Escape or Engagement

Matthew 6:10
‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

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There are those in the faith whose purpose for living is to do as little now as possible and seek to escape from this life into heaven. On the other hand, there are those who understand that their mission now is to colonize earth under the kingdom of God domain. I coin these as either escape or engagement theology.

Under the escape mentality, it’s all about getting off this planet and into heaven as quickly as possible under Biblical scrutiny. The engagement mindset though is to live out kingdom rule now while engaging with the cultural around us until God’s kingdom is fully restored on earth.

I always wondered with Jesus’ prayer model why he emphasized God’s kingdom and will to take charge on earth and not pray for us to escape earth. Later on, he did request we escape from the temptations of evil, but again not from planet earth. Instead his desire was for his disciples to focus on earth as their mission by sharing His teachings with others and be a witness for others of God’s work in their lives. His desire was for his apprentices to engage the culture around them.

So if your desire has been to escape rather than deal with the culture, ask God to change your heart and eyes to find ways for his kingdom to expand in your corner of the world. You will discover a side of the Holy Spirit that will recharge your focus and motivation to serve our great King.

Let’s seek engagement, not escapism as we testify what God is doing in our life today.

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 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Entitlement Theology

Romans 14:17 NASB
…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

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Good theology is life-giving. Poor theology is life-draining. Good theology is built upon the character of God. Poor theology is grounded in projected fantasy. Good theology is fundamentally integrated within the good news of Jesus Christ. Poor theology is centered around human passions.

There are many new believers whose knowledge of God is flawed around the entitlement mindset. They generally have been exposed to a message that God’s purpose is built around you the individual. That your salvation is an agreement where God’s purpose is to exchange his blessing for your loyalty. That His sole mission is for your success and happiness. That you are the center of the universe and He will make all your dreams and desires become reality.

If this is you, you may want to reread your Bible.

Take Jonah as an example. God called him with the mission to preach to the people of Nineveh, his enemies. Jonah instead chose to flee from God. God though in his mercy worked out circumstances for Jonah to change his mind. He eventually made it to Nineveh, preached, and the people repented. You would think that Jonah would have been delighted with the results. Instead he pouted. God’s actions didn’t align with his beliefs. He thought that God should have destroyed these people. But God had other plans.

Entitlement theology is centered around the self. Instead of making our story and goals the main purpose of life, we need to surrender to our Lord’s purpose. When we do, the byproduct is to experience the richness of God’s character. We still have our dreams and goals but have submitted these under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Which means, if we are allowed to pursue and achieve them we are grateful and appreciative. However, it also means if we are not allowed to achieve them, we are also grateful and appreciative.

Our life is hidden in Jesus Christ. His story is the main one. Our story is a very, very, very small byline within His storyline. Apart from Him, we would be on death row. He has introduced us to His Father who has adopted us into the divine family. Not because we are entitled, but because Jesus Christ is entitled to everything. He is the reason we live, breathe, and have hope today and tomorrow. And yes, we are included.

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

What Pleases God?

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. NASB

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Some of my fellow brothers in the Lord seem to think one can please God without necessarily trusting Him. Others say no, God is pleased by only those who trust Him.

What does today’s scripture state?

God’s desire for man is not only to gain their full grasp of reality between what is good and what is evil from His perspective, but to always behave in a godly manner which produces the best outcomes for self and others. When our actions, words, and attitudes please God, they also have a positive impact upon those around us.

As we learn to trust God, we submit ourselves to His purpose. Most of the time it may still involve the pursuit of our dreams and goals, but at times we may have to temporarily delay or even set aside our plans to fulfil His design for us. Even then, we know God has our best interest at heart, and under His grace, events and circumstances may eventually workout in this life or if still desirable, in the world tomorrow.

As written, the key to pleasing God is our faith.

To the Hebrews, faith is an active word that involves action with belief. That belief is built upon walking out a trustful relationship with the Maker of life. In other words, faith is more than a mental exercise.

Yet when unbelievers behave in a loving manner with those around them, without even knowing who God is, are you saying that God is not pleased? Thankfully we are not anyone’s judge. God is doing a work in each of us. Some he is discipling in the faith; others he is soothing their hurts; some he is gracefully endowing them with physical riches; all he is enriching with his Spirit. He is involved in everyone’s life; the question though becomes who is involved in His?

