Big Lessons in Small Packages – Pray vs. Prey

Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31 – 32

One day while I was waiting for the light to change, a brown blur of feathers entered the intersection. Three sparrows were entangled in what resembled a World War II “dogfight.” Tragically, the embittered birds were so engulfed in warfare they never saw the vehicle that seconds later wiped out all three combatants in one fell swoop.

The analogy was inescapable. The misguided birds were so fixated on attacking each other they all lost their lives. Paul warned us, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12).

Our enemy is NOT each other! Satan is our foe, and a defeated one at that! He wants to destroy all hope of you spending eternity with Christ. But, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).

Let brotherly love continue, building up rather than attacking each other. Let’s stop “warring” against each other or the enemy of our souls could easily destroy us “unawares!”

Sparrows are NOT birds of prey. Likewise, we should pray for, not prey on, each other.

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“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

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

Digging Wells of the Past – Special Dedication

And Isaac dug again the wells of water, which they had dug in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and he called their names after the names by which his father had called them. Genesis 26:18

The legacy we leave to our children is of utmost importance. A prime example was Abraham. Even God said, “I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment (Gen. 18:19).” Abraham’s legacy went beyond wealth and prestige, it instituted a perpetual generational blessing. Many times over God described Himself as the “God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” What a testament to the integrity and longevity of Abraham’s dynasty!

As important however, was Isaac’s continuation of that dynasty. When the malevolent Philistines filled the wells Isaac dug with his father, Isaac never hesitated, he dug them again. Yes, water in Isaac’s day was paramount, but his purpose for unearthing those wells “ran much deeper.” You see, Isaac was a pivotal figure in the propagation of God’s purpose. He was the inescapable link between the past of his father Abraham, and the future of his son Jacob (later named Israel).

They may have just been wells to the Philistines, but they represented far more to Isaac. The wells represented a perpetuation of God’s blessings; flowing from the past in which they were promised, to the future in which they would come to fruition.

NOTE: This Serminute is dedicated to my grandson Gavin Rodger Mangold. Born April 21, 2011, weighing 9.15 lbs. and measuring 23″ long. Today Gavin will be dedicated at our church, Grace Apostolic Church of Clawson. May his father, Nathanael Rodger Mangold, continue to allow the flow of God’s perpetual blessings from my generation, to Gavin’s. I’ve carried this legacy as it was handed down to me by my parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents. To God be the glory!

“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

Mountaintop Experiences – Moses' Right-hand Man Joshua

And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend. And he turned again into the camp: but his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, departed not out of the tabernacle. Exodus 33:11

With the seeming weight of the world on his shoulders, Moses made a plea for God to show him who would one day take the helm of the Israelite nation. But, standing in the shadows was a young man who had accompanied Moses up the mount, and when everyone was commanded to remain in their tents as Moses entered the tabernacle, tenacious Joshua “departed not.”

There are two angles; Moses’ and Joshua’s. Moses the visionary concerned with future leadership and Joshua capturing the vision of his leader calling him Moses’ servant and minister. While fulfilling the role of a servant or minister, we become privy to moments those who choose to remain on the peripheral seldom see.

Before Joshua defeated Jericho, before he commanded the sun to stand still, before triumphantly leading Israel to the Promised Land, he humbled himself and became Moses’ servant remaining in the background so discretely and humbly, it never even occurred to Moses’ when considering who his successor would be. A good servant doesn’t draw attention to himself; his focus is the mission for which he’s called. Joshua’s private service to Moses his mentor, led to public victories and accomplishments, not for his glory, but for the glory of God, and for the advancement of an entire nation.

Part of the Mountaintop Experiences Serminute Series

“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

Groaning and Weeping With and For Us

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 genuinely lived it.

Jesus, upon the death of His friend Lazarus, and seeing Mary weep, “He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33)

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!

Before God’s Spirit would genuinely intercede with unutterable “groanings,” 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!

“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

Study Not to be Noisy or Nosy

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

“What about him,” asked Peter as he motioned to John (the disciple whom Jesus loved).

“What is it to you if I allow him to live until I return? Just follow me,” replied Jesus. (John 21)

At times we have an innate propensity to “concern” ourselves with someone else’s situation, especially if we feel they have an advantage over us. Peter even tried it with Jesus. The disciples surely must have questioned why it was that John seemed to be Jesus’ “favorite?” See a related Serminute entitled, “God’s Heartbeat” for an illustration of one such account. 

Joshua on the other hand said it well when he stated, “as for me…” He left the choosing to the people. When it comes to committing, it would do us well to have an “As-For-Me” mentality. Yes, be prayerfully and genuinely concerned for your brother and sister, but when it comes to commitment, the only one you can truly vouch for is you. Paul admonished the Thessalonians not to be noisy…or nosy, saying, study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” 

The next time you find yourself questioning the integrity, commitment, and loyalty of a fellow servant of God, be reminded of Jesus’ words, “What is it to you?”

“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