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The Hope of Eternal Life

Hope can be a dangerous thing.  Yet, without hope, there’s nothing to look forward to.  This is what kept Andy Dufresne going during his life sentence at Shawshank State Penetenuary in the film Shawshank Redemption.  Subsequently, Andy foresaw beyond the bars in front of him, envisioning a life beyond prison.

In the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, Titus 1:2.

As a Christian, the same concept applies.  For some, life on earth can be a prison, trapped by an unforgiving world.  While some moments may be treasured, the Bible promises another world free from sin, death and pain.  Therefore, hope waits in eager expectation of eternal life in heaven.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life, 1 John 5:13.

One of Jesus’ disciples suggests this isn’t an empty promise.  Rather, eternal life is something you can embrace and plan for before you die.  Like making a will, Romans 6:23 details the process that is involved.  Therefore, don’t wait until its too late.  Instead, accept God’s free gift so that the hope of eternal life becomes real.

by Jay Mankus

The Tug of War between Self-Esteem and Pride

On a level playing field, there isn’t much between winning and losing.  Whoever possesses confidence often comes out on top.  While talent does make a difference, self-esteem either strengthens or weakens individuals.  Too much success can go to your head, creating a false sense of security.  Thus, the tug of war between self-esteem and pride commences.

I will boast about a man like that, but I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses, 2 Corinthians 12:5.

The psyche craves encouragement, wanting to receive positive feedback.  Although constructive criticism can be beneficial, compliments boast one’s self-esteem like a pat on the back.  Yet, balance must be achieved by surrounding yourself with people who are  honest, realistic and truthful.  Maintaining this atmosphere is crucial to keeping you from going back and forth between self-esteem and pride.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me, 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Unfortunately, wounds to the soul leave most wallowing in self pity.  In a cruel world that can be unforgiving, recovering from any defeat is tough.  Perhaps, the words of apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians was meant to console and educate those with lost confidence.  Whenever you feel like you can’t go on, reach out to Jesus in prayer and God will provide the strength to carry on.  Subsequently, as the momentum turns in your favor don’t forget to thank the good Lord above so that pride doesn’t invade your soul.

by Jay Mankus



I Can’t Get Over It

A recent episode of Deadliest Catch showed the reaction of fans to Russell Wilson’s interception in the final minute of last year’s Superbowl.  The crew of the Northwestern based out of Seattle could not believe the Seahawks opted to pass rather than rely on their patented running attack.  When you are only one yard from tasting victory, its hard for individuals to get over this heart breaking loss.

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled, Hebrews 12:14-15.

It’s one thing to lose a game, yet in life there are several disappointments people encounter that can linger.  These scars are like bad dreams, nightmares that don’t go away.  When you add emotions into this equation, human nature can be unforgiving.  Thus, the next time you try to console someone who is hurting, don’t be surprised if you hear, “I can’t get over it!”

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice, Ephesians 4:31.

Storybook endings are usually something you see in the movie theater or at home as a rerun.  While this feel good conclusion may bring tears of joy, the rest of the world is stuck in the past, unable to move on.  Tempted by bitterness, frustration and a wounded soul, some feel better venting rather than cope with the issue at hand.  Before the voices of your past drag you to indulge in another pity party, may the love of Christ help you get over it by moving on with the rest of your life.

by Jay Mankus


Digging Up End Time Theology

USA Television’s drama Dig is another show in a long lists of programming trying to tap into the fascination with End Time Theology.  Filmed in the Middle East, the main character is an FBI agent based in Jerusalem.  While investigating the murder of an archeologist, he uncovers a 2000 year old conspiracy primed to change the course of history.

People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, – 2 Timothy 3:2

Unfortunately, this flawed view is nothing more than revisionist history, following in the footsteps of the Da Vinci Code, Jesus Seminars and Gnosticism who seek to create doubt in the minds of Bible believing Christians.  Like shrewd politicians, Hollywood thinks if you bombard society enough, repeating the same lie over and over again, sooner or later individuals will embrace these opinions as fact.

without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. – 2 Timothy 3:3-4

Yet, the educated, informed and students of biblical history have to look no further than 2 Timothy 3:1-9 to see what is happening.  The world is transforming in front of us daily, fulfilling the words of the apostle Paul.  Whenever you tune into cable news or listen to a update on the radio, breaking news reveals an act, crime or tragedy motivated by one of the selfish characteristics within 2 Timothy 3:1-9.  If anyone wants to dig up end time theology, the Old Testament contains several prophecies that have come true with more still waiting before Jesus returns to earth.  Thus, may the warnings of the Bible create a sense of urgency in souls to get their lives in order before the Second Coming catches you by surprise.

by Jay Mankus

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