Less Self, More God & Others

Philippians 2:3

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

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Being selfless isn’t reducing your worth as a human being. You are created in the image of God and your worth is hidden in Jesus Christ. You are priceless in God’s eyes. You are worth more than you even imagine. Your worth isn’t measured by what or how you do something; your value is in what Jesus has done, is doing, and yet will do.

However, we are instructed to focus our minds to look at others as more important than ourselves. What does that mean?

First being selfless doesn’t mean you think you are less important than others. It means you simply spend less time thinking about yourself and your needs and instead invest more time thinking how you may better serve others.

The best decisions you make will be a win-win-win scenario. You will follow God’s lead and Will, you will want what is best for the other person, and you will also want what is best for yourself. There most likely will be compromise. However, the end result will generally be fruitful for everyone involved. Sometimes one side must sacrifice more than the other. But when God is in the picture, sacrificial love is His specialty. And he has a way of rewarding us in serving with Him as He works in the lives of others.

In this world economy, many people have a limited pie view. They don’t understand God’s economy of multiplication. Jesus took five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000. He directed Peter and his fishing team where to find a large spool of fish that almost flooded the boat. He also fed millions of people during the Exodus where no grocery store was to be found in the area. When serving others, we know we are being held in His Grip. Though we may fall occasionally and be hurt, we also know he is always there to walk us through the situation.

Humility is simply knowing God and the value he places on all people which includes you and everyone you meet. Like Jesus, we wash the feet of others because that is the way of God. Our value is in Him. From that perspective, whatever he did and does is what we do. He emptied himself to become human and full of the Holy Spirit. We try to do and be likewise. As we empty ourselves, He makes his home in us and fills us with Himself, the Holy Spirit, and our Father God.

His Kingdom is built on service for others through Him by you. A threefold cord that works wonders in every aspect of 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

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Is God Unsafe?

2 Timothy 4:18

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

safe god

There is a human expression that occasionally makes its appearance during tough trials. This past week I heard it again. The saying is “God is not safe; but God is good.”

From a human perspective, one could quickly sake their head in agreement. Most often this thought appears when we are blindsided from events, and instead of God preventing such occurrences, He allows them to happen. These times usually are accompanied by pain, loss, and grief. However, when one begins to understand and live-out the love God has for us, when that love grows into uncompromising trust, no matter the circumstances, the goodness of God overflows even in stinking times.

God is not safe for us because at times instead of granting our expectations, he allows the opposite to occur. Instead of preventing bad things to happen to good people, he allows them to experience the impact of evil. So how can you trust a God who doesn’t meet all your heavenly expectations when you need it most?

Because He is GOOD!

In His unsearchable character, we capture a taste of his goodness throughout his creation. Like a prudent grandparent who knows when and what and how to best present a solution to a child’s problem, God knows you and what is best for you and your love ones and your community. I don’t understand how, but I’ve seen HIM do it over and over again in my life and in the life of others. One gains wisdom and trust with fifty plus years of hindsight.

He is unpredictable; otherwise He wouldn’t be God. We at times seem to think that we know what is best for us and everyone around us. We play god and forget that there is someone who is GOD. God is good. And the perspective he is unsafe comes when we haven’t totally yielded ourselves into the master craftsman’s hand.

This life isn’t meant to be permanent but a training ground for the new age tomorrow. You and I are being molded into the image of our creator. His character is slowly being morphed into you and I so one day we will stand with Jesus and serve His people with the same love, hope, and purpose as he serves us. This is His story and you are included. Complete your part and He will fulfill his.

Evil will come against you. God may not prevent it, but he will rescue you. And from this rescue, you will grow your trust in Him. If there was a better way, He would bring it about. But He knows what you lack and what you need. From a human perspective he may be unsafe; but He is a good God. Trust 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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

God Is Working Everything for Your Good

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

god work

How do you define good? When do you determine something is either good or bad?

If life throws a curve ball at you when you were expecting a fast ball, was that a good pitch or not? Don’t our shortsighted expectations sometimes blind us to reality?

Generally, we believe something is good almost immediately after its impact. For example, when we slam on our brakes at the last second to avoid a serious head-on-accident by inches. Or when we been looking for a job and an offer comes our way with a higher salary and responsibilities than you ever imagined. Or when you feel a lump on your breast and receive that phone call from your doctor acknowledging it is benign.

