RSS Feed

Tag Archives: work out

Wrestling with Salvation

The origins of wrestling can be traced back to ancient cave drawings. Babylonian and Egyptian wrestlers displayed similar holds known in this present-day sport. This history suggests that wrestling represents one of the oldest forms of combat. Thus, it’s not surprising that one of Israel’s founding fathers wrestles with God throughout one long night. This draw (tie) served as a call for change from a swindler to a contender for God.

And Jacob was left alone, and a Man wrestled with him until daybreak. 25 And when [the Man] saw that He did not prevail against [Jacob], He touched the hollow of his thigh; and Jacob’s thigh was put out of joint as he wrestled with Him. 26 Then He said, Let Me go, for day is breaking. But [Jacob] said, I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me. 27 [The Man] asked him, What is your name? And [in shock of realization, whispering] he said, Jacob [supplanter, schemer, trickster, swindler]! 28 And He said, Your name shall be called no more Jacob [supplanter], but Israel [contender with God]; for you have contended and have power with God and with men and have prevailed, Genesis 32:24-28.

In the New Testament, the apostle Paul refers to a spiritual wrestling match. Paul urges members of the Philippians Church to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. In the passage below, the Amplified Version provides a clear explanation for what Paul is talking about. The goal for apostles was to fulfill the Great Commission, Acts 1:8. Rather than become complacent as a Christian, believers should cultivate and carry out God’s will for their lives.

Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, [i]with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ), Philippians 2:12.

If you have lived long enough, you know that some days you have it and some days you don’t. When you don’t have your A game or the energy to succeed, wrestling with salvation is essential. When desire is lacking, use prayer as a crutch to keep on fighting. If your faith starts to slide, hang in there by clinging to the promises of the Bible. Whether you have to wrestle for hours, days, months or years, keep hope alive by working out your weaknesses.

by Jay Mankus

Overwhelmed by Priorities

Every day when I arise from sleep, my mind is overwhelmed by the choices at hand.  Do I read?  Should I write?  Perhaps I need to work out?  Maybe hitting the snooze button and rolling over is my best option.  Either way, the choices you make will dictate the path your life takes.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Luke 12:34

Like most years, my New Years Resolutions are being modified as desires to lose weight, eat healthy and draw closer to God have fallen short.  Sometimes I feel as if I am in a tug of war, pulled in a direction I don’t want to go, yet over time I submit, dragged to a new low.  By enduring these trials, I am beginning to comprehend the words of the apostle Paul as he explains how the sinful nature can influence one’s priorities.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. – Romans 7:15

When Jeremiah opened his mouth to Israel, negative messages usually came forth.  Thus, this servant of God was nicknamed the weeping prophet.  If you too feel depressed, frustrated or lost, there are some promises in the Bible to cling to.  Lamentations 3:20-24 suggests God’s forgiveness is new every morning.  Therefore, if you fail to keep the priorities that you hold dear, may God’s grace lift you up each time you fall.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Lost Days

For the last 6 months, I made a sacrifice, working nights to provide for my family.  Subsequently, I adapted my schedule to begin sleeping during the day so I could stay awake at night.  Looking back now, this decision has led to several lost days.

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. – Ephesians 5:15-16

In an attempt to gain wealth, I’ve neglected my role as a father.  Sure, I’ve tried my best on my days off, yet the wear and tear of the night shift has stripped me of energy.  Thus, I’ve come to a cross road, hoping to seize the days of my life which remain.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. – Colossians 3:17

With 2015 still relatively young, there is time to change course.  Although my work out and dietary plans have already fallen short of my goals for this year, God’s forgiveness is new every day, Lamentations 3:22-23.  Leaving my failures in the past, its time to arise and move forward to seize the days before they are lost again.

by Jay Mankus

%d bloggers like this: