Friday, February 26, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 26 February 2021

 

The Unchangeable Habit of Prayer

 

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.” (Daniel 6:10)

 

Today’s Morsel:  I have heard some folks complain that prayer has been taken out of school.  How can they take prayer out of school?  You do not need to be a spectacle when you pray. “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” Jesus said (Luke 18:10-14).  The one was humble and the other was not.  When Daniel knew that the king had signed a decree it did not stop him from praying.  He just did it the way that he had always done it.  Just because someone makes a law against praying does not mean that you still cannot pray.  Paul wrote to the church at Rome, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27)  God knows our hearts and the things we need before we ask Him, and He sees the insincerity of our hearts.  We should always respect others when we pray in public and not make ourselves a spectacle.  And your prayers should always be coupled with humility.

 

Sing: Whisper a prayer in the morning, whisper a prayer at noon, whisper a prayer in the evening; and keep your heart intone.

 

Thought For Today: “Keep your prayers coupled with humility” (Parker)

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 25 February 2021

 

That Was Then, This Is Now!

 

“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”  (John 8:1-12)

 

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that we often see in the gospels is the encounters that Jesus had with the religious leaders of His day upon earth.  Because the religious leaders did not understand who Jesus was, they rejected him and desired to kill him.  The religious leaders would often quote from the law by saying, Moses wrote… And Jesus would say, that was then, but now I say…  They wanted to hold to the law of the sabbath, but Jesus told them that he was the Lord of the sabbath.  He is the Lord of the rest.  When it comes to salvation, some folks like to go back to the old law with the sprinkling of water and blood, as Moses did when he dedicated the Tabernacle in the wilderness.  But that was then.  Now Jesus says, “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.(Mark 16:15-18)  Baptism is not a sprinkling, it is an immersion.  Peter wrote, “Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21)  Sprinkling was then, immersion is now.  Paul said that we are buried with Christ by baptism.  You see no one in the New Testament being sprinkled for their baptism, they are all immersed in water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.

 

Sing: Born again there has been a change in me.  Born again just like Jesus said.  Born again and all because of Calvary; I’m so glad that I’ve been born again.

 

Thought For Today: God is doing a new thing.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 24 February 2021

 

Weeping For The Rejected

 

"Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gibeah of Saul. And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel. And the LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? fill thine horn with oil, and go, I will send thee to Jesse the Bethlehemite: for I have provided me a king among his sons.”   (1 Samuel 15:34-16:1)

 

Today’s Morsel:  When King Saul failed to obey what God was telling him to do as the king of Israel, God finally rejected him as king.  Even though the prophet Samuel was praying for him, God was rejecting his prayers for him.  God said to Samuel, how long are you going to mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?  We must not get to a point in our lives that we just continue to refuse to do what God has asked of us to do.  If God rejects you, then there is no hope for you outside of true repentance.  Isaiah informs us, “Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)  If you want God to hear and to answer you, then you must obey His word and do what He is asking of you, or you could find yourselves rejected for life.

 

Sing:  He chose me! He chose me! Out of all the people in this world.  He chose me! He chose me! And He can use me till He uses me up.

 

Thought For Today: Obedience is better than sacrifice  

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 23 February 2021

 

Don’t Lose Focus For Where You Are Headed!

 

“And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things. And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell: But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac. And the servant said unto him, Peradventure the woman will not be willing to follow me unto this land: must I needs bring thy son again unto the land from whence thou camest? And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again. The LORD God of heaven, which took me from my father's house, and from the land of my kindred, and which spake unto me, and that sware unto me, saying, Unto thy seed will I give this land; he shall send his angel before thee, and thou shalt take a wife unto my son from thence. And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again. And the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter. And the servant took ten camels of the camels of his master, and departed; for all the goods of his master were in his hand: and he arose, and went to Mesopotamia, unto the city of Nahor. And he made his camels to kneel down without the city by a well of water at the time of the evening, even the time that women go out to draw water. And he said, O LORD God of my master Abraham, I pray thee, send me good speed this day, and shew kindness unto my master Abraham.”
 (Genesis 24:1-12)

 

Today’s Morsel:  If you have ever driven on Interstate 95 here in America, about every 20 miles, whether you are heading North or South, you will see billboard signs calling for you to stop at ‘South of the Border.’ Billboards, if we are not careful, can cause us to lose focus of where we are heading.  Some places may be good for stopping, but if we are not careful, we can spend more time than what we had expected at the places and lose our focus of where we were headed.  When Abraham sent his servant to obtain a wife for his son Isaac, when God answered the servant’s prayer by bringing Rebekah to him, he did not want to delay in returning to Canaan with her.  Even though her father tried to delay him, he remains focused on his mission.  He did not lose focus on what he had been sent to do. Paul writing to the church at Colossi states, “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.” (Colossians 3:1-2)  Do not lose focus on where you are headed.  The devil will do everything in his power to divert your attention and delay you. But you must stay focused and keep pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

 

Sing: Oh, there’s a highway to heaven, none can walk up there but the pure in heart.  Oh, there’s a highway to heaven, walking up the King’s highway!

 

Thought For Today: Stay focused!

Monday, February 22, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 22 February 2021

 

The True Cross Bearers

 

“And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

 

Today’s Morsel:  Exactly what did Jesus mean when He said, “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:27)  What was the significance of the cross?  Why did the apostle Paul preach about the cross, and why must we teach it?  Why did Jesus select the cross as one of the methods in making us His disciples?  Were His words factual or prophetic?  Was He stating that we must literally die on a cross like Him, or we cannot be His disciple, or was there a deeper meaning?  I find that His words always have more than surface meaning.  In my book “The True Cross Bearers," I list five areas that I feel that as Christians we must do daily to carry our cross.  They are: Compassion, Resistance, Obedience, Submission, and Servanthood.  It has been stated that if we lose our compassion, we lose what it is to be human.  We must be willing to suffer with others and to go the extra mile.  The key to doing right is to resist wrong.  In many ways, resistance equals righteousness.  We must resist the temptation to do evil.  We must resist all forms of bigotry, selfishness, disunity, injustice, and inequality that hinder the truth of the gospel.  Obedience in human behavior is a form of social influence in which a person yields to explicit instructions or orders from an authority figure. Obedience is shown by self-discipline in one’s ability to obey and to carry out the things which are asked of him.  Submission is an outward observance of an inward condition of the heart, indicating one’s humility.  It should be one of the first qualities of character that is developed in you.  Servanthood exists when the leader serves the people instead of the people serving the leader.  Jesus was a servant leader.  He stated, “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:27-28)  We are called by Jesus as His servants, not lords or masters.  Therefore, if we are to fulfill the great commission, we must take up our cross daily and follow the example that Christ has given us.

 

Sing:  Take up your cross and follow Jesus, take up your cross every day.  Don’t be ashamed to say that you know Him, count the cost, take up your cross and follow Him.

 

Thought For Today: The Old Rugged Cross still makes a difference. 

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 20 February 2021

 

Privileges Above Principles

 

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.(Proverbs 14:34)

 

Today’s Morsel:  When a people value their privileges above their principles, they soon lose both.  We must never allow what we think are our privileges to override our morals and godly character.  Solomon says that righteousness exalts a nation. When governments offer their people privileges for votes instead of holding them to a higher standard of godly character and moral living, that nation will soon fall and its people with it.   Sin is a shame to anyone.  Where vices, evil, and corruption reigns, and where iniquity abounds, profaneness, impiety, and immorality of all sorts prevail, a people become mean and despicable; they fall into poverty and contempt; are neither able to defend themselves, nor help their neighbors, and so are despised by others. The only way a nation can stand is if its people are righteous.

 

Sing:  Aren’t you getting just a bit tired of fooling around?  You're trying to laugh your way through life, but you are not gaining ground.  Why not try the Lord today, just ask Him in your heart to stay, and you'll find Jesus' love to be the best thing that you ever found?

Jesus got a hold of my life and He won't let me go.  Jesus got into my heart, He got into my soul.  I used to be oh so sad, but now I’m happy, free and glad, because Jesus got a hold of my life and He won't let me go.

 

Thought For Today:  The only way a nation can stand is if its people are righteous. (Parker)

Friday, February 19, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 19 February 2021

 

Stay Alert

 

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.
(1 Corinthians 16:13)

 

Today’s Morsel:  One of the greatest dangers in a pandemic is that oftentimes people will fall asleep and forget who they are, what they have done, and what God has chosen them to be.  Paul alerts the church to stay alert.  He told them, But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.(2 Corinthians 11:3)   We must remain vigilant. Watch you, Paul said. You have many enemies; be continually on your guard; be always circumspect.

1. Watch against evil

2. Watch for opportunities to receive good

3. Watch for opportunities to do good

4. Watch over each other in love

5. Watch, that none draws you aside from the belief and unity of the Gospel.

Stand fast in the faith - hold in honest belief what you have already received as the truth of God; for it is the Gospel by which ye shall be saved, and by which ye are now put into a state of salvation.  

Quit you like men - Be not like children tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine; let your understanding receive the truth; let your conviction be the absolute necessity of retaining it; and give up life rather than give up the testimony of God.  

Be strong - Put forth all the vigor and energy which God has given you in maintaining and propagating the truth, and your spiritual strength will increase by its usage. 

Are you staying alert!

 

Sing:  When He calls me, I will answer, when He calls me, I will hear.  When He calls me, I will answer, I’ll be somewhere listening for my name.  I’ll be somewhere listening, I’ll be somewhere listening, I’ll be somewhere listening for my name.  I’ll be somewhere listening, I’ll be somewhere listening, I’ll be somewhere, listening for my name.

Thought For Today: Wake-up O’ Sleeper!