Steadfast Love

Proverbs 19:22

What is desired in a man is steadfast love…

Hosea 6:6

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

In hindsight, I was a very difficult child. I probably caused most of the family difficulties in my parent’s household. I was rebellious, strong willed, and hated our family culture. Yet, deep down inside, I knew both parents loved me in their own way no matter how stupidly I acted.

Currently, after almost forty years of marriage to the same woman, I know she still loves me. Though throughout the years we had our share of heated arguments, strong differences in parental tactics, and sharp changes in personal preferences in food, clothing, and lifestyle, we still confirm our love for each other and enjoy sharing life together.       

Then God, while I was still in total rebellion against Him, forgave me for disrespecting Him and His ways before I even came to know Him. Since then, through the knowledge of Jesus Christ, I have come to grow in His grace. He is now my standard of measurement of the steadfast love we are to display and share with others.

To know someone loves you unconditionally opens the door of acceptance. You learn to fully accept yourself as you are and yet are motivated to live up to your full potential as a person. You gladly change your attitude, behavior, and thinking so you may fully enjoy living with the person who steadfastly loves you. You enjoy their companionship. You look forward to sharing your life with them and they share their life with you. And with the Triune God there is no difference.

God longs to share His life with you. His desire is to create a human/divine family that includes you and me. Like any healthy family, the parent wants to be involved in their children activities. God likewise wants to be involved in your activities. As you share your life with Him, you will discover more of who HE is. As you gain knowledge of His character, attributes, and ways, you will inculcate them into your life. You will become an image of your Father in heaven. You will then better understand how the apostle Paul wrote that we are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Everything good begins with love. When love is allowed to bloom, we begin to experience the entire fruit of God’s Spirit. The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control become the bedrock of one’s attitude in life. Love also leads the way for faith and hope to follow. When apostle John writes that God is Love, than one better understands the importance of allowing God to fully live in us.

HE is the essence of all creation. HE created life, the planet, and universe so that HE may express HIS love. When we rebel against HIS love, we find ourselves living life outside HIS Character. The result is sin which devastates oneself and those around you. When immature, we rebel thinking this type of life is normal. We wallow in our misery and call the dark side of life normal. When love is removed, the ugliness of human nature runs rampant. The result is self-destruction and eventually the destruction of a society.

There is nothing more highly elevated than immovable love, firmly fixed in place, and non-changing for one to totally grasp the power and character of God. His steadfast love is our standard to pursue. Even when we fail, his grace will pick us up, and we will continue the journey to become more and more like our elderly brother Jesus Christ.

Is not this what makes being a Christ-follower the most adventurous trip one can choose in this life?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

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Technology Trap

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, 7:12, 10:10

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
 a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
 a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
 a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
 a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
 a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace

Ecclesiastes 10:10

If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom helps one to succeed.

Ecclesiastes 7:12

For the protection of wisdom is like the protection of money, and the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.

Yes, there is a time for everything. And wisdom will give you the insight on how to take advantage of the moment. Especially when it comes to the utilization of technology in your personal life.

In my lifetime, I have experienced the birth of email, internet, and smart phones. Along with learning how best to use all three for corporate use, I have slowly revamped myself in using such labor-saving devices as a servant rather than a god of my personal life.

Technology is awesome. I like to think God Almighty has open the doors to give us a mechanical taste of how HE operates the universe. I speculate that HE must have some type of software to operate the entire universe and has given humanity a portion of the same diagram to operate our lives. Whether or not that be true, I am one who is thankful and grateful for modern technology.

Yet at the same time, I am scared. Scared that many people have not yet learned to manage technology and instead have allowed technology to rule them. Instead of recognizing the problem, we now hide behind technology. Instead of directly relating with people, we hide behind our screens. Instead of sharing our real selves with others, we create webpages highlighting the romantic ideal picture of what we want others to think of us and hide the other broken human aspects. As a people we have lost touch connecting with others in a deep and profound way. We are losing what it means to be human.

The trap is replacing the personal connection with a technological image. Instead of breaking down walls between people, we now build walls with our technological boxes. When you observe in restaurants a family gather together and each person playing with their smart phones instead of directly communicating with each other, something is lost. The ability to communicate and relate in an intimate way is being taken over by a box.

