About Tim Burt

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Covering - Part Five

Fresh Manna by Pastor Tim Burt

Rom 8:37 "...in all these things we are more than conquerors through Jesus who loved us."


He gently takes her face in his hands, pulling her to his lips where they tenderly kiss and wrap themselves in a warm embrace...THE END. The end of the story. We love a great ending to a story, especially when it ends up with a good and moral end or victory. It makes us smile. It makes our hearts cheer! It makes our spirits cry "Yes!" We also love to cheer on our winning teams. As our guy runs down the field breaking out into the open and heads toward the goal line, we jump to our feet shouting and screaming, cheering him on. We break out into the hysterical harmony shouting, "We're number one," like we had something to do with it. We enjoy the victory as if it were our very own.

Even though we live in an earth tainted and spoiled by sin - the effects of each and every man's sins including our own permeating all fabric of society, we still have the victory. We may be surrounded on every side by wrong and immoral attitudes and actions. The effects of it may be trying to hurt our lives. Even so we are victors. Why? Jesus tells us why in John 16:33 saying, "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Jesus is revealing that the enemy will try to make trouble. But, when Jesus is the object of our faith and trust, then victory will be the end of our story! I don't just mean blind faith where you just hope things get better. No I mean life changing faith - a person that by faith that takes a hold of God's promises and puts himself in the middle of the promise and will settle for nothing less. I mean a person that looks the circumstances or 'trouble' that is around them in the eye and says, "No Satan, I rebuke you!" "I will not be a victim of the poverty and lack you try to bring into my life! I rebuke you in Jesus name. Our family belongs to God and His promise covers us.” His Word says "...my God will meet all my needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:19) God’s Word says that "God by His mighty power is able to do exceeding abundantly above all what I ask or think, according to the power that works in us. " (Eph 3:20) “Devil the power of God is at work in me. You will not have my family. You will not have my marriage. You will not have my children. You will not have our financial provision. God said we were to choose between death and life, blessing and cursing, so I rebuke you and choose life and blessing for myself, for my family, and for all those in my realms of responsibility. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus and I rebuke you today. Get out of our lives!”, Deuteronomy 28:2 says, “And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you, if you shall listen to and reverence the voice of the LORD your God.” “Heavenly Father, I listen and reverence you and thank you your blessings are overtaking us in our lives today. I give you the praise, in Jesus name Amen. "

The prayer of faith conceived in the promise of God from a pure heart of love is the strongest source of covering there is in the earth. This kind of prayer - this covering of God - focuses on the desired outcome not the problem. This kind of faith in God's promises honors God. This kind of prayer accesses the power of Heaven and changes and saves lives. God wants us to be a covering of prayer, love, forgiveness and help to one another. This is a powerful force.

When we are mad at each other, our covering - our thoughts toward the person we are angry with become what God calls a covering of violence. There is no real prayer of faith going forth. To the contrary, wrong or evil words and thoughts spill forth. When that happens, the covering of God's protection comes down, and those involved open themselves to become targets of Satan's attack.

God wants us to be led by His Spirit, always back toward a covering of love. Prov 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Prov 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” When we won't forgive, the good covering comes down and a harmful covering the covering of violence goes up. Pride surfaces holding onto the offense. Psa 73:6 says “Therefore pride compassed them about as a chain; violence covered them as a garment.” When we won't admit our part and do what's right, we hurt ourselves. Prov 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

If we would recognize Satan and his plots and plans to get us upset with one another and then remember what the Apostle Paul said in Eph 6:12, that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms,” then we'd attack Satan instead of people or those we love. We would fight this battle in the Spirit and remember that we "are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus." He'll help us bless our spouses and see the good and speak that good over them. He'll help us bless our children and love them more than we yell at them. He'll show us a better way through love, promise, and faith in those promises. God will lead us by His Spirit from within and we will choose to speak life and blessing. We will eventually get life and blessing!

God wants our covering of protection from the spiritual forces of darkness up and protecting us. We can work toward love and keep that protection working, or we can get in pride and strife and become a sitting duck for Satan's trouble and at the same time, become useless in covering others. Which should we choose?


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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Covering - Part Four


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

1 Cor 6:20 “You are not your own. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.”


In September of 2001, Governor George E. Pataki of New York signed legislation that made it a felony offense for a criminal to wear a bulletproof vest while carrying out a crime using a rifle or a shotgun. They did not want criminals to have this kind of protection when committing crime. If caught wearing one in a violent crime, they are guaranteed prison time. They want a covering of protection for police but not for the criminals.

Over the years in working with people through marriage difficulties, there have been times where I thought the husband and wife should be wearing a bulletproof vest. Actually, not a bulletproof vest but a wordproof vest. I have heard some deadly 'word' - shots and character assassinations fly randomly like a drive-by shooting.

I've been talking about God's divine protection - His covering over us. The Lord's covering is intended to be a supernatural covering of blessing and protection supplied by the promise of God's Word and accessed through faith in His Words. Upholding relationships with God’s love helps keep that covering intact. This kind of covering by faith has always been God’s will for each and every one of us. Gal 5:6 says, “…Faith which works by love.” Psa 18:30 says, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield (a protector) for all who take refuge in Him.” I want you to see that although God has a covering, the devil attempts to lure us into another kind of covering - a covering of aggression.

Most people that fall in love and get married initially cover each other with much prayer, love, and grace, and with much kindness and forgiveness. God's people did not always reverence God or regard and honor His ways. Many times they'd stray from the Lord and become selfish and self-centered instead of remembering they were God's children. They would no longer be focused covering their families and those endeared to their hearts with prayer, love, and selflessness. What should have been a covering of love instead became a covering of aggression and violence.

In Malachi 2:13-16, we see this. We see the Lord was chastising His people about covering each other with thoughts of evil and schism. He was upset with them about it. The Lord no longer wanted to accept their tithes and offerings because their hearts had become evil. They were no longer giving from a right and willing heart. The Lord said that He Himself was a witness as to the way they were treating the wife of their youth. They may have married making the commitment as "two becoming one flesh”, but somewhere along the line they become independent and selfish. They quit loving and pursing the Lord together. They began to cover each other with a covering of violence ending up in divorce. Let's read these verses.

Malachi 2:13-16 “Another thing you do: You flood the Lord's altar with tears. You weep and wail because He no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, "Why?" It is because the LORD is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. "I hate divorce," says the LORD God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with His garment," says the LORD Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith."

The purpose of marriage was for a man and a woman to be united in love, in heart and in purpose - together pursing the plan of God in the earth. That means that in their love, they would receive the forgiveness of Jesus Christ for their sins and then let that same forgiveness flow from one to another. It meant that they would grow spiritually and let their lives be used to be representatives of God's love in the earth. If they had children, God wanted a man and woman to dedicate and commit themselves to raise them to learn of and know of Him and His ways. He wanted families that would represent Him in the earth. As Jesus said, they were to become the "salt of the earth.”

Without the focus of His love and purpose, you drift to self-interest, personal purpose and agenda, and personal gratification. All of this resulting in selfish lives outside the will and pursuit of God. A life without God's purpose leads to a void of frustration and dissatisfaction. Couples begin to express feelings of their own dissatisfaction in numerous ways and a covering of aggression and violence creeps in. Eventually hurtful words and actions destroy what were once hearts in love.

When you live in the world and get caught up in the world's ways, you lose sight of these things pursuing your self-interest instead of the wife or husband of thy youth. You forget the words of today's Fresh Manna that says, "You are not your own. For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's." In most cases, the person you loved is still in there. The person that you don't like, you may have helped create through a wrong covering. How can you help get back the person you fell in love with? Be a covering of love!

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Covering - Part Three


Gal 3:29 “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

I was watching one of the major golf tournaments recently. The weather was overcast and a storm was moving in. At the first sighting of a flash of lighting, a loud horn began to sound over all the golf course. It was the alarm letting people know they were to get off the course so that no one would get struck by lighting. They wanted everyone to get off the course and under cover.

We've been talking about a covering in the last couple writings of Fresh Manna. God’s covering is a source of protection from attacks of the devil in our lives. This covering is accessed by faith through belief in the promises of God that pertains to the particular issues of your life or whoever you are praying for.

Twenty plus years ago when I was a young father, it was this promise of covering - of protection from God that allowed me to leave home for days at a time for my job in peace and not fear. Thoughts would try to come - "Jeff is going to wander in the street when you are gone and be hit by a car." I'd rebuke those kinds of thoughts and the devil in Jesus’ name. Then I'd thank the Lord for the promise of His Word. In Isa 54:17 it says, that said, "No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD." God said this was my heritage as a believer. I began to put my faith there and speak this verse to those surfacing lies and fears every time they raised their ugly heads - every time I went out of town.

I knew that Satan worked destruction in the lives of people every day, but I took comfort from the promise from Psalm 91:7 that said, “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you." It went on to say, in Psa 91:9-11, " If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge (my covering) then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your dwelling (home). For He will command His angels concerning you to guard (cover) you in all your ways." I believed that. I knew that God wanted to cover us with these promises so I trusted them and thanked God in faith for them.

I've told this before but one day I took Jeffrey to a park to play. He was about five years old. As we pulled up to the park - parking on the opposite side of the street, he opened the car door and jumped out before I could say a thing. I started to call out to him but he had run around the front of the car into the street. Just then a car was going by and screeched on its breaks. The car hit Jeff and knocked him down. The woman got out of the car panic stricken. As I was running to him he just jumped up with a big smile, brushed himself off and said, "It’s okay dad, it didn't hurt!" He did not have a scratch or a bruise on him. It was one of those moments where you are thankful and upset with a child at the same time. The woman in the car could not quit apologizing but I assured her I wasn't upset with her. I told her that is was completely my fault. All I could think of was all the times I had thanked the Lord that no weapon would prosper and that His angels had charge. I thanked the Lord for his angels watching over Jeff. I think Jeff kept some working overtime.

The covering of God is something that we play a part in. God wants to cover us. God had established a covenant of promises with us through the death and resurrection of Jesus. These promises have become our inheritance. These four verses from Galatians help us understand how those promises of covering become ours. Gal 3:18 & 22& 28-29 say, "For if the inheritance depends on the law (our ability to perfectly obey everything God has asked us to do), then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise.... But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe... There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

To keep the covering of God working in our lives we must be in fellowship with Him walking in His ways. We must also keep our hearts and lives free from schism, division, and relational turmoil. Then our faith and trust in His promises will become the footbridge of blessing and covering extending from Heaven into our lives.

Remember, "if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."


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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Covering - Part Two


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

Mal 2:10 “Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?”


Okay admit it! There isn't one of us that hasn't gotten offended by something someone said or did at one time or another. There is probably nothing that hurts more than when an offense happens but escalates to character assassination. Couples often fight that way. An argument starts over something small and pretty soon they are ripping each others character apart. It’s difficult to repair the hurt that's caused once this happens. It would be better if we could bridal our tongue at times like this and back off and cool off so we don't say what we will later regret.

I started talking about a covering last writing. I said a covering is some kind of barrier that at its best is meant to serve as a source of blessing and comfort. If the weather outside is horrible and you are waiting to catch a bus and there happens to be a shelter to cover you, that shelter is a barrier between you and the elements and it's a blessing and a source of comfort.

When I was a young adult, I rented a house that didn't have a garage. Because there was no covering over my car, my car deteriorated much more quickly than it otherwise would have. In Minnesota winters, if you have any intelligence at all, you learn to buy very warm clothes for our below zero temperatures. That down coat is a barrier - a covering between you and the cold.

God at a time when He was upset with His people Israel, spoke words to them about the covering - the plans and attempts they made to protect or shield or cover themselves. In Isa 30:1 we read, “Woe to the rebellious children, saith the LORD, that take counsel, but not of me; and that cover with a covering, but not of my Spirit, that they may add sin to sin.”

