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

Reference vs. Reverence

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Thomas Jefferson wrote one of the most pivotal documents in all of American History, if not human history. The Declaration of Independence is viewed by many as almost a sacred mandate upon all humanity. Even as I read the words Jefferson penned in 1776, I still get goose-bumps, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

What you may not realize however is that Jefferson created another not-so inspirational document called the “Jefferson Bible.” In this unofficial bible, Jefferson edited the Holy Bible, specifically the New Testament, to remove the parts of Christ’s Life that he felt were not necessary, namely the miracles of Christ. He literally went through and physically cut those portions of scripture he disagreed with, and kept others like the teachings of Christ for reference purposes only.

Entitled, “The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth,” was completed in 1820 by cutting and pasting with a razor and glue numerous sections from the New Testament as extractions of the doctrine of Jesus. Jefferson’s condensed composition is especially notable for its exclusion of all miracles by Jesus and most mentions of the supernatural, including sections of the four gospels that contain the Resurrection and most other miracles, and passages that portray Jesus as divine. (Wikipedia citations [2][3][4][5])

For obvious reasons this has disturbing implications, to say the least, but sometimes one letter and its placement can make all of the difference in a word. The words “Reference” and “Reverence” are great examples of this principle. As it turns out, one letter, an F or a V has the potential to be an effective barometer in our walk with Christ.

Our lives can be lived in “reference” to Christ i.e. His teachings, His principles, His ideas, His values, and incredible insight. Much of the world has a “reference only” view of Christ’s earthly life and teachings. While admirable and even inspirational, this narrow view lacks a vital component. A view of the Life of Christ as merely a good reference for living our lives places a dangerous distinction between the characteristics of Christ versus the character of Christ.

To extrapolate Christ’s teachings from His Life, without allowing for His Divine Presence to enable, equip, and empower us, sets us up for some unrealistic expectations because much of what Christ taught ran counter to the culture of His day and even ours. In other words, His teachings were not popular, and to exercise His teachings without His empowering Spirit, can set us up for discouragement. Christ did not just teach, He embodied His teachings which provided His followers with not just instruction, but demonstration of how those teachings should be lived out.

John states it this way in the his account of Christ’s words, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (15:4-5)

While a life lived in “reverence” to Christ does so as a way of elevating Christ’s teaching in our lives to a place of Holy Reverence and Honor. A perspective of reverence enables and empowers us to embody the life-giving teachings, principles, and most importantly, commandments of Christ. We live our lives as a way of allowing Christ’s true character and nature to shine through us.

From a cold dark prison cell in Philippi, the Apostle Paul penned these very famous words, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13).

How could Paul write such things facing such dire circumstances? Paul knew that it was only “through Christ” which gives us strength, and in another place, the all-sufficient grace to face unthinkable trials, tests, and even power to live up to the self-sacrificing, counter-intuitive and counter-cultural teachings of Christ.

With a mere reference view, we have the option of taking or leaving things as the world does. But, maintaining a reverence for both Christ and His teaching, it will provide us a holy compulsion drawing us into a relationship with the originator of the principles, teachings, and ultimately commandments of Christ.

“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

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

When Sound Travels Faster than Light

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Science will tell you light travels faster than sound. Sound travels at a mere 332 meters per second (depending on various factors) or 1,176 feet per second. I say, “mere” because light travels at an astounding 300,000 KILOMETERS per second, or 186,000 miles per second. Einstein’s theory posed that nothing was faster than the speed of light.

While light does indeed travel faster than sound, when it comes to God, the SOUND of His Word preceded the very existence of LIGHT. God spoke, and then the light came forth! Hebrews tells us, “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

So God’s Word will always outpace, or precede the light. When being tempted by the devil Jesus reminded his foe that, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” 

Trust the Voice of the Shepherd – The Light is on the way!

Matter will not take shape. Answers will not come. And, Light will not shine unless the mouth of God has ordained it as such – The sound of God’s voice always precedes, takes precedence, or priority over things that appear.

As it was in the Beginning, so it shall be in our day-to-day walk with God. He said, “Let there be light,” and the light broke forth. Sound preceded light!

That’s why even during the dark times, we must walk by faith not by sight and trust the sound of the Shepherd’s voice…the light is on its way.

If God gave you a word or a promise, you can rest assured, the light is on its way!

John 1:1-4, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Coffeemakers vs. Coffee Drinkers

cmvscd (1)In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) John 7:37-39

There’s something almost intoxicating about entering Starbucks. Freshly brewed coffee, espressos, and the sounds of the froth machine; Starbucks isn’t selling just a cup of coffee, their selling an experience! Their baristas may enjoy the beverages they make, but they set aside their enjoyment to cater to the customer. Their service is “coffee making” not “coffee drinking.”

It’s time for us to take our evangelism efforts to the next level. We must move beyond the level of coming into our churches and enjoying a great move of the Holy Ghost. We have to be about our “Father’s Business!” He’s in the “winning souls business!”

When someone comes into our churches there needs to be an atmosphere so powerful and intoxicating the sinner can’t help but want a drink of what we have.

  • They may not know what to order
  • They may not know the lingo
  • All they know is they want a hot fresh cup of something and God’s got it all prepared for them…we need Holy Ghost filled “Baristas” to be passionate for the hurting and hungry souls of mankind!

There’s nothing wrong with coming to the house of God and enjoying a good dose of the Holy Ghost, but we need some folks that aren’t just Coffee Drinkers…We need some Coffeemakers too!

“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

Mansion Depot

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Now days if we want to build something, anything, or at least try, we immediately head to our local home improvement store; Lowe’s, Home Depot, or my new favorite, Menard’s. But if you’re building an eternal mansion, where does one go to purchase the building supplies needed for such a monumental task?

Jesus said He went away to prepare a place for us (John 14). Even as you read this, preparations for your anticipated arrival are being made. Every attention to detail is feverishly being paid. What are the materials, the building supplies, the nails, brick, mortar, and accouterments needed for the preparation of such a magnificent “mansion?”

I submit, what if the substance of our mansions consisted of the prayers we’ve prayed, the tears we’ve cried, the burdens we’ve carried, and the lives we’ve touched? What if the royalty and splendor of our mansions were proportional to the amount of our humility, generosity, charity, and love in this present life?

If God used a rough-hewn cross, rusty nails, and a crumpled mess of thorns as the building supplies of our great salvation, how great a mansion He must be preparing for us using the seemingly menial things of this life? Paul stated in Romans 8:18, “…the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”

What if the royalty and splendor of our mansions were proportional to our amount of humility, generosity, charity, and love in this present life?

And in 1 Corinthians 1:27 – 30, “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.

And, Jesus warned His disciples in Matthew 6:19 – 21, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

What of your mansion? Are you providing our Master Builder, The Great Framer of the Universe, with the adequate supplies needed to finish your mansion, or have you chosen rather to lay up for yourself treasures here, that will fade, rust, and wither?

Love and prayers for your mansion on the other side to be greater than you could ever have imagined, because our God is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all we could ask or think! Pastor Rodger Mangold

Photo credit goes to “Yours Truly.” We visited Buckingham Palace in September of 2005. Not too shabby a cottage if I do say so myself. As elegant and beautiful as that and Windsor Castle are, it will pale in comparison to the place God has prepared for those that love Him, and provide Him with suitable building materials!