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Tag Archives: KIng Solomon

Detesting the Right Things

Detest is a common inspiration for daily tweets on social media. When you hear or see something that offends you, human nature has a way of expressing what you feel. According to King Solomon, it is good to detest those things that God despises. The Ephesians understood this biblical principle by hating the ungodly teaching of the Nicolaitans in the first century.

Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest, Revelation 2:6.

Unfortunately, modern day virtue signaling is like playing a child’s game of pretend. Subsequently, social media posts, tweets, and videos pile on daily to join Cancel Culture and the Woke Community. While these actions might be construed as disingenuous, these individuals are bowing down to the mob to avoid criticism. This is not the kind of detest that the Bible is referring to in today’s passages.

 It is an abomination [to God and men] for kings to commit wickedness, for a throne is established and made secure by righteousness (moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation). 13 Right and just lips are the delight of a king, and he loves him who speaks what is right, Proverbs 16:12-13.

Detest should flow out of a passion for upholding biblical principles. When someone or something is directly opposed to the Bible, Christians should fervently defend and protect Judeo-Christian values. In this age of political shaming, people of integrity are often shunned by society. Words like controversial and radical are used to label those who detest the right things. May the words of 1 Peter 3:15-18 inspire Christians to be willing to suffer by standing up for biblical truth, justice, and the American Way.

by Jay Mankus

A Spiritual Injunction

An injunction is a judicial order that restrains a person from beginning or continuing an action threatening or invading the legal right of another. The purpose of an injunction is to compel a person to carry out a certain act or to make restitution to an injured party. Meanwhile, one of Jesus’ disciples uses injunction in the context of a direct command from God. This spiritual injunction serves as a reminder of how God wants Christians to act, behave and live.

And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [[j]believer] also, 1 John 4:21.

In the days following Pentecost in Acts 2, the Holy Spirit began to flow and move through people. The apostle Paul suggests that this spiritual injunction continues today, Galatians 5:25. While spiritual disciplines may be a daily part of your life, sometimes God’s Spirit may urge you to pray for someone. This direct order may include calling a person from your past or reaching out to someone in need. Whatever the injunction, your response should be fueled by love.

All has been heard; the end of the matter is: Fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is] and keep His commandments, for this is the whole of man [the full, original purpose of his creation, the object of God’s providence, the root of character, the foundation of all happiness, the adjustment to all inharmonious circumstances and conditions under the sun] and the whole [duty] for every man. 14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it is good or evil, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

King Solomon ends one of his Old Testament letters with something to consider. God will bring every act, behavior, careless word and deed into judgement. In view of this future reality, Christians should fear, revere and worship God. During his farewell address to Israel, Moses urged listeners to invest your time on earth on things that bring life, Deuteronomy 30:15-16. This spiritual injunction from the past serves as a focal point to cherish and love your neighbor.

by Jay Mankus

Embrace Contentment or Revel in Bitterness

I’ve had my most trying week of 2022. While I try not to read too much into daily events, failure and rejection have been a common theme in the past 72 hours. On one side of this internal wresting match, human nature lurks, tempting me to revel in bitterness, gossip and pity. On the other, a still small voice is whispering “embrace contentment.” If you’re wondering, I still haven’t made a decision.

Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand, Proverbs 19:21.

One of the messages that I keep trying to tell myself comes from King Solomon. “Many are the plans in a man’s mind, but God’s purpose will prevail.” However, when you’re about to move and my request for a lateral hardship transfer to South Carolina has been denied, the uncertainty of my future is eating at me. Perhaps, I’ve been too comfortable in my current position, and this is God’s way of rocking my boat.

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. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face. 12 And the Lord said to Satan (the adversary and the accuser), Behold, all that he has is in your power, only upon the man himself put not forth your hand. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord, Job 1:9-12.

Like the words of Moses’ farewell address to Israel, I can either choose life or death, contentment or bitterness. Although my trial of having two different cars not start for me and break down, this is nothing compared to what one man faced in Job 1-2. Maybe I need to take a deep breath, go to sleep and hope this week was just a bad dream. That didn’t work! The next time you encounter one of those Murphy Law days, weeks, months or year, embrace contentment or revel in bitterness. The choice is yours.

by Jay Mankus

Verses in the Bible that Should Silence the Woke Movement

The Woke movement thrives on adhominem attacks, revised history, anecdotes in place of statistical analysis and the refusal to engage in good faith debate. The phrase “woke” and “stay woke” first appeared in the 1940’s. African Americans used this expression in the context of issues of social justice. The modern woke movement began a decade ago when statements on social media appeared to be racially insensitive or a form of prejudice and discrimination.

[My] brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the Law and judging the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but a censor and judge [of it]. 12 One only is the Lawgiver and Judge Who is able to save and to destroy [the One Who has the absolute power of life and death]. [But you] who are you that [you presume to] pass judgment on your neighbor? – James 4:11-12

Yet, like King Solomon’s quote thousands of years ago, “there is nothing new under the sun,” Ecclesiastes 1:9. In the middle of the first century, a woke movement began in the Church at Rome. Based upon the apostle Paul’s words in Romans 1:18-Romans 2:5, religious leaders began to point out everyone’s sins except for their own. Chapter 2 of Romans serves as a remainder to Jesus’ words in the Sermon on the Mount about judging others.

Do not judge and criticize and condemn others, so that you may not be judged and criticized and condemned yourselves. For just as you judge and criticize and condemn others, you will be judged and criticized and condemned, and in accordance with the measure you [use to] deal out to others, it will be dealt out again to you. Why do you [a]stare from without at the [b]very small particle that is in your brother’s eye but do not become aware of and consider the beam [c]of timber that is in your own eye? – Matthew 7:1-3

Speaking like a first century carpenter, Jesus uses the term plankeye in the passage above. This refers to timber sawed into rough planks, partly prepared as a floor covering. Everyone possesses some pet peeves, minor annoyances that an individual finds particularly irritating, to a greater degree than would be expected based upon the experience of others. Seeing pet peeves on social media has spawned the modern Woke Movement. Yet, unless you are a perfect human being which doesn’t exist, you should be silent and begin to love and pray for your enemies, Matthew 5:43-44.

by Jay Mankus

Humble Beginnings

King Solomon was the first to state what many people tend to think following an epic collapse or fall from grace in Proverbs 16:18. Pride does call before the fall and results in a reboot or as the Bible suggests a humble beginning. No one likes to start over. Whether this refers to a job, life or video game, being forced to turn the clocks back and start from scratch can be deflating. Yet, humility puts life into its proper perspective.

Let the brother in humble circumstances glory in his elevation [as a Christian, called to the true riches and to be an heir of God], 10 And the rich [person ought to glory] in being humbled [by being shown his human frailty], because like the flower of the grass he will pass away, James 1:9-10.

One Old Testament prophet writes about the nature of death in Isaiah 40:8. Each spring flowers bloom, grass grows and trees become covered by leaves. Unfortunately, by the end of fall, lawns become dormant, leaves fall to the earth and flowers disappear for the year until this cycle repeats itself annually. If you own a house or maintain a property, keeping up weekly maintenance can lead to humble beginnings.

For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [[b]which my moral instinct condemns]. 16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it. 17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me, Romans 7:15-17.

Yet, beneath the surface of every human being, there lies an internal battle that never ends. The apostle Paul writes about this wrestling match in the passage above. Whenever you discover that you’ve become a hypocrite, doing the exact opposite that you want, conviction, guilt and humility will follow. In this age of mental health awareness, your own sinful nature is often the source of your problems. Therefore, the next time you mess up, use this humble beginning as a teachable moment to rise from the ashes of despair.

by Jay Mankus

A Measurement for Correction

In this age of analytics, there is always a group of individuals who are crunching numbers to measure how to succeed in the future. This drive to win by outwitting others has taken the human element out of sports. Rather than rely on feel or improvising, owners think that they create a model for success. Yet, at some point human beings fail and discipline is exercised to correct these mistakes and shortcomings.

