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Tag Archives: the Indian River Bay

Sharing the Comforts of Home

In the past 20 years, my parents have been blessed to have two dream homes. The first was in Ohio where my father was promoted to a leadership position at his company’s corporate headquarters. Upon retiring, my folks were able to build one from scratch across from the Indian River Bay. Over the past 20 years, my parents have shared the comforts of home with my family and their grandchildren.

Do not forget or neglect or refuse to extend hospitality to strangers [in the brotherhood—being friendly, cordial, and gracious, sharing the comforts of your home and doing your part generously], for through it some have entertained angels without knowing it, Hebrews 13:2.

The author of Hebrews refers to a similar form of hospitality. Since first century churches didn’t have a physical building like today, members would open their homes as a weekly gathering place. Apparently, shy and quiet individuals began to feel left out, not welcomed like the more outgoing. This shortcoming is pointed out in the passage above with a call to share the comforts of your home with believers.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of sympathy (pity and mercy) and the God [Who is the Source] of every comfort (consolation and encouragement), Who comforts (consoles and encourages) us in every trouble (calamity and affliction), so that we may also be able to comfort (console and encourage) those who are in any kind of trouble or distress, with the comfort (consolation and encouragement) with which we ourselves are comforted (consoled and encouraged) by God, 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.

The apostle Paul alludes to another element of hospitality. As people endure troubling times, everyone reacts a little differently. Some withdraw due to depression, others become sarcastic and people like me become comfortably numb. When reaching out to hurting people, you don’t have to beat out what’s inside. Rather, share the comforts of home and when the timing is right, the hurting will bear their souls to you when they are ready. Until then, keep consoling and encouraging anyone who is crushed in spirit.

by Jay Mankus

The Visible Representation of an Invisible God

Visibility is mentioned 8 times in the Bible. Invisible is mentioned 11 times; 4 of which are written by the apostle Paul. In the passage below, Paul eludes to visible signs that most people take for granted. For example, when I visit the beach I like to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean and set over the Indian River Bay. Yet, when I am at home, I’m consumed by my work schedule and too tired to care about God’s creation on my days off.

For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened, Romans 1:20-21.

Apparently, members of the Church at Rome were going through the motions. A stale faith was preventing these individuals from seeing the invisible attributes and nature of God. Thus, the passage above serves as a wake up call, a spiritual warning to idle Christians. Paul doesn’t hold back his displeasure, exhorting members of this church to stop making excuses. In other words, open your eyes so that the Holy Spirit will help you can see the Lord at work.

[Now] He is the exact likeness of the unseen God [the visible representation of the invisible]; He is the Firstborn of all creation, Colossians 1:15.

In a letter to the Church at Colosse, Paul unveils that Jesus is the visible representation of an invisible God. Just as one of Jesus’ disciples provides a historical account of His relationship with God, John 1:1-5, Paul builds upon this fact. Putting everything together, Paul describes Jesus as the firstborn of all creation. Just like the man born blind in John 9:6-7 who sees for the very first time, it’s time for Christian’s to slow down, take a look around and see the visible representation of an invisible God.

by Jay Mankus

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