To Serve and Govern

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6

So, when you get to heaven, what do you think you will be doing? Laying around on hammocks?  Taking short walks through the countryside? Fishing on your favorite river?

What does the Bible imply?

When Christ returns and we who have followed HIM in this life will be resurrected and join him in his plan for humanity. This is the first resurrection. As today’s Scripture indicates, we who are resurrected will be given assignments which involve being priests (serving ministers) and will reign (govern) with Jesus during the millennium.

Yes, we will be serving and governing God’s way.

So, what does that indicate you are learning now in this life to prepare you for eternity? Correct, we are learning how to serve and govern God’s way.

As married couples, we are learning to mutually serve one another. As parents, we are learning to govern our households. In the marketplace, we are learning to serve others through our work. In the community, we are likewise learning to serve when we volunteer to help a worthwhile mission. If we have been given the opportunity, we may also be learning to govern in the marketplace and community depending on our leadership abilities.

In fact, each day you and I are learning to become more effective leaders while serving and governing others. Not like this world teaches, but as Christ teaches. We lead and govern not by lording over another person, but humbly serving them from a position of love for our Father God’s glory. We realize each person we meet is a child of the living God and is likewise being trained in godly character. They may not realize the full importance nor accept the authority of the Triune God in their life yet, but in time who knows the future. Nothing is impossible for God.

So, the next time someone asks you what you will be doing in the world tomorrow. Let them know its what you are doing today – learning to serve and govern God’s way.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Christmas: A Time to Decide

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Christmas has changed over the years for me. In prior years, the commercial exchange of gifts took top priority. Today though, it has become more of a quiet, intentional, outreach time for a personal evangelical campaign.

I have also come to more appreciate the spirit of giving which still permeants throughout the season. People are more in a sharing and philanthropic mood as witness by many nonprofit charity campaigns raising the majority of their operating funds during this time of year.

From the Salvation Army Santa Claus standing by their red kettles ringing their bells, to Churches being full to capacity with family and friends coming together to hear at least one message about the Biblical Jesus Christ, I’ve now come to appreciate the season more for this prime reason. Christmas is a global reminder for everyone within the western and eastern world to take a minute and ask themselves the question, why is this Jesus important?

If you are a once a year church going member, then maybe you may have heard 20 to 60 messages in your lifetime about this Jesus who was born 2,000 years ago in a small Jewish town of Bethlehem. And maybe one of those messages led you to further investigate into his life. Somewhere along the line you came to the fork in the road where you had to decide. Is He who He claims to be or not? If so, am I willing to follow Him. If not, am I willing to accept the consequences of my actions?

Every person who breathes will have to make that decision. Yes, it is about making a choice. A commitment to follow a person who lived 2,000 years ago, started a movement with 12 unknowns that shaped a culture that keeps ticking and growing in the most unwelcome places throughout the centuries.

To believe God became man, lived among His creation for our benefit as a perfect human upholding all righteousness for our sake, dying, and then being resurrected with over 500 witnesses acknowledging this fact, and finally being lifted up into the heavens where He now lives being qualified as earth’s King, intervening for you and I before God, and just as mind blowing, His Spirit residing in you and I giving us His assurance and a taste of the heavenly delights of God’s character within us.

Totally unbelievable except proven over and over again by those who have surrendered to His Lordship. We, from all the saints in the 1st century to those of us today, have followed, tasted, and experienced the richness of living with the King every day. For some of us, it’s the great dance of life to have a relationship with the living God. For others, it’s simply to have a Father to lean on during those tough times. And for many, it may be a close, personal friend or brother to share life’s good and bad times.

Yes, Christmas is that time of year where God’s Spirit is on display for many to witness and decide whether or not Jesus Christ is who He claims to be. I for one am thankful for the decision to start following Him some fifty years ago. The knowledge, understanding, and wisdom obtained these years has gracefully changed over time as His Spirit lives within me and molds me into his character. This is one of many thoughts that I am reminded and thankful for this season of the year.  I hope you are too.    

Enjoy Christmas with your love ones! 

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 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Your Cross. Your Responsibility.

Luke 9:23

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

What is your cross?

As this Scripture indicates, to follow Jesus requires each of us to place our wants and desires secondary to Him, and accept daily our responsibility toward God and others.

But this still begs the question, what is your cross to carry?

Jesus’ daily cross was to fulfill the mission he accepted from the foundation of the world from His God. His daily exercise to cross the “T” and dot the “i” in a godly manner involved working in the carpentry shop before his public ministry and then the pronouncement and teaching of His Kingdom before others in the last three years of his earthly venture. He carried the responsibility of moving events toward his trial, execution, and resurrection. He laid the foundation for a Church to outlast history. His incarnate actions were done as a substitute for you and I. He reflected God’s intentions in all his actions and words. He learned obedience through his daily struggles. He experienced pain and suffering as a human. He knew the hatred others had for him yet lived each day resting in His Father’s Will and bore the responsibility of teaching and serving others in God’s name.

