About Tim Burt

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Form Friendships and Partnerships Carefully

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I know many people form some kind of picture in their mind when they hear the word partnership. When I hear that word, I first think of a marriage or a business partnership. There can many reasons why someone would want to enter into partnership with another person. I think the reasons tie into the definition of what a partner is.

A partner is defined as a person who shares or is associated with another in some action or endeavor. Partners often share in the risks and profits of their association. Partnership is a great idea in many ventures. Sometimes partnership is a contractual relationship. Sometimes its an association such as in being tennis partners. God knows we can be a source of strength to one another when entering into appropriate partnerships and relationships. When Jesus was raising up, training, and empowering his disciples, he sent them out in pairs. Luke 10:1 “The Lord now chose seventy-two other disciples and sent them on ahead in pairs to all the towns and villages He planned to visit." The Lord had them partner together to be a support and encouragement to each other as they pursued their mission and a source of strength and reassurance to each other in times of discouragement.

Partnerships can be as disastrous as they can be helpful if you enter into partnership with the wrong person. That is why God tells us to pick our partnerships or the relationships we associate with carefully. We are meant to be a light to everyone we come in contact with, and reflect Jesus to all people. That does not mean we are to “hang out” or become close friends with people who don’t know the Lord. To the contrary, we aren't to form intimate or close relationships with those who don’t believe in Jesus. Yes, we are to love them in Christ! Yes, we are to reach out to them! But the second you become a close friend, you will come to the place, time and time again, where you will be forced to compromise what your believe to keep peace in that relationship. Most often, you will be more pliable and accepting of them in your effort to show the love of Jesus, than they will be of you. They don't have that same inner motivation.

2 Corinthians 6:14-16 (NLT) says, "Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people."

A partnership with God is not like a partnership with a man. God will never break or fail to follow through on His covenant relationship or partnership with you. Never! He is always true to His Word. That partnership is initiated through Jesus Christ when someone receives Him as Lord and Savior through faith. The Holy Spirit immediately comes to live within that person as the sign and seal of that relationship. The relationship is then empowered through sincere heart faith, trust, and appreciation of the love and hope Jesus reveals and promises to you.

Partnering with God is more than a partnership with any human being. It's called a Covenant Relationship. God made a covenant with Noah. We read, “Then God told Noah and his sons, “I am making a covenant with you and your descendants…” (Genesis 9:8-9) We actually still see what was a part of that covenant between God and Noah in the earth today – the rainbow! Genesis 9:13-15 says, “I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my permanent promise to you and to all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will be seen in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with everything that lives. Never again will there be a flood that will destroy all life.” 

God is the perfect partner. He always listens. He always empathizes. He knows you better than you know yourself. He loves you more than anyone on the planet. He proved His love by giving Jesus as a sacrifice for your sins. He declares Himself as your helper! You will never find anyone who will ever come close to that. If you do need to form a partnership, whether that be marriage, friendship, a venture, or something else, make sure you are equally yoked. Then both of you together, pray and be dependent on God to help keep you both accountable to Him and stay on track in the relationship.

Make Jesus the third strand of your cord in your partnership.  As Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NLT) says, "A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Transformation Leading to a Successful Godly Marriage


Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Most everyone comes to an age and time in their life when they think about falling in love and getting married. All kinds of romantic imaginations precede this event. Then finally, for most, that big day arrives! A man and woman stand before each other in love and declare their vows of devotion and faithfulness before God ending with until death do us part.
And then the process of two people becoming “one flesh” begins. That is what Adam, by the inspiration of God, called the process of adapting in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.”

The process of adapting to each other begins the very first night of marriage. Two individuals that each had their own separate life and their own way of thinking, lovingly collide. Each brings with them their own way of doing things accompanied by their personal habits, their organizational styles (or lack of them,) their ways of unwinding, recreating and relaxing, and their idiosyncrasies. And from there, romantic imaginations collide with the very real and forced process of having to blend and adapt to each other to become "one flesh." That is seldom easy and it is where romance collides with reality.

A husband and wife are instructed by God to become two people joined together by Him as covenant partners working together for His purposes as well as their personal joy and happiness. They are to work toward a life that reflects God’s love, His will, and His purposes in the earth. This new life together calls for each of them to adapt and learn to work together as a team. And they are to seek God for a blending of all that they are so that they can become this new thing called “one flesh.”

This is their goal. If they pursue this goal putting God in the middle of all they do, then the Holy Spirit speaks to each of them individually and continuously, teaching and instructing them along the way. The Holy Spirit will at times, bring correction and reproof (showing them when their attitude is selfish and wrong,) so as to help them adapt and transform this new life together into the romantic dream they dreamed of for so long.

When people dream about things that they one day hope to live out, they seldom dream about the negatives that might come up. That would squelch their dream. But the actuality of any dream is the collision of romantic ideas and the reality of the struggles it takes to accomplish them. Until two people realize their inability to make things work in their own strength, and instead yield themselves to God, collision will happen! Only the Lord can help them deal with their selfish nature so that they can adapt and change out of love for Him and each other. Then and only then can “one flesh” be formed and unity between a husband and wife become a reality instead of a shattered dream. Then and only then can they experience the kind of blessing that God intended for marriage. Only then will they realize that marriage isn't the romantic dream that is most often fueled by the screens of Hollywood. It is something much more meaningful, more purposeful, and rich in life and love.

In this place, a husband and wife learn to become lovers and partners in the Lord. They learn to honor and respect each other. They learn to move from selfishness to preferring each other. Over time they learn to appreciate each others strengths and draw upon them. They learn each others weaknesses and become helpful, merciful, and give grace as they try to help each other improve in them. Without God in the middle of their life; without God’s Word instructing them and without them yielding to the Holy Spirit of God, they’ll work things out in the flesh and fail. The romantic imaginations of a glorious life of passionate love will become nothing more than the wreck that happens from a collision.

This has been the story of Renee and my marriage. From day one, we were right for each other but not ready for each other. I don't mean we should have delayed our marriage. I mean that no newly married couple is ready for each other. Adapting is work. Love for God and each other is the driving force. And He has to be reverenced and given the place of mediator between two people in the very long season of adapting. When a couple becomes accountable to Him at every bump in the road, they will get the instruction from God they need. They will need to be soft and yield to it, but as they do, the result over time will be a marriage that is truly rich in purpose and blessing. It will be a marriage that far exceeds the shallow romantic dreams it all began with. When romance collides with reality, and God is in the middle, transformation, unity, and the blessing of “one flesh” happen.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

One of Your Callings: Sharpening Your Friends!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One weekend my son Peter called me. He wanted to go golfing. He wanted to play at a golf course that would be close to the last choice on my list. I dislike the course because when I was a young and a very poor golfer, this tough course of many trees, sand traps, and ponds, made a fool out of me. I probably hadn’t played there in 15 years and wasn’t excited about giving it another chance. Peter used his persuasive efforts and I caved in and said Yes.  We golfed with two of his other friends.

I have improved in my golf game over the years, but confess that I had some very negative expectations concerning this course. (That is a poor testimony for a supposed man of faith. Sorry about that!) The first hole went poorly. I continued to play shaky for the next two holes. His friends must have wondered if I really did know how to golf. As I got in the golf cart after the third hole, I shook my head, looked at Peter and said, I hate this course. He looked back at me and laughed.

Okay Dad, said Pete, I am going to now teach you what you teach me all the time. What you say is important! Now repeat after me. I love this course. It made me laugh. He was relentless until I spoke the words. I forced out them out. I love this course. He said, Come on Dad, say it again with passion behind it. I stepped it up and said louder, I really love this course. We both laughed. Now, he said, I want you to keep saying it. This is what you’ve taught me all my life. It’s fair that I get to coach you to speak right. I laughed again and said, You are absolutely right and I appreciate it! (Funny thing was, my game improved. Imagine that!)

It's a great day when your kids preach back to you what you've taught them. And it is also the principle of Iron Sharpening Iron. 

Proverbs 27:17 NKJV says, “As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” My adult son was now also becoming the friend who was sharpening me!

We all get the part of “iron sharpens iron.” The wisdom of this verse continues saying, “So a man sharpens the countenance of a friend.” If you meditate on these words, you begin to see that God has called you to have friends. This doesn’t just mean buddies that you hang with. It can mean family or people who you have reoccurring relationships such as in the workplace or a Bible study.

Then along with that friendship comes a calling. "As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” The calling is to sharpen the countenance of that friend. In the Hebrew, the definition for countenance implies, the emotional reflection of the heart, on the face. I realize that many people put on a game face most of the time. But when they get to talking with a friend and get real, it doesn’t take too long before the countenance of the heart begins to show through.


Again, God gives us a calling in friendship, and that is “to sharpen the countenance of a friend.” What that really means is to bring hope―godly hope to their situation. It’s not when they say, The economy is really bad and my business is tanking and you say, It’s bound to get better at some point. That in all likelihood will not change their countenance. It’s when you bring the promise and anointing of God to their situation that changes their life. Hey, God's Word says in Psalm 46:1 (NKJV) "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." Let me pray for you right now! 

I have daily opportunities to sharpen the countenance of a friend and so do you! I do this often and as I bring sincere encouragement and prayer from God's word, I see their countenance change from desperation and hopelessness, to hope and faith! This is releasing the power of God through you and sharpening the countenance of your friend!

When you speak to your spouse or friend, are you communicating destructive words, meaningless or worthless words, or are you imparting words of faith and promise and words of power and anointing from God’s Word? It’s what you are called to do! Sharpen a friend today!

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NLT) "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing. "

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Powerful Force of God Within You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


In my first two years that I worked at church, the drive there took me about twenty minutes. I never minded the drive because I used the time to pray for many people and situations. After a few years, we moved within 6 minutes of the church. Of course I loved how that simplified our life but, one thing I actually missed was my driving and praying time.

I recently took a journey that was a three-hour drive. I loved the drive because it gave me time to pray for every person and situation that had been on my heart. It seemed like the more I prayed, the more people and things to pray for came to my heart. It was such a great time in the Lord.

When I first gave my life to Jesus at the age of 24, I categorized prayer as having the same power and effect as carrying a rabbit’s foot or breaking a wishbone. I thought prayer was pointless, meaningless and something that fools wasted their time on. Oh how Jesus changed my mind.

If you have ever read the story in Luke chapter 19 about Jesus chasing out the money changers, you might remember Him saying these words: "It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but you have made it a den of thieves." (Luke 19:46 NKJV)

At that time, Jesus was declaring that the Temple of God a house of prayer. Once Jesus died on the cross and arose from the dead initiating the New Testament (or covenant―His will to us,) something changed. The Apostle Paul later gave us insight that the temple of God is no longer a building of brick and mortar but rather, we as believers have become the temple of God. We see this in 1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV,  "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…" We are now God’s temple and remember that Jesus called His Temple a house of prayer. The New Covenant initiated by Jesus also launched the change from a building being the house of prayer, to you and I being God’s house of prayer. That revelation shook me at my core and opened my eyes to the power of prayer and the power and responsibility God has entrusted us with. We can change things when we will take time to pray in faith and according to God’s word.

You might think, Really Pastor Tim, is that the truth? We are God's house of prayer? Yes, and that is why it's important to learn God's will which He makes clear in the Bible and learn to pray accordingly. 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV) says, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." The body of Christ is so painfully ignorant when it comes to prayer, and that is why the church seems so weak in its influence. The church was meant to be the most powerful force through prayer, on earth!


As I spent that three hours driving, I was blessed with the time to shake Heaven and earth with the power of prayer. His will was prayed. His angels were loosed to do His bidding. And I know that God’s will is being done. That is what God has entrusted us with. I praise God for this privilege and I am sincere when I say, there is NOTHING that I can do or accomplish here on earth that can match what is done when I am yielded to Holy Spirit’s direction in prayer.

Please know that you were a part of my prayers today! I have prayed that the touch of Heaven―God’s love toward you, ministers to your heart today. I have prayed Hell off your back―that every attack of the wicked one against you be bound and stopped today! I thank God for you and the privilege to pray for you!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Destroy the Fears in Your Heart!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I’m a gardener. I love to garden. My mom helped instill that in me when I was young. I never realized at the time the spiritual lessons God would teach me from gardening and how much it would impact my life.

You’ll find that in every garden, weeds that you never planted spring from the ground. Your heart and your garden are the same. Weeds―that is, fears, worries and evil imaginations frequently attempt to invade your heart and mind. They often come randomly and seem to come from nowhere. Jesus in trying to teach His disciples about how our heart and mind works used gardening and farming illustrations. Jesus taught, "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. "The owner's servants came to him and said, 'Sir, didn't you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?' " 'An enemy did this,' he replied.” Matthew 13:24-28 NLT

Satan is always trying to plant seeds of fear in our heart. It’s by design. He would rather have you have faith in your fears than faith in God’s promises. Why? Because your faith is what brings forth its crop. When you allow weed seeds of fear to grow in your mind and heart, then fear, discouragement, and hopelessness is the crop you will reap. Consequently, you have to work to keep out things you do not want in growing in you. You have to dig up what shouldn’t be there and cast it out! What does a heart with weed seeds planted in it look like? Mark 4:19 (NKJV) paints that picture saying, "and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful."

The voices of fear, whether from the enemy of our soul that come randomly, or from those that speak cares, worries and fear, are voices NOT to listen to.  Jeremiah 17:5-6 NLT reveals this saying, “This is what the Lord says: "Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans and turn their hearts away from the Lord (and from His promises.) They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, on the salty flats where no one lives.”

When good seeds are planted in a heart of good soil that trusts God and puts faith and expectation in His promises, then you will reap a good crop in due season. What does a good crop from your heart look like? These two promises of God describe it well!  Mark 4:20 (NLT) "And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”  And, Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NLT) describes it like this: "But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they go right on producing delicious fruit.”

My gardening reminds me what I should plant and meditate on the good seed of God’s promises knowing that they are mine by faith. And my gardening reminds me that I need to uproot the weeds of cares, anxieties and fear that try to take root and undermine my faith. 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV) says, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."  I purpose to do just that. I will dig them out and cast them into a pile to be burned or discarded. If I keep my heart good soil and profess and pray God’s promises over my life and others, I will see my harvest produce a good crop. I will become like that tree planted by the river that stays green and is not bothered by heat or long months of drought.

God’s Word is our riverbank for our roots to go down into. Remember today that the promise He promised you is this: “Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of my love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.” Hosea 10:12 (NLT)

P.S. Here is my real garden! http://bit.ly/1AGx193

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






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Copyright© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/
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Monday, May 16, 2016

God Wants to Help You and Bless You. Not Condemn you!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I remember when I was a young boy waking up so tired that I didn't want to get out of bed for school. I knew mom was about to come and make sure I was up. She'd walk in and say, Tim, are you awake? On those sleepy mornings, I'd keep my eyes shut, not answer, and hope that mom would go away thinking, Oh poor Tim, he is so tired. I need to let him sleep. Now that was delusional thinking! Mom never went away. She always knew when I was faking it. Did you ever do that―keep your eyes shut pretending to be asleep?

Sometimes we do something similar to this with the Lord. At times we are paying great attention to the Lord but other times we seem to shut Him out. It's almost as if we have the eyes to our heart shut pretending the Lord doesn't know what we are thinking, saying, or doing. Why do we do this? Because, we usually want to so something that we know is unacceptable. So, we override our hearts, shut the eyes of our heart, and continue to go on with what we want to do.

One person eats the wrong foods or more than they should while shutting the eyes of their heart. The Lord is trying to speak to them but He is shut out. He isn't trying to condemn but to love and fill this person's heart with promise of supernatural help. He is trying to quench the void with love rather than food. Another person is gossiping, another lying, another manipulating to get their way, another entertaining a sexual relationship outside of marriage, another viewing sexual and pornographic images, another steeped in unforgiveness and relational schism, and another just living a lazy life. In each case, the Lord wants and is trying to help. His voice is gently speaking and His Spirit gently nudging but they eyes of their heart are squeezed tight and the voice of God is shut out.

In the Old Testament, there was a priest of God named Eli. Eli had some good points. He loved God and served him as a priest. But, he had some serious issues in his life―some to do with his personal daily conduct and some to do with the behavior of his children. God spoke to Eli saying, "This is what the LORD says: … So why do you scorn my sacrifices and offerings? Why do you honor your sons more than me—for you and they have become fat from the best offerings of my people?” (Sam 2:27-29 )

Eli was a good man. He had raised and mentored the prophet Samuel and done a wonderful job. But when it came to curbing his own behavior or disciplining his sons, he kept the eyes of his heart shut and ignored the Lord. This was a man who could have been greatly blessed. God wanted to bless him but, God will not override our heart and make us do anything. He will speak to our heart in the still small voice of God. It is up to us to listen and obey. Sadly, the outcome of Eli and his sons was not good. They ignored God and the wrong behavior they clung to ended up destroying their lives.

God helps us change from the position of love. He wants us to live according to His Word knowing it will produce great blessing in our life. When He speaks to us to change, He is always offering His grace which is His supernatural strength and help, at the same time. Some receive His grace and others shut the eyes of their heart and instead cling to the worthless behaviors that only hurt them, forsaking His grace in the process. Jonah 2:8 put is like this: "Those who cling to worthless idols (things given a higher priority than God) forfeit the grace that could be theirs."

My goal in writing today is not to make us sin conscience. To the contrary, it’s to point out that God does want to help us change wrong thoughts, words, and behaviors. He is here to help. We don’t want to shut our eyes to what God is pointing out and shut out His voice. We want to listen knowing that His instruction to change is always accompanied by His grace to help. If He is dealing with you, receive His grace―His supernatural strength and help. Acknowledge and thank God for His grace. Before long you'll sense it rise up in your heart. Suddenly one day you will say, I am tired of this! God, in your strength this IS going to changePhilippians 4:13 which says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” will become your reality. Don’t shut your eyes and hide any more and don't be afraid. He created you to be a godly influence! He is on your side. He is not condemning you. And He'll help you every step of the way!

2 Cor 7:1 “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, executing greater and greater levels of maturing holiness out of reverence for God.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If what you've read today has helped you, would you like to see it help others and reach more? Click here and Learn More... 


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© 2016 All rights reserved

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Be Different! Have Unshakeable Faith!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt



If you are anything like me, you probably have many characters from the Bible that you admire, that have helped you in your faith. I know I do. Each of them have helped me know and understand the Lord as well as help strengthen my relationship with Him in different ways. One of those is Caleb. In Numbers 14:24, God said that Caleb had a different spirit. “But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.” The Lord said this to Moses at a time when He was pronouncing judgment on His people for casting all trust and faith in Him aside. What would become their destiny would not become Caleb's. They would become a people that would never enter into the Promised Land or experience the manifestation of God's promises in their lives. Why? Because despite how powerfully God would show them and demonstrate His presence and provision in their lives, they would not put faith in Him. They didn't realize it but they were rejecting His love.

God was withholding judgment from Caleb (and Joshua). He proclaimed to Moses that Caleb had a different spirit. Why did God say that about Caleb? He said it because Caleb is the role model of a believer. Caleb was a BELIEVER. This term is used far too loosely. We say you are a believer of Jesus Christ if you understand that He lived and died and took the punishment that you and I deserve for our sins—if you renounce sin and Satan in your life and you repent for the life of sin you have led. If you do this and receive Jesus as your personal Savior, then you are a believer.

What I just described is the birth of a believer—what Jesus called being “born again.” Your faith in that truth is your entrance into Heaven. But do you think God meant for that to be the all-in-all of your relationship with Him? Not a chance! He wanted you to experience His love and power touching your life through your faith in His promises, every day. God wants that belief in Jesus to mature into trust and permeate every fiber of your being. His desire for us when we come to places of pressure, is not to panic or “freak out,” but to instead pause, look toward Heaven, take a deep breath, ask the Lord for help based on His promises, and then absolutely trust Him. Everyone comes to places of pressure but many never come to a place of absolute trust in the Lord. Why not? Because people don't know God well enough to trust Him. That could be any believer’s dilemma.
The Lord has said to us, “…those that seek Me will find Me.” The burden to know God is upon us. He is more than willing to reveal Himself and His love to those that will seek Him with all their heart. Once you really know God, then you really do move over to a place of trust and your faith becomes active and powerful - like Caleb’s. You develop that “different spirit.”

That is what made Caleb different. Nothing in scripture leads us to believe that Caleb was any different from you or me in gifting or ability. What made him different was that he based his entire life upon what God said and promised. Then he acted upon it. He held nothing back. God said He would help them conquer this new land of promise. He would give it to them and help them and bless they and their future generations in it. Caleb took Him at His Word. He believed it. It became settled in his heart. He didn't spend a lot of mental anguish wondering, will God do this or won't he. Instead he spent all his time believing and preparing himself and those in his sphere of influence to enter into the promised land of God.

How do I know that? Moses in pronouncing judgment on God's people testified of Caleb. In Deuteronomy  1:35-36 we hear Moses speaking God's words: "Not a man of this evil generation shall see the good land I swore to give your forefathers, except Caleb son of Jephunneh. He will see it, and I will give him and his descendants the land he set his feet on, because he followed the LORD wholeheartedly."

Am I a tenacious when I write Fresh Manna and speak to you about faith and the promises of God? You better believe it! I am not moved by the unbelief of others. I am not moved by circumstances. I am moved by what God has promised you and me. It shapes my heart, my thoughts, who I am, what I believe and what I pursue. I desire to walk in and receive every promise of God. I desire to be fully equipped to help others know the gospel of Jesus Christ and be like Caleb—one who has unshakeable faith in God's promises. I, like Caleb, want to walk in all that God has promised us. Be blessed as you become a Caleb believer—one whom God would say has a “different spirit!”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

“To Whom Much is Given…”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever come to a place in your life where you feel like you need some things to change and you need those changes to begin now? I remember back to a time I felt that way. Things weren’t actually bad in my life. Most things were quite good. But there were some things going on around me in my family, and in some areas at work that just felt off the mark of where they should be. I guess you could compare it to a car when it’s not tuned up and not running quite right. I was praying and asking the Lord what to do about this. He was faithful to show me.

What He taught me is now something I call my secret place. He taught me this early on in my preparation for ministry, but it is a place I've come back to over and over again.

At that time in my life, I was constantly praying and asking the Lord to help prepare me for the ministry. I knew I had a calling upon my life and I was seeking the Lord as how to walk that out. One morning very early, I suddenly woke up. I was instantly wide awake. Thoughts of scripture came to my heart and I sensed that it was the Lord waking me up to pray. I went into our living room so that I wouldn't wake Renee up, and laid down on the floor with my Bible. I opened it up and began to read some very sobering verses from the book of Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 34:8-10 “As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Lord, you abandoned my flock and left them to be attacked by every wild animal. Though you were my shepherds, you didn't search for my sheep when they were lost. You took care of yourselves and left the sheep to starve. Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I now consider these shepherds my enemies, and I will hold them responsible for what has happened to my flock. I will take away their right to feed the flock, along with their right to feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths; the sheep will no longer be their prey.”

I wasn't a pastor at this time and I thought my pastors were doing a great job. So these verses did not speak to me about any pastors I knew. That wasn't the point. The Lord was talking to me about the seriousness of the responsibility of those that take leadership over others for Him. He was trying to help me count the costs and help me see that He loved His people and that I’d better do likewise if I wanted to walk out this calling.

The Lord then reminded me of something my pastor had taught his leadership. He said, The primary responsibility of a shepherd/pastor is to feed and protect. That means as a pastor, I have to pray to hear from God to be able to ‘feed’ or teach God’s ways to the people, and I have to cover them in prayer. No man can physically protect everyone he cares for or oversees. That has to be a work done in the Spirit through prayer. These are the primary responsibilities and priorities of a pastor and what makes one a good shepherd of God’s sheep.

I was instantly reminded of the words from Acts 6:3-4 when the Apostles came to this revelation. "Now look around among yourselves, brothers, and select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. We will put them in charge of this business. Then we can spend our time in prayer and preaching and teaching the word."

The Lord  reminded me of this scripture and my priority to pray for those in my areas of responsibility and influence with a renewed fervor. I immediately began to return to this place the Lord showed me and take it as seriously as I ever had. What was truly mountain moving was that within three weeks, many of those nagging areas of my life began to be supernaturally transformed.

It led me to pray and declare this verse from Psalm 116:17-18 over each of you today. “I will offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord. I will keep my promises to the Lord in the presence of all His people.”  

My promise is to pray for all of you consistently. I would say daily,  but honestly remember a couple of days that seem to get away from me each year. But with those few exceptions, I want you to know that I am praying for you daily! I am praying for the Lord to reveal Himself and the magnitude of His love toward you more and more. When you realize the extend of that love, you'll want to draw near to Him.  Teaching you His Word and praying for you... they are the primary responsibilities of my calling and I will continue to be faithful to do so!  God bless you!

Ephesians 3:14-19 (NLT) "When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father,
the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. Then Christ will make His home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/
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Monday, May 09, 2016

Keeping it Real With God and Others!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Like you, my life is filled with many vivid memories that I’ll never forget. I remember when I was 24 years old and a Flight Attendant at Northwest Airlines. I was on a flight from Hawaii to San Francisco when I met this married, very sweet, bubbly, kind and exuberant Flight Attendant. She was interesting to talk to and had one of the most fun personalities of any person I had ever flown with. I was attracted to her―not in the romantic sense, but to her as a very unique and special person. I found myself wanting to engage in conversation with her.

We both had scheduled layovers in San Francisco that night. In a transportation van taking us to the hotel, she had encouraged me to watch this special television show that was going to be on. It was a Billy Graham special. I had heard the name but didn't know who he was or what the show would be about.

When I had got to my hotel room, I forgot what it was that she had told me to watch. I called her room to ask her again. When I had her on the phone I found myself asking her a question. Sharon, you are one of the most joyful people I have ever met. What makes you so happy? Before she answered, she asked me a question. She said, Tim, do you believe in God? I told her I did. She asked me what I believed. I proceeded to give her the biggest bunch of mumbo-jumbo religious philosophy that you've ever heard in your life. When I look back, I'm surprised she didn't hang up or throw up. Instead she patiently and respectfully listened to what I had to say.

Finally, I asked her what she believed. She asked me to open the nightstand drawer next to my bed. She told me, Inside you'll find a Gideon Bible. As I pulled it out, she said she’d do the same. She pulled out the one in her nightstand and then told me what pages to turn to. It was a good thing she could direct me by page numbers rather than scripture and verse because I wouldn't have had a clue what she was taking about. I had never cracked a Bible in my life.

She told me how to find chapters and verses. She had me read them to her. She then asked me if I understood what I just read? After I read each verse, she expounded on and explained each one. She helped me turn from verse to verse. We read about God’s love, about sin and how God would forgive me of it by receiving Jesus into my heart as Lord and Savior. When she was done I suddenly knew something very important. Somehow, in my heart, I knew that my philosophies and beliefs were bogus and that I had been deceiving myself. I was experiencing a moment in life incomparable to any other. I was having an encounter with God, yet wouldn't have known to describe it as that.  I was instantly and acutely aware that I was bankrupt in knowing God, but sensed that she knew and very much belonged to God.

She asked me if I would like to become saved and give my life to Christ. I didn't know what that meant but again, she patiently explained it to me. Together over our hotel-room telephones, we prayed. She led me in prayer as I repeated it asking Jesus into my heart. From that moment, something within me had changed. The first thing that I could identify, was having this loathing for the self-deception I’d kept myself in. I had lied to myself for too long and it was time to build a life on truth―the truth of God's Word.

Why am I telling you all this? Because all too often I run into people who remind me of the way I used to be―holding onto a lie and a life that they know isn't pleasing to God. They may try to con me about how much they love God in the same way I tried to convince Sharon how religious I was. 2 Tim 2:19-21 NIV helps cut to the chase. "...The Lord knows those who are His," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." .... If a man cleanses himself... he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work."

I am talking about this today for my good, but I hope yours also. I have to ask myself continuously, Is what I'm doing or participating in pleasing to God? Am I letting any more self-deception creep into my life? Am I trying to look godly on the outside but have something less pure going on within? I can't con God. I better examine my heart. If I see something in my life that I know is outside the will of God, I must repent, pray for God’s grace and help, and get it right. When I cooperate with the Holy Spirit, then and only then can I purge myself of inappropriate and ungodly thoughts and behaviors. It is then that change happens and I conform more to His image. It is then that I become an "an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work."

It was one thing to live in self-deception 38 years ago when I didn't know the Lord. It's another thing to fake it before others and act as though God doesn't know what's going on. I won't do it. I have to get it right. I want His best so that He can use me for noble purposes each and every day. Then I'll be keeping it real with the Lord and myself!

Philip. 2:12 (NLT) "Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If what you've read today has helped you, would you like to see it help others and reach more? Click here and Learn More... 


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© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/
..

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Be Delivered Limboland―from Double-mindedness and Indecision!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever been to LimboLand? It's a place where no one has any hair. Everyone that lives there has pulled it out. If you drove down its main boulevard, you would see only partly finished homes, buildings, and building projects. You'd see that every street had forks that go in different directions. You'd see people walking around that looked somewhat dazed, frustrated, and quite unhappy. You wouldn't see many married people there, nor would you see many children. People in Limboland can't decide whom the person is they are supposed to marry and whether or not they should have children. You'd find many people there that call themselves Christians but you would see few churches because they wouldn't stay in one long enough for there to be the commitment and support to build one. The churches that are there are like the rest of the buildings in Limboland—only partially built because of abandoned commitments. They thought they'd find the perfect church and Pastor elsewhere.

LimboLand of course doesn’t really exist but the dictionary does have a definition for limbo saying "A region or condition of oblivion or neglect, a place of confinement. An intermediate place or state, a place of indecision." That alone is contrary to the nature of God because God is not indecisive nor does He want us indecisive. He calls it unbelief or double-minded. Jesus chastised His disciples because of their unbelief. Mark 16:14 says, ”Later Jesus appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen."

LimboLand is a state or place of confinement. It's a place where one is locked up or imprisoned within their confused mind because of unbelief, indecision, and double-mindedness. James 1:5-8 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways."

One of the reasons people end up in Limboland is because they practice sin—something contrary to God's Word. It strips them of any confidence of approaching God whether it is just to draw closer to Him to have an intimate relationship, or for help. If you practice what the Bible declares sin, you will remain in a spiritual LimboLand of conflict and indecision that will carry over and affect every other part of your life. This is one reason, there is so much physiological conflict in the life of a homosexual. They are at conflict within themselves. Though they get approval and validation from others, they will never get that internal validation from God that they desire. They can't. God never condones sin. He loves them and will validate that. Jesus died for them and validates that. He will forgive anyone who is truly repentant and the word of God validates that. But God will not condone the ongoing practice of anyone's sin.

Suppressing the guilt of something that God says is wrong and living in denial does not deliver you from guilt and indecision; it creates it. Repentance and forgiveness from God for sin are available and can bring a person back to peace with God and out of this state of Limbo. 1 John 1:8-9 “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV) says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge...." The other primary reason for LimboLand is because people are unsure of what to do, and struggle in making a decision. That is what James is speaking to here. In Romans 1 God instructs us to renew our minds to His perfect will. There is no shortcut to learning that. It takes time but is time well spent. To not learn His will is to suffer from fears and worries that were unnecessary. As you meditate upon God’s Word prayerfully, requesting that He give you understanding concerning it, He does! As God shows you things through the scriptures and you put faith in what you believe God is showing you, He upholds you and helps you. He promises to give wisdom liberally if you will receive it by faith. Knowing God's will helps you make decisions and become more decisive. Trusting that God will give you wisdom and then taking steps of faith according to His will, will help you become even ,more decisive. God's leaders always had to listen to God, make decisions, and take steps of faith, trusting in Him.

God knows our human fragility. He is there to help us. Don't make the mistake of judging the outcome of decisions prematurely or simply by circumstances. Sometimes it takes years of hindsight to see the good outcome of your decision. Judge them by whether you believe and trust that it's what God wanted you to do. Have faith, trust, and rest in that! And here is one more important caveat that can bring you peace. God knows your not perfect but can still turn an imperfect decision and have it turn out fine. This is what God is saying to us in Romans 8:28. (NKJV) "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." When you know this, you won't end up double-minded, locked in mind-battles of indecision. Instead you will learn you have a loving Heavenly Father that does what He promises. He will show you His will through His word and give you the wisdom to make one solid decision after another. That's a slice of Heaven, not Limboland.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If what you've read today has helped you, would you like to see it help others and reach more? Click here and Learn More... 


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© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/
..