About Tim Burt

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Making Time For the Lord


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

“Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are”

Even though you are receiving Fresh Manna, Renee and I are actually on a week long get-a-way. We just aren’t getting away from God, the Word, or from writing to you!

We are in Northern Minnesota for a week of alone time together. As I look back over our lives, we have tried seriously hard to live our lives so that we would not look back with regrets. I think both of us feel we have very few. To the contrary, we have made some good choices that we feel God was leading us in, that have turned out to be absolutely right. One of those was, the prioritizing of “alone time” for her and I, and for her and I and the kids.

When we would read about Jesus taking time to get away and be with His Father to seek Him and pray, we knew it was the source of everything that was right in His life. Early in our marriage things were shaky. We were young and immature and created our own problems – learning far too many things the hard way. But occasionally we’d do something that was very right. Making the choice to imitate Jesus and make times to get away and be alone with God and each other was one of those choices. Our lives were always so busy ministering to others, we knew we needed to create pockets of “alone time” with each other and God. When we had children, it became “alone times with each other” and “alone times with the children.”

It wasn’t like we had a lot of money and took big vacations. To the contrary, we would scrape and save and look for bargains in hotels or resorts, and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But, we’d learn to plan away times. We’d simply put them before the Lord in prayer to supernaturally provide and then trust that He would lead us into special get-a-ways that we could some how afford to do.

We’d purpose to make them times where we put God first each day. We’d expand our Bible time to talk, share, laugh, pray, and just appreciate the Lord’s goodness in our lives. From there, we would ask God to bless and direct our steps into great and special fun plans that didn’t cost money but that some how we would see His hand upon.

One time we were standing along the North Shore looking out on Lake Superior. Our car was parked across the street in a little off road parking lot. We had all the kids with us who were young at the time. We loved to go on short hikes they could handle especially looking for waterfalls. As we came back to our car, an elderly gentleman that we had bumped into and met the day before must have spotted us. He put a note on our windshield. He told us exactly where to go for a special hike ending up by waterfalls. We followed his directions and had a spectacular hike. We knew that was a gift from the Lord. We’d see rainbows, a moose, skip rocks – so many wonderful things that made us appreciate God’s splendor. Those quiet times alone with God and each other and with the children strengthened us in our marriage and as a family in ways that would be difficult to describe.

This week we are up by a lake on a get-a-way at a beautiful resort called Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, Mn - again the hand of God because it was given to us as a gift. Yesterday morning I was up early and walked down to the lake standing on a dock with a cup of coffee. The air was crisp and cool. The sky was as blue as the sky can get. The lake looked like a mirror. There were two beautiful loons close to me hunting their breakfast. There was an eagle perched on a boat canopy a short distance away. The morning moon was hanging on one side of the sky with the sunrise on the other. The beauty of God’s artistry was overwhelming.

It was at this moment that I again began to sing to Him in praise and then tell Him how thankful I was for all these kinds of moments He provided for Renee and I over the years. Throughout all the years, we just purposed to get away and spend time together and with the Lord to be strengthened in our love for each other. God always made a way for special opportunities to walk them out. As I was standing on that dock, I began to think about “how we could do this again in the future.” You know how men are – always trying to figure out the path ahead. At that moment, I heard that still small voice – like a whisper - as clear as if it were audible.. “Just trust me like you always have.” “We have tried to always trust God but we are like anyone else. We’d just like to arrange and do things ourselves in our own strength. Those times never seem as good. What God provides always seems so much better. Why do we fight that? Why do we fight trusting God? It is such a great adventure when we do. He does love us!

As today’s Fresh Manna says, “Matthew 6:26 “Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are.”

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

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

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jesus Our Liberty, Deliverance, and Prosperity


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Psa 62:7 “In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God”


Years ago at our old house, we had very old clothesline poles in our yard. We wanted to take them out as we didn’t use them and wanted more space for other things in our yard. One day I started the project of removing them. As it turned out, they were cemented so deep and wide into the ground, I could not get them out. I just hack sawed them out below the ground. God wants our faith that deeply cemented within us. He wants us to become so trusting that nothing can get at or attempt to steal our faith.

It is so easily to overlook the power in a scripture verse like today's Fresh Manna verse. There is so much that God is saying through these words that we can just pass over. That's why it is so good to take the time to meditate on the Word of God.

Please let me help you see the power in this verse. First of all the word 'salvation' in the Old Testament is a powerful word in itself. God wants us to understand the meaning of it. The word salvation comes from the word that the name of Jesus comes from – ‘yesha.' The word means liberty, deliverance, prosperity. You could read it like this. God is my liberty. God is my deliverance. God is my prosperity.

If you look at these three words then you see that what God provides for us is liberty - setting us free from Satan's control and free to follow after God. Free from a form of godliness - religious mindless motions, and free to know the Lord intimately through His Word. Free to love the Lord because you want to not because you have to!

You see that God is deliverance to us. John 8:36 say, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." This means that you are free to live without fearing all the things people in the world fear. Fear leads people to live their life defensively; always afraid at what lies ahead and unsettled in how the future will turn out. Fear leads people to focus on their own situations and needs instead of being a vessel of God to help those around us. That is what Satan loves. Where there is fear, worry and anxiety, there is no trust. If there is no trust, there surely is no faith in God's promises. Faithlessness or lack of trust hinders God from working in a person's life. This is what Jesus delivered us from. He delivered you from worrying and you free to trust in God and His promises. Free to know that He loves you and desires to work in your behalf. Free to know that He will watch over you and take care of you. God is our deliverance. The promise of Psalm 91:9-11 says, "If you make the Most High your dwelling-- even the LORD, who is my refuge---hen no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." He has delivered us from this tormenting life of fear.

You can also see that God is prosperity. People have no idea how much of their thought life, their time and their energy is focused on prosperity or increase in the resources of their life. People worry about it all the time! God has set us free and is our prosperity. When today's Fresh Manna verse says God is our salvation it is saying that God is our prosperity. This means that He does care about our resources and personal increase. He also says not to worry about it! In Matt. 6:31-34 we read, "So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

Now can you see the power in these words "God is our salvation?" He is all these things to us and He wants us to know it. Why? So we will learn to trust Him and put all our faith and trust in Him. If we don't, we will put our faith and trust in other places. Many people put their faith in themselves. That's a mistake. Other's put their faith in their job, in other people, in institutions - financial or governmental or elsewhere. When we do, we put ourselves back under Satan's control, the very thing God has delivered us from. Judges 10:13-14 speaks God's heart to that. He says, "But you have forsaken me and served other gods, so I will no longer save you. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Let them save you when you are in trouble!" Why is that God's attitude? Because when you put your faith in other places, you are really putting your trust in Satan. Satan is the god of this world and its institutions.

Learning to trust in other things besides God indirectly leads us to trusting in Satan or influences or systems that we turn into idols - idols that we don't recognize as such.

So, trust in God and He alone! Your faith - the by product of your trust in Him, will usher in His richest blessings into your life.

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

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

Monday, May 26, 2008

Miracles Through Your Hands?


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Luke 10:21-22 "At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to Me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him."


Do we have to be fully mature in the knowledge and things of God to be used of God? The answer is absolutely not. Jesus said in Luke 17:6, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you."

Now it’s important to understand when reading this that Jesus probably hasn't asked you to uproot a tree with your faith. The point He is making is that small faith is capable of great power. Faith is not the same as mental assent. Faith is a true heart belief. We just don't always know where our faith is at. Jesus rebuked His disciples on numerous occasions for that lack of faith, especially when they were doubting Him after they had just seen powerful miracles.

It's easy to believe that Jesus can do what He does. It's another thing to believe that He will use you to do great things in His behalf. But, don't let that stop you. He will use us - even when we are immature and young in the Lord. We just have to learn to respond to what we believe is His leading by the Holy Spirit and then do the best we can. We will make mistakes. If embarrassment and mistakes can stop you, then you will be stopped! Then you won't be used of God much. There is no easy way to learn to follow the leading of God's Spirit. You have to put your boat in the water and venture out by faith.

It was that same for His disciples. Jesus had finished teaching them about going out in His name. They went out and discovered that God used them. They saw the power of God work though their words, their hands, and their faith. They came back to Jesus excited like small children wanting to tell their daddy what they achieved. We can read what they said, reading from Luke 10:17-20. "The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name… "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the demon spirits submit to you, but rejoice that salvation is yours - that your names are written in Heaven."

Jesus was so thrilled that they believed in Him and trusted Him that He lifted His heart in joy to the Father in prayer. We see His heart and prayer in the next couple of verses which is also today's Fresh Manna verses. Luke 10:21-22 says, "At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of Heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure. All things have been committed to Me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him."

When I was just a year old in the Lord, I started to learn about healing. I was like anyone. I was ready to go clear out hospitals. I found out that didn't work. We lay hands on those the Lord leads us to. Their will and their faith are involved. One day my little sister came over. She had an awful skin disease called eczema on her hands and arms that she had since she had been a child. I told her Jesus heals and that in His name I could lay hands on her and pray for her. I took her through verses in the Bible revealing Jesus’ will to heal and then asked if I could pray for her. She wanted me to. I did and then next day her hands were perfectly clear. It was a miracle. Praise the Lord. Now, it hasn’t gone that well every time I’ve tried to follow the Lord, but the important part was that I have tried to follow His leading and share His love and power. There have been many miracles over the years and I was just a young Christian at the time of many of them.

You don’t have to wait till you are perfect or perfectly mature for God to use you. The truth is you’ll never be either. Just read the Word of God – and watch Jesus in the gospels. Then be led of the Spirit casting aside fear and stepping out in faith. You might be the conduit of the miracle someone is asking Jesus for right now!

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

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

Saturday, May 24, 2008

The WAY I Like it! By Renee Burt



Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT ~ “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

It's funny the things you remember from your childhood. I was raised in a single parent home, so money was pretty tight most times. Now, although there was a whole lot of love in our home, mom didn't have the finances to spend on things like the latest games...which at that time was Mouse Trap! I loved that game. So I prayed and asked God to somehow get me that game. Well, a month went by, then two, then three... And then my best friend got the game for her birthday. I couldn't believe she had got the game, when I knew she hadn't even asked God for it! And I never considered that God HAD answered my prayer, but He had...because I don't think a day went by when this friend didn't invite me over to play that game with her...but it hadn't cost my mom anything. I've let that remind me over the years that I have to be careful to not decide how I think God should answer my prayer. It might not be "my way"...but I'm so glad because as today's verses say, His ways are "far beyond anything you could imagine." And that's the WAY I like it!

Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT ~ “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.


More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Replace Kids Fears with Faith


Fresh Manna 2008© by Pastor Tim Burt

Matthew 18:6 “But whoever shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”


Can I ask you a question? Do you have any idea just how much God loves children? Jesus wasn’t casual in His conversations when it came to children. He loves them exceedingly and was not quiet about it. In Matthew chapter 18 Jesus is illustrating in story about one lost sheep. Ninety-nine were accounted for but the good shepherd went to look for the lost one and would rejoice more over the finding the lost one than of the other ninety-nine. Then He finishes the story by saying. “Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:14)

Look at those words – “… it is not the will of your Father.. that one of these little ones should perish.” Although this story is illustrating sheep, if you read the rest of the verses in this chapter, you would understand Jesus is talking about children. They are precious to Him. Why? Because when they are young and innocent, they are ready and hungry to learn of and have faith in His love and ways.

Jesus makes some other strong admonishments. In Matthew 18:10 He says,”See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in Heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” I don’t know if you realize this but there is always a witness - assigned to each child that is standing before the Father regarding how they are being nurtured in the Lord. Those witnesses are angels and they always have God’s attention concerning children.

Jesus also said, “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who trusts in me to lose faith, it would be better for that person to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone tied around the neck. "How terrible it will be for anyone who causes others to sin. Temptation to do wrong is inevitable, but how terrible it will be for the person who does the tempting.” (Matthew 18:6-7)

Renee and I taught children's ministry many years ago for over eight years. We learned and discovered so many wonderful things about children through the experience. It truly helped us become better parents and ministers of the Word of God. The age group we ministered to was four and five year olds.

One thing we learned from them was that children continuously deal with fear - real fear. Its one reason children struggle to go to bed at night and often the reason they keep getting up. They are afraid! When we ministered to the children – often sixty of them at a time, we’d ask them to come to the front of the room if they desired prayer. The thing children most often asked prayer for was for fear at night and sometimes we had close to sixty of them asking! They'd want prayer so they weren't afraid of the monster in the closet or under the bed, or the bad man outside the window, etc. Of all the requests for prayer they would respond to, being afraid a night was number one.

What caused these fears? The movies, television shows, and the unscreened books from the library that parents let their children read that put fearful images in their minds. Many adults are afraid of the dark and spooky things yet have trouble admitting it. How much more children? Yet adults ignorantly expose the imagination of children to fearful things. Fear movies and television shows are currently a trend.

Beyond praying for the children, we taught them a precious promise from the Word of God that greatly helped them be strengthened in spirit and taught them to learn how to resist the devil themselves. The verse was 2 Tim 1:7 "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." Part of our nurturing of children is not to put fear in them but to help them from an early age, take authority over fears. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 instructs us, “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”


This verse is telling us that we don’t fight spiritual battles with human weapons – guns, swords, etc. We fight evil and demonic imaginations – any imagination that is outside of God’s word and will for us – with His power. We cast down evil imaginations in the name of Jesus. We make every thought that comes into our mind conform to God’s Word. If it is evil we cast it out. If it is good, we think on it. The weapons of our warfare are the promises of God to train and take authority as to how we think and take thoughts captive that oppose God.

This is what God wants us to nurture our children in. We will have the help of His Holy Spirit and the angelic host of Heaven.

What are your children exposed to – things that promote faith in God and an overcoming attitude, or things that are scary, horrifying, and fearful that produce torment. Trade devils for angels. Trade fear with the faith of David over Goliath. Trade the fictitious characters of evil for thoughts of the true heroes of faith!

God loves children and has placed them in our care. Our love and instruction to them will turn around to strengthen and nurture us. That is God’s plan.

Today’s Fresh Manna verse is strong and intimidating. It should be. Parents that love their children have that protective spirit over their children. Raise them in the power and love of God’s Word.

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

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

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Much Needed Good News!


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Matthew 9:37-38 “Jesus said to his disciples, "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields."


I was out on my morning run this morning when I heard this thought, “People really need good news in this dark world.” I could suddenly see this brochure. It said boldly on it, “The Ten Best Nuggets of GOOD NEWS You Could Ever Read in These Hard Times.”
Then I began to see the list.

1. Jesus still feels the same about you today as He always has! He loves you! The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

2. Jesus only wants good for you! The Bible says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

3. Jesus’ love reaching out to you does not change! The Bible says, “I am the Lord, I change not.”

4. Jesus has a gift for you and like all gifts it was paid for at His expense. It’s free to you. You only have to open it and receive it. It’s the assurance of the gift of Heaven. The Bible says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”

5. God has no desire or interest in condemning anyone for their sins including you! The Bible says, “God did not send His Son Jesus into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”

6. God wants to put your sins out of His and your mind forever! The Bible says, “…I will forgive their wickedness and will never again remember their sins."

7. The God of the universe wants to become your intimate friend who speaks to you and helps you navigate through this troubled world. The Bible says, “Look! Here I Jesus stand at the door and knock. If you hear me calling and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal as friends.”

8. God wants to bless you and make your life rich in blessing. The Bible says, “…From this day onward, I will bless you.”

9. God wants you to be assured that though the world is filled with hurt and pain, that is not His will and if you give yourself over to Him, He desires to protect you in the midst of it. The Bible says, “Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.”

10. God does not want your world filled with hurt and pain. He wants to save you from it. It starts by believing in His Son Jesus Christ and asking Him to forgive your sins and be your Savior. The Bible says, “For "Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." “Saved” means receiving eternal life, delivered from troubles and sin, healed, protected, and made whole – nothing broken, nothing missing.

The brochure I was imagining closed with these words. My friend, “You are known by God whether you know Him or not. He thinks good of you whether you think good of Him or not. He wants good for your life whether you want good for your own life or not. God loves you whether you love yourself or not. Nothing you have done or can do will disqualify you for God’s love so don’t disqualify yourself - open your heart to Him. This is the best news you will ever receive in this earth. God bless you!

After this short scene in my heart happened, all I could do was think about how many people need this good news. When I came home, I sat down and prayed today’s Fresh Manna verse – what Jesus taught His disciples to pray. “He said to His disciples, "The harvest is so great, but the workers are so few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send out more workers for his fields." I pray we will share His love, our Manna, and His Good News! Bless you today!

(1) Heb 13:8, (2) Jer 29:11, (3) Mal 3:6, (4) John 3:16, (5) John 3:17, (6) Jeremiah 31:34, (7) Rev. 3:20, (8) Haggai 2:19, (9) Psalm 91:7, (10) Romans 10:13
.

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

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

Friday, May 16, 2008

Stop Thinking So Much! By Renee Burt



Matthew 6:34 MSG ~ Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

There are certainly times you need to look to the future and think ahead. For instance, if you don't check out your schedule and see what's happening in the weeks ahead, you might not have a gift ready for that wedding you need to go to. Or you might not have arranged for a babysitter for that date you planned to go on. It's good to think ahead...unless it's turning into worries. In other words, that's when "thinking ahead" iisn't producing action steps that you take to prepare for what's ahead...but instead, it turns into worried thoughts about HOW are you ever going to do that, or WHERE is the money ever going to come from to pay for that, or WHO are you ever going to get to help you with that, or WHY did you say you'd ever do that! Those aren't questions that help you think through how to do what you have to do...they just fill you up with worries. How do I know? Let's just say, I have plenty of personal experience! So when I catch myself thinking too much (a.k.a. worrying and getting worked up about what's up ahead), I reflect once again on what today's verse says. God wants us to live in the "now"...and when we do, He'll take care of our tomorrows. Think about THAT!

Matthew 6:34 MSG ~ Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

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

Friday, May 09, 2008

The Sky Isn't the Limit! By Renee Burt



Ephesians 3:20 AMP ~ Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]!

Have you ever heard the expression, "the sky's the limit?" Well, that sounds pretty good, but it still means there is ultimately a limit. And where it concerns a person's faith, we oftentimes put the brakes on what God will do for us...not because He's unwilling to do more for us, but because in our mind we don't want to ask for TOO much! We don't want to bother God with the little things. I mean, He has a lot bigger things to take care of than all our piddly little stuff, right? That's your limited mind talking again. It's not how God feels about it. He is limitless...He has no beginning and no end...He always has been and always will be. That's hard for us to comprehend, but that doesn't make it any less true. And where it concerns our faith, the sky isn't the limit. He says in today's verse that there are NO limits to what He'll do for us! So DARE to believe today...take the limits off of God...and see what He's more than willing to do for you!

Ephesians 3:20 AMP ~ Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]!

More devotions from Renee's Fresh Manna

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Draw Strength from God!


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Psalm 28:8 “The Lord is our strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.”


Power –God’s Power! I don’t know about you but I need it. When I try to exist and accomplish life and goals in my own strength, I fail or fall short. When I try to accomplish life and goals in my strength, it makes me feel stupid and backslidden. Why would I bother trying to get anything done in my own strength when God offers me His strength – His power?

Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.“ Psalm 28:8 says, “The Lord is our strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed.” In case you don’t know this, you are His anointed. 2 Cor. 1:21 says, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us…” That means He is your strength and the saving refuge of you – His anointed. A refuge is a place where you are saved and safe by Him. Psalm 84:5 says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you…”

The power and strength of God to us are the promises of His Word. But, as in any promise, they obtained by faith. People don’t believe in what they don’t know about. People may still not believe even what they do know about. People of God should believe what God promises to us in His Word. That is called faith and faith is pleasing to God. Hebrews 11:6 reminds us of this saying, “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that there is a God and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him.” Not everyone will have faith but you can and should. You should put Psalm 91:7 in your mouth. “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”

Jesus came for the very reason of sharing His plan to die and be raised again to forgive man’s sins. He came to instruct man of God’s will and heart. He also came to show the love and compassion, and mercy of God. He did great miracles, healed multitudes, and cast demons of those who were possessed – except where they did not believe or have faith in Him. Matthew 13:58 reveals, “And Jesus did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.”

One story that represents God’s power and strength, His compassion, the intercession of a friend, and great faith is found in Matthew 8:5-10. “When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him." The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, He was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. “

I read this story to my four year old granddaughter this morning. I asked her, “Macy, what is that called when someone talks to Jesus?” “She looked up to me and said, “That’s called prayer Papa.” She was absolutely right. We may not be able to walk up to Jesus face to face as the centurion did, but we can and are encouraged to come to Him just the same. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We are exhorted to come to Him with confidence. That’s the same as faith. It pleases God. The centurion was perfectly confident in Jesus. He told Jesus He didn’t even need to come to His home. He knew Jesus had power and authority. He made Jesus his strength! Jesus boasted about this man’s faith. I’d love for Jesus to boast about mine! How about you?

The centurion’s faith saved his servant’s life. The centurion knew that he could do nothing personally to save his servant, yet he didn’t lean on himself and say, “Oh well, I guess there is nothing that can be done. Maybe it’s his time to go. Maybe it’s God’s will that he suffer like this and then die.” That is what we think, say, and do when we are used to leaning on our strength.

When we lean on the promises of God, we think and say, “This sickness, this problem, this cursed thing is of the devil. It’s not God’s will. God is my strength. He is my healer. He is my deliverer. I am His anointed. He has told me to come to His throne room. He makes me stand firm in my faith. And as today’s Fresh Manna says, “The Lord is our strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed.”

Leaning on Jesus takes faith. Praying for miracles takes faith. It’s not like breaking a wishbone, finding a four-leaf cover, or crossing your fingers. It’s about having faith in Jesus as the strength and power of your life for every circumstance - In the face of adversity and negative report! You may get weak kneed and tempted to crumble in the face of adversity, but, that is why God wants to be your strength! Lean on Him with great faith! Psalm 68:35 “God is awesome in His sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people. Praise be to God!”

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

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

Monday, May 05, 2008

Children’s Bibles for Adults?


Fresh Manna 2008 by Pastor Tim Burt

Deut. 6:6-7 “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”


My daughter and her husband went out of town this weekend for a conference. Consequently, we had our two granddaughters who are 4 & 5 years old stay with us. It’s been sheer delight.

Monday morning with my granddaughters brought back all the wonderful memories of our busy morning routine from when our kids were small. We all got up early which is normal for Renee and I anyway, to get the girls ready for school. I delayed preparing and writing Fresh Manna so that I could do with the girls what I always did with my children. I had devotional time with them.

When my kids were little, we’d all get up at a certain time. They’d dress, make their beds, eat breakfast, brush their teeth, and then meet me in the living room for Bible time by a certain time. God’s Word spoke to me about the importance of teaching our children His Word and ways. Today’s Fresh Manna says, “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Renee and I had created a motivational plan to help motivate them to get ready each morning that worked wonderfully. We’d then have morning devotions.

Prior to having children I’d spend time my own quiet time with the Lord and in His word each morning. As I spent time reading and teaching them the word each morning, my own personal devotional time seemed to erode away. At first I’d feel guilty about that but wasn’t sure what to do. Each of the kids had a Bible book that was age relevant and each of them wanted me to read a story from their own book. Because we had four children, that would take about 30 minutes by the time I’d read and we’d all talk about each story. Then we’d all pray together. When they were little and didn’t know how to pray, I’d pray and have them repeat what I prayed. It helped them learn to pray the Word and pray for others. Over time, each learned to pray from their heart. One of the wonderful by-products of teaching them to pray out loud was that they weren’t intimidated to pray in from of others when their teacher or someone would look for a volunteer to pray.

