Grace Unlimited

1 Peter 5:10 ESV.
“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.”

 

What is grace?

Many people I speak with seem to think it has only to do with the forgiveness of your sins. Others believe it is so much more. I being one.

Grace is simply defined as “unmerited favor.” Yes our Lord Jesus extended His grace upon us by removing mankind’s Sin of rebellion. But grace is so much more.

When Peter preached his first sermon on the Feast of Pentecost immediately after Christ’s resurrection, he quoted from the prophet Joel who stated in the latter days God’s Spirit will be poured out upon all humanity. The result is a manifestation of acts leading toward human flourishing. Without God extending His grace upon us through His Spirit, we would not be experiencing the richness of this planet. God is in the business of pouring out His grace upon us because He is the source of everything good.

Whether we pursue Him or not, His goodness and unmerited favor is showered everyday upon this planet. He feeds the ignorant and unjust. He hears the prayers of every person no matter their denomination or belief. Whether He answers or how He answers is another matter. But He knows. He grants unmerited favor upon people who serve His purpose. He allows the unrighteous to live longer than others knowing that time may breakdown their hard hearts.

When suffering seems overwhelming and the solutions are few, He showers His unmerited favor upon us. Yes we may hurt for a moment, but He is there to help carry us through. He is the author of grace and the sustainer of grace. He realizes our fragility. From His love, we experience His favor not because who or what we do, but because of who He IS. We don’t earn or buy His favor. Instead we place our trust in Him and allow His natural self rub off unto us. We realize the more we come to know Him and develop a strong, intimate relationship with Him for no other reason but to know Him and appreciate Him for who He IS, everything else will work out because of Who He IS.

Grace unlimited. How sweet the sound.

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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Through Faith or By Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. Eph 2:8-9 ESV.

through-faith-2

 

Faith is given to us by God. We don’t generate Godly faith. God disperses faith (Rm. 12:3).  It is His gift to us. We simply exercise it.

We exercise faith when we walk it out and through it. Faith is not the cause of our salvation. We are not saved by faith, but by grace. We are saved (justified) by the grace of Jesus Christ.  However, by walking through the faith given to us, we are being saved (regenerated) into the image of Jesus Christ.

Poor theology places the cause of salvation with our faith. Our response is not the cause of salvation; our response is the effect of salvation. In the words of cause and effect, our salvation is caused by Jesus Christ and our response is the effect of salvation.

If our faith is the cause of salvation, then we wouldn’t need a savior. However, since Jesus Christ is the reality of salvation, we either accept that reality or not. When we accept that reality, we begin to experience the power of salvation.

A good example is gravity. We acknowledge its existence and respect its authority. Just like your belief doesn’t cause gravity to exist; you simply acknowledge the truth and live life accordingly.

So walk your life through the faith God has given you. Be grateful for the grace He has bestowed upon you. There is nothing to boast about except what God has done.

Therefore, learn to live out your life with the faith He has given you. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

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

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2016 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Why Graceful Pain?

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 NIV.

graceful pain 2

Have you ever petition the Lord for help but the problem remains? Maybe God is telling you something that may be difficult for you to hear. Maybe the unwanted situation is for your good. Maybe He has already answered your prayer. Maybe He is blessing you with graceful pain.

Graceful pain is what Paul learned to accept for his sake. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically what the pain was, except that it negatively impacted his flesh. He asked God three different times to remove it. But instead of removing it, God informed Him that it was for Paul’s benefit. From this crutch, Paul would live in humility rather than give conceit room to grow.

God is no respecter of persons. If He blessed Paul with the means to enjoy life through graceful pain, who are we do be any different? Our pain may be physical, mental, emotional, financial, or social. No matter the area, maybe God is revealing Himself to us through these unwanted means. Maybe He is growing us more effectively as we lean on Him. Maybe as we realize our weakness, we also see His power and strength at work in us.

So, if we have petitioned our Lord at least three different times without the answer we desire, maybe we need to see the benefits of our situation from His perspective. Maybe the trials we are currently traveling through are His mercies in disguise. Maybe living without graceful pain would be more harmful for us at this season of life than not. Maybe this period of pain is God’s blessing for us to see how strong we actually are in Him.

Paul boasted of his weaknesses. Maybe we need to do the same.

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

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

 

 

How Does God Generally Introduce Himself To Us?

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? Rm 10:14 ESV.

intro 1

Through others.

Whether it is the spoken word, written word, or visual word, God works with and through people for humanity’s sake. As one listens and observes, we analyze and reach conclusions based on the evidence we acquire. Yet unlike all great scientists, our hypothesis is often built on faulty reasoning instead of objective reality.

Because of our inherent prejudices and bruised heart, we allow our hidden anger and pain to blind us from Him. We generally place God in a human box. Rather than opening our minds to the possibilities of someone more intelligent, more powerful, and more effective than ourselves, we look for the evidence from a limited mindset.

God is always here, and there. I don’t understand how. Maybe it is because I am a limited, tiny, physical spot in this universe. But through observation, I’m always pleasantly in awe while He is attending to my world, He is also working with my sister on the other side of the planet.

