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Tag Archives: God’s will

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

 

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

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

 

 

When the Conductor Arrives

In the absence of leadership, chaos often ensues.  Subsequently, if you want to get from point A to point B, you need to wait for a guide who you can trust.  While some grow impatient choosing someone without proven experience, the faithful wait it out despite the uncertainty.  Time has a way of straightening out unanswered questions, revealing glimpses of God’s providence.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps, Proverbs 16:9.

Without God’s direction, anyone can wander far from the life the Lord designed for you.  For reasons unknown, trials come and go unannounced, wearing on souls who are put through a series of tests.  In some ways, these unpleasant experiences serve as a way to nudge individuals closer to God’s will.  Yet, in trying to comprehend the whys, putting the pieces together to life’s mysteries, some lose faith.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose, Romans 8:28.

One of the roles Jesus plays is a conductor, leading his lost sheep in the right direction.  Like a maestro, God has a way of taking average people and bringing them together to make amazing music.  Unfortunately, when things don’t go your way, its hard to see God’s hand at work.  Thus, its vital to keep in step with the Holy Spirit, Galatians 5:25, ready to jump on the train to heaven when the conductor arrives.

by Jay Mankus

 

Frustration

Annoying, defeating and unfulfilled are words synonomous with frustration.  Whenever your expectations for something is not met, individuals can overreact.  This is often displayed in public through fits of rage, tantrums and wounded relationships.

The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful, Proverbs 22:12.

According to King Solomon, the origin of frustration can be easily explained.  When people try to manufacture something outside of God’s will, attempting to bypass knowledge, the Lord steps in.  Thus, the unfaithful are thwarted resulting in a closed door, failure or rejection.

For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, Hebrews 10:26.

Meanwhile, the principle of sowing and reaping also applies, Galatians 6:7-8.  God is not going to bless or allow prosperity over the long haul to the unfaithful.  In view of this information, confess any wrong doing of the present and past.  Although frustration usually results in humility, a broken heart provides the environment for grace and forgiveness.  May disappointment and trials lead to a spirit of revival this Christmas season.

by Jay Mankus

 

Knowing When to Say When

I have noticed a pattern within three popular cable television shows.  Whether you are talking about Discovery Channels Gold Rush and Treasure Quest or History Channels The Curse of Oak Island, each ask the same question.  If you are trying to unearth gold or searching for a secret treasure, its important to know when to say when.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you, Psalm 32:8.

This same concept applies to setting goals.  Some will be attainable, a natural progression or the next logical step.  However, others will take years or even decades to obtain.  If you are not making progress or simply do not possess what it takes to arrive at a desired destination, perhaps you should walk away before its too late.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come, John 16:13.

Too many gold miners chased after the mother load only to go broke or die before stumbling upon riches.  Meanwhile, dreamers often run after some sort of white rabbit that simply can’t be caught with mere human effort.  Subsequently, individuals must either give up the fight or seek a higher power to cross the threshold.  Since every situation is different, there is not a cookie cutter answer to knowing when to say when.  Nonetheless, if the Holy Spirit is your guide, you should be able to keep in step with God’s will for your life.

by Jay Mankus

The Rhymes and Reasons in Life

Every story includes a beginning, middle and end.  For the impatient, wanting to fast forward to know the conclusion, important details are skipped.  Subsequently, chapters and pages don’t make sense, void of any rhyme or reasons.

But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere, James 3:17.

The same concept applies to life.  Sure, every human being starts with conception, but somewhere between childhood and adolescence, life gets complicated.  As an adult, the complexities increase, causing many to be confused by the rhymes and reasons in life.  Thus, when you stop to reflect about where you are, how you got there and what do next, clarity is often hard to find.

And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, Colossians 1:9.

If you are like me, you have experienced periods of uncertainty in life.  When you find yourself in these moments of doubt, prayer is one of the best solutions.  As you pray your way through life to make sense of rhymes and reasons, God promises to give individuals knowledge and insight.  Therefore, don’t quit before God finishes the story He has written.  In the Lord’s time, rhymes and reasons will be unveiled as you draw near to God.

by Jay Mankus