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.

 

Inherit The Earth

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 ESV

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How in the world are the meek going to inherit the earth? In our current system of governments, isn’t it the strong and powerful that conquers other lands? If you put a meek person up against a strong man, what is our perception on who is going to win the fight? So how does the meek inherit the earth?

To better understand the how, one needs to know the goal of salvation. The objective of salvation isn’t just to receive a ticket for eternal life. It involves so much more. God’s objective now is to restore creation back to his original intent which eventually leads to the climatic achievement when heaven and earth is finally and totally merged together in one new creation (Revelation 21-22).  All of this proposed before the foundation of the world and implemented through the new birth of Jesus Christ via a resurrection.

The resurrection of Jesus began the new birth of a new humanity. This new creation involves the merging of the physical and spiritual. As Jesus was 100% human and 100% divine, he paved the way for others to follow him.  When we accept His authority in our lives, he births  us with a new Spirit. This spirit is the Holy Spirit that opens the way for us to have an adopted relationship with the living God.

Now as children of God, with our hearts being soften by the Spirit, the fruit of that Spirit becomes our DNA. Included within that DNA is the spirit of gentleness which is likewise translated in some Bible versions as meekness. So when Jesus said that those who are meek shall inherit the earth, he is casting the vision of the end time. He is highlighting the reward for those who follow him. For as we are now being trained as kings and priests of his domain (Rev 1:6, 5:10, 20:6), our inheritance is stored in heaven until the culmination of all things (Eph 1:10).

So yes the meek shall inherit the earth. Not because of our strength, smarts, or spirituality. But only because of Jesus 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.

 

 

 

Turning The World Upside Down

“This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” Acts 17:3-7 ESV

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Have you ever noticed that to become truly successful in today’s world, there are many times you have to go opposite of the norm? One eventually learns that success measured by worldly standards enslaves one to passions that are self-defeating. Real, long-lasting success however, produces freedom, flourishing, and virtuous growth for the self and others. For many people without a Triune God worldview, the Christ-centered life is simply the opposite of how they have been educated through the world’s systems. Therefore, when the world looks at Kingdom living, they focus on what they are going to personally lose rather than what they and others will gain.

The world’s educational, governmental, judicial, commercial, and scientific institutions are generally built upon humanistic principles. To espouse that Jesus is King of all these entities would be ludicrous in the eyes of many of its leaders. Yet, the early church didn’t mince words. They stated profusely that Jesus is King. Not just King of heaven, or the Jews, but King of all the heavens and earth! A bold statement then and still a bold statement today.

When one acknowledges that Jesus is King, one’s world begins to turn upside down. However, overtime one realizes that what is truly upside down is today’s world. That the Messiah came to restore humanity onto a path that eventually will birth universally upon the whole earth at the consummation of all things. Today his children are gaining experiences and knowledge of what it means to live the abundant life in Christ. We capture a glimpse of the vision and a small taste of Kingdom living now.

Yes in the eyes of others who may not truly realize their homeland, priest, and king is Jesus, the Christ-follower is someone who is strange. Yet in the eyes of God, who gives Christ-followers His Spirit to transform us, His domain to encircle us, and His faithfulness to encourage us, we are His living examples. We demonstrate and witness to others what it means to live under Kingdom freedom, Kingdom economics, and Kingdom growth.

So if you think we are turning the world upside down, think again. Could it be we are just following Christ as He turns the world right-side up?

 

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.

 

Who Are You?

“…you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:6-7 (ESV)

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Whenever we meet someone new, the conversation eventually reaches the question, “what do you do?” Typically the reply is the job we have or the number #1 responsibility currently in our life like being a full time mom or a volunteer for a nonprofit. From this reply we quickly summarize a person’s identity and whether or not we have something in common to discuss. Yet what we do and who we are may not fit into the standard cultural box of the time. That sometimes leads to an awkward conversation with the new person in our world.

One of the challenges that many people face travelling through time and space is separating the roles in their life from their identity. We typically see this with people who identify themselves though their roles. If they have a great day at work, they feel good about themselves. If they have a bad day at work, they feel less worthy. If the current fad is to be a celebrity or entrepreneur , they will pursue it as the answer for their life. The struggle is realizing that the roles we choose will only temporarily fill our identity cup but will never sustain it.

One of life’s big questions is to answer “who am I?” What are my strengths, weaknesses? What is my purpose in life? Where do I fit in this world? The answer, as you may already be aware, is Jesus Christ. He is life’s reason. He is the central character of the Bible. All of life is built around Him. When we come to that realization, than and only then, will we discover our identity.

We will realize that He is the beginning of a new creation; a creation that includes you. You have an identity that is permanently engraved in heaven and in your heart through the Holy Spirit. No role can match it. Nothing in this world will complete you and fulfill you like He will.

Whatever role you may pursue is simply something you do, not who you are. In your role you can learn new skills and improve your performance. Who you are is not measured by performance, but by the grace of God. Who you be is expressed by who you follow and serve.

Performances may measure outcome, but grace identifies the heart. Both are needed to survive in today’s world. Yet, who you be will always survive your roles. Your role as a husband, wife, father, mother, executive, teacher, scientist, musician, athlete, actor, or whatever, will come to an end. However, who you are and be, will continue into eternity. God is more concern of who you are than the role you perform. His purpose is to prepare you for eternity, not necessarily for you to climb the corporate ladder, win the super bowl, or marry your childhood sweetheart.

Let’s not confuse our roles in life with our identity. It only leads to more frustration and heartache. However, when you accept and live life in Christ nothing will take away your identity. You are already included in the work Christ has accomplished. Therefore, enjoy your life in Christ and be thankful for the various roles you are able to perform for the glory of God.

 

Remember, we are always rooting for you!

 

Yours 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.

 

 

Jesus is King

They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” Revelations 17:14.

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The theme of the first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, is about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. When you read each book through its entirety, you quickly realize that the four gospel accounts emphasize Jesus’ triumphant victory over Satan, sin, and death. The story is about God becoming man and being crowned King of Heaven and Earth.

From the angel Gabriel’s visitation to Mary (Luke 1:32-33) and announcing that she was going to give birth to Jesus who was to become the King of all Israel forever, to the shepherds (Luke 2:11) and Magi (Matt. 2:2) at his birth who came to witness and worship the Messiah and King, Jesus’ birth, life, and death highlights his office as King, Messiah, and Lord.

Through the Epistles and ending in the Book of Revelations, we are also reminded that Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings. He is King over all the earth and heaven.

I write this as a reminder. Like the parable that Jesus gave about the King coming and then leaving stewards to run his operations while he is temporarily away (Luke 19:11), we need to realize the same. The Kingdom of God is operating in today’s world. It is being managed by stewards appointed through the Holy Spirit. Those who recognize Jesus as the King of the earth live under His domain. Whether in business, government, education, or family affairs, His Kingdom is actively alive through his universal Church. Yes, there is conflict between His Kingdom and the kingdoms of this world. With dual citizenship between heaven and earth, many of us learn to take advantage of both domains. As subjects to the King, we have the freedom to choose whether we continue to serve our King first and foremost, or rebel and sell our soul to the dark side. Whenever the world’s government conforms to our Lord’s Kingdom, we faithfully serve accordingly. Whenever the world’s government rebels against our King’s mandate, we pray and seek solutions that will glorify our King.

Many of us in this county don’t understand the authority of a King. We place our individual rights based on law. However, when one realizes that a King is the law, then one learns about healthy fear. Thankfully, we serve a King who has proven himself through life and has a heart that properly balances justice with mercy.

I am thankful to serve Jesus Christ as my King. How about you?

 

We are also rooting for you!

 

Yours 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.

 

 

 

Lean On Him (LOH)

“Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.” Psalm 71:6 ESV

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When you find out you are no longer the smartest, strongest, fastest, or whatever you are good at, maybe it is time to start: LOH.

When you realize you can’t do it alone, others have failed you, and you don’t know where to turn too, LOH.

When you finally admit you are broken and need help, LOH.

When your dreams are shattered, your hope disappears, or you feel forsaken, LOH.

When you come to the end of yourself, and can’t go any further, LOH.

Or maybe instead of waiting until you reach that moment of truth, you get ahead start today. You may be pleasantly surprised of the outcome when you first learn to Lean On Him.

Our Triune God wants you to have a life like His. Though we are limited by physical boundaries, He has wired us as a mini reflection of Himself. He wants you to learn and grow into His complete image. It all begins when you learn to lean on Him. How radical is that?

We are rooting for you!

 

Yours 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.