Author Archives: Μιχαήλ (Michael) | God is God!

About Μιχαήλ (Michael) | God is God!

I am Μιχαήλ. I became a follower of Jesus in 1965. My sweet mother led me to Jesus. I was baptized, entered the fellowship of faith and became a follower of Jesus. This blog is all about Jesus and many of the posts are “Jesus Sayings”. Μιχαήλ is Greek for Michael. מִיכָאֵל is Hebrew for Michael. Translated it is “Who is like God?” Names have meaning. That is mine. My parents gave it to me. That leads me to the “Jesus Prayer”. Master Jesus the Messiah, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner! And He does have mercy on me. I have been redeemed having shared in the Messiah’s death, burial and resurrection.

What is the legacy I leave for my children?

Honesty and Integrity

Honesty and Integrity

What kind of legacy do I want to leave my children? What is the most important thing I can do? What will make it easy for them in life?

Great questions. Here is God’s answer.

Be God-loyal. Pretty straightforward. The things I think may be important pale in light of being loyal to Him. That is what will help my children.

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Having the Grandeur to Forgive and Forget

Hold your tongue

Hold your tongue

Holding my tongue is easier said than done some days. Someone says something and off I go. I react. I speak. I regret it.

God’s wisdom teaches me to pause. I should forgive what they say. I should forget what they say. Many times we forgive but we don’t forget.

If I can forget it, I am truly liberated and free.

His wisdom teaches me to pause. Rather than respond I need to forgive first. Then I need to forget. Then I have nothing left to say about the offense that started everything to begin with.

God’s goal for me is that I know how to hold my tongue.

Smart people know how to hold their tongue; their grandeur is to forgive and forget.

Proverbs 19:11 (The Message Bible)

Forgiveness is also an essential part of the life of disciples of King Jesus.

Ephesians 4:32 commands, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in the Messiah God forgave you.”

Similarly, Colossians 3:13 says, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Master forgave you.”

The key in both passages is that we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

Why do we forgive? Because we have been forgiven!


Caring for Thoughtful and not Foolish Discourse

Fools

I am a fool. Many times I run off at the mouth.

I think what I have to say is important and I don’t care what others have to say. I know that is sad but it is true.

Fools care nothing for thoughtful discourse; all they do is run off at the mouth. ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 18:2 (The Message Bible)

Discourse involves asking questions (wise ones) and listening.

The best conversations are where I ask lots of relevant questions and really listen. God’s goal for me is to be wise. That requires “wise” listening.

That is wisdom. I need more of that.

The good news is that Jesus teaches me. I have been redeemed from missing God’s goal (aka sinning) and can break away from my natural inclinations.

I don’t want to be foolish. The following is a partial list of some characteristics of a fool from the book of Proverbs:

  • A fool hates knowledge (1:22)
  • Takes no pleasure in understanding (18:2)
  • Enjoys wicked schemes (Proverbs 10:23)
  • Proclaims folly (Proverbs 12:23)
  • Spurns a parent’s discipline (15:5)
  • Speaks perversity (19:1)
  • Is quick-tempered (12:16)
  • Gets himself in trouble with his proud speech (14:3)
  • Mocks at sin (14:9)
  • Is deceitful (14:8)
  • Despises his mother (15:20)
  • A foolish child brings grief to his or her parents (17:25; 19:13)
  • A foolish man commits sexual immorality (6:32; 7:7–12)
  • A foolish woman tears down her own house (14:1)

Yikes! A great case to WISE UP!

The ultimate description of a fool is one who “says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ We are told they are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good” (Psalm 14:1; 53:1). Although fools can choose to become wise by heeding wise counsel and applying it (Proverbs 8:5; 21:11), the Bible warns against associating with fools (Proverbs 14:7).

Proverbs 13:20 says, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.”


Am I mocking the poor?

Jesus is clear that we will always have poor people with us. We always have. We always will. That isn’t the issue.

Whoever mocks poor people insults their Creator; gloating over misfortune is a punishable crime. ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 17:5 (The Message Bible)

Jesus challenges me to give directly to the poor. I am to do what I can to help. God’s goal for me is to love. Jesus challenges me to not judge. I don’t need to understand why someone is poor. God knows why.

Insulting and mocking the poor is insulting God. It is wrong and it is criminal. It is a moral failure on my part when I do it. I will be held accountable for what I say and do. I will be held accountable to God’s standard of love.

