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Tag Archives: love and self-discipline

Receiving New Courage

Although the Wizard of Oz debuted in 1939, this became one of my favorite films as a child 40 years later. For some reason, reruns were broadcast twice a year, once before Easter and the other around Thanksgiving. The thought of a scarecrow searching for a brain, a tinman desperately wanting a heart and a cowardly lion hoping to find courage struck a cord with my soul. This film made me believe that it’s possible to receive new courage.

And the [Christian] brethren there, having had news of us, came as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and received new courage, Acts 28:15.

During a prolonged trip from Jerusalem to Rome, taking nearly 6 months, Paul seems to be wore down. Luke doesn’t expound upon why, but the passage above illuminates how the Christian community lifted his spirits. There are no details about who encouraged Paul or what was said, yet it’s clear that the words exchanged empowered Paul. After receiving strength to face the adversity of another trial, God prepared Paul for what lied ahead in Rome.

That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination]. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control, 2 Timothy 1:6-7.

In the passage above, the apostle Paul writes a letter to a teenage pastor called Timothy. Apparently, Paul received news that Timothy had become fearful, timid about speaking out against wrong behavior and teaching. Paul reiterates that this inclination is not from God. Rather, the Lord has given believers a spirit of power, love and self-discipline. Therefore, if you are searching for courage today, look no further than the power of the Holy Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

Rehab

The term rehabilitation was initially associated with individuals who had lost their battle with alcohol or drugs, needing intervention to break free from addiction.  However, as the medical field expands, anyone who has minor or major surgery is expected to rehab before receiving a clean bill of health.  Unfortunately, not everyone who enters rehab recovers completely, relapsing into back habits or experiencing reoccurring pain from previous injuries.

When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons, Mark 16:9.

Whenever you research the Bible, you must realize there are various theories which exist.  Sometimes to make their point, scholars can jump to conclusions or reach, trying to validate their belief.  Such is the case of Mary Magdalene whom Gnostics suggest was secretly married to Jesus.  Since Jesus visits her first after his resurrection, surely there must be something going on.  Yet, when you examine the character of Jesus throughout the 4 gospels, Jesus is most likely checking up on one of his former patients like a doctor, making sure her spiritual rehab is going well.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline, 2 Timothy 1:7.

Speculation will always happen, especially among those who seek to know everything.  Yet, from first hand experience, rehab can be grueling.  Following my collapsed lung and two broken ribs eight teen months ago, my body still hasn’t fully recovered.  Laying or moving the wrong way is a subtle remainder of the pain I endure.  However, there is nothing worse than losing a spiritual battle to an addiction, allowing the devil to have a foothold on your life.  This form of rehab can continue throughout life or take some to the grave way too early.  May the promise of 2 Timothy 1:7 help regain control and lead to victory in the near future.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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