The Burt (Not Ernie) Show
Episode 21 ~ Psalm 1 - Part 1

Episode 21 ~ Psalm 1 - Part 1

March 25, 2020

 

Taking a look at Psalm 1 ~

 

Psalm 1:1-3 (Amplified) Blessed (fortunate, prosperous and favored by God) is the man who does not wlk in the counsel of the wicked (following their advice an example), not stand in the path of sinners, not sit (down to rest) in the seat of scoffers (ridiculers). But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law (His precepts and teachings) he (habitually) meditates day and night. And he will be like a tree firmly planed (and fed) by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season; its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers (and comes to maturity).

 

 

Psalm 1:1-3 (CSB) - How happy is the one who does not walk in the advice of the wicked or stand in the pathway with sinners or sit in the company of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the LORD's instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside flowing streams that bears its fruit in its season and whose leaf does not wither; whatever he does prospers.

 

First a really quick but important reminder about the book of Psalms - Psalm 1 is the first book of the psalter, and it sets the tone for all the rest of the psalms. Anything else you read from the psalms, anytime you see a verse from psalms shared on social media or via an email, when your pastor preaches from the psalms or a book you are reading references particular verses from psalms - basically, anytime you read anything from this book of the Bible, keep in mind that the foundation is laid right here in Psalm 1. All that follows is built upon what we are going to look at here.

 

When we read the first few verses, of course we gravitate more toward the blessings that are mentioned. But before we can receive these blessings, we have to be willing to take a hard look at our lives and see if we might be doing any of the things that verse 1 tells us we ought not to be doing.

 

We don't just fall into these blessings like we might fall into a ditch. They do not happen by osmosis. I, as in me, myself, and I, must decide that I am not going to walk in the counsel of the wicked (meaning I won't be following their example or taking heed of their "advice" or wrongly believe that God may speak through them into my situation - which He won't because He doesn't violate His own Word).

 

And just in case you might be wondering how to know whether or not someone is "wicked" (the word used in this passage), let me just remind you to not pretend not to know what you already know. In other words, you pretty much know when something is wicked. Life is short & eternity is long, so please don't play coy & pretend you don't know what you do know. Wicked is wicked - evil is evil - and you can recognize it and not make friends with it and reject its counsel and advice and not be a "judgmental" person.

I mentioned in the podcast the words of Jesus that people so often quote ~ which is to judge not lest you be judged yourself. I encourage you very strongly to read ALL of Matthew chapter 7 (and probably all of Matthew chapter 5 & 6, too). We need to be careful to take God's Word as it was intended, as it was written, and not misconstrue single verses to fit certain situations.

Listen, the honest truth is that a lot of the time the reason we throw Matthew 7:1 around is to either A) get ourselves out of the position of telling someone the honest truth, which is that something they are doing is really bad for them & for others or B) to give ourselves a pass regarding something we are doing that we know is not the Lord's best for us (and the whole "don't judge" thing lends itself naturally to "don't judge me, cuz I ain't judging you", which prevents people from speaking into our lives).

Be very careful how you use this verse...and at the very least, please read it all in context.

 

To be blessed, favored, fortunate then we are going to have to decide not to take advice or follow the example of those who behave in wicked ways, and also make up our minds that will will not stand in the paths of the sinful. Don't be hanging out with them, listening to them spew filth, doing life with them...maybe don't binge watch that series on Netflix because they're telling you it's funny if you know you don't need to view that sort of content.

First we walk, then we stand, and then we sit down. Once we stop walking, we are spending a lot more time engrossed in their world. And when we sit down, we are staying in their world for an extended period of time.

The order here is important - first we walk, then we stand, then we sit. And the way this is phrased reveals that God takes very seriously the behavior of those who are scoffers, mockers, ridiculers. Mockers get a lot of coverage in the Bible, so we can't just make light of this. We need to take seriously whatever God says is worth taking seriously, and not being a mocker or spending time intimately with mockers is pretty serious to Him.

And you know that you know that you might like to get a good laugh from whatever it is the mocker/scoffer is talking about today...but you sure don't trust them with your darkest secrets or struggles. They aren't your role models and you never would encourage your kids to grow up to be just like them. So, keep that in mind before you try to excuse away what I am saying here. It's important enough for you to keep things private and out of their supply of cannon fodder, so it's important enough to just not sit with them and receive their "counsel".

 

The path to the promised blessing is this: choose to delight in the law of the Lord (in His teachings and His grace and His Word). Start your day thinking about God and His Word, and end your day the same way. That is one simple and sure-fire way to get on the fast track to the blessings promised in Psalm 1.

 

This right now moment in time is exactly the moment when you and I need to be firmly planted and continually fed by our God. He is our living God, He is our right now God for this very moment. So this very moment is when He is firmly planting us and sustaining us.

 

If you know Jesus as your Lord, then this is your season to bear fruit. This is the day in which more change, more upheaval is happening than ever before...and this is the day in which people are more open to hearing about God, allowing you to pray for them, listening to what God's Word says than at any other point in modern history, perhaps. This is your season to bear fruit. Your leaf will not wither - if you share God's blessings and love with those around you who need it, God's not going to leave you hanging with just one dried out, brown crusty leaf. Your leaf will not wither - that's a sure promise for you right now.

 

This is your chance - so what will you do with it?

I hope you go and bear fruit now, because right now is your season.

 

Now in the episode I mentioned that when this is all over, when coronavirus has done it's total damage and we can look back over all of it, what will that be like for us as Christians? What do we want to see upon reflection? We can make a choice, right now today, about what our hindsight is going to be like. Let's do things today that will make it easier to reflect well without wincing in regret.

(And I mentioned a thing called the "Flowbee" in this episode - here is a link to a commercial from the 80's about that strange oddity...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nztfGEXMMw0)

 

Have a blessed day & thanks for checking out Episode 21 of The Burt (Not Ernie) Show. I'm thankful for you!

 

See ya next time!

Jan

 

JanLBurt.com

JanLBurt@outlook.com

on Instagram @janlburt

 

 

 

Episode 20 - Could 1 Peter 5:6 & 7 Be Your Promise During COVID-19?

Episode 20 - Could 1 Peter 5:6 & 7 Be Your Promise During COVID-19?

March 17, 2020

These are very strange and turbulent times, are they not?

And the one thing that I have to offer you via this podcast, the one thing of any real and lasting value, is hope.

What a powerful and life-changing little word that is: HOPE.

Real hope only comes from Jesus, of course. So if you don't know Jesus personally, as in He is your own personal Savior who paid the price for your own personal sins & secured your freedom from those sins and opened the door for you to have eternal life as well as free life right here and now, then please seek Him today while He may be found, because He is not far from you at all. Ask Him to forgive your sins, bring you into His family, and guide you through His Word, through prayer, and through this crazy, topsy-turvy time right now. And if you do know Jesus personally, then the hope you have in Him should be the loudest thing in your life right now.

That's the whole goal for this episode...to just throw hope around like glitter, because boy oh boy do we ever need it!

 

Can you take a moment and answer this question?

How has your life, your world, changed over the last week or so?

Guys, it’s been a lot...and it’s okay take a moment, draw a deep breath, and acknowledge that it has indeed been a lot.

Can you take a sec, pause and look for God's hand going before you in advance of all that has happened re: the coronavirus global pandemic?

If you look for His hand, you will find it. Little and big pieces that He was putting in place weeks or maybe even months ago. Ways He led you to cut back, to start working from home, to handle that work situation and make that work trip or schedule those large group meetings that maybe seemed a bit premature but in hindsight were taken care of in the nick of time.

Hey, maybe you bought a couple of books and didn't have the foggiest idea that you'd have ample time to sit down and really read them (by really read, I mean read at a relaxed pace which allows you to learn and enjoy those books to the utmost). Or did you start a new at-home workout routine...and that's already an established habit that won't be impacted by the YMCA shut downs.

Big things or little things, can you take a moment and look for God's hand going ahead of you, to see what He already had in play far in advance of all...of...THIS.

This is important because where you can find His hand in your life, you simultaneously find His heart for you. His hand at work is raw evidence of His great love for you...and don't we all need to know how much He loves each one of us right now?

Look & see where the Lord's hand has been shifting and positioning and pivoting and preparing a way for you. Be assured that each bit of evidence you find is solid gold proof of how much He cares about you. He sees and He knows and He is here.

This is your personal God giving you personal comfort and personal assurance in a very uncomfortable time. 

