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When You’re Just Not Good Enough

When I left my position as a full time youth director Indiana 27 years ago, I wasn’t sure of what to do or where to go. The months that followed were a blur until a served on a Walk to Emmaus Retreat. Since I was in the kitchen, I didn’t have much interaction until a clown presentation gave me a clear direction of my next step. After proposing to Leanne, God called me to play professional golf in a vision the next day.

But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him], Galatians 3:22.

Subsequently, I spent the rest of 1994 and the first six months of 1995 pursuing this dream. After lowering my handicap to a 2, I joined the Tommy Armour Tour in Florida and received an invitation to the PGA Qualifying School on the Canadian Tour in British Columbia. Despite determination, dedication and discipline, I couldn’t put 9 holes together, let alone 18. While it was hard to admit, I simply wasn’t good enough.

Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), 24 So that the Law served [a][to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith, Galatians 3:23-24.

The Bible sends a similar message whether human beings like it or not. No matter how hard you try to be perfect as suggested in Matthew 5:48, a generational condition will prevent you from doing the right thing all the time, Deuteronomy 24:16. According to Exodus 34:7, the sins of a father is passed down to as many as four generations. Therefore, anytime you seek to pursue perfection, the human condition just isn’t good enough. Yet, it’s this spiritual state that makes everyone in desperate need of a Savior.

by Jay Mankus

A Cautionary Tale about the Worship of Angels

According to the apostle Paul, the worship of angels was a common occurrence in the first century, Colossians 2:18. Based upon the vast number of patron saints in Catholicism, seen as hallow and heavenly protectors, the worship of angels continue today. While modern individuals may have experienced visions from God, setting up places of worship or statues in these locations is something you want to avoid.

[Taking a place and rank by which] He Himself became as much superior to angels as the glorious Name (title) which He has inherited is different from and more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did [God] ever say, You are My Son, today I have begotten You [established You in an official Sonship relation, with kingly dignity]? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He will be to Me a Son? Moreover, when He brings the firstborn Son [d]again into the habitable world, He says, Let all the angels of God worship Him, Hebrews 1:4-6.

According to the author of Hebrews, a growing numbers of Christian began to equate angels on the same level with Jesus. This concern inspired the entire first chapter, dedicated to straightening out this misconception. Likely building upon the premise introduced by one of Jesus’ disciples in John 1:1-14, Jesus is elevated back to his correct status as much superior to angels. Yet, when testimonies are shared about encounters with angels that modern people have experienced, it’s easy to get carried away.

Like a mantle [thrown about one’s self] You will roll them up, and they will be changed and replaced by others. But You remain the same, and Your years will never end nor come to failure. 13 Besides, to which of the angels has He ever said, Sit at My right hand [associated with Me in My royal dignity] till I make your enemies a stool for your feet? 14 Are not the angels all ministering spirits (servants) sent out in the service [of God for the assistance] of those who are to inherit salvation? – Hebrews 1:12-14

At the conclusion of Hebrews 1, angels are compared with servants of God. Whether angels come to you in response to prayer or sent to encourage a trouble soul, angels continue to minister to human beings today. Other events are more subtle as you’re distracted to avoid that accident you just missed being a part of. Nonetheless, angels need to be kept in their proper perspective as an assistant to God by leading hearts to embrace eternal life. Yet, anytime you exchange worship for God toward angels, you’re missing the mark designed to exalt the Great I Am.

by Jay Mankus

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