Friday, August 31, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 31

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” 
(1 Corinthians 10:1-13)

Today’s Morsel:  For me, one of the things that I have come to realize is that the things that were written afore in the Bible were written for my learning as a born-again believer.  If I fall into idolatry, it’s my fault.  If I fall into drunkenness, it’s my fault.  If I fall because of adultery, fornication, or pornography, it is my fault.  If I fall because of indebtedness, it is my fault.  If I fall because of lust, pride, hatred, prejudice, envy, jealousy, it is my fault.  If I say I am a Christian and I fall, it is no one else's fault but mine, because scriptures have already been written to give me the warning and to teach me how to not fall.  It is up to me to read them and heed them.  As the Lord told Joshua, “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Joshua 1:8).  The apostle Peter tells us that if we add to our faith; knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love we will nerve fall (2 Peters 1:5-11).  If you are a Christian, you must stop saying it is someone else’s fault for your failure to serve God the way He asks you to.  Somewhere, you must take responsibility for your own actions.  I promise you, God is not going to listen to the excuse that it was someone else’s fault for your failure.  Jesus has given us the BIBLE (Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) to guide us to keep us from falling.  Read it and heed it.  You can make it.   

Sing: 1. 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 honeycomb.  

2. The Statues of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the Commandments of the Lord are pure, enlightening the eyes. 
More to be desired are they than gold, much fine gold, sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb.  

3. The Fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, the Judgments of the Lord or true and righteous altogether. 
More to be desired are they than gold, much fine gold, sweeter also than the honey and the honeycomb. 
Thought For Today: Be a doer of the word and you won’t fall. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 30

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1).

Today’s Morsel: The Greek word for substance is the word, hupostasis (hoop-os'-tas-is), which is a support, assurance, or confidence.  So we can see that the thing that we need to support us and to keep us strong while we wait for what we may desire is faith.  Faith is like the stump and roots in the ground of a tree.  The Lord said through the prophet Isaiah that when the teil tree and the oak tree cast forth their leaves you know that there is substance in them (Isaiah 6:13).  In other words, you know that their support is intact and firm.  He said that He would be the substance in the earth.  A tree's roots are working if there are leaves on the tree because leaves don't grow on a tree whose roots and stump are dead.  Jeremiah said, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8).  In other words, blessed is the man who has his faith in the Lord.  If he has faith in the Lord, he has substance to endure.  How is your support network working?  You will be flourishing with leaves if your roots are deep.  

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

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 29

"The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul: but it is abomination to fools to depart from evil."  
(Proverbs 13:19)

Today’s Morsel:  I love it when I set out to do a project and then when it is done, I can sit back with a cold glass of ice tea and rejoice over the accomplishment.  Solomon said that the desire accomplished is sweet to the soul.  I believe this is one of the reasons scripture tells us that no matter what we do to do it hardily unto the Lord and not unto man.  If we want happiness, then we must purpose to accomplish everything that we set out to do, and do it to the best of our ability.  That includes our eternal salvation. I promise you it will be sweet to your soul.

Sing: His love is sweeter as the days go by, sweeter as the days go by.  Richer, fuller, deeper, stronger, Jesus’ love is sweeter, sweeter, sweeter, sweeter, as the days go by.

Thought For Today:  Always accomplish what you set out to do. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 28

“So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first” 
(Matthew 20:8).

Today’s Morsel: In his gospel, Matthew seems to use more parables of Jesus teachings than the other gospel writers to get his point across.  A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning.  Matthew's writing of the Sermon on the Mount was to express Jesus' teaching about Christian conduct and actions, and today's story is no different.  The last shall be first and the first last was not a story about work and wages.  It was a story to reflect the Jews' attitude towards the Gentiles.  It was a story to indicate that when the Gentiles would come in, the last, they would receive from Him the same as others.  There would be no difference with Him.  The story is about His (The Master's) character of equality and faithfulness to reward based on His word.  The Gentiles, which would be later engrafted in, which were last, and the Jews, which were chosen by Him first, were not happy with this story.  When Jesus told them that the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom before them (Matthew 21:31-32), the chief priests and Pharisees perceived that He spake of them and they went about the kill Him.  How’s your attitude toward others who do not look like you?  Do you think that just because you are a fifth generation Christian you deserve more?  It doesn’t work that way with Jesus, so you will need to adjust your attitude.  No matter the hour one may get saved, we all get the same reward, and that reward is eternal life.

Sing:  I want to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.  I need a cleansing from the fountain.  My soul is hungry, I've got this feeling within.  I want to be washed in the blood of the Lamb.

Thought For Today:   Get a right attitude and keep it.  

Monday, August 27, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 27

“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him. Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias” (Matthew 17:1-4).

Today’s Morsel:  In 2014, my wife and I, along with some of the other ministers of our District took a trip to the Land of Israel. Throughout the entire trip and touring, you could hear comments such as:  “I’m so glad that I came.”  “I wouldn’t have traded this for anything.” “It is so good to be here.”   The disciples of Jesus, which some call His inner circle, Peter, James, and John, were taken up by Jesus into the Mount and revealed more as to Who He was.  Peter was so surprised at what he saw, that he said, “Lord, it is good for us to be here.”  When we were in Israel and touring some of the sights, I said just as Peter, "Lord, it is good for us to be here to see where You walked, where You taught, where You healed, where You performed miracles. It was so good to be where Your Spirit was first poured out on the Day of Pentecost. It was so good to be here in the land that You promised to Your people."  And now, every time I go to church, I can say, "Lord, it is good for us to be here. Because You said, where two or three are gathered together in your name, there You would be in the midst of them."  Always go to church, because you never know what you might miss if you miss!  

Sing:   I want to be where you are.  Dwelling in your presence.  Feasting at your table.  Surrounded by your glory.  In your presence.  That's where I always want to be.  I just want to be.  I just want to be with you.

Thought For Today: Always go to church as you never know what you might miss if you miss!   

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 25

“I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” 
(Isaiah 43:25).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things about God’s goodness is that He is not willing that any should perish. Calvary reflects His desire to see all saved. His choosing of the disciples to go into all the world and to preach the gospel shows His love to see everyone saved.  His continual teaching of forgiveness and remission of sins while here on earth reflects His willingness to see people saved.  As He told the prophet Ezekiel, “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel” (Ezekiel 33:11)?  The people of old knew that the only one that could forgive and blot out sins was God.  The message of salvation requires that our sins be blotted out.  Sin cannot enter heaven.  As Peter stressed to the people on the Day of Pentecost, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2:38-42).  If we want to have an abundant life here on earth and live with Him for eternity, then our sins must be blotted out while we have a chance.

Sing:  Create in me a clean heart, O’ God, and renew a right spirit within me.  Create in me a clean heart, O’ God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from Thy presence, O' God, take not Thy Holy Spirit from me.  Restore unto me, the joy of Thy salvation, and renew a right spirit within me.

Thought For Today:  Sin shall not enter there.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 24

“Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace” (Psalms 37:37).

Today’s Morsel:  If I were to place two men before you, could you tell which was perfect and which was not?  Most people, after reading scripture about King David, focus more on his writing, leadership, and downfall.  Even though he’s listed as a man after God’s own heart, he was not listed as a perfect man.  One would think that he would fit that bill, but he doesn’t.  But on the other hand, Job is listed as a perfect and upright man.  A perfect man is perfect in himself.  God, having saved him from sin and filling him with his Spirit, he now remains upright in his conduct and actions forever.  He remains sound and wholesome in his character and demeanor. He walks hand and hand with God and never lets go.  He keeps mercy and truth around his neck so that he will never again need it.  His integrity is always above reproach.  He’s committed to the things of God and God’s ways.  He is moral and ethically pure.  Can you mark the perfect man? Look to Jesus.

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:  Jesus is the perfect man.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 23

“And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD'S anointed is before him. But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart” 
(1 Samuel 16:6-7).

Today’s Morsel:  Someone said, “If all the babies that are born are beautiful and cute, then why are there so many ugly adults in the world?”  Ninety-nine percent of humans do not look at the character of others before they go into a relationship with them.  Usually, they look at the person's outward appearance, status in life, family, or financial standing.  Samuel, the priest of God, was sent to anoint a new king for Israel, due to King Saul’s disobedience.  King Saul had been selected, based on what seemed as his stature and looks, as scripture says, “And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward” (1 Samuel 10:23).  And so, in my opinion, Samuel assumed that the next King should be the same.  But the Lord told Him, “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart”.  If God looks on a person’s heart, their character, then we must also.  

Sing:  Amazing grace, shall always be my song of praise, for it was grace that brought my liberty.  I do not know just why He came to love me so, He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.
I shall forever lift my eyes to Calvary, to view the cross where Jesus died for me.  How marvelous the grace that caught my falling soul, He looked beyond my faults and saw my need.

Thought For Today: Character counts.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 22

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8).

Today’s Morsel:  I am sorry to say that one of the things I am learning rather late in my life is how to ask for things and how to speak.  I have come to realize that how I present myself and my attitude when asking for something can make the difference in my receiving.  Even if I’m having to pay for what I ask for, my words and attitude can still make a difference.  I must always remember that I reflect Jesus in everything that I do.  I must reflect His character. If I go in demanding that something be done for me, or given on my timeline, it may not get done the way that I desire it to be done; and it may be given to me, and I may not like the way it is given.  However, if my words are right and my attitude is right when I ask, I may be shown a better way, given more then I asked for, obtain help with what I am doing, or even not have to pay for something that I ask for if it was going to cost me something originally.  Remember Solomon said that death and life are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21).  And as my parents taught me, “You win more flies with honey than vinegar”.

Sing:  I was bound when I knelt at that old altar, but they said Jesus could meet every need; and when this prisoner finally touched Jesus, He set me free, praise the Lord, free indeed.
Touching Jesus is all that really matters, then your life will never be the same.  There is only one way to touch Him, just believe when you call on His name.

Thought For Today:  “You win more flies with honey than vinegar”.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 21

“And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine. And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters. And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils. And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts” (Matthew 8:28-34).

Today’s Morsel:  I don’t know if you are aware, but a lost opportunity is a lost opportunity.  No matter what it is.  If you had an opportunity to say a kind word and you didn’t, you missed that opportunity.  If you had an opportunity to tell someone about Jesus and you didn’t, you missed that opportunity.  If you had an opportunity to pray for someone about their situation when they told you and you didn’t pray right then, you missed an opportunity.  James tells us, “Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that” (James 4:13-15).  The people ask Jesus to leave their shores.  What a missed opportunity.  I’m sure there were others in the village that had issues in their lives that could have been met.  But they rejected Him.  They lost an opportunity.  So ask yourself, what can I do to ensure I do not miss an opportunity to do good, share a word of encouragement, pray, or even help someone?  Be sensitive and listen carefully to His voice so you don't miss the opportunities He presents to you.  

Sing:  Farther along we’ll know all about it; farther along we’ll understand why.  Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine; we’ll understand it all by and by.

Thought For Today:  A lost opportunity is a lost opportunity. (Parker) 

Monday, August 20, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 20

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” 
(Matthew 6:31-34).

Today’s Morsel:  Matthew chapter six is a continuation of the Sermon on the Mount.  As any good teacher, here is  Jesus again stressing what is most important.  I remember in military training, if something was important that they wanted you to know, they would say, “Watch my lips.”  In other words, Pay attention to what I am about to say so that there is no misunderstanding.  Jesus teaching here was to stress to the people not to become concerned with eating, drinking, and clothing, basic human needs.  He said that He already knew that they had need of these things.  He wanted them to focus on receiving His Spirit, as, without Him they could do nothing and would not be a part of Him (John 15:5, Romans 8:9).  As Paul said, “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost” (Romans 14:17).  Once you receive the Holy Ghost, you become a part of the family of God, and your Heavenly Father knows all the things that you have need of.  So don’t be alarmed.  Just keep your focus on Him and you will be taken care of.

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

Thought For Today: Are you a part of the Kingdom of God?

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 18

“And one of the Pharisees desired him that he would eat with him. And he went into the Pharisee's house, and sat down to meat. And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he saith, Master, say on. There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most. And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace” (Luke 7:36-50).

Today’s Morsel:  The story of the woman with the alabaster box of ointment that anointed Jesus was to be told wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her, Jesus said (Matthew 26:13).  Why?  Why did He want her story told?  Because it reveals faith, shows true love, and true gratitude; because the memory of the just is blessed (Proverbs 10:7), and the righteous are had in everlasting remembrance (psalms 112:6).  How much was your salvation and having your sins remitted worth to you?  Will your story live on for eternity?  Give your all to Jesus in thankfulness and it will.  

Sing: I came to Jesus weary worn and sad, He took my sins away, He took my sins away.  And now on Him I roll my every care, He took my sins away.
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: “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold” (Proverbs 22:1).

Friday, August 17, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 17

“A man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit” (Proverbs 29:23)

Today’s Morsel:  Sometimes we may not understand how dangerous pride really is.  Solomon tells us that pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall (Proverbs 16:18); and that only by pride come contention (Proverbs 13:10).  We may have pride in our lives and we may not even know it. Let me share with you Ten (10) humorous indicators of pride that we may not be aware of that can be destroying us.  They are:
1.      Wearing tight shoes.
2.     Busting the seams in your spandex.
3.     Having to remove your high- heel shoes during church because they hurt your feet.
4.    Talking loud on your cell phone in a public place.
5.     Shopping at Walmart in your PJ’s
6.    Making payments on a tattoo
7.     Wearing sagging pants
8.    Akimboing
9.    Wearing your hat on backwards 
10.Gangster leaning in a hooptie

Solomon said that a man's pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit.  Don't let pride bring you low, keep a humble spirit before God. 
Sing: He’s changing me, my Blessed Savior, I’m not the same person that I use to be.  Well, it’s been slow going, but there’s a knowing that someday perfect I will be.

Thought For Today:  Leave off pride before it be mettled with. 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 16

“And David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes, and gird you with sackcloth, and mourn before Abner. And king David himself followed the bier. And they buried Abner in Hebron: and the king lifted up his voice, and wept at the grave of Abner; and all the people wept. And the king lamented over Abner, and said, Died Abner as a fool dieth? Thy hands were not bound, nor thy feet put into fetters: as a man falleth before wicked men, so fellest thou. And all the people wept again over him” 
(2 Samuel 3:31-34)

Today’s Morsel:  Are you dying foolishly?  Are you one of those who thinks that you will skate into the Kingdom of God when you die?  Peter told the people on the Day of Pentecost, 'Save yourselves from this untoward generation' (Acts 2:40).  In other words, while you have the means to do something about your salvation, now is the time to do it.  Now is the acceptable time, now is the day of salvation.  Don’t wait and think that you will sneak in.  The thief on the cross isn't an indication that God will forgive you on your death bed or when you are ready to die.  Paul makes this point clear when he said, “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).  King David told Abner that he died as a fool. He said that he had the means to fight to save himself, but he didn’t.  If you are reading this, you have the means right now to go to Jesus for salvation and you can be assured that if you follow His plan for salvation (Acts 2:38, Hebrews 12:14), and live for Him, you will not die as a fool.  Yet not only will you not die as a fool, you will live a glorious life enjoying the abundant life He has for you here; a life of righteousness, peace, and joy.  Now is the day of salvation.  Today is the day to 'Save yourselves from this untoward generation.'

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

Thought For Today: Don’t die as a fool. Live as the wise.   

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 15

“Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:28).

Today’s Morsel:  One of the things that we see taking place in the world, and that is even creeping into the church, is that of body art, or what some call tattooing. Many do not understand that this goes against the word of God.  You see, if Satan can get you to fall for his tricks and schemes, he knows that you will always have his fingerprints on you.  God understood and knew what gods were being worshipped and the practices the people were doing and where he was taking His people.  So he wanted them to know that they must not take on those practices because they would defile His temple with them.  If we say that we are Christians, then we must have the wisdom and the knowledge to know not to take on the ways of this world.  Paul said that the fashions of this world pass away (1 Corinthians 7:31).  In other words, the form, the fashion of the world is like a splendid, gilded pageant.  It is unreal and elusive.  It continues but a little time, and soon the scene changes, and the fashion that allured and enticed you now passes away, and you pass to other scenes.  We must not be deceived by the ways of this world.  God didn’t make you to be Satan’s easel to draw on.  He made you to reflect His beauty and glory.  Satan always has a trick to try to draw us away, yet there is no new trick.  The word of God warns us of them all.  Be not deceived.  

Sing: Turn your eye 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:  God didn’t make you to be Satan’s easel to draw on.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 14

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

Today’s Morsel:  I hear some folks say that they do not have any friends in the church.  Well really, you aren’t supposed to.  People in the church are supposed to be your brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers.  And sometimes there are disagreements in the family, but blood is thicker than water.  Remember Paul said, “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in every man that knowledge…” (1 Corinthians 8:6-7).  If our friendship is with the world, then it makes us an enemy of God.  John tells us, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17).  Don’t allow the world to make you think that it is your friend.  It’s not.  It’s Satan’s domain.  And the more of it that you love, the more of Jesus you will hate.

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

Thought For Today:  Stay with the family of God.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Morning Manna by Rufus Parker - 2018 August 13

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man's hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel” 
(1 Kings 18:41-46).

Today’s Morsel:  When I lose something, my wife always says I will find it in the last place that I look.  One of the things about the promises of God is that we must not stop looking for them to come to pass.  Often, when it doesn’t happen on our timeline we are quick to stop looking and believing that they will not come.  God’s ways and thoughts aren’t ours, and we must remember that.  He told Noah that it was going to rain, but it didn’t for 100 years.  But guess what? It did rain.  One of the reasons I believe there is a delay is to teach us faith and patience. His promises will come, we just have to believe that they will.  Elijah knew it was going to rain and he sent his servant to go look for a sign.  We all know, that usually if it is going to rain, there will be a black cloud in the sky.  But the servant saw nothing.  I’m sure he was ready to stop looking, but Elijah told him to go look seven times.  Seven, God's number of completion.  And when he went the seventh time and returned, he said, 'I see a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand.'  This story is written for our example so that we do not lose hope in what God promises to us.  If God says it’s going to rain you better carry an umbrella!

Sing:  Rain on me! Rain on me! Holy Ghost shower, rain on me.  Yesterday’s gone, today I’m in need, Holy Ghost shower rain on me.

Thought For Today:  If God says it’s going to rain you better carry your umbrella!