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

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

When Silence Isn't Golden

silencegoldenHow long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me? (Passage Link: Psalm 13:1)

There are many things to be said for silence. It has been said that “silence is golden.” Phrases like “getting the silent treatment” bring a smile to our face when we put it in terms of a wife having a fight with her husband.

But when you are facing a real life dilemma, an overwhelming trial or test, silence is no laughing matter. Silence can be destructive for some spiritually. It can cause you to fret and stew; to imagine God does not love you or care about you, but oh how wrong you are!

Mary and Martha surely knew had He shown up, Jesus absolutely could have healed Lazarus’ preventing his death, but they would never have witnessed one of Jesus’ greatest miracles and foreshadowing of things to come…A RESURRECTION!

Your answer will never be too late. God’s silence will not last forever. He hears your every prayer. No prayer or praise goes unnoticed, no tear falls without God taking note. Weeping may endure for the night but joy cometh in the morning.

Jesus isn’t ignoring your situation. He’s not ignoring your cries for help, in fact, your silence is about to be broken. Your answer is on the way. And the miracle that will unfold will far surpass any answer or manifestation of God’s power you thought possible – Exceeding, abundantly, above all you could ask or think!

“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

Don't Wait Till Morning to Get Your Joy

WaitMorningFor his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalm 30:5

A couple of preachers were banished to prison for preaching this gospel message of Christ crucified, raising again on the 3rd Day, and then ascending back up into Heaven.

They were bound and thrown into a dungeon for preaching that Christ shed His innocent blood for the sin of mankind. For preaching that you must be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit!

But as they sat shackled in the stocks, Paul and Silas weren’t about to wait until the morning for their JOY!

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26)

  • At the darkest point of the night…
  • At the lowest point of the ministry…
  • In the worst of conditions…

These courageous preachers forgot about their shackles, and their hopeless situation. After all, God wasn’t any less deserving of praise.

Like Paul and Silas, don’t wait for the morning to start praising and thanking God!

Don’t wait until the doors of your prison open before you praise and worship God!

Don’t wait until the morning to start getting your JOY!

Starting praising God in your “night season” until your prison doors open.

Start praising God until your JOY comes.

“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

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

A Daring God

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. 8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Who doesn’t have a hero to look up to in life who has braved challenges and come through – some victorious in this life, others having gone on to meet their reward in the Life to come.

Stories of survival – be it from illness, danger, or tragedy, those brave souls who “dared” put their fears to the side and face head-on the challenges they were presented with, inspire us all.

For Christians, Jesus braved impossible circumstance as He “dared”…

  • To robe himself in flesh and walk amongst his creation
  • To be tempted in all points like we are,
  • To be wrongfully accused…
  • To be beaten and broken for our sin!
  • To face Death, Hell, and the Grave and take back the Keys!

Despite coming to His own, and not being welcomed…

Despite humanity’s propensity for cruelty, wickedness, and sin…God dared to love us when we were unlovable!

God dared to give even when our capacity to receive had yet to be realized.

Knowing the lengths to which God went to prove His love for you…

Knowing He dared to love you…

Won’t you dare to love HIM today with all your soul, mind and strength?

“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