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The Toll of Temptation

Canon Pictures 015

A few years ago, I read an article on the effects marathons had on a runners body.  Based upon totals miles run, long distant runners can lose between a half inch and inch in height over the course of their lives.  The constant pounding on ligaments and tendons takes a toll on the human body, eventually wearing down and shrinking over time.  This might explain how I lost nearly an inch in height after running several thousand miles over a 7 year span.

At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent, Proverbs 5:11.

Inside the human body, another aging process is occurring.  The obvious is the decay of internal organs.  However, the one I am eluding to involves the emotional and spiritual toll temptation takes on the soul.  When you don’t feel well, people make reservations to see a doctor.  However, there are some health conditions that can only be cured by a spiritual transformation.

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.

The apostle Paul once experienced a trying time in his life.  While the specifics are missing, it appears Paul was struggling to overcome some sort of addiction.  No matter what he tried failed.  Sin was ravaging Paul’s life, unable to break free from this chain of sin.  If you find yourself in a similar pattern, intervention is a must.  Seek out a friend, fellow believer or godly influence to bring you out of this pit of despair.  If you refuse help, the toll of temptation will continue to devastate your soul.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Running with the Gospel

The author of the book of Hebrews refers to life as a marathon.  While the hustle and bustle on the East Coast cause many to sprint, often dying out quickly, its important to pace yourself.  Unfortunately, I find myself going on binges for a few days, then collapse only to repeat this vicious cycle the next week.  I guess its time to start jogging with the gospel.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, Hebrews 12:1.

Sometimes what God tells individuals to do doesn’t make sense.  Thus, like Jonah, many try to run away, going in the opposite direction until storms result in a U-turn.  Meanwhile, some have the gift of faith, able to trust the Lord whatever or wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.  Although I once possessed this gift, doubt has caused me to stop running with the gospel.

Then Philip ran up to the chariot and heard the man reading Isaiah the prophet. “Do you understand what you are reading?” Philip asked, Acts 8:30.

The encounter within Acts 8 reveals a powerful lesson about faith.  After an angel spoke to Philip, he began to run along side a chariot going down the road.  To his amazement, a foreigner was reading the book of Isaiah.  Like a scene out of Hollywood, Philip takes advantage of this situation.  In the end, Philip leads this man from Ethiopia to faith in Christ.  Therefore, don’t go through life in an aimless manner.  Rather, start running with the Gospel and you’ll be amazed where God will lead you.

by Jay Mankus

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