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If I Don’t Do What God Calls Me to Do…What Does That Make Me?

In today’s softer, gentler climate, you don’t see many “in your face” personality types anymore.  These characters are often reserved for the military, personal trainers or professional sports.  Yet, during the first century, there was one man who didn’t care how you felt.  Rather, the apostle Paul was blunt, honest and serious in his letters to Christian congregations.  When you don’t do what God calls you to do, this lack of action causes you to be separated from God.

For sin, seizing its opportunity through the commandment, beguiled and completely deceived me, and using it as a weapon killed me [separating me from God], Romans 7:11.

Sin is like catching a spiritual cold.  If you don’t take medicine such as studying the Bible, praying and worshipping God, your condition will worsen.  This virus attacks individuals on two fronts, your body and mind.  Human bodies require boundaries, exercise and routines.  If you fail to make time for God daily, out of sight, out of mind will cause souls to place God and your faith on a shelf to collect dust.  Meanwhile, demons and evil spirits influence minds by planting seeds of doubt.  These thoughts if unchecked can kill your joy for life.

 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled and bewildered by them]. I do not practice what I want to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate [and yielding to my human nature, my worldliness—my sinful capacity]. 16 Now if I habitually do what I do not want to do, [that means] I agree with the Law, confessing that it is good (morally excellent). 17 So now [if that is the case, then] it is no longer I who do it [the disobedient thing which I despise], but the sin [nature] which lives in me, Romans 7:15-17.

In the passage above, Paul hints at what it is like to be addicted to a specific sin.  Whether this is cheating, cursing, eating unhealthy, indulging your flesh in unwholesome ways or lying, breaking any bad habit is difficult.  Making a drastic change requires will power that many people lack.  Thus, all too often sinners throw in the towel, quit and wave the white flag, surrendering to Satan.  If this blog finds you in a similar state, ask God for the resolve necessary to fight through your ordeal.  Lean on the promise of Romans 7:24-25 so that failure does not define your life.

by Jay Mankus

Sharp, Sloppy or Somewhere in Between

After experiencing a mediocre 2015, I vowed to alter my priorities in 2016.  Early on I was sharp, starting each day off on the right foot with a quiet time in the Bible, prayer and workout sessions.  By the end of January, my daily routine had become second nature.  Yet, somewhere over the last month, I have gotten careless, allowing a lukewarm spirit to enter my soul.

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another, Proverbs 27:17.

Over the weekend, the verse above served as a reminder to what I was missing.  To remain sharp takes time, effort and being open to change.  While the average American can’t afford a personal trainer to keep you in shape, other believers can serve as a life coach.  Meeting together, interacting and talking walks together can be the boost or motivation to stop being sloppy and begin to maximize the life God has given you.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing,” John 15:5.

Like anything in life, everyone experiences cycles, periods where things clicks and phases where nothing flows.  So whether you are sharp, sloppy or somewhere in between, Jesus’ words in the gospel of John provides hope for those struggling.  The analogy within this passage illustrates God as a gardener who prunes those unproductive areas of our lives.  However, individuals must stay connected to the vine, Jesus, to remain sharp.  Therefore, if you feel like you can’t go any further or are sick of mediocre results, reach out to Jesus today and you will find life.

by Jay Mankus

When Things Don’t Add Up

Parents who have grown up in the same area or town where their children attend school develop perspective.  Depending upon their memory, adults can compare their education with the current system.  Taking time to read modern textbooks may shock some, yet the informed aren’t surprised.  The dumbing down of information attempts to sway young minds full of mush to buy into the liberal agenda being dished out daily.  However, when things don’t add up like recently implemented Common Core curriculum, even public school teachers are waking up to this debauchery of education.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. – Ephesians 5:3

Back in my day, several teachers were like personal trainers, pushing you beyond what you could handle.  A few were like drill sergeants, mean S.O.B.’s until you graduated, when you saw the logic behind their madness.  These adults instilled in me a discipline, life skills and a work ethic I have exchanged for monthly pay checks.  Although, I wish it was larger, being challenged has made me a better person.  I only wish my children could escape the coddling that exists today for a taste of what I endured in school.  Nonetheless, when things don’t add up, a parent must intervene to steer their kids in the right direction.

Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. – Ephesians 5:4

Whether you are watching a commercial, public service announcement or some new television show, it doesn’t take long to notice flaws.  Though the world view you possess may alter or blind you in same ways, consciences scream out the truth, pointing you in the way you should go.  However, if you begin to buy into the lies sold daily, your logic may not begin to add up.  This is where rationalization takes over, trying to justify your error in judgment with thoughts like “everybody does it.”  As you make your way through life, don’t forget to stop and think about the choices you are making.  Or else you may wake up one morning to a soul that doesn’t add up to the will God wanted for your life, Romans 12:2.

by Jay Mankus

 

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