God’s Plan For You

reflection 3

“For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.” Jeremiah 29:10-14 ESV

Every time I hear a message about God encouraging the nation Israel through Jeremiah with the above words, I cringe. Most of the time I hold my breath because someone most likely will extract a portion of this scripture to illustrate a point without fully expounding its ramifications. I have been taught to read scripture in context first, understand its cultural and historical significance in its time, and then expound its application into today’s world. Most of the time lately this scripture is used from the pulpit as a short cut to motivate people to trust in God with their future plans.

When read in context, one quickly recognizes that the Lord made a specific promise to Israel. After being disciplined through seventy years of exile, He will restore their nation. A specific prophecy for a specific nation for a specific time in history. What this scripture truly reveals is that the Lord’s purpose will always be accomplished.

What does this mean for you and me?
* God has a plan He started at the foundation of the universe that includes you.
* It is God’s plan, not yours or mine.
* Our plans most likely are not God’s plan.
* The earlier we learn to accept God’s plan and join him in it, the quicker we will experience a deeper relationship with Him.
* As we develop a deeper relationship with Him, the greater His Spirit lives in us, influences us, and empowers us to live life the way He originally created life too be.
* The brokenness of sin slowly dissipates from our lives and is replaced with the riches of His eternal glory.
* We don’t have to wait for heaven; heaven arrives now in Christ as He lives in us.

We do not have to take scripture out of context to make a point. God has a plan that includes you and me. His desire is for all humanity to join him within the Triune God circle. Today, we are heirs, children, and servants of the King of Kings. He joyously and lovingly invites us to now participate in His work to redeem all creation into His original intent (Romans 8:20-21).

So why misuse scriptures to make a point? Isn’t the truth already radical enough?

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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.


The Greatest Blessing

During a recent breakfast conversation, the question arose; “what is the greatest blessing you can receive in this life?” The answered varied depending on each person’s journey through life. Some answered “a large family,” another “financial independence,” yet another stated “totally in love with one awesome person.” Each person’s answer typically reflected their complex value system. For most of us though, the answer was the “one thing that would truly make us happy for the moment.” Yet would it?

The answer that grabbed my attention though was one that has taken years for this disciple to realize. In one of our recent small group meetings, one of the men (grandpa many times over) made the statement that he never realized until recently what life could be like living in a personal relationship with the living God. He grew up in a rule-oriented culture and didn’t experience the grace-based, life-giving life style until several years ago. Now looking back, he is amazed at the quality of life that fills his insides and expresses itself from the inside-out. For him life is not about the physical toys or accomplishments anymore (that is how he measured his life in the early days). Today it is about a personal relationship with the living King of Kings.

Yes the greatest blessing one can receive in this life is a personal relationship with the living Triune God. Yes, the same God who created the heavens and earth; implemented a plan for human redemption; and has big plans for humanity in a new age. A relationship built not on a contract but a commitment. Theologians like to name it a covenant. But a covenant is simply a committed promise between a faithful God and a double-minded mankind. God always fulfills His side of the promise no matter how many times we fail on our side. But more than his promises, the joy of knowing Him and Him knowing us is greater than any promise. Knowing Him is better than heaven, eternal life, or salvation itself. When one begins to enjoy hanging out with the living, Triune God for no other reason than the joy of the relationship, than one truly experiences the greatest blessing that this life has to offer. Anything else doesn’t even compare.



Holy True God, thank you for being true. Thank you for being real. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for designing our life to experience you more and more each day. Help us to become more intimate with you. No matter the circumstances, help us enjoy life the way you have created it to be. Help us to focus more of you and less of us each day. Whenever the circumstances may stink, help us truly to be grateful for life. You are always good. Let your goodness rub-off on us. Wherever we go, whatever we do, however we think, let it bring you glory. Let your blessings bless others. Help us to truly enjoy all of you forever and ever. Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God

If You Are Seeking a Faith-Building Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.

Witchcraft in the Marketplace

Most of the time when we speak about witchcraft we think of potions, wands, and black pointed hats worn by ugly women with a bitter facial expression. We may recall witches from such movies as “Harry Potter and ….” or “Wizard of Oz.” For most of us, witches are a make believe fantasy. Yet, God’s word strongly recommends us to stay away from them (Deut 18:10). Are they for real or have witches gone away along with the devil in red underwear and pitchfork?

The Bible most often uses the word sorcerer or sorceress to identify people who practice black magic or wizardry. They are people who practice the art of dark magic, creating harmful illusions, or playing with ungodly spirits that point others away from trusting the Triune God. There base of operation is built on falsehood. The Bible gives unpleasant examples of sorcerers and their outcomes. There is Pharaoh & Moses (Ex7:11), Daniel & the Chaldean King (Dan 2:2), and Micah’s prophecy of the end times (Mic. 5:12). The Book of Revelations likewise mentions what becomes of sorcerers at the end of the age (Rev 22:15).

What does sorcery look like in the marketplace? It comes in many forms but here are a few examples: 1) The illusion of success typically built on the back of others (picture of a 20 story office building on a brochure as the corporate office when in reality one has only 500 SF rented space in the building). 2) The distorted numbers of monthly reports(government inflation and unemployment numbers is a good example). 3) Keeping two sets of books (One that the public sees and the other telling the true picture [Enron]). 4) Building a business organization through a Ponzi scheme. Typical in an investment community where new money must be attained to distribute to the earlier players. (examples too many to mention.) 5) Portraying the ideal through media and advertisement. (eg. glamor magazine touch-ups). 6) Happiness through materialism (name your favorite product). 7) Dress for success (focus on form rather than substance). 8) Lies in Advertisement (we see this come alive in political campaigns). The list is endless.

What witchcraft sells is falsehood. Witchcraft denies accountability to a Final Judge. It removes God from the picture, and pushes for personal agendas no matter what the cost or price. It typically places the outcome and means more important than people, truth, and God’s sovereign plan. In the end, it is a lie that eventually hurts and destroys individuals, families, and institutions. It is generally self-centered and does not take into consideration the ramifications and impact into the lives of others. It prevents people from having a truly authentic relationship with God and others. It destroys character, damages eternal values, and ruins lives in the process. As faith-builders in the marketplace, we are called to restore God’s Kingdom reign in the businesses we own, manage, and work in. It begins with one person’s commitment to follow the lead of the Holy Spirit within the marketplace. It begins with you and me.

So next time when you see witchcraft within the workplace, call it out. Provide a better solution that is built on godly principles of honesty, truth, and authenticity. Your clients, supervisors, and peers may disagree with you, but at least you have taken a stand for Christ and those around you. In the end, your example may lead others along with you toward the real promise land.



Holy Father, Holy Lord, Holy Spirit – thank you for revealing your truth to us. Thank you for giving us the scriptures to read, study, and learn about you and your ways. Help us to place into practice your righteousness. Help us to glorify you in the marketplace. Help us to glorify you in our relationships. Help us to glorify you with our words, thoughts, and actions. Help us be a beacon for you in the marketplace. Help us to restore the marketplace under your sovereignty. Help us.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God

If You Are Seeking a Devotional Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.