Monday, July 21, 2014

You Are Vitally Important to Someone!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


At the age of 24, I was seeking to know God. I grew up with questions about God I could never answer. I wanted to know in my heart that God existed and if so, what did He want or expect from me. At that time, I felt like I had read numerous books and perspectives on God and religion. All that did was confuse me and make me wonder if it was possible to know anything about God for sure. Then one day, God arranged for me to bump into an amazingly kind person named Sharon that had answers to my questions. She filled in all the blanks I had about Jesus and helped me understand what He did for me – that He took the punishment I deserved for my sins upon Himself and offered to exchange them for forgiveness and eternal life with Him – this as a gift that I had to personally receive. She helped me pray a sincere prayer to God asking Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

That day, my life changed forever. I started reading the Bible and it began to come alive to me. I started attending a Bible teaching church and discovered many “Sharons.” In a short time, I could see God leading me in the path of life that I knew was good and right.

The reason Jesus was able to reveal Himself to me was because I was seeking Him. Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” But it was also because of Sharon, a person who was able and willing to share the knowledge and love of Jesus with me. I will never ever be able to repay her for her willingness to take the time with me that day. It was the greatest gift ever given to me and the greatest day of my life.

In my early morning quiet-time I was reflecting on how important it is to be a light. Each of us have people seeking God in our midst whether we know it or not. People are watching us. Are they seeing Jesus in us? There is a good chance we won't know the majority of those people who are watching us but regardless, God is using our witness as a tool to help reveal Himself to them. God has asked us to be a light to the world. A light can be seen. We must be different enough in our love, kindness, and lifestyle that others could suspect a difference and would see our light. And when that moment comes, we need to be ready to plant a seed, water a seed that’s already been planted, or harvest someone who is ready to receive Jesus.

Deuteronomy 28:9 says, “The LORD will establish you as His holy people, as He promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in His ways.” This verse says God will establish us as “His holy people.” That doesn't mean He wants us to look religious. We know how Jesus felt about that. It doesn't mean a perfect person because there aren't any. None of us feel qualified as “Holy.” Our righteousness and holiness is a gift from God to us. But, God does want us to reflect His image the best we can. Are we distinguishable from the world? Do we restrain ourselves from carnal, fleshly, and immoral behaviors? Can people see the fruit of Jesus and the joy of the Lord in our life? That is what drew me to Sharon. She was so beautiful on the inside! She was a light! That is what drew me to her and helped me find the truth! It is important to be that light. It’s my ongoing prayer every day! He does want to establish us as “His holy people” so we can help them learn of the most precious gift ever – the gift of Jesus!

1 Peter 3:15 “In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”

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/

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sleep When the Wind Blows

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Sleep When the Wind Blows (Author Unknown)


Years ago a farmer owned land along the Atlantic seacoast. He constantly advertised for hired hands. Most people were reluctant to work on farms along the Atlantic. They dreaded the awful storms that raged across the Atlantic, wreaking havoc on the buildings and crops.

As the farmer interviewed applicants for the job, he received a steady stream of refusals. Finally, a short, thin man, well past middle age, approached the farmer.

"Are you a good farm hand?" the farmer asked him. "Well, I can sleep when the wind blows," answered the little man. Although puzzled by this answer, the farmer, desperate for help, hired him.

The little man worked well around the farm, busy from dawn to dusk, and the farmer felt satisfied with the man's work. Then one night the wind howled loudly in from offshore.

Jumping out of bed, the farmer grabbed a lantern and rushed next door to the hired hand's sleeping quarters. He shook the little man and yelled, "Get up! A storm is coming! Tie things down before they blow away!" The little man rolled over in bed and said firmly, "No sir. I told you, I can sleep when the wind blows."

Enraged by the response, the farmer was tempted to fire him on the spot. Instead, he hurried outside to prepare for the storm. To his amazement, he discovered that all of the haystacks had been covered with tarpaulins. The cows were in the barn, the chickens were in the coops, and the doors were barred. The shutters were tightly secured. Everything was tied down. Nothing could blow away. The farmer then understood what his hired hand meant, so he returned to his bed to also sleep while the wind blew.

MORAL: When you're prepared, spiritually, mentally, and physically, you have nothing to fear. Can you sleep when the wind blows through your life?

Proverbs 12:24 (NIV) "Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor" 

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/

Friday, July 18, 2014

Who Receives More From God!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


My youngest son Matthew needed glasses when he was pretty young. I remember at times looking over at him and staring in disbelief at how smudged he could let his glasses become and still try and see through them. He was young and just didn't care that much. Renee and I were constantly asking for them so we could clean them. We simply wanted him to be able to see better. They were so smudged and dirty it was amazing he would see anything at all. Thank God he finally got contact lens.

Sometimes our spiritual eyes can get pretty smudged and we miss far too much of what God wants us to see - things that would result in great blessing for us and for those who’s our lives touch. There is a spiritual glass cleaner that helps us see more of the awesome truths of God and of His goodness in our lives. It's called the spirit or attitude of thanksgiving. I'm sometimes amazed at how unthankful and how unappreciative people can be. Many would be in denial of this truth.

Although this may not be true for you, the majority of people do not show or express much more than token thanks if even that. It’s always been a problem – even to going back to Jesus’ day. Luke 17:12-19 says, "As Jesus was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When He saw them, He said, "Go. Show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him--and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then He said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."


Do you see that only one came back to thank Jesus? Because his heart was full of thanksgiving he got something more from God. All of them were cleansed of leprosy but to the thankful one Jesus said, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." He got something more from God. His eyes were open to see who Jesus was. He could see that Jesus was God. That is why he came back praising God and throwing himself at Jesus’ feet. His thanksgiving brought him more than healing. It brought him eternal life. A heart of thanksgiving will open your eyes to more of God and result in more of His blessing in your life!

Sometimes we have so many things we need help from the Lord with that we don't take notice of all the things He is doing or has done in our lives. Unthankfulness keeps us focused inward at self. It smudges the lens of our spiritual eyesight. Noticing and appreciating the things that the Lord does do for us in our lives - having a thankful heart for what He has done clears our vision to see more of Him working in our lives. Seeing the Lord work in our lives builds our faith and helps us to trust Him even more. The result, thankful people get more! It's really a truth. This is why Phil 4:6 tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." God wants us to pray and ask His help in everything but the question is, do we even pay attention to the multitude of things He does in answering our prayers. If we don’t have a continuing attitude of thanksgiving – we’ll miss seeing the many prayers He answers for us! It will even hurt our faith because we don’t think He is working in our lives. We need to wipe those lenses with ongoing and continuous thanksgiving.

When David came to Saul to tell him why he could defeat Goliath (while the rest of the army was terrified,) David told Saul of a previous experience. We can read it in 1 Sam 17:36. "He said, Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. In the next verse he says how he killed the lion and the bear. He says, "The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine." Saul said to David, "Go, and the LORD be with you."

David was the greatest of praisers and thankers. The Psalms are our record of his thanksgivings. Because he was thankful to the Lord, it kept him from pride, helped him see God's hand in all his victories, and gave him great faith for future battles.

God opens our eyes when we walk in a spirit of thankfulness to Him and others. Next time you're in a restaurant and someone is serving you, stop talking and look up at the person and thank them with a purposed smile and expressed gratitude. See how it affects them. See how it affects you. Next time your spouse or child or coworker is serving you, take notice and appreciate it. Think about and appreciate from your heart those that serve you and bring blessing to you. Is there someone you have forgotten to thank? Do it now! Having a spirit of thanksgiving will change your countenance and your heart. It will also improve your spiritual eyesight! Get quiet before the Lord and take notice of the many things He has done for you starting with His gift of Jesus. Let those thoughts help you enter His gates and courts with thanksgiving and praise. Just spend time thanking Him. It will bless you and clean your glasses so that you can see more!

Colossians 3:17 (NIV)  "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him"

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/

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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 

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/