About Tim Burt

Friday, October 19, 2018

An Inspirational Story and A Little Humor! The Master's Hands

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I am reposting an inspirational story and a little humor by request. I pray it inspires you and makes you chuckle! Have a blessed weekend! ~ Pastor Tim 

The Master's Hands  (Author Unknown)

Wishing to encourage her young son's progress on the piano, a mother took the small boy to a Paderewski concert. After they were seated, the mother spotted a friend in the audience and walked down the aisle to greet her. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy rose and eventually explored his way through a door marked "NO ADMITTANCE."When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing. Suddenly, the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star."
At that moment, the great piano master made his entrance, quickly moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy's ear, "Don't quit. Keep playing." Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around to the other side of the child and he added a running oligatio. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.That's the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren't exactly graceful flowing music. But with the hand of the Master, our life's work truly can be beautiful.

John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”

A Little Humor – The Pentecostal Dog

A Baptist preacher and his wife decided to get a new dog. Ever mindful of the congregation, they knew the dog must also be a Baptist. They visited kennel after kennel and explained their needs. Finally, they found a kennel whose owner assured them he had just the dog they wanted.

The owner brought the dog to meet the pastor and his wife. "Fetch the Bible," he commanded. The dog bounded to the bookshelf, scrutinized the books, located the Bible, and brought it to the owner. "Now find Psalm 23," he commanded. The dog dropped the Bible to the floor, and showing dexterity with his paws, leafed through and finding the correct passage, pointed to it with his paw. The pastor and his wife were very impressed and purchased the dog.

That evening, a group of church members came to visit. The pastor and his wife began to show off the dog, having him locate several Bible verses. The visitors were very impressed! . One man asked, "Can he do regular dog tricks, too?" "I haven't tried yet," the pastor replied. He pointed his finger at the dog. "HEEL!" the pastor commanded. The dog immediately jumped on a chair, placed one paw on the pastor's forehead and began to howl. The pastor looked at his wife in shock and said, "Good Lord! He's Pentecostal!"

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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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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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Rewarding Life God Wants You to Live!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Let me share a simple truth. When you're younger, life seems long. When you get older, it feels like time has sped by and life is short. God’s Word amplifies this truth. Psalm 144:4 NLT says, “For we are like a breath of air; our days are like a passing shadow.” Job 14:2 NLT says “Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear.” Psalm 39:4 NLT says, “Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered, and that my life is fleeing away.”

Jesus taught, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words shall not pass away.” (Matt 24:35 KJV) When Jesus said this, He was speaking literally. One day this world as we know it will be changed by Him—but His Words will never change. We can count on His every word. We can count on His every promise! We can count on the instruction of His Word. We can count on thing things He has said will come to pass in the future. Life goes by in a blur but His Word is like the Rock that never changes. It's dependable and forever. One day we will look back and reflect on how short life was and think about whether we got caught up in that which does not matter, or if we lived it for Him.

Life is full of distractions. Satan works to fill our lives with distractions. Our heart gets caught up in living for entertainment, achievements for personal glory, politics and pride to lead our hearts in division, and to make sin and self-gratification appealing—all for the purpose of distracting us. Satan tries to draw us in so that God and His Word take a backseat and move to the background—often neglected until crisis reminds us how much we need Him. All this for the purpose of causing us to forget about the plan and purpose God put us on this earth for.

The Apostle Paul spoke about it when he was teaching single people of the blessing and advantage they could have if they would stay focused on serving the Lord. He taught them that marriage is good, but has it's natural distractions—making marriage work, having children, needing to provide for a family, etc.. (He was not demeaning marriage by any means. Just discussing the reality of distractions within a marriage.) In 1 Corinthians 7:30-35 (NLT) the Apostle Paul said, "Happiness or sadness or wealth should not keep anyone from doing God's work. Those in frequent contact with the things of the world should make good use of them without becoming attached to them, for this world and all it contains will pass away. In everything you do, I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please Him. But a married man can't do that as well. He has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be more devoted to the Lord in body and in spirit, while the married woman must be concerned about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.”

This isn't a discourse by Paul about not getting married. And he is not saying that if you are married, will you be less spiritual or pleasing to God. It’s about understanding that life is short, the world competes for your heart, and life is chuck-full of distractions that seem to grab too much of our time and attention. For far too many, living for God gets pushed way back on the priority list when it should be the main thing—the core value of your life.

Thank God you can live your life wholeheartedly for the Lord whether married or single. I’m married, have four children and seven grandchildren. Our lives are still filled with ministry work. The need to help people know God never ends. The world tries to draw me in too. I try never to lose sight of the fact that time passes quickly. Most of the things the world places importance on really don’t matter much. My life was given to me as a gift to serve God. What I do for Him from a sincere heart will never lose its reward in this life or in the life to come. For that reason, I desire to let my fast-moving life not be distracted, but instead filled with ways to exalt the love of Jesus and find ways to influence others with that touch of His love. When that is your heart, He always leads you in that way and opens that door and equips you with the grace—His supernatural help to accomplish His will. It is God's number one priority to help all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the saving grace and love of Jesus! That is what counts most to Him. But His blessing our life and efforts do not take a back seat to Him. They come with the prioritizing of our life for Him. So... let's not be distracted but put God and His will and purpose first-place in our lives. Then when we look back and see how we lived life, it will be with a smile and rich memories in Him!

Matthew 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in His Father's glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done.”

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/

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dogs, Worship, and Intimacy With God

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

The world is filled with dog lovers. In my childhood, we always had one in our family. My grandchildren love theirs. My granddaughter sent me a picture of her painting her dog's toenails while he laid perfectly still letting her do so. No wonder dogs are so lovable. Like children, they are a great deal of work, but also like little children, they have this incredible innocence. And the traits that most dog-lovers universally love in dogs is the endless out-pouring of love, loyalty, and bond with their masters.

In John chapter four, we read a story about Jesus encountering a Samaritan woman at a well. After engaging in conversation with Jesus, she knew that there was something special about Him. Supposing He was a prophet, she switched gears and began to seek answers to spiritual questions—one of them being, Where is the right place to worship God—our mountain or Jerusalem? Jesus told her that it would soon be understood that it wasn't about worshiping God in a particular location, but about worshipping God in our heart—everywhere and all the time. He spoke these words: "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." (John 4:23 NIV) 

Learning to worship God has two effects on your life that are immeasurable. The first is, worship creates an intimacy in your relationship with God that can be more beautiful than anything you will ever experience on this earth. Secondly, it accelerates our personal life's transformation in becoming Christ-like.

What is worship and how do we worship God? Countless sermons have been preached and books written and on this subject. For me to help you understand in the limited space I here would be difficult. But the Holy Spirit will continue to help you if you ask Him to.

The word worship in the above verse is the Greek word proskyneo. It means to prostrate oneself in reverence and adoration to. The picture that this word also paints is that of a dog licking his masters hand and of a dog wagging its tail and whining for its master’s attention. This is an accurate picture of worship. Not that we are dogs in any sense, but in this way—understanding that dogs know their master. There is never any question about that. Dogs also seek the approval of their master. Dogs want to please their master. Dogs have an attitude of dependency upon their master. And dogs want to be loved by their master.

Whether you understand this or not, everything in the heavens and earth—any and all things that were created, were created by God to teach us about Himself. Everything was created to point us to God’s magnificence, supremacy, power, and majesty. Words simply cannot properly describe God’s greatness. But, from micro-organisms, to nature around us, to the stars and galaxies—they were all created to reveal not just science, but insights to us about God that reveal His majesty!

Dogs actually help us understand what people often fail to acknowledge—that we all have a master. God is our God. Jesus is our Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit is God’s gift to help us know Him and His ways, and to equip us to live our life for Him. We worship Him because of who He is. We worship Him because of His love toward us. We worship Him to acknowledge our need for His help and instruction, leading us in every thought, word, action, and facet of life.

When we're willing to humble ourselves to this revelation, and prostrate our hearts in worship to Him, something happens. Our heart begins to become properly aligned in humility and dependency for Him. The gift of His righteousness through Jesus, cloaks our unworthiness and unrighteousness so that we can draw closer in thankfulness and appreciation. A closeness and intimacy begins to form within us that only causes us to hunger for more. As we draw closer, strength to obey the leading of the Spirit of God increases and strength of spirit to resist temptation and refrain from fleshly activity surges. The word of God begins to open up to us as never before and deliver greater understanding and insight to things that remain mysteries to others. Transformation is accelerated because the desires and lust of sin lose their grip—repelling anything that might detract from our relationship with Him.

1 Chronicles. 16:28-30 (NLT) says, “O nations of the world, recognize the Lord, recognize that the Lord is glorious and strong. Give to the Lord the glory He deserves! Bring your offering and come to worship Him. Worship the Lord in all His holy splendor. Let all the earth tremble before Him.”

If you have never really tried or known how to worship the Lord, don’t let that stop you. Don’t let the awkwardness of your initial efforts stop you. You were created to worship Him and it is within your DNA to worship the Lord. Greater intimacy is there for you to have. And remember... Jesus said that this is the time! "Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks." (John 4:23 NIV)  There is a vast supply of beautiful worship music in any Christian bookstore or online to help you if you need help. Many churches today take praise and worship to an entirely new level. It will come easily and naturally in a very short period of time if you are sincere. Open up the Bible to the Psalms and read how David worshipped God. Launch from there, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you, and your life and intimacy with the Lord will never be the same!

Psalm 103:1 NKJV “Bless the Lord, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!“

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, October 15, 2018

God's Most Exciting Way to Transform and Bless You

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

A picture recently triggered an old memory that made me laugh. When my kids were young our life was crazy busy. (Actually, it's always been that way.) Anyway, to make sure we'd get a break for us and the kids, we'd all (kids included) save our change and coupon savings money for a weekend getaway in a hotel with a pool. The kids would swim and play all weekend and love it more than going to Disney! On the drive to where we were going, we'd stop in a grocery store or gas station and I'd let each of my four children pick out three candy treats that I paid for! They's all look up at me with a big smile and in harmony say, THANK YOU DAD! They knew this moment was coming and it was one of the highlight moments of their trip! The second we were back in the car, they'd be digging into their first treat. It was at this point that I strategically tested their giving nature. I'd put my hand out and say, can I have a couple of those? Two of them would easily share. One of them was more hesitant but did. And the other one didn't want to share. He'd look up at me and say, Dad, you just bought these for us. Why didn't you buy one for yourself? I'd say, I didn't want to buy a whole box or bag of candy and was just hoping you'd share a couple with me. I'd continue, I bought those for you and yet you won't share a couple with me? Sometimes he did but grudgingly, and sometimes he didn't.  This opened the door for a discussion on learning to be a generous giver!

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NLT) says, "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” This verse reveals that God wants us to become those who learn to give generously and cheerfully. The main reason people don't is because they think they will have less and be deprived of something by giving what they have. God's Word reveals the opposite. It indicates over and over that the supernatural power of God is most involved with those that have learned to give cheerfully and by faith, so that when they do, God will become involved in meeting their needs. Look at these two verses and see if you can see it.

Proverbs 11:24 (NIV) says, "One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty." Imagine that! You give more freely (because you trust God and have become a generous giver) and you end up with more. Mr. Stingy doesn't give and he ends up with less. Hmm!

And in Luke 6:38 (NLT) Jesus said, "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”  

God also teaches us in Psalm 112 about the character of "the righteous person" meaning in this case, one who has godly character developed within him/her in the area of giving. Psalms 112:9 (NLT) says, "They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor." 

When trying to teach my children about the importance of sharing and giving, I tried to help them understand a concept that was difficult for them. You wouldn't think it would be difficult but it was. I tried to help them understand that when they shared with me, that I was always able to supply them with more. If they ran out, that was something I could help with because I had the resources to do so.  The stingy would think, if you have the resources, why don't you get your own. The generous would think, He blessed us and I am going to bless him back. He is always kind to give to me! 

If you'd ask god about this, the Lord would reveal that this same truth is also true when we give tithes and offerings to God or when we give to the needs of others because we feel compelled to by the Lord. When we understand that God is our Heavenly Father and that He loves a cheerful giver, then we begin to live in His supernatural economy. We don't give to get. We give with the pure motive of being cheerful givers knowing that when we give, we give not only to the one in need, but in our heart, making it a sacrifice to God knowing He meets all of our needs. This is the kind of heart God blesses over and over and over again. In story of the widow's mite, in Luke chapter 21, the little that she had, she gave. Why? Because she trusted God and knew that anything she had, came from God anyway.  2 Corinthians 9:10 (NLT2) reveals this truth saying, "For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you."

The gifts that we are to scatter generously are not limited to monetary or material things. Each one of us has a deep well of riches—talents, skills, time and help, edification, a listening ear, and more within us. As we share resources and gifts liberally to those around us, God transform us to become cheerful, generous, instinctive givers who produces "a great harvest of generosity in you!"   It is in this exercise of faith that we learn the revelation of Proverbs 11:25 (NIV) "A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed." 

My children are now all adults who have become generous and cheerful givers and each of them is very blessed in their life. They have learned the blessing of sacrificially giving to God and others! As we learn this, it will help shape our heart to be like God's—the ultimate giver who gave the greatest of all gifts, Jesus!

Romans 8:32 (NIV) "He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?" 

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 12, 2018

How God Helps You With Your Problems

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

We have all seen it at some time, a person doing a magic trick. He takes the coin in his left hand. He squeezes and blows on it. He opens it and the coin is gone. He opens his other hand and there it is. That is called magic, the art of illusion. God does not do magic. We don’t hand Him our problems where He takes them in His hand, squeezes and blows on them, and they are suddenly gone. That’s illusion but God is about SOLUTION.

Too many of the problems that we experience, we've contributed to creating. For example, marriage problems don’t just happen. We do things God's word or the Holy Spirit warn us not to do. I'm sure most of us don't disobey God defiantly, but we listen more to our fleshly desires than following the impression of the Holy Spirit who is trying to lead us. Regardless of our motivation or justification behind our disobedience, we create problems.

When problems turn into crisis situations, people often pray out of desperation. In those times, they are looking more for a magician than they are God. I say that because they want God to wave His wand and make their problems vanish! There are many in this world that offer illusionary solutions (for a fee) but God is not one of them. If problems are born out of our dysfunctional character, God's solution is going to be to help transform us so that we don't repeat creating these problems again and again. Oh don't get me wrong. God's mercy and compassion is great. He will help us in a multitude of ways to get to a better place, but beyond that, God is all about transformation! He is interested in transforming us. He wants to align our thinking, how we speak, and how we behave to His Word. He wants to transform our attitudes and motives. He wants to help purge our selfish ways and teach us to become a vessel of His love. He wants to teach us how to have a servant attitude so that we will become more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ—our role model in selflessness. Every word Jesus spoke leads to transformation. That doesn't mean becoming Mother Theresa. It means learning to prefer others over yourself, and from a sincere heart.

So let me illustrate how that happens. Think of God wanting to transform you as you read this scripture. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV) says, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul (your mind and emotions) and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."  

If you were anything like me when I first read this years ago, you might have responded, Blameless? Who me? I’m as close to blameless and holy as I am to Jupiter. That’s how I felt when I first read this verse. So, let me break it down. You are a three-part being. You are a spirit. You have a soul (your mind and emotions,) and you live in a body. When you gave your life to Jesus, He made your spirit new. It was instantly transformed. The blood of Jesus washed your sins away and God put a white robe of righteousness upon you. Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) says, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in His wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”

What Jesus did for you is a gift. You can’t earn it. That robe covers your flaws. God knew you’d have flaws. He knew Satan had tried to corrupt and destroy you and that the transformation of your thinking, speaking, and behavior would take time. He purposed to cover you with this robe so that when He looked upon you, He’d see you washed and cleansed from sin by His blood—dressed in His robe of righteousness robe which He purchased for you with His shed blood. He forgave you of all your sins and then put this robe upon you when you gave your life to Him and became born again. Romans 5:9 (NIV) says,"Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through Him!"

You are a spirit, soul, and body and your spirit is to take lead of your life. You soul and body weren't made to lead you in life. They will take you to problem land. They are corrupted and haven’t been instantly changed. Your spirit has the capability of hearing from the Spirit of God. Your mind doesn't. Your mind is assigned to take its lead from your spirit. What you hear from God by your spirit is what you teach your mind to think.

1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (NLT) says, “Yet when I am among mature Christians, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world… No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God… But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit… And God has actually given us His Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us….But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all….but we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ."

You have many thoughts you think about every day. You talk to yourself about many things. Your conscience is engaged in that conversation. Your conscience isn't your spirit. Your conscience is a part of your soul—your mind and emotions. Before you gave your life to Jesus, your conscience was trained by the many voices of the world that spoke into your life. But when you gave your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit took residence within you, and that’s who is now supposed to teach and transform your conscience and thinking. That is what is meant by the verse Romans 12:2 (NLT) “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. It will because you will have to make the personal decision to hear and obey God’s voice speaking to you through the scriptures. And you will have to make the decision to change. He won’t make you. So how fast you change depends on your willingness to seek and to listen to the voice of God. It won’t be magic. It will be a process. God in His mercy and grace will wash and forgive you of your sins when you blow it and repent.

Listening and obeying repeatedly over time is what will cause your character transformation. Hardship isn't from God. It's from this sin-defiled world and the enemy's attacks on your life. When we look to God in hardship and let Him lead us out of it, we remember we don't want to go through it gain and remember, learn, and grow in character. We learn to follow God's word and leading and that obedience minimizes problems and instead leads us to the blessing and joy of following Him. If God just did the magic and took the problems you created away, then 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 the transformation of your spirit, soul and body! While this is happening, He’ll always be by your side to speak to you and lead you—if you will listen! He’ll listen to every prayer, and help you in every step. And you will change!

2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) "... And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." 

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Why Fail in Your Own Strength? Let God Strengthen You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Psalms 28:8 (NIV) says, " The LORD is the strength of his people..." Another version says "The Lord gives His people strength."  I don’t know about you but I need it! When I try to accomplish life and goals in my own strength, I fail or fall short. When I try to accomplish life and goals in my strength, it makes me feel like a failure. Why would I bother trying to get anything done in my own strength when God offers me His strength and power?

