Manna in the Morning

05-01-09

Matthew 6:24, “No one can be a slave of two masters, since either he will hate one and love the other, or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot be slaves of God and of money.”

      Every person must make a simple choice in his or her life.  Either they will choose to serve Almighty God with their life, letting Him have full mastery of their lives, or choose to go after the almighty dollar. Ask High School Seniors what their goal is for the next few years and ninety percent of them will answer, “Finish college and make a lot of money,” or an answer very close to this.  Our society and the economic system has such a hold on young people they have already made the decision that material things will be the goal of their lives.  Looking at many TV ads, the theme, “You deserve it,” or “You need the very best that money can buy,” seem to appeal to the material side of every one’s nature. 

Another way of putting this same choice before us is to either love money and use people, or to love people and to use money.  The options are about the same as before, one who will use people for personal gain is a person who does not have the love of God in his heart.  Jesus commanded us to love one another so all men could see that we are his disciples.  Every person who comes to Jesus in truth, seeking to know Him better, has met the loving Savior.  Those who did not come to Him in love, rather came to use His name to further their personal ambitions were disappointed in his answers or in his refusal to be used of them for their personal gain.  God will not share his glory with any earthly being or object.  Therefore our love is totally toward him, allowing Him to meet our every need, or our faces are turned toward monetary gain.  Our loving Heavenly Father, we desire to love you far greater than any monetary reward.  Give us the trust to not be money driven, but trust you with every part of this life.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

04-30-09

Mark 5:11-13, “Now a large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged Him, “Send us to the pigs, so we may enter them.” And He gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs, and the herd of about 2,000 rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned there.”

            Right now the entire world is expecting a serious epidemic or pandemic of the swine flu.  I am not suggesting this epidemic, seemingly centered in Mexico, is a Satanic attack upon the human race, he is already in a war with our omnipotent God and every time something bad happens, it is the work of the devil.  The best medical minds seem to think this particular virus is metamorphosing into a virus that is spread by human contact instead of pig to pig.  Remember all sickness, viruses, and medical ailments in and on the earth are the result of Adam and Eve’s sin in the garden.  This is a medical emergency, and each of us should take all the recommended preventative steps, because in the same way the rain falls on the land of both the Believers in Jesus and the unsaved, the results of the Edenic sin affect both the saved and unsaved.  It is interesting that the particular strain of flue that has adapted so well is the swine flue, one of the Old Testaments unclean animals. 

            The lesson we should learn is that there is continuous spiritual warfare between the demons of evil and the angels of Heaven. This war affects you and me and we are soldiers of our Heavenly Father, actively fighting this battle.  We know God has given us the armor, weapons and the promise of victory.  All humanity and even the earth’s surface is suffering under the curse of sin and many Christians feel the new sinless creation will soon be ours to enjoy for all eternity. 

            Our gracious, all-powerful, Heavenly Father, we look to you for guidance in this war, expect the fulfillment of your promise of victory and determine to win as many souls as possible in order to defeat our arch enemy the devil.  In Jesus’ name we ask for power to live in victory today.

Manna in the Morning

4-29-09

Psalms 107:4-6, “Some wandered in the desolate wilderness, finding no way to a city where they could live. They were hungry and thirsty; their spirits failed within them.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He rescued them from their distress.”

            There are people today who are desolate and lonely, wandering in their own personal wilderness, restless and feeling alone, looking for a place where they can feel wanted and appreciated.  Most people who feel alone are not living in an area where no one is around, they are in the middle of the concrete desert, feeling unappreciated and finding their only solace in the local bar.  This is the one place where people recognize them, welcome them, and actually know their name. 

            Compare this with the Sunday Morning Church Service where a person can enter, sneak by an usher, sit in the back, participate minimally in the service and leave at the instant the final song is over.  No one has called them by name or even welcomed them.  After the service most congregations break up into familiar little groups and make no effort to greet those who are not somehow ‘connected.’  These people are also hungry and thirsty for the living water, and for the fellowship with God’s people that is so special.

            Just as Jesus cared for the lower edge of society’s members, we as His disciples must be careful not to ignore any who are seeking to learn of Him.  Through the centuries there have been those who cry out to God in Heaven while immersed in their difficulties and troubles just as we once called upon the Lord God to save us.  People today are calling out, waiting for someone to tell them of the Savior’s love and compassion and its our responsibility to tell them.. 

            God will rescue them out of their pit of sin, and it is up to us to welcome them into the family of our Heavenly Father.  The church should be a place where searchers find peace, where lonely people find a friend, where seeking souls find a Savior.  We need to be at least as welcoming as the local pub. 

Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us a desire to find and welcome those who are searching, may we be patient with those who are new in Christ and eager to introduce lost people to the Savior.  We ask this in Jesus’ name and for your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning

04-28-09

Psalms 107:1-2, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.  Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim that He has redeemed them from the hand of the foe.”

            Whether we lived in the time of King David or in the society where we are today, we understand that the Lord is good, that He always had and always will have the best interest of His Children in His mind.  He has given us His complete Word, provided dedicated and trustworthy pastors and teachers for our edification as well as giving us the indwelling God the Holy Spirit as our guide and protector.  We know he is faithful and His love is greater than any description or example can tell.  He loved us while we were in the muck and mire of unrighteousness, he loved us when we came to Him in contrition and humbleness, He loved us when we turned to Him for salvation, and He will love us no less from now until we are at His side and spend eternity with Him. 

            When we consider the vastness of His love and the realization we have now been spiritually born into His family, there should be a great desire in our hearts and minds to share this wonderful gift with everyone we meet.  It is hard to understand the reluctance of some people to share their redemption experience.  All God expects us to do is tell others exactly what happened in our lives, we are not expected to convince or argue religion, it is the work of God to convict their heart after they hear what we have experienced.  Our God has literally snatched us from the clutches of the dragon, Satan, and elevated us to the status of a child of the King.  That is a story to tell!  Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask you to give us the enthusiasm and words to share with others today, we ask this in Jesus’ wonderful name.

Manna in the Morning

April 26, 2009

Manna in the Morning

04-27-09

Galatians 6:7-8, “Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.”

            There are many people today who are professing Christians and who routinely think they are hiding things from God or are deceiving Him in some way.  It is easy to deceive other people, our lives can be apparently clean on the outside, people look at us and see only what we want them to see, but our thought life or those secret activities we think are well hidden will be laid open and bare for all to see unless we ask our Heavenly Father to forgive us and live a transparent life from that moment on.  Because God knows our thoughts even before they are fully formed in our minds, it is impossible to keep anything secret from the One who has all knowledge. 

            Every man or women who has accepted Jesus as his or her Savior has got to realize God demands first place in our lives, our words, actions and attitudes.  There is nothing we put ahead of living a life dedicated to Him, that does not  become an idol, something we love more than God. 

            Each of us should spend time in God’s Word, prayer and ask our Heavenly Father to point out those things that do not belong in our lives so we can remove them and be pure, prepared and cleansed for worship through our daily activities.  Worship is not only singing hymns or praise songs on Sunday Morning; worship is the giving of ourselves completely to our God, which is referred to in the Book of Romans as a living sacrifice, a reasonable act of worship. 

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we ask you to show us those things in our lives that keep us from being acceptable to you.  We don’t want to give you an impure or unacceptable act of worship, we want to ready for your use this day.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

04-24-09

Isaiah 5:20, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness, who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

            There may have been times in our lives when we have felt everything was upside down or running in reverse.  Certainly our world is in dire straits at this time; people are calling massive debt good while calling higher wages bad and high taxes good while declaring savings unpatriotic.  Our nation needs to understand the Biblical concept, “Owe no man anything” and its implications.  Even more difficult to understand is the calling of sin acceptable and the pure Word of God hate speech.  Soon, if legislation pending in Congress is passed and signed into law, a Pastor reading passages in the Bible about Sodom and Gomorrah will be in danger of being brought into court for ‘hate speech’ against a small segment of our population.  In the entertainment industry sexual activity outside of the marriage bond is not only accepted, it is glorified and made to look like normal activity for anyone over the age of twelve.  One of our Supreme Court Justices once advocated in court the age of consent for sexual activity should be twelve years old for any individual.  Think of the ramifications of such a decision.  The many school teachers who have been arrested for sexual activity with their students would be set free and such activity declared legal. 

            Men and women in high places, even some pastors and Church leaders call the Word of God antiquated and Salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice unnecessary.  In the words of the Apostle John, they are people who, “Love darkness rather than light,” and in fact declare the Light of the World as darkness through His absence, and their darkness is declared to be light.  They expect their end, which they declare to be Heaven for all men regardless of their recognition or rejection of Jesus and God’s Word, to be sweet and heavenly, instead they will find it to be bitter hellfire.  There are also those who declare the bitter torment of hell to be their choice and think they will enjoy the lust of sin for eternity, will find hell will not only be sour on their teeth, but ashes in their mouth. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, may our words be sweet as we offer your salvation to others, but let us be salty as we declare the Biblical truths of condemnation and hell.  Guide us today in our daily walk and may it be acceptable in your eyes, in Jesus’ name we approach you.

 

April 22, 2009

Manna in the morning

04-23-09

John 3:16-18, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.”

            John 3:16 is a probably the most memorized and quoted verse in the entire Bible because it contains the complete message of redemption and the secret to a full and complete life on this earth and throughout eternity in the place God himself has prepared for all that love Him.  This statement of Jesus is directed toward Nicodemus, a member of the ruling group of Pharisees.  His question to Jesus was, “How can a person be born anew once he is old?”  Nicodemus was a good man who loved God’s Word and worshipped regularly in the Temple in Jerusalem, yet his mind, intellect and emotions were bound by traditional teaching and the inability to think outside the self-appointed bounds established by his fellow Pharisees. 

            It is because of God’s great love for mankind and His desire to have the adoration of men and women as well as the communion and companionship with us that caused Him to plan for our salvation, even in His foreknowledge that Adam and Eve would sin and open the door to satanic activity in the garden God Himself prepared for them.  The only way to redeem our souls from the curse of sin was for a perfect sacrifice of a sinless human life.  Because God the Father knew our inability to live a sinless life, He sent His Son, the Lord Jesus to live that human life in sinless perfection so his death would be the price for our redemption.  He simply died a death He did not earn, (The soul that sins shall surely die. (Eze. 18:20) so we who believe in Him can live a life we do not deserve.  Once we have accepted Jesus’ atoning work we are born anew into the family of God and seen by the Father as wrapped in the perfect righteous of Jesus. 

            Jesus entry into this world to live that sinless life did not condemn us by comparison, it made it possible for us to achieve the companionship and fellowship with our Heavenly Father that He so desires.  He is our salvation, there is no other way to Heaven.  Our loving Heavenly Father, we are in awe of your salvation provided for us and seek to share this message with all we meet today.  Give us the best words to share this message, and leave the convicting of the soul in your hands.  We ask this in Jesus’ perfect name.

Manna in the Morning

April 21, 2009

Manna in the Morning

04-22-09

1 Peter 1:6-7, “Though now for a short time you have had to be distressed by various trials so that the genuineness of your faith—more valuable than gold, which perishes though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

            Those to whom Peter is writing were distressed by various trials and difficulties in their Christian Walk.  First, they were despised by the Jews for following Jesus, a man the Pharisees and other religious authorities called a false teacher and who had been killed for blasphemy and His Resurrection denied, next they were looked down upon by the Gentiles for believing in a God that did not fit their pattern based on the Greek and Roman mythology.  They were also ridiculed for the simplicity of their faith; Heaven’s gates would swing wide for them based on their belief and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His sacrificial death and Resurrection.  The only historical precedent for their Savior was the ancient Jewish Scriptures and the Jews did not recognize Jesus as the promised Messiah, consequently the Christians were killed for their faith by the Roman Empire, beaten. Robbed and killed with impunity by the populace and generally despised by all men.

            Today we face persecution as well, many of the older, high liturgical churches look down upon the simple evangelical faith we hold dear.  Most of the people are so intent on satisfying their personal lusts and gratification they do not want to hear the Biblical message, they accept homosexuality as a normal lifestyle, ignoring the Biblical condemnation of this sin; accept and even promote sexual immorality, going so far as to sacrifice the lives of babies to continue their godless ways. 

            Paul was unpopular when he preached the message of salvation, Peter was imprisoned for his preaching, Thomas was martyred for his missionary activity, therefore we should be willing to accept a little discomfort and ridicule for holding firm to the message of Redemption through Jesus Christ and He alone.  It is not you or me the world is rejecting, it is their only hope of salvation. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, just as surely as you closed and sealed the door to Noah’s ark the time is coming when you will close the door to this age and all who have rejected your salvation will no longer have opportunity.  Guide us today we ask, as we live our life for your glory and give us opportunity to proclaim that gospel, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

April 20, 2009

Manna in the Morning

04-21-09

Daniel 1:8, “Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself.”

            Daniel was one of the Jews who were taken from Jerusalem, probably one of the princes in the palace, and exiled to Babylon to serve the Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon.  Be cause Daniel and his fellow Jews were slaves and were to serve in the King’s household, they were carefully chosen for their intelligence, pleasing appearance and leadership capabilities.  They were also castrated so they would never be lured or enticed by the young women of the palace; this also made them unable to ever worship in the Temple in Jerusalem because of the Scriptural restrictions on who could enter the place of worship.  These young men were in a foreign land that had conquered their nation and defeated their army, forced to learn a different language, become part of an alien culture that worshipped idols and knowing they could never return to their place of worship or their former homes and family.

            In spite of all this Daniel and his companions determined they would never defile themselves with food or drink offered to idols nor would they worship the false gods of Babylon.  This simple statement could have meant Daniel’s immediate death, but his convictions and dedication to God’s Word were strong and would not be compromised.

            Each of us who carry the name of Christ should be equally as firm in our personal convictions not to defile ourselves in this decaying society in which we live.  The corrupting influences of our national values, our entertainment choices and our personal character and deportment on a consistent daily basis will bring us the same rewards of Heaven’s glory as Daniel and his friends.  We will gain the respect of believers and non-believers alike, have a reputation as one who loves the Lord Christ and will enjoy our Heavenly rewards for eternity.  Let’s determine to live our life today to the greater glory of Jesus, our Redeemer.  Father in Heaven, we ask you in Jesus’ name to give us the courage and strength we need today to live fully for you.

Thinking Right

April 20, 2009

The following is an accurate account of the events leading to the rescue of Cap’t Phillips.

Phillips’ first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn’t worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country’s Navy possible, Phillips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States, Barack Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage’s life was in clear, extreme danger.

(You pay the price and encourage others to do the same)

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief’s staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a “peaceful solution” would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the On Scene Commander decided he’d had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage’s life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the
AK47 one captor had leveled at Phillips’ back was a threat to the hostage’s life and ordered the NSWC team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA (Killed in Action) and Phillips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday’s dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and [1] declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president’s toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration’s (and its sycophants’) attempt to spin yesterday’s success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort.  What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.