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

Undercover Sinner

UCSinnerThe world we live in has created a generation of people who always have their defenses up. For our generation it’s become a survival mechanism. We have identity thieves, terrorists, human trafficking, and very real demonic forces that are out to destroy us and our family. And that enemy will use any means necessary to bring us down.

But, when it comes to our Heavenly Father defenses are both not needed and a complete waste. First because He sees us for who we really are, and second, there is no hiding anything from God…PERIOD! Our attempts to hide, mask, or shield ourselves is an insult to the One who created us and knows us inside out.

Like armchair quarterbacks, we sit back with a critical eye on the likes of Adam and Eve, Achan, Ananias and Sapphira, and even King David, and think how naive they must have been to think they could conceal their sin from God.

Yes, they were all feeble attempts at covering up their sin, but really in addition to hiding for fear of punishment, weren’t they responding out of shame as well?

Adam and Eve’s eyes had been opened by the fruit they wrongfully ate and they tried to cover up with fig leaves they haphazardly sewed together to hide the shame of their nakedness.

Certainly, God was angered by their sin, but His first question was, “Who told you, you were naked?” Then, God asked about the fruit. God bemoans the loss of openness before He does the actual sin of eating the fruit.

Why? Because God wants openness, honesty, and purity when it comes to His relationship with you.

No pretense. No shame. No guilt. No fear.

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”

Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

Does any of this sound like God wants us to shy away from His Holy Presence? In fact, when do we need God the most? When we have sinned and fallen short; When we have messed up; when we are feeling suffocated by shame.

Satan knows, just like he did back in the Garden, if he can create a wedge or a wall between us and God, our relationship with God is vulnerable and will severely suffer.

The WORST thing we can do when we sin is try to hide it, cover it up, and allow it to be a constant source of guilt and shame for us and inhibit the flow of God’s Love in our lives.

Pure and simple – God wants a relationship with His Children and has traveled galaxies to make that a reality in our lives.

In fact, God has given us all an opportunity to be open and honest with Him.

1 John 1:8 – 10 says, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

God has no tolerance for people that try to cover up their sin. He takes it very seriously because it is sin that separates us from Divine Communion with Him.

Friend, sin is a disease that destroys the most valuable commodity we have in eternity, our soul. It will destroy the greatest relationship we could ever have here or in eternity, our relationship with our Creator. Sin destroys relationships both with each other, and with God.

The biggest source of hatred for God against sin isn’t the fact that we’ve sinned, it’s what we do when we do sin, and what sin does to us when it tightens its grip. 

God’s strolling through your life even now looking for Divine Communion with you. Will He find you? Or, will you be hiding in shame, tucked behind the tree, haphazardly wrapped up in fig leaves, cowering in shame because you’re naked, alone, and afraid?

Yes, God’s angry with the sin, but not for the reason you think He is. He’s angered by your loss of innocence; your loss of openness, honesty, and purity. He’s angered that sin has robbed you of the greatest relationship you’ll ever know – His relationship with you.

Today, ask yourself the question, are things as open as they used to be between you and God, or have fig leaves and fruit trees stood in the way of God have complete access to your heart, and you having complete access to His Love, Grace, and Mercy?

  • Don’t try and cover up your sin.
  • Don’t try and avoid what you’ve done.
  • Don’t try and defend what you’ve done.
  • Don’t simply be ashamed of what you’ve done.
  • Don’t live a life of guilt and separation from the One who loves you the most.

Take it all to God today. Enter boldly before His throne.

  • Confess
  • Repent
  • Release
  • Accept forgiveness
  • Never do it again!

Move toward the open and loving arms of a merciful and compassion Savior.

“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

Praying Confidently

prayconfident (1)Many of us lose confidence in prayer because we don’t recognize the answer. We ask for strength; God gives us difficulties which make us strong. God sends problems, the solutions of which develop wisdom. We plead for prosperity; God give us a brain and brawn to work. We plead for courage; God give us danger to overcome. We ask for favors; God give us opportunities. So often we reject the very things God send to develop and strengthen us. – Author Unknown

We lose confidence in prayer also when we lose focus on what true prayer is all about! Prayer is as much about speaking to God as it is about listening. Like any conversation, a good one includes an exchange where both parties are seeking both to be understood and to understand. A successful prayer life doesn’t include one that simply involves petitions, lists of grievances, or even a laundry list of “needs.” Rather, a healthy prayer life includes one where you simply avail yourself in submission to God and His Supreme authority! A time where we await instructions as much as we seek God’s favor and intervention; A time of praise and thanksgiving; A time to simply connect with your Creator.

Take a few moments to reflect upon your prayer life and ensure it contains the essential two-way communication that is vital to the success of any thriving relationship – earthly and eternal!

“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

From Grief of Mind to Peace of Mind – Training Our Generations

And Esau was forty years old when he took to wife Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, and Bashemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite: 35Which were a grief of mind unto Isaac and to Rebekah. Genesis 26:34-35

Trampling underfoot the direction of his grandfather Abraham (Gen. 24:3), Esau married two “Canaanite” women who grieved the mind of Isaac and Rebekah. Esau was bent on bucking the values and mandates of his forefathers. As generations progress there is a propensity for challenging things we may not have been properly taught to respect and revere.

We could easily allow certain boundaries and traditions in our walk with God to fall to the wayside relegating them to old fashioned, burdensome, and narrow-minded. As strict or loose as you live for God, your children, and grandchildren could, if not properly taught and trained, start to allow some timeless standards, traditions, and values to drop off feeling they’re antiquated.

God commanded Israel to teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up (Deut. 6:7).

For every one time you teach your child something is right or wrong, there’s a wicked world out there telling them, “If it feels good do it!” We need to be relentless in our love, teaching and training of our children and even our grandchildren; essentially transforming them from a “grief of mind” to a “peace of mind.”

“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

God's View Inside vs. Man's View Outside

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. I Samuel 16:7

When reading this text we could view man’s inability to see through to the heart as a negative; it’s not – it’s a reality. When God looks on the heart, only He can fairly judge the “thoughts and intents of the heart.” But, man is not helpless in making some judgment calls.

On several occasions the bible indicates man’s judgment is based on what he sees outwardly. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always tell the whole story if our intent is to mask our true feelings. Good or bad our outward appearance tells a story.

Even Jesus indicated this by saying, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works (outward appearance – my addition), and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matt. 5:16).” In other words, what you do reflects your relationship (or lack thereof) with your Heavenly Father.

Next time you feel it doesn’t matter what you do, and people shouldn’t judge based on the things you say and the choices you make – remember, man looks on the outward; it’s the only way he can judge your character. There may be some bias, but it’s a reality even God knows exists. The best way to be properly judged by both God and man is to ensure both your heart and your actions align properly with God’s perfect will!  

“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