Tuesday, March 31, 2015

2015 March 31 - Morning Manna

 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Today's Morsel:  "If we are strong, our character will speak for itself. If we are weak, words will be of no help" (President John F. Kennedy).  Notice, if we are strong, our character will be strong too.  By all accounts, Paul was a man of character.  Paul was strong in his faith and his relationship with God.  Paul did not take his salvation nor ministry lightly.  Paul had been educated in the law of God and he knew the Word of God.  Even though he didn't have the full revelation of truth until he met Jesus on the road to Damascus, he was able to take that truth and couple it with what he knew to give himself understanding and to make himself strong in the Lord.  And when he was tempted, beaten, shipwrecked, stoned, persecuted, lied on, and imprisoned, he would say, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24); "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong"(2 Corinthians 12:10).  Character is not born in the heart of battle, it comes from how you live your life on a day to day basis.

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

Thought for Today: Character still counts in the child of God.

Monday, March 30, 2015

2015 March 30 - Morning Manna

For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. (Galatians 4:27-28)

Today's Morsel:  When God promised Abraham that he would have children as many as the stars of heaven in multitude and the sand by the seashore innumerable, Abraham probably could not think of that many.  But this was a prophetic promise to him.  It was a metaphor of what God was going to do through him.  Paul, who was educated in the law, understood how this applied, and he wrote to the church, " For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all"(Galatians 4:22-26).  Notice that of those two sons, only one of them was by promise, and that was Isaac.  And he said that we are as Isaac was, the children of promise.  One represents the flesh, the other represents the Spirit.  "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together" (Romans 8:14-17); "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Galatians 3:26-29).  Isaac not only represents Jesus Christ, he represents us as well.  Paul said that if you have been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, you are a child of the promise that God made to Abraham.  If you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, it's not too late. "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls" (Acts 2:38-41).  Isn't it great that on the first day of the New Testament Church, 3120 believers became sons of God all because of the promise God made to Abraham.

Sing: Oh yes, Oh yes, I'm a child of the King, His Royal Blood now flows through my veins. I who was wretched and blind, now can sing, praise God, praise God, I'm a child of the King.

Thought for Today: It's never too late for you to become a son of the promise.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

2015 March 28 - Morning Manna

For we write none other things unto you, than what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus. And in this confidence I was minded to come unto you before, that ye might have a second benefit; And to pass by you into Macedonia, and to come again out of Macedonia unto you, and of you to be brought on my way toward Judaea. (2 Corinthians 1:13-16)

Today's Morsel:  When I was in the army, we would always receive these letters telling us what our retirement and social security benefits would be if we stayed in the army for twenty or more years.  But now it seems like they want to take those benefits away.  David wrote that God daily loads us with benefits.  He wrote,  "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's" (Psalms 103:1-5); "Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah" (Psalms 68:19).  Paul wrote to the church at Corinth that in his confidence he was minded to come unto them before, that they  might have a second benefit.  Paul had been with them and preached the gospel before, and they had received it which was their first benefit; but now he desired to come again and water it so they could have a second blessing.  I'm sure many of you have had ministers come to your church and minister the gospel, and it was a message that you had never heard before, and it was a blessing to your soul.  Well, this was a benefit from God.  And afterwards, you heard that same minister was coming again to minister and what they preached the second time blessed your soul, too.  You now received a second blessing or benefit from God.  You see, God knows the things we have need of.  It's always good to be at church; at every service, at every special event.  You never know when God is going to pour out that second benefit upon you.

Sing:  Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done.  Count your blessings, name them one by one.  Count your many blessings, see what God has done.

Thought for Today:  A benefit is just a blessing in disguise (Parker)

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.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

2015 March 19 - Morning Manna

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just. (Proverbs 13:22)

Today's Morsel: As my wife and I read this passage during our morning devotion time, when I finished, I said to her, what can I leave our GRANDs that they will remember us by?  Without skipping a beat she said, the Word of God.  That indeed would be a good inheritance. Most people think of monetary inheritance to leave as an inheritance.  But really what they need is something that they will never depart or fade away.  You see if you leave them money, and don't get me wrong there is nothing wrong with that, yet once it is spent they will no longer have an inheritance.  But if they have your old Bible that has the notes in the margin, highlighter markings of scriptures, or a notebook of notes that you took during Bible studies; if you leave them a legacy of your life built on the Word of God, those things will be priceless and probably stay with them for ever.  Have you decided what you will leave your children's children?

Sing: Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe; it will joy and comfort give you, take it then where ever 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:  Leave your kids and grand-kids something that money can't buy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2015 March 18 - Morning Manna

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism. Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied. And all the men were about twelve. (Acts 19:1-7)

Today's Morsel:  Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed?  Receiving the Holy Ghost is more than just speaking in tongues.  Speaking in tongues is your initial evidence that you have received the Spirit of God.  But when you receive that initial evidence, it carries with it a lifestyle.  It is a lifestyle that sets you apart from others.  It is a lifestyle that you choose to make right choices and decisions.  It is a lifestyle of self-evaluation, care, and considerations not only for yourself, but also for others.  The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Christ in you; leading and guiding you.   It is the hope of glory residing in you.  Paul told the church at Rome, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you" (Romans 8:9-11).  Notice, this Spirit quickens you.  It gives you new life and vitality.   He also identified to them what the kingdom of God was so that they could enjoy it right here on earth.  He said, "For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" (Romans 14:17).  If you find that you are having trouble doing what is right,that you have a life of joylessness, or are always in a state of turmoil, there could  be an avoidance of the Holy Ghost in your life.  The Holy Ghost is power.  It's power to stand against opposition.  Power to stand when you feel like doing wrong.  Power to walk away from sin.  Power to make right choices and decisions.  The Holy Ghost causes you to love when others are not lovable and don't act or look like you.  The Holy Ghost causes you to love the Word of God and to worship Him.  It creates a godly lifestyle.  If you have not received the Holy Ghost, it's still a promise for you today.

Sing:  I've got the Holy Ghost, down in my soul, just like the Bible said. I've got the Holy Ghost, down in my soul, just like the Bible said.  Well, I've been to the water and I've been baptized in Jesus name, my soul got happy and I'm satisfied; I wouldn't take nothing for my journey now, just like the Bible, just like the Bible, just like the Bible said.

Thought for Today: The Holy Ghost is still for you today.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

2015 March 17 - Morning Manna

For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (Romans 7:15-20)

Today's Morsel:  Like Paul, I sometimes find it hard trying to perform that which I know is good; especially towards those who know to do good and yet they don't do it.   Paul's comment here is really a wake-up call to us to check for sin and the working of the flesh in our lives. He says here that anytime we find ourselves doing the things that we know that we shouldn't be doing and we consent to it, it's not of the Spirit working in us, but we have allowed sin and flesh to rule over us.  James tells us, "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin" (James 4:17).  Think about it, not doing good is sin. Hummmm!  So how do we perform that which is good to avoid sin?  Paul said that the will to do good is with us, but how to perform it he couldn't find it.  There is no doubt in my mind that everyone knows how to do what is good.  The problem lies in us not doing it.  Folks just simply make up their minds not to do good.  They skip church because they make up their minds to do so.  They don't pay tithes because they make up their minds not to do.  They gossip about people because they make up their minds to do it. And so Paul said, that because they do these things within themselves, they consent that it is good, not realizing that it is sin working in their lives.  And we know that the wages of sin is death.  If you really want to know how to perform that which is good, just be a doer of God's Word, because if you are a hearer only you are deceiving yourself.

Sing:  You know the Lord's been good, He's really been good, He's been so good to me, I just can't let Him down, I can't let Him down, I can't let Him down, He's really be good to me.

Thought for Today:  Goodness is a fruit of the Spirit.  

Monday, March 16, 2015

2015 March 16 - Morning Manna

"Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat. And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls. And when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship, and cast out the wheat into the sea. And when it was day, they knew not the land: but they discovered a certain creek with a shore, into the which they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship. And when they had taken up the anchors, they committed themselves unto the sea, and loosed the rudder bands, and hoised up the mainsail to the wind, and made toward shore. And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmoveable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. And the soldiers' counsel was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim out, and escape. But the centurion, willing to save Paul, kept them from their purpose; and commanded that they which could swim should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land: And the rest, some on boards, and some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land" (Acts 27:36-44).

Today's Morsel: When I was in the army, they taught us many things that we could use for life preservers.  They even taught us how to take our shirts and trousers to make life preservers.  This is one of the reasons that surfer have a rope tied to their ankles and attached to their surfboards. Their surfboard can serve as a life preserver should they fall off the board while surfing in rough waters.  When the ship that Paul and the men who were with him crashed, the Bible says that some of them made it to shore safely on boards and some on broken pieces of the ship.  You see, they had already been told by Paul that except they abide in the ship they could not be saved.  And because of their obedience to his word, God made a way for them to be saved.  Let me encourage you today, you may be going through one of the most terrible storms that you have ever been in in your life.  And right about now you are feeling that your ship is about to sink and it is time to bail out. Well, you can make to shore safely if you will just stay in the ship (the church), and God will bring you to your safe haven.

Sing:  I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained within, 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: You can make it if you stay in the ship.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

2015 March 14 - Morning Manna

"For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification" (Romans 4:13-25)

Today's Morsel: How persuaded are you about your salvation?  What about your walk with God?  What about the promises of God?  As Christians, we need to be fully persuaded about the things that God has promised us.  If we are not persuaded about heaven we won't make it to heaven.  Paul said that Abraham was fully persuaded that what God had promised He was able to fulfill.  And so he did not stagger at the promise of God through unbelief.  If you have trouble believing what God says in His Word, then you are not persuaded that God can do it.  This is really called shallow faith.  Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.  One of the reasons that the children of God could not enter the promised land was because of their unbelief.  They weren't persuaded that God could do what He said.  When they saw the giants and walled cities, they were not persuaded that God could defeat their enemies.  The writer of Hebrews cautions us, "Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief" (Hebrews 3:12-19).  If we say that we are born again, then we must be fully persuaded that anything God says He can do.

Sing: I believe God, I believe God, I believe God, that He will do just as He says, trust and obey, believe Him and say, I believe, I believe God.
If you need salvation now, or the Holy Ghost and power, just trust and obey, believe Him and say, I believe, I believe, God.

Thought for Today: If God can't, neither can you (Parker).

Friday, March 13, 2015

2015 March 13 - Morning Manna

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. (Psalms 36:9)

Today's Morsel: If someone were to ask you what are you looking for when you look into a mirror, what would you tell them?  I often wonder, if some folk were to look in the mirror if they would leave home the way that they do. Sometimes, I want to go up to them and say, "Excuse me, but are you aware that your underclothing are showing", or "Excuse me, but did you know that you left home with your pajamas on?"  Don't get me wrong, I love people; yet I do wonder at their actions.  
The psalmist said, with the Lord is a fountain of life.  That being said, we should all be young, excited, and joyful.  Abundant life.  Excitement to live.  Over flowing life.  All we have to do is just drink from the fountain.  Refreshing! Renewing waters of life. You aren't going to find life outside of Christ.  Jesus said "I am come that they might have life." We really were dead until Jesus came and gave us life.  The Psalmist said that in His light we can see light.  If we never read the word of God, we can miss out on all the things God has for us.  Notice, in the light we see light.  "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path" (Psalms 119:105). "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple" (Psalms 119:130).
"In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world"(John 1:4-9).  "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 8:12).  "This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all" (1 John 1:5).  When we look into the Word of God, we see God, because God is light. And it is that same light, that will show us the ways of life perfectly clear.

Sing:  I've got a river of life flowing out of me, it makes the lame to walk, and the blind to see, it opens prison doors, sets the captives free, I've got a river of life flowing out of me.
Thought for Today: The Light still leads to the fountain of life.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

2015 March 12 - Morning Manna

A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight. When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom. The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them. Riches profit not in the day of wrath: but righteousness delivereth from death. The righteousness of the perfect shall direct his way: but the wicked shall fall by his own wickedness. The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.
(Proverbs 11:1-6)

Today's Morsel:  From their English classes, most people learned and understand that a conjunction has a function.  And that function is to link sentences, clauses, phrases, or words together to make a complete thought.  For example, words such as, "and", "but", "if", "neither", "nor" "either or".  The conjunction "but",  is oftentimes used to reveal consequence or to show results.  In Proverbs 11, Solomon, uses the conjunction, "but" 19 times to show consequence. Notice what happens according to verse 1. "A false balance is abomination to the LORD: but a just weight is his delight."  Being unfair and cheating people makes God sick, but being fair and treating people with fairness makes him glad.  Notice verse 2.  "When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is wisdom."  If you allow pride to get into your life, sooner or later, it's going to cause you embarrassment or dishonor. But, if you keep a humble spirit you will gain knowledge, understanding, and insight.  The Lord said through the prophet Isaiah, "Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it" (Isaiah 1:16-20).  If we do what God tells us, we can live.  But if not, we shall but die.  Always remember, every decision that we make has a consequence attached to them.  So be careful of those buts.

Sing:  Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee.  In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.
He went walking and leaping and praising God, walking and leaping praising God, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.

Thought for Today: Be careful of those buts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

2015 March 11 - Morning Manna

 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way
(Matthew 13:24-25).

Today's Morsel: One of the things I remember about growing up in the country was sitting and listening to the elders tell stories.  Stories of the war.  Stories of how they went to school.  Stories of  how they endured through the great depression.  Stories of segregation.  They told so many stories.  I wish that I had written them all down.  Jesus was a story teller.  He often shared through parables, stories with an earthly basis to share with his follower a heavenly meaning. When he told His parables, it captured their hearts and attention that they were often times amazed.  John even shared with us a story of what he saw in heaven.  He said,  "And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.  (Revelation 12:7-11).  "One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts", the psalmist said (Psalms 145:4).  Do you have a testimony of how you have overcome since Jesus found you?  It's a story worth telling.  

Sing:  Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word, Tell me the story most precious, sweetest that ever was heard; Tell how the angels in chorus sang as they welcomed His birth, Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.

Thought for Today: Some people have become rich telling stories.  Why not tell yours!

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2015 March 10 - Morning Manna

 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (Genesis 3:1-9)

Today's Morsel:  As kids, we used to play the game "Hide and Seek" alot.  There was something about that game that really made it fun.   And even today, we see parents and grandparents playing it with their kids and grand kids.  I often wonder who came up with some of these games and how long they've been around.  We can see that "Hide and Seek" has been around since creation.  Adam and Eve hid themselves from God because they disobeyed Him and were afraid because they were naked.  How often do you seek for Him?  Daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.  Just how often do you seek Him.  Jesus said that we can find him when we seek for Him with our whole heart.   If people keep hiding from Him, pretty soon  He's going to stop looking and they are really going to be lost.  Are you still playing "Hide and Seek" with Jesus because of your sin?  Well, why not stop hiding and let Jesus find you.  He already knows where you are anyhow.

Sing: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, I was blind, but now I see.

Thought for Today: Don't allow sin to keep you hiding from God.

Monday, March 9, 2015

2015 March 9 - Morning Manna

And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him, Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee. And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God. (Luke 18:35-43)

Today's Morsel: They say that opportunity knocks once and if you miss it, you may never get another chance.  How many opportunities do you think you have missed in your life to tell someone about Jesus?  Or how many times do you think you have missed an opportunity to do good to someone else?  How about seeking forgiveness?  I think that we can all agree that we have missed a few opportunities in our lives.  But today, we see that the blind man was not about the allow the opportunity to be healed and to receive his sight to pass him by.  So when he heard that Jesus was passing by, he began to call out to Him.  And when others told him basically to be quiet, he got louder because he did not want to miss this opportunity. Let me encourage you today, don't allow any opportunities for Christ pass you by; whether it is to do good or to tell someone about Jesus, it could be the only opportunity you get.  

Sing:  Pass me not, O gentle Savior, hear my humble cry. While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.
Savior, Savior, hear my humble cry. While on others Thou art calling, do not pass me by.

Thought for Today: Don't let the opportunity pass you by.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

2015 March 7 - Morning Manna

Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.
(Acts 16:6-13)

Today's Morsel:  How many of you may have found yourself in a place and you are sitting and talking with someone, and because of what the person is saying to you, you immediate say, "I've dreamed this before."  Paul saw in a vision at night, a man saying, "Come over to help us."  Peter, when he was sleeping on the roof top at Simon the Tanners house saw in a vision of all the unclean animals coming down before him not knowing that God would be sending him to preach to the gentiles (Acts 10).   When Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he quoted the prophet Joel, as God saying, "...and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams" (Acts 2:17).   Paul's vision of the man was really of the jailer (Acts 16), Peter's was of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10), and yours may be of the very person that you are talking with when you say, "I've dreamed this before".   But no matter the vision or the dream they will surely come to pass.  Always remember, God has a purpose for you; and that is to share the gospel with saints and sinners alike.

Sing:  On Calvary's hill of sorrow, were sins demands were paid, and rays of hope for tomorrow, across our path were laid.
I see, a crimson stream of blood, it flows from Calvary, its waves which reach the throne of God, are sweeping over me.

Thought for Today:  What you see in a vision will soon come to pass.

FOR THOSE IN AMERICA - Remember to SPRING FORWARD TONIGHT; set your clocks ahead 1 hour so you are NOT late for church in the morning!!!

Friday, March 6, 2015

2015 March 6 - Morning Manna

And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.
(Genesis 45:4-8)

Today's Morsel:  Would you act differently or serve God with all your heart  if you knew that what you were going through was ordained of God?  Would you worship and serve God more if He healed you or gave you your request?  I don't think that Joseph knew that all the bad things that were taking place and going on in his life were ordained by God at the first.  But by all accounts, Joseph still did the right thing even in his suffering and pain.  We hear many ministers say that the devil cannot do anything to us without God allowing him to do it.  Like Job.  If that be the case, then why do so many stop serving Him with all their heart when seemingly bad things happen to them?  I'm afraid that some want to be Christians on their terms and not God's.  The first church members and apostles suffered for the name of  Jesus.  Even though Jesus didn't want to drink the cup, He got to the point of 'not my will but Thy will be done'.  In other words, if God is ordaining it, let it happen.  Joseph told his brethren, "And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity (a future generation) in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God."   So the next time you find yourself in a place that you don't want to be, or you are in a suffering that you don't like, ask yourself what God is up to in it.  Just make sure, as Peter said, "let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf" (1 Peter 4:15-16). 

Sing: Because He lives, I can face tomorrow, because He lives, all fear is gone, because I know who holds the future, my life is worth the living just because He lives.

Thought for Today: Every obstacle can be overcome.  You just have to have the faith  to believe that you can.(Parker)

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2015 March 5 - Morning Manna

And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. (Acts 16:16-18)

Today's Morsel: Does the devil know your mission?  Do people know that you are a child of God?  It's amazing to me that some people who say that they are gay these days,  have no problem with stating and showing  their identity, so that others can see and know their personal preferences.  Should not we as Christians do the same?  If we say that we are Christians shouldn't people know it?   Jesus said that we are to let our light shine so that men would see our good works and glorify our Father which is in heaven.  The woman with a spirit of divination knew who Paul and Silas were and what their mission was.  She said, "These men are servants of the most high God, which show us the way of  salvation."  Mission compromised.  The devil knew their mission and he had it exposed.  Paul and Silas, by all accounts,  did not use any kind of operational security in trying to hide who they were.  Christians are not to be some kind of  secret agents.  We are to be lights on a candle stand.  If people don't know your mission for Christ when you are new in town, chances are that you are hiding the gospel.

Sing: We are not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of salvation.  And it's to everyone, everyone that receives it.  And it's to everyone, everyone that believes it, that we can have everlasting life.

Thought for Today: No one is saved outside of the gospel.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

2015 March 4 - Morning Manna

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:8-18)

Today's Morsel:  How much trouble do you think you can handle?  Listen to this article if you think you've got trouble.  "A man was working on his motorcycle on his patio and his wife was in the house in the kitchen.  The man was racing the engine of the motorcycle and somehow the motorcycle slipped into gear.  The man, still holding the handlebars, was dragged through a glass patio door and the motorcycle dumped onto the floor inside the house.  The wife, hearing the crash, ran into the dining room, and found her husband laying on the floor, cut and bleeding, and the motorcycle laying on top of him and the patio door shattered.  The wife ran to the phone and summoned an ambulance.  Because they lived on a fairly large hill, the wife went down the several flights of steps to the street to direct the paramedics to her husband.  After the ambulance arrived and transported the husband to the hospital, the wife put the motorcycle upright and pushed it outside. Seeing that gas had spilled on the floor, the wife got some paper towels, blotted up the gasoline, and threw the towels in the toilet.  The husband was treated at the hospital and was released to come home.   After arriving home, he looked at the shattered patio door and the damage done to his motorcycle. He became despondent, went into the bathroom, sat on the toilet and smoked a cigarette.  After finishing the cigarette, he flipped it into the toilet bowel while still seated.  The wife, who was in the kitchen, heard a loud explosion and her husband screaming.  She ran into the bathroom and found her husband laying on the floor. His trousers had been blown away and he was suffering burns on the back of his legs.  The wife again ran to the phone and called for an ambulance.  The same ambulance crew was dispatched and the wife met them at the street once again. The paramedics loaded the husband on the stretcher and began carrying him to the street.  While they were going down the stairs to the street accompanied by the wife, one of the paramedics asked the wife how the husband had burn himself.  She told them and the paramedics started laughing so hard, one of them tipped the stretcher and dumped the husband out.  The husband rolled down the remaining steps and broke his ankle."  SO the next time you think you are having trouble, think of this guy.  Daniel Defoe, 17th century British writer said, "In trouble to be troubled is to have your trouble doubled."  Paul said that we are troubled on every side yet not distressed.  We don't allow our troubles to stop us.  We may think that our troubles will destroy us, but really they are to shape us and cause us to become more like Christ.  So the next time you are having troubles always remember that Gois our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (Psalms 46:1). 

Sing:  God is our refuge and strength, our refuge in time of trouble, trouble.   God is our refuge and strength, our refuge in time of trouble.  And He will hide me under the rock, under the rock, under the rock; and He will hide me, under the rock, safe in the time of trouble.

Thought for TodayThough our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

2015 March 3 - Morning Manna

Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the LORD, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalms 16:1-11)

Today's Morsel: I was listening to a sermon on the radio the other day, and the pastor was telling a story about a man who came home from a church service.  He said that as the man was passing by the pasture, he noticed a donkey with a long gray looking face, and the man said to the donkey, 'You must have been in service with me today.'  In other words, the man left service with no joy.  How would you define joy?  Yes, joy is a feeling of great happiness or pleasure.  But joy is also that inner strength that comes from knowing God.  Nehemiah said that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10); and Isaiah said that with that same joy we can draw waters out of the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).  So shouldn't every believer be filled with joy on a continuous basis?  If we keep Jesus first, others second, and ourselves third, we will always possess joy in our life.   As the psalmist states, "In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."  As long as we stay in the presence of God and keep Him first, we will have joy.

Sing:  Somebody told me about the joy they had. Somebody told me that in sorrow I could be glad.  Then they told me that they were bound but now set free, I didn't think it could be, until it happened to me.
 Now I can tell you of the joy I have.  Now I can tell you that in sorrow I can be glad.  Now I can tell you that I was bound but now set free.  I didn't think it could be, until it happened to me.

Thought for TodayJesus first, Others second, You third. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

2015 March 2 - Morning Manna

If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee. (Proverbs 25:21-22)

Today's Morsel:  It has been stated that "We have found the enemy and he is us." Isn't it sad that we can become our own worst enemy.  We can create our own problems and then expect someone else to fix them for us.  And believe me, there are people out there who are making millions of dollars every year doing just that.  They are directing people how to fix the problems that they have created for themselves.
 When I first arrived in Okinawa, I had a man that hated me because I was a Christian.  But I kept reaching out to him with love and kindness and then one day this man hit a very hard spot in his life and I was able to minister to him.  This man became saved and a very good friend and prayer partner with me, and he served God for the rest of his days upon the earth.  Solomon said, "If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee."  Have you thought about feeding yourself the bread of life?  If the saying we started with is true, and we are our own enemy; then we should feed ourselves the word of God.  Let me encourage you today, if you have enemies, follow Solomon's advice and God will reward you.

Sing:  He's my bread when I'm hungry, He's my water when I'm thirsty. He's my shelter in the time of the storm. He's the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, He's my all.

Thought for Today: "Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so much."  Oscar Wilde.