Empty Suits

Empty SuitsFor 12 painstaking and exhausting years, this nameless woman suffered in silence. Alone, abandoned, and at her wit’s end, she had spent her last dime to find a cure. She suffered from an inexplicable condition the Gospels called an “issue of blood.” The Levitical Law banished such women to obscurity labeling them “unclean.” She desperately sought help from countless doctors and likely even the religious community, and they all simply made matters worse.

Desperate, tired, and depleted, she felt she had but one option; seek out the miracle-working rabbi. Due to the sensitive nature of her condition,  she tried to maintain a very low profile, it’s likely she literally crawled through the throngs of people to get to the teacher. She was bent on the conviction, if she could but touch the hem of His garment, she could be healed. In one incredible, unprecedented move, she reached out, touched the border of Jesus’ robe.

According to the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, The word translated “border” (kraspedon, Heb. tsitsith) is a tassel at each “wing” or corner of the tallith or mantle. The Law (Numbers 15:38-40) required that it should be bound with a thread of blue, the color of heaven, and so the type of revelation. The strict Jews to this day wear these tassels, though they are usually concealed. One of the four tassels hung over the shoulder at the back, and this was the one which the woman touched.

Upon the woman’s touch, Jesus felt “virtue” leave His body. This was a first and despite His divine aptitude, it even stopped Jesus in His tracks. The woman’s condition was healed immediately. No more doctors. No more early morning trips to market before the masses. No more early morning trips to the well before the arrival of the busy mothers. She was clean! She was healed! She was delivered! This was more than a condition, this had affected every facet of her reclusive life, and Jesus made it all possible.

She had tried 12 years worth of empty suits…the physicians, the priests, the “experts!” Are we more than empty suits, or do we possess the power of the Holy Ghost that will be the supernatural healing our generation is looking for?

She may not have touched Jesus directly, but He asked, “who touched me?” She could not reach Jesus, but she reached for the thing that had touched Jesus. The world may not immediately be able to touch Jesus…but if they reach out to you, someone who has touched Jesus, they will be able to touch the closest thing to Him…YOU!

“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

PTFD – Post Traumatic Faith Disruption

PTFDIt’s one of the saddest stories in the life of Christ. He was informed of the imminent passing of his dear friend Lazarus, yet Christ does not run to his sick friend’s rescue. He doesn’t even so much as offer a comforting word, or a “remote” miracle as He had been known to do. In fact, Christ delayed His arrival by 2 days.

When He finally arrived, it wasn’t to a sick bed, it was to a funeral. Lazarus had been dead for three days. Jesus is grimly greeted by Martha who was filled with contention and confusion and stated, “Lord, if you had just been here.” Mary comes out with what must have been disappointment written all over her face. It was then that He could no longer hold back the tears; Jesus wept. This seemingly tragic story in John Chapter 11 vividly demonstrates how many of must feel when we don’t get the answer we expect from God.

I call this PTFD – Post Traumatic Faith Disruption. We’re often hit with it when we face insurmountable odds from a human perspective, or when we’ve been seemingly “let down” by God because we didn’t get the outcome we believed Him for. It can just plain be hard to have faith when we face similar circumstances in our future. We recoil. We brace ourselves for disappointment. We expect the best but prepare for the worst. Thus PTFD.

PTFD or Post Traumatic Faith Disruption is not a formal diagnosis and is not meant to diminish in any way those who suffer from PTSD, but there are times we can spiritually find ourselves reeling from the effects of PTFD especially after our faith seems to have been in vain.

God always has a plan. You may have heard this a time or two during your own personal struggle, but NOTHING surprises God. Not only is IMPOSSIBLE not in God’s vocabulary, the exclamation “OOPS!” isn’t either. Ironically, the very thing the enemy thinks will destroy our faith, ultimately God uses to increase it.

Remember this, God never wastes pain that’s been entrusted to Him. God’s undivided attention during our lowest points of life is the most powerful treatment for PTFD as He’s nearest those of a broken heart. Choose to hang on to your faith even when there’s evidence to the contrary. For we walk by faith, not by sight. 

We all struggle with doubt once in a while, but there’s one thing you must never doubt; God’s crazy love for you. Don’t read into His delay as complete denial. After all, Christ’s delay to come to Lazarus’ aid resulted in one of His greatest earthly miracles ever; a triumphant resurrection which increased the faith of all that were present that day.

