Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 31

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. (James 5:7-11)

Today’s Morsel:  How long is your patience?  Does it have an end or can you hold out?  Paul said that he had learned that no matter what state he found himself in to be content (Philippians 4:11).  James said that we need to learn how to be patient and to wait upon the Lord.  He said that the farmer must wait until the fruit comes before he can reap a harvest.  And Job had to be patient until God came through for him. And so, he said, we must get it in our heart to be patient until the Lord comes through for us.  As Isaiah admonishes us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).  We must settle it in our hearts now that patience is a virtue and we must learn how to use it.

Sing:  They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles.  They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint, teach me Lord, teach me Lord to wait.

Thought For Today: Patience is a virtue!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 30

Then Job answered and said, I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all. Shall vain words have an end? or what emboldeneth thee that thou answerest? I also could speak as ye do: if your soul were in my soul's stead, I could heap up words against you, and shake mine head at you. But I would strengthen you with my mouth, and the moving of my lips should asswage your grief. 
(Job 16:1-5)

Today’s Morsel:  Do you ever get tired of negative news?  Why does it seem that when you see some people you know that they aren’t going to have anything good to say about anyone or anything?  If it’s nice and sunny they say, “But it won’t last long.”  Instead of trying to encourage and comfort him, Job’s friends kept trying to accuse him of sin.  Finally, Job was tired of their accusations and so he said to them, “You are all miserable comforters.” (my wording).  They had come professedly to console with him.  Now all that they said was adapted only to irritate and to deepen his distress.  He was disappointed; and he was deeply wounded and grieved by them.  He told them that if they were in his place, if their souls were in his soul's stead, he could heap up words against them, and shake his head at them. But he said that he wouldn’t do that.   He said he would strengthen them with his mouth, and with the moving of his lips he would lessen their grief.   He said he would be a comforter to them.  Let me encourage you, when others are suffering don’t add to their grief.  Be a comforter.   If you have any words of exaltation then say on.

Sing: Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me on, let me stand; I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.  Through the storm, through the night, lead me on, to the light; Take my hand, Precious Lord, and lead me on.

Thought For Today:  Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Solomon)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 29

Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
(2 Corinthians 3:1-3)

Today’s Morsel: Whose church do you belong to?  What church do you attend, and when people see you can they tell that you belong to that church?  Do your actions and character reflect the teachings of that church?  One of the things about being a true Christian is that one’s life will reflect what they are being taught both at home and at church.  Paul told the church at Corinth that they were his epistle known and read of all men.  So when people see you what are they reading?  Are they reading about Jesus when they see you, or are they reading about the world?

Sing:  He said if I be lifted up, if I be lifted up; He said if I be lifted up, I will draw, I will draw all men unto me.

Thought For Today: The church style will reflect the lifestyle (Parker)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 27

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. (Psalms 63:1-4)

Today’s Morsel:  God’s loving-kindness is of more value than life; it is to be more desired than life itself.  It is more desired than gold.  Life is the most valued and valuable thing pertaining to this world which we can possess.  As Satan told God, “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life” (Job 2:4).  But, above this, David valued the favor and friendship of God.  If one or the other was to be sacrificed, he preferred that it should be his life; he would be willing to exchange his life for the favor of God.  Life was not desirable, life furnished no comforts, no joys, without God’s divine favor.  What would life be with the love and favor of the Lord? What would it be if we were banished from Him?  David saw God’s favor and mercy to be better than his life.  What about you?  Can you imagine life without Him?

Sing:  Thy loving-kindness is better than life!  Thy loving-kindness is better than life!  My lips shall praise Thee, yet will I bless Thee.  I will lift up my hands unto Thy name.

Thought For Today:  Life is nothing without Christ (Parker)

Friday, August 26, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 26

My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.
(Psalms 62:5)

Today’s Morsel:  Most people have a low tolerance level when it comes to waiting.  With today’s bottle neck of traffic in many cities, people are losing patience.  What patience says in a traffic jam is wait, this too shall come to pass. What have you prayed and asked God for? Have you asked for better health?  A better job?  Salvation for a loved one or a friend?  A better home environment?  The psalmist said that his expectation is from the Lord and so he will wait on Him.  Jesus said that if we ask we would receive.  Now that you have asked, can you wait for Him to come through for you?  If our expectations are from the Lord, then we must learn how to wait.

Sing:  I lean on You Lord! I lean on You Lord! For the things that I need I lean on You. When I don’t know just what to do, I’ve got the faith You’re going to see me through.  You supply my every need and I lean on You.

Thought For Today: Expect the expectancy (Parker)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 25

Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. (Proverbs 7:24-27)

Today’s Morsel:  The world has painted a pretty picture for so many.  Satan has camouflaged his deception very well.  And so many have been destroyed by her.  So many are blind to Satan’s ways.  So many are weeping and crying because what they thought was good, they now realize was evil all along.  So many who thought someone was the perfect one, now realize that it was all a show and cover up.  So many who have left the church for the world to gain, now find that it’s a path and road that they cannot seem to find the strength to walk home from.  Satan’s grip and chains have them bound.  This world is as a harlot.  A one-night stay has so easily trapped many and placed them on the road to hell.  Therefore, you children of men, consider what I say, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).  See the world for what it is, a pathway that leads to death.  Stay on the road to glory.

Sing: I have decided to follow Jesus! I have decided to follow Jesus! I have decided to follow Jesus! No turning back, no turning back!

Thought For Today: You can take this old world but give me Jesus.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 24

Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for! (Job 6:8)

Today’s Morsel: If you knew that God would grant your request, what would you ask of Him?  I’m sure many would ask for long life, finances, good health, or protection.  Solomon had this opportunity. And he only asked God for wisdom to lead his people.  God told him because he didn’t ask for riches and the other things but for wisdom, that he would not only receive wisdom, but other things as well.  Job wanted God to grant him the things that he longed for.  He wanted to be free of his pain and suffering, I believe.  What would be your request?  Would it be for earthly possessions or health or comfort?  Or would it be for eternal salvation?  “And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus” (John 12:20-21).  I don’t know about you, but I want to see Jesus.

Sing:  Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning!  Give me oil in my lamp I pray.  Give me oil in my lamp keep me burning; keep me burning till the break of day.

Thought For Today: I want to see Jesus. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 23

And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money. And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee. (1 Kings 21:1-3)

Today’s Morsel: I believe that Esau did not see his birthright as an inheritance but only as something nice to have.  And scripture lets us know that when he sought for it with tears he couldn’t find it.  He had let it go for nothing.  Naboth did not see the vineyard that his father had given him just as a vineyard for gathering grapes and making wine, but he saw it as an inheritance. He saw it as an heirloom.  Something that his father had worked hard to produce and hand down to him.  He saw it as something of special value handed on from one generation to another.  Let me ask you a question?  How much do you value the things that your parents have handed down to you?  What about the things that God has given to you?  Do you see them just as a vineyard or do you see them as an inheritance?  Do you cherish them?  

Sing:  The blood that Jesus shed for me, way back on Calvary, it’s the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power.  For it reaches, to the highest mountain, and it flows to the lowest valley, it’s the blood, that gives me strength, from day to day, it will never lose its power.

Thought For Today: How important is your spiritual inheritance to you?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 22

After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day. And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. Let that day be darkness; let not God regard it from above, neither let the light shine upon it. Let darkness and the shadow of death stain it; let a cloud dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it. As for that night, let darkness seize upon it; let it not be joined unto the days of the year, let it not come into the number of the months. Lo, let that night be solitary, let no joyful voice come therein. Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning. Let the stars of the twilight thereof be dark; let it look for light, but have none; neither let it see the dawning of the day: Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly? Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept: then had I been at rest (Job 3:1-13)

Today’s Morsel: I heard a man once say that he was having so much trouble that if he had any more trouble come his way, he was going to change his name to Trouble.  One of the things about suffering with illness is we can lose our focus if we try to answer the why question to everyone that asks us what is happening to us.  God is sovereign and He is not obligated to tell us what He is doing.  Therefore, we should not try to give an answer to everyone that asks us about our problems. When Job began to suffer and listen to his friends he lost focus.  So let me encourage you today, when things start going sour for you don’t focus on it.  Instead, keep your mind stayed on Jesus and He will keep you in perfect peace.

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: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:3-4).

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 20

For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came. (Job 3:25-26)

Today’s Morsel:  I’m sure like me, that when most of you go to the doctor for your annual checkup, you anticipate what negative things they are going to say about your health.  Many today seem to fear hearing them say that you have some kind of disease.  Some people's blood pressure rises because they fear what will be said.  Job had heard of sickness, loss of life and material possessions of others.  He had heard how bad thing had happened to other people.  According to scripture, he had even been a comforter to many others.  But today's passage shows us that Job even feared this day for himself.  Because none of us is exempt from trouble, what provisions are you making to ensure you remain strong in the faith and peace-filled when you receive unwanted news?  Are you like Job and praying ahead so you are prepared when you face unwanted situations?  Layup treasures now, so you have security in place.  

Sing:  I go to the Rock of my salvation, I go to the stone that the builders rejected, I go to the mountain and the mountain stands by me, when earth all around me is sinking sand, on Christ the Solid Rock I stand, when I need a shelter, when I need a friend, I go to the Rock.

Thought For Today: The anchor holds in spite of the storm. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 19

That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:17-21)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things I have discovered about being a Christian is that most people who say that they are Christians do not understand the power that they have with them.   Many of them seem to see the Holy Ghost as something nice to have, but fail to realize Its power.  The Holy Ghost is Christ in you.  It is everything you need to be successful in life.  It is wisdom beyond measure.  It is strength when you are weak and hope when you are hopeless.  If you have the Holy Ghost, and yet you are always looking for others to pick you up when you are down, you may be down a long time.  You have to learn how to use what is inside of you.  Do as Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 1:6 and stir up the gift that is within thee.  Paul said that God is able to do exceeding abundant above all that we could ask or think according to the power that works in us.  God has given you the power.  So don’t think He’s going to use it for you, too.  He requires you to keep it stirred up and active.  

Sing:  He gives strength to me, as I worship Him; as my heart is filled with praise.  Jesus breaks the bands, when I raise my hands; He gives glorious victory!

Thought For Today:  Stir up the gift that is within you.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 18

For what thanks can we render to God again for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before our God; Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?  (1 Thessalonians 3:9-10)

Today’s Morsel: What are you doing to become perfect?  What standard are you using to help you get there?  So many like to say that no one is perfect so that they can still do wrong things.  But if we do not strive for perfection, we won’t ever reach it.  Heaven is a perfect place and it takes perfection to get there.  Perfection begins with doing your very best at anything you set out to do.  Like many today, the Thessalonian church seemed to be having trouble with their faith.  And Paul told them that he was praying day and night exceedingly that he might see their face, and might perfect that which was lacking in their faith.  Do you know of anyone who is lacking in their faith?  What are you doing to help them reach perfection in their faith?  The way that we can perfect our faith is to listen to the word of God and be at church; as faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (see Romans 10:17).

Sing:  I trust in God wherever I may be, upon the land or on the rolling seas, for come what may, from day to day, my Heavenly Father, watches over, over me.

Thought For Today:  Faith comes by hearing the word of God!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 17

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1)

Today’s Morsel: What is God to you?  What do you see Him as?  If someone were to ask you to explain why you love God, what would you tell them?  Just how would you describe Him and what adjectives would you use.  Throughout scripture, the writers used many adjectives to describe Him, in hopes to build and encourage our faith.  David seems to use more adjective to describe His deity than any of the other writers.  And when Jesus was upon the earth, He often quoted from the psalms, written by David, to explain His point as to who He was.  Let me ask you again, just how would you describe Him if you were asked?

Sing:  Great and mighty is the Lord our God, great and mighty is He!  Great and mighty is the Lord our God, great and mighty is He!  Lift up your banner, let the anthem ring, praises to our King, great and mighty is the Lord our God, great and mighty is He.

Thought For Today: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 16

Therefore, brethren, we were comforted over you in all our affliction and distress by your faith: For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord.
(1 Thessalonians 3:7-8)

Today’s Morsel:  Are you living or just existing?  Jesus said that He came to give us life and that more abundant (John 10:10).  John said that in Him, Jesus, was life (John 1:4).  As born again believers, we should be living above our circumstances, situations, troubles, pain, and anything else that comes against us.  Paul said that we live if we stand fast in the Lord.  If we do not maintain a strong relationship with Christ, we die.  Therefore, to live requires that we stay connected to the vine.

Sing: I’m going to 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:  To live requires you to stay connected to the vine.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 15

So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. (Nehemiah 9:24-26)

Today’s Morsel: Many are wondering what is going on in the world today.  Why is there so much hatred, wars, killing, lying, drug addiction, disease, erratic weather patterns, and so much confusion.  Well, I believe that the answer lies in the fact that people have cast the laws of God behind their back, they cut the men and woman of God down with their tongue, speak evil against God’s church, and just as the people recorded in the Bible, they are refusing to obey God's word. As Moses admonished the children of Israel, “And it shall be, when the LORD thy God shall have brought thee into the land which he sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give thee great and goodly cities, which thou buildedst not, And houses full of all good things, which thou filledst not, and wells digged, which thou diggedst not, vineyards and olive trees, which thou plantedst not; when thou shalt have eaten and be full; Then beware lest thou forget the LORD, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage” (Deuteronomy 6:10-12).  Casting the law of God behind your back is sure to create trouble.  We need to keep His word as the lamp and light of our lives to show us the way we need to go.  

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: Casting the law of God behind your back is sure to create trouble. (Parker)

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 13

My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (Psalms 45:1)

Today’s Morsel:  As an author, I try to write so that people will be encouraged by what they are reading.  I want them to gain wisdom and insight into the word of God and what God has to say so they grow spiritually, mentally, and in His grace.  The Psalmist said that his tongue is the pen of a ready writer.  In other words, he is saying,  In speaking of Christ, let my tongue be as the pen of a rapid writer.  That is, let my tongue rapidly and freely express my thoughts and feelings about Him.  Peter encourages us, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).  When you speak, do you speak as the oracles of God?

Sing:  Say the name, of Jesus.  Say the name, so precious.  No other name I know, that can calm my fears, and dry my tears, and wipe away my pain; when you don’t know what to say, just say The Name.

Thought For Today: Words spoken from a pure heart, from pure lips, can change a life (Parker).

Friday, August 12, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 12

“And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God. And now, behold, I know that ye all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, shall see my face no more. Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God. Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears. And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all. And they all wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck, and kissed him, Sorrowing most of all for the words which he spake, that they should see his face no more. And they accompanied him unto the ship” (Acts 20:22-38).

Today’s Morsel:  Saying goodbye can be hard for many.  When I was in the military, it became harder and harder to say goodbye to those I had served with and had come to know so well.  The military, like the church, is a big family.  There are often lots of tears, hugs, handshakes, and words of encouragement when that day and time comes for your departure.  We have farewell dinners and lunches to send people off.  We usually recognize them for the job they’ve done, say good things about them, and give them awards and plaques.  We may even tell some of their errors and bloopers and how they contributed to the organization.  All to say goodbye.  In today's reading, Paul’s departure from his coworkers was not easy. He gave them words of encouragement and admonition, he reminded them of his time with them, and also of the things they were to do that they had seen him do.  Then he prayed with them and they all wept together.  Then went to see him off.  Saying goodbye to such a man as Paul was not easy for him or them.  They understood the value he had been to them.  How do you say goodbye to those you love or work with?  The way to deal with goodbyes is to remember the good things that others have done and commend them to God.  In order to hear well done there, we have to say goodbye here.

Sing:  If we never meet again, on this earth my blessed friend, if to God we have been true, and we’ve lived above all sin. Then for us, there’ll be a greeting, for there’s going to be a meeting, I’ll see you in the rapture some sweet day.

Thought For Today:  In order to hear well done there, we have to say goodbye here.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 11

And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.
(2 Peter 3:15-18)

Today’s Morsel:  I planted a tomato plant this summer and it is growing quite well.  The first one didn’t make it.  One year I planted some tomato plants and when they produced tomatoes, they were so big.  And the stems were huge.  I said to my wife, “I’ve never seen tomatoes that big and with such huge stems.”  She said, “It must be the Miracle Grow I gave them."  All I could do was laugh.  Peter said that we should grow in the grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  Do you know more about God’s grace than you did yesterday?  Do you know about Him and who He is?  What does His word speak to you when you read it?  To grow in Christ is being able to see how His word applies to your life and then doing it.   Job said, “The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9).  Daniel said, “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).  Do you know Him?  Have you taken hold of His way?  Are your hands clean?  If you obey God’s word, you will see that it has in it the real ingredients for you to grow.

Sing:  Do you know the man, the man from Galilee?  He made the lame man walk again and caused the blind to see.  Some said He was a carpenter, others said He was a fraud, but I say He’s my Jesus, the One who died for me.

Thought For Today: The miracle to grow is in the word.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 10

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Today’s Morsel:  Every so often, I get a statement from my bank of how much interest I’ve earned on my savings.  Sometimes my insurance company will send me a dividend check for the interest that I’ve earned on my policy.  I often wonder what my heavenly bank account interest is as I sometimes will receive a check or money that I was not expecting.  I say to myself, “Well I must be doing okay.”  I can remember one time our church in Okinawa was in need of some repairs and the church funds were low.  So I prayed and asked the Lord to sell some of my cattle on a thousand hills.  And there was a check placed in the offering plate for a large amount shortly thereafter.  How much do you have laid up in your account in heaven?  Your heart will always be where your treasure is.  So let me encourage you, invest in God’s kingdom and you’ll never have to worry about being broke or without.

Sing: Take this offering that I bring, humbly I fall on my knees, to proclaim You're everything.   My life’s nothing without You, take my hand and lead me through, You are my sustaining love. I live to worship You.

Thought For Today:  Heaven's bank will never fold or run dry (Parker). 

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 9

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21)

Today’s Morsel:  I’ve come to realize the reason that many who say that they are Christians do not have joy is because they are not faithful. They are not faithful with what God has given them.  They have talents but they are not faithful with them.  Every one of us knows what we are good at and how it can be used to help the church or others.  But because we don’t see the value of it, we don’t use it.  Since my daughter was a young teenager, she learned to cook and enjoys it.  And she uses that talent of cooking all the time.  Whether it’s cooking a meal for her pastor, baking cookies and cupcakes for her children’s class and teachers, or cooking a meal for others, she uses her talent.   This may seem a small thing to her, yet I believe that one day she is going to hear Jesus say to her, "Well done thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."  Are you faithful with your talent?   If not, why not start using it for the kingdom and see what Jesus will do for you.  To be ruler of many things requires faithfulness in the small things first.

Sing: The joy of the Lord is my strength, the joy of the Lord is my strength, the joy of the Lord is my strength, the joy of the Lord is my strength.

Thought For Today: To be ruler of many things requires faithfulness in the small things.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 8

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
(Romans 5:6-7)

Today’s Morsel:  I like looking at antique cars.  It’s amazing to me some of the sale prices that many of them still have on them.  They still have value.  But I’ve noticed that a lot of people do not know the importance and value of some of the heirlooms that their parents have passed down to them.  Many of them will let things go for just a few bucks on a yard sale not realizing the value.  Somewhat like today, so many do not understand how valuable they are to Christ.  They are willing to put themselves on sale to Satan for only a small price, not realizing how much Jesus paid for them.  Paul said, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die” (Romans 5:6-7).  Believe me, you are worth more than this world can offer you.  Jesus paid royal blood for you.  There is no price that can compare to the blood He shed for you.  So don’t sell your soul to Satan.

Sing:  He paid a debt He did not owe, I owed a debt I could not pay, I needed someone to wash my sins away.  And now I sing a brand new song, Amazing Grace, for Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.

Thought For Today: “There is no price that can compare to the blood He shed for you.” (Parker)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 6

Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.  (John 13:8-9)

Today’s Morsel:  When we look at our body, the hands and the head seem to get us into more trouble than the other parts.  The head is the operation center of our very being.  If our head isn't cleansed, our mind and our thoughts will not be cleansed either.  Thus, causing us to think the wrong way and often times doing the wrong things.  Solomon said that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7).   As I heard one preacher say, “You will live out your concepts."  What we think is what we often times become and do.  So many people seem to have troubled minds today.  And most of it is caused by uncleanliness.  Many have allowed too much filth of the world to invade the operation center within the head.  Thus, they are unable to think right, reason right, or do what is right.  Peter knew that it just wasn't his feet that needed to be washed.  He knew that his feet were the least thing that he needed to be concerned with.  He knew that his head and hands would need to be washed in order for him to be complete and be able to maintain a right relationship with Christ.  And if Jesus didn’t wash those parts there was no way he could have a right relationship with Him.  The same holds true for us.  Have you asked Jesus to wash your hands and head?

Sing: What can wash away my sin?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What can make me whole again?  Nothing but the blood of Jesus.  O’ precious is the flow, that makes me white as snow, no other fount I know, nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Thought For Today: Keep the clutter out of the operation center of the mind and you’ll remain complete.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 5

And in that day thou shalt say, O LORD, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
(Isaiah 12:1-3)

Today’s Morsel:  Isaiah 12 is a portrait of John 4.  When Jesus told the woman at the well that He would be in her a well of water springing up unto eternal life, He was referring to Him being her salvation. Isaiah said that you don’t need a bucket to draw water from this well, all you need is joy.  If we get excited about Jesus and begin to praise Him and exalt Him, we can get the pump primed and the waters of salvation flowing.  If we will all enter His gates with thanksgiving and come into His courts with praise, everyone can get their buckets filled.

Sing: 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:  Joy can get you a bucket full of Jesus.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 4

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments. (2 Timothy 4:9-13)

Today’s Morsel:  Do you ever reach points of loneliness?  One of the things about leadership is that it sometimes gets lonely at the top.  For a lot of minister’s wives, this can happen at any moment.  I think this may be why we are told to make friends and to be sure of our friends. Jesus always sent His disciples out by two. Paul found himself often in jail or in some dungeon lonely and without someone to talk to.  He wrote to Timothy, “Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. And Tychicus have I sent to Ephesus. The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.”  He wanted some company.  There were times that Paul wanted to go on and be with Jesus, but he felt that the need to continue ministering the gospel was better.  What lonely people can you think of right now?  Do you consider sending them a letter, text, or making a phone call to them?  Rest assured, if God lays someone on your heart, He wants you to contact them and/or pray for them. You may never know what others are facing. The key to combating loneliness is communication.

Sing:  Jesus is here right now reach out and touch him. Jesus is here right now yours to receive. Jesus is standing near ready your heart to cheer, Jesus is here right now only believe.

Thought For Today: The key to combating loneliness is communication.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 3

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
(Hebrews 11:1-6)

Today’s Morsel:  The other morning while out walking, I felt a need to quote Hebrews 11 to myself.  Each day, I try to quote a chapter of the Bible to myself to hide the word in my heart.  As I started to quote it to myself, I was immediately reminded of the faith of these men and women of God.  We don’t read a lot about Abel in the book of Genesis, but the writer of Hebrews tells us about his life.  “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”  He seems to have an excellent spirit of doing what was right.  He gave good gifts to God and God testified of those gifts and about him.  And now that he’s dead, his excellent spirit of doing what is right speaks to us.  His excellence is calling for us to do what is right and to give God our very best.  This is how faith begins, by doing what is right at all cost and giving God our very best first and foremost.  A true test of one’s faith is what he’s willing to offer to God.

Sing: Faith can move mountains, mountains of fear and of doubt, faith can move mountains, so why don’t you try your faith out.

Thought For Today: Faith is really all about what you are willing to give to God. (Parker)

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 2

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
(Psalms 103:1-5).

Today’s Morsel:  Do you ever talk to yourself?  Maybe you don't, but I do.  I find myself talking to God all the time.  I’m not talking about praying.  I’m talking about a conversation.  Even David talked to himself.  David in this Psalms he is communing with his own heart, and he is no fool that just talks to himself and excites his own soul to feel good.  Observe how he stirs himself up to the duty of praises, “Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” It is the Lord that is to be blessed and spoken well of; for he is the fountain of all good, whatever are the channels or cisterns; it is to His name, His holy name, that we are to consecrate our praise, giving thanks at the remembrance of his holiness (Emphasis mine).  It is the soul that is to be employed in blessing God, and all that is within us.  We make nothing of our religious performances if we do not make them from all that is within us.  The duty of praise requires the inward man, the whole man, and all that is within us.  In order for us to return praises to God, there must be a grateful remembrance of the mercies we have received from Him.  David said, “Forget not all his benefits”.  If we do not give thanks for the benefits of God, we will forget them; and that is unjust as well as unkind, since all God's favors are so memorable.  Have you forgotten His benefits?  As Moses admonished the children of Israel, let me admonish you, “Don’t forget God.”

Sing: Bless the Lord on my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name.

Thought For Today:  Don’t forget the benefits of God.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2016 August 1

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:5-8)

Today’s Morsel: Have you ever said something or told someone something and immediately you say to yourself, “I wish that I had not said that?”  James said that our tongues are hard to control.  It’s a small member, but it can create trouble if we aren’t careful.  James also tells us, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19).  I think the reason our tongue gets us into trouble is because we do not take the time to think before we speak.  For me, I’m trying to get to the point where I don’t feel as though I have to have the last word or always give input into what others are talking about.  The Bible never says to him that hath a mouth let him speak.  Yet it does say he that hath an ear let him hear. The psalmist said, “O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise” (Psalms 51:15).  In Ephesians 6:19, Paul requested that they would pray for Him “That utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel."  In today’s world, people are looking for someone who will listen to them, and not for someone to always tell them what they need to do.  Always remember, wrong advice can be just as destructive as the tongue from which it came.

Sing:  I will sing hallelujah, I will sing, O’ Lord; I will sing hallelujah O’ Lord.  For You are the source of my supply, Lord I praise and I lift You high, I will sing hallelujah O’ Lord.

Thought For Today:  Be careful little tongue what you say.