Blind, Broken, Busted

Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, I (Jesus) advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:17-21 NASB.

Pride blinds us all. We look at the physical dressing around us instead of the inner heart and convince ourselves that everything is all right. Yet deep inside, we know something is not right. Instead of dealing with the issue, we ignore our conscience and keep doing the same thing. Maybe it will go away.

Yet the knocking continues. Even while your bank account keeps growing, your dreams become reality, and your fame spreads throughout the marketplace, that gnawing feeling will not leave you alone.

What is happening?

Your Father God is calling you. He is happy for your success. But wants you to also experience the real treasures of life. So He keeps calling you. He keeps knocking at your door. He is waiting for you to open the door. He wants to break bread with you. But more importantly, He wants to share His life with you.

He wants you to experience real wealth; the riches from His storehouse. He wants to cloth you with the same holiness he wears. But more importantly, He wants to share his authority and influence with you to positively impact the world for others.

So don’t ignore him. Don’t push him aside. When your inner ear hears the knock, just lean against the door. He is waiting with open arms to meet you. When you two meet, you will experience the greatest high this life has to offer.

Compared to Him, we are all blind, broken, and busted. Yet with Him, He takes away our pride, shame, and pain and replaces them with his rich treasure chest of humility, love, and joy.  He will change your life forever.

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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Too Much

A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched. Proverbs 28:25 ESV.

When our daughter was a child of around 2 or 3 years old and learning the art of communications, her Mother and I would smile at times when she wanted second helpings of Mom’s special dessert at the dinner table. When asked how much of a portion she desired, her reply was “too much.” In other words, she wanted more than just more.

Being a child, we smiled at the innocence of youth having an open heart and speaking with frankness. Today, and over time, she has learned to adjust her behavior and exercise self-control when it comes to food. Yet even today we sometimes lovingly tease her with such memories.

But what of the child that doesn’t learn the trap that desiring too much can cause? What becomes of them when they reach adulthood? Per today’s Scripture, a greedy man (or woman) instigates turmoil among the people in their world. Greed may win you more of whatever you desire, but the price is strained relationships. Now if relationships mean nothing to you, then you have a deeper problem. The love of God may be missing in your life.

The good news is the fruit of the Holy Spirit includes self-control. Self-control is of great value for yourself and for those around you.  Self-control places a lid on your greed. Self-control allows you to fill your cup with enough to enjoy and share with others without pulling you and others down into the muddiness of sin. Self-control installs boundaries personally made for you.

So if “too much” is an issue in your life, ask your Heavenly Father to make more room for His Spirit to live and work within you. You will become pleasantly surprised how much of His Spirit he is willing to share with you in your growth and development into the image of his Son.

In fact, if you are greedy, you probably want more of His Spirit so He can redeem your greed into another masterpiece of self-control. Then you will have a living testimony of God’s workmanship to share with others. Just be aware and willing to pay the short-term cost for the long-term gain.

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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Brighten Your Corner of the World

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.Matt.5:16 ESV.

Life is a dance with the Almighty. As you yield your heart and follow His lead around the dance floor of life, you find yourself growing in the grace and knowledge of your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Your countenance begins to change. Over time, those previous broken areas of your life are now radiant with a newness and vibrancy for life. You have come to the place where you realize that the Triune God actually loves you and lives in you.

He not only lives in you, but he is working to transform you from the inside-out. The more you deny yourself for His name sake, the more His light shines through. The more you submit yourself to His healing touch, the more His light radiates through the pain. When you come to realize that the only good within any person is what God produces, the quicker you begin to experience the full riches of His glory.

God especially loves to share Himself with those who draw close to Him (James 4:8). So as He opens our eyes to serve others, He will provide the means. As He opens our ears to hear, His Spirit leads us how to best reply. As He leads us into opportunities to do good, we follow with assurance.

The light others see is God’s presence shining through the broken jars of humanity (2 Corinthians 4:7). We no longer hide God’s work in us and through us. We are not even concern whether our right hand knows what our left hand is doing (Matt. 6:3). Instead, we just let God’s love and grace lead us to do good work for His glory. The outcome is His light shining through for others to see. When you follow the lead of the Greatest Dancer in your corner of the world, people will notice. And you don’t even have to try to be noticed. Just let the light of Jesus shine through you each and every day.

Happy Easter!

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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Biblical Bias

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal. 3:28 ESV.

We all read Scripture from a personal bias. Which leads to the question, “what is yours?”  Over the years in different seasons of life, we probably have read the Bible from multiple worldviews. Most of us initially read Scriptures from a 21st Century western civilization thought pattern. Eventually over time, we may start to read the Word from a Jewish Christian perspective. Then again, others may read from a feminist or humanistic platform. Than others from a denominational background. Or more prevalent today, from a combination of multiple-denominational and non-denominational teachings. The question for today though is “what is your personal bias?”

It is good to know for two reasons. One, it helps you identify different positions that your brothers and sisters in the Lord have taken; and secondly, it helps you to stay humble realizing that there is a possibility you may be in error and therefore be open to learn from others.

Today I lean heavily toward a Jesus Centered, Incarnate Triune God worldview. This is my bias. So when I read Scripture, I use this as my filter to clarify those difficult sections and gain more knowledge and understanding of who Jesus is in relationship with His Father and with humanity.

