RSS Feed

Tag Archives: call to action

S.A.N.S. Episode 17: Feel the Nails

Today’s selection made a powerful impact on my life. I was invited to attend a Lay Witness Mission at a Methodist Church in Friendship, Maryland. My spiritual mentor Ken Horne was in charge of high school and college leadership team. Lay Witness Missions are 3-day revivals to help spiritually rejuvenate a dead or dying church. On this particular weekend, I was asked to share my testimony during the Sunday service.

O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation! – Psalm 95:1

One of my best friends from high school had recently died of cancer. Maureen often asked why I was so happy in high school, but I was afraid to tell her about Jesus. In the Ray Boltz song, Feel the Nails, the lyrics talk about playing games. I played this song at the conclusion of my first sermon with a call to action of stop playing games with God. As the congregation heard the chorus to Feel the Nail, people were literally running to the altar. This is what happens when you feel the nails of your past sins.

by Jay Mankus

When Jesus is Trying to Get Your Attention

Jesus used parables to entertain anyone who was willing to listen to his stories. Yet, Jesus makes a transitional statement 78 times in the four gospels of the Bible. The phrase “I tell you the truth” is a powerful method to get your attention as Jesus turns an interesting story into a serious conversation. In the words that follow “I tell you the truth,” this is code for pay close attention to what I am about to say.

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life. 25 Believe Me when I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the time is coming and is here now when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear it shall live, John 5:24-25.

Back in my days as a high school Bible teacher, I wasn’t trying to fool or trick anyone. There were usually 3 tests per semester depending upon the class. During each unit review, I would throw in some catch phrases whenever I was about to cover a potential test question. In the case of Jesus, whenever the Bible contains “I tell you the truth,” mouths should stop taking as eager ears open, ready to listen and learn.

Therefore, rejecting all falsity and being done now with it, let everyone express the truth with his neighbor, for we are all parts of one body and members one of another. 26 When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. 27 Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him], Ephesians 4:25-27.

From an English perspective, therefore is used to introduce a logical conclusion. If X must be true, anytime you come across a therefore while reading the Bible, get ready for a call to action. Meanwhile, Jesus uses parables to make people think. As the disciples pondered what Jesus was trying to communicate, they often privately met with Him to confirm the moral of these stories. As you continue to read the Bible on your own, be ready the next time the Holy Spirit is trying to get your attention.

by Jay Mankus

When God’s People Pray

Jesus told his 12 disciples to “watch and pray” three times. Based upon the context of Matthew 26:41, Mark 13:33, and Mark 14:38, this call to action occurs just prior to Jesus’ betrayal. When Christians don’t watch and pray, a willing spirit is swept aside to indulge earthly desires. Instead of telling the world to wait, few believers ever find their way out of temptation, 1 Corinthians 10:12-13.

While you also cooperate by your prayers for us [helping and laboring together with us]. Thus [the lips of] many persons [turned toward God will eventually] give thanks on our behalf for the grace (the blessing of deliverance) granted us at the request of the many who have prayed, 2 Corinthians 1:11.

In a letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul views prayer as a cooperate duty. When you take the time to slow down, observe the environment and ongoing situations, prayer provides spiritual help to those in need. When God’s people pray, the lips of the lost eventually turn back toward God. Based upon the passage above, Paul regularly witnessed answers to prayers as God granted many of his requests.

It is a reason for pride and exultation to which our conscience testifies that we have conducted ourselves in the world [generally] and especially toward you, with devout and pure motives and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God (the unmerited favor and merciful kindness by which God, exerting His holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, and keeps, strengthens, and increases them in Christian virtues), 2 Corinthians 1:12.

The more individuals see answers to their prayers, a sense of pride develops. Prayer isn’t seen as a waste of time babbling to an invisible God. Rather, as the power of prayer exerts holy influence over lost souls, faith is strengthened. If your current prayers aren’t being answered, you are either not praying according to God’s will or doubt is sabotaging the end result. As America enters a crisis of faith, make sure you watch and pray.

by Jay Mankus

Stop Pouting and Start Leading

When someone is hurt, ill or sad, its easy to become distracted, absorbed by the painful reality of life.  One of the common reactions is to pout, a visible form of depression by expressing disappointment through your body language.  This pitiful state blinds individuals from those who need you the most, often resulting in isolation and withdraw.  Once you reach this point, its hard to snap out of this mindset.

Since my tubing accident, I guess you can say I lost or wasted the entire month of February.  I feel like I have been bewitched by the sorrow of my circumstances, similar to the church of Galatia who lost sight of faith, Galatians 3:1-5.  In my mental absence, my wife has tried to hold our family together as best as she could.  However, now its time for me to stop pouting and start leading.

“Compromise is the language of the devil,” according to one of Eric Liddell’s mentors in Chariot’s of Fire.  As a parent, if you allow your children to wear you down, compromise will become a way of life.  As my eyes have awoken from my spiritual slumber, its essential for me to lead my kids toward the less traveled road, Matthew 7:13-14.  However, words are meaningless unless I display the way.  Therefore, I need to experience a Chrysalis like the butterfly, 2 Corinthians 5:17, who enters as an inch worm and exits transformed on wings like eagles, Isaiah 40:31.  If people stop pouting and start leading, this generation can be saved one life at a time.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: