You Are Included

Ephesians 2:8

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

included

One of the main differences between Christian denominations is understanding when you are saved.

Arminianism theology believes you are saved when you make the election to choose God. Calvinism theology on the other hand believes God has already predetermined your life’s final destination. And Trinitarian theology believes God has already chosen you but you need to exercise faith to experience the fruit of salvation.

I find adoption theology gives a good example of explaining the differences.

Under adoption theology, God through Christ has adopted humanity through his life, death, and resurrection. Just like a parent adopts a child into the family fold, God has adopted humanity into the family circle. The child may either accept his position as a new family member and become engaged with the family culture, or not. The child is already included within the family whether or not she accepts her role. Her actions are either to accept the family or rebel. When she accepts, she enjoys the fruit of family living. When she rebels, she is still a family member, but lost from sharing life with the family and the family treasures.

Arminianism theology on the other hand teaches that the child selects the parent for adoption. You are not included in the family until you decide to make it so. The parent only offers adoption, and the child is the one who legally binds the offer. The weight is on the child choosing to be adopted or not.

Calvinism theology teaches that God has adopted some and has not adopted others. Some will experience eternity with God and others are predestinated for eternal lost. As a child, you have to figure out whether you are included or excluded from God’s family.

When you understand that salvation is what Jesus accomplished and not what we make happen, then we find salvation is more about a familial relationship with the living God rather than a business transaction. There are those who treat salvation as something you earn by achieving a goal, or something you acquire by keeping score of good behavior, or some noble actions toward others. When you realize its about being included within the Eternal God’s circle of Father-Son-Spirit, it changes your perspective of God, family, and life.

Paul writes that God chose humanity before the foundation of the world to become his children. When Christ rose from the dead, he not only defeated death for himself, but included all of humanity with him. Our home is with him. You cannot be lost unless you already have a home. Those who don’t truly know Jesus Christ yet have a home waiting for them. They have already been adopted into the family but don’t realize the riches that await them.  When they accept Jesus and His lordship, life changes. They become engaged in the Family business and enjoy the fruit of God’s redemptive plan. However, if they continue to rebel against participating in God’s family endeavors, and choose not to be engaged with Christ, there will be unpleasant consequences; including the loss of everlasting life.

Our chose is not whether or not we want to be adopted, our chose is whether or not we want to accept our position within the family and participate in the family business. You are already included. The question then becomes, what are you going to do about 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

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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

God’s Purpose For You

Galatians 4:19

My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you

purpose

Whenever we hear another message that God has a plan for you, I cringe. Most often, not always, but most often the message comes across that you are unique (true); you have one specific life role God designed you for (maybe); if you dream it, it must be from God (maybe); and your earthly destiny is already planned out (ouch).

Now we could discuss free-will and predestination, but will not because it becomes a never-ending discussion subject to your preliminary worldview. However, we will agree that God does have a plan for your life that involves every aspect of your goals, dreams, passion, and purpose. That objective is to form Christ in you!

Scriptures like Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 3:14:19, Ephesians 4:11-19, Philippians 3:21, and Colossians 1:28 record the apostle’s Paul emphasis on Christ being formed in you.

So, when you realize this, and you submit yourself under God’s authority in your life, Christ will continue to transform your character through the Holy Spirit, no matter what goals, dreams, and passions you pursue. When you live in the center of God’s Will, rarely will your choice be predetermined rebellion against Him. Instead your options are like Adam and Eve’s. How many trees were available for them to focus their attention on? Wasn’t the tree of life also in the garden with the tree of knowledge of good and evil? So, why did they select the one God told them not too? Life choices are many. But as long as you hold unto the One Who Is the Source of Life, you will be OK. God’s plan is to bring you unto maturity in Christ.

The God we serve is so much larger than you and I can ever phantom. He allows us to exercise free-will while He continues the process of changing us from a self-centered, self-ruled person to a Christ-centered, spirit-led adopted child of His.

If fact, the more Christ is formed in you, the more you come to realize there isn’t one physical goal, one dream, or one passion with your name on it. Instead you have the entire galaxy at your disposal. Only because of our limited thinking, doubtful trust in God, fear of failure, and shortsightedness, we narrow the possibilities in front of us.

Since God’s desire is to develop the leadership skills and Kingdom-centered values in you as you partner with Jesus Christ via the Holy Spirit, bringing you to maturity in Him, exercise some personal judgement, gather counsel from your elders that know you, and choose the path your passion, talents, and love for others lead you. You can be assured God is always with you and will continue to form you in the image of His Son along the way.

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’ Priorities for Daily Living

‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
‘Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’ Matt 6:9-13

priorities

We can view Jesus’ priority of values by viewing the prayer he taught his students. Today we classify this prayer as The Lord’s Prayer.  When you study this prayer, you notice the hierarchy of values Jesus places on each request. Each request identifies an important value for living and moves from the highest to the lowest of importance.

First, he identifies we are all together on this life voyage by recognizing God as Father of us all. Translation: life is a team sport and God is the owner and coach.

Secondly, he gives great respect and tribute to God for who He IS and what His name signifies. Translation: God is creator and humanity is his creation – acknowledge it and live it out.

The third point Jesus emphasizes is God’s Kingdom coming to earth. Translation: since his entire message during the three-year public ministry was to let the earth’s inhabitants know the reign of God’s Kingdom is being restored on earth, get on board. His government rules through the souls of his subjects executing his decrees from a servant’s heart.

Then the fourth point highlights the importance of maintaining the attitude of a servant following the desires and wishes of his master. Translation: the emphasis is for you to do whatever you do God’s way and place your desires and wishes behind His. You are a servant of the Lord for the sake of others.

The next point highlights how Jesus places importance of not waiting until we are all in heaven, but focus on bringing the richness of heaven to earth today. Translation: your everyday mission is to colonize earth.

Only after focusing on God’s priorities, does Jesus place his personal physical desires and needs on the necessities of daily substance. Translation: we all need food, clothing, and shelter and since God created all the resources at our disposal, he can also lead us to them.

Then his emphasis is on relationships. Translation: we mend relationships by forgiving others. In our walk-through forgiveness, we learn humility and love for God, others and ourselves.

Next, he acknowledges the struggle of temptations which may turn into a sorry state of affairs IF not defeated. Translation: instead of blinding ourselves to the strength of sin’s influence, our request needs to keep asking for help to keep these battles far from us and minimal in quantity.

He also acknowledges the evil around us: Translation: this alone should prompt us to keep in close contact with Him who can help us in times of trouble.

And lastly, he closes where he began by acknowledging God is here forever and His kingdom is forever, and His rule is forever, and His fame is forever. Translation: he is the One who needs to remain the center of everything we think, do, and want to be. Life is His story being played out through humanity.

Final thought: Is it possible one reason Jesus taught this prayer with his disciples is to highlight the important priorities of God and how the needs of mankind work hand-in-hand with His ultimate plan for humanity?

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

Waste Time with God

PS: 37:3-5, 7, 23-24, 39-40

 Trust in the Lord, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security…

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you the desires of your heart…

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him, and he will act…

Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
over those who carry out evil devices….

Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the Lord holds us by the hand…

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble. The Lord helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

waste time

The Thirty-Seven Psalm is one of my favorites. Whenever life throws another undesirable obstacle my way, the words from this passage come to mind.

Being an occasional over-achiever, I sometimes fall prey to the humanistic view that life is a formula. If I do A and B plus C, then life will generate D. However, overtime reality eventually teaches us life is not a predictable formula. You can push all the correct buttons, but life’s results are not a scheduled software program with predetermined results already in place. The many unknown options and variables allow multiple outcomes. We may hold personal expectations, but most of those outcomes are controlled by others outside our influence.

So, is there a better way than to work harder, manipulate more, call on favors, beg key influencers, practice superstitious rituals, and strive ourselves until sheer exhaustion?

The writer of Psalms 37 not only believed but witness countless life circumstances that says yes. As a long-term apprentice of Jesus Christ, I likewise witness countless events in people’s life where an outside, invisible hand changed outcomes while regenerating a person’s spirit. This invisible hand has come known to me as the Triune God – Father God, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

Now instead of continually mastering all the human tools for success, health, and happiness, I rather lean on an Eternal One whose ways are often considered foolish in the eyes of humanity. To waste time with God rather than pursue one’s goal doesn’t make sense I’ve been told over and over again. But life’s outcomes prove otherwise.

If you haven’t done so yet, why not put Father-Son-Spirit to the test? This next month make the intentional purpose to waste time with God. Go to the beach, ride a bike, take a trip to the park, and focus your mind, body, and soul toward listening and communicating with Him. Don’t expect any specific results, instead wait until the end of the month and reflect on what just happened. If you are honest with yourself, you will be pleasantly surprised, and want to repeat the process over and over again.

