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Tag Archives: believing

Don’t Leave God on the Outside Looking In

One of the greatest lies the Devil perpetuates today is that God is going to punish you, This implanted thought causes some to give up hope, believing that they will never be good enough for God. Subsequently, those who develop and embrace this ungodly belief will keep God at a distance. Rather than accept the biblical fact that God disciplines those who He loves, a barrier is built up over time, keeping God on the outside looking in.

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], Revelation 3:19.

While on the island of Patmos, one of Jesus’ disciples has a vision of what a relationship with God is like. Instead of barging into our rooms to examine what you’ve done wrong, God is patiently waiting to be welcomed inside. Eager to get your attention, God has a way of knocking on certain aspects of your life. Like leaving a trail a bread crumbs, the Lord has a way of providing signals to let you know He’s only a pray away. Nonetheless, Jesus will remain outside in the cold until you let him into your heart, Romans 10:9-10.

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 3:20.

Unfortunately, human timing and God’s timing often clash. When you’re ready to open up and become vulnerable, something immediately interrupts you from God. Meanwhile, you may be busy, consumed by what you are working on, leaving little or no time for a spiritual conversation. Most human beings don’t do this on purpose, but way too many individuals go through life leaving God on the outside looking in. May this blog inspire you to make room in your busy schedule for Jesus this Christmas.

by Jay Mankus

Your Next is Greater Than Your Now

Financial planners seek to guide individuals toward fulfilling their dreams in life.  Depending upon how soon families begin to set aside funds for retirement, this process requirements discipline, focus and numerous sacrifices.  Yet, all these preparations don’t ensure a happy ending.  Thus, its essential that people begin to trust God, believing that your next is greater than your now.

For I want you to know, believers, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel [it is not a human invention, patterned after any human concept]. 12 For indeed I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a [direct] revelation of Jesus Christ.  You have heard of my career and former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to hunt down and persecute the church of God extensively and [with fanatical zeal] tried [my best] to destroy it, Galatians 1:11-13.

During a letter to the church in Galatia, the apostle Paul gives a brief summary of his past, present and desire to follow God’s will in the future.  Paul doesn’t shy away from his ignorant past, blinded by a religious zeal for Judaism.  This obsession led Paul to conspire against the founding of the first century church.  Perhaps, the words of Stephen prior to his persecution and death broke through Saul’s calloused heart.

But when God, who had chosen me and set me apart before I was born, and called me through His grace, was pleased 16 to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles [as the good news—the way of salvation], I did not immediately consult with anyone [for guidance regarding God’s call and His revelation to me]. 17 Nor did I [even] go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia and stayed awhile, and afterward returned once more to Damascus, Galatians 1:15-17.

After being blinded on the road to Damascus, this set forward a chain of events resulting in Paul’s salvation.  The first thing Paul did following his conversion was going home to tell family and friends what God had done for him.  The Bible is silent on how Paul’s Jewish parents responded to and received this news.  Nonetheless, Paul quickly came to the conclusion that your next is greater than your now with Jesus.  Although, this doesn’t ensure a story book ending on earth, but a personal relationship with Jesus Christ does secure an eternal reservation in heaven, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

Help Me Overcome My Unbelief

There’s an expression that has been used by various Hollywood productions in the last half century.  “Fake it until you make it” derives from cognitive behavior therapy.  This saying is meant to coerce someone into believing they can do something prior to possessing the confidence, knowledge and or training.  The idiom “act is if you are” is similar to Aristotle’s idea to be virtuous you must act as a virtuous individual.

Jesus said to him, “[You say to Me,] ‘If You can?’ All things are possible for the one who believes and trusts [in Me]!” – Mark 9:23

The opposite of this mentality is confessing your weaknesses.  This goes against modern beliefs that cause many to go through life living a lie.  Unfortunately, those who follow in these footsteps are not trusting God.  According to the passage above, all things are possible in life, but first you must believe and trust in Jesus.  If you come to your senses, you may be inspired like one father to profess, “help me overcome my unbelief.”

 Immediately the father of the boy cried out [with a desperate, piercing cry], saying, “I do believe; help [me overcome] my unbelief,” Mark 9:24.

