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Tag Archives: The Holy Spirit

The End of Boy Scouts?

Former Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell founded the Boy Scouts Organization in 1908. Powell’s objective was to develop citizenship, chivalrous behavior, and skill in outdoor activities for boys aged 11-14. As this movement grew in popularity, several active youth organizations joined the Boy Scouts of America. After being successful for more than a century, the Boy Scouts Organization voted to allow gay scout leaders in 2013. This decision caused the Boy Scouts of America to file for bankruptcy on February 18th, 2020. Facing a wave of lawsuits over sexual abuse allegations, it appears we’re about to see the end of boy scouts.

In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes, Judges 21:25.

Hollywood put their own spin on the decay of morality in America with The Last Boy Scout in 1991. An ex-Secret Service agent played by Bruce Willis holds on to his marriage despite his wife’s affair. Meanwhile, Joe Hellenbeck’s work as a private eye allows him to cross paths with Damon Wayans, an ex-quarterback on a case of sports gambling and murder. After nearly getting blown up, this unlikely duo team up to solve this case. The deeper they dig, corruption leads straight to the mob. While Willis’ character has nothing in common with boy scouts, his character presses on no matter how dangerous their investigation becomes.

For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live], Ephesians 2:10.

If you take some time to listen, you may be shocked by the words that you hear. If you’re not astonished, it’s probably because you have become desensitized by the world around you. The enveloped has been pushed so far by cable television, public education, and social media that character, integrity and morals are disappearing from our society. This has led many to lose hope and subsequently cave in to peer pressure. Devilish thoughts like “if everyone is doing it, why aren’t you” enter many minds. Perhaps, this mindset led Judges in the Old Testament to do what’s right in their own eye. Instead of falling into this spiritual trap, think about what God has predestined for you to do. Although sin will keep us from being model scouts, the Holy Spirit will help you to do what’s right when nobody is looking. Whether the Boy Scout survive or not, God can strengthen the weak to live like a shining star in a fallen world, Philippians 2:15-16.

by Jay Mankus

Awaken Your Soul with Praise

California worship leader Sean Feucht received a special calling from the Lord during the Coronavirus lockdown earlier this year. The Holy Spirit called Sean to host outdoor worship services all over the United States of America. However, God didn’t call Sean to reach out to comfortable places. Rather, Sean hosted 45 different worship services in cities ravaged by civil unrest, looting and rioting.

O clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph and songs of joy! – Psalm 47:1

Feucht’s extensive missionary background includes founding Hold the Line, an activist movement aimed at engaging the church and Millennials. These outdoor worship events were designed to “change the atmosphere over cities” through worship and prayer. Using spontaneous worship on an elevated stage in the middle of these metropolitan cities, Sean inspired participants to sing, laugh, cry, dance and pray.

God has ascended amid shouting, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! – Psalm 47:5-6

Sean’s 45th and last service was recently held in Washington DC. Feucht reached out to pastor Jentezen Franklin to bring a short message to culminate these outdoor worship services. Franklin referenced Job 36:29 where the sound of worship is compared to a storm cloud about to unleash rain upon the land. Rain is symbolic of cleansing souls and with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Thus, as you participate in worship in your own community, may your soul be awakened to act out in faith.

by Jay Mankus

Looking in the Wrong Place for Conviction

Following the unfortunate death of George Floyd, a new movement was spawned. White Millennials began to attend Black Lives Matter protests. Whether convicted from Critical Race Theory or White Privilege seminars, a large number of white women have publicly confessed their sins of racism, bowing down to the BLM Movement. This sign of allegiance has emboldened BLM leaders to publicly demand other white people to bow at their feet. Using peer pressure and force on some occasions, many are looking in the wrong place for conviction.

And how can men [be expected to] preach unless they are sent? As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings! [How welcome is the coming of those who preach the good news of His good things!] 16 But they have not all heeded the Gospel; for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed (had faith in) what he has heard from us? 17 So faith comes by hearing [what is told], and what is heard comes by the preaching [of the message that came from the lips] of Christ (the Messiah Himself), Romans 10:15-17.

