About Tim Burt

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Honor God and Be Honored

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

2 Kings 4:13 “Elisha said to her, “... You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? ..."

As I was getting ready for my day and thinking about the Lord, I began to think about Priscilla and Aquila. They were a very special couple that we can read about in the Book of Acts as well as three other epistles. They were a couple who appeared to me to really have a grasp on the purpose of life and marriage as much as any other couple in the Bible that I can think of.

As I study about them, there are some things I surmise about them. First they were Jews learned of God. This means they loved and took the time to learn about God. They had met the Apostle Paul. Whether they became Christians before or after meeting Paul is not known. But they did become close friends to Paul. They eventually worked by day along side Paul making tents. They spent time being a help to him in His work for the Lord. In doing so they were able to benefit from Paul's tutorage - most likely from conversation, prayer and impartation.

They then assisted the Apostle Paul in other ways - probably in any way that he requested of them. He had them assist a Jew named Apollos whom was highly knowledgeable of God and that had been converted to Christianity. Priscilla and Aquila were used to help him take all that he knew from the Jewish perspective and learn of it in a new light from his new life and perspective in Jesus. Their help contributed to Apollos becoming a great teacher of God's Word.

When I think about Aquila and Priscilla, I think of a couple who had their lives and their life's focus on serving God by honoring and serving God’s leaders. They don't appear to be a couple that had aspirations for great notoriety. Just a twosome that wanted the short time they had on this earth to having meaning for God. Did they honor God by honoring men of God? Absolutely! Consequently, God honored them. How do I know? They were so honored that the Holy Spirit inspired Luke the author of the Book of Acts and the Apostle Paul to write of them. God knew they would be eternally recognized in His Word.

There is another couple that did the same thing. They honored Elisha, a man of God and his servant by building a small room onto their home furnished with a bed, a table, a chair, and a lamp. They did this just to bless him out of a pure heart. How do I know that? Because God had Elisha ask if there was anything he could do for them. Let's look at today’s Fresh Manna. They are words to mediate upon. “Elisha said to her, "... You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? ..." Can you imagine that? Imagine God saying to you, you've really blessed me, what can I do for you? She responded that she had no needs. That's how we know her heart and motive was pure.

Even so, God through Elisha so wanted to bless them. He, knowing her heart, gave her the impossible gift she could have gotten no other way - a child. She had been childless. At a time later in life, the child got sick and died and again, God honored her by having Elisha come and raise him from the dead. This couple certainly had favor in the eyes of the Lord.

God sees the efforts we make and things we do to know and serve Him. The Apostle Paul said in 1 Cor 7:35 "...but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord." We don't do these things to make Him happy with us. That's a given. He loves us and nothing we do is going to change that. But He does bless and honor those who bless and honor Him from a pure heart.

As a Pastor, I know that every church has its Aquila and Pricilla's -those that honor, help, and bless God’s leaders. Don’t think it goes unnoticed and don’t be surprised if God finds a way to ask you, “You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? ..."

Matthew 10:42 "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 22, 2011

Promises You Can Count On!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 119:49 Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope.

Last week I was asking my son Peter how a particular situation went. He was in a teasing mood and started to give me this wild bogus answer just to see how long he could tease me before I caught on.

Aren't you glad that God doesn't tease? He doesn't. People are casual about their words and even about their commitment and promises but God isn't. He means what He says and He has said all that He means. His promise is just that - a promise! Hebrews 6:17-19 in the Living Bible says it like this. "God also bound Himself with an oath, so that those He promised to help would be perfectly sure and never need to wonder whether He might change His plans. He has given us both His promise and His oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to Him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God; now they can know without doubt that He will give them the salvation He has promised them. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure, connecting us with God himself behind the sacred curtains of heaven...”

The entire Bible is full of promises that God made to man as a part of the covenant He entered into with us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:29 says, “And now that we are Christ's we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God's promises made to him belong to us."

When my kids were little, they'd always ask, "Can we walk up to McDonalds and get an ice cream cone?" The answer would usually be "maybe." A maybe almost always meant yes and they knew it. When I said "maybe" they were excited because they knew I'd cave in. Only once in a great while did a maybe turn into a no.

