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!


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How Does God Generally Introduce Himself To Us?

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Rm 10:14 ESV.

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Through others.

Whether it is the spoken word, written word, or visual word, God works with and through people for humanity’s sake. As one listens and observes, we analyze and reach conclusions based on the evidence we acquire. Yet unlike all great scientists, our hypothesis is often built on faulty reasoning instead of objective reality.

Because of our inherent prejudices and bruised heart, we allow our hidden anger and pain to blind us from Him. We generally place God in a human box. Rather than opening our minds to the possibilities of someone more intelligent, more powerful, and more effective than ourselves, we look for the evidence from a limited mindset.

God is always here, and there. I don’t understand how. Maybe it is because I am a limited, tiny, physical spot in this universe. But through observation, I’m always pleasantly in awe while He is attending to my world, He is also working with my sister on the other side of the planet.

Since most of us are wired differently but alike, God meets us where we are at. Most of the time when we are broken and need a miracle, He comes along and we reach out for him. Since we can’t touch him or hold him we may still feel alone. Yet, after He responds and our circumstances change for the better, we may or may not stop to reflect on what just happened. If we did, we may truly experience for the moment what grace is all about. Him working, not us.

As we experience answers to pray, unusual circumstances coming together for a positive outcome, and unbelievable favor bestowed upon us by others, our eyes and mind become more attune to a Force at work. Welcome to the presence of God.

As we begin to discover ways to better communicate with each other, a trust building relationship is built over time. Yes God woos you until you notice Him. When you do, you will eagerly find ways to invest more time together like lovers of the night.

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!

 

Pray For What?

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Mt. 6:7 ESV.

heart

“The best prayers are short and to the point.” Those are the words from one of my early mentors. Somewhere between then and a few years later, that advice was forgotten. I came to the point where I would pray, and pray, and pray, and pray heaping empty phrases on top of one another. Then one day a revelation.

God knows what we need before I even made the request. So why do we think with many more words we can manipulate God to grant us our wishes?

Don’t even go there.

Instead, pray like Jesus did. Pray for the Father’s heart.

God can do more and better than you and I anyway. When we realize that Jesus is our intercessor (Heb. 7:25) and perfects our prayers to our Heavenly Father, why heap more and more empty words on top of the other. Instead, ask your Heavenly Father in your own simple words. Jesus will improve them. And the Holy Spirit will likewise share in the process to make them more effective.

Remember, it is not about you or me. It is about the Triune God. Pray seeking His heart in all matters. In the process you will come to know God more abundantly, and you will experience his Will; which is even better than what you asked in the first place.

So what to pray for? How about His Heart on the matter.

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!

Find a Mentor

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” Psalm 32:8 ESV

mentorship 2

In a conversation with several business men and women, the question was asked “what is the one thing you would do differently if you could relive life over again in the business world?”   My reply startled some of the them and made others quickly reevaluate their situation. For my answer was simple; “to follow the Holy Spirit’s lead in all my business undertakings.”

Even though I surrendered to Lord Jesus at 17 years of age, my understanding of how business, ministry, and faith integrated was almost non-existent.  I did not understand how my “business life” could be a ministry that glorifies God and serves others for the common good. At the time church pastors were not teaching about it and there were very few resources that addressed the idea. It has taken many years, much prayer, and sacrificial work searching to discover how this integration works. I often consider that if I had a mentor, how different things might have been.

That is why I now encourage men and women today to diligently seek-out spiritual business mentors willing to coach them on how to fully integrate all aspects of life that leads to the most adventurous journey rooted in Jesus Christ. Ask your pastor to refer someone. Ask someone in your congregation that you know is both success in business and has a heart for God. There are many who talk about faith in business, but there are few in comparison who “walk the talk.”

When you find that mentor, you will find an advisor and a spiritual guide who will assist you through the many challenges and opportunities that will come before you. They are not to make your decisions for you. They are there as a sounding board because they have already gone through the battlefield of spiritual warfare in the marketplace. You will find a mentor will increase your learning curve and move you faster toward achieving your dreams while staying true to God’s purpose for your life.

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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

YOU, Inc

 

“Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path; for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul; discretion will watch over you, understanding will guard you, delivering you from the way of evil, from men of perverted speech, who forsake the paths of uprightness to walk in the ways of darkness, who rejoice in doing evil and delight in the perverseness of evil, men whose paths are crooked, and who are devious in their ways.” Proverbs 2: 9:15 ESV

you inc 1

Everyone of us can be viewed as an incorporated entity: a YOU, Inc. As the CEO of YOU, Inc. you have talents, abilities, and skills that you market and operate with each day. Your impact toward those around you is a direct correlation between how well you exercise your God-given attributes to solve the problems of those you serve.

One of the primary function of every CEO of YOU, Inc. is to make decisions. Your ability to make wise judgments that impact your future and the future of those around you separates the mature adult from the immature child.

