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Tag Archives: taste

Tough Act to Follow

Depending upon your hobbies, interests or occupation, sooner or later you will meet your match, someone’s whose gifts, knowledge and or skills far surpass that which you possess.  Those who are teachable may welcome this, yet the confident and prideful might grow to resent this individual.  If you were the rising star and someone starts to outshine you, its a tough act to follow.

Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), Acts 4:36.

Whenever humility causes my bubble to burst, I look to a man from Cyprus who displayed the proper attitude and maturity.  On the surface, Barnabas appears to be someone who didn’t care about his ranking or status in society.  When he recognized the potential in a newly converted Saul, Barnabas was the only apostle to extend a loving hand.  Early on, Barnabas was the guy, mentioned first by Luke until chapter 13.  Whether it was his commitment level, personality or God’s will, Saul who became Paul surpasses Barnabas, playing second fiddle for the remainder of Acts.  Despite a major dispute over a potential missionary partner, Barnabas and Paul remained friends throughout their lives.

But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus, Acts 9:27.

As talented people enter your life, don’t allow jealousy to ruin these relationships.  Rather, emulate the example of Barnabas by embracing, helping and welcoming others to reach their full potential.  While you may not taste the same success of your colleagues, accept the role God has given you.  Although most want to be like Paul, the center of attention, unless there was a humble Barnabas to come along aside to nurture his new found faith, Paul would have never impacted the world as he did.  Play the role God has intended for you, Romans 12:1-2 and let those destined to be stars shine bright.

by Jay Mankus

Wilted Flowers… Wilted Souls

Based upon  a 2013 CNN article, roughly 224 million roses are grown to prepare for Valentine Day shoppers.  Beside candy, roses have become a symbol for this special day, with the average person spending $130 to impress their significant other.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for these expensive flowers to die.  Life can be prolonged by adding fresh water daily and trimming the stems.  Yet, in the end, the smell of flowers will fade, wilt and end up in the trash.

The human soul can relate to the final resting place for roses.  Individuals who are quiet, shy or wonder why no accepts them for who they are, often wilt like flowers.  The lack of communication, intimacy and relationships can weigh on a heart, resulting in loneliness.  Unless a soul experiences good news, hope or something positive, faith can fade into oblivion.  Like a deer that pants for water on a hot summer day, those that thirst for temporary pleasures will taste the sourness of disappointment.

According to the Bible, the soul finds rest in God alone, Psalm 62:1.  Though many will try other avenues to fill this void, nothing can satisfy like Jesus; just ask the woman at the well, John 4.  Mankind may try to stop the grass from withering and flowers from falling off their stems, yet the only cure to wilted souls is the Word of God, Isaiah 40:8.  If the thought of a cold dark winter has brought you down, may the promise of Romans 8:38-39 sustain you when all seems lost.

by Jay Mankus

The Infusion Called Grace

Like fine wine, you grow better with years doesn’t apply in the spiritual realm.  Although I wish this old saying was true, Romans 7:7-25 tells a different story.  Instead of improving in taste, the smell of sin causes believers to pray for an infusion of grace.

Birthdays are nice to celebrate, yet God’s main concern focuses on John 3:3-5, have you been reborn spiritually?   The sarcastic often respond like Nicodemus, “how can someone already born, fit back into their mother’s womb?”  While clever, God is not amused.  Jesus’ perspective of an infusion of grace can be found in John 3:16-17, illustrating a loving and patient God.

The reason why rebirth is essential according to the apostle Paul, Romans 5:1-2, faith is the key to gain access into the Lord’s infusion of grace.  Though undeserving, Jesus died, offering his life as an atoning sacrifice while we were still sinners, Romans 5:8.  In view of this goods news, tidings of great joy, lean on Jesus, Romans 10:9-10 to experience this infusion of grace.

by Jay Mankus

 

On Your Lips

Microbiology suggests lips protect the mouth, communicates body language based upon their positioning and serves as a mechanism to feel, touch and taste.  As a highly sensitive body part, lips often need natural moisture, an exterior balm or vaseline to prevent dryness and cracking.  As a gateway to the mouth, lips can warn your body when something is too hot or possibly harmful to you.

From a spiritual perspective, lips are given a great responsibility according to Exodus 13:9, “the law of the Lord is to be on your lips.”  The etymology of the expression “bite your tongue” refers to a rebuke when an individual makes a rude or unpleasant comment.  However, if you close your lips, zipper tight, lips can steer your mouth in the right direction like a bit, James 3:3-6.  Solomon understood this principle expressed in Proverbs 13:3, “He who guards his lips guards his life, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.”

In the days of his youth, David was a gifted musician, 1 Samuel 16:18-23.  In fact, the footnote above Psalm 8 suggests David was a music director, possibly prior to becoming king.  Caught up in a state of worship, the spirit of the Lord moves David to make the following admission, “From the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger,” Proverbs 8:2.  Whether you are currently happy, sad or stoic, may this blog inspire you to live out the words of Psalm 119:171.

by Jay Mankus

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