How Can You Best Serve God?

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. AMP.

Everyone has a master. This may be shocking for those who live in the “free world” where one boasts of their independence and freedom. Yet even in the countries of northern America or western Europe every person has a master. Most often their master is not the governmental system or leader but themselves.

The truth be told each one of us either serves our passions and dreams and desires rather than someone else’s dictates. Yet Jesus himself states that a person cannot truly serve two masters. One will be more effectively served than the other. So how do you know you are truly serving your Lord rather than yourself?

First there are those who serve Jesus for their own self-centered purpose. Generally, they want something and believe if they serve Jesus, he will grant them their wish. Then there are those who have emptied themselves from personal ambition and truly find joy serving Jesus without a personal agenda. These are the ones who have matured through life realizing the relationship with God is more valuable than any personal goal.

The first group looks for ways to “buy” God through favors by servicing others. The second group builds a relationship with God to become more aware of His presence and joins him with their hands and feet in serving others. Typically, they don’t even know what they are doing and the impact their service for others mean. They simply and gratefully appreciate the opportunity to work along their Master.

Typically, the second group doesn’t look for additional work to perform for God. Instead they know God is already involved in the work they do; their service is to perform their daily routine for God’s glory. A mother or father caring for their children is already glorifying God through their loving responsibility for their children. The receptionist in the office is already serving God by being a joyful representative of His kingdom with everyone he meets. Likewise, the mechanic repairing the client’s automobile as if it was his own, being truthful and fair in the exceptional work they perform, is already serving God by witnessing His values before others.

The list is endless. We serve God best by doing what we do every day for His glory. When we exercise the gifts he has bestowed upon us into good, productive work, and perform our service for others in a saintly manner, being transparent and caring for their well-being, you are being a profitable servant introducing God’s kingdom to the world as His faithful witness.

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

Lonely Hearts

Exodus 20:3

“You shall have no other gods before Me.

Ever sat in a room with hundreds of people and felt alone? Ever spent an evening with a person who you enjoyed being with yet still felt disconnected? Ever wonder how come the person you’ve been married too for over ten years doesn’t quite fill the empty hole which still remains in your heart?

What’s missing?

Most of us look for love and fulfillment on a vertical sphere. If not satisfied, we change partners, careers, locations, and even cloths, thinking a change will fill up our inner cup.

Yet each may satisfy for the short term, eventually the feeling disappears and we look for something else to change. These typically are the “gods” in our life. They are generally good things, but by themselves they are incomplete.

So if this is you, maybe it is time to change one’s perspective. Instead of chasing vertical relationships and material consumption, how about refocusing and adding horizontal connections into your life.

In hindsight, with our married life and with many of my associates, when one made the Triune God the center of their domain, reaching upward before stretching vertically, the satisfaction, meaning, and fulfillment we failed to find from other people and things, found their home through Christ Jesus.

Today, He via the Holy Spirit fills our inner longings without us even realizing or many times not even asking. God knows what we need and what tickles our fancy and fills our joy with cups overflowing; for us to enjoy and to share with others. He creates in us everything we lack. He lives in community with himself and enjoys sharing His experiences with us all. When he is the center of everything, everything becomes more satisfying and fulfilling.

He created everything for our long-term enjoyment. Yet without him, the same people, things, and events are empty. With Him, life adds more color, deeper meaning, and emotional connection with all people. Until you experience life with God, you never know what you are truly missing. You are never lonely again, for He lives in you and will be with you, your entire life. 

With Him, you may find yourself alone, but you are never lonely. He is always with you; and you know that you know which allows you to live out what you know. You know what I mean? Probably not, unless you know.

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

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;

three focus

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

Is God Unsafe?

2 Timothy 4:18

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

safe god

There is a human expression that occasionally makes its appearance during tough trials. This past week I heard it again. The saying is “God is not safe; but God is good.”

From a human perspective, one could quickly sake their head in agreement. Most often this thought appears when we are blindsided from events, and instead of God preventing such occurrences, He allows them to happen. These times usually are accompanied by pain, loss, and grief. However, when one begins to understand and live-out the love God has for us, when that love grows into uncompromising trust, no matter the circumstances, the goodness of God overflows even in stinking times.

God is not safe for us because at times instead of granting our expectations, he allows the opposite to occur. Instead of preventing bad things to happen to good people, he allows them to experience the impact of evil. So how can you trust a God who doesn’t meet all your heavenly expectations when you need it most?

Because He is GOOD!

In His unsearchable character, we capture a taste of his goodness throughout his creation. Like a prudent grandparent who knows when and what and how to best present a solution to a child’s problem, God knows you and what is best for you and your love ones and your community. I don’t understand how, but I’ve seen HIM do it over and over again in my life and in the life of others. One gains wisdom and trust with fifty plus years of hindsight.

He is unpredictable; otherwise He wouldn’t be God. We at times seem to think that we know what is best for us and everyone around us. We play god and forget that there is someone who is GOD. God is good. And the perspective he is unsafe comes when we haven’t totally yielded ourselves into the master craftsman’s hand.

This life isn’t meant to be permanent but a training ground for the new age tomorrow. You and I are being molded into the image of our creator. His character is slowly being morphed into you and I so one day we will stand with Jesus and serve His people with the same love, hope, and purpose as he serves us. This is His story and you are included. Complete your part and He will fulfill his.

Evil will come against you. God may not prevent it, but he will rescue you. And from this rescue, you will grow your trust in Him. If there was a better way, He would bring it about. But He knows what you lack and what you need. From a human perspective he may be unsafe; but He is a good God. Trust 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 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

Role Failure vs Rooted Identity

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success.

identity

One trait that most people rarely develop into a positive habit is learning the art of turning failure into success. Like an old ax with a dull blade, we continue to exert more physical energy in its use rather than employ sound wisdom on the problem. Like the person who keeps trying to mop up the water in the bathroom without first turning off the faucet, we work harder rather than smarter. But sound wisdom is available for those who are tired of continually falling short of the mark.

To pursue any type of success without expecting setbacks is like running a marathon without expecting to take a drink of water. Life is not designed that way. The quicker one learns to turn lemons into lemonade, the more enjoyable life will become.

First failure is in the eye of the beholder. Thomas Edison failed over two thousand times to find the perfect filament for the electric light bulb. That is how an outsider viewed the situation. However, Mr. Edison himself simply viewed each test as one step in the process of eliminating what doesn’t work.

The largest reason, I believe, people are able to properly manage the mental anguish of failure is the ability to separate their identity as a person from the role they are working through. When you truly realize you are a child of the same God who holds the universe together, held in the grip of Jesus Christ, made and being morphed into his image, you have an eternal identity which no failure nor person can remove. However, when your identity is found in anything else (no matter how good it may look or be), you have made an idol that will eventually come crumbling down.

When you can separate your identity from your role in life, then you will find it easier to evaluate the situation and come up with more reasonable solutions to your dilemma. However, when you use your role as your identity cup, that cup will leave you totally empty when the role is over. Roles come and go but your identity in Christ remains forever.

You see this all the time. The person whose career is over becomes lost because their identity was solely buried in their work. The mother whose identity was found in her children becomes lost when the children leave home. The teenager whose identity is found with his friends becomes lost if not accepted by his peers or their friends move away. The athlete whose identity is found on the football field finds himself loss when he is discarded because of his age.

When you know who you are in Christ though, then each role

you accept becomes a learning process of developing the necessary skills needed to succeed in that role. No matter how well you succeed or fail to succeed, you are only defining your ability to manage that role. Your identity in Christ doesn’t change. Yes, you may be a lousy waitress, but you are an awesome child of God. Yes, you may be a lousy ballplayer, but you can improve by sharpening the necessary skills need to succeed. The same with any role you have chosen to pursue.

Of course, when you build your role upon the God-given gifts and natural abilities given, the path will be easier. Yet motivation and hard work developing the necessary skill set is also necessary and doable. You may not become the #1 rated person in your industry, but you will be greatly respected for what and how you do it.

So, the next time you find yourself short of your mark, thank God for the opportunity you have been given, find yourself a mentor, and know that failure only sets the bar for you to discover what you need to change to become more effective in the role you are working through.

Don’t confuse your identity with your role. Master your role. Keep centered in your identity. Then failure is only a holding pattern in a learning process of improving your role.

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

God Is Working Everything for Your Good

Romans 8:28 

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

god work

How do you define good? When do you determine something is either good or bad?

If life throws a curve ball at you when you were expecting a fast ball, was that a good pitch or not? Don’t our shortsighted expectations sometimes blind us to reality?

Generally, we believe something is good almost immediately after its impact. For example, when we slam on our brakes at the last second to avoid a serious head-on-accident by inches. Or when we been looking for a job and an offer comes our way with a higher salary and responsibilities than you ever imagined. Or when you feel a lump on your breast and receive that phone call from your doctor acknowledging it is benign.

All these events end with immediate good news.

Yes, the news is good. And for the minute we celebrate. Yet what about those times when the events stink.

When your fiancée breaks up with you one week before the wedding.

When your tire goes flat ten minutes away from an important interview for the job of your dreams.

When the candidate you lobbied for and voted for fails to win the election.

At times like this you feel your world has come to an end. You are disappointed and maybe even angry at God for not protecting you from such “harm.” But are these events necessary “bad.” Or are they temporary, eye-opening moments to refocus our attention on the God of the universe who is constantly working for every person’s best; even when they don’t want it.

Your trust in God will be constantly challenged by the unpleasant events in your life. You will come to know him more intimately and personally as you place your undivided trust in Him. Whether you are thrown into a fiery pit, stand before a large army attacking your front while a large lake blocks your retreat in the rear, or your nine-foot goliath stands in front of you with heavy military armor and you only have a sling shot. Your immediate response may be “this isn’t good,” Yet, you will recall all the times your God intervene and the outcome was better than you could ever expect. Or the times you may have suffered for years. But in hindsight you realize those were the best years of spiritual growth and interpersonal relationship time with our Heavenly Father.

When you come to realize that no matter what happens in this journey through life on planet earth, God is constantly at work for your good and mine. Sometimes we have to wait longer than desired, but other times He delivers before we even know what happened.

God is good. All the time. Just sometimes it takes time to realize the goodness of the situation.

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

 

Evil. Suffering. Death.

Psalm 23:4

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

evil suffering death

Modern technology and science are amazing. In my short lifetime, I have witnessed the advent of the computer, smart phone, and internet. I have seen medical breakthroughs; space ships to the moon and beyond; and pictures of galaxies millions of miles from earth. The knowledge and pace of new inventions just keep on growing.

Yet I have also seen the austerities of evil between people and the unfruitful suffering of helpless parents and children. Like those who have gone before us, I have also experienced the brevity of life. Bodily death awaits us all.

As a people, we are taught the solution for all our problems are through science or a better form of government, or more education. Yet evil, suffering, and eventually death continues to freely express themselves throughout our neighborhoods as each of these areas grow.

There are those who want a one-world ruling government but can’t agree on the form of government. Would it be a democracy or socialist or communistic?  What would the prevailing religion be – Christianity, Muslim, Judaism, Hindu, etc.? Which language would prevail?

Then there are those, like myself, who realize the solution lies with Jesus Christ. But most people poo-poo the solution. What can a man who lived 2000 years ago provide a practical solution today they ask? Christianity has been around for 2,000 years and what has it produced? Religion is the superstition of the people many world leaders have claimed. What makes Jesus Christ different?

Imagine if Jesus Christ was properly taught and lived-out in the classroom today in every country? They would come to realize who He truly was, is, and will be. They would recognize his kingship and domain. His family connection with God the Father and Holy Spirit. The rule of love and justice and mercy would prevail. Instead of serving one’s desires, one would learn to love Father God that Jesus introduced us too. The culture would seek solutions to live life to the fullest without causing damage to the minds and souls of their inhabitants. Business would focus on providing services and products worthy of the monetary investment without causing harm to the environment.

Every person would fully understand their purpose for life and how they can best serve others in the process. Nations would help nations to grow and prosper. Everyone would acknowledge Jesus as King; the earth his domain; and we his subjects. His decrees built from a position of love and truth would prevail. Lies, deceit, and murder would be banished along with the chief instigator – Satan.

What we have here is God’s solution to our temporarily problem of evil, suffering, and death. Jesus Christ is returning. And with him is the full establishment of his Kingdom. This is the what I look forward too. When mankind and the divine walk hand-in-hand and fully express life together in a world where everyone flourishes and lives in peace and harmony.

Meanwhile today we are blessed to create small heavenly colonies where we now have a foretaste of the world tomorrow promised by our God; and privileged to witness those around us what life with God is all about. There is a time for every purpose under heaven…and yes even one day evil, suffering, and death will be no more.

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