Where Are You?

“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” Genesis 3:9 ESV.

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Right after Adam and Eve rebelled against God, they hid. Now the Lord God could have easily disappeared from their lives. He could have easily justified their outcome as abnormal behavior and immediately eliminated them from the face of the earth. Wouldn’t it have been easier to start over again rather than play out the current scenario?

Yet God, always in control of every situation, let the events unfold as they did. We learn early that God allows many of our decisions to play out. He is not fearful of our choices. He knows that whatever we decide He is capable of bringing out the end result that he desires. There may be hiccups, bumps, and delays along the way, but the end will be His divine plan. The only real question is whether or not we will participate with him in the process.

Notice that Adam and Eve hid, not God. When we sin, God doesn’t hide from us. On the contrary. He is always there. Sin simply blinds us from God. Sin produces a silent wall of fear that prevents us from seeing God as He is. We see it here with Adam and Eve. We see it throughout Scriptures. We see it in our own life.

God knows our makeup. Jesus changed everything. He is the reason for the season. He came and experienced life in the flesh, but without sin. He knows temptation. He knows the evil that lurks in man’s heart. He also knows the transforming power of the Holy Spirit. He made everything possible for you and I to enjoy life the way Creator God designed it to be.

So how about you? Where are you in relationship with Jesus Christ? Are you still hiding from the best friend you will ever have? Are you ashamed of His Lordship? Or do you simply feel spiritually naked? Or are you confused about who and what Jesus Christ means to the world and to you personally?

No matter where you are in life, Jesus wants you to know how excellent His Kingdom (government) is compared to anything you have ever seen or known or dream about. When you acknowledge his role as Savior and Lord, you begin the process of transformation. It is a process that makes Jesus come more alive in your life as you quit rebelling against the King of Kings.

Before one can recite the alphabet to the letter “Z”, one must know where one needs to begin. Unless told otherwise, we normally start at the beginning with the letter “A.” How about you? Where are you in your relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you need to start at “A” or somewhere else? No matter where you are, He is closer to you than you will ever realize. The real question though is where are you?

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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God’s Favorite

“In this all-out match against sin, others have suffered far worse than you, to say nothing of what Jesus went through—all that bloodshed! So don’t feel sorry for yourselves. Or have you forgotten how good parents treat children, and that God regards you as his children? My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” Hebrews 12:4-11 The Message

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How do I know I am one of God’s favorites? How do you know you are? Would you believe because of the discipline He dispenses? If He didn’t care for us, He would just leave you and me alone. Yet, because of His immense love and care for us, he invests so heavily in the production of divine character within us for our sake and for the sake of others.

In my twenty’s, he subdued this person’s temper and instilled the patience of Job. In my thirty’s, He unleashed His joy within me. In my forty’s, he taught me the art of Kingdom living through mutual submission with others. In my fifty’s, he raised my awareness of the love He magnifies in us, through us, and with us for everyone’s sake. Now chronologically entering my sixties (still feel like a pre-teen looking forward to growing up), he has ripen the fruit of self-control. Each decade He reminds me through the godly character He produces within us that we must be one of His favorites.

However during the trial or test, I may not feel like one of His favorites. Yet afterward, we thank Him for creating a new heart within us. A heart patterned and emulating the King of Kings. Are we not also always grateful for his intervention? How else would we make the time for crying out to our Heavenly Dad if it wasn’t for the challenging times we find ourselves struggling through?

Yes, He reminds us constantly that we are one of His favorites each time He ripens the fruit of His Spirit within our lives.

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!

Boxes or Circles

“Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” 2 Corinthians 13:5 ESV

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Are you living your life through boxes or circles?

We live in a culture that loves to place people and activities into tiny boxes so they can be better classified and managed. We have a box for family, friends, work, career, church, investments, play, education, etc. The list could be almost endless depending on one’s resource.

