RSS Feed

The Proclamation to Imprisoned Spirits

A modern use for the term proclamation is a broadcast, manifesto or public notice.  Depending upon the messenger of a proclamation, commercials, infomercials or public service announcements may be used to get the word out to the masses.  However, for those without televisions or access to the internet, its vital for someone to go door to door if a message is life changing.

After being made alive, Jesus went and made proclamation to the imprisoned spirits, 1 Peter 3:19.

Following Jesus’ resurrection, one of his disciples recounts an important mission not mentioned by other writers of the Bible.  While no specific names are mentioned, Jesus visits individuals who were held captive by imprisoned souls.  Although the gospels recall 500 eyewitnesses who encountered Jesus after resurrection Sunday and before his ascension, its unclear whether Jesus visits men or women.  Thus, I’m assuming Jesus spent time with those addicted to certain types of sin.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost, Luke 19:10.

The purpose of these house calls is made known by an earthly doctor unable to heal certain individuals.  Thus, Jesus provided a spiritual cure to save imprisoned souls.  With the scars stills visible in Jesus hands and feet, those doubting God’s power were likely shown and proclaimed, “by these wounds, you have been healed.”  This is the proclamation to imprisoned spirit, still available for you and me today.

by Jay Mankus

The Seinfeld Effect

In the final episode of Seinfeld, Jerry, Elaine and George witness a car jacking.  Instead of helping, the three of them begin to crack jokes as Kramer takes out his camcorder to film this crime.  After the victim gives his report of what happened to a police officer, the entire Seinfeld crew gets arrested, tried and sentenced to jail for a year for failing to act as a good Samaritan.

A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side, Luke 10:31.

Unfortunately, this comedy has filtered into our culture, influencing how a younger generation acts, behaves and treats one another.  This Seinfeld Effect played a part in the recent killing of Amy Inita Joyner-Francis, a 16 year old student at Howard Vocational High School in Delaware.  When a fight broke out in a girl’s bathroom, instead of intervening, other girls took out their phones to take pictures and videos.  Before a good Samaritan arrived, it was too late for Amy.

So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.  But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him, Luke 10:32-33.

During my last few years as a teacher, Summit Ministries was on the cutting edge of societal evolution, providing great resources to address growing needs.  At one of the last conferences I attended, the key note speaker spoke about how art imitates life.  Yet, over time life imitates art.  In the case of today’s culture, the Seinfeld Effect has swayed youth into passive, self-centered individuals.  Subsequently, many are amusing themselves to death, numbing souls from becoming the children God wants us to be.  May God awaken those distracted by an immoral world.

by Jay Mankus

 

Remembering a Prince

Not many people know that Prince Rogers Nelson grew up in a Methodist church in Minnesota.  Rather, this individual who pop culture came to know simply as Prince was an icon in the music industry.  While there are several memorable songs the world will remember, Purple Rain became to Prince like Thriller was for Michael Jackson.

Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did, 1 Corinthians 10:6.

Unfortunately, fame and fortune can took a toll on the human soul.  Although autopsy reports are not complete, some in the media are speculating Prince’s death may have resulted due to an addiction to drugs.  When tragedy takes the life of a star, there is a tendency to reflect upon the legacy of a person rather than what led to their downfall.  Therefore, unless you learn from history, people will continue to make the same mistakes time after time.

Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise, Proverbs 20:1.

After a while, some longer than others, the mourning process for Prince will end.  Thus, as people will go back to partying like its 1999, make sure you don’t become ensnared.  Rather,  take a page out of the Bible, be sober and alert so that you will escape an addiction that drags many down to the grave.  As the world says goodbye to an earthly Prince, make sure you don’t forget about the Prince of Peace, waiting to embrace those who call upon His name.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

A Recipe for Disaster

Thomas Gray is the first to pen the phrase ignorance is bliss.  Ignorance refers to disregard, insensitivity or being obtuse.  Meanwhile, bliss is like experiencing euphoria, joy and paradise.  However, when you put the two together, it can be a recipe for disaster.

As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance, 1 Peter 1:14.

In today’s progressive culture, if you’ve not open to non biblical ideas, you are considered ignorant.  Yet, this same movement seeks heaven without following the guidelines left behind by Jesus.  Sure, children make mistakes; its all part of growing up, to live and learn.  However, at some point, you have to mature by taking responsibility for your actions.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me, 1 Corinthians 13:11.

Despite being an adult, I suffer from days of ignorance.  These moments are marked by disobedience, not caring about this or that rule.  Unfortunately, these periods open the door for evil, forgetting right from wrong or simply rejecting that which you know to be true.  This recipe for disaster must be avoided at all cost before addiction poisons your soul.   Therefore, before its too late, ask the Lord to draw you back into obedience.

by Jay Mankus

Get Rid of It

As a child, there were always a couple of things I dreaded.  Whether it was cleaning my room, doing homework or eating vegetables, my parents nagged me into obedience.  However, unless you are married or have a significant other, the older you get, the less you will hear people say, “get rid of it.”

So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech, 1 Peter 2:1.

This was not the case in the first century.  As a growing number of Gentiles came to faith in Christ, apostles began to share a common message.  Prior to any exposure to religion, most individuals follow in the ways of their ancestors or parents.  Yet, entering into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is like being reborn.  Therefore, drastic changes to your life must be made if you want to experience spiritual fruit.

So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves, Galatians 5:16.

Peter talks about purging yourself from the impurities of life.  Meanwhile, the apostle Paul provides more specific instructions, using the Holy Spirit as a guide for life.  Although any type of change is difficult, obedience to these two passages will result in future blessings.  Thus, whether you like it or not, parents are usually right, so get rid of those things which drag you down while there is still time.

by Jay Mankus

The Road to Recovery

You don’t see many Science Fiction movies that reference Hansel and Gretel.  Yet, the 2004 action film starring Will Smith does just that, using this 1812 German fairy tales as the major portion of its plot.  When Dr. Alfred Lanning is found dead in the lobby of US Robotics, he leaves behind a trail of bread crumbs to help Detective Spooner find his way to the truth.

Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ, Romans 10:17.

Following his ascension into heaven, Jesus left behind his own trail of bread crumbs.  However, in this case, its an entire book, the Bible which is living and active, Hebrews 4:12.  Unfortunately, most people go through life without ever reading the instruction manual.  Until you do, faith will only be a five letter word, void of any meaning.  Yet, as you explore the content inside, you will be able to find your way home like Hansel and Gretel.

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart, 1 Peter 1:22.

Its only fitting that I use a European Techno Music Group to make my final point.  The group 65dBA created a mix which talks about the purification process individuals undergo as biblical principles convict, shape and transform lives.  The road to recovery isn’t a quick fix.  Like any change in life, our bodies can go into withdraw, craving those things we have gotten use to doing.  However, according to Peter, obeying the truth of the Bible purifies human beings.  Therefore, don’t forget to get your daily dose on the the road to recovery.

by Jay Mankus

 

No Where to Go but Up

In the middle of his junior year, my oldest son James suffered from chronic hip pain, derailing any chance of running winter track full time.  When a need arose for a new pole vaulter, James gave it a shot.  Despite enduring meets of failing to clear the starting height, he persisted.  Fifteen months and twelve feet later, James has no where to go but up, already surpassing the mark he set last summer.

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent, 2 Peter 3:9.

Last weekend, I spent an entire night, six hours straight, finishing the final edit of my latest screen play Dragged Behind the Devil’s Door.  Over the past 11 months, there were times when I didn’t feel like writing, researching and studying similar films.  However, I set a firm goal to complete this project by May 1st.  While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, the future success and production of this film is now in God’s hands.

My people are being destroyed because they don’t know me, Hosea 4:6a.

One of the translations of the verse above suggests people perish for a lack or wisdom and knowledge.  For me, sometimes its hard to believe that God is actually going to answer my prayer or fulfill my dreams.  Yet, Jesus himself said to followers in his day, “you do not have because you have not asked.”  Therefore, if you reach a goal, obtain new heights or don’t know where to go next, look up to heaven with an expecting heart in faith because there is no where to go but up.

by Jay Mankus

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 67 other followers