About Tim Burt

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

You: A Work In Progress That God is Maturing!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Every GOOD parent wants their child to mature and grow up to live a good and significant life. Every GOOD Christian parent wants their child to spiritually mature and grow up not only to have a significant life, but a life fulfilling their God-given destiny—loving and serving Him one day at a time.

Remember that we are created in the Lord’s image and we are at our best when we try to emulate Him. The Lord wants us to grow up serving Him. He created something called the church: a people group who know Jesus as Savior, and as a place and atmosphere to help that happen. Ephesians 1:22-23 (NLT) says, “And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and He gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is His body…” If you are a believer, you are a part of the body of Christ. Jesus loves the church! Eph 5:25 (KJV) says, “…Christ loves the church and give His life for it.” Those of us who believe, are all a part of God's church—the universal church inclusive of all believers of Jesus Christ. He also wants us to be a part of the local church—a local community of believers that grow and interact together and influence those in their world for Him.

God goes on in His Word to say that He gave and put within the church, leaders (like parents to children) to help us grow up and spiritually mature. Ephesians. 4:12-13 (NLT) says, “…to prepare and equip God's people to do His work and help build up His church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God's Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.”

One of the ways God helps us to spiritually grow up and mature is to learn to serve others—His plan, in and through the local church. When we work side-by-side and in unison with others in and through the local church, it forces us to learn to work together to accomplish His will and develop spiritual character as the Holy Spirit transforms our lives into the image of Him.  It can at times be difficult because people are people, even when they are Christians. They still at times act out unchristian attitudes and behaviors. Why? Because each of us is a work in progress. You might expect every kind of behavior from unbelievers in the workplace because they don’t know the Lord. But you have a higher expectation from Christians. And yet, Christians—each and every one, are a work in progress with differently levels of maturity, and can consequently still hurt you.

When this happens—Christians hurting you—why would you keep on? You would because you understand they are a work in progress as you yourself are. You want them to be patience with you, so you show mercy and be patient as God transforms their life. This forces you to develop Christian character. You have to learn to be forgiving, to overlook offences, to walk in love—literally to develop every Christian attribute that God’s Word says we should grow in and put on. You may quit your job when you are disgruntled, but God doesn't want you to quit being a part of His church and serving His plan. It is part of His maturing process for your life. And a powerful benefit of growing in this, is developing an I will not quit attitude. God teaches us that if we learn to abandon the constant temptation to quit at time of adversity, we'll instead learn to persevere and become a winner! Galatians 6:9 (NIV) "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." 

Think about this: spouses fight, children fight, quarrels and fights happen all the time, but because you are a family, you work it out a day at a time while learning to walk in love as your goal. That’s how it is in the local church. This is God's will but f you don’t know, you’ll miss out on the plan that He has to help spiritually mature you!

If you read the story of Moses, you see that he had to manage all of God’s people. They were spiritually undeveloped and immature—a whiny, ornery, sometimes rebellious bunch. But God still loved them and Moses still had to work with them. There were times where Moses wanted to quit. Yet he didn't because He loved God and loved the people and knew he had to persevere while praying and interceding for them.

One day God spoke words to Moses that each of us would long to hear from God. He said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” (Exodus 33:17) This was the same as God proclaiming He was Moses's friend. Then God revealed Himself to Moses in a special way. Serving God from a pure heart has its special moments and rewards from God.

Learning to serve God’s plan by serving others alongside of God's people through the local church is a significant part of God’s plan to mature us. We are family. We don’t quit that plan, we realize that it’s God’s plan to help us grow up and mature with godly character.

We've all been hurt by other Christians and we've all probably hurt other Christians. But, like family, we hang in there, forgive and have mercy on each other, and purpose to do better as we grow and mature. We all hope to grow up together to bless the Lord and influence this world with the gospel of Jesus and with His loving touch operating in and through us. When we do so, we will be the ones that benefit the most from His glorious plan!

Ephesians 4:13 (MSG) "until we're all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God's Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Don't Let Yourself Stray From God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


An acquaintance of mine said, Man I feel lost and confused right now! He asked me if I had ever felt that way? I told him yes! We have all been lost and we have all felt lost!

When I first gave my life to the Lord, I moved in and out of that feeling. I felt so far from God and so unsure how to get to where I would now call the perfect will of God for my life. I only knew then that I just wasn't where I needed to be. Back then, I didn't simply didn't understand that I was feeling astray. My life wasn't where I knew it needed to be.

Every human being has gone astray. Isaiah 53:6 says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way..." Every person, regardless of whether they will admit, it has gone astray. They have experienced the feeling at some point in their life of being astray from God. The first step to removing yourself from that feeling is accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Not everyone knows that they need Jesus but they do know the feeling of being astray. It's a feeling that no one likes. That's why people try to rid themselves of it. We've heard the expression of people trying to  fill the void in their life.  That void is not knowing their Maker—the Lord, intimately and not understanding the purpose of their life. That and wandering from God is what causes us to have deep inner feelings of being astray.

People work hard to get rid of the yuck feeling of being astray. People go on journeys and seasons of experimentation to remove that feeling. Some try to cover it with alcohol and others with drugs, or both. Some with a change of personal identity—piercings or unusual hair cuts, or tattoos or hair colors. Some with styles of clothing that relate to the lifestyle of a niche' of people. Some through music. Others through diving into a career or career advancement. Some try by changing their surroundings or job. Others jump into sexual relationships without any or little commitment. Some people try fill their void through constant shopping while others over-eat. Some fill their life with healthy habits of fitness to find other ways to feel good about themselves. All of these things can mask the feeling of being astray for a season, but the feeling will always come back. This feeling can only be dealt with by aligning your life and purpose with the path of life that God has destined for you. Then the feeling goes away.

I said that I still had that feeling after I had received Jesus as my personal Savior and it's true, I did! I knew I was finally getting on the right track but also knew the Holy Spirit was leading me to make serious and necessary changes in my life that I still sometimes resisted out of a fear of the unknown. I didn't know where God was leading me and didn't know him intimately enough at that point to realize I could completely abandon myself to His trust.  Yet I yearned to discover my life's purpose.

In the years to come, as I trusted the Lord and His Word, and yielded more and more to the direction I felt He was leading me,  personal transformation happened! I came to understand that it’s in trusting the enabling power of the Holy Spirit within us, coupled with the instruction of God’s Word that helps transformation to happen. It's much like when Abraham had to leave his home and follow God's leading to a new home and purpose. Because Abraham trusted God and followed after Him, his life became aligned with what God wanted to do through Him. God established a covenant with Abraham that promised mind-boggling blessings to he and his heirs for all generation. That promise to Abraham still reach into our lives, all the way from back then to today. We easily see this in Galatians 3:29 (NLT) "And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you." 

Life is full of distractions that seem to continuously try to pull us away from God. God compares us to sheep and reminds us that sheep have a tendency to wander.  Understanding that, I purpose to stay close to God. I know that staying close to Him creates joy and excitement in my life that is unparalleled to anything this world has to offer. If I begin to wander from Him, it doesn't take long for those feelings of being astray  to surface. If I do wander, what do I do? I simply cry out to God, Help me Father, I feel like I am astray from you and where you want me to be. I know by faith that He desires to and will help lead me back into His perfect will. I cooperate by spending more time in His word, in prayer praising and thanking Him. I spend more time with other Christians, and I make sure I am at church and serving those in my church and around me in my life. I know all these things help get me draw closer to the Lord and get me back on track with Him! And it feels so good!

Be blessed in knowing this simple but profound truth! If you get off track somewhere, you can be absolutely confident He will lead you back on track if you will cry out to Him from a sincere heart and yield to Him.

Psalms 119:35 (NLT) "Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found." 

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, September 26, 2014

Trusting God When You've Blown It

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One morning  I woke up and something clicked within me. I realized I had made mistake. Renee and I both did. We booked a flight to go visit our son and daughter-in-law only to find we accidentally booked it over a day when I had a speaking engagement that I cared very much about. We were both shocked that we made this oversight because we are for the most part, organized and aware of our schedules. So what happened here? I can only tell you that I made a mistake. The airlines wouldn't let us change the tickets without paying costly penalties. There are few things in life that bother me more than when I make a stupid mistake—especially the kind that you know you should have caught.

I know that many people get mad when these kinds of things happen. I know that most look to blame and because they don’t want to blame themselves, they blame circumstances, others, or God. I was telling someone last week, only the foolish blame God. He is not the source of any problem. He is the solution to every problem. I blew it. I created the predicament and I didn't have an easy or painless solution.  I told the Lord I was sorry that I messed up and asked Him to guide me in the best way to handle the problem.

When Moses was delivering God’s people from Pharaoh and Egypt, he was following God and God was leading them through some desert places. They didn't know that he was helping them avoid enemies they were not yet strong enough or courageous enough to confront. In these places that God was leading them, it wasn't always comfortable or to their liking. They did what people too often do when they aren't happy, they complained and whined. They declared that they blew it and should have never left Egypt. In stead of trusting God, they lost perspective of Him being with them and guiding them despite how the circumstances appeared. Numbers 11:4-6 “Now the mixed multitude who were among them yielded to intense craving; so the children of Israel also wept again and said: "Who will give us meat to eat? We remember the fish which we ate freely in Egypt, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic; but now our whole being is dried up; there is nothing at all except this manna before our eyes!"

What they weren't seeing was that the food God had provided for them in the desert—the manna, was supernatural. It would completely sustain them and keep their bodies healthy the entire time they God required them to eat it. Number 11:8 says, “The people went about and gathered the manna, ground it on millstones or beat it in the mortar, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of fresh oil.”

That fresh oil was symbolic of the Word of God. God offers us that taste of fresh oil every day! God provides that Fresh Word from Heaven—the only thing that can keep our heart encouraged, our faith vibrant, and lift us out of discouragement. Moses taught them that truth later saying, “Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years… to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deut. 8:2-3)

Jesus later taught the same thing saying, “...so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:57-58)

When things go wrong or we make mistakes, our temptation is to get mad, get frustrated, and feel like God has abandoned us. Discouragement is demonically designed to tempt us to blame God or others, and to discourage us from running to God and His Word. The Israelites were whining over their situation. Supernatural provision was in their grasp yet they didn't see it for what it was.

My mistake was not out of sin or rebellion. It was a mistake. It wasn't my first and it wouldn't be my last. But I was confident that God is greater than my mistakes. His word was my manna! Psalm 112:7 spoke to my heart saying, "The righteous man will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”

I didn't have an immediate solution to my dilemma. I could beat myself up over my mistake but I refused. I refused to become discouraged over it. I laid it at the Lord’s feet and said, Father, I messed this up and I don’t know how, but I am so sorry. Please help me work this out. I thank you in advance in Jesus name.

The following day, I got a call from the church that I was supposed to speak at. They called to apologize but they had given me the wrong date to speak. They wondered if I could speak on their new date. I smiled and told them I could arrange that. When I hung up the phone, I broke out in praise for the Lord's goodness and mercy. If this was a test of my faith, I had passed it and God had blessed it. I was able to do both and both were a great blessing!

Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV) "Do everything without complaining or arguing, 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 as you hold out the word of life--in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."

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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do You Want to Know What Smart Living Is?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you think you're smart?  I think many if not most people would like to think they are smart. I think most people would say that they aren't stupid. But how do they measure that? Is it a matter of measuring one’s IQ? Is it decided by how much education one has? Is being smart measured by how much common sense you have? People will measure being smart by many different standards.

For me, I think I'm smart when I emulate Joshua's heart and attitude. Joshua 24:15 (NKJV) "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve,,, But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 

I think I'm smart when I see what God instructs me to do in His Word and I trust the instruction and direction He leads me in more than my opinion or ability to figure out how things should be done. I think I am smart when I put sincere heart faith and trust in Him helping me to execute the steps he leads me in. I think I am smart when I pursue the general plan for living that He has for us all!

I was meditating on the verse 1 Cor. 7:30 (NLT) “Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work.” The Apostle Paul wrote these words while teaching Christians about distractions that steal our attention from what is most important in this life—serving God and His plan in all the different ways He would lead us.

There are times—often too many times when someone or something makes us feel sad.  Sometimes it's because of something someone said that discourages us. Sometimes its because people feel like they are poor and have nothing. We could easily give into the many opportunities for discouragement that present themself. If we did, it would lead us to all the wrong places. Keeping focused on why you are in this earth—which is to serve the plan of God by being an influence and revealer of the love of Jesus, will help you keep moving forward and bring you back to the big picture of life. 2 Corinthians 6:10 (NLT) says, "Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything."  God is smart and knows that you serving His plan will help you. Consequently, He teaches us to not let sadness have anything more than a very temporary place in our life. We need to get right back to living for the Lord and focus on serving Him and people. When we do, we find that it becomes like the hand of God reaching down and pulling us out of a pit. Focusing on being a blessing to others helps pull us out of discouragement and refocuses us on moving forward. I am smart if I follow being an influence for Him as my life's purpose!
Everyone likes to be happy and so it becomes a pursuit of life for most! Happiness is so enjoyed that it has an addicting effect. It feels so good and so much fun that it's all you want. Many people live their whole life chasing happiness rather than God’s plan for their life. The pursuit of happiness without God-given purpose is usually self-serving and can actually cause great periods of depression because it’s impossible to maintain. It’s better to live happy and enjoy the happy moments of time that come naturally in life. The greatest happiness comes from serving God by serving people, and helping others discover and live for Jesus. That doesn't mean you have to talk about Jesus every second of your life. It means you walk in the joy of the Lord, shining daily for Him, and bringing happiness to others through your smile, attitude, and love walk. Pursue that goal and you will find greater happiness than you've ever known and you will be living life the way God intended for you to live it. That will make you very smart!

Finally, God teaches us that we are smart when we use our wealth, that being our time, talents, and resources—whatever God has blessed us with, to be a blessing to others. Jesus said in Luke 12:48 (NKJV) "... to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."   
Wealth pursued simply for one’s own pleasure will most often draw people away from God. This is true because once they have the resources to live the dream that the world paints, they spend it on themselves to increase their personal happiness.  Again, this is usually self-serving and those that live this way have little time to serve God. But, when you have great resources and you use them in the diversity of ways that God leads you to, while keeping true to a consistent life of serving God by serving your church and the people around you, then you have used wealth in the purpose it is given for. That is smart!

Whether happy or sad, or wealthy or poor, God wants us focused on Him and His purpose for your life—that is, serving His plan. This leads to smart living. I can’t improve on the Apostle Paul’s words, words I think lead us to being smart, and so I will close with them.

1 Cor. 7:30-31 (NLT) “Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away.”

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! FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Transformation to Becoming Generous

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


We all hopefully have a few memories that make us laugh when we think about them. One that makes me smile or laugh each time I think about it has to do with my kids when they were young. Whenever we would go on a long drive for a weekend getaway, about half way through the trip, we'd stop in a grocery store or gas station and I'd let each of my four children pick out three treats! They knew this moment was coming and were excited for it. When we'd get back in the car, they would already be digging into their first treat. It was at this point that I strategically tested their giving nature. I'd put my hand out and say, can I have a couple of those? Two of them would easily share. One of them was more hesitant but did. And the other one didn't want to share. He'd look up at me and say, Dad, you just bought these for us. Why didn't you buy one for yourself? I'd say, I didn't want to buy a whole box or bag of candy and was just hoping you'd share a couple with me. I'd continue, I bought those for you and yet you won't share a couple with me? Sometimes he did but grudgingly, and sometimes he didn't.  This opened the door for a discussion on learning to be a generous giver!

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT) says, "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

This verse reveals that God wants us to become those who learn to give generously and cheerfully. The main reason people don't is because they think they will have less and be deprived of something by giving what they have. God's Word reveals the opposite. It indicates over and over that the supernatural power of God is most involved with those that have learned to give cheerfully and by faith, that when they do, God will become involved in their needs. Look at these two verses and see if you can see it.

Proverbs 11:24 (NIV) says, "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty." Imagine that; you give more freely (because you trust God and have become a generous giver) and you end up with more. Mr. Stingy doesn't give and he ends up with less. Hmm!

And in Luke 6:38 (NLT) Jesus said, "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”  

God also teaches us in Psalm 112 about the character of "the righteous person" meaning in this case, one who has godly character developed within him/her. Psalms 112:9 (NLT) "They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor." 

When trying to teach my children about the importance of sharing and giving, I tried to help them understand a concept that was difficult for them. You wouldn't think it would be difficult but it was. I tried to help them understand that when they shared with me, that I was always able to supply them with more. If they ran out, that was something I could help with as I had the resources to do so. The same is true when we give tithes and offerings to God, and when we give to the needs of others because we feel compelled to by the Lord. When we understand that God is our Heavenly Father and that He loves a cheerful giver, then we begin to live in His supernatural economy. We don't give to get. We give with the pure motive of being cheerful givers and when we give, we give not only to the one in need, but in our heart, making it a sacrifice to God  knowing He meets all of our needs. This is the kind of heart he blesses over and over and over again.

The gifts that we are to scatter generously are not limited to monetary or material things. Each one of us has a deep well of riches—talents, skills, time and help, edification and/or a listening ear, and more within us. As we begin to draw out those gifts and share them liberally to those around us, God transform us to become cheerful, generous, instinctive givers! We’ll learn the revelation of Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." 

My children are now all adults who have become generous and cheerful givers and each of them is very blessed in their life. They have learned the blessing of giving to God and blessing others! As we learn this, it will help shape our heart to be like God's—the ultimate giver who gave the greatest of all gifts, Jesus!

Romans 8:32 (NIV) "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" 

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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Rewarding Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A simple truth: when you are younger, life seems long. When you get older, it feels like time has flown by and life is short. God’s Word amplifies this truth. Psalm 144:4 says, “For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow.” Job 14:2 says “Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear.” Psalm 39:4 says, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away.”

Jesus taught that one day “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.” (Matt 24:35) When Jesus said this, He was speaking literally. One day this world as we know it will be changed by Him. What He said would never change is His Word. We can count on every word He has instructed us with to come to pass. So, life is short, time does pass quickly, and one day we will look back and reflect on how lived our short and fleeting life for Him.

Life is full of distractions. Satan works to make the world and sin appealing—all to distract us, draw us in, and to get us to forget about anything to do with the purpose we were put on this earth for—the plan of God.

The Apostle Paul spoke about it when he was teaching single people of the blessing and advantage they could have if they would stay focused on serving the Lord. He taught them that marriage is good, but full of distractions. (He was demeaning marriage by any means. Just discussing the reality of distractions within a marriage.) In 1 Cor. 7:30-35 (NLT) the Apostle Paul said, "Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away. In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please Him. But a married man can't do that as well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit, while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.”

This isn't a discourse by Paul about not getting married. And he is not saying that if you are married, will you be less spiritual or pleasing to God. It’s about understanding that life is short, the world competes for your heart, and life is chuck full of distractions that seem to grab too much of our time and attention. For far too many, living for God gets pushed way back on the priority list when it should be the main thing—the core value of your life.
Thank God you can live your life wholeheartedly for the Lord whether married or single. I’m married, have four children and six grandchildren so far. The world tries to draw me in too. I try never to lose sight of the fact that time passes quickly. The things the world places importance on really don’t matter much. My life was given to me as a gift to serve God. What I do for Him from a sincere heart will never lose its reward in this life or in the life to come. For that reason, I desire to let my fast moving life not be distracted, but instead filled with ways to exalt the love of Jesus and find ways to influence others with that touch of His love. When that is your heart, He always leads you in the way and opens that door. After all, He does want all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the saving grace and love of Jesus! Let’s be focused together and let Him lead us into wonderful moments and places that count!

Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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!  Tell Pastor
Tim here:




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

God Has "A Better Place" For You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As Israel's leader, there where many times Moses spoke to God's people. This is one of them. Deu 6:3 “Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your fathers, promised you.”
God was preparing to move them from a "temporary place" into a "better place." He had led them out of a bad place. Isn't that just like a loving God and Heavenly Father? He always wants to bring us into a better place.

You know what's really sad? They didn't make it to their better place. You know why? Because they were afraid. They were afraid that God might not do what He promised them. They focused on the fear of not knowing where they were going while living while constantly remembering the awful place they had been. These fears stole their trust and love of God and eroded their faith in what He promised them.  Faith in what God says and promises is necessary and critical to protect in our life. We learn that from Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV) "But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him."  Even though they had seen God work in the most miraculous of ways, they allowed fear to dominate their thinking and cloud God's promises right out of their life.
You might think, "I would never be like that." The truth is, unless you understand and firmly believe that God wants to bring YOU into a better place, you are like them. If you are trusting in YOUR ability to get you to a better place, then you're like them. As soon as your ability can’t get you further, you’ll panic in fear. Unless you know your covenant with God and have absolute faith that God wants to bring you into a better place – unless you are believing for God to bring you into that better place, then you are like them.

Joshua and Caleb had every expectation that God would keep His promises to them about a better life. Not so for their peer leaders. They were not rooted in that kind of faith at all. When they went ahead to check out the land they would bring the rest of the people into, they saw all the enemies and obstacles present before them. They slipped into fear and unbelief and let fear paint could their mind and their words. Their words matched their fear and they began to speak "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the Lord bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" (Num 14:2-3 NIV)

Joshua and Caleb tried to silence the spoken fears of their contemporaries. They told them to be quiet and then told them God wanted them to go forward into His promise. So who eventually ended up with their promises from God fulfilled? Joshua and Caleb - the ones who believed. Who didn't? The ones who feared and did not trust God.

God wants to bring you into a better place. What is a better place? You tell me. If you were once spiritually bankrupt and now you know that Jesus loves you, is that a better place? It is to me! If you were going to Hell but now you are going to Heaven is that a better place? It is to me! If you use to live like the devil and now you live for God, is that a better place? It is to me!

He has brought me into the life I feel passionate about – a life living in His ways! That's better! I use to influence people toward all the wrong things but now influence a great many for God. That's better! He has delivered me from myself and taught me how to love the most wonderful wife in the world. That's better! He has given me four beautiful children and five grandchildren that all love God. That's better! He has given me increased resources to manage my life and influence others for God. That's better! He’s given me the best church and people to serve of any congregation anywhere! That’s better! He has blessed me to be a blessing! Everything in my life is better than what it was and it just keeps on getting better. It’s supposed to.

God is a God of Covenant. As good as this covenant was with them back then, Jesus is the author of even a better covenant with us.

Hebrews 7:22 & 8:6 "...Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant... superior to theirs as the covenant of which He is mediator is superior to the old one, and it is founded on better promises."

I praise God for “the better place” He wants for you. Even if you are in a great place, He has a better place. The better place is not so you can just consume His goodness upon your own lust. To the contrary, it's so you are equipped for every good work to touch those around you with His love! It's so you can be a blessing.

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! FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

One Way God Helps You With Your Problems

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


1 Cor. 2:10 “But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…”

We have all seen it at some time, a person doing a magic trick. He takes the coin in his left hand. He squeezes and blows on it. He opens it and the coin is gone. He opens his other hand and there it is. That is called magic, the art of illusion. God does not do magic. We don’t hand Him our problems where He takes them in His hand, squeezes and blows on them, and they are suddenly gone. That’s illusion but God is about SOLUTION.

Too many of the problems that we experience, we've contributed to creating. Marriage problems for example, don’t just happen. We do things God tells us we shouldn't do. We don’t do things God tells us we should do. By disobeying God we create problems.

