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Unsullied Minds

The United Negro College Fund recognized in 1972 that a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Just as an athlete stretches and trains to improve, minds need to be challenged and pushed daily to learn. One of Jesus’ disciples made it his objective to stir up unsullied minds. This was accomplished by reminding first century Christians of Jesus’ teaching over the course of his earthly ministry. Yet, if idleness sets in, minds will forget the biblical truths in the Bible.

Beloved, I am now writing you this second letter. In [both of] them I have stirred up your unsullied (sincere) mind by way of remembrance, That you should recall the predictions of the holy (consecrated, dedicated) prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior [given] through your apostles (His special messengers), 2 Peter 3:1-2.

From time to time, I’ll stay up way past midnight writing until inspiration fades and words disappear. If I try to press on, it’s not uncommon to hit a wall mentally. When your body and mind grow tired, recalling important details that you want to communicate come to a grinding halt. There are 253 different passages in the Bible to call readers to remember a specific message of the past. This large number of reminders suggests that human minds are forgetful.

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:1-3.

Perhaps this explains the words of the apostle Paul in the passage above. The only way to maintain sincere and unsullied minds is by participating in a spiritual exercise. Like a form of mediation, dwelling on God’s Word day and night, Joshua 1:6-8, provides spiritual clarity. When you set your heart and mind on things above, your perspective on life and this world will change. If you want to stay focused, daily Bible Study and prayer will result in unsullied minds.

by Jay Mankus

A Diamond Doesn’t Make Love Last

Watching commercials leading up to Valentine’s Day is rivaling those ads prior to general elections.  I can’t go 15 minutes without someone on television telling me what the best gift is for my sweetheart.  Should I go to Jared, purchase a giant teddy bear or choose chocolate to win my wife’s heart?  Whatever you choose, a diamond doesn’t make love last.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:3

I’m not sure where the concept or tradition of buying a diamond ring as an engagement gift began?  Looking back, I’m not sure if going broke or into debt to purchase a wow moment is the wisest option.  As DC Talk proclaimed in their hit song, Love is a Verb, an act of service, considering others more important than yourself.  Whatever I decide to purchase for Valentine’s Day, if my actions don’t match my gift, my love is meaningless.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. – Romans 12:9-10

My goal for this year, not just for February 14th, is to be a better father, a more supportive husband and begin to love as Christ loved me, Colossians 3:13.  Diamonds have a time and place when the money is available, but love endures forever.  Therefore, as Valentine’s Day approaches, don’t get carried away like Christmas buying gifts.  Rather, display your love through acts of kindness, thoughtful words of encouragement and a smile to light up the mood of those around you.

by Jay Mankus


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