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Tag Archives: The Bible

S.A.N.S. Episode 240: Bigger Than Me

Humility is one of those traits looked down upon in society but applauded by the Bible. John the Baptist was a first century spiritual leader who demonstrated humility. When asked to baptize Jesus, John felt unworthy, not good enough. John served as a forerunner to prepare the way for Jesus. Like Louis Tomlinson’s song, John realized that God was Bigger Than Me.

Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. 13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart, Jeremiah 29:12-13.

Louis Tomlinson first rose to prominence as a member of the boy band One Direction. Louis also participated on the British Reality competition the X-Factor. After being eliminated, Louis was able to turn this opportunity into an open door to join One Direction. As you listen to Bigger Than Me, may the lyrics help you realize that you’re merely a piece of a puzzle living in a world bigger than you.

by Jay Mankus

When Faith and Family Come Together

The concept of “Pay it forward” has ties to ancient Greece and the 1916 book In the Garden of Delight. Yet, as I studied the Bible last week, the apostles of the first century used pay it forward as a means to eliminate poverty. When faith and family come together to form a church, various expenses arise which one person can rarely pay for on his own. Yet, when an entire congregation develops the mindset that everyone in the church is family, every financial need is met.

And they steadfastly persevered, devoting themselves constantly to the instruction and fellowship of the apostles, to the breaking of bread [including the Lord’s Supper] and prayers. 43 And a sense of awe (reverential fear) came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were performed through the apostles (the special messengers). 44 And all who believed (who adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus Christ) were united and [together] they had everything in common; Acts 2:42-44.

Based upon the passage above, the first century church practiced four core principles. Bible study, fellowship outside the church. meeting together as a body to worship and prayer. As members of the first century church habitually maintained these core spiritual disciplines, faith and family slowly came together. Yet, Philippians 2:1-4 serves as a reminder that sometimes individuals need to take a step back to get their own life back on track before they can help others in the church.

And they sold their possessions (both their landed property and their movable goods) and distributed the price among all, according as any had need. 46 And day after day they regularly assembled in the temple with united purpose, and in their homes they broke bread [including the Lord’s Supper]. They partook of their food with gladness and simplicity and generous hearts, 47 Constantly praising God and being in favor and goodwill with all the people; and the Lord kept adding [to their number] daily those who were being saved [from spiritual death], Acts 2:45-47.

Unfortunately, most families have a hard time meeting together over the holidays without two members getting into some sort of a heated argument. When personal preferences interfere with unity, it’s better to agree to disagree rather than carrying on with a long-winded exchange of words. The apostle Paul’s advice for moving beyond disagreements is by adopting the mind of Christ, Philippians 2:5-8. While this transformation won’t happen overnight, as Christian’s become servants of God, faith and family come together.

by Jay Mankus

When a Shooting Star Falls to Earth

As a teenager, watching for shooting stars was something that you incorporated into a date. Like Inspiration Point on the hit show Happy Days, actual seeing a shooting star illicits an immediate bond between couples. However, the Bible speaks of a shooting star that doesn’t fully burn up. This particular star called Wormwood falls to earth and causes issues with the water supplies worldwide.

The third angel blew [his] trumpet, and a huge star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it dropped on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—Revelation 8:10

Wormwood is a byproduct of the 7 tribulations in the book of Revelation. Based upon John’s vision, the remains of this fallen star polluted 1/3 of the earth’s water supply. In a metaphorical sense based upon Jeremiah 9:15 and Lamentations 3:15, Wormword refers to bitter calamity and sorrow brought upon the earth. John points out that many people died from drinking and or using this contaminated water.

And the name of the star is Wormwood. A third part of the waters was changed into wormwood, and many people died from using the water, because it had become bitter, Revelation 8:11.

This event in the Bible reminds me of words written by Jesus’ earthly brother James. Writing to Christians scattered throughout the world following Nero’s persecution, there is a warning for anyone who is consumed about planning for the future, James 4:13-14. Life is too short to get stressed out about what tomorrow will bring. Therefore, live for today before the events of tomorrow changes your world forever.

by Jay Mankus

A Power Outage in the Sky

The humidity and heat of summertime tends to push power grids to the limit. Some states use PSA’s (public safety announcements) to warn residents of potential rolling blackouts. As air conditioners are blasted to keep homes cool, states without nuclear power plants have a history of power outages like California and Texas. Yet, the Bible speaks of a power outage in the sky.

Then the fourth angel blew [his] trumpet, and a third of the sun was smitten, and a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that [the light of] a third of them was darkened, and a third of the daylight [itself] was withdrawn, and likewise a third [of the light] of the night was kept from shining, Revelation 8:12.

