About Tim Burt

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Drop Kicking Discouragement Out of Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A friend of mine told me that this spring, he decided he was going to grow a vegetable garden. He said he cut out a place in his yard, tilled it well so there was nothing there but tilled black dirt, and then had to leave it for over two weeks before planting it because of the weather.  When he came back to his plot to plant he seeds, it was filled with little plant shoots. He called me to ask what they might be. I told him. Weeds! You don't have to do a thing to get weeds except neglect the dirt. Weed seeds find their way there and germinate quickly. He had to till the soil again before planting his garden.

I don't know if you've thought about this before or not, but, discouragement is like a weed seed. It always seems to find a way into your life. It will invade on good days, bad days, on any day and at any time. Discouragement is the opposite of encouragement. It's designed by the enemy of your soul to get you to stop or quit something you were once excited about.

There have always been two strategies I have focused on to drop kick discouragement out of my life. One is to have a heart of thanksgiving for even the tiniest blessing in my life. The other is to talk about the goodness of God and His promises with my friends. Being in a discipleship group consistently for 34 years has given me one of many places to walk this out.

Even when you walk closely with God, discouragement finds a way to invade your life. It's amazing at times like this, that thoughts of 'throwing in the towel' surface in your mind. Because we don't always see things turn out in the way we envision, it is possible to face an outcome that at least for a season, seems like a disappointment. Yet at times like this, you have to remind yourself that even though man fails you, God will never fail you! Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) says, "...God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." God is worthy of all our trust despite what at the time looks like a disappointment.

When we read the story of Joseph, we read about a young man who at the age of seventeen had a vision from God about being a ruler that even his own family would bow down to. That dream eventually proved true and yet not long after he dreamed it, he was thrown in a pit left to die by his own jealous brothers. He was then later sold as a slave. Despite these discouraging circumstances, Joseph was so faithful that he was promoted as a manager of a pagan household. Yet again discouragement invaded his life and he was undeservedly accused of coveting his master's wife. It felt like a barrage of disappointments. He was thrown in jail for years. He faced injustice from the age of seventeen to thirty years old—thirteen years of injustice. How did Joseph protect himself from disappointment and blaming God? Why didn't he throw in the towel? Joseph would not cave to disappointment because He believed God to be a God of promise. He clung to that truth. He would not give up on God. The result? He was finally promoted as ruler over all of Egypt under Pharaoh.

In the book of Malachi we see disappointment take root. The Lord is warning His people of their rebellious and distrustful attitude. They had given up trusting in God's ways and instead resorted to depending on themselves to get things done. They had stopped tithing and God exposed the deception that had permeated their hearts. In Malachi 3:13-15 (NIV) we read His Words to them. "You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask,’ what have we said against you?' "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'"

These people lost their love and joy of God and began to see living for Him as drudgery and obligation. They 'threw in the towel' and moved to living outside of God's instruction. They blinded their eyes to His goodness leaving them only to experience the disappointment of their own ways. Man seldom accepts responsibility for his own lack of success. Blame is the game and God or your Pastor and church or anyone but you most often becomes the scapegoat.

Joseph represented the heart of those that don't quit and trust God knowing that He is bigger than a momentary circumstance appearing to be a setback. We read of great blessing to those who like Joseph, keep on trusting God knowing of His love and precious promises. Malachi 3:16-18 (NIV) reveals those blessings. "Then those who reverence the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name. "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not."

God says that when we trust Him and focus on His promises and talk about them with others, it draws His presence. He is so honored that He lists our names in a book of remembrance. He says that deliverance will come to those that trust Him. Thanksgiving of who and what He is to us, keeps our eyes open to His involvement in our lives and protects us from the deception that can come from disappointment and discouragement. So, begin to mediate on everything you are thankful to Him about and praise Him for it. It will lift you up and out of discouragement and on to victory!

Malachi 3:16-17 (NIV) “Then those who feared and loved the Lord spoke often of him to each other.... "in that day when I make up my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares an obedient and dutiful son.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Creating Trust and Immovable Faith

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever experienced what are seemingly impossible circumstances to overcome? I know people personally that are in this place at this moment. This is always a good time to take an honest measurement of your heart condition. What’s there? Fear? Anxiety? Discouragement? Depression? Hopelessness? Faith? Peace? Trust? What's going on in you concerning what you face?

What’s going on in your mind? Are you at peace? Are you trusting God and walking things out in that trust a step at a time? Do you have confidence that God is with you and helping you? Or, are you struggling with anxiety and fear?

What does God want for you? What is His will for you throughout a difficult situation? That is a question that has to become settled and immovable in your heart. Does God want you in anxiety and fear?

1 John 4:18 (NKJV) says, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

Through this verse, God is telling you that fear isn’t to be a part of your life because fear is a demonic force. To the contrary, God is love and love drives out fear. It also says fear is tormenting. The word for torment also associates that fear coming from a fear of punishment. You are made perfect in love when you know that Jesus paid the punishment for your sins and so, no matter what is going on in your life, He is not punishing you! He has forgiven you! He loves you. He is with you. He wants to help you! A heart revelation of that truth creates what He calls perfect love! Perfect love is really all about perfect trust!

Anxiety is not from Him. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

In order to not be anxious, you really need your heart immovable regarding three things: God’s love for you, what Jesus accomplished for you, and knowing what He has promised you today! If a barrage of negative circumstances and evil reports are tormenting your mind and emotions, then you don’t know these things. If you don’t, it will result in fear and anxiety having dominion over you! This is why the Apostle Paul said to “guard your heart and mind – in Christ Jesus.” In other words, in trusting in His love for you! This is how fear is defeated! It’s not something you can manipulate. It’s not a magic formula! It’s a heart revelation of His love made perfect in you. It creates trust and immovable faith!

