Sunday, August 24, 2014

Gone on Vacation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Hi Everyone! Renee and I are taking a weeks vacation and so I'll be back to writing on Tuesday, September 2, 2014.  I hope you will read some of the past posts in the archives and be blessed. And thanks for reading! Jesus loves you and I hope that comes through in what you read! God bless you!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Powerful Force of Encouragement

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ministers of the gospel, motivational speakers, and countless communicators from different fields, all and often communicate an important truth: everyone’s life has significance. That is true because we were all ultimately created by God to experience a meaningful and significant life with a destiny to fulfill. I know that the plan for every individual has been tainted by the sin and evil that exists in this earth but, that is what creates even greater opportunity for us to walk out a significant life. We are needed and can be “salt.” We can bring flavor to this earth. One of those ways we can be salt is to constantly keep our eyes open and see and catch the good that people do and openly acknowledge and encourage them in the continuation of it. What a paradigm shift that would be! Most people catch and comment on the bad people do.

We all desire to be noticed. We all desire to be appreciated for our efforts. We all desire to be encouraged in the job we do. This is true whether we clean toilets, educate children, or run a corporation. Those that are best at giving encouragement and recognition are those that are helping people learn to step up and develop as leaders.

Moses was truly one of the greatest leaders of all time. It could be said that it was discouragement that actually contributed to cutting his destiny short and kept him from finishing one of his greatest dreams. Discouragement is as powerful in the negative as encouragement is in the positive.

In the first chapter of Deuteronomy, Moses, who was close to the end of his life, began to give his final words to those that would step up and lead the people into the Promised Land that God had promised them. He started out by telling them that what was only an eleven day journey ended up taking them over 40 years. Kind of a mind-blowing thought isn't it? That’s what happens when you don’t obey God. You become the rat in the maze and run the rat race that goes on and on and on.

Moses told them that this was itit was now time to actually go into the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 1:8 he says, "I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants."  Moses went on to tell them the history of the past 40 years, of God’s promises, and of their failures to obey God’s leading. Deuteronomy 1:26-27 says, "But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God and refused to go in. You murmured and complained in your tents…"

Now this was a new generation commanded to go in. There were going to be serious challengesthe greatest of all, overcoming their personal fears and instead trusting God in the face of adversity. Moses encouraged them, "But I said to you, 'Don't be afraid! The Lord your God is going before you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt. And you saw how the Lord your God cared for you again and again here in the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Now he has brought you to this place." Deuteronomy. 1:29-31.

The previous generation didn't trust God and were always discouraged. Their discouragement eventually jumped on Moses. What finally happened was that their lack of trust in God and in Moses ultimately had an effect on him. At one point Moses failed in trusting God and ended up disobeying Him. The result? Deuteronomy 1:37-38 "And the Lord was also angry with me (Moses) because of you. He said to me, 'You will never enter the Promised Land! Instead, your assistant, Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land.”

Why am I telling you all this? Because discouragement was like a contagious disease amongst these people. It jumped from one to another and repeatedly took the wind out of their sails. It turned an eleven day journey into a 40 year walk. Discouragement is powerfully bad. It even affected one of the greatest leaders of all history.

Moses was a great leader. He did have a short lapsesomething great leaders cannot afford because of all the lives they affect. But even so, he came back to his greatness and came back to driving home a message to the people regarding the leader that would take over! He said, “Encourage Joshua.” He said, …Joshua son of Nun, will lead the people into the land. Encourage him as he prepares to enter it." (Deuteronomy 1:38) As the story continues, Moses repeatedly encouraged Joshua and encouraged the people to encourage Joshua!

If the spirit of encouragement—encouraging each other and praying for and encouraging their leader Moses if that would have been the attitude of the people from the beginning, everything would have been different. It would have literally changed the atmosphere and it would have changed each of them. Encouragement does that.

Encouragement isn't about empty ra-ra's. No, encouragement is based on a strong foundation of faith in the promises of God. God said the land was theirs and that they could take it. That was His promise. Their encouragement was to be reminding each other of God's promises and that their strength and ability is not in themselves but in Him.

Let me tell you something I hope you never forget. There is always a way to encourage people and when you become one that does, those that you encourage will never forget it. You will help them and they will remember it. If not immediately, then eventually! 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says,  "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." It is a powerful force and one you do want to be known for! It’s within you so ask God to help you develop in it and be that encourager of God’s promises to those God puts in your life. Become that salt and light and encouragement of Jesus. By doing so, you will help nudge people to fulfill their significant life and destiny. And being an encourager is a part of your significant destiny!

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!  Tell Pastor
Tim here:





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Faith Now, Hindsight Later!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt
  

One of the really precious gifts of life that comes over time is the wisdom that comes from experience and hindsight. This is especially true for the Christian who knows the Lord and has lived their life learning of and walking out God's Word.

When you read about King David and his life, you can't help but think of the way he passionately loved and learned of God from the time he was a boy. He studied what was taught about God by those that preceded him. He learned what Moses had learned and said, "O Lord GOD, You have begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?" (Deu 3:24) David learned this and believed it. Consequently he walked out things that God had led him to do with great faith. He believed that God would always be there to direct, guide, instruct and bless him in that which he put his hand to for the Lord.

People that passionately love God like David did often become people who accomplish great and mighty things in the earth. 2 Chr 16:9 says, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself mighty on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." These things may be invisible to those that don’t know about or care for God but God notices and does not forget as Heb 6:10 verifies, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”

David wanted to accomplish much for the Lord and he did, yet his life was anything but problem free. David had his share of troubles - some self-inflicted and yet David still took them to the Lord. David never panicked. Out of the abundance of his heart, these words spilled forth, "As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble..." What powerful and faith filled words those are. Those are the words of someone who has experienced and has known God.

Are those the words that come from your mouth when trouble arises? Do you have confidence that the Lord is for you so who can be against you? There was a time when David spoke these words purely by faith not knowing how God would help Him out of trouble. There were also times later in his life when he spoke them not only by faith, but also from personal experience. He knew God and knew through experience He could count on God. He had his entire life to look back on and see how God had delivered him from troubled times again and again. He could look back on his life and say, "The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him." (Psa 37:39-40) He would also say "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His descendants begging bread.” Psa 37:25

The wisdom and experience that comes from the hindsight of seeing all that God has done in our life is wonderful. It is more than faith. It is a view of experience. But, like David, we all have to start without those experiences and from just the point of faith alone. Is that okay? It's more than okay because God is true to His Word and His promises and is worthy of our trust. You may be in a struggle and things might not make sense to you at the moment but know this; it's a glorious thing when you've prevailed in faith and are able to look back in time and see how God has been there for you again and again. When that day comes, then you'll spill the same words David did, “…As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble..." 1 Kings 1:29

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!  Tell Pastor
Tim here:





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Leader's Most Powerful Tool!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


No one loves the feeling of guilt. I think it would be accurate to say that most people hate it. We push guilt aside, we bury guilt, and we will try to do any and everything we can to get rid of guilt. People just plain hate guilt. The problem is, if a person doesn't know the Lord, they can never get rid of guilt. Oh they may try. They may suppress their feelings about guilt. They may bury them. They may try to drown them in alcohol or drugs or some other way. But the spirit of a man knows when it is not clean before the Lord. When the spirit of a man is not free from sin, guilt is present. Guilt feelings can create defensive attitudes leading to dysfunctional thinking and behaviors. That's why it is so imperative to be free from it.

God wants to free us all from that guilt and pain. The following two verses reveal this truth in the most powerful way! First we see that God is not out to get us, but to save us. He sent His only begotten Son Jesus, purely out of His love for us! John 3:17 (NIV) says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." He isn't out to get us or bring condemnation which means found guilty. To the contrary, He wants to wash our sins away!

Secondly God has proven His love for us while we were still in a sinful state. That's how great His love is for us! Romans 5:8-9 (NIV) says, "But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by the sacrifice of His death and blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Jesus Christ!"

You see God isn't looking to point the finger. He isn't looking for condemnation and guilt. He says we have been justified, or you could say, declared not guilty. And that is His gift from Himself to us. We are saved from wrath! We are not guilty. When a person repents from their sin and receives Jesus as their Savior, God immediately removes sin and guilt and makes them blameless. This is a gift and miracle that no human being is worthy of.

Now, having said that, let me get to today's point. God didn't send Jesus to get rid of guilt so that we could put each other back under it. He wants us to help people get free from guilt. Receiving Jesus is a miraculous step with instant results—the promise and gift of eternal life. Learning to live the Christian walk is a process. Everyone is in a different place in that process. We don't want to put guilt trips on people because they don't live up to our expectations. We don't want to look for whom to blame in every situation where something goes wrong. We don't want to focus on blame at all. Some people are blamers. Something goes wrong and the first thing they do, is try to figure out whom they can blame for whats wrong. Is the economy bad? Is our national problems the President's fault? Our teenage is going astray. Is it dad's fault or is it moms, or is it the schools or maybe the friend they are hanging out with?

When our lives weren't right and we were covered in our own sins, Jesus wasn't out to condemn or find blame. He was solution oriented and He led the way. He took our punishment upon Himself. Then He showed love and pointed out the right path—be merciful, forgiving, and solution-oriented. Imagine if we were like that. A husband and wife get into a fight and instead of looking to blame each other the husband just sucks it up and says, Honey, you're probably right. I'm sorry. What do you think we can do to fix this? Imagine he does this even though he could be right. He has taken the lead. His heart is saying, Look honey; it's not important that I'm right and you are wrong. It's important that I protect my love for you and we just find a solution to this situation. He doesn't blame. He doesn't pin guilt. He washes her like Jesus washed us.

Many marriages are ruined because they focus on faults and lay guilt for what each other is doing wrong, or is not doing right! It's much more profitable and God's way of doing something when we show mercy and grace when something's gone wrong. It's more profitable when through that mercy and grace, a couple kindly embraces each other and says, What can I do to better to avoid this next time?  And if someone does repeat it? Show more mercy and grace because the truth is, most people do accidentally repeat offenses. Always remember that you as an individual repeat mistakes yet rely daily on God's mercy and grace for yourself. So follow His example. Show more mercy and more grace while again, focusing on not casting blame but working toward an amicable solution. Its better when we wash each other's feet. It's better when we overlook offenses and cleanse each other from sin and guilt. It's better when our motivation is to protect the love between each other. Blaming doesn't solve anything. Being solution oriented, leading with the mercy and grace of God helps accomplish that and put a stake in guilt and condemnation.

The same goes with children. Don't lay guilt on them. Free them up. Help them understand what works better. Wash them with your love and point them in the right direction. Guilt only causes bad feelings leading to avoidance and eventually attitude and behavioral problems. Love, instruction, correction mixed with mercy and grace that washes and continually forgives, is powerful in it's working where holding on to offense and placing blame and fault is the path to destroying all that's good. Ephesians 1:4 says  that God, through what Jesus did, made us "holy and without blame before Him in love."

Prov 17:9 says, “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends." Can you bring this principle of removing guilt and covering an offense into your marriage, into your parenting, and into your workplace? The Holy Spirit can teach you how. When you lead with mercy and grace and wash their guilt away instead of looking for solutions, you become a powerful vessel of God. You becomes like 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/