by Pastor Tim Burt
I’d like to remind you of a truth this morning, that I've talked about with you before. As the world becomes more divided over issues, and social media teaches us how to block people, I see people get offended more easily and toss away good relationships. And so I hope you will take this to heart and ask God to show you the truth of what I am about to share. I pray it will influence your life for good!
Here's the thought: The primary way God brings blessing into your life is through people! We all have times when people can wear us out. Yet, we need them. God commands us to love them. If we don’t prayerfully ask Him to teach us how, we’ll will miss out on the very blessing God would bring to us through them. For this reason, it's always been Satan's effort to divide people and that will never end. We can only be more discerning and understand it's one of the devices in his arsenal of lies and deceit!
Let's learn from this story of supernatural provision in 1 Kings 17:3-6 NIV. "Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to feed you there." So Elijah did what the LORD had told him… The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." After reading this, some might silently think, Pastor Tim, God supernaturally provided for Elijah through ravens, not people!
This is a powerful story and reveals to us that God will bring supernatural provision as we follow out and obey His direction for our lives. Stories like this are there for the very purpose of building our faith in this truth. Yet, the Lord bringing supernatural provision through ways other than people is the exception, not the rule! The most common way He brings blessing—words of instruction, words of wisdom, help, encouragement, comfort, provision, and direction—is through people.
I hear people say more often than ever before, I'm getting to the place where I don't like people. People wear me out. They disappoint me. They offend me. They hurt me. They do stupid things. That's why I have a dog! Though people can discourage us at times, no one can afford to get to the place where they are tired of people and begin to isolate themselves from them whenever possible. If you get to this place, a HUGE part of your problem with people is you and your attitude. And, it won't be long until you cut yourself off from the source of the supernatural provision you are asking God for. He will almost always try to get His blessing to you through people!
God’s Word gives us the key to help keep a healthy attitude toward people. James 3:17-18 NIV, give insight to your bad attitude relief saying, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.” This verse helps us discern our own words, attitudes, and actions to see if the place we are coming from is from an ungodly or godly perspective. The cure to the people-attitude-problem is mercy.
Are you absolutely aware that almost every offense that ticks you off at people are offenses you yourself have violated toward others? Proverbs 20:9 NIV says, “Who can say, "I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?" We may not say this but we often act like we are more righteous than those who have made us mad. Psalm 143:2 TLB says, “Don't bring your servant to trial! Compared to you, no one is perfect.”
What this verse is saying is that in your eyes, you always justify your own actions and offenses making you not guilty while those who have offended you will be guilty! The truth is, not one of us would survive without mercy. Mercy is one of the most powerful forces in the world and the one that God used to bring you and I back to Himself through Jesus Christ. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense." As you learn to practice mercy, God will soften your heart and help you to look past the offenses of others. You have no idea how much more peace that brings to your life. If God continually has mercy on us, then it should also be given from us to others and often! It has the amazing power to INSTANTLY soften and reunite our hearts with someone we’d otherwise be offended or upset with.
We are all a work in progress and therefore all desperate for God’s mercy. As liberally as we would want or need it, let us give it out. Are you in conflict? Don't get frustrated with people. Have mercy toward them because of the love and mercy of God in you, and don't forget that the primary way God brings blessing into your life is through people. He just might bring it through that person you were tempted to be angry, offended at, and ready to cut off. If you do this, then the blessing of God can flow without interruption from you to people and from people to you! Do you need God's supernatural provision? Then learn to love people like never before! God will help you and mercy will be His greatest tool! Be a giver in life. Especially of mercy!
Luke 6:38 (NLT) "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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