About Tim Burt

Friday, October 31, 2008

Finish What You Start!

Fresh Manna for 2008© by By Renee Burt

I don’t think I know anyone who finishes everything they start all the time, and that includes myself. So true confessions…right now, I have a few dishes in the sink that need to be washed, I have two loads of laundry to finish, I have a pile of bills that I’ve begun on (but not finished)…and that doesn’t include the pile of “to-do’s” on my kitchen and bedroom counters..and on my desk at work. I don’t know why, but it seems to be a human tendency to stop short of finishing what we’ve started. We take a “break” and sometimes that “break” can turn into days or even weeks…or as in today’s verses, even an entire year! So what’s the deal? Is it that we run out of energy or time? No, most times, it’s a problem with getting worn out mentally. But instead of checking out at those times, check your mind back in by remembering what today’s verses say! We have what it takes to finish up. So today I’m doing what I can to finish up all those things I’ve begun…hope to see you too at the finish line!

II Corinthians 8:10-12 MSG ~ So here's what I think: The best thing you can do right now is to finish what you started last year and not let those good intentions grow stale. Your heart's been in the right place all along. You've got what it takes to finish it up, so go to it. Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Small Acts of Kindness Are Big!

By Renee Burt

Earlier this year, I spent a day at our annual church picnic. It was a beautiful Minnesota day...but more importantly, once again, I was reminded of the beauty God brings into our lives through one another. And not always in the big ways that we would imagine, but in small, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness. Sometimes it happens when you simply wave and acknowledge that you notice someone. Think about it...have you ever been in a crowded room where you didn't see anyone you knew, but suddenly you see a smile, a silently mouthed "hi," and a wave from someone across the room? It can be the best feeling in the world, and not even one audible word has passed between the two of you. Or maybe it's just a few small words like, "I'm so glad you're here! It's great to see you," that can brighten someone's day. I loved hearing those words said to me yesterday, so I made sure I passed them along to other people too. And just those simple kinds of words can put a smile on someone else's face and bring beauty into their life that day. So be generous with not just the big things...be generous with the small acts and words of kindness that bring beauty and joy into the lives of the people around you...and watch...your life will become more beautiful and joyful in the process!

Proverbs 16:24 NLT ~ Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 20, 2008

“God’s Protection For You!”

Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 5:11 “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You cover them with your protection; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.”


The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer. Our Minnesota winter is coming and brrrr; it’s time to start covering up. In Minnesota winters, if you have any intelligence at all, you learn to buy very warm clothes for our below-zero temperatures. That warm down coat is a barrier - a covering between you and the cold. It’s a source of blessing, comfort and protection.

When I was a young adult, I rented a house that didn't have a garage. Because there was no covering over my car, my car deteriorated much more quickly than when I finally had a garage. Coverings like a garage, like warm clothes, and most importantly like the promises of God’s divine covering and protection bring us so much more peace in our life.

People have recently found out from the financial crisis, that nothing and no one can protect them except God. Is that were you’ve invested your trust for protection? God at a time when He was upset with His people Israel, spoke words to them about His covering of protection. They neglected His supernatural covering and instead devised their own attempts to protect or shield or cover themselves from the same kinds of things people fear today. You can either trust in God's protection, your own ability to protect yourself or in someone else's, BUT, only in trusting in God do we have real protection. We are to be prudent in every way we know how. Insurance is not bad nor is a savings account. What is bad is when we trust in things to protect us and leave God by the wayside. That's considered rebellion to God. In Isa 30:1 we read, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.”

There is a covering, a protection of God's Spirit - a barrier of his protection that we by faith can access for our lives. For a pregnant woman, there is a precious promise of covering - of protection to take hold of in faith. It says in Psa 139:13, “For you formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.” We stood on this scripture with all our hearts when the enemy was trying to take our future granddaughter’s life. We held this and other promises up before the Lord with thanksgiving every day thanking Him for protection despite the negative reports my daughter was getting.

Jesus knows this defiled world we live in. He gave His life to redeem us from it. He left us with promises to put our faith in. He wanted us to anchor our trust in Him. He gave us words of comfort to help us see the reality that He is the only absolutely point of trust in our lives. Jesus said, “For life consists of far more than food and clothing. Look at the ravens. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can't do little things like that, what's the use of worrying over bigger things? "Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! And don't worry about food—what to eat and drink. Don't worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. Luke 12:23-31 (NLT)

Jesus said God’s purpose for this covering is to be a barrier of protection, comfort and blessing. The promises of covering and protection begin first in our hearts. When we come to that place of faith and trust in His love and protection toward us in our hearts, we’ll soon see it manifest in every other part of our life. Then the words of today’s Fresh Manna will become your words to sincerely own. “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You cover them with your protection; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Friday, October 17, 2008

What's to Panic About?


By Renee Burt

Have you ever gotten news that made you feel like panicking? You know you're in a panic, because either your heart begins to race a little faster, or you feel like all the blood has just drained from your face, or you feel like screaming, or you suddenly feel down and out. At times like those, it's so important to catch yourself from reacting...in other words, from letting your thoughts run wild like a runaway train, or irrationally saying or doing something as a knee-jerk reaction. Because if you do, the panic you feel will intensify and it'll produce more hysterical or irrational behavior. And it will ultimately rob you of the peace God wants you to experience in and through every situation we face in life. The truth is that we'll all find ourselves in situations that may cause us to initially feel panic. I did yesterday! But instead of that situation overtaking me, I took it to God. And He reminded me once again that He's always taken care of every difficult situation I've faced in the past, so what would make me ever think He would stop now. God is right here with me today...He's right there with you today...so what could there possibly be to panic about?

Proverbs 3:25-26 MSG ~ No need to panic over alarms or surprises, or predictions that doomsday's just around the corner, Because God will be right there with you; he'll keep you safe and sound.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 10, 2008

Words of Wisdom...

Fresh Manna By Renee Burt

Recently, a difficult situation came up, that in the natural, baffled my mind...I knew I would need to say something. But no words came to mind...thankfully! Because, normally I would have jumped into the situation and said something...anything...because after all, I would have thought, "How can I just sit by and say nothing?" But the words I would have spoken would have surely voiced my frustration, and may have even been unkind, cutting remarks. So I was glad I felt speechless...and that the Lord had quieted my heart. And in that quietness, I knew He wanted me to just sit tight and wait for His words to come to me vs. spewing out my own thoughts. Hours went by, and I still felt His calming presence telling me to wait...to trust Him...to not say anything until He gave me the words to say. The day was slipping by, but the Lord seemed to be in no hurry! So I kept waiting...and then He spoke to my heart and gave me what I knew were the very words to speak into the situation. I was amazed, because I knew I hadn't thought this up on my own. But then I thought, when am I supposed to say this? And how will they respond? Again...He quieted my heart, and assured me my heart would know when that door of opportunity was open. And not an hour later, I was able to say what He wanted me to say, without making any cutting remarks or bringing accusation...and it miraculously brought peace and healing to that situation and the people involved...the kind of peace that only He can give. What a gift to the situation that was...what a gift to me that He would give me the right words to say...ultimately, what a gift our God is! Selah...as the Psalmist David often said, which means "pause, and calmly think of that!"

Proverbs 12:18 NLT ~ Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

“My Story of Tongues”


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Cor. 14:2,4,5 “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself… I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…”


I was sitting in my hotel room after a long day of working on the airplane. As a flight attendant, I spent two or three nights a week in a hotel room after working flights to different cities all day. For me it was a great place to have absolute quiet time studying the Word of God. I was a young believer having accepted the Lord less than a year earlier. At 24 years old and now just finally discovering the Bible after hungering to know the Lord all my life, I felt like a man that hadn't eaten in days and was afraid I might not get my next meal. I devoured the Word of God. I wanted to know God. I felt like I had been robbed not knowing Him all my life. If people asked me what I did the year I was 24 years old I would say, "I read the Bible." It seemed like that was all I could or wanted to do.

