About Tim Burt

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

God's First Love

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Hebrews 10:25 “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.”

A local Bible teaching church that teaches you God's word, challenges you to live an ever-increasingly Christ-like walk, and influences you to be a light and an influence for Jesus in this earth, plays a most significant part in your spiritual life and is most importantly, God's will for you.  I do understand that there are those that are disabled or shut in for reasons of age, and others that cannot make it to church for other legitimate reasons. Maybe there is no such church in your area. Maybe you don’t drive or have a way to such a church. Maybe you live in a part of the world where the only churches that exist are underground because of persecution. This teaching is not to insult or to ask you to do something that presently seems impossible. It’s not to create a frustration or tease to suggest you do something that you want to but are unable to do. It’s only to help you understand God’s will and what to pursue in prayer if you can’t participate in a local church. Just as someone might have a horrible marriage and having a good marriage might seem impossible – that doesn’t eliminate the need to teach on God’s will to have a good marriage and the benefits of one. It would still help you to know what to pray toward and believe God for.

Understanding Israel's Old Testament spiritual history will help you understand that their relationship and intimacy with God was like a roller coaster. They would go through periods where as a people group and in their individual lives, they would be obedient to Him. They would worship and bring sacrifices to Him. They would desirously learn and walk in God’s laws and ways. They would honor and love the Lord as a priority in their hearts. In these times, God’s blessing and protection would cover them like a blanket. But then, over time, for various reasons such as familiarity (taking God for granted,) becoming prayerless, spiritual leaders becoming slack and involved in idolatry, and the paganism and the sinful ways of the people all contributed to their backsliding from God  individually and then later as a nation. They would drift from God until He became less and less a part of the central focus of their lives. God loved them regardless. He would send prophets and leaders to warn them of the danger of their spiritual state of being. He would wait patiently for very long periods of time for them to repent and return to Him and His righteous guidelines for living. He would remind them repeatedly of His proven love, great patience and desire to bless them. That only seemed to encourage them to test that patience. When they would not turn from their backslidden ways, judgment and His wrath would finally come. When that day came, they would eventually, in the broken and desperate state of their lives, again begin to think about and cry out to God and repent as a nation.

It was Abraham’s nephew Lot who would cry out to Him from Sodom and Gomorrah for His help and deliverance from the evils he and his family were surrounded by. The people’s hearts were too hardened by evil and they were lost beyond repenting and help so God had to remove Lot and his family from that place and then judgment came.

God heard the cries (prayers for help) from His people under Pharaoh’s harsh rule. He spoke to Moses concerning His plan to deliver them. Exodus 3:7-8 says, “Then the Lord told Moses, "You can be sure I have seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries for deliverance from their harsh slave drivers. Yes, I am aware of their suffering. So I have come to rescue them from the Egyptians and lead them out of Egypt into their own good and spacious land. It is a land flowing with milk and honey...”

When God’s people repented for their lives of sin and abandonment of Him and His ways, then God's forgiveness and restoration would come. God would begin to deliver them from the evil oppressors that were coming against them. He would again re-establish their place of worship, the temple, sacrifices, and the teaching of His laws for them. Again the people would enter into a period of intimacy with God – a place where their lives were centered around God and His ways. His blessing and protection would return them to strength and prosperity.

Unfortunately, it would only be a matter of time until the cycle to backslide began again.  

The comparison today would be someone saying, "Yea, I believe in God but I don't need to go to church. I try to be a good Christian and worship Him in my own way." The truth is, the vast majority of those that say this spend little of their life establishing what God wants to establish in their lives. They don't even know it. He wants them to be in their midst of a strong vibrant local church filled with strong vibrant Christians that build and influence their community and world for God. The church is God's idea and plan and His first love! There is no deception that weakens the church and Christians more than the thought and statement, "I don't need to go to church."  It's a living lie and deception that many have fallen pray to. Thus the verse and exhortation given in Hebrews 10:25 says,  “Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as we see the day approaching.”

I was raised in a church that said it was a sin if I didn't go to church. That isn't the truth either. A good church should be desired and a place people want to attend. It should be perceived like a healthy home life where family members love each other and where the atmosphere produces children who mature and become productive members of society. The difference would be that in a good church, the supernatural presence of God is present in it's services and it's community. And it is where Christians learn to hear the Spirit of God and grow and mature in God's word and Christ-like life, and become an influence and touch of God's love in the earth! 

God doesn't want your spiritual life to be a roller coaster of being close to Him and then drifting away. God gave us the church so that we could assemble together, worship Him together, and exalt Him in our hearts so that we could understand the greatness of His love, His leading, and His ever-present help in our life. He wants our life in Him to be consistent. He intimately cares about every aspect of our life. When we lift Him up and lean on Him, He lifts us up. Then we rise into a greater place of purpose and blessing together and becomes God's glorious church in the earth.

If you don't have a church in your area, pray. Every great church has been prayed in by someone or persons that knew a good church was His will. If you can't attend for other reasons, cry out to God to help you in some way! Stand in faith trusting that God can do what others could never figure out!

Psalm 111:1 “Praise the Lord! I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet in the assembly and congregation of God’s people.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Developing A Strong Walk With God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Matthew 16:18 “…upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”

As I was getting ready to go to bed last night, I felt the Lord engaging me for the purpose of stirring you up today. This was His conversation with me: “Tim, where do you think you would be one year from today spiritually if you stopped going to church?” “And what do you think would change in your life because of it based on what you know and have learned through experience and from my Word?” As I began to think about it, my mind started spinning immediately. I responded: “Lord, I know that within one year my spiritual fire would cool off. I’d probably engage in more carnal thought, activity, and behavior. The thought of going to church would become awkward. I'd feel "out of it." I'd probably be running or hiding from those I was closest to. And the devil would work to discourage me and convince me that writing Fresh Manna was a waste of time leading me to quit writing it.” “The devil would lie to me, accuse me, and discourage me because I wouldn’t have the additional encouraging and exhorting presence of your Spirit that I receive when I am in church, that offsets the negative forces that come against me in life.“ “I know I’d start to feel overwhelmed and backslide to some degree.” “From there, unless I made some changes and got into a church that vigorously taught your Word and challenged me to be involved and be used of you, I’d slide back even more – to what degree I do not know.”

In giving this response to the Lord, please understand that I am not a wimpy Christian. I have a strong walk and relationship with the Lord. I know what to do and try to live it. But I have also watched hundreds of Christians back slide first from church and then in their Christian walk over my 31 years of service to the Lord. (Get ready for a potentially offensive statement) First of all, I have NEVER and I mean NEVER seen a strong, rooted and grounded Christian that really understand God’s will, who has lived a purpose-filled life, that didn’t go to a good Bible teaching church. NEVER! (That will probably unsubscribe a few readers.) Secondly, I have NEVER seen a strong Christian stop going to church that remained focused on living for God with a STRONG purpose-filled walk. NEVER! Everyone that I have seen drift from church has then eventually drifted backward in their walk with God, has become down on the church, and has created their own view of what a Christian life should be like. They've become highly critical of the church and have backslid to living a life highly filled with an acceptance for worldly living. And most I've seen go through this have divorced their spouse.

Because I know these things, I am not so stupid or prideful as to think that I could somehow survive what I have never seen others survive.That would be pride – something I hate. I wouldn't survive because it's not God's plan for Christians. If I stopped going to church, the loss of the presence of God from the pulpit and the touch of God that comes through the interaction of those in the church would contribute to a deteriorating spiritual walk.

The question might arise, “Pastor Tim, are you saying that church is the only place that the presence of God can touch my life?” The answer is absolutely not! I hope and pray that those that take the time to read Fresh Manna are touched by the presence of God through it. I hope that you are touched by the presence of God in your time spent meditating on God's Word. That usually happens in varying degrees with people. I hope that you are touched by the presence of God in your prayer time with the Lord. That also  happens in varying degrees with people. There are other ways God touches our lives with His Presence. All those contribute to our heart being touched and trained by the Holy Spirit. Those times contribute to being challenged to change personally and challenged to reach others for Him. They are all a part of what help us become strong Christians living a vigorous Christian life. But, the loss of being in a good church is too great a loss for us to survive. It would be like a hole in the boat that is bigger and allows more water in than we can keep up from bailing back out.

The Church corporately and locally is God’s idea. It needs you and you need it. Just because a building is called a church, doesn’t mean it is. All churches aren’t created equal. A church consists of a Pastor that is “born again” (read John chapter 3) that knows and teaches the Word of God, that brings people to a revelation of eternal life through Jesus Christ alone, that ushers the congregation together to worship the Lord sincerely from the heart, and who continuously challenges his congregation to grow spiritually and influence others for Him. The people are the church. They work together to serve one another and give of their time and resources to help the church and one another thrive in God. In Matthew 16:18 Jesus said, “… upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.” The rock Jesus referred to is the ability to grow in revelation of Jesus and His will in your heart. Jesus said that it was upon this He would build His church and Satan couldn’t stop it or us!

There is something that happens in a good church that helps us to change and become more Christ-like. It helps us to learn and grow in Him. It helps us to become strong and purposeful. It helps us to walk out our walk with God being an influence in a dark world. Without it, we struggle to walk in this life as Christians in the way that we should. Ephesians 4:11-12 (MSG) says "...God has filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ's body, the church."

I know that some of those that read this haven’t been able to find a church that seems alive in God like I've described. I exhort you today to try and find one. Pray and ask God to help you and direct you. If you are shut in and have no ability to get to church, pray and then ask someone to help you find a Christian broadcast or a local Bible Study teacher to come and help you. Pray in faith and God will help you in a way that I might not have described here. He is faithful and the church being you and Christians meeting together, is His first love!

If you can’t find one or attend one for whatever reason, then you better find touches of God through vehicles like Fresh Manna that you treat like your church until you can find one. Read with the greatest level of expectation to hear from God. Apply what you hear like you were hearing from your Pastor. This is critical to establishing a strong walk with God.

Hebrews 10:25 "Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but let us exhort one another more and more as we see the day of Christ's return approaching." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Becoming a Giver: A Life Changing Core Value

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever been in a financially tight spot? You are not alone. Most people have. What is the godly and right way to respond to the pressure that financial difficulties can bring? Actually, I believe the answer is setting a core value for life that you consistently execute long before you get to that place.

As a young Christian, I started hearing about the importance of giving and being a giver. Prior to becoming a Christian, I never saw myself as cheap. I think I was reasonably generous. The problem was, I was 24 years old and totally irresponsible with money. I gave away what didn’t even belong to me by bouncing checks and credit card debt.
When I met Renee, I learned quickly that she was really good at handling money. She taught me how to balance my check book and helped me think through being more prudent in the management of my finances. The Lord helped me break impulsive spending habits. I didn’t realize it was a stronghold in my life until I tried to stop. There were times where I almost felt depressed because I couldn't spend money (that I didn't have anyway.) Within a year, I had really started to change how I managed finances. In learning to be prudent with money, I also had to learn to be a giver – a responsible one. I couldn’t spend or give what I did not have. I learned to put tithing at the top of my budget. I then learned to live within my means. (Your flesh never feels comfortable with that.) And then along with that, I learned to be a giver.

Renee and I gave and sowed seed. We gave our tithe at church. We gave Bibles to people we shared Jesus with. We gave money to people in need (whatever we could whether it seemed insignificant or not.) We also developed an ongoing rule for our lives: if we haven’t worn or used something for a year (with few exceptions) then we gave it away to someone in need. We sowed a lot!

Being a giver is fun and satisfying to your soul. This might sound weird to some, but something powerful and supernatural happens when you become like this. It's like money loses its hold over you and generosity becomes a part of your nature. What a godly quality to have within you!

Knowing and personally experiencing the promise and wisdom of God's Word concerning finances became a core value of our lives. Proverbs 11:24 says, “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly (is stingy,) but comes to poverty.” We knew what Jesus promised in Luke 6:38. “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."

The Apostle Paul brought insight to giving where Jesus left off in 2 Cor. 9:6-11. “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, "Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten." For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will give you many opportunities to do good, and He will produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.”
Renee and I didn't learn this lesson when we had great amounts of extra discretionary income. We began to practice this when she became a stay-at-home mom and we had cut our income in half. We didn't think this was some get-rich-quick scheme. We had faith that because we had tithed and became generous givers, God would provide our needs. When we felt our backs were up against the wall, we put our knees to the floor and thanked God for the promise of His Word. We rejected fear, professed our faith. thanked Him for His grace, and did the best we could in being diligent. God did the “exceeding abundantly beyond what we can ask or think” in our lives in numerous and miraculous ways.

This is a life of faith and as Hebrews 10:38 says, “The just shall live by faith…” Be a giver and you’ll already know how to trust God and respond to His leading with confidence in times of financial hardship and famine.

Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV) "Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 12, 2013

The People’s View of the Perfect Pastor

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This was passed along to me. It's called: 
"The People’s View of the Perfect Pastor"

A recent survey has compiled all the qualities that people expect from the perfect pastor:

Results of a computerized survey indicated that the perfect pastor preaches exactly 12 minutes.

He has to stir people to change their way of living and live for Jesus but never upset anyone.

He works from 8 a.m. until midnight and is also a janitor.
He makes $400 a week, wears good clothes, buys good books, drives a good car, and gives about $80 a week to the poor.

He is 28 years of age, but he's been preaching for 30 years.

He is wonderfully gentle and handsome.

He gives himself completely but never gets too close to anyone to avoid criticism.

He speaks boldly on social issues, but must never become politically involved.

He has a burning desire to work with teenagers, but he spends all his time with senior citizens.

He makes 15 daily calls to parish families, visits shut-ins and the hospitalized, spends all his time evangelizing the unchurched, and is always in his office when needed.

Did you know that about 1500 Pastors drop out of the ministry a month. Family pressure from the ministry is one of the top reasons.

How about recognizing the gift of God your Pastor is, appreciating him for the effort and sacrifices he makes, and finding a way to show it. Understand that he also has to live his life out by the same faith he imparts to you!

1 Timothy 5:17 (NASB) “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 08, 2013

Developing Intimacy With God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you desire to know God more intimately? When you prayerfully read His Word (meaning you sincerely ask God to reveal Himself and bring you understanding of what His Word means,) you will discover that God, to those who receive Jesus as their personal Savior, is their friend. Do you know what is true with all great friendships? All really close friendships are built upon transparency. All great friends share intimate truths and secrets with each other.

Jesus shared that very fact with those who became His disciples. One day He revealed to them that they were His friends. John 15:15-16 says, “I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide (intimate truths and secrets) to his servants. Now you are my friends since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn't choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”

Almighty God is our friend. For some people, to have a close intimate relationship with a prominent figure would be so cool. It would be extraordinary if Phil Mickelson, one of the world's greatest golfers were to call me and say, “Tim, can you play golf  and then have lunch with me?" If he spoke those words simply because he viewed me as a close personal friend and just wanted to spend time with me, I would be awed! How much more mind boggling is it to have an intimate relationship with the God of the universe? Moses did. In Exodus 33:11 we read, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.’’

Now it’s key to understand what I am about to tell you and I want to frame it with a short story. Years ago Renee and I did some surveying of couples at a marriage seminar we were conducting. We gave an anonymous survey to men and their wives asking them to rate their marriages from one to ten with ten being the best. Although the surveys were anonymous, we asked the couples to turn theirs in stapled together as a couple. In almost every case, the men rated their marriage higher than their wives did. Most men thought things were hunkey-dory.
Couple after couple’s scores went like this. The husbands usually rated the quality of their marriage at least three points higher than the wives rated it.  The men were shocked when we revealed this, instantly snapping their necks as they turned to look at their wife with a question mark. (Really?)  They truly thought their marriage was better than what their wife thought. In the majority of cases the wives scored the marriage lower because they did not feel the communication within the marriage was as good as it should be. Women desired more communication than men.

Now that doesn’t mean that men don’t desire good communication. It just means that women desire more of it. For most women, it’s one contributing factor that helps make the relationship be more intimate. And it’s something that men who want to improve their marriage learn over time. Most people would agree that a good and especially and intimate relationship is not going to happen between two people unless there is good two-way communication, yet with God, somehow we think we can build an intimate relationship with Him as a one-way conversation where we talk to Him and He listens but never responds. Honestly, that's lunacy! God speaks to us as His friend. Unless we take the time to listen, we won't learn to hear how He communicates to us through His Word. But He does. He causes scriptures to speak to our heart and we can know that He is speaking to us through them. But, if we don't pray and seek Him and spend time in the word, then this will be one more place where you might think you are succeeding in a relationship when you aren't. What God has to say to you is more important than what you have to say to Him.

So, the bottom line is this: pray that God reveal Himself through His Word. Expect Him to speak to you through His Word. He can hear you. When you learn to hear Him, your relationship will go to another level. You'll experience a supernatural friendship with Almighty God. He will reveal truths and mysteries to you that bring you guidance, wisdom, and great blessing. Learn to listen to Him and you will develop intimacy with God!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 05, 2013

Brilliant Funny Video on our Nation’s Debt Problem

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A short, brilliantly done funny skit that demonstrates very simply why we’re in this economic mess.


Published by Pastor Tim Burt
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/
 
Brilliant Funny Video on our Nation's Debt ProblemBrilliant Funny Video on Our Nation's Debt ProblemOur nations economic mess