No Translation Required

no-translation-required.pngDating back as far as 1911 in the March 28th issue of the Syracuse Standard the cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” was first used by the newspaper’s editor Tess Flanders. This fascinating cliché quite literally has stood the test of time. Regardless of the era in which it is used people understand its intent.

From incredibly creative works of art and sculpture, to cleverly captured photographs, millions have stood amazed and awed at an artist’s ability to portray a moment in time. Be it on the battlefield, in nature, or in everyday life, these pictures tell stories that defy the barriers of language, time, culture, or circumstance.

Rembrandt and Van Gogh were Dutch. Picasso was Spanish. Monet French. Da Vinci was Italian. Yet, when we view their works, we’re mystified by how much they transcend human language to tell stories through their works. Why is that? Some things don’t require translation.

Pictures taken from 9/11 tell the horrific story at times even better than eyewitness accounts, because sometimes a picture is indeed worth a thousand words.

Prior to the Vietnam War, the American public had spent the better part of a century insulated from the atrocities of combat, while soldiers witnessed first-hand the barbaric bloodshed. But the moment the public was provided with pictures and video of the horrors of war, their conscience was assaulted as they viewed the violence from the comfort of their living rooms.

Some things do not require a translation.

While these examples spell out stories of tragedy and hardship, there are other things in life we experience everyday that require no translation but have immediate and profound implications upon our lives and those with whom we interact.

Kindness, courtesy, compassion, mercy, and care seldom if ever require translation – they’re known as love in virtually an language.

A smile, a firm handshake, a warm embrace, eyes welled up with tears – no real translation necessary. With very few exceptions, we can all relate on some level to these feelings and moments. They speak to us in ways no human language ever could.

Now, I point you to a blood-soaked tree with the remnants of a brutally beaten and battered innocent man who was precariously nailed and pierced through, leaving a fountain of blood and water streaming out of his side splashing on the ground below; no translation required.

But three days later, a miracle of monumental and galactic proportions took place that defied description. A sight no one had ever witnessed before; This same man who had been carefully laid to rest had triumphantly risen from that grave by the resurrection power of God! An empty tomb where once the very much dead Christ laid? No translation required.

Peter attempts to describe a state of joy as “unspeakable,” defying description, a joy so profound and so powerful that the human language falls short every single time. This is what we can enjoy in the life of the Risen Savior Jesus Christ.

His unwavering love, His unending mercy, His boundless compassion toward His children? Mortal words fail us.

Whom having not seen, we love; in whom, though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: (1 Peter 1:8)

Some things not only do not require a translation. They defy description altogether.

“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

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

Fostering an Adoption Mindset

Adoption MindsetI won’t pretend to even begin to say I know what it is like growing up in the foster care system. I’ve had friends and even some family members who tell stories of what it’s like when you’re on the receiving end of being a foster kid in the system and longing for the day you will have a “forever home.” In fact, many can’t even relate to the concept of having a forever home because they’ve been bounced around from place to place, and family to family. You’re always in a state of flux and you’re always bracing yourself for when the rug is going to be pulled out from beneath you.

When I was younger my grandparents fostered a sister and brother and they fought like mad to be able to adopt them. These particular children were my age and I had grown to love them like my own sister and a brother. When the fateful day came for them to be reassigned, it devastated our family because we had grown to accept them and were willing to adopt them as our own flesh and blood, but the “System” wasn’t having it. The tears streamed down all our faces. It was one of the saddest days of my childhood. The relationships we had quite literally “fostered” were abruptly and tragically ended. In the words of Little Orphan Annie, “It’s a hard-knock life,” don’t even begin to describe the nightmarish life of these children.

While we all may not be able to relate to the hardships of foster life, there’s a generation out there right now that lives this kind of life in a constant state of spiritual, emotional, and relational flux; always bracing themselves for the next big break-up. We get bounced from broken relationship to broken relationship, longing for stability, love, and a forever home. But friends, in this world, it’s just not meant to be. God did not send His only begotten Son just to scoop up a bunch of foster kids. Christ came that He could adopt us all!

