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Tag Archives: promises in the Bible

Thinking Rather Than Trusting in God

In this age of social enlightenment, educators are redefining truth. This mentality has opened the door for progressive ideology and opinions to be elevated to fact status. Instead of trusting the Good Book, the Bible, many Christians have followed in the footsteps of Abraham and Isaac. When each were challenged by severe famines, each chose to think creatively rather than place their complete trust in God.

And the men of the place asked him about his wife, and he said, She is my sister; for he was afraid to say, She is my wife—[thinking], Lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah, because she is attractive and is beautiful to look upon. When he had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked out of a window and saw Isaac caressing Rebekah his wife. And Abimelech called Isaac and said, See here, she is certainly your wife! How did you [dare] say to me, She is my sister? And Isaac said to him, Because I thought, Lest I die on account of her. 10 And Abimelech said, What is this you have done to us? One of the men might easily have lain with your wife, and you would have brought guilt and sin upon us, Genesis 26:7-10.

As someone who lost a losing battle with stuttering for the first two decades of my life, I became good at thinking about conversations and imagining various scenarios. Unfortunately, deep down, I developed the ungodly belief that I would never be able to truly express the feelings in my heart and the thoughts in my mind. Thanks to books like Restoring the Foundations by Chester and Becky Kylstra, I slowly began to trust God.

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil, Proverbs 3:5-7.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of the first verses in the Bible that I memorized. However, being able to recall a passage word for word from the Bible isn’t the same as putting it into practice. Matthew 7:24-27 is one of the most powerful messages recorded in the Bible. Thinking is more of theory whereas trust is an act of faith. To those who are able let go and take God at His Word, promises in the Bible, you’ll grow out thinking and move on to putting Jesus’ words into practice.

by Jay Mankus

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Not Just a Biblical Principle… A Way of Life

Every consumer from one time or another has been a victim of false advertising. Maybe you bought something online after watching a late-night infomercial and the product never lived up to its guarantee. This disillusionment has also crossed over into biblical teaching, spoiled by self-seeking television evangelists. Subsequently, when individual’s read a promise in the Bible, demonic thoughts like “that sounds too good to be true” may enter your mind.

And the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed, taking some of all his master’s treasures with him; thus he journeyed to Mesopotamia [between the Tigris and the Euphrates], to the city of Nahor [Abraham’s brother]. 11 And he made his camels to kneel down outside the city by a well of water at the time of the evening when women go out to draw water. 12 And he said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, I pray You, cause me to meet with good success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham. 13 See, I stand here by the well of water, and the daughters of the men of the city are coming to draw water, Genesis 24:10-13.

One of the teachings of Jesus that has stuck with me over the years is Matthew 7:24-27. This occurs at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. Another translation of this passage refers to being a doer of the Word. Perhaps, this message was partially designed for his disciples who may have been going through the motions spiritually. From a modern perspective, Jesus is trying to communicate faith is a way of life, not just a biblical principle.

And let it so be that the girl to whom I say, I pray you, let down your jar that I may drink, and she replies, Drink, and I will give your camels drink also—let her be the one whom You have selected and appointed and indicated for Your servant Isaac [to be a wife to him]; and by it I shall know that You have shown kindness and faithfulness to my master. 15 Before he had finished speaking, behold, out came Rebekah, who was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah, who was the wife of Nahor the brother of Abraham, with her water jar on her shoulder. 16 And the girl was very beautiful and attractive, chaste and modest, and unmarried. And she went down to the well, filled her water jar, and came up, Genesis 24:14-16.

Abraham’s servant Eliezer is given the task of finding Isaac a wife. As the executive of Abraham’s estate, he is taking this responsibility seriously. Afraid of failing, Eliezer turns to prayer in the passage above. Based upon Moses’ account of this journey, Eliezer’s prayer is specific, designed to reveal to him Isaac’s future wife. To Eliezer, prayer isn’t just a biblical principle, it’s a way of life to guide your steps daily.

by Jay Mankus

Spiritual Moments that Matter

Sarcasm is a common response to something unbelievable or a concept too hard to grasp. When Jesus introduced the spiritual concept of being born again, Nicodemus couldn’t wrap his mind around this. Trying to be funny, Nicodemus appears to tease Jesus, imagining a newborn shoved back into their mother’s womb. Jesus wasn’t playing around as this initial conversation leaves behind one of the greatest promises in the Bible, John 3:16-17.

Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see (know, be acquainted with, and experience) the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter his mother’s womb again and be born? Jesus answered, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, unless a man is born of water and [[a]even] the Spirit, he cannot [ever] enter the kingdom of God, John 3:3-5.

Another spiritual moment that matters takes place during a parade without floats or a marching band. Jesus’ reputation as a healer and miracle worker had spread throughout the region as countless individuals just wanted to see this man of God. A vertically challenged man named Zacchaeus decided to climb a nearby tree to get Jesus’ attention. This stunt to get noticed works as Jesus takes time from his busy schedule to meet with this corrupt tax collector. This magical meal transformed Zacchaeus’ life.

So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much. And Jesus said to him, Today is [[b]Messianic and spiritual] salvation come to [all the members of] this household, since Zacchaeus too is a [real spiritual] son of Abraham; 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost, Luke 19:8-10.

These two memorable moments in the Bible magnify how a spiritual conversation can completely change your perspective about life. Jesus didn’t merely talk about living an abundant life. Rather, Jesus put his own personal agenda aside to fulfill God’s purpose for His life. As a Christian, I stride to have a spiritual moment that matters every week. Yet, every day with Jesus during his three-year earthly ministry, the lost got found and hope was restored to those who had given up. May you experience a slice of this abundant life.

by Jay Mankus

God’s Safety Deposit Box

Banks in the United States began offering safekeeping services in the early 1800’s. This form of special deposit coincided with America’s Gold Rush that inspired prospectors to travel west to California. Thus, storing newly discovered gold in banks for security purposes gave birth to safety deposit boxes. To avoid getting robbed, banks became the safest place in town to hold valuable assets.

For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God. 21 But it is God Who confirms and makes us steadfast and establishes us [in joint fellowship] with you in Christ, and has consecrated and anointed us [enduing us with the gifts of the Holy Spirit]; 2 Corinthians 1:20-21.

While writing a first century letter, the apostle Paul refers to a special security deposit. According to Paul, God guarantees this as a fulfillment of His promises in the Bible. Based upon Romans 10:9-11, this seal comes in the form of the Holy Spirit. While modern believers were not present on the Day of Pentecost described in Acts 2, today’s outpouring of God’s Spirit serves as a counselor and guide, John 16:13.

[He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise], 2 Corinthians 1:22.

Instead of needing a key to access this safety deposit box, God designed an unique door. There is no knob on God’s side of this door, Revelation 3:20. Rather, the only handle is on our side. God is standing on the other side, knocking on this door, trying to get your attention. Yet, freewill doesn’t force God upon you as individuals have the choice to open or ignore God’s voice. If you haven’t experienced the treasure inside of God’s Safety Deposit Box, it’s only a prayer away, 2 Peter 1:3-7.

by Jay Mankus

Believe It or Not?

One of the first books I read for fun outside of school was written by Daniel Cohen.  I don’t remember the title, but this piece studied eyewitness accounts of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster and other unusual encounters.  Going to Ripley’s Believe It or Not Exhibits as a teenager only fostered my interest in unsolved mysteries.  While the debate continues on some of these unknown creatures, sooner or later you have to reach a decision; to believe it or not.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them, Psalm 34:7

As an adult, I’ve experienced things that can only be described as supernatural.  Initially, I didn’t give much thought to some of these events.  Yet, after attending a conference on discernment, studying the Bible and seeking the council of elder believers, I can’t deny the existence of angels.  While I’ve never entertained an angel like some Americans, there have been moments where I avoided an accident, steered clear of danger and escaped a difficult situation.  How can I be so sure you may ask?  Well, I’ve reached a stage in life where I have come to the conclusion that I simply believe.

For this very night there stood before me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship, Acts 27:23.

The Christian Rock Group David and the Giants devote an entire album to this topic in Angels Unaware.  Beyond the physical realm, angels are fueled by prayer, ushered into action by diligent saints.  Miracles occur daily, often going unnoticed by those who are rescued and or saved from harm.  On bended knees, angels are empowered as promises in the Bible are verbally lifted up, usually inspiring God to immediate act by sending guardian angels.  I’m not forcing you to believe in angels.  Yet, at some point you must decide; to believe it or not.

by Jay Mankus

 

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