About Tim Burt

Friday, October 30, 2015

You Say - God Says

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


You Say - God Says  
(Author Unknown)

One day two workers, Sam and Pete were in their break-room on their break drinking coffee.  Sam was telling Pete of a troubled situation he was dealing with calling his situation impossible.  Peter replied to Sam saying, This may be impossible to you but its' not with God.  Sam countered, Pete, you often say things like that quoting Bible verses, but they are just words and don't help anything!   Pete replied, Sam these are more than quotes from a book. These words are the inspired word and promises from God to those who would believe. So let me ask you? Should I believe what God has had written to us and hold on to my hope, or should I see them as simply words on paper that may sound nice but mean nothing and leave me without hope?   They met later for lunch and went through each of the Bible promises that Peter had been quoting to Sam.  When they were done, Sam confessed that he has been inspired, encouraged in his faith, and decided he was going to believe like Pete.  Here are those words that encouraged them both!

You say: "It's impossible" God says: All things are possible 
(Luke 18:27)

You say: "I'm too tired" God says: I will give you rest 
(Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: "Nobody really loves me" God says: I love you 
(John 3:16 and John 3:34)

You say: "I can't go on" God says: My grace is sufficient
(2 Corinthians 12:9 and Psalm 91:15) 

You say: "I can't figure things out" God says: I will direct your steps 
(Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: "I can't do it" God says: You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13)

You say: "I'm not able" God says: I am able
 (2 Corinthians 9:8)

You say: "It's not worth it" God says: It will be worth it 
(Romans 8:28)

You say: "I can't forgive myself" God says: I Forgive you 
(I John 1:9 and Romans 8:1)

You say: "I can't manage" God says: I will supply all your needs 
(Philippians 4:19)

You say: "I'm afraid" God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear 
(2 Timothy 1:7)

You say: "I'm always worried and frustrated" God says: Cast all your cares on ME 
(I Peter 5:7)

You say: "I'm not smart enough" God says: I give you wisdom 
(I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: "I feel all alone" God says: I will never leave you or forsake you 
(Hebrews 13:5)

In the days of Jesus, there were many who heard Him and knew His words were truth and promise, and so they believed. And there were others who heard but skeptically mocked Jesus and His disciples. His words did them no good.  Which one are you?

Hebrews 4:2 (NIV)   “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2014 All rights reserved
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Your Inner Strength to Obey God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Physical strength! We all know what it is. You can just look at someone that is physically strong and see it on them.

Inner strength isn’t as noticeable as physical strength. It lies underneath the surface if it’s there at all. Inner strength is that strength of spirit to manage and do what one knows he/she should do in a situation. It is a strength that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16 (NLT) says, "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit."  Nothing creates greater inner strength than a revelation of the Holy Spirit empowering you from within!

You need inward strength! Especially when your heart is guided by God's word and is instructing you to do something good that temptation and your flesh is rebelling against or lusting after. When you find the inner strength from God, oh the joy it brings to your heart as we see in Psalm 1:1-2. “Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about His precepts.”

If you want to crush a temptation or lust like a sledgehammer crushing a nut, remember this: when temptation comes, instead of thinking about it, instead switch over and think about delighting yourself walking in the ways that please God. Imagine doing exactly what would please God and doing it with great delight! Take gossip for example. Proverbs 16:28 says, “A troublemaker plants seeds of strife; gossip separates the best of friends.” The Apostle Paul frowns on gossip and this kind of behavior saying,  "For I am afraid that when I come I won’t like what I find, and you won’t like my response. I am afraid that I will find quarreling, jealousy, anger, selfishness, slander, gossip, arrogance, and disorderly behavior." 2 Corinthians 12:20 (NLT)

In reading these verses, we can easily grasp that gossiping about others is not good. But, it comes so easy at times when everyone is doing it. What will help you find the inner strength to take a different road? Delighting yourself in God’s instruction and will! Meditate on it. Lean on the Lord and draw strength, and then do what 1 Thessalonians 5:11 NLT says, “So encourage and edify each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.”

When you know what God wants, and you delight yourself in thoughts about doing what God wants out of your love for Him, it immediately takes you to another place in your heart. Strength instantly comes and temptations evaporate. You aren’t sitting on the fence saying, Should I or shouldn’t I?  No, you are thinking about your love for God and thinking about how much you love to do things His way! You meditate on His ways and delighting your self in doing things His way!

In doing this, you will find supernatural inner strength for restraint and moderation. It will come by the grace of God and through the channel of delighting yourself in the Lord and His precepts. So, do it! Spend more time meditating on what God wants you to do. Know that joy and blessing follow that obedience. Think about it. You'll have avoided something bad, responded according to His Word, you'll feel great that you did the right thing, and blessing will manifest in your life in a greater and greater way! How awesome is all that! The inner strength from God to do this is within you!

Psalm 1:2 “But they delight in doing everything the Lord wants; day and night they think about His precepts.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Real Doing, Real Fruit, Real Transformation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you realized that people often speak higher of themselves than what they actually live out. We all have areas in our life where we esteem ourselves or view ourselves as more developed and mature than we truly are. The truth is, we all have shortcomings that reveal our need to spiritually grow and mature.

We see an example of what people say they’ll do vs. what they actually do play out in a parable Jesus told in Matthew 21:28-32. Jesus said, "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. "Which of the two did what his father wanted?" "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

Nothing Jesus teaches is for the purpose of producing condemnation but to poke you in your heart that a change is needed in your thinking or behavior. If you can feel that poke, it means that your heart is not hard which is good news! It's sensitive enough to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and note that need for change. That is not the time to run or get beat up by guilt. It’s the time to thank God for His mercy and grace to forgive you and for you to ask for the Holy Spirit’s help to change!

Each and every one of us is in need of ongoing change in our life. We all need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to help us become more like Jesus. You have figured out by now that we will never attain perfection or be perfectly like Jesus. That is why Jesus came and paid the penalty for the sins and imperfections in our life. Our faith in Jesus and in His sacrifice of taking the punishment for our sins is what makes us righteous before our Heavenly Father God. Our faith in what Jesus did is what makes us spotless in God’s eyes. What a magnificent thing! But, we still see our own imperfections and flaws and areas of needed change. Jesus cares about them and desires transformation within us because they affect and work to hinder our blessing in this life. They also get in the way of our ability to influence others for the Lord.

2 Cor. 3:18 speaks of the need for this ongoing transformation saying, “And we who …all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." This verse reminds us of the need to experience life-long transformation that will come only with the help of the Holy Spirit within us. So, we don’t beat ourselves up but we do take honest assessments of the need for transformation as the Holy Spirit convicts and shows us.

For those who don’t adopt this attitude, Proverbs 26:12 NKJV will be their life. It says, “Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” This person may love Jesus but if they won’t let the Lord work change in them, they’ll experience very little transformation and hinder the blessing God wants for them.

God’s Word is powerful!  Hebrews 4:12 (NLT) says, "For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires." 

God’s Word has the inherent ability to bring transformation to our lives if we will put faith in the promise of God’s Holy Spirit strengthening us to make those changes.

The Apostle Paul closes out today’s Fresh Manna speaking of the need for spiritual development and maturity putting it in words I could never improve upon.

Galatians 5:22-26 “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, He will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Here there is no conflict with the law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us follow the Holy Spirit's leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or irritate one another, or be jealous of one another."

Simply having knowledge about God and His Word can become a place of pride. 1 Cor. 8:1 RSV says, “…Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up.” Putting actions to how God instructs us to live produces transformation. It’s about what we do, not what we say. Is the fruit of the Spirit of God actually evident and an ongoing pattern of your day-to-day lifestyle?

Let’s not just know about the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual maturity is developed within you when the fruit of the Spirit has become your character. That only happens over time and through the poke and conviction that alerts you and leads to change that produces transformation!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt



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Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, October 26, 2015

Your Robe, Your Ring, and Your Sandals

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This is one of my all-time most read blog posts. I updated it for you and pray it will bless you! Thanks, Pastor Tim 

I am sure that most of you have heard of or have read the story of the prodigal son. If there were ever a story to read over and over and over again, it’s this story. If there were ever a story taught by Jesus with the intention of helping us understand the Lord’s love, patience, mercy and grace toward us—despite our daily slip ups and failures, it’s this story.

Over time, the Holy Spirit will teach you a thousand lessons through this story if you will approach it with the purpose of being taught, each time you read it. Today, I’d like to point a few very important things that will help us receive God’s strength to live mightily before Him.

It's Party Time: The Prodigal Son

The prodigal son decides he wants his inheritance and wants to move out so he can party! His father obliges him. When he left home, I imagine him to be much like many teenagers or young adults today. I believe he wanted to spread his wings, experience more of life, find out for himself who he was, and experience life his way. He probably had only one person on his mind that he cared for—himself! Of course this led him to every wrong place life can take someone. He quickly goes out, buys friendships and squanders all his money away. When his money ran out, so did his friends! They were history. The son had to go work with pigs to earn some money. It was at that time that the lights came on for him! He had been stupid and knew it. Now what should he do?    

Luke 15:17-23 NIV "When he (the prodigal son) finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man." ‘“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.' "But his father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast…”

When he “came to his senses” he came home humbled before his father. How did his father greet him? With the celebration of a loving parent who had always been watching and praying for him. He was a man of faith, not despair. He knew that his son was not under his control nor anyone's except the enemy of his soul as long as he yielded to wrong choices. He believed that faith-filled prayers would move the heart of God so that God would continuously work to remind this wayward young man of those that loved him. Thirdly, his father was a man of great love, patience, grace, and mercy. He was praying and carried great expectation that at some moment his son would return. When he saw his son approaching, he ran out to meet him. The father’s goal was not to berate, humble or shame his son—not to say, I told you so. Nor to make him pay for his stupidity and squandering. It was to sincerely rejoice and greet him with a heart of love and forgiveness, embracing him with the grace and love of a father. This was the greeting that no prodigal would expect or feel worthy of. This kind of love is overwhelming because it makes one feel so undeserving, yet when accepted, brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.

I am sure the son wanted to apologize a thousand times over. The father probably listened only to satisfy his son’s need to repent. From there he moved toward restoration. He put the finest robe on his son. That robe represents the robe of righteousness provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is the garment that God covers each of us with so that when he looks at us, He only sees us washed in white and as His child. “Our sins He remembers no more.” (Hebrews 10:17) That robe is what symbolizes us as acceptable and justified—seen as not guilty before the Lord. That was the first act of the Father to his son who had come home. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.

Next the father put a ring on his finger. To us that ring symbolizes the authority of being a child of God. It represents the authority given us through the name of Jesus. It symbolizes the strength given us through the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation and sin. It symbolizes the discernment to beware of the deceitful schemes of the enemy to draw us off course. It gives us the confidence to pray faith-filled prayers. The ring is symbolic of the source of our authority to live an overcoming life for God. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.

Finally, the father put sandals on his son’s feet symbolizing his loving welcome home and a new beginning to share with others the kind of love that his father had shown him. God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation—the sharing of His grace and love with the world around us. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose. His sandals represented God's purpose for us. Freely you have received, now freely give. 

And then He celebrated His son! God’s love brings us great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose to all. We are all prodigal sons. God died for us while we were sinners! He put a robe of righteousness on you to cover your flaws, a ring on your finger to use the name and authority of Jesus in prayer, and sandals on our feet so we could rise up as ambassadors sharing the depth of God's love with others as our purpose.

This story is about God's love redeeming you and I to a new life in Him. So let's go live it!

Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV)"Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you."  

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Friday, October 23, 2015

The Power of Words

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Psalms 19:14 "Let the WORDS OF MY MOUTH, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my Redeemer"

There is a powerful message on the power of words in this short video!



If your tongue has power, you have power. You can frame your world with acceptable words that please God and create life and blessing for others, or you can spill words like sewage that bring hurt. God’s will is always to bring life!

