Saturday, October 24, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 24 October 2020

 

Tomorrow

 

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

 (James 4:13-15)

 

Today’s Morsel:  One of the unknowns about life is tomorrow. We all like to make plans for tomorrow, but what if tomorrow never comes?  I hear many folks who are now saying, I never thought that 2020 would turn out like this.  Many had great plans for 2020.  But 2019 ended and 2020 proved to be a year of disaster, pain, and sorrow for many.  James tells us that we do not know what shall be on tomorrow.  For our lives are but vapors that appear for a little time, and then vanish away.  James said that we ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that. God’s will must always be considered because He is the giver of life and He is the giver of the day.  If it is His will, we will see tomorrow.  But if not, then what?  Do you know who holds tomorrow? Then just live for the day and let Him worry about tomorrow. 

 

Sing:  I don’t know about tomorrow, I just live from day to day; I don’t borrow from its sunshine, for its skies may turn to gray.  I don’t worry over the future, For I know what Jesus said; and today I’ll work beside Him, for He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow, I don’t seem to understand; but I know who holds tomorrow and I know who holds my hand.

 

Thought For Today: Tomorrow is not promised.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 23 October 2020

 

What A Savior

So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days. And many more believed because of his own word; And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.

 (John 4:40-42)

 

Today’s Morsel: Probably, one of the greatest stories told in scripture is the story of Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well.  Many have questioned why He would even talk with her. Some had even questioned why He would even go through Samaria since the Jews had no dealing with them.  But Scripture says that Jesus must go through Samaria.  And He came to Jacobs well and He sat upon it.  When the woman comes to draw water, Jesus asks her for a drink.  Jesus did not really want water; it was an open door for discussion and revelation.  One of the best ways to witness is through questioning and answering.  When their conversation was all done, the woman realized that Jesus was not just any ordinary man.  He was the Christ, the Savior of the world, and she desired to share that news.  And once the city of Sychar, had listened to Him and had knowledge of Him, they told the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.  Are you aware that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world? 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)

 

Sing:  O’ what a Savior, O’ hallelujah, His heart was broken on Calvary.  His hands were nail scarred, His side was riven, He gave His lifeblood for even me.

 

Thought For Today:  He is still the Savior of the world.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 22 October 2020

 

Let Us Gather At The River

 

And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days. And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither. And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.(Acts 16:9-15)

 

Today’s Morsel:  The story is told of a preacher who was preaching one Sunday, and he got excited about his message and so he stated, “If I had the authority, I would take every crooked politician and lock them up."  The congregation yelled, "Lock them up, preacher, lock them up."  The preacher got more excited and said, "If I had the authority, I would take all the drugs being sold on the street and burn them in the fire."  The congregation yelled, "Burn it up preacher, burn it up."  The preacher got even more excited and stated, "If I had the authority, I would take all the alcohol, beer, and wine there is and cast it into the river."   The congregation yelled "Cast it all in preacher, cast it all in."  The sermon ended and immediately the organist and the choir started to play and sing, Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful, beautiful river…” (Humor)

When we would baptize people in the East China Sea, in Okinawa, Japan, it was not uncommon for someone to be walking along the Sea Wall and stop to observe what we were doing, and often they would see their need to be baptized too.  When Paul saw in a vision a man saying come over and help us, they did not immediately encounter the man.   But on the Sabbath day they went out of the city by a riverside, where prayer was wont to be made; and they sat down, and spoke to the women which resorted there And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard them, whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of by Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought them, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained them. From this little gathering at the river side, in Macedonia, during a time of prayer, the church at Philippi (Philippians) was born.  Have you been down to the river lately?  Have you been baptized in Jesus' Name?  Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.  Don't wait, there is no day like to day!

 

Sing:  Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river.  Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful river of God.

 

Thought For Today:  Baptism doth now save us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 21 October 2020

 

But One

 

But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled.(1 Corinthians 8:6-7)

 

Today’s Morsel:  If someone were to ask you how many true Gods are there?  How many would you say there are?  I think that one of the most confusing things for some folks is when they read the scriptures and they see that Jesus is God, but because they read another passage and Jesus makes comments to the Father, or the Spirit, they get confused and think that there are three different persons.  First, Jesus is not the author of confusion, but of peace.  Paul helps us to understand this One true God when he wrote, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)  Remember, Jesus said God is a Spirit (John 4:24).  Therefore, the Spirit took on flesh and blood like us. Scripture says, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.” (Hebrews 2:17-18)  He became like us, flesh and blood.   Therefore, Jesus is called the Son of God.  And because God is a Spirit, when the flesh of Jesus died on the cross, the Spirit, the Comforter, is now in operation in the life of God’s people.  God is not three persons, He is One.  And Paul asks, how come there is not in every man this knowledge?  What knowledge?  That Jesus is God!  What is your understanding?  I pray you have a full understanding.  

 

Sing:  Jesus be the Lord of all; Jesus be the Lord of all; Jesus be the Lord of all, the kingdoms of my heart.

 

Thought For Today:  If God is three persons, we have a strange God!

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 20 October 2020

 

Attracted to Weakness

 

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

 

Today’s Morsel:  Throughout scripture, we see that God hates pride, but He is attracted to weakness. Scripture says that when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion because He saw them as sheep without a shepherd.  It also tells us that His compassion is renewed every morning.  When we are weak, He is strong.  Because He is our heavenly Father, He sees when things are too much for us to bear and handle.  He is familiar with our capabilities and strength and knows when we need Him.  Notice, He knows when we need Him, not when we think that we need Him.  Some folks want Him to take care of every situation and circumstance.  If He did that, they would never learn or understand their capabilities and strength.  When Paul wanted Christ to remove the thorn from his flesh, He told him, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” He did not do what Paul wanted.  And so, Paul states, “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  Paul learned that when we allow Christ's unmerited love and influence to operate in our lives, we will be strong enough to face and to handle anything that comes against us in our life.  Friend, think it not strange concerning the fiery trials which are to try you.  Allow God's grace to be sufficient for you.  

 

Sing:  Grace! Grace, God’s grace.  Grace that will pardon and cleanse within.  Grace, Grace, God’s grace.  Grace that is greater than all my sin.

 

Thought For Today:  But ye shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 19 October 2020

 

The Christian Walk

 

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light

(Colossians 1:10-12)

 

Today’s Morsel:  How we walk says a lot about who we are.  If I walk with my head down all the time, people will say that I am depressed or despondent.  If I walk with my pants sagging around my buttocks, people will say that I am thug, rebellious, or a rebel.  If I walk with a stroll or strut, people will say that I am prideful.  Our walk says a lot about who we are.   Paul instructs us to walk in the Spirit so that we do not fulfill the lust of our flesh (Galatians 5:16).  To walk in the Spirit is to walk according to God’s word and the way that Jesus walked.  If we say that we are in the truth, then our walk (our life, actions, and conduct), should reflect that truth.  Again, Paul states, “That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.”  How do we walk worthy of the Lord so that we please Him?   Well, we know that without faith we cannot please God.  Therefore, we must walk by faith in Him; walk after His Spirit, and according to His Word, and in His ordinances; and have our conversation as becoming His Gospel. How are you walking?

 

Sing: Just to walk with Him, means everything to me.  Just to know He's near His hand is leading me.  Though the world pass me by go their way, let me be.  Just to walk with Him means everything to me.

 

Thought For Today:  Always do everything to please God. Even your walk (Parker).

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 17 October 2020

 

Well Done

 

For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 

(Matthew 25:14-30)

 

Today’s Morsel: I have heard many people say that all they want to hear the Lord say in the end is, “Well Done thy good and faithful servant.”  But I often ask myself if those that say that are faithful servants and doing everything that they do to the best of their abilities.  I pray that they are, and I pray that they have used the talents that God has given them for His kingdom wisely.  The apostle Paul told the church at Colossi, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.(Colossians 3:23-24) We must never just do things to please men, even though that is good, but God, as He is the rewarder of our faithfulness to Him. “Well done” will only be for those servants who were faithful.

 

Sing:  If when you give the best of your service, telling the world that the Savior has come, be not dismayed when men do not believe you; He’ll understand and say, “Well done.”

O’ when I come to the end of my journey, weary of life, and the battle is fought and the victory is won, carrying the staff and the Cross of redemption, He’ll understand and say “Well done.’

 

Thought For Today: “Well done” will only be for the servants who were faithful

Friday, October 16, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 16 October 2020

 

Something Beautiful

 

I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.(1 Timothy 2:8-10)

 

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about beauty is that it comes from the inside out.  A person’s character is what makes them beautiful.  But I am afraid that many folks allow the world to tell them what beauty is and what it looks like.  From the time that children are born, the world tells parents what they must do to make their children beautiful, and they give in to it and they set their children up for failure for the rest of their lives, causing them to live with guilt.  The child never seems to feel they measure up to what the world calls beautiful or sadly what their parent expects.  Satan has a trap.  Remember, he’s the god of this world.  You must teach your children that their beauty is found in their character, not their looks.  Paul told Timothy that, “In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”   The words shamefacedness means honor and respect.  While sobriety means sound-mind and self-control.  When women adorn themselves in modest apparel that reveals that they have honor and respect for themselves, and they possess sound judgment and temperance, that’s beauty.   A persons beauty is found in their identity in Christ. 

