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Reasons to Consider

When Job endured a series of trials and tribulations, each one of his three friends had a different perspective.  Coming from an old school point of God, each believed the Lord was punishing Job for something done in the past or present.  Instead of praying for insight, individuals jump to false conclusions daily, following the the footsteps of Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite.

Brothers, do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature, 1 Corinthians 14:20.

As I try to come to grips with my emergency eye surgery, there are some practical explanations.  Maybe I spent too much time on my computer or watched too much television growing up.   Perhaps, poor eating habits are to blame, fueled by a lack of a consistent sleep pattern.  For now I can only speculate, waiting for the Holy Spirit to provide some insight.

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool, Isaiah 1:18.”

When things don’t make sense in life, an Old Testament prophet encourages individuals to reason with God.  This process begins with coming cleaning, confessing any wrong doing that is blocking your relationship with God.  However, acts of contrition must follow repentance.  Sure the why’s may remain a mystery, but the Holy Spirit will provide pieces to the puzzle along the way as you continue to ponder reasons why you experience what you do.

by Jay Mankus

When Sin is Consensual

It seems like every year there is some famous professional athlete, Hollywood star or politician involved in a scandal.  Cable news, the tabloids and twitter often explode over battles between he said, she said.  In the end, it takes two to tango, reaching a state where sin is consensual.

So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! – 1 Corinthians 10:12

From a spiritual perspective, every day if like walking through a room with multiple doors.  On the way out, sometimes you might chose the wrong door, ending up in a bathroom or closet.  When danger arrives on the scene, those who stick around to see what will happen might just be an accomplice to sin.

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

According to the apostle Paul, God provides an emergency exit for every sort of temptation.  This isn’t like the game show Let’s Make a Deal, having a choice between door number one, two or three.  Rather, the Lord has provided every human being with a conscience to follow the way out.  Conviction, guilt and uneasiness serve as a global positioning system to avoid evil.

But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. – James 1:14

Nonetheless, the moment freewill is exercised, opting to indulge your fantasies, sin is consensual.  Instead of heeding the warning signs, enticement draws people toward temporary pleasures.  One of Jesus’ disciples uses the analogy of a fish lured out of hiding toward an attractive bait.  While some fish may see the attached hook, the grips of lust is too powerful.  This is where desire trumps common sense, leading saints and sinners to do the unthinkable.  The next time temptation calls your name, listen for God’s still small voice to find the way out of a difficult situation.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

My Hidden Faults

Behind the facade, mirage and show played out in real life, lies imperfections tainted by sin.  In the emergency room on Monday night, I was confronted by images of reality television.  In fact, I haven’t scene this much diversity since I went to traffic court in Ohio following a head on collision in college.  To my surprise, 3 Amish teenagers were arrested for driving their buggy’s while intoxicated after crashing into a neighbors yard.  All you have to do is spend 1 day in the court and emergency rooms to see faults that were once hidden now out in the open for all to see.

I guess you can say I am not the most patient person in the world as demonstrated by my lead foot driving.  However, my patience was put to the test last night as I felt like a cast member on the Jerry Springer show.  I was surrounded by a woman involved in a domestic violence dispute and a boy who crashed his brother’s car driving without a license or insurance.  Between complaining, distress and periodical groans, I felt like saying, “shut up and suck it up!”  Common sense kept me from speaking my mind, but my heart was convicted by my inability to handle this trial with maturity.

Instead of using my accident to be a loving example of Christ, I turned into Oscar the Grouch.  Perhaps, I should have ate a Snickers Bar.  When push comes to shove, character rises to the surface and for me, I still have a long way to go.  This crisis opened a fresh can of worms, exposing my hidden faults of impatience and selfishness.  In the future, I must live out Psalm 19:13, so that I will flee from willful sins that can separate you from God.  May the promise of James 5:16  set me free from my once hidden faults.

by Jay Mankus