An Audience of ONE

AudienceofONEThere is an incredibly understated theme all throughout biblical history that I’ve recently uncovered. It’s gone virtually unnoticed because we live in a culture that believes if we are not popular, loved, or accepted by everyone, we’re not popular, loved, and accepted by anyone.

We underestimate the impact our influence can have even on a small scale. With celebrities, performers, and athletes drawing crowds of thousands, and having social media followers in the millions, we undervalue the importance of small-scale interactions; the up-close and personal, one-on-one encounters we have almost all of the time. We can tend to feel if we can’t do it on a grand-scale, it’s simply not worth doing.

I’m so glad God never felt this way about us! While we were yet sinners, Christ loved us and gave His life for us. When we had nothing to offer in return, Christ chose the route of making the first move toward our redemption. But, before He died for the world, take note of the interactions Christ had during His earthly ministry.

  • Just Jesus and a woman at the well
  • Just Jesus and a woman caught in adultery, after the crowd scatters
  • Just Jesus and Nicodemus under the cover of night
  • Just Jesus and a little girl healed as they were already mourning her death
  • Just Jesus and Peter walking on the water
  • Just Jesus and Zacchaeus
  • He even faced down Satan one-on-one in the wilderness
  • Mary Magdalene mistakes the risen Christ for the Gardner

This theme is not unique to Jesus’ day. God chose to have these encounters with individuals from the dawn of time:

  • Adam in the cool of the day
  • Enoch walked with God, but God took Him because Enoch pleased God
  • Noah, all by his lonesome found grace in the eyes of the Lord
  • Abraham, called out of the family idol-making business to become the Father of Many Nations
  • Jacob wrestling his “Angel” all night long became the father of the Israelite Nation.
  • Moses met God one-on-one at the burning bush

This theme is important because many of these seemingly small inconsequential interactions resulted in transformational and pivotal moments in people’s lives. I call these encounters, An Audience of ONE.

No large crowds. No big venues. Just a one-on-one, up-close and personal, intimate Audience of ONE that would go on to have a huge ripple effect!

  • Mary had an audience of one with the Angel Gabriel and went on to become the Mother of Christ!
  • Zechariah had an audience of one with the Angel and he and Elizabeth became the elderly parents of John the Baptist, of whom Jesus said there was none greater!
  • Peter’s conversation with Jesus after His resurrection, later resulted in Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost that saved thousands in one day!
  • Saul on his way to kill Christians was blinded and sent to Damascus where he had an audience of one with Ananias that resulted in Saul becoming Paul, the greatest missionary of the Bible!

It’s my sincerest belief friends that Jesus still desires these one-on-one intimate conversations with His followers. I believe He still invites us to have an Audience of ONE with Him on a daily basis. Without these small interactions, this Audience of ONE, how can we ever expect to have the monumental impact our predecessors did? It’s just not possible.

Before David ever strummed a calming note on his harp for a tormented King Saul, David had an Audience of ONE with God while tending his father’s sheep.

Before David slew the giant in front of thousands in the Valley of Elah, David had an Audience of ONE with a lion and another with a bear!

Today, do not underestimate the impact your Audience of ONE can have with God. It’s like to become the most transformational moment of your entire life and could potentially have an impact upon you, your family, and those you lead, for generations to come.

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational Sermonettes, Devotionals, 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.  ~ RD 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

Digging Wells of the Past – Special Dedication

And Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. Genesis 26:18

The legacy we leave to our children is of utmost importance. A prime example was Abraham. Even God said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment (Gen. 18:19).” Abraham’s legacy went beyond wealth and prestige, it instituted a perpetual generational blessing. Many times over God described Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” What a testament to the integrity and longevity of Abraham’s dynasty!

As important however, was Isaac’s continuation of that dynasty. When the malevolent Philistines filled the wells Isaac dug with his father, Isaac never hesitated, he dug them again. Yes, water in Isaac’s day was paramount, but his purpose for unearthing those wells “ran much deeper.” You see, Isaac was a pivotal figure in the propagation of God’s purpose. He was the inescapable link between the past of his father Abraham, and the future of his son Jacob (later named Israel).

They may have just been wells to the Philistines, but they represented far more to Isaac. The wells represented a perpetuation of God’s blessings; flowing from the past in which they were promised, to the future in which they would come to fruition.

NOTE: This Serminute is dedicated to my grandson Gavin Rodger Mangold. Born April 21, 2011, weighing 9.15 lbs. and measuring 23″ long. Today Gavin will be dedicated at our church, Grace Apostolic Church of Clawson. May his father, Nathanael Rodger Mangold, continue to allow the flow of God’s perpetual blessings from my generation, to Gavin’s. I’ve carried this legacy as it was handed down to me by my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. To God be the glory!

“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

Mountaintop Experiences – A Different Lesson From Abraham's Sacrifice

And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.3And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Genesis 22:1-3

For almost 25 years the only real promise Abraham and Sarah were clinging to was they’d have a son. When the glorious day arrived, true to His Word, “laughter” returned to their household in the form of a bouncing baby boy named Isaac! But, just several years after the promised arrived, a parent’s worst nightmare became Abraham’s reality.

The promised child was now being demanded by the very God that had promised him to be sacrificed! Our instinct would be to offer ourselves rather than our child. But there were no counter-offers, no bartering, no bargaining, just simple obedience by Abraham. If reading this story in today’s headlines, our inclination would be to cry child abuse, religious fanaticism, or dementia. Abraham knew when it was God speaking and had no doubt God would provide himself a lamb.

There’s little doubt what was going through Abraham’s mind and heart, the same God that had provided a son in his old age, would continue to provide. Thankfully, God hasn’t asked us to sacrifice our children, yet are we? No, it may not involve a knife, an altar, and fire, but the altars of greed, success, and selfishness line our country’s landscape. We spend countless hours chasing a pipe-dream of financial security, a bigger house, or esteem amongst our peers.

Abraham trusted God for everything, doubters would say to an extreme, including the promise of making him a great nation. Our goals and dreams are important, but never at the expense of our children, for our children often are the avenue by which God will bring about the promises He’s spoken into your life. Don’t sacrifice those special moments in their lives in exchange for the fleeting broken promises of this world.

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“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 Blessing of Intercession

INTERCESSORS ARE A RARE BREED!

It is not our fine clothes, or cars, or bank accounts that are going to win the lost! And it is not Fund-raisers, Polished Communicators, or Building Contractors that will build the Church of the Living God…but INTERCESSORS!

• ABRAHAM…dickered with God over Sodom…

• SAMUEL…thundered from his knees, “Spare my people!” and the Philistines came NOT AGAIN TO ISRAEL DURING THE LIFE OF SAMUEL…1 Samuel 7

Paul “…I could wish myself accursed for Israel’s sake!”

In Luke 11:1-8…right after they asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray…” He tells them of a man who needs bread and goes to his friend at midnight. HE ASKED FOR 3 LOAVES…but because he was URGENT AND TROUBLESOME…HE GAVE HIM AS MUCH AS HE NEEDED!!

JESUS EVER LIVES TO INTERCEDE FOR US!!

But you will never know the ministry of intercession until you allow the Lord to put you in their place…to let you by the Spirit understand their despair…

• The anguish of a broken home

• The loss of a child…

• When the one you love says, “I don’t love you anymore”…

WHEN YOU CAN FEEL THEIR PAIN AND HEAR THEIR VOICE IN THE NIGHT…

THEN YOU’LL PRAY!

By Rev. J.S. Willoughby – To read other posts by Rev. J.S. Willoughby visit his blog at http://jswilloughby.wordpress.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

My Promise Is NOT for the Birds

And when the fowls came down upon the carcasses, Abram drove them away. Gen. 15:11

Abram called God out about the promises He made about his future. Confirming His Word, God told Abraham to prepare a sacrifice; his answer is on the way. Soon vultures dove in to devour his sacrifice, but Abram “drove them away” until the Word of God arrived.

When God gives you a promise, and you’ve made the necessary sacrifice, the enemy is quick to swoop in to consume it. Have FAITH in God’s Promises, and prepare to resist the devouring doubts and fears until your promise comes to pass! Your promise isn’t for the birds!