Manna in the Morning

09-26-16

The Lord God

Isaiah 45:18, “For this is what the Lord says—God is the Creator of the heavens.  He formed the earth and made it; He established it; He did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited. 

            Our Lord God, Jehovah, is the creator and sustainer of the earth we inhabit.  He who formed the Heavens, placing the stars in their orbits, Who placed the sun in the only place that could sustain life on our earth, He created each and every life form that has spent its life upon this earth looked at it and said, “It is good.” 

            Then Our Lord God formed Adam out of the dust of the earth and breathed the breath of immortality into Adam’s lungs.  Knowing it was not good for Adam to be alone Jehovah created Eve, using one of Adam’s ribs, making Eve a proper mate for Adam, formed them, man and woman, into a family and placed them in the Garden of Eden, where they lived in innocence.  Humanity is not a higher form of animal, he and she are a special unique creation of our great God and Father and given the privilege and responsibility of overseeing all creation.                             God made the earth for the benefit of mankind, gave Adam and Eve one simple Commandment to keep and walked with them in the garden daily.  How long they cohabited in Eden’s paradise without sin, no one knows. 

            Satan, whom God expelled from Heaven because of his pride and rebellion against God, came to Eve and promised her knowledge God had withheld from her, then with lies and deception, caused her, as well as Adam, to break that one Commandment and sin against God.  Immediately they knew evil and death, having sinned against God.  Their spiritual eyes were opened and they recognized their own depravity, unable to appear before God as they had done before, so they attempted to clothe themselves with leaves and vines in recognition of their own unrighteousness.  That knowledge of sin spread through the descendants of Adam and Eve and they fell far from God’s grace.  Our loving Father sent Noah to tell them of God’s love and coming judgment, but they ignored his message in their rebellion.

            Today we who know our Redeemer Lord exist in a world of men and women who have willfully rejected God’s commandments and seek actively to live a life of the devil’s sin.  Our society has destroyed the beauty of God’s creation of men, women and the family.  There is no abomination that mankind does not indulge itself in turning from God in selfish rebellion.  It is our mission as those born anew into the Family of God to show His love, forgiveness, reconciliation and dedication to His Holy Word and Commandments.  Our ever-loving Heavenly Father, clothe us in Jesus’ righteousness and use us to share the message of redemption this day.  Guide our steps, thoughts and words so they glorify You, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

09-23-16

Blessings

Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

            What did Jesus mean when he said that we who follow Him will be persecuted?  In some of the territories under control of the Islamic Jihadists, it means you are likely to beheaded or forced to perform horrible acts that are both demeaning and against the principles of Biblical, Godly living.  If you are in North Korea or China and have a Bible, you will be imprisoned and in all likelihood, never leave the prison or work camp alive.  If you are in Vietnam and openly witness outside of the carefully controlled State-sanctioned Church you will be arrested and imprisoned.  In many parts of the world, if you openly declare your saving faith in Jesus, God the Son, you will be considered as believing in an unrealistic fairy-tale.  Even in the US, the main-line denominational churches will look askance at the evangelical believer who seeks to follow the path of righteousness laid out by God’s Word, concerning the issues of homosexuality and abortion. 

            When Jesus spoke of persecution, He is not just talking of insults and name-calling, He is speaking of the persecution of men and women like Stephen in the Book of Acts, the Apostle Thomas, speared to death in India, the 5 young men in the Amazon Jungle, those that died on fields of Africa and China of disease and at the hands of vengeful servants of Satan.  Jesus said when we are castigated, ridiculed or worse for carrying His name, for declaring His death burial and resurrection in atonement for our sin and His victory over death and hell, we are to rejoice because our heavenly reward is greater than we can possibly imagine.

            Our goal is living a life pleasing and productive for our Savior, and if that means an immediate relocation to the Heavenly places, that too, will be to the glory of our Lord God.  We are His for all eternity and to use in any way for His glory.  Heavenly Father, we simply pray to be used of You today, in Jesus’ name.

             

Manna in the Morning

09-22-16

Choose Today

Joshua 24:15-16, “But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today the one you will worship: the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.”  The people replied, “We will certainly not abandon the Lord to worship other gods!”

            As Joshua grew older and he knew it was time for him to leave this earth, he called the Israelites together and reminded them of all the Lord God had done for them since He led their forefathers out of Egypt under the leadership of Moses.  He reminded them how they crossed the Red Sea, how Jehovah God had led them through the wilderness wanderings, how God had allowed them to cross the Jordan river on dry ground and now how God goes before them to conquer the land of Canaan and caused the native tribes to flee before them.  Then after telling the people what God had done for them, Joshua gave the people a choice; they can choose to follow worship the Lord God Jehovah who performed all these wonders for them, or to choose the lifeless, worthless, impotent idols the Canaanites worshiped. 

            Then came a declaration every head of a family should state emphatically: “As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord!”   One problem with the church of today is that many congregations, even leadership has chosen to remain quiet and, for the most part, refuses to take a stand against unrighteousness and have been lacking in the spiritual battle.  It is time to stand and declare our allegiance to the Lord God and declare firmly and loudly; We will not abandon the Lord God and will worship Him in spirit and in truth.   

            As we consider all that our Heavenly Father has done for us, the miracles and wonders with which He has blessed our lives, each of us should remind our families of His blessing upon us and ignore the worthless, impotent, meaningless lack of worship and thankfulness that passes for worship in some folk’s hearts.  Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank, praise and adore You for who You are and what You have already done for us.  Accept our true worship we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

09-21-16

God’s Love

Ephesians 3:17-19, “I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”

            A reader may look at this passage and wonder why a Believer who knows the redeeming love of God would need to be taught as Paul the Missionary Apostle writes here of the full dimensions of the extravagant love of God the Son toward we who follow Him.  God’s love for us is undimensional, totally without limit.  His love reaches from the highest Heaven to the lowest part of the earth to reach those who are seeking His love and salvation, or who may think they are outside His love.  His love is wide enough to reach to the limits of West and East, two dimensions, that on earth, extend without limit in each direction.  Even in simple mathematics, a line is said to have no limit as it stretches from side to side, yet the Love of God encompasses infinitely more.  God’s love, according to words reportedly scratched in the walls of a mental asylum over a century ago, is described like this, “Could we with ink the ocean fill, And were the skies of parchment made, Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade; To write the love of God above, Would drain the ocean dry; Nor could the scroll contain the whole, Though stretched from sky to sky.”  This adds another dimension, the love of God will go where words are not understood, where ears do not hear, and where minds cannot comprehend the full measure, yet the soul will fully trust in the redemptive love of our Savior.   

            This love is not to be bottled up inside the heart and soul of the Believer, God’s love is eager to radiate from our souls to the soul of any and every soul we meet through our actions, attitudes and loving words to draw men and women to our ever-loving Savior. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the love for others, to let your Saving Love emanate and flow out of us, knowing the more we share the more remains.  In Jesus’ name we praise You.

           

Manna in the Morning

09-20-16

Study

2 Timothy 2:15-16, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness.”

            Every one of us who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as our Redeemer is reminded by God the Holy Spirit in this verse to be diligent.  To be diligent means much more than just watching our ‘p’s and q’s’ it means “having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties” for our Loving God.  We are to be working in the place where He has placed us, interacting with those He puts before us and taking extra care to be well prepared for every contingency while sharing our salvation account, the joy we have in Him, the peace and satisfaction we have as we tell others about our salvation.  We have to take great care that our lives radiate the love of Christ and compassion toward others.  Living according to God’s commandments, keeping our lives pure so that all we do will be seen as having God’s approval. 

            In order for us to correctly teach the word of truth, we need to spend time in the study of God’s Word, to meditate over it, let God the Holy Spirit teach us just as He inspired the men who scribed the words at His inspiration.  To let Him fill our hearts with the meaning of the words of Scripture, not just for our own edification, but for the building up of others in the faith. 

            Our words should not be chosen just to please our listeners, to tell them they are correct whatever they think, but to challenge them to live a life of Godliness, with a true desire to know and proclaim the simple truths of God’s Holy Word.  To affirm their error is only to increase the proclamation of their godlessness and error.

            Our Gracious Father in Heaven guide our words and actions today so that we may by action, thought and deed proclaim Your Word in truth and power.  In the name of Jesus, we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
09-20-16
Study
2 Timothy 2:15-16, “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness.”
Every one of us who knows the Lord Jesus Christ as our Redeemer is reminded by God the Holy Spirit in this verse to be diligent. To be diligent means much more than just watching our ‘p’s and q’s’ it means “having or showing care and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties” for our Loving God. We are to be working in the place where He has placed us, interacting with those He puts before us and taking extra care to be well prepared for every contingency while sharing our salvation account, the joy we have in Him, the peace and satisfaction we have as we tell others about our salvation. We have to take great care that our lives radiate the love of Christ and compassion toward others. Living according to God’s commandments, keeping our lives pure so that all we do will be seen as having God’s approval.
In order for us to correctly teach the word of truth, we need to spend time in the study of God’s Word, to meditate over it, let God the Holy Spirit teach us just as He inspired the men who scribed the words at His inspiration. To let Him fill our hearts with the meaning of the words of Scripture, not just for our own edification, but for the building up of others in the faith.
Our words should not be chosen just to please our listeners, to tell them they are correct whatever they think, but to challenge them to live a life of Godliness, with a true desire to know and proclaim the simple truths of God’s Holy Word. To affirm their error is only to increase the proclamation of their godlessness and error.
Our Gracious Father in Heaven guide our words and actions today so that we may by action, thought and deed proclaim Your Word in truth and power. In the name of Jesus, we lift our prayer.

           

Manna in the Morning

09-19-16

Protection

Psalm 20:1-2, “May the Lord answer you in a day of trouble; may the name of Jacob’s God protect you.  May He send you help from the sanctuary and sustain you from Zion.”

            Every believer in Jesus Christ has times of trouble and difficulty.  Many of these things are used by our Heavenly Father to strengthen and teach us reliance upon our great Lord God, others may be the result of our own sin and failure to follow the guidance of our Good Shepherd, still others may come into our lives because we deliberately and willfully turn away from God’s path for us without regard for anything but our own human desires and thoughts.  Whatever the reason, we find ourselves in trouble and cry out to our Heavenly Father for relief.

            David’s prayer here is for all who love the Lord God to turn to Him in repentance and prayer for restoration.  When we recognize our error, or sin in God’s eyes and ask for forgiveness He is quick to forgive and reconcile us to full fellowship in Him.  When are hearts are repentant, when we come to our Lord God in a sincere manner, all of the resources of Heaven are open and available to us as we ask our Gracious Heavenly Father to guide and fortify our lives.  When we brag or rely only on our own abilities we are bound for failure, but Jesus said if our hearts are right with Him, we will be able to pray and move mountains. 

            With all the power of Heaven behind us, with the guidance of God the Holy Spirit to direct us, with the help and power coming from Heaven making us triumphant in our daily walk, resisting the temptations that will appear before us and the snares placed in our path and the gifts that have been given us through God the Holy Spirit, we will be successful in defeating the hordes and wiles of Satan as we walk through this, and every, day. 

            Our Heavenly Father has given us the powerful Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and filled us with the desire to serve Him and the ability to come into His presence in prayer at any time so that we can successfully serve Him until He calls us into the Heavenly Places.  Our gracious Heavenly Father we seek to serve You this day in Jesus’ name.

 

 

 

Manna in the Morning

09-16-16

Idolatry

Hosea 13:3, “Therefore, they will be like the morning mist, like the early dew that vanishes, like chaff blown from a threshing floor, or like smoke from a window.”

            In the time Hosea inscribed this passage, the People were very likely to worship a carved or cast metal image that stood for a pagan deity.  This was, and still is, a direct violation of the 2nd Commandment given by God to the Israelites.  Today humanity has widened the things that can take first place in our lives and worship besides a little carved statue.  Men and women place their jobs, a fancy expensive car or boat, exotic vacations or a big house in a fine neighborhood above their Lord God.  Others may place themselves in first place, disregarding the Scripture that says we shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves, or any of the thoughts and ideas that come into our minds that take the prime position in our thinking that truly belongs to our God our Heavenly Father.  Giving worship or adoration to any other entity or figure is spiritual adultery in the eyes of our Lord God. 

            When we take our ‘advice’ from a horoscope, psychic message, our own thinking or any source other than our Lord, we will find our efforts will be as effective as the pieces of chaff that blow in the wind or the water vapor that disappears with the touch of the sun’s rays.  Our God has promised in Scripture to guide our paths if we place our full trust and reliance in Him alone. 

            Our loving Heavenly Father, we will trust and obey You for every day we spend upon this earth and ask You to guide us in conforming to the spiritual image of Christ Jesus, in whose name we pray.   

Manna in the Morning

09-15-16

Growing in Grace

Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.”

            Long ago I heard a speaker say that Jesus was, “Never ever less than God but never ever more than a man.”  At face value it is easy to think that the Child of Bethlehem was and is always God, He forgave sin, He healed the sick and always walked, taught and acted in accordance with the will of the Father.  It sometimes is difficult to think of God the Son, our Savior, the Promised One as contained in a human body that needed to grow, learn all the skills of every other little boy in Nazareth, walking, talking; then at 12 debating with the learned Rabbis in the Temple.  As a young man He worked with Mary’s husband, Joseph in carpentry.

            The humanness of Jesus required Him to grow physically as other boys, to grow in wisdom and knowledge as other adolescents, finally reaching human maturity.  In His humanity Jesus learned to grow in favor, to do the will of His Heavenly Father, to live out The Word of God by obeying His human parents as they guided His younger years.  Always; His desire was to win people to the salvation the Father had provided, knowing it was the plan of Jehovah God to sacrifice His sinless, perfect human life that no other human being could live. His life among men was beyond reproach, never disobedient, no impure thoughts and no influences from Satan’s attacks as He kept the promise made back in Eden.

            His earthly life should set the pattern for every one of us who have been born anew into God’s family.  We need to be nurtured and taught, so not only do we mature in our physical sense, we grow mature in the Scriptures and Christian life.  Increasing always in our Biblical wisdom and discernment and living a life pleasing to Him.  We understand we are human, with a human nature and we sin in our thoughts words and actions.  Our lives are enclosed in the righteousness of Jesus, The Father looks at us, sees us as sinless in Christ and we are reconciled to Him fully restored when we repent and seek His face. 

            Our Heavenly Father, our chief desire is to serve You where You have placed us with the gifts You have given us, in Jesus’ name we praise You, our Almighty God.

Manna in the Morning

09-14-16

What can I do?

Psalm 116:12-14, “How can I repay the Lord all the good He has done for me?  I will take the cup of salvation and worship the Lord.  I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.”

            Every one of us are truly grateful for God’s mercy and the free gift of salvation He has offered and we have gratefully received.  We are fully aware we cannot do anything to merit or repay our Heavenly Father for our new life, but we surely can offer Him praise and glory for that with which we have been gifted.  David recognized this and so do we.  The Psalmist asked a rhetorical question, “what can I do to repay the Lord for all the wonderful gifts He has given Me and we would do well to follow His example. 

While we can do nothing to merit salvation, we can show our Heavenly Father our eternal gratitude; we can ask our Lord God for the opportunity to serve Him each day we live on this earth.  In and through the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit, we have been given spiritual gifts and abilities we must use for His Glory.  Utilizing every opportunity to share God’s message with others, praying always for God’s blessing upon those who are engaged in Missionary activity, for our churches and Pastors, for those who make it their life’s work to proclaim Our Savior’s love, waging spiritual warfare by praying against the wiles and treachery of the satanic forces that oppose us.  Just as at the Lord’s last supper, Jesus shared the cup with His disciples we are to share the cup of joyous salvation with every person possible. 

Most of us have made what might be called ‘hasty vows,’ asking our Lord to clear up a mess we’ve created and promising to change some behavior or do something we know we should have done long ago.  In recognizing all that our Triune God has done for us, let’s just willingly become an obedient, faithful servant, doing what God has called us to do, living a consistent God-honoring life in gratitude for what we have already received; eternal life in His presence that we entered the instant we accepted God’s gift of salvation.  Our gracious God and father, we gratefully offer ourselves to you as willing servants in Jesus’ saving name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

09-13-16

A Time

Ecclesiastes 3:6, “a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away.” 

            In this Chapter we see many comparisons.  Here the scriptures tell us there is a time to search for something, seriously and thoroughly, and a time to recognize it’s a lost cause and it is time to replace.   Many people search their entire lives, looking for something that will satisfy them, a new car, maybe a dream vacation and it becomes an obsession with them.  Until we follow the words of Scriptural advice and commit our ways, currently and future to the Lord and follow His guidance will we be satisfied.

            There is a time to keep and a time to throw away; this a verse quoted to many a ‘saver’ by their spouse when it’s time to clean closets and of course, the garage.  There is another way to look at this too.  Many Believers hold on to the guilt of their past sin, knowing our Lord has forgiven them and we are clean in His sight, yet hold on to the guilt and cannot fully enjoy their life because they cannot release the guilt.  This is a trap of Satan to keep us from being more effective in our Christian Life.  One who has been truly born again into the family of God, who has come to Him in true repentance and pleads for forgiveness, is assured by the words of Scripture that he or she is forgiven and reconciled once again into the full fellowship with the Father, and no longer needs to carry that load.  If God has forgiven us and has placed our sin debt as far as the east is from the west and will remember them no more, then we should forgive ourselves and not carry the burden Jesus removed at Calvary.  Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we have the full joy of reconciliation and knowing our full debt was paid at Calvary.  In Jesus’ name we praise You.

Manna in the Morning

09-12-16

When

Daniel 12:4, “But you, Daniel, keep these words secret and seal the book until the time of the end. Many will roam about, and knowledge will increase.” …Verse7, “When the power of the holy people is shattered, all these things will be completed.”

            As I prepared for this MITM I wanted a verse that told of the madcap age in which we live.  Under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, Daniel wrote these words describing one of his conversations with an angelic being.  Daniel was instructed by God’s direction to seal up some of what had been revealed to him.  It is possible the time when the scroll is revealed is when the seals are broken in the Book of the Revelation.  Two of the signs of the time of the end are given here are that many will roam around the earth and knowledge will increase.  As for the travel, It’s already possible for a person to eat breakfast in the Air Terminal in Miami or another east coast city, hop off the plane for lunch in Houston or Dallas and then eat dinner in San Francisco or Seattle while the space station orbits even more rapidly overhead.  Our world population is rapidly increasing and now is almost 7,500,000,000.  Almost daily discoveries are made by the CERN, the Large Hadron Collider in Europe and many laboratories in science and medical Centers and Universities worldwide in medicine, astronomy, physics and other areas.  Mankind has increased knowledge in a rapidly increasing manner and much of the scientific community is of the opinion that man no longer needs to acknowledge God, even proclaiming our Heavenly Father doesn’t exist and mankind is achieving all this progress by their own devices.  The Evangelical churches are losing their influence in the educational and scientific communities, simply because mankind is falsely assuming he is responsible for the advances in knowledge and education.  The humanist philosophy is becoming domineering and dismissive of Biblical Values, and certainty of God’s omnipotence and all-knowing is being destroyed slowly but surely across the world in the more humanist societies. 

            As the influence of righteousness is disregarded by the world, the calling up of the saints is approaching.  We, as children of the Living God, must redouble our efforts to win others into the family of our Heavenly Father as long as we have the opportunity to do so, seeking to take as many others with us when we are called into the heavenly spaces.  Our gracious Heavenly Father, fill us with the desire to be effective witness of Your love and salvation this day we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

09-09-16

Worship

Revelation 5:11-14, “Then I looked, and heard the voice of many angels around the throne, and also of the living creatures, and of the elders. Their number was countless thousands, plus thousands of thousands. They said with a loud voice: The Lamb who was slaughtered is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!  I heard every creature in heaven, on earth, under the earth, on the sea, and everything in them say: Blessing and honor and glory and dominion to the One seated on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!  The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped.”

            Whenever I read any of the heavenly worship scenes we see in Scripture and realize that in the very near future you and I will actually participate in this worship of our God in concert with the uncounted thousands of angels, the four creations that surround God’s throne and the 24 elders that represent the redeemed of all ages as well as the uncounted multitude of souls of those who have accepted Christ Jesus as their Redeemer, it gives me a sense of anticipation and excitement.  This is what awaits the child of the Living God.

            Not only should we spend time in prayer and meditation before the throne of our God as individuals, we have the God-given opportunity to meet this coming Lord’s Day with other believers and worship in joy and heartfelt adoration of our Heavenly Father.  Our worship time should be a time when we participate with joy and gratefulness, not with a sense of duty or compulsion, but with a burning desire to worship with our full heart, soul, mind and all that we are.  Rejoice in giving, singing, reading of God’s Word, lifting our hearts together in prayer and feeling the power of God the Holy Spirit, as the Triune God receives our worship from a whole heart.

            As we plan our weekend, each of us should anticipate a joyous, uplifting time of worship as we gather in our congregations this coming Lord’s Day.  Our Gracious Heavenly Father, our desire is to worship You always, asking You for a special experience of worshipful fellowship with You this coming Lord’s Day.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

09-08-16

Prayer

Ephesians 6:18-20, “With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints. Pray also for me, that the message may be given to me when I open my mouth to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel. For this I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I might be bold enough in Him to speak as I should.

            Earlier in this chapter Paul writes of the Spiritual Armor of God that is given to every believer in Christ Jesus so that we may be prepared for the spiritual warfare in which we are all engaged.  We are protected by our great God so long as we are facing the enemy.  Our gracious Heavenly Father also gives us the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God as our offensive weapon against Satan.  Jesus vanquished the devil in the wilderness temptation by using quotes from God’s Word.  Now in this portion of Paul’s letter to the Church at Ephesus he shows us how important our other spiritual weapon, prayer, is in a victorious Christian Life. 

            At every opportunity, day and night, whether we are worshipping in prayer or coming before the Throne of God the Father in quick intercession, we must come in an attitude of submission to His will, praying as we are led by God the Holy Spirit interceding for others, not becoming drowsy and lethargic, but in energetic, active mental action.  Our first words should be words of adoration and praise for all that our God has done for us, even in small, seemingly insignificant things, but always praying for the opportunity to share His love with others.  After confessing our shortcomings and failures and asking for His forgiveness and for strength to keep pure before Him we should pray for those we know are in need of His salvation, the compassion and caring for the healing and recovery of others, pray for God’s work in this world, for our steadfast witness by our way of life and for those who are taking God’s message to every part of this globe.  Pray for your families, friends, Pastors and others who are engaged in His work.  Never forget to pray for yourself.  This is not being self-centered but a submission to His Lordship in our lives and a desire to know the path laid before us.  Jesus, himself, prayed for Himself in the Garden of Gethsemane, asking that the will of the Father be done in His life, and we can do no less.  Paul asked that the church pray for Him to be bold in the faith, so let’s pray that every reader of this missive will be bold in witness and take comfort in the knowledge others are praying for us.  Prayer is the sharpest weapon in our armory so let’s keep it sharp by constant attention to God’s Word and the voice of God the Holy Spirit.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, be our constant companion this day we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

09-07-16

Righteous Living

Colossians 3:5-10. “Therefore, put to death whatever in you is worldly: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire, and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, God’s wrath comes on the disobedient, and you once walked in these things when you were living in them. But now you must also put away all the following: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and filthy language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his practices and have put on the new man, who is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of his Creator.”

            When we become members of God’s family, there are things our Heavenly Father firmly tells us to keep out of our lives.  Things that are extremely difficult for us to avoid in today’s environment.  Things that are clearly of this earth such as sexual immorality in all its forms.  Our society is permeated with sex, just as it was in the days of Lot just before the fire fell from Heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah.  We are also to put aside greed which is the love of money and things, clearly it is idolatry of the mind and heart. 

            God’s wrath burns against those in which these things are found.  It is interesting to see three words translated wrath in these verses.  This word, describing God’s wrath against sin, is from a root meaning of predetermined wrath, seeking a just penalty for the sin.  Since Adam and Eve’s sin, God has clearly made it known to man that the soul that sins will surely die.  It is only by His mercy that we may be saved from this wrath.  We must be careful of our actions against others, we are to put away the idea of vengeance or vindictiveness against others, never speaking untruths or committing evil acts against others and having a foul vocabulary.  I hear so many words that are not even borderline anymore, words that were considered unacceptable and impure, never to be heard from the mouth of a Christian, now routinely heard in conversation and are a common part of the vocabulary.  Other words that have their origins in the filth of the sewers, modified, perhaps one letter changed then the censors will allow it in movies, TV and now accepted as a legitimate substitute for the original obscene language. 

            Having been born again, a new creation, we are not bound by the earthly ties, but are now to strive to be conformed to the image of Our Savior, Christ Jesus.  These habits and practices that are part of the unregenerate individuals who do not know the love of Christ Jesus are to have no place in the life, activities, thoughts or words of the Child of the Living God.  Lord God our Savior, we pray God the Holy Spirit will keep our hearts minds and tongues as we live for Him this day. 

Manna in the Morning

09-05-16

In the Father’s Hand

John 10:28-30. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”

            In just these few sentences, Jesus gives us assurances that will last us for our entire lifetime.  Although the question of whether or not a person can lose his or her salvation is has been debated by men through the years, once they have accepted Christ Jesus’ gift of Redemption, I strongly feel His statement in this passage is clear and unambiguous.  Just as you and I have the DNA of our earthly father in the blood running through our veins and we cannot remove it no matter what we do, neither can we remove the divine attributes God our Father gives us when we are literally, spiritually born anew into His family.  Scripture is clear when it says we become a “New creation.” 

            People fall away from their Savior for many reasons, even like the man in Jesus’ parable, seeking to return to his father as a servant, our Heavenly Father is quick to restore us to full reconciliation in the family.  We cannot be taken from the Father’s Hand!  He has rebirthed us, we are held in His hand, and we are covered with His love.

            Jesus also told His disciples He and the Father are One, our God is Triune, with an emphasis on the unity.  We become the Temple or dwelling place, of God the Holy Spirit upon our Redemption and He is fully present in our lives, whether we allow Him to fully guide us or not.  His presence within us was promised by Jesus, and that promise was fulfilled at Pentecost.

            We are secure in the Father’s hands, but that does not mean we have license to do as we please and refuse to follow Biblical precepts in our lives.  Our best defense is to depend upon God the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction, talk to our Heavenly Father often, confessing those thoughts, deeds and words that He calls to our mind, knowing our earnest plea for forgiveness will be heard and answered.  Our caring Heavenly Father, we are sheltered in Your arms and ask that we will listen to Your words of comfort and peace in Jesus’ name.

 

Manna in the Morning

09-02-16

Patience

Romans 8:24-25, “Now in this hope we were saved, yet hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience.” 

            In order to understand this verse, we need to identify what is meant by the word ‘hope.’  It is better translated ‘confident expectation’ truly, expectantly waiting for the actual event to occur.  God the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to expect with eagerness the fruition of our salvation, that is the moment we arrive in the heavenly places.  If we anticipate something we have never seen so expectantly we can envision its appearance, we will not be surprised, but fulfilled.  Some of the joys and fulfillments we expect as Children of the Living God are that we will with our Savior for eternity. We anticipate His direction and leadership in our daily activities, we expect opportunities to share the message of salvation every day, we rely upon His protection and safety in storms and difficult situations, we have no fear of earthly death, and we live each day in the glory of His mercies and grace.

            We are to be patient people.  We cannot rush God’s timing.  We live tied to the clock.  We have watches, computers and tablets that constantly show us the time, phones that are accurate to the second, and need to learn patience and flexibility in our use of time.  In God’s timing He will establish His Kingdom on this earth, at His own invitation we will leave this earth to join Him in Heaven, regardless of age, health and activities.  This is an event we cannot schedule, therefore we must leave it in our Heavenly Fathers hands.

            Gracious Heavenly Father, while we live in expectant hope, we also want to learn to live in Your earthly timing for us now and then in eternity where there are no clocks.  May we show Your patience to others today in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

09-01-16

Joy

Nehemiah 8:10, “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

            Nehemiah was allowed by to return to Jerusalem by Artaxerxes, King of Persia, after the forty years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah. Once he reached Jerusalem the first thing Nehemiah did was to clear out the rubble of the city that had been demolished by the Babylonians, took a census of the over 40,000 people living there and called a conclave of the residents.  As the men assembled in the area that once was the Temple, Nehemiah ordered the people to remain standing while the Priests read the scrolls of Scripture that had been found in the Temple area.  After the sacred Scrolls were read, Nehemiah declared a time of rejoicing, prayer and rededication to God’s Word, causing each man to examine his life and family to see if God’s commandments were being kept properly.  A feast was held in honor of the occasion, Nehemiah declaring that the day be remembered as a Holy Day.  Nehemiah than stated that they should realize that in reading the Scrolls, the Joy of the Lord would be their strength as they continued.to rebuild.

            They needed the strength in the following months, because great opposition came against them as they rebuilt the walls, gates, houses and Temple.  The joy in their hearts gave them the strength to continue.

            God’s gift to us is the Joy of His Salvation which He has freely offered to us through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Redeemer.  David wrote in the Psalms, “And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in His salvation.”  When we recognize the worth of our wonderful blood-bought salvation, our hearts should be filled with a joy that is inexpressible, we thank God the Father for His salvation, praising God the Son for His provision and enjoy the presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives enabling us to serve Him with all our strength that is from our Lord God daily from His inexhaustible supply.  

Our gracious Heavenly Father, put within us the unlimited supply of joy of Your salvation in our lives, strengthening us for whatever the task, as we serve You this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

08-31-16

Peace

John 14:25-27, “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, God the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.  Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.”

            As Jesus prepared his disciples for the time He would leave them, the disciples’ hearts were filled with trepidation and a great deal of anxiety.  If we were under the teaching of Jesus for three years, we also would be filled with fear and dread if He told us He was leaving, our hearts would wonder what we would do, where we would go and how would we have the courage and words to teach others as Jesus has commanded us to do.  What a blessing it is for us to know and understand that God the Holy Spirit indwells our lives and is always and forever with us.  The disciples did not yet know the plan and promises of God and were not able to understand this gift that was to come upon all those that accepted Jesus’ gift of sacrifice for our sins.  God the Holy Spirit continues to teach us as we read our Bible and guiding us in the paths which we are to follow. 

            Then, in the same conversation Jesus says He will give us the gift of perfect peace.  He explained this is not the peace the world understands and seeks.  This will not be a ceasing of all hostilities in the world; our world today is filled with unrest, killings, hostilities, nations bombing nations, insurrections and riots and all the other unrest we see and hear about in the news broadcasts.  Instead there is a calm assurance in the hearts and minds of every believer that our Heavenly Father has us in His hands.  He is our fortress, our safe place; He has promised no weapon ever forged will disrupt our hearts if they are fixed upon Him.  Daniel had this peace as he spent the night listening to the rumbling stomachs of hungry lions, the three Israelites were at peace in the middle of a roaring fire, yet we have that perfect peace residing within us.  Our problem is that we do not rest in that peace, we don’t let our God carry our load of cares, we pray and worry instead of praying and resting in His promise.

            Heavenly Father, give us the ability to rest in Your peace now and forever.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Manna

08-30-16

Gifts

2 Corinthians 1:2, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

            Last time we talked of God’s gift of Comfort to all who love Him, also among the myriad gifts God has in store for us is His grace.  Grace is God’s favor or kindness showered upon us without regard to our worth or merit as those who receive it, and in spite of what we truly deserve.  Grace is one of the key attributes of God. The Lord God is “merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abounding in goodness and truth” (Ex 34:6). Therefore, grace is almost always associated with His mercy, love, compassion, and patience as the source of help and with deliverance from distress.  The supreme example of God’s grace is our salvation.  We were wretched, lost, dirty, mired in the filthy mud hole of sin.  We were as far from God’s salvation as a person could be; yet in His mercy our great God reached down, grasped our pleading hand and by His Grace He pulled us from Satan’s grip, loosed the chains that bound us and placed our feet firmly on Heaven’s path. 

            God did not see value in us, when, in repentance and faith, we grasped His hand. He placed His hand over ours and all the virtue and gifts we need entered our lives with the Person of God the Holy Spirit to guide and sustain us by His grace for all eternity.  In the Old Testament, the example of grace was the reclamation of the Hebrew people from Egypt, establishing them in the land promised centuries before to their ancestor Abraham.  This did not happen because of any merit on the Israelite’s or our part, but freely given in spite of our unrighteousness.  God’s grace is limitless, always available to us and is free and undeserved.  Grace is neither deserved nor should it be taken for granted.  

All that we are, all we can be, all the gifts we have, come to us from God’s hand  and it is only by His grace we will live to His glory.  Heavenly Father, we thank, praise and honor You with the new life You have given us.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

08-29-16

God’s Comfort

Isaiah 40:1, “Comfort, comfort My people,” says your God.”

            Isaiah was called as a prophet to comfort the people God called His own.  Today we hear many good messages from our pastors and teachers, in exhortation to labor for our great God because of the billions of people who have not heard the call of God the Holy Spirit in their hearts, and the many who have heard that call but are procrastinating and then there the many who are looking for someone to sit down and explain God’s plan for their life.

            For those of us who are indeed children of our Heavenly Father, worshipping and praising Him regularly, there are many passages that will comfort us in many difficult situations.  David wrote in the Psalms that our Heavenly Father will seek out and comfort all who have a broken heart.  If we have lost a loved one there is the promise that if they knew Christ Jesus they are happier than we are still on earth, because He has told us the earthly death of one who loves Him is precious to Him. 

            Jesus, Himself, told us that we are to place all our burdens upon Him and let Him bear the load, sorrow is real, but joy, God promises, comes with every sunrise.  Do we see sin, disobedience of God’s Holy precepts, people ignoring Him and living in degradation, caught in Satan’s traps and living hopelessly?  God promises relief and joy if they turn to Him. 

            Are you living in physical pain or disability, are our physical body’s failing?  Jesus is the true and perfect healer, and has already prepared a new body for us without pain or ailment.  Are we burdened with work and other responsibilities?  He promises to lift the weights and let us frolic like lambs in the grassy meadow.  Are you discouraged with the ungodly, untruthfulness, disregard for God’s Truth and righteousness in the world’s governments and leaders?  Our Heavenly Father is about to lift us up out of this earth’s woes, purify it of the sin curse that grows heavy upon the earth itself and then bring us with Him when He returns to establish His benevolent, righteous kingdom upon this earth. 

            Lord God our Father in Heaven, we will take comfort in Your Word and Holy Presence in our lives.  In Jesus’ name we praise You and You alone.

           

Manna in the Morning

08-26-16

Gifts

James 1:16-18, “Don’t be deceived, my dearly loved brothers. Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. By His own choice, He gave us a new birth by the message of truth so that we would be the firstfruits of His creations.”

            In writing this passage through the hands of James, God the Holy Spirit reminds us of God’s endless supply of wonderful gifts from His hands.  After our Creator God finished the creation of the physical earth, its seas, rivers and lakes, populated it with the fish, birds, animals and all living creatures God looked upon it and said, “It is good.”  Then, before the seventh day of rest, God created man in a special creative activity, breathing into the life of all men and women who would follow Adam and Eve, the special breath of spiritual life.  We are created in the spiritual image of our Triune God as a triad of body, soul and spirit that will continue through all eternity.  It is a special gift of our Heavenly Father to allow husband and wife to see the birth of a child into their family, that gift and all the accompanying joys can only be fully understood by those who love the Lord God.

            Then, in another specific spiritual act of creation, God rebirths us into His family when we come to Him in repentance and ask for His forgiveness and we are born anew into His Family with gifts, abilities and talents to live our life bringing honor and glory to His name.  God has chosen each of us to bring glory to His name through God the Holy Spirit within us, as we use those gifts. 

            As we live this life in the joy He has placed within us we anticipate an inexpressible joy the moment we are freed from this earth’s shackles and join our God in the place He is now preparing for us to be in His presence for evermore.  Our Heavenly Father, we are grateful for each of the perfect gifts that have come from Your hand into our lives.  May we cherish each of them and see them used for Your greater glory.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

08-25-16

The New Earth

Isaiah 65:17-18, “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind.  Then be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating.”

            Over the last decade or so, we have been bombarded with dire warnings about the various dangers that are about to befall the earth.   Global warming, climate change, lack of pure fresh water, extreme heat and drought in some areas, famine, earthquakes, sinkholes, wildfires, tropical storms, flooding, severe tornadoes and on and on.  These are having dire consequence in the short term but are an even greater portend of things yet to come.  Our Great God is the creator and sustainer of the entire universe created for eternity, with air and water purification systems naturally in place and functioning.  God said “It is good,” placing Adam and Eve in this creation designed to exist eternally. 

            Then Satan, the evil one, convinced Eve, then Adam, to rebel against the one commandment God had given them and the curse of sin fell upon the earth and its inhabitants.  The first man and woman were infected with sin and knew the reality of God’s statement, “The soul that sins shall surely die.”  They were evicted from their perfect habitation, cursed to labor with their hands to garner food.  The curse of sin fell upon the animals and the vegetation, causing weeds, pests like poison ivy, wasps, poisonous snakes and other harmful, destructive diseases to fall upon the efforts of man. 

            God judged the wickedness of earth’s inhabitants by sending the flood, to allow mankind to start anew with the pure message of God’s plan of salvation by faith in a coming Perfect Sacrifice. Noah and his sons knew and believed in God’s plan, but eventually humanity again rebelled against God so He separated them by distance and language.  Mankind’s devotion over the years of this earth has grown more toward personal gratification than of true worship of Almighty God.  In His love toward us, God prepared a people-group to bear the Promised Perfect Sacrifice who lived a sinless life and offers to pay your personal sin-debt upon repentance of your sin and calling upon Him for salvation. 

            Our earth is showing the wear and tear of the increasing sin curse and beginning to crack under the weight.  Men and women continue to sin and to reject God’s offer of salvation, but God’s final promise to those who turn to Him is the promise of a new Heaven and a New Earth free from sin and providing us an eternity in His presence in the place He has prepared for us with loving care.  Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we anticipate that day and praise You in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

08-23-16

A New Agreement

Hebrews 9:15, “Therefore He is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called might receive the promise of the eternal inheritance, because a death has taken place for redemption from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.”

            In the Book of Hebrews, the anonymous writer draws a very clear distinction between the way God dealt with the Israelites under the old Covenant, given to them through Moses, and the New Covenant that is for all believers in Jesus after Calvary.  The first covenant or agreement was, “they are physical regulations and only deal with food, drink, and various washings imposed until the time of restoration.” v10.  The old covenant was filled with regulations and rules to let the Israelites know what God expected and the type of obedience and dedication He required.  The promised sacrifice was still in their future.  In the New Covenant, the rules and regulations were observed without fault or failure by Jesus our Messiah.  He, needing no sacrifice for atonement, offered His own perfection and fulfillment in giving His human life as the Perfect Sacrifice that we receive by faith and trust in God’s promises.  Not only was his life, death and resurrection the completion of the first contract for the Israelites, the same opportunity for God’s saving grace was now opened to the rest of the world’s population. 

            There are times when I feel the unsaved people of the world, hearing the offer of salvation through grace, somehow seem to think they deserve their salvation, if somehow God owed it to the world to provide a way to avoid eternal damnation.  It is exactly the opposite, we deserve death to pay for the sin debt we have accumulated by our own willfulness and deliberate, willful sin against God.  As hard as a person may try, we will never merit any saving grace, without Christ Jesus’ sacrifice, we are totally, completely without hope. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise You for providing the opportunity for all mankind to be saved.  Help us to make it clear to those with whom we speak, that it is still a personal decision, an agreement between the sinful, lost individual and You.  Guide us and give us wisdom in choosing our words as we witness of Your salvation.  In Jesus’ wonderful name we pray.

           

Manna in the Morning

08-22-16

Accursed

Deuteronomy 21:22-23, “If anyone is found guilty of an offense deserving the death penalty and is executed, and you hang his body on a tree, you are not to leave his corpse on the tree overnight but are to bury him that day, for anyone hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not defile the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance.”

            As Moses was giving His last instructions to the Israelites before he was taken by God to Mount Nebo to view the land of Canaan then leave his earthly body and enter Heaven’s rest, He gave a lengthy description of how the Israelites should conduct themselves in the land God had promised to their forefather, Abraham.  Moses had given the Israelites the law handed down to him on Mount Sinai, the Levitical Law that governed their lives and now Moses re-emphasizes what must be their behavior.  This Levitical Law was part of the warp and fiber of their life and the Scribes and other Spiritual Leaders held countless discussions over the nuances of their law and behavior.

            Capital punishment had been a part of all the various law codes since Noah’s Ark landed on Mount Ararat.  This passage was written long before the Roman Empire and their cruel, sadistic practice of crucifixion.  This verse was the one Nicodemus and Joseph were thinking of when they asked Pilate for permission to anoint and bury Jesus earthly body after His death. 

            Jesus, as He hung upon the cross was a defilement of the land into which God the Father had brought the Israelites in fulfillment of His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The sin-debt and guilt of ages and ages of humanities’ life since Eden, the uncounted numbers of sacrifices offered in faith believing in the ultimate perfect sacrifice God had promised, and the commission of sin since Calvary committed by you and me, along with millions, if not billions of others who have bowed in repentance and plea for forgiveness until now was placed upon the sinless Lamb of God.  We are set free from the gripping hold of Satan and now have the opportunity to live for Him, serving Him because of the gratitude and love we have for Him that fills our hearts. 

            Our Gracious God, we thank and praise You for removing the curse of sin from our shoulders and You, God the Son, taking it upon yourself.  We will worship, praise and honor You forever, here on earth and in the Heavens above. 

Manna in the Morning

08-19-16

Lost Sheep

Isaiah 53:6, “We all went astray like sheep; we all have turned to our own way; and the Lord has punished Him for the iniquity of us all.”   

            All of us, at one time or another, have showed a real stubborn streak, either when we were prevented from doing something we really wanted to do or made to do something we really didn’t want to do.  That behavior is like a stubborn sheep who will not follow the shepherd and deliberately sets out to do his or her own thing.  We have strayed from following the path laid out for us by our Savior and have just decided to live life on our own terms, regardless of Biblical principles and the guidelines for us set out in Scripture.  Our way doesn’t have to be the opposite of God’s will for us, just a few degrees off the course He has set for us.  In a small ship on the big ocean, that can mean disaster.  For us, that tangential move will take us further from our Lord God every day, subtly and almost un-detectable drift that takes us far from Him.  He desires to walk with us every day of our earthly life, when we know Him as Savior, the Biblical term for that drifting away is sin. 

             For every person who has never come to Christ Jesus in repentance or the one who has slowly drifted away from Him and needs to return and ask for repentance, the price for our sin has been fully paid.  All we have to do is accept Jesus sacrifice for us, reconcile to Him in His love and mercy and live in joy and triumph for the rest of our earthly days.  Jesus, our Redeemer, lived a perfect sinless human life as He walked and taught over two thousand years ago.  Willingly He offered up His life as our substitute so that we may have life with Him for all eternity.  There aren’t enough superlatives in our languages to describe that sacrifice: His perfection for our misery and woe. 

            Lord God, our Savior, we thank You with everlasting love and praise for our salvation.  Use us today in any way You desire to bring You great glory and win others into Your loving righteousness, You are our Good Shepherd and we will follow You.

Manna in the Morning

08-18-16

Balaam’s Donkey

Numbers 24:17, “I see him, but not now; I perceive him, but not near.  A star will come from Jacob, and a scepter will arise from Israel.”

These words were uttered by Balaam, the Prophet who was contacted by Balak, the King of Moab.  The Israelites were traveling from Egypt across the wilderness, bound for the land God had promised to their Ancestor, Abraham, over 400 years earlier.  Since the Israelites had left Egypt, received the Law at Sinai and traveled across the empty land, led by the Cloud by day and fire by night’ favored by the Lord God, and passed through the lands dominated by many of the tribes, such as the Amalekites and Moabites, God favored them and the other people groups could not keep them from crossing their territories.  Balak, the King of Moab, sought out Balaam to curse the Israelites, keeping them from entering Moab’s territory.  Balaam knew he could not curse the Israelites without sever consequences from the Lord God so he tried to placate Balak without placing any curse on the Israelites, but still taking the money offered him.

As Balaam was riding his donkey down a trail, the donkey suddenly stopped, refused to move, even though Balaam beat the animal 3 times.  Finally, the donkey audibly spoke to Balaam and warned him of an angel holding a sword to keep Balaam from meeting with Balak.  Later, Balaam issued four prophetic statements or oracles, when He gave a clear promise of our Savior, declaring the Star of Bethlehem, the Messiah, would come from Israelite roots, and will be a King in Israel.

Balaam is an example of an insincere, or wavering person who proclaims God’s word; one who would tailor his message to suit the hearers.  The person who will sugar coat some of the Biblical pronouncements against sin; things our nation is becoming more comfortable with evert day.  When our Heavenly Father calls us to proclaim His message, whether to adults or kids, to individuals or groups, we must, as simply and accurately as possible, proclaim God’s Words as we are impelled and empowered by God the Holy Spirit.  Heavenly Father, speak through us today, keeping us from the error of Balaam, in Jesus’ name we pray.

           

Manna in the Morning

08-17-16

Filled

Acts 4:29-31, “And now, Lord, consider their threats, and grant that Your slaves may speak Your message with complete boldness, while You stretch out Your hand for healing, signs, and wonders to be performed through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.”

            Just after Peter and John were released from prison and instructed by the Roman and Jewish authorities to cease from preaching and teaching about Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, Peter said they could not refrain from speaking of their Lord and Redeemer, they must obey God rather than men.  Returning to their friends, those that had banded together, forming the first church.  During their prayer celebration for God’s deliverance, the place where they were meeting began to shake and God the Holy Spirit came upon the believers in a mighty way. 

            God the Holy Spirit is the third Person by which we know and sense our Triune God.  He has lost none of His power, ability and when we are born anew into the Family of God the Father, we receive the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit in all His fullness, empowering, guiding, and gifting us with the love, joy, peace, patience and all the other gifts to be used in serving our Lord God.  When we recognize we are not as enthused or active as we once were, we should not pray to be filled with God the Holy Spirit, we should examine our lives and ask to be more yielded to His guidance and influence on our lives.  If there is a lessening of God’s power and influence in our lives, it is not because He has become lax, it is because we tend to rely upon our own fleshly efforts and ego instead of His grace and mercy.

            Our loving Heavenly Father, we pray that we will be fully open to the guidance and power of God the Holy Spirit this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

08-16-16

The Glory of the Lord

Psalm 114:3-8, “The sea looked and fled; the Jordan turned back.  The mountains skipped like rams, the hills, like lambs.  Why was it, sea, that you fled?  Jordan, that you turned back?  Mountains, that you skipped like rams?  Hills, like lambs?  Tremble, earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, who turned the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.”

            This evening as I looked out the window by my desk, at sunset a saw a large, brilliant, yellow-orange cloud in the east as the sunset in the west.  My mind immediately went to some of the visions the ancient prophets had of the glory of our Lord.  As God directed my thoughts to this passage, David the Psalmist, under the direct inspiration recalled Israel’s history with four acts of God to remind them of His power and majesty. First, as the Israelites left Egypt, at the touch of the Holy Ark of the Covenant, the Red Sea parted, moving up and down stream to allow the Israelites safe, dry passage.  Then as the Egyptian Army followed on chariots, closed again drowning them, keeping the Israelites in complete safety, then as they traveled in the wild desert, God provided pools of water from the rocks and stones.  Later, as they crossed into the promised land of Canaan the Jordan river also turned back

            Our Creator, maker of Heaven and earth gives us glimpses of His glory in the natural world if we are alert and recognize them.  The Aurora Borealis is beautiful in display during the winter months in the Northern latitudes, the clouds give glimpses of God’s glory like the display this evening, over this area.  There is no lack in beauty as we see God’s handiwork in the sky on dark, cloudless nights when the stars shine in all their glory. 

            The face of a tiny baby that seems to glow with vitality, the calm assurance in the countenance of an older saint as they contemplate the promise of Heaven’s glory, the radiance in the faces of those who love their Lord God and express in face, voice and words, their confidence in their salvation.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we radiate Your glory as we relate to other people throughout this day.  With all creation we will sing your praises, in Jesus’ glorious name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the morning

08-15-16

Walk in Truth

3 John 2-4, “Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.  For I was very glad when some brothers came and testified to your faithfulness to the truth—how you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”

            We who love the Lord God, our Heavenly Father talk about His love, are encouraged to tell our ‘story’ in three minutes, to tell others of our love for our Redeemer, often forgetting the most effective witness we can have is the way we live our daily lives.  The way we respond to disappointment, dismay and discouragement speaks far louder than any words we can utter.  It is important to sow seeds in people’s lives by telling them of God’s love that compels us to live in a manner that glorifies Him, and not ourselves.  God’s Word repeatedly tells us to do good works so others will see we follow Jesus.  Our Savior walked the dusty paths of this earth for over thirty years, and we know from the accounts of His life in Scripture, He never neglected to see, meet or talk to anyone who came to Him for help.  He strengthened the lame, healed those with sickness, cast demons out of those afflicted and never turned anyone away, ignoring their call.  He often spent the night in prayer for His mission, those He knew needed His touch, and forgave those who plotted against Him.  The very essence of the word ‘good’ is the fact that God is in it. 

            When John wrote this letter to Gaius, it was to commend him, not for his ability to preach or sing, nor for his giving to the poor.  It was for the consistent way Gaius walked following the example of his Savior.  Others commented on his godly life, and John wrote of how wonderful it was for his ‘children,’ members of the church he pastored. lived their life in the image of Christ Jesus.  In the Book of Romans, God the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to encourage us to strive to be conformed to the spiritual image of Jesus, living as He would have us follow His example.

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, clearly show us the path to walk, and the actions You would have us to take this day for Your greater glory.  This is our prayer in Jesus’ name

Manna in the Morning

08-12-16

Unbelief

Luke 17:5, The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith.”

            Jesus was talking to His disciples and warning of disappointments and failures on the part of some believers.  As He spoke to them they asked Him, “Increase our Faith.”  In another instance, a man who pleaded with Jesus to heal his son spoke these words to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief!” Jesus told him to return home, his son was healed. 

            If the disciples who were called, taught and traveled with Jesus for nearly three years, recognized their need to deepen their faith in Jesus and His ministry, we too need to be recognize we are also His disciples and must deepen our faith also.  Whether we have been a Christian for a week or for twenty-five years, there is always a need to draw closer to our Savior and Lord until we reach His side in the heavenly places.  We are in the Family of our Heavenly Father, but we are also disciples who need to be taught and our faith deepened by our relationship with our Savior.

            The father of the sick child had shown his faith in traveling quite a long distance to plead with Jesus for his son’s life, since the physicians had given him little hope.  He asked Jesus to accompany him to his home to perhaps touch the child and heal him, but Jesus listened, and with compassion told the man to go home because his son had already been healed.  Just like this man we too have needs and problems for which we need guidance and strength.  When we lay these burdens at the feet of our Heavenly Father, we are to pray in faith believing He will answer in the way He knows is best, and for His greater glory.

            Today we are unique, we are those who are ambassadors of Heaven on this earth, carrying on the ministry handed down from Jesus centuries ago. As His disciples today, we need to increase our faith, knowledge of God’s written Word, and abilities to share that Gospel message with faith in the saving power of Jesus.  We need to deepen our faith in our Lord God as we speak with others as they ask us to pray, we need to present their needs before our Lord in faith, asking Him to move in their lives in accordance with His will and for His glory. 

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, increase our faith this day we pray in Jesus’ name. 

Manna in the Morning

08-10-16

Trust

Jeremiah 14:22, “Can any of the worthless idols of the nations bring rain?  Or can the skies alone give showers?  Are You not the Lord our God?  We therefore put our hope in You, for You have done all these things.”

            Jerusalem, Judea and all the surrounding nations were suffering from a prolonged drought.  The people of the surrounding nations had been praying to their idols, but the rain did not come.  Children were dying, the wild animals that did give birth had abandoned their offspring because there was neither water nor grass. 

            Jeremiah reminded the Israelites the skies cannot produce rain without the Creator’s hand upon it, Jehovah God is the creator and can put an end to the drought, relieving the land and the people.  On behalf of the people of Israel, Jeremiah reminded himself as well as the people in recognizing that The God they worshipped was the Creator and worthy of their faith and trust for their deliverance.

            When we face an apparent insurmountable problem, we are to have the confidence in our Heavenly Father, the certainty to expect Him to answer on our behalf.  Whatever the problem, our God is greater, no matter how we feel, God is able, when we admit our sin and guilt for contributing, or even causing, the problem, we know our God is sovereign over all creation, if we trust Him for a solution, He will solve it to His great glory and our willingness to trust in Him without wavering.

            We must be careful not to give directives to our Father in Heaven, we can only see things from our short, incomplete, clouded view of our problem, we need to trust God to do as He sees fit, because He sees all things from the eternal point of view.  Our position is not one of administration, telling others what to do, but to be a humble servant of our great God and Father.  When we are in close fellowship with our Father, we must trust Him in every testing so that we may become more like our Redeemer. Jesus, God the Son.  Our Heavenly Father, we commit this day to You, we will trust You in everything and follow the guidance of God the Holy Spirit in thought, word and deed.  It is in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

08-09-16

God’s Glory

1 Peter 4:10-11, “Based on the gift they have received, everyone should use it to serve others, as good managers of the varied grace of God. If anyone speaks, his speech should be like the oracles of God; if anyone serves, his service should be from the strength God provides, so that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To Him belong the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen.”

            When a person is born again into the Family of God our loving Heavenly Father blesses each one with specific gifts to be used to His greater glory.  Whether one has a gift of teaching or preaching God’s Word or the gifts of ushering or picking up the items left after the service, each person should do his or her very best, recognizing they are not working to be paid nor are they trying to work their way into heaven, but simply acting as a servant of God to please Him in every word or deed.  Occasionally people find themselves in a situation where they are not using the gift God gave them but are serving in an area for which they aren’t prepared.  If that’s the case, we need to recognize the situation and seek to serve our Lord in the place He has gifted us to fill.

            If one has been given the gift of service, every act of service is to be done to the glory of God and to serve the requirements and deficiencies of those we serve with humbleness and gratitude to God for the precious privilege of sharing in His ministry.  Our wonderful Heavenly Father delights in our service and blesses us as much as those we serve.  If one has the awesome privilege of opening God’s Word, expounding its truths, that person, whether Pastoring a large congregation or teaching the First Grade Class of 6-year old kids, every word that comes from our mouths should be with the same anointing of God the Holy Spirit as the human author who was used, under the same inspiration, to commit God’s Word to paper and ink.  We are to teach with the same conviction, compassion, accuracy and fervor as Jesus when He walked upon the surface of this earth.  In everything we say or do, wherever we are and whomever we are serving, we are to speak with the full conviction that God the Holy Spirit has shaped the words we speak, all to the greater glory and praise to our Heavenly Father.  Every act of service, large or small, done in sincerity and submission to our God is an act of dedicated worship.

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, speak through us in word and deed this day we plead in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

08+08=16

Grace 

Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.”

            Grace is always associated with salvation. In Ephesians 2:8, God the Holy Spirit tells us it is by grace we are saved.  “Grace is favor or kindness shown without regard to the worth or merit of the one who receives it and in spite of what that same person deserves; grace is almost always associated with mercy, love, compassion, and patience as the source of help and with deliverance from distress.” (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary.)

            There is no person on this earth, now or in the past that could not find Redemption through God’s grace without regard to any qualification so long as he or she answers the invitation of God the Holy Spirit upon their heart, turns from their sin and accepts God’s wondrous gift.  When we turn from our sin and are born anew into the Family of God, we are to understand the eternality of God, turn away from any thought of dishonoring our Heavenly Father and through His gifts, ignore all worldly lusts and appetites to live in a manner that pleases and brings honor to our Eternal, Heavenly Father. 

            While we are on this earth, our actions, attitudes and words are to exhibit the goodness of our God, to make the life we live in Christ something others will desire and have the same relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Because Jesus gave His earthly life on the Cross of Calvary, we can live our few years on earth spreading the salvation message clear to all who will listen.

            Our focus as individuals should be on the eternity we will spend in the presence of our great God’s glory and not be fixed upon the things this world can offer.  We then, are to fix our life focus, not on this earth that is wracked with sin and bearing the burden of sin’s curse, but keep focused on God’s promises of the eternal glory which is yet to come for we who believe.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we yearn to be in Your presence, therefore we desire to do Your bidding while we are upon this earth.  By Your great mercies, equip us for this day’s battles and cover us with Your protective presence.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

08-05-16

Pattern for Living

1 Thessalonians 5:16-23, “Rejoice always!  Pray constantly.  Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Don’t stifle the Spirit.  Don’t despise prophecies, but test all things.  Hold on to what is good.  Stay away from every form of evil.  Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely.”

            Under the direct inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, the Apostle Paul gives us a skeleton plan for living the Christian Life, a life that is not lived according to the gospel of this world, but one that will glorify and radiate the gospel we’ve found in Christ Jesus.  The first principle is to always live in joy, rejoicing for the great eternal future that lies before us.  Just reflect upon an eternity in the presence of our Great Triune God.  Next we are to be constantly in prayer; not prayer when we eat, perhaps when we get up, and then at the end of the day when we’re so tired our words may not make sense, but living in an attitude of prayer.  We should talk to our Heavenly Father just as if He is walking beside us down an unknown trail, asking for directions.  This is how our Savior would have us live. 

            Trying to silence the quiet voice of God the Spirit in our hearts is not the way to live, eagerly listen because He is the voice of spiritual wisdom and guidance in our lives, seek to hear Him.  Many people today are interested in the prophetic books in the Bible.  It is gratifying to know how God is going to fulfill the prophecies of the past and use us in the process.  Reading the promises of God is guaranteed to enrich our lives and lift our spirits.  Always proof your words against the preserved prophecy of God’s word.  Keep a grip on the things God puts in your heart, it is good, and stay as far away as east is from west from the lures of the evil one.  Then God our Heavenly Father will fill our lives, making us holy, set aside for His work and satisfy our every need through the unlimitable riches of His grace.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, fill us with prayer, thoughts of Your love and grace as well as a fierce desire to share Your love with others this day.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

08-04-16

The Call from Heaven

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, “For we say this to you by a revelation from the Lord: We who are still alive at the Lord’s coming will certainly have no advantage over those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.

            The apostle Paul used the letters to the Thessalonian Church to teach many of the churches the Scriptural truths of the event we call today, ‘The Rapture.’  The Word of God clearly teaches there will be a time when the Church, the complete Body of Christ Jesus, will be called by the voice of an archangel and the sound of the trumpet, from this earth into the presence of our Lord God.  Those who have died before us will receive an incorruptible body and we who are alive will be changed from this mortal body into our celestial, incorruptible body in the instant it takes to travel to the presence of God for all eternity. 

            According to the timeline given in the Book of Daniel, the earthly time of the Church will be complete at a time known only to God the Father.  This begins the seven-year period of earthly trials and tribulation when God purifies the earth of the curse of sin placed upon it after the sin of Adam and Eve.

            God the Holy Spirit tells, through the writing of Paul, this anticipated event should encourage us in our daily life as we share the message of God’s love and the salvation that we enjoy, lasting not only through our earthly life but all eternity as we exist in the presence of our Triune God.  Our gracious, loving Heavenly Father, we love, praise and adore You for all the blessings You give us now and the expectation of eternity in Your presence.  May we go through this day in joyous expectation of Your continued blessings.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

08-03-16

At the Coming of The Lord

1 Thessalonians 3:12-13, “May the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we also do for you. May He make your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”

            Paul was anxious about the church and told them he was praying for them to increase, or abound, meaning to not only increase in numbers, but in their knowledge of God’s Word and His plan for their lives collectively and as individuals.  We cannot be of value in the church where we worship and with non-believers unless we are increasing in the knowledge of God’s Word and growing in the knowledge of Christ Jesus Himself in our individual lives.

            For our physical bodies to remain in good health, every part of our body must be healthy and strong.  Even minor ailments will take a toll on our strength and abilities.  When we stub our toe, our balance is affected as well as our sensitivity and general nerve reactions.  SAs individual members of the church, our spiritual health is dependent upon the health and spirituality of all the other members of the church, just as they depend upon us to maintain our own relationship with the Father in Heaven.  The believer who does not regularly worship and fellowship with other believers will not grow because of the lack of interactions with others in his church.  Just remember the last time you spent time away from church because of illness or other circumstances and how you were miss the fellowship, and others told you how much they missed you as well.

            Two more things Paul prayed would increase among the Thessalonian church were their love, both for the believers as they grew together and for the non-believer as they exhibited their concern for them with a desire for all they met and knew to come to a relationship with their Great God and Father.  The second was that keep their hearts pure, free from sin and blameless before the Father.  All of us who know and love our Lord God realize how we sin both by our actions and our inaction in failing to follow Jesus’ example in actively sharing our faith. 

            A thriving church encourage to grow in love for the believers and non-believer, to keep their hearts pure, enjoying the worship and fellowship with other believers and to live in holiness anticipating the coming of our Lord.  Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the opportunities to share Your saving love with others, to live to Your glory as we walk through this day.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer before You.

Manna in the Morning

08-02-16

Standing Firm

1 Thessalonians 2:14-16, “For you, brothers, became imitators of God’s churches in Christ Jesus that are in Judea, since you have also suffered the same things from people of your own country, just as they did from the Jews. They killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and persecuted us; they displease God, and are hostile to everyone, hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles so that they may be saved. As a result, they are always adding to the number of their sins, and wrath has overtaken them completely.”

            Thessalonica was a large fast growing city of culture and learning on the major trade route between Rome in the West and the Eastern World.  It was the site of the church planted in this area by Paul and the church grew rapidly, founded upon Scriptural teaching and at least during this time, free from doctrinal error.  These Letters are filled with references of the return of Jesus, and the church, Paul said, was much the same as the churches that were growing in Judea and the other areas around Jerusalem. 

            Jerusalem was known as the City that had killed more prophets than any other city because only in the Temple Council could a prophet be tried for teaching or prophesying falsely.  It was the Sanhedrin that caused Jesus to be tried before Pilate, condemned Him and sent our Savior to be crucified by the Roman Government.  The Council tried Peter, John and others, trying to silence them.  Saul himself was commissioned by them to stamp out the rising group of Christians around Jerusalem and its rapid growth throughout the territory. 

            Those that continue to persecute the Church, whether then or now, continue to displease God, are adding to their guilt and will be tried before the Lord God at the Great Judgement and cast into the Lake of Fire.  There are those among the church today who are attempting to modify the long-held Biblical doctrines of the church, who are anxious to unite believer and non-believer in worship, minimizing the message of the Cross and losing their evangelical fire.

Just as the Thessalonian Church eagerly awaited the calling up of the Church, we ought to be living in expectation of being called up to see our Redeemer at any moment, teaching and exhorting the promise of Scripture that to be absent from this earth is to be in the presence of our God.  Using every opportunity and recognizing the great needs of a sinful society, we are to finish this earthly sojourn representing our Savior in every Way.

            Gracious God and Father, we ask for Your guidance and strength to finish strong, and having done all, to stand triumphant before you in the Heavenly places.  In Jesus’ saving name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

08-01-16

Imitators

1 Thessalonians 1:6, “You became imitators of us and of the Lord when, in spite of severe persecution, you welcomed the message with the joy from the Holy Spirit.”

            Recently there was a convention Com-Car characters.  Men and women and kids of all ages, even entire families were dressed as comic book or cartoon characters.  The parking lots were full of characters, the public transportation was full of characters, all in the hope of winning a look-alike contest.  People dressed as super-heroes, robots and characters I never knew existed, all to appear like something they aren’t.  Imitating someone else isn’t limited to comical characters, many people appear to something they aren’t when they’re trying to sell you a product, political figures stress their ideologies to convince others, then vote for their own personal enrichment in some way or another. 

            Many people try to act like a Christian, or use the terminology that Christians use, but who have no real understanding of what it means to have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.   A sorcerer known as Simon Magus, or Simon the magician tried to buy spiritual powers from the apostle Peter, having joined in fellowship with many of the believers in Samaria, but had no real understanding of Jesus’ teachings or His sacrificial death for the sin of all mankind. 

            Paul the Missionary Apostle, wrote to the Thessalonian Church complementing them on striving to be ‘imitators’ of Christ Jesus, that is to have Jesus’ concern for others, His compassion for the needy, sick and lame and for the spiritual condition of all with whom He met.  Paul also tried to be as much like Christ Jesus as was possible in his teaching and desire to reach those that would never hear of God’s salvation if they did not hear it from him.  In his letter to the Romans, Paul said that those things that God allows in our lives to affect us so that we may be, “Conformed to the image of God the Son.”  To conform has the idea of forcing one entity to take on the shape of another.  We are to strive in our lives to let everything from minor irritation to major surgery shape us, making us more like our Redeemer.  To have His compassion for the unsaved, praying, asking God for spiritual and physical healing for them and to share God’s encouraging message with them. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask that You will conform us to the image of Our Redeemer and coming King.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

07-29-16

Forbidden

Acts 4:18-20, “So they called for them and ordered them not to preach or teach at all in the name of Jesus.  But Peter and John answered them, “Whether it’s right in the sight of God for us to listen to you rather than to God, you decide; for we are unable to stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”

            In recent months, orders have been reported issued from the Executive Branch of our Government, through the Pentagon forbidding Chaplains in the Military from praying in the name of Jesus, God the Son.  Recently a long retired NCO was forcibly removed from a Military Funeral honoring a retired Veteran, for reciting a poem using the word ‘God’ in the text.  When we see that Peter and John refused to be silent, going to prison and standing up in the face of threatened execution for teaching the gospel of Jesus, our Savior it is easy to say we would do the same thing.  Each Christian must stand on his/her own convictions about open testimony of their faith, the time may come sooner than we think when we will face the same situation.  Jesus warned us that because the world hates Him, it will hate us, but He also said, “I have overcome the world.   

            We have been taught that a good Christian must be a pacifist, turning the other cheek and obeying every rule and edict of government even if it is against the precepts of God’s Word.  If God did not expect us to be active in this spiritual warfare, He would not have provided us with the armor in Ephesians 6.  He would not have encouraged us to fight the battle with the weapons He has given us; the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and the power of fervent, Godly prayer.  God’s Word tells us in 1 Cor 15:58 to be, “steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain,” and in Col 1:23, “remain grounded and steadfast in the faith, and are not shifted away from the confidence of the gospel that you heard.”

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us courage, strength and resolve to stand firm in our faith in Christ Jesus, regardless of the outcome.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

 

in the Morning

07-28-16

I Never Knew You

Matthew 7:21-24, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!”

            This is a sobering passage, so many people are led down a path that does not lead to salvation, but they are so sincere in their belief that they are absolutely sure they will be in Heaven.  All of those broad, well-marked highways they travel are alluring, promising much and as they lead onward and upward, they pass the little unpaved road that wends its way up to a gate clearly marked and visible to all saying, “Jesus.”  He, Himself, said He was the only gate into the Heavenly spaces.  All those broad, well known and popular highways end at a precipice, unmarked and unseen, the person falling off the edge and into the place prepared for Satan and his demons.  Jesus made it clear that salvation is so simple, so vibrant and so precious; He is the only way, the only truth and eternal life is only through Him.  To some it seems ‘too easy,’ to others, saving faith in Jesus’ death burial and resurrection is only the beginning, but they have to add their good works, efforts or money to be saved. 

            There are those who will build great edifices, who will quote Biblical passages making things seem much more complex than they truly are, and build their following on partial truths or outright fabrication.  These are the ones Jesus will say, depart from me, I never knew you, or phrased differently, they never knew Jesus.

Jesus said His words are absolute truth.  The essence of the gospel message is simple.  Salvation is fully, completely and only from our Triune God.  His plan of love, conviction of sin in our heart followed by a genuine repentant spirit and falling before Him asking for and receiving His forgiveness and the lifting of our sin guilt by Jesus’ own sacrifice on our behalf.  We are born again, a new creation in Christ Jesus. 

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, may the life we live in Jesus’ name today, glorify You alone.

Manna in the Morning

07-27-16

Peter’s Release

Acts 12:6-8, “On the night before Herod was to bring him out for execution, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, while the sentries in front of the door guarded the prison. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell. Striking Peter on the side, he woke him up and said, “Quick, get up!” Then the chains fell off his wrists. “Get dressed,” the angel told him, “and put on your sandals.” And he did so. “Wrap your cloak around you,” he told him, “and follow me.”

            After Jesus ascended into Heaven, Peter, James and the other disciples and followers of Jesus spread the message of salvation in Jesus throughout Jerusalem.  Herod anxious to please the Jewish leaders, had James killed by the sword and imprisoned Peter, holding him under a heavy guard of Roman soldiers while Peter himself was chained to the center of his prison cell.  The night before Peter was to be taken out and publicly executed, he was visited by an angel sent from God to release Peter and escort him out of the prison.  The four soldiers guarding Peter, the prison warden and gate keeper were completely senseless and did not realize Peter had disappeared until the summons came for him the next morning.  After the angel disappeared, Peter went to a house where they were praying earnestly for his release, and the maid that answered the knock was so astounded she left him outside while she told the praying group Peter was standing outside the door. 

            When we pray for God’s help and intervention, we need to pray in expectation of His answer.  Praying without expectation is like holding your glass under the faucet and not turning on the valve, hoping but not expecting.   We need to fully recognize and expect our loving Heavenly Father to hear and answer, bringing glory, not to us but to He who deserves it.  That poor maid-servant recognized the answer, was so thrilled and exuberant she didn’t even let Peter in the house before she shared the answer.  Let’s not be surprised when our prayers are answered, let’s share the testimony of the answer with others but never be surprised, after all God promised to answer and we rejoice in His goodness to us.

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we rejoice in thanksgiving, praising and glorifying Your matchless name.  Give us Your guidance this day we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

07-26-16

Go to Work

Haggai 2:4-5, “Be strong, all you people of the land”—the Lord’s declaration. “Work! For I am with you”—the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. “This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt, and My Spirit is present among you; don’t be afraid.” 

            Haggai brought God’s message to those who had returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity.  His message from God was that although they had cut down trees and built themselves big, comfortable houses they had done nothing to restore worship in the Temple that had been razed by the Babylonians.  Continuing to tell them the Lord’s declaration, Haggai said they wondered why their harvests were minimal, God had not blessed their gardens and everything they did turned to nothing.  This, the Lord declared, was due to their ignoring God’s command to give to their Temple for Worship.

            Today, God has given each of us gifts, talents and abilities to use in advancing His kingdom on this earth.  Today someone called me because God had given him a burden to share his testimony of his salvation, but he was fearful of rejection and reluctant to speak to others about their spiritual condition.  He asked me to pray for him, so he would be committed to do the work God has for all of us to do while we are on this earth.  If we were only called to accept Christ Jesus and keep the truth to ourselves, we would immediately be transported to Heaven.  We must often be reminded that our voices are used of God to communicate His message, our legs are to carry that message and our chief goal in life is to be active and do the work God uses us to complete.  It is a great privilege to be used of God, He has promised us the crown of life for serving Him and when we lead someone to Christ, using the words God the Holy Spirit puts in our mouths, we will have the soul-winners crown.  Don’t be so heavenly minded you’re no earthly good.

            We don’t do these things for reward, we don’t share our testimony in payment for our salvation, we speak and teach others of God’s love and mercy out of sheer gratitude and praise and only for His Glory.  Our gracious Heavenly Father our sincere prayer is for You to use us today in any way You wish for Your great glory.  It is in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

07-25-16

Redeemed

Ruth 2:12, “May the Lord reward you for what you have done, and may you receive a full reward from the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

            Scripture gives us an account of Ruth, who left her homeland, Moab, to return to Judah with her widowed mother-in-law.  Ruth also was a widow who had married Naomi’s son, Mahlon, who also died in the land of Moab.  Ruth declared in clear language that she would return to the village of Bethlehem in Judah with Naomi, that she would worship and follow the precepts of Jehovah God until her dying day.  This Biblical account of love, redemption and declaration of God shows a small glimpse of how God would send a Redeemer to ransom the Israelites and the entire human race through the Promised Perfect Sacrifice to come. 

            Ruth married Boaz, a widowed relative of Naomi who would ‘redeem’ the land allotment of her husband under the tribal allotments when the Israelites entered Canaan.  Their son, Obed had a son, Jesse, whose son David became the great King over all Israel.  Ruth came from one of the tribes that were antagonists of Israel, yet this woman declared her faith in the plan of Jehovah God for her life and was part of the line that ultimately gave birth to our Savior, Jesus, born of Mary in this same little hamlet, Bethlehem, prophesied to be the birthplace of that Promised Sacrifice.

            Our faith is in our great God who calls us to repentance and salvation, who equips us for His service, then uses us to His great glory.  No matter what our origins are, where we live or how big our bank account is, our God seeks those who will accept His love, follow His precepts and like Ruth, never question His path as He guides us through this life. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we just as Ruth, declare You as the source of our salvation, our confidence is in You and we wish to live and use the gifts you have given us to Your greater glory.  In the name of Jesus and the Power of God the Holy Spirit in our lives, we seek to bring You glory this day.

Manna in the Morning

07-22-16

Prayer Time

1 John 5:12-15, “The one who has the Son has life. The one who doesn’t have God the Son does not have life. I have written these things to you who believe in the name of God the Son, so that you may know that you have eternal life.  Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” 

            We who know the one and only source of redemption is in Jesus, God the Son also know we have God the Holy Spirit within our lives to guide and protect us, making us effective tools in our Master’s hands.  It is in Jesus alone we find Eternal Life.  Once we have accepted God’s gift of salvation, we are born anew into His family and no one nor anything else can take that from us.  We are secure in Him.  As John re-emphasized this, he fills the reader with the confidence that our Heavenly Father takes a very personal interest in our lives.  Just as human fathers are interested in the well-being of their children, so our Heavenly Father is interested in our spiritual well-being and listens to every prayer we lift to Heaven, whether audibly spoken, thoughts formed in our minds, or the quick, instinctive pleas are instantly known by our Heavenly Father.

            There are times when we refuse to acknowledge He has said “no,” or “wait just a bit,” and go ahead of His will causing us difficulty and pain.  Our great, omnipotent, all knowing Father in Heaven has a plan that was forged and put into action in the ageless eternity before creation and will find its fruition in the eternal reign of our God that we will enjoy for the promised eternal life in the place He has prepared for us.  Our prayers should always ask for our lives to be used to our Great God’s greater glory. 

            Our prayers are not repetitive or carefully scripted words; they are the affectionate conversations with the One who loves us so deeply, therefore it is important to keep our minds open to His answers to our deepest requests.  Meditate upon His Written Word; upon His goodness, majesty and love for us as His children.

Our gracious Heavenly Father, we desire to walk in the center of Your will, obeying Your precepts and living to Your Greater Glory.  We lift our prayer in the name of Jesus our Redeemer and friend.

Manna in the Morning

07-21-16

I Love God

    

1 John 4:20-21, “If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For the person who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And we have this command from Him: the one who loves God must also love his brother.”

            The old apostle, John, having spent the greatest part of his life after Jesus ascended into heaven, remembered the times they walked together along the Sea of Galilee, recalling the night Jesus calmed the stormy seas, and evoking every moment of the Crucifixion and the glories of the resurrection.  In this, one of the last letters he would write to his beloved church, John capsulized the message of our great Triune God; God is love! 

            If we love God, it is only because God first loved us. If we don’t share God’s love with others, we do not appreciate God’s love for us.  If we do not love others, we waste God’s love.  We must be sure we do not accept nor do we condone anyone’s sin; we must hate sin but in the name of Jesus, God the Son we must love the sinner, leading them to realize their sin. 

We are in the midst of a political nomination convention and Presidential Race and while emotions run high, even if some desire revenge, even if we know some candidates are running on platforms of ungodly principles, we must learn hate does not belong in the heart of the Child of God.  While pointing out sin, while we may know God is on our side, lets show He is truly by our side and love those that hate us by sharing God’s plan of loving salvation with those we disagree. Jesus publicly called out the Pharisees and religious leaders, naming their sin, yet He died that they may know His love; just ask Nicodemus when you see him.

Our gracious, loving Heavenly Father, we ask your forgiveness for the animosity and dislike we may harbor in our hearts against others.  Give us the love we need to share Your salvation with others as You lead us today.  May we walk in the same compassionate manner as did our Savior, in whose name we humbly pray.

Manna in the Morning

07-20-16

Love One Another

1 John 3:11-14, “For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: we should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.”

            John’s message is timeless; love one another.  If Cain were not jealous of his brother Abel, he would not have killed him.  Scripture says that those who follow Jesus will be known for our love for one another.  In this time in which we are living, being a dedicated Christian, living to God’s glory will not bring us fame and fortune, it is bringing, more and more, a distain among others.  We are forced to live in a society and country that ignores marriage between one man and one woman, that allows full-grown men to use the woman’s restroom, regardless of the fact young girls use that same restroom.  We are told our witness must be contained within the walls of the church not outside in public, and we wonder why the world actually lives and acts like the sinful world.  We strive to live in purity like our Savior; they live like the devil, in deception and wickedness.

            Cain was driven by evil and jealousy and killed his brother, today people are offended by our peace with God and living according to His Word, and the unsaved world uses words, clubs, guns to demean and even kill us; and using the courts in an attempt to force us to violate our spiritual convictions.

            Scripture says all are appointed to die and be punished; we have died to this world and when we breath our last earthly breath, it isn’t even a split second before we breath the rarified air of heaven.  The world will undergo judgement, condemnation and eternity in the Lake of Fire while we will receive eternal rewards from the hands of our living Savior.

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we are free from the burdens and condemnation of this world and sin because of Your great grace, mercy and love.  Give us the courage, strength and determination to live a life dedicated to Your glory we pray in Jesus’ saving name.

Manna in the Morning

07-19-16

Propitiation

1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous One. He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.”

            The Apostle John wrote this letter as a concerned Pastor to his church.  He is encouraging his congregation to understand the full extent of what God the Son, Jesus, has done for them. He is the perfectly Righteous One.  He is our Propitiation, our Expiator, the One who atoned for, paid the reparation cost for our massive sin debt.  The word ‘propitiation’ is used twice by John once by the writer of the Book of Hebrews, and once by the Missionary Apostle Paul.  In each case it is used to describe the unfathomable cost of our redemption and is the strongest word in our language to describe what Christ Jesus has done for us.  Mediating on this price paid will humble the Christian make us realize the horrendous price Jesus paid to expiate (wipe out) our sin debt.  Because we are human, we sin.  We act inappropriately, think evil thoughts, and many times don’t share this gift of grace with others when the opportunity stares us in the face.  The Scriptures tell us that when we know to do the right thing and fail to do it, for whatever reason, we sin. 

            We are redeemed by the grace of God and in gratitude we live a life of service to our Great God and Father. Whether we plow cornfields or teach school, heal the illnesses or protect the citizens, we do all things in service to our Heavenly Father in gratitude and thanksgiving for all He has given us and for the unfathomable gifts of grace and mercy poured out on us. 

            Our gracious Heavenly Father we thank, praise and adore You and serve You with a willing heart because God the Son paid our sin debt.  We pray in the name of our Redeemer, Jesus.

 

 

Manna in the Morning

07-18-16

Light

1 John 1:5-7, “Now this is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light, and there is absolutely no darkness in Him. If we say, “We have fellowship with Him,” and walk in darkness, we are lying and are not practicing the truth. But if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

            Our great Triune God created this earth along with the galaxies, heavenly bodies and the earth that orbited in total darkness, then our great God created light that drove out the darkness and named it ‘day’, while He named the darkness ‘night.’  On the fourth day God created the sun to provide life-sustaining sunlight for the plants and to mark the distinction between day and night.  Light is necessary for the plants to thrive and for all life to sustain itself on this earth.  Our Triune God’s presence is evidenced by the Shekinah Glory that surrounds Him, and where God is, there cannot be darkness; it is driven away by the Glory of our God. 

            When we accept God’s gift of salvation, God the Holy Spirit infuses every part of our life, our soul and our body.  If we allow sin into our lives, it brings darkness and our aura of Godliness is dimmed.  When we walk in the light, God’s Holy Word, when we live and speak of God’s love and compassion upon us, we spread the light like a beacon wherever we are.  We as born anew children of our living Triune God must exhibit His light every moment of every day of our earthly existence. We must confess our transgressions, dark thoughts and other sin that creep into our lives, plead for Christ Jesus’ forgiveness and keep our relationship with our God pure as we walk in His lightened path, in fellowship with all those who also love Him and the joy of sins forgiven and cleansed by His shed blood. 

            Our gracious, Heavenly Father, we praise and adore You and ask that the light of Your presence fill our lives and radiate to everyone we meet today.  May we have the compassion of Jesus as we tell others of Your glorious gift of Salvation.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

07-15-16

Anarchy

Revelation 6:3-4, “When He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” Then another horse went out, a fiery red one, and its horseman was empowered to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another. And a large sword was given to him.”

            All of us have been shaken by the horrific slaughter of the crowds in Nice, France on yesterday afternoon.  (7/14).  As we look at the indications given to us in Scripture of the coming period of purification from the sin curse and tribulation upon the earth, one of those predominately given is anarchy, the wanton bloodshed and carnage that will greatly increase upon the earth.  As we look at the last few months of this year and a bit beyond that, there has been a great loss of life and anxiety from terror attacks, whether here in the US, France, London, Bangladesh, and other places world-wide. 

            Whether it is in reprisal for perceived wrongs, brutality or sheer hate for opposing belief systems or political malcontents.  Whether we call it terrorism or not it certainly is bloodshed and anarchy, the disregard for a law abiding society or government, it is evil, spawned in the mind of the satanic arch-enemy of all Believers in Jesus our Savior and soon coming King. 

            Whether the Biblical time of the seals and trumpet judgements upon the earth occurs in the next months, years, decades or centuries we are seeing the Biblical warnings and signs of God’s movement to purify the earth for the reign of Jesus upon this world.

            Just like the crowds of people that ran, pushed and forced their way out of the path of the killer driving the truck, trying to save themselves, there is only one way to be spared the terrible judgement of God falling upon the earth.  That path to safety can only be found in turning in repentance to our Jehovah God, pleading for forgiveness, and salvation in the sacrifice of Jesus, the Redeemer Who gave His life to pay our sin-debt.   

            Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pray for Your comfort to fall upon the survivors and the families of those killed in the days ahead as they call upon You.  Prepare us to witness of Your protection and love for all who will call upon You in faith and may the desire to be in Your presence burn brightly in our hearts.  In Jesus’ saving name we lift our prayer.   

Manna in the Morning

07-14-16

Daily Worship

Acts 2:46-47, “And every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And every day the Lord added to them those who were being saved.”

            Today many of us would rather give up many things in our lives if we can keep our cell phones with the list of contacts and calendar.  We could grudgingly give up the news feeds and favorite sites that come in our email every day than give up our appointment schedules.  Long gone are the days of the calendar hung on the wall with the penciled in notes of appointments, list of things to accomplish, we live in a digital world.  Unfortunately, we live at such a pace that we forget our prayer time, or meditation upon God’s Word and the time spent in communion with our Heavenly Father.

            Adam and Eve met every day in Eden, walking and talking with the presence of our Great God.  After their expulsion from the garden, their schedule changed; men had to work the land and care for their animals, taking time to work and care for their family.  God, from the very creation of man, provided an example for His precept that one day should be set aside for rest and relaxation and just as important, the worship of our great God our Heavenly Father.  Decades ago, when I was a young boy in my parent’s home, we spent Sunday Morning, Evening and Wednesday evening in church and regular times of prayer in our home.  Today Christians and non-Christians alike give one or maybe two hours a week in Bible Study and prayer. 

            There was a valid reason for the early church spending daily time together.  They had been given a commission from Jesus’ command to share this message with others, and therefore they had to spend time studying the words of Jesus and of the Old Testament they had in order to fulfill that mission.  Today we have the opportunity to listen to radio sermons, read books about the Bible, study the biographies of great preachers and teachers, and have gotten away from the personal study of God’s Word on a regular basis.  These daily emails are the result of daily studies in God’s Word.  They are current and the date on the top is the day 99% of them are actually written.  This forces me to study God’s Word daily and share some thoughts in my desire to spark a chord in your mind that will help you to meditate on the given verse from God’s Word.  May God bless and teach you as you read these short paragraphs.

            Lord God our Heavenly Father, give us an abiding love for Your Word and a desire to meditate upon Your Word each day.  Use us as we study and share Your Word on a regular basis.         


Manna in the Morning

07-13-16

Listen

Revelation 13:9-10, “If anyone has an ear, he should listen: If anyone is destined for captivity, into captivity he goes. If anyone is to be killed with a sword, with a sword he will be killed.  Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.”

            Revelation 13 is a critical part of the Apostle John’s vision of what is yet to come upon the earth before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, our Redeemer Jesus returns to rule the entire earth from David’s throne in Jerusalem.  This chapter concerns the Pseudo messiah, the one who desires to usurp Jesus’ rightful position as the promised Messiah.  In the past few years, there has been a great resurgent interest in what Scripture calls ‘The Day of the Lord.’  This warning from God through John is one we must never forget.  Listen! 

            John, writing as inspired by God the Holy Spirit, describes the origins and appearance of this false messiah, understandable if one combines John’s description with other eschatological prophecies in Scripture.  Because this will be a time of great difficult for anyone who believes in Jesus as Redeemer, and God’s promised sacrifice for the sin debt of those who choose to accept it, we are told that if our future is to be held in captivity by the forces of evil, to accept it, and use our lives to God’s glory.  If we are to give our lives as a testimony and witness to God’s love and compassion, this will only bring us into the presence of our Savior even sooner. 

            More than anything else, as the opposition to the teachings of our Lord God and His Written Word increases in this world, as many believers are allowed only the opportunity to worship, but not to speak of our Savior outside of our church buildings, as God continues to show Himself to those who need to hear His message in dreams and visions, as we may face personal persecution for our faith; We will triumph through His mercy and grace.  We will endure the persecution for the sake of His name, and we will live each day in faith, believing our lives are totally in His hands.

            Lord God, as the Day of your appearing comes near, give us courage, boldness and desire to live to Your greater glory and praise.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

07-12-16

Winning Others

1 Peter 3:8-9, “Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you can inherit a blessing.”

            In the earlier part of this chapter, Peter writes about the responsibilities of a Christian married to an unbeliever letting their life be a witness to the unsaved spouse.  God’s Word says we all are to live blamelessly in this life, showing the compassion and love of Christ Jesus to others so that they too will want this blessed relationship with Christ Jesus.. 

            The old Levitical Law said that retribution could not exceed the offense, but Jesus, having completed or fulfilled the law emphasized personal forgiveness rather than retribution.  According to the words of scripture, we are to exhibit forgiveness to others by the same measure we desire forgiveness from our loving Savior.  We are not to repay evil with evil, but evil with good.  This is to be carefully tempered with the responsibility to provide protection for our families and property, we are to forgive personal insults, but hold people accountable for their law-breaking and felonies committed, in order to provide a stable, safe, society. 

Our first responsibility is to provide a witness and testimony to everyone we meet, telling them of the love and provision of God for our eternity.  Second, as leaders, heads of families, and good citizens we are to respect and honor the property and well-being of others, not deliberate or intended vengeful retribution while at the same time, protecting and caring for our own families and property.  Third we are to live law-abiding lives, careful to follow the law unless that law is in violation of Biblical precepts.  Our reason for being God’s ambassador on this earth is to bring others to repentance and accepting God’s provision of salvation by our words, attitudes and actions.

Our gracious Heavenly Father, “lead us victoriously through temptation keep us from evil for Your greater glory.  We ask this in Jesus’ name.

 

   

Manna in the Morning

07-11-16

Converted

Matthew 18:1-5, “The disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. “I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child—this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

            When Satan tempted Eve he used the lure that has been more effective in capturing the hearts of men and women down through the ages.  The attractive, allure of ‘pride.’  I’m a better ____ (fill in the blank) than anyone else.  Popularity is important to our human opinion of ourselves, and as believers we need to put ourselves at the bottom of the list.  The disciples had argued about who was the one Jesus loved the most.  In this case, Jesus told them that there were two things that should matter to them, much more important than any earthly ranking.  Then Jesus used a verb that is only used three times in Scripture; “converted.”  Not converted like a recliner chair that can be changed into a bed, then reconverted back into a chair.  This verse means a one-time transformation, a complete change that cannot be reversed.  We would not even be in Heaven if we are not re-created; born anew, a new creation that has died to our old selves and are converted and then to spend the rest of our earthly sojourn being conformed to the image of Jesus our Savior.  That does not mean an image like a photograph, it entails exhibiting His love, compassion, caring and carrying the message of Redemption to those who need it most.

            Jesus emphasized we must become like children; eager to learn from God’s Holy Word, eager to spend time in communion with Him, eager to tell others about our friend and comforter.  All of who know Christ Jesus as our Redeemer, must become just like a wily old bass, spitting out the prideful, shiny lure before it has opportunity to imbed its hooks into us. 

            Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we humble ourselves before You in gratitude for what You have done in our lives.  As Your humble servants we ask for You to use us for Your great glory.  In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

07-08-16

The Past

Psalm 78:2-4, “I will speak mysteries from the past—things we have heard and known and that our fathers have passed down to us.  We must not hide them from their children, but must tell a future generation the praises of the Lord, His might, and the wonderful works He has performed.”

            In Matthew 13 the disciples asked Jesus why He spoke to the people in parables, while He taught the disciples deeper truths.  Jesus told the disciples that because He taught them many things, they were then responsible to teach others those things with which they had been entrusted.  In Psalm 78 God reminds us we are to teach things God has entrusted to us to those who are less familiar with God’s Word and to especially be sure we teach our children and future generations about Him, His attributes, qualities, gifts and what the Scriptures tell us about God’s blessings upon mankind in the past.  As mature believers we must always be ready to give an accurate account of what God has done in our lives in the past, our conversion experience and how He directs and guides us daily.

            As parents and grand-parents we need to pass down to our children and grand-children the special ways God our Heavenly Father has blessed us, protected us in times of danger and especially share how we came to an understanding of God’s love and provision of salvation.  In generations past, family history and important events were orally handed down generation to generation.  Today, even children two or three years old can watch and listen to Mickey Mouse or nursery rhymes on a tablet, but as parents, and especially grand-parents, we need to talk to them, sharing these events with them and encourage them to remember how God has blessed and protected them.  All of us need to be reminded occasionally that our parenting responsibilities will never end until we enter the pearly gates.

Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us opportunities to share our family history and spiritual highlights with our children and grandchildren in order to teach them of Your care and love for us.  In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-06-16
Reconciled
2 Corinthians 5:18-20, “Now everything is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.”
Reconciliation has at least two different meanings, both with application for the Child of God. In accounting it is important for the business owner to understand that for his books to reconciled, every debt has to be paid, every future obligation carefully, planned for and placed in the balance sheet so all who look at that sheet will know the audit has been properly and carefully reconciled or balanced by the reserves of the company. I’m reminded of an old hymn of long ago that went something like this; “there was a time on earth when in the book of heaven an old account was entered of sins yet unforgiven. My name was at the top, and many sins below. I went unto the Keeper and settled long ago.” Every man and women who has lived upon this earth has a sin debt. God’s Word says, “The wages of sin is death!” This sin debt is against all who lived and there is but one way to pay that debt. Jesus said, “I am the only Way;” when we come to him in repentance and ask for forgiveness, His perfect righteousness removed our sin debt and that old account is reconciled, we have taken Jesus’ offer to pay it for us.
The other meaning is illustrated by the Parable of the Prodigal Son who came back to the waiting father who had never relinquished the hope his wayward son would return to him again. The parable says the father waited, looking down the road for the son and seeing him approaching a long way off. The father greeted him, hugged him and they were reconciled; all that was between them was forgiven and their bond of relationship and love was fully restored.
No matter what we have done, how far from the Father we have slipped, the sin debt we accumulated, our Heavenly Father is looking intently and waiting for our return. There is joy in Heaven for every reconciliation. Our Great God and Heavenly Father, we thank You for reconciliation, restoring us to full fellowship with You and for the great mercies you have bestowed upon us. As we go through this day, may we walk in the radiance of Your great glory and have an answer for everyone who asks us why we are so blessed. In Jesus’ name we thank You.

Manna in the Morning
07-04-16
Proclaim Liberty
Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you.”
The great bell we revere as the Liberty Bell was commissioned to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of William Penn establishing his Colony. The phrase “Proclaim Liberty throughout the land” is cast into the metal and the bell was rung with vigor with the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 8, 1776, although the first signature was affixed on July 2, and other patriots signing on the 4th, it took that long to have all the colonies ratify the Declaration.
The Declaration of Independence is the first document attributed to the new Nation, being signed by the representatives of the thirteen original colonies. It was signed in faith, trusting God and believing in the successful outcome of the war which already had seen initial skirmishes, believing in the rightness of the cause of freedom in the eyes of Almighty God, their acknowledged Creator. All those assembled on July 4, 1776 signed below this phrase, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”
Those 56 men pledged more for their country than the average Christian does for his Savior and the work of Christ’s Body, the Church today. We would willingly give our lives before we would deny our Savior, but the question is open as to whether we would give our lives to protect a Christian brother or sister, and we sometimes find it difficult to give ten percent of our income to support the work of our churches and missions around the world. The 56 Patriots pledged their fortunes, but we have become too accustomed to our comforts and the things money can buy to pledge our money to bring liberty from the chains of sin to those who need to hear the Gospel message. Many churches have financial difficulties because their members and attenders have not yet learned to give in a Godly manner.
Our Sacred Honor is that which we pledge to our Father in Heaven to hold each other accountable before the Lord for our daily life and activities as well as sharing the Gospel message to those we meet. As we remember the sacrifices of men and women for the past 240 years and will once again pledge our allegiance to this Nation which has endured for all this time. Help us as Christians first, citizens next to wisely choose those who will guide our government and nation in the coming years. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pledge to You our lives, our material possessions and our sacred honor to live for You this day, in Jesus’ saving name, and GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Manna in the Morning
07-01-16
Faith and Works
James 2:21-23, “Wasn’t Abraham our ancestor justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? You see that faith was active together with his works, and by works, faith was perfected. So the Scripture was fulfilled that says, Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness.”
Faith is a unique word. It is a noun, describing a person, place or thing, yet it describes active belief. Belief is also a word that has an accompanying verb, believe. We have faith, we demonstrate it but we do not say I ‘faith’ that God will answer my prayer. When Abraham went up the mountain with Isaac, he told the servants he left at their camp, “The boy and I will return to you.” From the time Abraham listened to God instruct him to sacrifice his son, his faith was so strong he could say, my son and I will return. Abraham’s faith was deep and strong, he believed God’s promises. Abraham’s faith in Almighty God was proved by his willingness in preparing to follow God’s instruction to the fullness, in his mind he had already dedicated Isaac to God, and now he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. Abraham ‘faithed’ God.
In our daily lives, we need to have the same deep abiding faith as Abraham exhibited. When we pray for someone’s need, we need to pray fully expecting God to meet that need. When we ask our Heavenly Father to send someone to share God’s salvation message with an unbeliever, we really must expect God to fulfill that request, and, He may be send you.
Over and over in His ministry Jesus performed good works of faith. He has specifically told us that we are to do good works, not to merit a higher place in Heaven, but out of gratitude to our Lord God who sent someone who followed God’s plan to bless you with their kindness. We can’t separate our good or Godly actions from our faith. They prove our faith, it is an act of thanksgiving and it brings glory to our Heavenly Father.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the privilege of serving You by doing good for others. May everything we do prove Your love to us and to those we serve in Your name. Please use us in some way this day and we will praise You by acting in Your name. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
06-30-16
The Righteous and the Unrighteous
Proverbs 29:27, “An unjust man is detestable to the righteous, and one whose way is upright is detestable to the wicked.”
As we live our lives upon this earth, we have been given some directions for our success. We are also given some precious gifts we sometimes forget about like 1 Cor. 2:16, “But we have the mind of Christ.” Because we have the ability to respond to people in the same manner as Jesus would, we must look upon sin as detestable, while still caring about the sinner and praying for His salvation. If we look upon another’s sin as detestable, we must guard against sin in our own life, because we already know that any sin is detestable in the eyes of our Heavenly Father.
Just as we look at another’s sin and find it detestable in our eyes, just as it is in our Father’s eyes, the sinner looks at our righteousness and finds it detestable simply because our life lived to the glory of our God brings deep conviction into his heart and beneath the harsh words and bluster, the unrighteous one knows he is bound for an eternity separated from God’s presence, his quiet call for repentance and in the company of the devil and his sordid demons.
As children born anew into the family of our God the Father, we are also ambassadors from His courts to the people on this earth. We are to carry the message of salvation to the earth’s population by our life of righteous living because we are seen by the Father as covered in Jesus’ righteousness, telling those we meet about God’s love and forgiveness, and offering them the opportunity you and I took to heart the day of our salvation.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, guide us to the opportunities we may use for Your greater glory we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-29-16
Jesus
Colossians 2:8-10, “Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ. For in Him the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily, and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
There are so many empty philosophies, sects, variations in proclaiming God’s Word and why the message of salvation it is sometimes hard to understand just where a local church stands and the pastoral messages seem to be just a little different. Traditions do not save our souls, worldly wisdom will not redeem anyone and deceitful messages are worthless. Men and women are saved by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, and in no other way. In Him, according to this passage and reaffirmed throughout Scripture, is all the completeness of our Triune God. Jesus is the countenance we recognize as our Redeemer, it is His face we will see when we enter into the glories of Heaven, and He is in our lives in all His fullness as God the Holy Spirit. Our Triune God is Spirit, and for our own peace and contentment we have the face of Jesus, whom we have never seen physically, but will recognize instantly when we are in His presence.
Our Savior, creator, sustainer of all that is, our constant companion, our guide and our mentor, Jesus, God the Son, in whom all the fullness of our Triune God dwells, gave His perfect sinless life to pay our sin debt. How can we keep from serving Him every day of our lives, doing His will, being privileged to be a tool in His hand, winning others for His greater glory. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, forgive us for our sin, reconcile us to Yourself and use us to Your glory in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-28-16
Reverential Worship
Malachi 4:1-3, “For indeed, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Hosts.
Malachi was the last prophet to write his prophecy to the Israelites about 500 years before Jesus’ incarnation. His name means, “Messenger of Jehovah,” and this was both a warning to those in Jerusalem who were presenting insincere and imperfect offerings because of their contempt for the worship of Jehovah and also is a warning to those who did not even bother to present any worship whatsoever to their God. God’s warning to the wicked was clear and unmistakable, they will become stubble, the short lengths of hollow straw that remain in the field after the wheat has been harvested. Malachi speaks of the future ‘Day of the Lord’ when the fire and anger of our Jehovah God will destroy the wicked and they will be thrown into the lake of fire for their disregard for God’s precepts and their arrogant rejection of the worship of which He is deserving. Those who did follow God’s precepts and gave Him the honor and respect He deserves were promised healing from the Lord of their spiritual failures and the joy a young calf feels when released from the stall to the sunshine, grass and fresh breeze of the pasture.
The promise to us today is that we should never forget to worship in truth and honor, to obey the precepts of our Heavenly Father, anticipating the joy and excitement of our call to heaven’s glories.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, forgive us for our sometimes lax attitude in worship, keep our hearts fully focused on You as we praise you for all you have given us. Give us opportunities to tell of our love for You and let Your radiance shine from us in testimony to our devotion. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
06-27-16
Righteousness
Romans 10:8-11, “On the contrary, what does it (Scripture) say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim: if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. With the heart one believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth one confesses, resulting in salvation. Now the Scripture says, no one who believes on Him will be put to shame.
As the Apostle Paul was writing this letter to the church at Rome, he was carefully writing what God the Holy Spirit was putting on his heart. These are words that God would have you listen to also. The message God has allowed us to stay on this earth and communicate to others, instead of immediately taking us up to heaven, is the message we speak when it comes from our heart that has been transformed by our new birth into the Family of our Heavenly Father. It is a message of love, compassion and faith. We who are born anew believe with all our heart that Jesus died and rose again paying our sin debt and we are now seen by the Father as covered in Jesus’ righteousness.
When we confess with our mouth, telling others that Jesus, God the Son is our Savior, we must also acknowledge that Jesus is the Leader of our lives, our Lord and Master. It is His will we want to proclaim on earth, it is His love and compassion that will govern our relationships with others, and the radiance of His glory is to shine from us to show our obedience to His commands. It is not we who live, it is our God who lives in us through the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit. (Galatians 2:20)
Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask that we will radiate Your love, mercy and saving grace to those who need it this day. We are grateful that you chose to use us as tools in Your hands in sharing Your message on this earth. Guide us we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-24-16
God’s Love
Psalm 116:1-2, “I love the Lord because He has heard my appeal for mercy. Because He has turned His ear to me, I will call out to Him as long as I live.”
We love our God with a deep and abiding love, and it based on the fact, that “We love God because He first loved us” 1 John 4:19. In the long distant past, God the Father loved the world population with such a great love, He put into place the plan that would bring salvation to all who call upon Him. We, like David, love our Heavenly Father because He was listening for our plea for mercy and forgiveness for the sins we have committed. We called upon Him for mercy and He forgave us and filled us with His love and a desire to share that loving plan for redemption for the rest of our lives as His ambassadors to this earth.
Because He has heard our plea for salvation, we know His ears are open to our requests as we petition Him for the needs of others, fulfilling our intercessory function under our High Priest, Jesus. We are told to pray for our fellow Christians, for those to whom we have shared the opportunity for salvation, for those who we will meet in the course of our everyday activities that need to know God’s love. We are to pray for our Nation, its leaders who have lost their way and need to seek God’s direction. Our national distress is only part of the great spiritual warfare in which we are engaged.
David placed his life in God’s hand for protection and his future as King of Israel in the hands of God long before he stepped foot in a palace or wore the crown of victory over his opponents. You and I, as children of the Living God, can call upon Him at any time and He will answer, knowing our fears and concerns long before our mind has put those concerns into understandable thought.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, teach us to trust You without doubting, we love and adore You and are grateful for Your listening ears waiting for our cry. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
06-23-16
Life Abundant
John 10:9-10, “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
I Have heard it said that there many roads that lead to Heaven. Always spoken by those who do not know the true salvation of our God. They are not speaking in faith; they are just hoping this may somehow be true. There may be many paths that lead people in good works and even very moral lives, but they do not lead anywhere but to frustration and disappointment. The words of Jesus in this passage clearly proclaim there is but one door to Heaven and if anyone comes in the name of Jesus, having saving faith in Him, that individual will be saved and find the sweet pastures promised by our Heavenly Father. Scripture also tells us in Acts, there is no other name upon which we can call for salvation that our Lord God has promised will open the door. Those that call upon Him are born anew into the Family of God, heirs to His gifts of grace, mercy and peace.
Every time a soul comes to Christ Jesus for salvation, our arch-enemy, Satan tries to steal that soul with false promises and lies. It is Satan’s desire to spoil God’s plan of redemption in any possible way, just as he has in the millennia since Eden. A life dominated by Satan is miserable, spiritually unproductive with no future but the fiery lake.
Our promise as those in the family of God, is rich in spiritual joy, gifts of God the Holy Spirit abound, opportunities to serve our Lord, pleasures in reading His Word and witnessing to His glory. Our life in Christ is full and beyond comparison both on this earth and in the eternity to come.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for the blessings of our life. Keep us pure and clean for Your service and may we live to Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
06-22-16
Futility
Ecclesiastes 6:1-2, “Here is a tragedy I have observed under the sun, and it weighs heavily on humanity: God gives a man riches, wealth, and honor so that he lacks nothing of all he desires for himself, but God does not allow him to enjoy them.”
The writer of Ecclesiastes is considering here the life of the non-worshipper of Almighty God, calling it a tragedy. Of the total earth population, less than one third call themselves Christians, of which about one-half are truly born-again Evangelicals. This means significantly less than one-third of the earth’s population live a life of joy and satisfaction. The rest of the people, even though they may be comparatively physically comfortable live an empty, meaningless life with no hope in the future. They do not have the deep, abiding joy and heavenly anticipation enjoyed by those who love our Lord God. Even the roughly 160,000 men and women who are martyred for their faith annually, lived a much more meaningful life on this earth and, Scripture tells us, “The death of His faithful ones is valuable in the Lord’s sight Ps 116:15.
In our world today the driving desire is to have a large house, a new car in the driveway, a well-paying job and membership in the local golf club. The measure of earthly success is wealth and material things, the blessings of a successful Christian is living a life in accordance with His precepts, doing His will and winning others into His family, caring and providing for our families and living for His greater glory. As we go through this life, let’s count our blessings, read God’s Word, make our lives a living testimony to our God’s saving grace and enjoy every day as a gift from our loving Father.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for each blessing You have brought into our lives, we praise You for the salvation in Jesus that gives us a joyous heart, we ask you to keep us in Your path and use us to Your great glory. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-21-16
Manna
Exodus 16:35, “The Israelites ate manna for 40 years, until they came to an inhabited land. They ate manna until they reached the border of the land of Canaan.”
The Israelites were out of Egypt about 6 weeks, the provisions they had brought were gone and they were hungry and angry at Moses and Aaron for their predicament and threatening to return to Egypt. Their failure to trust Almighty God angered God and He instructed Moses and Aaron to tell the people God would provide meat for them that evening, and a daily apportionment of food for every Israelite every morning six days a week. If they gathered more, it would become wormy overnight, except on the sixth day when they would gather enough of the Manna for two days and it would not spoil. They were to observe the seventh day as a day of rest. This setting aside one day of rest was required of the Israelites long before the Ten Commandments were given. In this way God taught the Israelites to live by faith; still they grumbled, complained about God’s provision and failed to fully learn that valuable lesson.
Moses had illimitable faith and was indomitable in his leadership of the Israelites through the forty years they were in the desert, forty years when every morning but the Seventh, God provided the manna, never failing His people until they crossed the Jordan River at the end of their long sojourn. Most of us would complain a bit if we were given two quarts of an unknown substance as our daily ration of food for forty years with no variation. Faith in God the Father is the prime lesson we have to learn as we travel our allotted years on this earth. Faith in His sustaining power, faith in His guidance even when we were unaware of that guidance, faith in the perfect sinless sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross and full faith in Jesus’ Resurrection from the grave on the proper day.
We should live this and every day heeding the advice of the Apostle Paul to the Galatian and Thessalonian Churches, “Galatians 6:9, So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up.” Lord God our Heavenly Father, we ask for the faith to trust and obey You this and every day You give us to serve You on this earth. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-20-16
Walk in Faith
2 Corinthians 4:16-18, “Therefore we do not give up; even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen; for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
This passage is an encouragement to every Believer. We are never to relax or forget who we are in Christ Jesus because the battle rages on and we will continue to serve our Lord and master until we wear the toenails off our feet and have blisters on our tongue because we have not ceased to witness of our God’s love and salvation, carrying the message to all who will listen. This mortal, physical body is going to wear out and become less able as our life continues, but at the end of this earthly life are the gates of gold where we will be welcomed into the presence of our eternal Lord.
At that point everything we have endured on this earth will be forgotten, we will meet those who have gone before us, and if we look carefully we will meet those whom we have introduced to the Savior during our earthly sojourn.
Our Heavenly Father desires our focus to be on the reward ahead of us instead of the challenges of the journey, the inexpressible joy of eternity in His presence instead of the weariness and rejection we may receive from others. All of us must look at this life, regardless of how comfortable we are or how well we live because all earthly comfort is temporary and will have a finite end. Our path should be the path of faith that leads directly into the presence of our Almighty Triune God whom we serve willingly.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we long to be in Your presence and see Your glory. As we follow this day’s path may we see the joy of Heaven in our future. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-16-16
Luke 16:29-31, “But Abraham said, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; they should listen to them.’ ” ‘No, father Abraham,’ he said. ‘But if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ “But he told him, ‘If they don’t listen to Moses and the prophets, they will not be persuaded if someone rises from the dead.'”
In the parable Jesus told of the rich man and Lazarus, after he dies, the rich man finds himself in Hades and is concerned about his five brothers. He cries out to Father Abraham and asked if one could be sent back from the dead to tell his brothers what awaits them if they don’t follow God’s plan of salvation. Father Abraham responded to his request saying no one can come back after leaving this earth, but if one did, no one would listen to them or change their ways. The people living on earth have enough warning already to trust Jehovah God for their Salvation.
This is an interesting parable, a man named Lazarus did come back from the dead at Jesus’ command, but very few people believed him. Then at the end of His ministry on earth, Jesus, God the Son, gave His life as the perfect sacrifice, then after three days in the grave rose by His own divine power and spent several weeks on earth, appearing to His followers and close disciples. One of the basic articles of faith for the believer in Jesus, is to recognize Him as the Risen Savior.
In a recent poll, the percentage of people who fully believe the Bible is fully accurate in all it teaches has dropped from 48% to 33% of active church attenders, dropping from 53% five years ago. This statistic startled me when I first saw it, I fully expected that at least 90% of active church attenders would believe the words in the Book they believe, read and study. This only strengthens the belief that we are in the final days of the Church, just as Daniel prophesied and the Apostle John wrote in The Revelation, where we read, “Rev 3:14-16, “”The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth,” written to the final Church, the Church of Laodicea.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, strengthen, we pray, our belief in the Word of God You have given us, preserved for our edification and encouragement. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-15-16
Decisions, Decisions
Joel 3:14, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”
We make hundreds of decisions daily when we get out of bed we have to decide what clothes to wear, what to have for breakfast, even if we are creatures of habit, what route should I take in driving to work, should I stop suddenly or go through on the yellow light that turns red? We decide what to do first on our piled high desk, we may make decisions that will affect our lives for years in many ways. We decide on so many earthly, temporal things, often without asking God’s guidance.
We also make many decisions daily in our spiritual life. Are we prepared to give someone a Gospel of John? Not unless we decide to put one in our pocket. Do we decide to look for opportunities to share our salvation account or do we decide to pick another day? Do we decide to ask God the Holy Spirit for direction or do we make our own decisions? Many Christians have considered at one time or another going into a full-time ministry in our Lord’s service in some capacity. Do we make the decision to avoid full time ministry or do we consider it without asking for God’s guidance and approval?
There are many people who, even at an older age who has deliberately avoided making the most critical decision of all. Every time God the Holy Spirit convicts their heart of a need to accept God’s offer of salvation by believing in the sacrificial death of Jesus, God the Son, these people turn their hearts away and like Agrippa, who when invited to accept Christ Jesus’ love and salvation hesitated, then said “No,” so far as we know never accepting God’s love.
If you have postponed or rejected outright God’s offer, please accept the offer of salvation today. None of us knows the future, and this may be your last opportunity. Don’t spend the rest of your life lost in the valley of decision. Heavenly Father, through the power of God the Holy Spirit, touch and reach someone through these few paragraphs. I ask this in Jesus’ saving name.

Manna in the Morning
06-14-16
In His Own Eyes.
Proverbs 16:2-4, “All a man’s ways seem right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the motives. Commit your activities to the Lord and your plans will be achieved. The Lord has prepared everything for His purpose—even the wicked for the day of disaster.”
In the Book of Judges, the Israelites fell far from the Lord God who had led them out of slavery in Egypt. They fell into idolatry then servitude then a restoration of worshipping Jehovah God and living under His blessing, then they slid into sin again. The problem was, God the Holy Spirit tells us in Judges, “Every man did what was right in his own eyes.” This type of thinking is not new in our age, nor is it novel, it is the same old trap of our enemy. Mankind is naturally prone to make excuses for his sin or rationalize his own actions, making it seem right in his own eyes. God is interested in our motives, what are we pursuing, if not to glorify Him? What has become an idol in our life, so that we would live in a manner not pleasing to our Savior?
If we are serious about living in a manner that will allow our Lord God to shine from our daily activities to radiate His love and compassion to others we must commit to follow the directions of God the Holy Spirit as He directs our paths. God has prepared a plan that uses each of us as an integral part, and when we do not follow His plan for us, we in reality are disobedient servants and are failing to fulfill God’s purpose for our lives. When we are in the center of God’s plan for us, His plans will be ours and our plans will be achieved and we will bear fruit to the glory of our Lord God. Even the unbelievers, the wicked will follow God’s plan for eternal disaster because they rejected God’s plan for their life.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, it is our desire to live in the center of Your will for us, so we may bring glory to Your name and Your peace into our lives, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-13-16
Saved
Joel 2:31-32, “The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and awe-inspiring Day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”
I read an account the other day about Muslims who have come to salvation in Jesus. From 1960-2010 the number of Muslims who have converted from Islam and become true followers of Jesus Christ has skyrocketed from fewer than 200,000 to some 10 million souls. The number is likely to be even greater now, 16 years later. Even though to name Jesus as their Redeemer is to prepare for persecution; even immediate death, the Body of Christ is growing in ways never seen before. In the Book of Joel we are given an inspired look into the future days just before our Savior Jesus returns to this earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Joel repeats what is prophesied in much of the Old Testament Scriptures. After the Church is taken up the earth will go through a time of great tumult and never before experienced events as our Great God pours out His wrath to cleanse the earth from sin’s curse so God the Son, Jesus, can return and establish His Promised Kingdom, with Jerusalem as its Capitol. These events will, as Joel declares, be days of darkness and eclipses, along with earthquakes and never before seen climatic changes of extreme heat and cold. During this time of upheaval, Scripture says men will have visions and dreams telling them of God’s righteousness and salvation through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. If men and women call upon the Lord in sincerity, He will answer and give them opportunity to accept God’s gift. It will, just as now, make no difference of the individual’s background, heritage, present condition; in God’s perfect justice one’s soul is either lost or redeemed. Anyone who comes to Jesus in humble repentance, asking for forgiveness and asking God to save him, God will never reject nor turn His back. The result of such a new birth experience will give us power in Christ, guidance of God the Holy Spirit, and the courage to endure persecution unto death as millions of men and women have in ages past. We who know Christ Jesus as our Redeemer will never be separated from Him again.
Our gracious Lord God, we confess we have sinned in your sight and ask for forgiveness, we praise You for those who have been won into Your family and pray for Your strength and guidance today for ourselves and every other believer.

Manna in the Morning
06-10-16
The Comforter
John 14:25-26, “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor (Comforter,) God the Holy Spirit; the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.”
The aged boxer, Muhammad Ali, died last week and it seemed like all the world mourned his passing. There is no comfort for Ali’s family and friends because they don’t know where his soul has gone. Another death occurred this week, a comparatively young man who was a leader who dearly loved children and spent the last five or so years in leading children to Christ through camps, Good News Clubs and other ministries targeted for the children who may not attend church and otherwise would not know God’s redeeming love. There was great sorrow on the part of his family and co-workers, but great comfort in the surety he is now in the presence of his Lord.
One of the greatest gifts of our Heavenly Father is the indwelling presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. He is truly our guide and leader if we follow His leading, walk in the paths He chooses for our lives and we rejoice in His direction because of our great faith and trust in His all-knowing leadership. He inspired the writers of our Scriptures and He is no less active in inspiring us in our understanding of the Word of God. He strengthens us in our daily witness and opens opportunities for us to share our faith at the most unexpected times. He will put the words in our mouth that will perfectly express His love for others.
When we become concerned with the things of this world and the sinful attitudes that permeate our society we have a source of comfort that Jeremiah did not have: “I weep because of these things; my eyes flow with tears. For there is no one nearby to comfort me.” Lamentations 1:16 We who are born again have God the Holy Spirit that infuses every part of our life, an always available Comforter, promised by Jesus, God the Son before He ascended into the Heavens. to be part of our lives in whatever measure we allow.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the ever-present God the Holy Spirit You have given to as a comforter and guide while walk this earth. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
06-08-16
Our High Priest
Hebrews 4:14-16, “Therefore since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens—Jesus the Son of God—let us hold fast to the confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.”
The man who was inspired to write this letter to the Israelites who had come to know Jesus as their Messiah and Savior was obviously well versed in their traditions, the old methods of worship and the deep traditions of Judaism. The High Priest was the one individual who really controlled their worship. It was he who supervised or conducted the animal sacrifices, the orderliness of the Temple rituals and on the Day of Atonement, he went into the Holiest of Holy places to pour the blood upon the Altar for the sins of every Israelite to be forgiven.
In this book, he spoke of Jesus, the Messiah they had looked for so many years and in these verses we see our High Priest as well as theirs, was born on this earth, gave His life then took it again has passed through the heavens to the highest of high places, to sit on the right hand of God the Father on the throne that is above all thrones. Yet our High Priest knows the temptations and trials, the difficulties and understands our weakness as men, yet loves us still and is anxious to hear from us. When we approach the Throne, it is by His grace that we are welcomed and His mercy is poured out on us.
We have to be aware that we often miss the fullness of God’s grace because prayer has become more like a trip to the grocery store than an act of worship. We present our lists of requests to Him, fulfilling our responsibility to pray for our Christian brothers and sisters and for those we earnestly desire to see come to salvation. We miss the opportunities to just be quiet and listen for his voice deep in our hearts. We need to take time to meditate upon His love and goodness, to tell our great God how we love him, learn to concentrate on His goodness and perfect holiness, shutting out the cares and concerns of daily life.
Our gracious Heavenly we come now to confess our sins, to ask for forgiveness and mercy for missed opportunities and ignoring others. We do adore You and love You with all our hearts. We thank You for the salvation You have given us. May this day be a day of joy in doing what You have for us, and seeking to love and serve You this day. Bless we pray in Jesus’ name.+

Manna in the Morning
06-07-16
The Flood
Genesis 8:20-21, “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord. He took some of every kind of clean animal and every kind of clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. When the Lord smelled the pleasing aroma, He said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, even though man’s inclination is evil from his youth. And I will never again strike down every living thing as I have done.”
The West Coast of Florida, on which I live, Is currently under the influence of Tropical Storm “Colin.” High tides, storm surge, 6+ inches of rain have played havoc with flooding, power outages and water damage far beyond what one would expect from any of these factors independently, but when everything happens at once, we have consequences far worse than a small Tropical Storm normally would produce. The flood Noah and his family survived was a far different event. God promised there would never, ever, be an event like that flood again. The purpose of Noah’s flood was to remove a population that had totally, in every way, rejected God’s plan for humanity and ignored the way God had provided allowing mankind to seek forgiveness from Almighty God.
This storm, a product of the climate and meteorological events, was not sent by God as a warning, but if people think it’s a sign from God, let’s tell them of Noah and his ark of safety and then tell them of our Ark of Safety and Redemption; Jesus, God the Son. After the Separation of continents as we know the world land masses today, wind, movements of pressure cells, both high and low pressure, the cold air cells that move from the polar regions and the warm air masses that move from equatorial regions are responsible for weather phenomena such as Tropical Storm Colin. So it is reasonable to say that the sin of humanity, whether in the time of Adam, Noah or Babel, is responsible for all disasters and these disasters are the result of mankind’s sin; they are not God’s punishment for a little part of the earth’s surface today. God’s punishment is coming, and that judgement will be world-wide and immediate in its consequences.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask you to protect and care for each of Your children in the path of this storm and in every other trial that comes to them. We trust You to put Your shield and buckler around us and we will give You the glory.

Manna in the Morning
06-06-16
Bereans
Acts 17:11-12, “The people here were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, since they welcomed the message with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men.”
Berea was about 50 miles from Thessalonica, but light years apart in the way they reacted to the Gospel message and treatment of God’s messengers. After Paul and Silas preached and taught at Thessalonica, the local idolatrous people, led by jealous Judaizes, created a riot and caused Jason, one who gave permission to Paul and Silas to preach, to be arrested and jailed. Paul, Silas and some other believers left the City secretly to avoid arrest, whipping and prison, and journeyed to Berea. There they had opportunity to preach and teach in the synagogue and other meeting places on a daily basis. The Bereans were from then on known as men who studied the Scriptures daily before making any major decisions of any kind. Those who taught the Scriptures were welcomed, the populace listened to them carefully and studied the Scriptures before they accepted or rejected God’s salvation.
When the original Colonists settled in North America, there was a rather strict control over the churches by the colonists, who in great measure, were Christians, but when the Colonies united to form the United States, their established Constitution gave every person the right and freedom to worship God and express their beliefs openly without fear of arrest or government interference. Today it seems like our society will not tolerate the pure Biblical teachings and public expression, but instead favors those who claim to be offended by Biblical truth.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You for the courage and willingness to preach and teach others the only way of salvation is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, God the Son. Give us the Hoy boldness of the Prophets, Apostles and other Missionaries and Christians who have gone before us and in many instances, suffered at the hands of unbelievers, even unto their death. May we faithfully follow Your precepts we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-03-16
The Dash
2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Recently I’ve seen a commercial on TV stressing the idea the dash is the time on earth between our birth and our leaving this earth. The dash is also a race of a measured distance, such as the 100-meter dash. The winner of such a race expends all his or her energy so that at the end of the dash they are as exhausted as a person who has run the mile. The Apostle Paul is writing a letter to his young protégé, Timothy declaring that he knows his life of ministry is coming to a close soon. Paul’s life as a missionary apostle was lived like the runner of a 100-meter dash; with all his energy, focus and ability, encouraging Timothy to do the same.
When we think of our lives here on the earth’s sod, we need to look at the dash, not as a leisurely, relaxed existence under God’s grace and love, hoping for a long dash between the dates on the tombstone, approaching life as a marathon. Perhaps we should live our lives a little more aggressively, burning our energy every day in serving our Lord God with all our might so we can win the race and have His commendation, “Well Done, faithful servant,” at the end of our earthly stay.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the ability to win the spiritual battles in Your strength, finish our life’s race in triumph and that others will say of us, “They kept the course.” Keep using the center of Your will we plead in Jesus name.

Manna in the Morning
06-02-16
Immature
1 Corinthians 3:1-3, “Brothers, I was not able to speak to you as spiritual people but as people of the flesh, as babies in Christ. I fed you milk, not solid food, because you were not yet able to receive it. In fact, you are still not able, because you are still fleshly. For since there is envy and strife among you, are you not fleshly and living like ordinary people?”
In Revelation Chapter 3, God speaks from Heaven regarding the Church at Laodicea, the Church that represents the last stage of the Church on this earth before God calls all who have accepted Christ into the Heavenlies. His message to that group is to be considered as a message to we who are living at this time, He tells the Church, “Rev 3:14-16, “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.” I think most of us would agree that in this time of tacit persecution, encroaching legislation that prohibits our free expression of Biblical truths, that the Church as a whole has lost its influence and impact on our culture. Some of the main-line denominations are knuckling under to legislation and directives from the Federal level to the municipal, and not opposing the worldly demands placed upon them. I know there are many individual churches that preach God’s Word in its fullness, but they are becoming a distinct minority.
When a church’s doctrinal position becomes weak, its congregation will tend to accept the dictates of society and become closet Christians, not stressing the need for Biblical Salvation. Many Pastors and Bible teachers try to teach the meat of God’s Word but the average attenders will desire the milk, not having grown in their faith. I have heard it said that there are those who have repeated one year of Bible knowledge over the next twenty years, making little progress in their spiritual growth.
Let’s encourage pastors, teachers and all believers to deepen our study, to search the scriptures and emulate Ezra by reading studying, living and teaching the truth of God’s Holy Word by our words, attitudes and actions, living fully for His greater glory. Our Gracious Heavenly Father deepen our knowledge of Your Word we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-01-16
Stand Fast
Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens. This is why you must take up the full armor of God, so that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having prepared everything, to take your stand.
Anyone who is or has been in the U S Navy knows the first command they learned was “Stand Fast,” meaning ‘Don’t move an inch.’ This is God’s call to us in our war against the devil and his minions. Don’t give an inch, hold your ground or even beat him back is our command from our God and Father. On our own and in our own good intentions and effort, this is an impossible task as many strong Christians will attest. We must at all times and in every way depend and be filled with God the Holy Spirit and the resources of our Heavenly Father whose strength in unlimited and has already defeated the evil one when Jesus rose from the dead.
We fight our battle here on earth, but we must not be deceived, the battle is also fought by the angels in Heaven, by the struggle for the domination of world leaders who do not accept the idea that they are fighting a losing battle against our omnipotent God. Do not ever underestimate the devious tactics of our enemy. He is evil to the core, determined to foil God’s plan for this world and take as many souls to the lake of fire as he can, just to keep them from God’s gift of salvation.
Just as King David had his mighty men, our God has His faithful warriors, we have taken our place in this spiritual Army, and there will be men and women from now until our Lord returns to this earth who will fight their battle against evil. Satan, too, has those who are deceived, who believe his promises and find they are lies when it is too late and they are lost eternally.
Our triumphant Heavenly Father, we depend fully upon You this and every day for the strength and spiritual weapons we need to defeat the satanic powers. Protect us this day we pray in Jesus’ saving name.

Manna in the Morning
05-31-16
Ungodly Men
Jude 14-15, “And Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied about them: Look! The Lord comes with thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on all, and to convict them of all their ungodly deeds that they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against Him. These people are discontented grumblers, walking according to their desires; their mouths utter arrogant words, flattering people for their own advantage.”
It seems like we often talk about the society in which we live, but the Bible is full of warnings for men and women regarding the way they live. Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation from Adam, and who was translated or departed earth into Heaven without physical death, is quoted by Jude as being concerned about the acts of mankind while he was on the earth. Satan, our arch-enemy, uses sexual impurity as his number one weapon, and it is always the first temptation he offers to draw men into his trap. Today, Satan’s demons and evil spirits are evident in a society that glorifies the sin that led to Sodom’s downfall, confounding gullible people who think God made an error in their creation and birth, desiring to change their biologic sexuality, because they think it makes them ‘feel’ better about themselves. Society is so warped it attempts to force those who act, think, speak and teach Biblically to modify their beliefs.
Just before He was arrested, Jesus spoke of things that would occur and be a sign of the calling up of the Church and His return to this earth. Jesus sad in Luke 17 that the world would be as it was in the days of Lot, and on the day Lot left Sodom, “Fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be like that on the day the Son of Man is revealed.” Satan will meet his final defeat and be chained in the abyss.
Our Heavenly Father, our hearts are ready to be with You in the Heavenly places, guide us as we live and serve You, longing for the day we join You in Heaven. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-30-16
Memorial Day
Zechariah 6:14, “The crown will reside in the Lord’s temple as a memorial to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen son of Zephaniah.”
There are many men and women who are mentioned as heroes and for whom some sort of memorial is given. These men served the Lord faithfully and a crown was put in the temple in their memory and remembrance. When the Israelites passed through the Jordan River into the Land of Canaan, memorial stones were taken from the middle of the river to build an altar to serve as a lasting memorial to God’s love and grace.
Once known as Decoration Day, today we designate Memorial Day to remember fallen service men and women who gave their lives in the service of their Country, a practice that began following the Civil War. It makes no difference whether a person was an Admiral or Seaman, a General or Private, all are honored for their service to the United States on equal footing, whether they served for thirty years or thirty days. We honor them for their sacrifice and recognize them as heroes.
As Christians we must remember and honor those who have died in the service of our Lord. The five brave young men who gave their lives on the river bank in Ecuador, or those that perished in the uprisings in the Congo, the Pastors and faithful brothers and sisters in God’s family that are killed, almost on a daily basis in the satanic assault on God’s people in the Mideast. Women and children killed in Church and other religious buildings by bombers or gunmen in the US and other parts of the world along with the thousands killed in the Communist USSR who kept their faith and professed it or the poor woman beaten to death for having a Bible in her possession. We honor their dedication to our Lord and remember them as brave martyrs for the Faith. Only when we get to Heaven will we know of the terrible cost men and women, boys and girls have paid for their witness with their spilled blood.
Our Scriptures teach us the time of purification of the earth is coming and the number of martyrs will rise ever higher. Every one of us must be willing to stand fast in our faith, lift the name of Jesus high in our praise, never give an inch to our satanic enemies and live our life with Heaven as our goal, giving no regard to the forces arrayed against us. Our Savior and Lord has promised to be our refuge in a time of need, and will keep us in His arms without fail.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we will stand firm in our faith on earth and rejoice when You call us to your side in the Heavenly Places. Use us today in Jesus’ powerful name.

Manna in the Morning
05-27-16
Reconciliation
1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober! Be on the alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith… Now the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.”
Many Christians, after a few years in God’s family, tend to relax, thinking all is well, forgetting our adversary is sneaking around, trying to gain an advantage, and using the wiles and devious tricks that have worked for centuries, entrapping us into taking our eyes off our Lord God and are lured into sin. Satan is called the serpent because he is patient and willing to wait for an opportunity to strike. Peter, speaking from experience, remembering the night the rooster crowed three times, warns us emphatically, be alert, be on your guard. Every person who has been in the military knows the severe penalty for sleeping on watch or being inattentive while on duty, and as front line soldiers in God’s service, we are to always be on our guard.
Unfortunately, just as Peter, we have lapsed, dropped our guard and have been lured into sin, but just as Peter was fully reconciled to his Lord, we too can be restored to full fellowship with our heavenly Father. Our Lord Jesus will restore us, we will know God’s forgiveness and have the opportunity to re-establish our roots, be fully founded on our sure foundation, to strengthen the bonds of love that solidify our relationship. We can know and feel the support of other Christian brothers and sisters, the support from our heavenly Father as we continue to do our part to deepen and strengthen our relationship with Him through reading His Word, spending time in prayer for our own witness and usability as well as the needs of others.
Just as surgical wounds turn into scars then smooth out into memorials to our healing and restoration to physical health, our spiritual health will never stop growing so long as we actively exercise our spiritual abilities.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, when se slip and fall to Satan’s wiles, lift us up with your arms of love, encourage strengthen and keep us close to You. We praise and thank You for the wonderful gift of reconciliation. Lord Jesus, guide us this day, keep us we pray from Satan’s snares.

Manna in the Morning
05-26-16
God’s Plan
Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—”plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
We are in the middle of ‘Graduation Season,’ High Schools, Colleges and Universities are holding their Commencement ceremonies recognizing their graduates who have fulfilled all the requirements for their graduation. Most of the population of America knows someone who is graduating this spring. If you or someone you know is graduating, here are some gifts God, our Heavenly Father has for the Graduate. First, He knows you, your needs and has promised you a fruitful life if you follow the plan He has for You individually. Second, He has your welfare in mind and His plans will not end in disaster. Third, God has a blessed future for you and gives you confidence and an expectation He will fulfill all His promises including protecting you from the temptations of the devil if you call upon Him. Fourth, God will Hear your prayer and carefully listen to your praise, thanksgiving and concerns as if you were the only person on earth calling upon Him and will answer in His way, timing and for His greater glory and for your well-being.
Last, and most important, when we call upon our Father for wisdom, with requests for others or for guidance in any situation, we must do so with our whole heart. Not asking for God to retroactively bless a rash decision we made without firdt asking for wisdom, or after asking, deciding we know more than God and proceed without His blessing. Even in times when because of our inattention and laxity we let our relationship with our Heavenly Father slip apart, He is anxious to restore that fellowship and if we in compete admission of our sin, cry out to Him He promises to hear and restore us when we call out to Him with our whole being in an attitude of confession and asking forgiveness.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pray together for the thousands of graduates who begin a new chapter in their lives. Keep their whole heart fixed on You and may they follow Your direction in all things. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-25-16
Once to Die
Hebrews 9:27-28, “And just as it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment— so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.”
Every person who has lived upon the earth knows that the time will come when he or she will cease to be present on this earth in their physical body and immediately be present in the heavens. Just as Jesus died once and rose again, we will, with one exception, die once and be instantly be in His presence in our celestial bodies. The only exceptions are the believers who are alive at the time of the Calling up of the Church. We will leave this earth and be metamorphosed into our heavenly bodies in an instant and join our Redeemer in the heavenly spaces. From the heavenly perspective physical death is simply the doorway through which we pass on our way to eternity with our Savior.
When we are gathered together, Our Savior and Judge will sit upon His throne and award us with crowns for our righteous living on this earth, a star studded, soul-winner’s crown for those who have won others who have accepted Christ Jesus as their Redeemer and, I fear, there will be regret for missed opportunities and not having made a greater effort to be faithful servants of our Heavenly Father. Nathan Hale, one of the great Patriots of the Revolutionary War is quoted as saying, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” As children of our living Lord our desire should be, “I seek to live my one life on earth for my Lord God, and never regret using it to His glory, regardless of the cost.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we seek to live this life joyously serving You, encouraging other Christians to serve You in faithfulness and in encouraging those who do not have a meaningful relationship with You to accept Your free gift of salvation through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Guide us through this day we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
05-24-16
Christian Liberty

1 Corinthians 8:9, “But be careful that this right of yours in no way becomes a stumbling block to the weak.”
As children of God the Father, we are born anew into His family and nothing can remove us from our position in His love. There are some who use this security to engage in various activities that do not honor our great God and Father. We cannot expect God to shower blessings upon us if we engage in behaviors that in no possible way, would lead a nonbeliever to seek salvation based upon their lifestyle.
There are other activities in which we may engage that do not harm our relationship with our Heavenly Father, but may raise questions in a non-believer’s mind regarding our dedication to His Glory. The Apostle Paul uses the example of eating meat that had been offered to idols, Paul saw where a person who did offer sacrifices to idols may not understand the position of a mature believer.
In our daily life we are constantly under scrutiny of men and women who have heard the message of salvation through Christ Jesus, and carefully evaluate the life we live, and having no spiritual maturity, question our dedication to Him. It is far better for the Christian to be aware of the lack of understanding among non-believers and live in a manner that would draw them to Christ Jesus. Our words, while not outwardly profane may have their roots in the gutter. Our actions must always be God-honoring and our attitudes reflect that of our Savior and Lord. Our attitude should be one that draws men and women to the Savior, not a question of our own dedication.
Heavenly Father, develop an ability within us to guard our interactions, deliberate and intemperate, so that we live to Your glory, not our own convenience. We ask that you use us today to Your greater glory in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
05-23-16
Really Alive
Habakkuk 2:4, “But the righteous one will live by his or her faith.”
There are three key words in this sentence, “righteous, live and faith.” We who know salvation and are born anew into the Family of God are those that are righteous or are in a proper relationship – right standing – in God’s eyes. The Scriptures are clear, God cannot look upon sin because of His infinite purity, and God’s Word also says that every human being that has, is or will live upon this earth has sinned and stands in need of God’s offered salvation. Our earthly covering before God is dirty, grimy, untouchable rags in His sight. God has also provided a way of salvation for us through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and when we have accepted that offer we exchange our filth for His purity, our filthy rags for His snowy righteousness. God clothes us in the robes of Jesus’ perfect righteousness! What a glorious transformation, giving us free access to Him who sits upon the throne of thrones and listens for our every prayer. Hallelujah!
While our lives are immeasurably blessed on this earth by our Savior, we can never know the vibrancy of true life until we are in the presence of our Lord and Savior. Then we will understand the fullness of joy in a measure beyond our earthly expression until our tongues are loosed in the Heavenly places enabling us to fully praise Him. Physical death is not the exit door for us, it is the entrance into true life without end. Eternal life is not a reward that we have earned, it is a gift of our Heavenly Father because we have been spiritually born into His Royal Family.
This effervescent, joyous, pulsating life in Christ is ours by faith. It is unquestionable belief in the promises of God. Faith is expecting God to act as He has promised so that our lives will bring Him greater glory. May we believe God in righteousness and expectancy in our prayers and praise.
Our gracious Father in Heaven, we will live the rest of our earthly lives, quivering with the expectant joy of seeing You forever. We may not fully understand, but we fully trust in You. In Jesus’ name we bow before You.

Manna in the Morning
05-20-16
Israel will Bloom
Isaiah 27:6, “In days to come, Jacob will take root. Israel will blossom and bloom and fill the whole world with fruit.”
As Isaiah wrote these words inspired by God the Holy Spirit, his thoughts were the blooming and bearing fruit would happen far sooner than it did. About 100 years before the Babylonian captivity and the total destruction of Jerusalem, Isaiah spoke of the Messiah, who came from the root and stump of Jesse, Isa 11:1, Then a shoot will grow from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. Jesse was the Father of King David, and the Messiah or Promised One is Jesus who is a direct descendent of King David. Isaiah lived much later than David, and many of the Israelites living in Judah had all but forgotten their once victorious and mighty king and a man after God’s own heart. It was disheartening to the people of Judea to think of what the Kingdom of Israel once was, and now see it as a poor neglected piece of the former Kingdom with the full twelve tribes of Israel, now only two tribes with land given by God centuries before and a large number of Levites and Priests; the rest of their fellow Israelites were scattered, enslaved or unaware of their heritage and scattered over the then known world.
The Promised One has come into the world in Bethlehem, Judah’s inhabitants glowed in the glory of Jesus, God the Father’s gift of the Savior. Soon a new migration of Israelites will converge on Jerusalem, they will learn and accept the gift of Salvation and in the Day of the Lord will once again be the messengers of God’s salvation to the earth. Isaiah’s vision of filling the earth with fruit will be fulfilled in the great number of men and women who will seek and find salvation, believing in Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection from the dead.
Israel, God’s choice out of all the earth’s population will soon become the center of the world’s government, all earth’s population will bow down to Jesus, the human descendent of old King David. Jesus, our Savior, He who sits upon Heaven’s throne; Jesus, God the Son, whom we will worship in truth on this earth and for the eternity to come in the new, recreated Heaven and earth. Our Heavenly Father, we worship and adore You as our King, our salvation, and our future leader on this earth and in the Heavenly places.

Manna in the Morning
05-19-16
Living a God Honoring Life
Acts 15:29, “That you abstain from food offered to idols, from blood, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these things, you will do well.”
As the number of Gentiles accepting Jesus the Christ continued to grow overshadowing, then vastly outnumbering, the number of Jewish believers in their Messiah and the Redemption available through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. This caused the traditional Jewish Religious Leaders to become jealous. Even the early Jewish Church leaders wanted to impose certain Levitical Law restraints upon Gentiles. A conference of early Jewish and Gentile leaders came up with this statement. First, to abstain from food that had been offered to idols or had been strangled, and to abstain from sexual immorality, not for Salvation but as a witness to the non-believers. All men and women who became Believers in Christ Jesus during those early years of the Apostolic Church were encouraged to obey these requirements.
All believers at every stage of the growth of the church received strong teaching and preaching against sexual impurity, not just because it was such a common practice in pagan worship, but because marriage and the family unit is God’s original model for all who believe in Him. Dietary practices such as were established in the Levitical Law were designed to make the Israelites a unique people, specifically prepared by God to be the distinctive people group through whom the promised Savior would enter this earth. Those dietary laws were completed in Jesus’ birth, but moral purity and respect for marriage and the family have always been encouraged, if not required by those who love and accept the teachings of God’s Word.
Being born anew into the Family of God, we are anxious to obey every precept in His Word that shapes our lives, our witness to the Believer and non- believer, our desire to share our personal witness of God’s grace and mercy, to keep our actions pure and our words above reproach. Only then will our lives bring glory to our Father in Heaven, which is our ultimate, primary goal.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, it is our desire to glorify you in attitude, action and word today and every day we spend on this earth. Give us the words to use in every occasion, give us the compassion of our Savior, and the unbounded love You showed toward us, we ask You in Jesus’ name to give us strength to maintain our purity in Your eyes.

Manna in the Morning
05-18-16
THE CENTER
Ps 103:1-2, “My soul, praise the Lord, and all that is within me, praise His holy name. My soul, praise the Lord, and do not forget all His benefits.”
All Scripture quoted in MITM is from the ‘Holman Christian Standard Bible,’ but these two verses contain the central words of the King James Bible, thus, most other Bible translations as well. If the central thought of the Bible by word count is a quote from David, a man after God’s own heart, it surely should be uppermost in our minds and attitudes as well. In all we do, say, think or even consider for a fleeting instant should result in praise and thanksgiving to our Great God and Heavenly Father.
Just as these words are central in our Scriptures, the central figure is Jesus, God the Son. He gave his perfect sinless life to be the fulfillment of the promise Almighty God gave to Adam in the Garden of Eden of a perfect sacrifice to come in the future. The entire Old Testament is a detailed plan of our God to let the world know His desire for them to live an eternity in the Heavenly paces. Through the promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, renamed Israel by God, to be a people-group God has chosen to bring the Promised One into the world. They were to live and worship in faith in God’s promise to send a Redeemer, Jesus came, born of a virgin, and gave that life on Calvary the single most important event in God’s Word.
The New Testament is given to guide the Church, the Body of Christ in carrying to the world, this message of Salvation by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord. We are to live in faith in the soon return of our Savior and King to this earth once the curse of sin is removed.
The center of our lives, worship, praise and adoration is to be our Great Triune God. God the Father in whose family we have been reborn, Jesus, God the Son, whose sacrifice freed us from Satan’s grip and God the Holy Spirit, our constant companion who indwells our earthly life. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You to keep us in the center of your will for our daily lives for Your greater glory, in Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
05-17-16
No Weapon
Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon formed against you will succeed, and you will refute any accusation
raised against you in court. This is the heritage of the Lord’s servants, and their righteousness is from Me.”
There are many wonderful blessings that come to those who are born anew into the Family of God. Our Great God and Heavenly Father looks at us and sees us robed in the righteousness of Jesus because we have accepted His offer of salvation based on His perfect, sinless life given to pay our sin debt on Calvary. Not only are we our Lord God’s servants, eager to serve our Lord in any way, we are His children and enjoy the blessings He showers upon us constantly.
If we are living a life dedicated to our Almighty God, we will undoubtedly be attacked by our enemy who will send his hosts to trip us up, cause us to sin against God and attempt to ruin our testimony among others. Our Lord God and Heavenly Father has given us this promise that any weapon Satan can use or devise will be ineffective against us if our relationship with our Lord is one of total dependence upon Him.
In this Presidential election year, we have heard many accusations, half-truths and attempts to manufacture a crisis where none exists by all sides and at all levels. Our Heavenly Father has given us the assurance that any untruth or manufactured accusation will be put aside and shown for what it is if we are careful to follow the admonition in Psalm 19:14 when we ask our Lord God to give us the strength and wisdom to make our words that we speak, even the thoughts of our minds acceptable to our Redeemer. God has promised to defuse or deflect every attempt of our enemy if we will trust Him, follow the precepts of His Word and keep our focus on Him, remembering it is nothing of ourselves, it is His righteousness that protects us from every attack. Our Loving Heavenly Father, our armor is of You, we are covered with the righteousness of Jesus and our focus is to serve You. Protect us fully from the wiles and outright attacks of our archenemy this and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-16-16
I Will Trust in Him
Job 13:15-17, “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him. I will still defend my ways before Him. Yes, this will result in my deliverance, for no godless person can appear before Him. Pay close attention to my words; let my declaration ring in your ears.”
These are the words of Job, who made this reply to his so-called comforters who told Job that his troubles and losses were because he had displeased God in some way and was suffering from the punishment of Job’s God. Job lost all his wealth, his children, and was covered with sores, his wife told him to curse God and die. Job declared he would, regardless of the wrath of Satan against him, even though God had allowed these evils to come upon him, he would be faithful to the very day he died. God did not maliciously, peevishly allow these ills to come upon him, God was sure that Job was faithful and would serve Him until he died.
For his faithfulness, God greatly blessed Job once again and the latter end of his life, after this affliction passed, was greater than his life before, in wealth, family and a steadfast reliance upon, and trust in God. Job is most likely the oldest book in our Bible and predates even the writings of Moses, proving once again that God has had His faithful servants from the time that Adam and Eve left the Garden. Job’s statement was “I will be patient and trust in God to deliver me safely to the place He has prepared for me.” In a clear affirmation of his faith, Job stated to those around him, “Pay attention to what I say, let my testimony ring in your ears so you will never forget it.”
Only a man who did not have the written Word of God before him, who did not have a written record of what God forbids, who knew only from personal experience and faith in Almighty God can give such a declaration of faith. Can we who have God’s Word, who know the record of His faithfulness through the centuries and who persever in serving Him and having the indwelling God the Holy Spirit within our lives do any less? In building our witness like Job, let us patiently wait on God to lead us in His paths. He will give us the words to declare our new birth into the family of our Heavenly Father, then challenge those that hear us to let the words ring in their ears like the liberty bell declared our National freedom, declaring our salvation in the shed blood of God’s Perfect Sacrifice on Calvary. Our Father who dwells in the Heavenly Places, let our voices ring this day in praise and thanksgiving to You. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
05-13-16
Reconciled
Colossians 1:21-23, “And you were once alienated and hostile in mind because of your evil actions. But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him—if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith, and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.”
Once in a while it is good for us who have been born anew into the family of God to review and remember what we were before we accepted Christ Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Every one of was under the curse of sin by our own guilt, actions, attitudes, desperately needing forgiveness and reconciliation to our loving God. Just remembering who and what we were and who and what we are today; forgiven, brought back into full fellowship and communion with our Heavenly Father, saved by the shed blood of Jesus, God the Son on Calvary and now used of Him to lead and encourage others to know Him as Savior and share their testimony with others. We are now seen by the Father, wrapped in the white garments of Jesus’ righteousness, not our own stained, ruined, sin-cursed self-righteousness.
There are those, however, who have not remained in that close relationship with our God, they have let their spiritual life atrophy and do not regularly attend worship services, letting their spiritual lives wither because of lack of spiritual nourishment and corporate prayer time. Each of us should remain firmly grounded in God’s Word and be steadfast in our witness and example to other believers who may be young in the faith and need Godly men and women to give them guidance in their daily lives.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, In Jesus’ name we ask you to forgive us of any laxity in our Christian lives and witness. Reconcile us to full and complete fellowship with you is the desire of our hearts.

Manna in the Morning
05-12-16
Believe
John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.”
Why was our Bible written and why did John tell us why he wrote his Gospel? The answer is the same to both questions; so we may know the plan and working of our God and can find salvation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Scripture in its entirety gives us the plan of God from creation to the new Heaven and new earth. God created the earth, placed Adam and Eve in the pure, sinless Garden of Eden where they existed for a time in innocence. Part of the Old Testament is given to poetry and praise, history that is accurate in every point and prophecy that gives the reader of God’s Word an outline of what has happened on this earth and reveals the short time we have remaining until this world is de-created then re-created as the eternal place of purity, love and worship of our Heavenly Father.
When Adam and Eve sinned, believing the lie of Satan, a curse was placed on the earth’s surface and all its inhabitants. God made a way of forgiveness based upon the promise of a perfect sacrifice to come. God chose Abraham and His descendants to be the vehicle through which the perfect sacrifice would enter the world, prophets foretold of the coming Promise and at God’s perfect time Jesus was born of Mary into this world, never more than a man while at the same time never ever less than God. John gives a detailed account of Jesus’ life death and resurrection; God’s perfect sacrifice. The Other books in the New Testament describe the birth and growth of the Church, the Body of Christ and the coming time of our joining the heavenly throng.
There are still things that are prophesied that must take place before we experience the Eternal joy of Heaven as foretold in God’s Holy Word. It is both our responsibility and privilege to share God’s message as the Prophet Ezra who read the scriptures, studied them, lived them out in his life and taught them to others. Our gracious Heavenly Father, teach us through God the Holy Spirit as we study and proclaim Your Word this and every day You allow us life on this earth. In Jesus’ name we lift this prayer.

Manna in the Morning
05-11-16
Faith
Hebrews 12:5-6, “And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly, or faint when you are reproved by Him; for the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and punishes every son whom He receives.”
In the preceding Chapter, God the Holy Spirit gives Paul a list of heroes of faith who persevered above all else in their trust and contentment in our Great God. Paul then mentions those that suffered martyrdom at the hands of unbelievers, both Israelite and pagan. In this passage, we are reminded that, unlike the Old Testament saints, we are born anew into the Family of our Heavenly Father and are sometimes disciplined by Him for stepping away from the path He has given us to travel. We also need this reminder that perhaps what we call adversity or persecution may be God’s discipling us, directing us back to the path of righteousness He has chosen for our lives to bring Him the greater glory.
The United States has chosen to deny and ignore God’s Word and the precepts contained therein, it has endeavored to destroy the God-given unit of all society, the family based on the marriage of one man and one woman to raise children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord God. The husband has the God-given responsibility to care for, provide and defend his family. Not the government! Could it be that the storms that continue to plague the Midwest are a warning, a wake-up call for our Nation to return to a society based upon traditional Biblical societal values? Those God loves He does not punish, He disciplines, that is, calls them back into relationship with Him and again follow His values in all parts of our lives.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we as individuals and as a nation respond to Your calling us back to a deeper relationship with You. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-10-16
This is the Day
2 Corinthians 6:2, “For God says: “In an acceptable time, I heard you, and in the day of salvation, I helped you. Look, now is the acceptable time; look, now is the day of salvation.”
It is good for every Christian to look back on the day of their salvation, knowing that day is as important as our physical birthday because it is the day of our spiritual rebirth. Paul is quoting a verse from Isaiah 49, a time of promise to the Israelites. Here the Apostle Paul is telling his readers if they have not yet made a decision to make Jesus Christ the Leader of their life and to accept His gift of salvation, now is the day because none of us is assured of another day. On this evening’s news broadcast I heard of a terrible crash in which 7 people were injured and two of them, one a young child, have died. We are not assured of any tomorrows, we have today, and all the sins of our yesterdays can be erased by turning to our Savior Jesus.
Each of us who know Him have a wonderful testimony of that event. It is not a ‘story’ it is an actual event, and to remind ourselves of the joy of that day is to affirm and rededicate our lives to His service. I would expect that most of you who read this MITM are believers; I also know that there are those who have accepted Christ Jesus’ gift of salvation, but the seeds and fruit lie dormant in your life. Now is the time to ask God for His forgiveness for the time wasted and re-affirm your desire to serve Him wherever you may be. There also those who will read this and who admit you have never asked Jesus, God the Son, for His forgiveness of your sin, your acceptance of His free gift of salvation and a desire to serve Him every remaining day of your life. Just pray this prayer or one similar in your own words: “I know I am a sinner and my sin separates me from God. Because You, God, love me you sent God the Son, Jesus, to pay the penalty for my sin by dying on the cross to bring me to full fellowship with You. I ask You Jesus, to forgive my sin and give me eternal life in the Family of God. It is my desire to make You the Forgiver of my sins and the Leader of my life by obeying Your Word.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, I pray for all who read these words that they may deepen their relationship with You and this may be the day of salvation in someone’s heart. We will serve You joyfully this day. In Jesus saving name I lift this prayer.

Manna in the Morning
05-09-16
Lesson on Prayer
Mark 11:22-26, Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. I assure you: If anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore, I tell you, all the things you pray and ask for—believe that you have received them, and you will have them. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing. (But if you don’t forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your wrongdoing.”)
In this passage Jesus is pretty specific regarding our prayer life. First, we are to trust our Heavenly Father to give us those answers that will bring about His will in our lives as well as in the eyes of others. Our Heavenly Father knows the end from the beginning and the prayer you lift is no less important than the prayer of the greatest preacher or missionary the world has ever known. He loves you and me with an unequalled love, there is no greater. Second, we are to pray expectantly; pray like the answer is already in your hands. When we are surmounted by many difficulties and sinful actions on the part of others, expect God’s answer and be content in it, recognizing it may not be yes. Someone has wisely said, “Some of God’s greatest answers to my prayers was to say no, not now.”
Third, Jesus also said the key to a successful prayer life is to have a spirit of forgiveness toward others. All of us have sinned, asked God for forgiveness and He has forgiven and reconciled us to Himself; therefore, there is no reason for us not to forgive others when they plead with us to forgive them. Remember, each one of us is, “Greatly blessed, highly favored, imperfect, yet forgiven Child of God.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we seek earnestly to forgive others as You have forgiven us, to follow the path You have laid before us and trust You to enrich our lives through the power of God the Holy spirit, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-06-16
Perfect Piece
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.
This concept also occurs in Isaiah 25:3, “You will keep in perfect peace the mind that is dependent on You, for it is trusting in You.” This verse is for the new nation of Israel during the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus, but also has a deep important meaning and promise for every Believer in salvation through our Great God alone, through the sacrifice of what to Isaiah was a promise of a future event, but to us the sacrifice of God the Son at Calvary as the Promised Perfect Sacrifice of Genesis 3:15 is an established reality. Our only source of peace in this troubled time is to fully depend upon our Great God who is our Peace.) Trust in the Lord forever, because in Jehovah, the Lord, is an everlasting rock This is Isaiah’s message to all believers past, present and future; Service, trust and love of our Lord God is a way of Life; not just for our salvation, but total commitment in every facet of life.
Because we are His ambassadors to a sinful humanity, we are to consider ourselves his servants, willing and eager to do whatever He determines is best for our lives to bring Him greater glory. We are to be his spokesmen and women, carrying the message of His love and salvation constantly wherever we are and to whomever we meet. But most of all, we are to radiate to others His love, compassion, acceptance and a willingness to give our lives for the gospel message if called upon to do so. We are to make Jesus, God the Son, our life, in any and all ways from now until we meet Him in the halls of Heaven.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are fully yours this and every day. In Jesus’ name we praise and glorify You.

Manna in the Morning
03-15-13
I’m Listening
1 Samuel 3:10, “The Lord came, stood there, and called as before, “Samuel, Samuel!” Samuel responded, “Speak, for Your servant is listening.”
Many of God’s children have heard Him speak to them in a voice that is clear and audible to their spiritual ears, but leaving no doubt in their minds they have heard their Heavenly Father speak and listening to His voice left an indelible imprint on their mind. Samuel was brought to the Tabernacle by Hannah his mother to serve the Lord when he was a very young boy. This was in fulfillment of the promise Hannah had made when God answered her prayer and allowed her to bear a son after many years of infertility. The voice was heard by no one else, and twice Samuel went to Eli because he thought it was Eli who had called him. Eli advised the young man to answer the next call with the assurance that he was listening to what God had to tell him. God clearly declared the prophetic words against the sons of Eli who profaned their office of a Priest. When Eli asked Samuel what God told him, Samuel told Eli exactly what God had said. Many times in the life of Samuel, God told him what Samuel should do, say and proclaim to the Israelites and the Kings Saul and David. Samuel’s ear was open and tuned to hear and respond to the voice of God
As children of the Lord God we need to be sensitive to what He has for us. Often the message is a passage of Scripture, God’s own written Word by placing a reference or phrase of Scripture in our minds that we recognize as His clear answer. It may be that our Heavenly Father uses events and occurrences in our lives to direct our thoughts and actions to a path he has chosen for us, and He may speak to us in clear words declaring His will and His way for us to take. There may well be a time in your life when you hear the voice of God, audible or filling your entire senses, declaring His clear pathway for you to follow.
However God gets your attention or reveals his message, we need to be willing to accept it just as Samuel did, indicating our willingness to listen fully and obey His voice. Our loving Heavenly Father, we desire to always be open to Your leading, help us we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
05-04-16
Do it Now
Ecclesiastes 9:11-12, “Again I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them. For man certainly does not know his time: like fish caught in a cruel net, or like birds caught in a trap, so people are trapped in an evil time, as it suddenly falls on them.”
King Solomon, in all his glory really understood the mind of God when he declared that unlike the state of mankind from a heavenly point of view, it is far different than the way we see things on earth. From our point of view, the fastest runner wins the race, but God sees our lives as a long distance marathon and our success or failure is not always as anticipated. Not only do the attacks of satanic activity come upon us unexpectedly, we have no control over the place we find ourselves in God’s timeline through the ages. Nearly everyone who is 40 or older has an opinion that things today are either more evil than when they were born or perhaps, things are far better than they were, say in the pre-World War II depression time.
We can work to better our education or station in life, but the times of evil and oppression to believers in Almighty God and His plan of salvation are far out of our control. This is why this passage of Scripture tells us to do all things to the glory of God and make every effort productive in His service. The only time we have to work in His vineyard is today, there is no guarantee of tomorrow so take every opportunity, leaving nothing undone to be finished next time or a later date. Work now while there is still time. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for today and its opportunity to serve you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-03-16
The River of Life
Ezekiel 47:9, “Every kind of living creature that swarms will live wherever the river flows, and there will be a huge number of fish because this water goes there. Since the water will become fresh, there will be life everywhere the river goes.”
In other portions of the Scriptures there are descriptions of the River of Life that comes from the throne of our Omnipotent God. In this vision shown to Ezekiel, the river starts in the great Temple, flows out under the doors and gates and begins to flow westward. After the time of great chaos of trial, tribulation and purification, the earth is no longer fit to produce edible fruit. As this river grows, Ezekiel sees it deepen, widen and increase in volume with trees growing on both sides of the river. Whatever land or ultimately the sea into which the river flows, edible, pure water is provided for drinking, food for cooking and fruit for eating is found in abundance. Our God provides for every soul in this wonderful time when we are in His care and presence.
Even now, our God provides for us. We have His promise that as our Shepherd, He will lead us to the pure water and there, every need will be filled and, “We shall not want,” for anything while under His care. He has told us to ask Him for our daily bread and live in the confidence that our needs and wants will be supplied. Across our world, there are those who have a far more difficult time in finding sufficient food, while we do not have that problem and Church food banks are available to provide for the needy, rather than an overpowering governmental agency. While it often appears that our government is anxious to help its citizens, the underlying intent is to have every person dependent upon it, destroying God’s basic family unit that is the basis for Godly living, attempting to give man the false assurance of satan that God isn’t necessary.
Our gracious, benevolent Heavenly Father, we live in assurance that You will provide our daily needs, through our health and strength or any other means You choose. Spiritually and physically we rely upon You alone. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
05-02-16
Sin
1 John 1:8-9, “If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Many people, when they have been a Christian for many years, seem to forget that they are sinners on a daily basis. We wake up, read the morning paper, drink our cup of coffee, turn on the TV and start the day. If we commute to work, we chafe and are irritated by other drivers, who too, are just trying to get to work on time. If we stay at home we watch the news, old movies, maybe a few game shows, and hear the misuse of God’s name and watch a scene that is a bit erotic, never thinking that God the Holy Spirit is involved in all we do. Our irritation and occasional expletive shows our minds are less than perfect and we need God’s forgiveness to remain pure before Him.
When we are talking to others, do we remember to witness of God’s love or do we take it for granted they know we are Christians and enjoy life eternal. Do we keep a copy of the Gospel of John or a Gospel tracts available to give to others that may come to the door or wait on us in the store? Are we timid about sharing our testimony of faith and avoid conversation with non-believers because we know they may reject anything we say? If our Heavenly Father is going to soon purify this earth for the return of Jesus, God the Son, as King of Kings; it is important to live in purity. If we neglect to take every opportunity to share God’s love, we are failing to fulfill our responsibility on this earth. If we expect God to forgive us without our admission of guilt and repentance, we are being presumptive and abusing our relationship with Him.
Let’s live our live this day asking our Heavenly Father to allow His glory to radiate from us in all we say think or do, so that we may bring Him the great glory He deserves. Lord God, our Heavenly Father, this is our prayer; use us today in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

04-29-16
Reverence
Ecclesiastes 8:12-13, “Although a sinner commits crime a hundred times and prolongs his life, yet I also know that it will go well with God-fearing people, for they are reverent before Him. However, it will not go well with the wicked, and they will not lengthen their days like a shadow, for they are not reverent before God.”
One of the greatest problem we have today is the lack of reverence for God our Heavenly Father which has led to a lack of respect of elders, those in authority, laws and a general feeling among many men and women of all ages that their interests actions and opinions are paramount and anyone else is of lesser value than they. People will get caught up in riots like we saw a year or so ago and think nothing of breaking windows, looting stores and stealing merchant’s goods right off the shelves while they stand by helplessly. In many public schools, teachers have great difficulty in maintaining classroom order and in giving the students the low grades they have earned by their inaction and inattention. Children do not respect and show contempt for their parents and some parents do not demand that respect. Greatest of all is the irreverence, almost contempt shown for our Almighty God, His Word and commandments and by using His Name in a meaningless manner, defiling their lives with lechery and licentious behavior.
There is an effort in the courts, City Councils, State Legislatures and other leaders to completely destroy the Edenic family of marriage between one man and one woman, men being the head of the household, providing for the safety, defense and well-being of his family with God’s help; people of all types who feel their particular identity at any time must be recognized, ignoring the body, soul and spirit given to them at their conception by our Loving God.
As Believers, we must be careful to hold our Heavenly Father in holy reverence, and explain to the unbeliever that their irreverence will call for judgement upon them. Holding the Name of God in reverence is one of the Commandments that promises a reward, “That your days may be long upon the earth.” Our gracious, Holy Father in Heaven, we revere and honor you for all You have done for us and praise You in Jesus’ wonderful name.

Manna in the Morning
04-27-16
Open Our Minds
Luke 24:44-45, “Then He told them, “These are My words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”
In the time between the resurrection and the ascension Jesus met with his closest followers and explained to them that the Scriptures contained many prophecies about His life on earth beginning with the Virgin birth and continuing through the thrust of the spear. These prophecies had to be fulfilled and completed, not only to verify the Divine inspiration of all the prophets but to thwart Satan’s endeavors to disrupt and destroy God’s plan to provide salvation for all who call upon Jesus as their Savior. He then explained how each step of His life had to follow God’s established plan and that the Promised Perfect Sacrifice had now completed His mission.
After teaching them these things, Jesus opened their minds to understand the fullness of the Scriptures. In His earthly ministry, Jesus had healed many lame, crippled men, opened the physical eyes of the blind so they might see Jesus, but now He opened the minds and the spiritual eyes of those that followed Him so they could have a full and complete understanding of the Scriptures, to teach them accurately and in some cases, to write the letters and Gospel accounts of His earthly life so we can have a glimpse into the life and time in which Jesus lived, taught and gave Himself for our redemption.
When an individual accepts God’s offer of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice, he or she must learn that they too, need to ask God the Holy Spirit that indwells them to open their minds and understanding as they read God’s Word, seeking the truths it contains to share with others in such a way that they will desire to share with others also. Redemption gives us an opportunity to have a personal relationship with our great God that will never end, but is ours from the moment of our salvation lasting our lifetime on this earth and throughout all eternity in the heavenly places. Jesus’ promise will be fulfilled, He is preparing a place for us so that where He is, there we may be also.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the joy of a mind that understands Your Word and a desire to share that joy with others, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-15-16
Labor
Ecclesiastes 5:18-20, “Here is what I have seen to be good: it is appropriate to eat, drink, and experience good in all the labor one does under the sun during the few days of his life God has given him, because that is his reward. God has also given riches and wealth to every man, and He has allowed him to enjoy them, take his reward, and rejoice in his labor. This is a gift of God, for he does not often consider the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with the joy of his heart.”
This is a passage written, not for the Prophet or Priest, not for the King or Princes, but for the everyday laborer. People like you and me who work, go home, relax a bit and enjoy the labor that God has entrusted to us. We need to keep our lives in perspective, our lives are, in the balance of eternity, short, even a few days from our God’s point of view. We are not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to, not to have an ego like some people who have achieved some measure of success. Never forget our lives, short as they are, in comparison with all the human history on this earth, are a very important part of God’s over-arching plan. We are here because our Heavenly Father has placed us in the place where we are, at this time, to do something specific only we can do. It may be giving a witness or a gospel of John to someone who otherwise would not know of God’s love for them, or it may be to use our skills in presenting the Gospel message. We are to seek His will in our choice of employment, doing what we know God has given us to complete, to enjoy that labor and at the end of the day, to reflect on how our Heavenly Father has used us, and has given us a joyful spirit in completing our day, resting, enjoying the meal He has provided in His goodness, and look forward to the next opportunity to work, realizing that all that we do is done in His strength and for His glory. We are to give our employers our full effort during every day while realizing that our work ethic itself is a gift back to our God who enables us. Heavenly Father, use us today in Your greater plan we ask in Jesus’ name.
Beginning Monday, I am taking a few days off and Manna in the Morning
will not be published for about 10 days. God’s great blessings upon you.

Manna in the Morning
04-14-16
The Fate of Edom
Obadiah v10, “You will be covered with shame and destroyed forever because of violence done to your brother Jacob.”
Obadiah the prophet has left us a one chapter book containing a critical prophecy against Edom. Edom is the tribe or people-group that are the descendants of Esau and a daughter of Ishmael, the son of Abraham and his Egyptian slave-woman, Hagar. The Edomites were responsible for much of the slaughter and slavery suffered by the Israelites, the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as they traveled from their bondage in Egypt and their final entry into Canaan, the land promised to them by God.
The hatred of the Edomites for Israel started with the distain and hatred Ishmael had for Isaac who was clearly the promised son of an heir to Abraham and Sarah. When Esau saw that Jacob was favored by their parents, he thought to gain their favor by marrying within the family of Abraham’s ancestors. Simply because God chose to bless Abraham, Isaac and Jacob’s descendents, Ishmael and Esau’s clan were sent far to the east, keeping space between the two people-groups.
Today the descendants of Esau and Ishmael, who are known as the Arab nations who are bitter, sworn enemies of Israel, attacking them with rockets and mortars, calling for action in the UN with diplomatic moves and complaining that they deserve the land Israel inhabits and the City of Jerusalem, revered by both Arabs and Jews. Because of the long lasting hatred, Edom is now prophesied by Obadiah to be destroyed forever. God has spoken in His Word, and justice will come to Edom for their disregard and hatred for Jehovah God and His people. God will condemn Edom for their disregard for God’s Word and His commandments.
Today, it is commonplace to hear people use God’s name in an empty manner and to ignore God’s precepts in moral behavior and language. Most people, when questioned, think there is more than one road that leads to heaven, and our loving God will never condemn a person to eternal punishment. Jesus eliminated that concept when He prayed in the garden, knowing what He faced at Calvary, “Father, if there is any other way…” and there was none. Now is the time to know Him as Savior, for there may never be another opportunity. Our gracious Heavenly Father, reach and convict the hearts of those who think there may be another way to Your eternal presence, in Jesus’ saving name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-13-16
Surrounded
Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
Because of the faith that we place in our God and His promises, we need to prepare ourselves to put aside the things that distract us in every way as a constant diversion of our arch enemy who would see us trip and fall. Our goal in this life is to finish our earthly race and hear our Savior welcome us into His presence with the words, “Well Done,” or “You won your race.” There are so many things in this life that enter into our lives daily, bringing constant temptation and spiritual warfare. There has been an increase in satanic activity on this earth, wars against the Christian family, outwardly from societal and legal activities that restrict our witness as Born Again Believers, while seeming to increase and encourage the activities and actions that are against our Biblical Convictions. The ‘entertainment’ industry has always presented distractions to lure believers away from Biblical purity, and even though there seems to be a recent increase in ‘Biblical’ films, a careful examination of their content often disputes true Biblical doctrine and distorts the message God the Holy Spirit implants in our hearts and minds when we read Scripture, seeking its message for us each and every day.
Every Christian should be aware of the witnesses watching our lives both here on earth and in the heavenlies. Our Lord God knows every action, thought and attitude in our lives, He encourages, coaches and inspires us daily through the indwelling God the Holy Spirit in our lives. Other believers look at us and evaluate our life against the Scriptural principles we profess to believe. Non-believers observe our lives, looking for an excuse to distrust our witness. Therefore, we must live a transparent, open life of faith and trust in our great God and Father to lead us to a successful conclusion in the short time we are upon the earth, fighting this spiritual battle that engulfs us.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, through the power and strength of God the Holy Spirit, we strive to live this day in spiritual victory. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-12-16
Faith
Hebrews 11:30-31, “By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after being encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the prostitute received the spies in peace and didn’t perish with those who disobeyed.
Yesterday we found that when we believe God and His promises we look to the answer of our prayer with faith-filled eyes. There are many times when we also must base our faith on our obedience of His laws and promises. I fully believe that when the Israelites paraded around Jericho on the 5th and 6th days, there were many who grumbled, perhaps thought they needed to try to scale the walls like Hagar the Horrible, but went along with the plan because there was little else to do. They obeyed Jehovah God and after the seventh circuit on the seventh day, the walls fell outward so they could run into the city, conquer it and make it theirs. True Faith fully expects and gives full obedience to the directions of our Great God. After spending forty years wandering in circles in the desert, the people of Israel recognized God’s sovereignty and followed His directions to the smallest detail, even to the blast of the trumpets.
Just prior to the march around the city, Israelite spies went into the city to see where the armaments were, where their soldiers congregated, and other things that might help their conquest were identified and the men of Jericho sought to find them in order to kill them. They hid in the upper floor of the house of Rahab the Harlot who covered them and helped them escape through her window in the wall of the city. The spies, in their promise to return in conquest, told Rahab to tie a scarlet cord in her window guaranteeing she and her family would not be killed or harmed in any way. Rahab’s new-found faith in Jehovah God caused her to obey the directions of the men God had sent to her, and did exactly as she was commanded. Her obedience saved the lives of her family, and Rahab married one of the Israelites and is found in the lineage of our Savior, being King David’s great-great-grandmother. Her obedience in faith had, and continues to have, eternal consequences.
Not only do we need to look through faith-filled eyes, we must eagerly follow the precepts of God’s Word in our daily activities. Our gracious, all-knowing Heavenly Father, we ask You to increase our faith, give us faith-filled eyes along with the courage and conviction to obey You in every circumstance. We pray this in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-11-16
Faith
Hebrews 11:1-2, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors were approved.”
As we sang in our Worship service Sunday morning, the song had this line, “Faith shall be my eyes.” I began to think how we in our modern culture, have in some ways equated faith with a hope or wish, not the concrete reality of our relationship with our Heavenly Father. This is not ‘virtual’ reality but hard factual reality. If we pray for someone to hear the message of salvation God will give them that opportunity, but it is their own free choice to reject the offer. If we sincerely pray for God to open doors for us, He will guide our lives through those open doors if we follow His directives. Faith is seeing the reality of God’s plan; this includes each of us in everything we do on this earth. Reality is following God’s plan.
The Scripture says, ‘Faith is the reality of what is hoped for.’ When we pray, we do not hope God happens to hear our prayer and might stop for a moment to answer it. The root of the word we read as ‘hope’ is really expecting our prayer to be answered in all confidence that God will do it His way, for His greater glory, and in His timing that works all things for the good of His Kingdom and for we who utter the prayer. We must pray with faith-filled eyes and minds.
The patriarchs all believed God’s promise in a perfect Sacrifice to come. They did not doubt, they did not argue, every animal whose blood was shed was offered with faith-filled eyes looking for the completion of God’s promise. May our faith-filled eyes look back on Calvary, accepting the fulfillment of that promise.
Pray with faith-filled eyes when you ask God for healing, seeing His handiwork, for guidance, seeing His road signs, for salvation of others, or even if you who are reading this, but do not know Christ Jesus in the fullness of salvation, seeing Him high and lifted up.
Our gracious Heavenly father we unite our hearts together for each individual request, letting our faith-filled eyes see Your answer as we confidently put our full reliance upon You. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-08-16
Wisdom
Proverbs 9:10-11, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by Wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life.”
In our lives today, we have watered down the fear of the Lord. The first verse children learn in their Sunday School is in 1 John 4:8 “God is Love.” It is very true that God loves us, and that we love Him because He first loved us, and that we cannot know real love until we can understand the love of God for poor wretched sinners enchained in the grip of Satan, and by His Love He freed us.
God undiluted wrath will someday be poured out on this earth to remove the curse of sin that has gripped it from the day Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit in Eden. God’s wrath is directed in all its fury against sin, the results of sin, Satan and his demons who chose to rebel against God and can never know salvation. God has poured out His angry fury on cesspools of sin like Sodom, He punishes those who sin by worshipping idols and defaming His name, God’s perfect love is proven in His perfect justice. Scripture teaches us that the soul that sins will surely see death. God hates sin, but loves the sinner. Therefore, we should recognize the awesome perfect justice of God and the judgment that falls un unforgiven sin, because we as Christians sometimes forget ask to be forgiven. The beginning of wisdom is to understand our relationship with our Heavenly Father. He loves us, He has given us salvation and He forgets our forgiven sin but we are to repent of that sin and ask for His offered forgiveness. Not only are we to hold Him in awesome reverence, we must share His hatred for sin, being sure to live in the fullness of His forgiveness, grace and mercy in our lives.
We who are born anew into the Family of God are going to live an allotted number of days on this earth, then spend eternity in the presence of our Redeemer. Let’s begin now to practice living in the awesome fear of our God. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we live in awe of You, and seek to live in the fullness of Your love. Keep us from sin we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-07-16
Perilous Times
2 Timothy 3:1-5, “But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of religion but denying its power. Avoid these people!”
Today we hear may people and Pastors speak about the end times without describing them. Specifically, they are talking about the time of the earth’s purification and the establishment of Jesus’ thousand-year reign on planet earth. This time of purification will be a time of terrible turmoil in the earth’s rebellion against God, a time of earthquake and other seismic activity, unusual storms and weather phenomenon, great plagues, wars and terrible anarchy with social upheaval, the killing of millions of people as the curse of sin, placed upon the earth in Genesis Chapter 3 after Adam and Eve sinned, is removed by God’s wrathful, cleansing anger. Men will be so certain this is of our Almighty God, they will hide in caves and under rocks declaring these events are the outpouring of the wrath of God, but refusing to ask Him for forgiveness and to save them from devastation.
Looking at this list of behaviors, one only has to watch the local news for a week to see the fruit of these behaviors in your local community. Every born-again believer needs to live a life that is free from these actions, love their Heavenly Father more than they love themselves, be content with the financial state in which they are and fully trust God to provide our every need and giving back to God’s work in the Church where you worship, to be careful of the words that come out of our mouths, avoiding even the so called ‘sanitized’ expressions that have their roots in the filth of sin, profanity and lust. Each of these thigs mentioned in this chapter should be consciously removed from our lives and we should recognize the power to transform our lives by the love of Jesus our Redeemer and to worship Him with a whole heart. Our God is anxious to pour out His blessings upon us if we but trust, read His Word and obey each precept. Our gracious Heavenly Father, keep us, we pray in Jesus’ name, in the center of Your will this day.

Manna in the Morning
04-06-16
I will Intercede for You
Jeremiah 15:11, “The Lord said: Assuredly, I will set you free and care for you. Assuredly, I will intercede for you in a time of trouble, in your time of distress, with the enemy.”
In our financial system and job market, Bonuses and incentives are often part of the hiring package of executives and high level business associates. As a Christian, laboring for our Savior, we have already been guaranteed the highest reward anyone could ever imagine. Our dwelling place in the Heavenly Places prepared for us by God Himself. In addition to this, we can expect to be awarded crowns for our everyday witness, soul-winning and for living a life that brings glory to our Heavenly Father.
Jeremiah was formed while still in his mother’s womb to be the prophet he became. Known as the ‘weeping prophet’ Jeremiah wrote, in addition to the book of prophetic insights that bears his name, the Book of Lamentations, a soulful lament about the spiritual condition of the Israelite people during his lifetime. He was laughed at, imprisoned in a cistern with water up to his neck, ignored by the people and even had the King slice up his prophecies and throw the pieces into the fire as they were read to him. Jeremiah never received acclaim or recognition from the Nation to which he ministered and felt unwanted and despised. Many Christians never reach any acclaim or recognition for their service to our Lord. Men and women who are in choirs but not known for their solo voices, people who greet everyone who enters the church for worship services, hand out the programs and help visitors find a place to sit, those who help clean the buildings and grounds without notice or often, even without thanks. Yet our Heavenly Father knows their efforts and makes the same promise to them as He gave to Jeremiah; He will set us free from the chains of sin that once bound us, He will care for us and meet our every need, in truth, He knows our needs before we are aware of them ourselves. Furthermore, God promises to intercede for us in difficult times and to be our defender in times of spiritual attack.
Keeping things in their proper perspective, Our Heavenly Father will always protect us from the evil one, and has given us the weapons we need to defeat him, the Word of God and prayer, while defending us with our salvation and faith in His power. We look to the time we meet Him in the Heavenly places and to receive those crowns for faithful service and dedication to the tasks He set before us.
Our gracious Heavenly father, we will gladly serve You in any place, time or manner You choose for the great award of meeting You and hearing Your “Well Done.” We thank you in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-05-16
Unless the Lord Watches
Psalm 127:1, “Unless the Lord builds a house, its builders labor over it in vain; unless the Lord watches over a city, the watchman stays alert in vain.”
It is so important for us to remember that our Great God and Heavenly Father knows the end of all things even before all things existed. In these last days of time before the church, the Bride of Christ, is taken up from the earth, God’s plan that over-arches the history of humanity. No matter what satanic forces or mankind can or does do, it will not affect the outcome or the timing of God’s plan established in the Heavenly places. While we are to continue to do as our God commanded us to carry the message of salvation in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, to do our utmost to win others, we will not hasten or extend the time when God moves to the next step in His foreordained plan.
When we accept His sovereignty, however, and carefully study the Scriptures where all the elements of God’s plan are seen and we strive to place them on our timeline, we may come to the conclusion that the time of our effectiveness and usefulness as God’s ordained messengers of today, is growing shorter. This does not mean we are any less effective than if we lived 200 years
ago, or would be more effective than we are today if we are granted 100 more years of earthly life. We are all, at this very moment, in the same place as the Persian Queen Esther whom, God’s Word says, was born at the right time to be used by Him in saving the entire Israelite people-group.
Our responsibility is simple; serve our Lord where we are today, doing what He called us to do, and be effective in His power and wisdom.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are Your’s this day, use us in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-01-16
Convictions
Proverbs 6:16-19, “Six things the Lord hates; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.”
If there are things our Heavenly Father considers detestable, then we should do all in our power to avoid those actions that displease Him. The first mentioned on this list prepared by Solomon is arrogance. We have all met someone who is sure he is right on a subject, knows more than anyone else present and refuses to listen to anyone who disputes his wisdom. Arrogance and its brother snobbery are not to be part of a Christian’s life. Second on this list is lying. Jesus said our great adversary, the devil, is the father of all liars. Lying or deception is telling a half-truth or not relating the entire circumstance under consideration, or to remain silent when to tell the truth would provide information regarding the sins of others. There is a general reluctance in the communities of evil-doers to not speak, fearing retribution from those who are living the lie. Next is shedding innocent blood; standing by when others are injured or killed without aiding the victim or coming to their defense. This, too, is a common social behavior in many areas today.
God calls sin, the devious plotting of schemes to do financial, emotional or physical harm to others; not actually participating but plotting the moves that lead to disaster for others. All of us have watched videos of the urban riots where rioter break windows and doors of stores, then hordes of bystanders’ rush in to take part in the looting. The 6th is the person who lies so much they don’t know the difference between truth and falsehood anymore because their conscience is so hardened.
There are thousands of Christians who can honestly, forthrightly say they have not participated in these things, but many Believers in Jesus will cause discord or unhappiness in Church congregations by denouncing the type of worship that differs from one’s own, more modern praise services or the traditional organ accompanied old hymns because ‘that’s what I grew up with.’ Every Christian must live by the convictions God has led them to adopt, but not to judge the relationship with the Lord God that another brother or sister in Christ has, by judging their persona convictions that for them, is every bit as valid is yours in your own life.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, we will love and serve You as You direct us, and not start quarrels or discord among the Believers whose convictions that may not be clones of our own. Praise God You has this close relationship with all who love You and obey Your Biblical precepts. In Jesus’ name we praise and adore You.

Manna in the Morning
03-31-16
Walking Worthy
Colossians 1:9-10, “We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God.”
Every Christian has been faced with a situation where they truly asked for God’s will to be made clear to them, then after considerable time, effort and prayer they have had to consider the fact they did not move in the right path or at the appropriate time to fulfill what they had prayed and labored over, recognizing God had not opened the door they expected. We are told in the Scriptures that it is the will of God that all men should come to repentence; we must work to give them the opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior, but they still have the free will to say no to His offer and remain in their lost condition.
It is the will of our Heavenly Father that each of us prepare today for the opportunity to present that message of salvation to someone when God opens the conversational door. It is His will that we do His bidding today where we are now; to those He brings into our path and obey the urging of God the Holy Spirit whenever He presents us with that opportunity. Other countries on this earth consider the USA to be a mission field for them and send Missionaries from their country to ours just as we feel compelled to send Missionaries to their country. We are citizens of this wonderful country, we know the culture, language and needs of the people so it is Scriptural for us to have a burden for the unbelievers here. This does not mean that God does not call men and women from here to other parts of the world. The truth is He has called all of us to share the glorious message of Salvation in Jesus, the Perfect Promised Sacrifice, who gave His life on Calvary to redeem us. Having been called, it is our responsibility to prepare ourselves to let our Heavenly Father do His work through us as we yield to the power and presence in our lives of God the Holy Spirit.
Jesus’ earthly ministry was conducted within a 100 mile radius of His birthplace and the message reverberated across the entire earth because of the faithfulness and dedication of those who accepted His message. It is up to us, the Believers in Jesus, who will continue to spread that message in the place where we are today. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we will serve You today as you lead and prepare the way. In Jesus’ name we pray

Manna in the Morning
03-30-16
Revive us again
Habakkuk 3:1-2, “A prayer sung by Habakkuk the prophet. Lord, I have heard the report about You; Lord, I stand in awe of Your deeds. Revive Your work in these years; make it known in these years. In Your wrath remember mercy!”
Habakkuk was a deeply devoted man of God, a poet whose deep faith led him to write a beautiful paean of praise in response to the mysterious ways of Jehovah God. We all have read the Scriptural word pictures of the great Throne of our mighty God. We have read of His victories through men and women of faith, we know of his boundless love, His desire to bless His children and yet, we do not often take the time to personally, privately, worship His mightiness. We reserve our praise for Sunday Morning in our praise and worship services, or in other groups, we listen to our choirs as they sing of His love and grace, but we should take the time to individually adore His majesty and thank Him for His many gifts to us, lowly beings who seek to love His infiniteness with our finite minds and abilities.
When we take time alone to review all that God has done for us, answered our prayers and worked miracles in our lives, it is easy to thank Him. Remind yourself of the glories of His Creation, of the carefully balanced systems from the atom to the galaxies, the complexities that keep our universe together, and thank Him for His saving love for such creatures as men and women and return the love to Him that He lavishes on us. Ask our Heavenly Father to revitalize and spark a new, fresh love and inspiration to serve Him just as we are, where we are. Our Great Jehovah has a great anger for sin in our lives but His love is greater, and we must ask for His mercy. We may not be poets like Habakkuk, but we can be inspired by His Word and respond to Him in the freedom He has given us.
Our gracious, Eternal Heavenly Father, put within us a desire to meditate upon Your loveliness and infinite attributes, may each of us take time alone to pray and think of Your love for this sinful world and for us. We will always come to You at Your open invitation in grateful eagerness in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
03-29-16
Sunrise
Proverbs 4:18-19, “The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, shining brighter and brighter until midday. But the way of the wicked is like the darkest gloom; they don’t know what makes them stumble.”
One of the most pleasant ways to understand the importance of light is to find a quiet place in a patch of trees far enough from civilization where you cannot hear cars on the roads, sirens from ambulances or fire trucks or the slamming of doors as early risers leave on their way to work and sit silently in the pre-dawn darkness. Once you have become accustomed to the absence of all light except that of the stars and perhaps the setting moon, you begin to hear the footsteps of the nocturnal animals, predators padding through the ground cover, hear the almost silent whisper of an owl’s wings or the rustle of the night-loving creatures returning to their nests or lairs. In the pre-dawn almost imperceptible, slowly increasing light, the diurnal or light-loving animals stir, squirrels begin foraging among the ground cover, birds begin to chirp. then as the sun breaks over the horizon your world changes before your eyes. What were ominous clumps of deeper dark become bushes bearing flowers and seeds, the animals seem to have brighter coats and the dew glistens and shines as the sun finally bursts in all its fullness into the sky.
This is the life of a born anew Christian. As we understand what has happened when we put our full trust and reliance on Jesus, our horizons brighten, the glory of our Risen Lord bursts into full radiance as we turn toward Him and the power and love of God the Holy Spirit brightens every move we make. The predatory angels of hell shrink away from the light of God’s presence, the sinful men and women who tempt and lure us slink into their hiding places, fearful of God’s presence. Now we understand John’s gospel where he writes, “Jesus is the Light of the world, but evil humanity craves and seeks the darkness.”
The increasing evil in our society is darkening the future, just as in the days of Noah when people rejected God’s message of forgiveness and the days of Lot when sexual deviation ran wild. As this darkness closes in upon us, Jesus said, “The day of your calling up comes closer.” Our Gracious Heavenly Father, our hearts cry out for You to take us to be where You are. Make us effective today for Your greater glory, In Jesus name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
03-28-16
Burning Hearts
Luke 24:31-32 Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him, but He disappeared from their sight. So they said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts ablaze within us while He was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?”
Immediately following the disiples hearing of the news of the empty tomb, two of those that followed Jesus were walking on the road from Jerusalem to Emaus discussing the news of Jesus’ Resurrection. A tremendous tumult had erupted in Jerusalem, not only among the 11 who were His discipes, but also in the Roman Government and the Jewish Religious Leaders. This was a singular event! No one else had ever died and returned to vibrant life by His own power. Jesus had raised Lazarus after four days, but now Jesus had raised Himself from the bond of death to vibrant, communicating, spirtually pulsating life by His own power as God the Son.
As Cleopas and his friend walked and talked they were joined by a third person who did not identify Himself, but began to give them a lesson in Biblical understanding. As they reached the village, the stranger acted as though He would continue on but Cleopas invited Him to have a meal with them before continuing on. As Jesus blessed the bread and meal they recognized Him, but immediately He departed and they were left alone. Then they realized how their hearts had burned and reacted to the voice of Jesus, even though they did not immediately identify Him.
Just as a good mystery novel’s clues are seen throughout the book and then identified in the final chapter, so a knowledge of Jesus ministry and Resurrection gives meaning to many seemingly unimportant passages in the Old testament writings. It is important for students of the Bible to read each sentence carefully in a translation close to the original texts and not depend upon a ‘easy reader paraphrase’ of the Word of God in your serious study. 2 Timothy tells us to carefully study God’s Word so that we may teach it correctly and Ezra carefully read, studied, lived out God’s Word before he taught it.
We, as those who teach God’s word by example, modeling its truths and precepts, explaining those truths to youngsters or older people who are young in their faith, needing our careful presentation. Do not assume anyone has a encyclopedic understanding of Scripture, teach all with careful consideration, realizing some may need more grounding and basic knowledge in Scriptural precepts than others.
Our loving Heavenly Father, we desire toknow more of Your Word. Guide our minds in study and meditation upon Your Holy Word, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
03-25-16
Good Friday
Jesus took so much physical abuse for us, torture, beatings, the crown of thorns, whippings, carrying the heavy crossbeam of the cross and finally hung upon that cross. Yet none or all of these things could pay the price for sin in the lives of those Jesus came to save from eternal spiritual death and Hell. It took His death, burial and resurrection to provide our Redemption from sin’s curse that came upon the earth after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.
As Jesus suffered on the cross, after several hours he cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Or “Why have you left Me all alone?” When Jesus had the sin-weight of every person who has or who will ever live on this earth placed upon His shoulders, God the Father could not look upon sin as God the Son carried the loathsome burden. It was for this express purpose and exact moment He left Heaven’s glory to walk upon the earth He had created. The perfect, sinless, Holy God cannot look upon sin and turned His eyes from God the Son, who paid the price as promised. Unimaginable agony coursed through both Heaven and Earth as this weight fell upon The Son, and The Father felt the pain in equal measure. This is the true measure of our Redemption from the fires of hell.
As the time came for Jesus to give up this earthly life He said “It is finished!” This was not a cry of relief because the torment, pain, torture, ridicule and more agony than any mere mortal could stand and now was over, it was an exclamation of triumph that shook the hills of Judea, rattled the clouds of the sky and echoed through the halls of Heaven guaranteeing the defeat of sin and death! Satan, the Great Dragon is defeated! The Promised One has crushed the Serpent’s head, and yes, the heel of the Promised One was bruised. But death and resurrection won the victory and all Heaven rejoiced, even though all earth was in sorrow and pain. Jesus, our Redeemer, returned into the place of God’s glory, our Salvation was secure, and in mere hours Jesus would rise from the grave in triumph just as He had promised.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we come to You in Jesus’ name, humble and grateful for the precious gift of Redemption that came at such a cost. We bow before You in thanksgiving and in honoring the price that is fully paid, He is risen, indeed!

Manna in the Morning
03-24-16
Denial
Luke 22:54-56, They seized Him, led Him away, and brought Him into the high priest’s house. Meanwhile Peter was following at a distance. They lit a fire in the middle of the courtyard and sat down together, and Peter sat among them. When a servant saw him sitting in the firelight, and looked closely at him, she said, “This man was with Him too.” But he denied it: “Woman, I don’t know Him!”
Peter, the one who tried to defend Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemene with his sword, who looked at Jesus and walked on water, who truly believed Jesus was the Messiah and was a leader of the disciples denied knowing Jesus, not once but three times, even though Jesus had told him beforehand he would do so. If Peter denied his Savior, and then repented, Jesus forgiving Him and restoring Peter to full fellowship with Him, then we who deny our Savior can ask and receive forgiveness also.
But the question is asked, “How do we deny our Savior?” The one who freely accepts Salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice but will not allow His compassion and glory to shine in his or her daily activities has denied His power in our lives. The one who commonly uses God’s name in vain, in direct refusal to obey the commandment God has never rescinded, has denied the Holiness of his name. The believer who neglects the Scriptural admonition to gather together for worship denies our Savior the worship, praise, and adoration due Him.
Just as Peter was forgiven and restored to faithful service, you and I can be forgiven if we but confess our failure before Him, asking our Heavenly Father for reconciliation into full fellowship in Him, making our lives more effective in our daily service and witness for His greater glory. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we will not deny Your name or our love for You. As Your loving, dedicated servants we will serve for Your greater glory this and every day.

Manna in the Morning
03-23-16
Here is your King

John 19:6-14, When the Chief Priests and the Temple Police saw Jesus, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” Pilate responded, “Take Him and crucify Him yourselves, for I find no grounds for charging Him.” “We have a law,” the Jews replied to him, “and according to that law He must die, because He made Himself the Son of God.” When Pilate heard this statement, he was more afraid than ever. He went back into the headquarters and asked Jesus, “Where are You from?” But Jesus did not give him an answer. So Pilate said to Him, “You’re not talking to me? Don’t You know that I have the authority to release You and the authority to crucify You?” “You would have no authority over Me at all,” Jesus answered him, “if it hadn’t been given you from above. This is why the one who handed Me over to you has the greater sin.” From that moment Pilate made every effort to release Him. But the Jews shouted, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Anyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar!” When Pilate heard these words, he brought Jesus outside. He sat down on the judge’s bench in a place called the Stone Pavement (but in Hebrew Gabbatha). It was the preparation day for the Passover, and it was about six in the morning. Then he told the Jews, “Here is your king!”
Pilate examined Jesus, found no reason for Him to be imprisoned, let alone crucified, therefore Pilate sent Jesus to Herod. Herod questioned Jesus and sent Him back to Pilate who asked Jesus where He was from, and many other questions. Jesus stood before Pilate and would not speak except to say Pilate would have no power if it were not allowed from above. Pilate would have released Jesus if he could find a way that would pacify the populace and yet preserve his own position. It was the religious leaders, the Priests and Rabbis who called for Jesus’ crucifixion, and it was picked up by the paid rabble in the crowd until the clamor was so great Pilate spoke truthfully, “Here is your King.”
It is easy to blame the Jewish leaders, but in many ways mankind has rejected God the Son as their king. Christians have allowed the culture to honor an egg-laying bunny instead of Celebrating the Resurrection of their Redeemer and King. All of our ‘religious’ holidays have been taken over by myth, pagan references and commercialism. As believers in Jesus our Savior, the Living Word let us remember, pray, somberly reflect on the trial, torture and death of our Promised Perfect Sacrifice, and celebrate with true joy and gladness His Resurrection this coming Lord’s Day. Lord God our King, Accept our homage this day we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
03-21-16
Authority
Luke 20:1-6, One day as He was teaching the people in the temple complex and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the scribes, with the elders, came up and said to Him: “Tell us, by what authority are You doing these things? Who is it who gave You this authority?” He answered them, “I will also ask you a question. Tell Me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?” They discussed it among themselves: “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men,’ all the people will stone us, because they are convinced that John was a prophet.”
From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible does not try to ‘prove the existence of God, it simply assumes that God is and gives examples of His actions, like creation, things no one but Almighty God could do. It is the same with God’s authority. God is eternal, having all authority over all creation, it is by His power that all things consist and respond to Him.
After the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in fulfillment of prophecy, in the proper time according to all the prophets, was recognized spontaneously by the people who fell on their knees, put palm branches and their own clothes on the ground so the donkey carrying Him would not touch the dirt and dust of earth, proving Jesus’ divinity and innocence. The religious leaders of Jerusalem recognized this revering of our Redeemer and rightfully saw it as a threat to the earthly authority they enjoyed.
With His authority, Jesus cleansed the place of worship and purified it with His presence. As we have a heightened awareness of the end of Jesus’ ministry this week we need to invite Him into our lives, to cleanse us from the self-assumed authority we have assumed, to drive out the commercial endeavors, our concentration on daily, earthly events that captivate our minds and attention and recognize the majesty and purity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, and devote our full attention to His Words, “I have come that they might have eternal life and in its unlimited abundance.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ powerful, saving name we ask You to give us a new awareness of the cost of our redemption and that we might give You the reverent honor You deserve.

Manna in the Morning
03-18-16
If You Only Knew
Luke 19:41-44, “As He approached and saw the city, He wept over it, saying, “If you knew this day what would bring peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. For the days will come on you when your enemies will build an embankment against you, surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you and your children within you to the ground, and they will not leave one stone on another in you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.”
As Jesus approached the Temple after his entry into Jerusalem with the people waving palm branches, shouting Hosanna and giving Jesus great homage He stopped and looked over the city and out of His mouth came these words recorded by Luke, “If you only knew…” The words of praise came easy to the people as the procession came to the Temple, those that had heard Jesus speak, seen the bread and fish multiplied and the lame walk, but had not made the connection between the physical miracles and the spiritual miracles so necessary for every individual.
We who have tasted and know our salvation is real and our sins truly forgiven have been given the responsibility to share that peace within our hearts and the promise of heaven that glows in our innermost being, with all we meet. There is a time coming, and even now exists, when those who believe in Jesus as Redeemer will have the followers of Satan build walls around them keeping them contained, unable to share with the unbelievers; when the message will no longer resound from the pulpits and radios across the world; when to claim Christ Jesus as your Savior will bring the executioner’s final verdict, sending you into the presence of Jesus, who will welcome you with open arms, hearing His voice, “Well done, My good, faithful servant.”
While Jerusalem’s throngs let the adoration of Jesus die with the last echo of the final Hosanna and refused the Promised Savior, we must raise our voices, share our faith, claim others far and near for our Savior and keep the praise and Hallelujah’s rising to the Throne of our Great Almighty God. This coming Lord’s Day, lift Your Hosannas together to resound in the Heavens, remembering Jesus’ Triumphant Prophetic Entry into Jerusalem.
Heavenly Father, we love you with all our hearts, praise you with our voices, seek to know more of Your Word and will never let the echoes fade away so long as we are on this earth. In Jesus’ name we lift our praise.

Manna in the Morning
03-17-16
Proverbs

Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.
After Solomon gives the introduction to this book he has written, indicating it is to be used for gaining wisdom and being instructed; understanding insightful sayings; receiving wise instruction in righteousness, justice, and integrity; teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced and knowledge and discretion to a young man, he makes the statement that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all knowledge. People today, eager to share the love of our Heavenly Father and because one of the first Bible lesson they ever memorized was, “God is love,’ (1 John 4) do not understand the need to be reverent and fearful before our Great God and recognize His pure hatred for sin. We have been redeemed at a great price and are now to consider ourselves as ‘love slaves’ of our Savior and King. We are to carefully read His Word so that we may understand what He expects of us, how to live our life to bring Him greater glory and plead with Him to keep us from temptation and sin.
While the unrepentant are fools who do not chose to learn of His wisdom and to fear His anger for their disregard of His precepts, willfully sinning against Him. We must remember we are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit and are to keep our minds, thoughts and the place of His habitation clean and pure before Him. The whole focus of our lives is to emulate Ezra who desired to read, study, live, act in accordance with and teach God’s Word in our actions and attitudes.
It is then, He will instruct us showing us the pathway to take, the people to share His love and salvation with letting His radiant glory radiate from us to those we meet every day, not for our worth or complement, but giving Him honor for His great gifts to us that are beyond measure or number.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank, praise and honor You for the gifts You pour upon us, using us in Your service this day, we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
03-16-16
Melchizedek

Gen 14:18-20, “Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine; he was a priest to God Most High. He blessed him and said: Abram is blessed by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth, and give praise to God Most High who has handed over your enemies to you.
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
When we read the early history of the earth and its population we see men like Enoch, who ‘walked with God and was not for God took him,’ and others who followed God’s direction. Noah who followed God’s direction and built the Ark of Safety that saved him as well as his sons and daughters-in-law, but we do not read of all the men who followed God faithfully. God’s Word tells us that no matter what the society or situation, no matter how many are ungodly and fight against God’s people, our Great, Loving Almighty God always had and always will have those that follow Him faithfully, regardless of the persecution or war against them, knowing God will give them the ultimate victory; eternity in the heavenly places where His Shekinah Glory is manifest.
Melchizedek, the King of the City Salem, that later became Jerusalem, King David’s Capitol of the Kingdom of Israel was also recognized as, not only a worshipper, but a priest of the Most High God, and recognizing this Abram gave him a tithe or a tenth of all the spoils of war that Abram and his men had won when they rescued Abram’s nephew Lot from the Kings who had rejected our Almighty God and worshipped idols. This recognition of Jehovah God was long before Abraham received his blessing from Jehovah and it passed down through Isaac and Jacob, thereafter known as Israel, and continues among all parts of this earth, among people groups, languages and tribes, even today men and women are known as Christians because they love, honor, obey and worship Jehovah God in fear and reverence. We are brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus before we claim allegiance to our National or ethnic background.
We are one people under God and our righteousness is in Him. All that we are we have received from Him, He is the life-giver, He has given us talents and abilities to use for His glory not our own, our salvation comes from faith in Him and the perfect sacrifice of God the Son on Calvary. We deserve none of these gifts, we must thank God for them and I pray we will all use them to His greater glory. Our Heavenly Father, in Jesus name we ask You to use our lives and talents for Your praise and honor. May we consider ourselves as Your slaves this and every day.

Manna in the Morning
03-15-16
You feed them

Matthew 14:15-21, When evening came, the disciples approached Him and said, “This place is a wilderness, and it is already late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” “They don’t need to go away,” Jesus told them. “You give them something to eat.” “But we only have five loaves and two fish here,” they said to Him. “Bring them here to Me,” He said. Then He commanded the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed them. He broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate and was filled. Then they picked up 12 baskets full of leftover pieces! Now those who ate were about 5,000 men, besides women and children.
It is difficult for us to picture in our minds a crowd of over 5,000 people sitting on the ground, standing under a scrub tree for shade just to hear the words coming from an itinerant teacher, listening intently until the time for supper came and went. The disciples earnestly implored Jesus to tell the crowd to disperse so they could go into the villages and find something to eat. Consider Jesus’ answer as if you had come to Him in prayer and asked that somehow your relatives or close friends had declared to you they wanted to know more about the Saving work of Jesus.
Jesus answered the disciples, “You feed them.” This was not a suggestion, but a command. The disciples felt their inadequacy as they brought 2 sardines and 5 small rolls of bread. This, unfortunately is the way some Christians respond, “Go to church next Sunday and let the Pastor tell you about Jesus. Jesus’ answer is the same today as it was 2,000 years ago; “You tell them.”
The disciples did feed them working with and through the power of the Lord Jesus, the little they had was multiplied and met the need of the crowd with 12 baskets left over. We can fulfill the charge Jesus gave to all His followers at the Mount of Olives and reaching down through the years to you and me; Matt 28:19-20, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” The message is simple; spread the gospel to all who will hear you, depending totally and completely upon the power of our omnipotent Heavenly Father evidenced in our lives by the indwelling God the Holy Spirit. Gracious Father in Heaven, we will go as You lead us, depend on You to use us and are eager to win others to You. We lift our prayer to You in Jesus powerful name.

Manna in the Morning
03-14-16
My Siblings in the Savior
2 Corinthians 13:11-13, “Finally, brothers, rejoice. Be restored, be encouraged, be of the same mind, be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.”
Paul used these verses to finalize his last letter to the Church at Corinth, and it’s a good summation of how we are to live our lives as Christian siblings in the family of our Heavenly Father. First, we are to rejoice, there is so much to be grateful and praise our God for in His blessings upon us. Every sunrise is a promise that He will shine upon us, regardless of weather or even aches and pains, He has given us another day to live out our praise and dedication to Him.
We always need to thank Him for His forgiveness and full restoration and fellowship with Him and our fellow believers, encouraging each other as we pray, think and interact with others during the day. God has given us a mind of unity in Him, a shared desire to serve Him and a peace with all others that cannot be surpassed. Peace in pain, sorrow, separation or distress because God’s love and peace supersedes and covers all distress and challenges we may face. As we look forward to Resurrection Sunday in a couple weeks, remember, when Jesus arose triumphantly from the dead, He destroyed the destroyer so that we may live in peace and eagerness to serve our Risen Savior.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the ability to enjoy the fellowship of God the Holy Spirit as we walk through each hour of this day; may He give us opportunities to share our joy in the fellowship of the Family of our Loving God and may we serve Him with a whole heart, soul and mind. In Jesus’ name we lift this prayer.

Manna in the Morning
03-11-16
Together

Hebrews 10:23-25, “Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, not staying away from our meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near.”
As we look forward to the weekend, during this lovely spring weather, let’s not forget we are to find time to worship together, not because attending Church will earn us ‘points’ with our Heavenly Father, but to obey Him because His Word says this is an important part of our spiritual growth and expresses our praise and thanks to Him for all His blessings. In Acts 4 Scripture tells us that those who followed Jesus, believing in His deity and Sacrificial death and resurrection, were gathered together in one place on Pentecost, God the Holy Spirit came upon them in all His fullness. Great things happen to us when we are in corporate worship. God has promised us we will grow to care for, help, pray for and strengthen those who worship with us and will work those same miracles in our own hearts. Loving our Christian brothers and sisters is the strength of the church, and the praying together bonds us in His service. We are told to meet together on a frequent basis, especially since we see the time approaching when we will be called up and spend eternity together in the presence of our great God.
In the Book of Malachi, we are told God considers half-hearted participation or neglecting worship together with others is robbing Him of the praise and glory due Him and failure to give thanks for our many blessings is a sin on the part of those who neglect pure and attentive worship. As we have the opportunity this coming weekend to gather this weekend for worship, take full advantage and rejoice, praise, and pray together. Father, may every word that comes from our mouth worship You in spirit and in truth.

Manna in the Morning
03-10-16
Israel

Genesis 32:26-29, Jacob said, “I will not let You go unless You bless me.” “What is your name?” the man asked. “Jacob!” he replied. “Your name will no longer be Jacob,” He said. “It will be Israel because you have struggled with God and with men and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked Him, “Please tell me Your name.” But He answered, “Why do you ask My name?” And He blessed him there.
This event between Jacob and an unnamed ‘man’ is, I believe, an example of a theophany, that is the appearance of God the Son in human form to someone in the Old Testament, rather than an angel because an angel has no ability to give a blessing to humans. Jacob was on his way to Canaan when he met some shepherds who were in Esau’s camp. Esau desired to meet Jacob, but Jacob was apprehensive, feeling Esau still was angry with him, so he sent some gifts on ahead. During the night Jacob had a vision of a stairway that led to Heaven, with angels ascending and descending the ladder. Jacob was approached by what he thought was a man and they wrestled until daybreak. Jacob, although crippled in his hip by his opponent, would not let go until the man blessed him. Undoubtedly, Jacob knew this was a heavenly visit and sought a blessing. Without ever identifying Himself to Jacob, the ‘man’ blessed Jacob and left without giving Jacob His name.
You and I have had times when we were apprehensive or concerned about an impending event or situation and have prayed mightily for God’s wisdom, protection and watchfulness over us. We have God’s abiding promise that He will carry the weight of our cares if we will allow Him to, and not pray, ask Him for wisdom, then pick up the burden and struggle on. Like Jacob, we need to ask God for His mercy and blessing, knowing God’s storehouse is without limit and He will indeed bless our lives and go before us in the difficult paths. He may not remove the things that concern us, but will indeed give us the assurance of His presence, knowing He is in full control of our lives if we will keep our hands off and let Him direct us.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we commit to do Your will this day for Your glory.

Manna in the Morning
03-09-16
Your Glory

Psalm 115:1-3
“Not to us, LORD, not to us, but to Your name give glory because of Your faithful love, because of Your truth. Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.”

Many times when people comment on the fine job you are doing in whatever ministry you may be involved, it is easy to accept the praise, murmuring, ‘To God be the glory,’ but it is quite another to really say in our hearts, “All glory to You Lord.” Just as we cannot do anything to make our lives acceptable to God, it is all due to Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection by His own power as God the Son, we cannot do anything of value to our Lord God unless it is done in His name and for His glory. When I was a child many years ago, my Mom and Dad had a plaque on the wall I can clearly remember; it read, “Only one life, ‘twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” Now that I am (much) older, I still have to evaluate each day by God’s standard and realize that what I do in my own strength will have no lasting value. If we take the good works we have done, and take the letters g, o, d out of good, all we have left is 0.

Our Heavenly Father’s faithful love must radiate out of our hearts to those we meet; it is by His faithful love that we are born anew into God’s family and it is His faithful love that drives us to do His will in our daily activities. We walk in truth because Jesus said, “I am the Truth.” Hard as it is for us to understand, Absolute truth came from Heaven and walked the dirty dusty pathways of this earth so that we could know the truth and be set free from the snares of our arch enemy, the devil. Looking upward and forward to the day we will walk the pure golden streets of the place our God has prepared for us.

When people we meet who see the turmoil and pain in our nation and ask, “Where is your God?” Our answer to them should be, “Our God and Father is in the highest Heaven and God the Holy Spirit lives within my life, may His will be done in all that I do. Heavenly Father, use each of us this day to Your greater glory, we ask in Jesus’ name

Manna in the Morning

03-08-16

Persecution

 

2 Timothy 1:8-10, “So don’t be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me His prisoner. Instead, share in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.  This has now been made evident through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who has abolished death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

 

I understand there are Christians that sometimes are ashamed of their testimony.  First, some are ashamed of the fact they slipped and sinned against God and His Word.  These brothers and sisters in Christ are to accept, without reservation, the forgiveness they have sought from their Heavenly Father, have been reconciled to Him and serve Him for His greater glory.  There are others who do not want to call attention to themselves by speaking forth the Gospel message, and by remaining silent, they avoid any attention from anyone.

 

Paul encouraged Believers, in this passage, to participate or join hands with those who have and are under deep persecution today in this world.  We may be called upon to face some persecution upon occasion wherever we are, but we must pray for those who are in prison because of their belief in God’s Word and in the promise of eternal life.  In Communist Nations, Christians may lose everything and be kept from seeing others for an undetermined length of time.  Here in the United States, men and women have lost their business, their way of life, even everything they own because they hold to their Biblical beliefs.  Support them because they need to know we would stand behind them in their steadfast testimony of God’s faithfulness.  We have been saved, we have been called, we have been prepared by our Lord God and we are now to stand firm in our dedication to Him so our testimony will be used to our Lord’s greater glory.

 

Our gracious Heavenly Father, we will follow the precepts of Your Holy Word, obeying the direction and leading of God the Holy Spirit within us, sharing in the suffering for the gospel message if necessary.  Direct our steps this day we pray in Jesus’ name.

 

 

Manna in the Morning

03-07-16

Power

 

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.”

 

Every once in a while we see a news article about a person who was bequeathed a large amount of money, or had won a contest and never claimed the award and took what was rightfully theirs because of ignorance or misunderstanding.  Many new Christians, and some who have been a Believer in Jesus for some time, do not claim all the gifts that God our Heavenly Father has set before us.

 

Each of us that have been born anew have the promise of our Savior that God the Holy Spirit will indwell our lives and we can live in confidence and boldly proclaim God’s salvation plan without fear.  We will not fear when we present our testimony to others because God the Holy Spirit goes before us to clear the way for our testimony, nor do we need to fear the weapons our enemy has arrayed against us because our God has already overcome him and won the final victory.  This sounds easy to us who live in freedom, but to a Believer in many countries today, their witness for Christ could mean their death.  Should this occur, they will already be in God’s presence in the heavenly places and their martyrdom will resound like a thunderclap in convicting the hearts of many to follow Jesus, regardless of the outcome.

 

Not only do we face every day without fear, we have the immeasurable love of our great God that we must share with the world.  God’s love for us has neither boundary nor limit.  Only He could reach into the miry pit of sin, grasp us by the hand, pull us up and miraculously make us not only clean but pure through the death burial and resurrection of Christ 0Jesus, God the Son.

 

By filling our mind each and every day with the wisdom found in God’s Word, we will be able to make wise decisions and act in such a manner that the great glory of our Almighty God will radiate from our lives in such a manner as to be felt and seen by all with whom we come in contact.   Our Gracious Heavenly Father we plead in the name of Jesus that this day we will radiate Your love and compassion in every conversation we have.

 

Manna in the Morning

03-04-16

Jesus’ Prayer

 

John 17:25-26, “Righteous Father! The world has not known You. However, I have known You, and these have known that You sent Me.  I made Your name known to them and will make it known, so the love You have loved Me with may be in them and I may be in them.”

 

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus went into a solitary place to pray, knowing this would be the last time He was with His disciples before His arrest and ultimate Crucifixion.  He prayed for their well-being, their comfort and acceptance of the responsibilities He would give to them in the next few hours.

 

As He prayed for the 12 disciples, He prayed for the many followers He had in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, then He turned His attention to us, who would, in what was then the future, accept His offer of salvation and follow Him.

 

As Jesus looked to the future, He spoke on our behalf, Of the 7 Billion people on the globe we call our home, many millions have never heard of Jesus and His love even though it is possible to hear the gospel message through electronic means in every part of the earth.  We who know Christ Jesus as our Lord and Savior were on Jesus’ heart when He prayed.  Since before the beginning, God the Son knows the name of every person that will accept His gift.  He prayed that we would know and share the message of His love, winning others to His love, enjoying the warm fellowship and God’s blessings of all who are born anew into the Family of our Heavenly Father.  We have heard is command, “Go and tell all people,” we have seen with our spiritual eyes His Glorious Resurrection and felt the warmth of His abiding love.

 

Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are eager to worship You this coming Lord’s Day, we gladly accept the commission as Your ambassador to this sinful earth and we dedicate ourselves to serve You in every part of our lives.  In Jesus’ name we approach Your heavenly throne.

Manna in the Morning

03-03-16

Locusts

Joel 1:4, “. . . And what the young locust has left, the destroying locust has eaten.”

            The word used for this last locust is rather unusual, in that it means a locust that is extremely voracious, eating everything including the roots of the plant that are under the soil.  In the time when the locusts flew in the western fields of the United States, they were capricious and would completely destroy one field, yet leave another field, laden with ripe grain untouched as they rose into the sky and disappeared leaving total ruin and devastation in their wake.  I am sure every one of us has heard or read of a prominent Christian whose life was ruined by the public knowledge of a supposedly ‘hidden’ sin that destroyed the individual’s testimony and worth as a representative of our God.  Satan is a defeated foe, yet defiant in his last years of tempting those who love our God; he uses the same wiles and allurements that have worked so well over the centuries.  Scripture says he prowls about like a roaring lion looking to destroy and devour those who fall to his wiles.

            As those who are victorious in our Savior, we are the bearers of light in this dark world and we must use that light to drive out the sinful, evil darkness that has fallen upon much of the world in these last days.  Jesus is the light of the world and it is in Him that we will be victorious.  Pray for all those you know that are actively sharing God’s plan of Redemption, for those on foreign fields, in local fields, even in our own backyard, praying for His gifts of love, redemption, restoration and reconciliation be broadcast far and wide.  God’s love never fails, His light of righteousness will never fade, His arms of protection will safeguard each of us and His direction is ever true.  Trust Him today and every day to keep the locusts from your fields of service.

            Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, guard our minds and hearts today as we do battle against our evil adversary.  This we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

03-02-16

Protect My Heart

Psalm 119:22-24, “Take insult and contempt away from me, for I have kept Your decrees.  Though princes sit together speaking against me, Your servant will think about Your statutes;

Your decrees are my delight and my counselors.”

 

Here in the United States we have been undergoing the initial stages of a very hotly-contested Presidential Campaign.  This season has been a time of rhetoric, name calling and insults leveled against all the candidates by each other.  News outlets, both electronic and newspapers are eager to print the unfavorable remarks about the candidates they dislike and it seems the air is filled with hate mongering.

 

King David went through periods like this, people hurled insults, unkind remarks and contemptable charges against him before he was crowned king and also during the latter years of his reign when his sons were fighting to succeed him.  As in the political battle, much of the insults and hyperbolic language is exaggeration and inaccurate if not untrue.  As David prayed he asked God to protect him from the hatred, insults and ill-will displayed against him, and to protect his heart against the words that were spoken against him.  David stressed that as God’s obedient servant he would continue to obey God’s statutes governing his life, and to study the Word of God that he had, as the delight of his life and the counselor, whose advice he followed.

 

Each of us who are in God’s Forever Family will. from time to time, face ridicule and scorn for our testimony and need, as David did, ask our Heavenly Father to guide our thoughts toward His precepts and trust the guidance of God the Holy Spirit.  Our Heavenly Father has given us armament against the fiery darts with our shields of faith, our minds and intellect are protected by our salvation; every part of us; whether physical, mental or emotional is protected by our indwelling guide and protector, God the Holy Spirit Who empowers us in every spiritual battle.

Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask for Your protection in our daily activities, to keep us pure and to know you will rebuff each assault against us for Your greater glory.  It is in Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning

03-01-16

Prophet, Priest and King.

Jesus our Savior is given many names in Scripture, but three are the best description of His life on earth and ministry.  John the Baptizer was the last of the Old Testament prophets as he introduced Jesus to the crowds surrounding John’s baptism of others in the Jordan river.  Jesus Himself was an example of, and the perfect prophet as He talked about things to come.  In Matthew 24 and Luke 19 Jesus gave us an indication of the condition of the earth immediately preceding Jesus’ own coming to claim His Bride the Church, all those from Pentecost until this coming event will be caught up into the air and forever be with Him in the Heavenly places.  Jesus foretold His coming trial, death and resurrection in the hours before His arrest. In Acts 7, Luke wrote, “This is the Moses who said to the sons of Israel, “God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your brothers.”

Jesus is also a Priest, our High Priest, through whom our prayers ascend unto the Father.  In Hebrews 10 we read, “Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that He has inaugurated for us, through the curtain (that is, His flesh); and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.  Each time we offer up a prayer to our Heavenly Father, we are instructed by Jesus Himself, to pray in His name.

Jesus is not just a prophet, nor is He just prophet and Priest, He is also our coming King.  2 Samuel 7 contains the promise Almighty God gave to King David assuring David that one would come out of his family that will rule over the world from David’s throne in Jerusalem at the appointed time.  “Do as You have promised, so that Your name will be exalted forever, when it is said, ‘The Lord of Hosts is God over Israel.’ The house of Your servant David will be established before You since You, Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant when You said, ‘I will build a house for you,” and in Rev 19 we have a beautiful promise for our Lord Jesus of His coming as King.  “Then I saw heaven opened, and there was a white horse! Its rider is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness judges and makes war. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knows except Himself. He wore a robe stained with blood, and His name is called the Word of God. The armies that were in heaven followed Him on white horses, wearing pure white linen. From His mouth came a sharp sword, so that with it He might strike the nations. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS

Manna in the Morning

02-29-16

Jehovah

 

Isaiah 46:9-10, “For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and no one is like Me.  I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will.

Isaiah recounts to the Israelites that Jehovah is their God, there is no other God who knows the end from the beginning.  This is something we need to take to heart, rely on Him in this time of apparent turmoil and turning from Godly precepts to evil ways, thoughts and speech.  Our human society across this world is turning away from our God’s influence, instead we are dimming the light of God’s influence in government and societal norms, accepting the godless world view of the people who are under the influence of the prince of darkness and who promote ungodly concepts, including the sin for which Sodom was obliterated, destruction of  the family unit God ordained in Eden and has blessed through the ages, and a turning away from scriptural instruction in favor of their own evil desires.

 

While God knew from the beginning what depths the human attitude could reach and the sin that would fill their hearts, even after the flooding of the earth and the confounding of their languages, God still loves mankind with a perfect love and provided a way of redemption for

 

 

those who would turn to Him in confession, plead for forgiveness and accept His perfect

Sacrifice for their sin.  His plan is established in eternity before the creation has a beginning and an end, and is defined in His Word, available for our study and acceptance, warning us of the rapidly approaching culmination when the Messiah, Jesus, born in Bethlehem, shed His blood on Calvary will soon return to a purified earth to rule over the entire world for a 1,000 years, after which He will create a new heaven and a new earth for our eternal existence in His very presence.

 

As we study His plan and purpose we can recognize from human history the events unfolding exactly as God purposed and the rapidly approaching time of earth’s purification.  While we inhabit this earth we are to use the time wisely in reaching others with the Gospel message, living a life acceptable to Him and eagerly anticipate His calling us up to His eternal presence.

 

Our gracious Heavenly Father, as we occupy this earth, give us grace to persevere in Your name, compassion for those who are not members of Your Family and to sense the excitement of seeing our Redeemer face to face.  In Jesus’ loving name we pray.

Manna in the Morning

02-26-16

True Worship

John 4:23-24, “But an hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth. Yes, the Father wants such people to worship Him. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

 

True worship is a reverent devotion and allegiance pledged to God and the means by which we reverence and adore Him.  Our word ‘worship’ originates from an old English word worthship; a word which acknowledges and declares the worthiness of the one receiving the special honor or devotion.  In worship we honor and glorify our Almighty God.  In Old Testament times the Patriarchs built altars to the Lord and called on His name.  This worship of God required no elaborate priesthood or ritual.  Later God established the form and

principles of Israelite worship through Moses and Aaron.  Any other form or ritual of any other deity was called idolatry and condemned by God through His prophets.  Early New Testament worship was characterized by a joy and thanksgiving because of God’s gracious redemption in Christ on the First Day of the Week in remembrance of the resurrection of our Redeemer. This early Christian worship focused on God’s saving work in Jesus Christ.

 

True worship is that which occurs under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit and has varied through the years from the apostolic free-form celebratory worship to the highly liturgical worship of some of the hierarchical churches.   Today God’s Word enjoins us, “Worship Him in spirit and in truth.”  There may be some who attend Church services who participate in the elements but not truly worship.  Worship is far more than mere participation, we worship together in prayer, in the listening and reading of God’s Word, in the giving of our gifts to our Lord’s work, in silent personal pleas for forgiveness and reconciliation, knowing our sin debt has been paid.   We worship in praising and Honoring Him and in recognizing His worthiness of our adulation.

 

This weekend, as we enter into worship, let us worship our God with our whole heart, soul and mind keeping our minds fixed on the reading of His word, praising Him with joy and thanking Him for all He is and will continue to do in our lives.  Gracious Father, we worship You now and forever, As David the Psalmist said, “Your praise will forever be in my mouth:” hear our prayer we ask in Jesus’ name.

 

 

Manna in the Morning

02-25-16

Hear my Prayer

Psalm 130:1-5, “Out of the depths I call to You, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help. Lord, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that You may be revered.  I wait for the Lord; I wait, and put my hope in His word.”

            David, God’s mighty warrior, the one who defeated Goliath the giant, who became King because God desired him, David the man, the sinner.  Every one of us identifies with the warrior King; we too recognize we are sinners, blighted by our desires of the flesh, standing in need of God’s grace and forgiveness.  We speak the same words as David in this night hour, if God held men and women’s sins against them who could stand in the presence of the Almighty God in His purity.  But praise His Holy name, our God is a God of forgiveness, of reconciliation to full fellowship with him in our position as sons and daughters of the Most High God.  It is He who we must revere, He is the only One worthy of worship, He is the initiator and fulfillment of our salvation. 

            When we, like David, wait upon the Lord, we are quiet, contemplative and meditate upon His Word and the many promises it contains for us, the promise of being clothed in the righteous robes of Jesus, God the Son, who is our righteousness; nothing of ourselves, but totally and completely a gift from our Heavenly Father who desires this fellowship and communion with us.

            As David and so many other Bible heroes, men and women who have gone before us we put our trust and expectation in His Word, that marvelous, priceless account of God’s dealing with sinful men and His love toward those who turn to Him.  We love the words that speak of God the Son‘s perfect Sacrifice, how our sinful nature was nailed to the cross and our being reborn into the image of Jesus the Anointed one.  Our Trust is in Him and in Him alone.

            Lord God our Heavenly Father, fill our lives with Your glory, our words with Your power and may our actions always bring glory to Your name.  It is in Jesus’ name we come before you.

Manna in the Morning

02-22-16

I

n Weakness I am Strong

 2 Corinthians 12:10. “I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   

         

          The Apostle Paul was persecuted far more than any of us are today, even to the giving of his life for his Savior and the ministry to which he was called.  He was stoned, imprisoned, whipped and insulted far more than we know or understand.  He knew he was helpless in many ways.  He had an eye disease that severely limited his writing and mobility, and even though he asked God to heal him at least three times, God, knowing Paul and his faith, did not heal him for God’s own purposes, so that Paul would increase his dependence upon His Heavenly Father.  His deep faith and dependence upon his Heavenly Father was used of God to reach the family of the jailer at Philippi for Christ; even the other men imprisoned with Paul were kept from escaping into the general populace and Paul’s message continued to win souls. 

           

He was ridiculed, even by many of the other disciples in Jerusalem who didn’t believe Paul had been truly born again.  The list of hardships endured by Paul and his traveling companions ranged from escaping from the city of Damascus by being let down over the wall in a basket to escape those who were lying in wait to kill him, while he was traveling to Rome he was shipwrecked and had to fight the storm swimming to an island where he led many men and women to the Savior.  No matter the difficulty, Paul’s human weakness was more than fortified by God the Holy Spirit in witness, boldness and safety, where this seemed to be no way, God provided a way of escape in order for Paul to fulfill his ministry.

 

            Each one of us must learn the lesson Paul learned; to recognize winning our spiritual battles and ultimate effectiveness does not depend upon our human capabilities, but upon our faith in our omnipotent God and His care for us in every way.  Instead of depending on ourselves, we must learn to decrease so we are fully dependent upon the power of God the Holy Spirit within us to guide and empower us for every thing we do.  It is only what we do in His strength that will have any lasting effect as we journey down this earthly path.  In Jesus name we commit this day to You Father.  Empower us through, God the Holy Spirit we pray.

           

Manna in the Morning

02-22-16

In Weakness I am Strong

 2 Corinthians 12:10. “I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles that I suffer for Christ.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”   

         

          The Apostle Paul was persecuted far more than any of us are today, even to the giving of his life for his Savior and the ministry to which he was called.  He was stoned, imprisoned, whipped and insulted far more than we know or understand.  He knew he was helpless in many ways.  He had an eye disease that severely limited his writing and mobility, and even though he asked God to heal him at least three times, God, knowing Paul and his faith, did not heal him for God’s own purposes, so that Paul would increase his dependence upon His Heavenly Father.  His deep faith and dependence upon his Heavenly Father was used of God to reach the family of the jailer at Philippi for Christ; even the other men imprisoned with Paul were kept from escaping into the general populace and Paul’s message continued to win souls. 

           

He was ridiculed, even by many of the other disciples in Jerusalem who didn’t believe Paul had been truly born again.  The list of hardships endured by Paul and his traveling companions ranged from escaping from the city of Damascus by being let down over the wall in a basket to escape those who were lying in wait to kill him, while he was traveling to Rome he was shipwrecked and had to fight the storm swimming to an island where he led many men and women to the Savior.  No matter the difficulty, Paul’s human weakness was more than fortified by God the Holy Spirit in witness, boldness and safety, where this seemed to be no way, God provided a way of escape in order for Paul to fulfill his ministry.

 

            Each one of us must learn the lesson Paul learned; to recognize winning our spiritual battles and ultimate effectiveness does not depend upon our human capabilities, but upon our faith in our omnipotent God and His care for us in every way.  Instead of depending on ourselves, we must learn to decrease so we are fully dependent upon the power of God the Holy Spirit within us to guide and empower us for every thing we do.  It is only what we do in His strength that will have any lasting effect as we journey down this earthly path.  In Jesus name we commit this day to You Father.  Empower us through, God the Holy Spirit we pray.

           

 

 

Manna in the Morning
02-11-16
Do you Care?
Jonah 3:1-4, “Then God saw their actions—that they had turned from their evil ways—so God relented from the disaster He had threatened to do to them. And He did not do it. But Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. He prayed to the Lord: “Please, Lord, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster. And now, Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
When we think of Jonah, we condense his life into being swallowed up by the great fish and spewed out on the sea shore close to Nineveh. Rarely do we consider his temper tantrum when Nineveh forsook their sinful ways and turned to the Lord God for forgiveness and salvation after Jonah declared God’s Word to them. Part of Jonah’s reluctance in going to Nineveh in the first place was because it was a city filled with men and women who were enemies of Israel and did not honor Jehovah as their God. We have to credit Jonah for going among the ungodly ‘enemy’ and preaching the true way to knowing the love of the Lord God. But, Jonah was really angry that His revival was such a success; he really wanted the Ninevites to reject God and die.
Jonah went up on a hillside overlooking the City and pouted over their acceptance of the Word of the Lord. God caused a large plant to grow overnight to give Jonah shade as he sat in the broiling sun watching the city. The next night God sent a worm to eat away the stalk of the plant causing it to wither and die, once again putting Jonah in the uncomfortably hot wind and sun. Jonah was angry with God, complaining about God’s compassion for the Ninevites. God’s answer was simple, He explained that His love is for all people, that a repentant heart would seek and find salvation in Him and, since God loves them to that degree, being upset about a weed in the field instead of the souls of men and women meant Jonah needed to keep learning the lessons of a dedicated servant.
Before we get too angry with Jonah, we have to ask ourselves some questions. Do we tell God exactly what He should do, and get irritated when His answer differs from our ideas? Do we thank that a murderer should be executed and burn in the fires of Hell, or do we pray that someone will share the message of God’s salvation with him before earthly justice is applied? Do we condemn false belief systems or do we pray their adherents will come to know the truth and saving love of our Savior? Do we sit back and watch or are we active in taking the message of salvation through any means available, supporting those who are on the mission field, praying for their success, and rejoicing with them as we hear the reports of souls saved and spiritual battles won? Lord God our Heavenly Father we trust you to use us, answer our prayers for Your greater glory and we will praise You forever.

Manna in the Morning
02-10-16
Love
1 Corinthians 13:2, “If I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so that I can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.” (v8) Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end.
In today’s books and writings, as well as much preaching, even in my own study there seems to be an emphasis on deciphering and understanding God’s timeline as we come closer to the time He will take us up from the earth. In our Bible, Jesus told His He was the singular way to the heavenly spaces. He is the truth every word that came from His mouth is absolute truth. He said He is the source and the only source of life, both on earth and in Heaven. He is also our source, definition and example of love. We love Him because He loved us first, and when we were at our most unlovable selves. We are to show the compassion of Christ to everyone because this is how we are to win them into the family of God.
Our faith may be strong, we can be the greatest of prayer warriors, we can move the mountains of opposition, but we must pray in love, loving those that are in the Family of God, and pray for those that have turned away from God’s salvation gift, loving them with the love of our Savior who loved them until the last drop of blood drained from His physical body and loves them still as He looks upon them from Heaven, yearning to accept their plea for redemption. Our faith must be filled with love.
Even though we can look at the Biblical plan, see the time we are in as close to the time God will purify this earth for Jesus’ return. Even if we have a sense of impending events, understand prophetic Scriptures and prepare ourselves for His return in glory, all prophecy will be completed and all the world will see the love of our Lord God expressed in the lives, attitudes and compassionate love for those that are yet to be reached with the message He has commissioned us to bring to the world bathed in His love that far transcends our own.
Our loving Heavenly Father, Use us today in sharing Your Purity and Love to everyone to whom You send us. Make us true representatives of Your Heavenly Family, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-09-16
Every Man did Whatever He Wanted
Judges 17:6, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did whatever he wanted.” Or “Whatever was right in his own eyes.”
When the Israelites turned aside from their Theocratic Government and the pattern of worship The Lord God established for them, God sent punishment upon them when they were enslaved by surrounding tribes and nations. When they recognized their sin and pled for forgiveness, God allowed them to defeat their enemies and regain their freedom as they re-established Godly principles and leadership in their nation. This cycle is repeated six times in the Biblical Book of Judges. Each time God restored them and revival broke out among the Israelites they, within a few generations, returned to their mindset that humanity knew best, and God was not relevant or not worth listening to.
Today we are in a period in our society where humanity, that’s us, think we are able to get along very well without God’s leadership; not only in our country, but in our society and our own lives. We continue to do what we think is best for us and for our own desires. The man or woman who has been born anew into the family of our Heavenly Father must recognize we cannot do what we want, our Heavenly Father is our coming Sovereign when we will unflinchingly, instantly obey His every command. This should be our instinctive decision every moment of our lives. We are not independent contractors, we are members of His family and of His army in this spiritual battle we fight every moment we are on this earth.
Our enemy is attacking our families, churches, manner of thinking and every facet of our existence. We are to be strong in the power of His might, fully obedient to the leading of God the Holy Spirit who infuses us. We are to be Soldiers of the Cross, Representatives of Revival, Heaven’s Ambassadors to earth’s population, earnestly desiring to do the will of our Lord and Savior; not what we think is our adequate service.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we confess we have often gone what we saw as the way to go, not listening for Your guidance. Reconcile us Our Lord God and make us useable in this spiritual war. We ask this in Jesus’ powerful name.

Manna in the Morning
02-05-16
I Remember
Psalm 143:5-6, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all You have done; I reflect on the work of Your hands. I spread out my hands to You; I am like parched land before You.”
One of the most valuable courses any young student can take in High School or College is History. In American History we learn the values and mindset’s of our Nation’s Founding Fathers, understand what they desired for the United States to achieve and perhaps the most important of all, what mistakes we have made in the last 240 years that has caused our nation woe and sorrow. Once we learn what serious mistakes were made, we can endeavor not to repeat them. George Santayana said: “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it…” and also said, “The wisest mind has something yet to learn.”

We who have been born anew into the Family of our Heavenly Father would do well to remember the time of our new birth. Recalling the reason we accepted God’s offer of salvation and the joy of knowing the deadly weight of sin has been taken from our shoulders and placed upon those of Jesus, God’s promised perfect sacrifice. Just knowing we are Redeemed and anxious to share that joy with others will lift the dark veil from us, giving us a joyful outlook for the day. We are scripturally enjoined to share the testimony of our new birth to others, encouraging them as well.
In this passage, David admitted his discouragement at times and the cure for that discouragement was to meditate on all that His all-powerful God had done in his life; the forgiveness for grievous sin, for the answered prayer, protection, guidance, mercy and uplifting grace God had poured out upon his life. We too, can do the same things, and ask God to remove the cause of our present disheartenment and renew that right spirit within us. When we remind ourselves of all the blessings our Heavenly Father has poured upon us, it will revive our desire to serve our great God.
Just as arid, parched, cracked ground soaks into itself the rain from the heavens, you and I stand with our hands raised to heaven and drink in the mercy and grace poured upon us in unlimited supply. Gracious God and Father, just as David did, we look to You to pour out Your limitless blessings upon us today as we live a live pleasing in Your sight, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-04-16
Devouring Locusts
Joel 1:4, “. . . And what the young locust has left, the destroying locust has eaten.”
The word used for this last locust is rather unusual, in that it means a locust that is extremely voracious, eating everything including the roots of the plant that are under the soil. In the time when the locusts landed in the western fields, they were capricious and would completely destroy one field, yet leave another field laden with ripe grain, untouched as they rose into the sky and disappeared leaving total ruin and devastation in their wake. I am sure every one of us has heard or read of some prominent Christian whose life was ruined by the public knowledge of a supposedly ‘hidden’ sin that destroyed the individual’s testimony and worth as a representative of our God. Satan is a defeated foe, yet in his last years of tempting those who love our God; he uses the same wiles and allurements that have worked so well over the centuries. Scripture says he prowls about like a roaring lion looking to destroy and devour those who fall to his wiles.
As those who are victorious in our Savior, we are the bearers of light in this dark world and we must use that light to drive out the sinful, evil darkness that has fallen upon much of the world in these last days. Jesus is the light of the world and it is in Him that we will be victorious. Pray for all those you know that are actively sharing God’s plan of Redemption, for those on foreign fields, in local fields, in our own backyard, even our own efforts; praying for His gifts of love, redemption, restoration and reconciliation be broadcast far and wide. God’s love never fails, His light of righteousness will never fade, His arms of protection will safeguard each of us and His direction is ever true. Trust Him today and every day to keep the locusts from your fields of service.
Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, guard our minds and hearts today as we do battle against our evil adversary. This we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
02-03-16
Parental Sin
3 John 4. “I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”
All of us who are parents, grand-parents or even great grand-parents have one prayer we share daily. We ask our Heavenly Father to guide, protect and keep our entire family safe, praying for each member individually and asking our Heavenly Father to convict the hearts of any that have not accepted Christ Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord, bringing them also into the Family of God. John wrote these words as a Pastor, but we need to faithfully pray four our families, for their salvation and for spiritual growth in every heart and life. As the senior parents of the family, we often grieve and petition our Lord to draw them closer to Him.
In several Old Testament passages we read the sins of the parents were sometimes passed on to the children. Whether by imitation or influence we don’t know but we thank God that we are responsible for our own sin and need forgiveness, trusting in God’s promise to bury them where they will never be held against us. Scripture is very clear that is the soul that sins that pays the penalty with only one exception. Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice Who took our sin upon Himself and paid the price. We cannot accept responsibility for our children’s sin nor can they pay the penalty for ours. We must pray for them, give advice, encourage them, live out God’s Word as an example to them but they stand alone before God for their trespasses. I know every one of us would give our earthly lives to save theirs if called upon, but only our Blessed Redeemer can forgive their sin, just as He has ours.
Our gracious God and Heavenly Father, we rejoice in our descendents who walk with You, who worship and adore You and teach their children to love You. We pray for those that know You, but have backed away from full and complete fellowship with You. May we encourage them to reestablish a close relationship with You, and if there are those that don’t yet know You as their Redeemer and Friend, may we encourage, instruct, pray and actively urge them to accept Your precious gift. In Jesus’ lovely name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-02-16
Corruption
Genesis 6:11-14, Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. God saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth. Then God said to Noah, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth. Build yourself an ark of gofer wood.”
Just before He ascended into Heaven, Jesus is quoted in Matthew and Luke as saying when the curse of sin reached the level it did in the time of Noah and Lot, mankind can expect God to move for the final time to purge the earth of sin’s curse and its effects in the human race, even the animals and vegetation of the surface of the earth. God spoke to Noah because the earth’s population was corrupt in all its ways, not listening to Noah and his plea for them to turn toward Almighty God and beg forgiveness for their sins. God told Noah to build a boat far larger than any ever before constructed, warn the people of coming destruction by water falling from the sky, something that had never happened before, turn from their disdain for Godly living and accept God’s offer of safety in the coming destruction. No one listened to Noah for 120 years. When the ark was finished and by God’s power filled with two of each animal, the last call was given, then God closed the door and no man, even Noah, could open it. God’s ark of safety was closed.
Today, all who have been born anew into God’s family are given this awesome responsibility of offering others the opportunity to be among those who will escape the destruction of God’s wrath upon this sinful creation. When God’s plan is complete, the opportunity will no longer exist and the purification of this earth will begin. We are now seeing meteorological and geological events rarely seen in millennia, God’s warning signs are becoming more frequent and our hearts are burning with anticipation, thinking of and looking forward to our coming entry into the Heavenly places.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, turn our anticipation into action, give our hearts increased zeal for those outside the Ark of Safety, giving us the key to winning hearts and lives we have prayed would turn to You. Perhaps the messenger we have prayed for is indeed us; reaching out to those we love. In Jesus name we pray for Your will to be done in our lives.

Manna in the Morning
02-01-16
God’s Plan
Isaiah 14:26-27, “This is the plan prepared for the whole earth, and this is the hand stretched out against all the nations. The Lord of Hosts Himself has planned it; therefore, who can stand in its way? It is His hand that is outstretched, so who can turn it back?”
God’s plan for all earthly events and human history was established before the earth was created. In Job 38, God gives His account of the creation and we have God’s declaration in Zechariah 12:2, “A declaration of the Lord, who stretched out the heavens, laid the foundation of the earth, and formed the spirit of man within him.” God gave Daniel a complete timeline of how He would deal with the sin debt of humanity. After the judgements of God upon all the earth’s population through the flood during the life of Noah, the separation of the earth’s population through language confusion, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah; God spoke to Abraham and made a covenant with him, saying from his descendents one would come to remove the curse of sin and promising Abraham his descendents would occupy the entire land of Canaan. God repeated these promises to Abraham’s son Isaac and his son Jacob, whom God renamed Israel. The Book of Daniel gives the time of 70 weeks of years or 490 years until the Promised one of Genesis would rule the earth. Daniel also identifies the last 7 years would be difficult for all the earth and because of God’s plan delayed for an indefinite period of time. The Gentile or non-Israelite history is also outlined in Daniel.
God’s plan for the Church, The Body of Christ, is also seen in Daniel and the second and third chapters of Revelation deal with the time of God’s using the Church to bear his message to the world, then the last 7 years God will again use the Israelites to proclaim His salvation. When we study the time of the Church we see seven different periods illustrated by seven churches named and which existed in the lifetime of John the author. This timeline shows us this time in which we live is already exhibiting signs of the taking up of the Church and the removal of sin’s curse, just as God’s timeline shows. This should motivate us to pray earnestly for those we know are not born anew into God’s family. We need to realize that God has given us His plan, He expects us to carry it out with fervency so the Body of Christ may be complete. As our Great God’s ambassadors, we are commissioned to carry His Word and plan of salvation to everyone before the last stages of His plan is complete.
Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we recognize our need to follow Your will today and every day, guide us in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-29-16
Robbing God
Malachi 3:7-8, “Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of Hosts. But you ask: “How can we return?” “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!” You ask: “How do we rob You?”
It is true we are living under a different relationship with our Heavenly Father than the ancient Israelites. We live after the perfect sacrifice was given on Calvary, they lived before. We live in faith, believing that sacrifice paid the full price for our sin; Jesus died for us, knowing that when we would be born, we would sin and need to come to him for repentance. The Israelites sacrificed in faith, believing that the Perfect Sacrifice would sometime come to fulfill and honor God’s Word. We have been blessed with God the Holy Spirit fully indwelling our lives, they did not have that permanent indwelling during their lives.
How do we rob God? When we seek God’s wisdom, we search for a Biblical sentence with the words in the right order to prove to God we deserve what we’re asking for instead of fully trusting Him in faith to provide what is best for us. In our worship services, we sing the words to songs without letting the import of those sentences affect our lives or inspire us. Some listen to our Pastors with less than full attention, receiving and reading then answering texts, or using electronic devices to divert their attention from God’s Holy, inspired Word, to secular reading material or to amuse themselves with games. We rob ourselves of the blessing of giving to God’s work in our local churches, missionary efforts and obeying the scriptural mandate to care for the widows, children and the indigent, leaving that care to the secular, ungodly government. We have forsaken the meaning of the Apostle Paul’s statement by trying to be “All things to all people,” but neglecting to lead them, maybe not all, but some to Christ Jesus.
Our Heavenly Father, forgive us for neglecting to do what You desire for us to do. Forgive us for our weak level of worship and bless and prosper Your work through us. This is our fervent prayer in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-28-16
The Eyes of the Lord
1 Peter 3:12, “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
Many Christians live their lives without giving a single thought that our Heavenly Father sees and knows everything we do or think during every day and even knows the dreams of our deepest sleep. Because He is perfection in every attribute, He knows all things that come into our lives and our reaction to them. When we cry for help, for wisdom, for understanding of others or for the right answer to someone seeking spiritual advice, He is there and will answer our earnest prayer. Not only are His eyes upon us, His ears are attuned to our voice so even if unspoken in our deepest thoughts and desires, he hears and will answer if it is for His glory and for the furtherance of His will upon this earth. Because He is our constant companion, we are to rely upon Him more and more as we recognize our own failings and inadequacies in our spiritual battles against Satan, our great enemy. When we are in danger, he sends His angels to care for us, when we battle Satan, the hosts of Heaven are on our side, and when we need comfort and assurance, our promised comforter, God the Holy Spirit is with us wherever we are.
In our spiritual battles God’s face is turned from our enemies, and fixed upon is, He has given us spiritual armor to protect us and the flaming sword of His Word as our weapon, and using our prayers against the forces of evil, we know the awesome power of God, as He defeats our enemies through His omnipotent hand while we are weak and helpless without Him. As God told Zechariah, “they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”
Our wonderful Heavenly Father, than You for the comforting promise that we are always in Your eye and care. Bless us this day with the desires of Your heart and lead us in the path of Your choosing. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
01-27-16
Please Lord
Psalm 141:1-4, “Lord, I call on You; hurry to help me. Listen to my voice when I call on You. May my prayer be set before You as incense, the raising of my hands as the evening offering. Lord, set up a guard for my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips. Do not let my heart turn to any evil thing or wickedly perform reckless acts with men who commit sin.”
When we are in a prayer session and the leader asks for prayer requests, we tend to answer with a plea for healing of family members or close friends who are ill, have a crises of some sort, and are crying out to our Heavenly Father. This is good, we are specifically told to pray for one another, and to bear their burdens as our own before the throne of our Great God. Often, however in the quiet of our meditation on God’s Word or before we go to sleep, we begin to speak of our personal, deep felt needs and our personal inadequacy to carry on the work or Heavenly Father has prepared for us. Praying for ourselves is not a bad thing, it is what Jesus did in Gethsemane in going before the Father just before His arrest. He prayed, first of all, for Himself and to prepare Himself for the agonizing hours that lay before Him, then He prayed for the disciples who comprised His closed innermost circle then for all who believed in Him, then He prayed for us who would follow Him in the centuries until now.
David, the great warrior King, prayed in Psalm 141 what seems to be a quick, spontaneous prayer for help from his God. First he prayed for God to set up a guard at the door of his lips, and to prevent any inappropriate, sinful cursing words to proceed from him. He also prayed for his thoughts, we know we often harbor thoughts, even bitter curses that never reach our lips because of God’s intervention. Then David asked that God would warn him and keep him from sinful acts when with others, a plea that David would not choose to spend his time with those who ignored God’s commands and would lead him into sinful acts.
Our gracious, loving Heavenly Father, in this time in which we live, place a mouthpiece between our lips, not to protect our teeth, but to protect us from sinning in impure language and using Your Saving Name in empty, meaningless ways. Guard the thoughts of our hearts and minds, and give us wisdom in selecting those with whom we choose to spend our time. In Jesus’ perfect name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-26-16
Give Your Best
Ecclesiastes 9:10-11, “Whatever your hands find to do, do with all your strength, because there is no work, planning, knowledge, or wisdom in the grave where you are going. Again I saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift, or the battle to the strong, or bread to the wise, or riches to the discerning, or favor to the skillful; rather, time and chance happen to all of them.”
The Book of Ecclesiastes, also known in some ancient translations as “The Confessions of King Solomon,” who when given a choice, chose wisdom and it was given to him by Almighty God. After concluding that all earthly activity is ‘empty,’ Solomon goes on to write a sentence all of us should place in a location where we will see and read it often. In all things, schoolwork, whether teacher or student, in your life’s work from hard physical labor to intellectual pursuits. “Whatever you set your heart to do, do with all you might, strength and ability.” One of the chief difficulties in the world today is that the common laborer on the whole, thinks he is underpaid for the work he or she does, or has the opinion the employer is making an unfair amount of profit on the product that is not fully shared with the laborer. While that may have been the problem many years ago, it is not the case most of the time. The laborer is always hired to give his or her best.
When applied to our service to our Lord God who truly has bought us with His blood through the sacrificial death of Jesus, God the Son on Calvary, we cannot ever repay that price. Our gift of love and thanksgiving for our new life is to be our dedication in proclaiming that offer in all that we do. There is a sense of expediency, since none of us know the time or manner of our death, when we are forever finished with the work we are called to do for the cause of Christ.
We know that we may not be the fastest person in the race, we may not be the super-hero warrior in our spiritual battles nor are we going to fail because of our human frailties when we depend upon the strength and abilities of our great God and Heavenly Father who has promised to do His work using us as His representatives.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we present our body, soul and spirit to You out of gratitude for what You have given us. Use us today we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-25-16
The Race to the Finish
Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.
We who love our Lord God, and have been given eternal life by our faith in God’s Word and the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary have to realize we have many eyes looking at us every moment of every day. There are those on earth who look at us as an example of the way a believer in Jesus should respond to each temptation as well as the opportunity to share our testimony and the way of salvation to others. There are those who do not know salvation in Jesus who look at us with the goal of seeing us mess up, just to say we are hypocritical and don’t live in a manner that glorifies our Savior and Lord. In addition to the earthly witnesses, Our Father in Heaven looks down upon us, guiding us with His eyes, placing His path before us so we will bring Him glory by our attitudes and actions.
The forces of evil are looking at us and seeing how we respond to temptation and how we use our spiritual weapons to overcome Satan’s wiles and temptations. Because our lives are under constant observation from both friend and foe, we need to encourage and pray for one another so that our witness is consistent and glorifying to our Heavenly Father.
If we follow the example of Jesus, we will have a joyful attitude about everything that comes into our lives. If Jesus could put aside the ignominy of death on the cross, along with the accompanying pain and humiliation, pouring contempt on the attempt to shame Him for the degradation of His torn body at Calvary, it is important for us to ignore those who attempt to ridicule us in our stand on holy living because we understand our bodies are the Temple that houses the glory of our Great God through the indwelling presence of God the Holy Spirit.
Because Jesus’ focus is eternal and Heaven is where His Shekinah Glory is seen, He lived a perfect, sinless life on this earth and now is seated on the Heavenly Throne. In the same way we are to keep our eyes focused on Heaven and our thoughts focused on serving our Lord God on the earth. Lord, give us strength and endurance for this day and an opportunity to win someone to You, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-22-16
Deuteronomy 7:9-11, “Know that Jehovah your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant loyalty for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commands. But He directly pays back and destroys those who hate Him. He will not hesitate to directly pay back the one who hates Him. So keep the command—the statutes and ordinances—that I am giving you to follow today.”
If there is anything the child of God can accept as truth, it is the assurance our God and Heavenly Father will keep His promises. Our faith is the bedrock of our relationship with Him; our salvation is built upon it. From the moment of creation until this day and forever on this earth, the new earth and heaven and the uncounted eons of eternity, our loving Lord God is faithful. If there is a question of faith, the weak link is humanity, – us. With His perfect promise and faithfulness to save all who call upon Him in repentance for redemption, God is also bound by His perfect justice. Those who reject the offer of salvation will earn the full wages of sin, turning away from Almighty God spurning His offer. Our Great God will punish them by sending them to the Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his evil demons.
Through Moses, God’s message to the Israelites was to keep God’s inflexible commands and edicts. The warning was reinforced by John the Baptist who called men and women to repentance, and the Apostles including Paul, brought God’s offer of salvation through faith to the known world. Today the declaration of this message is our responsibility. Our lives should be dedicated to follow the life goal of Ezra; to read, study, live and make clear the edicts, promises and warnings of God.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we be consistent in our life for you, just as you are perfect in every way and cannot change. Bless us we pray as we live out our faith this day.

Manna in the Morning
01-21-16
God’s Judgement
Jeremiah 15:2-4, “If they ask you: Where will we go? You must tell them: This is what the Lord says: Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword. Those destined for famine, to famine; those destined for captivity, to captivity. “I will ordain four kinds of judgment for them”—this is the Lord’s declaration—”the sword to kill, the dogs to drag away, and the birds of the sky and the wild animals of the land to devour and destroy.”
Jeremiah was very poorly treated by the Kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem, the King and his advisors ignored him, laughed at his message from God and had Jeremiah imprisoned for long periods of time. When Jeremiah asked God why he was so severely treated without God’s wrath coming upon them, this is God’s answer. Some of the sinful people are destined to die of various causes; some will die of disease, some from the sword, killed by their enemies, others will starve to death and still others to be taken captive by Jerusalem’s enemies. These judgements are closely aligned with the four horsemen of Revelation Chapter 6. The first judgement was a conqueror on a white horse, killing those that stood in his way, the second horseman was anarchy, those that died because of the lawlessness and wanton killing of evil men and the third horseman was famine, and the last plagues and death from all manner of diseases.
After Jeremiah spoke these words, the bloodbath began with armies invading Jerusalem, killing indiscriminately, anarchy, plagues and famine followed and in the day of Revelation which is still to be seen on earth, millions of the earth’s population will be killed because of the curse of sin. In addition, dogs will devour and despoil the corpses and the scavenger birds and animals will finish the terrible despoiling.
We who are upon the earth right now are to spend our time declaring the Word of our Lord concerning the coming time of God’s wrath being poured out upon the earth because of mankind’s continuing descent ever deeper into sin’s deprivation and vile activity. God has given the Church, His body, the responsibility of declaring the saving power of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. Our gracious Heavenly father, we will accept the responsibility of declaring Your provision for salvation from sin’s curse. Empower us we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-20-16
The Locked Door
Revelation 3:20, “Listen! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and have dinner with him, and he with Me.”
This verse has been used often by people to visualize Jesus standing at the door of an individual’s heart, knocking and waiting for the door to be opened from the inside as an individual accepts Christ Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord. This is a beautiful picture, and has led many men and women to accept God’s salvation offer. This concept is been seen in the famous painting of Jesus knocking while the shadows form the outline of a heart with no visible lock or door knob to enter.
This verse is from the vision of John to the Church at Laodicea, representing the spiritual lack of fervor and commitment of the world-wide Church just before the calling up of all the saints. I know most of you reading this attend a vibrant, soul-winning church and are anxious for the Lord u to use them in reaching others. But, sad to say, many buildings with the noun ‘church’ on their marquee or identification sign, no longer teach the need for an individual to be born again into the family of God. The Sunday message is, “You’re OK and getting better by your own efforts, don’t worry about it, God loves you too much to let you burn in the Lake of Fire.” The main-line, long-time denominational churches that are concentrating their efforts in helping the indigent, feeding the homeless and doing other good works are doing the work all congregations should do and are to be commended for their good works. The Bible, however, teaches that good works are not going to pay the sin-debt and open Heaven’s gates. They are done properly, when done in gratitude for the Redemption we know through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ Jesus, God the Son. Just as some Churches concentrate on social efforts, others tend to be less active in practical efforts and concentrate on preaching the message of Salvation in Jesus. The Scriptural message is to do both enthusiastically and fervently to the greater glory of our coming King.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for our place in the Family of God and help us to care for the spiritual needs of people, winning them into Your family and being practical in the way we care for their physical needs. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-19-16
The Value of Citizenship
Acts 22:26-28, “When the centurion heard this, he went and reported to the commander, saying, “What are you going to do? For this man is a Roman citizen.” The commander came and said to him, “Tell me—are you a Roman citizen?” “Yes,” he said. The commander replied, “I bought this citizenship for a large amount of money.” “But I myself was born a citizen,” Paul said.”
As we continue on in this election season there have been many questions raised about the need for every person who is a candidate for President to clearly meet the citizenship requirements. While this tactic is mostly used to muddy the water, true citizenship is something to be highly treasured, especially for the born-again believer who now is a Citizen of Heaven with all the rights and privileges that position can offer.
When we travel internationally we are not only required to carry our passport to show we are truly citizens of our native country, it is our guarantee that in difficult times and situations, representatives of our Nation will assist us in solving problems, assure our safety and when we may be in danger, will shelter us in the embassy, which by international agreement is considered the same as our sovereign Nation.
The Apostle Paul used his Roman Citizenship to avoid beating and possible death and by appealing to Caesar, his final Missionary trip to Rome was at the expense of the Roman Government. While in Rome as a prisoner, Paul won hundreds of people into the Family of God and gave the Roman Church the advantages of his wisdom and knowledge of God’s eternal plan.
You and I are Citizens of our Heavenly Father’s celestial Kingdom because of our acceptance of Jesus, God the Son as our Redeemer and Lord. Our great God and Father has appointed us as Ambassadors to this now alien earth to proclaim His message and invitation to all those to whom we share His saving invitation. When our Heavenly Father determines, we will be called to His presence where we will be rewarded for our faithful service while here on earth. It is very important for us to understand and always be mentally aware of our Heavenly Citizenship that overrules our earthly citizenship in every way. Fully recognizing we are our God’s personal representative on this earth gives us a different perspective and should give us guidance as to how we are to live our lives while temporarily on this earth.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for the love and salvation You have given us, and ask Your forgiveness for our laxness in fulfilling our responsibilities. Be our guide this day in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-18-16
Vanity or Victory
Ecclesiastes 1:1-5, The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem. “Absolute futility,” says the Teacher. “Absolute futility. Everything is futile.” What does a man gain for all his efforts he labors at under the sun? A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets; panting, it returns to its place where it rises.”
There are times when every person stops to think, “Is what I’m doing making a positive influence? Am I making a difference in this world to bring my Lord God and King greater glory or am I just wasting my time?” The answer isn’t so much what we’re doing, but how are we doing it. Do we use our influence at our places of employment to encourage others to understand and accept God’s provided salvation? Do we have a reputation for sharing the qualities of Jesus; compassion, listening, encouragement and asking God to heal the wounds and insults that may have come into their lives.
From where I eat my breakfast, I can see the sun rising over the horizon and finally breaking through the clouds to share light, heat and vitality in its journey over the world. This is a good time to ask God for wisdom to make me as productive as a ball of molten gases spinning far away, but having such an impact on every plant, animal, man or woman so intimately. God gives each of us a new opportunity every day to make a positive influence in our surroundings. Whether we clean floors, provide miracles through medical care, impart knowledge on a campus or any other activity, if we ask God to use us in sharing His blessings with others as we live our lives we do not work in vain or suffer from futility. We should not value our work as a meaningless way to pass the day, but rather as an opportunity to bring light and comfort into the world just as Ol’ Sol brings light and life into our world. Solomon learned that satisfaction and contentment comes from our Lord so instead of saying everything is emptiness as he did in these verses, let’s remind ourselves of this verse instead, “This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
Lord God, our gracious Father in Heaven, give us a spirit of joy and satisfaction as You use us to accomplish your will in many lives today. We praise You for the opportunities You will put before us. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
01-15-16
The Centrality of Christ
Colossians 1:15-19, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
Wherever we look in God’s Word, in every one of the sixty-six books, no matter which of the more than forty men whom God the Holy Spirit inspired we see Jesus, God the Son. He is the theme of the Holy Scriptures. This passage is one of the best descriptions of our Savior, written by the apostle Paul to the Church in Colossi. Jesus, God the Son, is the central, most visible and identifiable Personage in our Triune Godhead. The Father has turned over to Him all authority and judgment both now and eternally. He is the creator of all things; He existed before anything that was brought into being in the creation. Our God is the self-existent one. No entity created God, He always is, existing in eternity and not constrained by time which is part of the world He created.
Not only is our omnipotent God the creator of all that is, it is by His power that all things hold together. In an introduction to physics, the study of the physical properties of God’s creation, we are struck by the delicate balance within all things. The electrons spinning around the nucleus of an atom, the moon’s perfect placement in orbit around the earth and the earth in an orbit around the sun so precise that it will only sustain life as we revolve around the sun, yet alternate between heat and cold so we can live to enjoy God’s wonders.
The greatest wonder of all is that He cares for us, died for us, arose from the grave to pay our sin debt and He is anxious to have fellowship with us if we will only accept His offer of salvation. It is in Jesus and in Him alone that we can be reconciled, restored to full fellowship with our Heavenly Father. We thank you Lord Jesus for Your great love for us and we lift our prayer in Your glorious name.

Manna in the Morning
01-14-15
God Reigns
Ezra 1:1-3, “In the first year of King Cyrus of Persia, the Lord fulfilled the prophecy he had given through Jeremiah. He stirred the heart of Cyrus to put this proclamation in writing and to send it throughout his kingdom: “This is what King Cyrus of Persia says: “The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth. He has appointed me to build him a Temple at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.”
One thing all Believers in Christ Jesus must always know and depend upon, God has His overarching plan and if there are no Believers to carry it out, He will use non-believers to accomplish His will. In Daniel we read that the angels in Heaven fight a never-ending battle against the demons of hell for control of the mind of the Prince of Persia, and here is one example of how God worked in Cyrus’ heart. Not only did he allow thousands of Israelites to leave Persia to return to Jerusalem and Judea, he gave them the gold and silver vessels from the Temple ransacked and destroyed by the armies of Babylon. These treasures then fell into Persian hands after they conquered Babylon. Zerubbabel led these people, along with the treasures from Babylon and Persia across the trackless wilderness inhabited only by robbers and other godless men, protected by the hand of Almighty God, returning to Jerusalem, restoring the Temple and re-establishing worship of our Almighty Jehovah God,.
Many times when we see our carefully laid plans go awry, when we think we have lost our way and depend upon God for restoration, we can, based on God’s dealing with others, understand fully that His ways are not always our ways, and His plans will always overrule the plans of mankind. He may not always reveal His plans to us, but we can always count on His plan to triumph and we praise Him for the privilege of being used of Him for His greater glory.
It is always the right course to take when we trust Him in faith and obey His directives as we live our live in this world. Our gracious Heavenly Father, forgive us of making plans and carrying them out without seeking Your guidance. May we walk today, in the path You have laid out for us without complaint or doubt. Give us the faith to trust and obey, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-13-16
Great is Thy Faithfulness
Lamentations 3:22-24, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.”
In the Septuagint translation of God’s Word, made by 70 Jewish Scholars in Alexandria, Egypt between 300-200 BC, this book is preceded by this paragraph: “And it came to pass after Israel was led into captivity that Jeremiah sat weeping and lamenting and lamented this lamentation over Jerusalem.” In the original Hebrew, the book is arranged in a type of acrostic that cannot be duplicated in English. Jeremiah was greatly sorrowed at the destruction of Jerusalem. The city had been judged by God and was destroyed by her enemies because of the sin and falling away of the people God had chosen as His own. Jeremiah, however, trusted in God’s promise, knowing Jerusalem would someday have a prominent place in Israelite history and a future in the world to come.
After his initial sorrow was past, Jeremiah learned the lesson every Believer in Jesus needs to learn, that God is on His throne, nothing happens without His allowable will and our trust in His faithful love will keep us safe in His care. We live, love and trust in Him, serving Him in the place and time where He has placed us to be a witness for Him, because of His unfailing, ever-present, abounding love for us as a loving Father Who cares for His children.
Our Heavenly Father’s love precedes us in our daily walk, meets our every need and He blesses us with His mercies daily, never losing patience with our sometimes faltering footsteps because He is perfect in grace, mercy and peace. Because of who He is and what He does, because He is ever-faithful, we can confidently expect Him to meet our every need and we will live content in His care. Jeremiah understood that the ruin of Jerusalem was caused by the Israelites turning away from worship of their Jehovah God and turning toward insincere worship, idolatry and neglect of God’s Word, living their lives in ignorance of what God demands from His people.
Jeremiah trusted in God’s promise that after 70 years Jerusalem would once again be free and rebuilt; we know God has promised us that we will someday dwell in the Celestial City He has prepared for us. Our Heavenly Father, we will trust You, confident in Your promises no matter what this world or society thinks. We love and worship You in spirit and in truth. Pour out Your blessings upon us this day we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-12-15
Conformed
Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”
Every one of us who has been born again into the Family of our Heavenly Father needs to be reminded of the great cost of our Redemption. We speak of our salvation as the free gift of God, but must always remember the tremendous price of the remission of our sins. The human death of God the Son upon the cross of Calvary. He is the perfect, sinless sacrifice promised in Genesis. An even greater price was the moment when every one of our sins was laid upon Him, so great a load it required the Father in Heaven to turn His face away because He cannot look upon sin. His physical pain and suffering would end at physical death, the spiritual separation even though a brief moment in the timeless eternity caused great pain in the very core of our Triune God. Yes, the debt we cannot pay is paid by our Savior, Jesus, who asks nothing in return but our physical life in these earthly bodies to be lived to our Redeemer’s great glory.
Our physical bodies are not cured of all ailments or imperfections, but our mind must be totally transformed into the image of Jesus, not harboring any secret sins or impure thoughts. Our minds and intellect must be kept as pure as that of Jesus Himself. It is our minds that form our thoughts and words before they are formed by our lips, it is the mind that processes and stores the pictures that enter through our eyes, and that will always remember the words that enter through the ears.
Our goal should be to live our life understanding and following the will of God in all things in order for our Great God to have the greatest glory. Our Heavenly Father, guide us today in body, soul and spirit. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-11-15
Tools
John 3:29-30, “So this joy of mine is complete. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John the Baptist had many followers, and like many disciples of prophets and other men of God, they were somewhat jealous of their master and his reputation. These disciples of John were concerned because Jesus had begun His ministry and was taking away those that used to follow and were baptized by John and now were becoming followers of Jesus, listening to Him speak and teach, forgetting about the ministry of John the Baptist. These men had not realized that Jesus was truly their Messiah, and when John baptized Him he proclaimed Jesus as their awaited Promised Deliverer. At this time in John’s ministry he fully supported Jesus, declaring Him openly as the Messiah until his imprisonment. John understood his place in our Sovereign God’s plan and declared that he and his ministry must now decrease, as the ministry of God the Son continued to grow. This is a lesson that every Bible teacher or Pastor needs to remember.
Although those who teach God’s Word are considered as the center of God’s proclamation today, they must be careful that their personality or manner of life does not become the central focus of who they are or what they proclaim. When a church grows into what is called a ‘mega’ church or ministry, some of the leaders of those ministries are prone to take the credit for that growth and their self-importance grows beyond its value. If their attitude becomes, “Look what I have built,” they are in danger of a great fall, according to the Book of Proverbs.
In the same building of a mega-ministry, if the ministry head retains his humble mental image of himself as a bond-servant of our Lord God, greater blessings are seen and many more people are won into the Family of God. There are thousands of dedicated Pastors across the world who are great proclaimers of God’s Word, blessed by God with smaller congregations that are loving, kind and who lead many others to salvation in Christ Jesus’ whose name is unknown, except to their congregation. When the servant decreases and Christ Jesus increases, God’s blessing is apparent. Let’s all remember we are tools in the Master’s hand, and Isaiah 10:15 says a tool has no value except that which is in the hand of the user.
Heavenly Father, we pray that we will recognize Your strength and wisdom working through us today as we go about our Master’s business.

Manna in the Morning
01-08-16
Come Quickly
Rev 22:18-20, “I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book. He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”
All of us who have studied God’s Word know that the end of God’s timeline is nearing for the Church, the born-anew Family of our Heavenly Father. The events occurring on the surface of the earth are reminding us more and more of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse whose names are named; a Pseudo Christ who becomes a world-wide religious leader, anarchy, famine and death. The surface of the earth is under great stress, rapidly increasing number of earthquakes rating 6 or more on the Richter scale, fierce storms, droughts, untimely tornados and other geological changes are ominous signals of something about to take place. The Jihadist crisis in the Mid-east is growing, already refugees are overwhelming Countries throughout Europe and North America through refugee resettlements, the ease of inter-continental travel and the growing famine across much of eastern Africa and Asia. I know no one can predict the time when Jesus will call any of us to His side, whether it be by illness, unforeseen accident or the calling up of the Church, but I do know He wants us to be ready at any time, either to give witness to His greatness or to see Him face to face. Each one of us needs to be sure we are ready, that we have shared His message of Redemption to our families, friends and all those we will meet this and every day. Lord God we long to see You, and will live this day so others will see Your love through us and accept Your salvation so freely offered. Guide us in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-07-15
The Book of Revelation
Revelation 1:1-3, “The revelation of Jesus Christ that God gave Him to show His slaves what must quickly take place. He sent it and signified it through His angel to His slave John, who testified to God’s word and to the testimony about Jesus Christ, in all he saw. Blessed is the one who reads and blessed are those who hear the words of this prophecy and keep what is written in it, because the time is near!”
The full, correct title of this Book should be, ‘The Complete Revelation of Jesus Christ, God the Son, in His fullness as the Coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords.’ The book was written by John the beloved Apostle, recounting his visions of things to come and warning of the purification of the earth removing the curse of sin put in place by Almighty God in Genesis 3:15. John had these visions while exiled on the Isle of Patmos. This is the only Biblical Book that promises a blessing to those that read the book and comprehend the prophecies it contains, and another blessing if they will keep these truths in their hearts, because from John’s perspective, the time is getting short until all the prophecies are fulfilled. John spoke from the viewpoint of one who had, in his vision, visited eternity. Jesus said Matthew and Luke just before His ascension, to look for certain signs that would introduce these events that hold great promise for the Believer in Jesus.
For those who are students of Biblical History, the accounts of the seven Churches in Chapters 2 and 3 are not just accounts of literal churches of the time, but also an accurate history of the Church Age from the Apostolic Church at Ephesus to the final days of the Body of Christ in the days just before the Believers are called up into the Heavenly places. The seals are the time to come, the terrible events that will purify the earth and its remaining population. The message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ will be the duty of the 144,000 Israelite Witnesses to His glory and Messiahship throughout these seven years prophesied by Daniel in his visions of the future.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, grant us the blessing for those who read this portion of scripture, who believe its message and proclaim its truth to those they share this message. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name and for His greater glory.
Manna in the Morning
01-06-16
3 John
3 John 1-3, “The Elder: To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when some brothers came and testified to your faithfulness to the truth—how you are walking in the truth.
There are at least four mentions in Scripture of a Believer named Gaius , which was a very common Roman name. Three of them have some relationship to the Apostle Paul. One mention is a man from Macedonia, another is a Man of Derbe who accompanied Paul as far as Asia, and the third is a Corinthian who was baptized under Pau’s ministry. John addresses this letter to Gaius to commend him for his faithful service to the Heavenly Father as well as his generosity. It is possible he could be the man from Corinth or a faithful Christian whom John loved in the faith. Evidentially he was a business man of some type and John prayed for his prosperity in every way, business, personal and spiritual health. This letter of encouragement sent to Gaius came about because of a report from another person speaking well of him to the Apostle. Gaius lived his life in a manner to please his Savior and bring glory to Him through his actions.
Each of us should endeavor to live each day to our Savior’s greater glory. To share Jesus’ compassion for others, to do all in our power to give them spiritual health and redemption, just as He offered salvation to all while He was on this earth. Many times we pray someone will come to Christ for salvation, and when they do, we feel like we have accomplished all we need to do in their lives. Many years ago I heard a speaker say that just as an infant needs a pediatrician after he or she is born to help them continue in good health, people need someone to teach counsel and encourage the new converts in how their Heavenly Father desires them to live. Who will teach them how to be effective in prayer, to give of their resources, to effectively share their faith to their unsaved friends and family? We are to function as spiritual pediatricians so we do not have men and women who repeat one or two years of spiritual growth 20 or 30 times through their lives. In addition we will never know on this earth all that we have said or done that has been a witness to others.

Our Heavenly Father, help us to take our responsibilities seriously in encouraging and teaching by word and example, in the spiritual life of others, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-05-16
2 John
2 John 7-8, “Many deceivers have gone out into the world; they do not confess the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch yourselves so that you don’t lose what we have worked for, but you may receive a full reward.”
During the rest of this week we will finish the verse for each of the sixty-six books in the Bible. Always remember the Bible is one Book, authored by God through the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit as He breathed the words into over 40 plus authors over two thousand years, yet with one content line or theme, and is the resultant guide for our faith, belief and actions while we are here on this earth.
This letter was written to those who had come to know Christ Jesus as their Redeemer and Lord, probably the Church at Ephesus, encouraging them in their faith. The Book emphasizes the incarnation of God the Son into a human body, giving up His heavenly glory and position, coming to this earth to live a perfect, sinless life as a man, then giving that life as the payment for the sin of mankind. This miraculous birth was the fulfillment of the promise in Genesis 3:15 of the One who would crush Satan’s head. The author is not John the Baptist who was beheaded, but John the apostle whom Jesus loved and who was chosen to write the closing book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is necessary for us to fully believe that in His human lifetime, Jesus was never more than a man who was tempted in every way we are, yet He know no sin, living a perfect, sinless life. Always remember at the same time Jesus was never, ever less than God the Son, the Eternal God in all His fullness.
This concept is emphasized in this letter, using a word translated “antichrist” which carries the meaning of one who is totally opposed to the Person and Work of our Redeemer, denying His humanity, His saving death, burial and resurrection. This same English word is used in the Revelation with the meaning in those passages as, ‘Pseudo or ‘False’ Christ. In both instances, however, it refers to one who is totally controlled by Satan and is a deceiver dedicated to bring souls down to everlasting torment.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for Your provision for our Salvation. Give us opportunity to share the message today, and to live our lives in dedication to Your will. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
01-04-16
This New Year
As we enter 2016, there are many things that will occur, including an election that will either save America from impending peril or increase that peril exponentially. And I am not just talking about party affiliation or political positions. We must be aware that there is an ongoing spiritual battle between our Lord God Almighty and the prince of darkness, Satan, the devil. A careful reading and study of God’s Word will show us what God has planned, how it affects us as believers in Him, and when it is likely to fall upon the earth. There are 3 verses I want to use to clarify our position in God’s plan and what God requires of us as Christians, leaders of our families and following generations and as witnesses to others this year.
1. Amos 3:7, “Indeed, the Lord God does nothing without revealing His counsel to His servants the prophets.” God will always inform His people, through His word of what is to come. We are all to be forth-tellers, explaining God’s Perfect Plan. We have an outline of God’s plan for the Believers as well as the non-believers in the Prophetic Books as well as the Book of Revelation, where we realize that God’s next move will be to call the Church, the world-wide body of Believers, up into the heavenly places to purify and prepare the earth for the coming reign of our Lord God as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We, His servants, have had His plan revealed to us as we study God’s Word.
2. Ezra 7:10, “Ezra made up his mind to read the Word of God, to study it, to live it and teach it.” Those who follow Ezra’s example will know God’s plan by studying His Word, then sharing what we learn with others, so they too may understand the glory that awaits us instead of the doom and gloom of which we see and hear in our news sources
3. Isaiah 59:21, “As for me,” God says, “this is my agreement with them: My Spirit that I’ve placed upon you and the words that I’ve given you to speak, will not leave your mouths nor the mouths of your children nor the mouths of your grandchildren. You will keep repeating these words and won’t ever stop.” We are to follow God’s plan, regardless of man’s ideas, no matter what others say and do. If there is conflict with man-made laws, follow God’s Word in every facet of your life.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, fill us with your wisdom, our choices of words of witness, and the fervency to see Your will accomplished in our lives and the lives of others. This we pray in Jesus’ name.

12-18-15
1 John
1 John 1:8-10, “If we say, “We have no sin,” we are deceiving ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.”
This is the first of three epistles written by the Apostle John to the churches in the area of Asia Minor to strengthen their belief In Christ Jesus and assure them that as Believers they will enjoy the joys of Heaven, sharing on earth the joy he has with them over those who have come to salvation and have been born anew into God’s family. John stresses the need for them to recognize the forces of evil and sin with whom we fight constantly and to remain them that we are victorious over sin so long as we fight in the power of God the Holy Spirit within us because of Christ Jesus’ victory over sin and death.
In our complacency we tend to forget we are constantly at war with evil and we sin because we do not recognize Satan’s devilish ways in trapping us or appealing to our pride, just as he did to Eve in the garden. Once we understand that we often sin, not just by action, but by word and thought as well, we have to be quick to seek God’s forgiveness so He can continue to work through our life and testimony to His glory.
If we don’t recognize our sinful nature and combat it with the love and power of God the Holy Spirit, we are by our own pridefulness carrying out the plan of our enemy, the devil; and at the same time losing our great weapon against the forces of evil, the Word of God that is our sword and our shield of faith in the overpowering message of salvation in Christ Jesus. As warriors on this earth against the forces of evil, we must remember our own weakness and utter dependence upon our Lord God Almighty. Gracious Heavenly Father, we come to in humble contrition for attempting to fight evil in our own strength instead of depending utterly upon You. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Manna in the Morning will take a break for the next two weeks. I wish you a Blessed Christmas, a time to reflect upon the fathomless gifts we have received from our Heavenly Father, and a New Year dedicated to His glory and love. Vance
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Manna in the Morning
12-17-15
2 Peter
2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. In their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words. Their condemnation, pronounced long ago, is not idle, and their destruction does not sleep.
Peter in this 2nd Epistle warns all of us of a very real threat that has always existed, and used of the devil to trouble those who love our Lord God. Even in the days of Moses there were those that advocated turning against God’s will and leading. During the time of Ancient Israel, Balaam, the prophet who hired out as a ‘propheteer,’ was warned not to curse the Israelites, and was warned by his donkey of the dangers ahead. All through the history of Israel there were prophets who were genuine, yet persecuted and even killed for their prophecies, and there were false prophets, such as in the time of the Judges, who told men only what those men wanted to hear. In the days of the early, Apostolic Church, there were teachers who distorted the meaning of salvation in Christ, who tried to gain money and influence by their teachings, and who taught that Heaven could be attained by paying money, by good works, and by just giving lip-service to our Savior Jesus. People who promise salvation by joining and supporting their specific assembly are false prophets, as are those who say salvation is assured if you do good deeds or simply attend an occasional worship service. These methods have worked for centuries and still work today. Others say that Judaism is the core, and you must add the saving work of Jesus on the cross and resurrection to their basic beliefs to be saved.
Our salvation is in Jesus, and He alone. We cannot add anything of our own making to His death, burial and resurrection; we cannot subtract from the need to repent and ask God’s forgiveness for our sin; we cannot multiply the ways of salvation and we must realize that to preach or teach any other doctrine than that which the Holy Scriptures clearly state, is to divide and weaken the body of Christ.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, our place in Your family is based on the finished work of Jesus, the Perfect Promised Sacrifice, and we thank you for reaching down from your glorious Heaven and lifting us from the miry pit. In Jesus’ name we praise You.

Manna in the Morning
12-16-15
1 Peter
1 Peter 4:1-2, “Therefore, since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same resolve—because the One who suffered in the flesh has finished with sin —in order to live the remaining time in the flesh, no longer for human desires, but for God’s will.”
Simon Peter, the hard as nails fisherman, the one apostle who drew his sword to protect Jesus from the temple guards in the Garden, the one who jumped out of the boat, walked on water until he took his eyes off Jesus, is the same Peter who wrote this letter. Now he is the rock upon which Jesus said He would build his church, more disciplined, strengthened by the indwelling God the Holy Spirit and seasoned by years of suffering and trial as the leader of the group of disciples who walked with Jesus, then, when He ascended into Heaven, commissioned them to spread the message He had taught during His years on earth.
Peter stresses the importance of faith in the Savior and its place in the life of the Believer through good works and dedication to the glory of our great God and Father. Peter’s position is that all believers are to follow the example of Jesus by doing good things for others in the course of our daily activities because of gratitude for the salvation we have in Him, and the presence of God the Holy Spirit in the heart and life of all who believe in Him for salvation; having faith in God and expressing it through the good things that are accomplished in His strength and power, and for the greater glory of our Jehovah God. Peter’s message of spiritual encouragement , admonition and structure was read by the churches in Asia, moving from one to another for years carrying the message that Peter had received from the Lord Jesus; to encourage and strengthen all believers is Jesus, then and now. Heavenly Father, may we take these words to heart for Your glory, in Jesus’ name we pray.

 

Manna in the Morning
12-15-15
James
James 3:7-11, “For every creature—animal or bird, reptile or fish—is tamed and has been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men who are made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way.”
The author of this book is not at all certain, there are three prominent men named James in the Church. The most likely one is James, one of the sons of Mary and Joseph born after Jesus. One of the things stressed in the Book is that Christians should be especially careful to control the tongue, the language and expressions used by men and women can amplify or mute the testimony of a believer. In addition to controlling our tongue, other considerations are mentioned such as the joy and patience that comes with our relationship with our God and Father as well as accepting without complaint all things that our Lord allows into our life to purify it and bring glory to our God. We must recognize the source of our temptations, withstanding the wiles of the devil and exhibiting Godliness and continue to do good works for those to whom we witness.
We need to understand we must forsake all evil actions, thoughts and even imagining in our minds, especially the words that unbidden, come out of our mouths. Words that come from a background of filth are now in common usage, words that we may have had our mouths washed out with soap had we used them, are now acceptable, and standards are so lax, even radio and TV usage of foul language is commonplace. Inappropriate and unfitting usage and words have no place in the Christian’s vocabulary, whether in private or in public. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask that every word we use will be fitly chosen and aptly used to Your ultimate honor and glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-14-15
Hebrews
Hebrews 12:1-2, “Therefore since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us, and run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne.”
This book was written to the Israelite or Jewish converts to Salvation through faith in Jesus. It seems that many of these Christians were inclined to think they had a prior right to salvation in Christ Jesus because of their heritage. Many of them were very close to the Judaizes in their outlook and doctrine. The authorship has been ascribed to almost every well-known New Testament teacher or missionary. There is not enough evidence to indicate exactly who wrote the letter, except of course, God the Holy Spirit who is the true author and inspired whoever was the human scribe. Aside from emphasizing that our Triune God is the only Savior, and we must believe in faith in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.
One of the recurring themes in Hebrews is the concept of spiritual athletics. We are engaged in a race, a contest that will not be decided until we go to join our Redeemer in the Heavenly Places. This requires each of us to recognize we are among those who carefully observe each and every thing we do. First we must prepare. This means we pare away and discard anything that could be excess weight, things we carry in our lives that do not honor nor glorify our Savior; sin that we carry in our mind and thoughts as well as those overt decisions we make that detract from the message we carry. Then we must pace ourselves. We have all seen a person who bursts out of the starting blocks, gets about two-thirds down the course and runs out of energy, we must follow the pace, path and procedure of our Lord God. Our race is clearly mapped out for us, we must obey God’s Word in precept and teaching, looking to the examples of faithful servants who may have finished their course, or who are running right beside us. Our race is to serve The Lord God who is our Heavenly Father in active obedience to His Word, and our patient faith is in Him to complete His will through our life as we look to Jesus for His guidance and strength in every way. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, We ask for your stamina and wisdom as we run the race this day to Your glory. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
12-11-15
Philemon
Philemon 21-22, “Since I am confident of your obedience, I am writing to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.”
This is a letter written by Paul to a close personal friend, Philemon. Philemon’s slave had run away and in Rome, under Paul’s teaching and discipleship was won into the Family of God. By reading this book we are to learn at least three lessons. First, a concern in the heart of every Christian for the unfortunate and destitute people we meet. These people are used to being ignored, sometimes cursed and nothing done to help them in their time of need. A word, smile or acknowledgement of their very existence as a soul that needs redemption will be gratefully accepted.
Second, we have a duty to do the right thing. No matter what others say or think, not considering what is personally convenient, we are obligated to follow the example of our Savior and do what is right in God’s eyes, and to obey all civil laws so long as they do not require us to disobey wat we know our Heavenly Father would have us do. Paul understood that the slave, Onesimus, must return to his rightful master, Philemon.
Last, we need to understand that in Christ Jesus there are but two differences in the souls of men and women; those that are redeemed by the blood of Jesus and those who are bound for a Christless eternity.
Paul had come to depend upon Onesimus for assistance in his old age and infirmities, but knew that with this letter in which Paul implored Philemon to forgive Onesimus for running away, and if there was any indebtedness, Philemon should consider it as an obligation of Paul instead of Onesimus, whose demeanor and character had changed with his acceptance of the love and forgiveness of Christ Jesus, Philemon would welcome Onesimus back into his household. Some Bible scholars believe this is Onesimus the bishop, praised in a letter to the second-century church at Ephesus from Ignatius of Antioch.
Our Heavenly Father, we ask for the love You have for us will be present in our lives as we show concern for others. May our first concern be to see them born anew into Your family. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-10-15
Titus
Titus 2:11-14, “For the grace of God has appeared, with salvation for all people, instructing us to deny godlessness and worldly lusts and to live in a sensible, righteous, and godly way in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a special people, eager to do good works.”
Titus was a Godly Gentile and a beloved helper and friend to the Apostle Paul. Paul sent him to the Church at Corinth to encourage and assure the Church in the Biblical doctrines we understand today. The theme of this letter is to emphasize that good works, while not an element in salvation, is instead a natural fruit of the salvation in Christ Jesus that had been planted in them, stressing every Believer should do good works out of obedience to their Heavenly Father. Jesus healed, blessed, encourage and taught that his disciples should follow His example in doing good.
Titus was to carry the message that salvation is for all humanity who will believe and we as members of God’s family should turn away from godlessness and worldly lusts and desires so that our lives would bring great glory to our Redeemer. We are to strive to live and grow in the image of Jesus, and encourage and instruct others to do the same thing. There is no conflict with James’ letter if one understands what is expected of us as ambassadors of Jesus to this sinful world. This passage does not at all teach that good works lead to salvation, they are the natural outcome of the Godly life of the Christian.
Our life should be spent in anticipation of being called up at any moment, whether by natural death, an unforeseen calamity or in answer to the call from the heavenly places. The spiritual effectiveness of our lives are not measured in the number of years we spend on this earth, but on what we have done in the name and for the glory of our Great God and Father.
Gracious Father in Heaven, make us effective today in every way, using us in good words and deeds, in Jesus’ name we pray.

2 Tim 2:15-19
5 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth. 16 But avoid irreverent, empty speech, for this will produce an even greater measure of godlessness. 17 And their word will spread like gangrene, among whom are Hymenaeus and Philetus. 18 They have deviated from the truth, saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and are overturning the faith of some. 19 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, having this inscription:

The Lord knows those who are His, and
Everyone who names the name of the Lord
must turn away from unrighteousness.
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

Manna in the Morning
12-07-15
1 Timothy
1 Timothy 6:11-12. “Now you, man of God, run from these things; but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. Fight the good fight for the faith; take hold of eternal life, to which you were called and have made a good confession before many witnesses.”
Timothy was led to Christ Jesus by the Apostle Paul who also educated Timothy in the Scriptures and theological precepts. In this letter Paul outlined the difficulties Timothy could expect as a pastor. He first of all warned Timothy and the Church at Ephesus about false doctrine and those who preach what they know are doctrines contrary to God’s Word. Next the apostle reminded Timothy of God’s mercy, illustrated and glorified by Paul’s experience of salvation on the Road to Damascus. This is followed by instructions on church practices: on prayer, public worship and on the qualifications of church leaders. An acknowledgement of the deity and humanity of Jesus our Savior is also seen here.
The Apostle Paul gives some good advice to Timothy as a spiritual leader, to accept the call of God to serving Him with his full heart, mind and strength, turning away from a lust for money and power, instead to pursue righteous in Jesus. To recognize, like all believers, the need for confession, pleading for forgiveness and to allow the righteousness and power of Christ Jesus to be seen in one’s life, to live in faith, loving with the love and compassion of Jesus, enduring in their battles and living in gentleness instead of treating others harshly.
Every child of God must realize we are engaged in spiritual warfare that is relentless and will require us to trust our Heavenly Father, not only for our salvation, but for our ability to defeat our enemy in this eternal, fierce battle to defeat all the satanic efforts to limit or destroy our effective witness to those with whom we share God’s offer of eternal life.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You for the ability to submit fully to Your plan and purpose on this earth. It is in Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-04-15
2 Thessalonians
2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way. For that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he sits in God’s sanctuary, publicizing that he himself is God.”
In this second letter, Paul again speaks of the calling up of the Church. He re-explains and clarifies the teaching of God’s Word that there will be a time when humanity will fall into a time of spiritual neglect, separating themselves from God and His Word and turning away from Him. Knowing and understanding that God will always have those on this earth that are faithful to Him, and will remain steadfast in following God’s Word, there will be a general falling away, a divorce of the general population from following God’s precepts. When the time is right, God will call the Church up into the Heavenlies and, because we are the ones through God the Holy Spirit works, then this lawless one will not be restrained as he is today. This fraud, who calls himself the promised one will even demand worship and will sit in splendor where he will claim to be God. He will be one who is fully dominated by Sata and, will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity when our Redeemer Jesus returns in splendor and righteousness to rule the earth from David’s throne in Jerusalem.
Satan, our archenemy knows he was forever defeated, when Jesus rose from the dead, and now writhes and twists, striking out like a trapped snake trying to take as many souls for whom Jesus died to the eternal Lake of Fire with him at the final judgement. It is our responsibility as our Heavenly Father’s ambassadors to this earth to share the good news of salvation with as many others as possible. Our Heavenly Father, we recognize this great battle underway in the Heavenly places, among nations upon the earth and in the lives and hearts of those who do not yet know Christ Jesus as their redeemer. Protect us today in this battle so we may glorify Your name in every way. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-03-15
1 Thessalonians
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
This epistle is one of the more personal letters of Paul to a church he dearly loved. Probably written from Corinth, Paul encourages the Thessalonian church with the Biblical promise of Christ Jesus coming to welcome all the Believers when they are called up from earth to meet Him in the Heavenly Places. He emphasizes the central truth of the Church; that is the blessed promise of Jesus to return to take the Church out of this sin-wracked earth into the place He has prepared for us.
There is much discussion among Believers regarding the time of Jesus’ calling up of the Church, opening the next step in His forever plan for Believers, the Church and the world. Jesus told us near the end of His ministry there would be many signs indicating the time of purification of the earth’s surface and its population for His return as King to reign over the entire earth’s population for 1,000 years. Our time here may be limited because those promised indicators are happening all around us. God’s Word gives us every expectation we will meet our Redeemer face to face in the Heavenly places before we die a natural death.
We should keep our ears tuned to hear the clarion, unmistakable sound of the angelic trumpets and the clear voice of the archangel calling us, perhaps even by name, to come up and join our Savior in the heavenly places. We will join our family and friends who have gone before us, our bodies will be changed from earthly dust to celestial substance, yet we will recognize each other and rejoice with them in this call to cease to exist on earth and have vibrant existence in Our Heavenly Father’s presence just as Enoch and Elijah experienced at the end of their time of ministry.
This expected call to Heaven should give us a sense of excitement as we arise at the start of each day; one more day to witness to His glory, one more opportunity to share the saving message with others, one more time to exult in His goodness to us in every way. Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us this day one more opportunity to share our witness to some seeking soul, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-02-15
Colossians
Colossians 1:15-18, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church.”
As with the letter to the Ephesians this letter was also written to the church at Colosse while Paul, the author, was imprisoned in Rome. The letter to Ephesus stressed the unity and oneness of the Church, The Body of Christ. This epistle concentrates on our Lord Jesus as the head of the church and this passage is one of the most descriptive of the preeminence of Jesus, God the Son that can be found in Scripture.
First, we must remember and recognize that our Great God and Father is Spirit, and we need to worship Him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24) Jesus is the image, a physical representation of our Triune God who is Spirit, absolute Truth and life, and we are to worship God our Father in the spirit, God the Son who is our Savior who is spirit and God the Holy Spirit who has indwelt the life of every Believer. We are to allow our Heavenly Father to conform us into the image of His beloved Son. We too, are made in our Triune God’s image; body soul and spirit.
This passage emphasizes God the Son as the Creator and Sustainer of all that is. It is by His Word they sprang into being and by His unlimited power that all things created, including us, maintain our being, not because of our diet or exercise, but by the power of our great Redeemer. There is nothing that exists that has not been created and there is no creator except Jesus, God the Son.
Jesus is the one and only being that when His physical body lay lifeless in the grave, His living, eternal Spirit spoke and that lifeless body rose from the dead by His own power. His perfect righteousness is the spiritual garment that has been given to us, spotless, unstained by sin so that we can stand before the Father only because of Christ Jesus’ victory over death and sin. Jesus is our Head, we are the Church and we worship, revere, adore and follow Him in love and gratitude, unworthy yet showered with His blessings every day.
Our Gracious, loving Heavenly Father, we love, praise and adore You this and every day.

Manna in the Morning
12-01-15
Philippians
Phil 2:5-11, “Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death—even to death on a cross. For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
The Philippian Church was the pattern, a church that was, in every respect, one to be emulated and admired. They were united, worked together in one mind, followed the instructions and patterned their lives after the life of Christ Jesus. They had the same love for Jesus as He had for them, focused on the goal of evangelizing their surrounding neighbors and seeing them grow in Christ Jesus. There was no rivalry in leadership, a true Biblical humility and each of the members considered others before themselves, seeking to be accountable for their every action before their Lord God.
Paul, writing from Rome, encouraged them to grow in the image of Jesus, who was humble, purposeful, considered Himself a slave dedicated to the work of the Father, even providing Himself as the Perfect Sacrifice promised in the Garden of Eden.
Our Savior, Redeemer and Lord Jesus should be the focus of every Christian’s life, to exalt Him in word, deed and attitude. We are to give Him all praise, glory and bow before Him while on this earth, in the heavenly places, and for all eternity in the place He has prepared for us.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, through the power of God the Holy Spirit that lives within our lives, we praise and seek to serve You this day for Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name we have come into your presence.

Manna in the Morning
11-26-15
Thanksgiving
2 Timothy 1:3, “I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience as my forefathers did.”
On this Thanksgiving Eve, I thank God for the great privilege of writing MITM, encouraging you to spend a part of your day in God’s Word now into our 21st year. Your notes of encouragement are precious to me, and I do remember you in prayer when you send a note with a question, prayer request or just to encourage and say hello. The international readership of MITM has increased recently for which I praise God, and I ask all of you to pray for me as I continue to write these short devotional passages. It truly is my honor to send these to each one of you. I also want to thank my Heavenly Father for a Dad and Grandfather who loved, served and trusted their Heavenly Father, sometimes in difficult circumstances and passed that heritage on to me.
While tomorrow is a day set aside in the United States, Canada and other nations have other special days; please join all of us tomorrow in praising and thanking God for His wonder and for His goodness to each of us, His children. Psalm 100 “1 Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. 3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are His —His people, the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. 5 For the Lord is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are blessed above all measure when we consider how You have touched our lives with wonderful friends to encourage and strengthen us, for people who have entrusted us with the precious privilege of praying specifically for their needs, and we thank You for Your answers We thank You for Your love and the salvation that raised us up from spiritual death to eternal life; then giving us a specific ministry where we can work for Your kingdom out of the gratitude that fills our heart. Thank you for the opportunity to witness, teach and serve you in many different areas of this earth, bringing glory to Your Great Name. Thank You for the peace that floods our hearts and the trust we have in Your promise to answer our prayers in Your time and way. Thank you for families, close friends and the godly wisdom You give them through our words to them. Thank You for the home You are preparing even now for us in Your presence in the Heavenlies where we will praise You without end. O Heavenly Father accept ours thanks for Your peace within us. We love and desire to serve You so long as You allow. In Jesus’ matchless name we pray.
May God’s richest blessings rest upon you this Thanksgiving as we worship Him with a humble heart, expressing gratitude for His manifold blessings upon our lives.

Manna in the Morning
11-25-15
Galatians
Galatians 5:1-2, “Christ has liberated us into freedom. Therefore stand firm and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
This letter is addressed to the churches planted in Galatia, an area in Asia Minor where Paul had been active in establishing churches. The main theme of this letter is intended to be a restatement of the Biblical doctrine of justification by faith and faith alone. Many false teachers and sects had come into the area declaring many various modifications of this truth, including the idea that Christians had to obey all the declarations of the ceremonial law; a version of this concept is active today among Protestant Churches. This letter is commonly recognized by Biblical scholars as a clear statement of Christian liberty and any work at all that man can and does do is not a part of our new birth and can only confuse the believers. The words and concepts of faith, grace, liberty and freedom in Christ are used to clarify our position in the Body of Christ.
Each Believer in Jesus must abide by and accept the Biblical Standards and precepts; these are our Biblical Convictions, I am convinced God would have me follow these convictions; To honor the family and marriage of one man and one women as shown is scripture, to follow Jesus in Believer’s Baptism by immersion, to worship together with other believers and other basic Biblical dictates. We also should have personal convictions, this is how we choose to honor God in our personal lives, even if Scripture does not demand it; what we eat and drink, our choices of entertainment, dress and attitudes should be God-honoring, in line with one who is born anew into the Family of God, but we do so willingly, not because we are commanded to do so. Some churches have a ‘Code of Conduct’ for their membership; this is neither contrary to Scripture nor commanded by Scripture; it is a voluntary acceptance for membership in that specific Church Body. Our Redemption is based solely on our faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection, thereby paying our sin debt. We are then wrapped in His righteousness, accepted by our Heavenly Father and promised an eternity in His presence.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we treasure our liberty while recognizing we are your slaves and in Jesus’ name we come before you.

Manna in the Morning
11-24-15
2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 4:8-10, “We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.”
After having to cancel at least two intended trips to Corinth, Paul writes to the Church, explaining that although he may have made plans to go to Corinth, still his life was in God’s hands and He was directing Paul’s life. Paul was, however, the target of a few people in the Corinthian Church who questioned his apostleship, motives, authority under God and whether or not Paul’s message was from the Lord or from Paul’s human mind and intent. Paul wrote in this letter a message that we, as believers in the Lord God, should take to heart and make part of our lives.
There are times in our lives when we are under pressure, at work, family situations, things we cannot control put great pressure on our lives, mentally and spiritually. This passage reminds us the pressure may come from our enemy, but God’s power within us will keep us from being crushed. There will be days when nothing seems to work right, plans go askew, our intentions twisted and we are perplexed, not knowing what to do next. Our Heavenly Father will keep us from throwing our hands up in despair, giving us the strength and faith to continue to move in the direction He has put before us.
We in this day and time think we are under persecution, but we, at least for now, do not need to worry about our lives or imprisonment in nearly all the western world. There is increasing pressure on our ability to carry our faith openly to the world, being curtailed in our witness in some areas because of the increasing godless, humanist pressures in almost every part of our society, starting in our Public Schools. Still we are not to feel abandoned by our Heavenly Father, we are encouraged by God the Holy Spirit within us to continue to serve Him where and when He directs. The time may come when the persecution we face may equal that which Paul faced in beatings, prison, being stoned and left for dead but always a steadfast witness for His Savior and God.
Every Christian; every person who has accepted Christ as their Redeemer and Lord needs to understand that because Jesus died for us, we are to be willing to live or die to His glory and His alone. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we plead for strength to live each day for Your greater glory.
Manna in the Morning
11-23-15
1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I urge you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all say the same thing, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.”

The city of Corinth was a crossroads of trade, mercantilism and a thriving port for ships from all over the Mediterranean area. Its population of itinerant merchants, sailors and others involved in the trading of incoming caravans of merchandise from the Far East, ships to carry the goods westward was continually changing with comparatively few permanent residents. As with any port city, the streets were filled with gamblers, slaves, sometimes freed but with no place to go, and prostitutes, both male and female roamed the streets day and night.
It was into this licentious city that Paul, the Missionary Apostle, took the Gospel of salvation through Jesus’ death burial and resurrection. The small church grew abut was plagued by divisions within the Church, with some dedicated to following Paul’s message, others desired to pattern their lives after Apollos or others. The congregation was also fractured by divisions among the members over wealth, social standing and other factors.
After Paul left, these divisions grew, with some of the members exerting their influence to further emphasize doctrinal disagreements. Paul wrote to the believers in Corinth, telling them that there is no division in Christ Jesus, stressing we are all guilty of sin and have born anew into the family of our Heavenly Father, and that there are no differences in God’s love for those who have accepted His offered salvation.
Factions and divisions are present in some churches today over differences, not so much doctrinal, but in form of worship or procedure. As mature Believers in Christ, we have a responsibility to stress Biblical unity, not accepting any societal restrictions on Biblical truth and precepts, to use Godly wisdom in bringing an end to misunderstanding or antagonism between members of a congregation. All believers in Christ Jesus need to follow Jesus’ direction, “1 John 4:21, “And we have this command from Him: the one who loves God must also love his brother.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pray for Your love upon our lives as we love one another.

Manna in the Morning
11-20-15
Romans
Rom 5:1-5, “Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Also through Him, we have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to be read by the Church in the city of Rome, the hub of the Roman Empire. It may be divided into two sub-divisions, the first 11 Chapters are primarily doctrinal truths that every Christian needs to acknowledge and follow, and the rest of the book is a description of how to live these concepts out in a practical way in our daily life. While the book has many passages that are worthy of consideration like Chapter 1 verse 16, Rom 1:16, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. (non-Jew). Certainly any verse that could spark a world changing reformation in the heart of the Roman church centuries later it is Martin Luther’s understanding that mankind is justified by faith alone in the death, burial and resurrection of God the Son; our Redeemer Jesus Christ. If it is possible to give this book a one sentence summary, it could be, ‘Righteousness with God is given freely or imputed to all those who have faith in Jesus Christ for salvation according to God’s eternal plan.’
Another basic doctrine in the Book is the understanding that all men and women are equal before God, there is no distinction between souls in the sight of our great Father God except the saved, bound for eternal bliss, and the lost, bound for eternal damnation and torment in the Lake of Fire because they would not accept God’s offer of saving grace.
As we approach Thanksgiving, let’s thank our Great God and Father for the joy and expectation we have in our position in His eternal family. Heavenly Father, accept our praise, thanks, and joy you have given us as those who have been born anew, in Jesus’ saving name we lift our prayer.

Acts 1:7-8, He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
This book is a history of the beginning years of the church from Pentecost until the Apostle Paul’s imprisonment at Rome. One subtitle to this book could be, “Being told what to do, the Christians did as they were told.” When Pentecost came, God the Holy Spirit came into the life and being of everyone at their coming together, infusing them for the work and spreading of the message of salvation through Christ Jesus. Their message is clearly given in Chapter 4 verse 12, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people by which we must be saved.” To proclaim this message is the job description of what our Heavenly Father expects us to be doing while we are here on earth. First, we are to receive power from God the Holy Spirit who indwells us. The Apostles had to wait until the Day of Pentecost after Jesus had ascended, but you and I are fully indwelt from the instant of our salvation. We may not always follow His direction, but He is in us in all His fullness. Second, we are to be witnesses of Jesus at home. The apostles at this point all lived in and around Jerusalem, they were known as followers of Jesus, knew well the customs and religious background of those they met and were successful as they taught of Jesus, with thousands believing their message. You and I are well known and respected in our local circles, therefore people will listen to us as we show God’s love to them by word and deed, this is not an easy place to share for the most part, because we are always aware that people know us for what we really were at one time before we were born anew into God’s Family.
The next place given as a place of ministry is Judea, to which we may add Galilee, places where Jesus walked and talked, showed His miraculous power and it is easy for us to witness where we know the language, customs, habits, thinking and religious backgrounds of many of the people. The third place is in Samaria. The Samaritans were despised by the Judeans and in response disliked the Jews immensely. They had developed their own place of worship, their own religious leaders and would have nothing to do with Jerusalem or the Judaism they tried to preach and teach, Jesus ministered in Samaria and they recognized Him as the Messiah. When we are in such a place with antagonism, we need to be as loving, speaking the same simple message as Jesus did.
The last place Jesus identified was simply, wherever an individual believer happens to be at any given moment, whether talking to a neighbor, in the grocery line, at a theme park, in a family gathering or half-way across the world. We are to be always ready to share a witness to God’s glory, a verse of Scripture and a written tract or Gospel of John to let other people know of God’s gift of salvation. Lord God our Father, in Jesus’ name we ask for an opportunity to share our love of You this day.
Manna in the Morning
11-18-15
John
John 20:30-31, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of His disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may believe Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and by believing you may have life in His name.”
This book was written by John the apostle, who was the brother of James and son of Zebedee; his mother is thought to be Salome who was a close relative of Mary, who bore Jesus. It is important to understand that John the Baptizer, whose mother Elizabeth was also a relative of Mary, was born 6 months or so before Jesus in answer to the prophecies in Isaiah and other prophets, was not one of the twelve disciples. John the disciple, his brother James, Peter and Andrew became close friends of Jesus, and Peter, James and John were the ‘inner three’ who were closest to Jesus, seeing Him on the Mount of Transfiguration.
The Gospel of John is one of the deepest Biblical books in teaching and spiritual belief, proclaiming the need to be born anew into the Family of God, showing the redemptive work of God the Son by giving a very complete description of Jesus’ trial and crucifixion and describing the importance of God the Holy Spirit in directing our lives for God’s greater Glory. John was not martyred, instead he was exiled to the Isle of Patmos where he wrote the Book of Revelation. After his exile he lived in Ephesus where he also wrote three short letters to the existing churches of his time.
We understand the writers of the gospels wrote of different episodes in Jesus’ life, and each of them wrote of other events in their unique accounts. John’s purpose is seen in the closing verses, where he explains it would be impossible to write a complete log or account of all that transpired during our Savior’s life. One of the most quoted verses is John 3:16, learned by nearly every boy or girl in their Sunday school Classes, John 3:16, “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.” This is the entire plan of salvation in easily understood form just as it was explained by Jesus talking to Nicodemus the Pharisee.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we see Your glory, divinity and attributes as we read this Gospel and understand what you desire of us each and every day of our lives, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
11-17-15
Luke
Luke 1:1-4, “Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.”
The Gospel of Luke is the only Gospel written by a Gentile, a very well educated Physician named Luke who traveled with Paul on many of his Missionary journeys. Theophilus was most likely a Roman citizen and a prominent man of high esteem. His name means ‘Lover of God,’ a name he may have chosen after he converted to Christianity and he may have financed the research and writing of this book, according to tradition, both Luke and Theophilus were natives of Antioch in Syria. Luke carefully researched the miracles, teachings and ministry of Jesu so that Theophilus and we may have full confidence in the book’s accuracy, as a Gentile, knowing many if not most of the readers of this Gospel would be Gentile, Luke often translates certain unique Hebrew words and names so they would be more clearly understood. Luke also continues on after the crucifixion writing of the resurrection and Ascension. The book of Acts, also written by Luke, is a seamless transition from Luke, into the life and work of the early church and the journeys of Paul whom Luke joined in Acts 16:10.
For us today, Christmas is incomplete without a reading of Luke’s account of the birth of our Savior, preferably in a translation we have known and read from our early days as a follower of Christ Jesus. Luke gives the most complete biography of Jesus and includes many events and teachings that are unique to this Gospel. Reading Luke’s account of the parables on prayer is truly answering the disciples’ plea, “Teach us to pray.” Heavenly Father, guide us into all truth today we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
11-16-15
Mark
Mark 1:1-3, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: Look, I am sending My messenger ahead of You, who will prepare Your way. A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way for the Lord; make His paths straight!”
Mark was a young man during Jesus’ life and ministry, later became a traveling companion of Paul and Barnubus. From his explanations and definitions of some words, it appears that Mark was writing to what he thought would be a Gentile readership. Mark probably interviewed and listened to Peter extensively and gives an account of Jesus’ life from Peter’s perspective. His theme appears to be that Jesus, the Messiah was tireless in his servanthood of the Father and the need to complete His mission by serving mankind constantly. A key passage in Mark 10:45 reads, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.” Mark clearly understood the divinity of Jesus, 100% God at all times, while 100% man as well. He tells of Jesus weariness at times. His sighs, concern for others, and relieving the suffering of many.
While Matthew and Luke give detailed accounts of Jesus’ human birth, Mark begins by quoting Isaiah 40:3 and thereby indicating the eternality of God the Son. Truly the incarnation of Jesus was the first stepping stone in His coming reign. It is truly amazing to see how God the Holy Spirit gives us the information to understand the divine plan when we compare various prophetic passages and the outworking of the Church in the New Testament, even the birth and ministry of John the Baptist. As disciples of Jesus, we understand we are to be like our Master in every way. If He considered Himself a servant of the Father, so must we. If He gave His life for us, we must live our lives for His glory. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, give us the heart of a servant we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
11-12-15
Malachi
Malachi 4:1-3, “For indeed, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.”
Malachi was, in all likelihood, a contemporary of Nehemiah in Jerusalem shortly after the return after the Babylonian captivity. He is very forceful in condemning the sinful practices of the Israelites in Jerusalem who ignored the Temple and worship to rebuild their houses and putting God’s Worship at the bottom of the list. As I was reading recently, I came across a statement that really made me think. Why am I so upset when this world acts like the sinful world it is? The world, as a whole, does not know the Bible and is easily convinced that personal liberty to do as one wants is perfectly OK because there is no such thing as sin, only things that are against the law such as murder and grand theft. We, on the other hand, understand God’s precepts, commandments and the truth that all who have not accepted Christ Jesus as Savior are bound for an eternity in the place prepared for the devil and his demons.
Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, spoke of the coming Day of the Lord when we will be taken up to heaven and those left here will suffer the terrible consequences of rejection of the salvation now so freely offered. Rejection of God’s offer means instead of meeting Jesus as their loving Savior, they will meet Him as the perfect Judge, carrying out our God’s perfect justice.
Our heavenly reward will be to see Jesus; and as Malachi promises under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit we will see the eternal sun of righteousness when all our infirmities will be healed and our celestial bodies will know no pain or sickness. We will be filled with joy and, using a bucolic reference only someone familiar with a farm can understand, we’ll jump and frolic like a young calf who has been released from its stall in the barn and put out in the sunshine and fresh air of green pastures.
The earthy will always act like earthy people, but we who carry the name of Christ Jesus must always act like Jesus, carrying His message regardless of the antipathy of those we meet, living in anticipation of the day we too are free from our earthly restraints. Our Heavenly Father guide us through this day we ask in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
11-11-15
Zechariah
Zechariah 12:10, “Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at me whom they pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for Him as one weeps for a firstborn.”
Zechariah was a young man when God called and anointed him as a Prophet about the time the Israelite captives returned from Babylon and Persia.. This book is much like Daniel’s prophecy, full of visions and dreams that tell of God’s workings in the City of Jerusalem. He speaks in this passage of the time when God the Holy Spirit will be poured out on the Jews who will recall the time when Jesus is pierced while on the cross. They will then recognize Him as their Redeemer and mourn for the way He died to redeem those who accept Him as their Savior.
Zechariah also had visions of the lampstand and horses also mentioned in Revelation, and the two witnesses that speak in Jerusalem during the time of purification or tribulation, Zechariah saw a scroll flying in the air, while in Revelation it is the scroll sealed with seven scrolls that only The Lamb is worthy to open. Zechariah tells of a time coming when God will greatly bless His people, it will be, according to Zechariah 4:6, ‘Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of Hosts. For Zechariah this was in the future, today this message is for us; we are His ambassadors to the unsaved people of this world. This overwhelming job is possible because we have the indwelling God the Holy Spirit to power our endeavors.
Were Zechariah alive today, he would still be prophesying of the wonderful days to come in the life of a Believer in Jesus. He would see many of his prophecies fulfilled and would praise our God for all He has done in, through and with us in the power of our Almighty God.
Our wonderful Heavenly Father, we thank you for the wonderful words of Your Word. Thank You for Your promises that have been fulfilled, and for those that are on the verge of fulfillment. Work in our hearts today we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
11-10-15
Haggai
Haggai 2:9, “The final glory of this house will be greater than the first,” says the Lord of Hosts. “I will provide peace in this place”—the declaration of the Lord of Hosts.
Haggai is sometimes called, “The Prophet of the Temple.” He was born during the seventy year captivity of Jerusalem by Babylon, when the temple was destroyed, turned to rubble and all its vessels of worship and sacrifice taken away. During the Persian Empire, permission was granted for many of the Israelites to return to Judea and Jerusalem to rebuild the city and establish their presence once again. The rebuilding of the Temple was put off for years, until Haggai spoke under God’s direction rebuking the inhabitants for allowing the Temple site to lie in ruin and rubble. Under Nehemiah, Ezra, Zerubbabel and Zechariah, the Temple was rebuilt, the sacred vessels returned and rededicated along with the Priests, allowing sacrifices and worship to be restored. As with many of the prophecies in our Scripture, there is an immediate fulfillment and also a second, much more significant fulfillment that is yet to come.
In the time after the Church is complete and taken up to the heavenlies, the Israelites will once again have a Temple in which to worship, and in the New Heaven and New Earth a Temple where Jehovah God will manifest His presence with the Shekinah Glory and worship will be restored in a manner not comprehended by mortal man. In that coming eternal Temple perfect peace will radiate throughout all the new creation. We have our Houses of Worship today, where the Church, the Redeemed ones, meet to praise and glorify our Great heavenly Father, the Author of our Salvation.
As those who have been born anew into the Family of God, our lives are the habitation of God the Holy Spirit, giving us the ever-present divine presence in our lives. We are infused with our great God’s divine power, radiating the divine glory for all to see, and filled with the divine peace with our God that cannot be comprehended.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of the indwelling God the Holy Spirit in our lives to guide, empower and protect us. In Jesus name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
11-09-15
Zephaniah
Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”
Zephaniah was a prophet who prophesied in Jerusalem just before Jeremiah, he was not a priest, but probably a distant member of the royal family, a descendent of King Hezekiah. His book contains some of the most vivid pictures of God’s final judgment upon, not only Jerusalem, but the entire earth that is to be found in the entire Scriptures. The prophet opens his prophetic book with a description of God’s approaching wrath. He portrays this great “day of the Lord” as a time of “trouble and distress,” “darkness and gloominess,” “trumpet and alarm.” After this glimpse of the coming wrath of God upon a sinful earth, Zephaniah reminds Judah, and by extension, believers today of God’s love and protection. Zephaniah must have had a vivid picture of God’s coming wrath because he speaks of “It will be a day when the Lord’s anger is poured out—a day of terrible distress and anguish, a day of ruin and desolation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness, a day of trumpet calls and battle cries,” all things we read of when the seals of God’s wrath are broken in the book of The Revelation,
We are living now in the shadow of the approaching storms of God’s wrath over this sinful earth, and grateful we will not be on the earth on that day when His wrath is poured out upon creation. Our Great God lives within each one of us in the person of God the Holy Spirit, Who offers us guidance and wisdom if we are willing to accept them. When Jesus, God the Son returns to this earth in His glory He will destroy Satan and the armies of the wicked by the Word of His mouth.
The Lord our God brings a calm quiet into our restless souls in times of anxiety and in our meditation upon Him. Imagine the shouts of joy and gladness when we enter into the heavenly places, whether at the end of our natural lives or when we answer the shout from the sky and are called up into His presence when we hear the trumpet sound and the angel’s shout. Our Heavenly Father guide us today, as we live in the joy of our Lord, pleasing You and witnessing of Your love. Our desire to be led of You, we pray in Jesus’ name

Manna in the Morning
11-06-15
Habakkuk
Habakkuk 1:3-4, “Why do You force me to look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing? Oppression and violence are right in front of me. Strife is ongoing, and conflict escalates. This is why the law is ineffective and justice never emerges. For the wicked restrict the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted.”
Habakkuk lived and prophesied during the Babylonian period. He is confused and asks God why His plan is unknown to man and why does humanity live through such difficult times? God answers him, telling him that God’s plan will bring our Heavenly Father the greater glory and that mankind has to learn patience, trusting that God’s plan is in place and events happen for God’s glory. What the prophet is complaining about sounds like it could be in today’s news reports. As Believers in Christ Jesus we face what God’s people have always faced, evidence of the activity of the evil one.
While it is our desire to see God’s people triumph and the world’s population turn to Him, we must remember that our great God and Heavenly Father’s plan is not always what we would choose for many reasons. Noah would have willingly preached and worked on the Ark of safety for another 100 years if others could be saved, but it was God’s timing to close the door and His judgement then fell upon the earth. As we see events coming to pass just as Habakkuk did, we can understand that we are nearing the time when God will take us from this earth so that it can be purified and the curse of sin removed to prepare the way for Christ Jesus to return and reign from Jerusalem as the righteous King.
Habakkuk’s message was fulfilled in Judah, and will once again be fulfilled in the day in which we live and serve our Savior. We are not to be discouraged, we are to trust Him. Our faith is not in the events of today, we believe that our Lord will take us to be with Him in the Heavenlies before too much longer.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are anxious to see Your plan accomplished in the proper time. Help us today to pray for others and to encourage those we meet to put their faith in Your soon return. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
11-04-15
Micah
Micah 5:2-5, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity. Therefore, He will abandon them until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of His brothers will return to the people of Israel.”
With this issue, we are half-way through our Biblical journey. Through Micah, God reveals to the Israelite people the place where the promised Perfect Sacrifice will be born. Their eternal Messiah will be born in the little village of Bethlehem, where the great King David was born in the valley of Ephratah. This became part of the knowledge of the Priests and scholars and was repeated to the Magi when they visited Jerusalem shortly after Jesus’ birth. There is no reason why the religious leaders could not have recognized Jesus’ virgin birth as the great announcement it was. In this verse, Micah also prophesies the lapse in time from Jesus’ birth until the time recounted in Revelation of the virgin giving birth being chased by the satanic forces, and the return of all Israelites, both in Judea and Samaria, all will return to truly worship Jehovah God, recognizing Jesus, God the Son as their Messiah. Micah was a prophet who lived in Judea but prophesied both in Judea, the Southern Kingdom, and in Israel, the Northern Kingdom, during the time Isaiah was active in Judea.
Micah’s ministry included preaching and teaching against idolatry, evil devices and actions, covetousness, greed, witchcraft and corruption, all things that are in opposition to the commandments and precepts of Jehovah God. Micah promised God’s future blessings on the establishment of a truly righteous kingdom, the triumph of God’s grace and the salvation of those who placed their hope and trust in God’s promises. Micah also clearly presented what the Lord God demands of His people in chapter 6 verse 8, stating God requires men and women, “To act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with their God.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask you in Jesus’ name to keep us pure in Your eyes, to labor on this earth in the place and position where You have placed us and to bless us as we serve as Your ambassador to this sinful planet. In the power of God the Holy Spirit we will strive to walk in the path you have laid out for us.

Manna in the Morning
11-03-15
Jonah
Jonah 1:14-17, “So they called out to the Lord: “Please, Yahweh, don’t let us perish because of this man’s life, and don’t charge us with innocent blood! For You, Yahweh, have done just as You pleased.” Then they picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging. The men feared the Lord even more, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows. Then the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights.”
Israel and Assyria had been enemies for years, with Assyria attacking the northern Kingdom of the Israelites, ultimately they conquered Israel and dispersed the people across the entire known empire of Assyria so they would lose their identity. During the time of their fighting, Jonah who was a prophet in the area of Galilee, north of Jerusalem was called by God to go and tell the City of Nineveh of Jehovah God and His displeasure for the great sins of the people. Jonah did not think the people of the Assyrian Capitol city deserved God’s mercy so he went in the opposite direction, West, across the Mediterranean Sea on a small ship to escape God’s call to ministry. While the ship was at sea, there was a terrible storm, when the crew determined it was Jonah’s disobedience to his God that caused the storm, Jonah told them to throw him overboard to save the ship and crew. Neglecting or forsaking the call of God on one’s life will always have consequences on the Christian who refuses God’s command.
In His foreknowledge and mercy, God had prepared a great fish to rise to the surface and swallow Jonah. After three days in the belly of the fish, Jonah called out to God for forgiveness and the opportunity to follow His plan to preach of God’s mercy in Nineveh. Jonah went to the city, did as God commanded and was actually disappointed when the inhabitants of the city turned to God for forgiveness because they were Israel’s enemies. In his complaint Jonah said to God that he didn’t want to preach there because he knew God would call them to repentance.
When we follow our Lord’s commands to share God’s saving message with others, we should pray with a sense of expectancy, knowing His Word will convict their hearts. Jonah was still petulant and complaining so God sent a worm to cut down the vine whose leaves gave Jonah shade to teach Him (and us) that all we have has come from His benevolent hand.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pray we will willingly follow your commands, accept all You give us in encouragement or trial so that we may be conformed to the image of our Savior, we pray in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
11-02-15
Obadiah
Obadiah Verse 18, “Then the house of Jacob will be a blazing fire, and the house of Joseph a burning flame, but the house of Esau will be stubble; they will set them on fire and consume them. Therefore no survivor will remain of the house of Esau, for the Lord has spoken.”
Nothing is known about the Prophet Obadiah, except his message. His prophetic message centers around the tribes of Edom and their certain destruction. Edom is the people-group that descended from the union of Esau, Jacob’s brother, and a daughter of Ishmael, Isaac’s brother, resulting in the Arab people group who today are predominantly Muslim. Neither Ishmael nor Esau followed the precepts of Jehovah, the God of their fathers, carrying a lasting hatred for the Israelites down to this very day who seek to kill every Jew and Christian to make their Islamic belief the one acceptable religion of the entire world. The Lord, our Heavenly Father, has spoken and declared that no survivor of Esau will escape the coming days of purification on the earth.
Stubble, for those who do not have a farming background, is the hollow tube mere inches long that is left in the field after the reapers have passed through harvesting the wheat and other grain. It burns so quickly it cannot even be used as tinder. The blazing fire of Joseph, son of Jacob who was renamed Israel by God, who saved the Israelites in Egypt when Jacob and his family moved there in a great famine, is the fiery sword that is the flaming sword of Jesus who will soon return to this earth and destroy all His enemies with God’s Holy Word from His mouth, a blazing fire that will consume them, and as Jeremiah prophesies, all of Edom is consumed.
As we continue to carry the flame of God the Holy Spirit in our lives and hearts through this and every day, let it burn through us to consume every false doctrine and enemy of our Heavenly Father where ever we meet them and proclaim the True Word of our Lord; may our speech and adherence to Biblical principles be part of our life. Heavenly Father, it is our desire to let our every thought word and even attitude be acceptable in Your sight, and our lives radiate Your love within us. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Amos 7:14-16, “So Amos answered Amaziah, “I was not a prophet or the son of a prophet; rather, I was a herdsman, and I took care of sycamore figs. But the Lord took me from following the flock and said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’ Now hear the word of the Lord.”
Amos was, by his own admission, not a prophet or the son of a prophet, but a simple herdsman and a migrant worker who trimmed and pruned fig trees. He prophesied against King Jeroboam II who was King of the Northern Kingdom and also prophesied in Judea, the Southern Kingdom during the reign of Uzziah about the time of Isaiah. Amaziah one of the Priests in Israel told Amos to leave and go to Judah because he made dire prophecies against the future of Israel and the king. He predicted the dispersion of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria and of a wonderful restoration of the entire Israelite people in the future.
This is the account of an untrained, uneducated laborer, perhaps similar to what we today call a migrant laborer in the fields and orchards. Yet the Lord God spoke to Amos, gave him a message to carry to the Israelite people in both kingdoms and he would not be dissuaded or intimidated, rather he continued on with the message God had given to him’
There is a wonderful lesson in this book for those who are not pastors, evangelists or Seminary Professors, but just Bible studying Believers in our Lord God. Men and women who teach in Sunday Schools, weekly Bible studies, Christian Schools, VBS weeks and other times of instruction. The message these dedicated individuals bring is the truth of God’s Word, the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ and carry the promise of eternity in the heavenly places for thousands of those men and women, boys and girls who hear and heed God’s Word through them. Regardless of background, vocation or formal Biblical Education people receive the call of God to share His Word and cannot be dissuaded.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for those men and women who serve You in many Good News Clubs, Sunday Schools, informal studies and individually throughout the world. Grant them success in their preparation and presentations of Your truths just as Amos, a migrant worker did. In Jesus’ name, we praise You for these you have called to serve You faithfully.

Manna in the Morning
10-29-15
Joel
Joel 2:28, “After this I will pour out My Spirit on all humanity; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your old men will have dreams, and your young men will see visions.”
The Book of Joel is written by the prophet that bears this name, written in a very forceful, elegant way it calls for national repentance and God’s blessings upon the revived nation. The key phrase of this book is, “The Day of the Lord,” emphasizing the pouring out of God the Holy Spirit upon all mankind in the days immediately before the return of Jesus to this earth. The first phase of this being the call to The Church to come join our Savior in the Heavenly Places.
Joel is responding to the plague of locust upon the land, aggravated and enhanced by a severe drought which the people recognized as a punishment from God for their sins as a people and a nation. Joel called for a time of fasting and prayer asking God to forgive their sins and remove the plagues from their land. Joel held out the promise of God to the people of Judah that there is a time coming of God’s great blessing upon the land based upon their repentance. Joel also states that not only will Judah be judged, but the Gentile nations as well, who will then share in the blessings of God. Like the messages of many of the prophets, there is an immediate message to the Israelites of a situation at that time in history and a deferred fulfillment that is yet to come to this earth with the judgment, cry for repentance and restoration of all people, Jew and Gentile.
There are many nations and nationalities on this earth that have turned their face from God and his precepts, looking instead to the lust for power, money and licentiousness in daily life and national decisions. We must, as Christians, pray for God’s outpouring upon our nations and to seek His wisdom and guidance. We must, however never forget that God has a plan that is eternal in the heavens and His plan will be followed on this earth for His ultimate glory, majesty and to fulfill His will.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, forgive us we pray, for becoming lax and ignoring the sin of our nation. Give us discernment in how we present Your will and way before people, as we live this and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-28-15
Hosea
Hosea 14:9, “Let whoever is wise understand these things, and whoever is insightful recognize them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them.”
Hosea the prophet was active during the time of Isaiah and Micah. He prophesied to Israel, the Northern Kingdom regarding the sins of the people and the evil acts of their Kings. The spiritual message Hosea stresses is that false worship, turning away from Jehovah God by the nation and ignoring God’s precepts is called spiritual adultery by Jehovah God, because of the favor God had poured out on the Israelite people-group. In his prophecies and messages, Hosea emphasized the people’s unfaithfulness and indifference to God precepts and commandments. During the time of Hosea’s ministry, his wife was unfaithful to him, bearing children of whom he was not the father. God instructed Hosea to buy his wife out of her bondage and again make her is wife in every way, giving Israel an example of God’s forgiveness and reconciliation after the repentance of His people
Hosea occasionally uses figurative language to expose and express God’s anger at the sins of the people. Hosea spoke of the mixing of the people with other nations, in defiance of God’s law to remain a distinct people. He calls their false worship like a pancake not turned over, or cooked only on one side; not an appealing, tasty meal. The prophet closes his book with a discourse on repentance and the resultant blessings from our Heavenly Father.
Among the warnings Hosea gave to Israel, we can find many lessons that will make our Christian Life more effective in winning and discipling others. We who have born anew into the family of God are to be wise in understanding His Word and to have insights into the meaning of scriptural passages under the influence and inspiration of God the Holy Spirit. God’s principles will always guide us in the paths He will bless in our lives to make us fruitful for His glory. There will always be times in our lives when we stumble and rebel against what we know is God’s will for us, that is when God’s discipline and correction come into our lives to turn our hearts back to Him. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You to purge our hearts of those thoughts and actions that hinder our ability to be used of You, we long to be reconciled and once again feel Your great love for us. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-27-15
Daniel
Daniel 1:8-10, 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. 9 God had granted Daniel favor and compassion from the chief official, 10 yet he said to Daniel, “My lord the king assigned your food and drink. I’m afraid of what would happen if he saw your faces looking thinner than those of the other young men your age. You would endanger my life with the king.”
Daniel, along with the other 3 young men mentioned, known to us as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were part of the contingent of Israelites taken from Jerusalem during the initial fall to Babylon. These four boys were to be trained in the language, societal customs and all phases of Babylonian life in order to become advisors to the King. During their first days in Babylon they were served food from the King’s own table that had first been offered to idols. In obedience to God’s commandments, the young men refused to eat this food and asked their overseer for permission to eat only fresh vegetables and water. After an initial trial that showed resounding favorable results from their food, the men were allowed to continue their chosen diet. It was their sincere conviction to follow God’s precepts in all parts of their lives that caused them to rise to the top of the King’s wise men despite their youth.
Daniel was always concerned about his countrymen and the city of Jerusalem and prayed often for their safety. God honored Daniel’s prayer and showed him the future of the Israelite people from their yet future return to Jerusalem, the rebuilding of the walls and gates and the appearance of the Messiah. The seventy sevens of years, 490 years, were to be accomplished between Nehemiah’s rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the Coming of the Messiah the King. 483 years transpired until the birth of Jesus and His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, leaving seven years yet to be fulfilled until Jesus is crowned King of Kings.
God instructed Daniel to seal and keep silent about the events of the last seven years sealing them effectively until John recounts the opening of the 7 seals in the Book of Revelation. Since Daniel’s prophetic words were so accurate and proved over nearly 500 years to be the inspired Word of God through Daniel, we should have no hesitancy in believing the events seen in the opening of the seven seals in The Revelation.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, put within us the desire of Daniel, to live a life without defilement. We ask this in Jesus’ empowering name.

Manna in the Morning
10-26-15
Ezekiel
Ezekiel 10:16-17, “When the cherubim moved, the wheels moved beside them, and when they lifted their wings to rise from the earth, even then the wheels did not veer away from them. When the cherubim stood still, the wheels stood still, and when they ascended, the wheels ascended with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in them. Then the glory of the Lord moved away from the threshold of the temple and stood above the cherubim. The cherubim lifted their wings and ascended from the earth right before my eyes; the wheels were beside them as they went. The glory of the God of Israel was above them, and it stood at the entrance to the eastern gate of the Lord’s house.”
Ezekiel is a fascinating Book of the Scriptures, written by Ezekiel the Prophet at the time of Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians, along with the rest of the Kingdom of Judah, Ezekiel has more visions and imagery than either Daniel or the Book of the Revelation. Ezekiel gives us a description of his vision of the throne of Jehovah God as it is surrounded by the Shekinah Glory of our Lord God. Known for his visions of the valley of the dry bones, the promise of the restoration of Jerusalem and the time when God’s glory and presence left the Temple followed later by God’s promise to return in His Shekinah Glory and manifestation to the Temple during a time of renewal and rededication.
Ezekiel was part of the group of Israelites that were forcefully removed from Jerusalem and taken in captivity to Babylon, Ezekiel continued his priestly duties, and at one point was taken by God in a vision where he prophesied to the people left there, but mainly his book deals with the group of Israelite displaced captives in Babylon. His message was simple, living in sin and ignoring God’s precepts will cause our loving God to turn His head away from mankind’s sin and in His perfect justice, remove His presence from their Holy city.
Ezekiel’s message for us today is simple but vital for us to understand. God will indeed remove His glory and Spirit from any people that ignores His precepts and oppose His commandments they once revered and obeyed. There is a time of judgement coming upon this world, with punishments upon the land and population that we can see in our daily news reports, and the unfailing, soon coming, glorious restoration of the world population to worship our King of King and Lord of Lords.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the sense of Your presence as You did for Ezekiel, we ask for Your wisdom in discerning the times and events that flood our senses and the overwhelming confidence in Your promises for our future. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-23-15
Lamentations
Lamentations 3:22-24, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.”
In the Septuagint translation, made by 70 Jewish Scholars in Alexandria between 300-200BC. This book is preceded by this paragraph: “And it came to pass after Israel was led into captivity that Jeremiah sat weeping and lamenting and lamented this lamentation over Jerusalem.” In the original Hebrew, the book is arranged in a sort of Acrostic that cannot be duplicated in English. In any event, Jeremiah was greatly sorrowed at the destruction of Jerusalem, a city he knew would have a prominent place in Israelite history and future place in the world, by the sin and falling away of the people God had chosen as His own.
After his initial sorrow was past, Jeremiah learned the lesson every Believer in Jesus needs to learn, that God is on His throne, nothing happens without His allowable will and our trust in His faithful love will keep safe in His care. We live, love and trust in Him, serving Him in the place and time where He has placed us to be a witness for Him, because of His unfailing, ever-present, abounding love for us as a loving Father cares for His children.
Our Heavenly Father’s love precedes us in our daily walk, meets our every need, grants us His mercies daily, never losing patience with our sometimes faltering footsteps because He is perfect in grace, mercy and peace. Because of who He is and what He does, because He is ever-faithful, we will confidently expect Him to meet every need in our lives, and we will live content in His care. Jeremiah understood that the ruin of Jerusalem was caused by the Israelites turning away from worship of their Jehovah God and turning toward insincere worship, idolatry and neglect of God’s Word, living their lives in ignorance of what God demands from His people.
Jeremiah trusted in God’s promise that after 70 years Jerusalem would once again be free and rebuilt; we know God has promised us that we will someday dwell in the Celestial City He has prepared for us. Our Heavenly Father, we will trust You, confident in Your promises no matter what our world or society thinks. We love and worship You in spirit and in truth, pour out Your blessings upon us this day we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
10-22-15
Jeremiah
Jeremiah 1:4-9, “The word of the Lord came to me: I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations. But I protested, “Oh no, Lord God! Look, I don’t know how to speak since I am only a youth.” Then the Lord said to me: Do not say: I am only a youth, for you will go to everyone I send you to and speak whatever I tell you. Do not be afraid of anyone, for I will be with you to deliver you. This is the Lord’s declaration. Then the Lord reached out His hand, touched my mouth, and told me: Look, I have filled your mouth with My words.”
Jeremiah, also known as ‘The weeping prophet,’ prophesied in Judah in the years before it, along with Jerusalem, was conquered by Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied a seventy year captivity to the Kingdoms of Babylon and Persia. Jeremiah’s message was rejected by the King, those who were his advisors, the Prophet was despised and imprisoned by Kings Jehoiakim and Zedekiah, who cut Jeremiah’s letter into pieces and burned them in the fire as soon as they were read. When the Babylonian Army entered Jerusalem, the 70 years of captivity fell upon the Judeans or Jews.
God’s call upon Jeremiah’s life can also be applied to each of us, who knows Jehovah God as our Heavenly Father, having been born anew into His kingdom. Our Creator knew all about us, our abilities and talents given to us by our God while we were still in the womb. We have been chosen of God for the ministry we now enjoy before our birth, and God’s hand upon our life experiences has placed us where we are today. Just as with Isaiah and Jeremiah, God has promised to fill our mouths with the words He will use to win others to Himself.
Jeremiah’s prophesied seventy years ended close to the time Daniel’s seventy ‘sevens’ of years began for the Israelites, and now we see the current State of Israel is coming up to its seventieth Anniversary of statehood. Does this mean the time of the Church will soon be over and the Lord God will again deal with the population of the earth through the descendents of Israel? Jesus Himself said we are to be prepared for our calling up at any time and His warning signs given in Matthew and Luke are occurring all around us even now.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, just as Jeremiah sounded the warning and it was ignored, we are in a time when people ignore and reject the warnings of God’s Word. In Jesus’ name we ask that you keep us strong in our witness and proclamation of the gospel message.

Manna in the Morning
10-21-15
Isaiah
Isaiah 6:8-9, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me. And He replied: Go!”
Isaiah is generally regarded as the greatest of the Old Testament Prophets. His book range from woes concerning the Tribe of Ephraim and the City of Jerusalem to the joys of salvation. In his writing he declares the Perfect Promised Sacrifice, the Messiah, would be born of a virgin. This gave hope to every young Israelite woman the possibility existed that she could birth the Savior. Mary, who was told by the Angel that she had been chosen by God would have remembered this verse given centuries before.
Isaiah was chosen as a prophet when he had a vision of The Lord God in the opening verses of chapter 6, when he saw the Lord, high and lifted up, seated upon His throne with His Shekinah Glory filling the Temple with smoke and the visible manifestation of His presence. Isaiah heard the voice of the Lord asking the question, Who should I send as my messenger and who will be my representative? Isaiah overwhelmed by his experience fell prostrate thinking he would be struck dead because he had seen the presence of the Lord God, even in a vision. In his vision, God picked up a glowing coal from the heavenly altar placing it on Isaiah’s lips purifying them and anointing Isaiah to proclaim salvation through the One who would come.
Not only did Isaiah proclaim the Messiah would be born of a virgin, in Isa 7:14, Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel, he also wrote in Isa 9:6-7, He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. 7 The dominion will be vast, and its prosperity will never end. He will reign on the throne of David and over his kingdom. In the 53rd Chapter Isaiah gives a remarkable description of the life, trial and death of our Redeemer. Not only were Isaiah’s prophecies recognized by the Israelites, they were also known in other Kingdoms as far as Persia, from which the Magi came to Jerusalem. Very little is known about Isaiah’s personal life, but there are unverified references to his martyrdom. Isaiah often uses the phrase, “This is what the Lord says,” as he speaks to the people.
Our Heavenly Father, we ask that you purify our lips and speak through us to those we meet this day. We seek to fulfill Your command to, “Go in Jesus’ name.”

Manna in the Morning
10-20-15
Song of Songs
Song of Songs 2:4, “He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.”
This Book known also as the Song of Solomon is a Book that has often been ignored, some people even feel that it should be removed from the Scriptures. It is a book of love and in other places in Scripture the people-group of the Israel is called the betrothed of their God. In Hosea 2:19-20, Jehovah God speaks through The prophet and is quoted as speaking to the Israelites, “I will take you to be My wife forever. I will take you to be My wife in righteousness, justice, love, and compassion. I will take you to be My wife in faithfulness, and you will know the Lord.” In the New Testament the Redeemed in the Church are called “The Bride of Christ”, Eph 5:25-28, “Husbands, love your wives, just as also Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 to make her holy, cleansing her in the washing of water by the word. 27 He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but holy and blameless.”
This book is to illustrate God’s great love for those who have accepted His offer of salvation and His desire to protect, care for and abundantly bless those He loves. God shows His plan for marriage beginning with Adam and Eve in Eden, The Song of Songs describes the joy and contentment in a marriage when both the husband and wife show their love for their spouses.
In all of Scripture, the banner of God’s love waves over the lives of those who accept His love and salvation, whether in time of hardship or plenty, in sickness or health the one constant the Believer in Christ Jesus can count on is the undivided love of God.
Heavenly Father, in Jesus name we ask You to bless Your children this day as we live a life pleasing to You.

Manna in the Morning
10-19-15
Ecclesiastes
Eccl 8:17-9:1, “I observed all the work of God and concluded that man is unable to discover the work that is done under the sun. Even though a man labors hard to explore it, he cannot find it; even if the wise man claims to know it, he is unable to discover it. Indeed, I took all this to heart and explained it all: the righteous, the wise, and their works are in God’s hands.”
This book is commonly considered to have been written by King Solomon, as many experiences described occurred in his time as King of Israel. He considers life from the position of a poor laborer, an Epicurean or one who says there is nothing besides a brief lifetime for every man or woman, so enjoy it while you can and finally one who accepts the sovereignty of God, not trying to argue with His divine plan. After declaring there is a time in our lives for everything, seen in Chapter 3, eventually the speaker or narrator of the book declares that in his lifetime he has seen all of God’s creation, explored many things and the end of it all is, humanity cannot fathom all that God does in His creation and sustaining the entire universe that is beyond Solomon’s description or knowledge and also far beyond ours even though we know more about how things work than Solomon did. The sustaining force of all that is in our natural universe has to be our illimitable, undefinable Jehovah God our Heavenly Father. Solomon declares the truly wise person is the righteous man or woman who recognizes God for who He is, the One who knows us, our strengths and weaknesses and everything we do is in obedience to His will and way.
Because we serve an omnipotent God, our responsibility is to do as He commands, to obey His precepts and live a life pleasing to Him, then enjoy His presence forever in the place He has prepared for us. Our only good works are those that emanate with Him, and when our work is complete we will receive the Crown of Righteousness which we will give back to Him in an act of dedicated worship. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for salvation, we ask for the opportunity serve You and we will follow You every day of our lives. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
10-16-15
Proverbs
Proverbs 1:1-7, “The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel: For gaining wisdom and being instructed; for understanding insightful sayings; for receiving wise instruction in righteousness, justice, and integrity; for teaching shrewdness to the inexperienced, knowledge and discretion to a young man—a wise man will listen and increase his learning, and a discerning man will obtain guidance—for understanding a proverb or a parable, the words of the wise, and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
King Solomon introduces himself as the writer of this book and then gives us the reason for his compiling these words of wisdom and guidance. One of the verses that has been memorized by uncounted millions of Christians is found in Chapter 3, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.” Others have held to the 7th verse of Chapter 1, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. For years pastors and Bible Teachers have advised Christians of all ages to read a chapter from Proverbs every day, since there are 31 chapters making it easy to remember.
Solomon advised us to read this for aid in understanding the rest of the Scriptures; many people do not understand the Bible is written in the manner of an Eastern Book with Eastern thought patterns, sometimes different from our Western culture and civilization. Proverbs gives us insight into the reasoning of mankind. The wise will be careful to read and consider the Proverbs for discernment and all of us have to understand that our Christian lives are dependent upon the fear of the Lord.
There have been literally millions of sermons preached on the love of God, and it is important to remember that God’s love is the source of all love we share and understand on this earth. God’s love and compassion is infinite and eternal. We also need to constantly realize that our God demands an awesome respect from each of His children, we need to understand He is, not only unequalled, but infinite in every way and His wrath at sin is fierce. God’s love for sinners is great, He sent God the Son to be our perfect sacrifice, but God hates the sin that required that sacrifice. God’s perfect justice requires the death penalty for sin. His perfect love provides our salvation, and eternal damnation for those who choose to decline the offer of salvation.
Our eternal, gracious Heavenly Father, guide us in fulfilling Your perfect will for our lives today we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
10-15-15
Psalms
Psalm 1:1-3, “How happy is the man who does not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path of sinners, or join a group of mockers! Instead, his delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water that bears its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
The Book of Psalms contains 150 spiritual songs and poems used by Christians starting with the Apostolic Church until today for devotional texts and hymns. The Psalms were used for worship in the second temple. Written mainly by David the warrior King it shows his love for music and poetry as well as his devotion to worship of Jehovah God. The Psalms are the most quoted book in the New Testament. There are many references to the Messiah, including His suffering, the coming King, His crucifixion and resurrection. Often, including this first Psalm, the contrast is seen between the Godly and ungodly man, the punishment of the wicked and worldly and the reward for the righteous.
David was a man of war and could not build the Temple in Jerusalem, but God promised David his descendant would rule the world from his throne in Jerusalem. This will be fulfilled when Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will descend from heaven and rule the world in a benevolent theocracy. We who are born anew into the Family of God, will be at His right hand when He returns to establish this Kingdom.
These words will give every believer a new reverence for God’s Word, from hiding His Word in our hearts through memorization to giving comfort to the sorrowful, hope to those who appear hopeless, and the promise of redemption to those that revere and honor God’s name in worship, both public and private. There are those today who will not follow God’s plan for their lives, and willingly follow the advice of the wicked and remain silent when a word of God’s love and grace would be a powerful witness. If we keep God’s Word uppermost in our minds daily, we will be like the vibrant, green, fruit-bearing tree that is firmly planted and established by the living water.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we ask for the desire and strength to keep our eyes on Your Throne and thrive on the sustenance of your Word for this day, always seeking the opportunity to share our experience in accepting Jesus into our lives and desire to live for Your greater glory. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Risen Lord.

