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Category Archives: Truth

S.A.N.S. Episode 156: Love is All You Need

Today’s featured group contains a mix of the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. After listening to the entire album to figure out which song to highlight, Look Up has a nostalgic blend of the Bee Gees and Doobie Brothers. Love is All You Need is an example of this with a similar sound to the Doobie Brothers music and a portion of the chorus has a glimpse pf that unique Bee Gees vibe.

Let everything you do be done in love (true love to God and man as inspired by God’s love for us), 1 Corinthians 16:14.

In this age of Wokeness, love has been replaced by finger pointing. Rather than focus on the positive aspects of life, Cancel Culture seeks to single out every offensive thing you’ve ever said or done. While dealing with a major sex scandal inside the Church at Corinth, Paul reminds first century leaders to let everything you do to be influenced by God’s love. I hope you enjoy today’s trip down Memory Lane.

by Jay Mankus

A Synagogue of Satan

Slander is the act of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation. While slander is a daily occurrence on social media, human beings have been cruel from the beginning of time on earth. In the past few years, slander has resulted in lawsuits against cable news networks and newspapers. Yet, for a Christian church labeled as a synagogue of Satan, they turned the other cheek, Matthew 5:39.

I know your affliction and distress and pressing trouble and your poverty—but you are rich! and how you are abused and reviled and slandered by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan, Revelation 2:9.

To any Jewish adult steeped in religious traditions in the first century, Jesus was seen as a threat to the Jewish faith. Perhaps, this explains why Jewish elders, Pharisees and the high priest influenced the crowd on that first Good Friday nearly 2000 years ago. Meanwhile, other ancient writings refer to Jesus as the great magician, claiming the miracles Jesus performed relied on Black magic made possible by Satan.

 [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear ([e]unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives]. 17 For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong, 1 Peter 3:16-17.

Since slander will never go away, one of Jesus’ disciples provides advice when you are on the wrong end of abusive words. According to Peter, it is better to suffer for doing what is right. Subsequently, if you are slandered for being a faithful follower of Jesus, embrace criticism in the name of spiritual maturity. If a former church can survive being labeled as a synagogue of Satan, you too can overcome slander today.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 154: Welcome to the Real World

Lost & Found is a byproduct of the 1980’s. Like certain radio stations dedicated to a specific decade, today’s featured song has that classic vibe of the 1980’s. Blending a mix of electronic synthesizers, metal, and rock, listening to Welcome to the Real World is like taking a trip down Memory Lane. If this sound isn’t for you, the lyrics of Lost & Found’s album with the same name is filled with biblical references.

Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me, John 14:6.

When I first listened to the attached you tube for the first time in a couple of decades, I felt like I was listening to a couple of songs from the Breakfast Club soundtrack. The expression “Welcome to the Real World” makes me think of Jesus’ private conversation with his disciples. While human nature has a way of leading individuals to figure out life’s questions on your own, God has the answers if you come to Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Detesting the Right Things

Detest is a common inspiration for daily tweets on social media. When you hear or see something that offends you, human nature has a way of expressing what you feel. According to King Solomon, it is good to detest those things that God despises. The Ephesians understood this biblical principle by hating the ungodly teaching of the Nicolaitans in the first century.

Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest, Revelation 2:6.

Unfortunately, modern day virtue signaling is like playing a child’s game of pretend. Subsequently, social media posts, tweets, and videos pile on daily to join Cancel Culture and the Woke Community. While these actions might be construed as disingenuous, these individuals are bowing down to the mob to avoid criticism. This is not the kind of detest that the Bible is referring to in today’s passages.

 It is an abomination [to God and men] for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established and made secure by righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation). 13 Right and just lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right, Proverbs 16:12-13.

Detest should flow out of a passion for upholding biblical principles. When someone or something is directly opposed to the Bible, Christians should fervently defend and protect Judeo-Christian values. In this age of political shaming, people of integrity are often shunned by society. Words like controversial and radical are used to label those who detest the right things. May the words of 1 Peter 3:15-18 inspire Christians to be willing to suffer by standing up for biblical truth, justice, and the American Way.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 153: Miracles

As I scan the internet for songs of faith, Bethel Music is one of my favorite places to find powerful worship music. As someone who loved to go and sing Karaoke at Rick Cafe’s in Chagrin Falls as a college student, I envisioned that one day I would join a worship team at a local church. The only problem is that I have a limited voice that prevents me from having a wide range which most worship teams require.

While You stretch out Your hand to cure and to perform signs and wonders through the authority and by the power of the name of Your holy Child and Servant Jesus, Acts 4:30.

I’ve heard a couple of different versions of God of Miracles. Like my voice, some artists just don’t fit this song. However, when I listen to the attached version featuring Jeremy Riddle, I believe he is the perfect artist for this one song. As Jeremy sings Miracles for his home church, I’m moved by the testimony behind the author. May this version bless you as it’s touched my heart since I first discovered it.

by Jay Mankus

Not Just a Holiday

The first official federal holiday in the United States was not enacted until 1870. This initial legislation recognized four holidays: Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Due to secularism and the modern interpretation of the separation of Church and State, these religious holidays have been watered down over the years. July 4th was declared a day of prayer and thanksgiving for being free.

In [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off], Galatians 5:1.

The Chinese were the first to invent fireworks, sometime between 960 and 1279 AD. The original intent of fireworks was to ward off evil spirits. Yet, the Chinese set off fireworks to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday and other major holidays. This tradition was embraced by the United States on July 8th, 1776, following America’s Declaration of Independence. July 4th, 1777 was the first official Independence Day highlighted by the firing of guns, cannons, bonfires and fireworks in Philadelphia which was America’s first capital.

For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. You were running the race nobly. Who has interfered in (hindered and stopped you from) your heeding and following the Truth? – Galatians 5:6-7

The Bible speaks of a different type of Independence Day in Romans 10:9-11. In the passage above, the apostle Paul writes about the external and internal forces that limits a Christian’s spiritual freedom. Paul goes on to blame this on human nature, pointing the finger on sinful desires of the flesh, Galatians 5:16-18. As you turn out to watch fireworks ceremonies throughout the nation, don’t neglect the freedom that can only be found in Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 152: Reckless Love

As someone who tries to keep up with the latest sound in worship music, I’ve learned that certain songs are ideal for a specific voice. Such is the case of Reckless Love. While I’ve heard a heard dozen versions online, I feel that this song suits Steffany Gretzinger of Bethel Music the best. Although you may not always enjoy your worship experience at church, not every worship leader has the voice to do a song justice.

This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends, John 15:12-13.

The lyrics of Reckless Love remind me of the words of Jesus in the passage above. Similar to the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 5:8, reckless love involves laying your life down for others. Just as members of the military, police and search and rescue vow to risk their lives daily, God sent his one and only son Jesus to die on a cross for the sins of mankind. May Reckless Love stir your heart and move you to love others.

by Jay Mankus

The Overflow of Mercy

Overflow occurs when a bottle, glass and or receptacle is filled beyond its capacity with a liquid substance. When you’re going through the drive thru of a fast-food restaurant on a hot summer day, you want your drink filled to the brim. Yet, due to company policies, most chains leave an inch at the top to avoid spilling cups in a customer’s lap.

They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness. 24 The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being (my inner self); therefore will I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him, Lamentations 3:23-24.

One Old Testament prophet attempts to explain the overflow of God’s mercy. Building upon a concept introduced in Psalm 103:11-12. David shines light on the infinite mercy that God possesses. This quantity is so extreme that its’ as far as the east is from the west. To those who have received a glimpse of God’s mercy, via prayer, it’s something that you’ll want over and over again.

The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him [inquire of and for Him and require Him by right of necessity and on the authority of God’s word]. 26 It is good that one should hope in and wait quietly for the salvation (the safety and ease) of the Lord, Lamentations 3:25-26.

In the attached song, Casting Crowns sings about a physical well which Jesus speaks about in Matthew 11:28-30. The message in this passage refers to unloading your burdens at the feet of Jesus on your own. As sinners’ approach Jesus in prayer, the overflow of God’s mercy becomes achievable. Yet, this overflow can be immediately ceased if you don’t forgive others who trespass against you.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 151: All You Zombies

As someone who grew up 30 minutes from Philadelphia, I was influenced by local radio stations in the Tri-State area of Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While I was in high school the Hooters, the rock band, not the restaurant chain received national recognition. The song that put this Philly based band on the map was All You Zombies. After hearing this song recently, I was amazed at the biblical references.

Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? – Luke 6:46

The lyrics begin with Moses before Israel’s Exodus out of Egypt. The second stanza refers to the 10 Commandments followed by Noah’s project of building an ark prior to the presence of rain on earth. The Hooters provide a brief history lesson of the Old Testament in an attempt to wake up all the zombies, Christians just going through the motions in life. May this classic inspire you to awaken your faith.

by Jay Mankus

What are You Willing to Tolerate?

Tolerate refers to allowing the existence, occurrence, or practice of something that you don’t necessarily like or agree with without interference. As a former high school teacher, students would test me regularly to see what behavior I would tolerate. As my classroom discipline and management improved over the years, I became less and less tolerant of immature and inappropriate acts.

I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked [men] and have tested and critically appraised those who call [themselves] apostles (special messengers of Christ) and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars Revelation 2:2.

One of my biggest regrets as a former youth pastor occurred during a bonfire. This outreach event was before Halloween with nearly 100 teenagers in attendance. Prior to this night, I always gave a speech followed by an altar call to give students a chance to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus. Yet, for some reason I focused too much on fun rather than faith. This lack of action was the beginning of the end for my ministry in Indiana as I started to tolerate improper behavior.

But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols, Revelation 2:20.

When it comes to carrying out discipline, the energy that I possess at the time of an incident will dictate what I ultimately tolerate. As a former junior high teacher, my worst behaved class occurred last period every Thursday and Friday. While there were days I laid down the line, as the year wore on I lost the desire to discipline. Perhaps, this was the condition of the first century church mentioned in the passage above. Whether its a woman named Jezebel or someone with ADHD, your energy level will often determine what you tolerate.

by Jay Mankus

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