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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Put a Stake in Worrying!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have written on this subject many times, but by the comments and prayer requests I get so often from people, I felt I had to write again about putting a stake in worrying in your life!

1 Peter 5:7 (KJV) says, "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you."  In the Old Testament, one of the Hebrew words used for sin is chata’.  Chata’ carries the meaning missing such as missing the mark. We see the word chata' used for sin in the verse Psalm 119:11 “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”  We might read it like this, “I have hidden your word in my heart so that I won’t miss it and sin.”

When we worry, we chata’—we miss it. Worry is sin. For many people worry feels like compassion. “I've been worried about you!” Your upbringing may have taught you by example that to worry for someone is like an act of compassion. It’s not true! Its chata’—it’s missing the mark. Worrying does nothing but bring momentum to unbelief which is the enemy of God. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) says that “without faith it is impossible to please God…” When we read that “Jesus was amazed at the people’s unbelief” in Mark 6:6 (NLT), it is not a compliment! It was actually the unbelief of the people who hindered the power of miracles and healing. Matthew 13:58 (NLT) says, “And so Jesus did only a few miracles there because of their unbelief.”

Over the course of my life I have seen many things clog a drain—almost all of those things being somewhat disgusting. Worry is just like one of those disgusting comboblations that create a clog. It hinders the power of God from operating in our life because of the inherent power of unbelief. Unbelief is really faith. It’s faith in what the devil can do rather than faith in what God can do. “Oh, I just know they are going to downsize and I’ll lose my job.” “Oh, I am so afraid I am going to get the flu this winter.” This is why God instructed us through His Word saying, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) 

If worrying is missing the mark, what is the solution? Get yourself a prescription—the promises of God! The promises of God is the prescription to take into your heart that will, over time, strengthen your mind, strengthen your heart, and transform you from a worrier to a prayer and proclaimer of your faith in Him. You will become one who learns to say with confidence, "So we can say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Hebrews 13:6 (NLT)

Instead of worrying, cast those cares on the Lord. Rise up in faith and prayer and say, Father, I will not miss the mark by worrying. I will pray and put my trust in you and the promise of your word. Do this and you won’t be guilty of worrying and hindering God’s power through unbelief. No chata’ for you today!  “Cast all your cares, your worries, and your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.” Proclaim His goodness in your life. Sing His praises. Let faith arise!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Godly Changes That Usher Blessing to You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A few months back, while getting on the scale, I noticed that I had gradually gained 15 pounds over the past year and a half. I began a quest to lose that weight plus an additional ten pounds. I thought I could knock it off fairly easy. How wrong I was. It's been hard work and discipline to get it off but I'm getting there.  It was important to make that change in my life for many reasons, but the primary reason was because God was dealing with me to do so.

Since the day I gave my life to Jesus, He has dealt with me about making changes in every area of my life. Why? He had given me eternal life through Jesus but He also wants to bless my life here on earth.  In John 10:10 (NIV) Jesus said, "I have come to give life and give it more abundantly."  He doesn't do that with a magic wand. He does that by speaking to our heart through His Word and helping us make changes that cause us to become more Christ-like. They will result in favor and blessing in our life.  And so my life has undergone constant changes in my thinking, attitude, temperament, life-style—in literally every are of my life. And the result has been wonderful. Because of those changes, God has opened up the door for me to be a godly influence to more than I could have ever imagined. But, He is not done with me and frankly won't ever be done with me. Does that bother me? Absolutely not! Every change I make leads me to greater blessing in my life. Jesus wants our lives to go through a transformation so that we will be in the center of God's will, be blessed, and have the greatest influence for Him that is possible. As Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, "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." 

Making real changes in your life is not easy. Real change only happens with effort, prayer, and discomfort. Know that up front will help you. It is only when you lean on the Lord and His Word that strength and exhortation comes to help you through difficult changes. As God deals with us concerning change, we think about them over and over and over again. Never grow numb or callous to the desire to change. Don't suppress and bury or sweep those thoughts under the carpet. You don't have to bury it, or feel condemned by it. You can face it, pray through it and let the Holy Spirit strengthen and encourage you at every step. If you start, stumble and fall, get back up and ask the Lord to help you again. Eventually you'll get it and oh will you be glad when you do!

What makes change seem difficult to impossible? Satan tries to deceive us into believing that even as Christians, we are still enslaved and in bondage to sin and wrong or addictive behaviors. But, is that really true? Romans 8: 2 (NIV) will tell you it's not! “...for the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.”  If you've tried to make changes and end up thinking, I can't do this, then you are a victim to deception because the truth is, you can! You have to believe it for it to become your truth! And then truth will set you free! The knowledge and commitment to the belief that "greater is He (Jesus) that is in you than he (Satan and every demonic influence) that is in the world,” (1 John 4:4)  is what begins to break down the years of wrong thinking that became deep seeded habits, physical and psychological addictions, and bondage to sin.

Satan would also like to embarrass us and disqualify us by shouting "hypocrite" every time we do blow it or make a mistake. He is worse than any maniac drive-by shooter. He is because he tempts us to sin and then accuses us before God for the very sin he tempts and leads us into. Rev. 12:10 (NIV) says, “…the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night…

People keep secrets, many of them being secret sins. They hide their secret sins hoping that no one will find out. Sin can hide for a while but it eventually becomes discovered. Numbers 32:23 (NIV) says, “…you may be sure that your sin will find you out.” God already knows. That is why He is speaking to you about change. But what too many people often fail to realize is that God’s calling for change does not come with condemnation. Satan is the accuser and author of condemnation. God talks to us over and over just like a parent training his child—asking, reminding, and admonishing out of love, Please clean your room and pick up and put away your clothes.

God is merciful, patience and kind for many good reasons. He desires change—especially in the hidden things that are hurting you, stealing your blessing, and distracting or discouraging you from His purpose for your life. Wrong thoughts and actions never hurt just you. They always find a way to touch someone else. So, out of God’s love for you and for others, He keeps talking to us (if we will listen) about those changes. And sometimes you can feel that He is dealing with you in a more urgent way as he was concerning my weight. Again, think of warnings as love, not condemnation. God warns us, sometimes urgently to save or protect us.

God’s grace and power to change is within you! This is a fact. If you lean on yourself you will fail over the long haul. If you will lean on the power of Holy Spirit that indwells within you, you will experience His strengthening. If you will put faith in the fact that God is on your side and wants to help you, change will come! If you focus on the benefits that absolutely will come, it will lead you from destruction and bondage and into the blessing of life. What's change has He been asking you to make?

Romans 8: 2 “For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death.”

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© 2015 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Best Sermons are Lived Not Preached

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ephesians 4:1-2 (NLT) "I... serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. "


The Best Sermons are Lived Not Preached (author unknown)


1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I'm working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, "Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile."

2. Today, I asked my mentor - a very successful business man in his 70's - what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, "Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing."

3. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn't recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, "On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center."

4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.

5. Today at 7 a.m. I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3 p.m I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow.

6. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother's hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, "I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often."

7. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.

8. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, "Why?" She replied, "So you can help me save the planet." I chuckled again and asked, "And why do you want to save the planet?" Because that's where I keep all my stuff," she said.

9. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter's antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.

10. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, "I hope you feel better soon."

11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, "Thinking of you today. If you need me, I'm a phone call away." It was from a high school friend I hadn't seen in 10 years.

12. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn't eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, "We can share it. The best sermons are lived, not preached.


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Tim here:




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Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Experiencing More of God's blessings in Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As I was pulling out my reading glasses yesterday I thought “Ugh! I can’t believe I have been trying to read through these. They are completely smudged.” They were so smudged and dirty it was amazing I could see anything at all. Sometimes our spiritual eyes can get pretty smudged and we miss far too much of what God wants us to see—things that would result in great blessing for us and for those our lives touch. There is a spiritual glass cleaner that helps us see more of the awesome truths of God and His goodness in our lives. It's called the spirit or attitude of thanksgiving. I'm sometimes amazed at how unthankful and how unappreciative people can be. Many would be in denial of this truth, but how about a simple two-question test? First, do you recognize who is consistently serving you in your day-to-day life and second, do you owe anyone some form of a thank-you or thank-you note for something they have done for you, including the Lord?

Although this may not be true for you, the majority of people do not show much more than token thanks, if even that. It’s always been a problem, even going back to Jesus’ day. Luke 17:12-19 says, "As Jesus was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!" When He saw them, He said, "Go. Show yourselves to the priests." 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 got something more 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 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!

Sometimes we have so many things we need help from the Lord with that we don't take notice of all the things He is doing or has done in our lives. Unthankfulness keeps us focused inward at self. It smudges the lens of our spiritual eyesight. Noticing and appreciating the things that the Lord does for us in our lives—having a thankful heart for what He has done, clears our vision to see more of Him working in our lives. Seeing the Lord work in our lives builds our faith and helps us to trust Him even more. The result is that thankful people get more! It's really a truth! This is why 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 the multitude of things He does in answering our prayers? If we don’t have a continuing attitude of thanksgiving, we’ll miss seeing the many prayers He answers for us! It will even hurt our faith because we don’t think He is working in our lives. We need to wipe those lenses with ongoing and continuous thanksgiving.

David was the greatest of praisers and thankers. The Psalms are our record of his thanksgivings as we see in Psalm 100:4 (NIV) “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” Because he was thankful to the Lord, it kept him from pride, helped him see God's hand in all his victories, and gave him great faith for future battles.

God opens our eyes when we walk in a spirit of thankfulness to Him and others. Next time you're in a restaurant and someone is serving you, stop talking and look up at the person and thank them with a purposed smile and expressed gratitude. See how it affects them. See how it affects you. Next time your spouse or child or coworker is serving you, take notice and appreciate it. Think about and appreciate from your heart those that serve you and bring blessing to you. Is there someone you have forgotten to thank? Do it now! Having a spirit of thanksgiving will change your countenance and your heart. It will also improve your spiritual eyesight! Get quiet before the Lord and take notice of the many things He has done for you starting with His gift of Jesus. Let those thoughts help you enter His gates and courts with thanksgiving and praise. Just spend time thanking Him. It will bless you and clean your glasses so that you can see more!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NLT) "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Five 2015 New Years Resolutions for Every Lover of Jesus

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I will now be on vacation with our children and their families until January 5th. I will resume writing then. You can still come back and read often as there are many past posts to read and be taught and inspired by. So please do so! Happy New Year!   

1. Pray the Word of God – not your feelings - from your heart and in faithJames 1:6 (NKJV) “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.”
2. Focus and meditated on one covenant promise of God each dayGalatians 3:29 (NLT) “And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.”

3. Be the grace of God by encouraging othersEphes. 4:29 (NKJV) “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
4. Serve God by serving & strengthening your church and being a servant to others.
1 Cor. 14:12 (NIV) & 1 Thes. 5:11 (NIV) So it is with you. Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

5. Unintentional offenses happen often. Overlook 99.9% of them. Forgive the rest!
Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) & Acts 24:16 (NKJV) “A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense.” “This being so, I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”


Make good choices in 2015 by beginning to be particular – not casual, about what you believe! God bless you and Happy New Year!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/