Steward Well

Matthew 25:21
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

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Do you want to serve in a great ministry?  Then start right where you are at. Your ministry will become great when you focus on the smaller details of God’s Kingdom.

He has given you the responsibility to steward the resources at your disposal. You say you have only very little? That is OK; steward well. You are from a small family with few relational connections? That is OK; steward well. You have no job? That is OK; steward well. You have a physical disability? That is OK; steward well. No matter how much or how little you have; start today and steward well with what you have at your disposal.

We all manage the resources we hold for maximum impact. Most of us are still trying to hoard what little we have instead of sharing it with others. Somewhere we still believe the pie is limited and don’t really understand God’s Kingdom economics. Even though Jesus multiplied the five loafs of bread and two fish to feed at least 5,000 people, we have trouble believing it can be done again with the resources at our disposal.

For to steward well is to trust God.

When you truly understand that everything is own by God and given you to manage with Him, you gladly hold yourself accountable to Him. You first seek His purpose before succumbing to your desires. You gladly (and sometimes reluctantly) follow through with His instructions for you. Over time, we learn that He continually provides as we learn to trust Him and walk with Him.

For most of us, our faith will be tested through the “small things” in life. However, it is through the small and routine avenues of life where our strength is developed and trust in God becomes real. So that when the “big one comes”, we will simply do what we have done our entire life – trust God and steward well.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

What Do You Mean by That?

Proverbs 3:13

Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding…ESV.

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One of the biggest challenges you will face throughout your life is thoroughly communicating with others. Whether we are speaking with our mates, children, or fellow associates at work, the ability to understand and be understood is one skill highly desired by many in the leadership world.

Johnson O’Connor Research team has conducted studies of thousands of CEOs in this country and have shown that the number one skill most score highest in is the ability to communicate. Even in marriage, the struggle between two people unable to communicate their feelings, emotions, and position on any one topic is one of the largest complaints for divorce and separation.

One key point that we have learned over the years is to fully understand the other person before trying to explain your position. How many times do we make assumptions that later on proved incorrect? However, if we first only began to clarify the definition of certain words, wouldn’t we find ourselves more effective in speaking and writing?

Among our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord, we spend probably more time than anyplace else clarifying the meaning of certain phrases and words that are used throughout the Christian culture. For example, such words as faith, grace, incarnation, salvation, kingdom of God, Trinity, and many more are used interchangeably with a different meaning among us. Before answering or jumping to conclusion, we have found it necessary to draw word pictures or stories to clarify the definition of one word.

Now I am not an English major, nor a word smith, but I know enough that the purpose of words is to communicate a concept or thought.  So, I don’t get bent out of shape when words may be poorly used as long as we both are looking at the same overall picture meaning.

One simple tool to clarify how the speaker is using a word is to ask, “what do you mean by that?” The more both sides have a clearer picture of what is being discussed, the easier you will find a meeting of the minds.

So, like Proverbs 3:13 states, you will find yourself blessed when you get understanding and then the wisdom to apply it. It all begins when you ask, “what do you mean by that?”

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

Symptom or Problem?

Matthew 23:25

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. NASB.

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Many in the Church today focus on outward behavior rather than the matter of the heart. By heart, we mean the emotional, thinking, value-center operating system which makes you, you.

We point to Adam and Eve who committed the first earthly sin. For most people that sin was disobedience toward God. Yet, my argument is the sin was committed even before then. For the outward behavior of sin is really the result of a deeper inner problem.

The real sin was separating oneself from God. Instead of leaning on Him and partnering with Him, Eve began developing a relationship with the Serpent. It was the Serpent who came between God and Eve. He came to divide and lead one astray from the Center of Life. He does the same today.

Sin occurs even before the behavioral act is displayed. Jesus himself throughout the Gospel books emphasized the heart of the matter rather than the physical act itself. The outward act is only the symptom of an inner problem. The problem is a heart empty of God’s presence.

For it is from the Holy Spirit living within you that strengthens you, coaches you, and leads you away from destructive behavior. Jesus was born by and with the Holy Spirit from the beginning of his earthly life. For the rest of us, we allow the Spirit to enter into our inner self only after we have accepted His authority in our life. The Bible identifies this as being born again.

Jesus also refers to the Kingdom of God beginning from within you. When the Spirit is married with your spirit and you learn to cooperate together, you will find the inner attitude and confidence to handle any temptation with the same faith Jesus employed against Satan in his wilderness temptation.

You will also begin to experience life dancing with the Almighty through your daily routines. Life becomes more than judging each other’s outer performance. Instead, it becomes life in the Spirit preparing you for eternity while training you to be more effective each day glorifying Him through your work, relationships, and struggles.

So, don’t focus on the symptom. Rather identify the problem and you will quickly arrive at a solution to move you toward your objectives.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Love and Respect

Romans 12:10 (CJB)

Love each other devotedly and with brotherly love; and set examples for each other in showing respect.

 

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There are relationship principles taught throughout the Bible when practiced makes the Kingdom of God come alive. One such principle is the relationship between leaders and followers. This would apply in business, government, and yes even the little-league baseball game.

This principle is built around the godly concept of love and respect. Both attributes are necessary for the relationship between two parties to be fully engaged. In summary, the follower is to respect the authority of the leader and the leader is to love the follower. What does this look like in a practical setting?

In the home, the Bible teaches that the husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the Church (Eph 5:25). Which means he is willing to sacrifice his life (time, money, possessions, goals, body, etc.) for her. On the other side, the wife is to respect (show honor) for her husband. Both sides are to mutually submit one to another (Eph. 5:21).

In the workplace, bosses are to care for their employees as unto the Lord (Col.4:1) The employees are to serve their leaders as serving Jesus Christ (Eph.6:5). Love and respect show up again.

In government, we are instructed to honor the emperor (I Pt.2:17). The king is to operate from a position of steadfast love and faithfulness (Proverb 20:28). Again, love and respect show their power.

What if the other side doesn’t cooperate in the relationship? Simple answer: You do your part and let the Lord do His. We pray and ask our heavenly Father to shower His grace upon them. Since He has shared His grace upon us, don’t we want all to experience the same joy? I’m sure we don’t have to be selfish with him. He has so much more to share with others; and isn’t it exciting to watch how He gently invades the lives of others? You will find during your life travels that much grace is going to be handed out toward others who may not fully understand the ways of God. You just may be the prayer warrior who introduces our Rabbi to them. So, let love and respect find their way into your relationships and see how the kingdom of God comes alive in your world.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

God’s Will

Psalm 103:19 (NASB)

The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
And His sovereignty rules over all.

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What is God’s Will for your life?

A simply process to follow without getting into heavy theology is to understand how the Bible presents His Will. In summary format, you could classify His Will into three dimensions: Providential, Moral, and Personal.

Providential is God’s overall hand leading history as He desires. A good example is the prophecy and fulfillment of Israel and Jesus Christ. From the beginning of time God had specific plans which he foretold and worked out through various people, tribes, and nations.

God’s Moral Will is the basis of how we relate with one another. Overall, His Will is a byproduct of His character. The ten commandments and all the other principles explained throughout Scripture are the outward focus of God’s love. Jesus himself stated that to love God with our entire being and caring for our neighbor is the fulfillment of His love. As we practice His love, we are in His Will.

Lastly, God’s Will for you personally is the one we most likely mean when we seek His Will for our life.  This is simply aligning yourself with the talents and gifts he empowered you with along with discovering your place in the Body of Christ. It is having a personal relationship with our Creator. It is knowing the Triune God and making Him known before others.

So, what is God’s Will for your life?

For most of us, God’s Will is not a global ministry but a personal crusade. God may choose you for a specific long-term mission, but for most of us they are short term assignments. It is to know Him and make Him and His ways known. As we live in His Presence, He shares His life with us and we share His life with others, we are in His Will.

So, when we come to a fork in life’s journey and we seek direction, most of us get stuck thinking there is only one solution or one direction that is God’s way and everything else is not. Eventually we may learn the fork in the road is to exercise the wisdom He has bestowed upon us. It is to seek wise counsel from those who may have been there before. It is to pray and seek insight from the Lord who knows your talents, skills, and the real opportunities before you.

When you realize your God is always with you no matter which road you choose, you can walk in confidence that the outcome will be OK. In hindsight it may not have been the best decision, but if you could have none differently, you would have. But based on the information you collected, you made the best choice you knew.

God’s Will is wider and deeper and more opportunistic then many of us allow. We place limited boundaries upon God who does the impossible and upon ourselves whose faith is yet maturing.

So, don’t limit yourself. God is for you. His Will for you is simply to know Him, make Him known to others, and build an intimate relationship with one another as you both mutually share your life with each other.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Glorify God.

Psalm 86:12

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever. ESV.

 Psalm 50:15

…and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” ESV.

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This morning I had the joy of biking for twelve miles against a warm, steady and strong, southwestern wind. With the wind behind pushing me forward, I felt like an eagle souring through the sky. However, with the wind blowing directly in front of me, it felt like climbing a 30-degree steep hill. In both directions, it made me think what life is like living with God versus against Him.

When we align ourselves with the Author of Reality, life is like the wind behind us. We find strength we didn’t know we had. We move forward toward our destination and goals with ease. With very little effort, and in many cases while resting, our objectives unfold before us.

However, when we fight against the Truth, we are constantly fighting a battle against the wind. We have to increase our energy level. Our legs, arms, and overall body hurts from the excessive work we have to put in. Even when we reach our destination, we are tired and beaten from the experience. The joy of the journey turns into a fiasco of pain.

Yes, there are days when our world is turned upside down. Yet life upside down with God is more manageable than life upside down and rebelling against Him.

Whenever we make up our mind to stop fighting the Truth and accept the reality of Jesus Christ’s work, we find ourselves on our knees with lifting arms thanking and praising Father – Son – Spirit.

When we realize He wants to share His life with us, allows us to live in His Presence, and made everything so you and I could enjoy life with Him, how can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

When we are grateful for the life he has given us, the opportunities He provides us to grow and mature, and to live in such a time as this in history, how can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

When we discover our natural talents and gifts which He has uniquely equipped us, and we allow Him to direct our steps toward serving others, we find fulfilment, meaning, and purpose for living. The overall result is a fruitful and quality improvement of our life which also enhances the life of those who we love and serve. How can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

When we realize this sandbox, called Earth, was made for us to work and play in, and He has given us instructions how to make life more enjoyable for each of us, how can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

When we realize He has written the entire script, invites us to participate with Him in playing out our role, and will reward us with more than an Emmy or lifetime achievement award in the greatest celebration the world has ever known, how can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

Everything was made through and for Jesus Christ. And as the gospel reveals, He includes you and me with Him. He shares his throne with us, his righteousness, and his resurrection, along with everything else because He loves us and wants what is best for us. How can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

When He becomes the center of your life, and everything flows from Him and through you and into each other, how can we not stop and give Him the glory He alone deserves?

Bottom-line: whenever, however, and wherever, always take time to stop and give Him the glory He deserves.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

Be Fruitful

Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it… ESV.

Colossians 1:9-10 – we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God… ESV.

 

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God’s first instructions to mankind taken from Genesis 1:28 was to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” Nothing has changed since then except humanity’s natural inclination to first try it their way.

At the very beginning of man’s timeline, our heavenly Father gave us the personal responsibility to exercise wisdom, imagination and creativity to manage His earthly domain for Him.  The Bible calls it stewardship.

Like the manager of a company given the responsibility to grow the business for the owner, we likewise have been given the assignment to improve the world around us. When we take the focus away from ourselves and on others, we find needs to be satisfied. As a steward, we analyze the resources at our disposal and best deploy them toward satisfying the needs of others. In business, we receive the reward of developing a relationship with a person who becomes our customer. Through this process, we are financially compensated that allows us to purchase the resources we need to do it again and again. As we keep repeating the process, our client base grows, our resources under management grows, and the more people we can serve.

The challenge for most of us is locating that sweet spot where our natural gifts and talents intersect the needs of others and is fueled by our passion. Some of us may not recognize what our strengths are; others have placed mental or emotional limits on themselves; and then others are so wrapped up in themselves that they are blind to the need of others.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians mentioned his prayer for them was that God may supply the strength and internal fortitude to walk with our Lord and be fruitful in their work. Maybe some of us (if not all) need to invest more time praying for the same resources. Maybe we are not as fruitful as we can be because we are trying to accomplish our dreams apart from God. Maybe instead of striving for more, working longer hours, and chasing after dollars, we ask Him to show us how to rest in Him and learn from Him how to be more fruitful. Most of us will become pleasantly surprised how He has a way to open doors, bring people into your world, and generate opportunities beyond our wildest imagination.

God wants you to be fruitful in your work. But more than this, He also wants you to be fruitful in His relationship with you. Make Him the center of your life and then watch how He showers you with His fruitful Grace and Presence in your corner of the galaxy. For wherever He goes, the world around Him grows more fruitful.

This is the reason Jesus stated in John 15:5 that you will bear much fruit as long as you remain in Him.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved