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Silence in Heaven

Earth is filled with emotions that lift human beings up to new heights and plummet others to the depths of depression. While reading one of Jesus’ parables, I discovered what causes mood swings in heaven. Whenever a lost soul repents and turns their life back to God, there are immediate celebrations. The Parable of the Lost Sheep illustrates the power of God’s love and its influence upon wayward sinners.

And when he gets home, he summons together [his] friends and [his] neighbors, saying to them, Rejoice with me, because I have found my sheep which was lost. Thus, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one [[c]especially] wicked person who repents ([d]changes his mind, abhorring his errors and misdeeds, and determines to enter upon a better course of life) than over ninety-nine righteous persons who have no need of repentance, Luke 15:6-7.

Yet, one of Jesus’ former disciples writes about a side of heaven few people consider. According to John, there was 30 minutes of silence in heaven. Based upon the context of the passage below, this silence was due to anticipation and fear of what was about to occur. Perhaps, this time of silence was spent quietly praying for residents on earth, to prepare them for the tribulations to come.

When He [the Lamb] broke open the seventh seal, there was silence for about half an hour in heaven. Then I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets, Revelation 8:1-2.

One of the things that causes me to become silent is being shocked. When something doesn’t go as I expect or takes an unusual twist that throws me for a loop, I’m speechless. Stunned by what just happened, I’m silent until I make sense in my mind why God allowed this to happen to me. Whether you’re watching a thrilling movie or sporting event, silence serves as a processing method to accept current events. May this blog help you consider what’s going on in your life through moments of silence.

by Jay Mankus

Stupid Is As Stupid Does

When a mother gives birth to a child, their baby becomes an extension of them.  Thus, in the fictional story of Forrest Gump, his mother does everything in her power to protect Forrest.  Mrs. Gump uses analogies, stories and words of wisdom to prepare Forrest for life’s trials.  Therefore, as Forrest is ridiculed in the movie for his low IQ, he responds with nuggets like “stupid is as stupid does” or “life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get.”

During Jesus’ ministry on earth, he was a masterful story teller, using parables to clearly communicate God’s message to people.  In John 10:14-18, Jesus refers to himself as a shepherd.  This is quite astonishing since sheep as considered one of the dumbest animals on earth.  If one sheep falls off a cliff to their death, the one right behind it would meet the same fate unless their shepherd intervenes.  Forrest was right, “stupid is as stupid does!”

While every new mother initially thinks their child is perfect, the truth of the matter is everyone born is imperfect, Romans 3:9-10.  In fact, human beings often resemble lost sheep, wandering alone in a desert of isolation, separated from God, Luke 15:3-4.  However, sheep can process words, specifically the voice of their shepherd.  Likewise, a true believer is able to discern the voice of Jesus.  Although Christians can act stupidly, Romans 7:19, they have a great shepherd who can rescue them from their earthly bodies, Romans 7:24-25.  Lean on God’s mercy as you try to walk with God daily, Ephesians 2:8-10.

by Jay Mankus

Wandering Sheep

From time to time, there will be people whom you care deeply for that will wander away from the truth found in God’s Word.  Often the least likely person is one of those who for some reason or another wander away from God.  While some claim to be perfectionists, Isaiah 53:6 reminds the world of their spiritual condition.  No one is without fault since everyone has let God down at some point in their life.

Luke 15 addresses 3 scenarios: a lost sheep, a lost possession and a lost person.  Since sheep are considered one of the dumbest animals in the world, the shepherd searches until his lost sheep is found.  A woman searches her entire house until her lost coin, a wedding gift of sentimental value is recovered.  Finally, a boy hits rock bottom, comes to his senses on his own and returns to his father on his terms.

So what do we do when someone we love wanders away from us and or God?  The best answer is to follow the father’s example in Luke 15:20.  The father stood on his front porch each day praying for his son to return.  On that fateful day, the father searching in the distance sees his son and begins to run toward him.  Our heavenly Father never gives up hope on us, waiting for all of his sheep to turn back so that they can once again follow the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ.  Until this special person returns home, pray that they will come back to their senses, swallow their pride and embrace the Lord.

by Jay Mankus

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