Pin It Now! When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:28

For today's reading you may consider Psalm 104 It is a beautiful chapter telling of the many wonderful works of our Lord from sea to mountain to the plains, and explains how God's hands provide for the needs of every living thing from wild animals to men to birds.

Verse 28 is one of my favorites verse which I use in my prayers all the time, which convinces me that every little blessing comes from the Lord: the breeze, the rain, the good dinner, the beautiful flowers, fresh drinking water, a good night's rest, etc. A related verse can be found in Psalm 145, verse 16:You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Indeed it is the Lord who satisfies our desires, who feeds us, clothes us and provides for our other needs, not only for us humans but for all living thing. The least we can do is acknowledge Him by giving thanks.
Pin It Now! I will remember your miracles of long ago Psalm 77:11

Most of the psalms of King David are around giving thanks, recalling the incidents of past, and giving more thanks to the Lord. What really amuses me is how he often goes back to the very beginning of how God led the Israelites out of Egypt or even before that when God separated Abraham out of his folks, etc. giving thanks for various things that happened many generations before his own generation. Isn't that something?

Have we ever done that? May be we have remembered our grandparents and said thank you lord for blessing me with fine grandparents. But the generation before that? Have we thought of them and thanked the Lord for them in our prayers? Most likely not. Okay, now how about our great great grandparents? Have we ever wondered about them and thanked the Lord for them? Not me. That's what sets apart David.

He had a very grateful heart that appreciated every single detail of how God worked in his life and the life of his ancestors whom he had read about. Here he sings: "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds."

Seems like he sets a great role model here. Let us follow his example and give thanks to our Lord for everything He has been to us and especially for the elders of generations back who had passed on the faith to us. Amen!
Pin It Now! He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3

When do we need a new song? Only when the old songs aren't enough to praise Him. Which means that the latest deliverance or blessing we received from Him is so good that we don't find anything appropriate to sing and worship Him with. Our heart just opens up bubbling with a new song of praise.

It is a wonderful experience when you don't have anything but only gratitude for the Lord. When you come to His presence without the long to-do list but only with praise and worship from a very grateful heart.

When we sing such new song of praise, as King David suggests many will see and fear and put their trust too in the Lord. What an awesome way to share our testimony - by being a living proof!

I pray that as we all get ready to worship our Savior today, let us for once forget our "shopping list" at home and only go with a grateful heart and a new song of praise. God bless you all and have a great 'Son'day!
Pin It Now! 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

Often we claim the promises of God and keep up our good cheer. But then one day all of a sudden we lose that joy - the joy of salvation and everything seems virtual and vague and we even start doubting the promises of God we had held so dear for so long. The more we dwell on these thoughts the more it feels real and our faith starts to tumble down. This is clearly the enemy at work.

What do we do in those circumstances? Attack the enemy by rebuking it in the name of Jesus. Trust me he will flee away. We also need to assure our self  that our God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. He will act on what He has spoken in our lives and He will fulfill every single promises He gave us; not one of them will fail. Amen!

We have discussed the same verse once before; here's the link to the earlier post.
Pin It Now! Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you. Psalm 116:7

Please read Psalm 116 in full if you have few minutes today. It is a grateful song by King David as he remembers how God delivered him from the many afflictions he had once faced and reminds his soul to be calm.

This is how Barne's notes on the Bible puts it:
The meaning seems to be, "Return to thy former tranquility and calmness; thy former freedom from fear and anxiety." David had passed through a season of great danger. His soul had been agitated and terrified. That danger was now over, and he calls upon his soul to resume its former tranquility, calmness, peace, and freedom from alarm.
We can all relate to similar season when we were agitated and terrified; we feared danger and called upon the name of our Lord. He came and rescued us!

But our souls have not returned to the former tranquility, calm, peace of mind or freedom from alarm. We are at guard fearing danger, being upset, feeling unhappy, hurting deep, brooding over our past failure & misfortune. We are unable to love those individuals who caused it, we have not forgiven, we can't forget, we don't want to forgive or forget, we can't let go of the hurting past, but why?!

It seems to me that the focus has somehow shifted back on us, instead of our Saviour! Somehow as the days passed we forgot how God came through and lifted us out. Not only that, we started relying on our ability for our present and future needs which only adds more stress & pressure on us... how sad is that!

Today, let us tell our souls, it is okay to relax! Let us invite our souls to rest and abide under our Lord's presence. Let us stop worrying about the future and trust that the same Lord who helped us through our past afflictions is mighty to save us in the future.

While at it, let us also remind our souls of all those times our Lord brought us out of the miry pits, and once again train our souls to return to the former state of peace, singing, praising and glorifying our Lord God Almighty!
Pin It Now! * Blessed are the people whose God is the Lord Psalm 144:15
* Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. Psalm 34:12
* Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD his God Psalm 146:5
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD Psalm 89:15

Sure, these verses bless our soul. But before we can fully claim it all blindly, let us ask ourself the following questions, as you see these are the pre-requisites to claim these blessings:

* Can we honestly say our God is the Lord?
* Are we a nation whose God is the Lord? 
* Do we have the assurance that He chose us for His inheritance?
* Do we realize our help comes come from the God of Jacob?
* Is our hope in the Lord our God?
* Do we acclaim (praise) the Lord?
* Do we walk in the light of His presence?

If we answer yes to all of these questions, no doubt we are blessed people! Go ahead and claim the promises; it is all yours!!
Pin It Now! They will be like a well-watered garden, and they will sorrow no more. Jeremiah 31:12

Garden here signifies our hearts. The more we read the word of God, listen to the word of God, praise and worship our Lord, our hearts will be "watered" of the Holy Spirit on a continual basis filling us with such joy deep within.

On the other hand when we spend less time at God's presence, our hearts will be "withered" of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, thus leading us to sadness, sorrow, depression and other issues related to that.

King Solomon shares an incident he recalls, "I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins."  Proverbs 24:30

And he goes on to say, "I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest — and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man". Proverbs 24:31

In the parable of a sower in Mark 4, Jesus explains: "Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the  word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." Mark 4:18-19

To conclude, if we want to be a 'well watered garden' we need to "water" our hearts on a regular basis. If we give heed to slumber and laziness, our hearts will be soon covered by "thorns" and "weeds" and will be in ruins in no time. Let us therefore keep watch of our garden.
Pin It Now! 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. “‘From this day on I will bless you.’”

20 The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.

23“‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2:19-23

 If you pay attention to the verses above it clearly mentions the 24th day of the month and we are indeed on the 24th day of the current month today!! I do not think it is a mere coincidence that the Holy Spirit is sharing these exact verses with us over the coffee table this morning.

Months ago we had discussed in detail about the significance of being a signet ring and here's the link to that post for those who are interested.

For those who choose to believe, these promises are yours to keep:

* From this day on our God will bless us
* Our God will shake the heavens and the earth
* Our God will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms.
* Our God will overthrow chariots and their drivers;
* Horses and their riders will fall
* Our God will make us like a signet ring
* Our God has chosen us

I do believe I am a signet ring! Do you?
Pin It Now! For those who believed that Jesus was returning on 21st of May 2011 and for those who rediculed them and for the rest of us who are sure of His return but know not when, few questions linger: When will Jesus return? Why is He delaying? What about such predictions that go wrong?

My friend Bett answers these questions in such detail that I wish to share it for today's "Coffee"! For those of you who are used to my regular posts this might seem long, but I am sure you would appreciate the post as is, this way it can benefit many...

"…What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

One day, Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives when his disciples approached with this question: "Tell us, when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"

His answer was NOT May 21, 2011. In Matthew 24, he characterized the time leading up to his return by saying:

· Many very believable deceivers will claim to be the Messiah
· Wars and rumors of wars
· Famines in many places
· Earthquakes in many places
· Persecution and murder of Christians and Jews alike
· Renunciation of faith
· False prophets (even those who predict the exact date of the Rapture?!)
· Increase in wickedness
· People are cold and loveless
· Gospel has been preached throughout the world
· Israel has come back to life (the parable of the fig tree)

The Apostle Paul, also describes the morality of the last days in II Timothy 3:1-5, "But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be":

· lovers of themselves
· lovers of money /covetous
· boastful
· proud
· abusive / blasphemers
· disobedient to their parents
· ungrateful
· unholy
· without natural affection / without love
· trucebreakers / unforgiving,
· false accusers / slanderous,
· without self-control,
· brutal / fierce,
· despisers / haters of those who are good
· treacherous / traitors
· rash / heady / headstrong
· conceited
· lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God
· having a form of godliness but denying its power (claiming to be spiritual but denying the power of the one true God, YehoVah)

Sound familiar?

Can we know when Jesus is returning?

Some believe that there is no way to know when Jesus will return, so why bother looking. After all, doesn’t the Bible say that Jesus will come like a thief in the night? Well, yes and no.

Jesus himself tells us that no one knows the DAY or the HOUR of his return except God the Father. In Matthew 24:36, he said,

"But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.

Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left."