That was His cross. But what is the cross you carry?

As we mature in life, we begin to accept greater and greater responsibility. Some people seek it out which is normal in our earlier adult days. Others have responsibility thrusts upon them by others and either meet the call or succumb to its weight. Then others accept commitments toward a personal goal or relationship and hold themselves personally accountable toward fulfilling that decision.   

Your cross in the eyes of others may be a minor stone you have to carry each day. But to you the perception is the other way around. Your cross is a large boulder which requires all your strength and focus each day while your friend’s cross is a pocket stone. And they likewise see it the other way around.

Your cross may be the burden of a broken relationship; financial hardship caused by outside forces outside your control; or maybe the outcome of back to back poor decisions which has left you beaten, broken, and busted. Yet, these are the cards you have and Jesus says accept your situation and take the responsibility to fix it by following him toward your new future. You may be a single mom working three jobs and raising two children. You may be a widower in poor health caring for someone else who likewise is struggling through life. Or you may be an entrepreneur putting yourself together again after failing in your third business venture.

Your cross may be a defective health issue that has you struggling each day simply to get around. Or maybe even the threat of your life for leaving your previous religion to follow Jesus. And yet others, it may simply be to marry the person who birth your child out of wedlock and give them a father and home-life as a foundation for a successful life.

As a Christ follower, it is not about you. Each of us has a boulder to push, a mountain to climb, or an ocean to cross. To follow Jesus requires us to accept the responsibility of completing the race before us with all its obstacles. Not as a victim nor an evil rabble rouser, but as a child of the living God. As we accept personal responsibility for our actions, and trust Jesus to lead us via the Holy Spirit, we will find meaning and purpose with our life. In fact, you will find yourself growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ unto maturity as a believer and finisher of your faith.      

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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What Do You Worship?

Matthew 6:21††††††††††††††

Sometimes I question my personal value system.

There are days when I would rather have a pizza to cover the emotional pain, than take up the matter with our Lord. On other days, I would rather watch an evangelical preacher on TV then attend a worship service at our church. Then there are days I scream and shout and dance around a football game, but almost stand listless during a church praise session. What does this tell me about my heart at the moment?

I am human. As a human I am created after the image of the Creator God. Yet, many times I fail to live up to HIS standard of holiness. One minute I get a small taste of heaven. The next minute, I feel the pangs of hell. One day I am full with the Spirit of God experiencing the full measure of HIS presence. The next day, I am tired and empty and don’t care about anything or anyone. When I find something that grabs my attention, I am focused, disciplined, and persistent. Yet, there is also something in me that wants to take the easy way out. I may know what is the best solution, but execution of the goal becomes insurmountable. Instead of rolling up my sleeves and delving into the opportunity or challenge, I give into my inner desires and escape with a bag of potato chips.

Comfort food is my escape for the moment until the belt line presses against my favor pair of pants. Then it becomes a battle of starvation. Mentally I know a little hunger will not kill me, but why suffer a little pain. So, I grab a donut.

Satisfied for the moment, but the consequences add up. Instead of tasting the sweet aroma of victory, we again lose the battle. How many battles I have lost in this lifetime is any one’s guess. But I know it’s a lot. Yet someone keeps me going.

His name is Jesus Christ. His Spirit resides in me. And there is a war taking place between my desires and his vision. I’m disappointed at times because instead of surrendering the battle with HIM, my desires win the short-term struggle which means I lose momentum for the long-term vision HE has for me. Yet HIS Spirit doesn’t give up.

As I focus my attention on HIM, acknowledge HIS authority in my life, express my gratitude for everything HE has done for me, is doing for me, and will yet do for me, for HIS namesake, makes me want to praise and worship HIM even more and more. Every time I fail to live up to HIS expectations, HE pours out his grace unto me; undeservingly and generously. He is my Savior, Lord, Hero, Friend, and Brother. He is King of Kings.

As we walk through life’s journey, HE is repositioning our value system to match HIS. The stretching, uncomfortable pain, and disappointments we encounter are the processes of being HIS disciple. And as we are being morphed into HIS image, the more we praise HIM and lift HIM up to everyone we meet. HE has captured our heart and is our Treasure. WE worship HIM because of WHO HE IS rather than what he has done for us. Defeat is a temporary setback and doesn’t define us. Our God, through Jesus Christ and through the Holy Spirit identifies us and names us as HIS.

All glory, honor, and praise belong to HIM. Set your heart with HIM and let the treasures of HIS Kingdom always empower 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

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Ready, Willing, Able

Acts 9:10-12, 17

Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” And he said, “Here I am, Lord.”  And the Lord said to him, “Rise and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying,  and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.” …So, Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 

As you dance with the LORD, He is going to move you around the ballroom floor of earth with unexpected turns and twists. Are you ready? When your assignment is given, are you going to be physically and mentally able to accept and follow through? Have you enough trust in the LORD to willingly accept your assignment without fanfare and doubt?

