Holiness

1 Thessalonians 4:7

For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness.


What do you picture when you think of holiness?

I recall back in my bachelorhood days an incident which help me crystalize how misguided religious and non-religious people classified holy people.

After an afternoon date with someone who was visiting the area for the first time, and before we went our separate ways, she looked at me in a stunning poise. Her words slowly out of her mouth were half being spoken to me and the other half as if she was thinking out loud. Simply paraphrasing, she was amazed that someone who was a baptized believer could have so much fun without harming anyone or doing anything semi-destructive in the process. I was dumbfounded. For me, being a recent follower of Jesus Christ was more exciting than anything I have experienced at that time and I wanted to live it out.

Yet she explained that she grew up in a household where dancing and even playing cards was considered taboo. Where “Christians” didn’t laugh and joke but carried on with serious discussions about life. That life was serious and there was no time for unproductive enjoyment.

I don’t recall my exact reply, but did mutter something about God must be the most enjoyable Being in the universe to hang around and I wanted to be like Him. Maybe I was fortunate to understand early in life that holiness wasn’t just about doing the right thing all the time like God, but being like God.

Think about it. God is holy. Therefore, holiness is the natural characteristic of God. What is God like?

From the natural inclination to express Himself in a loving manner at all times, he does ALL things from a heart of love. Yes, even when He disciplines or reproves us, He does so from a position of love. We may not think so, but like an adult looking back at their childhood, we realize that most of the time our imperfect parents disciplined us for our own good. God does the same.

His holiness includes not only doing the right things at the right time, but also being the person of love. From the position of love, He expresses His holiness with imagination, creativity, and foresight; He plans and executes his work to perfection; He laughs, cries, and even uses humor to illustrate a point. Yes, He is gentle and kind and merciful, but also spanking, chastising, and disciplining those He loves. He is the embodiment of joy and the author of faithfulness and competency.

What you soon realize is holiness contains more than just doing the right thing. It is being fully human by experiencing the divine nature of God. From the divine position, one learns to live life to the fullest without the worldly, imposed conditions. Love, joy, and peace aren’t goals to strive for but the outer expression of Him who lives in us. As we submit to His authority in our lives, we become more and more like Him in character and being. The work is not ours but his. We may put in the effort, but at the end of day we know without Him, the rock we push all day will not move without his cooperation. At the end of day, He is glorified.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & 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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The Ungodly vs. Godly Life

2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

Want a description what life is like without accepting God’s authority in one’s world?

2 Timothy 3:1-5 outlines the characteristics one will exhibit when the power of God is absent in a person’s life. It is not pretty yet does describe many areas of our current political and university communities today. When God is thrown out of the equation, His values for peaceful cohabitation and social flourishing is buried beneath the ugliness of human nature. It takes the execution of real wisdom to navigate through the lies and hypocrisy which blind people to behave in such ungodly fashion. They are trapped in their ignorance of history, solid facts, and human nature to do Satan’s bidding for destruction of families, communities, and nations. There is nothing new under the sun which has already happened and will happen again by people being pawns in a global war to destroy what is good.     

I’ve rewrote 2 Timothy for myself taking into consideration the opposite perspective – what a godly life is like. Dr. Mike’s reverse translation:

“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.

Yet Christ followers will continue to be lovers of God, generous with money, humble, meek, respectful, honoring their parents, grateful, godly, caring, satisfiable, commendatory, exercising self-restraint, hospitable, passionate for good, trustworthy, cautious for the sake of others, focused on factual reality, lover of God before pleasure, emphasizing substance of character rather than outward form of godliness, and allowing the power of the Holy Spirit into their lives.”

Wouldn’t you want neighbors with such attributes living in your community?  That is what Jesus Christ offers us in living out His Kingdom on earth today.

So, whatever “ISM” you may think is better, please review your facts and history. Those of us living in America have been privileged to live in a nation with freedoms unknown by most previous countries throughout human history. Yet freedom comes with a steep price. And many people are turning away from it. Real freedom comes from the Triune God. When we ignore His authority in our life, hell moves closer to the neighborhood. 

The outcome of a godless life is what Paul describes in 2 Timothy. As we see a nation focus more on race, gender, and Marxist values rather than the God of grace and His proven ways of flourishing for all, the more a nation will fit into the description of 2 Timothy.

Yet people can change. Nations can change. But are you willing to pay the price for freedom? Ask your heavenly Father what you can do to help build His kingdom in your little world today. And be ready for some adventure. It’s how we grow and how God is glorified. And how you and I and those around us benefit the most.

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 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

The Ultra-Lean Years

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV)

seasons 1

 

Ever notice that there is a purpose for every season of one’s life?

Joseph was sold into slavery, imprisoned, and forgotten for thirteen years. Then through a series of “consequences” he became the governor of Egypt second in command to the Pharaoh.

David was anointed King of Israel at seventeen and wasn’t crowned until thirty. For thirteen years he lived in the fields with a bounty on his head from the current king. His companions were the undesirables of his day. Yet he was being prepared to lead a country as he followed God.

Moses was raised as a prince in the Egyptian household. Fleeing for his life at forty for murdering a fellow Hebrew, he took up the occupation of a shepherd for his father-in-law. The lowest of jobs in his time. For forty years he worked in the desert countryside until the Lord had prepared him at the age of eighty to lead his people back to their own country.

Each person had a call in their life from God, but the preparation time were the dry years. We would classify them today as the ultra-lean years.

When you look at the life of others throughout history, the down years were the building blocks for the next season of life. During these years, one learns to cry-out and trust their Maker. One also learns humility and living graciously in preparation for greater service. Though greater service may never come, one becomes available for more opportunities as one is being prepared.

In business, the lean years allows oneself to streamline operations, upgrade systems, and enhance the customer experience through more personal contact with less monetary costs. For those businesses that survive, they come out stronger and more committed in serving their customers and stakeholders. If they didn’t survive, maybe it was time to try something else. One never knows what good is going to come out of a bad situation until it is written in history many years down the road. Until then, we learn to trust our Lord and we walk with Him with our business and personal challenges.

In my own case, the best of times and the worst of times was in-between companies. It is during this time when cash flow dwindles, but the walk with God intensifies. At the end of day, when doors open again for the next opportunity, I always find myself stronger in my walk with our Lord and prepared to serve another employer with God’s gifts and love.

So remember, when you find yourself thinking you are forgotten by God, lean heavier. He is always there. He is simply preparing you for the next season of life.

Remember, we are always rooting for you!

 

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
* Great Business Emulates a Good God
* Be Radical…Follow Christ!
* Simply The Messenger
* Unequally Married

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