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

Undercover Sinner

UCSinnerThe world we live in has created a generation of people who always have their defenses up. For our generation it’s become a survival mechanism. We have identity thieves, terrorists, human trafficking, and very real demonic forces that are out to destroy us and our family. And that enemy will use any means necessary to bring us down.

But, when it comes to our Heavenly Father defenses are both not needed and a complete waste. First because He sees us for who we really are, and second, there is no hiding anything from God…PERIOD! Our attempts to hide, mask, or shield ourselves is an insult to the One who created us and knows us inside out.

Like armchair quarterbacks, we sit back with a critical eye on the likes of Adam and Eve, Achan, Ananias and Sapphira, and even King David, and think how naive they must have been to think they could conceal their sin from God.

Yes, they were all feeble attempts at covering up their sin, but really in addition to hiding for fear of punishment, weren’t they responding out of shame as well?

Adam and Eve’s eyes had been opened by the fruit they wrongfully ate and they tried to cover up with fig leaves they haphazardly sewed together to hide the shame of their nakedness.

Certainly, God was angered by their sin, but His first question was, “Who told you, you were naked?” Then, God asked about the fruit. God bemoans the loss of openness before He does the actual sin of eating the fruit.

Why? Because God wants openness, honesty, and purity when it comes to His relationship with you.

No pretense. No shame. No guilt. No fear.

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Does any of this sound like God wants us to shy away from His Holy Presence? In fact, when do we need God the most? When we have sinned and fallen short; When we have messed up; when we are feeling suffocated by shame.

Satan knows, just like he did back in the Garden, if he can create a wedge or a wall between us and God, our relationship with God is vulnerable and will severely suffer.

The WORST thing we can do when we sin is try to hide it, cover it up, and allow it to be a constant source of guilt and shame for us and inhibit the flow of God’s Love in our lives.

Pure and simple – God wants a relationship with His Children and has traveled galaxies to make that a reality in our lives.

In fact, God has given us all an opportunity to be open and honest with Him.

1 John 1:8 – 10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

God has no tolerance for people that try to cover up their sin. He takes it very seriously because it is sin that separates us from Divine Communion with Him.

Friend, sin is a disease that destroys the most valuable commodity we have in eternity, our soul. It will destroy the greatest relationship we could ever have here or in eternity, our relationship with our Creator. Sin destroys relationships both with each other, and with God.

The biggest source of hatred for God against sin isn’t the fact that we’ve sinned, it’s what we do when we do sin, and what sin does to us when it tightens its grip. 

God’s strolling through your life even now looking for Divine Communion with you. Will He find you? Or, will you be hiding in shame, tucked behind the tree, haphazardly wrapped up in fig leaves, cowering in shame because you’re naked, alone, and afraid?

Yes, God’s angry with the sin, but not for the reason you think He is. He’s angered by your loss of innocence; your loss of openness, honesty, and purity. He’s angered that sin has robbed you of the greatest relationship you’ll ever know – His relationship with you.

Today, ask yourself the question, are things as open as they used to be between you and God, or have fig leaves and fruit trees stood in the way of God have complete access to your heart, and you having complete access to His Love, Grace, and Mercy?

  • Don’t try and cover up your sin.
  • Don’t try and avoid what you’ve done.
  • Don’t try and defend what you’ve done.
  • Don’t simply be ashamed of what you’ve done.
  • Don’t live a life of guilt and separation from the One who loves you the most.

Take it all to God today. Enter boldly before His throne.

  • Confess
  • Repent
  • Release
  • Accept forgiveness
  • Never do it again!

Move toward the open and loving arms of a merciful and compassion Savior.

“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

Your Dirty Little Secret

DLS

I have some startling news about your dirty little secret – Yes, it’s dirty, but it’s not little and it’s not a secret. We can tend to think that just because the masses don’t know about our hidden sin, addiction, or affair, that we’ll never be discovered. What a delusion when we fall for that deception. Our lives may not immediately be an open book to those around us, but there’s ONE who sees our every move and knows our every intent.

Hebrews 4:12 describes the Word of God as, “quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

See, we may think we’re getting away with something, but we’re not because in another portion of Solomon’s own unheeded wisdom, Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. (Ecc. 8:11)

Our confession will not be new information to God for He knows the secrets of the heart.

Rather than trying to hide from God and foolishly cover our sins like Adam and Eve, Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary has enabled us to run to God with our failures and our sin. While it is far more admirable to resist sin altogether, it is even more vital if we have sinned, not to cover it up. Like King David, we must lay it bear before a merciful and loving Savior. 1 John 1:9 intreats us, If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Our confession will not be new information to God for He knows the secrets of the heart. Our confession is more of a humble admission and a revealing to God that we know nothing can be hidden from Him, and that only He can truly provide us with the overcoming power we require to beat that sin and never fall prey to it again.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves by living in the false illusion that God doesn’t see what we’re up against. The sooner we admit our sin is bigger than we can handle on our own, the sooner God’s grace and mercy can come to our rescue.

“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.  Rev. RD Mangold

Passionate About His People

PassionateYou discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (Passage Link: Psalms 139:2-3)

God’s more than interested in you; He’s passionate about your relationship with Him. In fact there’s no separating you from His Love. (Passage Link: Romans 8:37-39)

David said, “though I make my bed in hell, you [Lord] are with me.” (Passage Link: Psalms 139:7-9)

God’s passion for his people is vividly portrayed in Solomon’s Book of Songs, a book often relegated to irrelevance by some due to it “romantic” nature. This is an injustice to both the reader and God’s Word! You should want to know how loving and affectionate God is toward you! It’s sung with such poetic elegance, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” (Passage Link: Song of Solomon 2:16)

You are after all the crowning achievement of God’s Creation…made in HIS image! What an incredible revelation it should be to know that when you look in the mirror, you’re looking at the meticulous detail and sheer craftsmanship of Jehovah! (Passage Link: Genesis 1:26-28)

When did God start loving you, one might ask? There is no answer for this question, because this question has no point of reference…you see, there was NEVER a point at which God did NOT love you. He’s always loved you. Everything God has ever done, or ever will do, is motivated by HIS neverending love for you.

John “The Beloved” said it like this, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (Passage Link: I John 4:16)

So by virtue of HIS Eternal Nature – GOD IS LOVE!

Glory be to God for the incredible depths and lengths He has gone to save us and prove His love toward us!

“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

 

"Timely" Advice from our Biblical Ancestors

Time is priceless yet it costs us nothing.

You can do anything you want with it, but you can’t own it.

You can spend it, but you can’t keep it.

And, once you’ve lost it there’s no getting it back.

Our biblical ancestors have some “timely” advice for us…

  • David resigned himself to the fact his “times” were in God’s hands. (Psalm 31:15)
  • Queen Esther convinced she had come to the kingdom “for such a time as this,” risked execution to save her people, siting, “if I perish, I perish!” (Esther 4:14)
  • James postulates our lives are just a vapor appearing for just a “little time.” (James 4:14)
  • Paul admonished the Ephesians to “redeem the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Only God occupies all space and time…we don’t! Our days are numbered. If you’re delaying your decision and postponing your purpose, remember, you’re not guaranteed tomorrow. Don’t wait any longer! God can do more with what’s left of your life than everything you’ve accomplished up to this point!

No one knows the day nor the hour of Christ’s return. We must be ready at a moment’s notice…He came for someone today!

“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

Power of the "Moment"

13Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. 15For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. James 4:13 – 15

There is within each of our lives “that moment,” that defines us. “That moment” which forever etches into our lives, a pattern. It’s “that moment” that forever alters the direction our life will take. Our first love, first kiss, first child, and even our first encounter with God are just such moments.

Sometimes we live in anticipation of “that moment.” We feel it will be the crescendo, the climax, our arrival on the scene. Ironically, if we’re not careful we can live in such anticipation of “that moment” – our graduation, our wedding, our new home; that we dismiss those precious moments in between.

Just as important as “that moment” are those seemingly inconsequential “moments” that have just as much merit and purpose. For without those “between moments” developing the story and its character, there would be no big climactic “moment.”

For David the “between moments,” the bear, the lion, the attempts on his life by King Saul, led to his “crowning” achievement as King of Israel!

Don’t be quick to dismiss the seemingly mundane moments of life in pursuit of the glory moments. There’s life to be lived in the “between moments” that powerfully sweeten our “moment” in the spotlight!

“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

One Chance Too Many

Steve Irwin, or as he was nicknamed the Crocodile Hunter, knew the imminent danger he faced each time he approached a deadly creature. By his own estimate, Steve had been bitten by thousands of animals, insisting it was always his fault, not the animals’.

Steve Irwin died September 4, 2006 while filming a documentary in the Great Barrier Reef, when a barb from a Sting Ray entered his heart and killed him instantly. Ironically, after the thousand or so bites and attacks by much wilder animals, a normally peaceful and not easily provoked creature, the Sting Ray took the daredevil Crocodile Hunter’s life!

Like Steve Irwin, we think we can cheat death, or even punishment. The Bible says, Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil [Ecc. 8:11].

We’d do well to learn from examples of just one offense that resulted in immediate punishment or death – One bite of the fruit (Adam). One glance over the shoulder (Lot’s Wife). One strike of the rock (Moses). One haircut (Samson). One touch of the Ark (Uzzah). One lustful look at a bathing beauty (David).

“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