Friday, February 12, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 12

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Acts 9:1-20)

Today’s Morsel: You know, I grew up in what I called the church, but like Paul, I was spiritually blind to Truth.  Think about this, Paul was a well-educated man in the law of God but yet he was blind to truth.  Paul felt that what he was doing was for the glory of God.  He wanted to destroy this new sect that was preaching and teaching about Jesus Christ.  Even Jesus had told His disciples to beware of the doctrine of the Sadducees and Pharisees because they say one thing and do another.  And Paul was a part of them. Paul had to be blinded before he could see.  And did I.  I was blinded to the truth of God’s word.  I was blinded to who Jesus was.  I was blinded to how to live holy and righteous even though I went to church.  I said one thing and did another.  But one night in all my blindness, in a hotel room in Kaiserslautern, Germany, a man named Jesus walked into my room  and removed the scales from my eyes.  And straightway, like Paul, I began to preach Christ Jesus and Him crucified.  Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”  (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).  Spiritual blindness is the worst kind of blindness a person can have.  Allow Jesus to remove the scales from your eyes so that you may see the Truth of His word.

Sing:  Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see You, I want to see You.  To see You high and lifted up, shining in the light of Your glory, pour out Your power and love; as we sing holy, holy, holy; I want to see You.

Thought For Today:  Are you being blinded by the doctrine of men?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 11

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel
(Exodus 1:1-12)

Today’s Morsel: I often observe the life of our Lord Jesus and His disciples.  The more they were afflicted, the more the church grew.  The more they were persecuted, beaten, and afflicted, the more the church multiplied and grew.  But today, we don’t want persecution and afflictions.  We seem to want the easy way out.  Would our churches grow more if we took a stand for righteousness and truth?  Would the people of God grow more spiritually and more like their Heavenly Father if they were afflicted more?  The Bible says that many of the afflictions of the righteous, but out of the them all the Lord delivered them (Psalm 34:19).  Israel went into Egypt with 70 people.  And when they were placed into slavery and became afflicted they began to multiply and grow.  So the next time you are feeling as though you are being afflicted, don’t try to get away from it, but rather stand still and see what the Lord is doing in your life.  He just might be growing you for what He’s getting ready to do through your life.

Sing: Jesus! Jesus! You know what best for me.  So lead on Jesus, I’ll go wherever You lead.

Thought For Today: “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 10

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:10-14)
  
Today’s Morsel: Soul winners are some of those first responders that often times go without getting the recognition that they deserve.  They are the ones that hear the cry of the lost, those drowning in the sin of this world, that hear the cry of the brokenhearted and the dying.  They are the ones that hear the shout and alarms from heaven, that say, "Someone needs your help."  They are the ones that understand what Jesus meant when He said that He was not willing that any should perish.  The Apostle Paul was one of those first responders.  He heard the cry of a man in a vision in Macedonia saying, “Come over and help us” (Acts 16).  He saw the lost and dying on Mars Hill and set them free (Acts 17).  Paul was not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Soul winners understand that once you have ninety-nine rescued, there may still be one more crying out for salvation.  First responders always operate under the motto “So that others may live.”  So what about you?  Are you a first responder for the Kingdom?

Sing:  I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained with sin, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help. Love lifted me. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, love, lifted, me.  

Thought For Today: He that winneth souls is wise.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 9

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about forgiveness is that it must be a continual and ongoing process in your life. The very moment that you are not willing to forgive, the devil has your number and will use it against you for your destruction and his pleasure.  I believe the reason that Jesus wants us to continue to forgive is because sometimes when people offend us they may not even know that they have.  I may say something in my preaching and teaching that you do not like.  You can be offended by it and avoid me or think evil of me.  And I may never know that you were offended unless you come to me and tell me.  It is only then that I can ask for your forgiveness.  When Peter asked Jesus should he forgive his brother seven times if he offended him, Jesus said no, seven times seventy.  The point is not the number of times, but being willing to continually forgive the other person.   Forgiveness actually heals you, not the recipient.

Sing:  Jesus I’ll never forget what You’ve done for me. Jesus I’ll never forget how You set me free.  Jesus I’ll never forget how You brought me out, Jesus I’ll never forget no never.

Thought For Today: “Forgiveness heals you, not the recipient” (Parker)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 8

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)

Today’s Morsel: I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “N-O Jesus N-O peace. K-N-O-W Jesus K-N-O-W peace." Without Jesus, we cannot expect to have peace, nor can we expect to be at peace with ourselves or with others.  Jesus knows that Satan wants to sift us like wheat, as He told Peter.  And this is why He’s already prayed for us  (Luke 22:31-32).  Once Satan starts his sifting process, he will rob you of every ounce of peace that you have.  Not only with others but within yourself.  This is why we must be at peace with ourselves and have peace among ourselves, just as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:13.  Always remember, Jesus will keep you in perfect peace if you keep your mind stayed on Him.

Sing:  Peace of God cover me, cover me, cover me.  Peace of God cover me, cover me, cover me.

Thought For Today:  K-N-O-W Jesus so that you will K-N-O-W Peace. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 6

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26).

Today’s Morsel: When we looking at the Ten Commandments, the first four are our relationship to God.  And the other six are our relationship to mankind. When we look at the fruit of the Spirit, we can see the same concept.  The first three; love, joy and peace; are our relationship with God. The next three; longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness; are our relationship with mankind.  And final three; faith, meekness, and temperance; are our relationship to ourselves.  Therefore, if we say that we have God’s Spirit in us and that we are Christians, our relationship must always flow first and foremost from a love for God or we will never have a good relationship for others nor ourselves.

Sing:  O how I love Jesus! O how I love Jesus! O how I love Jesus! Because He first loved me.

Thought For Today:  The stronger the love, the better the fruit.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 5

And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
(Genesis 28:10-17)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things we’ve allowed to happen to the church today is that we want people to feel comfortable.  Some churches have gone to coffee shops, welcome rooms, and parlors in hopes of making people feel comfortable and welcome.  Don’t get we wrong, I think we should always make people feel welcome when they come to church, but not to the point that they are not convicted of their sins and that they do not realize that they want to do something about those sins.  When Jacob realized that he was in the house of God, he was afraid.  Wouldn’t it be sad if people came to our churches, left and never knew that they had been in the house of God and the gates that can lead them to heaven?  That they never felt the need to change?  

Sing:  It’s the old ship of Zion, it’s the hope for the lost and dying.  It’s the soul saving station, it's the tower of salvation.  Well, it’s the church triumphant, O Lord, and it’s built by the hand of the Lord.  I’m talking about the Church in the Book of Revelation, it’s built on the Rock, it’s got a firm foundation, it’s been through the flood, and it’s been through the fire, but one these days the Church is gonna move up a little higher.  It’s the church, triumphant O’ Lord, and it’s built by the hand of the Lord.

Thought For Today:  My house shall be called a house of prayer!