Friday, March 27, 2015

2015 March 27 - Morning Manna

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. (Ephesians 6:10-20)

Today's Morsel: When I was in the army and served in the infantry, one of the tactics we always trained for when we over ran an enemy objective was to prepare for a counter attack.  A counter attack is when your enemy returns trying to take you by complete and total surprise, and they find you not ready, and then they can defeat you.  We would do various things to ensure we were prepared for the counter attacks so that our enemy didn't take us by surprise.  We would establish immediate security.  We would send someone out to watch for their return.  We would redistribute ammunition, food, water, check our weapons, and ensure that every man was reassigned a sector of fire and that they were alert and ready.  We knew that the enemy would somehow try to catch us off guard and unprepared, and so we always trained for their counter attack.  Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: "Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11).  Are you aware of Satan's tactics?  It's never going to be open.  It comes through deception and surprise; even if he uses others to do it. Satan will always return right after you've had a great church service or a good praise report in your life.  Just when you think that you've got the victory, he hits you with a counter attack.  He's going to hit you when you aren't prepared for him to do so.  You must keep on the whole armor of God, and prove each piece daily, so that you will be ready and able to stand when he comes against you.  Always remember, we over come him by the word of our testimony and the blood of the Lamb.

Sing:  Satan's like a roaring lion, walking to and fro, seeking whom he may devour the Bible tells me so.  Many souls have been his prey, to fall in some weak hour, but God has promised us today, His overcoming power.
Greater is he that is in me, Greater is he that is in me, Greater is he that is in me, than he that is in the world.

Thought for Today: Always prepare for a counter attack.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

2015 March 26 - Morning Manna

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. (Matthew 7:21-25)

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house: For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (Luke 16:19-31)

Today's Morsel: What is your take on eternity?  Do you give it much thought?   I don't know about you, but I keep it at the forefront of my thoughts daily.  Scripture encourages us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling since no man knows the minute nor the hour that Jesus will return for us.  I believe that the Bible is true, and that both heaven and hell are both real and eternal.  I don't want to be like the rich man that Jesus spoke of.  By all accounts, he was taken by total surprise.  Many folks seem to be like him, taking their salvation nonchalantly.  They are laid back, taking it easy, and trying to coast into heaven.  But Jesus said that not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.  That tells me that while I am alive and still have a chance, I need to be working on my salvation.  As Joshua admonished, "Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD" (Joshua 24:14-15).  I have come to realize that eternity is a long time to be wrong.

Sing: I want to be ready, ready when Jesus comes. I want to be ready, ready when He calls my name.  It could be in the morning, in the evening, or at noon, I want to be ready, ready when He calls my name.

Thought for Today: Eternity is a long time to be wrong!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

2015 March 25 - Morning Manna

By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure. (Hebrews 11:17-19)

Today's Morsel:  I like reading about Abraham and Isaac. The Bible says that Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness.  But really, think about Isaac for a few moments in relationship to us as being living sacrifices.  Paul wrote, "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" (Romans 12:1).  Isaac was not dead when his father Abraham bound him and laid him on the altar.  He was alive.  He was not dead, but he was alive; he knew what was taking place.  He was a sacrifice.  He asked his father Abraham, ".......My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood" (Genesis 22:7-9).  Now notice what the writer of Hebrews says, Abraham received Isaac in a figure.  What was the figure?  Isaac was not only a figure of Jesus Christ, the only begotten son, he was also a figure of us, and what must be -  living sacrifices (Romans 12:1).  The same way that Isaac was offered as a sacrifice, Jesus was made a sacrifice for us.  Isaac's life was spared and replaced by a ram caught in the thicket, a figure of Jesus Christ.  Our lives have also been spared.  "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him" (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Because of God's goodness and mercy, Abraham and Isaac's lives proved to be lives of righteousness.  May ours also reflect the same figure.

Sing:  Jesus paid it all, all to who I own, sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow.

Thought for Today: "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins"(Hebrews 10:26).

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

2015 March 24 - Morning Manna

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. (James 1:19-27)

Today's Morsel:  Why has religion, which was supposed to be something very good,  taken on such a bad name?  I have come to realize that it is because many who say that they are Christians, and many who say that they have a relationship with Jesus, really aren't who they say they are.  Jesus cautioned us that many false witnesses would come in His name (Matthew 24:5;11).  He let us know that we will know them by their fruit (Matthew 7:20).  I often hear people say that they don't want religion.  I wonder what are they looking for?   And maybe this is why many Christians aren't who they say that they are.  They aren't looking for pure religion.  There must be something about having pure religion that differs from just having religion, for James to write to us and to warn us that, "If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain."  If we as Christians do not learn self-discipline with our mouth, we can give religion a bad name.  Remember, loose lips still do sink ships and they also destroy the character of the church of God.  But James doesn't leave us hanging.  He tells us what pure religion really is.  "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."  We who are the church and the called out ones, must not allow ourselves to be drawn into acting like and looking like the world and its ways; for if we do, religion will always be given a bad name. Are you the real deal?  Do you have pure religion, undefiled.  

Sing:  It's real! It's real! I know it's real, its this Pentecostal blessing and I know, I know it's real.  It's real! It's real! I know it's real, its this Pentecostal blessing and I know, I know it's real!

Thought for Today:  "Pure religion is like pure gold, it's the real deal." (Parker)

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 March 23 - Morning Manna

And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet (Acts 4:36-37).

Today's Morsel: Encouragement seems to be one of those things that is really needed today in our world; and within the church it is no exception.  Paul even called it a gift. "Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness"(Romans 12:6-8).  So everyone may not possess this gift.  If we are filled with the Spirit, we should seek, as Paul said, to the edification of others.  "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification"(Romans 15:1-2). Even though Paul may be seen as a hard leader is some areas, we can see through his writings to the churches, that he had received how to edify from Barnabas, his mentor in the Lord.  What are you doing to edify others as well as yourself?  Paul wrote the church at Ephesus, "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:17-20).   "Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. But when they departed from Perga, they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on" (Acts 13:13-15).  Do you have any word of exhortation for the people?  Why not try sharing the gospel in love.  It will work every time.

Sing:  There is power in the name of Jesus! There is power in the name of Jesus!  To break every chain, break every chain, to break every chain.

Thought for Today: If you have any words of exhortation, say on.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

2015 March 21 - Morning Manna

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Romans 8:1)

Today's Morsel:  Having taught a lesson a few weeks ago on The Purpose of Self-Examination, my mind was again drawn to this passage.  I would never have thought that I would see the day when so many people who are supposed to be filled with God's Spirit, which brings with it joy and peace, be so depressed,  disappointed, have such low self-esteemed, and walk around with such self-condemnation.  These things are not of God, they are of the devil.  Somehow, many folks are allowing the enemy of their soul to gain too much authority and power over their lives.  Somewhere there is not enough persuasion of God's ability to work on their behalf and to make ways for them where there seems to be no way.  If we do not become doers of the Word of God, depression, disappointments, condemnation, and distress are going to overpower us.  Paul wrote to the church at Corinth, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway" (1 Corinthians 9:27).  I'm not going to preach something to someone else if I don't believe it myself.   The day that I don't think that God can work on my behalf is the day that I would need to stop serving Him.  If we tell the sinner and the lost that they need salvation, and then we turn around and present God in our lives as being weak, who is going to believe us?   If we can't hold things together when things come against us in our life, who's going to believe us that God is able to do exceeding and abundantly above and beyond?   If we get upset and pout every time someone says something or does something that we don't like, who's going to believe that we have the Holy Ghost.  Let me encourage you, anytime the aforementioned things seem to be taking place in your life, lift your hands and praise God, and allow Him to work on your behalf.  He will work if we will let him.

Sing:  Lord, I lift my spirit, to Your Spirit, in holy sweet communion, I sense Your Holy Presence as I draw nearer, Lord I lift my spirit to You.

Thought for Today:  In every situation, He's only a praise away.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 March 20 - Morning Manna

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. (1 Corinthians 3:11-15)

Today's Morsel:  When I was a Cub Scout, one of my highlights was the Pinewood Derby Race.  Each scout was given a 2-inch by 6-inch block of pine wood, along with four small wheels, and told to make a car to their liking for entrance in the Pine Derby Race.  Every scout's work would be tested. 
Paul lets us know that when we build on the foundation of God, our work will be tested.  Everything that we do as Christians will be tested.  Whether our faith or our walking with God, it is going to be tested.  When one's faith is tested by fiery trials, if that faith isn't firm, it will crumble.  Paul lets us know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17), but one's faith stands in the power of God ( 1 Corinthians 2:5).  We can say that we have faith, but if that faith is not supported by a strong presence of the Holy Ghost in one's life, when those fiery trials come, if that faith is not strong, it will melt like wax before the fire.  Therefore, any work that we do must be coupled with the Word of God and prayer, or else it will not last when it is tested.

Sing:  He gives strength to me, as I worship Him, as my heart is filled with praise, Jesus breaks the bands, when I raise my hands, He gives glorious victory.

Thought for Today: There are no shortcuts to heaven.