Monday, July 30, 2007
Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
1 John 5:4 (NIV) “…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
If there was ever a perfect weather night here where I live, Sunday night was it. We were at a large picnic grounds on a lake having our annual church picnic. We have over 6,000 people attend throughout the day. The little children had a great time in the petting zoo and riding the ponies. We had numerous inflatables for the kids of all ages to play in and a huge and tall climbing wall. The roasted sweet corn that was given out free all day was a great hit as was the free cotton candy for the children. The water in the lake was like bath water and the food and fellowship and games were absolutely fun. We were especially blessed with a nice breeze and no mosquitoes throughout the day.
We finished off the evening with a praise and worship and water baptism service in the lake. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. The sun was beginning to go down and the lake was picturesque – reflecting the tree line around the lake off the still water. The water was the temperature of bath water. It was the perfect evening.
We baptized over 250 people. One of those people was the highlight of the day for me. If you have ever seen anyone accomplish a great feat and then wear a smile that was so big that it almost made their face crack, that is how I would describe one of those whom I water baptized.
There were four Pastors in the water conducting the water baptism. I was out in the water where those in my line waded out to me one after another. I had just finished water baptizing a young lady when I looked up and saw a young man escorting a middle-aged gal very slowly out to me. She looked like she had trouble walking because she was holding on to his arm so tightly and walking so slowly. I called out to her to take her time as there was no hurry.
When she finally got out to me, she explained that she could not bend her knees and wondered if I’d just throw some water over her. She was terrified of me bringing her backward into and under the water and lifting her right back out. She was afraid I’d not be able to hold her and she’d sink like a rock. I assured her she had nothing to be afraid of because not only could I do it but the young man that helped her out to me was also going to help me. He and I comforted her, encouraged her, and reassured her over and over. She at last told us she was ready.
As I was speaking the words prior to baptizing her, she suddenly spoke “I can’t do this. I’m too afraid.” We comforted her further and assured her she would not be under the water for more than one second and that it would be easy and painless – actually it would be exciting as the Lord would touch her in a special way. I reminded her of a verse I taught and spoke to my children a thousand times as they grew up; “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Tim. 1:7) I patiently talked to her about overcoming her fears thorugh the strength of the Lord. She was encouraged and ready to try again. Again I was speaking the words prior to baptizing her when she again suddenly cried out, “I just can’t do this, I’m too afraid!” I would never pressure anyone to do anything they don’t want to do but deep down I sensed a strong desire within her to really want to be baptized this way. She just couldn’t get past this fear.
I encouraged her again telling her that she was about to defeat the enemy of her soul – the author of fear that had held her back from many things God wanted her to experience and be blessed with. “We will have you out of that water in one second’s time,” I assured her, “and you are about to experience the first of a series of victories in your life by overcoming your fears with your faith.” As today’s Fresh Manna verse says, “…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
She again said she was ready. I did not hesitate a moment. “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” We brought her down and then right back up. That is when I witnessed one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen. We were rejoicing and cheering and high-fiving her as those on the beach cheered her on. Some were crying they were so happy for her. This was her first of her many victories with her overcoming faith.
Victory is sweet. I am not talking about sports competitions or anything like that. I am talking about overcoming the fears that the enemy of your soul terrorizes with to keep you from experiencing God’s best. It does take an effort in faith to experience them. For some one trying to shed a few pounds it takes the first, and second, and third, “no” to temptation. Each of those “no’s” become victories that add up and build momentum leading to larger victories.
To someone trying to stop something in their life or to someone trying to take on something in their life that God has been dealing with them about, the first and second “no” or “yes” are critical. But, each victory can lead to another when you lean on God in faith for His help. Then before long, you are the one that has overcome the world by your faith. You are the one that has a smile that is so big; it almost cracks your face
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
All rights reserved.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt
Our Covenant of Healing Part Four
1 John 5:4-5 “… This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.”
When it comes to healing, the Word of God is firmly established that it’s God’s will to heal and His will for us to be healed. Until that is a completely settled issue in your heart – faith on this matter cannot exist and it is only be faith that we please God! We have the witness of scripture from Isaiah, Matthew, and First Peter that Jesus died not only to save and deliver us from Hell instead giving us eternal life, but also so that we could experience the blessing of God including healing in this life – now!
Isaiah 54 paints a picture of the coming Messiah. He would come and be punished in our place taking our sins upon Himself. He would pay the price for our sins and our sicknesses and diseases. These verses also indicated that though the Messiah would do this, many would not recognize that what He was doing was His assignment of mercy and grace from God. Many would think that what Jesus went through was punishment from God brought on by His own lunacy. Isaiah 53:4-5 says of Him, “Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”
The Hebrew words for griefs means sickness and disease. Jesus was beaten and punished for our sins to deliver us from the curse of sin including sickness and disease. This is why “with His stripes we were healed.” Can that really mean physically healing for today? Let’s look at the second witness from Matthew concerning these verses and see.
In Matthew chapter 8 we read about Jesus healing a man with leprosy and the centurion’s servant. We then see Jesus coming to Peter’s mother-in-law’s house. She was physically sick. What did Jesus do for her? Was this about physical healing? We read: Matthew 8:14-17 “And when Jesus was come into Peter's house, he saw his wife's mother laid, and sick of a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. When the evening was come, they brought unto Him many that were possessed with devils: and He cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” This is where we will see the witness of Matthew agree with the witness of Isaiah 53:4-5. Isaiah was prophesying of the Messiah to come and what He would do. Now we see Jesus actually doing it as the Messiah just as Isaiah foretold. What Jesus was doing, it says, was fulfilling the words of the prophet Isaiah saying, “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” This is physical healing. This is what Jesus did. This is what the prophet Isaiah said hundreds of years before that He would do. He did it because it was the will of God.
We then see this verse from Isaiah quoted one more time in 1 Peter 2:24. Speaking of Jesus, Peter wrote: “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by His wounds (beatings or stripes) you have been healed.”
Jesus has provided us with a covenant of healing. Jesus bore not only our sins but our sicknesses and diseases. He never intended this to end or to be a secret. It was part of the great commission to all His disciples and to any who would believe. Mark 16:15-18 “And Jesus said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”
In America, we may not deal with poison water or even snakes invading our space that we need to be delivered from, but in many parts of the world where I have Fresh Manna Readers, they do need those promises. Regardless, we are all surrounded by those that need healing. You will not lay hands on the sick if you do not believe it is God’s will to heal them. You will not believe for healing if you aren’t absolutely convinced that it’s God’s will. As long as there is a doubt, there is not faith. Healing has got to become a settled issue for you. You cannot impose healing on someone else. Everyone has to believe themselves and trust me – you do not know what is in the mind or heart of someone else. Quit measuring the reality of healing by others and let the Word of God alone set the standard for what you believe and your faith.
Go through the gospels and highlight every single instance of Jesus healing and look for God’s will in the matter. Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He also said that ”a house divided against itself cannot stand.” If God was making people sick and Jesus was healing them, then they would be divided. They were not. Sin through Adams’s fall has infected all of humanity. The effects of sin – sickness and disease, poverty and lack, and calamity and destruction along with Satan’s attack has touched all our lives – all of humanity whether we did anything to bring it on or not.
Jesus knew our human frailty and out of compassion gave us “gifts of His Holy Spirit” including healing to help us until He completely destroys every last work of Satan. This is how “…everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” More tomorrow…
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.