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Tag Archives: fear of the Lord

Having a Foot on Both Sides of the Fence

The term “on the fence” became a popular expression beginning in 1828.  The original context was applied by Carl Schurz, insisting on political independence, rather than appeal to everyone by sitting on both sides of an issue.  Not much has changed in the last 2 centuries as politicians have perfected the art of straddling hot button topics with one foot on either side of an argument.  In an attempt to dodge what individuals really believe, vague comments seek to win the approval of as many voters as possible.

To understand a proverb and a figure [of speech] or an enigma with its interpretation, And the words of the wise and their riddles [that require reflection].  The [reverent] fear of the Lord [that is, worshiping Him and regarding Him as truly awesome] is the beginning and the preeminent part of knowledge [its starting point and its essence]; But arrogant fools despise [skillful and godly] wisdom and instruction and self-discipline, Proverbs 1:6-7.

From a spiritual perspective, the fence represents biblical principles.  On one side of this divider is the Bible designed to keep evil out by instilling commands, decrees and precepts from God.  This land is based upon a higher calling, to use abilities, gifts and talents to glorify God.  The opposite side consists of assumptions, elementary theories and worldly traditions.  This region encourages self gratification, indulgence and promotion.  These areas are polar opposites unless you want to fit in like a chameleon.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ, Colossians 2:8.

The book of Proverbs is designed to shed light on this issue.  As an earthly father looking back on his life, King Solomon attempts to bestow wisdom upon one of his sons.  Like any worried parent, Solomon sees the evil within the world that gradually bewitches, deceives and poisons the minds of teenagers.  Thus, Solomon wrestles to pen the exact words to keep his children on the right side of this invisible fence.  May the fear of the Lord serve as a guiding light to ensure that your own offspring follows the narrow path detailed in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:13-14.

by Jay Mankus

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The Refueling of the Holy Spirit

Modern technology has developed a way for certain types of aircraft to re-fuel while in mid-air.  Air tankers contain a nozzle which extends and connects to crafts low on fuel like Air Force One in the 1997 Harrison Ford film.  This capability allows fighter jets to remain in the air for longer periods of time.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness, 2 Peter 1:3.
Dietrich Mateschitz invented a drink based upon a similar concept, helping human beings refuel when your energy is lost.  In 1987, Red Bull Energy Drink was sold for the first time in Austria.  This formula was inspired by functional drinks from the Far East like Green Tea.  Subsequently, if you feel like you’re about the crash, consumers continue to reach for this can to boost their energy.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord, Isaiah 11:2.
The prophet Isaiah writes about a spiritual power available to those longing for discernment, insight and wisdom.  According to one of twelve disciples, the Holy Spirit was sent by Jesus following his ascension to refuel spiritually.  While this Holy Ghost is invisible, it’s presence brings counsel, knowledge and understanding.  If you are currently emotionally drained, out of energy or have lost your way, cry out to the Lord in prayer so that the refueling of the Holy Spirit will begin.
by Jay Mankus

The Boost of Encouragement

Some time in the last century, the concept of encouragement has been replaced by criticism.  While traces of encouragement still exist, negativity has spread like a wild fire, often choking the joy within those trying to remain positive.  You don’t have to go far to see these signs, as twitter is littered with nasty comments seeking to attract more followers.

Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers, Acts 9:31.

During the first century, similar obstacles existed.  Yet, in the face of adversity, an invisible force brought a sense of peace to the apostles.  I’m not sure who coined the phrase, but Luke, a well known doctor refers to this phenomena as encouraged by the Holy Spirit.  Despite persecution by Jewish religious leaders, staying true to their faith boosted their confidence.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing, 1 Thessalonians 5:11.

During a decade of teaching high school, it didn’t take long to recognize the attitude of each class.  It’s scary how the absence or presence of one negative student can transform a classroom for the good or bad.  The same holds true today within families, neighborhoods and the workplace.  In view of this, don’t let the Debbie Downers in life steal your joy.  Rather, boost the spirits of those around you with an extra dose of encouragement today.

by Jay Mankus

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