What Is Your Story?

(John)who bore witness to the word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw. Revelations 1:2 ESV.

story 1

We all have a story to tell. You and I, our parents and their parents, our friends and neighbors, all have a story worth sharing with others.

The apostle John also had his story to share with others. His story was a living witness to the word of God and about the life of Jesus Christ. It was his testimony of Jesus Christ that finally resulted in his exile to the remote island of Patmos. The legend is the authorities tried to execute him several different ways but failed. Therefore, they simply expelled him to an isolated island where he spent the remaining portion of his life.

John, like many others who have encountered Jesus Christ, couldn’t shut up but had the driving force within them to share the message with others. So do you and I.

The fact is when one encounters Jesus, one’s life is never the same. Whether we disregard Him or ignore Him, He will not allow Himself to be treated indifferently. One must choose.

Either he is Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Savior of Saviors, or he is not. You may consider him a liar, a lunatic, or a loser, but you cannot come face-to-face with him and avoid an answer.

Whenever we tell something about our lives to others, doesn’t it include what Jesus has done for us? Isn’t He the reason we now live and breathe and have our hope? Isn’t He the central core of our life? How can we not share our story with others and not include Him?

In fact, isn’t that what evangelism is all about? One beggar sharing his story with another? So the next time someone wants to know something about you, how about including a portion of HIS story with YOUR story. Or in other words, how has Jesus Christ impacted your life?

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!

Preach What?

jesus 1

“But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.” Acts 8:12 ESV

 

The other day a pastor on TV emphasized that He preaches the Bible. Another preacher on the other station states that he preaches Jesus Christ. It raised the question. Which is the message of the Kingdom? The Bible or Jesus Christ?

Whenever one elevates the Bible or equates the written word with the personal Word, my historical journey is recalled and danger flags are now waved. It begs the question, how do you interpret the Bible? What is the basis of your preaching? Is the main thing the Bible or who the Bible points to?

When a person preaches Jesus Christ as Savior, Messiah, and Lord, the focus in on the main thing – Jesus. The Bible introduces the reader to Jesus. The Incarnate Jesus reveals God to us. As we read and study the life, work, and heart of Jesus, we learn more about God. As we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, we learn to follow in his steps. As we study the Bible through a Jesus-centered Triune God worldview, we have a more solid basis of interpreting scripture.

Our focus is to build a stronger relationship with the eternal God. The Bible is simply a means to this end.

Our partnership and participation is with Jesus; not the Bible. He is redeeming humanity; not the Bible. Our job is to abide and follow Him. To listen to His word as He communicates to us. The Bible serves as a means for God to communicate to us through His Spirit. As we read and study the inspired word, we are open to hear his voice. As we learn to hear his voice through scripture, we are more attuned to recognize Him during the activities of the day. It is His Spirit that inspires us, encourages us, and opens us up to serve those around us.

Again, the Bible is the means, not the message. The message is Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His Domain. Secondary, but including in that message is how we participate with Him through the sanctification phase.

Jesus is the reason we have the Bible. Therefore, if the preaching is not centered around Jesus Christ, be careful. If the message doesn’t explain how Jesus is the foundation of your growth, service, and faith, be on guard. If the emphasis is on what you need to do and not what Jesus has done, is doing, and will do, be suspect. Remember, Jesus came with good news; not more burdens, yokes, and hurdles for you to climb.

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

Why Read The Bible?

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7 ESV

bible 2

When you want to learn about someone, what do you do? Don’t we search the Internet and see what we can find out. Don’t we ask people who may personally know the person? Maybe we may eventually schedule a visit and spend time with the person.

So why read the Bible? Here are some practical, everyday what-if questions that point to the Bible.

* What if you had the means to develop a more intimate relationship with the Living God finding out more about Him? His heart? His mind? His character?

* What if you could better understand the interrelationship between His work on earth and heaven?

* What if you could learn ways to unleash His authority to impact your world today?

* What if you could explore and truly integrate the impact of heavenly Virtue into your micro world?

* What if you could discover how to fully merge the spiritual treasurers of heaven into the physical realities of everyday life?

* What if you could stop making the same mistakes others have made? Isn’t it smarter to learn from the successes and failures of others?

* What if you had an avenue that allowed you to listen for the Holy Spirit to interpret God’s Will as it personally applies to you?

* What if you had a source that contains a storehouse of life-giving, energized knowledge, wisdom, and understanding for every season of life?

* What if you had your own personal guide written specifically for you to acquire practical knowledge of the best finance, marriage, family, and business practices proven over millenniums of time?

* What if you had a source that reveals how God interrelates with humanity and how you could better interrelate with Him?

* What if you could more easily identify the Truth and its implications within reality?

* What if you had a written script to help you better understand your purpose in life?

The Bible expresses the love, grace, and authority of Jesus Christ. If you want to serve the King of King, don’t you think if would help you to better understand what His plans, purpose, methods, and means are for you and for the sake of others? What if you spent a few more minutes each day discovering more about the Triune God? What difference do you think it would make in your world? It may not be a radical idea, but its implementation certainly is.

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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

 

Jesus is Our Reference Point

jesus answer 3

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 ESV

Most people quote the above scripture to emphasize that Jesus is the only way to salvation. I like to quote this scripture to let people know that it is through Christ that we have a relationship with the living Creator of the universe. When we have Jesus as our reference point, life begins to make sense. When we focus on developing a relationship with the Triune God, salvation is the byproduct. When people focus on salvation before the relationship, then it becomes a contractual arrangement. That is how many people may first accept Christ, yet is it the way He mentored?

In today’s world, relationships are being torn apart. Whether we speak about marriage, friendships, business partnerships, or treaties between countries, the emphasis is on satisfying the self before others. The reference point becomes the self. This of course leads to a world without godly influence. Without a godly influence, the reference point becomes a moving target. This is what has happened in our so called secular world.

The secularization of the western world has developed a culture without a reference point for making wise decisions. The spread of relative morals has likewise produced a culture without a reference point for logical decision making. By throwing the Triune God away from the public arena, youth and adults begin to question the value of God through the reality of the world around them. Life becomes meaningless. They question what good is it to have a relationship with a living God.

When people don’t have a reference point to refer too, anything goes. History demonstrates over and over again what becomes of a people who forget God. When Jesus said He is the way, life, and truth, He quickly summarized what He brings to the table for humanity. To follow Him, one gains the real treasures of life and builds on the foundation of reality. When He becomes your reference point, your life becomes more purposeful and meaningful. When He becomes your reference point, your ideas, values, and decisions have a measuring stick to associate potential outcomes against. When He becomes your reference point, you have a mentor, hero, and teacher to show you how to succeed in relationships, business, and personal agendas.

When Jesus is your reference point, you read the Bible hungry and thirsty to learn everything you can about Him, His plans, and His method of operations. You want to fully understand His Kingdom, His Church, and His Work. Over time you learn to appreciate everything He has done, is doing, and will be doing. You realize it takes time to build a relationship to know Him, walk with Him, and talk with Him. You realize how blessed you are to have Him as your reference point. Whether or not heaven arrives, all you know is that heaven is now when you are fully engaged with life in Christ. So ask yourself, which way will you choose to live: superficially or radically in Christ?

We are rooting for you!

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

Learn. Integrate. Grow.

Real Freedom

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Corinthians 3:17

Today is the fourth of July. A day that Americans celebrate their independence from Great Britain. A day this country became free from colonial rule. Now instead of taxation without representation, we have taxation with representation. Now instead of Boston tea parties, we have political tea parties. Instead of a nation where people died for their freedom, we have a nation where people die because of their freedom. Yet real freedom is more than law, rule, or independence. Real freedom is a matter of the Spirit.

When people are slaves of an ungodly spirit, it may look like freedom at the start, but leads to a spirit of addiction, greed, and narcissism. Likewise when the spirit lives in fear of poverty, unemployment, war, crime, or political unrest, can one truly be free? When housing is stolen through slack governmental regulations, is that real freedom? When basic healthy food is limited by top prices for only the financial able, is that real freedom?

Where can one find real freedom?

The apostle Paul’s letter to the Corinthian faith-community addressed a similar situation. He wrote about the veil that blinds people’s eyes from experiencing real freedom. What opens that veil? Paul speaks plainly when he states that the veil is only lifted through Jesus Christ. That Jesus Christ is the central core of life. He connects heaven with earth. He reveals what life is all about. He is the reason for life. He is the answer from addiction, self-harm phobias, and distrustful relationships. He is the author of freedom, lives freely, and shares His freedom.

His Spirit travels along with the Father’s Spirit via the Holy Spirit. This is the Triune God. Real freedom is found living within the Triune God circle. When we died to the self by surrendering to the King; we were spiritually re-born in Christ (Jn. 3:3-8). A new life began. A new creation started (2 Corinthians 5:17). A life that merges our personality and soul with the Spirit of the living God. A marriage between heaven and earth (Rev.21:1-5). The adoption into the family of God (Eph. 1:5). Included in this relationship is the joy of freedom.

Yes, real freedom is found only in Jesus Christ; not in a religion, crusade, nor great cause. So if you haven’t experienced real freedom yet, maybe it is time to do business with the Lord. Ask him, seek him, and knock on the door that he presents. He will lead you to experience the freedom that comes through an intimate relationship with Himself. He has been doing it for almost 2,000 years with a long list of testimonials. So unless you truly don’t want to be free, why not today? It is a great day to celebrate freedom.

OUR PRAYER

prayer 5

Our real Father, Son, and Spirit: thank you for everything you have shown us. Thank you for creating a new person from our brokenness. Help us to truly experience your freedom. Whatever we are currently enslaved with, help us break the chains. Shower upon us your grace. Help us to celebrate your freedom that lives in us. In everything we do, let us share your freedom with others. We glorify your name, your freedom, your Kingdom. For now and forever. Amen.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

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

If You Are Seeking a Faith-Building Study, Check Out My New Book Be Radical…Follow Christ.

 

Who is Your Most Intimate Companion?

 

 word 14

“…but I have called you friends,…”

John 15:15

When you walk with God, you have the ultimate companion. You have someone who is always there when you need them. Someone you always are able to depend on. Someone you know is your friend independent of the situation.

When you follow Christ though, you quickly come to realize that you are not the most popular person in the world. You are not a rock star, or basketball superstar, or a famous Hollywood movie star. You are unique. And your uniqueness turns many people away from you because you are not acceptable to world standards. Yes, the righteous will find you uncomfortable to walk with. The rich will find you a stumbling block. The powerful will find you threatening the status quo. The experts will question your credentials. The elders will find you rebellious. The sinner will accept you as one of them until they realize your abhorrence to sin. The naive will consider you their messiah until they find that you preach acceptance of personal responsibility for your actions. The minority will push their agendas on you until they realize you have no distinction between races, sexes, or political affiliations. The right wing will consider you a liberal while the left wing insists you’re a conservative. Your pastor thinks you are uncommitted. Your family says you’re a little strange. Your neighbors love you but can’t seem to accept you as you are. Your coworkers respect you but wonder when you are going to become normal. Your children honor you and accept your eccentricities as part of the aging process. And you wonder how come your companions are few?

Jesus selected twelve disciples that where the closest to him. Of the twelve, three where the most intimate with him, Peter, John and James. Jesus didn’t have a physical wife or children of His own. His companions consisted of those who walked with Him on Kingdom’s mission. He ministered to them while they ministered to Him. His companions came to Him by His Dad to start the work that He was prophesied to complete. Not everyone was excited about the Kingdom of God. Only those people whose passion towards the Kingdom came alive did Jesus bring dose to His bosom. and one of them was going to betray Him. Many of them didn’t even capture the real vision of the Kingdom during His ministry. Yet Jesus chose them, ministered to them, taught them, loved them, played with them, and worked with them, giving them the best years of His life including the ultimate, life itself.

The best companion we all have is Jesus and the friends He brings to us while sharing the gospel of the Kingdom. Our companions are few, but true.

Dr. Mike

DOES JESUS RECOGNIZE YOU?

PRAY 9

Dear Wonderful Dad:

You are my success, joy, and recognition in everything I do. You surround me with your Grace and Presence each and every day. You give me more than I deserve. You make my cup overflow with your abundant riches.     Everything I own is a loan from you. You created everything for us to share in and we likewise share it with others. Without you there is nothing worth owning, possessing, or having. You add value to everything because you created value. I can never express my gratitude and thankfulness for your involvement in my life. Everything is because of you.

 

If I have not express my thanks to you today, let me say thank you again and again. If I have already expressed  my  thanks  to  you today, express it again. There is not enough time in a day to thank you for your Grace, your Gifts, but more importantly just knowing you. We humbly thank you and express our gratitude.

 

Thank you, Jesus.

 

 word 14

 

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”  Luke 6:46

 

“>Why do you serve?

 

Do you want to let the world know how good of a person you are? Does it make you feel important? Or is it just a part of your nature? Do you truly believe it is more blessed to give than receive?

 

I just finished reading an old Discipleship Journal magazine which had an article entitled “Secret Service.” The article outlined how a few Christ-followers are serving others incognito. They practice the scripture of not letting your right-hand know what your other hand is doing in serving others. When they help others they do it either through a third party or in secret. At the end of the day, all glory goes to God and the act. They just receive the personal satisfaction of helping others without the fanfare. I love it.

Was Jesus’ primary attitude to draw attention to Him or to help others for their sake with as little fanfare as possible? Did Jesus die for us because He wanted to achieve personal glory or because He Loves us? When He walked the earth, who did He give the glory to?

 

As His disciple, I have learned that the glory and honor belongs to Jesus, my Heavenly Dad, and the Holy Spirit. All the glory and praise is God’s. I have come to realize that everything I accomplish, whether in service or for personal gain, I achieve only because of God’s grace. For starters, He gives me life itself. He gives me the air to breathe, makes my heart tick, and mind to operate effectively (unless I damage it). He  gives  me  His  Spirit  of compassion  and love. He allows me to work and earn an income. He allowed me to be born in America, the land of physical wealth and personal freedom. He blesses me so I can bless others. He provides me the opportunities to serve. He teaches me the joy and privilege of serving. No wonder all the praises and glory go to Him. Everything begins and ends with Him.

 

We don’t need  the  recognition  anymore.  Our recognition  comes from Him. We are His disciples and He takes exceptionally good care of us. All recognition goes to Him.

 

 

Dr. Mike