Saturday, September 30, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 30

“But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloke also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain. Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” 
(Matthew 5:37-48)

Today’s Morsel:  Reading today’s passage, you can understand why the disciples asked Jesus to increase their faith when he told them if someone sins against them to forgive them 470 times in a day.  On the surface Jesus' teachings are obscure.  But once you know Him, they become plain to the hearer.  In today’s passage, a portion from the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that if they were compelled to go a mile, to go two.  Why go further than what was asked of them?  It has been stated by some commentaries that when Jesus spoke this, He was referring to relaying the king’s messages.  Barn’s commentary states, “Post-offices were then unknown. In order that the royal commands might be delivered with safety and dispatch in different parts of the empire, Cyrus stationed horsemen at proper intervals on all the great public highways. One of those delivered the message to another, and intelligence was thus rapidly and safely communicated. These heralds were permitted to compel any person, or to press any horse, boat, ship, or other vehicle that they might need for the quick transmission of the king’s commandments. It was to this custom that our Saviour refers. Rather, says he, than resist a public authority requiring your attendance and aid for a certain distance, go peaceably twice the distance.”  Are you willing to go the extra mile to relay your King’s Command?

Sing: If I walk in the pathway of duty, if I seek for His sheep that’s already gone astray, I shall see the Great King in all His Glory, when I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

When I’ve gone, the last mile of the way, I shall rest at the close of the day, for I know there is joy that awaits my heart and my soul, when I’ve gone the last mile of the way.

Thought For Today: “Keep on trucking.”

Friday, September 29, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 29

“And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me” (Genesis 37:5-9)

Today’s Morsel:  I’m sure that many of you, like me, have awakened in the middle of the night from a dream that you are having and you wonder what’s it all about.  Some of them are great and you may even awaken in laughter, while others awaken you in horror.  When Joseph had his dream, he shared them with his family.  However, there was no laughing about the dreams with his family.  As a matter of fact, Joseph's family became angry at him and his brothers sold him into slavery to get rid themselves of him.  Little did they know that this dream was from the Lord for the protection and provision.  How do you feel when you share your dreams with others?  Sometimes that Deja-Vu feeling you are having when you are talking with someone may be a dream you’ve already experienced.  Sit tight, if it's from God, He will bring it to pass.  

Sing:  I dreamed of a city called Glory, of a city called so bright and so fair. When I entered the gates I cried, "Holy" The angels all met me there: They carried me from mansion to mansion, and oh the sights I saw.  But I said, "I want to see Jesus, The One who died for all."

Then I bowed on my knees and cried, "Holy, Holy, Holy." I clapped my hands and sang, "Glory, Glory to the Son of God."
As I entered the gates of that city, my loved ones all knew me well.  They took me down the streets of Heaven; Such scenes were too many to tell; I saw Abraham, Jacob and Isaac; Talked with Mark, and Timothy.  But I said, I want to see Jesus, cause He’s the one who died for me.

I bowed on my knees and cried, "Holy, Holy, Holy."
Then I clapped my hands and sang, "Glory, Glory to the Son of God."

Thought For Today: Don’t stop dreaming.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 28

“And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the LORD will work for us: for there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few. And his armourbearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold, I am with thee according to thy heart. Then said Jonathan, Behold, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them. If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you; then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them. But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the LORD hath delivered them into our hand: and this shall be a sign unto us” 
(1 Samuel 14:6-10)

Today’s Morsel:  Linus Pauling said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.” The more ideas we have in place for what we are wanting to do, the more chance that one of them is bound to work.  It has been stated that most great businesses began with an idea.  It has also been stated that after the light bulb Thomas Edison was trying to develop didn’t work, some called him a failure.  To which he replied, “I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”  When Jonathan wanted to attack the Philistines, he came up with two ideas to know whether God was with him or not.  He told his armorbearer, we will pass over unto these men, and we will discover ourselves unto them.  If they say we will come to you we will stand still because God isn’t with us. But if they say come to us, we will go unto them because God is with us.  Don’t just settle for a plan A, but have in place a plan B, C, D, and even an E if need be.  One of them is bound to work!

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

Thought For Today:  “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas” Linus Pauling.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 27

“For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away” 
(Psalms 90:9-10).

Today Morsel:  I don’t know if you are a frequent flier or not, but if you are, I’m sure you’ve heard these words, “Thank you for flying with us.”  No matter how bad we may think the service we received on the airline was, or the delays we experienced, they still want your business; and so they tell you how much they appreciate you, whether it’s true or not.  But no matter how much hassle or how many delays we may experience, we still get to fly to our destination.  Somewhat like the Psalmist said, “For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”  One-day Paul said, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so, shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).  As the group Gold City sang, “Get up, get ready, we’re getting ready to fly."

Sing:  I’ll fly away Oh glory, I’ll fly away. When I see Jesus coming after me, I’ll fly away!

Thought For Today: “Prepare now so that you do not miss your flight.”

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 26

“And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle's son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. And I subscribed the evidence, and sealed it, and took witnesses, and weighed him the money in the balances. So I took the evidence of the purchase, both that which was sealed according to the law and custom, and that which was open: And I gave the evidence of the purchase unto Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Maaseiah, in the sight of Hanameel mine uncle's son, and in the presence of the witnesses that subscribed the book of the purchase, before all the Jews that sat in the court of the prison” (Jeremiah 32:9-12)

Today’s Morsel: If you ever notice, when you have someone do work for you, they will sign the form of the work that they performed by putting their personal signature on the job that they did.  That way, you will know who did it, as well as the company who sent them to do it. The book of Revelation tells us that Jesus’ name shall be in our forehead (Revelations 22:4).  Therefore, when people see us, they should be able also to see who did the work on us as His work is perfect.  Jeremiah said that he bought the property, he signed the book of the purchase. John said,  “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Revelation 20:12-15).  When Jesus purchases you, He signs your name in the book as proof of purchase and the work is done.  If He can’t find your name there, then He didn’t do the work!

Sing: He’s still working on me, to make what I ought to be.  It took Him just a week to make the sun and the stars, the moon and the earth and Jupiter and Mars, but He’s still working on me.

Thought For Today: “Jesus puts His personal signature on the job” (Parker). 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 25

“I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.” (Revelation 2:19)

Today’s Morsel:  When I take my vehicles in for their check-ups, by the time I drive the short distance to my home there is a survey on my email, or someone will call me asking me about the service I received.  They say that great service surprises people.  That’s why I think the most important job in any church isn’t the pastor, but the greeters and the ushers.  People will usually base their experience at church on how they were greeted and treated. If they did not feel a warm welcome as soon as they entered, they may not return.  When I first purchased my vehicle from the dealer who now services it, I think everyone that worked there and saw us, congratulated us.  If members of the church don't greet people, it may be an indication that they don’t want to be there, as the golden rule is still golden.  And then why would a person want to come back.  Jesus said, that he knew our works, and charity, and service, and faith, and our patience, and our works.  And that our last works should be more than our first works.  The longer you stay on a job, the more you should love doing it.  Are you on His team?  He wants us to offer everyone A1 service.  He just might send someone a survey asking how you are doing!

Sing:  When in service for my Lord, dark may be the night, but I’ll cling more close to Him, He will give me light; Satan’s snares may vex my soul, turn my thoughts aside, but my Lord goes ahead, leads wherever betide.
O’ I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His saving grace; on the streets of Glory, let me lift my voice; cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.

Thought For Today: Great service surprises people

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 23

“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel” (Joshua 1:1-2)

Today’s Morsel:  Leadership is the art of influencing and directing men in such a way as to gain their loyalty, confidence, willigness, and obedience to accomplish a mission.  Leaders are not born, they are made.  Calvin P. Titus, A Bulger Player, during the Boxer Rebellion, the war against China, won the Congressional Medal of Honor, all because he was willing to try.  He became a great leader. Men and women who possess a humble and caring attitude often become your best leaders.  When the Lord called Joshua to lead His people after the death of Moses, I believe it was because Joshua had a humble and caring attitude like his mentor Moses.  It is those humble and caring leaders who leave behind them a legacy.

Sing:  Jesus use me, O’ Lord don’t refuse me; for surely there’s a work that I can do.  And even though it’s humble, Lord help my will to crumble, though the cost be great, I’ll work for You.

Thought For Today: Leaders aren’t born, they are made.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 22

“And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house. Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee. As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him. Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him. The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there. Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died? Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it. Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days. Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God? Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me. And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him” (John 11:19-45)

Today’s Morsel:  It has been stated that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Paul told the church at Corinth, “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3). Basically, he told them that speaking in tongues, possessing knowledge, or giving would not move people but their love would.  When the people saw how much Jesus cared, they followed Him.  You can dazzle people with your wit and knowledge and even tell them that you are a Christian, but until they see that you care they won’t believe you.

Sing:  I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me, Jesus loves me; I am so glad that Jesus loves me, Jesus loves only me.

Thought For Today: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 21

“And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. When she saw that she was stedfastly minded to go with her, then she left speaking unto her” (Ruth 1:16-18).

Today’s Morsel:  Earl Nightingale said, “If you will spend an extra hour each day of study in your chosen field, you will be a national expert in that field in five years or less."   To me, commitment is stick-to-it-ness.  We see this trait of character in both Ruth and the Apostle Paul.  Paul told the church at Rome that nothing would be able to separate him from God’s love (Romans 8:35-39).  And we see this same trait in Ruth when Naomi tried to persuade her to return to her people.  Ruth replied that the only thing that would separate her from Naomi was death.  That’s commitment. What about you?  Are you committed to serving Jesus all the remaining days of your life?  If you are, death won't separate you from Him, but take you to Him!

Sing:  I’m going through, I’m going through, I’ll pay the price, no matter what other’s do; I’ll take the way of the Lord’s despised few; I started out with Jesus, and I’m going through.

Thought For Today:  Commitment: Stick-to-it-ness (Parker)

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 20

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10)

Today’s Morsel:  Is the “Golden Rule” still golden to you? Do you practice kindness all the time?  What do you do when you see an opportunity to help someone?  Do you keep going or do you help?  Do you pass by trash on the ground feeling that someone else will pick it up?  Do you hold the door for those behind you?  Do you speak to everyone you encounter trying to brighten their day?  When a person is struggling with a sin or issue, do you offer help? Do you practice good ethics?  Paul said that every opportunity we get to do good, we should do it; especially to other saints.

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:  Practice kindness and it will become a habit (Parker) 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 19

“And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them.” (Judges 8:4)

Today’s Morsel:  Perseverance is not a long race: it is many short races, one after another.  Gideon and his men were chasing his enemies across the battlefield and they were winning one battle at a time.  However, his men became tired and weary, yet they kept pursuing their enemies.  Sometimes our battle will be trying.  Yet we must not lose heart but keep pressing on.  Paul said that if we desire to win the prize, then we must continue to persevere in the race (1 Corinthians 9:24-27).

Sing:  I am determined to hold out to the end, Jesus is with me on Him I can depend.  For I know I have salvation for I feel Him in my soul, I am determined to hold out to the end.

Thought For Today:  Perseverance is not a long race: it is many short races, one after another.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 18

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah” (Psalms 46)

Today’s Morsel:  Ever so often, we need to stop and reflect on God’s words to us.  When we read the Bible, it is God speaking to us and we need to stop and reflect on what He’s saying to us.  Throughout the Psalms, we see the word, “Selah”.  Selah means a suspension or pause in the music. Because many of the psalms are considered to be music, we need to pause and reflect on what we are singing.  David begins this Psalm with strong encouragement by stating, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.”  But he calls for a pause in reflection after a few verses so that we can reflect on what was said.  He wants us to stop and realize that God is always with us no matter what may come our way.  If you want to see God in His fulness, then you must pause and reflect on His word. Remember, thought is important because it is thought that generally precedes action.

Sing:  Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it Jesus, is my plea; daily walking close to Thee, let it be, dear Lord, let it be.

Thought For Today:  Thought is important because it is thought that generally precedes action.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 16

"Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:8-14)

 Today’s Morsel:  Coach Vince Lombardi, of the Green Bay Packers, said, “Inches make a champion.”  Sometimes in football, it’s just a few inches that determine the outcome of a game.  The same is true in all walks of life.  It may be the next step that brings victory.  The next job application that may land you some day as the CEO of a company.  The next knock for a Bible study that may produce the next preacher.  The next consideration of God’s word that may reveal truth to the seeker.  Little is much when God is in it. Paul said that he counted all but loss that he may win Christ.  Paul escaped death many times by what seems like inches and he became a champion of the gospel of Christ. Are you willing to keep pressing toward the mark for the prize?  If you are going to be a champion, sometimes you must grind it out in the mire.

Sing:  Jesus knows all about our struggles, He will guide till the day is done.  There’s not a friend like the lowly Jesus, no, not one! No, not one!

Thought For Today: “Inches make a champion.” Coach Vince Lombardi

Friday, September 15, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 15

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul." (Hebrews 10:35-39)

Today’s Morsel:  General George Patton is known for many great leadership quotes.  I like reading books about his leadership.  One of his quotes that I like is “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.”  What a great definition of courage.  The ability to hold on just a little longer in your fear.  Paul admonishes us to just hold on because Jesus will come.  As Daniel's fears were mounting around him due to his vision, an angel appeared unto him and said he to him, “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia. Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days.” (Daniel 10:12-14).  Can you hold on just a little while longer in your fear?  Jesus will come.

Sing:  “Hold the fort, for I am coming,” Jesus signals still.  Wave the answer back to Heaven, “By Thy grace we will.”

Thought For Today: “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” George Patton

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 14

"But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."  (2 Corinthians 11:3)

Today’s Morsel:  They say that if you put a frog in a pot of water and allow the heat to slowly warm the water that the frog will not jump out of the pot but will stay there until it’s destroyed.  In some ways, I think this is how Satan operates in some people’s lives.  He doesn’t turn the heat up on them all at once.  But he does it slowly, allowing them to become comfortable in their sin.  He knows the end results but those whom he is luring into his trap do not until it is too late.  He tells them that wine is just a social drink to be had with dinner; and besides, Jesus turned the water into wine.  And so, each dinner they have a glass of wine, and they call it social drinking until the person becomes an alcoholic.  Trapped.  Or he may lure you into drugs, indebtedness, prostitution, pornography, stealing, gambling, or perversion.  He knows what will slowly lure you away and trap you.  And then before you know it, it’s boiling over your head and you can’t get out.  The same as he did Eve.   Eve told the Lord that the serpent beguiled her.  He tricked me, she said.  And Satan hasn’t stopped tricking.  That’s his forte.  Jesus calls him the father of lies. Beware of his tactics.

Sing:  Change my heart O’ God, make it ever true.  Change my heart O’ God, may I be like You.

Thought For Today: Snakes should never be used as a pet (Parker)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 13

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates” 
(2 Corinthians 13:5-6). 

Today’s Morsel:  When was the last time that you evaluated the tasks you do every day against what is most important to you?  When did you last evaluate them against who is most important to you?  Where do Jesus and family fit?  You have goals.  You have time.  You have energy. Where should it be invested?  Paul told the church at Corinth to examine themselves to see if they were in the faith.  Are you in the faith?  When is the last time you did a self-evaluation of your faith?  Do you think it might be time to prune away so of your diversions; distraction, entertainment, pass times, hobby, leisure activity, amusement, recreational distraction, entertainment, for the truly important things?

Sing: The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You. The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You.  I want to know You more, I want to know You more.  The greatest thing in all my life is knowing You.

Thought For Today:  For without Me, ye can do nothing. (Jesus Christ)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 12

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:1-6).
Today’s Morsel:  I live on a one-way street, and every so often, I see cars going the wrong way.   Sometimes I’m even guilty myself.  When Jesus told His disciples that He was going to prepare a place for them and would come again to receive them, He told them, “And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”  Thomas seemed not to know the way.  Thomas said, “Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?”  Jesus replied to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”  Do you know the way?  So many seem to be heading the wrong way.  Many are on a one-way street that is leading them to destruction.  Others are on a one-way street that is leading to confusion and perversion. Some are on a one-way street that is leading to hell, while others are on a one-way street of danger and entrapment. What road are you on?  Have you stopped to ask Jesus for directions?  Do you really know the correct way, or are you pretending and hoping that you will stumble upon the right path?  Friend, time is too short to be on the wrong road. There is no other way that leads to eternal life but Jesus Christ.  All other ways lead to death.

Sing:  There's just one, one, one, one way to God.  There’s just one, one, one, one way to God.  There's just one, one, one, one way to God, baptized in Jesus name.

Thought For Today: There is only one way to God! 

Monday, September 11, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 11

“Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him. And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” (John 9:35-41)

Today’s Morsel:  Most people do not realize that with awareness also comes the responsibility to act.  Each week, many hear messages of hell, salvation, repentance, the need for baptism, to love one another, and even obedience to the “Golden Rule” and yet, they do not act.  If any of us is planning to be with Jesus for eternity, then we must act when we hear what the requirements for us to be with Him are.  Most police officers, when issuing you a citation for speeding, will only tell you that you were going ex-number of miles per hour in a posted speed zone.  In other words, you knew what the posted speed-limit was, and it was your responsibility to reduce your speed and you didn’t.  When the Pharisee’s, which hated Jesus and envied him, heard His words, they asked Him if they were blind.  To which Jesus told them, “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.” What Jesus was saying to them was that you have heard my words and you haven’t acted to correct yourself because you think that you see and know best.  And since you aren’t taking responsibility to change, your sins remain.  What about you? Are you hearing what He’s saying to you?  Are you acting to change?  Remember, if nothing changes nothing changes.

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:  If nothing changes nothing changes. (Parker)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 9

“And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:17-27)

Today’s Morsel:  I often wonder what people could accomplish in their lives if they didn’t stop believing in their dreams and hopes?  We read about great men and women accomplishments, but what about ours?  Ray Kroc, the founder of McDonald's is a great example of how to keep believing.  It has been stated, that today, every five hours somewhere around the world a new McDonald’s Restaurant is opening.  However, what’s amazing about McDonald’s is that Ray did not conceive the idea until he was 52 years old.  By that time he had already been a struggling paper cup salesman, real estate broker, piano player, and milk shake mixer.  Here is what Ray said about that time in his life: “I was 52 years old. I had diabetes and incipient arthritis.  I had lost my gall bladder and most of my thyroid gland in earlier campaigns, but I was convinced that the best was ahead of me.” (Taken from Finishing Strong by Don Green).  And the majority of us have partaken at his dream and eaten in his restaurant's.  Jesus said that all things are possible to him that can believe.  Don’t stop believing.  The next act you do or the next church service may be your break through.

Sing: I’ve got a made up mind, I 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:  Keep believing!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 8

"Now after two days he departed thence, and went into Galilee. For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country. Then when he was come into Galilee, the Galilaeans received him, having seen all the things that he did at Jerusalem at the feast: for they also went unto the feast. So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where he made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto him, and besought him that he would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him, Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe. The nobleman saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith unto him, Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, Thy son liveth. Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him. So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him, Thy son liveth: and himself believed, and his whole house."  (John 4:43-53)

Today’s Morsel:  I believe that the greatest hindrance to so many people’s faith is their desire to see instead of just believing.  Most people want to see before they believe.  And even in the church, we hear comments that we need more signs and wonders so that people will believe.  Yet the Lord told the rich man who requested that Larazus be sent to his home to warn his brothers about hell (my wording), “And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead” (Luke 16:31). In today’s passage, Jesus told the people, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.” Do you fall into this category?  Is your faith based on seeing rather than believing?  Our Lord said, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.” (Mark 9:23).  What do you have need of?  Can you believe God for it?   “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Dr. Wayne Dyer.

Sing:  I believe in a hill called Mount Calvary, I’ll believe whatever the cost.  And when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross.

Thought For Today: “You’ll see it when you believe it.” Dr. Wayne Dyer

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2017 September 7

"And when the south wind blew softly, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, loosing thence, they sailed close by Crete. But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive. And running under a certain island which is called Clauda, we had much work to come by the boat: Which when they had taken up, they used helps, undergirding the ship; and, fearing lest they should fall into the quicksands, strake sail, and so were driven. And we being exceedingly tossed with a tempest, the next day they lightened the ship; And the third day we cast out with our own hands the tackling of the ship. And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." 
 (Acts 27:13-25)

Today’s Morsel:  I’m sure that many of you have heard the quote, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”  There have been so many sports teams, Bible Quiz teams, runners, and horses that have come out of what seemed like a sure loss to win. One of my favorites, is when Aaron Rogers, of the Green Bay Packers, threw a 61 yard Hail Mary, against the Detroit Lions, with no time left on the clock due to a defensive penalty, into the endzone being caught by his team mate Richard Rogers to win the game and keep the Packers' hopes alive for the NFC Championship.  Talk about finishing strong.  Luke said that when it looked as though all hope was lost on their voyage, Paul found the courage to tell the people to be of good cheer because he had heard from God.  Paul’s comments were to let them know that it was not over.  And they all made it safely to land.  Let me encourage you today, don’t throw in the towel and lose hope because it looks dim and hopeless in your situation. Always remember, to finish strong require stick-to-it-ness. And Jesus has promised to be with you even unto the end.

Sing: The mountain may be high but it’s not too steep, the road may be long and burning under my feet, but I won’t, turn back, I won’t, turn back now.  O’ the enemy at my back and he’s closing in on me, but I hear Jesus saying, "Strong my friend you’re gonna win", and I won’t turn back now.  

Thought For Today:  “It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over!”