He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early. 25 The [uncompromisingly] righteous eats to his own satisfaction, but the stomach of the wicked is in want, Proverbs 13:24-25.

King Solomon writes about a rod of correction. This form of discipline is similar to spanking to steer children in the right direction. Yet, Solomon realized that discipline wasn’t embraced by all of his children. Rather than wanting to be trained, the defiant chose disobedience and rebellion. Like the prodigal son in Luke 15, some people have to learn the hard way before coming to their senses.

For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes, Hebrews 12:6.

Modern discipline techniques have moved away from physical altercations. Instead time outs rely on isolation to force children to think about what they just did. Unfortunately, this style doesn’t work for every personality. Whatever form a coach, parent or teacher chooses must be done in a spirit of love. The ideal measurement for correction points young people toward the path of righteousness, Matthew 7:13-14.

by Jay Mankus

Planting for the Future

A recent Progressive Insurance Ad Campaign uses Dr. Rick to help customers attempt to un-become like their parents. Somewhere in all of our childhoods, parents and or guardians have ingrained within you certain habits. Subsequently, the things your parents did with you like fishing and gardening are passed on to share with your own children. For me, it’s planting my own garden.

He who observes the wind [and waits for all conditions to be favorable] will not sow, and he who regards the clouds will not reap. As you know not what is the way of the wind, or how the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a pregnant woman, even so you know not the work of God, Who does all, Ecclesiastes 11:4-5.

Since I don’t like as many fruits and vegetables as my parents, I usually limit my garden to basil, peas, peppers, and tomatoes. One year I pre-planted several seeds in a greenhouse kit that I received for Christmas. Unfortunately, one cold spring wind damaged and destroyed everything that I worked on for months. I learned a valuable lesson this night about planting for the future.

In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hands, for you know not which shall prosper, whether this or that, or whether both alike will be good, Ecclesiastes 11:6.

Based upon today’s passage, King Solomon understood the highs and lows of gardening. Some years certain plants keep giving over and over again. Yet, when the soil, timing and temperature is off, the time you invested yields absolutely nothing. This spring will be my last garden in Delaware before I move to South Carolina in the summer of 2022. When that day arrives, it will be another learning process as I plant for the future in a warmer climate.

by Jay Mankus

Redefining Greatness in the Eyes of Heaven

The saying “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” is attributed to Margaret Hungerford. Using the pen name “the Duchess,” Margaret wrote this expression in one of her Irish proverbs. During his lifetime, King Solomon created over 1000 songs and 3000 proverbs. The purpose of these old wise sayings was to develop a spiritual mindset. Without some sort of transformation, human beings aren’t able to comprehend what’s great in God’s eyes.

But this is not to be so with you; on the contrary, let him who is the greatest among you become like the youngest, and him who is the chief and leader like one who serves. 27 For who is the greater, the one who reclines at table (the master), or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am in your midst as One Who serves. 28 And you are those who have remained [throughout] and persevered with Me in My trials; Luke 22:26-28.

Using a sports analogy, talk shows weekly debate who is the G.O,A.T? Whether it’s a cable or radio program, there is something about ascertaining the greatest of all time. Various opinions collide just like the disciples who wanted to prove to Jesus that they were better than everyone else in the room. This sets the stage for Jesus to quickly shift gears from an earthly perspective toward heaven. While God has great things prepared in advance for every believer, Philippians 1:6, the ultimate goal is serving others.

But this is not to be so among you; instead, whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant, 44 And whoever wishes to be most important and first in rank among you must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for ([y]instead of) many, Mark 10:43-45.

