About Tim Burt

Friday, October 31, 2014

The Master's Hands

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

The Master's Hands  (Author Unknown)

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running oligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.

A Little Humor – The Pentecostal Dog

A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted.

The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife. "Fetch the Bible," he commanded. The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner. "Now find Psalm 23," he commanded. The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing dexterity with his paws, leafed through and finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw. The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.

That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were very impressed! . One man asked, "Can he do regular dog tricks, too?" "I haven't tried yet," the pastor replied. He pointed his finger at the dog. "HEEL!" the pastor commanded. The dog immediately jumped on a chair, placed one paw on the pastor's forehead and began to howl. The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, "Good Lord! He's Pentecostal!"

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, October 28, 2014

It's Critical! Guard Your Relationships!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I don't know of more harmful weakness overall in the body of Christ than the unwillingness to work through relational conflict. I would’t be surprised if most of us have had a close friend take offense by something we have said or done, (or not done) at some point in life. The majority of all personal daily conflict is born out of miscommunication and misunderstanding. I thought you said...   I thought you meant... That's not what you said...   Yes it was! 

Life is very fast paced and the majority of people are not good listeners! If you are congratulations! But, you may want to verify that with your spouse or good friend. I think most women think their husbands are not great listeners but, that could easily go both ways. Any of us, at times, can be like that child who is laser-focused on something and is tuned out to his surroundings. Anyone can get distracted. There are a thousand reasons why people don't pay attention or listen as well as they should, but the bottom line is, those moments happen too frequently and they lead to hearing something wrong that leads to misunderstanding. When misunderstanding happens and people are arguing because they are needlessly on the wrong page, the walk away from each other, stew, and the relationship grows colder.

You know this happens too often and if you aren't thinking of one of those incidents right now, don't worry, one will most likely show up in your life soon.

When misunderstanding happens and it's not worked out, the temptation for offense that then leads to words of gossip in the name of justification begin to spill. Rather than reconciliation happening, the chasm between two people grows farther apart, bitterness begins to set in, and friendships are injured or even destroyed. That’s what Psalms 41:9 (NLT) implies, "Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me." 

Two people verbally duking it out, especially husbands and wives, will eventually say hurtful things and even trash part of their character and reputation. This is such a sad thing and especially when it's over a misunderstanding.  Things could be resolved between two Christians if they humbled themselves and took the high road to work it out—especially friends! A person that isn't loyal to a friendship doesn't know what friendship is and doesn't know how to be a true friend. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” The roots of Christian love and loyalty of a good friendship should run deep, yet some Christians act petty and reckless, willing to discard a good friendship over a misunderstanding which then begs the question; Was that person ever a good friend to begin with?  

Every Christian's personal development and efforts toward maturity must have a foundation of forgiveness and overlooking offense. We forgive others when they don't deserve it because Jesus forgave us when we did not deserve it. We overlook offense when others do wrong because we desire the mercy of God to overlook our short comings daily!  If this is not the foundation of your maturity then you simply aren't mature. Ouch! Sorry about that!

As Christians maturing in our faith, we should work toward the purging of being easily offended as one of our top pursuits—working to remove it completely from our character. This is what the Apostle Paul exhorted us to do in Acts 24:16. “… I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”  Paul understood how often petty offences could happen and how important it was to overlook them and cast them out of his life, never giving them a chance to foster.

We need to value our friendships and relationships enough to do our best to work through conflict. That happens best when you stop a conflict before it begins. You do that by pausing, calming yourself down, and instinctively thinking, this might be a misunderstanding. Take the time to be sure you are hearing what they said correctly.  Staying humble and willing to quickly apologize when there is a misunderstanding is learning to put a dagger in the majority of all conflicts you'll have. Including the ones you have on your own with someone in your imagination when you've actually not even engaged them!

And when you do get into a conflict, do your best to value the relationship enough to be the calming agent and desire to work through it with the goal of forgiveness and reconciliation. You may even want to do that when you feel in the right and the other person is being stubborn or reckless. If that happens, then at least you've done what's right, regardless of what they do. You can live with yourself much easier knowing you sincerely tried.

Yesterday, I received a call from someone who was upset with me. They misunderstood a situation and thought I made a poor decision. When I listened to what his complaint was, I could hear that he had wrong information. I let him say what he had to say and then I calmly explained that the information he had been given was wrong and began to give him the correct information. He continued to talk over me believing he was right. I didn't argue. I had tried to explain,
He wasn't listening. So I let him believe what he wanted and cordially finished the phone call. It appeared he wasn't listening and I couldn't change that.  When the phone call was over, I simply prayed asking the Lord to intervene. A short time later this person called me back to apologize as he learned he had the wrong information. Things worked out great. What I love about this person is the strength of character to call back and talk it out. I didn't let offense happen because I value the relationship to begin with. But I was glad he called to resolve it. It only strengthened the friendship.

