Friday, March 31, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 31

“When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as he hath promised thee, and thou shalt say, I will eat flesh, because thy soul longeth to eat flesh; thou mayest eat flesh, whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. If the place which the LORD thy God hath chosen to put his name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat in thy gates whatsoever thy soul lusteth after. Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat them: the unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike. Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh” (Deuteronomy 12:20-23).

Today’s Morsel:  I like a good steak, but I can’t eat it raw. I like fish, but again, I can’t eat it raw as some folks do. Even Jesus cooked his food!  The children of Israel were told to not eat the blood with the flesh because the life of the flesh was in the blood.  The blood is for the remission of sins which gives us newness of life, and the flesh represents His broken body for us.  The writer of Hebrews tells us, “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).  Jesus, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth, shed His blood to give us life.  The blood over the doorpost gave Israel life.  And the blood applied to you in the waters of baptism will give you life.  Have you experienced that newness of life?  It is available to each of us today.

Sing:  The blood that Jesus shed for me, way back on Calvary, it is the blood that gives me strength from day to day, it will never lose its power.

Thought For Today:  Life is in the blood. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 30

 “Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, always”
(Deuteronomy 11:1)

Today’s Morsel:  “No more monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head.”  This little rhyme seems to be spoken by parents when their children fall for their disobedience to what they were told not to do.  Throughout scripture, we see that all the instructions which were spoken by Moses to the children of Israel was for their good, yet it seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.  A people who had seen the love and mercies of God, and the ones who should have been in total obedience, turned into a nation of total disobedience and suffered great lost.  I believe, that like Israel, there are so many today who are hearing but are not mixing faith with what they are hearing, thus creating a great wave of disobedience in their lives. Like the Pharisees and Sadducees, they are trying to follow the wording and not the meaning.  Jesus said that all the commandments are fulfilled in two scriptures:  Love God and your neighbor as yourself.  If you try to live your life based on the word of God and not with meaning of that word, you will more than likely become disobedient to it.  As Solomon exalts us, “Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7).  If you obtain understanding, you are more likely to be obedient to the word.

Sing: Lead me Lord, I will follow, lead me Lord, I will go, You have called me, I will answer, lead me Lord, I will go.

Thought For Today:  Understand what thou readest?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 29

“The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein: for it is an abomination to the LORD thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing” (Deuteronomy 7:25-26).

Today’s Morsel:
​ ​
Have you ever heard someone say, “I wish that I hadn’t…
 because since I did, all it has done is cause me trouble?” 
​ ​In preparing the children of Israel for their new land of promise, 
Moses instructed them to not take on the ways nor the things of the land that they were about to enter because 
​these things 
were accursed. 
​ ​
He told them to not to bring them into their house lest they become a curse
 thing like it. 
​ ​
He told them to detest them. 
​ ​
When will the children of God detest the things of this world? When will they realize that the things which promote lust and pride are not of God? 
​ ​
e care
 of what you bring into your house, it may destroy you.

Sing: You can take this whole world, but give me Jesus. You can take this whole world, but give me Jesus.
​ ​
 You can take this whole world, but give me Jesus
 no turning back, no turning back.

Thought For Today:  Be careful​ of what you bring into your house.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 28

“And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us. Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day” (Deuteronomy 1:27-33).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things we find with media today, is that we no longer know what to believe.  There is so much deception and false accusation that it seems everyone is putting up their guard to prevent being lied to. I’m thankful that the apostle John saw to the need to write and admonish us, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1).  One of the major goals of the enemy is to get you to not believe what God said in His word.  If we are not careful, we can believe a lie and condemn ourselves.  Moses told the children of Israel that they had seen everything that the Lord had done for them, and yet they still did not believe the Lord who went before them to show them the way.  Friend the Bible is true whether some want to believe it or not; and God’s promise does not change.  Let God be true and every man a liar.  

Sing:  Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord. Whose report will you believe? We shall believe the report of the Lord.  His report says I am healed, His report say I am filled, His report says I am free, His report says victory.

Thought For Today:  “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe in His prophets, so shall ye prosper” (King Jehoshaphat).

Monday, March 27, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 27

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9).

Today’s Morsel:  Each year, hundreds of people are nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.  According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize is to be awarded to the person who in the preceding year "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".  I think that at the end of each year every Christian should win the Peace Prize.  Isn’t that what the gospel is called, “The Gospel of Peace?”  The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome, “… as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:15). Every time you teach someone a Bible study you are bring about peace.  The word is called the gospel of peace.  Therefore, if we say that we are Christians, then we must strive to win this prize every day.  

Sing:  Peace! Peace!  Wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above.  Sweep over my spirit forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love.

Thought For Today:  Every Christian should be a peace prize winner! (Parker)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 25

Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
(1 Corinthians 13:8)

Today’s Morsel:  Why does it seem that so many Christians have failing love?  There are divisions in the body of Christ because of a failure of love.  If Christ is in us, shouldn’t His love be manifested in all that we do?  We are commanded to love one another the way that Christ loved us.  If Calvary speaks of His love, then why does our love fail?  Paul said that love never fails.  True love won’t leave you nor forsake you.  True love will make a way when there seems to be no way.  True love prefers others better then themselves.  True love does everything in its power to keep the unity of the body in the bond of peace.  The next time someone does something that you don’t like, let your love be shown.

Sing:  Fill my way everyday with love, as I walk with the heavenly Dove; let me go all the while with a song and a smile, fill my way every day with love.

Thought For Today: Love never fails.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 24

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. (Ephesians 5:20-28).

Today’s Morsel:  Two words that seem to escape relationships these days are submission and love.  The world has established a pattern on non-submission in trying to bring about equality that has ruined the love in a relationships.  You cannot have two heads in a relationship. Not even in a business can you have to bosses, nor can you have two pastors in one church.  There must be a submission for things to work.  Paul said that the wife was to submit to her husband and that her husband was to love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it.  This isn’t a hard principle to follow when both are walking hand in hand with the Lord.  The problem comes when both want to be the head, and neither are following Christ's perfect plan.

Sing: Are you washed, in the blood, in the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb; are your garments spots, are they white as snow, are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Thought For Today:   Only one head per body.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 23

“Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:12-16)

Today’s Morsel:   On March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry ignited the American Revolution with a speech before the Virginia convention in Richmond, stating, "I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"  This seems someone like what the apostle Thomas was saying.  Death must not stop freedom.  Freedom may require you to take a course different than what others may choose.  No, freedom is not free.  But if we follow on to know the Lord, we shall be free indeed.

Sing: Victory ahead!  Victory ahead!  Through the blood of Jesus, there’s victory ahead.  Trusting in the Lord, I hear the conqueror's tread, by faith I see the victory ahead.  

Thought For Today:  Give me liberty or give me death (Patrick Henry).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 22

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee” (Psalms 139:17-18).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that many do not understand is God’s love and thoughts towards them. There are so many people struggling in life because they will not accept what they Bible says about God’s love and concern for them.  The Psalmist said that the Lord's thoughts were precious toward him and he couldn’t number them.  Moses informed the children of Israel,“For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth. The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people: But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; And repayeth them that hate him to their face, to destroy them: he will not be slack to him that hateth him, he will repay him to his face” (Deuteronomy 7:6-10). Because God is faithful, His promises are for us today as well.  We are chosen to reflect His light and love to a lost and dying world all because He cares for us.

Sing: I am so glad that our Father in heaven tells of His love in the Book He has given; wonderful things in the Bible I see; this is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.  I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves even me.

Thought For Today:  Jesus loves me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 21

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)

Today’s Morsel:  Science seems to be all about trying to find out where we came from and prove the Bible as being incorrect.  They refuse to accept the word of God as fact. Instead, they are going about spending millions of dollars trying to find an answer to prove their theory, but in the end coming up with the same answers that are already in the Bible.  And yet, they still refuse to believe that God created man from the dust of the earth.  Paul said, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned… For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him?”  The natural mind will not receive the truth of God’s word. He refuses it.  Paul continues by saying, “Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise.  For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”  “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world” (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)?  If you don’t believe the word of God, He’ll keep letting you chase your tail like a dog.

Sing:  Go ahead, and mock my name; My love for you is still the same.  Go ahead and bury me; but very soon I will be free!  Cause I’ll rise again, ain’t no power on earth can tie me down; Yes, I’ll rise again, death can’t keep me in the ground.

