About Tim Burt

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Be a Encourager in Other's Change for the Good!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Let me ask you a question? What does most everyone idealistically hope would happen with people who go to prison? Isn't it true that most people hope those who have been incarcerated would change their ways so that when they come out of prison, they wouldn't violate the law again and end up back there? Change is what we want to see.

People in prison aren't the only ones that need change. We all do! Everyone single one of us! Every one of us violates ourselves, others, and possibly even the law at some point. Everyone with no exception! We violate out of ignorance. We violate out of bad attitude. We violate out of rebellion and disregard for the law or boundaries. We violate out of apathetic attitudes toward right and moral behavior. For the majority of all people, and this is not an exaggeration, most of us have all done something—at least one thing that could have landed us in jail. The difference between us and those that have been incarcerated is that they have gotten caught. Adam and Eve violated God and they got caught. But first they tried to hide. Genesis 3:8 “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”

They weren't the only ones doing things wrong and hiding. God’s people do the same and always have. 2 Kings 17:9 “And the children of Israel did secretly those things that were not right against the Lord their God…” Just so you know, the secret evils they did, were not secret to God. He knew exactly what they were doing. They just lied to themselves & others like people hide and do today.
Secret wrong thoughts and behaviors erode any confidence we may have in our relationship with God. And so we must change them! None of us get things right all the time. I think most people make mistakes, sin, and or miss God’s mark almost daily. If that’s the case, then what should we do? Should we hide them from God? You know that doesn't work. No, we should pause and sincerely repent and work toward making serious changes when we see repetition of the same sins.

Change doesn't come easily in a person’s life. We all experience inspiration to change at times. We all have good intentions to make changes. Carrying them out is another thing.  Stephen Covey wrote, We judge ourselves by our intentions and others by their behavior.

People can and do change! In the story of the prodigal son that left his home rebelliously and squandered his inheritance, we see that he “came to himself.” He woke up from his sin and realized how stupid and foolish he had been and the hurt he had caused. Luke 15:14-19 “About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. He persuaded a local farmer to hire him to feed his pigs. The boy became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything. "When he finally came to himself (came to his senses), he said to himself, 'At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man."

I have talked to many people who have “come to themselves” through their crisis. At those times, they focus on making real changes. This is a time where I see those who were once casual toward sin and their walk with God become serious about Him. They were repentant and made huge changes in their life. When people do work hard to make sincere changes, don't hold them in a type of prison by looking at them as someone who will never change. Give them latitude and encourage them when they say they've made changes. In doing so, you actually help yourself process change. Proverbs 11:17 (NLT) says, “Your own soul is nourished when you are kind and merciful, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel."

How many times you have repented to God for the same thing only to fail again. Aren't you glad He doesn't look at you and say, You’ll never change! Aren't you glad God is merciful to you over and over and over again?

When you see that someone is working hard to make changes, notice it, acknowledge it, celebrate it, and honor it! It will help them but it will also bless you!  Above all, realize how hard change is to make. Be patient when they blow it and encourage them on again! In doing so, you are helping them change for the good!

Proverbs 24:16 (NIV) "For though a righteous man falls seven times, he rises again, but the wicked are brought down by calamity."

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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

God Wants You to Become One of These!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you looked around recently? You are surrounded by people with needs. Some will openly tell you about what they are going through and others will hide it behind a smile. Others figure it's pointless to complain knowing that few care to listen anyway. Whether you notice them or not, there are there.

When we do find out about them, the thought that so often comes is, What can I do about it? Most people are looking out for their own lives and feel too busy and without the time and resources to significantly help others. It seems natural for people to work to build and store up what they will need for themselves and their family. It takes a lot of work just to get their own issues taken care of and their own needs met. Don’t they deserve the right to look after themselves?  Philippians 2:4 (NIV) put selfish thinking in check saying, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." 

No one has the right to tell another person how much they can or cannot have in this life or how much they can accumulate in riches and assets. As long as what they work toward and build is done with integrity, their truly is no limit. God is not moved negatively by things we accumulate unless they replace our dependency upon Him.  Jesus did warn us that our accumulations will become outdated, rust, or worse. Matthew 6:19-20 says, “Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves.”

Even though Jesus was saying this, it wasn't a statement against having things. It was a statement about things having you! He wasn't coming against riches in His warning of riches. Some of the greatest Bible heroes were extremely rich men. Being rich wasn't the issue. The heart attitude toward riches was the issue. 1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT) says, “For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.”

It is the “love of money” that is the root of all kinds of evil. The majority of people I've known that have great riches and assets, have had to work through learning to manage their attitude along with learning to manage their money. They would be the first to admit that having an excess of resources above their needs creates the opportunity for pride and wandering from their faith and purpose in life. I know people with great assets and riches that HAVE worked through those attitudes but have remained focused and faithful to God's plan and will for their life! They use what they earn and have accumulated and built up for helping finance the spreading the gospel, building the kingdom of God, and helping meet the needs of others.

I have known Christians over the years that have had little or no money but were always craving for more money. Many of them have wandered in their faith. In their craving for more money, they wandered from integrity. They've made promises they did not keep. They lied to get what they want. They cheated people, bosses, customers, insurance companies, welfare, and even their own families trying to gain money. They've crossed moral and ethical boundaries for the sake of money. In many ways, a person lacking money is much more susceptible to “craving money and wandering from the faith…” than a rich person might be.

God's solution that keeps either person, rich or poor anchored, is their heart attitude toward people and whether they are keeping God’s focus of life—touching people with the love of Jesus. If you have money and things, they can be used to help people. If you don’t have money and things, you can still find ways to help others. It all starts with the attitude of caring for people.

Generous is good and stingy is not as we see in Ezekiel 16:49-50. “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fullness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me…”  God was disturbed because these people had the resources to help those in their midst but were too consumed with themselves to do so.

We can learn a powerful Kingdom secret from God in Proverbs 11:24 (NIV.) "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty."  People think holding on to everything is the key to wealth. The truth is, stewardship is a key to wealth and within stewardship is caring and sharing with those around you according to the needs you see. This verse says it releases more blessing back to you. Only God can do that! And it doesn't mean you have to give everything away. Sometimes people just need encouragement. prayer, a listening ear, or help. Some are spiritually bankrupt and need to know the love of Jesus! Whatever the need is, do what you can, not what you can't! Care and share something along the way! If you do, generosity will be shaped within you and you will become the "One man gives freely, yet gains even more..." 

Giving, caring, and sharing doesn't begin when your ship comes in. Giving begins daily and in many ways by caring of those God's placed in your path. When you do this, you become a God-taught generous person of integrity that can one day manage the wealth that could come into your life. You won't be greedy or covetous. You;re character will have been shaped by God into generous giver of the God kind!

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

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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Where the Power of Love Begins

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was ministering at my monthly Men's Breakfast of 250 plus men one weekend.  After the breakfast, a gentleman walked up to me and said, Pastor Tim, when I read the Bible, I see so many things that need changing in me. God's ways are so much higher than I could ever live. I feel that I am failing in so many areas. How can I ever be like Jesus and live Christ-like?  

I know that feeling. That was how I felt in my first ten plus years of my Christian walk. It seemed like there were so many areas I needed to make changes in—more than I could ever possibly accomplish. I told this man what God tells us. I said, God loved us as sinners enough to save us. How much more does He love us now? Yes, He wants us to make changes because they will produce two very powerful and gratifying results over time. First, the changes we make will allow us to have greater influence for Jesus—helping bring others into the knowledge of His love. Secondly they will help eliminate our destructive thinking & behaviors, opening the door to God's blessing in every area of our life.

This man was still struggling with how to begin to make the changes and what changes to start with. I encouraged him in this way. I want you to focus on Jesus' Words instead of the laundry list of things you see in yourself that need changing. Start with these words first! Luke 10:27 (NIV.) “Jesus answered, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and Love your neighbor as yourself." Memorize these words and focus on them more than anything else.“ 


I continued, Begin by taking the first half of this verse. Focus on loving God with all your heart! From the second you get up in the morning, think about God and His goodness and love toward you. Read about His goodness. Learn to praise Him by just saying, praying, and singing what the Psalms say. Throughout your day tell the Lord you love Him. Spend time thinking about all the areas He has watched over you and blessed your life. Think about all He promises to you through His Word. Meditate on it, say it, and pray it all day long. Do this for a few weeks and it will begin to produce something powerful in you. You will experience new life in you. That will be better than you trying to work on eliminating bad habits.  If you work at them with all your heart, I assure you, you will see powerful change begin in your life. The fact is, if you focus on loving God this way, a number of bad things are simply going to drop off. 

I then told him, After a month of you being faithful to do this, you'll realize that a change in you has already begun.  Then take on the second part of the verse, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Your neighbors are those around you day in and day out. Think about God's mercy and love reaching out to you. Now turn that love—that mercy, that forgiveness, that help that comes by His grace, and turn that out to others. Make that your second infusion of new life into your life. If you just work on those two things, it won't be long before you begin to look like the new person mentioned in 2 Corinthians 5:17. "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new."

