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

A Savior Between Two "Thieves"

Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. Matthew 27:38

The account of Christ’s crucifixion never gives the identities of the two thieves or malefactors, but it dawned on me, the position of Christ between them has significance on several levels. It brings to mind an Old Testament showdown of Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal.

In I Kings 18:21 Elijah issues a challenge to Israel, “How long halt ye between two opinions? If the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.”

It occurred to me, people who have yet to be fully convinced of Christ’s redemptive work at Calvary find themselves in a similar quandary, almost persuaded (Acts 26:28) allowing their opinions to become the thieves of their salvation, with our Dear Savior hanging in the middle!

The two thieves surrounding Christ may not have had names in the Gospels, but in today’s message they do. For some they could be…

  • Pride and Arrogance
  • Greed and Power
  • Complacency and Apathy

Friend, how long will YOU stall in your valley of decision (Joel 3:14) to live for Christ? Will you continue to allow thieves to distract and rob you of choosing the blessed Savior hanging between them?

“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

Changing the Unchangable?

My son, fear thou the Lord and the king: and meddle not with them that are given to change: For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knows the ruin of them both? (Proverbs 24:21-22)

What brings a man or a woman to the point of lowering their guard on God’s mandates? What burning insatiable desire in mankind causes us to spin and take an “about face” stance on issues that before were nonnegotiable? Simply put…PRIDE!

No longer in pursuit of God’s sanctioning, preferring rather the approval of our fellow man, we insist on our intellect, we impose our position, we conspire to retire the essence, the anointing, the power, and the favor! Much like Uzzah, who touched the Ark of the Covenant, so too does mankind touch and tarnish, desire to desecrate, foundational truths. It seems everything we touch, we contaminate with our pride, our preferences, and prejudices.

God is God – He doesn’t change! But, some change can be good when we “decrease” and God “increases.” But, if the catalyst for change is based in self satisfaction or personal preference, we put our plans above God’s and we destabilize those over which we have influence. Uzzah thought he was stabilizing the Ark, when in reality he was indicating his ideas and mode of transport for God’s anointing were superior to God’s commandments. The outcome cost Uzzah his life, and disrupted the flow of God’s anointing and favor to the entire nation of Israel!

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

Disposed to Dispose

For there is no respect of persons with God. Romans 2:11

We live in a disposable society. We eat off of paper plates, drink out of plastic cups and use throw away napkins. We shave with disposable razors, take pictures with throw-away cameras, clean our houses and baby’s backsides with disposable wipes and we even have what the accountants call, “disposable income!”

Dare I say, this “throw-away” mentality can even creep into our spiritual walk…

  • We swap churches and faiths like name brands
  • We wait until we’re in a good mood to praise God
  • We don’t like this sermon, so we’ll wait for the next one

 This disposable mentality can have us even feeling that way about people…

  • We avoid praying with people because the look “different”
  • We only share Christ with the “normal” people
  • We only help others when it benefits us

God’s commandments are not based on OUR “personal preferences!” We are to be lead by God’s Love and Mercy! God’s Kingdom is eternal, comprised of the souls of humanity. Don’t cast aside opportunities to share God’s unmerited grace and unfailing love with everyone…not just those we “deem” worthy. No soul is disposable to God – He gave His only begotten Son to save us ALL!

“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

No Free Rides When You're Running from God

Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. 3But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD. Jonah 1:1-3

In Isaiah 55:11 God declared regarding His Word, “it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” How is it we think our plans supersede God’s? Jonah was foolish enough to think he could outrun God’s command to arise and cry against Nineveh. In all actuality, when we run from God it’s going to cost us dearly, and Jonah indeed “paid the fare thereof” and it was more than he was willing to pay…

  • He paid the fare for the ship ride to Tarshish
  • He paid in toiling on the stormy seas
  • He paid for 3 days and nights in the belly of the giant fish

Ironically, like Jonah we utilize more energy running from God than we would simply performing the actual assignment God tasked us with!

The shipmaster rightfully called Jonah O Sleeper.”  Jonah needed to be awakened from his self-centeredness and pride to complete His God-given mission as do we. Awake thou that sleepest,” because Jesus called us to preach the gospel to every living creature…if not, the fare may be more than we’re willing to pay!

There are no free rides when you’re running from God!

“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

Limiting the ONE Without Limits

Yes, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it? Isaiah 43:13 (AKJV)

Despite being ALL powerful, even God has a limit. As ludicrous as it sounds, what may come as even more of a shock is what that “limit” is…YOU.

I’m not saying we’re more powerful than God. I AM saying each time we attempt to impose our plan over God’s, in essence we limit His ability to bring about a favorable outcome for us. He will not “force” Himself on us. He may through a set of very undesirable circumstances, convince you His way is superior, but the freedom to choose is yours.  

What loathsome ingredient in a man’s character would ever insist his plans are better than God’s? Pride! The very look of which God detests (Pro. 6:16-19)! To the reader of Exodus Pharaoh appears to be withstanding God by holding Israel hostage, but God allowed those circumstances to prove it was in Egypt’s best interest to let HIS people go!  

Before we limit God, insisting on our God-given right to choose, let’s humbly submit ourselves to God’s Divine Will. He knows our end from our beginning! Let’s remove our prideful limits off God, allowing Him to “work” an optimal outcome for our blessing and His Ultimate Glory!

“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