by Pastor Tim Burt
I was 25 years old. I wasn’t a religious person although I found myself often wondering if there really was a God and if so, how would I know? Thinking about that was a ball of confusion in my head. What I did know was that my life was flushing down the toilet. I had too many close calls with death. I could see no way out of this destructive pattern I seemed trapped in. I knew in my heart it would never lead me to the life I really wanted. To the contrary, I knew it was going to kill me. But then one day, this amazingly sweet person shared the love of Jesus with me. She helped me pray and ask Jesus to forgive me of all my sins and to be my Lord and Savior. Although I prayed that prayer and meant every word, I had no idea of the changes that would begin from that moment in my life. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like a different person. Although I didn’t know of or anything about the Holy Spirit, I came to understand that He came to live within me the moment I prayed that prayer. And I could tell something was different. All I could think about was wanting to understand more. This gal who told me about Jesus and prayed with me, told me about a Bible-teaching church to go to. She said that little by little my flurry of questions would be answered.
One Wednesday night, with a house full of guys who came over to my house to play cards, smoke pot and drink beer, I said to them, Hey guys, I’ll see you later. Don’t wreck the house. I am going somewhere. They looked at me confused! I said, I am going to check out this church someone told me about. They were sure I was putting them on but I wasn’t. I walked out the door and found the church.
When I heard my first sermon preached from a pulpit in 1978, it was about the how Jesus and His Word—the Bible, could change your life. At that point in time, I had never read a Bible. I really didn’t understand what happened to me when I prayed the prayer that day. I was told my sins were forgiven and I would go to Heaven and be with Jesus when I died, but that was a spiritual truth I could hardly believe. I felt so undeserving! But then the Pastor began to teach from the Bible. How do I describe it? It was like I had been in a desert and so thirsty that I thought I might die from thirst. And suddenly this man is giving me an ice-cold drink that’s helping me understand life through God’s eyes. He read from John 7:37-38 (TLB) “… Jesus shouted to the crowds, “If
anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. For the Scriptures declare that
rivers of living water shall flow from the inmost being of anyone who believes
That was what was happening to me. Every scripture I heard was like a drink of water quenching my thirst of life’s ten thousand questions. The jig-saw puzzle of questions I had about life were being put together one-by-one. And with each scripture, a drink of living water from Jesus that would bring understanding and joy and peace!
If you are a believer, then you have the Holy Spirit. He is in you to help you receive that drink of living water. But you have to give place to the Word of God. People don’t read the Bible or prioritize it in their life much. They treat the words read your Bible like an obligation and you know how your flesh wants to resist obligations. But it’s not that! It’s a drink of living water that helps you come to know the Lord, His will for your life, His master plan for mankind, the depth of His love for you, and the promise of being intimately involved in helping you live your life! It’s not an obligation! It’s a drink of living water that gives the best of life and brings wisdom and peace, and power to your soul! So read your Bible. It will speak to you if you ask God to speak to you through it. And you’ll have your drink of living water and be refreshed and strengthened when you do!
John 10:10-11 (TLB) “… My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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