Why Theology Matters?

“Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Acts 17:11 ESV.

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Theology is simply the study of God. And just like all other fields of study, there are proven methods and techniques to help one accumulate knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of the subject matter.

So why is the study of theology important?

Because good theology draws you closer to the God who created reality. Good theology opens one’s eyes to know Him more intimately. Good theology is the basis of building a stronger framework to make life physically, socially, and spiritually richer.

On the other hand, poor theology distorts your relationship with the Creator and therefore reduces your potential to live a full, meaningful life. Instead of living ones full human potential, poor theology robs the person from fully knowing himself. Poor theology typically focuses more on illusion rather than reality.

The further away one is from the central core of reality, the further one’s theology of God becomes distorted.

Good theology comes from living the with-God life. Bad theology (or no theology) is living life by keeping God a distance away from you. Good theology hugs God every time you meet. Poor theology is pushing God away.

When one begins to develop a relationship with the Author of Life, one wants to know everything one can about Him. And the more you hang out with Him, the more He reveals Himself to you.

Don’t be afraid of theology. Everyone is a theologian. The question is which type do you want to be?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2016 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Gratitude

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:26 NIV.

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A thankful heart is a repentant heart. A heart that recognizes who “GOD IS” and what He has done, is doing, and will do, is typically a mature person who recognizes reality. Yet, don’t we sometimes take God’s character and divine nature which overflows with abundance of grace for granted? How often do we take that which naturally and routinely occurs in our life as a mundane expectation? Don’t we simply expect the sun to rise each day, the rain to fall during the year, and food to be on the supermarket shelves when shopping?

When we safely walk our pets through the park, drive our cars on freeways and take trips across the country to visit our children and grandchildren, don’t we casually liken it as normal life?

When we connect with others through our Smartphone, Skype, and Email, “doesn’t everyone?”

What we do every day as normal and routine, don’t we most often take for granted?

However when something unexpectedly happens like a bomb exploding in a crowded restaurant, a natural fire that destroys our personal belongings, or an accident that takes away a love one, doesn’t our world shake? Isn’t it then we quickly realize we are not in control of “our world” even if we act as if we are?

When trials test us. When events hurt us. When expectations fail. Isn’t it comforting to have someone stronger, surer, and more supportive around us to lean on?

When trust is rewarded, when promises are kept, and hope comes real, do we give recognition to the One whose ultimate hand secured the outcome?

When our prayers are being answered, circumstances workout better than we could ever expect, and life is full of happiness and good cheer, do we thank the One who makes everything possible? Or do we pat ourselves on the back for another job well done?

How about taking a minute today and simply thank the Author of Life, Giver of Gifts, and Perfecter of Perfection?

He is working out His purpose today and has included you in the mix. He loves you more than you will ever know. He has gifted you with unique talent and abilities. He has invited you to partner with Him in the greatest adventure and love story that you will ever experience. His world of abundance is at your reach. He has more to give and more to share than you can ever imagine.

Otherwise, who do you thank when your world is more blessed than what you deserve?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2016 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

How To Read The Bible For the First Time?

Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11 ESV.

read the bible 1

 

If you asked me today how to best read the Bible, my answer would be something like this:

First, read the book like any other story narrative. Start in the first book called Genesis and read right through until you finish the last book called Revelations. However read with only one question in mind: “How does God relate to humanity?” As you read, get to know God’s attributes, purposes, and mode of operation.  Don’t get stuck trying to understand anything else at this time but only focus on who “God IS.”

When you have finished, plan to reread the entire Bible one more time. This time though pay particular attention in how humanity responds to God. However this time read first the New Testament before the Old Testament. But again only study how mankind behaves before God. Don’t get sidetrack on anything else at this time.

After you have completed that assignment, then re-read the entire book from beginning through end with only one other question in mind: “How does this apply to me?” As you read you will become more aware of how God may be working with you. Some scripture may only make you yawn. Others you will find yourself strongly relating too. You will discover more about yourself as you focus on how God has worked with others and how others have responded to Him.

Only after going through the above exercise, I would than study one book at a time starting with the New Testament.  Read each book to discover the major theme, audience, and purpose behind the writing. You will not need any outside material to assist you. Instead, look for supporting points toward your main theme and outline it in your own words. This exercise will help you recognize when people take scripture out of context to make a personal point. When you recognize how that specific scripture supports the theme and answers the specific reason for the book, you will know probably just as much as any so-called Bible scholar.

You will find the Holy Spirit working with you as you discover more about God, humanity, and yourself in the process. It is a lifelong journey so don’t expect to understand everything you read at once. Through life’s divine appointments, listening to others, and walking in the Spirit, the Bible will become a relevant tool in your hand to decipher the season of life you are going through. When you look back, you will realize that the Bible is a living testament of 40 authors inspired by God so we may come to know Him more intimately as He reveals Himself through its pages. You will also come to recognize Him in the many daily routines and through life’s diverse moments.  It all happens as you lean on Him studying His expressed Word like those Jews who were considered more noble than those in Thessalonica.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

The Book That Understands You

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130 ESV

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Ever read a book that you couldn’t put down because it was like the author wrote it knowing everything there is about you? She knew what excited you. She took you from an emotional high to a painful low. She knew what got your goat. She knew how you thought. She knew what you would do next and deliberately turned the next chapter against your perceived ideas. Everything about you that you haven’t shared with another soul was being drawn out of you through the pages of the story.

