Learning To Serve and Govern

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.

Revelation 20:6

So, when you get to heaven, what do you think you will be doing? Laying around on hammocks?  Taking short walks through the countryside? Fishing on your favorite river?

What does the Bible imply?

When Christ returns and we who have followed HIM in this life will be resurrected and join him in his plan for humanity. This is the first resurrection. As today’s Scripture indicates, we who are resurrected will be given assignments which involve being priests (serving ministers) and will reign (govern) with Jesus during the millennium.

Yes, we will be serving and governing God’s way.

So, what does that indicate you are learning now in this life to prepare you for eternity? Correct, we are learning how to serve and govern God’s way.

As married couples, we are learning to mutually serve one another. As parents, we are learning to govern our households. In the marketplace, we are learning to serve others through our work. In the community, we are likewise learning to serve when we volunteer to help a worthwhile mission. If we have been given the opportunity, we may also be learning to govern in the marketplace and community depending on our leadership abilities.

In fact, each day you and I are learning to become more effective leaders while serving and governing others. Not like this world teaches, but as Christ teaches. We lead and govern not by lording over another person, but humbly serving them from a position of love for our Father God’s glory. We realize each person we meet is a child of the living God and is likewise being trained in godly character. They may not realize the full importance nor accept the authority of the Triune God in their life yet, but in time who knows the future. Nothing is impossible for God.

So, the next time someone asks you what you will be doing in the world tomorrow. Let them know its what you are doing today – learning to serve and govern God’s way.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Author of e-Books

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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His Purpose

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 ESV

purpose 1

When I initially read this scripture, my emphasis was always placed on the first part. All things work for good. Now when I read this, I fully accept both sides. That all things work for good with those who are called to HIS purpose.

The emphasis is HIS purpose. Not your goals, dreams, or desires. Not my plans, projects, or preferences. But HIS.

How do you know something is HIS purpose and not just yours? A good question without a simple answer.

Most often before we even consider something new, don’t we seek confirmation from HIM? How HE and you communicate with each other though is a personal matter. But when you finally receive an answer, you can pursue confidently that HE has your back because you have aligned yourself with HIM.

If you are still unsure, than pray that HE either opens doors for you with favor or closes all the doors shut. Either way can be your confirmation. As you ask HIM and seek an answer, keep knocking on the doors that are presented to you. If they open with very little effort on your part, than you know something is happening outside your influence. Most the time it is HIM assuring you HE is with you.

When you know the dream you have is from HIM . When you know it is a part of HIS purpose. You will have the assurance and faith to pursue with HIM as your confident and mentor.

For most of us, HIS purpose is simply walking with HIM each day in humility and awesome respect, loving our mates, parenting our children, mutually submitting to each other, sharing our testimony, and living-out HIS word via HIS Spirit in exercising HIS gifts bestowed on us for the sake of others.

Over the years I have seen this mind-set and above scripture come alive in the lives of others and myself. The emphasis though is to know HIS purpose in your life. When you lose yourself in HIM, HE will lead 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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A Short Essay on the Book of Ecclesiastes

meaning 4

What is Life all about? Does Life make sense to you?  If someone asked you, how would you respond? Someone once asked me if I could only preach from one book from the Bible to today’s generation, which book would it be?  John? Matthew? Romans? Revelation? Genesis?  Would you believe-Ecclesiastes? Why?  Because it is written to self-centered, independent happiness seekers who believe they have life figured out in a simple formula and they are not going to miss out on anything.  Sound familiar?  Does that sound like someone you may know?

Let me ask again…What is Life all about?  Think about it…

One day you are born into a world and into a family that you didn’t ask for.  They raised you as they chose. You go to school, public, private, or even home-schooled – five years of grade school, 3 years of middle school, 4 years of high school, than you have the honor of graduating and deciding what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life.  You may enter a trade school, or a local college, or leave home to a major university – and their spend another 4 more years preparing you for your life’s work.  You graduate and decide to pursue graduate studies, possibly even post-graduate work.  All to prepare you for your life’s work. meaning 21

Meanwhile, you meet a person of the opposite sex that you enjoy hanging around with – you become involved and begin dating more seriously; meanwhile you find a job in the career field you have chosen.  You’re excited that someone is going to pay you that kind of money to do what you want to do…you buy yourself a new car, you buy yourself that low down-payment, fixer-up house that you always wanted; and you even start paying off your student loans.  You marry, you have children -1.8 per the national average. You fix up your house for the additional members.  You expand it up and over.  You build yourself that 3 car garage with the attached tool shed where you like to disappear on weekends.  You work, you run around town watching your 1.8 kids sporting activities.  You watch your kids graduate from high school and move on to college; your company is bought out and your job is eliminated; you sell your dream house and move into a smaller, easier to maintain unit.

You retire, your children get married and occasionally stop by with the grand-kids so you can spoil them.  Your body begins to lose hair as it changes color; you have put on more weight around the mid-section. Your not as quick as you use to be and your hearing and eyes play tricks on you.  One day you find yourself sick, you visit the doctors and he tells you that you have the dreaded C – cancer.  You have a short time to live.  You begin to ask yourself, what has my life been all about?  You die and though you request to be cremated, your mate always stated to you that funerals are for the living and therefore gave you a large open casket funeral where everyone who you haven’t seen in the last twenty years stop by to offer their words of sadness to your late spouse. What is life all about?

