Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 31

“Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands” (Proverbs 14:1).

Today’s Morsel: When we study scripture, there seems to be little that addresses the way a woman should live and conduct herself.  And because of a lack of understanding, many today are without discretion. And this is what the enemy's goal has been from the beginning, to deceive the woman into thinking that God has made her to be less than man.  He caused Eve to go against God’s word by making her think that God was withholding something from her.  But this was not the case.  God had Eve’s best interest at heart, the same as He did Adam's. He was the creator of them both.  They were the first couple.  The first marriage.  The first home.  The first godly man and woman.  They were both created in God’s image.  Very good.   Paul wrote that when we become Christians, or born again, that there is neither male or female, but we become one in Christ (Galatians 3:27-29).  Therefore, the scriptures apply to one the same as to the other.  If the woman will read them, she can become what God intended for her to be in the beginning, a godly woman in His image.  In Proverbs 31, Solomon speaks of a virtuous woman.  Many woman have tried to live up to the pattern listed in it, and have not been able to.  The identified pattern of the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31 for a woman can only be obtain by the woman who commits her life to Christ and purposes to live according to His word.  To obtain this identity, she must become a doer of God’s word and not just a hearer.  Solomon said, the wise woman builds her house.   If she is born again, she must realize that she is a temple of God, and she must build her house based on the word of God and not on the words of man.  Proverbs 16:21 tells us that “The wise in heart shall be called prudent, and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning.”   Ladies, God has a perfect plan for you.  Find it in His word.

Sing:  He is fairer than the lily of the valley, He is brighter than the morning star, He is purer than the snow, fresher than the breeze, lovelier than all of these.

Thought For Today:  The wise in heart shall be called prudent, and the sweetness of the lips increaseth learning (Proverbs 16:21). 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 30

“Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:21-24).

Today’s Morsel: When we truly look at the word of God, we can see that mamy things were concealed in the Old Testament that attest to Christ’s deity.  In many ways, Jesus was concealed in the Old Testament as to who He was.  Writing to the church at Galatia, Paul said that the law was a schoolmaster (tutor or instructor), to bring us to Christ so that we would know who He was.  He told the people in Athens, “…I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you” (Acts 17:22-23).   Paul said that this unknown God you are worshiping is Christ.  If You really want to know who Jesus was and is, search the scriptures (John 5:39), and it will reveal Him to you.  Solomon said, “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9).  If you reject God’s word, which is God (John 1:1), then Jesus isn’t going to hear your prayer, yet He will hear a sincere heart of repentance.

Sing: The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.  The testimonies of the Lord are sure making wise the simple; more to be desired are they than gold, much fine gold, sweeter also than the honey, and the honey comb.

Thought For Today: Abomination… Rejected of God! (Parker)

Monday, May 29, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 29

And David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son: (Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher.) The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! (2 Samuel 1:17-19)

Today’s Morsel: Memorial Day is an American holiday to celebrate and to remember military service members who have died in the line of duty.  It should not be confused with Veterans Day, which honors all service members who have served honorably for their country.   Many will celebrate around the world today to honor those who have fallen.  Wreaths will be laid, flowers will be planted and barbecues will be conducted.  We must not forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice that we might be free.  Always remember, freedom is not free.
Sing:  Kneel where our loves are sleeping, Dear ones loved in days gone by, here we bow in holy reverence, our bosoms heave the heart-felt sigh. They fell like brave men, true as steel, and poured their blood like rain.  We feel we owe them all we have, and can but kneel and weep again (Hymn by Nella L. Sweet).
Thought For Today:  How are the mighty fallen. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 27

 “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” 
(2 Peter 3:8-9)

Today’s Morsel:  Over the past two decades, we’ve heard a lot about Global Warming.  Everyone is saying that the earth is getting hotter.  I think Peter told us, “… the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).  Even the prophet Isaiah told us that hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure (Isaiah 5:14); and Solomon said that “Hell and destruction are never full…” (Proverbs 27:20).  The earth just might be getting hotter because the fires of hell are getting hotter due to the massive influx of people that Satan has deceived with sin.  Remember, hell was not created for you, but for Satan and his demons.  So, don’t join his party it’s not cool down there.

Sing: Oh there’s a highway to heaven, none can walk up there, but the pure in heart.  Oh there’s a highway to heaven, walking up the King's highway.

