About Tim Burt

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Morning I Will Never Forget

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Thursday morning, I had an early morning Drs. Appointment. It went well and I was in and out quickly. As I was leaving, I had a thought, “Call Dad and take him out to breakfast.” My day was somewhat unscheduled because Renee and I had originally had a vacation planned for this week. We had to cancel it because she needed to meet her sister and brother in Atlanta to help make plans for her father’s future. He had some medical issues and they met to help.  Consequently, it left me with a week off that was unscheduled and alone at home.  So… I called my dad and he was excited to go. “I’ll be there in 15 minutes to pick you up.”
My dad was 90 years old. He was in good health, swam three times a week, and often played golf with us on Thursday mornings when we could all get it together. He was one of the happiest people you could ever meet and had a sense of humor that was hilarious. He never failed to make us laugh whenever we were with him. Oh yes, and he was a father of ten children! He worked so very hard all his life to provide a great life for his family.

I picked dad up and we went to a local restaurant, ate breakfast, and talked and laughed for two hours. We talked about everything, but one topic was more dominant in his conversation than anything else. He talked about how thankful he was. He said, “It might appear that I don’t notice all that you children do or have done for me these past years. But, I’ve noticed everything and I couldn’t be more thankful. I have the most beautiful family of anyone I know. I love you all and appreciate so much what each of you have done to be a blessing to your mother and me. When she died a few years back, you all helped me through a difficult period of life. And you’ve been so supportive to love and be helpful to me. I thank God for all of you every day.” He then told me that he prayed for each of us by name daily – all 9 living children, 21 grandchildren, and 16 great grandchildren (plus the couple babies in the hopper.)  That touched my heart in a way that is greater than I can describe. For dad to be this reflective was unusual but surely delightful to listen to. What was behind this unusual mood he was in?
When I brought him home he was happy, singing, and appearing to be on top of the world.
Later that evening about 9:30 pm I got a call from my sister. She told me that dad had collapsed, possibly had a heart attack, and that I should come down to the hospital. Dad had lost consciousness, and never regained it. We met has a family, and knew it was time to let him go as his health had started to deteriorate this past year.  He had made it clear to us that he did not want to continue to live if his quality of life were to deteriorate. After a few hours, he stopped breathing on earth and took his first breath in Heaven. This man was loved by everyone and we will so greatly miss him.
After many tears, I could not help but reflect on how God had ordered my steps and graciously given me this special time with my father. It was a gift from God for sure.  It was a morning I will never forget.
Renee was not with me because as I said, she had to go help her father in Atlanta. When we were approaching this vacation week, it began to unravel. Sometimes you don’t know if there is something God is doing in your midst, or the devil is trying to steal something from you. We prayed and bound the enemy of our soul in prayer in Jesus name.  Then we trusted that in the midst of this interrupted week, God would reveal his ordered steps, showing us His plan for the week.
I thank God we didn’t try to “fix” the week ourselves and fight to keep our vacation. We could have but felt that God was doing something that we needed to trust Him in.  We cancelled it so that she could go to Atlanta instead and help her dad. I stayed home to help my son landscape his new home. And then I was around to have that breakfast with dad that I felt prompted to have.  In hindsight, though we didn’t know what was going down, God knew every step. Psalms 37:23 (NLT) says, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”
Sometimes we complicate things. God teaches us to pray over every situation in faith asking Him for what is in our heart in line with His will. Mark 11:24 (NIV) says, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” And, 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV.) “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
He then told us not to be ignorant of the devil’s devices. 2 Corinthians 2:11 (MSG) says, “After all, we don't want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief—we're not oblivious to his sly ways!” And so we bound the devil from trying to steal our vacation. As it turned out, God was leading us to be available to help our parents and lead us in every step.
Trusting God can sometimes feel unnerving when you are not sure of the next step, but, if you trust Him and continue to pray, He will lead you step by step. And you will see the fruit of trusting in Him!
In closing, “I love you dad and will miss you more than I can say…” “Jesus, I love you so much and thank you for guiding my every step and giving me this special time with dad! You are more awesome than I can say. Though I don’t always know what the minutes and days ahead hold, I am thankful that you do and I trust you in them! ”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 26, 2013

