Saturday, January 30, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 30

Then again Abraham took a wife, and her name was Keturah. And she bare him Zimran, and Jokshan, and Medan, and Midian, and Ishbak, and Shuah. And Jokshan begat Sheba, and Dedan. And the sons of Dedan were Asshurim, and Letushim, and Leummim. And the sons of Midian; Ephah, and Epher, and Hanoch, and Abida, and Eldaah. All these were the children of Keturah. And Abraham gave all that he had unto Isaac. But unto the sons of the concubines, which Abraham had, Abraham gave gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.
(Genesis 25:1-6)

Today’s Morsel:  After the death of Sarah, Abraham took another wife and had six more children by her.  The Bible says that he gave to them gifts, and sent them away from Isaac his son, while he yet lived, eastward, unto the east country.  But he gave Isaac all that he had.  Paul told the church at Ephesus, “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men” (Ephesians 4:4-8).  Many people have giftings, talents, and abilities from God, but it doesn’t mean that He’s given them all.  Abraham had many sons, but only Isaac was by promise.  Therefore, he received everything his father had.  When you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, which is the promise, you are entitled not only to gifts but to everything the Father has.  It is the Holy Ghost that brings us to the fullness of all that Jesus would have us be.

Sing:  I am a promise, I am a possibility; I am promise with a capital “P”, I am a great big bundle of potentiality. And I am learning to hear God’s voice, and I am learning, to make the right choice, I am promise to be everything God wants me to be.

Thought For Today:  Every good gift and perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the father of lights.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 29

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive; I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
(Revelation 2:8-11)

Today’s Morsel:  As I watch God’s word unfold before my very eyes each day, I find myself wondering sometimes when Jesus will return.  From all indications of what I see coming upon the earth, it only makes me wonder if we are going through the tribulation period that God spoke of, or the last days that Paul spoke of.   Pain, suffering, death, killings, prison, poverty, and blasphemy.  Or is it what Paul warned Timothy that would come: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:1-7).  With so much seeming to be coming against us, how can one stay focused on Christ and what is right?   I find confidence in God’s word, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:32-33).  Notice, in the world we are going to have tribulations.  As long as we are still here in this world; evils, harm, troubles, problems, misfortunes, trials, sufferings, and pain are all going to come our way.  But if we can just hold on and be of good cheer until Jesus comes, we are going be just fine.

Sing: “Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still; wave the answer back toward Heaven, “By Thy grace I will.”

Thought For Today:  You can make it if you try.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 28

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1)

Today’s Morsel:  From a little shepherd boy to a mighty king, David is an example of true trust and confidence in God.  No matter what he faced in his life, he still seems to maintain his confidence in God’s ability to deliver him from those who are against him and those who are out to harm him.  He said that God was his light and his salvation; whom should he fear.  When we have a clear understanding that God is light (1 John 1:5), that God is our salvation (Acts 4:12), and that He gives His angels charge over us (Psalms 91:11), we don’t have to fear what others can do to us.  God has the ability to show us the path that leads to life and He has the ability to make us free.  We don’t have to be afraid of man, because God is our strength and He fights our battles for us.

Sing:  God is my refuge and strength, my refuge in time of trouble, trouble.  God is my refuge and strength, my 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 Today:  They that trust in the Lord shall be protected from harm.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2015 January 27

And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. (Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Today's Morsel:  Have you ever told someone that you would do something for them, and you then honestly forgot to do it?   How did you feel when you saw the person and they brought it to your remembrance?  Moses told the children of Israel that when they came into the land of promise and they had great and goodly cities, which they did not build , and houses full of all good things, which they did not fill, and wells digged, which they did not dig, vineyards and olive trees, which they did not plant; when they had eaten and were full; that then they should beware lest they forget the LORD.  His warning to them was because most people lose sight of God when things are going well for them.  When most people have the basic essentials of life met, they often times lose focus of what God has done for them.  And Moses wanted the children of Israel to know that just as quickly as God had given it all to them, He could take it away if they forgot Him.  Well, they didn't heed his warning, and they forgot God and they suffered because of it.  Have you forgotten where God brought you from and what He has done for you in your life?  One of the quickest ways you can determine if you have lost sight of what God has done for you is your tithe record.  Take time to remember and give thanks to The Lord for all He has done.  Beware, lest you forget God.

