How Does God Generally Introduce Himself To Us?

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Rm 10:14 ESV.

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Through others.

Whether it is the spoken word, written word, or visual word, God works with and through people for humanity’s sake. As one listens and observes, we analyze and reach conclusions based on the evidence we acquire. Yet unlike all great scientists, our hypothesis is often built on faulty reasoning instead of objective reality.

Because of our inherent prejudices and bruised heart, we allow our hidden anger and pain to blind us from Him. We generally place God in a human box. Rather than opening our minds to the possibilities of someone more intelligent, more powerful, and more effective than ourselves, we look for the evidence from a limited mindset.

God is always here, and there. I don’t understand how. Maybe it is because I am a limited, tiny, physical spot in this universe. But through observation, I’m always pleasantly in awe while He is attending to my world, He is also working with my sister on the other side of the planet.

Since most of us are wired differently but alike, God meets us where we are at. Most of the time when we are broken and need a miracle, He comes along and we reach out for him. Since we can’t touch him or hold him we may still feel alone. Yet, after He responds and our circumstances change for the better, we may or may not stop to reflect on what just happened. If we did, we may truly experience for the moment what grace is all about. Him working, not us.

As we experience answers to pray, unusual circumstances coming together for a positive outcome, and unbelievable favor bestowed upon us by others, our eyes and mind become more attune to a Force at work. Welcome to the presence of God.

As we begin to discover ways to better communicate with each other, a trust building relationship is built over time. Yes God woos you until you notice Him. When you do, you will eagerly find ways to invest more time together like lovers of the night.

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

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Getting in the Way of God’s Spirit

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Acts7:51 ESV

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Stubbornness, which is a byproduct of pride and a heart that amplifies the self, has been the ruin of many people. As this scripture reveals through Stephen, the first known Christian to die a martyr’s death for Christ, aimed the above quote at the religious leaders of his day.

The problem which he identifies is the same one when dealing with religious and non-religious people today. I group them together because the issue is the same. They both have a hard heart and are convinced that their way is the only way of living a prudent life.

The religious person likes to emphasize the rules, the principles, and the methods. Whatever makes them feel good about themselves must be good for others. If it works for them, it must be good for everyone else. On the other hand, the non-religious person sees through their game playing, but likewise imitates them by throwing out the baby with the bath water. They see the hypocrisy and don’t want anything to do with it. However, instead of focusing on Jesus’ message, they only look at the misdirected fruit of religious people and close their eyes to everything else. Both sides miss the mark of realizing the problem is within them. As one person stated somewhere, ” when we point a finger at someone, three fingers are pointed back at oneself”.

Jesus once stated during a teaching moment, that a person pure in heart will see God (Matthew 5:8). Most of us don’t look for God’s involvement in a situation until after the fact. By then, a difficult situation has become a worldwide crisis. Instead of asking, seeking, and knocking at the beginning of the process, we wait until after we have emptied ourselves with all our effort and resources. Only then do we begin to seek help from God.

However a person who looks past the human condition, who walks in the presence of the Triune God, is generally able to distinguish God’s work from man’s facade of righteousness. The reason is because that is where they came from. It takes one to know one.

The Holy Spirit is always at work. It is the Spirit that gives life (John 6:63). Like the wind, we may not see him, but we see the impact. However, we need to be attuned to him. We need to realize that God has given us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:26) that allows us to communicate and share in his fellowship. As we walk with Father-Son-Spirit, our harden hearts are displaced with the new heart that opens the pages of God’s universe and allows us entrance into his presence.

So the next time you think you are doing right, stop and ask God for confirmation. You may be pleasantly surprised with an answer that is more favorable for all involved parties. And yes, it is possible that you may not be initially correct. Yet with an open, attentive heart plugged into the Holy Spirit network, revelation in the workings of God has a way to change one’s opinion and worldview quicker than any other method. Or do you want to be known as the person who resists the work of the Holy Spirit?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, 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

The Spirit of Christmas

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Two of my most favorite movies to watch during this time of year is A Christmas Carol and christmas 4How The Grinch Stole Christmas. In both, we witness how the Spirit of the season renovated the heart of a self-centered person. We can relate to both characters. As we have grown from childhood to adulthood, our view of Christmas has changed. In the early years, it was about the gift giving. In the middle years, it was the festivities of the season. Now in the later years, it is more about the reason for the season.

Yes Christmas originally began as a pagan festival where people exchanged gifts with one another. But like the Spirit of Christ has done over the years, we take what is broken and mend it to pay homage and worship to Him who makes all things possible.

To realize that the Spirit of Christ becomes more impactful and noticeable during this time of season, is one of the best presents anyone can give and receive. To remember that the second person of the Trinity chose Himself to become a human being is mind-bending. Through this one act we witness the Spirit of humility, meekness, and servanthood.  We come to learn that it is not about giving, but more of sharing. Jesus Christ came to share the life that He has with our heavenly Father and the Holy Spirit with us.

When we witness the uplifting festivities, the display of lights, and the time with family, we behold the life that Jesus Christ came to share with all humanity.  He didn’t come to start a religion, but a movement of the Spirit. A newness of Life. A Spirit that rejoices with Christ. A Spirit that comforts us in our times of distress and pain. A Spirit that we have come to know as the third person of the Trinity. The Holy Spirit expresses the fruit of God’s life: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-Control. These are the gifts that the Spirit bestows upon us each and every day.  We don’t have to wait until this time of year to experience the life that the Triune God gracefully shares with others.

Contrary to the two main characters from the above mentioned movies who are & were oblivious to what God is doing in the world, we can allow the Spirit to have His way with us. We can share the eternal abundant life with others.  In my opinion, He is the reason for rejoicing this season and every season. Unlike Mr. Scrooge and Mr. Grinch who didn’t publicly acknowledge because of political correctness that the one true bridge of the Spirit’s influence is the Triune God, you may openly share your story with family and friends in what Christ is doing in your life.

Will you join me this Christmas and share the story of God’s plan of redemption for all humanity with others?  What other gift lasts a lifetime plus?

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Our Triune God, thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you Heavenly Father for developing the strategy and implementing your universal plan of adoption of humanity into your eternal circle of life. Thank you Jesus Christ for displaying real life with us.  Thank you Holy Spirit for empowering us to experience the same life that you, Jesus, and the Father live each and every day. 

Help us to live fully for you.  Help us to start with enthusiasm and finish with greater enthusiasm in everything we do for you.  Let nothing come between us.

Help us to keep  focused on what is always important each and every day.  Let each day begin and end with you.  Let everything sandwiched in between be lived with your approval.  Let us be true to you and honest with self in our pursuit of your kingdom.  Help us to rejoice and celebrate real life with you and others. Let your glory live in us forever!  Amen.

Merry Christmas!

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

 

WHO ARE YOU FOLLOWING?

“I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself;

he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does.

Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these.”

John 5:19 (Jesus’ reply to a question)

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            Isn’t it amazing that over a long-term relationship like marriage how two people can anticipate what the other is going to do or say while the statement or activity has just begun? We all know people who have been married for over fifty years and have become “one” in their mannerism, appearance, and focus.  Isn’t that same physical relationship a mirror image of the type of spiritual relationship that Jesus taught and managed to maintain with His Father?

Jesus was on a mission.  His entire focus was to complete and to fulfill scripture. In the process, He relied on following the lead of His Father. His personal ambitions were set aside (Luke 4:1:13) after the desert test. He denied Himself and followed the path of the cross towards His destiny.

Many local churches should find this encouraging that their mission is not to become a “great church” in the eyes of the world or community, but to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit.  Many times this may deny them of new buildings, programs or worldly goals, but in return, the Holy Spirit will lead them to serve unselfishly, humbly, without fanfare or worldly recognition as Christ did in His time.

Most recently in my own life I had a Jonah experience.  I was being led to except a new job assignment within an organization that operates in a Hindu culture. Like Jonah, I knew God wanted His message delivered but I didn’t want to be the person to deliver it. Instead, I made every excuse possible to avoid the situation.  The bottom line though, God has a way to accomplish His will and in His love and patience will work with the individuals involved.  Like Jonah, I finally made the decision to fulfill my part of delivering God’s word to people He has chosen. Life is much simpler when we step aside; seek God’s direction as He leads us and follow His work rather than build for our glory and image.  When the work is His, we will be truly amazed at what can be accomplished.

What is our Heavenly Father showing you at this time in your life that you may be fighting him to pursue?

Dr. Mike

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE LIVE BY THE SPIRIT?

(Scriptural Review)

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The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. – Rev 22:17 NIV


 

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. – 1 John 4:2-3 NIV


 

…those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

Rom 8:5-17 NIV


 

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. Eph 6:17-18 NIV


 

So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. – Galatians 5:16-25


 

Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. – Eph 5:18-19 NIV


 

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.   The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:  “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?”  But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Cor 2:10-16 NIV 


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A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. – Gal 6:7-10 NIV


 

Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. – 1 Cor 12:2-11


 

Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. – Gal 4:6-7 NIV


 

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.  Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit,  to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues.   All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. – 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 NIV


 

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.- 2 Cor 3:17 NIV

 

What stories can you share with others where the Spirit empowered you for the sake of others?

Dr. Mike