Thought For Today:  Don’t join Satan’s party, it’s not cool down there (Parker).

Friday, May 26, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 26

As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. (Proverbs 26:21-22)

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things I remembered about elementary school was that each year they brought Smoky the Bear to school to teach us about the prevention of wild fires.  At the end of each session, Smoky would say, “Remember, only you can prevent forest fires!”  Solomon states, “As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.”  If coals are burning, they will continue to burn other coals if they are near together; and the same is also true with a forest fire.  If there is a source, to keep it burning, such as wood, it will continue to burn.  And so it is with a talebearer.  As long as he keeps gossiping and he has an ear to listen to him, someone is going to be wounded by it. Therefore, we must remember that we can stop someone from being wounded by the talebearer if we will not listen to the gossip and lies from them and not repeat what they say.  

Sing: I’m so glad that I’m a part of the family of God, I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood.  Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod, I’m so glad that I’m a part of the family of God.

Thought For Today:   Only you can stop gossip from wounding someone by not being a listener and by not repeating it (Parker).

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 25

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
(Matthew 5:27-30)

Today’s Morsel: One of the most important virtues that Christians should quickly develop once they are saved is that of self-control.  Self-control is no more than controlling one’s own self.  It’s taking total control for everything that a person does. Solomon states, “He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls” (Proverbs 25:28).  If you can’t control you, you will destroy you. In His teachings on the Sermon on the Mount,  Jesus stated, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”  In other words, the law was that one must not commit adultery, which to many was self-explanatory.  However, Jesus took it a step further.  He told them that if they even looked at a woman to lust after her in their hearts, they had committed adultery.  Jesus wanted them to know, as Solomon wrote, that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he (Proverbs 23:7).  Therefore, if one was lusting after a woman, it would get into his heart and that would be who he would become, as lusts often time cause wrong motives and actions.  Without self-control, we will be drawn away when the temptation comes.  

Sing:  Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of this earth will go strangely dim; in the light of His glory and grace.

Thought For Today:  Keep yourself pure.   

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 24

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. (Hebrews 10:38)

Today’s Morsel:  Often, when folks speak of the Fruit of the Spirit, many of them will skip over “faith” as part of the fruit when you ask them to name them.  Paul said that God has dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:3).  And so, I believe that one of the outward proofs of true salvation is seen in those who walk by faith and not by sight.  As Christians, our entire life must be lived out by our faith.  We cannot please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6); we cannot be justified without faith (Romans 5:1); and we cannot overcome the world without faith (1 John 5:4).  If we do not have faith, we will drawback to the world every time we face something that we think we cannot handle.  Faith is there, you just need to remove the unbelief.

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

Thought For Today:  Faith is there, you must remove the unbelief (Parker).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 23

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin” (Romans 6:1-7).

Today’s Morsel: One of the things you learn quickly in the military is what certain acronyms mean.  The military is big on acronyms (abbreviations), because it can help confuse the enemy.  For example, PCS is a Permanent Change of Station; the service member is departing and isn’t coming back.  And so for the church, I like to use acronyms, too.  A few examples are - For SIN: Standing In Nastiness.  For SINNER: Standing In Nastiness Not Even Resisting.   Paul said that if we have died to sin, then we should not be having any part in sin.  Solomon states that we should not let our heart envy sinners: but be in the fear of the LORD all the day long.  For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cut off” (Proverbs 23:17-18).  Don’t think sinners are going to escape.  There’s an end, and God only knows the day and the time it will occur.  “But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 1:20-23).  You can be assured that no sin shall enter there (heaven).  

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

Thought For Today:  Do not envy sinners, there’s an end!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 22

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ”
(Colossians 3:23-24).

Today’s MorselI often wonder why we humans like to take shortcuts in our work?  When I was in the military, it was not uncommon to hear someone say, “Well that’s good enough for government work!”  This phrase originated during World War II.   Back then, if something was good enough for government work it was of the highest standard and could pass the most rigorous of inspections.  Since then, the meaning has shifted and the expression is now almost exclusively used in a sarcastic or derogatory sense and means pretty much the exact opposite.  So it is important that we know the meaning of an expression before we use it!  Today when something is declared “good enough for government work” it is generally of questionable quality, if not sloppy, messy, untidy, and done by one who possesses a lackadaisical attitude toward their work; and it would by no means satisfy anyone or pass any standard of inspection.  For the Christian, this must not be.   Paul said that whatsoever we do, we must do it as unto the Lord and not unto men.  We want to give Jesus our very best.  “Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men” (Proverbs 22:29).  Do all to the fullest and to your best, because everything you do is done for His glory.  
Sing: I’ll be somewhere working, I’ll be somewhere working, I’ll be somewhere working for my Lord; I’ll be somewhere working, I’ll be somewhere working, I’ll be somewhere working for my Lord.
Thought For Today:  Does your work meet Jesus' standard? (Parker).

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 20

And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Luke 18:9-14).

Today’s Morsel: I think at some point in life there comes a time that we like to self-exalt ourselves.  We may not think so, but we do.  For example, the kid in school who gets an “A” is quicker to say that he received an “A” than the child who received a “C”.  I remember when we called the trash collectors, “the garbage man.”  Now days if you were to ask him what he does, he would tell you that he’s “a sanitation engineer”.  A preacher was called a pastor, evangelist or teacher.  Now if you ask some of them, they would say, “I’m a Bishop”.  Nothing wrong with the titles, but if we are not careful, titles, status and positions can make us prideful.  Solomon states, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6).  In other words, where is the man that answers to the character he gives of himself, or who is as good as his word?  The Pharisee exalted himself, but the sinner humbled himself.  We must honestly ask ourselves, "Which one am I?".  

Sing: Jesus hold my hand, Lord I need Thee every hour.  Through this pilgrim land, protect me by Thy saving power.  Hear my feeble plea, O’ Lord, look down on me.  When I kneel in prayer, I hope to meet you there, blessed Jesus hold my hand.

Thought For Today:  Pride lowers, humbleness exalts (Parker)

Friday, May 19, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 19

“Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips” (Job 2:9-10).

Today’s Morsel: One of the things about integrity is that we often associate it with that of being honest.  But really, integrity is more than that.  Integrity also deals with being truthful, having honor, being reliable, being accurate in what we tell others, following through on what we’ve been placed in charge of or have been asked to do.  According to the Word of God, a poor man that walks in his integrity is better than one that has much yet is stubborn and is a fool.  Job told his friends, “God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me” (Job 27:5).  Job said until he died he would still be truthful, reliable, accurate, and make sure everything that he said he would do he did it.  No man knows the value of integrity until he loses it.

Sing:  Thank God for the blood; thank God for the blood, thank God for the blood, that washes white as snow.

Thought for today: “Integrity without knowledge is weak and useless, and knowledge without integrity is dangerous and dreadful”  Samuel Johnson

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 18

“And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16).

Today’s Morsel: One of the main points in our teaching and preaching is that of how to present the truth of the gospel in love. The gospel is not something that is offensive or harsh.  Yet it can be if it is not presented correctly.  Paul said that it must be presented in love.  One of the things I try to teach ministers and teachers is to always check for hidden anger before they enter the pulpit.  Because if not, they may destroy someone with their words.  Solomon said, “A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle” (Proverbs 18:19).  Yes, many people still do wrong; still lie, gamble, cheat and steal, and say they are Christians.  Paul said, and such were some of you (1 Corinthians 6:11).  But to help others see their error and correct their mistakes, the gospel must not be used as an ax and two thirty-eights to destroy one’s life, or you will never win them to Christ.  It must be used as Acts 2:38 to give them newness of life.  “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost” (Acts 2:38).

 Sing: No one ever cared for me like Jesus, there’s no other friend so kind as He.  No one else could take the sin and darkness from me, O how much He cared for me.

Thought For Today:  Present the truth in love and watch Jesus work.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 17

“Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms” (James 5:13).

Today’s Morsel:  I have come to realize that if people would speak encouragement to themselves, they would not be saddened.  But many people defeat themselves by their own words.  For example they say things like , “I am so stupid;” “I hate that;” “I’m so fat;” “I can’t believe that they expect me to work for that;” “What do they think I am, chopped liver?”. Shouldn’t born again believers have a merry heart?  Solomon said, “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones” (Proverbs 17:22).  A happy disposition will help your body maintain a healthy countenance.  But if you break your own spirit by your own words, expect sickness.

