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Tag Archives: Awaken Your Soul

A Spiritual Quake

Beginning in John 14, Jesus reveals specific details about the Spirit of God. Seven words are selected to describe this spiritual entity in verse 16.  Helper, comforter, advocate, intercessor, counselor, strengthener and standby reveal what this promised spiritual guide will be able to do for those who believe. In the book of Acts, the Holy Spirit takes on the presence of a violent wind and quake.

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place, and suddenly a sound came from heaven like a rushing violent wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. There appeared to them tongues resembling fire, which were being distributed [among them], and they rested on each one of them [as each person received the Holy Spirit]. And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other [btongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately], Acts 2:1-4.

A first century doctor chooses some interesting words to describe this foreign object. Like an unidentified flying object, the Holy Spirit appears as tongues of fire falling from heaven. Oddly enough, there was no fear or running away of these flames. Rather, apostles, disciples and godly individuals were immediately transformed. In the process, Hooked on Phonics was not necessary as God’s Spirit enabled these believers to communicate to strangers in different languages.

And when they had prayed, the place where they were meeting together was shaken [a sign of God’s presence]; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness and courage, Acts 4:31.

After everything calmed down, Peter stood up to explain what had just happened. Acts 2:38 explains how eyewitnesses of this event can receive this same Spirit.  According to Peter, repenting and baptism must occur before access to the Holy Spirit is granted. Two chapters later Peter and John refuse to stop talking about Jesus. This spiritual stand triggers a spiritual earthquake.  According to Luke, this shaking was merely a sign of God’s presence.  If your life is currently void of any spiritual fruit, perhaps its time to follow in the footsteps of the apostles so that the Holy Spirit will quake to awaken your soul.

by Jay Mankus

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Active, Lukewarm or Dead?

Animated, bubbly, dynamic, energetic, perky and vigorous are all synonyms which highlight active individuals.  When you came in contact with these lively souls, its possible to feed off of their enthusiasm.  During Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Jesus encouraged his followers to add flavor to the lives of people you encounter, Matthew 5:13-16.  When actions and words co-exist, faith rubs off on others, similar to a lamp shining light into the darkness of this world.

So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth, Revelation 3:16.

Prior to modern appliances, cooling drinks or adding ice cubes wasn’t an option.  Thus, past civilizations were forced to endure room temperature drinks.  The Bible refers to this as lukewarm.  The context in which this term is applied signifies an inactive faith.  From a spiritual point of view, idle faith is an insult to God, void of salt and light.  Unfortunately, I find myself closer to lukewarm than active.  In fact, in recent weeks I am hovering somewhere between a lukewarm and dying faith.

For just as the [human] body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works [of obedience] is also dead, James 2:26.

When talking about judgment, Jesus uses the expression take the plank out of your own eye before criticizing someone else, Matthew 7:1-5.  One of the members in the audience that day opens up about his own life in the passage above.  Taking a look in the mirror from a spiritual perspective, James looks back at a time in his life when his faith was dead.  Despite being raised by Mary and Joseph, James’ faith was lukewarm at best until the resurrection of Jesus.  I guess we all need a wake up call at some point.  May this blog awaken your soul to activate your faith, fueled by the power of the Holy Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

When Satan Asks for Permission to Mess You Up

In the 1984 film Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced the catch phrase, “I’ll be back!”  On June 21st, 2005, the American Film Institute voted this line as the 37th most popular movie quote in the past century.  The point of this dialogue is to inform the audience that nothing will keep this character from returning.  Unfortunately, one fallen angel uses a similar calling card.  However, when Satan arrives on the scene, his goal is the mess you up.

Now there was a day when the sons of God (angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan (adversary, accuser) also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming around on the earth and from walking around on it.” The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not put a hedge [of protection] around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands [and conferred prosperity and happiness upon him], and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch (destroy) all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that Job has is in your power, only do not put your hand on the man himself.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord, Job 1:6-12.

The first two chapters of the book of Job reveals pertinent information containing the relationship between God and Satan.  First, God places a hedge of protection around certain individuals.  While its not specified, it appears that certain godly people are protected by more than just one guardian angel.  Second, Satan must ask for permission to interfere with the lives of God’s servants.  In the passage above, God allows Job to experience a series of earth shattering trials.  Satan’s objective is to mess Job up so badly that he is compelled to curse God publicly.

“Simon, Simon (Peter), listen! Satan has demanded permission to sift [all of] you like grain; 32 but I have prayed [especially] for you [Peter], that your faith [and confidence in Me] may not fail; and you, once you have turned back again [to Me], strengthen and support your brothers [in the faith],” Luke 22:31-32.

This assault on human beings isn’t limited to the Old Testament.  According to Jesus, Satan met with God the Father demanding permission to mess Peter up.  Its odd that Peter is not caught off guard by Jesus’ comment suggesting that this concept is not new, fully known by Jesus’ disciples.  As I read the passage above, my main concern is whose next?  In addition, if you’re next on the list, are you ready for all the plots and schemes meant to trip you up?  In view of this clear and present danger, may Jesus’ words in Luke 22:46 awaken your soul so that when temptation arises, Satan won’t mess you up spiritually.

by Jay Mankus

Awaken Your Soul

The average person needs caffeine each morning before they begin to feel normal.  Whether its coffee, tea or soda, many rely on substitutes to awaken their soul.  Meanwhile, the morning person has way too much energy for sleepy heads like me, needing to put on a lid of their joy until co-workers regain their consciousness.  Yet, there is another anecdote mentioned in the Bible which awakens souls daily.

According to Psalm 57:7-8, music is great way to awaken your soul.  Depending upon your instrument of choice or the genre you prefer, King David used the sound of music to awaken his soul.  Whether you find yourself rising to music on your alarm, singing in the shower or preparing yourself with your favorite artist on your way to work, God designed music to make individuals feel better, 1 Samuel 16:22-23.

From an early age, David found contentment playing his harp, making a joyful noise to the Lord, Psalm 150:3.  Although he likely didn’t take this to work in the fields as a shepherd, David’s soul was lifted up by the sound of music.  Today, music is only a click away on your computer, itunes or satellite radio.  You can build your own radio station on Pandora, create your own playlist on an mp3 player or access your favorite station at home.  Regardless of the time, morning, day or night, awaken your soul this day with the soothing sound of music.

by Jay Mankus

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