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Blood that Speaks a Better Word

To have blood on your hands often refers to being guilty.  Blood is symbolic of life, necessary to keep a human being alive.  However, sometimes an accident, mistake or minor transgression can end the life of an animal, human being or possession.

For your hands are stained with blood, your fingers with guilt. Your lips have spoken falsely, and your tongue mutters wicked things, Isaiah 59:3.

Another saying refers to being guilty as sin.  In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah found the nation of Israel in denial.  Instead of coming clean by repenting, justification took over.   When caught red handed, most become defensive regardless of how guilty one may be.

To Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel, Hebrews 12:24.

The author of Hebrews uses a unique connotation of blood.  Abel was innocent and pure when jealousy caused his older brother to take his life.  Yet, Jesus, who brought a new covenant introduces this concept.  Instead of going to a great high priest to atone for your sins, Jesus died once and for all sins.  Therefore. his blood speaks a better word, one of forgiveness, redemption and a promise of a new life without guilt or shame.

by Jay Mankus

Muzzled by Freedom

Today is suppose to be a national holiday in the United States, a time of reflection, thanksgiving and celebration.  However, as brave young men and women serve this country on foreign soil, the freedom they are fighting for is being muzzled.  As the summer heat begins to rise, certain states restrict the size of your beverage.  Meanwhile, activists, politicians and power hungry officials are trying to tell you what to eat, taxing and punishing the owners of popular restaurants.  If this trend continues, you’ll start being fined or arrested for freedom of speech.  Oh, that’s right; its already happening.

Like a high school administration that has lost control of their students, the innocent are being punished for the foolish sins of others.  Whether you drive a car, own a house or want to start your own business, ridiculous regulations and restrictions are taking the fun out of life.  Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is now treating citizens like little children who can’t stay out of trouble.  Perhaps this fall’s election will lift the malaise from the hearts, souls and minds of beaten down individuals.  If something doesn’t happen soon, the blood, sweat and tears of veterans will be forgotten.

On this Memorial Day, 2014, remember the words of John F. Kennedy, “don’t ask this country what it will do for you; rather, ask yourself what can I do for this country?”  When families, neighbors and young people begin to become doers of the word, Matthew 7:24, the chains of oppression will be unlocked.  Despite our best efforts, their is only One who is in control.  May the God of the dead transform the heart of the living so that freedom is no longer muzzled.

Please share your favorite war movie which inspires you to be proud of red, white and blue.

by Jay Mankus

God’s Favorite Color

I know what you’re thinking; God doesn’t have favorites.  The earthly brother of Jesus testifies to this fact with his own eyes, James 2:1.  The rest of you are probably like, “who cares; why does it matter anyway?”  You may be right, but the symbolism behind this color provides insight to God’s character and nature.

While God’s favorite metal is gold, fashioned, molded and shaped into every aspect of the tabernacle, Exodus 25-31, acacia appears to be the perfect wood for constructing non metallic pieces.  Beside the 12 jewels representing each of the 12 tribes of Israel, blue, purple and scarlet appear to be God’s favorite mix of colors.  Each of these 3 colors are woven into coverings, curtains and special garments worn by priests.

I’ll be honest; there are certain sections of the Bible that are hard to hold a person’s attention, especially this portion of Exodus and Leviticus.  However, the Holy Spirit is teaching me there is a purpose for the details enclosed within this book.  For instance, blue is symbolic of heaven and holy service.  Meanwhile, purple represents royalty, a sign a riches due to the scarcity of this dye.  Finally, scarlet is commingled with crimson in different translations, referring to blood, cleansing of sin, life and purification.  When you follow the laws handed down by God to Moses, you are essentially displaying blue, purple and scarlet through your actions.  May the prayer of David in Psalm 51:10-12 become a reality for you in 2014, illuminating blue, purple and scarlet!

by Jay Mankus

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