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Elijah’s Blueprint

Engineer’s rely on designs, diagrams and models to implement plans on construction projects.  Multi-level business schemes use similar blueprints to influence individuals to buy into their concept.  When someone follows the directions step by step, there is an inherit expectation of riches, success or both.  As for Elijah the prophet, he looked into the past, believing God could repeat a similar feat in his life time.

According to Leviticus 9:24, as soon as Aaron followed the directions given to him from Moses via God, the Lord sent fire from heaven consuming the offering on the altar.  Sound familiar?  Perhaps, this is Elijah’s blueprint, the place where he read and believed God would repeat this historic act.  I often wondered where his confidence came from and this passage suggests Elijah prepared his sacrifice just as Aaron and his sons followed Moses’ commands.

Understanding the past, makes the miracle in 1 Kings 18:38 that much more believable today.  If you carefully follow and obey God’s commands, blessings will follow, Deuteronomy 28:1-2.  Its as if Elijah, followed a playbook in 1 Kings 18:30-37, grasping Jesus’ promise in Matthew 21:21-22, fully expecting God to repeat this previous miracle after his prayer.  Sometime between Elijah’s Blueprint and Jesus’ promise, modern believers will find a living, loving God ready to unveil the next miracle on earth.

Has God done any miracles in your life?

by Jay Mankus

What Are You Really Selling?

Last week, I was meandering through aisles when an item got my attention.  As I took a second look, I was confused by the picture, which had nothing to do with the product itself.  Like eye candle trying to draw the attention of others or a modern day apple hanging from the Tree of Knowledge, I paused for a moment thinking, “what are you really selling?”

If you are curious, the product was a new razor, trying to impress consumers with the latest in technology I assume.  However, what appeared on the exterior packaging was a beautiful woman in a skimpy bikini.  Since I am well behind in pop culture, this model is probably some former Cover Girl, but I am perplexed why a famous brand name would lower its marketing standards to sell more razors.

Despite what I believe, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that sex continues to sell products.  Honest ads have been replaced by embellishment, hoping the allure of their commercial might lead to impulse buying.  When I find a product or razor that actually meets and surpasses what it promises, I will let you know.  Until then, be careful not to fall prey to empty sales pitches.  Rather, hold fast to integrity as you accept the good and the bad things in life, Job 2:7-10.

by Jay Mankus

What Have You Done For Me Lately?

A week ago, I was standing at a podium, preaching the message God had placed on my heart for a local congregation.  For one of the first times in a year, I was exactly where God wanted me to be.  However, after the accolades, encouraging words and thanks faded, the Holy Spirit put a new thought on my mind.  Christianity is not about one experience; its about the journey which leads you to heaven.  Therefore, don’t think you have arrived!  Rather, ask yourself, what how you done for God lately?

Beginning in Matthew 24, Matthew devotes 2 chapters to Jesus’ teaching on End Times Theology.  Jesus concludes his lesson with a series of parables, stories that illustrate a biblical truth.  The final one is entitled, The Sheep and the Goats, based upon the Old Testament principle of clean and unclean animals, Matthew 25:31-46.  As I reflect upon the words of verses 41-43, I am guilty as charged.  I pass by homeless people weekly, turning my head, ashamed that I don’t have any spare money to give.  Meanwhile, I am surrounded by sick people in my neighborhood, yet the busyness of life has prevented me from fulfilling this passage.  Jesus’ words pierce my heart, haunting me by my lack of action to the least of these.

Instead of following the Acts 2:42-47 and Acts 4:32-36 blueprint, many churches have deviated from this model.  While the elderly, ex-cons, homeless and ill have been pushed aside, many churches are pouring their money into extravagant facilities.  This latest version of Christianity is cleaner, leaner and in some cases, meaner, failing to provide for the needy.  Although the easy answer is to automatically believe you are a sheep, watch out that pride doesn’t leave you like a goat, on the outside looking in.  As judgment day approaches, Matthew 10:32-42, prepare yourself for life’s final exam now.  With just one question to study for, Jesus’ words will echo throughout this room, “What have you done for Me lately?”

by Jay Mankus

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