What Is Truly Important?

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

How does one best maximize leverage of time and resources to live a full and enriching life?

When one understands the wisdom of building your life on the foundation of eternal values, you have an advantage over most people. Many of us awake one day to realize our efforts over the last umpteen years hasn’t given us the results we anticipated. We have climb the worldly ladder of success only to find the view disappointingly unappealing on the wrong wall.  So, we move the ladder to another wall and climb again. Only to find over the years the same unfulfilled result.

Shocking to most, the issue is not which wall we climb, but the ladder we use for the climb. When you consider each step of the ladder as values, the ladder with eternal values will lead to a more abundant life than a ladder with humanistic ideals.

Most of us start climbing with ladders built by sincere people with great intentions but without a clue of the types of ladders available for our use. If a stool is all you need to reach the top of the shelf, than use a stool. But if you have to climb multiple floors, than a stronger, well-built proven ladder is required. The same is true when leveraging life’s goals.

Jesus provides us with critical values which when employed allows one to climb the walls placed before us with the certainty of the end result. The ladder HE provides is one built for eternal purposes because for HIM this life is only a learning process preparing one for leadership and service in HIS Kingdom.

When one places her foot on each step of HIS ladder, each movement has the assurance and confidence of when reaching the top, the view will be better than anticipated. No matter how strong the wind blows, or when the ground shakes, we simply look at the foot of the ladder and see Jesus holding the ladder in place rooting us upward toward HIS view and purpose of life.

If you need a review what Jesus values, reread the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew’s gospel chapter six. The prayer identifies the hierarchy of values from God and HIS kingdom to personal needs and human relations. Each value is the foundational step you and I need to live a full and enriching life today while being prepared for eternity tomorrow.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

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First Things First

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Put first things first is a tagline and principle I initially read about over thirty years ago where the author Mr. Stephen Covey discussed the habits of highly successful people. Prior to Mr. Covey’s book, C.S. Lewis also wrote about always prioritizing the first thing first. He added that when the second thing becomes the first thing in one’s life, one will lose out on both. However, when the first thing is pursued over the second thing, the second thing comes along in the process.

This same principle Jesus spoke to HIS audience some two thousand years earlier but added the main thing. After discussing the human aspects people pursue in this physical world, and the anxiety and stress one subjects themselves from the process, HIS sermon on the mount (Matt. 5–7) emphasized the primary first objective needs to be accepting God’s authority and value system in our lives.

When we come to realize God’s Kingdom is HIS way of governing people (also the spiritual realm) to live in harmony, and HIS moral character is the compass which provides boundaries to safeguard lives, plus HIS attributes highlight the priceless values to attain an abundant life, when followed as the first objective in one’s life, leads to a flourishing and fulfilling life for oneself and others. Outside of God’s Kingdom, people may steal their way to a better life at the expense of all others, but God’s selfless way allows everyone who participates to float toward the top.  

Life is a learning process preparing you and I for eternity. We gain a taste of HIS ways when we put into practice HIS governing principles being led by HIS Spirit under the tutelage of Jesus Christ. When we understand how HIS Kingdom operates and follow HIS examples of human relations and doing good work, plus focus our worship on HIM, we begin to reflect HIS ways which leads to a life of governing the self through the Spirit, serving others in Christ’s name, and producing Kingdom results in your corner of the world.

When one captures the vision of God’s Kingdom, begins to implement HIS ways of governing the self and others, and reflects Christ’s character in all matters, one is pleasantly surprised by how all the other secondary things fall into place. Put first things first and the rest will be added to you.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler Learn & Grow:  

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Kingdom Living

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.

Back in graduate school, I was challenged by our professor to find the means to motivate and create a winning culture within an organization. He spent 13 weeks discussing various concepts and theories of organizational leadership then currently being exercised within the workplace. His conclusion on the last week of class was none of them effectively work and laid out the challenge for those of us willing to accept to find out what does work. I accepted the challenge right then and there.

So, over the next thirty years, with six different corporate operations, I made business my ministry and began the journey of how best to implement God’s ways in the marketplace. I wasn’t perfect. I made mistakes. But I leaned on Christ and learned.

The conclusion of the matter: ownership always loved the results, but the majority of company leaders disapproved of bringing godliness into the workplace. Their response in many cases was “what does God have to do with business?”

The fact is – everything. One college study demonstrated that almost 50% of the profitability of an organization is the result of its culture. God’s ways when properly implemented produces the fruit of successful Kingdom living. The byproduct is both personal and communal freedom, flourishment, and fulfillment.

Personal freedom is found only in Jesus Christ. When one begins to recognize the foundation of identity comes from being made in God’s image, and when we reflect HIS glory, we are able to separate the temporary roles of life from the permanency of belonging as a child of HIS. Parenthood, Spouse, Executive, Electrician, Computer Programmer, Consultant, Teacher, etc. are simply roles we fulfill. They are not who we are but what we do. We are children of the Creator God who longs for a human family.  When we accept the fact we are included in Christ, then we begin to experience our true identity. We participate with HIM in daily work, knowing we are in union with HIM and are in fellowship with others who likewise belong to God. 

The result is practicing the means of flourishment which comes from strategically serving others. Jesus taught servant-leadership. Taught those who want to be great must prioritize serving others before themselves. His way is of mutual submissiveness with each other. An attitude of respecting and lifting up others. Throughout Scriptures, HIS teachings emphasize relationships and good work from a Godly mind/heart centered perspective.  

As one walks with the Lord, one grows in spiritual maturity and may accumulate physical wealth in the process. You know you are wealthy when you have more than you need to sustain one’s life. The amount isn’t necessary how one measures wealth, but how one uses the resources at their disposal. You may be financially wealthy, but bankrupt spiritually. For true Fulfillment comes by blessing others from your storage house. And hopefully your storage house includes a substantial amount of love, joy, and peace which comes from God’s Spirit living in you. After you had a taste of God’s character, and realize the more you share HIM with others, the more HE gives you, and the more you continual give others, the richer you become in finding fulfillment in the everyday routine of living life. Jesus stated that it is more blessed to give than receive. That is where real fulfillment comes from.

Yes, after you learn to live as an Ambassador of God’s Kingdom in a dark, secular world, and begin to show the love of God before you speak about HIS love, the more your actions and words will carry with those you live with, work with, and play with. And as God showers HIS grace upon you, and opens favorable doors for you, and directs your steps toward living out your micro purpose within HIS macro plans, HIS Kingdom becomes more real within the culture of your world. And like a little mustard seed, your world will grow through the influence of HIS Spirit within you and HIS Kingdom will be recognized by the people around you.

Living life within HIS Kingdom begins with Jesus as the central core of everything you do. He will lead you as you submit to HIM. He will open the doors for you and bring people into your world that you will enrich and they you. God’s Kingdom is what the world needs. One day our entire world will be encompassed by the ways of HIS Kingdom. Until then, we have the honor and privilege to live out HIS ways as we colonize the small pockets of humanity which we currently share space with on this third rock from the sun.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books 

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