I Can’t

Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

You are correct. If you think you can’t, then you have already accepted and acknowledged your defeat. You have surrendered before even attempting to make a difference. You have isolated yourself under the tent of hopelessness. And you are right. Without the resources, support, and internal fortitude to convert your situation into a plan of action, you might as well give up and acknowledge “you can’t.”

We all will come to a place somewhere in life when we will acknowledge the circumstances and situation is so overwhelming that we throw up our hands in defeat and contemplate quitting. We may have knocked on doors, spent every last dollar in our name, and nothing seems to work. We have secured a ring side view of our limitations, and even hear the voices of others who have said from the beginning that you can’t, so why even try.

And they are correct. Most of us have been beaten-up spiritually, mentally, and socially by the time we reach the age of adulthood.  We have been placed into a self-imposed box of blind ignorance and accept the restrictions as normal behavior. Our human condition has been chiseled into a fragment of the God-given potential you and I have been given from birth.

But God, in HIS divine character provides us the means to overcome this world’s destructive forces. And those forces include the self-imposed restrictions we place on ourselves.

Jesus Christ is the way to a full, meaningful life.

When I reached the end of my rope as a teenager and realized the mess I produced in a short-time of trying to do it my way, I knew either this kid would end up in prison or a box six feet under unless something immediately changed; I reached out to God. I didn’t have any personal relationship with Him. I didn’t know how to pray. I didn’t know squat. But I did realize my world was collapsing and I didn’t have the knowledge, resources, nor wisdom to get me out of the mess. So, I went to the Source of Life.

Since then, I have come to realize HE is always with me and wants what is best for me. HE simply wants me to dance with HIM through the everyday details of life. He enjoys sharing HIS life with me and I with HIM.

And no, life hasn’t been easy. Life is designed to prepare you and me for eternity. The challenges, obstacles, and daily crap that happens, are the means for you and HIM to get together and learn how to dance through the maze of garbage thrown your way. But you have gained the confidence knowing you already have a seat at the table of the King. Lord Jesus has already chosen to share His authority and abundance with you. He has chosen to live in you via the Holy Spirit. When you have this faith proven over time and different circumstances, your holy swagger exudes faithfulness with humility, confidence with compassion, and serendipity with purposefulness.

You have come to know HIM and want to make HIM known to others as HE makes you more and more like HIM in character and attitude. Yes, you even come to know you can do all things through HIM. You don’t look at your limitations any longer. Instead, you look at the God-Man who took humanity’s misery and limitations upon Himself so you and I could now begin tasting eternal life as HE prepares you and I for our seat at HIS table in HIS kingdom. HE is the reason we can say “yes, I can.”

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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Renewal

Titus 3:5

…he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

Yes, when you allow the Holy Spirit full access into your inner chamber of your thoughts, values, and possessions, only then real transparent, quality living begins.

And this new you being morphed isn’t because you earned more bonus karma points with all the good actions you have performed through life, but simply because our Triune God loves you and me.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our savior and Lord, HE introduces us to Father God and Holy Spirit. As we accept HIS authority in our daily life, all Three move into your inner neighborhood. The weight of glory (2 Corinthians 4:16-17) is God living in you and me. 

I remember a time in my early twenties when I found myself exercising patience. Though at that time the naturally inclination was to be overly active and wait for no one, but this time I found myself at peace and contented. Totally out of character. This was the first time I realize God was creating something new in me that wasn’t there before.

Over time, the fruit of HIS SPIRIT became more and more naturally inclusive within my everyday life. I didn’t’ discipline myself to behave this way. It wasn’t my prime focus. But slowly over time, God’s presence in my life became more and more visible through the actions being expressed with the people and situation I found myself around.

As I invested more time with other brothers and sisters in the Lord, they also shared their experiences which mimic mine. God is creating a new human which Jesus Christ was the first fruit. He paved the way and equips us with the same Spirit. He continues to share truths of life and more importantly the reassurance of HIS Father’s love for us.

As Christ-followers, we are HIS students. The work being performed within us isn’t for our glory, but God’s. We are being renewed for the opportunity to do good work now for His Kingdom by serving others as He also prepares us for greater work in the world tomorrow.    

We marvel at the work the Holy Spirit conducts in the lives of people. While many of us delusionally pat our own backs as if we are the cause of the change, HE continues to shape, counsel, and comfort us through the daily routine of life. Over time though, most likely when we are older and look back, we have to admit most of life’s best changes came about without our direct influence – God in HIS loving way keeps birthing HIS character into our inner chambers.

Thank you, Father-Son-Spirit; continue your work in us, and help us to continue doing good work serving others for your glory and Kingdom.

