Author Archives: Μιχαήλ (Michael) | A disciple of the Way of Jesus!

About Μιχαήλ (Michael) | A disciple of the Way of Jesus!

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 the Way of Jesus. 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.

Am I disabled by the fear of what you think of me?

Image result for fear disables

There is a fear that paralyzes me. It is the concern about what you think of me. It can be very disabling.

Will I post this on Facebook and Twitter?

Will I speak out at work?

Why am I afraid?

The answer is staggering. I don’t trust God is why. If I did trust God, I wouldn’t care what others thought of me. The only opinion that would matter would be God’s.

God has promised to be with me. If God is with me, who can be against me?

The fear of human opinion disables;
    trusting in God protects you from that.

Source: Proverbs 29:25 MSG – The fear of human opinion disables; – Bible Gateway

Jesus the Messiah, by his atoning death, resurrection, and heavenly intercession for believers, is the unique liberator from fear. The apostle Paul encouraged the Romans by informing them that in their conversion to the Messiah, they received the Holy Spirit, not as a spirit of fear and bondage, but as the spirit of adoption, whereby they could address God as “Abba”.

This is the word by which our Master Jesus addressed his heavenly Father and which Christians, by virtue of their adoption into the family of God, may also use in speaking to God. Recipients of God’s love have received a dynamic force for casting out their anxieties. A sense of God’s intimate love inspired Paul to say, “If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom 8:31).

Unwarranted fear may harm the efforts of the people of God. Jeremiah was warned by God not to fear the faces of his opponents lest God allow calamity to befall him. Similar calls to courage were given to Jeremiah’s contemporary, Ezekiel, and to a great many others. We realize that even godly people are tempted to fear and may be temporarily overwhelmed.

So, God repeatedly counsels his people not to succumb to that temptation. He tells them to heap their anxieties upon the God of their redemption, whose care for his sheep is infinitely great. Faith, then, is the indispensable antecedent of fearlessness as seen in the words of Isaiah: “You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you” (Is 26:3). The psalmist repeatedly stresses the role of faith in conquering fear (37:1; 46:2; 112:7).

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Does justice make sense to the evil minded?

Justice is a tricky thing. For many it is befuddling and confusing. They are seeking justice here in our country. Justice is truly found in God’s country (aka Kingdom) where Jesus has been given all authority.

There is evil in this world. There is an evil one (Satan or the Devil) and some people are clearly evil minded. The daily news reveals it constantly. God gives us a choice whether to choose God (and good) or evil.

We know Jesus and we know justice. We know justice will be served. It may not occur until the day of judgement but justice will be served. God is God.

Jesus taught us to pray that God’s rule and will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. We know what justice looks like. We are ushering it in here in earths countries.

Justice makes no sense to the evilminded; those who seek God know it inside and out.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 28:5 (The Message Bible)

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Am I calling attention to myself?

Humility

Jesus calls on me to be humble. God is God. God is great. I am not. I am a slave. That is all. I must be content in serving, not being served.

The Bible describes humility as meekness, lowliness, and absence of self. The Greek word translated “humility” in Colossians 3:12 and elsewhere literally means “lowliness of mind”.

I see that humility is a heart attitude, not merely an outward demeanor. I may put on an outward show of humility but still have a heart full of pride and arrogance.

Don’t call attention to yourself; let others do that for you.

~King Solomon | Proverbs 27:2

Jesus said that those who are “poor in spirit” would have the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).

Being poor in spirit means that only those who admit to an absolute bankruptcy of spiritual worth will inherit eternal life.

Humility is a prerequisite for the disciple of Jesus. I must get it in my heart and soul.


Am I just being stupid?

We all know foolish (stupid) people. We see them every day on TV or at work. Everyone really knows they are a fool and speaking stupidly. But is this about “them”? I am being warned not to be foolish myself.

I have a tendency to jump into the fray. I answer them. I argue with them. I defend myself and others I care about. I get sucked in. It isn’t pretty.

To what use is my response to things that are clearly stupid? Wisdom challenges me to not respond.

So why not respond? I look foolish falling into the fool’s trap. That is not the way of Wisdom. God’s goal for me is to focus on the truth and speak it plainly. I can wait and circle back to the truth at the right time. It may only be a few minutes later. It may take longer. I am to speak the truth about Jesus. I just need to be careful about responding to the stupidity of some things.

Don’t respond to the stupidity of a fool; you’ll only look foolish yourself.

~King Solomon | Source: Proverbs 26:4

Wisdom literature has a lot to say about fools. Proverbs 26 has many references. The skeptic and atheist are known to King David and King Solomon as fools. We hear David say: “The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.” (Psalm 14:1)

I have to be careful. We all should. This is not about moral superiority. David continues on in Psalm 14:2-3 and makes it clear that as God looks down on all people, He can find none who is not corrupt, emphasizing it with “not even one.”

