Being Jesus-Centered

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV

jesus-centered1

What is the foundation you build your life on?

Do you pick and choose from what you see in the culture around you? Do you adhere to a specific philosophy of a person or teacher? Whatever your reply, if the answer is anything other than Jesus Christ, you haven’t yet found your center for real, fruitful, enjoyable living. Not as the world shows it; but as God designed you and I for maximum utopia.

When you analyze many of the various religions, teachings, and beliefs around the world, most of them will have some Biblical truth included. That is why certain teachings agree with many of Jesus’ statements. For example, Confucius stated the Golden Rule hundreds of years before Christ. This isn’t anything new. The fact is Reality is built around Jesus’ existence; not the other way around. Since He lived before the foundation of the world as one of the Godhead, His truth has always existed.

To be Jesus-Centered is more than just making him #1 in your life. It is including him in every decision one makes. That includes all your relationships, business arrangements, educational goals, career paths, family ties, marriage partnerships, etc.

To be Jesus-Centered is allowing him full access into the secret chambers of your heart. You are free to stand physically, spiritually, and mentally naked before him. You are transparent. You open your values, beliefs, and goals for his redeeming work.

To be Jesus-Centered is viewing the world through his eyes. It is serving others from Christ’s viewpoint. It is letting him walk along side us through our daily routine. It is having a friend, companion, and associate with us throughout the day.

To be Jesus-Centered is already knowing His answer even while you ask.

To be Jesus-Centered is surrendering your rights in exchange for his imprint into your life.

To be Jesus-Centered is to be home with him in mind, spirit, and soul.

To be Jesus-Centered is to have the north star always shining brightly in your life.

To be Jesus-Centered is to find yourself emulating his spiritual power toward others.

Until one stops playing religion, throws out all the do’s and don’t of playing cultural niceness, and invites Jesus to become the center of one’s life, one hasn’t tasted the fruit of how life was truly designed for a more abundant experience. How about you? Have you asked our Heavenly Dad to show you how Jesus can become the center of your life?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
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

Encourage your Friends…Share Today’s Message!

Making Decisions

Our personal decisions have a greater impact into other people’s lives than we may ever realize. When Eve decided to take the forbidden fruit that looked so attractive to her, did she consider the consequences of her decision? In a recent decision that you made last week, did you consider all the people who owned a part of the decision and its ramifications? Probably not. Most of us don’t unless we are reminded.

What the story of Adam and Eve demonstrates is that we all forego a better solution so we may immediately satisfy our personal desires. One effective technique I’ve learned over the years before making any decision is to list at a minimum three other parties that may be impacted by the outcome. From that list, I contact each one for their opinion of the impact of the decision in their world. From their answers, we do our best to develop a solution that will be best for all parties. Some may benefit slightly better than others, but all need to benefit in some way.

Imagine if Eve followed in such a manner. She would have taken the serpents’ statements and asked herself who else would be impacted by the decision. Her list of a minimum of three would include Adam, God, and the serpent. If she had spoken directly with God, He would have gladly given her the consequences of such an action. If she discussed it with Adam, he would have given his view of the situation. Likewise, even though the serpent is a deceiver, one could match his replies with God’s and Adam’s to determine the best course of action. Do you think if she followed such an approach that the world would be in a different place today?

It is a simple approach that has served well over the years for many leaders. The challenge is to always implement the same process each time. Otherwise, the time one fails to follow through is the one event causing one’s world to fall apart. Again just another simple approach to manage the multiple decisions that every leader needs to make. Or is that simply too radical for you?

OUR PRAYER

meaning 21

Our heavenly Father, Lord, and Spirit: thank you for sharing your heart with us. Thank you for caring enough for us to help learn your values, truths, and purposes. Help us to seek counsel from others who may be impacted by the decisions we make. Help us to seek the answer not only from you, but all others who may be impacted by our decisions. Help us to be honest and caring for all the people and lives our decision impacts. Help us walk with you in the entire decision making process and open our eyes to see and ears to hear the truth and best solutions for all parties involved. Thank you Lord.

 

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, and Encourager
Marketplace Bible Institute & Resource Center, Inc
Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God &
Be Radical…Follow Christ!

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

From Physical Difficulties Come Spiritual Masterpieces

masterpiece 3

When we initially surrendered to God and began the journey with Him, many of us believed that all of the world’s successes and possessions were ours to attain.  We believed we were going to live on easy street.  Everything thereafter that we touched was going to turn to gold.  And why not?  God is on our side.  But reality soon appeared.  Somewhere in time we come to the realization that life is a series of problems that need to be resolved.  Every day brings new difficulties, challenges, and yes, opportunities. And one needs to learn how to handle them wisely, with patience, or they will come back to haunt us for the rest of our earthly life.

In our early walk with God we hopefully learned that not all opportunities of material gain are blessings from Him.  Many times they are only tests to measure our faithfulness, values, priorities, and character.  We recall one instance where a friend had the opportunity to purchase a business. He prayed, counseled, fasted and searched for the “right” answer. Finally, based on the physical events in his life it looked like the answer was to go for it. He did.  Three years later showed him that physically it was a dumb thing to do.  But spiritually, it taught him many valuable lessons of life that are with him to this day.  One such lesson is that from physical difficulties come spiritual masterpieces.

Physically he lost everything.  But spiritually, God was creating a masterpiece.  It was through this ordeal that he discovered joy in tribulation.  He discovered patience in overcoming obstacles.  He discovered peace in confrontation.  And most importantly, he discovered love at the bottom of the pits.  In other words, he discovered all of life’s greatest values while he was being kicked, abused, defeated, and ostracized.  Human pride was being displaced with humility.  Selfishness was being revealed.  Arrogance was being chopped down in size.  Vanity was being deflated.  The Holy Spirit was attaining His objectives while he was busy pursuing other things that he thought was more important.  The spiritual project being created in us is His work.  And it seems that He does His best work while we are going through the rough times of our lives.

Yes, we know that being a disciple of His places us on a road least traveled.  It may be a road without all the physical comforts that we in America are accustomed with living.  But the process has its rewards.  Likewise, the end result has a reward.  To other eyes, the road may be rough.  But as disciples, the road is that one, spiritual Olympic journey for the gold.  The process may look tough, but the reward now and for eternity is worth the challenge.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Great, Creator Dad, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your masterpiece under construction.  And a special thank you for caring and loving us even when our attitude and feelings are against you.  Forgive us.

Help us to always trust you, especially when the circumstances and times are difficult.  Help us to focus our attention and desire in you.  Lead us to your heavenly calling and help us to understand our part in your creation.  We pray for the strength, courage. and conviction to glorify you in all our undertakings.

No matter what the outcome, no matter what the events, no matter what the circumstances, let our heart, mind, and soul always praise you and trust you for the end result.  Help us to focus our eyes towards you and not our surroundings.  Take care of us as you do in mercy, compassion, and goodness.  Help us likewise treat others as you treat us.  Thank you, Jesus.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

 

We Take Substance Over Form Any Day

sunbstance 1

Remember your early business career days, when the highest bidder would receive your services?  It didn’t matter what the job was all about.  It didn’t matter what the company was all about.  It didn’t matter what the product was all about.  The bottom line was money.  It probably took a few years and many experiences to learn that money isn’t what work is all about and it isn’t always greener on the other side.  It is using your God-given abilities and gifts to serve your fellow man.

But the reason we mention the above pertains to being lured away from your main purpose for living.  If your life is built on sand, your foundation is going to shift all the time.  If your life is built on rock, your foundation is going to remain stable all the time.  The sand of course is this world’s values.  The rock is Jesus Christ.

The world’s values are constantly changing.  Through the media, movies, books, and social organizations, the core values of life arc constantly being portrayed without a God-centered foundation.  One doesn’t always see the fruit of experience until they lived it.  But by then, it may be too late.  However with the Word, we have man’s experience living life with God and apart from God.  We have a solid core of values that have proven beneficial over time.  We have the lessons and experiences of many people who have tried it their way and suffered the consequences.  We also have those who lived by faith and died in the faith.  People don’t become martyrs unless the reward is greater than the cost.

When you are in possession of the great pearl of life, the fountain of eternity, the wisdom of the ages, the crown of crowns, and the joy of joys, you do not take it lightly.  You treasure what you have received.  You hold it close to your heart.  You protect it from all danger.  Yet you cannot hide it.  You freely received it and you freely give it away.  But only to those who know its value and worth.  Otherwise, it will be trampled underfoot and taken for granted.

The cost of discipleship is high.  But so is the reward.  The privilege and honor to serve the Living God on a one-to-one relationship is mentally staggering.  What does this world’s system have in comparison with being a disciple of His?  Many careers may look more appealing.  Many lifestyles may look more appealing.  Many avenues of life may look more appealing.  They may all have the outward image that glistens and shines from the outside, but none of them holds any real substance in comparison with a life in Christ.  Give us substance over form any day.

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Our Richly, Magnificent Dad, thank you for revealing your way of abundant living!  Your ways have always proven in the long run to be the way to live.  You are surely awesome.  Everything we do in you, we do thankfully, gratefully, and gracefully.

