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.

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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

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

 

 

 

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.

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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.

 

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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!

What Are You For?

” For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 ESV

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Do people know you by what you are for or what you are against?

In no particular order, but as defined from a Biblical perspective, and as an apprentice of Jesus Christ, I am for…

 

The Triune God

Jesus Christ

Kingdom of God

Holy Spirit

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Goodness

Kindness

Gentleness

Faithfulness

Self-Control

Humility

Excellence

Knowledge

Understanding

Wisdom

Truth

Healthy Relationships

Respectful Boundaries

Marriage

Family

Justice

Unity

Worship

Service

Stewardship

Life-Giving events

Grace-filled situations

There are more, but these attributes are the building block that I hope others see as my banner and brand wherever and whomever I meet. How about you? What are you for?  What are you broadcasting to others?

 

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Founder & Executive Director
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

 

 

 

Being Fully Human

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

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In the Book of Genesis, we discover that God made man in His image after His likeness (Gen.1:26). In Psalm 8:4, King David asked the question “what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” The writer of Hebrews in 2:6 likewise refers to the same question and adds more thought behind the remark. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul writes that life in Christ makes us a new creation.

What does this all mean for you and me?

There are times when I look at our culture, I cry. My heart hurts for the people who don’t really understand what Jesus means in their everyday life. For example, people may know about Him, the Cross and Resurrection, but not realize the importance of the Ascension.

The fact is Jesus ascended into Heaven not only as a divine being but also as a resurrected human. As a human, he experienced the same emotional, psychological, and physical stress that every person deals with on a daily basis. More so, hanging on the cross the sins of every person past, present, and future was transported into his inner humanity. He knows what it means to be human. He experienced the pain of sin without ever committing sin himself (Heb.4:15).

Our connection with Father God is through Jesus Christ. Jesus’ union with Father God is because of his divinity. His union with humanity is because of his bodily life. Mankind has union with Jesus because of His humanity. When we pray to our Father God, Jesus intercedes on our behalf. When we pray not knowing how and what to say, His Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-7). He is our High Priest.

He is more involved in yours and my life than you and I may ever realize. He cares about you in ways you haven’t even considered yet. He wants what is best for you. He knows what it means to be human. He is our standard for what it means to be human.

He wants you to experience the same love, joy, and hope he carried with him when he walked the earth. He wants you to grow and experience the same thrills he does. Jesus wants to hang-out with you.

When Father/Son/Spirit created the world, earth, and mankind, he said it was “very good.” He wants us to experience the same sense of accomplishment through our work. When Jesus healed the sick, he experienced the power of God changing people’s lives. He wants us to experience the same when we serve others. When Jesus ascended into heaven, he became the first fruit of a new creation. The merger of humanity with divinity. The physical merging with the spiritual. The future new heaven and new earth being lived in the present. Heaven on earth.

Being fully human is really living and experiencing everyday life in Christ.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, 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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

 

Tweet Gospel

“…there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.” Galatians 1:7

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Twitter is one of those modern techno gadgets that I haven’t had time nor desire to take on at this season of life. My understanding is that one communicates the word in a short fashion using abbreviations and special codes. The entire sentence is limited to approximately 120 letters/numbers/characters. Since I have a difficult time communicating with 400 words via a blog, it probably will be a while before we attempt to tweet.

Yet, when I hear the gospel being preached through radio, television, or the pulpit, I sometimes feel that the good news of Jesus Christ is being limited in its presentation, just like a tweet. Instead of sharing the entire message of Jesus Christ, we only share one aspect of it. Usually that aspect is the forgiveness of sin. Though it is one reason that Jesus broke time and space as a human person, it is only one reason. And in my opinion, it isn’t the main reason.

For example, when one reads the four gospel accounts of Jesus, his message wasn’t solely about the forgiveness of sin. He introduced himself as the King of a government – The Kingdom of God. Some theologians like to only speak about the kingdom in our hearts and forget that the Kingdom He spoke about was also the fulfillment of the Messiah prophecies of an universal order that included heaven and earth. Kingdom reality is already here for those who are participating with Him in His work to restore creation back to His original intent.

In addition, when one reads the letters of Paul, one is introduced to God’s plan from the beginning of creation that included the adoption of humanity into the inner circle of the Triune God (Eph. 1:4). Before man was created and sinned, God already had a plan in motion. Sin and the forgiveness of sin was only a messy inkblot in His plan for the universe. His initial purpose was not to save us, but to adopt us into His world.

When we repent (change our mind of who God is and what He is doing) God impregnates us with his Spirit. As we abide in Christ, take up our cross, and follow Him, the Spirit begins to change our hearts and minds patterned after the character and attitude of Christ himself (2 Timothy 1:7). The Holy Spirit of God begins to remove the darkness of sin from our life. The addictions, lies, self-righteousness, pride of life, vanity, anger, hatred is being replaced with the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the virtues of God.

There is also the good news of grace, freedom, justice, and resurrection. In other words, it is far more than just being saved from our sins and acquiring a one way ticket to heaven. It’s about people flourishing with other people within God’s governmental order. It’s about being adopted into a royal and priestly family that rules the universe. And yes, it’s about transformation – being prepared and equipped with the character of God to serve others and God now and for eternity.

The good news of Jesus Christ is truly more than we really know or imagine.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, 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

Poor in Spirit

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3 ESV

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Who are the poor in spirit?  Are we not taught to be rich in spirit? Isn’t those who have a positive attitude, an assurance of confidence, and strong self-esteem the model we are told to desire?  Is this not the spirit we are told will make us happy? Did Jesus get it all wrong?

Some people believe that if one is poor in material goods, than one is also poor in spirit? Is this true?  Others say that poor in spirit is simply humility in action. In Revelation 3:17 the writer addresses those in the church that have all the dressings of success but don’t realize that they are living in spiritual poverty.  Who then are the poor in spirit?

When one begins to walk with the Lord, one slowly begins to realize the vast difference between the teacher and student. One quickly attains that the Teacher is the Master and the student is the pupil. When the student compares oneself with the Teacher, one humbly acknowledges that they lack or fall far short of the many qualities related to holiness. When God’s love and grace is demonstrated into one’s life, one begins to realize how far below the measuring bar one sits.

One soon begins to pray and ask God for the fruit of His Spirit to grow within themselves. Yet even as the fruit begins to bloom in one’s life, one is always comparing themselves with Jesus. In that comparison one is always coming to the reality how poor one is when compared with the vast riches found in Christ.

When one compares themselves with their neighbor, one is easily blinded to their spiritual immaturity.  It is easy to feel or think one has arrived to the highest level of spiritual maturity when one compares the self with the devil. Yet when one compares themselves with the real measuring scale of Jesus Christ, one quickly repents and admits one’s state of poverty. It is only through the Spirit of Christ that one inherits the richness of His Kingdom. It is only through Christ, that one truly experiences the treasurers of the Kingdom of God.

So when one can honestly admit how poor they are when comparing themselves with Christ, and how needy they are for a living, deep  relationship with Christ, then one can also begin to experience the fruit of Kingdom living now and the hope of Kingdom living for eternity. It all begins when one realizes how poor they truly are when compared with the Incarnate Triune God.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Chair, Consultant, 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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.