Monday, May 20, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 20

Set Some Boundaries Around Your Life

 

“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.” 

(Proverbs 7:1-2)

 

Today’s Morsel: One of the safest ways to protect yourself is to set some boundaries around your life. Biblical, church, and personal convictions are not there to hurt or restrain you. They are there to protect you. Boundaries serve as a reference point for you to stop and consider if you are getting outside of the safety zone. I can remember when my wife would say to the kids, you can play outside, but you cannot go past certain houses or landmarks. She wasn’t trying to restrain them or stop their fun, she wanted to be able to see them for their protection. Solomon said, “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Proverbs 6:23) These things ought to be our boundaries. He asks a question for you to consider. “Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned? Can one go upon hot coals, and his feet not be burned? So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.” (Proverbs 6:27-29) This is one of the reasons men need some boundaries in their lives. And he does the same with women. He said: “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths:” (Proverbs 2:10-15) Boundaries are just another word for guardrails to keep you in your lane.

 

Sing: Jesus hold my hand, Lord, I need Thee every hour. Through this pilgrim land, protect me by Thou saving power. Hear, my feeble plea, oh, Lord, look down on me. When I kneel in prayer, I know You’ll meet me there, blessed Jesus hold my hand.

 

Thought For Today: “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” (Psalms 101:3)

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 18

Are You Trying to Figure Out Life?

 

“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the LORD. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.” (Proverbs 8:34-36)

 

Today’s Morsel: Are you one of those who is trying to figure out life? I mean, are you one of those who questions why bad things seems to happen to good people? Or why the innocent hurt, and the evil seem to be getting away and the righteous suffers? Or why so many who are supposed to be Christians have lost their moral compass? Listen, you are not going to be able to figure life out when it comes to these things. Paul tells us, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Romans 11:33) God even says in His word that He’s made the wicked for the day of evil. “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Proverbs 16:4).  Scripture also says of God’s conversation with Job, “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) As Christians, we are not to try and figure life out. We are to live life, as that is what Jesus gave it to us for.  Life must be lived and not seen as burden. If you are one of those who keeps trying to figure life out, you will find yourself like a hamster in a cage and you will soon become tired, depressed, and without hope. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we will have fellowship one with another and joy will fill our hearts. So don’t sweat the small things, or even the big things!

 

Sing: Trials dark on every hand and we cannot understand, all the way that God will lead us to that blessed promised land. But He’ll guide us with His eye, and we’ll follow till we die.  We will understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes, and all the saints of God are gathering home. We will tell the story how we’ve overcome, and we’ll understand it better by and by.

 

Thought For Today: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

Friday, May 17, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 17

Receptive to Spiritual Things

 

“Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:9)

 

Today’s Morsel: Throughout scriptures, we see men and women who were receptive to spiritual things. Jacob seems to be receptive to spiritual things and Esau was not. The Bible says that Esau didn’t value his birthright. And he sold it for a bowl of soup. When he wanted it, he couldn’t find it though he sought for it with tears. Mary seemed to be receptive to spiritual things, as we see her sitting at Jesus feet and listening, while Martha was cumbered about with much serving. Spiritual receptivity begins with wanting to learn and grow in spiritual things. You can only live by what you know. Spiritual receptivity was a byproduct of all of Jesus and the apostles teaching. Remember that when you become a Christian, your development doesn’t come from worldly ways. It comes from spiritual ways. Notice what the Bible says: “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27) Do you see the difference between spiritual and nonspiritual receptivity? With one you can endure the storms of life and with the other you cannot.  Notice what Solomon says, “Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” God wants us to mature and grow. And the only way you are going to move on to perfection is you must become receptive to spiritual things.

 

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

 

Thought For Today: “But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.” (Ezekiel 2:8)

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 16

Longevity of Life

 

“The fear of the LORD prolongeth days: but the years of the wicked shall be shortened.” (Proverbs 10:27)

 

Today’s Morsel: Longevity of life starts with respecting God. Many people are losing their fear of God. Giving God our undivided attention when He speaks to us, whether through His word or His ministers, shows that we are disciplined to obey. We must be aware of gradualism, because it is so easy to become comfortable with who we think that we are, and we may start to snub God because we hear that all we need to do is repent. My friend, that is walking on thin ice. And if you live in Minnesota and Wisconsin in the wintertime, you know that is very dangerous. When we talk bad about others, or we do not reach out to help others, or we say one thing at church and do another at home, we have lost our fear for God. Our fear for God ought to cause us to want to always please Him and in all things. If we don’t know the minute nor the hour that Jesus may flip the switch, shouldn’t we fear and respect Him knowing that the very next moment we could be standing before Him to give an account for the things done in this life?  Reverence God in all that you say, do and think.  

 

Sing: Oh, my brother, are you ready for the call? To crown your Savior King and Lord of all? The kingdom of this world shall soon before Him fall, we shall see the King when He come.

We shall see the King, we shall see the King, we shall see the King when He come, He’s coming in His power, we’ll hail the blessed hour, we shall see the King when He come.

 

Thought For Today: “What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.” (Psalms 34:12-14)

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 15

Are You Satisfied?

 

The horseleach hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough.” (Proverbs 30:15-16)

 

Today’s Morsel: Daily, billions of dollars are being spent on cosmetics, clothing, jewelry, and weight loss programs, all because people are not satisfied with who they are. People are quitting their jobs, moving to new locations, and retiring early, because they are not satisfied. If someone were to ask you to define what satisfaction looks like for you, what would your answer be? Solomon said that there are four things which are never satisfied. The grave, the barren womb, the dry earth, and a fire. But what about you? When we are dead, living in our trespasses and sins, living, and trying to keep up in this old sinful world, we will never be satisfied. When we are not witnessing and reaching out for new souls for the kingdom, we are not going to be satisfied. When we are not drinking continuously from and at the springs of living waters, we are going to be a barren land, and we are not going to be satisfied. And when we are not filled with the Holy Ghost and staying on fire, we are not going to be satisfied.  Friend, if you want true satisfaction, then you need Jesus. It is only Jesus that can satisfy your soul and only Jesus can make you whole.

 

Sing: For only Jesus can satisfy your soul, only He can change your heart and make it whole. He’ll give you peace you never knew, sweet love and joy and heaven, too. For only Jesus can satisfy your soul!

 

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

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 14

Precepts

 

“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.” (Isaiah 28:9-12)

 

Today’s Morsel: Precepts in scripture are the responsibilities that God places on His people. They are design to regulate thought and behavior. Let me explain. First, you cannot delegate responsibility. You can only delegate authority. Responsibility is what you must do because of your authority. And so, when Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit, He gives us His power and authority to operate in His name. So, we find that because of His Spirit in us, we are now responsible to carry out His commands and behave accordingly. I believe this is why numerous times throughout scripture we read and see God’s anger against Israel because they were not carrying out their responsibilities. And it’s no different with some who say that they are born-again. No one ought to have to tell you to love God and others, read your Bible, go to church, tithe, dress modestly, and respect authority. All those things came with the Spirit. No one ought to have to tell you to witness, help your neighbor, and be ethical. That came with your authority from God. Don’t become one of those who in the end find yourself standing before God and hearing Him say to you, “Depart from me, I knew you not.” The maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters. And Jesus will not be excepting any excuses from those who do not consider and who do not take His precepts found clearly in scripture serious.  We serve a fair and just God.  

  

Sing: I’ve got the Holy Ghost, down in my soul, just like the Bible says. I’ve got the Holy Ghost, down in my soul, just like the Bible said. Well, I’ve been to the water, and I’ve been baptized in Jesus’ name; my soul got happy and now I’m so satisfied. I wouldn’t take nothing for my journey now.  Just like the Bible, just like the Bible, just like the Bible says.

 

Thought For Today: “Consider how I love thy precepts: quicken me, O LORD, according to thy lovingkindness.” (Psalms 119:159)

Monday, May 13, 2024

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2024 May 13

The Choice Is Yours

 

“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him. And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.” (Luke 15:11-24)

 

Today’s Morsel: One of the things that we often see when we are reading scriptures is that God gives us free choice after He has shown us the correct way. God isn’t about to keep standing and telling you what to do when He already knows that we know what to do. The problem is some folks do not like what He says to do. And so they avoid doing it, keeping themselves in the same depressive and miserable state they are in. But what I like about the story of the Prodigal Son is that he comes to himself and realizes that the choice to do something about his condition was his to make. By all accounts he had tried to make it own his own. He even tried to find work to fix his condition. But because there was a famine, no one was hiring. He was running into a shut door after shut door. He did, however, land a job feeding swine. But that wasn’t doing anything to feed himself, nor feed his soul. And so, he came to himself and said, I’m going home to my father. He realized that he had another choice that would hopefully correct his condition. And that was to go home. What about you? What’s your situation right now? Is the door shut? Is your situation rewarding you good? If not, you still have a choice. You can stay there, or you can come home to Jesus, your Heavenly Father, and allow Him to restore you to your rightful place.  Today is the day that you can come to yourself, the choice is yours to make.  

 

Sing: Aren’t getting just a bit tired of fooling around? You’re trying to laugh your way through this life, but you’re not gaining ground. Why not try the Lord today, just ask Him in your heart to stay. You’ll find Jesus’ love to be the best thing that you’ve ever found.

Jesus got ahold of my life, and He won’t let me go. Jesus got into my heart, He got into my soul. I used to be oh so sad, but now I’m happy free and glad; because Jesus got ahold of my life and He want let me go.

 

Thought For Today: When you change your attitude, you can change your choices (Parker)