Home

John 14:23

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The Christ-centered life is not a religion, but a relationship with the living God. When one focuses on the rules, tasks, and activity rather than the relationship, one has then diverted from the central core of a God-with life.

As a child of the living God, with a high worshipful and respectful love for Jesus Christ and His teachings, we are assured both God the Father and Jesus himself via the Holy Spirit are actively living within us. As they are always present, whether we are aware or not, are we truly enjoying God’s presence? Or do we take Him for granted?

Throughout Scripture you and I are described as God’s temple, His building, and His abiding place. Paul writes one of the greatest mysteries is about God living in you. How well does that sink in? His holy presence lives in you.

So how are you treating your royal guest?

Do you ignore Him? Do you take Him for granted? Or do you share your life with Him as He shares His life with you?

The Triune God wants an active relationship with you and I. So much so, He literally establishes a home with us. He has promised to always remain with us. No matter how often stupidity attacks us. He remains true and committed to the relationship.  

We demonstrate our love for Jesus by following his teachings. Whenever we are unsure of a matter, we discuss the matter with Him through prayer. Whenever we find doubt or are troubled on a matter, we may seek His advice through prayer and through other disciples of His. We follow the example of our Rabbi as outlined through the pages of the Bible.

We would rather error on the side of love then fail to follow through on a matter. But more importantly, we just enjoy hanging out together. There is something about home we take for granted. For home is the place we can relax, be ourselves, and enjoy the time without outside interference, calls, or distractions. Home is where we discover our true self. And home is where we can visit with our friends and share in life triumphs and defeats.

God has multiple homes. Two of those homes are with you and I.  Today our bodies are HIS temple; so, we are home. Tomorrow our new bodies will be in HIS presence; then we will likewise be home. Our home is with our Lord and His God and Spirit. Wherever they may be is where home is for you and I.

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

Inclusiveness of Jesus Christ

Matthew 6:9

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name…

Is it too bold to state all humanity is included in the relationship Christ has with HIS Father? Didn’t HE teach HIS disciples when they prayed to address God as “OUR Father”?

Is it safe to say God will judge all humans through Jesus Christ as those who belong to God through Him? If so then, are not all humans, in spite of themselves, loved, forgiven, and included in Jesus Christ, who is their Lord and Savior?

Isn’t it also true, God’s love will never cease or diminish even for those who, denying the reality of who they are in him, refuse his love and consign themselves to hell?

If they choose not to enjoy the fruit of his salvation, will they not experience his love as wrath?

Doesn’t God discipline those he loves so that they will return to him and live? Isn’t HE portrayed in the Book of Revelations as standing at the door and knocking, urging people to open the door to his everlasting love?

In the end, doesn’t God’s judgment in Christ mean the ultimate end of evil and the renewal of the earth and all creation?

As the prophesied Savior of humanity, did he not suffer and die for all human sin, was raised bodily from the dead, and ascended to heaven?

At the time, didn’t HE take on our broken and alienated humanity and included the entire human race in his right relationship with the Father?

At the time, didn’t his regeneration of our humanity allow us to share in his son-ship, being adopted as God’s own children in the Power of the Spirit?

Today as our representative and substitute, doesn’t HE stand in for all humanity before the Father, providing the perfect human response to God on our behalf and reconciling humanity to the Father?

Will HE not come again in glory as King of kings and Lord of lords over all nations?

When I read scripture, I read how inclusive Jesus Christ’s life and message pertains to all humanity. How we respond though is what separates us from HIM, not HIM from us. He died for all, but not all have accepted HIS reality. Have you?

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

What Does God Hate?


Proverbs 6:16-19 
There are six things that the Lord hates,
    seven that are an abomination to him:
 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
    and hands that shed innocent blood,
 a heart that devises wicked plans,
    feet that make haste to run to evil,
 a false witness who breathes out lies,
    and one who sows discord among brothers.

Yes, God is love and expresses love. Yet He also disdains acts of unloving passion. Most of the time when the Bible speaks about God hating someone it usually means He removes His favor on someone. When someone acts opposite of love, He likewise looks at the act as uncharacteristic of His love. God’s way produces fruit for relationships to flourish. When we act outside of His character, we experience the effect of sin which is an action opposite of God’s nature.

So, when God hates certain actions, He knows the outcome produces harmful results which make it difficult for people to prosper within a community. When you look at these seven abominations through the eyes of God, their negative impact within a community is more easily recognized.

