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/

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Transforming Power of God's Righteousness

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Many years ago I met a man whose life was in a very undesirable place. He was a Viet Nam veteran whose experience in that war brought great turmoil to his life. This is not a statement about that war. It is only to say that the war led to great psychological and emotional distress and unrest. It's often diagnosed today as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

When I met him, He for the most part, was living out on the streets of Minneapolis. I do believe he had some place he called his home but he drank with his street buddies most of the time and had little to no life out side of that. I was out on the streets one night when Bob engaged me in conversation as he heard me talking about Jesus to someone else. I finished the conversation I was in and then proceeded to talk with him. As we talked, he began to explain his present-day life—why it was so messed up and why he could never be a Christian. He said those things to me not truly understanding what a Christian is. Suddenly he declared, God would never accept me because of the sins of my past. The things that I have done were too sinful—beyond what God could forgive!

He is not the first person that has struggled with those kinds of thoughts. Countless people do! In telling me his story, he explained to me that he had murdered innocent women and children in the war—not intentionally but that they were collateral damage from battles there were in. It had been difficult and tormenting because there were women and children in villages that had been covertly conducting war against our troops. It was not easy to discern who was and who wasn't their enemy at times. Consequently, they made mistakes and he knew there were times where he had, in his words, murdered innocent women and children.

The pain and memories of the guilt he felt led him to drugs and alcohol—first over there and then back here after his military career.

In our conversation, I began to explain to him why as hard as that experience was and as painful as the memories were for him, that God would accept and forgive him—that God’s love and mercy were greater than his past sins and mistakes.
I could see from the look in his eyes and the expression on his face that he wanted to believe what I said, but found it almost impossible. I engaged in further conversation with him, sharing that every man who has walked upon this earth with the exception of Jesus, has failed in living right for God. I opened up a Bible and together we read Romans 3:23 (NLT) which says  "For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard.”

 God is holy and cannot live in the presence of any sin—big or small, abundant or few. Because we've all sinned, we've all been disqualified from Heaven. That's the bottom line! We have all disqualified ourselves from Heaven and being with God. But, God did something about that. That is what I began to explain to Bob.

He really didn't understand why Jesus came to the earth. He knew He died on the cross but could not relate it to his life or to the evil he felt he had done. I began to explain further and as I did, his eyes began to light up and his countenance slowly began to change. It was as if the effects of the alcohol in him began to supernaturally diminish and he became completely sober before my very eyes.

I continued to tell him, Bob, God didn't send Jesus into this world to condemn you but to save you! He knows you've messed up. Every one of us has! That is why God out of His love for us, sent Jesus.  John 3:17 (NIV) helps us understand God’s purpose in sending Jesus. “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.” 

I explained a powerful truth that is the under-girding of any Christians’ righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) says, “God made Jesus who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  Bob, what I want you to understand is that Jesus literally traded yours and my sins for His righteousness. He did this as a gift and it’s received by faith—by your personal belief in God’s love for you that He would do this.

As we talked further, he began to get big alligator tears and then cry. We ended up praying together as he asked Jesus to forgive him and become His Lord and Savior. For the first time he had felt forgiven for this past life of guilt and pain. He picked me up in a big bear-hug and thanked me over and over.

Our ability to change is supernatural and empowered by God’s gift of righteousness—our righteousness—our right standing with God. It is the basis of our being in right-standing with God and for receiving forgiveness of sins. Righteousness is not ours because of any of our own goodness or anything we could do. It was given as a gift because of what Jesus did for us. He created the starting point where the past could be washed away, the present could be repaired, and where our eternal life with Christ could be guaranteed. It was and is the starting point of all Supernatural Change. And as Ephesians 2:9 says, It is by God’s grace—(His Supernatural help) that you receive through your faith. You can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God!

I watched this man's countenance transform before my eyes. It made us both cry! It was the power of God's righteousness working in him. It is available to all who will believe!

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/

Friday, February 20, 2015

Do You Know Your Priorities?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One day over lunch, my sister and I were reminiscing over how unselfish our parents were throughout our life. Dad and mom had ten children. Mom labored at her never-ending job of cooking, cleaning, washing, and driving us everywhere. She was absolutely selfless in living for us. Dad was the same in a different way. He mostly worked, six days a week, 8 hours one day and 12 the next. He did what he had to do provide a great home for all of us. On the few nights he had off, he’d always be there playing catch with a football or baseball or taking us swimming or to some activity. If there were two things they prioritized in their life, it was God and their family.

Jesus taught priorities! He called us to know them. He also said what our number one priority should be. We read it in Matthew 6:33 (NIV) “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Another Bible translation says it like this: “and He will give you all you need from day-to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern. (Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

Are you like most people? Do you find it a battle to put God FIRST place in your life? Does your heart want to? Does your spirit agree when you read about putting God first place in your life saying, Yes that’s right! I do need to put God and His ways first place in my life!  Jesus once said to Peter, “… the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Jesus knew we’d be willing and wanting to put God first. The words that will spill from the hearts of men before the throne of God one day will be a river of good intentions.

Jesus knew that the natural things that we need in life would create a competition for our thoughts, emotions and priorities. As necessary as those things seem, He wanted to remind us that they don’t compare to seeking God, His righteousness, and His kingdom first!

Matthew 6:25-33 (NLT) "So I tell you, don't worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn't life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don't need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than they are. Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not. "And why worry about your clothes? Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't He more surely care for you? You have so little faith! "So don't worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and he will give you all you need from day to day if you live for him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.”

It's God's love compelling us to understand the importance of the verses you just read. They need to be our quest knowing they will produce the direction and healthy life leading to God's blessing and needs met that we all desire. This is the top priority of our faith. Trusting that in putting God first, everything else in our life will work out for our good!  As Hebrews 11:1 (NLT) says, “What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.”

When we seek God through His Word and prayer first and put our faith in His promises.then our faith will trump mental struggles, worries and fears. It will bring us into a place of peace and trust in God. Jesus said our spirit was willing. He also said our flesh was weak. He also said the way for our willing spirit to defeat our weak flesh is to “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!"(Matthew 26:41 (NLT) Temptation isn't just about restraining ourselves from sin. Temptation can also be about putting things outside of God—work, play, and activity—before Him.

Are you putting God FIRST today? Are you operating out of good intentions or the reality of doing—strengthened by God’s love and grace? It’s why God said “Keep alert” so that we would conduct an occasional reality check. He then said, “and pray.” I thank God my parents modeled that for me. It was embedded in my heart as an example to follow!

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/

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

If you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, February 16, 2015

God is Talking to You About Change

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There are many areas within our lives that God speaks to us about (when we listen,) that He would like us to make changes in. When I received Jesus as my personal Savior at the age of 24, and began to read the Bible for first time in my life, it didn't seem like much of anything in my life was really aligned with how I was reading that God wanted us to live. It was truly a dilemma for me. That is until a wise person helped me understand that the process of aligning our lives with God's word was a life-long process of change. He helped me understand that we can't make change true heart changes without the help of the Holy Spirit and that was something He'd help us to little by little and day by day.

Most Christians think about changes they believe they should make continuously.  The challenge is, not to become numb and callous to those godly calls to change. We don't want to suppress and bury or sweep under the carpet, yet we don't want to always feel guilt and conviction about how we are living. The only answer their is, it to pursue learning God's will for our thinking, behaviors, and His will and work toward them day by day. It is never about Him being mad at us! It is about the Lord knowing that those changes will result and a more blessed and happy life for us. He is God, He is a father, He is love, and He is the best of coaches!

Satan love and works to keep us enslaved in bondage to sin. He works to lead and tempt us into wrong thinking that become deep seeded habits, physical and psychological addictions, and so much more. He tempts us to sin, works to hold us in bondage to sin, and then accuses us before God for the very sin he tempts and leads us into. Revelation 12:10 (NKJV) says he is  “…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 (NLT) 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 isn't condemning them in His admonishments to change. If you feel condemnation it’s from Satan’s accusing. God talking to us over and over is like the parent training his child and 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 but for good reason, He wants change. Those things we need change in—especially the hidden things, hurt ourselves and others. 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.

The Apostle Paul reveals God's power within us. Romans 8:3-9 (NLT) “… But God put into effect a different plan to save us. He sent His own Son in a human body like ours, except that ours are sinful. God destroyed sin's control over us by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins…Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God's laws, and it never will. That's why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)"

Prior to giving my life to Jesus, I thought addiction ran in my blood line. I believed I had no control over it. I guess in a way, it became a convenient excuse. Then I learned what Jesus did for me and that sin had no more power over me. I applied my faith to that truth. When tempted I’d say out loud, Satan, the power of the life-giving Spirit of God has freed me from the power of sin leading to death. You have no more power over me. I am free. I am no longer your slave. I am who God says I am—His child empowered by His Spirit. I rebuke this temptation in Jesus name. I had to say these things out loud to overcome the pesky lying thoughts that had run through my head for so long. Those thoughts changed over time! So did the sinful patterns in my life. They dropped off one by one.

There is power to change. It is supernatural power to change. It is the power of the Holy Spirit within every believer of Jesus Christ. If you lean on yourself you will fail over the long haul. If you will lean on the Holy Spirit knowing that God is on your side, and out of His mercy wants to help you change, and if you apply your faith and ask and pray according to His Word and promise, change will come! It will lead you from a life of destruction and bondage and into the blessing of life.

Romans 8:2 (NLT) "And because you belong to Jesus, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death" 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Defensiveness, Retorts, and the Tongue of the Wise

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The advertisement copy might read: Can be more deadly than snakebite. Can be more terrifying than feeding an alligator. Can do more damage than a wrecking ball. What is it? The Retort.  Retort is defined in the dictionary this way: to make a reply, especially a quick, sarcastic, scathing one, to present a counter argument, to verbally retaliate.

At the age of 25 I was a young Christian married manand immature married man.  Like any marriage, there were times where I would correct Renee on something and she would correct me on something. What is it about a man's ego that it can be so easily bruised?  As I said, I was immature and would often get defensive and lob a retort back.  Those little retorts sparked battles that we didn't really want to have. Retorts come spontaneously without premeditation. They are too often sharp and cutting. From some people, they can be as deadly as a match to a gas can. And they too often slip out of our mouth in response to something that was said to us that was truthful and not meant to be an attack. Oh these evil mindless viperous retorts…

Our spouse might try to point out something that we said or did that was inappropriate or that could have been handled in another wayand we spout the retort. We think, They don't understand. They don't know why we said or did what we did—even if it wasn't appropriate. The retort has been launched and now the battle begins. We try to justify our words or actions and shore up a defense protecting our position knowing deep down inside they are right and we blew it. Rather than be quiet and listen—rather than reflect and begin to open our heart to what they said, we let that cursed retort slip out.

Those retorts hurt and provoke those trying to help us. When retorts escape our mouth, the battle begins, the bullets and bombs fly, the cutting and hurtful remarks hit the target, and the tears are shed. I'm sure at this point the devil is excited for the way his plot turned out.
God helps us see this truth so we can be aware of it and learn to get His help in resisting the temptation to retort. James 3:5 (TLB) says, "So also the tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do. A great forest can be set on fire by one tiny spark. And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is full of wickedness, and poisons every part of the body. And the tongue is set on fire by hell itself and can turn our whole lives into a blazing flame of destruction and disaster. Men have trained, or can train, every kind of animal or bird that lives and every kind of reptile and fish, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is always ready to pour out its deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our heavenly Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against men who are made like God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Dear brothers, surely this is not right!"

If you ever get defensive (and your spouse or friend will surely affirm if you do,) then you probably launch retorts from time to time. Defensiveness and retorts go hand-in-hand. In our own self we can't seem to find the strength to hold them back. That is what the scriptures in James confirm—we are incapable without God's help, to control our tongue! Retorts happen and hurt. Only by yielding to the Holy Spirit within us can we learn to keep our tongue under control.

God wants to help us with things we need help with in our life. The primary way He will speak to and correct us is through His Word. Proverbs 3:11-12 (TLB)  "... do not resent it when God chastens and corrects you, for his punishment is proof of his love. Just as a father punishes a son he delights in to make him better, so the Lord corrects you." We read, pray, and meditate on His Word and He speaks to our heart about things. But, He also uses people who love us to speak into our lives. Those are often the ones we lob the retorts at. When they do, we cancel out the ability to hear the truth that could have helped us.

Defensiveness is a nullifier. It nullifies the opportunity to learn and grow. Proverbs 12:1 (NKJV) says, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, But he who hates correction is stupid." Developing godly character means we have to change these kinds of negative attributes in our life.

Correction is seldom easy to receive from anyone but, as Proverbs 15:28 (NKJV) says, The heart of the righteous studies how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours forth evil. God has called us as Christians, to learn to use our tongue wisely! That means studying how to listen and answer with grace! When we understand God uses those close to us to help us and we, with the help of the Holy Spirit learn to restrain our lips and listen to what is being said, then we can study to answer not defensively, but with an appreciation for the help we can get from others. Even if someone corrects you in a less-than-desirable way, we can still learn from it and be better off for it. If we will control being defensive and shut down those destructive retorts!

Proverbs 12:18 (NIV) "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Bridge to God's Benefits!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was talking to a gentleman who was upset over decreasing work benefits. He’s paying more for his health insurance. It’s not covering his eyeglasses any more. His dental plan is not as good. He even spoke of car and gas benefits he used to get that went away. He was reminiscing over good old days when his benefits were abundant.

God cares about benefits and what He promises never decreases! 
Psalms 103:2 (NKJV) says, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits..." 

From the time God instructed Moses and then Joshua to enter the promised land of blessing, He told them He would be there to help them and that there would be the supernatural benefits of His help and blessing if they would trust Him and keep steadfast in their faith in Him. His first benefit would be this: “I’ll go before you, be with you, and not fail or abandon you.” That was God's exhortation through Moses to Joshua. Deuteronomy 31:7-8 "And Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong, courageous, and firm, for you shall go with this people into the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to possess it. It is the Lord who goes before you; He will go with you; He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you." 

God’s benefits did not stop with Moses and Joshua and those who first entered into the Promised Land. They extend to us today. Every day the devil is on a mission to kill, steal, and destroy our lives according to John 10:10. God’s benefits come to us through our believing in them
through faith! Romans 5:2 says, "through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand..." Remember, when you are in fear, you are not in faith!

Psalm 103 reveals God’s heart and deep love. His words are the expression of the perfect exchange of hearts
our heart blessing God in adoration for who He is, and God blessing us with the promise of His benefits expressed in Psalm 103. This isn't some kind of poetic passage. They are God’s promise of blessings waiting for your faith to take hold of and believe by faith! Examine those promised blessings as your personal benefits from God. Count them and really see what they are and what they promise. He wants them for you!

Psalm 103:1-6 (LTB) “Praise the LORD, I tell myself; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle's! The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly...”


You see the benefits in Psalm 103 throughout the Word of God. God does want to bless you. He wants to fill your life with His benefits and this is what you should extend your faith toward. They won’t fade out as they economy gets tough or as corporations and business tighten their belt. They come from a higher place!

Have you ever sat and looked out the window toward the sky and thanked Him in advance and contrary to all circumstance, for these blessing in your life? Have you ever looked out and up and worshiped Him for who He is? Stand strong in faith, in worship, and in thanksgiving as you honor and bless Him. Open your heart to receive "all His benefits" by faith.


2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) "For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of 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!  Write me at FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net







Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, February 09, 2015

Who and What is Behind Your Success

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you realize that every person, no matter how skilled, gifted, or equipped, is still limited in their own overall ability to achieve. Only a prideful person would deny or contradict that truth. When it comes to taking credit for great accomplishments, no one, and I mean no one's accomplishments are a result of strictly their own efforts. There are always other contributors. The first contributor is God. And then there are others God brings to help establish a great work, effort or accomplishment. There may be people that take the glory for great accomplishments but the truth is, there were others contributing to that success.

When things are going great and great things are being done, there are always people who want to grab the glory for what's happening and pat themselves on the back as if it was the result of their singular effort. But, when things start going wrong, suddenly, the same people that wanted to grab the credit and glory for what THEY accomplished, are no longer alone in their efforts. They want to suddenly make it a group effort and find others to blame. Things are great—pat me on the back. Things are bad—it's their fault! Funny huh?

God wants us to succeed! How do I know that? Because God's Word tells us that when we will take the time to learn, mediate, and be careful to walk in what God tells us in His Word, then we will have good success. Joshua 1:8 (NIV) "Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful." 

There are countless successful people in the Bible that we could look to as an example. The Apostle Paul was one of them. He was a hard worker. From his perspective, he worked harder than any of his co-workers and peers. Given his background, that wasn't a boast but a truth. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10 NIV) 

When a person is like this, it is easy for him/her to feel like a martyr. Whoa is me! I am doing all the work and no one else cares as much or works as hard as I do. We see Martha express those feelings to Jesus. She came to Him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" (Luke 10:40 NIV)

When you work hard, it's easy to fall into this trap. When you experience great success it's easy to think you are the reason for it.  But, as the Apostle Paul said, it wasn't because of his own great ability that he worked hard. It was the grace of God in him that gave him the ability to do any and everything he did. "...No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Cor 15:10 NIV) What is the grace of God? It's many things including His supernatural help! So what's the bottom line? Our successes are a product of the grace of God—even our ability to work harder than others.

The grace is God’s placement of gifting, right motivation, attitude, and work ethic to do good and succeed within you. Not everyone has what you have. Not everyone has been graced with what you have been graced with. Not everyone can do what you do. And you can't expect them to! This is the reason you have to resist and hate pride. It will make you arrogant. It will blind you from seeing the grace or help of God behind your success. Don't use what you have to elevate yourself into pride. Thank God for it! Do all that you do unto the glory of God! Give Him thanks for the grace given you to succeed!

Also, since great work and success always has contributors. This is also a supply of His grace. Give thanks to God but also give thanks to those that contribute to your successes. The acknowledgement of thanks given in true sincerity is perhaps the greatest gift you can give back to them. It will most often arouse and strengthen their loyalty, and refire and encourage even greater effort. All which will again contribute to yours and their further success.

When you do thank them, communicate what it is your really appreciate in the work or contribution they have supplied. Be genuine and let your appreciation be heartfelt. When appropriate, let others hear the appreciation.

Above all, as a representative of the Lord, let them know they are a grace and blessing that you are thankful for. As the Apostle Paul modeled in writing, "How we thank God for you! Because of you we have great joy as we enter God’s presence." 1 Thessalonians 3:9 (NLT)

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, February 06, 2015

The Ticket

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Which one are you in these verses - the wise or the mocker?  Proverbs 9:7-8 (NLT) "Anyone who rebukes a mocker will get an insult in return. Anyone who corrects the wicked will get hurt.  So don’t bother correcting mockers; they will only hate you. 
But correct the wise, and they will love you." 

The Ticket (Author Unknown) 

Jack took a long look at his speedometer before slowing down: 73 in a 55 zone. The flashing red in his rear view mirror insisted he pull over quickly, but Jack let the car coast. Fourth time in as many months. How could a guy get caught so often? When his car had slowed to 10 miles an hour, Jack pulled over, but only partially. Let the cop worry about the potential traffic hazard. Maybe some other car will tweak his backside with a mirror.

He slumped into his seat, the collar of his trench coat covering his ears. He tapped the steering wheel, doing his best to look bored, his eyes on the mirror. The cop was stepping out of his car, the big pad in hand.Bob? Bob from church? Jack sunk farther into his trench coat. This was worse than the coming ticket. A Christian cop catching a guy from his own church. A guy who happened to be a little eager to get home after a long day at the office. A guy he was about to play golf with tomorrow.

Jack was tempted to leave the window shut long enough to gain the psychological edge but decided on a different tack. Jumping out of the car, he approached a man he saw every Sunday, a man he'd never seen in uniform.

"Hi, Bob. Fancy meeting you like this."

"Hello, Jack." No smile.

"Guess you caught me red-handed in a rush to see my wife and kids."

'Yeah, I guess." Bob seemed uncertain. Good.

"I've seen some long days at the office lately. I'm afraid I bent the rules a bit-just this once." Jack toed at a pebble on the pavement. "Diane said something about roast beef and potatoes tonight. Know what I mean?"

"I know what you mean. I also know that you have a reputation in our precinct."

Ouch. This was not going in the right direction. Time to change tactics.

"What'd you clock me at?"

"Seventy-one. Would you sit back in your car, please?"

"Now wait a minute here, Bob. I checked as soon as I saw you. I was barely nudging 65."

The lie seemed to come easier with every ticket.

"Please, Jack, in the car."

Flustered, Jack hunched himself through the still-open door. Slamming it shut, he stared at the dashboard. He was in no rush to open the window. The minutes ticked by. Bob scribbled away on the pad. Why hadn't he asked for a driver's license? Whatever the reason, it would be a month of Sundays before Jack ever sat near this cop again. A tap on the door jerked his head to the left. There was Bob, a folded paper in hand. Jack rolled down the window a mere two inches, just enough room for Bob to pass him the slip.

"Thanks." Jack could not quite keep the sneer out of his voice. Bob returned to his car without a word.

Jack watched his retreat in the mirror, bottom teeth scratching his upper lip. When Bob vanished inside his car, Jack unfolded the sheet of paper. How much was this one going to cost? Wait a minute. What was this? Some kind of joke? Certainly not a ticket. Jack began to read:

Dear Jack, Once upon a time I had a daughter. She was six when killed by a car. You guessed it - a speeding driver. A fine and three months in jail, and the man was free. Free to hug his daughters. All three of them. I only had one, and I'm going to have to wait until heaven before I can ever hug her again. A thousand times I've tried to forgive that man. A thousand times I thought I had, Maybe I did, but I need to do it again. Even now. Pray for me. And be careful. My son is all I have left.
Bob

Jack shifted uncomfortably in his trench coat. Then he twisted around in time to see Bob's car pull away and head down the road. Jack watched until it disappeared. A full 15 minutes later, he, too, pulled away and drove slowly home, praying for forgiveness and hugging a surprised wife and kids when he arrived.

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/