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Tag Archives: biblical promises

S.A.N.S. Episode 296: Never Alone

There are several remixes of Transform’s song Never Alone. While I wasn’t able to find an older remix that is longer and better than the attached video, this one will have to do. While the lyrics aren’t that spiritual in nature, the song points to the biblical promise in the passage below. In his letter to the Church at Rome, the apostle Paul tells this congregation that nothing can separate you from the love of God. Therefore, you’re never alone.

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things [n]impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers, 39 Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 8:38-39.

One of the ways Jesus comforted his disciples during Passion Week was to introduce the concept of a Holy Ghost, John 14:16-17. While Jesus doesn’t go into detail like the prophet Isaiah, Jesus compares the Holy Spirit to a spiritual counselor and guide. When you add this fact to the apostle Paul’s words, Christians should never feel alone. If you do, it’s likely due to the schemes of the Devil trying to separate you from God’s flock, 1 Peter 5:8. May today’s song comfort your heart.

by Jay Mankus

Opps … I Did It Again.

An acronym that I use for sin is Sudden Irrational Nonsense.  Whether you are struggling with something like cursing, lying or sexual desires, all sins can be addictive.  This is why so many individuals make the honest confession, “Opps, I did it again!”

Sudden

Irrational

Nonsense

Unfortunately, the Christian Community has created their own ranking system, giving a degree of severity for each transgression.  The church in Rome was the first to develop this pious attitude, mentioned by the apostle Paul in Romans 1:18-32.  This mindset filtered down into their hearts, leading toward thoughts like “Well at least I am not a murderer, God hater or fornicator.”  Struck down by the words of Romans 2:1-5, God gives words of hope for those wresting with the Opps I did it again syndrome, Romans 2:6-10.

When these words become a weekly or daily occurrence, one call lean on the grace of God.   The well known acronym God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense helps a sinner find comfort in the Bible’s promise, Ephesians 2:8-9.  Beyond this, one must consider how contrite you are after sinning?  If sorrow is absence from a guilty heart, Jesus is nothing more than a Get of a Jail Free Card, Hebrews 6:4-6.  As an expert in sin, reaching this point requires intervention starting with an accountability partner, once a week at the minimum.  If this step is ineffective, you must purge yourself from anything that triggers the thought of sin.  Like detox, this one of the most painful, but a necessary element to achieve freedom.  The goal is perfection, Matthew 5:48, yet the reality of life is giving your best each and every day, letting God do the rest.  When the opps I did it again resurfaces, turn your prayers toward the sky, trusting in God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy, John 3:16-17.

by Jay Mankus

Inside This Hurricane

In August of 1991, Hurricane Bob slammed the East Coast for 3 days bringing more than a foot of rainfall to several seaboard cities.  Inland at the time of landfall, I was hiking along the Appalachian Trail with a close friend and mentor.  While the mountains served as some protection, Ken and I were side swiped, cutting our trip short by a day.  Upon returning to Delaware, we became like storm chasers following the aftermath.  When we approached the city of Wilmington, low lying areas were indistinguishable, unaware of where the Christiana Marsh began or ended, filled with floating vehicles and trains.

Like the James Taylor classic, “I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain,” nothing could prepare me for the devastation I witnessed.  Bridges swept away, pavement sunk into creeks and debris scattered in and along every waterway.  Though I had endured an earthquake and waterspout earlier in my life, I had a front row seat, inside the ropes of this hurricane.  While the 2013 Hurricane Season begins June 1st and ends November 30th, spiritual hurricanes can form at a moment’s notice.

In the early stages of storms, people are often uprooted from their comfort zones, blown into awkward situations.  With a rising storm surge and no end in sight, panic can set in.  When the eye passes overhead, false hope causes people to let their guards down.  As this facade fades into the heart of the storm, the bottom right quadrant unloads its fiery on innocent bystanders.  This final punch can knock someone out, surprised by power of a mere trial.

When my own hurricane subsides, I will be much wiser, able to see the signs of approaching storms in the future.  Yet, for now I am holding on for dear life, waiting for the winds of change to die down.  Like Job in the Old Testament, I am at a loss for words, experiencing a battle of the will.  As soon as I see a rainbow, there will rejoicing.  However, inside this hurricane, I have been blown to my knees, looking up and clinging to God’s promise in Psalm 4:1.

by Jay Mankus

I Can’t Believe It’s Real!

When I visit my parents over Christmas, my viewing habits usually change, watching a show that one of my sisters, mom or dad enjoys.  On an evening several years ago, my older sister and I began watching an A&E marathon of Cold Case Files.  Though intrigued by the technology, nothing in the first few episodes grabbed my attention.  As I was about to call it a night, a quote from a detective from California blew my mind;  stating emphatically, “yeah, demonic forces are behind many of the serial rapist and killers in our state!”

The context of this statement was in reference to a confession made by a serial rapist and murderer who had recently been detained by police.  According to this man, when he was 13, he was seduced by a demon in a dream.  After many reoccurring dreams, he began to follow a voice in his head to first rape females; then over time kill women after raping them.  Instead of saying the devil made him do it, he said, “a succubus made me do!”  In the awkwardness of the moment, my sister and I looked at each other thinking, I can’t believe that’s real!  At the conclusion of this case, I ran down stairs, entering my parents’ computer room to prove this non-sense wrong.  What I found, changed my perspective on the spiritual realm.

Like the latest State Farm Commercial, you have to be careful about the sites and sources you reference and research on the internet.  Places like Wikipedia, Urban Dictionary and Occult websites can cloud your judgment as well as fill your minds with unwholesome images.  The Meriam-Webster dictionary gives the most accurate account revealing Incubus as male demons who tempt woman into having sex when they sleep and Succubus as female demons who tempt men when they sleep.  However, I wanted to go deeper than a definition to see if there were any case studies or real life encounters that appeared credible.  In my initial search, I discovered 3 with historical documentation.  My findings suggest what some law enforcement officers already believe; there is a direct correlation between demonic forces and violent crimes like rape and murder.

Over my 29 years as a Christian, its clear there are several topics considered taboo for churches to address from the pulpit.  According to Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family Ministries, roughly 25 % of all pastors in America, struggle with some form of pornography.  If one of these men or women tried to speak out by confessing their sin, most if not all would have their positions terminated.  Thus, sexual issues like Incubus and Succubus are never mentioned, swept under the rug with all the other controversial issues.  I’m not a biblical scholar nor do I claim to be one, yet it appears Incubus and Succubus fall under the category of spiritual forces of evil mentioned in Ephesians 6:12.  My objective for this piece is not too promote panic each time you go to bed.  Rather, I want each person to be armed with the power of God’s Word, the Bible, so that you will successfully take your thoughts captive as you sleep, 2 Corinthians 10:3-5.  Remember the promise of 1 John 4:4, “Greater is He who is in you than is he who is in the world!”

by Jay Mankus

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