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Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

Learning to Let Go of Those Things You Can’t Control

I spent a couple of hours in and out of waiting rooms on Friday, waiting to hear what the tests on my eyes revealed.  Like a prophet, I overheard a Christian woman provide some profound advice.  Chatting with a woman next to her, she replied, “I’ve learned you have to let go of those things you can’t control.”

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me? – Psalm 56:3-4

Almost an hour later, I was prepared for the bad news that I received.  While various medical terms spoken were foreign to me, I was told eye surgery was imminent.  The doctors advice was the sooner was better, causing my mind to race about how this will change my life.  Yet, as the woman in the waiting room professed, you can’t worry about things beyond your control.

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love, 1 John 4:18.

One of Jesus’ disciples shines some light on this topic.  Whenever faced with something beyond your control, fear is a common response.  However, the cure to overcoming this is the perfect love found in Jesus Christ.  As I cope with what awaits me in the next few weeks, I can’t say I am confident.  Nonetheless, my hope lies in Christ alone as I trust God’s providence to oversee that which I can’t control.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Clinging to the Vine

If you have ever tried to climb a tree, it doesn’t take make to lose your grip.  Any type of misstep, re-positioning or weak branch can start an unexpected descent.  During a recent adventure of trying to dislodge an arrant Frisbee from a tree, I found myself in a free fall reaching out for anything that would break my fall.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” John 15:5.

In the spiritual realm, I’ve faced myself in similar downward spirals where in moments of weakness I have tried to cling to the Vine.  According to one of his disciples, Jesus is compared to a vine, the life source to which branches are attached.  However, once broken or cut off, these limbs are worthless, unable to protect you from spiritual harm.

If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned, John 15:6.

Subtle signs, also known as acts of the flesh, Galatians 5:19-21 often rear their ugly heads when individuals try to live apart from the Vine.  Acts, behavior and character gradually declines, transforming decent human being into completely different people.  Before this sinister force takes roots, its essential to become reconnected to Jesus.  Bible Study, prayer and worship are daily avenues to reunite you with the Lord.  If you feel like your faith is wavering, don’t let it continue.  Rather, cling to the Vine and connect with like minded followers who seek to fulfill the great commission, Mark 16:15.

by Jay Mankus

AP

On Tuesday of this past week, a king was laid to rest.  Yet, this wasn’t your typical cast of assembled dignitaries.  Rather, this man never forgot where he came from, always remembering his humble beginnings.  Subsequently, as crowds gathered for the memorial service, those in attendance reflected upon how this individual made anyone he met feel like a special friend on each and every occasion.

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel, Proverbs 27:9.

While this may be a stretch, what Arnold Palmer meant to golf is similar to Mother Teresa’s impact on the Catholic church.  Mother Teresa taught the world what is means to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ by serving the poor and less fortunate.  Meanwhile, Arnold Palmer showed professional athletes what a role model resembles by using his fame, fortune and success to make this world a better place.

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: 1 Peter 4:8-10.

Beside all the hospital’s Arnold and his first wife Winnie founded in Orlando, Florida, he was a visionary.  Palmer was the architect of a 24 hour golf channel, founder of the Bay Hill Classic tournament on the PGA tour and the figure which helped make the Senior PGA tour what it is today.  Despite all these great accomplishments, Arnold was a man of character, honor and integrity.  Arnie as coined by the army who followed him in droves, signed every autograph, made spectators feel a part of his round and replied to each letter with a hand written note.  May the the memory of AP inspire you to impact the lives of this generation.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

Breaking it Down

If you are an avid sports fan like me, you probably enjoy watching post game shows following a favorite teams game.  After a win, you revel in watching the highlights that led to victory.  However, in defeat you want to know what happened; searching for the reason why your team lost as analysts break down the film.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do, Romans 7:15.

Unfortunately, the older I get, the more analytical I become.  Subsequently, I do the same thing with my own life, trying to point a finger on why I’m not getting the results I expect.  While some may consider this a waste of time, this is merely a way that I discern what I need to do different in the future.

Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin, Romans 7:25.

The breakdown to life on earth is pretty simple.  Mankind was on a path toward destruction, destined for hell.  Yet, this is where Jesus stepped in, taking the fall for every sin ever committed.  Thus, despite my own failed attempts to step out of trouble, the grace of God is available to those who believe.  May the Lord open your eyes as the Bible breaks down God’s plan for eternity.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Good Things of Christ

There are four books of the Bible known as the gospels according to Jesus Christ.  Matthew, Mark, Luke and John give an account of the life, teachings, death and resurrection of Jesus.  However, gospel originates from the Old English term godspel.  This word has two meanings, referring to good tidings or good news.  Thus, inside these four New Testament books contain the good things of Christ.

But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation, Hebrews 9:11.

According to Hebrews, Jesus came down to earth to be a physical great high priest.  Within the four gospels you will find verses that highlight this great news.  The inspiration behind this selfish act was love.  Trying to restore that which was lost, Jesus resists temptation to become the perfect lamb of God.  Following the disappointment of Jesus’ death on the cross, Sunday’s resurrection rejuvenated those who had lost hope.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him, John 3:16-17.

Today, some members of the media are trying to rewrite history, suggesting the resurrection was a hoax.  Using the conspiracy theory first conceived in Matthew 28:12-15, film makers have created moderns movies to deceive Christians.  Yet, like anything else in life, you have to surround yourself with positive people, fleeing from negative influences.  As another Resurrection Sunday approaches, may the good things about Christ lift you up and draw you closer to a risen Savior during this season of miracles.

by Jay Mankus

 

An Ideal Atmosphere called Harmony

Although harmony is often associated with music, its one of the missing ingredients within society.  Defined as an orderly and pleasing combination of elements, harmony is established when various components exist together without destroying one another.  Unfortunately, rarely do strong personalities mesh without some type of power struggle.

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! – Psalm 133:1

The sustainability of any church, group or family is dependent upon the degree of harmony displayed.  From my vantage point, hidden agendas, control and wills create conflict.  Beneath the surface, demons, Satan and selfish desires are tugged in different directions, resulting in discord, dissension and factions.  These obstacles stand in the way of an ideal setting where harmony is achieved.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. – Colossians 3:13

No one is exempt from an outburst when you lose your composure or say something that you regret.  This is where forgiveness enters the equation.  Once harmony is shattered, common sense must lead individuals toward reconciliation.  Although no one is perfect, the apostle Paul provides tips for those communities seeking unity, Colossians 3:12-15.  May bad blood, hurt feelings and severed relationships be washed away, replaced by the transforming love of Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

More Than Just A Curse Word

As a resident of the greater Philadelphia area, I understand the passion of Philly fans.  Although the main stream media continues to accuse them of throwing snow balls at Santa Claus, most season ticket holders wear their emotions on their sleeves.  If you add alcohol to a bad call or break, thoughts become verbalized.  Thus, if you attend an Eagles game on a Sunday, God’s name may be used in a slightly different context than church.  Phrases such as “Jesus Christ, God dam it and Holy bleep” are reactions to a sporting event beyond their control.

Outside of the realm of sports, there is another topic of conversation.  If someone begins to experience a string of bad luck, loses in life or turmoil, God is usually the first to be blamed.  The Old Testament nature of God leads individuals to believe God is punishing them for something done in their past.  Yet, when the tide turns toward blessings, praise and rewards for hard work, there is a tendency for adults to take the credit.  Either forgetting or overshadowing God’s role, glory is often stolen by selfish souls.

Regardless of where you find yourself on this spectrum, the majority will agree that today’s language is merely a byproduct of a fallen generation.  Society has accepted the idea that words need to be spoken, even if people are hurt.  Twitter feeds this notion, giving disgruntled followers a platform to voice their opinion.  Nonetheless, God is more than a curse word or punch line for a comedian.  Rather, Hebrews 4:12-13 reveals that everything will be uncovered, brought to the light, as everyone will have to give an account of what they’ve done and the words they have spoken.

by Jay Mankus

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