You have surrounded us with your treasures.  You have revealed to us your Son.  You have given to us a Comforter in the Holy Spirit.  You have surrounded us with your angels.  You have given us all the resources of the universe to pursue your kingdom.  You have always given us what we need to survive.  You are continually creating your masterpiece in us preparing us for all eternity.  You are truly awesome!

Help us always to focus on your character and Word in pursuit of our goals.  Let our actions and achievements bring you glory.  Even as the outer body slowly decays, continue to renew the inner man with your divine presence.  It is what we live for and wait for each day: to eventually be with you in your eternal home serving you and your world as you serve us.

Thank you Jesus for everything you made possible.  Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

 

A Sign, a Sign, Everywhere a Sign

construction 4

A disciple’s life is always walking down a path with construction in progress.  Like most construction sites, there are warning signs instructing you to change your normal routine to better handle the congestion.  These signs warn you to change lanes or not to change lanes, to merge or to divide, to slow down or to stop, to switch lanes or to ride on the shoulder, and many other choices.  There are also those that read “Detour” meaning the road ends and you must take another route.  But the signs instruct you on which route to take.  Of course, the alternative route is not always the fastest or quickest, but the one chosen by some civil engineer that will effectively manage the traffic flow.  Most of the time however, especially if you are a local resident, you will take an alternative route that only the local drivers know.  The out-of-towners must follow the signs.  But the locals always know a better route.  Likewise, as a disciple of His, we will face detours in our life.  Signs will be placed in front of us by good, natured people who want to be helpful.  These signs will be the best that the world has to offer.  However, if one is not well trained in scripture, they may easily be misled.  When faced with a detour, a disciple will immediately turn to the best traffic officer on the beat: Jesus Christ.  In prayer, and possibly fasting or one of the other disciplines, a disciple will ask for directions.  She will trust the Holy Spirit to direct their path.  The Holy Spirit may lead them to seek counsel.  The Holy Spirit may lead them to a mentor.  The Holy Spirit could lead them to a mule or elephant.  Wherever the Holy Spirit leads you, the answer will be there.  The path to follow will be clear.  The detour will only be an inconvenient nuisance that probably will bear godly fruit in your life and the life of others that you may touch in your journey.

Our paths will have many detours.  But the detour is not the end of our journey, but the beginning.  It is the start of a temporary, new direction where you will meet new people, new encounters, new locations, and new events.  You may also meet your old nemesis the devil.  But you know how to handle him.  It’s a new route with new opportunities to fulfill your mission in life.  It may be only to serve someone that asked God for help and He is sending you there.  It may be only to lend an uplifting word to someone who is in trouble.  It may only be to direct your steps away from a potential problem and give your soul rest.  Whatever the results, some we may know instantly, some we may know many years down the road, and others we may never know until the Kingdom has fully arrived.  But this we do know, the Master Planner has everything under control.  As we have surrendered to serve Him, He will lead us in a direction that will prove most beneficial for those we come into contact with and for ourselves as well.  We will not be detoured.  Our mission goes forth no matter which way we travel.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 21

Our Masterful Dad, thank you for calling us out of this world and giving us real meaning and purpose to live.  Thank you for caring and loving us.  Thank you for giving us the encouragement to try different paths.  Thank you for the opportunities that you present to us.  Thank you for giving us the abilities and talents to choose our heart desires.  Thank you for allowing us to live true to our heart.

Yet help us to deal with the obstacles. trials, and inconveniences that come our way.  Give us the courage and conviction to live your truth no matter what problem arises.  Help us to transform all problems into solutions for your glory.  Let every road we travel down, every door we open, every window we look out from, every step we climb, and every task we accomplish be done in sharing the good news of your Kingdom for your glory.  Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

 

OK To Compromise Truth; But Not THE TRUTH

truth 20

“Facts are facts and promises arc promises” is a line taken from a recent song played on the radio.  The name of the singer escapes us at the moment, but the chorus keeps playing over and over again in our mind.  When it comes to the Word of God, certain truths are universally accepted.  Likewise, His promises are promises of faith.  With faith, His promises are always universally sure, yet the timing is unpredictable.

For example, the Bible is crystal clear that Jesus died for our sins opening the door for humanity’s salvation.  The Bible is also clear on the resurrection of the dead.  Jesus arose from the dead and likewise we shall at His return.  But there are concepts that are not as clear in the Bible.  For example, is everyone that has never heard the gospel of Jesus lost for all eternity?  Or, when you die, does your soul immediately go to heaven or does your soul sleep until the resurrection?  There are scriptures that support both concepts.  Does that mean we must agree with these universal beliefs if the scriptures are not crystal clear on the subject?  We believe not.

