Who Is God?

 And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.”And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.”  And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man. Mark 8:28-33 ESV.

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Our concept of God most likely is incorrect. Peter’s was when he rebuked Jesus for portraying a Messiah that was not in agreement with his beliefs.

As the above Scripture indicates, Jesus asked the “Who Am I” identity question to his disciples. Peter correctly answered. However his concept of Messiah (Hebrew translation) or Christ (Greek translation) was distorted. He was taught and read only the Scriptures that identified the Messiah as a conquering hero. A person who was coming to re-establish Israel as the mighty empire it once was like during Solomon’s reign. So when Jesus revealed that he was going to suffer, die, and be resurrected, Peter confronted and tried to incorrectly correct Jesus.

Jesus’ reply must have caused whiplash to Peter’s mind. For Jesus sharply pointed out that his concept of who the Messiah is was incorrect. That Peter’s concept was the image of man’s interpretation based on humanity’s desires instead of the reality of God.

How many of us have the same, academic, partial portrait of God? We may read what others say about God. We may hear what others say about God. And we may even have our personal, third dimension perspective of Him. Yet, how many of us have a real, face-to-face, personal relationship with Him? How many of us know Him as we know our most intimate buddy? Not what people say about her, but what you have discovered yourself while sharing life together. Isn’t that what Jesus referred too when he corrected Peter?

Yes, Jesus is going to suffer, die, and be resurrected Peter. He is not going to play along with your distorted view of reality. Instead He wants you to hang out with him and experience a deep, abiding relationship with each other. Only when you live with a person will you learn what they are truly like.

Jesus the man was the perfect reflection of who God is. That is because Jesus the divine was God in the flesh. Peter’s perspective was a distorted view of who he perceived the Christ to be. How about you and I? Do we truly know who God is?

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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Dancing with God

“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,” Psalm 30:11 ESV

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Back before “Dancing with the Stars” made ballroom dancing a current fad, when ballroom dancing was only for the elderly, I learned to move my body within the framework and rhythm of the big band sound of the 1930s. But it didn’t happen overnight.

In high school, I was the quiet, silent type who hid behind a wide smile. Though socially backward and inept, I made up my mind to change. It started at the weddings.

I found out early in life that if you treated the ladies with respect and charm, you could usually move into their territory without fear or intimidation. While sitting at the family table with the band playing, I would look for the girls on the dance floor who didn’t have dates. Then I would join them at their table, start a conversation that eventually led to explaining my desire to learn how to dance. Eventually the girl would offer to teach me. Though I stepped on many a foot and tripped over my steps more often than not, they taught me as their #1 mission in life. That is how we started.

In my early twenties, I was also fortunate to meet a couple of young, culturally mature ladies, who likewise loved to dance. Whenever their dance partners were unable to go out that weekend, they would call me knowing that I wasn’t the best, but was an able learner. Through the Polish, German, and Italian cultural clubs, plus the big band nightclubs, we learn to polka, swing, cha-cha, and fox trot. In the beginning they would lead and I would follow. Eventually, I developed to the point where I led and my partner followed.

So what does this have to do with dancing with God? Everything. I find our relationship with the Triune God is one large dance. That Father-Son-Spirit move together like two partners on a dance floor; individually yet mutually together. That same togetherness is how God wants us to follow Him.

God leads, we follow. Individually, yet mutually together. In sync with the divine music. Sometimes it’s a fox trot. Other times, it is a swing. Then it’s a slow, hip-hop, tango. Whatever the beat, He leads, we follow. Together, the movement is one intimate, fulfilling dance that brings out the best in you and I.

So the next time you want to know what the relationship with God is truly like, learn to experience the thrill of moving around the world’s dance floor with your partner in hand swaying to the divine music He orchestrates throughout the day. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, 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

The Principle of Three

The number three is an old friend. Over the years, I have witnessed whenever (s)he shows up, life becomes better. (S)he not only is my friend, but I have seen over and over again how (s)he also relates with others in similar favorable circumstances.

We have witnessed our old friend three from the beginning of creation, through Christ’s life on earth, and into the far reaches of the marketplace, Three is a proven friend that continually gives greater assurance for one’s choices, accomplishments, and relationships.

You first notice three in our Creator God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: One God IN Three Persons. The Lord instructed Israel under the Old Testament to gather together in an assembly three times a year for a Holy celebration (Deut: 16:16). When Job lost his entire health, family, and fortune, his three friends came to him (Job 2:11). Daniel was educated for three years and prayed three times a day (Dn:1:5,6:10). You notice that Christ faced three temptations in the wilderness (Lk.4:4-12). Jesus was most intimate with three of his disciples (Mk. 5:7, 9:2, 14:33). When Peter denied Christ, he did it three times (Jn.13:38). When Christ extended his grace and mercy to Peter after the resurrection, he ask Peter three times whether he loved Him. Jesus died and was resurrected after three days (Jn.21:15-19). Whenever two or three people are gather together, Christ is among them (Mt:18:20). The best is to have two or three witnesses (Mt:18:16) whenever someone is being accused. Even the new Jerusalem coming down from heaven is pictured in the Book of Revelations showing each side of the city to have three gates (Rev 21:13).

Three became a closer friend when I traded the stock market. I successfully learned to trade technically by viewing three different time frames of the same chart: a long term view, a short term view, and the current trade view.

In measuring work performance during the day, the number three became a productive friend. How does one focus on the important issues of the day while dealing with urgent emergencies all day long? By trusting your number three friend. For over thirty years in various leadership roles, I was able to focus on the important goals each day by accomplishing three of them while also juggling the daily routine and urgent matters that happened during the day. We were able to accomplish much simply by focusing on the top three most important priorities every day. It also contributed a sense of self-worth on those days when it felt like nothing got done but the movement of paper. It also let me know when I could quit for the day – after our three objectives where done.

Even when seeking God’s Will in life, we have learned to invite the old friend into the equation. For we seek to align God’s Word with the Holy Spirit’s inspiration and outside circumstances in determining direction and choice. The Bible instructs us that a threefold cord isn’t easily broken (Eccles:3:4).

So why not take time out this week and look up the number three in the Bible. View the world around you and see how often the number three appears in decisions, circumstances, and relationships. The number is not a magical genie; just another way to deal with life. Maybe God’s imprint of Father, Son, and Spirit is more prevalent in our everyday created world than we realize. Or is that just simply too radical for you to believe?

OUR PRAYER

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Holy Father, Lord, and Spirit: thank you for revealing your character and attributes through creation. Whether we view the sky, mountains, and valley, your presence and traits are open for those who want to see. When we look at the oceans, rivers, and streams, your order and interactive approach to life shows us more of who you are. Even when we look in the mirror and at others, your creative and imaginative work inspires us to know you even more. Help us to join you in your work each and every day. Help us to reveal your Kingdom government in our relationship with others. Let your love, grace, and truth be in all we think, say, and do.

Yours 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

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How Do Idols Hurt You?

When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses He gave specific instructions that would benefit humanity. One of those instructions was to refrain from worshiping idols; or as the Bible emphatically states “You shall have no other gods before me”[Deuteronomy 5:6-8].
Now some of us may think that God is a jealous Being who does not tolerate us worshiping someone more than Him. Some may look at that commandment from a religious aspect which means it is what I have to do to receive blessings from God. Others may look at it strictly from an obedience view which emphasizes we only do it without contemplating the impact toward others. We even search the Bible which demonstrates what happens to a people when these instructions are ignored. In other circles, God is believed to be an ego centric Being that wants total domination over His creation along with total adherence to all the rules so He may better control us.
The plain truth of the matter is that God realizes if we don’t have a direct relationship with Him, we are then living and pursuing a lie that eventually hurts ourselves and the people around us. Instead of dealing with reality, idols drown us to live in a fantasy that will boomerang and hit us on the side of the head when we least expect it. Typically, it is a false, short term substitute.
For the record, idols are basically anything that comes between you and God. It is what we believe we want now and cannot wait for God’s timetable. It becomes our main focus, drive, and passion that we worship and adore it instead of the living God. Typically it is the false illusion of temporary satisfying our inner desires. It is something that has a hold of our heart and doesn’t allow the Triune God to lead the way. The end result leads to treading outside of His Will. When we live outside of His Will, we are on our own. Yes it may work out for the short term; and yes you may even blossom from it for the short term. But eventually the sour taste of sin and godliness will emerge. The outcome will not be as fully rich and abundant for all stakeholders as you initially thought.
Many of us eventually learn that idols are a poor substitution for the Triune God. We come to the place that the more we seek to walk with the real God, the stronger our faith becomes and the less we need idols in our life to provide the temporary pleasures and escapes that we seek. We become like the Thessalonians that Paul writes about in Chapter 1:9 “… and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God.” Like these Thessalonians, when one places the true God as the center and priority in everything we do, idols lose their luster and sway. The sooner one learns which idols are hurting the self, the sooner one discovers the intimate and enriching personal relationship one has with the Triune God. So, what idols are preventing you from walking in step with the Spirit? What are you going to do about it?

OUR PRAYER

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Holy Father, Holy Lord, and Holy Spirit: Thank you for revealing yourself to us. Thank you for pursuing us until we caught you. Thank you for opening our minds to understand the riches of your ways. Thank you for everything you do.
Help us to always aim our heart, mind, body, and soul toward you, your church, and your Kingdom. Help us to identify the idols in our lives and eradicate them out of our life. If possible, help us simply to place you ahead of our gods and submit our gods into your hands for your cleansing. You know what brings joy into our life. Bless us with your favor. Bless us for your name’s sake.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Consultant, Coach, Encourager
Author of Great Business Emulates A Good God
Portal: EnjoyLifeInChrist.com

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