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

Weakness = Perfect Strength (Part 2 of 2)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Weakness reveals areas where strength is needed. Later, as weaknesses are revealed, those that are wise build support around those areas of their life, shoring them up and guarding them, where others hide them or behind them. Of course, try as we may, hiding our weaknesses from God is futile.

Our strength is imperfect, where God’s strength is perfect when we allow Him full reign. See, God can use our weaknesses to better reveal deeper facets of His Grace and Mercy. Rather than curse our weaknesses, we should glorify in them as the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9…Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Rather than hide from them, or behind them, Paul allowed the sources of weakness; his embarrassment, shame, and perhaps even his past, to be a source of glory, not that he was proud of them, but rather than bring him down, Paul allowed those “flaws” to remind him, and others, as long as they were there, Christ’s power was resting upon him, as if to say, Paul had Christ’s undivided attention.

If you are weak, stop hiding behind, or even from your flaws; allow God’s infinite omnipotent power to equip you in every way possible to overcome your weakness and become strong, not in your power or might, but in the Lord’s!

Link to Part 1 – Weakness = Perfect 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

Weakness = Perfect Strength (Part 1 of 2)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Whether genetic or social, it seems engrained in us to want to please our parents. With few exceptions, we take great pride in gaining the approval of our parents. We want to show our independence and strength almost as if to say, “Hey Mom and Dad look what a great kid you raised.”

Ironically, this same display of “strength and independence” is viewed quite differently by God. Our text indicates the source of our strength should come from…The Lord and the power of his might (my emphasis). In fact, Apostle Paul learned this lesson while facing perhaps the most difficult time of his ministry. God’s answer to Paul’s request, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).”

When we “grow up” our inclination may be to want to take the reins. Not so with God. We become God’s “poster child” of perfected strength when we gain a proper perspective of our weakness. Weakness, borne out of humility, builds a strong reliance on God. His perfected strength revealed through our weakness brings God optimal Glory, and for us ultimate victory!

“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

Divine Detour or Rebellious Roadblock

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

This is a comforting scripture we often refer to in times of inexplicable circumstances. How blessed we are that God included this reassurance in HIS word for us. There is nothing more disturbing when tragedy and catastrophe happens, than thinking it happened for no good reason. The pain, the anguish and the loss happened and it was just random.  We need to know that no matter how dark the trial or test, no matter how long and hard the road, and no matter how much it hurts at this moment, God is going to work it all out…and not just work it out, but work together with my circumstances for something GOOD!

At these crossroads of calamity, if we’re not cautious, we’ll allow the very situation God ordained for our good, to entertain self-pity, incite rebellion, or engender bitterness.

If you’re inclined toward allowing dire circumstances to embitter you, ponder this – Will you allow this junction in your life to remain a “Divine Detour” or become a “Rebellious Roadblock?” Divinely inspired detours result in God’s perfect purpose coming to pass. Rebellious roadblocks result in continued despair and isolation. In so doing, we forever alter the outcome and exempt ourselves from God’s true motive – allowing all things to work together for our good.

“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

Who Was Tempting Who?

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. Matthew 4:1

Ironically, the devil can’t resist a good temptation nor can he resist spreading lies. He started in Eden and he hasn’t stopped since. He relished the idea of bringing God’s first created humans to their demise. Satan salivated at the idea of making God’s perfect and upright servant Job curse God. Then Lucifer lasciviously set his sights on Jesus Christ!

The devil attacking when he believed Christ was at His weakest, soon found himself face to face with the conqueror of all conquerors; the King of all Kings; the Lord of all Lords! With each temptation Christ stealthily wielded the Sword of the Spirit defeating the devil on each front – lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life!

The devil is the very embodiment of evil, wickedness, and pride – He was just prideful enough to think he even stood a chance of bringing the likes of Jesus Christ to his knees. It was the devil’s own foolish pride that tempted him into tempting Jesus! It’s almost as if God, knowing the devil couldn’t resist the temptation of tempting Jesus, allowed it to happen to crush Satan one more time! Knowing this fact, one could argue…who was tempting who?

“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

Blessed or Blissed?

The blessing of the LORD, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22

It is a gross misconception when we equate God’s blessings with God’s sanctioning. Even Jesus decried this delusion when he said, “For he (God) maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt. 5:45).

False teachers presume to preach a gospel of prosperity and mislead millions into believing if you’re blessed you must be pleasing to God and conversely, if you’re not blessed, you must not have enough faith. This is a miscarriage of the Gospel that Jesus taught…Blessed are the poor, the mournful, the meek, the merciful, and the persecuted! (Matthew 5)

This list reads like a “who’s who” of mistreated, brokenhearted, and the socially outcast of our day. What the world views as weakness, God sees as a trust in His Strength that is made perfect in weakness. What the world sees as poverty, God sees as being an heir to the Kingdom of Heaven.

God does indeed bless His people in so many ways, but if we’re so infatuated with the blessings rather than the “Source” from whom all blessings flow, we’re in extreme peril of being “blessed” rather than “blessed!”

For an expanded version of this post please visit Rodger’s Rants, Writings, and Rambles

“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