Proverbs 18:20-21 "From the fruit of his mouth a man's stomach is filled; and with the harvest from his lips he is satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt



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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Have Faith for Something Beautiful!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As I write this, I am sitting in my kitchen looking out the window at the end of this year's flower garden. Our Spring and Summer were amazing with the perfect amount of rainfall to help it be one of my best gardening years ever! It has been a spectacular Fall and the colors are so beautiful right now. It will only be a few more weeks and the garden will be mostly dead and in hibernation until Spring. 

Every Spring when the winter has gone, I see the area where last year's garden was, but only see a lot of dirt and little else. Gardening is all about the exercise of your faith. You put tiny seeds and small plants into the ground in faith believing they will grow and become something beautiful! It reminds me of my life’s work. So much of what I do is like planting seeds and having faith that they will grow into something beautiful. I write these devotions trusting and having faith that God will speak through what is written and help people. I work with people teaching them God’s Word hoping in faith that it will bring reassurance of His love toward them and transform their lives into something meaningful. I am continually creating small groups of people at church or planning events. I do all these things in faith that they will produce a diversity of blessings for many people.

I believe we all do things that require faith because we can’t always instantly see the results of our work. Faith is an every day, ongoing part of life. God is to be the center of our faith. We lean on Him asking for His help and having faith that He cares for and will help us—AND HE WILL! First of all, our faith pleases God and secondly, it releases us from what we have no control over once we’ve done our part.

Hebrews 11:1 NLT says, "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."  Too often, people put their faith in themselves, their ability, and what they think they can accomplish. People of great achievement that are honest will tell you that many of the things that contributed to their success were things they had little do to with. That is true for us all and should bring a sense of humility. For those that know and have faith in God, they can be honest and give God the glory and thanks. For those that don’t, they soak up the praise for what they know they don’t totally deserve. That will one day work against them.

I take a small seed that God has created and provided, and plant it in the ground. It turns into something beautiful. I really only had a small part. God made the seed and God created the process for its growth. I simply plant it and water it. God created the beauty with which it will be appreciated. My part is so small. His part is everything! Because of this, I have faith that what He tells me to do will produce a truly good result. When He instructs me in His Word, I pay attention. He is really the true gardener of our lives. I put my faith that the incorruptible seed of His Word that He plants in me will produce something beautiful! As a matter of fact, I know it will because it already has. And I’m sure it has in you too! So… have faith and let God be the gardener who plants His seed in you. You do your part watering that seed by praying He brings understanding to His Word and leads you by it day-by-day.  If you do, it will produce many beautiful things in your life!

Hebrews 11:6 “It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that there is a God and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

God is Doing a Work in You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


If you looked back over the last 12 months of your life, would you say that you have stayed the same, changed for the worse or changed for the better? I ask that because God would always have you change for the better—even in the most difficult of times. Most people who have made it through difficult times with a good outlook would tell you that it was a real test of their character and that they learned the good, the bad, and the ugly about themselves. They also usually comment that those times made them a stronger and better person for various reasons.

A life in Jesus is all about transformation. I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt, that God wants to transform your life, help you become more conformed to the image of Christ, and develop godly character within you. That will happen because you prayerfully press into and respond to the instruction of His Word in the good times. It will also happen because you respond to His Word and believe in the promise of His help in the tough times. Both will mature you and develop godly character in you! This is how transformation happens!

Upon accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, God immediately gives you gifts and promises. You are given the gift of the forgiveness of your sins, the gift of Heaven, and the promise and gift of the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. From the moment you accept Jesus, the Spirit of God takes residence within your heart and a miracle of transformation begins. You begin to see life through God’s eyes. The scriptures begin to speak to you as though they were just given a voice. Your entire perspective of life begins to change which means you begin to see life differently. You are literally becoming a new person. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) says, "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"

The words of this verse carry the meaning of being re-manufactured, or remade as a brand new creation. You are a new creature and you are continuing to become that transformed person. There will be a day when people talk about you and say, He/she is a completely different person from when I used to know him/her.
There will be times where you struggle and feel like you are going backwards. Difficulty and discouragement is a device of Satan to rob your faith and try to drive you backwards in circumstances and character. It’s the time to fight back and reach for more of God within you! It’s a time to remember the words in Micah 7:8 NLT “Do not gloat over me, my enemies! For though I fall, I will rise again. Though I sit in darkness, the Lord himself will be my light.”

The Holy Spirit within you is the power of God to change you and He will help you. Faith and patience is the key. Just say the words God is working in me and I am changing more and more into the image of Christ. Then say what Philippians NLT 1:6 says, "And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt



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Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

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Monday, October 19, 2015

Ever Have “One of Those Days”?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Renee and I had attended a dinner/event we were invited to. After dinner, when the desert was served, the waitress asked if I’d like coffee. I said yes but wanted to make sure it was decaffeinated. She served me and later refilled my cup two more times. I found out later that she didn’t hear that I had requested decaf and had served me regular coffee. That night I could not fall asleep. I normally never drink regular coffee in the evening because it will keep me awake. And so, I went to bed later that night but basically just watched the hours go by without being able to sleep—until about 4 am. I had to get up at 6 am and had a long day a head of me. That was a rough way to start the day.

Ever have one of those days? Ever have one of those days, where you didn’t get to bed till 1 am in the morning and the baby wakes up at 2 am. You get back to bed at 3 am and have to get up at 6 am for the start of your day.


Ever have one of those days where you go to bed and your mind is racing because of a situation that you can’t seem to stop thinking about it? You lay there hour after hour and now, not only are you thinking about it, but you are also thinking about the lack of sleep you are getting and the long day you have tomorrow.

Ever have one of those days where you wake up exhausted before you’ve even started the new day? We all seem to have 
one of those days at one time or another. So, what do you do when they come?

I’ll tell you what I’ve learned to do. First, I don’t panic! I don’t because I have learned to have faith in and lean upon the grace of God. God’s grace is mentioned over and over throughout the Bible. What is God’s grace? I’ll give you three components that make up God’s grace.

First of all, God’s grace is His love that offers us mercy, forgiveness and redemption. Jesus came to die for our sins and to redeem us from our sins
all of them. What Jesus did for us is so gracious that it’s hard to wrap your brain around, but it’s true. 

Secondly, it’s His compassion. He knows what life is like. Jesus came and experienced its hardship. Hebrews 4:15  says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin." He can relate to you. He has compassion.

Thirdly, His grace is His supernatural help in your life. It's born out of His love and compassion toward you. It comes through your knowledge of His love toward you through Jesus Christ. You come to understand Jesus’ love for you and how much He wants to help you in every aspect of your life. And from that love He gives “grace.” Grace is His ongoing supernatural help to you in every situation.

Romans 5:1-2 says, “Therefore, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.” God says we have access to this grace 
by faith. That means we have to believe—we have to have faith that His graceHis supernatural help is there for us.

When I have one of those days, the first thing I do is ask God for His grace to be multiplied in my life. 
2 Peter 1:2 (NKJV) says, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord..." I do because He wants to help us. Have you ever swooped up your crying child when he or she was in need? Have you ever wrapped your arms around them and brought assurance and then helped them? God’s love brings us that swooping grace. It began with Jesus Christ and continues today! And He wants to assure us in “one of those days,” that He’ll be there to help us! Can you have faith in that?

I put my trust in the Lord and ask Him to help me have a grace-filled day
—to make it an even better day than I would have had if I had a good nights sleep. Once you begin to experience and recognize His grace, you eventually mature to a place where you lean on His grace in every situation, always!

So turn One of Those Daysinto a glorious day by leaning on His grace all day long. He loves you and He will multiply His grace in your day!


Hebrews 4:16 (NLT) "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most."

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, October 12, 2015

God's Power and Strength in your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


People that sincerely desire to become conformed to the image of Jesus, have the most potential to experience His empowering grace. Grace is not only the mercy of God in your life, but it is also the supernatural help that comes from Him. Grace is the source of His power to do those things that you cannot do in your own strength in order to become partakers of His divine nature.

The devil loves when we've become enslaved to sin. He loves to see people become habitual liars. He loves to see people enslaved to pornography or in sexual immorality, smitten with sexual disease and trapped in losing relationships through the lust of sex. He loves to see people trapped in addictions or habits that waste their time doing nothing profitable instead of using their God-given gifts with great dedication, faithfulness, and commitment. Satan loves to see people waste or abuse their finances through gambling or reckless spending—digging a deeper and deeper hole that feels impossible to climb out of! He loves to inflict people with disease and then get them to believe that it’s God’s will to teach them something. After all, who is going to fight what they believe is God’s will?

Slavery to sin is what Jesus came to destroy. 1 John 3:8 KNJV says “...For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

In our desire to change and become more like Jesus, it is God's grace—His supernatural help, that gives us the strength to break free from old sinful patterns that we felt enslaved by. The first chord of bondage that has to be broken is the lie that we are enslaved to sin! We are not! When you received Jesus as your Savior, Satan's power over you was broken. That truth is empowering and acknowledging it is the first step of taking back your life. Then we discover through God's word that we have His power within us—the power that sets us free and position us to discover the ability to live an entirely new life of godly desires. His grace gives us the inward strength to say yes to that which is good, and no to that which we know the Lord would have us say no to. This is the meaning behind 2 Peter 1:3-4. "God's divine power has given us EVERYTHING we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He 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."

As long as we sincerely seek God’s help and believe in the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we will experience a change in our thinking and experience an inner strength from God to that helps us fulfill our personal journals with testimonies of His miracles and faithfulness.

When you decide to make changes, it would be foolish to think that the devil will simply let go without a fight. Habits, which become mental strongholds, will try to get you to repeat what you have repeated over and over for so long. But it won’t have the same strength to hold—not when you know that you've been enabled to participate in God's divine nature. Temptation is his game and he will bring it on. The difference will be this: when at that moment you look for God’s grace within you and lean upon it—God help me—you will sense it there! You just need to make the decision to receive it and walk in it. The temptations will no longer have the same power over you. You will be able so say no and let it mean no. You'll have the strength to walk away from it and do something good and appropriate instead. Do that! Make the devil pay! It’s at that time, you'll know you've changed because your faith senses God's grace and power. That is the freedom Jesus died for—for His grace and strength to give you back your life! In his strength, you can become more like Jesus and experience more and more of His divine nature through the Holy Spirit with you. It will be a force for the devil to recon with as you purposely live for God in this earth!

Romans 5:17 For if, by the trespass of the one manAdam, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign and triumph over sin and death through the one man, Jesus Christ.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Heart-Felt Appreciation, A Beautiful Thing

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A while back, my son and his family from out-of-town, were visiting Renee and I. We had taken them out to brunch. My son was wearing a watch I had given him when he graduated from college. He wanted to thank me again for it and show me he was wearing it. He then asked me where I got the watch I was wearing. I told him it was a gift and shared the story of how and why it was given to me. Here is that story.

One afternoon, my doorbell rang. There at the door was a young man whom I loved like a son. Years prior to this, he had been serving on a team in one of my large men's groups—a leadership breakfast of about 250 to 300 men. He had started a business and had asked if I would mentor him.  I told him that my schedule did not allow me the time for personal mentoring but that if he stayed involved in a few areas of ministry with me, he would be able to see how I executed leadership and learn many things that would help him. Beyond that, I did manage to create a few opportunities to personally talk and help him from time to time. He wanted to be mentored in areas of biblical leadership, business, and integrity. He was always a deeply respectful, appreciative, and honoring type person.

Overtime, he became very successful in his business, and became a great husband, father, and leader. As far as I was concerned, his business was one of the best around for what they did. I had hired his company on a few occasions for work I needed done and they had always done a wonderful job.

So anyway, here he was at my door and I didn’t know why. He proceeded to tell me how much my influence on his life had helped him become who he was, and how appreciative he was. He wanted to do something truly significant to show me his appreciation. He proceeded to give me a watch that was beautiful and had very great value. I was astounded! As beautiful as the watch was, the thought and his heart behind it was to this day, one of the most meaningful gifts I’ve ever received. And again, that being so because of his heart, not the value of the watch. I’ve tried to influence and help others throughout my Christian life. I have never looked for anything back. Now, without being offensive, let me say that men typically aren’t very good at showing or expressing appreciation—especially in any kind of meaningful way. This man and this act of appreciation and kindness was one of those few exceptions.

I also recently received an email from a really good man and friend of mine. It was one of those truly special notes that was sincere, kind, and extremely encouraging. What made it even more special was that it was from a close friend.

This is truly a paradox but for reasons which I cannot explain, it seems that those that are closest to you and that you might expect to hear appreciation from, are often the ones you don’t hear from. Family and close friends are often the ones that take you for granted and the least likely to say the kind heart-felt things that reward and bless your life. My friend bucked that this morning. He blessed me. And let me say that there are great exceptions—family and friends that you do hear from and are a blessing. Thank God there are because we all need to be encouraged!

I have written this to say that there are people around you that make consistent personal sacrifices behind the scenes of your life. They do so to make your life better and to be a touch of God's love in your life. Do you know who they are? Have you thought about but not taken the time to let them know you appreciate their effort? You want to do so! You know why? Because when you do, your acknowledgement of it makes what they do greater and more valuable to you. It also encourages them that the extra sacrificial effort they make is appreciated. It strengthens them to keep being a blessing. If you don't think this is true, go read how Jesus wasn't honored or appreciated in his own home town and consequently could do no mighty miracles. Appreciation is not just for others. It strengthens your own faith and character! So go for it! Thank and appreciate someone who should be thanked and you'll be blessed!

1 Thessalonians 5:12 (Message Bible) “And now, friends, we ask you to honor those who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Fear Steals From Your Life. Integrity Adds to It!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 24 years old. Prior to that, I did not know the Lord as I do today. I knew Him as a story and holiday movie figure, but not personally or intimately. He was up there and I was down here. I figured that if He did exist, He was far to busy to give a rip about me. Consequently, I was not living my life for the Lord but for me—doing whatever I felt like doing. I was the Lord over my life and my goals were to accumulate cool stuff, have as much fun as possible, and try to be a reasonably good guy in the process.

I was also like many of the people I hung out with. We thought it was normal to connive or lie or cheat or even occasionally steal to get what we wanted. We thought everyone did that. Actually surveys have shown that most people do. It has been a problem that has hurt mankind from the beginning. Genesis 6:5 KJV says,“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

There are may ways to steal that people considered normal, such as calling in sick for work and getting paid for it when they aren't sick. So many people do that today that companies now call them personal days off (PTO) so they don’t have to listen to people’s lies. I am embarrassed to admit that before I gave my life to Jesus, I was guilty of this and other inappropriate behaviors and activities that the many people consider normal but the Bible considers sin. Jesus has taught me since then that just because something is culturally normal and everyone does it, does not mean that it's biblically acceptable. To the contrary, the Bible has taught me the things that are wrong and considered sin in God's eyes. And the Lord has helped me rid my life of them!

Jesus changed my life and perspective of how to live my life. His Holy Spirit kindly and graciously exposed my deception by illuminating His truths to me. Ephesians 4:28 NLT says, “If you are a thief, stop stealing. Begin using your hands for honest work and then give generously to others in need.” When I first saw these instructions from God, the words were like a punch in the stomach they hit me with such great force. I could also see my sins in Proverbs 6:18 NKJV.  “A heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil.”  It wasn’t that I was a big schemer or majorly evil, but I did see levels of wrong imaginations and scheming to get what I wanted. His Word purged that from my life. Through this time of change in my life, it wasn't God's goal to condemn me. It was to save me from myself and the evil influences in this world, and put me on a better path—His path that would like to true joy, peace, and blessing! John 3:17 (NKJV) "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."


All of these sins were a part of a bigger problem—fear! I would have never recognized that without the illumination of Gods Word. I knew nothing about the promises of God. I figured you had to go out and get what you wanted no matter what it took and regardless of whom you hurt. I was fearful that I would never have enough and it led me to imagine and carry out evil and scheming thoughts. Over time I discovered that everything good in life comes from God and that He is merciful and so very willing to help us with what we can't do in ourselves—if we will just pray and have faith in His promises to do so.

We are supposed to be good and do good but we will always fall short. Jesus gave us His love when we did not deserve it. He forgave our sins when we did not deserve it. Psalm 103:10 NLT says, “He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does He deal harshly with us as we deserve." Instead He gives us His precious promises when we trust Him by faith rather than leaning on our own ability. 2 Peter 1:4 says, “…He 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..." Do we deserve His supernatural help? Do we deserve His supernatural protection? Do we deserve His all His promises of blessing? No but He gives them to those who will trust and have faith in His desire to help. That and only that is what keeps people from lying, cheating, scheming, and conniving to meet their needs when times seem impossibly tough.

He wants us to learn honesty and integrity. He will teach us to be diligent and faithful. He will help us build a strong work ethic. His love toward us will help us impart kindness and the fruit of the spirit.

God wants you to have great faith in Him, not a life of fear and anxiety that tempts you to violate integrity. He wants His blessing upon your life. Have faith in Him and see His helping hand manifest over all your life as you patiently trust Him. This is the source of true integrity.

Acts 3:25 “You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, 'Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.”

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, October 05, 2015

Awed and Thankful by This Truth From God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I got up early this morning as I do most days, to spend time in the Word of God and to take time just to worship Him. I opened my Bible to the book of Acts and began reading in Chapter 17. I was reading about the Apostle Paul in his journeys of taking the gospel to those that had never heard it.
He was in Athens preaching in a public area surrounded by many pagan statues; one of them called the ’unknown god.’ He was preaching to those around him about the ‘unknown god’. Part of what He said to them is revealed in Acts 17:24-28. "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And He is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything, because He Himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring."
It reads,

When I got to the words, "...For in him we live and move and have our being," I just paused. I felt impressed to just take those Words in worship the Lord as I meditated upon them. As I was thinking about the awesomeness of God—His Holiness, His power, His majesty, His great mercy and grace, I could begin to see all of my human failings and weaknesses. I so desire to be like Him and I work hard to be pure and represent the Lord in a right manner as a Christian. But, when I get in presence of God, I quickly see how 'unclean' and 'unworthy' I am in myself. Now it isn't the Lord making me feel this way. Nor, am I one to beat myself up.
It's just that when I am in the presence of God, the reality of Isaiah 64:6 comes to rings true. It says, "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away."

But, in that quiet and special place in the Lord, that profound truth of my personal righteousness being like filthy rags is stopped short by my Heavenly Father. At times like this, the Lord did what He always does when I am in this place. He reminds me that He, through Jesus Christ, has made me His offspring through faith. Then the Lord reminds me of a verse that is an anchor of my soul—2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV) "For He (God) made Him (Jesus) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." 

God made me righteous through Jesus Christ. His righteousness is accredited to me despite myself. The Bible paints the picture of God putting a white robe upon me that covers all my faults. He did this when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. So, I don't stand in my own righteousness or ability to be like the Lord. I do the best I can, but by His mercy and grace, I stand righteous before Him by His doing through Jesus.

This truth is what allows me to stay in His presence. He has made me righteous. He wants us to remember that "In Him we live and move and have our being....We are his offspring."

I’m awed that He has chosen to not only make us His children, but that He has chosen to live in us. His power, His heart and mind, the leading of His Spirit—they are within us so that we can be transformed and glorify Him. You and I are His offspring through faith in Jesus. And in Him you and I live and move and have our being! Let's ask and trust God to use us today!

Isaiah 61:10 (NLT)"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."

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/