As I said, at first I’d feel guilty because my personal time with God had been replaced with helping them with devotions. One day I was talking to the Lord about it and the Lord stopped me and said, “When you read the Bible stories to your children, do they speak to YOUR heart?” The answer was – Yes, they did! Before I would read to the kids, we’d always pray and welcome the Holy Spirit and ask Him to teach us from the stories we were about to read. As I would read them, they spoke to me just like my own Bible. When the Lord asked me that question, I almost felt ashamed to say “Yes Lord, those children’s Bible books really speak to me.” But then the Lord continued with me, “If they are ministering to your heart, then aren’t we having devotional time together?” I was immediately set free from guilt because I realized that the Lord and I were having time together. My children just happened to be a part of it.

This morning, as I had devotions with my granddaughters, I began by praying and welcoming the Holy Spirit, asking Him to teach us and bring revelation to our hearts. The book I was reading from was for a child’s Bible for the age group 4 to 7 years old. I was reading them about the story of Elisha helping a woman in trouble with debt and need.

2 Kings 4:1-7 (NLT) “One day the widow of one of Elisha's fellow prophets came to Elisha and cried out to him, "My husband who served you is dead, and you know how he feared the Lord. But now a creditor has come, threatening to take my two sons as slaves." "What can I do to help you?" Elisha asked. "Tell me, what do you have in the house?" "Nothing at all, except a flask of olive oil," she replied. And Elisha said, "Borrow as many empty jars as you can from your friends and neighbors. Then go into your house with your sons and shut the door behind you. Pour olive oil from your flask into the jars, setting the jars aside as they are filled." So she did as she was told. Her sons brought many jars to her, and she filled one after another. Soon every container was full to the brim! "Bring me another jar," she said to one of her sons. "There aren't any more!" he told her. And then the olive oil stopped flowing. When she told the man of God what had happened, he said to her, "Now sell the olive oil and pay your debts, and there will be enough money left over to support you and your sons."

Even my little granddaughters saw and understood that what Elisha did was a miracle. In their child-like faith they know God is a God of miracles. They believe in miracles. This woman believed the prophet and she received her miracle. That oil didn’t pour miraculously for the rest of her life. It was His miracle for her at that point and time of her need. That is what God does for us. We respond and do our part like this woman did, and God miraculously helps us in our time of need. Then we live a life of thanksgiving understanding that we serve a compassionate God who does miracles and cares about all aspect of our life!

My Granddaughters got taught and built up this morning but so did I! Obeying God and ministering the Word to our children blesses them – but it blesses us just as much if we are expecting God to speak to us – even from children’s Bibles!

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

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

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pour Out Your Heart! By Renee Burt


Hi Fresh Manna Readers. The Weekend Fresh Manna is written by my wife Renee. What she writes is short, sweet and to the point, and I pray they bless, encourage, and uplift you today! Be blessed! Pastor Tim


Psalm 62:8 AMP ~ Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!


Maybe you never deal with this natural human tendency, but most of us do. When we feel upset or confused or overwhelmed, we feel the need to tell someone about it. So what do we do? Tell them calmly and rationally what's going on? That would be nice, but most times, we "unload" on that other person and tell them the facts of what we're feeling from a slightly emotional and irrational viewpoint. That might make it easy for the other person to feel sorry for us, but it doesn't really help them point us in the direction. So should we just stuff it when we feel that way? No! God realizes there will be times when we need to pour out our hearts to someone...but He tells us the safest person to do that with is Him, because He is the only one we can trust 100% of the time. And He is the only one who can point us back in the right direction 100% of the time. And you can be confident of that 100% of the time. As today's verse says in the end...pause and calmly think of that!

Psalm 62:8 AMP ~ Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before Him. God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

More devotions from Renee Renee's Fresh Manna

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