Now some people may shy away from such a novel. Others would want to read the sequel and couldn’t wait until the story became a movie. Such a book would probably be a number one seller for years.

Some people may not be aware of it, but the Christian Bible has been a number one best seller each year it has been in print. It is a book that truly understands you and me. It has violence, sex, power, political intrigue, suspense, surprise outcomes, and other unbelievable results. It showcases romance, rags-to-riches stories, and the difference one person makes in the lives of others. It captures human nature at its finest and worst. It explains how you are wired and what can be done to transform it. It is a story with more plots than a graveyard.

You want to know why you behave the way you do? Read the book.
You want to better understand why others are the way they are? Read the book.
You want wisdom in dealing with the people in your world? Read the book.
You want your life to have greater adventure and excitement like the movies you enjoy? Read the book.
You want to develop a relationship with someone who understands you better than anyone else? Read the book.

As you read the book you discover more about its invisible Author. You come to know the people who He associates with; the people who are drawn to him. As you read the book, you begin to better understand yourself, your motives, and your potential. You learn better ways to relate with others. You become more like the heroes written in the book. You understand their pain and joy because you share in the same venues.

The more you read, the more you begin to realize that the book truly understands you better than anything you ever read before. Then you begin to realize it is so because its prime Author created you and wants to have an ongoing, long term, intimate relationship with you. It begins when you read the book!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Theology 101

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness…” 2 Timothy 3:9

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Why is theology important?

Recently we had a lively discussion regarding the importance of theology. The majority of the group believed that the Bible was all that they needed. That theology was man’s attempt to lead people astray. They looked at the Bible through the eyes of one simple worldview. They admitted that all they knew was what they initially learned. They didn’t want to take the time to understand why their brothers and sisters in other denominations believed what they do. As far as they were concern, what they believed was right and others were wrong. They didn’t realize that everyone already has a theological belief. The question is “what is yours?”

First, theology is simply the study of God. It studies the Bible from a wholesome point of view. Instead of extracting pieces of the Word at a time, it looks to bring all the pieces together to form a coherently understanding of God’s hand in the matter.

There is a study of God for a multitude of different subjects. For example, the theology of salvation, the theology of grace, the theology of creation, the theology of the Kingdom of God, the theology of (add whatever subject you can think of and there probably is already a formal study on the matter).

The thought that what one believes may not be absolutely correct bothers some people. The idea that others may have more truth on a subject matter may also be humbling for a few.
The relevancy of any theological belief is simply the Christ-like fruit it bears. If love, joy, and peace is the mainstay of a person’s life, then maybe one may want to listen and learn. We all have a theological belief system in play. The question comes to how close is the study to reality and truth. Of course reality and truth is measured through one person: Jesus Christ. And yes there is a theology of Christ, called Christology.

The more we come to know and understand God, the more we are humbled and at awe of His divine work and physical masterpiece. The better we understand the beliefs of others, the easier it becomes to communicate and relate with them. Therefore, when one’s theology is grounded in Christ, His Word, and Spirit, the journey through life becomes more immeasurable with gratitude, love, and joy.

I may not agree with others theological position at times, but I do love and respect them. My heart fully understands that whoever may be closer to the truth, God in His time will reveal that to us too. The important thing is to continue grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. That is a simple theological position that every mature believer I meet quickly agrees too. And so do I.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Who? What?

 

…“knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.” 1 Corinthians 8:1 ESV

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One lesson we all eventually learn is when we inappropriately place the “what” before the “who.”

When reading the gospel accounts of Jesus, I am always intrigued by His discussions with the religious teachers. Maybe it was their intent to trap him in His interpretation of the law. Or maybe it was their self-righteous attitude in their misunderstanding of the law. Than again, maybe I am reading more into it than what is displayed. But the teachers that tried debating with Jesus seem to place greater emphasis on the “what” (information/knowledge) rather than the “who” (a loving relationship with the person).

For example, when seeking truth most of us seek information. Yet God teaches that Truth is personalized in Jesus Christ. From the central core of Jesus, all other truths prevail. The who comes before the what.

When Jesus was presented with the women caught in adultery, the accusers (most likely religious people who place the what above the who) wanted him to agree with their interpretation of the Law. Jesus, in his graceful and impactful manner simply began to scribble words in the sand. By the time he stopped, all the accusers fled. Jesus than forgave her sins and extended mercy to a fellow human being. He placed the who before the what.

Now the “what” is important. Knowledge leads to understanding and wisdom. But knowledge without relationship leads to legalistic, emotional brutality. Therefore, as Jesus demonstrated, the “who” takes precedence over the “what.”

So the next time you feel like pontificating what you know, stop. Instead, emphasize the “who.” In other words, let love lead. For from love, the “what” is more easily presented. From love, the “who” is honored and respected. From the basis of love, everything else falls into place. Yes, the “what” may be important, but the “who” is always more important.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Feelings

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11 ESV

feeling 3

I don’t feel like it!

How often have we expressed the same?

What did we do with that feeling?

Did we follow through as a victim of our feelings?

Or did we balance the feelings with God’s Character?

Did we weigh the feelings with His Word?

What is the truth when you compare your feelings with His Word?

Yes, there are times when our feelings will be correct. Other times your feelings will blind you to the truth.

Be a wise person. Stop, pull back, and evaluate the situation. Don’t let your feelings lead you unless you already know they are built upon the foundation of God’s love, grace, and truth.

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

Learn. Integrate. Grow.