Heaven is a Gift to You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

At church, I met a young woman who introduced herself to me in our Visitor’s Center after our service. Her name was Angela and she had never been to any church in her entire life. This was her very first time. I told her that I didn’t even know what that felt like since I had been going to church the majority of my life. I asked her what it was like. She had difficulty explaining what she felt. She was trying to find the words to tell me that she could feel something special and that she was very excited to come back. She had tears of joy running down her face.

I asked her if she understood who Jesus was and what He did for her. She knew who He was but had not made the connection. I asked her if she knew what was going to happen to her if she were to die that day. She didn’t really know. She hoped she would go to Heaven. I asked her how hold she was. She told me she was 23. I asked her, “Do you know you’re 23 or do you hope you’re 23?” She gave me a strange look and said, “I know I am 23!” I asked her what city she lived in. She told me. I asked her, “Do you hope you live in that city or do you know you do?” She again-wondering where this was leading-said, “I know I live there.” I asked her, her name again. She told me. I asked, “Do you know your name is Angela or do you hope it?” She said, “I know it.”

I told Angela, “Do you see the difference between knowing and hoping?” You don’t hope you age. You know it. You don’t hope your address, you know it. You don’t hope you name, you know it. There is a huge difference between hoping and knowing.” I then told her, “Jesus didn’t come to be born in this earth, set aside His deity, and live a rejected life to be eventually falsely accused, beaten, tortured, crucified, and go into Hell so that you would “HOPE” you go to Heaven. He did this so you could KNOW you are going to Heaven.”

I opened a Bible and took her to 1 John 5:13 and had her read the verse. “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life…” I told her, “God inspired these written words so that you would KNOW, not HOPE, you have eternal life. Jesus paid the price for your sins and He offers to wash them away and make you His child cleansed from all sin and prepared for Heaven. Wouldn’t you rather know that than hope that?” She did want to know that. I asked her if I could lead her in a prayer of salvation – accepting Jesus as Her personal Savior. Then she would know! She wanted to and together we prayed. Tears flowed down her face as Renee and I held her hands and led her in a prayer.

I gave her a Bible and told her I would help her get connected in relationships that would help her grow in the Lord. She was beaming so bright she could have been mistaken for a lighthouse.

Today, I want to leave you with this – Faith is in the knowing! Hope will draw our heart and emotions to the throne room of God’s grace. It is important for that reason. But, hope is not knowing. Faith believes in the promises knowing they are for now and for you. Faith is knowing and knowing in faith and believing what God promises you is the beginning of a blessed and personal relationship with Jesus, and your promise of eternal life – a promise to KNOW!

What should you do now? If you have not asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, do so now!
Simply pray sincerely from your heart, “Jesus, I do believe you are the Son of God that died for my sins. I believe that you rose again from the dead and died to give me eternal life with you. Please forgive me of all my sins. Please come into my heart. Please fill me with your Holy Spirit and help me to live my life for you. I receive you by faith now, in Jesus name.” Amen.

If you prayed that and meant that, a miracle has begun. You’ve become “born again.” The Holy Spirit of God has come to live inside of you. You’ll know it. You’ll sense Him with you. Just talk with the Lord. That is what prayer is. Ask Him to lead you. He will. Keep reading Fresh Manna. It will help you grow in God.

Romans 10:8-10 (NLT) “Salvation that comes from trusting Christ—which is the message we preach—is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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