Now let's take a look at His Word -

 

1 Peter 5:6-7 (Amplified) -

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (set aside self righteous pride), so that He may exalt you (to a place of honor in His service) at the appropriate time. (vs 7) casting all your cares (all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all) on Him, for He cares about you (with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully). 

1 Peter 5:6-7 (NIV) -

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may liftyou up in due time, cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 

 

Okay, let's dive in and see what all is promised to us here ~~~

Can you think for a second about God’s strong right hand? What that represents from His Word? It’s referenced when He rescues His people - when describing His power and His authority - His dominion and His sovereignty over all things - It is a powerful image to ponder. 

Now, humble yourself under that strong right hand of power. Submit in total trust to Him in every area of your life that today feels scary and bigger than you and out of control. Just bend the knee and say, “Lord I trust you completely”.

Can I ask you to do this little exercise real fast? Think of someone you know in real life who is genuinely a humble person. Now think of someone you know who is pretty manipulative? I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that you probably did not think of the same two people...because we are not truly humble and truly manipulative at the same time. Those two things don't dwell together very well. 

Here’s my point - it is very, very unlikely that you will be trying to work your angle when you are opting to stay truly humble underneath God's very capable hand. Just make the decision to tuck yourself right there under His right hand of power, and to be humble enough to trust Him fully and to believe His word His promises are true. None of these current circumstances change His promises - they have no power or ability to alter even one single promise of the Lord. That’s our working definition of humbling ourselves in the midst of the COVID-19 global pandemic of the year 2020. 

When we do that, He right here promises to lift us up in due time. So that’s actual patience working itself out in real life. And don’t tell me you don’t have any patience. If you know Jesus then you have the Holy Spirit within you. (Ephesians 1:13 from the ESV says, "In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.") 

So trust Him to lift you up at just the right time in just the right way if you’ll do what He says here and humble yourself under His mighty hand. Also, to be under His hand means you need to be right by His side.  Get by the Lord’s side and remain by the Lord’s side and don’t run off! Stay there and stay safe. Don’t be doin’ all the things the CDC says and fail to do what God says. Get there & stay there in humility and trust. Because if you don’t really really trust God then I am not sure you are really really humble.

(You can read Matthew 11:29-30 to see what Jesus says about being yoked to Him and not being overwhelmed by the weariness and budens we're all feeling right about now.)

 

And remember that verse 7 tells us to cast all of our anxiety on the Lord - and the word all really does mean ALL. He has broad shoulders. He can handle all your anxiety.

There is comfort upon comfort for us in this verse. It’s all ours for the taking, all ours for the having, if we just choose to accept that what the Lord is saying to us here is true - this is our truth. This is my truth - this is your truth. 

 

And lastly, but for sure not least of all, this verse promises - promises!!! - that God cares about you...not just about the whole world, which of course He does, but about just you right here in this mess. 

 

And it even tells you how much He cares in pretty explicit detail. With deepest affection.

Finally - He promises here to watch over you very carefully.

 

What does it look like in real life when you do something very carefully? Very carefully does the Lord God care for you.

So stay by His side, under His mighty hand of protection, believe He will lift you up at the right time and don’t hang on to even one ounce of anxiety, worry, fret or fear in this season. Keep talking to Him and keep seeking Him and loving Him and trusting Him.

 

This is your coronavirus promise. And it’s mine, too. 

 

Hang tight, friends. We are one day closer to Jesus’ return and we are here now to show His hope to a very frightened world.

 

Lord bless you - see ya soon!

 

Can I pray for you?

Email me at JanLBurt@outlook.com

Find me on Instagram - Jan L. Burt

Find me on Facebook - Jan L. Burt

 

Episode 19 - How 1 Samuel 21 Showed Me An Ugly Truth About Myself…

Episode 19 - How 1 Samuel 21 Showed Me An Ugly Truth About Myself…

March 9, 2020

 

In 1 Samuel chapter 17, we read the inspiring and very well-known true life story of David defeating the Philistine giant Goliath in the Valley of Elah.

It's a story for the ages of epic proportions that gives us hope for those impossible situations that loom larger than life in our own modern day moments...right here on the plains of Kansas rather than the ancient Valley of Elah.

 

But the point the Lord made to me was as much about chapter 21 of 1 Samuel as it was the 17th chapter.

It was as much about my own fears as it was about fearless David-type of living.

 

Maybe you've dealt with fear recently?

