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A Promise to Restore and Rebuild

When the concept of immortality and being invincible wears off, teenagers wake up to reality.  As bodies take longer to heal, restoration is necessary to just make it through each day.  As time quickly fades into the night, individuals are forced to alter, change or rebuild their lives.

The words of the Prophets agree with this, just as it is written [in Scripture], After these things I will return, and I will rebuild the tent of David which has fallen; I will rebuild its ruins, and I will restore it, Acts 15:15-16.

During the Council at Jerusalem, James quotes an Old Testament prophet.  When religious zealots sought to add Jewish traditions to salvation, James felt compelled to remind those in attendance of God’s promise to restore and rebuild tattered souls.  This message brought hope to Gentiles who were not considered part of God’s chosen people.

So that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles upon which my name has been invoked, Acts 15:17.

The agreement made at this historic event has opened God’s door for non-Jews to enter.  Instead of being stuck on the outside of God’s chosen people, members of any nation can now exercise freewill to seek the Lord.  As you call upon the name of the Lord, Romans 10:9-11, the restoration and rebuilding process begins.  Don’t be afraid to ask Jehovah Rapha for help so that the promise of restoration and rebuilding becomes reality.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Sword of the Lord

When I was a child, I felt invincible.  Yet, age is the great equalizer.  Subsequently, in my latter years, I have experienced times when I feel like God has abandoned me.  These moments in times have left me lost in a world of darkness.

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian,” Judges 6:13.

After Joshua’s death in the Old Testament, Judges began to lead the nation of Israel.  Unfortunately, Gideon endured a similar fate, wondering if God had forgotten the promises made to his chosen people.  During a conversation with an angel, Gideon poured out his heart, sharing his concerns.

The three companies blew the trumpets and smashed the jars. Grasping the torches in their left hands and holding in their right hands the trumpets they were to blow, they shouted, “A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!”

Judges 7:20

In the hours and days that followed, the Spirit of the Lord fell upon Gideon.  This encounter empowered Gideon to free Israel from the hands of the Midianites.  Although, there were likely some concerns with Gideon’s heart and mind, the Sword of the Lord was the source of victory.  This invisible power provided a miracle which generations continue to recount.  If you are feeling helpless today, cry out to God so that the Sword of the Lord will rescue you from trouble.

by Jay Mankus

 

No One is Safe From the Grave

Youth tend to feel invincible, confident and strong with little or no experience to the frailty of life.  Instead of attending funerals, time is spent celebrating birthdays, weddings and graduation.  However, as age begins to affect one’s body, traces of death introduce the fact that no one is safe from the grave.

According to Psalm 89:48, the Psalmist understood this truth.  Unless your name is Enoch or Elijah, no one knows what its like not to die.  For the rest of us, accidents, disease and failure is a reality in life.  Although, extended life is a sign of God’s blessings, breathing will stop sooner or later.  While some may be resuscitated, a day will come when the grave will be ready to receive your body.

In view of this, its essential to get busy living by making a difference in your spheres of influence.  Whether this is accomplished through donating your money, services or time, how you live will impact others more than what you place on your tombstone.  Since no one knows when the sands of time will run out, finish strong, 1 Timothy 6:11-16, so that the light that you reflect will lead some to a place called eternity, 2 Peter 3:8.

by Jay Mankus

 

Last Call

Every classic movie or sitcom filmed in a bar has at least one scene based upon the notion, last call for one more round of drinks.  In the 1996 film Invincible, Mark Wahlberg plays Vince Papale, a bartender who fulfills a life long dream of trying out for Philadelphia Eagles, his local NFL team.  As the plot develops, several of the beginning scenes take place at the establishment where Vince hangs out and takes a part time job after losing his teaching position.  Like the closing bell on Wall Street, the last call serves as a two minute warning before closing up for the night.

In life, few people receive a clear indication that their time on earth is up.  Sure, those stricken by an incurable disease have an inclination that the end is near, yet countless are cut down, killed in accidents or murdered without any signs or notice.  These individuals don’t have any time to prepare for eternity.  Instead, their destination is determined by the life they have lived.  Unfortunately, no one is perfect, Romans 3:9-12, falling short of God’s expectations, Matthew 5:48.

In Luke 23:32-43, three man were sentenced to death.   As curious spectators got their kicks, watching 3 men die on a cross, one man took advantage of this last call on life.  Acknowledging his crime publicly and worried about his future, one criminal pleaded with Jesus, Luke 23:41-42.  As a result, this fortunate soul received something better than a last drink, the gift of eternal life, Luke 23:43.  May you seize the moments God gives you during the living years so that you will enter the place Jesus calls paradise, 1 John 5:13.

by Jay Mankus

By the Sweat of Your Brow

 

The poor have said, “the rich have won life’s lottery!”  Meanwhile, the middle class are waiting for their big break, a chance for the world to recognize their talents.  On the other hand, the wealthy are trying to keep up with the Joneses, working harder than ever to buy their next show piece.

Whether you are wrestling with poverty, keeping your head above debt or living on cloud 9, everyone makes their living by the sweat of their brow.  Since original sin entered mankind in Genesis 3:17-19, God made life as we know it hard.  Gone are the days of milk and honey, evaporating in a promised land turned to sand.  Like the humidity of a summer sun sapping all your strength, the worries of life can wilt any soul not prepared for unexpected trials.

As I was doing my final touches of yard work before the growing season ends, I was reminded of God’s words in Genesis 3:19.  Yes, even the invincible will experience kryptonite at some point.  This will paralyze your ability to save yourself, leading to the grave, to become like the dust that God formed Adam out of.  In view of this bleak destiny, its vital to make plans for the afterlife, John 14:3.  Therefore, while you have time to breathe, take note of God’s promise in 1 John 5:13-15.  Inquire before you expire.

by Jay Mankus

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