When Words Aren’t Enough

WordsNOTEnoughSometimes mere words aren’t enough. Sometimes what we’re facing escapes the bounds of language and human description. Sometimes what we face defies our ability to make any sense. It’s in moments like this that our hearts are broken, our faith is challenged, and we’re so crushed that to even pray seems impossible.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

In another portion of scripture we learn we have a high priest which can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:14-16). How could something like this even be possible? Jesus didn’t just teach and preach compassion, He was and is the embodiment of it.

Jesus, upon the death of His friend Lazarus, and seeing Mary weep, “He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33)

For the man, Christ Jesus, mere words could not describe the grief He was experiencing in that moment of loss. Let the irony, transparency, and humanity of that moment sink in; the ONE whom John said was THE WORD (John 1:14), had no words. He wept. He groaned. He was troubled.

Why is Jesus so qualified to come to your aid? He doesn’t sit idly by and witness your pain and suffering, He too groans in earnest empathetic pain, and He’s ready to do something about it.

Have any hopes and dreams that are “3-Days-Dead” and you fear smell so bad you couldn’t bear the sight of even thinking they could be brought back to life? Not only is your pain real, your God is real. His creative and regenerative powers are ready to swoop in and remedy your hurt! His resurrection power can and will breath new life into those long-forgotten dreams, hopes, and God given promises!

Before God’s Spirit would eventually intercede with unutterable “groanings” that were too great, too intense, too overwhelming, and too painful for words, Jesus groaned and wept with humanity, committing to never leave us nor forsake us. Praise God…now we can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper!

When words aren’t enough – God’s love is always enough!

“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

A Cannibalized Generation

CannibalizedWe find a barbaric tale of two starving mothers in the Book of 2 Kings 6:24-30. Things had become so scarce during a siege of the city of Samaria during King Benhadad’s reign that these emaciated mothers had made a sick and twisted league to eat one another’s sons. After evidently boiling and eating the first child as they succumbed to the pangs of hunger, payment came due on the second son at which time the frenzied mother of course vehemently balked and refused to honor their cannibalistic contract. Upon hearing this news, it was almost as if the king had finally come to his senses and realized how horribly impacted his city had become. He then tore his clothes in grief.

Scarcity drove Samaria to do desperate and detestable things in the name of survival and would ultimately lead to their destruction and demise. These starving mothers turned on their children and then turned on each other because the enemy had convinced them there was no alternative. Help was not coming. Death was imminent, and deliverance was no longer an option.

The enemy cut off their supply line of food and supplies long enough for them to surrender their hope for a better future. Life was over as they knew it and in the process, they sabotaged their future heritage. They literally cannibalized the next generation by doing the unthinkable.

How are we equipping the next generation to handle threats like scarcity and enemy invasion in their own lives? Like a bunch of weak-kneed cowards? Give up on God and give up on a better brighter future of hope? Give up on each other? Turn on each other? Devour each other? Or worse, selfishly sacrifice them to better ourselves.

Our enemy today still believes that if he can interrupt the supply chain of grace and restrict the flow of mercy long enough, he’ll deceive us into believing the Love of God is in short supply. As the above story illustrates, a scarcity mindset vs. an abundance mindset can have devastating consequences.

Friends, God will never run out of mercy. It’s everlasting! God will never run out of love because God is love! God will never run out of compassion. Like manna from Heaven, we get a fresh supply every day!

In Lamentations 3:22 – 24 Jeremiah says it best, “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.”

Did you get that? God is our portion! That word “portion” means our allotment, our share, our territory, our chosen portion, our award from God!

Our God is not running out of anything my friend – It’s time you stop using this world as a gauge of God’s ability to bless! God’s economy is not reliant on the Dow, the NASDAQ, or the Nikkei Index.

Jesus said, “All power is given to him in heaven and in earth!” (Matt. 28:18) Read that again…ALL!

In another passage, Jesus said, “I came that you might have life and have that life more ABUNDANTLY!” (caps added for emphasis). (John 10:10)

These verses just skim the surface of God’s ownership and abundance in a few key areas of our lives. Consider these passages:

Psalm 50:10-12 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.

Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

II Cor. 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.

Romans 5:20 But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

“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

"The Kingdom of Heaven" Brought to You by Jesus

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Matthew 10:7

When Jesus Christ showed up, He quite literally brought the Kingdom of Heaven to mankind. Blinded eyes were open. Deaf ears unstopped. Handicapped made to walk. The dead brought back to life. Though taking place in the physical first, after the infilling of the Holy Spirit He would also open the spiritually blinded eyes, deaf ears, create a new walk, and give us life eternal! Indeed, the Kingdom of Heaven was attainable!

The Sadducees and Pharisees thought they had the Kingdom of Heaven on lockdown with their rules and regulations, fines, tariffs, and penalties, but Jesus said, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

Jesus came to pay the dearest of all prices – He gave His life to redeem you and me. Making the Kingdom of Heaven achievable! Friend, if you’re looking for love, hope, and purpose in your life, the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than you think…it’s at hand. Christ came to bring us life and that life more abundantly. Hope in this life and in the life to come, saying He went away to prepare a place for YOU!

“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

"Digging" God's Word – The Archaeology of Your Heart

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. I Peter 1:23

Every year the nation of Israel is credited with literally thousands of archaeological discoveries, and even with ongoing instability in the Middle East slowing archaeological endeavors somewhat, the Bible’s reliability as a historical document continues to be confirmed by the field of archaeology every day. Dr. Nelson Glueck, probably the greatest modern authority on Israeli archaeology, said, “No archeological discovery has ever controverted a single biblical reference.”

Hypothetically, if an archaeologist were to do some digging in your “spiritual” life what would his findings be? Would proof of God’s Holy Word be irrefutable? Would the evidence be so compelling, even the harshest critic would concede?

Every detail of a believer’s life is scrutinized by critics – ready to pounce on any proof there’s nothing to what you believe.

Still others are hoping and praying what you say is true, and what you’re living is real…they want it to be true; they need it to be true!

Why are they so desperately hoping the Bible you represent is real? Because this world needs HOPE!

Today dear Christian, why not be living proof God’s Word still changes lives, saves souls, and is the key to eternal life? Like the Apostle Paul called the Corinthians, let’s be ”epistles…known and read of all men.”

“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