Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Gen 45:7 “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.”
If you are anything like me and if you have relatives that do not know Jesus personally as their Lord and Savior – if they do not know if they’d go to Heaven if they died today, then you are probably praying for their salvation. I talk to people all the time who are praying for their loved ones to come to know Jesus and accept Him personally. If you are praying for yours, that’s good. You know why? Because God uses those prayers to access the lives of those you are praying for and to work in the background of their lives.
In the story of Joseph, his brothers were jealous of him and hated him. They did terrible things to him including selling him into slavery. After being a slave for 14 years, God exalted Joseph into a place of ruling authority and used that position to save his own family. Joseph told his brother he held no ill will told them for mistreating him because God turned what the devil meant for evil for good. In Gen 45:7 Joseph said, “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” Joseph is declaring how God was working in the background of his life and the lives of his brothers to bring them to a point where they would be able to see God and cry out to Him and where Joseph would be in position to help them.
If you’ve ever been rejected by your family because of your faith in the Lord, then you know it’s not an easy thing. Jesus said in Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” We care about what our loved ones think of us. When they think we are fanatical because of our love for the Lord, we can’t change that but it sometimes hurts and feels like rejection. Today’s verse can help us see that it is opportunity – to pray for them and to become as rock solid in the Lord as we can so we will be prepared to help them. We can have great faith that God will work mightily in the background of their lives to bring them to a place where they hunger to know God and where their spiritual eyes are opened to see the things in their life that only God can help them with. It was a 14 year journey before Joseph’s brothers understood him. Your loved ones may treat you unfairly and even want nothing to do with you. Don’t get offended and don’t quit on them. Joseph kept his heart right. I am convinced that because of his attitude, he was able to keep every avenue for his brother’s restoration open and the result was, they repented and came to honor Joseph and God.
Not a day goes by without me praying for the salvation of all my family. I have great faith that because of my prayers, God is raising up labors to minister to them. One time my dad told me this story. He said a man invited him to a lunch where there was a special speaker who shared the gospel. As my dad was telling me the story, my mom yelled from the other room, “Yea they tried to convert your father.” I asked him if they succeeded but he just laughed. Another time, one of my brothers said that a man that cleaned his carpets talked to him about the need to receive Jesus and asked if he could pray with him. Another of my brothers told me a friend invited him to a Promise Keepers event and went forward to pray the prayer of salvation. Another brother who loves golf met a good friend of mine from church who is an awesome golfer that loves the Lord. They’ve golfed many times and my friend has shared Jesus with him.
It blesses me greatly to know God sends labors to cross the path of my loved ones. I hear the stories. It’s only a matter of time before they all come into the Kingdom.
If you are standing in faith for your loved ones to be saved, then you’ve probably asked God at one time or another, “Lord, why did I get saved and not them?” Well first of all, it happened because your heart was open and you responded. Secondly, and the point of why I am writing this today, in the words of Joseph – God probably sent you out ahead to learn of Him and pray for them so that by your prayers, they will be delivered from a life without intimately knowing God through Jesus Christ.
If you love your loved ones, don’t give up! Have tenacity for a lifetime. Have great faith that God is working through your prayers. Pray that there eyes be opened and pray against the god of this world blinding their eyes from the truth. We do this because 2 Cor 4:3-4 says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
James 5:16 says that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” You and I are to become those fervent prayers! Know that God is orchestrating something powerful to draw them to Him. It is a covenant promise to you! Be blessed knowing that your prayers for your loved ones do avail much!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt
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