Big Lessons in Small Packages – Pray vs. Prey

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31 – 32

One day while I was waiting for the light to change, a brown blur of feathers entered the intersection. Three sparrows were entangled in what resembled a World War II “dogfight.” Tragically, the embittered birds were so engulfed in warfare they never saw the vehicle that seconds later wiped out all three combatants in one fell swoop.

The analogy was inescapable. The misguided birds were so fixated on attacking each other they all lost their lives. Paul warned us, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).

Our enemy is NOT each other! Satan is our foe, and a defeated one at that! He wants to destroy all hope of you spending eternity with Christ. But, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).

Let brotherly love continue, building up rather than attacking each other. Let’s stop “warring” against each other or the enemy of our souls could easily destroy us “unawares!”

Sparrows are NOT birds of prey. Likewise, we should pray for, not prey on, each other.

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A Savior Between Two "Thieves"

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. Matthew 27:38

The account of Christ’s crucifixion never gives the identities of the two thieves or malefactors, but it dawned on me, the position of Christ between them has significance on several levels. It brings to mind an Old Testament showdown of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal.

In I Kings 18:21 Elijah issues a challenge to Israel, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

It occurred to me, people who have yet to be fully convinced of Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary find themselves in a similar quandary, almost persuaded (Acts 26:28) allowing their opinions to become the thieves of their salvation, with our Dear Savior hanging in the middle!

The two thieves surrounding Christ may not have had names in the Gospels, but in today’s message they do. For some they could be…

  • Pride and Arrogance
  • Greed and Power
  • Complacency and Apathy

Friend, how long will YOU stall in your valley of decision (Joel 3:14) to live for Christ? Will you continue to allow thieves to distract and rob you of choosing the blessed Savior hanging between them?

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes and Sermon Ideas  for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  Rev. RD Mangold

The Lamb's Progression of Power

Throughout scripture the lamb has seen a progression of power becoming a central figure in the cleansing, redemption, and even protection of God’s people. Consider the following passages…

Lamb for a Man

Genesis 4:4 “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering…”

Lamb for a Family

Exodus 12:21 “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.”

Lamb for a Nation

Exodus 49:21  And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 42This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.”

Lamb for the World

John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

I Peter 1:18 – 20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

The Lamb is no longer a meek and timid creature which silently succumbs to an innocent death – rather Christ is as Revelation 5:11 reveals, “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”

NOTE: A short word about the above remarks – This topic was derived from my Pastor, Stephen Trachsel, Sr. If some or all of this has been preached elsewhere I make no claims as to being the originator. If after reading this you know its true source please comment and I will ensure the author gets the proper credit.  Lastly, this post does exceed my 200 word limitation, the exception being it does so with scripture rather than my own words.

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes and Sermon Ideas  for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  Rev. RD Mangold

"The Kingdom of Heaven" Brought to You by Jesus

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Matthew 10:7

When Jesus Christ showed up, He quite literally brought the Kingdom of Heaven to mankind. Blinded eyes were open. Deaf ears unstopped. Handicapped made to walk. The dead brought back to life. Though taking place in the physical first, after the infilling of the Holy Spirit He would also open the spiritually blinded eyes, deaf ears, create a new walk, and give us life eternal! Indeed, the Kingdom of Heaven was attainable!

The Sadducees and Pharisees thought they had the Kingdom of Heaven on lockdown with their rules and regulations, fines, tariffs, and penalties, but Jesus said, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

Jesus came to pay the dearest of all prices – He gave His life to redeem you and me. Making the Kingdom of Heaven achievable! Friend, if you’re looking for love, hope, and purpose in your life, the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than you think…it’s at hand. Christ came to bring us life and that life more abundantly. Hope in this life and in the life to come, saying He went away to prepare a place for YOU!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

What if Church…

…was not about me?

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

What if…

Instead of going to be encouraged…we went to encourage others…

Instead of hoping to sing my favorite song…we hoped to sing “their” favorite song…

Instead of looking to be served…we intentionally served others…

Instead of waiting to be welcomed…we welcomed others first…

Instead of asking to be prayed for…if we sought to pray for others…

Instead of going to receive a blessing…we went to be a blessing…

What difference would it make in our church experience?

Of course, church is ultimately not about either of us…it’s about Jesus…

But, church is also where people who want to make much of Jesus gather to grow, fellowship and worship Jesus…

So, I wonder how our church experience would be made different, if we approached it considering the interest of others…

Just wondering…

Special thanks to  Pastor Ron Edmondson for allowing me to re-post this article

For more by Pastor Ron Edmundson visit www.ronedmondson.com

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

From Grief of Mind to Peace of Mind – Training Our Generations

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. Genesis 26:34-35

Trampling underfoot the direction of his grandfather Abraham (Gen. 24:3), Esau married two “Canaanite” women who grieved the mind of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau was bent on bucking the values and mandates of his forefathers. As generations progress there is a propensity for challenging things we may not have been properly taught to respect and revere.

We could easily allow certain boundaries and traditions in our walk with God to fall to the wayside relegating them to old fashioned, burdensome, and narrow-minded. As strict or loose as you live for God, your children, and grandchildren could, if not properly taught and trained, start to allow some timeless standards, traditions, and values to drop off feeling they’re antiquated.

God commanded Israel to teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deut. 6:7).

For every one time you teach your child something is right or wrong, there’s a wicked world out there telling them, “If it feels good do it!” We need to be relentless in our love, teaching and training of our children and even our grandchildren; essentially transforming them from a “grief of mind” to a “peace of mind.”

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Lot's Law of Unintended Consequences

Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other. 12Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly. Genesis 13:11 -13

Lot witnessed firsthand the blessings God showered on Abraham’s household. Just by virtue of the fact Lot accompanied Abraham he too lived a blessed life. When the blessings began to cause “strife,” Abraham released Lot to go in the direction of his choice. Given the chance, who wouldn’t have chosen the well-watered plains of Jordan?

The law of unintended consequences played heavily in Lot’s choice of the “greener pastures” of Jordan and cost him dearly. Despite his best efforts to positively affect his environment, Lot was the only righteous man in Sodom (2 Peter 2:7) and was spared, but tragically his family would never be the same. Lot’s rebellious wife became a pillar of salt. His sons-in-law were incinerated with the Sodomites. Finally, in a drunken stupor Lot’s incestuous relationship with his two daughters birthed the Moabites and the Ammonites who were wicked before the Lord and arch-enemies of Israel.

We may be tempted to make choices in the name of popularity, convenience, or financial security, but at what catastrophic cost? Choices made now can forever affect your descendants for generations to come. Weigh each choice against the backdrop of God’s perfect Will and direction for your life; not wowed by “greener pastures.”

“Unintended Consequences” Series – LINK

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

The Danger of Doing Nothing

Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.Romans 12:21

Winston Churchill called World War II the most preventable conflict in history saying, “Never was a war more easy to stop than that which has wrecked what was left of the world from the previous struggle.” Cowardice and timidity ruled the day!  Europe’s constant side-stepping and appeasement cost millions their lives and brought the world to the brink of a dark and militaristic reign of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Evil in our modern day is pandemic. More blatant than ever is the world’s disregard for God and His Word. Laws are enacted and bills passed daily that are subtly making what you believe and practice as a Christian, a criminal activity!

What is a Christian to do?

Cowering from and ignoring the devil is not the answer – Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Paul admonished the Romans to overcome evil with good. Our Christian duty is not to declare war on our neighbors or society, for “we wrestle not against flesh and blood.” Rather, “He (God) hath showed you, O man, what is good; and what the LORD requires of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Weakness = Perfect Strength (Part 2 of 2)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Weakness reveals areas where strength is needed. Later, as weaknesses are revealed, those that are wise build support around those areas of their life, shoring them up and guarding them, where others hide them or behind them. Of course, try as we may, hiding our weaknesses from God is futile.

Our strength is imperfect, where God’s strength is perfect when we allow Him full reign. See, God can use our weaknesses to better reveal deeper facets of His Grace and Mercy. Rather than curse our weaknesses, we should glorify in them as the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9…Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Rather than hide from them, or behind them, Paul allowed the sources of weakness; his embarrassment, shame, and perhaps even his past, to be a source of glory, not that he was proud of them, but rather than bring him down, Paul allowed those “flaws” to remind him, and others, as long as they were there, Christ’s power was resting upon him, as if to say, Paul had Christ’s undivided attention.

If you are weak, stop hiding behind, or even from your flaws; allow God’s infinite omnipotent power to equip you in every way possible to overcome your weakness and become strong, not in your power or might, but in the Lord’s!

Link to Part 1 – Weakness = Perfect Strength

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Weakness = Perfect Strength (Part 1 of 2)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Whether genetic or social, it seems engrained in us to want to please our parents. With few exceptions, we take great pride in gaining the approval of our parents. We want to show our independence and strength almost as if to say, “Hey Mom and Dad look what a great kid you raised.”

Ironically, this same display of “strength and independence” is viewed quite differently by God. Our text indicates the source of our strength should come from…The Lord and the power of his might (my emphasis). In fact, Apostle Paul learned this lesson while facing perhaps the most difficult time of his ministry. God’s answer to Paul’s request, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).”

When we “grow up” our inclination may be to want to take the reins. Not so with God. We become God’s “poster child” of perfected strength when we gain a proper perspective of our weakness. Weakness, borne out of humility, builds a strong reliance on God. His perfected strength revealed through our weakness brings God optimal Glory, and for us ultimate victory!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold