About Tim Burt

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Overwhelmed by God's Love at Christmas


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

"Overwhelmed by God's Love at Christmas"

Romans 1:5 (LB) "And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners, and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey Him.


It happened to me twice in two days. I became literally overwhelmed with what I think is the heart of the Christmas spirit. The first time was in church on Christmas Eve. It was toward the end of the service. We had just taken communion and were now standing and singing. Each person had a lit votive candle they were holding up. The lights in the church had come down except for the lights that decorated the sanctuary and the votive candles. We were all singing Silent Night. The presence of God was strong and it was such a beautiful moment. In my heart I could hear those words the multitudes of angels spoke to the shepherds in perfect harmony, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14) At that moment, a feeling of "good will” – this overwhelming love for everyone around me welled up within my heart. It was an experience – that’s all I can say in trying to describe it. It was like something God dropped in my heart that was greater than words could describe.

In a moment's time, I could see God's goodness touching every area of my life. I was such a mess when I first opened my heart to God at the age of 24. "How could God love me - I have failed Him so badly - I have failed living for Him so badly - How could God love me?" It was good people that knew God that took the chance of telling and convincing me of this truth till my heart was open enough to see it and know this love for myself.

The angels were saying together in harmony, “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" We imagine them singing to the shepherds that night and maybe they were. The scriptures say the angels were saying it. They wanted all mankind to know - God has peace and goodwill toward us. He hates what the devil has done to this earth and to mankind but because He's given man the ability to choose his course and life, God can only tell us of His love and good will. He has been in a variety of ways throughout time. It’s up to us as to whether we will believe it. I could feel it in church that night.

The next day, Christmas day, Renee's family came over. The house was decorated and looked beautiful. The food was cooking in the kitchen. Christmas was in the air. The doorbell rang and her parents entered. As I was helping them come in and take their coats off, suddenly, just like it did the night before at church, it hit me again - that feeling of the Christmas spirit. It again was this overwhelming feeling of thanks – thanks to God for my family, thanks that I had a wonderful extended family, and thanks they I had a home they could come to, to celebrate this occasion with. For a flash, I was covered with thoughts of the mercy of God. As they were entering into my home, in an instant I thought "Lord, if it wasn't for you, I'd be dead. I wouldn't have a life, a family, a home. Christmas would have still been a holiday that never measured up - that empty feeling I felt all my childhood. I would have killed myself on drugs or alcohol or something stupid. Instead here I am in your love surrounded by your goodness and all this love.” It was momentary, it was powerful, and it was almost overwhelming, but it was so real.

We went up into the kitchen and the first words out of Renee's mom's mouth were, "where would we be without Jesus." She then quoted Psa 27:13 "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living." I looked at her astonished and laughed and shared with her those same thoughts I had just had as they were entering the house. We stayed in the kitchen for some time eating Christmas treats while praising God for His goodness in our lives.

That brings me today's Fresh Manna verse. It describes this Christmas for me. "And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners, and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey Him.” I can't not talk about the goodness of God. God's goodness is so powerful to those who believe. He hasn't wanted us to hoard it up for ourselves. He’s wanted us to give it away - to share it. Even when people think that we are trying to condemn them or shove something down their throats.

To me the best packaging of this good news is sharing God's desire for peace - peace between Him and mankind - His good will toward them! His goodness has transformed my life and yours. I can’t not tell others about it!


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do You "Feel" Like You Love God?


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 145:2-3 “Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.”


If you have ever have, (and I know many or most of you have,) - Do you remember what it was like when you fell madly in love? Remember how your head slipped into a fog? Do you remember that your heart and mind no longer had the capacity to think about a multitude of things but only one thing – your new love? Do you remember your new-found ability to write romantic words and poetry that seemed to flow like a river from you? Do you remember that time, distance, and inconvenience to see your new love didn't and couldn't exist? Do you remember the freedom to spend every penny you had on the one you loved? Do you remember that you could talk forever and never run out of things to say? Do you remember the absolute confidence that you could overcome any obstacle with your new love? Oh the joy of falling in love! If only the exuberance never faded.

Falling in love is one of the most powerful forces of “feeling” that mankind will ever experience. It can certainly seem the MOST pleasurable. That's why there is a never-ending creation of songs, stories, and movies over the subject of love. Love is a huge business generating billions of dollars ever year!

People's manner and ability to feel and express love is different depending on the atmospheres of love or lack of it in which they grew up. One’s personality traits and giftings that God placed within our human makeup also affect how each person expresses love. Hollywood holds us hostage to the fabrication of a man and woman that have been married for 8 years passionately kissing as they come home from work, the way they first did when they got married. Hollywood paints love as mostly sexually. Their portrayal is far from the truth. They are simply trying to appeal to the lower nature of the fleshly sexual or lustful desires with a man.

Friends of Renee and I had us laughingly while telling the story of how they kissed for three hours straight in their "falling in love" courting season prior to getting married. They have probably never had a repeat of that session since the first year of their marriage even though they love each other with great passion. It's not that it couldn't happen but is for the most part unlikely because of how the expression of love changes as love matures. We all understand that our expressions of love changes and mature, right?

The same is true with our expressions of love to God. They change and mature over time. I continuously talk to Christians that tell me they go through periods where they feel guilty because they don't feel like they have the “feelings” of love for God in the way they should. They hear others talk about loving God but describe their relationship feeling somewhat dry or withdrawn. Well that could also be true for millions of husbands and wives. Not could be, it is! It is in the respect that they don't feel the sensual flaming passion that they might have experienced when they first fell in love.

One thing that I have found that always stirs my love and affection for the Lord is the having a spirit of thanksgiving. Whenever I have been out on a run or just in a quiet place of prayer and I start thinking about where I would be without the Lord, it gives me a cold shiver. The thought is scary to me. When I think about all the things the Lord has done for me; how has saved my soul from eternal damnation and helped me to know and value the right things in life - I am so thankful. He has given me wisdom to raise my children that I would never have had any other way. He has blessed me with awesome friendships. He has provided for me over and over at critical times when I didn't know what I would do. By teaching me His ways, He has helped me develop godly character and has raised my entire standard of living helping me to live a productive life. He has straightened out my thought life, healed my body, and given my life of great purpose. As I meditate on how many times He has supernaturally helped or blessed me, I feel overwhelmed with His love and feel passionately in love with Him. When I do, my words of Praise to Him such as from today’s Fresh Manna verse take on much greater meaning - “Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever. Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom.” They powerfully stir my feeling of intimacy toward Him.

All relationships go through seasons of change, maturing and development. Our expressions of love do take on some changes through different seasons of life. Our love always needs stirring. Meditating on the love you have for the Lord will greatly stir you! Expressing that love sincerely to Him in your prayer life whether in sincere heart-felt words, or in song, or perhaps in sacrificial giving as a form of your thanks - however you are led, it will stir you to new levels. And PS, apply this same things toward your spouse and children or friendships and you’ll get similar results. Love is awesome and worthy of the attention we give in stirring it up.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2007 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.