One of John’s visions refers to a power outage in the sky. On this bizarre day like a scene from a modern Science Fiction film, 1/3 of the light generated from the moon and stars was darkened. This power outage in the sky altered the normal 24-hour light cycle on earth. This reminds me of what happened following Jesus’ death on a cross as historians wrote about a cosmic global power outage in the sky.

And there shall be no more night; they have no need for lamplight or sunlight, for the Lord God will illuminate them and be their light, and they shall reign [as kings] forever and ever (through the eternities of the eternities), Revelation 22:5.

Rather than focus on the worldwide hysteria of John’s vision, this one event will set the stage for life after death in heaven. One of Jesus’ former disciples speaks on the contrast between heaven and hell, 2 Peter 2:4. Those individuals who never entered into a personal relationship with Jesus will be plunged into eternal darkness. Meanwhile, heaven eliminates darkness with 24 hours of light every single day.

by Jay Mankus

Coming Out of the Closet to Show Others the Way

In the past century, liberals and progressives have taken symbols and terms from the Bible. Rather than highlight the biblical context of being happy and the Old Testament symbolism of a rainbow, new meanings have been ascribed. Perhaps, it’s time to flip the script by coming out of the preverbal closet to honor the words of Jesus in his Sermon on the Mount.

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality), how can its saltness be restored? It is not good for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden, Matthew 5:13-14.

When I turn on cable news or search the internet for what’s going on in the world, headlines seem to be turning darker and darker every day. If there was ever a time for the Christian Church to be a City on a Hill and the Light of the World, now is the time. If God is love, sirens of love should be blaring throughout places of worship to show others living in darkness the Way of Jesus.

Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a peck measure, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your [z]moral excellence and your praiseworthy, noble, and good deeds and [aa]recognize and honor and praise and glorify your Father Who is in heaven, Matthew 5:15-16.

Unfortunately, many Christians are like high school cliques shining the light and love of Christ at each other. Meanwhile, prodigals and wayward souls continue to walk around in darkness without most churches doing anything to help. If you have similar concerns and thoughts, come out of your spiritual closet to show others the way to the love of Jesus.

by Jay Mankus

Come and See the Future

Sometimes you can read too much into the Bible when you study it. However, Ukraine is currently the 7th largest producer of wheat in the world. Meanwhile, Ukraine is the 4th largest exporter of wheat, but Russia is preventing cargo ships from carrying out these shipments. If Russia’s ongoing invasion of the Ukraine does not go in their favor, this could spark a worldwide shortage of wheat by years end.

When He broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, Come and look! And I saw, and behold, a black horse, and in his hand the rider had a pair of scales (a balance), Revelation 6:5.

According to a couple of websites, olive oil is projected to increase in price by 20% in 2022. Meanwhile, the fine wine market continued to appear strong in the first quarter of 2022, so anyone panicked by my first paragraph still has time to get their life right with God. Based upon a consensus of Bible scholars, in the days of the third seal in the Book of Revelation olive oil and wine will be in great abundance,

And I heard what seemed to be a voice from the midst of the four living creatures, saying, A quart of wheat for a denarius [a whole day’s wages], and three quarts of barley for a denarius; but do not harm the oil and the wine! – Revelation 6:6.

If you want to come and see the future, pay close attention to the price of wheat. Based upon the law of supply and demand, the supply of wheat will influence the worldwide price. This global market principle is the economic relationship between the sellers and the buyers of various commodities. If you want to come and see the future like John, watch the price of wheat, oil, and wine in the years to come.

by Jay Mankus

There’s No Need for Disinformation

The Department of Homeland Security recently announced news of a new Disinformation Governance Board. When an old ticktock video of the individual selected to oversee this board surfaced, the credibility of this Disinformation Board was immediately put into question. Meanwhile, a tweet by Jeff Bezos called out President Biden for his own disinformation about a false statement on Covid-19 vaccines.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my [spiritual] children are living their lives in the Truth, 3 John 1:4.

According to one of Jesus’ former disciples, the Bible has its own plan for dealing with disinformation. At the beginning of one of his last recorded letters, John’s greatest joy as a Christian is to see people, he spiritually mentored to live their lives in the truth of the Bible. Since the Bible contains supernatural power as a living document, Hebrews 4:12, disinformation is exposed by the light of God’s Word.

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free, John 8:31-32.

