Friday, January 22, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 22 January 2021

 

Do Not Forget Your Vows

What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
 
(Psalms 116:12-14)

 

Today’s Morsel:  A wife says to her husband whom she had been married to for over 30 years, “Honey, you never tell me that you love me anymore.”  The husband turns and says to her, “I told you when we got married, if I change my mind, I’ll let you know.”  A little humor, yet, that is the way it should be with our vows, oaths, and promises that we make.  We should take them seriously and not just go through the motions.   We should make them and not change our mind.  Why is it that many people when they are going through trials and circumstances that are not favorable, they are quick to make promises or vows to do what is right if they are delivered from the situation, but then they don’t live up to it.  What if the trial or circumstance is from God and it is His way of testing you because you had already vow to Him to serve Him and obey His words?  Solomon states, “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin; neither say thou before the angel, that it was an error: wherefore should God be angry at thy voice, and destroy the work of thine hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:5-6)  Moses informed the children of Israel, “When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee. But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee.(Deuteronomy 23:21-22)  Are you aware that every time you take communion you are vowing to God to never forget Him and that you will do the things He is asking of you?  The vows that you make will surely test your integrity and character.  Make them and stick with them.  

 

Sing: I love you, I love you, I love you; what more can I say, but that I truly love you.  And I will try to live my life so that it says it, to0.  I love you, I love you, I truly love you.

 

Thought For Today: You can’t be saved without fulfilling your vows.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 21 January 2021

 

Are We There Yet?

 

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

 

Today’s Morsel:  If you have kids and have driven on any journey that required time and distance, I’m sure you have heard from the back seat just as I have, “Are we there yet?”  I am sure the children of Israel felt the same way when Moses was leading them out of Egypt.  I am sure there were times that they may have heard, “Are we there yet?”  But unfortunately, when they got there, they were afraid to cross over.  They longed for their promise, but they were afraid to receive it.  The writer of Hebrews tells us to let us go on to perfection.  So, my question to you today is, “Are you there yet?”  How many times have you heard this saying?  If we say that we are born again, then we should have already been there and been enjoying the benefits of His promise.  You see, perfection is to be complete.  If we say that we are born again, then we should be complete in Christ. We should be content with who we are and what He has given us and done in our lives.  We should be satisfied with Him as our heavenly Father, rejoicing in His power and His word; steadfast in our daily devotion with Him; loving Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; serving Him with a willing mind; carrying our cross daily, and committed to His ways. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power(Colossians 2:9-10)  Are you there yet?

 

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: If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.(Colossians 3:1-4)

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 20 January 2021

 

Watching Our Thoughts

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
(Proverbs 4:23)

 

Today’s Morsel:   One of the things about thoughts is that, if we do not guard them, they can get away from us and run wild.  I have heard many people say, “I think I’m going out of or I am losing my mind.”  These types of comments should alert the person to stop and take inventory as to what is going on in their mind.  Writing to the church at Corinth Paul states, For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.(2 Corinthians 10:3-6)  Our thoughts must be kept in check.  Solomon states that we should keep or guard our heart with all diligence.  Why?  Well, Jeremiah informs us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?(Jeremiah 17:9)  If left to itself, your heart (mind) can destroy you.  Immoral actions do not just get out of hand, they come about because men do not guard their thoughts.  As Lao Tzu states  “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny."  It all starts with a thought.

 

Sing:  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.  I’ve got my mind made up to serve the Lord.

 

Thought For Today: “When it comes to character, keep a close watch on yourself” (Parker)

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 19 January 2021

 

Circumstance

For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.(Proverbs 23:7)

 

Today’s Morsel:  In his book, “As A Man Thinketh” James Allen states, “ Just as a gardener cultivates his plot, keeping it free from weeds, and growing the flowers and fruits which he requires, so may a man tend the garden of his mind, weeding out all the wrong, useless, and impure thoughts, and cultivating toward perfection the flowers and fruits of right, useful, and pure thoughts.”  Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; therefore, they remain bound.  If you want to improve your circumstances, then you must change the way you think.  As the apostle Paul admonishes, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.(Romans 12:1-2)  David realized that his circumstance was caused by his impure heart, and so he prayed, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.(Psalms 51:10)  If you want to change your circumstance, change the way that you think.

 

Sing: Change my heart, O’ God, make it ever new.  Change my heart, O’ God, may I be like You.

 

Thought For Today:  Circumstances are usually controlled by the way we think.

 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 18 January 2021

 

Let Freedom Ring

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. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.(John 8:31-36)

 

Today’s Morsel:  Here in America, today we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Dr. King was not only known for his fight against racial injustice, but also for unfair treatment of all men and women.  When it comes to the gospel, Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose again so that we could be free and live.  The New Testament church must let freedom ring.  The New Testament church must be a church that preaches the truth so that others may be made free.  Jesus said that once we know the truth, the truth would make us free.  If you do not feel free today, then ask yourself, "Have I obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ? Have I allowed God’s word to change me?"  You can hear the word of God but if you do not obey what it says, you will remain in bondage.  Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we can be free at last!

 

Sing:  Once like a bird in prison I dwelt, no freedom from my sorry I felt. But Jesus came and listened to me; glory to God He sat me free. He set me free, yes, He set me free.  He broke the bars of prison for me.  I’m glory bound my Jesus to see.  Glory to God, He set me free.

 

Thought For Today: The gospel will make you free! 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 16 January 2021

 

Shortcomings

 

And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
  
(Luke 6:46)

 

Today’s Morsel:  I think one of my biggest frustrations in the church is with people who say that they are born again Christians and yet they will not do what God’s word tells them to do.  Do not brush me off too quickly here.  And I am not by myself.  Jesus had the same problem and He’s God.  He said to the people, "Why are you calling me Lord, Lord, and do not do the things that I say?"  If God speaks to us through and by His word, and He does, then I must ask myself, am I calling Him Lord and not doing what He is asking of me?  I often wonder if some of the trials that people go through are because they will not do what His word tells them to do.  They keep running to men trying to get an answer, or they ask for prayer and the answer is not forthcoming, because they are not doing what God tells them to do.  When God summoned Samuel about Saul, the Lord said to Him,  “It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.(1 Samuel 15:10-11)  And we see that Saul lost his kingship over Israel, when it could have been established forever.  We should all strive to live our lives so that we do not repent God (and others) when prayers are made for us.  

 

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:  Do what God commands of you and you’ll never fall short of the things you have need of.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 15 January 2021

 

The Highest Standard

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord(Hebrews 12:14)

 

Today’s Morsel:  What is the highest standard that you have set for yourself? Many folks do not set standards for themselves and then they wonder why they are not growing spiritually or why they cannot seem to overcome obstacles in their lives.  Yes, our employers and churches may have standards that we must abide by, but what standards do we set for ourselves?  The proof of a mature Christian is that you can discipline yourself.   If we say that we are Christians and that we care about our image of representing Christ, then we should establish some standards for ourselves. There should be some things that we will not do, places that will not go, and words that we will not say just because we are born again.  Standards are designed to ensure compliance to higher instructions and ensure that we are following doctrine.  Do you live your life in compliance with God's word?  What about His doctrine?  His policy, rules, and principles.  The writer of Hebrews states that we should, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord(Hebrews 12:14)  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus states, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.(Matthew 5:9)  The apostle Paul admonishes, “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.(Romans 14:19)   And apostle Peter admonishes us, “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.(1 Peter 1:14-16)  Are you following God’s standard?  You cannot find any higher standard than the word of God to establish your personal standards.

 

Sing: I’ll say yes, Lord, yes, to Your will and to Your way.  I’ll say yes, Lord yes, I will trust You and obey.  When Your Spirit speaks to me, with my whole heart I’ll agree, and my answer will be yes, Lord, yes.

 

Thought For Today:Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness…”(2 Peter 3:11)

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 14 January 2021

 

How Little We Know

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
(Job 38:1-3)

 

Today’s Morsel:  Whether we like to admit it or not, there are a lot of things that we do not know.  I do not care how smart one may be, there are still things that they do not know.  Even Job found himself being asked by God what seems to be such extremely hard questions to answer.  And Job sat in silence as God poured them out to him.  Finally, Job says to God, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.(Job 42:2-6)  Don’t ever think that you have all the answers or that you think that you know it all.  Worldly education is only good if it is coupled with Godly wisdom, knowledge, and instruction.  Believe me, I don’t care how much you know, you do not know it all.  And if you read the Bible, you will discover just how little you do know.  

 

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 full and free.

 

Thought For Today:Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him. For he knoweth not that which shall be: for who can tell him when it shall be? There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it.(Ecclesiastes 8:6-8)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 13 January 2021

 

Self- Righteousness

For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him. Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we shall be saved. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.(Isaiah 64:4-6)

 

Today’s Morsel:  If God were to ask you to judge where you stand righteously, what would you use as a measuring stick?  I am afraid that a lot of folks try to develop and determine their own righteousness.  Many of them will snub their nose at the woman who is not dressed like them, or the man who is not as smart. Often, when I see someone standing along the road with a sign asking for help, or someone pushing a cart down the street with what looks like their only belongings, I have to ask myself if they are angels being sent to see how I will act toward them.  Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body” Paul said (Hebrews 13:1-3)  How many times have people walked into our churches and we say nothing to them, or do not give them a hug because they do not look like us?  What is your measuring stick for your righteousness?  The Lord said through the prophet that all of our righteousness is as filthy rags.  If that be the case, then I cannot judge another based on my standard of what righteousness is.  I must base it on what Jesus says it is, and use the measuring stick that He gives me to use.  And His measuring stick is called the word of God.

 

Sing: More to be desired are they than gold, much find gold; sweeter also than the honey, and the honeycomb.

 

Thought For Today: “For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 12 January 2021

 

Get Him Up Now

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

 

Today’s Morsel:  The story is told about a visiting minister who came to a holiness church to minister.  As the visiting minister began to minister the word, he was going on telling stories and more stories trying to impress the congregation to get to the point of his message.  But in all of his storytelling he was never saying anything about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  After about 20 minutes of this going on, from the middle of the church, an elderly sister stood and said, “Get Him up now!”  The minister kept going on with his story, and the elderly sister stood again and said, “Get Him up now!”  The minister wasn’t getting the hint, and so, about 5 minutes later, the elderly sister stood up and start singing, “ I serve a risen Savior He’s in the world today, I know that He is with me, no matter what men say, I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer, and just the time I need Him, He’s always near. 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."  Paul said, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures."  Get Him up now!  Always lift Jesus up!!

Sing: Alive, alive, alive forever more, My Jesus is alive, alive forever more.   Alive, alive, alive forever more, my Jesus is alive.


Thought For Today: Don’t ever leave Jesus in the tomb when you are preaching or talking to others. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 11 January 2021

 

Birth Before Growth

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

 

Today’s Morsel:  Before we can grow spiritually, we must be born-again of the water and the spirit.  When Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, scriptures states, There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.(John 3:1-5) Spiritual growth can only occur once we are born again.  If we have not crucified the flesh and the old man, that is what we will still desire to follow and feed, which will cause our flesh to be strong. Even in the natural world, a baby cannot grow to its full potential and state until it is born from the womb and weaned from the breast.  There are many people, who desire to know God, and about the things of God, so that they can mature and grow, but they have yet to be born again.  If you have not followed the advice and instructions by the apostle Peter in Acts 2:38, why not take that step first so that you can be born again according to scripture and can then grow into spiritual maturity.

 

Sing:  Born-again, there has been a change in me.  Born-again, just like Jesus said.  Born-again and all because of Calvary, I’m so glad that I’ve been born-again.

 

Thought For Today: “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.(Acts 2:38-39)

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 9 January 2021

 

Wonderful Name

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:9-11)

 

Today’s Morsel:  How much consideration did you give to the name you give to your children?  I have heard many children say, “I don’t like my name.”  I have even heard some folks say that the reason they kept their last name when they married was so that if they divorce, they will not have to change it again.  If you will ever notice throughout scripture, most of the Jewish names used in the Bible, oftentimes have something to do with God, or it correlates somehow with God.  But if the person is evil, or their mother or father is said in scripture to be wicked or evil, then the name is often associated with something wicked and evil.  The name of Jesus means Jehovah is salvation.  I think that God gave it a lot of consideration as it would represent who He is.  And so the angels made sure that Mary and Joseph knew what name to give Him.  And Paul states, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” And Isaiah states, “And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  What do you think about your name?  If you develop and practice good character, people will respect and honor your name.  Remember, it is not the name, it is the person who is attached to the name that matters. What do you think of Christ’s wonderful name?

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

 

Thought For Today: And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.(Revelation 19:16)