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Full of It

Every generation has their own cultural language. These slang sayings or words provide unique ways to communicate with people your own age. When I was younger, if you said something outlandish, you would likely hear someone in the crowd say, “you’re full of it.” This expression refers to being unreliable or ridiculous (usually due to making unfounded or nonsensical statements).

For physical training is of some value (useful for a little), but godliness (spiritual training) is useful and of value in everything and in every way, for it holds promise for the present life and also for the life which is to come. This saying is reliable and worthy of complete acceptance by everybody, 1 Timothy 4:8-9.

As I have grown older and wiser, I am not as vocal as in my younger years. Rather than speak prematurely, I tend to sit back and observe my surroundings. As a listener, it’s easier to see the character of those who you interact with or work side by side. Over time you’ll be able to extract what inside other human beings. Or as the apostle Paul suggests in the passage above, what are you full of?

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 [g]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. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do, Hebrews 4:12-13.

A first century doctor makes an interesting observation while listening to Jesus speak. On this particular day, people came from all over Judea and Jerusalem and to seacoast of Tyre and Sidon. Near the end of his speech, Jesus reveals that human beings speak out of the overflow of their heart. Whatever is inside of you, will come out eventually, the good and the bad, Luke 6:45. In view of this reality, the next tell you open your mouth, be cautious as what are you full of will soon be revealed.

by Jay Mankus

Training Days

If you choose to enter the military, individuals must complete boot camp, also known as basic training.  Depending upon which branch of the armed services and career path you select, skills vary as basic combat training is followed by advanced individual training.  For those who survive phase one, soldiers must complete their service time before moving on to college, a professional career or accept another tour of duty.  Without these training days, the military would be unprepared for Murphy Law like scenarios.

And after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus, Acts 9:19.

Training days aren’t limited to the military.  Prior to his missionary journeys, Paul spent several days with the disciples.  Steeped in Judaism, this apostle needed to adjust his mindset, poisoned by the false stereotypes he developed about Jesus.  While the details of these training days are absent, I’m assuming Paul participated in a Q & A with those who knew Jesus best.  Once Paul was able to connect the dots in the Old Testament leading to Jesus, he was ready for action.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work, 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Most people have endured the school of hard knocks.  This school doesn’t need a recruiter.  Rather, candidates are chosen through a series of trials placed in their lives.  Depending upon how you handle and react to these unfortunate events will determine if you pass or fail.  When the rubber hits the road, how will these training days shape you?  As you experience any trauma, don’t forget to apply God’s Word to help you overcome any painful situations that you face.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Worship + Fasting = Spiritual Insight

The question, “am I in the right place,” is something I often ponder.  At my wit’s end, I turned to the pages of the Bible to find answers to this dilemma.  To my amazement, the words of Acts 13:2-4, jumped off the pages today, putting an equation into my mind: Worship + Fasting = Spiritual Insight.

Worship isn’t a service you attend once a week on Saturday night or Sunday.  Nor is worship a portion of a church service where you sing hymns or modern worship songs.  Rather, worship is an acquired adoration of a living God, where an individual devotes time each day to honor and revere the creator of the heavens and the earth.  As this relationship kindles, lyrics of praise become etched upon their hearts, paying tribute to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Fasting is a spiritual practice neglected by many denominations in recent years.  My first encounter with fasting began in high school, by not eating red meat on Friday’s during the Catholic celebration of Lent, prior to Easter.  Authors like Jentezen Franklin have helped me grasp this concept through books like the Fasting Edge.  The notion of fasting can be traced back to Jesus’ words in Matthew 26:41.  By replacing food with prayer for a meal, day, week or month, your body can be strength by a willing Spirit.  Like any type of training, start small and work your way your goal of a day, few days or an entire week.

According to Acts 13:2, something supernatural transpired when worship and fasting were present in Paul and Barnabas’ life.  During a normal Sunday service, the Holy Spirit filled each with spiritual insight.  Prior to this day, their future was unclear.  However, in the midst of these joint acts of faith, God called each to the mission field.  Though cautious initially, the Holy Spirit guided their inaugural journey, leading them to Seleucia and Cyprus, Acts 13:4.  The apostle Paul didn’t just write about faith, Galatians 5:25, he lived it!

Like a teacher becoming a student, are you where God wants you to be or are you resisting a spirit of change?  Since everything else I have tried has failed up to this point, its time for me to try the equation Worship + Fasting.  As I commit to next 3 days to this exercise, I am praying that spiritual insight will follow.  The only thing standing in the way of a modern miracle is weak faith.  Therefore, trust the promises within 2 Peter 1:3-9 to pave the way for blessings and a fruitful life in Christ!

by Jay Mankus

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