Faith is a gift from Him. We are just learning how to exercise the faith we have been given. When we extend ourselves and lean on him, a mutual bonding relationship is built. From this relationship, trust – a two-way process – is slowly developed. This active trust is what pleases God. From this position, we gladly sacrifice everything and anything knowing He has our best intention at heart – that all things eventually work for good. Without this faith, it is impossible to please Him. But God in his universal grace has bestowed that faith with everyone of us. We just need to accept His reality, unleash His potential in us, and learn to run with it.

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

Roux of God

2 Corinthians 2:14 NASB
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

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For those who are chefs or amateur cooks, you know the sweet aroma of making that special sauce. Taking a mixture of fat (usually butter) and flour is a classic French thickening agent used for soups and sauces. The French word is “roux.” Typically, one could also add other items into the mixture to bring out more flavor from your dish.

The same is true with God. As Paul wrote in second Corinthians, the knowledge of Jesus Christ is manifested through God’s children and is liken to a pleasant fragrance. Like the pleasant smell of roux over one’s meal, as we walk and live in Christ, His sweetness is manifested through our lives.

The roux of God comes from the Holy Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is the natural character of God. When He made His abode with you, He gives you the opportunity to allow Him to express Himself through you. This is what happens when you deny yourself and yield to the working of the Holy Spirit. The natural byproduct is allowing the aroma of God to manifest itself from Him to you and from you to others.

This may not be the best analogy but is one way of drawing the picture what God does in us and through us to touch the lives of others.

God’s roux – pleasant but effective; challenging but rewarding; awkward at times but refreshing to the soul. The roux of God is for those who choose to participate with Him in the life of the Triune circle.

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

Are You Missing Out on What God Has for You?

Romans 8:28 NASB
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

FOMO1

Most likely if we are not attuned to God’s purpose for life, our misplaced expectations may easily lead us into frustration and anger. Even though life is good because God is a living being who made it so, circumstances sometimes stink beyond measure. And if we answer the above question through the eyes of physical accomplishments, we will have missed God’s original intention for all of us.

God’s long-term goal is to prepare you for eternity. You have been adopted into His family and His desire for you is to prepare you to rule and minister in the same manner Jesus Christ displayed while on earth. He wants you ready for greater service in the family business: The Kingdom of God.

Satan’s big lie to Adam and Eve was to place doubt into their minds that God cannot be trusted. That God’s plan deliberately denies one from truly experiencing life’s good things. This is a lie that Satan still propagates throughout the world.

However, God’s grace is greater than Man’s distorted expectations. The Holy Spirit uses the stinking circumstances we often find ourselves encamped in and produces fruit through the ordeal. While creating a spiritual masterpiece within us, she likewise continually allows us a taste of heavenly riches to remind us that God is always with us.

God knows your needs and desires. He also knows your strengths and how to best display them in this world and next for His kingdom. He uniquely designed you for a purpose. Some if not most of the time, we have to lose everything we have and believe before we reach a place in life of real contentment. When we do, no matter what the circumstances, we will then experience Christ’s peace and joy.

Meanwhile, we are all on a journey of faith. Learning to trust God in the large and small decisions of life. Overtime, we will know that God has the best intentions in heart for you and me. Whether or not we experience our hearts desires in this world is no longer the issue. We know whatever we think we may miss out in this age, awaits us in the new age to come.

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

 

Let God Change Your World

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new. Revelations 21:5 ESV.

Ever great change begins when one person decides to make a difference in the life of another. Every movement begins when one person serves another. Any one act, any one word, and any one thought has the potential to change your world.

Yet potential changes nothing but the fantasy of mere dreams. Real change occurs only when work becomes focus on a specific outcome.  When your chosen work aligns with your God-given gifts, and most importantly, when the Triune God champions your endeavor, then you know only time will separate your work from final completion.

James writes that faith apart from works is dead (James 2:17). That one needs to act out ones belief for faith to turn into positive results. However, those beliefs need to be grounded in the reality of  Jesus Christ. Otherwise we may be guilty of stealing from Him, plagiarizing him, or even working against him.

Faith also teaches us to rely on Christ for leadership. Instead of seeking God to bless our endeavors, we seek out what God is already doing and ask if we can join Him. Most often, He will gladly share the spotlight with you. Sometimes though He has other plans and you may have to pass on the adventure. Either way, when you rely on directions from your Heavenly Father, you can be assured His Will is already accomplished. You just have to ride the wave toward the shore.

So when you live each day realizing that our Lord may give you one moment, one word, or one act which may positively influence a person’s life or even the course of human history, doesn’t that make your time and life more meaningful in your relationships and pursuits? Think about that…

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