This night I was desiring to learn more about something I had recently heard about - the baptism of the Holy Ghost. It was mentioned at church and I had heard some people occasionally talk in what they called “tongues.” It intrigued me but it never bothered me. Someone had given me a book about this subject and it just felt so awesome to learn about another expression of God's love. God out of His love giving supernatural gifts to men? Wow!

I read all the scriptures in the books of Acts about how His disciples and different followers spoke in tongues. It was exciting and fascinating. Then I read 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14 over and over and over again. I asked the Lord repeatedly; please help me to understand what I am reading. I finally parked on a couple of verses that made me hungry for this gift of tongues. In Acts 1:5 & 8 Jesus said, "For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." ...But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

I knew I needed God's power in my life. I wanted to be bolder about sharing my new found love of Jesus. I remember sitting in an airport break room where there was about 20 flight attendants relaxing and waiting for their next flight. I was sitting amongst them reading the newspaper when this Christian flight attendant walked in. She saw me and knew I had become a Christian. As she walked into the room she said in a loud voice, "Tim, praise God, it's so good to see you. Isn't Jesus good! I was praying that I would run into you and God has answered my prayer! Praise the Lord!"

Everyone looked up at her and then eyed me. I felt cowardly and almost ashamed at how vocal she was. The truth was, this woman was one of the kindest, finest woman I had ever met and to her talking about the Lord and letting praise to God come from her mouth was as natural as swearing or cursing is to others. I was so mad at myself that I could feel ashamed, even for a minute. I prayed to the Lord, “Please help me to change!” Suddenly I remembered that I had been hearing about that help - the gifts of the Spirit - one of those being tongues.

Anyway, as I was in my room that night, and had spent time reading through all the scriptures, I prayed, “Lord I want this gift and I know you want me to have it. Please baptize me with your Holy Spirit.” I had just read, Luke 11:11-13. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

I knew I now needed to exercise my faith. I purposed to lift my voice to Him but not in English. Suddenly I remembered I had to open my mouth and pray a prayer of faith when I accepted the Lord into my heart. I wasn't sure of all that meant at the time then and I wasn't sure of all that this meant now. I just knew I was going to take another step of faith. I had the thought. "God gave Adam a language as a man, He gave languages at the tower of Babel when their heart wasn't even right, I know He can and will give me one now!" I chose to began to speak something and make some kind of utterance. Sounds and unfamiliar words started to come. It seemed unusual. My brain was like a curious cat. "What are those words?" It's just that the words seemed to becoming up from my belly instead of down from my head. As I purposed to speak out, a language began to flow.

I stopped for a bit. I was trembling. I thought, "That was just me doing that." I tried again and this language flowed from my mouth. I must have prayed speaking words or sounds that were unfamiliar to me for an hour. It seemed powerful. But, just like it says in Mark 4:15, "... Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." I let my head talk me out of this and didn't pray in this language again.

Then a couple of months later, I was at this conference where they asked anyone who wanted to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to come forward. I ran up there so fast I must have looked like I was trying to win a race. As this minister laid his hand on my head and prayed for me, this language just flowed from my lips. Then it dawned on me. It was the same language I heard myself speak in the hotel room. I realized then that the devil had talked me out of what God had given me then. I was speaking in tongues!

That was the new beginning for me. The Apostle Paul was one of the most powerful ministers of the gospel to ever live on this earth and he said, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all." (1 Cor 14:18.) It was my desire to be used of God to help others. You see, I was the person that had been forgiven more than most and have so much to be thankful for. I don't know how else to better please God than to help others be freed from Satan’s grip and come to know of God's awesome love and promise toward them.

All the gifts are important and I know I have only been focusing on one of them. To many this is a "scary subject" wrapped in controversy. Yet is just seems so unfair to me when people are cheated from something so precious from God that He paid such a great price to give. Jesus never spoke in tongues. He didn't need to. He never sinned. He said,"...I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. John 8:28.

Jesus' communication and obedience to the Father was perfect. Ours is not. He gave us a language to help us communicate and that would allow the Holy Spirit to pray through us for those things that we don't know how to pray for. Words that couldn't be touched by the unbelief that attacks our minds when we know what we are praying. I need this help and I praise the Lord He has made it available to me. I pray in tongues all the time!

Don’t wait for God to hit you on the head so that this language flows from you. Pray and ask for this gift. Begin to speak by faith. Let the words given by Him come. Of course it will feel unusual. You’ve not done it before and it comes from Heaven. Just do it and thank God for it. It will change your life! “For anyone who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God. Indeed, no one understands him; he utters mysteries with his spirit. He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself… I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…”

This is the last writing on this subject for now…

If you would like a free book to help you learn more about the gift of tongues, write to: info@lwcc.org giving them your name and address and ask for the book Water, Wind, and Fire. I hope it will be of great blessing to you. I am confident it will help you with questions you may have.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Monday, October 06, 2008

“Don’t Let Anyone Talk You Out Of it!”


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Luke 11:13 “If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"


Maybe you feel this way. Maybe you don’t understand the need to speak/pray in tongues. Maybe you don’t know how to receive it. Maybe you don’t even know if you want to. Why would you unless you really understood the purpose of this gift?

First, can we agree with this? Although people waste their time and energy, God does not. It’s contrary to His character. He has a plan for everything. Until a person asks and receives Jesus Christ into his or her life to be Lord and Savior, they will have no capacity to understand the heart of God. Only the Holy Spirit reveals God’s heart. No one has the Holy Spirit until they receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord. From that point, we are to know God’s ways through prayer and through reading God’s Word asking God to give us revelation and insight. You can see this truth revealed in Eph. 1:9-14. “God's secret plan has now been revealed to us; it is a plan centered on Christ, designed long ago according to His good pleasure. And this is His plan: At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for He chose us from the beginning... And when you believed in Christ, He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised and that He has purchased us to be His own people…’’

The last part of what we just read says, “…He identified you as His own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom He promised long ago. The Spirit is God's guarantee that He will give us everything He promised...”

When we became God’s own, we become a part of His plan to touch others with the Love of Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit not only teaches us how to love others but through the gift of tongues emboldens and empowers us to do so. God gives the Holy Spirit to help us. We see this in today’s Fresh Manna verses. “Jesus said, “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?"

What is Jesus teaching us? That He will give us His Holy Spirit simply by asking. Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit for their source of power to do His will. Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Do you remember Peter and how he told Jesus he’d be by his side, defend Him, even die with Him if necessary. Jesus told Peter that Satan desired to sift him like wheat. Peter did become afraid and denied Jesus. Peter was devastated in his failure. Then Peter waited for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit as Jesus told them to. The Holy Spirit came at Pentecost. They began speaking in tongues and then Peter is suddenly and miraculously changed from a coward to courageous. He boldly proclaims Jesus Christ and three thousand people give their life to the Lord. Read Act chapter two for yourself and see.

We belong to God. His love is revealed to us. It’s supposed to impact our love for Him. It’s supposed to impact our desire to help others know and love Him. God offers the gift of tongues to help that happen in your heart.

In Acts 19:1-6 we read about the Apostle Paul encountering Christians in Ephesus. They were not unbelievers – they were Christians. Christians have the Holy Spirit they moment the give their life to Jesus, yet look at what Paul asked them. “There he found some disciples and asked them, "Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?" They answered, "No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit." So Paul asked, "Then what baptism did you receive?" "John's baptism," they replied. Paul said, "John's baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus." On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied.“

This is called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is for believers who already have the Holy Spirit. Tongues are the outward sign of receiving this gift which opens the door to all the spiritual gifts.

The original disciples had to wait in Jerusalem for it because it had never been given up to that point in time. It first came at Pentecost after Jesus arose into Heaven. Today it is a gift to be received by faith by asking - “Lord baptize me with your Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues.” Remember how you received Jesus? Didn’t you simply ask? Did He hold Himself back from you? Was it hard at first to believe that He would so easily forgive your sins and give you a new life? This holds true with the Baptism of the Holy Spirit – of anything we ask by faith. We ask in faith. We thank Him. We act on our faith. After you ask Him to fill you, speak out or pray but not in language you know. He will fill your mouth with a heavenly language. Your head will doubt it just like it doubted Jesus’ love and gift of eternal life. But, He will give you a language you do not understand – tongues. You will never be the same. Don’t let the devil talk you out of it. It’s not just for you. It’s for your boldness to live the Christian life the way God wanted you to. More tomorrow…

If you would like a free book to help you learn more about the gift of tongues, write to: info@lwcc.org giving them your name and address and ask for the book Water, Wind, and Fire. I hope it will be of great blessing to you. I am confident it will help you with questions you may have.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved

Friday, October 03, 2008

One Amazing Weekend at the Movies!


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

One Amazing Weekend at the Movies!
You did it!

You made FIREPROOF the No. 4 overall movie in America this past weekend! In fact, if you look at per-screen average (and Hollywood does), you made FIREPROOF the second-leading per-screen film this weekend.

You puzzled Hollywood pundits and prognosticators. You boggled movie-based bloggers. You showed the movie industry that there not only is interest in good, wholesome films, but there is also an audience for them.

You made an impact. And in case you're wondering, people noticed. This is what USA Today said:

“The surprise of the weekend, though, was the Christian-themed Fireproof. Made for $500,000 and released on 839 screens, the Kirk Cameron drama did $6.5 million and took fourth place.

“Most analysts did not expect the film to crack the top 10, yet it enjoyed the second-largest debut this year for a film opening on fewer than 1,000 screens; the biggest was Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour, which debuted to $31 million on 683 screens.”

After winning the championship game in Facing the Giants, Coach Grant Taylor asks the members of his football team, “What is impossible with God?” To a player, they all answered: “Nothing.”

Thank you for your overwhelming support FIREPROOF on opening weekend!

If you haven’t seen FIREPROOF please don’t wait to go see it. We all want to see more Christian movies produced and your seeing it will help that happen!

Now here is today's Manna...

AS CONTENT AS A BABY... By Renee Burt

Have you ever sat and watched a baby lying in its mother's arms, looking as though it didn't have a care in the world? That's because babies DON'T have a care! It doesn't take long for them to understand that when they're hungry, their mother will feed them more than enough. And when they make a mess in their pants, their mother will change their pants. And when they need to get some rest, their mother will lay them down to rest. So they don't worry, they don't get stressed out, they don't feel condemned because they spit up on their mother or made a mistake they think their mother might get mad at. The only problem they have is that one day they'll grow up and forget the lessons they learned in their mother's arms. And that's this...to be content, knowing that God, our heavenly daddy, will take care of all our needs with MORE than enough. And He's not too big of a God that He won't reach down to help us out of all of our "messes." And He knows just how to give us the "rest" we need. And He is never condemning us for our mistakes, so He doesn't want us to EVER be worried, stressed out and condemning ourselves. Because He loves us through thick and thin, and He won't stop caring for us NO MATTER WHAT...anymore than you would stop caring for your baby when it made a mess or made a mistake. So uproot those weeds of wrong thinking...do some cultivating, like it says in today's verse...and learn to be content in the knowledge that He loves you always and forever. Rest in His arms...and let Him quiet your heart as you snuggle close to the heart of God!

Psalm 131:2 MSG ~ I've kept my feet on the ground, I've cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother's arms, my soul is a baby content.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

“I Need God’s Power”


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Cor. 14:5 (NIV) “I would like every one of you to speak in tongues…”


When you were a child, did you ever experience that anticipation to open Christmas presents on Christmas Eve? Do you remember your children feeling that way? The people in the church of Corinth were almost like that concerning the gifts of God. They were a church of young believers. They were excited and wanted everything God had for them. In their excitement and spiritual immaturity, they made many mistakes. But isn't it a good thing when people crave for more of God? I think so. Their immaturity caused problems but my personal motto is this, "They'll grow up. Just hang in their and work hard to train them in the process." Honest people will admit they make many mistakes in what they think, what they do, and in the presumptions they make along the path of life. But, in time, those things get corrected.