In my younger days, we witnessed the same when television sets started to show up in people’s homes. People initially gathered together and watched a one-hour special program and then spent the time thereafter discussing the show. Move forward twenty years later, and people would gather around the TV and watch four hours of programing and spend maybe five minutes in total time sharing their thoughts with each other. Technology has made us lazy in human effort.   

Television and all other technology devices are great time savers of efficiency. But are also very alluring to capture our attention away from relating with people. When technology replaces people in your life, beware. You have entered the danger zone. You have become addicted to a virtual reality instead of real life. Virtual reality may satisfy your immediate gratification. But like all things worth pursuing, the best things in life take work, effort, and self-discipline to achieve. When it comes to the human experience and maximizing your human potential, nothing is better than direct one-on-one connection with another person. Where the human reality of intimacy, ideas, and values are shared and discussed. Without that personal touch, we are treating technology as a god to worship rather than a tool to assist us in being more human.   

Don’t let your technological devices rule you. Instead realize the problem and learn to manage the tools for your human experience. The tools in your life are to maximize your potential as a human, not live trapped behind the dictates of a techno god.

So, make wisdom your friend. Spend more time acquiring similar friends and learn from them. When you combine wisdom with technology then your world will open up and you will experience what it means to be fully human. Bottom-line: technological traps keep you from fully living and experiencing your human potential. Isn’t that worth overcoming?

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

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Managing Body-Soul-Spirit

1 Thessalonians 5:23

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As Scriptures indicate, we have all been born with a body, soul, and spirit. Each of us is a mini-trinity. My observation over the years is most of us totally fail to effectively manage the relationship between our body, soul, and spirit. This world emphasizes the body and doing everything for it. The soul and spirit are after thoughts. For many of us, we gain this understanding later in life and then begin the process of totally aligning the three spheres of human autonomy.

For most of us, the concept of body-soul-spirit has never been fully explained and therefore never entered our mind. Like most things, what we don’t know, we cannot do effectively.

A modern example of how the body-soul-spirit work together is to compare the human being with today’s computer. Like all examples, it has its limitations, but overall it provides a good glimpse of how the three work together.

The computer consists of three parts: casing, operating system, and applications. The casing relates to the body; the operating system is the soul; and the applications are the fruit of spirit. The casing comes in multiple sizes, shapes, and colors – like people. Marketers may emphasize the outer casing to attract certain people, but the real geeks know it’s the operating system that makes the computer standout. (I currently use Windows 10 on this computer). The operating system contains the memory (mind), a customizable font, look, and feel (personality/emotions), and operating boundaries (Will). The operating system is the soul of a computer.

However, without any software applications, the computer would be an empty box. Depending on your purpose, you will download various software so your computer will become a performance tool in your hands to serve a purpose. I have Word, Excel, Firefox, and a host of other applications which allows me to fully maximize the computer’s capacity.

The soul is your operating system. From your soul, decisions are made and activity spring forth (Mt.15:18). A healthy operating system allows all the applications to fully function. A healthy soul allows God’s Spirit to fully function within you. A healthy operating system is protected by security features which prevents damaging viruses to steal or destroy your work. Likewise, a healthy soul uses the empowering Word to protect you from destruction.

Just like there are multiple applications for a computer, there are multiple spirits for the soul. However, not every spirit builds up. There are many spirits whose purpose is to steal, lie, and destroy. The bible identifies them as demons. The Spirit that empowers and offers wise consul is the one you want fully operating to enjoy and live out your full potential as a person: The Holy Spirit.

This example is only to introduce you to better understand the workings between spirit-soul-body. As you walk out your faith with Christ, the various parts will become more noticeable. You will begin to take a more proactive, intentional role in managing what impregnates your soul, which spirit you allow entrance into your soul, and how to better steward your body’s workings with your soul.

When your soul is healthy, your body will follow and demonstrate through a more confident sureness and attitude which comes through via the Spirit that lives in you. Focus on developing a healthy soul and your soul will unleash the richness of God’s character residing within you.

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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