   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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 2013-2021 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Be Wise

James 3:13

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

The Book of Proverbs written over 2,500 years ago still speaks to us today. As a naïve, young man venturing into the business world, this Book provided me the fundamental knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of dealing with first time situations. I lacked practical experience at the time and this Book opened the door to the wisdom of the ages.

Wisdom generally comes from experience. Experience is either acquired by doing something yourself and learning from the process, observing others in similar situations and learning from their successes and mistakes, or studying history and analyzing the causes and effects while transferring the understanding into today’s culture. Overall, the Book of Proverbs has given many an added advantage to lead and shape a life that flourishes.

Sometimes rather than write and express my thoughts on a subject, I like to simply collect the words from the Bible and let them speak directly to you. This time I ran a concordance on the word “wise” from the Book of Proverbs. 

Proverbs 1:3

to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity;

  1. Proverbs 1:5

Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,

  1. Proverbs 1:6

to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles.

  1. Proverbs 3:7

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

  1. Proverbs 3:35

The wise will inherit honor, but fools get disgrace.

  1. Proverbs 4:1

A Father’s Wise Instruction: Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction, and be attentive, that you may gain insight,

  1. Proverbs 6:6

Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise.

  1. Proverbs 8:33

Hear instruction and be wise, and do not neglect it.

  1. Proverbs 9:8

Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you.

  1. Proverbs 9:9

Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

  1. Proverbs 9:12

If you are wise, you are wise for yourself; if you scoff, you alone will bear it.

  1. Proverbs 10:1

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish son is a sorrow to his mother.

  1. Proverbs 10:8

The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.

  1. Proverbs 10:14

The wise lay-up knowledge, but the mouth of a fool brings ruin near.

  1. Proverbs 11:29

Whoever troubles his own household will inherit the wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise of heart.

  1. Proverbs 11:30

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.

  1. Proverbs 12:15

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.

  1. Proverbs 12:18

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.

  1. Proverbs 13:1

wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.

  1. Proverbs 13:14

The teaching of the wise is a fountain of life, that one may turn away from the snares of death.

  1. Proverbs 13:20

Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

  1. Proverbs 14:1

The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down.

  1. Proverbs 14:3

By the mouth of a fool comes a rod for his back, but the lips of the wise will preserve them.

  1. Proverbs 14:16

One who is wise is cautious and turns away from evil, but a fool is reckless and careless.

  1. Proverbs 14:24

The crown of the wise is their wealth, but the folly of fools brings folly.

  1. Proverbs 14:35

A servant who deals wisely has the king’s favor, but his wrath falls on one who acts shamefully.

  1. Proverbs 15:2

The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly.

  1. Proverbs 15:7

The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools.

  1. Proverbs 15:12

A scoffer does not like to be reproved; he will not go to the wise.

  1. Proverbs 15:20

wise son makes a glad father, but a foolish man despises his mother.

  1. Proverbs 15:31

The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise.

  1. Proverbs 16:14

A king’s wrath is a messenger of death, and a wise man will appease it.

  1. Proverbs 16:21

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.

  1. Proverbs 16:23

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips.

  1. Proverbs 17:2

A servant who deals wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully and will share the inheritance as one of the brothers.

  1. Proverbs 17:28

Even a fool who keeps silent is considered wise; when he closes his lips, he is deemed intelligent.

  1. Proverbs 18:15

An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 20:1

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

  1. Proverbs 20:18

Plans are established by counsel; by wise guidance wage war.

  1. Proverbs 20:26

wise king winnows the wicked and drives the wheel over them.

  1. Proverbs 21:11

When a scoffer is punished, the simple becomes wise; when a wise man is instructed, he gains knowledge.

  1. Proverbs 21:20

Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.

  1. Proverbs 21:22

wise man scales the city of the mighty and brings down the stronghold in which they trust.

  1. Proverbs 22:17

Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge,

  1. Proverbs 23:15

My son, if your heart is wise, my heart too will be glad.

  1. Proverbs 23:19

Hear, my son, and be wise, and direct your heart in the way.

  1. Proverbs 23:24

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoices; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him.

  1. Proverbs 24:5

wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might,

  1. Proverbs 24:6

for by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.

  1. Proverbs 24:23

These also are sayings of the wise. Partiality in judging is not good.

Like a gold ring or an ornament of gold is a wise reprover to a listening ear.

Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.

The sluggard is wiser in his own eyes than seven men who can answer sensibly.

Be wise, my son, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.

56. Proverbs 28:11

A rich man is wise in his own eyes, but a poor man who has understanding will find him out.

Scoffers set a city aflame, but the wise turn away wrath.

If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet.

A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.

Four things on earth are small, but they are exceedingly wise:

the ants are a people not strong,
    yet they provide their food in the summer;
26 the rock badgers are a people not mighty,
    yet they make their homes in the cliffs;
27 the locusts have no king,
    yet all of them march in rank;
28 the lizard you can take in your hands,
    yet it is in kings’ palaces.