All these events end with immediate good news.

Yes, the news is good. And for the minute we celebrate. Yet what about those times when the events stink.

When your fiancée breaks up with you one week before the wedding.

When your tire goes flat ten minutes away from an important interview for the job of your dreams.

When the candidate you lobbied for and voted for fails to win the election.

At times like this you feel your world has come to an end. You are disappointed and maybe even angry at God for not protecting you from such “harm.” But are these events necessary “bad.” Or are they temporary, eye-opening moments to refocus our attention on the God of the universe who is constantly working for every person’s best; even when they don’t want it.

Your trust in God will be constantly challenged by the unpleasant events in your life. You will come to know him more intimately and personally as you place your undivided trust in Him. Whether you are thrown into a fiery pit, stand before a large army attacking your front while a large lake blocks your retreat in the rear, or your nine-foot goliath stands in front of you with heavy military armor and you only have a sling shot. Your immediate response may be “this isn’t good,” Yet, you will recall all the times your God intervene and the outcome was better than you could ever expect. Or the times you may have suffered for years. But in hindsight you realize those were the best years of spiritual growth and interpersonal relationship time with our Heavenly Father.

When you come to realize that no matter what happens in this journey through life on planet earth, God is constantly at work for your good and mine. Sometimes we have to wait longer than desired, but other times He delivers before we even know what happened.

God is good. All the time. Just sometimes it takes time to realize the goodness of the situation.

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

 

You Are Included

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

included

One of the main differences between Christian denominations is understanding when you are saved.

Arminianism theology believes you are saved when you make the election to choose God. Calvinism theology on the other hand believes God has already predetermined your life’s final destination. And Trinitarian theology believes God has already chosen you but you need to exercise faith to experience the fruit of salvation.

I find adoption theology gives a good example of explaining the differences.

Under adoption theology, God through Christ has adopted humanity through his life, death, and resurrection. Just like a parent adopts a child into the family fold, God has adopted humanity into the family circle. The child may either accept his position as a new family member and become engaged with the family culture, or not. The child is already included within the family whether or not she accepts her role. Her actions are either to accept the family or rebel. When she accepts, she enjoys the fruit of family living. When she rebels, she is still a family member, but lost from sharing life with the family and the family treasures.

Arminianism theology on the other hand teaches that the child selects the parent for adoption. You are not included in the family until you decide to make it so. The parent only offers adoption, and the child is the one who legally binds the offer. The weight is on the child choosing to be adopted or not.

Calvinism theology teaches that God has adopted some and has not adopted others. Some will experience eternity with God and others are predestinated for eternal lost. As a child, you have to figure out whether you are included or excluded from God’s family.

When you understand that salvation is what Jesus accomplished and not what we make happen, then we find salvation is more about a familial relationship with the living God rather than a business transaction. There are those who treat salvation as something you earn by achieving a goal, or something you acquire by keeping score of good behavior, or some noble actions toward others. When you realize its about being included within the Eternal God’s circle of Father-Son-Spirit, it changes your perspective of God, family, and life.

Paul writes that God chose humanity before the foundation of the world to become his children. When Christ rose from the dead, he not only defeated death for himself, but included all of humanity with him. Our home is with him. You cannot be lost unless you already have a home. Those who don’t truly know Jesus Christ yet have a home waiting for them. They have already been adopted into the family but don’t realize the riches that await them.  When they accept Jesus and His lordship, life changes. They become engaged in the Family business and enjoy the fruit of God’s redemptive plan. However, if they continue to rebel against participating in God’s family endeavors, and choose not to be engaged with Christ, there will be unpleasant consequences; including the loss of everlasting life.

Our chose is not whether or not we want to be adopted, our chose is whether or not we want to accept our position within the family and participate in the family business. You are already included. The question then becomes, what are you going to do about 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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Discover God in Your Brokenness

Psalm 34:18 NASB

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

broken4

The one place many of us discover the real God comes through our brokenness. When we find ourselves at the end of our rope hanging on for dear life; when we are on the bottom of the barrel with nowhere else to go; when we just suffered a great financial or relationship loss and we don’t know what to do next; God gracefully and timely (not always my way) answers our prayer. It is from these experiences we learn ASAP – always stop and pray.

