What Is Truly Important?

Matthew 6:33

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

How does one best maximize leverage of time and resources to live a full and enriching life?

When one understands the wisdom of building your life on the foundation of eternal values, you have an advantage over most people. Many of us awake one day to realize our efforts over the last umpteen years hasn’t given us the results we anticipated. We have climb the worldly ladder of success only to find the view disappointingly unappealing on the wrong wall.  So, we move the ladder to another wall and climb again. Only to find over the years the same unfulfilled result.

Shocking to most, the issue is not which wall we climb, but the ladder we use for the climb. When you consider each step of the ladder as values, the ladder with eternal values will lead to a more abundant life than a ladder with humanistic ideals.

Most of us start climbing with ladders built by sincere people with great intentions but without a clue of the types of ladders available for our use. If a stool is all you need to reach the top of the shelf, than use a stool. But if you have to climb multiple floors, than a stronger, well-built proven ladder is required. The same is true when leveraging life’s goals.

Jesus provides us with critical values which when employed allows one to climb the walls placed before us with the certainty of the end result. The ladder HE provides is one built for eternal purposes because for HIM this life is only a learning process preparing one for leadership and service in HIS Kingdom.

When one places her foot on each step of HIS ladder, each movement has the assurance and confidence of when reaching the top, the view will be better than anticipated. No matter how strong the wind blows, or when the ground shakes, we simply look at the foot of the ladder and see Jesus holding the ladder in place rooting us upward toward HIS view and purpose of life.

If you need a review what Jesus values, reread the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew’s gospel chapter six. The prayer identifies the hierarchy of values from God and HIS kingdom to personal needs and human relations. Each value is the foundational step you and I need to live a full and enriching life today while being prepared for eternity tomorrow.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

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Why Read the Bible?

Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

There are multiple reasons to read the Bible. Though one of the first options you may want to choose is simply to transform your thinking to better understand the mind of God.

My recommendation for those who have not read the Bible and do not know where to start, is to begin with one section – the Book of Ecclesiastes. (I accidentally did over fifty years ago which began a life journey searching for God, Purpose, and Truth). Many scholars believe Ecclesiastes was written approximately three thousand years ago to a worldwide audience responding to life’s more metaphysical questions which are still pertinent today – the pursuit of happiness and meaning.

Afterwards, then begin a plan to read the Bible from the first page in Genesis through the last page in Revelation with only the theme of discovering the mind and character of God. You can skim through many of the details this way and focus on the parts which reveals God’s interaction with humanity and how specific people walked with God. These sections will give you greater insight in who God is and how he relates similarly and differently with people in various circumstances.

Such an exercise will open your mind to better understand who you are choosing to follow in a relational, covenantal agreement. Don’t you want to know everything you can about a person you want to spend the rest of your life within marriage? The same is true with our relationship with the Living God.

On the other hand, if you have a certain topic on your mind, you may want to use an online concordance to search all the Scriptures pertaining to your subject. This is the way I initially started to study the Bible. In fact, the first topic I ever chose to search was money. Since I was going into the business arena and enjoyed making money, I wanted to know everything the Bible discussed on the topic. Years later, I am still learning and still find enjoyment to discover new aspects about money, which was always in the Bible, but now viewed from a more holistic perspective.

You probably have subjects which currently are at the top of your mind. Why not search the pages of the Bible and discover what 1,500 years of collective writings by forty authors assembled together with the same Spirit reveals about human nature, God’s divine nature, and solutions which have proven successful over time?

The pages within the Bible reveal the mind and heart of God in comparison with the heart and mind of humanity. Over time you will acquire knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of how people may best apply themselves to live an enrich and fulfilling life now and hope for the future. You learn how God designed the world with purpose, mapped out for us how best to succeed, and provide the means and resources to live a free, flourishing, and fulfilling life when done according to HIS way.

Yes, it requires relearning the falsehoods taught by this world’s culture, and accepting personal responsibility for one’s choices, but as one learns God’s good Will and lives by HIS way, one moves into a new created order reserved for HIS children who want to experience life the way HE created you and I to live from the beginning of time.

Read the Book. You will be astonished by the insight you gain about yourself, others, and God.   

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

Available for Your Devotional Study: 

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How Are You Wired?

Romans 12:6-8 (NLT)

In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So, if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.

The Apostle Paul identifies here in the Book of Romans certain aspects of our human makeup which we were born with and therefore have a natural inclination for its manifestation in our life. He refers to them as abilities. Some theologians call them motivational gifts. They result in acts of prophesying, servicing, teaching, encouraging, giving, leading, and being kind. Which one or more of these come natural for you?

One of the challenges we face early in life is to determine what are our natural talents that we can use as the foundation for building our skill-sets. Life is much easier and more satisfying when we employ God’s gifts of human endeavor into our work and play.

Yet, if you haven’t done so, you may want to try some of the online tests which allow you to gain insight into your natural and spiritual gifts. One spiritual test you can use is under the God, You & Work tab on this platform. There are many others – some more detail than others, but each may help you identify your natural strength and makeup.

Sometimes you may have to ask those around you for confirmation. Your parents, teachers, and coaches who have witnessed your growth over the years may shed some light. Also, those you meet at your workplace or socialize over similar interests could likewise clarify your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t be shy to ask. Many want to know but few are willing to face the embarrassment of admitting they aren’t sure.

When I was in my twenties, I had the desire for business. Didn’t know specifically the career, industry, or direction to take. So, I tried every opportunity that came my way. Failure is a great teacher, but a costly one of time and resources. In hindsight, I would have been better off asking for directions instead of trying to do it myself. Looking back though, God used that time to draw me closer to HIM and led me to the people and community which opened the door for a full and satisfying career and life.

I was helped by mentors from the marketplace and church community; along with organizations like Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation which help me identify my strongest natural abilities in comparison with other professionals in their field.  In addition, I read books and articles on faith, work, and business; and developed relationship with other Christ-followers who likewise had the desire to serve God and others through their work in the marketplace.

Looking back, one more easily can see the dots arranged in an orderly sequence from the young man leaning on the Incarnate God and having his steps directed toward one challenge after another into a life worth living.

Discover your God-given natural ability. Develop a skill-set upon them. Keep your mind on God’s macro plan for humanity which includes you and everyone else. And ask HIM to lead and direct you in your work, play, and relationships while you manage the challenges of life’s ups and downs, pains and pleasures, and failures and successes; everything at the end of your life will happen better than your early expectations.

God is good. He has wired you for good work. But you need to exercise some judgement and motivation to experience what HE has laid out for your life. The potential is there, and you begin by first knowing HIM and allowing HIM to lead you to discover how HE has wired you.

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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