 

Sing:  Something beautiful, something good; all my confusion Jesus understood.  All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife, but He made something beautiful out of my life.

 

Thought For Today: Remember, beauty is only skin deep.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 15 October 2020

 

Calvary

 

Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will. And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus. And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry? And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
  
(Luke 23:20-33)

 

Today’s Morsel:  When I think of Jesus’ arrest, false trial, abuse, rejection, and mistreatment that led Him to Calvary for crucifixion, that must have been a gruesome time.  There were many who were heartbroken.  But then there were those who were glad to see Him crucified.  I am still amazed at the religious leaders that had Jesus crucified who was supposed to be the ones who knew the law and the truth.  If His word is not in us, we will follow the devil's ways every time.  Even though Calvary was gruesome, we must understand why.  Isaiah states, “ Bread corn is bruised…”(Isaiah 28:28)  The One who is the Bread of Life had to be bruised to feed us, save us, and deliver us from our sins.  Don’t ever forget Calvary!

 

Sing:  Years I spent in vanity and pride, caring not my Lord was crucified.  Knowing not it was for me He died at Calvary.

Mercy there was great, and grace was free; pardon there was multiplied to me.  There my burden soul found liberty, at Calvary.

 

Thought For Today: Don’t ever forget Calvary.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 14 October 2020

 

When We All Get To Heaven

 

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.(John 14:1-3)

 

Today’s Morsel:  You know what?  I am totally surprised by the amount of time that folks spend getting ready for trips, vacations, and other events, and yet, they spend little or no time getting ready for heaven.  The most important day of your life is when Jesus comes back for you.  There will be no time to get ready when the angels appear.  The thing about Jesus’ return is it is going to take everyone by surprise.  None of us know when that day will come.  Many people are trying to pinpoint His coming, but they cannot.  The apostle Paul informs us, “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.(1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)  You need to purpose to be ready. Are you getting ready?  Have you followed the Bible plan for eternal salvation?  Have you repented of your sins?  Have you been baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ?  Have you received the Holy Ghost, evidenced by speaking in tongues as the spirit gives utterance? (Acts 2:38; 4:12)  Just think what heaven will be like for you.  I'm getting ready to leave this world.  

 

Sing:  Sing the wondrous love of Jesus, sing His mercy, and His grace.  In the mansions bright and blessed He's prepared for us a place.

When we all get to heaven, what a day of rejoicing that will be! When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory.

 

Thought For Today:  Don’t miss heaven. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 13 October 2020

 

Farther Along

 

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:  During the Tet Offensive of 1968, during the Vietnam war, the North Vietnamese launched an all-out assault with massive forces against the American soldiers and their allies.  Many lives were lost on both sides.  Some think that this was the turning point of the war.  As I think about that assault and others, my mind is drawn to the church.  Can she handle an all-out assault by the enemy when it comes?  Will she be battle-ready, or will she fold?  I often ask myself, why is there so much evil against the church and the saints of God.  But then I am reminded of what Jesus said, “You will be hated by all men for His namesake.”  Even Paul tells us that some will come in unawares to draw many away after their pernicious ways.  In the last days, the church can expect much tribulation, temptation, opposition, and rejection.  If you have not already prepared yourself for what is coming, you better get ready.  Now is the time to prove your armor. Rearm and refit yourself with the word of God.  And make a new commitment to not give in or give up.  Even if you become a prisoner of war.  Remember, heaven is always at stake, and there is more with us than them.

 

Sing:  Farther along, we’ll know all about it; farther along, we’ll understand why.  Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine. We’ll understand it all by and by.

 

Thought For Today:  Faithful unto death said the Master.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 12 October 2020

 

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

 

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.(Psalms 121:1-8)

 

Today’s Morsel: Living along on the bluffs here in La Crosse, Wisconsin, some mornings the moon and star catch the bluffs just right when I am out on my early morning physical training program and it draws my attention skyward and today's Psalm immediately comes to my attention. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.”  What an awesome passage of scripture to inspire and encourage the saints of God.  It is a continual reminder of where our help comes from.  The Lord says through the prophet Isaiah, “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.(Isaiah 41:10)  The Lord is our helper, and the writer of the book Hebrews encourages us, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.(Hebrews 4:16)  Do you need help today? Then lift up your eyes to Jesus, call upon His name, and seek His help for whatever you are facing.  You will find He is there for you.

 

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

 

Thought For Today:  Don’t ever lose sight of where your help comes from.