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Tag Archives: the invisible qualities of God

Surviving Your Next Guilt Trip

Guilt is like an invisible lie detector test.  When human beings deny, exaggerate or lie, souls are awakened by pulses inside their body.  This reaction is triggered by consciences, an inner feeling or voice of truth.  The apostle Paul refers to this concept as the invisible qualities of God so that no one is without excuse, Romans 1:18-20.  The dilemma is not if your next guilt trip will arrive, but how will your respond when conviction starts gnawing upon your heart.

If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness [of sin], we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we [really] walk in the Light [that is, live each and every day in conformity with the precepts of God], as He Himself is in the Light, we have [true, unbroken] fellowship with one another [He with us, and we with Him], and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin [by erasing the stain of sin, keeping us cleansed from sin in all its forms and manifestations], 1 John 1:6-7.

One of the objectives of the modern progressive movement is to de-emphasize absolutes by elevating personal opinions.  As lies are portrayed as truth by members of the media, gray areas expand resulting in a combination of confusion and rationalization.  If the Bible becomes discredited from endless attacks by atheist groups, future generations will look to other sources for moral guidance.  Perhaps, leaders want to return to the days of Old Testament Judges, where people began to do what was right in their own eyes.

If we say we have no sin [refusing to admit that we are sinners], we delude ourselves and the truth is not in us. [His word does not live in our hearts.] If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just [true to His own nature and promises], and will forgive our sins and cleanse us continually from all unrighteousness [our wrongdoing, everything not in conformity with His will and purpose], 1 John 1:8-9.

The spiritual dynamic of guilt seeks to bring about humility.  Depression is a natural emotion created by God to make it painfully obvious that individuals can not follow the ten commandments on their own.  Thus, when guilt trips persuade hearts and minds to admit the error of their way, confession opens the door for hope, Romans 5:2-4.  Responding correctly to guilt, unlike Cain who killed his brother, enables contrite spirits to receive forgiveness, grace and mercy.  May the words of 1 John give you a blueprint for surviving your next guilt trip.

by Jay Mankus

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Within the Grasp of the Human Mind

Modern scientists tend to gravitate toward atheism, trusting only that which they can prove via science.  Others follow a similar path to C.S. Lewis, abandoning a childhood faith, encouraged by higher education professors who do not believe that God exists.  A more recent example is Lee Strobel, a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune and Daily Herald, eager to prove that Christianity is a fraud.  Strobel’s testimony can be found in the book and now movie The Case for Christ.  Regardless of what so called experts, the media and scholars proclaim, the answer to the meaning of life is within the grasp of the human mind.

“Those laws (of nature) are within the grasp of the human mind; God wanted us to recognize them by creating us after his own image so that we could share in his own thoughts,” Johannes Kepler in 1599.

During a trip to the new Museum of the Bible in Washington DC, I found this to be true.  On the second floor, Level 2, this exhibit is entitled the Impact of the Bible.  Like a living history book, there are hundreds of quotes from Colonists, Pilgrims, founding fathers, former presidents and past leaders of the United States.  Yet, other displays extend beyond our borders, documenting famous individuals in their fields throughout the world.  Two of the most intriguing comments come from a former astronomer and mathematician listed above and below.  Without mentioning scripture, each man appears to be referencing the invisible qualities of God, Romans 1:20.

“If the sacred scribes had had any intention of teaching people certain arrangements and motions of the heavenly bodies… then in my opinion they would not have spoken of these matters so sparingly, Galileo Galilei in a 1615 letter to the Grand Duchess of Christiana.

During his own letter to the church of Rome, the apostle Paul suggests that no should claim, “I didn’t know?”  Rather, the creation of the world reveals God’s invisible attributes.  A sunrise, the sun setting over an ocean and a rainbow following a storm are clear signs of a mastermind.  C.S. Lewis devotes the first section of Mere Christianity eluding to the Law of Human Nature.  While Lewis does highlight objections to this law, his words support what Galileo and Kepler have written.  If only human beings slowed down this Christmas season and stopped what they are doing for a moment, Psalm 46:10, the answers to the meaning of life are within the grasp of the human mind.  This revelation is just a prayer away.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Mystery of the Kingdom of God

Whose Line is it Anyway began as a radio program in Great Britain before moving to television in 1988.  This improvisational comedy show uses 4 celebrities who participate in a series of skit like activities.  The only catch is that these individuals must make up things as they go, without any planning, off to the top of their heads.  From 1998 to 2007, Drew Carey served as the host with Wayne Brady, Colin Mochrie and Ryan Stiles as the regular contestants, alternating a few others as the fourth.  One of the games played is Questions Only, where interactions between 2 people must begin with a question.  If not, contestants get buzzed by the host, switching with the person on their side of the stage.  The concept of questions only is nothing new as Jesus used this conversational style to reveal the mystery of the kingdom of God during the first century.

As soon as He was alone, those who were around Him, together with the twelve [disciples], began asking Him about [the interpretation of] the parables, Mark 4:10.

The first 4 books of the New Testament include 46 parables used by Jesus.  These simple stories were used to illustrate a moral or spiritual truth.  Similar to modern analogies, stories tend to hold the attention of an audience.  Jesus used common occupations such as farming or fishing to speak to the massive crowds which followed him.  In a sense, Jesus was a motivational speaker, using faith as the vehicle to overcome the obstacles confronting people.  The context of the passage above follows the Parable of the Sower.  This story involves seeds planted in four different types of soils.  Each environment upon which these seeds fell greatly influenced the overall growth.  Perhaps confused by these details, the disciples requested a private meeting with Jesus, hoping to clarify the correct interpretation of this parable.  This is where Jesus began to unveil the mysteries of the kingdom of God.

He said to them, “The mystery of the kingdom of God has been given to you [who have teachable hearts], but those who are outside [the unbelievers, the spiritually blind] get everything in parables, Mark 4:11.

The apostle Paul in Romans 1:18-20 claims that all human beings come into contact with the invisible qualities of God.  Signs of creation like rainbows, sunsets and the birth of a newborn child are clearly seen so that no one is without excuse.  This sets the stage for the Parable of the Sower.  The kingdom of God is presented to everyone at some point in their lives.  Unfortunately, the timing is not always good.  Thus, some people receive this news when their heart is hardened, landing on compacted ground.  This seed is stolen by the evil one.  Others are introduced to Jesus during rocky times, when people are unstable, not on firm footing.  Thus, without any room for roots to develop, storms, turbulent times and unforeseen events uproot any type of faith that had been planted.  Meanwhile, many people seek God when stress, trials or worries become too much of burden.  However, if these conditions persist, joy for life is lost, choked by spiritual briar patches and sticker bushes that continue to wound your soul.  The only way to recover from bad environments is by plowing the soil around you to allow living water to nurture the seed sown into your heart.  If necessary, add bags of dirt, remove any rocks that stunt growth and don’t forget to weed wack.  May you reach the point of Matthew 9:12, mature enough to feed yourself spiritually with a combination of Bible Study, prayer and worship.  Come to your senses quickly and emulate the persistent widow so that the kingdom of heaven will be your home, John 14:2.

by Jay Mankus

 

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