A Simple Christ for a Complicated World

Simple ChristDespite how intricate, beautiful, and complex His Creation is, Jesus had a profound way of keeping things simple. The religious people, the Pharisees and Sadducees, had built an empire around making religion so complicated, and being devout so above everyone, that Jesus had to come to simplify it all!

But, don’t underestimate Christ’s simplicity, it was actually understated genius for Him to come amongst His own creation and fly below the radar.

From His simple birth in a manger, to His profession as a carpenter, Jesus kept it simple. Isn’t that just like us though. We complicate everything. We try to force things. We try to muddy things up. We don’t mean to. But, if we can, we want to blend our version of Jesus, with the version of Jesus in the bible. We have an image of Him, but I wonder how closely that image of Jesus would resemble true image, the simplified version.

The moment we get our hands on something is the moment we make it harder than what it has to be. This holds true for how we handle crisis, trouble, or general strife in our life.

Job, along with his comforters over complicated what was happening to him. They spent nearly 35 chapters explaining one or two chapters of dialogue between God and Satan.

The Israelites took forty years to make a 2-week long journey.

The woman with the issue of blood spent 12 years and her entire life’s savings trying to fix her condition before concluding, all she needed to do was touch the hem of his garment.

The man who had suffered 38 years at the Pool of Bethesda when all he would have needed was faith and Jesus could heal him!

Jesus marveled at people who simplified their faith in Him. The Centurion told him to just, “Say the word. You don’t even need to come to my house!”

The list goes on and on throughout the bible at how we complicate things!

In Closing

Jesus didn’t come to make things harder – He came to make them simpler for humanity. According to many rabbis, the original Talmud, or Jewish Law records 613 commands!

Jesus states in Matthew 22:35-40, “Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Jesus simplifies everything for us! So, why do we make things so difficult? We think we’re making things easier, but in reality, we’re working so hard at avoiding work, we’re creating more work and complexity for our lives.

How about you? Have you complicated what you’re going through by trying to take the long way?

“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

Christian Salt: How Much is Enough?

ChristianSalt

Jesus left His followers no doubt as to their role in this present life, “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.” (Matthew 5:13 ESV).

Read that again…You are the salt of the earth. You are what enhances and preserves the flavor of this entire planet. Not just your region, your nation, your city, or your family, but the EARTH! That’s a tall order to fill, but then again, we serve a God whose vocabulary does not include the word impossible. After all, nearly 75% of the Earth’s surface is covered in “salt water!” To shamelessly use a pun, God’s got you covered!

I’ll do you one better though friends, this salt is not just a “take-it-or-leave-it” optional condiment from the shelves of kitchen pantry, this is essential. Without this vital mineral, life as we know it could not exist. According to Harvard Medical School, The human body can’t live without some sodium (aka salt). It’s needed to transmit nerve impulses, contract and relax muscle fibers (including those in the heart and blood vessels), and maintain a proper fluid balance. It doesn’t take much to do this.

Did you catch that last bit, “It doesn’t take much to do this.” In other words, even at small doses, salt can make a big impact. See, we think we have to use massive doses of salt in order to have the impact Christ called us to have. To reinforce the idea that little is much when God is in it, think about the amount of faith Christ said was packed into a tiny little mustard seed? Still think it takes a lot to make a difference?

Feeling overwhelmed by this responsibility? Some of us struggle with this concept of saltiness how we could ever produce enough to make it count. In reality, it would all do us well to be reminded, our saltiness does not come from ourselves, but rather Christ’s love being shed abroad in our hearts is the true source. He knows best how much to add to each situation you face.

Have you ever watched a cooking program on Food Network? Those chef’s know just how much salt to add to their delicious dishes. A dash, a pinch, a cup or a tablespoon? Christ knows exactly the amount that’s needed and when we’re dialed into the Spirit’s leading, we’ll always have the proper amount no matter the situation we’re facing.

We’ll be visiting the subject of salt again soon, but for now, I challenge you today dear reader, do not forget our duty to be salty in this life, but not salty just for the sake of saltiness, salty in a way that enhances, blesses, strengthens, improves function, and preserves.

“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

From the Lab to Life

LabLifeWe may talk a good game. We may be able to trash-talk with the best of ’em. We may even be able for a brief time talk so much smack we believe it ourselves. But, there’s coming a day when God is going to filter all of the fluff in our lives and demand that we put up, or shut up!

In Christ’s teaching about that great day in which we will appear before His Judgment Seat, He makes a distinction between those who SAY and those who DO.

Matthew 7:21 – 22, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. (BOLD added for emphasis)

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

Jesus went on to say we will be known by the fruit, or evidence, we produce. Did you get that? We will not be measured by our professions or confessions, we will be measured by the completion of the mission!

Let’s face it, too often our churches can resemble a laboratory. We run experiments in controlled environments. We measure, we scrutinize; we theorize and hypothesize! We sanitize, and organize. We’re dead-set on our protocols, policies and procedures. We’re never quite ready to pull the trigger on the findings of our experiments or theories. We’re just content to remain, much like lab rats in their cages, trapped in the lab.

God never intended for us to remain in the lab never to step out into real life where things can get messy and unpredictable. Jesus specialized in the messy didn’t He? Sinners, lepers, tax collectors, and prostitutes…oh my!

If studying is your thing, research will reveal churches that are growing are the ones that go from the lab to real life. They’re shedding their proverbial lab coats and throwing out their clipboards. They’ve quit crunching the numbers and they’ve stepped into a new realm of power and demonstration. A new world of influence and impact.

Everyday churches are closing their doors and pastors are moving on to other jobs and vocations because their church was too content running experiments in the safety of a sanitized environment rather than getting out there, doing something meaningful and impactful, with real-life examples of people’s lives being transformed by the renewing, life-giving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

You can’t grow a church in a petri-dish folks! As gross as this sounds, we can’t artificially inseminate this world with the Gospel!

  • It’s time for some real reproductive power!
  • Some real fruit-bearing power!
  • Some real Holy Ghost power!

It’s time we shed the lab coats, safety goggles, and clipboards, roll up our sleeves and do whatever it takes to get the job done!

We need to move beyond the hypothetical and theoretical to the practical and powerful! One of the most frustrating feelings in my current role as a quality coordinator at my company is whenever there’s an audit, those in charge of preparing for it seem casual and so distracted. There’s no sense of urgency! Dare I say, the church can be just as apathetic at times about her role in these Last Days!

One day soon we’re all going to stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ. One day we’re going to be put in the very precarious situation where we too will be judged on the deeds done in our body.

Will we be those who “say” we did this in your name Lord with no fruit, or proof, to substantiate our case? Or, will we be numbered among those who actually had the boldness, the courage, the urgency to step out of the lab and make a real difference in our generation!

My closing questions for you:

• Do you see yourself as a person of action or a person who is content to allow others to do what needs to be done?
• Do you do more planning than executing?
• Maybe you’re already sharing Christ with this world, so is there an undeveloped talent God has given you, an unanswered calling on your life, an unsung song inside you, an unwritten book you’ve put off for awhile?
• What one or two things will you begin to do right away, perhaps even today, that will set you up to begin to bring forth fruit in these undeveloped areas of your life?

“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