Is Human Nature Inherently Good?

Mark 10:18

And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

Ecclesiastes 8:11

Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed speedily, the heart of the children of man is fully set to do evil.

Matthew 15:19

For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.

Luke 6:45

The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Matthew 12:34

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

God is the standard of goodness. Even Jesus acknowledges this when he was called a good teacher. He pointedly stated only God is good. Yet there are many in today’s culture who believe humans are naturally, inherently good. They claim evil is the exception. But is this true?

What does history reveal? Nation’s dictatorships killing innocent people by the millions. Nations hating other nations for no other reason but jealousy or being different. Adults being predators of children. Thieves who would rather steal from others than work for a living. People lying to cover up their shortcomings. Gangs selling destructive drugs to others. Organized criminals looting stores. We could spend the day listing all the ways evil resides and is expressed in and through people.  

What does the Bible reveal about the natural inclination of people?

The emotional heart is the central organ of evil. The spirit that influences the heart needs to be changed for goodness to shine. Only after Satan is removed from the scene as pictured in the Book of Revelations, and humans receive the Spirit of God as outlined in Gospel of John, will goodness become the central core of a person’s life. Until then, the battle to control one’s behavior is a never-ending proposition.   

Thankfully, until that time totally arrives, God has provided us with HIS truth of values and goals as outlined in the Bible which help us to continually reposition ourselves unto the path of proper behavior; plus HE continues to shower us with HIS amazing grace that embraces us with HIS favor until that time arrives.

HIS biggest favor is sharing HIS life with you by living HIS life in you and through you. When we accept the Triune God’s authority in our life, HE comes to live in us. The Bible identifies HIM as the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit enriches us with HIS presence and shares HIS fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. All are the basic values which leads a person to experience the richness of life as God created us to enjoy.

The longer we live, the more we see man’s natural inclination is to lean toward evil. Only when the heart has been changed towards accepting God’s authority (Truth) and HIS Spirit merges with ours, is there a semblance of good. Yes, you can be ignorant of God’s ways and still live them out. (Mankind implementing the Ten Commandments in their lives is a good example). But humans still need to learn good; it doesn’t come naturally. All of us are endowed with the internal struggle to channel good over evil. Its not easy. But the reward of being free to express oneself without harming self or others is the outcome. Otherwise, society will suffer and burn while one person indulges themselves into narcissistic behavior until eventually they find them self alone and miserable and empty of any emotional happiness. Which would you prefer?

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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Look at the Evidence

Proverbs 18:13

Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.

We live in a world of in-your-face social and institutional media that everything we read and see and hear is quickly digested and generally believed without facts. A 10-second video clip is shown and conclusions quickly drawn. People and actions are immediately judged and condemn on hearsay, gossip, and tribal affiliation. The Bible identifies people who act this way are foolish and immature.

One of my early mentors taught me the importance of gathering all the facts before being swayed by the initial story. One time an employee presented us with an accusation of another associate. The event if true would be grounds for termination. When I initially heard the story, anger arouse, and I wanted the person immediately removed from the company. But my mentor remained calm, thank the person for the information, and proceeded to complete his work for the day. I was dumb-founded. Wasn’t he going to act on this manner?

He did. He finished the task in front of him, then scheduled meetings with several of the people involved. After meeting with each person, and interviewing several other people involved, the whole story became known. The facts showed otherwise. The accuser’s perception of the events was an error. A person’s reputation and job were saved. And when all the real evidence became known, everyone involved could breathe fresh air again.

The moral of the story – don’t jump to conclusions until you gather all the facts from as many sources as possible. And like Steve Covey always said, First understand, then be understood.

When you allow your feelings to lead, you will fall far short of your goal. Instead, gather the evidence, study the facts, and reach a rational decision which you can uphold before others.

Facts don’t lie, feelings do. Liars may distort and twist facts toward their personal agenda, therefore the importance of you knowing the facts in their pure form becomes more necessary if you truly want to know the truth.  

When 10 facts overwhelm one fact, the answer is obvious. Yet many people know one fact of the situation and ignore the nine. They are people with a hidden agenda and don’t want the truth. They have a personal crusade and don’t care of the truth. The rational person though will want to take the whole picture into account. They will look at the entire evidence before reaching a conclusion.

So, before you jump into the shadow of your feelings, be rational, gather the evidence, and then reach your conclusion on the matter. It always sounds true when the first person speaks, but after you hear from the other side, you will most often find your initial impression is not the real picture of the entire event. The more you do this, the better you will become in evaluating the situations in your life – It’s called maturing in wisdom.    

PS: If you haven’t yet included the Book of Proverbs into your devotional reading time, you may want to practice reading a chapter per day for one month on an annual basis. There is a whole lot of practical wisdom waiting to be digested between those pages that is very applicable for the 21st century.

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

What Type of Government Do You Want?

1 Samuel 8:4-9

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways. Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to judge us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

How often does history repeat itself because human nature fails to learn the lessons of yesterday?

Back when the nation Israel was ruled by Judges, the people were basically being self-governed. They had the Ten Commandments and the Torah (first 5 books of the Bible) as their constitution and bill of rights. The people though weren’t happy with the way things were and their solution was to become like the other nations around them. They wanted a king.

They wanted someone else to handle their problems and were willing to surrender their freedom of self-government. Like most governments today, they reject God as their binding authority and think they have a better solution for governing the nation.

Samuel explained to the people what will result from their decision and yet the people were willing to exchange their life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness for servitude to a king. The king will take their sons and place them into armies for war; make them work for the king rather than for themselves and their families. The king will take the choice land and have the people plow it for his sake. He will take whatever is yours and use it for his own ambitions and plans. Read 1 Samuel 8:10-18 and you capture a glimpse of people relinquishing their freedom and rights to become servants and serving at the pleasure of the king.

Today people struggle with similar ideologies. Rather than accept personal responsibility for making their life more fruitful, they want their cake without making the effort to bake one. Rather than accept personal responsibility to govern oneself, they want others to tell them how to think, work, and have fun as long as they are taken care for.

There are those who want big government without realizing what they are asking for. History continues to show the larger a government grows; the less freedom people experience. Governments need to be fed. When 50% of the nation’s workforce is producing wealth so the other 50% can get paid, something eventually breaks. And like the frog sitting in the kettle of water simmering in slow rising heat, until one day the frog finds itself being cooked, people slowly are taxed until there is nothing for them to live on. Then when their eyes are open to realize they are working only to subsidize the lifestyle of others without anything left for themselves, then its too late. They have become slaves of a government plantation with no one to rescue them.

This is why government and religion are constantly battling with each other. You have to decide who you are going to serve. Do you want a large government which needs to be fed and makes life’s decisions for you? Or a small government built upon King Jesus and his eternal values which operates through the individual’s heart in service for others? Earthly governments coerce you to comply. God’s way is built upon law and order for both the individual and community to flourish and share their wealth with others without persuasion.     

When people allow the Triune God to be the center of their life, they respect and govern themselves and others knowing they are answerable to Him. They welcome open discussion without fear always searching for the truth of the matter. They are learning to govern under the tutelage of Jesus Christ understanding all humans are made in the image and likeness of their Creator. They build their foundation upon the values and attributes of God. Yet they recognize evil in themselves and others. But also accept the finish work of Jesus Christ who gracefully forgives the sins of their parents, their grandparents, their children, and their own personal caveats. They allow their individual character to reflect the glory of God which magnifies the light on their community.

In today’s world, most governments replace God’s role in people’s lives. Yet imagine a world where the Triune God is the governing agency. How large of a government would be needed? Now you can understand my longing for Jesus Christ to return and establish his government throughout the land. But today it is always a battle to choose the best of “what is available.” As a people, we need a government to keep law and order and protection from evil forces. The question always seems to be – which one?

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

Racism’s Best Solution

Galatians 3:28

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.

When you remove Jesus Christ from the equation, you throw away the best solution for mankind’s struggle against the evils of this world. When the culture dictates and identifies people by the color of their skin rather than the quality of their character, the ugliness of human nature abounds.

Throughout world history, people have pursued political utopias with an “us against them” attitude which has led to the ruin of more people than any other ideology. Lies, destruction, and death is the usual outcome of a human heart bent on an unbridled passion for power and domination. When one ethnic group disrespects another because of a blindness to superiority or a fearfulness of differences, conflict will always remain.

We have witness people like Hitler, Mao, Stalin, and others who pursued ideologies of racism to further their personal ambitions. Before long, they manipulate people building large governmental power bases where citizens eventually loss their freedom in exchange for servitude to the state.

Jesus Christ has already implemented the solution for racism. However, when people fail to accept His accomplishment and solution to the problem, the ugliness of human nature will continue to lead toward a destructive path. 

The human heart is a mixture of good and evil. The ideal is to fully express the good and find ways to restrain the evil. The Bible reveals evil will never be fully eradicated until the return of Jesus Christ when Satan is locked up. But evil can be minimized; not through violence, harassment, and lies, but through the acceptance of following a proven leader who has already demonstrated the way by walking the talk.   

Yes, his name is Jesus Christ. When you study his life, his claim of kingship, and his approach toward working with others, you quickly find a person worthy to follow. In fact, you find a person who revolutionized the world without an army, country, or political support.

When you discover who he truly IS, his purpose of being born, living, and suffering for you and I, plus how you fit into the grand scheme of everything he has planned out, you quickly realize He is the solution for all mankind. He dealt with racism in his time and created the means to unite the entire human race under one, free government with unlimited potential for all to flourish.

We are not speaking about joining a Christian religion, but a relationship with the living Triune God. The Incarnation of Jesus Christ is a theological concept which explains the common ground we all have in Him. He connects all of us in Him and with each other.

The three blogs below may help you better understand the reality of who Jesus is and what he also accomplished for you and I through His earthly life:

Jesus Christ is the Good News!

Jesus Christ Chose You

Vicarious Life

Read responsibly.

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 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Born 2 Die Trap

1 Corinthians 15:26

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

The day life began for you is the same day you entered a trajectory toward the day of your death. If you are reading this, then you haven’t yet arrived to that predictable event. A sobering thought we don’t want to face because of the many questions that arise; especially the big one. What is life all about?

Some of my neighbors believe there is no purpose for life except to enjoy oneself to the max because we are all going to die. Others believe there is a God and we must be good, follow the golden rule, and earn our way unto some next stage beyond death. And others still who believe life is a cycle of reincarnation and never ends. What is life all about?

There are those who we may know have done good their entire life and at the end are suffering with great intensity. Others have lied, cheated, and stolen their way along and now are enjoying their retirement with ease and comfort. What is life all about?

The last time I checked there is not one person who did not leave this planet without first experiencing death. Even Jesus Christ, the resurrected One, died.

Death is the enemy of all humans. We shall all die. But, then what? Why bother to live if there is no meaning, purpose, or something to gain between birth and death?

All these questions and more hit me as a seventeen-year-old senior in high school. Born with the internal clock and fortitude to always start with the end goal in mind led me to search for answers. In a way, it is how God led me to Him.

When you peel off the onion of life and seek logical answers, you find you are not alone. Much has been written by thousands of others who have travelled a similar journey. Some came back with the same conclusion as I; but others not. This is how my journey started and eventually led to become an apprentice of Jesus Christ.

The more we studied into His life and the more we focused to walk with Him, the more real His teachings become alive. With the hindsight of history to view the interconnecting points, and actually see a pattern of consequences turn into a path of spiritual fruit, one becomes more confident in a God who is working out some master plan between all the chaos and noise which surrounds each of us.

The Triune God becomes more and more real each day. Love, Joy, Grace are no longer words of the mind, but an inner treasure of riches longing to be distributed with others. The Master Designer is not way off in the furthest corner of the universe, but personally involved with each human child. He longs to dance, celebrate, and share His riches with each of us. But as a parent, He also wants us to grow up, enjoy the experiences of life, and be successful in all we do.

Death is only the end of one stage of God’s masterful plan for humanity. From the foundation of the world, His plan was to adopt humanity into the Triune fold. Sin is only a blip on God’s project plan. He has already taken care of the matter. Death is another blip on His master plan. He has also already taken care of that matter. When the music ends, what comes next?

You and I were born to live for eternity. God has placed that concept into our inner being. Like a fetus in the womb of a pregnant mother, humanity is waiting for the fullness of time when the baby is ready to escape from the inner chamber of a mother’s custody into a new world.

The trap is thinking that this life is all there is. No purpose; No meaning; No God. Such a life will miss out having a bonding relationship with their Parent, and the fruit which comes from such an interconnecting, social cord. My heart yearns for others who are missing out on experiencing the richness of life through the means God has given us. This is His story. His production. His plan. The sooner we come to realize who He truly IS, the quicker we shall experience and taste the fruit of how He always intended humanity to live.  

No trap; just an inner confidence to experience life today and forever with Father-Son-Holy Spirit and His adopted children in whatever He is preparing us for.

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

Natural Evil

Romans 8:21

that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.

The Bible places great emphasis on the consequences of moral evil. But what about natural evil?

Insurance companies call them “acts of god”. An event that directly results from the occurrence of natural causes that could not have been prevented by the exercise of foresight or caution. These are typically your tornadoes, earthquakes, violent winds, and floods.

Generally speaking, it is agreed that moral evil is caused by direct human activity. A person doing harm toward another or refraining from doing good to another.  

However, natural evil is the open sport among philosophers and theologians. Some believe people cannot be held morally responsible for its occurrence and others believe because of man’s original fall from grace, natural evil is the result of man’s sin.

Then there are those who accuse God of manipulating nature’s forces to bring about destruction. Atheists like to use the argument that a loving God wouldn’t use force to destroy good people. Yet the Bible shows otherwise. One example, is the story of Job where Satan receives permission from God to destroy Job’s health, wealth, and family.

So, is natural evil God disciplining his children or just the systematic order of nature?

In order to answer that question, another one must first be asked. Is evil part of God’s plan?  Doesn’t God allow evil in the world? Could he eliminate evil from the planet whenever He desires? Yet He doesn’t, why?

I write this as the Corvid-19 pandemic circles the globe. Scientist have already acknowledged its presence came from a bat sold in a meat market in China. Isn’t it interesting that God in Leviticus outlines diet restrictions for his people Israel which includes not eating unclean foods? These unclean foods included garbage swallowers like catfish, pigs, and yes even bats. You think God may have knew something about certain animal species and what harmful viruses they may carry? 

I believe God allows natural disasters. He could prevent them from every happening. Yet He chooses not to. Why?

Maybe it has something to do with preparing people for eternity; building Godly character and trust in a loving Father. Maybe its to remind us we are not in absolute control of life. Pandemics occur. Tornadoes happen. Wild fires start. Doesn’t nature have a way to test us? To make us realize life is less about comfort and safety and more about dealing with crisis and challenges. Maybe major problems remind us we are not as strong and invincible as we may believe. Maybe there is Life greater than us.

I don’t have the answer. Only a whole lot of questions. But I do know God is working out something on earth that will culminate into one awesome, stunning event that will make all of history look at amazement at His finish work. But until then, we battle all evils of all kinds with an Almighty God. Then one day we will look back and the answer will be revealed. We will smile, acknowledge God’s wisdom, and move forward in greater expectation for what the future holds for us knowing He is in control and invites us to share in His work.    

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 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

“If Only” Trap

John 11:21 

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here…

One of the biggest traps that prevents a person from seizing the opportunity before them, is living the “if only” excuse. We play the recording so often that many of us are not aware what we are even doing.

If only I married the other person. If only I majored in accounting rather than biology. If only I said yes. Or if only I said no. We not only glance at life in the rear-view mirror, but we drive the car looking behind us rather than what is right in front of us. Try it some day and see how difficult and dangerous it is.

John writes in his gospel the story of Lazarus’ death. Lazarus was the brother of Martha and Mary and all three loved by Jesus. When Jesus delayed his coming by two days, Lazarus died. When Jesus finally showed up, Martha threw the “if only” card at Jesus. Jesus didn’t catch it but simply focused on the current situation and again rose someone from the dead. Jesus didn’t accept the ‘if only” card.

When we play the “if only” card, we try to justify it. The fact is, if we could have, we would have. But, maybe because of responsibility at the time, or health, or incomplete facts, we made a decision. Most likely, if you had the same information today that you had back then, you would make the same choice.

The next time you catch yourself stating the “if only” excuse, slap your face. Then was then; today is today. Learn from yesterday, plan for tomorrow, but live for today. All you have today is in front of you. Ask God for the wisdom to seize the opportunities that lie in front of you today. Learn to distinguish God’s activity at the moment, and look for ways to join Him.

As you mature in your relationship with our Lord, you will find yourself using the ‘if only” card less and playing the “what’s next Lord” track more. As a child matures into an adult, you will likewise mature in your walk with Father-Son-Spirit. You will receive constant reassurances during the day that you are important to Him and learn to trust Him more and more each day.

Again, forget the “if only” trap. Instead, learn to pray and walk with the “what’s next Lord” attitude. You will be pleasantly surprised by the transformation.    

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!


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