Ananias was a disciple of Jesus. When he received a vision from him, he didn’t run or hide. Instead he had such a relationship with our LORD that he immediately recognized His voice. Now Ananias didn’t quickly accept his assignment. At first, he needed clarification that the person God had in mind was the same person who the saints were avoiding because of the harm he was doing to them. Saul was causing havoc among the disciples believing their destruction was best for the Jewish community. But God had other plans. So, God communicated his purpose for Saul.

Then Ananias got up, went and found Saul, and prayed laying his hands on him following God’s instruction. Saul, who later changed his name to Paul, regained his sight and became full of the Holy Spirit. God took a zealous enemy of the church and open the door for his purpose to continue.

Saul, with the pre-notification vision that a man named Ananias will lay hands on him and he will regain his sight waited in prayer. So, what do you think went through Paul’s mind when a disciple showed up in his house, named Ananias, with instructions from the Lord to lay hands on him so his sight will be restored?

Are we ready, willing, and able to serve God according to his desires and not ours?

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Mindfulness

Ephesians 4:23

…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind.

Mindfulness is one of those 21st century buzz words that recently came on the scene but its history is as old as mankind. Mindfulness is nothing more but focusing on the now rather than tomorrow or yesterday. It is capturing the moment; focusing your time and energy on what is in front of you today.

Many people are thinking about tomorrow and add worry emotions on their sleeve. Others live in anger and bitterness of events of yesterday. Both focusing on tomorrow or on yesterday makes one lose out on what is currently happening right now in your world in front of you.

How often do we commute to work and after our arrival don’t recall any of the events during our trip? Our minds were so deep in thought about something else that we missed everything we passed-by, the music and discussions on the radio/iPod, and even the aggressive drivers along the way.

How often are we so self-absorbed that we don’t recognize what is happening in the lives of people around us? Too add another dimension, how about what God is doing around you?

Our Triune God is always at work in the lives and circumstances around us. One of His characteristics is to invite people to assist Him in His endeavors.

The next time you find yourself speaking with someone, ask God to show you what He is doing in their life. In fact, instead of spreading your influence upon others, ask Him to help you to listen, watch, and observe what He is doing around you. After a while, you may pleasantly find your commute to and from work more enjoyable, entertaining, and eventful than you could ever imagine. You will find yourself praying in meetings asking God to lead you to better serve others. You will become more focused on what God is doing at the moment rather than living in your isolated world.

Don’t worry about tomorrow; you can’t change the past, but you can live to the full today.  It all begins by being more mindful on what is happening right in front of you at this very moment between God, you, and others.

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Best Vice is a Dead Vice

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

What is your secret sin? The one vice you keep hidden in the secret chambers of your heart. The one act or thought you continue to practice that if anyone ever discovered would bring shame and dishonor to you and your family.

Name your preferred poison. Is it alcohol? Drugs? Pornography? Adultery? Fornication? Workaholic? Anger? Gluttony? Laziness? Envy? Lust? Greed? Lying? Pride? Apathy? Boasting? Vulgarity? Ignorance? Anxiety? Fear? Etc., etc., etc.

The list is long and not new for humanity. Since the beginning of the Bible, carnal desires have been expressed with its harmful consequences. Whichever way we turn, sin unfolds its poisonous venom.

Who is without sin? Who does not walk surrounded by sin? As ugly as sin is though, it is not the problem, only the symptom. The real problem is living outside the Will of God instead of being solidly centered in an abiding relationship within Christ. And we all have been there and even now occasionally find ourselves taking detours into these construction areas of pain and sorrow.

But Who will deliver us?

The author of Romans emphasizes how Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection has changed the outcome for mankind. Death is no longer a permanent state of being. Life apart of Sin is now a reality through Jesus Christ. He has overcome Sin on behalf of all humanity. And this includes you and me.

Yet physical death awaits us all. Pain from the consequences of sin still remains. Sin, which is the outcome of living outside the Heart of God, still haunts us. How do we reconcile the grace-filled life from the sin-filled life?

Grace is greater than sin. As Paul writes in Romans, the more we sin, the more God’s grace is poured out upon us. Yet sin’s consequences have a price to be paid. Jesus paid the ultimate price for all of us. But every sin we commit now, though paid for in advance, still has it repercussions. Sin typically destroys relationships and the quality of life for the individual.

Like a smoker who sneaks outside for a quick one, those around us can smell your breath and the stench on your cloths. Sin is the same way. You think you are being smart in hiding your vice. Yet those around you sense something. When you come to realize the cost of sin, the consequences of living a sinful life, and taste the graceful richness of God’s love, you will want to run away from sin’s pull.

Whatever your secret sin, it isn’t worth hiding. Expose it; seek help; confess to another, change your thinking on it, and surrender to the God who made you. Our time on earth is short; why destroy yourself before you realize your potential?

Remember, the best Vice is a dead Vice.

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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved