About Tim Burt

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Little Humor: Men, Directions, and the Bagpiper

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A little humor is good for the soul. I hope this brings that to you today!  Bless you, Pastor Tim 

Men, Directions, and the Bagpiper 
(Author Unknown) 

Lay down whatever is bothering you. Breathe in the fresh air and learn from this story:

Time is like a river. You cannot touch the water twice, because the flow that has passed will never pass again. Enjoy every moment of life.

As a bagpiper, I've played many venues. I was recently asked by a funeral director to play at a graveside service for a homeless man. He had no family or friends, so the service was to be at a pauper's cemetery in the Nova Scotia back country.

As I was not familiar with the backwoods, I got lost. And true to my manhood, I didn't stop for directions.

I finally arrived an hour late and saw the funeral director had evidently gone, and the hearse was nowhere in sight. There were only the diggers and crew left, and they were eating lunch. I felt badly and apologized to the men for being late.

I went to the side of the grave and looked down. The vault lid was already in place. I didn't know what else to do, so I started to play.

The workers put down their lunches and began to gather around. I played out my heart and soul for this man with no family and friends. I played like I've never played before for this homeless man.

As I played "Amazing Grace", the workers began to weep. They wept; I wept; we all wept together. When I finished playing, I packed up my bagpipes and started for my car. Though my head was hung low, my heart was full.

As I opened the door to my car, I heard one of the workers say, "I never seen anything like that before, and I've been putting in septic tanks for twenty years!"

Apparently, I'm still lost … it's a man thing.

Proverbs 17:22 "A merry heart does good, like medicine..."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Part Two: Powerful Life-changing Promises and Lessons

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I've said this before but it's worth repeating. Worrying is sin. Really? Yes! It is because it is the practice of unbelief. Unbelief is the devil's tool and delivers the opposite heart and mindset that God wants you to have. Unbelief is the force of knocking God off the throne of your heart. Hebrews 11:6 (NLT) reveals "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him." Faith and trust in the Lord's word and promises are what moves God and the angels who are assigned to minister to you as an heir of salvation.

There was a centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant. Read these verses and you'll see how his faith moved the heart of Jesus and therefore God! Matthew 8:8-10 (NIV) "The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."  When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith."

I grew up as a worrier. My mom was a worrier. I believe she thought it was a compassionate and caring character quality to worry about everyone. It was imparted to me. God’s Word showed me that worrying is sin. Prior to receiving Jesus, worrying was what I did during the night. My brain went on overload and I could not stop thinking. The Holy Spirit taught me that worrying was not of God.

Matthew 6:27 & 34 says, ”Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not….“So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today's trouble is enough for today.” And 1 Peter 5:7 NLT says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about what happens to you.” The Holy Spirit taught me that my mind belonged to me and that I was to learn to take control and be the filter for the thoughts I let run through my mind. I was to learn to exclude and cast out worrying. That seemed like one of the most amazing things I had ever learned. I trained myself to shut my mind down from all the busy nagging thoughts. I did that by either singing worship songs to the Lord or by quoting God's promises out loud. If those thoughts of worry tried to dominate, I'd sing or speak louder. God gives us the authority and directive to do this in 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV "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..." It wasn't long before I was gaining control of my thought-life and thinking on God's love and promises as the basis of faith-filled prayers instead of being overwhelmed with worry! What a glorious change, transformation and victory in my life.

There were occasions when I would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night.  It was different from any time in the past. I would just suddenly awaken and it was like I was wide awake. I learned that this was the Lord. He wanted me to pray. I learned to yield and be used of God in prayer. I would usually pray in tongues and with my understanding. Psalm 16:7 NIV says, “I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me.” These kinds of times were amazing because it was like the Lord would illuminate things I needed to know, pray for, and pay attention to (but not worry about—just pray!) I knew He was helping me catch things that might have slipped between the cracks or that I would have forgotten to taken care of. For that reason, I learned to keep a journal and pen by my bed or called my voicemail to remind myself what the Lord was speaking to me in the night. I'd write it down so I did not forget and then be released back to sweet sleep.

When I started yielding to this, it created another fear—the fear of a lack of sleep and the fear of being exhausted the next day. I knew in my heart the Lord would not wake me up to pray and then leave me exhausted. I’d just pray that He would give me grace and strength for that day and then bless me with sweet sleep the next night. I had the promise of God for that. Psalm 4:8 NIV “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” And, Psalm 28:8 says, “The Lord is their strength, and He is the saving refuge of His anointed.”

All this was a process but truly an exciting adventure! It may have taken me a year to get to this point, but I did. And it changed my life forever! Worrying is not allowed. Take control of my thoughts and make them align with God's word. Remember that sleepless moments are opportunities to pray and intercede for others. Capture nighttime thoughts from God to help me remember things I needed to know or do. And trust in His grace to supernaturally help me through the days of nights of less sleep. Not worrying but trusting God through all of this is where the victory resides! It's life-changing and will bless you!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Part One: Powerful Life-changing Promises and Lessons

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There are things that each of us may have gone through in some point of our life that have left us with the thought, I never want to go through that again. That’s how I felt after growing up as an insomniac. I believe it’s what led to my becoming addicted to alcohol and drugs prior to giving my life to the Lord at the age of 24. I drank to pass out so I could sleep. That obviously only led from one set of issues to another. After I gave my heart to the Lord, not only was I delivered from drugs and alcohol, but I was delivered from insomnia. I began to read my Bible every chance I got and ended every day by reading my Bible. I took that as God’s promise to me. I memorized this, thanked God for it and fell asleep thanking Him for it—every night!

Proverbs 3:24 NIV “When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.” I had read the verse the Lord taught me that I had to pay attention not only to the part that said, “your sleep will be sweet” but also to “you will not be afraid.” There were some occasions where I was afraid—afraid of returning insomnia. God taught me that fear, whose source is Satan, is the same force as faith. Whatever you have feared in the past or future is the fear that he'll try to present to you today. Faith is fueled by belief and trust in God’s promises.

One promise that should put a sword in your hand to dismember fear comes from 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” When I would feel fear over not being able to sleep or the return of insomnia began to surface, I’d rebuke those fears and call them out as the lies that they were! I'd literally speak God's promises out loud to overcome those fears. A calm and peace would come and I would continue to thank God for the promises of His Word.

Over time the Lord revealed that some of the reasons I could occasionally not sleep well were self-inflicted. The Holy Spirit taught me not to drink coffee with caffeine after a certain time of the day. It was keeping me awake at night. God later taught me that eating later in the evening or at night made my digestive system work and that kept me awake. He showed me that sometimes it would be about eating a sweet loaded with sugar and that would wind me up. I had to pay attention to the Holy Spirit. I had to listen to His voice as He helped me think through and discern the part I needed to execute in obedience to God. When I did my part in what I allowed myself to consume in the evening and then refused to allow fearful thoughts to reside in my mind, my sleep stayed sweet (and I lost weight.)

I know when I write some of this, it might appear like these things happened suddenly and easily.  Trust me when I tell you these are lessons learned over time taught by the Holy Spirit while spending time in the Word and prayer. God's promises always prevail in our life when we learn to take hold of them by faith and stand on them. We do so until they are completely manifest in our life. And then we thank Him again and again forever and ever! More tomorrow on this subject.

2 Samuel 22:31 (NLT) “God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, September 18, 2017

Help Turn the Trend of an Angry World

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


This devotion is slightly longer than normal. But it's worth it! Be patient and let it help you! Thanks, Pastor Tim

I drove my car through a car wash the other day, and upon finishing, drove into one of the stalls that have vacuums so you can vacuum your car.  This car wash was very busy with cars and people everywhere. As I got out of my car, I opened my trunk to get some towels to dry off my car. As I looked up, I noticed there was a woman nearby staring at me. That happens frequently to me because so many people know me from our large church. I smiled back and said Hi when she immediately started swearing and me with such anger that I was shocked. She then called me a white supremacist and kept the slurs coming. I tried for a minute to question her as to why she was angry so I could apologize if I did something. I thought she might be mistaking me for someone else. But, I could not get in a word as she did not let up. I kept my mouth shut, and went about my business vacuuming out my car while those around listened to her continue. Why was she mad? I guess I'll never know.

It's been said frequently these days, that it's an angry world out there. People become infected by societies influence and because of that, we have some seriously angry people walking around. I believe part of the problem is that people are getting the impression it's okay to be angry and let it fly! The thought of mutual respect, restraint, civil discourse, and showing kindness is being traded for appalling and rude and hurtful behavior. Do you ever get angry feelings that stir and quickly grow and eventually come out like a volcano?

There were times as a young adult when I had a short fuse. I would occasionally erupt like a volcano. The combination of not knowing Christ, and my youth and immaturity contributed to this kind of rude behavior. I am ashamed of those days. I have not let that happen in my life in a great many years.

Anger is a valid emotion but one that has a boundary and whose line can too easily be crossed. We are instructed in Ephesians 4:26-27 NIV, “In your anger do not sin…” These verses are instructional and insightful saying "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold..." God clearly teaches us that anger in itself is not sin, but that it can be carried to the point of sin, and when that happens, it gives "...the devil a foothold." Those words literally means giving the devil occupancya place to dwell.

For some people, their anger not only crosses the line of inappropriateness resulting in sin, but they practically invite the devil to sit down at their table and sign a long-term lease to live with them. How does that happen?

Anger unrestrained will lead to all kinds of hurtful outbursts that will cause pain and regret. People that sin in their anger seldom stay on the issue they are angry over. They often draw past offenses and hurts to the scene. Their angry words causes anger to swell. That can become the early stage of rage which always leads to irrational thinking. Eruption is now brewing below the surface. Unbridled anger or rage leads to irrational thoughts that then lead to thoughts of every kind of evil. James 3:16 KJV, says it like this, “For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

As words begin to erupt from this anger, they begin to flow like lava and the devil now has a foothold. The words will be destructive and do damage to anyone in its path. In many cases, those words do long-term damage that is difficult for people to recover from. They lead to great and deeply rooted bitterness.

God’s wisdom tells us the danger in letting our anger ever cross the boundaries of inappropriateness.

Proverbs 27:4 NIV says, “Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming…”

Proverbs 14:17 NIV says, “A quick-tempered man does foolish things….”

Proverbs 21:19 KJV “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.”

Proverbs 29:22 NIV “An angry man stirs up dissension (strife), and a hot-tempered one commits many sins.”

Proverbs 22:24 NIV reveals that anger can affect others, even becoming like an infectious disease. It says, “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, and do not associate with one easily angered.”

Proverbs 25:23 says, “As the north wind brings rain: so does an angry countenance bring a backbiting tongue.” The word angry here literally means foam at the mouth and is referring to the evil look of unbridled anger. The term “backbiting tongue” refers to the abundance of evil words spoken that absolutely cover their target with a blanket of ill spoken and hurtful words.

If you are a person who frequently gets angry, you—not those around you are the problem. You are selfish and have made everything in life about yourself and those violating you. Your demand for perfection is born out of a need to personally control  all of life around you. It is sinful and wrong. You need to switch your focus from the imperfections of others, to getting your own attitude right. People are not perfect and you have a view of yourself that is far too high. You are too forgiving of your own faults and too critical of others. You need to take on God’s temperament.

Psalms 103:8 reveals, “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.” God isn’t expecting people to meet His perfection. He had Jesus come and do that. Jesus was the only one who could. God is driven by love, to help people make progress with great patience. He sees the best in us, not the worst. He dwells on what we can become, and not simply what we are at the moment. He dwells on building us up and not tearing us down. 

If anger is a problem for you, here are some steps of wisdom that can help break that in you.

When angry—stick with the issue you are dealing with. Keep grievances from the past out!  And by all means, get all the facts and perspectives before coming to any kind of conclusion that would lead to anger. This will save you from being embarrassed over and over again. Ask yourself how big of an issue is this in the scope of the big picture of life? Is the fact that Billy left his room a mess today (even if you’ve told him a hundred times before) going to be the first step to the end of the world or to his personal demise? Think solution, not problem. Just keep patiently working with him and think of motivators to help him. Ask yourself if you have ever violated what you are angry about or something similar? Would you have liked it if your dad or boss screamed at you? Wouldn't you have liked them to help you work through needed change? Can you be merciful and help instruct them in a calm way how to make changes? Can you be patient while they make those changes? Is there anything you’ve apologized to the Lord for violating umpteen times? Would you rather be known for being merciful, kind, and helpful, or angry, tough, and ruthless? Which more represents God?

To keep anger from turning to rage, limit yourself to how much you think about or mull it over. Speak few words about it as words fuel anger like gas on a fire. Pray to ask God to help you forgive and seek forgiveness for your own personal faults at the time of your anger toward someone else. Finally, and most important, pray for that person from a spirit of love and faith with the sincere desire to help them. When your prayers are sincere, it's like pouring water on a campfire.

Break this into a plan and you will have a plan to reduce rage to anger, and anger to appropriate anger. Let's turn the trend of our angry world starting with ourself.

Ephesians 4:26-27, “In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"On Being Found" A Beautiful Story

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


My daughter Stephanie, her husband Daniel, and their childrenmy grandchildren Madeline and Macy are Pastors and missionaries in the country of Peru. Today's story, "On Being Found" is a beautifully touching story written by them. I am confident that this true story will touch your heart and bless you greatly!

"On Being Found" By Daniel Gutierrez


In life we experience surreal moments. Sometimes they’re our own surreal moments, like holding your newborn in your arms for the first time and realizing, “This is my child,” or standing at the altar, hearing, as if in a fog, the pronouncement that you and your love are now man and wife.
They are surreal, because we recognize that in these moments, something profound is happening – something that will forever change life from the way it was to the way it now will be.
And one of the greatest joys in life is getting to witness those moments in the lives of those we love. To catch a glimpse into these magical moments in life is so sweet.
Jesus & abuelita 2Two weeks ago, we had the privilege of witnessing one of these moments.
Several months ago, a darling little one-year-old boy was abandoned at the hospital by his mother. The little boy had Down’s Syndrome and other physical disabilities, and perhaps the mother felt overwhelmed by what it would take to care for him. Whatever it was, he was left. Alone.
The children’s home where we serve at, Padre Martinho’s Casa Hogar, received a call asking if they would be able to take him in for “just a week or so.” When he heard what had happened, the director, Brother Juan, immediately said yes, even though he knew it would certainly be more than a week and possibly permanent.
Jesús, a few weeks after arriving at the orphanage

Jesús, a few weeks after arriving at the orphanage
We met “Jesús” (they gave him a name since he didn’t have one) shortly after when we went to volunteer with our church family. The entire team fell in love with Jesús; his mischievous, twinkly eyes and quick smile made him an instant favorite. Under the care of the staff, he grew healthy and strong. As the youngest child at the orphanage, he was everyone’s baby.
One day we went to visit “our kids” and as usual, our daughters Madeline and Macy came with us, and the first child they ran to look for was Jesús. We were told that he was at the clinic for a doctor’s visit and would be back soon.
A few minutes later, a middle-aged woman and a teenager knocked on the door. When Brother Juan let them in, Danny and I had just happened to walk into the room at the same time, so we got to hear their story.
They held up a picture of Jesús and asked if we had seen him. In tears, the woman told us how her granddaughter in Iquitos (the teenager with her) had received a call asking if she knew where the abandoned child’s family could be found. The granddaughter then reached out to her grandmother, who had been worried sick for the last few months because her daughter and grand baby had disappeared. Together, the grandmother and granddaughter had come to the children’s home when they had heard there was a chance the lost child had been found.
And just as they finished telling us their story, the doorbell rang. The nurse had just arrived home with Jesús. Everyone in the room looked at each other, took a deep breath, and then walked to the door.
Danny and I hung back as we allowed the grandmother and granddaughter to be the first to the door, our eyes fixed on the woman’s face as she choked back sobs at the sight of her lost grandchild. I pulled out my camera and was able to capture this moment of lost turned to found, anxiety turned to relief, sorrow turned to joy.
Our sweet Jesús had found his home.
Grandmother and grandchild, reunited

Grandmother and grandchild, reunited
That day, we witnessed an unforgettable moment of unfiltered love and thankfulness. We were reminded that nothing on earth is sweeter than being found by the one who loves you.
We were lost. Now we are found. And the heavens rejoice.
If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you are not sure if you'd go to Heaven if you died today, the Bible says you are one of those who is lost. The good news is that Jesus will help you be found and Heaven can be your home. Please read this and it will help this happen for you!
Read: "The Road to God's Forgiveness and Salvation, and the Gift of Heaven."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Have You Set Your Faith Like Flint?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Do you know the old expression Is your cup half empty or half full? Well tell me this—how do you view this in relation to your life? Are you waiting for your ship to pull in before you become excited about what God has done in your life or have you noticed and are you thankful for what God has blessed you with now?

In the 2nd chapter of Malachi, we read about those who could only see from the half empty perspective. They were God’s people but their heart, their attitude, and their personal lives before God did not reflect it. Consequently, how they viewed and understood God and the way He treated them was contemplated from a distorted perspective. When you aren’t living right before God and yet you still expect His blessings, your perspective is off somewhere. If you read the book of Malachi, you would see that God’s people were doing their own thing, yet wanting God to bless them outside of obedience to His Word. Thus they developed a lousy and skewed perspective and attitude. They whined that God blessed evil doers while not blessing them. Malachi 2:17 NIV says, “You have wearied the LORD with your words.” How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”

In modern-day language, it might sound like this. "God always seems to bless them but we never get blessed.” “This blessing stuff doesn’t work. My brother Frank has enough money for the entire family and yet he lives like the devil.” “I don’t get it. I give God some money once in a while and my car breaks down and I don’t have enough for the bills. That’s it! I’ve had it. If this is how God is going to deal with me, I’m going to keep my money and live like the devil, maybe I’ll come out ahead.”

If you notice at the start of this verse, it says, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.” We know that the Bible teaches, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If someone was speaking words that wearied God, then we know that this was what was in their heart and thus, their perspective.

In Isaiah 50:7 we see the half full perspective. “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” This is the person who truly knows the Lord and is confident from the promises of God ,that the Lord is their helper, and consequently sets their face like flint. They know that God is there for them and that settles it. They are not going to be moved no matter what the negative circumstances seem to say. This is a heart attitude that emulates faith—faith that pleases God. This person's heart is a beautiful and inviting atmosphere for God to move mightily in. In the book of Matthew, we read about the woman with the issue of blood who had been sick for 12 years. She had finally set her face like flint toward God. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” This pleased the Lord because her words rightly reflected the heart and will of God. Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. Matthew 9:21-22 NIV

When Christians aren’t mindful of God's love and promises to them, then when trouble comes, their faith is at risk. They most often don't feel like God is helping them. They soon become weary and disappointed and feel like their faith is dying. They begin to feel distant and pull back from God. They stop meditating on His Word and quit praying. Next they stop going to church and then eventually pull back from Christian friends. And finally they get careless about what they think and do that they know is outside of God's will and become loose with sinful behavior. It's just a short time later that whining and complaining begins to spill out their mouth. Their perception of God’s goodness has deteriorated and becomes distorted. Satan lurks just around the corner ready to convince them that having faith in God is bogus and a complete waste of time.

Intimate relationship is about great communication and God wants us to spend time in His word meditating on the depth of His love and promises He makes to His children. When we keep them before us and praise God for His intimate love toward us, then the our eyes of our heart are opened and we see more of what He is doing in our life.  We notice His touch and help! We notice the small miracles that others call coincidence. It strengthens our faith.

Our faith is to become steadfast like flint toward God’s promises as we see it spoken of in Isaiah 50:7. “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” Flint is a variety of quartz, that due to its extreme hardness, is easily shaped by flaking. Known and used since very ancient times, flint was used by the Israelites for knives, ax heads, arrow heads, spear heads and starting fires. God wants us to be immovable by circumstances, instead standing hard core like flint in His promises. He wants them to be the tool we use to shut the mouth of the devil. He wants our words to be: Father, I thank you that this is your promise for me and I’ll not be moved until I see it manifest in my life. I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. When we draw close to Him with that kind of tenacity, God will help us see the cup half-full while He is filling it the rest of the way. Our face will be set like flint and our faith ignited.

Be blessed as you praise God for the abundance of goodness that He has touched your life with today! Speak your thanks out loud to Him. and watch your heart grow closer and your faith grow stronger. And finally, watch it change you and your circumstances.

Psalm 28:7 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? 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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

God's Path and Destiny for You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One of the great controversial questions in the body of Christ is this: Does God make us walk out the plan that He wants for our lives or do we get to choose our own destiny? The answer is, we get to choose our own destiny. The love of God gives us the freedom to love and obey Him or reject and disobey Him even though that is contrary to His will for our life. We aren’t robots. We were created in His image and God created us with a built-in inward desire to know Him.  That is what causes every human being to desire to seek, discover, and learn about their Creator. When a person seeks God with the sincere desire and open heart to know God, then God will lead them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and all that Jesus did for us, beginning with giving us forgiveness for our sin and the promise of eternal life.

As a Christian, it is critical for you to know and understand that God, from before the foundation of the world, has had a destiny that He wants you to walk in. It is a path that He will try to lead you to  in, but it is not a destiny that He will make you live. That will be up to you. Before the foundation of the world, He knew every choice you would make. Whether you would obey Him or disobey Him. He used the choices of every human being that would ever live, to lay out His divine plan. Only God could do that and it's beyond our human comprehension though it is true. He also knew He would send His only Son Jesus to be the anchor of His plan, and Savior and redeemer of our life. And again, the Lord knew and decided all this before He created this world we live in.  Look closely and you'll see what His desire and will has been for you and I from the beginning.

Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT) "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."

Now, this is what He wanted for us and what He will lead anyone to, who sincerely looks for the truth. God will work to draw a person to the knowledge of Jesus Christ with the intent and desire for that person to receive Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior. But, God draws that person out of love, not threat, fear, or intimidation. Contrary to false religions, He doesn't make anyone do anything.

One of the places in scripture where we can clearly see this is in the book of Exodus. You'll read the story about God desiring to raise up Moses as the sole leader of the children of Israel. Moses is suffering from self-doubt over the issue. The Lord tries to assure Moses that He can do it and the Lord will help him as we read and see in Exodus 3:10-11 NIV.  “So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt." But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" God ultimately gives Moses the freedom to turn Him down although it wasn’t God’s perfect will for Moses. He wanted Moses as the sole leader! Moses tried to convince God He that he was inadequately articulate for this role. God yielded to Moses excuses and let him have his way. We see this in Exodus 4:14 NIV. “Then the Lord's anger burned against Moses and He said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you.”

God finally accepted Moses’ choice (excuses) and went to plan B. He brought in Aaron. In this verse you can see that God says that Aaron is already on his way to become involved in this plan. God already had Aaron coming BEFORE Moses had given God his choice. How could that happen? God already knew the choice Moses would make, but He still gave Moses the opportunity to make the tight choice to obey or not obey Him.

God gives the opportunity to all of us to make right choices multiple times every day. Some times they aren't hard but other times they are very difficult and come with sacrifice and great effort. When temptation lurks to talk you out of right choices for your life, pause and ask God for the grace and strength to make the right choice. It's important to make right choices. Even when your choice is as small as forgiving someone for an offense, they are important to our destiny. I believe our spirit man almost always knows the right choice to make. It's just that sometimes the choice can feel torturous on our flesh, pride, or ego.

To get on and stay on the right path of your destiny means that you will have to pause and involve God consistently in your life. It means you will have to learn to be strong by His grace and make those right choices again and again. When we do this, true Christian character is built in us and our lives stay on the right track. We will ultimately glorify the Lord and keep the door open to His blessing overtaking every area of our life. Some blessings from God are as obvious as a birthday present on your lap. But many of them are more clearly seen in hindsight! So trust God and don't doubt yourself as you strive to follow His will. He has a joyful and rich destiny for you! Be blessed walking out the right choices that feel so good after you make them!

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)  "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, September 11, 2017

Here is Who God Made You To Be

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Who are you? Do you remember back in your teenage years when you became interested in pursing the opposite sex and met that person you thought might be your true love? As you became acquainted, the process of mutual discovery began. When it happened to me, I remember that I wanted to get to know who this girl was as a person and likewise she wanted to know who I was. When I think back to my answers of who I said I was, I’m sure there was some truth mixed with the hopes of who I wanted to be, and probably who I thought she’d like me to be.

We all know that trying to be who you aren’t doesn’t work over the long haul. We’ve all been guilty of trying to be someone other than who we are, to please someone else. We know we're maturing when we learn to get comfortable in our own skin and appreciate who God has created us to be.

One thing the Holy Spirit helped me realize was that if I wanted to discover who I was, I first had to how God expected me to live. I had to learn His guidelines and boundaries that would promote blessing, and protect me from the temptations and destructive places the enemy of my soul had tried to lure me into before I gave my life to Christ. That phase was like coming out of the dark. Living for Jesus became the focus of my life, and when that happened, it was like the lights were turned on. For the first time I could see life through God's eyes and perspective. That was the real beginning of learning who God made me to be. I began to learn God's ways and started to see what God wanted for me—to live a life of influence. Your profession or calling doesn't matter if it all becomes about developing the ability to learn and influence others with the knowledge and love of God. That was my real and ultimate purpose. When that became settled in me, my drive to excel, love others, and impact my life shaped who God made me to be. And for the first time, I began to become settled with who I really was and loved it. What a life transforming path that was! I no longer allowed people to lead me down a wrong path. I was leading others to God's path! And that made me love my life!

Who does God say we are? I hope and pray that to some degree, revelation of who we are in Christ comes forth every time a write a Fresh Manna devotional. But today, let me start out answering the question, Who am I? by focusing on Hosea 14:1-2. (NKJV) “O Israel, return to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity; Take words with you, And return to the LORD. Say to Him, "Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously, For we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.”

This verse starts off with Hosea the prophet speaking God’s words directly to them. These are God’s words to His people. He addresses them, “O Israel…”  Israel means the power and strength to rule as God. This is how God addressed them. This is what He named these people – “O Israel” meaning You the people who I established a covenant with. Who I gave power and strength to influence this world in God's ways! Think about that! That is what God named these people! Why? Because they were to become His influencers—His leaders and influencers of all He wanted mankind to know about Himself in the earth. They were to be His light to all people. The ones to show them God’s love, His ways, and God’s power in the earth.

Just like anyone might, they had trouble believing that. They answered the Who are you? question from the perspective of who they saw when they looked in the mirror instead of who God said He created and covenanted with them to be. They saw themselves as ordinary sinners who weren’t capable of much more than becoming like every other people group they were surrounded by. They were caught up in the culture and peer pressure of the day. Instead of becoming God's influencers, they became the influenced backsliders who were entangled in sin, idolatry, and living far outside of God’s will for them. Instead of representing God with lives of power and influence, they lived a mediocre life filled with sin and complacency. They were despised and became a joke to the world.

What did God say to them regarding all this? “O Israel, return to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity…” God was crying out for them to come back to be who He created them to be. He then said, “Take words with you, And return to the LORD…”Take words” means Take my counsel. He told them, “Return to Me.” He then told them how. He said, “Say to Him (Say to God,) "Take away all iniquity; Receive us graciously.” God is the one who at this point said, “Ask me to take away your sins and receive me by my grace.” Grace is the undeserved blessing of God, given from His heart of love and mercy as a free gift. He wanted to grace them with forgiveness.

He then told them one more powerful thing to do. He told them to say, “For we will offer the sacrifice of our lips.” That meant they would begin to praise Him for everything He was, for everything He had done in the past for His people, and for all He yet promised to do. Why was this important? Because this praise would help stir in their hearts to want to know more about who they were to become and their purpose in life.

“Who am I?” is further answered in Psalms 95:7 NIV which says, “For He is our God; and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today if you will hear His voice.”

If Jesus has become your Lord, then like Israel, you are His people. You aren’t just another guy or gal on the block or in the workplace. You are someone who God established a covenant with through Jesus Christ.  You are someone whom through His Holy Spirit, gives you power within to say "Yes" to what is good and right and "No" to what isn't. You are someone He gave power and strength to, to become an influencer and world changer. That is who we are in Christ. Is that hard to believe? Most things God reveals to us about who we are in Him, are difficult to believe. But, it’s the only way you will get to know who you really are! And the rest of your story is summed up in these next verses!


Acts 26:16-18 (NIV) "Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen of me and what I will show you. I will rescue you from your own people.... I am sending you to them to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Jesus, Your Peace, and End Times

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


There is a day when Jesus will come back to the earth. Prophecies’ from the Old Testament, the testimony of Jesus' Apostles and disciples and other scriptures from the New Testament reveal and give insight about the condition of this world in the last days.  In Luke 21:25 (NIV), Jesus says, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea."  In Matthew chapter 24, Jesus talked about worldwide famines, epidemics, wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and signs in the heavens. We are told that the gospel will be proclaimed to the entire world and that persecution of believers for the gospel’s sake will beyond what has ever been seen.

Jesus-coming-soonThese signs given to us by Jesus and scriptures are not new to the earth and history. Jesus did indicate that there would be a noticeable increase of these signs in the last days. The gospel preached through technology has penetrated what was once called the Iron Curtain and can no longer be prevented being heard anywhere. Technology has also created the platform for lust to reach unimaginable levels and into every home and personal internet connection except for the most primitive places left in the earth.

Jesus said, that when we saw these signs manifest in the earth, to “look up.” and lift your head because your redemption—Jesus' soon return, is near.  The Bible talks about it. It will be His time to come put a final close to all of the sin, destruction, death and havoc that Satan has sown in his effort to undermine God and His plan in the earth. Romans 13:11-14 (NIV) say, “…understand the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in drunkenness, not in sexual immorality or indulgence in sensual pleasures, not in arguing and strife and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.”

For many, to even talk about this sort of thing feels uncomfortable. That's not my desire in addressing this subject. My desire is to say that when you know the Lord Jesus as your personal savior and you have the Holy Spirit within you, you can know about and live through these last days without fear of what they will bring. You can stay focused on what God has given you to do. You can raise your family with great purpose and focus to know God's love and ways.

hqdefaultFor the Christian, Jesus' return is not a scary thing, it’s an exciting thing! It’s a day and time that we have read about, learned about, and will finally see happen. For the one that walks with God and knows God's promises, he can walk in the "peace that passes understanding" and not be confused by all the darkness that is happening throughout the earth. You can be a daily light, a source of comfort, and an answer to those that are searching for answers. It will make your life full.

My four children are all adults and making their own life now. If I was young again and just getting married and knew the Lord like I do, I would not hesitate to have children in this day and age—even with all the darkness around us. Why? Because we also live in a day where there is more knowledge of the Lord and more opportunities to worship Him than ever before. There are many good strong churches that teach God's Word and teach us how to live our life before the Lord. There are more children's Bible books, videos, Ipad and tablets,  apps, and computer presentations to help our children know the Lord than ever before.

Quotation-Anonymous-bible-Meetville-Quotes-30623Prayer won't stop the hard things that are to come upon this earth in the last days. However, prayer and faith in God will teach you how to live godly and according to His ways  and help you navigate the minefields of sin out there. Faith in God's promises will protect and direct you in times of famine and hardship as we keep our life focused on what truly matters in this earth—reaching this lost world with the news of the saving grace and love of Jesus Christ in every way possible. That is God's primary purpose for our life to center around.

In closing, God leaves you with great promises because of your reverential respect and trust in the Lord. Let these words be words to fuel your faith today and everyday no matter what you see happen in the world around you! Don't let fear come about you. When the world gets dark, the world needs a light—someone who is hopeful, at peace, and one who shows others the love of Jesus and God's ways! Stay focused, be used of God, and be this person God reveals to us in Psalm 112.

Psalm 112: 1-9. Praise the LORD. Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. His children will be mighty in the land; the generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Even in darkness light dawns for the upright, for the gracious and compassionate and righteous man. Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice. Surely he will never be shaken; a righteous man will be remembered forever. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, September 08, 2017

No Magic! Grace Solutions From God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


We’ve all seen a magic trick at some time in our life. A magician takes a coin in his hand, squeezes and blows on it, opens his hand and the coin is gone. He opens his other hand and there it is. That is called magic—the art of illusion. Nothing really happened but sleight of hand fooling the eyes.

God does not do magic. We don’t hand Him our problems where He takes them in His hand, squeezes and blows on them, so that they appear to be suddenly gone. That would be an illusion. God is about miracles and leading us to grace solutions.

You know what a miracle is. It's not the illusion of being fixed and made whole. It is the miracle of God's power supernaturally changing something and it being made whole, healed, and complete—nothing missing, nothing broken. 

By grace solutions, I mean that God, who is in you and with you, leads you by His Spirit, to think, say, and do thing right things that bring solution to the problems we cannot solve ourself.

The majority of problems we experienced, we’ve helped create. Marriage problems for example, don’t just happen. We say and do things God tells us we shouldn’t say and do and we don’t say and do things God tells us we should. By disobeying God we create problems.

When we get in our crisis times, we often pray out of desperation when what we are usually looking for is “the magician”—not God. We want God to wave His wand and make the problems go away. God is interested in transforming us. He is interested in transforming how we think, how we speak, and how we behave. He is interested in transforming our attitudes, motives, and purging selfishness–helping us to instead become selfless like Jesus.

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 know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”

This transformation will take time because you will have to make the personal decision to hear and obey God’s voice speaking to you through the scriptures. Even when you sense Him talking to you through His Word, you still have to make the decision to obey and make changes He leads you to make. He won’t make you, so if you like the misery you create, He'll let you continue in it. But, He wants His best for you, and you making the effort to follow His lead again and again is what will transform you. Nothing else will! So how fast you change depends on how much you want to listen and respond in obedience to the voice of God. There is seldom an instant fix. It will most often be a process. Jesus has already died and forgiven you if you've given your life to Him. But, you won't forgive yourself until you make the necessary changes. You'll bask in your own condemnation and resentment. Listening and obeying repeatedly over time is what will cause your character transformation and the Christ-like character that always leads to solutions and blessing!

Hardship and the desire to get out of our problems has a way of helping us remember what we don’t want to repeat again. If God just did the magic and took away the pain from the problems you created, you would not be transformed into Christ’s image and you’d repeat those stupid mistakes and sins over and over again. He is interested in your transformation. While this is happening He’ll always be by your side to speak to you and lead you, encourage you, and strengthen you if you will listen. He’ll listen to every prayer, and help you in every step. And as you change, His grace and supernatural help will help you work through your problems. And you will on occasion experience miracles that are His love and compassion bringing the immediate help you need.

Psalms 91:14-15 (NIV) "Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him."

If you are looking for magician, there are plenty around. There are also plenty of cheer-leading scam artists making God-like promises. But there is only one God and one Savior—Jesus Christ. He is your help. He has your solutions. And He brings both while transforming you into His image and teaching you to walk in His wisdom.

Psalms 120:1 (NLT) "I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? 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© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/