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Tag Archives: Holy Spirit

S.A.N.S. Episode 298: Heartbeat

The lack of techno in Heartbeat by Elevation Rhythm makes this one of my favorite electronic praise songs. The lyrics of Heartbeat point to the word of Jesus in the passage below. If the heart is the well spring of life, Proverbs 4:23, then putting your heart into your faith in Jesus is a game changer. According to Jesus, loving God with all your heart, soul and mind is the greatest commandment to keep in life.

Teacher, which [e]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light—which are heavy?] 37 And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect). 38 This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment, Matthew 22:36-38.

When hearts are set on things above, Colossians 3:1-4, loving your neighbor as yourself is attainable. C.S. Lewis claims that only Christians have access to biblical love as this is one of three theological virtues mentioned at the end of 1 Corinthians 13. When the Holy Spirit enters your heart via a public confession of faith, Romans 10:9-10, hearts are transformed. May the lyrics of Heartbeat inspire you to continue to love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 258: Devil

Anne Wilson made her debut as a Christian artist in 2021. Wilson’s version of “My Jesus” reached number one on Billboard ‘s Hot Christian Songs chart. Perhaps Anne’s timing was ideal like the words of King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 3:4. Regardless of the reason for Anne’s success, I was impressed my Wilson’s most recent single Devil.

Then Jesus was led (guided) by the [Holy] Spirit into the wilderness (desert) to be tempted (tested and tried) by the devil. And He went without food for forty days and forty nights, and later He was hungry. And the tempter came and said to Him, If You are God’s Son, command these stones to be made [[a]loaves of] bread. But He replied, It has been written, Man shall not live and be upheld and sustained by bread alone, but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God, Matthew 4:1-4.

When I heard this song on K-Love Radio a few weeks, I was immediately reminded of the passage above. After fasting for 40 days to prepare Jesus for his earthly ministry, the Devil tried to catch Him off guard. Jesus was tempted physically, mentally, and spiritually before telling the Devil to get lost. The lyrics of Devil reference the apostle Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 15:54-58. May Anne’s song bring you comfort the next time you are tempted.

by Jay Mankus

Afraid of the Silence

The pastor of the church Leanne and I attended on Sunday did a ten second experiment in the middle of his sermon. After reading Psalm 46:10, he glanced at his watch, not saying a word. This awkward silence felt longer than ten seconds, but he was trying to prove a point. The next portion of his message illustrated how most adults are afraid of silence, drowning it out with noise from some form of electronics.

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him, Psalm 62:5.

Back in high school, silence was never a good thing on a date. Despite my fears of stuttering, I tried to say something funny to keep a conversation going. From a relational point of view, silence is either a sign of boredom or a lack of compatibility. As an adult, my own silence is usually a byproduct of shear exhaustion. While I enjoy talking, I don’t mind the silence as much as it gives me time to reflect upon life.

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips, Psalm 141:3.

According to the Psalmists, a collection of chapters written by different authors, silence is symbolic of a mature faith. When you don’t like your job or work, anyone can become great at procrastinating. Yet, the more time you kill in idle adventures, the less time you have to connect with and stay in tune with God. When you’re talking over someone, it’s hard to listen. Even if you’re afraid of the silence of being alone like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, when the Holy Spirit speaks God’s message, it’s clearer in the silence.

by Jay Mankus

The Unleashing of the Seven-Fold

Over the past 30 years, I have been introduced to theology which is the science of God. After attending seminary for a couple of years, the deeper you get, the more confusing the spiritual realm becomes as you’re introduced to various theologians with opposing views. During a recent study of the Book of Revelation, I discovered a new concept that John calls the seven-fold Holy Spirit.

I have told you these things while I am still with you. 26 But the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby), the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name [in My place, to represent Me and act on My behalf], He will teach you all things. And He will cause you to recall (will remind you of, bring to your remembrance) everything I have told you, John 14:25-26.

