What’s It All About?

Jesus came to redeem the world. Since Adam & Eve rebelled against God, this world’s beauty has become disarrayed by evil. As a people we have messed up almost everything we have touched. We have tried to create a world order apart from God. But the good news is that through Jesus each one of us has the opportunity to taste how life was initially created to be.

Sin is an old-fashion term but a modern day event. Many people don’t even know what the definition of sin is. There are those who make it into some religious ritual. There are others who call sin anything that is fun and enjoyable. Others define it only as an action and not a thought. Some define it as a spirit or attitude that opposes the Will of God.

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The Bible provides us with several definitions of sin. Whether we miss the mark, transgress the law, break His commandments, rebel against God, live alienated from Him, or perform any action without faith, hope, and love are all symptoms of sin. We are surrounded in sin and many of us are even saturated in sin. We lavish in sin and even enjoy the pleasure of sin. But until sin’s penalties leave its mark on us causing pain and sorrow, we live life trying to ignore it.

Many of us try to manage sin. We believe we are stronger than any sin that comes our way. We seek temptation rather than flee from it. Many times we are blind to sin’s attempt of capturing us. We walk right into sin’s traps like a dodo bird in a fashion show. We parade our stuff only to lose again at evil’s game.

The Bible also states that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. We all must die. There is no escaping that fact from planet earth. The question remains then what? If there is no life hereafter, than we might as well party and wallow in our sins. If this is all that there is, than mankind is one cruel joke. Simply put, if Jesus lived His life like history records it, than many of us better look twice. For either He is the Messiah or He is not. If He is not, than we better have sufficient proof. But if He is, like many who believe He is, why not accept His offer?

His desire is that you enter into a relationship with Him and His Dad now and for all eternity. His plan includes everyone that freely and willfully accepts His offer. His offer includes all the benefits of being a child of God. His plan is to bring you back into the Family of God, to redeem you from this world and sin, to grant you His gift of eternal life and all its treasures. His desire is that your life be rich and successful like His. Daddy knows best. Why not accept His offer?

OUR PRAYER

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Our Wonderful Dad, thank you for being so merciful with us. Thank you for allowing us the freedom to choose. We know there are many who choose you out of fear. There are those who choose you out of self-preservation. But we also know that there are many that choose you because of your love. You are the most loving, giving, gracious being we have ever known. We thank you for being involved in our life Though we are sinful with a natural disposition towards sin, we thank you for loving us even in our sins. Help us to live life away from sin. Change our heart with Your Spirit. Keep sin and its power away from us. Let the righteousness of Jesus surround us. Bathe us with your righteousness. Wash us thoroughly from all that we naturally are. Let your Holiness abide in us without pain or discomfort. Let your Home always be within us and let our home always be with You. Thank you Jesus for everything in your name. Amen.

Dr. Mike

Have you ever asked yourself why are you a Christian?

Believe it or not there are some people who have never asked themselves the question. They typically are the cultural raised or 2nd generation Christian who simply followed their parent’s customs.

They are Christian simply because their parents were and their parents were and their parents were, and … You get the point? Or maybe is it the socially accepted religion in your community? Or is it good for business? Or was there a Christian girl that you had a crush on and she would only date other Christian boys? Or were you the rebellious type and did something that your parents would disapprove? The question remains ”have you someplace and somewhere made a personal decision for Christ?

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I look at my own  life as an example.  My parents  were both Christians. Dad was a devote Roman Catholic and mother Eastern Orthodox. They sent me to a Catholic grade school and high school where religion was always included in the curriculum. My child­ hood friends were Catholic. My neighborhood was predominately Catholic. Yet today, I am not a Catholic nor an official member of any one traditional denomination.

Back in my high school senior year, the question entered into my mind, “What is life all about? One day you are born. You experience child­ hood. Your enter grade school, then high school, then college. You obtain a career, you marry, and if you are fortunate children enter your life. You rear them, switch careers in middle-age; children leave home for school and a life of their own. You retire, travel, spend time with the grandchildren, and then they bury you in the cemetery plot among people you never knew. What is it all about?”

That is the question that led me in search of answers. I found myself in the public and college libraries reading books by people that I couldn’t even accurately pronounce their names. I took comparative religion courses. I read the answers from different religions. I met with the local priest and ministers of different denominations in search of the answers. I spent over two years of intense study on the subject. My search eventually led me to a cult (I didn’t think at the time it was a cult). But they provided answers that made sense. It was a combination of new wave and old fashion religion very attractively packaged.

Basing their answers from the Bible (it was here that I afterward learned how easy it is to manipulate scripture out of context), extracting scriptures from different areas of the Bible, they concluded that we all had the opportunity to become like God as God is God. Again, this was my earlier misunderstanding, but it motivated me to develop a strong, personal relationship with our Heavenly Dad and to the study of scripture. Since then, He’s open my eyes to a more accurate understanding of scripture which motivates me even more and even assures me that God is Good and has my best interest at heart at all times.  But, why are you a Christian?

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Merciful Dad, thank you for caring. Thank you for caring enough to allow us the privilege of living in a country that allows religious freedom. But help us Lord to understand the differences between being a real Christ-follower and a cultural Christian. We want to be real with you. We want to experience the living dynamics of being your child. Lead us and surround us with people who are like you; people who care and want you to live your life in them. Help us surrender ourselves totally into your hands. Take charge of our life. We want to be a God made person and not a self-made person. Help us be a success as you define success. Help us set aside all the vanity that this world exhibits and replace it with your substance. Allow the Holy Spirit full access into our life. Change our heart, mind, body, and soul to exemplify you. Help us be a real person; honest with you, ourselves, and with others. Help us stop playing games and accept our high calling of being a full time committed disciple of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for hearing and answering our prayers. Glorify you in all that we do.  Amen. Amen.

Dr. Mike

BRING IT ON!

PRAY 9

Dear Heavenly Dad:

Glorify your name in all that I do. Let not my path be one of ease and comfort, but one of challenge and dependency on you. You are always with me. Help me always be with you. Make you the center of my life. Let nothing come between us. Help me capture your vision, to see your work, to accomplish your will in everything I do.

Help me be a living example of kingdom life in today’s world. Let your kingdom surround me and surround all the people we meet today. Let your glory shine through me and in me so that every person we meet today knows they have met you. Amen.

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“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34

 

                        ”Play it safe.” “Don’t take any risks.” “Why rock the boat?” “It’s better to keep it dull and routine than expressive and unpredictable.” Or does it?

      The older I become the more predictable, dull, and routine this life seeks. What change I am confronted with only creates more work and effort on my part. Basically, my nature has moved towards laziness where I don’t want to make the effort. I would rather live life with contentment, peacefulness, and stability. But is that reality?

      The scriptures teach us that a people without vision will perish. We need a mission to focus our life towards. Now our life’s mission could simply be to avoid all confrontation, to avoid being involved in other people’s lives, to live for ourselves without a care of the world around us. We simple live our life so that when we are gone no one will have missed us. We live as a world unto ourselves. But is that an apprentice of Jesus Christ? Is that what the Kingdom of God is all about?

      Didn’t Jesus forewarn his disciples that He came to bring division among families and people? Didn’t He predict that we would stand before courts and rulers as a witness to Him’? Didn’t He compare our struggles with that of a pregnant woman in labor? Didn’t He threaten the status quo with His mission of preaching, teaching, and healing? Didn’t the apostle Paul write that Christ-followers are turning the world upside down? Didn’t he cause riots in the streets with his message of One God? Didn’t his former religious partners seek to destroy him? Didn’t small armies pursue him with the purpose of killing him? How controversial was he in his time? Yet didn’t he preach a message of peace, contentment, and stability?

            The Kingdom of God is not a tamed vision. It requires total surrender. It requires the death of selfish desires. It is not the path of least resistance. Instead, it’s a journey through battlefields. With the armor of God, we are proactive in our daily walk with Him. We do not know what to expect on any given day. All we know is that He is with us. Today may be a roller coaster of emotions, struggles with the self, darts from the evil one, or attacks from love ones. Through it all though, we have an Advocate who is with us and we rely on. In prayer and through faith we call for assistance. We move forward towards our heavenly call. Our mission is sure. Yes, we may desire the easy way out. But, as a disciple of His we have agreed to take whatever comes our way and handle it with His love. We may have initially desired tame visions, but in the pursuit of the Kingdom of God we take on more than we are capable of handling apart from Him. Yes, I like it dull, routine, and boring. But I gladly take whatever comes my way because it will make me stronger for the Kingdom, stronger for Him, and stronger for my love ones.

              Dr. Mike