A God Who Goes Before Us

A God Who Goes BeforeIn addition to pastoring, I work for Ford Motor Company. I tell people I work for Ford, but I labor for the Lord. This company has been around for nearly 120 years now. Recently my plant celebrated its 50th anniversary of being in operation having opened its doors in October 1968. Curiously enough, I was hired in October of 1996 and celebrated 22 years with Ford. I say “curiously enough” because as I joined my coworkers in celebrating our plant’s milestone, something powerful dawned on me.

I walked along the wall and observed them breaking ground in October 1966. I was intrigued by the large excavators, hundreds of construction workers, and new walls being poured. I really got emotional in that moment because I realized that even before I was born (1969) and before I was hired (1996), God was preparing a place for me to work and have a career. Sure, thousands of others have worked here, but I had a profound notion that God somehow prepared it just for me. Selfish you may say? Not hardly. God has a way of blessing many people in many ways at different times, but who could have known a little boy was going to be born and that he would work at a Ford plant 20 miles away from where I was born and nearly 50 miles from where I grew up?

Then, I was thinking of the house I now live in which was built in 1989. I graduated from high school in 1988. How could I have known that a family would be building a house 50 miles away for me to one day buy nearly 30 years later and where I would watch all four of my grandchildren take their first steps?

The same with the church I grew up in; the church my wife grew up in; the church I now pastor. All buildings that would have significance in my life. Buildings I did not build, yet had life-changing and long-reaching effects in my life.

I want to encourage someone today that your life is not left to chance. There is a loving and benevolent heavenly Father above who has meticulously prepared a life for you if you’re willing to walk in it. He did this with the children of Israel as He stated in Deuteronomy…

“And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (Deuteronomy 6:10-12 ESV)

So, as you lay your head down at night, or walk through the doors of your place of employment or worship, pause to give thanks and reflect upon the fact that your life is not an accident and that God has gone before you to ensure you have everything you need in your future to be a success and carry out the beautiful plans He’s tailor-made for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

“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

My Life’s Symphony

SymphonyMy purpose in life is not wrapped up in fulfilling this world’s expectations of me. My future, my destiny, my reason for living is derived from the ONE who gave me life.

God is orchestrating the Symphony that is my life. Some will choose to join for a moment fulfilling a brief but needful purpose. Others will be a continual part of the music of my life, but I’m grateful to all who play a part.

To the ones who have hurt me; thank you. Rather than harden or anger me, You have softened the melody of my life at times.

Others who have cheered me on, have created a bold chorus that quickens and livens my steps.

And still, there are those who love me and accept me through it all. From the heart-pounding crescendos to the lowest of decrescendos, you have sweetened each note, each stanza, each rhythm, and rhyme.

God is the orchestrator, the conductor, and composer. I will entrust the Symphony that is my life into His benevolent care, and may the melody of my life be a constant source of praise and glory to the King of all kings, and Lord of all lords…Jesus Christ. Amen and Amen.

Galatians‬ ‭1:10‬ ‭(ESV), “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” ‬‬

Zephaniah 3:17“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”

Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

“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

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

From a Coat of Many Colors to Many Coats of Color – Favor with God AND Man

colorcoats

Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. 4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him. (Passage Link: Genesis 37:3-4)

Young, ambitious, and perhaps overzealous, Joseph soon learned that despite favor with his father, he would have to learn to harness his newly found gifts and couple them with humility.

At some point, our gifts will make a place for us; in fact, it will likely gain us audience with kings. But, there is no circumventing God’s process and plan. Given a preview of things to come in his life, Joseph surely must have thought this was going to take shape quickly, when in reality…it was going to take decades to fully come to fruition.

The other aspect of our gifts and skills according to Proverbs 22:29, not only will our skills allows us to stand before kings, we will not stand before “mean men!” Joseph’s brothers were not warm to the idea of their brother being their leader and were more than mean – they were bitter.

Even Jesus, God wrapped in flesh, followed the proper channels, Luke 2:52 teaches us, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.”

In short, you may well have the calling, the gifting, and the talent, but without the favor of God and man, you’ll run into angry men long before you ever appear before kings.

More on the Coats of Joseph’s Life – “From a Coat of Many Colors to Many Coats of Color”

“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

From a Coat of Many Colors to Many Coats of Color

colorcoats

Now the love which Israel had for Joseph was greater than his love for all his other children, because he got him when he was an old man: and he had a long coat made for him. (Passage Link: Genesis 37:3)

Less a statement of fashion and more a statement of love, Joseph’s highly prized and colorful coat brought with it privilege but at a great price. From the moment Joseph donned his new coat his life was swirled with controversy. Yes, this coveted coat signified favor, but Joseph would soon learn not everyone views you through the loving eyes of the Father. Some view your calling through blinders of jealousy and envy; others through competition and rivalry.

Thinking no ill would come of showing them his new coat, Joseph would unknowingly instigate a devious plot by his older brothers to sell him into slavery and to convince their father Joseph had fallen prey to the vicious attack of an animal.

We enjoy the moments of basking in God’s good graces; when He showers His love and favor bountifully on us, as we should. Yet this favor is NOT to be used as a “cloak” of maliciousness. God setting you aside for His purpose is not intended to draw attention to you as much as it is to bring Him Supreme Glory. The “Thunder” Brothers, James and John, were seeking the position of “right and left” but neglected to take a peek at the price tag. Jesus warned them that to be granted such privilege would require them to be willing to “be baptized with the baptism” that He would endure (Passage Link: Mark 10:37-40).

You will note as we take this journey through Joseph’s life there is always an exchange of coats, and with each coat comes a new level of favor, growth, and glory for this beloved “Dreamer of Dreams.”

More on the Coats of Joseph’s Life – “From a Coat of Many Colors to Many Coats of Color”

“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

What if Church…

…was not about me?

Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Philippians 2:4

What if…

Instead of going to be encouraged…we went to encourage others…

Instead of hoping to sing my favorite song…we hoped to sing “their” favorite song…

Instead of looking to be served…we intentionally served others…

Instead of waiting to be welcomed…we welcomed others first…

Instead of asking to be prayed for…if we sought to pray for others…

Instead of going to receive a blessing…we went to be a blessing…

What difference would it make in our church experience?

Of course, church is ultimately not about either of us…it’s about Jesus…

But, church is also where people who want to make much of Jesus gather to grow, fellowship and worship Jesus…

So, I wonder how our church experience would be made different, if we approached it considering the interest of others…

Just wondering…

Special thanks to  Pastor Ron Edmondson for allowing me to re-post this article

For more by Pastor Ron Edmundson visit www.ronedmondson.com

“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