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Faking Holiness

If your life was placed on a chart or graph, there would be peaks and valleys with plateaus somewhere in between.  High points mark periods of success and victories within life.  The low areas represent failures where doubt and disappointment often attack your soul.  Unfortunately, human nature causes many to assign blame for their valleys rather than finding fault from within.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, Ephesians 2:8.

Since salaries and wages are normally based upon the services or work provided, its easy to say, “look what I did.”  Yet, the apostle Paul reminds individuals that salvation is not based upon human efforts.  Rather, God’s grace opens the door to eternity, providing access to the undeserving like me.  Sure, I can put on a good face, pretending to be a godly Christian.  Nonetheless, I find myself going through the motions way too often, lukewarm and faking holiness.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:8.

During my recent Daniel Fast, conviction of this fact has consumed me.  Despite my flaws, I am thankful for the passage above.  Jesus died for imperfect people like me, a demonstration of God’s agape love.  May those of you who reach a similar low point embrace biblical promises by accepting God’s free gift by faith.  Don’t pretend to have things all together.  Rather, confess your sins and pray for healing so that reconciliation will begin.

by Jay Mankus

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If the Lord had Not Been on My Side

If human beings could catch a glimpse of the spiritual dimension, a preview of what lies behind the scenes in life, perhaps souls would have a greater appreciation for divine intervention.  An individual loses their keys momentarily, only to escape a fatal car crash.  Someone wakes up with an uneasy feeling, deciding not to go to work at the World Trade Center on the day of 9/11/01.  A sluggish woman has a premonition to go to a doctor, finding a deadly disease in its infant stage, saving her life through early prevention.  Looking back on numerous miracles, if the Lord had not been on my side, I wouldn’t be alive today to write about it!

We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. – Psalm 124:7

The Bible would be just another book if the boat God told Noah to build didn’t float.  If the flood waters of the mighty Nile decided to break as Israel was crossing upon dry land, Moses wouldn’t have survived to complete the Pentateuch.  Meanwhile, if Mary choose to abandon her new born babe before the Magi arrived, the Savior of World would be like all the aborted babies, a distant memory of what could have been, but never was.  Despite all of these scenarios, somehow, someway and for unforeseen purposes, the Lord of the heavens and earth choose to protect his people.

Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, – Psalm 124:8

Like a scene from Groundhog Day, lives have been altered forever.  Unfortunately, not everyone has been saved, spared or protected.  Many have become victims, dealt a knock out blow, sending any hopes for life to the grave.  Many of those left behind on earth never recover, bitter at God for months, years and decades.  Feeling betrayed, few overcome the heartbreak and suffering of seeing wonderful souls eliminated from society by accidents, bloodshed and demonic influences.  May this piece give readers a new appreciation for life and faith to overcomes moments in time when God doesn’t appear to be on our side.

by Jay Mankus

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