Greed Trap

Psalm 10:3

For the wicked boasts of the desires of his soul, and the one greedy for gain curses and renounces the Lord.

Somewhere I wrote a blog how marriage, ballroom dancing, and day trading has taught me more about God than all the other activities combined. When it comes to greed, trading the future markets with its quick turns and higher volatility easily brings out the best and worst of one’s character traits. As many a book records, two of the strongest emotions for day traders to manage are greed and fear.

Most traders eventually over time and practice learn to understand the markets, the setups, and the indicators they choose to use. Yet annually over 94% of traders will close their brokerage accounts within six months because they have run out of funds. The primary cause? They haven’t mastered their emotions.

Greed and fear are two opposites of the same coin. Both will throw you off your game. When you see your money plumbing downward in a spiral, many traders panic and get out taking a financial hit in the process. On the other hand, traders also try to squeeze out every penny of an upward move not knowing when enough is enough. Of the two emotions, most successful day traders will acknowledge greed is a bigger problem than fear.

If fear was their problem, they wouldn’t even attempt to play the markets. But with superb confidence in themselves, they jump in with all their bank accounts under the illusion this will be easy like everything else they have attempted and achieved. Being honest with oneself as one trades, will quickly allow reality teach lessons of life along with a greater respect for the markets.

Greed blinds oneself from reality. The desire for more, and more, without contentment places the focus on gain rather than mastering the process. The greed desire un-managed makes everything around you unimportant; including God, health, and family/friends. Time escapes into a greed trap where life becomes an addictive game of more, and more, and more for no greater purpose but to accumulate. Instead of enjoying freedom and its fruit, greed enslaves oneself within the limited confines of hell.

Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes greed is chasing after wind. You cannot ever catch it.

Jesus even commented on the subject when he stated “how does it profit someone to gain the whole world but to lose one’s soul”.

The objective is to better manage the ugly desire whenever it makes its appearance. One of the better disciplines to practice if you need help to better manage the greed desire is to practice giving without conditions. Whether you practice tithing or simply ask God to help you become a generous giver, you open the lid of the greed box and share yourself through your gain for the benefit of others who can’t ever repay you. When you realize you don’t need more stuff, but only enough, and you redirect your focus unto Jesus, then you will discover what He is trying to teach us all: life is more than having everything we desire; its about serving Him in His Kingdom for the sake of 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

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Fear Trap

Isaiah 41:13

For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”

Fear is a weapon used by manipulators to mobilize you into serving their purpose.

Watch the evening news and one catastrophic event after the next plays on your emotional heart memorizing you into a state of mental enslavement.

Watch how politicians create havoc with character assassinations and power plays against the other side and then reach out for money from you the public to help them clean up the mess.

Watch how advertisers place the fear of not having their product in your possession, making you feel left behind the social curve and therefore influencing you to purchase now rather than wait till tomorrow after you had time to thoroughly think through the opportunity.

Whichever way you turn, we are being bombarded with ads, videos, music, movies, photographs, books, etc. designed to place fear into its recipients. A fear of potential loss of money, family, friends, and freedom moves the markets and creates many of the paralyzing stories of the day.

Satan himself loves to operate from the position of fear. He casts doubt causing us to question our trust in another. He steals glory for himself rather than allowing you to realize your true identity in Christ. He also loves to destroy whatever is good in life so people will rarely experience the heavenly riches of God’s pure intentions.

Fear is a heavy task master when one doesn’t have a relationship with the living God.

“Fear not” are the words Jesus would reiterate to his disciples. Fear not are also the words that God through the prophets of old would tell Abraham, Isaiah, Daniel, David, and many others.

Jesus would reiterate how much God loves humanity. He spoke about how God takes care of the birds and grass and how people are more important than the creation around them. God cares and wants what is best for us. Yet, because we don’t truly know Him, we allow fear to replace Him in our mind, heart, and spirit.

When fear becomes greater than God, we are loss under its influence. However, when the Triune God is the center of our life, the central core of all our relationships, values, and decisions, you will quickly expose the fear trap doors in your world and avoid their manipulative paths.

Fear not, the Lord your God is with you and the one who will help you slay the fear mongers in your world. Always remember: overflowing life, free from worldly fear, is rooted in Jesus Christ.

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 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Servant Leadership Trap

John 12:26

If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

The secular concept of servant leadership being taught is causing more harm than good. In the various books and sermons, I have read or heard, the worldly perspective is to respond to others based on their desires. Like most lies, half the truth is being taught but the remaining more important aspect is left behind.

The Biblical view of servant leadership is Christ-centered to the core. The focus is not the other individual, but Jesus Christ.

One Biblical example used is how Jesus washed the feet of His disciples at his last supper before his death. The worldly view emphasizes how He took on the role of a servant and washed the feet of his students. But let’s review the details.

First, He recognized a need. Secondly, He behave after His Father (John 5:19). He responded by setting aside His role as Rabbi, and took on the role of a servant. Thirdly, when He came to Peter, Peter did not want his feet washed. Fourthly, in the worldly view, He would have agreed to his wishes and passed on him to the next disciple, but didn’t. Jesus instead exercised His authority and responded to the purpose of the moment. Fifthly, Peter changed his mind based on Jesus’ focus on honoring His Father’ purpose rather than Peter’s desires. Sixthly, Jesus continued to finish washing their feet. Lastly, He then demonstrated the purpose behind his behavior.

Servant-leadership is Christ-centered to the core. As Jesus was centered around His Father’s heart, so are we around Jesus’ heart. Leadership first center’s around following the authority in one’s life before exercising the outcome. Servant leadership reaches out to uplift those around you as Jesus instructs. No job is too small nor too large when He is your primary focus. He will provide you with the wisdom, support, and heart to serve those around you. You just need to remain in Him and trust Him for the outcome. Our role is to be the hands and feet while the Holy Spirit works.

As Mother Teresa would so often state, when she served those with leprosy, she would look into their face and see the face of Jesus. That is a perfect example of servant leadership.  

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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Christmas, Government, God

Isaiah 9:6

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

xmas1

U.S. News recently wrote an article regarding the mass social demonstrations taking place around the world. From Hong Kong to Europe, from Iran to South America, people are expressing their unhappiness with their situation against the government. Large crowds are showcasing their displeasure and frustration through the streets. Those in government realize they need to appease the people or they may lose their power. The question is how without surrendering their hold on the people.

Six hundred years before the birth of Jesus Christ, and approximately one hundred years before Israel was taken captive by the Babylonian empire, the prophet Isaiah wrote the above words which now is common verbiage with Hallmark cards. A prophecy that points to God’s government under the leadership of Jesus Christ.

When Jesus made his public appearance, his main message pertained to government. He spoke about the difference between God’s Kingdom and the current rule. Since the beginning of time, government has always been the issue between people. We have had families, tribes, nations, and empires with various forms of government. They have all failed in due time. The one government however that has outlasted all others is the Kingdom of God.

God’s Kingdom is a government based from the central heart of God via His Spirit. A government which provides law and order for relationships between people. Whether we are speaking about the law and order between individuals or nations, the Kingdom of God is relevant to how people maneuver between each other for the greater good and for self-interest.

God’s government is an outflow of His character. When we make the effort to put His ways before our natural inclinations, His impact is felt. Though short term there may be struggles and pain, the long-term outcome always flourishes. God’s way allows humans to flourish within boundaries established for the common good. Historically we have seen glimpses of His ways among the people. Daniel and Solomon from the Old Testament highlight people living within secular environments yet flourishing.

Christmas time reminds us that a world government with a benevolent King has already been born, prepared for leadership, and is now executing His plan to fully establish His law and order on His planet. Today, those of us who have surrendered to His kingship are experiencing the riches of His bountifulness. Tomorrow, everyone who chooses Him as their King will likewise experience the richness of His leadership.

Wherever you are, you have been given the privilege and honor to build a colony under the Kingdom of God. From your family to workplace, from your local community to national politics, you have been given all the resources you need to unlock God’s government with all the people in your world.   As Paul writes in Colossians, everything was made by Jesus Christ, through Jesus Christ, and for Jesus Christ.  Christmas is a time to celebrate Him. Enjoy the day in Him.

Merry Christmas!

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

 

 

 

Victorious Reward

1 Corinthians 15:57

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

victory2

 

We all need motivation at times. When those dark days make their appearance, the quicker we recognize them, the faster we can move onward. Typically, these are the days where the sun is covered by clouds, the dampness of the air blows through my bones, and everything I touch seems to turn into another problem to resolve. In days like this, I sometimes like to read the two chapters in the Book of Revelations which the apostle John wrote while exiled on the island of Patmos.

These two chapters highlights the victorious reward that awaits you and I at the end of our journey in this age of humanity. The verses remind me there is effort on our part to pursue the victorious life and the reward awaits us as long as we finish. Whether we run the fastest marathon ever or simply come in last, we win. But without Jesus Christ there is no victory. He has gone before us and laid out the table and throne room for us to share with him.

That is one party I look forward to celebrate with everyone.

Take a moment, read these scriptures, and meditate on each one. They highlight the reward awaiting us for all our efforts here on earth at this time in this place.

 

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. Rev. 2:7

The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death. Rev. 2:11

To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it. Rev.2:17

To the one who is victorious and does my will to the end, I will give authority over

the nations—that one ‘will rule them with an iron scepter and will dash them to pieces like pottery’—just as I have received authority from my Father. I will also give that one the morning star. Rev. 2:26-28

The one who is victorious will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out the name of that person from the book of life, but will acknowledge that name before my Father and his angels. Rev 3:5

The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 3:12

To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. Rev. 3:21

So, whenever you find yourself wallowing in a self-pity party of one, stop and remind yourself what awaits you for all the struggle, decisions, and effort you make each day for the kingdom of God. Yes, there are many days where the Spirit is rejoicing within you. But on those days where you simply feel tired, defeated, and unfocused, why don’t you remind yourself that the best still awaits us.

In those days when the motivation is gone, I am also reminded of Jesus’ words,

“He who endures to the end shall be saved.”

 And likewise, Paul’s words, “But thanks be to God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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

 

Easy

Matthew 11:30 

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Easy doesn’t mean no effort. But when compared to alternative options, Jesus’ “easy” is best for the long term. When you compare what Jesus requires from us with other “religious” institutions, is like comparing a walk through the park versus an Ironman event.

It takes effort to follow through on whatever choice you make. The question is how much effort?

The way Jesus exemplified his entire life is our example.

First, he surrendered to his father’s will. He came with a servant’s heart. Whether you were right wing or left wing, Pharisee or Sadducee, Roman citizen or Jew, rich or poor, male or female, employed or homeless, married or divorced, party goer or party pooper, he went right to your heart on every matter. No one was safe with him. Everyone had a problem and HE was the solution.

Belief without effort is an empty shell. Belief without passion is also an empty container. What you believe is how you will respond to a matter. If you believe it is all about you and what you have to do, you are placing the emphasis on the wrong side of the tracks. If you believe Jesus has made the road wide open and the options innumerable for you to pursue, you may be closer to the truth, but then again, the best pudding is in the taste.

Effort supports your belief. The stronger the effort, the more sureness of one’s convictions. The weak, feeble effort again also supports the hesitant, doubtful sureness of the matter.

Jesus’ way of life removes all the access baggage of human guilt, shame, and self-inflicting harm. Instead, His way is built on a meaningful relationship with a Man who has taken all of our pain, suffering, and stupidity upon himself so we don’t have to deal with all the consequences of the human condition. Yet it does take effort on our part to surrender and allow HIS presence and life take a hold of us and lead us to the promise land.

All HE expects from us is to demonstrate our trust in HIM through our everyday lives. To have a meaningful relationship with HIM and share our life with HIM as HE shares HIS life with us.

It’s as easy as sitting with your soul mate on your favorite beach and sharing the beautiful sunset together knowing all the other concerns of life will work out for the good. It may take a little effort to plan and follow through such an event. But it is a whole lot easier than going through your 613-item checklist fearing what you may have forgotten in the process and never enjoy the moment of the sunset because you are preoccupied with all the other details of life. They both require effort, but one places emphasis on completing the checklist and the other on enjoying the relationship.

Let’s place our effort and passion on building a relationship with HIM and really experience for ourselves what HE truly means by having an easy yoke and light burden.

Perfect Love

1 John 4:18

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.

Anytime I think I am becoming more loving something happens to remind me that God is still perfecting His love in us and we still have a long way to go.

The other day I said a few words joking about our human condition with a very mature person of faith and they rebuked me. I was stun for the moment and then realized words so easily hurt people because as humans we are imperfect. Even though I the sender had no intentional reason to cause harm, the recipient received the words in their current state of being which, like all humans, is a smorgasbord of emotional baggage we carry.

It would be easy to justify my position as doing no harm, yet love leads and doesn’t intentionally want to cause harm. What the situation reminded me of was if we had perfect love, I wouldn’t have made the remark and the person receiving the remark would not have found it offensive. Yet because of our imperfections, we defend ourselves and throw additional words of harm toward the other defending our pride and insecurities.

Times like this also makes me think of God, who is perfect in love since HE is Love personified, must laugh at our inadequacies like a parent with their immature toddler. Yet as an apprentice of Jesus Christ, I watch, study, and learn from how HE engages with me and others to grow into the mature child of the King. I only wish I was a quick learner. Instead I have to repeat many situations over and over again until the light bulb goes on and realize we have to change something or I will continue to repeat the matter with a similar outcome.

Thankfully, the Holy Spirit is constantly weaving His tools through our heart, mind, and soul making changes and improvements after the image of our Lord. I look forward to the final product coming out of the spiritual assembly line when love will freely flow from this heart without any fear dangling alongside her. Imagine – what life would be like when we all relate with each other from a heart of perfect love without any fear?

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