Today's Fresh Manna verse "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind," and, "Love your neighbor as yourself" is followed by these words of Jesus in Luke 10:28 (NIV.) “...Do this and you will live." That last word live comes from a Greek word that means to live quickly or you could say, experience a rapid infusion of new life. That is what loving God and loving others with great purpose and a whole-hearted effort will do for you or for anyone. It will give us a quick and new infusion of God’s love and makes our life feel alive and new again. Our laundry list of changes is good to pursue, but nothing will have more of a lasting and positive change on the development of our Christ-like walk than Jesus' exhortation to love Him and our neighbor whole-heartedly!

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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net








Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

So Here is How to Experience Supernatural Change

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever noticed all this things you think about changing that you never quite get done?  I should be more disciplined.  I need to be nicer to my husband.  I need to be nicer to my wife.  I need to spend more quality time with my kids. I really need to set up our budget. I need to start planning for retirement. I need to quit smoking. I need to get involved serving somewhere in church.  I have got to start eating better.  I need to get into an exercise  routine.  I need to lose this extra weight.  I need get up earlier and spend time reading the Bible and praying.  I need to get my butt of the couch and do something more productive.  I need to stop drinking and get help, and on and on. Honest people admit they think repeatedly about change, but execute few successfully and consistently.

This might make you laugh but it will help motivate honest thinking. Imagine someone were to give you a hundred-dollar bill for each and every time you thought about making a change you felt was needed, and for each time you attempted to make one of those changes. Would you suddenly have more money than Bill Gates?

The road to Hell, the road to failure, and the road to disappointment are all roads paved with good intentions! And no one is giving out hundred-dollar bills for them. The reality we all face is this: we all think about and desire to make changes that mentally don’t seem like they would be that difficult. Yet, as we begin to initiate them, they suddenly feel overwhelming and impossible to carry out. Why is that? There are many reasons including demonic warfare. Satan tries to keep you enslaved and stuck in your rut. He will oppose your personal change for the better if it means you’ll become a better person that loves God and touches others with His love.

It’s only with God’s help that will we experience meaningful and lasting change. This is the time Jesus’ words from Mark 10:27 rings loudly. Jesus said, "With man this is impossible, but with God; all things are possible."

Let me share strategies that God gives us from His Word to help us achieve victory in making changes in our lives. First: Know what you want to change in and commit it consistently before God in prayer. Phil 4:6 (NIV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” You know what a petition is. It’s a formal request for something desired. In the Greek, the word for petition actually originates from a word meaning to beg! That encompasses knowing two things: What it is you want and begging as though you were needy and needed help. You do. Admit it. Write down your petition or your list of things you desire to personally change in. Understand that unless you (pray) beg or realize you can’t do this without God, you will not succeed. Humble yourself and understand that the strength to live out God’s will is only within receiving His help in your attempts to change.

Secondly, Ask God! I know we just said that, but I have to emphasize that it isn't enough to just think about it or toss thoughts around like a football. It is got to become a prayer—you taking the time to stop in devotion and say, Lord, without the help of your Holy Spirit, this isn't going to change so I am asking you to strengthen my by your spirit! Is that really important? Yes! James 4:2 (NLT) says, “… And yet the reason you don't have what you want is that you don't ask God for it.”

Thirdly, you need to be tenacious! Be the little kid that was promised a treat from daddy and never lets Daddy forget! Daddy, you said…. Daddy, you promised… You know how kids are. They don’t just think it, they say it because they know it’s been promised to them! God’s grace to change has been promised to you. Be tenacious like a child in asking. Have your list of changes you are making request for and pray them to the Lord.

Fourth, don’t stop asking. Jesus taught that truth. There are demonic forces working against you. Luke 18:1 (NLT) says, “One day Jesus told his disciples a story to illustrate their need for constant prayer and to show them that they must never give up.”  Colossians 4:2 (NIV) says, "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful."

Understand Satan is opposing you. Instead, you oppose Him! Ephesians 6:10-13 (NLT) says,  "A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm."

Keep asking till you see the desire and motivation for change grow strong within you. Then you'll KNOW you are ready to go succeed in your desired change. Keep asking for strength until you've finished your course. By that point your asking will turn into excitement and thanking!

As you do these things, God’s help within you will manifest. How long should you do this? Until it comes. It may be a week, it may be a month, it may be two months. Do these things faithfully, in faith knowing confidently that God is doing a work in you and that one day it will drive the change you desire with His strength! This is how Supernatural Change comes!

Matthew 21:21-22  Then Jesus told them, "I assure you, if you have faith and don't doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, 'May God lift you up and throw you into the sea,' and it will happen. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

God Will Help You Build a Winning Marriage

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


If I have ever repeated a statement in my writings, it's this: We can not live life the way God asks us to live it, without His help. God does not just want us to live day-to-day as though life were a grind. God wants us to live out each day with the purpose of being a light for Him. When we do, we will see and experience more of His help and presence than we could have every imagined. And one day you'll even realize that living your life with Jesus as your Savior and with the help of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural life—a life experiencing the miraculous power of God's touch again and again. Think I'm crazy? A supernatural life? Really? Absolutely yes! Lets read these words! 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV) "...God 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." 

