Who Are You Lord?

 

And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. Acts 9:5 ESV.

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Which Jesus are you familiar with?

Do you know the gregarious, celebrating Jesus who was accused by the religious leaders as a wine bibber and glutton? Or do you recognize the weeping Jesus who cried prior to resurrecting Lazarus? Or maybe the healing Jesus who gave sight to the blind?

Then what about the beaten Jesus with bleeding cuts and bruises prior to his crucifixion? The hungry Jesus who fasted for 40 days prior to his confrontation with Satan? The popular Jesus who drew crowds of thousands to hear what he had to say? Or the controversial Jesus who questioned the religious teachings of his day?

Maybe you are familiar with the runaway Jesus who left his family at the age of twelve for three days discussing Scripture with the teachers in the Jewish temple? How about the Jesus who hung around prostitutes, thieves, and debt collectors? Or the wimpy Jesus who hung around women all day?

Many probably identify the teaching Jesus who took every event of the day to expound on his kingdom and way of life. Or the Jewish Jesus who kept the Holy days outlined in the Bible. Or the rebellious Jesus who broke the religious traditions of the times. Then there is the praying Jesus who would rise early in the mornings to spend time with His Father. Or the carpenter Jesus who built tables, chairs, and houses for people in the community.

Possibly some may even recognize the obedient Jesus who resisted the temptation of Satan and trusted God for His destiny. Or the suffering Jesus who took everyone’s Sin unto himself while focusing on the joy that laid before him. Maybe even the dying Jesus who was unjustly accused and sentenced to death by the government establishment.

My question for today though, is how many identify the living Jesus now sitting next to his Father in authority for heaven and earth? How many see Jesus now sitting at the table along with all our brothers and sisters? How many of us identify with the Jesus who is returning to complete the Triune Project started at the foundation of the universe?

Whichever Jesus you identify with is probably where you find him today in your life. And as the seasons change while we walk with our King, Savior, and Friend, He reveals himself to us as we need to know. Meanwhile, enjoy the journey, share the good news, and allow Him full access to make his imprint in your life story.

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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ARE YOU IN GOOD HANDS WITH GOD’S PLAN?

A DISCIPLE’S PRAYER

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Our Awesome Heavenly Dad:

 

All glory, honor, and worship belong to you. You are greater than we can even imagine. Our small glimpse of you makes us shudder in how

awesome you truly are. You created everything that is in existence. You keep everything in order throughout the universe. You have a time table that you move history through its pages. You are One Awesome Being.

 

Let your greatness always be magnified in our life. Help us see your greatness in every aspect of this life. Hide nothing from us. Let us learn about you and teach you to others. Reveal your truths to us. Reveal your creation to us. Reveal your plan of salvation to us. Reveal your glory to us.

 

Help those who are searching for you. Help them find you. Open the doors to your kingdom for them. Let everyone enter. Let everyone see your awesomeness. Hide nothing from us but let you glory be praised throughout the nations.

 

Help us be your faithful child in the Lord. Let us be the apple of your eye. Grant us your favorite blessings. Shower upon us your richly treasures. Hold back nothing of you to us. In return, help us share you and your riches with others. Help us always to glorify you before others.

 

You are our God. You are our Creator. You are our Provider. Thank you for making all this possible Jesus. Amen.

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 TODAY’S SCRIPTURE

  “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”    1 Corinthians 15:12-19 NAS

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Are You in Good Hands with God’s Plan?

 

          Heaven and earth united for eternity. The Kingdom of God in all its fullness. If there is no resurrection, no future life after death, than have we been a fool in living this way? What assurance do we have that the plain teachings of the Bible are going to happen? What does the future hold?

 

     

RESURRECTION 9

 

I think we have all asked ourselves the above questions at one time or another. The answer of course always goes back to the beginning. Is there a God? If there is no God, than let’s party. Let’s live and let live. Anything goes. Who cares about anything but getting what’s best for me now. Anyhow, anyway, anywhere, anything and everything goes IF there is no God.

 

          Or on the other hand, if there is a God, we better fear. We better seek out what He is all about. We better find out what He expects from each one of us. All these thoughts have entered my mind at one time or another. Thankfully, God reveals Himself through the Bible, through creation, through the lives of other people, and through life’s experiences.

 

          If creation was a happen chance, so are we. But on the other hand, if creation was a planned activity, doesn’t that mean you and I are a part of that plan? Which is easier to believe? The bottom line is if creation was a planned activity, than it requires a planner. And that planner must be One Awesome Being to pull it all off. I believe that is what scares those who find it difficult to have faith in a Creator. Because if there is a Creator, than we all are only small dudes with someone larger than ourselves that we may be accountable to in life.

 

If the Bible is not God’s working manual for mankind, than it’s the second greatest con job of all time (Jesus’ resurrection would be the first). However when you read it, you find quotes from God Himself. And these quotes are challenging us to exercise trust in Him; quotes that are giving us a choice of lifestyle that would benefit us individually and collectively; quotes that are directed to us personally to prove Him. And when you take Him up on His challenge, you begin to experience radical changes in your life that is described throughout the Bible. You begin to realize that God uses the Bible to reveal Himself to us and to help us know Him better. It points us to having a relationship with the Greatest Dad of all; a heavenly Father that is good and wonderful to all; a God who reveals Himself as the Creator of all and cares about His creation.

 

Doesn’t the Bible already reveal all that we need to know at this time about our future? A future with Christ for all eternity. If there were no other people involved in this adventurous journey of transformation in Christ, than I could easily see doubts arise in my own walk with the Lord. However, when  one is a witness to the internal, spiritual transformation in people’s lives, than it reassures me that what we are living through is for real. When I discuss the internal struggles with others and they understand me, than I find it reassuring that I’m not going crazy. That this Christian life is for real, and the experiences, struggles, hopes, and joys are not something strange but the realization of walking with a living God. The bond and unity you experience in sharing yourself in a small group or in a congregational worship service reassures me that God is alive and living in the lives of those that have fully acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Likewise, when I read the classical writings of the saints from yesterday and thoroughly relate to their everyday struggles, hopes and faith, it again reassures me that my walk is not something new, but the way it has been from the very beginning. It is the way God reveals Himself to us and builds His masterpiece – the invisible, universal Church.

 

          If my experiences through life were all disappointments, then I probably would question my walk with the Lord. However, there has been much joy in witnessing the power of God in one’s life. From answered prayer, to blessings of joy, God has extended His unmerited grace and favor upon me. Even if I didn’t live in America with all its physical trappings of abundance, 1 believe  that God would  have still showered upon us His grace and blessings that only a Believer really understands. Yet, I am very thankful that my earthly dad persuaded my mother to come live in America. It makes the Christian walk more challenging in many ways that our brothers and sisters in other countries can’t even phantom. For it allows us to experience facets of the good life and see the abundance of God’s wealth and leads us to a better comparison of the physical wealth with God’s spiritual riches. We are constantly tested to choose between the two. It allows us to practice self-control that people in other countries can’t even imagine.

 

The Christian in America does have a different challenge than many of our brothers and sisters in third-world countries can’t even imagine. We are privileged to learn how best to manage our wealth for the betterment of others. Many of us are challenged to learn how not to indulge ourselves at every meal. We eventually learn that blessings are not just a physical matter. In many ways, physical blessing could become a curse. The real riches of life are found in the spiritual treasures that God gives to those who truly yield themselves in heartfelt obedience to Him. And to experience the Giver with all His riches is truly the greatest high this life has to offer. I am very thankful that He has included me to live a life as a disciple of His!

 

 

What about you?

 

 

 

In Christ,

 

Dr. Mike

 

 

 

 

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BECOME LIKE CHRIST?

 (A Scriptural Review)
Luke 9:23-26
Then He (Jesus) said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
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Luke 13:22-30
And He went through the cities and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem. Then one said to Him, “Lord, are there few who are saved?”And He said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the Master of the house has risen up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open for us,’ and He will answer and say to you,’ I do not know you, where you are from,’ then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets.’ But He will say, ‘I tell you I do not know you, where you are from. Depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, and yourselves thrust out. They will come from the east and the west, from the north and the south, and sit down in the kingdom of God. And indeed there are last who will be first, and there are first who will be last.”
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Luke 14:25-33
Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it —  lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace. So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.
  *****
Mark 10:17-22
Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, “Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.'”And he answered and said to Him, “Teacher, all these things I have kept from my youth.”Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “one thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.
  *****
Matt 10:32-39
Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven.“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’  He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it.
  *****
Matt 7:13-14
Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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All scriptures are from the New King James Version of the Bible unless noted otherwise.