Yikes! I resemble that remark.

The Hebrew word translated “fool” is nâbâl, which is an adjective having the meaning of “stupid, wicked” or “vile person.” It comes from the root verb nâbêl, which means “to fall away,” “figuratively to be foolish or (morally) wicked” or “causatively to despise, disgrace: – disgrace, dishonour.” So, the Hebrew word nâbâl refers more to bad moral character rather than just being stupid. He is foolish because he thinks God will not notice his bad behavior.

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 


Am I jumping to conclusions?

Image result for jump to conclusionsUh oh! Here we go.

How often do I jump to conclusions about what I saw or heard? Way too often. More than I like to admit. Probably much more than I actually know.

It is wise advise to not assume and take time to discover what is really going on. Maybe it is what I thought. It is entirely possible that it isn’t what I thought.

God is God. He is the only one who knows for sure. It will be up to Jesus to be the final judge and clearly not up to me.

“Don’t jump to conclusions — there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 25:8

The main theme of the sayings in this section is the nature of conflict and the way to avoid or resolve it.

  • Do not rush into public conflict, certain that right is on your side, nor if you make it a private matter, reveal all your sources; either way you may end up humiliated (8–10).
  • Don’t lose your self-control, or you may find you have lost everything (28).
  • Don’t be put off from speaking the truth in love and resisting evil but be careful how you do it.

Is it evil or just bad?

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King Solomon has some wisdom for me. It is about “evil” or bad people.

God is love (1 John 4:8); the absence of love in a person is un-God-like and therefore evil. And an absence of love manifests itself in unloving behavior. I like to think I am a “good person”. I like to believe the best about others.

Don’t envy evil people; don’t even want to be around them. All they think about is causing a disturbance; all they talk about is making trouble.

~King Solomon Source: Proverbs 24:1-2

I must consider God’s mercy, justice, patience, etc. The lack of these godly qualities in anyone constitutes evil. That evil then manifests itself in behavior that is unmerciful, unjust, impatient, etc., bringing more harm into the good world that God has made.

As it turns out, we lack a lot: “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’” (Romans 3:10).

  • How does it start? It starts with envy. It is that simple. Maybe it is their wealth or maybe it is their popularity. It is very subtle.
  • What is Gods’ goal for me? God wants me to hang out with good people, his chosen people. Jesus is clear in his mission.
  • Why is God’s goal important? If I hang out with bad people, their influence will rub off on me. They are nothing but trouble.
  • How could things be worse? There are bad people and there are evil people. Evil people are destined for God’s justice. Elsewhere in Proverbs we read that “Good people celebrate when justice triumphs, but for the workers of evil it’s a bad day.” (Proverbs 21:15)


What is my goal for wealth?

I have a goal. I have a plan. I have dreams. They involve money.

What does wisdom say about that?

  • What is my goal for wealth? I am overwhelmed with messages about wealth and retirement. They are everywhere I turn. Jesus says “Be generous. Give to the poor. Get yourselves a bank that can’t go bankrupt, a bank in heaven far from bankrobbers, safe from embezzlers, a bank you can bank on. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Luke 12:33-34)
  • Am I willing to wear myself out to get it? Trying to get wealthy will wear me out. There just enough hours in the day and there is always more to do.
  • Do I understand that wealth is fleeting? Jesus says “Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
  • What is God’s goal? God’s goal for me is focus on Jesus and being a good citizen of the Kingdom of God. God wants me to love. God wants me to use my money to be generous to others.

“Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
    restrain yourself!
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
    wealth sprouts wings
    and flies off into the wild blue yonder.” ~King Solomon

Source: Proverbs 23:4-5

This proverb does not condemn wealth; it warns against the pursuit of wealth. Ecclesiastes also warns about pursuit of wealth and its inability to satisfy (Eccl 5:10).

It describes two situations: In one, a person pursues wealth but never enjoys it or finds satisfaction (Eccl 4:7–8). In the second, someone loses all their wealth and is left with nothing (Eccl 5:13–17).

These verses warn against overwork for the sake of gaining riches. This speaks not against being industrious but against consuming oneself for money. Wise restraint in this area (as well as in what one eats at a banquet, vv. 1–2) is needed, especially in the present day when materialism drives many people to excessive workloads in order to accumulate more money.

The reason for this advice is that riches are temporary and unstable .The first part of 23:5 is literally, “If you cause your eyes to fly after it” (i.e., wealth). Ironically, flying after wealth results in wealth flying away like an eagle.

 

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