About Tim Burt

Friday, November 15, 2019

A True Game-Changer: Heart-Felt Appreciation

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

There's a paradox I think most of us have experienced in life, that I've been reminded of lately. The paradox is this: Acts of kindness from you toward others is often un or underappreciated. Why is that so? I don't know but look the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. The magnitude of severity that disease created in their life was beyond words. Suddenly Jesus heals them all yet only one comes back to thank Him. Who can explain that? Not me. But it happens in life and for that reason, I encourage you not to be one of the thankless nine!

If you're thinking, We shouldn't do things so that we are appreciated, I could not agree with you more. And yet, appreciation serves a wonderful purpose which is why Jesus spoke to the one leper who came to thank Him saying, Where there not ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Jesus wasn't looking to be thanked. He simply knew it wasn't normal or healthy for those nine not to be thankful and full of appreciation.

By the grace of God I've had a few special people touch my life with appreciation that I'll never forget. I'll tell you the story of one.

One afternoon, my doorbell rang. There at my door was a young man who had become special to me. He was on one of the serving teams of my monthly leadership breakfast of about 250 men. He had started a business and had asked if I would mentor him. I told him that my schedule did not allow me the time for personal mentoring but that if he stayed involved in a few areas of ministry with me, he would be able to see how I executed leadership and learn many things that would help him. As it turned out, I did manage to create a few opportunities to personally meet, talk, and help him from time-to-time. He wanted to be mentored in areas of biblical leadership, business, and integrity. He was always a deeply respectful, appreciative, and honoring type person.

Overtime, he became very successful in his business, and became a great husband, father, and leader. As far as I was concerned, his business was one of the best around for what they did. I had hired his company on a few occasions for work I needed done and their work was always excellent.

So anyway, here he was at my door, yet I didn’t know why. He proceeded to tell me how much my influence on his life had helped him become who he was, and how appreciative he was for my help. He wanted to do something truly significant to show me his appreciation. I assured him that his words were gracious and kind, greatly appreciated. I needed nothing more. He proceeded to give me a gift—a watch that was beautiful and had great value. I was astounded! As valuable as the watch was, it was the thought and his heart behind it that made it one of the most meaningful gifts of appreciation I’ve ever received. But to be honest, it cost him a significant amount of money. And to him, that was the point. He wanted his appreciation to be more than just words.

I’ve tried to help others throughout my Christian life. It's who God has shaped me to be. I have never looked for or expected anything back. Now, without being offensive, let me say that men typically aren’t very good at showing or expressing appreciation—especially in any kind of meaningful way. This man and this act of appreciation and kindness was one of those few exceptions in my life.

So why am I telling you this today? I have written this to say that there are people around you who make consistent personal sacrifices to make your life better—to be a touch of God's love in your life. Do you know who they are? Have you thought about but not taken the time to let them know you appreciate their effort? You want to do so! You know why? Because an attitude of graditude will enrich your life and shape you into a better person. Forget how that would happen. Just know that its true. Walk it out and experience it for yourself. When you become one who notices and appreciate the efforts of others, it increases the valuable of what they do for you. It also encourages them that the sacrificial effort they make is appreciated. It strengthens and energizes them to keep on being a blessing. If you don't think this is true, go read how Jesus wasn't honored or appreciated in his own home town and consequently could do no mighty miracles. Appreciation is not just for others. It strengthens and shapes your own faith and character! So go for it! Thank and appreciate someone who's blessing your life. Make it a core value in your life. Do this and your life will become even richer than it is now!

1 Thessalonians 5:12 (Message Bible) “And now, friends, we ask you to honor those who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Your Robe, Your Ring, and Your Sandals

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

This is one of my all-time most read blog posts. I updated it for you and pray it will bless you! Thanks, Pastor Tim 

I am sure that most of you have heard of or have read the story of the prodigal son. If there were ever a story to read over and over and over again, it’s this story. If there were ever a story taught by Jesus with the intention of helping us understand the Lord’s love, patience, mercy and grace toward us—despite our daily slip ups and failures, it’s this story.

Over time, the Holy Spirit will teach you a thousand lessons through this story if you will approach it with the purpose of being taught, each time you read it. Today, I’d like to point a few very important things that will help us receive God’s strength to live mightily before Him.

It's Party Time: The Prodigal Son

The prodigal son decides he wants his inheritance and wants to move out so he can party! His father obliges him. When he left home, I imagine him to be much like many teenagers or young adults today. I believe he wanted to spread his wings, experience more of life, find out for himself who he was, and experience life his way. He probably had only one person on his mind that he cared for—himself! Of course this led him to every wrong place life can take someone. He quickly goes out, buys friendships and squanders all his money away. When his money ran out, so did his friends! They were history. The son had to go work with pigs to earn some money. It was at that time that the lights came on for him! He had been stupid and knew it. Now what should he do?    

Luke 15:17-23 NIV "When he (the prodigal son) finally came to his senses, he said to himself, 'At home even the hired men have food enough to spare, and here I am, dying of hunger! I will go home to my father and say, "Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired man." ‘“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.' "But his father said to the servants, 'Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast…”

When he “came to his senses” he came home humbled before his father. How did his father greet him? With the celebration of a loving parent who had always been watching and praying for him. He was a man of faith, not despair. He knew that his son was not under his control nor anyone's except the enemy of his soul as long as he yielded to wrong choices. He believed that faith-filled prayers would move the heart of God so that God would continuously work to remind this wayward young man of those that loved him. Thirdly, his father was a man of great love, patience, grace, and mercy. He was praying and carried great expectation that at some moment his son would return. When he saw his son approaching, he ran out to meet him. The father’s goal was not to berate, humble or shame his son—not to say, I told you so. Nor to make him pay for his stupidity and squandering. It was to sincerely rejoice and greet him with a heart of love and forgiveness, embracing him with the grace and love of a father. This was the greeting that no prodigal would expect or feel worthy of. This kind of love is overwhelming because it makes one feel so undeserving, yet when accepted, brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.

I am sure the son wanted to apologize a thousand times over. The father probably listened only to satisfy his son’s need to repent. From there he moved toward restoration. He put the finest robe on his son. That robe represents the robe of righteousness provided through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. It is the garment that God covers each of us with so that when he looks at us, He only sees us washed in white and as His child. “Our sins He remembers no more.” (Hebrews 10:17) That robe is what symbolizes us as acceptable and justified—seen as not guilty before the Lord. That was the first act of the Father to his son who had come home. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.

Next the father put a ring on his finger. To us that ring symbolizes the authority of being a child of God. It represents the authority given us through the name of Jesus. It symbolizes the strength given us through the Holy Spirit to overcome temptation and sin. It symbolizes the discernment to beware of the deceitful schemes of the enemy to draw us off course. It gives us the confidence to pray faith-filled prayers. The ring is symbolic of the source of our authority to live an overcoming life for God. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose.

Finally, the father put sandals on his son’s feet symbolizing his loving welcome home and a new beginning to share with others the kind of love that his father had shown him. God has given to us the ministry of reconciliation—the sharing of His grace and love with the world around us. This kind of love brings great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose. His sandals represented God's purpose for us. Freely you have received, now freely give. 

And then He celebrated His son! God’s love brings us great acceptance, healing, and renewed purpose to all. We are all prodigal sons. God died for us while we were sinners! He put a robe of righteousness on you to cover your flaws, a ring on your finger to use the name and authority of Jesus in prayer, and sandals on our feet so we could rise up as ambassadors sharing the depth of God's love with others as our purpose.

This story is about God's love redeeming you and I to a new life in Him. So let's go live it!

Isaiah 60:1 (NKJV)"Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you."  

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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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Monday, November 11, 2019

Defeating Demonic Attacks Against Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I was reading in Psalms 44. Not only reading, but trying to memorize some verses that the Lord had emphasized to me as critical to stand upon in faith this year. Psalm 44:4-5 (NLT) “You are my King and my God. You command victories for your people. Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.”

As I was committing them to memory, I had the thought: Most people in America couldn't relate to these scriptures. Israelis are surrounded by their enemies—enemies who plot and work toward their destruction daily. In this country, we've been so protected on the home-front from military attacks, people seldom ever worry about a foreign enemy attacking us on our soil. Pearl Harbor was devastating, yet because it happened in Hawaii, away from the mainland, it was not the same as happening here. The Cuban Missile Crisis was probably one of the greatest recent threats and that was way back in 1961. For many it wasn't until 9/11 in 2001 when the United States experienced a horrific terrorist attack that enemies and foes became more real to the non-military, everyday civilian in this country. Even than, it wasn't like the 6-day war Israel faced in 1967. Israel to this day still lives under daily threat of foes and enemies. So unless people in this nation have experienced military encounters through their service in the military or loss of a loved one in action, “pushing back enemies and trampling foes” can be difficult to relate to.

As Christians we shouldn't be unfamiliar with these ideas! If you've had very little exposure to the Bible, then imaging battles between God’s angels and Satan's demons sounds like something better left to the sci-fi channel.

This is far too large a subject to tackle in a devotion, but I will say this; the demonic world is real and demons work behind the scenes to destroy and undermine everything that is good and of God. Satan is behind all the evil in this world. God will one day destroy all evil but He hasn't done so yet. To do so He would have to also judge all those participating in any kind of evil whatsoever, including all of mankind today. He sent Jesus to save mankind, not destroy it. His plan to save man while pushing back evil continues on today!

Trampling our enemies is and should be very real to us. We are to trample upon the demonic spirits that come against the church, our family, our children, our lives, our nation, and anything you see that bears the constant presence or attack of evil.  ISIS may seem like the extreme of evil but it goes all the way down to the perverts, drug pushers, and world of evil people that are at work in our society today—including those coming against you for no apparent reason! Any attack against your life is something you should resist!

How do we trample our enemies? We do so in prayer. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said in Luke 10:19-20 (NIV) "I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven."  When Jesus said “snakes and scorpions,” by reading further you see He was referring to evil spirits. Again, Jesus said,  “I give you authority to trample….” This is called spiritual authority and as a believer you have it to use in prayer using Jesus name!

The Apostle Paul brought more insight saying, 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.”

The thought of praying and taking authority over the enemy trying to steal your job or livelihood may be unfamiliar to you. You may not be facing soldiers and foreign enemies literally invading your home like in some countries. But, there is an invasion of the enemy trying to steal your faith and confidence that God loves you and wants to bless you. Demonic forces are at work trying to steal the blessing of God from every area of your life. We trample them by taking authority over them in prayer. You’ve been given authority. Rebuke every attack of the enemy coming against you, your home, your loved ones, and your nation in Jesus name today!

Psalm 44:4-5 “You are my King and my God. You command victories for your people. Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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© 2019 All rights reserved

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Friday, November 08, 2019

Master Your Lazy Flesh!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Probably like you, I’d describe my life as fairly busy. My heart wants to be productive and do good things—especially helping others. My flesh isn’t always on that same page. It would like to be more sedentary. When I have free time for myself, except for getting rest when I need it, I would rather do something productive than just sit around. I’d rather spend time with Renee or garden or go golfing. I'd rather write a blog or tweet on Twitter that encourages someone. I'd be happier doing something for a neighbor than just sitting around. I’d rather connect with friends, or get an errand done, or go out for a power-walk. But, despite being and feeling like this, my flesh often screams Let's just do nothing! It wants to be lazy. I hate and resist letting myself be lazy. Why? Because your body wants to be lazy and if it could, it would take over and lobby for being lazy all the time! If I let that happen, lazy is what I’d become. And I’ve noticed that over all the years, that’s never changed. There are times when I think I can hear my body screaming, Will you leave me alone. I just want to do nothing!

