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Monday, January 21, 2019

The Strengths That Bring Success

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

When things are going great and great things are being done, there are always people who want to grab the glory for what's happening. Those who pat themselves on the back as if it was the result of their singular effort. But, when things start going wrong, suddenly, the same people who wanted to grab the credit and glory for what THEY accomplished, are no longer alone in their efforts. They want to suddenly make it a group effort and find others to blame. Things are great—pat me on the back. Things are bad—it's their fault! Funny huh? Not so much!

God wants us to succeed! How do I know that? Because God's Word tells us that when we will take the time to learn, mediate, and be careful to walk in His instructions, then we will have good success. Joshua 1:8 (NIV) "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." 

When thinking about success, there's an abundance of people in the Bible we could look to as an example. The Apostle Paul was one of them. He was a hard worker. From his perspective, he worked harder than any of his co-workers and peers. Given his background, that wasn't a boast but a truth. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV) 

When a person feels like they work harder than others, it's easy for them to feel like a martyr. Whoa is me! I am doing all the work and no one else cares as much or works as hard as I do. We see Martha express those feelings to Jesus. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:40 NIV)

When you work hard, it's easy to fall into this trap. When you experience success it's easy to think you're the reason for it. But, as the Apostle Paul said, it wasn't because of his own great ability that he worked hard. It was the grace of God in him that gave him the ability to do any and everything he did. "...No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10 NIV) What is the grace of God? It's many things including God's supernatural help! So what's the bottom line? Our successes are a product of the grace of God—His supernatural help to help us go above and beyond what we could do in our own efforts including the ability to work harder than others. This also includes our intellectual, mechanical, physical, and emotional strength or gifting! 
Without it you would not experience the success you do. And it goes beyond your gifting. It's gifting AND prayer. Prayer contributes to timing, resources, His favor with others, and so much more. The grace of God and prayer combined with the right motivation and efforts can turn anyone or any group of people into a powerhouse that helps success happen.

Not everyone has what you have. Not everyone has been graced with what you have been graced with. Not everyone can do what you do. And you can't expect them to! You have your gifting and they have theirs. And, since great work and success always has contributors, appreciate and share the joy of success with them. Appreciate what they bring to the table. It will most often arouse and strengthen their loyalty, and refire and encourage even greater effort. You'll help create an atmosphere of champions and you'll appreciate each other even more. All which will again contribute to yours and their further success. Most of all, give thanks to God—always and in all things. It will remind you who is truly behind the success you experience. The acknowledgement of thanks to God-given in true sincerity, and to one another is the greatest gift you can give back to God and to them.

Philippians 2:2 (TLB) "Then make me truly happy by loving each other and agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, working together with one heart and mind and purpose."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Copyright© 2019 All rights reserved

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Friday, January 18, 2019

Part Three: Your Hope to Real and Lasting Change and Success

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

In my last post, I told you that God has placed three embedded desires—desires that play a factor in driving your thinking and actions and the outcome of your life. They are, the desire to know Him, second, the desire to become Christ-like, and third, the desire to participate in His divine nature so that you can succeed in the changes to become more Christ-like. The reason we experience this third desire is because it's God-given and revealed in 2 Peter 1:3-4 NIV.  "God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 

Did you see those words?  "...so that through them you may participate in the divine nature..." Escaping the evil desires that are in this world is only possible by participating in the divine nature—in experiencing the supernatural help from God that touches your life as you believe by faith. Will you experience God moving in your life in supernatural way? Honestly, that is up to you. God doesn't make us do anything. He leads us toward His will if we will follow and do so trusting Him by faith. This is why Jesus only called it a possibility. The possibility depends on you and that's why Jesus said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26 (NKJV) and, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."Mark 9:23 (NKJV) 

Why do the people in this world spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with weight loss, chemical addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction and on an on? They do because they are unable to control themselves in these areas. Unbeknownst to most, Satan has power over those in this world that have not surrendered their lives to God through Jesus Christ.

I just heard a report that said that 98 percent of all overweight people who lose weight, gain it back. Another report said that 80 to 90 percent of all criminals released from jail offend again. Studies show that most people with addictions are tormented by them all their life. Why is that? Because without God, real and meaningful change fails and doesn't happen. Why? Because a person remains in Satan's clutch and power. God wants to rescue them from Satan's power—from the grip that keeps them in his clutches and that keeps them powerless to make lasting change. Colossians 1:13 (NIV) addresses this saying  "For God has rescued us from the dominion (power) of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves..." 

The Bible says that Satan's power over us becomes a "stronghold." That could best be understood as a wrong desire that someone just can’t seem to control or break. There are negative desires that have power over people. Pornography is an example of that, and it's rampant in this day and age. These negative desires or strongholds are broken only with God's power. You may say, But Pastor Tim, I know people who have gone to groups and overcome these addictions. They may have gotten some control over their flesh but without Jesus, they almost always continue to battle the desire throughout their life. They often feel like they are living with a tormenting demon. This is why alcoholics continue to call themselves alcoholics even after they have stopped drinking. This why alcoholics, sex offenders, criminals, liars, and law-breakers repeat their offences over and over again. This is why those outside of God repeat their sins over and over again.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT) says, "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us...can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." 

"...Changed into His glorious image." That is His desire for everyone! Only through the supernatural help of God, can wrong desires be removed and replaced with good desires. That is a continuing change that everyone longs for. No wonder our spirit yearns for the supernatural help of God. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” Once this truth becomes your reality and you continuously lean upon it, you will immediately begin to instead, lean on and draw His supernatural strength and help.

How do we begin to lean on God and draw that strength? By learning to know what God says about you and then by faith, agreeing with it for your life. Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. God would not tell you to do something—be moderate—if you could not do it. You can in your divine nature! That verse finishes “The Lord is at hand.” What does that mean? The picture it paints in its original Greek form is that there is a hand to grasp your hand as one giving aid and strength. That is the supernatural power of God. If you apply your faith and walk it out, you will sense God within to help you.

If God instructs us to be moderate, then with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be! If you've shown behavior other than moderation it’s time to make a faith confession. Say, I am a partaker of God's divine nature. The Holy Spirit lives in me. Therefore, I am not addictive or a slave to anything. God says I am to show moderation and that means I have His ability to do so. I am moderate in Jesus name. Let these words be the ongoing confession of your heart and mouth spoken repeatedly whenever a situation calls for it. In time, you will see that change begin to take root in you.

Apply this to any scripture that speaks to you about attitudes and behaviors God wants you to change toward maturity and Christ-like thinking and behavior. Not so you can earn Heaven! Heaven is Jesus' gift. But so that you can become more of a light and influence for others seeking God's help! It won't be long before you know you "…walk in God’s divine nature and escape the corruption in this world caused by evil desires!” As you do, your light for Jesus will become ever increasingly evident to all! Change is good! Go for it!

Psalms 119:39 (NLT) "Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good" 

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!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback




If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2019 All rights reserved

http://
TimBurt.org