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Tag Archives: control

Understanding Evil

As someone who has grown to love history, you can likely predict what will happen in the future based upon previous events.  Although past civilizations may have possessed good intentions, the temptation for control, fame and power has a way to side track the most disciplined individuals.  Subsequently, enticement opens the door for evil to corrupt formerly innocent souls.  This shocking reality is where understanding evil begins.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time, Genesis 6:5.

In the years leading up to the biblical flood, a spirit of wickedness spread throughout the earth.  While specific acts aren’t mentioned, murder, violence and war are assumed based upon the accounts within Genesis 4.  As human beings gave into every kind of inclinations, cravings, desires and feelings, hearts became set on evil.  Without any voice of truth holding people accountable, humanism was conceived by doing what’s right in your own eyes.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! – Isaiah 5:20

Today, a similar culture exists where absolutes are considered old-fashioned, stale and not worth the hassle to follow.  When rules become lax in any society, integrity, morality and values tend to decline.  If this trend continues for years or decades, you can easily recognize this in day to day interactions.  This environment allows evil to enter souls through compromise.  When confronted by an authority figure, evil is often discarded by justifying and rationalizing behavior.

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs, 1 Timothy 6:10.

When it comes to explaining the New York City terrorist attack with a dump truck, some are inspired by extreme religious beliefs.  Mass shootings like in Las Vegas and the small church outside of San Antonio, Texas typically reveal some sort of troubled past.  Like a fuse waiting to go off, evil takes over at some point, paralyzing the human conscience.  This sets the stage for disaster.  Until conviction, truth and revival return, evil will continue to reign throughout segments of society.  Only when souls ask God to return can evil be defeated.  May the presence of evil today inspire individuals to open their hearts to Jesus, Romans 10:9-10.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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Learning to Let Go of Those Things You Can’t Control

I spent a couple of hours in and out of waiting rooms on Friday, waiting to hear what the tests on my eyes revealed.  Like a prophet, I overheard a Christian woman provide some profound advice.  Chatting with a woman next to her, she replied, “I’ve learned you have to let go of those things you can’t control.”

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? – Psalm 56:3-4

Almost an hour later, I was prepared for the bad news that I received.  While various medical terms spoken were foreign to me, I was told eye surgery was imminent.  The doctors advice was the sooner was better, causing my mind to race about how this will change my life.  Yet, as the woman in the waiting room professed, you can’t worry about things beyond your control.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love, 1 John 4:18.

One of Jesus’ disciples shines some light on this topic.  Whenever faced with something beyond your control, fear is a common response.  However, the cure to overcoming this is the perfect love found in Jesus Christ.  As I cope with what awaits me in the next few weeks, I can’t say I am confident.  Nonetheless, my hope lies in Christ alone as I trust God’s providence to oversee that which I can’t control.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Ideal Atmosphere called Harmony

Although harmony is often associated with music, its one of the missing ingredients within society.  Defined as an orderly and pleasing combination of elements, harmony is established when various components exist together without destroying one another.  Unfortunately, rarely do strong personalities mesh without some type of power struggle.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalm 133:1

The sustainability of any church, group or family is dependent upon the degree of harmony displayed.  From my vantage point, hidden agendas, control and wills create conflict.  Beneath the surface, demons, Satan and selfish desires are tugged in different directions, resulting in discord, dissension and factions.  These obstacles stand in the way of an ideal setting where harmony is achieved.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

No one is exempt from an outburst when you lose your composure or say something that you regret.  This is where forgiveness enters the equation.  Once harmony is shattered, common sense must lead individuals toward reconciliation.  Although no one is perfect, the apostle Paul provides tips for those communities seeking unity, Colossians 3:12-15.  May bad blood, hurt feelings and severed relationships be washed away, replaced by the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

Helpless… Except for Prayer

After last week’s election, most voters were optimistic that their newly elected leaders would cease this opportunity to make a difference.  Several days later, it appears that many career politicians have reverted to their former ways.  Add in a rogue president who disregards the constitution and citizens become helpless.

In a whirlwind of disappointment, I was reminded of a simple solution, prayer.  Scouring over the Psalms of David, there is nearly a prayer for each emotion you encounter.  Whether you feel betrayed, running for your life or in need of divine intervention, help is just a prayer away.