When people get in crisis situations, they often pray out of desperation, but what they are usually looking for is the magician, not God. They want God to wave His wand and make their problems go away. There are many in the world that offer illusionary solutions (for a fee) but God is not one of them. If problems are born out of our character dysfunction, God's solution is going to be to help transform us so that we don't repeat creating these problems again and again. Oh don't get me wrong. God will help us in a multitude of ways to get to a better place, but beyond that, God is all about transformation! He is interested in transforming us. He is interested in transforming how we think, how we speak, and how we behave. He is interested in transforming our attitudes and motives. He wants to help purge us from selfish ways and teach us to become a vessel of His love with a servant attitude so that we will become more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our role model of selflessness. Every word Jesus spoke leads to transformation. That doesn't mean becoming Mother Theresa. It means learning to prefer others over yourself, and from a sincere heart.

So let me illustrate how that happens. Think of God wanting to transform you as you read this scripture. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV) says, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  

If you were anything like me you might have responded Blameless? Who me? I’m as close to blameless and holy as I am to Jupiter. That’s how I felt when I first read this verse. So, let me break it down. You are a three-part being. You are a spirit. You are a soul (made up of your mind and emotions,) and you are a body. When you gave your life to Jesus, He made your spirit new. It was instantly transformed. The blood of Jesus washed your sins away and God put a white robe of righteousness upon you. Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) says, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in His wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”

What Jesus did for you is a gift. You can’t earn it. That robe covers your flaws. God knew you’d have flaws. He knew Satan had tried to corrupt and destroy you and that fixing you would take time. He purposed to cover you with this robe so that when He looked upon you, He’d see you washed and cleansed from sin by His blood. He could do that instantly because Jesus paid the price for your sins. Romans 5:9 (NIV) says,"Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him!"

You are a spirit, soul, and body and your spirit is to take lead of your life. You soul and body weren't made to lead you in life. They will take you to problem land. They are corrupted and haven’t been instantly changed. Your spirit has the capability of hearing from the Spirit of God. Your mind hasn't. What you hear from God by your spirit is what you teach your mind to think.

1 Cor. 2:6-16 (NLT) says, “Yet when I am among mature Christians, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world… No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God… But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit… And God has actually given us His Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us….But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all….but we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ."

You have many thoughts you think about every day. You talk to yourself about many things. Your conscience is engaged in that conversation. Your conscience isn't your spirit. Your conscience is a part of your soul – your mind and emotions. Before you gave your life to Jesus, your conscience was trained by the many voices of the world that speak into your life. But when you gave your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit took residence within you, and that’s who is now supposed to teach and transform your conscience and thinking. That is what is meant by the verse Romans 12:2 (NLT) “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”

This transformation will take time because you will have to make the personal decision to hear and obey God’s voice speaking to you through the scriptures over and over and over again. And you will have to make the decision to change. He won’t make you. So how fast you change depends on your willingness to seek and to listen to the voice of God. It won’t be magic. It will be a process. God in His mercy and grace will wash and forgive you of your sins when you blow it and repent. Listening and obeying repeatedly over time is what will cause your character transformation. Hardship and the desire to get out of our problems has a way of helping us remember what we don’t want to go through again. God doesn't want hardship for us. He wants obedience that minimizes problems and instead leads us to the blessing and joy of following Him. If God just did the magic and took the problems you created away, then you would not be transformed into Christ’s image and you’d repeat those stupid mistakes and sins over and over again. He is interested in the transformation of your spirit, soul and body! While this is happening, He’ll always be by your side to speak to you and lead you – if you will listen! He’ll listen to every prayer, and help you in every step. And you will change!

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) "... And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." 

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! Fresh Manna Feedback@comcast.net







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, September 15, 2014

Called To Do Great and Mighty Things…But What Do I Do Today?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Did you know that God wants us to get stirred up and excited to do great things for Him? When we get stirred up, and when we have faith that God will use us in some way to be a blessing to others, then we’ll begin to pay attention to the leading of God’s Holy Spirit. When we desire to be used of God and when we pray and ask Him to use us, then the eyes of our heart will be more attentive and we will catch those moments and opportunities to be used of Him. Most times, what we do for others will go unnoticed by everyone except those whom we help, and God. The Lord always pays attention! The Lord will give you those occasional times where you will be used and it will be noticed by others. We can't live for those moments; because to do so, poisons your motives. We live for seeking to be used to help others as God leads no matter who knows or sees. Then we’ll eventually begin to take risks for doing greater things borne out of a heart motivated by God’s love.

It was this truth that lead me to inventing the commercial infant changing tables you seen in every public bathroom everywhere you go. I had thought about it for three years before I acted on it. One Sunday morning in our church service, the message being preached was about reaching more people for the Lord. Our church was already packed and if we succeeded, we would have to expand our facility to minister to them all. It would take committed hearts and resources. It was at that point that the Lord spoke to me and said I want you to execute the idea that has been stirring in you for the past three years. It will be a blessing to many and provide resources to reach more people for me.  It took five years of hard work from concept to finally watching them be installed in bathrooms all across America. I have young mothers with babies that know I did this, stopping to thank me all the time. I would have never done this had I not believed that the Lord wanted me to do it and spoke to my heart. He did and he stirred me up! This has happened to me again and again. It makes life so exciting! But it started with little acts of obedience and commitment to reach others with God's love.

Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV) says, “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.” God doesn't show us great and mighty things for kicks, or to inflate our ego with pride about how spiritual we are. He doesn't show us things and stir us into action so that we can chase success only to enjoy the benefits and leave God behind when we attain it. He shows us things so we can ultimately influence and impact lives for His glory, one way or another. That is what we are in this earth for. To be an influence helping others to know and experience the love of Jesus in their lives.

I think most of us have been stirred up and dreamed of doing great things for God at one time or another. That’s a good thing! We are to stir up and provoke one another to do good. We read in 2 Timothy 1:6 (NKJV)  “Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you...” And in Hebrews 10:24 “Think of ways to stir up and encourage one another to outbursts of love and good deeds.” So do you think about and desire to do great and mighty things, yet find yourself thinking, “What do I do today?”

If you had any idea of the power of God that is at work within you trying to get out, you’d be bolder and take more risks. Am I serious when I say that? I am because you see it here in God's Word! Ephesians 3:20 (NLT) "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." The power of God is mighty within you but quit looking and thinking about the great things you are going to do in terms of making headlines. That’s about you. That’s pride.

You are surrounded by need—people in desperate places looking for answers, solutions, and help. You have answers. I am not talking about your brilliance or opinions. I am talking about the promises of God found in His Word. The Bible says God’s Word—scripture—is “quick and powerful.” God’s Word carries God’s power—the power to destroy Satan’s lies, discouragements, and attacks coming against someone's life. It has power to produce faith—life-changing faith that alters someone’s thinking and life instantly! If you love the Lord, then you have His Word in your heart and it's a powerful starting place to be great! Just be there for people. Encourage them in God's Word. Pray for them right then and there. Serve people in church and in your daily life as though you were serving God. This is where a pure heart and godly character begin to be shaped within you. And when you are putting God's Word in you, you have it not only to share with others, but you have God speaking to you through His Word to lead you in every aspect of your life! Be faithful in asking God to use you to help others daily and I assure you He will begin to do great things in you!

I was talking to a man who had thrown his life down the toilet. He had been in the military and had killed people in war—accidentally killing civilians. It haunted him until finally his life had disintegrated and left him as a street drunk and druggie. I reached out to him without knowing any of this and in a short time ended up telling him how much God loved him. He didn't believe it. I told him it was true. As much as I tried to convince him, he wouldn't believe me so I pulled out a pocket Bible and showed him verses about God’s love and forgiveness. I had him read them out loud to me. Suddenly I noticed a change. God’s Word began to penetrate what had become a stony heart. With big puppy eyes he looked at me and said, Do you really believe God would forgive me? Yes I said. God promises it in His Word and read it to him again. He prayed and asked Jesus into his heart right then and there. He cried like a baby, was instantly and miraculously sober, gave me a big hug. and wanted to find a church. I helped him with this!

Taking small steps as you are led by God to reach others with His love is where greatness begins. And as I said, this is what gives place for God to shape our motives, our character, and our trust in Him to use us. Bringing the love of God to meet someone’s need is just one way “great and mighty things” get done. This wasn't in the headlines of the local newspaper but I guarantee you it was in the headlines of God’s heart! He is waiting to do great and mighty things through you!

2 Corinthians 9:2 (NIV) "For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action" 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Why Does It Seem Like the Wicked Prosper?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Matthew 5:44-45 to: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

There is this guy named George. He lives in a house; I should say mansion—about 1,250,000 worth of real estate in a swank neighborhood. His community of homes is surrounded with a combination brick gate and wrought iron fence. He has three luxury cars, an in-ground swimming pool and more adult toys that you can imagine. He likes to mock Christians saying they are weak and use God as a crutch. He boasts about how he has worked hard for everything he's got and doesn't need God for anything, "Ha, ha, ha."  He is on his third gorgeous looking wife and treats her like he did the others; as a controlling jerk. He is of the opinion that they should consider themselves lucky to be married to him because of the provision he makes available. Things do seem to go George's way. He just seems to get richer and some guys think that for him to keep trading up on wives for another that is prettier and younger than the last is not a bad deal.

There are many difficult things to bear in life but it seems that one of the hardest for Christians is when they see arrogant and prideful people like George seem to prosper and be blessed while they themselves struggle—financially or otherwise. Jeremiah spoke about it inspired by God for all ages to read. He wrote in Jeremiah 12:1 (NIV) "You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?" 

The book of Job shares the same expression of sorrow. Job 21:7 and 13 (NIV) "Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?... They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace."

Doesn't the Word of God say that His children are the ones who should be blessed? Why does it seem like evil people prosper and why does it bother Christians so much?

We are in instructed by Jesus in Matthew 5:44-45 to: "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

We are taught that the Lord lets His goodness touch the lives of those that don't know Him or reject Him. Why? Because He wants them to know that there is a God that loves them. You might not have thought about this, but there is something that happens inside of a person when some wonderful goodness touches their life.

As Christians when great goodness happens, we yearn to thank God. When God allows blessing to touch the life of the sinful or the wicked—especially when they deny the existence of God, they have a dilemma. They want to thank someone and they know deep down, that someone is God. If they say they don't believe in Him, they try to redirect those feelings but I assure you that the thanks they feel wants to go upward toward Heaven.

For those that don't deny the Lord but who just haven't thought much about Him or for those who have avoided Him, they do often lift thanks to God but then it makes them feel guilty. They feel this way because they know they aren't right with Him. The goodness or blessing they feel is God’s strategy to help them reevaluate their relationship with God hopefully leading them to seek Him. Romans 2:4 reveals this truth. “Don't you realize how patient God is being with you? Or don't you care? Can't you see that he has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance."
The goodness of God touches sinners and the wicked so that they will be drawn toward repentance and consider God's love. He did the same with you and me. The Bible says in Roman 5:8 that God was sending His love to us, and while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us. In other words, He poured out His love on us when we didn't deserve it. (You might have forgotten that YOU were the wicked at that point in time.)

When God's goodness touches the Christian's life, it is called blessing. When God's goodness touches the sinner's life, it is called the ”goodness and mercy of God." It will feel like a blessing to them but it is not actually a blessing. Blessings are reserved for God's people. It is simply God's goodness and mercy. God is trying to get a hold of them, but He won’t keep trying forever.

God loves all men and is trying to reach them through the things that impact their heart. And yet, it isn't endless. It will come to an end, and if they don't turn to the Lord they will reach the end no one wants to face.

Because we as Christians know the Lord, we are rich in blessing. God is good to us and wants to bless us. We just need to remember who we are and stay focused on His will for our lives. God will take care of them. Let's not be jealous because without Him they are naked and poor while, we are rich in blessing!

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, September 10, 2014

God Has Not Abandoned You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In 1 Kings 17:1-2 we read about Elijah, the great prophet of God. God is about to do something in the earth having to do with judgment over the ungodly leaders of the land. This judgment will affect the people and hardship will come. It’s important when we read stories like this that we try to imagine them in this real world that we live in. Of course no one else on the planet was aware of what God was about to do. Even Elijah, whom God was going to use, may have only had partial knowledge of all that would result. Elijah was about to be used of God to prophesy and declare the coming days. Once Elijah spoke those words, they would go into effect.

We read: "Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word." 1 Kings 17:1 (NIV)"  

Put yourself in the shoes of someone living in that day—maybe you are a farmer or you raise cattle. Suddenly the beginning of a three-year drought begins. It will gravely affect everything and everyone. It is a judgment and it’s going to happen. Maybe you did nothing to deserve any part of it. Maybe you still love God like Elijah did and are serving Him like Elijah did. Are you still affected by it then? The answer is yes! This kind of judgment can affect everyone. There are specific reasons judgment comes, but to those that follow the Lord and love Him, they have to have faith. They have to have faith that God will minister to them and lead them into their provision throughout.

Can you imagine God commanding blessing to manifest in your life to provide for you during a time like this? Elijah was affected by the drought. But God commanded provision for Elijah. As soon as Elijah spoke the words God wanted him to speak, he then said to him "Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook at a place east of where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food." (1 Kings 17:3-4 (NIV) It says God commanded ravens to bring him food. God will always command your provision when you look to Him in faith! Always! Are you leaning on Him? Are you looking to Him in faith?

Hardship takes its toll. At the end of three years, God told Elijah there were still 7,000 people who hadn't abandoned Him to serve other gods. That’s really not very many when you are talking about a million people. Hardship takes its toll. People give up on God. God does care and will manifest provision if they will seek Him for it in faith. Things may change, some may suffer loss, but in the end God will provide and God will redeem what was stolen. The question is: can you believe in His love for you? Can you stand in faith? Do you believe He hasn't deserted you? The devil would
 like to convince you that God has. During Job’s difficulties, (brought on by Satan,) Job’s wife said to Job: “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die." (Job 2:9 (NIV)

Circumstances in life can discourage you. Satan has an army of discouragers—people who've become discouraged that want you to feel the same way and will help you become discouraged. Can you find personal encouragement through the promise of God's word? Are you hiding these promises in your heart so that you can think about them at every point of discouragement? If you can, then talk to God about Him leading you into supernatural provision and trust that He will provide what you need now and restore to you over time what has been lost. Remember Deut. 4:31 (NIV) “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He confirmed to them by oath.”

1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV) "David was greatly distressed...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

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/