by Pastor Tim Burt
Note from Pastor Tim – This devotion is slightly longer than most. Read it when you have a couple of extra minutes to do so. I promise you that as you read each word, it will powerfully impact you!
When I was a boy, I was curious as are most boys are. In one of those boyhood curious moments, I stuck one of our dinner knives into an electrical socket to see what would happen. By the grace of God, it only knocked my on my butt instead of killing me. That day I learned how powerful electricity was.
When I was a young man, I was body-surfing in the ocean and got caught and pulled in an undertow that almost drowned me. While I was in the undertow, by the grace of God, I suddenly had a flash-back. I remembered advice given to me on what to do if that situation ever happened. I did exactly what I was told and got out of the undertow. I barely made it back to shore collapsing on the beach as I came out of the water. That day I learned how powerful the waves of the ocean were.
When I was 24 years old, I learned how powerful God’s word was! Because of sin and wild living, I had become an alcoholic and drug addict. I knew my life was heading down a path of destruction but couldn’t find the power to change it. I had only one dry day (where I wasn’t drunk or high) in four years. Then randomly (or so I thought) this kind woman began talking to me about Heaven. I was desperately curious and asked her about it. She opened a Bible and shared the scriptures with me of how someone can enter Heaven. She led me in a prayer and I received Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior. I did and in a moment’s time, my sins were forgiven and washed away. And then I learned of the most powerful force in the world – the power of the Holy Spirit to help us change. The Holy Spirit came immediately to live within me and from that moment my life began to change. I had been very high when the conversation started. I was perfectly sober and clear-minded after that prayer!
A very short time later I heard a Pastor preaching from God’s Word about how we are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit and that we were not to pollute it. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV says, “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is sacred, and you are that temple.”
Prior to that I had never read a Bible and knew nothing about what God wanted from me. When I read these words, they went off in me like a siren. I went home, dumped my drugs and booze in the toilet and never used either again. That was 45 years ago. God had completely removed the desire from me. From that day on, I only wanted to love and please God. It was that day I learned just how powerful the Word of God was. It could change the entire direction of my life and did!
The Word of God is powerful! Hebrews 4:12 (TLB) “For whatever God says to us is full of living power: it is sharper than the sharpest dagger, cutting swift and deep into our innermost thoughts and desires with all their parts, exposing us for what we really are.” This means that God’s Word cuts through our self-deceits, our rationalizing, and through the myths and lies we grew up believing. It opens our eyes and illuminates God’s truth!
His powerful Word tells us that He knew and loved and planned to redeem us from this fallen world before He even made it. He wouldn’t control us but He would work to influence our heart and reach us with the knowledge of His love and lead us in paths of blessing. If you look back in your life, you can see places where God has literally saved your life and protected you. He wants you to know you’re His child. He wants you to know His will. You can see all this in these verses in Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT.) “Long ago, even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. And this gave Him great pleasure.”
His powerful Word also reveals that from the beginning, He wanted to show us how to live our lives so that we would be blessed and protected from the corruption that is in this world. He would be our Father. He would give us His Word to live by. And He would bless us. That would make us stand out to the rest of the world and cause them to pay attention and desire our blessing. Does that seem too good to be true? It’s not! You see it here in Deuteronomy 28:10 (NLT,) ”Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.”
God’s promise started with Abraham and his future seed—the Jews. His will to reach beyond the Jews to the rest of the world happened through through Jesus Christ, We see His will for us again in Galatians 3:29 (NLT,) “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” That’s powerful! More powerful than you even know!
This verse is saying that the blessing God promised Abraham reaches all the way into our life through Jesus Christ today! As you read the following verses, you can see God’s desire to bless and empower His children. Most people don’t think in terms of flocks and sheep today but that’s not the point. These promises of blessing reach into our life today and have to do with our livelihood and everyday life.
Deuteronomy 28:1-10 (NLT) “If you fully obey the Lord your God by keeping all the commands I am giving you today, the Lord your God will exalt you above all the nations of the world. You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your God: You will be blessed in your towns and in the country. You will be blessed with many children and productive fields. You will be blessed with fertile herds and flocks. You will be blessed with baskets overflowing with fruit, and with kneading bowls filled with bread. You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going. “The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! “The Lord will bless everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land He is giving you. “If you obey the commands of the Lord your God and walk in His ways, the Lord will establish you as His Holy people as He solemnly promised to do. Then all the nations of the world will see that you are a people claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of you.”
Can you see how powerful these words are to those who have received Jesus as Lord and Savior and then believe them? When a person believes and puts their faith in God’s word as personal to them, it powerfully speaks to and transforms who they are and how they think and believe! Everything about God is good, powerful, and full of blessing. He loves, leads, and guides us every step of the way through His Word speaking to us and that is why He wants us to center our lives on His Powerful Life-changing Word!
Psalms 119:89 “Your Word is eternal O Lord. It stands firm in heaven”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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