Jesus Is Lord

“Therefore let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” Acts 2:36 ESV.

 

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How do you know whether or not you are a Christian? Is it because someone told you that you are? Is it because you do everything that the good Book says too? Or is it because you know you have surrendered to King Jesus proven by the spiritual fruit in your life? Paul writes that no one is capable of saying from the heart that “Jesus is Lord” unless they are being led by the Spirit of God. How about you?

Have you acknowledge Lord Jesus as Boss in your life? Does He have last say in every area of your life? Or are you simply giving him lip service? Or are you like many who simply give him one hour per week and the remaining time is yours to rule?

These are tough questions. If we are honest with each other, we will acknowledge that he rules certain parts of our personal domain, but there are other parts that we still struggle with. He may be Lord of my values, principles, and goals, but is He also Lord of my ambitions, business affairs, and entertainment choices?

Some people falsely think that if they totally surrender to Lord Jesus, that they will end up as a missionary in Timbuktu. That they will have to sell everything and give it to the poor. That they will never marry or raise a family. Or…the list is endless.

The truth of the matter is when one surrenders to Lord Jesus and places their trust in Him, real life only then begins. God knows our strengths and weaknesses. He made us for a purpose. We may think we know what that purpose is. However, he knows how our purpose aligns with his Kingdom plan. Typically, many see our purpose solely as an economic, valueless piece of machinery in this world’s system. We don’t have a clue where and how we fit into His invisible Church unless He reveals it to us. Yet many of us are afraid to trust Him. We want his favor but are challenged by his requirements.

Total surrender to the King means we give up any “rights” we think we possess. Those rights of course only are made available because of Him. However, we rarely think from an eternal perspective. Our mind generally struggles to understand earthly advice. When we come to the place in our life where we can acknowledge Him as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then we have come to the place where earthly matter meets eternal bliss. The result is an intimate relationship with our elder Brother, Savior, and King. So don’t be afraid to surrender your hope, dreams, and allegiance to Lord Jesus. In hindsight, it will be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Your only regret will be that you had done it sooner.

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 your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Liar, Lunatic, or Lord?

Quote of the Week…


“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: “I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.”  That is the one thing we must not say.  A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.  He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell.  You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.  You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.  But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher.  He has not left that open to us.  He did not intend to.”  per C.L. Lewis

Reprint from March 15, 2013…

The Resurrection

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,…” 1 Peter 1:3

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What are the three “R’s” that came from Christ’s resurrection?

The first “R” is Reconciliation (Col. 1:19-20). Humanity may have divorced God when Adam & Eve rebelled against Him, but He initiated the first steps and completed the process of reconciling the divide between mankind and himself through the work of Jesus Christ.

The second “R” is Renewal (Titus 3:5). After Jesus’ resurrection, he fulfilled his promise of providing us with a Comforter and Counselor who will not only direct us into all truth, but will renew our hearts into the image of our Creator.

The third “R” is Restoration (I Peter 5:10). Throughout Israel’s history and even Jesus’ ministry, God demonstrated his purpose to restore life back to his original intent. Ever notice when Israel collapsed into darkness, God pulled them back. When people came to Jesus for healing, he would restore their health and life back again. God has been and is in the restoration business.

This Easter, you may want to take time out and read chapter fifteen of Corinthians. Paul writes in greater detail what the resurrection means to us. He summarizes the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection and describes its impact into our personal lives. My suggestion is prayerfully read it asking God to open your mind and heart to capture the vision and meaning in your life today.

And yes, there is an unofficial fourth “R”. It is a Reminder that God created us to enjoy life in Him, with Him, and for Him. Happy Easter!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, 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

The Cross

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” I Corinthians 1:18 ESV

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What happened on the Cross the day Jesus died?

The sacrificial system stopped.

The broken relationship between God and humanity was restored.

The guilt and shame of the fall was replaced with freedom and liberty.

The war of good over evil was won.

The human race was redeemed from Satan.

Just a simple reminder for those of us that sometimes forget or take for granted the impact of Jesus’ life & sacrifice.

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, 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

Preach What?

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“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12 ESV

 

The other day a pastor on TV emphasized that He preaches the Bible. Another preacher on the other station states that he preaches Jesus Christ. It raised the question. Which is the message of the Kingdom? The Bible or Jesus Christ?

Whenever one elevates the Bible or equates the written word with the personal Word, my historical journey is recalled and danger flags are now waved. It begs the question, how do you interpret the Bible? What is the basis of your preaching? Is the main thing the Bible or who the Bible points to?

When a person preaches Jesus Christ as Savior, Messiah, and Lord, the focus in on the main thing – Jesus. The Bible introduces the reader to Jesus. The Incarnate Jesus reveals God to us. As we read and study the life, work, and heart of Jesus, we learn more about God. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we learn to follow in his steps. As we study the Bible through a Jesus-centered Triune God worldview, we have a more solid basis of interpreting scripture.

Our focus is to build a stronger relationship with the eternal God. The Bible is simply a means to this end.

