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

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Hope

” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 ESV

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When times get challenging, when you are not sure which way to go, and you feel alone and misunderstood, praise God. You have come to the crossroads of hope.

Without pain, suffering, and misfortune, hope would only be a word. An illusion for the helpless. A battle cry for the defeated. Yet Paul writes that hope is the means of surviving the battlefields of life.

He points us to read Scriptures for encouragement. To read how God intervenes in the lives of other believers. To discover the precepts and principles when applied opens the doors of opportunity. For when we place our hope in Him, we discover the true meaning of love and faith.

He is faithful and demonstrates how every day. He also expresses love deeper than any person you and I will ever meet. When we place our hope in him, he opens his heart with us. He shares his abundance with us. He also disciplines us for our good. His behavior is a byproduct of his inherent love and faithfulness.

So when times get tough, don’t hope in solutions, money, or people. Instead, place your hope in him. To know him is more than knowing his hands and feet that provide for us. To hope in him is to know him; to know him is to hope in him. In Christ we have real, true hope (Hebrews 3:6).

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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Sufficiency in Christ

“I (Jesus) can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.” John 5:30 ESV

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Many of us either intentionally or wishfully want to be self-sufficient. We desire to depend on no one for anything. If we had our way, we would be self-fulfilled financially, relationally, and spiritually without relying on anyone but our self. To be financially, relationally, and spiritually secured without having to work-out the emotional and irrational issues between people, some would say, would be a relief. In fact, their conclusion is that this would be a wonderful world if we could just get what we want without all of life’s soap opera drama.

This leads me to our first parents. Some believe that Adam & Eve’s sin was the desire to be self-sufficient. Their desire was to be like God, dependent on no one but themselves. Hasn’t humanity been in the same mindset since?

How do you think God designed us to be? To be SELF-sufficient or GOD-sufficient? SELF-fulfilled or GOD-fulfilled? SELF-esteemed or GOD-esteemed? SELF-loved or GOD-loved?

If Jesus’ himself said that he could do nothing apart from his Father God, what about us?

Are we more capable than Jesus? I think not. Maybe it’s time to change our viewpoint and seek out how to live life from a Christ-centered perspective. Or is that just a little too radical for some of us?

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

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!

Marriage, Dancing, Daytrading

” What gain has the worker from his toil? I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-13 ESV

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The best things I learn about life and walking with God comes through marriage, dancing, and daytrading.

Marriage is the platform that introduces me to self-sacrificial love and mutual submission. The same love that Jesus demonstrated through his life is put in practice everyday within the marriage relationship. The same attitude the apostle Paul writes about is likewise tested each day within the bounds of marriage. Marriage cultivates the fruit of godliness within a relationship when Christ is the center of the two. If I can’t make it work in marriage, how do I make it work elsewhere?

Ballroom dancing teaches me to lead others by mutually working together focused on the same goal. Whether we are dancing the foxtrot, waltz, or polka, two people expressing themselves through the rhythm of the music in unison is a joy to behold. Though typically one leads (the male in most circles), when professionals dance, the lead role may switch without the casual outsiders even recognizing the difference. In my early dancing attempts as a young man, I had many a widow move me around the dance floor. They knew I wasn’t ready to lead. I was happy just to learn. Later in life, I learned that there is a time to lead and a time to let the other lead. Insecurity and control are the demons that prevents one from truly experiencing the joy of following the lead of the Spirit in one’s life. Dancing teaches me the joy of mutual leadership.

Daytrading the stock market involves risk and reward built upon reality, repentance, and boundaries. To trade successfully, one needs to recognize what they may not initially see. That the market is greater than any one person and deserves a high amount of respect. Realizing its power, we need to change our thinking towards it. We need to relearn everything we think we may know about it. In a sense, we need to repent and believe in its possibilities. In the process, we need to develop boundaries that protect us from harm but yet allows us to experience the fruit of success. The trade masters from yesterday have much to say what it takes to manage our relationship with this mighty beast. For some this beast is cruel and mean robbing them of their livelihood. For others, the beast is a rewarder of those who praise and respect its might learning to live within its boundaries. I chose the latter. Like God, when one grasps His reality, repents and changes their thinking about Him, and learns to walk within His Divine boundaries, life becomes immeasurable more than just breathing, eating, and sleeping.

Now you know why I am always reminded how awesome our Triune God is whenever the subject of marriage, dancing, and daytrading come up. How about you? What activities make God come alive in your life?

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

Doing Church

” For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20 ESV

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When I initially submitted my first dissertation proposal on “doing church,” the Chair turned me down. In his opinion, the subject matter was too vast and the research too difficult. His recommendation was to find another topic more easily digested. I did. However the subject of doing church still intrigues me.

When most of us think of church, we picture a building or an institution. In America we may even think of a legal corporation. Some of us may associate church with a specific denomination. Others are more open.

When we think of how church is conducted, most of us will associate a church service as the only way of doing church. Yes there are a variety. The Catholic and Greek Orthodox have their rituals and traditions with a short message. The Protestants have their contemporary music with a more lengthier message. The Amish and Mennonite’s have a more yesterday act. Yet, how many other ways are there to do church?

What has intrigued me is how Church is more than a meeting held in an official place. When one understands that Church is a Body of people (Eph. 1:22-23) who come together to worship God, the venues become worldwide.

When your immediate family comes together with an everyday heart and mind of worshiping God, isn’t Church in session? When two or more of you come together in the workplace in the Spirit of serving God and man, isn’t Church in session? When you are driving on the freeway with a fellow believer with a heart to glorify God, isn’t Church in session?

The fact Church is much larger than most of us ever contemplated, makes how Church is conducted even more than what most of us ever practice.

So the next time you are in the marketplace, ask yourself how can you best glorify God through your work, relationships, and deeds. In so behaving, are you not doing Church?

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

Little Faith

“For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 ESV

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How much faith do you need to live a productive life as a Christ-follower?

Whenever I hear people state that we need more faith, I cringe. My reason and encouragement comes from Jesus himself. He rejoices over the fact that we have “little faith.” His claim is with very little faith we can move mountains.

There is no shame to have only “little faith.” Faith is faith. Look at Jesus’ statements in regards to having a little faith.

“One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much…” Luke 16:10

 

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Matthew 6:30 (Doesn’t He provide for us who have ‘little faith’.)

 

His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ Matthew 25:23

 

We have learned over a lifetime that God is good and faithful. He always delivers on time and in the best method possible. Over the years we have slowly learned that it is not my faith but His faith that helps me through life’s ordeals. Also as we pray and ask, we don’t know specifics of how or when. All we know is God produces good and whatever happens is God taking everyone into consideration. It may not always be best for me in my opinion. But it is best for the advancement of His Kingdom.

For example, whenever we have mountains to move in our life and wait patiently for God to provide a solution, isn’t it challenging to wonder how God is going to do it this time? In prior times, he may have sent a person to help us through. He may have “dropped a meteor out of the sky” to miraculously have the mountain flatten. Or he may have simply given us a shovel to start digging and build character and strength through the process. He may even allow our great-great children to continue the process until the mountain disappears. He doesn’t always reveal his plans to us. He simply deals with the issue in a way that we all know He is responsible for the productive outcome. And we are grateful for his involvement in our life.

I for one am thankful that my little faith is more than enough that allows us to walk with our heavenly God. So if you have little faith – REJOICE.

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

Praying in Agreement

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26 ESV

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Ever run out of words when you pray? Not quite sure how to phrase it for God so he may clearly understand what you seek? Maybe you are putting too much emphasis on the words and not enough on Jesus Christ?

We are encouraged to know that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us to make our position clear for God(Romans 8:26). In fact, the book of Hebrews states that Jesus is our High Priest and likewise intercedes on our behalf to the Father (Hebrews 2:17,4:15). How awesome is that?!

God knows what is best for us before we even ask. He also knows our request before we make it. And he also knows the consequences of our request better than we can ever imagine.

Depending on the season of our life, prayer takes on different avenues. In our early walk, we pray and it seems God answers all our small requests. I call this the time of building trust.

Then comes the time when God begins to answer our prayers not as we request, but in a different manner. We accept. Maybe disappointed, but yet thankful. It is only later in life we can look back and appreciate God’s reply rather than our own wishes. Than as our prayer life grows, we begin to spend time communicating with God on a constant basis. We thank him. We ask him to bless the person we just met. We ask for his intervention on a sick friend. Over time we begin to view life more through God’s eyes.

Our prayer life changes from asking him for “whatever” to seeking His viewpoint. Our prayers become more to align our heart in agreement with His purpose. Since this life is His Story and we are the characters in His plot, we slowly begin to accept our role and gladly join him on His adventure through time and space.

Like any healthy parent-child relationship, we are thankful that our parent seeks to care for us until we are ready to care for ourselves. In that process, we are given leeway to make decisions and bear the consequences of our actions within the boundaries of a family unit. Generally we learn to fail, grow, and experience life in a relatively safe environment. Doesn’t God do the same for us?

Prayer is the means that allows us to communicate with our Heavenly Parent. He wants us to make suggestions and learn from the consequences of how to best live for eternity. When we are transparent with Him, it allows Him to become more real and influential in our life. Prayer helps build the intimate relationship between a child and parent. Our heavenly Parent knows what is best for us now and through eternity. He is only giving us the leeway to effectively learn and prepare ourselves to care for oneself and others in the world tomorrow.

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