The earthly brother of Jesus reflects upon his own struggle in life.  Jealous of his perfect brother, resentment filled his heart, not believing the outlandish statements of Jesus.  Like many unbelieving souls, the resurrection transformed James.  This led him to write James 5:16, noting that a public confession is the first step toward healing.  Therefore, if you want a fresh start in life, cry out to the Lord to help overcome any remaining unbelief.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Believing that You are Deserving

There is an insecurity that exists within human beings.  This fear plants doubt into the minds of the humbled, frustrated and unsuccessful.  Thus, many individuals go through life believing that they are not deserving.  This lack of confidence gives birth to a self-fulfilled prophecy as negativity becomes reality.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind, James 1:6.

Earlier in the week I caught an emotional interview on television.  While most of the media’s attention centered around the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, one professional golfer provided words of inspiration.  After losing his PGA card in 2016, Shawn Stefani was relegated to the Web.com Tour this year.  At the final event of the season, Shawn’s future as a professional golfer was up in the air.  On the bubble of earning a promotion to the PGA tour, Stefani’s had to play a solid final 18 holes to earn of one the 25 cards up for grabs.  After just making it by shooting 65, Shawn broke down in tears saying,”sometimes you have to believe that you are deserving.”

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope, Romans 15:13.

When circumstances in life don’t go your way, it’s hard to stay optimistic.  There is an expression in sports that refers to digging down deep while fighting adversity.  This same concept applies to life when individuals are placed into situations where you are forced to develop a will to survive or accept defeat.  It is during this struggle where desperate people need to begin to believe that yes, you are deserving to accomplish the dreams and goals in your heart.

by Jay Mankus

 

Is There Anybody Out There?

I heard a depressing conversation this week.  A woman called into a talk show to discuss her nightmare experience with healthcare.  This woman talked about a company who promised her full coverage if she was willing to move to the west coast.  After believing every spoken word and following through with this relocation, promises began to be broken.  Formerly a religious woman, she cried out to God hoping to be saved from further disappointment.  Day after day these prayers went unanswered, wondering “what’s the point if there’s nobody out there?”

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly, Psalm 5:3.

At the end of this phone call, this woman revealed that she stopped praying, giving up hope that God could change her situation,  Unfortunately, too many people know the pain of unfulfilled prayer requests.  When heaven is silent or signs of help do not arise, it’s hard to press on.  Talking to an invisible God requires faith, persistence and a strong will to carry on.  Yet, there will always be those who give up before a miracle is delivered.

Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer, Psalm 4:1.

The Psalmist had his own struggles with waiting on God to intervene.  Based upon the words chosen. it appears Solomon throw his hands up in frustration wondering, “is there anyone out there?”  While technology continues to advance, waiting on God remains the same, a long and trying road.  Therefore, the next time you begin to panic when a prayer goes unanswered, let go and trust the Holy Spirit to lead you where God wants you to go.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Let Time Shrink Your Faith

The other day I went shopping when I encountered a child throwing a temper tantrum.  As soon as this boy realized he wasn’t getting to get what he wanted, he lost it.  Although this event reminded me how thankful that I am for having grown children, one thought came to my mind.  When time ceases to provide any glimpses of hope, progress or results, faith can shrink.

And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised, Hebrews 6:15.

The author of Hebrews dedicates an entire chapter known as the Hall of Faith.  One of the initial recipients is Abraham who waited decades until God gave a promised son through his wife Sarah.  Beneath the surface and under their breathe, I’m sure there were moments of doubt, especially for a woman reaching 100.  Yet, this example reveals a painful truth about life, God doesn’t always answer prayers according to your schedule.  Rather, the Lord uses time, trials and uncertainty to fireproof your faith.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see, Hebrews 11:1.

One of the most difficult stretches I’ve had to endure was in 2012 and 2013, struggling to find a permanent job after teaching high school for ten years.  There were days, weeks and months that I lost hope, not believing that God would change my hapless situation.  I wish I was stronger, but my faith shrunk as I lost my place in this world.  While I have ended up on my feet today, I am still searching for that perfect fit where my gifts match God’s will.  If Abraham had to wait decades, I guess I can hold on a little longer, praying that one day my dreams will come true.

by Jay Mankus

 

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