Psalm 73:26 NIV says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." 2 Corinthians 1:21 NIV says, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  Psalm 84:5 NIV says, “Blessed are those whose strength is in you…” Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) says, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Can you see what God's word is trying to tell us again and again? God's word promises us that He will be our strength!

One day I was reading a Bible story book to my granddaughter, I paused and asked her, Macy, what is it called when someone talks to Jesus? She looked up to me and said, That’s called prayer Papa. She was absolutely right! We may not be able to walk up to Jesus face to face, but we can and are encouraged to come to Him just the same. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” We are exhorted to come to Him with confidence. That’s the same as faith. It pleases God. When we lean on the promises of God, we think and say, This sickness, this problem, this cursed thing is of the devil. It’s not God’s will. God is my strength. He is my healer. He is my deliverer. I am His. He has told me to come to His throne room. He makes me stand firm in my faith. And as we just read, “The Lord is the strength of His people..." 

Leaning on Jesus takes faith. Praying for miracles takes faith. It’s not like breaking a wishbone, finding a four-leaf cover, listening to a motivator or reading a horoscope or fortune cookie that says something nice—all which accomplish less than nothing! It’s about having faith in Jesus as the strength and power of your life for every circumstance—including in the face of adversity and a negative report! It's knowing "I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."Philippians 4:13 (NLT).
You may get weak-kneed and tempted to crumble in the face of adversity, but, that is why God wants us to lean on him to be our strength! Lean on Him, think of this precious promise, and draw His strength by faith now! Then accomplish what He has given you to do!

Psalm 68:35 NLT “God is awesome in His sanctuary. The God of Israel gives power and strength to His people."

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

You're No Wimp! You're To Be As Bold As A Lion!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

When I was in the fourth grade and nine years old, I was one of the smallest boys in school. The smallest boy in school is typically going to get picked on just because he's an easy target. I worked out some by doing push-ups and lifting weights so that I wasn't a complete pushover, but just my size made me feel like I was wearing a sign that said I'm the smallest guy around, come pick on me.

One of my very best friends in school happened to be the biggest and strongest kid in school in that age group. We were always together at school. Consequently, for anyone to get to me, they had to go through him. I knew that I was safe just because of him. I wasn't stupid. I didn't take advantage of the situation and antagonize guys because I had a big friend. I was simply grateful that I did. I was extremely grateful for his friendship, first just because he was a great friend, but secondly, because by just being with me, he saved me from bullies and a lot of trouble.

That's really the way it is with the Lord. We live in a world defiled by Satan and sin. He is everyone's bully although to call Satan a bully would be to understate his evil. I'd compare him to a deviate, drive-by shooter, sociopath, psychopath, murderer... well you get the picture—the one who indiscriminately hates and works to destroy anyone. Jesus described him as the one who has come "to kill, steal, and destroy." The Lord is our friend who is there to help us!

I recently heard a well-known Bible teacher on television say that God brings and allows adversity to test and grow our strength, character, and faith. I highly respect this person and his ministry but on this one point, he is very wrong. God never brought adversity in the Garden of Eden to Adam and Eve, nor would it have come if they hadn't lusted for what they could not have. But they did lust for what was not permissible and consequently death (and everything leading up to death) came to us all because of sin.

We read in Romans 5:12 TLB,  "When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam's sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned."  Sin brought enough adversity for a life-time to each person. Sin has defiled the earth and mankind and created more adversity than any of us could bare to experience. God doesn't have to bring adversity to us. It comes like weeds in a garden or lawn—with no effort or help from anyone. You never plant weeds but they somehow come. And because they do, people expend great effort to remove or kill weeds in the garden and lawn. Likewise, like weeds, we need to resist the trouble from Satan that comes at us in life. It's not people we fight. According to Ephesians 6:12 (TLB), "For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world." 

All sin is rooted in lust and self-concern from wrong selfish choices. The ugly consequences of sin have touched all of our lives. It is the source of every evil in the world, and that evil spills over into our lives creating a world of adversity. Like weeds in a garden, it just somehow comes.

Jesus is the big friend we have in life. His Holy Spirit lives within us. He helps us become "…strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!" (Ephesians 6:10) Though sin came to all men and made us weak and Satan's prey to be picked on, Jesus brought us righteousness to help us be as "bold as a lion!"

Romans 5: 15-17 TLB says, "...And what a difference between our sin and God's generous gift of forgiveness. For this one man, Adam, brought death to many through his sin. But this other man, Jesus Christ, brought forgiveness to many through God's bountiful gift. And the result of God's gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man's sin. For Adam's sin led to condemnation, but we have the free gift of being accepted by God, even though we are guilty of many sins. The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God's wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” 

1 Peter 5:8
says, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour." Satan impersonates a lion, but WE ARE TO BECOME AS BOLD AS A LION! Satan will seek whom he may devour (those that don't know how to resist him.) We are to become the righteous that are as bold as a lion and tell him to flee in Jesus name! Read in your Bibles what demons did when Jesus showed up on the scene. They should cower when they see your boldness! A wicked or slothful man will flee or cave at the first sign of trouble or symptom of sickness. When I feel the attack of the enemy working against me in my life, I remember to roar!

We have a big friend named Jesus! The righteous will lift their head and roar saying, I resist and rebuke you Satan. I reject your efforts to hurt my life. I rebuke you so flee in Jesus name!

Proverbs 28:1 NIV, "The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion."

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, October 08, 2018

Part Three: “Why Is This Happening To Me God?”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

In Part One of "Why is This Happening to Me God?"  and Part Two of "Why is This Happening to Me God?", we talked about people's misconceptions or ignorance of who God is and how He works in our life, and how that can contribute to the troubles people face in life. God has wired us from birth to seek Him. That is why every tribe and nation has had some kind of god in their belief system. They know He exists but they don't always know Him. Even in Christianity there are many sects that do not teach or instruct people in the Bible. I'm sorry but you will never come to know God without doing two things: first receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and becoming born again—John 3:5-7 (NLT2) Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ And secondly, reading and being taught the Bible. The Bible teaches us who God is, His character, the depth of His love, and His plan for redeeming our life through Jesus so that we may spend eternity in Heaven with Him. If you don't learn these things, you'll only have an imaginary picture of who God is that you create yourself. That would be idolatry—creating your own god to your liking.

When you never learn who God is, your imagination takes you to the wrong places and things go south. The god you create will never meet your expectations and disappoint you repeatedly. And so God wants us to read His Word and learn of Him. In Matthew 11:29 (KJV) Jesus said, "... learn of me...and ye shall find rest unto your souls."

When things go wrong in your life, there are two things to absolutely know and walk out. First, you must know that Satan is real and you have an enemy that is trying to take you down. As I said in Part One, He hates all mankind because mankind was created in God's image. God tells us in Ephesians 6:11-12 (NLT) “Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.”

We should not be ignorant of Satan and how he works against us. You cannot defeat an enemy you do not know exists. God has given you two things to defeat the enemy of your soul—His power and authority. In Luke 10:19 Jesus said, "Behold, I give you the authority to trample... over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” He was talking about taking authority over the destroyer in your life—Satan. I've written much about this in the past so I won't say more about that now.

Secondly, You must absolutely know that in difficult times, God is not the source  of your problem. God is the solution. God is in you (the Holy Spirit), with you, and for you! Understand that! When Jesus left his disciples, He promised them and us, "... I am with you always, even to the end of the world" Matthew 28:20 (TLB).  And God gives us this magnificent promise in Psalm 130:7 (NIV) "...put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption."  This says that God's love toward you is unfailing! Though Joseph, David, and Daniel all lived through difficult periods in their life, they knew God's love was unfailing and His will for them was full redemption. That means, that whatever the devil tried to steal from them, God would restore.  If you read their stories, you'll see that though the devil tried to destroy their lives, God fully restored everything to Joseph, David, and Daniel, and to all those who stood in faith. 

Psalm 130:7 (NIV) "...put your hope in the LORDfor with the LORD is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption." God is not the one creating the problems in your life. God is the solution beginning with Jesus. Gods' love toward you is unfailing! God wants to restore everything the devil tries to steal from you. Know these things and your perspective of God and how you handle adversity will change. You'll no longer be a doormat for the devil to eat your lunch. If these truths become deeply rooted in you, then they will be the source of your hope in difficult times. They'll keep you tethered to God.  You'll be able to discern the enemy of your soul as the source of your problems, and you'll begin to resist him in prayer in the name of Jesus. When those seasons of Why is this happening to me God? come in your life, you can rise up in the Lords strength, resist the devil, and watch the Lord turn what the devil meant for evil, turn for good!

Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) "No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, October 05, 2018

Answers to: “Why Is This Happening To Me God?” Part Two

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

In my last post—Part One of "Why is this happening to me God?" I wrote about  why people are tempted to blame God for the destruction and hurt that life brings and leads them to cry out, "Why is this happening to me God?"  I've decided to make this a three-part devotional and teaching, and finish it up next week because I want to talk about one additional reason why people are tempted to blame God and how it affects their life.

In Part One, I wrote, The second reason for the destruction and hurt that people experience is because they have a wrong perception of who God is. I want to add one more line-of-thought to reason two that I should have included in the last post. It's important! This wrong perception undermines the attitude and faith of many Christians—to the point where they see God as unjust and uncaring—leading many to abandon their faith in Him! I've seen it many times and decided I had to include it this writing!their faith in Him! I've seen it many times and decided I had to include it this writing!

One of the questions I've been asked most over the years is, Why do people who don't believe in God or live for God, seem to prosper? That is really the classic question Why do the wicked prosper? There are many difficult things to bear in life, but it seems that one of the hardest for Christians, is when they see arrogant, prideful, godless people prosper and appear to seem blessed while they themselves struggle—financially or otherwise. They see this as injustice and blame God for not caring! Jeremiah's words have spoken to us about this through the ages. Jeremiah 12:1 (NIV) "You are always righteous, O LORD, when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice: Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the faithless live at ease?" Jeremiah was struggling with this. He knew God was always righteous and did what was right yet he couldn't reconcile why the wicked seemed to prosper. If a prophet of God struggles with this, it's likely the most Christians will.

The book of Job shares the same expression of angst. Job 21:7 and 13 (NIV) says, "Why do the wicked live on, growing old and increasing in power?... They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace."

People ask me, Doesn't the Word of God say that His children are the ones who should be blessed? Why does it seem like evil people prosper?  And we might ask ourselves, Why does this bother Christians so much? 

We are in instructed by Jesus in Matthew 5:44-45 NIV to "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous."

We are taught that the Lord lets His goodness touch the lives of those that don't know Him or reject Him. Why? Because He wants them to know that there is a God that loves them. You might not have thought about this, but there is something that happens inside of a person when some wonderful goodness touches their life.

As Christians when great goodness happens, we yearn to thank God. When God allows blessing to touch the life of the sinful or the wicked—especially when they deny the existence of God, they have a dilemma. They want to thank someone and they know deep down, that someone is God. If they say they don't believe in Him, they try to redirect those feelings but, I assure you that the thanks they feel wants to go upward toward Heaven.

For those that don't deny the Lord but who just haven't thought much about Him, or for those who have avoided Him, they do often lift thanks to God but then it makes them feel guilty. They feel this way because they know they aren't right with Him. The goodness or blessing they feel is God’s strategy to help them reevaluate their relationship with Him, hopefully leading them to seek Him. Romans 2:4 TLB reveals this truth. “Don't you realize how patient God is being with you? Or don't you care? Can't you see that He has been waiting all this time without punishing you, to give you time to turn from your sin? His kindness is meant to lead you to repentance."

The goodness of God touches sinners and the wicked so that they will be drawn toward repentance and consider God's kindness, mercy and love. He has touched you and I in the same way. The Bible says in Romans 5:8 (TLB), "But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." In other words, He poured out His love on us when we didn't deserve it. (You might have forgotten that YOU were the wicked at that point in time.)

When God's goodness touches the Christian's life, it is called blessing. When God's goodness touches the sinner's life, it is called the ”goodness and mercy of God." It will feel like a blessing to them but it's not actually a blessing. Blessings are reserved for God's people. It is simply God's goodness and mercy. God is trying to get a hold of them, but He won’t keep trying forever.

God loves all men and is trying to reach them through the things that impact their heart. And yet, it isn't endless. It will come to an end, and if they don't turn to the Lord they will reach the fate, no one wants to face.

If your first thought of blessing is something material, you have the shallowest view of blessing. The richness of knowing Christ, having His Holy Spirit, being able to receive revelation, truth, and insight, and the promise of eternal life, are the greatest of all blessing. But because we live in a defiled and material world, God helps us meet our needs and beyond, as we ask. God does not bless us to consume blessing upon our own lusts. Jesus said, "To whom much is given, much is required." We are blessed to be a blessing! Even to have that revelation is a blessing because that leads someone to the richest life possible—living a purposed-filled life of serving others as Jesus did! Because we as Christians know the Lord, we are rich in blessing. God is good to us and wants to bless us. We just need to remember who we are and stay focused on His will for our lives. God is just and will be the judge of others in His timing. We aren't to be concerned with their justice because it would only distract us from what He has for us to do.

Others may look like they have it all, but the truth is, without Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, they are naked and poor. We on the other hand, are rich in the blessing of being able to live moment by moment intimately and confidently with Him, bathed in His grace! We are the blessed!
Those are the three primary reasons leading to people asking Why me God? Why is this happening to me?  So what should we do about it? Is there anything we can do about this? The answer is yes and it will look at it in Part 3 next time...

Psalm 37:7-9 (TLB) "Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for him to act. Don’t be envious of evil men who prosper. Stop your anger! Turn off your wrath. Don’t fret and worry—it only leads to harm. For the wicked shall be destroyed, but those who trust the Lord shall be given every blessing."

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Part One: “Why Is This Happening To Me God?”

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I think one of the most difficult parts of my job as a Pastor, was watching someone go through a challenging season of their life. The enemy of this world, Satan, whom Jesus called "the thief who comes to kill, steal, and destroy," works overtime to bring hardship to life. We know that. We've all had our moments. My heart feels broken when I see people experience sickness or disease or calamity or lack that devastates their heart and life, and launches them into an emotional tailspin. These people often utter the words, Why me God? Why is this happening to me?

Most of the destruction and hurt that happens in our lives primarily happens for one of three reasons.

The first reason is because of poor choices made. God is always willing and wanting to speak to us, but in general, He speaks softly. When you are a seeker of God and are daily in His Word, it's much easier to catch when God is speaking to you. Too often we look like the little child with his eyes glued to the TV and seemingly deaf to the parent trying to get his attention. God speaks softly and expects us to seek Him. We all come to moments where we know God is trying to warn us to not do something, yet we too often override the warnings God brings to our heart. An acquaintance I've known for a few years recently died. He was far too young for his life to be over. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack. He was very much overweight and his wife said the doctor had been on him to lose the weight for a long time. He just kept putting it off even though his doctor and God had been dealing with him to lose the weight.

A number of years back, I counseled with a man who told me that he began flirting with a woman in his workplace. Initially he thought it was just harmless fun. He revealed that God was warning him to back off but he was confident he would not cross any lines. He was wrong. He soon became emotionally involved and it led to an affair. He ended up destroying his marriage and family. I had asked him to completely break it off prior to having the affair. Even if it meant changing jobs. He didn't listen to me and but more importantly, he didn't listen to God warning him. It was that warning from God that brought him into my office in the first place. After his life had crashed he told me he cried out asking the question Why me God? Why is this happening to me. I had to be honest with him and tell him that to put the responsibility of his life crashing on God, was to not take responsibility for his actions. It wasn't God’s doing.  God was trying to protect him from the hardship is was moving toward. It was about his own choices. Jeremiah 32:33 (NLT) says it like this, "My people have turned their backs on me and have refused to return. Even though I diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey." 

The second reason for the destruction and hurt that people experience is because they have a wrong perception of who God is. For example; this world is filled with people who think God is too busy to help them. They think He is a billion miles away and they are too insignificant for God to care about. These are both lies that have been perpetuated out of ignorance. God wants to hear your prayers! He cares about every detail of your life and wants you to have His wisdom to walk through life with His grace and favor. Philippians 4:6 (NIV) says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." And God wants to be close and intimate with you! James 4:8 (NKJV) says, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." 

Believing wrongly about God because of ignorance of the depth of His love can lead you to be afraid of, or indifferent toward God. The love and help you could receive won't happen because of believing wrongly about Him! Hosea 4:6 (KJV) says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..." Because of ignorant and wrong perceptions of God, people ignore Him and never learn of Him or of His ways from His Word, the Bible. They figure out their own way of doing life that often conflicts and is contrary to God's ways. There own ways often lead them to destruction in their life. For example, many people think its okay to have sex outside of marriage. They may be ignorant of God’s ways but that won’t stop the fallout of unplanned children or sexually transmitted diseases such as Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Herpes, or others. Because they were ignorant of God's ways and boundaries, they opened themselves up to the afflicting diseases and in their low point, cried out to God, Why me God? Why is this happening to me? 

People that ignore God or don't take the time to learn His Word and ways, lose the benefit of His love, direction, instruction, and help in times of trouble. People that make their own path most often lead themselves into heart-wrenching trouble. Isaiah 53:6 NIV says, "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way..."

The third reason for much of the destruction and hurt that happens in people’s lives is because of ignorance of the enemy of their soul. They don't know or they don't believe in Satan. They do not know of his hatred and demonic assignment of destruction toward God’s creation. Some Christians think the devil only hates them but that's not true. The devil hates all of mankind and everything God has created! Mankind is God's creation and were created in His image and for that reason, Satan hates us. As I said earlier, Jesus told us that Satan "is the thief that has come to kill, steal, and destroy." Satan likes us to think he is just a storybook character or a holiday icon, but definitely not real. Most people actually do think he is make-believe. Satan loves that because then he pins the destruction that plagues mankind on God. And so the question comes to all affected in their darkest times saying, Why me God? Why is this happening to me? 

Those are the three primary reasons leading to people asking Why me God? Why is this happening to me? More on these reasons next time... 

1 Thessalonians 4:13 & 5:11 (NLT2) "And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers... so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.... So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." 

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!

How Your Donations Are Used? click here

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2018 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/