Power. Prestige. Possessions.

Luke 22:25-26

And he (Jesus)said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.

Luke 9:46-48

An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest. But Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by his side and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. For he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”

Luke 12:15

And he (Jesus) said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

Human desires have not changed since the first man and woman focused their primary attention on the fruit from one tree among thousands in the garden of paradise. Their desire to become like god caused them to lose the most important relationship in their life. Has anything changed since then?

You and I were designed in the image of our Creator. We are made to reflect his glory. Yet we stumble more times than not because of our ignorance of what is truly good. Instead of yielding ourselves to the authority of our Creator and waiting until HE acknowledges we are ready to accept more responsibility, we rebel because we want to do it our way now.  

In some cases, we may also hold to the false illusion we are different than others and have the capacity to better manage ourselves where they fall short. Yet time and our actions throughout history continually prove us wrong.

Somewhere I recall reading one of the self-help books where the author’s main point when selling anything to anyone was to take advantage of the need and desire people have to feel important. What life has shown me over time is some people have a greater need than others to be important in their eyes. The vicious trap of seeking self-importance through power, prestige, and possessions is the insecure game people play to compete against others for the top of the hill.

Now Jesus addresses these issues three different times with his disciples. For those who seek power, they should seek to become servants. For those who want to have the most prestigious position, they need to become like little children. And those who covet possessions, are battling against the spirit of greed within materialism and need to become rich toward God if they are going to save their soul.

The solution to break these vices are counter-intuitive to human nature. Our natural desire is for self-importance. But Jesus emphasizes humility. He instructs us to submit ourselves to HIS authority in life. When we do, HE provides us with HIS Spirit which empowers us to become more like HIM.

In HIS Kingdom, all power, prestige, and possessions belong to HIM. He is willing to share the same with others when they have the proven character to manage these items for HIS glory and for the sake of others. For example, power is typically noticed only when it is abused. In HIS Kingdom, serving others for their enrichment is the prime motivating factor. Not self-aggrandizement.

Leadership also walks in meekness. The role is to serve others, not for one’s glory, but for the glory of God and the benefit of others.

Likewise, possessions belong to King Jesus. Each child of God are stewards of HIS belongings. HE gives us the responsibility to manage them for our families and others who are in need.

HIS entire Kingdom is built upon HIS character and attributes. When we follow HIM in our walk with each other, we live in harmony with heavenly principles being acted upon on earth today. This is God’s way of living which again is counter-intuitive to human nature. To become effective saints living out God’s Way of life requires HIS Spirit and knowledge of HIM. Anything less is our guessing to live a productive life. Yes, we may become #1 in our hierarchy at the expense of all others. However, God’s way makes Jesus #1 and brings everyone else to join HIM at HIS table.

Yes, God, you, and all others participate at the victory table when we fully live out the Christian life.    

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

Available for Your Devotional Study: 

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Godly Living?

1 Timothy 4:8

for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. ESV

How rewarding is it to live a godly life? What is my return on time and effort to pursue godliness? How does one incrementally grow in godliness? And what is godliness?

There have probably been more books written and sermons given on godliness than I could count. Yet I still struggle with a good, concise definition to share with others. The best I have come up with is this: Godliness is the outer expression of a God-Centered life.

When one’s life is built on the foundation of the Incarnate Triune God, with Jesus Christ being the cornerstone, one’s beliefs, thoughts, and actions are motivated from a heart of glorifying the Creator God.

The desire is to please HIM – to make HIM known – and to reflect his glory with everyone you meet. One’s attitude and behavior begin to resemble the values and priorities of the Biblical God more and more.

As one hangs out with the Triune God, one begins to put on HIS characteristics. The fruit of the Spirit becomes more evident. The heart of God slowly melts away the rough, carnal ridges and replace them with HIS divine attributes. The child begins to grow into the image and likeness of HIS Dad.

Yes, training in godliness benefits one today and leads to a richer life tomorrow. And yes, pain and suffering still attacks even the godly one. But the response follows the lead of Jesus. He suffered and so will we. But through the process, God is glorified. And godliness is centered and focused on that principle. To walk, speak, and commune with our God on a regular, natural basis where HIS divine nature becomes more and more expressive through us is godliness paying tribute to God Almighty.

The glory, honor, and power are always HIS. We are now only the conduits who are given the privilege to share HIM with everyone else. Tomorrow, we will be like HIM because we will see HIM as HE truly IS. But today, this is the best I can do to express what godliness means to me. Yet, however you define godliness, I only hope you experience the same, if not more, of HIS attributes to share with others and live a more, productive, and meaningful life while showering under HIS Divine Nature.

Godliness is HIS expression through you.   

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. Associate with such people.”

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

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