About Tim Burt

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Amazing Secret That Destroys Selfishness

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Prior to marrying Renee, my life was about me, myself, and I. I didn't know Jesus. I was selfish and my own primary concern. I preferred others if it was convenient and if it helped me out in the end. Learning about Jesus and discovering how unselfish He was, opened my eyes to how selfish I was. Getting married and having children seemed to amplify my selfishness even more. In the beginning, it was difficult to compromise and adapt to my wife's needs. When we brought our first baby home from the hospital and I quickly discovered that our daughter was 100 percent dependent upon us, I knew my life and selfish ways were ending. My life was no longer just going to be about what I wanted.

God’s Word taught me to consider and prefer the needs of others before myself. Gosh that was a long and painful road of learning and growing. And here's the saddest part: it never needed to be painful! It was only painful because I allowed myself to feel like a martyr. Jesus supplied my attitude adjustment in Mark 9:35 (NKJV) Jesus said, "...If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all."  When this truth of being a servant to those around me became a revelation in my heart, my attitude and my life changed forever!

In order to love my family and others the way Jesus did, preferring and putting others needs ahead of my own helped me mature and truly changed my character forever!

Did I ever have moments where I felt like I was doing much more serving than others serving me? Of course I did but I’m sure it wasn't true. It just felt like it. Your own flesh and your mind and emotions are selfish in their nature. They like to whine and complain! They like to have their own pity parties! That is why you have to let your spirit-man lead you, not your mind and emotions or your flesh. God speaks through His Holy Spirit directly to our spirit when we are listening. Jesus wants to lead us by His Spirit . Romans 8:14 (NLT) says, "For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God."  

The Holy Spirit speaking to our spirit is what makes us truly whole and keeps us on the best path of life obeying God. That is what the Apostle Paul was talking about when he said in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  To be sanctified means to live by God's instruction, not the lustful carnal ways of the world. It means the Holy Spirit is going to lead your spirit and your spirit will lead your soul (your mind and emotions) and your body. Your spirit-man is the boss, not your selfish flesh or your whiny mind and emotions. When this happens, it will preserve you and make you whole and blameless!

When you are raising a family and working, moments of feeling like a martyr can easily come. But, as you learn to make your life about serving others knowing that this is how greatness is developed in you, it becomes the desired way to live. As you lean on and trust God knowing that there will be blessing in it, you will see the fruit of it in your life. You will spiritually grow and mature. You will develop in your leadership character. You will become a person that has learned a beautiful life secret that few ever really learn. God doesn't ask us to do things unless they ultimately bless us in the long run. The Apostle Paul learned these truths and taught them also. He said,  "Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." Philippians 2:4 (NKJV) 

Now here we are years later with a whole lot of preferring going on. Renee and I both serve each other. It's no longer us fighting our flesh and it's not hard. We don't feel like martyrs. We love to serve each other, our children, and people we are around, every day. It has become a lifestyle that God has worked in us. He took two selfish people and by His Spirit, transformed us into two people who have learned to make their life about serving others. It's made our life rich in blessing and we thank God always for showing us the way and doing this work in us. It's where joy and wholeness come from!

Romans 12:10 (NKJV) "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another" 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 28, 2014

Building a Beautiful Marriage

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I have been married for 36 years. Our marriage started off extremely rocky because we were young, immature, and selfish. Today we have what I would consider the marriage of my dreams. Even though I say that, it's not perfect and we infrequently have our moments. But for the most part, we have the kind of marriage that we both hoped we would have when we first got married. We deeply love each other. We have great admiration for each other. We serve each other. And we work to serve the Lord together. What has helped us move from one end of the spectrum to the other is keeping God in the center of our lives and prioritizing our relationship with Him and each other.


Jesus meant it when He spoke the words, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33 (NKJV) Taking this exhortation from the Lord seriously is the very thing that has helped our marriage become what it is.

Our life is disciplined. The word discipline can sound like such a rigid and legalistic word but it's really not. All it means is that we have prioritized what we know is important and what we know will help us succeed, over less important distractions that would otherwise work to distract us and nibble away at what is significant in our life.

We know we are limited in our own human flesh and wisdom. But we also know that the Holy Spirit and the grace of God indwell us—that is His ability, wisdom, and strength are available to help us go far beyond what we could do in ourselves. Because we know that, we work together to keep the Lord and His word first place in our life and in prayer. Instead of carrying all the burdens of life that cause a couple to be at each other's throats, we embrace God's instruction to leave our cares—the things that are really God’s assignment—not ours, at His feet. Psalms 55:22 (NIV) says, "Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall." And 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) says, "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."

By spending time regularly reading & studying God's word, we've learned to know and pray in faith according to His will. We are to be smart enough to know our part, but then make sure we turn God’s part over to Him as He exhorts us to in Philippians 4:6 (NIV)  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

We have learned that we can’t do the things we are led to do without God's help. We believe Jesus when He said,  "... apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 (NIV) We've learned over the course of our marriage, that time and time again, God uses a Pastor preaching from a pulpit and Christian friends that we associate with in spiritual growth and fellowship, to speak into our lives. God has taught us that through each other, and through a community of believers that love Him, He'll always find ways to speak into our life and keep us on track growing in Him. It has resulted for us in a wonderful healthy marriage and a purpose-filled marriage of reaching out to others with the love of God. We could not ask for anything more.

He teaches us to prioritize our love for each other. We learned early on, sitting down and communicating about life and what is going on around us is a must. We take time to go on big and little dates. Sometimes just over coffee and a bagel and other times over a nice dinner. We go for walks. We play golf together. We prioritize downloading communication time and spending time with each to have some fun. We do so knowing that to not do so is to cause our communication and our marriage to erode.


Marriage is work. Marriage works when two people set down their pride and selfishness again and again. 
Marriage works when two people remember that they love each other and need God's help to sustain it. Marriage works when couples prioritize seeking God's help and let His word guide them through disputes and decisions. A God-built marriage is a beautiful thing that produces wonderful things for His Kingdom. Seek Him first. Put Him first. And prioritize your love for each other! It's a beautiful thing.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV) "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken"


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Someone Who Understands "Love the Neighbor"

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This man's touching act of love perfectly demonstrates what Jesus meant when He said, "Love they neighbor as thy self."

Luke 10:27  Jesus said, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"




In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Tim here:





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Having Your Life on Track With God. It Feels So Good!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


How many times have you been in your car thinking your were on the way to your destination when suddenly, you discover you are headed in a wrong direction. You get that sinking feeling of being lost and having wasted precious time.

The question, Is my life headed in the right direction is a question and secret fear a great many people have.  People hope they have the right God, the right philosophy, the right spouse, the right job and on and on. People are glad that GPS was invented but wish they had a Life GPS System!

I've had people in my office tell me about their present off-track life experience. They are looking for help getting their life back on track with God.  It seems like they can almost always remember where their life began to get off track and then I hear them regretfully mutter the words,  If only I had paid attention to what I knew deep down in my heart. 

On that note, I want to show you one of the most sobering prophetic truths that Jesus left for us concerning the last days. Before I show it to you, imagine yourself as a parent giving warning to your child about something. Your motive is love, not condemnation. You love them and you want them to avoid hurtful things. This was the heart and Spirit in which Jesus spoke these words. Jesus said, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…” Matthew 24:12 (NIV) Jesus revealed that because of the ever-increasing level of evil, sin, wickedness, and corruption in this earth—especially in the last days, that it was going to invade our individual lives and cause our love for Him, for life, and for mankind “to grow cold.” Jesus is love and He is your only source of understanding and experiencing real love. Only Jesus, the author and creator of love can show us what love is and how to love others. When your love for Him grows cold, then your ability to know & give love to others has grown cold.

Jesus warned us that the ever-increasing and accelerating wickedness would work to influence your life and send you in the wrong direction—off His path for your life. Jesus said “because of this wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” This world has really changed and not for the better. Can you see the truth of His prophetic words in the world around you today? The evidence of this being true is this: Christians have become tolerant toward sin in their own life. What was once considered vile is now acceptable and the new norm.

So how do I turn this devotion your reading right now, toward some point of edification and encouragement? Here's how. Think for a moment about how you feel when you find out you are driving in the wrong direction. Think about how good it feels when you stop and ask for directions. Getting back on track and headed toward your destination feels so great! It makes you want to be more cautious next time. Getting back on track is a decision that can be made in a moment's time. You stop, talk with the Lord, be honest about what is going on in your life and the path that your on. You ask Him to reveal things in your life that you've given yourself over to— things that you know aren't pleasing to Him. Those elements containing wickedness such as profanity, sexual immorality, the worship of celebrities more than your love for God, polluting your body—the temple of the Holy Spirit with alcohol or drugs, the routine habit of looking at sexually inappropriate materials leading to masturbation—things you've gotten used to that have wickedness in them and that you've grown so cold toward that it hasn't bothered you. Don't allow yourself to become callous! Don't allow yourself to become apathetic! Jesus said, these things will steal your ability to love the way He loves! Examine your heart and as you do, ask the Lord to forgive you and help you back on track. Ask Him to direct your steps and give you the strength to stay on track. Then do it! Get on track!

I challenge you today. Pull out your Bible. Pray before your read and ask God to direct your heart through the verses you meditate on. Pray about what needs changing in your life. Because of your sincere love for God, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you and help you see the changes needed and the path to His will for your life. If you've drifted from church, begin searching for one until you find a church that helps you grow in the Lord. Call a Christian who loves the Lord and who you know will pray with you. Do whatever you know you should do to get on track. Don’t grow cold! Fall passionately in love with Jesus again! And in a very short amount of time, you'll feel that relief and thankfulness that you are back on the right track of life and with God!

Hebrews 3:12 (Message Bible) “So watch your step, friends. Make sure there's no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it's still God's Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn't slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we're in this with Christ for the long haul.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Tell Pastor
Tim here:




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Not Cursed! Not a Wanderer! You Are Blessed!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


People can experience tough times at any time and for a diversity of reasons. When times get tough, especially economically, people often get this feeling like they are floundering, wandering or grasping at straws just trying to do what it takes to survive. I've been to that place before. I was there early on in our marriage when we started having children and Renee and I prayerfully made the decision for her to quit her job to stay home with our children. She was making more than I was which meant we lost over half our income. I was convinced that I would do what it took to survive and I wasn't afraid of hard work. I was also convinced that God was with us and would lead us in the way. It seemed like the right decision when we made it and we really felt we were prayerfully following the direction God was giving us, but it didn't take long before our personal economy had gotten scary.

We, like anyone would that makes a decision in faith to trust God, experienced the temptation to doubt the choice we had made. We had those moments of doubt crying out God you are helping us through this aren't you?  They were just moments because as we stayed in God's word and prayed, we could continually sense His encouragement through His Word. That is where you have to hear from God and get encouragement because it's not in Satan's nature to encourage Christians who are walking by faith trusting God. Satan is skilled at painting pictures in our head and they are always pictures of doom and gloom and disaster.

In the story of Cain and Abel, Cain had murdered his brother. He tried to avoid the truth about it in a discussion with God and showed no remorse other than for his own personal condition. Cain had brought terrible consequences upon himself and was literally cursed. God told him that he would become a vagabond – a wanderer for the rest of his life. That wasn't God’s doing. It was Cain’s. He was stubborn, jealous, rebellious, and unrepentant. These very attitudes are cursed. When someone is like this, they will wander through life as a vagabond.

You are not a vagabond, nor are you a wanderer. You may be struggling somewhat to survive but you are not an aimless wanderer never getting anywhere. No, when you received Jesus, God made a promise to you. He said, “Christ has redeemed and rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Galatians 3:13 (NLT) Jesus is the one who hung upon a tree (the cross) for you, exchanging your sins for adoption into His family and the promised blessings of Abraham reaching all the way into our life today!

In tough times this thought needs to anchor you. You are not cursed. You are blessed. God has not abandoned you. Hebrews 13:5 instructs our thinking saying, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” The Lord is not saying you shouldn't work to improve your situation. He is telling you not to grasp for straws, don't be indecisive, and don't be tempted to violate your integrity. You don’t need to because He is with you! He is in you! And He will lead you!

Let me say it again! You are not Cain. You are not rebellious. You are not a wanderer. You are blessed! Seek God and He will lead you. Shake off desperation. Seek God for guidance and for the steps you should take. GET FOCUSED! Be diligent to seek Him and work toward your future. You have one a blessed one ahead of you! Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV) says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity.” Because you do belong to Him and are blessed, He’ll lead you step-by-step to your land of promise. As you trust in Him at every moment and step, you'll see His touch, His mercy and grace, and His divine help supply your needs.

Renee and I now have the benefit of years past and hindsight looking back at all the ways the Lord was there to help us! Distrust and fear would have made us wanderers! Instead, we believed we were His and we were blessed! Now our heart aches for everyone to experience this divine life that comes from trusting Him by faith. It is the life He wants us to live! It is His way of getting us to where He wants us to go!

Psalm 9:10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you.

