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Tag Archives: curiosity

Jumping Offsides

During each NFL offseason, owners meet to discuss necessary changes to improve the integrity and overall quality of each game.  According to the 2017 rulebook, Section 20 covers jumping offsides.  A player is considered Offside when any part of his body or his person is in the Neutral Zone, or is beyond the line of scrimmage.  When a member of the offense commits this foul, a whistle is blown to immediately stop the play to access a five yard penalty.  Yet, when a member of the defense commits this infraction, the offense has a free play.  If time allows, the quarterback will attempt a deep thrown down the field to use this rule in their favor.  One untimely mistake like jumping offside can be the difference between winning and losing.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may freely (unconditionally) eat [the fruit] from every tree of the garden; 17 but [only] from the tree of the knowledge (recognition) of good and evil you shall not eat, otherwise on the day that you eat from it, you shall most certainly [die [because of your disobedience],” Genesis 2:16-17.

From a spiritual sense, Adam and Eve were the first to jump offsides.  While God clearly defined the boundaries one chapter earlier, curiosity took them right to the edge, taking a peek at the other side of the fence.  There wasn’t a need for instant replay as both participants ran off the field, hiding in the bushes.  This act is referred to as original sin, a selfish act that ruined God’s intended design for life on earth.  Sometimes a poor decision that you make negatively impacts your family or future generations.  Hopefully, this fateful event in history will serve as a teachable moment to avoid going beyond the boundaries God defines in the Bible.

So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin, James 4:17.

Every person falls into one of three categories: amoral, moral or immoral.  Amoral refers to individuals do not have a clear understanding of right and wrong, living a carefree life without a defined set of standards.  Moral includes individuals who are concerned with godly principles.  While those who fall into this category may not always do the right thing, a defined belief system provides a foundation for integrity to exist.  Immoral are those who for one reason or another refuse to conform to or accept standards of morality.  Regardless of where you may fall in this spectrum, the brother of Jesus leaves a powerful truth about life.  Beside jumping offsides beyond biblical guidelines, anyone who knows what is right and fails to act, sins of inaction are considered the same offense as sins of action.  May this blog help you think twice the next time you have the urge to jump offsides.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

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Adding Love to the Law

From an early age, the idea of boundaries is a turn off.  At birth, human nature introduces a curiosity similar to that which led Eve to break God’s lone law, eating from the Tree of Knowledge.  As a parent, condemnation comes naturally, a common response to children who disobey you.  Yet, Jesus reminds a large crowd during the first century that love should be applied to Jewish law.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? – Matthew 5:46-47

Jesus uses common sense to drive home this point.  Pagans lived by a different set of standards.  Jews were expected by God to be set apart, striving to apply biblical principles.  Yet, if a Christian’s love is no different from a Pagan, what’s the point.  Therefore, individuals should make it their ambition to add love to the law.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me, 1 Corinthians 13:11.

The only problem is this goal requires maturity as love doesn’t come naturally.  This fruit of the Spirit is an acquired trait nurtured by the Holy Spirit.  At some point people have to grow up by developing a will to love.  Hanging around like minded people, growing in your knowledge of the Bible and practicing prayer is a good place to start.  However, if you want to fulfill Jesus’ request, make sure your feelings are held in check, sanctified by love.

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Take The Bait

Fisherman tend to be superstitious.  Whether its a specific time, spot or lure, past success feeds these rituals and traditions.  In the spiritual realm, Satan is the fisherman and human are the fish.  Each soul tends to be susceptible to certain things which varies from person to person.  These weaknesses are known by the Devil, tempting individuals to take the bait.

Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away, James 1:14.

Since a handful of the disciples were fishermen, some of their words reflect this lifestyle.  In the passage above, James realized that certain types of bait catch a fishes eye.  Once enticed, fish are lured out of hiding into open waters.  If this curiosity continues, sooner or later fish will take the bait, becoming hooked.  In the same way, people who develop bad habits become vulnerable to addiction.  Once hooked, people often destroy themselves as Satan moves on, searching for the next gullible victim.

Come, let’s drink deeply of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! – Proverbs 7:18

The older you get, the greater and more complex temptations become.  The context in the verse above Solomon urges young men to avoid desperate and lonely women.  While the eye candle may be difficult to resist, the quicker you say no the better off you will be.  However, as soon as you master one weak area, further temptations will come at you fast and furious.  Therefore, be on guard, take a stand or else may be the next to take the bait.

by Jay Mankus

On the Other Side of the Fence

As cultures change, so does the vocabulary.  When you retrace the records of past societies, sometimes its difficult to understand where people are coming from.  However, if you can decipher practices by comparing and translating them into modern terms, history begins to makes sense.  This leads me to a portion of the Sermon on the Mount.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you, Matthew 6:14.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus refers to trespassing.  Today, boundary lines are drawn by stakes, fences or marked by do not trespass signs.  Borders serve as markers, clearly defining where you are allowed to go and what is forbidden.  However, curiosity, human nature and sin living inside of hearts cause individuals to venture over to the other side of the fence.  Jesus’ words highlight the inevitability of people trespassing against other individuals.

But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses, Matthew 6:15.

The question is not whether you will do this, but how will you respond.  According to the context of the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is conditional.  Sure, no one wants to be violated by having someone trespass against your body, home or possessions.  Nonetheless, part of life is letting go, forgiving and forgetting.  Therefore, the next time you trespass on the other side of the fence or are trespassed upon, immediately confess your sin or ask God to give you a heart full of grace and forgiveness.

by Jay Mankus

 

Are You Ready to Jump In?

Every so often I will come face to face with a crisis.  Usually, its a mom or dad not paying attention to their children, wondering off into trouble.  Sometimes I become the good Samaritan, reaching out just in time to prevent an accident or fall.  Unfortunately, this is rare, often consumed with my own life, oblivious to everything else around me.  Thus, I’m not ready to jump in.

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross, Mark 15:21.

One Friday morning, a man was minding his own business, possible thinking about what he was going to do over the weekend.  Suddenly, commotion from the crowds standing along the street peeked his curiosity.  Going over to see what was going on, a soldier called out, demanding his help.  Though its unclear if he was a willing participant, Simon jumped into action, carrying a cross for a pitiful soul, full of blood, bruises and open flesh.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil, Ephesians 5:15-16.

The term Christian was first derived in the town of Antioch.  Faith wasn’t just a spoken word.  Rather, the followers of Jesus displayed the same love, peace and servanthood of their former leader.  Pleasantly surprised by these acts, citizens began to say, “hey, you must be one of those Christ followers?”  Overtime this phrase was condensed to simply Christian.  In view of this historical fact, may you be compelled to jump into action, following in the footsteps of Jesus, 1 John 2:6.

by Jay Mankus

 

Tasting But Not Believing

Every once in a while individuals will eat something that doesn’t sit well.  Certain drinks or foods will leave a bad after taste.  Other combinations can result in bad breath, heart burn and stomach cramps.  If you are trying to win a friend over to your favorite restaurant, sometimes tasting is not believing.

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace, Hebrews 6:4-6.

Human nature causes individuals to encounter several phases over the course of one’s life.  Whether its curiosity, emotion or peer pressure, the hesitant will put their toes in the water first to see if they want to dive in or not.  The author of Hebrews warns first century citizens about applying this same principle to Christianity.  Unfortunately, a let me try it for a while to see if I like it mentality cause many souls every year to abandon their faith.

Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them, Mark 4:15.

This mindset has filtered down into many traditions like dating, marriage and sex.  The world uses a car buyer analogy, wanting to test drive something before they purchase it to justify living together before getting married and premarital sex.  Perhaps this is want Jesus was referring to in Mark 4:15, warning souls against walking by sight instead of by faith.  In life it only takes one moment of compromise before temptation leads you to taste forbidden fruit.  If this behavior develops into a pattern, your life may be summarized by tasting but not believing.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

No Limits

If you goggle or yahoo “no limits” you will find a roller coaster simulator, a French Television series, images of road signs, a fund raiser for deaf children, an engineering web site and several you tubes.  Meanwhile, if you search for the definition of “no limits” you will find a form of poker where bets are as high as a player’s chips allow and a song by a Dutch music group.  However, what I was trying to find were terms to describe an unlimited supply or the ability to go wherever you want.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore, Psalm 16:11.

No limits didn’t work out so well for Adam and Eve.  Their only boundary was a tree in the center of their property.  Something about curiosity, the unknown or total control causes many human beings to investigate restricted areas.  Similar to actors in horror movies who always choose the wrong path leading right into harm’s way, God has good reasons for the limits mentioned in the Bible.  Nonetheless, free will enables the masses to search the various paths in life.

Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire,          Jude 1:7.

History should serve as a warning bell, a sign that if you follow that wrong road you will endure the same fate.  Unfortunately, arrogance, pride and stubbornness cause many to believe, “that will never happen to me.”  Although some organizations like Mother’s Against Drunk Driving have been successful, selfish souls continue to press the limits, often resulting in tragedy.  The next tell you have the urge to wander beyond the limits of the Bible, may common sense protect you from a road without any limits.

by Jay Mankus

 

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