About Tim Burt

Friday, November 28, 2014

Loving What God Loves is a Life Changer

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In our society we use the word “love” when speaking of things we really enjoy. Another word that could be used and would be more appropriate by definition would be “delight.” “Delight” is defined as a high degree of or great pleasure or enjoyment; joy; rapture (meaning ‘getting caught up in.’) That would surely describe daily conversations regarding things people are excited about.

In the book of Isaiah, we read the prophet Isaiah prophesying about the coming of Jesus and just how God’s Spirit would rest upon Him as He lived in the earth as a man. It reads: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him--the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord-- and he will delight in the fear of the Lord…” (Isaiah 11:1-3)

These verses reveal some powerful truths about Jesus but one in particular I’d like to focus on today. Jesus was one that “delighted in the fear of the Lord.” That means He took great pleasure and enjoyment in “the fear of the Lord.” It means He exceedingly reverenced His Father God. Having great delight in reverencing God is not one of the “delights” that most people talk about in water cooler or lunch time conversations.

Have you ever had the thought that our society has been turned upside down and inside out? Does it seem that morals and values and disciplines and restraint for what is good has or is being stripped from life? What would be the cure for that? It’s simple – at least to say. The cure would be for mankind to “delight or take great pleasure and enjoyment in the reverential fear of the Lord.”

Of course we know that’s not possible because all mankind will not receive Jesus into their hearts and experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. What all mankind will one day learn is that God is not mocked. There are consequences in life for every avoidance and abandonment of God’s will and ways. Galatians 6:7-8 puts it like this: “Don't be misled. Remember that you can't ignore God and get away with it. You will always reap what you sow! Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful desires will harvest the consequences of decay and death.” These words represent the “ reverential fear of the Lord” on the negative side. These words are for those that mock God’s ways and act like or teach that they aren’t true or don’t exist. These words strike fear in the hearts of many people. They don’t like them so they say they choose not to believe them or they avoid hearing them and suppress them from their thinking.

Those verses continue with a positive encouragement to those that do love God. Galatians 6:8-9 “But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time.” Isaiah revealed to us that the Messiah that would come – Jesus, would have the Spirit of God resting upon Him. He also revealed that Jesus would “delight” or take great pleasure in reverencing His Father.

You may think – “Well, that was Jesus. The Spirit of God rested upon Him, not me!” That is not true. The Spirit of God rested upon Jesus so that He could reverence God and fulfill God’s will. By fulfilling God’s will and taking our sins and punishment upon Himself, He created the way for God’s Spirit to rest upon us. God’s Word confirms this powerful truth saying:

1 Corinthians 2:12 (NLT) "And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us." And, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (NIV) "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us,
set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."


The cure for society’s woes is for Christians to “delight” or take great pleasure and enjoyment in the reverential fear of the Lord. Delight or pleasure and excitement are strong physical and mental stimulants that motivate you toward something. Learning to reverence God actually carries that pleasure after you've walked with God closely for a season. When you sincerely take the time to reverence God with and by what you see in His Word, and then in prayer, and then in your thought processes, you will change. The Holy Spirit will sift your thoughts and actions like sifting pebbles from sand. Reverencing God helps you see the pebbles in your life and purify your heart and mind. If Christians would just do this as Jesus modeled, life as we know it would greatly change. Our lives would be transformed and so would society. I pray that you delight yourself in the fear of the Lord today!

Psalms 119:174 (NLT) "O Lord, I have longed for your rescue, and your instructions are my delight."

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/

Never Lose Hope in the Lord! Trust Him!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you ever feel like you are lost? Do you ever feel like you are in trouble and don't know what to do? Do you ever find yourself discouraged and crying out Lord, where are you in all this? Lord, are you going to help me? I don't know what to do? These thoughts reflect your discouragement and frustration.  Anyone could have thoughts like this in difficult times. But, should you allow yourself to become discouraged and give up on God?  I'd advise you not to! I would chase that discouragement out of your life like a dog with muddy paws on a freshly washed floor!  Instead remember the words of Jesus as He described the troubles that would one day come upon this world. He said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near." Luke 21:28 (NIV)  Jesus is your redemption and help! Run too Him, not from Him out of discouragement!