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

Thought For Today:  God must never take the backseat to anything.  He must always be kept in first place.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 26

Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
(Matthew 26:41)

Today's Morsel:  The world in which we live in is so full of temptations that it seems impossible for the child of God to avoid them.  But Jesus said to watch and pray that we would not enter into temptation.  Jesus never said that they were not going to be there.  He said that if we watch and pray, we can recognize them, and not be trapped and ensnared by them.  One of the things that I learned in the military was to always know your surroundings.  In other words, always be alert to where you are and always look for an escape route. Prayer keeps our spiritual man strong.  It is usually our flesh that gives in to temptation because it is weak.  The more we pray, and the more we watch our surroundings, the more likely that we can be remain victorious.

Sing: O, victory in Jesus, My Savior forever, He sought me and bought me with His redeeming blood. He loved me ere I knew him and all my love is due Him, He plunged me to victory, beneath the cleansing flood.

Thought For Today:  The number one duty of every Christian is prayer. 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 25

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)

Today's Morsel:  I have had people ask me why do we go to church on Sunday versus going on Saturday.  I've told them that when we turn to the New Testament, we are told to not exalt one day above another as the things of the Old Testament were a foreshadow of things to come.  "Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ" (Colossians 2:16-17).  Therefore, we can now go to church every day if we desire.  When certain of the Pharisees asked Jesus, "Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days" (Luke 6:2)?   "Jesus answering them said,  Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him;  How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath" (Luke 6:3-5).  He told them, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath"(Mark 2:27).  In other words, the rest was made for man and not man for the rest.  Isaiah said that the Holy Ghost is the rest.  "For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear" (Isaiah 28:11-12). Jesus died and rose again and sent back the Comforter (The Holy Ghost) so that we could have the rest (The Holy Ghost) in us at all time.  And as long as we don't blaspheme It, and as long as we live according to His Word, we will keep It holy every day.  It is written, "Be Ye Holy for I am Holy (1 Peter 1:16).

Sing: This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made, that the Lord has made. I will rejoice, I will rejoice, and be glad in it, and be glad in it.  This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. This is the day, this is the day, that the Lord has made.

Thought For Today:  Are you missing the rest?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 23

The fear of the LORD tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil.
(Proverbs 19:23)

Today's Morsel:  One of the trees that we find in the Garden of Eden is the tree of life.  It was one of the trees that Adam and Eve could have eaten from without restraint.  But we know that they chose to eat from the one that God told them not to because of Satan's deception.  If Adam and Eve had listened and retained their respect for what God had said, they could have had life without toil and torment.  To me, that's what life is, living without a whole bunch of confusion and torment in your life.  Jesus said that He came to give us life.  Be assured, your salvation did not come with torment and a whole lot of confusion.  Usually, confusion and torment comes from not being satisfied with who I am and what I have.  Solomon said that respect and reverencing God gives us life; and that then we would be satisfied and not visited with evil.  There may be things that come against us, but always remember what Paul said, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).  If we live in the spirit, let us walk also in the spirit.  And that begins with this new life, and listening to the voice of God.

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:  Jesus still gives life, and that more abundantly.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 22

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
(Psalms 17:15)

Today's Morsel:  Have you ever stood and looked into the waters of a river when they are peaceful and calm?  What did you see?  David said that he would behold his face in righteousness.   He was saying that when we look into the word of God, we will see Christ.  The Bible says, "As in water face answereth to face, so the heart of man to man" (Proverbs 27:19).  I want to be like God.  I want to be in his likeness because God is a God of righteousness.  If we are not righteous, others cannot see Christ in our lives.  The same way that water reflects your image and reveals you, so does your heart.  Therefore, we must insure that it stays pure because it will reveal the true you.

