RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Cliff Notes

Experiencing the Fullness of God

When I met the parents of my students for the first time, I developed an active learning exercise using a glass of water, a paper towel and a sponge. Since the desks in my room were shared with 2-3 other students, there were low areas on each one. I poured water on a desk in the middle of the room, let it sit for a moment, added a paper towel and then a sponge. Each scenario represents one of the three choices that students make daily.

For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him [p]permanently. 20 And God purposed that through ([q]by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled [r]back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross, Colossians 1:19-20.

Like a parable of Jesus, the table is symbolic of a heartened heart with the water the information I share with students daily. When students don’t care, the water just stays in the room. However, when a piece of information catches a student’s attention, the paper towel absorbs what they want to hear. This half-hearted nature picks and choices when students want to listen and when they tune out. The final option and ultimate goal is to become a sponge by pouring your whole heart into learning every day.

For in Him the whole fullness of Deity (the Godhead) continues to dwell in bodily form [giving complete expression of the divine nature]. 10 And you [f]are in Him, made full and having come to fullness of life [in Christ you too are filled with the Godhead—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—and reach full spiritual stature]. And He is the Head of all rule and authority [of every angelic principality and power], Colossians 2:9-10.

Until Christians develop a whole heart for the Bible by making Jesus the Lord of your life, Romans 10:9-11, you only receive a portion of the abundant life, John 10:10. This is like reading the Cliff Notes version of a book to study for a test rather than the actual book; taking the path of least resistance. While we all stumble and fall short of God’s glory, Romans 3:9-12, God is searching for men and women who are willing to put their whole heart into faith. When you become all in for Jesus, you will begin to experience the fullness of God.

by Jay Mankus

Seeking out What is Right

Before the creation and evolution of the internet, students went to the library to find the right answer. After going through the card catalog, I usually went to a librarian to expedite my search for the book with the answer to my question. As I got older, I was introduced to Cliff. If time was running out before a due assignment, Cliff Notes was a reliable source until one of my teachers caught on to the short cut that many of us were taking to find out what we needed to know.

These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren, Proverbs 6:16-19.

From a Biblical Worldview, the Bible is the place to seek out what is right. According to one first century author, the Bible is living and active, able to penetrate souls, Hebrews 4:12. Meanwhile, the apostle Paul refers to God’s Word as the source for correcting, rebuking and teaching individuals what is right, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. A first century church developed a practice for testing new philosophies by examining them with the Old Testament, Acts 17:11-12.

Lying lips are extremely disgusting and hateful to the Lord, but they who deal faithfully are His delight. 23 A prudent man is reluctant to display his knowledge, but the heart of [self-confident] fools proclaims their folly, Proverbs 12:22-23.

King Solomon is much more direct in the passages above. Before you fully understand what is good and right, you need to know what God detests. If any act falls under one of these 7 categories, the Lord wants any of his followers to flee from these behaviors. One of Jesus’ earthly brothers called first century believers to draw near to God while resisting temptation, James 4:7. In his final remarks in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus provides a blueprint in Matthew 7:7-8 for seeking out what is right.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: