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

Caged by an Open Door

CagedWe have a white Maltese-Bichon mix dog aptly named Casper. I say aptly named because while he’s white, and named after a ghost, he’s afraid of his own shadow. Whether this was brought on as a result of his early puppy-hood, prior to us owning him, or something just inherent to his demeanor, we’ll never really know. He refuses to give us a straight answer 😉

He suffers from a slight case of separation anxiety, for those who do not know what that is, it can be described as a state of anxiousness that your pet suffers during your absence. They can exhibit OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) behaviors like pacing back and forth around the door, barking incessantly, or they can go into a destructive tirade. I am not a dog expert by any stretch, but we know when a dog starts to tear stuff up when you’re gone that it is safer for him and your furniture if he’s safely and comfortably crated while we’re gone. There are some dog-lovers who will fault us for this, but it is a decision we didn’t take lightly. In fact, we occasionally leave him uncrated when we’re gone for short periods of time only to be reminded when we return why we decided to crate him.

He’s grown quite familiar with our routine. As of this post, Casper is 13 years old. We’ve had him since 2005. Back in 2012, he did something that blew our minds. Every Sunday we go through a ritual just before leaving for church. We’d tell him to go to his cage. He usually lets out an obligatory “huff” and goes straightaway. But, on occasion, he can tell when we’re about to leave for church and he will automatically head to his cage.

On this particular Sunday, we were in a hurry and must have forgotten to lock him up in his cage. When we returned home from church, we found him in his cage, barking and yelping like he always does when we get home, waiting for us to open his cage. When I reached down to unlatch it, I realized it had never been latched to begin with. He sat in his unlocked cage the entire time we were at church. We chuckled at his oversight, but something very profound dawned on me.

How many of us are caged by something that God never intended for us to be caged by? Have we grown used to the feeling of being trapped? Have we settled for that feeling of seclusion and isolation, when in fact, God has already set us free, we were just unwilling to step into the freedom that was already purchased for us at Calvary by Christ’s crucifixion?

We may laugh at silly Casper for remaining locked up when he could have been frolicking around the house wreaking havoc, but how many of us are content to remain caged up when just beyond that open door awaits our promise, our purpose, our potential?

What’s got you caged today? Fear, past failures, critics, insecurity, doubt, etc.? Christ has set you free my friend. Stop living captive to these debilitating figments of your imagination. Stop believing the toxic lies of the devil that’s telling you not to even try.

Come on, reach out, give it a shove, God’s already unlatched your door. Now step out into the future that He’s already prepared for you. Stop being caged by an open door!

Revelation 3:8, “I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.”

“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

Big Lessons in Small Packages – Don't Relegate Yourself to "Bug" Status

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

On the brink of the highly anticipated “Promised Land” God afforded the Israelites a preview by allowing them to send a spy from each of the 12 tribes. Despite bringing back huge grape clusters, pomegranates, and figs, and reports of the land flowing with milk and honey, 10 of them came back with an “evil report.”

They considered themselves “grasshoppers” as did the giants (Numbers 13). Fearful and disbelieving in God’s Divine Protection, they could see no way possible for them to overtake the giants

When facing any adversary, stop relegating yourself to “bug” status, ESPECIALLY when God is calling the shots. God’s Word gives us protection…

Ironically, throughout scripture God used small creatures to accomplish his tasks (see the Plagues of Egypt); grasshoppers included in Judges 6:4-6, the Midianites were considered grasshoppers in multitude and impoverished Israel!

Don’t underestimate the grasshopper, had Israel “jumped” at the chance and trusted God they would have easily destroyed the giants and happily “infested” the Promised Land forty years sooner!

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“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