About Tim Burt

Friday, September 30, 2016

A Dog's Purpose (From a Six Year Old's Perspective)

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A Dog's Purpose (From a Six Year Old's Perspective) 
Author Unknown

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.

I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn't do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.

As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.

The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.

The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.

Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”

Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me. I’d never heard a more comforting explanation. He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”

The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

1 Peter 4:8 (NLT) "Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins" 


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Greatest Power God Has Put in Your Hands

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One early morning, a gentleman from church contacted me. He said that his wife was having contractions in the middle of the night and that they were now at the hospital. She was in labor. He said, “Please pray. Our baby is going to be born today and she is coming early.” Renee and I knew how early this baby was coming and began to pray immediately.

The next day we went to the hospital to visit them and see their first child, a beautiful little girl. She had been born 10 weeks premature and weighed just over 3 lbs. She was doing wonderful but would need to stay in the hospital until she was at a weight they deemed safe. Other than that, she was doing great.

Now let me back this story up and tell you about the night before this baby was born. I had stayed late at my church office that night as I had a great deal of work to get done. When I got home from work, I was exhausted. I was getting into bed quite late. Renee was already asleep and so I quietly slipped in next to her. I thought I would fall asleep in seconds but didn't. There was something unusual going on and I truly can’t find words to properly describe it. It felt like I was suddenly at war with the devil. Weird thoughts seemed to be suddenly coming out of nowhere. I began to pray and talk to the Lord about it. He gave me very specific direction to stop and pray or there would be an open door where trouble would get in. I was moved with the reverential fear to obey Him and do so immediately. I got out of bed, went into another room and began to pray what the Lord was directing me to pray.

The next morning when the husband contacted me about his wife in labor, I knew instantly that the warfare I had experienced and prayed about the night before was directly connected to this situation. I could not stop thinking about what might have happened had I shrugged off the Lord and His leading, and not prayed because I was too tired. I was so thankful for the Lord's grace helping me to obey Him. Of course I don’t know for sure and can’t prove anything, nor do I need to. But I believe that this time of obedience to the Lord to pray, was directly tied to the birth of this child. I was overwhelmed with thanks because it would have been so easy to ignore. I do remember that when I finished praying, there was a great peace that the fight was over and everything was okay. And then I experienced a bonus. I had been working on a message that I was soon to preach. I didn't have all the thoughts I needed to complete it. Suddenly the Lord began to talk to me about that message. I grabbed my notebook, and jotted down the thoughts the Lord was giving to me and it all came together in minutes. His direction felt intimate and like a reward for obeying Him.

I was thinking this morning about how many things go right for my children and others, that they don’t know is directly related to the prayers of Renee and I or of others. After all, who can see what goes on in the realm of the spirit concerning God and His angels to know for sure?

In 2 Kings 6:13-17 we read about the King of Syria out to capture Elisha the prophet and his servant. They were in the town of Dothan and the King’s men had found them and had them surrounded them. Elisha was a man of prayer and knew something his servant didn’t—that God’s angels would protect them. We read: "Go, find out where Elisha is," the king ordered, "so I can send men and capture him." The report came back: "He is in Dothan." Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?" the servant asked. "Don't be afraid," the prophet answered. "Those who are with us are more than those who are with them." And Elisha prayed, "O Lord, open his eyes so he may see." Then the Lord opened the servant's eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 

Those horses and chariots of fire with the angels of God were working behind the scenes. Instead of soldiers taking Elisha and his servant captive, just Elisha and his servant took all the King’s soldiers captive. Can anyone explain that? Only through the scriptures and by the power of God!

Our prayers are so very important. It isn’t up to us to determine the outcome of anything. It is up to us to be a covering of prayer and pray the will of God in faith as He directs us. Then we cast the care and trust the Lord.

Family, friends, and others you intercede for may not know you are praying for them, or what your prayers protect them from or help them with. It is truly a sacrifice to take time to pray for others in faith. But, there will be times when God will show you the results of the prayers He led you to pray over others—others who might not know how to pray or be able to pray, but are in desperate need of your prayers. If you do what is right and pray, don’t pat yourself on the back. Even your obedience to do the right thing is because of God's grace—His supernatural help. So don’t glory in what you did. Glory in what God does. Personally, I’m so overwhelmingly thankful for the privilege to have this incredible gift and resource called prayer—the greatest thing we could ever consistently do for anyone.

Mark 11:24 & 1 John 5:14-15 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours… This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of Him.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2016 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

God's Protection, Promises, and our Faith

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt



May I ask you a few questions this today? Are you safe? Do you feel safe? Are you under attack? Does you life feel under attack in some area? Are you in trouble? Do you believe that God wants to protect you? Should you believe that? Whatever your answers are to any of these questions, know this as a truth: You desire to be safe. You want to be protected. You desire for God to protect you. How can I say that? It’s easy! God has put that desire within each of us. It is a heart instinct. It is a heart instinct of every normal parent to protect their children. And it is also the heart's desire of every normal person.

Because we instinctively desire to be safe, we make normal instinctive efforts to do so on a regular basis. But, our own ability to protect ourself is like using bullet proof vest—better than nothing but still too much exposure. There are a multitude of scriptures revolving around man’s desire for protection and God's willingness to be our protection, refuge, and help in times of trouble. God is the only one, and I mean thee only one who can fulfill that desire. And, the desire of God protecting us can only be fulfilled through the realm of faith.

People hear of tragedy of every kind, every day. They are saddened or brokenhearted for those that experience it. They are hurting if it has happened within their sphere of family and friends. They hate it and they don’t want to be a victim of it. If you have experienced it recently, you know what I am talking about.

Seeing tragedy often stirs the embers and stokes the fire of praying for God to protect us. You may have prayed for His protection over you or your children, or perhaps over your travels. In praying for His protection, is it possible that you may have prayed a wishbone prayer? Do you know what a wishbone prayer is? It’s a prayer requesting something but having no real faith that God will do it. It is a prayer that isn’t really rooted in knowing what God wants. It’s a prayer not rooted in faith. It’s rooted in the equivalent of the expectation you would have for a wish to come true when you break a wishbone. It’s really a prayer of unbelief.

Unbelief hinders God answering prayers. Jesus could do few miracles within His own home town because of the unbelief of the people there. We read this in Mark 6:5-6 NLT  “And because of their unbelief, Jesus couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.”

God’s Word is full of precious promises to those who know and love Him. They are truths and covenant promises that the world thinks are just words, fables, myths, or whatever—anything but truth. The Apostle Paul along with others, were helping those that believed in Jesus understand the promises of God—“So then, men ought to regard us as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the secret things of God." 1 Corinthians 4:1 (NIV)   It isn’t that God wants His ways to be secret. He wants to reveal them! But, He won’t reveal His truths to those that would mock and trample them in unbelief and mockery. As Jesus said, “Don't give what is holy to unholy people. Don't give pearls to swine! They will trample the pearls, then turn and attack you.” (Matthew 7:6 NLT)

People desiring protection isn't new. When God's people cried out to Him for it, God brought help through the person of Moses. God promised to deliver them from trouble, prosper them, and protect them if they’d trust in Him. We read this in Deuteronomy 6:22-25 NLT.  “Before our eyes the Lord sent miraculous signs and wonders… But He brought us out from there (their place of trouble,) to bring us in and give us the land that He promised on oath to our forefathers. The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive (protected,) as is the case today...”

God promises that if we obey Him in our life style and have faith and trust in Him, then our faith in what He promises us, will protect us. We see these promises over and over in God’s Word.  Psalm 9:9-10 NKJV says, “The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know Your name trust in You, for You, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for You.” We see this again in Psalm 37:39 NIV “The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; He is their stronghold in time of trouble.” And again in Psalm 34:7 (TLB) "For the Angel of the Lord guards and rescues all who reverence him."



To NOT understand these things is to experience troubles from the adversary of your soul that God wants to protect you from.  As Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are being destroyed for a lack of knowledge..."  The Bible tells us that God is not a respecter of persons. That means His promises apply to us all. Faith pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Your confident faith is the bridge to all promise and miracles of God. What a powerful secret to learn! This is what brings God’s life-changing power into our lives. It not only changes our circumstances, it changes us! It changes our way of thinking and our character. It transforms us into people who truly trust God and have sincere faith! He wants us to learn and know His will so that promises of protection and blessing can be ours through faith!

1 John 5:14-15 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of Him.” 

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/

Monday, September 26, 2016

The God-Life, You can do and do it well!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Sometimes God's word presents promises given to us that are nothing less than mind-blowing! These verses fall in that category—words to get a grip on what God has equipped us with to live our lives out in this earth with purpose, grace, and victory!

Peter 1:3-4 (NKJV) says, "as His divine power has given to us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness... by which have given us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust."

To be partakers of His divine nature is to experience the supernatural help of His Holy Spirit in our lives. God wants us to seek Him for revelation and understanding of the Spirit-filled life. That is God saying, You can do and do it well!

Too many Christians have focused on the I'm a sinner which can almost become a convenient excuse for caving to sin. If you've given your life to Jesus, you've been given the supernatural help of His Holy Spirit. Proverbs 23:7 NKJV says, "For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he..."

At some point, you are going to have to decide who you are and what you stand for. Are you a beggarly Christian in bondage to sin? Because if that is how you think, you don't know your Bible or who Jesus saved you to become. Far too few Christians have experienced what Peter called "partakers of the divine nature" because of their fear and apprehension to being able to do it and do it well! They think, What will happen if I give myself totally over to God? I'll look like some religious weirdo if I try to continuously change and be like Jesus. I can't get overboard on this God stuff. My friends and family will think I flipped out. I won't look like normal. 

These are some of the same thoughts that keep people from becoming a Christian in the first place. You've already made it through the first hurdle when you became a Christian. Now make it through this second one. Live in His divine nature!

When I first became a Christian, I thought that people who really loved God too much became a little weird. I mean they talked about praying and worshipping God all the time. They were at church every time the doors were open. It seems like their entire life revolved around God. The truth is, every person—Christian or not has their own quirks. And the funny part is, most do not see their own quirkiness. God doesn't make you strange or weird. God helps you become whole and gives your life purpose. When you give yourself totally over to God, people will think you have become a little peculiar. That doesn't mean weird. It means you stand and live for a different purpose than they do. God validates this in Titus 2:14 NKJV. "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself A PECULIAR PEOPLE, zealous of good works." 

If I lost any friends because they didn't understand me, God gave me new ones! And I have an awesome life. Filled with friendships with wonderful and godly people whom I love! I life a purpose-filled life because according to the Word of God, all I do carries reward for me in this life and the one to come as we see in Matthew 10:42 NKJV "And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." 

Remembering I have God's divine nature helps me realize I have the grace and help of the Holy Spirit and the promises of God's word to succeed in everything I put my hand to, and to live a life of influencing others in God's ways.  Drawing closer and closer to God and letting negative thinking, attitudes, and behaviors drop from my life has been very much a process. I know my sins and setbacks. But I don't focus on them. I overcome them in the Lord's strength! It's a victory to experience day by day.

You and I were created to be partakers of God's divine nature and live the Christian life and live it well! He wants to help you be a Christian, living a life continuously touched by His power, and with His love flowing from you to others. He wants to be an ever-present help in your life, your heart and your thoughts! It is not a weird life. It is a divine life you've been called into. You can do it and do it well!

Titus 2:13 -14 NKJV "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

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/

Friday, September 23, 2016

God in the Shoes

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I am republishing this by request. I hope it's a blessing to you! 


God in the Shoes  author unknown

A little boy about 10 years old was standing before a shoe store, barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold. A lady approached the boy and said, "My little fellow, why are you looking so earnestly in that window?"

"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the boy's reply. The lady took him by the hand and went into the store and asked the clerk to get half a dozen pairs of socks for the boy. She then asked if he could give her a basin of water and a towel. He quickly brought them to her. She took the little fellow to the back part of the store and, removing her gloves, knelt down, washed his little feet, and dried them with a towel. By this time the clerk had returned with the socks.

Placing a pair upon the boy's feet, she purchased him a pair of shoes. She tied up the remaining pairs of socks and gave them to him. She patted him on the head and said, "No doubt, my little fellow, you feel more comfortable now?"

As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her by the hand, and looking up in her face, with tears in his eyes, answered the question with these words: "Are you God's Wife?"

Mat 10:42 ”And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward."

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/

The Last Days Leading up to Jesus' Return

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


As we approach the days or years leading up to the second coming of Jesus Christ, there are things that God in His mercy has foretold us to watch for to help us recognize the signs of the times.  2 Tim. 3:1 & 4 are two of many verses of scripture that point to “the last days” and to a warning and revelation of what those days will bring. “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves… lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.” This basically means, people are going to do whatever they want, regardless of how God's word instructs them to live.

The reason God foretells anything is for the purpose of warning and alerting – an act of His love. An example of this might be the evacuation of Galveston Texas prior to Hurricane Ike in 2008. Those that knew what to watch for could see the power and intensity of the hurricane. In order to save lives, they gave a strong warning alerting officials, and in turn put out a public warning and executed a plan to evacuate people. Consequently, there was great damage but lives were saved. This in many ways is similar to why and how God is warns us. He loves us. He wants to protect us. He tells what we need to do to avert tragedy!

Some ask the question, “Can’t God do something about this?” “Can’t He just wipe out evil people?” The answer is "No." God won’t do that until the time has come for Jesus to come back and until everyone has heard the gospel of Jesus Christ and accepted it or rejected it. Then the end will come. If God just wiped out evil people, you and I would have been wiped out somewhere along the line. No, God is patiently working through people like you and I that know Jesus, to reach those that don’t. That means we will have to live side by side with the evil that is in the world why we try to share the love and mercy of Jesus with those around us.
God is patient in waiting for people to accept and receive Him – just as He was with you and I. That is the mercy of God. But, this also creates the dilemma of having to live along side the evil that surrounds us all. So, God gives this warning to us about what it will look like in the last days. Part of the purpose of this warning is to help you see that you are not to let yourself be infected by the conditions of the world and people that aren’t living for God. Who you hang out with matters! We see the warning in 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV) "Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

I can’t imagine anyone not having gone through this. Do you remember when you were growing up? At some point you hung out with someone who was a negative influence because you were attracted to them for some reason. The behavior of that person infected your behavior and influenced you to do or say or behave in a way that was inappropriate. Some of you were the bad influence like I at times was. I fit in both categories at one time or another. The point here is that we are more easily influenced that we are willing to admit and that we are more easily led astray than we care to admit. That is why God called us sheep. 1 Peter 2:25 “For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.” 

As God warns us of the last days, He is telling us that their will be greater evil around us than we could ever imagine. Each generation will allow a greater degradation from God's standard to happen. But, there will be so much of it that it will seem normal – actually reducing the appearance of it’s evil. That is why people will get seduced by it. That is the point of God’s warning! To identify it so we can keep ourselves from it.

Today’s Fresh Manna verse says men will be “lovers of themselves” and “lovers of pleasure.” “Lovers of themselves” means they put their own personal needs and desires above everyone else and above what they know God wants. “Lovers of pleasure” means they have an affection for things that make them ‘feel good’ – even if they are contrary to God’s word – more than they have a sincere love and affection for God and His ways. There will be a greater desire and lust of things that fall in the category of sexual immorality, or mind altering pleasures such as drugs or alcohol, or a lust for “things” that draw them away from God in time or purpose.

The Apostle Paul reminds us with stark warnings that what we once were is no longer who we can be nor who we want to be. 1 Cor. 6:9-11 “Don't you know that those who do wrong will have no share in the Kingdom of God? Don't fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunkards, abusers, and swindlers—none of these will have a share in the Kingdom of God. There was a time when some of you were just like that, but now your sins have been washed away, and you have been set apart for God. You have been made right with God because of what the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of our God have done for you.” 

He then reminds us of who we are. 1 Cor. 6:19-20 “Or don't you know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

When we remember what Jesus did for us and the magnitude of His mercy and love toward us, it helps refresh our love for the Lord and strengthens our restraint from the temptations that surround us daily. God is your first love!

God is warning us in these last days. We cannot nor want to forget who we are and why we are here! As we approach darker times, we don’t want to be seduced by these spirits of pleasures that in truth destroy lives. We are not lovers of our self nor are we lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God. We love God first! We live our lives purposely for Him. We let our lives reflect the love of Jesus! We are ready to answer those that want to learn more about God's love. And when that day finally comes, we will long to hear those words, "Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord." Matthew 25:23 (NKJV)

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
 


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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2016 All rights reserved

https://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Blessing of a Good Reputation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you want people to listen to you and what you have to say? There is something that will help. Do you want people to like you? There is something that will help? Do you want to be able to help people and influence them toward God and His will for their lives? There is something that will help. It's called a good reputation. A reputation is the general estimation in which a person is held by those around them or by the public and by God. When the way that people generally view you is great, you are likely to have a great reputation. That reputation will bring you favor with God and man.

I remember one morning while I was having devotions with my boys, I had them turn to my Fresh Manna verse for that day which was Proverbs 22:1 says, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” I then asked them if they could think of people in the Bible that had a good reputation with God. They surprised me that had such great answers.

They reminded me of Luke 1:28 which said, “The angel went to Mary and said, "Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you." This meant that she had a good reputation in the Lord's eyes.

They also said, Daniel 10:11 which said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." Daniel had a good reputation in God's eyes.

They also thought of Acts 13:22 talking about David saying, "And when God had removed King Saul, he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the [son] of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfill all my will.” David had a good reputation in God’s eyes.

The Apostle Paul taught that to be effective as a leader that it was necessary to develop a good reputation. In 1 Tim 3:7 he said, an overseer "must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

A good reputation is something that is built with people over time. Contributors to a great reputation include having proven yourself through faithfulness, humility, kindness and integrity. A good reputation is something powerful that cannot be bought. It is a process of character building where the heart's motivation is developed, shaped, and corrected by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit over time. There becomes an increasingly good and godly pattern of life formed that becomes visible for others to see. A good reputation will cause you to have favor with man and God. It will deliver blessing to your life.

In the mid 80's I owned and ran a commercial painting company. I only ever advertised one time in the history of the company. That was when I started the company. The first job I got, I did what the homeowner contracted me to do. I had decided that at the end of every job, I would ask what other small job I could do for them as a gift from our company. We always gave them more than they paid for and took care of even the slightest complaint. I also always tried to shine with God's love and if the door was open, share the love of Jesus.

After that first job, I never had to advertise again as every job came by referral. That was the way it was for five years. We had favor. The Lord would just move on people's hearts and they would tell others about us. That's why a good reputation is better than riches.

Trying to correct a bad reputation is like trying to turn a ship with an oar. It is done only with great effort for great periods of time and even then it's difficult at best. A good reputation carries momentum. It's like the snowball going down hill that grows. As today's Fresh Manna says, it's build out of constant love and faithfulness and wins you favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.

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 you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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, September 21, 2016

Do You Know You're a Fragrance to This World?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The world is filled with those who know and have received Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, and of course, those who haven’t. Of those in the world without Christ, there are some that hate Christians and seem to be at war with them, Then there are those who are curious as to what makes a Christian tick. And finally, there are those who are hungering to know God this very moment—waiting for someone to share the truth of Jesus with them. The majority of non-Christians do not like Christians telling the rest of the world about Jesus, what is morally right and wrong, and how to live from their biblical perspective. Most despise it! That's why they try to shut us up in the workplace and everywhere else.

Although they would not likely agree with what I am about to say, nor be able to explain it, non-Christians often sense the presence of God just being in the presence of a Christian who is sincerely living for Jesus. It's as though a Christian leaves an aroma in the room that some love and some hate. Many non-Christians feel guilty just being around Christians. They don’t know why, but they do—that is of course if that Christian is living their life in a Christ-like fashion. If someone calls themself a Christian but their words and actions look and sound worldly, then to the non-Christian, their life reflects the life of a hypocrite. Then they measure up to exactly what they think Christians are anyway—fakes who preach a higher moral standard but never live up to it!

If we live up to a higher biblical standard of right living and love others as God directs us to in His Word, then those around us will usually feel one of two things. If their heart is open to the things of God, they are watching us because they want to see if we are real and learn more about what makes us tick. If they hate the things of God, they often feel condemned. Not because of anything we’ve said as much as what we stand for. We give off a spiritual aroma. It's a supernatural thing! 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NKJV) says it like this: "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.  To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life..."

The world tries to muffle or guilt us saying that we should keep our faith to ourselves. Those who call themselves Christians because of a religious upbringing, but don’t really know Jesus as their Savior, might agree. They’ve most likely grown up without truly understanding what Jesus did for them and without knowledge of the Bible or its instruction to us. If they did understand Jesus and the Bible, then they’d know that the Holy Spirit was given to us to help us shine brightly in a dark world.

As a young man and prior to becoming a Pastor, I worked for an airline. About half way through my 14 year career there, a new policy was established. Employees could no longer share their faith with anyone unless someone first asked them about it. That was fine with me because I shared with people constantly, but not because I confronted people with the gospel. I would pray daily asking God to help me be a light and His laborer to share the love of Jesus by example first, and then word if they asked. When I was at work, I would do my best to have an excellent work ethic. I would read my Bible in public on my breaks. I would sprinkle conversations about how good the Lord was when I talked to people. I would try to show kindness and love while trying to be that light in any way I could. The result of that was people frequently asking me about my faith. They opened the door and I would walk through it with scriptures of Jesus' love and sacrifice for us. It was always a harvest field.

I am not in the airlines any more. I've been a Pastor for 34 years. Most of those I work with or am around do know the Lord. But, I greatly desire to reach the lost with the love of Jesus. So, I still pray that the Lord will use me outside the four walls of the church amongst those that don’t know Him. One of those ways God has led me to do that is through my website writing Fresh Manna, and through Social Media such as Facebook and Twitter. By taking the time to learn how to use these two mediums of outreach, I have reached people around the world. And I’ve discovered that nothing has changed and that even through Social Media, the aroma is there. There are those that dislike me just because I talk about Jesus and sometimes let me know it. But I have also touched countless others through my devotions and tweets about Jesus, sharing His love, promises, and His word.

I hear back from people daily. Here's one I received that made me smile and laugh! She found my devotionals through Twitter. She then wrote: "Pastor Tim, Fresh Manna was ... I just don't have the right words so I'll just say, I'm soo excited from it I'm smiling to the point of my cheeks hurting. I can feel what you wrote all in my bones. My heart and every cell are praising Jesus!! If it was not midnight I'd run thru the house. Don't wanna wake my neighbors. You always inspire me!... Have a blessed week!!” Yolanda

If your heart is to reach and touch people with His love, the Lord will help you do so in ways you can’t imagine and within YOUR OWN gifting. We are an aroma if we live for Him. Some are paying attention. Some won’t like it or you just because they feel guilty. Others are curious and will check you out. They're watching you to see if you are the real deal! And others are hungry to know what you know. Be that light and don’t hide it under a bushel! This is your significant life and there is nothing more significant! Be blessed as you are that light today!

Romans 1:16 “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…"

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 you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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/

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

In Conflict, Stay Cool, Have Faith, and Do Right!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Ever find yourself fighting battles you don't want to fight? Most people do at some point. Why? Because conflict happens. It doesn't just happen with people who are rude or you don't like. Conflict can happen with anyone. When it does, as Christians, if only we could understand that people aren't are enemy. Conflict is something that the enemy of our soul tries to dredge up. Ephesians 6:12 reveals and reminds us, "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." If he has his way (and it's his full-time effort,) he'd have the entire world fighting with each other.

It can be so hard to remember this at moments of conflict but regardless, it's true. And let me tell you something you won't want to hear. The devil might be stirring up the other person, but, he might be stirring up and using you! Me? Yes you!

The devil will use you if you yield to situations wrongly or with a bad attitude. You will know when that is happening because you'll end up furiously mad at people. That is the sign that the problem is at least partly you! James 3:14-16 (NLT) says, "But if you are bitterly jealous and there is selfish ambition in your heart, don’t cover up the truth with boasting and lying.  For jealousy and selfishness are not God’s kind of wisdom. Such things are earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.  For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind."  

You might say, Well I'm not jealous or ambitious! Those words also mean being contentious or having a fierceness termination to be right. The final words of these verses, "...there you will find disorder and evil of every kind" have been the words that have jerked the slack out of me. When there is conflict, there is the opportunity for the enemy to work "...evil of every kind."  That's like saying we're giving the devil a free pass to blow up our lives! We've all been in conflict situations where things have gone south and turned crazy. That is the enemy at work behind the scenes so we can't let that happen. That is a door I want to keep locked and bolted as best I am able.

If conflict does arise, no matter what the other person does, I want to handle conflict on my end right. So, when conflict arises, I remember the verses that God gives us strength through such as Proverbs 15:18 (NLT) "A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them." And Proverbs 20:3 (TLB) "It is an honor for a man to stay out of a fight. Only fools insist on quarreling." And, Ecclesiastes 7:9 (NIV) "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."   

Let me give you the Tim Burt version of what God is saying. "Calm down. Chill out. Don't make people your enemies. There are dark unseen forces at work behind the scenes trying to get your goat! Be respectful. Be appropriate. Let your words be like the sun breaking through storm clouds! Deal with things in the most Christ-like fashion possible. Walk in my grace and I'll help you through this. And pray and be led by me as you deal with the issues at hand. I will help you."

There is no formula or perfect strategy for every conflict. God needs to be sought in every battle as to how to stop and defeat the enemy in our lives. We never do well when we try to fight a spiritual battle with human understanding and resources. When we pray and seek God in how to defeat the enemy in a battle, and keep a cool head, He comes and He aids us. Conflicts aren't always resolved in the moment, but they can be resolved by managing them appropriately! Working through conflict by faith means the defeat of the devil and his attack against us. Doesn't the thought of that sound delightful? It truly is!

Proverbs 16:32 (NKJV) "He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city." 

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 you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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/

Monday, September 19, 2016

Clearing Out the Obstacles to God's Blessing

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Our daughter Stephanie was the oldest of our four children.When she was young, she liked to play mother and boss her three brothers around. My son Peter, who was four at the time, did not like it. I remember hearing him saying over and over, Step-o-nee, you are not da boss! Well Peter was right. She wasn't the boss and we had to teach her that. But she was the best daughter in the world.

God IS the boss of our lives! At least He should be. In being that, he does not lead or instruct us through intimidation, even though the world loves to lead that way. God calls and reaches out to us in many ways—and solely from His heart of wanting to impart the knowledge of His goodness His love and instruction of His ways. Psalm 25:8-10 (NIV) says, “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in His ways. He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the ways of His covenant.” His heart-motivation is that of a father's love! He desires blessing to overtake our lives!

God's word consistently reminds us of His love, grace, mercy, and desire to bless us. He tells us that much of the blessing that will come to our lives is from the favor that comes from a transformed life. Romans 12:2 (NLT) says, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." A transformed life—a life that moves sin out and becomes more Christ-like, helps promote God's favor—a grace, love, and influence that you can have with people who draw blessing to your life.

Of course God's disciples were persecuted by those that hated Jesus, but, the world was also filled with those searching to know Jesus. God's disciples experienced great favor with those seekers early on! Acts 2:46-47 (NKJV) "So continuing daily with one accord... praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."

God is Love. But, God is also the boss. There are things He does not like—even things He hates. That does not mean people. That means wrong behaviors, words and actions. He hates that Satan has deceptively made sin look attractive when in truth, it really only steals and destroys life. Proverbs 14:12 (NKJV) says, "There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." Proverbs 14:9 (MSG) says, "The stupid ridicule right and wrong, but a moral life is a favored life." God does not hate you! He loves you! He simply hates the sin because it brings so much hurt to the people of this world whom He loves so much! Jesus proved that love!

When you are really hungry you feel hunger pains. They are telling you your body is hungry so you'll eat. When you have eaten enough, your body feels full. That is so you will quit eating and not get fat or sick. These are signs to help you. Likewise the feeling of conviction is your conscience trained by God's Holy Spirit through the Word of God to learn good from bad—righteous living from sin. It's an inward alarm for us to pay attention to and realize something is wrong—something that will get you into trouble and hinder your transformation of becoming Christlike. It can hinder blessing—not that God is holding it back, but that sinful behavior interrupts it and hinders God's blessing.

A gentleman who owns his own company was talking with me one day about a great employee of his. He said, I love this guy and I would promote him to a manager if he'd just quit smoking. He works hard and would make a great manager—if he didn't have to go out and take cigarette breaks so often. God was not holding this man's promotion back. His own behavior was! God wants to help us transform those behaviors that are contrary to His Word and hurt us or others. His Holy Spirit within us provides the grace which is the power of God to strengthen us to make those changes. That power is within you if you'll put faith in it!

When we change, we are building our house on the rock of His word. As we do, it produces the favor of God that brings blessing!

Psalm 5:12 (NKJV)  "For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield." 

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 you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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/

Friday, September 16, 2016

“I Caught It!” A Story of God’s Grace

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One morning, at my discipleship breakfast, one of the guys in my group told us a great story about an encounter with his young son. As I listened to this story, God spoke to my heart and believe He will speak to yours also. I thought I would share it with you!

My friend Lee came home from work one night after a very long day. He was bushed. All he could think about was lying down on the couch and taking a nap. But, just about that time, his four-year old son came up to him and said, Dad, can we go outside and play catch? Lee is a great dad and did what any good dad would do. He said Yes, let’s do it, and headed outside with Logan. Logan didn’t really know how to use his baseball mitt and catch a ball yet, but was eager to learn. Lee helped him get all the fingers in the right holes in the mitt and then strategically placed Logan just a few feet away. Logan, called Lee, Lift your glove just like this, as Lee showed him what to do. Okay dad, I’m ready, replied Logan with great anticipation. With Logan standing just a short distance away, Lee, with great precision, tossed the ball right into the center of Logan’s glove.

The look on Logan’s face told the story when he saw the ball in his glove. I caught it!  I caught it dad! Suddenly Logan took off into the house. Mom! Mom! he yelled searching for his mother. When he found her he said, I am playing catch with dad and I CAUGHT THE BALL! They high-fived each other and Logan ripped back outside to catch another. His dad was waiting and again with great precision, laced another one right into the center of Logan’s glove. Logan beamed and Lee enjoyed the joy of his son experiencing his great new accomplishment.

When Lee told me this story, I couldn’t help but think about all the times the Lord helps us with something in our life as Lee helped his son Logan. The Lord leads us to do something and then helps us accomplish it. It was really all God’s doing but we are quick to run off and tell someone how great our accomplishment was. He helps us because He loves us AND because He does not want us to get so discouraged that we give up and quit. And yet when He puts the ball in the center of our glove, we want to take credit for how great we are. We are funny that way.

Jesus really cut to the chase on this matter when He said in John 15:5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. FOR APART FROM ME, YOU CAN DO NOTHING.”

The Apostle Paul had figured this out along the way. He came to understand that yes God did deposit gifts and talents in each of us, but they are a gift of His grace. If they are a gift of His grace, then why should we try to take credit for what we accomplish? Why don’t we just give credit where credit is due—to the Lord?! The Apostle Paul had a work ethic that was beyond normal. It was a gift of grace from God. But Paul knew where it came from. He said, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) Paul knew his strong work ethic was the grace of God. Therefore, he glorified God, not himself in regards to it.

Like Logan, we receive our Heavenly Father’s help. He will help us do things that make us feel proud. It will feel good and it will make us what to tell someone. But let’s always give God the glory for His love and grace that puts the ball in the center of our glove.

2 Corinthians 1:12 (NLT) “… We have depended on God’s grace, not on our own human wisdom…”

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 you are having trouble viewing this post, click here.

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/