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The Toll of Temptation

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A few years ago, I read an article on the effects marathons had on a runners body.  Based upon totals miles run, long distant runners can lose between a half inch and inch in height over the course of their lives.  The constant pounding on ligaments and tendons takes a toll on the human body, eventually wearing down and shrinking over time.  This might explain how I lost nearly an inch in height after running several thousand miles over a 7 year span.

At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent, Proverbs 5:11.

Inside the human body, another aging process is occurring.  The obvious is the decay of internal organs.  However, the one I am eluding to involves the emotional and spiritual toll temptation takes on the soul.  When you don’t feel well, people make reservations to see a doctor.  However, there are some health conditions that can only be cured by a spiritual transformation.

I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do, Romans 7:15.

The apostle Paul once experienced a trying time in his life.  While the specifics are missing, it appears Paul was struggling to overcome some sort of addiction.  No matter what he tried failed.  Sin was ravaging Paul’s life, unable to break free from this chain of sin.  If you find yourself in a similar pattern, intervention is a must.  Seek out a friend, fellow believer or godly influence to bring you out of this pit of despair.  If you refuse help, the toll of temptation will continue to devastate your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

How Would You Respond to This?

Like most men, I’m not as emotional as my wife, nor do I get involved in the lives as others like she does.  However, today I witnessed something gut-wrenching.  On my out of a local restaurant, I saw an elderly man with his head down on a table.  Continuing toward the exit, I noticed the reason for his grief on the other side of the glass, a lone suitcase on the floor.

Before the days of retirement communities, families took care of and watched over their grandparents.  This wasn’t a nuisance or something to dread, rather it was expected.  This was the least you could do to pay homage to the legacy each lived.  Unfortunately, this man is a casualty of the times, a victim of families destroyed by abuse, abandonment and divorce.  With no where to go, this broke man took a break from his misery, hoping to wake up with a place to call home.  How would you respond to this situation?

Before my eyes was a modern day parable of the good Samaritan, Luke 10.  Immediately following the sending out of 72 disciples, they were put to the test to see what they were made of.  As for me, I re-enacted the character of the priest and Levites, pausing before moving on with my life.  Disappointed by my failure, I pray that a good Samaritan arrives to lend a helping hand.  When you face a similar scene, how will you respond to this?  May the Holy Spirit fill you with a heart of action to be the hands and feet of Christ to the brokenhearted.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Demonic Seduction

In their movie productions over the last 25 years, Hollywood has a way of de-emphasizing the role demons play in life.  Instead, a typical plot places good against evil, with the enemy usually clearly defined after 2 hours.  Unfortunately, the spiritual realm keeps most people in the dark for years, opening the door for a demonic seduction.  Usually, for victims, by the time this spiritual reality is revealed, its too late to turn back as powers of darkness are too great to overcome, Ephesians 6:12.

As an optimist, I tend to believe human beings have good intentions, yet develop bad habits over time which lead to trouble.  This is where the father of lies enters the arena, John 8:44, using fallen angels to influence worldly leaders, Revelation 17:2, with tempting thoughts whispered into minds, “go ahead, try this or that, it will make you feel unbelievable?”  James 1:13-15 describes this slippery slope, comparing it to a fish who is unable to resist a worm placed right in front of its mouth.  Demon seduction begins as soon as you are hooked, enticed and lured away by a soul longing for  emotional, physical and social needs that have not been met by anyone or anything else in your life.

When I turn on the news or listen to the radio, I am not deceived by the headlines: drug overdose, school shooting, serial killer or teenage suicide.  Rather, I am reminded by Ephesians 4:26 of a demonic seduction brought on by anger, jealousy or rage.  While the cable news networks may get excited by a jump in their ratings when the next tragedy occurs, most people are missing the real story of a demon seduction that has stolen one person’s soul and left a path of destruction reminiscent of Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:13.

If you want to know more about this topic, watch a recent episode of the Haunting on Destination America entitled the Demon Seduction.  If you want to talk more about this please email me at jlmankus@aol.com or send me a private message on Facebook.  Whenever you encounter this phenomena, don’t fight it alone.  Call on churches, prayer warriors and spiritual leaders to wage this war with you.  Although this topic may be hard to believe, its real.

by Jay Mankus

The Prompting of the Heart

Hollywood has made fortunes making love story films.  While some are comedies, created for a good laugh, every year there is usually one that connects with the human spirit.  Whether its a scene, a similar situation an individual has endured or a real life story, drama has a way of touching hearts, striking a nerve or unlocking the floodgates as tears stream down faces in the audience.

In the book of Exodus, Moses refers to a spiritual prompting, moving someone to give out of the overflow of their heart.  Whether its the sight of a homeless person on a street corner, pictures of a natural disaster on television or guilt from a privileged life without any trials, the heart moves people beyond their comfort zones, Exodus 25:2.  King Solomon compared to heart to a underground springs, bubbling with life, forcing water to the surface, Proverbs 4:23.

According to Jesus, when the prompting of the heart ceases in many, end times are near, Matthew 24:12.  The so what, I don’t care, what a waste of time mentality has spread like a cancer among several communities.  Hate crimes, violence and wickedness are merely byproducts of hearts that have turned cold.  Maybe Foreigner was right in their song, “Cold as Ice,” except in these days you don’t have to break up with someone to witness or be a recipient.  Regardless of how holy Christians claim to be, we all need a spiritual heart transplant, Galatians 5:6, so that the prompting of our hearts will make this world a better place to live!

by Jay Mankus

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