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Tag Archives: genuine

Unlikely Heroes

Hollywood has a way of portraying films that appear to be genuine, but add an unlikely hero to appeal to the masses.  Although this may draw tears from some viewers, others may think quietly to themselves, “yeah right.”  Teenagers tend to be truth detectors, not afraid to be blunt by cutting through the crap in life that exists.  Despite this painful truth, every once in a while unlikely heroes do come forth.

By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish with those who were disobedient, because she had given friendly welcome to the spies, Hebrews 11:31.

One of these which pops up in history is a prostitute from Jericho named Rahab.  I guess you can say she was the Dolly Parton or her day except her whore house wasn’t in Texas.  Nonetheless, God needed someone on the inside.  While her occupation doesn’t fit the typical servant of God, this testimony reveals that the Lord can use anyone to fulfill His will.

And Salmon the father of Bo’az by Rahab, and Bo’az the father of Obed by Ruth, and Obed the father of Jesse, Matthew 1:5.

Rahab may not have done much to receive the honor of being selected as a member of the Hall of Faith.  Yet, she kept her word and held up her end of the bargain.  This simple act of faith saved her families life and opened the door for becoming a distant relative of Jesus.  Therefore, if you want to be an unlikely hero in the future, let faith guide you to the place where God can use you the most.

by Jay Mankus

When Loose Lips Sink Relationships

One of Billy Joel’s most profound songs Honesty debuted on the airways in 1979.  Part of the 1978 album 52nd Street, the chorus of this ballad suggests honesty is such a lonely word.  Perhaps, Billy Joel was on to something, prophetic, sharing a glimpse of what the future would hold.  Before gun or fist fights, human beings often talked out their differences, no matter how heated a conversation got.  Unfortunately, in this age of Facebook, texting and Twitter, loose lips expressed on social media can sink relationships.

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! – Psalm 141:3

Depending upon your personality, you will either seek confrontation or run away.  Texting has emboldened some former cowards by avoiding face to face encounters.  Yet, what is posted, typed or shared can create a wedge between friends.  Politics, religion and worldviews are factors that tend to divide neighborhoods.  When opinions are openly expressed on these topics, loose lips sink relationships.

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear, Ephesians 4:29.

The apostle Paul provides a solution to those who have fractured relationships due to careless words.  Sure, all human beings are imperfect, prone to moments of weakness where the choice of language is inappropriate.  In view of this, the more positive you remain, the less likely you will offend friends and strangers.  Faking this will prove to be a waste of time so its essentially to be genuine and honest.  While no one will ever be 100% encouraging all the time, this is the goal to restore formerly loose lips to repair relationships.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

When A Name Loses Its Meaning

One of Aesop’s most famous fables in The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  The phrase “cry wolf” derives from the English idiom meaning to give a false alarm.  In this children’s story, a boy develops a habit of lying until a wolf actually arrives.  When this boy’s reputation was weakened by a series of tall tales, no one came to his aid in his time of need.  This is an example of when a names loses its meaning.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us, 1 John 1:8.

Companies spend hours of deliberation and discussion before arriving upon a name.  This often signifies cores values, define the essence of each corporation as well as represents a brand.  Employees are ambassadors who either exemplify their organization or become negative, focusing on everything a company does wrong.  While history provides a list of businesses that have deceived, hidden or faked their way to the top, time has a way of exposing the genuine from the frauds.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1:9.

In this age of social media, competition, critics and enemies will attack those groups and individuals that they do not like.  Unfortunately, some of these posts are exaggerated, false or taken out of context.  Thus, you or someone you know can have had their reputation severely damaged and ruined.  When a name loses its meaning, some never recover for this smear campaign.  Nonetheless, if this day arrives, Jesus is always a prayer away.  Despite what the world may say, I serve a God of second chances, who mends hearts and restores souls.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Can I Get A Witness?

Depending upon the context, the phrase “can I get a witness” has different meanings.  If you’re in a car accident, a witness could determine if your insurance will rise or stay the same.  In the court of law, a good or bad witness can sway the outcome of a trial.  Meanwhile, movies like School Ties reveal how anyone who sees a person cheat is encouraged to turn the guilty party in or the ethics code as a whole fails.

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house, Matthew 5:14-15.”

From a spiritual perspective, Christians are suppose to stand out as shinning examples of God’s light.  Essentially people of faith are called to emulate the Bible’s truth by demonstrating fruits of the Holy Spirit.   Although many choose to be a chameleon, blending into the world, Jesus calls these individuals out, claiming the light is not in them, 1 John 2:11.  Thus, preachers today often make a plea from their pulpits in the form of “can I get a witness?”

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of ajny kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people, Ephesians 5:3.

The type of witness the Bible is searching for possesses a genuine spirit, full of grace.  While these standards are hard to live up to, Jesus sets the bar high, Matthew 5:48.  As you wake up, you may not feel like following in the footsteps of Jesus.  Nonetheless, the strength of Christ in you will surpass what human limits allow, Philippians 4:13.  Therefore, if you want to please the Lord, stand up today by being an unabashed witness for Jesus Christ.

by Jay Mankus

 

Rich in Love

The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. – Psalm 145:8

Blessed, fortunate and wealthy are terms associated with being rich.  For some this status is achieved by the luck of the draw, born into it.  Others acquire possessions through years of discipline, hard work and perseverance.  Meanwhile, a few receive this by surprise, like a will as illustrated by Jason, the main character in the Ultimate Gift.

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:3

However, one aspect of wealth that is often overlooked is becoming rich in love.  Unfortunately, several obstacles stand in the way: bitterness, impatience and unforgiveness to name a few.  These spiritual barriers prevent souls from passing on the love of Jesus.  Thus, poverty is not only a financial state, it’s also a condition of a wounded heart, a casualty of a fallen world.

Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. – 1 Corinthians 13:6

The presence of love can be a difference maker.  If genuine, love can transform the angry, pissed off and unlovable.   Perhaps this explains the words of the apostle Paul known as the love chapter is regularly quoted in weddings.  Attributed as one of three theological virtues, love is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, available to anyone who calls on the name of the Lord.  May the words of today’s blog inspire you to become rich in love.

by Jay Mankus

Refine or Refuse

Whether you want to admit it or not, each individual craves affirmation, encouragement and a pat on the back.  Yet few experience, hear or sense that they are appreciated.  Rather, negativity often rules, pointing out each mistake you make.  Depending upon your personality type, each responds to criticism differently.  Some use it as motivation, others turn a deaf ear and the fragile let these words eat away at their soul.  Such moments provide two options, refine your ways or refuse someone’s advice.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. – 1 Peter 1:7

Prior to last week, I sought out people to pump me up, telling me how great I was.  However, one embarrassing evening under the microscope last week allowed me see the importance of exposing obvious weaknesses.  Unless you know what to fix, you might continue throughout life never reaching your full potential.  However, once imperfections are brought to the surface, you can begin to make strides, asking God to smooth over your rough edges.

My son, pay attention to my wisdom, turn your ear to my words of insight, that you may maintain discretion and your lips may preserve knowledge. – Proverbs 5:1-2

Change is hard, especially for the stubborn who think they have it all together.  Nonetheless, until you begin to embrace the refining process of trials, you won’t be able to become transformed like Peter in John 21:15-18.  If you are comfortably numb, continue to refuse advice.  However, if you want to reach new heights beyond your wildest dreams, let the refining process commence.

by Jay Mankus

 

How Many Times Does God Have to Bail Us Out?

Depending upon where you live, different phrases express the trouble that you are in.  Perhaps, you’re caught in a pickle, in the dog house, down the stream without a paddle or stuck in a precarious situation.  However you want to say it, it won’t be long before fate places you into a predicament where only God can bail us out.

Some of you may be like Joseph from the Bible, the envy of your family.  Thus, jealousy causes siblings to gang up on you, tease you or inflict emotional scars.  You press on only to find yourself falsely accused of someone else’s wrong doing.  As your reputation takes a hit, time and trust is the only thing you can do repair others opinions of you.  Despite the trials you endure, the Lord’s favor is upon you, showering you with blessings from heaven.

Unfortunately, most people fall into a different category, leaning more toward the prodigal son.  Curious, stubborn and unwilling to change, a series of poor choices results in a downward spiral.  By now, temptation is long gone, replaced by addiction, bad habits or cravings for temporary pleasures.  Call it human nature or self-realization, but until you come to your senses, Luke 15:17, you still think you can save yourself.  If this slide continues to the bottom of the barrel in life, your cries for help become more genuine, “help me Lord?”

How many times does God have to bail us out?   According to Matthew 18:21-22, forgiveness is suppose to be limitless.  If you reach out for help, God will extend hands of grace.  Therefore, whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, Romans 10:9-13.

by Jay Mankus