Thought For Today:  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My word shall not pass away.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 20

“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:  A call for keeping our heart pure is a command throughout scripture.  Jesus said that the pure in heart shall see God.  Paul told the church at Ephesus that he prayed that Christ may dwell in their hearts by faith, and that they would be rooted and grounded in love and to be able to know all about the love of Christ.  If we really want to know about His love, then we must search the scriptures to find it (John 5:39-40).  Not until we know the depths of His love can we understand the height of His ability to do things through us.  Knowing Him fully requires a pure heart.

Sing:  Our God is able to deliver thee.  He is able to deliver thee, He is able to deliver thee; Though by sin oppressed, go to Him for rest.  Our God is able to deliver thee.

Thought For Today:  There is nothing too hard for God.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 18

Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12).

Today’s Morsel: I believe that if salvation was the number one gadget on the market, most people still would not purchase it.  They would go for something else.  I often wonder why people do not choose the most important thing for their life?  What is it about salvation that people don’t want?  Why are so many afraid to be a Christian?  Why are so many afraid to say that Jesus is their God yet they are excited that He found and saved them?  Jesus never said that you couldn’t have anything else.  He simply said that without Him you can do nothing.  Have you considered eternity lately?

Sing: Once I was straying in sin’s dark valley, no hope within could I see; they searched thru heaven and found a Savior to save a poor lost soul like me.
O’ what a Savior, O’ hallelujah, His heart was broken on Calvary: His hands were nail scarred, His side was riven, He gave His life-blood for even me.

Thought For Today:  Eternity is a long time!

Friday, March 17, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 17

The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
(Proverbs 14:14)

Today’s Morsel:  I keeping telling myself that I need to lose weight.  But I keep having trouble getting away from me and just doing it. Or should I say, getting away from those things that keep putting the pounds on me.  Things like cookies, pie, cake; not to mention the lack of exercise.  What is it about getting away from us that makes it so hard?  Why do we have such a hard time bringing us under subjection?  Someone takes a parking spot that we were waiting for and self gets in the way.  Someone says or does something that we don’t like, and self-rises.  We know that we must control our self, but sometimes we allow that old man to rule again.  Solomon says that if we do not have control over our own spirit, then we are like a city that is broken down and without walls.  We can overcome self.  We just need to purpose and do it.  

Sing:  To be like Jesus!  To be like Jesus!  On earth I long, to be like Him; all through life’s journey, from earth to glory, I only ask, to be like Him.

Thought For Today:  A good man is satisfied from himself.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 16

“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).

Today’s Morsel:  The Lord told Moses, “And 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 6:3).  Isaiah said that Jehovah is everlasting strength.  Jesus Christ is the Lord JEHOVAH, which is, and was, and is to come; self-existent, eternal, and immutable; and in Him is strength, as well as righteousness for His people.  He is everything that we can want for.  He bears up under every temptation and affliction.  He can withstand every spiritual enemy, exercise every bit of grace that is needed, and discharge every duty.  This strength is everlasting and will always continue in Him.  When we are weak, He is strong.  Jehovah, the self-existent, eternal; the I AM that I AM.  He will keep you in perfect peace, if your mind is stayed on Him.

Sing:  Jehovah Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me, for me, for me.  Jehovah Jireh, my provider, His grace is sufficient for me.  My God shall supply all my need, according to His riches in glory.  He shall give His angels charge over me; Jehovah Jireh careth for me, for me, for me.  Jehovah Jireh careth for me.

Thought For Today:  His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 15

“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” (Deuteronomy 8:2-3).

Today’s Morsel: When we read the account of the children of Israel’s deliverance, we see that they spent 40 years in the wilderness because of the hardness of their hearts.  If they would have been obedient to God and the man that He had chosen to lead them, they could have made the journey much sooner.  Prior to their entrance into the promise land, Moses did a recap for them so that they would remember the things that God had done for them so that they would not forget.  This was a new generation. Most of the older generation had died in the wilderness. And so he felt a need to recap what had happened.  He told them that God had lead them the 40 years they were in the wilderness, because God wanted to see what was in their heart.  But none the less, he said, God lead them.  God provided for them all the while He was leading them.  If you ever feel as though you are in the wilderness, God is still leading you.  It may be His way of humbling you, proving you, and seeing what is in your heart; just remember that the steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord, and He delights in his way.

Sing: I’m following Jesus one step at a time, I live for the moment, in His love divine.  Why think of tomorrow, just live for today, I’m following Jesus, each step of the way.

Thought For Today:  The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord and He delights in his way.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 14

“The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb”
(Psalms 19:7-10).

Today’s Morsel:  In most of the eating establishments down south here in America, you are sure to hear waitresses call you sweetie.  It is a term of friendliness to hopefully make you feel welcome, and will cause you leave a good tip. David said that the laws, testimonies, statutes, commandments, fear, and judgments of the Lord, which is the word of God, are more to be desired than gold, sweeter than honey and the honeycomb.  The honeycomb is the purest and sweetest of the honey.  And so is the gospel.  It is the purest and sweetest taste to mankind because it represents Christ.  As David admonishes, “O taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalms 34:8).

Sing:  Sweeter as the years go by, sweeter as the years go by; richer, fuller, deeper, Jesus’ love is sweeter, sweeter as the years go by.

Thought For Today:  O’ taste and see that the Lord is good.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 13

“And again he entered into Capernaum after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them. And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee” (Mark 2:1-5)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that I find in scripture is that no man has the power or authority to forgive sins, only God.  From Genesis to Revelation, I find nowhere that any of the leaders that Jesus chose, or anyone else, was given power or authority to forgive sins.  I do find, however, that they told people if they would confess their sins, that God was faithful and just and would forgive them.  Paul said that we must be careful of the tradition of men (Colossians 2:8).  When Jesus forgave the man sick of the palsy of his sins, they accused Him of speaking blasphemies.  They asked who can forgive sins but God only?  To which Jesus replied to them, “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy) (Mark 2:10).  Do you need your sins forgiven today?  Friend, only Jesus can forgive you of your sins, not man.  Simply go to Him in repentance.  

Sing:  He took my sins away, He took my sins away, and keeps me singing every day!  I’m so glad He took my sins away, He took my sins away.

Thought For Today:  Only Jesus can satisfy your soul.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 11

A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. (Proverbs 17:17)

Today’s Morsel:  There are two things that I believe should always be consistent.  They are a friend and a brother.  Solomon said that one loves always and the other is there in the times of adversity.  What does it mean to love always?  A true, hearty and faithful friend loves in those times that are good and bad.  He doesn’t care if you are going through the valley or if you are up on the mountain top, he’s faithful and there showing love.  Yet very rarely do we find a friend that is constant in love.  Job even admonished his so-called friends, those that should have been there in his adversity, “But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value” (Job 13:4); “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).  Solomon also says that a brother is born for adversity.  He is born to be an aide; to be a sympathizer with his brother in distress, to relieve him, comfort and support him; and if he does not do this when it is in his power to do so, he misses his whole purpose for being born into the world. Are you fulfilling your purpose?  Are you a true friend and brother?

Sing:  You’re my brother, you’re my sister, so take me by the hand; together we will work until He comes.  There’s no foe that can defeat us, when we’re walking side by side, as long as there is love, we can stand.

Thought For Today:  Are you fulfilling your purpose?

Friday, March 10, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 10

"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright"
(Hebrews 12:14-16).

Today’s Morsel:  It is said that one of the greatest causes of depression in a person’s life is bitterness.  People just seem to hang on to the hurts that others do to them and it turns into resentment and anger.  But what I have found that works for me when people say things that hurt me is that I must put that brick in the wall of my temple.  Some of the most beautiful fireplaces in homes I’ve seen are made from what I call “ugly bricks”.  This is the type of wall I mean that I build in my temple; you know, a wall using those bricks that people threw and hurt me.  I take them and make something beautiful out of them, not allowing them to depress me and hurt me even more.  What about you?   The next time someone says something to you that hurts you, see it as an “ugly brick” and stick it in your wall of praise in your temple.  Someday you’ll see how beautiful the Lord made it to be.  

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

Thought For Today:  How many ugly bricks do you have?

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 9

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds” (Hebrews 12:1-3)

Today’s Morsel:  Do you ever get to the point that you just feel like quitting?  Well, let me encourage you, don’t. What I’ve found is that every time I get this spirit to give up and give in, I hear another voice which says, “I didn’t quit, so why are you?”  The writer of Hebrews tells us to look unto Jesus and run with patience the race that is set before us.  Jesus said, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5:5).  Those that are patient will obtain that new heaven and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.  Think about those in the grandstands that will be cheering for you when you cross the finish line. Think about those that will be cheering when you are in the winners' circle.  Just around the corner and we’ll be home.

Sing: I’ve got a mad up mind, I've got a final destination, gonna keep on pressing on, to my final destination; gonna burn all the bridges behind me, break all the ties that bind me; gonna keep on pressing on, till I reach that, home sweet home, that New Jerusalem.

Thought For Today:  Don’t quit!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 8

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

Today’s Morsel:  The one prophet that seems to write and give clarity to the coming of Christ and who He was, is Isaiah.  Isaiah seems to strike cord after cord of who Jesus was more than any of the other Old Testament Biblical writers.  From Jesus’ miraculous birth by a virgin, to being God, Isaiah opens our understanding and causes the gospels to become clearer of who Jesus was more than others.  Luke wrote of today’s passage, “And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about. And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears” (Luke 4:14-21).  The gospel links the old to the new. What is your understanding as to who Jesus was?  This promise, quoted by Isaiah, is to you and me even today.  Are you hurting?  Do you need restoration?  Well, this is one of the reasons that Christ came.  They say that the proof is in the pudding.  Give Him a try, and He will prove Himself true every time.  

Sing:  Everybody ought to know, everybody ought to know, everybody ought to know, who Jesus is.  Everybody ought to know, everybody ought to know, everybody ought to know, who Jesus is.  He’s the Lily of the Valley, He’s the bright and morning star, He’s the fairest of ten thousand, everybody ought to know.

Thought For Today:  Hidden treasures must be sought for! (Parker)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 7

“For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast: on the day that I smote every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself. And I have taken the Levites for all the firstborn of the children of Israel. And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the congregation, and to make an atonement for the children of Israel: that there be no plague among the children of Israel, when the children of Israel come nigh unto the sanctuary” (Numbers 8:17-19).

Today’s Morsel: I’m not one that is big on receiving gifts, but I do like giving gifts.  In so many ways, I am trying to pattern myself to be like Christ, whom Paul said, when he (Jesus) ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men (Ephesians 4:8).  The Lord told Moses that He had given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons.  The priesthood was God’s gift to the people.  The Lord said through the Prophet Jeremiah, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15).  Are you pleased with the gift that God has given you, to help perfect you and to bring you to the knowledge of the truth?  How much do you love and appreciate the gift He’s given you?  Paul said in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."  Peter said that if we repent of our sins, we shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38).  And James tells us, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Did you know that your pastor is God’s gift to you.  If we reject God’s gift, He may not give us another one.

Sing:  Thanks! Thanks! I give you thanks, for all You have done; I am so blessed, my soul has found rest, Oh, Lord, I give You thanks.

Thought For Today:  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above…” (James)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 6

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about life, whether we admit it or not, is that we all want to be accepted.  It’s one of those things that God has placed in all of us.  John said that Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11).  What would make one reject his own? What would cause many to refuse the one that loved them and was willing to give His life for them?  So many people are suffering today all because they are refusing to accept the One that can help them.  John also tells us that if we receive Him, He will give us power to become His sons (John 1:12; see also Romans 8:9).  Do you want to be a son of God?  If so, don’t reject Him, but receive Him.  He knocks on the door of your heart, you simply need to answer the knock.  

Sing: Heavenly Father, I appreciate You.  Heavenly Father, I appreciate You.  I love You, adore You, I bow down before You.  Heavenly Father, I appreciate You.

Thought For Today:  Eternal life begins with accepting Christ. 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 4

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.  (Proverbs 18:10)

Today’s Morsel: When God was giving His law to Moses, one of the things that He told him to establish was cities of refuge; places of safety until a fair trial could be rendered.  Throughout scriptures, many men sought these cities for refuge.  David said that God is refuge and strength and a very present help in times of trouble (Psalms 46:1).  And David's son Solomon states that the name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. What is it about the name of Jesus, that makes it a place of safety?  The name of the Lord signifies all that God is in Himself.  This name signifies His attributes, His love, mercy, power, knowledge; which allow man to regard Him as a sure refuge.  "Thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy" says the psalmist (Psalms 61:3).  These words bring before us a picture of a capitol, or central fortress, in which, at times of danger, the surrounding population could take refuge.  Hebron was one of those cities and one that David made his headquarters in.  Into this name, we Christians are baptized into the name of Jesus, and it is the the name of the One we trust in.  It is this name that we are safe in during the storms of life and the attacks of our enemies.  Jesus, the name above all names!

Sing:  The name of the Lord is, a strong tower; the righteous run in to it and they are safe.  The name of the Lord is, a strong tower; the righteous run in to it and they are safe.
Blessed be the name of the Lord; Blessed be the name of the Lord, most high; Blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be the name of the Lord, blessed be the name of the Lord Most High.

Thought For Today: Safety is still in Jesus (Parker).

Friday, March 3, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 3

“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7).

Today’s Morsel:  Today is the birthday of telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell.  He was born in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Bell and his father were involved in teaching deaf persons to speak. Bell developed an interest in the vibrating membrane as a method of electrically transmitting sounds.  His very first sentence spoken on the newly invented telephone on March 10, 1876, was to his assistant, "Mister Watson, come here, I want you."  Jesus said that if we have an ear then let us hear what His Spirit is speaking unto us.  The phrase, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches,” appears seven times in Revelations, chapters two and three.  Seven is God’s number of completion.  You see, we should get what He is saying to His church.  If we miss what God is saying to us seven times, then we are deaf to the Spirit and can never be an over-comer.  Do you hear when God speaks to you?  A life of obedience is that of a person who has ears and can hear what the Spirit of God is saying to them.

Sing:  When He calls me, I will answer; when He calls me I will hear.  When He calls me, I will answer, I’ll be somewhere listening for my name.

Thought For Today:  Effective listening is being able to repeat what someone says to you.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 2

“And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash; Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering” (1 Samuel 13:11-12).

Today’s Morsel: When Saul did not wait for Samuel to come to do the sacrifice, because of fear, he violated the law of God.  When Samuel asked him what he had done, Saul said, “The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”  Notice, he “forced himself” to do it.  He knew what the word of God said, but he chose to go against it for fear.  So many people do the same thing.  They know what the word says, but they force themselves not to do it.  Anytime you go against what you know is right, you are forcing yourself against God’s word.  Anytime you violate the posted speed limit, you are forcing yourself.  Anytime you purpose to be late for church, you are forcing yourself.  Anytime you schedule to do something else when you know that your pastor has scheduled a special service, you are forcing yourself. Anytime you don’t do the things that you have been asked to do because you just don’t want to, you are forcing yourself.  And the biggest danger is, you have to give an account to God for every idle deed, not to mention the consequence that may come for your disobedience.  Don’t force yourself to do wrong, but force yourself to do what is right all the time.  With such sacrifices God is well pleased.

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:  Don’t force yourself to do wrong, but force yourself to do what is right all the time (Parker).

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 March 1

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27)

Today’s Morsel: On March 1, 1961, President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps, an organization sending young American volunteers to developing countries to assist with health care, education and other basic human needs.  The Mission of the Peace Corps is to help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women, to help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people served, and to help promote a better understanding of other people on the part of Americans.  The Peace Corps is a service opportunity for motivated change makers to immerse themselves in a community abroad, working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation.  When Jesus sent His disciples forth, He told them, “And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you” (Matthew 10:13).  He further told them, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).  The quickest way to establish peace in any place is through the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If we operate on the principles of the gospel, whenever and wherever we are, people will soon understand that there is a God and that they too can be at peace and operate in His love for them.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God, Jesus said (Matthew 5:9).

Sing: Peace, peace, wonderful peace, coming down from the Father above; sweep over my spirit forever I pray, in fathomless billows of love.

Thought For Today: I’m a peacemaker!