How Can You Best Serve God?

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. AMP.

Everyone has a master. This may be shocking for those who live in the “free world” where one boasts of their independence and freedom. Yet even in the countries of northern America or western Europe every person has a master. Most often their master is not the governmental system or leader but themselves.

The truth be told each one of us either serves our passions and dreams and desires rather than someone else’s dictates. Yet Jesus himself states that a person cannot truly serve two masters. One will be more effectively served than the other. So how do you know you are truly serving your Lord rather than yourself?

First there are those who serve Jesus for their own self-centered purpose. Generally, they want something and believe if they serve Jesus, he will grant them their wish. Then there are those who have emptied themselves from personal ambition and truly find joy serving Jesus without a personal agenda. These are the ones who have matured through life realizing the relationship with God is more valuable than any personal goal.

The first group looks for ways to “buy” God through favors by servicing others. The second group builds a relationship with God to become more aware of His presence and joins him with their hands and feet in serving others. Typically, they don’t even know what they are doing and the impact their service for others mean. They simply and gratefully appreciate the opportunity to work along their Master.

Typically, the second group doesn’t look for additional work to perform for God. Instead they know God is already involved in the work they do; their service is to perform their daily routine for God’s glory. A mother or father caring for their children is already glorifying God through their loving responsibility for their children. The receptionist in the office is already serving God by being a joyful representative of His kingdom with everyone he meets. Likewise, the mechanic repairing the client’s automobile as if it was his own, being truthful and fair in the exceptional work they perform, is already serving God by witnessing His values before others.

The list is endless. We serve God best by doing what we do every day for His glory. When we exercise the gifts he has bestowed upon us into good, productive work, and perform our service for others in a saintly manner, being transparent and caring for their well-being, you are being a profitable servant introducing God’s kingdom to the world as His faithful witness.

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

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;

three focus

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

 

Role Failure vs Rooted Identity

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

identity

One trait that most people rarely develop into a positive habit is learning the art of turning failure into success. Like an old ax with a dull blade, we continue to exert more physical energy in its use rather than employ sound wisdom on the problem. Like the person who keeps trying to mop up the water in the bathroom without first turning off the faucet, we work harder rather than smarter. But sound wisdom is available for those who are tired of continually falling short of the mark.

To pursue any type of success without expecting setbacks is like running a marathon without expecting to take a drink of water. Life is not designed that way. The quicker one learns to turn lemons into lemonade, the more enjoyable life will become.

First failure is in the eye of the beholder. Thomas Edison failed over two thousand times to find the perfect filament for the electric light bulb. That is how an outsider viewed the situation. However, Mr. Edison himself simply viewed each test as one step in the process of eliminating what doesn’t work.

The largest reason, I believe, people are able to properly manage the mental anguish of failure is the ability to separate their identity as a person from the role they are working through. When you truly realize you are a child of the same God who holds the universe together, held in the grip of Jesus Christ, made and being morphed into his image, you have an eternal identity which no failure nor person can remove. However, when your identity is found in anything else (no matter how good it may look or be), you have made an idol that will eventually come crumbling down.

When you can separate your identity from your role in life, then you will find it easier to evaluate the situation and come up with more reasonable solutions to your dilemma. However, when you use your role as your identity cup, that cup will leave you totally empty when the role is over. Roles come and go but your identity in Christ remains forever.

You see this all the time. The person whose career is over becomes lost because their identity was solely buried in their work. The mother whose identity was found in her children becomes lost when the children leave home. The teenager whose identity is found with his friends becomes lost if not accepted by his peers or their friends move away. The athlete whose identity is found on the football field finds himself loss when he is discarded because of his age.

When you know who you are in Christ though, then each role

you accept becomes a learning process of developing the necessary skills needed to succeed in that role. No matter how well you succeed or fail to succeed, you are only defining your ability to manage that role. Your identity in Christ doesn’t change. Yes, you may be a lousy waitress, but you are an awesome child of God. Yes, you may be a lousy ballplayer, but you can improve by sharpening the necessary skills need to succeed. The same with any role you have chosen to pursue.

Of course, when you build your role upon the God-given gifts and natural abilities given, the path will be easier. Yet motivation and hard work developing the necessary skill set is also necessary and doable. You may not become the #1 rated person in your industry, but you will be greatly respected for what and how you do it.

So, the next time you find yourself short of your mark, thank God for the opportunity you have been given, find yourself a mentor, and know that failure only sets the bar for you to discover what you need to change to become more effective in the role you are working through.

Don’t confuse your identity with your role. Master your role. Keep centered in your identity. Then failure is only a holding pattern in a learning process of improving your role.

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’s Purpose For You

Galatians 4:19

My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you

purpose

Whenever we hear another message that God has a plan for you, I cringe. Most often, not always, but most often the message comes across that you are unique (true); you have one specific life role God designed you for (maybe); if you dream it, it must be from God (maybe); and your earthly destiny is already planned out (ouch).

