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Tag Archives: consequences

Reactions Without Responsibility

Any parent who loses a child to a drunk driver, victim of a crime or family member of a relative fatally shot wants to see justice prevail.  In the heat of the moment, especially after receiving this bad news, emotions can cause harsh reactions.  Yet, in America people are suppose to be innocent until proven guilty.  Sure, it would be nice if the court systems could speed up this process.  However, until individuals have their day in court, its irresponsible to incite violence, rush to judgment or use social media to encourage others to seek revenge.

How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? – Matthew 7:4

In the hours following the unfortunate shooting deaths of African Americans by police officers in Louisiana and Minnesota, reactions in the media were fast and furious.  Apparently, some people took black leaders, politicians and twitter posts literally.  Subsequently, now there are six dead police officers in 2 states, several more wounded and public servants have been betrayed by the citizens they are paid to protect.  The response by celebrities to the initial two deaths is a clear indication that reactions have consequences.

You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye, Matthew 7:5.

America has come to a cross roads, on the verge of a racial divide.  The leadership and message provided by Dr. Martin Luther King has either been forgotten or is absent from this current generation.  In view of this dire situation, its time for personal responsibility, realizing that everyone is imperfect.  During his sermon on the Mount Jesus encouraged followers to get their own lives in order before criticizing or judging other people.  The same truth applies to Americans today.  Therefore, the next time you have an urge to lash out, over react or post complaints on social media, remember these words of Jesus.  If put into practice, God’s Word can begin to transform lives one soul at a time.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Returning to the Scene of the Crime

In the film Absolute Power, Clint Eastwood plays a jewel thief who witnesses a murder during one of his heists.  When the secret service tries to cover up the president’s affair with a powerful donor’s wife who is now dead, only one person knows the truth.  On the verge of fleeing the country, a press conference infuriates Eastwood who is forced to return to the scene of his crime.

As a dog returns to its vomit, so fools repeat their folly, Proverbs 26:11.

In the spiritual realm, there are some people who tend to repeat the same mistakes over and over again without learning from their consequences.  The wisdom of Solomon relates this individual to a dog who returns to their vomit after throwing up.  This strange behavior is indicative of a fool who does not mature, lured into an addictive cycle that never disappears.

Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud,” 2 Peter 2:22.

In life, its much easier to run away from the truth and hide than confront the real issue.  While prepared to live the rest of his life off the grid, Clint Eastwood’s conscience urged him to take on the leader of the free world.  Despite the overwhelming odds he faced, Eastwood did the right thing, returning to the scene of the crime and putting back everything he stole.  Whatever situation you are currently facing, may you stand up for justice so that the truth will set you free.

by Jay Mankus

Making A Deal with the King of Sodom

From time to time, you might find yourself in a precarious situation.  When under pressure, you might make a rash decision, forcing the issue without thinking about the consequences of an action.  Before you pull the trigger in the future, perhaps its better to wait and see if Lord is in agreement until making a deal with the King of Sodom.

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh, Genesis 14:17.

As one king came to meet Abram, another, the King of Salem brought bread and wine.  Serving as a priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek blessed Abram and give him a tenth of everything he had.  This visit provided Abram with the assurance of deliverance, that God would be faithful to protect God’s people from their enemies.  The thought of a potential compromise was no longer necessary.

That I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich, Genesis 14:23.

This passage of the Old Testament teaches a valuable life lesson.  If you place your trust solely in the Lord, you won’t be obligated to another party or person.  Like Jesus’ words in the Our Father, Matthew 6:9-15, our hope should be placed in Christ alone to provide daily bread.  Therefore, do not waver in your faith as temptation approaches.  Rather, follow the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 so that you won’t be swayed by deals from the king of Sodom.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Forced to Conform or Else

There was a time in my youth when news anchors were believable, reliable and trusted by those who tuned in to watch.  Sometime over the past twenty five years, news have become altered by hidden agendas seeking to convince the masses of a specific ideology.  Today, every daily event is examined, filtered and portrayed in such a manner as to control the headlines.  Unfortunately, media outlets are forcing viewers to believe their worldview or face the wrath of negative press.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths, Proverbs 3:5-6.

Like a bully, opposing individuals and groups are targeted.  Sometimes to prove a point, expose a religious belief or brought on by a poorly timed comment.  In Oregon, Sweet Cakes by Melissa was forced to close after refusing to prepare a wedding cake for a gay couple about to get married.  Since closing, the state has decided to fine the owner 125,000K, setting an example for anyone else who dares to discriminate against homosexual couples.  In other words, if you want to run a business in America, you better keep your religious convictions to yourself or face the consequences.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ, Romans 10:17.

The event from March of 2015 in Indiana seems more like a set-up unless having pizza at wedding receptions is now the new in food.  Anyway, Memories Pizzeria was also forced to close following their denial of another gay couple.  Perhaps each of these businesses could have come to a happy medium or maybe they did but it was not reported.  Yet, in their hearts, mind and soul, neither could betray their religious beliefs detailed in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13.  Unfortunately, their freedom of religion and speech was not honored since it is now politically incorrect.

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him, Hebrews 11:6.

There are two ways to view this ongoing persecution of Christians.  First, God has given every individual free will.  The Lord doesn’t force anyone to believe in the Bible.  Rather, the Word has been written so that those who hear or read may come to faith in Christ.  The second perspective relates to the days of Daniel when a decree made it illegal to pray in public.  Despite the threat of being thrown into a den of lions, Daniel chose to obey God rather than adhere to man’s law.  This is where faith is put to the test, separating the genuine from who are blown and tossed by changing tides.  As the world continues to change, may every person of faith be prepared to overcome the challenges and trials of the future.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Touching, Moving and Praying

In the game of chess, there is the Touch-Move Rule which states a player must move any piece once they touch it.  Despite any miscalculation or mistake, a player must finish their move with this piece regardless of their initial motives.  This rule is strictly enforced and maintains a sense of integrity during each game of chess.

In the game of life, a similar rule applies, known as Cause and Effect.  For any action take, there are consequences that follow.  Good decisions often lead to blessings and or rewards.  On the other hand, ill-advised decisions tend to result in harm, punishment and trials.  Like the apostle Paul points out in his letter to the church at Galatia, you reap what you sow, Galatians 6:7-8.

Touching things of righteousness moves individuals closer to eternity.  Yet, immaturity can lure people away from faith, essentially crucifying Jesus over and over again, Hebrews 6:1-6.  One touch of an apple by Eve moved mankind into a fallen world, now filled with Turkish Delights, James 1:14-15.  If there is any hope for the future, one must learn from the past, 1 Corinthians 10:1-6, to flee from modern temptations, 1 Peter 2:11.  Keep in touch with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25 and you will move beyond the game of chess, by entering into eternity.

by Jay Mankus

Obscuring the Truth

 

In 1987, Def Leppard ‘s album Hysteria introduced the dark side to falling in love.  The lyrics of Love Bites examines the emotional side of love as described in the final 2 stanzas below.  While several songs in the past have written about God’s agape or brotherly love, Def Leppard touches on the scars, wounds to the soul inflicted by intimate relationships that fall apart when feelings fade.

Love bites love bleeds – it’s bringin’ me to my knees
Love lives, love dies
Love bites love bleeds – it’s bringin’ me to my knees
Love lives love dies – it’s no surprise
Love begs love pleads – it’s what I need

If you’ve got love in your sights
Watch out, love bites

Modern commercials, sitcoms and television programming are some of the biggest offenders of obscuring truth.  The images portrayed on the screens inside of American homes glorify temptation while minimizing any after affects.  This hyperreality conceals the reality that actions and words do have consequences.  Thus, when an individual carries out a similar act or behavior in life, the words of Def Leppard often rings true, “love bites!”

 

When Jesus receives the news that one of his close friends is dead, he wept, John 11:32-35.  This wasn’t a movie scene; these were genuine tears brought on the pain one feels expressed by Def Leppard’s song.  As soon as a human being opens their heart, becoming connected to another soul, their are taking at risk at love.  Although happy endings do occur on occasion, don’t be afraid to take a chance, especially on the One who sacrificed His only son for you and for me, John 3:16-17.

by Jay Mankus

Above the Law

If you look hard enough, stories of entitlement, greed and pride fill the weekly news cycle.  Forgetting history, these individuals act as if they are above the law.  Whether its a politician, professional athlete or another scandal within the Internal Revenue Service, the law will always catch up with those trying to outrun it.

This morning, a New England Patriot’s Tight End was charged with first degree murder of his former friend, Odin Lloyd.  Fame, money and a rebellious spirit has ruined the once promising career of Aaron Hernandez, released by the Patriot’s 2 hours after today’s arrest.  The memories of fallen stars like O.J. Simpson and Rae Carruth did not ring a bell or serve as a wake up call.  Until last week, Hernandez acted and behaved as if he was still above the law.

Fortunately, in America, you are innocent until proven guilty, despite what the local press and media claim.  Regardless of the outcome, maybe these consequences aired throughout cable news networks today will serve as humble pie to those on the verging on following a similar path.  The Bible was meant to be a guide, Psalm 119:105, a blue print, John 10:10, leading people toward a greater life.  However, as in the days of Moses, everyone has a choice, Deuteronomy 30:15.  Each one you make will either lead you closer to life or beyond the law.  Get back on track now, Matthew 7:13-14, while there is still time!

by Jay Mankus

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