God is truly amazing and He is always thinking about the redemption for His children. He wouldn’t be thinking redemption if something didn’t happen that created the need for it. Satan sees to that. Beyond his attacks on our life, we do sometimes make mistakes and get ourselves into trouble. But, sometimes we don’t! Because we live in this sin-filled defiled world, the consequences of evil contaminate our life anyway and we need God’s redemption. Throughout the Bible, the word redemption refers to a price being paid in order to redeem or purchase something back. That is what God did for us. He bought us back and the purchase price was Jesus. Jesus paid the price for our sin and for our redemption through His suffering, death, and resurrection. Redemption refers to salvation, but salvation means being made whole and complete. That is God’s desire for His people and always has been. David knew and understood that and it kept him grounded in his trust in the Lord, even when his life felt like chaos and He didn’t know what to do.

Listen to his heart in Psalm 130:6-8: “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning… O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.” David knew God’s heart was to redeem us in our troubles!

Samuel anointed David King of Israel, yet little did David know that he wouldn't become King for 15 years from that moment. David went through hurtful, hard, heart-wrenching times. He could have been confused and thought that what Samuel promised on behalf of God was all a crock. He didn't. He trusted God and knew He was faithful to every promise. He kept his heart in faith, even when he didn't have a clue what to do.

There was a time when he was being chased by King Saul. It wasn't fair that Saul was jealous and wanted to kill him, yet David was on the run and had to hide. He was concerned about his family, his parents, and those he left behind. He didn't have it all figured out as you see in these verses:

1 Samuel 22:1-4 (NLT) “So David left Gath and escaped to the cave of Adullam. Soon his brothers and other relatives joined him there….Later David went to Mizpeh in Moab, where he asked the king, "Would you let my father and mother live here under royal protection UNTIL I KNOW WHAT GOD IS GOING TO DO WITH ME?” The king agreed, and David's parents stayed in Moab while David was living in his stronghold.”

Did you read those words, “until I know what God is going to do with me?” David didn't have everything figured out. He wasn't sure what God was doing. He simply knew God was with him and he needed to trust God and walk it out. God provided for his parents. God provided for him. God provided for his men. It would have been so easy for David to think God had abandoned him. His life seemed like it was in worst-case chaos, yet David knew in his heart that God had a plan, was faithful to His Word, and trusted God was working it out. His plan of redemption eventually came, and so will yours!

Today, just know what David knew and rejoice in those words. Say them, pray them, think them, and let them keep you grounded as you, like David, are figuring out how God is going to work things out. He also will redeem you!

Psalm 130:6-7: “My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning…put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 24, 2014

Learn to Cast out Fear and Tormenting Thoughts!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A few years ago, my daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren moved to Peru as missionaries.  Prior to that, they owned the house next door to us, had worked with us in ministry for over a decade, and were a part of our daily life. We often had dinner together. Our granddaughters were over all the time. Our lives were interwoven. Suddenly they were gone! On the day we brought them out to the airport to say goodbye, my heart was ripped out! I can honestly say that it was one of the most difficult times I have ever walked through in my life.

The loss of them being in our lives was devastating to me! It felt almost like a death. I suddenly found myself under an attack of mental warfare incomparable to anything I had experienced since my early years of Christianity. At times I would stop and pay attention to what was going though my mind. I could see ridiculously irrational thoughts that were exaggerated and fear producing. I won’t even repeat them here, but they were bad. They were an attack from the enemy of my soul and they were meant to knock me off my course in serving God and create life-threatening discouragement and depression. That was Satan’s goal, but it was not going to happen!

Fear is a very real thing. 1 John 4:18 (NKJV) says, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has torment…” God doesn't want us to be the victim of fear. Satan would like to control our lives with it. Fear is the strategy of a terrorist—Satan being the father of them all. 2 Tim 1:7 (NKJV) says, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” God does not want us to be controlled by fear. He wants us to become overcomers of fear. 1 John 4:4 (NKJV) says, “You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He (Jesus) who is in you is greater than he (Satan and every demonic spirit) who is in the world.”

The Bible speaks of strongholds. If you want to understand what that is, try to remember back in your childhood or at some point in your life when someone wrapped and locked their arms around you from behind and you couldn't move.  That is what a demonic stronghold works to do—paralyze you in fear in the realm of your imagination. Satan tries to flood your mind with thoughts that produce paralyzing fear. The goal is to lead its victim to every wrong imagination possible with the hope of destroying that person’s faith and getting them to abandon their trust in God.

God has given us spiritual authority over these strongholds and over your own mind. God wants us to demolish those kinds of strongholds. 2 Cor 10:4 (NIV) says, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” He is saying that we are not going to overcome fear, terror, or depression with drugs or with guns or earthly weapons. The weapons of our warfare are God’s word believed and spoken in faith. Because of the Holy Spirit within you, you have power over those strongholds—power to demolish them. How do we do that? The next verse tells us saying “...casting down mental arguments and imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  2 Cor. 10:4-5 (NKJV)

This verse says we cast out what is contrary to God’s Word and we bring every one of our thoughts into captivity. In other words, we take authority over our thought-life and bring it under our control!

I have learned over the years that I tear down demonic imaginations by taking authority over my own mind—the mind that God gave me for His purposes—not Satan’s. I rebuke and cast out thoughts I know are wrong—whatever they are. “Get out in Jesus name!” were familiar words I've spoken a thousand times. I replace those thoughts with the truth and promise of God’s word saying things like, “I have the mind of Christ, the comfort of the Holy Spirit, and with God for me, who can be against me?” “Greater is He that is in me, than he (every demonic spirit) that is in the world.” “I resist the devil. Flee now in Jesus name.” These are ways we take authority over those strongholds. When the truth and promise of God becomes our stronghold, we are living safe in God’s stronghold.

1 Corinthians 2:16 (NLT) reminds us, "But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ." The stronghold of God and the Hebrew word it comes from implies an impenetrable fortress of God—a safe place. “’The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 21:1 (NIV) We are not to become subject to Satan’s strongholds of fear and terrorism. We are to take every thought captive and put God’s thoughts on the throne of our mind. This is how we begin to have the mind of Christ. This is where we learn to overcome our fears and take dominion over our thought life.

The onslaught of warfare from my children moving was a battle for about two and a half days, but then it was over. I knew life was going to change but also knew that God makes every season of life rich! That would be the case for Renee and I and for my daughter's family!  And now looking back, that is exactly what happened. They are being used in a glorious way and our lives are filled serving God AND with new grandchildren here to spend time with.

Fear has no place in our lives and we will not tolerate what God says we should take captivity over and destroy. And I pray that you also will demolish thoughts that produce fear and torment in your life! Trusting God and having His peace is His will for you!

Psalm 18:2-3 (NLT) “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the strength of my salvation, and my stronghold. I will call on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, for He saves me from my enemies.”

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, November 20, 2014

Making a Difference in the Lives of Others

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ezekiel 22:30 “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap for me… but I found none.”

One morning Renee and I went out for a nice breakfast. As we were talking, we began to reflect on how good the Lord had been to us over all our years. As we were reminiscing, I remembered a special moment I had with my son Peter—the kind of moment that makes you proud and extremely thankful to God..

One Saturday morning we had gone out for breakfast at a local restaurant. There was a waitress there that we had become acquainted with from her serving us on a few occasions. As our acquaintance and communication level grew, we had the opportunity to share the Lord with her. Because we had taken the time to befriend her, she had opened up to us sharing personal things close to her heart of concern about her young son. She had shared that she was bringing him in for a medical exam because the doctors suspected there was a serious problem with his health and that he had an unusual disease. We asked her if we could pray for her son and she lit up like a Christmas tree. She was ecstatic that we would want to pray for her son. People are always a little shocked when you start praying for them right then and there, but they are also blessed at the same time.

A few weeks later, we came in to have breakfast. She lit up when she saw us. "I've been waiting and hoping you'd come in! I've wanted to thank you for your prayers and tell you the good news. My son does not have the disease they thought he did. He is going to be fine! I wanted so bad to tell you because you are one of the few people that has ever offered to pray!" We were excited for her and it continued to help us stay focused to pray for her.

While we were having breakfast, my son Peter was catching me up on the job he held at that time. "Dad, I work with this one guy. He isn't the most intelligent person and that seems to have hindered his getting promoted— but dad, he is the nicest guy I've ever worked with! He has two kids and doesn't make that much money. He has a pair of shoes that have got to be ancient. They are old and absolutely worn out. I am going to buy him a new pair of shoes!" At that moment, I was so proud of my son. He was a college student at that time and money was extremely tight for him. Even so, he saw someone else’s need and decided to do something out it. It seemed as though, everything I had ever tried to impart to his heart was manifesting at this breakfast. He had taken hold of a simple truth. One person can make a difference in life even if it's just one person at a time that you touch.

If Jesus ever taught us anything—and the truth is He taught us countless things—He taught us that one person can make all the difference. His life on earth is the greatest example of that truth we will ever know. So many people want to do great things! Too often, people have good intentions and want to do good things for others, but they imagine doing such grandiose things in magnitude that they in all likelihood won’t do, that they let the little opportunities that they could do, pass by. The result being good intentions but little to nothing being done. What a shame because people can make a difference in the small things in someone’s life every day!

