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Tag Archives: the resurrection of Jesus

The Exercise of God’s Power

Exercise is the act of bringing into play. While exercise is a vehicle to lose weight or stay in shape, this isn’t something that human beings attribute to God. Yet, when fasting sets the spiritual tone and prayers are lifted up to heaven, miracles are the realization of God’s power in action. The Old Testament is filled with accounts of bizarre events that defy science. Whether it’s the ten plagues unleashed upon Egypt, the sound of trumpets bringing down the walls of Jericho or the resurrection of Jesus, this is the exercise of God’s power.

Of this [Gospel] I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s free grace (undeserved favor) which was bestowed on me by the exercise (the working in all its effectiveness) of His power, Ephesians 3:7.

The context of the passage above begins with the ministerial gift available to apostles, preachers, and teachers. As spiritual leaders bestow the gift of God’s grace upon their followers, lives are slowly changed. While some individuals are transformed over night, most experience a gradual evolution into a new creation in Christ Jesus. Perhaps, the apostle Paul credits revived souls to the exercise of God’s power working behind the scenes. The catalyst of this spiritual change is fuel by the Holy Spirit, aka, the Holy Ghost.

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides], Ephesians 6:10.

Three chapters later, the apostle Paul reveals why spiritual exercise is necessary. As Paul unveils the spiritual dimension, you will find oppressive authority exerted by governments, master spirits who control world leaders, and spiritual forces of wickedness seeking to cause havoc in this supernatural realm. Without the exercise of God’s power, defeat and destruction is likely. However, as Christians begin to put on the armor of God, Ephesians 6:10-18, with a layer of prayer, the exercise of God’s power will propel you to victory in the end.

by Jay Mankus

The Suppression of Truth

In a letter to the church of Rome, Paul writes about a first century plot to suppress the truth about Jesus. Perhaps, this conspiracy began in Matthew 28:12-15 as the soldiers in charge of watching Jesus’ dead body were bribed by religious leaders to denounce the resurrection of Jesus. According to one of Jesus’ own disciples, this scheme was successful, deceiving the public after Jesus ascended into heaven. This fake news story claimed that one of Jesus’ disciples simply stole his body and hid it. The more this rumor was spread throughout the land, many came to believe that Jesus’ resurrection didn’t happen; merely a first century hoax.

For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative, Romans 1:18.

According to the passage above, this suppression of truth was inspired by a spirit of wickedness. As individuals crave, gratify and indulge their sinful nature, the flesh begins to influence minds, set on worldly aspirations. This invisible force compels souls to suppress the truth about God so people can continue to do what in right in their own eyes. This trend continues today as a wave of progressive teaching weekly attacks Christianity and Judaism. The ultimate goal is to make the good news about Jesus Christ inoperative. If the truth about the Bible ever gets out, lies about how people are currently living will be exposed.

For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 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], Romans 1:19-20.

According to the apostle Paul, you don’t need a degree to understand the truth. Rather, God created every human being with a conscience. This unique aspect of earthly bodies serves as a spiritual thermostat. When something doesn’t seem right, consciences are triggered. This internal system elicits conviction, concern or inquiry to seek further insight about what is really going on. As individuals begin to be still before God, the Lord’s attributes, eternal power and invisible qualities become clear. Thus, as societal leaders continues to suppress the truth, activate your conscience so that the truth about Jesus will begin to shine through.

by Jay Mankus

Stories That Make You Go Hum…

Sometimes you have to be in the right place and right time to believe a story that you hear.  When something doesn’t make sense logically, skeptics always arrive on the scene, trying to poke holes into your account.  Yet, history holds a plethora of unexplained events which even baffle government officials to this day.

But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out, Acts 5:19.

Arrested in plain sight, the apostles were taken to a public facility in Jerusalem.  The prison doors were locked, guards took their watch and loved ones went home sad, unsure of the future of their friends.  Nonetheless, like a scene out of a Hollywood, an invisible entity unlocked all their cells, allowing each to slide by the night watchmen and walked home unharmed.  This is one of those prison breaks that make you want to go hum…

On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to, Acts 5:24.

Like the resurrection of Jesus, who made several appearances in public 40 days after his death, this escape from prison befuddled religious leaders.  Just as Andy Dufresne disappeared like a fart in the wind near the end of Shawshank  Redemption, this biblical account emphasizes an essential truth about the Lord’s power.  Whether you are Mary, Joseph or someone seeking to emulate Jesus, with God all things are truly possible.

by Jay Mankus

Genuine Spiritual Growth

There is a fine line between learning and teaching.  Sometimes a speaker can be entertaining without conveying any true substance.  Others may communicate a wealth of knowledge, yet do so in a dry and boring manner.  Based upon biblical accounts, genuine spiritual growth occurs when the Holy Spirit moves individuals to preach about the resurrection of Jesus.

You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this, Acts 3:15.

Today, church growth is inflated as crowds flock to the most popular worship center until something more flashy, hip or trendy comes along.  Thus, as one congregation takes on the unhappy from another church, the numbers are like a shadow game, staying the same despite the appearance of growth.  Under pressure to perform, the leaders may compromise, lower their standards or water down their message to keep their critics happy.

But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand, Acts 4:4.

Although there are several good books and resources on the subject of church growth, history reveals 3 essential ingredients which inspired individuals to embrace faith.  First, a commitment to prayer church wide sets the stage for spiritual revival, Acts 2:42.  Second, accountability and fellowship produces intimate relationships, encouraging individuals to make Christianity a lifestyle.  Finally, teaching must be consistent, based upon the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  When a body of believers embraces and practices these principles, the next Willow Creek Community Church will be born.

by Jay Mankus

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