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Friday, October 20, 2017

The Baby Duck Rescue: A Story of God's Wisdom and Grace

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I am republishing this by request! It will bless you! ~ Pastor Tim

I am so thankful to the Lord for His intimate caring and involvement in my life. I am thankful daily for His grace and wisdom to help me in the myriad of things I need help with. Some people don't like to admit they need help. I am not one of them. I see the Lord's influence in my thought-life and decision-making, and look for His wisdom in all things—big and small. He promises to give us wisdom and I rely on that promise like a fish relies on water.

One day, I came home from work to eat lunch. As I was getting out of my car, I saw a duck by our curb that was acting frantic. It kept walking in circles and quacking. Then it would fly in a small circle, land, and walk again in a circle making a frantic quacking sound. I watched for a couple of minutes but couldn't figure out what the duck was doing. As I started to walk into the house I said, Lord, what is the problem with that duck?Suddenly, the answer came to me. It's babies fell through the street grate into the sewer. I stopped in my tracks, went and got a spotlight from my garage, and went over to the sewer grate a couple of feet from where the duck was standing. I shined it down, and saw and heard six little baby ducklings.

They didn't know what to do. Nor did mother duck or myself. I thought, Lord you showed me that they were here.You didn't show me that so that I could do nothing. What should I do? Suddenly I saw another picture in my mind. This sewer ran underground to the creek in my back yard. The end of the sewer exited into the creek with a grate over it. I ran to the ends of sewer extending into the creek. I got down by the grate and began making duck calls. I probably sounded like a fool but what the heck, I was on a rescue mission. I thought the ducklings could hear me because it seemed like I could hear them moving toward me as I quacked. (No jokes about being a quack please!)

I went back to the mother duck and tried to coax her to the back yard. It wasn't working. I went back to the creek sewer entrance and quacked some more. The babies were coming toward me. The mother flew toward me to see what I was doing. I lifted the grate figuring she might hear her babies and go get them. She did. She scooted them out until the exited into the creek and swam away. If ducks can smile, she was smiling!

I went into my garage and got some birdseed. I put it on a ceramic plate and called (yes quacked) for them to come and eat. They came and dove in it. It was a fun ending to a traumatic event for them.
Later that day, the Lord spoke to me about what had happened. He said, Today you experienced what I do daily. People get in a crisis. They cry out to me. I try to lead them to their solution but they are so  absent of faith and blinded by their crisis that they can't see past it . The Lord said, Just as you had the ducks best interests at heart the entire time, so do I. But, because people are paralyzed by fear instead of being at peace while leaning on me in faith, they too often miss their help.

Jesus reminds us of His care for us always, saying,  “What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." (Luke 12:6-7 NLT)
I thank God that He does care for us intimately and  in every detail of our life from the most important things, down to helping a distressed duck. His wisdom and grace to help are available to us for every situation. Praise His Holy Name!

James 1:5 (NIV) "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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






Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Accusations, Defended, Transformed - That's You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Have you ever been accused of something that you know you did not do? It hurts and most people will do what they can to prove the accusation false. Accusations hurt and if they are made public, defame your character which hurts even more.
If you are a Bible reader you know that the ultimate accuser in our life is not a person. It is Satan himself. In the book of Revelation we read about the beginning of his end. He has had this place of being able to bring accusation against us through the ages. But at the end of the last days God will deal with him and stop his accusations once for all. I am showing you these scriptures not to teach you about end times, but to help you see for yourself the evil character and strategy of Satan in our lives.
Rev. 12:7-10 (NLT) Then there was war in heaven. Michael and the angels under his command fought the dragon and his angels. And the dragon lost the battle and was forced out of heaven. This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the Devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels. Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, It has happened at last—the salvation and power and kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ! For the Accuser has been thrown down to earth—the one who accused our brothers and sisters before our God day and night.
It’s one thing to be accused by a person.  It’s another thing to be accused by Satan. If you've been accused by a person, then hopefully, if you feel it’s necessary, you can present the truth and facts to clear you. For the conscientious person that really loves the Lord and wants to live upright before God, Satan is there to accuse them of every infraction of anything that they don’t do perfectly. That would pretty much be most of their life. Satan wants to bury us with guilt; ultimately hoping to discourage us and get us to quit our pursuit of living right for God out of feelings of being a failure.
In 1 Timothy 1:5 (NLT)  the Apostle Paul wrote: The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith. I remember especially as a growing Christian that a pure heart was something I was working on. A clear conscience was something I seldom felt because it seemed like I was always violating something I knew God wanted me to do. And having a sincere faith—which means living for God without hypocrisy—was another area for me to stumble at.
It is so critical to know that God is never accusing us as we try to follow Paul’s exhortation here. Paul gives us a goal. It’s a place to grow in Christ. It’s a life-long challenge. Having a pure heart—wanting to sincerely do the right thing with right intentions and motivation is a wonderful thing. It is also a life-long pursuit filled with imperfection! God deals with us and helps us develop right attitudes and motivation but Satan will accuse you that your intentions and motives aren't pure; that you are just a selfish person really only focused on you!
Having a clear conscience comes from desiring and making the effort to do the right thing. It doesn't mean you’ll always succeed, but your conscience is clear when you know deep down that you really tried.Mercy of God
Living your life with sincere faith is knowing God's mercy, patience, and grace to help you. Lamentations 3:22 (NLT) says, "The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease."  It's knowing He has given you the opportunity to confess your faults to HIM, when you don't get it right. It's knowing that He'll help you pick yourself back up and try again. It's knowing that accusations don't come from God, they come from the enemy of your soul to get you to quit God. That is what you faith knows and the place it lives sincerely from each day.
I say all this so that you see the strides you do make; not every mistake or failure. Continue in your efforts to work toward this goal and don’t let the accusations of Satan discourage you in your passionate pursuit of the Lord and His will for your life. Your efforts to live with a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith will not only transform you into the Christian you want to be, but will fill your heart with God’s love and help you to have a great impact and influence on those around you. You aren't perfect but you are going to Heaven. Satan’s doom is sealed and as you know “misery loves company.” He will accuse you. Jesus defended you! God's Word will transform you but it will take time. In the meantime, rebuke the devil and give God your best. He’ll do the rest in you!!
Psalms 37:23-24 (NLT) "The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand." 
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Having Strong Faith in Times of Trouble

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One of the really precious gifts of life that comes over time is the wisdom that comes from experience and hindsight. This is especially true for the Christian who knows the Lord and has lived their life learning of and walking out God's Word.

When you read about King David and his life, you can't help but think of the way he passionately loved and learned of God from the time he was a boy. He studied what was taught about God by those that preceded him. He learned what Moses had learned and said, "O Lord GOD, You have begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand, for what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do anything like Your works and Your mighty deeds?" (Deu 3:24) David learned this and believed it. Consequently he walked out things that God had led him to do with great faith. He believed that God would always be there to direct, guide, instruct and bless him in that which he put his hand to for the Lord.

People that passionately love God like David did often become people who accomplish great and mighty things in the earth. 2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV says, "For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself mighty on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." These things may be invisible to those that don’t know about or care for God, but God notices and does not forget as Hebrews 6:10 NIV confirms this saying, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”

David wanted to accomplish much for the Lord and he did, yet his life was anything but problem free. David had his share of troubles—some self-inflicted and yet David still took them to the Lord. David calmed his fears again and again by reminding himself of God's promises. Out of the abundance of his heart, we see these words spill forth, "As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble..." What powerful and faith-filled words those are. Those are the words of someone who intimately knows and has experienced God's hand upon his life.

Are those the words that come from your mouth when trouble arises? Do you have confidence that since the Lord is for you so who can be against you? There were times when David spoke these words purely by faith not knowing how God would help Him out of trouble. There were also times later in his life, when he spoke them not only by faith, but also from personal experience. He knew God and knew through experience He could count on God. He had his entire life to look back on and see how God had delivered him from troubled times again and again. He could look back on his life and say, "The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him." (Psalms 37:39-40 NIV) He would also say "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor His descendants begging bread.” (Psalms 37:25 NKJV)

The wisdom and experience that comes from the hindsight of seeing all that God has done in our life is wonderful. It is more than faith. It is a view of experience. But, like David, we all have to start without those experiences and trust in God from the point of faith alone. Is that okay? It's more than okay because God is true to His Word and His promises, and is worthy of our trust. You may be in a struggle and things might not make sense to you at the moment but know this; it's a glorious thing when you've prevailed in faith and are able to look back in time and see how God has been there for you again and again. When that day comes, then you'll spill the same words David did, “…As surely as the LORD lives, who has delivered me out of every trouble..." (1 Kings 1:29 NIV)

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, October 16, 2017

Part Two: Success and Blessing or Failure and Disaster Depends on Your Words

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Before I left on vacation, I wrote Part One of Blessing or Bust, The Power of Your Words. Today, I want to finish this!

God wants us to succeed in how we communicate. Success starts with forming boundaries for the words you are going to speak in life. Psalm 37:37 (KJV) says, "Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace."  When God's word calls this person, the perfect man, it's referring to someone who has matured and knows how to conduct themselves in a godly manner—in the way God's word trains us. We get further insight to the perfect man in James 3:2 (KJV) "For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body." Again we see reference to the perfect man and it tells us that the perfect man is the one who does not offend in word!

Trust me when I tell you, the most difficult change in becoming more Christ-like is harnessing your tongue! James 3:8 NIV teaches us that "...no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." I came to realize that without the continuous, moment-by-moment help of the Holy Spirit, this would be a lost cause. But, in leaning constantly on the Holy Spirit, progress could steadily (but slowly) be made.

We accomplish that by speaking words of grace! Ephesians 4:29 NIV says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen." There is no fast-track to this kind of maturity, but if we purpose to use our words to help others, then it in turn, helps us be more thoughtful in the words we speak overall! Success does come faster!

What does it mean, "...that it may impart grace to those who listen?"  Grace is the supernatural help we get from God in all areas of life. It's the combination of God's mercy, His compassion, instruction from His Word, and His direct help in our life. And God pours out this grace even when we don't deserve it, meaning, it's always available when you lean on His help!

When you do something wrong, the devil will try to accuse and condemn you in your thoughts. That is how you can discern God from the devil. The devil is an accuser and condemner. God will correct you showing you what is wrong, but God is interested in helping you change to become more like Him. He is not interested in condemning you. Therefore, He'll show you what is wrong through His Word, but He'll also offer mercy, forgiveness, and help through His Holy Spirit so that you can get things right. Simply put, He is out to help you. Unfortunately, people are much quicker to act like the devil—condemners, than to be like God—merciful and full of grace. That is the change in our words that God will work in you! God imparts grace to you and He wants you to use words of grace to impart to others—"...that it may impart grace to those who listen."

The imparting of grace is a supernatural thing. If we are to impart grace, then that means that God is going to be involved in it. He is the one that is going to help us put away the fleshly impulses that come with being offended. It means He is going to help us see things from a different perspective—His perspective. That is where the grace will come from—His perspective in us! Proverbs 19:11 (NIV) "A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense."

Imagine that you feel like blasting a person that has offended you in some way. Instead God speaks to your heart and says, "Put your thoughts and words on pause. Don't slam dunk them because that's how the devil does business. Instead think for a minute. I have forgiven you. I have had mercy on you. You've blown it just like this person you're mad at. I've looked past your sins and continued to love you. Can you do it for them? Can you settle down and let me help you? Can you find kind words to speak truth, kindness, mercy, and help to them? Will you impart grace to them?"

Can you do this on your own? No! Grace comes from God. But He is always right their to help  you! In yourself you might want to lash out. The hurtful thoughts in your mind fight to make their way out your mouth. But, that isn't God's way. He wants you to be a vessel of His grace. It isn't about suppressing feelings of anger, or hurt, or disappointment. It's about God helping you see things in such a way, that you can have mercy knowing He's had mercy on you. Forgive knowing He's forgiven you. And then manifesting compassion and kindness as God's grace is imparted through you!

God's grace is available to you whenever you need it! He says it's available. It's received by faith. 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." God wants it to abound in your life and through you! You have to pause, exercise your faith, and pull on His grace in difficult times. Then, over time, you will become supernaturally skillful drawing on Him for words that impart life and grace, blessing others and yourself. And you will slowly but steadily become that perfect person—mature in the Lord that is successful and a world changer helped by the words you speak!

Prov 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Part One: Blessing or Bust, The Power of Your Words

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


One day I committed a pointless act I want to tell you about. Renee and I have a home office. In it we each have our computers, desks, and chairs. At that time, we had a cat. I don't know why but our cat loved my chair. Although there are two chairs in the office, she loved and always sat in mine. I wouldn't have cared except that I often wore a dark suit to work. As I walked into our office one day, there was our cat Cuddles sitting in my chair. I picked her up nicely and put her on the floor. I then sat down in my chair only to realize a short time later, that my suit was covered with cat hair. Feeling upset, I looked at the cat and firmly said, Cuddles, I don't want you sitting in my chair. I lectured her for about 30 seconds and then broke out laughing thinking, You are lecturing a cat. I pictured myself in one of those printed cartoons when someone is talking to their cat and all the cat hears is blah, blah, blah... My talk with my cat was pointless. It made me feel better for a moment but it was still pointless. It reminds me of people trying to communicate in ineffective ways that turn out to be pointless such as yelling and screaming at each other. They may as well be saying, blah, blah, blah...

Too often we participate in various kinds of pointless communication. That would happen less if we would consider our tongue to be one of the greatest God-given tools we have. He has given us our tongue as a tool to learn how to use skillfully. We are to learn how to communicate blessing to others, which will at the same time contribute to our success. Even correction can be spoken skillfully and in a way that can bless if we let the Holy Spirit teach us how. Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) says, "Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!"

James 3:8 NIV teaches us that "...no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." God is trying to get a truth through to us. That truth is; it's impossible to control our tongue without God's help. It only comes under control with the help of the Holy Spirit. The truth and revelation of Proverbs 18:21 NIV is this, "The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." God wants us to experience the love and blessing that comes from doing life His way. But, our tongue can steal that when we don't bridal it! Our tongue has the potential to sink our ship! They can be used skillfully to contribute to the well–being of others, or they can tear down the lives of others and ourselves. And so, we should hold on to a reverential fear of God of how important the words we speak are and how powerfully they affect our lives—good or bad!

We have to realize that our tongue spills over with whatever is presently in our heart. We are all too unaware of all that is in our hearts. How do we find out what's in there? We pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us hear our words. Then we just listen to what spills from our mouth—especially under pressure or in anger. The tongue is an extension of our thought life. In Matthew 12:34 NIV Jesus said, "...For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." Out of discipline, the tongue can be forced or made to say proper things at the proper time, but, when you are by yourself or around those you feel most comfortable with, and let our guard down, that is when your tongue simply reflects what's in your heart and thought-life. Proverbs 12:6 NIV says, "The words of the wicked lie in wait for blood, but the speech of the upright rescues them."

God wants us to succeed in how we communicate. Success starts with forming boundaries for the words you are going to speak in life. Ephesians 5:4 NLT says, "Dirty stories, profane conversation, and coarse jokes--these are not for you. Instead, remind each other of God's goodness, and be thankful." For this reason, He instructs in saying, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may impart grace to those who listen."

What does it mean, "...that it may impart grace to those who listen?" I'll let you know next time. In the meantime, listen to the words that come from your mouth—especially when your upset or under pressure. You'll discover you need help! Part Two next time...

Prov 12:18 "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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





Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Christianity, Homosexuality, and Sexual Restraint

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Hold on Christians! Your walk as Christians is going to get more difficult—even persecuted in ways you've never before experienced. Television and media has branded homosexuality, now leading to transgender confusion, as the absolute new norm and if you get in the way of it, you will be branded too!

Recently, a man struck a conversation with me after seeing a book I was reading. He told me how distraught he and his college age daughter were at being attacked and called a bigot and hater just because they felt homosexuality was wrong. They wanted to know what I thought about homosexuality.

I will share a condensed version with you of what I shared with him. Homosexuality is sin. So is gluttony, fornication, lying, stealing, adultery, lust, and on and on. The Bible says so! People can belittle and berate the Bible, but those that do, do so ignorantly. It is the most read book in History. It is historically accurate over the ages. It is declared as the "inspired word of God," and the word of God by Jesus. Jesus is either the greatest hoax, liar, deceiver, and fraud ever injected into society, or He is exactly who He said He was, the Son of God sent to be the Savior of the world. Even secular historians like Josephus recorded Jesus, His life, and miracles. Jesus is who He said He is. He came to save you and I from our sins by taking the punishment we deserve for them, upon Himself – this as an act of love and offer of reconciliation through our faith in Him as our personal Savior.

Jesus continually referred to the scriptures as sacred. They were His constant and only reference for all of God’s ways. To those that didn’t understand them, He said, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God. (Matthew 22:29 (NLT)) Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words (scripture) will never pass away.“ (Matthew 24:35 (NIV) All truth is established from God's Word—like it or not!

When we become a Christian, having received Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the Holy Spirit immediately takes residence within us. He helps us see life and God's Word through His eyes and brings revelation and insight to the scriptures. That is why non-believers cannot understand the scriptures. They do not have the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we have been forgiven of our sins. In our new life in Christ, God wants us to learn what sin is and restrain ourselves from them. The Christian life is a life of restraint. The purpose for that restraint is to protect us from the consequences of sin and to follow God's ways that lead to great blessing. Every good parent understands this because they restrain their children's wrong behavior and reward their good behavior. The world hates hypocrites and calls the Christian who sins, that very name. Christians don't have a pass on living right. It's a choice they have to make moment-by-moment, and it is the learning curve every Christian gets wrong a thousand times as they grow and mature in Christ. The world holds itself to no accountability while holding Christians to an accountability of perfection—or be labeled hypocrite. And so, it is important for Christians to learn to be transformed in how they think, speak and act, by the scriptures, as they "put on Christ" for the world to see. And finally, Christians are to mature and become godly influences in this world—becoming those who reach out to others with the love of Christ. The restraint of sin and evil is what leads to a more beautiful and peaceful world.

