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Forever

Every love story begins with the thought of together forever. As engaged couples eagerly prepare for their wedding day, forever is a hope like marriage vows of “to death do us part.” FM Static sings about this special day in their song Moment of Truth. According to a 2021 study, 2.7 marriages out of 1,000 end in divorce so forever is not guaranteed.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, Genesis 2:24.

Biblical marriage is designed around two key issues. First, the covenant of marriage was meant to be for a lifetime as two individuals become one flesh. Meanwhile, biblical marriage calls new couples to propagate the earth by having children. While some may not be able to complete this call due to health and medical conditions, the intent for newlyweds is to be together forever.

Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous, Hebrews 13:4.

The author of Hebrews calls couples to keep their marriage pure and free from temptation. To promote this position a disclaimer is used at the end of the passage above. Anyone who fails to keep their vows in the presence of family and friends will be judged and punished by God. In view of this warning, may the Holy Spirit fill you with a will to stick to your spouse forever.

by Jay Mankus

The Cruel Reality of Sports

When the clock strikes zero at the end of any competition, their is usually a winner and loser.  Though a regular season game may result in a tie, in the playoffs, this isn’t an option.  Whether you’re talking about the National Championship, Super Bowl or Olympics, only one team or individual will walk off as the victor.

From a personal perspective, I once blew an eight shot lead during the Club Championship; then lost in an 18 hole playoff.  When things start to slip away, as momentum goes in the opponents direction, a helpless feeling grips your body.  This tide often results in the agony of defeat, something I’ve tasted on numerous occasions.  Unfortunately, this is the cruel reality of sports.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. – 1 Corinthians 9:25

Therefore, as Ohio State and Oregon fans go to sleep tonight, one will celebrate into the midnight hours while the loser will ponder what could have been.  For the senior players, several will be playing their final game, trading in their jerseys for a career in their field of study.  Perhaps, this is why the apostle Paul wrote the words of 1 Corinthians 9:25.  Like of the motto of Little League, “It’s not whether you win or lose, but how you play the game!”  May these words stick with you the next time you experience the cruel reality of sports.

by Jay Mankus

The Runner’s Guide to Life

If you have ever run in a 5K, race officials usually offer one of two options: a walk thru to see the course or provide a map that highlights the route of the path you are going to take.  Without one or the other, there is always a chance of getting lost along the way.  Therefore, if you don’t know which way to go, you either have to catch up to the participants in front of you or slow down to follow runners who pass you.

I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. – Psalm 119:32

This same principle applies to life.  When you hit a fork in the road, decisions have to be made regardless of whether you are sure or uncertain.  According to the Psalmist, those who remain teachable throughout life will stay on track until the finish, Psalm 119:33.  On the other hand, individuals who lean on their own understanding often end up on the wrong course, Matthew 7:13.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us – Hebrews 12:1.

During his years as a shepherd, David learned the importance of good footing, Psalm 18:36, achieved by trusting in God.  The apostle Paul takes this one step further, relying on the Holy Spirit to guide his steps, Galatians 5:25.  While visiting the avid sports town of Corinth, the apostle Paul began to understand that mindset necessary to become a successful runner, 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  Whether you choose to support a local 5K as a runner or walker, make sure you are seeking after a crown that will last forever to ensure the runner’s guide to life.

by Jay Mankus

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