About Tim Burt

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Let God's Word Set Your Moral Compass

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever noticed that the weather report comes to you from your media source without bias?  Weather reporters are not interested in giving their emotional input or bias about how they feel about the weather. They just give you the facts that are available to them.

With most of the news and media sources around the world – that is not true. Newspapers often do much reporting with their personal bias built in. Most media sources have a bias and agenda in some of what they do. If a newspaper does not like a particular political party or candidate that reflect their views, their bias will show it. Someone at the top will make sure that happens. They may follow legal guidelines for equal time and the rules that would keep them from fines or trouble, but their bias is there and comes out. That is true from newspapers, to network news and television, and beyond. The powers of media that many years ago worked to stay neutral and let people create their own opinions based on fact, have moved from reporting, to working to influence views from their bias positions.

We live in a country with a legal system that is built on the foundation of “innocent until proven guilty.” Media sources don’t feel they have to play by the same rules. They will report, build discussion panels, and express formed views about the innocence or guilt of people before a case has ever hit a courtroom. A person might be proven innocent, but is toast in reputation by the time the media has finished with them – and this before they’ve had their day in court.

Famous figures are photographed and made the object of public display over where they ate lunch and who they are ate with. That can lead to world-wide broadcasting of their lunch with biased speculation as to whether they are having an affair with the person they had lunch with.

People who constantly subject themselves to taking in this kind of information will find themselves thinking and talking about things they really don’t care about. Do you really care who Justin Beiber was out partying with last night? Does it add anything to your life? Is it truly any of your business? Can you believe you are even thinking about it? Maybe even talking about it? Do you really care?
Here is a better question. Do the sources of information that are trying to sway you to a particular belief or view hold your moral values and love for God? Does their opinion on behavioral boundaries and lifestyle match those that Jesus teaches us? If not, why let them influence or even touch your thinking? Why let them have any input into your life?

In Ephesians 4, the Apostle Paul teaches that God’s goal for those that mentor Christians in ministry, is to help Christians grow up and mature becoming productive members of the body of Christ. Christians are to learn how to reach, teach, and touch others with the love of God. God has given us His Word that we should grow up in spiritual maturity and become productive members of the body of Christ reflecting His love.

Verses 14-15 say, “Then we will no longer be like children, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ who is the head of his body, the church. “

Media will teach us that sex before marriage is okay. That making fun of the President is okay. That homosexuality is just an alternative lifestyle. That abortion isn’t the taking of a life. That defending your country against terrorists is an act of aggression. The media will desensitize us to crime and murder and senseless violence. It will make profanity a part of normal communication. Does God agree with all this? When the world of opinions fly, people get discouraged and think, “There is no truth – it’s all a matter of perspective and opinion.” When someone comes to that conclusion, Satan has won. Wrong from right becomes blurred. There are no more absolutes. That leads to this conclusion. “People can do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t affect anyone else.” That’s a myth because everything everyone does affects someone else eventually!

So what do we think? Do we let the worldly media sources or God become the anchor of our thoughts so we aren’t tossed to and fro like children. God wants to be the anchor of our soul and the primary input of counsel and discernment for what we think about and how we make decisions.
Eph 4:17-31 says, “Live no longer as the ungodly do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their closed minds are full of darkness; they are far away from the life of God because they have shut their minds and hardened their hearts against Him. They don't care anymore about right and wrong, and they have given themselves over to immoral ways. Their lives are filled with all kinds of impurity and greed. But that isn't what you were taught when you learned about Christ. Since you have heard all about Him and have learned the truth that is in Jesus, throw off your old evil nature and your former way of life, which is rotten through and through, full of lust and deception. Instead, there must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes. You must display a new nature because you are a new person, created in God's likeness—righteous, holy, and true…”

World views, morals, and believes shift with the wind. Don’t you be tossed to and fro. Make God’s Word the anchor for all you believe and for how you live. He never changes! Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Who is Speaking to You? God or the Devil?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One night I woke up in the middle of the night from having to go to the bathroom. I had been right in the middles of a bad pizza dream. As I got up to go to the bathroom, I heard this thought that almost sounded like an audible voice in my head. “You are going to be a basket-case from a lack of good sleep tomorrow. You 'll be a zombie all day!"  I rebuked this thought immediately. Years ago as a younger Christian, I might have repeated those words out loud and expected to have a lousy day. I learned that the words we speak, give life to the thoughts Satan tempts us to believe. I knew the thought wasn't from God because He never speaks to me about having a lousy day. He leads me to trust in His grace whenever I have a short night sleep.

It's as important to know Satan's voice as it is God's. If you don't, you'll confuse the two! How could that be? It can be because it's not the sound of the voice, it's the content of what the voice speaks. First, all voices within our head sound like our own. The devil does not have a body. The devil doesn’t have a voice. He can’t read my mind. He can only work to plant thoughts and temptations. He can quote scripture and try to pervert it. That is what he did with Adam and Eve in the garden. He doesn’t have a voice. The only voice he has is what we hear in our mind and repeat out our mouths. If we believe the lies, temptations, and evil imaginations he brings to our minds to confuse, discourage or accuse us, then he has succeeded if we believe them and speak them out. It's perfectly right to agree with the encouragement, exhortation, and direction God gives us. That is what we should speak!

The Holy Spirit will help you in times like this. God gives you authority and power over Satan’s lies and you need to use it. We must learn to cast down thoughts and imaginations that are contrary to His Word. That is what 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 teaches us!  "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ."  God is telling us here that our mind is not the devil's playground. It belongs to you. Satan has no right to tempt us and no dominion over our minds. If he shows up, cast his nonsense down!
As I was coming back from the bathroom, I realized that Renee was in the kitchen with her laptop studying. She has a very large women’s Bible Study she teaches every Tuesday morning called Girls of Grace. On average 200 plus women plus attend. She pours her heart into it. She studies all day Monday--usually late into the night. I was surprised to see her still up. I looked at her and said, “Are you still studying?” “Yes,” she replied, “I fell asleep last night while I was studying but had a restless sleep. I kept waking up from a repeating nightmare I’ve had before about my women's group. I dreamed that I as I was about to get up and teach, I wasn’t prepared. I didn't have anything to say. Then I dreamed that half the ladies didn’t show up. And then I dreamed that as I spoke, I sounded stupid and that the day was a disaster.” She laughed as she told me. I could see she was tired.

At that moment I put my hands gently on her face and began to pray the peace of God that passes understanding over her. I prayed for abundant grace for clarity of her thoughts and teaching and supernatural strength to make the day not only a joy, but the best day ever!”

Renee and I have learned to laugh in the devil’s face when he tries to get in our head. Everyone experiences times like this. Sadly, not everyone knows how to discern the voice of the enemy and rebuke it. They think they are the victim of whatever travels through their mind and that they just have to put up with those kinds of thoughts. Then the devil comes along and says they are true.

I once had a sweet 85 year old man request to come in for counseling. He told me he was afraid he was a pervert. He said he had horrible thoughts saying he was a pervert. After me asking him many questions I came to realize that he simply liked to look at pretty girls. He wasn’t thinking anything sexual. He just liked looking at their pretty faces. The devil told him he was a pervert for that. If Satan can get you to worry about or believe his accusations, they begin to take on a life. They create fear, worry, and even despair. I told him he qualified as being a man but that he was absolutely fine as long as he didn't let his thoughts wander past that.

As a believer in Jesus, you have the promise of His love and voice (through the Holy Spirit) to guide your thoughts and heart. Psalms 37:4 (NLT) says, "Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desires." We also can partake of God's mind.  “...But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT)

God is the ultimate Father and He is not like a natural father. He won’t lose His temper and throw accusations at you. Jesus described Himself as the good shepherd. God promises to help you and lead you. Don't get hung up over the voice. Pay attention to content of the voice. Then you will know who is speaking. Even if God were to correct you from disobedience, He is tender and He is not out to condemn you which may make you run from Him. He is trying to show you the right way to live and the blessing that comes from living right!

The next time Satan brings weird thoughts to your mind, presenting them as absolute truth, stop and discern them. Whose voice is behind them? Are they encouraging words of God or are they the words of the enemy tempting you to expect the worst. Praise God and agree with what is from God and cast down what comes from the devil! You'll grow stronger in godly character and you'll learn to lean on and trust in God's word by faith!

John 10:3-4 & 11 “… He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out…His sheep follow Him because they know His voice...I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Overcome Discouragement!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I have run five marathons (26.3 mile races) in two different locations. I have run the Twin City Marathon in Minneapolis/St.Paul and I have run Grandma's Marathon up in Duluth. The courses for both are quite different. They are both beautiful in their own way and great to run. But there is something about the Twin Cities Marathon I love more. I love the crowds. There are crowds of people lined the entire 26 miles that cheer you on like you were family. They clap and shout encouragement to you and are the most incredible support you could ever imagine - especially when you have to run the distance of 26 miles. Their voices of encouragement help shut out some of the demons that try to speak into your ear and tell you "you can't make it - quit now" throughout the race. When I run up at Grandma's Marathon, there are long stretches with few or no people and those stretches without the cheering and encouragement are the hardest to run.

There are times in life when we feel God speaking to us. We sense God’s leading and direction to do something in life. He may want us to take on an assignment or task. He speaks to us through His Word or through someone preaching the Word. He may speak to us through a friend or in our quiet time of prayer. But for those that listen, He speaks. Sometimes assignments come. Sometimes they are personal assignments like, "clean up this area of your life," or "get involved at church and do this," or "lose 20 pounds." Whatever it is, He gives us assignments of all different scopes and for all different reasons - some personal and some serving or helping other people.

When He speaks them to us they can sound so exciting. The thinking and meditating and planning to execute what He says can be exhilarating, but to continue all the way to the finish can feel impossible.  It can be challenging but exciting at the same time. Discouragement or fatigue and weariness working to get us to quit can too easily come–especially if you don't have someone on the sidelines cheering you on. When I ran my marathons amongst all those wonderful people cheering and encouraging – I still had to contend with Satan’s voice of discouragement. The exhortation of others is what helped me overcome weariness and finish. When we are doing what God asks us to do, we may not always be surrounded by those cheerleaders but we will face the enemy – always! And it won't be to encourage you. And, he’ll often use people to discourage you. Satan's ultimate goal is to get anyone to quit through discouragement and disobey what God asks them to do. When Moses was given the assignment to lead God's people from Egypt, the entire mission was a challenge.

When Moses and the people of Israel started out together, there was great cooperation. Things when smoothly like they usually do in the beginning. Exodus 13:18 "So God led the people around by way of the wilderness of the Red Sea. And the children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt." You can see that the people started out fine and left orderly. They were great until the first sign of trouble. Then those voices – not of cheer leading but of discouragement started to speak.

Exo 14:11-12 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!" Anytime you pursue what God leads you to do, you will come up against the adversity of the devil to get you to quit. At some point, you’ll hear yourself whining, "This is hard and nothing seems to be going right. I must have missed God."

At times like this when deep down you believe you were following God yet your faced with adversity, know that you will again hear His voice and He will say something like today's Fresh Manna verse, Exodus 14:13-14.  And Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today...The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. "

At times like this, let Galatians 6:9 cheer and encourage you from the sidelines. It says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." What's the modern day translation of this? "If you don't quit, you'll win!" Beyond that - measure your own attitude toward others. Are you the voice of exhortation and support or are you being used as the voice of discouragement? I know I’d never complete much of anything if it wasn't for the encouragement of God and others! We all need it! And we all need to hear, "Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today...The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Feeling Under Appreciated? Love Never Fails!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Has anyone ever said love would be easy? If they did, they were lying or ignorantly mistaken. Why do I say that? Because the giver of love is people and people are imperfect vessels that love to receive love, but aren't always the greatest at showing appreciation or giving it.

If you have a spouse, a teenager, a friend, or someone that you love, but that is definitely not being, (in your opinion) as loving back as they could or should be when you extend love to them, then trying to maintain great feelings of love toward them is probably a challenge. Some teenagers and young adults work too hard at becoming independent and almost become narcissistic in the process. Their life becomes all about them and what they want. It’s like they lost their sense of empathy, thanks, and compassion for others. Reciprocating expressions of thanks and love seem to have been erased from their memory bank. As far as having or showing real affection or appreciation for the sacrifices parents make - that seems eons away from the big hugs and kisses that they showered mom and dad with when they were little.

All this is the reason why it’s so critical to understand that although good feelings of love can feel wonderful, love is much deeper than feelings. Jesus did not leave Heaven, come to the earth, be rejected by mankind-His very creation, and die for our sins to give us eternal life because of feelings. His actions were born from love – pure love. He actually loved us while we were rejecting Him. Isaiah 53:3 says, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”  God's Word says we did not esteem Jesus while He was loving us and sometimes others don't esteem us while we are showing them love. There are no good feelings in rejection. Jesus demonstrated that love runs deeper than feelings and that’s why we can’t let our life and relationships be governed or ruined by feelings.


Every one of us falls short every day in what we "owe" God. In actuality, we don't "owe" God anything. We don't because He doesn't see it that way. Jesus taught that acts of kindness should lead to thanksgiving and appreciation. We all know the story of the ten lepers! He taught that love should be returned. But, looking too hard – expecting too hard for the kind of love and appreciation that should come as a response to your kind thoughts and actions, may only leave you disappointed and discouraged. Instead of looking for those loving responses from those that may be missing their mark of appreciation toward you, instead focus on giving that appreciation toward Jesus – the one who has continued to show you His love despite your thanklessness and disobedience at times. It didn’t stop Jesus and we can’t let it stop us.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by what God has done for me. I was so messed up when I came to the Lord 35 years ago. He forgave my sins and has been patient with me as He helped me turn my life around. He has taught me how to think, how to forgive, how to love, and much about godly character. He has given great purpose to my life and filled it with every good thing. He has taken me from debt to abundance, from sickness to wholeness, from discouragement to joy unspeakable, from wandering through life to a purpose-filled life. When I think on these things, I am overwhelmingly thankful. It produces greater feeling of love from me toward Him. It also creates more patience from me toward others that have forgotten how to say thank you. They did not esteem Jesus. People that should, might not show their appreciation toward me. And I am sure I miss the mark on showing appreciation toward everyone that I should!

Being in the place of ministry that I am, I am constantly in the place where people cry out for help. It's normal and helping people is a part of what God has given me to do. It's what He's called us all to do! Ministering to the many needs of people is a never-ending task. Sometimes when people "get what they need," they are happy, move on and forget you even helped them. That has been my majority experience. It happened to Jesus. He healed ten lepers and one came back to thank Him.
We may or may not be appreciated but know that our love and kind actions toward others never escape God's sight. And know this: "Love never fails..."(1 Corinthians 13:8 (NIV)) When our motivation for loving is pure and we've kept on loving despite how others treat us, we have pleased God. He is our ultimate rewarder and promises to do so. Remembering that we too have had times of unthankfulness to Him will help us follow the example of Jesus – loving others just because it’s right; not because of how we feel or because they are succeeding and reciprocating your love. Love gives, so keep busy giving love! It's the highest road! 

John 13:35 (NLT) "Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Peace of God in Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Phil 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

It says, "Don’t be anxious." In other words, quit worrying. It says don't worry about anything! That's a pretty tall order considering what some people are facing this very moment. Instead we are instructed to pray and petition God. What does that really mean?

