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Tag Archives: action not words

A Special Endowment from God

Leadership is the action of leading a group of people through hardship, ordeals and trials. Genuine leaders cast a vision, take the initiative as a trail blazers to show the way and direct and guide followers through difficult times. Researchers have uncovered 12 different leadership styles that exist. A leadership style is merely the way a person uses power to lead other people. If you are still stuck at home as a non-essential worker, you’ve probably seen rogue governors of several states using the national guard and police officers to enforce their specific declarations. Several of these ordinances are unconstitutional, but these leaders are using fear of the Coronavirus to control American citizens.

Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity, 1 Timothy 4:12.

The older I become, the more I hear and see people blame God for disasters, failures or setbacks that they face in life.  Meanwhile, these same individuals, especially politicians, grandstand by taking credit for any accomplishment, success or victory in their city, state or county.  Instead of spreading around the praise to all the parties involved, press conferences are used to deflect blame while hoarding the credit.  Natural leaders don’t have to pretend to be successful as their labor is on display, a visible sign of spiritual fruit.  Unfortunately, God has become the scapegoat when things go wrong, a proverbial punching bag at the center of many complaints.

Do not neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. 15 Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties; throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody, 1 Timothy 4:14-15.

The passage above is a blue print for spiritual leadership. According to the apostle Paul, everyone is given a special endowment from God. This spiritual gift often lays dormant until the Holy Spirit enters your life through a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-10. In the first century, the laying on of hands was a common practice for healing and prayer. The apostle Paul urges Timothy to fan into flame the spiritual gift revealed to him in 2 Timothy 1:6. In other words, you can’t be the leader God wants you to become until your spiritual gift is discovered and implemented. While you can’t control what others do or say, may this blog inspire you to show others the way as action speak louder than words.

by Jay Mankus

The Greatest Ability is Availability

As the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears, Buddy Ryan became the mastermind of the 46 defense.  This scheme stymied opposing NFL offenses, leading to one of the greatest defenses of all time.  Behind the leadership of Jim McMahon at quarterback, Walter Payton at running back and a dominant defense, Chicago easily won Superbowl XX 46-10 over the New England Patriots.  This success catapulted Ryan to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.  This experience led Buddy Ryan to once say during a press conference, “the greatest ability is availability”.

As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home,” Luke 9:57-61.

The context of Ryan’s words refers to players who were not available to play due to injury.  Another common saying is “you can’t make the club when you’re in the tub,” getting treatment for injuries.  Some athletes tend to get hurt due to bizarre or freak accidents.  If you’re not a quick healer, players end up sitting on the bench instead of being an active participant.  Jesus eludes to a similar concept in the passage above.  If you truly want to be a disciple of Jesus, you must be available, ready at a moments notice to serve God.  However, anyone who has a habit of making excuses for why they can’t do this or that is not fit to be a true servant of God.

Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple, Luke 14:27.

Later on in his gospel, a doctor takes this concept one step further.  Luke brings up willingness as if to question the desire of some disciples.  Words are meaningless unless followed by action or as Def Leppard once sang, “Action Not Words.”  Whether you are an athlete or an eager believer seeking to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, endurance and perseverance are essential qualities to possess.  Greatness doesn’t happen overnight.  Rather, diligence, focus and self-discipline pays off in the long run.  Therefore, if you want to become the apple of God’s eye, the greatest ability is availability.

by Jay Mankus

You Shouldn’t Have to Ask

In life, there are no certainties, as each day on earth involves a plethora of possibilities.  Whether good, bad or indifferent, blessings and curses usually come and go like an endless cycle.  Nonetheless, when faith is the issue, you shouldn’t have to ask someone where they stand; this should be obvious.

The example Jesus uses can be found in his Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:13-16.  Faith is compared with salt, adding flavor to one’s life by preserving the soul through mediating, reading and reflecting on the Bible, Joshua 1:8.  Subsequently, faith should ignite hearts toward action, illuminating the love of God through deeds, a Christ like example and encouraging words.

According to the apostle Paul, gifts, personalities and talents vary, Romans 12:6-8.  Thus, being outspoken and vocal is not essential.  Rather, faith should compel individuals to demonstrate their commitment for Jesus on a regular basis, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.  By displaying faith, co-workers, family members and neighbors should be drawn to you, pondering, “something is different about him or her?”  You shouldn’t have to ask me, you should see this little light of mine shine daily.

by Jay Mankus

All or Nothing

From my own life experiences, people usually fit into 1 of 3 categories: those that don’t care, people who are somewhat committed and individuals who give everything they have.  If  you change  the subject, topic or give incentives, degrees of seriousness will likely increase.  However, in the end, God has provided human beings with freewill, allowing each to set their own level of commitment.

Exodus 19:5-6 contains a promise for anyone willing to give the Lord 100% of their attention.  Anything less than being all in and the carrot at the end of the stick will be null and void.  The prize for fully obeying God and keeping the covenant of Circumcision and Passover is out of this world.  According to Exodus 19:5, the Lord will make Israel his treasured possession on earth.  Yet, words mean nothing unless action is inspired by faith, James 2:14-26.

A similar promise is made to those believers exiled from Rome during Nero’s persecution of Christians near the end of the 60’s AD.  One of the disciples from Jesus’ inner circle expresses the following within 1 Peter 2:4-10.  Although Peter mentions predestination, you can’t use this as a cop out or disclaimer.  Rather, just like the days of Israel wandering in the wilderness, the choice is yours: all or nothing, Deuteronomy 30:15.

by Jay Mankus

On the Other Side of the Door

Deep inside a broken heart, desperation moves an individual to a closed door.  On the verge of change, an action is required to remove the burden from an unclean woman.  Contemplating what to say, faith leads her to turn the knob, hoping to leave the nightmares of the past behind, outside for good.  With a jar of perfume in hand, she risks embarrassment, passing shocked faces on the way before approaching Jesus.


Inquiring minds begin to gossip in the corners of Lazarus’ house.  Dressed to invoke sinful thoughts, this prostitute opens up a pint of pure nard, kneeling beside Jesus.  Oblivious to judgmental hearts and wandering eyes, this woman came to do what she felt compelled to do, wash Jesus’ feet.  Using her long hair as a towel, she humbles herself before the son of God, adding fuel to an already tarnished reputation, giving religious leaders enough justification to put their plans for crucifixion into motion.

This encounter in John 12:1-11 is like a scene from a play, lived out every day in communities, schools and the workplace throughout the country.  When a person wants to change their identity, God is willing, yet his people often allow prejudices to keep their hearts from forgiving and forgetting, Matthew 6:14-15.  Although freedom exists on the other side of the door, Revelation 3:20, welcoming arms may not be receptive to your conversion.  May the Barnabas’ of this generation serve as a voice of reason, greeting anyone who turns the knob to get to the other side of the door, Acts 9:26-28.

by Jay Mankus

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