Haughty eyes are elsewhere written as the pride of life. It is viewing life from a superior attitude placing oneself in a godlike position. Pride comes before a fall. Pride led the angel Lucifer to become Satan. Pride blinds the self from seeing others from God’s point of view.

A lying tongue is the enemy of Trust. Trust builds strong relationships between people and nations. When trust is broken, justice is forsaken. When trust is broken, marriages crumble. When trust is broken, people fail to unite for a common cause which builds businesses, nations, and institutions for the common good.

Hands that shed innocent blood is destroying another person’s future and impact they have within their community. Life is sacred. When someone decides to murder another human being randomly to satisfy an inner evil desire, God hates. To destroy an innocent life is slapping God across the face in an arrogant manner. You are stealing from GOD when you take the life of another.

A heart that devises wicked plans is bent on destroying the life of others. Instead of building up others or helping others to flourish, this person focuses on lying, stealing, and destroying others for their personal reward. The impact of their actions on the community is irrelevant from their perspective.

Feet that make haste to run to evil are people who just love acts of destruction. Whether it’s a bar room brawl, a gang rape, or a drunken party, you will find them there. Instead of being the solution to a problem, they like to extend the problem.

A false witness who breathes out lies causes great harm in the judicial system. When lies allow innocent people to suffer, the nation begins to suffer. Again, trust is the backbone of all relationships. When trust is broken within the judicial system, the entire nation suffers.

One who sows discord among brothers creates an atmosphere of distrust and inward protection. When people work together knowing they have each other’s back, the team accomplishes more than when there is division and rivalry within the group. Gossip and bullying prevent the community from living up to its potential. Insecure leadership will not allow others to be more successful than themselves. But when leadership builds up and serves others to become more than themselves, the entire community prospers.

In summary, these seven things God hates and removes his favor from people who act in this manner. So, when one behaves in the opposite manner, you may expect God’s favor to be highly upon you.

When you walk humbly, speak the truth, save lives, make plans for others to also flourish, jump quickly toward activities that do good for others, speak loudly for justice, and build up your brothers and sisters with words and actions, you will experience seven things God loves to see. His favor will be with you.

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

Gifts from God


James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

There is an old classic hymn entitled “Count Your Blessings” that comes to mind when I read this sentence from the Book of James. The repeated refrain reminds us to count our blessings and name them one by one which reminds us with what God has done in our life.

As some of my long-time readers will know, I love to read the Book of Ecclesiastes from the Old Testament Bible on a regular basis. It helps keep me grounded whenever this world’s cultural system begins to pull me away from the Solid center of life. Lately when I read the twelve chapters, I happen to notice more than before the gifts God has bestowed upon us mere humans. Sometimes, if not most of the time, it is good to be reminded.

Chapter one is the prelude which sets the stage for life’s end result before one even begins living. But in chapter two we start to capture God’s design for mankind, “There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?(2:24-25)” Then again in chapter three the writer states, “I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil – this is God’s gift to man(3:12-13,22).

In chapter 5, “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil – this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart (5:19-20).

Through the remaining chapters the writer emphasizes actions which lead to a more joyful and favorable life. Such as diligence is better than slothfulness (10:18); money is a solution to many physical outcomes (10:19); be generous (11:1-2); work your plan even though circumstances look bleak (11:4,6); invest time to pursue your goals and to rejoice every day in what you do, but remember you are being held accountable by God (11:9); don’t worry and maintain good health (11:10); and don’t over study a matter (12:12). These are only a few of the tidbits you find are golden nuggets for living an enjoyable and full life.

The bottom-line: Life is a gift. Enjoy your work, share life with others, and walk with your God. He designed life for you to enjoy His creation within the boundaries of His love – His good and perfect gift to us.

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

Jesus Paid Taxes

–>
Matthew 17: 24-27
When they came to Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax went up to Peter and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” He said, “Yes.” And when he came into the house, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, “What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tax? From their sons or from others?” And when he said, “From others,” Jesus said to him, “Then the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

When Peter was approached and asked by collectors of the temple tax whether or not Jesus paid the tax, he replied yes. However, as Peter usually did then, he quickly replied the affirmative without really knowing the truth. (The temple tax was for the maintenance of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by order of Julius Caesar and required for all Jews throughout the Roman empire).

So, when Jesus and Peter went into the house (scripture is unclear whose house – possible Jesus own a house?), Jesus took the initiative and raised a tax question to Peter (another teaching moment). Instead of focusing on the religious institution, He emphasized royal taxation by a king over his subjects. “Does the king collect taxes from his sons or from others?”

Peter replied correctly “from others.” Jesus point was the sons don’t pay taxes. And being the Son of the Owner of everything, He is not required to pay taxes. Yet, He didn’t want to offend anyone and again took the moment to demonstrate to Peter who He IS.

He told Peter to go fishing. The first fish he caught would have enough money in its mouth to pay the tax for Peter and Jesus.

The apostle Paul later writes in Romans 13:6-7 instructing believers to pay their taxes to the government. The government is an institution established by God for the benefit of mankind and believers need to monetarily support its operations. No where in the Bible does it say to withhold the payment of taxes.

Even Jesus who didn’t have to pay the tax because of His status as the Son of God, did so as an example for others to follow. So be 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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Thank You Jesus Christ

1 Thessalonians 5:18

…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

When times are good, how often do we thank God? Probably not as often as we can.

But when times are tough, do we also thank Him?

Those of us more mature have learned to thank God in good and bad times; in times of prosperity and times of poverty, in times of jubilant victory and also in times of sorrowful defeat. For we have learn that God is in work for our good through all circumstances.

We may not like the current circumstances, but trust that no matter the outcome, God is glorified and He will take care of all matters. Other time, we have also learned that maybe my suffering is not all about me, but also those around me.

Maybe God is using our situation to sharpen the love between others. Maybe His plan involves those not even born today, but the next generation. He may just be preparing a place for them through us. Maybe the wealth you are creating today is not for your children, but for the disenfranchised you haven’t even met yet. You may have plans you have been passionate about for years. And God is opening doors for you to favorably walk through. You may accomplish your dreams, but God has other plans with the results.

To give thanks in all circumstances is not for the faint-hearten. When you begin from the heart to make it so, then you know you care more for God’s glory then the achievement of your plans. You begin to know you trust God with the results no matter the outcome. If you have to suffer for a while, so be it. If you have to sacrifice everything, so be it. If you have to change life plans, so be it.

You give thanks to God because everything is His to give, share, and take back. You are simply thankful that you can live in His presence, share life with Him, and await for your completion into His eternal Home when the real fun begins.

Thank you Jesus Christ!

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

Stupidity

Proverbs 19:3

People ruin their lives by their own stupidity, so why does God always get blamed? (Message)

We all have done stupid. Sometimes its planned stupidity, most often it is a quick, temporary, brain damaging decision with painful, down-the-road consequences. The mature person however will accept personal responsibility for their decisions and actions. The immature though will find someone else to blame. If they can’t find a human person close to the situation to blame, then they will look for the next best one. That one is usually God.

Some people hold a theological belief that God causes everything to happen – good and bad. That if the student receives a poor grade, it must be God who didn’t intervene and change the grade for the better. If a person is fired from a job for continuous tardiness, it must be God’s fault for not giving him special favor with his supervisor. If you are involved in an accident, it must be God’s fault for not protecting you as you race 20 miles above the speed limit weaving in and out of traffic. The list is endless.

When one realizes that we are in control of our responses in all circumstances, and we have no one to blame but ourselves, that is when stupidity dies. Albert Einstein is given credit for saying “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” So, if life keeps giving you lemons because of your stupidity, do you think it may be time to change something?

God is not out to destroy you. In fact, he wants you to live up to the potential He created you for. He knows who you are. He knows your strengths and weaknesses. He doesn’t expect you to be anything else but you.

So rather than continue to blame others, take a time out, and look at the fruit of your life. What area of your life are you happy?  What area are you disappointed? Then take time to pray and thank God for the happy areas. For those areas you are unhappy with, ask Him to lead you toward fulfilling your potential as His child. But don’t ask if you are not willing to change and go places you have never gone before. Ask, Seek, and Knock.

As you ask Him, begin to seek his answers. It may take some sacrifice, hard work, and long hours of commitment, but with God walking with you it is only a matter of time before you will come to know Him better and see His work in your life.

But it all starts by accepting personal responsibility for the outcomes in your life. We have no one to blame but ourselves when stupidity strikes. However, God’s grace is sufficient to carry us through the brain damaging, ugly behavior that we all have a propensity to make happen. Focus on Him and He will lead you covered with His Grace.

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