The word prayer in the Greek means this: take all of God in—who He is and His love toward you—and worship Him for it. When you worship and magnify God, He takes His rightful place in your heart and becomes who He should be to you. The word petition in the Greek means to make requests of God. We are instructed that in everything we are to make petition or request of God. We are to do so with thanksgiving. That means as you lift these things before God, remember that He is God, that His arm is not short, that He doesn't have a power shortage, and then remember that He loves you and wants to help you! Thank Him in faith because you do trust and know He loves you and is working on your behalf.

Why don't prayers always seem to be answered as quickly as we like? One reason is because God often uses people to answer prayer and He won't override their will. That means He has to move upon their hearts. Some will obey God and some won't; just like sometimes you don't. When people don't then God goes on to someone else. He gives people the chance to be used of Him. The primary way God brings blessing is through people. He is not limited to using people—obviously miracles of God of many kinds manifest in lives every day. But even those sometimes come at the hands of people. Regardless of what people do, God will answer your prayers. He will be working behind the scenes on your behalf. He is a loving Father. I know anxiousness tries to invade our present moments. It’s hindsight that often reveals how God has taken care of us. Cast out those anxious moments and don’t forget to remember how God has helped you in the past.

When we finally learn not to be anxious, but instead trust God, and when we are diligent to lift petitions before God in faith with thanksgiving, then and only then does the next verse—Phil 4:7—come into play. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." This is when you will experience God's supernatural peace; a peace that is beyond human comprehension. You'll feel it and people will notice the difference in you!

And one more thing, be used of God to be an answer to someone’s prayer. If you feel God leading you to pray for someone, encourage someone, or to do something for someone, then do it. Don’t put it off delaying the answer to someone else’s prayer. You may be the very answer they have been praying for and God wants to use you as the conduit!

Phil 4:7 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 10, 2013

A Mothers Day Gift - Good Intentions!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Happy Mothers Day to all of those precious moms out there that make our life so complete! Thank you for selflessly serving and raising us all those years. Thank you for the love you continually gave while we most likely took it for granted! God bless you all! Moms are amazing!

Proverbs 31:10. 27-29 (NIV) A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies....She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness...Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."

This video represents your amazing calmness when your children mean to get it right but don't.



In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Being Blessed is Your Destiny!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Last year I purchased a new bicycle that I had been looking at for some time. I have wanted it for cross-training in my exercise program. I went to purchase it on Labor Day and when I got there, they had just sold the last one. They told me that they had the bike I wanted at one of their other stores and so I went there. This store was in one of the most affluent suburbs of our city. The store itself was much larger and I immediately noticed a difference being at the store. First, the cars were much nicer and newer in the parking lot. The people in the store were dressed very nice and in expensive fashions. Even the children seemed to have more—they were better groomed, had nicer clothes, and parents that looked equally as nice. Simply put, they looked like they did not lack a thing in life.

At this point, it would be easy for people that don’t have as much to look at them and think “Ugh, rich people!” and then be critical. I thought, “I’m happy for these people. If they have good and prosperous lives, that’s a blessing.” There is plenty in life that goes wrong, but when you have your needs met and more, it takes some of the stress out of life. I thought, “I only hope they know the Lord and where there blessing comes from, and they help others.” I was not jealous. I thought, “If I had affluence, I would use it and share it.” I know that I would because Renee and I have always shared what we have no matter how little or much we had. We see everything as a gift from God and we love to bless others!

I am saying this because God wants to bless our lives, including material things. He simply does not want material things to own us and draw us from Him. Many Christian theologians, ministers, pastors, etc., struggle with this concept because they see so much poverty and lack in the world. They think it’s somehow part of God’s plan, and yet scripture tells another story! What they don’t get is that the source of lack is not from God but from the enemy of God. Satan is miserable and it is true that misery loves company. Jesus said, “The thief comes to kill, steal, and destroy, I have come to give life abundantly.” (John 10:10)

God’s covenant of promised blessing to Abraham and His future seed reaches all the way into our lives today – THROUGH FAITH! Galatians 3:14 says, "God redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

The promises of blessing to God’s children abound throughout the Bible. One promise I meditate on and thank God daily for is Deut 28:3-8. "The Lord will bless everything you do and will fill your storehouses with grain. The Lord your God will bless you in the land He is giving you."

You may not be farming, but you are working to produce a livelihood, and that is what God is speaking to when He says He will bless you. He goes beyond that to say, “and will fill your storehouses with grain.” He is still speaking this to you today! Are you blessed and are your savings blessed?

People want God’s blessings like rubbing a genie’s lamp. If it doesn’t happen immediately, they think its hooey! The Christian walk is not like that. It is living for Him, loving others through Him, and building a lifestyle of faith and trust that God will bless you and help you in everything you put your hand to – not because you deserve it but because of His love toward you. That kind of heart is formed in you over years of honestly living for Him. It’s then, over time and years, that His blessings manifest in your life in a diversity of ways. Galatians 3:14 says "God redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, SO THAT BY FAITH, WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE PROMISE OF THE SPIRIT." That promise starts with Jesus and works though every part of our lives as we seek Him, trust Him, and have faith that what He promises will manifest, despite your present circumstances. It did for Abraham. It did for Joshua and Caleb. It did for David. It will for you!

Psalm 138:2 (NLT) “I bow before your holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, May 06, 2013

How Does God See You?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I received the Lord into my heart and as my Savior in 1977 at the age of 24 years old. In the early season of my Christianity, growing in the Lord had been a wonderful, yet long and sometimes very difficult process. The only reason I say difficult is not because of hard times or bad things that happened. The process of growth was difficult because there were so many times where I felt like I stood before the Lord stained from sin, filthy, and unworthy of Jesus' sacrifice for me.

I remember shortly after giving my life to Jesus and asking Him to forgive me of ALL my sins. I felt so clean and wonderful. Like a man who was given a second chance to live life right. I remember how I felt like it was yesterday even though it was many years ago. I felt so clean and fresh. I was determined not to do anything to violate the Lord and "dirty myself." As much as I didn't want to, it didn't take long.
If you've ever had a pair of new white pants, new shoes, or a brand new car, you know how much you want to keep them fresh and new. The reality is, they just won't stay new! That became a reality that made my growing process in the Lord seem difficult. Much like Adam in the garden, I wanted to hide when I did something wrong. Thank God someone taught me to do the opposite of that. I was taught to run to God not from Him. When I did, I often felt much like Joshua the high priest in Zechariah chapter 3. He also was standing before the Lord with filthy garments. The Lord did for him what He does for all who believe and receive Jesus and receive His forgiveness. He exchanged filthy garments for new snow-white robes.

Over the years, I have renewed my mind to God's Word. I now know that my own righteousness is like filthy rags compared to the Lord's. I have learned that I have to stand before God in the robes Jesus provided for me by His love on the cross – His robes of righteousness. It took me years to really understand that it is not my own righteousness that gets me into Heaven or allows me to stand washed before Jesus. It was His sacrifice and the gift – an unearned grace from God that made me worthy before Him. His robes of righteousness cover me and my faults. Like Joshua, God wants us to permanently exchange our filthy garments for His rich robes of righteousness.
You see the reason Joshua was before the throne of God was prayer. That's what a high priest did. He interceded to God in behalf of others. He needed to be confident in his right standing with God. Just like us, Joshua was standing before the Lord, being accused as unworthy by Satan. Look at these verses and you will see. Zec 3:1-5 “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him. The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD rebuke you, Satan! … Is this not a brand plucked from the fire? Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel. The angel said to those who were standing before him, "Take off his filthy clothes." Then he said to Joshua, "See, I have taken away your sins, and I will put rich garments on you."  Then I said, "Put a clean turban on his head." So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by."

The Lord rebuked Satan. He said, "Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?" What did that mean - "a brand plucked from the fire?" What is a brand? You remember! It was one of those hot iron pokers that sat in a blazing fire until it was red-hot. They branded cattle with it as a sign or mark of who they belonged to. Joshua belonged to God. So do we! Jesus paid the price for us!

