Fresh Manna for Thursday, December 14, 2006© by Pastor Tim Burt
1 Peter 3:15 “…you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. “
To this day, one of the most mind boggling thoughts of my life it to think that I went to church the first 20 years of my life – participated in serving, studied what I was taught, heard the stories of the birth and death of Jesus Christ, and at the age of 24 still didn’t understand why Jesus died or how it personally affected me.
That is true for countless millions if not billions in the earth today. Music filled with lyrics about one of the most supernatural days on the face of this earth are sung and played in numerous places where we walk each day of the Christmas season. While shoppers shop, while we wait on the phone on hold, when we see or hear great artists performing – people are singing or humming along with these songs but may not have a clue of the power of the truth in what they are singing.
I walk through the mall and hear the words of Silent Night filled with revelation of the truth that a Savior came – Silent night, holy night! Shepherds quake at the sight. Glories stream from heaven afar Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia, Christ the Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born.
I walked through the department store and hear the gal at the perfume counter humming the melody of ‘Joy to the World.’ She probably knows what the words are but does she have a clue to their meaning? Joy to the world! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King. Let ev’ry heart prepare Him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and heaven and nature sing. He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders of His love.
I realized at the age of 24 years old that people can be surrounded by the truth and yet not know the truth of God’s love and free gift of salvation – forgiveness of sin and eternal life, through Jesus Christ. We can sing the songs, watch the movies, and celebrate the day and still not know.
I started writing about obedience and its importance to God yesterday and feel quite compelled to continue writing about it. When God first called Israel “His treasured possession,” God was revealing something to them that was about obedience. He was raising up a particular nation of people that would know Him and His ways. They would be responsible to be a light to the world helping the world know God. Obedience to do that is what would make them “His treasured possession.” Exo 19:5-6, “Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…”
Through Jesus Christ, God extended that privilege and responsibility to His Church – to those who would believe in Him and what He did for us. We would become His body in the earth and His light representing Him to shine before all men. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” 1 Peter 3:15 – today’s Fresh Manna verse tells us, “…you must worship Christ as Lord of your life. And if you are asked about your Christian hope, always be ready to explain it. “
The church is the body of Christ and we have all been given the commission to help share the love of Jesus Christ – who He was and is and what He has done so that people don’t attend church all their life not really understanding who and what Jesus did for them.
A gentleman who has become a friend of mine shared his experience with me after he started attending our church, “Pastor Tim, I have attended church with my wife for over 30 years. It seemed like the right thing to do for myself and my family. It was religious more than anything else. My mind drifted a lot during the ceremonial parts of the service. I didn’t get much out of it but thought I was supposed to go. Then someone I was sharing that with brought me here. Since I have started coming here, I feel like I have been in school learning the most basic things about God from the Bible that I should have known all my life. I had never read the Bible. Now I can’t stop reading it. I never come to church here without truly worshipping God from a place of knowing Him and I am always learning more about Him and how He wants me to conduct my life.” I never knew church could be like this.
Churches are not all created equal. Many exist but leave people not knowing or understanding who Jesus is and His love toward them. We cannot be God’s treasured possession that lives to share His love if we don’t first know Him ourselves. Our first step of obedience is to get into a church that teaches the truths of God from the Bible so we can learn of Him and become His treasure. From there we obey God by learning to communicate our faith and give the reason of hope to those that ask us.
God bless you this Christmas as you become a light and revealer of His love to someone who really doesn’t understand.
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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