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Tag Archives: cravings

So That Hope Survives

Ambition, aspiration, cravings, dreams, longings and yearnings are all associated with hope. When theses desires begin to slip away, individuals have to fight with determination so that hope survives. Whenever your confidence is shaken by defeat, failure or a loss, hope is like a dim light surrounded by darkness, ready to be snuffed out by unforeseen events.

But we belong to the day; therefore, let us be sober and put on the breastplate (corslet) of faith and love and for a helmet the hope of salvation, 1 Thessalonians 5:8.

In a letter to a community with a troubled pass, Paul reminds this church that Christians are children of the light. Thus, as the Devil continues to bring and drag up skeletons from your past, don’t let doubt creep into your mind. The longer negative thoughts continue to linger, the closer the enemy comes to achieving his goal, John 10:10.

For God has not appointed us to [incur His] wrath [He did not select us to condemn us], but [that we might] obtain [His] salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), 1 Thessalonians 5:9.

The apostle Paul flips the script in the passage above. Instead of always being on defense, Paul takes up the Sword of the Spirit to go on offense, reminding believers of the ultimate prize. God’s end game is salvation, the opportunity to be reunited with Jesus in heaven. Hope is like an exit sign in the distance, the only way to God, John 14:6. When darkness blocks your path from this doorway, hope is what keep souls alive, surviving to live another day.

by Jay Mankus

A New Type of Addiction

Cravings, dependence and enslavement are all terms associated with addiction.  This invisible struggle tends to go unnoticed.  Initial signs are subtle as souls wrestle with self-control prior to patterns being revealed.  In the context of alcohol and drugs, actions, behavior and obsessions become obvious over time.  Unfortunately, until individuals come to grips with their losing battle, conditions will continue on a downward spiral.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God, Colossians 3:1.

Last weekend I had lunch just north of Amish country.  After picking up my kids from their week long camp, I wanted to spend some time together learning of their experience.  Hoping to get a flavor of Lancaster County, my son chose a diner with several cars in the parking lot.  To my surprise many of the customers were busy playing Pokemon Go on their phones.  This popular app’s success is a sign of a new type of addiction.

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things, Colossians 3:2.

Recreation serves as a vehicle to revitalize souls.  However, when individuals become captivated with what’s on their phones, hearts and minds become weakened.  Hobbies are a good and fun way to pass time.  Yet, as people become attached and hooked to their phones or tablets, unhealthy patterns form.  The concept of being still before the Lord is replaced by a new type of addiction to technology.  May those distracted by these modern devises reflect upon the apostle Paul’s words and be moved to fix their hearts and minds on eternal things.

by Jay Mankus

 

Taste Test

Young people tend to break into the work force at some sort of restaurant.  The idea of free food, drinks or both is enticing.  One of my favorite parts in this occupation was taste testing, giving out samples to customers as well as trying new items on the menu.  Only when you take a bite can you explain to others what to expect.

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”- Genesis 3:1

In the case of Eve, one item was forbidden, banned from her daily diet of fruit and vegetables.  Despite this knowledge, an evil voice whispered, promising enlightenment for those who indulge.  After considering this, a second glance planted the seed of lust within her heart.  Without any resistance from her husband, Eve participated in the first taste of sin.

“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”- Genesis 3:5

While the settings have changed, a similar voice exists today.  However, the message isn’t focused on food for the soul.  Rather, this taste test involves a flesh hungry for pleasure.  Unfortunately, this experience is only temporarily satisfied, craving more and more with each encounter.  Guilt, shame and sorrow are common aftertastes.  However, only when you gather the courage to say no, can you escape the trial of destruction awaiting the addicted.  May you have the resolve to avoid the second glance and experience victory over temptation.

by Jay Mankus

 

There’s No Change Without Pain

Self gratification has become like a cancer within the human soul, slowing eating away white blood cells of common sense.  This obsession fed by commercialism, “you can have your cake and eat it to,” has left individuals blinded by empty promises.  In a quest to fulfill this hunger, people have forgotten a simple truth of life: there’s no change without pain.

 
The apostle Paul speaks to this corruption while writing to the church in Ephesus, Ephesians 4:22.  As standards continue to decline, its easy to compromise, “well, everyone else is doing it?”  This futile thinking darkens understanding, leading individuals toward the cliff known as addiction.  Once formed or established, a continued lust for more can steer the disciplined into unhealthy habits, craving the latest junk food the world throws your way.

Snapping your fingers and poof, your request is granted is a mirage, a lie that the weak want to believe.  Real change requires developing a mindset of an Olympic  runner, ignoring pain so you can reach your desired destination, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.   Regardless of what your body longs for, keep your goal in sight, Philippians 3:12-14 to avoid being sidetracked.  Like the song from Rocky IV, there’s No Easy Way Out.  Therefore, throw off any excess baggage, endure hardship and run with perseverance until change becomes reality, Hebrews 12:1-4.

by Jay Mankus

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