About Tim Burt

Friday, June 29, 2018

Yes, God Hears Your Prayer!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I am reposting this today by request. I hope it will be a blessing to you! Thanks and God bless you. Pastor Tim 

My daughter and her family live in Peru as missionaries. They come up to visit us for a month each summer and it's such precious time with them. Having my two granddaughters for that time is an absolute slice of Heaven.

One early evening my granddaughter Macy and I went out for a walk. She was seven years old at the time. She was talking about something she really wanted and I asked her if she had prayed about it yet. She hadn't so I said, Come on Macy, let’s pray about that right now. She looked up at me with almost a sad look and said, Papa, I don’t think God always hears my prayers.

I asked her why she’d say that and she said, I've asked Him for some things lately and it doesn't seem like He cares. I put my arms around her and said, Come here Macy. I want to give you a big hug. With my arms around her I said, Now let me tell you something. I love you more than I can find words to describe. When I hug you, it's like eating a meal but still feeling hungry. I can can never get enough. That's how I feel when I hug you. Do you know why I feel that way? I feel that way because I love you so much.  She said, I love you too, Papa. I paused and then replied, Okay, but here is the deal, as much as I love you, my love could never compare to how much God loves you. He loves you even more. Sometimes I get busy with stuff, but God never gets busy with stuff. He's God, He can think about and love each one of us at all times no matter how many of us there are. That’s what makes Him God and why His love is so great! I continued, And you know what? He always hears your prayers. Always! She looked up at me and said, Papa, then why doesn't He answer everything I ask? He does Macy, I told her. It’s just that you think He is going to answer your prayers in a particular way and He does it better. That means it’s not always going to happen when and how you expect it. So, you better keep your faith and trust turned on and your eyes open because you will see your answer come if you keep expecting. It will simply be better than what you even asked for no matter when it comes! 

The primary way God brings blessing to us, including answers to prayer, is through people. His people are called the church. Anytime you have people involved, God works to influence their heart, leading them to respond to His direction. When they do, prayers are answered quickly. When they don’t, God looks for other people or other ways to answer your prayer. God will work through angels or independently of people if He has to, but if you read His word you'll see time and time again, that He desires to use people. And, He likes to do things in a way that is far beyond what we could ask or think. Look at the following verses and see these three things: First: God uses people—His church. He does this so that they can be an extension of Him and so that He will be gloried and draw more people to Himself. Secondly: See that the Lord works in a way that is beyond what we ask or think. And third:  see that He responds to people exercising obedience to His leading by faith.

Ephesians 3:20-21 (NLT) "Now glory be to God! By His mighty power at work within us, He is able to accomplish infinitely more than we would ever dare to ask or hope. GLORY TO HIM IN THE CHURCH and in Christ Jesus forever and ever through endless ages. Amen."

Matthew 9:1-8 (NIV) "Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. SOME MEN brought to Jesus a paralytic, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven…” “…then He said to the paralytic, "Get up, take your mat and go home." And the man got up and went home. When the crowd saw this, they were filled with awe; and they praised God, who had given such authority to men.”

Does God care and is He paying attention? If this is a question for you, go get away into a quiet place, and approach the Lord and let Him put His arms around you and tell you how much He loves you. Those words will come from His Word but you can have this kind of moment and He does and will answer your prayers. You just need to quit putting Him in a box and let Him be God and answer you in ways that are beyond what you could ask or think and in His timing! Never let go of your faith!

1 John 5:14-15 (NIV) 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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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The Feeling of Being Lost or Astray From God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I bumped into an old friend I hadn't seen for some time. Neither of us were in a hurry so we sat and chatted for a bit to catch up. As the conversation moved over to talking about the Lord, he said, Man I feel lost and confused right now! He asked me if I had ever felt that way? I told him yes! We have all felt astray at times!

When I first gave my life to the Lord, I moved in and out of that feeling. I felt so inadequate and unworthy of God's love. I was taught growing up that I had to earn God's love through good behavior and attitude. I figured I was a lost cause because in my own mind, I never measured up to that. It actually led me to walking away from anything to do with God for a few years. When I finally gave me life to Jesus and became a Christian, I learned that it wasn't about earning His love, but even so, I still felt like a disappointment to Him at times. I was still dealing with thoughts and behaviors that I knew in my heart, weren't pleasing to Him. I wasn't sure how to get to this place I heard preached—the perfect will of God for my life. I only knew that I wasn't where I needed to be. I was saved but still felt somewhat astray from God.

Every human being has gone astray. Isaiah 53:6 NIV says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way..." Every person, regardless of whether they will admit it, has gone astray. And they have experienced the feeling of being astray from God at some point in their life. The first step to removing yourself from that feeling is accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Not everyone knows that they need Jesus but they do know they've gone through times of feeling lost or astray. It's a feeling that no one likes. That's why people try to rid themselves of it. We've heard the expression of people trying to fill the void in their life. That void is from not knowing their Maker intimately, and not understanding the purpose of their life. That and wandering from God is what causes us to have deep inner feelings of being astray.

People work hard to rid themselves of that feeling. They go through seasons of experimentation to remove that feeling. Some try to cover it with alcohol and others with drugs or both. Some try to reinvent themself with a change of personal identity—piercings or unusual hair cuts, or tattoos or hair colors. Some with styles of clothing that relate to the lifestyle of a niche of people they relate to and want to become like. Some through music. Others through career change or the pursuit of advancement. Some try by changing their surroundings. Others jump into sexual relationships with little or no commitment. Some people try to fill their void through constant shopping while others over-eat. Some fill their life with healthy habits of fitness to find other ways to feel good about themselves. All of these things can mask the feeling of being astray for a season, but the feeling will always come back. This feeling can only be dealt with by aligning your life and purpose with the path of life that God has destined for you. Then the feeling goes away.

I said that I still had that feeling of being astray after I had received Jesus as my personal Savior and it's true. I did! I knew I was finally getting on the right track but also knew the Holy Spirit was leading me to make serious and necessary changes in my life that I still sometimes resisted for fear of failure or fear of the unknown. I didn't know where God was leading me and didn't know Him intimately enough at that point to realize I could completely abandon myself to His trust.

In the years to come, I learned to trust the Lord and His Word. Because I did, I yielded more and more to the direction I felt He was leading me. And that is when I experienced real personal transformation! I came to understand that trusting God is the enabling power of the Holy Spirit within us. Trust is what makes following the instruction of God's Word becomes easy. It's like when Abraham had to leave his home and follow God's leading to a new home and purpose. Because Abraham trusted God and followed after Him, his life became aligned with what God wanted to do through Him. God established a covenant with Abraham that promised mind-boggling blessings through faith to he and his heirs for all generations. Those promises to Abraham still reach into our lives today. They are our inheritance through faith. We see this in Galatians 3:29 (NLT) that says, "And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you." 

Life is full of distractions that seem to continuously try to pull us away from God. God compares us to sheep and reminds us that sheep have a tendency to wander and go astray. Because I understanding that, I purpose to stay close to God. I don't question His love. My feelings have nothing to do with His love. He loves me—end of story! I make my feelings align with that unchangeable truth! I know that staying close to Him creates joy and excitement in my life that is unparalleled to anything this world has to offer. If I begin to wander from Him, it doesn't take long for those feelings of being astray  to surface. If I do wander, what do I do? I simply cry out to God, Help me Father, I feel like I am astray from you and where you want me to be. I've been drifting toward my will instead of yours. Please forgive me and help me draw back to you! 

I know by faith that He desires to, and will help lead me back into His perfect will. I cooperate by spending more time in His word and in prayer, praising and thanking Him. I spend more time with other Christians. I make sure I am at church and serving those in my church and around me in my life. I know all these things help me draw closer to the Lord and get me back on track with Him! And it feels so good! And that is what I shared with my friend! And I could see the smile grow in his heart and on his face. He was having an encounter with God through me. God always finds a way to talk to us when our heart is seeking Him! We didn't just bump into each other. God arranged it!

Be blessed in knowing this simple but profound truth! If you get off track somewhere, you can be absolutely confident He will lead you back on track if you will cry out to Him from a sincere heart and then yield to Him.

Psalms 119:35 (NLT) "Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback






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Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

It's Critical to Protect the Relationships God Has Given You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Relational blow-ups happen in life. They are never fun. To the contrary, they are painful! Especially when they happen with a good friend and someone you truly love. But, when people are fickle, and too many are when it comes to relationships, they often toss away once-valued relationships like garbage or used Kleenex.

2 Timothy 1:13 -14 NIV says, “What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”  

In this verse, we see the Apostle Paul instructing the disciples around him to look at his pattern of sound teaching. He wanted them to value and guard this new way of life in Christ, walking in obedience to God's Word. Paul was a living example of how to think and be like Jesus. He knew that his influence was impacting their lives. He knew it was important for them to learn the word of God, but he also knew they needed to see someone live it out practically in real life. And so he always did his best to model the Christian life for them. He was also warning them that others were out to ruin his reputation and he wanted his disciples to remember the kind of man he was! There were many who hated Paul out of jealousy, believing he was a heretic. They were continuously trying to destroy his reputation and character through lies and rumors. He wanted the disciples to remember who he was and what he represented. When the lies and rumors hit them, he wanted them to guard their hearts and remember the truth about his pattern of sound teaching. Paul knew what we should all learn. That people who are leaders for God are hated by the enemy and become his targets. Because they are, Satan works to sow suspicion, lies, gossip and more—all with the hope of tearing down their reputations like he did with Jesus.

You wouldn't think Paul would have to worry about that but think for a minute; Jesus was one day teaching, preaching, casting out demons and healing everyone around Him. They believed Him to be a prophet of God if not the Messiah Himself. Yet after the persecution started, they turned their back on Jesus and forgot about what they had heard and seen and instead believed the rumors and lies. The Apostle Paul knew that this was a common fickleness of man’s behavior.

I have found that focusing on the good patterns in people has truly helped me value them at times when the devil would try to get me upset with someone and devalue them. At some point in life, the devil is out to destroy everyone's reputation and character. Usually some kind of problem or misunderstanding happens. Then negative words or rumors start flying. Then the devil works to get us to pay attention and believe those negative comments or rumors more than years of a pattern of good things.  People that get sucked in by the lies about good godly people end up throwing away good relationships and friendships that have been a blessing to them like they were used Kleenex. I've seen people pick up other's offenses against their Pastor and ending up abandoning him just because another person was offended at something. It is so sad! Value good people who have shown you long time love and care. Don't be part of an attack against someone else's reputation.  Stand up for them. If you've seen their good pattern of life, don't easily forget it! And that includes your own good friends when they manage to do something to upset you! Stop talking about it. Pray about it. Focus on the good and why you love them. Ask the Lord to help you move past it. Especially if they are someone you've valued in the Lord.

In 1 Corinthians 13, we are instructed that our default mode should be to believe and assume the best of someone instead of easily being persuaded to believe the worst. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (TLB) "Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him."

I remember years ago, being upset with someone I considered a good friend. He had in my opinion made a few bad chooses which had a serious and hurtful impact on my life. For a while we were at odds with each other. I ran things through my mind over and over again. As I did, he became more and more of a villain. I had been praying about this when the Lord stopped me. He said, “I want you to think about everything you have ever liked about this person and the pattern of good in their life. Think about the blessing they've been to you for so long!” I started thinking about what a good person he was, and all the things I liked about him. The Lord reminded me of Proverbs 20:3 (NLT) "Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor: only fools insist on quarreling." I remembered what a good friend he had been in so many ways over the years. As I did, the good feelings immediately started surfacing and bad feelings started to dissipate. I knew it was not his plan to hurt me. He had simply made some bad decisions but I also knew I had made my share of them over the years. Thinking about this with the help of the Holy Spirit helped me to back off and view the big picture with a more open perspective and forgive him. It lead to the desire to sit down and work out our differences. We worked things out and our friendship was better and stronger than before.

Being able to hold on to the best of people and overlook their flaws and mistakes is a supernatural doing. It takes the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why the Apostle Paul said, "Guard the good deposit (what you have viewed and believed about good people) that was entrusted to you--guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us." It all starts with asking God to help you hold on to and remember and focus on the good you've seen and experienced from people in your life! Value relationships! They are not used Kleenex to throw away. They are a gift from God. He has placed them in your life for a reason. So guard and protect them!

Proverbs 17:9 (NIV) "He who covers over an offense promotes love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, June 25, 2018

Cares, Anxiety, Worries Out! God's Answer to Them, In!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

As I was getting ready for my day this morning, a friend of mine who is battling cancer rose up in my heart. I had reached out to visit him a couple of weeks ago but he wasn't feeling up to a visit. We had a short chat and then I prayed for him on the phone. I had him on my heart again today and so I began to pray for him. That's such an improvement over how I used to respond to something like this 30 years ago.  Back in those days, I would worry about my friends that were in trouble. Once I learned how Jesus felt about worrying, I changed my approach! Worrying has become unacceptable because worrying is the equivalent of accomplishing nothing.

My mother was one of the most compassionate individuals I've ever known. I feel like I have a very caring heart and I believe I have those attributes because of her. But, she thought worrying for others was like a spiritual experience—that it was an extension of compassion. It’s not! It’s contrary to God’s will. As you may have figured out, our bodies don’t handle worry well. It breaks them down. And it changes nothing! Luke 12:22-25 (NLT) "Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life... Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?"  Instead the Lord teaches us what to do with worry. 1 Peter 5:7 (TLB) says, "Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you."

That word anxiety is the same word as worry. Worrying or anxiety is a pointless distraction. It accomplishes nothing positive, but instead, robs us of sleep, builds stress, and leads to spiritual, mental and physical degradation. We were meant to turn our cares and anxieties over to the Lord—actually to cast them upon Him. But even then, not just turn over or cast them—but cast them in faith.What does casting them on Him in faith mean? It means praying about the situation and turning it over to the Lord to handle, having confidence that He will because you have faith in Him to do so, and because He cares far more than you!"

It is not enough just to cast your cares unto the Lord. You’ll go right back and pick them up again. That’s what people do. That's what I used to do. I'd lose sleep over things I was worried about and try to cast them on the Lord. Cares have a way of  crawling back up in your lap like a little puppy. You have to treat them like the plague! It isn’t that you don’t care about those you love. You do care and that is why you do the right thing! You have to turn them over to the Lord in faith, based on God’s promise to you about it. If you don’t know what that promise is, you have to prayerfully read the Word seeking God until that promise speaks from the pages of His Word. You’ll know it when you see it. Then these words from Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV) will make sense to you. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Why are we instructed to do this? Because Jesus loves us. Because He cares for us and our situation. He alone has the capacity, the ability, and the power to take care of us. He knows our needs even before we ask. Jesus teaches us that in Matthew 6:8 (NKJV)  “…for your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.” He may know them in advance but He still requires that we ask in prayer—and not just ask, but ask in faith believing! Jesus taught more! In Mark 11:24 (NKJV) He says, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” We are supposed to believe before we see God take care of it? Isn't that crazy? No, it’s faith!

I grew up a worrier. Worrying is a curse. If I worry I am rendered ineffective, helping no one and wasting time. God's kind of compassion will lead me to not only show care and concern, but to compel my heart to pray filled prayers—the power that gets to the root of problems. If I cast those cares over to Him, then I can pray and release those cares and move forward with my day as God leads.

I am not God. I cannot solve anyone’s problems. But if I let the Spirit of God work through me in prayer, in communication, and in action, I’ll be a powerful blessing instead of being a distracted, paralyzed, ineffective lump of worry.

1 Peter 5:7 (TLB) "Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 22, 2018

Who's in Charge? Your Spirit, Your Soul, or Your Body? It Matters!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I woke up early one morning and wished I could have gone back to sleep. I was feeling really tired. Renee and I had just finished a week-long conference that had meetings morning and night. When I went to bed I was over-tired and it made me feel restless. When I woke up that next morning, I laid there for a minute and thought about where my day needed to go. I thought about my first meeting of the day.
I could easily postpone that meetng one hour and get an extra hour of sleep. I quickly rebuked that thought. I knew there was much I needed to accomplish and God was comforting me reminding me that His grace would strengthen me through the day as He had, time and time again!

Think about what our lives would be like if we did only what we felt like doing. Many people do. Before I had accepted received Jesus as my Lord, I leaned that direction. My life was focused on pleasing me. That doesn't mean I was mean or didn't do nice things for people. I often did, but my life was mostly focused on me. If I woke up tired, I plotted to call in sick or make up some lie or excuse as to why I couldn't come in. Lying and manipulating to get my desired outcome didn't seem evil. It was the way of the world. It seemed to me like everyone did that. That was my excuse. Everyone else did it why couldn't I? That was a season of life where I let my feelings or selfish desires guide most of my steps.

God created us as a three-part being made up of our spirit, our soul (our mind and emotions) and our body. Until you understand that, you'll never fully understand yourself or how God leads you!

We see this in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NKJV) "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely...your whole spirit, soul, and body..."  There are times where you mind and emotions want to lead you. Times when your fleshly desires (your body) selfishly want to lead you. And then there is your spirit led by the Holy Spirit, who should be leading you.

When I gave my life to the Lord, His Holy Spirit became the guiding force of my life. I was now seeing life through God's eyes. My heart and perspective changed. I learned that people can follow one of three leading desires within them. First, people can make the decision to follow the leading of what their flesh wants. Many do and the results are obvious—lives that are out of control from the extreme of obesity or chemical or sexual abuse, to the negative habits that people deep down despise because they know they are wrong.

Secondly, people can follow their intellect and emotions. The problem with that is our knowledge and understanding is limited to what we know. Honest people will admit that in the big picture of life, their intellect is grossly overrated and limited. I'm not saying there aren't people who are intellectually intelligent. But talk to an intelligent person who is berated by their boss, or who has lost a child to a drunk driver, or has been stricken by cancer, and they will tell you their intelligence didn't resolve their issues. Our understanding is limited and also has great ability to deceive us into thinking we can figure everything out and solve every problem. We don't always trust our judgement. We need God's help and leading.

The problem with our emotions and feelings leading us is that they are far too unstable to depend on. They can be easily triggered and spin out of control from being tired or weary, offended, or from being discouraged. You can't trust them when anger or hate or rage, is part of the mix. Our emotions often become exaggerated and can lead us astray when we are confused or afraid. Letting our emotions lead us through life will eventually lead us astray.

Thirdly, we can follow after and be led by the Holy Spirit. Our spirit led by the Holy Spirit is whom God wants us to follow. He is to be the leader of ourself over our fleshly desires and mind and emotions. If we've given our life to Jesus, then the Holy Spirit lives within us. John 14:26 NKJV says, "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you." The Holy Spirit will lead you your spirit in the Father's will just as He led Jesus on the earth.

In Luke 5:4-5, Peter had just finished fishing all night and without success. He was tired and exhausted and had just finished cleaning his nets. Suddenly Jesus tells him to go out into the deep and launch his nets. Peter's tired flesh and his intellect and his emotions were screaming but he kept them under control before Jesus. He just said in as nice a way as he could muster, "Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets." If Peter had gone by his intellect or his emotions, well you could figure out what his response would have been. This is a perfect picture of how we yield and learn to follow after the Holy Spirit. Peter yielded to the Lord. Upon obeying Jesus, there were so many fish that Peter and his men could hardly pull them in—their nets were breaking, and they needed more help. That is the blessing and our motivation for learning to let our spirit-man lead our flesh and mind and emotions. The result will be spiritual grown and maturity, blessing, the learning of how to lead yourself.

Our intellect and our emotions are a gift from God when we use them in cooperation with the leading of God's Spirit. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says, "We live by faith, not by sight." This means that we don't let our intellect lead our steps. Our intellect thrives on what it sees. We don't let our emotions lead our daily path as they are too often a roller-coaster responding to current circumstances. They have great potential to lead us astray. We’ll use both of them daily, but we position our heart to listen to our spirit as it is led by God’s Holy Spirit. He’ll speak to us through the Word of God as we read His Word, or through other sources that teach His Word, or through His Holy Spirit bringing the Word and direction to our remembrance. If you would remember that what you need to know, God already has the answer to, you'd be more motivated to ask God to lead you in everything in your life. He desires to lead us and wants to help us succeed and be blessed. If we learn to lean on Him, ask, and listen, He will lead us and tell us where and how to cast our nets! And this is what it means to be sanctified wholly, spirit, soul, and body.

Romans 8:14  "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Don't Spin Your Wheels! Get Perfect Results!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I was twenty-five years old when I bought my first house. Along with my first house came my first yard to keep up. After the first winter in that house, I had the joy of repairing the parts of my lawn that had been killed by winter-kill. I was in my mid twenties at that time and fairly inexperienced in home upkeep. I also liked to do everything in a hurry. I was too young and immature to appreciate the old adage, If you are going to do something, do it right.

After buying grass seed, I would sprinkle some over the areas of dead grass from the winter-kill. Then I'd water it. A couple of weeks later, I’d be frustrated because most of the seed had not germinated and little to no new grass had sprouted. I asked a few friends if they knew a better way to get grass to grow. And Yes, there were directions on the box of grass seed but who had time to read directions much less do it the way they recommend? That would take way too much time to read—(at least two minutes.) I’d get varied advice on what to do. One person told me that raking the grass seed in would work. The next year I tried that. It didn't work. Please forgive me for how stupid this sounds, but I'd keep trying some version of sprinkling the seed on top of the dead grass and watering it, even though it didn't seem to work. (Immaturity extracts a high price!)

Finally a true gardener found out about my frustration. He said, Tim, you can either cut out the damaged lawn and replace it with a new piece of sod or do what I tell you which will take more time but get perfect results. I asked him what to do. He said it would be hard work—more than just throwing some seed. First, he said, If possible, start in the spring just after the temperature is steady at about sixty degrees. The weather is perfect for growing grass at that time of year because the slightly cooler weather helps the ground stays moist longer. That is critical to the seed germinating. He then told me to take a gardening fork (a small hand-tool to till up an area) and run it over the winter kill a section at a time. I was to rake out the dead grass and dispose of it. Then sprinkle the seed over the tilled area and work it into the soil with the gardening fork. He prepared me. Your yard will look ugly for about three weeks. Then, he said, comes the most important part to get perfect results. You need to water it at least morning and night for a week to ten days. The seeds need to stay moist to germinate and then they need water as they sprout and begin to grow. If you do this, I guarantee you will see the results you want.

I did what he said and it has always given me perfect results. Over time, I learned that the three key things to repairing my lawn are parallel to getting God-results! They are:


1.) Meditate on God’s Word. God’s Word is called incorruptible seed meaning its perfect seed that gets results. Meditate on the word of God before you start your day—before life and your day get too busy. Your intentions might be great but as much as you promise yourself that you will later, you probably won't! Work the seed (God’s Word) into the soil of your heart. This is important to the start of our day! (And it's why I write Fresh Manna!)

2.) Confess and pray the Word of God over what it is your are trying to accomplish. The Word of God is incorruptible seed. Confessing what God has said is like raking out what's dead and putting down the good and incorruptible seed of God’s word. His word is His will and He says in 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." When you confess it and meditate on God's Word it's like tilling that good seed into the soil. It gets into your heart and builds your faith. When you pray what you've meditated on, you know His will and you are praying His will in faith!  (Example: Lord, like David, I pray you give me courage to stand up boldly and fearlessly in giving my presentation at work, knowing you give me favor and lead me to victory over every Goliath-obstacle!)

3.) Continue to pray every time you get a chance —ESPECIALLY when you are praying over something critical to you. It's not a works thing meaning more prayer equals better results. No, the reason to pray often is because it helps you think about God and His word and chase out the unbelief that comes again and again when facing difficult circumstances. Unbelief has to be defeated and prayer is not only talking with God, it reminds you of His love and power, His promises, and that He is working in your life as you trust Him. It squashes unbelief like a bug!

Prayer is the equivalent of watering. It prepares and softens your heart so you can hear from God. It helps your heart grow in faith. It will help God’s Word germinate and take root in your heart. Prayer petitions the heart of God according to His will. The Holy Spirit will help you remember to pray and pray often. Pray whenever you can and often! Turn off your car radio. Turn off the distractions you can control. Water the seed of your requests with the prayer that will cause your answers to sprout! Let your prayer be filled with thanks for what God is doing and will continue to do!

Jesus said in Mark 4:27 (NIV) "Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how." When we learn God's Word and pray in faith, God is working whether we know it or not!

It took me about three years of no results before I learned and was willing to put in the effort to grow my grass the right way. For the last 37 years I had a lush yard of green grass—the result of following good instruction. These are also the principles that help you build a strong spiritual house. They are both about planting seed and watering.
I used to try to get no results because I gave no respect for how God has ordained sowing and reaping to work. I used to think I didn’t have time. Now I know that the only way to get the results I desire is to make the time. This is how the Lord builds the house. This is how to avoid building your house in vain—doing what you think is the work but getting zero results.

Psa 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Quit Being Ripped Off By the Devil

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you ever had anything stolen from you? I have—a few times over the course of my life. I've never liked it and I'm sure you haven't either! One time it really made me mad. Someone had broken into our car and stolen Renee’s purse. If you had something valuable stolen like your car for example, you would most likely call the police. Why would you call the police? For two reasons: one being, to hopefully get your car back, and the second, hoping they would catch the thief.

Did you know that Jesus called Satan the thief? In John 10:10 (NLT) Jesus said, “The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”

Satan works to steal much more than tangible things from us. He works to steal any and every good thing from God that blesses our life—including our relationships, family, church, job, and so much more. It's important to know that the devil is a thief! And it's important to know because you will never defend against what you don’t know is being stolen or who stole it.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV) gives us insight saying "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." What is this verse saying? It's saying that demonic forces work behind the scenes of every person committing an evil that steals, kills, and destroys. They are the real problem in our life—not people. Remember, before you gave your life to Jesus,? You were also used in ways to hurt people. But God's love somehow penetrated your heart and opened your eyes to the truth of Jesus, and you left that all behind. All people need to be saved but until they are, they will at times, be used of the devil. It's the devil we need to focus on and stand against.

We do have natural recourse when things are stolen such as the police or authorities and insurance. But the most important thing you could ever do is understand spiritually who your enemy is and then understand the covenant promise God has given you. God promises us through Deuteronomy 28:7 (NKJV) “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways." Like all promises of God, you must believe and stand in faith for them. You are for your salvation so why wouldn't you for the rest of God's benefits?

I remember a time when I was putting a quarter in a vending machine. I dropped it and it rolled under the pop machine. I was just going to leave it when the Lord suddenly spoke to my heart and said, I've called you to be my steward. Don't ever let the enemy steal what I have given you!  It was so clear and profound I was startled. I got down on my hands and knees and saw the quarter with easy reach and grabbed it. That experience was life-changing for me. I never again thought of things within my possession as mine. I was God's steward and He does not like the enemy ripping us off whether large or small and in any area of our life—possessions or relationships or whatever!

Proverbs 6:30-31 (NLT2) says, "Excuses might be found for a thief who steals because he is starving. But if he is caught, he must pay back seven times what he stole, even if he has to sell everything in his house." I guarantee you Satan isn't stealing because he's starving. He's hate and destructive driven. When we have identified Satan's attack and thievery in our lives, it is imperative to note it, and declare it against him, not the person who stole. Say with authority In the name of Jesus, Satan, this is your work. You have tried to steal what God has given to me. You are caught! You are a thief and I rebuke and bind you from stealing God's blessings from my life. Father, I thank you for enforcing the seven-fold return of what the enemy has tried to steal from me, and I thank you for it in in Jesus Name. Do this in sincere faith, and as you look back over the years in hindsight, you'll see God restoring to you what He restored to Job.

We may not always be able to see every attack coming or stop every negative thing that Satan tries to bring our way, but, when those attacks come, it’s time to stand in faith and use the weapons of our warfare that God has given us. They are powerful and effective and will produce results.

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 (NKJV) says "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God for the pulling down of strongholds." This means we do not fight demonic attacks with guns, or knives or material weapons. We fight them through our words and prayers of faith, and the authority of the name of Jesus!

Our spiritual maturity and growth in God will develop over time as we stay close to the Lord. As we learn to catch and resist the thief, we actually begin to slow down and shut out many demonic attacks and influences from our life. The devil will be on the run, you will become spiritually more discerning and strong, your life will experience much greater peace, and you will begin to take back what the devil has stolen from you!

Deuteronomy 28:7 NKJV, “The LORD will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, June 18, 2018

Defeat Anxiety That Comes From Difficult Circumstances

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

It's happened to you! You get bad news. Your heart starts pounding, Your thoughts are no longer clear. They've slipped into a fog! Anxiety quickly builds like a surging flood overflowing its banks.

What happens when anyone receives bad news or a negative report? They immediately face “fiery darts of the enemy.” God's Word tells us in Ephesians 6:16 (NKJV) how important our faith and knowing how to use the weapons of our warfare are, saying "above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one." 

The Lord wants us to be prepared in advance for attacks the enemy tries to bring against us. He doesn't want the devil's lies and attacks to steal our joy, our sleep, our faith, and our peace in God. God wants us to know how to deal with these fiery darts so we will always come out on top.

The first thing that happens when a negative report shows up in your life is that you face soulish warfare. Your soul is your mind and emotions and the place where lies, deception, and fear breeds and takes hold if we let them. The “fiery darts” are the bombardment of negative thoughts attacking your mind and emotions. If you look at what God calls the “weapons of our warfare,” in Ephesians 6:10-17, you will see the weapons God has give us to resist these attacks of the enemy. They also help us understand ways the devil will attack us. There is great insight to be had through these verses so take the time to read through them.

The Apostle Paul starts out saying in Ephesians 6:10 NLT, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power.” Before Paul reveals any of our spiritual weapons against Satan and his attacks, He tells us that these attacks are designed to make us weak-kneed. Satan wants us to be knocked out in the first round by the first punch. Paul is telling us not to let that happen. He's telling us that you may not personally feel strong enough to fight this battle but that’s okay because you can be strong “in the Lord’s mighty power.”

If we know—if we have faith and have confidence that the Lord will help us, then we won’t cave into fear and be taken out. We'll face evil reports knowing that the Lord will see us through. So, we don’t want to start out weak. We start out strong in the Lord’s strength. That is why you shouldn't lay in bed worrying and letting fiery darts overtake you. If you can't sleep, get up and fight. What's the first fiery dart you might hear when you get up? "You have a long day a head of you. If you get up now, you’ll be exhausted and never make it through your day.” The devil is manipulative and tries to keep you in his control. He wants you to stay in bed and obsess in a sleepless frenzy.

Instead, get up and get ready for battle in the Lord's might! Respond to those fiery darts saying, No devil, I am not going to lie in this bed and stress out. God's grace is going to strengthen me through my day. And if it’s a fight you want, it’s a fight you’ll get. I am going to get up and tell you who I am in Christ. I am washed in His blood. I am forgiven. I am His child. He is my abba Father. He has instructed me to put on the weapons of my warfare and I have. Let me remind you of your future in Hell. You'll be there. I won't. And that's what you hate. But the Lord is my Shepherd. He is my fortress, He is my strong tower. He is my defender! He goes before me and watches after me. He is my victory through Christ Jesus. He answers my prayers through the mighty name of Jesus. He is working in my life in this very moment and my faith in Him is the source of my peace. You are a liar and the father of all lies. Your lies and fear have no place in my life. So I rebuke you in Jesus name. As it is written, Resist the devil and he shall flee from you. Flee now in Jesus name."

This is an excellent place to worship the Lord in song and prayer. Do these things and you'll learn how to walk in the weapons of your warfare God has made available to you. You'll learn how to not be moved when a bad report comes and instead, to be, "strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."

‎2 Thessalonians 3:3 NKJV “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Special Story: Keep Your Fork...

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I am reposting today's story by popular request. I hope you'll enjoy it! 

Keep Your Fork... (Author Unknown) 

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things in order, she contacted her pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes. She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in. Everything was in order and the pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

"There's one more thing," she said excitedly.

"What's that?" came the pastor's reply.
"This is very important," the young woman continued. "I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand." The pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing quite what to say.

"That surprises you, doesn't it?" the young woman asked.

"Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,"said the pastor.

The young woman explained. "My grandmother once told me this story. Ever since that day, I always try to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement.

She told me that... In all my years of attending church socials and potluck dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, "Keep your fork.” It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming... like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance! So, she said, "I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder, "What's with the fork?" Then I want you to tell them, "Keep your fork ... the best is yet to come."

The pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman goodbye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and they saw the pretty dress she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand. Over and over, the pastor heard the question "What's with the fork?" And over and over he smiled. During his message, the pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. The pastor told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either. He was right.

So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you ever so gently, that "The best is yet to come."

1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, let me know how. I’d love to hear from you!  Click Here:  FreshMannaFeedback





If your heart has been touched by God's love through Fresh Manna, would you like to help Pastor Tim reach others also? Please prayerfully consider donating. No gift is too small. 

Donate now!

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/