By Pastor Tim Burt
2 Thes. 3:2 (NIV) “And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith.”
I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior at the age of 24 years old. Prior to that I had given up on God and religion declaring it (out of my frustration to really know what the truth was) a bunch of hooie. I was wrong. I am so thankful that Jesus didn’t give up on me. He continued to send people across my path that shared His love with me. I finally met the person that could truly explain Jesus and Christianity in a way that I could get it. My life changed that day and has never been the same.
My children were all born after I became a Christian and were taught by Renee and I of his love from day one of their lives. We sang about Jesus, we read about Jesus, we learned together about Jesus. Jesus is what they knew from their earliest memories. As they grew up, they all went through the process of making their faith their own from their own convictions.
I am telling you all this to say that their experience of Jesus – from day one of their lives, was totally different from mine – receiving Him into my heart at the age of 24. People are going to experience Jesus – learning or hearing about Him, in a multitude of ways in life. We want to and our taught by the Lord that our central purpose in life is to share His love with others. Jesus will use us to be the lifeline thrown to those heading over a waterfall. He might use us to share the last words someone ever hears before they die – hopefully words of Jesus’ love and gift of eternal life. That has happened to me numerous times.
We are agents of His love – and again, make no mistake about it – it is our assignment in life. 2 Cor. 5:18 says, “All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the ministry of reconciliation – the task of reconciling people to Himself.”
When a person becomes a new believer in Christ, something supernatural happens. Their eyes are open – spiritually open to understanding things about God that they could never see or understand before. That is a work of the Holy Spirit and it happens to those who sincerely receive Jesus into their heart.
When you begin to share Jesus with others, there eyes have not been opened by the Holy Spirit yet. That means what you share with them can be accepted or rejected to some degree by their mental understanding. If they accept and trust and ask Jesus into their heart, then the Holy Spirit will open their spiritual eyes. If they keep up a wall and reject what they hear, their mind will reject what you have shared and their eyes of their spiritual understanding remain blinded. This is why Jesus would continually say, “If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23 and to those who would accept Him, “But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:16
We are given the joy of sharing Jesus. But sometimes it won’t feel like a joy. Sometimes we will share and people will listen and receive every word we say. Sometimes people will write you off as a kook. It is the most wonderful feeling when you lead someone to Christ. It can also hurt when someone rejects you. But as Jesus said, they really aren’t rejecting you. They are rejecting Him. So, don’t take it as rejection and always remember that it’s not over till it’s over.
The Apostle Paul was delivering Christians to prison when the Lord got a hold of Him. He became one of the greatest soul winners in the history of man with his life and influence. The very person who rejects you today may mull over what you said and have a change of heart another day. This is our prayer for all!
The reason I am writing this today is to say that persecution for living the Christian walk and sharing your faith, are one sign that you are having any kind of an impact for the Lord. We don’t try to draw persecution. We don’t get judgmental and tell someone they are a sinner because they are living in a sexual relationship with another outside of marriage. We don’t act like a self righteous jerk and tell everything we do and don’t do that makes us so Holy. No, we try to find ways to share how much Jesus loves them. If they get that, the Holy Spirit will take care of the sin problem as they begin to read the Word of God.
When we do share Jesus’ love in the multitude of ways that we can and are led to, persecution will come. The devil will find ways to try and stop you or discourage you. Your family may reject you. Your boss may threaten you. Your friends may look at you as someone who has become a religious nut! That hurts, but, if they do accept Jesus, you have been used of God to help save their soul.
Persecution will often come when you live your life for the Lord. Sometimes people may hate you just because of what you represent. Your love and godly lifestyle may make them feel guilty. Some people that attack you are just ignorant and acting stupid. Others are evil because their heart is so hard. They may lie and find ways to attack you. When this happens, remember and pray in faith today’s Fresh Manna. Pray that you be delivered from those that are being used as someone evil and wicked to come against you. Paul did. Pray what He prayed and don’t be discouraged but continue to be used by the Lord!
2 Thess. 3:1-3 (NLT) “Pray first that the Lord’s message will spread rapidly and be honored wherever it goes, just as when it came to you. Pray, too, that we will be saved from wicked and evil people, for not everyone believes in the Lord. But the Lord is faithful; he will make you strong and guard you from the evil one.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved