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

I Got This?

IGotThisI’m guilty of saying, “I got this,” even when I’m drowning. No, seriously, not metaphorically drowning, literally drowning. I was in my late twenties when my wife and I went with our church on a canoe trip. I had been a couple of times and seemed to have the whole paddling and steering thing down. I was thinking, “I got this.” I mean it’s not rocket science, and after all, I was the “man of my canoe.”

We decided to break for lunch on a sandbar that was at a turn in the deceptively lazy river. It was a hot day, so we waded out into the water to cool off a bit. I couldn’t help but notice that the sandbar beneath my feet was extremely soft. I stepped forward and again, the sand gave way. This happened several times before I realized that not only was the sand giving way, there was an undercurrent. With each step, I was literally losing ground and falling deeper and deeper under the water. I would pull myself up for a gulp of air thinking the whole time, you guessed it…I got this.

Screaming for help was not an option, but my face must have conveyed a deep sense of urgency as I one more time pulled myself to the surface. It was feeling close to the last time that I could muster the power in my limbs to thrust myself up.

A couple of my friends saw what was happening and sprang into action. While I was still attempting to downplay how much danger I was in, there was no denying, I needed help and quick. Had it not been for the quick thinking and observation of my friends that came to my aid, I would not be alive to share this story.

Had I been prideful and turned down their offers to help, I would have drowned. Played out a bit farther, had I resisted them, and emphatically declared, like we often do, “I got this!” They would have recoiled and remained where they stood, all the while painfully watching me drown.

Even as I write the recollection of this account, I feel the breathlessness, the overwhelming powerful pull beneath of the deep, and the suffocating effects of the water swirling around my nostrils and mouth. I beg you friends who are reading this, PLEASE don’t wait until it’s too late. The sad truth is, not all of those men who helped were great swimmers and I could have potentially put them at risk by waiting as long as I did.

Think about it like this, if you aren’t willing to do it for yourself, be willing to do it for your family, your friends, and those who care deeply for you.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Please reach out for help, or accept the help that kind and caring friends and family may be offering. There are just times when what you’re facing can cause you to drown; maybe not in water, but in pride, arrogance, and self-pity. It’s not worth it. Saving face, or thinking you’re admitting failure, in the grand scheme of things, pales in comparison to the relief you’ll feel when stepping back onto the safety of the shore.

There will just be times you must be willing to admit…You don’t “got it!”

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labor. 10 For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. 11 Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? 12 And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9 – 12

“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

Breakthrough in Our Brokeness

BreatkthroughBrokenessAn incredible thing happened this summer (2018). After years of pain and suffering, my mother went in for complete reconstructive back surgery to correct a poorly performed procedure she had in 2010. Her doctor, Richard Easton, from Troy Beaumont in Rochester Hills, MI was kind enough to take on her case and what he did was nothing short of a miracle. When he came to deliver the news of what a great success her surgery was, even he was noticeably excited about the outcome. When he described the operation, I was fascinated by what I heard.

First, Dr. Easton removed the faulty hardware that caused so much pain to her nearly destroying her nerves and inhibiting her overall ability to stand, walk, and even live.

Some of my medical jargon may be a little off here, but once Dr. Easton removed the hardware, he replaced parts of her destroyed back with a portion of her own pelvic bone. Additionally, he used her stem cells and pieces of her arthritis, coupled with a medical poultice that cost $6000/half-ounce. Using a modern pestle and mortar, he ground it all together (crushed it) and used that mixture to repair her back. This not only would provide immediate healing, but it created the foundation for her back to regenerate.

In any other setting this could have been viewed as a brutal and heartless process:
• Removing the old structure
• Breaking off pieces of her pelvic bone
• Using arthritis, a known enemy of our joints
• And a special compound that was very costly

But, only after the cutting, after the breaking, after the crushing, could the healing and regeneration take place. It’s vitally important to note here that Dr. Easton did this FOR her, not TO her.

There’s are striking similarities between what Dr. Easton did for my mom and what God can do with our brokenness. When God seemingly cuts us down to size, removes our old faulty hardware and structure, we then embark upon what feels like a breaking and a crushing. The old things are passed away…

Using bits of what we had that were good, and even incorporating bits of the old (arthritis), He adds a special and costly compound; the Blood of Christ to heal and regenerate us.

My mom was barely able to function due to the pain she was enduring, it wasn’t until after the breaking and crushing that she found deliverance from that pain.

My question today is, how many of us are so used to debilitating effects of our pain and anguish, believing this is all there is? We have a loving Savior already “scrubbed up” patiently waiting in the wings, ready, willing, and able to turn our pain into power, our sorrow into joy, and our anguish into complete healing.

It may not always feel like it or look like it, but never judge what God is doing in your life, or anyone else’s for that matter, until the process is complete. There’s healing in the crushing, and a breakthrough in our brokenness if we entrust it into the Hands of the Master Surgeon.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. (Psalm 51:17)

 

“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.  Rev. RD Mangold

Touching God

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We fixate on the idea that we want God to touch us, but when is the last time you touched God?

We think we touch God with praise and worship, and we most certainly do, but that’s a small portion of what touches God, the most powerful connection God has with His people is when we’re facing our infirmities, our weaknesses, our struggles, and our pain!

Hebrews 4:15 – 16, “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 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.”

Rather than enjoy the closeness to God during these seemingly shameful moments, we recoil, and run in shame feeling as though God cannot connect to us during that time.

News Flash – Psalm 34:18 says, “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”

In another translation it replaces “contrite spirit” for “crushed spirit.” Have you ever felt crushed? The Lord has His Divine sights set on you when you’re crushed more than ever. He wants to come to your rescue. He’s touched by the feeling of your infirmity, your trial, your test, and your struggle.

It’s when we’re experiencing these moments of pain and isolation that we can boldly go to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace in the time of need!

God is touched by our pain, our weakness, our troubles, and in turn God lovingly touches us back to heal us of our pain. – Pastor RD Mangold

Where Were You God?

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 – 9

Facing calamities that challenge our faith to its core, our tendency may be to lay blame. “Where were you God, you should have done something!” We’re quick to point our human finger in the face of our Creator and accuse Him of inaction.

I do not purport to have an answer that will assuage our anxiety, but I will caution against recklessly “blaming” God or saying it is “God’s fault.” God doesn’t owe us an answer or explanation. In the face of his trial, Job demanded an audience with God. When God actually showed up, Job was dumbfounded! God had a few questions for him, “Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.” (Job 38:3-4)

We celebrate getting something we don’t deserve when it’s good. However, when getting something we don’t deserve, and it’s bad, we question God’s sense of fairness and justice. Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. (Galatians 6:7 –8)

If you’re finding yourself feeling slighted, and pleading your case before God, be careful questioning God…He may have a few questions of His own!

“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

From Pain to Peace

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27

Biologically, pain is an indicator there is something wrong in the human physiology. Nerves sense pain and send those signals to the brain to warn us to “be careful;” that action, or set of actions, is painful, so don’t do it again! But, emotionally, what’s the function of pain? We’d almost welcome a wound that could take a few stitches and a band-aid to heal, but emotionally there’s no such comfort. Emotionally we can take years to heal from a painful experience…if we heal at all.

Pain may not be optional, but the suffering is. Our goal, after the initial shock of pain, is to understand its source. Thankfully, when it comes to God, you’re not alone when in pain.

  • Jesus said He would not leave us comfortless. (John 4:18)
  • Jesus said He was sent to heal the broken-hearted (Luke 4:18)
  • God said He was near to the broken-hearted (Psalm 34:18)

Yes, we need the love and support of our brothers and sisters, but knowing you have God’s undivided attention during your most emotionally painful moments, can bring you peace, which passes all understanding and shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

“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