We should assess our leaders on their attitude about the poor. Do they love the poor? Do they help the poor? Do they “judge” the motives of the poor?

“Misfortune” does happen. It is possible, to get laid off from work and become poor. I shouldn’t gloat over that. My goal is to love.

I believe that Jesus wants us to do everything we can to help the poor and those who do not have a place to live. We are to care for the hungry and feed them. We are to care for the thirsty and give them something to drink.We are to care for the stranger and invite them into our home. We are to care for the naked and give them clothing. We are to care for the sick. We are to care for those in prison and visit them. These are the clear expectations of Jesus (Matthew 25:34-40).

  • As Jesus remarked to Judas Iscariot, ‘You always have the poor with you’ (John 12:8). Looking around at the cities, towns and refugee camps of our world, we might make this remark more specific and say, ‘we always have the homeless with us.’ Jesus had some powerful things to say about the situation of the homeless, and did many things for them. He was also a homeless person himself.
  • The Bible speaks plainly about poverty: “If any of your Israelite relatives fall into poverty and cannot support themselves, support them as you would a resident foreigner and allow them to live with you. Do not demand an advance or charge interest on the money you lend them. Instead, show your fear of God by letting them live with you as your relatives” (Leviticus 25:35-36 ).
  • “No, the kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. If you do these things, your salvation will come like the dawn. Yes, your healing will come quickly. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind” (Isaiah 58:6-8).
  • Then the King will say to those on the right, `Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ Then these righteous ones will reply, `Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’ And the King will tell them, `I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” (Matthew 25:34-40).
  • So many people ignore the poor and homeless, partly because they believe there is little they can do to “fix” them. And they are absolutely right. In fact, it is not God’s intention that we “fix” them any more than it is His intention that they “fix” us. It is God’s intent that they follow Jesus as their King and savior.
  • Jesus tells us that we are one body in the Messiah. Everyone — rich, poor, every race, every age — has a legitimate role to play in that body. We may go to a homeless camp or an orphanage or a rest home with the intention of helping someone else, but ultimately, we will be helping each other grow together into the body the Messiah envisioned from the beginning of time.

Am I satisfied with what looks good or is good?

WisdomGod acts from the highest, purest motives.

God expects me to do the same.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
    God probes for what is good. | Proverbs 16:2 (The Message Bible)

Am I impressed by what is in the heart or what looks good? The glory of God is a huge thing. Do I see what others are doing to bring honor to Jesus? Or … do I hold others in contempt because they don’t dress as nice as I think they should?

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. | 1 Corinthians 10:31

What is the desire of my soul? Now that is a stunning question. Think about it. In my heart and soul, what do I really want? For myself? For others?

Is the desire of my heart and soul to love? How am I doing with that?

Indeed, while following the way of Your judgments, O Lord, we have waited for You eagerly; Your name, even Your memory, is the desire of our souls. | Isaiah 26:8

What is the good news? God has given me a new heart! I am a new creation. The old, evil ways have been washed away.

Does my heart condemn me? God has given me a new heart. It is the heart of His son Jesus. It does not condemn me. I can have confidence. I am whole.

We will know by this that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart before Him in whatever our heart condemns us; for God is greater than our heart and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God. | 1 John 3:19–21


Are my conversations pleasant and beautiful?

Hot Air

Hot Air

God’s goal for me is that my conversations are pleasant. Arguing and fights aren’t what God has in mind.

  • Love is the key.
  • Respect is imperative.
  • My conversations can be beautiful.
  • Imagine that is what people say after I leave them. “What a beautiful conversation that was.”

If people aren’t courteous to me, I don’t have to get angry, I can just walk away. I can withdraw from confrontation.

Jesus challenges me with the following: “When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way. You can be sure that on Judgment Day they’ll be mighty sorry—but it’s no concern of yours now.”

Congenial conversation — what a pleasure! The right word at the right time — beautiful! ~King Solomon | Source: Proverbs 15:23


Am I spending too much time with fools?

Image result for fool no god

Atheist

Scripture portrays fools as those who have rejected God and his ways and are unable or unwilling to appreciate the wisdom of knowing and obeying him. A great example is “A fool has said in his heart, there is no God.”

So what to do? Argue with atheists? Have wonderful debates over theology and dogma?

Not hardly. They are a waste of my time. They are a waste of my words. Jesus warned me to not cast my pearls before swine. Continue reading