Pin It Now! * Differing weights and differing measures--the LORD detests them both. Proverbs 20:10

The question before us this morning is: Do we use any differing weights or differing measures in our lives? To rephrase the question, Do we have any "Double Standards" in our dealings?

Do we have any pretense in us? Do we try hard to live certain lifestyle inspite of our finances so that people don't think anything low of us? Do we appear to be good believers outside while at home we do not set a good example? Are we just talkers or also doers? Do we often look at the grain of dust in our brother's eyes, failing to see the plank in ours?

Clearly the word of God says any such pretense to please men or self is detestable to Him. Let us analyze our hearts this morning to see if at all we have any kind of differing weights in us.

Let us honestly seek to get rid of any double standards we might have set over the years. In all our dealings, let us use only honest scales. Our Lord will delight in us when we do.
Pin It Now! Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs. Isaiah 61:7

Is there an area in your life where you often experience shame, reproach, ridicule, are you taken for granted, made fun of or be a laughing stock?

The word today says instead of your shame, you will have a double portion and that you will enjoy everlasting joy.

Double portion here could be our physical blessings such as job, home, promotion, etc. But more importantly a double portion of spiritual blessings such as more joy, more peace, more love, more infilling of the Holy Ghost, more of faith, more of dependency on the Lord, more adoration for Him, more souls for His kingdom...etc. are definitely sources of everlasting joy.

When we have more of these spiritual blessings we will be "double grateful" for all the blessings we have been granted. When we are well satisfied with what we have, definitely it brings everlasting joy and instead of our disgrace we will rejoice in our inheritance. Amen!
Pin It Now! Shouts of joy and victory resound in the tents of the righteous: "The LORD's right hand has done mighty things! Psalm 118:15

Has the Lord done mighty things in our lives lately? Of course He has! If that is the case are there shouts of joy and victory resounding in our tents?

Is there singing and praising and worshipping in our homes? My Grandma always said, "A family without Family Prayer is like a house without a roof". I don't think any of us would prefer to live in a house without a roof. Our prayers and meditation and worshipping all make up the roof of protection over our family. It is therefore vital to build on it everyday.

A month has almost passed in the new year. The Lord's right hand has done mighty things for us all through these days. Let us make the sound of joy and victory resound in our tents - praising our Lord!

Have a blessed weekend. Stay warm.
Pin It Now! * "Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD. Isaiah 1:18
* "Present your case," says the LORD. "Set forth your arguments," says Jacob's King. Isaiah 41:21
* Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. Isaiah 43:26

It appears that our Lord is in for a long haul this morning. He is calling us to go reason with Him - to present our case before Him - to argue the matter together - in other words to have a heart to heart conversation with Him!

If something is nagging in your mind and you are not sure what to make of it, this could be the time you get His guidance on! Or the things you have no control on and which are beyond your reach, just surrender those to Him. I am sure He can handle it well. Of course tell Him about the certain things that were quite disappointing lately, the health report, the pressure at work, the weight gain, tell Him all in all. He will listen; you will feel lighter.

Sure, tell Him why you did certain things certain way and why something someone said you do not approve of, what you are really sorry about, etc. Tell Him about everything that has been bothering you lately and the little things that made you smile. Remember the new red shoes you recently found on sale?! Well, don't forget to thank Him for that...

Remember, this is a two way conversation; He may also have something to say to you... Something you said or did that He doesn't approve of, or something you said and did that He is so proud of. He will assure you He loves you and has all your worries in control and will remind you the areas in which he expects you to improve. Overall it will be a great conversation to reflect on! So, let's get started now...
Pin It Now! * Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11
* I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. John 6:51

As much as we need physical food for survival we need the spiritual bread for survival too. Even in the Lord's prayer we pray "Give us this day our daily bread". Of course it stands for the daily providence for our physical needs; at the same time it also denotes the dependency on the "Word of God" for the survival through the day.

Can we skip food altogether for a day, two days, a week, a month? I don't think so. However many of us (including me) skip on the Word of God for days without much realizing the consequences of it. Just as how we will grow physically weak if we skip meals for days at once, we will grow weary spiritually when we skip "meals" for days at once.

Here's just a reminder to get back to our regular feeding on the Word of God - which is the Holy Bible! If there is anyone here who does not have a Bible of their own but would like to have one, please contact me at nrigirl at with your mailing address. I will send you one FREE of charge! I don't want you to go hungry...
Pin It Now! Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6

Yesterday we looked at the generous open invitation from our Lord to take our burdens to Him and get the rest He offers in return. Today let's focus on the "how to"

The answer can be found in the verse above. Here are the main points to remember:
  1. Do not be anxious about anything - stop worrying first as worry doesn't help a bit.
  2. In everything - not just a little here and there; in everything
  3. By prayer and petition - no need to explain this I believe
  4. With thanksgiving - of course remembering the past deliverance
  5. Present your requests - submit your requests
  6. To God - no one else but God.
What happens next is amazing: The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
Pin It Now! Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Nowhere else we see such a direct call to go and lay down our burdens. I don't think no one else ever opened up such an invitation. Even we our self would not call out in a similar fashion for fear of adding to our burdens.

How many of us can say we truly share in other people's burdens? I don't think I do. I may listen, I may offer to pray, but that's about it. I might not even feel the same way the weary feels of his/her burden. Similarly how many of you will be willing to share in my burden? You may listen, you may advice me, you may pray for me and that's all you might be able to do.

As humans we are limited in our capacity to ease out other's weight. May be we will add to it like Job's friends did when he was suffering. Of course they thought they were helping him out but did they; hardly.

That's one reason why this invitation stands out in the crowd in a special way. Let us take heed and go to Him with all our burdens and take the rest he offers in return! Rest comes naturally from knowing that He can handle our cares. Tomorrow we will learn about "How to take our burdens to Him?"
Pin It Now! "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Matthew 6:25

Seems to be a practical advice, but to think about it, it seems quite impractical too. How is it even possible not to worry about what we will eat or drink or wear. Isn't that the first thing that comes to our minds when we start the day? - when we plan a get together? - when we are invited to an event?

We don't really think, "Oh I am alive and well that's enough to make it through the day" do we? May be we should. I guess the emphasis is on the words "do not worry" Of course we need to eat, drink and dress well, but what we learn here is that it shouldn't be our focus.

As we read towards the end of the same passage in verse 33, our focus should be on 'Seeking His Kingdom' then all these things will be taken care of by Him.
Pin It Now! This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord. Jeremiah 9:23

Today as we celebrate our King in worship, let's remember to boast in His name. Let us boast that He is our Lord and we know Him. His name is the only thing we can boast about as the Bible warns time and time again about other kind of pride. In proverbs we read: The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Proverbs 16:5

Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Galatians, May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Com'on let's show off! Happy 'Son'day all!
Pin It Now! Here's an interesting passage from the First Book of Samuel
Chapter 3:

Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
We as believers look forward to hearing the Lord speak to us. But when He actually does, are we listening?! It doesn't seem so - not always. We only "listen" to the part we want to hear and not to what is being spoken. We take the promises without the conditions, demand forgiveness without repentance, want to be loved without commitments... This can't help us mature in our Faith.

Today let us prepare our hearts to say "Speak Lord, I am listening"
Pin It Now! * Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. 1 Kings 8:56
* Not one of all the LORD's good promises to the house of Israel failed; every one was fulfilled. Joshua 21:45

In my walk so far what I treasure most is the promises of God. When I get a promise - be it from my Bible reading or personal prayer or even from my consciouseness or from someone praying over me - when I get a promise - I take it to heart 100% - for the rest of my life. I remember it day in and day out; okay that may be a little exaggerating; not every day, but often - quite often - I remember the promises and thank the Lord for fulfilling most and for the rest that is still in the works.

I know for sure that not one of them will be in vain or fail. Everyone of them will come to pass - if not already.

If there is someone here who is losing patience over an unfulfilled promise I encourage in Christ Jesus today that it is in the works and will definitely come true. Just hold on to your promises and never let go.

Remember, God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
Pin It Now! I wish to conclude the series "Fruits of the Spirit" by reminding us the importance of bearing fruits. Some of us have traces of some fruits, some fruits may be well developed in us, some fruits may be in budding stage & some fruits are nowhere to be seen.
Jesus told this parable once:
"A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
“‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’"
Just as in the parable above, Jesus is pleading our case to the Father everyday: "Leave her/him alone for one more year; I’ll dig around him/her and fertilize him/her. If he/she bears fruit next year, fine!" I hope we will live up to his expectation.

* Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves.  Matthew 21:19
* Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. Isaiah 5:2

Let us all analyze our hearts to see if our life resembles the fruitless fig tree or the bad grapes vine as in the verses above. If it does, it is time to work on the F R U I T S!

One last word, if any of you realize you have matured fruits, congrats! Please go share... :)
Pin It Now! The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and
self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Peter 4:7

I am so glad we started on this journey - to learn more about each Fruit of the Spirit. Last but not the least is the fruit of Self Control.

I would like to bring it up for a open discussion today.

What is Self Control? How do we develop it? Would you like to share your thoughts on it? Please do.
Pin It Now! Let your gentleness be evident to all. Philippians 4:5

How is it possible to make our gentleness evident to all? The answer is available in the same passage. Let us look at the context in which this verse is mentioned:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So, what we see from here is that anxiety causes panic - not gentleness. Removing anxiety will increase gentleness. If we present our requests to God with prayer and petition with thanksgiving then the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds thus completely eradicating anxiety.

What are some of the benefits of having gentleness?
* Blessed are the meek (those who are gentle), for they will inherit the earth. Matthew 5:5
* For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. Psalm 149:4

Now that we know a thing or two about gentleness, do you now want this fruit? I believe I do?
Pin It Now! "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:23

We are all very familiar with the parable of talents told by our Lord Jesus. There is this master who gives away five talents, 2 talents and 1 talents respectively to three of this servants before leaving on a journey. When he comes back the man who got five talents produces ten, the one who got two talents produces four - to these the master says, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" But the one who got one talent just returns that one and the master is not very pleased. He calls him a 'wicked & lazy servant!'.

If our honest desire is to be called 'good and faithful' at the end of our race, our focus should be on investing the talents we are given for the use that master would delight in.

Paul says in Acts 20:24 according to Weymouth New Testament translation, "But even the sacrifice of my life I count as nothing, if only I may perfect my earthly course, and be faithful to the duty which the Lord Jesus has entrusted to me of proclaiming, as of supreme importance, the Good News of God's grace." Let us live to strive for such a testimony too!
Pin It Now! A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. Matthew 12:35

Happy 'Son'day everyone! Thank you for staying with me through the Fruit of the Spirit series so far. Today's fruit for discussion is 'Goodness'.

We all know the difference between good and evil; the problem is sometimes the difference is so subtle that it is easy to miss out on  doing the good.

Let's consider for example we know nursing home ministry is good, soup kitchen is good, but how many of us are really part of it? Inviting friends over is good, evangelizing about Christ is good, setting a good example is good but the difference between doing these and not doing these is so subtle that we don't always get involved...

Reminder: A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things. Let us continue to be good if not better.
Pin It Now! "The LORD bless him!" Naomi said to her daughter-in-law. "He has not stopped showing his Kindness to the living and the dead." Ruth 2:20

So, what really is 'kindness'? I went around asking few people the same question today and got different answers such as 'humane', 'being good', 'goodness', 'act of being kind' etc. Which brought me to one conclusion that everyone knows what kindness means. It is not something new to us which only makes it easier to develop more of it.

Here's the definition from online dictionaries:
Definition: Kindness is the act or the state of being kind and marked by charitable behaviour, marked by mild disposition, pleasantness, tenderness and concern for others.
Synonyms: benevolence, boon, courtesy, grace, indulgence, favor, mercy, service
Antonyms: coldheartedness, hard-heartedness, inhumanity, inhumane, mercilessness, pitilessness
In our reference verse we see Naomi certifying Boaz as being kind. She says of him, "He has not stopped showing his kindness to the living and the dead."

Will people certify the same about you and me? How do we plan on developing kindness? Is there a special act of kindness we can do today? Yes, today! Let's go for it!
Pin It Now! Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance / Patience the race marked out for us. Hebrew 12:1

Patience is a hard to find 'fruit' in today's fast moving world. We want everything at the finger tips on the click of a button; we do not have time for others and definitely not for the extra mile we ought to walk with them; when someone cuts the line at the grocery store or overtakes us on the road we feel this sudden rage to respond to them negatively, the list goes on...

But as believers Patience is one of the 'fruits' we need to produce. So, how do we go about developing that?

Verse above suggests the following solutions:
* Let us throw off everything that hinders
Let us throw off the sin that so easily entangles
* Let us run with perseverance (patience) the race marked out for us
First, let us identify the root cause for our impatience. The immediate answer would be that we don't have the time. Why we don't have the time? Are we trying to juggle too many things in too short a time? Are we simply trying to please everyone? Are we always aiming for the 'bigger & better' - such a moving target? Is there anything we can remove from our agenda to make room for exercising little more patience?

Next, is it our sinful nature that causes the impatience? Are we angry all the time? Are we just waiting for a moment to retaliate? Why do we take things too personally - at work, at home? Why is that we can't handle a criticism very well? Do we strive to always prove our self? Are we loving our self a little too much? Do we assume we have failed by being patient?

Finally, are we giving up too soon? Are we saying this christian walk is just too hard or it's too narrow a path? It's not by our merits, right? It is by His grace - right? In that case, it is not that hard of a fruit to develop in us - is it? Let's at least try!

P.S: On a lighter note, just the fact that you read through this post shows you have the fruit of patience already! :)
Pin It Now! * Peace I leave with you; my Peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
* And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Shalom is a regular greeting among the Jews, very similar to our usage of 'Hello, how are you?'. These salutations and benedictions are generally matters of custom and polite ceremony, given without much thought to it. However here the Prince of Peace is not talking mere empty words but brings the attention to the word PEACE as in consolation. When He says 'my peace' He means the kind of peace only He can impart. This promised peace is very different from the empty promises given by the world.

When we are at peace it gives us a tranquil spirit. We are not in a rush to find a solution for matters. We learn to unwind at His feet and be still. We completely surrender for His will. Have you sensed this peace lately? If not, please join me over this little prayer:

"Our Heavenly Father! Thank you for this new day at your presence Lord! Thank you for the heavenly peace you have promised us Lord. Often times we are so overwhelmed by many things that we tend to overlook the peace you have promised us Lord.

Today we surrender all such matters at your feet  Lord. Please forgive us for running away from your presence trying to figure out our own solution Lord. Thank you that you are in control and you will take care of all matters Lord. The battle is yours Lord.

Please fill us once again with this promised peace Lord. May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds Lord. We thank you and praise you for the peace you are giving us all this very moment Lord. All glory, honor and praise be to your holy name Lord. In our Prince of Peace's name we pray, Amen!"
Pin It Now! "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my Joy may be in you and that your Joy may be complete." John 15:9-11

Surprisingly Joy goes hand in hand with Love! When we are in love - with our Savior, with our dear ones, with our friends and family, with our neighbors, co workers, - then our Joy is full. It is complete.

Also we know salvation brings Joy. What is salvation? Salvation is believing that God came in human form to love us, to take away our sin; died on the cross for our sin, resurrected, ascended to heaven and continues to reconvene with the Father for us. It is believing we are no more sinners but washed in His blood and made saints! Hallelujah!

Just the feeling of freedom brings an unspeakable JOY. This is the joy of salvation; the joy that stems from hope for an eternal life.

I invite any of you who haven't yet felt this joy to surrender your hearts to Jesus now - right at this coffee table as we join hands with fellow believers and readers. Let's pray:

"Dear Lord, we come at your presence rejoicing in the joy of our salvation Lord. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and for the sins of other believers in Christ who have joined me around this coffee table today Lord. Yet there are some of us who are not quite sure of this joy of salvation Lord. Prepare their hearts Lord; open their eyes Lord. Speak to them Lord. Guide them Lord. Help them understand you have died for their sins too Lord. Help them see that they are free indeed Lord. Bless them with the joy of your salvation Lord - right at this minute Lord. We praise and glorify your name this morning Lord. You alone be glorified! May all the glory, honor and praise be to you alone Lord. Thank you for the joy of salvation you have renewed in our hears too Lord. In Jesus' joyous name we pray, Amen!"
Pin It Now! "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must Love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you Love one another." John 13:34-35

Love is the very fundamental foundation of Christian faith. God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Amen!

Time and time again our Lord Jesus Christ talked about loving one another. Probably because He knew how difficult it is to truly love one another. It is beyond human nature to love unconditionally. Oh, yes we can love our self, our family, our children - no doubt about it. But how about loving others? Now, how about loving others as we love our self? To go to the next level, how about loving others as God has loved us?

Few questions I lay before us for discussion: (my answers within parenthesis)
* Is it even possible to love others as God has loved us? (Has to be; otherwise Bible wouldn't teach us to do so.)
* Where can we begin in our attempt to love others as God has loved us? (By forgiving others)
* What does it take to stay loving? (By constantly reminding ourselves about the Love of God)

What would be your thoughts; care to share?
Pin It Now! * A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. Matthew 12:33
* By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:16
* But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Galatians 5:22-23

Symbolically our life is identified to a tree here. A good tree will bear good fruits; same way a good person will have good deeds.

Specifically the Bible talks about nine kinds of fruits we ought to bear as followers of Christ. We see the list in Galatians: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.

In the next couple of days, let us discuss each fruit in detail. Please come prepared to share from your experience too. Let us pray God to open our eyes as we get ready to prepare the soil and bear these fruits.
Pin It Now! * Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6
* Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil. Proverbs 15:16
* A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper. Proverbs 28:25
* A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30

Let's tackle the trace of envy in our lives today. Even among God's children envy could easily creep in spoiling the peace of mind and giving ways to rotten bones.

Let us be happy and contended with the ways God has led us thus far. Let us praise God for His many blessings in our lives all along. Let us not let ourselves be overwhelmed by envy or jealousy over anyone.

Clarke's commentary on the Bible states:
It requires but little of this world's goods to satisfy a man who feels himself to be a citizen of another country, and knows that this is not his rest.
At the end of the day all that matters is contentment - without which we will be gaining nothing. As we worship today, let us pray especially to get rid of envy or even the very trace from our hearts and more importantly let us ask for contentment. Amen!
Pin It Now! "Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son." Genesis 18:14

Abraham & Sarah had a burden; they wanted a child. But we see that they were not sad or depressed. They were happily going about their daily business praising the Lord, keeping their communication open with the Lord, entertaining guests, eating merrily and remaining cheerful.

They didn't let their burden take over their joy and peace of mind. That's when the Lord appears and tells Abraham that they will have a child same time next year. Sarah laughs; responding to that the Lord Himself asks: Is anything too hard for the Lord?

What is your burden today? Are you praying for a child too or a job or what is it? Let us bring it to the Lord this morning. Our Lord Himself asks: Is anything too hard for the Lord?

What do you say? Is there really anything too hard for Him? Test Him yourself. How? Of course by trusting these verses: At the appointed time next year you would have received your blessing already! With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)

For now, keeping the burden aside let's turn to praising and worshipping His Holy Name. Let's do our part; He will do His! Amen!
Pin It Now! Do not imitate what is evil but what is good 3 John: 1:11

Here John writes to Gaius his dear friend, about Diotrephes - a bad example. We do come across several such bad examples in our lives. It is very important to take special care not to "become" a bad example ourselves.

Aren't we curious to know what Diotrephes did that made him a bad example. Let's see, my interpretations within parenthesis below...

* First of all, he loved to be first (the me, me, me syndrome - sounds familiar?)
* He Gossiped maliciously (talking ill of Pastors and other ministers doing the work of God)
* He refused to welcome the brothers (not having to do anything with people from different denominations)
* He also stopped those who wanted to welcome the brothers (discouraging friends who do...)
* He put those who welcomed the brothers out of the church (worst, barring such friends from "our type" of gatherings)

Sadly we can immediately associate these characteristics of Diotrephes with some people we know... Let us analyze ourselves too to see if we fall through the crack anywhere...

Hey, how about adding another resolution to our new year's list this year - To set a good example!
Pin It Now! Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Luke 12:32

It is all natural to be afraid of things beyond our control. We - the believers - are small in number compared to the forces against us. But remember the Lord is our Shepherd. As long as He is in control we need not fear. Wait! Before we start singing Hallelujah, let us look closely at the context in which these words are mentioned:

Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them.But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well. Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Now, to get to the point, it is clear from these verses that we need not worry about any of the usual stuff that bothers us - as He has taken care of it all. I especially like the part where it says, "O you of little faith!And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it.For the pagan world runs after all such things..." How true! Think about it, if we worry the same what difference we make as His flock?!
Pin It Now! The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom Psalm 111:10

What really is meant by the fear of the Lord? It is not the fear as in terror, is it? Definitely not! Barnes' Notes on Bible explains:
It is the reverence for God; respect for his law, his will, his government, himself; the fear of offending him, which will lead us to do right. This fear is not that of a slave; it is not mere dread; it is not terror. It is consistent with love, and springs from it. It is consistent with calmness of mind, and promotes it. It does not produce terror, but rather delivers from it, and preserves the mind from alarms.
In James 3:15-17 we read, the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere... Wordly wisdom on the other hand harbors bitter envy and selfish ambition which is earthly, unspiritual and of the devil...

To think about it, the world sees a God fearing person as foolish. But God's word clearly says the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.(1 Corinthians 3:19).

What a contrast! Which one would you choose?
Pin It Now! Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:13-14

We may have many new year's resolutions which is all good. Just also wanted to remind you about fixing our eyes on the ultimate goal - the high calling of God in Christ Jesus!

Barne's Notes on the Bible says it all beautifully:
 One running to secure the prize would not stop to look behind him to see how much ground he had run over, or who of his competitors had fallen or lingered in the way. He would keep his eye steadily on the prize, and strain every nerve that he might obtain it. If his attention was diverted for a moment from that, it would hinder his flight, and might be the means of his losing the crown. So the apostle says it was with him. He looked onward to the prize. He fixed the eye intently on that. It was the single object in his view, and he did not allow his mind to be diverted from that by anything - not even by the contemplation of the past. He did not stop to think of the difficulties which he had overcome, or the troubles which he had met, but he thought of what was yet to be accomplished.
It is easy to lose track of our goal with the overwhelming demands of the day to day life. It takes extra efforts on our parts to refocus on the goal and continue the race. Once again I wish to quote Barne's notes for conclusion:
 A man will accomplish little who allows his mind to be distracted by a multiplicity of objects. A Christian will accomplish nothing who has not a single great aim and purpose of soul. That purpose should be to secure the prize, and to renounce everything that would be in the way to its attainment. Let us then so live that we may be able to say, that there is one great object which we always have in view, and that we mean to avoid everything which would interfere with that.
Pin It Now! You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance. Psalm 65:11

I truly believe a full and plentiful harvest can be expected this New Year! Our focus is not merely the blessings of this world; though we can take the verse literally for material blessings too. More than that let us look up for a great spiritual harvest this year. Let this be a year we grow significantly in our walk with the Lord. Let this be a year we see our friends and families coming closer to God. Let this be the year we are used for His glory.

Let us do the least we can for building up His Kingdom. As simple as inviting friends over for a meal could be a great opportunity to share the love of Christ among them. A thoughtful gift, a quick note, a big hug could be ways we can win over hearts for Christ.

Let us not lose focus on the big harvest that is ahead of us. Let us continue to sow generously. Be prepared to reap a great bounty!
Pin It Now! * Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously 2 Corinthians 6:9
* One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24
* A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed Proverbs 11:25

Towards the end of last year we learnt about harvesting the blessings or in other words celebrating the feast of ingathering. Today I want to bring our attention to "sowing". If we have to reap great harvest at the end of the year, we need to sow generously at the beginning of the year.

Taking a closer look at the verses above we learn the importance of sowing generously. Let us give it a try this year. Let us be generous in our giving, in our praises, in our faith, in our sowing the word of God.

Trust me your reward will be greater at the time of the harvest. Happy New Year &  Happy Sowing!!
Pin It Now! I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten... You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed.   ~ Joel 2:25-27

Let us take this verse as our promise for this New Year! Whatever we lost in the previous year due to whatever kind of locusts, the Lord says He will repay it back to us.

Let us continue to celebrate His goodness!

Wishing everyone a Blessed 2011!