About Tim Burt

Monday, October 26, 2015

Be a Giver: A Life Changing Core Value

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever been in a financially tight spot? You are not alone. Most people have. What is the godly and right way to respond to the pressure that financial difficulties can bring? Actually, I believe the answer is setting a core value for life that you consistently execute long before you get to that place.

When I was a young Christian, I started hearing about the importance of giving and being a giver. Prior to becoming a Christian, I never saw myself as cheap. I think I was reasonably generous. The problem was, I was 24 years old and totally irresponsible with money. I gave away what didn’t even belong to me by bouncing checks and credit card debt.

When I met Renee, I learned quickly that she was really skilled at managing her finances. She taught me how to balance my check book and helped me think through being more prudent in the management of my finances. The Lord helped me break impulsive spending habits. I didn’t realize it was a stronghold in my life until I tried to stop. There were times where I almost felt depressed because I couldn't spend money (that I didn't have anyway.) Within a year, I had really started to change how I managed finances. In learning to be prudent with money, I also had to learn to be a giver—a responsible one. I couldn’t spend or give what I did not have. I learned to put tithing at the top of my budget. I then learned to live within my means. (Your flesh never feels comfortable with that!) And then along with that, I learned to be a giver.

Renee and I gave and sowed seed. We gave our tithe at church. We bought and gave Bibles to people we shared Jesus with. We gave money to people in need (whatever we could and whether the amount we could give seemed insignificant or not.) We also developed an ongoing rule for our lives: if we hadn’t worn or used something for a year (with few exceptions) then we gave it away to someone in need. We sowed a lot!

Being a giver is fun and satisfying to your soul. This might sound weird to some, but something powerful and supernatural happens when you let this transformation happen within you! It's like money loses its hold over you and generosity becomes a part of your nature. What a godly quality to have within you!

Knowing and personally experiencing the promise and wisdom of God's Word became a core value of our lives. Proverbs 11:24 says, “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly (is stingy,) but comes to poverty.” We knew what Jesus promised in Luke 6:38. “If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you."  Yes God promised to give back to us but that was never our motivation for giving. We knew God was trying to teach us how to becomes stewards of what he gave us, AND generous givers that trusted Him in our giving. As 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NKJV) says, "...for God loves a cheerful giver." 

The Apostle Paul brought insight to giving where Jesus left off in 2 Cor. 9:6-11 NLT, saying, “Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, "Godly people give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will never be forgotten." For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will give you many opportunities to do good, and He will produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.”

Renee and I didn't learn this lesson when we had great amounts of extra discretionary income. We began to practice this when she became a stay-at-home mom and we had cut our income in half. We didn't think this was some get-rich-quick scheme. We had faith that because we had tithed and always given generously, God would provide our needs. When we felt our backs were up against the wall, we put our knees to the floor and thanked God for the promise of His Word. We rejected fear, professed our faith. thanked Him for His grace, and did the best we could in being diligent. God did the “exceeding abundantly beyond what we can ask or think” in our lives in numerous and miraculous ways.

This is a life of faith and as Hebrews 10:38 says, “The just shall live by faith…” Be a giver and you’ll already know how to trust God and respond to His leading with confidence in times of financial hardship and famine.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Your Robe, Your Ring, and Your Sandals

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


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.
The Holy Spirit will teach you a thousand lessons in your heart 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.
Its-Party-TimeFirst let’s look at part of the story:
Luke 15:17-23 "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 the prodigal son 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 and attended to – himself! Of course this led him to every wrong place life can take someone before he had squandered everything his father had given him.
2d753-robeWhen he “came to his senses” he came home humbled before his father. How did his father greet him? First, with the intercession of a loving parent – he had always been watching and praying for him. Second, 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 love him. Thirdly, his father was a man of great love, patience, grace, and mercy. He was praying and looking with 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 humiliate 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 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 – “not guilty” before the Lord. That is the first act of the Father to his prodigal son come home. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.
Then 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 – of the sharing His love with the world around us. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.
God’s love brings us great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.  Philip. 1:10 says, “…that you may discern and approve the things that are pure and excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.” God has washed us and put His robe of righteousness on us, given us His ring – His authority over Satan in our lives, and the ministry of being His ambassadors so we may share this wondrous love and grace. But, He says, approach it with discernment. Approve in your life what is excellent. Be without offense till the day of Christ.
The young prodigal grew up the hard way. Now the father taught him to move from selfish to selfless and from careless to discerning. Let it empower you with sincerity to choose to discern and approve things that are pure and excellent so you live without offence toward God and man.restoration
If you pause and come before the Lord often throughout your day with the intent of living for the Lord, you will feel that power of discernment working in you. You will have the strength to change your thinking. You will have the power to speak right words. You will have the authority to cast down evil imaginations. You will have the spiritual strength to discern and approve and live out things that are excellent and without offense before God. You will be wearing your robe, your ring, and your sandals well! You’ll glorify Jesus in your life!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt


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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2015 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/