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

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

Tackling Murphy

Murphy

Football Coach Gus Bradley, defensive coordinator for the Los Angeles Chargers trains his team to face who he calls, Murphy?

Who’s Murphy? We all know Murphy, don’t we?

We’re in the middle of those difficult and time-consuming projects and this character out of nowhere shows up unannounced and uninvited. His name is Murphy. This cat is so famous, they even named a law after him, called Murphy’s Law.

The definition of Murphy’s Law states: Anything that can go wrong, WILL go wrong!

Gus Bradley trains the LA Chargers to expect Murphy to show up, and show up at the least opportune time – bad weather, flight delay, traffic, any unexpected event that could potentially throw you off your game.

WHEN Murphy shows up, not IF, the team tackles him head on! They don’t wait for him to make the first move, they anticipate him, they prepare for him. Instead of being afraid of Murphy, they choose to engage, face him down, and dismantle him before he even steps out onto the field.

We often refer to the Murphy’s Law when something doesn’t work out. We blame Murphy for a lot of things, but what if we could actually put Murphy to work for us? What if we translated everything Murphy did TO US, as what Murphy does FOR US?

Edwin McManus said, “Greatness is never born from easy circumstances.”

We don’t create a good life, good circumstances, or success from the outside-in, we do so from the inside-out.

Allow me to frame this another way, when it comes to our enemy the devil, it’s not a matter of IF he’ll show up, it’s a matter of WHEN! Like the LA Chargers, we don’t wait for Satan to make the first move, we anticipate him, we prepare for him.

Peter said it this way, “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

Instead of being afraid of Satan, we choose to be on guard, to engage, face him down, dismantle him before he even gets a chance to step out onto the field!

Just like old Murphy gets the blame for a lot of things, Satan does too. But what if instead of blaming Satan for everything wrong that’s ever happened, we actually started making the devil work FOR US?

Peter goes on to say in verse 9, “Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.” (ESV)

In the realm of fitness, resistance equals strength training. What the devil means for bad, God helps us translate into strength and overcoming power! Satan thinks he’s doing this TO us, but in actuality, he’s doing it FOR us!

Joseph was wrongfully sold into slavery by his conniving brothers but through the faithfulness of God, and Joseph’s trust in the dreams God placed in his heart, he eventually became an emperor in Egypt. Listen to how Joseph processed his pain, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” (Genesis 50:20 ESV)

Don’t be shocked when Satan shows up. He was one of the first uninvited guests to the Garden of Eden. Again, uninvited in the book of Job with the Sons of God. And, he had the nerve to show up in the wilderness after Jesus’ 40-day fast. You can most certainly anticipate he will rear his ugly head in your life as well. Be ready for him. Tackle him when he shows up. It’s often an indication strength and power are destined for your immediate future.

“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

You Are Who You Are

You are who you are for a reason.

You’re part of an intricate plan.

You’re a precious and perfect unique design,

Called God’s special woman or man.

 

You look like you look for a reason.

Our God made no mistake.

He knit you together within the womb,

You’re just what he wanted to make.

 

The parents you had were the ones He chose,

And no matter how you may feel,

They were custom-designed with God’s plan in mind,

And they bear the Master’s seal.

 

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.

And God wept that it hurt you so;

But it was allowed to shape your heart

So that into his likeness you’d grow.

 

You are who you are for a reason,

You’ve been formed by the Master’s Rod.

You are who you are, beloved,

Because there is a God!

 

Poem by Russell Kelfer 1933 – 2000. He was a layman and business man who taught for over 25 years. His timeless lessons on living the Christian life major on practical application and continue today to be heard, seen, read, and taught by others around the world.

“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 Thread of Resilience

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10

Throughout the rough course that is our life, there is a thread of resilience carefully woven into the fabric of our existence. Viewed in the right light, that is the light of God’s love and grace, that thread takes on a hue of compassion and tenderness. In the absence of God’s light, that very same thread of resilience exhibits bitterness and resentment.

Resilience is borne out of resistance, hardship, and even tragedy. Some of what we endure is brought on by our own selfishness, but other times we are being chastened, or corrected by the Lord. Hebrews 12:11 encourages us that, “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Were it not for God’s loving, yet firm Hand, we would be as a fatherless child Hebrews tells us. In fact, God corrects those He loves. Were we left to our own devices, appetites, and affections, we would find ourselves miserable and lost. Knowing, that when God corrects us it builds resilience, should bring us peace of mind. Because God’s motive for correcting us is borne out of love, not some selfish desire to manipulate. God is ultimately cultivating us, if we allow Him, so that one day we can spend eternity with Him.

“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

Divine Detour or Rebellious Roadblock

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

This is a comforting scripture we often refer to in times of inexplicable circumstances. How blessed we are that God included this reassurance in HIS word for us. There is nothing more disturbing when tragedy and catastrophe happens, than thinking it happened for no good reason. The pain, the anguish and the loss happened and it was just random.  We need to know that no matter how dark the trial or test, no matter how long and hard the road, and no matter how much it hurts at this moment, God is going to work it all out…and not just work it out, but work together with my circumstances for something GOOD!

At these crossroads of calamity, if we’re not cautious, we’ll allow the very situation God ordained for our good, to entertain self-pity, incite rebellion, or engender bitterness.

If you’re inclined toward allowing dire circumstances to embitter you, ponder this – Will you allow this junction in your life to remain a “Divine Detour” or become a “Rebellious Roadblock?” Divinely inspired detours result in God’s perfect purpose coming to pass. Rebellious roadblocks result in continued despair and isolation. In so doing, we forever alter the outcome and exempt ourselves from God’s true motive – allowing all things to work together for our good.

“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