Now we could discuss free-will and predestination, but will not because it becomes a never-ending discussion subject to your preliminary worldview. However, we will agree that God does have a plan for your life that involves every aspect of your goals, dreams, passion, and purpose. That objective is to form Christ in you!

Scriptures like Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 3:14:19, Ephesians 4:11-19, Philippians 3:21, and Colossians 1:28 record the apostle’s Paul emphasis on Christ being formed in you.

So, when you realize this, and you submit yourself under God’s authority in your life, Christ will continue to transform your character through the Holy Spirit, no matter what goals, dreams, and passions you pursue. When you live in the center of God’s Will, rarely will your choice be predetermined rebellion against Him. Instead your options are like Adam and Eve’s. How many trees were available for them to focus their attention on? Wasn’t the tree of life also in the garden with the tree of knowledge of good and evil? So, why did they select the one God told them not too? Life choices are many. But as long as you hold unto the One Who Is the Source of Life, you will be OK. God’s plan is to bring you unto maturity in Christ.

The God we serve is so much larger than you and I can ever phantom. He allows us to exercise free-will while He continues the process of changing us from a self-centered, self-ruled person to a Christ-centered, spirit-led adopted child of His.

If fact, the more Christ is formed in you, the more you come to realize there isn’t one physical goal, one dream, or one passion with your name on it. Instead you have the entire galaxy at your disposal. Only because of our limited thinking, doubtful trust in God, fear of failure, and shortsightedness, we narrow the possibilities in front of us.

Since God’s desire is to develop the leadership skills and Kingdom-centered values in you as you partner with Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit, bringing you to maturity in Him, exercise some personal judgement, gather counsel from your elders that know you, and choose the path your passion, talents, and love for others lead you. You can be assured God is always with you and will continue to form you in the image of His Son along the way.

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

Wisdom 501

Proverbs 3:13

How blessed is the man who finds wisdom and the man who gains understanding.

wisdom4

If you are an atheist, what benefit would you receive from reading the Bible? There are some who believe the Book is outdated and has no relevance in the 21st century. Others believe science has replaced the folklore of yesterday. Yet when one travels through the pages of this number one seller, one quickly realizes that nothing has really changed from 4,000 years ago and today except for technology and fashion. Otherwise, human nature has been the same since the beginning of history.

You discover this Book outlines gems of wisdom for all areas of life. Whether you want to learn ways to improve your marriage, your relationships at work and home, or how government works best, you can find the answers throughout this Book.

You will find wisdom to create wealth, build a business, and invest for the future.

You will find diet tips, money tips, and life tips.

You will find answers for life’s tough questions.

You will discover a God who cares, plans, and has a purpose for His creation.

You will discover the mind of God.

You don’t have to be a believer to benefit from the lessons and principles taught throughout its pages.

Sometimes the more one becomes “educated”, the more common sense seems to disappear. This Book restores common sense and heightens the importance of knowledge that leads to understanding and wisdom.

History, war, family squabbles, relationship challenges, job success, financial stewardship, non-penalized fun, humor, and a whole number of other knowledge building categories for you to sharpen your Life skill set is sewn between the pages.

So, if you want more wisdom in your life, than read the Book. And if you are open to the experience, you may even discover where real Wisdom is found.

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

 

 

 

Celebrate Life

 

 

Ecclesiastes 9:4

For whoever is joined with all the living, there is hope; surely a live dog is better than a dead lion.

celebrate1

As long as you are alive, you have hope for the future. No matter your circumstances, God’s grace abounds everywhere. Nothing is hidden from Him; nothing escapes Him, nothing limits Him. He created you to live life to the fullest; to experience His love, and fulfill your potential.

Our challenge most often is to get out of the way. We think our plans and solutions are the best ones not realizing there just may be a better way. Our pride and insecurity often prevent us from yielding ourselves to His instructions. We falsely believe no one knows us better than ourselves. What we fail to realize so often is how blind and ignorant the self so easily becomes. We all need a mentor; someone who has gone before us and can show us how it is done.

Life is for the living, not for the dead. As long as we are alive, we can celebrate the life given to us by our Creator. We may not enjoy our current situation and circumstances may temporarily be in stink mode, but we have hope in a Savior – His name is Jesus.

He lived life to the fullest. He introduced us to His Father. He taught us the reality of life in His Kingdom. He intervenes for us. He shares His life with us. He gives us purpose and meaning to celebrate life the way our Creator initially designed the world to be.

Yes, there will be disappointments. Yes, expectations fail. Yes, circumstances change. But through everything, the Triune God cares for you and wants you to share in their life. As we lean on Him, His character, divine nature, and attributes rubs unto you. You become more of a “little Christ.” The joy & peace He instills in you begins to uncontrollably overflow unto others. Your love for others is more fully expressed in your desire to help them succeed. Life becomes more than just about survival. Life becomes a celebration of what God has done, is doing, and will yet do.

Always remember, as long as you are alive, you have hope for the future because God’s Love is greater than anything this world throws your way!   This is our reason for celebrating life each and everyday.

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