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Friday, April 28, 2017

Who's Your Daddy?

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Who's Your Daddy? 
By Rev. Dr. Fred Craddock

A seminary professor was vacationing with his wife in Gatlinburg, TN. One morning, they were eating breakfast at little restaurant, hoping to enjoy a quiet, family meal. While they were waiting for their food, they noticed a distinguished looking, white-haired man moving from table to table, visiting with the guests.  
The professor leaned over and whispered to his wife, "I hope he doesn't come over here." But sure enough, the man did come over to their table. "Where are you folks from?" he asked in a friendly voice.

"Oklahoma," they answered. "Great to have you here in Tennessee." the stranger said. "What do you do for a living?" "I teach at a seminary," he replied. "Oh, so you teach preachers how to preach, do you? Well, I've got a really great story for you." And with that, the gentleman pulled up a chair and sat down at the table with the couple. The professor groaned and thought to himself, "Great... Just what I need another preacher story!"  

The man started, "See that mountain over there pointing out the restaurant window. Not far from the base of that mountain, there was a boy born to an unwed mother. He had a hard time growing up, because every place he went, he was always asked the same question, 'Hey boy, Who's your daddy?' "Whether he was at school, in the grocery store or drug store, people would ask the same question, 'Who's your daddy?'

He would hide at recess and lunch time from other students. He would avoid going in to stores because that question hurt him so bad. "When he was about 12 years old, a new preacher came to his church. He would always go in late and slip out early to avoid hearing the question, 'Who's your daddy?' But one day, the new preacher said the benediction so fast he got caught and had to walk out with the crowd.  

"Just about the time he got to the back door, the new preacher, not knowing anything about him, put his hand on his shoulder and asked him, 'Son, who's your daddy?'" The whole church got deathly quiet. He could feel every eye in the church looking at him. Now everyone would finally know the answer to the question, 'Who's your daddy'. This new preacher, though, sensed the situation around him and using discernment that only the Holy Spirit could give, said the following to that scared little boy. 'Wait a minute!' he said. 'I know who you are. I see the family resemblance now. You are a child of God. With that he patted the boy on his shoulder and said, 'Boy, you've got a great inheritance. Go and claim it.'  

With that, the boy smiled for the first time in a long time and walked out the door a changed person. He was never the same again. Whenever anybody asked him, 'Who's your Daddy?' he'd just tell them, 'I'm a Child of God'." The distinguished gentleman got up from the table and said, "Isn't that a great story?"  

The professor responded that it really was a great story! As the man turned to leave, he said, "You know, if that new preacher hadn't told me that I was one of God's children, I probably never would have amounted to anything!" And he walked away. The seminary professor and his wife were stunned. He called the waitress over and asked her, "Do you know who that man was who just left that was sitting at our table?" The waitress grinned and said, "Of course. Everybody here knows him. That's Ben Hooper. He's the former governor of Tennessee!"  

Someone in your life today needs a reminder that they're one of God's children!  

Galatians 3:26 (NLT) “So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus”  

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

A Right and Wrong Attitude That Will Make You or Break You!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Bible has taught me to give love, respect, and honor where it’s due. I certainly didn't always do that, but its been shaped within my heart since I've become a Christian. God's Word has so much to say about having the fear of the Lord and respecting authority. That doesn't mean God wants us to fear Him like we would fear someone or something that was evil or would cause harm. No it means to have a reverence and awe of the Lord for who He is. It is only in this attitude that God can take His rightful place on the throne of your heart. When we reverentially fear the Lord, He will never be a casual or profane subject of our conversation. He’ll be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords—not the big guy in the sky.

Psalm 33:8 says, "Let all the earth reverentially fear the LORD; let all the people of the world stand in awe of Him." It's no wonder people don't put much trust in God. They have minimized who He is in their heart. In doing so, they unknowingly hinder their own ability to have great faith in Him because they haven't magnified or been in awe of His greatness, ability and love.

The Lord wants us to revere Him. He also wants us to give honor and respect wherever it is due. Romans 13:7-8 NIV says,"Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law."

God considers giving honor and respect a debt that is not paid when it is not given. Is that what you see mirrored in today's society? To me it seems like giving respect to everyone is rare.

God's Word foretells that as we approach the second coming of Jesus Christ, respect will be something that will be in short supply. 2 Timothy 3:1-4 NIV reveals, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God--" All that is listed here is a product of having no respect or honor for any position of authority. It is a problem that undermines unity, law and order, and the blessing that God desires for society and our individual lives.

We see this problem in its grass-roots in Proverbs 29:21 NIV. "If a man pampers his servant from youth, he will bring grief in the end." I don't know if you can instantly see the problem painted in this verse, but it’s bad. The picture is painting a story. To really understand this, understand the position or definition of a servant. A servant is a person who is privately or publicly employed to perform domestic services who expresses submission, recognizance, or debt to another: your obedient servant. A person in authority is  one who has been given the power to enforce laws, exact obedience, command, determine, or judge. In this picture, the one in authority has been indulging or pampering to his servant's every whim and request for a long time. At some point, the servant began to expect this kindness. He began to take it for granted while losing respect and expecting more and more of the same. His servant began to see himself as entitled. He no longer honored his master. He became a selfish and an unappreciative nightmare to his master! And why did this happen at all? Because neither understood an appropriateness for authority and the difference between one in authority and one serving. That's not to say it can't be a great relationship. It can! Read the book of Nehemiah and you'll see this relationship operate perfectly between Nehemiah and the King.

There are times when most of us walk in some position of authority and then there are times when we all walk as a servant under someones authority. We are all ultimately under God's authority. Because of this, we are to give honor, respect, and even reverence where it is due. We are to receive that same respect when appropriate.

If we let our children grow up without showing respect and honor to whom it is due, then they will in all likelihood, grow up as someone who will not respect others, or have the respect of others. They will also not respect property, law, or other people's rights. They will want respect but seldom give it. God’s Word says this kind of attitude will lead to a life of grief. Of course we are always to be understanding and considerate with our children, but when they don't respond rightly, we are to remember that the parent is in authority and that the child is the one under authority—similar to the servant in needing to respect and obey. Pamper and put up with disrespect and you will later live to regret it.

The same is true with an employer. People want their boss to be caring, kind, and respectful in his or her management style. When they are, it is easy for an employee to take their kindness for granted and begin to take advantage. False expectations, dishonor, talking behind the boss' back, feelings of entitlement, and ultimately disrespect for instruction and command can follow. That person becomes a growing problem. That person has forgotten that someone gave them a job that included income. That pampered employee will become someone the boss regrets hiring.

I am not saying this to encourage a boss to become cold or a dictator. Be a godly boss but, don't let an employee's inappropriate behavior change your appropriate behavior. Simply enforce what is right and give them time to respect authority or let them go.

For the employee or person that is showing disrespect or causing grief to anyone that is in authority, recognize that you've become the pampered servant that is heading for trouble. Fix yourself before trouble comes upon you. Be sure to reverence God and thank Him for teaching you this valuable lesson, and show respect to those you serve. It will save your life in more ways than you know.

Start each day by praising God for who He is and for His love for you. And then, whether in society, the workplace, or in the home, give each person the respect, honor, and kindness due them. It will help keep the channels of blessing open. It will also keep your heart pliable and teachable which are characteristics of a very promotable quality—humility.

1 Peter 2:17  "Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, reverence God, honor the king."

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, April 25, 2017

Stop Fear and Overcome It Through Faith!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


When I was in Bible school, I had a class I was taking on leadership. Of all the classes I took, I probably remember more from this class than any other. My instructor was telling us about the roar of a lion and its power to paralyze its prey with fear from the intensity of its roar. As He was talking to us about this, the Lord instantly brought a verse to my remembrance, 1 Peter 5:8 which says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.” Of course it was the verse he had in mind and continued to teach from.

This made me think of how a bad report can hit someone and paralyze them with fear. Is God the author of bad reports? Absolutely not! If you follow Jesus through the gospels, every time there was a bad report Jesus would say “Don’t be afraid.” as we see in Luke 8:41-42 &49-55 (NLT).  “And now a man named Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, came and fell down at Jesus' feet, begging him to come home with him. His only child was dying, a little girl twelve years old. … a messenger arrived from Jairus's home with the message, "Your little girl is dead. There's no use troubling the Teacher now." But when Jesus heard what had happened, he said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid. Just trust me, and she will be all right." When they arrived at the house, Jesus wouldn't let anyone go in with him except Peter, James, John, and the little girl's father and mother. The house was filled with people weeping and wailing, but he said, "Stop the weeping! She isn't dead; she is only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him (mocked) because they all knew she had died. Then Jesus took her by the hand and said in a loud voice, "Get up, my child!" And at that moment her life returned, and she immediately stood up! Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.”

Jesus wants us to be aware and recognize the devil's devices and want us to be dependent upon Him in faith to withstand those paralyzing attacks of the enemy. We’ve all experienced them. When an evil report has ever come and tried to grip my heart, I've grabbed my Bible, turned to a promise of God’s Word, and read it loudly–so that it was louder than the evil report and thoughts running through my head. Romans 5:20 tells us that “…where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” My attitude is, if evil reports come, then God’s good reports come all the more. God doesn’t want us paralyzed by Satan’s roar. He wants us to remember the roar-breakers. Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Amen, this is God’s will and our promise and I am determined that what the devil brings against me for evil, God will turn for good and bring blessing.

2 Kings chapter 19 we read the story of an evil report designed to strike fear in King Hezekiah and God’s people. King Sennacherib was the vilest of kings. He sent word to God's people who He and his army were coming to destroy them. This report sent a chill down the backs of God's people and King Hezekiah. It was a roar of the worst kind. It is an ongoing tactic of the enemy and one he has used over and over again. He brings an evil report with the intention of striking fear in the hearts of his target, getting them to repeat and talk about it so that it will gain  momentum. The enemy's desire is to deeply plant a report that robs all hope and faith. The prophet Isaiah spoke to the King and people saying,  “This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid of what you have heard...” (2 Kings 19:6)

In Mark 4:15 NIV, the Bible again exposes that tactic of the devil. It says, “Satan comes immediately and takes the Word that was sown in their hearts.” It tells us that one of the ways he does that is to bring the cares of this world. An evil or bad report will definitely bring cares which are used to steal our faith. Yet, the entire Bible is written to encourage us to prove out this truth; “With men this impossible but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26 NKJV)

When Hezekiah heard the bad report, he did what God wants us to do–keep our mouths shut. Don’t spread the evil report but instead, pray! When King Hezekiah did that, he heard from the Spirit of God. Even though the enemy’s army was advancing on them, God spoke the words,"Do not be afraid of what you have heard..." He then supernaturally protected and delivered them from destruction.

God wants us to move away from responding to everything our five senses tell us and instead learn to stand on the promise of His Word. With God, things are not over till they are over, and even then they aren't over. His Words say that the enemy has no right to harm us. It is a covenant promise. Yes, I know that people are hurt every day. Not everyone knows that God has a way out. You can't answer for every person. You can learn to stand in faith and pray yourself. If you do and you learn to stand on these covenant promises, you will see negative circumstances change. 

These promises are appropriated by faith and the faith comes from the knowledge of what God promises you. You have to find that out for yourself. As you do, be the bearer of hope, good news and the promises of God. Don't repeat a bad report. Instead grab the hand of the reporter and say, Come on, this situation needs prayer. Let's agree in prayer right now for this situation to change. Now you are a carrier of good news, of faith, and of hope. You will be used of God and be a great blessing! As Proverbs 15:30 says, “A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and GOOD REPORT gives health to the bones.

Psalms 23:4 (NLT) "Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me."

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/

Monday, April 24, 2017

The Greatest Thing I Did Right While I Was Thinking Wrong!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

When I turned 18 years old and moved out of the house, I began my journey of figuring out life. At that point in time, I was mostly focused on survival—how to maintain my car, and how to find, furnish, and provide for a place to live. Beyond that, the rest of my focus was dedicated to learning how to walk out this new freedom of no parental supervision, and how to have as much fun as possible without killing myself. It was a journey—one I think most young adults go through in one way or another.


I grew up in a very religious environment. I am not saying that in a positive or negative way. It started early in my life and over time became me going through the religious motions and events I really didn’t understand. I do remember as a boy and as a young man feeling a deep affection for God and sincerely wanting to know Him. I just didn’t know how to make that happen. The religion in my life wasn't working. I felt like I was trying to maintain a one-way relationship with God that I eventually began to doubt existed. In all my religious schooling, no one had ever opened a Bible or suggested we read it. Because of that, when it came to the Bible I was a blank slate. I had never read it. I had no biblical references in my heart to draw from. I only knew Jesus was born in a manger and died on a cross. As a young adult, I was occasionally questioned and challenged in what I believed. I was embarrassed that I didn't clearly know! It became my quest to develop some meaningful philosophical view of life.

It didn’t take long for me to want to ditch the concept of God because, as I said, it was too difficult to maintain a one-way relationship. I wanted to love the God I was taught to love, but had no real idea as to whether He existed. If there was one, he must have been to busy for me. That was what it felt like. So, I began to allow myself to doubt God. I then began to verbalize that doubt. It didn’t take long before I began to philosophize that doubt into my first attempt at professing atheism.

That seemed and sounded good for a while. It surely released me from any guilt. Once I was released from God-guilt, I only had to deal with the guilt others tried to impose on me. I learned how to philosophize and deal with that also. The problem with being an atheist was that even as I talked about it, I didn’t really believe it. Somehow, I knew deep down in my heart that there was a God. I only had to look at the beauty of creation to know that. I didn’t really know what being an agnostic meant so I couldn’t use that term until I understood it. Once I did, I shifted my philosophy and words to accommodate that.

There is much more to tell, but what I really wanted to get to was this—deep down I always knew there was a God but I didn’t know how to come to know Him. The greatest thing I did right, while I was thinking wrong, was to stop saying There is no God. My heart knew there was. I just had to find Him. I stopped saying there was no God and I sought for Him. I would ask others and tell others, I know there has to be a God.

This was the greatest thing I ever did right while I was thinking wrong. It was important because by not denying God, it kept the door open to actively seek Him in my heart. Even while I was living like the devil, I’d be thinking, There has got to be a God.

One day, everything came together as the Lord put the right person in my path—Sharon Page! We stumbled into a conversation about God. She knew the Bible well and could walk me through it for answers to questions I thought about all my life! It was amazing! That helped the lights come on for me. I discovered who Jesus really was and found out I could have a personal relationship with Him and that it was anything but a one-way experience. It changed my life forever!

There are many people out there today that have grown up with what they would view as a religious life more than a relationship with God. They haven’t had their personal encounter with Jesus—the Creator and Savior of their life. They don't know the feeling of God talking back to them. They want to know the truth. They want to do what is right. They just haven’t gotten to that point yet. Whoever you are, I don’t judge you. I understand you. I was there. My prayer is that during this time, you’ll do the right thing as I unknowingly did. Don’t deny God. Seek Him! Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He makes this promise this to you: Deuteronomy 4:29 “But if from there you shall seek the LORD your God, you shall find Him, if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

If you do this, I can assure you that one day you will have met God. He is the one who put the desire for you to know Him in your heart. He will lead you to Himself. And when that happens, it won’t be your parent’s or priest's, or pastor’s experience. It will be your own! I pray for that wonderful day to come! The reason I've been writing this past 17 years is to help people like you, discover and learn of the magnificence of God's love toward you while you continue your journey and quest! And don’t be mad when I say this but… Jesus is who you will encounter in the quest. That’s for you to find out!

And for those today who do know Jesus but want to draw closer to God, or have questions or need help from God, the answer is the same. Seek Him. Open your Bible, pray and ask God to speak to your heart and lead you and He will! He will love you, help you, and be your God!

JESUS! Acts 4:12  "There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.”    God's Road 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/

Friday, April 21, 2017

Learning to Pray As God Intended!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Matthew 6:7 “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.”

I've noticed that when people come to church, they often sit in the same seat or at least the same section if its open. It sparked my curiosity so I asked many of my co-workers if they usually take the same route to work each day. Their answer was almost always yes with the exception of when traffic jams happen. I believe most of us have a great many routines in our life that are very repetitious in nature. Is that bad? Does that mean we are boring? No, not at all! There is a part of routine that is very stabilizing and reduces stress in our life. It's why parents get excited to get their kids back into school at the end of summer—to get the household back into a routine!

Jesus teaches us some about prayer and repetition in Matthew 6:5-13. “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling vain repetitions like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him..." "This, then, is how you should pray: 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”



You probably recognize what you just finished reading as the Our Fathera prayer that has become repetitiously and mindlessly said countless times in many Christian’s lives. Before Jesus gave us those words, He had just finished saying, “…And when you pray, do not keep on babbling vain repetitions like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them…” The words in the Greek defining vain repetition are implying to get away from praying words to God that just come mindlessly—without thought from your mouth, but don’t come from the heart—mindless or vain repetition.

We all do many repetitive things in our daily routine where our mind barely needs to be engaged. My heart is not engaged in brushing my teeth. There are things I do repeatedly but can do with little or no thought. That isn’t what God wants when it comes to prayer. So, when Jesus gave us the words that have since and contrary to His will, been formalized as a rote prayer called the Our Father, He wasn’t violating His previous directive about saying the same prayer over and over mindlessly. He was giving us an outline and guideline of how to pray. Jesus was teaching His disciples HOW to pray—NOT word-for-word WHAT to pray.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come  Jesus taught them, when you go to the Lord, go to Him in the Spirit of worship for who He is as God Almighty. Elevate and worship Him for who He is to become to you—the perfect Heavenly Father. When you do this, God will become bigger in your eyes and your faith and trust in Him will grow.

your will be done on earth as it is in heaven  Jesus then instructs us to pray for God’s will to be done in our lives NOW—here in this life—the same that He would want in Heaven. Jesus will one day come back and restore life and this world so that it will exist without the defilement of sin and all its horrible impact. That's why you say that your loved ones have gone to a better place when they die. Because that defilement is not in Heaven. It will one day, again, not be on earth either. Though we live in a defiled earth, God wants us to experience as much of His blessing and love on earth as it is in Heaven. That means walking after God’s ways and in His love!

Give us this day our daily bread   Jesus talks about daily bread but He isn’t just talking about praying for provision. He is talking about asking God to reveal heart revelation of the scriptures we read that build our hope and encourage our faith. He wants His Word to come alive in our heart and bring hope and promise each day to lift our faith and trust toward His provision and protection. That's what Jesus meant when He said "daily bread." In Luke 4:4 Jesus spoke saying “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” He wants us to feed on and put faith in His Word and promises daily!

Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors  Jesus is talking about forgiveness. He goes on to teach that forgiveness must happen or our relationship with God and to our answered prayer is interrupted. We must forgive others who hurt us just as He has forgiven us and washed away our sins!

And lead us not into temptation  He also taught them to pray that they would grow in spiritual strength and learn to resist temptation and any evil thought or desire Satan would bring, as well as the strength to resist the temptation to not obey God. That happens through prayer and drawing from His strength.

but deliver us from the evil one   Finally He taught them to pray for God’s protection—something that God wants us to stand in faith for as we see in Psalm 91:11. “For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”

When we pray to God, a part of what we pray for will be for things we often hold up before the Lord on a daily or ongoing basis. People are going to pray for their family and loved ones daily. They are going to pray for their livelihood and protection again and again. This isn’t vain repetition. This is renewing our prayers of faith over these issues every time they arise in our heart. It isn't vain repetition if we engage our heart and faith! God just doesn’t want it to become mindless. The rest of what we pray will be from our heart over concerns, or over the desire to give thanks, or regarding prayers of intercession for others and more. Those parts of prayer will change often.

Mindless repetition carries no faith and without faith it's impossible to please God! Keep your heart engaged and take whatever care or concern or need that you have before the Lord in faith, knowing that He cares about the intimate details of your life and desires to help. It takes faith to believe that and walk in it. And so, you must have your mind and faith engaged. Just do it in the outline or guide for prayer that Jesus laid out. It will teach you how to pray and access the throne of God in faith!

Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT) "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.   Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." 

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, April 19, 2017

God Has Called You to Become a Leader!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


The Bible says that because you've received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are a child of God. Think about that! Your parent is the Lord! Galatians 3:26 (NLT) "For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus." Don't be mistaken, this isn't just a nice exhortation to make you feel good. This is a truth and a reality. It is created a sense of purpose, destiny, and promise of backing from God as author of this promissory and amazing truth.

John 1:12 (NLT) says, "But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God." You could spend your entire life thinking of the implications of this truth, but for me, it meant God wanted me to represent Him as a son (an adopted son through Jesus Christ) to the world around me. I have purposed to do that the best I can in every aspect of life. Why? Because I believe that God wants his children to grow up spiritually mature and become leaders that mentored other leaders who will help other grow up knowing and sharing the truth and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ to this world.  I believe He wanted and wants that for me. I believe He wants that for you!  The Apostle Paul understood this and it's why he said these words to a man he was mentoring and to all that would be touched by his influence. "You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 2:1-3 (NIV) 

As I grew up, I observed and watched closely, those people who I thought executed particular areas of their life better than most. They became my mentors (usually unbeknownst to them.)
One study on mentoring revealed that 40% of those that subjected themselves to the consistent influence of mentors achieved greater potential in their lives!

The Dictionary defines a mentor as: a wise and trusted counselor or teacher: to serve as a trusted counselor or teacher to (another person,) a role model: a person who serves as a model in a particular behavioral or social role for another person to emulate.

As I look back upon my life, I realize that I’ve had a great diversity of mentors and role models in my life that I thank God for—all mentoring Biblical virtues.

If you think back, I’m sure you can remember those that have influenced you. Some of mine were family, some friends, some co-workers, and others—spiritual influences. Few were intentionally trying to mentor me. They were just doing what they did well and I was paying attention. I believe that in most cases, mentoring and being mentored is “more caught than taught.”

When I think of those whom I felt mentored by I think of these. I think of my dad. He taught and modeled the need for priorities, having a great work ethic, the importance of knowing and sincerely enjoying people. And He taught me to enjoy the gift of life. He loved life up to his dying breath at age 90.

My mom was the most amazing model of being selfless! She truly living her life to be a blessing and serve her family and others. She helped me see that we are always surrounded by people who need a hand and modeled the meaning of the words of Jesus regarding leadership or being "great". He defined that as being "a servant of all."  That is who she was to her family and those around her.

My oldest sister Susie was selfless to me. She was the older sister who was always doing things to make the life of her little brothers and sisters more special and fun. She knew how busy mom was with ten children so she helped nurture us with great gentleness, love, and kindness. She modeled how special it can be to make even one person’s life better.

My sister Sally modeled the greatest living definition of kindness that I have ever known. To this day I still think she is the kindness, sweetest, human being I know of on the planet earth.

Then there were those that were mentors and role models from outside the family.

My first boss Ozzie was the first person that I had ever met that was so profoundly integrous and moral that it was obvious in a wonderful way, to all! That is a powerful thing for a fourteen year old boy to observe. No one in my life had ever stood out with those kinds of qualities prior to that. He was a good business man with good business sense that was guided in his priorities of integrity and morality.

There was Pastor Mac who embodied and modeled more godly qualities than I had every seen in one person. His devotion to God, his honesty about all things, his strength of conviction and character, his dedication to teaching others the word of God, and the ultimate challenger and coach—these all impacted my life in more ways that I can say.

Then there was Pastor Lynne, one who was so deeply acquainted with God through prayer. One who truly understood prayer and how to teach others to have an intimate prayer life with the Father through Jesus Christ.

My friend Scott modeled the pursuit of excellence, faithfulness, and diligence. He is the most faithful and diligent servant and pursuer of excellence I've ever known.

Pastor DuWayne modeled patience, trust in God, and emotional temperament bringing calm and faith to every situation. Don’t worry, we’ll get this done and things will go great! He and Scott have their names listed by the words someone you can count on.

Jesus Christ is and always will be my ultimate Mentor. Jesus is the reason that I understand that mentoring is a combination of being influenced by impartation, and instruction. He taught and modeled what was right for His disciples but also taught them to seek the Father for truth in all things. He has taught me everything I know that is good including Colossians 3:23 (TLB) "Work hard and cheerfully at all you do, just as though you were working for the Lord and not merely for your masters." 

As children of God, we are called to be leaders. In order to become a leader, you need to be mentored. Ask God to surround you with those people. You won't find it all in one person, but in many persons you can observe and learn. Practice what Jesus taught that you see others execute excellently from a pure heart! You'll become the leader he wants you to be. And you'll become a one someone wants mentoring from!

Romans 8:16 (TLB) "For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we really are God’s children." 

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ways God Speaks to and Leads Us Through Difficulty

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


How do we hear from God when trouble comes and we seek His help? That is the question of the ages!

When Zechariah and Elizabeth were old and beyond the age of childbearing, an angel, Gabriel, told Zechariah that he and Elizabeth would become pregnant and have a son. The angel told him his son was to be named John and he would be great in the eyes of the Lord. Zechariah struggled with doubt because he knew he and Elizabeth were beyond childbearing years. Zechariah expressed that doubt to the angel and suddenly could not talk. The angel said he would not be able to until after John was born. Zechariah left this experience knowing he had experienced a very real encounter with God through this angel. Elizabeth knew she needed to get away and be alone where she could be with the Lord and sort this all out! And so, she “hid” herself for five months from everyone. Luke 1:24 (NIV) “After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.”

Although, me may have momentarily had a relapse of faith by doubting the possibility of what the angel had said, He then exercised his faith because he and Elizabeth had relations and she became pregnant. I believe Elizabeth instantly knew she would become the talk of the town.

This was a miracle that presented challenges in their life. Who would believe them? How would she as an old woman have the strength to deliver and raise a child? She and Zechariah were very godly people. She needed to keep this quiet and process this entire experience in prayer and study of the word. She needed to hear from God for herself.

Soon, Mary was also visited by Gabriel and told she would become impregnated by the Spirit of God and give birth to His Son Jesus. (Go back and read all this in your Bible as these are marvelous stories and truths.) The angel also told her that her cousin Elizabeth was six months pregnant. Mary believed all that was told her and became impregnated by the Spirit of God. She hurried to go see Elizabeth. I believe part of her motivation was also to get away from the gossip this could stir and see God’s doing with her own eyes as she prayed about how to walk this news out. Together they would help each other!

As you think about this, think about the difficulty of the circumstances in their lives. Who is going to believe either of them? People will think they are crazy and gossip all day long. How would they walk this out? We all have situations that come up. We seek God and want to hear from and have Him shows us what to do. The temptation to doubt almost always comes. The assurance needed does not come from other people's opinions but by continuing to pray and receive the confirmation that brings us our own peace and confidence to move forward in Him.

When Mary came and visited Elizabeth, immediately the Holy Spirit began to speak through her. Luke 1:41-43 (NLT) “At the sound of Mary’s greeting, Elizabeth’s child leaped within her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Elizabeth gave a glad cry and exclaimed to Mary, “God has blessed you above all women, and your child is blessed. Why am I so honored, that the mother of my Lord should visit me?”

Examine these words spoken. Elizabeth experiences confirmation in her heart by the very words that she is speaking that she knows are not from her mind, but from the Spirit of God. Her baby leaps at the site of Mary. But then she also asks the question; Why would Mary visit her? Elizabeth had been in seclusion. No one knew about her baby. The Spirit of God begins to speak through Mary as He did Elizabeth and they both pronounce great declarations from God. They both learn they’ve both been visited by the angel Gabriel. They both come to understand how God has led each of them. There were no coincidences. God has performed miracles and led them in every step. They now know and have confidence and peace! This is what confirmation from God brings!

We all have difficult times in our life. We need God’s help and direction and yet things can seem so crazy that we think, How could God help me and how will I hear from Him?

For me personally, there are four main sources (but not limited to that) that God finds a way to speak to me. One is directly through the Word of God. Another is through my wife. Another is through those speaking in our church pulpit. The other is through a weekly Bible study breakfast with a group of guys whom I study the Word of God and pray with. I count on hearing things in my heart from God in all of these places.

As God used two godly people to speak and confirm His will to each other, so God wants those kinds of people in your life. If you try to fix all your problems yourself while neglecting time to read, pray, and hear from God, then you might not hear from God. But if you will wait upon Him, then no matter what is going on, God will find a way to speak into your life and lead and help you! He’ll use His Word, your Pastor, your spouse, and often godly people He has surrounded you with!

Isaiah 30:18 (NLT) “So the Lord must wait for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for his help.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Copyright© 2017 All rights reserved

http://todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com/

Monday, April 17, 2017

A Key to Enhancing Your Relationships and Blessing Your Life

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


I hope you realize that you need people and people need you. Why do you need people? You do because the primary way God brings blessing into your life is through people! We all know that people can wear us out. Yet, we need them and we have to love them as God commands. If we don’t, we’ll miss out on the very blessing God would bring to us through people. We can't fix everyone that is lousy at conducting relationships but we can work on ourselves.

James 3:17-18 NLT helps us discern what comes out our own mouth that would help make or break relationships. It says, “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure. It is also peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no partiality and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.

This verse helps us discern our own words, attitudes, and actions to see if the place we are coming from when working through conflict, is from an ungodly or godly perspective. Do the wise words "peace-loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others" seem like you? Are you absolutely aware that almost every offense that ticks you off about other people, you yourself have violated? Proverbs 20:9 NIV says, “Who can say, 'I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin'"? We may not say this but we often act like we never do anything to bug or offend others. Psalm 143:2 (NLT) "Don’t put your servant on trial, for no one is innocent before you." What this verse is saying is that in your eyes you will always be justified but the offender will always be the one that was wrong. We are all wrong more often than we know, and we all need mercy. Not one of us would survive without mercy! Mercy is one of the most powerful forces in the world and the one that God used to bring you and I back to Himself through Jesus Christ. And good deeds—they are the action of love and kindness accompanying the mercy we should show that might look like this. Oh don't worry about it. I've made this same mistake also. We're good! Come on, let me buy you a coffee!

If we learn to imitate God, we can bring mercy into our daily living experience when and wherever possible to help soften or remove offense and conflict. What if they are rude and mean and don't deserve it?  That is exactly where you were when Jesus died for you! Romans 5:8 (NLT) says, "But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners." When we were out living like the devil, the Lord was overlooking our offenses and extending His love to us! We want God's mercy and we want Him to continue to bless us. And so God says that in conducting relationships, keep your tank "full of mercy and good deeds."  You also overlook their shortcomings and offenses whenever possible and keep on blessing them.

At one time in my life, I had these neighbors. I did all sorts of things for them. I'd plow their driveway. I'd mow their lawn. I'd help them with a project when they needed it. In all that, never—not once did I get a thank you card or anything from them. The MOST I ever heard them say was one word—thanks. I was not used to that kind of ungratefulness because my mother taught me the opposite. Yet, I wasn't helping them for the thanks. I was simply motivated to touch my neighbors with God's love. There were times when I'd think, I've never met such ungrateful people. I'll never do anything for them again. But, then the occasion would come up and God would talk to me about His wisdom that was pure and peaceable and full of mercy and good deeds and I'd help them again. It was the right thing to do.

Some people in life are angry. Some are takers. Some are mean and rude. Some speak without thinking and say stupid or offensive things. It's people like this that could burn us out! But, that's something you can't afford to allow to happen. People are the primary source of God's blessing in your life. So, when you working with people, love them with mercy and kindness just like you want the Lord to extend to you when you are acting like a butt-head and don't deserve it. If God continually has mercy on us, then it should also be given from us to others— and often! It has the power to instantly soften and reunite our hearts with someone we’d otherwise be offended or upset with.

I realize it doesn’t solve the problems that cause conflict, but it does give space and time blow off the minor offences, and work through conflict with the Heavenly wisdom spoken of in the verses above from James. We are all a work in progress and therefore all desperate for God’s mercy. Learning to show mercy liberally, will bless your life in more ways than you could imagine! As liberally as we would want or need it, let us give it out. Then the blessing of God can flow without interruption from you to people, and from people to you.

James 3:17-18 NLT "...And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of goodness.

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Friday, April 14, 2017

An Easter Message: Come To His Throne

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt


Dear Friends, Renee and I pray you have a wonderful Easter weekend reflecting on the magnitude of God's love demonstrated through Jesus, to us all! We pray His resurrection power work in your life every day! Happy Easter! 

One night Renee and I went to an event that we had been invited to. We had no idea how to dress for it. There was nothing in the invitation to give us direction in how to dress. I was unable to get a hold of the people who had invited us to ask them. We decided to dress nice casual. When we got there, what Renee had been wearing seemed to fit fine with what everyone else was wearing. For me it was a problem. Most every man had on a tie and jacket or suit coat and I had neither. I felt woefully under-dressed and felt self-conscience about it. I apologized repeatedly that night for my dress and never felt comfortable. Feeling uncomfortable is never good and especially when you feel that way with God.

Prior to my receiving Jesus personally as my Lord and my Savior, I ignorantly believed that Almighty God—the God of the universe—the God over all mankind, was high in Heaven on His throne having to respond to billions of people and couldn't possibly think about or care about all that I was concerned about in my life. Again, in my ignorant thinking, He was up there. I was down here. He was busy. I was insignificant. My thinking was, bother Him only in extreme emergencies and even then, don't get your hopes up too high. That was ignorant and blind thinking and has nothing to do with the reality of whom and how God is. That kind of ignorance can hurt us and keep us from God's love and help. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge..."

The Bible teaches us about the Holy of Holies. It was an interior portion of the tabernacle. There was a huge veil – a type of ornate curtain that hung down separating the Holy of Holies from the first tabernacle. No one was permitted to enter it except the high priest. When Jesus died upon the cross, an earthquake happened. Powerful spiritual forces were in operation. We read about them in Matthew 27:49-54. "Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit. And, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were split; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints that slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, truly this was the Son of God."

In this event we just read, it said, “the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom..." The significance of this to us is powerful. Jesus had given His life as a sacrifice for our sins. That sacrifice destroyed the veil—that separation between us and God. Man previously had to go to a priest to ask and get forgiveness of sin. Now that was abolished through Jesus. Jesus became the priest who offered Himself—the perfect and final sacrifice for all. That is what makes Hebrews 4:16 so powerful and such a grace to our life: "So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it."

When I come boldly before Him, I live by faith in the fact that Jesus has washed my sins away. That is what allows me to come boldly. The Bible says He has washed me and put His robe of righteousness on me and that is His doing. Yet, when I come before Him—in the presence of His Holiness, I feel woefully unclean and woefully inadequate. I feel this way because I know the thoughts that run through my head. I know the inappropriate conversations I enter into. I know actions that fall short in my life. I am humbled within His presence. That makes me desire always to love Him more for loving me despite my shortcomings and for cleansing me from this unrighteousness. My love for Him grows knowing that He desires to help me, love me, and allow me to partake of His grace—His supernatural help of wisdom, resource, and ability, where I would otherwise be bankrupt and without hope.

We don't need an appointment with God. He is not too busy. He does not want us to be uncomfortable around Him. We won’t be under dressed or unacceptable. God is able to love, cherish, nurture and help countless billions of people—each one personally and with great affection all at the same time. That is what makes Him God. We all receive His attention if we understand that and believe it by faith.

He has removed the veil—the force of sin that had previously separated us from God. Jesus' death accomplished that. He calls out to us. He will help us on every level. That is the Easter message. Isaiah 55:1-7 says it wonderfully. "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you... Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” 

God bless you and have a blessed Easter!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Strength We Need to Live Christ-like!

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt



In the early 80’s I was given an audio tape of a great man of God - David Ray Wilkerson, best know for his book "The Cross and the Switchblade." He was speaking at a large national conference to Pastors and ministers. He preached what was considered then a controversial message that I was told, many of those in attendance did not like. He preached a message about what America would look like in the future. God had spoken to him about it. He was a powerfully anointed man of God—a true world changer! He preached in detail of the violence, sexuality, and craziness of our future society. He described pornography and what would be on television with precision—and this was over 35 years ago. Many thought he was crazy and preaching doom and gloom. The truth was, everything he said and described is exactly where our society is at today. He hit the nail exactly on the head.

The carnal temptations of today's society, make it more and more difficult for most Christians to live the moral Christ-like walk God's Word instructs us to. Can a Christian grow stronger and live functionally in the midst of it? Absolutely! Though I've seen the destruction of Christian values and of marriage being only between a man and woman, and though I've see the abomination of homosexuality and perverted sexual lifestyles forced on society through political manipulation and the utter degradation of media at every level, I refuse to become discouraged. Though pornography can now be accessed on demand and men are continuously seduced into viewing it, I will not be discouraged. We must read God's word and remind one another daily of the need to live out godly behavior and godly relationships. And we must pray!

When Jesus would fight His greatest temptation—to abandon His course and purpose of suffering for us and dying on the cross to take the punishment for our sins, He knew that His source of strength was the power of prayer. Consequently, He took some of His disciples with Him to pray. They didn't get it. They slept instead of praying. Jesus revealed that Satan's attack would not only be against Himself, but against them also. Jesus said to Peter, “Satan desires to sift you like wheat.” (Luke 22:31) Jesus was warning that only prayer would give them the strength to resist the temptations that would soon come their way. 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT) says, "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure."  The combination of reading God's Word and praying is the "way out so that you can endure." It is the source of a Christian's inner strength enabling one to walk out the Christ-like life Jesus called us to live.

Jesus said that as Christians, we are to: "...love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul with all your strength..." Luke 10:27 (NKJV) We are also instructed to recognize the devil's devices and know that we have an enemy that wants to “sift us like wheat.” We are to strive to become disciples of Jesus Christ and to be "Iron Sharpening Iron—helping others learn of and grow up in the instruction of God's Word. And we are to pray for each other. We are to engage in the building of God’s local churches—committing wholeheartedly to serving others. We are to walk in forgiveness daily—laying down our pride minute-by-minute. We are to be the kindness and love of Jesus in all our doings. We are to reject sin and instead let integrity and truth in “the reverential fear of the Lord” guide us in all our decision-making.

Be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might! Draw that Might through prayer! Stay focused on God's will for your life. Stay the course! Prevail, not only for your sake, but for the lives of your loved ones and those God has allowed you to influence. It is your calling! It is who He has created you to be!

Luke 22:32 (NLT)  Jesus said, "But I have pleaded in prayer for you... that your faith should not fail... strengthen your brothers.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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