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Tag Archives: missionary

Remember Where You Came From

Whether your life has turned out to be a success, disappointment or some where in between, its always important to remember where you came from.  Depending upon how you were raised, you’ve likely developed stereotypes about certain occupations, places or people.  Over time these views will either be reinforced or shattered.  Whatever happens make sure you remain humble so you don’t miss out on meeting special people.

For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; Galatians 1:13.

Paul was a religious zealot who initially persecuted and gave the order to kill the apostle Stephen.  Thus, after his conversion to Christ many were hesitant to believe his faith was real.  This backlash inspired Galatians 1, a summary of his testimony.  It wasn’t until Paul began his missionary journeys when fellow Christians began to accept and embrace him as a genuine believer.

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, Galatians 1:15.

While my past isn’t as radical as Paul, I still have issues to overcome.  Years of stuttering stunted my communication skills and ability to draw close to others.  Periods of depression still cause me to withdraw at times, wandering away from the people I love.  Yet, because of God’s grace, I have hope for the future.  Despite my own imperfections, God sent His one and only Son to die for my sins.  Therefore, don’t let the sun go down without accepting God’s free gift of eternal life.  When you remember where you came from, you will likely find a sinner saved by God’s grace.

by Jay Mankus

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A Sinner’s Life

Since paradise was lost in the Garden of Eden, no one can escape the temptation to sin.  While some make better choices than others, a sinner’s life is like attending the school of hard knocks.  Living and learning from past mistakes has a learning curve with many struggling to avoid Satan’s snares.

All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one, Romans 3:12.

If you have the opportunity to travel the country or across the world, you begin to get a sense for what’s out there.  Along the way, you will rub shoulders with various groups of people, witnessing the good, the bad and the ugly.  During his missionary journey’s throughout the Middle East, the apostle Paul makes an interesting observation.  Similar to economic classes, Paul writes about the classification of sinners, separating typical offenders from those addicted.

The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them, 1 Timothy 5:24.

If actions speak louder than words, sins communicate the heart and the soul of individuals.  Although some may dabble in sin from time to time, others follow in the footsteps of the prodigal, continuing until they reach rock bottom.  When the sensations of temporary pleasures fade, sinners face an important decision, do I come to my senses or not?  How a sinner’s life ends is in your hands.  Therefore, may you heed the words of 1 John 1:6 so that darkness does not prematurely end your life and the reason why you were created.

by Jay Mankus

 

Tarry With Me

In a vulnerable state, Jesus asks 3 close friends to stay with him and pray, Matthew 26:36-38.  Going a little further into the garden of Gethsemane to be alone, Jesus begins pouring out his heart to his Heavenly Father.  Returning an hour later, Jesus finds Peter, James and John sleeping instead of praying.  Disappointed by their response to his time in need, Jesus asks this question in Matthew 26:40, “could you not tarry with me for one hour?”

Jesus reveals the purpose for prayer in Matthew 26:41:

1. Prayer keeps you spiritually alert.

2. Prayer protects your mind from temptations.

3. Prayers helps you tap into the willingness of the Holy Spirit.

While the context of this passage limits the scope of prayer, God has placed an unique burden upon my heart.  During the month of March, God is leading me to prayer for an hour a day.  Now I ask you, “will you tarry with me?”

I met a young missionary before graduating from college whose testimony included not using an alarm clock to get up.  God woke up this individual at the same time every morning, 6am to begin his day in prayer, praising God.  Inspired by his account, I tried to apply this to my own life during my final semester of college.  To my surprise, God used sunlight shining directly on my pillow to arise and awaken me exactly at 6am.  Although I tend to be a night owl, God answered my prayer every day for 3 months, keeping my prayer life active, my mind sober and excited for each new day.

When it comes to prayer, I am certainty not an expert.  I tend to lean on the Psalms of David, who had a heart for God according to 1 Samuel 16:7.  Whenever I start to lose focus, I’ll rely on Jesus’ outline in Matthew 6:5-15, the words of Jesus’ brother in James 5:13-20 and of course David in Psalm 32:1-11.  You don’t have to be eloquent when you pray; all you need is a pure heart who seeks to know God.  See what God can do when you if you devote one hour per day to prayer in March.  May God perform miracles in your life!

by Jay Mankus