Author Archives: Michael Wilson

About Michael Wilson

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. 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 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)

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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.


Death is the Reward of an Undisciplined Life

Image result for foolishJesus challenges me to be careful about the decisions I make. I must be disciplined in my approach to following Jesus. I must count the cost and be prepared to see my commitment through to the end.

Here is the deal. I will reap what I sow. There is no way around that. There is a path to life. It is a path of discipline.

Jesus makes that clear to me. God’s goal for me is to be disciplined. I must reject the foolish way.

“Death is the reward of an undisciplined life;
    your foolish decisions trap you in a dead end.” 

Source: Proverbs 5:23

God has a 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. Whereas the origin of punishment is the frustration of the parent, the origin of discipline is a high motivation for the welfare of the child. And whereas 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? In Proverbs 13:24 we learn “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)”


Keep vigilant watch over your heart.

Jesus challenges me to be vigilant. If I don’t pay attention, I will drift. Jesus has given me the way of wisdom. May I pay attention and not reject him.

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” ~King Solomon | Source: Proverbs 4:23

I must watch over my heart. The main thing to pay attention to is my heart. From my heart comes what I think, what I say and what I do. It starts with my heart.

Life starts with my heart. It is easy to believe my heart isn’t important but it is the key. David knew it. Solomon knew it. Jesus focused on it and challenges me to pay attention.

David was known as a man after God’s own heart. May I learn enough to have that said of me. Now that is a real goal to have.

The good news is the Jesus gives me a new heart. I am a new creation in Him. That is amazing to consider. I have been born again.

According to the Bible, the heart is the center not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life.

The heart is the “home of the personal life,” and hence a man is designated, according to his heart, wise, upright and righteous, pious and good.

The heart is also the seat of the conscience. It is naturally wicked, and hence it can contaminate my whole life and character. Hence the heart must be changed, regenerated, before a man can willingly obey God.

The process of salvation begins in the heart by the believing reception of the testimony of God, while the rejection of that testimony hardens the heart. “Hardness of heart” evidences itself by light views of sin; partial acknowledgment and confession of it; pride and conceit; ingratitude; unconcern about the word and ordinances of God; inattention to divine providences; stifling convictions of conscience; shunning reproof; presumption, and general ignorance of divine things.”

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 (NASB)

 


Don’t assume that you know it all

I think I am pretty clever some days. I think I can figure it all out.

AND then I run into the wall with something and I realize I am not as clever as I like to think I am. My understanding is not what our LORD wants.

If the victory is to be His, I have to trust Him with all my heart. I have to emotionally connect with what He wants not what I understand.

May I trust him from the bottom of my heart.

May I do it now.

What is God saying?

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! (Proverbs 3:5 The Message Bible)

And here is some more. True understand comes from Jesus. The point of understanding is to know Jesus the Messiah. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus leads us to eternal life. Now that is some very good news.

And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus the Messiah. This is the true God and eternal life. | 1 John 5:20 (NASB)

So what does Jesus himself say? The point is to know that God is in Jesus and Jesus is in God. They are one and the same. That is true understanding.

“But if I do them [miracles], though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.” | John 10:38 (NASB)


Make Insight Your Priority

Wisdom

I have priorities. I have plans. I love to plan. But, do I have the right priorities? There is a difference.

Insight should be my top priority. I must search for the direction God wants me to go. Jesus challenges me to love. I need insight on how to do it. It isn’t always clear to me.

There is a treasure for me to find. I must search like an adventurer. I must be on a quest to gain insight.

“Fear-of-God” keeps me on course. It is easy for me to wander off and lose focus.

That’s right—if you make Insight your priority,
    and won’t take no for an answer,
Searching for it like a prospector panning for gold,
    like an adventurer on a treasure hunt,
Believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours;
    you’ll have come upon the Knowledge of God. ~King Solomon – Source: Proverbs 2:1-5 (The Message Bible)

Insight is the spiritual quality that enables a person to appreciate God’s mind and will in matters of behavior, truth, and providence, especially where right perception is not obvious. Insight is akin to wisdom and understanding. It is given by God and is to be sought by believers.

Insight is given by God. That is a huge thing for us as believers. That is some very good news. God loves to give me insight. I must make it a priority.

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

Jesus gives us insight through His teaching. How can I understand the scriptures? It is through the Holy Spirit and what Jesus says to me! Jesus will open my mind. Jesus will explain everything to me. Understanding can be mine in Jesus.

Luke 24:45–47 (NASB) — Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

Luke 24:27 (NASB) — Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Matthew 16:12 (NASB) — Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Now, this is really sweet! God is so very good. If I want insight, all I have to do is ask. Our God is so very generous.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. | James 1:5 (NASB)