Saturday, May 28, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 28

Jesus wept. (John 11:35)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about compassion and sympathy is that it will tug at your heart string.   There have been times that I’ve watched movies, attended funerals, or seen accidents and I found myself crying even though I didn’t even know the people involved​.  Scripture says that when Jesus came to Mary and Martha, after being told that Lazarus his friend was dead and buried, Jesus wept.  Jesus did not weep because Lazarus was dead, because He already knew what He was going to do the same as He knew what He was going to do with the two fish and five loaves of bread to feed the multitude.   He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead so that His disciple​s​ might believe.   So why did Jesus weep?  I believe that it was because of their unbelief.  They believed that Jesus could do things if ​a person was alive, but ​they thought ​if ​a person was dead there was nothing that could be done.  But Jesus proved them wrong.  The Bible says that Jesus was full of compassion (Psalms 78:38).   And even being God manifest in flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), ​He was also found in fashion as a man (Philippians​ 2:8).  And so it was not uncommon for Him to weep as we weep.

Sing:  Who is this who for our sorrows offers comfort and relief, bringing​
 sunshine to the dark and shadowed life? Saying softly, “ ​C​ease repining, lift thou soul above its grief, let the peace pas​s understanding still the strife.”
 It is Jesus! Jesus! Sad one, weep no more! He will heal the brokenhearted, open wide the prison door, He is able to deliver evermore.

Thought​ For Today:  ​It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Friday, May 27, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 27

Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
(Acts 22:27-28)

Today’s Morsel:  I hear in the media many people who say that they are still in slavery.  Trapped because of where they live or the requirements placed upon them because of their wrong doing.  So many seem to be enslaved to themselves.  Slavery and feeling trapped is caused by one’s own self.  Slavery and feeling trapped is in the mind.  We can learn contentment even in a place that we do not want to be.  And if we have contentment we can be free.  What would you do if you would have had to pay for your freedom?  Would you have enough money to pay for it? Aren’t you glad that Jesus took care of that for you so that you would not have to worry about it?  Scripture says, “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… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:31-32-36).  The only way you can be free is to obey the word of God.  By all accounts, the chief captain payed for his freedom.  But Paul told him that he was free born, meaning his new birth in Jesus Christ made him free.  Do you feel as though you are trapped and in slavery? Well, Jesus came that you might be made free.  If you will obey His word, you will see that you can be made free.

Sing:  I wanna clap a little louder than before, I wanna sing a little louder than before,  (Ooh)
I wanna jump higher than before, I wanna shout louder than before, yeah.   
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom; God thank you for freedom!
Freedom; freedom; freedom (I love you Jesus), freedom;  freedom!

Thought For Today: A good man is satisfied from himself. (King Solomon)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 26

And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (1 Samuel 17:2-4)

Today’s Morsel: When I was in the Army stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia, one of my favorite sites for running was Battlefield Park.  You could see many of the cannons still in place and the battlefields where they fought.  As I ran through it, I could sense and see within my mind men yelling, firing, crying for help, horses falling, sabers rattling, and orders being yelled over the fight. Isaiah said, “For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire” (Isaiah 9:5).  As I read today's passage, my mind is immediately drawn to another battle, the battle in the valley of Elah between Israel and the Philistines.  Fear is on both sides of the valley.  Both sides seem to be fearful of wandering down into the valley to fight.  One giant against one army.  The Philistines' hope rested in their champion, the giant Goliath, and Israel seemed to have no man to fight him.  And so for 40 days there was torment, cursing, and defilement against the army of God.  This giant seemed to have everyone afraid by his stature.  But even Goliath seemed to be fearful of the army of Israel because he never ventured into the valley or went over to the army of God to fight them.  You see, your enemy knows that he has no power over you and he does the same thing Goliath did to the children of Israel.  He torments you, curses and pokes fun at you to discourage you from fighting him.  But when David came to the battle, the tables turned.  David went into the valley of Elah and fought against Goliath and prevailed over him with a sling and a stone, by coming against him in the name of the Lord.  And then he cut off his head with the enemy's own sword.  We can stand on the sidelines and allow our enemy to torment us, or we can get into the valley and defeat him through the power of the Name.  The ball is in our court.  The decision is ours.  We can fight and win, or we can be discouraged and lose.

Sing: Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe; it will joy and comfort give you, take it then wherever you go.  Precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven; precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven.

Thought For Today:  Bullying is a revelation of your enemies fears. (Parker)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 25

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. (Acts 10:1-4)

Today’s Morsel:  The engrafting of the Gentiles into the family of God is probably one of the most overlooked things in scripture.  Many fail to realize the number people that God uses in accomplishing His purpose.  Mary probably would have not been seen as the one to whom God would robe Himself in flesh and come to the earth through.  David was not even seen by his father and brethren as one who would rule and lead Israel as their king.  Paul never would have been considered as the apostle to the Gentiles.  And Cornelius, a Roman soldier, would not have been seen as the one who would be the first Gentile to receive the Holy Ghost.  But we see unique traits in each of these individuals that God saw that He could use.  Mary represents purity; she was a virgin.  God doesn’t dwell in unclean temples.  David represents a preacher; he was tending his father’s sheep when he was called.  Paul displayed tenacity, courage, and strength which was seen in his zeal to eradicate those he thought were enemies of God.  And Cornelius possessed the traits of a true Christian; devoutness, fear of God, giving and prayer.  You who are reading this were created for a purpose of God.  Are you allowing Him to use you for His purpose in and through your life?  

Sing: Jesus use me, Lord, don’t refuse me, for surely there’s a work that I can do.  Even though it’s humble, Lord help my will to crumble, though the cost be great, I’ll work for you.

Thought For Today:  Which traits of character do you possess that God can use?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 24

 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
(Psalms 27:13-14)

Today’s Morsel:  Endurance is one of those traits of character that seems to be waning by some.  Many today seem to not have the stamina to keep going in adversity or hardships.  Many just seem to give up too easy.  David said that even he almost quit unless he had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Endurance comes through exercise and hard work.  It’s getting your mind to override your flesh when your flesh wants to give up and give in.  If we renew our minds through the word of God, we will have the stamina to not only wait on God, but also to keep pressing toward the mark through the times of discouragement.

Sing:  He’s coming soon, He’s coming soon, Jesus is coming soon.  If we trust and never doubt He will surely bring us out.  They that wait will be renewed, God will surely see us through, for He’s coming soon.

Thought For Today:  Building stamina starts with developing self.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 23

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:1-8)

Today’s Morsel:  God has always desired to dwell among His people.  From creation, He was with Adam in the cool of the day.  From the Exodus of slavery out of Egypt, God wanted to be with them.  He wanted to lead them and protect them.   He told Moses, let the people make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.  Make a place of refuge for them that they can come to and I will meet them there.  Today, church is a place of refuge and a place where God desires to meet with His people.  This is why we do not neglect the assembling of ourselves together in the House of Lord.  He wants to be with us in His house and dwell among us during the special time of gathering together.  Jesus told His disciples, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).   Daily, we are the sanctuary that God desires to dwell in.  We are the church.  Have you made it fitting for Him according to the pattern that He’s shown you?  If we obey His word, we will be a sanctuary that He will always dwell in.

Sing: Lord, prepare me, to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true.  With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary for You.

Thought For Today:  We are the house that God wants to dwell in (Parker).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 21

And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks. And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. (Judges 8:24-27)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things about position is if we are not careful  it can ensnare us and our house.  We see this with King David.  God worked a great victory for Israel through Gideon.  But we also see that in the end, by all account, he used his position to attain wealth.  And he took that wealth and made an image that became a snare to him and his house because others wanted it.  What do you have in your house that is a snare to you and your family?  Is it television?  Is it the internet?  Is it toys?  Is it an iPad or some other gadget?  Is it a hidden secret that you think that no one else knows about but you?  Is it a magazine or risque website?  Is it a hidden bottle of booze or some cigarettes?  Is it something you’ve stolen from work or someone else?  Is it money?  Whatever it is, if you don't get rid of it, it can become a snare to not only you but your entire household.  As Moses told the children of Israel, be sure you sin will find you out.  Don’t follow Achan's steps and trouble your house by taking the accursed and forbidden things.  Rather keep yourself and your house clean and pure for God.  When God works through you, never use your grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.  Allow God to search you daily and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Sing:  To God be the glory! To God be the glory! To God be the glory, for the things He has done!

Thought For Today: Never use your grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety. (U.S. Army NCO Creed).