As a seventeen year old in my senior year of high school that question impacted my mind for months.  It’s how God led me to begin investigating life’s meaning and purpose in my own life.  It led me to discussion with all the people who are suppose to know – priests, teachers, nuns, philosophers, authors, and eventually to the Bible itself. I would strike up discussions with anyone who wanted to discuss the subject.  Eventually, people would turn away from me because they themselves didn’t have the answers and didn’t want to deal with the questions.

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In fact, the very first book that I read from the Bible was the Book of Ecclesiastes – how’s that for a questioning 17 year old?  “All is vanity and blowing after wind” is what the book reads in its beginning refrain.  How would you feel being 17 years old and you read from the Bible that All is vanity?  How would you respond?

Since then though I have made it an annual tradition to read the book at least once per year simply to keep my feet on solid ground at how to deal with reality.  This past year I took a class on the Old Testament  and it has opened my mind to a deeper appreciation on the message the author wanted to convey to his universal audience.

Since the Book of Ecclesiastes is in the Old Testament, most people believe it was written to the Jewish people of its time.  However, there are many theologians today who now agree that it was written to a larger universal audience because of its style, structure, and what is not included within the message.  Today, we would call it an evangelical sermon.

What is the book about?  What does the book have to do with answering the question, what is life all about?  Many who have read it are confused on its message.

Is the author really a pessimist?  Does he only views the worst side of things; finds no comfort in God, and sees no hope for man’s happiness?  Isn’t the ever-recurring theme, “Vanity of vanities; all is vanity” a cynical view of life?

Yes the author affirms that death is better than life; that man’s labor, aim, and ambition ends in disappointment; that the pursuit of wisdom, wealth, and pleasure is unsatisfying.  However, these verses do not represent the teaching of the book; they only occur as a passing observation in the course of his investigation. His pessimism is only a gray cloud covering the sunshine until the proper time.

When he speaks in negative tones of life’s circumstances, he desires to call attention to the weaknesses of reality. Our mistake is to think that we can secure happiness by our own efforts and deny the involvement of a higher power.  Whereas the author repeatedly states that mankind cannot achieve enjoyment except by the gift of God.

The author speaks of “vanity,” not with bitterness or scorn, but as a stated fact. This is the result of his advanced study of men, nature, and life’s circumstances. From such feelings he finds refuge by contrasting this with another fact, which he holds just as strong, namely, that the whole universe is made and is governed by a God of justice, goodness, and power; and the good things in life come from Him.

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The mood of Ecclesiastes is one of delight, with prospects of living and enjoying all the goods of life – once man has come to fear God and keep His commandments. It is a book written to celebrate “joy” and God’s “good” creation. The author recommends joy and rejoicing because life is a gift from God.

What is the message of the Book of Ecclesiastes?  Simply this…

               Apart from the Creator God, Life is Empty, Futile, and Meaningless – But God’s Gift is Joy, Contentment, and Fulfillment.

He repeatedly states that there is nothing to gain from this planet apart from God – “under the sun” is how the author states it 28 times.

The simple routine functions of life are meant to be enjoyed as a gift from God.  God has already ordained that we enjoy what we eat, drink, the work we do, the mate we marry, the companions we live life with, and what we wear. 12 times God is said to ‘give’.  Seven times man is said to have a joyful ‘portion’ from God

Let’s read the authors conclusion of his message:

Eccl 12:13-14 NLT

“Here is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is the duty of every person.  God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.”

Or to put it in today’s vocabulary (my translation):

            “Believe God; Be at awe of Him; Remember. God is God, we are not.

            Walk with Him, Come to Know Him – Let His character rub off on you.

            Be Accountable to Him; He will bless & yes, discipline you; because He loves you and wants what is best for you.  He will give you the gift of joy, contentment, and fulfillment.”

Jesus Christ stated it more clearly for his disciples today: Matt 6:33 “Seek first the Kingdom of God & His Righteousness…

Seeking the Kingdom of God requires following its King, Jesus Christ.  It means being a disciple of His.  A lifestyle of Kingdom living…..His Righteousness is accepting Jesus Christ’s redeeming life, death, and resurrection as imputing His righteousness in our lives.  When God sees us, He sees the righteousness of Jesus.  As we walk in His presence, develop a lifestyle as His disciple, and allow Him to teach us in His Word through the Holy Spirit, our character, attitude, and life will become transformed like His.

The Preacher lived approximately 1000 years before Christ – He explained it as he saw it.  His conclusion:

Apart from the Creator God, Life is Empty, Futile, and Meaningless –

                          But God’s Gift is Joy, Contentment, and Fulfillment.

Jesus 7If you really want a life full of Joy, Contentment, and Fulfillment, and you have tried everything that this world has to offer – only to discover what Solomon did – how empty, futile, and meaningless it really is, than maybe its time to do business with Jesus….

This is the message of the Book of Ecclesiastes. How does that agree with your theology?

By Dr. Mike