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Tag Archives: the heart

When Right is Wrong and Wrong is Right

In any social setting, there are preconceived thoughts based upon appearance, attire, background, education, intellect and wealth.  If character is excluded from this set of standards, people can be misled, confusing right from wrong and vice versa.  Like Samuel waiting to anoint one of Jesse’s sons as the next king of Israel, the heart is often overlooked.  While David’s brothers fit the physical features of a leader, David’s heart set him apart from his siblings.  Thus, Samuel told Jesse to call his youngest son from the fields, led by the Holy Spirit to anoint David.

Now there was a woman in the city who was [known as] a sinner; and when she found out that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume; 38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began wetting His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and [respectfully] kissed His feet [as an act signifying both affection and submission] and anointed them with the perfume, Luke 7:37-38.

Several hundred years later, another famous anointing took place.  Unfortunately, the disciples were fooled by the tarnished reputation of an unwelcomed guest.  To make matters worse, this woman broke and wasted a valuable vial of perfume.  The actual worth of this bottle was equivalent to nearly a years pay for a first century laborer.  This display blinded religious leaders from the true intentions of this woman.  Staring at the spilled perfume as if it was a load of cash blowing in the wind, the man who invited Jesus over to his house is offended by Jesus’ interaction with this prostitute.  Subsequently, in Simon’s eyes right is wrong and wrong is right.

Now when [Simon] the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this Man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching Him, that she is a [notorious] sinner [an outcast, devoted to sin],” Luke 7:39

Over reactions like Simon are carried out within homes every night in the 21st century.  Instead of seeing things for what they are, preconceived notions blind decent human beings from the truth.  Thus, knee jerk reactions lead to conflict, division and tension within Christian homes.  Perhaps, everyone needs to become more like Jesus, expecting the best in others regardless of past or present reputations.  May this passage of the Bible speak to your soul, opening your heart to forgive, forget and extend God’s grace and mercy to others.  If you don’t, you too may confuse right from wrong and wrong with right.

by Jay Mankus

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The Heartbeat of Heaven

Inside the human body, the sinoatrial node serves as the heart’s pacemaker.  Within the right atrium, electrical activity in the form of impulses initializes a small bundle of specialized cells.  As currents spread throughout the walls of the atria, contractions begin to alternate and relax, allowing blood to naturally flow through the heart.  These intricacies point to a Creator, designing the miracle called life.

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 26:36.

The Bible is filled with analogies and imagery relating to the heart.  King Solomon calls the heart the well spring of life.  Yet, the prophet Jeremiah reveals a secret and dark side, like a poison which can contaminate your soul.  However, Jesus leaves no question about the role of the heart on earth.  The Lord gave human beings a heart for one purpose, to love one another.  This is the heart beat of heaven.

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends, John 15:12-13.

Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus shares some final instructions to his disciples, preparing them for his death and life after his ascension into heaven.  Trying to keep things simply, Jesus suggests love is a barometer of your faith.  Depending upon your level of commitment, lives will either be grazed, touched or impacted by your degree of love.  Regardless of where you are spiritually, its never too late to ask for a heart of love so that the heart beat of heaven can be felt on earth.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Brought to Tears

 

From time to time, even the stoic have moments where they can’t hold back their tears.  Depending upon how you were raised as a child, you are either less or more likely to cry based upon the principles instilled within you by parents.  However, when confronted by the past, death or disappointment, any of these elements of pain can trigger the flood gates to open.

I tend to go through arid periods, numb to the emotions deep inside my soul.   Although, I do experience an annual rainy season, when the lyrics to a song, a touching scene or I am moved by a conservation, unleashing a steady flow of tear drops.  May be this is why the Holy Spirit inspired Solomon to say “a sad face is good for the heart” within Ecclesiastes, made famous by the Choir’s 1988 song from their Chase the Kangaroo album.

This is where we find Joseph, son of Israel in Genesis 45:1-2.  Moved by Judah’s plea,  suggesting that coming home without Benjamin, the youngest boy in the family, will likely result in the death of his father, Genesis 44:18-34.  Afraid that his childish act of toying with his brothers out of vengeance will cause his own father to die of a broken heart, Joseph finally relents.  Possibly holding a grudge, mistreated by them 20 years earlier, wailing aloud serves as a source of healing.  Once he composes himself, Joseph conveys God’s plan to his brothers in Genesis 45:3-8, brought to tears by God’s providence.

by Jay Mankus

Spiritual Kisses

Steven Curtis Chapman once jokingly sang about being in love or having the flu bug during his Great Adventure Concert Tour.  Likewise, Psalm 85:10 describes 4 attributes, which when joined together develop chemistry.  When love and faithfulness connect, its as if righteousness and peace kiss.

Daily emotions rise and fall, leaving behind periods of ecstasy and agony.  While God’s love never fails, 1 Corinthians 13:8, human love is similar to Judas Iscariot’s betrayal of Jesus by a kiss. Matthew 26:48-49.  The side effects of Genesis 3:17-19 has turned the love of many ice cold like Demas in 2 Timothy 4:10.  On the outside there are signs of warmth, but internally the heart has been corrupted, Jeremiah 17:9.

Beside the fallen nature of mankind, Romans 3:23, there are traces of this spiritual element.  Honest and truthful words are like a kiss on the lips, Proverbs 24:26.  Fellowship with other believers brings out a kindred spirit, Acts 4:32-35.  The theological virtues of charity, faith and hope, 1 Corinthians 13:13, make love possible.  Finally, the cherry on the top is Colossians 3:13-14, making spiritual kisses a reality through the power of the Holy Spirit!  On this Mother’s Day, be a vehicle of adoration, passing on the love of Jesus to all you encounter!

by Jay Mankus

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