Since we are apprentices of Jesus, we are likewise being prepared for leadership in the world tomorrow (Rev. 5:10, 20:6). The one function of all leaders is to make godly decisions. The Bible even states when the righteous are in positions of leadership, good happens. (Proverbs 2) When decisions are based on eternal values, the people rejoice. When decisions are made like Solomon (1 Kings 3:16:28), people nod their heads in approval. When decisions are based on reality that includes the heavenly and earthly, even the angels rejoice (Luke 15:10).

We are all being trained to make wise decisions. One discipline that is practiced by many apprentices is through the continual reading of Scripture. For example, some read the Book of Proverbs on a monthly cycle; one chapter for each day of a 31 day month. Others make it a habit to read the entire Bible each year via a different translation. Then others study the interaction
of people within scriptures to better understand the problem, the solution implemented, and the outcome.

When one has a clear focus of God’s domain, a deep commitment for the Divine life, and abide heavily in Christ, one learns good from evil. One learns Godly values that produce fruitful results. One learns to view life through the eyes of the God of the universe.

Bottom-line: If you want to learn the art of making better choices, exercise your prerogative of learning from the best teacher of decision making: Jesus Christ.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Founder & Executive Director
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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Faith of Christ

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” Galatians 2:16 KJV

faith 1

So many translations; so many different opinions. What is a person suppose to believe?

There is debate among Biblical scholars that the verse in Galatians 2:16 is correctly written in the King James Version. Newer Bible versions have altered the meaning by using the word “in” versus “of.” (I have underline the two places above). The problem is the meaning. When we use the word “of” we are placing the emphasis on Jesus’ faith. When the word “in” is used, we are placing the emphasis on our faith.

I will leave the scholarly details for those who are better trained to educate. Instead, I will simply say that I lean toward the KJV interpretation because it makes more sense from a holistic basis.

If I am justified based on my faith, than what is the difference between human works of law and human works of faith? Both employ an emphasis on saving oneself by oneself.

On the other hand, if I am justified by the faith of Christ, than it is not my work, but Christ’s work. He made it all happen and grants us the grace to accept it.

My part is to believe in Him. He lived, died, and was resurrected on our behalf. He is the cornerstone. The faith or trust that I have in Jesus is because He did it, is doing it, and will accomplish it. He made it all possible.

Even the faith that I have in him is a gift from him. Through the Holy Spirit, he has empowered us to believe. Yes, I had to acknowledge that Jesus is who he claims to be. Yes, I had to ask for the Holy Spirit. And yes, I submit to the authority of the Father/Son/Spirit.

It is a relief that my tiny belief is being upheld by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Isn’t that simply a breath-taking, grace-filled, and life-giving fact that makes one more thankful and grateful for our Triune God sharing His life with us without heaping religious burdens on us? I for one am more at peace for placing trust in Jesus’ faith than in my own. How about you?

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
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

Living in God’s Presence

“…And behold, I (Jesus) am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 ESV

presence 3

Want to participate in the greatest adventure of life?
Want an accountability partner that understands you?
Want to be held by a higher standard?
Is so, live in the presence of God.

The other day, the worship leader invited God into the church service. My thought was “isn’t He here already?”

The preacher standing on the street corner with his sign predicting the end of the world shouted, “God wants nothing to do with you until you repent.” Which begs the question: doesn’t God gracefully provide rain and sunshine to the just and unjust?

The business owner after a very profitable year asks the pastor “how much do I need to donate to the church to keep receiving God’s blessings?” Which leads to another question: Is our relationship with God built on a contractual arrangement or a grace-filled, loving Father?

When one begins to understand the good news of Jesus Christ, one relishes the joy of living in His Presence. When the self is denied, the personal cross is carried, and we follow Jesus wherever He leads us, the world begins to look differently.

When we realize that every person we meet has been reconciled and included by Jesus Christ at the cross, Kingdom values take over. As we meet people, we prayerfully seek to discover how the Spirit is working with the person. We seek ways to love the person as Christ loves us; through service. Our objective is to witness Jesus to the person without words. To allow the Spirit to convict and introduce the person to the savior of the world.

As we enter the marketplace, we seek to participate with Jesus in the work we do. We strive to balance excellence with love as a witness of God’s Kingdom economy. In everything we do, we acknowledge Him. We prayerfully ask, seek, and knock for solutions in business and relationships. We judge no one; not even ourselves. We live fully accountable to Jesus.

When wrong, he will discipline us. When right, he will help us to keep humble as we know it all comes from Him. Where we lack faith, we will rely on his. When love flickers, we ask Him to intercede. When walking, bicycling, or driving, we communicate with Him. We seek ways to bring glory to Him. As we place our trust in Him, he reveals Himself through the people and means that come our way. We become more aware of His work in the world. We seek ways to participate with His purposes. Wherever we fail, he is there to carry us through to the very end.

He is always with us. He is always available and nearer to you than you and I even realize. Be glad to live in His presence each and every day.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
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