For those of us who struggle to let go, yearning to take control of daily situations, there is one truth you can’t ignore: the Lord reigns over heaven and earth.  Although you may not like the path America is going down or the road God has chosen for you, there is still time to act.  If you’re feeling  helpless like me, don’t let the sun go down without crying out to the Lord.  In the end, warriors of prayer will usher God’s ultimate will into existence.

by Jay Mankus

 

When Guardian Angels are Ushered into Action

To some, angels are a myth, a figment of your imagination.  For others, the concept of angelic beings is something you grow out of, like a childhood phase.  Yet, those who place their trust in the Bible, hold a belief, clinging to the promise of Psalm 91:11, hoping and waiting for the day for this verse to come true.

There appears to be 3 prerequisites before guardian angels are assigned to your side.

1) Individuals need to reach a point of desperation, recognizing that the only safe place on earth is resting in the shadow of God’s wings, Psalm 91:1.

2) In additional, priorities must be reorganized until a trust level develops, leading people to seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness. Matthew 6:33-34.

3) Finally, to complete the setting for angels to enter the scene, souls must be willing to give up  complete control, yielding the reigns of their life to Jesus, Matthew 16:24.

Unfortunately, most Christians want results without the effort on their part.  As those who bypass the sweat and tears part of this equation, a lack of results leads to bickering as disenfranchised customers complain to God.  Despite these cries, their treatment is no different than that of Israel in Isaiah 1:15.  The missing ingredient is perking God’s attention.

Right now, angels are looking down from heaven, waiting to get into the game.  However, until the prayers of the saints ask for a hedge of protection, angels will continue to sit on the bench.  The words of Jesus is Matthew 7:7-12 are just begging leaders to make specific requests now.  “You don’t have because you haven’t asked!”  May this blog inspire you to proclaim bold prayers so that guardian angels will be ushered into action today.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

What the Hell is Going On Out There?

Legendary coach Hank Stram roamed the sidelines for nearly 2 decades in the American Football League, most notably for the Kansas City Chiefs.  Thanks to Steve Sabol of NFL Films, Stram was regularly microphoned, giving the public access to Hank’s commentary on the game he coached.  Subsequently, archives exist of  in game reactions to his teams play on the gridiron.  One of Stram’s famous sayings was “what the hell is going on out there?”

After this past week of events in the world, perhaps you are like me thinking, “what the hell is going on?”  Tension on the Gaza strip, terrorists shooting down a passenger airline and countries falling apart at the seams.  Like a perfect storm brewing in the tropics, hurricane force winds are starting to impact society.  Have these signs always been there or has the world lost touch with their Creator?

Unfortunately, the only person you can control is yourself.  Despite this truth, failure is inevitable, Romans 3:23.  Thus, you have a world full of imperfect people, tempted by evil, power and selfish desires.  These elements create conditions where hell meets earth.  To answer the question what the hell is going on out there is simple using biblical terms.  Innocent children, Luke 15:11-13, are swayed by curiosity, seeking to find pleasure in life.  Void of meaning, prodigals wander around longing for a father’s love and forgiveness.  This vicious cycle continues til someone displays the love of Jesus.  Until the lost experience agape love, hell on earth will linger.  May God’s grace and mercy come quickly.

by Jay Mankus

 

Hearing the Truth

On January 1st, 1863, the emancipation proclamation was issued by president Abraham Lincoln.  This declaration served as a measure during the Civil War, giving 3-4 million slaves in the 10 southern states that rebelled, freedom from their owners.  Unfortunately, for those in Texas, the news did not arrive until June 19th, 1865.  The truth about slavery was withheld, 30 months late, allowing slave owners to maintain control until 2 months after the Civil war ended.

Today, America’s media has become more partisan than ever.  If this trend continues, what facts will be kept silent?  More than ever before, news is being filtered for political means, overemphasizing the positive and suppressing any negative information.  Unless one does their homework, studying history, researching records and testing everything that you hear, read or see, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, you might be surprised by the message journalists want you to believe.

According to Dr. Tony Evans, when the end of slavery was brought forth to Texans, several slaves did not know how to respond to freedom.  Like the Israelites in Egypt, they had grown accustom to a certain way of life, dependent on others for aid and shelter.  Subsequently, some remained prisoners to this way of life.  From a spiritual sense, a vast amount of citizens find themselves enslaved to sin, Romans 7:14-20, unable to free their actions from addictive behavior.  Unless people hear the truth, Romans 10:17, individuals will continue down this lonesome road.  May you be inspired to read the words of Jesus in John 8:34-36 so that you will hear the truth and the truth will set you free!

by Jay Mankus

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