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Tag Archives: God’s Word

Seeking out What is Right

Before the creation and evolution of the internet, students went to the library to find the right answer. After going through the card catalog, I usually went to a librarian to expedite my search for the book with the answer to my question. As I got older, I was introduced to Cliff. If time was running out before a due assignment, Cliff Notes was a reliable source until one of my teachers caught on to the short cut that many of us were taking to find out what we needed to know.

These six things the Lord hates, indeed, seven are an abomination to Him: 17 A proud look [the spirit that makes one overestimate himself and underestimate others], a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood. 18 A heart that manufactures wicked thoughts and plans, feet that are swift in running to evil, 19 A false witness who breathes out lies [even under oath], and he who sows discord among his brethren, Proverbs 6:16-19.

From a Biblical Worldview, the Bible is the place to seek out what is right. According to one first century author, the Bible is living and active, able to penetrate souls, Hebrews 4:12. Meanwhile, the apostle Paul refers to God’s Word as the source for correcting, rebuking and teaching individuals what is right, 2 Timothy 3:16-17. A first century church developed a practice for testing new philosophies by examining them with the Old Testament, Acts 17:11-12.

Lying lips are extremely disgusting and hateful to the Lord, but they who deal faithfully are His delight. 23 A prudent man is reluctant to display his knowledge, but the heart of [self-confident] fools proclaims their folly, Proverbs 12:22-23.

King Solomon is much more direct in the passages above. Before you fully understand what is good and right, you need to know what God detests. If any act falls under one of these 7 categories, the Lord wants any of his followers to flee from these behaviors. One of Jesus’ earthly brothers called first century believers to draw near to God while resisting temptation, James 4:7. In his final remarks in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus provides a blueprint in Matthew 7:7-8 for seeking out what is right.

by Jay Mankus


Turn on the Lights or Shut the Door

The symbolism of light in the Bible is used to provide direction and insight. A Psalmist uses a lamp to illustrate how God’s Word illuminates light to guide our steps throughout life, Psalm 119:105. When you listen to the commands in the Bible by putting them into practice, you receive spiritual understanding. Unfortunately, many Christians often find themselves somewhere in between darkness and light. This is what one of Jesus’ disciples refers to as a lukewarm spirit, Revelation 3:15-16. When you find your faith mediocre at best, it’s time to turn on the lights or close the door?

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven, Matthew 6:14-16.

Apparently, Jesus noticed a similar pattern within his own followers. In the first portion of His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus calls His audience to stop turning their spiritual light on and off. Depending upon who you associate with, there is a temptation to avoid being preachy or pushy with non-Christians. Yet, Jesus urges first century believers to maximize their light, even if it means reorganizing your own spiritual house. The love is Jesus in your heart should inspire you toward moral excellence. As long as individuals reflect spiritual fruit, your light will be recognized by others.

The eye is the lamp of the body. So if your eye is sound, your entire body will be full of light. 23 But if your eye is unsound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the very light in you [your conscience] is darkened, how dense is that darkness! – Matthew 6:22-23

During the middle of this sermon, Jesus turns his attention toward ideals and motives. Just like today, there was a number of counterfeit, fake, and phony people in the crowd. Instead of being honest about their shortcomings, the insecure often put on a facade to hide the truth. Whenever you find yourself reeling spiritually, it’s essential to withdraw. Whether you pray or study the Bible, shut out the world until you are fully recharged spiritually. Until this reboot is complete by reviving your soul. look within before reaching out to others, Philippians 2:3-4. Then, let your light shine!

by Jay Mankus

The Departed

While the term departed usually refers to the deceased, depart has a slightly different meaning.  When you remove the ed, this word applies to an individual who abandons, deserts or exits the current path that they are on.  Thus, the question arises, what causes someone to deviate from the life they cherish.

Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk, 1 Timothy 1:6.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much to distract the average person from vanishing off the straight and narrow.  Jesus refers to a broad road that leads to destruction.  Meanwhile, the apostle Paul takes a different angle.  As a believer begins to waver in their faith, conversation is an obvious indicator.  The longer someone goes without tapping into prayer or plugging into God’s Word, the sooner meaningless talk will approach.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it,” Matthew 7:13.

The point of this blog is to be careful that you don’t get lured into a false sense of security.  Whether you are currently standing tall or on the verge of indulging into sinful pleasures, it doesn’t take much to fall away.  Therefore, be wise in the choices and decisions that you make or you may be the next unlikely candidate to depart from the faith.

by Jay Mankus



When the Fire Inside Flickers Out

If you’re star gazing on a clear night, you might just catch a glimpse of a shooting star.  However, by the time you point in this direction to show others most vanish, flickering out before you can share this special moment.  This dying flame is reminiscent of individuals who lose their spark, joy for life.

And the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale, Revelation 6:13.

Madonna’s song Lucky Star, released in 1983, refers to the old adage of wishing upon a star.  Similar to Disney’s theme, both lyrics paint the picture of a fantasy world where your dreams come true.  Unfortunately, when your prince, princess or pot of gold never arrives, hope is replaced with doubt as stars of promise die out.

And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever, Daniel 12:3.

When I was young, life was filled with great expectations, places to go, people to meet and mountains to climb.  Yet, every adult reaches a point in their lives when its hard to wake up.  Perhaps the life you envisioned hasn’t turned out as you thought.  Or in my case, the road I set out on has changed, leaving me dazed and confused.  Thus, when the fire inside flickers out its time to fall on your knees, open up God’s Word and pray for the Lord to raise you up on eagle’s wings to get you through the tough times.

by Jay Mankus



Pressing On When Your Body Says No

When you are young, recovery happens over night.  As Father Time catches up,  just the slightest exertion of energy can result in lingering aches and pain.  While mind over matter may work for a couple of days, how can you press on when your body says no?

As for me, an employee of Amazon or anyone in retail sales, Christmas is a hectic season.  Sales are like a drug for bargain shoppers, influencing business owners to remain open 7 days a week.  Married to your job, family, friends and hobbies take a backseat.  This strain has deflated my soul with several weeks still to go, hanging on by a thread.

In this state of exhaustion, I am reminded of the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  When your body says no, athletes push their bodies to the extreme.  Blocking out any pain, runners often enter a trace, focused on maintaining a steady pace.  Though cars, dogs or traffic may break people out of this state, this mentality helps these individuals reach a place most never find.

From a spiritual perspective, words from the Bible are building blocks.for faith.  When placed into an impossible situation, God’s Word provide a source of strength.  As you learn to trust in Jesus, Matthew 11:28-30, a fresh wind arrives via the Holy Spirit.  Therefore, the next time your body says no, find rest, hope and renewal in prayer to keep on keeping on.

by Jay Mankus

Angel #9

If you have ever seen something that defies logic, you might rationalize this occurrence due to chance, coincidence or dumb luck.  However, when similar events begin to multiple, echoes of the supernatural must be brought into your discussion.  Such is the case of my experiences in youth ministry, with one particular encounter, early on a Monday morning in the fall of 1993.

As a result of the mini-revival taking place in Columbus, Indiana, during the summer of my first year there, students requested several ministry opportunities to grow their faith.  A leadership team and weekly training began, an accountability group started in the fall as did a Life Application Bible Study at the local McDonald’s near school.  One student leader mentioned the importance of starting off each week on the right foot with God’s Word.  Like anything, the crowds were higher in the beginning, squeezing 20 students in the back corner of this restaurant.  However, time whittled the group down to 6-12 regular attenders.  This core had the honor to encounter the woman I call angel number 9.

At this point of the year, student’s had begun to fall back into bad habits, struggling to find time for God.  Thus, like a reality show with weekly eliminations, only the true believers stuck it out til the end.  Roughly halfway through my lesson, a woman in her late 40’s politely asked if she could interrupt me for a moment.  With a heavenly voice, full of joy, she commended each student for their commitment to studying the Bible.  Although her message lasted only a minute, the encouraging words she shared lifted up those in attendance.

After the study, a few students students stayed behind for a few minutes taking about this woman.  No one had ever seen her, strange for a small town of 25,000 people.  Before I left a year later, no one that I know had scene her since.  This dilemma led several to question, was she real or a messenger from God?  Out of no where, 9 minutes past of the hour, these teenagers were blessed to receive a divine message.  Who else could this stranger be except for Angel #9.

by Jay Mankus

Thank You, May I Have Another?

Although its contributed to the moral decline of America, National Lampoon’s Animal House contain several classic movie lines.  In an attempt to join a fraternity, Kevin Bacon degrades himself to become a member, famously saying, “thank you sir, may I have another” spanking.  Another funny, yet perverted movie, Airplane possesses another hilarious moment.  When the character Striker confuses his name with a command, repeated by a person from behind, leading him to punch the lady in front of him.

While woman are likely offended by this scene, God refers to a different kind of striking in Psalm 141:5.  Unless I am wrong, the Lord appears to adorn the notion of being hit hard by the truth.  In fact, King David feels so strong about this, he urges the godly to accept being struck my righteous individuals.  Since my mind often remembers movie lines, my first inclination of this passage was to proclaim; “Thank you, may I have another.”

The Bible encourages individuals to seek out the truth by testing the things that you hear daily, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  The disciple whom Jesus loved eludes to this in John 1:3-5, painting the picture of God’s Word being light that shines into the dark places of this world.  Thus, to be hit or struck by a spiritual truth should be perceived as an act of kindness.  Instead of being soft, Christians should toughen up, learning to embrace correction and rebukes.  Therefore, the next time a friend speaks a word of constructive criticism respond like an eager student, “thank you, may I have another?”

by Jay Mankus

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