Influence or Be Influenced

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

One morning while on vacation in Mexico with Renee, I was taking an early morning walk along the beach. The sun wasn’t quite up yet and Renee was still sleeping. I had some quiet time alone with the Lord. As I was walking and talking with the Lord, a question rose up in my heart. "What would you do if you were here to stay? How would you stay strong in your walk with Me and continue to have an influence for Me?" I knew that the Lord wasn’t suggesting I live there. I somehow just knew that He wanted me to think through this thought to remind me that either you purpose to have an influence for Him no matter where you are, or you get influenced by the atmospheres around you.

One thing was sure - the resort type atmospheres did not support anything but the temptation to yield to carnal behaviors. It was a fabulous place to relax but it was also a place where people seemed to let go of every restraint with many taking up drinking alcoholic beverages as a competitive sport. People sat around the pool drinking and eating all day. They talked about their drinking escapades from the night before. They shared past drinking stories. They were busy creating new drinking stories. I didn’t get the impression that there were too many people sitting around thinking about Jesus and the Christ life. And so, as I thought it over, it did not seem as though the atmospheres there were spiritually supportive. I've watched people backslide on vacations and crumble under the pressure and temptations at times like this.

Jeremiah the prophet had a difficult life because of what he was obedient to do for the Lord. He was the Lord's spokesman in very negative and ungodly atmospheres. God's people Israel were backslidden. God instructed Jeremiah to warn them to repent from their idol worship and sinful lifestyles or judgment would overtake them. They were so backslidden and hard hearted, they didn't want to hear it. They hated Jeremiah because they were running from God. The worldly people also hated Jeremiah because they thought he was a religious kook. So he was hated by the world, and he was hated by God's people. He was lonely. He was discouraged. Unbeknownst to him, he was being influenced by the negative influences around him. His attitude began to slip and he got whiny before the Lord. He fell into a pity party. He whined that he couldn't count on God – that God wasn’t there to help him like he wanted. Jeremiah said to the Lord, "I never joined the people in their merry feasts. I sat alone because your hand was on me. I burst with indignation at their sins. Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook. It is like a spring that has gone dry." (Jeremiah 15:17-18)

God quickly chastised Jeremiah about his attitude. "The LORD replied, "If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak words that are worthy, you will be my spokesman. You are to influence them; do not let them influence you!" (Jeremiah 15:19-20) The Lord said that Jeremiah had to return to God. He was backslidden. Not to the degree of the people around him, but he was slipping. His attitude was being influenced by the negative influences around him. His hope was diminishing. They were pulling him down. He told Jeremiah - "You are to influence them; do not let them influence you!"

This is the challenge we all face. You are meant by God to be the influencer for Him - not to let others drag you down to their carnal lifestyles and selfish and poor attitudes. Renee and I have purposed to remember that at any minute of any day, we may have the opportunity to influence someone. It may be with words, or with the witness of our behavior, or maybe through an act of kindness. We purpose to influence at home, on vacation, or wherever we are.

We are just like you. Things could get to us and pull us down. It would affect our influence. That’s why we think about it a lot - so that we don’t forget what our life is all about and blow it!

When we are on vacation we get up early to worship the Lord and read. We talk about the word and then pray together as we look out over the ocean. We aren’t loud but I'm sure loud enough where someone could hear if they were close enough or if they wanted to listen in. We do don’t care if there are people around us. They are the same people talking about their drinking escapades. When we swim or go on the beach for a walk, we leave our Bibles or Christian literature on our pool chairs where others might notice them. We’ve had Christian couples that have noticed and stopped by to introduce themselves.

No matter where we are, we purpose to spend time with the Lord and pray to be a light and to be used. Light always attracts and opens the door to influencing others in some way for the Lord. As Jeremiah learned, no one is exempt from being influenced. You will create your atmospheres to keep you strong and then work to be influence for the Lord or you will get caught up in the carnal attitudes and atmospheres around you and be influenced. As God said, "You are to influence them; do not let them influence you!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2013All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

When People Praise Your Success

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever done something really well that people have noticed and patted you on the back for? It's amazing how quickly our heart can swell in moments like that. It's even more amazing upon hearing that praise, how easy it is to suddenly see yourself more important than you should. Romans 12:3 (NIV) says, "... Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment..."

Pride is such a blinding, damaging, and foolish evil. It can come at any one of us and so easily snare our ego. If you aren’t aware of how it sneaks up and draws you in, and if you aren’t aware of how much your flesh craves it – then you are a victim waiting to be kidnapped.
I recently preached a message that many people warmly and kindly appreciated. What did I do with those kind words spoken to me? I simply and sincerely gave praise to the Lord and sincerely told them that if I get or do anything right, it’s simply God’s grace! In saying this some have replied, “But Pastor Tim, you must have put a great deal of hard work into it. You deserve some credit.” No I don’t. God does. God was the one that taught me the value and discipline of hard work. And He taught me through the Apostle Paul that it was a benefit of His grace. Without His instruction and the help of His grace I would not have been able to achieve anything! And I am not trying to be humble! I mean that!  

It was the Lord  who taught me hard work and its pay off. Proverbs 10:4 says, “Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.” And, Proverbs 12:24 “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.”

I have actually heard these words. “Okay Pastor Burt, God did teach you to work hard, but He teaches everyone to work hard and not everyone does.” My answer to that is that my ability to work hard is still the grace (the empowering help) of God. The Apostle Paul spoke of and modeled that truth in 1 Cor. 15:10 "But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out His grace upon me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the others; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by His grace."




Now let me break this down further. I didn’t know what to preach. I sought the Lord and He led me to the theme I spoke on. I didn’t know what to say. He reminded me of and led me to scriptures that helped the message come together. So without any of His help, I would have just come up with my own thoughts and frankly, that is about the scariest thing I could ever imagine happening – me being in a pulpit with just my own thoughts and not the Lord’s anointing.

Moses knew and understood that fear – the fear of trying to lead or impart truth to God’s people without God’s leading, anointing, and grace. We read about it in Exodus 33:12-16 (NLT) “Moses said to the Lord, "You have been telling me, 'Take these people up to the Promised Land... You call me by name and tell me I have found favor with you. Please, if this is really so, show me your intentions so I will understand you more fully and do exactly what you want me to do. Besides, don't forget that this nation is your very own people." And the Lord replied, "I will personally go with you, Moses. I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you." Then Moses said, "If you don't go with us personally, don't let us move a step from this place. If you don't go with us, how will anyone ever know that your people and I have found favor with you? How else will they know we are special and distinct from all other people on the earth?"

In any and everything I do, I strive to talk to the Lord requesting His help – reminding Him I can not do anything without His help and grace. The success we experience in life should somehow glorify the Lord. How would that be unless it was He that helped us experience it?  If He helped us, then how could we take credit? Psalm 121:1, “I lift up my eyes to the hills-- where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.”

It is drilled into me backwards and forward – anything good, any success, anything that is a blessing and praiseworthy has come by God’s hand. James 1:17 “Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above…” Pride tries to steal the glory that goes to God. Pride tries to take credit for any and everything that has any measure of success. The flesh craves for glory, attention, and credit like a high powered car sucks fuel. I never let my flesh be fed in that area!

It is so satisfying to give credit and glory to where it is do – the Lord! Pride will distort, steal, and destroy the good we experience. A sincere revelation of where thanks and praise goes to, along with leaning upon the Lord in faith for every situation, draws His help and success.

People may bring kind words of affirmation because of something good that has happened through you. They are often trying to encourage and exhort you. That's just fine if you remember where the glory goes. Those kind words are the alarm bell to you to give thanks and praise and glory to God!

Psalms 107:8 (NKJV) "Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 19, 2013

Your Promised Blessing Comes by Faith

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever hear the words Do you promise? Yes I promise. Promises are made daily and universally.  What is a promise?

One dictionary says, Promise: A declaration assuring that one will or will not do something; a vow: an assurance creating an expectation.   Of courses you're familiar with this word. Do you or have you used it often? More importantly, have you kept the promises or assurances given to those you've made them to?

Husbands and wives promise to keep their love for their spouses. Companies promise Satisfaction guaranteed or your money back! Dads and moms promise If you behave, we’ll take you out for a special treat. Have you ever heard of a politician that hasn’t made promises? How often have you heard the question, Do you promise not to tell anyone else? Jonathan Swift is quoted as saying, Promises and pie-crusts were made to be broken.

Maybe broken promises seem to be the way of man. Maybe that is why people have so little faith in them. It seems as though modern day promises are just words that create a little higher expectation but listened to by those with guarded hearts from having experienced to many broken promises. Broken promises may be the way of far too many people but they are not the way of God.

When we read in the Bible of God speaking, one Hebrew word used is dabar. It carries the meaning to speak, to declare. When the Bible says that God promised, this is often the word used. In other words, God’s Word is always a promise. He does not lie. He is incapable of lying and what He says IS what He promises and it will come to pass. Learn this and put your faith in this truth concerning His Word, and it will change your life!

Now can you imagine having a face-to-face encounter with Almighty God Himself? This did occasionally happen between God and those He was establishing a promise to. Sometimes He would appear in a dream as He did to Jacob. We read about it in Genesis 28:10-15 (NLT.)

“Meanwhile, Jacob left Beersheba and traveled toward Haran. At sundown he arrived at a good place to set up camp and stopped there for the night. Jacob found a stone for a pillow and lay down to sleep. As he slept, he dreamed of a stairway that reached from earth to heaven. And he saw the angels of God going up and down on it. At the top of the stairway stood the Lord, and he said, "I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father, Isaac. The ground you are lying on belongs to you. I will give it to you and your descendants. Your descendants will be as numerous as the dust of the earth! They will cover the land from east to west and from north to south. All the families of the earth will be blessed through you and your descendants. What's more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go. I will someday bring you safely back to this land. I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised." 

This promise to Jacob was first made to his grandfather Abraham. It was to be to Abraham and his descendants. It was carried to Abraham's son Isaac and then to Isaac’s son Jacob. God here said here that it would carry on to Jacob’s descendants—in other words all the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. How would you feel if He called your name? How would you feel if you heard that? Would it be life changing? Would you treat it like any other promise that you’ve ever heard and take with a grain of salt, or would you esteem it and put all your faith in it? Would it change your confidence and how you approach your day-to-day experience?

The promise made to Abraham and then Jacob and then to all his future descendants was a promise to be received by faith. The promise was not just to descendants by blood linage but by faith – to those who would believe and take God at His Word. It’s reaching through the portals of time to you now. Galatians 3:26-29 reveals this saying; “You are all sons of God through fatih in Christ Jesus… There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise. “

This is saying that what God promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob would be ours by faith today. And again, what was that promise? Well a part of it was this: “What's more, I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go….I will be with you constantly until I have finished giving you everything I have promised." (Genesis 28:15) 

As you go about your day today, meditate on God being with you, protecting you, and working toward fulfilling all His promises made to you through His Word. Exercise your faith and actively believe them! Speak them over you! Declare them over yourself! We are exhorted to do this very thing in Hebrews 6:12. “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” Satan will always try to oppose them and talk you out of them but your faith can and will overcome any opposition if you don’t let go.
2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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© 2013 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It’s Not About the Nail

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This is video is absolutely hilarious!

So much of the teaching to men these days, stresses, "Men, just listen to your wife. She doesn't want you to fix the problem. Just listen and have empathy for what she is saying! Then you'll succeed! This video is a spoof on that!
Okay, now watch and  enjoy!
 


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Personal Character Treasures: Seeds of Faithfulness

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One night about 2 am, when my first daughter Stephanie was just a few days old, I was sitting in the living room. It was dark, quiet, and peaceful. Renee had just finished nursing her. I took Stephanie and told Renee to go back to sleep. I took her into the living room and sat down in our rocking chair.

Holding my little baby girl in this new experience in this quiet and serene atmosphere seemed amazing. As I rocked her, I could not stop kissing her cheeks and I could not stop thanking God for this precious gift. Like any new parent in this position, a thousand thoughts flooded my mind – two of which I will never forget. One thought I remember was the overwhelming thought of how this new little girl was completely 100% dependent on Renee and I for everything. It sparked this sense of responsibility within me that scared me. The other thought was this feeling of selfishness. I suddenly felt so selfish. The past couple of years – the first two of our marriage – had been just about Renee and I. Everything was about us – doing everything for ourselves; for our own pleasure and benefit. This was now all coming to a screeching halt. Our lives were suddenly transformed in ways we could not yet know. She was completely dependent on us. We were completely responsible for her.

Prior to her birth, I had the potential to be extremely faithful but only to what I wanted to be faithful to – usually motivated by selfishness. I was now learning to be faithful and make commitments that were somewhat forced upon me by this new season of children. It truly was life changing.

I was thankful that I had seeds of learning to be faithful deposited in my life along the way. When I was fourteen years old, I received a job as a stock boy in a small grocery store. The gentleman who hired me, Ozzie, turned out to be like a grandfather to me. I just loved him. He put a lot of faith in me. He treated me like an adult. He taught me many wonderful values and business principles. He put unmerited trust in me, giving me responsibility. 1 Cor 4:2 says that faithfulness should be required. “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” He had a way of expecting faithfulness out of me. Because he put faith in me, I wanted so bad to be someone he could count on. I became that person. I would do anything for that man. I worked hard for him and became someone he could count on eventually managing three grocery stores for him. He has planted seeds of faithfulness in me.

My own father was one of the hardest working men I had ever known. He was amazingly faithful to his boss and to his profession and became one of the the very best in his field. He modeled this incredible work ethic. He was a father of ten and he was faithful to his job, His wife, and to being a great dad to his children. He continually made sacrifices in his life to be faithful to his loved ones.

As I got older and was able to appreciate the sacrifices that he had made for his children, I wanted more and more to become like him. Although my youthful immaturity was filled with selfishness, because my father had planted seeds of what being faithful looked like in me, they took root. Selfishness was painstakingly purged from my life because being faithful was a character quality I wanted to have and be known for.  

I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 24 and started attending an exciting Bible teaching church that taught from the Bible and opened my eyes and heart to God. I learned of God’s will for my life. Through preaching and Bible study, I was regularly confronted with the values and thoughts of stewardship, faithfulness, and commitment. Eph 4:11-16 taught me how spiritual maturity was enhanced –through the commitment of each person in the body of Christ finding ways to serve others in commitment. “God gave gifts to the church... Their responsibility is to equip (teach and bring maturity to) God's people to do His work and build up the church… that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord... As each part (person) does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.”

The Holy Spirit would constantly challenge me with the verse 1 Cor. 4:2: "Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful.” I was faithful to some things (for my self interest) but was I committed and faithful to consistently serve God and His people in various ways so that they could be helped and grow in God? I was not. And that had to change!

God began to speak to me of the value of faithfulness to Him. Proverbs 3:3-4 says, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.”I would constantly be challenged in church through the Pastor’s words,“If you want to grow in God, then learn to give. Learn to give of your love, your time, your talents and service, and your resources. Let God stretch you. Let God draw out those undiscovered gifts and talents within you through your commitment and service to Him and your church. What God teaches you in commitment in the church will add great character and blessing to help you succeed in the world around you and throughout the rest of your life.“

I decided to practice being committed to the Lord yet I was afraid – actually terrified of it. But knew I should. I volunteered first serving in facility maintenance for two years. I added teaching 4 & 5 year-olds in Sunday school for nine years. I learned how to teach and facilitate a Bible study and eventually led three of them. I served in many many areas over the years. Each one stretched and tested my commitment. I learned to consistently serve others when I felt like it and when I didn’t. The true test of commitment and faithfulness of stewardship is when it’s not easy or convenient. The true test of financial stewardship is giving when you need the money elsewhere. That’s where your love walk will be developed and tested over and over and over again.  God will help you spiritually grow and develop and mature building life–transforming character through your trust in Him to help you be faithful. Without this training and those seeds of faithfulness planted in me, I wouldn’t be a fraction of the man I’ve become today.

Our motivation to serve others must at it's core, out of a love for Jesus. That motivation is tested also. Does God know? Does He care? Yes! He does! Luke 12:43 says, “It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when He returns."

Matthew 6:18 (NKJV) "... your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 12, 2013

Defeating Temptation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have been on a diet recently and have lost 17 pounds. It seems that when you go on a diet, suddenly everyone tempts you the sweetest calorie infused treats. What's up with that?

When you think of the word temptation, what are the first temptations that come to your mind? I may be wrong but I think for most people, they are temptations regarding things they crave or lust after. ("Apple Fritters, I hate you.") Actually they go beyond that. Temptations are after our integrity, moral standards, honesty, and every part of our life.  Peter found that out at the time of Jesus greatest persecution.
When Jesus warned Peter about a temptation that was soon to come.  Jesus said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Matthew 26:41) The temptation Peter crashed and failed was to NOT admit he knew and followed Jesus when asked by those that hated Jesus. When Jesus warned Peter of this temptation to come, Peter had the opportunity to respond in two ways: He could reverentially listen to Jesus and respond affirmatively and then pray (which Jesus advised,) or he could respond the way he did. Peter responded “Lord, even if everyone else betrays you, I never will.” Peter was confident in his own willpower and love for the Lord. That is the mistake every Christian learns the hard way. As passionate as we may seem in the moment, the strength of our own willpower will often fail us.

Proverbs 14:26 says, “In the reverential fear of the Lord there is strong confidence…” Strong confidence in our own willpower is nothing but pride!  Taking the Lord at His Word and putting faith in His directives more than confidence in your own willpower or ability is the birthplace of real confidence. Therefore, when the Lord says to watch and pray so that we will not fall into temptation, He is saying that prayer is what will help us be spiritually sensitive enough to catch moments of temptation and pause to lean on the grace of God. As I've said many times before, grace is God's supernatural help and strength to resist temptation and to help you do anything He's asked you to do. His empowering grace is the source of strength to obey God. Once you fully comprehend that your spirit is willing but your flesh or own willpower is weak and flawed, then you begin to lean on the Lord’s grace and prayer.
Most temptations in life are not those huge lurking obvious ones that first come to mind. Most of those we face are tiny and easy to pass over and fall prey to. God may be dealing with you in a number of areas of your life. The devil may be tempting you in those same areas to keep you from obedience to God and to keep God's blessings from you.

The Holy Spirit tries to help us in these areas but too often we just blow by them. We do because we are not praying and therefore, not sensitive to the Holy Spirit's alerting and trying to help us. We get cold to His voice and leading. We then easily yield to those simple temptations while making jokes and excuses about them to help us feel better in the moment. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is where it begins and prayer will get us there. That's what Jesus wanted Peter to know. Its there we’ll begin to find the strength to say yes to what we should and no to what we shouldn’t.

I had come to a place a couple of months ago where I was not comfortable with my weight. I knew the Lord was speaking to me about it. I made the decision to lose 20 pounds and found a group of guys that wanted to join me in the challenge. We talk about it, encourage each other, and draw strength from the accountability. These are all tools of the grace of God. In those times where I am alone and temptation comes, I just pause, let the Lord remind me I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and then draw on His grace and resist what I should.
I've lost 17 pounds so far and have decided to increase my goal from losing 20 pounds to 30 pounds. You gain strength and momentum when you learn how to consistently resist the devil and temptation and do things God's way. And you feel so much better about yourself!

The grace of God, not my own willpower is the only place that I have strong confidence – confidence in His ability and strength working in me through prayer!

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Special Writing: A Special Warning!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I am writing to you in the wee hours of the morning. Mainly because I woke up at 3:00 a.m. and could not sleep. I couldn’t because I am in the middle of helping someone who I deeply care for walk out a crisis in their life. I did get three hours sleep but woke up to go to the bathroom, started thinking about it, and it got me so wound up that even though I have tried to go back to sleep five times, it’s been to no avail. (And yes I do know that I have written about what to do in this kind of situation in past writings, but have to again practice it myself.)  

