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Tag Archives: blinded

Judge, Jury and Executioner

If you follow Twitter, listen to Talk Radio or watch Cable News, then you have a slight inclination on what’s wrong with this country and the world as a whole.  Countless individuals have forgotten the words of Jesus in John 8:6-9, “let him who is without sin throw the first stone.”  Blinded by hypocrisy, ignorance or simply oblivious to their spiritual condition, many are acting as judge, jury and executioner, piling on with stone after stone.

In view of TMZ’s release on their website earlier in the week of Ray Rice striking his soon to be wife in an elevator, the media has stirred the masses into a tizzy.  With one person down, Ray Rice, kicked to the curb on Monday after being release by the Baltimore Ravens, the next victim is Roger Goodell, commissioner of the NFL.  People are lining up in droves to take their shots, putting pressure on Goodell to resign.  As radio and television analysts comment on the hot topic of this week, abused women, there’s an eerie silence for the unborn child, killed every day because the law says its okay.

The only person in the media who has made any sense this week is Steve Smith, veteran wide receiver of the Ravens, formerly a member of the Carolina Panthers.  Steve reminded the press that God is the only true judge.  Although citizens like to pretend to be the judge and part of the jury, God will hold everyone accountable based upon what they have done on earth, Matthew 12:36-37.  Before another human being in thrown under the bus this week, refrain yourself the next time you have an urge to trash someone.  For if you do, you will likely reap what you sow and one day you will be at the mercy of the judge, jury and executioner.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Inside the Praise of an Apostle

Praise is not a natural emotion, at least once the sinful nature entered life’s equation.  When one rule was overlooked to indulge curiosity, the world forever changed.  At one point following Israel’s exodus out of Egypt, God’s anger continued for a generation, 40 years to be exact, Psalm 95:10.  Spoiled, spineless and spiritually lukewarm, many Jews forgot how to praise their God.

A few thousand years later, a misguided man was brought to the forefront.  Blinded by the presence of Jesus, a prideful leader was humbled by the Almighty God, Acts 9:1-19.  Although his transformation was immediate, not every cheered, especially the victims of his persecution.  Nonetheless, Saul from Tarsus tarried on with his relationship with God, unlike what most Christians will ever experience.  Pushed to the brink of death several times, a heart of worship grew within the apostle Paul.

Instead of pouting, “why me God,” Acts 16:16-36 takes a look inside a heart of praise.  Punished for doing the right thing, Paul used negative circumstances as a stepping stone to present prisoners with the good news of Jesus Christ.  The rest of this account is a testament to God’s blessings and faithfulness during the storms and trials in life.  If today’s generation of Christians can apply one lesson from the life of Paul, its simple.  Stop pouting and start praising, whether life is good, bad or indifferent, Philippians 4:4-9.

by Jay Mankus

Vanishing Point

In a world fueled by controversy, negativity and pessimism, its easy to lose sight of the positive.  Affirmations, encouragement and uplifting words often vanish from memories, erased by daily criticism that wound hearts.  This isn’t the only thing to recede, disappearing like the tide going out to sea.

Despite this harsh reality, there is one truth that never vanishes.  According to Psalm 139:13-16, you were knit together in your mother’s womb.  In fact, Jesus takes this one step further, reminding Nicodemus of God’s perfect plan.  According to John 3:16, the expression “so loved” in the Greek refers to from vanishing point to vanishing point.  In other words, before you were born and until your death, God’s love extends throughout time.

When idividuals become aware of this aspect of God’s nature, revival can begin.  Unfortunately, an invisible enemy has blinded the minds of unbelievers, 2 Corinthians 4:4.  All the while, believers are under a difficult kind of attack, pulled in different directions by the world, Galatians 5:16-18.  If this wasn’t enough, the devil is busy stealing, killing and destroying souls.  As the sun sets on another day, don’t allow your thoughts to forget the promises within God’s word, Joshua 1:8, from vanishing point to vanishing point.

by Jay Mankus

Sin City

When the average America hears a title like Sin City, Las Vegas often comes to mind.  If a city prides itself on the motto, “whatever happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” its pretty apparent that this desert destination is endorsing an immoral and sinful life style.  In an age of instant information, you don’t have to live in Las Vegas to experience temptation.  According to Dr. Ed Murphy in his chapter entitled, “What is Happening to Me,” sin engages individuals on 3 levels. by their flesh, through the world and spiritually, Ephesians 2:2.  Murphy takes this one step further, claiming evil seduces people from within, externally and supernaturally, assaulting the human mind.

The apostle Paul in his letter to a teenager pastor, claimed to be the greatest sinner of all, 1 Timothy 1:15.  Romans 7 contains Paul’s personal struggle with his own flesh, resulting in numerous sins, hampered by an inability to do what is right, Romans 7:15-20.  In 2 Corinthians 12:7-8, Paul refers to either a physical ailment or spiritual attack on his own body.  Most Bible scholars believe Paul had a medical condition or an illness similar to colitis.  Meanwhile, a few, going out on a limb, think Paul was struggling with a fleshly addiction.  Either way, if one of the godliest leaders of all time could not contain his own flesh, then every Christ follower today will endure a similar battle.

Jeffrey Dahmer was a normal child until he began to study pictures in the Sears Catalog.  Like a sponge, his mind began to crave more images, leading to an addiction to pornography.  Present in almost every check out counter in America, the world fed this habit which would darken his heart and consume his soul.  The flesh combined with the temptations of the world persuaded Dahmer to indulge in shameful acts, Romans 1:24-27.  These conditions served as a catalyst to lead Jeffrey to become a serial killer.  Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family Ministries interviewed Dahmer before his execution on death row, revealing information the main stream media does not want to believe.

Unfortunately, the third and final attack on human being is the least known, unless of course you commit murder and want to claim insanity.  From my own experiences over the last 29 years trying to walk by faith, sin can play tricks on your mind.  When I have been closest to the Lord, God continued to expose the sin living in my life like the apostle Paul.  However, when I drift away from God, I am blinded, 2 Corinthians 4:4, thinking and telling others that I am doing fine!  Based upon trial and error, if you are on the verge of a spiritual break through, the devil will send as many demons as possible to stop you in your tracks.  Yet, if you are lukewarm in your faith, you are left alone, as your own flesh and the world keep you from being a real spiritual threat.  Thus, as you wrestle for control over your body, 1 Corinthians 9:26-27 and dodge the worldly idols around nearly every corner, Acts 17:16, dust off the armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes, Ephesians 6:11.  Remember this, whatever is stored up for heaven, will stay in heaven, Matthew 6:20.

by Jay Mankus

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