Christian Crutches

“As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions.” Romans 41:1 ESV
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One of the most puzzling aspects of the Christian faith for unbelievers is the various denominations built around a specific interpretation of scripture. Somewhere I recently read that there are over 30,000 different denominations in the United States alone. These of course include non-denominational organizations which think of themselves not as one of the mainstream Christian bodies but really are a single-body denomination.

Whether these faith communities place unique emphasize on communion, baptism, prophecy, gospel message, healing, prosperity, etc., the vast majority truly believe that Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord. Therefore, according to Scripture, they are my brothers and sisters in the Lord. The challenge is they have a strong preference and opinion. In some circles, they follow the formula that to be a Christian requires Jesus plus “x”. The emphasis placed on the “x” factor separates them from others.

What they may not see is that this “x” factor is really a spiritual crutch that they currently need until the Holy Spirit completes its transformation within the Believer. Since this crutch helps them in their walk with the Lord, they sincerely believe everyone else should have the same crutch.

Most transformational processes take considerable time. Yet upon completion, one only then recognizes the crutch of the matter.(sorry for the pun).

In Jesus’ time on earth, he kept correcting the religious leaders of his day. They would emphasize the importance of the crutch while Jesus was healing the person so they wouldn’t need the crutch any longer. It is not a shame to have a crutch. It is simply a means that allows us to continue walking with Christ until we are healed in that area of life. Until that day, we aspire for unity in all essentials beliefs (Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior), encourage liberty in beliefs which are gray or uncertain (interpretation of scripture, baptism, end-times, etc), but exercise love in all beliefs.

Remember, we all use crutches. We all will walk with a limp into the fullness of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, let’s just recognize what is a crutch, continue to abide in Jesus Christ and allow God’s Spirit to transform the heart, mind, and soul for His glory and purpose, and mutually serve one another through the maturity growth process.

Crutch or no crutch, I for one am thankful that Jesus is the one we all have to answer too.

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.

 

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Christmas Extraordinary

“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 ESV

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How did you celebrate Christmas?

Dinner with family and friends? Did you exchange gifts? What if next year we started a new tradition?

What if we gave only gifts to those who cannot give us anything in return? I don’t mean just one item through the Angel Tree program or through your local church community outreach program. Imagine a Christmas where instead of exchanging gifts with family or friends, you combined your family resources and gave to the underprivileged? Homeless, single parents? Orphanage, or to whomever your heart is burden.

What if you start a new family tradition? You have a whole year to discuss it over with your family and plan it out. You may be pleasantly surprised how the Spirit of love, joy, and peace comes through in blessing others with your resources.

Just another radical idea that glorifies God, blesses others, and strengthens oneself in Kingdom reality.

Think about it.

 

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.

 

 

Feelings

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11 ESV

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I don’t feel like it!

How often have we expressed the same?

What did we do with that feeling?

Did we follow through as a victim of our feelings?

Or did we balance the feelings with God’s Character?

Did we weigh the feelings with His Word?

What is the truth when you compare your feelings with His Word?

Yes, there are times when our feelings will be correct. Other times your feelings will blind you to the truth.

Be a wise person. Stop, pull back, and evaluate the situation. Don’t let your feelings lead you unless you already know they are built upon the foundation of God’s love, grace, and truth.

 

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.

 

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.

Blessed How?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:3-14 ESV

 

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Last week the question arose in regards to my Blssdguy email address that I use for commercial non-solicitation purposes. Blessed in what way was the question?

After I gave one of my smirk smiles and before I could answer, he began to ask: blessed with good health? Money? Family? Work? How are you blessed?

My reply? I am blessed with a trustful relationship with the Triune God. Anything that comes from that relationship is secondary and frankly doesn’t rate as being known and knowing the Creator God.

What compares?

He is the source, the reason, and purpose behind life. Everything is known by Him. He shares his life with me and others. He lets us play in his worldwide sandbox. He wants us to explore, discover, and learn from Him. Through the challenges of life, He wants us to lean on Him and trust Him as He navigates us through the redemption maze.

To know Him and to be known by Him in a favorite light is the greatest blessing one can receive in this life. What would it take for you to realize the same?

Jesus is 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.

Growth Involves Discomfort

“…strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:22

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort”  2 Corinthians 1:3

growing pains

 

Ever notice how much effort we spend as a society seeking comfort in all that we do?  We purchase comfortable clothes, drive comfortable cars, eat comfort food, sleep on comfortable beds, associate with friends who are comfortable, parade through the day following our comfortable routine, sit on our comfortable lazy chair, and eat comfortable ice cream.

If anything happens to disrupt our comfortable lifestyle, we become upset and possibly even traumatized. Yet when we strive to maintain comfort, doesn’t life have a way to interrupt our status quo? You think maybe life is designed to force us into situations that require us to expand our comfort zone?  Whether we intentionally choose our discomfort, or “meteors from outer space” force us to change our routine, isn’t it when we find ourselves outside our comfort zone and exert energy toward a favorable outcome that we actual grow from it?

When we (the physically challenged) start and complete an exercise routine that builds muscles, shapes our body, and improves our food intake which may be difficult at first, but eventually it becomes a routine, isn’t it very satisfying?  When we start a new job outside our natural gifting, it becomes challenging to do the simple routine at first; however over time, we eventually master it and grow from it. It may have been uncomfortable at first, but afterward we have grown by integrating the new into the old. Have you noticed that anything worth pursuing starts off at the uncomfortable level?

Paul wrote that entrance into the Kingdom of God is going to introduce tribulation into one’s life. To move from comfort to discomfort is the necessary prerequisite for entrance into God’s Kingdom. To grow into the likeness of Jesus Christ is naturally discomforting. Get use to it! Quit your complaining. Get on your knees and cry out to God. It is the way faith in God is built; it is the way we grow in the faith; it is the way of God to help us grow.

So when you find yourself discomforted, thank God. Roll up your sleeves, strengthen your praying arms, and cry out to God. It is the most successful way; it has been done since the dawn of life; and you are privileged too participate with the Holy Spirit in one of the God’s greatest projects at this time: the redemption of creation.  Besides, how else are we going to learn that He is our Comfort?

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.