Christmas: Dual Citizenship

Philippians 3:20

But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, (ESV)

Yes, Israel’s Messiah, Humanity’s Savior, and Earth’s King has arrived. God’s commitment from the beginning of time arrived unto the world stage revealed through one Man – Jesus Christ. The Christmas story portrays heaven’s royalty in humbling surroundings. Yes, the narrative highlights God’s values toward people.

If you and I produced a worldly version of such a movie, it would be with great pompous celebration with no limited expense. For those who can recall, it would make the year 2000 worldwide New Year’s celebration a total dud. But God does real life stories with eternal values being highlighted. The end result is a taste of God’s character on full display. Jesus’ birth, life, and ascension into heaven is a prime example.

Jesus’ arrival on earth came within a “blue collar” family under the religious law where his mother and him (in the womb) could have been stone to death (from the beginning of conception, HE lived a life constantly threaten by outside political & religious forces). Thereafter he lived for some thirty plus years under the worldly religious title of “bastard”. Joseph wasn’t his biological father but accepted him as his son. His entire life was lived out among the people and not within royal gates. Yet after fulfilling his earthly mission by defeating Satan’s rule, laying the foundation for an earthly Church, and providing the means for unifying humanity under HIS authority as Earth’s new King, HE ascended into heaven to await the completion of all things prior to HIS scheduled return.

Yes, our King Jesus has granted us citizenship into HIS Kingdom. As citizens, we have all rights and privileges granted by HIM as outlined throughout the written gospels and letters collected together within the pages of the Bible. The apostle Paul refers us as ambassadors on behalf of Christ. We represent for those around us Jesus Christ’s government – the Kingdom of God.  For most of us, we have a dual citizenship. Our allegiance is first to Christ, then to our local government. Yes, we give the government the things that are theirs, and God the things that are HIS (Mark 12:17).

Christmas is about the stage entrance of heaven and earth’s final King. One day HE will plant his throne in the new Jerusalem and govern all nations and tribes. Those around HIM will have been proven through life’s tests to be faithful and competent in service to HIM and HIS subjects. Until then, we wait with patience being HIS ambassadors to a rebellious world lost in their ignorance of HIS Incarnation and macro mission for humanity. Christmas is a reminder to the world that their future King has arrived.

Merry Christmas!!    

  

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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Christmas: God’s Government Arrives 

Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon[a] his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called[b]

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace
.

Of the increase of his government and of peace
    there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
    to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

As I age, the more aware this man becomes of the repeated theme of government between the pages of the Bible. From the Book of Genesis where God gives Adam & Eve domain of the earth to the last chapter of the Book of Revelations where the City of God merges heaven and earth together into one final chapter of mankind’s experience, how the theme of government shouts out throughout the pages of the best-selling Book.

Christmas reminds us of this purpose. Jesus Christ entered the world prophesied to become the long-awaited final King of Israel. And yes, we are still in the middle of that prophesy as we all await the return of the God-Man to fully establish HIS world ruling government. Yet there is much that must happen first.

Prior to HIS physical departure from planet earth, HE invested time and energy preparing and training HIS students for world change. His teachings, principles, and story are covered throughout the writings of the Bible. His eyes and purpose were focused not only on events during his stay on earth but for the eventual culmination of all history when HE returns to complete HIS Father’s mission for mankind.

Christmas is only a very small blip of events to remind us of HIS continual work throughout history. As a reflection of HIS Father, HE revealed and demonstrated what GOD is like. HE outlined the eternal mission and purpose of humanity. HE recruited a team to venture a new start-up, the Church. And every season under earth, HE continues to recruit, train, and lead fallible people to work alongside HIM preparing HIS children for their eternal assignment. He is preparing a people to govern and serve in the family business – the Kingdom of God.

Along with the Holy Spirit who inspires, encourages, and comforts us through our daily assignments, we are embryos being developed through the trials and tests of everyday life as we await our delivery into the hands of our eternal home. Yes, mankind is so much more than a cousin of the animal kingdom. You and I have been given the privilege of life as a gift. From life, we experience human trauma, but also the divine fruit of our heavenly Triune God. We have a small taste of eternity today, but live under its shadow waiting for the sun to fully arise.

Yes, Christmas is a reminder that God cares for you and I. He has a macro purpose for all humanity. The real joy is aligning our micro purpose with HIS macro purpose to live out each day colonizing our corner of the world for HIS glory.

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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Learning to Govern

Genesis 1:28 (NASB)

God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the; sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

One theme which moves through the Bible is God’s intention of what he wants humanity to learn while stationed on this planet at this age. From Genesis where God instructs man and woman to rule the earth’s infrastructure, to Revelation 5:10 where John writes about Jesus’ end game and recognizes the saints in this life are being made to lead and serve in God’s Kingdom. Could it be that one of God’s purpose for you and I in this life is to learn how to best govern?

He initially placed Adam and Eve in a garden to manage it. He built a family unit starting with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The family unit became a tribe and eventually the nation of Israel. During this time, he trained specific individuals for leadership position – Joseph, second in rank behind Pharaoh; Daniel, a president under the Babylonian system; David and Solomon, kings of Israel. There are many others – good leaders and bad rulers.

He designed the family unit where parents learn to govern their households; and children learn to follow and develop their personal governing skills. He led people to build institutions: business, education, medical, legal, entertainment, and yes governments. Each institution allows us to learn how to work with others to help a community to flourish. He also built the Church: a community of believers united within Himself.  

All these opportunities are simply a shadow to prepare you and I to govern within the Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom is the Triune God’s family business. You and I as his children have been given the opportunity now to learn how to best govern the self and others for this purpose. We allow the Holy Spirit to work within us renovating our hearts to see and hear as our Triune God sees and hears. We govern with love and purpose allowing righteousness to flourish and evil to diminish. We serve our King bringing Him honor and respect and glory.

God has bigger plans for you and I than we will ever phantom on this side of heaven. For now, He gives us a small taste of His divine presence and fills our hearts with joy as we learn to govern His way for His people for His glory.

Life is a learning process preparing you and I for eternity. Run with it!!

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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Copyright 2013-2019 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Christian Culture is Not the Kingdom of God

Romans 14:17
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.ESV.

 

.

A debate among the early church saints about whether or not it is OK to eat unclean food led the apostle Paul to write in a letter which we now classify as the fourteen chapter in the Book of Romans.  The issue included whether or not it is more spiritual to be a vegetarian or not. Paul’s conclusion emphasize that the fruit of God’s Kingdom is not food and drink but righteousness, peace, and joy.

For most of us who have never been exposed to God’s Kingdom, maybe we should hold off judgment until we truly experience the real thing. The closest we may have come would most likely be a Sunday church service among other Christians. Yet even there God’s Kingdom may not be fully operating. Instead we witness a culture where everyone speaks and acts in a Camelot fashion. So where do we go to discover the real McCoy?

The Kingdom of God is HIS reign. Wherever people allow God to be the center of their lives; where HE is served first within all relationships and transactions; where HE is the final judge on all matters; where our hearts and minds and souls yield to HIS Word, HIS priorities, and HIS values; not as we determine but as it is.

Reality composes of knowing HIM. When we gain knowledge of HIS ways, we begin to see HIS Spirit at work in our lives and the lives of others; we begin to experience life the way HE intended to be. As we learn to pray and ask and listen, we begin to see our requests actualized. Dumbfounded but in wonder, we become more and more amazed at HIS ability to bring events into reality.

So where do we find the real McCoy?

Wherever HIS people live, breathe, and serve under the authority of their King Jesus, HE is there. And not only is HE present, but the fruit of the Spirit grows. Like a tree that blooms in the spring time, the impact of HIS Kingdom becomes noticeably alive. It could be in a local church service, or a family gathering, or even in the marketplace at work. What is recognized are the manifestations of God’s Spirit sprouting from the hearts, minds, and souls of people who yield themselves to their King.  That is where you will find His Kingdom.

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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Copyright 2013-2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Kingdom of God versus World Governments

“…neither shall they say, Lo, here! or, There! for lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21 ASV.

religion and government 2

Have you ever notice the natural conflict between the governments of this world and religions? Don’t both institutions operate from the same perspective? They seek power over the same masses to bring about peace, law, and order. They make promises feeding on the hopes and carnal desires of their members. When they fail to deliver, they blame others. In fact, like two political opponents, they use whatever means at their disposal to bring about their ambitions at the expense of their citizens.

This is what makes God’s Kingdom far above the governments and religions of this world. Governments and many religions build their foundation through a platform of fear. Through manipulation, punishment,  or collusion, those in power decide what is best for the masses. Freedom may be promised for all, but reserved for a minority. The majority are led by a minority who set themselves up through power, intimidation, and fear.

However God’s Kingdom is unlike anything man has developed. Everything designed by humanity is based on using power from the outside-in. It seeks to manipulate you into agreement through outside means. Like the rat chasing his cheese through a maze, mankind follows the same principles. External rewards, punishment, and social manipulation are some of the tools used. Throw in lying, stealing, killing, and destruction, and you have the general means employed by the majority of groups in search of a better world for themselves.

So what makes God’s Kingdom so much more effective? First it is a government operating from the inside-out. It already has an established, proven leader in Jesus Christ. He is the uniting factor for all people; there is no more room at the top. He sets the standards and demonstrates the methods and techniques used to serve and lead others. And most of his ways are just the opposite of mankind’s failed approaches.

He operates from the inside of a person. He motivates, encourages, and equips his citizens with the necessary tools and methods to live a life that unleashes the human potential as originally designed by the Creator. Via the Holy Spirit, he restores the relationship between all parties by making the Triune God the central core of one’s life. From the love of God, through the hearts of each citizen, the government of God operates in an orderly and abundant fashion. The goal is to minister and serve others for the glory of God. Politics, selfish ambition, and carnal desires are removed from the scene. In their place, service toward others in love becomes the standard of all Peoples.

