About Tim Burt

Friday, April 26, 2013

Homosexuality and Sexual Restraint

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The subject of homosexuality is prevalent in the news. Recently, a man struck a conversation with me after seeing a book I was reading. He told me how distraught he and his college age daughter were at being attacked and called a “bigot” and “hater” just because they felt homosexuality was wrong. They wanted to know what I thought about homosexuality.

I will share a condensed version with you of what I shared with him. Homosexuality is sin. So is gluttony, fornication, lying, stealing, adultery, lust, and on and on. The Bible says so! People can belittle and berate the Bible, but those that do, do so ignorantly. It is the most read book in History. It is historically accurate over the ages. It is declared as the "inspired word of God," and the word of God by Jesus. Jesus is either the greatest hoax, liar, deceiver, and fraud ever injected into society, or He is exactly who He said He was, the Son of God sent to be the Savior of the world. Even secular historians like Josephus recorded Jesus, His life, and miracles. Jesus is who He said He is. He came to save you and I from our sins by taking the punishment we deserve for them, upon Himself – this as an act of love and offer of reconciliation through our faith in Him as our personal Savior.

Jesus continually referred to the scriptures as sacred. They were His constant and only reference for all of God’s ways. To those that didn’t understand them, He said, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. (Matthew 22:29 (NLT)) Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words (scripture) will never pass away.“ (Matthew 24:35 (NIV))

When we become a Christian, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within us and opens our eyes to understanding the scriptures. That is why non-believers cannot understand them. They do not have the Holy Spirit until they believe! Jesus forgives our sins but in our new life in Him, wants us to learn what sin is and restrain ourselves from sin. The Christian life is a life of restraint as well as a life of reaching out to others with the love of Christ. The restraint of sin and evil is what leads to a more beautiful and peaceful world. All religions believe that! I explained to this man that homosexuality is wrong and sin. It doesn’t make any difference what the rhetoric is. People will always try to justify or create excuse for what they want to do to fulfill the lusts of their flesh. God does not excuse it.

Romans 1:25-28 (NIV) says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.”

The homosexual says, "I was created this way” but the truth is, with the exception of someone born with a physical genetic defect, there is no agreed upon scientific proof to this by science and researches overall! None! They may have desired a wrong fleshly desire, but that is why God wants us to learn restraint! The homosexual says “I was born this way.” Men and women may be born with a more masculine or feminine bent as perceived and accepted by society – from sports to arts, but that does not make one a homosexual.

Men, if left abandoned to sexual desires could say, “Well I am born highly sexual and can’t help but look at women, masturbate, fornicate, read porn, and think about sex non-stop. I am wired this way!” (Most men won’t say this because their wife would throw them out or their girlfriends dump them.) The majority of men could say that but their wife or girlfriend and God’s Word teaches us restraint, how to think, and how to love. Men either learn to live a restrained life, or they lead a secret life, or like a dog in heat – giving over constantly to sexual desires of all kind. But God’s word teaches restraint as a part of life. So, all people have to show sexual restraint. None of us get to have a sexual free-for-all. It’s contrary to how God wants us to live and it would destruct society because God did not make it this way.

I am not a hater of anyone. I am not a homophobic. I am not a bigot. I have had a number of homosexual friends whom I treat with great respect, love, and kindness, yet we agree to disagree. They will have to decide their spiritual destiny. Marriage from the beginning was God’s plan for a man and a woman. It is more than a legal union. It is a spiritual union blessed of God that began with Adam and Eve – his wife, in the garden. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.” Marriage belongs between one man and one woman only! 

God created the male and female version of man and animals to be “fruitful and multiply.”(Mark 10:7 (NIV))  Homosexuals cannot naturally procreate and were not created to do so. For anyone to ignore this basic obvious truth in order to make someone feel more “accepted” is to make sin feel more acceptable. This doesn’t help you, them, or society. Yet to treat a homosexual with name calling or disrespect is also wrong. We are to treat every person with kindness and respect.

The religious homosexual community twists the meaning of scriptures, do away with scripture, or make their own version of God to their liking – a true form of idolatry. As Christians, if we don’t fight for a more moral society based on scripture with love and redemption from sin as it’s goal, we will end up with a godless, immoral society that yes, will end up like a Sodom and Gomorrah and will eventually end up falling to the judgment of God.

Our voice and opinion has the right of influence just as they desire theirs to. The homosexual communities’ name calling of Christians who do not agree with homosexuality as “haters and bigots,” is really who they are if they say it. Christians that do act like haters and bigots are not Christians at all! People disagree about many things and fight for legislation based on their beliefs.  Christians simply need to take the time to continue to let their core beliefs be formed on God's Word, not on feelings of pressure and intimidation, or a wrong perception of what love it. God knows what love is and tells us all that a part of love is to hate sin and to restrain from sinful activity, no matter what it is. Parents teach their children to restrain their wrong activities every day.

We are all imperfect and miss it and need to repent and get it right. God’s grace and mercy is great and reaches out to us all as we work to conform to God’s ways. He is there to help us, not condemn or beat us up. But, the Lord does want us to change! Restraint is a part of the Christian life! Rom 6:12 (NLT) "Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires" As a Christian, we are to hate sin and evil. Psalms 97:10 (NIV)” Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for He guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.” Hating sin is not hating the sinner. Like Jesus, we reach out in love with the redemptive good news of Jesus' love – the daily message of Christ, but hate sin – first in our own life and then in overall in society. Use your influence to prevent it as this is what God would have you do!

For more reading: More Research on Marriage and the Family

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

A Mistake to Avoid That Everyone Makes

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There is a common occurrence in life that most adults are aware of. It’s an experience most have been guilty of. That experience happened when they passed through a season of their life – the teenage through young adulthood years. That was the period where their parents began to grow unintelligent and out of touch with reality while they become brilliantly wise about all aspects of life. Do you remember those years? Do you remember what you were like?

It was amazing how when I got married and began to have children, my parents suddenly had this transformation and became wonderfully smart and wise again! Yeah right! The truth is, I'm embarrassed for those years of depreciating my parent’s wisdom while exalting my own. For me, the thing that most snapped me out of this delusional stage was having children. It was at that point that I began to grow in my understanding and appreciation for what love and responsibility was truly all about. It was at that time that my love and appreciation for all that my parents sacrificed for me, and all they put up with concerning me, began to skyrocket.

Do you think this is the only season of life this happens? It’s not. It's called familiarity and it breeds contempt instead of appreciation and honor for those who have loved and helped us. If we don’t understand and guard against it, we will make the mistake of under-appreciating those that we should appreciate and honor again and again.

Jesus begins to help us see how this could happen again through His words in Luke 4:24. “I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.” Jesus spoke two very key words that deserve your full attention. First He said, “I tell you the truth…” When Jesus says something is the truth, He is not saying it lightly. He is saying this is an absolute truth – you can take it to the bank – no ands, ifs, or buts. Secondly, He said the word “no” as in “no prophet is accepted in his own hometown.” The word no means just what you think no means. It means none – no exception.

He is saying that without exception, there is this experience of familiarity – knowing someone so well and for so long, that at some point the experience of depreciating respect and appreciation for who and what someone is begins. Jesus was speaking of Himself but also of an experience of life. Jesus grew up in his own hometown and community and those that grew up with him knew him well. He was a carpenter’s son. He was the son of Joseph and Mary. They’d known him all his life. They knew his strengths, and their perspective of his weaknesses. How could he suddenly proclaim himself to be the son of God? He became the prophet in his own home town and because they knew him so well, they couldn’t see him in this new light.

This can happen anywhere. We know children can become so familiar with their parents, that they lose the ability to appreciate their parent’s wisdom and experience.  Employees can become so familiar with their boss that they begin to depreciate the wisdom their boss has. They lose sight that their boss or company owner may have worked hard to get where they are and still have great wisdom to learn from.

Husbands and wives can become so familiar with each other and with each other’s faults and weaknesses that they become blinded to the good that attracted each other to begin with.

Friends can become so familiar with each other that they take each other for granted and at some point, begin to see too much of the ‘less that great attributes,’ losing sight of their good attributes. We see this in Job 19:14. “My kinsfolk have failed, and my familiar friends have forgotten me.” And in Psalm 41:9 “Even my own familiar friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me.”

People can even become familiar with God – so much so, that He becomes just another figure in their life and not the one they respect and reverence as Almighty God!

Years ago I had these friends – a couple who both worked at the same company for a very long time. They had been there for many years and had become very familiar with the owner of the company. Over time, to them he had become someone who was at one time brilliant, but now making a lot of stupid decisions. In their minds, they had become smarter than he him. They had exalted themselves and depreciated him. This led to their quitting to go live out their personal brilliance trying to replicate what he had built only in their own way. A year later, they had discovered they weren’t so smart. They didn’t have all the answers. They couldn’t duplicate what they thought they had learned and known. They began to humble themselves and an amazing thing happened. As they did, they began to appreciate their former boss once again. They began to remember and reminisce about how smart he was. They eventually asked to meet with him and when they did, they told him the story of their own arrogance and how sorry they were. They asked if he’d hire them back. He did and their outlook was refreshed and renewed.

There are no perfect people out there. When you become familiar – when you start to know someone so well that you can see their faults and imperfections – you’ll either see more or you’ll work to look past them and focus on their strengths and wisdom and the good in them. You’ll guard that and not let familiarity steal it. Philip. 2:3-4 says, “Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.”

Whether it’s Almighty God Himself, your parents, your boss, your spouse, your friend, or whoever, work to see the good in them. Value their strengths remembering that you've benefited from them and there is more to learn. Honor them by overlook their imperfections knowing you have your own. In doing so, you’ll keep something precious and valuable in your life. This is a precious lesson to learn.

Romans 13:7 (NIV) "Give everyone what you owe him... if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 22, 2013

Is a Wrong Perception of God Making You Afraid of Him?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever had a wrong perception of someone? Personally, I hate when I get the wrong perception of a person. I was at a conference a few years back. I met this guy that introduced himself to me and had a very pleasant conversation with. I remember walking away thinking, "I'd like to get to know that person better."  I mentioned meeting him to a couple of other people, sharing what a nice guy he seemed to be. They immediately painted a bad picture of him. It shocked me because the picture did not match what I had experienced. I found out over time, that he was a great guy and the other two people who painted him not-so-nice, were jealous of him.  

It happens in life. People judge or size-up someone for various reasons and too quickly and allow a wrong perception to be formed. I think we all hate when we do that and feel embarrassed when we are so wrong in what we thought.

People do this with God all the time. They have a wrong perception of Him. It's because they don't know Him through the knowledge of His Word. They might not know God except through what they have figured out or have been told by others. No offence but “figuring out God for yourself” is ridiculous. If you could figure out God, then He wouldn't be God. And if you think you can figure out everything about God, you are really creating your own god. God reveals Himself to those that love and seek to know Him. Jer 29:13 says, "You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

God reveals Himself to us through prayer, the study of the Word of God, and through sitting under sound Bible teaching. God does not want to be figured out. God can't be figured out with the human mind. That is what false religion and cults are born out of - figuring out with the human intellect who and what God is. How prideful and vain that is! The human mind cannot begin to fathom the majesty of God. Job had been guilty of "figuring out God" and God corrected him saying,  “Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words? ...Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell me, if you know so much..." Job 38:2-4 (NLT)
God is only known to those to whom He reveals Himself to, by the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor 2:14 says, "But the man who has not received Christ and does not have God's Holy Spirit within him, does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are taught to us by the Holy Spirit."

When you haven’t come to know the depth of God’s love and His mercy and His grace, you easily form false ideas and perceptions of who He is. It may even pervert your faith, instead causing you to fear of Him.

Some believe God is mad at them--that He wants to strike them down or punish them with judgment or destruction because of something they’ve done wrong. God is just and nothing escapes His eye, but God isn't out to get anyone. He desires to draw us into reconciliation and forgiveness of sin. That is what Jesus died for. He wants to help us to understand His love and see life through His eyes. Then we will want to live for Him. But, for far too many, instead of drawing close to God in faith because of knowing His mercy and love, they are deceived into thinking every little thing going wrong in their life is God’s doing because He is mad at them. They fear Him and pull back from Him. Some believe that God made them sick to teach them a lesson or as a judgment for their sin. They have taken Satan’s attacks and destruction and attributed them to God. Now that's a false and wrong perception. It will affect their faith. If they think God wants them sick, then they surely won't look to Him for help or to minister healing to them.

Is a wrong perception of God stealing your faith? When you are going through a hard time, do you begin to wonder or doubt if God cares or loves you? Do you question if He wants to help you?

Luke 18:7-8 (NLT) "... So don’t you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to Him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, He will grant justice to them quickly..."

God makes it clear. The problem is not with Him. It boils down to this. Do we really know Him? Have we taken the time to know and become intimate with Him so that we do know of His mercy and goodness? Or, has a wrong perception because of a lack of seeking and getting to know Him for who He really is, stolen your faith? Do you only know what others say the Bible says, or have you learned to read it for yourself?  Seek Jesus! He loves you! He is constantly trying to reach you. He wants to help you! Open your eyes and pay attention and you'll see. As Heb 13:6 says, "So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

"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." Jeremiah 29:11

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Margaret Thatcher's Granddaughter is used of God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Amanda Thatcher, Margaret's granddaughter, the descendant of conservative royalty, evangelical Christian, and Texas-bred, delivered a reading from Ephesians with a poise reminiscent of the elder Thatcher. Amanda lives with her mother in Texas. She chose verses from Ephesians chapter 6, "put on the whole armour of God." She read with such remarkable grace that she was suddenly thrust into the international spotlight.  Watch and listen! The seed of God's Word was sown in the hearts of many at this moment!




In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 19, 2013

Set Your Faith Like Flint!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you know the old expression “Is your cup half empty or half full?” Well tell me this – How do you view your life for the most part? Are you waiting for your ship to pull in before you become excited about what God has done in your life or have you noticed and are you thankful for what God has blessed you with now?

In the 2nd chapter of Malachi, we read about those who could only see from the “half empty” perspective. They were God’s people but their heart, their attitude, and their personal lives before God were not right. Consequently, how they viewed and understood God and the way He treated them was contemplated from a distorted perspective. When you aren’t living right before God and yet you still expect His blessings, your perspective is off somewhere. If you read the book of Malachi, you would see that God’s people were doing their own thing, yet wanting God to bless them outside of obedience to His Word. Thus they developed a lousy and skewed perspective and attitude. They whined that God blessed evil doers while not blessing them. Mal 2:17 says, “You have wearied the LORD with your words.” How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

In modern day language, it might sound like this. “God always seems to bless them but we never get blessed.” “This blessing stuff doesn’t work. My brother Frank has enough money for the entire family and yet he lives like the devil.” “I don’t get it. I give God some money once in a while and my car breaks down and I don’t have enough for the bills. That’s it! I’ve had it. If this is how God is going to deal with me, I’m going to keep my money and live like the devil, maybe I’ll come out ahead.”

If you notice at the start of this verse, it says, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.” We know that the Bible teaches, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If someone was speaking words that wearied God, then we know that this was what was in their heart and perspective.

In Isa 50:7 we see the “half full” perspective. “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” We see someone who knows the Lord, who knows the Lord is their helper, and so consequently sets their face like flint. They know that God is there for them and that settles it. They are not going to be moved no matter what the negative circumstances seem to say. This is a heart attitude that emulates faith – that pleases God – that opens the door and creates the atmosphere for God to move mightily in. In Matthew, we read about the woman with the issue of blood who had been sick for 12 years. She had finally set her face like flint toward God. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” This pleased the Lord because her words rightly reflected the heart and will of God. Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. Mat 9:21-22

When we aren’t mindful of what God’s will is and have faith in it, we will become weary, then disappointed, and soon feel dead in side. This is the point when people pull back from God and quit meditating on His Word and quit praying. It is just a short time later that whining and complaining begin to spill out our mouth. From there our perception of God’s goodness deteriorates and becomes distorted. Just around the corner is Satan ready to convince us that having faith in God is a waste of time.

When we take the time to be ever mindful of the many blessings that God has bestowed and desires to bestow upon us then our eyes will be open to see more of what He is doing in our life. We are to be steadfast in faith – like flint – toward God’s promises. Flint is a variety of quartz that, due to its extreme hardness, is easily shaped by flaking. Known and used since very ancient times, flint was used by the Israelites for knives, ax heads, arrow heads, spear heads and starting fires. God wants us to be immovable by circumstances instead standing hard core like flint in His promises. He wants our words to be; “Father, I thank you that this is your promise for me and I’ll not be moved until I see it manifest in my life. I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” When we draw close to Him with that kind of tenacity, God will help us see the cup half-filled while He is filling it the rest of the way. Our face will be set like flint and our faith ignited.
Be blessed as you praise God for the abundance of goodness that He has touched your life with today! Speak your thanks out loud to Him. Watch it change you and your circumstances.

