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/

Monday, March 30, 2015

Break Out of Your Monotonous Rut!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever feel like you’re boring or stuck in a monotonous rut? I suppose there could be a variety of definitions of what a rut is. When I think of a rut, I think of two things: repetition in what I’m doing, and doing something that isn't what I want to do most. Repetition in itself isn't bad. Actually a fair amount of routine helps us develop a more disciplined life. I remember back when our children were young, experiencing the liberty of routine from school because of summer vacation. The kids had the summer off. Most all our routine flew out the window. It felt good for a short time, but by the end of summer vacation we couldn't wait for the kids to get back in school so we had some routine again. Initially we struggled getting back into that routine, but it didn't take long for it to feel good. I would get my daily disciplines back and out of chaos.

I like having my daily routines, but like anyone, we enjoy spice in our life. We like the things that we insert into our life that add flavor such as date nights, being with friends, events and gatherings, vacations, and the change ups and spices of life that make life more interesting. Repetition isn't bad to me unless there are things I am repeating that aren't priority over things I am not doing that should be a priority. When I have that kind of repetition going on, then I feel like I’m in a rut. The logical thinking would be Well, just break out of it!  If it were that easy, then none of us would be in a rut for long.

The Apostle Paul described his ruts like this in Romans 7:15 & 18-19 “I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate... No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway.” Paul went on to describe that this is how he acted when He was living carnally.

Paul went on to say that as Christians we weren't trapped by carnal thinking and behavior. That was a part of our old man before we received Jesus. Now we are sons of God. We can break out of them and follow after His Spirit. As Romans 8:9 says, “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.”)

Whenever I’m in a rut, I meditate on this truth. I have the Spirit of God living in me, therefore I am not controlled by any sinful nature, nor am I bound by habit or stuck in what I am doing! By the power of the Holy Spirit, I can change things up whenever I deem necessary!  There is something else I do. I have done this in various formats over my 38 years as a Christian. It has helped me more than anything else I can point to. It has helped strengthen me in spirit so that I could rid myself of the bad in my routine and replace it with the good. What is it? I have communed with God early before ever starting anything else in my day. I set my alarm early (although I usually wake up on my own) and as I wake up, I begin to commune with God, mediating on His promises and who He says I am.

Psalm 5:3 says, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 143:8 says, “Let me hear of your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer.” And Isaiah 50:4 says, “The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know what to say to all these weary ones. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will."


I commune with God in the morning before anything else. I talk with Him and let His Word speak to me. I talk over my day with Him and ask Him to use me and let me be a light for Him. I ask Him to strengthen me to move beyond or outside of my routine when led. I ask Him to strengthen me do to what I know God wants me to do. And in this place of communing, God’s strength comes and my confidence in Him helping me grows.  It is in those quiet times with the Lord that I am better able to know what needs to change and find the daily strength to change it.  Ruts choke but Spirit led changes feels so good! Try it! More to come...

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) "See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland"

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/

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/

Monday, March 09, 2015

What Makes Your Life Rich and Without Regret

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As a 61-year-old Pastor, I have listened to a great many people share personal thoughts with me. As people get older, they have the ability to look back over their life. From that place, there is one thought in particular, expressed through two different people that strikes my heart every time I hear it. It is something I have personally tried to learn from. I want to share what they said—very similar but expressed differently, with you. These thoughts are regrets—regrets that I have purposed not to have in my life. One person said to me, I wish I would have used more of my life to serve the Lord instead of chasing meaningless dreams I thought were important.  Another person said, I wish I would have realized how short life is, valued it, and used it more for the Lord. 

Why do Christians come to this regret? They do because they come to grips with the truth that God has made nothing in this world to satisfy our longings, outside of Him. The thing that brings deep, inward, personal satisfaction to your life, is when you know that God has a plan for your life and you have walked it out to the best of your ability. That happens when you realize God wants everyone to be saved from their sins through Jesus Christ, and to grow, spiritually mature, and become disciples of Him. There are a thousand ways to contribute to that plan. When you come to realize this truth and allow it to become a core value of your life, then and only then will you look back in life without regret.

Many years ago, while working for the airlines, I was in a jet aircraft near miss. It was so close that we barely avoided destruction and death. Though it happened almost 30 years ago, I remember it like it happened yesterday. Two jet aircrafts barely escaping a mid-air collision. As soon as the incident passed, I remember going through days of deep reflection about how my life almost ended. I couldn't stop thinking about how disappointed I would have been standing before the Lord giving an account for my life.

l had made many changes since becoming a Christian, and yet I knew there were so many things the Lord wanted me to do that I was ignoring. I repented to the Lord right then and there for acting indifferent regarding things He wanted me to do. It was at that time I experienced another life-change. The first was receiving Jesus as my personal Savior. This second one was to begin to live my life as wholeheartedly for Him as I could. I made a vow to the Lord to quit procrastinating and step out in faith to do those things He had been speaking to my heart about! That was a mountain-moving time for me. My life's new core value became that which was spoken by the Apostle Paul in Acts 20:24 (NIV.) “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.”

I immediately gave myself over to things that I knew He wanted me to do. My life has never been the same since. I am in a place where I feel as though I have served the Lord by serving people with every fiber of my being—writing Fresh Manna being one part of that experience. I have no regrets and looking back, there is very little that I would ever change in my life. Since that day, my life has been all about people—dedicated to the task of testifying of the gospel and of God's great mercy and grace. And that was not because I was a Pastor. I hadn't become one yet. I did it in my job, in both of my two businesses, and wherever and however God would lead me. At church I started Bible studies, taught children, raised up others to lead and started hundreds of small groups where others could be a blessing in helping those God gave them. In the beginning of all this, I knew nothing and had to fight fear and inadequacy in everything I did. But over time it got easier and the Lord strengthened my confidence as I bore fruit.
There is nothing material we can take with us in this life. The only thing we can take to Heaven with us are those we are privileged to influence and help know Jesus. Empty legacies over achievements without Jesus will mean little and fade over time. But the things we do to help teach, direct, and encourage people in the Lord, will last for all eternity.

I want the Apostle Paul’s testimony to be mine. We all should. He said in 2 Timothy 4:7 (NIV) “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” There is nothing more satisfying and keeps us from all regrets. Don't wait until you experience a crisis or you get old to figure that out. Learn from others early in life and find out just how rich your life in God can become!

1 Thessalonians 2:19 (NLT) "After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you!" 

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, March 06, 2015

The Power of God in You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Luke 10:19 "Behold, I give unto you power..."

I’m sure that you, like me, have read many inspirational stories over the years. The children of this generation are told stories all the time followed by the words “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.” I like that people are inspired. It’s better than being told “You are good for nothing and you won’t amount to anything.” Positive and encouraging words spoken over others is something God's word encourages us to do but, those words are meant to be rooted in the promise of the Holy Spirit working in us and helping us reach our dreams. That is where the power to overcome comes from! To think we can do anything that is significant in His eyes without His guidance and direction and help is futile thinking.

Any power within us is only the power of God.
Before you give your life to Jesus Christ, God’s Word makes it clear that you are stuck in Satan’s grip and power. No one wants to hear that. You might think, “How could that be possible? I’m not under Satan’s power.” I remember thinking that when someone was sharing Jesus with me before I gave my life to Him. God’s Word makes it clear that when we receive Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Savior – we change kingdoms and are rescued from Satan’s power and brought under and given God’s power. Col. 1:13 says, “God who has delivered us from Satan’s power - the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son Jesus..” Acts 1:8 then says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…”

If you want to see a world that is under Satan’s power but does not recognize it, go watch the movie-documentary “Super Size Me.” If you were to look into stats on the amount of money gambled and lost, the amount of money spent on alcohol and recreational drugs and the addictions and the problems and deaths they’ve caused, if you will look into the amount of money spent on cigarettes and the health issues and deaths they have caused, if you will look into the amount of money it takes police to catch, prosecute, and jail or imprison criminals, or the amount of money spent on our military to defend our country from enemies, you will find that we squander, waste, and spend the majority of the world’s wealth - literally trillions on evil or the protection from it. Surely this world is under Satan’s grip and his power. People don’t have the power do to do anything they want. They don’t even have the power to stop evil thinking and actions in their lives without the power of Jesus.

To most people the thought of power is more of a fantasy or a game, but not something they really give all that much thought to. God wanted us to not only know of His power but to experience it at the most base level of our lives – the power to make sound godly moment-by-moment decisions with the courage and strength to carry them out. Remember that the next time you begin something as simple as a diet! Forget what you've been taught by television and movies when you think of power.
Instead, think of it as the supernatural and inward strength of God working within you to actually live godly and upright in thought and actions in a world of corruption and evil. Think of it as the power bringing you courage and boldness to stand up for your faith in God and what you believe. Think of it as the supernatural power of God working behind the scenes to work through your prayers and to guide your steps and life. Think of it as strength from God to say "yes" to right choices and "no"to temptations!