Sing:  Sing them over again to me, wonderful words of life; Let me more of their beauty see, wonderful words of life; Words of life and beauty, teach me faith and duty. Beautiful words, wonderful words, wonderful words of life.

Thought For Today:  A merry heart is like medicine.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 16

“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Thou art permitted to speak for thyself. Then Paul stretched forth the hand, and answered for himself: I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews” (Acts 26:1-2).

Today’s Morsel: I don’t think that there has ever been a church that I have entered that someone was not unhappy.  It’s too hot.  It’s too cold.  The sermon was too long.  The church is always asking for money. They sing the same old songs.  I’m tired of the seven-eleven songs.  The seats are too hard.  The kids are too noisy.  Somebody took my seat.  There isn’t any where to park. The list goes on and on.  Paul told King Agrippa when he was given liberty to speak about his pending trial, “I think myself happy.”  When is the last time you thought yourself happy?  Do you see it as being happy to testify of God’s goodness?  Do think yourself happy when things aren’t going your way?  Do you think yourself happy when you are broke?  The Psalmist said, “Happy is that people, that is in such a case: yea, happy is that people, whose God is the LORD” Psalms 144:15); “Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God” (Psalms 146:5).  Do you know Him? If you do, then you ought to always think yourself happy.  Having Jesus should be enough to be happy about!

Sing:  If you’re happy and you know it say, Amen, say Amen. If your happy and you know it, say Amen, Amen; cause when God’s Spirit falls on you makes you shout hallelujah; if you’re happy and you know it say Amen!

Thought For Today:  Why not think yourself happy.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 15

“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran”
(Genesis 12:1-4).

Today’s Morsel: When God told Abraham the instructions in today's scripture reading, Abraham departed.   But even though he departed, he didn’t do what God told him to do.  God’s instructions were not only to leave his country and his father’s house, he was to leave his kindred to.  But for some reason, he allowed Lot to tag along; and Lot was his kindred.  ​We see later that there was strife.  As long as Lot was along, Abraham could not see the promise God had for him be fulfilled.  Strife has a way of blocking your vision.  That’s a part of the old father’s house. The instructions were to leave all.  Everything associated with his father’s house was to be left behind.  In the New Testament, Jesus said, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). This is not a hatred as we think of the word, because that would go against God's word.  It means that these cannot be first in our life nor more important to us than God and His instructions to us.  Is the reason you have not received the promises God made you because you have not left your old father's house (forsaken all for Him)?  

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: The new life requires you to leave the old (Parker).

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker -2017 May 13

“For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:24-27).

Today’s Morsel: What is the number one thing you are hoping for today?  Do you have the patience to wait for it? Solomon said, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (Proverbs 13:12).  When that which we are hoping for doesn’t come as soon as we expect it, if it is delayed any length of time, our minds may become uneasy, and our hearts may sink and fail, and we become discouraged and ready to quit waiting for it.  We may give up all hope of enjoying the desired blessing when it is delivered to us.  But on the other hand, if we wait for it with joy and excitement, when it comes it will be a tree of life, just like Jesus is and offer us joy unspeakable and full of glory.

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.

Though For Today:  Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 12

“A man shall be commended according to his wisdom: but he that is of a perverse heart shall be despised” 
(Proverbs 12:8)
Today’s Morsel:  John Gill's Exposition on the Bible says of this verse, “A man shall be commended according to his wisdom, ... Not according to his birth and pedigree; not according to his riches and wealth; not according to the places of honor and trust he may be in; but according to his wisdom, which he discovers in his words and actions, in his life and conversation: not according to the wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and devilish; not according to the wisdom of the world, which comes to nought, either natural or civil; especially that which lies in sophistry and subtlety, in wicked craft and cunning, whereby men trick, overreach, and defraud one another; but according to that which is spiritual and evangelical; which lies in the knowledge of Christ, and of God in Christ, and of those things which belong to salvation; the beginning of which is the fear of the Lord, and which comes from above, and is pure and peaceable. A man possessed of this is commended by all wise and good men, and by the Lord himself; as the wise man is by Christ, who builds his house on a rock; for which reason, it stands.”  Wisdom is the principle thing, says King Solomon (Proverbs 4:7).  Get wisdom.  

Sing:  Never would have made it, Never could have made it, without you, I would have lost it all, But now I see how you were there for me;  I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I'm better, much better.  When I look back over all you brought me through, I can see that you were the one I held on to.

Thought For Today:  The wisdom from above is first pure.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 11

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. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever. But now thy kingdom shall not continue: the LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart, and the LORD hath commanded him to be captain over his people, because thou hast not kept that which the LORD commanded thee
(1 Samuel 13:11-14).

Today’s Morsel:  Isn’t it amazing that some people force themselves to do what is wrong while others force themselves to do what is right?  Especially when they have been anointed by God.  Why is it when some people get bad news, they go into a state of depression; while others get the same type of news and worship God.  Some people force themselves to get up and go get a job, while others lay around and wait for handouts.  Some people force themselves to live above par, while others choose (force themselves) to live below it.  Some people force themselves to be involved in their church, while others force themselves to avoid helping at all cost.  When Samuel asked Saul why he had done what he had done and not wait for him, he told him, “I was afraid and so I forced myself.” In other words, I made myself do it because I was afraid.  If we can force ourselves to do wrong, shouldn't we be able to force ourselves to do what is right?  Give it a try, the outcome is much better.  

Sing:  Oh I don’t worry when things goes wrong, cause Jesus fills, my heart with a song; Oh it’s amazing what praising can do, hallelujah!

Thought For Today: Force yourself to do what is right all the time (Parker)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 10

“And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter” (Isaiah 59:14)

Today’s Morsel:  The title on the cover of “Time Magazine” for April was “Is Truth Dead?”.  This title captured my attention and I used it for my message title on Resurrection Sunday.  The author of the article, questioned if the President was being honest with his tweets, while the President questioned the media's honesty with their reporting.  I took from the article that they were each calling the other dishonest.  Isaiah presents to us a picture of a court room of corruption.  Lady justices does not seem to be overseeing the court of law.  He wrote, “And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.”   When a nation or a people is without godly character; rules, verdict, and sound decision making will always be backward; there will never be fairness and impartiality among the rulers, and wrong will always be elevated as right.  Therefore, Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me” (John 14:1). Why? “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” He said (John 14:6).  Truth isn’t dead.   As the angel asked those who came to the tomb, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?... He is not here, but is risen” (Luke 24:5-6).  Let the world see Him in you.  He is Truth.

Sing: He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today, He walks with me and He talks with me, along life’s narrow way; He lives, He lives, salvation to impart, you ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart.

Thought For Today:  God’s not Dead!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 3027 May 9

 “To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever: Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever: And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever: And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever” (Psalms 136:17-22).

Today’s Morsel: In the past year or so, I have taken an interest in going to estate and yard sales.  It’s amazing what the Generation X and the Millennial folks get rid of, not knowing the value their heritage.   I have seen some of the most precious things being sold because children do not know what their parents have left them.  The psalmist told the children of Israel that God had given them the land of the kings of the Amorites and Bashan for an inheritance because His mercy endureth forever.  But for some reason, they did not value it.  Have you stopped to consider that old family Bible that your parents left?  What about that old rocking chair that your mom rocked you and your siblings in?  Or maybe that frying pan that she cooked that sugar cured ham or that baking pan she made those homemade biscuits in?  Don’t be too quick to let go of your heritage, there’s a story of those things that may need to be told.  And hold on to the godly heritage that is being handed down from generation to generation.  The value for this heritage may begin with you.

Sing:  God is so good, God is so good! God is so good; He’s so good to me.

Thought For Today:  Hold on to that inheritance (Parker).

Monday, May 8, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 8

“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4).

Today’s Morsel: Located on the water tower at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, is the theme of the base, “Victory Starts Here!”   The initial place for obtaining success on the battlefield starts at a soldier’s basic combat training center. On this day, in 1945, what is known as Victory in Europe (V-E) Day; WWII ended in Europe after Germany signed an unconditional surrender.  One of the things listed in the Military Code of Conduct is to never surrender of your own free will.  Soldiers are taught in their basic combat training to resist by all means possible and try to escape at every given moment if captured.   John tells us that if we develop our faith so that we can overcome the world, (the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which is the world) we will have the victory and we will win.  What are you doing to develop your faith?  It starts at the church (Romans 10:17), your basic combat training center.  Victory starts here!

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:  Victory starts at church (Parker)

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 6

“And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem, And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting: And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise” (John 2:13-16).

Today’s Morsel:  Sometimes in scripture we see that God’s humanity comes out of Him.  Yes, even though Jesus was God, He was also human.  He took on flesh as a man (see John 1:1,14 and 1 Timothy 3:16).  Like many of us, when we see things that we do not like, it may upset us and we may respond like Jesus.  Sometimes, folks may need to see a little righteous indignation to get their attention.  Solomon said, “These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:16-19). We need to be aware that God hates these things being in your life, as you are His temple.  He may just turn over your apple cart to get them out.

Sing:  Lord I give you my heart, I give you my soul, and I live for you alone.  Every breath that I take, every moment, I’m awake, Lord have your way in me.

Thought For Today:  Hate what God hates and love what He loves (Parker)

Friday, May 5, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 5

“Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?” (Proverbs 20:24)

Today’s Morsel: When I was a kid, it was not uncommon to stick our thumb out to hopefully get a ride with someone. We took no thought as to who the driver was.  When they stopped, we told them where we were going and if they were going that way they would often times give us a ride. Do you know where you are going?  What road are you on? Are you seeking God daily to ensure that you are on the right road that leads to eternal life?  “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings” (Proverbs 5:21).

Sing: Oh there’s a highway to heaven, none can walk up there, but the pure in heart.  Oh there’s a highway to heaven, walking up the king’s highway!

Thought For Today:  Ensure you are on the right road (Parker).

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 4

"Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Go and tell the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words? saith the LORD” (Jeremiah 35:13).

Today’s Morsel:  When I was in the military, each day I provided instructions to the leaders from the commander, instructions of the things that should be accomplished by them to ensure combat readiness.  Some instructions that did not change were placed under the heading of Permanent on the unit’s bulletin board.  That way, all soldiers in the unit knew what they were required to do. The Lord sent Jeremiah to the people of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem saying "Will ye not receive instruction to hearken to my words?"  They were not listening to what God was instructing them to do.  Like so many, even in the church today, they heard God’s instructions, but they did not hearken to them.  Paul told Timothy, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16-17); and Solomon said that we should take hold of instructions and not let them go because they are life (Proverbs 4:13).  The more of God’s word that you know and obey, the better prepared you are going to be for life.

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 Lord.

Thought For Today:  Always remember, what God says is permanent (Parker).

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 3

 “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 character trait of “trust” seems to be on the back burner of many.  People don’t seem to know who they can trust anymore.  Marriages seem to fail due to a lack of trust.  People are not hired for employment because employers don’t know if they can trust the applicant that is applying for the job or not, and many of them are not willing to take a chance because the applicant has no known character references.  Solomon tells us “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6). If we trust in the Lord with all our heart, God will be a great character reference for us.

Sing:  Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

Thought For Today:  Trust God and He’ll be there for you. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 2

“And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory” (1 Corinthians 2:4-7).

Today’s Morsel: Paul told the church at Corinth that his speech and preaching was not of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God so that their faith would not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Yet your faith stands in demonstration of the Spirit and power of God.  When we are possessed with God’s wisdom, it will be seen in our speech and everything else we do as well.   As Solomon said, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee” (Proverbs 2:10-11).

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, burning, burning, keep me burning till the break of day.

Thought For Today:   Get godly wisdom!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 May 1

“Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:23-25).

Today’s Morsel: When I was a kid in elementary school, we always celebrated May 1st as May Day.  It was a day of activities, food, fun, crowning a queen and at the end of the day, wrapping the May Pole with many different colored screamers.  I later discovered though, that May Day has a long history and tradition in England as well.  So, I assumed that this tradition, which we celebrated at our school, was brought to America by the European Settlers. The writer of Hebrews tells us to not forsake the assembling of ourselves together … but exhorting one another.  The more time we spend together in fellowship and study of God’s word, the more upbeat we will be, the more fun we will have, and the more spiritual food we can eat.  Carry on the tradition!

Sing:  Once a sinner far from Jesus, I was perishing with cold, but the blessed Savior heard me when I cried; Then He threw His robe around me, and led me to His fold, now I’m living on the hallelujah side.
Oh, glory be to Jesus, let the hallelujahs roll; help me ring my Savior’s praises far and wide; for I’ve opened up toward heaven all the windows of my soul, and I’m living on the hallelujah side.

Thought For Today:  Let God wrap you in His love today (Parker).