“Jesus Christ is the Good News!”

“Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Acts 8:35 ESV.

good-news

The Good News is about the person Jesus Christ, His relationship with Father God, and the inclusion of humanity within the Triune God circle.

In the last century, the gospel message has quietly shifted away from the person of Jesus and toward the events of His life. Rather than emphasize his personhood, his incarnation, and his connection with Almighty God, the message we most often hear today reflects the events of his life. Most specifically his death and resurrection. Both acts are significant. However, both events are important solely because of who HE IS.

Again, these last several hundred years, the gospel message has shifted away from the Triune God (Trinity) toward a moralistic Holy God. Today when asked to describe God, many people would first state He is a Holy Being. The Holiness concept though emphasizes a God of righteousness rather than a God of relationship. Today’s main stream view of God has more to do with rules and regulations than unconditional love, unlimited joy, and overflowing peace.  Many people still view God as a stern, faraway grandfather figure rather than a Heavenly Father whose desire is an abiding, familial relationship with His adopted children.

Likewise, the good news of the Incarnation has been displaced by the passion of the Cross. Rather than emphasize the inclusion of the incarnation, today’s preachers like to highlight the god of sin and the accomplishment of the cross. Again, the personhood of Jesus seems to take a second position even at the cross.

As stated, the Good News is more about the person Jesus Christ than an event in his life. For instance, if the Good News was solely about his death, why did he wait thirty some years before dying. Couldn’t he have died earlier as a two year old babe under Herod’s killing of children in Bethlehem after His birth?  Again, the Good News in not just about His resurrection. Yes, like all the events in his personhood, they fulfilled Scripture and His eternal plan for humanity. However, if He wasn’t God become human, all He achieved would be worthless for mankind.

Could there be more about Jesus than you ever realized? Paul writes in 1 Corinthians that God was reconciling the world through Jesus’ life. For example, when Jesus was baptized, he didn’t do it for himself, but for you and I. When Jesus walked in obedience to His Father, again he didn’t do it just for himself, but for you and I. When Jesus exercised faith, again he also did it for you and I. The Incarnation is Jesus wrapping human flesh around his Godhead. From then onward, humanity became permanently connected with Jesus Christ. He entered humanity’s darkness and walked out victorious for your sake and mine. As water baptism pictures, you and I are included with Christ in his life, death, and resurrection.

His ministry also restored the truth of His Father and the mutual submissive love relationship which existed between both.  In addition, His personhood is also the bridge that connects you and I with His Father. And since we are connected with Jesus, everything He has done or will do includes you and me. The Bible states approximately three hundred times that you and I are “in Christ.” Such statements remind you and I that we have a personal union with Him, that we participate with Him in His life, that we are also incorporated with Him in fellowship with others, and most importantly, our identity is found in HIM.

This is the Good News.

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

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Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

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Change The World With Christ

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Revelations 21:5 ESV.

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Everything begins and ends with Jesus Christ. He is the Alpha and the Omega. The First and the Last. He was there at the Big Bang. He was there when the earth was remodeled for the current age. And he will be there when we enter into the new age.

Christmas is a time to reflect on the beginning of the earthly arrival of the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Though he entered the world as a babe approximately 2,000 years ago, today he resides as the first Man-Spirit mediating between our Father God and humanity in heaven.

The Good News is God became Man, lived a vicarious life, died, physically resurrected and morphed into a spiritual being. His obedient life and death was the primary investment allowing humanity to participate in his achievement. Today, being his follower means he shares his wealth and accomplishments with us. His victory means victory for us. His life, death, and resurrection means life and resurrection for us. He gladly calls us his brothers and sisters. We have been eternally adopted into His Family.

As Christ-followers, we have been given a commission to make other disciples from all races and ethnic groups. Everyone is included. As we accept who Jesus is, we gladly serve Him as our King. As King, the entire world is literally owned by Him. Every social institution is answerable to Him. They may rebel against His authority, but then they will have to answer to His final judgment. For we have a King who has proven himself over and over again among his own.

He surrendered all to His heavenly Father when he left eternity to become a babe. He grew in stature before God and Man. He revealed his heavenly Father to us. Yes, Christmas isn’t about family, presents, and self-indulgence anymore. Today it is about King Jesus preparing a people to rule and serve with Him. Just like God opened the doors for Him to share in His Father’s Work, Jesus is allowing us to participate with Him in His Work. He is the reason for the season. He is still making everything new. But this time He is including you and me.  Merry Christmas!

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!


Copyright 2016 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

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?

jesus 1

“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