Tag Archive: relationships


Four words with the power to change your life.

I’m on my way back !

For those who have been wondering where I escaped to – I’ve been recovering from a few ailment.

Several years ago I came down with a heart problem by the name of “super-ventricular tacycardia.  Forthose who are unfamilar to this ailment it also referred to a racing heart. The first time it hit me was several years back – I was doing nothing ad suddenly my heart rate went to 274 bps. That was followed by three other events; one a record 324 bps.

I took a while for the cardiologist to bring my heart rhytm to a stable rate. Shortly there after I broke two toes. Ad yes it hurt (lol). On top of this I have developed COPD. Followed in Januart of 2018 a stroke followed by a series of mini-strokes.  At this point i life I was being treated for depression and anxiety. It’s been a long 4 years but, as always, God has brought me through  it. Praise be to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. That is my God and hopefully He’s your God as well.

I ask everyone to remember me in prayer and give to one another encouragement and Godly love. Keep everone in your prayers. There are blessings in doing so.

To all of my friends, brothers and sisters in Christ; may the peace of Christ go with you and may His face shine upon you and yours. May the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob bestow upon you all of His blessings.

Yours in Christ;

Michael

P/S: I will soon get on your comments and questions. Please be patient.

Thank you.

Everyone has been wronged, offended, and sinned against at some point. How are Christians to respond when such offenses occur? According to the Bible, we are to forgive others. Ephesians 4:32 declares, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Similarly, Colossians 3:13 proclaims, “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” The key in both Scriptures is that we are to forgive others as God has forgiven us. Why do we forgive? Because we have been forgiven!

Forgiveness would be simple if we only had to grant it to those who come asking for it in sorrow and repentance. The Bible tells us that we are to forgive, without condition, those who sin against us. Refusing to truly forgive a person demonstrates resentment, bitterness, and anger, none of which are the traits of a true Christian. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask God to forgive us our sins, just as we forgive those who sin against us (Matthew 6:12). Jesus said in Matthew 6:14-15, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” In light of other Scriptures that speak of God’s forgiveness, Matthew 6:14-15 is best understood to be saying that people who refuse to forgive others have not truly experienced God’s forgiveness themselves.

Whenever we disobey one of God’s commands, we sin against Him. Whenever we wrong another person, we not only sin against that person, but also against God. When we consider the extent to which God forgives all our transgressions, we realize that we do not have the right to withhold this grace from others. We have sinned against God infinitely more than any person can sin against us. If God forgives us of so much, how can we refuse to forgive others of so little? Jesus’ parable in Matthew 18:23-35 is a powerful illustration of this truth. God promises that when we come to Him asking for forgiveness, He freely grants it (1 John 1:9). The forgiveness we extend should know no limits, in the same way that God’s forgiveness is limitless (Luke 17:3-4).

When Jesus said we are to love our enemies, He was creating a new standard for relationships. He proclaimed to the crowds listening to His Sermon on the Mount that they knew they were to love their neighbor because the command to love our neighbor was a law of God (Leviticus 19:18). That we must therefore hate our enemy was an inference incorrectly drawn from it by the Jews. While no Bible verse explicitly says “hate your enemy,” the Pharisees may have somewhat misapplied some of the Old Testament passages about hatred for God’s enemies (Psalm 139:19-22; 140:9-11). But Jesus replaced this idea with an even higher standard: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45). Jesus goes on to explain that loving those who love us is easy and even unbelievers can do that. Then He commands us to “be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:43-48).

Jesus explained to His followers that they should adhere to the real meaning of God’s law by loving their enemies as well as their neighbors. A Pharisee once asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29). Jesus then told the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Here Jesus taught that His followers must demonstrate love to all kinds of people—no matter what faith, nationality, or personality—enemies included. If you love your enemies and “pray for those who persecute you,” you then truly reveal that Jesus is Lord of your life.

By using an illustration of the sun rising and the rain falling on both the good and the evil, Jesus shows God’s undiscriminating love to all people. His disciples then must reflect His character and exhibit this same undiscriminating love for both friends and enemies. Jesus is teaching us that we must live by a higher standard than what the world expects—a standard that is impossible for us to attain by our own efforts. It’s only through the power of God’s Spirit that His people can truly love and pray for those who intend to do them harm (Romans 12:14-21).

Finally, after giving us the admonition to love our enemies, Jesus then gives us this command: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). As sons of our Father (Matthew 5:45), we are to be perfect, even as He is perfect. This is utterly impossible for sinful man to achieve. This unattainable standard is exactly what the Law itself demanded (James 2:10). So how can Jesus demand the impossible? He later tells us, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). That which God demands, only He can accomplish, including the demand to love our enemies. What is impossible for man becomes possible for those who give their lives to Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in our hearts.

Our hearts  go out to those who have thoughts of ending their own lives through suicide. If  that is you right now, it may speak of many emotions, such as feelings of  hopelessness and despair. You may feel like you are in the deepest pit, and you  doubt there is any hope of things getting better. No one seems to care or  understand where you are coming from. Life just is not worth living…or is  it?

If you will take a few moments to consider letting God truly be God  in your life right now, He will prove how big He really is, “for nothing is  impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).  Perhaps scars from past hurts have resulted in an overwhelming sense of  rejection or abandonment. That may lead to self-pity, anger, bitterness,  vengeful thoughts, or unhealthy fears that have caused problems in some of your  most important relationships.

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend,  no matter how bad things are in your life, there is a God of love who is waiting  for you to let Him guide you through your tunnel of despair and out into His  marvelous light. He is your sure hope. His name is Jesus.

This Jesus,  the sinless Son of God, identifies with you in your time of rejection and  humiliation. The prophet Isaiah wrote of Him in Isaiah  53:2-6, describing Him as a man who was “despised and rejected” by everyone.  His life was full of sorrow and suffering. But the sorrows He bore were not His  own; they were ours. He was pierced, wounded, and crushed, all because of our  sin. Because of His suffering, our lives can be redeemed and made whole.

Friend, Jesus Christ endured all this so that you might have all your sins  forgiven. Whatever weight of guilt you carry, know that He will forgive you if  you humbly receive Him as your Savior. “…Call upon me in the day of trouble; I  will deliver you…” (Psalm  50:15). Nothing you have ever done is too bad for Jesus to forgive. Some of  His choicest servants committed gross sins like murder (Moses), murder and  adultery (King David), and physical and emotional abuse (the apostle Paul). Yet  they found forgiveness and a new abundant life in the Lord. “Therefore, if  anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”  (2  Corinthians 5:17).

Why should you not commit suicide? Friend, God  stands ready to repair what is “broken,” namely, the life you have now, the life  you want to end by suicide. In Isaiah  61:1-3, the prophet wrote, “The LORD has anointed me to preach good news to  the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for  the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year  of the Lord’s favor…to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who  grieve…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness  instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of  despair.”

Come to Jesus, and let Him restore your joy and usefulness as  you trust Him to begin a new work in your life. He promises to restore the joy  you have lost and give you a new spirit to sustain you. Your broken heart is  precious to Him: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and  contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Psalm 51:1215-17).

Will you accept the Lord as your Savior  and Shepherd? He will guide your thoughts and steps—one day at a time—through  His Word, the Bible. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should  go; I will counsel you and watch over you” (Psalm 32:8).  “He will be the sure foundation for your times, a rich store of salvation and  wisdom and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is the key to this treasure” (Isaiah 33:6). In Christ, you  will still have struggles, but you will now have hope. He is “a friend who  sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs  18:24). May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you in your hour of  decision.

If you desire to trust Jesus Christ as your Savior, speak  these words in your heart to God: “God, I need you in my life. Please forgive me  for all that I have done. I place my faith in Jesus Christ and believe that He  is my Savior. Please cleanse me, heal me, and restore my joy in life. Thank You  for Your love for me and for Jesus’ death on my behalf.”

The  kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the  Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative  who was in trouble, danger, or in need. The Hebrew term (go el) for  kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9-25, 25:47-55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a  relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of  Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.

