Being Fully Human

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV
An Easter Message: Reprint from Feb 2015

In the Book of Genesis, we discover that God made man in His image after His likeness (Gen.1:26). In Psalm 8:4, King David asked the question “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” The writer of Hebrews in 2:6 likewise refers to the same question and adds more thought behind the remark. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul writes that life in Christ makes us a new creation.

What does this all mean for you and me?

There are times when I look at our culture, I cry. My heart hurts for the people who don’t really understand what Jesus means in their everyday life. For example, people may know about Him, the Cross and Resurrection, but not realize the importance of the Ascension.

The fact is Jesus ascended into Heaven not only as a divine being but also as a resurrected human. As a human, he experienced the same emotional, psychological, and physical stress that every person deals with on a daily basis. More so, hanging on the cross the sins of every person past, present, and future was transported into his inner humanity. He knows what it means to be human. He experienced the pain of sin without ever committing sin himself (Heb.4:15).

Our connection with Father God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ union with Father God is because of his divinity. His union with humanity is because of his bodily life. Mankind has union with Jesus because of His humanity. When we pray to our Father God, Jesus intercedes on our behalf. When we pray not knowing how and what to say, His Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-7). He is our High Priest.

He is more involved in yours and my life than you and I may ever realize. He cares about you in ways you haven’t even considered yet. He wants what is best for you. He knows what it means to be human. He is our standard for what it means to be human.

He wants you to experience the same love, joy, and hope he carried with him when he walked the earth. He wants you to grow and experience the same thrills he does. Jesus wants to hang-out with you.

When Father/Son/Spirit created the world, earth, and mankind, he said it was “very good.” He wants us to experience the same sense of accomplishment through our work. When Jesus healed the sick, he experienced the power of God changing people’s lives. He wants us to experience the same when we serve others. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he became the first fruit of a new creation. The merger of humanity with divinity. The physical merging with the spiritual. The future new heaven and new earth being lived in the present. Heaven on earth.

Being fully human is really living and experiencing everyday life in 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

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Less Self, More God & Others

Philippians 2:3

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

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Being selfless isn’t reducing your worth as a human being. You are created in the image of God and your worth is hidden in Jesus Christ. You are priceless in God’s eyes. You are worth more than you even imagine. Your worth isn’t measured by what or how you do something; your value is in what Jesus has done, is doing, and yet will do.

However, we are instructed to focus our minds to look at others as more important than ourselves. What does that mean?

First being selfless doesn’t mean you think you are less important than others. It means you simply spend less time thinking about yourself and your needs and instead invest more time thinking how you may better serve others.

The best decisions you make will be a win-win-win scenario. You will follow God’s lead and Will, you will want what is best for the other person, and you will also want what is best for yourself. There most likely will be compromise. However, the end result will generally be fruitful for everyone involved. Sometimes one side must sacrifice more than the other. But when God is in the picture, sacrificial love is His specialty. And he has a way of rewarding us in serving with Him as He works in the lives of others.

In this world economy, many people have a limited pie view. They don’t understand God’s economy of multiplication. Jesus took five loaves and two fish to feed 5,000. He directed Peter and his fishing team where to find a large spool of fish that almost flooded the boat. He also fed millions of people during the Exodus where no grocery store was to be found in the area. When serving others, we know we are being held in His Grip. Though we may fall occasionally and be hurt, we also know he is always there to walk us through the situation.

Humility is simply knowing God and the value he places on all people which includes you and everyone you meet. Like Jesus, we wash the feet of others because that is the way of God. Our value is in Him. From that perspective, whatever he did and does is what we do. He emptied himself to become human and full of the Holy Spirit. We try to do and be likewise. As we empty ourselves, He makes his home in us and fills us with Himself, the Holy Spirit, and our Father God.

His Kingdom is built on service for others through Him by you. A threefold cord that works wonders in every aspect of life.

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

Favor of the Lord

Luke 1:26-31

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be.  And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

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Sometimes we hold unto blissful expectations which eventually become painful disappointments. Take the concept of wanting to experience the favor of the Lord. Most humans would desire the favor of the Lord. We picture ourselves sitting on a royal chair with subjects, having a life of ease and comfort, and all our desires fully satisfied. Yet reality speaks differently as Mary experienced through her life.

Yes, she was favored by the Lord to be the birth mother of the Son of God. But life wasn’t really a bowl of peaches because of it. Think of all she had to endure through the process?

She was an unmarried woman pregnant with child living is a small village where everybody generally knows everyone else’s business. Per the old Jewish oracles, a woman without a husband and pregnant was to be stoned to death. How favored of a life would you say living out each day hiding your condition from your parents and siblings and neighbors is? What about spending the last month of your pregnancy riding a donkey and/or walking for 80 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to take part in a census? And of course, to give birth in a non-sanitized environment without the support of family or friends. Is this the favored life?

To be favored by God is a blessing. You know He has your back. But the process of every day challenges and threats still remain. To be favored by God is an adventurous life and not necessarily a safe one. Yet to know you are being held in His Grip through all the ups and downs life throws your way is a blessing and comfort to the soul.

Even with suffering or pain that comes our way, we rather be favored by God than not. How about 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

 

Pray. Listen. Do.

John 18:37

…Everyone who is of the truth listens to my (Jesus) voice.” ESV.

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When a crisis occurs in your life, how do you normally react? When you are at the end of your rope for solutions, where do you turn to? When no one seems to understand you or care, where do you go for support?

We are all human with similar needs, desires, and responses. How we react to adverse situations over time is typically a byproduct of a learned response. Whether we have a violent temper, a foul mouth tongue, or a beaten-up self-image, there are multiple responses as there are people. However, one response has proven over and over again to work most effectively when given the chance. When one turns the matter over to our Creator and watch how He reveals His love and care for you, then you learn the power of praying, listening, and doing.

The Kingdom of God operates through the heart of its citizens. Unless one is in contact with the Lord of the House, one doesn’t really reap the benefits of having a personal relationship with the King. When you have the King’s ear, you have someone who can make the difference in everything you do. So, when you learn to listen and do what your King suggests, you have a very good source of knowing what is best. Therefore, stop your busyness and explore all the other possibilities you haven’t considered.

Most of us start with the doing phase. We focus on what must we do. Instead our focus needs to be on leaning more on Him through prayer. And in our prayer, we need to spend more time listening than speaking. The Spirit already knows the best solution for your dilemma. We only have to learn to pray, listen, and then do.

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

 

 

 

 

Steward Well

Matthew 25:21
His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

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Do you want to serve in a great ministry?  Then start right where you are at. Your ministry will become great when you focus on the smaller details of God’s Kingdom.

He has given you the responsibility to steward the resources at your disposal. You say you have only very little? That is OK; steward well. You are from a small family with few relational connections? That is OK; steward well. You have no job? That is OK; steward well. You have a physical disability? That is OK; steward well. No matter how much or how little you have; start today and steward well with what you have at your disposal.

We all manage the resources we hold for maximum impact. Most of us are still trying to hoard what little we have instead of sharing it with others. Somewhere we still believe the pie is limited and don’t really understand God’s Kingdom economics. Even though Jesus multiplied the five loafs of bread and two fish to feed at least 5,000 people, we have trouble believing it can be done again with the resources at our disposal.

For to steward well is to trust God.

When you truly understand that everything is own by God and given you to manage with Him, you gladly hold yourself accountable to Him. You first seek His purpose before succumbing to your desires. You gladly (and sometimes reluctantly) follow through with His instructions for you. Over time, we learn that He continually provides as we learn to trust Him and walk with Him.

For most of us, our faith will be tested through the “small things” in life. However, it is through the small and routine avenues of life where our strength is developed and trust in God becomes real. So that when the “big one comes”, we will simply do what we have done our entire life – trust God and steward well.

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

 

 

More Than You Expect

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us… Ephesians 3:20 NASB.

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Sometimes I stop and look back at the last forty years of life and shake my head in disbelief on how I failed to trust God in the difficult circumstances of everyday living. I believed in God most of my entire life but didn’t really believe Him until the second half of living. Again, if I could have, I would have. But life is a learning experience preparing us for eternity.

If we could reset the time, there would be a few (if not many) areas of life we would change. One area would be to remove the limitations I placed on God and myself.

I knew about God love, but how much he loved me was an issue. I didn’t know we are one of God’s favorites. My attitude was He constantly tested me for personal pleasure. He would throw me into situations that would take my breath away. He would challenge me with circumstances that would cause severe financial crisis’s. I didn’t receive blessings from Him (I mistakenly believed), but pain and sorrow.

However, in hindsight, I now realize how much He cared for me by protectively allowing one of his favorite children to go through trials, circumstances, and challenges that would strengthen me and learn to trust Him. I’ve also came to realize how many limitations we place on ourselves because we limit Him.

The more we came to lean on Him, the more we trusted Him; and the more we partnered with Him, the more He revealed Himself to me. Not with his physical Presence, but through the people, events, and circumstances of life – through His Creation.

Today, I am more amazed at how He works through others to reveal His blessings. The way He brings people into your life, the way He works out circumstances to bring about events which speaks to you, and the way He gives you the strength and courage to seek out the best.

Everything is possible with Him. He knows what is best for you. Yes, you and I have limitations. However, God has no limits. He is eternal. He is omnipresent. He made a commitment with you at creation. We just have to accept His authority in our life and get out of His way.

He is always going before you. Talk with Him. Ask Him how you can best present yourself to others. Trust Him. Lean on Him. He is doing a work in you for His glory, not yours. When you surrender to His goals and objectives, you allow Him to work through you. The result is a manifestation of His greatness. Your talents which He endowed you with and your skills which you have developed are join together with His purpose and His love for you. Together you will see more abundantly what He has in mind for you. And you will come to realize He has more in store for you than you can ever think, ask, or imagine.

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

Be Fruitful

Genesis 1:28 – And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it… ESV.

Colossians 1:9-10 – we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God… ESV.

 

fruitful

God’s first instructions to mankind taken from Genesis 1:28 was to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it…” Nothing has changed since then except humanity’s natural inclination to first try it their way.

At the very beginning of man’s timeline, our heavenly Father gave us the personal responsibility to exercise wisdom, imagination and creativity to manage His earthly domain for Him.  The Bible calls it stewardship.

Like the manager of a company given the responsibility to grow the business for the owner, we likewise have been given the assignment to improve the world around us. When we take the focus away from ourselves and on others, we find needs to be satisfied. As a steward, we analyze the resources at our disposal and best deploy them toward satisfying the needs of others. In business, we receive the reward of developing a relationship with a person who becomes our customer. Through this process, we are financially compensated that allows us to purchase the resources we need to do it again and again. As we keep repeating the process, our client base grows, our resources under management grows, and the more people we can serve.

The challenge for most of us is locating that sweet spot where our natural gifts and talents intersect the needs of others and is fueled by our passion. Some of us may not recognize what our strengths are; others have placed mental or emotional limits on themselves; and then others are so wrapped up in themselves that they are blind to the need of others.

The apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians mentioned his prayer for them was that God may supply the strength and internal fortitude to walk with our Lord and be fruitful in their work. Maybe some of us (if not all) need to invest more time praying for the same resources. Maybe we are not as fruitful as we can be because we are trying to accomplish our dreams apart from God. Maybe instead of striving for more, working longer hours, and chasing after dollars, we ask Him to show us how to rest in Him and learn from Him how to be more fruitful. Most of us will become pleasantly surprised how He has a way to open doors, bring people into your world, and generate opportunities beyond our wildest imagination.

God wants you to be fruitful in your work. But more than this, He also wants you to be fruitful in His relationship with you. Make Him the center of your life and then watch how He showers you with His fruitful Grace and Presence in your corner of the galaxy. For wherever He goes, the world around Him grows more fruitful.

This is the reason Jesus stated in John 15:5 that you will bear much fruit as long as you remain in Him.

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