When one captures the real vision of God’s Kingdom on earth, one quickly understands the Book of Revelations 21 – 22 and the merging of heaven with earth.  With God making his Kingly home on earth, His kingdom will cover the entire planet. Isn’t that the new heaven and new earth we all wait for? When the Kingdom of God will be fully operating on this planet.

Meanwhile, those of us who have already surrendered to Lord Jesus have the privilege and honor to learn today how to live under the King’s domain. We have the opportunity to experience his abundant grace, mercy, and trust with our everyday lives. As His faith grows in us, and as we see the fruit of His ways, we can only lift up our arms in praise to Him and share His story with others who truly want to experience real freedom and joy and love and peace in this life while we await the physical return of our King.

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

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Education or Indoctrination?

“Have you understood all these things?” They said to him, “Yes.”  And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matt. 13:51-52 ESV.

educate 7

It is rare today to meet an educated person. Yes, many people have college degrees. Many people have access to the internet with its smorgasbord of information. But most people we meet are like Johnny One Notes.

They like to sing but only know one song and that song only has one key. They fall in love with it and fail to realize that each note on a music scale has a purpose. There is great variety and options when one becomes expose to the vast array of music sounds. But if the only experience one receives is playing one note, how will they ever experience the classical masterpieces of yesterday? How will they ever enjoy the new sounds that are waiting in the future? Yet if one hasn’t been exposed to the great variety of choices, one will never know.

This is true in music and it is true in education. Most college students will enter the world with ideological ideas centered around a humanistic approach with life. Their center of the universe is themselves. Their code of conduct is based on personal experience. They have been indoctrinated with a philosophy of business, science, and humanities that excludes a Creator God.

When God is removed from the picture, people are left to design their personal faith. Generally speaking, that faith is built on their perception of reality. Truth becomes subjective. The old traditional values that have proven themselves over time are totally discarded. Instead, “if it is new, it must be better” is the mantra of each new generation.

Rather than exercise wisdom gain through the understanding of sound knowledge, feelings rule. “If it feels good, than let’s do it” becomes the pervasive religion. Who cares about the consequences. Or better yet, “I’m different. That doesn’t apply to me.”

If one wants to truly experience a taste of God’s Kingdom today, one must be willing to accept and apply the proven traditions of yesterday along with the Spirit led revelations of today and tomorrow. Jesus is making everything new. Yet the timeline of history teaches us that there is nothing really new today compared with yesterday when it comes to human nature and man’s relationship with the great Designer of Life.

Maybe you think you are the person who will prove me wrong. But Truth will always prove to be true. Our perception may change, but reality remains the same. We need not fear something new. Instead, we need to broaden our horizon, acquire the necessary knowledge and wisdom, and diligently walk with the God who created education. He is the source of all knowledge. He knows what is good for us and what causes harm. Don’t be like most of the educated and uneducated people in today’s world: trying to make it on their own. Instead of being indoctrinated in today’s cultural bias, maybe it’s time to become truly educated. It begins at the feet of the Great Designer of Life.

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!

Who Are You Lord?

“And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.” Acts 9:5 ESV.

 

who1

 

Saul was a zealous religious leader whose personal mission in life was to destroy the Christian movement. He stood by, watched, and celebrated when the first Christian martyr was murdered. He took it upon himself to obtain the necessary papers from the ruling religious leaders to travel to Damascus and eliminate as many Christians as he could find. It was on this journey to Damascus riding horseback that he had the unexpected privilege of personally meeting Jesus Christ.

Being blinded by a great light that also startled his horse, he fell to the ground. It was there that he first heard Jesus speak to him. Saul’s reply was simple. “Who are you, Lord?” From that point onward began a transformation that would turn Saul’s life 180 degrees.

He started to learn who is the Lord of his life. He participated with his Lord through trials, tests, and ministry. He learned how the Torah pointed to the Christ. He had to relearn scripture in light of Jesus Christ. His entire world and life changed from a persecutor of men to a fisherman of saints.

Every day thereafter his knowledge and understanding of God became clearer. Yet even he stated many years later how we now look at God through a foggy window. That the time will come when we will see God as he is. But for now, we only partially see everything that God wants us to see.

For you and I, the good place to start our search of truth, wisdom, and success is to know who God is. We start with Jesus Christ. He is the bridge to Father God. And from Father God and through Jesus Christ we meet the Holy Spirit. As we come to know Father-Son-Spirit God, we grow and are sharpened by the relationship. As we desist and allow Christ to become more magnified in our life, we experience the life that God intended all humanity to enjoy.

It all begins for us as it did with Saul. As Saul changed his name to Paul, we likewise go through a transformation. Now through Jesus Christ, God names us as He sees us. It all starts when you begin to seek the answers of the question, Who are you Lord?

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 your Friends…Share Today’s Message!