The question for you today is, do you know the true value of a good relationship and have you done your best to guard it? Do you get fickle and trash someone ruining their reputation because you are in unresolved conflict? Do you realize how God feels about this? Today is the day to grow up in the Lord and guard relationships, not destroy them. As Proverbs 17:9 says, “He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”

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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comacst.net 







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Here's Why You Can Overcome Temptation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Temptation: we all face it. When we learn of God’s ways, we want to turn from evil and instead live for the Lord. We want to think, speak, and do, that which will please the Lord and help usher blessing into our lives. But then there are those things that come up in our life that we know we should avoid because they either represent something that isn't good for us, or something the Lord has personally asked us to refrain from, or that represent evil. And yet you know how it is; when we can’t or shouldn't have it, the temptation to want it seems to grow. I’ll tell why.

As Christians regarding temptation, something has changed. When we lived without Christ, we had some sense of right and wrong—not governed by God’s Word but by the ethical boundaries we somehow picked up from the world on the path of life. But temptations raged and we often felt helpless to its power over us. People cave in daily to things they should not do. They don’t realize that without Jesus Christ, there is a demonic influence that leads them to and keeps them engaged in things they know they should not engage in.


When one becomes a Christian and receives Jesus as their personal Savior, the Holy Spirit comes instantly to live within that person and now the power of demonic influence is broken. At that point, it's not demonic power that is your problem, but simply the command from God to renewing your mind from its old ways of thinking. This is how God brings transformation to you. Romans 12:1-2 (NLT)  says, "And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. 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 learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."

You used to be selfish but as you read God's word, He teaches you to be like Jesus—selfless. As your mind is transformed by God’s Word, transformation begins. God Himself reveals to you what is good and right. You no longer have the power of demonic influences controlling you, but you have the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding you from within. Let this truth become a power revelation to you! 1 John 4:4 (NLT) says,  "But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory...because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world."  This verse is declaring that the Holy Spirit within you is greater than any and every demonic influence that is in this world! That means you have power and strength to change and overcome temptation! Praise God.

So then, if this is true—the power of demonic influence over you being broken, and we have the power of the Holy Spirit, then why do we still deal with temptation? You only deal with temptation when you forget who you are in Christ and begin to think like you did before you received Him—selfishly. You are tempted when once again you begin to make life all about you! You want this, you want that. That was how you lived before Christ. But you are now led by the Spirit of God and life is about loving others with His love. That means you now make right decisions governed by your love for God and for the sake of others.


A few weeks back, God began to deal with me about losing some weight. I don’t think anyone thought I was fat. Yet, I knew I had grown thicker and weighed more than I should. I could have said, “So what! The majority of people are more overweight than me.” That would be making it about me by defending me and being critical of others to protect myself. No, the Lord wanted me to lose weight because He told me it would affect my ability to influence others for Him. He didn't explain how or why, and to me, that isn't important. Obedience is! I trust His reasons. But now my reason to do this is out of love for Him and for others. This is where the power of God is strongest and temptation is reduced to its weakest state. Making my choices born out of my love for God and for others, strengthens me to succeed and breaks the power of temptation. My mind isn't on me. It is on the joy of succeeding for the blessing it will bring to others. This is the joy Jesus faced and lived for in His temptation.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “We cast off the temptation of sin by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the JOY He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God's throne in heaven.”

I have found a renewed strength and have lost 16 pounds so far. It’s about so much more than just losing weight. Other blessings have come into play because of resisting temptations. I just have to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus and His motivation for why He did what He did, and in doing so, I am strengthened for the same reason.

Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" 




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!  

FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

There is No Time Like “Manna Time!”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Two of my granddaughters now live in Peru as my daughter and her husband are missionaries there. Before moving there, they used to live next door to Renee and I. Madeline and Macy were 7 and 6 years old. We saw them almost daily and they each loved taking turns sleeping over and have special time with Papa and Mimi.  As much as they loved it, we loved it more! Our special time consisted of shifting all our attention and focus on them. We took them to Culvers (a local hamburger and milkshake spot) because that's where they liked to eat. When we came home we did the things they loved to do which consisted of watching their favorite movies, wrestling, playing hide-in-seek, dancing around the house to their favorite Christian songs, and playing games. And we began each morning and ended each evening reading Bible stories and praying together.

When we had the granddaughters over, it was like getting to relive the greatest stage of our lives—raising  our own children. I always loved when my children were young. They were so innocent, happy, fun, and excited to learn about God. They would get up every morning while I was having quiet time with the Lord and come find me in the living room. They'd walk over to their pile of ARCH Bible story books, pick one out and bring it to me to read to them. They loved reading them over and over. Even though they were simple children's books, the Lord always managed to speak to me through them. I was astonished and thankful for that because it never left me feeling deprived of my own personal Bible reading.

I remember one morning Madeline and I reading about the Lord giving the Israelites manna in the desert. What a powerful story filled with lessons that are relevant today. When Moses was leading the people to the Promised Land, he had to take them through desert places. In those places, life was tough and it seemed to them as though they were always without provision. Consequently they often whined to Moses. Moses felt burdened and took it to God who would then instruct Moses how to receive provision for the people. He would feed them supernaturally with manna—a type of angel food that tasted good and would nourish them. Each morning the ground would be covered with this manna. They had to go out and collect just enough for the day.

God’s Word reveals that this lesson about trusting God for manna daily is relevant to our lives today. It reminds us that the world we live in is a desert, void of God and full of anxiety for those that won’t seek God. When people don’t seek God, they become anxious over many things that surface in their life every day. God ministered to them supernaturally providing manna—something they had to go out, pick up, and eat, every day! They weren't allowed to hoard up or save up the manna beyond that day. If they did it would turn to maggots. The only exception to that was on the sixth day where they were allowed to save enough for two days so they could rest on the Sabbath. Did they follow this? No, just like us they liked security and wanted more than enough. But, when they disobeyed God, the extra they had turned to maggots.

God gives us insight in how that applies to our life today. He wanted them to know that this dependency upon Him—every day, was about more than just about food. It was about learning to depend upon the promises of His Word daily. Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT) "Yes, He (the Lord) humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." 

Jesus and the Word of God are one. We see that in  John 1:1 & 14 (NIV), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God….The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.” This is saying that Jesus and His Word are the same.

Jesus gave further insight pertaining to manna being His Word that we needed to eat daily saying, “Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread (God's Word) will live forever. (John 6:31 & 58 NIV) 

These scriptures are telling us that we are to no longer think in terms of eating manna from off the ground but we are to instead, feed on the bread of life—Jesus and His Word. Jesus and His Word are the same and His Word is the bread that when fed on, will cause us to be supernaturally nourished. God’s Word will give us direction, bring hope, build faith, and usher in supernatural help and peace. This is why when Jesus taught His disciples to pray, He taught them this. Luke 11:3 And Jesus said, "When you pray, pray like this, “Give us day by day our daily bread."  He wasn't talking about asking God for food to eat. He was teaching them to ask God to speak to their heart from His Word! This is the manna they were to eat daily! It was what would build their faith and trust in Him!

As Madeline and I read through that story, we were nourished by God. We learned that He brought water from a rock and angel food from Heaven to take care of His own. They never went without provision! God always provided for them!  When we lean on and trust in His promises and have faith that He will take care of our every need, then His word will bring us the peace that passes human understanding. All this from eating manna—God's Word and promises that are to speak daily to our heart as we eat His daily bread.  Manna is for everyone, at every age, every day! We love “manna time!”

Deuteronomy 8:3 (NLT) "...man does not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord." 

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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, October 20, 2014

Encourage Your Own Faith

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Bible is full of covenant promises from God that reach from the Old Testament all the way into the life of every believer today. I hope you know that God doesn't want promises to be treated as, "maybe I will believe them and maybe I won't." He wants us to place faith in them because He is a God of covenant and He does not lie. The Hebrew 11:6 tells us that "without faith it is impossible to please God." Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t we please God without faith?” I believe the answer to that is that unbelief unchecked has the potential to take us all the way to rebellion.

Consider what we read about Israel’s unbelief in Deu 1:26-28. “But you were unwilling to go up; you REBELLED against the command of the LORD your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, "The LORD hates us; so He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us. Where can we go? Our brothers have made us lose heart. They say, 'The people are stronger and taller than we are; the cities are large, with walls up to the sky. We even saw the Anakites there.'"

Moses instructed the people to go into the promised land as per God's instructions. Some of the leaders did not trust God and spread their fear and unbelief to the rest of the people. They would not go either. Instead of trusting God’s promise that He’d help them defeat the enemies living in their promise land, they all expressed their fears and unbelief. When fear is voiced it grows! When fear is voiced by many, it becomes crippling! God spoke to them and He told them that not believing was rebelling. “But you were unwilling to go up; you REBELLED against the command of the LORD your God.” Rebellion is serious business. The Bible says rebellion is the same as witchcraft or you could say the rebellion opens the door to the devil and increased fear and problems.

In today's Fresh Manna verse, we read verses from a story about David when he was in a very difficult spot. He just came back to His hometown with his army of men. When they got home their town was burning and the enemy had taken all of their possessions as well as their wives and children. David was discouraged as well as all of his men. They were so discouraged that they cried and cried hard. Out of their discouragement, they got so mad at David that they momentarily rebelled - they wanted to stone him. David was just as discouraged as they were. His loved ones were also taken. But unlike his men, he resisted discouragement and ran to God. 1 Sam 30:6 “And David was greatly distressed; for the people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.” Did you see what David did when everyone else was discouraged?   “...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.”


What we should all do when we get discouraged. Not cry. Not slip into unbelief and fear which just gives place to the devil. We, like David, should encourage our hearts in the Lord. We should encourage our hearts with the promises of God’s Word. Then encourage the hearts of those around us. That's what David did. He remembered who His God was and encouraged his own heart. The rest is one fabulous miracle. They went out to make the enemy pay. They found the enemy and destroyed them. They got all their possessions back plus their wives, children and the riches of their enemies.

