We Are More Than His Student

Disciple 101

We have been purchased by the blood of Christ.  When we heard our Father’s calling and acknowledged Jesus as our Savior, we became one with Him.  We are now adopted children of God and brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus.  Jesus is our King and we are His royal citizens.  Jesus is our Teacher and we are His students.  Jesus is our Savior and we are His saints.  Jesus is our High Priest and we are His priesthood.  Jesus is our Friend and we are His.

Scripture reveals that it’s the Father who calls us to Jesus, after which, Jesus accepts us into the Family and promises to complete the task at hand.  That task is to prepare us for eternity.  It is Jesus who sent us the Holy Spirit into our lives.  It is Jesus who has made every eternal gift possible for us.  It is Jesus who sacrificed His life for us.

Jesus is our good shepherd.  He is not in the business for profit.  Instead, He is leading us because He cares.  Like the parable of the lost sheep, if one of us strays from the fold, He will go looking for its return.  In our current culture, we would do the opposite.  We would sacrifice the one for the sake of the majority, but not Jesus.

Jesus stated that His own hear His Word and respond to Him.  For those of us that slide into complacency, or lukewarmness as described in the Book of Revelation, He is knocking at our door.  He promised not to leave us but always be with us until the end of the age.  He cares for each and every single one of us.

We, like Paul, are bondservants of Jesus: a very high calling in the kingdom of God.  As a bondservant, we acknowledge Jesus is our Master.  We acknowledge His rulership and authority in our life.

We likewise accept His involvement in our life.  In exchange, we realize that our life is in very good hands.  We have a Boss that rules the universe.  Our Boss owns everything.  Our Boss is Boss of All.  What better opportunity or position could a person seek?  As His servant, we gladly follow His instructions and commands with the work that He gives us to do.  We may not be faithful all the time, but He is always faithful.  We may require discipline at times, so He is faithful and will discipline us for our good.  He cares for us.  We gladly accept Jesus as our Lord, Savior, Teacher, and Friend.  We are overjoyed that He accepts us as one of His own.  We can’t think of a better family we would rather belong with than the children of God.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 4

Almighty Dad, thank you for leading us to Jesus.  Thank you for bringing Him into our life.  Thank you for opening our mind to hear and understand your calling and purpose in life.  Thank you for reconciling us to you through Jesus.

Help us always to walk with you.  Help us to have a close relationship with you.  Help us to know you, to learn from you, and to become like you.

Thank you for the opportunity to live life with you each and every day.  Help us always to be true to you and to our self.  Cleanse us from our sinful thoughts and actions.  Make our heart pure.  Let your Holiness abide in us forever.  Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

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

 

What is Your Commitment Level?

commitment 4

What other pragmatic choices are there that make more sense?  If eternity is a one out of one hundred chance probability, would you still hang in there?  Everything in this life is temporary.  You came into the world naked and you might as well leave naked because you can’t take anything with you.  Is there a better life with a greater promise?  As his disciple, we put our faith in the man who claims He is God.  If He isn’t God, then He put on the greatest acting performance of any person who ever lived.  It would be the greatest lie of all history.  But, He made it possible to prove He is who He said He is.  Where else is there to go’?

Martin Luther King, Jr. made the statement once that if you haven’t found something worth dying for than you haven’t found something worth living for.  If being a disciple is only for outward appearance, than you might as well give up now. If being a disciple is only to keep peace in the house, than you might as well give up now.  If being a disciple is only a socially cultural acceptable position of life, than you might as well give up today.  Why?  Because you are not going to practice the discipline it takes to finish the race.

It takes character to keep Christ the center of one’s life.  What gain is it to run only 95 yards of a 100-yard race?  What gain is it to play only one inning of a nine-inning baseball game?  What gain is it to read only two-thirds through a mystery book and never finish it?  Why even begin a project if you don’t plan to finish it?

As a disciple of His, we have started a journey along a path with many choices.  The road is narrow at times.  The environment is difficult.  But the rewards are monetarily priceless.  After you have tasted the joy of living in the spirit-filled life, what else is there? Everything else seems cheap in comparison.  Everything else is either artificial or empty of substance.  It is only living in harmony with our Creator that we experience the inner life of real godliness.  We are not speaking of an outward appearance of godliness that many people could easily duplicate its behavior for a time.  But an inner joy, peace, and love that comes from the Creator in the presence of the Holy Spirit that lives in you.

It is this life that lives in you no matter what the outer world is experiencing.  This is what Paul spoke about when his world was being torn apart yet he found joy living.  This is the same spirit that is found in many Christ-followers today who may be physically challenged, or confronting cancer, or financial hardship, yet they are internally at peace.  It is not something they do, but it is a Special Spirit living in them.  To give up all that Christ makes available just doesn’t make sense.

Everything Christ makes available to us is what mankind seeks daily in their pursuit of vanity.  The only difference is He gives us this gift now and the rest of mankind is working to earn it.  Mankind wants peace, but doesn’t know how to attain it.  Mankind wants love in their life, but doesn’t know how to attain it.  Mankind wants joy in their life, hut doesn’t know where to find it.  Jesus has made it all possible for every single person to have everything mankind has been seeking since the beginning of dawn.  Why give up something so precious and valuable?  Let’s realize what we really have in our possession and live our life enjoying salvation accordingly as His Disciple.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Faithful Dad, your ways are the joys in our life.  Help us to live fully for you.  Help us to start with enthusiasm and finish with greater enthusiasm in everything we do for you.  Let nothing come between us.

Help us to keep  focused on what is always important each and every day.  Let each day begin and end with you.  Let everything sandwiched in between be lived with your approval.  Let us be true to you and honest with self in our pursuit of your kingdom.  Let your glory live in us forever!  Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

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

 

In Pursuit of Spiritual Excellence

OLYMPICS 3

Have you ever noticed how most people would like to experience the thrill of excellence without paying the personal price? Yes, if the price is money that we possess, than there is no problem. However, if the price is personal sacrifice, than we put reins on ourselves. It amaze us how some people dedicate their life for a political cause, or even a personal hobby with such intensity that nothing but the best outcome matters. Yet, when it comes to following Christ, they are satisfied with unfruitful results.

Paul described this way of life as a spiritual, Olympic race that we should all run seeking the prize. Again, he describes this life as warfare that we should pursue with only victory in mind. We don’t know about you, but this kid knows that when it comes to running with the intention of winning takes sacrifice, time, and intense focus. It doesn’t just happen by itself. It takes regular practice. It takes training in every area of the total person. It takes disciplining the mind, the body, proper eating, rest, and the list goes on. It just doesn’t happen.

One has to wonder if most people are satisfied with mediocrity in their spiritual walk because they don’t know what spiritual excellence looks like. Or maybe they believe one could never be like the saints we read about or hear about? Or maybe, they believe it takes some personal, innate abilities rather than the power of God to change them. Whatever the reason, now is the time to change and accept nothing else but the best. If we are a disciple of His, don’t we want to be the best in Christ eyes?

How many of His children have been lied to over the ages and have grown up believing lies to be true? In our society, we are bombarded with so many lies that we develop a defensive wall to protect us from the poison darts that are thrown our way. As children, we accept everything as the truth. But as we grow up, we discover that our parents have lied to us. Our teachers have lied to us, our coaches have lied to us, our political leaders have lied to us, our bosses have lied to us, advertisers have lied to us, and the list is as long as you want to make it. The point is even our church leaders have lied to us.

We have been deceived to accept mediocrity as the high standard of faith. Because the majority of church members are spiritual powerless, biblically ignorant, and culturally influenced, we accept that as the standard of faith. We believe that the people of the Bible are the example of the few and most of us will never attain such a spiritual relationship with our Heavenly Dad, so we don’t even try. We are a people who have lost, or maybe never even caught, the vision of the Kingdom.

Have you ever noticed a struggling student discover a worthwhile goal in life to pursue? All of a sudden he is more able to see how the pursuit of excellence in his studies will help him accomplish his plans. The level of motivation jumps to the top of the chart. Nothing seems to matter anymore but the attainment of his goal. Everything he does is a part of that passion. He becomes enthusiastic. He becomes purposeful. He becomes contagious. He is not satisfied with just getting by any longer. Now he wants to know everything there is to know. He wants to be in the center of it all. And in the process, he soon begins to excel in everything he pursues. Life has meaning and purpose.

Likewise, when a disciple discovers the Triune God’s plan and how he is a part of that plan, his motivation grows. With the best Teacher and the best Coach in the entire universe working with him to prepare for the accomplishment of that plan, life takes on a new purpose and meaning. The everyday frustrations that trap most people are nothing more but building blocks towards the attainment of the goal in our life.  We no longer accept other people’s standards of spiritual success. Our standard is Jesus Christ. Our goal is the Kingdom of God. Our passion is to be the best for the glory of God. We want all people to succeed. We want all people to have a deep, personal relationship with our Creator Dad. We will only settle for second best if our Heavenly Dad desires it. Otherwise, we are running the race for the prize.  We are fighting the war to win. We will give it our all because Jesus gave it His all.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Great, Awesome, Wonderful Dad, Help us to capture your vision and plan for mankind. Motivate us to pursue with a passion the goals you believe are ours to attain. Let nothing prevent us from living this life in full glory of you. Let us be and do our best for you.  Thank you Jesus. Amen.


 

Why Does It Matter What They, Them, and Others Think?

popularity 3

Remember as a youngster asking permission from your mother to attend an event where “everyone” was going to be there.  Mom would give it some thought and decided it was not for your best interest to attend.  Most of us would become upset because “they” were able to go and how come we couldn’t.  We wanted to do what ”they, them, and others” did.  So it probably doesn’t amaze us even to this day that “they” are also a part of our children’s vocabulary.  Whatever the popular trend is for that period of life seems to slowly induce us to lose our individuality.  We seem to more easily accept the most popular trend as the gospel because the majority of people cannot be in error: we think.  What’s wrong with everyone looking like yellow pencils?  Or everyone writing with a number two yellow pencil?

You be the judge.  Is it wrong to do what is popular for that day?  No, but is it automatically the best thing for you to do?  We know the answer.  As we mature, we begin to realize that we are each an individual creation with different abilities, talents, and passions all waiting to come together in its time and place.  When the time and place  arrives the exhilaration of accomplishment or feeling of meaning elapses all the pain and struggles we may had to endure.  We become our unique selves.  God’s creation is glorified as His handiwork comes alive.  We express to the outside world what has been cultivating from the inside of our inner being since birth.  Our uniqueness colors the spectrum of society adding flavor to our relationships.  We live and walk by a different drummer, but that drummer is beating in unison with all the rest of creation.  Only others may not hear it because they are distracted with superfluous appearances and values.  The world’s view is to make everyone the same by thinking differently than God.  That is what makes popularity so dangerous.  The question we always need to ask before making a decision is, “God are you with this program or are you outside looking in?

When we agree with the popular view, is it typically because the opinion of the majority can’t be wrong, or is it because the Word and Spirit support the conclusion?  Isn’t it the majority that believes in God, but only the few who have responded to His calling?  Isn’t it the majority that voted for legalize abortion?  Isn’t it the majority that voted for legalized gambling?  Isn’t it the majority that feeds the Hollywood greed machine?  Isn’t it the majority that remains silent with most political, social, and economic issues of the day?

What is there to ponder about?  Whether you choose what is the popular, what is acceptable, what is normal, or what is held in the highest opinion, it doesn’t matter with us any longer.  Our best choice, being His disciple, is to follow to the best of our abilities His Word and Spirit at all times.

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Our Real, Heavenly Dad, your glory and honor reveals itself everyday through your creation.  Your Truth and Strength is a companion to our soul.  Your thoughts and questions challenge our mind.  Your companionship brings us comfort and encouragement each and every day.

You are the center of our popularity.  Everything that makes us excited embodies within you.  You are our hope, faith, and substance.  Everything of value encircles you.  Help us to keep you first on everyone’s list.  But most importantly, help us keep you first on our list.  Let nothing come between us.  Breakdown all walls of vanity, blindness, and ignorance between us.  Let us know you as you truly are.

We Love you Dad and thank you for this precious life.  Amen.  Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

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

Would You Negotiate At The Table of The Enemy?

negotiate 1

You may notice the title does not say “do not eat at the table of the enemy,” or “do not spend time at the table of the enemy.” All it asks is would you negotiate with the enemy. In other words, are we to love our enemies or negotiate with them? Yet how are we to spend time serving them and prayerfully dealing with them if we are not at their table? Are we to totally avoid them because they may cause us great harm? Doesn’t Jesus require us to love them as He loves us?

Yes, we are not to allow their influence, their arguments, or their ways to change our commitment to serving our Lord first. We are not to compromise our position in Christ. Everything else though is negotiable, but not the Word, not our faith, not our belief, not our relationship with God. One writer summarized it like this, “First Things First.”

When we find ourselves at the table or house of the enemy, we need to be cautious. We need to be “as harmless as doves but as wise as serpents.” We need to see into the heart of the enemy. We need to realize what he is attempting to accomplish and with the Spirit of God confront it. We are not to compromise our crown, but lead like the servant King Jesus did when confronted by Satan. He was tempted, but he didn’t negotiate. He didn’t accept any part of the offer from Satan, but turned it all down by placing His relationship with His Heavenly Father first. He didn’t trade His future for immediate gratification. Instead, He reiterated God’s position on each confrontation. By stating God’s position on each temptation, He didn’t allow Satan any room to influence his stand.

As a disciple of His, you will find yourself likewise confronted by Satan. He will do everything possible to negotiate a spiritual surrender in his favor. He will try to buy you, he will try to steal you, or he will try to weaken you with gifts. He will do everything for you to try to negotiate with Him. He knows when we start negotiating with him, than he has us. We will lose. Like Jesus, don’t even start negotiating with him. Focus on your relationship with your Heavenly King and ask Him for the wisdom, words, and strength to be the ambassador of the Kingdom of God as a witness for Satan and the world to see.

Don’t ever forget who the real enemy is. It is not the people or the world’s system per say. They are just the pawns of Satan. They have been deceived and lied to over time that they may even believe they are doing God a  service. When in reality, they are blind, wretched, and poor. They need to be introduced to the real Jesus and experience the real changing power of the Holy Spirit. You may be the source that God chooses to bring the good news to them. Don’t negotiate, stand firm in the armor of God, and watch His power change lives.

OUR PRAYER

PRAYER 1

Our Life-Sharing Dad, thank you for revealing your Truth to us. Thank you for opening our eyes to see the enemy. But now help us to live more victorious for you.  Help us to put the enemy to shame. Help us to reveal his strategies and tactics. Help us to call on the power of Heaven to dismantle the enemy’s strongholds. Help us to nip temptation at the bud by relying on your Truth, Strength, and Hope.

Everything we seek involves you in some fashion. Help us to be your ambassador of the Kingdom. Let all people come to know you and the joy of your salvation.  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