Years earlier, John was present when Jesus told his disciples that spiritual truth will set you free. While disinformation, gossip, and rumors continue today, Christians who shine the light and love of Jesus will convict the hearts of those trying to control your speech. Despite the algorithms designed by social media sites that favor progressive ideas, living your life in the Truth will expose disinformation as its espoused.

by Jay Mankus

Where Was God in Uvalde?

Following the most recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, one of the first headlines I saw on social media pierced my heart. This one particular comment blamed God for not intervening. The exact quote was “Where was God in the Uvalde School Shooting?” Unfortunately, when freewill is exercised and someone has already made up their mind like Cain, the only thing remaining is the actual act of evil.

But for [a]Cain and his offering He had no respect or regard. So Cain was exceedingly angry and indignant, and he looked sad and depressed. And the Lord said to Cain, Why are you angry? And why do you look sad and depressed and dejected? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it, Genesis 4:5-7.

Based upon the initial investigation into the life of the school shooter Salvador Ramos, he had a speech impediment, a stutter that caused other students to tease him. Beside recently dropping out of high school, Salvador’s family had a criminal record that led him to live with his grandparents. One psychologist suggested that the pictures of graduating seniors displayed throughout downtown UValde may have been one of the triggers that caused Salvador to snap.

Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions). 15 Then the evil desire, when it has conceived, gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully matured, brings forth death, James 1:13-15.

While Texas officials may never uncover the reason for Salvador’s evil actions, the Bible shines light upon what is going on inside of sinful minds. Cain was envious of his younger brother Abel who was blessed by God. This jealousy conceived hatred inside of Cain’s heart that Jesus compares to the root of murder in Matthew 5:21-22. Meanwhile, temptation does originate from God. Rather, temptation is an internal process that baits, entices and lures people like Salvador to sin. Just like God tried to talk Cain out of getting rid of his brother, God’s attempt to change Salvador’s mind was unsuccessful to stop freewill.

by Jay Mankus

Walking in Love

Walking on Sunshine is a song written by Kimberley Rew. This original piece was created for Katrina and the Waves in 1983 for their album. The Bible has their own version of walking on sunshine. However, according to one of Jesus’ disciples, walking is symbolic for living in love. Just as a Christian should learn to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, love for live should be a daily motivating force to spread sunshine.

And what this love consists in is this: that we live and walk in accordance with and guided by His commandments (His orders, ordinances, precepts, teaching). This is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you continue to walk in love [guided by it and following it], 2 John 1:6.

When I was a teenager, I wore my feelings on my sleeves. When I was in a good mood, I wanted everyone that I came into contact to celebrate and feel the joy inside of me. However, as depression set in which was 75% of the time, I didn’t want anybody in the same room with me to be happy or smile. I did the opposite of walking in love, trying to drag everyone down to feel my pain.

And so faith, hope, love abide [faith—conviction and belief respecting man’s relation to God and divine things; hope—joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love—true affection for God and man, growing out of God’s love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love, 1 Corinthians 13:13.

The apostle Paul devotes an entire chapter of the Bible to love. The final verse of this passage is listed above. According to C.S. Lewis, faith, hope, and love are considered theological virtues. Yet, these spiritual qualities are only accessible through the power of the Holy Spirit, 2 Peter 1:3-4. Subsequently, if you want to learn to walk in love, Romans 10:9-11, a personal relationship with God is essential. Once this journey begins, walking in love involves keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

The Root of All Wrongdoing

Wrongdoing is a common term used in the court of law. Defense attorneys set out to prove to the jury and judge that their client is not guilty of any wrongdoing. The Bible uses the imagery of light to illustrate what is right and true. Meanwhile, darkness is associated with wrongdoing. One of Jesus’ disciples doesn’t beat around the bush categorizing all wrongdoing as sin.

All wrongdoing is sin, and there is sin which does not [involve] death [that may be repented of and forgiven], 1 John 5:17.

In this age of passing the buck, blame is deflected to circumstances and situations. Meanwhile, if anyone tries to through you under the bus, justification and rationalization will begin to kick in. This natural defense mechanism is on display daily in talk shows as prominent figures make excuses to protect famous friends. Instead of being honest and open, the act of wrongdoing is swept under the rug.

But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong. 17 So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin, James 4:16-17.

The earthly brother of Jesus uses the passage above to confront wrongdoing. You maybe one of the most creative individuals who can come up with an excuse for anything in life. Yet, James places sins of omission in the same classification as sins of commission. Wrongdoing isn’t merely an act, behavior or choice. Rather, failing to intervene when you know you should is also a sin. The root of all wrongdoing is disobedience or as in the days of biblical Judges, doing what’s right in your own eyes.

by Jay Mankus

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