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

But…God

Ephesians 2:4

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy…

If you want an encouraging Bible study some weekend, take the words “but God” and conduct a Scriptural journey through the Old and New Testament. You will recount all the difficult problems and impossible challenges others have faced with the only solution coming from God’s intervention. You will discover circumstances that would be ridiculous except for God’s hand on the matter. And you will find human platitudes renounced by God’s truth.

But God means there is a higher authority who has last say on the matter. But God gives hope when hope seems lost. But God establishes a standard higher than ours.

How often during our day we come across a challenge or difficulty which is humanly overwhelming if God wasn’t in the picture? If the solution was solely up to me, I would most often drop below the tank. But God reminds me who has last say on the matter.

But God allows us to witness HIS steadfast love and mercy in times of need and times of plenty. So, remember, no matter the challenge or problem, God has the last say. And you have a direct link with HIM. Engage HIM. You may not like HIS answer, but you will know in hindsight it was the best answer at that time and place.

Your Desires

1 John 2:16

For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

1 John 2:17

And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Ephesians 4:22

to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,

Galatians 5:17

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.

Galatians 5:24

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God gives wealth, possessions, and honor, so that he lacks nothing of all that he desires, yet God does not give him power to enjoy them, but a stranger enjoys them. This is vanity; it is a grievous evil.

Do you know the difference between God’s desires and worldly desires? Many times, we have a deep desire for something which by itself is probably an OK thing, but when that desire places God’s desires secondly, then we have placed ourselves in a position of compromise which most often isn’t very good.

As we are born again with a new spirit (God’s) and our soul is now surrendered to King Jesus who purchased our salvation from Satan, our desires begin to change. Instead of pursuing to satisfy our carnal, fleshy desires, or what seems appealing to our eyes, or doing what makes us feel important, we lean on accepting God’s heart on the manner.

His desires for us slowly becomes our passion. And as we pursue God’s intentional design for our life, His character traits are slowly being formed within the inner person. Yes, God will give us the desires of our heart. Even at times if those desires may temporarily hurt us for discipline sake. As we slowly learn to differential God’s desires from our carnal heart, we begin to choose more of Christ, and less of ourselves.

What eventually happens is our heart’s desire begins to mirror God’s holiness. When that occurs, our Triune God will surely grant us our heart’s desires. Why? Because it will glorify Him and He knows we will have the internal fortitude to properly manage whatever He gives us.

When Jesus made the comment that food and drink isn’t the problem, but what comes out of the heart. He was discussing how mankind’s heart is separated from God which is the storehouse of evil and harmful desires. When these desires are expressed, the outcome is painful for oneself and others.

Yet God has given us a clean heart through Jesus Christ. As we yield and allow His Spirit to morph us, we stand in awe of the marvelous work He is producing in and through His children.

Therefore, seek God’s desires in all things and let’s leave our carnal desires locked up with the old man.

Working for The Lord


Colossians 3:22-24 (ESV)
 Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord.  Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

When God is the center of your life, everything changes. From how you view strangers to the management of your family, from how you select your values, to choosing your priorities, and from how you invest your time in what you study to the career you select, somewhere you will come to realize how much HE loves you and wants to share HIS life with you and others. You become HIS ambassador of HIS Kingdom, living out HIS way of life with others for HIS glory.

For most of us we will spend one-third of our daily life in our vocation. Whether it is a temporary job, a professional career, or a life-long calling, most of our waking hours will be associating with others in the marketplace. How we view the time and prioritize our values will directly impact how God’s Kingdom materializes around us.

When you realize God wired you with specific talents and now is morphing you into the character of Jesus Christ, for your sake and for the sake of others, your perspective of life and work changes. When you truly come to know God cares about the quality and impact your work has in the lives of others, your motivation increases a few notches.

All believers hold dual citizenship. We serve our God and HIS Kingdom as well as the country we live in. Our allegiance is first to HIM who owns everything and has given steward responsibilities for us to fulfill. Though our paycheck may come from an organization or person, the overall initiator of wealth is God. He is concern that you are fed, clothed, and have shelter. He is concern for your physical and mental health. He designed you to flourish. The world of economics is for you and I to enjoy his creation.

To believe God only cares for spiritual truth and not physical matters denies who God IS. HE created everything for us to share with HIM. This is HIS physical world. HE knows we need to eat and therefore wired certain people to excel at farming. HE knows we need shelter and therefore designed certain people with the naturally talents to build houses and buildings for the enjoyment of others. HE knows we need clothing for protection, so HE designed people who excel at making clothes for the sake of others. Every vocation which builds up others to flourish within HIS boundaries is to be held in honor and respected.

So, whatever your job, career, or calling remember you are serving our Lord who gladly wants to share everything HE has with you for your sake and for the sake of others. We are all stewards of HIS. Some may currently deliberately rebel against HIM. Others may ignorantly refute HIS leadership in their life, but others will acknowledge HIS authority in their lives and know who they are truly serving. Be wise and serve your Lord.    

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