We can't afford to be discouraged. Hebrews 6:12 affirms that saying, "We do not want you to become sluggish, stupid, or dull concerning your faith but instead imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

Discouragement is for people who don't know God and His covenant promises. We have many promises of supernatural help from God. He is always there for us. If we will do what David did, we will experience the same miracle-working deliverance and help that David received.

Bless you today as you encourage yourself and through faith and patience, inherit what God has for you!

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,an ever-present help in trouble."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt

Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, October 17, 2014

Just For Fun: Awesome Video - Puppy Goodnight

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I watch this video, I think about how the promises of God's word help bring us into such peace and calm so quickly!

Isaiah 12:1 (NLT) "In that day you will sing: “I will praise you, O Lord... Now you comfort me" 


This video is seriously amazing and sweet! You have got to watch it.



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
http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Let the Holy Spirit Lead You Back on Track

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was driving on a freshly paved highway in Northern Minnesota. On both sides of many Minnesota roads, they create small bumps the shape of piano keys. If you weren't paying attention and started to veer off the road, you’d hit these bumps which are loud and vibrate your car. They’d quickly get your attention and you'd be back to the center of your lane in a snap.


As Christians, we have something similar, only better! We have the gentle and loving voice of God’s Holy Spirit nudging us like a loving parent. If we’d pay attention to the leading of the Holy Spirit instead of acting like the little child mesmerized by the TV or a video game, we would hear the voice of the Lord or sense His prompting. If we had great reverence for God—whom we know we should revere—we’d stay in His perfect will. It really does take purposeful neglect to get outside of the will of God. Can you admit that? If you can admit it, then you have the ability to return to His perfect will.

Not everyone goes astray because of willful sin. Sometimes poor decisions or slothfulness and procrastination get us there. Procrastination is such a thief! The things people put off are most often small things that would raise the quality of their life and bring them greater satisfaction, inner peace and joy. The reasons we put things off are most often born out of fear, or laziness—and they rob us! Sometimes God is leading, nudging, or prompting you to get a task done or to reach out to someone with an act of kindness. If you procrastinate out of fear or laziness, you’ll never discover why. Learning to recognize God’s voice, obeying it, and learning to be diligent instead of being lazy, helps build godly character. It helps you experience satisfaction in knowing that you are disciplined in following your heart to do what you know you should. Overcoming fears through faith in God’s help accomplishes the same. Beyond that, there can be hidden blessings in obeying those promptings.

A while back I caught myself continually thinking about cleaning out this drawer in my dresser. It’s a catch-all drawer. (Yes, I have a junk drawer.) It’s the resting place for many of the odd things that have no normal place to be put. Anyway, I could not shake the impression to clean out this drawer. I spent about forty-five minutes cleaning it out and filled a waste can. While cleaning it I found my missing reading glasses I had been searching for. I was so blessed to find them! I knew that was why God wanted me to clean that drawer. I was so thankful I did not procrastinate doing it.

What are you putting off? Is it visiting your parents, going to church, doing your exercises, cleaning that closet or laundry room, writing in your journal, reading your Bible and praying, writing that note or thank you card? Can you understand that procrastination of any of these kinds of things steals from the character development of revering and obeying the leading of the Holy Spirit, and stealing the joy that you would otherwise experience in doing them? And yes, your procrastination concerning them can ultimately help lead you away from God!

When Nicodemus faced Jesus, he wanted to procrastinate or put off what he knew in his heart he should do—accept Jesus’ word as truth. Jesus confronted Nicodemus and will confront you too. (Maybe He's doing so right now!) Don’t procrastinate. Don’t be lazy. Don’t put off what God's been speaking to you about! In the words of NIKE, "Just do it!"

Proverbs 6:4 (NLT)  "Don’t put it off; do it now! Don’t rest until you do."



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/

Monday, October 13, 2014

Answers to: “Why Is This Happening To Me God?”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I think one of the most difficult parts of my job as a Pastor is seeing someone go through difficult seasons of their life. The enemy of this world—Satan whom Jesus called "the thief who comes to kill, steal, and destroy," works overtime to bring hardship to life. We know that. We've all had our moments. My heart feels broken when I see people experience sickness or disease or calamity or lack that devastates their heart, takes them into an emotional tailspin and leads them to utter the words, Why me God? Why me?

Most of the destruction and hurt that happens in our lives primarily happens for one of three reasons. The first being because of poor choices too often made, overriding the warnings God brings to our heart. I recently saw a man far too young to die, suddenly die of a massive heart attack. He was very much overweight and his wife said the doctor had been on him to lose the weight for a long time. He just kept putting it off— pushing away God's voice to do so away in this area of his life. I counseled with a man who told me that he began flirting with a woman just out of fun—thinking it would be harmless. It wasn't. It led to an affair. He said he ignored the voice of God warning him to cut it off and it ended up destroying his marriage and family over it. He asked the question, Why me God? It really wasn't about God’s doing. It was about his own choices. Jeremiah 32:33 (NLT) says it like this, "My people have turned their backs on me and have refused to return. Even though I diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey." 

