About Tim Burt

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

You Are Anything But Ordinary!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


How are you feeling today? Pretty ordinary? Maybe under the weather or tired from the busy lives of family and work? Tired from the demands on your time? Maybe feeling a little depleted? When we get this way, our emotions usually follow suit. They go where they shouldn't go and we can too easily react in a way that we shouldn't. It is easy to think that this life is too difficult! And it would be true if it's weren't for Jesus!   “You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?” 1 Corinthians 3:3 (NIV)

Sin has complicated this world in ways that work to make life miserable—ways you'll never fully understand until you are with the Lord. But God didn't leave us high and dry in this mess! Not at all! As Christians, He gave us His Holy Spirit and that was for the purpose of changing our entire outlook and purpose of life and walking it out in God's power! When the Apostle Paul didn't see that change in the Christians around Him, he addressed it and admonished them saying,

Doesn't this seem an unusual question? "Are you not acting like mere men?” How else are people supposed to live out their lives? We are what we are—aren't we?

Paul is implying to those he is speaking to, that because they are Christians—those who have given their lives to Jesus Christ and consequently been filled with God’s Holy Spirit—that living life as “mere men” is unsatisfactory. Could this be true? It is true! We are not to be acting like mere men or women. This is one of the greatest truths missing from the Christian church today. When we were born again, we were made new creatures in Christ (2 Cor 5:17.) According to the Word of God we were given the Holy Spirit, to be more than just ordinary men or women. We were given God's nature so that we could resist the power of sin and emulate Jesus, learning to walk after Him in love, power, and authority.  Ephesians 5:1 (NIV) drives home that truth! "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children." The moment we become Christians, we were commissioned to become the touch of His love to the needs of those around us in our day-to-day life—whether it be by prayer, sharing, teaching, or by anointed encouragement—or even by the laying on of hands on the sick. This was Jesus' life. This was His purpose for us.

One thing I've always taught to Christians who want to make a difference in the life of others, is to know that there is always someone feeling weary around them at some point in their day. In all likelihood, numerous people. If you understand that, you can be used of God. How can I be so sure of that?  Isaiah 50:4 tells us that God will daily give us a word for the weary—of course that word being a word of encouragement. That is, if you are willing to seek Him for that word. And by a word, I don't mean one single individual word. I mean a verse from God's Word that brings hope and lifts the heart. And, maybe that person feeling weary is you! That word God gives you is going to be the same word that God uses to lift your heart!

After I received Jesus into my heart, I still walked as a "mere man" in many areas of my life for a long time. I didn't know how to walk any other way. The Bible says we have a divine nature that we are to partake of. 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV) “Through these God has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” "Mere man" vs '"divine nature." Does it get clearer than this?

To participate in His divine nature you have to shake off feelings of being ordinary. You have to purpose to believe that the Holy Spirit within you will strengthen you today and every day. You have to believe that as you seek Him, He’ll speak to your heart through His Word, encourage and lead you, and then use you to be a blessing to someone else. That's what the divine nature in you does!

God has a tremendous plan for each and every one of us! If we will just get over ourselves and give ourselves over to Him and believe what He says, we can go beyond being just mere men. Then He can begin to do a mighty work in us and through us.

And by the way, forget trying to be perfect or cleaned up before God uses you. God will use you long before you are cleaned up. God transforming us is a lifelong process. I've been at the cleaners for 38 years. I'm so glad that I've leaned on His divine nature so I could quit walking as a "mere man" that was powerless to change, and instead be changed and used of Him. How about you?

Hebrews 13:21  "May God equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen. "

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, April 27, 2015

You Are Not Abandoned!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As I was meditating on the Word this morning, some verses jumped off the pages and I felt immediately impressed to write this before I walked out the door to church. I believe this is for many today.

Have you ever gotten into a tough spot and felt alone—almost like everyone around you has abandoned you? You've thought, “Where are my friends? Where is my family? Where are those I expected to be there for me?”

People that feel abandoned are often mad at those whom they think should have been there for them. If they don't turn that around, they seem to eventually become bitter and mad at the whole world! Jesus was in that spot. His heart and attitude was different from how we might be tempted to respond. Here’s how he did.

One day Jesus was teaching his disciples that there would shortly be an attack on His life. He foretold them that when this happened, His disciples would run, scatter and abandon Him. Jesus wasn't saying this to make them feel guilty. It was just the opposite. He was saying it to free them up so they wouldn't feel overcome with guilt. He understood what it was like to be human, to be attacked, and to be fearful. Jesus told them that even though it looked like He would be alone at the most horrendously awful time of His life, He wouldn't be. Let’s read…

John 16:32-33 (NLT) “But the time is coming—in fact, it is already here—when you will be scattered, each one going his own way, leaving me alone. Yet I am not alone because the Father is with me. I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."

Jesus told them that a) they’d scatter leaving Him alone; b) that He wouldn't be alone —His Heavenly Father would be with Him; and c) He said He was telling them so they’d have peace through this difficult time while feeling helpless to help Jesus. Finally He told them, this is the way of life on earth and hardships happen, but, they should have confidence—Jesus has overcome all this and He has a plan of redemption for their lives. He told them that He'd be with them always! Matthew 28:20 (KJV) "...I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

You may feel alone in a hard times, but you don’t need to be mad at your friends, your family, or the world. And please, don't be stupid enough to be mad at God. He is not your problem!

Too often, even those closest to you don't understand all that you're going through. Maybe you think they should but they don't unless they've been through it. An often times, they don’t have the time, resources, or personal strength and discipline to do so. Whether that's right or not, isn't the point. Get bitter from it and it will take you down. But, it’s okay! You have not been abandoned! Jesus is with you! When you received Him as your Savior, He gave you the Holy Spirit who lives within you. You have the promise of Jesus that as you trust, pray, and lean on Him and His promises, you can and will overcome anything the world brings against you. He will help you! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

That is what gave Jesus peace. He knew His Father was with Him and this is what He wanted His friends and disciples to draw strength from. He didn't make them feel guilty. Most people hand out guilt on a silver platter. Jesus didn't. He wanted them free and in peace. He knew His Father had a plan and trusted Him.  That is what brings supernatural peace. When you have that peace, you can give it to others. Jesus had it and so He set them free from guilt. You do the same and you'll be set free and empowered for God to work mightily in your life!

I have had friends that have been in trouble and though I've wanted to help, often wished I could do more.  Sometimes we feel limited in what we can do.  But, in times like that, I at least purpose to pray for them and let them know I am praying for them! I've always had great confidence in God responding to my prayers because He says He will. When I can do more, I do. I have learned that I am not anyone's Savior. Only Jesus is! Jesus is the miracle worker and the one watching over us when we have faith in Him doing so. And so I encourage them in their faith and trust in Him. They are not alone!

Today I take peace knowing that God has spoken to me and reminded me that He is with those I pray for and loves them more than I ever could. I will pray for them and for 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, April 24, 2015

Angels on Duty

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Angels on Duty  (Author Unknown)

A girl went to a party, but she ended up staying longer than planned and had to walk home alone. She wasn't afraid because it was a small town and she lived only a few blocks away. As she walked along under the tall elm trees, she asked God to keep her safe from harm and danger.

When she reached the alley, which was a shortcut to her house, she decided to take it. However, halfway down the alley she noticed a man standing at the end as though he were waiting for her. She became uneasy and began to pray, asking for God's protection. A comforting feeling of quietness and security wrapped around her, and she felt as though someone was walking with her. When she reached the end of the alley, she walked right past the man and arrived home safely.

The following day, she read in the newspaper that a young woman had been raped in the same alley just twenty minutes after she had been there. Feeling overwhelmed by this tragedy and the fact that it could have been her, she began to weep. Thanking the Lord for her safety and to help this young woman, she decided to go to the police station.

She felt she could recognize the man, so she told them her story. The police asked her if she would be willing to look at a lineup to see if she could identify him. She agreed and immediately pointed out the man she had seen in the alley the night before. When the man was told he had been identified, he immediately broke down and confessed.

The officer thanked her for her bravery and asked if there was anything they could do for her. She asked if they would ask the man one question. She was curious as to why he had not attacked her. When the policeman asked him, he answered, "Because she wasn't alone. She had two tall men walking on either side of her."

Psalms 91:11 (NIV) "For He will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways"

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, April 22, 2015

Life’s True Purpose is God's Mission for You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Personally knowing Jesus Christ, which begins when you make the choice and decision to ask and receive Him into your heart as Lord and Savior, is the greatest decision a person can make in their life. Likewise, He is the greatest gift given to any individual on the earth at any time. This decision and action instantly initiates a miracle— the reconciliation of God and man in forgiveness and relationship. All our sins are washed away. The separation sin created between God and man, is bridged through the forgiveness give by Jesus. We become reunited to God through the sacrifice that Jesus paid upon the cross for our sins.

This is the real beginning of life for a person. The apostle Paul said it like this: “…taking hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Tim 6:19 NIV) Physical life begins at conception, but real life—being born again—God giving birth to our relationship with Him—never really comes to anyone until they come to receive the gift of Jesus Christ as Savior.

Jesus was revealing this truth to the religious ruler Nicodemus to this truth. His heart was open and he was seeking to understand.  We see Jesus teaching him in John 3:1-10 (NIV.)  “Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, "Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him." In reply Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again." "How can a man be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked. "Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother's womb to be born!" Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.' The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." "How can this be?" Nicodemus asked. "You are Israel's teacher," said Jesus, "and do you not understand these things?”

When a person receives Jesus, a miracle happens, their sins are washed away and the Holy Spirit comes to live in their heart. There is a new birth and their life begins spiritually. The Holy Spirit comes to live within them and opens their eyes to begin seeing the world through God’s eyes. Jesus describes it like this: John 14:17 (NLT) "He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now...and will be in you." 

The Apostle Paul also wrote about it this 2 Cor. 5:17-18.17 "When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! All these new things are from God who brought us back to himself through what Christ Jesus did. And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him."

From that very first moment as a new Christian, we are given a life-long assignment that changes the course of our life. God privileges us with the significant honor of helping others come to know Jesus. “And God has given us the task (the mission) of reconciling people to Him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people's sins against them. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others." (2 Cor. 5:19 NLT)

From that first moment of this new spiritual life in Christ, our life takes on new significance and purpose. One receives the most important purpose given mankind—reaching people—anyone who will listen, with the message and touch of God’s love and forgiveness. We help them come to really know what this present life on earth here is truly about: an operation rescue—sharing the love of Jesus to redeem mankind.

Never give up serving God and reaching others with His love. There is nothing more important to God than this. That means there should be nothing more important to us. Ask God to stir you and help you exercise that privilege. He’ll guide you and you’ll find there is nothing more gratifying. It is “…taking hold of the life that truly is life.”

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, April 20, 2015

Don’t Make or Repeat This Mistake!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I don't think I've ever met someone my age, who hasn't experienced what they felt at the time, was an impossible situation with no apparent solution.  Most have multiple stories to tell.  The Bible is filled with those kinds of stories.

In Genesis, we read about Jacob. He and his family were living at the time of a great famine. There was no more food to be found and he heard there was grain in Egypt. He sent his sons there to buy food and over time, they found that it was their brother Joseph, the one they had sold into slavery that was running the country under Pharaoh.  It is a beautiful story of God's faithfulness and restoration. Joseph had been used to save all of Egypt by saving up for the famine he knew was coming.  Pharaoh loved Joseph for that and invited Joseph's family to come live in Egypt under his care. He even offered to let them live in the land of Goshen, the best land in that part of the world at a time when the world was suffering from famine. Jacob and his sons knew this was a gift from God and the fulfillment of His promise to them.
At the time Jacob and his family moved into Goshen, they grew from fewer than 100 to over one million people over the next four hundred years. As Pharaohs changed, so did their living conditions. Jacob's people, the Israelites, became despised, hated, and slaves of the new Pharaoh of that time.

Then in Exodus we see how God delivered them by the hand of Moses. They witnessed one supernatural event after another. They saw God lead them away from Pharaoh, dividing the Red Sea for them to walk through, and then God letting it close upon and drown Pharaoh's army.  God guided them by a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They saw God supernaturally protect them and provide for them bringing a supernatural food supply called manna from Heaven. Yet through all this, it was one complaint after another. Too many of them really didn’t care about God. They just cared about their daily living conditions. They wanted a genie more than they wanted a God.

Again we hear about their continuous complaints in Exodus 17:1-7(NLT.) “At the Lord's command, the people of Israel left the Sin Desert and moved from place to place. Eventually they came to Rephidim, but there was no water to be found there. So once more the people grumbled and complained to Moses. "Give us water to drink!" they demanded. "Quiet!" Moses replied. "Why are you arguing with me? And why are you testing the Lord?" But tormented by thirst, they continued to complain, "Why did you ever take us out of Egypt? Why did you bring us here? We, our children, and our livestock will all die!" Complaining, blaming either God or Moses, and attacking those around them. This is what people do when they are under pressure and have little or no faith in God.

The verses continue: “Then Moses pleaded with the Lord, "What should I do with these people? They are about to stone me!" The Lord said to Moses, "Take your shepherd's staff, the one you used when you struck the water of the Nile. Then call some of the leaders of Israel and walk on ahead of the people. I will meet you by the rock at Mount Sinai. Strike the rock, and water will come pouring out. Then the people will be able to drink." Moses did just as he was told; and as the leaders looked on, water gushed out. Moses named the place Massah—"the place of testing"—and Meribah—"the place of arguing"—because the people of Israel argued with Moses and tested the Lord by saying, "Is the Lord going to take care of us or not?"

How could these people have approached God and Moses with such unbelief? They could have remembered everything God had done for them and their forefathers. They could have come in an attitude of worship and said, “Moses, we know you are led by God and that God is with us. He has revealed Himself and His love to us over and over again. We have come to worship Him and thank Him with you. We would rather die in this desert thirsty in praise of Him than under the evil hand of Pharaoh. Please lead us in worship and thanks.” If that had happened, not only would they have seen God’s provision, but also Moses would not have named the place for testing and arguing.

When you enter into what appears as an impossible situation, can you pause and reflect what God has done for you in the past? Can you remember Jesus' words in Luke 18:27 (NIV) "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Can you remember and be thankful and trust God who loved you so much, He gave His Son to save you from your sins? Can you pray in faith believing and bow down in prayer and lay your situation at the feet of Jesus?  This and this place alone is where God's love and your deliverance comes from. God showed us the mistakes and wrong attitudes of times past, so that we would not repeat those attitudes and behaviors in our life today!

Worship and thank God for His love through Jesus Christ, and His love and deliverance for us all. Have faith in God! Have faith in His promises to you!

Psalm 95:6-9 “Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did.”

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, April 13, 2015

Motivational Ra-Ra is Not Enough!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A person  sent me basic fundamentals of a new religion they were following with the encouragement that this will improve my life. This is what was given me that I should say and practice today:

• Just for today, I will not be angry.
• Just for today, I will not worry.
• Just for today, I will do my work honestly.
• Just for today, I will be kind to my neighbor and every living thing.
• Just for today, I will give thanks for my many blessings.

These principles to follow will work, not because of this new religion, but because they are God’s biblical principles. They are simply repackaged into something new to follow. God’s principles do work in the earth, but they always fall short without an understanding of the gift of Jesus Christ that makes a living relationship with God possible. New religions and philosophical lifestyles are nothing new. They are a curse if they lead you to believe that your life can be better or complete without Jesus. That is what they attempt to do! Jesus warned that many false religions would surface, especially in the last days saying, "Jesus said, 'Don't let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah.' They will lead many astray.'” Matthew 24:4-5 (NLT)

The creations of false religions and philosophical lifestyles aren't a new problem. Isaiah talked about God’s people having gone astray, deceived by the false gods back then. God spoke through Isaiah about this and the foolishness of it.

We read this in Isaiah 44:13-20 (NIV)  “The carpenter measures with a line and makes an outline with a marker; he roughs it out with chisels and marks it with compasses. He shapes it in the form of man, of man in all his glory, that it may dwell in a shrine. He cut down cedars, or perhaps took a cypress or oak… Half of the wood he burns in the fire; over it he prepares his meal, he roasts his meat and eats his fill. He also warms himself and says, "Ah! I am warm; I see the fire." From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, "Save me; you are my god." They know nothing, they understand nothing; their eyes are plastered over so they cannot see, and their minds closed so they cannot understand. No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, "Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?" He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, "Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?"

There is only one God! He is Almighty. He sent His Son Jesus to die and take the punishment we deserved for our sins upon Himself. This is a gift of His love and desire to reconcile us to Himself. When we receive the gift of Jesus Christ into our hearts, His Holy Spirit comes to live within us and opens our eyes to the biblical truths that do work in our lives. They don’t work just as good principles to follow. They work because we have a living, breathing relationship with the one true God that leads us and guides us by His Holy Spirit. And what we do must be motivated from a pure heart of love with Him leading us in our life. This is what makes biblical principles work.

To teach principles or philosophies that are biblically based without a relationship with Jesus Christ is to be the person that creates an idol from a piece of wood, using part to heat his fire and part to worship a false God. They result in becoming mislead and misleading others.

If you know Jesus today, praise Him that He has revealed Himself to you and that you are instructed how to walk in His ways, motivated by His love. If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, you can learn how to receive Him into your heart here. Invite Jesus into my heart

Acts 4:12 “There is salvation in no one other than Jesus Christ! There is no other name in all of heaven for people to call on to save them."

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, April 08, 2015

Managing Anger Before it Becomes Sin

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was a young man and newly married, I was at a different emotional level. I was young. I was immature. I was a new Christian just beginning to learn the Bible and how God wanted us to conduct our life. And I was making plenty of mistakes in learning how to be a good husband.  I wore my emotions on my sleeve and would occasionally feel provoked by my new wife who was also young and immature. I would periodically erupt like a volcanic eruption. I am ashamed of those days. I thank God for His transforming word and the ever-present help of the Holy Spirit who helped me completely change and mature. And I am so glad that those years are now so far in the past.

Anger is a valid emotion, but one that has a boundary whose line can too easily be crossed. We are instructed in Ephesians 4:26-27 (NIV) “In your anger do not sin…” This verse is instructional and insightful. God clearly teaches us that anger in itself is not sin, but that it can be carried to the point of sin. If we continue to read we also find out that when anger does cross its boundary, it can give the devil a foothold. That literally means “giving the devil occupancya place to dwell.”

For some people, their anger not only crosses the line of inappropriateness into sinning, but they are practically inviting the devil to sit down at their table and sign a long-term lease to live with them. How does that happen?

Anger unrestrained will lead to all kinds of outbursts that cause regret. People that sin in their anger seldom stay on the issue they are angry over. They often draw past offenses and hurts from life's archives, to the scene. This causes anger to swell like the beginning of a volcano. As anger gets worse, clear thinking has left the room and irrational thinking which provokes more anger, leads to rage! Unbridled anger or rage leads to irrational behavior that can then lead into every kind of evil. James 3:16 says it like this, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

As words begin to erupt from this anger, they begin to flow like lava and the devil now has a foothold. The words will be destructive and do damage to anyone in its path. In many cases, those words do long term damage that people may or may not recover from. If they do recover, they leave scars in the memory banks that only Jesus can remove through supernatural forgiveness.

Gods wisdom tells us the danger in letting our anger cross the boundaries of inappropriateness.

Proverbs 27:4 (NIV) says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming…” Prov 14:17 (NIV) says, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things….

You need to take on God’s temperament. Psalms 103:8 (KJV) reveals, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” God isn't expecting people to meet His perfection. He had Jesus come and do that. Jesus was the only one who could. God is driven by love to help people make progress with great patience.

To keep anger from turning to rage, limit yourself to how much you think about or mull it over. Speak few words about it as words cause anger to grow. Pray to ask God help you forgive. Seek forgiveness for your own personal faults at the time of your anger toward someone else. Finally, pray for that person from a spirit of love and faith with the sincere desire to help them. If you don't feel like it, do it anyway by faith because God instructs you to. When you do this, you'll find that your emotions will follow your faith. The other person may or may not respond right to your efforts but regardless, do what's right and the situation will keep from getting worse and most likely get better. Practice this continually and God will do a work in you and change your character and help you mature.  And in the big picture, like me, you'll be so glad—and be so blessed!

Proverbs 16:32 (NIV) "Better a patient man than a warrior, a man who controls his temper than one who takes a city." 

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, April 06, 2015

Who am I and What is My Purpose in Life?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Who are you? Do you remember back in your teenage years when you'd meet a new friend and begin the process of mutual discovery? I would want to get to know who this person was and likewise they would want to know who I was. When I think back to my answers of who I said I was, I’m sure there was some truth mixed with the dreams of who I hoped to become.

I can’t tell you who you are. I hope you are able to tell me. For me, in learning to honestly discover who I was, I had to learn to discover who God made me to be and then how God desired me to live. But, even before that, I had to know who God was and what our relationship was to be. That isn't what I'll focus on today but to keep it short and simple, let me just say that I learned that God loved me so intensely, that He sent Jesus to die for the punishment of my sins. And He loved me to much that He made a way for me to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. Just park for a minute and reflect on that. It's mind-blowing that the God of this universe could love each and every one of us that much. With a true confidence of His love rooted in me, that made me want to love Him and live for Him!  And this is where I could begin to build my foundation on who God created me to be.

When I learned that God's ultimate goal was to bless and protect me, then my trust was completely intact. Only then could I open my heart to learn who God made me to be and how He wanted me to live. I learned that His instructions through His word, the Bible, are the guidelines and boundaries that would promote God's blessing in my life—that would protect me from the temptations and destructive places the enemy of my soul would try to lure me into. It was then, that a life-transforming path of life began and then that my eyes were opened to who God wanted me to be. And from that point, I began to become who God wanted me to be. It was exciting because I knew it was His path, His will, and I could trust the Lord leading me to becoming the person I was to become.

Who does God say we are? Hosea 14:1-2 (NIV) says, "Return O Israel to the LORD your God. Your sins have been your downfall! Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: "Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips."

This verse starts off with Hosea the prophet speaking God’s words directly to His people. He addresses them, “O Israel.” This word "Israel," the name God gave Jacob, literally means “The power and strength to lead as God.” This is how God addressed them. This is what He named these people—“Israel” meaning You are the people who I established a covenant with, who I gave power and strength to lead as God would in the earth. Think about that! That is what God named these people! Why? Because they were to become His influencers—His leaders to represent Him and His ways in the earth. They were to be the people group God was raising up and the light to tell and show the world God’s ways and God’s power in the earth. Just like anyone might, they struggled to believe that God would want to use them like this. They felt so ordinary, how could this be possible? That will be the same question you struggle with!

Israel—the Jewish people, answered the Who did God create me to be? question from who they thought they were, rather than who God said He created and covenanted with them to be. They saw themselves as ordinary people who sinned and weren't capable of much more than becoming like the people they were surrounded by. They, like all of us at times, just wanted to fit in. That's what peer pressure sucks you into. People don't want to be different. People want to fit in. But when you are called to be God's people and you do have a purpose and life God wants you to live out, you aren't going to fit in with the world. The world doesn't know God's standards. The world does not know or understand God's ways or moral compass. The world has a narcissist—all about me attitude toward life. If fitting in is the track you want to run on, you'll never be who God wants you to be. You'll never live in the fullness of His blessing. You'll never be the light to those around you that God desires and created you to be.  They didn't and so they ended up in a backslidden state entangled in sin, idolatry, and living far outside of God’s will for them—just like those in the world around them. And it was a curse and made them miserable! Instead of representing God with lives of power and influence, they became slaves to those around them and lived a life filled with sin and complacency. They became a joke to the world.

What did God say to them? “O Israel, return to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity (sin)…” God was crying out for them to come back to be who He created them to be. He then said, “Take words with you, And return to the LORD…” “Take words” means “Take my counsel.” He told them, “Return to Me.” He then told them how. He said, “Say to Him (Say to God,) Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously.” God is the one who at this point said, “Ask me to take away your sins and receive us graciously....” Grace is the undeserved forgiveness and blessing of God-given from His love and mercy as a free gift.

He then told them one more powerful thing to do. He told them to say, “For we will offer the sacrifice of our lips.” That meant they would begin to praise Him for everything He was, for everything He had done in the past for His people, and for all He yet promised to do. He wanted them to acknowledge that they were special and have a special calling upon their life. He wanted them to know He would help them do what they could not seem to do in their own strength—live strong for Him! He wanted to acknowledge and "say it" it to stir their hearts toward who they truly were created to be!

It is from this place that Who am I? becomes more clear. Psalms 95:7 (NIV) says, “For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts...” If Jesus has become your Lord, then like Israel, you are His people. You aren’t just another guy or gal on the block or in the workplace. You are someone who God established a covenant with through Jesus Christ. God gives you power and strength through His Holy Spirit, to grow, mature and over time, rise up as a leader and person of influence for Him in this earth. Is this hard to believe? Most things God reveals to us about who we are in Him are difficult to believe! But, as you believe in this truth, and as you walk the journey in living for him, you will see that it is the only way you could have truly discovered and experienced it! It's the only way to find out Who are you and what is my purpose?

Isaiah 43:1 (NLT) "But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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