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The Sum Total of the Divine Perfection

Sum total refers to comprising the amount of a whole number. Based upon the expression coined by the apostle Paul, the Bible is a collection of God’s divine perfection. Within the vast historical accounts from Creation to the first century church, apostles, disciples, and eye witnesses testify to numerous miracles that defy logic, John 21:24-25. The final piece of this perfection was completed on Easter Sunday as Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead.

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart, Hebrews 4:12.

Modern Christians have access to this divine perfection in the form of a Bible. The author of Hebrews describe this collection of 66 books as a living document. Since each author was inspired by the Holy Spirit to record the events of their day, spiritual truths have a way of stirring souls. This spiritual penetration has the ability to transform hearts and renew minds. As individuals hide God’s Word in their hearts, the sum total of divine perfection comes into focus.

For it has pleased [the Father] that all the divine fullness (the sum total of the divine perfection, powers, and attributes) should dwell in Him permanently, Colossians 1:19.

Paul compares God the Father’s divine fullness to the sum total of divine perfection. While agnostics, atheists, and liberals deny the Bible’s infallibility and the resurrection of Jesus, over 500 eyewitnesses saw Jesus before He ascended into heaven. Despite these accounts, Roman soldiers were bribed in Matthew 28:11-15 to prevent the spread of Christianity. While this rumor deceived many, the sum total of God’s divine perfection can’t be denied.

by Jay Mankus

Times of Refreshment

While refreshments are often a light snack or drink purchased at a convenience store, times of refreshment are good for the mind. These brief moments in time tend to invigorate souls, serving as a form of revitalization. Whether this is accomplished by taking a day off of work or during an extended vacation, restoring mental and physical strength is good for your body.

So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake He made Christ [virtually] to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in and through Him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with Him, by His goodness], 2 Corinthians 5:20-21.

The spiritual term for times of refreshment is revival. When lost souls stumble upon truths in the Bible, some promises seem too good to be true. Take the passage above as Paul provides an illustration in regards to sin. Because Jesus became the perfect lamb, living, dying and rising from the dead, when God sees you, your sin is replaced by the righteousness of Christ. This is the great news of the gospel, John 3:16-17, a time to celebrate.

I am writing to you, little children, because for His name’s sake your sins are forgiven [pardoned through His name and on account of confessing His name], 1 John 2:12.

One of Jesus’ disciples writes about this spiritual refreshment. Just as the president of the United States has the authority to pardon people convicted of past crimes, becoming a Christian gives you a spiritual pardon via God’s grace. However, like a traveler on a busy interstate, you have to get off on the Repentance Exit, Romans 5:8. Forgiveness is the process of making a u-turn away from sin, back toward God. May this blog serve as a time of refreshment and praise as you contemplate the fact that Jesus has pardoned all of your sins.

by Jay Mankus

When Donkey Knows Best

As television evolves, the more preposterous ads, shows and slogans become.  Look no further than a time machine powered by Doritos, cologne that serves as a chick magnet and cars that cause a baby to speak their first words.  By the time Sunday evening rolls around, Super Bowl XLIX commercials will likely push the envelope further to a new low.

But God was very angry when he went, and the angel of the LORD stood in the road to oppose him. Balaam was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. – Numbers 22:22

The Bible contains its own version of improbable events.  A serpent that walks and talks, seas that turn to solid ground then swallows up an entire army and a man who rises from the dead.  While post-modernists may tend to believe Hollywood more than the authors of the Bible, one of my favorite passages is when a donkey knows best.

Then the LORD opened the donkey’s mouth, and it said to Balaam, “What have I done to you to make you beat me these three times?” – Numbers 22:28

According to a 2013 study, more than 164 million households own a pet.  Although cats and dogs get most of the attention, its not uncommon for country folks to own a donkey.  Own his way to curse Israel, Baalam travels on a donkey with Moabite officials.  However, his donkey encounters an angel of death.  Unseen by Baalam, he begins to beat his donkey, a shocking sight to those who support PETA.  After the third attack, the Lord enables Baalam’s donkey to speak.  Opening the eyes of his master, God allowed Baalam to realize that sometimes donkeys and all animals alike know best.

by Jay Mankus

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