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The HEART of the Matter

Recently, the media has been quick to jump to conclusions, especially when current events align with liberal talking points.  The recent feeding frenzy began following a church shooting during a Bible Study at a Methodist Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  Sadly, nine dead African Americans are being used as a political pawn to accomplish a specific agenda, ban the Confederate Flag.

A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of, Luke 6:45.

Since June 17, the night of these murders, anyone who displays, owns or doesn’t condemn this flag has been labeled an accessory to this hate crime.  Afraid of negative press, P.G.A. star Bubba Watson decided to paint over the flag on his General Lee, Nascar offered fans attending the July 4th weekend race at Daytona American flags in exchange for Confederate ones and several in the south have removed this symbol from state buildings and court houses.  While this act of terror on Christians is an awful tragedy, the human heart is the main culprit not a flag.

The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? – Jeremiah 17:9

During debates with religious leaders and discussions with his own twelve disciples, Jesus proclaimed that what comes out of a man or woman makes them unclean.  Hearts set on evil are like ticking time bombs ready to explode.  Whether killers display a Confederate flag or swastika, acts are conceived by angry hearts according to Jesus, Matthew 5:21-22.  There will always be opinions which have some valid points.  However, owning the Confederate flag doesn’t make you anti-Christian or anti-black.  Rather, those who are raised and taught to embrace bigotry are planting seeds of evil for future actions.  May those filled with hatred receive a spiritual heart transplant to insure future attacks will cease.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Has God Left America Yet?

You don’t have to be a historian to recognize the United States of America aren’t so united.  Sure, negative news overshadows any decent, encouraging or trace of optimism out there.  Nonetheless, even if a positive news network did exist, remaining realistic in this time of hate crimes, moral decay and political hypocrisy would be difficult.  In my mind, there’s only one thing left to ask, “has God left America?”

Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD and served the Baals, Judges 2:11.

If the Supreme Court is a foreshadowing of the future, its only a matter of time before the Lord removes his blessing.  In recent days, Oklahoma courts have ruled the 10 Commandments monument outside the state capitol must be removed.  While atheists, progressives and revisionist historians will say, “what’s the big deal,” the founding fathers are shaking in their graves at the removal of one of the last beacons of truth in America.  Though history goes in cycles, when you eliminate concrete absolutes, leaders of this country are opening the doors to a chaotic society.

They forsook the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the LORD‘s anger, Judges 2:12.

No one likes to be told what to do, except for the government who is regulating what you eat, say and so on.  In the past, God allowed Israel to be taken captive, living in exile for hundreds of years.  Despite these tangible lessons, individuals still strayed from the Lord, only turning back during the tough times.  The events of 9/11 did the trick for a little while, but now the hearts of many have turned cold.  Has God left America completely, probably not.  Yet, if the cultural trends continue, there won’t be any room left for freedom of speech, religion or worship.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Prompting of the Heart

Hollywood has made fortunes making love story films.  While some are comedies, created for a good laugh, every year there is usually one that connects with the human spirit.  Whether its a scene, a similar situation an individual has endured or a real life story, drama has a way of touching hearts, striking a nerve or unlocking the floodgates as tears stream down faces in the audience.

In the book of Exodus, Moses refers to a spiritual prompting, moving someone to give out of the overflow of their heart.  Whether its the sight of a homeless person on a street corner, pictures of a natural disaster on television or guilt from a privileged life without any trials, the heart moves people beyond their comfort zones, Exodus 25:2.  King Solomon compared to heart to a underground springs, bubbling with life, forcing water to the surface, Proverbs 4:23.

According to Jesus, when the prompting of the heart ceases in many, end times are near, Matthew 24:12.  The so what, I don’t care, what a waste of time mentality has spread like a cancer among several communities.  Hate crimes, violence and wickedness are merely byproducts of hearts that have turned cold.  Maybe Foreigner was right in their song, “Cold as Ice,” except in these days you don’t have to break up with someone to witness or be a recipient.  Regardless of how holy Christians claim to be, we all need a spiritual heart transplant, Galatians 5:6, so that the prompting of our hearts will make this world a better place to live!

by Jay Mankus

State of Hysteria

For the drama kings and queens, worry warts and pessimists, hysteria is a relatively normal state.  This condition of emotional distress often leads to melt downs or what I call tizzy’s, an adult version of a tantrum.  Blowing things out of proportion makes for great reality television, at least from a ratings perspective.  However, have you ever thought about what force or inspiration is ultimately behind hysteria?

According to Exodus 23:27-28, the God of Israel sends a spirit of hysteria into the land of Canaan.  The purpose of this terror is to drive out the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of their land.  Like a stirred up hornet’s nest, God uses supernatural powers to accomplish His will.  Without the numbers, strength or weapons, Jehovah Jireh delivers a promised land an ordinary group of people, unable to take the credit for this miraculous event.

If this happened in the Old Testament, I wonder if God has the desire to allow a similar state in the world today.  Although, modern outbreaks of hysteria are likely from another force, demons using angelic powers.   Some nations experience countless years of civil unrest.  Meanwhile, others countries promote a generation of starving children.  Somewhere in the middle, hysteria roams from city to city, resulting in hate crimes, violence and suicide.

God provides weapons against such spirits in Ephesians 6:10-20.  With all but one defensive, the Word of God is double edged, able to go from defense to offense in one motion.  May these tools help you build an invisible force field of faith around you, saving yourself from caving into the hysteria in this world.  Keep the helmet of salvation tightly secured to guard your mind from suffering from spiritual amnesia, 1 Thessalonians 5:8.  Finally, apply 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 daily as you take each thought captive, making each obedient to Christ.

by Jay Mankus

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