Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 31

When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:61-69)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things about leadership is that sometimes you have to work for those with whom you may not agree or even like.  Loyalty carries a deeper meaning than just standing with those over you and supporting their ideals and vision.  It means teamwork. One of the ways loyalty is developed in a group is by the key leader showing the people under him that he has no hidden motives or agenda.  In other words, he must be open and candid with his followers.  We see this in Jesus.  Loyalty is lost when a leader says one thing and does another for personal gain or selfish motives.  Loyalty is also lost when followers are out to advance their own agenda. We should always be loyal with those we work with, both senior and peers alike.  David was loyal to both Jonathan and Saul.  Loyalty is developed when leaders set a positive example before their followers and do not micro-manage them. You can be sure if you say that you are a Christian, Jesus will check your loyalty to Him.  Either by His word, your pastor, or someone else.  Don’t fail the test.

Sing: Where He leads me I will follow.  Where He leads me I will follow! Where He leads me I will follow, I will follow! Follow, all the way.

Thought For Today:  All will be tested to see if they are loyal to Jesus! (Parker).

Monday, May 30, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 30

“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth. And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect” (Hebrews 11:32-40)

Today’s Morsel:  In the United States, Memorial Day is time for remembering the people who died while serving in the armed forces, while Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on this day to honor those who have died in military service.
  When it was told King David that Saul, Jonathan, and his son were killed in the battle, David wept and said, “The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! … Saul and Jonathan were lovely and pleasant in their lives, and in their death they were not divided: they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. Ye daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you in scarlet, with other delights, who put on ornaments of gold upon your apparel. How are the mighty fallen in the midst of the battle! O Jonathan, thou wast slain in thine high places. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished! (2 Samuel 1:19-27).  Throughout history, we see that many of our military members have given the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of their country, as well as for the liberation of others and their country.  And it is on this day that we honor them. As Paul told the Hebrews, time would fail me to tell about all those who gave their life so that others might live.  What a sacrifice!  He told the church at Rome, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8).  Jesus Christ was a man of war (Exodus 15:3).  And He gave the ultimate sacrifice that we might live.  We should always give Him, as well as others, honor for both our spiritual and natural freedoms.

Sing:  Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.

Thought For Today: Freedom is not free! 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 28

Jesus wept. (John 11:35)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about compassion and sympathy is that it will tug at your heart string.   There have been times that I’ve watched movies, attended funerals, or seen accidents and I found myself crying even though I didn’t even know the people involved​.  Scripture says that when Jesus came to Mary and Martha, after being told that Lazarus his friend was dead and buried, Jesus wept.  Jesus did not weep because Lazarus was dead, because He already knew what He was going to do the same as He knew what He was going to do with the two fish and five loaves of bread to feed the multitude.   He knew that He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead so that His disciple​s​ might believe.   So why did Jesus weep?  I believe that it was because of their unbelief.  They believed that Jesus could do things if ​a person was alive, but ​they thought ​if ​a person was dead there was nothing that could be done.  But Jesus proved them wrong.  The Bible says that Jesus was full of compassion (Psalms 78:38).   And even being God manifest in flesh (1 Timothy 3:16), ​He was also found in fashion as a man (Philippians​ 2:8).  And so it was not uncommon for Him to weep as we weep.

Sing:  Who is this who for our sorrows offers comfort and relief, bringing​
 sunshine to the dark and shadowed life? Saying softly, “ ​C​ease repining, lift thou soul above its grief, let the peace pas​s understanding still the strife.”
 It is Jesus! Jesus! Sad one, weep no more! He will heal the brokenhearted, open wide the prison door, He is able to deliver evermore.

Thought​ For Today:  ​It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Friday, May 27, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 27

Then the chief captain came, and said unto him, Tell me, art thou a Roman? He said, Yea. And the chief captain answered, With a great sum obtained I this freedom. And Paul said, But I was free born.
(Acts 22:27-28)

Today’s Morsel:  I hear in the media many people who say that they are still in slavery.  Trapped because of where they live or the requirements placed upon them because of their wrong doing.  So many seem to be enslaved to themselves.  Slavery and feeling trapped is caused by one’s own self.  Slavery and feeling trapped is in the mind.  We can learn contentment even in a place that we do not want to be.  And if we have contentment we can be free.  What would you do if you would have had to pay for your freedom?  Would you have enough money to pay for it? Aren’t you glad that Jesus took care of that for you so that you would not have to worry about it?  Scripture says, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free… If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed” (John 8:31-32-36).  The only way you can be free is to obey the word of God.  By all accounts, the chief captain payed for his freedom.  But Paul told him that he was free born, meaning his new birth in Jesus Christ made him free.  Do you feel as though you are trapped and in slavery? Well, Jesus came that you might be made free.  If you will obey His word, you will see that you can be made free.

Sing:  I wanna clap a little louder than before, I wanna sing a little louder than before,  (Ooh)
I wanna jump higher than before, I wanna shout louder than before, yeah.   
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom; God thank you for freedom!
Freedom; freedom; freedom (I love you Jesus), freedom;  freedom!

Thought For Today: A good man is satisfied from himself. (King Solomon)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 26

And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines. And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. (1 Samuel 17:2-4)

Today’s Morsel: When I was in the Army stationed at Fort Lee in Petersburg, Virginia, one of my favorite sites for running was Battlefield Park.  You could see many of the cannons still in place and the battlefields where they fought.  As I ran through it, I could sense and see within my mind men yelling, firing, crying for help, horses falling, sabers rattling, and orders being yelled over the fight. Isaiah said, “For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire” (Isaiah 9:5).  As I read today's passage, my mind is immediately drawn to another battle, the battle in the valley of Elah between Israel and the Philistines.  Fear is on both sides of the valley.  Both sides seem to be fearful of wandering down into the valley to fight.  One giant against one army.  The Philistines' hope rested in their champion, the giant Goliath, and Israel seemed to have no man to fight him.  And so for 40 days there was torment, cursing, and defilement against the army of God.  This giant seemed to have everyone afraid by his stature.  But even Goliath seemed to be fearful of the army of Israel because he never ventured into the valley or went over to the army of God to fight them.  You see, your enemy knows that he has no power over you and he does the same thing Goliath did to the children of Israel.  He torments you, curses and pokes fun at you to discourage you from fighting him.  But when David came to the battle, the tables turned.  David went into the valley of Elah and fought against Goliath and prevailed over him with a sling and a stone, by coming against him in the name of the Lord.  And then he cut off his head with the enemy's own sword.  We can stand on the sidelines and allow our enemy to torment us, or we can get into the valley and defeat him through the power of the Name.  The ball is in our court.  The decision is ours.  We can fight and win, or we can be discouraged and lose.

Sing: Take the name of Jesus with you, child of sorrow and of woe; it will joy and comfort give you, take it then wherever you go.  Precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven; precious name, O how sweet! Hope of earth and joy of heaven.

Thought For Today:  Bullying is a revelation of your enemies fears. (Parker)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 25

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. (Acts 10:1-4)

Today’s Morsel:  The engrafting of the Gentiles into the family of God is probably one of the most overlooked things in scripture.  Many fail to realize the number people that God uses in accomplishing His purpose.  Mary probably would have not been seen as the one to whom God would robe Himself in flesh and come to the earth through.  David was not even seen by his father and brethren as one who would rule and lead Israel as their king.  Paul never would have been considered as the apostle to the Gentiles.  And Cornelius, a Roman soldier, would not have been seen as the one who would be the first Gentile to receive the Holy Ghost.  But we see unique traits in each of these individuals that God saw that He could use.  Mary represents purity; she was a virgin.  God doesn’t dwell in unclean temples.  David represents a preacher; he was tending his father’s sheep when he was called.  Paul displayed tenacity, courage, and strength which was seen in his zeal to eradicate those he thought were enemies of God.  And Cornelius possessed the traits of a true Christian; devoutness, fear of God, giving and prayer.  You who are reading this were created for a purpose of God.  Are you allowing Him to use you for His purpose in and through your life?  

Sing: Jesus use me, Lord, don’t refuse me, for surely there’s a work that I can do.  Even though it’s humble, Lord help my will to crumble, though the cost be great, I’ll work for you.

Thought For Today:  Which traits of character do you possess that God can use?

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 24

 I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
(Psalms 27:13-14)

Today’s Morsel:  Endurance is one of those traits of character that seems to be waning by some.  Many today seem to not have the stamina to keep going in adversity or hardships.  Many just seem to give up too easy.  David said that even he almost quit unless he had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Endurance comes through exercise and hard work.  It’s getting your mind to override your flesh when your flesh wants to give up and give in.  If we renew our minds through the word of God, we will have the stamina to not only wait on God, but also to keep pressing toward the mark through the times of discouragement.

Sing:  He’s coming soon, He’s coming soon, Jesus is coming soon.  If we trust and never doubt He will surely bring us out.  They that wait will be renewed, God will surely see us through, for He’s coming soon.

Thought For Today:  Building stamina starts with developing self.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 23

And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair, And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood, Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25:1-8)

Today’s Morsel:  God has always desired to dwell among His people.  From creation, He was with Adam in the cool of the day.  From the Exodus of slavery out of Egypt, God wanted to be with them.  He wanted to lead them and protect them.   He told Moses, let the people make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.  Make a place of refuge for them that they can come to and I will meet them there.  Today, church is a place of refuge and a place where God desires to meet with His people.  This is why we do not neglect the assembling of ourselves together in the House of Lord.  He wants to be with us in His house and dwell among us during the special time of gathering together.  Jesus told His disciples, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you” (John 14:16-17).   Daily, we are the sanctuary that God desires to dwell in.  We are the church.  Have you made it fitting for Him according to the pattern that He’s shown you?  If we obey His word, we will be a sanctuary that He will always dwell in.

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:  We are the house that God wants to dwell in (Parker).

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 21

And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks. And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. (Judges 8:24-27)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things about position is if we are not careful  it can ensnare us and our house.  We see this with King David.  God worked a great victory for Israel through Gideon.  But we also see that in the end, by all account, he used his position to attain wealth.  And he took that wealth and made an image that became a snare to him and his house because others wanted it.  What do you have in your house that is a snare to you and your family?  Is it television?  Is it the internet?  Is it toys?  Is it an iPad or some other gadget?  Is it a hidden secret that you think that no one else knows about but you?  Is it a magazine or risque website?  Is it a hidden bottle of booze or some cigarettes?  Is it something you’ve stolen from work or someone else?  Is it money?  Whatever it is, if you don't get rid of it, it can become a snare to not only you but your entire household.  As Moses told the children of Israel, be sure you sin will find you out.  Don’t follow Achan's steps and trouble your house by taking the accursed and forbidden things.  Rather keep yourself and your house clean and pure for God.  When God works through you, never use your grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety.  Allow God to search you daily and cleanse you from all unrighteousness.

Sing:  To God be the glory! To God be the glory! To God be the glory, for the things He has done!

Thought For Today: Never use your grade or position to attain pleasure, profit, or personal safety. (U.S. Army NCO Creed).

Friday, May 20, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 20

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Today’s Morsel:  In the 90’s, there was a song written about what it would be like if all the cartoon characters got saved, what they would sound like, be like, and look like.   I wonder what would happen if all those in authority in our world today got saved.  That’s God’s desire.  We have to pray that God will open up a door of opportunity for us to share the truth with everyone.  As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15:34, “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame."  If you look at the world today, you can indeed see that they have no knowledge of God and a great need for the gospel.  Another thing is, God is going to hold those of us who know the Truth and don’t share the gospel with them accountable.  We must share what we know so that they have the opportunity to know Him.  As He told Ezekiel, “When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 3:18-19).  We must pray that God will grant an open door for us to share the gospel with everyone, even those in authority, so that they may be saved.  Let me encourage you, pray for those in authority today, they need to know Christ.

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

Thought For Today:  PUSH: Pray Until Something Happens!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 19

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. (Proverbs 3:1-2)

Today’s Morsel:  Longevity of life seemed to be common after God created the heavens and the earth.  But when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, then the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose, that things changed and that longevity of life was one of the changes.  GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was continually evil.  It repented the LORD that He had even made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart (see Genesis 6:1-2;5-6).  Scripture says that when Seth was born, men began to call upon the name of the Lord.  I believe that the majority of men kept God’s word and they lived long upon the earth.  But we see that when evil prevailed, life became shorter.  Jesus said that He came that we might have life.  That life is obtained by obeying His word.  Not only do we find life when we obey His word, but we also find peace.  Jesus is The Life and He is the Prince of Peace.  It is all available if we will just obey His word. The purpose for becoming born again is so that you can live and reflect Christ in your new life, and enjoy not only eternal life but also the abundant life He has for you here and now.

Sing:  He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today. He walks with me and talks with me, along life’s narrow way. He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart, you ask me how I know He lives within my heart.

Thought For Today:  He has come that you might have life, and that more abundantly.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 18

My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (Proverbs 2:1-5)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things I like about yard sales is that you can often find some hidden treasures.  Many times you can come across things of great value at a low price.  The Lord instructs us through King Solomon, “That if we receive his words, and hide his commandments with us; So that we incline our ear unto wisdom, and apply our heart to understanding; Yea, if we criest after knowledge, and liftest up our voice for understanding; If we seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt we understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.”  Do you want to know what God is up to?  Then keep His word and you’ll see it unfold right before your very eyes.  Life is so beautiful when you know Jesus!

Sing: I know it was the blood, I know it was the blood! I know it was the blood that saved me. One day when I was lost Jesus died on the cross, I know it was the blood saved me.

Thought For Today:  When you know Jesus, life is so beautiful!

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 17

In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
(Isaiah 6:1-3)

Today’s Morsel: What is it about tragedies that seem to get everyone's attention?  Why did King Uzziah’s death get Isaiah's attention?  What was it about his death that Isaiah was able to see God in all His glory?  How was it that the death of one man caused another man to see that he was unclean and see the importance of sharing the gospel with others?  Well, God’s ways aren’t our ways neither are His thoughts like our thoughts.  There have been many men and women who saw the need for change and became a witness for Christ when they came upon an accident or tragedy, and they became great witnesses for God, as did Isaiah.  We don’t know what God will use to turn us into mighty witnesses for Him, but when He does, we must be ready to go.

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: Not my will, but Thy will be done! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 16

Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
(Amos 8:11)

Today’s Morsel:  The obituary read: BREAKING NEWS!!!  A sad day for America: One of America’s icons has sadly passed away.  Please join me in remembering a great icon of the entertainment community.  The Pillsbury Dough-Boy died yesterday of a yeast infection and trauma complications from repeated pokes in the belly.  He was 71. Dough-Boy was buried in a lightly greased coffin.  Dozens of celebrities turned out to pay their respects, including Mrs. Butterworth, Hungry Jack, the California Raisins, Betty Crocker, the Hostess Twinkies, and Captain Crunch. The grave site was piled high with flours.  Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy and lovingly described Dough-Boy as a man who never knew how much he was kneaded.  Dough-Boy rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers.  He was considered a very smart cookie, but wasted much of his dough on half-baked schemes.  Despite being a little flaky at times, he still was a crusty old man and was considered a positive roll model for millions.  Dough-Boy is survived by his wife, Play Dough, and three children: John Dough, Jane Dough and Dosey Dough, they also had one in the oven.  He is also survived by his elderly father, Pop Tart. The funeral was held at 3:50 for about 20 minutes. (A little humor to start our morning!)

The Lord told Amos that that there would come a day that there would be a famine in the land.  Not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.  I’m afraid that we may be approaching that time as there seems to be few who have faith any more, and few who preach the Word. We know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.  So if there is a famine of not being able to hear the word of God, many will find themselves without faith and hopeless.  Let me encourage you, hide the word of God in your heart now so that when the famine comes you will still be able to stand.

Sing:  I’m learning how to lean and depend on Jesus! He’s my friend and He’s my guide.  I’m learning how to lean and depend on Jesus, I found out, if I would trust Him, He will provide.

Thought For Today: Hiding the word in your heart now, will ensure you have faith in the famine.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 14

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1-4)

Today’s Morsel: Throughout Jewish history, there were three times a year that every male was required to go to Jerusalem and worship. These feast days were The Passover to commemorate the Exodus from Egypt, Pentecost to commemorate the giving of the law, and the Feast of Tabernacles to commemorate their time in the wilderness.  But God desired to write His laws in His people’s hearts and minds and not on table of stones so that they would all know Him (see Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 10:16-17).  After His resurrection, Jesus told His disciples to go to Jerusalem and to wait for the promise of the Father (Acts 1:8).  This promise had been prophesied by the Prophet Joel (Joel 2:28-32).  God had promised to pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh.  In other words, He had promised to write His law in their hearts and minds.  And to fulfill His promise, God told them to go to Jerusalem and to wait until it happened.  Luke records in Acts 2:1-4, “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance."  You see, God is the Word (John 1:1), and once His Spirit is in you, His word is in you and you should live according to Him.  Have you received the promise of the Father?  Well, 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 2:39).  Why not open the door and allow Him to write on your heart today?

Sing:  The wind is blowing again, the wind is blowing again, just like the day of Pentecost, the wind is blowing again.

Thought For Today: You can count on God if you are willing to wait for His promises! (Parker)

Friday, May 13, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 13

And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her. (Ruth 1:16-18)

Today’s Morsel:  To me, commitment is one of those things that is sometimes hard to explain.  Why are some so easily sold out and give their all at all times, while others rarely, if ever, do anything.  When I was in the army, those who were committed and gave their all were often times called “lifers”.  They were sold out and usually served for twenty or more years to full retirement.  They lived and breathed commitment each and every day.  We don’t know much about Ruth’s life, other than that she was a Gentile and that her husband had died.  But Scripture does show us a woman of commitment.  An example setter.  A woman who put her hand to the plow and did not look back.  A woman of worth.  Ruth is an example of true commitment, and she shows us that God honors those who possess such a trait of character.  Ruth found her way into the linage line of Christ as an outsider because of her commitment.  True commitment always continues on even in adversity.

Sing: I’m going through, yes, I’m going through; I'll pay the price no matter what others do; I’ll take the way with the Lord's despised few, I started out with Jesus and I’m going through.

Thought For Today:  True commitment always continues on even in adversity. (Parker).

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 12

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things I learned being in the military was to train to sustain proficiency.  Once individuals and units had trained to a certain level of proficiency, it was the leader's responsibility to structure collective and individual training plans to repeat critical task training necessary to sustain that training.  In so many ways, this is what Solomon is saying.  When you train a child to a certain level of proficiency and you keep repeating critical teachings; such as holiness, repentance, forgiveness, love, respect, etiquette, ethics, character, obedience, and duty; then when they are old they will not depart from these things.  Training for life that sustains proficiency begins at childhood in the home.  

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: Training for life that sustains proficiency, begins at childhood in the home (Parker).

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 11

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. (Psalms 37:25)

Today’s Morsel: Why does it seem that the older we get the more we know?  How many times have you said to yourself, "I sure wish that I had known that when I was younger, then I would not have done what I did?"  Or, "If I could turn back the hands of time I would have chosen a different career path, traveled more, saved more, and prepared more for the future."  As time passes us and we get older, we do see things clearer then when we were younger.  We gain wisdom and understanding through our life’s experiences, hardships, and circumstances.  David draws our attention to God’s promises of not forsaking us nor leaving us.  He said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalms 37:25).  You don’t have to wait until you are older to realize that God keeps His promises. Just believe and you will receive. 

Sing: You may be down today, but help is on the way.  Dark clouds may dim your skies, but He’ll answer you by and by.  He'll drive away all your fears, I know cuz He's been with me down through the years.  And I've never seen the righteous forsaken, nor His seed begging for bread.  

Thought For Today:  Old age is a sign of God’s promises (Parker)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 10

Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? For who knoweth what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spendeth as a shadow? for who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun? (Ecclesiastes 6:11-12)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about life is what is good for me may not be good for you.  Paul tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).  Solomon asked, "Who knows what is good for man in this life? If man cannot know his own heart which is wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9) Then how can he determine what is good for his life?  If a person tries to tell us what is good for our life, they did it based on their own heart and thinking and not ours. The answer is, one must turn to God and His Word if he desires to know what is good for him in this life.  The psalmist prayed, “Order my steps in His word” (Psalms 119:133).   Scripture also tells us, “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).  The apostle Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:1-4, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth."  Therefore, if prayer and praying for others is good for one’s life, then we need to do it.  Another thing that is good for your life is to abide in the vine.  Because without Christ, you can do nothing (John 15:5).

Sing: Your kindness leads me to repentance, Your goodness draws me to Your side.  Your mercy calls me to be like You, Your favor is my delight.  Every day, I'll awaken my praise, and pour out a song from my heart.
You are good! You are good! You are good, Your mercy is forever. You are good! You are good! You are good, Your mercy is forever.

Thought For Today:  Stay in the vine and you will be alright.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 9

And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? Behold, they which are gorgeously apparelled, and live delicately, are in kings' courts. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? Yea, I say unto you, and much more than a prophet. This is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. (Luke 7:24-29)

Today’s Morsel:  Throughout history, many men and women have left great legacies.  When we tour museums, historical monuments and sites, we read about their accomplishments.  When John sent his disciples to Jesus to ask if He was the one that should come, Jesus not only sent John the message that He was, but He also began to elevate John’s life.  There is an old saying, “When you elevate others, others will elevate you.”  John came preaching repentance for the Kingdom of God was at hand.  In other words, John was elevating Jesus before He came.  To which Jesus also elevated John once Jesus arrived.  When we read about John’s life, not only is he credited with laying the foundation for the new birth, repentance and water baptism, and telling the people that once Jesus came He would baptize them with the Holy Ghost and with fire, but he is called the messenger and forerunner for Christ.  That is a legacy worth noting.  Are you leaving a legacy for your part in the gospel?  What will people read that you did for Jesus?

Sing:  I’m gonna lift up the name of Jesus!  I’m gonna tell of my joy since He came.  I’m gonna sing of His power every day and every hour, I’m gonna lift up that wonderful name!

Thought For Today: When you live your life for Jesus, you will leave an everlasting legacy.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 7

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:1-8)

Today’s Morsel:  I heard this guy once say that he had so many problems that every time he thinks that he sees a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s another train load of problems coming straight at him.  Do you ever feel like that?  Jesus said that we should always pray and not faint. You see the value of prayer is that no matter how bad it may seem or look, you are still trusting God to come through for you.  Prayer doesn’t change the situation. Prayer changes you during the situation.  Prayer keeps you focused and helps you stay faithful.  Prayer builds faith in the storm and sees you through to another day.  We must always PUSH!  Pray Until Something Happens!

Sing:  Somebody’s praying for you!  Somebody’s praying for you!  When you feel all alone, and your heart would break in two, remember somebody’s praying for you.

Thought For Today: Hang in there, Jesus has already prayed that your faith would not fail.  

Friday, May 6, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 6

And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out. Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries. Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob: But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out. (Judges 1:28-32)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about becoming a Christian is that you have to get rid of your enemies.  The Bible says that when Israel was strong they did not drive out those that God told them to.  They allowed them to stay where they were among them.  And even today, many of these nations and tribes are against them.  Jesus gave us power to eradicate our enemies and the things not like Him.  We must get these things out of our lives.  We must not allow them to stay when He tells us to rid of them.   Always remember a half dead snake is just as dangerous as a live one.

Sing: Let God arise and His enemies be scattered. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered. Let God arise and His enemies be scattered, let God, let God, arise!

Thought For Today: Always remember a half dead snake is just as dangerous as a live one. (Parker)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 5

I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Philemon 1:4-6)

Today’s Morsel:  How do you communicate your faith? What do you do that others see that you are a true believer in Christ?  Do you give tithes and offerings?  Do you attend church each service the doors are open?  Do you volunteer in your community?  Do you visit the sick and shut in?  Just what do you do?  Paul told Philemon, “I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and toward all saints; That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus.”  What was Philemon doing that his faith was communicated to others?  I believe that he gave and he cared for others.  One of the best ways to communicate your faith is to be no respecter of persons when it comes to telling others about Christ and sharing with them.  As James says, “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors” (James 2:8-9).  Always remember that faith works in love.

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: Faith worketh by love (Paul). 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 4

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. (Revelation 2:8-10)

Today’s Morsel: I have attended many retirement ceremonies.  And I always hear about how the person retiring was committed and dedicate to their duties.  How they were faithful and endured during the hard times, sacrificing themselves for others, the organization, and the cause.  The individual is usually given a plaque or a gift for their service.  In so many ways, this is what Jesus is saying. If you stay faithful to the duty and ministry that He has called you to, when you retire from this life, He will give you a crown of life that will not fade away.  And when He gives the speech about you at your retirement, He will not only say that you were committed, dedicated, and faithful, but He will say, "This is my son or daughter in whom I am well pleased."

Sing: He’s been faithful, faithful, to me, His love and  mercy I see. Though in my heart I have questioned, even failed to believe, yet He's been faithful, faithful, to me.

Thought For Today: The “Crown of Life” trumps all other awards for service (Parker).

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 3

Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus' feet, and heard his word. But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
(Luke 10:38-42)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about having visitors is someone has to serve.  Some people say that Martha should have done what Mary did and just sit and listen to Jesus.  Wouldn’t it be nice if we all could just go to church, sit, and listen to the word?   But really, I think that Martha understood the meaning of servant-hood.  She was willing to serve.  Maybe she had heard Jesus when He said that the Son of man came not to be served but to serve.  But when she asked Jesus didn’t He care that her sister had left her to serve alone and to tell her to help her, Jesus told her that she was careful and troubled about many things, and that her sister had chosen the good part.  What was Martha troubled about?  Was she concerned that Jesus and those with Him would not be pleased if they were not served? Would she feel bad knowing that He came, and she gave Him nothing to eat?  Often, we are troubled, when the man of God or other guests stop by, we find things to do and blame others as being non-helpful.  Jesus knew that Martha was troubled and so He visited in hope that she would listen so that He could help her.  Are you a Martha today?  Are you troubled about things?  If so, why not sit and listen to Jesus and allow Him to direct your path. That’s why He stops by your house.

Sing: What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry, everything to God in prayer.
Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere, we should never be discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer.

Thought For Today: Take “U” out of trouble and it will disappear (Parker)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 May 2

But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: That the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him. Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God
(John 12:37-43).

Today’s Morsel:  I’m amazed at the number of people who elevate man more than God.  In today’s politically correct world, the laws and rules of man are trumping the laws and rules of God because some church leaders love the praise of man more than the praise of God.  When the church aligns itself with worldly ways to please man, it is no longer a church, but an institution.  Jesus said, “But if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” (Matthew 5:13).  When the praises of men are more important than the praises of God, men are left in sin and cannot see where they are going. When the praises of men are more important than the praises of God, men are left in depression, oppression, and confinement.  When the praises of men are more important than the praises of God, families are left without direction, children have no future, marriages won’t last, schools are useless, and nations fall.  Don’t let anyone come between you and God.  Always desire the praises and acceptance of God before the praise and acceptance of men.

Sing:  I worship You, Almighty God, there is none like You. I worship you, Oh Prince of Peace, that is what I long to do, I give You praise, for You are my Righteousness.  I worship You Almighty God, there is none like You.

Thought For Today: Don’t ever let anyone come between you and God.