Herein lies the distinction. Christ doesn’t just want to be a foster parent. He doesn’t expect His church to just be a foster family. And, He’s certainly not in the market for relationships that come and go. God is committed to being your forever Father. He wants His Church to be your forever family, and He most certainly wants Heaven to be your Forever Home.

This world, at best, can only offer to be your foster parent, but Jesus wants to adopt you into the Family of God through His supreme sacrifice at Calvary. He paid the dearest price to ensure you were not only adopted but that you become an heir with Him for Eternity.

In the grand scheme of things, being adopted may not sound like the optimal outcome for children in this life. Some grow to feel their birth parents abandoned them. So Christ takes it one step farther. He not only adopts us, He allows us to be “born into this family” through His Death, Burial and Resurrection, we become the Sons and Daughters of God!

This is bigger than “foster-care” or adoption; this is about a New Birth experience, where your old life is buried with Christ, and you arise to become a New Creation in Him as well. Your old life is passed away, and all things are made new!

Ephesians 1:3 – 6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

“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

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

Passionate About His People

PassionateYou discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. (Passage Link: Psalms 139:2-3)

God’s more than interested in you; He’s passionate about your relationship with Him. In fact there’s no separating you from His Love. (Passage Link: Romans 8:37-39)

David said, “though I make my bed in hell, you [Lord] are with me.” (Passage Link: Psalms 139:7-9)

God’s passion for his people is vividly portrayed in Solomon’s Book of Songs, a book often relegated to irrelevance by some due to it “romantic” nature. This is an injustice to both the reader and God’s Word! You should want to know how loving and affectionate God is toward you! It’s sung with such poetic elegance, “My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.” (Passage Link: Song of Solomon 2:16)

You are after all the crowning achievement of God’s Creation…made in HIS image! What an incredible revelation it should be to know that when you look in the mirror, you’re looking at the meticulous detail and sheer craftsmanship of Jehovah! (Passage Link: Genesis 1:26-28)

When did God start loving you, one might ask? There is no answer for this question, because this question has no point of reference…you see, there was NEVER a point at which God did NOT love you. He’s always loved you. Everything God has ever done, or ever will do, is motivated by HIS neverending love for you.

John “The Beloved” said it like this, “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” (Passage Link: I John 4:16)

So by virtue of HIS Eternal Nature – GOD IS LOVE!

Glory be to God for the incredible depths and lengths He has gone to save us and prove His love toward us!

“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

 

How Badly Does God Hate Sin?

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. (Passage Link: Romans 12:19)

For Christians perhaps one of the most difficult things to reconcile with non-believers is God’s heavy hand of judgment which is so graphically displayed throughout the Old Testament. After all, just by virtue of HIS definition, God stated in Malachi 3:6, “I am the LORD, I change not.” Even in the New Testament James 1:17 describes God as, “the Father of lights in whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Historically God has used different means and methods for dealing with humanity, but be it known God’s loathing and intolerance of Sin will never change. It is after all the element that set in motion the separation from HIS Creation. And since its inception, God, has worked toward eradicating both Sin and its effects, reconciling the world unto Himself. If you ever for one moment wonder how God feels about Sin, read the accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John detailing the brutality with which Christ was crucified; beating, scourging, bloodshed, nails piercing His hands and feet, the Crown of Thorns, and the splintered and rough-sawn cross on which Christ hanged!

God took vengeance upon Sin and its source that fateful day at Calvary. No slap on the wrist, no probation, no parole, no warning, God with extreme prejudice took “away the sin of the world” by the sinless, blameless blood of His only begotten Son Jesus!

How badly does God hate sin? God hates sin as much as He loves you and me; He went to the extreme of robing Himself in flesh and laying down His life for His friends, repaying the debt He did NOT owe (Passage Link: John 15:12-14).

“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