Maybe you have, at some point in your life, defeated your personal Goliath & now find yourself unsure about why you're so fearful right now when you've already seen the Lord do the miraculous on your behalf?

 

In chapter 21, David is on the run from King Saul. While he was once the hero in the battle for Israel (against Goliath and his people, the violent and oppressive Philistines) he is no longer the darling of the kingdom, at least not in the eyes of the jealous & rage-filled king.

After being the go-to guy on the battlefield when every other solider was quaking in their sandals, David was now on the outs. Ain't that just the way sometimes? The phrase "No good deed goes unpunished" comes to mind!

 

So David, in his haste to escape Saul's death threats (which were far more than just threats...he fully intended to act on them!) fled with no weapons or food. He ended up fleeing to the city of Nob, and there he met with the priest Ahimelech. Now, this priest was no fool and he was very afraid that David's presence there in Nob could lead to trouble if he were there of his own accord, especially if he were, say, running for his life.

But David told a lie and said he was there on the king's business...and Ahimelech had compassion on David, giving him food (not just any food, either...) And then David asked the priest if there was, by chance, a sword or a spear he could use. And there certainly way! The very same sword that had belonged to the now deceased giant Goliath...in fact, the very same sword David had used to cut off Goliath's head after he had sunk a rock deep into his forehead.

 

So, here's where the Lord spoke straight into my heart from this passage.

In verse 9 of chapter 21 of the book of 1 Samuel, when the priest Ahimelech tells David that he has access to Goliath's sword, here is David's response: "There is none like it; give it to me."

Those words floored me. All in the blink of an eye, I understood that I had done what David had done...and it wasn't good, what I had done.

 

When Goliath bore this exact weapon back in the Valley of Elah, he would have wanted the very sight of it to strike fear in David's heart, to render him petrified with fear. But, of course, it did no such thing. David loaded his sling, aimed true to his mark, and used that fear-weapon to remove the giant's head from his shoulders. Boom.

And now, just four chapters later, David is picking up the very weapon that his enemy had intended to use against him...

 

In the podcast I share the story of 2 events in my life that were similar yet different...and how I took the weapon my enemy tried to use against me during the first event (that weapon being FEAR) and tried to use it in some weird manner to move God's needle to answer my panicky, fearful prayers during the later event involving my health...I was not in the least bothered by the enemy brandishing "FEAR FEAR FEAR" in stage one...and in stage two, I picked up that same weapon of "FEAR FEAR FEAR" and found my prayers being driven by fear and not by faith.

 

Fear based praying robs God of worship He deserves.

Fear based praying leaves us empty and self-focused.

Fear based praying is the equivalent of using Satan's weapon to try and influence God's response to us.

It is gross.

And it had to be expelled from my life.

 

I traded it out and now pray from a place of rest - and the peace Jesus gives me is amazing and refreshing. And it's available to you, too.

 

If you have an area of your life where you have taken up the weapon your enemy used against you in the past and now find yourself fighting with that same weapon today, can I encourage you to lay it down and just opt to rest in Jesus?

Trust Him enough to refuse fear a place in your prayer life.

 

Lord bless!

 

on Instagram ~ @titus2disciplejanburt

 

     on Facebook ~ Titus 2 Discipleship with Jan L. Burt

 

 

Episode 18 ~ Philippians 2:13 ~ God works…

Episode 18 ~ Philippians 2:13 ~ God works…

February 28, 2020

Philippians 2:13 (NIV) - "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose."

 

Philippians 2"13 (Amplified) - "For it is (not your strength, but it is) God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work (that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose) for His good pleasure."

 

The firs thing I want you to grab hold of from this verse is: God works

And notice it does not say "Jan works".

This ain't on me and it ain't on you.

 

When we read this verse, it's as if a huge amount of grace is being poured out over our lives. For it is God who works...and BOOM!, just like that, the pressure is off.

 

God works.

How good is that?

 

God does not need your strength in order to accomplish His will. So whenever you feel just "done", worn out, wiped out, stretched way too thin, then let this promise become your promise. This is your life verse for those times in life. God works not in your strength, but in His. And as the Amplified version states, God is effectively at work in you.

 

The definition of "effectively" is - "in such a manner as to achieve a desired result."

It is not your strength, but it is God who is working in such a manner as to achieve His desired result.

 

Let's reason this out...

A) It's God's strength...is His strength limited or restricted or able to be exhaustedItapped out or used up? NO

B) If God is the One working to achieve His own desired result in my life, then do I have any cause or reason to doubt that He will get done what He wants to get done? NO

C) If God's purpose is a good purpose, do I have a lot of reason to be fearful or ill and ease about it? NO

 

There is absolutely nothing about the words "according to His good pleasure" that should be unnerving to me. Seriously!! I want you to get this! What umbrage could I possibly have with God's good pleasure?

What are we so afraid of? This is good stuff & there absolutely is nothing to fear here!

 

Glance at the Amplified again...

The Lord is so good at getting His will done, that's already been settled. There isn't any room for doubting that. God is perfect at getting His will done. And we have no reason to fear when He promises that His will is good.

Adding to this amazing truth, we see that the author of this book (the apostle Paul) says the Lord is effective in giving us the strength, the energy, the longing and the ability to do what He desires for us to do.

God has purposes for our lives - not just one, but a whole lot of them! And we don't want to bury our talents and do little to nothing for God's Kingdom.

Yet when we live in this perpetual state of "semi-fear" and leave room for nagging doubts combined with the exhaustion so many of us are facing, we often wear ourselves out doing we we ought NOT to be doing with the time God has entrusted to us.

Remember, time belongs to God (He created time, so of course it is His!) and we need to stop behaving as if we have any kind of ownership over what belongs to Him.

 

Let's try living like this instead:

     God has given us this iron-clad promise in this verse that when we are doing what He wills for us to do, when we are about our Father's business, He will provide us with the strength, the energy, the longing & the ability to get it done. To get it all the way across the finish line. And when the next assignment or calling from the Lord comes along, He'll do the same thing yet again.

     Ask God what His will is for us and then trust Him to do His will through us even while we lay down our own to-do lists and pick up His.

 

It is a tremendously beautiful thing to trust completely in God to will and to act according to His good purposes.

Freedom comes at a cost.

But the cost for your freedom was paid in full by Jesus at Calvary.

The words "it is finished" really do mean that your freedom was both procured and secured right there at that exact moment in time by the Lord Jesus. Why try and do God's will in your own energy? Why not do His will, His way, by His might?

 

HOMEWORK / CHALLENGE

Talk to the Lord about one area of your life this week. Just pick one thing and seek the Holy Spirit's guidance and clarity about that one thing. Talk to Him about it in great detail. And then take the time to really listen for what He has to say to you about that topic.

Be like Jesus' mother, Mary, at the wedding in Cana. She said to the servants, "Do whatever He tells you to do."

Those are wise words!

It is pretty hard to get it wrong when that's your prayer & your heartfelt desire and your pre-determined decision...that you are simply going to do whatever He tells you to do, no more & no less.

 

Enjoy your freedom as a disciple of Jesus today. Don't abuse it, but boy, please don't miss out on it either!

 

Lord bless!

 

on Instagram ~ @titus2disciplejanburt

 

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Episode 17 - Matthew 6: 31-33 (the cure for our worrying)

Episode 17 - Matthew 6: 31-33 (the cure for our worrying)

February 19, 2020

 

Matthew 6:31-33 (New Living Translation) - "So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need."

 

This passage contains a promise that can encompass every single part of our lives - no matter our age, our job, our health, wealth or social status. These words of Jesus can take on anything your life has to offer.

This is life-altering, life-giving stuff.

 

Jesus knows just how much energy we expend focusing on "me, me, me".  And He lovingly offers us hope for the disease of self. It's right here in Matthew chapter 6.

 

When Jesus says thoughts about "What if? Uh-oh! When? How? Who?" dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, this is intended to shock us back to reality and convict us that we are living as if we don't really believe Him.

 

People are looking at your life - like it or not, that's just the way it is. Do you want them to look at you in shock, unable to find evidence that you believe in Jesus as Lord? To equate you more with worry and fear and anxiousness than with the God of the universe?

 

When worry-worry-worry is the most conspicuous thing about us, then worrying has become dangerous.

 

Do worrisome thoughts have a commanding influence over your daily life? If so, then guess what buddy...these verses are your promise from God!

 

Take a look at these verses from the Christian Standard Bible -

     "So don't worry, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be provided for you."

