Rules, Principles, or Character

 

 

“…by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness…” 2 Peter 1:4-6 ESV

 

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After you acknowledge Jesus is Lord, what comes next?

The Bible outlines our journey into three phases: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Justification is about Christ’s gift to humanity restoring our relationship with God. Glorification is packaged in the resurrection when our physical body is merged into a glorious state like our Lord’s. Sanctification is the time in between where we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ in preparation for eternity while tasting Kingdom reality now.

Sanctification is the now time. Most disciples of his start this journey first focusing on “the rules found in the Bible.” The problem though soon hits them that life is not black and white. External, fixed rules are like the ABCs of grammar. You need to know them before you can really start communicating with others. But they don’t take you very far.

Then after becoming frustrated with rules, you realize you need greater flexibility. Therefore, you begin to exert more emphasis on living with principles. However, over time you learn that principles are like words. Words better express what you want communicated than just knowing the ABCs. Yet words unless formed into meaningful sentences, only expressed a tiny portion of what you want known. There has to be something better.

Enter character development. When you take sentences and make paragraphs, paragraphs into chapters, and chapters into books, you have developed from the basic ABCs into creating work of art. You add you personality and experiences into the equation and share something you consider of value with others. The same goes with godly character.

When you allow God’s Spirit to enter you and lead you, you begin to set aside the rules and principles for a transformed life of virtue. Virtue is holiness in action. It doesn’t come overnight. It requires walking with our heavenly Triune God in all matters of life. It is the Spirit writing his love into our hearts. He leads us to express mercy and justice from God’s point of reference. It is more than head knowledge. It is eternal wisdom and understanding with godly attributes placed into action. The result is a life that flourishes for all.

So the next time to think life is black and white with rules and principles, think again. Instead, ask the Triune God what would He have you do at a moment like this? You may be pleasantly surprised.

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

 

Speculation

 “…nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.” I Timothy 1:4

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Several posts ago, I wrote under the assumption that Jesus was a carpenter prior to his public ministry. I apologize for the bold statement. The fact is nowhere in the Bible does it stipulate that Jesus was a carpenter (See note below). The Gospel per Matthew states that he was “the carpenter’s” son (Matt 13:55). We could assume that the eldest child of their parent would have learned the parent’s skill growing up.  But that would only be speculation on our part.

How often do we speculate on matters and discuss them like they were solid facts? A recent survey of the best known scripture resulted in “God helps those who help themselves.” Yet nowhere will you find that scripture in the Bible. Again, we only hear and quickly assume.

You know what happens when one assumes?

So lesson learned. We all are human and no one is perfect. Especially me. Let speculation be address as it is and not as reliable fact. That may not be radical, but it is the truth.

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.

Note: Correction – Mark 6:3 does stipulate that people in the community did identify Jesus as “the carpenter, son of Mary.” This is not speculation, but a fact. However, the point about speculation is still solid – we all need to confirm and verify before making presumptions. And when in error, correct oneself and move on. My apologies.