Friday, January 22, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 22 January 2021

 

Do Not Forget Your Vows

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
 
(Psalms 116:12-14)

 

Today’s Morsel:  A wife says to her husband whom she had been married to for over 30 years, “Honey, you never tell me that you love me anymore.”  The husband turns and says to her, “I told you when we got married, if I change my mind, I’ll let you know.”  A little humor, yet, that is the way it should be with our vows, oaths, and promises that we make.  We should take them seriously and not just go through the motions.   We should make them and not change our mind.  Why is it that many people when they are going through trials and circumstances that are not favorable, they are quick to make promises or vows to do what is right if they are delivered from the situation, but then they don’t live up to it.  What if the trial or circumstance is from God and it is His way of testing you because you had already vow to Him to serve Him and obey His words?  Solomon states, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:5-6)  Moses informed the children of Israel, “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.(Deuteronomy 23:21-22)  Are you aware that every time you take communion you are vowing to God to never forget Him and that you will do the things He is asking of you?  The vows that you make will surely test your integrity and character.  Make them and stick with them.  

 

Sing: I love you, I love you, I love you; what more can I say, but that I truly love you.  And I will try to live my life so that it says it, to0.  I love you, I love you, I truly love you.

 

Thought For Today: You can’t be saved without fulfilling your vows.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 21 January 2021

 

Are We There Yet?

 

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.(Hebrews 6:1-3)

 

Today’s Morsel:  If you have kids and have driven on any journey that required time and distance, I’m sure you have heard from the back seat just as I have, “Are we there yet?”  I am sure the children of Israel felt the same way when Moses was leading them out of Egypt.  I am sure there were times that they may have heard, “Are we there yet?”  But unfortunately, when they got there, they were afraid to cross over.  They longed for their promise, but they were afraid to receive it.  The writer of Hebrews tells us to let us go on to perfection.  So, my question to you today is, “Are you there yet?”  How many times have you heard this saying?  If we say that we are born again, then we should have already been there and been enjoying the benefits of His promise.  You see, perfection is to be complete.  If we say that we are born again, then we should be complete in Christ. We should be content with who we are and what He has given us and done in our lives.  We should be satisfied with Him as our heavenly Father, rejoicing in His power and His word; steadfast in our daily devotion with Him; loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; serving Him with a willing mind; carrying our cross daily, and committed to His ways. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power(Colossians 2:9-10)  Are you there yet?

 

Sing:  I came to Jesus weary, worn, and sad, He took my sins away, He took my sins away.  And now His love has made my heart so glad, He took my sins away.

He took my sins away, He took my sins away, and He keeps me singing every day!  I’m so glad He took my sins away, He took my sins away.

 

Thought For Today: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.(Colossians 3:1-4)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 20 January 2021

 

Watching Our Thoughts

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(Proverbs 4:23)

 

Today’s Morsel:   One of the things about thoughts is that, if we do not guard them, they can get away from us and run wild.  I have heard many people say, “I think I’m going out of or I am losing my mind.”  These types of comments should alert the person to stop and take inventory as to what is going on in their mind.  Writing to the church at Corinth Paul states, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.(2 Corinthians 10:3-6)  Our thoughts must be kept in check.  Solomon states that we should keep or guard our heart with all diligence.  Why?  Well, Jeremiah informs us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?(Jeremiah 17:9)  If left to itself, your heart (mind) can destroy you.  Immoral actions do not just get out of hand, they come about because men do not guard their thoughts.  As Lao Tzu states  “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny."  It all starts with a thought.

 

Sing:  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.

 

Thought For Today: “When it comes to character, keep a close watch on yourself” (Parker)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 19 January 2021

 

Circumstance

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.(Proverbs 23:7)

 

Today’s Morsel:  In his book, “As A Man Thinketh” James Allen states, “ Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.”  Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; therefore, they remain bound.  If you want to improve your circumstances, then you must change the way you think.  As the apostle Paul admonishes, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.(Romans 12:1-2)  David realized that his circumstance was caused by his impure heart, and so he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.(Psalms 51:10)  If you want to change your circumstance, change the way that you think.

 

Sing: Change my heart, O’ God, make it ever new.  Change my heart, O’ God, may I be like You.

 

Thought For Today:  Circumstances are usually controlled by the way we think.

 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 18 January 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.(John 8:31-36)

 

Today’s Morsel:  Here in America, today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was not only known for his fight against racial injustice, but also for unfair treatment of all men and women.  When it comes to the gospel, Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again so that we could be free and live.  The New Testament church must let freedom ring.  The New Testament church must be a church that preaches the truth so that others may be made free.  Jesus said that once we know the truth, the truth would make us free.  If you do not feel free today, then ask yourself, "Have I obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ? Have I allowed God’s word to change me?"  You can hear the word of God but if you do not obey what it says, you will remain in bondage.  Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we can be free at last!

 

Sing:  Once like a bird in prison I dwelt, no freedom from my sorry I felt. But Jesus came and listened to me; glory to God He sat me free. He set me free, yes, He set me free.  He broke the bars of prison for me.  I’m glory bound my Jesus to see.  Glory to God, He set me free.

 

Thought For Today: The gospel will make you free! 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 16 January 2021

 

Shortcomings

 

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
  
(Luke 6:46)

 

Today’s Morsel:  I think one of my biggest frustrations in the church is with people who say that they are born again Christians and yet they will not do what God’s word tells them to do.  Do not brush me off too quickly here.  And I am not by myself.  Jesus had the same problem and He’s God.  He said to the people, "Why are you calling me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say?"  If God speaks to us through and by His word, and He does, then I must ask myself, am I calling Him Lord and not doing what He is asking of me?  I often wonder if some of the trials that people go through are because they will not do what His word tells them to do.  They keep running to men trying to get an answer, or they ask for prayer and the answer is not forthcoming, because they are not doing what God tells them to do.  When God summoned Samuel about Saul, the Lord said to Him,  “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.(1 Samuel 15:10-11)  And we see that Saul lost his kingship over Israel, when it could have been established forever.  We should all strive to live our lives so that we do not repent God (and others) when prayers are made for us.  

 

Sing: Jesus be the Lord of all.  Jesus be the Lord of all.  Jesus be the Lord of all, the kingdoms of my heart.

 

Thought For Today:  Do what God commands of you and you’ll never fall short of the things you have need of.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 15 January 2021

 

The Highest Standard

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord(Hebrews 12:14)

 

Today’s Morsel:  What is the highest standard that you have set for yourself? Many folks do not set standards for themselves and then they wonder why they are not growing spiritually or why they cannot seem to overcome obstacles in their lives.  Yes, our employers and churches may have standards that we must abide by, but what standards do we set for ourselves?  The proof of a mature Christian is that you can discipline yourself.   If we say that we are Christians and that we care about our image of representing Christ, then we should establish some standards for ourselves. There should be some things that we will not do, places that will not go, and words that we will not say just because we are born again.  Standards are designed to ensure compliance to higher instructions and ensure that we are following doctrine.  Do you live your life in compliance with God's word?  What about His doctrine?  His policy, rules, and principles.  The writer of Hebrews states that we should, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord(Hebrews 12:14)  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus states, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.(Matthew 5:9)  The apostle Paul admonishes, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.(Romans 14:19)   And apostle Peter admonishes us, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.(1 Peter 1:14-16)  Are you following God’s standard?  You cannot find any higher standard than the word of God to establish your personal standards.

 

Sing: I’ll say yes, Lord, yes, to Your will and to Your way.  I’ll say yes, Lord yes, I will trust You and obey.  When Your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree, and my answer will be yes, Lord, yes.

 

Thought For Today:Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness…”(2 Peter 3:11)