Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt
1 Tim. 2:3 (NIV) “This is good, and pleases God our Savior…”
Okay, can we play true confessions for a minute? If you’ve asked Jesus Christ to be your LORD and Savior, is He really your Lord? What does it mean to make Him our Lord? Jesus modeled the meaning of what it is to make Him our Lord by how He submitted Himself to His Father. We see this in John 5:19. “Jesus replied, "I assure you, the Son can do nothing by Himself. He does only what He sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does.”
I believe we all have good intentions to want to do only what Jesus would have us do. Yet, if we answer in honest humility, we would also all admit we fall far short of the mark. That doesn’t change what we should do and what should be our goal. If Jesus is our Lord, then He has the right to set the priorities for our life. He gets to establish them for us and He reveals them to us in His Word.
Today I would like to focus and share with you what His number one priority is for all of our lives – with no exceptions! It is to share our faith. God’s number one priority is for each and every human being to hear the gospel and receive the opportunity to be saved. 1 Tim. 2:3-4 says, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.” God loves every human being. He does not want even one to have to pay the punishment for sin. He had Jesus take our punishment upon the cross. Now He wants everyone to hear the gospel – the good news of His unfailing love, mercy, and grace – His offer to forgive and wash away their sins and give them eternal life through Jesus Christ. In this verse we see the words “This is good…” What is he saying “is good?” He is saying that praying for all men is good! Let’s connect these verses together to see this. 1 Tim. 2:1-4 “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.”
Why must we pray for all men to be saved? Why must we pray? Why can’t God just do something? Satan obtained - literally stole man’s authority in this earth when he deceived Adam to sin. At that point, he stole Adams God given authority. The earth has become Satan’s stronghold. It is why he is called ‘the god of this world.’ 2 Cor. 4:4 says, “Satan, the god of this evil world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe, so they are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News that is shining upon them. ”They don't understand the message we preach about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.”
God now does His work in this earth through His angels and though men yielded to Him in prayer. It is our prayers, that help launch the angelic hosts of Heaven to be involved in the circumstances of the people we pray for. Prayer also petitions God to work in the hearts and minds of those that aren’t presently thinking about Him or even know Him. Our prayers of intercession are what help the hearts of men to become open to God’s love.
I try to remember to ask this question every time I find myself sharing the gospel with someone. I ask them, “Do you have a family member or relative or friend that is one of those “born again Christians” that might be praying for you? I don’t think that I have every received a negative response. It seems as though they can always find someone by that description that might be praying for them. I then tell the person I am sharing with – “It’s a result of their prayers that I am standing here sharing the love of Jesus with you today. This is no coincidence!”
Praying for the salvation of men’s souls is so very important. It causes your heart to want to be used of God and to be strengthened with courage to do so. It also causes the hearts of those you pray for to be open to the laborer such as yourself that crosses their path and helps angels hold back demonic warfare that would blind them from the truth of Jesus.
Praying to be used of God to share the gospel and then sharing the gospel is God’s number one priority for our life. Each of us will walk it out in obedience, yet in a great diversity of ways. God will use us all. He’ll use our own distinct personalities and giftings to relate to those He sends us to. You don’t have to be like anyone else in carrying out this purpose for God. Be yourself and let Him shape your fishing skills as He makes you a fisher of men. But, don’t’ be deceived. Don’t think you are going to do this in obedience to Him without praying for people and without praying that God would use you. “This is good…” means praying for and then sharing Jesus as God leads you, “is good.” As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved