Saturday, April 19, 2014

2014 April 19 - Morning Manna

Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them,  Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:9-20)
Today's Morsel:   The resurrection of Jesus Christ has confounded the minds of many.  But it should not confound you, if you are born again.  As the writer of Hebrews tells us, "Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear"(Hebrews 11:3).  It's through our faith that we believe in the resurrection of Christ.  The Bible says that Jesus first appeared to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven devils.  You see, Jesus always returns to those He's done thing for, because He knows they will believe and share with others the things He's done.  Even Paul knew that He was risen when Jesus met him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).  I've always believed in the Resurrection of Christ, but it was years later in my life that I learned the true meaning of the resurrection.  Paul told the church at Corinth, "Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:12-22).  I once was dead in my trespasses and sins, but Jesus quickened me and raised me up to walk in newness of life.  Has He raised you?
Sing: He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me, and talks with me, along life's narrow way; He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart, you ask me how I know He lives; He lives, within my heart.

Friday, April 18, 2014

2014 April 18 - Morning Manna

And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?  (Deuteronomy 10:12-13)
Today's Morsel: Does the thought ever run through your mind what is required to make it into heaven?  I'm sure most of us have attended class and the instructors told us up front what was required to pass.  In his recap to the children of Israel, Moses in brought to their remembrance what the Lord required of them.  He told them, "But to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statutes, which I command thee this day for thy good?" There is really nothing hard about what he told them.  He just said basically told them to respect God, do what He tells you, commit your life to Him, and you'll be blessed beyond measure.  (My wording.)  The things of God are easy to do if we just make up our minds and do them. Remember, being born again and living holy gets us on the road to heaven, but obedience takes us there.
Sing:  O, when the saints go marching in, O, when the saints go marching in; O, Lord, I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

2014 April 17 - Morning Manna

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:1-5)
Today's Morsel:  If someone were to ask you to define justified, what would you tell them?  The best way to look at justified is, (Just- if- I'd).  Just if I'd never did anything wrong.  Just if I'd never made a mistake.  Just if I'd have never lied, cheated, or stolen.  Paul said, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God" (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). You see, once you were baptized in Jesus name, it's just as if you'd never done any of those things Paul mentioned in your life.  The blood of Jesus is like an eraser, it removes our sins.  If you confess your sins, Jesus will wipe them away.  You don't have to be ashamed of the sins and wrongs you've done in the past if you have been born again.  You've been washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of Jesus Christ.  Be of good cheer.
Sing: I was once a sinner but I came, pardon to receive from my Lord: This was freely given, and I found that He always kept His word.
There's a new name written down in glory, and it's mine, O yes it's mine! And the white robed angels sing the story, "A sinner has come home."  There's a new name written down in glory, and it's mine, O yes, it's mine! With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven, never more to roam.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2014 April 16 - Morning Manna

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain: Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind: Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:"(Psalms 104:1-4)
Today's Morsel: When you review religious history, we hear of some of the most fiery ministers in their time. The Wesley Brothers, Charles Parham, William Seymour, Billy Graham, Nathaniel Urshan, J.T. Pugh, Nathaniel Haney, Lee Stoneking, Jeff Arnold, Jerry Jones, David Bernard, John Putnam, The Shalm Brothers, The Freemans, the list could go on and on. These men and women were and are anointed with the power of the Holy Ghost.  It as Jeremiah said, "Fire shut up in my bones."  And once that Holy Ghost fire is there, in the pulpit area and the church, it's going to be electrified with the anointed Word of God and signs following.  The psalmist said, "Bless the LORD, O my soul...Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:"  The writer of Hebrews tells us, "But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation" (Hebrews 1:13-14)?  In these last days, the church needs to be on fire with the Holy Ghost if it is going to eradicate sin from people's lives.  The fire must always be burning in the altar.  As they used to say in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church I attended when I was young, "If you get in the pulpit to preach, you better have some corn in the crib.  So don't come up in here with nothing."
Sing:  I wish somebody's soul would catch on fire, catch on fire, catch on fire, I wish somebody's soul would catch on fire, burning in the Holy Ghost.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

2014 April 15 - Morning Manna

And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.  Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
(Luke 11:1-4)
Today's Morsel: I was pondering on my prayer life the other day, and I came to the conclusion that I probably spend more time interceding for folks than just giving God thanks and praise for what He's already doing.  Because my mind is so programmed for interceding, I often find myself as more of an intercessor than a praiser.  I've read so many books on prayer, and prayer indeed is so important for us all, but I wonder have and are we missing the mark sometimes in our understanding for the purpose of prayer?  The disciples asked Jesus, "Lord, teach us to pray", not "How to pray."   I think all of us that have been around the church for a while know how to pray, but many haven't caught the purpose for prayer.  I read that Jesus rose early before day and entered into a solitary place and prayed.  And I've heard many reasons given that He did so, but none of them are found in scripture.  The disciples knew that Jesus prayed, and they were curious for the reason.  And so they asked Him to teach them to pray.  If I know the reason, I can figure out my own way how to do it. As General George Patton said, "Don't tell a person how to do things, tell them what needs to be done and they'll surprise you with their ingenuity."  In some ways, I think our prayer should be somewhat like our alms, don't let the right hand know what the left is doing.  Maybe this is why we have people requesting unspoken prayer requests.  Someone once asked an old man why he always hummed songs.  He replied, "That  way the devil doesn't know what you are saying." 
Sing:  Hear my cry O' God, attend unto my prayer, from the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee, and when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to that Rock, that is higher than I, so much higher than I.

Monday, April 14, 2014

2014 April 14 - Morning Manna

For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
(1 Thessalonians 1:5-7)
Today's Morsel: Every born again believe has the power at their disposal  to start a new world for someone else. Think about this for a moment.  Jesus said that a man must be born again of the water and the spirit, and that comes through obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us that as we have borne the image of the earthly Adam, we must bear the image of the heavenly, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).  And Solomon said, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise"(Proverbs 11:30).  Your world can be turned upside down.  Darkness may be all you see in your tunnel, nothing may be going right for you, and you may be even thinking about ending it all.   But obedience to the gospel, can put/bring you into a new world of peace, joy, power, and reassurance in who you are and what God created you for.   Remember, Satan's world is destruction and death. But when you get into Jesus' world, it is abundance of  life.
Sing:  He's changing me, my blessed Savior, I'm not the same person that I use to be.  Well, its been slow going, but there's a knowing that someday perfect I will be.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2014 April 12 - Morning Manna

But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. (Galatians 2:11-17)
Today's Morsel:  A few weeks ago, I read the Nuke missile base commander's resignation letter, at Malmstrom Airbase, were some of the airmen were found cheating on their examination.  He wrote, "Over the past few months, we have been forced to navigate through some of the roughest waters most of us have ever experienced professionally.   We've seen the reputation of our beloved wing and America's ICBM mission tarnished because of the extraordinarily selfish actions of officers entrusted with the most powerful weapon system ever devised by man.  As you are now learning, the ramifications are dire.  Many lives will be permanently changed as a result.  But this costly lesson must not be in vain.  The lesson?  Had just one solitary airman spoken up for integrity, our leadership team would have been able to take action immediately. Tragically, peer pressure and the fear of being an outcast prevailed.  As a result, the misconduct had to be inadvertently discovered by OSI agents.  Think of how different the narrative would be had the silent Airman just come forward.  That airman would now be lionized as a hero for casting aside his or her own fear of being made an outcast by a few inadequate peers. That airman would have single-handedly preserved the honor and dignity of Malmstrom and all the wonderful people who make up this incredible wing.  But it didn't happen.  Wrong won out over right ... the voice of integrity was silenced ... and the good guy lost at the end of the movie.The command puts the arrow right on the center of the target.  If just one person would have stood up for integrity, the outcome would have been different.  Isn't it amazing that the Bible really isn't a book of only salvation, but a book of character.  One of the reasons I believe that devil wants the Bible out of schools, governments, and our military, is because it teaches people character.  Solomon lets us know, "The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him"(Proverbs 20:7).  And "Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people"(Proverbs 14:34). Paul was a man who was willing to tell people when they were wrong.   Ask Peter.  Ask the churches he established.  What about you?  Do you cover up things that you know aren't right for fear of others? You don't win with integrity violations.  You won't be saved in the end without character, the character of Christ in your life.
"Reputation is what men and women think of us, character is what God and angels know of us." Thomas Paine.

Sing: I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.