One thing that makes leaders stand out are those individuals who just don’t say the right thing, but back up their words with action. As Jesus was about to lay down his life on a cross, He likely saw his life flash before his eyes. Similar to flashbacks in a movie, Jesus is reclining at a table with his friends for the last time as a human being. Adrenaline and emotions were likely flowing as they departed this upper room singing hymns. Following Jesus’ resurrection, the first breakfast in John 21:8-11 gave Jesus the opportunity to fully redefine greatness in the eyes of heaven.

by Jay Mankus

Waiting for the Right Time and Place

Timing in life can be extremely important. If you try to force something unnaturally like Sarah’s advice to Abraham to try to have a child through her maid servant Hagar, the consequences can last a lifetime or longer, Genesis 16:1-16. Meanwhile, King Solomon suggests that there is a time and place for everything, Ecclesiastes 3:1-10. This is followed up by the statement that God makes everything beautiful in His time, Ecclesiastes 3:11.

Again Jesus went into a synagogue, and a man was there who had one withered hand [[a]as the result of accident or disease]. And [the Pharisees] kept watching Jesus [closely] to see whether He would cure him on the Sabbath, so that they might get a charge to bring against Him [[b]formally], Mark 1:1-2.

From a Jewish tradition perspective, the Sabbath was designed for worshiping God and resting. Yet, when the Son of God was sent to earth to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:10, Jesus’ time on earth was limited to 33 years. Therefore, when Jesus saw an opportunity to heal or help a needy person, it didn’t matter to Him what day it was. During a worship service in a synagogue, Jesus notices a man with a withered hand. This creates a dilemma for Jesus: to heal or not to heal on the Sabbath?

And He said to the man who had the withered hand, Get up [and stand here] in the midst. And He said to them, Is it lawful and right on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to take it? But they kept silence. And He glanced around at them with vexation and anger, grieved at the hardening of their hearts, and said to the man, Hold out your hand. He held it out, and his hand was [completely] restored, Mark 1:3-5.

If this was a Sunday through Friday, Jesus would have immediately reached out to this man. Yet, to show respect to his elders, Jesus enters into a theological discussion with the Pharisees that were present. When these religious leaders failed to answer his question, the timing wasn’t ideal. Nonetheless, Jesus wasn’t willing to wait another day to heal this man. To fail to act would have been a sin of omission. Subsequently, Jesus chose good over evil, a lesson he taught his earthly brother in James 4:17. Waiting for the right time and place may relate to certain things in life, but serving the Lord should never be put on hold.

by Jay Mankus

Relying on God in Seasons of Darkness and Pain

If you want to collect advice from the Bible to help you overcome a dire situation, King Solomon is a great place to start. During his lifetime, people came from all over the world to hear the wisdom of Solomon. In the passage below, Solomon shares about the reality of life. The longer you live, you will encounter the various seasons described by King Solomon. Yet, it’s one of Jesus’ earthly brothers who reveals the secret to overcoming seasons of darkness and pain.

To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven: A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted, 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, A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, Ecclesiastes 3:1-5.

If there is a time and place for every season, perhaps every day is merely part of the process that will mold and shape you into the person you will become. Jesus’ brother suggests that everyone struggles with some sort of immaturity. In order to reach what Abraham Harold Maslow refers to as self realization, certain needs must be met before you can move on to the next stage in life. Instead of running away, you must learn to face, endure and go through the storms of life.

Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing, James 1:2-4.

As dark clouds close in and surround you, it will be hard to see or make any sense of this latest situation. Yet, if you want to fully develop as an adult, you need to begin relying on an invisible God in seasons of darkness and pain. Like a veteran who has been there, done that, life is about living and learning from the good and bad. When you stumble and fall, dust yourself off and get back in the game called life. If you can reach a point where you consider any trial a pure joy, you will start relying on God in times of darkness.

by Jay Mankus

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