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Tag Archives: the missing link

Oh What a Feeling

Beginning in Junior High, music became an integral part of my life. I was there when MTV debuted in August of 1981, going over a friends house every day after school to watch Behind the Music. This was well before Reality Television caused music to become an afterthought on MTV. One of the songs ingrained in my mind is What a Feeling by Irene Cara. Cara’s song went on to become the theme song for the film Flashdance in 1983. When high school began for me, music filled me with an adrenaline rush each time I pressed the play button on my Walkman.

He then goes on to say, And their sins and their lawbreaking I will remember no more. 18 Now where there is absolute remission (forgiveness and cancellation of the penalty) of these [sins and lawbreaking], there is no longer any offering made to atone for sin, Hebrews 10:17-18.

The Bible talks about a different kind of feeling. This particular one is based upon the overwhelming sense of being forgiven. The author of Hebrews provides a reason to celebrate. Jesus was the missing link, the perfect lamb of God who serves as an eternal Great High Priest. While guilt and shame will still continue to haunt souls, there is absolute remission of past and present sins. Yet, Hebrews 10:26-27 does offer a cause for concern. Apparently, some first century Christians were taking God’s grace and mercy for granted. So don’t let the exhilarating feeling of forgiveness spoil your faith with an on again, off again mentality.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us, Psalm 103:11-12.

The Old Testament provides an analogy that reminds me of Irene Cara’s song. When the degree of God’s forgiveness is compared to infinity, this news makes me want to leap into the air and proclaim, “oh what a feeling!” From a human perspective, this concept is hard to comprehend. Yet, if God forgives and forgets our sins as far as the east is from the west, this fact should result in a greater appreciation. Whatever genre of music that you prefer, the next time that you feel overwhelmed by addiction or bad habits, turn up the volume so that you can celebrate God’s grace and mercy.

by Jay Mankus

What’s Missing From this Picture?

Regardless of how intelligent or talented you are, everyone goes through periods of slumps, where you are not as productive as usual.  The baseball player can’t get buy a hit.  The running back can’t seem to hold on to the ball anymore.  The jump shooter turns into a brick layer and the goalie treats each opponent like its Christmas.  Likewise, the doctor struggles to diagnose a cold, the engineer wrestles to find a quick solution and the teacher babbles away period after period.  When these circumstances find you, what’s the missing answer, ingredient or piece to your dilemma?

Deep within the pages of the Bible, I think I have unearthed a principle that might just be the missing link.  In Acts 16:22-24, Paul, Silas and Luke find themselves in an awkward predicament, imprisoned for freeing a slave girl.  Instead of arguing, bickering and complaining, somehow they are led to fulfill the words of Psalm 150.  Embracing their situation, Paul and Silas begin a worship service in prison.  This spirit of praise moves God to unleash a violent earthquake, likely 6.0 or higher on the Richter scale.  This natural disaster opens a door for ministry, setting the scene for a spiritual breakthrough.

From a personal perspective, I think I have become too worldly to experience a Pauline like miracle.  However, if I dedicated myself to fasting, prayer and worship, opportunities to share my faith would be plentiful.  Like losing weight, the only remaining question is, do you have the discipline and will power to change.  The apostle Paul went to extreme measures to insure a Christ-like behavior in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27.  Therefore, if a slump resides in your soul, struggling to find meaning and purpose in life, why not apply Psalm 150:6.  Maybe this is the only thing preventing you from getting over the hump.  May this be the last piece you are searching for.

by Jay Mankus

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