 

     And verse 34 of the sixth chapter of Matthew says, "Therefore don't worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

(The header for this section in the Christian Standard Bible is "The Cure for Anxiety")

 

Can you think of something much more valuable in our modern society as a whole than the cure for anxiety? The world needs this, and it is a tremendous need. We as Christians have the opportunity to offer this cure for the anxious state that nearly everyone around us lives in. Verse 33 says seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness is the cure for our anxiousness.

 

The Amplified Bible says it this way -

     "Therefore do not worry or be anxious (perpetually uneasy, distracted), saying, 'What are we going to eat?' or 'What are we going to drink?' or 'What are we going to wear?' For the (pagan) Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, (but do not worry), for your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right - the attitude and character of God), and all these things will be given to you also."

 

The reason we don't have to worry about the actual physical needs, the literal stuff of life, is right here in this passage. God tells us not to worry...because He knows what we need. Take comfort in those two words, "He knows." What does God do with what He knows? Does He ignore what He knows? Is He neglectful? No. Rather, what He knows is a need is a need He will meet.

 

Think on this for a moment:

          Do I want to live my way into an early grave by worrying and fretting and being fearful and anxious? Or do I want to live all the way into the grave, truly living my life right up until I draw my last breath?

The choice is mine, and mine alone. The same is true for you.

 

The Lord invites us to live Kingdom-minded lives, to partner in His work, to be a blessing to others and to bring Him much glory. He offers us the promise that by living the good life, as described according to these verses, is living in a way that allows you to be totally content in every area of your life, receiving the fullness of His promise to make provision for every single need that we have.

 

Let's live starting today as if we believe this is true for us. Because we are not unbelievers, so we are not going to be dominated by things that run rampant over those who do not believe.

 

You are a marked man, a marked woman - marked by the Lord for His Kingdom purposes and you can live that way starting right now.

 

Find me here -

 

on Instagram ~ @titus2disciplejanburt

 

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Episode 16 - A Couple of Takes on Luke chapter 3

Episode 16 - A Couple of Takes on Luke chapter 3

February 8, 2020

 

Luke 3: 1-3 (Amplified) - Now in the fifteenth year of [Emperor]Tiberius Caesar’s reign—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod [Antipas] was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene— in the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas [his son-in-law], the word of God came to John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin.

 

           ~~~ While God was doing a work of preparation in John the Baptist's life prior to the start of his ministry, He was also doing a work of preparation to the times & seasons, leaders & authorities in which John's ministry work would take place. God was setting the stage with perfection in the way that only He can.

 

          ~~~ The "leaning in" that we need to do during times of preparation is so terribly important. If you find yourself in this place in your life right now, don't become weary or annoyed; instead, choose to lean in and be a good student in whatever it is the Lord is teaching you.

 

          ~~~ God is good at time. Never forget this truth! God is perfect when it comes to navigating the times and seasons of our lives.

 

          ~~~ We do not need to try and strong-arm God in order to obtain His specific promises and His specific words to us. (See verse 3 above - the Word of God came to John...if it came, then it had been sent. Trust God to send you what you most need, when you most need it.)

 

          ~~~ The way to have a truly powerful ministry is to allow God to prepare you, trust Him to set the stage, receive the word that He sends you, and then act in obedience to that word He sent you. Make up your mind in advance that you will do whatever God says to do. What will you do when you get something from the Lord? I truly hope that you will choose to share it with others.

 

          ~~~ Three Questions from verses 10-14 (verses are listed below)

 

#1 - What do I have that I can share today? (see verse 11)

 

#2 - Am I doing my work or handling resources wrongly or rightly? (see verses 12 & 13)

 

#3 - Am I content & would I be able to describe myself as "satisfied" with my lot in life? (see verse 14)

 

10 The crowds asked him, “Then what are we to do?” 11 And John replied, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do the same.” 12 Even some tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked, “Teacher, what are we to do?” 13 And he told them, “Collect no more than the fixed amount you have been ordered to [collect].” 14 Some soldiers asked him, “And what about us, what are we to do?” And he replied to them, “Do not extort money from anyone or harass or blackmail anyone, and be satisfied with your wages.”

 

Lord bless you as you continue to live believing God's promises are true for you - because they really, truly are!

 

Jan L. Burt

Find me here:

at Titus 2 Discipleship with Jan L. Burt on Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/T2DwithJLB/

on Instagram @titus2disicplejanburt

 

Episode 15 - The Best Thing About the Wilderness (Dueteronomy 8)

Episode 15 - The Best Thing About the Wilderness (Dueteronomy 8)

January 24, 2020

Deuteronomy 5:15 (NLT) - Do nor forget that He led you through the great and terrifying wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, where it was so hot and dry. He gave you water from the rock.

 

Sometimes, when you have been in a place of slavery for an extended amount of time, a vast and open place of new freedom is totally scary and overwhelming, even when that vast place is a dry desert.

 

There ought to be a part of us that misses (yes, misses!) the desert trek...here's why - When we are in places that are too big for us (verse 15 calls this a great wilderness...that's a "too big for me" kind of place) those are the places that keep us right at our Father's side, sticking to Him like glue, refusing to let go of His hand.

 

Looking back, when I do a side-by-side comparision of a big, scary desert place to a season of prosperity and ease, in one of those I was not willing to step away from my ABBA Father's side...and in the other, well, I was more prone to step away.

 

I have found that any situation that draws me closer to Jesus - that's my favorite. Even if it's so very hard it's still my favorite.

 

I need to pay careful attention in my seasons of plenty so that I do not forget the Lord.

 

Lastly, one final point ---

     Whenever we find ourselves standing on the banks of a Jordan River, looking right at our next place of promise & favor & blessing, that season of prosperity & peace that has been so longed for and prayed about --- when we find ourselves standing there looking forward, may we not forget to take a glance back over our shoulders and remember the vase and wild "too big place" we're coming out of.

     Let us be careful not to forget our God in our promises land...and may we ask the Lord to bless us each with a heart that cannot forget Him.

Episode 14 - Something You May Not Have Noticed in Proverbs 3:5&6

Episode 14 - Something You May Not Have Noticed in Proverbs 3:5&6

January 24, 2020

Proverbs 3:5 & 6 (AMP) - Trust in and rely confidently on the LORD with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, and He will make your paths straight (removing obstacles that block your way).

 

Proverbs 3:5 & 6 (ESV) - Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. I all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

 

Proverbs 3:5 & 6 (NIV) - Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

 

The command to acknowlege Him means to observe Him and get to know Him in the process of living.

 

Trusting Him is actually depending on Him.

 

Take an honest look at your life, find a couple of areas in which you'd like to think you are really trusting God...Now, do this: Say, "I am trusting the Lord with..." (fill in whatever it is you are trusting Him for). Can you take out "trusting" and insert "depending on" with total ease? Can you say, "I am depending on the Lord regarding..." as easily as you could say you are trusting Him?

 

Trusting God means leaning solely on Him without a plan B.

 

To acknowledge Him means to observe Him - to get to know Him right in the midst of this daily life we're all living.

How good are you at observing God?

Do you watch how He does what He does? Or do you primarily want to see the positive end result of what He does?

 

If a key part of having our paths made straight and our way smoothed out ahead of us is a result of observing the Lord, getting to know Him better & better, as in knowing Him so well that we can see His ways occurring around me even when we cannot seem to find Him in a situation, then we need to be about observing Him!

 

God puts a high premium on us knowing Him well. That is truly amazing!

 

He promises that He will make your paths straight and smooth - God will literally and figuratively move obstacles out of the way in the physical realm and the spiritual realm. Will really does mean will...when He says He will do something, don't doubt Him!

 

Your role is to trust and rely on Him - to observe Him - really get to know Him - and stop relying on your own insight and understanding.

 

 

Episode 13 - 3 Little Words from Ecclesiastes 3:11…
Episode 12 - You Can’t Thwart God’s Plans (a personal story…)

Episode 12 - You Can’t Thwart God’s Plans (a personal story…)

January 6, 2020

Episode 12 isn't based so much on one specific verse - but it sure is a real-world, true-life example that God gets done what He wants done & our mistakes and foibles can't undo His good plans!

 

As youth group leaders for over a decade, my husband and I have shared a lot of personal stories with a lot of students. But this true story from our teen years is hands-down their favorite one.

Why?

Because it reminds them at this stage of life as teenagers that they cannot mess things up so badly that they will totally wreck on and ruin God's intended plans for them.

It always seems to be a timely message & I hope it blesses you right now, whatever you might be facing!

Lord bless!

 

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