Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 December 31 - Morning Manna

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit.
(Hebrews 6:1-3)

Today's  Morsel:  Perfection actually comes in three stages.  Present perfection, continual perfection, and future perfection.  When one goes through his initial stage of the new birth experience, that of being baptized in Jesus name and filled with the Holy Ghost, all his sins are washed away. He is now perfect at the moment in his present state.  But because he is in the world, he will be tainted by the world and its ways.  This is why he must immediately head towards the second stage, continual perfection.  He must pray, read his Bible, and attend church as much as he can because this is where he will learn to grow and mature.  Paul told the church at Ephesus, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ" (Ephesians 4:11-15).  One of the duties of spiritual leadership is to help you continue on that road to future perfection.  They are to help you mature and grow in Christ so that you will reach that final stage.  And that is your future perfection.  It is this final stage of perfection when we shall stand before Christ and hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant."   Jesus said, "Be ye perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect" 
(Matthew 5:48).

Sing: I am determined to hold out to the end.  Jesus is with me, on Him I can depend.  I know I have salvation for I feel Him in my soul, I am determined to hold out to the end.

Thought For Today:  Perfection is obtainable if you keep pressing toward the mark for the prize.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 December 30 - Morning Manna

Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. 
(Proverbs 24:7)

Today's Morsel:  I often wonder why so many folks seem to have a hard time attaining wisdom.  If wisdom cries in the streets and in the chief places of the concourses, shouldn't those who pass by reach out to her so that they can become wise?  Is wisdom really that high that we cannot reach up and obtain it?  Is wisdom that far elevated that we can't take hold of it?  Why are there so many that seem to lack wisdom?  Solomon said that it (wisdom) is too high for a fool.  What would classify one as a fool?  Solomon tells us that:  He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:16), He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool (Proverbs 10:18), One who does mischief, is a fool (Proverbs 10:23), One who is right in his own eyes is a fool (Proverbs 12:15), He that despiseth his father's instruction is a fool (Proverbs 15:5),  He that is full of words is a fool (Ecclesiastes 10:14); and King David said that he who says in his heart that there is no God is a fool (Psalm 14:1).  So I guess if a person falls into any of these categories, we can see why wisdom would be too high for them to attain.  But to the born again believer, nothing shall be impossible for him to attain.  As the Lord said, "Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it" 
(Psalms 81:10).

Sing:  More! More about Jesus! More! More about Jesus; more of His saving fullness see, more of His love who died for me.

Thought For Today:  Wisdom is the principle thing. 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 December 29 - Morning Manna

And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from Engedi even unto Eneglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marishes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine. (Ezekiel 47:6-12)

Today's Morsel: When Ezekiel got the vision of the living water issuing from underneath the altar, the Lord told him that wherever those waters went that they would be for healing.  When Jesus told the woman at the well that the water He gave her would be a well of water springing up unto eternal life, He was speaking of the power that those who were filled with His Spirit would have.  Not only within themselves, but also what they would be able to do.  As a Holy Ghost filled believer in Christ, you should be a healer to all people, know matter where you go and whomever you meet.  You should be able to lay hands on the sick and they should recover.  Sometimes just placing your hand on another's shoulder can make a different when they are going through things in their life.  Sometimes just a pat on the back or reassurance after a person's mistake can bring recovery and healing to their heart.  You should be able to heal a troubled mind and spirit by just being a good listener.  You have the ability to do what Jesus said that you could and would be able to do.  Don't look at everything through the lens of your natural mind.  Remember, some of Jesus' greatest miracles were done through the spoken word.  

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 so 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:  God will work if you let Him.