There is a covering, a protection of God's Spirit - a barrier of His protection that we by faith can bring into our lives. For a pregnant woman, there is a precious promise of covering of protection for your baby to take hold of in faith. It says in Psa 139:13 “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother's womb.” We stood on this scripture with all our hearts when the enemy was trying to take our future granddaughter’s life.

If I had a son in the military, I would be praying and standing on God's promise of covering in Psa 140:7 that says, “O GOD the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.” These are promises of protection.

Again the covering is supposed to be a barrier of protection and blessing. In the second chapter of Malachi, the Lord refers to the covering again. He refers specifically to it in marriage which I will talk about tomorrow. But He is referring to the covering or lack of it in today's Fresh Manna verse. He says, “Have we not all one Father ? Did not one God create us? Why do we profane the covenant of our fathers by breaking faith with one another?”

The Lord is saying that as a Christian, we still have relational fallout amongst other Christians. Yet we all know we have the same God and Father. That makes us all family. That also means we are all in a covenant relationship with Him and each other. So, shouldn't we be a covering or protecting each other instead of getting into schism with each other? Of course the answer is yes, but like everything, it's easier said than done.

Today and tomorrow I want you to see, that the covering can be a covering of good or a covering of evil. The Lord was talking to His people about covering each other with thoughts of evil and schism and He was upset with them about it.

Prayer from a pure heart of love and faith is the strongest source of covering there is in the earth. A prayer in strong faith built on a promise from God changes and saves lives. God wants us to be a covering of prayer, love, forgiveness, and help to one another. This is a powerful force.

When we are mad at each other, our covering - our thoughts toward the person we are angry with, become what God calls a covering of violence. There is no real prayer of faith going forth. To the contrary, wrong or evil words and thoughts are spilling forth, the covering of God's protection is down, and those involved become open to Satan's attack.

God wants us to be led by His Spirit, always back toward the covering. Prov 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.” Prov 10:12 says, “Hatred stirs up dissension, but love covers over all wrongs.” When we won't forgive, the good covering comes down and a harmful covering goes up. Psa 73:6 says “Therefore pride encompasses them about as a chain; violence covers them as a garment.” When we won't admit our part and do what's right, we hurt ourselves. Prov 28:13 says, ”He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.”

God wants our covering of protection from the spiritual forces of darkness up and protecting us. We can work toward love and keep that protection working, or we can get in pride and strife and become a sitting duck for Satan's trouble and at the same time, become useless in covering others. Which should we choose? More later…

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Covering - Part One


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 32:1 “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered”


I live in Minnesota and one of my favorite seasons is Fall. After a hot summer, cooler air feels good. The air is crisp and refreshing, the humidity low, the colors in the trees breathtakingly beautiful, just over all wonderful. People are out walking and running more and the footballs are flying through the air. I’ve also noticed that many people open their windows at night. They let the cool air in and they cover up. They snuggle under big down comforters to stay warm. It feels so good!

Being covered is supposed to be a wonderful thing. Getting under the covers is supposed to be something comforting. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they became aware of something they had previously been able to take for granted - God's provision. When they sinned they immediately discovered they were naked. At this first step of their new form of dependency upon God, they needed help with their nakedness. God covered them. Gen 3:7 says, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves."

A covering covered their nakedness. It covers our also. Our relationship with Jesus does that. The blood He shed upon the cross in dying for the punishment for our sins covers and washes us so we that we become presentably righteous before God. That covering is a precious thing.

Psalm 91:4 says, “He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge.”

An article in National Geographic several years ago provided an interesting picture of God's wings. After a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park, forest rangers began their trek up a mountain to assess the inferno's damage. One ranger found a bird literally petrified in ashes, perched statuesquely on the ground at the base of a tree. Somewhat sickened by the eerie sight, he knocked over the bird with a stick. When he gently struck it, three tiny chicks scurried from under their dead mother's wings. The loving mother, keenly aware of impending disaster, had carried her offspring to the base of the tree and had gathered them under her wings, instinctively knowing that the toxic smoke would rise. She could have flown to safety but had refused to abandon her babies. When the blaze had arrived and the heat had scorched her small body, the mother had remained steadfast. Because she had been willing to die, those under the cover of her wings would live.