Manna in the Morning
10-14-15
Job
Job 13:15-17, “Even if He kills me, I will hope in Him. I will still defend my ways before Him. Yes, this will result in my deliverance, for no godless person can appear before Him. Pay close attention to my words; let my declaration ring in your ears.”
The Book of Job is considered by most Bible scholars to be the earliest book written and included in our Scriptures, written even before Moses wrote the Pentateuch. Job came from the area of the Chaldean Mountains and God had blessed him with great wealth, and a loving family. Satan at this point in time had opportunity to go before Almighty God in Heaven and while God pointed to Job as the example of a man who loved Him, Satan accused Job of loving God only because God had blessed his life. From this we can learn that Satan has power and uses it to war against those who serve our God faithfully and the fact that there is and will be evil in this world until Jesus comes as the King of Kings. We also learn that there is in humanity, a nature that will always be influenced and tempted by our great adversary.
God was so certain of Job’s love and devotion He allowed Satan to take all of Job’s wealth, his family and his standing among other men. As Job sat in the ashes of his home, wearing rags, scraping the boils all over his body while even his wife advised him to curse God for his calamity and die, Job realized that God has a plan for every individual in His forever family and sometimes that plan includes earthly sorrow and loss for God’s own ultimate glory in the way we, His children, respond. While Job’s friends chided him, told Job there was hidden sin in his life, and his wife was bitter in their suffering, Job declared his full faith in God, wanting all to hear his declaration, “Even if God takes my life my trust and faith is in Him.” Job refused to turn his heart from God, never doubted God’s plan and when the time of trial was over, God restored Job to a position that was better in every way, than when the trial began.
The lesson Job learned, and we learn from his example is that the lavish gifts of God’s grace and mercy far outnumber the temporal wealth or things we may have on this earth. Job’s life is our example that God our Heavenly Father wants us to trust Him in every way, that He will give us comfort, peace in Him, even if we, like many in this world today, face certain death if we declare our faith in Him. Counting the cost of what we may ‘lose’ by serving Him is insignificant in the light of His great sacrifice four our salvation.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we pray for the steadfastness of Job and declare loud and clear, “Even if I die for Him I will never deny His love and mercy toward me. My trust is in Him.”

Manna in the Morning
10-13-15
Esther
Esther 4:13-14, Mordecai told the messenger to reply to Esther, “Don’t think that you will escape the fate of all the Jews because you are in the king’s palace. If you keep silent at this time, liberation and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s house will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”
When we considered 1 Samuel and the reign of King Saul we saw God’s displeasure with Saul’s failure to kill King Agag and his family for their sin and worship of idols. Now, many years later, Esther, a very beautiful Israelite woman has been exiled to Persia, and adopted by her uncle Mordecai when her parents died when she was a child. Haman, an Agagite, a very evil, malevolent, cruel man became the prime minister of Persia under King Ahasuerus. Because Mordecai saw him as the evil man he was, Haman hated Mordecai and sought to kill him and all the Israelites throughout the Persian Kingdom. This man, as evil as his ancestor, Agag, were used by Satan in a never-ending campaign to thwart the plan of God and the birth of the Savior through the line of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In God’s plan, Mordecai was placed in the gate as a minor government functionary, Esther was chosen out of hundreds of other women to be Queen to King Ahasuerus.
Haman wrote and presented a decree to the King, declaring falsely that the Israelites were attempting to revolt against Persia, and that in one year, every Israelite should be killed and their property and wealth turned over to the King. After Mordecai reminded Esther of her heritage, and that she would be killed under this mandate, he stated that God had placed her in this position in order to save her people, God’s chosen people-group. After his duplicity and greed were revealed, the decree was countermanded, Haman was killed and Esther or Hadassah, as she is sometimes called, has been remembered until now for her willingness to be an instrument in the hands of the mighty God she loved and worshipped.
We too are to be as willing and self-sacrificing in our worship, love and obedience to our Heavenly Father, the author of our salvation. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, as we begin this and every day with prayer and an attitude of service to You, our Lord God, bless our day and activities that we might radiate Your love and compassion to all we meet, In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
10-12-15
Nehemiah
Nehemiah 7:1-2, “When the wall had been rebuilt and I had the doors installed, the gatekeepers, singers, and Levites were appointed.”
One of the highlight events in the history of God’s people and God’s plan is the completion of the walls and gates of Jerusalem during the time of Nehemiah. Just as Ezra led the captives back to Jerusalem from Babylon, (Last MITM I erred in saying Ezra led a group from Persia. Instead he brought a group from Babylon with the golden items stored there in their idol storehouse.) Nehemiah led a group back from Persia with the King’s permission, and supplies from the royal storehouse. The seventy years of captivity prophesied by Jeremiah ended with both freedom from Babylon, todays Iraq and Persia, today’s Iran.
The event Nehemiah celebrated in completing the wall and hanging the gates is the date the Prophet Daniel uses to prophesy 483 years from that date until the Messiah, God’s Perfect, Promised Sacrifice would come. Calculating and studying the Babylonian, Persian, Roman, and Gregorian calendars, this time period ended during the last week of Jesus life, beginning with the Entry into Jerusalem on the white donkey and His crucifixion. God’s provision of the righteous, sinless, perfect sacrifice to remove the sin debt from every person who put their faith and trust in God’s promise of provision of salvation through Jesus, our Redeemer.
The Israelites completed the wall even though Sanballat the Moabite, Tobiah, the Ammonite, both tribes were ancient enemies of the Israelites; and Gershen the Arab, a descendent of Ishmael and Esau, the ancestors of today’s Arab nations, fighting continually to keep the wall from being finished. Nehemiah had the workers work in teams of two, one laying the stones and masonry to finish the wall, while the other held two swords, both men ready to rush to whatever part of the wall being attacked as Satan attempted to disrupt the perfect will of God set in place in Eden. When attacks failed, Sanballat and his cohorts tried to lure Nehemiah outside the city so they could capture or kill him and disrupt the process.
Ezra and Nehemiah followed their Lord God’s directions, with God’s help they thwarted Satan’s plan and completed this critical part of our Heavenly Fathers plan. Remember, Daniel’s prophetic book was written during or shortly after the last days of the Persian Empire; during this same time period
Each member of the Family of God has a part to play in God’s plan just as Nehemiah did, and when we follow the leading of God the Holy Spirit we will fulfill our part in His plan for the Body of Christ and Jesus’ return to this earth. Lord God, our Heavenly Father, fulfill Your plan through us today we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
10-09-15
Ezra
Ezra 8:21-23, “I proclaimed a fast by the Ahava River, so that we might humble ourselves before our God and ask Him for a safe journey for us, our children, and all our possessions. I did this because I was ashamed to ask the king for infantry and cavalry to protect us from enemies during the journey, since we had told him, “The hand of our God is gracious to all who seek Him, but His great anger is against all who abandon Him.” So we fasted and pleaded with our God about this, and He granted our request.”
Ezra was a leader in Israel, and when the King gave permission for Ezra to lead a large group of Israelites from Babylon including Priests, Levites and others, Ezra told the people to gather together all their belongings including what was left of the Articles of worship and other Temple furnishings. Not only did Ezra have a desire to study and teach God’s Word in words and example, living according to scriptural precepts, He was a spiritual leader among the people and with Nehemiah, planned, organized and worked to rebuild Jerusalem including its walls.
As Ezra and the others gathered together in preparation for the journey, they fasted and prayed for safe arrival in Jerusalem under God’s protective hand. The wealth they carried through the wilderness, unaccompanied by any protection, relying on the protection of God alone, included over $1 million in gold, plus silver and many gold utensils for the Temple. Ezra had total and complete trust and confidence in God to provide for their every need on the journey. When they arrived in Jerusalem they immediately began their repair and refitting of the Temple.
While not a well-known prophet or visionary, Ezra is an example of one who is totally dedicated to the task given to him. He is also considered as a primary source for the writer of the Chronicles, if not the possible author. He is also considered as the author of Psalm 119, where each of the 176 verses mentions God’s Word. This Psalm is often referred to as A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. Ezra also worked with Nehemiah to organize, supervise and finish the rebuilding of Jerusalem. What a fitting model for young Believers as they look for Biblical heroes from whom they can take inspiration and courage in living a life pleasing to their Heavenly Father. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask that we might love Your Word, be committed to our tasks and as dedicated to live a life pleasing to you as was Ezra.

anna in the Morning
10-08-15
2 Chronicles
2 Chronicles 5:13-14, “The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the Lord. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the Lord with these words: “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!” At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the Lord. The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the Temple of God.”
Just as 1 Chronicles contained much more details about King David, 2 Chronicles gives us a greater insight into the reign of Solomon. Our Jehovah God is spirit and no man has ever seen the face of God the Father. Our visual perceptions of God are based upon artistic ideas based on various paintings of Jesus over the centuries. We, when we reach the Heavenly places, will instantly recognize His face, but The Father’s presence is always made known by the Shekinah Glory of God, a presence of brilliant light such as what appeared to be a burning bush to Moses, but never consumed. It is the glory that transfigured Jesus on the mountain with the disciples, the glory that looked like lightning in the cloud that led the Israelites out of Egypt and the thunder, lightning and clouds of smoke that surrounded Mount Sinai when God gave the Ten Commandments to the Israelites through Moses.
His presence was evident in the Temple built by Solomon’s workmen when it was dedicated by a great orchestra of cymbals, trumpets, and other instruments accompanying the great choir that sang praises to Almighty God, declaring He is perfect in His Godly ways, that He gives good things to those that love and serve Him, and His faithful love endures eternally. It is God’s love that provided a way of forgiveness to Adam and Eve and their family, His enduring love provided the Ark of Safety for Noah and his family, and His love was seen in the blood that pooled under the cross at Calvary when Jesus, God’s Promised Perfect Sacrifice, gave His sinless human life to pay our enormous sin debt. As Solomon prayed in dedication a great cloud filled the temple and all human life had to leave the edifice because of the over powering presence of God. Now we, as children of the living God, have the very presence of our God in our lives in the person of God the Holy Spirit, the Comforter Jesus promised as He prepared to ascend into the heavenly places.
Our great God and Heavenly Father, we praise you as Solomon did for Your great love, compassion and mercy upon us. We will serve You out of our love, not out of any requirement. May we live to Your greater glory.

To those who have joined MITM in the last month. We are going through the Books of the Bible with a selected verse each day in order to show God’s great plan and how it was presented to humanity over approximately 2,000 years with 40-45 writers, yet one author, God the Holy Spirit; one book with one eternal plan. The plan of God from the curse in Genesis to the coming of Jesus to reign for 1,000 years in Jerusalem.
Manna in the Morning
10-07-15
1 Chronicles
1 Chronicles 29:10-14, Then David praised the Lord in the sight of all the assembly. David said, “May You be praised, Lord God of our father Israel, from eternity to eternity. Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the splendor and the majesty, for everything in the heavens and on earth belongs to You. Yours, Lord, is the kingdom, and You are exalted as head over all. Riches and honor come from You, and You are the ruler of everything. In Your hand are power and might, and it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we give You thanks and praise Your glorious name. “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? For everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your own hand.”
The Books of the Kings are a compilation of the Kings of both Judah and Israel after their division upon the death of Solomon. The Chronicles, written by different authors and showing many of the detailed working of the Kings primarily in Judah, are a treasured supplement to the other historical records.
At the practical end of his rule, and before he got deathly ill, David led a worship assembly praying and praising God, recognizing His eternal being, the Self-existent One, and offering sincere praise before the throne of Heaven. Long before our Redeemer’s birth, the Cross, the early church or the current time, this praise service was led by King David who was called a friend after God’s own heart. Recognizing Jehovah God as the Creator of all that is and understanding the universe is a beautiful creation celebrating the majesty and splendor of our God. The stars show forth His glory, the beautiful sunrise is our Heavenly father’s welcome to us for the day He has made and the spectacular sunset turns our hearts to Him in prayer and adoration.
Our Eternal Heavenly Father, we raise our hearts in praise and honor to You, who created us in the womb and gave us the abilities and talents to use in glorifying You, our God and Savior, in whose name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
10-05-15
1 Kings
1 Kings 2:1-4, As the time approached for David to die, he instructed his son Solomon, “As for me, I am going the way of all of the earth. Be strong and brave, and keep your obligation to the Lord your God to walk in His ways and to keep His statutes, commandments, judgments, and testimonies. This is written in the Law of Moses, so that you will have success in everything you do and wherever you turn.”
As David lay on his death bed, there was a short time of fighting and positioning among the sons of David as to who would be his successor, David had paid little attention to his family had not disciplined his sons or instructed them as he should. The older sons each chose or bribed others to support them in their quest for the throne, David called the Priests and Solomon to his bedside and appointed Solomon as King. David stressed the need for Solomon to keep his obligation to the Lord, walking in God’s ways so God would bless him. As Solomon ascended to the throne, God asked him if he desired wisdom or money. Solomon answered Jehovah God saying he wanted God to bless him with great wisdom. This pleased God and Solomon was given wisdom in governance and dealing with the other kings and tribes that surrounded Israel.
Following the instructions given by God, Solomon built the Temple in Jerusalem 480 years after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, using the wood, gold and other materials that David had accumulated. After the Temple was completed, Solomon had the Tent of Meeting and the Ark of the Covenant brought in with all the consecrated vessels for sacrifice and worship. The dedication of the Temple lasted fifteen days, with prayer, sacrifices, praise and Solomon blessing all those who were there and all of Israel to worship the Lord God, Jehovah.
Solomon, in the latter years of his reign, did not fully follow the dictates of the Lord God and died after a reign of 40 years. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son reigned in Judah, made up of the two tribes Judah and Benjamin along with many of the priests. Jeroboam, who was not a descendent of David, ruled in Israel, the Northern portion of David and Solomon’s kingdom.
After the kingdom was divided God sent Elijah to prophecy in Israel, and never again was the Kingdom complete, nor will it be until Jesus returns to rule the world from David’s throne in Jerusalem. Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask that you. Keep us in Your will and not fall into Satan’s trap as did Solomon. Lead us in Your paths today.

Manna in the Morning
10-02-15
2 Samuel
2 Samuel 22:1-4, “David sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and from Saul. He sang: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.”
2 Samuel is the account of King David, who brought Israel to its pinnacle in Canaan. It was he who made Jerusalem the Capitol of the combined Kingdom, and the city remained the Capitol of Judah when the Northern Kingdom broke away after the reign of Solomon, David’s Son. It has remained the Capitol from David’s time until the present time, whenever there was a nation of Israel, Jerusalem was its Capitol.
David was a warrior, and most of his time as King was spent at war with various tribes and enemies. It was because of this warrior mindset that God gave as the reason for David not being chosen to build a Temple in Jerusalem, although he collected much of the material and money needed to build the Temple during the reign of Solomon. David’s family was fractured by personal ambition, trickery and murder among his children. Solomon, the son of David and Bathsheba after they were married, was the chosen successor. In his last days, David sang the song in this chapter to recognize God as the one who rescued him, not only from his enemies, but from the depths of guilt from his sin. David recognized The Lord as his fortress, his protection from human enemies, but as his Savior, the one who promised that his sin could be forgiven because of his faith in God who promised a perfect sacrifice. Not only was Jehovah God David’s protection in battle, the Savior and Redeemer of his soul, but also the one God who David could praise and know his praise was heard in the heavens.
Just as David knew his God and Savior, we can have the same protection from our spiritual enemies, the sure knowledge He walks with us in every way, but is our Heavenly Father who has birthed us into His family and reconciled us to Himself. Our Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask for You to work through us today in the power of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. Just as David, we praise, thank and love you with all our hearts,

Manna in the Morning
10-01-15
1 Samuel
1 Samuel 15:22-23, “Then Samuel said: Does the Lord take pleasure in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? Look: to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay attention is better than the fat of rams. For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and defiance is like wickedness and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has rejected you as king.”
! Samuel is a book about the lives of Samuel, the High Priest of Israel, Saul, the first King of Israel and David, the great King of Israel. Samuel was upset with the Israelites because they desired a King to be like other nations, while Samuel was their Judge and national leader. God reminded Samuel that it was not he that was rejected, but God Himself had been rejected by the Israelites.
Samuel had told Saul to war against the Amalekites, when they won the battle, they were to kill all the animals and the King along with his family because of their grievous sin. Saul disobeyed God’s command keeping King Agag and his family alive along with the best of the flocks and cattle. When Samuel asked why Saul replied, “I obeyed the Lord, I kept the animals to sacrifice to the Lord your God. Saul did not love nor honor the Lord God, because he really did not believe in Him and obey with his whole heart. Because of his sin, Saul forfeited his Kingdom, learning the lesson, to obey God’s word is far better than to sacrifice and ask forgiveness for one’s sin. Paying attention to the precepts of God’s Word is better than the tainted worship we may offer instead of obedience. Rebellion against God is equal to following Satan’s advice and example, and to defy God’s Word is idolatry because we then show that we love ourselves more than we love God.
All that Saul did in his reign from ignoring God’s Word through Samuel, to attempting repeatedly to kill David, thwarting God’s plan. Today we have the full Word of our God, see how evil deeds can and will return to cause grief and heartache. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we desire to love you and desire to live a live pleasing to You. We ask for strength and wisdom as we follow your precepts, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
09-30-15
Ruth
Ruth 4:13, “Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he was intimate with her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son.”
This book contains one of the two books of our Scriptures that has women as the central character. The book revolves around an Israelite couple, and the only book where the woman is a non-Israelite who marries an Israelite. During a severe famine in Israel, a man named Elimelech migrated to Moab with his wife, Naomi, and their two sons. The sons grew, marrying two Moabite women. When the three men died, Naomi determined she would return to her native village in Judah, Bethlehem, ending her days there. Naomi’s son, Mahlon left a childless widow Ruth who had come to love Naomi and the God of Israel. When Naomi announced her decision to return to Bethlehem, Ruth decided to return with her, saying, “Wherever you go, I will go, your people shall be my people, and your God, my God”
When they returned to Bethlehem, they were accepted into the community where Ruth accompanied the harvesters of a landowner named Boaz, who was a relative of Naomi. Boaz issued orders to his harvesters that they should leave grain for Ruth to glean and protect her during the time she was in the fields. Eventually Boaz exercised his right as ‘kinsman redeemer,’ an ordinance in Israel to protect the land given to families in the tribal allotments, by marrying Ruth and paying any debts against the land. After time elapsed, Ruth and Boaz had a son, whom they named Obed. Obed grew and fathered Jesse, who fathered the great King of Israel, David.
As God continues to give information about His plan to provide the perfect sacrifice, this account shows that while Israel is the people-group through whom the Messiah would come, salvation is open to other people and nations if they open their heart to our Lord God and desire to follow Him, just as Ruth did because of the faith of Naomi and Elimelech. There are other women and men of non-Israelite tribes in the scriptures, but Ruth is unique in that this book is totally devoted to her life and position as the grandmother of King David in the village of Bethlehem later announced by Micah as the birthplace of the coming Messiah, the Perfect Promised Sacrifice.
In the same way, God prepared the way for you and me to receive the message of salvation and placed people and the message in a manner we could understand and accept. We now are the way the message will be opened to others as we live our daily lives for His greater glory.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we see and fulfill our responsibilities to You this day, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
09-29-15
Whatever He Wanted
Judges 21:25, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
During the time between Joshua’s death and the Monarchy beginning with Saul, the Israelites were loosely ruled and led by fourteen judges, some who brought peace to the land and others whose rule led to judgement and slavery. The people of Israel went through what we might call ‘The Dark Ages of God’s Grace,’ several cycles where they sinned, bringing judgement upon the people; slavery by the neighboring people-groups that led to a revival and return to faith and obedience to the Lord God Jehovah; heart-felt prayer for deliverance on the part of the Israelite people; which in turn led to the restoration by God to a time of peace, relative prosperity and dedication to their Lord God.
Many accounts of brave, Godly men leading the people to freedom are seen in the Book of Judges; Gideon the man who went to war using only trumpets, torches hidden in clay pots, winning the battle and supplying the army of Israel with weapons to win their freedom and Deborah the lady General who won her battles, others like Samson who in their weakness and sin, allowed himself and the Israelites to be enslaved. All of this occurred because instead of a lack of spiritual leadership among the people after Samuel’s death when every man in Israel did as he wanted, disregarding God’s precepts and the commandments given through Moses generations before.
Each of us who know the Lord God as our Heavenly Father go through these same cycles. Initially, upon our being reborn into the Family of God are excited, fully following His precepts, but slowly the fire dies and we fall into a period when our spiritual fire is low, and we fare susceptible to the temptations of our enemy, sinning we fall into a time when we need to be revitalized and reconciled to God because of our repentance and plea for forgiveness. We, however, have a wonderful resource that was not available to the ancients. We have the indwelling of God the Holy Spirit who will give us the power, strength and ability to resist every temptation of Satan if we just call upon Him. Every Christian has to understand we are not capable of winning against our enemy on our own, we desperately need God’s abiding strength within us.
Our Heavenly Father, we ask for the faith and trust to rely on Your power within us instead of trying to go it alone. We ask this in Jesus’ powerful name.

Manna in the Morning
09-28-15
Joshua
Joshua 1:7-9, “Above all, be strong and very courageous to carefully observe the whole instruction My servant Moses commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right or the left, so that you will have success wherever you go. This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night, so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do. Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 5:14, “Neither,” He replied. “I have now come as commander of the LORD’S army.”
After Moses was shown the entire land of Canaan by Jehovah God, he died and his body buried by God somewhere near Mt Nebo, because God said the Israelites would be inclined to worship him. Joshua, God’s appointed leader had a long standing relationship with God, having spent many hours in the Tent of Meeting in prayer before Moses turned over the responsibility of leading the Israelites to Him. God met with Joshua and gave him a commission to be strong and carefully lead the Israelites in the whole law and instruction of God so that He would bless Him. This is an encouragement to us as we have been born anew into God’s family and seek to serve Him in the land of His Promises, that is we will know His favor, love, gifts of mercy and live in the light of His presence until we are called into Heaven to be with Him just as He has promised us. For us to spiritually prosper and succeed in our labors for Him, we are to fully follow the instructions in His Word while we live on this earth.
As Joshua was walking one night before the siege against Jericho, he met an armed warrior and challenged him desiring to know if he was for or against Joshua and his army. The answer was that the Angel of the Lord came as the commander of the Lord’s army. Recognizing the Warrior as God the son, Joshua fell down and worshipped him. The message for us is simple, we are to follow our Commander-in-Chief, our Lord Jesus in the power and strength of God the Holy Spirit, to guide and protect us as we battle the devil and his army in our daily lives.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, as we live in the land of your promises to us, we thank You for the power of God the Holy Spirit on and in our lives.

Manna in the Morning
09-25-15
Second Reading of the Law
Deuteronomy 6:5-7, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”
As the Israelites finished their 40 years wandering in the wilderness, Moses gathered them together and restated God’s laws to them. He told their conquering of the land promised to their ancestor, Abraham, depended upon their adherence to God’s Laws and precepts they had just heard for the second time. Thus the name of this book, “Second Reading of the Law.” The message given to them is equally important for us to follow today.
First, we are to love our Lord God and Heavenly Father with all our heart, soul and strength. We love Him out of grateful hearts, a redeemed soul and we desire to serve Him with all our strength. We are to avoid the failure of the Church at Ephesus who abandoned the love they had at first for their God, His Word, and His service.
Next, read and memorize God’s Word, David said in the Psalms, “Your Word oh Lord, I have placed in my heart so I will not sin against You.” With multiple translations and paraphrases available to us, we can read the Scriptures on our phones, tablets, computers at any time, but God wants us to memorize His Word so the message is implanted in our minds and hearts; then we have the powerful weapon which will always defeat our enemy.
Third, we are to teach our families both by reading the Word and talking about it, but also by living it in our daily activities. Amos made up his mind to read, study, live then teach God’s Word, we are to be willing to do the same thing. Parents who depend upon the Church programs are missing a great blessing in the spiritual training of their children.
Last, we are to keep God’s Word uppermost in our minds wherever we are and whatever we do. Our gracious Heavenly Father, help us to use every opportunity to take an active part in the spiritual education and training of our children and grandchildren this weekend and the rest of our days. We ask you to give us guidance in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
03-24-15
Look and Live
Numbers 21:7-9, “The people then came to Moses and said, “We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede with the Lord so that He will take the snakes away from us.” And Moses interceded for the people. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Make a snake image and mount it on a pole. When anyone who is bitten looks at it, he will recover. So Moses made a bronze snake and mounted it on a pole. Whenever someone was bitten, and he looked at the bronze snake, he recovered.”
This book is named for the census of the Israelite people and the theme of the book is that when God’s people disobey His precepts and cease to believe in His promises, the result is their failure to enter into the place God has prepared for them. The word ‘remember’ is repeated over and over as Moses reminded them often of God’s precepts and Laws and their complaining and disobedience. God sent poisonous snakes into their midst and those that were bitten died from the poison. This brought a recognition among the people of their sin in complaining against the Lord God, imploring Moses to intercede before God on their behalf. The prayer was answered, Moses was told to make a replica of the snake, place it upon crossed poles in the camp and whoever looked up at the cross was immediately healed and his life spared. The Israelites were to remember this throughout their history and it is a vivid fore telling of the saving work of Jesus upon Calvary’s cross and the defeat of the serpent, Satan’s defeat.
In our Christian lives, we are to remember the message of this Book, because if we fail to obey God’s precepts, the joy of salvation will not be evident in our lives, nor will the abundance of our Heavenly Father’s blessings be found in our lives. The solution is simple, look to the cross where the soul is healed of the serpent’s bite through Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and we rejoice because of His righteousness and our reconciliation.
Our God and Father, help us keep our eyes fixed on the empty cross and tomb that will always prove Your great gift of love, our salvation. We ask this in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning

09-23-15

Leviticus 27:34

34 These are the commands the Lord gave Moses for the Israelites on Mount Sinai.
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

Manna in the Morning
09-22-15
Deliverance
Exodus 14:16, “As for you, lift up your staff, stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.
Genesis ends and Exodus begins 400 years later with the Israelite people in severe bondage in Egypt. Faced with severe punishment, the decree to kill all boys delivered at birth, Moses is sent by God to deliver Israel out of their bondage. After plagues, warnings, and the death angel taking the lives of all firstborn in Egypt, both animals and mankind, Pharaoh tells Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt, and soon after they leave, changes his mind and sends the Army after them. God directs Moses to lead the people to the banks of the Red Sea, confounds the Egyptians with fog while the Israelites cross the red sea on dry land, successfully escaping Pharaoh’s Army who chase them on the path through the sea when the winds cover the land and destroy the Egyptian Army.
Today the Israelites celebrate, not the crossing of the sea, but the angel of death passing over every Israelite home while striking the eldest of the Egyptian families. Their deliverance came, not because they ran hard across the land bridge God provided, but because of their obedience of Jehovah God’s command to sacrifice a lamb and the sprinkled blood, looking forward to the time God would indeed send the Promised Perfect Sacrifice in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Today we live on the other side of the cross where Jesus, God the Father’s Promised Perfect Sacrifice gave His perfect, sinless human life and the blood sprinkled down the cross to the ground providing for our Redemption. We who are born anew, were in slavery just as harsh, cruel and overpowering as the ancient Israelites. We once were under the domination of Satan and mired in the filthy mire of sin. Just as God’s plan was to deliver the Israelite people, His plan of redemption delivered us, reconciling us to Himself, and promising life eternal when we are delivered from this earthly life.
The ancient delivery from slavery was for the whole people-group, but our delivery from sin’s bondage is unique and individual. Every person who comes to salvation is saved individually, and it is our responsibility to be a “Moses” to bring the wonderful news of Redemption to others who need to come to Christ Jesus in repentance and faith in His shed blood that paid the price to set us free from sin, death and a horrible eternity in the lake of fire prepared for the devil and his angels. Our Heavenly Father, we thank and praise you for our deliverance in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
09-21-15
The Curse of Sin
Genesis 3:15, “I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
Over the next two months MITM will be centered on a verse from each of the 66 books of our Bible. In this endeavor we will attempt to show the continuity of the plan of our sovereign God, the inspiration of each of the 45 or so writers over nearly 2000 years. Clearly God’s Written Word is a wonderful gift to us from our loving God. After the creation of the physical universe, God saw that it was good. Then in a separate, specific manner, our Creator God formed mankind out of the dust of the ground and breathed into Adam and Eve the breath of eternal life. For how long we do not know, Adam and Eve lived in this paradise of Eden without sin and in full fellowship and communion with their God. Satan in the form of a beautiful serpent convinced Eve and then Adam that there was something more to be known, that they could be like God and know good and evil. This was true, they only knew good, evil was not been found in Eden until they broke the one law that God had given them. They ate the fruit of the forbidden tree and immediately they knew evil, losing their innocence.
God then gave Adam instructions for sacrifice, clothed Adam and Eve with the animal skins and removed them from the Garden, placing an angel with a flaming sword to keep them from ever entering Eden again. God cursed the surface of the earth, causing all men to labor to feed their families with produce from the earth that now was cursed with weeds and all manner of pests, making and mankind’s work grow ever more difficult as the curse deepened with every sinful act of all men and women. Evil thoughts and rebellion against God grew until God chose Noah, a righteous man, and commanded him to build an ark of safety. At the appointed time God sent the flood to remove all sinful humanity from the earth, but after the ark landed, it took very little time before Satan had corrupted mankind once again.
Genesis is the beginning of life, of man’s rebellion against God, and the institution of the plan God placed in motion to present the world with the Promised Perfect Sacrifice, Jesus, to pay our sin debt and give us eternal life. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your grace, mercy and provision of the perfect sacrifice to redeem us to Yourself. In Jesus’ saving name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
09-18-15
Patience
Lamentations 3:25-26, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord.”
Jeremiah, the writer of Lamentations, is called the weeping prophet. He prophesied to the people of Jerusalem just before the Babylonian invasion and gave them God’s message of the coming 70 years of Judah’s captivity to Babylon and Persia. His message was so distasteful to the King and people of Jerusalem they placed Jeremiah in a dungeon where he was nearly submerged in water. Of all the prophets to the Israelites, Jeremiah had to be among the most patient to see God release the people from bondage, and for his freedom. In our culture today we are used to gratification in the short term. Radio and TV ads promise the dealers will find a way to get you that new car, even though you can barely make the payments. Whatever a person wants, he or she can find it quickly and satisfy their desires. We even carry that desire for instant gratification into our prayer life, making many of our prayers simply lists of what we want or desire.
Our prayer should follow a Biblical pattern; first, confession of our sin. None of us live a sinless life, our thoughts and attitudes are often in conflict with scriptural precepts and we need to ask our Heavenly Father for forgiveness and reconciliation. Next we should spend time in adoration and understanding who and how wonderfully complete our God is. Recognizing how blessed we are to be able to commune with Him in prayer. Third we should thank our Father for His blessings poured out upon us. How grateful we are for not only our salvation but for the blessings and mercies poured out into our lives on a daily basis. Finally we must thank God for the blessed privilege of sharing our concerns and needs for our daily lives. We promise to pray for others and need to exercise our priestly function of intercessory prayer.
Always we ask God for His blessings and to guide our steps, thoughts, desires and needs subject to His will and perfect plan so that we can bring Him greater glory. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the joy of coming to you in prayer and ask that we be grateful for the opportunity to patiently live according to Your perfect plan so that we might bring You the greater glory, in Jesus name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
09-17-15
Earthquakes
Revelation 16:17-18, “Then the seventh poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the sanctuary, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” There were lightnings, rumblings, and thunders. And a severe earthquake occurred like no other since man has been on the earth—so great was the quake.”
On January 26, 1700, the largest earthquake in North America occurred in the Cascadia subduction zone. The earthquake this week off the coast of Chili registered 9.8 on the Richter Scale of 1-10. If this were to happen today, chances are the entire country would suffer major consequences.
Near the end of the purification period in Revelation there will be an earthquake that will be a perfect 10+ on the scale because Scripture says it will be the most sever since man has been on the earth, including when the continents divided. At the same time, a voice sounded out of the throne in Heaven, saying the exact word Jesus spoke triumphantly from the cross. “It is complete!” As Jesus spoke, our sins were forgiven because of His Promised, Perfect Sacrifice. We are now new creations, created in Jesus’ righteousness. In the Revelation earthquake, the voice spoke saying the curse of sin has now been removed from the surface of the earth and the King of Kings and Lord of Lords will descend from His heavenly throne ruling and reigning from David’s throne in Jerusalem. As we see the surface of the earth convulse, storms, earthquakes, floods, massive fires and other disasters happen on a regular basis. Weather anomalies and long dormant volcanos erupting bring us to understand that the time Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24 and Luke 17 is on our horizon, emphasizing our time on this planet is short.
Our Heavenly Father, in Jesus name we ask Your guidance today as we serve You in anticipation of joining our coming King.

Manna in the Morning
09-16-13
Almost persuaded
Acts 26:28, Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Are you going to persuade me to become a Christian so easily?
There is an old hymn with the name, ‘Almost Persuaded” where the first verse reads, “Almost persuaded” now to believe; “Almost persuaded” Christ to receive; Seems now some soul to say, “Go, Spirit, go Thy way, Some more convenient day On Thee I’ll call.” The second verse implores the lost soul to make the decision to call upon Jesus for salvation while the invitation is still ringing in the person’s heart and the last verse has a somewhat plaintive tone in it, “Almost persuaded,” harvest is past! “Almost persuaded,” doom comes at last! “Almost” cannot avail; “Almost” is but to fail! Sad, sad, that bitter wail—“Almost,” but lost!
Everyone of us who loves our Lord has had the experience of praying, looking at Bible references and encouraging someone to make that call upon Jesus as their Redeemer and knowing the joy of being born anew into the Kingdom of our Heavenly Father. At the end of the conversation they say, as Agrippa did to Paul, “Not now, maybe some other time.” If we could only convey somehow, the terrible consequences of not choosing to accept Jesus’ offer of salvation; the doom, the lost soul being condemned to an eternity in the Lake of Fire that has been created to be the final, eternal punishment for the devil, his angels and those who reject the offer of salvation. How foolish to understand the message, to fully understand the condemnation of eternal, conscious state of knowing you could be in the heavenlies, yet chose to follow the seemingly pleasant path of earthly delights instead of the glories of the heavenly places..
Perhaps you are one of those individuals who never has made that eternal commitment to become a Christian, accepting God’s offer to dwell with Him in the place He has prepared for those that love Him. Answer the prayer of those who have been and are praying for you, who love you, wanting to see you experience the joy of being born anew into God’s eternal family. Then join a fellowship of Believers in worship, studying God’s Word and growing in your new-found faith in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Heavenly Father, I pray that all of us will see the need to share the joy of God’s Salvation, growing in our love for You and sharing the peace and grace You pour out on us daily. If you do not know Christ Jesus as the Forgiver of your sins and the Leader of your life, I pray this will the day you say yes to His call. In Jesus’ name we pray

Manna in the Morning
09-15-15
Confidence
2 Corinthians 7:16, “I rejoice that I have complete confidence in you.”
According to Scripture, confidence is to exercise courage, to be bold, have the ability to be confident in all things. Our confidence is in the Lord God Almighty who has birthed us into His family, so we may have the blessings of His mercy and grace.
God’s Word encourages and assures us in 1 John 5:14, ‘Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.’ When we pray for others, for health and spiritual strength, everything we ask that will bring our God glory and is not for our earthly desires, we have the utmost confidence that He will provide for all our needs and give us the right words at the right time in our witness to others. God has encouraged us often in Scripture to call upon Him, to live in the expectation and courage only He can provide. We are not like the non-believers who put their faith in anything other than our Heavenly Father, because He will only hear the prayer of repentance from one who does not know Him as Lord and Savior. In fact Job wisely says that the unbeliever’s confidence is like trusting in the strength of a spider’s web.
Our Heavenly Father has all confidence in us, trusting us to share His message to others in the words He places in our mouths, Confidence that we will walk close to Him, not following the allurements of our Enemy, and keeping our minds clear and focused upon Him. Our Lord has confidence in the gifts He has given us, and that we will use those gifts appropriately in His service. When we use the weapons of prayer and His Word in our spiritual battles, we are confident we will win the battle, and our God has all confidence in our ability.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, our confidence is in You, and we pray for the steadfastness in our lives to be worthy of Your trust. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
09-14-15
Serving
Mark 10:45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life—a ransom for many.”
When Jesus, the son of Mary was born into this earth he became all man, while at the same time, remaining totally God the Son. As he lay in infancy, He was worshipped and served by angels, shepherds, the Magi and Simeon along with Anna in the Temple. As He grew into manhood we have little recorded information of His growth, but recognize He lived a perfect life among the people of Nazareth, having been protected in Egypt, then brought back by the leading of God the Holy Spirit in Mary and Joseph’s lives.
In His brief years of ministry, many gave Jesus homage and served Him, recognizing Him as the Messiah, God’s promised perfect sacrifice. Even as Jesus accepted these acts of worship, He proclaimed both in the Gospel’s of Matthew and Mark that He did not come to this earth to be served, but recognizing the need to provide salvation for all mankind, He came to serve others. His life was a life of healing the blind, lame and troubled, to bring salvation to those in desperate need, and when the time was right to give His perfect, sinless life on Calvary to pay the penalty for the sin of all who followed Adam, who were born in sin and were enslaved by the wicked one, our arch-enemy, Satan. Assured this was the Father’s will, He willingly gave His life for you and me.
Now that we love Him it is our great privilege and honor to serve Him in gratitude, love and thanksgiving by showing others the path to Salvation. As we live our lives to His glory, be mindful that our Heavenly Father has divinely appointed us as His personal Ambassadors or representatives to this world, and we seek to love serve, obey and bless Him in all we do. We are to follow the example of the Apostle Paul who declared his desire to be with our Lord in glory, but as God allows he would serve on earth to bring God greater Glory.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask that you use us today in ways that will bring You great glory, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
09-11-15
Changing God’s Plan
2 Kings 20:5-6, “Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of My people, This is what the Lord God of your ancestor David says: I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Look, I will heal you. On the third day from now you will go up to the Lord’s temple. I will add 15 years to your life.”
Many times we go to our Lord in prayer and ask for healing, anticipating that we will use the time added to our lives for His glory. Hezekiah was a good king in Judah, he turned people back to their Lord God and followed God’s laws in many ways. As he lay on his deathbed, he called for the Prophet Isaiah to come to him. Isaiah told Hezekiah he would die from his illness and another would take his place as king. Hezekiah turned to the Lord god on his bed, wept and pleaded with God to extend his life. God directed Isaiah to return to Hezekiah and tell the King he would be given an added fifteen years of life, and would worship in the Temple.
God, in His foreknowledge, allowed Hezekiah the added time, but in that time frame, Hezekiah fathered the son who would be King at his death. That King, Manasseh, became one of the worst, ungodly kings in Judah’s history, in addition, Hezekiah bragged about the golden vessels in the Temple, showing them to representatives of Babylon’s Emperor, Nebuchadnezzar. During the Babylonian siege and destruction of Jerusalem, all these golden vessels were taken to Babylon and placed in the storehouse of Babylon’s idolatrous temple. Hezekiah’s plea has been called, ‘Hezekiah’s folly.’
When we pray, we need to understand and ask that the answer we receive will be for our God’s greater glory. All of us have been given duties and responsibilities by our Heavenly Father to fulfill in the days we live on this earth and He will not allow us to be taken to His side without fulfilling those responsibilities. Our goal as His ambassadors to this earth is to do everything to His greater glory. This does not mean we cannot move mountains or are restricted in any way. It simply means we are willing servants to do what we are asked to do for our Omnipotent God’s greater glory as He works through us. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask that our actions this day will bring You great glory.

Manna in the Morning
09-10-15
Our God’s Grace
Hebrews 12:28, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe.”
As the author of Hebrews closes out his letter, he gives us a glimpse of the coming kingdom of which we are already a part. This Kingdom will never be shaken, it stands firm in the heavens, secure, immutable because of its Heavenly origin and the Divine King Jesus who will soon rule the world seated on King David’s Throne in the city of Jerusalem. We have received our place in the Family of the Heavenly Father by God’s grace, it is by His grace we serve Him, and it is His grace that keeps us secure in Him. So long as we hold on to that grace, given to us so freely and bountifully we cannot be shaken, even though the fierce forces of Satan are arrayed against us.
Our acceptable service to our God is to be given in reverence and awe, to be reverent is to worship and respect our great God. When God came down on Mount Sinai, the people were in fear and reverence, they could not approach the mountain, requested Moses be their representative as he received the Ten Commandments, and shook with fear at the emanations from the Mount. Biblical history reveals that as time went on, men and women began to lose their fear, then their attitude of reverence began to erode until they totally lost their fear of God, worshipped idols and fear of Jehovah disappeared. Today, even among the believers in our Churches, men and women no longer think it is necessary to revere God in worship, God’s Word is no longer respected and the flippant use of His Holy Name is common. As a result, there is little reverence among God’s children. We have somehow lost the concept that God hates sin whenever and wherever it is found. As much as he loves us as sinners who have come to Him for repentance, He cannot abide the sin in our lives, hating its presence in the lives of His Children.
It is important for every child of our Heavenly Father, who having been born again into His family, to recover their sense of awe in the works and Word of our God, a reverence for His holy person and name, asking forgiveness of sin and living in a manner that glorifies Him. Our gracious Heavenly Father, forgive us for our lack of reverence of You in our daily lives and give us a renewed sense of awe in whom and what You are. Cleanse us in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
09-09-15
Gift of the Holy Spirit
Acts 2:38-39, “Repent,” Peter said to them, “and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus the Messiah for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
There are times when we who love our Lord God forget the ever-present God the Holy Spirit in our lives is one of The Father’s greatest gift to we who are His children. There is no other qualification or additional work of God’s grace necessary, His presence is eternal in our lives from the instant of our plea for forgiveness, accepting God’s gift of forgiveness and our new birth into the family of God. Any and every blessing or good thing that comes into our lives is a gift of our Heavenly Father, there is nothing we can or cannot do to deserve that salvation. There is no one who cannot be saved, regardless of the grievous extent of their sin, all who come to Him in repentance will be saved, whether old or young. Gentile or Jew, rich or poor. God’s Word clearly states that it is the desire of God for all to come to repentance, but each individual that walks upon the earth must come to Him freely and accept God’s gift of mercy. God’s written Word, our Bible, is a wondrous gift of God, it gives us comfort, instruction in righteous living, an outline of God’s perfect plan for the ages and of His gift of the Promised Perfect Sacrifice, our Redeemer.
Everything we do that is good is because it originates with God. We, in our own strength are incapable of doing anything of value in God’s eyes. All that we have is from God, every breath we take is a gift, and we owe everything to Him for His great love, mercy and grace on our behalf. Life without our Heavenly Father would be dreary, drab and worthless; in Him we are the most blessed of people.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we adore You, praise and thank You for Your goodness, blessings and faithfulness to us. Give us the ability to share these blessings with others today we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the morning
09-08-15
Gentleness
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
In the Beatitudes Jesus spoke of gentleness, “Blessed are the gentle, because they will inherit the earth, gentleness or meekness is described as ‘power under control.’ One of the examples of gentleness or meekness is to think of the Medieval Knights who, wearing up to 300 pounds of armor, would sit astride a huge war-horse or steed. This animal was superbly disciplined and trained to follow every command of its rider. He did not panic, rear or turn and run, standing his ground so the knight had a stable platform from which to wield his weapons, lance mace or broad sword. Dismounted, the knight was all but helpless.
We, as soldiers of our Lord and King must remember we are engaged in spiritual warfare every day of our lives. We are empowered by God the Holy Spirit and should we lose or neglect His presence in our lives we are helpless, falling prey to the spiritual assault of our enemy, the devil. God has given us powerful weapons to utilize in this battle, we have the power of prayer; our God is waiting for us to call upon His name for guidance, empowerment and finding favor in the eyes of those we are endeavoring to win to Him. We have the power of His Living Word which He will use to defeat all of His enemies just before He ascends the throne as King of Kings and Lord of Lords over all the earth.
Our loving God has also given each one of us, His children, these gifts of God the Holy Spirit, but it is our responsible to keep them sharp, clean and pure and ready for our using them in His name and power, not for our personal glory, but for His greater glory as the Forgiver of our sins and the Leader of our lives. Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we be responsive to your every command, bringing You glory in our lives.

Manna in the Morning
09-07-15
Faith
Gal 5:22-23, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.”
God’s Word says, “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it our ancestors were approved.” Hebrews 11:1 In his letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul says the very faith by which we believe is a gift of God. It is by faith that the Israelites were led by God out of Egypt and it is Abraham’s faith in the promises of God, that there were any descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. David conquered Goliath by faith, the disciples followed Jesus in faith and you and I are saved by faith in the Promise of Almighty God that He would send a promised perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sins. Abraham, David and all the Old Testament believers in Jehovah God made their sacrifices in faith before God; you and I are also believers in the perfect life given on Calvary for our sin, freeing us from sin’s grip. Faith is what we exhibit when we get out of bed in the morning, knowing God will direct our day, faith is the last thing we think of when we fall asleep at night, knowing God will care for and protect us. Faith is why we go before our Heavenly Father, praying for others who need physical and spiritual healing, guidance or protection from harm. Faith is the belief in the promise that sometime soon we will enjoy the glories of Heaven in the presence of our Savior, Jesus.
Faith is a noun, naming the evidence of things God has promised but we have not yet seen or experienced, belief is the accompanying verb. May each of us have the faith of the man who brought his son to Jesus to be healed. When Jesus asked the father if he believed Jesus could heal the little boy, he replied in tears, “Yes Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Hearing that honest reply, Jesus immediately healed the boy, casting out the evil spirit that had indwelt him. Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask you to strengthen our faith, casting out our unbelief.
Manna in the Morning
09-04-15
Kindness and Goodness
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Kindness is a characteristic that denotes moral excellence in his or her treatment of others, of being useful to others. To be sympathetic and understanding of the needs others. As a Christian, we are to work together with others, to be a good friend to others, to show the sympathy and considerate of others to whom we show the love of Jesus Christ. Wherever Jesus went across Judea, Galilee and Samaria, He was alert to the cries for help of those along the path who were crippled, lame or blind and needed a healing touch from our Savior. He never asked why they were lame or crippled, He asked the man at the healing pool, “Do you want to be healed?” Jesus sought out those who needed his touch and was known as a friend to all including sinners.
As we go through our life on this earth we are to emulate Jesus in our daily contacts, anxious to help those in need, to give a kind word to someone who needs a bit of encouragement or even sharing the sorrows of those who need a person to care and pray for, and with, them. Even at times when we are weary, we are to realize that God’s ultimate goal for our lives is to be conformed to the image of Jesus. Jesus spent His life doing good things, we are to do good things also. There is, however no saving grace in doing good things; we do them out of gratefulness in what our loving Savior has done for us.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we desire to live this day always choosing the path Jesus would have chosen, doing the right thing at the right time and showing the kindness to others that Jesus showed to those who needed His touch and encouragement. Guide us this day in the path that will conform us to the image of Jesus in whose name we pray.
Manna in the Morning
09-03-15
Patience
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
“Patience is a virtue, desired by many, yet possessed by few,” is also found in this form, “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, seldom found in woman, never found in man.” Patience is difficult for the non-believer in Jesus to exhibit, since the ungodly are aggressive, possessive and always desiring more goods and money. The term used in Scripture means something a little different. It carries the idea of objective forbearance or subjective fortitude, based on an archaic word of English derivation, ‘longanimity,’ meaning patient endurance of hardship, injuries, or offense; or forbearance.
These qualities are not easily found unless an individual has great faith in our loving God and Father. The Apostle Paul was willing to endure hardship, prison, shipwreck, ridicule or many other abuses by others in order to be an example of one who is faithful to his God and willing to suffer abuse in order to win an audience to present the gospel message. Another wise man has said the greater part of faith is patience. Abraham became impatient when his barren wife could not conceive, yet he knew God had promised him an heir, so he decided to give God some assistance, which had consequences both then, and lasting right down to today. True faith gives an individual the ability to wait on the Lord to fulfill His will and purpose in His own perfect timing for His greater glory.
God has promised us His Word, once proclaimed, will never return without bearing fruit in some measure. Just as the farmer sows the seeds in the spring, praying for rain, sunshine, protection from blight, insects and other pests, waiting stoically, trusting God to bring the stalks of wheat and corn to full maturity and harvest. Putting the sown seed of God’s Word in His capable hands, trusting Him for the outcome and believing in His promises is exactly the gift that God has placed in our hearts. Lord God, our Heavenly Father, Give us the active gift of patience or fortitude to trust You in every way, letting our desires be subject to Your will. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Manna in the Morning
09-02-15
Peace
Galatians 5:22-23, “The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
On November 11 at 11 minutes after 11 AM local time in 1918, a peace treaty was signed between the adversaries of World War 1, the United States and its allies and the monarchy of Germany, ending the war that was fought to end all wars and bring lasting peace between the nations on the earth. That cessation of war lasted in Europe for all of twenty years until Adolph Hitler, dictator of Germany began to acquire territory in Europe to build his strength leading to WWII with the US entering into war against Japan in Asia and in Europe against Germany. For the US, after WW!! Cessation, came Korea, Vietnam, continuing in an arms race against Communist Russia and today against the jihadists who wish to establish a world-wide caliphate or Islamic rule across the world. The ambitions and intentions of humanity, no matter how well intentioned will never bring peace of any sort into this sinful world.
Every Believer in Christ Jesus is also involved in spiritual warfare on many levels. God has given us the necessary armament for this spiritual battle and the offensive weapons to vanquish our enemy, Satan. With civil strife in our nation, conflict with the Jihadists, spiritual battles on a daily basis, how can God promise us peace?
In the Old Testament God promised the Israelites could find a sense of completeness, soundness and well-being if they followed His Law and precepts, looking for the day the Promised Perfect Sacrifice would come fulfilling the promise made to their forefather Abraham. In the New Testament peace refers to our inward tranquility and assurance of the Child of God whose trust and confidence is in their Lord God. Jesus promised a feeling of certainty, trust and quietude of mind soul and body. This a spiritual blessing, a gift as a result of our faith in Christ Jesus for our eternal life in Him.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You in Jesus’ name for the gift of peace. Regardless of the winds that may swirl around us, You are our Rock of peaceful Refuge in which we place our faith.

Manna in the Morning
09-01-15
Joy
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
It is somewhat difficult to fully describe ‘joy,’ it is a noun signifying elation, a sense of well-being and ecstasy in our relation with our great God and Father. Our relationship with our Triune God is one that is permanent, never changing and will only increase when we enter the Heavenly places and are in the presence of our Savior, God the Son, Jesus. And, as if that were not enough we have the ever present abiding of God the Holy Spirit in our lives to encourage us and be our everlasting comforter.
Happiness is an adjective that really applies to the pleasant events and things that occur while we are here on this earth, and can truly be called blessings in our life from our Heavenly Father who constantly supplies us with good things. Scripture tells us that God takes joy in our lives when we bring Him glory, and that we have the joy of the Lord which is our salvation. When the curse of sin is finally removed from the surface of the earth, all creation will shout with joy in the sinless perfection of the new heaven and new earth.
We share in the joy of the Lord when we are used by Him to share the witness of salvation and through God the Holy Spirit that soul is born anew into the Family of God. As a child of the King we can live each day in the joy of our Lord and give Him great glory.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for the joy You have put in our lives. May we live each day in full, joyous communion with You and bring glory to Your name. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
08-31-15
Fruit of the Spirit
Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Over the next week or so we will look at the fruit that God the Holy Spirit cultivates in our lives when we become a disciple of Christ Jesus. Our Heavenly Father gives us many gifts and when we understand the work of the Triune God, we understand the great love God has for us in giving us many gifts to be used to His glory as we begin to comprehend we are His servants, literally slaves because of love, and we are to make it our priority to use the gifts He gives us to His greater glory. The first mentioned in this list in Galatians is love.
Before we met our Redeemer we thought of love as an earthly attraction for another person, boys in High School follow that certain girl down the hall about a step behind, anxious to let her know they will do everything for her, from carrying books to buying her lunch. We sense that attraction all of our earthly days, and that physical earthly love is a gift of God if we follow His directives outlined in His Word.
The love we know and recognize as love from our God is the love that drew us up out of the filth and mire, because while we were the most unlovable sinners, in His great love Jesus gave His human life to be our perfect sacrifice at Calvary and paid the debt of sin that kept us in Satan’s bondage. It is this love that we need to understand must flow from our lives to the people we meet, work with, live with and who look at us and must see the love of Christ Jesus flow from out of our heart to show Jesus’ love for them so they too may know the abounding love of God the Father toward them.
It is this Love we have as a gift of our Heavenly Father that must be seen in every person we meet, making our earthly love for others that much richer, because it is founded in our God and we have made it our own. Our Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for Your love toward us, and ask that You will love through us this day.

Manna in the Morning
08-28-15
Worship
Exodus 23:25, “Worship the Lord your God, and He will bless your bread and your water. I will take away your illnesses.”
I never connected eating my meals with worship, but this verse clearly declares that we should not only ask God’s blessing upon our meals, but consider the blessing of eating what He has provided for us and to be grateful is indeed, an act of worship. Whether we have a sumptuous feast set before us or a simple piece of bread and pure, clean water, we are to consider it the answer to our need and be just as grateful for the bread as for the steak. God has promised that he will bless our food for the nourishment our bodies need and our bones will flourish. God promises that when we turn toward Him our hearts shall rejoice, and our bones shall flourish like an herb: Isa 66:14, and in Proverbs 3:8, “We will have healing for our bodies and strength for our bones.” Instead of considering our food simply as fuel for our bodies, consider it as the great blessing of God and to partake as an act of worship
This passage also tells us that when we bless God and ask Him to bless our food, He will take away our diseases. While bread and water is certainly a minimal meal, it is important for us to care for our bodies because we are the Temple of our living God, in the person of God the Holy Spirit. Being careful what we eat, thanking God for every morsel and recognizing our Heavenly Father’s caring concern with our earthly bodies, He will keep us in health and strength. Just as we need to do our part in sowing the seeds of salvation in the hearts of people, we need to do our part in making our mealtimes profitable for His glory.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, we ask You to be part of everything we do this day that we might worship You in every activity including our meals. Keep us strong both physically and spiritually we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
08-27-15
Security
Exodus 22:2, “If a thief is caught in the act of breaking in, and he is beaten to death, no one is guilty of bloodshed.”
The war between good and evil has been going on since Adam and Eve bit the forbidden fruit. When the Israelites left Egypt, crossed the red sea, traveled through the desert and encamped at the foot of Mt. Sinai, God gave them the Ten Commandments which have never been modified or changed in Scripture. After the Ten Commandments, God directed Moses to give other societal laws to the people that give us an insight into the life of these Nomads whom God had chosen to someday present the Promised Perfect Sacrifice to the world. Men were instructed to provide protection for their families, reinforced in 2 Timothy 5:8. It is a man’s responsibility to provide a home for his family and to make them feel secure and safe in that home.
God directed that if anyone broke into a house to steal, the responsible home owner is to use any force necessary to protect his home and family. God’s Word is specific in that the homeowner cannot chase the intruder into the street or ambush him at a later date. The emphasis is that we men are responsible to protect our families, to be God’s representatives in the community, protecting those who have no one else to protect them from evil doers. Just as our Heavenly Father does all things for our good and protects us from the evil one, so we also, need to assume that responsibility for the family and community God has given us.
There are those who say the protection from evil is the duty of the local government. Government does not have, or claim to have responsibility for the individual, in fact that is clearly stated in local government documents. They cannot be everywhere to catch thieves in the act, they endeavor to find and arrest them, make them pay restitution and serve jail time for their misdeeds. It is our responsibility to our Heavenly Father is to be the kind of person that radiates the love, goodness and mercy of our Lord, using the abilities and wisdom He has provided for us. Heavenly Father, protect our families from the evildoers and give us the ability to do as You command in every situation. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
08-24-15
Honey
Proverbs 24:13-14, “Eat honey, my son, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate; realize that wisdom is the same for you. If you find it, you will have a future, and your expectations will never fade.”
I have always liked honey, known it was healthy and good for our bodies, but I didn’t realize that this verse gives us God’s promise that honey will keep us in good health and Samson broke his Nazarite vow to eat honey. Today when so much of our food is preprocessed, it is important to find and consume pure, wholesome and when possible natural foods, including honey.
Our minds also need to be fed and carefully nourished with appropriate input. Just as honey is sweet and pleasurable to the taste, yet very beneficial to our physical body, so wisdom is to be pure, unadulterated by man’s worldly thinking and turning aside from our great God. In this same book of Proverbs, wisdom is personified and in Proverbs 16:16 we read, “Acquire wisdom—how much better it is than gold! And acquire understanding—it is preferable to silver.” True wisdom comes from God Himself, and can be found in His Word. Knowledge of the earth and creation can only be understood correctly as we consider and use it, thinking in the patterns that fit the Wisdom found in the words of its Creator.
Godly wisdom is based upon and shaped in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, letting Him guide and form our thought patterns until they agree with His. Then our actions will be pleasing to Him, our spiritual health and attitudes will remain vibrant and our expectations will be realized and not fade away.
Knowledge is important but useless, unless it is used in accordance with the Wisdom of our Heavenly Father, we are missing all the joy that can be ours as we study, read, learn and think, when our Great God and His written Word is our guide and God the Holy Spirit is our teacher. Gracious Heavenly Father, be our source of Wisdom this day we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
08-25-15
The New Earth
Isaiah 65:17-18, “For I will create a new heaven and a new earth; the past events will not be remembered or come to mind. Then be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating.”
Over the last decade or so, and especially in the last 2 years, we have been bombarded with dire warnings about the various dangers that are about to befall the earth. Global warming, climate change, lack of pure fresh water, extreme heat and drought in some areas, famine, earthquakes, wildfires, tropical storms, severe tornadoes and on and on. These are all of consequence in the short term but are an even greater promise of things yet to come. Our great God is the creator and sustainer of the entire universe created for eternity, with air and water purification systems naturally in place and functioning. God said “It is good,” placing Adam and Eve in this creation designed to exist eternally.
Then Satan, the evil one, convinced Eve, then Adam, to rebel against the one commandment God had given them and the curse of sin fell upon the earth and its inhabitants. The first man and woman were infected with sin and knew the reality of God’s statement, “The soul that sins shall surely die.” They were evicted from their perfect habitation, cursed to labor with their hands to garner food. The curse fell upon the animals and the vegetation, causing weeds, pests like poison ivy, wasps, poisonous snakes and other harmful, destructive diseases to fall upon the entire earth and its population.
God judged the wickedness of earth’s inhabitants by sending the flood, to allow mankind to start anew with the pure message of God’s plan of salvation by faith in a coming Perfect Sacrifice. Noah and his sons knew and believed in God’s plan but man again rebelled against God so God separated them by distance and language. Mankind’s devotion over the years of this earth has been more toward personal gratification than of true worship of Almighty God. In His love toward us, God prepared a people-group to bear the Promised Perfect Sacrifice who lived a sinless life and offers to pay your personal sin-debt upon repentance of your sin and calling upon Him for salvation.
Our earth is showing the wear and tear of the increasing effects of the sin curse and beginning to crack under its weight. Men and women continue to sin and to reject God’s offer of salvation. Our God’s final promise to those who turn to Him is the promise of a new Heaven and a New Earth, free from sin and providing us with an eternity in His presence in the place He has prepared for us with loving care. Lord God, our Heavenly Father, we anticipate that day and praise you in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
08-24-15
Cycles
Ecclesiastes 1:7-8, “All the streams flow to the sea, yet the sea is never full. The streams are flowing to the place, and they flow there again. All words are wearisome; man is unable to speak. The eye is not satisfied by seeing or the ear filled with hearing.”
The Teacher, or writer of this book, is the great King Solomon who asked God for wisdom instead of riches and received both. We points out that the earth is filled with cycles, the water flows to the sea, evaporates into the earth’s atmosphere and falls again as rain, filling the rivers and going to the sea once again. Over the years since Noah’s flood, the water upon the earth has been recycled so that it has been reused more than once. The air is also recycled by God’s plan. All living beings inhale air absorb the oxygen and breath out carbon dioxide, which is the waste product of your lungs, is taken in by the leaves of the trees and all green vegetation who use the carbon dioxide and give off pure oxygen.
Spiritually speaking there are also cycles in mankind’s history. In the Book of Judges, at least six cycles of living under God’s commands, falling into sin; becoming enslaved by restrictive governments, in the case of the Israelites, foreign nations; crying out for God’s restoration by recognizing their sin in forsaking God’s precepts; asking God for forgiveness and restoration; then God restored them to freedom. In the time between Joshua’s death and King Saul the Israelites completed this cycle six times, never learning their lesson for more than 5 or 6 generations.
In our nation today we are completing a cycle that started with our origin as a Republic based upon Biblical precepts and have now come to the time when sin runs rampant upon the land, We are no longer a spiritual leader among nations following God’s precepts and we wonder why so many events in nature seem to be out of the ordinary. The cause is sin, the remedy is a return to Almighty Jehovah, the Creator of the earth who allows mankind to freely choose to turn to Him in confession and repentance or reject His call to return to His Biblical precepts.
Our responsibility as Christians is to raise the Banner of our God high and fight the enemy with all the strength He gives us. Then we will win the battle. The battle is His and we are His soldiers. Lord God our Heavenly Father, You have given us the weapons, give us the courage to use them in Your Holy Name and for Your glory.

Manna in the Morning
08-21-15
Storms
Ezekiel 1:5, “I looked and there was a whirlwind coming from the north, a great cloud with fire flashing back and forth and brilliant light all around it. In the center of the fire, there was a gleam like amber.”
Storms are mentioned often in scripture, When Pharaoh wouldn’t let the Israelites leave Egypt God sent a storm of lightning, thunder, hail and great winds that destroyed the entire harvest of grain in Egypt. Only the Land of Goshen where the Israelites lived was spared; storms often aided the armies of Israel in battle, Jesus calmed the storm on Lake Galilee and the appearances in Isaiah and Ezekiel pictures the throne of Almighty God as riding on the whirlwind and accompanied by thunder and lightning, visible manifestations of the Shekinah Glory of our Great God and Heavenly Father. Parts of the western and mid-America have been hit by devastating storms over the last few year, destroying livestock, crops, buildings on farms and in cities. Storms are used by God, and on Lake Galilee, the storm ceased abruptly when Jesus spoke the words, “Peace be still.”
Being in the middle of a thunderstorm is an experience most of us have experienced in our lives, sometimes in a ship or boat on the roiling water, perhaps in the car on the side of the road because the rain is so dense you can’t see or sitting in your house listening to the wind and rain rattle the windows, then feeling the concussion of the thunder in your body, as well as hearing the crash, trusting God to keep you and your family safe through the storm. Many of us have experienced the emotional storms that come with an unexpected death of a loved one or similar experience. God’s abiding peace quietness the storm, eases the stress and God the Holy Spirit assures us with His quiet presence. After the storm, when we are like the Gadarene, calm in the Father’s care, we see the rainbow, the visible sign of God’s promise of peace even in the middle of the storm, reminding us of His assurance He will not let the storms overpower us.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, in the emotions, stress and pressures of this day, we will depend upon Your peace and promises of Your care in Jesus’ name,

Manna in the Morning
08-20-15
Judgement Day
2 Peter 2:9-10, “The Lord knows how to rescue the Godly from trials and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, especially those who follow the polluting desires of the flesh and despise authority.
Peter wrote this Epistle to those across lower Europe through the area we know today as Greece and into Asia Minor, who were subject to many false teachers and non-Scriptural doctrines that led many to doubt the gospel message. Peter responds to this heresy by reminding the people that the angels that sinned against God were cast out of heaven and condemned to the darkness of the abyss. He further reminded them that in the day of Noah, people despised the precepts of Jehovah and ignored the message of deliverance Noah preached while building the ark. When the fountains were opened and water rose under the ark, only righteous Noah and his family were saved. Then later when licentiousness was common among the population of the world in the time of Lot, even Lot’s wife was struck dead in the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah for not obeying the messengers of God and look back with longing on the city of Sodom. Each time God warned the people of the earth of impending judgement in God’s perfect justice for their unbelief, God protected those that were true to His Word. We have God’s sure and certain promise that we who love and serve our Redeemer will triumph over those that persecute us, when we enter into the gates of heavenly bliss; therefore, we are to continue to teach and preach God’s Word of Truth.
There have been many periods of time in our world’s history when unrighteousness ran rampant through the world, causing God’s people to live under duress, but no time was as fully dedicated to libertine activity and the sin for which God sent fire and brimstone upon Sodom as the time in which we live. In many places, Scripture tells us that the time when the Church, the Body of Christ will be taken out of this world will be just like the time of Noah, and the time of Lot. The time is short, our witness must be clear and unmistakable. God’s perfect justice demands the judgment of sin in eternal death, while the reward of the redeemed will come when we meet our Savior in the heavenlies. Our gracious Heavenly Father, our hearts long to see You and we will willingly serve You today in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
08-19-15
Forsaken
Lamentations 3:1-3, “I am the man who has seen affliction under the rod of God’s wrath. He has driven me away and forced me to walk in darkness instead of light. Yes, He repeatedly turns His hand against me all day long.”
Every one of us who is in the Family of God knows the feeling expressed by Jeremiah, we have sinned against our God and find ourselves out of fellowship with Him, not having asked for forgiveness and it seems like the light in our soul has gone out. We are the ones who have moved away from the close fellowship and we are the ones that have to initiate the process that will bring us back into that close communion with our Heavenly Father. Later in this same chapter, Jeremiah lets the world know he once again feels the full joy of his Lord, and speaks of God’s great mercies and faithfulness in his life.
We too have experienced that sweet felling of returning to our Heavenly Father, no matter how long or short the interruption. This is the message we are to share with those we know who seem to have lost the fire and light in their Christian Life, neglecting to attend worship services and like a boat without a sail, drifting aimlessly with the tide, feeling neither fulfilled nor motivated to do anything about it. God our Heavenly Father will continue to call them, they will continue to be miserable, even if they won’t admit it.
Every Christian who is in this awkward position must think of the joys they have forsaken, the great gifts of God that stay untouched, and the mercies open to them still waiting. Remember, the Prodigal’s father stood out in the path waiting for the son to return, and our Heavenly Father is also waiting to feast and enjoy the presence and close fellowship of His beloved child once again.
Our Heavenly Father, we come to You in Jesus name, praising You for your gifts of mercy and grace upon us, and ask that we may be quick to share Your words of encouragement with others this day.
Manna in the Morning
08-17-15
Fragrant
2 Corinthians 2:15-16, “For to God we are the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To some we are a scent of death leading to death, but to others, a scent of life leading to life. And who is competent for this?”
There are certain fragrances that evoke pleasant memories, like smelling fresh mown grass, reminding us of childhood joys, the smell of a coming, freshening rain filling the air, the smell of a freshly baked pie or a special meal emitting an aroma that starts your stomach juices, the fresh smell of pine trees in a small copse or a group of orange trees when the wind freshens, or that special perfume that reminds you of a loved one. There are unpleasant smells as well, the thick odor of an oil fire, a skunk in your neighborhood, the foul odor of a dead varmint in the bushes by your front door and the smell of dead fish after a pond or lake has become too polluted for the fish to live.
The Bible tells us that our prayers rise up to the Heavenly Throne as sweet incense in our Heavenly Father’s presence, but each of us are to emit the fragrance of Christ among all we meet. Jesus, our Redeemer, is a sweet smell of eternal life in the heavenly places when we talk to those who know Jesus, God the Son, as their Savior and is a promise of precious things to come, while to those who do not know salvation, we are the smell of death because they are facing an eternity without Him. The fragrance of Jesus is not a human smell like after-shave or perfume, but a celestial, fresh, vibrant fragrance that we carry if we are born anew. Tomorrow, as we take our showers or bathe, let’s pray that it will be a day when the fragrance of Christ Jesus will be present in all we do.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we pray for us to be so near to you, your sweet fragrance will be made clear to those who know you and to those who may be eager for someone to tell them about Your great plan for their life, in Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
August 14, 2015
Sunrise and Sunset
Genesis 1:16-18, “God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”
There are two times each day when the sun shines upon us barely over the horizon, bringing colors and diffused rays that are beautiful and have hints to the weather ahead. One is the sunrise, as the sun begins to appear over the horizon; in the wild areas, the diurnal animals, those active in the daylight begin to stir in the leaves and small plants under the trees, the birds begin to sing and move about, as the sun rises higher, the clouds begin to take on a pinkish hue and the daytime world becomes more active. In the northern hemisphere, a bright red sunrise is likely to mean rain during the day. In the evening as the sun begins to set, the nocturnal animals begin to stir and the night birds like the owls become active, bats move out of their nests, and scavenger animals scurry about looking for food. A red sunset means a clear night untroubled by storms and rain.
Many times Jesus rose before the sunrise to pray and commune with the Father, spending the rest of the day in His earthly ministry. One day Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law early in the day. Then, Scripture tells us, after sunset many lame, blind and sick people came or were brought to Him for healing.
As believers in Jesus, both sunrise and sunset are perfect times to pray, communing with our Heavenly Father. It is in these comparatively quiet times that our prayers tend to be more conversational and spontaneous rather than spoken in a more formal manner. Adam and Eve communed with God in the quiet of the evening, and we should have that same desire.
Our Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your desire to commune with us. May we open our hearts to You every sunrise, and may our thoughts of You be the last memories as we fall asleep every night, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
08-1315
In The Gap
Ezekiel 22:30, “I searched for a man among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land so that I might not destroy it, but I found no one.”
When Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem from Persia to restore the city he repaired the wall and gates to the city and left no gap in the wall, thus sealing the city in safety when the gates were closed.
When the Lord God looked down upon the Israelites in the time of Ezekiel, He searched far and wide, but found on one who would repair the wall and stand in the gap an exposure to intruders and sin. In the succeeding verses He declares He will allow the land and people to suffer loss, “I have poured out My indignation on them and consumed them with the fire of My fury. I have brought their actions down on their own heads.” This is the declaration of the Lord God.
Today our world is beginning to crumble like the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s time. According to a recent survey, the largest segment of the population of the U S is the ‘Post-Christian population,’ those who have known about the church, Christianity, the need for salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice and have moved beyond that point, not looking back and heading for eternal damnation. God’s cry today is the same as issued through Ezekiel, “Who will stand in the gap?” We who love our Lord need to search out every opportunity to share his message of salvation. We no longer have time to run our engines at idle; we need to accelerate our efforts so long as we live, whether here or on some other field of service. God has placed us where we are today to reach someone for Him. Therefore our mission is clear, men and women who will act as did the builders under Nehemiah, work and carry your sword to always be ready to share the Word of God. Our Heavenly Father we pray in Jesus’ name You will use us today.

Manna in the Morning
08-12-15
Letters
2 Corinthians 3:2-3, “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, recognized and read by everyone, since it is plain that you are Christ’s letter, produced by us, not written with ink but with the Spirit of the living God; not on stone tablets but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.”
In the days before email, text messages, telephone and all the other electronic means of communication, we tend to forget the days when the majority of communication, other than local, was by letters. Occasionally we hear of a sheaf of letters hidden away in the possessions of an elderly person, the letters from her husband who was away on military duty and wrote back to his sweetheart waiting at home. Thoughts expressed in words carefully chosen and written in a clear cursive strokes so they are clearly understood, brings a message that cannot be misunderstood. In this missive, Paul talks of letters written on the hearts, not parchment or paper, not inscribed in strokes of a pen and ink, but by the living God the Holy Spirit on the tender hearts of those that hear God’s message.
We are considered as those who bear the carefully crafted words of our Heavenly Father inscribed by the finger of God the Holy Spirit on the soft surface of our hearts. Words of comfort for those whose hearts are grieved by loss, words of joy for those who celebrate, words of instruction for those who need to learn of God’s plan for their lives, words of invitation for those that do not know the fellowship of being born into the family of God and words of warning for those who do not choose to accept God’s offered salvation.
It is our great privilege to be used of God our Father to deliver these words, and He gives us a love letter from Heaven for our faithfulness. Our God is sovereign and all-powerful, yet He chooses to use us, His children who do not deserve anything, yet because of Jesus’ Perfect Sacrifice, we are able to join our Father in Heaven in carrying the words of salvation and love to a needy world. Heavenly Father, we serve you out of love, not duty and thank You for our own Salvation. In Jesus’ name we ask for opportunities to deliver Your letters this day.

Manna in the Morning
08-11-15
How?
Romans 10:14-15, “But how can they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how can they believe without hearing about Him? And how can they hear without a preacher? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: How welcome are the feet of those who announce the gospel of good things!”
Have you ever felt deep in your heart and soul such a force that you must share your testimony with someone? When you did, whether or not they accepted Christ Jesus as Savior, you knew you had followed God’s leading and the words seemed to flow from Him to your friend using your tongue to convey the message. This is what our Heavenly Father has prepared us to do. Some may be right in your home, others may live across the street, others at work, some on short term Missions trips, others God has called to a full time ministry to speak His message in remote parts of the world.
The simple Biblical truth is this, People will not give their lives to Christ Jesus if no one ever tells them of His offer. Someone spoke to you, someone took the time to speak to me, and we have to obey our Lord’s command to carry that message with us, always looking for an opportunity to share.
Take time with no radio, TV or noise in the background to write out the testimony of your salvation experience, tell what brought you from darkness into light. Read it over, read it aloud and condense it into three or four minutes. By now you have it memorized, then when you have a conversation with an unbeliever, tell them your salvation account and ask them to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior also. Scripture tells us if we don’t tell them, who will? If we don’t care, who does? If we don’t obey our Heavenly Father, we’re miserable. Accept this challenge and share the joy, your soul-winner’s crown will have many shining stars, making it a perfect gift to lay at Jesus’ feet when we see Him.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, Convict our hearts so we go in Your name to share the beautiful Good News. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
08-10-15
Free Indeed
Romans 8:1-4, “Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus, because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
The Laws given to the Israelites in the Book of Leviticus were to keep the Israelite from defilement and asking Jehovah God to forgive their infractions with a blood sacrifice. This was an act of faith in the promise God gave all humanity after Adam and Eve defiled themselves, the land and the entire earth by their sin. God promised that at His timing in their future, He would send a Perfect Sacrifice to pay the penalty for their sin, and in the meantime the animal sacrifices were to remind the people of God’s great promise.
Later in His perfect timing, God chose the descendents of Abraham, Isaac then Jacob, renamed Israel by Jehovah God, to be the people-group through which the Perfect Sacrifice would come. The descendents known as Israelites were given the Levitical Law to set them apart and purify them for the coming of that Perfect Sacrifice. Every sacrifice for sin was offered in faith in the One to come. The Law identified and convicted them of failure. Their faith in God’s promise given in love, and their acts of obedience were the basis of their salvation. God’s Old Testament statement is echoed in the New, “The soul that sins will surely die.” Faith is the answer. Paul wrote to the Church at Rome, and the words are our comfort and joy today, there is no condemnation for the one who puts his or her trust in God’s own Perfect Sacrifice. Jesus, God the Son, provided that perfect life and shed blood on Calvary’s Cross to pay the penalty for our sin. It is our faith in His Perfect Sacrifice that provides our redemption and the sure promise of eternity in the Heavenly Places in His own presence. Now we walk in the power of God the Holy Spirit, living a life pleasing to our Lord God, trusting in His promise and joyfully bringing Him glory by our obedience to God’s direction in our lives. Our gracious Heavenly Father, use us in Your plan this day, we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
08-06-15
Live up to God’s Standard
Hebrews 13:3-5, “Remember the prisoners, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily. Marriage must be respected by all, and the marriage bed kept undefiled, because God will judge immoral people and adulterers. Your life should be free from the love of money. Be satisfied with what you have, for He Himself has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
The writer of this book was anxious to meet with these Hebrew Christians once more before he was called up into the Heavenly places. He is giving these Christians some lasting advice in the event he did not have the opportunity to personally visit them one more time. This advice retains its value up to and including today. Dictators have, and will continue to imprison those who preach and teach righteous living, perhaps aimed at them, since John the Baptist and today is no exception. Men, women and children are locked up for the witness of their daily lives lived to God’s glory in Communist, socialist countries and in countries and in enclaves ruled under Sharia Law known as ‘No-go zones’ by Police and emergency personnel. Christians are even threatened and abused by minor officials such as Mayors here in the USA. Many others who believe in the sanctity of God’s Word are mistreated by vandalism, lawsuits, slander even murder as they stand for the purity God expects of us.
God will judge those who live in immorality, who sacrifice children to the god of greed, God will hold them guilty who practice ungodly lifestyles or laugh in the face of our Heavenly Father just as the world laughed at Noah until the rain fell and at Lot until the brimstone fell from the Heavens. Our Responsibility is to hate and teach against the sin of ignoring and disobeying God’s precepts, while we have the compassion of Christ upon, and pray for, the sinner to understand God’s love and offer of forgiveness upon their confession and rejection of their sin before Him.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask for the faith to trust you for every need we have, fully expecting Your guidance and solution for our daily lives. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
08-05-15
Going Home
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the archangel’s voice, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are still alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
There is much discussion among Believers regarding the time of Jesus’ calling up of the Church, then beginning the next step in His forever plan for Believers, the Church and the world. Jesus told us near the end of His ministry there would be many signs that the time of purification of the earth’s surface and the population for His return as King to reign over the entire earth’s population for 1,000 years. Our time here may be limited because those promised indicators are happening all around us. Others, who love the Lord, say that we are in the period of purification, or as some call it, the time of tribulation. God’s Word has given us every indication that you and I may meet our Redeemer face to face in the Heavenly places before we die a natural death.
We should keep our ears tuned to hear the clarion, unmistakable sound of the angelic trumpets and the clear voice of the archangel calling us, perhaps even by name, to come up and join our Savior in the heavenly places. We will be joined by our family and friends who have gone before us, our bodies will be changed from earthly dust to celestial substance, yet we will recognize each other and rejoice with them in this call to cease to exist on earth and have vibrant existence in Our Heavenly Father’s presence just as Enoch and Elijah experienced at the end of their time of ministry.
This nearing call to Heaven should give us a sense of excitement as we arise at the start of each day; one more day to witness to His glory, one more opportunity to share the saving message with others, one more time to exult in His goodness to us in every way. Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us this day one more opportunity to share our witness to some seeking soul, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-03-15
The Sword of the Lord
Judges 7:20-21, They held their torches in their left hands, their trumpets in their right hands, and shouted, “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!” Jeremiah 47:6-7, “Ah, sword of the Lord! How long will you be restless? Go back to your scabbard; be still; be silent! How can it rest when the Lord has given it a command?”
Gideon, as a young man, was threshing wheat in a secluded place during the Israelites captivity to Midian. The Army of Midian would march through the land of Israel and confiscate all the harvest of wheat for their kingdom, leaving the Israelites starving and weak. As he was hiding in the cave threshing wheat for his immediate family and an angel appeared to him, calling him by name and telling him to lead an army against Midian. With a band of 300 men with no weapons of any kind, since Midian had confiscated every sharp object, took up positions around a Midian encampment with a shielded torch in one hand and a trumpet in the other. At Gideon’s command they smashed the jars surrounding the torches, light flared, the trumpets blared and the men shouted “The sword of the Lord and Gideon.” The Midianite Army fled, leaving their weapons and war supplies behind which the Israelites used to begin their fight for freedom. Gideon and his men started the battle with no weapons except light and voice. Two things we use daily in our spiritual battles, the light of God’s Word and our voices in witness.
We are engaged, whether we admit it or not, in spiritual battle every moment of our lives as Christians. We are always under the attack of Satan and his minions; our society’s lack of moral convictions, entertainment and in every way imaginable, yet we fight back with the help of our invincible God and His chosen weapon, The ‘Sword of The Lord’ which is the Word of God. (Ephesians 6) Using the spiritual armor which our Lord God has provided for us and taking up the weapons of God’s Word and prayer, we can overcome our enemy and live victorious in Him. God’s Word cannot be sheathed, is never dulled, cannot be overcome and guarantees us the victory as surely as when Jesus returns to this earth to establish His Kingdom, He vanquishes His foes with a flaming sword out of His mouth, His glorious Word.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we give You praise and thanks for our armor and the precious weapon, Your Holy Word, with which we can counter every attack against us. Make us always aware of Your abiding within us, through the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Manna in the Morning
07-31-15
Without Honor
Mark 6:4-6 “Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown, among his relatives, and in his household.” So He was not able to do any miracles there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He was amazed at their unbelief.”
It is hard to understand why some people who are so close to us seem to ignore our witness and plea for them to accept Christ Jesus as their Savior. Yet when we share our testimony with someone we do not know at all, they seem much more willing to accept our invitation. First, the ones who know us best, know our desire to see them in the family of God, know the way, and we pray they will someday take advantage of the seeds we have sown. They are convicted by our words, but their unbelief is a rejection of God the Holy Spirit, not us as the messenger.
Another reason those that know us may not listen is because they like their lives exactly the way they are, and are not willing to make any changes in what they know is sinful behavior. They are comfortable and not willing to trust God with their future without knowing what He will require of them. Scripture says He requires, “Us to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with our God. That should be the goal of every believer and is easily attainable with the guidance and power of God the Holy Spirit.
We do know from Scripture accounts that at least two of Mary and Joseph’s other sons later accepted the realization that Jesus was the Savior, God’s Promised Perfect Sacrifice, became His followers, spending the rest of their lives in preaching, teaching and reaching others with the message of salvation. So keep on sharing Christ’s love with those close to you, live a life that brings glory to your Heavenly Father, pray for those you wish to see in Heaven and trust God to bring them to salvation through Jesus. Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we live in the center of Your will and blessing, may we praise you with our lives and trust You to win those we love. In Jesus’ Name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
07-30-15
Walk in Truth
3 John 1-5, “To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may prosper in every way and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when some brothers came and testified to your faithfulness to the truth—how you are walking in the truth. I have no greater joy than this: to hear that my children are walking in the truth.
There are at least four mentions in Scripture of a Believer named Gaius, which was a very common Roman name. Three of them have some relationship to the Apostle Paul. One mention is a man from Macedonia, another is a Man of Derbe who accompanied Paul as far as Asia, and the third is a Corinthian who was baptized under Pau’s ministry. John addresses this letter to Gaius to commend him for his faithful service to the Heavenly Father as well as his generosity. It is possible he could be the man from Corinth or a faithful Christian whom John loved in the faith. Evidentially he was a business man of some type and Paul prayed for his prosperity in every way, business, personal and spiritual health. This letter of encouragement sent to Gaius came about because of a report from another person speaking well of him to the Apostle. Gaius lived his life in a manner to please his Savior and bring glory to Him through his actions.
Each of us should endeavor to live each day to our Savior’s greater glory. To share Jesus’ compassion for others, to do all in our power to give them spiritual health and redemption, just as He offered salvation to all while He was on this earth. Many times we pray someone will come to Christ for salvation, and when they do, we feel like we have accomplished all we need to do in their lives. Many years ago I heard a speaker say that just as an infant needs a pediatrician after he or she is born to help them continue in good health, people need someone to teach counsel and encourage the new converts in how their Heavenly Father desires them to live. Who will teach them how to be effective in prayer, to give of their resources, to effectively share their faith to their unsaved friends and family? We are to function as spiritual pediatricians so we do not have men and women who repeat one or two years of spiritual growth 20 or 30 times through their lives.
Our Heavenly Father, help us to take our responsibility seriously in encouraging and teaching by word and example, in the spiritual life of others, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-29-15
Words of Gold
Proverbs 25:11, “A word spoken at the right time is like golden apples on a silver tray
All of us have a tendency to shoot from the lip, putting our tongue in gear before the brain is engaged. You and I can remember when we said something that seemed to fit the moment, but once our brain caught up to the moment, we realized those were words much better left unsaid. Words uttered are as hard to collect and take back as a handful of feathers released into the wind on a mountaintop. We who love our Lord God must be careful of every word that comes out of our mouth being sure it brings Glory to our Heavenly Father instead of weakening our testimony among those who hear us.
It is also good to remember we need to listen for cues that others are anxious and willing to hear of our relationship with our God and will be receptive to an invitation to accept Jesus into their lives as Redeemer and Lord. That indeed will be golden fruit served on silver. Scripture tells us the soul that accepts salvation, believing in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus is precious in His eyes.
As we go through each day, be sure you don’t leave bruised, spoiled or overripe fruit in the ears of those you meet. Let every word, even the thoughts of our hearts be fully acceptable to our Heavenly father, and may those words lead others to salvation in Him.
Lord God, our Heavenly Father, guide us to men and women who need the words from Your Word and we will live today to present You with silver plates of golden fruit, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-27-15
Accountability
Jeremiah 17:9-11, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else and desperately sick—who can understand it? I, the Lord, examine the mind, I test the heart to give to each according to his way, according to what his actions deserve.”
Every one of us must be absolutely honest with ourselves and agree that our hearts are more deceitful than we want to admit and can easily be lead astray. Our heart is more than an organ that pumps the blood through our body, it is the name given to the seat of our emotions and feelings, feeding the mind with suggestions and causing us to consider sinful activities. Our hearts are emotional and easily swayed, who can understand why mature Christians can lose their focus on serving Christ and allow sin to creep in and destroy their witness, influence and ministry? Our hearts, like all our human nature and characteristics, cannot be trusted. This is the prime reason why we need to be careful allowing neither temptation nor indifference to corrupt our hearts and minds.
In this passage Our Lord God tells us very plainly what criteria He will use in judging the effectiveness of an individual’s life and the basis for the decision between eternal bliss or endless damnation. First, our God will examine what kind of thoughts we harbor in our mind, what kind of input we allow to enter, is it wholesome and God honoring or is it essentially lurid, filled with portrayed or implied sinful activities, did it glorify life or death; would it please our Heavenly Father or contribute to the pleasures of the flesh? Examine the seeds that you allow into your mind and the thoughts that take root.
Next, God says He will test our hearts, not with temptation to see how strong we are, but to evaluate the depth of our convictions, the dedication to His glory and the desires to fulfill His will in all things. The final decision is made when we fall on our faces before Him. Is our name written in the Book of Life because we have been reborn, or it is not inscribed in the Book and we are adjudicated guilty because we never accepted His free gift of salvation.
Heavenly Father, it is my prayer that all who read this will know beyond all doubt their name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life. May each of us guard our hearts and minds, living to please You and bring You great glory, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-23-15
Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:20-6:1, Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ; certain that God is appealing through us, we plead on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God.” He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Working together with Him, we also appeal to you: “Don’t receive God’s grace in vain.”
All of us have known someone, perhaps even we have had the experience, of falling far short of what God expects of His children, of “Dropping out” so to speak from active participation in our church and Bible studies; of ignoring Scripture, and an active prayer life, becoming less active in interceding for others who are serving in far places, ill, or just in need of prayer. God our Father has told us we are to pray earnestly for our Christian brothers and sisters. Recently, the media has been highly critical of a former pastor who had to leave a very prominent church because of marital infidelity and another man some years ago who had to leave a national ministry. There are many others who have fallen short, but who have asked God for forgiveness, to restore them to full fellowship with Him, being reconciled. The word ‘reconciled’ has a meaning of, “Being drawn together in love because of a mutual desire for restoration.”
Because of the Heavenly Father’s deep abiding love for His children, He will welcome the returning child with the same enthusiasm and joy the father of the prodigal son went out to meet his son long before he reached the home. All of us who love our God and Father, want to be appropriate ambassadors for Him to the unsaved people of this world in which we live. If you are one of those whose relationship with the Heavenly Father is less than it should be, or, if you know someone who has drifted away from that full fellowship, encourage them to be perfectly honest in talking with God in confessing your shortcomings and pleading for reconciliation. God is always willing to forgive, but there has to be a desire in the heart of the returning one, a recognition that it is they are the ones who have drifted out of the relationship and have a fervent desire for conciliation, knowing their joy will then be complete, and there is a reward in heaven waiting for us. Our gracious Heavenly Father, put within the heart of each of us a desire to have a full, complete, close relationship with You, our King and the author of our salvation. In Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-22-15
False Teachers
2 Peter 2:1-3, “But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, and will bring swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their unrestrained ways, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. In their greed they will exploit you with deceptive words.”
There have always been men who would change God’s message for their own advantage or profit. Some have openly defied God’s precepts, others have concentrated on one verse instead of relying on the whole counsel of God’s Word. Eli’s sons were evil priests, Balaam was hired to curse the Israelites, there have always been those who claim to follow Jehovah God but are false teachers. In the Book of Acts, Simon tried to buy the power of God the Holy Spirit and the Apostle Paul had to warn the early churches, even those he helped to plant, against the Judaizes, who added to the message of salvation, and others who took away from the message, allowing sin in the lives of those who purported to love God.
Today we have many false teachers, some who preach a message carefully crafted to appeal to believers, but leaving out some of the precepts God has given us by which to live. We are instructed to preach and teach the message of salvation with mathematic precision; we are to add nothing to God’s requirements, we are to subtract nothing from the precious message, we are to multiply the number of people who hear the message and accept our Lord Jesus and we are not to preach any doctrine that will divide the people who love Him.
Every church should see the need to disciple new converts and to be sure they are teaching the correct understanding of God’s Word, in order to see that all believers grow in Biblical knowledge and practice. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, give us the wisdom from above and the guidance of God the Holy Spirit as we endeavor to reach and teach others of Your wonderful work of grace in the lives of mankind. Let us serve You in the name of Jesus today we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-21-15
Rebuilding the Wall
Nehemiah 2:18-20, “So I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned down. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.” I told them how the gracious hand of my God had been on me, and what the king had said to me. They said, “Let’s start rebuilding,” and they were encouraged to do this good work. When Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official, and Geshem the Arab heard about this, they mocked and despised us, and said, “What is this you’re doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” I gave them this reply, “The God of heaven is the One who will grant us success. We, His servants, will start building, but you have no share, right, or historic claim in Jerusalem.”
After the 70 years of Babylonian and Persian captivity, Nehemiah felt the call of Jehovah God to return to the City of Jerusalem, instead of staying in Susa, the Persian city where he had been exiled and was a servant of the King. Finding favor with King Artaxerxes, he returned to Jerusalem and began to organize the returning Jews to build the walls of Jerusalem once again. They were enthusiastic, and all began to work, keeping their swords close by and waiting for a call at any time to repel invading marauders or the ungodly people who had been living around and in Jerusalem. Sanballat, Tobiah and Geshem led the opposition, hoping to gain favor with the King, refusing to believe Nehemiah had been commissioned for this very responsibility.
Nehemiah finally finished the city walls with the Priests, Levites, merchants and other Jews working constantly until finally the last gate was placed and Jerusalem was once again secure. Sanballat and his followers tried to discredit Nehemiah even sending messengers to King Artaxerxies, endeavoring to keep their influence in what was now a fortified City under Jehovah God. Just as Nehemiah was faithful to follow His God’s direction, we are to follow His direction and be sure our lives are lived in accordance with His will, defeating our spiritual enemies with the favor and power of our Heavenly Father. Just as the non-believers had no place or claim to Jerusalem, then or now, Satan no longer has a claim on our souls because of the salvation we have in Jesus.
The non-believer does not any share, right or claim to eternal life in Heaven, there is but one way, the unconditional acceptance of Jesus as Savior and Leader of our lives. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise You this day for Your love in providing our Redemption, may we follow Your path in everything we do. Guide us we pray in Jesus’ name.

Luke 8:38
Manna in the Morning
07-20-15
Go Home
Luke 8:38-39, “The man from whom the demons had departed kept begging Jesus to be with Him. But Jesus 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.”
Who knows you the best? Who are the ones who have seen you at your worst, seen you when you are really angry, tired, cranky, demanding your own way and when you are really depressed? You’re right, your family, those who know you the best. You can’t live in the same house with people for years without them knowing you like no one else. We tend to modify our behavior when our close friends are around or when we are out in public because we want the general public to think we are nice, calm, mannerly Christians.
Here was a man that had spent years in a small community while possessed by demons. He lived among the tombs, ran around naked and couldn’t be detained because he broke the ropes and chains they used to restrain him. When he was seen in the neighborhood, mothers called their kids in, fathers picked up a stout stick and vowed to protect their home. During one of his mad visits, he met Jesus and the demons within him called out for Jesus to leave them alone. With quiet, calming words, Jesus commanded the spirits to leave him and when the townspeople came he was clothed, in his right mind, praising the Savior for his new life.
As Jesus prepared to leave the area, the man sincerely wanted to accompany Him to tell his story of salvation and cleansing. Jesus looked him in the eye and said, “Go home,” the most difficult place for him to live and witness. Constantly meeting people who knew his past, people who still shied away from him, those who watched carefully to see if he would return to his old, sin-controlled lifestyle. He followed Jesus’ command and served his Savior where he had been placed. We, also, are to live among those who know us well, people who see us at work as well as at home, under stress and strain, evaluating our lives in the light of the gospel we present in our daily thoughts, words and actions.
Our gracious heavenly Father, we pray that “The words of our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts be acceptable to You, our strength and our Redeemer.”

Copyright © Me 1999 All rights reserved.

Manna in the Morning
07-17-15
Walk with Me
Revelation 3:4-5, “But you have a few people in Sardis who have not defiled their clothes, and they will walk with Me in white, because they are worthy. In the same way, the victor will be dressed in white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before My Father and before His angels.”
I think many of us express a little anxiety over our weight gains and lack of activity. Losing weight can be accomplished by taking in less fuel (Food) on a daily basis and/or increasing our energy output, (Using up the fuel.) After taking a profile look at myself in a mirror, I determined to exercise regularly, limit my intake and try to take better care of the body God gave me. Looking in Scripture for a verse to back up my determination I found this verse. At one time the Church at Sardis was important Christian center. However, the church at Sardis was evidently affected by the complacency of the city and its reliance on past glory: “You have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” Wanting to remain active, I decided to walk daily, and while I have not been walking for very long but I have found an increase in strength and more importantly, just like Jesus promised that those who had not defiled themselves in Sardis would walk with Him, I found an area where few others walk, yet was well lit, I walk and talk with my Lord just as I imagine Adam may have in Eden. It has proved to be a time of meditation on the verses used in Bible study , my thoughts run to people I have met during the day, any words of witness and comfort I may have shared, and how I can be used by my Redeemer who will help me to ‘walk worthy.” I can pray for others who are in need of healing, wisdom, comfort and guidance and meditate upon God’s creation especially on an evening when there is a beautiful sunset.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we long to meditate on Your Word, to fulfill promises to pray for others and to meditate on Your goodness. May we make the best of every opportunity to come before Your throne. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Manna in the Morning
7-15-15
Exclude No One
Jonah 2:6-7, “I sank to the foundations of the mountains; the earth with its prison bars closed behind me forever! But You raised my life from the Pit, Lord my God! As my life was fading away, I remembered the Lord. My prayer came to You, in your royal temple.”
Jonah received a commission from the Lord God Jehovah to go to Nineveh, the Capitol of Assyria, to proclaim His name and call men and women to repentence. Enemies of the Israelites, Assyria sought to conquer them and when they finally overran Jerusalem after Solomon’s reign, they succeeded in dispersing the entire population of ten of Israel’s twelve tribes so completely their identity disappeared from the earth. Long before this dispersion, however, Jonah was told by God to go and preach to them, giving them an opportunity to turn to Him and worship the true God. Because of the animosity between their nations, Jonah refused God’s command and sought to flee from God by boarding a ship and fleeing in the opposite direction. God intervened in Jonah’s life – sending a great storm to batter the ship until Jonah was thrown overboard. Swallowed by a great fish, Jonah sank to the depths of the sea, both in the fish’s belly and in his rebellion against God. The Bible gives us the words of Jonah as he realized his sin in refusing to do as God commanded and the certainty that his prayer was heard in the Heavenly Temple. Jonah repented, the fish surfaced regurgitating Jonah out on the shore. Jonah traveled to Nineveh where he proclaimed the demands of Jehovah God. The residents of this pagan city repented, turning to God after Jonah’s declaration of God’s judgment, but Jonah was resentful that any people group who hated the Israelites so passionately could be the recipients of God’s saving grace.
We have been chosen by God to deliver His message, and we, like Jonah, sometimes decide with whom we will share God’s salvation and those we will ignore. If our Savior died for all mankind and has redeemed us who are no better than any other, then why do we feel we can select those who we want to see in His family and ignore others? Because Jesus died for all, we are to share with all excluding no one. All have sinned and need to come to repentence. Lord God, our Heavenly Father, give us Your love for the lost of this earth we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
07-14-15
God Is
John 14:6-7, “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. “If you know Me, you will also know My Father. From now on you do know Him and have seen Him.”
God is many things to all of us, He is our rock, our refuge, our guide, our strength… I could go on and on. Jesus gave us a great summation in this passage. As God the Son, Jesus was fully divine, as Mary’s son He was fully human. When He spoke to the disciples He answered many of their questions. He clearly said that he and the Father are one; together with God the Holy Spirit, they together are our One Triune God. After Jesus, death, burial, resurrection and ascension, God the Holy Spirit came to this earth to abide in and infuse every part of the life of those who accept Him as their Redeemer. Jesus said He was the only way of salvation. There is no other Savior, no way to buy, work toward or do any earthly thing to earn or merit salvation. Our Savior, Jesus, is the only way of salvation and the new birth into the family of our Heavenly Father. Jesus said He is the truth, the absolute truth, the truth of His Word, our Scriptures. Jesus is the true Word of God. John said in the opening chapter of his gospel, “In in the beginning was the Word, the Word Was God,” and in verse 14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” God is absolute Truth. Our spiritual adversary is the father of lies.
Jesus said to Philip, I am the life. For the Believer, life truly begins with our new birth into God’s family. Yes, before that event we had an earthly existence, we loved others, we felt sorrow, we knew elation, but never could we know true joy until we met the Giver of eternal joy, love and life. To fully understand that we will leave this earth and the tired body we inhabit to be at Jesus’ side in a celestial body, knowing no pain, sorrow or disappointment in an eternal life that has no equal. Only in Jesus, God the Son is there true life. Heavenly Father we believe in Your ways, Your truth and Your life in us. We lift our prayer in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
07-13-15
Jealousy
Exodus 34:14-15, “You are to never bow down to another god because the Lord, being jealous by nature, is a jealous God. Do not make a treaty with the inhabitants of the land…”
There are several references in the Scriptures telling us our God and Heavenly Father is a jealous God, He is jealous for our love and devotion. Yet we are told that we are not to be jealous of what other people possess, either in material things or in spiritual blessings. Because God is infinite in every way, He desire nothing with only one exception. God’s love for us is so strong, He created us with the free will to choose either to reject His offer of love, or to love Him in gratitude for His gifts to us, His written Word including the ability to reason, think and understand His love for us enough to send God the Son to be the perfect sacrifice to pay the penalty for our sin so that we can be born into His Family.
In gratitude for this indescribable gift, He desires our love in return, not because He demands it or programmed it in to our DNA, but because we desire to love, honor, serve and adore Him. Ancient Israelites worshipped foreign gods, the people intermarried with those that did not love Jehovah God, and therefore, in Malachi’s book we understand that those who worship other gods have robbed God. To pay homage or to love anything more than our Jehovah God is to rob Him of the worship due Him. The words used in scripture translated jealous, indicate the lack of worship in a child of God angers Him, not just in withholding what is rightfully His, but depriving ourselves of the joy of the close relationship with Him He so desires for us to have.
The ancient Israelites would allow their sons and daughters to intermarry with the unbelievers or they entered into business with the pagans, even worshipping in their temples. Scripture teaches us that a believer should never enter into any type of contractual agreement with a non-believer so that our hearts may remain pure before Him.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, our hearts are filled with love for You and we desire to live in a manner that will bring great glory to Your name. Through the power of God the Holy Spirit, we ask that You guide our every step this day, in Jesus’ Holy name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-10-15
The Right Thing
James 4:15-17, “Instead, you should say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So, for the person who knows to do good and doesn’t do it, it is a sin.”
All of us strive to be better organized, we make to-do lists, schedule our various appointments far into the future, make plans for vacations two or three years in advance, only to have to cancel some appointments, forget about that vacation cruise or other unforeseen events. God the Holy Spirit led James to write the thought that men and women are often arrogant and filled with a sense of self-importance when they try to run their own lives. As born again members of the Family of God we need to realize that while we are children of the Heavenly Father, we are also slaves to the one who bought us out of sin and raised us to the heights which we now inhabit. When we plan ahead, it should always be with our understanding that any plan we make is subject to review and perhaps change to conform to the will of our Heavenly Father. The price of our Redemption is the shed blood of Jesus, God the Son, therefore we pledge ourselves to Him as bond-servants or slaves in sheer gratitude for our new birth. Because of our gratitude and love we are to do the things we know are good, not to try to gain merit or favor with God. We are enjoined to do good or Godly things, things that bring honor to our God, and if done for any other reason it is sin.
As we go through this day, just be open to every opportunity to show the compassion of Jesus, who felt the pain of the lame man, and saw the darkness in the eyes of Bartimaeus, He knew their hurt and healed them. We are to bring the healing balm of Jesus’ love to others so they can know the joy of our Lord that fills our hearts. Lord God, may we do good things in your name today. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
07-09-15
Faithfulness
Lamentations 3:25-27, “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him. It is good to wait quietly for deliverance from the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is still young.
Jeremiah was called by Jehovah God to take up the yoke of a prophet when he was but a young man. He protested because of his youth, but God prevailed and Jeremiah, known as the ‘Weeping Prophet’ because of his prophetic words that Judah would be conquered by Babylon and Jerusalem destroyed. He was very unpopular with the people of Jerusalem and was treated badly, including having the King cut his message to the people apart and burned in the fire. Jeremiah took comfort in the faithfulness of God, His firmness in fulfilling His promises for good or bad, depending upon the receptiveness of the people. Jeremiah knew he was secure in God’s plan and He would always be faithful to His faithful prophet. Jeremiah learned that for those who believe in Jesus as their Savior, it is good to be patient and let God’s plan unfold in His timing, because in the manner of deliverance, our Lord will receive great glory for His matchless Name.
Our lives today are far different than in the time of Jeremiah. We are always looking at our watches or clock to see if we are on time, many have that ‘type A’ personality that has to be doing something every minute, never stopping to enjoy time alone with our loved ones or with our Redeemer. Why not take the time to set outside on the porch or in a lawn chair and watch the night slowly darken the sky, the songs of the birds fade away, a quietness settles on the earth making this a good time for contemplation of how our Heavenly Father has blessed us, speaking to Him in reverence and solitude while meditating upon His Word and faithfulness to this generation.
This passage ends with the advice that once a person has come to salvation, he or she should determine just how our Heavenly Father has gifted him or her, seek Godly wisdom and following the guidance of God the Holy Spirit, immediately begin to share their witness so others may be won into the Family of God. Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness and goodness to us each and every day, in Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
07-08-15
Judgement
John 3:19-21. “This, then, is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”
Most of us, almost without exception, have awakened in pitch black darkness, perhaps after a trip or relocation, having no idea where you are, what time it is, not even what day it is, completely enveloped in the absence of light and desperately seeking a source of light to bring into your situation. All of us who are in the family of God, with no exception, became spiritually aware of the complete darkness of sin in our lives, no light to find or switch to flip and in our darkness we turned to our Redeemer, who is the Light of the World, and found ourselves in the glorious light of the Savior, driving away our spiritual darkness.
Those who engage in acts of evil often choose the darkness to keep from the light of exposure, trying to keep others ignorant of the truth of their intentions. Our passage tells us evil doers love darkness rather than light, lest they be exposed. It is also Biblical to say they are followers of the prince of darkness, who hates the true Light that cannot be dimmed. Our worldly society seems to be choosing a path of increasing darkness of an existence completely separated from the light of God’s Word or of God Himself.
Our response should not be to curse the darkness, to rail against it or complain of how dark it really is; remember sinners always act like sinners, our responsibility has come directly from our Heavenly Father. We are to purposely carry the Light of His Salvation dispelling the darkness in the hearts of all who will accept Him. His true Shekinah Glory shines where ever He abides, including our lives.
Our gracious Heavenly, give us the courage and strength to carry the light of Your salvation through Jesus undimmed in our lives. Give us opportunities to drive out the darkness, the words to say and to rejoice in the turning to the True Light in the lives of others. This we ask in Jesus’ name.

 

Manna in the Morning
07-07-15
The Difference
Malachi 3:16-18, “Not only do those who commit wickedness prosper, they even test God and escape. At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who feared Jehovah and had high regard for His name. “They will be Mine,” says the Lord of Hosts, “a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him. So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.”
Malachi wrote his prophecy about 450 years before Jesus came into this world in Bethlehem. The entire Old Testament was translated into Greek shortly thereafter so there was no reason both the Israelite and Gentile people could not have read God’s Word at that time. The lament of the God-honoring Israelites is much the same as the lament of people today. They saw, and we see, a disregard for God’s Word and its precepts, especially today when people disregard and flaunt their rejection of God’s societal framework based upon the family and the Biblical institution of marriage, deceiving many people and seemingly escaping the punishment of our Great God and Father.
In Malachi’s time, people who loved and feared the Lord God communicated with one another and upheld each other in prayer since they desired to live a life that pleased God. When we worship, pray and study God’s Word together, holding God’s Word in high regard and seeking to praise Him with our lives, we are seen and heard by our Heavenly Father who takes special notice of our assembly. Not only does this apply to our worship, but to our Bible study classes and groups where we discuss and seek the truth of the Scriptures. God claims us as His own and has compassion on us just as a loving father on earth loves and cares for his children.
We will see the difference in how our God looks upon us, forgives our sin and considers us as clothed in the pure, white righteousness of our Redeemer, Jesus. At the same time, those who have turned away from His precepts will face the judgement that comes upon those who reject God’s offer of salvation. He will bless us abundantly here on this earth in many ways, and we will enjoy His presence in the place He has prepared for us for all eternity, while the wicked will suffer eternal separation from Him and torment for as long as we are in Heaven.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we seek to serve you this day and make your love known among all we meet, guide us in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
07-06-15
Innocence
1 Corinthians 14:20-21, “Brothers, don’t be childish in your thinking, but be infants in evil and adult in your thinking.”
The Missionary Apostle, Paul, is writing to the church in Corinth and instructing them about spiritual gifts, the gifts given to men and women to edify, educate and strengthen the local church and the Church as the Body of Christ. As many men and women have done over the centuries, the church members at Corinth wanted to have the gifts that brought them personal recognition and prestige. Paul, being a very practical person informed them it was better to speak five or ten intelligible, understandable words, inspired by God the Holy Spirit than to spend hours speaking in a language they could not understand. His understanding of the gifts of God to men and women were to be used for their instruction and building up of their faith in Jesus, God the Son.
Even today we have men and women who are desirous of having great personal recognition, large congregations and favorable press releases rather than to preach or teach a group of individuals who are eager to hear and learn of God’s working in hearts and lives. To be a person God uses to give understanding to others is a gift God can give us to disciple and build up the family of God in their faith. Every one of God’s children, those who have been born anew into His family are given gifts to use. We are not to choose like a child would, looking for the biggest dish of ice cream or the flashiest toy in the box, we are to be adult in our thinking and using the gifts He has bestowed upon us from his storehouse of love.
We are to be as innocent as infants when it comes to the sinful acts of this world, of the ‘gifts’ Satan would promise us and give us prominence or popularity or to know the depths of depravity our society seems to find so pleasing. Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we follow the path You prepared for us today, using the gifts You have given us, empowered by God the Holy Spirit that indwells us as we tell others in clear words of the salvation offered through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God the Son. We pray this in His wonderful name.

Manna in the Morning
07-03-15
Wild Beasts
Revelation 6:7-8, “And I looked, and there was a pale green horse. The horseman on it was named Death, and Hades was following after him. Authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill by the sword, by famine, by plague, and by the wild animals of the earth.”
Today I heard a marine biologist being interviewed on a news program about the drastic rise in shark attacks in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of North Carolina who had no idea why these attacks occurred. To date within the last month there have been 7 reported attacks by sharks in water between knee and waist deep, within sight of shore not in the deeps where we are accustomed to hearing of large sharks. Then there is the report of a bottle-nosed dolphin, a docile species, jumping out of the water into a boat where it landed on a woman and broke both her legs. Across the United States, in states with increasing brown bear populations there are accounts of children playing in their back yards, hikers on trails being attacked and people riding their cars in animal reserves when bears literally jump on their cars, clawing and biting to get in. A large bobcat was seen stalking a young child playing near the door of the house in a suburban development when it was frightened off and bolted into the trees. None of these animals were being taunted, aggravated or molested but just suddenly attacked humans as prey, with the possible exception of the dolphin.
Jesus warns us in Matthew 24 that signs of the coming purification of the earth’s will display early warnings, just as an expectant mother feels the early, irregular, contractions that lead to the child’s birth. We see many of these signs of warning: wars, anarchy, wanton shedding of blood without cause in our cities and in the Mideast. Great storms across our continent and an increase in ungodly beliefs just as it was in the time of Noah and Lot before judgement rained down upon the earth to cleanse it of sin. It is our duty, our responsibility to pray for the people on the earth, to share salvation’s message with those who will listen, to earnestly seek God’s path for us in the time remaining to us on this earth. Just as God closed the door to the ark in Noah’s time, so will the door of salvation close in God’s perfect timing. Until we see His face in the heavenly places, let’s continue to share the message of God’s love and coming judgment to seeking souls. Lord, give us a sense of Godly urgency we ask in Jesus’ precious name.

Manna in the Morning
07-02-15
I will Praise
Psalm 108:1-6, “My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being. Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. I will praise You, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to You among the nations. For Your faithful love is higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches the clouds. God, be exalted above the heavens; let Your glory be over the whole earth. Save with Your right hand and answer me so that those You love may be rescued.”
David sings this paean praising God for his attributes and makes the confident statement that his heart is steadfast, a standing, immoveable statement that his heart cannot be moved from its secure position in His God. David starts his day before daylight and praises God with his entire being, his harp, his voice singing, glorifying God and waking up the sun to rise and shine to God’s glory. When is the last time you or I rose before the sun? When were we up to greet the sun with songs of praise? Our life should show praise to our Lord God among all we meet as we go through the day, sharing His love with every person with whom we interact. It is easy for us to praise God among the nations. Many of us know missionaries in many parts of the world, from India and Vietnam, Russia and the Ukraine with other parts of Europe and both North and South America. Our praise can rise from the nations.
God’s faithful love extends to every person who ever lived upon the earth. Every person, even Cain or Judas could know the love of God if they chose to. It is the arrogance and conceit in the unbeliever’s heart that condemns him, the refusal to respond to the love of our great God and turn to Him for forgiveness. Even in the terrible judgement in Revelation, men will hide under rocks and in caves knowing the judgement is from God, seeking death rather than beg for forgiveness. Our God’s great glory will be seen at God’s appointed time, over all the earth as He deals with the sin and abomination within the hearts of men and women. In spite of all that may come upon the earth, storms, fire, locusts or any other evil, none will harm those that love our Heavenly Father.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the grace to praise You through this entire day, we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
07-01-15
Whosoever
John 3:16, “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.”
If anyone was certain he was going to heaven it was Nicodemus. He was a Pharisee, a descendent of Levi, a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of the Jews in Jerusalem, gave money to the Temple and to the poor. He was highly respected by the people of Jerusalem and his fellow council members, never doubting he was going to spend eternity with Jehovah in Heaven, whatever and wherever that was. Still Nicodemus was concerned about this Jesus who he remembered as being born in Bethlehem, the little town the ancient prophets foretold would be the birthplace of the Messiah that had been expected for centuries. Jesus knew the Scriptures as well as any Pharisee, taught the people with authority, even healed a blind man, but was He the Promised One.
Fearful of what his fellow Pharisees would say, Nicodemus arranged to meet Jesus late in the day after darkness fell upon Jerusalem. He opened their conversation by stating he knew Jesus was sent by God because of what he had taught and done among the people, but wanted to know who Jesus was and why He came. In a concise way Jesus told Nicodemus no matter what his earthly social status was, or who his ancestors were, he needed to be born again to understand the plan of Jehovah God. Continuing to teach, Jesus said that being born into an earthly family, no matter how distinguished or how many good deeds he did, it was not through good earthly works that would bring him to heaven, but to be born again into the Family of God.
The message to Nicodemus has not changed, we must recognize that God loves us with an intensity that cannot be duplicated, that He sent God the Son, Who is fully divine, to be born of Mary and fully human, to live a perfect life free from sin. Then to give that perfect sinless life on Calvary’s Cross fully paying the penalty for our sin. Acceptance of that sacrifice as if for you alone and believing in Jesus as your Redeemer and Lord of your life is the beginning of your new life as a member of the Family of our Heavenly Father. Nicodemus made his choice to accept Jesus as his Redeemer. I pray that this has been your decision also.

Manna in the Morning
05-30-15
It’s Coming
Malachi 4:1-3, “For indeed, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Hosts, “not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall.”
Many of us have been upset by the recent Supreme Court ruling concerning same-sex marriages. As I was reading today I came across a statement that really made me think. Why am I so upset when this world acts like the sinful world it is? The world, as a whole, does not know the Bible and is easily convinced that personal liberty to do as one wants is perfectly OK because there is no such thing as sin only things that are against the law, such as murder and grand theft. We, on the other hand, understand God’s precepts, commandments and that all who have not accepted Christ Jesus as Savior are bound for an eternity in the place prepared for the devil and his demons. Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets, spoke of the coming Day of the Lord when we will be taken up to heaven and those left here will suffer the terrible consequences of rejection of the salvation so freely offered now. Rejection of God’s offer means instead of meeting Jesus as their loving Savior, they will meet Him as the perfect Judge, carrying out our God’s perfect justice.
Our heavenly reward will to see Jesus and as Malachi promises under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit we will see the eternal sun of righteousness when all our infirmities will be healed and our celestial bodies will know no pain or sickness. We will be filled with joy and, using a bucolic reference only someone familiar with a farm can understand, we’ll jump and frolic like a young calf who has been released from its stall in the barn and put out in the sunshine and fresh air of green pastures.
The earthly will always act like earthly people, but we who carry the name of Christ Jesus must always act like Christ, carrying His message regardless of the antipathy of those we meet, living in anticipation of the day we too are free from our earthly restraints. Our Heavenly Father lead us through this day we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-29-15
Unbroken
Matthew 18:19-20, “Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
One of the great blessings in being born anew into the Family of our Heavenly Father, is that our brothers and sisters in God’s family will pray for us, going before the Father to intercede on our behalf, asking for relief and guidance in any situation. When we are in need of prayer, Satan will do his utmost to see that we feel alone, helpless, forsaken and deserted by everyone. Jesus said that if two or three join together agreeing in prayer, He is there with us, God the Holy Spirit has come to indwell us, we will never be left standing by ourselves because of our ever present Lord. If we share our needs with others, the circle widens and God will be in the midst of that prayer group, even if its circumference is hundreds of miles around.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 reads, “And if somebody overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” Scripture tells us there is indeed security in numbers if we but trust in our Father’s love and guidance, knowing His strength cannot be overcome. Jesus was referring this verse as He spoke to the disciples, promising that every prayer brought before His throne would be answered if we bring it to Him unselfishly seeking an answer that would bring great glory to Him, that it be for the benefit of His Church, souls be saved on this earth and the answer fit His plan for our lives and His return to this earth as the benevolent monarch over all He has created..
Our Heavenly Father, may we remember that You are always the strand that cannot be broken and will give us all we need, that Your name be glorified and that we will always submit to Your perfect will. In Jesus’ name we pray…
Manna in the Morning
06-26-15
Life Ain’t Fair
Psalm 18:6, “I called to the Lord in my distress, and I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice, and my cry to Him reached His ears.
There are those who automatically assume when they accept Christ Jesus into their lives and are born anew into the family of God, things will always go their way and that no rough bumps or slippery floors will cause their feet to slip; that life will be one beautiful sunshine filled day with evenings of refreshing rain showers. Jesus warned us that there will be times of trial and grief, just as there will be times of joy here on earth. Scripture reminds us that sorrow or trouble may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning, the present trials will end and the joy of our Lord will brighten our soul and the difficulty, once worked through, will bring unexpected opportunities that will be for our good and God’s greater glory.
We know that our Heavenly Father is not unapproachable but His ears are always open to our call and He will give us comfort, wisdom, an ability to overcome the situation and guidance to know the way to proceed in His path for our ultimate good and His ultimate glory. His plans for our lives are not always what we expected, nor are they always the plan we would choose if it were left up to us. Our comfort and strength is strengthened when we realize our Heavenly Father can see down the path of the future and will keep us from further dismay or fretfulness.
Our Bible is full of references to God’s love for us, His hearing our prayer and working on our behalf, we know He will give us the strength, patience and comfort we need to overcome the current problems that beset us. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we have given you our hearts and lives, and trust You to keep us in all things. Give us the faith to live every day for Your greater glory. Give us Your wisdom Lord as we face each day. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-25-15
Purity
Leviticus 22:2, “Tell Aaron and his sons to deal respectfully with the holy offerings of the Israelites that they have consecrated to Me, so they do not profane My holy name.” Verse 9, “They must keep My instruction, or they will be guilty and die because they profane it; I am the Lord who sets them apart.”
In the time this was written, the Priests that served the Lord God had to be very careful about their personal lives and purity. God warned them to deal respectfully and reverently with the offerings that had been given to God in order to keep from profaning or disrespecting the gifts given to the Lord God and the blessings that come from God to the Priests. In this manner, the priests were to be an example to the worshippers of Jehovah God.
Today, we who have been born anew into God’s family are considered as priests, serving before the lord God. We are to come before Him in intercessory prayer, praising Him for His goodness and gifts to each of us, and to all of His people on the earth, to thank Him for all He has done in our lives and for the gracious privilege of serving Him. We are to ask for forgiveness of our sin and restoration, then praying for others who have needs for protection, guidance in their service, for their health and strength in service and in learning of God’s gifts of mercy, grace and love.
Then, as Jesus did in John 17, pray for your own needs and God’s blessing on your life as you serve Him each day. All of us should pray that we will fully use the gifts he has given us in service and not waste any opportunity to share our witness with others. Pray that we will recognize each opportunity, make full use of it under the direction of God the Holy Spirit and always remember we serve Him out of gratitude not obligation, we are grateful He uses us in His work, and that we fully understand and teach the Scriptures accurately.
As we do God’s will today, remember we will face opposition and difficulty from our great adversary who will attempt to damage our witness, keep us from fulfilling God’s will and purpose in our lives. We are take the full armor of God and go to battle against Satan as we carry the saving message of Jesus today. Lord God our Heavenly Father, lead, guide, use us this day in every way for Your greater glory, in Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
06-24-15
God’s Justice
2 Peter 1:1-2, “To those who have obtained a faith of equal privilege with ours through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ. May grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
In this letter Peter is writing to Gentiles informing them of their relationship with Jesus, God the Son, stressing that in the perfect justice of God we who are not Israelite by birth are, by the grace of God, equally loved by God the Father, recipient of His grace and mercy born anew into the Family of God with equal access to the Father, being spiritual descendents of Abraham. Abraham was saved by faith in the promise of a perfect sacrifice to come, we are saved by faith in the perfect sacrifice provided by our great Triune God.
As a child of the Heavenly Father, we are recipients of the grace and peace given to us and multiplied in our hearts and lives by our increasing knowledge of our Father in Heaven and our Redeemer, God the Son. The more we study the working of God throughout the scriptures, the more we learn of God’s perfect righteousness and justice dealing with those who love and follow Him and those who reject the message of salvation and choose to remain in their lives of sin, ignoring the gift offered to them. It is by our God’s grace that we are fully forgiven of every sin when we come to the Father in repentance and plead for his grace. We are forever wrapped in Jesus’ perfect righteousness and when viewed from the throne of our God all that is seen is His righteousness not our sin. This is the glory of our relationship with Him.
When we realize our security in Jesus, our lives are forever lived in His peace. This may not be an absence of turmoil, but just as a storm passes over the sea, the surface is tossed, turned even beaten into a froth, but deep beneath the surface, the sea is calm and untouched by the winds that soon subside. When our trust and reliance is in our Triune God we are in the depths of His grace and peace, there may be storms on the surface, but our trust is in Him and we are unmoved while our God and Father calms the storm in our hearts. Our gracious Heavenly Father, Give us the ability to rest in the depths of Your grace and peace regardless of the storm we may face. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Manna in the Morning
06-23-15
God’s Promises
2 Samuel 22:31-33, “God—His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is pure. He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is a rock? Only our God. God is my strong refuge; He makes my way perfect.”
David spoke to the Lord the words of this song on the day the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the murderous clutching hand of Saul. We see in this passage phrases which David later uses in his Psalms or songs to remind us of the indescribable, unmeasurable and sometimes unbelievable attributes of our Great God and Father. While we wonder sometimes about the path on which our Heavenly Father is allowing us to tread, we need to fully trust Him and recognize that His way is perfect and will always lead to His greater glory. David further recognizes the Word of the Lord is pure. The five books written by Moses under God’s inspiration were the entire written Word of God that David could read and study. We, with the complete written revelation of God, have the same assurance that God’s Word is pure and true. In this prayer David speaks for every Believer when he sings that our great God is a refuge for all who seek it in Him and is truly the shield of faith with which we can defeat our adversary, extinguishing his fiery temptations.
There are a few monoliths on earth known for their bedrock stability. One of these is the Rock of Gibraltar guarding the entrance to the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. As unmoving as that rock is, it is a temporary pebble compared to the steadfastness, enduring protective rock of our Salvation. He is the anchor for our lives, the immovable guidepost for our spiritual guidance. David, under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit declares God’s way is perfect as is ours when we walk in the way He has set before us.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we come to You in Jesus’ name asking You to provide stability in our lives, keep us from sin and guide us as we walk in the way You have set before us. We desire to do Your will this day.

Manna in the Morning
09-23-14
Blessings
Matthew 5:11-12, “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
What did Jesus mean when he said that we who follow Him will be persecuted? In some of the territories under control of the Islamic Jihadists, it means you are likely to beheaded. If you are in North Korea or Vietnam and have a Bible, you will be beaten, and if still alive, imprisoned and in all likelihood, never leave the prison or work camp alive. In many parts of the world, to openly declare your saving faith in Jesus, God the Son, you will be considered as believing in an unrealistic fairy-tale God. Even in the US, many main-line denominational churches will look askance at the evangelical believer who seeks to follow the path of righteousness laid out by God’s Word concerning basic Biblical beliefs, creation, Biblical condemnation of homosexuality, abortion, opposing same-sex marriages and many others. We are rapidly approaching the point where we will be allowed ‘freedom of worship’ within the walls of the church, but public expression and display of our love of our Savior, crosses, Nativity scenes or just giving away portions of Scripture and Gospel tracts or declaring our faith in Christ in any public setting, such as schools, the military, public parks or any place not directly related to an enclosed building will be declared unconstitutional under our Leftist Federal Government declaring ‘freedom from religion’, rather than free expression of our faith. Our Savior warned us of this time shortly before He returns, when we will face the same prosecution He faced in His earthly Ministry.
When Jesus spoke of persecution, He is not just talking of insults and name-calling, He is speaking of the persecution of men and women like Stephen stoned in the Book of Acts, the Apostle Thomas, speared to death in India, the 5 young men in the Amazon Jungle, those that died on fields of Africa and China of disease and vengeful servants of Satan. Jesus said when we are castigated, ridiculed or worse for carrying His name, for declaring His death burial and resurrection in atonement for our sin and victory of death and hell, we are to rejoice because our Heavenly Reward is greater than we can imagine, while earthly persecution is short and temporal.
Our goal is living a life pleasing and productive for our Savior, and if that means an immediate relocation to the Heavenly places, that too will be to the greater glory of our Lord God. We are His for all eternity and He is ours to use in any way for His glory. Heavenly Father, we simply pray to be used of You today, in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
06-19-15
Supply Your Needs
Philippians 4:19-20, “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now unto God and our Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
The Apostle Paul had received some financial aid from the Church at Philippi that he knew had come at great cost to some of the givers. Paul is showing his gratitude to the church and promises the believers that his God will supply all their needs in accordance with God’s riches in glory. When we give in accordance with how God has blessed us, His riches in mercy and the furtherance of His glory will fill our souls and gladness fill our hearts, even if God does not fill our wallets with money.
When we consider how great beyond measure our great God is, it is difficult to understand how we can have a personal relationship with Him. He is the Creator of all things, it is by His power all things consist and without Him all the universe would disappear. He is so great He will someday de-create this entire universe, removing it from existence, then re-creating it in perfection, having no impurity, no sin, no tempter and it will remain pure and sinless throughout all eternity for the enjoyment and habitation of all who have accepted His love and salvation by faith, being part of His divine family. He is unlimited sbypirit and yet through His love and power He dwells within our tiny speck within this universe in the presence of God the Holy Spirit within our lives. Our God is larger than the universe, yet His fullness lives within the heart and soul of those He loves.
In Psalm 35 David calls our Lord, “My God and My Lord,” and Thomas fell on his knees before Jesus in John chapter 20 declaring, “My Lord and My God.” Paul knew His Lord so intimately he could call upon “My God” and you and I can look to Heaven and declare He is our Heavenly Father, Our God and King.
Gracious Heavenly Father, we ask in Jesus’ name that we will recognize your awesome unlimited nature, yet know you so personally we call you or gracious Father.

Manna in the Morning
06-18-15
Speak God’s Word
Ezekiel 2:6-7, “But you, son of man, do not be afraid of them or their words, though briers and thorns are beside you and you live among scorpions. Don’t be afraid of their words or be discouraged by the look on their faces, for they are a rebellious house. But speak My words to them whether they listen or refuse to listen, for they are rebellious.”
Ezekiel was commissioned by Jehovah God at a time when the people to whom he was sent were rebellious, ignored God’s proclaimed Word and ignored the message yet Ezekiel was to continue, whether the people listened or not. We are living today in a similar time when the general public refuse to listen to our testimony, do not want to hear of the coming judgement of God, and reject the precepts of His Word. We who are Evangelical believers find the reaction to our attempts to share the Word of God varies greatly. Some people will take a Gospel of John, thanking us, and we will find it on a bench in the Mall a few minutes later, others refuse it outright, but there are always those who take the Gospel, promise to read it, while we trust God to honor His promise that His Word will always bear fruit.
God has commanded us to continue to share our witness with others without regard for their apparent interest, He alone can bring about the change in their hearts and lives. Any rejection is not against us as God’s messengers, it is against the proclamation of the statement that they must accept; all men and women are sinners and they realize that is the condition of their hearts even if they will not publically admit it. Our adversary is the devil, the great deceiver and the deception he has brought upon our nation that believes it is more important to ‘save the world,’ than it is to save the souls of men and women who are in the grip of sin and ignorance of God’s grace. God has equipped us, given us armor against Satan’s arrows, the weapons of prayer and His written Word and promises to stand beside us as we share His message of salvation. Heavenly Father, guide us to thirsty souls with the living water we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-17-10
God’s Everlasting Love
Isaiah 54:10 “I have sworn that I will not be angry with you or rebuke you. Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says your compassionate Lord.”
Every one of God’s children recognize the wonderful everlasting love of our Heavenly Father. That love, however, did not stop at Calvary, it continues down to this day and we see it in His care over us individually and as care for this earth and its entire population; the present evidence of His eternal love. Scientists tell us that the earth is entering a time when the sun is in a period of what is called, “solar hibernation” where historically earthquake activity has been heightened. In this verse God speaks through Isaiah telling us that although the mountains move and the hills shake, His love will not fail us and His promise of protection and security in Him will never change, the rainbow will still appear after the storm. God promised through Jeremiah in Lamentations 3:22-23, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”
Jesus told us that earthquakes would increase as the end of this age draws near, this year, we have had over 70 earthquakes already that were 6 or above on the Richter scale. Even as God’s love and faithfulness been seen in the shaking of our earth in Nepal where the quake was instrumental in many souls hearing and believing the message of God’s love. God’s love is felt by His children in times of personal emotional or physical upheaval. His love and healing are felt and seen by others in time of physical ailments or emotional turmoil. Regardless of the cause of the disturbance, we are never consumed by the difficulty, God’s compassion toward us will not fail. His mercy toward us is renewed in our hearts and lives daily. Our Heavenly Father cannot be shaken nor can his love fail us. Praise Him for His tender love for we who are His children.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may we be fully aware of Your love toward us, Your mercy surrounding us, and Your comfort upholding us. We rest confidently in Your faithfulness today and ask for Your guidance in Jesus’ name.

 

Manna in the Morning
06-15-15
The Beauty of His Holiness
Psalm 96:8-9, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory of His name; bring an offering and enter His courts. Worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness; tremble before Him, all the earth.”
Because of a careless misuse of terms, many people think worship is present in a service while we are singing/playing an instrument or just enjoying the praise music. As wonderful as that is, there is much more to worship. Our hearts worship our risen Lord when we present our gifts to Him, when we lift our voices in honoring Him, when we listen to His Word and the sermon that directs our thoughts and minds to the presence of our Great God and Father. True worship for each of us comes when our hearts, minds and entire beings are praising our Lord, silently or vocally, when we feel His presence within us through the power of God the Holy Spirit. True worship is that one-on-one experience when we listen to His voice of comfort and love. This passage encourages us to recognize and honor the glory of our God’s Name, The indescribable, all-powerful, all-wise, God whose glory is greater than the most beautiful sunrise or sunset you have ever seen, the brilliant rainbow we appreciate is a reminder of His promises that are much more beautiful than the prisms in each raindrop that together form the bow in the sky. Even the lightning that courses through the clouds in an approaching storm are more magnificent than anything any human can produce. Our God’s indefinable power holds the universe in place atom by atom, and mankind’s puny efforts like the Cern super-collider will never materially affect God’s power and glory.
God’s Shekinah Glory is the brilliant energy that floated over the murky waters and produced light on the first day of creation, God’s visible manifestation of that glory led the Israelites for 40 years through the wild places, providing water and food at appropriate times. God’s glory was manifest in the burning bush, on Sinai, in the faces of the disciples when they saw The Heavenly Jesus on the high mountain. This glory is to fill our lives, our worship and our daily activities because we are the habitation of the Presence of God.
Lord God, make this day one where we are always conscious of Your glory in our lives. We ask this in Jesus’ powerful name.
Manna in the Morning
06-11-15
Complaints
Jeremiah 12:1, “So let me bring you this complaint: Why are the wicked so prosperous? Why are evil people so happy?”
Jeremiah was unhappy and brought his complaint to his Lord asking why the wicked seemed to prosper in their endeavors and seemed to be happy. God’s answer to him was simple, He has not prospered them because they have fallen into sin and forsaken Him. They have resisted his correction, ignored the warnings calling them to repentance. Therefore He has turned from them and their seeming success is empty, their happiness is like one who has ignored a messenger, hiding their deeply buried fear of the certain disaster.
We often complain because things do not go the way we think they should, we have disappointments over things that do not have eternal consequences or even long-term earthly benefits except for our personal desires. We may be disappointed when someone refuses to listen to our message of God’s love and rejects His offered salvation, forgetting that we have done just what God wants of us when we present the message, because God the Holy Spirit is the One who convicts the heart of the unbeliever and yet they make their own personal choice to reject His gift of salvation. We are not the rejected one, instead it is the message that is declined.
Before we complain about what God has allowed into our lives, it is necessary for us to remind ourselves He knows the future and what it holds for us. He may be protecting us from a future disaster or difficulty much more serious than the one that has caused our dismay. Our complete trust and faith is in the One who promised to shine the lamp on our path and a light for our next step. Our gracious Heavenly Father we ask in Jesus’ name for comfort and contentment in the place where You will use us to Your glory.

Manna in the Morning
06-10-15
Why
Romans 8:28-29, “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God: those who are called according to His purpose. For those He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son.”
Years ago I heard a song, I believe by Kris Kristopherson, where the lyrics went something like this, “Lord, what did I ever do to deserve even one of the things You have done?” I remember quite clearly thinking this sentence can be taken two ways. First, each of us who has asked Christ Jesus to cleanse us from our sin and make us anew as Children of our Heavenly Father fully recognize there is nothing in this world we can do to make our lives more acceptable to our God, it is by His grace alone that He showers us with gifts and mercies that we can never merit, it is all from His generous hand. This is the grateful praise and thanks from a Child of the righteous King. It can also be the lament of a soul so heavily laden with worries and difficulties he can hardly make it through the difficult days, that unredeemed soul will ask the question, “Why me, Lord, what did I ever do to be punished like this, I don’t deserve this.” This too has a clear, unambiguous answer, those are men and women who are bearing the burden of their sin because their actions have condemned them.
There is great comfort in knowing that God has chosen us at a specific time to be a witness to specific people to plant the seed of loving Christ Jesus in their hearts and see them grow into mature Christians. Everything that Our Father allows to enter our life is designed for one purpose, to make us more like Jesus Christ. Our Father knows our strengths and weaknesses, our dedication to Him and what pressures and heat will reshape us into the image of Jesus Christ for the sole purpose of bringing great glory to His name. To live for Him is the goal of every Christian, to glorify Him is the ultimate gift in gratitude for the salvation He has purchased for us with His own blood spilled at Calvary. Heavenly Father, we do not deserve Your love and gifts of mercy, we thank You for the joy and privilege of serving You this day. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-08-15
Discipline
1 Corinthians 11:31-32, “If we were properly evaluating ourselves, we would not be judged, but when we are judged, we are disciplined by the Lord, so that we may not be condemned with the world.”
This passage calls for us to examine ourselves before we partake of the Ordinance of Communion or The Lord’s Supper. We are to examine our hearts, souls and minds continually to see if there is any impure thoughts or ungodly actions for which we have not asked our Lord for forgiveness and restoration. Many of us take a few moments and ask God for forgiveness for what we have said or done, but not to the extent the Apostle Paul is considering in this passage. Our Heavenly Father is waiting to forgive us when we ask, but not before. God is not vengeful, but does desire our confession and plea for forgiveness if for no other reason than to make us aware of the presence of sin in this world, and the greatness of God’s forgiveness, reminding us of the sinless life of Jesus, God the Son, for our redemption and the debt of love we owe Him for our righteousness in Him.
If we fail to evaluate our own life according to the standards of God’s Word, we may be called to account by our Heavenly Father, and be disciplined, that is brought into the knowledge and understanding of what it truly means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Not necessarily punishment, but becoming more and more like Him in every way, showing His compassion and love for every person who comes to Him. Sharing the sorrow and sadness when men and women refuse to turn to Him fully, wanting the joy of Heaven, but avoiding the persecution and derision of those who will have nothing to do with our Savior and Sovereign God.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to openly declare our allegiance to our Savior without someone telling us it offends them and their decision to follow another path. This is a clear indication they want to get rid of the messenger because they dread the message and the conviction that grips their heart.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, help us today as steadfast believers in Jesus, to put on the full armor You have provided for us from the helmet of salvation to the shoes of the peace of our God, take up the Sword of the Spirit, that is the Word of God and praying for wisdom, opportunity and boldness, go out this day and do battle for our Great and Wonderful King. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-05-15
True Life
Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
This awesome verse is claimed by many as their life’s verse and with good reason. We indeed have been born anew into the family of God and our lives are no longer our own, but belong to our Heavenly Father who gave us this new life. We should be as ‘dead’ to this worlds charms and allurements as Paul was, and so focused on the message of redemption we are to share with the world that we refuse to recognize the temptations and trials that come our way. In our unguarded moments when we are allowing our thoughts to run apart from the security of our heavenly home and the power of the living God within us, we are focused on the earthly rather than the heavenly. This is the powerful struggle and spiritual warfare we must use all of our spiritual armor and weaponry to defeat.
The Apostle Paul, in another letter, said we are to follow his example and live as he did, in faith believing God will care for our every need; physical, spiritual, mental, emotional or anything else. Our faith is in the living God, the Omnipotent One, our Savior and Guide, our ever present companion, our sustainer and provider. God created us in our mother’s wombs, gave us gifts and abilities enabling us to better serve Him. God the Father is the author and completion of our salvation, sending God the Son to live a perfect sacrificial life, overcoming every trial so we can repel by trusting His love to resist any temptation that we must defeat. God the Holy Spirit takes up residence in our lives, giving us the direction God would have us take, providing every blessing and mercy from the unlimited supply of our great Triune God. Our Triune God is deeply involved in our lives to the fullest extent we allow Him to be.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the Redemption You have provided for all who will call upon Your name, give us a sense of mission today as we live out our lives for Your greater Glory, We submit to Your will in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
06-04-15
When, Lord
Matthew 24:4-14, Then Jesus replied to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and they will deceive many. You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains. Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name. Then many will take offense, betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. Because lawlessness will multiply, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be delivered. This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations. And then the end will come.”
Reading this passage aloud is like listening to the morning news or reading today’s newspaper. Large earthquakes in so many places, Japan, Nepal, all across the world. Wars by the Jihadists across Asia and promising to invade the USA. Famine gripping large parts of the world, storms, floods and searing heat are destroying much of the earth’s crop yields, leading to food shortages and high prices. Anarchy is gripping many cities in the US with rising crime rates, a vendetta against law enforcement in populated cities leading to looting and theft.
There is a rapid rise in antagonism and animosity against the Bible-believing Christians when we raise our voices against sinful behavior and rebellion against God’s laws, leading to persecution and restriction by the government, from local to federal, of a Believer’s right to freely express his or her witness and, by that action, bring conviction into the hearts of many.
The good news however, in the words of Jesus, “Then the end will come.” This will mean that all who have accepted Christ will be caught up into His presence, not returning until we come with our King to reign over the earth for a thousand years. This is our promise from The One who has wrapped us in His righteousness, and loves us with an everlasting love.
Our loving Heavenly Father, may all who trust You take courage in the words that Your presence will never leave us regardless of the battles that surround us.

Manna in the Morning
06-03-15
Peace
Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
The word for worry used in this verse literally means any and every concern, no matter how large or how small. If it is a trial or any situation, we are to explain it to our Heavenly Father, ask Him for the answer that will give Him the greater glory. If we can do this, trust our Lord God to care for the problem He will give us the peace we need to live our life under His love and care. Even while I am sitting at my keyboard and writing this, I looked out my window and saw a full arc of a rainbow from horizon to the peak and back to earth. It reminded me of Noah, who saw the arc in the sky and by this sign God said He would never again destroy the earth and its inhabitants by a flood. He has kept this promise, and every time I see this beautiful reminder in the sky, I remember the storm will end and God’s promises will never be broken or forgotten.
God’s peace floods our hearts and entire being and then takes first place in our hearts, surpassing every thought or intent of our mind. This calls for us to ask the Father to work in our minds to control every thought, word or attitude in order to faithfully proclaim Christ to our families, friends and those we contact during our daily activities.
The peace that is beyond our ability to understand will also guard our heart against the attacks of the devil. From the moment of our salvation, being born anew into the Family of God, we are under attack from the prince of darkness, trying to mute our witness, making us ineffective in the spiritual war in which we are involved. Our minds will be under the watch and guardianship of our Lord God. When we are born anew, we become the abiding place of God the Holy Spirit, giving him freedom to guide our minds will keep us from the filth and inappropriate acts, sights and allurements of our society and ‘entertainment’ industry. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask for Your promise to take care of every need or care that we have. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
06-02-15
God Listened
Joshua 10:12-13, “On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to the Israelites, Joshua spoke to the Lord in the presence of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and moon, over the valley of Aijalon.” And the sun stood still and the moon stopped, until Israel took vengeance on its enemies.”
During the time the Israelites were following God’s will and plan for their Nation, after they crossed the Jordan into Canaan they captured a large, well fortified city named Gilgal. The Canaanites, especially the Amorites, tried to pull together a consortium of 5 City States to attack the small army Joshua had left to protect the city of Gibeon in order to slow or stop the conquest of the Israelites. The soldiers at Gibeon sent word to Joshua pleading for help. Joshua took his army marched all night to reach Gibeon and engaged the five kings in battle. As the day wore on, Joshua cried out to the Lord in the presence of the people, commanding the sun and moon to stand still, and allowing daylight to continue for the Lord to vanquish those that came against Israel. The earth stopped its rotation and the sun continued to shine upon God’s chosen leader and people. After Joshua called upon the sun and moon to stop, God said, “There has been no day like this before or since, when the Lord listened to the voice of a man.”
When we are engaged in doing the work God has for us, in the time and place of His choosing, God listens to the voice of His Children, even to halting the earth in its rotation, as in the Case of Joshua’s plea. Our great Heavenly Father is quick to hear us, will answer our prayer in the perfect time of His choosing. We need to pray in expectant faith that He will answer. The confidence in our hearts is as important to our Father in Heaven as the request we bring to Him. Prayer is to be our means of opening our heart and mind to God, then letting Him answer in His own way. I am convinced that God is willing to stop the daily activities we feel are important, but that many of His children do not expect the answer, repeating and repeating the request as though we have to remind Him we await His answer. God is perfect in every way, knows the future like the past, but always willing to hear our prayer for His greater glory.
Lord God our Father in Heaven, give us the gift of confident expectancy as we place our requests before you now. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-29-15
Government
Romans 13:6-7, “For this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. Pay your obligations to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, tolls (Obedience) to those you owe tolls Obedience), respect to those you owe respect, and honor to those you owe honor.”
Our nation is entering into a politically charged year preceding the 2016 Presidential election. The atmosphere is tense, sparks are already flying and every candidate is open to pot shots from the media every time they make a statement. The liberal press has difficulty accepting anything like a Biblical admonition, since, by and large, they do not think the Bible has anything to do with our political system. Romans 13 gives every Christian a basis upon which to base their actions, deciding which candidate to support and how to vote in 16 months. Romans 13 is summed up in the two verses quoted.
First, we may have concerns about the wasted money in the Federal Government, but as citizens we must pay the amount due. We may argue how little is spent in one area, or agonize over the spending in another, but we are, as citizens obligated to pay. Second, we owe obedience to the statutes and laws on the books, Federal, State or Local. If a law is unjust, we may voice our opinion and seek to have it repealed, but we are bound to obey. Third, we owe respect to the offices people hold. We must respect the Office of President. We may or may not agree with the actions and overreaches of the current holder of that office, but the Office and Constitutional duties deserve our respect. Fourth, honor to those who deserve honor. We just observed Memorial Day when we honored those whose lives were given for our wonderful Constitutional Republic.
But, nowhere in scripture are we commanded to obey any law or statute that is contrary to God’s Word or that restricts our God given command to share our faith and witness to what our Heavenly Father has done in our lives. God has ordained our governmental structure and He has allowed the citizens of the United States to choose whomever they wish as their governmental leaders. This does not mean that God has placed any individual in any office nationally or locally, to force us to obey ungodly legislation, but He has and will allow that to happen. Psalm 109 is an example of how God allowed ungodly leadership over Israel and then punished both the leader and people. Our merciful Heavenly Father, give us the ability to freely declare our servitude to You and You alone, and for the glorious joys that await us when we see your face in the Heavenly places.

Manna in the Morning
05-28-15
Spiritual Warfare
Ephesians 6:10-12, “Finally, be strengthened by the Lord and by His vast strength. Put on the full armor of God so that you can stand against the tactics of the Devil. For our battle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.”
The United States is in a spiritual decline that will soon pit its governmental stance and Federal regulations pitting themselves against the traditional Biblical Standards held to, and wholly believed proper by evangelical believers in Jesus. God made His standard known when in Genesis 19 He destroyed the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of their vile, sinful behavior. Today, GLBT coalitions will not be satisfied until the Bible and its basic teachings on same-sex co-habitation are declared ‘hate speech.’ Our Biblical convictions will stand if we garner our strength from our Lord God and His Omnipotence. He has given us a full armor to protect us from all satanic attack and trickery. We must, however recognize that our battle will not ultimately be won in the Senate or Federal Courts, but we must realize our spiritual battle is not against other men and women, even those in places of great influence, our battle is against the demons, evil spirits and the evil, fallen angels empowered by Satan himself.
The spiritual war in which we are engaged is multi-leveled. There is at the highest level, fought among the Hosts of Heaven and the fallen angels empowered by Satan. In Scripture this is illustrated as a war for control of the heads of nations. There is the war between the demons and angels, the ferocity of which we can only surmise; then there is the war on earth between the Saints of the Most High and the tools and fools of the devil, this is the level of warfare in which we are involved, and where we will certainly lose unless we depend upon the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Our gracious Heavenly Father, protect us as we go into the fray, fighting the evil presence in this world. Make us effective soldiers in Your army we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
05-26-15
Coming Home
Luke 15:20, “So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him.”
Yesterday, on Memorial Day, we heard much about heroes who did not return from battle, of those who were willing to risk, then give, their life for their country. Today I saw a compilation of the returning welcome many of our military received returning home from a deployment. Some were greeted in a formal ceremony where their hometown had a welcoming for them, others greeted with abandonment and joy as children embraced theirs fathers and literally jumped into the outstretched arms of their father whom they loved so dearly.
Scripture gives us at least two homecomings, Jephthah, returning home from a successful battle, was met with joy and laughter by his daughter, yet he was filled with sorrow because of an ill-considered vow he had made before God. Another is the father whose son had left home years before and was now returning uncertain of his welcome. We are living our lives today in anticipation of soon meeting our Redeemer in the place He has prepared for us. Whether it is upon our leaving this earthly body and entering the gate of eternity or it is the calling up of the saints when Our Savior calls, we will immediately be in the presence of Jesus who will greet us with a ‘well done’ where we will then be in His presence for evermore.
The Bible tells us there is joy in heaven over every soul that repents and turns to Jesus and we can only imagine the joy when the Church, the Bride of Christ, is called up into His presence. We’ as born again believers in the Family of God, will receive the Father’s welcome of a child now safely home. Our elation will be that of those who have been in a far place and now finally coming into the presence of the one who bought our freedom from the clutches of the devil, giving us the gift of life eternal. Our Heavenly Father, while we are on this earth we will do Your will and our anticipation of our homecoming is growing in anxious desire to be in Your presence. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-22-15
Neither Cold nor Hot
Revelation 3:15-18, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. Because you say, ‘I’m rich; I have become wealthy, and need nothing,’ and you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked.”
Many Bible scholars and students of prophecy believe the Body of Believers today is approaching the end of the Laodicean period, ending with the calling up of the worldwide Church, the Bride of Christ. This will usher in the time of purification and tribulation of the population and surface of the earth ridding it from the curse of sin following Adam’s sin in Eden. The Church today is filled with empty platitudes from the pulpits of many churches, infected with the poison of accommodating the sinful practices of society, neglecting to warn people of the perfect justice and wrath of God against sin, as well as the perfect love of God who gave His only Son as the perfect sacrifice on Calvary. The percentage of the population who are evangelical, born again Christians in the USA, and across the world, is diminishing, while the percentage of non-believers is increasing due to the leftist, liberal college professors and high school teachers who deny the need for a salvation experience and influencing their students to do the same.
While there are many churches who have active missions programs, encourage their members to witness to others and serve their Lord faithfully, there are many others who have become soft, lazy, have no organized outreach programs and really do not understand they are to be pitied for their lack of Biblical knowledge, blinded by their indifference and naked because they do not have the robes of Jesus’ righteousness. This is the time Jesus spoke of when He said, “Look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” Luke 21:28. It’s time for we who love our Lord God to increase our efforts, to pray for others and to share the good news of redemption to as many people as possible. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, guide us in our efforts to share Your words of warning and invitation. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-21-15
Love
John 13:34-35, “I give you a new commandment: love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Our Triune God has emphasized over and over in His Word, the importance of the family and the way we treat our relatives, and neighbors. In the New Testament Jesus, God the Son, has told us to be like the good Samaritan and help those in need, now Jesus has given us a new commandment; we are to love one another in the same measure that He loves us. This means we need to have a lot of patience with others who may feel it is their prerogative to invade our personal space with noise from their portable amplification systems, tailgate our car in traffic or just be impatient and rude to us. These are things that occur every day wherever we are, and in extreme cases, the provocateur will fly into a rage because he or she feels they are the most important person on the face of the earth. ‘What would Jesus do?’ needs to be our thought as we realize our reaction shows our dedication to His words.
It should be every Christian’s plea to have the mind and attitude of our Lord and Savior, Jesus. He never turned away from those who sought to ask Him for help for their own ailments, on behalf of their children or friends, or in any other plea. He was able to turn aside the anger of the Jewish religious leaders and ask the right questions to turn away the wrath of others. It is when we radiate the love of our Savior within us that we will give Him glory by the way we react to others. Statistically, 8 out of 10 people that you meet do not know our Savior as we do, therefore we are to show Christ Jesus to them by the way we respond or react to the world around us. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You to guide our every move this and every day. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-20-15
Who is My Neighbor?
Luke 10:29, Luke 10:29, “Wanting to justify himself, the religious Leader asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Yesterday we talked about how to treat our neighbors, both in our neighborhoods and with those with whom we worship. As a response to this question, let’s see how Jesus answered it, He does it much better than I could. Luke 10:30-37, “Jesus replied with a story: “A Jewish man was traveling on a trip from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he was attacked by bandits. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him up, and left him half dead beside the road. By chance a priest came along. But when he saw the man lying there, he crossed to the other side of the road and passed him by. A Temple assistant walked over and looked at him lying there, but he also passed by on the other side. Then a despised Samaritan came along, and when he saw the man, he felt compassion for him. Going over to him, the Samaritan soothed his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put the man on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him. The next day he handed the innkeeper two silver coins, telling him, ‘Take care of this man. If his bill runs higher than this, I’ll pay you the next time I’m here.’ Now which of these three would you say was a neighbor to the man who was attacked by bandits?” Jesus asked. The man replied, “The one who showed him mercy.” Then Jesus said, “Yes, now go and do the same.”
We have lost the concept of neighbors and neighborhoods, living walled in our homes with the A/C humming, not sitting out in the evening breezes, talking to the folks next door or sharing a cool glass of lemonade or iced tea with them. We who follow Christ Jesus are declining in the percentage of the population in our nation and in the world. Could that be because we are not good neighbors? In fulfilling our responsibility as neighbors, we will show the love and mercy of our Savior, earning us the opportunity to share the offer of salvation through Christ to those with whom we interact. Our gracious Heavenly Father, make us good neighbors today according to Your definition. In Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-19-15
Our Neighbor
Exodus 20:16-17, “Do not give false testimony against your neighbor. 17 Do not covet your neighbor’s house. Do not covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female slave, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
There are two ways to look at this verse, first we are to be careful of the way we treat our next-door neighbors, being careful we do not envy their new cars, boats, lawns, etc. and never say anything that could cause them grief. The second way of understanding these verses is to understand that to the Israelite, his neighbor was a fellow Israelite. We need to understand the need to get along with the neighbors in our pews when we worship, not criticizing their not living up to “Our” standards because then we are harming ourselves and not getting the spiritual food we need. While we may hold ourselves to a certain standard, that is a result of our background, upbringing and spiritual maturity. Thinking of our fellow church members in a negative way is only going to harm our relationship with our Lord, and cause us grief. Looking critically at fellow church members and attenders and making judgments about their style of music worship, their attire, behavior of their ki ds or any other thing is not what we should be doing. It is our relationship with our Savior and God that we are to be concerned about. A critical spirit is not a healing spirit.
Solomon wrote in Proverbs 6:16-19, “Six things the Lord hates; in fact, seven are detestable to Him: arrogant eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that plots wicked schemes, feet eager to run to evil, a lying witness who gives false testimony, and one who stirs up trouble among brothers.” Our gracious Heavenly Father, keep us from stirring up trouble and give us the wisdom and grace to be good neighbors to in every way. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-18-15
Stealing
Exodus 20:15, “Do not steal.”
There are many things people do to receive value for which they have not paid. One of these, of course, is stealing directly from a shopkeeper as we have watched videos of the many riots that have taken place in the last months. Another is to accept a paycheck for the agreed upon salary, but have not worked diligently for the employer, taking extra breaks, napping at the desk like Dagwood Bumpstead in the comics or not giving the employer a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. There are high school and college students who do not complete their assignments and ‘borrow’ the work of others, or cheat on the tests in many different ways. In the US there are thousands, if not millions, of tax returns that do not reflect the true net income an individual receives, and their uncounted thousands who feel any person deserves all the information, discounts or credits they may receive and feel no remorse or sorrow for ‘stealing’ what they should rightfully pay in goods or labor.
In the Prophecy of Malachi, God accuses the people of stealing from Him when they gave the lame and puny lambs for sacrifice, while keeping the healthy, unblemished ones for themselves to sell or keep in their own flocks. Many people across the Nation yesterday, did not give a full attention to the proclamation of God’s Word, instead they were reading emails or texting on their phones. Not giving God our true Worship in attendance and participation is robbing Him of the worship only He deserves.
During the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus spoke to those who were eager to hear Him. He said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you; a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over—will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” When anyone tries to cheat or take something from someone without full payment, even test answers in high school, God will repay with the same measure. If we give Him full attention, give to His work through our Churches, and are sure to deal honestly with all people, God will pour out blessings beyond our ability to comprehend. It may not be money, but He will give us out of His inexhaustible supply of blessing each and every day. Each day we should spend time in meditation upon God’s Word and just listen for the quiet voice of God speaking to our heart. Gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we ask you to make us a blessing to others and we may recognize your manifold blessings to us.

Manna in the Morning
05-14-15
Murder
Exodus 20:13, “Do not murder.”
For many years sincere Christians have followed the command as written in the King James Version, ‘Thou Shalt not kill.’ This left many people confused about the accounts of David and Goliath, Samson and the Philistines and many other of the Biblical warriors. The word used truly means to murder someone, to aggressively take their life with malice just as Cain murdered His brother Able. It is never proper or right in God’s eyes to take another person’s life with hate in your heart. In Exodus 21:14, the law was given, “If a person willfully acts against his neighbor to murder him by scheming, you must take him from My altar to be put to death.” Capital punishment is and always has been an appropriate sentence for first degree murder. In Ex 22:2, Scripture says, “If a thief is caught in the act of breaking in, and he is beaten to death, no one is guilty of bloodshed.” The head of a household must protect his family and in the case of a home invasion, the homeowner has every right to take the life of the intruder, but cannot chase him down the street or take his life at a later time. (Some of the States in the US have incorporated this concept in their legislation.)
Another clarification in the Scriptures is the duty of an individual to serve in the Military in the defense of his government. In WWII many Christians chose to be Conscientious Objectors based on this commandment and be assigned to non-combative assignments. The Bible however does not hold an individual guilty of any crime against the enemy when engaged in battle. The same exception is given to those who are protecting the property and lives of another such as our Police departments. David and Samson were engaged in battle against the Philistines, an idolatrous nation who was not only an enemy of Israel, but promoted godlessness and were enemies of Jehovah God. Elijah was not murdering the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he was fighting the forces of evil through the evil practitioners of false, satanic worship in God’s chosen people, Israel.
As we go through our daily lives we are to be prepared to give our lives rather than take lives if this be for God’s greater glory, but we should never be passive and allow evil men to invade our homes or places of worship. Heavenly Father, give us Your wisdom in our dealings with evil in our world and may we fight against it with the Sword of the Spirit and intercessory prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Manna in the Morning
05-13-15
Remember the Sabbath
Exodus 20:8-11, “Remember to dedicate the Sabbath day: You are to labor six days and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. You must not do any work—you, your son or daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the foreigner who is within your gates. For the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and everything in them in six days; then He rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and declared it holy.”
When Moses received these commandments, the Israelites had not, until this time, had a specific time set aside to worship Jehovah God, nor did they have a specific place set aside for worship. Each person sacrificed on an altar he had prepared at a time when he or his family had received a blessing or favor from God. Now, the Israelites were to set aside one day out of seven for worship, rest, reflection on God’s goodness to them and receive instruction from the priests and other religious scholars. This practice remained in place until Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week, fulfilling the law. There are some Christians today that continue the practice of worshipping on the seventh day for different reasons, including the small minority of Christians in Nepal and other eastern cultures.
After the resurrection, the early church began to worship on the first day of the week in honor of the resurrection and the fact that Jesus came to fulfill or complete the law. Each and every time we come together and worship we celebrate the Resurrection, the day Satan and Hell were defeated. Many believers, however, attend worship on Sunday morning and resume their regular routine, not taking our Heavenly Father’s advice to rest and allow our minds and bodies to be refreshed. Let’s use the day of rest as intended by God, spend time with the family, enjoy reading or another non-work related activity and glorify our Redeemer on the day set aside to remember His resurrection. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise and thank you for all you have done for us, please accept our praise and adulation in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
05-11-15
Glorifying God’s Name
Exodus 20:2-8, “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. Do not have other gods besides Me. Do not make an idol for yourself, whether in the shape of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the fathers’ sin, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing faithful love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commands. Do not misuse the name of the Lord your God, because the Lord will punish anyone who misuses His name.”
Yesterday we looked at the 3rd commandment where God tells us to revere the family, since it is His basic building block for human life. Today we look at the 1st commandment, showing us the reverence due our great God and Heavenly Father. He is to have first place in our lives and hearts. Just as the Israelites were delivered from slavery, we are to remember we too have been delivered from the slavery of sin and the devil by His omnipotent power. We are specifically told to worship no other entity, nothing created on earth or in the heaven’s above or the sea below.
We are not to misuse the name of our Lord God in empty, meaningless ways, as it is so often used by people today. When people who do not know of our God’s great salvation use His name in insincere ways they are guilty of breaking this edict of our God, but when believers who know God’s Word use His name in empty ways, they are even more guilty of demeaning God’s greatness. God’s Word adds a second warning, God will hold them accountable for their words and punish them for using His glorious name in a worthless manner.
Those who are faithful to His Word and seek to bring Him glory by their actions, watching their actions, attitudes and words carefully will be blessed even to a thousand generations. We, as parents can assure our families of the blessings of God by simply living a simple life to the Glory and Honor of our Heavenly Father. Our gracious, kind and loving Father in Heaven, give us all we need this day to serve you in every deed, spoken or unspoken word and in our attitude of servitude to You. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
05-11-15
Honoring Thelma Marie Felix Lackore
Exodus 20:12, “Honor your father and your mother so that you may have a long life in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.”
When God gave the 10 commandments to Israel through Moses, it was the first time that the people God had chosen were given a written code by which they were to live their lives. Prior to this, Jehovah God had spoken personally to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob giving them advice and instruction. Now He had given them a written code that was broken even before it was revealed to the people. The First Commandment was to love and live for the glory of their God and He alone, but this second commandment showed God’s concern for a gift He had given to mankind; the Family.
The family was important in Israelite life, the genealogies of both mother and father of each child were carefully kept in the temple records and every child was to obey and respect both father and mother in order to keep the tribes carefully united as one extended family, yet unified as one people chosen and blessed of God. There are many Biblical mothers mentioned in Scripture. Eve, the mother of Cain, Abel, Seth and others; Sarah, Abraham’s wife who bore the promised heir of the promise in Isaac, Rebekah who married Isaac, Leah and Rachel, wives of Jacob who bore sons and daughters to Him, Hannah who bore Samuel, Manoah’s wife who bore Samson, Ruth, the grandmother of King David, and of course the virgin Mary who bore Jesus in accordance with God’s plan. Scripture reminds us to remember the lessons taught us by our mothers and not to bring dishonor upon them.
The society in which we live today gives less and less attention to the need of a mother and a father, a family fully dedicated to our Lord God. It is appropriate that we set aside one day of the year to remember our Mothers and the contributions they made to our lives. Memories of special events that stay with us all of our lives like hymns sung by Mom, Dad reading the Bible, the prayers at the dinner table, the family celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our mothers are part of what we are today, and we will always be grateful.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for our parents and especially our mothers whom we remembered yesterday. Make us the parents you can use in nurturing our children we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-24-15
Dissatisfied
Haggai 1:5-6, “Now, the Lord of Hosts says this: “Think carefully about your ways: You have planted much but harvested little. You eat and drink but never have enough to be satisfied. You put on clothes but never have enough to get warm. The wage earner puts his wages into a bag with a hole in it.”
Haggai prophesied to the Israelites who returned to Jerusalem after the fall of the Babylonian empire, and then in conjunction with Nehemiah, encouraged the exiles who returned to Jerusalem, to rebuild the Temple. In this passage Haggai reminds the Israelites that God has not blessed their efforts in any way. They have forgotten the great works God has done for them and are concerned only for their own comfort and well-being.
Today, our Churches should take heed at the warning God gave to the Israelites so long ago. We have become more concerned with our own comforts and desires and les concerned about the mission we have been placed upon this earth to complete. Israel planted much but harvested little, today our churches need to focus more on the work still to be done for our Savior. Israel had little in creature comforts, clothing, but not enough to keep them warm. We, on the other hand, are not destitute, have the luxury of some discretionary income, but face the fear of an uncontrolled rise in the cost-of-living, having little reserve to cushion our expenditures.
Haggai and Nehemiah preached to the Israelites, encouraging them to remember the great things their God had done for them, and they must pay attention to what God would have them do in proclaiming His name among the nations. We need to follow the path our Heavenly Father has laid out for us, winning others to Him, living a life dedicated to His glory and laboring because we sense the time is near when He will call us up into the place He has prepared.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask for the burning desire to follow Your direction this day, leading us in the path You have chosen for us to follow. Bless us this coming Lord’s Day as we worship You with our entire heart and soul. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the morning
04-23-14
God’s Great Love
Psalm 67:1-2, “May God be gracious to us and bless us; look on us with favor, Selah, so that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations.”
In looking at this verse, first we need to know what the word ‘selah’ means, the most common interpretation is that it is a musical notation indicating a pause or rest in the instrumentation. After the first sentence there is a pause to lend emphasis to the remainder of the sentence. God, we all would agree, has been most gracious, pouring out His grace and mercy upon us lavishly. It is by His grace we are saved, it is His mercy that made this gift available to us pouring out His blessings upon us beyond measure. God’s blessings to us are without end, renewed so that they are poured out upon us constantly. God’s grace, mercy and blessings are ours because of His great love for us in order that His favor upon His children will be known throughout the earth and that of itself will bring great glory to His name.
Because God our Father loves His children so passionately and bestows great blessings upon them out of His limitless supply, He is known across the face of the earth as a God of love and compassion. It is our joyful responsibility to share the great love of God showing the contrast between our Heavenly Father and the harsh, vengeful gods of other belief systems and the certainty of an eternity in His presence, a gift unknown with any other religious system.
As we live our lives to the glory of our Redeemer, praise Him for His mercy and thank Him for the blessings He has bestowed upon us, we know He looks upon us with favor, protecting us from the wiles of the adversary and allowing us to live for the purpose of glorifying His name among all the people of this earth. Thank you our Heavenly Father for saving, keeping, using and blessing us to Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-22-15
Come
Revelation 22:16-17, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright Morning Star.” Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Anyone who hears should say, “Come!” And the one who is thirsty should come. Whoever desires should take the living water as a gift.”
As the last book of the Bible comes to an end, the last subject before the testimony of John is this plea for those who read this book to come to Christ Jesus and partake of the living water; the same gift Jesus offered to the Samaritan woman in the beginning period of His ministry. Jesus Himself declares to John and through him to all who read this book that the book is written to the churches, that is every church from the time of John until this very day, including the church where you attend and worship our Living Lord. Proving His Messiahship, Jesus reminds us that He is the promised descendent of King David and the Bright Morning Star long promised by the prophets of old.
Every person who comes to know Christ Jesus as their Redeemer has been called individually by God the Holy Spirit and the Church to be born anew into the Family of God and to worship, learn and witness of the love and compassion of our God for those still bound for the Lake of Fire.
After hearing of the purification of the earth from the curse of sin, the terrible war between the forces of evil and the forces of God and then hearing the promises of God for our eternal bliss in the Heavenly places, how can anyone refuse God’s offer of salvation and eternal joy? Every person who has walked the earth knows the thirst for spiritual truth and the living water available to all who seek after God. Our Heavenly Father, we thank you for the living water that floods our hearts and minds, give us the opportunity to share this with someone this day we pray in Jesus Name.

Manna in the Morning
04-20-15
Patriot’s Day
2 Corinthians 3:16-18, “Whenever a person turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. We all, with unveiled faces, are reflecting the glory of the Lord and are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory; this is from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
In the United States, yesterday, April 19th is designated as Patriot’s Day. While little known and rarely mentioned, let along celebrated, it is the remembrance of the day the Battle of Bunker Hill occurred, starting the conflict that brought liberty and freedom to the North American Continent, envied and imitated by many countries around this world. Today it seems like a veil is over the eyes of most of the world’s population and they do not understand the true freedom that can be found only in Jesus our Redeemer, many following a belief system that is truly repressive and restricting the activities of men and women, often in unmerciful torture and death for non-submission to their edicts.
Many of the inhabitants of the original colonies did not understand the concept of freedom from a monarch or similar, restrictive government, and fought against the forces of Washington who wished to proclaim liberty throughout the land. It is no different today, men and women live under the oppression of sin, thinking that earthly pleasures, satisfying the physical urges of the human body is truly what freedom means, because they can do almost any and everything they wish without fear of repression. We who have been born anew into the family of our great God and Heavenly Father have had the veil of egoism and hedonistic lusts lifted from our eyes and we understand what it means to live under, and for, the greater glory of our God and King. Our God has taken up habitation in our lives in the person of God the Holy Spirit and we should strive to let the light of His Shekinah Glory radiate from our lives to those we meet. In the not too far distant future, we are going to be in the place where God’s glory dwells, and will forever be in His very presence. While we are on this earth we are to radiate the Light of His presence to combat the darkness that is now enveloping the minds of those who are in need of a touch from our Redeemer and God. Our Gracious Heavenly Father guide us in taking the light of Your glorious freedom to a dark world today, we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-17-15
Prayer
James 5:16, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful.”
When our Lord prayed in the garden, He prayed so intently that drops of blood appeared like perspiration on His visage. As much as we pray, we do not ever approach that intensity, we choose a quiet place but do not always prepare for this priestly duty. We need to prepare our hearts, often by reading and meditating upon God’s Word, focusing our attention on our God and His great throne in the Heavenly places. As we envision ourselves on our knees before our magnificent God seated upon His glorious throne our hearts will praise and adore Him even before we consciously form any words whatsoever. Because we seek to come into His presence, we must cleanse and purify our hearts and minds asking for His forgiveness for the sin that has tainted our minds and hearts. When we have confessed and cleansed ourselves we lay our request before Him. Contrary to what we do much of the time, our adoration and praise should take up much more time than our requests. God knows the concerns of our hearts and we do not have to explain the circumstances, just ask our Savior to heal, both spiritually and physically. Our prayer is for the healing, both spiritually and physically, of those for whom we intercede, never however, forgetting the answer to our prayer is to ask our awesome God do that which fulfills His will and brings His name the greater glory.
Never should we consider praying is for the sole purpose of delivering a message for our God to fulfill, like we were filling a prescription at the pharmacy. We are to be focused upon our Lord God and His glory, the needs in the lives of others as well as ourselves that we may be healed of the spiritual needs as well as the physical. If we are praying for someone to share the message of God’s love with someone we know, we have to consider the best person to share the love of God could we, ourselves. Our loving Heavenly Father, we ask that we may also be intense in our prayer and seek Your will to be done in every case. May our prayer be a cleansing and healing for ourselves as well as in the lives of others. In Jesus, name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-16-15
Ungodly
Jude 14-15, “Look! The Lord comes with thousands of His holy ones to execute judgment on all, and to convict them of all their ungodly deeds that they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things ungodly sinners have said against Him.”
When Jesus descends from Heaven and steps foot on the Mount of Olives, then enters Jerusalem, he will lead His holy army in a war against those who follow the False Christ and the False Prophet and their demon possessed followers. Jesus will execute righteous judgement upon all those on the earth who have taken the mark of the Beast, the False Christ, and are possessed by Satan just as fully as we who love our Lord are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. They are an army set against our coming King, seeking to overthrow our great God the Son as He assumes His rightful throne in Jerusalem to establish His righteous, benevolent Kingdom.
God’s righteous judgement will fall upon them, sending them to the lake of fire for all their ungodly deeds. Anything that is done, even by fine, moral people is ungodly unless they are acting out of the love of Christ who dwells within them. Only Godly people are capable of good, Godly deeds. Ungodly deeds are the activity of ungodly people; those who have turned their back on our Great God and sold themselves to the satanic false system. All that they do is in opposition to God and they are dedicated to overthrowing His reign and rule.
It is easy to identify the ungodly, not just by their deeds, but by the words that fall from their mouths. Their attitudes, words and actions are dedicated to the removal of God’s presence and blessings to those that love Him. Any nation, including our own, who permits, even glorifies anti-Biblical actions, thereby declaring themselves as enemies of our Heavenly Father is doomed to suffer His righteous judgement and destruction. Our omnipotent Heavenly Father, give us we pray in Jesus’ name, the ability to live this day in Your power for Your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
04-15-15
Benediction
Jude v24, “Now to Him who is able to protect you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless and with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority before all time, now, and forever. Amen.”
After Jude wrote of the coming events of the Day of the Lord, and the joys awaiting the Believer, he adds this benediction commending each of us who love Him and asking our Heavenly Father to protect us from all the temptations and snares of our adversary, keeping us from falling into sin that abounds in this physical world in which we wait for His calling us up.
When we do stand before Him in joy and wonder at the glories we know abound in Heaven yet realize they are greater than anything we could ever imagine or put into words here on this earth, we will come to the understanding that all we have heard, read in the Scriptures or simply imagined in our finite earthly minds cannot come close to the realities of the glory of God or the place He has prepared for us. We will see our Savior in His majesty as Lord of all creation, His unequalled power in creating and sustaining this intricate universe with the balanced attraction between every planet and star and His authority over not only our little insignificant solar system but uncounted myriads of similar systems and heavenly bodies. His authority over all living things, there is no government entity, earthly dictator or leader that has authority unless it is allowed by our Heavenly Father. He is eternal and yet He listens to our every whispered prayer. Our Heavenly Father, we come to You in love, reverence and awe at who You are, yet we have no fear because of the love You have shown to us. Accept our praise in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
04-14-15
A Warrior who Saves
Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will bring you quietness with His love. He will delight in you with shouts of joy.”
Zephaniah was a prophet who was prophesying in Jerusalem about the time of Jeremiah, he was not a priest, but probably a distant member of the royal family. His book contains some of the most vivid pictures of God’s judgment to be found in the entire Scriptures. The prophet opens his prophetic book with a description of God’s approaching wrath. He portrays this great “day of the Lord” as a time of “trouble and distress,” “darkness and gloominess,” “trumpet and alarm.” After this glimpse of the coming wrath of God upon a sinful earth, Zephaniah reminds Judah, and by extension, believers today of God’s love and protection.
We are truly aware that our Heavenly Father is among us because He lives within each one of us in the person of God the Holy Spirit, giving us guidance and wisdom if we are willing to accept them. Our Great Heavenly Father is our protector. Our Savior, Jesus, fought one on one against Satan in the wilderness temptation, then won the victory over sin and death at Golgotha. When He returns to this earth in His glory He will destroy the army of the wicked by the Word of His mouth. Our Heavenly Father rejoices over the new birth of every soul into His family, when we sin He is quick to reconcile us within His family and rejoice as the father welcomed the prodigal son in the parable. He delights in our fellowship with Him and blesses our efforts with joy when we testify to others of His love.
The Lord our God will bring a calm quiet into our restless soul in times of our meditation upon Him and what He has provided for us. Imagine the shouts of joy and gladness when we enter into the heavenly places, whether by the end of our natural lives or if we answer the shout from the sky and are called up into His presence when the church’s work is done. Our Heavenly Father, help us today in living in the joy of our Lord. To please you and witness of Your love is our desire and we ask this in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-13-15
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Revelation 19:15-17, “From His mouth came a sharp sword, so that with it He might strike the nations. He will shepherd them with an iron scepter. He will also trample the winepress of the fierce anger of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”
When Jesus, God the Son returns to this earth after the time of purification and tribulation, He descends to the earth and immediately sends the beast and false prophet to the lake of fire and the armies of the false messiah are destroyed by the sharp sword out of the mouth of the rider of the white horse. That sharp sword is the Word of God, the Bible that we carry in our hands and hearts, given to us as a weapon by our Heavenly Father Himself. “Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is God’s word. Ephesians 6:17
God’s Word is described in the Holy Spirit inspired Scriptures as the Ten Commandments given from Mount Sinai (Deut 5:5); of the whole Mosaic Law (Isa 2:3); of specific parts of the Old Testament (Rom 9:6; 1 Tim 4:5); of a more personal communication from God (1 Sam 3:21; 15:10); of the directive of God that set in motion John the Baptist’s ministry (Luke 3:2); of Jesus’ message of the kingdom of God (Luke 8:11); of the gospel as preached in the early church (Acts 4:31); and of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself (Rev 19:13), and after the Church was established the writers of the New Testament we now have, were written under the inspiration and direction of God the Holy Spirit for our edification and understanding of God’s plan and purpose for His children, and for our further understanding of His plan and purpose for our lives. So critical and vital is the gospel to the purpose of God in this world that the successful spread of the gospel and the growth of the Church, which is our responsibility, is the inspired word of God, used by we who are His messengers, to every part of the world. “God’s message flourished and multiplied.” (Acts 12:24).
Jesus, our Redeemer, is the greatest gift our Heavenly Father could ever have given us. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 “The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise and thank You for the gift of salvation and for the Word of God. May we always give the Scriptures the reverence deserved. This we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-10-15
Trust and Obey
Micah 7:7-8, “As for me, I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me. Do not rejoice over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will stand up; though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light.”
Micah had been attacked by the proponents of a spiritual decline in the religious leadership of Israel and in response Micah spoke out saying he would wait for the Lord God of his salvation to come to his aid and defense. Micah had great trust in the Lord God to hear and answer his prayer for deliverance. He called out his attackers telling them that although they had won some battles against him we will stand up because although the present looked dark, the Lord God Jehovah will be his light and vindication. To his trust in his Lord, Micah also sought to obey God’s every statute and direction in his life.
There are times in every Christian’s life when we feel that we have been beaten down by our enemies, that God has allowed us to be put in a dark place either by the enemy of our soul or by our own lack of trust and assurance in His guiding light. First, we must trust in our God’s wisdom and concern for our spiritual welfare. He deals with us out of love, and if there are dark places we need to re-establish that trust in Him. He is our light, He is our salvation and He wants to be our guide and leader in every part of our life. Second, We need to totally commit to obey Him in every way, to obey His precepts, not being caught in any trap or snare set in front of us by our adversary. Reading His word daily, establishing a good communication line in our prayer life, to listen to the voice of God the Holy Spirit in our lives telling us how to proceed.
The parable of the prodigal son is so appropriate, if we have fallen far away, living in the pig sty, He seeks to see us on the road back to him; and in the same way when we stumble and fall, a prayer of repentance and a plea for forgiveness reconcile us with our Heavenly Father. Heavenly Father in Jesus’ name we pray asking You to increase our trust and desire to obey Your precepts. Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
The Spirit of Prophecy
Revelation 19:9-10, “Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb!” He also said to me, “These words of God are true.” Then I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “Don’t do that! I am a fellow slave with you and your brothers who have the testimony about Jesus. Worship God, because the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
John is inspired to write these words, “Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb.” Scripture teaches us that the Church is the Bride of The Lamb, and there are many who are invited to the great Marriage Feast. This great feast occurs immediately before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords descends to the earth to establish His 1,000 year reign in a benevolent theocracy. The entire world, every nation, tribe or tongue will be ruled by Jesus, God the Son.
When the heavenly voices began to praise God the Son, John falls on His face before the angel who refuses His worship and calls himself a common slave or bond-servant of God just as John is. It is good for us to recognize that we too, are bought with a price we could not and cannot pay, therefore we are also slaves to Jesus. We are His to command, to instruct, to use as His representatives on this earth, using the abilities He has given us. He also said that we have the testimony about Jesus that is the spirit of prophecy. In its simplest terms, all prophecy in our sacred Scriptures is the testimony about Jesus. Whether about Israel in the Old Testament or the church in the New Testimony, all prophecy relates to the person, earthly ministry and/oror the return of Jesus, the Lamb of God who will rule the world from Jerusalem. When endeavoring to find the meaning of some of the prophetic passages, look to the prophecy’s effect on the ministry of Jesus and the meaning will become increasingly apparent.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, may we understand that the central figure of Your Holy Word is Jesus and of His relationship we who love and serve Him.

Manna in the Morning
04-08-14
Paul’s Prayer for Us
Ephesians 3:16-19, “I pray that He may grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, and that the Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith. I pray that you, being rooted and firmly established in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length and width, height and depth of God’s love, and to know the Messiah’s love that surpasses knowledge, so you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
What the Apostle Paul prayed for the Church at Ephesus, under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, has been preserved to remind us of God’s great love for us in our daily walk with our Lord. Paul prayed that our Heavenly Father would empower us through God the Holy Spirit within our innermost being. That part of us that is our spiritual backbone, the deep reliance we have in our God that will give us the deep faith to conquer every sinful attack of our adversary relying upon Him alone.
It should be our desire to know the full depths of the love of our God for us, having the deep roots that sustain the fruit bearing tree like the example in Psalm 1. That our knowledge of God’s love and our deep love for our Heavenly Father will go deep to provide the solid foundation to make us more effective in our witness to the full expanse of our Savior who loves us without reservation, even to His own humanity being crucified to pay the sin debt all of us have accumulated, love that reaches as high as the heavens above and as deep as the strongest taproot. There is no limit to the width of His love expressed by His wide open arms to receive every person who comes to Him for salvation. The Love of our Triune God whose Fatherly love gives us our salvation through the sacrifice of God the Son, and the indwelling God the Holy Spirit to encourage, teach and guide our lives each day as we allow Him to direct our paths.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You to fill us with Your love and grace today so that we may share the fullness of that fellowship with others so they too, can know Your love. It is in Jesus’ name we approach your throne with our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
04-07-15
God is Good
Psalm 118:25, 26, 28, 29. “Lord, save us! Lord, please grant us success! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. You are my God, and I will give You thanks. You are my God; I will exalt You. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.”
These words of praise come from David’s heart as he reflects on the goodness of God. David knew the goodness, guidance, forgiveness, mercy and blessings of God and when he followed God’s direction God abundantly blessed him, and when he fell away, God chastised him. David did not know the permanent indwelling of God the Holy Spirit as we do, since Jesus had not yet paid the price on Calvary, but he know that by faith, salvation was of the Lord God alone. As he looked in faith to his God, he knew the promised Redeemer would come just as we know by faith Jesus did give his life and we believe in His resurrection, forever conquering sin and death. Just as David did, we ask for success in what we do that will bring great glory to our Heavenly Father, admitting our powerlessness without His direction and working through us. As David prayed blessings upon the one who was to come, we need to pray for God’s blessings on the work He does through us, praying we will not be a hindrance, but a conduit for His blessing of others unto their salvation.
All that is good; works, food we enjoy, pleasures and good friends are all gifts of God because all good originates with Him, and no good thing exists unless God is in it. And what grace floods our souls, and desire to be more like Christ Jesus than to know His abiding and faithful love will exist and endure for eternity, on this earth and in the Heavenly places. Never will we be apart from God’s love, we can neither plumb its depths nor can we understand the vast expanse of His love. Even when we are far from Him in our earthly lives, looking elsewhere for our fulfillment, His love is seeking us to reconcile us to Himself in full and complete fellowship.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, accept our gratitude and praise as we return the love You have placed in our hearts toward You. Give us success in living this day to Your glory, we plead in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
04-03-15
Not My Will but Yours
Luke 22:39-42, “He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him. When He reached the place, He told them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Then He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “Father, if You are willing, take this cup away from Me—nevertheless, not My will, but Yours, be done.”
After Jesus had finished the meal with His disciples, He went to the Mount of Olives to pray with them. As the compassionate Savior, Jesus told the disciples to pray that they may not succumb to temptation during the difficult times that lay before them. Then Jesus, moving to a solitary prayer, began to pray first, for Himself, for strength and determination to complete the task that the Father had set before Him, then for those that followed Him and knew He was the Promised One and had come to redeem all sinners, finally He prayed for all who would believe until His return to earth, even knowing you and I would need His comfort, strength and the companionship of God the Holy Spirit.
We need to remember when Jesus walked the face of this earth He was never ever less than 100% God and at the same time, never more than 100% man. If He were not fully man, the sacrifice would not have been sufficient, He fought and won the battle by living a human life without sin yet because He was fully God He rose again from the wounds of death and now lives in the place He has prepared for us as Children of our Heavenly Father. There was no other way to purchase our redemption. His example shows us we too can live a life fully fulfilling God’s will for our lives if we live our daily lives in His strength. Submitting fully to Him as our Master and Lord. Heavenly Father, our abilities are limited but we are fully equipped to complete any task You have laid before us. In Jesus’ name make us faithful to Your will.

Manna in the Morning
04-02-15
Barabbas
Mark 15:12-15, “Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the One you call the King of the Jews?” Again they shouted, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why? What has He done wrong?” But they shouted, “Crucify Him!” all the more. Then, willing to gratify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. And after having Jesus flogged, he handed Him over to be crucified.”
Every time we read the accounts of this trial, we wonder how the Israelites could so easily condemn Jesus, and how the Pharisees and other religious leaders could be accomplices in the condemnation of Jesus who, their own Scriptures told them, was their long awaited Messiah. These religious leaders were jealous of their personal status, power over the people and the limited amount of civil power given them by the Roman Governors. They were not the first, nor would they be the last to put ego, personal privilege and prestige above their submission to Jesus as not only their salvation, but to submit themselves to Him making Him the leader of their lives, becoming a bond-servant of Jesus our Savior.
I can understand the throng crying out for Barabbas who was a thief and a murderer. He feared neither the religious leaders nor the Romans, becoming somewhat of a folk-hero to the populace. But why would the religious leaders encourage the release of such a gross sinner, one who preyed upon others and who freely served Satan in his life?
And what about Pilate? He was a relatively low-level functionary in the structure of the Roman government. He was torn between the need to keep peace in Judea or the Roman Authorities would remove him with no qualm, and the need to pacify the Jewish religious leaders who had the populace under their control. Also he did not want to appear as a weak, easily cowed individual who could not make a decision and make it stick.
Jesus came into this world in order to be the Perfect Sacrifice promised so long ago. He fulfilled prophecy by remaining silent, enduring the abuse and torture of the Roman soldiers, giving His perfect, sinless life as the atonement for the sin of all mankind who would kneel before Him, confess their sin and accept His free gift of salvation. Those blows were earned by us, those taunts, the agony have kept us from the tormenting agony of the Lake of Fire. In the final analysis, Jesus accepted the road ending at Golgotha to redeem my soul and yours. Heavenly Father, our hearts are filled with gratefulness that Your payment of our sin debt caused You to endure such agony. May our praise and thanksgiving ascend to you this day for your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
03-27-15
Use Me
Isa 6:8-9, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying: Who should I send? Who will go for Us? I said: Here I am. Send me. And He replied: Go!”
Scripture tells us to be available for the Heavenly Father to use effectively. First, we are to be a worthy sacrifice, pure and holy before Him. Second we must be steadfast and perhaps the most critical, we must make ourselves available. Isaiah had a glorious vision of the Lord God in His Heavenly Temple and was filled with wonder and a burning desire to serve the Almighty Lord God. In his vision Isaiah heard the voice of God considering who He should send to carry His message of the coming Promised One to the world. As Isaiah heard the call, he immediately replied, “Here I am, send me.”
Nehemiah recognized a serious need in Jerusalem while he was in Persia as a slave of the King. Being convicted of the serious need back in Jerusalem he expressed his concern to the king saying, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor with you, send me to Judah and to the city where my ancestors are buried, so that I may rebuild it.” God moved in the heart of the King of Persia, removing all obstacles, providing the necessary funds, allowing Nehemiah to go to Jerusalem. He was willing and God made him available. When we hear of the needs in our neighborhood or city or across the world that we may be able to fill, the voice of our Heavenly Father fills our heart and mind asking the question Isaiah heard, “Who will go” how do we answer?
Some will say they aren’t able to go for various reasons but promise to pray about the need, others will be sincerely convicted about the need but promise to pray and give toward the fulfillment of that need, while others will clearly hear the voice, knowing it is directed clearly at them and will immediately begin preparations for the fulfillment of the need, by whatever means God inspires them to use.
Our loving Heavenly Father, keep us always mindful of Your voice calling us, as we answer yes, provide the necessary funds and needs and use us anywhere you desire in this, Your vineyard for Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
07-19-13
Locusts
Joel 1:4, “. . . And what the young locust has left, the destroying locust has eaten.”
The word used for this last locust is rather unusual, in that it means a locust that is extremely voracious, eating everything including the roots of the plant that are under the soil. In the time when the locusts flew in the western fields, they were capricious and would completely destroy one field, yet leave another field, laden with ripe grain untouched as they rose into the sky and disappeared leaving total ruin and devastation in their wake. I am sure every one of us has heard or read of a prominent Christian whose life was ruined by the public knowledge of a supposedly ‘hidden’ sin that destroyed the individual’s testimony and worth as a representative of our God. Satan is a defeated foe, yet in his last years of tempting those who love our God; he uses the same wiles and allurements that have worked so well over the centuries. Scripture says he prowls about like a roaring lion looking to destroy and devour those who fall to his wiles.
As those who are victorious in our Savior, we are the bearers of light in this dark world and we must use that light to drive out the sinful, evil darkness that has fallen upon much of the world in these last days. Jesus is the light of the world and it is in Him that we will be victorious. Pray for all those you know that are actively sharing God’s plan of Redemption, for those on foreign fields, in local fields, even in our own neighborhood, praying for His gifts of love, redemption, restoration and reconciliation be broadcast far and wide. God’s love never fails, His light of righteousness will never fade, His arms of protection will safeguard each of us and His direction is ever true. Trust Him today and every day to keep the locusts from your fields of service.
Lord God, our loving Heavenly Father, guard our minds and hearts today as we do battle against our evil adversary. This we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
03-25-15
The Wise Man
Ecclesiastes 9:17-18, “The calm words of the wise are heeded more than the shouts of a ruler over fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner can destroy much good.”
Solomon, who also wrote Proverbs and Song of Solomon is credited with the book of Ecclesiastes, and rightfully so, because he refers to himself in one passage. Ecclesiastes is one of the wisdom books of the Old Testament that wrestles with the question of the meaning of life. He often writes in short, meaningful sentences that occasionally are hard to translate from the Hebrew to our English language. This book, as in Proverbs, devotes a significant portion on the subject of wisdom. When God gave Solomon the choice between wisdom and riches, the son of David who inherited David’s throne chose wisdom, God then granted him both.
I’m reminded of Benford’s Law of Controversy that says this, “The passion in an argument is inversely proportional to the amount of real information advanced.” Solomon made it so much more quotable by saying some really frank things about foolish men and women. A wise individual will remain calm because he knows his words bear weight that will shout much louder than the shrill voice of a fool who has no knowledge but thinks he knows it all. Another quote is pithy for today, some 2,000 years after Solomon. “A wise man’s heart goes to the right, but a fool’s heart to the left,” Eccl 10:2 and this was long before political positions even entered into the heart of mankind.
Wisdom in solving problems is certainly better than fighting to determine a winner, and the last phrase is one we should imprint upon our hearts. As we go the days of our lives we are to constantly remember that one sin can ruin the testimony of a believer in the eyes of those who look at us critically, trying to destroy our witness among those who look to every
Christian as guidance for their lives. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You for wisdom in living today, not acting indiscriminately and bringing disfavor upon Your Word and ability to save souls.

Manna in the Morning
03-24-15
God’s Favor
Gen 6:9-13, “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among his contemporaries; Noah walked with God. And Noah fathered three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. God saw how corrupt the earth was, for all flesh had corrupted its way on the earth. Luke 17:26-28, “Just as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man: people went on eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage until the day Noah boarded the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. It will be the same as it was in the days of Lot: people went on eating, drinking, buying, selling, planting, building.”
“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” I’m sure you have heard this statement before, but in many ways it is very accurate today. After Noah and his family left the ark after the flood, they began to separate and populate many varied areas of the then known world. Nimrod, the great-grandson of Noah, was much like the people who lived before the flood. He was aggressive, fierce in combat and established the Assyrians who were the first to dominate the known world. Now we, who like Noah, love, obey and carry out God’s will in our lives are living in a society that is a mirror of the time of Noah and before him, Lot who lived in Sodom until God’s judgment fell upon them. The number of born-again believers is less than 10% of the earth’s population and the ungodly are growing in number rapidly. We see violence across the whole earth, from individuals to the armies of Isis who routinely kill hundreds of those that oppose their ungodly beliefs, including innocent children and noncombatant women.

Manna in the Morning
03-23-15
Separated unto the Lord.
Deuteronomy 14:2, “For you are a holy people belonging to the Lord your God. The Lord has chosen you to be His special people out of all the peoples on the face of the earth.”
This promise was written to the people of Israel as they were about to enter into the land God had promised them. They were and are, in a very real measure, still God’s special people because out of the Israelite people has come our Redeemer, Jesus. In another sense we too, who are born anew into the Family of God and are now His Children, are a special people. The Church, all who have born anew, is the body of Christ of which Jesus is the head and we know we have a special place in His Kingdom and will reign with Him when He returns to this earth.
The rest of this passage in Deuteronomy is devoted to the way the Israelites should act and what they should eat. Some activities and some of the animals available to them were declared unclean and could not be eaten by the Israelites. We are not in any sense, bound by that law, but the concept is the same. We are to be clean before our Lord. Fifty or sixty years ago pastors preached that it was very important for Christians to live a ‘separated life,’ and Evangelical Churches stressed that believers avoid sinful, worldly activities. Today, instead of not going to movies because of the activities portrayed that were inappropriate, now we have cable TV with pornographic channels available at any time. Our computers connect to the internet with equally sinful opportunities only 3 or 4 keystrokes away.
Every Believer should remember we have the wonderful privilege, not available to God’s people before Pentecost, of having God the Holy Spirit permanently indwell our lives from the moment of salvation. Because we now are the Sanctuary in which our Holy God dwells, we must be constantly aware of the necessity of living a holy, pure life, seeking forgiveness when we have desecrated the place where God dwells. Our Holy God has redeemed us from the eternal fire and torment of the place prepared for Satan and his angels, and we must reverence His name, never using it irreverently, revere His Word which is our standard of faith and living and living according to the Scriptures. “Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord; do not touch any unclean thing, and I will welcome you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty, 2 Cor 6:17-18. Heavenly Father, give us the courage to do live for You every day, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
03-20-15
Signs in the Sky
Genesis 1:16-18, “God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars. God placed them in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth, to dominate the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.”
As we look into the skies we are accustomed to predictable sights, patterns and this is in many ways a comfort to us. Today is the Vernal Equinox, in the Northern Hemisphere we will have the same number of hours of daylight from sunrise to sunset as we do sunset to sunrise. Today there also will be a total eclipse of the Sun. We will not see this because it will be visible only in the regions near the North Pole according to the source I studied. In our next full moon we’ll see a lunar eclipse, probably visible in the North African and Mid-Eastern areas. During a full lunar eclipse the surface of the moon often appears red. We depend on the orderly movements of the planets, stars and earth to give us constancy in our understanding of time, which in itself is a creation of our Almighty God.
There has been a lot of attention to this year’s ‘tetrad’ two solar eclipses and two lunar eclipses in the weeks surrounding the Jewish Passover remembrance. To me, these have the important message that the Christian Celebration of the Resurrection has true meaning for those who follow Jesus Christ and the old system of altar sacrifices and shed blood of lambs is now eclipsed by the radiance of Jesus’ death, burial and Resurrection. No longer are we to look for signs from the past, but for the signs Jesus gave us of His coming return. In His discourse in Matthew Jesus said the Temple, altar, and worship would cease, telling us to look instead for the signs of Matt 24:7-10, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. 8 But all this is only the first of the birth pains, with more to come. 9 “Then you will be arrested, persecuted, and killed. You will be hated all over the world because you are my followers. 10 And many will turn away from me and betray and hate each other.” This is exactly what we see in the world today.
This is the Spring Equinox, trees and plant life are coming alive once more after their winter sleep reminding us of the Resurrection of our Redeemer. God puts signs in the skies, and on the surface of the earth to turn our hearts toward Him. Lord God our Heavenly Father, it is in Jesus’ name we give this day to You for Your glory.

Manna in the Morning
03-19-15
Judgement Day
Revelation 16:10-11, “The fifth (angel) poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues from pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.”
Our Great God is a God of great patience. He has given the inhabitants of our earth hundreds if not thousands of years to repent, turning to Him for salvation and living a life that is acceptable to Him. Since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God has provided a way for mankind to come to Him in faith, first for God to someday provide a Perfect Sacrifice for all mankind’s sin. Then came Jesus, God the Son, God’s Promised Perfect Sacrifice who gave His perfect, sinless life as the sacrifice for all time on the cross of Calvary. Now we who come to Him for salvation look back in faith on that sacrifice and claim it as our own. Every person has had the opportunity in one way or another, to call upon Him in repentance to be born anew into the Family of our Heavenly Father. Jesus promised to return to this earth when the time is right to reign from Jerusalem as the one and only King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His dominion will be one of righteousness and mercy, perfect in its justice and administration.
The time of God’s patience is growing short and the purification of the earth will begin to rid the earth of sin in preparation for Jesus’ return. During that time of purification, God will pour out His undiluted wrath upon this world and upon those who refuse to turn to Him for salvation, instead turning to the empty promises of Satan leading to great torment and pain because of their unrepentant attitude and blasphemy of God’s Holy Name. Scripture says in 2 Cor 6:2, ‘Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” This is the message we must be telling the world and urging unsaved people to turn now to the Savior. Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for our salvation and in Jesus’ name we ask that we may be used of You this day.

Manna in the Morning
03-18-15
My Stronghold
Nahum 1:7, “The Lord is good, a stronghold in a day of distress; He cares for those who take refuge in Him.”
Our great God, Jehovah, is good; in truth, there is nothing good on earth, in heaven or in the heart of a man that has not come from our Almighty God. Every ‘good’ deed that we do or achieve is done because we allow our Lord God to direct our lives and give Him the glory for everything accomplished. He is our stronghold in the times of distress or difficulty; He is the sanctuary to whom we retreat when we are in need of solace and recuperation; He is the citadel where we are protected from any spiritual attack against us; He is the fortress that will attack the enemy and overcome when we are in a spiritual battle. He is our God and there is no other.
Our Jehovah God is our Heavenly Father, when we are born anew into His family he loves us with an everlasting love, a compassion that has no equal, His storehouse of mercy, grace and blessing is never ending. He has formed us into the person He desires to use and fitted us with the gifts and talents we need to be successful in every way that He calls us to serve.
There are times in every person’s life when we need wisdom, He is our source and cares for us, seeing we make the right decisions and fulfills our every Need. Why then do we worry and fret? Why do we lose sleep? Because we have not learned to trust. An old hymn puts it this way: When we walk with the lord in the light of His word, what a glory he sheds on our way. While we do His good will, He abides with us still and with all who will trust and obey. Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
Samuel told King Saul, “To obey is better than sacrifice.” And to that we can add. “To trust is better than worry. Heavenly Father may we take heart in knowing You are our resting place and You are our King; our Leader in every way.

Manna in the Morning
03-17-15
The Father Knows
Matthew 6:33-34, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Jesus is on the mountainside with a large number of people around Him telling them what our Lord God expects of us. First, He desires true heart-felt worship from those that love Him. Not going through the motions, but actually in our innermost being, in our hearts and souls we are falling prostrated at His feet, declaring His worth and our desire to give Him adoration and homage. He desires that we do those things that honor His name, not taking any earthly glory or accepting praise on our own behalf but giving the honor, glory, praise and thanksgiving for the joy of having our Heavenly Father work through us to His greater glory.
Our Heavenly Father knows our every need, His Word tells us to let Him feed and clothe us just as He provides for the birds, and even the flowers some of us would call weeds because they are out of place in our carefully mown green grass. If God cares for those flowers and birds, Jesus said to the crowd, “Won’t He provide for the needs of those who are born anew into His Family?
Worry will never change the outcome of a situation, it will only rob you of your inner peace and cause you to lose faith in God’s promise to provide for your every need. Once we fully place our concerns and needs in our Heavenly Father’s hands we need to trust Him and not act like the character ‘Christian’ in Pilgrim’s Progress, who knelt at the foot of the cross, pouring out his concerns and requests which he carried in his backpack. Then, after praying he stands up, grabs the heavy backpack and walks on. Instead believe in the words of Jesus who promises He will carry our load and walk beside us for the rest of our lives. In the inspired words of 1 Peter 5:7, “Casting all your care upon Him, because He cares about you.”
Our caring Heavenly Father, in Jesus’ name we give you our concerns and cares, trusting You fully to supply our every need for Your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
03-16-15
God’s Wrath
Revelation 15:7, “One of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven gold bowls filled with the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.”
Near the end of the seven year period of trial, tribulation and purification of the earth and its population to remove the curse of sin placed upon it in Eden; Thunder will roll while the seventh and last trumpet sounds. One of the four living creations that surround the throne of our God will present seven angels with seven vials filled with God’s pure, justified, undiluted, industrial strength wrath to be poured on the heavens and the earth before our Redeemer, The Lamb of God, Jesus descends to rule the nations from David’s Throne in Jerusalem.
During this time in which we live today, we understand our Great God as a God of love and compassion who deeply desires that all men come to repentance of their sins. One of the first Bible verses Children learn is “God is Love,” He is a God who loves us dearly. Each individual has to recognize and accept the fact that they have sinned and the wages of sin is death. Romans 3:23. Jesus perfect life paid that sin debt providing the only way of salvation from eternal ‘lostness’ in torment and conscious regret at turning away, rejecting that offered salvation. Unfortunately those who do not know Christ Jesus as their Savior neither consider themselves as sinners, nor understand the terrible consequences of rejecting God’s Salvation. After thousands of years of patiently waiting for mankind to turn to Him, of sending men and women across the earth to proclaim this message, the time is drawing very near when the gates of opportunity, while still open, will begin to close. The Church, which has spread the message will be taken up to the heavenly places, there will be seven more years when 144,000 Israelite evangelists will continue to proclaim the message of salvation through faith in Jesus’ death, burial and Resurrection. Then will come the time when God’s undiluted wrath will fall upon the earth’s inhabitants who will likely suffer death if they accept Him and damnation if they do not.
Today the gates are wide open, the message is clear, the choice is up to every man, woman and child who has not already chosen to follow Christ in humble faith. Recognize your sin, repent, seek forgiveness from Jesus and ask Him to save and keep you in His love, enjoying eternity in His presence or pay the price of eternal torment in the place already prepared for Satan and his demonic angels.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, soften the hearts of any who read this message who do not yet know You as Savior. We who do know You, praise You now and forever for Your great love.

Manna in the Morning
03-13-15
Be Alert
Mark 13:34-37, “It is like a man on a journey, who left his house, gave authority to his slaves, gave each one his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to be alert. Therefore be alert, since you don’t know when the master of the house is coming—whether in the evening or at midnight or at the crowing of the rooster or early in the morning. Otherwise, he might come suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to everyone: Be alert!”
As Jesus left this earth after His first advent, coming as our Promised Savior, our Perfect Sacrifice ascended into the Heavenlies. While the disciples were still looking at the cloud into which Jesus disappeared, an angel spoke distinctly saying that just as Jesus ascended into the cloud, he will someday descend once more placing His feet upon the earth from which the curse of sin has been removed. The Apostles and early Church yearned desperately for the return of Jesus, John the Apostle wrote the Book of the Revelation regarding His return. Over the centuries Bible Scholars and Christians read these Scriptures and made many predictions as to when He would return.
Jesus gave us some signs to look for in His discourse on the Mount of Olives in Matthew 24, and now, 2,000 years later we are eagerly anticipating and seeing Scripture fulfilled in the Middle East, Jerusalem being the focal point. The Church has been active over these two thousand years and has been effective in spreading the Gospel message world-wide, but now is losing ground as a percentage of the earth’s population while another anti-Christian belief system is increasing in population, popularity and persecution of Christians across the world.
Looking at the state of the world’s changing governmental structure, the increasing oppression, persecution and massacre of Born-again Believers, every Christian should be praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters across the world, understanding that Jesus own words foretold this hatred for His followers and look to the clouds to see our Redeemer, Jesus, God the Son call us up out of this world’s turmoil to the glorious Heavenly places in His own presence. We must intensify our witness, increase our dedication and present the gospel message of family, friends and others with God’s love, compassion and concern for their souls.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we can almost hear the angel’s trumpets as we eagerly await Jesus soon return to take us to the place He has prepared for us.
Manna in the Morning
03-12-15
Exultation
Phil 2:10-12, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow—of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth—and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
There will come a day when every person that has ever lived upon the earth starting with Adam and not excluding a single soul regardless of the time of their life upon the earth, will bow down in homage and subservience to Jesus, God the Son. It matters not if a person is saved or unsaved, every soul will bow down and recognize the Sovereignty of our Triune God. We who love our great God and Heavenly Father have already recognized Jesus as our King and are eager to see the day when He will rule this earth as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We, even now, consider ourselves as His bond-servants or slaves. We follow His direction as we live our earthly lives anticipating His calling us to Heaven. Those who have rejected His offer of salvation and refuse to worship Him will find themselves before Jesus as the righteous Judge, reminded of their sin of rejection of Him as Redeemer and sovereign Lord. When the Book of Life is opened, their name will not be found and they are cast into the Lake of Fire prepared for Satan and his demons, as well as those who followed his enticements during their earthly lives.
Every man from Adam onward knew there had to be a sacrifice for their sin and when they killed an animal they had faith in the promise of Jehovah God that this was a symbol, and foreshadowing of the Promised Perfect Sacrifice of God fulfilled in Jesus Birth, sinless life and Resurrection from the dead, Knowing if they neglected to offer their worship and sacrifice, they were bound for an eternity of torment.
Our Creator God is so worthy of worship all creation from the creatures that move and live, mankind, even the rocks beneath our feet and the stars and galaxies above, the angels and every atom of creation will someday reverberate with the anthem of praise the Redeemed of all ages will proclaim as we worship our God and King.
Our Heavenly Father, we want our lives to sing your praises on this earth while we draw earthly breath. Guide us today to honor, glorify and exalt you we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
03-11-15
Chosen
Matthew 1:13, “Zerubbabel fathered Abiud.”
We often skip the genealogies we find in Scripture because we think they are simply a list of names, ignoring that every verse in Scripture has a lesson for us. In Matthew’s list of Jesus’ ancestors we find both men and women, some have very unexpected histories when we stop to consider what their lives meant. Rahab, the harlot who saved the spies in Jericho is in the line of Jesus showing us that God can take anyone and when they ask for forgiveness use them in mighty ways. Ruth is mentioned, a Moabitess who accompanied Naomi when she went back to Judea to the little hamlet, Bethlehem, ultimately becoming the grandmother of the great King David.
Zerubbabel’s name literally means ‘conceived and born in Babylon.’ He is mentioned in Israel’s history because he raised money, worked for many years to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem after the seventy years prophesied by Jeremiah ended and many of the Israelites, including Zerubbabel returned from Persia to Jerusalem to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple. This man of God is mentioned in Haggai 2:23 where God is quoted as saying, “I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the Lord, and will make you as a signet ring; for I have chosen you.”
Egypt’s monarch, Pharaoh, gave Joseph his signet ring because Joseph acted with the Pharaoh’s own authority. Zerubbabel, who had been chosen by God to lead the returned captives in Jerusalem, was compared to a signet ring, signifying that God had invested him with the highest honor. His son, Abiud, also in the line of Jesus, means, ‘my father is majesty,’ reflecting back upon the dedication Zerubbabel had to his God. Each man or woman who has been born anew into the Family of God can study God’s Word and speak with the authority of God the Holy Spirit that abides within us. When we follow His leading in rightly understanding the Scriptures, we can then speak with the ‘signet authority’ of our Almighty God and Heavenly Father. The way we live and act, speak and think is the way we truly are and will be perceived by those who observe us. It is important that we remember every Christian must be fully dedicated to being His signet on this earth for His glory. Heavenly Father, give us the confidence to speak to others, letting God the Holy Spirit convict their hearts so they too can know the joy of His salvation. This we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
03-10-15
My Plans
Jeremiah 29:11-14, “For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—”plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you”
Every one of us has made plans for our immediate future. We plan to go here or fix that and do this. It is good to plan and allot time, but it is more important to remember our Heavenly Father will see that we will always have enough time to do the things He has placed on our hearts for us to accomplish. Our difficulty is, we put our desires and ambitions above those that God has set before us. God has gifted us with those abilities we will need to do what He desires, and not for the accomplishments we decide are more important. While our thoughts are likely to lead to disaster, in fact disaster is a sure sign we are following the wrong path. God is very patient and is waiting for any person who will return to him. When that man or woman will realize their need, turn around and seek Him in fervent prayer, our Heavenly Father will listen as He promised. In fact, this passage tells us God Himself will see that we have the opportunity to follow His plan.
Following our Heavenly Father’s direction is wise because He knows the future. We have to plan considering unforeseen contingencies, He keeps those contingencies from occurring, we may not see the next step but he has put the path in front of us. Best of all, when we finish the course we can expect Him to say, “Well done, my faithful one.” Heavenly Father, give us the faith to walk the path You put before us wholeheartedly and let You lead the way. We ask this in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
03-09-15
Seek the Lord
Isaiah 55:6-7, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call to Him while He is near. Let the wicked one abandon his way, and the sinful one his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, so He may have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will freely forgive.”
This is a verse often quoted to non-believers in order to remind them how indefinite earthly life is, and how quickly this life can end, calling them to come to salvation before it is eternally too late. We who are believers must also take to heart this warning that our time on earth can quickly end, and that our loving Heavenly Father will no longer hear our plea for forgiveness. That believer would be among those mentioned in 1 Corinthians as saved, but ‘so as by fire,’ having no awards to give back to our Lord in worship.
There are many believers who have faithfully served our Savior through their lives, but have decided to no longer serve Him. Having turned their efforts to other things, and having no testimony to lead others to Christ, these have become ineffective and are living a life without blessing. The cure for these people is to seek the Lord, call on Him will He is near, redirecting their efforts and skills to reaching others for their Savior and putting all else behind them, ask their Heavenly Father to forgive them for their sin, no matter what it may be, and once more become active in worship, study and active witness to His glory and majesty. Our Lord may not immediately return someone to a leadership position, but will encourage, strengthen and renew the fullness of their relationship. Then when they are ready there is no barrier to what God will do with their renewed service for Him.
We need to encourage the non-believer to accept God’s gift of salvation because truly the time will come, perhaps very soon, when the door will be closed, just as the door to Noah’s ark was closed by God when the rain started to fall. Our wonderful Heavenly Father, give us wisdom as we deal with others, to win them into your family and encourage all to have full reconciliation, fellowship and effectiveness in Your service. In Jesus’ saving name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
03-06-15
Contend for the Faith
Jude 1:1-3, “Jude, a slave of Jesus Christ, and a brother of James; to those who are the called, loved by God the Father and kept by Jesus Christ. May mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.
Jude wrote this letter under the inspiration of God the Holy Spirit to the believers in Christ during the time in which he lived. He knew that he, James and every person who has accept God’s gift of Redemption are born anew into God’s family and are loved and kept by our Great God and Father as well as God the Son, Jesus who is the Anointed One promised in Genesis 3:15. It is Jude’s plea that God’s great mercy, the peace that only He can give and the love we radiate that comes from God Himself and we share with others, will be ours through Jesus. These gifts are multiplied many times over and given to us to share with others.
Jude’s concern is for the believers because there were many false teachers and others who proclaimed another gospel apart from that which is clearly defined in God’s Word. There were those who proclaimed that salvation could only come to those who first espoused Judaism or who taught that baptism was necessary to ‘complete’ the redemption process. In addition there were others who sought money from the Christians, who taught many other false doctrines or tried to buy their way into influential positions in the Church. We find these same false doctrines proclaimed today and there are those who will assure their followers that so long as they do their best, are firm and sincere in their beliefs, whatever they are and live a moral life they can be assured that they will someday be in the Heavenly Places.
God’s Word declares that there is no other name, no other way and no other hope except Jesus and the love, mercy and peace of God will so flood our hearts there will be no room for uncertainty or question. God’s plan is simple; recognize your sinful condition, repent, turning away from the past sinful acts and thoughts asking God to forgive you of your sin, then accept by faith His proffered salvation and let God the Holy Spirit flood your life with the Father’s peace, His unlimited love and mercy that wraps you in the perfect righteousness of Jesus so you are seen as guiltless by the Father.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, fill us to overflowing with Your love and accept our grateful thanks for our salvation and guide us this day in our service for You.

Manna in the Morning
03-04-15
Do you Care?
Jonah 3:10-4:4, “Then God saw their actions—that they had turned from their evil ways—so God relented from the disaster He had threatened to do to them. And He did not do it. But Jonah was greatly displeased and became furious. He prayed to the Lord: “Please, Lord, isn’t this what I said while I was still in my own country? That’s why I fled toward Tarshish in the first place. I knew that You are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to become angry, rich in faithful love, and One who relents from sending disaster. And now, Lord, please take my life from me, for it is better for me to die than to live.”The Lord asked, “Is it right for you to be angry?”
When we think of Jonah, we condense his life into being swallowed up by the great fish and spewed out on the sea shore close to Nineveh. Rarely do we consider his temper tantrum when Nineveh forsook their sinful ways and turned to the Lord God for forgiveness and salvation. Part of Jonah’s rebellion in going to Nineveh in the first place was it was a city filled with men and women who were enemies of Israel and did not honor Jehovah God. We have to credit Jonah for going among the ‘enemy’ and preaching the true way to know the love of the Lord God, but Jonah was really angry that His revival was such a success; he really wanted the Ninevites to reject God and die.
Jonah went up on a hillside overlooking the City and pouted over their acceptance of the Word of the Lord. God caused a large plant to grow overnight to give Jonah shade as he sat in the broiling sun watching the city. The next night God sent a worm to eat away the stalk of the plant causing it to wither and die, once again putting Jonah in the uncomfortably hot wind and sun. Jonah was upset with God, complaining about God’s compassion for the Ninevites. God’s answer was simple, He explained that His love is for all people that a repentant heart will seek and find salvation in Him, and since God loves them to that degree, being upset about a weed in the field instead of the souls of men and women meant Jonah needed to keep learning the lessons of a dedicated servant.
Before we get too angry with Jonah, we have to ask ourselves some questions. Do we tell God exactly what He should do, and get irritated when His answer differs from our ideas? Do we thank that a child killer should be executed and burn in the fires of Hell, or do we pray that someone will share the message of God’s salvation with him? Do we condemn false belief systems or do we pray their adherents will come to know the love of our Savior? Do we sit back and watch or are we active in taking the message of salvation through any means we can, supporting those who are on the field, praying for their success, and rejoicing with them as we hear the reports of souls saved and spiritual battles won? Lord God our Heavenly Father we trust you to use us, answer our prayers for Your greater glory and we will praise You forever.

Manna in the Morning
03-03-15
You are Clean
John 13:9-11, Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” “One who has bathed,” Jesus told him, “doesn’t need to wash anything except his feet, but he is completely clean. You are clean, but not all of you.” For He knew who would betray Him. This is why He said, “You are not all clean.”
At the last meal Jesus would share with his disciples, Jesus prepared Himself to wash the feet of the disciples, an act of humbleness and service, usually performed by the lowest servant in the household. Peter raised an immediate objection, he felt that this would demean Jesus and was not an act of service He should perform. It is a bit interesting to note that none of the disciples took it upon himself to perform this common task. Peter asked for his Lord to wash him completely, not just his feet. Jesus referred to the faith of eleven of the twelve present, when He said, “You are not all clean.”
Each person who has come to the Savior in faith, accepting the sacrifice of Jesus’ own innocent blood shed at Calvary to pay the sin debt of death, making each of us clean and pure in the Father’s eyes because we are all wrapped in the righteousness of Jesus, not our own filthy sinful selves. Then Jesus explained that although we are clean, because we have been soiled with the dirt of this earth, just as their feet were soiled with the dust of the paths upon which they had walked, the only cleansing needed is to ask Him to forgive us for the sins we commit daily.
We are also soiled by the contamination of this world’s sin. Our minds conjure up ideas and thoughts that are inappropriate for one who is indwelt by God Himself, in the person of God the Holy Spirit and our actions are not always those of which Jesus would approve. Because we are the habitation of our God, we must keep ourselves pure and clean by asking for forgiveness for every action, word or thought that dishonors Him.
Our Gracious Heavenly father, we come before you seeking forgiveness for every action or thought that was offensive to You. Wash us clean from the earthy stains and keep us pure, enabling us to more effectively serve You this and every day of our lives. We ask forgiveness and guidance in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
02-27-15
Great is God’s Faithfulness
Lamentations 3:22-24, “Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The Lord is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.”
As I sit here and write, the TV news programs are full of the reporters telling of around 400 Christians imprisoned by ISIS and other Jihadists in the Mideast. These men, women and children are being starved, raped, sold into sex slavery and killed by firing squads, beheadings and crucifixion. Our great God and Heavenly Father has great love for them and while they may cease to breathe earth’s atmosphere, they will not perish! They will feel His welcoming arms as they enter the place He has already prepared for them. These martyrs will feel His healing mercy because of God’s great faithfulness and love, bringing Him great glory through their steadfastness.
If we trust God to bring glory to Himself, whether they are released, lose their earthly life or live in bondage, can’t we trust Him to cover us with His faithful love and shower us with His unending mercy? Many of those who love Him remember the words of the great hymn, “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” One line goes ‘All I have needed He has provided. Great is thy faithfulness, mercy and love.’ Our Lord God is our portion, “our inheritance, part or portion of the unending supply of mercy from His hand.”
We can be assured our Lord will provide all we need on this earth and for all eternity. He is our all-sufficient God, and whatever happens we want to bring Him the greater glory. I find it hard to even picture seeing my children or grandchildren in the hands of a satanic group and pray it will never happen. I know I can rely on His faithfulness to me and pray He will be able to rely on my faithfulness to my Savior.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we place all our hopes, aspirations and life in Your capable hands to use for your greater glory. In Jesus’ name we will always praise You.

Manna in the Morning
02-26-15
God’s Equation
Revelation 22:18, “I testify to everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: If anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book. And if anyone takes away from the words of this prophetic book, God will take away his share of the tree of life and the holy city, written in this book.”
Many years ago I heard this equation: adding or subtracting anything from God’s written Word, multiplying the way of salvation by including any other means or name to the salvation message or dividing the body of the church universal by false or misleading doctrine by putting other books written without the power of God the Holy Spirit are all ways to guarantee your place in the Lake of Fire upon leaving this earth.
Through the centuries since Jesus resurrection people began to develop their own versions of Redemption including the requirement of baptism, a so-called ‘second work of grace’ and/or other requirements in addition to the completed work of salvation by Jesus, the promised Perfect Sacrifice. Others have added their own man-inspired books to be considered co-equal with the divinely inspired Word of God; branches or breakaway belief systems like Christian Science, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormonism and others. God’s Word stands alone as the standard of our faith and the guide of our behavior.
Multiplying the ways of salvation is an abomination before the Lord; Statements such as ‘If an individual is really sincere, God will take that into consideration,’ or the popular cop-out ‘Who am I to know the mind of Our Great God, He is a God of infinite love or other mealy- mouthed stretching of the plain words of Scripture, “Acts 4:12, Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Finally God has said He despises (Prov 6:19,) one who stirs up trouble among brothers and sisters in the Family of God. When an individual deliberately tries to divide a church or to subvert its leadership he is acting in a manner that harms the cause of Christ and the testimony of the Church is hindered. Our heavenly Father, keep us from adding to salvation, subtracting from Your word, teaching inaccurately and sowing discord in Your church, we ask this in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
02-25-15
Hear my Prayer
Psalm 130:1-5, “Out of the depths I call to You, Lord! Lord, listen to my voice; let Your ears be attentive to my cry for help. Lord, if You considered sins, Lord, who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness, so that You may be revered. I wait for the Lord; I wait, and put my hope in His word.”
King David, God’s mighty warrior, the one who defeated Goliath, who became King because God desired him, David the man, the sinner. Every one of us identifies with the warrior King; we too recognize we are sinners, blighted by our desires of the flesh, standing in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. We speak the same words as David in this night hour, if God held men and women’s sins against them who could stand in the presence of the Almighty God in His purity. But praise His Holy Name, our God is a God of forgiveness, of reconciliation to full fellowship with him, to our position as sons and daughters of the Most High God. It is He who we must revere, He is the only One worthy of worship, He is the initiator and fulfillment of our salvation.
When we like David, wait upon the Lord, we are quiet, contemplative and meditate upon His Word and the many promises it contains for us, the promise of being seen in the righteous robes of Jesus, God the Son who is our righteousness, nothing of ourselves, but totally and completely a gift from our Heavenly Father who desires this fellowship and communion with us.
As David and so many other Bible Heroes, men and women who have gone before us we put our trust and expectation in His Word, that marvelous, priceless account of God’s dealing with sinful men and His love toward those who turned to Him. We love the Words that speak of God the Son‘s perfect Sacrifice, how our sinful nature was nailed to the cross and our being reborn into the image of Jesus the Anointed one. Our Trust is in Him and in Him alone.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, fill our lives with your glory, our words with your power and our actions always bringing glory to your name. It is in Jesus’ name we come before you.

Manna in the Morning
02-24-15
Our Blessed Hope
Hebrews 6:19-20, We have this hope—like a sure and firm anchor of the soul—that enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain. Jesus has entered there on our behalf as a forerunner, because He has become a “high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.”
In understanding this passage, it is good to fully understand what is meant by hope. Our hope is a confident expectation that what God says, He will do. We can put full and complete confidence in the Word of God, and the Bible never gives a wavering or indefinite answer. It is always and forever final in its statements. Our full and complete confidence in God’s promises backed up by the rainbow, God’s visible surety in all His promises. He said He would never destroy the complete earth by a flood of the magnitude as in the time of Noah. When God makes a statement we expect it to be fulfilled. Of all the promises in God’s Word the great preponderance of the prophecy regarding Jesus have come to pass, and the way the world is acting now, the remainder will soon be fulfilled. Our full confidence is in Him; Psalm 71:5, “For You are my hope, Lord God, my confidence from my youth.”
Our confidence, our expectation is that our Savior, Jesus, is our sure and firm anchor, He and only He has entered into the Most Holy place, the inner sanctuary, that place where God’s Shekinah Glory assures us of His presence to present Himself as a perfect sacrifice in payment for our sin. That sacrifice has been accepted, Jesus is our High Priest, and under His High Priesthood, we are considered priests under His direction. We are to fulfill our priestly functions of presenting this gift of salvation before those who are still in sin’s darkness, we are to pray for the sick, those in affliction and bring their needs before the Father in Jesus’ name. We are to recognize we need to keep ourselves pure before Him as a cleansed and purified place for the habitation of God the Holy Spirit.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, cleanse us and make us pure in the blood shed at Calvary and give us the joy of serving others as we pray for them at Your invitation, in Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-23-15
I have seen Him
1 Corinthians 15:8-9, “Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by God’s grace I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not ineffective.”
Paul, the Missionary Apostle, under the direction and inspiration of God the Holy Spirit, wrote that he knew he was not one of the twelve chosen disciples to follow Jesus and be taught by Him in His time on earth but was still an apostle, although as one translation puts it, ‘out of due time’ or prematurely. Because of his effective preaching and teaching to the Gentiles. I sometimes think Paul thought he was one of the prophesied 144,000 evangelists upon earth after the lifting of the church into the heavenlies. Paul felt he was not worthy to be called an apostle as were James and John because of his earlier violent persecution of the church, imprisoning and causing many believers to be beaten because of their faith in Jesus as the appointed One.
Paul, here and in other scripture passages, clearly states he was who and what he was because of Jesus’ death burial and resurrection and his unique call on the road to Damascus, including a vision and conversation with Jesus. Once a fierce enemy of the Gospel message, Paul now proclaimed it across much of Asia Minor, winning many to Christ Jesus and filling them with the desire to carry that message to many more souls, crediting it all to the grace of God working in his life.
Each of us has that same opportunity to be used of our Savior through the Power of God the Holy Spirit by carrying the same message as Paul with the same dedication and seeing the same results. Hard hearts opposed Paul and became softened as God worked until they came to Him. We need to plant the seed, water that seed with our prayers and will have the same opportunity to reap the fruit as did the Apostle Paul. God has lost none of His power, none of His love and none of His grace and can reach into the hardest heart, convicting of sin and putting a desire to know Christ in every heart. We need to learn to be planters and waterers before we can be reapers. Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us courage, submission to You and joy of presenting the message to an unbelieving soul this day for Your glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-20-15
Respecting God
Malachi 1:6-8, “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of Me? says the Lord of Hosts to you priests, who despise My name.” Yet you ask: “How have we despised Your name?” “By presenting defiled food on My altar.” You ask: “How have we defiled You?” When you say: “The Lord’s table is contemptible.” “When you present a blind animal for sacrifice, is it not wrong? And when you present a lame or sick animal, is it not wrong? Bring it to your governor! Would he be pleased with you or show you favor?” asks the Lord of Hosts.”
Malachi, under the direction of God the Holy Spirit speaks to the people of Israel reminding them of all He has done for them, leading them out of the wilderness into the land He had promised to their forefather, Abraham. Just as we call our God our Lord and Master, the Israelites were to honor God as their father, and even more seriously, their master. Now God has accused them of having no fear of God, giving Him the worthless lambs and animals for sacrifice because they could not sell them, and profaning the altar by careless, non-meaningful worship, and despising Him with ungodly attitudes.
We who love our Lord God often guilty of some of these same offenses. Ask many of America’s teenagers if they love God and they will tell you the events that led them to accept Christ Jesus as their Savior, but if you ask them if Jesus is the Leader of their lives, they will honestly reply He is not. We adults are rarely asked that question, but some Christians are guilty of not faithfully giving to the church because our budgets are tight. Try that, God’s Word says, on the IRS. Our worship services are often lit up with the glow of telephones and tablets as people text and carry on conversations with others, or surreptitiously listen to music on their earbuds. We are not giving full attention to our worship by concentrating on the message from God’s Word, instead thinking of other things that may be bothering us at the moment. We forget that God knows our every word and intent of our hearts, and evaluates the seriousness of our worship.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, forgive us for not giving you the full leadership of our lives, make us realize the need for worship of which you are worthy. We sincerely wish to follow you every day of our lives. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-18 -15
Greater Love
1 Corinthians 13:13, “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”
Paul the Apostle, being inspired by God the Holy Spirit, closes this great chapter on love, in a letter to a church that needed to understand God’s great love, with these words. He has given us words and sentences to let us more fully understand the love of God, expressed to us through Jesus the Savior, described for us through His Holy Word and felt by every day of our existence now and in eternity by those who are born anew and are part of God’s eternal family. His word picture is of a person who is looking at his or her reflection in a mirror, an image that may be dim, distorted, or poorly lit because it is a mere reflection not the real likeness radiating the love of God that comes from a heart filled with God’s love. The time will come when clouds, shadows, diffusion and hindrances to that light will be removed and the full spectrum of God’s Shekinah Glory will shine upon us. Words are poor descriptive of the shadowless aura of God’s presence that beams from every angle, never casting a shadow.
When, as Paul writes, all else has passed away, there are three things that will remain in the life of the Believer in Jesus. The first is our faith, that wondrous gift of God that allows us to take God at His word, trusting without seeing, accepting with no proof. It is by this gift of faith we believe Jesus died and rose again for our redemption from sin’s clutches. The next is hope, the confidence in God’s Word that without exception God will listen and answer our pleas. It is not merely a wish, a desire, a plea for the right circumstances, but a certainty knowing God will do as He has promised.
Third and greatest, the ultimate blessing God has provided to us and through us is His love. A love that drove Him to Calvary to die for me, a love that lifts each of us from the pit of degradation and dreadful despair, love that overcomes all things that separate us and a love that radiates in all its purity out of us to those with whom we share the good news of Salvation.
Our gracious God and Heavenly Father, may faith in Your promises be the cornerstone on which we build our lives, the hope of eternity in Your presence energize us this and every day, and may the love of our Great God flow from us, convicting the hearts of all we meet causing them to desire to see Jesus, in whose name we come before Your throne.

Manna in the Morning
02-16-15
Psalm 49:12-13, “Their fame will not last. They will die, just like animals. This is the fate of fools, though they are remembered as being wise.”
I remember an old adage, “Better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” Most of our leading University level schools are very humanist in their philosophy of education and strongly believe in the anti-religious Biblically based standards. Virtually every Law School and Judicial decision is based upon the concept of “Case-Law,” that is essentially Darwin’s ‘survival of the fittest,’ where conflicting decisions, whether appropriate or best for society or not, depend upon the arguments of men, not reason or common sense, let alone God’s perfect commandments. Humanism and its adherents have slowly taken over the schools of Law, Education and Journalism, thereby influencing our children and young adults in educational institutions. Many of our leading scientists and University Professors who teach the biological sciences will refuse to admit there is even a faint possibility of creation. They will not even let a student mention the words, ‘God or creation.’ Charles Darwin is credited as saying “Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science.” If only old Darwin had read his Bible, he would have known that the original creation was perfect, that all God’s creations once lived together in a wonderful place called Eden as well as the promise that someday our Creator would return to this earth and all creation would once again live in peaceful harmony.
The reason these supposed ‘intellectual’ men and women shudder at the thought of God or the presence of a creator, is that they would have to believe in a perfectly just God and admit to the presence of the curse of sin in our world and in the heart of every man and woman who ever lived, destroying their cocoon of unbelief and admitting they are sinners in need of redemption.
Roughly 12 percent of our nation’s population are declared atheists, men and women who are thought to be wise, but will suffer the fate of fools when they face God at the final judgment. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that You have shown Yourself to us in such marvelous love and compassion

Manna in the Morning
02-13-15
Help my Unbelief
John 3:17-18, “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. Anyone who believes in Him is not condemned, but anyone who does not believe is already condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the One and Only Son of God.”
It is highly likely that every one of us who has shared the message of salvation with another individual has received the same answer as Paul did from King Agrippa, “I’ll consider this at another time, but not today. Part of our mind understands that our job is to present the opportunity to a person, knowing God the Holy Spirit is the one that calls the heart to salvation. But we also see the other side of the answer; the person walks away condemned and our soul is grieved because he or she did not answer God’s call.
The purpose of God’s Word and plan is to provide the unbeliever with the opportunity to be saved, not to condemn them to the lake of fire. It is the will of our great God and Father that all men and women should have the opportunity to accept His offer of salvation, but mankind’s free-will allows individuals to turn aside. Our God does not want automatons, He wants those who come to Him returning His love and accept His free Gift.
One of the greatest lies of Satan is that there will always be another time, and sometime on earth or after death, we’ll have a chance to accept Christ Jesus as Savior, or that the punishment isn’t eternal and eventually we’ll be in the Heavenly Places. We must make it clear to those to whom we present the gospel that there is only two alternatives, either we are saved or lost. Bound for Heaven and its joy or condemned to eternal death with its torment, agony and the remembrance of the rejection.
Our great Lord God and Heavenly Father, we pray in Jesus’ name that those who have refused Your offer will turn to You and accept the gift of salvation. We ask you to use us and give us the gift of true worship this coming Lord’s Day. We love you and will serve you with all we are until we see You when You call us home.

Manna in the Morning
02-12-15
Restoration
Lamentations 5:21-22, “Lord, restore us to Yourself, so we may return; renew our days as in former times, unless You have completely rejected us and are intensely angry with us.”
There are times in every Believer’s life when we feel like the Israelites in the time of Jeremiah. The Babylonians had come in looting the treasures in the Temple and King’s palace in Jerusalem, tearing down the fortifications and walls and destroying the families and food supplies of the inhabitants. They were destitute, despondent and dejected at the fall of Jerusalem. This cry from Jeremiah, the ‘weeping prophet’ who had been so badly treated by his own people, pleading for the Lord God to restore Israel to Himself. Jeremiah was weeping for his people-group, not the government, for the people not the land, even to the point of asking God if He had rejected them in some way without their knowledge. He didn’t ask for himself because he had never wavered or rejected the task God had given him to fulfill, but he fully realized that it was Israel that had to return to their God and renew their faithfulness.
When we find ourselves at the point Jeremiah did, actually wondering if God had withdrawn His favor from us, it is time to examine our own spiritual lives to see if we have withdrawn from God’s love and His standards for our lives. If we fail to live a life that is dedicated to Him, we are desecrating His sanctuary, the place where He has chosen to be present to validate our salvation.
Our God never ceases to love us with an everlasting love, never will be angry with us as His children, but He will not allow us to continue to live in a manner displeasing to Him and He may be angry with the actions and attitudes we exhibit. We know that not only God’s love never fails, His forgiveness is as close to us as our repentance and reconciliation is welcome when we desire to please Him.
Our gracious heavenly Father, we ask that you show us the things that may affect our relationship with You so we can enjoy full fellowship and joy in Your love for us.
Manna in the Morning
02-11-15
The Plumb Line
Amos 7:7-8, The Lord was standing there by a vertical wall with a plumb line in His hand. The Lord asked me, “What do you see, Amos?” I replied, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said, “I am setting a plumb line among My people Israel; I will no longer spare them.”
Many years ago I worked as a framing carpenter building houses of wood, and each of us on the crew had our own tools including a level. The foundations had to be absolutely parallel to the horizon and every wall we erected had to be perfectly plumb, that is absolutely perpendicular to the horizon. Our bubble levels were not always accurate because of the bumps and abuse they suffered, so often we checked our walls with a plumb line, the oldest, yet most accurate way of erecting a vertical wall, since the point of the plumb bob will always point to the center of the earth, relying on God’s power upholding His laws of creation. There is an absolute standard, and this simple tool will establish it.
Today in the middle of the highly technological society in which we dwell there is a need for the simple absolute truths. Jesus said, “I am truth,” this is the plumb line against which we measure mankind’s concept of truth; it is not a situational concept it is an absolute. Man is a sinner, and if left to his own devices, sinks further and further into the pit of unbelief, rationalizing away the concept of evil, denying the idea of everlasting punishment. God’s Word says, “All have sinned.” This is the standard established in the Garden of Eden and has not varied since Adam and Eve disobeyed God.
Our society would like to believe sincerity or ignorance of the truth are accepted by God as acceptable for entry into Heaven, but Jesus set the standard when He said, “You must be born anew.” Our personal thinking or evaluations are not always accurate, just as our instruments did not always agree on the carpentry crew, but God’s Word is set before us as the absolute theological and spiritual standard; each writer inspired by God, preserved through the centuries by our Heavenly Father and when we read it our minds are illumined by God the Holy Spirit who breathed the words into the original writers. God has indeed set the plumb line, perpendicular to the earth, pointing straight into Heaven to set the standard against which our deeds are measured.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for our salvation through Jesus Christ who gave His life as the perfect sacrifice that we might be forgiven and born anew into Your Family. Our trust is in Your Holy Word, may we live today to your greater glory’ we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
02-10-15
Be Committed
Revelation 3:21, “(To) the victor: I will give him the right to sit with Me on My throne, just as I also won the victory and sat down with My Father on His throne.”
As Jesus revealed Himself to John, He gave a synopsis of seven churches, and this, The Laodicean Church is a glimpse of the Body of Christ just before we are called up to Heaven because our work on earth is complete. In verse 20, Jesus said we should be ‘committed,’ that is to have strong feelings about our Savior and His message to the world; using a different word He means we are to be zealous, fully as enthusiastic as we are about our favorite sports team or a specific activity. To those believers who are enthusiastic about sharing their faith in Jesus Christ He gives the term ‘Victors,’ we have won our battles through the power and abilities of God the Holy Spirit who indwells in a wonderful way just as Jesus won the victory over death and Hell at Calvary where He paid the price for sin, then the Resurrection in Heavenly Glory on earth.
We have been given the right to sit on the Heavenly throne with Jesus, God the Son. What a wonderful promise, something we do not deserve, we deserve to be on our knees in front of that throne pleading for God’s grace and mercy. We have pled with Jesus, our Savior for His grace and mercy, to be rescued from the miry pit of sin and elevated to a place alongside of Jesus who has given us such mercy and joy already.
It is sad to say, many believers do not live a victorious life. Many are living a life of defeat because they have placed their dependence upon riches or status instead of upon the continually refreshed, unlimited, ever available mercies of God. They are fenced in by circumstances rather than living freely, dependent only upon God’s grace and mercy.
Our gracious Heavenly Father we ask You to fill our lives with Your presence, fill our needs with Your abundance and we will live securely in Your mercy and grace. In Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-09-15
The Curse Removed
Galatians 3:13-14, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree. The purpose was that the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.”
Our gracious Heavenly Father has gifted us with the single most valuable, precious gift imaginable; the gift of reconciliation through Jesus, God’s Anointed One. Adam and Eve were created by Jehovah God, placed in the paradise of Eden and given one single rule to obey faithfully, do not eat of the one tree. In the garden were hundreds if not thousands of trees that bore fruit in their season for the sustenance of Adam and Eve. They were never hungry, they had the advantage of having God provide for their every need, even an evening walk daily walking and talking with God. How long they obeyed is not known, how long the serpent talked to them, finally convincing them to eat of the single forbidden tree is unknown. Scripture tells us they each took a bite of that fruit and instantly they lost their innocence, they now knew sin. They recognized the allurement of sex and tried to cover their nakedness, they lost their fellowship with God and immediately a curse fell upon all creation. Adam and Eve know knew ageing of their bodies and ultimately the end of their physical life, the ground was cursed so that men would have to toil, sweat and labor to provide food, the physical universe now became their enemy instead of their friend. This curse is felt by every descendent of Adam and Eve, including you and me.
Our Heavenly Father made provision for the curse to be lifted through the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, through the Promised Perfect Sacrifice – Jesus who conquered sin and death when after his precious, sin cleansing blood was poured out. defeated Satan and began the process to remove the curse. The door of salvation was further opened when Jesus named the Church as the one to spread the message through the entire world, and has given us a spiritual roadmap to tell us where we are in this path that leads to a fully restored earth, cleansed of sin’s curse and fit for the habitation of all those who love and accept Jesus’ offer of redemption. Our great God and Father, thank you for the removal of the curse of sin in our lives and for the promise of Heaven that awaits. Accept our praise in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
02-06-15
Disciple Me
Jeremiah 10:24, “Discipline me, Lord, but with justice—not in Your anger, or You will reduce me to nothing.”
There are those who are active in accountability groups where they endeavor to hold each other accountable for their life, thoughts, and intents of their heart. Holding someone accountable is to measure his or her life against the Biblical standards for living a life pleasing to God. Accountability serves a valuable purpose in our lives; we measure our own actions against God’s Word and know we will be held accountable for our transgressions in the same manner a traffic officer will hold us accountable for our running a red light or parking in a no parking zone..
Jeremiah knew he would be held accountable for his actions by the same God who formed him in the womb and called him to his unique ministry of prophesying gloom and doom on the people of Judea. His brothers rejected him, the Priests disowned him, the people refused to heed his message even the King refused to listen. But God would hold him accountable for the need to proclaim Judea’s desolation as He had revealed it to Jeremiah. Even though he was imprisoned more than once, he remained steadfast in his message. Jeremiah knew being held accountable to God’s command would bring God’s perfect justice, and Jeremiah pleaded for God’s mercy so he would not be reduced to nothing, not even keeping his office of prophet.
We too are held accountable by our Heavenly Father, pleading for His merciful justice, not judged in His anger. We are not responsible for those who reject the message of redemption, we are only held responsible for sharing that message under the direction of God the Holy Spirit within us. We’re not responsible for those who ignore the Scriptures; we’re responsible to make them aware of the precepts of our God. Jeremiah was willing to lose the love and respect of his earthly brothers, the audience of the Judeans and accept the anger of the King before he would give up his faithfulness to the God who called him to service. Jeremiah’s accountability wasn’t to any earthly entity, but to God and God alone.
Our gracious, loving Heavenly Father, we plead with you to hold us accountable for the calling placed upon our lives, the call to share the message of Biblical salvation to each person we meet and to pray earnestly for those we hold accountable, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-05-15
He is Here
Habakkuk 2:19-20, “Woe to him who says to wood: Wake up! or to mute stone: Come alive! Can it teach? Look! It may be plated with gold and silver, yet there is no breath in it at all. But the Lord is in His holy temple; let everyone on earth be silent in His presence
Across the civilized world today, men and women act and think like idolatry does not exist, that people do not sit worshipping inanimate objects, that clay, gold or silver figurines of Buddha are mere decorations, not objects of worship. Across this world in every culture and people group, there are those, who regardless of religious tendencies or worship are thanking God daily while carrying a ‘lucky’ charm in their pocket, a rabbit’s foot, a four-leaf clover or an amulet that has been picked up at a little store promising “Good luck to the wearer.” Not idol worship you say, but it is an example of depending upon an inanimate, lifeless object, emotionally if not spiritually. Others collect money, they love the feel of a heavy roll of money in their pocket, or the clinking of gold pieces through their fingers; maybe it is their frequent Sunday cruises on their yachts or the feel of their racing tires squealing beneath them. If they get pleasure from these objects and fondle them hungrily, placing them above our God then that is idolatry. Some seekers after truth will listen for the tiniest drop of wisdom from horoscopes, spiritists and mediums, those who seek wisdom from darkness rather than the light of God’s Word, and whose presence is forbidden to the followers of our Jehovah God.
The Lord God is in His temple and all the earth’s inhabitants should be silent and listen to His quiet whispers. God has taken up residence in the hearts and minds of those who have accepted Jesus as their Heaven-sent Redeemer. His Temple is in the heart of the redeemed. His presence can be felt in the coming storm, seen in the extravagant beauty of the sunset, His promises are written in the rising of the sun and His provision seen in the dew that falls upon the sprouting grain and flowers. His power is seen in the crashing waves and blustery winds and His love is felt in the heart of all who believe in Him. Our Great God is everywhere present in all His fullness but recognized only by those who are part of His family. Heavenly Father, we yearn to feel your closeness and recognize your loveliness, in Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
02-04-15
A Fool
Psalm 14:1, “The fool says in his heart, “God does not exist.” They are corrupt; their actions are revolting. Proverbs 27:22 Though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with grain, you will not separate his foolishness from him.”
A recent poll revealed that less than 5% of the North American population consider themselves as atheistic, while less than 50% of China declare they are atheists after over 75 years of harsh Communistic rule. It makes one wonder then, why Evangelical Christians have to put up with all the nonsense and political correctness about Christmas Carols, manger scenes and angels that might offend about 4 people out of every 100 who pass by. The Scriptures are clear in their declaration that one who believes in his heart there is no God is a fool, the word used in this verse has the meaning, stupid; wicked (especially impious), and the word used in Proverbs means, to be perverse; (figuratively) silly. Even some of the ‘most intellectual?’ scientists, when questioned privately will admit they don’t want to believe in God, because if they did it would mean they were sinners and need a Savior. Most individuals, it appears, feel the same way, they are too fond of their self-centered lives, they do not want to change and if they believed in God in Heaven they would stand in judgment for the sin in their lives.
Scripture says the soul that seeks God will find Him and clearly declares that all nature declares the glory of our God. There is no one in the world that is beyond the range of satellite radio or TV where the gospel is proclaimed, men and women are planting churches and proclaiming Christ all across the globe.
One way for you to pass on the good news of God’s redeeming love; is to give the Gospel of John to people you meet every day. Go to http://www.ptl.org where you can order Gospels of John and pay for the shipping with a small donation. When asked how you learned of this opportunity just enter 204529. God bless you as you carry the Word of God where ever you go.
Heavenly Father, guide us as we go about Your business this day in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
02-03-15
Discipleship
Luke 14:25-27, Now great crowds were traveling with Jesus. So He turned and said to them: “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, and even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”
As Jesus walked the dusty pathways of Galilee and Judea many people were drawn to Him. Those who had great wealth as wealth as the poorest beggar, men who were lame and could not walk, men who were blind and existed only on what they could beg from others. There were always men and women who were interested in seeing what Jesus taught and practiced, some who felt compelled to follow Him and others that were simply looking for a free meal from time to time. When Jesus was teaching on the mountain over 5,000 men were listening to His every word, yet Jesus was interested then and is still interested in men and women who are willing to make a life commitment, to be disciples, not to follow Him because of popularity or fame.
To be a disciple an individual must meet the criteria Jesus so succinctly described. There are millions of people who have accepted God’s great gift of salvation through what Jesus accomplished on the cross and in leaving His earthly garments in the cold tomb while He is fully alive and working in the hearts of men and women across this earth, but few have recognized Jesus, God the Son, as the leader of their lives, giving Jesus the primary, predominate, all-consuming person to whom you owe full allegiance. To make Jesus the Leader of our lives, we need to love Him more than our families, our own life and choose death before denying Him.
There are people who this week will refuse to deny their Savior and go to torturous prison, who will face a firing squad because they consider themselves slaves loyal to their Master, Jesus, and even be grateful for the opportunity to bring Him glory by their death.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we recognize the price that was paid for our salvation and it is out of love we affirm we are willing to give You the first place in our lives, and to live for Your glory.

Manna in the Morning
02-02-15
Bring us Back to You
Lamentations 5:1-2, “Jehovah, remember what has happened to us. Look, and see our disgrace! Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our houses to foreigners.” V, 19 and 21, “But Lord, you remain the same forever! Your throne continues from generation to generation. Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again! Give us back the joys we once had!”
Jeremiah was lamenting over the fate of Jerusalem. He had remained in Jerusalem when Babylon invaded Judea and destroyed the City, and although he knew God’s plan was for the future joy and rebuilding of Jerusalem, he wept at her current state of destruction both physically and spiritually. As we look at the state of the church in the world today, under attack by violent organizations and the quiet destructive actions of the dedicated opponents of Christianity not only in our nation, but in other places where the gospel message has been forbidden, owning a Bible calling for long prison sentences and torture, and the legal restrictions placed upon the Biblical message of Jesus Christ our Redeemer.
Jeremiah reminded the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and that reminder is for us today, our Great Jehovah God is on His throne, He is the same omnipotent one as He has been in the uncharted ages of eternity past, and His all-powerful message of salvation through faith in Jesus the Promised Anointed One has not lost its power, nor will it change until He calls us up to the Heavenlies with the shout, “Come Home.” Let us not lose the joy of His salvation, forget His love and provision for us nor ignore His promise to reward us for our faithfulness. Those that persecute the Believers in Christ, who pass ungodly laws and prohibit the proclamation of His message are acting in fear of damnation, and are seeking only to shut out every reminder of God’s love. Heavenly Father, through the power of God the Holy Spirit, use us this day to further Your words, as you used Jeremiah, we ask this in Jesus name.

Manna in the Morning
01-30-15
Fire
Proverbs 17:3, “A crucible is for silver and a smelter for gold, but the Lord is a tester of hearts.”

Fire is awesome; it is a real comfort on a camping trip or sitting out on the patio around the fire, watching the flames, seeing the embers glow in shifting moving colors as the fire grows hotter or begins to cool. Fire is a protector, it is used to keep predators away in the wilderness, it is used to cook and to brew the coffee for relaxation, it is great to sit around the fire and tell stories of trips, experiences of long ago. Fire is an enemy at times, the wildfires that consume a forest, the inadvertent fire in homes are brought to our mind when we hear a fire truck speed down the road, siren screaming and lights flashing. We wince at news reports of an accidental fire or a lightning strike destroying a family’s home abolishing years of fond memories.
Jehovah God’s Shekinah glory is the fire Moses saw on the burning bush, it flashed and gleamed around the Mount when the Commandments were handed down from Heaven, God’s glory illumined Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration and in the scriptural accounts of the throne of our great God we read of the fire, the light, the tremendous energy that became a small glowing ball within the Holiest place in the Tabernacle between the wings of the Seraphim. This is the spiritual glow that should shine from every believer in Jesus, attracting others to our God, to show His glory and majesty that soon will be seen when Jesus returns to rule from Jerusalem. Fire or heat is used to refine gold, driving out and burning the impurities, the fire purifies the silver, increasing its significance and value but our Heavenly Father uses the heat of His own purity to make us new creations, made in the glorious image of our Savior through our new birth into His Family.
The gold and silver has no voice in the process of purification; the logs do not direct the flames, they are transformed into energy by the fire just as we must be changed by the power of God the Holy Spirit into a witness to His glory and radiate His light into a dark world, dispelling that darkness by His presence in our lives. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask in Jesus’ powerful name that you use us as your lights in this dark world.

Manna in the Morning
01-29-15
To Whom will We Go
John 6:65-69, “Jesus said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to Me unless it is granted to him by the Father.” From that moment many of His disciples turned back and no longer accompanied Him. Therefore Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” Simon Peter answered, “Lord, who will we go to? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!”
Early on in His ministry Jesus spoke with the 12 disciples and many of the others who were following Him. When He said very plainly that He was the Bread of Life, and only those who came to Him for salvation would have eternal life, many of the followers couldn’t understand that and said, “This is Jesus, Joseph’s son.” Then many of this group turned away and left Jesus, He turned to the twelve and asked plainly, “Are you going to leave me too?” Peter, always the first to speak, said to Jesus that there was no other to turn to, Jesus had the words of eternal life and they recognized that He was the Promised One who had come, He was the Messiah sent from God.
In our daily activities, we speak with many people who are willing to recognize Jesus as a great teacher sent from God, but cannot understand He is the only way to heaven. We, like the disciples, have to understand that we cannot argue people into God’s Family, they must yield to the call of God the Holy Spirit when they hear Him in their spiritual ears. When we hear that response, we need to understand their heart is not yet prepared to accept the Savior, so we must continue to pray and witness to them until they are ready to make a full commitment to Him. Scripture tells us that some may plant the seed, others may water it, but God the Holy Spirit is the one to call the soul to salvation.
We are to give witness to what God has done in our hearts and pray for the person, God will honor our testimony and will break down the barriers that have been built up in the heart. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You in Jesus’ name, to guide us to someone today so we can share our joy in knowing we have a place at Your side in Heaven.

Manna in the Morning
01-28-15
The life of a Man or Woman
Ecclesiastes 6:10-12, “Whatever exists was given its name long ago, and who man is, is known. But he is not able to contend with the One stronger than he. For when there are many words, they increase futility. What is the advantage for man? For who knows what is good for man in life, in the few days of his futile life that he spends like a shadow? Who can tell man what will happen after him under the sun?
The name of the book is literally “The leader of an Assembly,” and is related to the Greek word used for Church in the New Testament, however many Bible scholars call the Book, ‘Goheleth,’or Preacher. In this passage we read and understand that all that exists was created by our God long ago, and the form, ideas, and humanity of men and women has been known since the Garden of Eden. Eve and then Adam succumbed to the temptation of the devil, and could not contend or argue their case before their God, they disobeyed Him, lost their innocence and could no longer live in the Edenic paradise.
Each of us has to recognize that unlike Adam and Eve, who’s every decision was the first in human history, our lives are like a blink of an eye in the light of humanity’s history, and if we are a Believer in Christ Jesus, we have all eternity before us, our life on this earth must be lived to the glory of our Lord God to have any impact whatsoever. We have no ability, no matter how we try, to influence others after we leave this earth. Political changes may occur for the better or the worse, physical changes in the earth’s climate may vary, our families may move and scatter but our focus will be heavenly and our worship of our great God will be foremost in our lives.
In the Book of Romans, God the Holy Spirit warns us against having an inflated opinion of ourselves, it is our responsibility to live to God’s glory, leave this earth having accomplished all that God has for us, and others will remember us to His glory.
Heavenly Father, give us the ability to live each day as a gift from You and for us to live to Your glory. Keep us humble we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-27-15
Lord, We’re Your’s
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12. “We always pray for you that our God will consider you worthy of His calling, and will, by His power, fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified by you, and you by Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is the second letter Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica, obviously because he held these believers in high regard. In the opening of this letter he wrote, “We must always thank God for you, brothers, which is fitting, since your faith is flourishing, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing.” What a difference from the Church at Corinth where Paul had to admonish them for their bickering and division into cliques. Paul, under the direction of God the Holy Spirit, complimented them on their unity in the gospel and their testimony in the city, in spite of persecution and ridicule. As Paul felt the need to pray for that church, we should be in prayer for the missionaries and churches in far flung places, but never forgetting to pray for the church we attend and in which we worship together with other believers. While we know we are not worthy of any of God’s blessings, God sees us in the righteousness of Jesus upon whom we rely for our salvation.
Paul’s prayer continues as he asks our Heavenly Father to fulfill the Thessalonian desire to fulfill their calling in reaching into their community and winning many others to Christ Jesus working under the direction and power of God the Holy Spirit, in faith believing that God will use them to His glory.
As we work in our various churches, we need to remember we are the earthly representatives of our God in Heaven, and others look to us to understand how to glorify Him. We are to live in faith, work to the greater glory of our God, letting His love and grace be seen in our life, here or in the Heavenly places. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we come before You in Jesus’ name asking You to use us today in any way for Your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
01-28-15
I love You Lord
Psalm 116:1-2, “I love the Lord because He has heard my appeal for mercy. Because He has turned His ear to me, I will call out to Him as long as I live.”
There are many reasons we love our Lord God. One of the first reasons is because when we first realized our sin before God and the need for His salvation, He heard our prayer of repentance and plea for mercy and forgiveness, in His great mercy He reached down from His throne, grasped our hands lifted in prayer and lifted us out of the sin and despair placing us on the solid ground of His love and Redemption. When we sin, and we will, we cry out for reconciliation, and in mercy He responds in love and compassion. There is no end to His love or His mercy on our behalf.
God our Heavenly Father has heard our plea from the far reaches of His Heavenly Kingdom and forever more His ears listen for our adoration, confession, thanksgiving and requests on behalf of others as well as our personal needs. Whether we call upon Him in the quietness of our personal prayer closet, or when we sense a need of an immediate answer or simply cry out, our loving God knows our need and will answer for His greater glory.
Many times we simply go to our Heavenly Father with a list of needs for ourselves and others, asking Him to answer, but we must always remember to thank Him for the answers He has given in the past, and will continue to pour out on us. Just as the ancient priests had to ceremonially and physically purify themselves before they could enter into the Holy Place, we must purify ourselves by confessing our sins and repent.
We must remember to praise our Heavenly Father for His love and protection, adoring Him for the many ways He provides and recognizing Him for who He is, the creator and sustainer of all creation and the provider of all we have in every way, physically and spiritually.
As His children we will cry out to Him for as long as we draw earthly breath, continuing to sing His praises when we see Him face to face in the Heavenly places. Our gracious Heavenly Father, hear our prayer as we honor You and forgive us for the times we have neglected you in our daily activities. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-23-15
Spewed
Revelation 3:14-16, To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God’s creation says: I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth.”
The last of the seven churches mentioned is the Church at Laodicea, the church time in history when the taking up of the church is imminent. As Jesus gives His message for this church He identifies Himself as the Originator, the planner and establisher of all creation. Because He is all-knowing, everywhere present in all His fullness and wielder of all power, our God knew from before the beginning what the position of the Church would be in the day in which we live.
There are those who consider themselves evangelical Christians, yet are active today in espousing the concept of holding joint services with those who do not believe Jesus is divine and consider Him as a lesser prophet. Others who join with other non-Christian congregations in hopes of unity, these are ill-advised, unfaithful and false representatives of the pure gospel of our God. There are others who do not preach and teach the sad fate of those who leave this earthly life without turning to Christ Jesus in faith believing His words, confessing their need of a Savior and accept His offer of the New Birth. Instead of being aggressive and boldly proclaiming our allegiance to Him, the church has grown soft and cold, not proclaiming our message to the nations, but bowing in subjection before the bitter anger of those who force their perversions upon the public, claiming the Bible is irrelevant and based upon myths.
Jesus has said while we know Him and love Him, we will someday regret not working harder in the place where we are placed, using the tools he has given us for the joy of seeing others born into His kingdom. The time is short, the job is huge, and we are the workers in God’s fields. Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us eyes to see the work to be done, the desire to do our best, striving to bring great glory to You. In Jesus’ name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
01-22-15
Open doors
Revelation 3:7-8, “The Holy One, the True One, the One who has the key of David, who opens and no one will close, and closes and no one opens says: I know your works. Because you have limited strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name, look, I have placed before you an open door that no one is able to close.”
The church at Philadelphia is known as the church of the open door, this is illustrative of the time in the history of the Church when there was great missionary activity across the entire world, men and women went into the darkest areas of an unknown interior Africa, who left all and went into China whose closed doors were now open to trade, commerce and missionary activity that lasted up to just prior to WWII. As the wave of missionaries left Europe, the United states and other Western nations, multiplied thousands of souls were saved, churches established, Bible-centered schools established, many of which are still open and spreading the message of salvation through our Redeemer, Jesus. These men and women in the early years of mission activity packed all their belongings in a simple wooden coffin, showing their commitment to serve their Lord God in a foreign place until their life was over.
After WWII, when General MacArthur signed the papers of Japan’s surrender, that country was opened to mission activity and the Korean Conflict opened South Korea to the Message. Since then the number of missionaries in foreign countries has been severely curtailed by antagonistic governments and legal restrictions. Much of the sharing of God’s Word is now done over satellite radio and TV.
There has to be a part of every believer’s life that is set aside for sharing God’s Message with others, because the true disciple of Jesus Christ will always be eager in winning others to Christ and helping them grow in their faith. As we grow older, we may have more time available to share God’s Word, but it is important that everyone devote time to proclaiming God’s message. Our Heavenly Father has given us all the gifts we need, time enough to do all He requires of us and an awesome reward when we meet Him face to face. Gracious God and Father, give us the desire to share Your salvation in every way. In Jesus’ name we pray

Manna in the Morning
01-20-15
Thyatira
Revelation 2:23-25, “Then all the churches will know that I am the One who examines minds and hearts, and I will give to each of you according to your works. I say to the rest of you in Thyatira, who do not hold this teaching, who haven’t known the deep things of Satan—as they say—I do not put any other burden on you. But hold on to what you have until I come.
The Church at Thyatira is representative in history as the Church in the Middle Ages, sometimes known as the ‘Dark Ages’ in Europe and the West. The church was in in the midst of a slow degradation. Becoming more interested in acquiring land and wealth, passing the Bishoprics down through inheritance and bringing the weight of the churches down upon the common people and their fear of losing the hope of salvation.
During this time in our world’s history there were many who remained true to the gospel message and were truly born anew into God’s family. In all of mankind’s history, there has always been a presence of the faithful followers of our Lord God. In this passage Jesus, words to them were, “Hold on to what you have until I come.” Like those brothers and sisters in Christ in that day, let us today hold on to the bright hope of Jesus’ soon return. We, as they, must resist the tendency of our society to allow variations of how to become a child of God, to accept co-operative worship with those who deny the deity of Jesus and the one way of salvation through His sacrifice and to ignore the Biblical command to live a consecrated life dedicated to Him.
We need to remember that our Heavenly Father considers the worship of anything or person apart from He alone is spiritual adultery, and today’s fascination and desire of earthly rewards and fleshly satisfaction certainly tempts men and women away from the Biblical precept of being Heaven minded and toward earthly dedication to spreading His message and the cheap, temporary enjoyment of earthly, fleshly desires.
Gracious Heavenly Father, just as those who have gone before us, help us hold on as those who have gone before us, in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-19-15
The Church of Compromise
Revelation 2:14-16, “But I have a few things against you. You have some there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to place a stumbling block in front of the sons of Israel: to eat meat sacrificed to idols and to commit sexual immorality. In the same way, you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore repent! Otherwise, I will come to you quickly and fight against them with the sword of My mouth.”
This letter is written by John to the Church as Pergamum, a church who, having gone through great persecution had begun to compromise their Scriptural precepts. They began to accept the advice Balaam, a wayward prophet, gave to Balak, to encourage the Israelites to inter-marry with the tribes, in this case, the Moabites, then their wives and children would have at best, a divided loyalty and Israel would be severely weakened. This was basically the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, who denied God is the creator and lived in communes with no legal marriages between the men and women, adhering to a mixture of Biblical precepts and ungodly principles to satisfy their earthly lusts. This is also the time when Mohammed began to attack the Christians and Jews and spread his theology of hatred and killing.
Satan has used the tactic of destroying the family, persuading believes to marry unbelievers to weaken the family bonds, to convince people that there is more to life and happiness than following Biblical principles. This ploy has been used since before Abraham who had a son with a concubine who was an Egyptian slave and caused great problems for believers from that time until today.
There are fringe groups, preachers and teachers who have influence who are now encouraging combined services with unbiblical faith groups who deny Scriptural practices. This has the effect of weakening the witness of the Church and the message of salvation only through the sacrifice of Jesus upon Calvary’s cross. It is up to we who are truly committed to following the Biblical precepts we have been given, keeping the commands of our Savior and proclaiming the purity of the message that salvation is of God through the Cross and sharing our belief that we have a place prepared for us in the Heavenly places. Lord God, give us the discernment to disarm the enemy, proclaim the truth and give You the glory in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-16-14
Be Faithful
Revelation 2:10-11, “Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. “Anyone who has an ear should listen to what the Spirit says to the churches. The victor will never be harmed by the second death.”
The second church to be named by Jesus is the Church at Smyrna. This is a representation of the suffering church, the Believers who were severely persecuted unto their death by the Roman Emperors. The Christians of this time, new believers in Jesus who had but recently been among them then who ascended into the clouds with His promise to return; were thrown to the lions, made to fight gladiators and burned for their faith in sweeping programs, in the public arenas for the entertainment of the public and in ways that were often similar to the murder of Christians who are killed for their faith today in many areas of the Mideast and Northern Africa.
These martyrs, as well as those killed today have the knowledge that our Savior was tortured and crucified, treated in a manner to make Him endure the worst pain possible. Yet for our salvation He endured this horrendous treatment as our perfect sacrifice and only prayed for the Heavenly father to forgive the soldiers because they were unaware of the spiritual results and knowledge of Salvation. Across the world today, across all the centuries since the Church of Smyrna, millions have suffered for their witness of Jesus and His mercy and grace. Jesus told His disciples, and in the Gospel record we read His words, “If they persecute Me, you can expect they will persecute you.” In the days in which we live, we too, have seen the result of indiscriminate killing of men, women, children; horrible treatment, enslavement and inhumane treatment, all for the naming of Jesus as their Redeemer and coming King. The words Jesus spoke to the Church at Smyrna are to be clearly understood by us today, listen to the voice of God the Holy spirit within us, do not compromise our faith, follow Scripture rather than man’s demands and believe in the promise of our Heavenly Father who tells us we will spend eternity in the perfect place He is preparing for us. And for those who give their lives on earth for His name, He has promised the Crown of life for all eternity. Heavenly Father, In Jesus’ name we come to you and have given you all that we are, knowing if You call us to Your side, regardless of the manner of our earthly demise, we will immediately be in the Heavenly Places at Your side.

Manna in the Morning
01-15-15
First Love
Revelation 2:4, “But I have this against you: you have abandoned the love you had at first.”
This verse is part of the description of the Church at Ephesus that John wrote giving us the words of Jesus who walks among the Churches. This church is the only one of the seven prophetic declarations to the church through its long existence on the earth that is also a recipient of a letter from Paul the Apostle. Jesus told the church they had lost their first love for Him, it had diminished and no longer was the bright shining beacon that it once was. Every believer in Jesus needs a similar reminder that we no longer are the bright witness we once were. When someone accepts Christ Jesus as their redeemer, they are filled with joy and an unbridled enthusiasm to share their witness. They want to learn all they can about God’s Word, they want to attend as many worship services as possible and share with those they love the most. As time goes on, their enthusiasm begins to cool, they attend perhaps one service a week and just like Adam and Eve in Eden’s paradise, they grow accustomed to their blessings and are subject to the temptations and lies of our enemy, the devil.
He puts a seed of doubt in our hearts, maybe there is something better, I’m not as exuberant as I was, what am I missing? Be assured, God has not moved away, He is just as loving and concerned as before, we must realize we have to desire to return to the joy and dedication we first enjoyed. This can be done only as we read His Word, and like Ezra, study and live its guidelines and precepts.
We are members of God’s family and he awaits our close fellowship just as the father did the prodigal son, with joy, tears and celebration. God’s admonition is to recover our first love and joy in our salvation by making Him the leader of our lives.
Lord God our eternal Father, we are anxious to make You not only the Forgiver of our sins, but the true leader of our lives. Reconcile us by Your compassionate love and our plea for forgiveness we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-14-15
Guilt
Psalm 103:12-14, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him. For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.”
One of the giants that taunt and goad us like Goliath taunted the Israelite Army is guilt. Satan will use our remembering sin and failure in our Christian lives to try and tell us we are unworthy of serving our God, the devil will give us a feeling of panic and dread should someone from our distant past show up to remind us of our sin and failure. Each Christian man or woman must realize the sins of the past have neither relevance nor hold on our current Christian life if we have confessed those sins before our Heavenly Father and begged forgiveness from Him, accepting Jesus’ death as vicariously taking the sin load and punishment upon Himself, leaving us as free to proclaim His mercy and grace to others as the Gadarene, after he met Jesus and was spiritually restored to full spiritual health, obeying Jesus’ command to go and proclaim God’s love to those who knew him before and after his restoration.
This release from the sins of the past requires the release of our inner feelings of remorse, self-recrimination and shame based not on our actions, but on the work of God in forgiveness, restoration and reconciliation to Himself. Then we are relieved of the efforts of Satan to keep us from living in the joy of salvation and service of our Savior. God fully recognizes that with our own power we are helpless before our adversary, and our only hope for joy depends upon our relationship with our Heavenly Father. We’re like the dust that drifts in the wind after a car has passed by without the calming, settling influence of the rain of God’s mercy, forgiveness and reconciliation that floods our souls when we turn to Him.
God’s promise is sure, unchangeable and clear; when we confess our sins to Him, he is faithful, just and merciful in forgiving us and we are as far from our sinful state as the sun’s rising and setting. God’s promises are sure! God places conviction upon our hearts when needed, forgiveness upon repentance and victory upon reconciliation. Hallelujah, Praise His Holy Name.

Manna in the Morning
01-13-15
The Centrality of Christ
Colossians 1:15-19, “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation; because by Him everything was created, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together. He is also the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He might come to have first place in everything. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile everything to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross—whether things on earth or things in heaven.”
This passage is one of the best descriptions of our Savior, written by the apostle Paul to the Church in Colossi. Jesus, God the Son, is the central, most visible and identifiable Personage in our Triune Godhead. The Father has turned over to Him all authority and judgment both now and eternally. He is the creator of all things; He existed before anything that was brought into being in the creation. Our God is the self-existent one, no entity created God, He always is, existing in eternity and not constrained by time which is part of the world He created.
Not only is our omnipotent God the creator of all that is, it is by His power that all things hold together. In an introduction to physics, the study of the physical properties of God’s creation, we are struck by the delicate balance within all things. The electrons spinning around the nucleus of an atom, the moon’s perfect placement in orbit around the earth and the earth in an orbit around the sun so precise that it will only sustain life as we revolve around the sun, yet alternate between heat and cold so we can live to enjoy God’s wonders.
The greatest wonder of all is that He cares for us, died for us, arose from the grave to pay our sin debt and He is anxious to have fellowship with us if we will only accept His offer of salvation. It is in Jesus and in Him alone that we can be reconciled, restored to full fellowship with our Heavenly Father. We thank you Lord Jesus for Your great love for us and we lift our prayer in Your glorious name.

Manna in the Morning
01-12-15
God’s Mystery
Romans 16:25-27, “Now to Him who has power to strengthen you according to my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the sacred secret kept silent for long ages, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic Scriptures, according to the command of the eternal God, to advance the obedience of faith among all nations—to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ—to Him be the glory forever! Amen.”
As Paul the Apostle closes his letter to the Church at Rome, he places them in Jesus’ care, the Savior who Paul knew and had preached all over the eastern part of the Mediterranean as the only Savior of mankind and who had been revealed in the Scriptures for many centuries. By placing the Church in Jesus’ care for nurturing and teaching them according to the Gospel that Paul had both accepted for himself and shared at Rome and other places under God’s direction. The Christians at Rome were to accept the message and then share it with those who were still unreached by the gospel message.
As Paul had already covered in His teaching to the Romans, the structure and appearance of the Church was not openly seen in the Old Testament, but now the gospel was open to the Gentiles as well as the Jews as declared by Jesus Himself. When Peter answered Jesus’ question with the words, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God,” Jesus responded to Peter declaration as the foundation stone of the Church that He would build after His ascension.
Now it is our responsibility as members of the church triumphant, the Body of Christ, to share this message far and wide across the earth, but beginning with the people who live next door, Because we are not on some foreign land, we are not exempt from the command of Christ to use the gifts He has given us to reach and win others to Him in a fervent manner. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we need to feel the urgency You communicated to those who saw You ascend into the Heavens and share Your love and message to all who will listen. Forgive us for our lack of commitment and use us today to Your greater glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-09-15
Jesus Wept
John 11:35-39, “Jesus wept. So the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Couldn’t He who opened the blind man’s eyes also have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, angry in Himself again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. “Remove the stone,” Jesus said.
Many times we read this chapter and have the same opinion as some of the people standing around the tomb mourning with Mary and Martha, thinking Jesus wept because of the loss of His dear friend, Lazarus. It is true Jesus considered Lazarus and his two sisters as friends, but Jesus was not weeping over Lazarus’ death, He was deeply distressed over the inability of even Martha to understand His mission and ministry. Martha had earlier confronted Jesus and accused Him of delaying on the way when if just a bit earlier He could have healed her brother. The Scriptures say Jesus was frustrated and angry at their unwillingness to believe His Deity and reason for coming to earth. When Jesus’ arrived at the cave where Lazarus was buried, again people misunderstood His power over death and sin, remarking how He was ‘too late’ to heal Lazarus. In His frustration, Jesus demanded the stone be moved so the cave was open, and with a shout He called out to Lazurus, calling Him by name and instructing to come out of the tomb. He could have prayed softly, beckoning Lazarus with His hand but he shouted so all could hear and understand His power over death, “Lazarus, Come out here!” Lazarus came out to the great glory of God.
In times of sorrow and bereavement we find comfort in the release from the pain and sorrow of illness and disease, healing the person to perfect fullness in the Heavenly places. There are times when the sorrow of the loved ones left behind is swallowed up in the witness of trust in our Redeemer, leading many to accept that same redemption. Scripture tells us in Psalm 116:15, “The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.” Just as God has welcomed those loved ones home with a ‘well done faithful one,’ He will welcome us when we have finished all he has laid out for us to accomplish. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we trust your plan for our earthly lives, use us in any way that will glorify you. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
01-07-15
Our Church
1 Corinthians 1:2-3, “To God’s church at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus and called as saints, with all those in every place who call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord—theirs and ours. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Just for the moment, take the word ‘Corinth’ out of the paragraph above and instead put in the name of your city. Then read the verses out loud to find God’s message to you for your church in the town or city where you live. This, then is the message for each of us, personalized just for us.
First, there is a gentle reminder that it’s not ‘our’ church, even though its where we attend it is really God’s Church, the Body of believers of which Christ Jesus is the Head. The church is also called in Scripture the Bride of Christ.
The Church is those who are sanctified, or made holy, through the sacrifice of Jesus and no other way and each of us is called a saint. There is no Beautification Ceremony, Heaven has declared each of us, upon our new birth into God’s family, saints in and through Him. This underlines the fact that our fellow Christians throughout the world are part of our Church worldwide and we need to pray for their courage and dedication to Christ Jesus in great persecution, even death. When a believer in the Mideast is beheaded, we should feel the hurt, when a Believer in China or North Korea is imprisoned for owning a Bible, we should feet their chains. Salvation is a personal matter between the individual person and the Savior, but membership in the Family of God is shared with millions across time and territory. We must call upon our great God to intercede on their behalf for safety and courage under fire.
Paul called for grace, the pouring out of God’s gifts upon those who love Him, upon the members of the Church in Corinth. You and I need to call for grace upon Christians everywhere, especially upon those with whom we worship. He also called for peace upon the saints, the members of the Church. This does not mean we give up in our spiritual warfare, this must go on as aggressively as ever. Sin and the devil never give an inch and we must fight temptation daily. But no matter what we face in this world, our hearts should be filled with the peace of God, knowing He is in control regardless of the worldly turmoil we may face.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, pour out Your love, grace and peace upon us we ask in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
01-06-15
Praise
Psalm 117, “Praise the Lord, all nations! Glorify Him, all peoples! For great is His faithful love to us; the Lord’s faithfulness endures forever. Hallelujah!”
This chapter is the center of the Bible we use to know more of our great God and Savior. This calculation does not include the Apocrypha, a group of inter-Testamental books that were not included because they did not meet the criteria of the councils who included the books we have today. As the central chapter, it includes the essential elements of all Scripture.
First, we are to live a life of praise for our Lord God. Our words should always give praise to our Triune God, our lives should testify to His deserved praise and our works and accomplishments should all glorify His name. Whatever we do, in word or deed should have one purpose, not to bring thanks to us, nor have a spotlight on our actions, but to be fully dedicated to our Heavenly Father’s greater glory. Jehovah, our magnificent, indefinable, self-existent Triune God is to be praised in all nations. Because of tyrannical persecution the praise must be silent in some areas, but Believers in those nations still praise his name. There is not a square mile on the surface of the earth where His message cannot be found. Communication satellites and steadfast, dedicated servants of our God have brought word of His salvation so any man or woman who earnestly seeks God will find Him.
God’s faithful love has reached into the hearts of mankind since Adam and Eve were removed from their paradise, the Garden of Eden. God’s love provided a way for them to be forgiven of their sin and that way exists today, the provision of a perfect sacrifice to pay sin’s penalty known by Adam’s family, Noah and his sons and their wives, through the centuries until the Sacrifice was paid on Calvary’s cross. Today that opportunity is available to us by faith just as it has been because of God’s enduring faithfulness. If every living thing on earth were struck dumb, the stones would cry out giving testimony to the enduring faithfulness of God.
Our wonderful unchanging Heavenly Father, our voices will ring forever, echoing through eternity, singing of Your love and faithfulness to us. Accept our praise this day we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
01-05-15
God is so Good
Psalm 116:1-7, “I love the Lord because He has heard my appeal for mercy. Because He has turned His ear to me, I will call out to Him as long as I live. The ropes of death were wrapped around me, and the torments of Sheol overcame me; I encountered trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is compassionate. The Lord guards the inexperienced; I was helpless, and He saved me. Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.”
Every one of us who knows the Lord God Almighty as our Heavenly Father, having accepted Jesus as our Redeemer, love our God because He first showed his love for us. Just as David did, we appealed to our God for mercy, fully understanding our sin made us worthy of death. Scripture is very clear in its teaching, “The soul that sins shall surely die.” Jesus, God the Son has made clear to us that the soul that puts his or her full trust in Him as their Savior shall surely live and that life will be abundant and joyous. God’s ear is listening for our cry for help in daily living, for His blessings upon our families, for His name to be glorified in our life, for others to understand the need to call upon Him, to have compassion for those who need God’s intervening in their lives and so many other needs.
One of our greatest privileges is one of our first duties when we accept our great God’s offer of Salvation. We are commanded to intercede on behalf of others, to go before His great throne in humbleness and awe that He has invited us to pray for others. To pray for the sick, for those who have asked us to present their needs before God for His guidance and healing; both spiritual and physical.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we were once lost in the strangling grip of sin but You answered our cry and brought out of the darkness and into the light of Jesus. We praise You for that eternal life and the opportunities to serve You until You call us home to Yourself. Guide us into paths of righteousness this day we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
12-31-14
Vengeance
Isaiah 61:2-3, “To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord, to glorify Him.”
Yesterday we saw what God’s Word has for us as Believers to do in His plan for our lives. It is critical that we warn those who do not know Him of the very real danger of ignoring the call of God until it is too late. The time of the Church is soon drawing to a close, and the opportunity of salvation will once again be through the Israelites who will carry God’s message during the time of purification of the earth and its people from the curse of sin placed upon all the earth at the time Adam and Eve were removed from the garden of Eden. At that time God’s retribution or His paying all creation the wages of their sin from the day Adam and Eve chose to disobey the one requirement God have them to enjoy their paradise forever.
In every prophecy in the Scripture telling of the coming of the Anointed One, there is immediately a continuation telling of His reign and rule over the entire creation. But the blight of sin must first be removed before He can return to this earth. After the Church is called up, a terrible time of purification will occur with all the events Scripture mentions to remove every vestige of sin until Jesus descends and destroys every enemy, every sinner, every person who has sinned against the standards of our Holy God with the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God. The time of our calling up into the Heavenly places is close. All the signs and warnings Jesus gave us have begun to appear, and the open door of salvation will soon start to close. As the people through whom God’s speaks His message, we must increase our efforts, eager to win others and then to hear Our Savior’s voice calling us with “Well done, you who have been faithful servants, now enter into the place I have prepared for you.” Our gracious Heavenly Father, it is our desire to finish strong as we carry your message in the time remaining. In Jesus’ name we pray for strength and the power of God the Holy Spirit within us to glorify Your name.
I wish each of you a blessed New Year, and God’s faithful blessings upon all you do in His name.

Manna in the Morning
12-30-14
In this Year
Isaiah 61:1-3, “The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion.
As those who love our Father in Heaven, who were drawn to Him by His irresistible love, and who seek to serve Him in our lives on this earth; we should be willing to recognize, as Isaiah did, that we have been, every one of us, called by Him into His service. This coming year of 2015 is not the year to stand by and watch our Nation and the world fall deeper into the mire of ignoring God’s call and turn their backs on His offered salvation. For each one of us, the Spirit of the Lord God is upon us; not just upon us but within us, indwelling every fiber of our mind and body. Scripture tells us we are the habitation of God the Holy Spirit and when we recognize we are anointed by our God and being told what to do, we will do as we are told.
During this year 2015, we need to accept the same challenge as Isaiah and bring the good news of Redemption through Jesus to the poor men and women who are lost in the mire of earthly sin. We need to heal the broken hearted. Every one of us has, within our circle of friends and family, those who have lost a loved one, either to death or the ravages of dementia and loss of mental awareness, and we must help them understand the healing that only comes from our Savior. We are to proclaim spiritual liberty to those still held in bondage of every manner because this new year is the year of God’s favor upon us. His favor in Healing forgiveness, reconciliation and proclamation of His love toward us.
If Isaiah would devote his entire life to this task, it is not at all unreasonable to allow our indwelling God and Father to use us as He desires, to fulfill what He has determined for us to do so that we may be more conformed to the image of Christ Jesus. Our gracious Heavenly Father, out of gratitude and love for You and those who need Your loving touch, we will seek to show others Your good news, healing, comfort and spiritual liberty in Jesus. Guide us in Jesus’ name and for Your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
12-29-14
Forward
Philippians 3:13-14, “But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and reaching forward to what is ahead, I pursue as my goal the prize promised by God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus.”
In just 3 days we will enter into a new year, calendars will be thrown out, new ones hung on the wall, pocket calendars will be tossed after copying all the phone numbers and important data, diaries will have a new heading, we’ll watch the ball drop in Times square, yawn and go to bed. As we look at our spiritual life, do we see a need to modify our spiritual lives? Many people boldly declare they will read through the entire Bible in 2015. There are 929 chapters in the Old Testament and 260 chapters in the New Testament. This gives a total of 1,189 chapters (on average, 18 per book). Psalm 117 is the middle chapter of the Bible, being the 595th Chapter. Psalm 117 is also the shortest chapter of the Bible. This would require 3.25+ chapters a day without fail. I once knew an individual who would read the Bible annually while watching TV, not giving full attention to God’s Word or anything else during ‘Bible time,’ technically fulfilling his promise, but with very little spiritual value.
Paul’s advice to the Church of Philippi is sound advice for all of us who love our Lord God. Between now and New Year’s Day spend some time reviewing this past year, ask God to forgive you for lost opportunities or sharing a witness with others, or not spending time in prayer for others or studying God’s Holy Word. Ask Him to guide you in your use of time. Our Lord will always see that we have enough time to fulfill His will for our life, we are all responsible for the allocation of our 24 hours in every day.
In order to be fully prepared for God’s use, follow the words of Ezra who determined to read, study, live and teach God’s Word in the place where He has placed you for this very day. Be useful, available and equipped with God’s Holy word that He has promised would never return to Him without bearing fruit. Our gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of sharing Your Word with others, bless us in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-24-14
Decisions
Joel 3:14, “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the Day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.”
The shepherds believed the message of the angels; the Magi believed the appearance of the star and made the trek to Bethlehem; Mary and Joseph believed with all their hearts that Jesus was the Promised one; Anna, a devoted woman who worshipped in the Temple believed Jesus was the Anointed one as did Simeon, a righteous and devout man who had lived believing he would see the Lord’s Messiah, the Gift to this earth. To believe is to have faith in God’s written Word, to live in faith knowing we will spend eternity in His presence.
The question now is, how deep is your belief? Do we share the Biblical account of Jesus’ birth with our following generations, stressing it is not a ‘story’ like many of the Disney movies, it is an account written in God’s Word and is to be made part of our lives and character. We Believe!
Do we believe we give and receive gifts in the spirit of the Magi who gave rich gifts to the child Jesus, and received the gift of assurance their faith was not misplaced? Do we sing Carols believing our words as deeply as the angels, the Heavenly Heralds of God Love, yearning someday to join our voices with theirs in praise and adoration of our Savior?
Do we really belief the time of the Church is growing short, that men and women need to place their faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection as the price of their salvation? If we do, then our hearts, hands and feet will be dedicated to carrying the message of God’s provision of Salvation through Jesus and He alone.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, may our belief be deep, our faith be strong and our witness a flaming fire glorifying You and Your Shekinah glory as we walk through this Christmas celebration. Accept our praise and gratitude in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
12-19-14
A Child is Born
Isaiah 9:6, “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”
This particular portion of Scripture starts in verse 2 with the words, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of darkness, a light has dawned.” Isaiah prophesied during a very dark time in the Kingdoms of Judah and Israel, people had lost sight of their unique place in Almighty God’s plan to bring the Anointed One into the world through the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Into their darkness came a great light down from Heaven; a spiritual dawning showing the difference between spiritual darkness and, The One who would be called The Light of the World.
Isaiah expanded his prophecy of a time in the far distant future when a Child would be born, one who brings the light of salvation into a world of sin and death. This boy-child will come into the world like no other, will be part of the Israelite people-group and will be the Son of Promise, just as Isaac was the son of God’s promise to an aged Abraham and Sarah. This Child would someday be the Sovereign King of all Kings and rule the world, He will be the benevolent King who will protect and care for His subjects. As those who have been redeemed, we should never forget we are His subjects, not voters in a democracy of which Jesus is the head.
He has proved to us He is our Wonderful Counselor, guiding and directing us in times of decision and bewilderment, always giving us the wisdom we seek. He is our Mighty Creator God sustaining all that is by His own mighty power, and who promises to create a new Heaven and New Earth for our habitation for all eternity. By our accepting His offer of Salvation we are spiritually reborn into His eternal family for an unending eternity of joy and wonderment at His love and care.
This Promised Child has brought peace into our lives, a calm in the storms of life and an overwhelming sense of comfort in difficult times. He will bring true peace to all who believe in Him and will take the uncertainty and unrest out of our hearts, replacing it with an unimaginable peace that only He can give. This is God’s gift, The Christmas child we revere and worship.
Our gracious God and Heavenly Father, we accept Your immeasurable gift and praise You forever. It is in the name of Jesus we lift our gratitude and praise for Your selfless gift.

Manna in the Morning
12-18-14
A Virgin will Conceive
Isaiah 7:13-14, “Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Is it not enough for you to try the patience of men? Will you also try the patience of my God? Therefore, the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive, have a son, and name him Immanuel.”
If all mankind has a shared unwelcome trait, I think it would be impatience. We sit and wait at a stoplight, getting restless if the cars don’t move as soon as the light changes. It has often been said that men and women want more patience and they want it immediately!
Our great God had promised to someday send a Redeemer to offer salvation to all men. After a period of time, the population of the earth began to question the promise because there seemed to be no further interest or design to bring the promised, anointed one, therefore mankind became derisive saying that it had been promised for so long and not fulfilled. so there probably would never be fulfillment of the promise.
In all the time since Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, never has there been a child born of a virgin, having no characteristics of a male parent except the birth of Jesus conceived in the womb of Mary with no male parentage from this earth by a miracle of our Almighty God. Born in purity, unblemished by sin, fully capable of sin but never sinning, making Him the Perfect Promised Sacrifice. God the Son who gave up the glories of Heaven, the admiration of all the angelic host, God the Son who is the eternal Self-existent One, allowing Himself to know human birth in order to redeem all who would believe in His atoning death and resurrection.
This Christmas season, join me in making the Birth of Jesus the center of our planning, giving, worship and the epicenter of our focus. To Him be the glory, every carol sung for His praise, and most of all, every heart willingly given to Him as our gifts.
Our great Heavenly Father, thank you for Your great gift, our Redemption. May we always remember it is a gift accepted by faith which in itself is a gift from Your hand.

Manna in the Morning
12-17-14
Bethlehem
Micah 5:2-3, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; One will come from you to be ruler over Israel for Me. His origin is from antiquity, from eternity. Therefore, He will abandon them until the time when she who is in labor has given birth.”
Micah wrote this prophecy around 700 years Before Christ. It is a condemnation of both the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of the Israelites that separated after Solomon’s reign. He condemns them both for idol worship, turning away from God’s Word and accepting both passively and actively the idolatry of the time. He declares that God has judged them both for their sin, then gives the prophecy that the anointed One will come, gives the specific name of Bethlehem of the valley of Ephrata in the Kingdom of Judea. A tiny village, not to be confused with another town of the same name to the North. While the Rabbis knew the Scripture, they had to be reminded of this passage when royal visitors arrived from the East.
Later in the prophetic book, Micah tells of the Lord God coming to judge Samaria and Judea, to purify them, to convict them of their sin and bring the Kingdoms back to a belief in God as the source of their salvation, their Redeemer and King. We know from our position in earth’s history and events that have occurred, Jesus did come to Bethlehem, born as a baby to fulfill the promise The Father made in Eden, and is soon coming again to fulfill the remaining prophecy, the purification of the world and establish His reign and rule over all the earth from David’s throne in Jerusalem, the city David chose, under God’s direction, to serve as his capitol during his reign as King, and from which Jesus will rule during His benevolent Kingdom after the Church is removed from the earth, having fulfilled its function in proclaiming the Gospel message.
This Christmas, as we remember the miracle of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, just as prophesied over 700 years before, remember the promise telling us this same Jesus, God the Son, will return as the Conquering King in what appears to be the near future. Praise You our God and Heavenly Father for Your faithfulness, promises and coming fulfillment when we will eternally be with You.

Manna in the Morning
12-16-14
Mary Thought
Luke 2:19, “But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them.”
It’s difficult for us to put ourselves in Mary’s position. A very young Jewish girl in Judea under harsh Roman rule, engaged to a man named Joseph whom she loved, then visited by an angel direct from Heaven with a startling announcement that changed her life. She has been selected by Jehovah, the great God she loves, to bear and give human birth to the Anointed One, the Messiah the Israelites have been anticipating for hundreds of years. The questions keep coming into her mind, “Will my parents believe me? How can I tell Joseph to whom I am betrothed? Did I really talk with an angel or was I daydreaming?” For the rest of her life there would be more questions than answers, times when she would deeply rely upon her faith in Almighty God, trusting in His guidance instead of her own.
The Gospel accounts don’t give us any mention of Mary’s parentage other than the one mention that she was a cousin of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. Were they alive at the time of the angel’s announcement to Mary? If so, did they support her fully or did they disown her choosing to disassociate from her, losing the joy of being the grandparents of the Savior, watching Him growand assume a position as healer, teacher and finally the Promised Perfect Sacrifice. From the moment Joseph believed the angel who appeared to him in a dream, he supported Mary and made all the decisions to preserve and keep the child who was assumed to be his son but truly was God the Son, fully divine and yet fully human. He encouraged both Jesus and Mary for the rest of his life. The gospel record gives no further information about him so theologians assume he died before Jesus’ death and resurrection.
There is no question that Mary knew she would bear the Savior of the world, Joseph believed and followed God’s directions so long as he lived, the 12 followers believed, but do you believe that Jesus is the virgin born fully human son of Mary two thousand years ago? Do you believe He is God the Son, fully divine that willingly came to this earth to bear the burden of paying the price for your sin? Do you believe God the Holy Spirit lives within your life?
Our loving Heavenly Father, we believe! We know that God the Holy Spirit inhabits our lives because we have accepted the perfect sacrifice of Jesus for our sin and our heart’s desire is to honor and serve you. We praise and honor you in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
12-15-14
The Power of the Lord
Numbers 14:18-19, “So now, may My Lord’s power be magnified just as You have spoken: The Lord is slow to anger and rich in faithful love, forgiving wrongdoing and rebellion.
After the spies came back from evaluating Canaan, the Israelites voted to ignore the Lord’s direction, not to invade Canaan, and if possible, return to slavery in Egypt. They rebelled against God even to the point of considering killing Moses and Aaron. Moses interceded before God for their forgiveness. God forbid all adults from entering Canaan and left the Israelites to wander forty more years in the wilderness as homeless nomads. Moses went before the Lord and praised Him for His forgiveness and justice.
The concept that God is slow to anger is well known and all of us who are born anew into His family are grateful for God’s patience, knowing that we have often willfully done things that are out of God’s will for our lives yet God has not meted out immediate judgment, instead He has dealt with us in His patience, calling us to repentance and forgiveness.
God, our Heavenly Father is rich in His love toward us. He loved us when we were mired deep in sin’s mire, He called us in love to accept His offer of redemption, He forgave us by His grace in His powerful love and He loves us still when we sin against His precepts, reconciling us back to Him and in His unfailing perfect love He forgives our sins and trespasses when we repent and ask for His forgiveness.
Rebellion seems like a harsh, unyielding rejection of God’s precepts and Scriptural commands, yet we fail to recognize that anytime we do not follow His leading in our lives, reject the command of God the Holy Spirit to share the saving gospel message we are in direct rebellion against our Heavenly Father fully as much as the ancient Israelites when they refused to follow God’s manifest presence into the land of promise.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for your unfailing love, for our Redemption and reconciliation when we stray from you. Give us the opportunity to share Your love with all we meet today by actions, attitudes and words. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-12-14
The Right Time
1 Timothy 2:5-6, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and man, a man, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself—a ransom for all, a testimony at the proper time.”
Every year when the Christmas Season approaches we hear from Bible scholars and others who declare that the winter is not the correct time to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, and that it should be sometime in the spring, in accordance with the feasts and celebrations of the Israelite people, including the shepherds in the field and other indications it was not during winter.
Our Sovereign God and Heavenly Father is not limited by times and seasons as we are; becoming controlled by time in an ever increasing measure. Our God is eternal, everywhere present in all His fullness, and does not act in accordance with man’s calendar or timing. God created the earth in accordance with His wishes. Established the orbits and relationship between the earth and the moon, created time and will always perform His mighty works in the time and manner that brings greatest glory to Himself. It is not winter or spring, it is not April or December, the birth of Jesus occurred on this earth when our awe-inspiring God determined it was the proper time in His eternal plan from the very beginning of creation. When the time was right, God moved in Joseph’s forced entry to Egypt to save the Israelites, for John to be knit in Elizabeth’s womb, Jesus to be formed in Mary’s womb, for the glorious entry into Jerusalem, the cross of Calvary and the deserted tomb. When the time was right in your life, God the Holy Spirit drew you to Himself and you were born again into the family of God.
We do not celebrate sleighs, snow, festival lights or a fat old elf who drops mysterious packages into our houses. While these are surrounding events in our celebration of Christmas, it is the recognition of the proper time in God’s perfect plan to bring the Promised Perfect Sacrifice of Genesis into this earth for our redemption by our faith in all He is and does. In recognition of God’s perfect, never-changing plan, let our Celebration go deeper than the exterior wrappings of Christmas and concentrate on the glorious event celebrated by the hosts of Heaven, the Birth of our Redeemer, Jesus. Our gracious Heavenly Father, thank You for the manger, the adoration of the shepherds, the gifts of the Magi, and incomparable gift of our Salvation. In Jesus’ perfect name we lift our praise.

Manna in the Morning
12-10-14
God Will Add
Genesis 42:21-22, Then they said to each other, “It is plain that we are being punished for what we did to our brother. We saw his deep distress when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this trouble has come to us.” But Reuben replied: “Didn’t I tell you not to harm the boy? But you wouldn’t listen. Now we must account for his blood!”
These are the words of Jacob’s sons who sold their brother Joseph, whose name means ‘God will add,’ into slavery many years before. Evidently they thought that God was punishing them for their deeds. The brothers had just met Joseph in Egypt and did not recognize them when he imprisoned them and called them military spies. When Joseph found out he had a younger brother born of Rachel, he gave them the food they were after during the famine and told them to come back with Benjamin, keeping Simeon in custody until they returned.
Joseph had been in jail most of his time in Egypt on trumped up charges, but God was in it and blessed all he touched during that period. In God’s plan, he rose to be second only to Pharaoh in Egypt, was able to feed his natural family during a world-wide famine and later meet his father and save the lives of his entire family, the line of the Promised One that had dwindled to under 100 people. Did Joseph realize God had placed him in this position? Did the brothers at last realize they played a part in God’s plan, however unwittingly? Yes, when he revealed himself to his brothers, he said, in Gen 45:8, “It was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of his entire household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt.”
When we accept God’s offer of salvation we are to willfully make Him the Leader of our life, to willingly be used for His greater glory, and without reservation take our place as he uses us to encourage and win others to Him. Joseph is one who let God add unexpected actions and experiences to his life in order to fulfill His greater purpose. Each of us who love our Lord must surrender control of our life to His perfect plan, maintain and deepen our faith in order to be used in our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan. We were born into this world for His glory and born anew into His family for His Greater glory. Our gracious Heavenly Father, in Jesus name we offer ourselves to You for Your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
12-08-14
The Mystery
Ephesians 3:4-7, “By reading this you are able to understand my insight about the mystery of the Messiah. This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to His holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit: the Gentiles are co-heirs, members of the same body, and partners of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I was made a servant of this gospel by the gift of God’s grace that was given to me by the working of His power. “
Paul wrote this letter to the Ephesians to clear up a mystery that had confused the Gentiles ever since Pentecost. Today, it is apparent this ‘mystery’ is not clearly understood by many Believers in Christ, even though they have listened to many sermons and Bible lessons throughout their life they still do not fully understand the full relationship between the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the people who are born anew into the Family of God. God promised in Genesis 3, that He would someday send a Perfect Sacrifice to pay the debt of sin for all mankind. This promise was made, not to the Israelites, but to all mankind who sinned all through the long centuries before Moses, the Levitical Law or the coming of Jesus into the world in the city of Bethlehem. In those Old Testament centuries, there were many who believed by faith in God’s promise. Abraham was one of those patriarchs who believed, Scripture tells us in four separate places that Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness. The Israelites were chosen to serve the Lord God by being the blessed, chosen people-group through which the Promised Sacrifice, our Savior, Jesus would enter this earth to pay the price of our redemption. When Jesus sacrificed His life on Calvary, the Israelite primary purpose was complete. They did not evangelize the world, they kept the message of redemption within their own people group. Yet the Scriptures always said the entire world was under the curse of sin and the promised One would remove that curse.
After Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven, the Church, all mankind; men, women, children without ethnic division, cultural separation or language walls. The Body of Christ was given the task and opportunity to bring this wondrous gift to the world by every way possible. It is still our individual privilege to share this redemption message in the place where we are, the street or city where we live and share because we know the language and cultural distinctives. There is no difference between the Israelite or the Gentile, we are by faith born again into God’s family, we live to share His promises and What better time, than when we recognize and celebrate His birth in Bethlehem. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, give us the boldness to share our faith and salvation experience with those we meet. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-04-14
The Creation
Genesis 1:14-16, “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years. They will be lights in the expanse of the sky to provide light on the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to have dominion over the day and the lesser light to have dominion over the night—as well as the stars.”
When God created Eden as a place for Adam and Eve to live and enjoy fellowship with Him, He created the entire universe, something we tend to forget when we read of the earth, the animals and mankind being created. The planetary orbiting spheres are placed so precisely, their position can be plotted far back into earliest history and into the future as far as any astronomer or mathematician cares to calculate. Our omnipotent God created a thoroughly predictable universe, so that the universe’s signs and wonders will always fall into place according to the will and plan of God.
Stars may be predictable, the phases of the moon can be carefully plotted, and the sun’s orbit in the Milky Way is known with certainty every day. While our Creator God planned the movement of every planet, comet or star in the heavens, he has not made man an automaton, one who reacts robotically to a given stimulus. He has given every man and woman the free will to accept or reject His offer of salvation through the promised Redeemer. When you were born anew into the Family of God, you did so because of your great desire to live for Jesus Christ and serve Him, not because you were programmed to do so. We also had the free will to reject His salvation, but it is the will of our heavenly Father that all men and women have the opportunity to accept the free offer of salvation. Once we have been born anew, we fit into His plan and purpose for our lives and serve Him out of gratitude and love, never in a begrudging manner. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise You for salvation, we thank You for the joy of serving You and we desire to glorify Your name this day. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
12-02-14
Good Works
Ephesians 2:8-10, “For by grace you are saved through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift—not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are His creation—created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.”
When you ask the average guy on the street why he thinks he will go to heaven, the answers will often contain the idea that their good works will outweigh the bad things they have done on a scale of justice or they will say that they know God is a God of love and they’ll be ok because they never did anything really bad and don’t have any felonies on their record. The scriptural phrase they use to justify their idea is Rev. 20:12, “Another book was opened, which is the book of life, and the dead were judged according to their works by what was written in the books.” What most people do not understand there can be no ‘good’ work by men and women unless God is in it. This passage makes it clear that we who are in the Family of our Heavenly Father are expected to do good works, not to pay for our redemption, nor to boast or brag about our level of spirituality, but to do those works in praise and gratitude to our Lord God, to show how much He loves people, and to bring glory to His name by our actions.
We are born again into the Family of God by our faith in Him and His promises. We would not be able to lift our faith to that level if it were not for the faith being implanted in our hearts and lives so we can return God’s love and act in the same manner as our Savior because it is our responsibility to carry the good news across every barrier to win others. Let’s not be lazy, uncommunicative with others, hiding the news of Jesus death, burial and resurrection in our own hearts and not being eager to share it with others.
God not only provided a way of salvation, He has equipped us, given us the tools and the opportunities to do those godly works in His name and for His glory. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we come before you in Jesus’ name asking that you use us today in any way that will glorify You. Guide our every step we pray.
Ps 95:1-7

95 Come, let us shout joyfully to the Lord,
shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us enter His presence with thanksgiving;
let us shout triumphantly to Him in song.

3 For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
4 The depths of the earth are in His hand,
and the mountain peaks are His.
5 The sea is His; He made it.
His hands formed the dry land.

6 Come, let us worship and bow down;
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
7 For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
(from Holman Christian Standard Bible® Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 by Holman Bible Publishers.)

Manna in the Morning
11-24-14
Thanksgiving
Psalm 28:6-9,”May the Lord be praised, for He has heard the sound of my pleading. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. Therefore my heart rejoices, and I praise Him with my song. The Lord is the strength of His people; He is a stronghold of salvation for His anointed. Save Your people, bless Your possession, shepherd them, and carry them forever.”
Our nation has celebrated Thanksgiving since before the first laws were enacted and our first President was elected. The colonists at Plymouth Rock celebrated the blessing of our great God upon the first anniversary of their colonization. They had learned much, made friends with the Aboriginal people, learned how to plant, raise and harvest food crops, and gave thanks to their and our Great Omnipotent God for their survival. These colonists were God-fearing and Bible-believing individuals who sought a place where their religious beliefs would not be taken from them, and the practice of personal worship encouraged.
The Psalmist acknowledged His Lord God in Whom he had trusted as his source of strength and faithful trust. David believed, and so should we that he is our stronghold of Salvation and the one True Good Shepherd of His people. The kind of shepherd who was known by David and all the peoples of the Mid-eastern countries. A shepherd who did not push and follow his sheep or herd them with yapping dogs. Instead he lead them and the sheep followed because they knew the voice, putting their lives in the hand of the shepherd to lead them to the rare pools of pure water, sweet forage as well as safe places to rest and raise their lambs.
Just as the sheep trust their shepherd, we must trust our Good Shepherd and as we approach our National Day of Thanksgiving, we need to do all we can to make it a time of National Remembrance of all that our Good Shepherd has given us. Let’s make it more than a day for football, dinners, parades and “low” priced sales. Commit your heart right now to attend a public Thanksgiving Service as well as spending time in personal contemplation of all that God our Heavenly Father has done for us as a people, a church, and by blessing each of us in personal blessings upon grateful hearts.
Lord God our Heavenly Father, we understand that no good thing has entered our lives unless it originated with You. Accept our praise and Thanksgiving from grateful hearts. In Jesus name we praise You.

Manna in the Morning
11-21-14
Praise the Lord
Ps 100, “Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Acknowledge that the Lord is God. He made us, and we are His — His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good, and His love is eternal; His faithfulness endures through all generations.”
As we approach thanksgiving, we should enter the presence of our Lord God in joy and singing, praising Him for all He has done. That is the way a kid goes to Santa with his or her list of toys and things to fill their stockings and under the tree come Christmas morning, and it’s the way some of us, and I admit to this, approach the Lord God with our requests in our hand, and do not take time to recognize how wonderful and awe inspiring, and how lowly we are.
As come before our Heavenly Father, the first thing we need to do is to Adore Him, to let our Heavenly Father know how we feel about Him, How awesome is His very presence and how gracious He is to let we who are sinners to come into His presence because of His first gift of salvation in our lives. Next, we are to confess our sins to Him, asking forgiveness and expressing our regret and sorrow for our sin. The third thing is to praise and give thanks for all we have received from Him, the multitudinous blessings poured out upon us daily, the air we breathe, the beauty of a sunrise or sunset. Our families and spouses, nothing that has any lasting goodness has come into our lives unless it has come from our Gracious God and Heavenly father
Then, at the end of our prayer, we are to lay our requests before our loving Father, knowing He will answer our prayer in His perfect time, in His perfect way, according to His perfect will for our good and His glory. In our prayer life remember the Book of acts, Adore our God, confess our personal and national sins, make thanksgiving a real part of our prayer and then give Him your supplications.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for all you have done for us, and we ask that on this thanksgiving we will rejoice in Your goodness to us.

Manna in the Morning
11-19-14
On Trial
James 1:12-13, Blessed is a man who endures trials, because when he passes the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him. No one undergoing a trial should say, “I am being tempted by God.” For God is not tempted by evil, and He Himself doesn’t tempt anyone.”
In these two verses James, under the direct influence and inspiration of God the Holy Spirit gives us the secret to withstanding Satan’s temptations no matter how alluring and satisfying they seem to be. Eve did not use this simple method, in fact no spiritual leader, regardless of the age in which they lived, could have taken advantage of this simple tool to avoid sin until the ascension of Jesus. This tool is a three step process in which we take only one maybe two steps, only to succumb to the temptation because we don’t recognize the necessity of the third step.
In the Old Testament time before Jesus ministered here on earth and gave His life as the perfect sinless sacrifice, men and women were not permanently indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. God filled them with the Spirit for specific acts of spiritual need or action, but since Jesus has now ascended back up to heaven, we have the permanent comforter or companion in God the Holy Spirit who has taken residence in our lives. He is the means by which we can resist every one of Satan’s temptation. Our first step is to recognize that we serve a Triune God; Father Son and Spirit, all of whom are fully God, co-equal in all of our Great Jehovah God’s attributes, including perfect holiness. Our God is not tempted by nor is He swayed by sin. God the Son conquered sin on the cross; it has no further effect on a person who is born anew into God’s family.
Step two is to recognize our God has defeated Satan, he is fighting and writhing in a futile battle; already defeated and bound for the fiery pit of hell. Step three is when we allow God the Holy Spirit to fully control our every thought and emotion, instead of focusing on the temptation, we must allow God the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and actions as though the temptation was not even there. Since God neither tempts us nor can be tempted, and He is our constant companion in the person of God the Holy Spirit, we are immune to Satan’s wiles unless we choose to ignore His direction. Lord God our Father, we pray in the name of Jesus for the overpowering presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives and the willingness to submit to Him.

Manna in the Morning
11-18-14
A Noble Thing
Mark 14:6-9, “Then Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why are you bothering her? She has done a noble thing for Me. You always have the poor with you, and you can do good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me. She has done what she could; she has anointed My body in advance for burial.”
Shortly before Jesus was arrested, He went to Simon’s house for dinner. Simon had been afflicted with a serious skin disease, possibly leprosy, and as a grateful recipient of Jesus’ healing, he had a dinner for Jesus with many varied people there. In addition to the unnamed woman, undoubtedly there were Temple officials and others present. This grateful woman opened a vial of very expensive perfume and poured it out on the head of Jesus letting the aroma of her sacrifice of great cost permeate every room in the house where Jesus was. Those Temple officers were upset, wondering why such an expensive gift was completely used to honor and anoint Jesus for as Jesus Himself said, “…in advance for my burial.”
This was before the burial and resurrection of Jesus, and His presence was a physical presence for that time and place. Jesus’ perfect, sinless life on this earth was about to be sacrificed, shortly thereafter He would ascend into Heaven, leaving us the gift of the indwelling God the Holy Spirit to be our constant companion. This is a great comfort and blessing for we who are alive today that was not possible before Jesus’ ascension.
Jesus also gave us a command that has not been modified, do good things to others. As Believers, we do them in thanksgiving for the great things our Savior has done for us, not to gain any favor with our Heavenly father, because our Redeemer has paid that ultimate price for us already.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we will live this day to Your glory in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
11-17-14
This is the LORD’s Declaration
Joel 2:12-14, “Even now turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Tear your hearts, not just your clothes, and return to the Lord your God. For He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents from sending disaster. “
It appears that deep in the heart of every believer there is a sense that the time is drawing near for the Day of The Lord, that time when our Savior, Jesus will shout the call and let the angels trumpet the message that it is time for the Church, the world-wide body of believers, to be taken from the earth to the heavenly places, and the purification of the earth begins, preparing for the coming reign of Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. For those who may be reading this paragraph who do not know Jesus as their Redeemer, this opportunity may not be open for very much longer. We never know what a day will bring, an accident, a sudden fatal heart attack or other health problem make take the opportunity away and there is no further offer to accept Jesus’ sacrifice before you leave this earth.
God the Holy Spirit inspired Joel to write these words where our Great God speaks pleading for men and women to turn to Him in repentance and a plea for forgiveness for their sin. God has promised in His Word to freely forgive our sins and to, through Jesus’ sacrifice, see us born anew into His Family forever. His love is beyond our ability to comprehend, choosing to reach into the filth of a life filled with sin and degradation grasp the seeking soul and lift us up to a position we could not imagine. In the time coming known as ‘The Day of the Lord’ God’s perfect justice is seen in the purification of the earth, removing the curse of sin from the land vegetation and removing those who rejected the freely offered gift of salvation.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we recognize your perfect love sent Jesus, God the Son, to pay the price for our sin. We understand your perfect justice demands every person to accept that offer to be joined in Your Family, and those that reject Jesus’ sacrifice to spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. We rejoice in our place in Your Heavenly Kingdom and pray for Your guidance this day in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
11-14-14
God’s Requirements
Micah 6:8, “He has told you men what is good and what it is the Lord requires of you: Only to act justly, to love faithfulness, and to walk humbly with your God.
Micah is the Prophet who foretold the birth of the Promised One in Bethlehem, and now, in the next chapter later he writes of how we should live fulfilling all the Lord God requires of us. First, Scripture tells us that we are to live our lives doing good things. We can only do what is good if our actions are motivated by a desire to please God, not to earn or deserve an eternity in Heaven. Next we are to act justly, treating others in a manner that is equal to how we treat all others, to pay a fair wage for a fair days work and in whatever we do or say to them, it must be equitable and fair. Third, we are to love faithfulness. Our lives are to show faithful adherence to our God’s precepts and commandments, faithful in reading His Word, faithful in prayer and in the choices we make in our words and actions.
The last requirement Micah records is to walk with our God, in close communion with Him, in the path he has laid out for us, listening to the quiet voice of God the Holy Spirit within us giving us direction and encouragement, doing all these things in a humble spirit, knowing we are to be dependent upon God’s strength and not our own, in His way, not ours. Just as a horse is uncontrollable when it bites down on the bit in his mouth with his teeth, no longer sensitive to the pull on the reins by the rider, but going his own way without restraint, so we must always live in full submission to our Loving God.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we will be submissive to You this day, not seeking our fame or attention for our actions, but giving all glory to You, the One who has redeemed us from the pit of the devil’s snare. Use us today in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
11-13-14
Thanks
1 Corinthians 15:57, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!”
After the wonderful passage on the resurrection of our Redeemer and Lord, Paul, the writer of this epistle inspired by God the Holy Spirit gives this sentence. I can hear Paul preaching in my mind about the reality of the resurrection and the security we have in our Savior when Paul literally shouts this sentence, giving all thanks for the spiritual battle won at Calvary, spiritual victories in our lives, and our Heavenly Father’s providential watch and care over us giving all praise, glory and honor to Him.
Paul uses a name that implies the Highest God of Heaven, one who is beyond compare and who, in great love has made us victors over all sin in our lives, and by His own power as God the Son, raised up that mortal body that was born of Mary to return to the Heavens for all eternity
We have been blessed by the victory of our Lord, the supreme authority of all earthly powers, the owner of our lives, the one who has given us life and strength, provided us with food, shelter, protection and care, the one we are to call Master, and recognize as the Supreme Leader over every part of our life and being. He is Jesus, our Savior, the one who walked this earth, facing and conquering every thought, temptation, desire for earthly pleasure and things in order to be our Promised Perfect sacrifice. He is our friend, desiring to be our constant companion, guiding us, keeping us from sin in order to present us faultless before our Heavenly Father wrapped, not in our filthy rags, but in His perfect white robe of righteousness. He is Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, chosen in the mind of our Triune God before the first atom of creation was thought into being. The One who paid the sacrifice for our sin, scrubbed us clean by the cleansing of His blood and it is by His own death, burial and resurrection we are made whole and pure. Thanks be to our God the Holy Spirit who indwells us completely so we will always be by His side. Lord God our Heavenly Father, all praise, thanks and honor be to You for our Redemption and we ask that we may live this day for Your glory and Your’s alone. In the name of Jesus we praise you.

Manna in the Morning
11-07-14
Jealousy, Vengeance and Wrath
Nahum 1:2-4, “The Lord is a jealous God, filled with vengeance and wrath. He takes revenge on all who oppose him and continues to rage against his enemies! The Lord is slow to get angry, but his power is great, and he never lets the guilty go unpunished. He displays his power in the whirlwind and the storm. The billowing clouds are the dust beneath his feet. At his command the oceans dry up, and the rivers disappear.”
Jealousy, vengeance and wrath are often considered as negative emotions, yet in this passage they are attributed to our Lord God. Our Heavenly Father is jealous only of the worship that is directed to the false gods and idols. In the Old Testament, Israel is often referred to as the wife of Jehovah God and idol worship is considered spiritual adultery. Today, humanity erects many idols in their mind, illicit physical pleasure without cost as well as a flagrant disregard for the timeless edicts and commands of our Heavenly Father. Today, false and impure worship is by far more flagrant in this world than the dedicated, scriptural worship of God’s family.
God is slow to anger, but every person born on this earth needs to know that God will avenge the active opposition to the proclamation of His saving message to those that seek Him. Because this earth is under the curse of sin since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, God will soon pour out His wrath on the earth and purge it, cleansing the land, vegetation and inhabitants from their uncleanness and purify all the earth for the reign of our coming King of Kings. It is apparent this time of purification will soon begin. Once the largest freshwater lake in Asia, the Aral Sea is now reduced to a mere widening of the river that once fed it with vast amounts of water; the deserts across the earth are seeing increasing storms of dust, the Sahara is growing rapidly in size and the towering clouds envelop cities with increasing frequency. In the western United States, rivers are now trickles in the sand, and vast acreage of farmland lies unwatered in the sun.
God’s desire is for us to worship Him and Him alone. His vengeance is reserved for those who attempt to hinder His offer of salvation and His wrath will purify this earth. As He promises throughout His Word, it is the soul that sins against Him that sees eternal death. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are anxious to live this day for Your glory, in Jesus’ name we pray.
Manna in the Morning
11-05-14
Believe Me
John 14:8-11, “Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father! So why are you asking me to show him to you? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak are not my own, but my Father who lives in me does his work through me. Just believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”
Many people who know Jesus As their Redeemer, have questions because they do not understand the concept of the Triune God. When people see the word ‘Trinity,’ their minds go toward the concept of a trio. The use of the word ‘Triune” gives the concept of three in one as the initial response. Jesus made it very clear in this passage that He and the Father are One and together with God the Holy Spirit they are the ones who care for us in such a caring way. God the Father is the giver of our salvation because of the perfect sacrifice of a sinless life of God the Son and we are forever indwelt by God the Holy Spirit who is our constant Companion. Philip and Thomas did not understand Jesus’ statement when He said he was in the Father and the Father in Him, even after walking with Him across Judea and Galilee for over three years.
When we were born anew by faith believing that Jesus’ sacrifice paid the price for our sins, we are now in the Father and our God infuses every cell in our body, making our bodies the habitation of God the Holy Spirit. Because of this, it is because of gratitude we pick up the responsibility of spreading the gospel of salvation in Jesus’ death burial and resurrection, making other men and women dedicated followers of Him teaching through our example in the way we live and in teaching God’s Word.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we are truly grateful to you for the assurance deep in our hearts that You are waiting for us in the heavenly places, with a place carefully prepared for us. We praise and thank You for our Redemption purchased at such a great cost by Jesus, God the Son and for the abiding presence of God the Holy Spirit in our lives. We lift our praise to You, our Triune God.

Manna in the Morning
11-03-14
The Election
Exodus 18:20-22, Instruct them about the statutes and laws, and teach them the way to live and what they must do. But you should select from all the people able men, God-fearing, trustworthy, and hating bribes. Place them over the people as officials of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens.”
Tomorrow November 4th, is Election Day across America. It is one of the most decisive elections in recent history, making it critically important for every Christian to vote their own convictions about abortion, same-sex marriage, legalizing marijuana sales, use of the tax-payer’s money and so many other issues where Biblical values are contrary to the published values of some of the candidates and their Party affiliation. The first election ever recognized and recorded in the history of mankind upon the earth is seen in this verse from Exodus where Moses gives the Israelites instructions about representative government. Primarily, the people who are voting should be instructed and educated about the process. Next, those who would be representing the Tribes and families needed to be qualified and able in order to be a worthy representative. We who are considering the candidates need to know the direction in which their internal compass points. Do they strongly believe in the Constitution of the United States, which they will swear to defend against all enemies, foreign or domestic? Do they espouse Biblical values, are they men and women who attend church, do they believe the Bible is God’s inerrant Word?
Second, Scripture says those who run for office should be God-fearing, not just recognizing God, or saying Jesus was born on Christmas, but candidates whose lives show their belief. Third, are they trustworthy? Would you trust these representatives with your children? We have to trust them with our money and well being when they make decisions. The last qualification is, will they put lobbyist money in their pocket for reelection, expenses and bank accounts or do they think of the well-being of the regular people of America who go on day by day, paycheck to paycheck, looking to the day they might be able to retire and relax a bit. If an individual met each and every one of these requirements, you and I would have found the ideal candidate. Instead we have to discern from their words, previous decisions, promises and manner of public and private life.
At every level from the Presidency to the local offices, remember two additional things: 1. Every promise the candidate makes has to be paid for by your money! And 2, You must make the promise to pray for their guidance in office and they must be willing to follow His leading. Our Gracious Heavenly Father, give us the ability to pray over each and every vote we cast for the candidates that best fit the Exodus definition of an elected representative at every level, knowing we will make a difference for Your Glory. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-31-14
Halloween
1 Samuel 28:15, “I’m in serious trouble,” replied Saul. “The Philistines are fighting against me and God has turned away from me. He doesn’t answer me anymore, either through the prophets or in dreams. So I’ve called on you to tell me what I should do.”
Today is Halloween; wherever you look in subdivisions or stores, all you see are ghosts, goblins, skeletons, spooks or something that reminds you of graves, death, or satanic activity. Today is the second most decorated holiday in the US, with people spending millions of dollars on costumes, lights and other decorations. Those who are unsaved have little knowledge of Jesus’ gift of life and make as much fuss over this celebration of death and the grave as they do of Christmas, decorating their houses, going to extremes to unwittingly glorify Satan’s desire to see all humanity die unredeemed and bound for the Lake of Fire.
According to 1 Samuel 20, Saul, the first King of Israel, went to war against the Philistines and was filled with fear and trembling when he saw their army. He could get no answer from any of the prophets because God had turned his face away from Saul because of his and the kingdom’s sin. Saul then commanded his servants to find a medium or witch to summon Samuel who was long dead, from the grave to ask him a question. This was in direct defiance of God’s command to have nothing to do with witches, the spirit world, or any attempt to seek guidance from any but God’s appointed prophets, this Biblical precept has never changed! Samuel plainly told Saul he was going to die in the coming battle and because of his sin, his son would never be king and the nation would be devastated by the Philistines.
God has given us the opportunity for eternal life through Jesus, God the Son and our Savior, simply by calling upon Him believing He will save us and take away our sin debt. It is not only against God’s Word, it is demeaning to all God has done in our lives to celebrate this day that celebrates death and satanic activity. I look back with regret on the years I went to Halloween parties, and now keep my focus fixed upon the life-giving Savior I love and serve. Today, don’t be deceived into honoring the One whose only desire is to rob you of the joy of salvation. Keep your eyes upon Jesus and His glorious gifts to you.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we thank you for the joy we have in life on this earth and the promise of eternity with you. We ask for a special opportunity today to show the difference between the devil’s death and life eternal in Jesus Christ. It is in Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-30-14
True Christianity
Mark 4:12, “’When they see what I do, they will learn nothing. When they hear what I say, they will not understand. Otherwise, they will turn to me and be forgiven.'”
When Jesus was teaching His followers in parables, the disciples asked Him why, instead of just conversationally talk with them, explaining the way of salvation. Jesus answered that the people who were following him were simply watching to see if they would possibly see a miracle or even be fed by Jesus as they listened upon the mountain, they were not interested in learning of salvation, why He came to this earth to be the Promised Perfect Sacrifice. Their interest was in their physical gratification, not on the words from Heaven. When asked why He did not teach them the truth, Jesus answered that they would listen with their earthly ears but fail to hear the spiritual message that the words carried. Just like today, the crowds had itching ears and earthly craving.
When we are explaining the reason Jesus came to this earth and walked the paths of Judea and Galilee we will often be talking to people who have the same earthly desires, they listen to preachers who will tell them that there is a place in Heaven for them if they believe there was a man named Jesus that came to earth, and that their sins are already paid for, they do not need to change or modify their behavior because God loves them so much. They hear but do not understand the message is empty. We need to tell them true Christianity is a life-long commitment to serve our Savior because He Redeemed our souls on Calvary, but all men and women have to willingly, consciously accept His sacrifice for them and then live so the world will see the change in their life. Our time on this earth is growing shorter, there are souls to be reached and lives to be changed and Jesus is the only answer.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, we give ourselves to You to use in any way you see proper. Not because we have to or to earn Heavenly points, but out of our love for You we will go and proclaim Your glory. In Jesus name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-29-14
One Thing
Psalm 27:4-5, “I have asked one thing from the Lord; it is what I desire: to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, gazing on the beauty of the Lord and seeking Him in His temple. For He will conceal me in His shelter in the day of adversity; He will hide me under the cover of His tent; He will set me high on a rock.”
I have heard the phrase, “Keep the main thing the main thing,” in many contexts including keeping the Christians viewpoint centered on winning others to Salvation in Christ Jesus. David looked at his life from a different point of view. According to this passage he only wanted one thing from His God, to dwell in the Heavenly Temple, in the presence of the Lord God all the days of his life – including eternity in the very presence of God and fix his spiritual eyes on the beauty of our great God and to seek His presence in the Heavenly Temple. As a born-again believer in God’s offer of salvation through Jesus, we spend our days on this earth in His presence through the indwelling God the Holy Spirit and because of His promise we will dwell in His very presence for all eternity.
By keeping our spiritual eyes focused upon our Father, we are confident that He will guide our steps, keep us safe in the times of adversity, conquering our enemies and hide us from Satan’s temptation. We are safe in His dwelling place, letting us enjoy He who is our rock of safety. The main thing is to keep our close relationship with our Heavenly Father, depending upon Him for security, protection and guidance for every footstep. Then, because our relationship is right we have the freedom, opportunities and desire to share our love and devotion to our great God with others, inviting them into the same security for their eternal lives.
Should we, like many of our brothers and sisters across this world, be imprisoned or even killed because of our faith we can be assured we will immediately be in the presence of our God and Savior. Our gracious Heavenly Father, we praise You for Your love and protection, we live to give You glory, and we testify to Your goodness. In Jesus glorious name we lift our prayer.

Manna in the Morning
10-28-14
Go Home
Luke 8:38-39, “The man from whom the demons had departed kept begging Jesus to be with Him. But Jesus 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.”
Who knows you the best? Who are the ones who have seen you at your worst, seen you when you are really angry, tired, cranky, demanding your own way and when you are really depressed? You’re right, your family, those who know you the best. You can’t live in the same house with people for years without them knowing you like no one else. We tend to modify our behavior when our close friends are around or when we are out in public because we want the general public to think we are nice, calm, mannerly Christians.
Here was a man that had spent years in a small community while possessed by demons. He lived among the tombs, ran around naked and couldn’t be detained because he broke the ropes and chains they used to restrain him. When he was seen in the neighborhood, mothers called their kids in, fathers picked up a stout stick and vowed to protect their home. During one of his mad visits, he met Jesus and the demons within him called out for Jesus to leave them alone. With quiet, calming words, Jesus commanded the spirits to leave him and when the townspeople came he was clothed, in his right mind, praising the Savior for his new life.
As Jesus prepared to leave the area, the man sincerely wanted to accompany Him to tell his story of salvation and cleansing. Jesus looked him in the eye and said, “Go home,” the most difficult place for him to live and witness. Constantly meeting people who knew his past, people who still shied away from him, those who watched carefully to see if he would return to his old, sin-controlled lifestyle. He followed Jesus’ command and served his Savior where he had been placed. We, also, are to live among those who know us well, people who see us at work as well as at home, under stress and strain, evaluating our lives in the light of the gospel we present in our daily thoughts, words and actions.
Our gracious heavenly Father, we pray that “The words of our mouths and the thoughts of our hearts be acceptable to You, our strength and our Redeemer.”

Manna in the Morning
10-24-14
Worship
Hebrews 9:6-8, These things having been set up this way, the priests enter the first room repeatedly, performing their ministry. But the high priest alone enters the second room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offers for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance.”
Under the Old Testament or Covenant, worship was carefully described in the Law, carefully, specifically telling the Israelites how to worship, what part the Priest must play, what the congregated assembly was to do and how individuals could come into the presence of the Holy Jehovah God. There was always to be a sacrifice or offering, the music was carefully chosen for a specific purpose. Then came Calvary, followed by the burial and the miraculous resurrection of our Lord Jesus. At the moment of Jesus giving up His life, the curtain in the Temple separating the Most Holy Place, the Holy of Holies, was torn in two, no longer was there a separation, the manner of worship had changed, the carefully scripted service were completed, fulfilled by Jesus the Perfect Sacrifice promised by our great Heavenly Father in Genesis.
Today, men and women should worship out of the abundance of the gratitude in our heart for that accomplished sacrifice, our desire to show our adoration and desire to give great glory to our coming King. I have heard people say they can’t worship in a building when the rug or the paint on the walls are the wrong color, according to them. I have people complain because the Order of Service isn’t exactly the same as it was back in the Church where they were accustomed to worship, who say there is no worship service where a specific hymn probably written 200 hundred years ago closed the service and the Pastor didn’t exactly follow what THEY feel is worship.
Every person who is born anew into the Family of God should come into the place of worship with joy and praise for their God, every child of God needs to feel the love, comfort and fellowship with their brothers and sisters in God’s family. Our attitude should be to worship in everything that takes place, in the joyous singing together, to give our hearts over to the unrestricted joy of God the Fathers fulfilled plan of salvation through the provision of the sacrifice of Jesus, God the Son who gave his life to pay the price for our sin, and for the fellowship with others who know the joy of the indwelling God the Holy Spirit in our lives. Our life in Christ Jesus should be so attractive to others they will eagerly seek Him. Guide us our Heavenly Father as we join together in Worship this coming Lord’s Day. This is our prayer in Jesus’ mighty name.

Manna in the Morning
10-22-14
Pray for Me
John 17:20-21, “I pray not only for these, but also for those who believe in Me through their message. May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in Us, so the world may believe You sent Me.”
We so often hear the phrase, “All we can do now is pray,” intimating the idea that we have done all we could, given the proper medical treatment and all else has failed, so now we’ll turn to God and see if He can do something. While it is not always the thought in the heart of the one asking for prayer, many times it is. Prayer should be our first response, not our last resort. If there is an accident, a fire or other emergency we always call for what we call the ‘first responders,’ the fire-fighters, the emergency medical people, the police officers. When Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane just before His arrest, He prayed for His disciples to remain strong and to carry forth bringing the message of salvation, then with you and me in His mind he prayed for we who know Him, even though we are living 2,000 years later. He prayed that we would understand that our God in the Person of God the Holy Spirit would continue to live so that the world will know we love and serve Him. Therefore we can rest assured that He has our life and witness in His mind. Paul and Barnabas had the Church pray for them before they set out on their first missionary trek, and all through the New Testament people were encouraged to pray for the success of a journey, that the love of God would be made clear, that men and women would come to faith in Christ Jesus, and all men and women would live their lives to the glory of their Lord.
I am reminded of an account I heard of an old veteran of the faith who greeted the Lord each morning with a “Good morning Lord, we will walk together today,” and ended it with “Good night Lord, thank you for your guidance,” while taking to His Savior often during the day concerning all that he encountered. May we be like that old prayer warrior, spending our days in a mindset of prayer.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, keep us always aware that Your eyes are guiding us and your ears are always attuned to our prayer. May we look to thee as our first responder in every way. This is our prayer in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
10-21-14
Strengthen Me
Nehemiah 6:9-10, “For they were all trying to intimidate us, saying, “They will become discouraged in the work, and it will never be finished.” But now, my God, strengthen me.”
Each of us, if we have been a Child of God for any length of time, has felt overwhelmed at the work that remained in a specific task we had to finish. None of us, however, ever had the burden of Nehemiah who came to his native city, Jerusalem, only to find it an absolute ruin. The walls had been broken down by the Babylonian soldiers, the rubble and rocks lay in the moat, and there was little, if any, places left that were habitable. Soon after he arrived, he sat on his donkey and reviewed the situation, then calling the leaders of the remnant Jews together,said to them, “You see the trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins and its gates have been burned down. Come, let’s rebuild Jerusalem’s wall, so that we will no longer be a disgrace.” God had given them a task and they immediately set to work to accomplish it among the people who organized against the work and Nehemiah.
As a Believer in Jesus, we have been called to do a work during the time we are on this earth. Our first responsibility is to fully understand what we are called to do. Some are called to preach or teach God’s Word, others are called to keep the Sanctuary and facilities clean and honoring to our great God and Father; others are called to welcome and make guests feel welcome, but every member of the Church has some specific task to accomplish. Next we are to meet together with others in our fellowship to encourage, strengthen and pray for each individual and the Church as a whole asking God to bless and multiply our efforts.
Then, working together in a coordinated effort, encouraging, suggesting, assisting and always praying for the work, we will do great things for our Heavenly Father. No one will work alone or be left by the wayside but all will share in the work and hear the “Well done” when we enter Heaven’s gates.
Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us the ability to understand we are not alone, that there are others praying for us and supporting our efforts to serve You this day. Give us clarity of thought while we follow the path You have laid out for us we pray in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
10-20-14
Separation to God
2 Corinthians 6:14-16, “Do not be mismatched with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship does light have with darkness? What agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God,”
Years ago there were many churches who preached and taught the idea of living a separated life, a life that shied away from worldly activities and dedicated their lives to living a life that was totally opposed to those things that were popular and enjoyed by non-Christians and those that did not understand why Christians should avoid ‘worldly’ activities. First, it has nothing to do with an individual’s salvation. We are saved by grace, it is because of the Love of God and His desire to have fellowship with men and women who have been born anew into the Kingdom of God. Second, it is because the Born again Believer understands he or she is now living in a body which is indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. Just as a devout Israelite would never bring an impure sacrifice into the Temple, or allow it to be profaned, we should understand our bodies are now the habitation of our God, and it must be kept free from polluting substances, behaviors or thoughts.
Third, there should be a distinct difference between the life and activities of a Believer in Jesus Christ and the non-believer. Just as darkness disappears when light is present, unholy activity should have no place in the life of a believer. If our lives are dedicated to the service of our Lord God, our activities and attitudes should show we are no longer living in the same way as we did before we were born into God’s family. Examples of changed lives abound both in the Scriptural record and in the biographies of men and women whose lives were changed because they knew their life would neither glorify nor honor their Savior unless their manner of living
Our gracious Heavenly Father, we ask You to take full control over our lives, our minds and our activities so that we may life fully for Your greater glory, give us the strength to make You the Leader of our lives as well as the Savior of our souls. In Jesus’ name we pray

Manna in the Morning
10-17-14
Repentance
Matthew 18:15-17, “If your brother sins against you, go and rebuke him in private. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever and a tax collector to you.”
Many years ago, a friend told me about the Matthew 18 principle, he said it was one of the forgotten principles in the Church and caused great heartache and grief in many cases. Jesus clearly outlined the way to treat a brother or sister who you feel has harmed or sinned against you in any way. Many times we go to the governing body of the Church and pour out our complaint against the offender, the difficulty is, the members of that governing body, if they know their scripture, will need to interview the other party, just as you did in the beginning. As believers in Jesus, we need to follow His principle and go to the one you feel has wronged you. The first thing that could occur is that he or she is unaware that you were offended or hurt by the remark or action and when they see it from your point of view they will apologize and ask your forgiveness. You have gained a close friend and no one has to be aware of the incident. You placed it in the hands of God and He worked in both your hearts. The second possibility is that the offender does not listen to you, refusing to recognize your hurt. Then you should take two or three of the church leaders and pastors, visit the one who offended you and see if the dispute can be reviewed, talking through and praying over the matter together, thereby resolving it. The last resort is to take your dispute to the Church body where they will under the direction and guidance of the pastors, listen to the dispute and then censure the guilty party. This action is almost guaranteed to cause division among the members, something that is grievous in the Lord’s eyes. Heavenly Father, keep us from dispute or hurtful confrontations, may we follow Your Word in every part of our daily lives we ask in Jesus’ name.

Manna in the Morning
10-16-14
Determination
Ezra 7:9-10, “The gracious hand of his God was on him, because Ezra had determined in his heart to study the law of the Lord, obey it, and teach its statutes and ordinances in Israel.”
Every one of us would love to have it said of us, “The gracious hand of God was upon us.” God’s hand is upon each of us in that He has reached down and pulled us up out of the muck and mire in which we were imprisoned and about to go under. We have been born anew into His Family enjoying fellowship with Him. He has given us the indwelling God the Holy Spirit to empower and lead us in our daily walk.
Ezra was born in Babylon during the time of Judah’s Captivity and as soon as possible after the prophesied 70 years were over, he returned to Jerusalem, walking for four months through the treacherous wilderness. God had given Ezra a life goal; to teach God’s Word to the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. No individual however can seriously teach God’s Word without adequate preparation, including the determination and tenacity to complete that preparation. It is easy to form a picture of Ezra listening to the Priests and Scribes as they taught him the laws of God, then taking the scrolls and reading each word and phrase carefully to let God the Holy Spirit guide him in his study. The next step in Ezra’s progression was to make God’s Word evident in his life, being careful to obey each and every precept of the Scriptures. While this seems easy, we need to remember Jesus’ words explaining the thoughts of our hearts are equally as sinful as our actions.
After his reading, listening, studying and praying over the scriptures, Ezra took the arduous journey from Babylon to Jerusalem in order to teach the Scriptures to the inhabitants of Jerusalem who had been without strong spiritual leadership during the Babylonian occupation. Ezra, with Nehemiah and other men of God reinstituted Temple Worship, read the Scriptures publically, calling the resident Israelites to repentence for their falling away. Just as Ezra was determined to teach, each of us should be determined to fully use God’s gifts to us in leading others to salvation, encouraging their growth in discipleship and using their gifts to our Heavenly Father’s glory. Our gracious Heavenly Father, give us, we pray in Jesus’ name, the determination to use our gifts for Your greater glory.

Manna in the Morning
10-15-14
Christian Witness
Matthew 24:6-9, “You are going to hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, because these things must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these events are the beginning of birth pains. “Then they will hand you over for persecution, and they will kill you. You will be hated by all nations because of My name.
Anyone who has been watching the international news or looking at the internet in the last months is aware there is a wave of persecution today against Christianity and Judaism world- wide. The radical terrorist group ISIS today announced they have selected a group upon which they will focus their terrible beheadings, killing and slavery across the face of the entire earth. That group is no longer the Jews, although the group will continue their war against them, it is the Evangelical Christians upon which they will focus their fury. Their announcement further stated that their attacks will be carried out in many countries, not just the Mid-East as they carry their Jihadist assaults out upon those who follow Jesus the Savior as their Redeemer and Lord.
Earlier this week there was a major earthquake in Central America, as well as storms racing through the already ravaged Midwest of North America and unusual weather patterns across Europe. Our Great and Awesome God is sending us a message that He is about to purify this earth for the reign of God the Son, and we who love Him can expect to be called up to our eternal home at any moment. While it is not up to any individual to believe he or she has an inside track from God regarding this event, Jesus did say the generation that saw a marked increase in seismic and unusual weather activity would also contain some who would see our Savior in the Heavenly places calling us home to spend eternity in His presence.
Rather than disturb us or make us overly elated, these warning signs are to encourage us to continue our evangelistic activity with increased enthusiasm, being sure our unsaved friends and family members have the opportunity to accept Jesus as their Savior before it is too late. Scripture tells us of a great deception that will come upon people to deaden their spiritual insight during this time we see on the horizon. Heavenly Father, give us the joy of winning others into Your family before it is too late. Enthuse us this day in our witness and seeking to bring You great glory, In Jesus’ name we pray.

Manna in the Morning
10-14-14
Living to Love
Hebrews 10:15-18, “For after God had said: This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws on their hearts, and I will write them on their minds, He adds: I will never again remember their sins and their lawless acts. Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.”
Jesus, our Savior has forever paid the penalty for our sins, making sacrifices unnecessary because the law is now completely fulfilled. As the Psalmist said, God’s Word is now written in our hearts, the way to please our God is well known to us and there is no other addition to the covenant sealed at Calvary. Because we know, understand and obey God’s laws that make our lives acceptable to Him we strive to live in accordance with what our God expects from us. His Word tells us we are to have the compassion of Jesus, doing those works that glorify Him. Instead of trying to keep from sin and depend upon the annual Day of Atonement, working to please God, we now out of gratitude work to do those things that will glorify His name, not out of need but out of love for others and to bring glory to our Savior.
When we sin, as we all will, we need to repent and ask God for forgiveness, He is quick to forgive and reconcile us to Himself, allowing us to continue living to His glory. The ultimate goal of every child of our Heavenly Father is to live to His glory, bringing honor to His name and sharing the opportunity of redemption with others through our dedicated lives and eagerness to win others into His family. Because we are motivated by love it is easy to let the glow of God’s glory radiate from us letting the world see not us, but Him and by letting God the Holy Spirit guide us, we are led to the people that are open to His call.
Our Gracious Heavenly Father, because we love You we serve You, because You loved us we are born anew. Guide us for Y our glory we pray in Jesus’ name.
Manna in the Morning
10-13-14
Atonement
Leviticus 16:34, “This is to be a permanent statute for you, to make atonement for the Israelites once a year because of all their sins.” And all this was done as the Lord commanded Moses.
This entire chapter gives the specific, direct instructions for the sacrifice, the release into the wilderness of the scapegoat, the clothing and preparation of the High Priest, the altar, the Mercy Seat and all the other necessities for the service on the Day of Atonement. This service was to take place once a year for the forgiveness of all the sins of all the Israelites, not just by any priest, but by the High Priest of the Israelites from the family of Aaron. Every part of the furnishings of the altar and Holiest place had to be cleansed, sanctified and polished, the High Priest had to ceremonially bath and put on the garments specified by God and used no other time until the next Day of Atonement. Every part of the ritual had to be done in the prescribed manner or the sins of the people would remain unforgiven. This was, understandably, a very solemn moment for the High Priest who had to make no mistake or error. All of this serious ceremony was done looking down the ages to the Perfect Sacrifice that God would provide for the forgiveness of sin by those He called His own people.
How different the death of the Promised Perfect Sacrifice God the Father provided for the forgiveness of our sin and our atonement. Jesus, the virgin born son of Mary, fully human, yet fully divine gave His life on an altar, not in the Temple, but made of rough timber, in the shape of a cross upon which he was nailed, whipped, taunted until that perfect, sinless life was gone and the sacrificed body hung lifeless on the cross. The High Priest that oversaw that death was not Caiaphas, but our Savior Himself, the High Priest of our Salvation. He entered the Heavenly Temple having made the sacrifice for us and we have been redeemed from the penalty of sin, Born Again into the Family of God and the Atonement for our sin has been made. God does not see our sin, there is no film of blood over us, it is the pure righteousness of Jesus that makes us pure before the presence of our holy, pure God.
Heavenly Father, we come before You in the name of Jesus, who redeemed us by His death, burial and resurrection giving You