Monday, February 29, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 29

And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a pot, and put an omer full of manna therein, and lay it up before the LORD, to be kept for your generations. As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron laid it up before the Testimony, to be kept. And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. (Exodus 16:33-35).

Today’s Morsel: Sometimes, when relating my childhood to people​,​ they seem shocked.  Especially when I tell them that sometime​s​ we ate the same thing each day because it was all that we had. I can remember many morning eating just Grandma's Molasses and supping it with a biscuit.  And ​then ​carrying molasses biscuits to school for lunch, because ​that was ​what we had.  But I am thankful that we had that to eat​,​  as some folks had nothing. ​ I don't think it hurt me any, I think I turned out okay.  The children of Israel ate manna for 40 years until they came into the ​Promise​d​ ​Land.  Even though they complained, it still sustained them.  ​ ​
You see​,​ the manna represented for them the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.  It was God’s way of saying to them, I am what sustains you.   Moses told them in Deuteronomy ​chapter ​8, that God fed them with manna so that they would know that man does not live by bread only but by every word that proceed​s​ out of the mouth of God.  Many of the children of Israel died because they complained about what God was giving them to eat.  Even though it was the same menu, it was fresh each day.  The Word of God was given thousands of years ago, but ​today it is 
still fresh every ​morning and it will sustain you until you cross into the promised​ land.   And ​there you can eat milk and honey.

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 F​or Today:  ​Jesus is still the Bread of Life (John 6:35)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 27

And they were all amazed, insomuch that they questioned among themselves, saying, What thing is this? what new doctrine is this? for with authority commandeth he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him. (Mark 1:27).

Today’s Morsel: Many people in Jesus' day followed Him to see what He would do.  Even Herod had heard about Him and wanted to see a miracle.  Granted, we don’t follow signs, signs follow us, but many even today do follow after signs.  When Jesus cast out the devil and would not allow them to speak, some asked, “What thing is this? What new doctrine is this?”  Because they had never seen it before, they wanted to know.  Why do people get mesmerized by the miraculous?  What is it about miracles that draws people to see?  The greatest miracle you will ever see is what Jesus has done in your life.  That’s what should keep you following Him, because you know that no one else could have done what He’s done in you.

Sing: He touched me, Oh, He touched me, and oh the joy that floods my soul; Something happened and now I know, Jesus touched me and made me whole.

Thought For Today: He still works miracle if you let Him.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 26

And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth. And he preached in their synagogues throughout all Galilee, and cast out devils. (Mark 1:32-39).

Today’s Morsel: I still keep trying to figure out why so many Christians like to give the devil credit for the bad things that happens in their life.  Are you aware that if you give him credit, he’ll accept it and keep doing it to you?  The reason ISIS is effective is because the media keeps giving them the attention that they want to meet their cause.  If they media would stop advertising the bad things that they are doing, they would stop having the power over people and perhaps stop doing what they are doing and go away.  If you feel the attacks you are facing are coming from the devil, then bind him in Jesus name and plead the blood of Jesus upon him.  If you spend time with that loser, he’ll wear you out.  Jesus gave you power over him.  Scripture said that Jesus wouldn’t even let them speak.  Don’t you think it may be time for you to cast him out and silence him in your life, too?

Sing: I command you Satan in the name of the Lord to take up your weapons and flee, for God has given me authority to walk all over thee.

Thought For Today: The only power Satan has in your life is what you give him.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 25

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
(Hosea 4:6)

Today’s Morsel: The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) was a U.S. Act of Congress which reauthorized the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; it included Title I provisions applying to disadvantaged students. On December 10, 2015 President Barack Obama signed legislation replacing NCLB with the Every Student Succeeds Act.  But what I find is, because the Bible has been taken out of public schools, and since there is no mention of it in many homes, many children are still being left behind. Secular education without Biblical knowledge is a system of failure.  One can have all the degrees in the world, but if he has no character, he’s a failure. The Lord said through the Prophet Hosea that His people were destroyed for a lack of knowledge.  They had rejected knowledge.  Solomon said that "the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 1:7). Are you destroying yourself and children?  Do you need some Bread?  Are you aware that Bible Reading Enriches Any Day?  Better eat your Manna daily.

Sing:  Tell me the story of Jesus, write on my heart every word.  Tell me the story more precious, sweeter than ever was heard.

Thought For Today: Bible Reading Enriches Any Day.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 24

These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. And after him was Eleazar the son of Dodo the Ahohite, one of the three mighty men with David, when they defied the Philistines that were there gathered together to battle, and the men of Israel were gone away: He arose, and smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil. And after him was Shammah the son of Agee the Hararite. And the Philistines were gathered together into a troop, where was a piece of ground full of lentiles: and the people fled from the Philistines. But he stood in the midst of the ground, and defended it, and slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. 
(2 Samuel 23:8-12)

Today’s Morsel: Throughout scripture we read some stories of men and women and the awesome and not so awesome legacies that they left behind them. One man, King Jehoram, left such a bad legacy that scripture says, “he departed without being desired” (2 Chronicles 21:20).  In other words, no one cared that he was gone.  But look at the legacy that King David and his mighty men left. David had thirty-one mighty men with him. All thirty-one were great, but three of them stood out.  Adino, Eleazar, and Shammah.  And they left an awesome legacy.  What kind of legacy are you leaving behind?  What are people going to say about you when they write your obituary?  Live a life for Jesus that matters.  

Sing:  I shall not be, I shall not be moved. I shall not be, I shall not be moved, just like a tree, planted by the waters, I shall not be moved.

Thought For Today: What inspiration will someone get from your obituary?

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 23

And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters. (Exodus 15:23-27).

Today’s Morsel:  If Israel had just observed the things that God was doing for them and showing them, their faith should have run off the charts. But because they were looking at the desert instead of God, their focus was obscured and they became blinded to what God was doing for them.  When they came to Marah, the waters were bitter and they could not drink them.  And so they murmured against Moses about what they would drink.  And God gave Moses the answer for them.  Right before their very eyes, God provided them with a miracle and they missed it.  Are you missing yours?  John said, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.) (John 7:37-39). Jesus knew that they would need water.  He knew that without water they could not live.  The same way that He knows that we cannot live without Him, that Living Water.  And so He calls for us to come and drink from the well that will never run dry.  He told the woman at the well in John chapter 4, I will be in you a well of water springing up unto eternal life.  Are you thirsty?  Are you wondering what you will drink?  “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” (Isaiah 55:1).  Jesus' well never runs dry.

Sing: I thirsted in a barren land of sin and shame, and nothing satisfying there I found; but to the blessed cross of Christ one day I came, where springs of living water did abound.
Drinking at the springs of living water, happy now am I, my soul they satisfy; drinking at the springs of living water, O wonderful and bountiful supply.
Thought For Today: The Holy Ghost is still the refreshing

Monday, February 22, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 22

All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live. Thy raiment waxed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these forty years. Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. 
(Deuteronomy 8:1-5)

Today’s Morsel: Moses, in his recap to the children of Israel before they went in to the Promised Land, wanted to bring them clarity as to why they had gone through what they went through in the wilderness. He told them that God took them into the wilderness to humble them.  Sometimes when we know that nothing can defeat us, God may have to humble us to get pride out of our lives.  Israel saw what God did to Egypt and they were prideful, and so He needed to humble them.  Moses told them that God wanted to see what was in their heart.  You see, God knows what is in our heart, but we may not.   Solomon said that he that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.  When we are on top, we will vow things that may not be true.  We make promises and do not live up to them.  God wanted Israel to see what was in their own hearts by seeing if they would keep His commandments or not.  Moses also told them that one of the ways that God used to humble them was to let them go hungry.  But then he said that God fed them with manna so that they would know that man does not live by bread only, but they every word of God.  And then he told them that as an earthly father corrects his children, so God corrects His. Do you feel as though you are in the wilderness?  If so, God just may have you in school, the school of hard knocks that is!

Sing:  He leadeth me! He leadeth me! By his own power He leadeth me. His faithful follower I will be, for by His Hand He leadeth me.

Thought For Today:  Wilderness experiences are for spiritual development.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 20

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Titus 2:11-15)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things about grace is that none of us is worthy of it. According to Wikipedia, “Divine grace is a theological term present in many religions. It has been defined as the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.  Grace in Christianity is the free and unmerited favour of God as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowing of blessings.  Common Christian teaching is that grace is unmerited mercy (favor) that God gave to humanity by sending His son to die on a cross, thus delivering eternal salvation.  Bill Gothard, an American conservative Christian, has suggested "God's grace gives us the desire and the power to do His will.”  Paul said that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. God’s grace has been embodied in Jesus Christ.  John said, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).  Do you need grace today?  Then look to Jesus, He is full of grace and truth.

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

Thought For Today: For by grace are you saved.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 19

By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)

Today’s Morsel:  Sojourner Truth was an African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist.  Truth was born into slavery in Swartekill, Ulster County, New York, but escaped with her infant daughter to freedom in 1826.  On June 1, 1843, Truth changed her name to Sojourner Truth and told her friends: "The Spirit calls me, and I must go."  She became a Methodist, and left to make her way traveling and preaching about the abolition of slavery.  The Bible says that by faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.  By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which had foundations, whose builder and maker is God.  As we continue on this journey, let us not make this our eternal home. We must preach the gospel to free all that are enslaved to Satan and make every effort to make them free.  We must be as the patriarchs of old and declare that we are strangers and pilgrims here on this earth.  Strangers that are heading to a better place, our eternal home of promise.

Sing:  I’m going to a city there’ll be no more night, I’m going to a city where Jesus is the light, the trumpet's gonna sound and I’ll be caught away, I’m going to a city someday.

Thought For Today: Heaven is still our home.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 18

“Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. Insomuch that we desired Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also finish in you the same grace also. Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich" (2 Corinthians 8:1-9)

Today’s Morsel:  We often use many things to prove our love towards others:
·        Flowers
·        Candy
·        Jewelry
·        Cards
·        Trips
·        Phone calls
·        Going out to dinner
·        Letters
·        And purchasing items of clothing

We try to buy that right or perfect gift to show our love. You see, if we say that we love someone, then we usually go out of our way to prove it.  The Lord asked Peter three times if he loved Him.  And each time Peter said that he did.  In reply, Jesus told him to do something.  I can tell you that I love you, but if there is no behavior or action to prove it, I can leave you wondering.  Love is always proven by how much we give of ourselves toward the one that we say we love. The women who broke her precious alabaster box of ointment and put it upon Jesus, showed the sincerity of her love for Him. It was so moving that Jesus said that wherever the gospel is preached to tell the story about her so that she would have a memorial of what she did.  What do you do to show the sincerity of your love for Him?

Sing: I love Him! I love Him! Because He first loved me, He purchased my salvation on Calvary.

Thought For Today: The sincerity of your love is proven by your giving (Parker)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 17

Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? (Galatians 5:7)

Today’s Morsel:  Like any other sport, running track has rules and regulations that you must obey or you can be disqualified and lose the race.  In track, you must stay in your lane. You cannot trip another runner if they are ahead of you or trying to pass you.  You cannot leave the starting blocks before the sound to go is given.  You cannot use illegal drugs.  According to the apostle Paul, the church at Galatia had violated the rules of the game.  He told them that they had run well, but someone had hindered them in obeying the rules of the game.  He called the rules the truth, God’s word.  If we are not careful, we can disqualify ourselves from winning this race we are running.  Even Jesus tells us to see that no man takes our crown (Revelation 3:11).  The  word of God is the rule book for this race that we are in.  Jesus said, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48).  If you stood before Jesus right now, would you be qualified to win or are there rules that would disqualify you?

Sing: Running for my life! I’m running for my life! I’m running for my life, I’m running for my life; If anybody asks you, what’s the matter with me, tell them I'm saved, sanctified, Holy Ghost filled, water baptized, I’ve got Jesus on my mind and I’m running for my life.

Thought For Today: Winning always begins with first knowing the rules, and then obeying them.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 16

inally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Today’s Morsel:  If someone were to ask you how much you love the Lord, what would you tell them?  How strong would you say that you are in the Lord?  Do you get offended easily when someone says something that you do not like?  Solomon said that if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small (Proverbs 24:10).  Just what is this armor that Paul calls for the Christian to put on?  It’s not something materialistic he’s calling for us to put on.  But rather it is character.  Notice the items:  Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation, and the word of God.  It starts with the word and ends with the word.  The word is truth.  Character is living according to truth and doing what is right.  It’s living in peace with those around you.  It is having faith in God and your abilities to make right choices and right decisions.  And it is what saves us from destroying ourselves and losing the salvation that Jesus gives to us. True character is always based on the word of God.

Sing: I'm a soldier, in God’s army, and I'm marching, I'm claiming victory, I will not give up, I will not turn around, I'm a soldier marching heaven bound.

Thought For Today: Character still counts, so put it on.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2015 February 15

And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.
(Exodus 14:21-22)

Today’s Morsel: When the apostle Paul was relating today's passage to the church at Corinth, he told them, “Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ” (1 Corinthians 10:1-4).  Paul called their passing over the Red Sea a type of baptism.  He said that they were baptized by Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  The cloud was a spiritual baptism and the Red Sea was a water baptism.  As Jesus told Nicodemus, you must be born again of the water and the spirit.  Moses said that the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.  You see, when you are baptized by immersion in the name of Jesus, the waters cover you.  They become as a wall around you.  Noah was admonished by God to seal the Ark within and without.  Peter, speaking of Noah’s Ark as a type of salvation said, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him” (1 Peter 3:18-22).  Notice, baptism doth now save us.  The same way the waters saved Noah and his family inside the Ark, and the children of Israel crossing the Red Sea, they now save us by the same instructions.  “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).  Jesus said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).  A few drops of water on your head is not baptism.  You must be immersed in water in Jesus name.  

Sing:  I know I’m saved, and I'm so glad about it. I found the joy my spirit craved.  It is so real that I could never doubt it, oh praise the Lord I know I’m saved.

Thought For Today:  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved (Mark 16:16). 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 13

And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
(1 John 4:16-21)

Today’s Morsel:  Lenna turns to Ole and says, “Ole, you never tell me that you love me anymore.” Ole looks at Lenna and says, “Why my Lenna, I told you when we got married, did you forget?” (Humor).  Today, billions of dollars will be spent on flowers, candy, rings, jewelry, dinners, cars, and cards to express one’s love towards another.  I often wonder why some only choose one day to say it, when scripture tells us to let it continue (Hebrews 13:1).  To me, love is one of those things that we, as well as our world, can us more of.  But love isn’t found in things. True love is found only in Jesus Christ (1 John 4:16).  Once we have His love dwelling in us, then we understand what true love is and we are able to share it freely with others.  Spread His love, not just on this day of love, but every day. 

Sing: I love you! I love you! I love you! What more can I say, but that I truly love you.  And I'll try to live my life so that it says it to, I love you! I love you! I really love you.

Thought For Today: Remember love is spelled T-I-M-E

Friday, February 12, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 12

And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem. And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink. And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord. And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight. Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name. But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. (Acts 9:1-20)

Today’s Morsel: You know, I grew up in what I called the church, but like Paul, I was spiritually blind to Truth.  Think about this, Paul was a well-educated man in the law of God but yet he was blind to truth.  Paul felt that what he was doing was for the glory of God.  He wanted to destroy this new sect that was preaching and teaching about Jesus Christ.  Even Jesus had told His disciples to beware of the doctrine of the Sadducees and Pharisees because they say one thing and do another.  And Paul was a part of them. Paul had to be blinded before he could see.  And did I.  I was blinded to the truth of God’s word.  I was blinded to who Jesus was.  I was blinded to how to live holy and righteous even though I went to church.  I said one thing and did another.  But one night in all my blindness, in a hotel room in Kaiserslautern, Germany, a man named Jesus walked into my room  and removed the scales from my eyes.  And straightway, like Paul, I began to preach Christ Jesus and Him crucified.  Paul wrote to the church at Corinth: “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them”  (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).  Spiritual blindness is the worst kind of blindness a person can have.  Allow Jesus to remove the scales from your eyes so that you may see the Truth of His word.

Sing:  Open the eyes of my heart Lord, open the eyes of my heart, I want to see You, I want to see You.  To see You high and lifted up, shining in the light of Your glory, pour out Your power and love; as we sing holy, holy, holy; I want to see You.

Thought For Today:  Are you being blinded by the doctrine of men?

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 11

Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan, and Naphtali, Gad, and Asher. And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: for Joseph was in Egypt already. And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation. And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: Come on, let us deal wisely with them; lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there falleth out any war, they join also unto our enemies, and fight against us, and so get them up out of the land. Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel
(Exodus 1:1-12)

Today’s Morsel: I often observe the life of our Lord Jesus and His disciples.  The more they were afflicted, the more the church grew.  The more they were persecuted, beaten, and afflicted, the more the church multiplied and grew.  But today, we don’t want persecution and afflictions.  We seem to want the easy way out.  Would our churches grow more if we took a stand for righteousness and truth?  Would the people of God grow more spiritually and more like their Heavenly Father if they were afflicted more?  The Bible says that many of the afflictions of the righteous, but out of the them all the Lord delivered them (Psalm 34:19).  Israel went into Egypt with 70 people.  And when they were placed into slavery and became afflicted they began to multiply and grow.  So the next time you are feeling as though you are being afflicted, don’t try to get away from it, but rather stand still and see what the Lord is doing in your life.  He just might be growing you for what He’s getting ready to do through your life.

Sing: Jesus! Jesus! You know what best for me.  So lead on Jesus, I’ll go wherever You lead.

Thought For Today: “If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small” (Proverbs 24:10).

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 10

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish. (Matthew 18:10-14)
Today’s Morsel: Soul winners are some of those first responders that often times go without getting the recognition that they deserve.  They are the ones that hear the cry of the lost, those drowning in the sin of this world, that hear the cry of the brokenhearted and the dying.  They are the ones that hear the shout and alarms from heaven, that say, "Someone needs your help."  They are the ones that understand what Jesus meant when He said that He was not willing that any should perish.  The Apostle Paul was one of those first responders.  He heard the cry of a man in a vision in Macedonia saying, “Come over and help us” (Acts 16).  He saw the lost and dying on Mars Hill and set them free (Acts 17).  Paul was not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Soul winners understand that once you have ninety-nine rescued, there may still be one more crying out for salvation.  First responders always operate under the motto “So that others may live.”  So what about you?  Are you a first responder for the Kingdom?

Sing:  I was sinking deep in sin far from the peaceful shore, very deeply stained with sin, sinking to rise no more; But the Master of the sea heard my despairing cry, from the waters lifted me, now safe am I.
Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help. Love lifted me. Love lifted me! Love lifted me! When nothing else could help, love, lifted, me.  

Thought For Today: He that winneth souls is wise.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 9

Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18:21-22)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about forgiveness is that it must be a continual and ongoing process in your life. The very moment that you are not willing to forgive, the devil has your number and will use it against you for your destruction and his pleasure.  I believe the reason that Jesus wants us to continue to forgive is because sometimes when people offend us they may not even know that they have.  I may say something in my preaching and teaching that you do not like.  You can be offended by it and avoid me or think evil of me.  And I may never know that you were offended unless you come to me and tell me.  It is only then that I can ask for your forgiveness.  When Peter asked Jesus should he forgive his brother seven times if he offended him, Jesus said no, seven times seventy.  The point is not the number of times, but being willing to continually forgive the other person.   Forgiveness actually heals you, not the recipient.

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

Thought For Today: “Forgiveness heals you, not the recipient” (Parker)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 8

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Philippians 4:6-9)

Today’s Morsel: I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “N-O Jesus N-O peace. K-N-O-W Jesus K-N-O-W peace." Without Jesus, we cannot expect to have peace, nor can we expect to be at peace with ourselves or with others.  Jesus knows that Satan wants to sift us like wheat, as He told Peter.  And this is why He’s already prayed for us  (Luke 22:31-32).  Once Satan starts his sifting process, he will rob you of every ounce of peace that you have.  Not only with others but within yourself.  This is why we must be at peace with ourselves and have peace among ourselves, just as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:13.  Always remember, Jesus will keep you in perfect peace if you keep your mind stayed on Him.

Sing:  Peace of God cover me, cover me, cover me.  Peace of God cover me, cover me, cover me.

Thought For Today:  K-N-O-W Jesus so that you will K-N-O-W Peace. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 6

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. (Galatians 5:22-26).

Today’s Morsel: When we looking at the Ten Commandments, the first four are our relationship to God.  And the other six are our relationship to mankind. When we look at the fruit of the Spirit, we can see the same concept.  The first three; love, joy and peace; are our relationship with God. The next three; longsuffering, gentleness, and goodness; are our relationship with mankind.  And final three; faith, meekness, and temperance; are our relationship to ourselves.  Therefore, if we say that we have God’s Spirit in us and that we are Christians, our relationship must always flow first and foremost from a love for God or we will never have a good relationship for others nor ourselves.

Sing:  O how I love Jesus! O how I love Jesus! O how I love Jesus! Because He first loved me.

Thought For Today:  The stronger the love, the better the fruit.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 5

And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And, behold, the LORD stood above it, and said, I am the LORD God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south: and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed. And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee in all places whither thou goest, and will bring thee again into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of. And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not. And he was afraid, and said, How dreadful is this place! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
(Genesis 28:10-17)

Today’s Morsel: One of the things we’ve allowed to happen to the church today is that we want people to feel comfortable.  Some churches have gone to coffee shops, welcome rooms, and parlors in hopes of making people feel comfortable and welcome.  Don’t get we wrong, I think we should always make people feel welcome when they come to church, but not to the point that they are not convicted of their sins and that they do not realize that they want to do something about those sins.  When Jacob realized that he was in the house of God, he was afraid.  Wouldn’t it be sad if people came to our churches, left and never knew that they had been in the house of God and the gates that can lead them to heaven?  That they never felt the need to change?  

Sing:  It’s the old ship of Zion, it’s the hope for the lost and dying.  It’s the soul saving station, it's the tower of salvation.  Well, it’s the church triumphant, O Lord, and it’s built by the hand of the Lord.  I’m talking about the Church in the Book of Revelation, it’s built on the Rock, it’s got a firm foundation, it’s been through the flood, and it’s been through the fire, but one these days the Church is gonna move up a little higher.  It’s the church, triumphant O’ Lord, and it’s built by the hand of the Lord.

Thought For Today:  My house shall be called a house of prayer!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 February 4

And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
(Revelation 3:7-13).

Today’s Morsel:  Heaven is going to be one exciting place for those who make it.  And I, for one, am doing everything in my life to ensure that I make it.  The Lord said that to them that overcome, He would make as a pillar in the temple of God, He would write upon him the name of God, and the name of the city of God, which is New Jerusalem. But notice, then He says, I will write upon him my new name.  What is that new name?  Paul said, “For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named” (Ephesians 3:14-15).  Peter said in Acts 4:10-12, “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."   John said, “And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads” (Revelation 22:4).  And the Lord told Moses, “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Exodus 6:2-3).  How well do you know the name of Jesus?

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

Thought For Today:  Will you receive that new name there?