About Tim Burt

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do You Want to Know What Smart Living Is?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you think you're smart?  I think many if not most people would like to think they are smart. I think most people would say that they aren't stupid. But how do they measure that? Is it a matter of measuring one’s IQ? Is it decided by how much education one has? Is being smart measured by how much common sense you have? People will measure being smart by many different standards.

For me, I think I'm smart when I emulate Joshua's heart and attitude. Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,,, But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 

I think I'm smart when I see what God instructs me to do in His Word and I trust the instruction and direction He leads me in more than my opinion or ability to figure out how things should be done. I think I am smart when I put sincere heart faith and trust in Him helping me to execute the steps he leads me in. I think I am smart when I pursue the general plan for living that He has for us all!

I was meditating on the verse 1 Cor. 7:30 (NLT) “Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work.” The Apostle Paul wrote these words while teaching Christians about distractions that steal our attention from what is most important in this life—serving God and His plan in all the different ways He would lead us.

There are times—often too many times when someone or something makes us feel sad.  Sometimes it's because of something someone said that discourages us. Sometimes its because people feel like they are poor and have nothing. We could easily give into the many opportunities for discouragement that present themself. If we did, it would lead us to all the wrong places. Keeping focused on why you are in this earth—which is to serve the plan of God by being an influence and revealer of the love of Jesus, will help you keep moving forward and bring you back to the big picture of life. 2 Corinthians 6:10 (NLT) says, "Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything."  God is smart and knows that you serving His plan will help you. Consequently, He teaches us to not let sadness have anything more than a very temporary place in our life. We need to get right back to living for the Lord and focus on serving Him and people. When we do, we find that it becomes like the hand of God reaching down and pulling us out of a pit. Focusing on being a blessing to others helps pull us out of discouragement and refocuses us on moving forward. I am smart if I follow being an influence for Him as my life's purpose!
Everyone likes to be happy and so it becomes a pursuit of life for most! Happiness is so enjoyed that it has an addicting effect. It feels so good and so much fun that it's all you want. Many people live their whole life chasing happiness rather than God’s plan for their life. The pursuit of happiness without God-given purpose is usually self-serving and can actually cause great periods of depression because it’s impossible to maintain. It’s better to live happy and enjoy the happy moments of time that come naturally in life. The greatest happiness comes from serving God by serving people, and helping others discover and live for Jesus. That doesn't mean you have to talk about Jesus every second of your life. It means you walk in the joy of the Lord, shining daily for Him, and bringing happiness to others through your smile, attitude, and love walk. Pursue that goal and you will find greater happiness than you've ever known and you will be living life the way God intended for you to live it. That will make you very smart!

Finally, God teaches us that we are smart when we use our wealth, that being our time, talents, and resources—whatever God has blessed us with, to be a blessing to others. Jesus said in Luke 12:48 (NKJV) "... to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."   
Wealth pursued simply for one’s own pleasure will most often draw people away from God. This is true because once they have the resources to live the dream that the world paints, they spend it on themselves to increase their personal happiness.  Again, this is usually self-serving and those that live this way have little time to serve God. But, when you have great resources and you use them in the diversity of ways that God leads you to, while keeping true to a consistent life of serving God by serving your church and the people around you, then you have used wealth in the purpose it is given for. That is smart!

Whether happy or sad, or wealthy or poor, God wants us focused on Him and His purpose for your life—that is, serving His plan. This leads to smart living. I can’t improve on the Apostle Paul’s words, words I think lead us to being smart, and so I will close with them.

1 Cor. 7:30-31 (NLT) “Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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