I hope this illustration encourages your faith today to thank God that He for being a covering to you. Let your faith reach for that covering and bring you confidence in His desire to protect and watch over you as you hide in the only real protection and covering this is offered anywhere – “under His Wings…” More later…

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Part Three - God Speaking To You


Fresh Manna© by Pastor Tim Burt

Matthew 13:11-12 “Jesus then explained to them, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”


Different words obviously solicit different kinds of responses. When our children were little, if we were sitting around the breakfast table and I said, “Kids, you’ve been great in your attitude this week – Mom and I are taking you to Chucky Cheese Pizza for a reward,” they’d all be excited, cheer, and even though it was only 9:00 in the morning, say, “Can we go now?” If the boys were playing a video game or watching their favorite show on television and I told them to come to the table for dinner, you might have wondered, “Did they suddenly and completely lose their hearing?” There would be no indication - not even a flinch that they’d heard a word you said.

Selective hearing is a part of life. That’s not always bad. There are times where that can be quite beneficial. I remember years ago when I worked for the airlines. We’d come up to contract negotiations about every four years. When that time came around, most everyone began talking about the contract - how bad things were, how the company was the devil, how we would have to strike, and how much that would hurt because no one could afford it. The overall attitudes of the employees were somewhere between strained to terrible and it was not a fun time to work. I would limit myself to learning what the offer from the company was, making my mind how I would vote on the contract, and turning the rest over to the Lord in prayer. He was my provider. I became selective in my hearing. I didn’t want to hear or enter into depressing negative discussions all day long about something I had limited control over. If I was dragged into the discussion, I’d quickly share my view and why. I’d then tell them I am praying about it because I love and serve God and bring my tithes to church in obedience to His Word, I trusted the Lord to help me in all areas of my life including finances no matter what happened.

Selective hearing is essential in life. It’s critical to discernment and discerning what is good and from God and what is not that causes fear, unbelief, or evil imaginations. Jesus warned us to be selective in what we hear and to be sure that we do listen and pay attention to what He has to say. In Mark 4:23 we read. “Anyone who is willing to hear should listen and understand! And be sure to pay attention to what you hear. The more you do this, the more you will understand—and even more, besides. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them."

Jesus assured us that if we learned to read His Word as it being the voice of God speaking to us and treat what we read with reverence and respect, then as we worked to obey His Word, He’d reveal more to us – meaning His Holy Spirit would speak to our spirit and bring revelation to what God’s Word is saying.

God’s Word describes itself as quick and powerful. Why? Because when someone is paying attention to what it says, it has the potential if you are not being selective in your hearing – to penetrate your heart and bring insight, change your life, give wisdom, bring healing, and more. It might teach or bring instruction to you. It might convict (NOT CONDEMN) you regarding an area of sin or disobedience in your life. It might reprove you (which is like a loving scolding) about your attitude or gossipy mouth. The Word of God to those that reverence it speaks loudly and clearly. God’s Word cannot be a convenience package to you – “I’ll go to it when I am in trouble and need God’s help.”

There are people that say that they can’t hear God’s voice. They are Christians living unmarried in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. 1 Thess. 4:3 is speaking. Can you hear what God is saying through it? 1 Thess. 4:3 “For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from fornication and sexual immorality.” Can that person hear God say, “Stop having sex outside of marriage?” If not, he or she probably won’t hear much of anything else Jesus is saying.

In order to hear the deeper things of God, you have to hear the things He is saying to you in regards to your day to day activity. That is the meaning of today’s Fresh Manna verse “Jesus then explained to them, "You have been permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others have not. To those who are open to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But to those who are not listening, even what they have will be taken away from them.”

It is good to learn the deep and profound things of the Lord. It is good to hear God’s voice direct you in intimate details of your life. But, start with the basic simple things He is speaking to you through His Word. You don’t need to hear some kind of audible voice to hear most of what God is saying. His Words in the Word speak it loud and clear. Listen and obey there and more of His voice will manifest in more of your life!

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

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.