Psa 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Rejected by Your Family Because You Love Jesus?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


If you are anything like me, you have relatives that do not know Jesus personally as their Lord and Savior. They do not know if they'd go to Heaven if they died today. And hopefully, you are praying for their salvation. I talk to people all the time who are praying for their loved ones to come to know Jesus and accept Him personally as their Savior. If you are fervently praying for yours, that's good! You know why? Because God uses those prayers to access the lives of those you are praying for, to work in the background of their lives. Because of your prayers, touches of His influence and love show up in their lives. They may or may not notice immediately, but eventually they get a clue that Jesus is trying to reach them.
In the book of Genesis, we read the story of Joseph. His brothers were jealous of him and hated him. They did terrible things to him including selling him into slavery. After being a slave for 14 years, God exalted Joseph into a place of ruling authority, second to only Pharaoh. Joseph became the second most powerful man in the world. God used that position to save Joseph's family.

That day eventually came. The world was experiencing famine. Joseph's brothers heard there was food in Egypt. They went there and eventually met the man in chargethe man who would save their lifeJoseph! Most people in Joseph's shoes would have sought revenge. Not Joseph! He cried with thanksgiving to God for making this all work out. His heart was amazing! Joseph told his brothers he held no ill will toward them for mistreating him. He had always believed that what the devil meant for evil God would turn for good. In Gen 45:7 Joseph said, “But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.” Joseph is declaring how God was working in the background of his life and the lives of his brothers to bring them to a point where they would be able to see God's mighty hand working in their life. That day had come and now they could love God like Joseph did. The one they hated was used to save their lives and help them know God. And he could because he prayed all those years for them and never let bitterness take root in his heart knowing that God would work it out.  This is one of the greatest lessons in the Bible.

If you've ever been rejected by your family because of your faith in the Lord, then you know it's not an easy thing. Jesus said in Matthew 5:11 "Blessed are you when people shall revile you, and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake." We care about what our loved ones think of us. When they think we are fanatical because of our love for the Lord, that hurts and feels like rejection. We can't change that but we can turn that rejection into an opportunity to pray for them with the consistency, trust, and determination that Joseph did. We can have great faith that God will work mightily in the background of their lives. We can pray that they will come to a place where they hunger to know God and where their spiritual eyes are opened to know God personally and intimately through Jesus.

The Apostle Paul taught us to pray this in Ephesians 1:18 & 3:18 (NLT) "I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand... And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is..."

It was a long hard 14 year journey before Joseph's brothers finally understood God as Joseph did. That's a long time to feel rejected. Your loved ones may treat you unfairly. They may not want you around. They may mock you behind your back. They may all talk about you in ways that hurt. But if they do, don't get offended. Don't let rejection cause you to quit on them. Joseph kept his heart right and you can too!

Not a day goes by without me praying for the salvation of all my family. I have great faith that because I know God is working through my prayers. I can only say so much. Sometimes they need to hear from others. It blesses me greatly to know God sends others to share the love of Jesus with them. I have heard many stories from my family and relatives that affirm this truth! I always smile because I know that God is always reaching out to them. One day they'll see it and take the lifeline. They won't just know about Jesus. They will know and personally receive Jesus as their Savior. They will know that they have eternal life as His promise of gracenot by their efforts of trying to be good enough to earn their way. So, have tenacity for a lifetime. Have great faith that God is working through your prayers. He is!

James 5:16 (NLT) "The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

God Wants to Help You - More Than You Know

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Eph. 3:20 (NIV) “Now to Him (God) who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

Have you ever had anyone surprise you and do something extraordinarily nice for you –something that was unexpected and beyond what you would have ever expected if you had expected it?

I have a few times over the course of my life and to this day, they are blessed memories that make me so thankful. With people, those occasions are not very frequent but with God, they can be.  The Lord has done things in my life continuously that can only be described by the verse in Eph. 3:20 (NIV) that says, “Now to Him (God) who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us…”

God by His nature seldom does or works things out in what we might call, a conventional way. He most often answers prayers in a way greater than we could ask or think - that is when we trust and believe in His promises knowing that He delights in helping and blessing us. Knowing and believing this becomes His power working in us.  “...according to His power that is at work within us…” (Eph. 3:20)

People continuously get anxious over what they need or over what they don’t have. Far too many people do not know that God wants to help us with what we need and what we don’t have. They really don’t know God that way and consequently have no real sincere faith that He would care to help them with the details and needs in their life. But, the fact is, He is willing to. Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) says, "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

Not only does God desire to help us but as we read earlier, “He is able to do …immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” But, He also reveals that this is a result of “…His power that is at work within us…” And get this point; it isn’t enough to know that God is able. You much believe that He is willing and desirous to help you! You must have faith in that. It is the key to “…His power at work within us…”

Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) says, "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him."

This is the kind of faith Abraham pleased God with. God called him the Father of our faith because of His belief. Let’s read about it.

Romans 4:16-22 (NLT) “So that's why faith is the key! God's promise is given to us as a free gift. And we are certain to receive it…if we have faith like Abraham's. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures meant when God told him, "I have made you the father of many nations." This happened because Abraham believed - the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” When God promised Abraham that he would become the father of many nations, Abraham believed him. God had also said, "Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars," even though such a promise seemed utterly impossible! And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though he knew that he was too old to be a father at the age of one hundred and that Sarah, his wife, had never been able to have children. Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything He promised...” Over time God fulfilled every promise to Abraham.


It is our faith in God’s promises that honors God. It is the power of God working in us. God is not a “genie” in a bottle. God blesses from a heart of love, those that love Him and have faith in Him. If you truly love Him and live for Him, then let that kind of faith become His power working in you. Get rid of being anxious over what you cannot do yourself and lean on the Lord! His love is amazing and He cares about the details and needs within your life!

