Thoughts about Truth

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 NIV.

Is truth an opinion or a fact? Is truth subjective or objective? How do we determine what is true? Why is truth important? Or does it really matter?

Your answers reveal the foundation of your life.  When you build your house on the basis of truth, you are not easily or gullible to the distorted half-truths of others.

When you have a poor memory, knowing what is truthful and honest allows you to recall the facts. Why? Because you are a person who always acts upon the truthful facts and don’t rely on fantasy, lies, and distortion.

Truth allows you to live life abundantly without the extra baggage of outside influences. When you know the truth, the truth will set you free from seeking cultural, religion, and social approval.

The closer you are to the truth, the closer you are to the heart of God. The closer you are to the heart of God, the closer you are to the truth. Knowing the truth reveals the heart of God. The heart of God reveals the truth.

Knowing the truth frees you from the false lies and illusions we create in our minds that causes anxiety, fear, and guilt.

Truth allows you to build a foundation that is immovable. Truth (with a capital T) is Jesus Christ. Truth ( with a small t) are the facts built upon reality.

Truth allows you to walk in reality. The author of reality is its creator: the Triune God. When you accept reality and know who controls reality, and know your identity within that reality, you are free to enjoy life the way God created life to be.

Truth matters because it is built on reality. Truth allows you to deal directly with the problem, challenge, and opportunity. Without truth, you are dealing only with smoke. With truth, you can focus directly on the fire and make it work for you rather than against you.

Truth is found in Scripture. Truth is found in Jesus Christ. Truth is also found in science and math. Wherever the Creator left his imprint, the reality of truth blooms.

There is no fear with the truth. As the truth allows you to discern which way is the best.

Wherever truth speaks, God hears. Whenever truth is revealed, God sees. However truth is discovered, God is there. When one walks with Truth, one walks with Jesus Christ at your side.

Truth deals directly with a matter; lies cover up. Therefore, seek the truth, build your house upon the truth, and your house will survive whatever ordeal comes your way (Luke 6:46:49).

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

Heart Problem?

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my just decrees. Ezk. 36:26-27 ESV.

The nation of Israel during the prophet Ezekiel’s watch again ran into personal isolation. They would repeatedly find themselves in God’s dog house for their continual rebellion against Him. Rather than focus on Him, they continued to chase after local gods and found themselves captured by their surrounding enemies. Yet God, as usual, took the time to encourage them and foretell what He planned to do with them for His name’s sake.

Rules and laws are for those who need them. And most of us need them because we do not have a heart that looks at the big picture for the sake of others. Instead we want what we want and we want it now. Our desire and motive is primarily self-oriented. From Adam and Eve satisfying their desire without taking into consideration the whole consequence of their actions, to our craving for French fries yesterday that we didn’t need, without the heart of God leading us, we are apt to quickly satisfy our inner desires without a care for the long term effects.

Ezekiel’s prophecy was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit made His public display and recruited over 3,000 people (Acts 2). His manifestation caused a revival which led to the start of the Church and lives being changed from the inside-out. The fruit of the Spirit began to be seen in the people who surrendered to the King (Gal.5:22-24). The heart of stone was being replaced one person at a time.

Today is no different. Those who have become Christ-followers and surrendered to their King have likewise experienced life with the Spirit. Sin is no longer attractive. Instead the desire to live, play, and work from a holy seat is the joy of the Lord. No longer do we have a heart problem. Instead we have a new heart that mirrors our God (Gal.4:6). A heart centered in Jesus Christ (Eph.3:17). A pure heart that allows us to see the work of God (Matt. 5:8).

So if you are having heart problems, you have direct access to the #1 surgeon of the universe – our heavenly Father. Ask him for a new one. It’s His business. And He is very good at it.

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

God Waste’s Nothing

When the disciples saw this, they were indignant. “Why this waste?” they asked. Matt. 26:8 ESV.

Jesus was visiting Simon the leper at his house when a woman came to him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment. She poured it on his head as he reclined at the table. The disciples saw it and became indignant because they believe it was a waste of money. However, Jesus’ reply was on the act itself which came from her heart. He took the situation and directed the focus toward the gospel message, his coming burial, and her worshipful testimony.

God waste’s nothing.

You & I may look at a situation and develop an expected outcome that we consider good or bad. However, God looks at the heart of the people involved and turns it into a teachable moment for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear; hopefully you and I.

Jesus was having dinner at a tax collector’s house surrounded with other undesirables (in the eyes of the Pharisees). These teachers of the Law questioned Jesus’ association with people who were sinners. Again Jesus took the moment to share the gospel message.

God waste’s nothing.

What may look like contempt to us, or a challenging moment, may prove to be the changing point in our lives. Every act, every circumstance, every situation, is truly a moment of time God works to create His masterpiece in each of us. God is always working through the good and the bad for our benefit.

God waste’s nothing.

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

 

 

Faith, Character, Wisdom

…so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Cor. 2:5 ESV.

When you review the last 40 years of my life with the people who entered into our small world, most have more faith then they generally believed. There limitations usually came from the so call general education they received from others. Some were consistently placed in positions that limited their thinking or distorted their view of life. Others were surrounded by people who put the fear of the unknown in their heads. And some went the other extreme believing fantasies and lies while living in denial. In fact, most of these people put more faith driving down a two-lane road then exercising the awesome gift they already have in their possession.

Faith comes from God. He allocates as He desires. A little is all you need. The problem is most of us would rather rely on ourselves, or our associates rather than trust God.

When one’s journey takes them into the deep crevices of life were darkness penetrates the soul, and we survive, nothing will ever be the same again. For most of us, it is in the pits of life when we recognize Jesus as He shares His faith, character, and wisdom with us.

After such an ordeal, we realize what real faith is and the assurance we have from Him. We begin to recognize the Godly character and wisdom we lack and desire to have. Typically, after such an experience, we want more of Him.

So we pursue him through religion, but eventually discover how empty and unfulfilling performance-oriented living becomes. We cram our brains reading and studying philosophies of the great minds who have gone before us. But soon realize they don’t have the answers either. We may bury our pain with drink, food, or sex. But the demons remain. Only when we surrender our heart to Jesus, will we experience the real fruit of godliness.

When He enters into our lives, we learn to follow his ways. When He carries us through our struggles, we learn to trust Him. When He answers our prayer requests, we pray more. When He instructs us through His Word, we gain wisdom for living. When He shapes and molds our character, we experience the fruit of His masterpiece.

Over time, He shows his love for us by molding us into the character, faith, and wisdom He manifests.  Grateful we become because of the workmanship He displays in us and through us. With humility we learn to exercise the fruit of His work. He receives all glory, honor, and respect because we know where we came from and now appreciate where we are in the hands of our Maker. He is the Teacher, we are the student. He is Lord, we are His subject. He is the Source, we are the recipient.

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

 

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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Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

The Great Dance

“How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.” Ephesians 1:3-6 Message.

dance-2

Abundant joy, overflowing love, insurmountable peace, ridiculous generosity, impeccable goodness, eternal patience, heartfelt kindness, child-like gentleness, and atomic-clad self-control are only a few of the elaborate notes that penetrate our souls as we dance with the Triune God. Like two people waltzing in step across the dance floor to the music of a large orchestra is how our relationship with God manifest itself on those unpredictable days. They make up for other days we find ourselves sitting in a funeral parlor of life leaning on God’s shoulder in tears listening to the dirge of pain and hoping that this day will quickly past so we can again recapture the richness of His presence. Both days have their place in life. But of the two, we would much rather spend time on life’s dance floor in the arms of the Man-God, Jesus Christ.

To observe the setting sun over the gulf coast on a warm sunny beach day, or the breath-taking majesty of the Grand Canyon, are simple times we witness the beauty of our Creator’s work. When we study quantum theory or simple geometry, we recognize a mind greater than ours. To witness the birth of a baby and the loving devotion of a mother with her children makes one realize life is so much more than work, eat, and sleep. When one comes to know Father-Son-Spirit and begins to move in step with Him, the dance comes alive. The music, rhythm, and movement of life are enriched with the presence of the Almighty.

We learn to dance with the Triune God through life’s challenges and opportunities. We discover there is a time to dance the waltz, cha-cha, and polka. Other times we do the jitterbug, rock-and-roll, or disco. Sometimes we simply hold on to each other and slowly two-step capturing the moment.

When we observe others around us, they are either moving to the rhythm of life’s great dance partner or bewildered and lost. Like a  young daughter with her father at a pre-teen Valentine dance, the movements may be awkward at first but the moment is captured for eternity. The same is true in our relationship with the Eternal. He wants to dance with each of us. To show us how much more life can be. To reveal what this world has blinded us too. He has already given us a home with an awesome dance floor. We just have to accept the fact that He is the One and be willing to follow His lead through the Great Dance.

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

What is Salvation All About?

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people…” Titus 2:11 ESV.

salvation

Salvation is not a prize, an event, nor a commodity. Salvation is the relationship you have in Jesus Christ with His Father via the Holy Spirit. To realize you are included with Him in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven brings greater meaning to Who He IS and your participation with Him. That you are a new creation in Him. That you have been reconciled (saved)with His Father. That you are now connected with Jesus and the Father via the Holy Spirit – adopted into the Triune God circle. Yet to experience this new life, you need to change your thinking (repent) and yield yourself to His authority (become his disciple). In so doing, you begin to experience the life (sanctification) that Jesus finished for you. The end result is eternal life (glorification) with Him in the new age.

You begin to experience this new life when you realize your identify is bound in Christ. Unlike the world’s response, your identity is not found in yourself but in the personhood of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, when we realize something must change in our lives, we usually begin to modify our environment. When that doesn’t make a difference, we then work to change our behavior. When that fails, we move toward increasing our capacity of knowledge or skill. After then, we may begin to clarify our beliefs. Lastly, we come to realize our identity of who we think we are is incorrect and needs adjusting.

However with Christ, we first begin with correctly identifying who we are in Him. We start at the top rather than move from the bottom to the top. We come to more quickly capture the knowledge and realization of God and ourselves in the process.  From our relationship with Christ, our identity is clarified. Our beliefs are aligned with reality. Our desire to grow in knowledge and skill is intensified; not for our sake but for the sake of others. Our attitudes change which leads to our behavior becoming more Christ-like. Then finally our environment becomes the breeding ground for ministry as we express God’s love and Kingdom ways for others to behold. We become a living testimony of God’s workmanship. He is glorified. We reap the benefits. Others are introduced to the God of Jesus Christ.

Salvation is freedom with Christ. Free from loneliness, because you belong to Him. Free from fear, because His love penetrates through you. Free from anxiety, because His faith assures you. Free from sin’s anguish, because His grace abounds in you.

Again, salvation is not a prize, event, nor commodity. Salvation is your relationship with Jesus Christ and His  Father via the Holy Spirit; Salvation is Christ’s finished work.

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