The Heavenly Exchange

HeavenlyExchangeIn the Book of Job we read his famous words often quoted when someone is in the midst of their trial or test, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:21-22)

Job knew unmistakably from whom all blessings flow, but he also was painfully aware who could choose to take them away.

We fixate on the things the Lord gives, because we love getting blessings from God. But, what about when He takes things away? What about when He subtracts, rather than adds? In this context we can easily see but one side of God’s ability to take things away. It’s often viewed in the context of the negative, isn’t it?

Job lost his cattle, his fields, and his children; EVERYTHING in one day. Here we can eerily see how quickly a man can be reduced to near nothing if God so chooses. But, that’s when God takes things away that down deep we feel as if God acted unfairly. It’s as if God is punishing us. Let’s be honest though, aren’t we glad when the coin lands on the other side of “taken away?” What do I mean?

God gets a bad wrap when good things are seemingly stripped from our hands, but aren’t we grateful when God takes some things away from us?

Isaiah 61:3 describes this process of God taking some of the less desirable things and exchanging them for things with immeasurable value:

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

We’re quick to play the victim when God takes the things away we felt attached to, but what about when God’s willing to make a beautiful exchange in return for our willingness to allow Him to take our less than desirable things? After all, the greatest exchange took place over 2000 years ago at Calvary.

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:13-15)

Christ didn’t just take our sins, He nailed them to HIS CROSS! What a wonderful exchange. What a great release He has given us all who have been born again into His Kingdom!

May we emphatically declare, the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD! He took my sins away. He took my guilt and shame away. He took my punishment away. He took my death sentence away! And, gave me life eternal in exchange for it all.

This exchange doesn’t end with this life, but in the life to come, Paul says, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54) 

Again to the Philippians Paul reveals our eventual exchange from our Earthly citizenship, to a Heavenly citizenship, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Phil. 3:20-21)

We will exchange an earthly mortal body with a heavenly immortal one in the same fashion as Christ, where Death will be swallowed up in sweet victory at that Heavenly Exchange!

“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

“Calling” All Bricklayers

CallingBricklayersThis following fable could be considered a modern day parable of sorts. I’ve attempted to source it to no avail. Many in modern self-help and inspirational circles have picked it up, and for good reason. Your perspective on what you do, and for that matter, how you view what you do, makes all of the difference as you pursue your purpose in life, and with what, if any passion you pursue that purpose.

I will attempt to tell it as best as possible while maintaining what I believe to be its original intent…

A inquisitive local business owner couldn’t help but take notice of the new grand edifice that was being built across the street from his humble bakery. The building began to take shape, and it was evident that something beautiful was being erected. One day he mustered the courage to visit the job site and asked one of the busy masons what he was doing.

Almost exasperated, he bluntly stated, “I’m a bricklayer.”

In similar fashion, the persistent baker hoping for a little more detail, asked a second mason, “What are you doing?” To which this bricklayer a little more enthusiastically replied, “I’m building a church.”

Lastly, having had most of his curiosity satisfied, the baker asked the third bricklayer nearby, the same question, but was amazed at the answer he received. The mason’s eyes lit up with life, and his tone took on a hushed and humble reverence, “I’m building the house of God.”

It’s been said the first bricklayer considered what he did for a living, a job, the second, a career. While the third viewed what he did as a calling.

You can look at what you do daily as simply a job or a career path, but what if you began to view your work as a tribute to the One who gifted you with that ability or talent?

The ESV (English Standard Version) Bible translates the words of Paul to the Colossians regarding work, “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” (3:23-24)

You may think it’s just a spreadsheet. You may feel like they’re just another annoying customer. You may feel this is just another sick patient. You may think it’s just another meal, service, or construction project. But, what if we started to view what we do as work for the Lord, and for the Glory of God? What if we started to view what we do as less of a job or a career, and more of a calling?

We may feel like because we can’t teach like Christ, preach like Paul, or sing like an angel that we have little to contribute to the Kingdom of God. You’d be wrong my friend. We need more architects to view what they do as a higher calling. We need more attorneys to view what they do with passion. We need more designers, more creatives, more writers, more mechanics, construction workers, IT professionals, and members of the medical community to transition from simply a job to being in hot pursuit of your true calling and purpose.

I challenge you today to begin to take an entirely different view of what you do, and live with intention. Seek to Do what you do as unto God, not unto men, not for accolades, not for a paycheck or a pension. Because you know you were created for more than just to live out the day-to-day grind.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.Colossians 3:17

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual 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

Big Lessons in Small Packages – Widow's Mites

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God,but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” Luke 21: 1 – 4

Who can truly say what he or she has is exclusively theirs? James reminds us, “Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights… (James 1:16-17)

If what we’ve been given comes from God anyway, why be so stingy? Why do we clench our hands so tightly and hoard the blessings God has so generously provided?

Several reasons… 

  • We’re selfish
  • We don’t trust God
  • We mistake prosperity with God’s approval
  • We see blessings as scarce when God is truly the source
  • We love the BLESSINGS more than the BLESS-ER

God doesn’t need your dough! All things were created through Him and for Him (Col. 1:16). Your giving isn’t as important to God as it is to YOU. Understand this; few things in life disrupt the flow of God’s blessings like arrogance, pride, and selfishness. It’s absurd to think we can supplant God’s provision with our own chicanery, cunning and contrivance.

The poor widow’s giving amounted to more than the wealthy, because God can do more with your humility and generosity than you can with your affluence and influence!

“Serminute” Series – Big Lessons in Small Packages

“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

Containing the Creator

But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee. (I Kings 8:27) Wise Solomon knew it was futile to even try to contain the Creator of the universe, but if anyone could do it, God could and did. Col. 2:9 says, “In him [Jesus] dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” Incredibly, He went even further, “You are the temple of God, and the Spirit of God dwells in you;” (I Cor. 3:16). Praise God for His Spirit; the earnest of our inheritance!

“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