James 1:17 says that "everything good comes down from the Father..." Everything good does! That means when you feel your heart being promoted to do something good for someone—it’s most likely being steered by God. In 1 Corinthians 4:7 the Apostle Paul put it like this: "... what have you that you did not receive from God? Now if you did receive it from God, why do you want the glory for it as if you had not received it from Him?" The point here is this: if the good we receive or do is from and with the help of God, then why do we want the credit? Why don’t we forget about whether anyone ever knows the good we do and just do it unto the Lord giving Him thanks for helping us to be this way?

Jesus teaches us that there is great blessing in making a difference but not looking for public credit or glory. We read it in Mat 6:3-4 "But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

Making a difference in the lives of others can be a daily thing. It's sacrificially touching one person's life with some random act of kindness. It may be the giving of moral support, taking time to pray for someone, the giving of resources or time, or making an even greater sacrifice you feel prompted to make.

In today's Fresh Manna verse, we see that this was a cry from God's heart to His people at a time when they had appeared to have lost their way. It says, “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap for me… but I found none.” We dream about changing the whole world. It starts by trusting that God will lead you and work through you to stand in the gap for others.

This made me so proud of my son. He’s learning this truth and is learning to walk it out! God would love for all of us to stand in the gap – even in the smallest ways!

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, November 19, 2014

Put an End to Your Regrets!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As people travel around the world, it's possible for them to see and visit temple ruins—temples of pagan gods that eroded to almost nothing over the years. Any temple of a pagan god will eventually erode to nothing because it was created without God’s blessing and will be subject to nature’s erosion. That should not be the case with you! Don’t you become a broken down temple. Jesus privileged you with the honor of being empowered as mighty in spirit because of the Holy Spirit living in you! Let me explain.

In Mark chapter 11, we read the story of Jesus being with His disciples in the temple. He was upset! The temple of God had become a place of commerce selling sacrificial animals and exchanging of Roman money for Temple money. This is not what God had ever intended. This could be done outside the temple. Jesus in righteous indignation turned over the money-changers tables and proclaimed, "My Temple will be called a place of prayer for all nations,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves." (Mark 11:17)  God's house was supposed to have been a house of prayer, not a place of corruption and usury.

Jesus died and arose from the dead, initiating the new and everlasting covenant for us to be forgiven of sins and reconciled to God. There was also another change initiated through this New Covenant. No longer would there be just one temple for man to come to, to worship God. Those who received Jesus as their Savior would become the temple of God. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NIV) "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body." The revelation to us is this: the temple of God, that was at one time a place where people met and sacrificed animals to God, has now changed locations! WE are now the temple of God’s Holy Spirit! And you remember what Jesus said the temple was supposed to be? He said it was a to be a House of Prayer! Now you are that temple with the Holy Spirit living within you, and you are a house of prayer !

One of the greatest revelations and privileges given to a believer is to understand that you aren't a slave to anything. To the contrary, you are mighty! Sin doesn't have power over you! Fear doesn't have power over you! Circumstances don't have power over you! You have God in you, with you, and for you! You need to look in the mirror and say that to yourself.  Jesus has made me mighty!  You have the mighty power of God working in you. Read these next words and let them blow you away! Especially the last verse about God's power at work within you!

Ephesians 3:17-20 (NKJV) "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints (that's you!) what is the width and length and depth and height-- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us"

Did you see that? "According to the power that works in us." As the holidays come up, put that might to work and experience Thanksgiving and Christmas without regrets. Have courage, not regret. What do you desire to happen at your Christmas celebration? Do you want to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas but face the possibility of objection or rejection while celebrating with relatives? Prepare the event in prayer. Then prepare your courage and strength in prayer. What is it you want to see happen? Plan it out and if it takes mutual cooperation from others because there might be unbelievers present—then be wise. Talk it over with those holding the celebration and plan it mutually and with cooperation. Be bold in spirit rather than face regrets later. Make it meaningful, short, and sweet if you face potential opposition.

And then for you personally, remember that your body—your temple—is the Temple of the Holy Spirit. Moderation is something that God will give you strength for. Philip. 4:4-5 says, “…let everyone see your moderation in all you do.”

Don’t let history repeat itself in your life. Don’t end up after the holidays once again thinking  I wish I had said and done this. Or, I wish I hadn't said or done that. Don’t regret how much weight you put on. Don’t regret getting in fights with loved ones. Don’t regret not bringing Jesus into your Christmas. Don’t let the history of regrets repeat itself.

Jesus’ death and resurrection brought you much more than just eternal life. It brought you His power and strength to work within you. Pray, prepare, and have faith in His power and strength working in you to say Yes! to what is good and to say No! to what you shouldn't partake of. Be moderate so you don’t have regrets! Have courage to represent Jesus and let your light shine bright in all you do!

Ephesians 1:19 (NLT) “I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of His power for us who believe Him.”

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, November 18, 2014

Yes, God Hears Your Prayer!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


My daughter and her family live in Peru as missionaries. They come up to visit us for a month each summer and it's such precious time with them. Having my two granddaughters for that time is a slice of Heaven.  One early evening my granddaughter Macy and I went out for a walk. She was seven years old at the time. She was talking about something she really wanted and I asked her if she had prayed about it yet. She hadn't so I said, “Come on Macy, let’s pray about that right now.” She looked up at me with almost a sad look and said, “Papa, I don’t think God always hears my prayers.”

I asked her why she’d say that and she said, “I've asked Him for some things lately and it doesn't seem like He cares.” I put my arms around her and said, “Come here Macy, I want to give you a big hug.” With my arms around her I said, “Now let me tell you something. I love you more than I can find words to describe." When I hug you, it's like eating a meal but still feeling hungry. I can can never get enough. That's how I feel when I hug you" "Do you know why I feel that way? I feel that way because I love you so much.” She said, “I love you too, Papa.” “Okay, but here is the deal, as much as I love you, it could never compare to how much God loves you. He loves you even more. Sometimes I get busy with stuff, but God never gets busy with stuff. He is God, He can think about and love each one of us no matter how many of us there are. That’s what makes Him God and why His love is so great!” I continued, “And you know what? He always hears your prayers. Always!” She looked up at me and said, “Papa, then why doesn't He answer everything I ask?” “He does Macy,” I told her. “It’s just that you think He is going to answer your prayers in a particular way and He does it better. That means it’s not always going to happen when and how you expect it. So, you better keep your faith and trust turned on and your eyes open, because you will see your answer come if you keep expecting. It will just be better than what you even asked for!"

The primary way God brings blessing, including answers to prayer, is through people. His people are called the church. Anytime you have people involved, God works to influence their heart, leading them to respond to His direction. When they do, prayers are answered quickly. When they don’t, God looks for other people or other ways to answer your prayer. God will work through angels or independently of people if He has to, but if you read His word you'll see time and time again, that He desires to use people. And, He likes to do things in a way that is far beyond what we could ask or think. Look at the following verses and see these three things: God uses people—His church. He does this so that they can be an extension of Him and so that He will be gloried and draw more people to Himself. See also that He does beyond what we ask or think. And see that He responds to people exercising obedience to His leading by faith.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT) "Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. May He be given glory in the church and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen."

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV) "Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. SOME MEN BROUGHT to Jesus a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven…” “…then He said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.”

Does God care and is He paying attention? If this is a question for you, go get away into a quiet place, and approach the Lord and let Him put His arms around you and tell you how much He loves you. Those words will come from His Word but you can have this kind of moment and He does and will answer your prayer. You just need to quit putting Him in a box and let Him be God and do it beyond what you could ask or think and in His way and in His timing!

1 John 5:14-15 (NIV) This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of Him.

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, November 17, 2014

A Godly Attribute That Will Change Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


My mom was absolutely amazing. She was supermom. She cooked family meals morning and night and made lunch for ten kids every day. She did laundry every day. She ironed our clothes, our sheets and pillow cases—just about everything. She took us everywhere and was at every life event she could be at. How she kept her sanity I will never know. She is in Heaven now, but oh how I can’t wait to tell her again how amazing she was.

I was about 8 years old. I was the fifth of ten children. My brother’s and my bedroom was next to our laundry room. I was not a good sleeper growing up and so I’d wake up frequently at night. Mom wasn't a great sleeper either. She probably had too much on her mind. I would see her many nights doing laundry at 2 or 3 in the morning. It made my heart ache for how hard she worked for us.

One day I made a decision. I was going to find ways to help mom. Our laundry room was also our coat closet for our shoes, coats, hats, mittens, boots, and more. It looked like a hotel coat-check room it was so packed. And we were kids and so this room always looked like a tornado had blown through.

One night while mom was at a PTA meeting, I decided I was going to reorganize the entire room and hang and line everything up perfectly. It took me three hours and I finished just before 10 pm. I was getting a drink of water before going to bed when my mom came home. She saw me in the kitchen and instantly got mad at me for still being up past my bedtime. She chewed me out and sent me to bed but I didn't tell her why I was up. I felt bad but had still wanted to surprise her.