John was first introduced to the Holy Spirit during a conversation with his spiritual mentor. Jesus’ last week on earth has been given the title Passion Week. As His death on a cross approached, Jesus turned to the future when his presence would be replaced by an invisible counselor. Jesus compares this spiritual entity as an advocate and intercessor when you are in need or uncertain of what to do.

Out from the throne came flashes of lightning and rumblings and peals of thunder, and in front of the throne seven blazing torches burned, which are the seven Spirits of God [[c]the sevenfold Holy Spirit]; Revelation 4:5.

Acts 2 describes the unleashing of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. A first century doctor is like a reporter on the scene explaining this as a sound from heaven like the rushing of a violent tempest blast, Acts 2:2. As great as this encounter was for Jesus’ followers, John has a vision of the sevenfold presence of the Holy Spirit. This unleashing of the Holy Spirit provides a glimpse of what heaven will be like.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 163: Bride of Restoration

Mark Pogue & Fortress is one of those groups that was overshadowed by other more popular Christian artists. When I searched on the internet for the bio of this band, I didn’t find any new information that I don’t already know. One of the highlights of Mark Pogue & Fortress’ Restoration album is the ballad Bride of Restoration. Since human being all fall short of God’s glory, we all need to be restored.

For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no one seeks after and for whom no one cares! – Jeremiah 30:17

Mark writes about how Jesus changed his life after failing as a husband. Similar to the storyline in the film Fireproof, Mark was able to save his marriage thanks to a newfound faith in Christ. Yet, unless your faith is active, James 2:26, you are dead inside until the Holy Spirit awakens your soul. May the testimony of Mark Pogue inspire you to draw closer to Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Forever

Every love story begins with the thought of together forever. As engaged couples eagerly prepare for their wedding day, forever is a hope like marriage vows of “to death do us part.” FM Static sings about this special day in their song Moment of Truth. According to a 2021 study, 2.7 marriages out of 1,000 end in divorce so forever is not guaranteed.

Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, Genesis 2:24.

Biblical marriage is designed around two key issues. First, the covenant of marriage was meant to be for a lifetime as two individuals become one flesh. Meanwhile, biblical marriage calls new couples to propagate the earth by having children. While some may not be able to complete this call due to health and medical conditions, the intent for newlyweds is to be together forever.

Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous, Hebrews 13:4.

The author of Hebrews calls couples to keep their marriage pure and free from temptation. To promote this position a disclaimer is used at the end of the passage above. Anyone who fails to keep their vows in the presence of family and friends will be judged and punished by God. In view of this warning, may the Holy Spirit fill you with a will to stick to your spouse forever.

by Jay Mankus

Give Heed to What God’s Spirit Says

One of Jesus’ common expressions is “let him who has ears hear.” Jesus understood that human beings tend to have a short attention span. Rather than take the ability to hear for granted, Jesus wanted his audience to remember his teaching by putting it into practice. One of Jesus’ former disciples takes this one step further by paying close attention to what the Holy Spirit is calling you to do.

He who is able to hear, let him listen to and give heed to what the Spirit says to the assemblies (churches). To him who overcomes (is victorious), I will grant to eat [of the fruit] of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God, Revelation 2:7.

In the first century church, illiteracy was rampant. Subsequently, church leaders would read out loud letters received from the apostle Paul. If you weren’t able to read, you had to pay careful attention to the message being passed on. Perhaps this explains John call to give heed to what the Holy Spirit is trying to express daily. If you tune out for a moment, you’ll miss what God’s Spirit has to say to you.

If we live by the [Holy] Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. [If by the Holy Spirit [g]we have our life in God, let us go forward [h]walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Spirit,] Galatians 5:25.

The apostle Paul explains the benefits of listening to the Holy Spirit in the passage above. Developing keen listening skills enables a Christian to actually keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Just like pet owners who take their dogs for a walk each morning, the Holy Spirit has the ability to pull you in direction God wants you to go. As human minds learn to follow the spiritual fruits mentioned in Galatians 5:22-24, you will begin to give heed to what God’s Spirit says.

by Jay Mankus

S.A.N.S. Episode 119: There You Go

Caedmon’s Call is one of the Christian groups that I lean on when an emotional pick me up. This group led by Cliff Young on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, blends traditional folk with alternative rock. If I’m in a mellow mood, I prefer Shifting Sand. Yet, my favorite and today’s featured song is There You Go. Both of these appear on the 40 Acres album. While now disbanded, Caedmon’s Call has aged well with time.

Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them [b]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you [c]all the days ([d]perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. [e]Amen (so let it be), Matthew 28:19-20.

Following the resurrection and ascension of Jesus into heaven, Christians possessed a sense of urgency to fulfill the Great Commission introduced by Jesus in the passage above. This plan began by telling all of your friends and family about Jesus. When the disciples ran out of names, they traveled to surrounding towns and villages. Once stage two was completed, the ends of the earth is the final step. If you ever get bored spiritually, listen to God’s still small voice and you’ll go where the Holy Spirit leads.

by Jay Mankus

Absolute Confidence

Confidence is the belief, feeling, or inner desire that you can rely on someone or something. Whether you’re a gifted academic, natural athlete or possess unique trade skills, certain talents come with ease. The more this special quality is fine-tuned, individuals begin to develop an absolute confidence in their ability. The Bible speaks of a spiritual absolute confidence.

We know [absolutely] that anyone born of God does not [deliberately and knowingly] practice committing sin, but the One Who was begotten of God carefully watches over and protects him [Christ’s divine presence within him preserves him against the evil], and the wicked one does not lay hold (get a grip) on him or touch [him], 1 John 5:18.

According to a member of Jesus’ inner circle, absolute confidence is conceived when individuals become born again. This spiritual conception comes from the Holy Spirit who gives Christians everything they need for life, 2 Peter 1:3-4. The apostle Paul compares the Holy Spirit to an invisible force that you can feel and sense as you walk through life, Galatians 5:25.

And the Lord said to Satan, Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who [reverently] fears God and abstains from and shuns evil [because it is wrong]? Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land, Job 1:8-10.

One of the reasons why evil exists in this world is due to a lack of prayer coverage. Based upon the oldest book in the Bible, Satan complained that God was placing a hedge of protection around Christian leaders. Only when this hedge was removed, did Job become vulnerable to spiritual attacks. The act of sin is merely a byproduct of losing faith by giving into natural desires. The end goal is to become filled with Christ’s strength so that the Devil will not lay a hand on you. This is absolute confidence.

by Jay Mankus

When the Bible is Difficult to Understand

When students get stumped in class as a new chapter or concept is introduced, there is a teacher to ask to help you figure it out. Yet, when you open up the Bible and come across a confusing section, unless you’re at a Bible Study, you are on your own. If one of Jesus’ own disciples mentioned that some of the apostle Paul’s epistles are difficult to understand, you will definitely need a mediator to properly interpret the Bible. This is where you need to reach out to and lean on the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts.

Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own [g]utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures, 2 Peter 3:16.

One of the common mistake’s readers of the Bible make is to treat this like a regular book. Human wisdom will only take you so far. And besides, one New Testament author refers to the Bible as a spiritual book that is living and active, Hebrews 4:12. When the Bible is difficult to understand, you need to learn to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:3-4. According to Peter, a member of Jesus’ inner circle, the Holy Spirit provides everything that you need for life.

And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]. 14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated, 1 Corinthians 2:13-14.

The apostle Paul had several encounters with Greek philosophers during a visit to Athens in Acts 17:16-32. While Paul was able to convince some of these scholars, many of them relied on human knowledge. This is the context of the passage above where Paul urges Corinthians to go beyond education. When the Bible is too difficult to understand, only the Holy Spirit will open your mind to the spiritual truths that lie within. Though you won’t have all of your questions answered like Job, you will grow in the knowledge of God’s character and nature.

by Jay Mankus

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