“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

Looking Your Miracle in the Eye

Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. 3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. (Passage Link: John 5:2-9)

This compelling story finds Jesus amongst a multitude of sick and infirm surrounding the mystical pool at Bethesda. One man stands out, who had been ill for 38 years.

Jesus’ question cut to the chase, “Wilt thou be made whole?”

The disenfranchised man replied, “Sir, I have no man!”

On the contrary Jesus must have been thinking – “I AM THE MAN!”

–       Jesus must have thought, “I don’t care what’s going on in that pool, this man needs a miracle NOW!”

–       This man so focused on what he thought was going to get him his miracle, he failed to recognize he was looking his miracle in the eye!

He had an urgent need, but felt he was at the mercy of an angel, some troubled water and a man…

–       The only mercy he ever needed was the mercy of God!

–       The only man he ever needed was the man Jesus Christ!

Today he could stop guessing whether or not someone would come to his rescue…

JESUS WAS READY TO PERFORM THE MIRACLE – NO GUESSING INVOLVED!

Guessing whether or not today is the day for your miracle is like doubting God can or will perform it.

JUST LIKE THE MAN AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA JESUS HAS GOOD NEWS…

 YOU AREN’T WAITING FOR YOUR MIRACLE…YOUR MIRACLE IS WAITING FOR YOU!

“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

Divine Detour or Rebellious Roadblock

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

This is a comforting scripture we often refer to in times of inexplicable circumstances. How blessed we are that God included this reassurance in HIS word for us. There is nothing more disturbing when tragedy and catastrophe happens, than thinking it happened for no good reason. The pain, the anguish and the loss happened and it was just random.  We need to know that no matter how dark the trial or test, no matter how long and hard the road, and no matter how much it hurts at this moment, God is going to work it all out…and not just work it out, but work together with my circumstances for something GOOD!

At these crossroads of calamity, if we’re not cautious, we’ll allow the very situation God ordained for our good, to entertain self-pity, incite rebellion, or engender bitterness.

If you’re inclined toward allowing dire circumstances to embitter you, ponder this – Will you allow this junction in your life to remain a “Divine Detour” or become a “Rebellious Roadblock?” Divinely inspired detours result in God’s perfect purpose coming to pass. Rebellious roadblocks result in continued despair and isolation. In so doing, we forever alter the outcome and exempt ourselves from God’s true motive – allowing all things to work together for our good.

“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

When Pain Feels Like Punishment

And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that [there is] none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. Job 2:3

Growing up, if your parents were anything like mine, we were disciplined. Alright, that’s “frou-frou” for “we were spanked.” Of course that wasn’t the only form of punishment, but we soon learned that to do wrong brought with it very unfavorable consequences. Put simply, we associate pain with punishment. But, pain in some forms is not punishment at all, rather a reminder that we’re human, and part of our condition, in addition to the joys, there will be pain.

Job sought for purpose behind his pain believing he had wronged God and was being punished for it. Nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, he had the distinct honor of being considered by God as a “perfect man who shuns evil.” Essentially, this was God’s vote of confidence. This runs contrary to our human logic, but God created you and knows what you’re fully capable of…even if it stretches us beyond the scope of human reason.

We may not always be able to make sense of our pain, but knowing God has the confidence in us to achieve victory, it’s almost as if God has faith in US, while at the same time helping US build OUR faith in HIM!

“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

Clutter-free Breeding Ground of Thought

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; I Peter 1:13

We’re each a culmination of our experiences; some good; other’s not so good. Toting enough of this baggage around with us creates clutter and often impedes our ability to maintain healthy relationships. The exchange for discarding this clutter, be it a broken heart, misplaced trust, harbored resentment, or traitorous betrayal, takes place in our minds.

Is it any wonder that we’re taught by Peter to “gird up the loins of our mind?” The loins are the reproductive center of the human anatomy. So, stated another way, shore up the breeding ground of your thoughts or mind. We are products of what our mind “reproduces” on a regular basis. Fortify your thoughts like the Philippians, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things (4:8).

The battlefield for many of us is waged in the mind. Negativity breeds negativity, but the benefits of thinking on truth, honesty, purity, love, etc. brings with it a mind clear of baggage and clutter, where seeds of faith, hope, and love can flourish.

“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