More than 2 decades ago I attended a 2 day Promise Keepers event at Soldier Field. The opening night was amazing, headlined by a moving speech from founder Bill McCartney. McCartney inspired the 65,000 men who attended with a call to become leaders in their family and community. Day 2 was focused on unity, addressing the topic of racism in the church. Instead of focusing on an individual basis, the Key Note speaker assumed that every white man in attendance was racist. As some one who attended public schools, spending 3 years in inner city Wilmington, I was offended.

Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. 15 And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working], James 5:14-16.

God designed human beings with a conscience, serving as a regulating force to convict wayward souls. Meanwhile, the Bible is the only book in human history that has been deemed living and active, Hebrews 4:12. This code of conduct was designed to be a source of light, providing direction and guidance to our feet, Psalm 119:105. You shouldn’t have to go to church, a protest, or rally to be convicted. Rather, the apostle Paul reminded first century Christians that the more you read, study and listen to God’s Word, hearts and minds can change. Therefore, don’t allow peer pressure to alter your beliefs. Instead, meditate upon God’s Word day and night, Joshua 1:8. When you practice spiritual disciplines, conviction will come via the Holy Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

When the Spirit of the Anti-Christ Comes

During the Passion Week, Jesus’ last week on earth prior to his crucifixion, a series of clues are left behind in Matthew 24. The context of this conversation begins on the steps of the temple. Jesus uses this structure to foretell future events beginning with the great earthquake immediately following his death on a cross. After taking a seat on the Mount of Olives, Jesus privately meets with his disciples, revealing the signs of End Times.

Not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here. Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition), 2 Thessalonians 2:2-3.

The content of this information was so powerful that Matthew devotes an entire chapter of his gospel to these words. According to Jesus, a series of events will result in the love of many Christians growing cold, Matthew 24:12. If you place this passage in the context of 2020 with church services shut down during the Coronavirus pandemic in many states, the Spirit of the Anti-Christ is getting closer. The apostle Paul takes at closer look by examining what these days will resemble on earth.

Who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. Do you not recollect that when I was still with you, I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining him [from being revealed at this time]; it is so that he may be manifested (revealed) in his own [appointed] time. For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, [but it is] restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way, 2 Thessalonians 2:4-7.

In his second letter to the Church at Thessalonica, Paul shares his own revelations about the second coming of Jesus. This includes an interesting statement that presupposes that the Holy Spirit keeps Satan on a leash until Christ returns. However, after the Rapture, Satan will turn the earth into a concentration camp, Revelation 13:17. Only those who receive the mark of the beast will be able to buy or sell. Thus, as Spirit of the Anti-Christ draws near, prepare your heart and mind now so that you won’t be deceived.

by Jay Mankus

Satan’s Pawn Shop

The reality television show Pawn Stars debuted on July 19th, 2009. Hosted by The Gold & Silver Pawn Shop just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada, a cast of characters and unique items have entertained Americans for more than a decade. Like a modern version of the Antique Roadshow, owner Rick Harrison discovers hidden treasures every episode. Yet, this popular show conceals the grim definition of pawn, “holding something hostage.”

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot, Romans 8:5-7.

When you adopt and apply the term pawn to the spiritual dimension, Satan’s Pawn Shop includes human bodies held captive by sin. The apostle Paul compares this to a mindset focused on your carnal desires or the Holy Spirit. Natural inclinations lean toward gratifying your own fleshly desires. In the previous chapter, Paul details his own failures to keep his body in check, often doing the opposite of what he wanted to do, Romans 7:17-20.

Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own, 20 You were bought with a price [purchased with a preciousness and paid for, made His own]. So then, honor God and bring glory to Him in your body, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Despite this dire condition, Paul reveals who came to the rescue, paying the price for those held hostage by Satan. This ransom was purchased when Jesus laid down his own life on a cross, 1 Timothy 2:6. While some may try to intervene on God’s behalf, Jesus is the only one who can redeem lives seized by Satan. As the ruler of the air, Ephesians 2:2, the enemy is watching, eager to pounce upon weak and vulnerable souls. This is a typical day inside of Satan’s Pawn Shop highlighted by 1 Peter 5:8-9.

by Jay Mankus

The Inspiration and Energizer

 Since it’s commercial debut on October 30, 1988, a pink bunny has been the face and symbol for Energizer batteries. Over the past 30 years, the Energizer Bunny’s slogan “It just keeps going and going and going” has gotten old. Nonetheless,  over 120 commercials later, this advertising campaign has been successful. Outside of the realm of batteries, human beings are daily searching for a source of inspiration to recharge their physical bodies.

And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all, 1 Corinthians 12:6.

In a letter to the Church at Corinth, the apostle Paul suggests that God inspires and energizes special endowments placed within each human being. The Holy Spirit serves as the operator of souls, encouraging, motivating, and prompting Christians to take action daily. However, until your spiritual gift is revealed, many go through life unaware of these hidden talents. Without being enlightened by God, finding energy and inspiration just to make it through a day can be challenging.

But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit. To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit; 1 Corinthians 12:7-8.

Spiritual gifts are like finishing up the last pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Clarifying, distinguishing, and exploring these talents provide a sense of direction. Whenever a Christian receives confirmation that they possess a specific spiritual gift, confidence is gained to apply this, 2 Timothy 1:6. As you begin to fulfill your true nature, souls are energized and inspired. However, if you don’t know what your special endowment is, you’ll feel lethargic. Therefore, take the time now to discover your spiritual gift so that you’ll be energized and inspired once this gift is revealed.

by Jay Mankus

Risking Failure or Keeping It a Dream?

The etymology of the word dream has ties to an Anglo-Saxon word. Draugmas are illusions, deceptions in the mind linked to joy, merriment or music. Some dreams appear to be so realistic that when you wake up, you’re unsure if this actual happened or not. Action oriented individuals prefer living life the hard way, through a series of trials and errors. Others choose to live their life in a bubble, free from taking risks. Dreamers come alive when they go to sleep, reveling in a world of imagination.

For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words. When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow, Ecclesiastes 5:3-4.

According to King Solomon, dreams occur following a busy day. Depending upon your thoughts, dreams can be inspirational, urging you to act. Thus, Solomon suggests that a dream may prompt you to make a commitment. However, instead of getting sentimental, make a decision quickly. Either pledge to do something or not. Consider the costs of living to a higher standard and act quickly. Unfortunately, dreamers often play if safe, waiting for further confirmation or another dream to respond.

And it shall come to pass in the last days, God declares, that I will pour out of My Spirit upon all mankind, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy [telling forth the divine counsels] and your young men shall see visions (divinely granted appearances), and your old men shall dream [divinely suggested] dreams, Acts 2:17.

A disciple of Jesus eludes to a different kind of dream, Acts 2:17. Either Jesus had a private conversation with Peter or the Holy Spirit gave him a glimpse of the future. Just as the Day of Pentecost brought an outpouring of God’s Spirit, a similar movement will occur prior to Jesus’ second coming. In the last days, dreams will serve as a warning to future events. Unless you’re willing to share what God has revealed to you, you’re not helping anyone. Although you may face ridicule or skepticism, dreams are meant to be shared. However, it’s up to you if you risk failure or keep it to yourself.

by Jay Mankus

A Wind From Elsewhere

Residents of southern California have dealt with smog for more than 50 years. When a new kindergarten teacher moved to Los Angeles in 1953, there were no San Gabriel Mountains that Lee Begovich could see according to a 2019 Washington Post article. Choked with low visibility, Begovich referred to conditions in Los Angeles as eye-burning, lung-stinging, and headache-inducing smog. A commission appointed to address smog back in the 1970’s came to the conclusion that their only short term solution was dependent upon mother nature. The hope was that a wind from elsewhere would drive this smog into the Pacific Ocean.

What is born of [from] the flesh is flesh [of the physical is physical]; and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not [do not be surprised, astonished] at My telling you, You must all be born anew (from above), John 3:6-7.

The passage above dates back to a first century conversion between Jesus and a Pharisee named Nicodemus. Afraid of what his peers might think, Nicodemus meets Jesus under the cover of darkness at night. The concept of a Holy Ghost intrigued Nick, wanting to know more on this topic. Whether trying to be sarcastic or simply attempting the break the ice, Nick makes fun of becoming born again. The context above is Jesus’ reply, eluding to a wind from above that has the power to transform your life. Despite being a well educated religious leader, Nick was unable to fathom this concept. Nick’s uncertainty sets the stage for John 3:16-17.

The wind blows (breathes) where it wills; and though you hear its sound, yet you neither know where it comes from nor where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. Nicodemus answered by asking, How can all this be possible? – John 3:8-9

Unless you see a rain cloud unleash water in the distance or witness a tornado defined by it’s debris path, wind is invisible. While you can feel a cold breeze or be blown off your feet by down drafts and wind gusts, the wind is unpredictable. Sure. modern day radar and technology can trace the movements of weather systems, the wind blows where it wills. According the Jesus, the Holy Spirit is just as mysterious. In a letter to the church in Galatia, the Holy Spirit is described as a force that you can stay in tune with, Galatians 5:25. However, if anyone is distracted by fleshly desires, spiritual senses can be lost. Perhaps, this is why Jesus introduces John 3:16 to provide the lost with a glimmer of hope.

by Jay Mankus

Living and Moving in the Ways of the Spirit

Every year or so I come in contact with an individual who possesses a dynamic personality. On the surface, these people seem perfect, blessed with keen social skills and filled with a joy for life. Curious and eager to know what makes them tick, I often ask a few probing questions. After a couple of minutes interacting, many of these individuals are at a higher spiritual level, living and moving in the ways of the Spirit daily.

So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit], Romans 8:4.

My Catholic upbringing limited my knowledge of the Holy Spirit throughout my teenage years. However, college was a different story, encountering several uncomfortable scenarios. I witnessed people slain in the spirit, speaking in tongues, holy laughter, a pastor who prayed in rhymes and one church that practiced casting out demons. Unfortunately, none of these churches ever explained how I could life and move in the ways of the Spirit.

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit, Romans 8:5.

All I have is the teaching of the apostle Paul to help me comprehend this concept. First, Paul stresses the importance of your mind, focusing on eternal treasures; not temporary pleasures. Second, once you develop the proper mindset, Paul uses the expression “governed by the Spirit.” Just as Joshua urged Israel to meditate on God’s Word day and night, a biblical mindset is crucial to keeping in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25. However, until you crucify your own sinful passions, you won’t be able to live and more like Jesus during his 3 year ministry on earth.

by Jay Mankus

A Rhema or Not?

My initial encounter with the Guinness Book of World Records occurred during an episode of the Brady Bunch. As a means of feeling important, Bobby and Cindy set out to break the world record for swinging on a swing set. According to the show, the record at the time of the original broadcast was 3 days. By midnight, these two energetic kids fell asleep, escorted off to bed by their parents. Despite their failure, Bobby and Cindy made the local paper the following day.

For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure, John 3:34.

When I became a teenager, I went through a Ripley’s Believe or Not phase after visiting a museum down the beach. Instead of breaking a world record, Ripley’s concentrated on strange and unusual feats, similar to a circus freak show. Walking through the exhibits was fascinating, prompting me to discover or realize what special talent God had given to me. While attending a two day seminar on Discernment, the Holy Spirit shined light on my ability to receive rhemas from God.

Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 1 Peter 1:23.

Instead of believe it or not, I began to daily ponder, “is this a rhema from God or not?” This mindset gave birth to Express Yourself 4 Him a week later as I reflected upon whispers from God’s still small voice. The term rhema is Greek which translates into English as utterance or thing said. While logos refers to the Word of God, the Bible, a rhema is received when individuals stumble upon a spiritual idea, nugget or truth. The only reason I continue to blog is by grace through faith I am blessed to receive several rhemas each week. The more I read the Bible, rhemas flow as this ancient book comes to life, Hebrews 4:12. May this promise come alive as you too read and study the Bible.

by Jay Mankus

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