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Tag Archives: light

Can I Get A Witness?

Depending upon the context, the phrase “can I get a witness” has different meanings.  If you’re in a car accident, a witness could determine if your insurance will rise or stay the same.  In the court of law, a good or bad witness can sway the outcome of a trial.  Meanwhile, movies like School Ties reveal how anyone who sees a person cheat is encouraged to turn the guilty party in or the ethics code as a whole fails.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house, Matthew 5:14-15.”

From a spiritual perspective, Christians are suppose to stand out as shinning examples of God’s light.  Essentially people of faith are called to emulate the Bible’s truth by demonstrating fruits of the Holy Spirit.   Although many choose to be a chameleon, blending into the world, Jesus calls these individuals out, claiming the light is not in them, 1 John 2:11.  Thus, preachers today often make a plea from their pulpits in the form of “can I get a witness?”

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of ajny kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people, Ephesians 5:3.

The type of witness the Bible is searching for possesses a genuine spirit, full of grace.  While these standards are hard to live up to, Jesus sets the bar high, Matthew 5:48.  As you wake up, you may not feel like following in the footsteps of Jesus.  Nonetheless, the strength of Christ in you will surpass what human limits allow, Philippians 4:13.  Therefore, if you want to please the Lord, stand up today by being an unabashed witness for Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

 

The Unfolding of God’s Word

The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. – Psalm 119:130

I must confess that there are times when I open the Bible that I feel lost, unable to get the point the author is expressing.  On other occasions, my minds whispers words of doubt, “you could never be like that!”  However, its days when the Holy Spirit unwraps for me nuggets of truth that my eyes are opened, creating a desire to want more.

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes. – Psalm 119:125

As discerning thoughts penetrate my heart, the unfolding of the Bible begins.  This process is described within Hebrews 4:12, initialized by living words.  Similar to a transformation of a caterpillar within a chrysalis, these spiritual words breathe new life into individuals, bringing souls to new heights like a butterfly.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.   Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account, Hebrews 4:12-13.

Although humans can not literally fly, the precepts inside of God’s Word provides light in times of darkness, Psalm 119:105.  As spiritual disciplines form, the Bible unveils the correct path to choose, shining light on the obstacles in front of you, Psalm 18:36.  Thus, the next time you open the Bible, pray that the unfolding of God’s Word will revitalize your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

You Shouldn’t Have to Ask

In life, there are no certainties, as each day on earth involves a plethora of possibilities.  Whether good, bad or indifferent, blessings and curses usually come and go like an endless cycle.  Nonetheless, when faith is the issue, you shouldn’t have to ask someone where they stand; this should be obvious.

The example Jesus uses can be found in his Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:13-16.  Faith is compared with salt, adding flavor to one’s life by preserving the soul through mediating, reading and reflecting on the Bible, Joshua 1:8.  Subsequently, faith should ignite hearts toward action, illuminating the love of God through deeds, a Christ like example and encouraging words.

According to the apostle Paul, gifts, personalities and talents vary, Romans 12:6-8.  Thus, being outspoken and vocal is not essential.  Rather, faith should compel individuals to demonstrate their commitment for Jesus on a regular basis, 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.  By displaying faith, co-workers, family members and neighbors should be drawn to you, pondering, “something is different about him or her?”  You shouldn’t have to ask me, you should see this little light of mine shine daily.

by Jay Mankus

How Many Lives Would Be Different?

As sand in an hour glass empties to signify the end of a day, souls have a series of questions to ponder.  Did you accomplish your goals or place checks marks next to your to do list?    What impact did you have on others at home, school or work?  How many lives did you touch or turn off?

After completing a 6 week video series at church, the grand finale challenged individuals with a question.  How many lives would be different if you became a fully devoted follower of Christ?  Two days following this message, I’m afraid my actions have returned to normal.  The motivation I had walking out of church has faded like a setting sun.  Subsequently, my faith has been invisible, blending into the world like a chameleon in a jungle.

It shouldn’t take a life altering event to inspire people to follow Christ.  Yet, many of us are like the young man in Matthew 19:16-22, trusting in ourselves instead of the Lord.  Thus, disappointment, emptiness and frustrations often fill the lives of those unable to make a difference.  If you are struggling to see fruits of the Spirit, Galatians 5:22-23, may the words of 1 John 2:5-6 develop into a prayer so that the light of Jesus shines through in a loving and natural manner.

by Jay Mankus

 

Deliver Us From Evil

The fast pace of life can cause individuals to overlook the obvious.  In a rush to keep up with the bills, stress has blinded me from an important biblical truth.  According to Jesus, one of the things you should pray for on a daily basis is protection from evil, Matthew 6:13.  The outline what Christians refer to as the Lord’s Prayer or Our Father suggests evil is a by product of giving into temptation.  Perhaps this might explain the apostle Paul’s warning in Ephesians 4:26-27.

Whether you tend to follow directions, live on the fence or like to play the role of a rebel, evil is on the other side of the door called temptation.  Good intentions don’t mean a thing unless you walk with the king, 1 John 2:7.  Words are meaningless without action as many, me included, need a heart transplant to our feet from evil, Psalm 51:10-11.  If anyone thinks you can walk in the dark and just turn on the light whenever you want is fooling yourself.  Compromise will derail souls, convincing minds to believe in lies, 2 Corinthians 614.

If there as anything communities, families or schools can do to create a hedge of protection is to ask God to deliver us from evil.  However, this must be combined with the James 5:16 principle as confession lays a foundation for spiritual change.  God doesn’t honor lukewarm prayers.  Rather, by putting your heart, soul and mind into prayer, cry out to the Lord, believing your prayers will be answered, Matthew 21:21-22.  May the Holy Spirit fill you with perseverance to stay motivated to fight this unseen battle, Galatians 5:16-18.

by Jay Mankus

 

Eclipsed by Glory

Inspired by the first woman to swim the English Channel, a California swimmer attempted a similar feat, trying to make the 22 mile journey from Catalina Island to the California coastline.  Swimming for 15 hours, with a boat on either side of her for safety, a thick Marine layer prevented this woman from seeing the finish line.  Exhausted and swimming blind the entire time, she gave up only a few hundred yards from the beach.  Thus, the fog, as thick as pea soup, eclipsed her glory, failing to make history.

From January 1st, 2012 through March 23rd, 2013, I was living in a dense spiritual fog.  During this 15 month stretch, there were moments, even a day or two, when I thought, finally these clouds are dissipating.  To my disappointment, another layer of fog rolled in, more dense than the one before.  My career path became like a yo-yo, slinky and a series of one hit wonders, showing hope and promise one day, yet gone the next.  As a result, I was ready to quit, as my plans kept coming up empty, Proverbs 19:21.

From an astronomy perspective, an eclipse occurs when there is an obscuration of light as a moon or planet intervenes momentarily.  From a spiritual point of view, human beings often seek fame for themselves, stealing God of the glory He is due.  Despite these efforts, the Lord’s purpose always prevails, using the weather to steer you in the direction, toward His will.  Therefore, move out of God’s way, let Jesus take the wheel, Ephesians 2:10 and submit to the Creator’s commands in Philippians 2:13-14.  Then, you can experience the eclipse of God’s glory!

by Jay Mankus

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