Since most of us are wired differently but alike, God meets us where we are at. Most of the time when we are broken and need a miracle, He comes along and we reach out for him. Since we can’t touch him or hold him we may still feel alone. Yet, after He responds and our circumstances change for the better, we may or may not stop to reflect on what just happened. If we did, we may truly experience for the moment what grace is all about. Him working, not us.

As we experience answers to pray, unusual circumstances coming together for a positive outcome, and unbelievable favor bestowed upon us by others, our eyes and mind become more attune to a Force at work. Welcome to the presence of God.

As we begin to discover ways to better communicate with each other, a trust building relationship is built over time. Yes God woos you until you notice Him. When you do, you will eagerly find ways to invest more time together like lovers of the night.

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

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!

 

You Too Can Bless God

“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” Psalm 103:1 ESV

bless god1

In what way can a human bless the divine? How does the lesser bless the greater?  The inspired writer of Psalm 103 gives us the answer.

From the first verse to the last, he has nothing but praise for his Lord. He praises and gives honor to the Creator, Sustainer, and Savior of mankind. In every corner of life, he lifts up and acknowledges God. He expresses his gratitude for everything that is in his world. He holds in high respect God’s authority. He gives God all the credit for everything good in the world. His heart is with God.

So if you want to bless the Divine One, now you know how. Just practice the same as the writer of Psalm 103.

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 a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Taking Credit For God’s Grace

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. Romans 12:3 ESV

credit grace1

In a survey conducted with CEO’s from Fortune 500 companies, 80% acknowledge they were in the right place at the right time when the leadership office became available. Many stated that they were not the smartest of their peers nor the best qualified. However, the board of directors saw something that gave them the right of passage into the senior role.

The Book of Ecclesiastes (Chpt. 9:11) states “I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.” From our human perspective, we don’t control all the events in our life. Time and chance happens. Some of you may still think you can controll all the outcomes in your life, but eventually life teaches otherwise. However, there is One who does have last say of the matter.

Looking back over the last forty years of business, family, and service to others, I have to admit for taking undeserving credit for certain accomplishments and achievements. In hindsight, I now recognize God’s favor upon this life. From creating solutions to business problems, marrying my soulmate, and having the resources to serve others is and was the byproduct of the blessing received by his grace. Yes I may have made the effort, but without God’s grace none of the outcome would have been possible.

At the end of day, we are simply stewards of what he has given us. Whether the ability to throw and catch a football, the skills built upon the indwelling gifts given to us at birth, or the mental capacity to analyze and move through the maze of life, everything good within our being came from Him. In addition, the resources from the world around us that we may use and re-use for good (or evil), were placed there by One awesome being. We are simply the stewards accountable and responsible to Him for how we employ them.

So the next time you feel like taking credit for gifts bestowed upon you by the Almighty, maybe instead you may take the time to give him the glory and appreciation for allowing you to share life with Him.

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 a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Sin Stinks

“You come to the help of those who gladly do right,
who remember your ways.
But when we continued to sin against them,
you were angry.
How then can we be saved?
All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.
No one calls on your name
or strives to lay hold of you;
for you have hidden your face from us
and have given us over to our sins.” Isaiah 64:5-7 NIV

sin 1

Being a student of God’s grace, I marvel at how the Holy Spirit transforms us through the everyday occurrences of life.

Though God works with His children in different ways, he also works with us in a similar fashion. Take Sin. A concept that is becoming outdated in today’s modern world of humanistic faith. Yet it prevails and is more real today than ever before.

When a newly converted child of God first learns about the Truth, his internal spiritual light bulb starts flashing. It is a refreshing joy to witness their first love. They can’t find enough time to study the Bible. They want to inform everyone they meet what is happening in their life. They can’t seem to express the love and joy that emulates within them. For us longtime disciples, it brings back memories of our first encounter with God.

Yet after the “first love phase” begins to slowly dissipate, a new season of life appears. I call this the “sin stink’s phase.” It is when the Holy Spirit begins to convict a person of attitudes or behavior that is unbecoming of a child of God. All of a sudden, a person begins to recognize in depth what is wrong in the world. They begin to associate the sin with the evil. They begin to see the problem not just around them but more so within them. They begin to acknowledge that they are part of the problem. That their pride, selfishness, and independent thinking adds fuel to the problems in their surrounding world.

Then the Holy Spirit begins to illuminate the gospel message into everyday routine. Grace becomes real. Love becomes meaningful. Truth becomes personified. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes on a greater role than just a personal savior. His victory over Satan, death, and sin begins to have a greater influence in their life.

Now instead of focusing on sin and its ramifications, one understands the importance of living within the Triune God circle. Instead of beating a dead horse (sin), one begins to ride in the victory parade of the King (grace). Instead of participating in the problem, one begins to share the good news of Jesus Christ as the permanent solution.

Yes sin stinks. But Christ dismantled sin’s dominance and we now participate with Him in his victory march.

The Triune God wants humanity to recognize that sin stinks. That life at its highest level is living within the divine order of Father, Son, and Spirit God. Otherwise, why do you think God allows sin to hang around as long as it has?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, 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