you first have your King’s marching orders in place. Otherwise, you are not serving the person with Jesus. Instead you may be serving the person apart from God’s intention for him or her. Remember, Real Servant Leadership works. Just don’t throw away the baby with the bath water.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend need some Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!