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Tag Archives: adulthood

Proud or Ashamed?

Before adulthood tends to complicate life, children can wear their emotions on their sleeves.  Young people celebrate achievements with exuberance and gleeful satisfaction.  Unfortunately, at some point while growing up, minds become convinced that certain activities, beliefs and faiths are inappropriate.  Thus, peer pressure may cause something you were once proud of to be replaced with shame.

For what does it benefit a man to gain the whole world [with all its pleasures], and forfeit his soul? 37 For what will a man give in exchange for his soul and eternal life [in God’s kingdom]? – Mark 8:36-37.

Prior to the mass shooting that took the lives of 17 victims, students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida weren’t experts on gun control.  Yet, in the days that have followed this tragic event, teenagers have been regularly used on cable news networks to ban, limit or repeal the second amendment.  Instead of correcting the flaws in their school safety policy or address the failure of school security guards to react, guns continue to be demonized along with those who own or use a gun.

For whoever is ashamed [here and now] of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels,” Mark 8:38.

This persecution of gun owners relates to Jesus’ words above.  How you respond to the Bible, faith and Jesus in public will influence how God treats you.  Those who disown their faith amidst criticism, pressure to conform or progressive views will be shunned by God.  Thus, you can’t be halfway, its either all or nothing.  Will you be ashamed due to what others think or will a zeal for the Lord reveal pride for God?  May the passage above serve as inspiration to strengthen your faith so that your choice is clear.

by Jay Mankus



The Hidden Years of Jesus

In the life of a Jew, adulthood begins at age twelve.  A ceremony known as a Bar-mitzvah for boys and Bat-mitzvah for girls commences this stage in life.  Luke 2 provides the only glimpse of Jesus’ life as a boy during his Bar-mitzvah.  Following this event, there are 18 years of silence known as the hidden years of Jesus.

And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart, Luke 2:51.

Despite this gap of missing time, there are a few things we know about Jesus.  First, Jesus continued in the ways of his earthly father Joseph as a carpenter.  According to Luke, Jesus remained an obedient son, providing for his mother Mary after Joseph’s death.  The next time Jesus appears in the Bible is in the day of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man, Luke 2:52.

There are 3 qualities that highlight the missing years of Jesus,  First, Jesus grew in wisdom by daily taking time alone to pray with his heavenly father.  Second, Jesus’ actions, constant care and nurturing words magnified his stature as a godly man.  Finally, as Jesus keep in step with the Holy Spirit, God favor remained on Jesus in the form of daily blessings.  All these things prepared Jesus for the accounts portrayed in the four gospels which transformed the lives of 11 disciples.

by Jay Mankus

How Can I Know For Sure?

An innocent child folds their hands in the dark, calling out to an invisible God, waiting for a reply.  As years go on, this teenager places a condition on their request, “if only my parents could get back together, then I will believe?”  Once college begins, this student is bombarded with Communism, Marxism and Political Correctness, pondering in the back of their minds, “how can I know sure, what is real and what is a facade?”

Like a locomotive, times steams down the tracks of life.  Adulthood brings responsibility, bills, more bills and potentially children.  This adult now wrestles with balance, questioning if they have done enough to provide for their family without neglecting their loved ones.  Before you know, times vanishes, leaving a glimpse of your glory days, pondering retirement and beyond.  Finally, on your death bed, as you breathe your last breaths on earth, you ask one more time, “how can I know for sure that God is real?”

This question was first asked by Abram in Genesis 15:8 as his life wasn’t working out as he had hoped or planned.  His wife Sarai had not be able to bear any children, he was nearing 80 and despite being able to talk to God face to face in the mountains, Abram still had doubt in the back of his mind.  The disciples had similar concerns in John 14:1-4, as Jesus reveals his plans to go ahead to heaven, preparing rooms for his followers.  Finally, the one whom Jesus loved, leaves one final piece of assurance.  The promise of 1 John 5:13 should provide the confidence you need as you fall asleep this evening in peace, knowing there is a God and you can spend eternity with Him, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

Entering the Great Unknown

When the truth of God’s Word or a blunt reply from an honest friend, cuts to the heart, I find it difficult to initially accept their message.  A primal spirit joined by stubbornness make it hard for me to embrace the error of my way.  As a result, I am entering the great unknown in obscurity, far removed from friendships of the past.

The transition from adolescence into adulthood can be hindered or eased depending upon your status.  Dinner parties, gatherings and social events give individuals an opportunity to boast of their recent accomplishments or hide behind the great unknown.  Doctors, engineers and managers tend to flaunt their confidence unwittingly.  Meanwhile, the silence of the other guests speak volumes, embarrassed by their resumes, salaries or a combination of both.  Thus, these humble souls are eager to venture into the great unknown, hoping the future is better than their past and present circumstances.

While online fortune tellers claim they can reveal your future for a mere $20 bill, only God the Father knows what the great unknown holds.  Fortune cookies may give you a laugh or a series of so called lucky numbers, yet inside these treats are hollow, empty of any significant substance.  Therefore, as you start tomorrow, walking through an open door or driving toward a clear passage, take Jesus with you on this journey, serving as your mediator, 1 Timothy 2:5, as you enter into the great unknown!

by Jay Mankus

Enjoying the Moment

Fifteen years ago this month, I became a first time father.  When you leave the hospital together, there are many firsts: outfit, crib, binky, blanket and so on.  Some where along the way, time seems to speed up, as parents lose track of days, weeks, months and even years trying to keep up with their growing children.  Two children later, I have forgotten to enjoy each and every moment with my wife and kids.

Part of adulthood is taking on more responsibility, working harder than ever to feed ever increasing appetites.  Often, this results in parents missing a game, concert or memorable moment in the lives of your children.  This double edged sword cuts to the heart, leaving a family starving at the dinner table or void of the happiness of time well spent together.  Though opinions vary, the days between birth and graduation are valuable, with opportunities to shape and train your child in the way they should go, Proverbs 22:6.

With this in mind, I am wrestling between 2 destinies, one of wealth and the other, regret.  Now I know what the apostle Paul meant by his words in Philippians 3:20-21.  As a citizen bound for heaven, the rat race of life has carved a hole in my heart, tired of the superficial aspects on life on earth.  Yet, on the flip side, I need to have the mindset of James 4:13-14.  Before the sun sets on this day, evaporating time, I am going to be still, Psalm 46:10, enjoying the moments while I am still a resident on earth.

by Jay Mankus

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