A God Who Goes Before Us

A God Who Goes BeforeIn addition to pastoring, I work for Ford Motor Company. I tell people I work for Ford, but I labor for the Lord. This company has been around for nearly 120 years now. Recently my plant celebrated its 50th anniversary of being in operation having opened its doors in October 1968. Curiously enough, I was hired in October of 1996 and celebrated 22 years with Ford. I say “curiously enough” because as I joined my coworkers in celebrating our plant’s milestone, something powerful dawned on me.

I walked along the wall and observed them breaking ground in October 1966. I was intrigued by the large excavators, hundreds of construction workers, and new walls being poured. I really got emotional in that moment because I realized that even before I was born (1969) and before I was hired (1996), God was preparing a place for me to work and have a career. Sure, thousands of others have worked here, but I had a profound notion that God somehow prepared it just for me. Selfish you may say? Not hardly. God has a way of blessing many people in many ways at different times, but who could have known a little boy was going to be born and that he would work at a Ford plant 20 miles away from where I was born and nearly 50 miles from where I grew up?

Then, I was thinking of the house I now live in which was built in 1989. I graduated from high school in 1988. How could I have known that a family would be building a house 50 miles away for me to one day buy nearly 30 years later and where I would watch all four of my grandchildren take their first steps?

The same with the church I grew up in; the church my wife grew up in; the church I now pastor. All buildings that would have significance in my life. Buildings I did not build, yet had life-changing and long-reaching effects in my life.

I want to encourage someone today that your life is not left to chance. There is a loving and benevolent heavenly Father above who has meticulously prepared a life for you if you’re willing to walk in it. He did this with the children of Israel as He stated in Deuteronomy…

“And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:10-12 ESV)

So, as you lay your head down at night, or walk through the doors of your place of employment or worship, pause to give thanks and reflect upon the fact that your life is not an accident and that God has gone before you to ensure you have everything you need in your future to be a success and carry out the beautiful plans He’s tailor-made for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

“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

Settling Too Soon

Settling2And the land be subdued before the LORD: then afterward ye shall return, and be guiltless before the LORD, and before Israel; and this land shall be your possession before the LORD. 23But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out. 24Build you cities for your little ones, and folds for your sheep; and do that which hath proceeded out of your mouth. Numbers 32:22 – 24

The closer Israel got to The Promised Land, the more appealing the land looked, in fact Reuben and Gad decided they had found their place and wanted to settle before reaching their promised destination.

This infuriated Moses and the Lord. To settle too soon would mean the Israelites would be shorthanded in the last legs of their journey toward promise. Moses went as far as to say, “be sure, your sin will find you out!” Eventually Reuben and Gad agreed to continue to support their brethren in the conquest of Canaan.

God has great things in store for His people, but we must shake the urge to settle too soon. If we’re content with carnal, temporal, or earthly pleasures, and decide to forego God’s Eternal Promise, it is akin to sin, as Moses said, “be sure, it will find you out”. It will manifest in your lack of commitment, your earthly appetites and affections, your pursuits of wealth, worldly acclaim, and social acceptance.

Love not this world and all it affords – Jesus said He went away to prepare a place for you, and the greatest reward of all, won’t be the streets of gold, the walls of jasper, and the pearly gates, it is being in the presence of the Master for Eternity!

“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

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!

Related Posts

“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

Digging Wells of the Past – Special Dedication

And Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. Genesis 26:18

The legacy we leave to our children is of utmost importance. A prime example was Abraham. Even God said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment (Gen. 18:19).” Abraham’s legacy went beyond wealth and prestige, it instituted a perpetual generational blessing. Many times over God described Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” What a testament to the integrity and longevity of Abraham’s dynasty!

As important however, was Isaac’s continuation of that dynasty. When the malevolent Philistines filled the wells Isaac dug with his father, Isaac never hesitated, he dug them again. Yes, water in Isaac’s day was paramount, but his purpose for unearthing those wells “ran much deeper.” You see, Isaac was a pivotal figure in the propagation of God’s purpose. He was the inescapable link between the past of his father Abraham, and the future of his son Jacob (later named Israel).

They may have just been wells to the Philistines, but they represented far more to Isaac. The wells represented a perpetuation of God’s blessings; flowing from the past in which they were promised, to the future in which they would come to fruition.

NOTE: This Serminute is dedicated to my grandson Gavin Rodger Mangold. Born April 21, 2011, weighing 9.15 lbs. and measuring 23″ long. Today Gavin will be dedicated at our church, Grace Apostolic Church of Clawson. May his father, Nathanael Rodger Mangold, continue to allow the flow of God’s perpetual blessings from my generation, to Gavin’s. I’ve carried this legacy as it was handed down to me by my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. To God be the glory!

“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 – Moses' Right-hand Man Joshua

And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. Exodus 33:11

With the seeming weight of the world on his shoulders, Moses made a plea for God to show him who would one day take the helm of the Israelite nation. But, standing in the shadows was a young man who had accompanied Moses up the mount, and when everyone was commanded to remain in their tents as Moses entered the tabernacle, tenacious Joshua “departed not.”

There are two angles; Moses’ and Joshua’s. Moses the visionary concerned with future leadership and Joshua capturing the vision of his leader calling him Moses’ servant and minister. While fulfilling the role of a servant or minister, we become privy to moments those who choose to remain on the peripheral seldom see.

Before Joshua defeated Jericho, before he commanded the sun to stand still, before triumphantly leading Israel to the Promised Land, he humbled himself and became Moses’ servant remaining in the background so discretely and humbly, it never even occurred to Moses’ when considering who his successor would be. A good servant doesn’t draw attention to himself; his focus is the mission for which he’s called. Joshua’s private service to Moses his mentor, led to public victories and accomplishments, not for his glory, but for the glory of God, and for the advancement of an entire nation.

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

"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

Limiting the ONE Without Limits

Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? Isaiah 43:13 (AKJV)

Despite being ALL powerful, even God has a limit. As ludicrous as it sounds, what may come as even more of a shock is what that “limit” is…YOU.

I’m not saying we’re more powerful than God. I AM saying each time we attempt to impose our plan over God’s, in essence we limit His ability to bring about a favorable outcome for us. He will not “force” Himself on us. He may through a set of very undesirable circumstances, convince you His way is superior, but the freedom to choose is yours.  

What loathsome ingredient in a man’s character would ever insist his plans are better than God’s? Pride! The very look of which God detests (Pro. 6:16-19)! To the reader of Exodus Pharaoh appears to be withstanding God by holding Israel hostage, but God allowed those circumstances to prove it was in Egypt’s best interest to let HIS people go!  

Before we limit God, insisting on our God-given right to choose, let’s humbly submit ourselves to God’s Divine Will. He knows our end from our beginning! Let’s remove our prideful limits off God, allowing Him to “work” an optimal outcome for our blessing and His Ultimate Glory!

“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