The reason I don't leave it alone is because I don’t want to look back on my life with regret. I guess we will all have some regrets from mistakes we’ve made. We can’t get around that. But I don’t want to have regrets of wasting the precious time that Jesus has given me on this earth. I don’t know if there is anything more exciting in this life than having a purpose-filled life. And when your purpose is to influence others with the touch of Jesus’ love, I don’t think it gets better than that!

This means that I have to be the boss over my own lazy flesh. There are many ways I walk that out such as accepting opportunities and become committed to things I believe the Lord is leading me to do.  I have my core disciplines—spiritually, mentally, and physically that I execute faithfully. I can’t let my flesh dictate what I eat or the disciplines of my exercise routine. If I did, it would be junk food and no exercise. I have to eat well and moderate what I eat including cutting out those foods I’ve had a lousy track record with. I have to discipline myself to get enough exercise to stay on the up side of physical fitness. And, I need to refresh myself continuously in God’s Word and the promises of His love and help. I also fall on my knees thanking Him and asking for His grace and help. I’d have to continuously ask for His strength, right motivation, and a good attitude.

This is what helps me dominate my lazy whining flesh so that it becomes a slave to me. If I’ve learned anything over the years, it’s this; your flesh will learn to cooperate with your heart and it can become disciplined and accustomed to do what you want it to do. But, give it an inch and begin to let it pick up some bad habits, and it will take you down the flesh-out road as fast as you will let it. So I don’t! With the help of God’s grace which is very tangible to me, I don’t! I talk to and lean on God for His help all day long! I push myself to do what is profitable. Renee is the same. Together we help & encourage each other!

Today I am looking in the mirror and reminding my flesh who’s the boss. It’s my spirit— my inward man taught and led by the Holy Spirit. Being the boss over my lazy flesh gives opportunity for God to have His way in me. And so today I will think upon those powerful and motivating words of God spoken through the Apostle Paul:

1 Cor. 9:24-27 “…Run in such a way as to get life’s prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Protect Good Relationships or Live a Wounded Life!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I don't know of more harmful weakness overall in the body of Christ than the unwillingness to work through relational conflict. I would’t be surprised if most of us have had a close friend take offense by something we've said or done, (or not done) at some point in life. The majority of all personal daily conflict is born out of miscommunication and misunderstanding. You've heard the words and said the words...   I thought you said...   I thought you meant... That's not what I said... Yes it was!  

Life is fast paced and research shows that the majority of people are not good listeners! If you are congratulations, but, you may want to verify that with your spouse or good friend.

We all have times where we're like that child who's laser-focused on something and deaf to our surroundings. We all get distracted. There are countless reasons why people don't fully pay attention or listen as well as they should. But the bottom line is, those moments happen frequently and lead to the misunderstanding of what we thought we've heard. When misunderstanding happens, people get offended because of misinformed perspectives that lead to arguing, offense, and putting up walls. Though the Bible instructs us to resolve conflict, the amount of conflicts in your life that have never been settled to your satisfaction are staggering! Don't believe me? Just think about it for a few days. Ask the Lord to point them out. He will!

When misunderstanding happens, people work quickly to justify themselves, sharing their view of the problem with would-be sympathizers. That sharing is really gossip. Your justification will always carry your perspective but that doesn't mean your perspective is right. It's why God wants to quickly move toward mercy and forgiveness. If issues are not worked out, the chasm between two people grows farther apart and bitterness begins to set in. Then friendships are injured or even destroyed. That’s what Psalms 41:9 (NLT) implies, "Even my best friend, the one I trusted completely, the one who shared my food, has turned against me." 

Two people verbally duking it out—especially husbands and wives, will eventually say hurtful things and even trash each other's character and reputation. As bitterness begins to take root, it gets more difficult to resolve misunderstandings and issues. This is such a sad thing and especially when it's over a misunderstanding. Things could be resolved between two Christians if they humbled themselves and took the high road to work it out—especially friends! A person that isn't loyal to a friendship doesn't know what friendship is and doesn't know how to be a true friend. Proverbs 17:17 says, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” The roots  of Christian love and loyalty in a good friendship should run deep, yet some Christians act petty and reckless, willing to discard a good friendship over a misunderstanding. That begs the question; Was that person ever a good friend to begin with?  

Every Christian's personal development and efforts toward maturity must have a foundation of forgiveness and overlooking offense. Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) says, "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."  We forgive others when they don't deserve it because Jesus forgave us when we did not deserve it. We overlook offense when others do wrong because we desire the mercy of God to overlook our short-comings daily!  If this is not the foundation of your maturity then you simply aren't mature. Ouch! Sorry about that!

As Christians maturing in our faith, we should first; work toward the purging of being easily offended from our character. This is what the Apostle Paul exhorted us to do in Acts 24:16. “… I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.”  Paul understood how often petty offences could happen and how important it was to overlook them, never giving them a chance to take root.

Secondly, as Christians maturing in our faith, we must learn to value friendships and relationships enough to work through conflict quickly. That happens best when you stop a conflict before it begins. You do that by pausing, calming yourself down, and instinctively thinking, this might be a misunderstanding. Take the time to be sure you are hearing what they said correctly.  Staying humble and willing to quickly apologize when there is a misunderstanding is learning to put a dagger in the majority of all conflicts you'll have—including the imaginary ones you have in your mind! Shut them down!

Third, as Christians maturing in our faith, when you do get into a conflict, you must do your best to value the relationship enough to be the calming agent and desire to work through it with the goal of forgiveness and reconciliation. You may even want to do that when you feel in the right and the other person is being stubborn or reckless. If that happens, then at least you've done what's right, regardless of what they do. You can live with yourself much easier knowing you sincerely tried.

The question for you today is, do you know the true value of a good relationships and have you done your best to guard them? Do you get fickle and trash someone because you are in unresolved conflict? Do you realize how God feels about this? Today is the day to grow up in the Lord and guard relationships, not destroy them. As Proverbs 17:9 says, “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, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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© 2019 All rights reserved

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TimBurt.org

Monday, November 04, 2019

Supernatural Provision and Protection in Times of Hardship

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Hardships show up in every single person's life at some point! Some draw closer to God in those times but even more abandon God! In 1 Kings 17:1-2 we read about Elijah, a great prophet of God. God is about to do something in the earth having to do with judgment over the ungodly leaders of the land. This judgment will affect the people and hardship will come. When you read a story like this, it's good to try and imagine it happening in this real world that we live in. Of course no one else on the planet was aware of what God was about to do. Even Elijah, whom God was going to use, may have only had partial knowledge of all that would result. Elijah was a trusted messenger of God and about to be used by God to prophesy and declare the coming days. Once Elijah spoke those words, they would go into effect.


We read: "Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, 'As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.' 1 Kings 17:1 (NIV)"  

Put yourself in the shoes of someone living in that day—maybe a farmer or cattle raiser. Suddenly the beginning of a three-year drought begins. It will gravely affect everything and everyone. It is a judgment and it’s going to happen. Maybe you did nothing to deserve any part of it. Maybe you still love God like Elijah did and are living for Him. Are you still then affected by it? The answer is yes! This kind of judgment can affect everyone. There are specific reasons judgment comes, but to those that follow the Lord and love Him, they have to have faith. They have to have faith that God will minister to them and lead them through these seasons of life with supernatural protection and provision such as when Moses led the children of Israel to the Promised Land.

Can you imagine God commanding blessing to manifest in your life to provide for you during a time like this? Elijah was affected by the drought. And to make matters worse, he knew he would be persecuted by the King for even speaking the words he did! But God commanded provision and protection for Elijah as long as Elijah followed God's direction. As soon as Elijah spoke the words God wanted him to speak, the Lord then said to him "Go to the east and hide by Kerith Brook at a place east of where it enters the Jordan River. Drink from the brook and eat what the ravens bring you, for I have commanded them to bring you food." (1 Kings 17:3-4 (NIV) It says God commanded ravens to bring him food. God will always command your provision when you look to Him in faith! Always! Are you leaning on Him? Are you looking to Him in faith?

Hardship takes its toll. At the end of three years, God told Elijah there were still 7,000 people who hadn't abandoned Him to serve other gods. That’s really not very many when you are talking over a million people. Hardship takes its toll. People give up on God. God does care and will manifest provision if they will seek Him for it in faith. Hardship may seem to touch your life. You may seem to suffer some losses, but in the end God will provide and God will redeem what was stolen. The question is; Can you believe in His love for you? Can you stand in faith? Do you believe He hasn't deserted you? The devil will sing your hardships in your ear. He would
like to convince you that God has abandoned you. During Job’s difficulties (brought on by Satan), Job’s wife said to Job: “Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die." (Job 2:9 (NIV)

Psalm 34:19 (NIV) says, "A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all." Circumstances in life can discourage you. Satan has an army of discouragers—people who've become discouraged and practice "misery loves company."  Can you find personal encouragement through the promise of God's word? Are you hiding these promises in your heart so that you can think about them at every point of discouragement? If you can, then talk to God about Him leading you into supernatural protection and provision and trust that He will provide what you need now, and restore to you over time what has been lost. Remember: Deuteronomy 4:31 (NIV) “For the Lord your God is a merciful God; He will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which He confirmed to them by oath.”

1 Samuel 30:6 (KJV) "David was greatly distressed...but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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© 2019 All rights reserved

https://
TimBurt.org

Friday, November 01, 2019

Remember When You Almost Got Killed?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

One night Renee and I were coming home from some friends house. We were stopped at an intersection with a red light. The stop light was getting ready to change from red to green. Suddenly this mini-van came charging up behind us, then quickly whipping into the left turn lane whose light was just about to turn red. The vehicle did not slow down or stop, but instead, raced through the light that had now turned red. I thought the van was going to flip over. It didn’t. The wheels just squealed as they raced through the red light.


On the other side of the highway opposite us, were two motorcycles that, like us, were waiting for the red light to change green to proceed. Their light had changed green and they were just about to take off when this mini-van raced through the red light and turned right into their path. Thank God they hesitated before taking off or two motorcycle drivers would have been killed. I was praising God they had not been hit. As our light changed and we continued on our way, I couldn’t shake the thought of how close they had just come to being killed because of someone’s reckless actions.

I have had this particular thought many times through life and once again, it was reinforced. I've thought, If people make it to adulthood, somewhere along their path of life, they have experienced God’s protection and miracle saving power and have had their life spared. Why do I say this? Because periodically, I ask people the question, Can you remember a time in your life where you almost died but were spared? I've NEVER had anyone yet NOT be able to tell me a story of how they almost died. Stop and think for a minute. Have you had a time or two where your life was almost taken and yet you were spared? If you are in a break room or at lunch table today, ask a few people that question. I think you’ll be amazed at the stories you hear.

I say this because there are so many people who think we can’t see God and yet God has already shown up in their life and saved them from either their own reckless destruction or someone else’s, or from some fluky accident. God is always out there trying to reveal His love and working to protect us from the devil’s destructive touch that operates in this earth.

You may be facing trouble right now and wondering, Where is God in all this? If you can’t see Him at the moment, then look back and remember the times He has helped you and delivered you from destructive forces that almost took your life. Then turn your worry and concern into prayers of thanksgiving and faith that He is helping you now! Jesus has saved you from eternal destruction and given you eternal life. He will also help you now. It is His will and His love toward you!

Isaiah 41:10 (NLT) Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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Wednesday, October 30, 2019

A Life of Choices in a World of Good and Evil

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I think many of us have seen the old War on Drugs commercial. It had a slogan; "Just say No!" The word no is a critical word in life. There's way too much in life that we get to say yes to. There's critical things we should say no to. And if you didn't catch the implication of the last statement, to say yes or to say no is a choice. It is the exercise of free will. You get to make the choice of what you say yes or no to in life. God made us uniquely different from every creature in this world in a number of ways—one of those being, we are given free will to make our own choices. We all know that making choices can backfire. We know that because we've all felt the pain of making some bad choices.

Most people don't understand God or His Word well enough to understand that choices—specifically bad choices, are what have messed up the world we live in—not God's mismanagement of this world! To even suggest that is worst-case ignorance! God has given us free will to make our lives and this world a better place. When we see the mess that we've created, then hopefully we'll understand our need for God and for walking in His ways! That is what makes the world more civil, filled with His love, and leads to blessing instead of destruction!

People wonder frequently, Why does God tolerate the evil that is in this world? The truth is, it isn't about God tolerating evil. God's very nature is love and the nature of love is that it gives freedom—the right to choose. The evil and pain that is in this world is because of people making a never-ending stream of bad choices. Bad choices lead to hurt and pain that reaches far further than just the individual who is making them. This is why God exhorts us saying, "With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused." Ephesians 4:17 (NLT)  The Lord is telling us that we have the right and authority to make right choices, but we need to learn to say no to choices that hurt ourself or that can ultimately hurt others. When the Lord is referring to Gentiles, He is referring to non-believers who don't know God's ways! He said they will be hopelessly confused.

As Christians, we are not supposed to be ignorant of His ways. We're to learn what is good and what is evil and learn to say No to making bad choices. Saying No, is good. Saying No to the piece of dessert when you are overweight and trying to lose weight is good. Saying No to the temptation to flirt with someone that is not your spouse is good. Saying No to the child that is acting unruly is good. Saying No to the temptation to view pornography is good. Saying No to the partying that leads to drugs and drunkenness is good!  Saying No to the temptation to an emotional outburst when you are upset that will only make a problem worse, is good.

Strength comes from resistance. When you lift weights or exercise, you are creating resistance to strengthen your muscles. The blessing is this: muscle strength is created through resistance and your ability to resist grows stronger. Learning to say No to things you should say no to, accomplishes the same thing. You grow stronger at it.

It seems like some Pastors are afraid to talk about the no’s that God instructs us in through His Word. Many are afraid someone will get the impression that the Bible, Jesus, and the church are just about do's and don'ts. I guess that could happen if God’s motives weren't explained and if people weren't taught that every no carries a message and motive of love. God instructs us to say Yes to things He desires us to do because He knows it will lead to blessing and joy. Like a loving parent, God instructs us to say No to things that He knows will hurt us and others. His yes's and no's are both motivated by His desire to love, bless, and protect us.

I surrendered my life to the Lord at the age of 24. I’ve been practicing living in the yes’s and the no’s of God since.  And they have nothing to do with going to Heaven. Heaven is a gift of God’s grace through Jesus Christ alone. Yes’s and no’s are about the quality of life we create for ourself and the world around us. And as I said, they are both motivated by God’s heart of love.There is much that God encourages me to say Yes to that brings great blessing into my life. I’ve also been living in the no’s because they bombard me every day—spiritually, mentally, and physically. Spiritually, God tells me that I get to yes—draw near to Him and fellowship with Him. But my busy days try to push back and shout, No, there isn’t enough time—you’ve got too much to do and you need more sleep. To the Lord I say yes and to the temptations I say no.

This world is filled with pain because of people that haven't said no to being mean, rude, selfish, lustful, greedy, and evil. God did not cause this world of pain. People cause this world of pain. This is why God wants you to build up the muscle that comes from saying No to the things you know in your heart are inappropriate. There is a God-given supernatural inward strength He promises to those that have faith in this promise and lean upon it. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." That means that the Lord will help you say Yes and No at the appropriate times.

To God I say, Yes, and thank you Lord for your help and grace to do what is right. To the temptations that I know violate God's heart and ways, I say No. To things deep down I know God would rather not have me do that aren't sin, I say No! Oh how I love the Lord’s inward strength helping me. Oh how I love building my spiritual strength to say Yes to God's instruction and to say No to the devil's temptations! It’s a part of the God-life!

Proverbs 3:1-2 (NIV) "My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity."

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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© 2019 All rights reserved

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Monday, October 28, 2019

Christians: Get This Settled in Your Heart Forever!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

I felt terrorized! I was nine years old, standing outside the principal’s office and waiting to be called in to be disciplined. It was the most scared I had ever been in my life. The principal was not a nice person. She always looked and sounded angry. She had disciplined me a few weeks earlier for something I did not do. My teacher had even told her she had disciplined the wrong guy. She didn’t even apologize. Her words were, He probably deserved it anyway. To get pulled into her office for judgment again that day was terrorizing.

Many people are afraid that this is what it's going to be like when they one day stand before God—their conscience over-stimulated with what they know wouldn’t be pleasing to God. Consequently, they would rather push the reality of God out of their mind, renaming Him a crutch for weak people, or nonexistent, or re-inventing God to their liking, than think about and feel terrorized in their heart over the thought of one day standing before Him for their life’s actions. They feel this way because they really don't know Him. Their ignorance of God's mercy, kindness, and love, is tragic!

God's not like my less-than-wonderful school principal. God is God. He is merciful, patient, kind, just, holy, all-knowing, all-seeing, and a thousand wonderful things more. Your mind is not capable of understanding the depth, love, magnificence and wisdom of God without the help of the Holy Spirit. People can deny His existence and push Him away, but He is still God and He is still there. He is not evil. He is good. He's not waiting to pounce or bring revenge for every wrong you've done. To the contrary, His mercy is new day-by-day (because you and I need it. He has a plan for every person to stand before Him without fear. And that plan is Jesus.

Jesus paid the price for our sins through His death. He paid the price and punishment upon the cross for the sins we committed. Knowing this and receiving Him into our heart as Savior is what enables us to stand before Him washed and cleansed from sin.  He did this out of His great love for us—not out of a desire to punish us. The book of Revelation shows a time where all of Heaven is singing about this great love and what Jesus did for all mankind—for all who would believe. Revelation 5:9 (NLT) "And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy... For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."  God is not someone to be afraid of. He's someone to run to!

Terrorists represent the heart of Satan. They hate everyone indiscriminately and with evil intent, steal the lives of others—unlike Jesus who loves and gave up His life for the love of all. God is not someone to be afraid of. God didn't love us when and while we were living perfect for Him. He loved us when we were at our worst. I know we struggle to love others when they reject us or are mean to us, but God doesn't! And Jesus is the proof. That is what makes Him God and so wonderful. Romans 5:8 NLT reminds us, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." This kind of love is greater than we can wrap our minds around. We have to accept it by faith.

And if we blow it? What do we do? First, it's not if you blow it. It's when you blow it. You will. But, God knows that for you to learn to live for Him is a process of learning and trying. So He says to us in, 1 John 1:8-10 NLT "If we say we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and refusing to accept the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong doing. If we claim we have not sinned, we are calling God a liar and showing that His word has no place in our hearts."

Each of us is constantly surrounded by two kinds of people. The ones that don't know the Lord and are dealing with their fear of God for what they think He will do to them, and the ones that know the Lord and are still dealing with thoughts of condemnation, guilt, and thinking God is rejecting them. Is that you? Well then let this be settled in your heart and mind today! Jesus is not out to get you! He is out to love you, save you, and help you get your life right. If you know the Lord and are still struggling with His love, because in your mind, you don't measure up; then confess your sins, receive His forgiveness, regroup, and learn of His love. HE LOVES YOU!

Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)  “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool." 

In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

If Fresh Manna is a blessing to you, I'd love to know. Click here: FreshMannaFeedback@gmail.com




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© 2019 All rights reserved

https://
TimBurt.org