As God’s children, we represent Him in this earth. We are clothed with His righteousness and presented before God as righteous! We present His gospel as we are led. We pray and intercede for people. We minister to people. And God says we have been given the privilege to come before Him. “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) Anytime you stand before God to pray and intercede, Satan will point out your faults and try to disqualify you – to literally embarrass you before the Lord. We are to go to the throne room and stand before God clothed in His righteousness. We shouldn't listen to the condemnation of Satan. God will cleanse us, not condemn us! Then we can come in the authority of His Word and represent others before His throne - others who need our prayer. Their life may depend on it.

One night a woman at church said to me, "Pastor Burt, you don't know me but my name is so and so. A couple of months ago, you were given my name and you and your prayer group held me up in prayer." She said, "My friend who is in your group told me you all prayed for me." She said, "I had very bad cancer, a terrible report, and I had to go in for surgery. Your group had prayed for me. When I went in to surgery, they closed me back up and said something had changed and they did not need to do surgery. She told me she was fine and wanted me to hear this great report." Praise God!
God wants you to know you are His righteousness and His hands and feet in this earth so that He, through you, can "destroy the works of the devil." (1John 3:8) We are now His body in this earth and He still wants to do what Jesus did then. Walk in your robes and in your authority! You've been branded as His!

Rev 5:10 “And have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Unroot Fear From Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I’m a gardener. I love to garden. My mom loved to garden. When I was a boy and she would often have me split and move plants for her. I never realized at the time how much it would impact my life.  

I can see a lot of my mom’s qualities in my life. Having ten children, she had a very nurturing side to her. I’ve noticed that I have that in me. I love to watch things grow. I love to help and watch Christians grow in their faith. That is probably why I have created and head up a very large Small Group system of hundreds of groups at our church. I love to watch and help people grow in walking out their leadership abilities. That is probably why I love to teach our Leadership Development Classes and minister to the men at our monthly Manhood Breakfast. I love to watch my garden grow. That is probably why I have a very large flower garden.  When I am working in the garden, I am continually reminded of Bible principles that strengthen my faith.   

You’ll find that in every garden, weeds that you never planted spring from the ground. Your heart and your garden are the same. Weeds – fears, worries, and evil imaginations invade your heart and mind that seem to come from nowhere. Jesus in trying to teach His disciples about how our heart and mind works used gardening and farming illustrations. Matthew 13:24-28, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' " 'An enemy did this,' he replied.” 

Satan is always trying to plant seeds of fear in our heart. Its by design. He would rather have you have faith in fearful thoughts than have faith in God’s promises. Why? Because your faith is what brings forth its crop. When you allow weed-seeds of fear to grow in your mind and heart, then fear, discouragement, and hopelessness are the crops you will reap. Then it will take work to dig and cast out these weeds. What does a heart with weed seeds planted in it look like? Jeremiah 17:5-6 reveals this saying,  “This is what the Lord says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives.”  

When you plant good seeds in good soil (a heart that loves and trusts God and puts faith and expectation in His promises) then you will reap a good crop. Hosea 10:12 (NLT) says, “I said, 'Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” 

What does a good crop from your heart look like? Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) describes it like this: ‘But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”

My gardening reminds me what I should meditate on. I should meditate on and grow faith in God’s promises. What I should not allow in my heart – the negative circumstances that pop up daily that are weeds of fear that try to undermine my faith.  I dig them out and cast them into a pile to be burned or discarded. If I keep my heart good soil, and profess and pray God’s promises over my life and others, I will see my harvest and I will become like that tree planted by the river that stays green and is not bothered by heat or long months of drought. 

God’s Word is the seed to be planted in the soil of the riverbank of our heart. Prayer that develops trust and faith become the roots to grow down deep. Remember today that the promise He promised you is this: Deut. 28:6-7 (NLT) “You will be blessed wherever you go, both in coming and in going.”The Lord will conquer your enemies when they attack you. They will attack you from one direction, but they will scatter from you in seven! “How is that for sinking your roots into?

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/