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Tag Archives: deceived

What are you Chasing After?

A kitten may become enamored with their own tail and begin chasing after it.  Puppies tend to run after any critter which enters their domain.  Meanwhile, children follow a plethora of dreams until one captures their attention.

In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Along the way, individuals may be deceived or simply unsatisfied when they get to the end of the rainbow.  The apostle Paul refers to those who are blinded by the god of this world.  Perhaps, Paul is eluding to those things in life that are appealing externally but lead to disappointment in the end.

Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God, 1 Peter 2:16.

While driving home from work this week I heard the Britt Nicole song After You for the first time.  The lyrics refer to the temptation to chase after worldly pursuits.  Feeling empty, Britt realizes her she was chasing after the wrong things.  Rather, a spirit of conviction has inspired her to begin running after God.  May this blog and the song motivate you to start chasing after God’s will for this life.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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A Convenient Absence of the Truth

During a recent sleepless night, I stumbled upon a rerun of a 30 for 30 on ESPN.  Trying to find something to fall asleep to, an episode on the Hillsborough soccer stadium tragedy did just the opposite.  This riveting documentary made me begin to wonder what other events from history have been sanitized by a convenient absence of the truth.

When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, Matthew 28:12.

On April 15th, 1989, soccer fans began to flood a standing room only section of the Hillsborough stadium.  As space to stand started to disappear, a mass panic ensued causing people to press toward a fence shielding fans from players on the field.  This chaos was complicated by a lack of reaction by stadium officials leading to the deaths of 96 people.

Telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep,’ Matthew 28:13.

In the hours and days that followed, authorities using the media as a pawn began to assign blame.  Like modern day talking points, alcohol, drunk fans and crude behavior served as window dressing to hide the actual facts of this disaster.  Justice took over 20 years to arrive when original police statements and those altered by government officials were posted side by side on the internet.  This is just another example of corruption inspired by a convenient absence of the truth.

If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble,” Matthew 28:14.

This strategy is nothing new as even Jesus dealt with a similar scheme to redefine his own resurrection.  As Jewish and Roman officials tried to squash Jesus’ growing popularity and message, a plan was devised to change public opinion.  There was only one problem with this decision, Jesus spent 40 days in public after rising from the dead.  According to Luke, Jesus was seen by over 500 eyewitnesses serving as a first century Drudge Report.

So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day, Matthew 28:15.

Today, if you click on the internet, turn on the television or tune into talk radio, don’t blindly believe the first thing that you hear or see.  Rather, remember that a few elite media members control the daily narrative presented to the airways in America.  Essentially, what you see isn’t always what is actually happening.  Therefore, as a new election season approaches full of ads steeped in embellishment, do your own homework before you reach a final conclusion.  If you don’t, you might be the next victim, deceived by a convenient absence of the truth.

by Jay Mankus

 

Temporary Healing

If you channel surf enough, sooner or later you will come across an evangelist who claims to possess the gift of healing.  Hollywood responded to these individuals in 1992 with the film Leap of Faith starring Steve Martin.  Over the years, responsible Christians have investigated each healing to insure believers aren’t being deceived or misled.  Unfortunately, researchers have found many of the participants on these programs, shows and revivals to experience only temporary healing.

He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around, Mark 8:24.

Perhaps, this is what a blind man from Bethsaida went through during his encounter with Jesus.  The first attempt to restore this person’s sight resulted in blurred vision.  Thus, even Jesus had to perform a second healing, placing holy spit, saliva into his eyes.  Modern leaders who possess the gift of healing usually don’t get another chance to lay hands on someone.  Subsequently, disappointed souls spend the rest of their lives wondering why their healing wasn’t permanent.

Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly, Mark 8:25.

You don’t have to be sick to experience temporary healing.  Individuals can also have prayers that are answered initially only to have the conclusion that you seek fall apart over time.  Agony, doubt and frustration are common emotions people endure throughout their lives.  In reality, all things on earth are temporary according to the apostle Paul.  Therefore, whether your body is acting up, healed or just hanging, permanent healing won’t arrive until you reach heaven’s doors.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable, 1 Corinthians 15:42.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Curse of the Worst

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be hoodlums.  Well, that’s not exactly how the song goes, but all parents hope their children choose their friends wisely.  Others pray over their kids, asking the Lord to bless each with godly influences.  Unfortunately, many youth fall prey to the trap, “just because I hang around them doesn’t mean I will act like them.”

Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” – 1 Corinthians 15:33

This concept is nothing new as the Psalmist describes the subtle metamorphosis an individual goes through in Psalm 1:1.

1) Young people choose to walk with a group of people, searching for acceptance in a friend, gang or posse.

2) Over time, youth begin to share similar beliefs, gradually standing for the same issues and things.

3) Finally, before they realize it, evil rubs off as teenagers join in the same behavior of their crew.

Subsequently, the curse of the worst reaches even godly souls, causing attitudes, hearts and words to go down hill.

Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.- Psalm 135:18

Even good intentions can’t escape the spiritual principle known as “you reap what you sow,” Galatians 6:7.  The only way to break the grips of this curse is through a spiritual infusion of the Word, Romans 10:17.  A little dose won’t do.  Rather, wayward souls need to soak their hearts and minds in the Bible, Romans 12:1-2.  Developing this spiritual act of worship will reverse the curse of the worst, setting the lost free from the bondage of sin.  May the prayers of parents revive their children to walk in the ways of the Lord, 1 John 2:6.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

 

The End of Days

Whether you pick up a news paper to read, watch headline news or listen to daily conversations, life is full of opinions.  Each voice filters current events through their own worldview, trying to sway others to embrace their beliefs.  However, some arguments deviate from the truth, based upon emotions rather than the facts.  The only conclusion I have come to recently is we are living in the end of days.p

Jesus first gave initial warning signs in Matthew 24:6-15.  The end of days is compared to a pregnant woman enduring labor pains.  Contractions will begin with false Messiahs, followed by wars and rumors of war.  In addition, earthquakes and famines will bring death, suffering and trials to the ends of the earth.  As these pains intensify, persecution, hatred and wickedness will spread.  One of Jesus’ final statements rings true today, “the love of most will grow cold.”

I’m no prophet nor will I make any predictions.  Yet, as I look to the Bible to try to understand what’s going on in the world, the apostle Paul builds upon Jesus’ words, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-9.  In the last days before Jesus returns, Satan will influence human being to believe lies.  As soon as minds become deceived, lawlessness will reign.  Once a baby is ready to come out, you can’t stop this natural process.  However, if these signs are a precursor to the end of days, prepare your life now or you may be left behind.

by Jay Mankus

 

Snapping out of a Self-Induced Trance

The Sermon on the Mount has been a wealth of spiritual insight since it was recorded in the first century.  Following this messakge, Jesus provides common sense for those inspired to practice these words, Matthew 9:12-13.  Anyone who is physically, mentally or spiritual sick should see a doctor for advice, counseling or medicine.  However, God expects the rest to be proactive and self-medicating so that these individuals will be  able to snap out of any self-induced trance.

Galatians 5:16-18 warns its readers against an invisible force able to lull you into a false sense of security.  Brought on by compromise, conceit or rationalizing daily choices, sin can cast a spell over any self-indulging suspect.  Whether its a mentality, new way of thinking or a worldview disguised with modern lingo, even some of Jesus’ own disciples were deceived into believing a lie, Galatians 5:7-9.

As for me, my eye sight has deteriorated over the last month.  Subsequently, reading the Bible or anything for more than a few minutes has been a struggle.  The less I read, the more vulnerable I become to a life without God.  Waking up in the middle of the night on my day off provided a dose of logic to snap me out of this sluggish spiritual condition.  This is why one of Israel’s leaders begged his people to meditate on the Bible day on night, Joshua 1:7-8.  By doing this, you too can snap yourself out of any prolonged trances induced by a sinful nature, Romans 6:23.

by Jay Mankus

Full Force Nature

 

In their original series Full Force Nature. the Weather Channel credits Mother Nature for these awe inspiring events.  The purpose of each 30 minute episode is to rebroadcast extreme weather conditions caught on film.  However, before the days of phone, ipad and video cameras, historians who survived nature’s full force recorded similar natural disasters.

One such phenomena took place around 1450 years before Christ was born.  According to Moses, an eyewitness, a horrific storm pounded Egypt in Exodus 9:13-32.  This passage reveals God’s anger toward Pharaoh as the Lord unleashes his full power, not holding anything back.  Based upon Moses’ description, lightning, thunder and golf ball sized hail pelted any animals, crops, homes or people who were unprepared.  If we are to take Moses at his word in Exodus 9:23-26, no storm can compared to this massive system sent by the hand of God.

Since God warned Egypt, those who feared God took immediate measures, Exodus 9:20, while the ignorant and skeptics were caught with their pants down.  Unfortunately, in real life, God get’s all the blame for destruction and Mother Nature get’s a pass except for the beautiful days.  Unless you consider the film A Year Without A Santa Claus when most people gave Santa the credit for snow on Christmas Eve.  My point is that you can’t have it both ways, either God created it, He allowed it to happen or scientific conditions for a Perfect Storm merged forming a super cell.

James, the earthly brother of Jesus paints an unique picture.  Like Pharaoh, James doubted Jesus, not able to comprehend God’s full force nature until some how his big brother rose from the dead. Acts 1:3.  This front row seat transformed his perspective of God in James 1:16-17.  James was deceived by the world, unable to grasp the truth until he was confronted by a ghost, a resurrected Christ.  Hopefully, you don’t have to endure an earthquake, hurricane or tornado before you become a believer.  May you share in the promise of James 1:18, passed on by an eyewitness to God’s full force nature.

by Jay Mankus