In summary, better to be wise than not.

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!


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Pride of Life

1 John 2:16

For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.

What is your standard of a successful life? How does your heart measure such success? What are the basic values you pursue to make your dreams come true?

John wrote his letter to the Church warning them of placing their ladder on the wrong wall. How many of us have learned the hard way?  We pursue certain goals built on values we believe are good only to find out many years later how empty and unfulfilling the achievement felt. Looking back, we realize only then that our climb up the ladder may have been fun but eventually ended up on the wrong side of the building. Instead of climbing the north wall, we found ourselves on the opposite side looking across the vast emptiness of space wondering where did we go wrong.

The pride of life blinds many of us from eternal truths and values which produce the more abundant life that we all desire but seem to escape us through the jungle of everyday decisions.

What is the pride of life?

A simple answer is everything and anything which places more importance on the things of this world rather than the eternal habitat God created for you to experience.

God is the author of GOOD. And many of the items we pursue are by themselves good. But our inability to manage them leads to paths of destruction and pain for ourselves and others.

For example, water is a good element. We all need water to survive. We use water as a healthy liquid to drink. We use water to bathe and clean ourselves. And we use water to cook. We even swim in water for relaxation or exercise. But we can also drown ourselves in water. Hold your head underwater for a length of time and you will run out of oxygen and drown.

This is what happens when we wrap our hearts around what makes us feel important. Our status, career, and achievements are only a few of the measuring marks our culture emphasizes as important. Do you?

The pride of life consists of the values this world emphasizes as important at the detriment of leaving Father God out of the picture.

Fame, winning, and academic success are a few more values the world glorifies. Sometimes the world counterfeits God’s concerns but their methods and ways are anti-God. One example is social justice. The human heart has a natural tendency to classify, segregate, and exclude whoever the power base decides is important or unimportant.

At the same time, the culture with an ungodly center, has a tendency to group people together and treat all of them the same rather than individuals. Whereas God looks at each individual’s heart to evaluate their behavior and the action required for justice to be measured, the ungodly establishment seek to punish the entire group for the infraction of one.

When God is not the center of life, the human spirit becomes empowered with pride which blinds the person from separating fantasy from reality and eventually leads toward harming those around them.

Pride is the downfall of many who have a high opinion of themselves. The sad truth is they rarely suffer alone. They normally take along all those who have followed them through the maze. From Lucifer whose pride turned him into Satan, and from many of the dictators, politicians, cult leaders, and business mavericks, pride has led to the destruction of many. The opposite of pride is humility. Humility is God’s path toward learning to walk together in community. Humility places God in the center of every relationship, decision, and plan we make. We acknowledge HIS presence; respect HIS authority in our life; and work to restore HIS values into everyday living. Without God, pride rules. With God, humility leads. Which way will you choose?    

   

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!


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Symptom or Problem?

Matthew 23:25

“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. NASB.

problem1

 

Many in the Church today focus on outward behavior rather than the matter of the heart. By heart, we mean the emotional, thinking, value-center operating system which makes you, you.

We point to Adam and Eve who committed the first earthly sin. For most people that sin was disobedience toward God. Yet, my argument is the sin was committed even before then. For the outward behavior of sin is really the result of a deeper inner problem.

The real sin was separating oneself from God. Instead of leaning on Him and partnering with Him, Eve began developing a relationship with the Serpent. It was the Serpent who came between God and Eve. He came to divide and lead one astray from the Center of Life. He does the same today.

Sin occurs even before the behavioral act is displayed. Jesus himself throughout the Gospel books emphasized the heart of the matter rather than the physical act itself. The outward act is only the symptom of an inner problem. The problem is a heart empty of God’s presence.

For it is from the Holy Spirit living within you that strengthens you, coaches you, and leads you away from destructive behavior. Jesus was born by and with the Holy Spirit from the beginning of his earthly life. For the rest of us, we allow the Spirit to enter into our inner self only after we have accepted His authority in our life. The Bible identifies this as being born again.

Jesus also refers to the Kingdom of God beginning from within you. When the Spirit is married with your spirit and you learn to cooperate together, you will find the inner attitude and confidence to handle any temptation with the same faith Jesus employed against Satan in his wilderness temptation.

You will also begin to experience life dancing with the Almighty through your daily routines. Life becomes more than judging each other’s outer performance. Instead, it becomes life in the Spirit preparing you for eternity while training you to be more effective each day glorifying Him through your work, relationships, and struggles.

So, don’t focus on the symptom. Rather identify the problem and you will quickly arrive at a solution to move you toward your objectives.

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

 

 

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.

theology-11

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.

gratitude-6

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