I was one who grew up living the highly productive life juggling boxes throughout the day. I had a box for every person in my life. My spouse, daughter, parents, siblings each had a box that I would place in priority each day and week. In addition, all my work functions and relationships had a box. Yes, even church and God had their own box.

As an executive, time was my enemy. The best way for me to manage the daily routine was through boxes. It wasn’t until later that I discovered circles. Instead of segmenting my life, I opened myself to allowing Jesus Christ to become the center of my soul, heart, and mind. When that happened, life began to significantly change. Instead of creating boxes that I would continue to juggle, I began to draw circles. Now instead of treating God like any other box fighting for my time, He always has top priority.

The center of the circle is now Jesus Christ. The next circle around Him is my health. Next is immediate family. Followed by a circle of other family members, friends and associates.

Now instead of juggling boxes and feeling guilty for not investing more time with God, I let him into every circle of my life. He is the center of all my circles. No longer is he an independent box fighting for my time and attention. Instead he dwells within me and I seek to allow him full access into every area of my life. No longer do I have to fight to make Him #1 in my life. He is the center of my entire life.

Maybe this may be too strong, but I believe the person who uses boxes to cope with life still hasn’t surrender their total being to our Lord. Yet God’s patience leads us to repentance. As we draw closer to him, he draws closer to us. Eventually we catch on to what he is teaching us. He may initially accept being placed into a box if that is one way to grab our attention. But eventually He is going to want to be the center of your life. So why not help speed up the process and exchange your boxes for circles? You may be pleasantly surprised with the outcome.

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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Being Jesus-Centered

“For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 3:11 ESV

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What is the foundation you build your life on?

Do you pick and choose from what you see in the culture around you? Do you adhere to a specific philosophy of a person or teacher? Whatever your reply, if the answer is anything other than Jesus Christ, you haven’t yet found your center for real, fruitful, enjoyable living. Not as the world shows it; but as God designed you and I for maximum utopia.

When you analyze many of the various religions, teachings, and beliefs around the world, most of them will have some Biblical truth included. That is why certain teachings agree with many of Jesus’ statements. For example, Confucius stated the Golden Rule hundreds of years before Christ. This isn’t anything new. The fact is Reality is built around Jesus’ existence; not the other way around. Since He lived before the foundation of the world as one of the Godhead, His truth has always existed.

To be Jesus-Centered is more than just making him #1 in your life. It is including him in every decision one makes. That includes all your relationships, business arrangements, educational goals, career paths, family ties, marriage partnerships, etc.

To be Jesus-Centered is allowing him full access into the secret chambers of your heart. You are free to stand physically, spiritually, and mentally naked before him. You are transparent. You open your values, beliefs, and goals for his redeeming work.

To be Jesus-Centered is viewing the world through his eyes. It is serving others from Christ’s viewpoint. It is letting him walk along side us through our daily routine. It is having a friend, companion, and associate with us throughout the day.

To be Jesus-Centered is already knowing His answer even while you ask.

To be Jesus-Centered is surrendering your rights in exchange for his imprint into your life.

To be Jesus-Centered is to be home with him in mind, spirit, and soul.

To be Jesus-Centered is to have the north star always shining brightly in your life.

To be Jesus-Centered is to find yourself emulating his spiritual power toward others.

Until one stops playing religion, throws out all the do’s and don’t of playing cultural niceness, and invites Jesus to become the center of one’s life, one hasn’t tasted the fruit of how life was truly designed for a more abundant experience. How about you? Have you asked our Heavenly Dad to show you how Jesus can become the center of your 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

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Boasting

“Thus says the LORD: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 9:23-24 ESV

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Like Jeremiah before him, the apostle Paul boasted not in his accomplishments, achievements, or personal attributes. Instead he boasted in Jesus Christ (I Corinthians 1:31). He even wrote in chapter 13 that boasting is one of the attributes not consider an act of love.

In 2nd Corinthians 11:30, Paul writes that if he must boast about himself, he will boast about his weaknesses. For as he explains in 2 Corinthians 12:9, he will gladly boast about his weaknesses so that the power of Christ may rest upon him.

If you see a person who loves to boast about himself, you can quickly identify who is his god. Whenever a person bows down before himself, he places himself as a godhead. History proves how dangerous such a person may become. Eventually, (s)he may learn when the end of this life comes that self delusional human gods also come to an end. Meanwhile, many a person will have suffered in the hands of a boastful fool. For only a person void of the Spirit boasts about himself (Jude 1:16,19).

There is only one God. Worship Him. For without Him, we are only dead men walking. Like Jude writes, focus on your relationship with Jesus Christ. Boast about Him. He will present you blameless before him with great joy. Let humility cloth you. Let Jesus praise you.

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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Stop It!

“O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth? You have struck them down, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent.” Jeremiah 5:3 ESV.

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Mr. Bob Newhart is a standup comedian and actor noted for his deadpan delivery. One memorable,  humorous routine involved him playing a psychologist providing services for $5 a session. His one-line response after listening to the patient’s problem was always the same: “stop it.” No matter the problem, the solution was simply for you to stop doing it. A simple reply that in many ways is funny because we humans like to make our personal problems seem larger and more difficult than the challenges of others.

Yet Bob Newhart’s response is actually the best advice we can implement. (This of course does not apply to conditions caused by physical or mental structural damages.) When the problem is caused by harmful behavioral or attitudinal responses, something needs to change. As long as we continue to respond in the same routine fashion, how do we realistically expect the results to be any different?

The challenging circumstances we face each day is the opportunity to lean more on the Triune God. As we lean more on God, we witness his grace in action. The process slowly changes our heart as we develop a trust walk with the Almighty. This change of heart the Bible denotes as repentance. It is changing how we think and respond to the world around us. Instead of centering the pain on our shoulders, or throwing the pain in the face of others, we learn to give the pain over to Jesus who helps carry us through the ordeal via the Holy Spirit.

So the next time to find yourself experiencing a negative outcome, review the process that got you there, and ask God for the strength to change it. In other words, stop responding in your old way and ask God to show you how you can respond differently. Ask Him for wisdom. Ask Him for more love and patience. Ask Him for whatever you need. Like a caring Father, He will gladly provide you with the help you need. Otherwise, if you don’t change, who are you going to become?

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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A Blessed Life

“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”…Ephesians 1:3 ESV

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Whenever you hear or read the word blessed, how do you understand it?

Some like to think it means happy. Others think it means prosperous. Than others think it means holy. But how does Jesus define it?

For starters, the Greek word translated into the English “blessed” is “makarios.” The word means more than just happy or blissful. It literally means to have a self-contained happiness.
As a believer, a child of God, and a physical temple for the Holy Spirit who resides in us, it takes on more meaning than many people realize.

To be blessed is to be covered by the divine, unmerited grace of God.

Blessed is a state of being. A condition of eternal bliss. A mind and heart that experiences the fruit of God’s revelation and divine nature. One doesn’t work or earn to taste the blessed life. One simply yields in God’s presence and allow Him to express Himself through you.

The blessed life is acting and believing in a state of surrender to King Jesus. It seeks actions and behavior that are godlike. Why? Because to walk with God who lives in you, one needs to practice mutually submittal with each other. As we submit to God’s divine character, He openly shares His attributes with us. The two of us learn to walk together. He is the master; we are the student.

The blessed life is God bestowing upon us His divine unmerited favor. He showers us with His riches. He places His love, joy, and peace within us. He tests us. He challenges us. He renews us. We walk with confidence in Him because of the trust he has built with us over the years.

The blessed life is not about me. What I do or not do. The blessed life is what He does. He showers us with His riches. At the end of day, one enjoys His presence more than His gifts. When one comes to intimately know Him, than one comes to the place where one truly appreciates and lives a blessed life.

So if you want to experience the blessed life, simply let God’s Spirit fully express himself in you!

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 a Friend…Share Today’s Message!