Today's Fresh Manna says, "Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope." That is what God's word gives us - hope! When God gives hope, it's not the same as my "maybe." His hope is encouragement that comes from a yes - from promises He has already promised to us. His hope is "yes." When I see a promise from God's Word that applies to my life, by faith it becomes a "yes" in my life. It produces great hope! It lifts me from the despair negative circumstances presented. It’s called a hope BECAUSE IT'S UP TO ME to believe and have faith in that promise. If I do, it produces the hope – then the assurance of faith, then the confidence that ushers in the promise.

If you belong to Jesus and truly love Him and do your best in living for Him, the promises of His word believed will always encourage and lift your heart. See for yourself. Read these as promises written by the hand of God to you personally and see if they don’t spark your hope and faith!

Psa 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (He is your refuge and strength and ever-present help in trouble.)

Psa 54:4 Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me.

Psa 72:12-14 He will take care of the helpless and poor when they cry to Him; for they have no one else to defend them. He feels pity for the weak and needy and will rescue them. He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him.

Heb 13:6 So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be
afraid. What can man do to me?"

Psa 84:11 For Jehovah God is our Light and our Protector. He gives us grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk along His paths.


God wants to encourage our hearts and like a loving father, He has made may promises to us. They are activated within our heart through our personal faith and trust in Him and in His Word. You and I are not alone in the things we face. We are not alone in the places where we need to stand strong against the enemies within our lives. God is a loving father and He doesn't tease especially when it comes to the well being of His children.

Stand in awe and rejoice in the promise of His Word today. You will see His hand and His love toward you. Bend your knee to Him and ask with a fresh asking today and let the Lord reveal His care, compassion and love to you. Psa 146:5 Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 14, 2011

God's Life of Blessing For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

God does not want you confused over who He is, over who Jesus is, or over you becoming a child of God. He wants and has the best of intention and plans for you! Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jesus died, arose, and paid the price for you to be blessed and receive all that God has for you. When you finally get hold of that revelation, you will begin to trust Him and His many promises to you. God says He has a good plan for you. That plan is blessing. Satan would like you to think God has abandoned you leaving you high and dry. That isn’t the truth! Blessing has always been God’s intent for you and for anyone that would come to know and live for Him.

When God blesses us, it means to confer benefits or gifts to us – to prosper us or to improve our quality of life. His initial benefits are a relationship with Him coupled with the forgiveness of sin and the promise of Heaven through faith in Jesus Christ. That is only the beginning. God’s promised blessings are almost overwhelming to believe - especially because they are far above anything you are experiencing in your present life. He promises supernatural peace that transcends the burdens or trials that would otherwise weigh you down. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give isn't like the peace the world gives. So don't be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27

He doesn’t come close to stopping there. He promises to take you out of a war torn ravaged life. When God came to rescue His people from Egypt through Moses, they were so beaten down that they found it hard to believe that He cared for them or that He would really help them. Does that describe you? Do you have a hard time believing in God’s promises – that they are real and cry out to you? Do you even know what they are? If you do, can you imagine them manifesting your life? Can you believe that the deliverance and blessing that God wanted for His people then, He also wants for you today?

Let’s look into a few of His promised blessings. They may seem the opposite of your present experience and difficult for you to even imagine in your life. If you can’t wrap your brain about them, how about wrapping your faith around them.

Psalm 144:12-15 says, “May our sons flourish in their youth like well-nurtured plants. May our daughters be like graceful pillars, carved to beautify a palace. May our farms be filled with crops of every kind. May the flocks in our fields multiply by the thousands, even tens of thousands, and may our oxen be loaded down with produce. May there be no breached walls, no forced exile, no cries of distress in our squares. Yes, happy are those who have it like this! Happy indeed are those whose God is the Lord.”

Can you see in these verses that God wants blessing to affect your children, your livelihood, your assets, your savings, your protection and your peace? Does the peace described, “no cries of distress,” sound like the peace in your life? Does God want this for you? He says, “Yes, happy are those who have it like this! Happy indeed are those whose God is the Lord.”

Mark 9:23 Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 12, 2011

You Cannot Multiply Wealth By Dividing It

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This is about Capitalism vs Socialism. Please think about this verse - the Words of Jesus - in the relation to the article below. You decide!

Matthew 25:29 29 To those who use well what they are given, even more will be given, and they will have an abundance. But from those who do nothing, even what little they have will be taken away.



college professor with class

As the late Adrian Rogers said, "you cannot multiply wealth by dividing it."

An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had once failed an entire class.

That class had insisted that Obama's socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, "OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama's plan".

All grades would be averaged and everyone would receive the same grade so no one would fail and no one would receive an A.

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B.
The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy.

As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.
The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

The scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

All failed, to their great surprise, and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed.

It could not be any simpler than that.

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Gaining Strength in Weary Times

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This morning I am up writing very early – much earlier than I should be. This should be my sleep time, but I am not sleeping. I’m not because I received some news yesterday that felt devastating to me at that time I heard it. I didn’t want to think about it because I knew it would attempt to create anxiety within me. If I opened those gates of meditating on it, I knew that fiery darts of the enemy would be flying at me and I would have to fight a battle of mental warfare that would rob me of my joy and sleep. I went to sleep fine last night, but woke up early – too early this morning with the wrong kind of thoughts raging in my mind.

Sometimes - maybe more often than not, people think Pastors and ministers of the gospel don’t go through the kinds of things we preach, teach, and minister to help others with concerning their cares. The fact is, we are all human and deal with all the same problems and issues everyone else does. We may know how to minister to or consul others through some of their issues and tough situations, but we still have to apply those same truths from the Word of God in our own life. And when we personally face situations that are negative, we fight the same warfare and it can be just as difficult for us as anyone else.

What happens when anyone receives bad news or a negative report? You immediately face “fiery arrows of the enemy” and have to deal with what the Lord tells us to be prepared for – the warfare that would attempt to steal our joy, our sleep, and our faith and peace in God. I am going to take a few days to walk you through dealing with these fiery arrows so that you always come out on top. You need to know it or be reminded of it because on some level and at too frequently, we face them. What I share will help you and at the same time refresh me so that I also am not robbed of any more sleep.

The first thing that happens when a negative report shows up in your life is that you face soulish warfare – the “fiery arrows or darts” which are the beginning and bombardment of negative thoughts that attack your mind and emotions. If you look at what God calls the “Weapons of our Warfare,” in Eph 6:10-17, you will see the weapons God has give us to resist these attacks of the enemy. They also help us understand ways the devil will attack us. There is great insight to be had through these verses.

The Apostle Paul starts out saying in Eph 6:10, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord's mighty power.” Before Paul reveals any of our weapons, he is telling us that these attacks are designed to make us weak-kneed. He wants us to be knocked out in the first round by the first punch. Paul is telling us not to let that happen. He is telling us that you may not personally feel strong enough to fight this battle but that’s okay because you can be strong “in the Lord’s mighty power.” If we know – if we have faith and have confidence that the Lord will help us, then we won’t immediately be taken out. We will face the negatives that come against us knowing that the Lord will see us through. So we don’t want to start out weak. We start out strong in the Lord’s strength. That is why I did not stay in bed worrying and letting fiery darts overtake me. I got up to fight. What was the first fiery dart that came at me when I got up saying? “You have a long day a head of you. If you get up now, you’ll be exhausted and never make it through your day.” The devil is manipulative and tries to keep you in his control. If I would have stayed in bed, I would have obsessed over it.

My response was “No devil, I am not going to lie in this bed and stress out. If it’s a fight you want, it’s a fight you’ll get. The grace of God will get me though the day. I am going to get up and tell you who I am in Christ, put on the weapons of my warfare, and remind you of your future. I am also going to pray though this situation in faith knowing that my God cares about every detail of my life including this situation.” “My strength comes from the Lord and in that strength I rebuke you in Jesus name.”

I haven’t even listed one of the weapons of our warfare that God gives us but have already received strength knowing that God FIRST tells me to be “strong in the Lord’s MIGHTY power.” Just knowing that gets us into a better place!

I’ll pick up from here tomorrow, but if you have things coming against you to make you weak-kneed and overcome with mental warfare, remember to “be strong in the Lord’s mighty power,” not your own strength. That mighty power is the promise of His love and care for you that resides within you! More tomorrow…

‎2 Thes 3:3 “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 Tim Burt,
All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 08, 2011

Supernatural Transformation: A Powerful Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

One day just as I was getting up to go to lunch, our receptionist called me to tell me that a man had walked in needing to talk to a Pastor. Usually we meet with people by appointment. He didn’t have one but insisted it was urgent. He had never been here before. He drove almost an hour to come to the church and spent even longer looking for it. I skipped my lunch and asked the man to come into my office and sit down. He looked disheveled – like someone who might have been homeless. I asked him how I could help him.

He began to tell me about the incredible amount of hardship and tragedy that had transpired in his life and broke down and wept in the process. He couldn't complete a thought without crying. As he gave me the nutshell version of his childhood, I wanted to cry with him. It was like something out of a fictional book it was so bad.

As he continued, he told me that he wanted to live his life right but no matter how hard he tried he just couldn't seem to find the strength, the will, or the determination to stay on a right track even though he hated the lifestyle he was presently living. He was desperate to learn what to do to get his life on track yet he was also in a hopeless state of mind. It was almost impossible for him to imagine how he could turn his life around after failing at it time and time again.

I pulled out a Bible. He had never read one and didn’t know how to navigate through it. I showed him how and had him turn to particular scripture verses. I was patient as he would turn to each one. I wanted him to do it. I had him read each verse I asked him to turn to. He was dyslexic and so it took him some time. As he would read them I would expound on them. I had him turn to and read the story of the demoniac in Mark chapter 5. I wanted him to see a man whose life quickly turned around because of Jesus. After reading it, I took him to verses that told him he could be "a partaker of a divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world through lust." (2 Peter1:4) I continued to describe how the Holy Spirit comes to live in and indwell those who accept Jesus Christ as their Savior and that there is supernatural power and strength available to all who become believers.

I walked him through verse after verse letting him read each one and then expounding on these truths. I noticed that as he read these verses, his countenance began to change. First he stopped crying. He eventually smiled for the first time. Then he had a look of hope in his eyes. I shared some of my testimony and how God had transformed my life from the pit to the life I love today. I invited him to accept Jesus as his Lord and he accepted. I led him in a prayer to do so.

I then told him that he needed spiritual strength. I told him that strength from God would come from a number of avenues. I told him to get to a church that taught the Bible and the goodness, the love and the promises of God. I encouraged him to go every time they had a service. Though he lived a distance away, I invited him to come to the monthly men's breakfast that I lead at our church. I wanted him to see how hundreds of men drew strength from God. I also encouraged him to read the Bible often and pray. I gave him the Bible we were reading. I told him God would do supernatural things in his life to show him that he was in a right place with God and back on track.

The morning of the men’s breakfast, this man I did not recognize walked up to me. He looked handsome – well groomed and dressed. He had a pleasant smile. It took me a minute before I realized I was talking with the man in my office. I sat him down with a group of men. After the breakfast when I had finished speaking, he came up to me smiling even brighter. He proceeded to tell me that the man sitting next to him was a close friend that he grew up with – a friend he had gotten in trouble with on several occasions. This friend had also given his life to Christ. He hadn't seen him for over ten years. He knew this couldn’t have been a coincidence but that I was right - God used it to help him know that He was working in his life.

I saw him again the next day at our Sunday morning church service. He shared something else with me. He had been living with his girlfriend and he said he wouldn't do it anymore because he did not want to live outside of God's will. He prayed that God would help him find a place to live. Later that day he ran into a man that was distraught because the transmission on his car went out. He told the man he could fix it and in their discussion mentioned that he was looking for a place to live. The man offered him a place to live in exchange for the fixing of his transmission. I could only stand back in be in awe at how powerfully God was working in this man’s life.

In the story of the demoniac, Jesus told the transformed man, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you." (Mark 5:19) I believe the Lord wants to work in each of our lives. The man that came to my office knew how desperate he was. If we would only realize how desperate we are without God’s love, mercy, and power working in our life – we would seek more of God and His touch in our lives. His Word is quick and powerful and life transforming when we receive it with childlike faith and a desperate heart. May it be that powerful and real to you and me each and every day.

In His love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 Tim Burt,
All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 05, 2011

A Most Precious Event

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Mark 9:41 “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”


A Most Precious Event (Author Unknown)

Twenty years ago, I drove a cab for a living. When I arrived to pick up a customer at 2:30 a.m., the building was dark except for a single light in a ground floor window. Under these circumstances, many drivers would just honk once or twice, wait a minute, then drive away. But I had seen too many impoverished people who depended on taxis as their only means of transportation. Unless a situation smelled of danger, I always went to the door. This passenger might be someone who needs my assistance, I reasoned to myself. So I walked to the door and knocked. "Just a minute", answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 80s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940s movie.

By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware. "Would you carry my bag out to the car?" she said.

I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. "It's nothing", I told her. "I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother treated". "Oh, you're such a good boy", she said.

