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There’s No Need for Disinformation

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced news of a new Disinformation Governance Board. When an old ticktock video of the individual selected to oversee this board surfaced, the credibility of this Disinformation Board was immediately put into question. Meanwhile, a tweet by Jeff Bezos called out President Biden for his own disinformation about a false statement on Covid-19 vaccines.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth, 3 John 1:4.

According to one of Jesus’ former disciples, the Bible has its own plan for dealing with disinformation. At the beginning of one of his last recorded letters, John’s greatest joy as a Christian is to see people, he spiritually mentored to live their lives in the truth of the Bible. Since the Bible contains supernatural power as a living document, Hebrews 4:12, disinformation is exposed by the light of God’s Word.

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free, John 8:31-32.

Years earlier, John was present when Jesus told his disciples that spiritual truth will set you free. While disinformation, gossip, and rumors continue today, Christians who shine the light and love of Jesus will convict the hearts of those trying to control your speech. Despite the algorithms designed by social media sites that favor progressive ideas, living your life in the Truth will expose disinformation as its espoused.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 197: Shake the Dust Off

Today’s artist began his music career as a founding member of Florida Christian rock group Bellarive. Yet, when Sean Curran joined Passion as a featured artist in 2017, he received national recognition. While scanning the internet, I found Shake the Dust Off as part of a worship music collection. This title reminds me as Jesus’ words shared to disciples who are sent out two to two to share the Good News about Jesus.

Then if indeed that house is deserving, let come upon it your peace [that is, [b]freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. But if it is not deserving, let your peace return to you. 14 And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust [of it] from your feet, Matthew 10:13-14.

Yet, Shake Off the Dust could refer to individuals who have fallen, trip or were knocked down by someone or something. If you land in grass, anyone who is O.C.D. will immediately brush off their clothes to remove any dirt or grass clippings. Depending upon how you view this expression, you could have a positive or negative impression. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy listening to Shake the Dust Off.

by Jay Mankus

A Platform for Hope

According to C.S. Lewis, hope is one of three theological virtues, 1 Corinthians 13:13. While charity (love) and faith often overshadow hope, the author of one New Testament book highlights how you can’t have faith without hope, Hebrews 11:1-6. Faith and hope go hand in hand as faith is an assurance in God’s promises and hope is the spirit of perseverance which believes that one day they will become a reality.

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome, Jeremiah 29:11.

Senator Barrack Obama rode a platform of hope into two full terms as president of the United States. Obama’s message of “hope and change” placed this articulate candidate into the White House and became the new leader of the Democratic party for more than a decade. One Old Testament prophet shared a message of hope to Israel. This passage serves as a source of optimism for the future.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope, Romans 15:13.

The Greek noun euangelion appears 76 times in the Bible while the verb euangelizo occurs 54 times. This is where the English term Gospel is derived. Gospel refers to the good news about Jesus Christ, John 3:16-17. The apostle Paul sums up this spiritual platform of hope in two verses: Romans 5:8 and Romans 6:23. While we were still sinners, Jesus died for us to cancel the wages of sin. This is the platform of hope which inspires Christians to wake up to see another day on earth.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 196: Note to Self

Today’s artist comes from a man with a profound mission to make music that gives an immediate emotional impact. Following a jet ski accident as a child which left him deaf in one ear, Stephen Stanley uncovered a remarkable gift for music and melody. Just as the apostle Paul dealt with a messenger from Satan in 2 Corinthians 12:7, this trial propelled Steven to become a Christian musician.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will [o]ease and relieve and [p]refresh [q]your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest ([r]relief and ease and refreshment and [s]recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls, Matthew 11:28-29.

Note to Self is one of those comments adults make while “thinking out loud.” As you go back in time, you can see where you wavered and what you should do differently in the future. Subsequently, the lyrics of Note to Self are like words of wisdom to prevent repeating the same mistakes of your past. As you listen to Stephen’s song, may his testimony give you hope to move mountains in your own life.

by Jay Mankus

Resonate

The textbook definition of resonate is to produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound. This may be in the form of a blare, chime or ding that reverberates like a local church bell that you may have in your community. Growing up in a friendly Delaware neighborhood, Mrs. Kerth rang her cowbell every summer night to let us know it was time for dinner. Even when we were playing hide and go seek in nearby woods, the sound of this bell would resonate to get our attention.

My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart, Proverbs 4:20-21.

King Solomon wrote the Book of Proverbs to help his children grow up to pursue God’s wisdom. One specific passage resonates with “wisdom from God’s mouth to gain knowledge and understanding.” Solomon relays the connection between your heart and the wellspring to life in today’s passage. After writing about health and healing, Solomon’s command is to guard your heart.

For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. 23 Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life, Proverbs 4:22-23.

Jesus speaks of this fact in Luke 6:45 as the mouth speaks out of the overflow of your heart. If loose lips sink ships, a heart dwelling on the wrong things will begin to spew venom. Subsequently, as a new generation grows up without any regards to curse words that flow out of potty mouths, four letter words are resonating. May the words of Jesus and Solomon strike a cord with your soul so that wholesome language returns to America.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 195: Nothing Comes Close

Christine D’Clario is a worship leader who ministers to a church with a large Spanish speaking audience. This singer and songwriter from Yonkers, New York first received notoriety in 2005 following the release of her debut album. I discovered Christine’s music recently after a search on You Tube, who started her own You Tube Channel back in 2006.

If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such [a]as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers ([b]the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody), 1 Corinthians 13:1-2.

The lyrics of Nothing Comes Close reminds me of this passage above. The apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth who were so focused on spiritual gifts that the love of Jesus was overlooked. Therefore, you may be blessed, gifted and talented, but without living out God’s love daily these special qualities are wasted. As you listen to today’s song, remember that nothing comes close to God’s love.

by Jay Mankus

Responding to the Open Doors in Life

Human nature is on full display in Genesis 3. Back in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 2:15-17, God only gave Adam and Eve one rule. The rest of the garden was free to explore. The story of mankind’s fall from grace was passed down orally until Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible. According to Genesis 3, no timetable is provided on the length of the serpent’s temptation. Sometimes open doors are snare traps set by the Devil. Responding to these open doors require caution, maturity and wisdom.

When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. 27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]. 28 Let the thief steal no more, but rather let him be industrious, making an honest living with his own hands, so that he may be able to give to those in need, Ephesians 4:26-28.

One chapter after the warning in the passage above, the apostle Paul introduces the concept of keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 5:25. Galatians 5:16-18 details this internal tug of war which Adam and Eve both lost. When a child is told not to do something by their parents, this boundary or restriction elicits a sense of curiosity. Subsequently, the Tree of Knowledge was accessible by exercising free will. Today, there are countless temptations, opens doors that end up trapping the curious into addictions.

Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude]. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me, Revelation 3:19-20.

One of the most beneficial visions in the Bible is a door which only has one handle. God’s side of this door doesn’t have a handle. John’s vision is symbolic of free will. God will try to get your attention daily by knocking or via a still small voice, 1 Kings 19:12. The door handle is on your side so the only way to access open doors is by exercising freewill. Faith comes into play when you try to open these doors, but some may be locked for a season. May today’s song help you learn how to respond to open doors in life.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 194: One Hell of an Amen

Now that I am a full-time resident of South Carolina, I am surrounded by country music. Earlier this spring I was searching for a song that complimented one of my daily devotionals. After clicking on a few You Tubes, I stumbled upon Brantley Gilbert’s song One Hell of an Amen. The lyrics tell stories of a soldier who died for his country and another adult battling cancer.

Fight the good fight of the faith; lay hold of the eternal life to which you were summoned and [for which] you confessed the good confession [of faith] before many witnesses, 1 Timothy 6:12.

One Hell of an Amen alludes to the words of the apostle Paul in the passage above. Paul is urging a teenage pastor to keep fighting for Jesus by living out your faith. Meanwhile, One Hell of an Amen encourages listeners to live each day like it’s your last before the Lord calls you home to heaven. Since Amen means “so be it,” fight the good fight of faith.

by Jay Mankus

Placing Your Trust in the Divine

Following my first observation as a teacher, I was told that I didn’t have enough posters in my room. I thought this was a strange critic, but I took this to heart. While on vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia, I visited one of the numerous outlets at this tourist destination. I don’t remember how many Bible posters I bought that day, but one of those was Proverbs 3:5-6.

Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no help, Psalm 146:3.

When I attended a youth ministry trade school, this verse was one of 26 that I memorized over the course of 7 weeks. The final week of my training was spent at a Wilderness Camp with 24 hours spent in silence. The purpose of this time was to reflect on my past, enjoy the moment and dream about the future. What I learned was to place my trust in the divine.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths, Proverbs 3:5-6.

Unfortunately, human nature has a way of convincing individuals to trust in yourself. Perhaps this is the reason why King Solomon shares the message above to one of his sons. Despite his vast wealth and wisdom, Solomon realized that it was the Lord who was the source behind his blessed life. I pray that this blog will convince someone today to place their sole trust in Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 193: I Speak Jesus

Today’s artist grew up in Buffalo, New York and was raised in a Christian home. This upbringing propelled Charity Gayle to start her own music ministry in Nashville, Tennessee. Charity got her feet wet as a worship leader in church which has opened the door to emerge as a female Christian artist. Today’s featured song I Speak Jesus is a prayer to call upon God’s higher power to change and transform your life.

And He charged us to preach to the people and to bear solemn testimony that He is the God-appointed and God-ordained Judge of the living and the dead, Acts 10:42.

Acts 2 introduces what Luke refers to as the apostles teaching. This involves acting upon the Great Commission shared with Jesus’ disciples prior to his ascension into heaven, Acts 1:8. Essentially, this biblical teaching makes speaking Jesus a top priority. As you listen to Charity Gayle’s song I Speak Jesus, may you be inspired to emulate the teaching of the apostles.

by Jay Mankus

When a Shooting Star Falls to Earth

As a teenager, watching for shooting stars was something that you incorporated into a date. Like Inspiration Point on the hit show Happy Days, actual seeing a shooting star illicits an immediate bond between couples. However, the Bible speaks of a shooting star that doesn’t fully burn up. This particular star called Wormwood falls to earth and causes issues with the water supplies worldwide.

The third angel blew [his] trumpet, and a huge star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it dropped on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—Revelation 8:10

Wormwood is a byproduct of the 7 tribulations in the book of Revelation. Based upon John’s vision, the remains of this fallen star polluted 1/3 of the earth’s water supply. In a metaphorical sense based upon Jeremiah 9:15 and Lamentations 3:15, Wormword refers to bitter calamity and sorrow brought upon the earth. John points out that many people died from drinking and or using this contaminated water.

And the name of the star is Wormwood. A third part of the waters was changed into wormwood, and many people died from using the water, because it had become bitter, Revelation 8:11.

This event in the Bible reminds me of words written by Jesus’ earthly brother James. Writing to Christians scattered throughout the world following Nero’s persecution, there is a warning for anyone who is consumed about planning for the future, James 4:13-14. Life is too short to get stressed out about what tomorrow will bring. Therefore, live for today before the events of tomorrow changes your world forever.

by Jay Mankus

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