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

An Audience of ONE

AudienceofONEThere is an incredibly understated theme all throughout biblical history that I’ve recently uncovered. It’s gone virtually unnoticed because we live in a culture that believes if we are not popular, loved, or accepted by everyone, we’re not popular, loved, and accepted by anyone.

We underestimate the impact our influence can have even on a small scale. With celebrities, performers, and athletes drawing crowds of thousands, and having social media followers in the millions, we undervalue the importance of small-scale interactions; the up-close and personal, one-on-one encounters we have almost all of the time. We can tend to feel if we can’t do it on a grand-scale, it’s simply not worth doing.

I’m so glad God never felt this way about us! While we were yet sinners, Christ loved us and gave His life for us. When we had nothing to offer in return, Christ chose the route of making the first move toward our redemption. But, before He died for the world, take note of the interactions Christ had during His earthly ministry.

  • Just Jesus and a woman at the well
  • Just Jesus and a woman caught in adultery, after the crowd scatters
  • Just Jesus and Nicodemus under the cover of night
  • Just Jesus and a little girl healed as they were already mourning her death
  • Just Jesus and Peter walking on the water
  • Just Jesus and Zacchaeus
  • He even faced down Satan one-on-one in the wilderness
  • Mary Magdalene mistakes the risen Christ for the Gardner

This theme is not unique to Jesus’ day. God chose to have these encounters with individuals from the dawn of time:

  • Adam in the cool of the day
  • Enoch walked with God, but God took Him because Enoch pleased God
  • Noah, all by his lonesome found grace in the eyes of the Lord
  • Abraham, called out of the family idol-making business to become the Father of Many Nations
  • Jacob wrestling his “Angel” all night long became the father of the Israelite Nation.
  • Moses met God one-on-one at the burning bush

This theme is important because many of these seemingly small inconsequential interactions resulted in transformational and pivotal moments in people’s lives. I call these encounters, An Audience of ONE.

No large crowds. No big venues. Just a one-on-one, up-close and personal, intimate Audience of ONE that would go on to have a huge ripple effect!

  • Mary had an audience of one with the Angel Gabriel and went on to become the Mother of Christ!
  • Zechariah had an audience of one with the Angel and he and Elizabeth became the elderly parents of John the Baptist, of whom Jesus said there was none greater!
  • Peter’s conversation with Jesus after His resurrection, later resulted in Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost that saved thousands in one day!
  • Saul on his way to kill Christians was blinded and sent to Damascus where he had an audience of one with Ananias that resulted in Saul becoming Paul, the greatest missionary of the Bible!

It’s my sincerest belief friends that Jesus still desires these one-on-one intimate conversations with His followers. I believe He still invites us to have an Audience of ONE with Him on a daily basis. Without these small interactions, this Audience of ONE, how can we ever expect to have the monumental impact our predecessors did? It’s just not possible.

Before David ever strummed a calming note on his harp for a tormented King Saul, David had an Audience of ONE with God while tending his father’s sheep.

Before David slew the giant in front of thousands in the Valley of Elah, David had an Audience of ONE with a lion and another with a bear!

Today, do not underestimate the impact your Audience of ONE can have with God. It’s like to become the most transformational moment of your entire life and could potentially have an impact upon you, your family, and those you lead, for generations to come.

“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

RefVSREv

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

Truth without Charity? Not a Chance!

truthcharity-e1532095436348.jpgThough I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (Passage Link: I Corinthians 13: 1-3)

Many of us are so good at being religious that we spend more time polishing our crown and our religious attitude than we do actually evangelizing the lost. We are never called to be religious just simply servants. He set the greatest example in the upper room the night of his betrayal when he washed the feet of the disciples. He said, but he that is greatest among shall be your servant.

We are to love one another and remember all the while that it was God who so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son to die for it. We can’t be religious and not have love; otherwise everything we do is in vain.

If you want to add more depth to your spirit try loving people’s souls as much as you do your own. Try loving their heart as much as you do your own. Share with them the only true love there is to be had and that’s the love Jesus has for them. Don’t be judgmental of people, killing them, making them despise anything with a religious label on it. We are living in a very difficult day where many religious groups are labeled as HATERS. We supposedly hate gays, drug abusers, prostitutes, and every person that hasn’t got a religious background like us. We don’t hate them we hate the sin and the effects it has on mankind. Where’s your compassion tonight, where’s the mercy you so willingly accept from the Lord, where’s the love and charity that will take your walk with God from being like tinkling brass and a sounding cymbal to something far deeper and more powerful?

Is it possible to have truth without charity? God says NO!

“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

The Lamb's Progression of Power

Throughout scripture the lamb has seen a progression of power becoming a central figure in the cleansing, redemption, and even protection of God’s people. Consider the following passages…

Lamb for a Man

Genesis 4:4 “And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering…”

Lamb for a Family

Exodus 12:21 “Then Moses called for all the elders of Israel, and said unto them, Draw out and take you a lamb according to your families, and kill the passover.”

Lamb for a Nation

Exodus 49:21  And the other lamb thou shalt offer at even, and shalt do thereto according to the meat offering of the morning, and according to the drink offering thereof, for a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 42This shall be a continual burnt offering throughout your generations at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the LORD: where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee.”

Lamb for the World

John 1:29 “The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

I Peter 1:18 – 20 “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”

The Lamb is no longer a meek and timid creature which silently succumbs to an innocent death – rather Christ is as Revelation 5:11 reveals, “And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.”

NOTE: A short word about the above remarks – This topic was derived from my Pastor, Stephen Trachsel, Sr. If some or all of this has been preached elsewhere I make no claims as to being the originator. If after reading this you know its true source please comment and I will ensure the author gets the proper credit.  Lastly, this post does exceed my 200 word limitation, the exception being it does so with scripture rather than my own words.

“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

Jesus Knew When to Retreat

Even brave and courageous heroes know there is a time to fight, and a time to flee. Some battles will exhaust your every resource, weapon, and ration to the point you are unable to continue the war. One of our greatest American patriots, then General George Washington understood this all too well as he faced the greatest military force on the planet, the British Empire.

Holed up in Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-1778, Washington utilized that time to regroup the Continental Army, and on June 19, 1778, six months after its arrival, the army marched away from Valley Forge in pursuit of the British, who were moving toward New York. The ordeal had ended. The war would last for another five years, but for Washington, his men, and the nation to which they sought to give birth, a decisive victory had been won — “a victory not of weapons but of will.”

In 338 B.C. the Greek Orator and Statesman Demosthenes said, “The man who runs may fight again.” There were several opportunities for the Jews to kill Jesus (see below), but He evaded capture, only in the end to conquer Death, Hell, and the Grave! In the grand scheme of things, retreating from minor skirmishes in order to win the war on Sin, was a superior move on Christ’s behalf, and ultimately ours!

Jesus’ was Mission-minded, so when “all things” were fulfilled He could say without reservation, “IT IS FINISHED!”

After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for he would not walk in Jewry, because the Jews sought to kill him. John 7:1-9

Therefore they sought again to take him: but he escaped out of their hand, 40 And went away again beyond Jordan into the place where John at first baptized; and there he abode. 41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spoke of this man were true. 42 And many believed on him there. John 10:39-42

A Daring God

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Who doesn’t have a hero to look up to in life who has braved challenges and come through – some victorious in this life, others having gone on to meet their reward in the Life to come.

Stories of survival – be it from illness, danger, or tragedy, those brave souls who “dared” put their fears to the side and face head-on the challenges they were presented with, inspire us all.

For Christians, Jesus braved impossible circumstance as He “dared”…

  • To robe himself in flesh and walk amongst his creation
  • To be tempted in all points like we are,
  • To be wrongfully accused…
  • To be beaten and broken for our sin!
  • To face Death, Hell, and the Grave and take back the Keys!

Despite coming to His own, and not being welcomed…

Despite humanity’s propensity for cruelty, wickedness, and sin…God dared to love us when we were unlovable!

God dared to give even when our capacity to receive had yet to be realized.

Knowing the lengths to which God went to prove His love for you…

Knowing He dared to love you…

Won’t you dare to love HIM today with all your soul, mind and strength?

“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