Find Yourself…

Luke 9:24-25 (VOICE)

If you try to avoid danger and risk, then you’ll lose everything. If you let go of your life and risk all for My sake, then your life will be rescued, healed, made whole and full. Listen, what good does it do you if you gain everything—if the whole world is in your pocket—but then your own life slips through your fingers and is lost to you?

Back in the late sixties, the hippy generation coin the phrase “find yourself” which eventually made itself into conversations, books, and movies. While indulging themselves in drugs, sex, and pleasure, they turn their back on the establishment in search of meaning and purpose. They saw the hypocrisy of the current generation and used the excuse to escape any personal responsibility for their corrupted behavior. Their solution was to openly display the carnal behavior of human passion. Though they recognize the cultural problem, their method was just as self-indulging as the institutions they disdained.

Contrary to some, Jesus wasn’t a hippy. In His culture, He was considered a super rabbi who interpreted the Scriptures in a most unique way. His ability to mix Scripture with the human psyche made Him an authority of His time (Luke 4:31-33). When you are the designer and builder of a project, you have more insight than those who come afterward. History demonstrates Jesus was there in the beginning of time and therefore knows more about human life than those around us.

Jesus statement is geared toward the human heart and all of us who recognize the emptiness and hunger for more than what we see around us. His solution is for humanity to find something much larger than just survival, or earning a living, or accomplishing a major goal. If one wants to find purpose and meaning with life, the solution is to surrender the self and join Him on His quest.

Our natural inclination to give up all our dreams and desires doesn’t come easy. Most of the time only after we are beaten to the pulp emotionally, physically, socially, or financially do we consider His words. Yet those who have surrendered to King Jesus and His plans for humanity, can vouch His words are true. When one puts everything on the line to support Him in every area of one’s world, He becomes the center of life and we experience a taste of heavenly living.

In hindsight, when one recognizes they have been rescued, healed, and made whole, then life becomes a living testament of experiencing God’s Kingdom on earth every day. We want everyone to know the real Jesus and His Father and the Spirit which empower us to maximize our human potential while we help build His Kingdom on earth today.           

If you gain everything you always wanted but your soul is embattled and crippled beyond despair, wouldn’t you trade everything to know the peace and love and joy which radiates from God and puts meaning and purpose in everything you see, think, and do?

The hippy generation recognized the problem but not the solution. If you want to find yourself, you first must lose yourself in the arms of Jesus.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
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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Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

What is Salvation All About?

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people…” Titus 2:11 ESV.

salvation

Salvation is not a prize, an event, nor a commodity. Salvation is the relationship you have in Jesus Christ with His Father via the Holy Spirit. To realize you are included with Him in his life, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven brings greater meaning to Who He IS and your participation with Him. That you are a new creation in Him. That you have been reconciled (saved)with His Father. That you are now connected with Jesus and the Father via the Holy Spirit – adopted into the Triune God circle. Yet to experience this new life, you need to change your thinking (repent) and yield yourself to His authority (become his disciple). In so doing, you begin to experience the life (sanctification) that Jesus finished for you. The end result is eternal life (glorification) with Him in the new age.

You begin to experience this new life when you realize your identify is bound in Christ. Unlike the world’s response, your identity is not found in yourself but in the personhood of Jesus Christ. Apart from Christ, when we realize something must change in our lives, we usually begin to modify our environment. When that doesn’t make a difference, we then work to change our behavior. When that fails, we move toward increasing our capacity of knowledge or skill. After then, we may begin to clarify our beliefs. Lastly, we come to realize our identity of who we think we are is incorrect and needs adjusting.

However with Christ, we first begin with correctly identifying who we are in Him. We start at the top rather than move from the bottom to the top. We come to more quickly capture the knowledge and realization of God and ourselves in the process.  From our relationship with Christ, our identity is clarified. Our beliefs are aligned with reality. Our desire to grow in knowledge and skill is intensified; not for our sake but for the sake of others. Our attitudes change which leads to our behavior becoming more Christ-like. Then finally our environment becomes the breeding ground for ministry as we express God’s love and Kingdom ways for others to behold. We become a living testimony of God’s workmanship. He is glorified. We reap the benefits. Others are introduced to the God of Jesus Christ.

