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Tag Archives: the human spirit

Return to Me

As a parent, it’s difficult to have all of your children follow the narrow path described in Matthew 7:13-14 throughout life.  On the surface, there isn’t anything attractive, cool or hip in the eyes of the world to stay an extended period of time.  While former generations of adults might have coerced, demanded and forced their kids to go to church and youth group, the overall results have been mixed.  Good parenting doesn’t always lead to mature teens.  Nor does abandonment by one or both parents always produce disobedient souls.  Various factors, influences and variables eventually shape young people into the people they become.  Regardless of this outcome, it’s never too late to return to Jesus.

In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents,” Luke 15:10.

In a series of stories about getting lost, Jesus uses sheep, a sentimental coin and a rebellious son to illustrate his point.  These parables have made Luke 15 one of the most read chapters in the Bible.  Although the parable of the lost son gets most of the attention, the end of the lost coin reveals one of God’s most important qualities.  Unlike a human father who may turn his back on disobedient children, God the Father is standing on the front porch, waiting for you to come home.  Whenever someone decides to return home, there is a celebration in heaven for every repentant sinner.  Perhaps, guardians angels play a role in this human U-turn, away from the world and back toward God.

He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything, Luke 15:16.

Regardless of how stubborn a person may be, everyone has a breaking point.  The human spirit can only take you so far until souls crack.  A first century doctor refers to this point as coming to your senses.  For the Jewish prodigal mentioned in the passage above, he was broke and homeless.  However, this is only half of the story.  This young man spent his inheritance, squandered it on wild living and had become a lowly servant at a pig farm.  According to Jewish law, pigs are unclean, unfit to eat.  Yet, this son became so desperate for food, he longed to eat the slop fed to these animals.  This humbling circumstance opened the door for repentance and a return home.  May this blog inspire anyone heading off in the wrong direction to return back to Jesus, 1 John 1:7.

by Jay Mankus

The Human Spirit

When someone refers to the human spirit, they are usually talking about a combination of the heart, soul and mind.  While the heart is the life source of the body, the mind regulates our mental state.  Yet, the soul is the essence of human beings, setting one person apart from the next.

The human spirit is the lamp of the LORD that sheds light on one’s inmost being, Proverbs 20:27.

According to Solomon, the human spirit is like an internal light that highlights who you are.  This lamp reveals what is in your heart.  This reflection comes out in the form of words.  If you are wounded by individuals in your past, your vocabulary will reflect this.  Subsequently, hurt people will hurt other people.

But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them, Matthew 15:18.

This built up angst is what defiles people according to Jesus.  Its no wonder that King Solomon urges Israel to guard your heart for it is the well spring of life.  The apostle Paul takes this concept one step further in Colossians 3:1-3, to set your heart and mind on things above.  If you want to preserve the human spirit, these instructions are vital to maintain health, life and the pursuit of happiness.

by Jay Mankus

An Anchor for the Soul

Prior to the Bronze Age, ships typically relied on rocks as an anchor.  The ancient Greeks placed several placed rocks, bags of sand or wooden logs filled with lead into a basket.  Leading up to the 19th century, the manufacturing process of anchors was imperfect.  The curve feature of modern anchors did not appear until 1813 when Pering, a clerk from Plymouth Yard introduced this feature.  Time has perfected this vital piece of equipment, saving the lives of countless crewmen from running aground during the storms of life.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, Hebrews 6:19.

According to the author of Hebrews, hope is a spiritual anchor for the soul.  Without signs of hope, the human spirit can wilt, pushed to a breaking point.  If you ever feel like giving up, the Bible provides a valuable solution.  When an individual throws an anchor overboard, the bottom is invisible, relying on the tension of the chain to determine if you’ve struck the bottom.  In the same way, God’s unchanging nature is rock solid, fulfilling the promises He has made in the past.  This is the anchor for troubled souls.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up, Galatians 6:9.

Every day on earth is like taking a journey out to sea.  You never know what you will find, who or what you will encounter and how quickly the weather will change.  When the unexpected arises, who will you trust?  Some have gotten into the habit of relying in their own abilities.  Although God has given everyone certain qualities, leaning on the Lord will help you ride out troubled waters.  Whatever life throws at you, don’t forget about the anchor for the soul.

by Jay Mankus

The Prompting of the Heart

Hollywood has made fortunes making love story films.  While some are comedies, created for a good laugh, every year there is usually one that connects with the human spirit.  Whether its a scene, a similar situation an individual has endured or a real life story, drama has a way of touching hearts, striking a nerve or unlocking the floodgates as tears stream down faces in the audience.

In the book of Exodus, Moses refers to a spiritual prompting, moving someone to give out of the overflow of their heart.  Whether its the sight of a homeless person on a street corner, pictures of a natural disaster on television or guilt from a privileged life without any trials, the heart moves people beyond their comfort zones, Exodus 25:2.  King Solomon compared to heart to a underground springs, bubbling with life, forcing water to the surface, Proverbs 4:23.

According to Jesus, when the prompting of the heart ceases in many, end times are near, Matthew 24:12.  The so what, I don’t care, what a waste of time mentality has spread like a cancer among several communities.  Hate crimes, violence and wickedness are merely byproducts of hearts that have turned cold.  Maybe Foreigner was right in their song, “Cold as Ice,” except in these days you don’t have to break up with someone to witness or be a recipient.  Regardless of how holy Christians claim to be, we all need a spiritual heart transplant, Galatians 5:6, so that the prompting of our hearts will make this world a better place to live!

by Jay Mankus

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