It amazes us how the scriptures were written.  Certain concepts are so black and white that the majority of theologians agree with its meaning.  On the other hand, certain scriptures are so unclear that there are a multiple of opinions from a multiple of theologians.  What does all this mean?  God could have easily produced a Book that would have been universally agreed by everyone.  But He didn’t.  He deliberately allowed the Bible to be written where certain concepts would be argued until the end of the age.  What does this tell us?  Only that God knows Absolute Truth.  The rest of us are searching.  When we discover the truth, it is the truth as we perceive it based on our experience and understanding.  It may not be the Truth, but it is the truth in our eyes.

truth 7

The scriptures in the Bible that are crystal clear so that every denomination agrees with their meaning can be almost guaranteed to be the Truth.  It is The Truth valuable enough to live and die for.  There is no compromise with The Truth.  However, the other truth is something that we believe based on our experience, relationship, and understanding of God in our life while studying and living the scriptures.  These little truths we approach with a more open mind.  Some people call these preferences.  Others call them non-essentials.  We have come to realize over time that some of our beliefs have changed over time based on the work of the Holy Spirit in our life.  We have no problem compromising on these little truths in our life knowing that they are not important for eternal salvation.  We believe if they were important, God would have made them crystal clear in the Bible.  As a disciple of His, we pray that God gives us the wisdom and insight to determine what and when we need to compromise and when we need to stand still and not waiver.  God is good!  God is great!  All the time!

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Perfect Dad, thank you for revealing your Word to us.  Thank you for having your Word put into writing.  Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit to learn your Truth and to live your truth.

Help us always place what you consider to be most important in the front of our mind.  Let us not get lost in the controversies and debates of your word.  Instead, help us to live your word in love and truth to the best of our ability always being truthful to you.  Help us to share your gospel with others and teach your word as you have revealed it to us.  Let nothing come between us.  Let your word build us closer with each other.  Help us find unity with our other brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Keep your eternal Truths always in our heart, mind, and soul.  Let nothing remove it.  Help us to stand up for what we believe and to respect others for what they believe.  Help us always to live in love, in faith, and in hope of your salvation.

In Jesus we thank you and pray this.  Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

 

 

Lord, Help Us Follow Your Lead

holy spirit lead

Who do you depend on in times of trouble?  Who do you turn to when you are unsure of a pending decision?  Who always proves faithful to you in good times and bad?  The theoretical answer is the Holy Spirit.  But is that your truthful answer?  Are you honestly following the lead of the Holy Spirit through life, or do you just think you are?  Have you totally surrendered your personal agenda and are willing to follow the lead of the Counselor of God?  If you are like most of us, the honest answer is no.  We probably have failed miserably.  Yes, He is always reliable.  Yes, He is always faithful.  Yes, He is always dependable.  But, we are not.

We may want to follow His lead in our life.  We, like many of our brothers, seek through prayer and meditation and in the Word for direction in our life, but slowly end-up pursuing the dreams and desires of our heart that we think are good for us.  And of course, over time we discover that we are off the trail again and need help to refocus in the direction that is best for us.

Our Guide is reliable, but we are not.  Our Guide is dependable, but we are not.  Our Guide is faithful, but we are not.  Our problem is to learn how to focus on His lead in our life every single moment.  It’s to be walking with Him in a single line following the path that He is making.  It’s to listen to His instructions and commands.  When you hire yourself a guide to lead you through the jungles of Africa, you seek out the best.  After you find the best, you place your trust in that person to lead you through the appropriate paths.  You don’t deviate off the paths because you have been warned of the dangerous animals and terrain that could severely harm you.  You stay close to your guide and follow all his advice.  Isn’t it the same with the jungle of life?  Our Guide is there to help us make it through the jungle of life.  He has proven Himself over time in assisting many people.  We have now learned to pray regularly, asking help to follow the Counselor’s lead in our life; help to focus on His route; help to be a real disciple of His.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Heavenly Dad and Holy Spirit, thank you for giving us a Counselor, Guide, and Trainer in your Spirit.  Thank you, Holy Spirit, for making yourself available to us in leading us to Jesus and to the things of God.  Thank you for being patient with us and for having our needs in good hands.

Help us to learn how to follow your lead in our life.  Help us to see your work in our life.  Help us to submit to your lead in all we do, in all we seek, in all we think.  Help us to surrender our life to you and always to ask you to fill us with the seeds of your character.  Let us abound with your abundance.  Let us live as your servant and as your ambassador.  Show us how you communicate with us and help us to listen to your nudges.  Give us the faith to act on your instructions.  Help us in our unbelief.  Reaffirm your direction in our life in mercy and in compassion.

Let this life be your success story.  Thank you, Jesus, for caring.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Speaker

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God
Portal: Be Radical…EnjoyLifeInChrist.com