Grace and Performance…

 

“For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened.”   

 Luke 11:10

 

Becoming 2.

The journey in Christ is a constant relearning of the basics of the Kingdom of God.

Take for example the concept of grace and performance. We live in a performance-oriented society. Whether we are working or playing, performance becomes the standard of measurement. We don’t normally give positive rewards, promotions, or recognition for finishing last.  Yet the Kingdom of God is built on grace and not performance.  Grace extended is how the Triune God relates to us. Grace is the foundation of who God is. Jesus knows our fragility, weaknesses, and the internal strife of sin always knocking at our door.  So how do we express the Kingdom of God in our life when the world around us operates in a politically charged environment that clamors for winners?

Maybe the problem isn’t society around us, but the internal desires of our heart that competes with God. Can we truly say that we desire to truly please Him in everything we do? Or do we want God to bless us with everything we want because we deserve it?

Someone once told me to pray like it all depends on God and work like it all depends on me. I don’t buy that anymore. Instead, I acknowledge that God owns it all, has the capability to bring everything I need to my door, and has promise to provide. So now I ask, seek, and knock. I ask him diligently knowing he is the owner and provider of everything. I seek diligently and expectantly the answer to my prayers; always pursuing all opportunities that come my way no matter how large or small; constantly seeking confirmation. And when a door presents itself to me, I don’t force it open. Instead, I gently turn the knob and allow it to open from the outside-in. I have found out when I force the door open, it is only me still pursuing what I want. Instead, I allow the Spirit to move the door. Whenever I did this, the domino effect occurs; like the tumblers of a safe all falling into place. The door opens easily and the ride toward the goal is like canoeing down the rapids with very little effort on my path. I simply steer the canoe and enjoy the ride.

Yes, learning how to live a grace-based life instead of a performance-based life is a life time journey. Yet, isn’t what this life is? Are we all not being prepared for leadership and service with others as we walk this adventurous journey of transformation in Christ?

 

Dr. Mike

 

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God

 

 

FAITH IN WHAT?

Whenever someone says that they have faith, the question arises, “faith in what or whom?”

If you probe enough in a person’s narrative, you will find the worldview that the person builds their reality from.  Is their foundation for “faith” in happen-chance? a “faith” in self? a “faith” in another person? a “faith” in “big brother?” or a “faith” in “karma?” Wherever the faith is focused toward reveals the person’s source of life and their reality.

In political slogans, we are asked to have faith. In business circles, we are asked to have faith. In relationships, we are asked to have faith. Faith is one of those words that has become a generic, abused child. However, when faith is properly employed, reality becomes more real in a person’s life. When faith is built on a true, solid foundation than kingdom reality becomes a life-giving source that makes oneself and those around him/her to flourish.

If someone is looking for a Biblical definition of faith, check out chapter eleven of Hebrews. If you want a another practical definition, substitute the words belief and trust in the work of the Triune God every time you come across the faith word. It will give you a more precise meaning of the word faith as used in scripture. But for those whose basis is not scripture, faith is only an empty cliché to distort the power and grace of God. Yet be not surprised, Biblical words and concepts have slowly eroded over time to become a water down version of its original meaning. That is why we all need to become practicing theologians to some degree.

faith

My belief and trust is in Jesus Christ. He allows us to take part with Him in His story which is restoring creation back to God’s original intent. He has my back. My belief and trust is built on His faith, His work of salvation, His plans for humanity, and His ability to make it all happen for  His goodness and the goodness of all under His dominion.

So the next time you hear someone mention faith, be sure you both have the same definition of faith in mind. Otherwise, who is being radical and missing out in the enjoyment of life in Christ?

Dr. Mike

If Heaven is the Goal…

Dear Heavenly Dad:

Thank you for giving us a reason, a purpose, a destination to live for. Apart from you there is nothing of value worth pursuing in this life. We long and wait for our time with you in our new body and eternal habitat.

 

Help me to continually capture the vision and peace of your heavenly domain. Let it reside in me today. We live in the midst of eternity today. Help us to live each day in your kingdom as Jesus lived while serving you on earth.

 

We await our time when we may see you as you are; without physical limitations. Keep us in your arms. Keep us on track. Keep us focused. Thank you, Jesus.

 word 14

“If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3

 

 

     What is your definition of heaven? Is it a place from where God rules the universe? Is it where the angels reside with God? Is it the place  where our souls go after our physical  death? Is it another dimension? Is it located near the north star?

     Jesus spoke about the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God. Are they different places or the same? He described heaven as having many rooms as a mansion. In the Book of Revelation, heaven is described merging together and residing on the new earth. One recent song describes heaven on earth is Jesus Christ. Some feel that heaven is only having a relationship with God. Others feel that heaven is a figment of one’s superstitious mind. There are many other concepts of heaven. What is yours?

    The best description of heaven that we have, of course, is found in the Word. I don’t know anyone personally who has gone to heaven and returned to describe it to me with the exception of Jesus and the inspired writers of the Word. Yet, as a Christ-follower, it is the end result of my life. It is the focus of my energy and the belief of my trust in Jesus that makes me pursue it with my whole being. As a Christ-follower, I have come to learn that faith not only moves mountains but also crystallizes hope in God; a hope in a generous God still creating His masterpiece. Not a physical masterpiece, but a spiritual masterpiece; a spiritual, eternal home for all His children to rule and minister with Him the work that He has planned from the foundation of creation.

     Heaven is God’s home from where He conducts His business of running the universe. Whatever description I have come up with is limited based on my physical senses and understanding. I know based on the Word that one must be born with a spiritual body to reside there. That of course means a body that is built to last for all eternity. I know that we will see Jesus as He currently is in all power and majesty as described in The Book of Revelation.

As a disciple of His, my goal is to be with Him.  It  doesn’t matter where or when. My only concern is that it will be. Some of my brothers make a strong issue of when. They argue that immediately after death one’s soul goes directly to heaven. Others feel that at death one’s soul sleeps until the resurrection. Both arguments can be substantiated through scripture. Which is the correct answer though will only be resolve after our physical life is over. Until then, does it really matter? Again, my only desire is to be with Him now and for all eternity. The little details will take care of themselves through time. Heaven is the goal.

Dr. Mike

What Transformation Begins To Happen When You Become a Disciple of His?

When You Become a Disciple of Jesus Christ, You Become a Partner With The Holy Spirit in Making the Good News of Jesus Christ and His Kingdom REAL in Your Life.

new life

Your life slowly becomes transformed, your worldview changes, and your heart, mind, and soul begins to serve Lord Jesus ministering to others.

You Begin to…

Live the Spirit-Empowered Life for God’s Glory as His Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Goodness, Kindness, Gentleness. Faithfulness, and Self-Control Resides in Your Inner Being.

Relate with Jesus Christ as Your Lord, Redeemer, Hero, Teacher, and Friend without the Trappings of Religion.

Walk with a Community of other Believers Sharing God’s Love and Friendship while Building Relationships for Eternity.

Grow in God’s Grace, Knowledge, and Spiritual Maturity while His Spirit Regenerates Your Heart, Mind, and Will into Christ’s Likeness.

Witness the Kingdom of God Come Alive in Your World as God’s Spirit Touches the Lives of People You Know.