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 21, 2014

Not For Your Record Books!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There are truly some incredible things that people have accomplished in this world. There are those that have swum the English Channel, climbed Mt. Everest, biked across America, held their breath underwater for over four minutes, pulled a semi-truck trailer over one block's distance with a chain and their bare hands, and on and on... There are many books written on amazing feats that people have accomplished.

There is one amazing feat that I know the Lord would like us all to be able to accomplish, and on an ongoing basis. It is stated in 1 Cor 13:5 "Love...keeps no record of wrongs." Now at first that statement might not even make you stop and think—so I suggest you do just that. Think about how many times you remember what someone did to you or said to you that made you mad, offended you, or bugged you. You might at first think, I don't keep grudges or a record of wrongs. I don't get offended. I don't get bugged easily. The truth probably is, you do much more than you realize. You very likely and all too often probably remember something that someone did that bothered you. When the right moment presents itself— flash...it will be right there before you!

If every person that we deal with closely in our life had a clean slate at each new encounter, our patience level with them would go so much further. We so want God to be like that with us, and He is! It is one of the awesome qualities of His character and it's a promise of His covenant that He has established with us. Isaiah 43:25 (NIV) says,  "I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more." 

The Bible tells us God is love and that love keeps no record of wrongs. It sounds impossible but it's not. It's supernatural! It's God's nature to forgive and not remember when someone repents saying their sorry. He removes it forever. That's what Jesus' blood has made provision for. It covers and washes our offenses and wrong doings from God's eyes. That should make you feel awesome. That is why God is so patient with us. His nature is in us as believers and because it is, it is within our nature to love like God does—not keeping a record of wrongs.

Are you and I that forgiving? Are we that overlooking and patient with people in our life? Not without God's help we aren't! But could we be? Only if we would continually reflect on God's merciful nature, love, and patience with us. So much more grace would flow from us toward others if we only remembered that the offense that is bugging us at the moment, is one that Jesus has forgiven us of.

A while back, a man was waiting on my parents. I was standing back watching. He was totally rude to them and I wanted to go chew him out. I didn't. I stewed instead. Every time I saw him from that point on, I remembered his wrong. I remembered that moment when he was rude to my parents. I didn't even want to talk with him. He didn't know that I felt that way. It was hurting me not Him. One day I heard the Lord tell me that I was keeping a record of this man's wrong and that I was stuck in unforgiveness toward him. I had to repent and totally forgive this man. The Lord instructed me to pray for him. As I did, the ill feelings left and I could finally feel the forgiveness that had given him by faith. What a burden to get off my back!

There are some people who have done some amazing feats that are fun to read about. Are you ready to try one of the greatest feats of all? Are you ready to practice keeping no records of wrong? Go for it! It is an amazing feat that will liberate you from carrying the list of wrongs and bad feelings toward others that have burdened you for far too long. Being merciful is love, it's freedom, and it's the character of God—and you!

1 Cor 13:5 Love is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easter - The Release of our Fears!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was terrorized! I was nine years old, standing outside the principal’s office and waiting to be called in, for what I was not sure. It was the most scared I had ever been in my life!  The principal was not a nice person. She gave a lot of mean stares and always looked mad. She had disciplined, me slapping me across the face in front of the entire class a few weeks earlier for something I did not do. My teacher told her she had disciplined the wrong child and instead of apologizing to me, she gave me a dirty look and in front of the entire class said, He probably deserved it anyway, and walked out of the classroom leaving a teacher and 34 students shocked with their mouth open. Now here I was waiting outside her office again. To get pulled in for judgment before someone like this felt terrorizing!

Many people are afraid that this is what it is going to be like when they die and stand before God one day. They are so fearful about this that they don't even want their imagination go there. Is God going to play back the video of every inappropriate thought, word, and sinful action they've ever carried out in their life? Will He be thundering mad and push them down the express chute to Hell? Many people have built a wall greater than the Great Wall of China around those kinds of thoughts, pushing them as far back into their mind as possible. This terrorizing fear drives many to push the reality of God out of their mind instead renaming Him a concept, a myth, a crutch for weak people, or nonexistent, rather than think about and feel terrorized in their heart over the thought of one day standing before God for their life’s actions.

What I know and I hope that all of you know is that God is not like my less-than-wonderful school principal. God is God. He is merciful, patient, kind, just, holy, all-\knowing, all-seeing, and a thousand wonderful things more. People can mentally deny His existence and can push Him away or bury His existence in their mind, but, He is still God and He is still there. He is not evil. He is pure goodness. He has a plan that He has already executed and prepared for every person  the plan to stand before Him without fear. That plan is Jesus!

Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death. He paid the price enabling us to stand before Him washed and cleansed from sin  this out of His great love for us. The book of Revelation shows a time where all of Heaven is singing about this great love and what Jesus did for all mankind  for all who would believe. Rev. 5:9 says, “And they sang a new song with these words: ...For you were killed, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” God is not someone to be afraid of! He is someone to seek after!

Terrorists hate and take lives; not love and give up their life out of their love of others. God is not someone to be afraid of. An understanding of our destiny in Him is something to be desired. When we stand before God as believers, it will be to receive the rewards for being obedient to do the things He has taught us in do. That’s something you want to know about. Every little thing you do for God from a pure heart carries a reward. Everything! Your prayers will be rewarded, your right attitude and integrity rewarded, your good actions rewarded, and so much more. That is why you want to know Jesus and understand how to walk out His destiny for your life. Standing before God one day is not a day to be afraid of or terrorized by. As a believer, it’s a day about encountering the God who loves you, and about a life to be rewarded! This is Easter! That is why Jesus said, "When that happens, rejoice! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven…” Luke 6:23.

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Part Two: God Has A Destiny For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


“If you want something done, do it yourself!” At one time I must have believed that. Prior to asking Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, I tried to shape my entire destiny and course of life. Then one day it was like I woke up. I woke up discouraged and disgusted with the course of my life thinking,  What am I doing? This is not how I want to live my life! It was as if my eyes had suddenly been opened and I could see where my own choices and my own ways of doing things were taking me. It was not good and I knew that morning that my life had to change.

What triggered these thoughts? A short time prior to this event, someone had led me to pray a simple but sincere prayer asking Jesus to come into my life to be my Lord and Savior. I prayed it sincerely, but it seemed like I just went on with my life as before. I did go on with my life but I didn't know something had changed within me. Upon praying that prayer, the Holy Spirit—the promise from God to all who receive Jesus—came to live within me. I didn't understand that the Holy Spirit was living in me from the moment I prayed that prayer, but my ignorance of it didn't change the reality of it happening.

It was the Holy Spirit that opened my eyes to things I had never thought about before. It triggered a deep personal self-examination. And then one day I remember reading Psalm 127:1-2 (NLT) “Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

It was a heart-wrenching revelation to see and admit that up until that point in time, I had been building my life my way. These verses helped me see this was a useless endeavor. I was awaking to the truth that there was more to life that me, myself and I. I was awaking to the truth that God had a plan for my life and instead of me driving it, I needed to surrender my life to the Lord and let Him show me how to build my it.

Interestingly enough, a week later through a series of circumstances, I made my first visit to a Bible-teaching church. It was there that I first heard the words spoken God has a destiny for your life. That thought seemed so big and so hard to wrap my brain around. I remember thinking, "What do I do with this truth? How do I figure out my destiny? What if I just lead myself right back into another messed up life?"

Then I heard the Pastor teach on Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT). The words built a new bridge between God and I. They put a rudder on the pursuit of my destiny. It sounds simplistic but it's anything but that. Those words were Trust GodProverbs 3:5-6 (NLT) says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take." I embraced these words and clung to them. I thanked the Lord day by day for leading my down His path for my life. I learned that the plan of God is a plan that unfolds day-by-day as you seek Him and have faith that He will lead you.

It takes time to learn but you eventually do learn that you can absolutely count on His perfect Fatherly love. The Holy Spirit will guide you into all truth and the plan for your life. You just have to walk it out a day at a time. As years pass, you gain the hindsight that only comes with time and you are able to look back and see how He has guided you and been intimately involved in all the details of your life—that is, to the degree that you lean on and trust Him.

As you examine your life today, does your life reflect your way or His way? Do you believe you are in His plan and are you letting Him build your house as you follow Him? Can you trust Him and take steps of faith walking it out His way, according to His Word? If so, He will build your house. In closing, the words from God through Jeremiah are more than nice or encouraging words. They are His promise to you! Start today by asking the Lord to lead you throughout this day. Even through troubled waters He will be with you. Trust that to be true!

Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV) “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord, "and will bring you back from captivity.”

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, April 14, 2014

God Has A Destiny For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have memories of my mom feeding my younger siblings as infants. I'd occasionally help her. I remember her constantly preparing baby bottles of milk and then eventually feeding them Pablum – an infant cereal. In the beginning of one’s new walk with Jesus, milk and Pablum is what is normal. We see that in 1 Peter 2:2. It says, “Just like new-born babies, desire and crave for the milk of God’s Word so that you can grow up in the knowledge of your salvation.” God lets us know that what He considers to be a normal part of the Christ-life, is to grow up. We aren't to remain like infants that need to be breastfed or fed Pablum all their life. We are to grow up in spiritual knowledge and understanding. Too often, Christians don't spiritually mature as they should.

Children were designed to be fed every day. Our society is designed to instruct and teach children in order that they may intellectually grow up. But, when it comes to Christians and their spiritual growth, we've got starving babies – people that don’t go to church or read or study their Bibles. We've got Christians who don’t pursue an intimate relationship with God through prayer or make the effort to live by His Word. That problem has existed throughout every generation. The Apostle Paul in addressing the Christians at the church of Corinth said, “I fed you with milk and not with solid food because, like babies, you still can’t handle anything stronger.” (1 Corinthians 3:2) He was telling them that had not spiritually grown enough for Him to speak at a level he needed to speak to them at. They were still like babies on Pablum.

Each of us has a God-given destiny. By that, I don’t mean something that's going to make headlines or put you in history books. What I do mean is that God has a great purpose for your life. He wants you to significantly influence and impact the lives of others in the earth. But, infants don’t go from breast milk to steak and Christians don’t instantly mature and fulfill their destiny. In God’s plan for our destiny we spiritually grow and mature. Even Jesus was born and matured into the fulfillment of His destiny. Destiny is a day-by-day and step-by-step path of growing up in Christ while learning first to learn and live by God’s values, and then influencing other toward them.  It is God’s will that all men be saved from eternal damnation. He has paved the way and opened the entrance of Heaven for any and everyone through Jesus Christ. It’s a gift we know and understand. We hold knowledge of the greatest secret ever revealed to mankind. God does not want it to remain a secret. He wants us to be influencers of this truth.

God also wants every believer to spiritually grow up and become contributors to His plan to reach and influence others with His love. Getting dragged down into the sinful activity and degradation that permeates this earth is the opposite of His plan and yet many Christians have been sucked into it, abandoning their faith. God speaks to that in Isaiah 65:11 (Message Bible) "But you who abandon me your God… who hold dinners for Lady Luck and throw cocktail parties for Sir Fate, Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be: your destiny, Death. For when I invited you, you ignored me; when I spoke to you, you brushed me off. You did the very things I exposed as evil; you chose what I hate."

Destiny is realized through our growth and maturity and developed as we walk out God's values. That means God first wants us to have a vision for learning His word and ways, and with His help, figuring how to walk them out in our life. He then wants us to learn how to share them with others so that we can help others grow up in Him. He wants us to become disciples and then become disciple makers. These are the first two core values that lead us in our God-given destiny. Our destiny will never be a blueprint that we've seen and known in advance. Our destiny is like a rose. It unfolds and gets more beautiful! It's an unfolding plan that God reveals little by little as He leads you there. And you can only be led there if you pursue these two core values of first becoming a disciple and becoming a disciple maker.

People often fantasize about living out some great destiny that significantly impacts the world. They think money, fame, power – all these things and more lead to destiny and a significant life. None of these things mean anything when they are void of the two core values of the Christ-life I just described to you. All fame, money, and power that God gives people are given by God for the purpose of helping people come to know Christ and grow up in Him.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20 (NKJV) says, "I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days..." 

You have a destiny in the big picture of God. He wants a life of significance and blessing – the life everyone dreams of for you! He want it for you more than you want it for you. But He can only lead you there. It's up to you to take hold of it, choose life, grow and mature, and walk it out!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, April 11, 2014

You are Attracting Others!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I remember when I was a kid; we would turn out the lights and hide in our basement playing hide and seek. It was pitch black and scary. I remember once being out camping with a group of friends on a very dark windy stormy night. The rain put out our campfire and our flashlights lost power. Even though we were just a few feet apart from each other, it was so dark we couldn't see anything! We had to leave the campsite and we couldn't see the trees, bushes, the ground, or each other. It was a terrifying experience. Darkness works in movie theaters, for sleeping, for seeing stars clearly and a few other things, but beyond that, the darkness generally creates a sense of fear or at the least, discomfort.

We live in a world where Satan continually works to introduce ever increasing levels of spiritual darkness. The world is getting darker. Acceptance by mankind of things that used to be seen as dark is fresh evidence of that! Profanity, sexual immorality, perverse behaviors, and materials of the occult, are now accepted as normal and everyday. How do people feel about it? Some are naive or blinded and accept it as the norm or just don't think about it at all. Others sense the world getting darker. Deep inside they know the world seems to be more increasingly overcome with evil. They don't like it but they don't know how to identify this darkness nor do they know what to do about it.

If we as Christians, recognize that this is happening, we can take advantage of it for Jesus. There is one thing you can always count on that is absolutely true and unchanging – people don’t like darkness and desire to gravitate toward light.

Phil 2:15 says, "...so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

If you love Jesus and are living for Him, you are that source of light. They sense something different about you and are drawn to it. I hope you understand that. You may not think you are much of a light, but even the tiniest light in a dark room, is easy to see. And so you are! As they are attracted to you, are you ready and equipped? Can you share something with them about the source of your light? Do you have a "light manual" you could give to them? Can you tell them about this light named Jesus in you and how He led you out of darkness? 1 Pet 3:15 says, “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect...”

I was outside one night recently. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the stars were so bright. I could only hold in awe the handiwork of God. You and I are that handiwork of God to those trapped in the darkness of this world. When you carry Him in your heart and let Him shine through you, then don't be surprised to find out that people are watching you and are drawn to you. Sometimes it's important to share your testimony of what Jesus did for you and other times it's important just to let people see God’s love in action through your life. They'll come to gaze more. Be ready and when the time is right, let them know the source what it is they sense in you! There can be a few areas where darkness works, but for the most part, people want to come out from it and move toward the light. Let it shine!

Psalms 112:4 (NLT) "Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous."

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was boy, the Lady Bug was the one bug I would always love to pick up. They were not something we saw often. To me they were almost like finding a four-leaf clover—they were such a novelty. I’d always pick them up and let them crawl on me. I didn't like bugs but Lady Bugs weren't like bugs. They were like cute little pets.
Then came along the Japanese Beetle. I thought they were lady bugs at first. I’d pick them up the same way. Then one day someone said to me, “See all those spots on that bug? There should be about 19 of them. That’s not a Lady Bug. That’s a Asian beetle. They are a nuisance bug and they smell if you crush them.” That was at least ten years ago and I haven’t held a Lady Bug since. His comments spoiled them for me. I’ve brushed off every one I’ve seen, concerned they might be a Japanese Beetle. Instead of learning to tell the difference between the two, I’ve treated both like a pest. That thought hit me the other day when I brushed away what I now know was a Lady Bug. Lady Bugs usually only have a few spots.
Asian Beetles are usually solid covered with spots. What I realized through this was that a lack of knowledge over this robbed me of the Lady Bug experience I would have shared with my granddaughters. I treated both bugs bad when only one was a nuisance.

The world does that with Christians. The media focuses on any Christian that has every been a poor example, whether it be someone ministering on television or someone who calls themselves a Christian but has done something wrong or crazy. The world and the media try to paint pictures of all Christians being weird, crazy, or hypocrites. Forget the fact that people in the world get drunk or high, swear, watch or participate in illicit sex, and will lie, cheat, or manipulate to get what they want. As a matter of fact, I've just described the average prime time television show. They don’t care if they do all that. They don’t profess to be Christians so they don’t have to restrain themselves from this behavior. They just want professing Christians to be perfect and if they catch one making a mistake or blowing it by sinning, they blast that person as the devil incarnate and mock Christianity because of a few. Most Christians are good people. Most Pastors are good Pastors. Most television evangelists are Godly men that are not out for money. They take donations so they can reach more people with Christ’s love. Television costs are outrageously high.

Being a Christian is a decision to give your life over to Jesus and to accept Him as your personal Lord and Savior. From that moment it’s a life-long process of personal character transformation. People in the world don’t understand that. They just think, “You say you are a Christian so how can you be doing that?” “You’re a hypocrite!”

Christians can become a victim of the Lady Bug/Japanese Beetle syndrome. They are all lumped together as being too hard to distinguish good from bad. The world tries to make us all look bad. This causes many people who are interested in Christianity to think of it like the Japanese Beetle. They don’t understand the difference and they brush it away. That has been a strategy of the devil from the beginning.

When you believe something strongly—when something becomes a true conviction and an anchor of your heart—it will guide your life. That is why you better have your beliefs anchored in true knowledge and fact. You better not get seduced by the world’s perspective and criticism of Christianity or you’ll begin to be embarrassed that you are a Christian.

When someone ignorantly attacks Christianity because of a Christian that doesn't measure up, be bold and set them straight gently but with strength and moral fiber. Don’t you become offended. Be a person that is proud of your Savior Jesus Christ. Be a person that is proud to live morally and upright according to God’s Word. Remember: “The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.” ( Proverbs 28:1) Be the bold. Enlighten others that they misunderstand true Christianity. Tell them Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven! Tell them that most are like Lady Bugs even though there are some Japanese Beetles out there! And then you model what Christianity should look like so they can criticize you!

Philippians 2:15 (NLT) "... Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." 

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Helping Those Who Resist God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was stopped at church by a young woman who is a fairly new Christian. She had been trying to share her faith with an co-worker. Not far into the conversation he made the declaration to her that he did not believe like her and – that he was an agnostic. She wasn't sure what that meant and asked me. It's funny how people like to label themselves.

The definition for agnostic is this: One who believes that there can be no proof of the existence of God but does not deny the possibility that God exists. When I hear someone tell me they are agnostic I think, Haven't they ever seen a baby being born? Haven't they ever seen pictures that have come back from the Hubble space telescope? Didn't they study science when they were in school? Haven't they ever been to the top of a mountain and looked around? Haven't they ever studied the miraculous way that the human body works? When I look around, all I see is God. I felt that way before I ever received Jesus as my Savior. That's one of the things that compelled me to seek the truth about God. All of creation is too sophisticated to be a random accident! The identity of God is in everything.

When it comes to believing in Jesus, I often ask people, Do you believe that Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton were presidents? Of course they would say yes. Well there are people who are on the earth today that weren't yet born when Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan were alive. They will learn about them from recorded history! Jesus Christ is recorded by the notable Jewish historian Josephus with him saying about Jesus, He was Christ. This is recorded history. In Josh McDowell's book, "Evidence demands a verdict," he makes the case that some of the greatest minds in the world agree that the Bible is the most historically accurate book in the world.

Even though we know all these things and present them to those that we are led to share with, there are still and always will be those who resist the truth. I usually speak to them this way. I ask them if they are honest people. Of course they will say yes. Then I ask them if they are agnostic because they want to be or because they just don't have proof otherwise. Most will say because they don't have proof otherwise. If they want to be agnostic just for the sake of being agnostic, they aren't agnostic at all. They are stubbornly stupid! For those that claim to be honest and are truly searching, they can be easily won to the Lord. I ask them You say you are honest. If God revealed Himself to you over the next few weeks, would you be honest enough to admit it and give your life over to Jesus? They always say yes. Then I ask them if they will let me pray for them. I pray that the Lord will open the eyes of their understanding and I ask them to ask God to reveal Himself to them. I tell them that if they are sincere and their heart is open, then God will send people to them and find ways to reveal Himself to them, IF they will be honest!

I have won many people to the Lord this way. You know why? They come back and tell me the compounding coincidences that they realize couldn't be coincidences at all. They say that it seems like people out of nowhere are talking to them about Jesus. Then they turned on the television and this man looks through the television screen straight at them saying, You can’t afford to go another day without asking Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Then while they are waiting to have the oil in their car changed, they see this little pamphlet on the table. They pick it up and its talking about the way to receive eternal life as a gift through Jesus Christ. Then on their twitter home page is a tweet that says, Discover Jesus, the only one who will never let you down. The honest ones come back and say, I couldn't deny that all this was coming at me and I could hear your words, God will reveal Jesus Christ and His love to you if you will just open your heart! They can't deny it and they promised not to write it off to coincidence. Before they go on this journey, I tell them how to pray and ask Jesus into their heart so that when this happens, they know what to do.

We are to try to reach those around us with the love of Jesus. 2 Cor. 5:11 (NLT) says, “It is because we know this solemn fear of the Lord that we work so hard to persuade others…” 

Understand that we cannot personally reveal God. We can only share the truth of God’s love with others. If their heart is open, God will reveal Himself to them. That is His part. But, remember that in showing people the scriptures, they aren't ordinary words. Hebrews 4:12 says, “The Word of God is quick and powerful…” If we will lovingly plant the seed of God’s Word in them, God is faithful. He will reveal Himself to those that are truly open and want to know the truth. There is no better way that I know for a slightly stubborn person to come around and leave their agnostic thoughts in the trash. When they open their hearts, God will work powerfully in their lives to help them see His hand on their life. I learned years ago, this takes the pressure off us and puts it back to the one who knows how to handle it. The Lord!

2 Timothy 2:25 (NLT) "Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth." 

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!  Tell Pastor Tim here:






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/