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Tag Archives: healed

Alive But Not Liberated

Hogtied refers to having your hands and feet secured together. While this technique is often limited to rodeo competitions, many people go through life with certain restrictions. Some may end up gagged, stuck or tied up in a no win situation. Spiritual barriers may not be visible, but their affects are felt leaving countless individuals alive, but not liberated.

Out came the man who had been dead, his hands and feet tightly wrapped in burial cloths (linen strips), and with a [burial] cloth wrapped around his face. Jesus said to them, “Unwrap him and release him,” John 11:44.

Prior to modern funeral homes, the dead were wrapped like a mummy to preserve bodies from accelerating the decay process. Bodies were often placed in caves, sealed by a large boulder. In the passage above, Jesus cancels Lazarus’ funeral. However, following this resurrection, Lazarus was alive, but not liberated. Lazarus’ grave clothes restricted his ability to move, talk and walk. Thus, Jesus invites pall bearers to unwrap Lazarus.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, Hebrews 12:1.

Following the chapter of the Bible known as the Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11, the author introduces a similar concept. Life on earth is compared to a marathon with the dead serving as witnesses, a large crowd cheering you on toward finish line in the race called life. Just as family and friends liberated Lazarus from his grave clothes, God wants believers to dispose of, get rid of and throw off anything that is weighing you down. As you pray to unload these burdens, you become one step closer to being alive and liberated.

by Jay Mankus

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The Mystery of Prayer

Seven years ago, my career path took an unexpected turn from a high school Bible teacher to the unemployment line.  Following previous setbacks, God always gave me feedback, insight or some sort of sign to know if I was on the right path.  Unfortunately, my soul has never fully healed from this crushing disappointment, not quite sure what I am suppose to do or where I need to invest my time in the future.  This perplexing situation has lead me to contemplate the mystery of prayer.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, Romans 8:26.

My research has led me to narrow in on three conditions which influence whether or not prayers are answered.  According to Deuteronomy 28, blessings are directly related to diligently listening, obeying the voice of God and carefully following God’s commands in the Bible.  The second piece of criteria is provided by Moses’ predecessor Joshua 1:5-9.  The new leader of Israel introduces the concept of spiritual disciplines which begins with reading, reflecting upon and mediating upon God’s Word.  Finally, Jesus provides the final condition during a conversation with his disciples in Matthew 21:19-22.  If you place your trust and confidence in Jesus, free from doubt, ask whatever you desire in the context of God’s will and the mystery of prayer will be unlocked.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, 1 Timothy 2:1-4.

After Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, the apostle Paul instructs first century believers on what to do now.  In a letter to the church of Rome, Paul writes about times when you are struggling to come up with words to say while praying.  According to Paul, this is when you need to lean on the Holy Spirit, trusting God to intervene as you pray.  When I evaluate my own life against these biblical standards, I can clearly see where I have come up short.  Thus, for now I need to get back to the basics: listening to God, studying the Bible, applying what I am learning and submit my life to prayer.  May the words in this blog help you better understand the mystery of prayer.

by Jay Mankus

Confession, Faith and Healing

When you are young, health is something that can be taken for granted.  This blessing is often forgotten until storms, trials or unexpected events arrive.  Thus, when my eye doctor recently told me I was losing vision in my right eye, I wasn’t sure what to think.  After a week of contemplation, prayer and reflection, my future lies in confession, faith and healing.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective, James 5:16.

The first 4 books of the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, also known as the Gospels detail close to 40 specific miracles performed by Jesus.  Although the audience and context of each author differs, there is a similar theme found before Jesus’ healing is complete.  Several cases involve an affliction, condition or disease that is related to some type of curse which requires confession.  Other individuals came to a point in life they began to accept their physical state, giving up hope of ever finding a cure.  These people were questioned by Jesus, seeing if desire and faith within would be reborn.

One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.  When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?” –  John 5:5-6

When you find yourself in need of healing, there are 2 questions you must dwell upon.  First, have you sinned against God, someone else or your own body?  Second, is there any area of your life where you’ve resigned, lost hope or believe you won’t succeed.  Depending upon the conviction you receive from the Holy Spirit, you may need to publicly confess your transgressions, ask God for the faith of Elisha or do both.  In the end, you will find that after confession and faith, healing will follow.  It might not always be the outcome you desire but as Job once said, ” the Lord gives and the Lord takes away,”

by Jay Mankus

Don’t Tell Anyone?

The notion that Jesus doesn’t what individuals to tell others what He did for you flies in the face of the great commission, Mark 16:15-17.  Context and timing plays a crucial role in understanding Jesus words to healed souls.  Nonetheless, Jesus regularly finished several of his healing encounters with “don’t tell anyone.”

Jesus sent him home, saying, “Don’t even go into the village,” Mark 8:26.

Perhaps, there are exceptions to this rule as in the passage in Mark 8.  Afraid of crowds curtailing his ability to minister, Jesus likely wanted anyone healed, first to go home and tell his family what God had done.  Since faith is personal, like a baptism where individuals make a public profession of an inner faith, testifying about a healing encourages those nearest and dearest to you to believe.  In addition, Jesus didn’t want faith to become a fad, cool today and passe tomorrow.

Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you,” Mark 5:19.

While words can be beneficial, showing your faith by your actions is more valuable than anything you could say.  The beginning of the Sermon on the Mount emphasizes the need to shine the light of Christ inside of you, adding flavor to the lives of those whom you come in contact with and meet.  Therefore, Jesus doesn’t want people of faith to be silent.  Rather, whenever you have the opportunity, Ephesians 5:14-16, let your light shine before mankind.

by Jay Mankus

Strangers in the Crowd

The biblical accounts of The Triumphal Entry contain 3 common threads, except for John who only mentions two, John 12:12-18.  Matthew 21:1–11, Mark 11:1-11 and Luke 19:28-44 explain the detailed preparations necessary to make the first Palm Sunday a reality, followed by specific instructions Jesus leaves with two of his disciples.  Once executed exactly according to Jesus’ own words, all 4 authors emphasize the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy by the triumphant entry into Jerusalem and the waving of palm branches, an act of praise and worship by the strangers in the crowd.

While the Holy Spirit, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, led Matthew, Mark and Luke to recount these 3 main details, John is moved in a different direction, focusing on individuals who attended this celebration.  John 12:17 suggests that people who went to Lazarus’ funeral lined the streets, paying homage to the man who brought their friend back to life.  Though this passage shines light on a few of the participants, clues, hints and logic are the only tools we have remaining to connect the dots to the faces of these strangers in this crowd.

Matthew 20:34 confirms that two blind men from Jericho whom were healed by Jesus, followed him to Jerusalem.  Bartimaeus is named directly by  a similar account in Mark 10:46-52.  Meanwhile, Matthew 19:13-15 informs us that children were granted access to Jesus, likely following their parents trying to sneak a peek of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem.   According to Luke 19:1-10, a short tax collector began climbing a tree to get Jesus’ attention.  After a life changing visit with Jesus, Zacchaeus was surely present, either in the front row or climbing another tree to pay Jesus the respect he deserved.

With all the clues and hints within Scripture used up, logic leads me to believe that anyone healed by Jesus came to the first Palm Sunday.  Furthermore, any family member who either heard, knew of someone or actually saw Jesus make a person whole again was likely in attendance.  As Palm Sunday 2013 approaches this weekend, don’t be left out in the cold.  Rather, line up early to become another stranger in the crowd, ready to worship the risen King!

by Jay Mankus

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