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A Spiritual Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a term my high school English teacher ingrained within my head. Whether our class was reading Canterbury Tales or Romeo and Juliet, she would always urge students to think about the foreshadowing of a scene. In the passage below, Moses points to the foreshadowing of Jesus, initially mentioned in Genesis 3:15 following original sin, Adam and Eve’s fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.

Then Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and laid it on [the shoulders of] Isaac his son, and he took the fire (the firepot) in his own hand, and a knife; and the two of them went on together. And Isaac said to Abraham, My father! And he said, Here I am, my son. [Isaac] said, See, here are the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt sacrifice? – Genesis 22:6-7

As God puts Abraham’s faith to an unbelievable test, Bible scholars believe that the concept of a resurrection was conceived within Abraham’s mind. This is one of the few explanations that makes sense for a guy who had a tendency to rely on his own instincts rather than fully trust God. If this is true, Isaac’s hypothetical resurrection is a foreshadowing of Jesus coming back to life on Easter Sunday.

[Urged on] by faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went forth to a place which he was destined to receive as an inheritance; and he went, although he did not know or trouble his mind about where he was to go. [Prompted] by faith he dwelt as a temporary resident in the land which was designated in the promise [of God, though he was like a stranger] in a strange country, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has fixed and firm foundations, whose Architect and Builder is God, Hebrews 11:8-10.

All Christian’s hope that their life will leave behind some sort of legacy, to inspire others to elevate and take their own faith to new heights. The author of Hebrews nominates Abraham for the Bible’s Hall of Faith in the passage above. God’s initial promise to Abraham while residing in the land of Uz is a foreshadowing of the birth of a great nation, Israel. However, even Abraham struggled to believe in this promise until Isaac was finally born. As you read and study the Bible, may the Holy Spirit open your eyes to other foreshadowing’s found in this book.

by Jay Mankus


How to Keep in Step with the Holy Spirit in 2023

As I continue my study of the Old Testament in 2023, I have noticed a correlation between keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, and habitually walking with God. Moses describes the spiritual life of Enoch and Noah to habitually walking with God. Rather than being consumed with unwholesome addictions, bad habits, and lustful cravings, these two godly men kept in step with God’s Spirit. Inquiring minds want to know, how is this possible to accomplish while living in 2023?

Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. 26 Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. 27 Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil, Proverbs 4:25-27.

One of the wisest human beings to ever walk the face of the earth chimes in on this topic in the passage above. King Solomon claims that being task and goal oriented isn’t enough to keep in step with the Holy Spirit. Rather, you need to be vision oriented, living with your eyes daily fixated on Jesus, Hebrews 12:1-2. When considering where to go and what to do like Jesus in Mark 1:35, ask yourself does this activity align with God’s will? Whatever you decide, following the advice in Proverbs 4:27 will guide you in the right direction to keep in step with the Holy Spirit.

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:1-2.

The context of the passage above occurs immediately following the Bible’s Hall of Faith, Hebrews 11. The individuals recognized for this lifetime achievement award each demonstrated the ability to keep in step with God’s Holy Spirit. Subsequently, when the author starts with therefore to begin a new chapter, this a call to follow in their spiritual footsteps of faith. You can’t clearly keep in step with the Holy Spirit until you strip away and throw off any addicts, bad habits and unwholesome cravings from your life. As you mature spiritually by daily confessing your sins to God, fix your eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. While this process will take weeks, months and years to complete, somewhere along the way you will keep in step with the Holy Spirt, Galatians 5:25.

by Jay Mankus

A Faith That Can’t Be Shaken

The author of Hebrews devotes two chapters to the topic of faith. The first highlights outstanding examples of faith in Hebrews 11. The latter in chapter 12 examines faith in a practical manner detailing all the obstacles you may face over the course of your life. The grand finale uses similar terminology found in Romans 12:1-2. The end goal is to develop a faith that can’t be shaken. Yet, how is this possible?

But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out]. [Prompted] by faith Noah, being forewarned by God concerning events of which as yet there was no visible sign, took heed and diligently and reverently constructed and prepared an ark for the deliverance of his own family. By this [his faith which relied on God] he passed judgment and sentence on the world’s unbelief and became an heir and possessor of righteousness ([c]that relation of being right into which God puts the person who has faith), Hebrews 11:6-7.

One of the expressions the author of Hebrews uses several times is lean your entire human personality on God. This is often followed by placing absolute trust and confidence in God’s power which is the Holy Spirit. This spiritual quality enabled spiritual leaders of the past to honored in the Bible’s Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. This is what builds a faith that can’t be shaken.

Now this expression, Yet once more, indicates the final removal and transformation of all [that can be] shaken—that is, of that which has been created—in order that what cannot be shaken may remain and continue. 28 Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe; Hebrews 12:27-28.

When you begin to live and fulfill God’s will, the stars align to provide a greater sense of purpose. The hard part is reaching a point where all your God given gifts and talents can be fanned into flame daily. I was blessed to be a high school Bible teacher and golf coach for a decade. Unfortunately, sometimes God’s plan changes and you have to adapt as quick as possible. While I currently possess a faith that has been broken, I’m trusting the Lord in 2022 so that my faith can be restored, renewed and rise again.

by Jay Mankus

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