About Tim Burt

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Our Life of Choices in a World of Good and Evil

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I think most of us have seen the old War on Drugs commercial. It has a slogan; "Just say no!" The word no is a critical word in life. There is much in life that we get to say yes to. There is also much in life we should say no to. And if you didn't catch the implication of the last statement, to say yes or to say no is a choice. It is the exercise of free will. You get to make the choice of what you say yes or no to in life. God made us uniquely different from every creature in this world in a number of ways—one of those being, we are given free will to make our own choices.

We all know that making choices can backfire. We know that because we've all felt the pain of making at least a few bad choices. We've all wondered at one time or another why it seems as though God tolerates the evil that is this world. The truth is, it isn't about God tolerating evil. God's very nature is love and the nature of love is that it gives freedom—the right to choose. The evil and pain that is in this world is because of people making a never-ending stream of bad choices. Bad choices lead to hurt and pain for far more than just the individual that is making them. This is why God exhorts us in Ephesians 4:17 (NLT) "With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused."  The Lord is telling us that we have the right and authority to make right choices, but we need to learn to say no to choices that hurt our self or that can ultimately hurt others. When the Lord is referring to Gentiles, He is referring to non-believers that did not think about the choices they make through God's eyes. He said they will be hopelessly confused.

On that note, learning to say no is good. Saying no to the piece of dessert when you are overweight and trying to lose weight is good. Saying no to the temptation to flirt with someone that is not your spouse is good. Saying no to the child that is acting unruly is good. Saying no the temptation to view pornography is good. Saying no to the temptation to an emotional outburst when you are upset that will only make a problem worse, is good.

Strength comes from resistance. When you lift weights or exercise, you are creating resistance to strengthen your muscles. The blessing is this: muscle strength is created through resistance and your ability to resist grows stronger. Learning to say no to things you should say no to, does the same thing. You grow stronger at it.

It seems like some Pastors are afraid to talk about the no’s that God instructs us in through His Word. Many young Christians today are afraid someone will get the impression that the Bible, Jesus, and the church are just about do's and don'ts. I guess that could happen if God’s motives weren't explained and if people weren't taught that every no carries a message and motive of love. God instructs us to say yes to things He desires us to do because He knows it will lead to blessing and joy. Like a loving parent, God instructs us to say no to things that He knows will hurt us and others. His yes's and no's are both motivated by His desire to bless and protect us.

I’ve been practicing living in the yes’s and the no’s of God all my Christian life. And they have nothing to do with going to Heaven. Heaven is a gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ alone. Yes’s and no’s are about the quality of life we create for our self and the world around us. And as I said, they are both motivated by God’s heart of love.There is much that God encourages me to say yes to that brings great blessing into my life. I’ve also been living in the no’s because they bombard me every day—spiritually, mentally, and physically. Spiritually, God tells me that I get to yes—draw near to Him and fellowship with Him. But my busy days try to push back and shout, No, there isn’t enough time—you’ve got too much to do and you need more sleep. To the Lord I say yes and to the temptations I say no.

This world is filled with pain because of people that haven't said no to being mean, rude, lustful, greedy, and evil. God did not cause this world of pain. People cause this world of pain. This is why God wants you to build up the muscle that comes from saying no to the things you know in your heart are inappropriate. There is a God-given supernatural inward strength He promises to those that have faith in this promise and lean upon it. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That means that the Lord will help you say yes and no at the appropriate times.

To God I say, Yes, and thank you Lord for your help and grace to do what is right. To the temptations that I know violate God's heart and ways, I say no. To things deep down I know God would rather not have me do that aren't sin, I say no! Oh how I love the Lord’s inward strength helping me. Oh how I love building my spiritual strength to say yes to God's instruction and to say no to the devil's temptations! It’s a part of the God-life!

Proverbs 3:1-2 (NIV) "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 24, 2015

God is Reasonable to Reason With!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was first married and a young Christian, there was an area of my life I was physically tormented in. I had a disease that they said there was no cure for. It was not life threatening but the symptoms were something I’d have to live with for the rest of my life. There were days and nights that I felt tormented. There were other times when the symptoms would go away and I’d feel perfectly fine. But, then the symptoms would return. When they did, I’d lay in my bed at night and “reason together with God.”

What is “reasoning with God?” It is an intimate time with God where instead of filling Him with your thinking, He teaches you how He thinks and instructs you to think like Him. It is the process of transforming your mind. Romans 12:2 puts it like this: “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”

When I first gave my life to the Lord I always felt stained from sin. It was hard for me to believe my sins were really forgiven. I was taught to defeat Satan’s accusations and those feeling of inadequacy by reasoning with God. This was God’s instruction to us to learn how to defeat the devil’s accusations. Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, let us reason together," says the Lord. "No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. I can make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you as white as wool.”

I have never been one to argue with or blame God for anything. If something is wrong, it’s either my fault or an attack of Satan. Either way, it means I need to repent or resist every attack of the devil. When it was an attack, I would reason with God in prayer. I would present my case based on the promise of His Word. Isaiah 43:26 says, ”Put Me in remembrance; Let us contend together; State your case, that you may be acquitted.” Why would I need to put God in remembrance? Does He forget things? Of course not! By putting God in remembrance, we put ourselves in remembrance. It is so that we can learn to repent of sin or stand against an attack by standing on the promise of God’s Word by faith. We have to know that God wants to help us in order to believe in faith for His help and receive it.

I would lie in bed at night reasoning with God. “Lord Jesus, you have washed my sins away. Though they be as red as crimson, you’ve clothed me in your righteousness and made me white as wool. You’ve forgiven me! When you forgave me, you delivered me from every attack and penalty that sin brought to my life. Galatians 3:13 says, “But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." Jesus you’ve delivered me from the curse of sickness and disease in the same way you took away my sins. To those that came to you in faith, you healed them all. I thank you for delivering me from this disease.”

Night after night I would have these prayerful conversations with the Lord reminding Him the promise of His Word - that He said we “should reason together”. I’d remind Him of every person Jesus healed and how He was honored by their faith – that He said it was His will they be healed. I reminded Him of how Jacob wrestled with Him for His blessing. Genesis 32:26, “Jacob panted, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." Jacob prevailed winning his blessing that day. I likewise was going to wrestle with God until I got my blessing.

As I said, night after night I would lie in my bed reasoning with God thanking Him for all His promises and for all He did for us through Jesus. Every blessing was ours and Satan had no right and could not stop them from our lives. It seemed like this went on for a long time, but as I said, I was determined to wrestle with God for my promised blessing. I knew and know that faith in Him honors Him.

One day I noticed that I hadn’t had the symptoms of that disease for a long time – months. Praise God! That’s now been over 30 years ago. Come let us reason together!


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, July 20, 2015

Here's What You Can Do!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When you look out and see people each and every day—the ones you work with, the ones you encounter in the stores, restaurants, and various places you go—what do you see when you see all the people who you encounter? Do you see people through God’s eyes? Do you see people who were created by Him that are lost? Do you see people who God loves and wants to have a relationship with? Do you see people who are looking for answers yet may be too stubborn to admit it or listen to the very truth that would save them? Do you see people who might hate God, but for all the wrong reasons? How different life would be if each and every day we looked at people through God’s eyes as someone He wants to reach, that Jesus died for. If we lived like that, it would literally transform our life.

1 Cor. 8:6-7 “…there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this…”

To become indifferent about seeing people through God's eyes takes effort. It takes a pushing away or burying a heart of compassion that the Lord put in you the day you gave your life to Him. Maybe you buried it because you didn't know what to do with it. Maybe you don't know how to share Jesus with people. Maybe you lacked the courage to share Jesus with others when opportunities arose. Maybe you didn't lack courage but you've been rejected so many times when trying to share His love that the hurt screamed don’t do this any more and so you didn't. But if you love Jesus, I can assure you that within you is the God-given ability to look at people though His eyes.

2 Cor. 5:18-21 (NLT) “All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task 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. We are Christ's ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, "Be reconciled to God!" For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ."

Seeing people through God’s eyes and then feeling the burden that they need Jesus can feel overwhelming, but it shouldn't.  Jesus carried the burden and sins of the world. We can’t. We can’t carry the weight of every person, but that shouldn't make us indifferent. God has put us here to be an influence for Jesus to a sick and dying world!

There is a verse from the Message translation Bible that has become the guideline for my life that lifts this and all burdens of obligation from my shoulders, yet does not lead me to becoming indifferent. It’s from 2 Corinthians 8:10 (MSG) “…Once the commitment is clear, you do what you can, not what you can't…”

I love those words, “Do what you can, not what you can’t.” I am only too aware of what I can’t do, yet I can always do something. Sharing the love of Jesus with others is a process. The Apostle Paul taught us in 1 Corinthians 3:6 that helping people come to know Christ is most often a process, like gardening or farming. He said, “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” It can be a process which means it happens in stages over time. People usually do come to Jesus in stages. As different people communicate Jesus and pray for them, the light slowly comes on and they begin to search for truth. Each of us can be one link in that process.

“Do what you can, not what you can’t.” I realize it takes time and I purposely remember that so that as I look at people through Jesus' eyes, I will remember to do what I can and not what I can’t. If I do, then I remember that I can be a light to the grocery clerk I see each week. I can let him see the love of Jesus through me. I can remember the Apostle Paul's words from 2 Corinthians 3:2 that we are a written letter from God that people read every time they see us! Just our presence represents Jesus to them! I can touch others with kind words, encouragement, and acts of kindness as opportunities present themself. I can invite people to church. I can give them a Bible, telling them how it transformed my entire life. I can share what God has done for me when identifying with them over their present crisis. I can pray for them regarding the crisis they are facing right there on the spot, or if more appropriate, letting them know I will sincerely pray for them. There are many can do's that I can do. If I look at people through God’s eyes, then I will be more sensitive to those can do's momentsThey will become more frequent and I will be planting or watering the seed of the love of Jesus in them. If I do while remembering that it is God that brings the increase, then I won't take on the burden of their salvation that only Jesus can carry. That is not my burden.

I don't have to become indifferent to protect myself from the guilt of not sharing the complete message of Jesus with every person in life. I can look at people through God's eyes and care and "Do what I can, not what I can't."  In this way, I will be fulfilling God's royal law of love! I will do my part, others will do their part, and God will bring the increase!

If you know Jesus and they don’t, you have something they need! You can make a difference!

1 Cor. 8:6-7 “…there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. But not everyone knows this…”

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!  FreshMannaFeedback@comcast.net






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Spoon That Feeds…

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Spoon That Feeds…  Author Unknown

A man was having a conversation with the Lord one day. He said, "Lord, I would like to know what Heaven and Hell are like."

The Lord led the man to two doors. He opened one of the doors and the man looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew which smelled delicious and made the man's mouth water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths. The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Lord said, "You have seen Hell."

They went to the next room and opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made the man's mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking.

The man said, "I don't understand."

"It is simple" said the Lord, "it requires but one skill. You see, they have learned to feed each other. While the greedy think only of themselves."

Gal 5:13 “For you have been called to live in freedom--not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Strength to Walk Out God's Incredible Plan for You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Just by understanding God’s love for you, and how He has felt about you from the beginning, and what He has wanted for you, begins to increase your faith and strength. That is what it was designed to do as we see in Psalm 139:14-18. (NLT) “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!“

When you find out what God wants for you – what He intended for you – and that He is not out to condemn you but to strengthen your life to become a world changer, your life begins to take new shape. Strength from God comes to your life. How do you open the door to this strength so that it continues to come and so that you feel and see it begin to change you?  What is the first secret to tapping into the power and then plan of God for this significant life? It’s putting these truths in your mouth! That is a God secret that He wants you to know! It’s powerful. It’s life-changing. 

God spoke through Isaiah to help us take hold of this powerful truth saying, “And this is my covenant with them," says the Lord. "My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children's children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken!  Isaiah 59:21 (NLT) 

Begin now by getting in front of a mirror and saying, “Thank you Lord. You have made me wonderfully complex! Your workmanship concerning me is marvelous and I now know it. You watched me as I was being formed and prepared my days and your plan for my life before I ever lived one day. It’s time I started living by your strength and power instead of mine own. I thank you for helping me to grow in your strength and power every day. I thank you that your thoughts about me are kind and empowering and your plan and desire for me even more precious. I thank you that you are with me now and forever. These are your words and I have and will continue to put them in my mouth and on my lips until they instinctively flow from my heart. Thank you for Jesus and making all this available to me through Your love and sacrifice for me. I am strengthened in you today. In Jesus name Amen!” 

