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Tag Archives: valuable life lessons

When Jesus Wants Your Lunch

Just prior to one of the most memorable miracles in the Bible, Jesus makes an unusual request. Testing the faith of Philip, Jesus asks his disciple to take an inventory of what food was on hand. As the crowds approached 5,000 men, excluding women and children, the disciples began to panic, urging Jesus to send the people home. Instead, 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish are taken from a little boy, requesting this lunch to be shared with the others.

“There is a little boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are these for so many people?” 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down [to eat].” Now [the ground] there was [covered with] an abundance of grass, so the men sat down, about 5,000 in number, John 6:9-10.

Perhaps, Jesus is trying to teach this boy a valuable life lesson. Until you are willing to give, you won’t receive the blessing that God has in store for you. Jesus took that which was offered, 5 loaves and 2 fish and blessed it. Whether everyone closed their eyes during this prayer or not, some how this offering miraculously multiplied filling the stomachs of several thousand people.

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks, He distributed them to those who were seated; the same also with the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 When they had eaten enough, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover pieces so that nothing will be lost.” 13 So they gathered them up, and they filled twelve large baskets with pieces from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten, John 6:11-13.

An Old Testament prophet refers to robbing God in Malachi 3:8-12 by not offering a tithe in faith. This biblical terms eludes to the feeding of the 5000. Most boys aren’t going to share a big lunch with a crowd of strangers. Yet. as individuals learn to trust God to replace what they have freely given with the storehouses from heaven, miracles are unleashed. This blog is a prime example that the next time Jesus wants your lunch, be confident that the Lord will provide.

by Jay Mankus

Get Ready for Whatever May Happen

Basic combat training in the Army lasts for ten weeks.  This process is designed to turn civilians into soldiers.  This training involves marching, shooting and survival skills to prepare new recruits for life in the Army.  This military camp serves as a weeding out process to expose the out of shape, weak and unfit  Ultimately, a drill sergeants goal is to get soldiers ready for whatever may happen on the battle field.

The very night before Herod was to bring him forward, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries were in front of the door guarding the prison. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared [beside him] and a light shone in the cell. The angel struck Peter’s side and awakened him, saying, “Get up quickly!” And the chains fell off his hands, Acts 12:6-7.

The Bible can be used in a similar fashion as a training manual for Christians who want to become spiritually fit.  The book of Acts records the history of the first century church as well as sharing valuable life lessons.  During an encounter with an angel, Peter is not sure what to think.  Initially, Peter is sleeping when an angel being wakes him up in the middle of the night.  Like anyone who is a deep sleeper, this experience didn’t seem real, more like a vision.  However, the more this angel spoke, Peter realized he wasn’t dreaming.

The angel said to him, “Prepare yourself and strap on your sandals [to get ready for whatever may happen].” And he did so. Then the angel told him, “Put on your robe and follow me.” And Peter went out following the angel. He did not realize that what was being done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision. 10 When they had passed the first guard and the second, they came to the iron gate that leads into the city. Of its own accord it swung open for them; and they went out and went along one street, and at once the angel left him, Acts 12:8-10.

Apparently, the words “get ready for whatever may happen” got Peter’s attention.  As if reliving a scene from a movie, Peter can’t believe what is happening.  Like a ghost, this angel and Peter sneak past all the guards in a high security prison.  Following each step made by this angel, before long Peter finds himself outside the jail on a city street.  If there is anything you can learn from this angel story, it is trusting God means becoming ready for whatever may happen in life.

by Jay Mankus

Making A Deal with the King of Sodom

From time to time, you might find yourself in a precarious situation.  When under pressure, you might make a rash decision, forcing the issue without thinking about the consequences of an action.  Before you pull the trigger in the future, perhaps its better to wait and see if Lord is in agreement until making a deal with the King of Sodom.

After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh, Genesis 14:17.

As one king came to meet Abram, another, the King of Salem brought bread and wine.  Serving as a priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek blessed Abram and give him a tenth of everything he had.  This visit provided Abram with the assurance of deliverance, that God would be faithful to protect God’s people from their enemies.  The thought of a potential compromise was no longer necessary.

That I will accept nothing belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal, so that you will never be able to say, ‘I made Abram rich, Genesis 14:23.

This passage of the Old Testament teaches a valuable life lesson.  If you place your trust solely in the Lord, you won’t be obligated to another party or person.  Like Jesus’ words in the Our Father, Matthew 6:9-15, our hope should be placed in Christ alone to provide daily bread.  Therefore, do not waver in your faith as temptation approaches.  Rather, follow the words of Proverbs 3:5-6 so that you won’t be swayed by deals from the king of Sodom.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

When God Can’t Be Stopped

History can be like a treasure chest, full of valuable life lessons.  Despite these riches, pride will cause many to ignore this information.  Thus, if you don’t learn from the past, you will repeat the same failures of those who have gone before you.  From a spiritual perspective, you may have the fight of a bull dog, but sometimes God can’t be stopped.

Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail, Acts 5:38.

During a closed door meeting, religious officials in Jerusalem were flustered by a new movement.  Gamaliel, a shrewd Pharisee, adds his own two cents, reflecting upon previous events.  Recounting two similar uprisings, Gamaliel makes a valid point.  If the inspiration by the movement of these apostles of Jesus is natural, it will eventually die out.  However, if this origin is supernatural, it can’t be stopped.

But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God, Acts 5:39.

Students of John Calvin believe God predestines the choices individuals make in this life.  The opposing view suggests free will is an expression of the human soul, giving each the ability to accept or reject faith in God.  Depending upon where you find yourself on this position, your mindset will be slanted in one direction or the other.  Beyond theology, the Lord has omnipotent power on the earth.  Therefore, don’t be fooled by man’s wisdom.  Rather, be open to movements of God inspired by the Holy Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

 

Loosen Up

Depending upon your personality type, it may be hard to be serious, joke around or relax.  Everyone is wired a certain way so to break out of your norm isn’t easy.  As for me, I tend to be competitive and intense.  Sometimes I wonder if God places me in certain situations to loosen me up.

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them, Mark 10:13.

Based upon the context of Mark 10, it appears the twelve disciples had a tendency to be all work and no play.  Watching from a distance, Jesus intervened, trying to teach a valuable life lesson.  Whether it was the innocence of children or the endless energy most possess, Jesus stressed the importance of welcoming young people.  Perhaps interacting with youth might loosen up the disciples.

When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these, ” Mark 10:14.

This passage serves as a reminder to not to forget the next generation.  While you may think you are right, another voice may provide a new or quicker way of doing things.  Beside accepting children, adults would be wise to invest time in nurturing young men and women.  By doing this, you will honor God and leave a legacy of prepared believers to impact those struggling to make sense of these ever changing days.

by Jay Mankus

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