When we got in the cab, she gave me an address, then asked, "Could you drive through downtown?" "It's not the shortest way," I answered quickly. "Oh, I don't mind," she said. "I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice". I looked in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were glistening. "I don't have any family left," she continued. "The doctor says I don't have very long."

I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. "What route would you like me to take?" I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds. She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing. As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, "I'm tired. Let's go now."

We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her. I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. "How much do I owe you?" she asked, reaching into her purse. "Nothing," I said. "You have to make a living," she answered. "There are other passengers," I responded. Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug. She held onto me tightly. "You gave an old woman a little moment of joy," she said. "Thank you." I squeezed her hand, then walked into the dim morning light. Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life.

I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly, lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk. What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?

On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life. We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware--beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one. People may not remember exactly what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2011 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 01, 2011

Developing a Reputation of Gold


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Proverbs 22:1 (NLT) “Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.”

I was once involved with a series of planning meetings that lasted not quite a year. One of those involved with these meetings was a person that you could absolutely count on to be late. He only came on time once in that period of a year, and that was to everyone’s shock. Along with the late arrival came a very kind and pleasant smile, an excuse, and a greeting to all - interrupting the meeting that had already gotten under way. On the nice scale, this person was a ten of ten. But, unfortunately his wonderful character was painfully blemished by his inability to show up on time for anything. The funny part is, this person was oblivious to it and to the reputation that he had earned. A good reputation is hard to come by and to ruin it over something that could be worked out so easily, is a sad thing.

We have an incredibly wonderful ministry within our church called the "Volunteer Development Ministry.” That is the general name given over all the people that serve from a volunteer basis in various areas of ministry. We have people directing traffic in our parking lot, opening the doors for people as they enter the church, greeting everyone that walks through the doors, working our information counter and Visitors Center, ushering people in our sanctuary, working in our choir, band, audio-visual, children’s ministry from infant to senior high school, serving in our coffee bar and cafĂ©, working security, and medical people working as emergency responders and so much more. These are all lay volunteers serving on a schedule working every other week. They are absolutely faithful and precious and selfless people that we can count on.

When we train people to serve in a ministry from a volunteer position, we retrain their thinking as to what a volunteer is. Most people have this perception that a volunteer may or may not show up depending on if they “feel like it” and they can work for as long or as little as they want. Organizations of any kind that work with volunteers, often suffer from this kind of mentality. It makes it difficult to get much done. That is not the case at our church. We have taught people that when you make a choice to serve in a ministry, you are not a volunteer but someone who has made a commitment to God. We tell them, “treat your commitment like you were working for Jesus Himself – like you were one of His employees." "Why?" "Because you are!” Col. 3:23 says, “Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”

Unfortunately, people in daily life don’t always think about or care about their commitment, their work ethic, or their reputation the way they should. We have found that church can be a great training ground for the development of these godly character qualities. It seems that there is a higher sense of caring in our church. We do emphasize faithfulness in commitment, walking in love, and serving with excellence in all we do. It helps create a place where people practice that and consequently develop in it. The character that is built into our volunteers over time is amazing! They often comment on how it has helped them at work and led to them developing a good reputation in other areas of their life.

We have seen people be absolutely transformed into dedicated, hard working, committed people that develop great reputations not only at church, but in the workplace also. In the workplace, people will do good and right things because they are motivated by the promise of a paycheck, a bonus, a promotion, or something tangible. This doesn’t necessarily build right motivation and character. When you learning to be faithful when there is no paycheck involved, your motivation gets worked out and it builds character in you. When you serve people and your motivation is your love for God and to love His people – that purifies your motivation and character!

Yesterday at church I greeted a woman I had not seen in two years. We talked for a few minutes. Her mother in Africa had gotten sick two years ago. She had to quit her job and go back there to help her. Just recently she was finally able to come back. She called her old boss. He was delighted to get her back and made a place for her. She called one of our ministry leaders and asked if she could serve again. He immediately put her on a schedule. Within two weeks of being back from Africa, she was at church and serving. This woman is like gold to everyone she is around.

Imagine for a second that your boss stopped in to talk with you. He lays down ten names before you and says, “Help me choose one of these people. I need to promote one of them to fill a position.” As you looked at each name, they would represent something positive or negative to you. Who is the person that has the reputation that is “like gold” in your eyes? Can you see how it benefits them? Is that your reputation? It can be if you will learn the value of today’s Fresh Manna verse, “Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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