The Apostle Paul had his work cut out for him with the church of Corinth. In 1 Corinthians 14, he is specifically talking to them about how the gifts of the Spirit - specifically the gift of tongues, prophecy and interpretation of tongues and how they are to operate in the corporate church setting. He was teaching them AND helping them to learn to avoid confusion. What is key to understand is that He was not giving instructions for these gifts in other settings such as our day-to-day walk. He was teaching them the order when the church came together. Where most people make mistakes is trying to apply PRAYING in tongues, with SPEAKING in tongues for the edification of the church. PRAYING in tongues is something that is done in one's personal life and prayer closet or as the church when they are together for purposes of prayer. Paul was laying out instructions for SPEAKING in tongues for the church so that it was done decently and in order and for the edification of all there.

Let me walk you through so you can understand. First Paul said that love, not pride - not wanting to look spiritual, but love should be their motive for the gifts of the Spirit. Then he said, “eagerly desire spiritual gifts," "especially the gift of prophecy." This is not because the gift of prophecy is better than the rest of the gifts as a rule. This was the better gift in general when the entire church came together. It was a gift that could be understood and would speak into the hearts of all that were gathered together.

If Jane Doe showed up and had just received a report that she had cancer, the better gift for her could have been the gift of healing. That wouldn't have benefited everyone but for her it would have been the better gift. Paul was trying to teach them how to act as a group. He wasn't trying to put the gifts in some order of importance. Go try to peel a carrot with a spoon. You will see a carrot peeler is a better tool for that job. Each gift has its place and time of importance.

Paul then went on in verse 3 to explain something about tongues. He said that when people pray in tongues, they aren't speaking to men but to God and that the Holy Spirit is praying mysteries (or you could say things that are unknown to the person praying.) In the church setting, someone speaking (as a person speaking to everyone there) in tongues is not going to benefit those around them. That is why he went on to say that the person who prophesies will be speaking things that strengthen, encourage and bring comfort to those who can hear. He said that when a person speaks in tongues, there is a personal edification but that it is not going to benefit those around them. At this time, prophecy is the better gift for everyone's edification because they can understand what is being said.

What Paul DID NOT say, is that the gift of tongues is therefore not that big of a deal or not important. He did not say it is not as good a gift as prophecy or other gifts. He did say, that in the church setting, it is not a gift that will be as helpful and edifying for all as prophecy is. Why? Because they can all understand and be blessed by the gift of prophecy!

Paul then went on in verse 5 to say,”I WOULD LIKE EVERY ONE OF YOU TO SPEAK IN TONGUES." Now let me say this and it's important. It would have been wrong for Paul to say this if it couldn't happen. It would have been a tease. It would have been misleading. That isn't the case. Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit to say and write these words. The big question everyone brings up is this. Doesn't it say that tongues or these gifts aren't for everyone? No, it doesn't say that.

Earlier on the Apostle Paul asks this question. “Will all speak in tongues?” He put it like that because he knew that not all would. Not all people will give their life to Jesus either. But both are the will of God. It's just that God does not make us do anything and so instead He offers us things and calls what He offers us "gifts." A gift means it's free. A gift implies it has value. A gift has to be freely and personally received. This is why Paul said. "Will all speak in tongues?" He also went on to reveal his heart. He said, “I WOULD LIKE EVERY ONE OF YOU TO SPEAK IN TONGUES."

He didn't stop there; he was midway through a statement. He went on to say; I would rather have you prophesy. Again, what HE DIDN’T SAY is this, "forget tongues, prophecy is better." He was saying that in the church setting, I would rather have you all prophesy because in that setting prophecy is what they can understand and be benefited by. He was teaching them order and the greatest benefit to the order of things when they all came together.

God knows we need power from above to be strengthened to live for Him and carry out His will in this earth. Tongues is a gift creating that help and power. He furnishes and equips us so that we can be vessels of His love to others. He gives us supernatural gifts of His spirit to aid us. I need the help of the Holy Spirit and His gifts to succeed as a Christian in life. How about you? More next time…

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved