Author Archives: Μιχαήλ (Michael) | A slave of Jesus

About Μιχαήλ (Michael) | A slave 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 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.

Do I Love What goes with Learning?

Intentional DiscipleshipThe first thing is to cultivate a love of learning. To be wise, means I need to grow. It isn’t something we are naturally born with. We must have a passion for learning.

When I commit to learning the way of Jesus, I am opening myself up to correction. The student doesn’t learn without correction.

Learning isn’t easy. It requires work. It requires a real discipline to do it even when I don’t want to or feel like it. Learning means I willing to hear, no, that is not the right way. Jesus calls all of to be disciples (learners) of His way.

When I fall short, I must submit to God’s discipline and receive correction. I must be open to hearing I wan’t correct in my thinking.

I can be foolish and be headstrong. I can do what I like, not what Jesus wants me to do. If I am wise, I will take advice.

If you love learning, you love the discipline that goes with it. How shortsighted to refuse correction! ~King Solomon (Proverbs 12:1 The Message Bible)

The Greek term for “disciple” in the New Testament is mathetes, which means more than just “student” or “learner.” A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct. The Pharisees prided themselves in being disciples of Moses (John 9:28). Their discipleship began with Jesus’ call and required them to exercise their will to follow Him (Matthew 9:9).

Jesus was quite explicit about the cost of following Him. Discipleship requires a totally committed life: “Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:33). Sacrifice is expected: “Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me’” (Matthew 16:24).

Not all of Jesus’ followers were able to make such a commitment. There were many who left Jesus after a while. “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him” (John 6:66).

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Am I seeking good and God?

Seek good and find delight

There are many things I can be the student of in life. Seeking good is God’s goal for me and should be the only priority.

God wants me to go after wisdom and good like there is no tomorrow. In fact, we all know that there is a reality called “here today, gone tomorrow”. I have today.

How do I spend my time? What kind of TV do I watch? What am I searching for on the internet?

Am I seeking good and God? It is an essential question. Is my priority the kingdom of God where Jesus is the Master? Is it? Is it really?

Of course, there is a consequence to being a student of evil. It is sad but God warns me that if I seek evil I will become evil.  I will find what I seek. It is my choice.  Jesus alerts me that there is a way that leads to life. That way is Jesus.

May I seek good. May I find delight. So be it.

“The one who seeks good finds delight; the student of evil becomes evil.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 11:27)


Am I Willing to Take Orders?

Image result for proverbs 10 8I live in a world where I must respond to others and take orders. I have customers, colleagues, bosses, police, parents, teachers and the list goes on.

“A wise heart takes orders; an empty head will come unglued.” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 10:8)

I do have options though.

  • I can ignore the person and hope they forget. Sometimes they do.
  • I can be obstinate.
  • I can be defiant.
  • I can say yes and then not do it.
  • I can fake obedience.
  • I can get too busy.
  • I can forget.

I can be too clever some days at avoiding the real issue of simple obedience.

It is a matter of the heart. Do I have a heart that respects authority? Am I willing to serve others? Do I have a slave’s heart for what my Master Jesus wants me to do?

If so, I can be wise.

Do I come unglued when someone in authority asks me to do something? King Solomon concludes I have an empty head. As my dad would say, “That is not right bright”.

God’s goal for me for is to obey. It is most important to obey Jesus. Jesus teaches me to pray, “Your will be done!”


Am I Living in a Land of Impoverished Confusion?

Image result for life of meaning

What does Lady Wisdom say to me?

  • I’m living in confusion and impoverished by it. I should leave the land of confusion and begin to live. I have a choice. What will I decide?
  • I can have meaning in life. Jesus has given it to me. The gift is available to me. That is some very good news.
  • I should act like I have a life of meaning. Does what I do reflect the wisdom I have in my life? Can others see the meaning and feel it? Do I get it? Do others see it?

“Leave your impoverished confusion and live! Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” ~King Solomon |  Proverbs 9:6 (The Message Bible)

Wisdom and understanding is a God-given perception of the spiritual and meaning of God’s ways. It results in my having sound judgment and decision-making. In particular, it gives me the ability to discern spiritual truth and to apply it to my daily walk with Jesus.

Biblical wisdom refers to practical skills associated with understanding and living a successful life. Wisdom is often associated with trust in and fear of God (Deut 4:6; Prov 1:7).

Understanding God’s word. The New Testament presents Jesus as a teacher — a role often associated with the wise in the ancient world. This connection is apparent in Jesus’ use of parables to instruct — teaching methods also used by sages (see Prov 1:2–7).

When the Sabbath came, He began to teach in the synagogue; and the many listeners were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, and such miracles as these performed by His hands? | Mark 6:2

There is far more to Jesus’ teaching than simply the adoption of wisdom forms  —  which prophets in Old Testament times also used to convey their message. The content of Jesus’ teaching is not constrained to wisdom by His use of parables. It is also prophetic. It is miraculous. It is priestly.