 "...imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." Hebrews 6:12 (NIV)

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 15, 2013

What a Real Friend Does!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was remembering back to a weekend that my son Peter called me. He wanted to go golfing. The course he wanted to play at would be close to the last choice on my list. I disliked the course because when I was a young and very poor golfer, this course ate me up, spit me out, and made a fool out of me. I probably hadn’t played there in 15 years and I certainly wasn’t excited about giving it another chance - even if my golf game had improved since then. Even so, Peter used his persuasive efforts and I caved and said “yes.”

We golfed with two of his other friends. The first hole went poorly and I couldn't help but think, "Here we go again." As Peter and I were going to the second hole, I said, “Petey, I want to pray over our golf game. Maybe you don't need help but I do!" We prayed together as we drove up to the next hole. I felt better although my golf game wasn't reflecting it. Things stayed shaky for the next two holes. His friends must have wondered if I really did know how to play golf. As I got in the golf cart after the third hole, I shook my head, looked at Peter and said, “I hate this course.” He looked back at me and laughed.
“Okay Dad,” he said, “I am going to now teach you what you teach me all the time. Do you remember these words?  What you say is important! So, repeat after me. 'I love this course.'” It made me laugh. I forced out the words, "I love this course.” He said, “Come on Dad, say it again and put some passion into it.” I amped it up and said, “I really love this course.” We both laughed. “Now,” he said, “I want you to keep saying it.” “This is what you’ve taught me all my life. It’s fair that I get to help you to speak right.” I laughed again and said, “You are absolutely right and I appreciate it!” I continued to tell him, “Peter, I just taught this to a group of 300 men at my Manhood breakfast the past weekend. I had shared with them the verse Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” I went on to explain to Peter what I had taught the men regarding this verse.

We all get the part of “iron sharpens iron.” The verse continues with extremely significant wisdom. “So a man sharpens the countenance of a friend.” If you meditate on these words, you begin to see that God has called you first to have friends. This doesn’t just mean buddies that you hang with. It can mean acquaintances, family, and people who you have reoccurring relationships with in your life such as in the workplace. Friendships function at many levels.

Then along with that friendship comes a calling. The calling is to sharpen the countenance of that friend. In the Hebrew, the definition for countenance implies, “the emotional reflection of the heart, on the face.” I realize many people put on a good game face most of the time. The real face usually shows up when they get to talking with a friend and get honest and transparent. It doesn’t take too long before the real countenance of the heart begins to show on the face.

Again, God gives us a calling in friendship and that is “to sharpen the countenance of a friend.” What that really means is to bring hope – “godly hope,” to their situation. It’s not when one says, “the economy is really bad and my business is tanking” and the other says, “It’s bound to get better at some point.” That in all likelihood will not change their countenance. It’s when you bring a promise of God to their situation that through the anointing in you, pierces their heart, stirs hope that only God's Word can give, and lifts up their countenance.

This weekend a woman came up to me after our church service. I have known her for years. She was suicidal. She said, "Pastor, I can't take life any more, I just want to go home to be with Jesus." This woman has battled depression on and off for years. But there is something about her that is so special. She is the most beautiful letter-writer you could ever imagine, and she can't write without encouraging you. It's powerful and exhorting. She has written me letters of thanks and encouragement for years.

For one second when she told me she was suicidal, I wasn't sure what to say, but then suddenly, God showed me. I told her, "There are so many people in this world that are hurting and discouraged. They need someone to encourage them. Someone who sees the good in them and points it out in an edifying way. You are that person. It is a gift in you. You are one of the greatest exhorters I've ever known. If you'd see that as a calling on your life and put it to work full-time, you would see God use you and it would change your life."  I immediately watched her countenance change. She went from looking suicidal to radiant with a huge smile. God had touched her in a miraculous way. She left with a smile on a mission to encourage others.

What we speak matters! What we speak can be gas to a fire, or it can put out a fire and supernaturally bring hope and refreshing.  Friends have a calling and part of that calling is to be "Iron sharpening Iron" and "Sharpening the countenance of a friend." Are you imparting words of faith and promise – words of power and anointing from God’s Word to your friends who need encouragement? It’s what you are called to do!

Proverbs 15:4 (NIV) "The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life..."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 12, 2013

The Outstretched Hand By Motti Inbari

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As many of my readers know, I am the Minnesota State Director for Christians United for Israel. I was recently sent this article by one of my friends – a Rabbi in my community. It blessed me more than I can say, that our love for the Jewish people and Israel is being understood and that this love comes without any motive other than love for those from which are our spiritual heritage proceeded from.