Paul talks about how that is created! He says,  "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Romans 10:17 (NKJV) In other words, faith builds in our heart by hearing God's instruction and promises over and over and over again. And then Paul says, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you have learned, heard from, and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9  NLT)

Know that Paul isn’t just telling us to think about “nice” things. The Greek words mean take a personal inventory of your thoughts and see if they line up with what God is telling you to set your mind on. He is telling us to come to get a grip through the study of God’s Word, the love He has for you and what He promises to you through His covenant with you! His promises are your inheritance but if you don’t know what they are, how can they benefit you?

Remember that if there was a target for you to aim for, and there is; it's to live in God’s supernatural peace in difficult times. That peace comes from having trust in God’s love and forgiveness and help toward you! That is not a formula! That is a relationship! And that is why Paul said “present your prayers and requests to God with thanksgiving.” You will only truly thank Him if you believe it to be the truth! That is the measurement of your faith!

Galatians 3:29 (NLT) “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.”

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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Necessity and Purpose of Fasting Before the Lord

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I am only 62 years old and am a young grandfather. I am still working and as busy in life as I’ve ever been. That sometimes bothers me when I think about my grandchildren. When my children had all gotten married, I began to envision having grandchildren and having all the time in the world to be with them when that day came.
Now that I have six of them, I've come to the reality that it's not quite what I envisioned. I don't have all the free time I wish I had and they don't all live in Minnesota with Renee and I. My daughter and her family are missionaries in Peru and two of my three sons live in other states. Travel has become a necessity to see all but one of my grandchildren.

For my one grandson Harrison, who does live in town, I have to set special time aside—consecrated time to see and spend time with him. The time with them is precious and special and truly refreshes me on the intensity of my love for them, and on the influence I desire to have in their life.

Fasting before God is like this. It's consecrated and precious time to be focused on my love for the Lord by reading His Word, praying, and to reflecting on how I am living my life out before Him—making sure He is the priority of my life.

To God, sincere fasting is a holy thing.  Fasting is about consecration—about emptying yourself of all the distractions that knock you off course in your relationship with Him.

God would often call His priests and people to consecrate themselves. There are two primary words used in the Hebrew for consecration. One means to be filled—as to be filled or replenished wholly with the thoughts and the purposes of God. The other means to receive from God’s open hand to yours—His power, His direction, and His anointing so that you may once again, be His agent—His voice and hands in the earth.

Not eating is about denying or restraining your flesh. You can’t live a God-life in this earth without learning to restrain your flesh when necessary. It’s not about weight-loss. That would simply and naturally be a by-product but should not play into its purpose.

A time of consecration and fasting doesn’t mean you can’t work or go about your day. It just means purposely having a greater degree of focus on you relationship and communication with God while resisting the distraction of your whining flesh. Fasting is a time to refresh yourself in the Word of God. Fasting is special and focused period of time where you consecrate yourself to reflect on your life's transformation through God’s power—learning to say yes or to do what is right and what God is leading you to do for Him, and getting your flesh under the control of the Holy Spirit by practicing saying no to what you know is wrong. Fasting is a time of refocusing on the fact that you are the hands, the feet, and the mouth of Jesus in this earth. It is a time of refreshing yourself in the truth that you have been given power—the power of the Holy Spirit within you to walk through life with grace—His supernatural help to accomplish what He puts before you.

God spoke strongly to His people through the prophet Isaiah about fasting and they were intense words not to be taken lightly. His purpose for fasting becomes clear and I assure you again, fasting has strong purpose but it isn’t about weight loss.

Isaiah 58:1-14 (NLT) Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast. Tell my people Israel of their sins! Yet they act so pious! They come to the Temple every day and seem delighted to hear my laws. You would almost think this was a righteous nation that would never abandon its God. They love to make a show of coming to me and asking me to take action on their behalf. 'We have fasted before you!' they say. 'Why aren't you impressed? We have done much penance, and you don't even notice it!' "I will tell you why! It's because you are living for yourselves even while you are fasting. You keep right on oppressing your workers. What good is fasting when you keep on fighting and quarreling? This kind of fasting will never get you anywhere with me. You humble yourselves by going through the motions of penance, bowing your heads like a blade of grass in the wind. You dress in sackcloth and cover yourselves with ashes. Is this what you call fasting? Do you really think this will please the Lord? "No, the kind of fasting I want calls you to free those who are wrongly imprisoned and to stop oppressing those who work for you. Treat them fairly and give them what they earn. I want you to share your food with the hungry and to welcome poor wanderers into your homes. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. "If you do these things, your salvation will come like the dawn. Yes, your healing will come quickly. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the Lord will answer. 'Yes, I am here,' he will quickly reply. "Stop oppressing the helpless and stop making false accusations and spreading vicious rumors! Feed the hungry and help those in trouble. Then your light will shine out from the darkness, and the darkness around you will be as bright as day. The Lord will guide you continually, watering your life when you are dry and keeping you healthy, too. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring. Your children will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as the people who rebuild their walls and cities. "Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don't pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord's holy day. Honor the Lord in everything you do, and don't follow your own desires or talk idly. If you do this, the Lord will be your delight. I will give you great honor and give you your full share of the inheritance I promised… I, the Lord, have spoken!"

Fasting is a special and holy time with the Lord. It’s the time to change from distraction and lip-service to intimacy and purpose. Engage in it. It will change your life! But please, don’t call it dieting. It's not. It's fasting before the Lord!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/