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Tag Archives: denial

The Fellowship of Suffering

About an hour later another asserted, “Certainly this fellow was with him, for he is a Galilean.  Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed, Luke 22:59-60.

While individuals may not want to admit it, there is a lot of Peter within most human beings.  When questioned by someone like Jesus, its easy to become defensive proclaiming, “I’d never do that.”  Yet, when push comes to shove human nature longs for acceptance.  Thus, few people ever join the fellowship of suffering.

Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go,” John 21:18.

When Jesus witnessed Peter’s final denial, this event likely cut to his heart.  Usually a big talker, Peter’s fear of persecution revealed a major flaw within his character.  Based upon the words within the gospel of John, it appears that this betrayal of Jesus haunted Peter for years.  Nonetheless, Jesus shows the way toward the fellowship of suffering, letting go and allowing God to lead you where you don’t want to go.

For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil, 1 Peter 3:17.

Following a moment of reconciliation with Jesus, Peter begins to enter a special group.  Unless you are willing to endure hardships for doing what is right, the fellowship of suffering is unattainable.  Jesus’ brother James refers to embracing trials by considering each attack on your faith a joy.  Whether it was maturity or a spiritual transformation, Peter gave up his life to spread the good news about Jesus Christ.  Prior to his death, Peter demanded to be crucified upside down claiming he was unworthy to die in the same manner of his Savior.  May this blog inspire you to follow in Peter’s footsteps by joining the Fellowship of Suffering.

by Jay Mankus

 

Waking Up to a Whole New World

Twenty years ago, adult, controversial and risque commercials appeared after dark, when most children were asleep.  The culture was much more conservative, careful not to corrupt the innocence of youth.  Unless you are living in denial, today everything is fair game, waking up to a whole new world.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us, Romans 5:8.

Social media is setting the pace daily, led by what’s trending on Twitter, followed by the latest eye catching video on Youtube.  Subsequently, a new generation lives by an entirely new set of standards, distant from the ethics of the Bible.  What once was wrong has become mainstream, normal to an accepting society, open to news ways of thinking.

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them, James 4:17.

Caught in the middle, the church is forced to balance grace with truth.  Although kinder and gentler, its difficult for those raised in the Fire and Brimstone Era to get past obvious sins.  Thus, when a microphone is put in front of a pastor’s face or as the camera rolls, its hard not to portray these individuals as judgmental, void of the love of Christ.  Despite what Christians believe about abortion, homosexuality and divorce, its better to demonstrate faith rather than shoving your beliefs in someone’s face.  Waking up to a whole new world will require an emphasis on living examples of Jesus to reverse these trends and possibly inspire a revival throughout the land.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

The Injustice of Righteousness

Righteousness is a guiding virtue, a moral compass which leads individuals to a higher calling.  Although hiccups and slip ups will occur, God’s grace will wipe away the stains of sin.  Unfortunately, when the day of judgment comes, the Bible suggests there will be more souls in hell than heaven.  Subsequently, those standing outside the pearly gates will likely complain about the injustice of righteousness.

Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them, Mark 4:25.

Life on earth is just as unfair as the afterlife.  According to Jesus, the wealthy will continue to have while what little the poor possesses will be taken away.  This is one of those passages of the Bible which leaves more questions than answers.  The outsiders, anyone who does not believe in Jesus, John 14:6, and progressives won’t be pleased by Jesus’ comment.  The modern day Robinhood’s might consider this teaching to be an injustice of righteousness.

He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything, Mark 4:34.

Being left out of anything isn’t a pleasant feeling.  Whether its high school, work or a social network, everyone has experienced being the odd person out.  Denial, exclusion and rejection are forms of trials meant to toughen you up, James 1:2-4.  Nonetheless, you can’t change the facts inside of God’s Word.  In view of these truths, chose life so when your time is up, there will be no one else to blame, Deuteronomy 30:15-18.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Why The World Is “Full of It.”

As a child, my father regularly used the expression “you’re full of it!” Whenever anyone in my house appeared to bend the truth, exaggerate a little or attempt to tell a whopper of a lie, he confronted them with these words.  While not 100% perfect, most of his inclinations were spot on, as one by one, my sisters and I were guilty as charged.  When you peal back the pages of history, this web of deception rises to the surface.

In the beginning, Satan introduced the world to questioning authority in Genesis 3:1.  Moments later, Eve taught individuals to be curious, going beyond the boundaries established by God, Genesis 2:16-17.  Adam modeled blaming others instead of taking responsibility for your actions, Genesis 3:12.  If this wasn’t enough, Cain illustrated denial in Genesis 4:9, Abraham mastered trusting in yourself instead of God (Genesis 12:10-13 & 20:1-2) and this nature was past on to his son Isaac in Genesis 26:7, grand children and so on.  Like catching a common cold, the sin of lying has become air born, influencing the hearts and minds of mankind, Romans 3:23.

Today, you can turn on any cable news network, then wait for someone to mislead a commentator, journalist or reporter.  At a moment’s notice, a politician will dodge a question, answer the part they want to and move on without any consequences.  Professional athletes like Lance Armstrong, A-rod and others in the future will hold a press conference, deny accusations only to be proven guilty later on.  It’s time for the world to come out of the closet and confess, “we’re full of sin!”  Only then, can you move on to the healing process, James 5:16.  May these words strike a cord, Hebrews 4:12, helping habitual liars make their way toward the road to recovery through Christ the Lord, Romans 7:24-25.

by Jay Mankus