The Outstretched Hand By Motti Inbari

Last week, my family and I celebrated the first night of Passover in our current hometown—Lumberton, North Carolina (population: 22,000). We have lived here since 2009, when I took a position as an assistant professor of religion at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. We are the only Israelis in town and, as far as I know, the only Jews (though there was once a small community here). But it’s not as lonely as it might sound, thanks in large part to our Evangelical Christian neighbors.
Among the guests at our seder table this year were our landlord and his wife. They take their annual vacations in Israel, have bought a house in the Negev, and are so enthusiastic about the country that they are planning to retire there. Another guest was a restaurant owner who flies a big Israeli flag over his establishment. These people, I hasten to note, are not atypical. The mechanic at a nearby service station gives me a discount when he fixes my car; the clerk at the post office can scarcely contain her excitement when I bring her letters or packages addressed to Jerusalem; the cleaning man in my office sends yearly donations from his presumably not very large salary to assist Ethiopian Jews in Israel.
I know, from experience, how suspicious this makes some Jews, and the kinds of questions it leads them to ask. Does all of this support for Israel reflect a hidden agenda aiming at the conversion of Jews? Does the man cleaning my office yearn for the battle of Armageddon, in which people like me will die in great numbers? Is all of this identification with Israel a kind of anti-Semitism in disguise? I don’t think so. What in fact has happened is that a new type of Christianity has evolved in America in recent decades, and Jews ought to be aware of it.
I recently published a book on the religious Zionist rabbis’ approach to territorial compromise, the last chapter of which is devoted to the American Evangelical response to this issue. It focuses on the teachings of two prominent and influential pastors: John Hagee, founder of Christians United for Israel, and Hal Lindsey, the author of a large number of hugely popular books that have transformed the way Evangelicals look at Jews. In the eyes of these thinkers, the rise of the State of Israel and its victory in the Six-Day War represent clear signs of the imminent return of Jesus and the beginning of the End of Days. This belief, which is based upon a reading of the book of Revelation, is tied up with the anticipation of terrible apocalyptic warfare that will have to take place in the Holy Land prior to Jesus’ return.
Hagee’s and Lindsey’s interpretation of history and especially of current events, like Israel’s victory in 1967 and Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, has led them to conclude that this war—which will, of course, be a nuclear war—is about to take place, and soon. But what impact, one must ask, does this have on their behavior? Their firm conviction that we are just around the corner from a cataclysmic war would seem to make them eager to get the fighting started, and thereby hasten the advent of their Redeemer. But they are, in fact, doing just the opposite.
Christians United for Israel, the Evangelical lobby in Washington, does not encourage war and chaos in the Middle East, which is what you might expect from people eager to see Jesus return. Nor does it adopt a passive stance. It aims to prevent Iran from going nuclear.
Why? Why do Evangelicals act contrary to what would seem to be their own best interests? It is because they are very attentive to the divine promise that those who are seek the well-being of the Jews will be the recipients of God’s favor: “I will bless those who bless you,” He once said to Abraham, “and I will curse those who curse you.” (Genesis 12:2–3) In the end, the benefits they derive from promoting the welfare of the Jews mean more to them than the theoretical possibility that the Redeemer will return following a devastating war in the Middle East—an eventuality that they actively seek to prevent.
My daily interactions with my neighbors and, I should add, my students, as well as my research into Christian Zionism, have led me to the conclusion that a new type of Christianity has emerged, one that is not at all hostile to Jews and ardently wishes to promote the Jews’ well-being. We should set aside our old fears and accept this movement. Evangelicals are stretching out their hands to us. We should reach out to them, too.
Motti Inbari is an Assistant Professor of Religion at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and the author of Messianic Religious Zionism Confronts Israeli Territorial Compromises.

This original article can be found HERE: The Outstretched Hand  from Jewish Ideas Daily:

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Don't Be Afraid to Ask God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Ugg! We got an April snow dump. Back to winter clothes...

When I grew up as a boy, I thought my parents were poor because there were ten children in our family. I never asked mom or dad for anything because I didn't want anyone else in the the family deprived because of me. My sister closest in age to me thought the same way. We both didn't want to inconvenience our parents so neither of us asked for hardly anything and you know what we got? Hardly anything! We were a little jealous because we saw that dad give our "asking brother" much of what he asked for.

As a Christian learning these truths, I look back at my brother now and realize, he was the smart one. He asked – not because he was more selfish but because he had a better sense of faith in my parents to supply his needs.

Many religious people have this sense of guilt toward asking God to help supply their needs. Many have been taught or led to believe that God is too distant to care about your needs. Others get worried about you asking covetously.Ignorance of God's will and heart will hinder the blessing of God in your life! When you have needs and you don't know where to get help, to NOT seek God for His supernatural help is wrong. James 4:2-3 says, “You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. YOU DO NOT HAVE BECAUSE YOU DO NOT ASK GOD. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
ask-god
In saying all this, I am not suggesting in any way that you become a selfish, covetous, lustful asker of stuff. The Lord teaches us not to be covetous. There is a difference between needs and lusts and it takes time to learn which is which but you can learn. Isn't the Holy Spirit big enough to teach you and help you develop discernment? Phil 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, BUT IN EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. "

Your view of what God is willing to help you with might be way too small! Many can’t imagine God caring about the detailed needs of their life but He does. "But in everything ask!" God cares about souls being saved and about people being helped in this defiled world. He cares about each and every one of us. He is a Father and is personal!

I have asked the Lord for so many things over the years. I have done so because when I ask in faith, it is pleasing and honoring to the Lord. He wants us dependent upon Him for everything. When we find we are leaning on ourselves we know we are in trouble. There are far too many things that we are incapable in ourselves of getting, doing, or accomplishing. Asking God for right reasons and out of a pure heart is a product of discernment that comes with time. God is not upset as you navigate through the learning process. The thing we should be guilty about is NOT asking for fear He won't hear or that He doesn't care. You can't believe how many people there are that just don't ask God in sincere faith for anything. He says, "WE HAVE NOT BECAUSE WE ASK NOT!

Psalm 84:11 tells us "For the LORD God is our light and protector; The LORD will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."

When you ask and you don’t see things happen right away, please keep this in mind. It isn’t because HE is not working on it. Much of what He brings us in life comes through people. God does not usurp people’s will. He has to lead them in their heart to reach out just like He tries to encourage you to toward others. Hopefully they will respond. If they don’t’ He looks for someone else. Yes He could do a miracle and sometimes does, but He primarily chooses to bring His blessings to others through people. Remember also that He wants to teach you to be a giver as well as a receiver. Actually it all starts with finding ways to give to others. Luke 6:38 says, If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you."

Do you have a need? Ask in faith believing. Let the Lord teach you. Be patient and be confident that no good thing will he withhold from you. Say it and believe it! And if you can find something to give or sow into another's life. Plant that seed!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Are Your Personal Filters Tainted?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I were recently in Mexico. While we were there, my sunglasses broke. I stopped into a store that sold them, but they were high-end sunglasses and cost more than I felt comfortable putting out. But, it was interesting trying them on. There were so many with different colors and kinds of lenses that created a different hue and look as I peered through them and at what was around me. It’s amazing to see everything through so many different filters.

Life is like that. People observe things through many different filters. We all have our own and they have been created by life experiences. Unfortunately, too many of our filters have been created by hurt, disappointment, and having our trust broken. When that happens, it changes the lens on our heart’s eyes and we see things through filters shaped by the hurt, disappointment, and broken trust. If we see things through tainted filters, everything we see and perceive becomes slightly off.

In my first role as a Pastor at a small church, I worked for a Pastor who himself was truly broken. He had been deeply hurt over the years and it affected his lens and how he saw everything. He became somewhat callous and cynical – qualities that are not very fitting for a Pastor. He eventually became addicted to pain killers and had to leave the ministry. Prior to that time, I felt the need to step back and regroup. I felt that part of who he was had infected me. That is possible as seen in Proverbs 22:24-25 (NIV) “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.”

I stepped down from my role as a Pastor to take time to reflect on the state of my heart and to pray and seek God to make sure I was called to full time ministry. I didn’t want to be away from attending church and so I began to attend a local church with a great reputation and growing. That Sunday, in church, as I listen to the message preached, I began to cry. I cried because the Holy Spirit began to minister to me showing me that my attitude and perspectives had become tainted. I was no longer childlike and my heart did not feel pure. I am not exaggerating when I say that every Sunday for the first six months in that church, I cried. I had no idea that my attitude had gotten so far off and was disgusted with any cynicism that I saw in my heart. My filters were tainted and I could see that it affected how I perceived every aspect of life.

Finally one Sunday morning, I didn’t cry. I felt so much better. It was like an ailment that healed up and the pain was suddenly gone. I felt whole again. That week I asked if I could help out anywhere in the church as I felt healthy enough to volunteer. That eventually led to a job as an associate Pastor giving me the priviledge of helping shape a church that has grown from 600 people to over 10,000. I still love and thrive in my role today!

I assure you that what I am about to tell you is true. Hurt in your life does change your perspective and hurt your attitude. It gives you a false perspective. You are hurting and don’t realize it and think everyone else is the problem, when the problem is with you.

In the past two years, I spent time with two different men that were dealing with some discontentment with our church and in their life. In both cases, neither of them was involved serving others and giving the supply from their God-given gifting and were both lacking in meaningful relationships in the church. There were things that happened that tainted their filter and gave them a false perspective. Because of that they kept the church and the people in it at an arm’s length, and kept from being involved. In each case, I invited them to participate in a few things with me where they made some great relationships and ended up using their gifting. Before long, everything changed! They loved the church, the people, and enjoyed the sermons more than ever before. Their marriages improved, their jobs became more successful, and life was simply seen through more pure eyes.

Getting rid of old hurts, forgiving, and moving forward toward a purpose-filled life can do that. Miraculous things can happen when we follow God’s plan. Forgiving, healing, and moving forward is a part of God's plan. I’ve talked with people who brag about being opinionated or cynical, or sarcastic. These are people that are hurting and I guarantee you their filters are tainted. They are affecting others when they actually think they're funny or are helping others. One of the things I am most thankful for in life is that God did not lead me to go start a church before I had healed of my own wrong attitudes. I would have infected many and wouldn’t have known I was doing it.

Lamentations 3:22-23 Reminds us of how much we all need that mercy and how powerful and mighty it is to receive and to give in our life. It helps us start each day afresh—even when we’ve really blown it. It allows us to forgive our self and to then in turn forgive others. It says, “The unfailing love of the Lord never ends! By His mercies we have been kept from complete destruction. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each day. Putting on the right glasses with the right filter that will keep your heart pure is to live a life of overlooking offense and offering constant forgiveness and mercy. We ourselves must receive God's mercy afresh each day.

Jeremiah 17:14 (NLT) says, "Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me, I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone." Luke 6:37 (NLT) says, "Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven." If you live this way, the Lord will help keep your heart right with Him and with the world around you. You’ll see the world through His eyes of love and mercy.

James 3:17-18 “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is FULL of MERCY and good deeds"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 08, 2013

Fighting - Godly Style

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


At the park, there were two young children playing in the sandbox. They decided that they both wanted to play with the same truck. They began to fight over it until the mothers intervened. Fact: kids fight with no training needed.
I was driving down the highway watching one car dangerously tailgating another. One car pulled alongside the other. Soon, not-so-nice gestures flew and not-so-nice words were mouthed to each other. Fact: adults fight with no training needed.

John and Ted each managers, ran separate departments within their place of work. The company had been expanding and adding people. Consequently, office space was at a premium. An office had opened up and both John and Ted wanted it for one of their employees. They tried to talk it over and persuade each other to give it up, but to no avail. Instead they went and fought about it with their boss. Fact: employees fight with no training needed.

Mary was preparing dinner and it would soon be ready. She called out to the backyard to tell her husband Tom that dinner would be ready in 10 minutes. Twenty minutes later Tom came in. Mary was steaming mad because he was late. That she seemed so inflexible made Tom even madder. They fought and couldn’t even remember what dinner tasted like. Fact: couples fight with no training needed.

You know this is true; people fight and they need no training to do so. It’s instinctive – something we do naturally. This instinct was designed and embedded in our DNA by God to be harnessed as a source of power to survive and glorify God. God knew that we ultimately would have to live in this dark, sin-infected world and desired that we not be swallowed up by it, but instead live victoriously and Christ-like. We may have been made to fight, but not with each other. That is where we need to saddle this stallion and make our instinct to survive and fight, work for us.

God teaches us in 1 Tim 6:12 not to fight each other but instead, to “Fight the good fight of faith…”  God teaches us who NOT to fight with in Eph 6:12. “For 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”

We learn that we aren’t to fight people. We are to fight or resist and rebuke the demonic forces behind the scenes that try to create strife and division in our life. God brings blessing to us through our faith in Jesus, through relationships, through increased resources, and more. We are to stop the enemy of our soul from stealing those blessings from God. People have often been taught that bad things happen in their life with God’s permission. That comes from a wrong interpretation of Job’s plight. Jesus made it clear in John 10:10 (NKJV) that He is the blesser and the devil is the thief! “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The good fight of faith is fighting the devil. The good fight is standing strong for God! That is what the Apostle Paul did through prayer, through the profession of his mouth, and by taking authority over the devil. He finished his life saying, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” (2 Tim 4:7)

You have the instincts to fight. I showed that in the beginning. You were made to survive and fight for what is yours. But, you weren’t made to fight people. You weren’t made to be selfish. You weren’t made to be a jerk. You weren't made to be lustful or covetous. But you were made to stand up for what is right!

So how do you fight? Start by learning to first take authority over Satan when something is going wrong. Don’t get mad at people. Get mad at him. Know that he is hiding behind the curtain trying to stir people up against..333 each other. Deal with him first. Rebuke him and kick him out of your situation through prayer in Jesus name. Then take it to the Father and ask Him to help bring a resolve. Not everything always goes well. You may be fighting a godly fight while someone else is fighting as people do – with each other! Regardless, you just do what is right!
Fight an issue at a time and look for the promise of God that speaks to your situation and pray it in faith leaning on God. For those of you that do pray in tongues, know that praying in tongues releases the power of God and helps pave and smooth roads in ways you won’t know about. Romans 12:27 says, "For we do not always know how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit personally makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God."

Learn to fight God's way. Let the Holy Spirit be your trainer and in your corner to lead you. He'll lead you in more victories through prayer and the authority of God's word than you every thought possible.  

James 4:7 (NIV) "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 05, 2013

Not Guilty!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Eph 1:4 “God chose us to be in Jesus before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love”

People hate to feel guilty. We really do. We push guilt aside, we bury guilt and we will try to do any and everything we can to get rid of guilt. People just plain hate guilt. The problem is, if a person doesn't know the Lord, they can never get rid of guilt. Oh they may try. They may suppress their feelings about guilt. They may bury them. They may try to drown them in alcohol or drugs or some other way. But the spirit of a man knows when it is not clean before the Lord. When the spirit of a man is not free from sin, guilt is present. Guilt feelings can create defensive attitudes leading to dysfunctional thinking and behaviors. That's why it is so imperative to be free from it.

God wants to free them from that guilt and pain. The following two verses reveal that in the most powerful way! First we see that God is not out to get us, but to save us. John 3:17 says, "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." He isn't out to get us or bring condemnation which means, "Found guilty." To the contrary, He wants to wash our sins away!

Secondly God has proven His love for us while we were still in a sinful state. That's how great His love is for us! Romans 5:8-9 says, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by the sacrifice of His death and blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Jesus Christ!"

You see God isn't looking to point the finger. He isn't looking for condemnation and guilt. He says we have been justified, or you could say, declared "not guilty." And that is His gift from Himself to us. We are saved from wrath! We are "not guilty." When a person repents from their sin and receives Jesus as their Savior, He immediately removes sin and guilt and makes them blameless. This is a gift and miracle that no human being is worthy of.

Now, having said that, let me get to today's point. God didn't send Jesus to get rid of guilt so that we could put each other back under it. He wants us to help people get free from guilt. Receiving Jesus is a miraculous step with instant results – the promise and gift of eternal life. Learning to live the Christian walk is a process. Everyone is in a different place in that process. We don't want to put guilt trips on people because they don't live up to our expectations. We don't want to look for whom to blame in every situation where something goes wrong. We don't want to focus on blame at all. Some people are blamers. Something goes wrong and the first thing they do is try to figure out whom they can blame for what is wrong. Is the economy bad? Is it the president's fault? Our teenage is going astray. Is it dad's fault or is it moms, or is it the schools or maybe the friend they are hanging out with?

When our lives weren't right and we were covered in our own sins, Jesus wasn't out to condemn or find blame. He was solution oriented and He led the way. He took our punishment upon Himself. Then He showed love and pointed out the right path - the answer - the solution. Imagine if we were like that. A husband and wife get into a fight and instead of looking to blame each other the husband just sucks it up and says, "Honey, you're probably right. I'm sorry. What do you think we can do to fix this?" Imagine he does this even though he could be right. He has taken the lead. His heart is saying, "look it honey, it's not important that I'm right and you are wrong. It's important that I protect my love for you and we just find a solution to this situation." He doesn't blame. He doesn't pin guilt. He washes her like Jesus washed us. 
 



Many marriages are ruined because they focus on faults and lay guilt for what each other is not doing. It's much more profitable and God's way of doing something when we just look to see how to fix the wrong and learn what we might do to avoid it in the future. Its better when we wash each other's feet, when we overlook offenses and cleanse each other, when our motivation is to protect the love between each other. Blaming doesn't solve anything. Being solution oriented does.

The same goes with children. Don't lay guilt on them. Free them up. Help them understand what works better. Wash them with your love and point them in the right direction. Guilt only causes bad feelings leading to avoidance and eventually attitude and behavioral problems. Love, instruction, correction when necessary, washing and forgiving - working harder at solutions than at placing blame and fault is much more effective and loving. Today's Fresh Manna says that God by what Jesus did, made us "holy and WITHOUT BLAME before Him in love."
Prov 17:9 says, “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends."

Can you bring this principle of removing guilt and covering an offense into the workplace, into your marriage, into your parenting? The Holy Spirit can teach you how. It's powerful!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/