In my own walk, God became real and faith came alive during those unpleasant times of unemployment. It was in between jobs where I didn’t know how we were going to make the mortgage payment and put food on the table. It was these times when the answer from our prayer for daily bread became real. Thereafter, it became a family adventure to pray and watch how God was going to help us get out of this mess and other difficult situations.

When you read many of the classics of yesterday, you read about saints who expressed their joy of discovering more about God and His gracefulness during the difficult times of their lives. It seems most of us are too busy when times are good to see God’s presence in a situation. However, when times are bad and we have exhausted all our resources so there is nothing else we can physically turn to, God makes His appearance. (Though He is always already there).

It is typically during these broken times we discover who God is and come to appreciate knowing He truly cares for us. So, the next time you find yourself busted, broken, and beaten, stop and don’t rush through the process. Instead take the time to better develop the most important relationship you can have on planet earth. He will reveal Himself to you when you seek Him. And when we are broken, there are not too many distractions to prevent us from getting to know Him better.

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

#1 Sinner

1 Timothy 1:15 NIV

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

sinner3

When we foolishly compare ourselves with our neighbors and think we are better then they, beware the blindness! It is always much easier to see the speck in our neighbor’s eye rather than the plank that is sticking through ours (Matt.7:5).

Yes, we need to recognize sin and its ugly consequences. But when we approach our neighbors from a self-righteous attitude like we are better than them, we are only setting ourselves up for a humpty-dumpty fall.

The apostle Paul kept himself grounded by truly realizing and knowing he was and is the worst sinner of everyone. Yes, he no longer went about persecuting those who didn’t believe as he did. But like the reformed alcoholic, he knew he was one drink away from being led down the path of unwavering slavery to its addiction.

His answers always pointed to Jesus Christ.

Because Jesus fulfilled HIS plan of redemption for humanity, Paul realized his changed attitude and behavior was the result of the Spirit’s work in him. Paul didn’t take the accolades but gave them to whom it belong too – Jesus Christ. He was Christ’s workmanship. The good works, the letters, the words, and the final product was only because of God’s patience and mercy toward him and others.

So, just like how D. T. Niles stated “evangelism is just one beggar telling another beggar where to find bread,” relationships are likewise built by one sinner telling another sinner where to find a real, long term solution.

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

 

More Than You Expect

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us… Ephesians 3:20 NASB.

more 1

Sometimes I stop and look back at the last forty years of life and shake my head in disbelief on how I failed to trust God in the difficult circumstances of everyday living. I believed in God most of my entire life but didn’t really believe Him until the second half of living. Again, if I could have, I would have. But life is a learning experience preparing us for eternity.

If we could reset the time, there would be a few (if not many) areas of life we would change. One area would be to remove the limitations I placed on God and myself.

I knew about God love, but how much he loved me was an issue. I didn’t know we are one of God’s favorites. My attitude was He constantly tested me for personal pleasure. He would throw me into situations that would take my breath away. He would challenge me with circumstances that would cause severe financial crisis’s. I didn’t receive blessings from Him (I mistakenly believed), but pain and sorrow.

However, in hindsight, I now realize how much He cared for me by protectively allowing one of his favorite children to go through trials, circumstances, and challenges that would strengthen me and learn to trust Him. I’ve also came to realize how many limitations we place on ourselves because we limit Him.

The more we came to lean on Him, the more we trusted Him; and the more we partnered with Him, the more He revealed Himself to me. Not with his physical Presence, but through the people, events, and circumstances of life – through His Creation.

Today, I am more amazed at how He works through others to reveal His blessings. The way He brings people into your life, the way He works out circumstances to bring about events which speaks to you, and the way He gives you the strength and courage to seek out the best.

Everything is possible with Him. He knows what is best for you. Yes, you and I have limitations. However, God has no limits. He is eternal. He is omnipresent. He made a commitment with you at creation. We just have to accept His authority in our life and get out of His way.

He is always going before you. Talk with Him. Ask Him how you can best present yourself to others. Trust Him. Lean on Him. He is doing a work in you for His glory, not yours. When you surrender to His goals and objectives, you allow Him to work through you. The result is a manifestation of His greatness. Your talents which He endowed you with and your skills which you have developed are join together with His purpose and His love for you. Together you will see more abundantly what He has in mind for you. And you will come to realize He has more in store for you than you can ever think, ask, or imagine.

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