RSS Feed

Tag Archives: gospel

A Precaution for Your Safety

There are 43 accounts in the Bible where God is described as a shepherd. One of the reasons for this illustration is that human beings tend to wander away from God. These lost sheep spend months, years, and decades on their own, going through life without someone to protect them. To guard against wolf attacks in the middle of the night, this blog serves as a precaution for your own safety.

In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for You, Lord, alone make me dwell in safety and confident trust, Psalm 4:8.

A first century doctor devotes an entire chapter of his gospel to the lost. Luke shares three stories of a Lost Sheep, a Lost Coin and a Lost Soul. The Parable of the Lost Sheep illustrates the steps that God takes to reach out to individuals who wander away from their Shepherd. The Lost Coin highlights the determination it takes to find something valuable when you lose it. Finally, the Prodigal Son is a cautionary tale of what happens when rebellion clouds your judgment.

For the rest, my brethren, delight yourselves in the Lord and continue to rejoice that you are in Him. To keep writing to you [over and over] of the same things is not irksome to me, and it is [a precaution] for your safety, Philippians 3:1.

In the passage above, the apostle Paul explains the reason for his letter. Paul doesn’t want to nag this new church into following Jesus via peer pressure. Rather, Paul wants these believers to remember the delight and joy of entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Perhaps, some of these members were quick learners while others were forgetful, falling back to the way that they lived prior to knowing Jesus. Instead of taking things for granted, Paul wants to make sure that no believer is left behind.

by Jay Mankus

Building From Scratch

If you have ever been forced to finish someone else’s project, what appears to be easy on the surface often contains several underlying issues. If this happens to be a physical building, there is always a risk that specific steps were missed or skipped along the way to save time. Meanwhile, the materials that you would have chosen can’t be added unless you want to start over from scratch. Another element is brought up by Jesus is Luke 14:28, before starting any project, you have to consider the costs, time and money. Don’t start something that you know you won’t be able to complete.

It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation, Romans 15:20.

In the letter to the church at Rome, the apostle Paul reveals an interesting ministry strategy. Instead of building upon what others have taught, Paul felt compelled to go to areas and regions where the gospel had never been heard. After dealing with the Judaizers, a religious sect that added elements of Judaism to salvation, Paul realized that it was easier to start a church from scratch. Trying to undo bad habits, confusion and spiritual damage done by the Judaizers within the Galatian church reinforced Paul’s belief.

Rather, as it is written: “Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand,” Romans 15:21.

As most small businesses in America lay dormant, unable to open until social distancing policies have been eased, perhaps some will have to start over from scratch. If rent can’t be paid or expenses need to be cut, perhaps some will become more like Amazon, using the internet for sales. While this may not be possible, the creative have plenty of time now to develop, plan and strategize for the future. Although there will be many obstacles, visible and invisible, I pray for all the small business owners that God will give you a vision to implement once the Coronavirus pandemic subsides.

by Jay Mankus

The Good Things of Christ

There are four books of the Bible known as the gospels according to Jesus Christ.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give an account of the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.  However, gospel originates from the Old English term godspel.  This word has two meanings, referring to good tidings or good news.  Thus, inside these four New Testament books contain the good things of Christ.

But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation, Hebrews 9:11.

According to Hebrews, Jesus came down to earth to be a physical great high priest.  Within the four gospels you will find verses that highlight this great news.  The inspiration behind this selfish act was love.  Trying to restore that which was lost, Jesus resists temptation to become the perfect lamb of God.  Following the disappointment of Jesus’ death on the cross, Sunday’s resurrection rejuvenated those who had lost hope.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, John 3:16-17.

Today, some members of the media are trying to rewrite history, suggesting the resurrection was a hoax.  Using the conspiracy theory first conceived in Matthew 28:12-15, film makers have created moderns movies to deceive Christians.  Yet, like anything else in life, you have to surround yourself with positive people, fleeing from negative influences.  As another Resurrection Sunday approaches, may the good things about Christ lift you up and draw you closer to a risen Savior during this season of miracles.

by Jay Mankus

 

Making A Lasting Impression

The humble don’t waste their breath telling others what they’ve done or what they are about to do.  Rather, quietly, each go about their own business until their assignment, job or task is complete.  Making the most of every opportunity, individuals who possess a servant’s heart are on their way to making a lasting impression.

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head, Mark 14:3.

Over the course of your life, you may witness an act that doesn’t make much sense on the surface.  However, there are times people feel compelled to do something, regardless of how bizarre, crazy or strange it might seem.  Nonetheless, one day a woman followed the prompting in her heart to anoint Jesus with an expensive jar of perfume.

Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her,” Mark 14:9.

Based upon Jesus’ compliment of this woman, making a lasting impression involves stepping out in faith.  Sure, doing what’s right when no one is looking is a good start.  However, to keep in step with the Holy Spirit requires a keen awareness, grounded in the wisdom of the Bible.  May those of you who seek to leave behind a legacy of faith, follow in the footsteps of this selfless act.

by Jay Mankus

 

Desperation, Inspiration or a Combination?

After New Year’s Resolutions have been broken, forgotten or wasted by misguided steps in 2015, one of two emotions consume individuals.  Desperation is brought on by agony, despair and worry.  Meanwhile, inspiration is conceived when souls are awakened and spurred on by a glimpse of what could be in the near future.  Somewhere in between the conscience is stimulated by a combination of desperation and inspiration.

Holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain, Philippians 2:16.

As I reread the gospel in May, I get the feeling that the sick, sinners and those who had lost their way in the first century were fueled by desperation.  Since doctors couldn’t cure, help or figure out what was wrong, ill people will willing to try anything regardless how far they had to travel.  Caught in the grips of addiction, desolation led the needy to explore the stories of miracles performed by a carpenter from Nazareth.  Finally, prodigals who had neglected their families for years returned seeking reconciliation and a fresh start on life.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope, Romans 15:13.

A week ago I was comfortably numb, going through the motions of a mediocre life.  I’m not sure if it was desperation, inspiration or a combination of the two, yet I snapped out of the malaise which keep me depressed for most of 2015.  Subsequently, a sense of motivation returned, providing just the spark I needed to complete my second movie script in a nick of time.  Now back on track, I am leaning on the Holy Spirit to keep the fire burning as I press on to that which God has called me to do.  As for now, but let a rough day, week or month drag you down.  Rather, look to the Son for inspiration.

by Jay Mankus

 

U-Turn or Bust

Since reading one of his chapters in Steeling the Mind of America, David Barton has become one of my favorite authors.  In his most recent work, U-Turn: Restoring America to the Strength of its Roots, I was shocked by what his research uncovered.  According to Barton, only 34 % of Americans believe in absolute truth.  If these numbers are true, this explains a culture who allows lies to be told, opinions to be elevated to fact status and morality based upon doing what’s right in your own eyes.

To add insult to injury, public schools in Texas are now teaching children the Pilgrims were America’s first terrorists.  Instead of reminding youth of Islamic militants who held American ships captive like pirates, the history of events like the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli are vanishing.  As parents struggle to provide for their families, the state and federal government are brain washing children with liberal, new age and progressive worldviews.  Unless the United States get’s back to its founding principles, it’s U-turn or bust.

When things began to change for Christians as Nero rose to power over Rome in the first century, the apostle Paul left a good piece of advice, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22.  Whether you’re a child, adolescent or adult, don’t take my or David Barton’s words as gospel.  Rather, test everything you hear, read and see.  Do your own thorough research; then once complete, you can cling to that which you have found to be true.  The sooner you turn around toward the truth, the less likely you will be busted by lies of the devil.

by Jay Mankus


Did God Really Tell Me That?

 
Although its been thousands of years since Lucifer first planted the idea of questioning God within eve’s mind, Genesis 3:1, there is a new trend gaining traction.  Sure, there will always be doubters, haters and nay sayers who will claim God does not exist.  Yet, this latest fad might be more harmful, especially when their promises come up empty.  Like a page out of the Bible, more and more people are sharing stories about how God is speaking to them in an audible voice, either in dreams, during a prayer or while reading the Bible.  Before these phanatics get excited by telling anyone who will listen, maybe they should practice 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, asking the question, “did God really tell me that?”

The reason why I say this is that gullible and hurting people are often burned by optimistic news, taking what pastors, television evangelists or faith healers say as gospel, as if these words came straight out of Jesus’ mouth.  Back in February of 2012, I began to hear countless testimonies, people who reached out to the parents of Joseph Feeley, one of my former students who had been battling cancer for 2 years.  Though I believe each had good intentions, they were proved wrong when Joseph went to be home with the Lord on February 27th, less than a month after confidently proclaiming Joseph would be healed, traveling throughout the country as a motivational speaker.

Six months later, I received a similar message at a Christian bookstore in Delaware.  Since I was still searching for a full time job, I was vulnerable, grasping at straws for anything positive.  When I wrote a blog on this encounter in late August of 2012, I was hopeful the words of this prophet might come true, “God will reward you with a great paying job, surpassing your wildest imagination.”  Unfortunately, this grandois prophecy did not occur within the time table give but who knows, maybe my position at Amazon could turn into something special.  However, like the Feeley family, I am still in a lot of pain, disappointed by the outcome of my current path.

Instead of crying over spilled milk, I won’t give up on chasing my dreams of becoming a novelist, screen writer or both.  In future blogs, I will be careful not to exploit anyone with promises unless I am certain of a specific message, truth or word of insight people need to hear.  The lesson to be learned from this blog is to dot your i’s and cross your t’s, ensuring your words don’t inflict false hope to a world searching for answers.  May these words, stirring within my heart, strike a cord, helping you to reflect before blotting out any words in the future.

by Jay Mankus

Unleashing the Power of Prayer

During a 3 year stretch, Jesus performed miracles every day, with his 12 disciples likely eyewitnesses of these amazing feats, John 21:25.  Jesus calmed storms, walked on water, restored sight to the blind, gave voices to the mute and enabled the crippled or paralyzed to walk.  However, there are 4 passages in the gospel which reveal why modern Christians aren’t successful in their prayer life.  Mark 11:20-25 holds a powerful truth that needs to be unlocked.

In Mark 11:22, Jesus is disappointed by Peter’s reaction a verse earlier.  Jesus appears to have expected a greater faith by now, one that demonstrates unquestioning power.  However, a spirit of doubt is limiting the disciples ability to receive instantaneous answers to prayer, Mark 11:23.  Back in Mark 5:36-41, Jesus takes drastic measures, removing everyone out of a house except Peter, James, John and a dead girl.  Once doubt is eliminated from their presence, the little girl is risen from the dead.  After the road block of doubt has been bypassed, another element also stifles prayer.

According to Jesus, unconfessed sin or any grudge that is held, prevents a prayer from being carried out, Mark 11:25.  On several occasions, Jesus told the person who approached him, your sins are forgiven prior to the actually healing, Mark 2:5.  In the case of the adulterous woman, Jesus commands her to leave her life of sin, John 8:11.  The conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer contains a similar conditional clause.  Unless you forgive others of their sins first, God will not forgive you of your own sins, Matthew 6:14-15.  Therefore, if your prayer life is unproductive, 3 things must be addressed before the power of prayer can be unleashed.

1. Remove any presence of doubt from your heart, soul and mind.

2. Publicly confess any issue, mistake or sin you are currently struggling with.

3. Ask God to reveal any grudges you are holding on to as well as anyone you have not fully forgiven.

When you add faith to this simple equation, Matthew 21:21-22, God will unlock the power of prayer in your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: