Friday, October 24, 2014

You Say - God Says

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


You Say - God Says  
(Author Unknown)

One day two workers, Sam and Pete were in their break-room on their break drinking coffee.  Sam was telling Pete of a troubled situation he was dealing with calling his situation impossible.  Peter replied to Sam saying, This may be impossible to you but its' not with God.  Sam countered, Pete, you often say things like that quoting Bible verses, but they are just words and don't help anything!   Pete replied, Sam these are more than quotes from a book. These words are the inspired word and promises from God to those who would believe. So let me ask you? Should I believe what God has had written to us and hold on to my hope, or should I see them as simply words on paper that may sound nice but mean nothing and leave me without hope?   They met later for lunch and went through each of the Bible promises that Peter had been quoting to Sam.  When they were done, Sam confessed that he has been inspired, encouraged in his faith, and decided he was going to believe like Pete.  Here are those words that encouraged them both!

You say: "It's impossible" God says: All things are possible 
(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired" God says: I will give you rest 
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me" God says: I love you 
(John 3:16 and John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on" God says: My grace is sufficient
(2 Corinthians 12:9 and Psalm 91:15) 

You say: "I can't figure things out" God says: I will direct your steps 
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it" God says: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able" God says: I am able
 (2 Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it 
(Romans 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself" God says: I Forgive you 
(I John 1:9 and Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage" God says: I will supply all your needs 
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid" God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear 
(2 Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your cares on ME 
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I'm not smart enough" God says: I give you wisdom 
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone" God says: I will never leave you or forsake you 
(Hebrews 13:5)

In the days of Jesus, there were many who heard Him and knew His words were truth and promise, and so they believed. And there were others who heard but skeptically mocked Jesus and His disciples. His words did them no good.  Which one are you?

Hebrews 4:2 (NIV)   “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”

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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Here's Why You Can Overcome Temptation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Temptation: we all face it. When we learn of God’s ways, we want to turn from evil and instead live for the Lord. We want to think, speak, and do, that which will please the Lord and help usher blessing into our lives. But then there are those things that come up in our life that we know we should avoid because they either represent something that isn't good for us, or something the Lord has personally asked us to refrain from, or that represent evil. And yet you know how it is; when we can’t or shouldn't have it, the temptation to want it seems to grow. I’ll tell why.

As Christians regarding temptation, something has changed. When we lived without Christ, we had some sense of right and wrong—not governed by God’s Word but by the ethical boundaries we somehow picked up from the world on the path of life. But temptations raged and we often felt helpless to its power over us. People cave in daily to things they should not do. They don’t realize that without Jesus Christ, there is a demonic influence that leads them to and keeps them engaged in things they know they should not engage in.


When one becomes a Christian and receives Jesus as their personal Savior, the Holy Spirit comes instantly to live within that person and now the power of demonic influence is broken. At that point, it's not demonic power that is your problem, but simply the command from God to renewing your mind from its old ways of thinking. This is how God brings transformation to you. Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)  says, "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

You used to be selfish but as you read God's word, He teaches you to be like Jesus—selfless. As your mind is transformed by God’s Word, transformation begins. God Himself reveals to you what is good and right. You no longer have the power of demonic influences controlling you, but you have the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding you from within. Let this truth become a power revelation to you! 1 John 4:4 (NLT) says,  "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory...because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."  This verse is declaring that the Holy Spirit within you is greater than any and every demonic influence that is in this world! That means you have power and strength to change and overcome temptation! Praise God.

So then, if this is true—the power of demonic influence over you being broken, and we have the power of the Holy Spirit, then why do we still deal with temptation? You only deal with temptation when you forget who you are in Christ and begin to think like you did before you received Him—selfishly. You are tempted when once again you begin to make life all about you! You want this, you want that. That was how you lived before Christ. But you are now led by the Spirit of God and life is about loving others with His love. That means you now make right decisions governed by your love for God and for the sake of others.


A few weeks back, God began to deal with me about losing some weight. I don’t think anyone thought I was fat. Yet, I knew I had grown thicker and weighed more than I should. I could have said, “So what! The majority of people are more overweight than me.” That would be making it about me by defending me and being critical of others to protect myself. No, the Lord wanted me to lose weight because He told me it would affect my ability to influence others for Him. He didn't explain how or why, and to me, that isn't important. Obedience is! I trust His reasons. But now my reason to do this is out of love for Him and for others. This is where the power of God is strongest and temptation is reduced to its weakest state. Making my choices born out of my love for God and for others, strengthens me to succeed and breaks the power of temptation. My mind isn't on me. It is on the joy of succeeding for the blessing it will bring to others. This is the joy Jesus faced and lived for in His temptation.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “We cast off the temptation of sin by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the JOY He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.”

I have found a renewed strength and have lost 16 pounds so far. It’s about so much more than just losing weight. Other blessings have come into play because of resisting temptations. I just have to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and His motivation for why He did what He did, and in doing so, I am strengthened for the same reason.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" 




In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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

FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

There is No Time Like “Manna Time!”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Two of my granddaughters now live in Peru as my daughter and her husband are missionaries there. Before moving there, they used to live next door to Renee and I. Madeline and Macy were 7 and 6 years old. We saw them almost daily and they each loved taking turns sleeping over and have special time with Papa and Mimi.  As much as they loved it, we loved it more! Our special time consisted of shifting all our attention and focus on them. We took them to Culvers (a local hamburger and milkshake spot) because that's where they liked to eat. When we came home we did the things they loved to do which consisted of watching their favorite movies, wrestling, playing hide-in-seek, dancing around the house to their favorite Christian songs, and playing games. And we began each morning and ended each evening reading Bible stories and praying together.

When we had the granddaughters over, it was like getting to relive the greatest stage of our lives—raising  our own children. I always loved when my children were young. They were so innocent, happy, fun, and excited to learn about God. They would get up every morning while I was having quiet time with the Lord and come find me in the living room. They'd walk over to their pile of ARCH Bible story books, pick one out and bring it to me to read to them. They loved reading them over and over. Even though they were simple children's books, the Lord always managed to speak to me through them. I was astonished and thankful for that because it never left me feeling deprived of my own personal Bible reading.

I remember one morning Madeline and I reading about the Lord giving the Israelites manna in the desert. What a powerful story filled with lessons that are relevant today. When Moses was leading the people to the Promised Land, he had to take them through desert places. In those places, life was tough and it seemed to them as though they were always without provision. Consequently they often whined to Moses. Moses felt burdened and took it to God who would then instruct Moses how to receive provision for the people. He would feed them supernaturally with manna—a type of angel food that tasted good and would nourish them. Each morning the ground would be covered with this manna. They had to go out and collect just enough for the day.

God’s Word reveals that this lesson about trusting God for manna daily is relevant to our lives today. It reminds us that the world we live in is a desert, void of God and full of anxiety for those that won’t seek God. When people don’t seek God, they become anxious over many things that surface in their life every day. God ministered to them supernaturally providing manna—something they had to go out, pick up, and eat, every day! They weren't allowed to hoard up or save up the manna beyond that day. If they did it would turn to maggots. The only exception to that was on the sixth day where they were allowed to save enough for two days so they could rest on the Sabbath. Did they follow this? No, just like us they liked security and wanted more than enough. But, when they disobeyed God, the extra they had turned to maggots.

God gives us insight in how that applies to our life today. He wanted them to know that this dependency upon Him—every day, was about more than just about food. It was about learning to depend upon the promises of His Word daily. Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT) "Yes, He (the Lord) humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." 

Jesus and the Word of God are one. We see that in  John 1:1 & 14 (NIV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” This is saying that Jesus and His Word are the same.

Jesus gave further insight pertaining to manna being His Word that we needed to eat daily saying, “Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread (God's Word) will live forever. (John 6:31 & 58 NIV) 

These scriptures are telling us that we are to no longer think in terms of eating manna from off the ground but we are to instead, feed on the bread of life—Jesus and His Word. Jesus and His Word are the same and His Word is the bread that when fed on, will cause us to be supernaturally nourished. God’s Word will give us direction, bring hope, build faith, and usher in supernatural help and peace. This is why when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them this. Luke 11:3 And Jesus said, "When you pray, pray like this, “Give us day by day our daily bread."  He wasn't talking about asking God for food to eat. He was teaching them to ask God to speak to their heart from His Word! This is the manna they were to eat daily! It was what would build their faith and trust in Him!

As Madeline and I read through that story, we were nourished by God. We learned that He brought water from a rock and angel food from Heaven to take care of His own. They never went without provision! God always provided for them!  When we lean on and trust in His promises and have faith that He will take care of our every need, then His word will bring us the peace that passes human understanding. All this from eating manna—God's Word and promises that are to speak daily to our heart as we eat His daily bread.  Manna is for everyone, at every age, every day! We love “manna time!”

Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT) "...man does not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Encourage Your Own Faith

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Bible is full of covenant promises from God that reach from the Old Testament all the way into the life of every believer today. I hope you know that God doesn't want promises to be treated as, "maybe I will believe them and maybe I won't." He wants us to place faith in them because He is a God of covenant and He does not lie. The Hebrew 11:6 tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God." Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t we please God without faith?” I believe the answer to that is that unbelief unchecked has the potential to take us all the way to rebellion.

Consider what we read about Israel’s unbelief in Deu 1:26-28. “But you were unwilling to go up; you REBELLED against the command of the LORD your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, "The LORD hates us; so He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, 'The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.'"

Moses instructed the people to go into the promised land as per God's instructions. Some of the leaders did not trust God and spread their fear and unbelief to the rest of the people. They would not go either. Instead of trusting God’s promise that He’d help them defeat the enemies living in their promise land, they all expressed their fears and unbelief. When fear is voiced it grows! When fear is voiced by many, it becomes crippling! God spoke to them and He told them that not believing was rebelling. “But you were unwilling to go up; you REBELLED against the command of the LORD your God.” Rebellion is serious business. The Bible says rebellion is the same as witchcraft or you could say the rebellion opens the door to the devil and increased fear and problems.

In today's Fresh Manna verse, we read verses from a story about David when he was in a very difficult spot. He just came back to His hometown with his army of men. When they got home their town was burning and the enemy had taken all of their possessions as well as their wives and children. David was discouraged as well as all of his men. They were so discouraged that they cried and cried hard. Out of their discouragement, they got so mad at David that they momentarily rebelled - they wanted to stone him. David was just as discouraged as they were. His loved ones were also taken. But unlike his men, he resisted discouragement and ran to God. 1 Sam 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” Did you see what David did when everyone else was discouraged?   “...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”


What we should all do when we get discouraged. Not cry. Not slip into unbelief and fear which just gives place to the devil. We, like David, should encourage our hearts in the Lord. We should encourage our hearts with the promises of God’s Word. Then encourage the hearts of those around us. That's what David did. He remembered who His God was and encouraged his own heart. The rest is one fabulous miracle. They went out to make the enemy pay. They found the enemy and destroyed them. They got all their possessions back plus their wives, children and the riches of their enemies.

We can't afford to be discouraged. Hebrews 6:12 affirms that saying, "We do not want you to become sluggish, stupid, or dull concerning your faith but instead imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

Discouragement is for people who don't know God and His covenant promises. We have many promises of supernatural help from God. He is always there for us. If we will do what David did, we will experience the same miracle-working deliverance and help that David received.

Bless you today as you encourage yourself and through faith and patience, inherit what God has for you!

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/