RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Pass It On

Christ is Greater Than

The greater-than sign dates back to the 1560’s. This mathematical symbol denotes an inequality between two values. The widely adopted form of two equal-length strokes connecting in an acute angle at the right was first discovered in documents in the 16th century. Yet, there is a first century book that uses an analogy rather than the greater than symbol.

He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more. 18 Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin. 19 Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, 20 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh, Hebrews 10:17-20.

The author of Hebrews refers to Jesus as the Great High Priest. Using a reference from the Old Testament, Jesus is linked to the order of Melchizedek, Genesis 14:18-20. When you add these nicknames with someone who became a living sacrifice, 2 Corinthians 5:21, this is what makes Christ greater than any other god, rising from the dead.

And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water. 23 So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgement of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. 24 And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, Hebrews 10:21-24.

The passage above serves as a calling to respond to God’s gift, John 3:16-17. The thought of God’s demonstration through Christ should elicit and stimulate souls to act, Romans 5:8. If modern day Christians could simply love others as God has loved us, Matthew 7:12, a revival would begin. If it only takes a spark to get a fire going, Christ could become greater than ever if hearts illuminate love, grace and mercy.

by Jay Mankus

Aglow and Burning with Passion

The Sermon on the Mount serves as a collection of ideas for followers of Jesus. At the end of the first chapter of this famous speech, Jesus suggests that all Christians should strive for perfection, Matthew 5:48. The passage below inspired the childhood song “This Little Light of Mine.” In other words, God expects believers to stand out, aglow and burning with passion.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven, Matthew 5:13-16.

The apostle Paul adds a new dimension to this concept in his letter to the Church at Rome. Paul implies that spiritual gifts should be offered to others with a spirit of love. Building upon Romans 12:1, part of offering your bodies as a spiritual act of worship involves a passion and zeal for service. When aglow and burning in the Spirit, any desire to hide your faith departs.

Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor; be aglow and burning with the Spirit, serving the Lord, Romans 12:11.

Upon reading the passage above last week, Harry Dixon Loes’ song has a new meaning for me as an adult. While I don’t always feel like sharing my faith, staying aglow is essential. If you allow your spiritual fire for God to grow dim, darkness will surround you. Therefore, before the Holy Spirit fades, pass on the love of Jesus with the gifts, personality or talents bestowed upon you. Like the old camp fire song declares, Pass It On!

by Jay Mankus

Reunited

While sitting in the back seat of my parents’ car growing up, the radio was set to a local soft rock station. During summer vacations, I often listened to the American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. One of the songs that I remember listening to was Reunited by Peaches and Herb. This R&B classic sings about a couple who comes to their senses, deciding to get back together. Like anything in life, sometimes you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone.

They got up that very hour and went back to Jerusalem, and found the eleven [apostles] gathered together and those who were with them, 34 saying, “The Lord has really risen and has appeared to Simon [Peter]!” – Luke 24:33-34

Following a post-resurrection conversation with Jesus, Peter was inspired to reunite with the rest of the disciples. Although Judas Iscariot was not present, committing suicide due to guilt from betraying Jesus, eleven men got together in Jerusalem. While musicians who reunite often go back on tour or craft a new album, the disciples were waiting on instructions, unsure of what to do. Prior to his ascension into heaven, Jesus has one last meeting with these leaders to discuss God’s plan for reuniting believers.

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. 17 And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. 18 Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matthew 28:16-19.

This event is known as the Great Commission, a blue print that future apostles follow throughout the book of Acts. The opening lyrics from a Kurt Kaiser song sums up the passage above. “It only takes a spark to keep a fire going. And so all those around will warm up to its glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love, once you’ve experience it, you spread His love to everyone, you want to pass it on.” Just as the disciples passed on Jesus’ message to apostles, modern Christians are encouraged to do the same. The only way to be reunited in heaven with those whom you love on earth is by fulfilling the Great Commission today.

by Jay Mankus

Friends of Laughter

Unfortunately, I tend to speed through life, rarely taking the time for fun or laughter.  However, every so often the Lord sends someone to give me a different perspective on life.  During a youth ministry trade school called Tentmakers’ in honor of the apostle Paul, I met Otis Phillips, a fun loving individual who faithfully served the Lord.  The energy Otis poured out daily was amazing, yet his greatest asset was causing those around him to laugh.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens, Ecclesiastes 3:1.