Sing:  I see Jesus in your eyes and it makes me love you.  I see Jesus in your smile and I know you care.  I see Jesus in voice and it makes me listen.  I see Him in you.

Thought For Today:  Righteousness begins with right.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 21

There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
(Proverbs 14:12)

Today's Morsel:  The Global Positioning System (GPS) has made traveling much easier.  Just put in your destination, drive and listen to the directions, and it will take you to your location.  And if you get off the right way, it will let you know and give you new directions to get back on course.  One of the things I find about the Bible is that it will reveal to you if you are on the right path or not.  We may think that we are on the right path in life, but if our way isn't according to the word of God we are off course.  Solomon said that "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death."  Technology can sometimes fail, so you better carry your map in your vehicle!  The Bible will never fail or lead you wrong. "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls..."(Jeremiah 6:16).

Sing: There's just one, one, one, one way to God. There's just one, one, one, one way to God. There's just one, one, one, one way to God, baptized in Jesus name.

Thought For Today: The road to heaven goes through Jesus.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2015 January 20

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
(James 1:8)

Today's Morsel:  Being a Christian is not a Sunday only thing.  It's a 24/7 commitment.  Some people think that they can be a saint at church, and a sinner at home and at work.  If you lift your hands in praise to God in the church, and then go home and yell, scream, and holler at  your family, or you do not consider your spouse and children's feelings, you are not being a true Christian.  Jesus said that the golden rule was to do unto others as we would have them do unto us (my words) Matthew 7:12.  James said that a double minded man is unstable in all his ways.  The double minded man is not sound or fixed in his ways. David said that his heart was fixed (Psalms 57:7).  Paul told Timothy that God had given him a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  If we are double minded, we are living two different lifestyles.  If that is the case, pretty soon the true us will be revealed.  And it's never godliness, but the evil that is revealed and destroys us.

Sing:  I have decided to follow Jesus! I have decided to follow Jesus! I have decided to follow Jesus! No turning back, no turning back.

Thought For Today: Double means two. 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2015 January 19

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him... And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men"
(Colossians 3:17, 23)

Today's Morsel:  Last month, our midweek Bible lesson was on,  "Being a Christian Influence."  And as we were discussing the final lesson, I discussed three ways to model influence.  They were  (1) Never lose your identity in the crowd, (2) Always display a servant's attitude, and (3) Do everything to the glory of the Lord.  I told the church that someone had accused my wife of being an overachiever.  Yet how can that be.  I asked them, shouldn't every Christian be an "overachiever" in what they do since we are to be witnesses for Christ?  Shouldn't we all be giving our very best, since we are supposed to be witnesses for Him?  Aren't we supposed to be doing everything as unto the Lord and for His glory?  I told them, I wonder what would happen if every spouse gave their very best to their marriage.  Or every employee gave their very best to their employers.  If we as Christians would do everything to the glory of the Lord and not as unto man, giving it our very best, we might see this thing called Christianity in a different light.  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven" Jesus said (Matthew 5:16).  Become an overachiever for Jesus and influence others around you.

Sing:  To be like Jesus!  To be like Jesus!  On earth I long to be like Him.  All through life's journey, from earth to glory, I only ask to be like Him.

Thought For Today:  Are you an overachiever for Christ? (Parker)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2015 January 18

 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins. The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
(Isaiah 40:1-5)

Today's Morsel:  Today, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his work for civil rights in America.  Dr. King, a Baptist Minister, is not only known for his work towards civil rights, but also for his famous, "I Have A Dream" speech which was delivered 28 August 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C..  I think that every family should sit and read through this speech and see if they are living up to it.  Many people think that it was a speech given by a black man to black people.  But the speech was not a speech to one race of people.  It was a call to a nation who was founded and built on the principles of God's word to live up to who she was to be.  It was a call to remind her that justice is not just for a few, but for all.  It was to remind her that all of God's people are created equal.  And whether those people were black or white, Jew or Gentile, Protestant or Catholic, in God's eyes they must be treated equal.  It was a statement and reminder that until this nation realized and did that, it would be divided and be a nation with much unrest.  You see, one of the things about injustice is we can practice it and may not even know it. This is especially in the church.  When Dr. King quoted from the Book of Isaiah "Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it",  I believe that what he was saying was that when the playing field is level for all people, then we see God's glory revealed in that nation.  But if we treat people unfairly, then "judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter" (Isaiah 59:14).  Are you practicing justice?  Do a heart search today and allow God to show you any areas you may have a need to change in your own life to show liberty and justice to all.

Sing: Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last. Free at last, we're free at last, thank God almighty we are free at last.

Thought For Today:  God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34).

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 16

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Command Aaron and his sons, saying, This is the law of the burnt offering: It is the burnt offering, because of the burning upon the altar all night unto the morning, and the fire of the altar shall be burning in it.
(Leviticus 6:8-9)

Today's Morsel:  The altar was the place of sacrifice.  Paul told the Hebrews, "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased" (Hebrews 13:15-16).  How hot is your prayer altar? I have read many books on prayer and about men and women who spent much time in prayer.  Some of  those books talked about how many of those who prayed made ruts in the carpet or wooden floors, or by an old log or stump, from where they placed their knees hour after hour when they prayed.  The marks were from years of them praying in the same place for many years.  The Lord told Moses to command Aaron and his sons to never let the fire go out of the altar.  Our prayer altars must remain burning at all times.  If we keep them burning, the likelihood of us backsliding and falling away from God will never happen.

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

Thought For Today:  Backsliding starts with a lack of prayer (Parker).

Friday, January 15, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 15

Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail, Which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? 
(Job 38:22-23)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things about living in Wisconsin is you can go from no snow to feet of snow in a moment's notice.  When we look at snow it's pretty amazing.  It's light and fluffy when it comes down, but as those flakes join together they can bring a nation to a standstill.  Snow represents many things. Unity.  Purity.  Cleanliness. Righteousness.  Clean and white.  God relates the removal of one's sins to it (Isaiah 1:16-18).  When one repents of his sins and is baptized in the name of Jesus, they become clean and pure from their sins.  They become pure at that moment.  But in order to remain in that state, they have to purpose in their heart to remain pure and not allow sin to reenter their heart. Where so many fail, is when they listen to the enemy telling them that no one is perfect and without sin. Well if you believe that lie from the devil, then you will never see yourself as what God says that you are and can become.  You will always believe Satan more than God.  If a new born baby doesn't know sin, and when you are born again your sins are washed away, then why do you keep believing that you are a sinner?  You are only a sinner if you practice and do sin.  God gives us a chance to start new when we are born again, but if we think we aren't then so are we.  Hummm!  It's always better to trust in the Lord then to put your confidence in man.  Have you entered into the snow?

Sing: Whose report will you believe?  We shall believe the report of the Lord. Whose report will you believe?  We shall believe the report of the Lord.  His report says I am healed, His report saying I am filled, His report says I am free, His report says victory.

Thought For Today:  If you believe that no one is perfect, you don't know Jesus!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 14

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)

Today's Morsel:  There is no salvation outside of Jesus Christ.  Jesus asserted, "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father; but by me" John 14:6. The Old Testament foreshadowed Christ's death by animal sacrifices.  God's people offered blood sacrifices to atone for, cover, pardon, forgive, remit, or expiate their sins. These sacrifices did not actually take away sin, but they demonstrated faith and obedience in God's plan of salvation.  On the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of all time, and His sacrifice avails to all in every age who believe and obey Him (Romans 3:25-26).

Sing:  Thank God for the blood!  Thank God for the blood! Thank God for the blood that washes white as snow.

Thought For Today:  Without Jesus you are lost.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 13

Many seek the ruler's favour; but every man's judgment cometh from the LORD.
(Proverbs 29:26)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things about us as humans is that we want the favor and approval of others more than the favor and approval of God.  We even see this in Jesus' day.  Scriptures say that many would not confess Jesus for fear of being put out of the synagogue (John 12:42).  And today, people will do everything to please man instead of Jesus. They will wear what the world says to wear, not considering if it's pleasing to God. They will work long hours and overtime, not considering what God wants.  They will bend over backwards for their secular boss and reject their pastor, never realizing that only what they do for Jesus will last.  Jesus said that in the last day the word would judge us (John 12:48).  So the question is, if you stood before Jesus right now, what would your judgment be?

Sing:  Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul. Thank You, Lord, for making me whole. Thank You, Lord, for giving to me, Thy great salvation, so rich and free.

Thought For Today:  We must all stand someday before God!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 12

"I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem. And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith. I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit. That which is crooked cannot be made straight: and that which is wanting cannot be numbered. I communed with mine own heart, saying, Lo, I am come to great estate, and have gotten more wisdom than all they that have been before me in Jerusalem: yea, my heart had great experience of wisdom and knowledge. And I gave my heart to know wisdom, and to know madness and folly: I perceived that this also is vexation of spirit. For in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow"
(Ecclesiastes 1:12-18)

Today's Morsel:  Often, when we read the wisdom spoken by King Solomon, it can be hard to understand if we look at it through worldly lenses.   That is one of the reasons that I believe that he cautions us to not only get wisdom, but to get an understanding with it (Proverbs 4:7).  He said that he gave himself to know wisdom and he concludes that for in much wisdom is much grief: and he that increases knowledge increases sorrow. But Solomon isn't talking about godly wisdom.  He's referring to worldly wisdom.  This is why I believe so many people today are in much grief and sorrow.  It is because they have given themselves to obtain worldly wisdom instead of godly wisdom.  Worldly wisdom will only carry you so far.  And once you are faced with a tough trial, you won't know what to do.  When one can call evil good and good evil, he has endowed himself to worldly wisdom.  You see, godly wisdom increases strength and knowledge within us (Proverbs 24:5).  Godly wisdom brings joy and hope.  It causes you to rise up when you fall.  It gives you moral and physical stamina to go to the distance and stand for right versus wrong.  The mind is a terrible thing to waste on a world that is going to pass away.  Don't waste your time merely getting worldly wisdom, seek to gain godly wisdom.  And with all your getting, get an understanding.

Sing: Deeper! Deeper! In the love of Jesus daily let me go, higher, higher, in the school of wisdom, more of grace to know.

Thought For Today:  No one ever reaches his full potential without godly wisdom.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 11

And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee. But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only? And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts? Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion. (Mark 2:1-12)

Today's Morsel:  A special operations team consists of four men.  They have all been trained the same way.  Each has the same capabilities as the other.  What one can do, so can the other.  They are each aware of the others' capabilities and strengths.  They know that they are a team and the life of their team members depends on them doing their job and doing it correctly.  When playing poker, (not that I play poker anymore) there are certain hands that will beat another hand.  A full house is a very good hand to have if you are a gambler, but four of a kind (4 Aces, 4 kings, 4 twos) will beat a full house any day.  The Bible said that Jesus was in the house and that it was noised abroad that He was in the house.  The house was so full that there was no room for anyone else to enter.  But scripture says that there was a man who had the palsy, and they came unto Jesus, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was carried by four.  And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they uncovered the roof where Jesus was.  This man was a paralytic.  He was a physically challenged person.  He needed assistance.  But when Jesus saw the faith of the men carrying him, He said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.  I want you to know that four of this kind will beat a full house any day.  What kind am I talking about? Four that believe:
The way that some call heresy.
The way that some call foolish.
The way that some call outrageous.
The way that some call a cult.
The way of the Cross.
That Jesus was God manifested in flesh.
That neither is there salvation in any other but Jesus Christ.

When you find four that believe this way, you've got a force to be reckoned with and God can work and move.

Sing:  No great name than the name of Jesus, no greater name than I've ever known. No greater name than the name of Jesus. You are the song to my heart and my soul, you are the hope to the hopeless and broken, you are the only truth and the way.

Thought For Today:  Four of a kind will beat a full house any day. 

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 9

For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Today's Morsel:  You know, we don't hear a lot of preaching and singing in the churches about the cross anymore.  Pastors are having to focus their sermons towards messages that bring encouragement and focus on being able to meet people where they are in their day to day life.  But the most encouraging message that can be preached is the Cross of Jesus Christ.   The church seems to have become a place of trying to fix peoples' hurts, sicknesses, pains, and weaknesses instead of giving them what they need and allowing them to fix their own problems.   Paul said that the preaching of the cross to us that are saved is power.  So we can see the reason that Satan wants all the monuments or anything that displays a cross, or has anything to do with Jesus to  be removed.  We can see why he his goal is to stop the preaching of the Cross.  If the Christian doesn't understand the importance of the Cross, he will remain powerless.

Sing:   At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light, and the burden of my heart rolled away, it was there by faith, I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day.

Thought For Today:  The Cross still gives power.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 8

The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned. We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses. Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there. Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand. O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer.
(Nehemiah 1:1-11)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things about unexpected bad news is that it can rip your heart apart.  When Nehemiah asked about his brethren and the status of his homeland, he was not expecting the news that he received.   His heart was ripped.  The wind was taken out of his sail.  He had that gut wrenching feeling that says, now what do we do.  All he could do at the moment was to sit down and weep.  But while he was weeping, he felt a need to intercede to God for His forgiveness and for help for his people and his homeland.  Through Nehemiah we can learn how to deal with bad news.  We learn to pray to God.  Nehemiah went to the king after he went to God.  If Nehemiah had gone to the king first, the king's heart may not have been softened to help him.  But because he went to God first, I believe God moved upon the heart of the king to make previsions for him to rebuild and to restore the wall at Jerusalem.  So let me encourage you, always seek God first in the time of trouble and give Him first shot to move in your situation and your problem.

Sing: Hear my cry O' God, attend unto my prayer, from the end of the earth will I cry unto Thee; when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, so much higher than I.

Thought For Today:  Prayer not only changes you, it can change others on your behalf.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 7

And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me. (Genesis 42:36)

Today's Morsel:  One of the things we have to learn as Christians is that sometimes bad news is going to come. We will also find out that we are not exempt from hardships and unwanted circumstances.  But as Christians, we have to stop and ask ourselves what God is doing through the circumstances or hardships that we are going through that will make us more like Him.  Jacob was not expecting to be asked to send his youngest son into Egypt.  He sent his sons to buy food, not to be faced with losing another son and being asked to send his younger one, too.   I believe that Jacob felt that God was punishing him for lying to his father, Isaac, and stealing his brother Esau's birthright.  But he would find out later that he was to be reunited with his son Joseph, whom he thought was dead and it was him who was the one behind the plot; and God was making it possible through him to sustain life in the time of famine that was now upon them.  Sometimes, we will have to make some tough choices in our lives and we should not see them as things that are against us.  But rather, we should ask ourselves what purpose God has for them to happen in our lives.

Sing: Many things about tomorrow, I don't seem to understand, but I know who holds tomorrow and I know He holds my hand.

Thought For Today:  Faith of a true Christian stands in adversity. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 6

And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord GOD.
(Ezekiel 11:19-21).

Today's Morsel: Each time I renew my driver's license, they ask me if I want to be an organ donor. I always say yes, because I'm praying that someone will get this new heart that Jesus has put in me.  You see, that old heart of the old man is gone.  Jesus came in and did an operation and gave me a new heart and a new spirit.  Just think, if every Christian would live their life according to God's word, and would be a heart donor when they die, think of how many people could be saved who have a bad heart and are waiting for a transplant.  Now, I know that that's not the way that it happens, but if it did, would yours be a good one for someone else?  You see, Jesus give us a new heart and a new spirit, that we may reveal to others His power to change us and to remove evil from us.  Always remember, a nasty attitude is a sign of a bad heart.  Would someone's life be changed by your heart transplant?

Sing: What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart; I have light in my soul for which long I have sought, since Jesus came into my heart.
Since Jesus came into my heart. Since Jesus came into my heart; floods of joy o'er my soul like a sea billows roll, since Jesus came into my heart.

Thought For Today:  A nasty attitude is a sign of a bad heart (Parker)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 5

Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.
(Luke 6:21)

Today's Morsel:  I want to be so full of Jesus that:
1. If a misquote bites me he flies away singing, "There is Power in the Blood!"
2. When I step into a room people start singing, "Look What the Lord Has Done."
3. My boss starts singing, "Take This World But Give Me Jesus."
4. The cashier at the bank starts singing, "Silver and Gold."
5. When I arrive at the airport they start singing, "I'll Fly Away."
6. When I walk into a restaurant the wait staff starts singing, " Come and Dine!"
7. When I walk into a church the congregation starts to sing, "Holy Spirit You Are Welcome Here."
  "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness" (Isaiah 55:1-2).   When you are full of Jesus, something is bound to spill over somewhere.  How full are you?

Sing:  Here's my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul. Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more. Here's my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

Thought For Today:  A life filled with Jesus, means there's no room for the world. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2015 January 4

Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart unto the other side. And a certain scribe came, and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
(Matthew 8:18-20)

Today's Morsel:  We hear a lot about the homeless and other people needing a place to stay.  Most people fail to realize that Jesus was born homeless.  But that was because He chose to be homeless so that we may take Him in. When the disciples asked Him where he was staying, He told them to come and see.  But we don't find that He was showing them where He lived.  I believe that He wanted them to understand that they would become His residence.  He makes His abode in us.  When one told Him that he would follow Him wheresoever He went, Jesus told Him that the foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.  In other words, you need to know that if you follow me, I don't have a place for you to stay.  But if you do follow me, "And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house" (Luke 10:5-7).  Jesus said, If there is peace in the house, then stay there.  We must not be church hoppers.  We must stay in the house where the Peace is.  

Sing: Have you any room for Jesus, He who bore your load of Sin?  As He knocks and asks admission, sinner, will you let Him in?
Room for Jesus, King of glory! Hasten now, His word obey. Swing the heart's door widely open; bid Him enter while you may.

Thought For Today:  Do you have any room for Jesus?

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 2

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
(Romans 6:1-23)

Today's Morsel:  I like to check myself on a regular basis to ensure that sin has not crept back in to my life.  You see, if I don't keep the old man crucified, he'll try to take control of me all over again.  And he does that with sin.  As Christians, we shouldn't be sinning.  Our lives are to be a reflection of Christ in this earth and He has no sin and deceit is not found in Him.  Our lives are to be a reflection of righteousness and holiness.  Sin must not control us, we must control it.  And we do that by saying no to sin, and  yes to Christ.  Always remember, He took your sins away in the waters of Baptism.  Don't let those sins creep back in.

Sing:  I came to Jesus weary, worn, and sad, He took my sins away, He took my sins away.  And now His love has made my heart so glad, He took my sins away.
He took my sins away, He took my sins away, and He keeps me singing every day! I'm so glad He took my sins away, He took my sins away.

Thought For Today: "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you" (Apostle Paul).

Friday, January 1, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 January 1

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.
(Isaiah 43:19)

Today's Morsel:  I often hear people say at the first of the year that they are going to turn over a new leaf.  In other words, they aren't going to do the same old things this year that they did the year prior.  But sad to say, many of them relapse right back into the at same old rut.  And that is because so many of them do nothing to get rid of the things that kept them in the rut they were in.  As I have stated before, Jesus isn't going to do anything for you that He has already told you to do in His word.  If you want to change, the first step to responsibility is responsibility.  You have to take responsibility for your own actions.  God is going to do a new thing.  The question is, will you let it be you?

Sing:  There's a new name written down in glory, and it's mine oh yes its mine!  And the white robed angels sing the story, "A sinner has come home."  For there's a new name written down in glory, and it's mine, oh yes, it's mine!  With my sins forgiven I am bound for heaven, never more to roam.

Thought For Today:  The first step to responsibility is responsibility!

Happy New Year!!