The story of Ruth and  Boaz begins when Ruth and her mother-in-law, Naomi, return to Bethlehem from  Moab where they had been living. Naomi’s husband and both sons, one the husband  of Ruth, had died, leaving the women penniless and without a male protector.  Upon arriving in Bethlehem, Naomi sends Ruth to glean in the fields of Boaz, a  wealthy relative of Naomi to whom they, through a series of divinely-appointed  circumstances, appeal as their go el. Boaz acquiesces, willingly takes  Ruth as his wife, and together they bear a son named Obed who became the  grandfather of David, the forefather of Jesus.

Jehovah is Israel’s  Redeemer, the one who promises to defend and vindicate them. He is both Father  and Deliverer (Exodus  20:2). There are numerous Old Testament appeals to God as rescuer of the  weak and needy (Psalm 82:4Daniel 6:27; Jeremiah 20:13) and the  sheep of Israel (Ezekiel  34:10-12, 22).

In the New Testament, Christ is often regarded as an example of a  kinsman-redeemer because as our brother (Hebrews  2:11), He also redeems us because of our great need, one that only He can  fill. In Ruth 3:9, we  see a beautiful and poignant picture of the needy supplicant, unable to rescue  herself, requesting of the kinsman-redeemer that he cover her with his  protection, redeem her, and make her his wife. In the same way, the Lord Jesus  Christ bought us for Himself, out of the curse, out of our destitution, made us  His own beloved bride and blessed us for all generations. He is the true  kinsman-redeemer of all who call on Him in faith.


When seeking what we can learn from the thief on the cross, it should be remembered that at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, two thieves were crucified beside Him (Luke  23:33-43), and both began their time on the cross by mocking and blaspheming Him, as did many of the spectators. One of the thieves responded to the message of salvation and was taken to paradise that very day. He is the one usually referred to as the thief on the cross, while the other man did not respond and is now suffering from a deadly and eternal mistake.

It is remarkable that, while in the excruciating and mind-numbing torment of the cross, the Son of Man had the heart, mind and will to pray for others. Yet it is a miracle that one thief, while in agony himself, heard the Spirit of God call him to repentance and acceptance of the forgiveness God was just about to provide  through the death of Christ. While the disciples were abandoning the Lord, this  man answered the call and his sins were forgiven, including his blasphemy against the Son of God (Luke  5:31-32, 12:8-10).

That the other thief rejected Jesus is remarkable in its own right. While being tortured on the cross he literally joined his torturers in insulting  the Savior of the world, and he most likely did so because he wanted his torturers to think he was just like them, joined to the world and with no love  for God (Matthew  27:44). Not only was this man next to the Savior, he heard Him pray, he  witnessed the salvation of the other thief, he saw the world go dark, and he  heard the testimony of the Son. But his pride kept him from submitting to the only One who could save him, and when he one day bows to the Name he mocked, he will be doing so reluctantly and while in torment (Philippians  2:10).

What we learn from the saved thief on the cross is that we  are all sinners in need of a Savior, and no matter the number of our sins and no  matter if we, or the world, think our sins are minor or extreme, it is never too  late to repent and accept the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Revelation  22:17). Moreover, as long as someone still has a mind and the will to chose  life over death (Hebrews  9:27), it is never too late to proclaim the gospel, which hopefully will  open a heart to a miracle by the Holy Spirit.

Bullying is very common today. in our schools, over the internet and even in many homes. So, how should a Christian respond?
 Although we do not find the word bullying in the Bible, we do find the  word brutish, a synonym of the brutal thuggery associated with thieves,  assassins, and savage beasts (Psalm 49:10Proverbs  12:1; Isaiah  19:11). The Hebrew and Greek words translated “brute” or “brutish” mean  “stupid, foolish, and irrational, as cattle.” We can derive from this that those  who bully are acting as cattle or other beasts incapable of rational thought. It  is, unfortunately, not uncommon to see this type of abhorrent behavior in fallen  man—even in the church—in both males and females throughout all life  stages.