"Behold, I give unto you power..."If you are a believer, God has made His power available to you. If you walk in faith believing in it because you know God promises it to you, then it becomes tangible to you. To be inspired is good, but motivation can be a flash in the pan - quick in coming and quick in departing. Faith in God's power working within you should become the core of your belief system and a blessing and strength that you draw from day in and day out!

2 Peter 1:4 “And by that same mighty power, God has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in His divine nature.”

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 04, 2015

Part Two: The Voice of God Within You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Almighty God is our God. Almighty God is our Heavenly Father. Almighty God is our friend. When you truly press in to know God and you prayerfully study His Word (meaning you sincerely ask God to reveal Himself and what His Word means,) you will discover that God is Almighty God, He is our Heavenly Father, and He is our friend. There is a balance important to our relationship with God if we hold these three truths in appropriate perspective.

Almighty God is our God. If you could imagine a personal meeting with the President of the United States in his oval office, you might imagine the protocol, formality, and honor to such an event. You’d only walk in and say, Hey Prez, how’s it going? if you were totally clueless to respect for authority and irreverent toward it.  If you did appropriately understand, you would probably dress your best, prepare your greeting, and try with honor and respect to make the most of the limited time you had. With God, our reverence and respect for Him should be magnified far above any humanly respect toward man. Psalm 113:4-5 (NLT) says, “For the Lord is high above the nations; His glory is far greater than the heavens. Who can be compared with the Lord our God, who is enthroned on high?”

Almighty God is our Heavenly Father. Jesus reveals that God is our Heavenly Father. Matthew 6:31-33 (NLT) says, “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.”

As we discover and come to know God as our Heavenly Father—the perfect father that none of us every had, we can experience greater intimacy between us and Him. It doesn't mean we should become less reverent toward Him. It means that we see His majesty and reverence Him, but also realize that the most powerful being in the universe—perfect and Holy in nature, has a deep, sincere, fatherly love toward us. How awesome is that and how much more would it elevate our faith and trust in Him to watch over us?

Almighty God is our friend. There are some people who would be overwhelmed to have a close intimate relationship with a prominent figure or celebrity. If Phil Mickelson called me and said, Tim, can you play golf with me and have lunch? and he spoke those words as a best friend, well, it would be extraordinary to have such a friendship with a world-renowned figure. How much more mind-boggling to have an intimate relationship with the God of the universe? Moses did. In Exodus 33:11 (NIV) we read, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend.’’

To those who would become Jesus’ disciples, He called His friends, John 15:15-16 (NIV) says, "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." 

In true intimate friendship, friends know each other. Friends share the deep things of the heart. They don't hide things from each other. God reveals Himself, His ways, His love for us, and His plan to save and help us through Jesus and His Word. He declares friendship! Amazing!

When we understand God in all three of these revelations, and reverence and honor Him with the respect due to Him as God, we prepare our hearts to speak to and hear back from God—our Almighty Father who loves us as a child and friend.

Now it’s key to understand what I am about to tell you and I want to frame it with a short story. Years ago Renee and I did some surveying of married people at a marriage seminar we were conducting. We gave an anonymous survey to men and their wives asking them to rate their marriages from 1-10, 10 being the best. Although the surveys were anonymous, we asked the couples to turn theirs in as a couple. In almost every case, the men scored their marriage higher than their wives did.

Couple after couple’s scores went like this. The husband rated his marriage an 8 and his wife rated it at a 5. A husband rated his marriage at a 9 and his wife rated it at a 6. Most of the men were blindsided thinking that their marriage was better than what their wife thought. In the majority of cases, the wives scored the marriage lower because they did not feel the communication within the marriage was as good as it should be. Most women desire a marriage with great communication! That doesn't mean that men don’t desire good communication. It just means that women desire more of it.

For most women, it’s a contributing factor that helps make the relationship more intimate. And it’s something that men who want to improve their marriage learn over time. Most everyone would agree that a good intimate relationship is not going to happen between two people unless there is good two-way communication. I think most people get that. We also need to understand that it takes good two-way communication to build an intimate relationship with God. Do we think we can build an intimate relationship with Him as a one-way conversation where we talk to Him and He listens but never responds? Honestly, that is lunacy! God speaks to us! I know to people who don’t really know God’s Word that sounds crazy but as we read yesterday, Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to speak to us. Jesus said, “…the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him. But you do, because He lives with you now and later will be in you.”

As we just read, Jesus declared, “I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn't confide in his servants. Now you are my friends…” God is our friend. We must approach Him with reverence for who He is. But, He is also our loving heavenly Father—the perfect Father who loves and deeply cares for us, and the friend we can and must converse with, expecting Him to speak to us through His Word!

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 03, 2015

The Voice of God Within You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There is a powerful and exciting experience within the true Christian life that so very many Christians are not aware of and know too little about. I am confident that many have probably experienced what I’m going to share with you but don’t even realize that it’s a God experience and something that God expected you to experience on a regular basis. It’s hearing His voice. I don’t mean in the way that you usually hear a voice. I mean more like an impression of the heart, a feeling about something you should pay attention to, a deep knowing of something you really have no way of knowing, a still small voice from within that is the voice of God. It sounds like your voice since everything we hear that is not audible is heard from within, but it’s not your voice. It’s not like when you’re reasoning with yourself or talking to yourself about something. It’s different. It’s the voice of God—Him speaking through the Holy Spirit to your spirit. It’s communication from God THAT ONLY Christians can experience. It’s one of the benefits that comes to anyone who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. From that point on, God makes many of His benefits available to you.

In John 10:27 we read Jesus saying these words… “My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” What would be the point of needing to recognize Jesus’ voice if we weren't able to hear from Him?

Jesus had been with His disciples for three years teaching them what He could in the time. He taught them His love, His purpose, about Heaven, about earth, about life and man’s purpose in this earth, He taught them about everything that was vital for them to carry on His work in preaching the gospel. The time was approaching for Him to complete God’s plan and redeem mankind from sin.

Jesus knew He would die upon a cross to take the sins of mankind upon Himself. He knew he would go to the belly of Hell and pay the price that we deserved for the sins that we committed. He would die a sinner’s death though He never sinned. He knew that Hell could not hold an innocent man any more that our jail system holds a person in jail that is proven innocent. Jesus knew that His Father would raise Him from the dead and from the pit of Hell. He knew that He’d return to Heaven having paved and paid for the way for mankind to follow Him to Heaven. Because He knew these things, He knew He wouldn't be in the earth once He ascended into Heaven. Jesus wanted His disciples to know that He had a plan—that He would not desert them and leave them alone to figure out everything on their own. On that note, He spoke to them to tell them of the change that was coming. His plan included a way He would speak to them, even after He ascended to Heaven.

In John 14:16-20 Jesus speaking said, “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world at large cannot receive Him, because it isn't looking for Him and doesn't recognize Him. But you do, because He lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you. In just a little while the world will not see me again, but you will. For I will live again, and you will, too. When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. “

Jesus said He’d sent them "another Counselor." He was referring to Himself as the first one. But, when He’d ascended to Heaven, He would send them another—the Holy Spirit. He revealed that the world wouldn't understand this ‘God talking to man stuff,’ but we would.

We read more in John 16:5-7 & 12-14. Jesus explained to them, "Now I am going to Him who sent me, yet none of you asks me, 'Where are you going?' Because I have said these things, you are filled with grief. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you…”

He continued in verse 12, "I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.”

Jesus said the Holy Spirit would come and He would “speak.” He called the Holy Spirit the Counselor and said that the Holy Spirit would guide them. Counselors speak. They help sort lies and confusion and bring us to truth. They share wisdom. They give direction. Guides know where they are going and help you get there. They tell you about the places you are going to. In other words, God has much to say to us through the Holy Spirit as the Counselor and Guide living with a Christian's heart.

God speaks to the spirit of man by His Holy Spirit. If you don’t know that,  you wouldn't know it was happening. Many people don’t and put other spiritual tags on it. There are two voices beyond our own —God’s and Satan’s. We need to know that. We need to be able to tell them apart. And for sure we want to understand how to hear the voice of God as it makes for the most exciting Christian life possible.

The verses in John 14:18 & 20 were to encourage us saying,  “I will not abandon you as orphans; I will come to you…and I am in you." I know there are times when we feel alone. We have problems we don’t know how to solve and we can feel like we are without help. We aren't! The Holy Spirit is with us always and He knows what we don’t. He wants to comfort us with God's promises and help us learn what we need to know! Pray to God and know that He’ll speak back to you through His Word, through the Holy Spirit within you. And you will begin to receive His direction, instruction, and comfort. How powerful and supernatural! And it's God's way with us! Wow!

Psalm 29:4 says, The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

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/