“If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute.” –Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791  The Sundogger

July 30, 2009

Please write your Representatives and Senators:  Ask them why they are not including themselves in this new Health Care Bill, since it is to be so good for the average citizen.  Here is a quote from one of the Founding Fathers, “As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles.” –Tench Coxe, An American Citizen, No. 2, 1787  there are no upper class Citizens called Senators or Representatives, only US Citizens.  We the people have in our hands the ultimate term limit, and every Congressman who has violated the Constitution in any way, spending, duplicity, attempting to curtail any Constitutional Right at all, should be put on notice that their tenure is about to end.  The Sundogger

 

CHANGES IN THE SITE!!

July 30, 2009

As of Friday, manna in the Morning will have a separate page.  Click on the Manna in the Morning page to view the new devotional

Manna in the Morning

07-30-09

John 6:63, “The Spirit is the One who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” John 6:63

            Of all the verses in Scripture regarding our new birth, none refer to or mention the works an individual does prior to redemption.  What we call good works, all the morally correct actions, our giving, nothing we could ever do has anything of heavenly value.  These things bring us earthly accolades, they may win golden trophies but they cannot sway the decision at the Judgment Seat of Christ Jesus, our fleshly works will condemn us.  All things done in our own strength are without merit.

            Only our trust and faith in the sacrificial death of Jesus can pay the penalty for our sin.  Every person has to admit to the sin we know resides deep in our hearts, thus all are condemned.  Jesus death, burial and resurrection paid forever the penalty for sin. All who accept Jesus’ sacrifice are not only born into our natural family, we are born again into the Family of God by the power of God the Holy Spirit.  God The Father promised, then provided the promised sacrifice, God the Son provided the perfect life, lived without sin, then given for our righteousness, God the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts of sin calling us to the cross, and once we are in the Family of God we provide the witness to His grace and love to those who are still living in unforgiven sin.

            The Word of God is the source of all we know about God and His gifts, His Word guides our lives and allows God to impart His wisdom to us, we learn of His mercy and grace, we understand his plan for our lives and receive his directions to us to live and work for His glory.

            Our Heavenly Father, help us to understand the tremendous cost of our salvation, and the unfathomable debt of sin that was paid on Calvary’s cross.  We desire to live for you this and every day to bring you great glory.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

07-29-09

 John 11:49-53, “One of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You’re not considering that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people rather than the whole nation perish.” He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but also to unite the scattered children of God.”

            Jesus arrived at Bethany soon after Lazarus died, He used the death and resurrection of Lazarus to teach Martha and Mary regarding the new life in Jesus, and to teach the crowd that He indeed was the Promised One of God.  As the reports of Lazarus’ return to life circulated throughout Bethany and Jerusalem, many of the assembled Jews began to believe in Jesus to the consternation of the Pharisees and other religious leaders.  As the number of people believing in Jesus increased, the leaders went to the Council to consider else what they should do since they had already issued an edict calling for Jesus’ death. 

            Caiaphas, the High Priest, while he did not believe Jesus was the Messiah, was still used by God to speak words that were accurate, prophetic in nature and were absolutely true.  God uses people who are dedicated to Him and His Kingdom, but can also use a nonbeliever, one that will not even accept Jesus as Redeemer.  When he spoke the words, “It is better for one man to die than for the people to perish,” Caiaphas did not consider the theological truth of which he spoke, even though in his intellect, he knew the Promised One was to come and accomplish that very thing, not just for the little Jewish community in Judea, but for all in the world, regardless of where they happened to live, whether Jew or Gentile, slave or free, wealthy or poor and for every individual that has walked the dusty paths of earth from Adam until now, including you and me. 

            While Caiaphas probably never accepted Jesus as his Redeemer, millions have since that day, and because of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection we can confidently expect to live eternally with Him in a place He has prepared for us, and clothed in the righteousness He has purchased for us at the cost of His blood.  Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for our salvation and we praise you Jesus, for your sacrifice for each of us.  Lord God, Guide us in your paths this day in Jesus’ name.

07-28-09

2 Tim 2:1-2, “You, therefore, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

            Timothy was a young pastor, inexperienced because leading a church and teaching God’s Word was a new way of growing believers.  He had been led to the Lord Jesus by the Apostle Paul, who was his spiritual mentor.  Paul taught him by example, personal instruction and by the letters he wrote for encouragement and education.  If these precepts were to enhance Timothy’s effectiveness, they certainly are worth our attention today for our daily spiritual walk.  First we are to be strong in the grace of Our Lord, an exhortation to understand, accept and enjoy the gifts of grace that flow daily from the Throne of God to our hearts.  God’s grace is the source of our spiritual gifts, the Godly influence upon our hearts and will be reflected in the lives we live for His glory. If God gifts us with his grace, it is our responsibility to show these gifts of grace to others through our actions toward them.  Not only are the unbelievers to know us by our love, they are to see the evidence of God’s grace toward them shown through us.  After we have been able to show grace to those with whom we interact on a daily basis, we are to encourage, mentor and get other believers to commit to the same spiritual activity in winning those who see Christ in us.    

            The gospel of Jesus is not spread through huge rallies or festivals; it is primarily spread through the hard work of individuals who share God’s Word and saving grace through personal contact and one-on-one conversations.  No matter how many should come to the front in a meeting with an evangelist sharing God’s truth, every soul is born into the family of our heavenly Father one soul at a time.  Christianity is a personal relationship between a man or woman and the Father in Heaven, based on God’s grace that continues to strengthen and grow in each of us. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we be the representative you desire today with the love and grace of God radiating out of us to touch those we meet.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

07-27-09

Luke 8:38-39, ‘The man from whom the demons had departed kept begging Jesus to be with Him. But He sent him away and said, “Go back to your home, and tell all that God has done for you.” And off he went, proclaiming throughout the town all that Jesus had done for him.’

            All of us have listened to speakers who have returned from a foreign country; we understand the need in the entire world for men and women to bring the love and compassion of Christ Jesus sharing the message of salvation to children and adults in every corner of the world.  Some places are difficult because of political unrest and pressure, some areas are under the domination of belief systems that are anti-Christian and to carry a Bible is equivalent to a death sentence and some nations are open to sharing the Christian faith and message if the person is actively employed in a non-religious occupation. 

            Jesus sent out the disciples two by two on two different occasions to visit the villages and towns around Galilee and Judea, but there is one man in the New Testament to whom Jesus gave a commission to tell how Jesus had changed his life to a specific people group.  After a lifetime of wandering around the tombs and grave yards, often breaking chains and ropes that had bound him, cursing and screaming while running naked through the cemeteries at night, this man met Jesus and was changed immediately.  When the people he had terrorized looked for him, they found him sitting with Jesus, listening to him, clothed and in full control of his mind and sanity;   Jesus had healed the man completely.  When the time came for Jesus to leave the area, the restored man begged to go with him to tell his story of restoration and healing in Jesus.  Jesus then gave the man an assignment, He told the man to go to his family, all those that formerly knew him as a mad-man and the ones who had feared and tormented  him so they could hear and see all that Jesus had done for him.  God our Heavenly Father has called us, re-birthed us and given us the commission to tell all those who we know and love how great His love is, the power of our changed lives is an everlasting witness to His grace, and our testimony is the one, best way they will understand God’s transforming power.  This man went to live his life with the power of the Holy Spirit within him, to share with all who knew him before his meeting Jesus, glorifying God with his life in one of the most difficult places.  He did as the Savior commanded for God’s glory, and for his own growth in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Lord God, our Heavenly Father, use us today in this same way in our assigned field of service we ask in Jesus’ name.

 

07-24-09

Rom 11:3-4, “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have torn down your altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life.  But what was God’s answer to him? I have left for myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

            Elijah had successfully defended his faith in Jehovah God up on Mount Carmel against over 800 prophets of Baal, or false gods, calling down fire from Heaven upon the sacrifice he offered, he then killed the false prophets, many of whom were loyal to Jezebel, Queen of Israel.  King Ahab had sworn to kill Elijah before the day was over, and Elijah fled into the wilderness.  Coming from his great success when the people of Israel vowed to follow Jehovah as their only God and to sacrifice only to Him, Elijah fell into the depths of depression, moaning and complaining to God about the way he was being treated for standing firm for his God.  After he fled into the wilderness alone, he went through an earthquake, a great fire and wind, and then heard a still small voice he barely heard.  God spoke to him and said, “Elijah, I have over 7,000 men in Israel who have never in their life bowed down before an idol.”  Elijah did as he was commanded of God, but God did not reveal his entire plan to Elijah, or let him know how many had remained faithful to God and His message.

            In our own Christian lives, we have all had an experience of a great high, having been used of God in a special way, expended ourselves and emotionally exhausted, fall into a spiritual low.  It is at times like this our adversary will direct his arrows of doubt and fear into our spiritual lives.  Neither Elijah nor we who live today, have lost our fellowship and relationship with God, it is that we have been using ourselves in mighty ways for our Heavenly Father, and our human bodies using its own resources becomes tired and weary.  Like Elijah, we have to let other things pass from our minds and souls so we can hear the still small voice of our Father speaking to us in a manner hear only to us, and no other. 

            Gracious Heavenly Father, guide our lives in such a way that we never lose sight of your love and direction.  May we remain faithful as did Elijah, listening carefully for you in the quietness of our hearts, in Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

07-23-09

Mark 7:9, “And he said unto them, Full well do ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your tradition.”

            The Pharisees continued to harass Jesus because they knew He was a real threat to the hold the Pharisees had on the religious worship of the people because of their tradition and dependence upon the ancient decisions by the Scribes and Pharisees, instead of adhering strictly to the Scriptures as God had intended them to be written.  In this passage Jesus is responding to the question, “Why don’t your disciples obey the traditions of the elders?”  Not following tradition is not a sin, while obeying tradition and not obeying the scripture is sinful. 

            The disciples had eaten some grain while passing a field, rolled it in their hands to ‘thresh’ it then ate the kernels.  Tradition said they should ceremonially wash their hands first and wash the grain.  These dietary laws were given in Leviticus to make the people of Israel a unique people but the Pharisees used the omission to fault Jesus as their leader and teacher.  Jesus continued to dialogue with the Pharisees.  It is nothing from the outside, like a little grime or dirt, that will defile a man before God, but it is the thoughts and lusting of the heart within him being perceived through his thoughts, actions and words that defile a person’s heart and lead him into sin.  The religious leaders could not understand this, they were so focused on obeying an outward legalistic system that, in all honesty, enslaved all who tried to live within the law as it was interpreted by the scribes and other scholars.  Jesus emphasized the thoughts within the mind of a Christian are, in the eyes of God, equal to the deed.  To greedily envy a neighbor’s house or property to the extent you have to have one just like it, is equal to the theft of the item, because your desire for that object placing it in a position higher than your love for God Himself. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask you to make us less aware of the traditions of men and more attentive to the words of Scripture.  Keep our full attention focused on you as we go through this day, we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

07-22-09

Hosea 4:16, “For Israel slides back as a backsliding heifer.”

            There are so many metaphors in Scripture that refer to an agrarian society, which is defined as a society based upon agriculture.  Many people have never spent time on a farm, do not understand the terms used, therefore do not get the intended message.  A heifer is a young female cow, never having calved.  The word backsliding is easily understood, taking two steps forward and falling back one.  This happens to rock and mountain climbers, especially to kids trying to climb sand dunes and piles of dirt like many did in their youth playing ‘King of the Hill.’  A heifer is young, inexperienced and given to foolish activity.          

            Israel is known throughout scripture for calling upon God for restoration and deliverance from their enemies who had enslaved them.  When they cried out as a nation, the Lord God heard them sent them a deliverer who defeated their enemies, then restored them to independence and true worship.  After a period of time, the Israelites would forget their dependence upon God and the promises they made as a people and fall into sin ending up in slavery once again.  This pattern is seen repeated six times in the Book of Judges, and also seen with regularity in their entire history. 

            There is very little difference between ancient Israel and the way we live our lives today, we ask our Heavenly Father for forgiveness which is freely given, then in the course of our daily activities we make the same mistakes, commit the same sins, and come to Him again for the forgiveness he so freely offers.  As sincere as we may be, the devil knows our weaknesses, and we attempt to resist the temptations in our own strength instead of depending upon the power of God the Holy Spirit within us.  Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your faithfulness, mercy and grace.  Put within us the ability to rely upon Your strength to overcome the temptations hurled against us.  Use us today   we ask in Jesus’ name.