The second reason for destruction and hurt that happens in people's lives is because they have a wrong perception of who God is. For example; this world is filled with people who think God is too busy to help them. Others think He is a billion miles away and they are too insignificant for God to care about. These are both lies that have been perpetuated out of ignorance. God wants to hear your prayers! Philippians 4:6 (NIV) says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." And God wants to be close and intimate with you! James 4:8 (NKJV) says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." 

Believing wrongly about God will cause you to be afraid of God or indifferent toward God. The love and help you could receive won't happen because of believing wrongly about Him! Hosea 4:6 (KJV) says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Because of wrong perceptions, they ignore God and never learn of Him or of His ways from His Word—the Bible. Thus, they carve out their own way of doing things violating His ways and opening the door to the enemy of their soul for destruction in their life. For example; many people think its okay to have sex outside of marriage. They may be ignorant of God’s ways but that won’t stop the fallout of unplanned children or sexually transmitted diseases such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, or others. Because they were ignorant of God's ways and boundaries, they opened themselves up to the afflicting diseases and end up crying out, Why me God?

People that ignore God, lose the benefit of His love, direction, and instruction, and of His help in times of trouble. People that make their own path most often lead themselves into in heart wrenching trouble. Isa 53:6 says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way..."
A third reason for much of the destruction and hurt that happens in people’s lives is because of ignorance of the enemy of their soul. They don't know or believe in Satan. They do not know of his demonic assignment of hatred and destruction toward God’s creation—mankind. As I said earlier, Jesus told us that Satan "is the thief that has come to kill, steal, and destroy." Satan likes us to think he is just a storybook character—definitely not real. Most people actually do think he is make-believe. Satan loves that because then he pins the destruction that plagues mankind on God. And so the question comes, Why me God?

There is an enemy of your soul and God has instructed us concerning Him saying, Eph. 6:11-12 (NLT) “Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”

We should know God and not be ignorant of Satan and how he works against us. You cannot defeat an enemy you know exists. God has given you two things to defeat the enemy of your soul— His power and authority. In Luke 10:19 Jesus said, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” He was talking about taking authority over the destroyer in your life—the devil Satan.

I'll leave you with the same promise that Jesus left his disciples with when He was teaching them these things. Luke 24:49 Jesus said, "I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay...until you have been clothed with power from on high." You have an enemy but you also have power over that enemy! Begin to recognize whether the enemy is yourself or the devil. If it’s you, pray for God’s grace to change and live life God's way. If it’s the devil, begin now to resist him in the name of Jesus. When those seasons of Why me God? come in your life, you can rise up in the Lords strength, resist the devil, and watch the Lord turn what the devil meant for evil, for good!

Romans 16:19 (NIV) "Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil." 

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/

Thursday, October 09, 2014

God Will Encourage You and Affirm You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I both happened to comment on an experience that we both recently, but independently experienced. As we talked, we realized that we've both had this experience on occasion. We just haven’t talked much about it. What’s the experience? God reaching out to encourage us at periodic moments of self-doubt.

As this surfaced in a conversation, we discovered that we both encounter occasional moments of self doubt. They seem to be triggered by different events or happenings, but when they do, ungodly thoughts come like fiery darts. Does anybody even really like me? Am I a good person? Do I really have anything to say that people want to hear? Am I a good spouse? Am I a good parent? What do my kids really think of me? And on and on.
We've both been taught enough in the Word of God to know and recognize the source of these thoughts - the enemy of our soul - and what we should do with them. We cast them down in Jesus name. We focus on our love with God and those around us. We stay focused on working hard at everything God has given us to put our hand to. We do not let these darts of self-doubt become seeds in our heart for the enemy to water and grow within us. That would lead us to of the wrong places. Yet, when they come, even if we don’t entertain them and let them hang out, when they do show up, they hurt.

In the desert, Satan tried them on Jesus. “If you are the son of God…” He was trying to get Jesus to doubt who He was with the goal of getting Him to give up His faith on who He was. If he’ll work on Jesus, he’ll work on us.

My esteem has never been built upon confidence in myself. I know my shortcomings, my failings, and the areas of my life that need help. I know the limitations of my own ability. Before Jesus, my own ability and confidence produced a reckless and miserable life. So much for trusting in myself! But with Jesus and the revelation of His love and desire to help and work in me, I’ve grown in confidence – not confidence in myself but confidence in His faithfulness and love to always be with me and help me. As Proverbs 14:26 says, "In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence and it is in this place that those who belong to Him will find refuge."
When Jesus was attacked and dragged off from the garden of Gethsemane, all his disciples freaked, split, and abandoned him. All of them! But Jesus said that He wasn’t alone – that His Father had not abandoned Him. That is the confidence I have gained over the course of my life in Jesus. God will not abandon me!

Renee and I also realized that we have both encountered very special touches of God’s love and encouragement in those moments of self-doubt. We both had story after story of how when those moments came and those fiery darts hit, that as we talked to God, He always sent people across our path right on time to encourage us and put those lies where they belong, in the pit! I’d preach a message that I just wasn’t sure hit the mark. Doubt would come. For 24 hours the fiery darts would come. “What are you doing preaching to begin with?” “It’s not your calling.” And on and on. Suddenly, I’d get three emails or two voicemails by someone who had to let me know how my message changed their life and how thankful they were. Renee told me this same thing happened to her, over and over. It’s just that love of God reaching out to encourage when doubt tries to fill your mind and heart.

In the book of Judges, we read about Gideon. The people were crying out for God to help them. God sent an angel to Gideon. Why Gideon? I’m confident because of Gideon’s heart. God is always seeking the hearts of those who will live wholeheartedly for Him and serve Him. He sent an angel to Gideon. Gideon was not a confident man in himself. But God was confident in him for reasons of the heart leading the angel to speak these words to Gideon: "The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!" (Judges 6:12)  Gideon experiences moments of self doubt but God encouraged his heart in word and through signs. It helped Gideon’s confidence and strengthened him in obedience to continue to walk out God’s plan.

We can ask God to encourage us in ways that only He could make happen. God knows that the enemy tries to discourage us to lose heart and quit or give up, or to doubt ourselves. He brings promises to us that if we respond to by faith, will touch our lives in ways that restore our strength and confidence that He loves and will help us. When you go through moments of self-doubt, just ask God to help you and then have faith He will. He is faithful and you will be encouraged.

Psalm 27:13-14  "I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!"

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, October 08, 2014

When Trouble Visits You, What Should You Do?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In my job as a Pastor, I see, more often than I want, people who are experiencing some kind of a sudden crisis. I also see how it affects their spiritual walk. I see the man who suddenly has had his wife utter those words that grip his heart, I’m leaving you. I just can’t do this anymore. The person who has just had their boss tell him or her, I am so sorry but the company has to lay off fifty people and I have to let you go. The person that is sitting with their doctor to find out what those unusual symptoms have been about and he says, I am sorry to tell you this but you have cancer. The person who gets the phone call about their loved one just having a serious accident. All these horrible crisis occurrences can grip the heart and attempt to send one’s mind into a tailspin.

When sincere Christians experience these kinds of painful, heart-gripping events, most at some point begin to process through a spiritual inventory. The thoughts come: What did I do to bring this on? The devil uses these occasions to take advantage and amplify any possible sinful activity and weaknesses and beat this person over their head with condemnation. Because you did this and that and are disobedient to God, this is what happened! It's all your fault! That is what he does and will continue to do until Jesus has once for all locked him in the eternal lake of fire. Satan is a liar and an accuser and is called the accuser of the brethren.  Rev. 12:10 says, “…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…”

After listening to these lies, people begin to believe that the accusations they hear are from God and that He is mad at them. They don’t have the discernment to know it’s the voice of Satan. Consequently, some people run from God in these times of crisis. Others, well they get mad at God. They think God has let them down. When people actually have been living whatever lifestyle they choose regardless of what God's word says, and are guilty of sin but, won’t own up to it, and it has led to pain or crisis, they more than not, blame God. But, since they can’t see God, they blame those that represent God. They blame their Pastor, or religion, or someone who preaches the gospel on television that they can take cheap shots at, or maybe even their Christian friends. Blaming someone else feels better than looking inside through self-examination and repenting of sin.

In times of crisis, when people look inside and examine their heart and their life-style, they wonder if disobedience has led to the crisis they are facing. It might have, but it might not have. The devil will be there to accuse and beat them up telling them it’s entirely their fault regardless. God never operates that way. His goal is always an assurance of His love and willingness to forgive sin from a repentant heart. God's desire is always reconciliation—the restoring of relationship and right behavior with Him and help and deliverance from the crisis. Examine Jesus’ walk and you will see this is true. Jesus always taught truth which did carry correction and instruction but He also brought the promise of reconciliation and His power to help those who believed in Him by faith!  God is never about beating someone up and leaving them in the dust. The devil is all about that. People too often do that to each other, but that is not God’s character.

Crisis often drives healthy self-examination. Isaiah 11:3 (NIV) spoke of Jesus before He came to the earth and describe His character. It said, "...He will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears." Jesus modeled these godly characteristics for us. First, it would be better if we also "delighted in the fear of the Lord…”. This is a powerful piece of life changing wisdom. Delight in living the way God wants us to. Don’t delight on living on the edge of playing with the fires of sin and hope you’re not in trouble with God. Instead, imagine delighting in living in all the right ways God wants you to. Wouldn't that be a great change? That kind of thinking will lead to that kind of action.

Then, don't be moved by the emotion of the moment. Satan takes advantage of your emotional vulnerable times to accuse you and send your mind reeling. Isaiah said about Jesus, "He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears."  There is a New Testament equivalent of this verse. It's Romans 1:17 (NKJV) that says, "The just shall live by faith." Both verses are telling us to not let ourselves be ruled by emotions but be ruled by what we know to be true about God. God loves us! He never leaves us! He won't forsake us. Yes, if you need to repent over something you should sincere do so including changing your behavior. But, God is not behind your crisis! He is the your helper through your crisis. He is all about reconciliation and restoration. He wants you to draw near to Him! These are all truths you need to know about God to help you respond rightly in crisis situations! Run to Him not from Him.

I will remind you again of verses I used yesterday so that you know what to do in a crisis! Run to Him. Don't let the devil beat you up. Look to Him for His supernatural help and know, that you know, that you know, that because of His love for you, He will help you! Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Romans 5:2 (KJV) says, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." And Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

It is always the right time to examine your life. It is also always the right time to purge ungodly thoughts, attitudes, unforgiveness, immoral behavior, and anything that we would mark unpleasing to God. Crisis might drive us to our knees. But it would be better to hit our knees before crisis came. It would be better to delight ourselves in the fear of God and move as far away from ungodly attitudes and behavior out of our love for God as possible. If we did, we’d have greater confidence that God would help and deliver us when crisis rears its ugly head instead of being buried in the devil’s condemnation. So, delight yourself in following God’s ways and discover just how much peace it can bring to your life. And now matter what is going on in your life, keep your head and heart straight and run to God who is your solution, not from Him!

Psalms 46:1 (NIV) "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" 

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, October 07, 2014

Change: God Wants to Help You accomplish it!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Stop! Get ready! This could be the day of a new beginning for you! Do you believe that's possible? Everything happens on some day. There was a day you were born. You had nothing to do with it. There was a day you started school. There may have been a day you got married or had your first child. There could be hundreds of events that have transpired in your life—all happening on a day. So, why not let today be the day that something new begins in your life?

Maybe you're tired with certain areas of behavior and attitude in your life and are desperate for change. Maybe you've been thinking about things you know you need to change—things the Lord has been dealing with you about but you never seem to get past the thinking about it.

We all know we could be in a better place IF, if we would just change some of the things we've thought about that we know should be changed. The question is, how do you do it? How do you get there?

First it begins by having faith in Jesus as your Savior and then understanding that His word—the Bible, is a letter from Him to you to be discovered. It is a covenant between Him and you as a believer. It is a declaration of His love and will for your life. And it is a book of promises—life-changing promises written to you. It is your source of hope and promise toward the life and blessings He has destined for you.

The Bible is filled with promises just like the one you see in Psalms 145:18.  "The LORD is near unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth (meaning sincerely.")  You might have believed that the Lord was a billion miles away, but the truth is revealed in this promise. The Lord is near to you today! If you call out to Him with expectation to reveal Himself to you somehow. He will through His Word and in other ways!

To make changes in your life and to get to or to get back to a place where you have been close to the Lord, will take a faith-filled decision and action on your part to get there. The faith-filled decision and action will be to pray and seek Him in faith. It will call for repentance if needed, and then receiving the forgiveness by faith that God promises if you need it. Then truly believe He will respond to you because He says He is near.

This simple step can be the beginning of meaningful changes in your life. It could become the beginning of changes in your day-to-day routine or disciplines (or lack of them.) It might be the beginning of spending time with Him in His word and in prayer. It may be the first step in replacing something good with something that steals your time and from your life. I may be the first step to a healthier lifestyle. I remember many years ago I would spend 30 minutes every daily reading a newspaper that only made me feel like I had wasted my time—yet I did it every day. I finally came to the day when I told the Lord I was sorry for wasting those 30 precious minutes every day. I made a change to spending more time in God's word and prayer. I was immediately edified and encouraged and loved that I was spending extra time praying for others. You may already know exactly what the Lord is dealing with you about it. It will take a a faith-filled decision and action on your part to get there!

You may have thought many times about making some particular change in your life but terrified that you just wouldn't be able to do it. After all, hadn't you tried to make changes many times before and failed? What will be different about this time? Trust me when I tell you that these kinds of thoughts are from the pit of Hell. You can do it! God has made His grace (His supernatural help) available to you. His grace is the empowering of your spirit by the Holy Spirit to supply you with what you need to take that step toward change. It may be inner strength. It may be a resource that suddenly shows up at your door. Whatever it is, let God know and stand in faith for it. Hebrews 4:16 (NKJV) says, "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Romans 5:2 (KJV) says, "By whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." And Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." 

Renee and I had been talking for over six months about the need to change and develop a consistent exercise routine. We wanted to get some strength-building equipment in our home. We have an elliptical machine but wanted to work on building muscle. We began to pray about it. We could have simply went out and bought something but we like to pray and have God lead us in our purchases whenever it's possible. A few months after we had been praying about this, I get a call from an old friend I hadn't talked to for years. He sells exercise equipment and offered to sell me something at half the cost because I had done a few things for him in the past! We consider that God’s help and blessing!

As you begin to take a bold new step in faith toward changes you know God wants you to make, let your steps become empowered by God's grace. In the story of Joshua taking the people of God into the Promised Land, they came to the Jordan River. God told them to take a step into the river. As soon as they took that first step and touched the water, it parted and let them walk through. Joshua 3:14-16 "When the people set out to cross the Jordan, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Covenant went ahead of them. Now it was the harvest season, and the Jordan was overflowing its banks. But as soon as the feet of the priests who were carrying the Ark touched the water at the river's edge, the water began backing up and piling up at a town upstream… Then all the people crossed over near the city of Jericho."

Today can be the day for you! You can take that first step in faith and watch God work in your life—the beginning of your new and better place in the Lord as His grace and power continue the good word He has started in you!

Philippians 1:6 (NLT) "I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

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/

Monday, October 06, 2014

The Power You Need to Make the Changes You Desire to Make

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Every human being was created with the desire to experience change. People desire it and are afraid of it at the same time. One of the biggest fears of change is the fear of the inability to make changes. The universal change that the spirit of all men yearn and cry out for, even though all do not recognize it, is to be reconciled to God by receiving the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.

From there, the ongoing desire for change every Christian experiences is to become Christ-like. The pursuit of becoming like Jesus—to conform our character, our heart and our purpose to His, is a lifelong quest that always stirs continuing desire for good and godly change. This is a good thing and this desire to be like Jesus is from God.

The other ongoing inward desire for change that every person yearns for is to participate in the supernatural. I'm not kidding! Why do you think superheros play such a significant and lucrative role in the entertainment industry? The desire to participate in the supernatural is a desire that is within every human being whether it's understood or not. You can see this truth as clear as day in 2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV) "God's divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." 

Did you see those words?  "...you may participate in the divine nature..." Escaping the evil desires that are in this world is only possible by participating in the divine nature—in experiencing the supernatural help from God that touches your life as you believe by faith. Why do the people in this world spend hundreds of billions of dollars dealing with weight loss, chemical addiction, gambling addiction, sexual addiction and on an on? They do because they are unable to control themselves in these areas. Unbeknown to most, Satan has power over those in this world that have not surrendered their lives to God through Jesus Christ.

I just heard a report that said that 98 percent of all overweight people who lose weight, gain it back. Another report said that 80 to 90 percent of all criminals released from jail offend again. Studies show that most people with addictions are tormented by them all their life. Why is that? Because without God, real and meaningful change doesn't happen. Why? Because a person remains in Satan's clutch and power. God wants to rescue them from Satan's power—from the grip that keeps them in his clutches and that keeps them powerless to make lasting change. Colossians 1:13 (NIV) addresses this saying  "For God has rescued us from the dominion (power) of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves..." 

The Bible says that Satan's power over us becomes a "stronghold." That could best be understood as a wrong desire that someone just can’t seem to control or break. There are negative desires that have power over people. Pornography is an example of that, and it's rampant in this day and age. These negative desires or strongholds are broken only with God's power. You may say, But Pastor Tim, I know people who have gone to groups and overcome these addictions. They may have gotten some control over their flesh but without Jesus, they almost always continue to battle the desire throughout their life. They often feel like they are living with a tormenting demon. This is why alcoholics continue to call themselves alcoholics even after they have stopped drinking. This why alcoholics, sex offenders, criminals, liars, and law-breakers repeat their offences over and over again. This is why those outside of God repeat their sins over and over again.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT) says, "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us...can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." 

"...Changed into His glorious image." That is His desire for everyone! Only through the supernatural help of God, can wrong desires be removed and replaced with good desires. That is a continuing change that everyone longs for. No wonder our spirit yearns for the supernatural help of God. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing.” Once this truth becomes your reality and you continuously lean upon it, you will immediately begin to instead, lean on and draw His supernatural strength and help.

How do we begin to lean on God and draw that strength? By learning to know what God says about you and then by faith, agreeing with it for your life. Philippians 4:5 says, “Let your moderation be known unto all men. God would not tell you to do something—be moderate—if you could not do it. You can in your divine nature! That verse finishes “The Lord is at hand.” What does that mean? The picture it paints in its original Greek form is that there is a hand to grasp your hand as one giving aid and strength. That is the supernatural power of God. If you apply your faith and walk it out, you will sense God within to help you.

If God instructs us to be moderate, then with the help of the Holy Spirit, we can be! If you've shown behavior other than moderation it’s time to make a faith confession. Say, “I am a partaker of God's divine nature. The Holy Spirit lives in me. Therefore, I am not addictive or a slave to anything. God says I am to show moderation and that means I have His ability to do so. I am moderate in Jesus name.” Let these words be the ongoing confession of your heart and mouth spoken repeatedly whenever a situation calls for it until you see change begin to take root in you.

Apply this to any scripture that speaks to you about attitudes and behaviors God wants you to develop. And then, “…walk in God’s divine nature and escape the corruption in this world caused by evil desires!” As you do, your light for Jesus will become ever increasingly evident to all! Change is good! Go for it!

Psalms 119:39 (NLT) "Help me abandon my shameful ways; for your regulations are good" 

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/