Monday, December 28, 2015

2015 December 28 - Morning Manna

But when the people of the land shall come before the LORD in the solemn feasts, he that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth by the way of the south gate shall go forth by the way of the north gate: he shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.
(Ezekiel 46:9)

Today's Morsel:  Do you ever leave church the same old way that you walked through the doors?  Do you ever think to yourself, "What did I even go for?"  Well, if your answer to those questions are yes, then you need to do a self-examination.  Paul told the church at Corinth: "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates" (2 Corinthians 13:5-6). You see, we must enter His gates with thanksgiving and come into His courts with praise.  If all you get from church is the reading of the scripture for the sermon, when you leave church you should leave out a different way.  Then you should go home and search it out and see what the Lord is speaking to you.  Oftentimes, the reason we don't get anything out of the service is because we are focusing on people and our surroundings instead of Christ.  You have to purpose in your heart to depart every service changed and in a different way.

Sing:  I'm not going back, I'm moving ahead, here to declare to You my past is over in You, all things are made new, surrendered my life to Christ, I'm moving, moving forward.

Thought For Today:  Always purpose to leave church a different way then you went in.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

2015 December 26 - Morning Manna

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5)

Today's Morsel:  The Psalmist calls for us to enter the gates of the Lord with thanksgiving and come into his courts with praise.  Gates are often associated with an entrance.  And so I believe what the Psalmist is saying is that every time we come before the presence of the Lord we should come with thanksgiving in our hearts.  No matter what we are going through in life, and no matter how many hardships we may be facing, or the weight we may be carrying, we come before Him with thanksgiving because we are coming to bless Him for His goodness and mercy towards us.  When our hearts are filled with thanks, and our mouths are filled with praise, joy will be in our hearts and deliverance will soon be ours.  

Sing:  I will bless the Lord at all times, His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make her boast in Thee Lord, the humble shall hear thereof and be glad. Oh magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His Name together, I sought the Lord and He heard me, and delivered me from all of my fears.

Thought for Today: You can't have thanksgiving without thanks. (Parker)

Friday, December 25, 2015

2015 December 25 - Morning Manna

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:1-7).

Today’s Morsel:  Christmas! One songwriter says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!”  I would tend to agree, but not just because of the happy meetings, the kids of good cheer, or the mistletoe!  It is the most wonderful time of the year because we are celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  I enjoy my own birthday, and I am thankful when my wife bakes a cake for me, and when my family and friends help me celebrate the day I was born.  How much more should we celebrate God Himself leaving heaven to come robed in flesh to save His people from their sins?  Enjoy this great day.  Spend it celebrating the greatest gift of all, Jesus’ love for you.

Sing:  Happy birthday, Jesus; I’m so glad it’s Christmas. All the tinsel and lights and the presents are nice, but the real gift is You.  Happy birthday, Jesus; I’m so glad it’s Christmas.  All the carols and bells make the holiday swell, and it’s all about You. Happy birthday, Jesus; Jesus, I love You. 

Thought for Today:   There is no Christmas without Christ.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

2015 December 24 - Morning Manna

 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:1-2)

Today's Morsel:  Someone said that the wise men were firemen because they came from a far (Humor).  One of the things about wise men and women, is that they will seek out truth.  Through scripture, the wise men knew that the deliverer was to be born in Bethlehem, as the Prophet Micah had recorded this.  And when they had seen His star in the east, the place where Jesus was born, they came seeking Him to worship Him.  According to the apostle John, on the Isle of Patmos, Jesus said of Himself, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star" (Revelation 22:16).  Are you seeking the Star today?  Isaiah said, "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon" (Isaiah 55:6-7).  Now is the time that wise men still seek for Him and still worship Him.

Sing: O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, O come, let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.

Thought for Today: Wise men still seek Him

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 December 23 - Morning Manna

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17).

Today’s Morsel: Christmas is a time of sharing and giving gifts.  The giving of gifts extends back into the Book of Genesis.  When a man wanted to marry someone's daughter, he brought gifts to the father. When it comes to giving, many of the principles and practices that we do today are handed to us from times past, and many are based on biblical principles.   Solomon, the wisest man, said that a gift given in secret pacifies anger (Proverbs 21:14).  The wise men were the ones who brought gifts to Jesus.  What is it about gifts?  Why do we give gifts at birthdays and at Christmas time?  It’s a part of sharing with others what we have.  It is a principle of giving.  James told us that every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from God.  The best gift, the perfect gift comes from God.  They are of the Spirit.  And God is good, and God is perfect.  Have you received that good and perfect gift?   The Holy Ghost is the good and perfect gift, it is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Sing:  The greatest thing in all my life and is knowing You. The greatest thing in my life is knowing You.  I want to know You more, I want to know You more,  The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You!

Thought for Today: The greatest gifts are from above.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

2015 December 22 - Morning Manna

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God; and they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth. And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our palaces, then shall we raise against him seven shepherds, and eight principal men. (Micah 5:2-5)

Today's Morsel:  Last year at this time, my wife and I, and some other ministers from our organization, got to go to Israel on a Holy Land Tour.  What an exciting time  it was to walk the grounds of my Lord and Savior. The Bible really does come to life when you are there.  One of the places that we got to visit and tour was Bethlehem, the birth town of our Savior.  Just knowing that we were walking in the land of the Nativity of our Savior was awe striking.  This little town, just five miles south of Jerusalem, attracts visitors from all over the world.  It is not only revered by Christians as the birth place of Jesus Christ, but it holds great significance to the Jewish people as the burial place for Rachel (Jacob's wife), the home of Ruth and Boaz (found in the story of Ruth), and the birth place for King David.   From it, you can see the shepherds' fields. According to most estimates, Bethlehem had only about 300 to 1,000 inhabitants at the time of Jesus' birth.  And to know that I was standing in this little town that our Lord had chosen thousands of years before I was ever conceived in my own mother's womb left me mesmerized, and today having been there makes the Christmas story even more enjoyable to me.  

Sing:  O' little town of Bethlehem, How still we see thee lie; above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by: Yet in the dark streets shineth the everlasting Light; the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.

Thought for Today:  Isn't it amazing that the Bread of Life would be born in the city of bread?  

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 December 21 - Morning Manna

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. (Isaiah 59:14-16)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things many people fail to realize about Christmas is its overall purpose.  There would not have been a need for Christmas if God could have found someone who was righteous and who could stand in the gap and mend the hedges that He would not destroy the land (Ezekiel 22:30).  But scripture tells us that He found none. Therefore, in order for us to have salvation, God had to bring salvation Himself to us.   Isaiah said He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.  If God didn't care for us, we would all be lost.  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord"(Luke 2:11).  Aren't you glad for Christmas?

Sing:  We have heard the joyful sound: Jesus saves!  Jesus saves!  Spread the tidings all around: Jesus saves! Jesus saves!  Bear the news to every land, climb the mountains, cross the waves; Onward! 'Tis our Lord's command, Jesus saves! Jesus saves!

Thought for Today: "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

Saturday, December 19, 2015

2015 December 19 - Morning Manna

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

(Luke 1:26-38)

Today's Morsel:  It is my opinion that all births are miraculous.  And we see many births taking place throughout scripture.  Abraham and Sarah with Isaac. The Shunammite women that Elijah spoke to.  Zachariah  and Elizabeth with John the Baptist.  And Mary and Joseph with Jesus.  All of them had questions in their heart when they were told of these miraculous births.  And even today, most people, like Nicodemus (John 3), are confounded  when it comes to their miraculous spiritual New Birth experience that Jesus told them that they would receive when the Holy Ghost comes upon them.  You see, your New Birth Experience is really the Holy Ghost overshadowing you, in much the same way as it did Mary.   Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost, "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" (Acts 2:38-39). Have you experienced that miraculous birth?  Every New Birth is a miraculous spiritual birth given by God.

Sing:  Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.  Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.  Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me, Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.

Thought for Today: God desires to dwell in you!

Friday, December 18, 2015

2015 December 18 - Morning Manna

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. (Isaiah 12:1-6)

Today's Morsel: The reason I believe that many people do not have joy is because they are seeking for it in things rather than the One who can give it to them.  Happiness is predicated in circumstances, but joy is predicated upon Jesus.  Isaiah said that with joy we can draw waters out of the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3).  David said that  joy comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5); Nehemiah said that the joy of the Lord was our strength (Nehemiah 8:10); Solomon said, "For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God" (Ecclesiastes  2:26); Jeremiah said, "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts" (Jeremiah 15:16); Zephaniah said, "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing" (Zephaniah 3:17); and Jesus said, "I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance" (Luke 15:7). When we truly understand God, we can see that one of the things that He loves is being in the midst of us and bringing us joy.

Sing:  Joy to the world! the Lord is come, let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare Him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Thought For Today: He will rejoice over thee with joy!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

2015 December 17 - Morning Manna

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)

Today's Morsel: Here in La Crosse, Wisconsin, during the Christmas holiday season, the city decorates "Riverside Park" with many attractions made of lights.  Tens of thousands of lights are used to display such a beautiful attraction.  People come from all over to see it.  And it's only open at night so that you can see its beauty and splendor from all those lights.  Jesus said that He was the light of the world and that those who followed Him would not walk in darkness but would have the light of  life.  John tells us, "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. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth" (John 1:4-14).  Isn't it amazing, knowing that Jesus, the One who created the sun to rule the day and the moon and the stars to rule the night, robed Himself in flesh and came to this earth to get us out of darkness?

Sing: Jesus the light of the world. We'll walk in the light, beautiful light, come where the dew drops of mercy and bright, shine all around us by day and by night, Jesus, the light of the world.

Thought for Today:  Jesus is still the light that gets you out of darkness.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

2015 December 16 - Morning Manna

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things I liked about my final job when I was in the army was that I got to travel to any place that soldiers under our command were located to check on their health and welfare and to see how they were doing.  We always took small tokens with us, like commander's coins, to motivate them and to let them know that we had not forgotten them.  Scripture tells us that the Lord is a man of war (Exodus 15:3), and that He is the Lord of Hosts (1 Samuel 15:2).  Paul said, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" (1 Timothy 3:16).  Therefore, I believe that God came to check up on our welfare, too.  For He said, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee"
(Hebrews 13:5).  Don't ever think that God doesn't care about your welfare.  He is always checking on you to encourage you and watch out for your welfare.

Sing:  There's not a friend like the lowly Jesus, No not one! No, not one!  None else could heal all our soul's diseases, No, not one! No not one!
Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done; there's not a friend like the lowly Jesus.  No, not one! No, not one!

Thought For Today:  Know your men and look out for their welfare!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

2015 December 15 - Morning Manna

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:7-20)

Today's Morsel:  I heard a man on the radio the other day preaching and asking why did God have the angels appear to some lonely shepherds out in the field?  I immediately said, as if he could hear me through the radio, "Hello!  Don't you get it? Shepherds are a representation of pastors and they have to carry the Good News."  I wanted to say, God gives His message to His pastors first, as they are the ones that He has chosen to feed His flock.  The Apostle Paul would later chime in with his ministry and tell the church at Rome: "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:13-15). Okay pastors it is the time of year for you to do your thing.

Sing: Go tell it on the mountain over the hills and everywhere, go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

Thought for Today:  How shall they hear without a preacher.

Monday, December 14, 2015

2015 December 14 - Morning Manna

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. (Matthew 1:18-25)

Today's Morsel:  As we enter into what some call that most wonderful time of year, and what others have commercialized for personal gain, we must not forget its real meaning.  Christmas should be seen as a time of joy and excitement for all.  As the angel said, it should be seen as a time of "glad tidings of great joy."  When we realize that God Almighty robed Himself in flesh and came to earth to save us, because no one else could do it for us, we should get excited.  I don't know about you, but every day that I live, knowing that God loved me enough to do what He did for me, causes me to be excited.  Rejoice, because God is with us.

Sing:  Jesus is the sweetest name I know, and He's just the same, as His lovely name. That's the reason why I love Him so, for Jesus is, the sweetest name I know.

Thought for Today: Immanuel, God is with us. 

Saturday, December 12, 2015

2015 December 12 - Morning Manna

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also. (1 John 4:18-21) 

Today's Morsel One of the greatest weapons of the enemy of your soul is that of inflicting fear.  Satan knows that if he can cause you to fear, then he will defeat you.  Or should I say, he will cause you to defeat yourself.  One of the greatest methods the enemy uses against his foes is psychological warfare.  He plays on your mind.  This is what we see Satan using today, psychological warfare.  He's playing on people's minds.  You go to the doctor with a pain and they tell you that you have some disease that you've never heard of before.  The word that they use is so confusing that you have to go home to look it up to see what it means.  You hear of movements that are radical.  Laws that were once considered sacred are now considered outdated and old fashioned.  You see, if Satan can get you to focus on what is going on around you, and what he is doing, then he knows you will take your eyes off Jesus and put them upon him.  John cautions us that there is no fear in love, because God is love.  If you keep your mind stayed on Jesus, you won't have to worry about becoming fearful nor will Satan be able to confuse you with thoughts of fear.  

Sing: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this earth will go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.

Thought for Today. Fret not little flock, it's your fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom (Jesus).

Friday, December 11, 2015

2015 December 11 - Morning Manna

The word of the LORD came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge? (Ezekiel 18:1-2)

Today's Morsel:  When I was a kid, one of the fundraisers we did in school was selling candy and gum.  Oftentimes, I chose to sell the gum that was called "sour grapes" because it was only a penny a piece.  And in those days, most kids had more pennies than they did nickels or dimes which was what the candy often cost.  

The Lord asked Ezekiel, "What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel, saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge?" You see, this proverb had already been spoken before by the prophet Jeremiah (See Jeremiah 31:29-30)  Sour grapes are grapes that are not yet ripe.  And when you bite into them, you are going to know it.  But this proverb meant that the fathers had sinned against God and the children would be the ones to pay for it.  But the subject is here is proposed in greater detail, with a variety of circumstances.  It refers simply to these questions: How far can the moral evil of the parent be extended to his offspring?  And are the faults and evil propensities of the parents not only transferred to the children, but punished in them? Do parents transfer their evil nature, and are their children punished for their offenses?  These are some serious questions that we must ask ourselves.  If we as parents are not careful in our conduct and actions that may be sinful, it can have severe repercussions upon our offspring.

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

Thought for Today:  Someone has to break the sin curse. Let it be you.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

2015 December 10 - Morning Manna

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:11-19)

Today's Morsel: Paul's letter to the Philippians is one of encouragement and thankfulness.  This church seems to have adopted the truth of God's word and put it into action.  Paul shows us that this church was a giving and caring church by his comments of them.  He told them that they had sent to him again and again to meet his need. Not because he desired a gift from them, but so that fruit might be added to their account.  As the old saying goes, if you never put anything into the bank, don't expect to get anything out.  This church was a giving church to the Kingdom of God.  You see, Kingdom prayer plus Kingdom giving, always produces Kingdom growth.  If we are not praying and giving into God's Kingdom, we can never expect to grow or receive a reward.  I pray that the church of Philippi will be your example in 2016.

Sing:  I want to live the way that He wants me to live. I want to give until there's just no more to give.  I want to love, love till there's just no more love. I could never, never out love the Lord.

Thought for Today:  "Ability and necessity dwell near each other." (Pythagoras, ancient Greek mathematician)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

2015 December 9 - Morning Manna

Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him. Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:17-18)

Today's Morsel:  At what point do Christians remove the word hate from their vocabulary when it comes to people?  Granted, there are things that we should hate, even God hates some things.  He hates things such as "A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren" (Proverbs 6:17-19). But when it comes to people, God loves them. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).  And God tells us that we should not hate our brother in our heart, but love them.  I have come to realize that the measuring stick for how much we love our neighbor is found in how much we love ourselves.  It is impossible to love others until we learn to love ourselves. 

Sing:  Well, you're my brother, you're my sister, so take me by the hand, together we will work until He comes, there's no foe that can defeat us, when we're walking side by side, as long as there is love we can stand.

Thought for Today: Who is your neighbor?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

2015 December 8 - Morning Manna

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger. (Lamentations 1:12)
Today's Morsel: When we read the Book of Lamentations, it is showing the Prophet Jeremiah weeping, sorrowing and in anguish for Judah and Jerusalem as they are now destroyed and carried into captivity.  Many lives have been lost.  Sons and daughters are fatherless and motherless.  Mothers and fathers are childless.  Many wives are now widows.  Nothing but grief, sorrow, and pain can be found.  All because of a people who were disobedient to their God and His word.  The God that loved them.  The God that had delivered them.  The God that had sought to make them free.  But now, because they had rejected the words of the prophet and the prophecy from God, the prophet can only lament and weep after what he sees.  He said,  "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger."  We are warned that the nation that forgets God will be turned into hell.  God has not changed.  Now is not the time to disobey God and His word, but now is the time that we should embrace it and Him as well.  It is time that we be obedient to the Lord and His commands.

Sing:  I'm getting ready to leave this place, I'm getting ready for the gates of pearls, keeping my record right, watching both day and night, I'm getting ready to leave this world.

Thought for Today: Don't take for granted the granted.

Monday, December 7, 2015

2015 December 7 - Morning Manna

But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat? And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink? Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not. So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do. (Luke 17:7-10)

Today's Morsel: How would you define duty?  When I was in the scouts, part of our motto was, "On my honor I will do my duty to God and to my country..."  Duty is an obligation.   It is something that somebody is obliged to do for moral, legal, or religious reasons.  Joseph Joubert said, "Without duty, life is soft and boneless; it cannot hold itself together."  If we do not fulfill our duty, our life will sooner or later fall apart.  Our homes will fall down around us, our families will see us as being lazy, and people will be lost. Jesus said that when we are asked to do something do it and don't look for any credit for doing it because it was your duty to do (my wording).  So the next time you are asked to do something, do it as unto the Lord and your life with be filled with meaning.

Sing: Jesus use me, oh Lord don't refuse me, for surely there's a work that I can do.  And even though it's humble, Lord help my will to crumble, though the cost be great I'll work for You.
Thought for Today:  Without duty life cannot hold itself together.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

2015 December 5 - Morning Manna

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. (Psalms 119:9)

Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. (John 15:3)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things that I have learned in my 30 plus years as a Christian, is that God will do nothing for me that He has already told me to do in His word for myself.  Part of my spiritual maturity in Him, is to be obedient to what He's already told me in His word.  I can't expect God to help my finances if I'm not tithing.  You may get a raise on your job without tithing.  But yet do you find yourself having stress and turmoil in your life, and is your home without peace?  I can't expect God to fight my battles if I am disobedient to the leadership He's placed over me.  I can't expect God to make a way for me, If I don't walk in the pathway He's already established for me to walk in.  I can't expect to have peace in my life if I don't follow the Prince of Peace.  So don't expect God to do anything for you that He's already placed in His word for you to do yourself.  The apostle James tells us that God places the onus on us to do that which God already said.  "Is any among you afflicted?  let him pray.  Is any merry?  let him sing psalms.  Is any sick among you?  let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:13-15).  When is the last time you've used your Bible to trouble shoot your own life?

Sing: Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life; Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life; words of life and beauty, teach me faith and duty. Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.

Thought for Today: Obedience is better than sacrifice. 

Friday, December 4, 2015

2015 December 4 - Morning Manna

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Today's Morsel:  Last month, our church's theme was, "The Purpose for Spiritual Maturity".  One of the areas that I covered in our study was that the purpose for spiritual maturity is so we can teach others.  This is what the writer of Hebrews is saying.  We ought to mature to a level that every one of us is teaching others doctrinal truths.  I believe that one of the reasons that we have babies having babies is because they are not being taught by parents who are supposed to be spiritually mature.  We have too many babes on the pew.  Every year that we age in the natural we should be aging spiritually.  Another area we may be immature in as Christians is if at the end of every service we need to go to the altar to pray through.  As mature Christians, our cares should have already be cast upon Jesus before the service (1 Peter 5:7).  A mature Christian has a relationship with Jesus where they can go to him at anytime. They don't have to wait for church time and ask someone to pray for them.  The altar should be left open for sinners not saints.  Saints should be living in a state that they are mature enough to handle their own problems with Jesus in prayer before service and be able help the sinner pray through at the altar during the service.  

Sing:  Well I've been changed, I am new born now, all my life has been rearranged what a difference it made when the Lord came to stay in my heart, oh yes, I've been changed.

Thought for Today:  A just man falleth seven times but he gets up again.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

2015 December 3 - Morning Manna

For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost. And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 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. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.

(Acts 20:16-27)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things about the apostle Paul was that he was constant in his actions.  He withheld nothing of the gospel with those that he encountered.  As Christians, we, too, must be constant in our actions when it comes to standing for truth and what we say we believe and stand for.  If we compromise in one area of truth, then we are not constant and our consistency will not be found. Hypocrisy is only found in a person when they are insincere, living a double-standard, putting on false pretenses, being two-faced, and having a heart of duplicity. But on the other hand, you don't find hypocrisy in a person who is constant in action.  Scripture said "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8). Will I see in you tomorrow what I see in you today?

Sing: I am determined to hold out to the end, Jesus is with me, on Him I can depend. For I know I have salvation for I feel Him in my soul. I am determined to hold out to the end.

Thought for Today: Constant actions birth consistency. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

2015 December 2 - Morning Manna

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:3-4)

Today's Morsel:  Jean Paul Fridrich Richter said "Sorrows are like thunder clouds. In the distance they look black, over our heads hardly gray."  Why does it seem that some people have trouble dealing with sorrow and grief? Why do many allow them to put a dark cloud over their head?  Some folks live a large part of their life in sorrow and grief not realizing the amount of stress that they are placing upon themselves.  Jesus knew both sorrow and grief.  And this is why I believe He told us to not to allow our hearts to be troubled, but to believe in Him (John 14:1). Sorrow and grief are caused by placing our focus on ourselves and not on our God.  Faith is always being able to see God in the dark.  If our focus is on God, then He will keep us in prefect peace and we will continue to walk in the light. But if our focus is on us, then our  sorrow will over power us and render us non-useful and we will walk in darkness. Keep your eyes on Jesus, and the darkness will lift.

Sing: When gloom and sadness whisper, you've sinned no use to pray, I look away to Jesus, and He tells me to say.
I see a crimson stream on blood, it flows from Calvary, it's waves which reach the throne of God, are sweeping over me.

Thought for Today:  Jesus is aware of our sorrows and grief.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

2015 December 1 - Morning Manna

And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?
(Luke 10:25-29)

Today's Morsel: One of the first steps to a reprobate mind is self justification. The apostle Paul told the church at Corinth to exam themselves to make sure that they were in the faith to avoid becoming reprobates, (my wording - see 2 Corinthians 13:5-6).  Jeremiah said that our heart is deceitful and wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).  And King Solomon said that he that trusts in his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:26). In today's passage, the lawyer knew the correct answer to his question, but the Bible says that he wanted to justify himself.  When we try to find an excuse to not do what the word of God tells us to do, we are heading down the path where God can no longer use us, that reprobate path, and then we become that salt which Jesus said was good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men (Matthew 5:13).

Sing: Throw out the Life-Line!  Throw out the Life-Line! Someone is drifting away; Throw out the Life-Line! Throw out the Life-Line! Someone is sinking today.

Thought for Today:  "The first step to a reprobate mind is self-justification" (Bean)