Within ten minutes she was in my room sitting on the bed besides me running her fingers through my hair, kissing me on the cheek, and almost crying she felt so bad. She had seen the newly organized laundry room, figured out that I had done it, and felt horrible for yelling at me. She thanked me over and over again for doing this for her. She proceeded to tell me just how much it meant to her and how much it helped her. I asked her about getting a rack for all the boots and shoes and a file cabinet for putting the hats and mittens in to keep them sorted. She got me both and we had the most organized laundry room one could imagine. I kept this room up for her.

My mom was the world’s greatest appreciator. She’d gush with thanks and then thank again. It was so motivating that it made me want to help her more which I did. I could also see she needed help with her garden so I began to help her with that each year. I guess that’s where gardening got in my blood because I am now an avid gardener which I am forever thankful for. And helping her with the garden became a new faucet of thanks that flowed from my mom to me.

Thankfulness is such a powerful and motivating force and yet, in my experience, the majority of people are somewhere between poor and a dismal failure at it. Should that surprise us? I guess it’s been that way for a while. Can you imagine being healed from leprosy and not being thankful? I can’t.

In Luke 17:14-19 (NIV) we read the story of the ten lepers that cried out to Jesus to heal them. He did. But then we read, “And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" Then He said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."

Do you see that only one came back to thank Jesus? Because his heart was full of thanksgiving he received more than the others from God. All of them were cleansed of leprosy, but to the thankful one Jesus said, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." He got something more from God. His eyes were open to see who Jesus was. He could see that Jesus was God. That is why he came back praising God and throwing himself at Jesus’ feet. His heart of thanksgiving brought him more than healing. It brought him eternal life. A heart of thanksgiving will open your eyes to more of God and result in more of His blessing in your life!

Philippians 4:6 (NIV) tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." God wants us to pray and ask His help in everything, but the question is, do we even pay attention to or thank him for the multitude of prayers He has already answered? If we don’t have a continuing attitude of thanksgiving we’ll miss seeing the many prayers He’s already answered for us! It will even hurt our faith because we will miss seeing His intimate involvement in our lives.

I can’t tell you how many times I've done things for people, things that have taken time, effort, and sacrifice. The averages of appreciation are about the same as in the story of the lepers. Only a small percentage show true appreciation. That’s okay. That’s not why I do things for people. It won’t keep me from reaching out to help and be a blessing. But I feel bad because I know it will hinder them from so much more blessing in their life. Having a thankful spirit is a godly attribute God wants us to develop. It draws more of His blessing in our life. It’s the truth!

Thank you mom for modeling this and helping develop within me! I am eternally thankful to God and you for it!

Psalms 100:4 (NIV) “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name”

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, November 12, 2014

Will Your Love for God Stay Intimate?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have also been meditating on Jeremiah, chapter 2. It paints of God's people being madly in love with God and who would follow Him like a bride following a bridegroom. Even through it was hard it didn't matter because their love for  Him was so strong. Jeremiah 2:2 (NLT) “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness." But then something happened. God's bride began to drift from Him. Finally the Lord asked them the question, “What sin did your find in me that made you stray from my love?”

Read it all in context. Jeremiah 2:2-7 (NLT) "Go and shout in Jerusalem's streets: 'This is what the Lord says: I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness. In those days Israel was holy to the Lord, the first of my children. All who harmed my people were considered guilty, and disaster fell upon them. I, the Lord, have spoken!' “Listen to the word of the Lord, people of Jacob—all you families of Israel! This is what the Lord says: "What sin did your ancestors find in me that led them to stray so far? They worshiped foolish idols, only to become foolish themselves. They did not ask, 'Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness—a land of deserts and pits, of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?' "And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the inheritance I had promised you."

Over the years, I have heard a great many people say that what they read in the gospels and in the life of Jesus seems so outdated and non-relevant for today. These words are spoken by those that have never really known the Lord or by those who have drifted from God. And those words could not be further from the truth! Oh yes, industrialization, science, and technology has changed much over the centuries but the truth is, people change very little! People still love and desire to be loved. They still long to know their purpose in life. They still long to have a meaningful life. They still struggle with the evil they see in the world and even within themselves. People still want security. They want to enjoy life. They want their families to grow up and be blessed and be at peace. These things never change. Technological advancements may change the appearance of this world, but people at their basic core, still have the same needs and desires. And, they stray from God to gain all these things by seeking for them instead of Him.

In this day and age, to believe that Almighty God would intimately care for you and be involved in the details of helping you in your day-to-day life, to most seems ridiculous. Every Christian is surrounded by those who have no clue of who Jesus is and what He really accomplished and provided for them. Christians that love, lean on, and pray because they intimately know and experience His love, are surrounded by those who blindly think they are "religious nuts or fanatics.”

There will always be those who don't understand your very real and intimate love for God. There will always be those that mock your godly lifestyle and think you are self-righteous trying to be better than everyone else. You know that's not true. You know how imperfect you are. You know that your faith is in Jesus—the one who died and paid the punishment for your sins and not in your own righteousness. But others won't see that until they seek God and come to know Him for themselves.

So the question is, are you going to let the persecution that comes from following Jesus deter you in your faith? Jesus already warned us about this in John 15:20 (NLT) "Do you remember what I told you? ‘A servant is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you..."  If you don't prepare yourself for this, then other people's taunts of your faith will make you feel embarrassed and diminish your love for God, and eventually lead you astray.

Are you going to learn to pray and lean on and trust God to direct you by His Holy Spirit? Are you going to stay in faith believing He loves and cares for you? Will you patiently trust and wait on Him to help meet your needs? This is His instruction to you! Philippians 4:6 (NLT) "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done." If you don't, you'll become like those without God who feel they have to lie and cheat and constantly breach integrity to get what they want. And this will diminish your love for God and eventually lead you astray.

Stay close to the Lord! Seek Him through His Word. Pray in faith about what He promises you, trusting Him in every step. And stay close and in fellowship with others that love Him like you do. Don't allow yourself to get to a place where the Lord could say to you, “What sin did your find in me that made you stray from my love?” You know the Lord did nothing but love you enough to give you Jesus, and be intimately involved in your life. So draw close to Him and He will draw close to you! He already has and is!

James 4:8 (NLT) "Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world" 

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, November 11, 2014

When You're Under Pressure

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When was the last time your godly character was tested? This morning? Last night? Yesterday or sometime last week? We all hope that in difficult times that test our character, the right thing comes out of us. No one really knows what will come out of themselves until pressure from adverse circumstances are upon them. It's at that place that your true temperament will show. It's at that place that the things that are in your heart will spill out your mouth. If the pressure stays on long enough, the real you will come out.

Before I knew Jesus I never thought about these things and probably didn't care much about what I was like under pressure. Cursing, getting angry and yelling at others was what was normal, or so I thought. When I became a Christian, I learned that God had better ways and so I began to change. It seemed that when it came to my temperament under pressure, change came much slower than I desired. Over time I learned that how I responded under pressure had everything to do with my heart and its relationship to faith, and trust in the Lord. You can say you have a close relationship with God and that you trust in Him. If you think your relationship with God is strong and good, but you crumble and become an emotional wreck that falls into panic, temper, rage, hopelessness and quitting, then the trust and faith in Him is not there as you thought it was.

Intimacy with God is built through true heart belief in His promises to you such as in Isaiah 43:2. “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you: when you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned; neither shall the flame scorch you." Wouldn't you love for this to represent your temperament when under fire?

When you’re under fire it’s hard to think clearly and remember that God is there with you. If you are praying and you pay attention, you will notice that the Holy Spirit is trying to help you. Not only does He speak to you from within, but you’ll often see Him trying to reach you through someone or something to help and encourage you. I've learned in these times, to keep my mouth shut and know that the Lord is there to help me. His grace is always sufficient.

As we grow in our faith, trust, and confidence in God, we might hope to look like and emulate Paul and Silas who, next to Jesus, showed the greatest of responses under pressure. They had just been thrown in prison for preaching the gospel. Acts 16:24-34 “They thrust Paul and Silas into the inner prison, and put their feet in the stocks. And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.”


When Paul and Silas worshipped God from a sincere heart, knowing He was with them in the midst of their pressure and adversity, God supernaturally delivered them. The story goes on to say how Paul led the prison keeper and his family to the Lord through this miracle of deliverance.

He is trying to help us all change so we can respond in a godly fashion when under pressure and adverse circumstances. Supernatural deliverance and help most often manifests at times like that. We need to learn to respond by faith and trust and if we do, then victory will be ours!

Psalm 31:7 (NLT) “I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love, for you have seen my troubles, and you care about the anguish of my soul.”

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!  FreshMannaComments@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 10, 2014

Your Life's True Calling!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


For the last three days we've been told by the weathermen that our first snowstorm of the winter is coming. Well they didn't get it wrong. It arrived at about 4 a.m. this morning. Snow is a part of life here in Minnesota and if you want to live here, then you have to get used to it. The only thing that's hard is when it comes this early, it makes for a long  winter!

Sometimes different seasons of our life can feel like a long winter. Economic hardship, sickness or disease, relational issues, or newscasts that make this entire world seem like it’s gone crazy. It gets to people and it can get to you or me if we let it. We can’t. We have to keep focused on why God brought us into this world.

We have a purpose in this earth and a very finite time to walk it out. Our purpose is to be an influence for Jesus Christ in any and all the ways we can be. Our lives are to be a written epistle that mankind can read. The Apostle Paul said it like this: “You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ…written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God…" 2 Cor. 3:2-3 (NKJV)

Our lives can make a difference and lead others to Jesus when we keep our focus and “let our light shine before men.” Life passes so quickly and we can get so distracted and discouraged. We can’t afford to. We have to move on because lives are at stake. We might not be in Iraq or Afghanistan fighting the war, but we are in this world fighting a war for souls. Even your simple smile, your kind words, and gentle actions have the potential to allow someone to see Jesus in you and leave them wanting more which you can give them as you are led by the Spirit.

Last week a man called me to ask if he could meet me for coffee and talk with me. I didn't know what it was about, but I said yes. I was motivated to meet with him because he had been a great blessing to me in a particular area of ministry and I wanted to know him better. When we sat down, I just let him talk. He proceeded to share some of the kindest words I’d ever had anyone speak to me. He said he had watched me closely for a long time and that because he had tried to emulate what he saw in me, it had transformed his life. Wow! I was blown away. I immediately told him how imperfect and flawed I was and that it was Jesus in me he was seeing. He knew that but wanted to thank me for being the best example I could be.
He’d been watching. What a thought. It wasn't the first time someone had told me that. A man that was suicidal called me once. He was going to kill himself until suddenly he thought of me. He called me, asked if we could talk and I said yes. His first words were, “I've been watching you…” I led him to the Lord and he now lives wholeheartedly for the Lord. This has happened many times.

Life is too short to get discouraged, distracted, and depressed. All those things are a product of focusing on me, myself, and I. God, in His goodness and grace, has allowed each of us to have influence in the lives of others that could lead to their eternal salvation and a blessed life here! What an honor and a privilege. Stuff, toys, and things do not make my life rich. Money, power, and carnal fun do not make my life rich. Being used of God and seeing lives saved, transformed, and filled with purpose, make my life rich. Having godly loving relationships make my life rich. When I am focused on me, it’s feels like that long, never-ending winter. When I am focused on being a light before man, my life becomes energized and directed by Almighty God Himself.

Jesus said, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV) 

When letting your light shine before men is what drives your life, then no matter what’s going on around you, you feel God’s presence, His love, and His help in being that light. Even hard times become good times. And every season of life is good!

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  FreshMannaFeedback@comast.net







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 07, 2014

Lean on God to Strengthen You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Strength–God’s Strength! I don’t know about you, but I need it. Psalm 28:8 says “The Lord is our strength...” When I try to exist and accomplish life and goals in my own strength, I fail or fall short. When I try to accomplish life and goals in my strength and fall short, it makes me feel stupid and backslidden. Why would I bother trying to get anything done in my own strength when God offers me His strength and His power?

Psalm 73:26 (NLT) says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.“  2 Corinthians 1:21 (NIV) says,“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ..." Psalm 84:5 (NIV) says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you…” The power and strength of God to us are the promises of His Word.

One say I was reading a Bible story to my granddaughter. I asked her, Macy, what is that called when someone talks to Jesus? She looked up to me and said, That’s called prayer Papa. She was absolutely right. We may not be able to walk up to Jesus face to face, but we can and are encouraged to come to Him just the same. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We are exhorted to come to Him with confidence. That’s the same as faith. It pleases God.When we lean on the promises of God, we think and say, This sickness, this problem, this cursed thing is of the devil. It’s not God’s will. God is my strength. He is my healer. He is my deliverer. I am His anointed. He has told me to come to His throne room. He makes me stand firm in my faith.  And as today’s Fresh Manna says,  "The Lord is their strength, And He is the saving refuge of His anointed." Psalms 28:8 (NKJV) 

Leaning on Jesus takes faith. Praying for miracles takes faith. It’s not like breaking a wishbone, finding a four-leaf cover, or crossing your fingers. It’s about having faith in Jesus as the strength and power of your life for every circumstance, especially in the face of adversity and negative report! You may get weak-kneed and tempted to crumble in the face of adversity, but, that is why God wants to be your strength! Lean on Him with great faith! Psalm 68:35 (NLT) “God is awesome in His sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people." Praise be to 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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net 






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/