One year later, I became close friends with a youth pastor from Ohio.  A kid at heart, Phil taught me to live life to the fullest.  Thus, every Monday afternoon we had lunch in Cincinnati.  Whether it was playing mini-golf, laser tag or video games, Phil helped me forget about life for a couple hours each Monday.  Subsequently, I learned to laugh at my myself, others and began to grasp a peace that surpasses understanding.

A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, Ecclesiastes 3:4.

Finally, in the past decade, God brought me Spencer, possessing qualities similar to Otis and Phil.  On earth, life isn’t easy, filled with unexpected twists and turns.  Sometimes the bad sticks around much longer than glimpses of hope that I see momentarily.  However, in the end, its important to find friends of laughter to get you through trials and tribulations in this life.  As 2016 is about to begin, I pray that I can bring joy to others like these 3 friends have brought to me.  Like the classic camp song proclaims, Pass It On!

by Jay Mankus

 

Regifting Jesus

Over the years, countless songs have expressed the ideal manner in which to regift Jesus to a lost and dying world, Luke 19:10.  Camp fire songs like “Pass It On” convey how a little spark from the love of God can produce a spiritual fire within another human being.  Hymns such as “Be Not Afraid” supplies a message of hope for those who follow Jesus, promising rest for weary souls.  Modern lyrics from hits like “If We Are the Body” by Casting Crowns questions why acts of believers in Christ aren’t consistent with the words of Scripture, Romans 12:4-5.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJL7Eis0Rb0
The concept of regifting refers to giving or handing down something that you don’t need anything or find appealing.  Unfortunately, this mentality influences who we love, for how long and the extent to which faith is displayed.  Consequently, innocent bystanders are confused by inconsistencies within the church and by those who claim to be Christmas worshipers.  Thus, poor examples of regifting Jesus will leave many at home this holiday season.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeTpISSA5x8
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then the quality of regifting Jesus lies within your heart.  Philippians 2:4 suggests that wounded individuals might need to heal before they can begin to successfully impact others for the good.  Whatever your current condition is, may you look to the Lord for strength, Philippians 4:13.  During these weak moments in life, may the power of the Holy Spirit empower you to regift Jesus in a genuine and loving manner.

Thankful For Giving

It was the night before Thanksgiving and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, except for the turkeys fighting for their lives.  Beside this humor, laughter and thanksgiving go hand and hand, celebrating life with people, often reflecting upon fond memories you have shared together.  When you are truly touched by someone or something, your heart can bring tears to your eyes immediately as you are overwhelmed with thanks.

When I began this blog back in February, I had no idea where I was going or what I would be writing about daily.  In fact, there have been several days where I drew a blank until a still small voice spoke into my heart or something triggered an idea in my mind.  While pessimists will say, why waste your time on something that you offer for free?  I am reminded by the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 1:6, “to fan into flame the gifts God has given you.”  Honestly, I am thankful for giving my gift of writing to the public so that wherever people may be on their journey in life, I pray that something I say or quote from the Bible may help them along the way.

When a fire is about to die, you can prolong it by providing fresh oxygen through blowing on the embers or waving your hands back and forth.  If fires can come back to life, then lives can also be resurrected too through a spirit of thankfulness and giving,  In the classic campfire song Pass It On, the lyrics begin with, “it only takes a spark to get a fire going.”  Writing pieces for this blog, named after my movie, Express Yourself, currently in its first major edit, has awaken my soul, filling me with passion and purpose once again.  My thanksgiving prayer is that you will find your gift or gifts and begin to fan them into flame, so that you too will be thankful for giving back what God has given you!

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: