Let Everything Lead to Thanks

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This past couple of days has been all about family. Two of my children have come in town with their families—one from Peru where they are missionaries and the other from Texas. And then my youngest son and wife along with our new grandson were over for dinner. We’ve been vacationing and it’s been such fun to be all together. Last night after a great dinner on a beautiful evening on our deck, I took the grandchildren to the back yard to play with a toy I had bought each of them. We had great fun and it was definitely a night to remember.

This morning I am sitting on my deck, overlooking my garden, reading the Word of God, and feeling full of praise and thanksgiving. I am mostly feeling this way because of words triggered from 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 which talks about God choosing me, such a foolish thing to confound the wise.

1 Corinthians 1:26-31 (NLT)  “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; He made us pure and holy, and He freed us from sin. Therefore, as the Scriptures say, “If you want to boast, boast only about the Lord.”

When I was a young man I was full of myself. I wanted to make my own way. I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to be the master of my life and my destiny. I wanted to be a success and boast about it. The truth was, I was wandering through life without a destiny not knowing where I was going. My life was a mess! But then one day someone shared the truth of what Jesus did for mankind with me and for the first time, I really listened. Along with a few other verses, we read those words above.

As I read the words from the Bible along with her, I felt God’s words piercing my heart. They were like arrows of truth that were collapsing the fragile sandcastles of thought that I had built my world on. Although I couldn’t have described what I felt at that moment, today I would describe it as the power of God that is present when someone’s heart is open to what God’s word says. It was then that I could suddenly admit to myself how powerless I truly was over my own life. I wasn’t great. I wasn’t really very in control of my life. I really didn’t know where my life was headed and I didn’t feel like I was doing a great job getting to wherever it was I was headed. It was at that moment I knew I was a young man who needed to know my Maker and needed His help with my life. Jesus made that possible and that moment, I received Him as my Lord and Savior. That was the beginning of the end. That was the end of me trying to control what I did not have control over, and living in the ever-changing worldly wisdom that only confused my life. It was the beginning of me wanting godly wisdom that only comes from God’s word. And that become the beginning of an entire new life guided by God. No wonder Jesus called it being born-again!

So here I am 37 years later thanking God for allowing me, a foolish thing, to know and love Him. That privilege has shaped every second of my life since that day. And every second of my life since that day, He has led me down a path that fills my heart with thanksgiving. I am so thankful for my wife. I am so thankful for my children. I am so thankful for their spouses. I am so thankful for my grandchildren. I am so thankful for my Pastor and my church full of amazing wonderful people. I am so thankful for having had the privilege of being able to raise my children to know the love of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for His promise to me that because I “trained my children in the way they should go, as they continue to mature in adulthood, they will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) God’s promises to me are more real than any temporary situation or condition I face in life. No matter what happens, I know that because of God’s love, His promises to me will prevail and things will work out. I have faith in that—in Him! And for that reason, I always feel thankful. It cancels worry. It cancels doubt. It kindles hope. It strengthens my faith. It fills my life with good things. Even what doesn’t always seem perfect or good at the moment, eventually comes around to prove the goodness of God!

In all this, it doesn’t make me feel in any way like boasting about my life. It makes me want to boast in the Lord. And so I do! I thank you Heavenly Father because every good and perfect gift comes from you! Your love is greater than words can say. I have the best Father of all—you! Almighty God I praise you! Jesus my loving Savior, I worship you all the days of my life!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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