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God Only Knows

Since the United States government shut down in late December 2018, there has been ongoing debates about border security.  Democratic leaders have suggested that building a wall to keep refuges out is immoral.  Meanwhile, Republican supporters claim that a nation without defined borders will not survive.  While this war of words goes back and forth, one voice has been ignored.  Every day, the broken, depressed and hopeless build invisible walls to hide the pain deep within their hearts.

Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded, James 4:8.

When individuals begin to see their dreams, goals and hope for success slip away, staying optimistic seems impossible.  Although some may muster up the strength to fake how you feel, most people withdraw from society.  If you don’t have anyone to lean on or share your anguish, walls begin to be erected.  Desperate souls may risk becoming vulnerable, pouring out their heart and soul, but if you reveal this information to the wrong person your situation may get worse.  Thus, where do you go when no one seems to care?

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water, Hebrews 10:22.

In 1954, the Philadelphia doo wop group the Capris released the song God Only Knows.  Written by Ruben Wright, this single had a dramatic impact on Motown singer Marvin Gaye.  Perhaps, this original piece inspired the 2018 version from For King & Country.  God Only Knows can be found on the newly released Burn the Ships album.  The chorus of this song reflects upon daily struggles that human being endure.  “God only knows what you’ve been through; God only knows what they say about you.  God only knows that it’s killing you but there’s a kind of love that God only knows.”  May the lyrics of this attached song encourage you to draw near to God as you experience disappointment and heartache in life.

by Jay Mankus

Take It or Leave It

In recent years, those who live according to a secular worldview are claiming the Bible no longer applies to modern life.  Meanwhile, any law, principle or rule within the written Word of God is labeled as bigoted, discriminating and sexists.  Yet, if these skeptics actually took the time to read the Bible, individuals would begin to see the lofty expectations that exist.  Free will does not force anyone to adhere to these standards.  Rather, its up to you, take it or leave it.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect, Matthew 5:46-48.

The legal world uses an interesting term, plausible deniability.  This means that an individual can be excused from guilt, like a disclaimer or waiver.  The Bible uses a similar word to plausible deniability, amoral.  Moral refers to knowing what is right and doing it.  Immoral is the opposite, knowing what is right, but failing to obey.  Amoral comes into play when someone is held to a standard that they were never taught.  Subsequently, if you have never attended church, heard the gospel or read the Bible, you are only held accountable for that which you have been introduced.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord, Romans 6:23.

The purpose of this blog is to simplify the message of the Bible, take it or leave it.  The consequence of sin results in a guilty verdict from the jury.  The punishment for this crime is death, eternal separation from God.  However, the judge steps in to offer a special plea deal.  Actually, God is willing to pardon all offenders with one simple gift.  Jesus paid your bail in full, but the choice is yours, take it or leave it.  You can receive this as your own, taking ownership of faith.  You can reject it and so by live according to the world’s standards.  Or you can wait for a while, but either way, the clock is ticking.

by Jay Mankus


Blindness, unawareness and vagueness are what I call kind synonyms for ignorance.  Harsher terms involve crudeness, disregard and incapacity.  Scholars often blame a lack of education, innocence or not being enlightened by social etiquette.  Whenever you go or whatever you do, you are destined to encounter some form of ignorance.

They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart, Ephesians 4:18.

Before the decline of a biblical family in America, social skills were taught at home.  Character, discipline and hard work were displayed by parents, not just empty words.  If children ever got in trouble in school, parents handled behavior problems at home.  Unfortunately, a spirit of ignorance has enabled a younger generation to find an excuse for their actions or shift the blame, sometimes playing the race card.

But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance, Hebrews 9:7.

From a theological perspective, the ignorant can be classified as amoral.  The immoral are those who have been exposed to right and wrong, but chose not to follow what they were taught.  The moral obey the boundaries laid down by their belief system.  Meanwhile, the amoral are those individuals who have never been introduced to specific absolutes.  Thus, ignorance continues to exist today until conviction, usually from reading the Bible, opens our eyes to see the error of our ways.

by Jay Mankus

Making A Clear Distinction

In a world of diminishing absolutes, making a clear distinction between right and wrong isn’t what it use to be.  Shades of grey have entered the equation, leaving the truth uncertain.  To erase this confusion, one must shine the light of the Bible on this matter to distinguish the moral from immoral.

History reveals this struggle is nothing new as periods in time are filled with examples of people who blended in like chameleons, hiding their faith from society.  This pattern led Moses to challenge Israel to make a clear distinction between holiness and common citizens in Leviticus 10:10-11.  This lesson from the past should challenge us to examine our own lives to ascertain where do you stand?

When you’re feeling good about yourself, pride will lead you to hold a higher view than your actions actually display.  On the other hand, when your day of humility comes, you might feel like the apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15.  Despite the good and bad that you do, Jesus still wants believers to shine their light, Matthew 5:13.  Like the childhood song proclaims, don’t hide your light anymore, make a clear distinction today by imitating God, Ephesians 5:1-4.

by Jay Mankus

When Israel Was Amoral

The term amoral refers to someone who has never been taught right from wrong.  Based upon how people are raised, will determine their degree of innocence.  Strict parents attempt to clearly distinguish moral from immoral behavior, with some becoming too legalistic.  Meanwhile, a growing trend has parents treating their children like friends, overlooking discipline, trying to be liked instead of providing a moral compass for life.  As a former teacher, the moment you assume all your students know the basics, you’re thrown for a loop, scratching your head at all the diverse standards people use.

In the days of Exodus 18, Israel was amoral, not able to ascertain right from wrong on their own.  Before receiving the 10 commandments in Exodus 20, God only provided laws regarding to Himself, Exodus 15:26.  Therefore, when it came to being civil to one another, opinions and values varied.  As a result, Moses was the Supreme Court, the only judge in Israel working from sunrise and sunset 6 days a week, Exodus 18:13-18.  As a shrew man of wisdom, Jethro knew that Moses would not be able to keep up this pace, on the fast track to burn out.  Before he crashed and burned, Jethro gave Moses a vision for the first court system, elevating his own burdens by training others to oversee easy disputes, Exodus 18:19-22.

Based upon the location of this passage in relation to the 10 commandments, one might suggest God’s introduction of the last 6 commandments is directly related to Israel’s amoral state in chapter 18.  Unfortunately, as states in America continue to ban court houses from publicly displaying the 10 commandments, citizens of this country appear to be just as confused as the Israelites many years ago.  If schools and work places had Jesus’ words in Matthew 22:37-40 in plain view for everyone to see, maybe just maybe, amoral people would learn and be persuaded to treat others as they want to be treated.  May God use these passages in the Bible to transform Americans from amoral citizens into law abiding and loving individuals.

by Jay Mankus

Inconsistency’s and Irregularities in Life

In life, every day is not consistent, filled with irregularities which overshadow normal conditions.  When individuals expect a certain behavior from a co-worker or friend, based upon previous interactions, the ebb and flow of emotions inside the human soul can result in disappointment.  Instead, life is filled with unpredictable moments, where hearts and minds are swayed by evil to participate in illogical acts, Galatians 5:16-21.  These conflicting actions often create friction, like a wall of separation, Ephesians 4:26-27, leaving a trail of broken relationships, hurt feelings and lost trust in its aftermath.

Meanwhile, periods of love, joy and peace can be turned upside down by breaches in conventional thinking.  Right is confused with wrong, absolutes have become gray areas and morals are now equivalent to opinions, with truth no where to be found.  As a result, citizens have wandered off the straight and narrow path, Matthew 7:13-14, opting for crooked, twisted and unethical practices.  Thus, a generation of amoral people have been formed, misled by the inconsistency’s and irregularities of life.  This group are merely victims of society, like the Cretans of the Bible who were never shown a clear distinction between moral and immoral ways, Titus 3:1-11.

The words of James, Jesus’ half brother, serve as spiritual medicine to cure a sick mind.  James 1:2-7 speaks to times when the inconsistency’s and irregularities occur in life.  Perspective is crucial to staying optimistic during unexpected trials.  People with changed attitudes, transformed by a faith rooted in prayer, can stay afloat, regardless of how strong the winds of change blow.  Therefore, if you can learn to embrace life’s inconsistency’s and irregularities, God will fill you with perseverance to ride out each storm you encounter.  May God provide you with the wisdom you need to endure the whitecaps of life.

by Jay Mankus

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