Dull, Blind & Ignorant

Acts 28:25-27
“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet:
“‘Go to this people, and say,
“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
 For this people’s heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed;
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’ ESV.

Do you recall a time when you looked but never actual saw what was happening? Or heard someone speak to you, but never really grasp what they were saying? Or even acknowledged the factual answer but never truly understood the significance?

When the apostle Paul preached the gospel to the Jewish leaders at Rome, his frustration came through by finishing his discourse with the above passage from Isaiah.  He basically called his audience a people with dull hearing, blind eyes, and intellectually ignorant of God. Yet he also gave them a way out. If they were willing to acknowledge their inability to hear, see, comprehend and accept his message, they will be healed by God.

The Bible calls this repentance. To make a 180 degree turn from self to God; away from sin and toward holiness; away from prioritizing your estate as #1, to serving Jesus and His Kingdom as the primary focus of your life.

It is not until an addict can acknowledge their problem, before healing can take place. The same with God. Until a person can accept the reality of their hopelessness apart from God, healing cannot take place.

So if you can hear, see, and know but are having trouble listening, perceiving, and comprehending, maybe it’s time to do some serious business with our Lord and Savior. He is a professional at restoring life to His original intention. He can do the same with 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

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Bold Confidence

Ephesians 3:12
in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. ESV.

The Hebrew view of faith from the old testament emphasized Chutzpah or high confidence rather than just a mental exercise. This concept is also re-emphasized in the new testament from the Book of Hebrews. Faith is more about knowing you know because of the living experiences you walked through rather than just an analytical dream you conceive in your mind. We sometimes like to make practical applications into something religiously mystical. But faith is that bold confidence your body, soul, and mind expresses when you are faced with a challenge or opportunity.

How is this faithful confidence built? Isn’t it through life’s experiences? When we try something new and learned from the experience, don’t we grow our confidence? When we try and fail or succeed at something, don’t we gain confidence in the process? Isn’t it the same in our relationship with our Lord?

Yes we can have confidence apart from our Lord and in ourselves or abilities. But that isn’t the bold confidence we are speaking about here. That confidence is built solely on human skills and abilities and will eventually fail you. The Chutzpah we are writing about is that bold confidence you develop when you leaned on the Lord and in hindsight you know he carried you through the ordeal.

It is eating food and drinking water every day for forty years in the desert like the nation of Israel in their exodus march. It is like a teenager defeating a lion and a bear to defend his family’s sheep like David. It is a beauty pageant winner standing before the autocratic King risking her life to save her nation from genocide like Deborah. It is a confidence built through the actual experience of trusting God.

It starts with the small things in life and grows from there.

We all have been given faith by the Holy Spirit. But unless you use it, you will never experience the joy of knowing your heavenly Father and the riches He shares with His children.

Faith is fully alive when confidence exudes boldness. But it only starts when you place your trust in the God of reality.

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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

God Prepares the Way

1 Corinthians 2:9 ESV.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”—
Ephesians 2:10 ESV.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

 

One of the joys of walking with the Lord is knowing He goes before you. Instead of manipulating circumstances or people which causes division and relational conflict, Christ-followers have the distinct honor of leaning on their heavenly Father in searching out the best means before them.

The fact is God has an eternal investment in you and wants you to succeed in life. However, not the way many people think of success. His desire for you and me is to build Christ-like character which leads to a productive life. The problem is most people want a productive life without the character.

When you know that God cares for you more than you realize, wants what is best for you, and has already prepared the way for you, your only challenge is to discover it and walk through it. How does one discover it?

Simple answer: By growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ; not only intelligently, but relational. We need to hunger for a love relationship so intimately with Him  that we can rest our heads on his “bosom and hear his heart beat.” We need to develop a relationship with Him were we know how He communicates with us. Whether through His Word, Spirit, our conscience, that slight nudge, or that inspired thought that comes outside our mind, we need a thirst for more of Him and less of us.

Biblically we see how John the Baptist prepared the  way for Christ. How His Father led Jesus through planned events which fulfilled scripture and proved that He is the Messiah. We see how the Spirit led apostle Paul throughout his ministry. We see the same with many others throughout the Bible. Even Jesus mentioned that he is preparing an eternal place for us.

In summary, you were created to do good work which God prepared beforehand for you to do (Eph.2:10).  Lean on Him and He will unwrap it for you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 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 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved