The Real Thing

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Gal 5:22-25.

In my early walk with the Lord, I took upon myself to start a self-improvement program to develop the fruit of the Spirit in my life. Like the eastern religions, I subjected my body through discipline to become more godlike. At the time I didn’t understand the workings of the Spirit but only that I wanted to experience the riches of God’s Spirit.

Eventually (some ten years later) God opened my eyes to His awesome work in me through the Holy Spirit’s influence on my heart. In hindsight, the first ten years of being a disciple, I was led through humanism to make myself into the image of God through the mastery of self-discipline. Like I have said elsewhere, I did become more loving, kind, and joyful but nothing compared to now by allowing the Holy Spirit to have full access into our heart and mind.

Humanism works through habitual discipline to change exterior behavior. God works through His Spirit to change the interior emotional heart that leads to changed behavior.

When you read the above passage in Galatians, you note that the fruit is not from one’s human heart but from the Spirit. When we deny ourselves and submit to the Spirit’s influence in our life, the essence of God becomes more alive in us. God’s Spirit intermingles with our spirit influencing our soul. The Source is God. The recipient is us and those who we come into contact.

Humanism works from the outside-in. God works from the inside-out.

Humanism is like the imitation wedding ring made from glass. It may look like a diamond, but is made with inferior material. A real diamond can cut through glass; a fake diamond cannot.  

Humanism likes to look good from the outside. It acts like the real McCoy, but lacks the internal fortitude. In many cases, it is all form without any substance.

God’s Spirit is the real deal. As we submit to His Will and lean on Him, He resides in us and allows His presence to be made known through us. After you experience the real thing, you will more quickly notice the illusions and fakes around you. If you are tired of working hard to experience God’s presence in your life, maybe you are trying too hard. Maybe its time to rest in Christ and ask Him to position you to experience the real deal.

You only need to ask 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

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Learning to Govern

Genesis 1:28 (NASB)

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the; sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

One theme which moves through the Bible is God’s intention of what he wants humanity to learn while stationed on this planet at this age. From Genesis where God instructs man and woman to rule the earth’s infrastructure, to Revelation 5:10 where John writes about Jesus’ end game and recognizes the saints in this life are being made to lead and serve in God’s Kingdom. Could it be that one of God’s purpose for you and I in this life is to learn how to best govern?

He initially placed Adam and Eve in a garden to manage it. He built a family unit starting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The family unit became a tribe and eventually the nation of Israel. During this time, he trained specific individuals for leadership position – Joseph, second in rank behind Pharaoh; Daniel, a president under the Babylonian system; David and Solomon, kings of Israel. There are many others – good leaders and bad rulers.

He designed the family unit where parents learn to govern their households; and children learn to follow and develop their personal governing skills. He led people to build institutions: business, education, medical, legal, entertainment, and yes governments. Each institution allows us to learn how to work with others to help a community to flourish. He also built the Church: a community of believers united within Himself.  

All these opportunities are simply a shadow to prepare you and I to govern within the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom is the Triune God’s family business. You and I as his children have been given the opportunity now to learn how to best govern the self and others for this purpose. We allow the Holy Spirit to work within us renovating our hearts to see and hear as our Triune God sees and hears. We govern with love and purpose allowing righteousness to flourish and evil to diminish. We serve our King bringing Him honor and respect and glory.

God has bigger plans for you and I than we will ever phantom on this side of heaven. For now, He gives us a small taste of His divine presence and fills our hearts with joy as we learn to govern His way for His people for His glory.

Life is a learning process preparing you and I for eternity. Run with it!!

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

How Can You Best Serve God?

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. AMP.

Everyone has a master. This may be shocking for those who live in the “free world” where one boasts of their independence and freedom. Yet even in the countries of northern America or western Europe every person has a master. Most often their master is not the governmental system or leader but themselves.

The truth be told each one of us either serves our passions and dreams and desires rather than someone else’s dictates. Yet Jesus himself states that a person cannot truly serve two masters. One will be more effectively served than the other. So how do you know you are truly serving your Lord rather than yourself?

First there are those who serve Jesus for their own self-centered purpose. Generally, they want something and believe if they serve Jesus, he will grant them their wish. Then there are those who have emptied themselves from personal ambition and truly find joy serving Jesus without a personal agenda. These are the ones who have matured through life realizing the relationship with God is more valuable than any personal goal.

The first group looks for ways to “buy” God through favors by servicing others. The second group builds a relationship with God to become more aware of His presence and joins him with their hands and feet in serving others. Typically, they don’t even know what they are doing and the impact their service for others mean. They simply and gratefully appreciate the opportunity to work along their Master.

Typically, the second group doesn’t look for additional work to perform for God. Instead they know God is already involved in the work they do; their service is to perform their daily routine for God’s glory. A mother or father caring for their children is already glorifying God through their loving responsibility for their children. The receptionist in the office is already serving God by being a joyful representative of His kingdom with everyone he meets. Likewise, the mechanic repairing the client’s automobile as if it was his own, being truthful and fair in the exceptional work they perform, is already serving God by witnessing His values before others.

The list is endless. We serve God best by doing what we do every day for His glory. When we exercise the gifts he has bestowed upon us into good, productive work, and perform our service for others in a saintly manner, being transparent and caring for their well-being, you are being a profitable servant introducing God’s kingdom to the world as His faithful witness.

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 Prosperous Soul

3 John 1:2

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.

prosporous soul1

The apostle John wrote to his local church with the reassurance God wants each one of his children to prosper not only spiritually, but also physically. The challenge though is more people emphasize the physical objectives of life and ignore the spiritual. They want the benefits of a healthy spiritual walk, but don’t want to invest the time and effort.

The prosperous life is so much more than physical comforts. You could gain the whole world, but be vastly poor in spirit. You could have beauty, power, and fame, but be empty, frustrated, and lonely. A disciple’s walk with his Teacher is life enriched with confidence, boldness, and humility. Her life radiates from an inner peace of contentment. The toys and material items that surround her are simply the means to fully experience the vast richness of God’s creation.

To be healthy is a blessing. But to be healthy for self-aggrandizement is pompous and vain. Health is a physical and mental condition. Both though are empowered by the soul. A soul that is rich in love, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, and self-control. The essence of God’s character is displayed through a soul that is in constant contact with Him.

A soul rich in spiritual blessings is the master of the physical comforts around them. The computer, television, smart phones, and automobiles are simply tools being managed by the soul keeper. A rich soul is not addicted to the toys around him. Instead the rich soul effectively manages the comforts of life for a greater purpose.

A rich soul likewise treasures the body as a temple for His divine presence. Therefore, her attitude is to maintain and operate the body’s functions for the long haul. She will not glorify it but discipline it. She will praise its Creator and sustain it for His glory.

Whatever the enriched soul pursues, he does so with the intent to make it better than before. Whether mind, body, or soul, the desire is to magnify the creator. The enriched soul is not self-made. Instead, the prosperous soul knows Her Creator, regularly thanks him in gratitude, and humbly walks with those around him for their benefit and God’s purpose.

So, whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Prosper in your health, in your bank account, and in your relationships. But always remember your priorities and your most important function today. God knows. So do 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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Gratitude 101

James 1:17

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

gratitude1

Gratitude is an attitude of repentance. Repentance is a mind-set realizing one needs to lock unto the God of the universe and change one’s thinking from a self-centered perspective into a Christ-center worldview.

To acknowledge the self as not the center of the universe and there is Someone greater than self who made everything possible, is a position of humility reflected through one’s attitude.

When one begins this journey, one finds many reasons to be thankful.

Thankful for knowing one’s blessing is not necessarily due to one’s superior talent, above average intelligence, or persuasive demeanor, but being at the right place and the proper time with the ideal people to bring it all about.

Thankful for realizing how blessed one is for being born this time in history.

Thankful for appreciating all the people in your life who contributed toward your success to date.

Thankful for knowing we are all dead trees blowing in the wind apart from God who shares His life and Spirit which enriches us every day.

Thankful for realizing everything was created by Christ for Christ and shared with us through Christ.

Thankful for appreciating our value in Christ.

Thankful for knowing the truth which leads to freedom and contentment.

Thankful for realizing your potential as a person which begins in God and comes from God and revealed through you.

Thankful for appreciating who you are in relationship with others who likewise are included in Christ.

There is much to be thankful for as we travel through the day.  For we eventually come to know and see that whatever good we see and whatever great gifts we experience, comes from the Triune God who brings it about for you and me for the purpose of truly coming to know Him.

Knowing, realizing, and appreciating Him for who He IS makes being grateful for even the everyday mundane routine activities of the day. Why? Because He is involved with you through it all.

Gratitude 101 is the basic fundamental foundation of coming to appreciate God’s involvement in your life.

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

 

 

One Another

Romans 15:7

Therefore, accept one another, just as Christ also accepted us to the glory of God.

one another1

Sometimes when I hear a phrase over and over, I like to search out the Scriptures for clarity and purpose. This past week the phrase “One Another” jumped out at me during a weekly sermon. It had nothing to do with the main message. Just one short phrase in the middle of a story. Rather than personally write on the subject, I just copied the verses for you to read yourself. They are self-explanatory and together showcase how God’s children experience life in community.

 

1 John 3:11

For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another;

1 John 4:12

…no one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.

1 Peter 4:9

Be hospitable to one another without complaint.

1 Peter 4:10

As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

1 Peter 5:5

You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for God is opposed to the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 5:16

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed.

James 5:9

Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.

Hebrews 3:13

But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 10:24

and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:13

Live in peace with one another.

1 Thessalonians 3:12

and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;

1 Thessalonians 4:9

Now as to the love of the brethren, you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

1 Thessalonians 5:11

Therefore, encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:15

See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all people.

Colossians 3:9

Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

Colossians 3:13

…bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Ephesians 4:2

with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love,

Ephesians 4:32

Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Ephesians 5:21

and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.

Galatians 5:13

For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.

Galatians 5:15

But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

Galatians 6:2

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

Romans 12:16

Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation.

Romans 13:8

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Romans 14:13

Therefore, let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.

Romans 14:19

So, then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.

John 13:14

If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

John 13:35

By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

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

By Love, For Love, To Love

1 John 4:16 NIV
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.

love1

Love created you, sustains you, and motivates you. You were created by Love, for Love, to Love!

God is Love. His divine character exhibits love. His entire nature freely expresses love independent of what you and I do. He loves because He is love.

When you begin to realize the love He has for you, your assurance and trust in Him grows. When your relationship grows with Him, your understanding of love takes you to a whole new level of maturity.

When you come to the place and realize God’s purpose for you is to know Him and experience life with Him, and through Him, the outcome includes immeasurably more love than a person can naturally handle.

Love moves the world. You and I do more in the name of love than we truly admit. Even though we may not truly understand what real love is until we have an encounter with Him, he has revealed love to us through Jesus. Jesus is the expressive embodiment of God in human form.

Throughout Scripture we are introduced to the many ways Jesus expressed His Father’s love. He had an intimate relationship with the Godhead as a Son. His pre-public ministry including serving in Joseph’s family carpentry business. Upon his arrival to be baptized by John, he lived His vicarious life from beginning to end for you, me, and His Father. He healed, taught, and gave himself in service so others may come to know who His Father is truly like.

Without love there is no hope, no future, nor joy. With love, everything is more colorful, adventurous, and meaningful. Your passion for whatever is a byproduct of channeled love. Your hobbies, your work, and the mate you choose all are avenues to express your love.

Love is not just about you. Love includes God, family, friends, associates, neighbors, countrymen and women, and every person who arrives on planet earth.

Real love is sacrificial and up-building. The Triune God birth humanity from the central core of love. The entire universe is built upon the natural laws govern by love. Love rules the galaxies. This is why love is the most important attribute of life.

Always remember: You were created by Love, for Love, to Love!

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