The Heavenly Exchange

HeavenlyExchangeIn the Book of Job we read his famous words often quoted when someone is in the midst of their trial or test, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. 22 In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” (Job 1:21-22)

Job knew unmistakably from whom all blessings flow, but he also was painfully aware who could choose to take them away.

We fixate on the things the Lord gives, because we love getting blessings from God. But, what about when He takes things away? What about when He subtracts, rather than adds? In this context we can easily see but one side of God’s ability to take things away. It’s often viewed in the context of the negative, isn’t it?

Job lost his cattle, his fields, and his children; EVERYTHING in one day. Here we can eerily see how quickly a man can be reduced to near nothing if God so chooses. But, that’s when God takes things away that down deep we feel as if God acted unfairly. It’s as if God is punishing us. Let’s be honest though, aren’t we glad when the coin lands on the other side of “taken away?” What do I mean?

God gets a bad wrap when good things are seemingly stripped from our hands, but aren’t we grateful when God takes some things away from us?

Isaiah 61:3 describes this process of God taking some of the less desirable things and exchanging them for things with immeasurable value:

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

We’re quick to play the victim when God takes the things away we felt attached to, but what about when God’s willing to make a beautiful exchange in return for our willingness to allow Him to take our less than desirable things? After all, the greatest exchange took place over 2000 years ago at Calvary.

And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it. (Colossians 2:13-15)

Christ didn’t just take our sins, He nailed them to HIS CROSS! What a wonderful exchange. What a great release He has given us all who have been born again into His Kingdom!

May we emphatically declare, the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD! He took my sins away. He took my guilt and shame away. He took my punishment away. He took my death sentence away! And, gave me life eternal in exchange for it all.

This exchange doesn’t end with this life, but in the life to come, Paul says, “So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15:54) 

Again to the Philippians Paul reveals our eventual exchange from our Earthly citizenship, to a Heavenly citizenship, “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. (Phil. 3:20-21)

We will exchange an earthly mortal body with a heavenly immortal one in the same fashion as Christ, where Death will be swallowed up in sweet victory at that Heavenly Exchange!

“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

Knowing vs. Feeling

For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:  Job 19:25

A great deal of what we do is predicated by what we feel. Our society is all about doing whatever makes us feel good. Think about how many times a day you say these words, “I feel like…or I don’t feel like.” But, what about a level of living that goes beyond what we feel and centers more around what we know?

Folks that live in this dimension are more driven. For example, we know exercise is good for us, and if we determined to do it only when we felt like it, with few exceptions, we just plain wouldn’t do it. We know that eating certain food is healthy for us, so our choices, if lead by knowing vs. feeling will include, according to nutritionists, are better for you.

When living for God, there is a time we must fall back upon what we know and less upon what we feel. Knowing God’s Will and Word, will take you much farther than just “feeling” it. Our feelings are so fickle. If we waited until we felt like praising God, our flesh would soon win out.

Job couldn’t change the way he felt about his dilemma, but he tapped into a vital resource, his knowledge of who his redeemer is! Life is going to make you feel highs and lows. Your moods will change like the wind, but what should never change is what you know God is capable of…exceeding, abundantly above all that we could ask or think!

“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

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