I explained to this man that homosexuality is wrong and sin. It doesn’t make any difference what the rhetoric is. People will always try to justify or create excuse for what they want to do to fulfill the lusts of their flesh. That or manipulate the meaning of scripture to make it acceptable. They can do that but they will live in their own self-deception. God does not excuse it.

Romans 1:25-28 (NIV) says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.”

The homosexual says, "I was created this way” but the truth is, with the exception of someone born with a physical genetic defect, there is no agreed upon scientific proof to this by science and researches overall! None! They may have desired a wrong fleshly desire, but that is why God wants us to learn restraint! The homosexual says “I was born this way.” Men and women may be born with a more masculine or feminine bent as perceived and accepted by society from sports to arts, but that does not make one a homosexual.

Men, if left abandoned to sexual desires could say, “Well I am born highly sexual and can’t help but look at women, masturbate, fornicate, read porn, and think about sex non-stop. I am wired this way!” (Most men won’t say this because their wife would throw them out or their girlfriends dump them.) The majority of men could say that but their wife or girlfriend and God’s Word teaches us restraint, and how to think, and how to love. Men either learn to live a restrained life, or they lead a secret life, or like a dog in heat—giving over constantly to sexual desires of all kind. But God’s word teaches restraint as a part of life. So, all people have to show sexual restraint. None of us get to have a sexual free-for-all. It’s contrary to how God wants us to live and it would destruct society because God did not make it this way. (And by the way, the destructing of society is happening now.)

I am not a hater of anyone. I am not a homophobic. I am not a bigot. I have had a number of homosexual friends whom I treat with great respect, love, and kindness, yet we agree to disagree. They will have to decide their spiritual destiny. Marriage from the beginning was God’s plan for a man and a woman. It is more than a legal union. It is a spiritual union blessed of God that began with Adam and Eve—his wife from the beginning of time. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife.” Marriage belongs between one man and one woman only! (Mark 10:7 (NIV)

God created the male and female version of man and animals to be “fruitful and multiply.” Homosexuals cannot naturally procreate and were not created to do so. For anyone to ignore this basic obvious truth in order to make someone feel more accepted is to make sin feel more acceptable. This doesn’t help you, them, or society. Yet to treat a homosexual with name calling or disrespect is also wrong. We are to treat every person with kindness, respect, and the love of God.

The religious homosexual community twists the meaning of scriptures, does away with scripture, or make their own version of God to their liking—a true form of idolatry. As Christians, if we don’t fight for a more moral society based on scripture, with love and redemption from sin as it’s goal, we will end up with a godless, immoral society that yes, will end up like a Sodom and Gomorrah that will eventually end up falling to the judgment of God.

Our voice and opinion has the right of influence just as they desire theirs to. The homosexual communities’name calling of Christians who do not agree with homosexuality as haters and bigots, is really who they are if they say it. Christians that do act like haters and bigots are not Christians at all! People disagree about many things and fight for legislation based on their beliefs.  Christians simply need to take the time to continue to let their core beliefs be formed on God's Word, not on feelings of pressure and intimidation, or a wrong perception of what love is. God knows what love is and tells us all that a part of love is to hate sin and to restrain from sinful activity, no matter what it is. Parents teach their children to restrain their wrong activities every day.

We are all imperfect and miss it and need to repent and get it right. God’s grace and mercy is great and reaches out to us all as we work to conform to God’s ways. He is there to help us, not condemn or beat us up. But, the Lord does want us to change! Restraint is a part of the Christian life! Romans 6:12 (NLT) "Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires" As a Christian, we are to hate sin and evil. Psalms 97:10 (NIV)” Let those who love the LORD hate evil, for He guards the lives of his faithful ones and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.”

Hating sin is not hating the sinner. Like Jesus, we reach out in love with the redemptive good news of Jesus' love—the daily message of Christ, but hate sin—first in our own life and then in overall in society. Use your influence to prevent it as this is what God would have you do!

For more reading on this subject click here: Marriage and the Family

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, October 02, 2017

God's Plan: Your Calling to Influence

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


A while back I was on a flight with some friends of mine. One of them had only been on one flight in her life. This was her second time. The weather was not good and she was nervous about the flight. I was teasing her about how wild the flight would be because of the heavy winds. Suddenly, the Lord spoke from within, “Don’t be an agent of fear, but of faith and encouragement. The enemy is already working to bring fear to her. You are helping him, not Me or her.” I immediately repented and began to reassure her that things would be great and that we had prayed that the angels of God would surround and protect our flight—that the promise of Psalm 91:11 says, “For He orders His angels to protect you wherever you go.” Those words encouraged her immediately and we had a great flight.

Romans 5:17 (NLT) says, “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” In this verse, the Lord, through the Apostle Paul is speaking to us about the power of influence. We all have the power to influence whether it be for God, bringing the influence of righteousness and love, or being used of the devil and influencing others in the path of sin and fear. When he speaks about "by one man's offense death reigned," he is revealing one of the sadder truths ever revealed to man. That simply through one man's influence, sin was passed on to all mankind. This seems impossible but it's really true. We probably have no idea just how much we influence others, and not always in the best way.

I came to know the Lord at the age of 24, receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and Savior. It wasn't until then that I could look back and see how negative of an influence I had been over many parts of my life. It was in opening and studying the Bible and asking the Holy Spirit to help illuminate the scriptures to me that I began to see how my mouth and actions could negatively influence others.

Thank God that the Apostle Paul doesn't stop at sin with his revelation of the power of influence . He goes on to reveal the power of righteous influence. He goes on to say, "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.” In a nutshell these verses are telling us that Adam and Eve’s influence taught mankind how to sin and it spread to every person. It goes on to say that the influence of another—Jesus also spread to the world. Jesus gave us His gift of righteousness and love, meaning He washed our sins away, filled us with His Holy Spirit. And now the influence of His Holy Spirit within us can help us influence others toward Jesus and a godly life.” What an amazing swap for my life. It's never been the same and influence for Jesus is now my life's mission.

Those that know the Lord are the only ones capable of revealing to others that there is a life-changing God who is merciful and full of compassion that loves His children and wants to fill their lives with every good thing. Those that know the Lord are the only ones capable of revealing to others that in a supernatural moment of time, sins can be forever blotted out and forgiven. Those that know the Lord are the only ones capable of helping others discover the life changing power and precious promises of God's Word that destroy the daily fears we face and instead bring faith and trust and peace! That is what God wanted me to bring to my friend on the airplane when she was battling fear over the flight. In that moment of time, God reminded me who I was—His agent of love and godly influence. Not Satan’s agent of fear and torment.

There was a time when we were ignorantly used as an influencing agent of sin. If we don't purposely remember who we are in Christ and why we are here, it can be too easy to get caught up in the attitudes of the world and negatively influence others with our own wayward attitude. Now is the time where with the help and grace of God, we should be an influence of His righteousness! As Proverbs 15:23 (NLT) says, “Everyone enjoys a fitting reply; it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!” How especially wonderful when that fitting word is the promise of God that draws others to His love, trust, and peace—freeing them from sin, fear, and discouragement!

Are you influencing others for God or for the devil? Because you love Jesus, you have God's Word, the Holy Spirit, and the promises of God. It's your words of encouragement that touch others with His love. Be ready, get set, influence! It's your calling!

Isaiah 50:4 (NLT) "The Sovereign Lord has given me His words of wisdom, so that I know how to comfort the weary. Morning by morning He wakens me and opens my understanding to His will."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Americans

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I have printed this once before, but after all the trending put-downs of this nation, I felt impressed to post it again! And let me add this comment. Our nation has been far from perfect since it's existence. The atrocities and sins of this nation are many. But like any immature, even rebellious teenager, this nation has grown up and is maturing. America sets an example of goodness in so many ways to the world around us. Like any person, if you focus on their faults, that's pretty much all you'll see. You'll miss the good in them and hold them in contempt—locking them into issues they have. But, when you focus on the goodness that is within them and help encourage them to continue to grow, mature, improve, and be a light—they do! Our nation has always improved and continues to do so. It may not happen fast enough for our liking, but that is how life evolvesslowly! There is a reason so many people want to move to American and live. They see the good! This post was written by a Canadian commentator who could see our good. After reading this, I pray that the people of our nation will see the good and try to improve through appropriate and constructive conversation with the love of Jesus guiding us. If we don't, the divide will continue to grow and we will lose what has made American great in the past. God bless you!  Pastor Tim 

What you are about to read is an amazing text of an editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator from June 5, 1973. It was printed into Congressional Record.

"The Americans"

The United States dollar took another pounding on German, French and British exchanges this morning, hitting the lowest point ever known in West Germany. It has declined there by 41% since 1971 and this Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least-appreciated people in all the earth.

As long as sixty years ago, when I first started to read newspapers, I read of floods on the Yellow River and the Yangtze. Who rushed in with men and money to help? The Americans did. They have helped control floods on the Nile, the Amazon, the Ganges and the Niger. Today, the rich bottom land of the Mississippi is under water and no foreign land has sent a dollar to help. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy, were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of those countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

When the franc was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it. When distant cities are hit by earthquakes, it is the United States that hurries into help... Managua Nicaragua is one of the most recent examples. So far this spring, 59 American communities have been flattened by tornadoes. Nobody has helped. The Marshall Plan .. the Truman Policy .. all pumped billions upon billions of dollars into discouraged countries. Now, newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent war-mongering Americans.

I'd like to see one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplanes. Come on... let's hear it! Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tristar or the Douglas 107? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all international lines except Russia fly American planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or women on the moon?

You talk about Japanese technocracy and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy and you find men on the moon, not once, but several times ... and safely home again. You talk about scandals and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everyone to look at. Even the draft dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, most of them ... unless they are breaking Canadian laws .. are getting American dollars from Ma and Pa at home to spend here. When the Americans get out of this bind ... as they will... who could blame them if they said 'the hell with the rest of the world'. Let someone else buy the Israel bonds, Let someone else build or repair foreign dams or design foreign buildings that won't shake apart in earthquakes.

When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name to you 5,000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble.

Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbours have faced it alone and I am one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles.

I hope Canada is not one of these. But there are many smug, self-righteous Canadians. And finally, the American Red Cross was told at its 48th Annual meeting in New Orleans this morning that it was broke.

This year's disasters .. with the year less than half-over… has taken it all and nobody...but nobody... has helped.

The Americans Gordon Sinclair Radio Station CFBR 1010 2 St. Clair Avenue West Toronto, Ontario, Canada. "LET'S BE PERSONAL" Broadcast June 5, 1973 CFRB, Toronto, Ontario Topic:

Note from Pastor Tim: It is my prayer, that Christians will let prayer and the love of God guide their hearts, communication and voice. AND, through the grace and strength of God, will use restraint from any form of inappropriate communication or action. Let change start with each one of us and now! Please feel free to share this! 

Proverbs 14:34 (NLT) "Godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people."


In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Your Source of Strength to Overcome Sin!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was a young Christian just learning the Bible and trying to understand this new world of God that my eyes had been opened to, I had a goal. It was a naive goal. It was an unrealistic goal. It was in truth, an impossible goal. I had the thought that it might be an impossible goal yet I wanted to pursue it. My goal was to live perfectly for God. In pursuit of this goal, I told myself that I would learn all of God's ways and never sin again. I was going to conquer every sinful area of my life and get rid of them. It was the least I could do. I was motivated. I loved Jesus so much and felt so grateful to Him for giving His life for me, I wanted to do this for Him! I wanted to somehow pay Him back for what He had done for me. I loved Him and I wanted to prove it. As I said, an extremely naive goal of a young and naive new Christian.

It took no time at all before I was in trouble. I sinned. I watched an inappropriate R-rated movie that contained profanity and some sexual scenes. Prior to Jesus, I loved almost any kind of movie including the inappropriate ones. Now my heart convicted me. Even so, I was learning the strength of my carnal flesh. I’d still occasionally caved into my flesh and watched one, feeling horrible. I would immediately repent.

After one of these occasions I was on my knees praying and asking God to forgive me. God spoke to my heart and said, Tim, you can’t turn me on and off like a light switch. We can’t have fellowship that way. You are pushing me away whether you realize it or not. And, if you continue this way, it will harden you heart over time. You’ll become callous to this sin.

I could have cried when I heard the Lord say this. I’d think about the pain and suffering Jesus went through out of His love for me and yet I couldn’t turn off a movie? I had no idea that my flesh was so entrenched in committing sin! And now I was learning the struggle of choosing between my sinful nature and the path God wanted me to take. For a long time, I felt like I was part of a last place football team, losing much more than winning. I’d sin knowing it was wrong and then ask for forgiveness. Something had to change. I’d think about my goal to live perfectly for God—learning all His ways and never sinning. What happened to that goal? That dream was quickly falling by the wayside.

In time, I learned ways to draw strength from God. Galatians 5:16-18 (NLT) “So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. The old sinful nature loves to do evil, which is just opposite from what the Holy Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are opposite from what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, and your choices are never free from this conflict. But when you are directed by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law."  

This was telling me that as long as I lived on the edge of playing with and doing what I knew was wrong, my life would be sin conscience—full of do’s and don'ts—the law. I would never defeat the feeling of the law nor win overcoming my fleshly sinful desires. I discovered that God’s freeing strength from the desire of sin came to me when I thought about the purpose and love of God for my life—being an influence for Jesus. Strength would come when I would think about having an influence for Jesus upon my family, friends, and co-workers. Strength would come when I focused on being a light and example to others. Strength would come when I would pray for those around me to come to Christ or to draw closer to Christ. Strength would come when I'd pray for God to use me to be a touch of God's love to those in my day. There were so many ways strength would come when I thought about living out my purpose. From that place, my life and thoughts increasingly focused on good things. Inward strength and godly desires replaced the fleshly desires and temptations. I took on commitments on serving others in church! I started teaching new believers some beginning basics in their new walk with God. (I learned more than they did!) I would start using my time wisely and live to fulfill Galatians 5:13 (NLT) "For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."

I later got involved in a men’s Bible study. The richness of the atmosphere of studying together with other men that loved God was strengthening and rewarding. Renee and I started working in children’s ministry to teach four and five-year-olds God’s Word. Working with those children became eight of the most precious years of my life. I loved those kids and loved learning to communicate Bible stories in the most simplistic fashion to them. It actually taught me how to become a much more effective communicator! I was growing and being strengthened in the Lord.  

Every time I purposed to serve others I gained strength, and areas of sin which previously held me in bondage dropped off. I wasn’t just giving time and love. I was getting it! The freedom to serve one another set me free from my sinful nature. It lost its power over me!  

Yes, it didn't take long to realize how futile my goal of living a perfectly sinless life in my own strength was. I couldn’t just will myself to not sin. The strength to stop sinning came out of a sincere love for Jesus and by experiencing the “freedom to serve one another in love.” It came from the Holy Spirit as I followed His direction and let my love for Jesus permeate my every thought and action. It was and still is the source and activator of my strength over sin! And it's yours too!

Psalms 37:17 (MSG)  "For the wicked are moral weaklings but the righteous are God-strong."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Would you like to Partner with Pastor Tim? Click here and Learn More...

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You CAN Defeat Temptation!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When you think of the word temptation, what are the first temptations that come to your mind? Generally, temptations are things we crave or lust after. Everyone has temptations and they are designed by Satan to rob from us. They attempt to rob us of walking upright with God including our integrity, moral fortitude and purity, honesty, and every other good thing in our life. Peter found that out at the time of Jesus greatest persecution.

Jesus had warned Peter about a temptation that was soon to come.  He said, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak." (Matthew 26:41 NIV) The temptation Peter crashed and failed at was to NOT admit he knew and followed Jesus when asked by those that hated Jesus. When Jesus warned Peter of this temptation to come, Peter had the opportunity to respond reverentially—to listen to Jesus and respond affirmatively and then pray for God to strengthen him. Instead, Peter responded flippantly like most of us would saying “Lord, even if everyone else betrays you, I never will.” Peter was confident in his own willpower and love for the Lord. That is the mistake every Christian learns the hard way. As passionate as we may seem in the moment, the strength of our own willpower will most often fail us. We cannot survive without praying for God's grace to strengthen us!

Proverbs 14:26 NKJV says, “In the (reverential) fear of the Lord there is strong confidence…” Strong confidence in our own willpower is nothing but pride!  Taking the Lord at His Word and putting faith in His directives more than confidence in your own willpower or ability, is the birthplace of real confidence. Therefore, when the Lord says to watch and pray so that we will not fall into temptation, He is saying that prayer is what will help us be spiritually sensitive enough to catch moments of temptation and pause to lean on the grace of God. As I've said many times before, grace is God's supernatural help and strength to resist temptation and to help you do anything He's asked you to do. His empowering grace is the source of strength to obey God. Once you fully comprehend that your spirit is willing but your flesh or own willpower is weak and flawed, then you begin to lean on the Lord’s grace and prayer.

Most temptations in life are not those huge lurking obvious ones that first come to mind. Most of those we face are seemingly small and inconsequential and easy to pass over and fall prey to. God may be dealing with you in a number of areas of your life. The devil may be tempting you in those same areas day after day to keep you in a place of small failures and disobedience to God. His goal is to lead you from God and His blessings!

The Holy Spirit tries to help us in these areas but too often we just blow by them. We do because we are not praying and therefore, not sensitive to the Holy Spirit's alerting and trying to help us. We get cold to His voice and leading. We then easily yield to those simple temptations while making jokes and excuses about them to help us feel better in the moment. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit is where it begins and prayer will get us there. That's what Jesus wanted Peter to know. It's there we’ll begin to find the strength to say yes to what we should and no to what we shouldn’t.

For the past 34 years I've been a part of discipleship group. In that group we talk about everything—including temptations we face. We encourage each other, pray together and draw strength from the transparency that in itself is a from of accountability. These are all tools of the grace of God. In those times where I am alone and temptation comes, I just pause, let the Lord remind me I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and then draw on His grace and resist what I should.
You gain strength and momentum when you practice resisting the devil and temptation and do things God's way. And you feel so much better for doing so!

The grace of God, not my own willpower is the only place that I have strong confidence—confidence in His ability and strength working in me through prayer!

Hebrews 4:16 (NIV) "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."

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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




Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/