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Fill Up and Complete Your Joy

When a religious person opens the Bible, eyes tend to focus on God’s commands as a giant to do list. This expectation can become overwhelming. Yet, the apostle Paul places the emphasis on improving your spiritual life. When you become wore down by the worries in life, you’re unable to help others as God intended. This is why Paul speaks of filling up and completing your joy to live an abundant life.

A time to kill and a time to heal, a time to break down and a time to build up, A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:3-4.

When I went to fill up my car this week, the price of gas jumped by over 25 cents. This sticker shock placed an unnecessary burden upon my soul. While King Solomon wrote about the swing in emotions that every day brings, too much of one thing is not good. If you set out to fill up and complete your joy as Jesus describes in John 10:10, developing balance in your life is a crucial step to take,

Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention. Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others, Philippians 2:2-4.

As someone who has a history of burning myself out from a lack of balance, if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to help others as God intended. While Jesus devoted his life to serving others, He needed a small support group in the form of 12 disciples to fill up and complete God’s joy. If you don’t currently have a body of believers to share your life with, this void will keep you from filling up with joy. May 2022 be the year where you reach your full potential as you seek the joy promised in the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

You Only Get One Shot… At Making History Today

For most of my life, I have watched from the sidelines as others have made history.  While highly motivated individuals were busy making an impact in their sphere of influence, I was too busy, tired or afraid to risk it all.  Thus, instead of being part of history, I viewed it from the comfort of my own home.  As I drove home this evening from work, today’s title rose to the surface: You only get one shot at making history today.

In my final preparations to preach for the second time in a month at Overflow Church in Newark, tomorrow is a chance to shine, my shot at making history.  Perhaps the Holy Spirit will lead me to say something powerful.  Or maybe my imagination and teaching style might bring people back to the days of Jesus, striking a cord with a heart or soul.  Either way, I want to make the most of this rare opportunity to cast a vision for 2014 as I reflect upon the song “Everything I Missed Before,” by Britt Nicole.

In my youth, sports was the only area that I could live my mark.  During adolescence, I tried to help others as a youth director, giving counsel to avoid teens from making the same mistakes I did when I was their age.  As an adult, I’ve spent the last decade as a Bible Teacher, mixing truths from the Bible was doses of reality.  Currently, God is calling me to reach others through writing this blog, edit a movie I wrote and complete a 3 part book series on compromise and temptation.  May something in today’s lesson spark a hunger inside your heart to remember you only get one shot at making a positive mark on history today.

by Jay Mankus

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