These are God’s Words about you. Write God's covenant promises down as you see them in the Bible. Put them in your mouth and speak them each day until they begin to sink in. You are honoring God in doing so. You are exercising your faith! You will begin to experience a new level of the power of God and His strength in your life. It will thrill your heart!

Psalms 19:14 (NLT) "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

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/

Friday, July 10, 2015

Neglecting What is Good is A Cancer to Eliminate From Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I went out to my garden sitting spot to read my Bible and pray before I began to write. In my little patio area surrounded by garden, I have a table to sit at and on that table a vase of flowers from my garden. I had cut and put Baby’s Breath and Zinnias in that vase because they make a beautiful combination. As I walked out to the table, I was reminded that they don’t last long. The water had turned green and the flowers were wilting and almost dead. The entire setting was beautiful except for that vase of flowers that had suffered from my neglect.

David teaches us something about neglect saying, Psalms 119:16 (NIV) "I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word." Remember that what David wrote was by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. That means God intended us to learn from these words. He says we shouldn't neglect His Word. We shouldn't neglect wise counsel to protect us from our own stubborn ways. He says we shouldn't neglect the spiritual gifts—those talents and abilities within us to touch others with His love. His word teaches us not to neglect the godly relationships that become voices and examples to keep us in check and anchored in living a life for Him. And He with great warning teaches us to be careful not to neglect our salvation—His plan to bless our life and save us from our sins through Jesus. He says don’t neglect it because if you do, how will you escape the life and its consequences you were heading toward before Jesus rescued you?

What does neglect look like? Well, it doesn't seem bad until you look closely at things you’ve truly neglected. My vase originally looked beautiful but today it looked ugly. That’s what neglect does. Our relationship with Jesus could be a beautiful and wonderful relationship but neglect can make it feel dead. Significant relationships can suffer. The yard can start to look like an overgrown weed pile. The house can become tattered and torn.

What do we do if we know we've neglected what we shouldn't have? First, understand that neglect starts with yielding to feeling tired and then procrastination. It continued it works toward laziness. If then turns to indifference and apathy. It's a cancer for sure!  So how do we break out of it? Acknowledge it to God and yourself!  Tell the Lord you are sorry and ask Him to put you on a right path. It won't be easy because your flesh will cry and scream along the way. Ask the Lord for His grace to help you! If you are sincere, you'll find His grace to help you in those moments of need.

Then begin to thank God for the very reason He blessed you with the things you've become lazy about. That could be your spouse, your children, your Bible reading, going to church, your job, your health and fitness, or friendships.  It could be a number of things—things you've taken for granted and neglected. Think about the blessing it had brought and was designed to bring you by God Himself. When you've done that, take a series of small action steps to appreciate and embrace what you've neglected. Do it immediately and immediately you will feel better. These small steps will help to begin to reverse your neglect and gain some positive momentum. Passionately embracing and loving that which is important is key to breaking neglect! It produces the beauty and blessing of that which God brought it into your life to bless you with in the first place. Get on this path again and you'll soon feel refreshed and like a new person.


How can we neglect what God has given us and think we will get away with it? Only deception produces that kind of thinking. Know what’s right to do and ask God to strengthen you by His Spirit in your inner man to do it. Then stop neglecting and begin to make things beautiful! He’ll help you every step of the way! It’s His will. P.S. I just changed the water and flowers on my garden table! It looks so beautiful again and makes me feel so much better!

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" 

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!  Tell Pastor
Tim here:




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://readfreshmanna.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Yes! God Will Help You With Your Needs!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Does God care about your needs—I mean enough to truly help you? The answer to that is yes! But if you box Him in to help you the way you think things should happen or in your timeline, then you'll be disappointed. Our view and perspective of life is so shallow, yet He knows every moment and day of your life before you live it. He knows the big picture and allows you change it through your faith in Him and His promises. But because you declare Him Lord, then you've declared He can help you His way! Is that good? Oh, more than you could ever imagine! Why do I say that? Because we are often too shallow, too superficial, and too immature to know all we need. If you don't think so, just think about all the times you cave into your flesh regarding things you shouldn't have or do. You do because you need help whether you'll admit it or not. And God isn't interested in just meeting your needs. He is interested in maturing you, teaching you life's purpose and developing His character qualities in you. And beyond that... He does beyond what we can ask or think. That's better but often best seen in hindsight! Ephesians 3:20 (NLT) "Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

Something the Renee and I have tried to practice most our married life is to pause, ask, and pray before we purchase. I am not talking about groceries or gas for the car or things that are the most basic have-to purchases. I mean the things that to some degree are discretionary. That may be a car, furniture, or just things people buy. For me personally, I’ve learned that I can’t always distinguish when I am coveting after something or that I really need it. So, when I want something that is discretionary, I usually don’t immediately buy it. I pause. I don’t say to myself, You can’t have that. I just think, I’ll wait and pray about it. I often wait a few weeks to see if after that time, I still desire it. Often I don’t. Then I know it was more of a lust than a need. After all that, if I still want something, I will ask the Lord to provide for it.

Inside our kitchen cabinet, you’ll find a list of things Renee and I have asked God to provide for us. When we put something on our list, we pray and ask the Lord to provide it and from then on, thank God He meets our ever need according to His riches in glory! The list is right where are garbage basket is so we look at it often and thank God for providing when we do. It keeps us focused on the Lord's provision and hopeful and thankful. And that keeps us from mounting up debt by just buying stuff we can't afford. It helps us maintain our budget and allows us to watch God work supernaturally in our life!

There are always about ten things on the list. One thing on our present list was carpeting. It now has a check mark by it! The carpeting in our home was 24 years old. I know that sounds gross but it actually still looked good. It was just old. We put it on our list to ask God for and prayerfully kept it before Him.  Carpeting was one of those things that had been on our list for over three years because it’s such a big expense, but we were patient and confident and had asked God to make a way. One day I was notified that I was getting a check for a significant sum of money that had been owed me. I had forgotten about it and wasn't expecting or even thinking about it. I thought it was money that would never come back to us. It was more than enough to cover our upstairs carpeting. We are still believing for our provision for our downstairs carpeting. On our current list, six of the ten things have supernaturally been provided for in the past two years. It has been amazing!

Recently Renee and I were in a store called American Girl. We saw these very expensive dolls that we knew our granddaughters wanted. We would have been glad to buy them but after looking at them, we said, “Okay, we are willing to, but let’s just pray and ask God.” We were planning that by Christmas we’d get them for the girls. A couple of days later, our daughter told us that someone had suddenly and unexpectedly just given her and her husband the money for American Girl dolls. They were ecstatic and told us we no longer needed to get them because God provided them! That was fine with us. We bought them something different.

A young man told me his story. His daughter wanted this particular dollhouse very badly. She asked about it often. He and his wife were feeling pretty strongly about getting it for her but wanted to pray and ask God to provide for it. It was outside of their budget and would have busted their budget. They agreed together in prayer about it and a few days later, a couple who are friends of theirs stopped over at their house. They said, God has been dealing with us about something. We are supposed to buy something for your daughter. Is there something she has been wanting?  They looked at each other and said Yes! They explained and the couple immediately wrote them a check for the dollhouse for their daughter.

Does this all sound unspiritual to you? It shouldn't. We have needs in life. Sometimes those things are born from lust but many are rooted in sincere need. When you have needs without having a way to meet them you get anxious and people often breech budgets and integrity to get them. God tells us to ask in faith because it brings us into peace as we trust Him. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." 

God cares about your needs and knows you have needs beyond your natural reach. This is how we live in the supernatural life and provision of God. And it brings so much joy to see God intimately involved in your life! And God gets all the glory! No matter what the need is, God cares. Asking, having patience and trust, and standing in faith are all an integral part of living in God's care and provision!

Philip. 4:19 (NLT) “And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The Power of Praying for Others

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As I write you this morning, I am in what my grandchildren have named, Papa's Secret Garden. I am sitting by the edge of our creek praying for many people—my family, our congregation, all of you, and individuals that are presently going through difficult times. While I was praying, an image came to mind that I know was from the Lord. In the Fall, before I tear out the garden, I cut off flower heads. As they dry out, I am able to extract the seeds to grow new flowers. Toward the latter part of winter, I plant a few of those seeds in vermiculite to make sure the seeds are good and will germinate so that I can plant them in the spring. If they are good, they germinate in about ten days or less. This was the image I suddenly saw while I was praying.

As the Lord showed me this image and I got quiet before Him, He immediately began to speak to me about all the seeds Renee and I had planted in obedience to His Word over the past 33 years. We have never not tithed ten percent of our income. On top of that we have always given offerings. We have planted the seed of God’s Word in people’s lives. We have done many things for people. These are all “seeds” according to God’s word. If it weren’t for the Lord and His grace, we would have never had that seed or strength of spirit to obey him to begin with.He alone gets all the glory for anything we've done right! 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 (NIV) says, “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

As the Lord was speaking to me about all this, He reminded me of those dead flower heads containing the seeds. He said, They are just sitting there and that’s all they will do until you extract the seeds and plant them. Planting them is still not enough. You have to water them. If you hadn’t, they would not have germinated and grown. He continued, You’ve planted much seed in your life including those you are praying for now. Pray for the rain of Heaven upon those seeds so that they can sprout and bring forth fruit. That was such a powerful image to me because I could so easily see it in terms of gardening. I am a gardener and I get gardening and seed time and harvest. Harvest is the beautiful footprint of your labor of sowing and tending the seed!


This is how you gave your life to Jesus. Someone shared God's Word with you. The Bible calls the word of God incorruptible seed. It was the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ to you. Someone was also praying over you and that was equal to watering that seed.  It eventually germinated in you and took root as you opened your heart to God. And when that happened, it sprang forth and began to change your life! 1 Peter 1:23 says, “For you have been born again. Your new life did not come from your earthly parents because the life they gave you will end in death. But this new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, incorruptible seed of God’s Word.”

The Bible says God’s Word is incorruptible seed meaning seed that it will always grow when the heart is ready to receive it. Many people have it planted in their heart, but they need someone to water it through prayer and they need to open their heart to God.

God gives us seed—the Word of God, the tithe, offerings, good works, and more. Each of these seeds bear different kinds of fruit and bring blessing to us and to others when we are faithful to plant, water and tend them! Rain—the watering of seed—is critical for germination and growth. The rain God is talking about is prayer. He was saying, Pray over those seeds you’ve planted in obedience to me.

Your prayers cannot manipulate someone else's heart or will. But you can pray for hard hearts to be broken up! Hosea chapter 10 talks about the fallow (hard) ground of a heart being broken up. If you continue to pray, most people hit those places in their life—some from hardship and others out of thanksgiving—where they open their heart to God. Knowing this, have faith that your prayers avail much!

I’ll end with these verses from Isaiah. They paint the picture of prayer resulting in rain upon seed. Today I have begun to pray over all the seed Renee and I and all of you have planted. I will remember that seed first germinates, then sprouts, then grows over months, and then begins to bring forth fruit. That means I need to be consistent in watering by continuing to pray as a prayer assignment for a season of months and months. We will then see a bountiful harvest! I am excited and as you read the verses from Isaiah and catch the vision!

Isaiah 55:10-11 (NLT) "The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Monday, July 06, 2015

On a Bad Day, Reboot God's Way!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever have a bad day?  Who hasn't?  What do you do on those kinds of days? Throw in the towel? Quit? Give up? Compound it by self-indulgent fleshly pleasure that only makes things worse?

If I ever have a day I wish I could reboot or do over, that's my cue to begin a new day right then. I do so by reminding myself that the circumstances I'm in are temporary and that God He has a plan and purpose for my life that He wants me to walk out. To understand this as a Christian, is one life's greatest blessings. The Bible calls it one of life's mysteries that He has revealed to those who love Him and have received Jesus as their Savior! God has had a plan and purpose for our lives before He even created us! 2 Timothy 1:9-10 (NLT) reveals this truth saying, "For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was His plan from before the beginning of time—to show us His grace through Christ Jesus. And now He has made all of this plain to us by the appearing of Christ Jesus, our Savior. He broke the power of death and illuminated the way to life and immortality through the Good News."

The devil tries to orchestrate trouble so you'll be discouraged, give up, and throw your life away! God persuades you to seek Him, reboot through prayer, and remind yourself of His plan for you! Knowing God’s purpose for your life stirs the desire in you to walk worthy of it. Colossians 1:10 “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Instead of letting the hard days discourage me, I let them remind me that despite all my flaws, Jesus has always had a plan for me and kindly made me righteous as a gift of His grace. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) says, “God made him (Jesus) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus paid the price so that we could be made righteous in God's eyes. He put a robe of righteousness on upon each of us who believe so that we’d be clean in His eyes .Isaiah 61:10 (NIV) says “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in his wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”  The Holy Spirit helps us day by day in our makeover—the transformation and developing of godly attitude, motivation, and conduct. God chooses to see us washed through Jesus despite our inadequacies and failures.

Knowing these things, I make a renewed decision today and every day to have a life of strong faith fueled by the revelation of God’s love that I am His child. I must forgive myself after I've asked Him to forgive me. I must forgive others as He has forgiven me. I must love others and do what's right no matter what anyone else does because I am a person who has a purpose! And so are you!

We may have bad days or bumps in the road, but we can cast out discouragement and set our eyes upon Him and the magnificent gift of having a purpose-filled life. We can move forward with excitement and joy getting our eyes off ourselves and instead reaching out to those around us. This is where joy and strength comes from and how we will arise again and again. This is what we do on or after a bad day! We remember! We remember who we are in Jesus and our life's purpose! Now get up and go shine!

Nehemiah. 2:20 (NIV) "The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding…”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Friday, July 03, 2015

Live Out Your Freedom God's Way!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Happy 4th of July! God Bless America! 

We live in a nation that has greater freedom than any other nation upon the earth. Freedom isn't free and a price higher than we could ever comprehend or appreciate was paid for it. This nation was liberated for us by men and women that loved God and desired a country where they could freely worship Him. They gave and staked their lives on this vision and dream put in their hearts by God. I am talking about those that pioneered this land and our religious freedom long before we had a military to defend this country. I thank God for and will never forget those who were willing to lay down all to pioneer the vision to live in this country with the liberty to freely worship our Lord Jesus Christ.

The first freedoms that were established and defended in this nation were the opportunities to worship the Lord Jesus Christ from the heart, freedom to read God's Holy Scriptures, freedom to learn of the God of the Bible and the salvation that He provided for mankind, freedom to learn with the opportunity to know and love Him beyond dead religious structure that renders God's Word void of life and life-changing power, and freedom to dare to believe that the promises that God promised to the eternal offspring of Abraham by faith“us who believe,” would be today's recipients of God's supernatural touch and miraculous power.

Jesus Himself, who knew no sin, became the scapegoat of our sin to clothe us with His cloak of righteousness. The result? When the Father looked upon us from His Heavenly throne, He would see blood bought, washed children made righteous and adopted into His family.

This is the libertythe most awesome liberty known to mankind. We must cherish, honor, and with great diligenceprayerfully guard it with our hearts. For when we allow it to become devalued by taking it for granted, then we begin to lose sight of its true meaning and value. If we take it for granted as a ‘right’ and forget that it was divinely given to this nation by Almighty God as a privilege, we’ll lose it. Contrary to what some might imagine, it is a privilege that can be lost. When we as a nation wrongfully uses our freedom to focus solely upon our self and our own personal happiness instead of being lifted and empowered to help others, it’s in danger. We become tainted by the focus of self that can only enslave us once again to the yoke of bondage and the power of sin.

I will always praise God for the courageous men and women who continue to live selfless lives so that this dream can continue to remain real for future generations. They do so because they understand true liberty. Our lives are surrounded by selfless people today. They are surrounded by those who faithfully make sacrifices to touch lives with God’s love and the power of the gospel. Our lives are surrounded by those of our military who fight for our country and for our freedom. Our lives are surrounded by those in public service who often face great danger so that we may live safer lives. Our lives are surrounded by selfless people who live unnoticed while they gladly serve others with random acts of kindness at the expense of their own time and resources.

Be blessed and thankful for the abundance of everything that God has allowed us to experience in the United States of America. It is a gift and privilege. It is the liberty that God has bestowed upon us that can be lost when it becomes forgotten. Let’s remember it and value it. Let us thank God for it and pray for those who lead our nation. Let's let our freedom forever ring with His Praise!

Benjamin Franklin
Signer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence

Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that "except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service.
Benjamin Franklin

Source: Benjamin Franklin, The Writings of Benjamin Franklin, Jared Sparks, editor (Boston: Tappan, Whittemore and Mason, 1840), Vol. X, p. 297, April 17, 1787.

Galatians 5:13-14 (NLT) ”For you have been called to live in freedom—not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: "Love your neighbor as yourself."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt 

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Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Drop Kicking Discouragement Out of Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A friend of mine told me that this spring, he decided he was going to grow a vegetable garden. He said he cut out a place in his yard, tilled it well so there was nothing there but tilled black dirt, and then had to leave it for over two weeks before planting it because of the weather.  When he came back to his plot to plant he seeds, it was filled with little plant shoots. He called me to ask what they might be. I told him. Weeds! You don't have to do a thing to get weeds except neglect the dirt. Weed seeds find their way there and germinate quickly. He had to till the soil again before planting his garden.

I don't know if you've thought about this before or not, but, discouragement is like a weed seed. It always seems to find a way into your life. It will invade on good days, bad days, on any day and at any time. Discouragement is the opposite of encouragement. It's designed by the enemy of your soul to get you to stop or quit something you were once excited about.

There have always been two strategies I have focused on to drop kick discouragement out of my life. One is to have a heart of thanksgiving for even the tiniest blessing in my life. The other is to talk about the goodness of God and His promises with my friends. Being in a discipleship group consistently for 34 years has given me one of many places to walk this out.

Even when you walk closely with God, discouragement finds a way to invade your life. It's amazing at times like this, that thoughts of 'throwing in the towel' surface in your mind. Because we don't always see things turn out in the way we envision, it is possible to face an outcome that at least for a season, seems like a disappointment. Yet at times like this, you have to remind yourself that even though man fails you, God will never fail you! Hebrews 13:5 (NIV) says, "...God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." God is worthy of all our trust despite what at the time looks like a disappointment.

When we read the story of Joseph, we read about a young man who at the age of seventeen had a vision from God about being a ruler that even his own family would bow down to. That dream eventually proved true and yet not long after he dreamed it, he was thrown in a pit left to die by his own jealous brothers. He was then later sold as a slave. Despite these discouraging circumstances, Joseph was so faithful that he was promoted as a manager of a pagan household. Yet again discouragement invaded his life and he was undeservedly accused of coveting his master's wife. It felt like a barrage of disappointments. He was thrown in jail for years. He faced injustice from the age of seventeen to thirty years old—thirteen years of injustice. How did Joseph protect himself from disappointment and blaming God? Why didn't he throw in the towel? Joseph would not cave to disappointment because He believed God to be a God of promise. He clung to that truth. He would not give up on God. The result? He was finally promoted as ruler over all of Egypt under Pharaoh.

In the book of Malachi we see disappointment take root. The Lord is warning His people of their rebellious and distrustful attitude. They had given up trusting in God's ways and instead resorted to depending on themselves to get things done. They had stopped tithing and God exposed the deception that had permeated their hearts. In Malachi 3:13-15 (NIV) we read His Words to them. "You have said harsh things against me," says the LORD. "Yet you ask,’ what have we said against you?' "You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'"

These people lost their love and joy of God and began to see living for Him as drudgery and obligation. They 'threw in the towel' and moved to living outside of God's instruction. They blinded their eyes to His goodness leaving them only to experience the disappointment of their own ways. Man seldom accepts responsibility for his own lack of success. Blame is the game and God or your Pastor and church or anyone but you most often becomes the scapegoat.

Joseph represented the heart of those that don't quit and trust God knowing that He is bigger than a momentary circumstance appearing to be a setback. We read of great blessing to those who like Joseph, keep on trusting God knowing of His love and precious promises. Malachi 3:16-18 (NIV) reveals those blessings. "Then those who reverence the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored His name. "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty, "in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not."

God says that when we trust Him and focus on His promises and talk about them with others, it draws His presence. He is so honored that He lists our names in a book of remembrance. He says that deliverance will come to those that trust Him. Thanksgiving of who and what He is to us, keeps our eyes open to His involvement in our lives and protects us from the deception that can come from disappointment and discouragement. So, begin to mediate on everything you are thankful to Him about and praise Him for it. It will lift you up and out of discouragement and on to victory!

Malachi 3:16-17 (NIV) “Then those who feared and loved the Lord spoke often of him to each other.... "in that day when I make up my jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares an obedient and dutiful son.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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