Friday, April 18, 2014

An Easter Message

12972-timFresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt
One night Renee and I went to an event that we had been invited to. We had no idea how to dress for it. There was nothing in the invitation to give us direction in how to dress. I was unable to get a hold of the people who had invited us to ask them. We decided to dress nice casual. When we got there, what Renee had been wearing seemed to fit fine with what everyone else was wearing. For me it was a problem. Most every man had on a tie and jacket or suit coat and I had neither. I felt woefully under-dressed and felt self-conscience about it. I apologized repeatedly that night for my dress and never felt comfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is never good and especially when you feel that way with God.
Prior to my receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and my Savior, I ignorantly believed that Almighty God – the God of the universe –the God over all mankind, was high in Heaven on His throne having to respond to billions of people and couldn't possibly think about or care about all that I was concerned about in my life. Again, in my ignorant thinking, He was up there. I was down here. He was busy. I was insignificant. My thinking was, bother Him only in extreme emergencies and even then, don't get your hopes up too high. That was ignorant and blind thinking and has nothing to do with the reality of whom and how God is. That kind of ignorance can hurt us and keep us from God's love and help. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."
The Bible teaches us about the Holy of Holies. It was an interior portion of the tabernacle. There was a huge veil – a type of ornate curtain that hung down separating the Holy of Holies from the first tabernacle. No one was permitted to enter it except the high priest. When Jesus died upon the cross, an earthquake happened. Powerful spiritual forces were in operation. We read about them in Matthew 27:49-54. "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were split; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, truly this was the Son of God."
In this event we just read, it said, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom..." The significance of this to us is powerful. Jesus had given His life as a sacrifice for our sins. That sacrifice destroyed the veil. that separation between us and God. Man previously had to go to a priest to ask and get forgiveness of sin. Now that was abolished through Jesus. Jesus became the priest who offered Himself - the perfect and final sacrifice for all. That is what makes Hebrews 4:16 so powerful and such a grace to our life: "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."
When I come boldly before Him, I live by faith in the fact that Jesus has washed my sins away. That is what allows me to come boldly. The Bible says He has washed me and put His robe of righteousness on me and that is His doing. Yet, when I come before Him – in the presence of His Holiness, I feel woefully unclean and woefully inadequate. I feel this way because I know the thoughts that run through my head. I know the inappropriate conversations I enter into. I know actions that fall short in my life. I am humbled within His presence. That makes me desire always to love Him more for loving me despite my shortcomings and for cleansing me from this unrighteousness. My love for Him grows knowing that He desires to help me, love me, and allow me to partake of His grace – His supernatural help of wisdom, resource, and ability where I would otherwise be bankrupt and without hope.
We don't need an appointment with God. He is not too busy. He does not want us to be uncomfortable around Him. We won’t be under dressed or unacceptable. God is able to love, cherish, nurture and help countless billions of people – each one personally and with great affection all at the same time. That is what makes Him God. We all receive His attention if we understand that and believe it by faith.
He has removed the veil –the force of sin that had previously separated us from God. Jesus' death accomplished that. He calls out to us. He will help us on every level. That is the Easter message. Isa 55:1-7 says it wonderfully. "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you... Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.”
God bless you and have a blessed Easter!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt


Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter - The Release of our Fears!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was terrorized! I was nine years old, standing outside the principal’s office and waiting to be called in, for what I was not sure. It was the most scared I had ever been in my life!  The principal was not a nice person. She gave a lot of mean stares and always looked mad. She had disciplined, me slapping me across the face in front of the entire class a few weeks earlier for something I did not do. My teacher told her she had disciplined the wrong child and instead of apologizing to me, she gave me a dirty look and in front of the entire class said, He probably deserved it anyway, and walked out of the classroom leaving a teacher and 34 students shocked with their mouth open. Now here I was waiting outside her office again. To get pulled in for judgment before someone like this felt terrorizing!

Many people are afraid that this is what it is going to be like when they die and stand before God one day. They are so fearful about this that they don't even want their imagination go there. Is God going to play back the video of every inappropriate thought, word, and sinful action they've ever carried out in their life? Will He be thundering mad and push them down the express chute to Hell? Many people have built a wall greater than the Great Wall of China around those kinds of thoughts, pushing them as far back into their mind as possible. This terrorizing fear drives many to push the reality of God out of their mind instead renaming Him a concept, a myth, a crutch for weak people, or nonexistent, rather than think about and feel terrorized in their heart over the thought of one day standing before God for their life’s actions.

What I know and I hope that all of you know is that God is not like my less-than-wonderful school principal. God is God. He is merciful, patient, kind, just, holy, all-\knowing, all-seeing, and a thousand wonderful things more. People can mentally deny His existence and can push Him away or bury His existence in their mind, but, He is still God and He is still there. He is not evil. He is pure goodness. He has a plan that He has already executed and prepared for every person  the plan to stand before Him without fear. That plan is Jesus!

Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death. He paid the price enabling us to stand before Him washed and cleansed from sin  this out of His great love for us. The book of Revelation shows a time where all of Heaven is singing about this great love and what Jesus did for all mankind  for all who would believe. Rev. 5:9 says, “And they sang a new song with these words: ...For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” God is not someone to be afraid of! He is someone to seek after!

Terrorists hate and take lives; not love and give up their life out of their love of others. God is not someone to be afraid of. An understanding of our destiny in Him is something to be desired. When we stand before God as believers, it will be to receive the rewards for being obedient to do the things He has taught us in do. That’s something you want to know about. Every little thing you do for God from a pure heart carries a reward. Everything! Your prayers will be rewarded, your right attitude and integrity rewarded, your good actions rewarded, and so much more. That is why you want to know Jesus and understand how to walk out His destiny for your life. Standing before God one day is not a day to be afraid of or terrorized by. As a believer, it’s a day about encountering the God who loves you, and about a life to be rewarded! This is Easter! That is why Jesus said, "When that happens, rejoice! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven…” Luke 6:23.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Part Two: God Has A Destiny For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


“If you want something done, do it yourself!” At one time I must have believed that. Prior to asking Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, I tried to shape my entire destiny and course of life. Then one day it was like I woke up. I woke up discouraged and disgusted with the course of my life thinking,  What am I doing? This is not how I want to live my life! It was as if my eyes had suddenly been opened and I could see where my own choices and my own ways of doing things were taking me. It was not good and I knew that morning that my life had to change.

What triggered these thoughts? A short time prior to this event, someone had led me to pray a simple but sincere prayer asking Jesus to come into my life to be my Lord and Savior. I prayed it sincerely, but it seemed like I just went on with my life as before. I did go on with my life but I didn't know something had changed within me. Upon praying that prayer, the Holy Spirit—the promise from God to all who receive Jesus—came to live within me. I didn't understand that the Holy Spirit was living in me from the moment I prayed that prayer, but my ignorance of it didn't change the reality of it happening.

It was the Holy Spirit that opened my eyes to things I had never thought about before. It triggered a deep personal self-examination. And then one day I remember reading Psalm 127:1-2 (NLT) “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

It was a heart-wrenching revelation to see and admit that up until that point in time, I had been building my life my way. These verses helped me see this was a useless endeavor. I was awaking to the truth that there was more to life that me, myself and I. I was awaking to the truth that God had a plan for my life and instead of me driving it, I needed to surrender my life to the Lord and let Him show me how to build my it.

Interestingly enough, a week later through a series of circumstances, I made my first visit to a Bible-teaching church. It was there that I first heard the words spoken God has a destiny for your life. That thought seemed so big and so hard to wrap my brain around. I remember thinking, "What do I do with this truth? How do I figure out my destiny? What if I just lead myself right back into another messed up life?"

Then I heard the Pastor teach on Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT). The words built a new bridge between God and I. They put a rudder on the pursuit of my destiny. It sounds simplistic but it's anything but that. Those words were Trust GodProverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." I embraced these words and clung to them. I thanked the Lord day by day for leading my down His path for my life. I learned that the plan of God is a plan that unfolds day-by-day as you seek Him and have faith that He will lead you.

It takes time to learn but you eventually do learn that you can absolutely count on His perfect Fatherly love. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and the plan for your life. You just have to walk it out a day at a time. As years pass, you gain the hindsight that only comes with time and you are able to look back and see how He has guided you and been intimately involved in all the details of your life—that is, to the degree that you lean on and trust Him.

As you examine your life today, does your life reflect your way or His way? Do you believe you are in His plan and are you letting Him build your house as you follow Him? Can you trust Him and take steps of faith walking it out His way, according to His Word? If so, He will build your house. In closing, the words from God through Jeremiah are more than nice or encouraging words. They are His promise to you! Start today by asking the Lord to lead you throughout this day. Even through troubled waters He will be with you. Trust that to be true!

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV) “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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Monday, April 14, 2014

God Has A Destiny For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have memories of my mom feeding my younger siblings as infants. I'd occasionally help her. I remember her constantly preparing baby bottles of milk and then eventually feeding them Pablum – an infant cereal. In the beginning of one’s new walk with Jesus, milk and Pablum is what is normal. We see that in 1 Peter 2:2. It says, “Just like new-born babies, desire and crave for the milk of God’s Word so that you can grow up in the knowledge of your salvation.” God lets us know that what He considers to be a normal part of the Christ-life, is to grow up. We aren't to remain like infants that need to be breastfed or fed Pablum all their life. We are to grow up in spiritual knowledge and understanding. Too often, Christians don't spiritually mature as they should.

Children were designed to be fed every day. Our society is designed to instruct and teach children in order that they may intellectually grow up. But, when it comes to Christians and their spiritual growth, we've got starving babies – people that don’t go to church or read or study their Bibles. We've got Christians who don’t pursue an intimate relationship with God through prayer or make the effort to live by His Word. That problem has existed throughout every generation. The Apostle Paul in addressing the Christians at the church of Corinth said, “I fed you with milk and not with solid food because, like babies, you still can’t handle anything stronger.” (1 Corinthians 3:2) He was telling them that had not spiritually grown enough for Him to speak at a level he needed to speak to them at. They were still like babies on Pablum.

Each of us has a God-given destiny. By that, I don’t mean something that's going to make headlines or put you in history books. What I do mean is that God has a great purpose for your life. He wants you to significantly influence and impact the lives of others in the earth. But, infants don’t go from breast milk to steak and Christians don’t instantly mature and fulfill their destiny. In God’s plan for our destiny we spiritually grow and mature. Even Jesus was born and matured into the fulfillment of His destiny. Destiny is a day-by-day and step-by-step path of growing up in Christ while learning first to learn and live by God’s values, and then influencing other toward them.  It is God’s will that all men be saved from eternal damnation. He has paved the way and opened the entrance of Heaven for any and everyone through Jesus Christ. It’s a gift we know and understand. We hold knowledge of the greatest secret ever revealed to mankind. God does not want it to remain a secret. He wants us to be influencers of this truth.

God also wants every believer to spiritually grow up and become contributors to His plan to reach and influence others with His love. Getting dragged down into the sinful activity and degradation that permeates this earth is the opposite of His plan and yet many Christians have been sucked into it, abandoning their faith. God speaks to that in Isaiah 65:11 (Message Bible) "But you who abandon me your God… who hold dinners for Lady Luck and throw cocktail parties for Sir Fate, Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be: your destiny, Death. For when I invited you, you ignored me; when I spoke to you, you brushed me off. You did the very things I exposed as evil; you chose what I hate."

Destiny is realized through our growth and maturity and developed as we walk out God's values. That means God first wants us to have a vision for learning His word and ways, and with His help, figuring how to walk them out in our life. He then wants us to learn how to share them with others so that we can help others grow up in Him. He wants us to become disciples and then become disciple makers. These are the first two core values that lead us in our God-given destiny. Our destiny will never be a blueprint that we've seen and known in advance. Our destiny is like a rose. It unfolds and gets more beautiful! It's an unfolding plan that God reveals little by little as He leads you there. And you can only be led there if you pursue these two core values of first becoming a disciple and becoming a disciple maker.

People often fantasize about living out some great destiny that significantly impacts the world. They think money, fame, power – all these things and more lead to destiny and a significant life. None of these things mean anything when they are void of the two core values of the Christ-life I just described to you. All fame, money, and power that God gives people are given by God for the purpose of helping people come to know Christ and grow up in Him.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NKJV) says, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..." 

You have a destiny in the big picture of God. He wants a life of significance and blessing – the life everyone dreams of for you! He want it for you more than you want it for you. But He can only lead you there. It's up to you to take hold of it, choose life, grow and mature, and walk it out!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "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."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/