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

 

Fulfill Your Potential

1 Corinthians 13 (NASB)
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

potential1

The poets, romantics, and song writers have it right. Real love is the greatest high this life offers. We are not speaking of puppy love, or a self-centered feeling which makes you feel good. But a sacrificial, outgoing concern for the welfare and benefit of the other. The love Jesus demonstrated throughout his life.

For example, Lord Jesus washed the feet of his students. A role the lowest of servants of a house usually performed. He forgave his persecutors while dying on the cross. He turned water into wine in respect for his mother and so the bride and groom would not be embarrassed at their wedding festivities.

He spent days and nights sacrificing his privacy teaching his students the ways of God. In fact, his entire mission was to introduce everyone to the God he knew. His fulfillment of all prophecy pertaining to the messiah was so his God would be honored and humanity may likewise have their relationship with their Creator restored.

He loved truth and spoke the truth in love. His ability to reveal His Father’s goodness through words and actions was a story-line without end. The apostle John writes in his gospel that you couldn’t write enough books to outline them all.

He didn’t pursue wealth, marriage, fame, nor power during time on earth. Instead, he was true to himself, his mission, and his God. He knew where he came from, where he was going, and the road of suffering he would have to endure. Yet he didn’t have a daily pity party but trusted in Him who he loved and knew He was loved by Him; him being his Father and our Father, God Almighty.

He didn’t point people to Scripture but pointed Scripture to His Father. In his prayer the evening he was being betrayed, he acknowledges his accomplishment of revealing His God to others so others may also come to know Him. His entire life and mission included making the love of God known.

Do you think maybe there is more to the X-mas story than just a baby being born so he may die for mankind? Is it possible Jesus came to also reveal what a real human fulfilled life looks like?

Could it also be possible, experiencing and knowing real love is the fulfillment of our potential?

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

Top Ten For 2018

ten1

In review of this past year, the top ten pages with the most views were:

1) Where is God’s Domain

2) A Mirror Image of Jesus

3) Jesus is Our Reference Point

4) Walk It Out With Jesus Christ

5) Build Strengths, Compliment Weaknesses

6) What New Creation?

7) Rest In Christ

8) Love Has No Agenda

9) Through Faith or By Faith

10) How Do You Measure Faith?

THANK YOU for sharing with me the love and joy of Christ through this blog. For me, it is therapy for the soul. Hopefully you likewise have found some encouragement or insight in your walk with Jesus Christ through these pages. As always, my one prayer is for you to truly experience the radical, blessed and adventurous life only found in the relational love of the Incarnate Triune God!

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

Christmas: Making All Things New

Revelation 21:5
And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

new1

Christmas means so much more for me than a celebration of the birth of Jesus. The reason for the season is an annual reminder that God is still moving his story toward a happy ending! With the Son of God, now wrapped by human flesh sitting on his throne in heaven, with the commission of making all things new, mankind has just begun to witness the fulfillment of God’s strategy of expanding his Kingdom throughout the universe.

The birth of Jesus in human skin is God’s universal plan to unite divinity with flesh. In Christ, we are reminded that all life is important; there is purpose and meaning behind every human; and real, sacrificial love is the answer.

When Peter spoke his first public sermon on the day of Pentecost, the same day the Holy Spirit made his public appearance, he quoted from the prophet Joel:

‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.

As we look back in history these two thousand years, we witness the explosion of knowledge, sci-fi visions becoming reality, and advancements in the human domain where many nation’s largest challenges are not just feeding their people, but to provide avenues of education for each person to discover their purpose and potential in living a meaningful life.

We may disagree on methods, techniques, and strategy, but the God-centered life will continue to lay the foundation of common sense, place an extreme high value of life, and provide opportunities for others to discover the real meaning and purpose of life ordained from the foundation of the world.

Jesus Christ is on his throne and He is making all things new. He has purchased all humanity through his life, death, and resurrection. He is the only person who has demonstrated real leadership for the benefit of mankind as a whole. His heart wants all of us to partner with him in his work now and into eternity. But he will not force you to comply. He respects your free will, and wants you to know he is always there for you. He is rooting for you, and wants what is best for you.

He is making all things new and wants you to know you are included with him in his plans. So, celebrate the season, rejoice with Him, and let love always be your leading guide.

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