Salvation is freedom with Christ. Free from loneliness, because you belong to Him. Free from fear, because His love penetrates through you. Free from anxiety, because His faith assures you. Free from sin’s anguish, because His grace abounds in you.

Again, salvation is not a prize, event, nor commodity. Salvation is your relationship with Jesus Christ and His  Father via the Holy Spirit; Salvation is Christ’s finished work.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Discipleship 360
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2017 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Through Faith or By Faith

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast”. Eph 2:8-9 ESV.

through-faith-2

 

Faith is given to us by God. We don’t generate Godly faith. God disperses faith (Rm. 12:3).  It is His gift to us. We simply exercise it.

We exercise faith when we walk it out and through it. Faith is not the cause of our salvation. We are not saved by faith, but by grace. We are saved (justified) by the grace of Jesus Christ.  However, by walking through the faith given to us, we are being saved (regenerated) into the image of Jesus Christ.

Poor theology places the cause of salvation with our faith. Our response is not the cause of salvation; our response is the effect of salvation. In the words of cause and effect, our salvation is caused by Jesus Christ and our response is the effect of salvation.

If our faith is the cause of salvation, then we wouldn’t need a savior. However, since Jesus Christ is the reality of salvation, we either accept that reality or not. When we accept that reality, we begin to experience the power of salvation.

A good example is gravity. We acknowledge its existence and respect its authority. Just like your belief doesn’t cause gravity to exist; you simply acknowledge the truth and live life accordingly.

So walk your life through the faith God has given you. Be grateful for the grace He has bestowed upon you. There is nothing to boast about except what God has done.

Therefore, learn to live out your life with the faith He has given you. You will be pleasantly surprised by the outcome.

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

Does a Friend Need Encouragement…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2016 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

Salvation: Relationship or Commodity?

“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:2 ESV
“…so that he(Jesus) might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:27-32 ESV

engaged

 

Growing up in the 21st century within a capitalist culture is challenging for one to fully grasp the teachings of the Bible. Take for example the concept of salvation. Is salvation a commodity to be exchanged or a relationship to be experienced?

There are those who believe that upon repentance one receives salvation. We exchange our repentance for a one-way ticket to heaven. Then there are those who believe that salvation occurred approximately 2,000 years ago upon Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension. That upon accepting the reality of who Jesus is, we begin to experience the fruit of salvation.

I lean towards the second view. When we view salvation as a byproduct of our effort, we are treating salvation as a commodity. However, when we view salvation as an engagement, than we are treating salvation as a relationship.

The apostle Paul used the analogy of being engaged to Jesus Christ. In Paul’s time it was the man who selected his wife-to-be. He would work out the arrangement with the woman’s father. If the father approved, he gave his daughter to him. In a sense, the woman would wake up and discover who her husband is to be. She didn’t choose her husband. It wasn’t a decision she made. She simply acknowledged the reality that she was engaged to be married. Thereafter, she focuses herself in accepting the relationship of her husband-to-be and accordingly changed her thinking and behavior to that reality.

Salvation is likewise an engagement in a marriage relationship from a 1st century woman’s perspective. What saves us is not our decision. What saves us is Jesus Christ who became engaged to us before we even accepted that reality. When we wake up from our spiritual sleep, accept that reality, then we begin to experience the fruit of salvation. Otherwise, if salvation is a business transaction, a commodity that we acquire, then it has the weak link of a human decision. We will always doubt our level of repentance, faith, trust, or works. Or in other words, how good is good enough.

When I beheld salvation as a relationship and no longer a commodity is when the fruit of God became more active and the heart of God became more intense within my very soul. I for one am very thankful that Jesus Christ re-opened the door for us to have a relationship with Him, His Father, and His Spirit: The Triune God. How about you?

 

Rooting For You 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