Sadly, Christians are not immune from attacks by brutish  bullies. In fact, Christians are often more likely to be victims, especially if  they are trying to live according to Jesus’ command to “turn the other cheek”  (Matthew  5:39). That does not mean Christians cannot pray for God to defend them. Are  Christians denied the option of self-defense? Not necessarily. All husbands are  required to defend their wives, children, families, homes, businesses, and their  nations (Ephesians 5:21 – 6:9). Where the bullying of children is  involved, it is the parents’ responsibility before God to protect their children  and remove them from situations where they may be in danger.

“‘Teacher,  which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord  your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love  your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two  commandments” (Matthew  22:36-40). The Bible says believers are to love God with everything in them,  so they can produce good fruit (Galatians  5:22-23) and apply the Golden Rule to others. In the Parable of the Good  Samaritan (Luke  10:25-37), Jesus reveals that the heart of a true neighbor is one that shows  mercy, even to one’s enemies. So, Christians are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), first  being sure their own hearts are pure before God.

Jesus Christ, Bondservant

Philippians 2:5-7

The disciples gathered around a table to celebrate Passover with Jesus. Had one of them been more thoughtful of the others—or if one possessed a spirit of servanthood—he would have done the very thing that Christ did. He would have taken water and a cloth, knelt before the other 12 men, one at a time, and washed their feet. Jesus came into the world as a servant (Matt. 20:28). He was willing to do whatever was necessary to move men’s hearts and bring them to a saving knowledge of God.

As the lowest of household servants, the bondslave had the distasteful job of washing the feet of anyone who entered the home. And this is the very task that Christ voluntarily performed that evening, right before His trial and sufferings would begin. His act was a foreshadowing of the service He was about to render to His Father—as well as to the whole world—by dying on the cross for humanity’s sin.

We who believe in Jesus Christ do not call Him “slave”; we identify Him as our Master. So when He says that a servant is not greater than His master, He is speaking of our relationship with Him (John 13:16). Believers bend their knees to God’s most humble servant, His Son. What are you doing for the Lord?

Christians are God’s workmanship, created for the purpose of good works (Eph. 2:10). In other words, we were saved to serve. Therefore, there is no valid excuse for refusal. When you surrender to the Lord, you step onto the pathway of Jesus Christ, which is the best possible way to live.

Philippians 2:3—Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

The measure of men’s greatness is not the number of servants he has, but the number of people he serves!

George Mueller was walking past an orphanage in London when he saw, sticking through a picket fence, the dirty hand of a ragged little girl.  At that time orphans, lunatics and criminals were all thrown into one massive compound of human suffering.

That dirty little hand, pleading wordlessly through the fence, would not leave Mueller’s mind.  His heart was stirred to action as the Holy Spirit directed him to do all he could to show mercy toward the pitiful orphans of England.

A Divine Assignment

He discussed the matter with his wife, and they decided to open the doors of their home in a living demonstration of mercy.  Their faith pledge to each other was “the day the Lord stops providing the food and finances for these children, we stop.”

They promptly filled their home with orphans.  Without support from a single local church or government agency, they determined to give their all in this divine assignment.  They sold the beautiful silver service and heirloom china they had received as wedding gifts.  They stripped themselves of their wealth in absolute determination to provide for these unwanted children.

Daily Miracles

God supernaturally supplied the needs of the Muellers on a day-to-day basis with miracle after miracle.  When there was no food, Mueller would have the children fold their hands and give thanks for food that wasn’t there.  Before the prayer was ended, food would arrive from a merchant or businessman whom God had moved to provide for the children.

George Mueller filled his own house with orphans, then the house next door, and the next house, and the next, until the neighbors protested that the children were taking over the neighborhood.  Mueller asked God for an answer.  The next day he saw a beautiful piece of property.  “The orphanage will be built there,” he said.  He was told the property belonged to the government and was absolutely unavailable.  Six weeks later George Mueller owned the property and began building the most spectacular orphanage England had ever seen.

At age seventy-three, when most men are concerned with personal comfort and retirement, George Mueller was still housing, feeding, clothing and educating 2,500 orphans without one dime of support from church or state.

Mercy is Manifested in Serving

History proves that the only great men among us are those who serve.

The apostle Paul was a servant to God and man.  Nero was a rich, powerful, self-centered monarch who ruled Rome.  We name our sons Paul.  We name our dogs Nero!

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