I’ve been praying and as I was, thoughts came that I am confident were directed by the Lord. That is why I gave up trying to sleep and instead record these thoughts that I pray speak loudly to many, and even scream out to others that are in the midst of creating a crisis that will devastate them if they don’t stop what they are doing.  

There are times when things blow up in people’s lives. They have given themselves over to behaviors – negative behaviors – behaviors they know are wrong, but for whatever reason, they still do them. For some people it’s eating unhealthy or too much or both. For others, it's being lazy, for others it’s allowing a negative attitude drive their thoughts, words, and actions. For others, it’s about immoral behaviors that have the capacity to shipwreck their lives. For others… I could go on and on but I think you can figure it out. 
 
When people  allow these negative and ungodly behaviors to continue in their life, one reason they do is because they don’t really understand the disaster and crisis that could be awaiting them when it blows up. They might think about it a little bit but quickly push it aside and go on with that they know they should not do.  If they only knew the price that they’ll have to pay for letting these things go on in their life. But usually they don’t until they get there and then it is oh so painful and a crisis beyond what they could imagine.   

David, who God dearly loved and declared “I have found David, a man after my own heart…” (Acts 13:22) was a man that loved God and lived for him with a ferocious faith through most of his life. But we read in 2 Samuel 11 about a time where something was going on in David’s life. We don’t really know what. All we know is that he broke out of his good living routine. It was Spring and the time he would have normally gone to war with his men. Was he tired? Was he discouraged over something? Was he depressed? Was he being prideful and wanting to enjoy his success? We don’t know. All we do know is he didn’t go out with his troops like normal, but instead stayed behind at the palace. He was taking midday naps (which really strikes me as not like David’s norm.) After one of those naps, he was walking on his rooftop and saw Bathsheba another man’s wife bathing. He yielded to a temptation that began to unravel his life and lead him to the greatest crisis of his life. He could have stopped his immoral behavior along the way but he didn’t until he hit his crisis. The bottom fell out; the consequences were horrible, messing up the rest of his life. If he had known what giving into those temptations would have caused, I believe he would have cried out for God’s help and stopped. But because of some funky indifferent mood that he was in, he threw caution to the wind, caved into his lazy fleshly desires. He paid a price that would cost him for the rest of his life. 
 
He finally got caught and the Lord spoke to him, 2 Samuel 12:9 & 12 (NIV) “Why did you despise the word of the LORD by doing what is evil in his eyes?... You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all…”  David did repent to God and God did forgive him but the consequences were already coming.
As I was thinking and praying about my friend and this story that I had just read, I felt the Lord speaking to me to say to you today, “Tell them to stop the destructive behaviors and attitudes and stop them right now this very second. You don’t have to hit bottom and experience that crisis that is far greater than you want to pay. Make the decision to turn things around now this very moment! You know how. You know what to do. Do the things I’ve shown you to do in the past that helped you become strong in me. Don’t go another day or minute. If you obey my voice, you can rise out of this and I’ll help you. You can put your life back on track walking with me and I will forgive you and help you and restore you. And you will eventually rejoice. So stop. Stop now and rise and turn this around. Read my Word and be instructed and strengthened and encouraged and pray and I will lift you up.”

That was the Word I received from the Lord.  

If you know you have been indifferent or had a casual attitude about doing things that could blow up your life, this is a warning of love from the Lord!

 I know I said I was on vacation but obeying the Lord takes priority over all!

Micah 7:8 (NIV) “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise. Though I sit in darkness, the LORD will be my light.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 05, 2013

Gone on Vacation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Hi, I have my family in town this week and we are on vacation together! There are many posts for you to choose from that will teach you, inspire you, exhort you, and bless you! Please read from this treasure of writing and be blessed.  Back to writing next Monday night August 12th. We'll be praying for you! God bless you! Pastor Tim



In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2013 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/