The teachings of Jesus convey the Way. They convey the Truth. They convey Life!


Can I Ignore a Disciplined Life?

Intentional DiscipleshipThere are a few really critical factors in living a life of wisdom. One of them is discipline.

  • I can’t ignore living a disciplined life. Wisdom doesn’t come by a haphazard approach. When Jesus teaches me a lesson, I must put it into practice every second of every day.
  • I must choose to live wisely. I get to decide. I can be foolish if I want to be. I get to decide to live a life based on the wisdom Jesus has given me.
  • I must resist the temptation to squander what Jesus has given me. My standing with God is a gift. I can reject the gift of God.

“Mark a life of discipline and live wisely;
    don’t squander your precious life.” | Proverbs 8:33 (The Message Bible)

What is God’s goal for me? Primarily God wants me to grow up and not be a child my whole life. Growing up requires discipline from a father. God is in a good mood and disciplines me for a reason. It is out of true love. So, what is the goal of discipline? “All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. (Hebrews 12:11)”

Is discipline the same as punishment? The short answer is no. Discipline is a method of teaching a child self-control, confidence, and responsibility. The key to discipline is teaching a child what behavior is okay and what behavior is not okay. — Punishment is quite different from disciplinePunishment may be physical as in spanking, hitting, or causing pain. The focus of punishment is always past tense: “First you did this, then you did this, and now you have to pay the price.” In His mercy, God wiped away all eternal, spiritual implications of our pasts; He doesn’t treat His children according to the rules of punishment.

Discipline is future-focused, always pointing toward future acts. It has nothing to do with retribution and everything to do with redemption. Whereas the purpose of punishment is to inflict a penalty for an offense, the purpose of discipline is to train for correction and maturity. The origin of punishment is the frustration of the parent, the origin of discipline is a high motivation for the welfare of the child.  The result of punishment is fear and shame, the result of discipline is security. Discipline always holds the child’s best interests, not the parent’s anger, in the forefront. It is never out of control.

God’s goal is for me to love discipline. Now that is tough to do but the more I am disciplined, the more I know and grow. Consider Proverbs 12:1 “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.”

How do I know that God loves me so very much? King Solomon has a lot to say about discipline.  Proverbs 13:24 “He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.” It is in fact proof that I am a child of God when God disciplines me. “It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? (Hebrews 12:5)”


How Should I Treat Insight?

Image result for insightHere is the deal about wisdom. God has a goal for me. God wants me to be wise. God wants me to understand Jesus. God wants me to know how to love. God wants me to have insight.

Insight is the spiritual quality that enables me to appreciate God’s mind and will in matters of behavior, truth and providence. This is important where right perception is not obvious. Some things can elude me. They seem to be a mystery. Then boom! God breaks through. All of the sudden, I get it. Yea God!

Talk to Wisdom as to a sister.
    Treat Insight as your companion. | Proverbs 7:4

Insight is akin to wisdom and understanding. It is given by God and is to be sought by believers.

  • I need to be on speaking terms with wisdom. Wisdom needs to be as close to me as family, like a sister to me.
  • Insight, in addition to wisdom, is critical to my well being. Insight should be my closest friend, always with me.
  • Wisdom and insight together should be my close companions. They go hand in hand like trusted friends and family. They compliment each other.

I can count on Jesus to give me insight. Things that were unknown are now knowable and known. Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, makes plain what was a mystery.

“Consider what I say, for the Master will give you understanding in everything.”  2 Timothy 2:7 (NASB)

“By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of the Messiah, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit.” Ephesians 3:4–5 (NASB)

 


Follow your Father’s and Mother’s Good Advice

Dorothy and Everett Wilson wedding photoI am a very fortunate man. My father gave me excellent advice. My mother taught me about love. I don’t know how they saw it but that was what they were doing. They were very wise.

As a part of the “greatest generation” ever, my father lived through the great depression and survived World War II. He knew what he was doing. It wasn’t haphazard. His father had taught him. He taught me.

His wisdom serves me well. When I heed it, I am successful.

Good friend, follow your father’s good advice;
    don’t wander off from your mother’s teachings.
Wrap yourself in them from head to foot;
    wear them like a scarf around your neck.
Wherever you walk, they’ll guide you;
    whenever you rest, they’ll guard you;
    when you wake up, they’ll tell you what’s next.
For sound advice is a beacon,
    good teaching is a light,
    moral discipline is a life path.

~~King Solomon Proverbs 6 (The Message Bible)

Mom's love of countryAnd then, there is my mother.  It is true I am a product of my mother’s love. She cared so much for us. She passed away when I was 12. I always felt her love. I owe her so very much. I wish I could thank her in person.

Someday I will. I know she believed that.

Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” —Robert Browning

This is the very cool thing. I have a heavenly Father who is amazingly wise. He sent his son Jesus to show me wisdom and does so every day. My earthly father led me to my heavenly Father.