Our partnership and participation is with Jesus; not the Bible. He is redeeming humanity; not the Bible. Our job is to abide and follow Him. To listen to His word as He communicates to us. The Bible serves as a means for God to communicate to us through His Spirit. As we read and study the inspired word, we are open to hear his voice. As we learn to hear his voice through scripture, we are more attuned to recognize Him during the activities of the day. It is His Spirit that inspires us, encourages us, and opens us up to serve those around us.

Again, the Bible is the means, not the message. The message is Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His Domain. Secondary, but including in that message is how we participate with Him through the sanctification phase.

Jesus is the reason we have the Bible. Therefore, if the preaching is not centered around Jesus Christ, be careful. If the message doesn’t explain how Jesus is the foundation of your growth, service, and faith, be on guard. If the emphasis is on what you need to do and not what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do, be suspect. Remember, Jesus came with good news; not more burdens, yokes, and hurdles for you to climb.

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

Tweet Gospel

“…there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:7

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Twitter is one of those modern techno gadgets that I haven’t had time nor desire to take on at this season of life. My understanding is that one communicates the word in a short fashion using abbreviations and special codes. The entire sentence is limited to approximately 120 letters/numbers/characters. Since I have a difficult time communicating with 400 words via a blog, it probably will be a while before we attempt to tweet.

Yet, when I hear the gospel being preached through radio, television, or the pulpit, I sometimes feel that the good news of Jesus Christ is being limited in its presentation, just like a tweet. Instead of sharing the entire message of Jesus Christ, we only share one aspect of it. Usually that aspect is the forgiveness of sin. Though it is one reason that Jesus broke time and space as a human person, it is only one reason. And in my opinion, it isn’t the main reason.

For example, when one reads the four gospel accounts of Jesus, his message wasn’t solely about the forgiveness of sin. He introduced himself as the King of a government – The Kingdom of God. Some theologians like to only speak about the kingdom in our hearts and forget that the Kingdom He spoke about was also the fulfillment of the Messiah prophecies of an universal order that included heaven and earth. Kingdom reality is already here for those who are participating with Him in His work to restore creation back to His original intent.

In addition, when one reads the letters of Paul, one is introduced to God’s plan from the beginning of creation that included the adoption of humanity into the inner circle of the Triune God (Eph. 1:4). Before man was created and sinned, God already had a plan in motion. Sin and the forgiveness of sin was only a messy inkblot in His plan for the universe. His initial purpose was not to save us, but to adopt us into His world.

When we repent (change our mind of who God is and what He is doing) God impregnates us with his Spirit. As we abide in Christ, take up our cross, and follow Him, the Spirit begins to change our hearts and minds patterned after the character and attitude of Christ himself (2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Spirit of God begins to remove the darkness of sin from our life. The addictions, lies, self-righteousness, pride of life, vanity, anger, hatred is being replaced with the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the virtues of God.

There is also the good news of grace, freedom, justice, and resurrection. In other words, it is far more than just being saved from our sins and acquiring a one way ticket to heaven. It’s about people flourishing with other people within God’s governmental order. It’s about being adopted into a royal and priestly family that rules the universe. And yes, it’s about transformation – being prepared and equipped with the character of God to serve others and God now and for eternity.

The good news of Jesus Christ is truly more than we really know or imagine.

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

Let Christ Lead

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 ESV

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One of the traditions on January 1st is to establish a new goal for the coming year.

If you are one that makes such a commitment, how about making a covenant to focus more attention on hearing the word of God. No, I’m not saying spend more time reading the Word (though that wouldn’t hurt), or listening to more preaching (that always helps), but to actually spend time listening for God’s influence in your life.

One reason we read the Bible is to acquire knowledge of God’s Word. But knowledge doesn’t build faith. Hearing the Word builds the faith we need.  Otherwise, if God speaks to us, how do we know it is Him?

By reading the Word, we acquire a basic understanding of who God is. We study the life and relationship between Jesus, His Father, and the Holy Spirit. We pray to communicate with our heavenly Father. Though we may not know what to say, we are assured that Jesus intercedes on our behalf with the appropriate request.

Have you always wondered how a sermon is preached centered around a specific topic but when asked the congregation what the message was, you receive a multitude of various answers? Isn’t it amazing how the Spirit is working through the words spoken by the minister making it personal for each of us.

Have you ever prayed seeking an answer from God and the answer came from the most unusual circumstances?  How often the answer you seek comes through a person at the checkout counter at the grocery store? Confirmed by the officer who pulled you over for speeding the same day? And reconfirmed by your child at the dinner table? God speaks to us in many different ways. However, it helps to know His Word, His Character, and His method of operations to be more aware of His influence in our life. For some it may be a word. For others in may be a nudge. For some it may be an inspiration. Others it may be like a rainbow in the sky. For each of us grasp information in different ways.  Doesn’t God know the best way to communicate with us?

How about this year focusing on one thing in regards to the Lord? How about listening to Jesus Christ who lives in you and allow Him to lead you in every avenue of your life? Forget the rules. Acquire knowledge of His Word and then listen for him to show you how it applies in your entire life. That includes your marriage, your parenting, your business, and your community service. Invite Him into everything you do. Let Him lead you. You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.

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

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