I hope you noticed two important things: a) you get to participate in the divine nature, and b) you get to escape the life of corruption that the world lives in because of their evil desires.  2 Peter 1:3 (NIV) tells us more saying, "His 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." 

In that last verse you should have noticed two more important things: a) His power gives us the ability to live this life with God's help, and b) it happens through our knowledge of God who has called us to do so. So how does that work?

Peter continues to tell us that the divine nature will work in us through this: 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV) "...make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

I am going to apply God's divine help and nature to marriage. How do these virtues tie in? Your marriage will become wonderful over time as you develop in putting on these godly virtues. God will help you through them.  We are to persevere in learning what puts love in your spouses love bank and likewise, learning to avoid what provokes and creates conflict. Anything we work hard at and according to God's instruction, will in time become the blessing God intended it to be. This is true in marriage. As you persevere learning what makes your spouse happy and how to not provoke each other, and then practice it until you are good at it, will in time become part of your instinctive behavior. You will develop instincts and good practices at being a good spouse if you work hard at it. In time it will become much easier and marriage will become a blessing and not a curse. We are to have faith that our diligent effort will produce results. God’s power working in your divine nature will help you persevere and succeed where others would fail.

This verse also says to add “godliness.”  Generally, wives want husbands to develop a more Christ-like character. They also want them to take a spiritual lead. They want them to sit down and initiate reading the Bible or praying together. This elevates the perception of the husband in the eyes of most wives (that love God of course.) Guys, this doesn't mean you have to be a spiritual giant or understand profound spiritual truths. It means you stop at a Christian bookstore, pick up a daily devotional that you and your spouse both like, and initiate by saying honey, let’s sit down after dinner (or after the kids are in bed) and read through this devotional together. It might take five minutes to read. You might talk about it together for a few minutes and then pray out loud  from your heart together to ask God to help you in what you read about and with the needs in our life. This may not seem like profound revelation yet God says in Matthew 18:19 (NIV) "I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven."  God will honor your faith and effort. He'll hear and answer your prayers. He'll speak to your heart in a way you can relate to. It can be powerful and yet it is simple! It will help you both develop in godly character and put on "godliness." 

Guys, if you really want to climb this mountain, pick up a children’s Bible and read the kids a few stories. You’ll find out that you are learning the stories as you read to them. And trust me, I've been there—the Holy Spirit will speak to you also through these kids books. They will actually help you grow spiritually. If your wife sees you doing that, she will be thanking God for her godly man!

Husbands want their wives to become more godly in character. To most men that simply means to be more respecting and honoring of them. Ladies, you have God-given instincts on how to make your man feel love and appreciated and respected. I know they should do the same to you! That will come. He doesn't want to be lectured. Encouragement without making him feel like he is already failing at something helps him greatly. I recently dropped some weight in trying to get back to my running weight. Renee hasn't lectured me in helping me. She has just been there to help buy and make better and healthier foods so that I don't grab and snack on things that derail my goals. She’s makes it a point to tell me I am looking good! That is a great encouragement to me. That is the character quality of godliness. She has learned to encourage without nagging or bringing condemnation.

Finally this verse says to add “brotherly kindness.” How does “brotherly kindness” work in a marriage? These words carry the meaning of displaying appropriate attitude and behavior consistently. It means a life without temperamental outbursts or mood swings. It has more to do with someone always looking out for your best interests as we see in Philip. 2:4  (NLT) “Don't think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” We all know what kindness is and what being mean or rude is. Let kindness and exhortation to each other become your pattern of life and if you do, your marriage will thrive.

Renee and I started our marriage, immature and selfish. We wanted a supernatural marriage —a marriage built on God's word and with His supernatural imprint on it. We diligently persevered in developing these virtue. We saw God's grace help us do things we could not have done in our own strength. That's what it means to participate in God's divine nature.

We absolutely found out that it takes more draining energy and emotion to live a sloppy and defeated marriage than it does to live a great marriage. The power of God reminded and helped us be kind and do kind things regardless of feelings! We learned that good feelings followed right attitude and behavior. God helped us listen to the leading of the Holy Spirit rather than our mind and emotions tempting and provoking us to flesh out into potentially explosive moments. The power of God helped us shut our mouth when we needed to. God helped us to pause and let our emotions calm down until we could think clearly and minimize issues rather than turn every little thing into a mountain of strife. His power in us helped us develop what started as pure chaos, into a beautiful marriage.

1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) "Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins."

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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/