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The Key to Helping the Weak

If you are observant, you will likely cross paths with an exhausted, fragile or shaken soul.  Unfortunately, many symptoms of the weak are subtle.  This leads the driven, focused and self-centered to be oblivious, unfazed by the down trodden, hurting and wounded.  Unless you slow down, similar to the words of the Psalmist, you won’t notice or take the time to help the weak.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth,” Psalm 46:10.

A natural response to a bad day is to over-react, allowing a spirit of bitterness or worry to consume you.  Thus, when you are able to get over this disappointment, the sooner you can begin to turn your attention to the concerns of others.  In a letter to the church of Colosse, Paul encourages members to bear with each other; sharing the burdens of those hurting.   Though it may be difficult to forgive some individuals, its a start in the right direction to helping the weak.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others, Philippians 2:3-4.

Finally, the key to helping the weak is found in the art of giving.  Jesus claims it is better to give than receive.  While part of human nature will expect something in return, I’m learning the joy of giving without expectation.  It’s not easy, but the sooner people can get over the life’s not fair stage, your perspective can change.  May the Lord revitalize your hearts to become a student of giving.

by Jay Mankus

Exhausted

Maybe its me, but the older I become, the harder it is to possess energy.  On certain days of the week, just getting out of bed is an accomplishment, wondering if I want to repeat the endless cycle pf work.  Unless you begin to tap into a higher power,exhaustion is a likely destination.

Fatigue is a byproduct of exhaustion, the result of mental and physical exertion.  Perhaps, this may explain God’s establishment of the Sabbath.  When a driven person goes extended periods without rest, souls will eventually run out of steam.  Subsequently, drain, lethargy and weariness become a reality for those who try to live apart from God, John 15:1-5.

Repetition is a key element of teaching.  Human nature causes most students to forget what they have been taught.  Likewise, authors of the Bible practice this same principle, regularly reminding its readers of past events.  Without being aware of history, individuals will often repeat previous mistakes.  Therefore, if you want to avoid extended periods of exhaustion, pray the words of Psalm 109:22 to lift you out of states of drowsiness.

by Jay Mankus

Coasting on Cruise Control

If you’re traveling cross country in a car or planning a long day trip, the invention of cruise control is a nice luxury.  Although vacation traffic may limit your opportunities, open highways, especially at night, provide a chance for drivers to rest their legs.  With only a few weeks of summer remaining, try to get away for a little R & R coasting on cruise control.

From a spiritual perspective, coasting through life is something that you want to avoid.  Unfortunately, there is where I find myself, using a busy work schedule as an excuse.  Somewhere in the last month, I’ve lost my spiritual mojo.  As a result, my devotional time is sporadic, prayer life lame and influx of the Holy Spirit is wading.  Like the classic line from Star Trek, I feel like Captain Kirk’s frequently request to Scotty, “I need more power!”

Regardless of your circumstances, sooner or later everyone grows tired, Isaiah 40:29-31.  When you reach your breaking point, find yourself exhausted or wake up spiritually numb, God saw this coming.  In these days of desperation, running on empty, you might find yourself crying uncle, 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.  While coasting on cruise control led you to this state, yielding to the Lord will help you rise up from the ashes of despair.  Fan into flame 2 Timothy 1:7 so that the only coasting you do in life is driving in the country.

by Jay Mankus

 

When It Rains… It Pours

On the surface, some people appear to have bad luck.  If its not one thing, another quickly turns for the worse.  Unfortunately, too many of us on earth know the expression, “when it rains, its pours.”

Trials don’t wait for a convenient time to show up.  Rather, out of the blue and unannounced, these disappointing events inflict anguish, heartache and sorrow.  Like a snow ball thrown off of a mountain, avalanches form creating a wall of destruction headed toward innocent bystanders.  These freaks of nature don’t stop until its energy has been exhausted.

Similar to a fire drill, Christians should be prepared for the next hurricane.  However, spiritual storms aren’t limited to a few months out of the year.  Instead, every day pop up thunderstorms are possible, ripping the foundations out from those not ready, Matthew 7:24-27.  May the promise of Psalm 34:18 encourage anyone who is currently stuck in stationary showers that don’t seem to be letting up.  Hang in there, don’t give up and cling to the Lord, Philippians 4:13.

by Jay Mankus

The Grind of Life

Inside a coffee grinder, beans are crushed, pounded and smashed into submission until the process is complete.  Sometimes circumstances in life performs a similar act on individuals, grinding and pressing people until their energy is sapped.  Drained, exhausted and spent, my joy for living has been misplaced by a sea of despair.

Perhaps anguish is the guilty party, sucking souls of contentment, fun and thanksgiving.  Despite being known as a man after God’s own heart, 1 Samuel 16:7, David wasn’t exempt from this emotional state.  Psalm 31:10 expresses the toll the grind of life takes on the human body.

Lately, my faith has been void of joy, left behind during my healthier days when work was something I took for granted.  If you take James 2:26 literally, you can’t have one without the other.  Thus, joy is a byproduct of faith, a fruit inspired by the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23.  Like the Samaritan woman, I need to go to the well of living water, John 4:10, so that the grind of life doesn’t crumble my faith.  If you’re thirsty for something more in life, absorb the words of Jesus in John 4:13-14.

by Jay Mankus

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