For example, take the Scripture, “Greet one another with a holy kiss (Rom.16:16).” Depending on one’s view, a different understanding will arise on what a holy kiss looks like. Some of our Arminian friends may explain it as a righteous kiss since they associate holiness with righteousness. Again, our humanistic or feminist sister may view a holy kiss as one with passion or maybe one that shows respect toward others. Then again, some of our denominational buddies would say it is a command and should be done today. Others agree but establish other norms such as no kissing between the sexes. Some say it was a custom of Biblical times but in the western civilization of the 21st century we may shake hands or hug to show the same love and respect the holy kiss is meant to portray.

No matter one’s preference, one still needs to understand the culture of the time period being covered to determine the application for today’s Believer. Some principles are eternal and others are for specific events and times. The kiss is still the cultural norm in the middle-eastern countries today where men and women greet one another with a kiss on both cheeks. However in America, we typically hug or shake hands depending on how well we know the other party. So no matter what your preference, the principle is to extend a Godly greeting to the other. Since God is holy and holiness is a combination of love, joy, kindness, gentleness, and self-control (among a multitude of other positive attributes), the holy kiss of the 1st century is still a holy greeting in the 21st century. The attitude and heart of the greeting is the measuring stick; not the mechanical means employed.

So what does this all mean?  Simply know your bias and recognize the bias of others when you read and employ the Scripture in everyday life.

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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Soft Love; Tough Love

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV.

One day when the world wakes up and recognizes that the central core attribute built in every nook and cranny of this planet is from a heart of Love, then life will be actively lived out like God’s original intent. But until then, we who have already met our maker in the shadows of life, have the honor and privilege to share his ways with others today.

Love is one of those terms which means different things to different folks. The only example that I have learned to respect and weight carefully is how the Triune God relates and deals with me. He knows when to hold and comfort me. He also knows when to hold and discipline me. I call this soft love and tough love.

The basic heart is the same. He cares for me and knows what is best for me. He knows when to push me and when to rest me. He knows my limits and my potential. He is the Master love mechanic.

Isn’t that the way we need to learn to be with others?

When my daughter misbehaved, I didn’t have to take a rod to her. Instead, one look from the eye of Dad and she knew she needed to change. On the other hand, when I did something that was disapproving to my Mother, she knew the look wasn’t going to change anything. Instead, she took the frying pan and let me experience the full impact of a good swing.

Aren’t we the same way with each other? Some circumstances require soft love; other situations require tough love. Jesus himself extended mercy and compassion (soft love) to many of the common folk around him. Yet when he faced the religious leaders and lawyers of his day, he came at them with stronger language and emotional cuts to the heart (tough love). He knew the people involved and the best method to employ.

We need to learn the same.

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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Broken Bodies, Pristine Souls

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Matt. 10:28 ESV.

This life goes by quickly.

It seems only like yesterday we graduated from high school, married, raised a family, and retired from work. Today, we barely recognize the same man in the mirror.

Hard muscles, trim abs, and smooth skin is now replaced with soft hands, a stout belly, and  bruised wrinkles. The aging process reinforces inner beauty over outer dress. The character of soul easily replaces the facade of dress.  Bodies that at one time were fully functional are now dragging along. Yet beauty becomes more alive as the soul of life takes preeminence.

We have all witness those who are physically challenge do what we believe is the impossible. Without mentioning names, there are those who have no arms nor legs yet fully  function within society. There are those wheel chair bound yet move about experience everything good that life has to offer. There are those who are blind, yet travel through life seeing more than you and I.

Physical limitations are just that – self-imposed strait jackets we place upon  ourselves. The real battle begins at the soul level. This is where the emphasis is on our heart, mind, and character. Every long lasting triumph worth pursuing begins here. Today we may call it attitudes, smarts, and inner muscle. The Bible calls these a matter of the heart, wisdom for the mind, and godly character developed through life’s battles.

The bottom-line – teach your children and grandchildren to first focus on developing the soul. Let them discover the hidden nuggets written through the pages of the Bible. Learn to listen and follow the Spirit of God. And develop a Jesus-Centered, Incarnate Triune God worldview. The end result? A soul that will positively influence every aspect of your life.

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

You Belong

” By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him;  for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything.  Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;  and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.  And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.  Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.”1 John 3:19-24 ESV.
“even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you.” John 14:17 ESV.
 belong-1

People need people. Humans were made for companionship. We are wired to be connected with each other. We seek to belong. In fact, we shouldn’t be surprised because of the Creator of mankind, the Triune God: Father-Son-Spirit, is likewise a relational Being.

Yet instead of first realizing we belong to God, we seek others to satisfy all our inner desires. We desire immediate gratification to have our emotional cup filled by various social means. Instead of first accepting our identity in Christ, we search for who we are through other social organizations. Whether the workplace, gym, school, bar, church, or non-profit mission, we may know God is out there someplace, but admittedly He is not the central core of our relationship. What this means is we are simply missing out in life’s greatest dance.

Whether we are not aware of God’s residence within us, or we have been blinded by our faithless glasses, Scripture reveals the truth of the matter. When God is active within you, you know. You know because your behavior aims to please him. You find yourself in love with Him and others to the point you want to help them succeed in life. Your conscience is clean without any regrets as you serve Him. You realize the Spirit of God is producing fruit in your life. You find yourself magnifying your God through your actions and words. You know you belong with Him because His assurance lives within you.

When you are wrong He convicts you, not condemns you. His hand on you is like a loving Father who wants what is best for you. You find yourself changing from the inside-out through a process of His Spirit. Because of this Godly fruit in your life, you know you are in Christ and included with Him in the great dance of life. You know who you belong too. You know who you are.  You know whose Spirit lives in you. You know you belong. Yes, no one needs to tell you, you simply know – YOU BELONG!

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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved