About Tim Burt

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Part Two: Staying Out of A Rut

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Yesterday, I began to talk to you about the feeling of getting into a rut! I hope it spoke to your heart. It did to mine! We have a tri-window in our bedroom with a window shade on each pane. One of the shades has been broken for months. It has bugged me every day. Yesterday, my writing convicted me! I finally took it down so my wife could go replace it! Oh that feels good! That rut's been broken!

Yesterday I said that one key to getting out of a rut was by establishing a special consistent time of communing with God—the place where you are strengthened and empowered to do so. It’s where you receive the direction and draw the strength to make the changes to get out of your rut. When you do this you will discover or re-discover the amazing benefit and blessing of that intimate time with God and His Word! How did David feel about his communing time with God? King David put it like this: “The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord's perfections and meditating in His Temple…” (Psalm 27:4 NLT)

Not all repetition is bad. There are healthy repetitions or routines in our life that ARE NOT part of the rut. I said yesterday that repetition is bad when I am repeating things that are not priority or beneficial, and I am not doing what should be a priority. When I have that kind of repetition going on, then I know I’m in a rut. So how to I change that?

What most people do is identify what they know is evil, bad, or not beneficial to their life. When they do, they usually make a spontaneous decision out of frustration to abruptly end eliminate it from their life. You'll hear someone say,  I’m eating too many sweets. I’m going to stop eating sugar. Or, I keep being seduced into looking at sexual materials and media. I’m never going to look at another magazine again. Or, That's it, I am done watching television!  I understand that mentality. This person is saying, I am in a rut. I can't seem to get a handle on this part of my life so I am ridding myself of it all together. The desire and intent may be good but few people follow through in executing these desperate declarations.

Jesus gave us some insight in how to get victory. First of all, when you feel powerless or defeated in stopping something  that you know isn't good and is contrary to God’s will for you, it’s called a stronghold. That's worse than a rut. It means you need God's power to break out of it!  Jesus gave us power and authority over strongholds. We are to rebuke and resist them in Jesus name from our life. We can chase them out in His name if we stick with it. But then we need to learn something about how evil strongholds work. Matthew 12:43-45 reveals, "When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, seeking rest but finding none. Then it says, 'I will return to the person I came from.' So it returns and finds its former home empty, swept, and clean. Then the spirit finds seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they all enter the person and live there. And so that person is worse off than before. That will be the experience of this evil generation."

You don’t have evil spirits in you but they are real and do work to come against you and present temptation to you. When you've continually yielded to them, they've won and become a habit, more than a rut. They've become come a stronghold in your life. When we try to eliminate strongholds or bad things from our life but we haven’t replaced them with something good, we may stop them for a short while, but they arrive back on the scene and bring other bad friendsmore bad habits and strongholds. So, the best way to break these strongholds is two-fold. First begin to pray and ask God to give you godly desires. He will! Psalms 37:4 (NIV) says, "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart." God will give you the kinds of desires that will become a part of your life and bless you if you continually ask Him.

Add prayer and introduce and fill your life with good desires, and you will end up squeezing out and replacing the strongholds that kept you in a rut. Are you watching television too late and it steals three good things from your life like Bible reading, sleep, and prayer? Instead of saying, I am done watching television, limit television to one hour and make what you watch something decent! Then execute a plan to get ready for bed and plan to read your Bible for a certain amount of time. Squeeze the good in and cast the bad out. When temptation comes against it, take your authority in the name of Jesus out loud and rebuke it.

Whatever rut you are in, change it by squeezing in good before you try to get rid of the bad. Here is the mentality to have: if it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine, then it can be the little good changes squeezed in that begin to bring new life to the vine. Consistently squeeze in the good as you reject the bad and you will have cleaned your house of ruts and strongholds and left no room for the bad to come back and abide. More tomorrow…

Song of Solomon 2:15 “…the little foxes, that spoil the vines…”

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, March 25, 2015

Are You Ready for More Victories in Your Life?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Clichés. We hear them all too often. People usually quote them without thinking. You know many yourself such as, This is a make or break situation. Knock on wood. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. The world has a great many clichés and as Christians we also have a number of them we use. One I have heard this year is We don’t live in the worlds economy; we live in God’s economy. The problem with clichés is that they are often spoken without much thought. As a Christian, words without much thought equal words without faith. Or, as the Apostle Paul said, “meaningless talk.”

The Apostle Paul was teaching Timothy that the point of our conversation with others in the Lord is to produce spiritual edification that helps people live a life of faith and trust in God. It is not to put out a lot of blah, blah, blah that sounds spiritual but really just becomes a lot of words or “meaningless talk.” Paul writes, “Don't let people waste time in endless speculation over myths and spiritual pedigrees. For these things only cause arguments; they don't help people live a life of faith in God. The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. But some teachers have missed this whole point. Some have wandered away from these and turned to “meaningless talk.” (1 Tim. 1:4-6)

It’s great to learn things about the Bible but, if what is communicated isn't something from the Bible that helps us live out our lives with greater victory in Jesus, then what has been communicated is just “meaningless talk.”. It is true that we don’t live in the world’s economy. We do live in God’s economy. This is a true statement. But if those words are not faith-filled words that have been exalted in your heart as revelation and truth by the promise of God, then those words are just “meaningless talk.”

People face many serious concerns in their life. You know yours! In case you haven't noticed, those concerns have a voice that scream loudly in your head. Satan uses them to undermine you faith and turn your heart toward fear and concern. God's plan is for you to spend time with God building your faith in His Word. A revelation of God's promises in your heart, and action on your part to cast down every evil imagination and concerns at God's feet, is His plan more victories in your life!  Satan knows no new tricks. His fear mongering is always the same. He is always looking for those who will buy into it! That is why the Apostle Peter wrote “Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT) The question then becomes, "Will you become his victim? Will you allow his roar to undermine your faith in cares and worries? Or will you pay attention and take authority over him, casting these cares out of your life and laying them at the feet of the one who cares for you?

This is not a time for clichés, but a time for great faith that is motivated by love from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. It is a time to stand firm and to resist the devil with all your heart. It is a time to take hold of the promises of God in your life with great faith and thanksgiving. It is a time to take instruction from Jesus on speaking to and moving mountains! Are you ready to let the Spirit of God rise up in you and resist every attack of the enemy? Are you ready to let the Spirit of God rise up in you and move mountains? Are you ready to exchange meaningless talk for faith-filled words and prayer so that you may edify yourself and others? If so, then you are ready for more victories in your life! Isaiah 50:4 (NKJV) "The Lord God has given Me The tongue of the learned, That I should know how to speak A word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear To hear as the learned."

Where do you begin? It all starts with the determination to have your heart centered on making your words count from a motivation to edify others. You won't do that unless you first let the Word of God edify you. What God builds you up in is what God will then give you to edify others with.

When your motivation is to help others be set free from Satan's lies and be built up, you'll experience the scriptures speak to you in a way you've never experienced before. You'll experience God speaking to you in an entirely new light and you'll be used of God to build others up to a much greater degree. And your motivation will be exactly where God wants you to have it—triggered by love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and from sincere faith!

Let your heart and motivation become centered in being a vessel for Him. Do so and you will experience many more victories in your life!

1 Tim. 1:5 “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”

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, March 24, 2015

God Has Made You to Be A Force to Reckon With

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I was reading in Psalms 44 this morning. Not only reading, but trying to memorize some verses that the Lord has emphasized to me as critical to stand upon in faith this year. Psalm 44:4-5 (NLT) “You are my King and my God. You command victories for your people. Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.”

As I was committing them to memory, I had the thought: Most people in America couldn't relate to these scriptures. Israelis are surrounded by their enemies—enemies who plot and work toward their destruction daily. In this country, we've been so protected on the home-front from military attacks, people seldom ever worry about a foreign enemy attacking us on our soil. Pearl Harbor was devastating, yet because it happened in Hawaii, away from the mainland, it was not the same as happening here. The Cuban Missile Crisis was probably one of the greatest recent threats and that was way back in 1961. Many today were not yet born to remember what that felt like. 9/11 in 2001 was a terrorist attack that was horrific and a wake-up call to this country, yet still not the same as having 5 or 6 surrounding nations invading your nation on the ground with troops as Israel has experienced. So unless people in this nation have experienced military encounters through their service in the military or in some other way, “pushing back enemies and trampling foes” can be difficult to relate to.

As Christians we shouldn't be unfamiliar with these ideas! If you've had very little exposure to the Bible, then imaging battles between God’s angels and demons sounds like something better left to the sci-fi channel.

This is far too large a subject to tackle in a devotion, but I will say this; the demonic world is real and demons work behind the scenes to destroy and undermine everything that is good and of God. This is why there is evil in this world. God will one day destroy all evil, but He hasn't done so yet. To do so He would have to also judge all those participating in any kind of evil whatsoever, including mankind. He sent Jesus to save mankind, not destroy it. His plan to save man while pushing back evil continues on today!

Trampling our enemies is and should be very real to us. We are to trample upon the demonic spirits that come against the church, our family, our children, our lives, our nation, and anything you see that bears the constant presence or attack of evil.  ISIS might be one example. People irrationally coming against you for no apparent reason may be another! Any attack against your life is something you should resist! How do we trample our enemies? We do so in prayer. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said in Luke 10:19-20 (NLT) “And I have given you authority to trample over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don't rejoice just because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered as citizens of heaven." When Jesus said “snakes and scorpions,” by reading further you see He was referring to evil spirits. Again, Jesus said,  “I give you authority to trample….” This is called spiritual authority and as a believer you have it to use in prayer using Jesus name!

The Apostle Paul brought more insight saying, Ephesians 6:11-12 (NLT) “Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”

The thought of praying and taking authority over the enemy trying to steal your job or livelihood may be unfamiliar to you. You may not be facing soldiers and foreign enemies literally invading your home like in some countries. But there is an invasion of the enemy trying to steal your faith and confidence that God loves you and wants to bless you. He is working to steal the blessing of God from every area of your life. We trample them by taking authority over them in prayer. You’ve been given authority. Rebuke every attack of the enemy coming against you, your home, your loved ones, and your nation in Jesus name today!

Psalm 44:4-5 “You are my King and my God. You command victories for your people. Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.”

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, March 23, 2015

Let God Direct Your Attitude Into Blessing!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I just came back from Vacation. We weren't expecting to go right at this time, but good friends made an offer on we could not refuse. They offered to let us use their Florida condo by the beach and it was a Godsend for us. So we rearranged our schedule and took an early vacation.

Minnesota winters are usually long, cold, and snowy. By the time March comes along, we are more than ready to get on to Spring weather. Just about the time we were packing to leave for Florida, the weather here turned unseasonably warm—mid 60's and 70's. We almost didn't want to leave, but of course we did. The good news, or so we thought, was that we'd come home to no snow, wonderful warm Spring temperatures, and budding trees. Well the snow was gone, but the rest turned out to be slightly delusional thinking. We returned to cold Minnesota weather.  And then, last night we were the benefactors of an evening snowfall.  My attitude was less than stellar—should we say stinky? I could feel the Lord challenging me to change it as my attitude was growing worse. Psalms 119:133 (NKJV) says, "Direct my steps by Your word, And let no iniquity have dominion over me." The Lord wanted to redirect my sourpuss attitude before it began to dominate me and affect other areas of my life.

So, I decided to go outside about 10 p.m. and shovel snow and get a head-start on my driveway before morning. The snow was still falling lightly. It was around 30 degrees—almost tropical for Minnesotans, and no wind or breeze. It was actually a picture perfect snowy night! It was so beautiful that when I had finished shoveling, I couldn't go back in the house. It was too pretty of a night. I went to our backyard that has a creek running through it and brushed the snow off the chair I have along the creek. I sat down to take in just how beautiful this fresh snowfall was! What I was looking at was like an amazing picture! I pulled out my phone to snap a few pictures.
I then went into the house to plead with Renee to get out of her pajamas, put some clothes back on, and come outside. It was too beautiful to pass up. She said she'd think about it and showed up a couple of minutes later. We were both mesmerized by how beautiful it was outside—like a winter wonderland! We snapped a selfie and then enjoyed the beauty of the evening snowfall.

We finally came in and I found myself thankful again for the millionth time for the Lord correcting my attitude, and for helping me by His grace, to take an action step to do so! I could have gone through the night with a sour attitude over the weather, missing one of the most beautiful winter evenings I could ever remember.

I had the thought later on, Life is anything but predictable when you walk with the Lord. It is the unpredictable that often sends our attitude into a tailspin. We all carry around unspoken expectations within our heart, of how we want things to turn out. What we forget is that the Lord says that He'll do "... exceedingly abundantly beyond what we can ask or think" in our life (Ephesian 3:20)  If what God does is beyond what we ask or think, then we better expect unpredictable things to happen and keep a right perspective upon their arrival!

When you let Him speak into your heart and life, He'll direct you, He'll correct you, and He'll lead you along paths that you could not see coming—things that result in amazing blessing. That is actually a benefit of  having an intimate relationship with the Lord. He will lead you to better places! Jeremiah 10:23 (NLT) says, "I know Lord, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course."

Any of us can, and probably all of us do have stinky attitudes at times. We know it isn't right. But, it's in that moment we can make a decision. Are we going to let the attitude have dominion over us? Or are we going to let the Lord help lead us into a better perspective that will ultimately bless us?

Sometimes we are great at making a plan, and other times our attitudes reveal that either our plan or attitude is not good. God is able to fix either or, or both! We just have to lean on Him to get there!

Proverbs 16:9 (NIV) "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." 

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, March 10, 2015

If You Love Your Children, Do This!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


NOTE TO READERS:  Because of an important obligation, I will be taking just over a week from writing. I will be back to posting my next blog on March 23rd.  In the meantime, there are hundreds of blogs I've written to teach you of God's love and inspire and challenge you. Please check the archives and read some of those you've missed and be blessed! I'll be back very soon! Until then, I will be praying for you! 

One day when my daughter Stephanie was about three years old, and having a bad day, she laid down on the kitchen floor and threw the tantrums of all tantrums. That was not allowed and she quickly discovered that. She never did that again. Parents want their children to grow up obedient, well-adjusted, and prepared to take on and succeed in this world. Good parents realize that this doesn't happen in a vacuum. God’s word teaches us that without boundaries—His laws and ways, human life would end up in chaos. That is the meaning of Proverbs 29:18 (NTL) that says "When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is happy." This verse is in the midst of instructional verses focusing on discipline and boundaries for children and adults alike.

God’s word teaches us of the need and value of restraints and boundaries. Boundaries are not confining but to the contrary, liberating. They are designed to point us to that which brings blessing and to steer us away from that which could lead to a life of hurt and pain and destruction and death.

Little Johnny and Sally’s parents tell them not to ride their scooters out into the street. Why? Because they want to take away their fun? No, because they want to protect them from harm. When children are defiant, consequences are to be executed to change their attitude and heart toward obedience. Proverbs  19:27 (NIV) warns, “Stop listening to instruction, my son, and you will stray from the words of knowledge.” Proverbs  19:20 (NIV) exhorts, “Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.” These are the establishing of boundaries of obedience and wisdom that protect children and adults alike.

If we love our children, we lay these boundaries down for them. We also model them so they can imitate us over the progression of their lives. If we don’t love them, we let them do whatever they want to and we become hypocritical saying or modeling Do what I say, not what I do.  The result of that will be unruly and uncontrollable children that have little to no respect for anyone, and that grow to hate any form of restraint or boundaries. In this case you'll eventually hear the words, You can’t tell me what to do. I’ll do whatever I want! They head straight toward life-long destructive behaviors. That is why Proverbs 13:24 (NIV) says that part of what love is, is discipline. “He who spares the rod (does not follow through with correction) hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." If we don’t follow through in instructing our children in the knowledge and instruction of God’s Word and establishing boundaries with consistent discipline, then we contribute to their destruction. Proverbs  19:18 (NIV) says, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.”

If I could, I’d force parents to sit down and watch at least ten episodes of Super Nanny. I sincerely believe that this show is God’s grace to parents. What I love is that you see before your very eyes, what happens to children without discipline and then what happens to children that are surrounded by the effective boundaries of discipline. The only missing ingredient is to teach them God’s love and heart and reason for showing respect and good behavior. You can provide that as you yourself learn from God’s Word.

Parents need to know that they have only a few years to set the course for just how their little Johnny or Susie is going to respond to their authority and other authority figures for the rest of their lives. Those early years between 3 and 5 are critical years to instruct them. Proverbs 19:18 (NLT) says, "Discipline your children while there is hope. Otherwise you will ruin their lives."

Our children learned boundaries, receiving correction and discipline. We taught them the importance of treating people with respect. This was mostly established in them by the time they were five years old. It minimized bad behavior going forward and made raising our children an absolute joy! (But of course, yes, we had our moments!)  They are now adults and great people and great friends. We love them and they love us.

Discipline applied consistently and appropriately are real proof of your love. As Proverbs 13:24 (NLT) says, "If you refuse to discipline your children, it proves you don't love them; if you love your children, you will be prompt to discipline them."  Make your excuses and don't do this and it will fill your life with grief. Make the effort to get this part right and you will be doing yourself (and the world around you) a favor that will reward you for the rest of your life!

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/