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Don’t Be So Koi; Unleash Your Potential

Koi fish, also known as nishikigoi in Japan, are domesticated carp kept for decorative purposes, usually in water gardens.  However, koi have an unique characteristic, growing only as large as their environment allows.  Thus, if you have a small fish tank, their size will be stunted to a few inches.  When given the opportunity, koi can grow to nearly 4 feet in size, but only in the right conditions like a large pond or lake.

In life, many individuals are afraid of the unknown, the areas beyond their comfort zones.  Subsequently, most people limit their potential, scared to take a chance or risk embarrassment outside in the big sea.  Instead of blossoming, souls tend to settle for mediocre lives, secure in the safety of their normal surroundings.  Unfortunately, this is not the plan God called his disciples to follow, Mark 16:15-18.

Today, Christians leave this responsibility for pastors, preachers and teachers, excluding themselves from Jesus’ command.  Although the harvest is still ripe for the picking, Matthew 9:35-38, the sidelines are flooded, me included, with believers too self-absorbed with life to get into the game.  In view of this unsettling truth, break away from patterns of idleness.  Don’t be so koi; rather unleash your potential by fanning into flame the gifts you have t offer, Romans 12:3-8.

by Jay Mankus

Unleashing the Power of Prayer

During a 3 year stretch, Jesus performed miracles every day, with his 12 disciples likely eyewitnesses of these amazing feats, John 21:25.  Jesus calmed storms, walked on water, restored sight to the blind, gave voices to the mute and enabled the crippled or paralyzed to walk.  However, there are 4 passages in the gospel which reveal why modern Christians aren’t successful in their prayer life.  Mark 11:20-25 holds a powerful truth that needs to be unlocked.

In Mark 11:22, Jesus is disappointed by Peter’s reaction a verse earlier.  Jesus appears to have expected a greater faith by now, one that demonstrates unquestioning power.  However, a spirit of doubt is limiting the disciples ability to receive instantaneous answers to prayer, Mark 11:23.  Back in Mark 5:36-41, Jesus takes drastic measures, removing everyone out of a house except Peter, James, John and a dead girl.  Once doubt is eliminated from their presence, the little girl is risen from the dead.  After the road block of doubt has been bypassed, another element also stifles prayer.

According to Jesus, unconfessed sin or any grudge that is held, prevents a prayer from being carried out, Mark 11:25.  On several occasions, Jesus told the person who approached him, your sins are forgiven prior to the actually healing, Mark 2:5.  In the case of the adulterous woman, Jesus commands her to leave her life of sin, John 8:11.  The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer contains a similar conditional clause.  Unless you forgive others of their sins first, God will not forgive you of your own sins, Matthew 6:14-15.  Therefore, if your prayer life is unproductive, 3 things must be addressed before the power of prayer can be unleashed.

1. Remove any presence of doubt from your heart, soul and mind.

2. Publicly confess any issue, mistake or sin you are currently struggling with.

3. Ask God to reveal any grudges you are holding on to as well as anyone you have not fully forgiven.

When you add faith to this simple equation, Matthew 21:21-22, God will unlock the power of prayer in your life.

by Jay Mankus






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