Monthly Archives: May 2019

Monday Motivator – May 27

I am interested and not surprised to hear people’s reactions to spiritual ideas on campus.

If you ask folks about the supernatural stuff they see in their favorite Netflix show or movies (current or an older show), I have found men and women ready to believe in ghosts, goblins, demons, heroes, villains, and all sorts of characters and expressions of power and authority.

I like to ask people I am chatting with if it is intellectually sensible and responsible to consider ideas from the greatest selling book of all time, and from the author of that volume? In other words, can someone believe in heaven, especially based on what Jesus said?

The responses I have received have ranged from, “I do not want to go to heaven, but Alaska instead,” to “I hope all of you Bible-bangers who are talking about heaven are not headed there, because if that is the case, I do not want to go there,” to “Everybody’s going there anyway, so why talk about it?”

I respond and ask if they have studied the topic of heaven to come to an informed answer and most have brushed me off. A few asked what the Bible had to say and I began by stating that heaven is the place where God dwells. The writers of Deuteronomy 26:15 and Revelation 13:6 affirm that truth and reality. Why not? Where else would God be?

It is insufficient to argue that any place can contain God (1 Kings 8:27), yet heaven stands to be a place where the greatest manifestation of God’s awesome presence and holy glory can be.

Some argue with me that heaven is merely a state of mind, not a real place, due to a lack of clear evidence. Yet the physician Luke wrote in Luke 24:51 and Acts 1:9-11 about Jesus ascending to a place above and outside of our world. Jesus Himself spoke often, clearly, and confidently about going to the Father and then returning to take His followers to the place where the Father is (see His words in John 14:2). These writings have led me to conclude that heaven is an actual place, even though the GPS coordinates marking its location are unknown to any but God.

Read Revelation 21:1-6.

According to Revelation 21:1-6, heaven is the place where no traces of evil and sin will exist. God dwells there in undisputed authority and will dwell with us in intimacy and rule over His people with kindness and care. He does so now, but we who make it to heaven will be able to see and experience God more fully in unbroken fellowship. Heaven is the place where there will be no pain, grief, illness, or sin to get in the way anymore.

How does it make you feel to realize that Jesus is preparing a place for you in the Father’s house? How is Jesus preparing you to be with Him? How are you preparing to be with Him?

Do you recognize that God loves you? Understand that sin separates each of us from God and His love. Jesus said that if you believe that His death is your bridge to having a personal relationship with Him, you can be reconciled to God (John 3:16). Respond today by turning from your sins and turning to God. Then trust in the Holy Spirit to help you walk in Christ-likeness. Grow devotionally. Thoughts of heaven should affect how we live on earth today.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

©2019 by Mike Olejarz

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Monday Motivator – May 20

It is humbling and gratifying to read my monthly mission statement that accompanies my paycheck. I review the list of the men and women, churches and businesses that invest their financial resources in our mission, and I am amazed at their benefits of their partnership. I am grateful for the privilege of serving on the National Chi Alpha Field Team with very capable friends and colleagues that inspire me to godly character, servant leadership, and excellent productivity.

Both examples caused me to remember a talk from my mentor, John Maxwell, on the power of partnership. John started with a quote from A.W. Tozer: “God is looking for people through whom He can do the impossible – what a pity that we plan only the things we can do by ourselves.” John then listed ten ideas about the power of partnership:

First, partnership unifies for strength. Consider the example of Aaron and Hur in Exodus 17:8-13. Partners work together to support and win the battle.

Second, partnership identifies opportunities. Consider the example of Joshua and Caleb in Numbers 13:1-13, 17-30, and 14:1-8. Partners ignore the critics and cynics and claim the promises of God.

Third, partnership intensifies commitment to one another. Consider the example of Ruth and Naomi in Ruth 1:1-17. Partners commit to journey together and be spiritually linked.

Fourth, partnership purifies motives. Consider the example of David and Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20. Partners trust unconditionally and take risks unreservedly.

Fifth, partnership solidifies new alliances. Consider the example of Nehemiah and the wall builders in Nehemiah 4. Partners take on daunting tasks and refuse to stop until the work is done.

Sixth, partnership satisfies the heart of God. Consider the example of Mary and Elizabeth in Luke 1:39-56. Partners recognize the presence of the Living God.

Seventh, partnership multiplies the potential of ministry. Consider the example of the Antioch prophets and teachers in Acts 13:1-3. Partners release one another to the work and will of God.

Eighth, partnership clarifies the mission. Consider the example of Paul and Silas in Acts 16:16-34. Partners praise God and see His purposes in adversity.

Ninth, partnership magnifies the best in one another. Consider the example of Paul and Timothy in Philippians 3:19-22, 2 Timothy 1:3-5, 3:10-17, and 4:9. Partners provide value and encouragement to one another.

Tenth, partnership testifies to the community and the world. Consider the prayer of Jesus in John 17:20-21. Partners trust the Lord to work in and through them to accomplish His purposes.

Serve globally. Learn to appreciate your partners in school, work, life, and ministry that add so much to you. Each of us can do something the other cannot. Together, we can do great things.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

©2019 by Mike Olejarz

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Monday Motivator – May 13

In your effort to advance the message of Jesus in your area of influence, what role is played by prayer? Thankfulness? Watchfulness? Open doors? Being ready to share about Jesus? Wise actions? Difficulties? Opportunities? Graceful talk? Salty talk?

Read Colossians 4:2-6.

Let’s assume a friend is ready to hear about what it means to become a follower of Jesus. Where would you start? To lead someone to Christ, you must know the Scriptures, because salvation is more than an emotional experience or feelings. Memorize these verses. Mark them in your Bible. Use them as you seek to persuade and win others to put their faith, hope, and trust in King Jesus.

One. Verses showing a person they are a sinner:

Romans 3:10. The problem of sin.

Romans 3:23. All people are born in sin.

Romans 5:8. While man was in sin, Christ died for him or her.

Romans 6:23. The wages, or punishment for sin.

Romans 8:16. The proof of salvation.

Romans 10:9-10. Importance of confession of sin.

Romans 10:13. What happens once we confess our sins.

Two. Verses showing God’s Plan of Salvation:

John 1:12. Accepting Christ puts a person in God’s family.

John 3:16. Believing in Christ brings eternal life.

John 3:18. If you refuse Christ, you are already judged.

John 3:20-21. Believing you have life; unbelief brings death.

John 5:24. If we believe, we will not face God’s judgment.

John 6:37. Christ refuses none. He accepts all men

John 7:17. Follow Christ and His Word will be confirmed.

Three. Verses showing God’s strength to the new believer:

2 Corinthians 5:1-6:2. God changes us. We do not change ourselves. He makes us a new person.

2 Timothy 1:12. He is able to keep us from sin.

2 Timothy 3:16-17. He provides His Word to help us grow and mature.

1 Peter 1:5. God’s power is available for us to live for Him and like Him,

2 Peter 1:3-12. God gives us everything we need for life and godliness.

Jude 24. He will keep us without sin.

Four. Verses concerning being stable in Christ:

Joshua 1:8 and Psalm 119:9 and 11. Read your Bible daily, and follow what it says.

Psalm 122:1 and Hebrews 10:25. Attend church regularly.

Luke 18:1, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, and James 5:16. Pray daily.

Acts 1:8 and Romans 1:16. Be empowered to be a witness for Jesus.

With God’s help and our determination to follow Him, we can live a God-honoring life. Walk wisely. Accepting Christ is more than a simple decision. It will take time to help a new person of faith to get rooted and grounded in God’s Word. So let’s get ready and be ready to help.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

©2019 by Mike Olejarz

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Monday Motivator – May 6

What choices have you made that turned out to be foolish? Were the decisions even more costly because you refused to listen to a family member, friend, or colleague who sought to dissuade you from the course of action you were considering? Sin gets in when compromise begins.

Read 2 Chronicles 1:11-12.

Upon ascending to the throne of Israel after his father David’s death, Solomon was approached by God one night. God promised King Solomon whatever he asked, and Solomon asked for wisdom. Pleased with his request, God gave him what he asked for and much more. Solomon was blessed and did well for a long time. Yet he developed a reputation as a “wise fool” for the decisions he started to make. It is ironic that in spite of incredible wealth, wisdom, power, honor, and influence, Solomon became known (even today) for some really poor decisions.

Start with his propensity for women. Solomon turned out to be obsessed with having a lot of women – at one point he had 700 wives and 300 concubines (i.e., a woman who lives with a man but has lower status than his wife or wives). How anyone could assume to handle that many relationships, not to mention children, meal times, even vacation planning, is beyond me.

One of the consequences we learn about is the women had a variety of beliefs and practices. Since Solomon apparently avoided participating in any sort of get-ready-for-marriage preparation classes, he should not have been surprised that some of the women began to lead him to worship gods that were not the God of Israel.

The writer of 1 Kings 11:4-6 describes how some of the ladies suggested that Solomon join them in worshipping idols. Without some Scriptural anchors, Solomon’s heart was not fully devoted to the Lord. We read that Solomon was led astray later in life by some of the women closest to him who turned his heart away from the One True God. Solomon followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molech the detestable god of the Ammonites. Sadly, Solomon did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and did not follow the Lord wholeheartedly.

The Lord had told the Israelites that they were not to marry with people from other nations, because they will surely turn their hearts after other gods (which are imposters and false). The third king of Israel, Solomon, did just that once he ignored the command of God.

Solomon’s compromise with sin brought him unhappiness, diluted his moral authority to lead, empowered his enemies, gave the devil a foothold of access in his own home and palace, and most of all, displeased the Lord. As an old man, Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 4:13 that, “Better a poor but wise youth than an old, foolish king who no longer knows how to take warning.”

I know collegians who claimed to Christ-followers, but ignored God’s warnings and suffered the disastrous results of sex before marriage, cheating on an exam, and downloading music without paying for it. The time-honored, God-inspired principle works: You reap what you sow.

Have you been compromising with sin? Listen and learn from Solomon that if you humble yourself, pray, turn from your wicked ways, and seek God, He will hear, forgive, and heal you. Learn to heed warnings from those closest to you. Live communally. Don’t be a fool.

Love is a verb,

Mike Olejarz

©2019 by Mike Olejarz

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