However, as we read above, Jesus did tell his disciples about signs leading up to his return. The Old Testament prophets also wrote extensively about these last days. So as Jesus’ modern day disciples, we are not left in darkness. Although we cannot know the day or the hour, we can know the “season” or approximate time of his return based on all the prophetic wisdom that has been shared with us. In his first letter to the church at Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul wrote:

But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.

For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

Why is the actual time of his return hidden in the mind of God only?

God sometimes conceals His future plans, and with good reason. Whenever Satan is aware of God’s plans, he does his best to thwart them. In Genesis 3, when God tells Eve that her seed will destroy Satan, a series of attacks began on Jesus lineage and life which include but are not limited to the following:

· In Genesis 6, Satan’s angelic followers, the Nephalim, began a program of polluting man’s gene pool by interbreeding with women. Their children were violent, powerful and HUGE. However, Noah and his family were still ‘perfect in their generations’. The purpose of the flood was to pull the plug on man’s gene pool and begin over again with “original genetic stock”.

· When God revealed that the children of Israel would be in Egypt for 400 years, Satan spend that time ‘reseeding’ the land of Canaan with the children of the Nephalim. When Moses sent 10 spies into the land, eight of the spies reported that the land was filled with giants and they felt like grasshoppers next to them. Apparently, the Nephalim were also tinkering with animal and plant genetics as well. A hand of grapes were carried back to the camp of Israel on a pole carried by two men…

· Shortly after Jesus was born, God revealed to Joseph in a dream that he needed to take the family to Egypt to protect them. After they fled, Satan stirred King Herod to kill the Messiah by sending his troops to kill all the children under the age of two.

· The exact date of the entry of King Messiah into the City of Jerusalem was revealed by the prophet Daniel. Satan immediately began to work to ensure that the Jews would never accept Jesus as their King. He polluted Israel’s worship of the Creator based on the Law of Moses with the preeminence of “rabbinical tradition” and the “oral law. He replaced the desire of God’s priests for holiness with pride and a desire for power. When the very priests who were supposed to recognize and teach the season of the Messiah King’s coming, instead turned him over to Rome for execution…Satan probably thought, ‘I’ve finally won’… but then God revealed the resurrection and a ‘mystery’… the Mystery of the Church.

A ‘mystery’ is information that in times past was hidden, but God has chosen to reveal at a later date. God chose to ‘hide’ the fact that His salvation would be made available to the Gentiles and that at the end of the age, all Israel would be redeemed. Had this Divine ‘intelligence’ not been hidden, Satan surely would have had operationalized plans to smother the infant Church before it could get started.

· And why does Satan continued over the last two thousand years to try to annihilate the Children of Israel? (Think Roman expulsion, the Inquisition, the Crusades, various other ‘pograms’, and the Nazi’s Final Solution to name a few more attempts.) Jesus said that he would not return to reign on the throne of David until Israel calls out to him and says, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” So there is another loophole that Satan is trying to exploit. If there is no Israel to call out to their Messiah, then Satan’s rule over the earth continues unimpeded and God’s Plan is thwarted. His next attempt to eliminate Israel will be at the hands of the Antichrist.

So, back to our topic…God has revealed so much about the “season of end times” to us, so why has He hidden the exact day and hour? Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.

Again, the answer is Satan, the ruler of this age and the “owner of the house”. The exact timing of Jesus coming is hidden from us so that Satan will not be prepared. For two thousand years, he has been on pins and needles wondering… is this the day that begins my demise? And he has had to have one or more antichrist candidates prep-ed to “seize the day”!

We are told to WATCH and to BE READY. As the priests of Israel were to watch for his first coming, we are told to watch and be ready for the moment of his second coming. Let us be found faithful when he comes.

So where does Rapture Day 5/21/2011 fit in?

In the Apostle Peter’s second letter, chapter 3, he tells us about another sign of the last days… scoffing!

“Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Once Harold Camping is proven wrong with his date setting (again and again), the doctrine of the Rapture is going to become the subject of scoffing. Those of us who believe this doctrine will be ridiculed and we need to be ready. After all, it will happen, it is a sign of the end times.

Therefore be strong in the faith. Think and pray about having “a word in season” for the scoffer and the curious. We DO NOT KNOW the day or the hour, but we do know the season of his coming. Anyone who has read the prophets and keeps up with the news can tell that WE ARE IN THE SEASON OF HIS RETURN.

The King is coming! This is our blessed hope. And the rapture of the church is certain… the only thing delaying it at this point, is the unsearchable mercy of God. For as Peter has said, “He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.“

Be strong in the faith and stand! Our redemption IS drawing near and He is faithful to all his own promises… not to Harold Camping’s promises… he is on his own there.

Let all heaven and earth be filled with YehoVah’s praises. We serve an awesome God! So come Lord Jesus!
Pin It Now! Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7

If you have tried at gardening anytime you will agree on the verse above. Just as it says, the farmer waits for the yield after sowing the seeds. He wouldn't want to dig up the soil or check the seed every day to see what is happening with it. He waits patiently for the yield.

Same way, we need to be patient over some of the seeds which was sown in us and by us. The yield will come from the Lord.

Just because one group claimed Jesus was returning yesterday and He didn't does not mean He is not returning at all. There is no reason to doubt His imminent return. Let us be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Each new day we are getting closer!
Pin It Now! For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 1 Thessalonians 4:16

And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Matthew 24:31

The Bible teaches us about an event that is soon to happen, imminent if you will, when Christ returns to take His bride (the Church / His followers) with Him. This is called 'rapture' which also means 'caught up'.

We read in the Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 a detailed description of what to expect during rapture. "...the dead in Christ will rise, then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord."

This is the blessed hope most christians are looking forward to. A group of believers claim it is only minutes away (as they claim it is May 21st 2011), however the Bible clearly tells us no one knows the exact date or time of when rapture will happen and hence the term 'imminent' meaning 'anytime'. Many world events we see and hear around us lead us to the day which is near.

Can it be today as some claim? May be, may be not. But I do believe He is returning very soon... and my desire is to be caught up together in the clouds to meet my Lord, my King!

The question is are we ready? Here are some videos that I enjoyed and wanted to share...

Pin It Now! Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

Today's verse is actually a part of the prayer of repentance by King David. Click here to read the entire prayer.

As you can see, these are not empty words or words of guilt alone; these are sincere statements made by a repenting heart with a crushed spirit. He was not trying to elude from God's presence like Adam had once done. He came begging and crying back to God repenting for his sin. In verse 4 he says, "Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight". We can sense his agony here, his total surrender, his complete acceptance of what he had done was wrong.

As he was praying such he also asks to be cleaned by hyssop which is our discussion today.

What is hyssop?
Hyssop is a herb that was commonly used by the Israelites during their ceremonial cleansing and sprinkling. It is an emblem of purification process, purification from sin, purification from leprosy and the like.

Deep cleaning
David understood his heart needed a thorough cleaning with such importance as that of a ceremonial cleansing and so he requests thus. Let us pause right there. We too need such a cleansing. Many times we have taken things for granted and have valued ourselves a little too high. Let us open it all up today, let us come clean revealing the darkest deepest parts of our inmost being and make sure they are cleansed white as snow.

All we need to do is to ask. Happy cleansing to us all!
Pin It Now! Its leaves were beautiful, its fruit abundant, and on it was food for all. Daniel 4:12

King Nebuchadnezzar was a great and mighty king who suffered from mental illness because of his pride. In The Book of Daniel chapter 4, he gives his testimony to the peoples, nations and men of every language, who live in all the world, of how his health was restored by God Almighty. Today's verse is a reference from this chapter. I strongly encourage you to read the entire chapter to get a complete picture.

As you can imagine it was a very humbling experience for king Nebuchadnezzar to go through this illness. However when he realized it was his pride which got him there in the first place and when he started giving glory to God Almighty he was freed from his sickness and was restored to his throne and became greater than even before. That's when he shares this testimony with his nation and peoples of the whole world and ends it with a sincere statement: "...those who walk in pride He is able to humble."

Let us look at few more scripture verses from the Bible:

* The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Proverbs 16:5
* He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34
* Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar. Psalm 138:6
If you look at the Scriptures closely great men of God like Moses, Aaron, King David, King Solomon, Daniel and the like, never failed to give glory to God Almighty which itself is a sign that they were humble at heart. Let us learn from their good examples and also from the tough lessons learned by King Nebuchadnezzar and clear off any pride from our hearts.

It is very easy to fall prey to pride as it can trigger from as simple as a well intended compliment or an ill meant flattery. Let us therefore keep watch to stay away from pride. May all glory, honor and praise be to only God Almighty! Always!
Pin It Now! Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalms 126:5

Psalm 126 is a song of an exile returning to his home country. We don't see any specifics on the author of this psalm but just from the omission of it we can conclude it was written by King David. It was in fact a  prophetic song imagining the return of an exile. Exile who? Of course, the Israelites and also us - yes, you and me!!

We too are exiles aren't we? We were in bondage of sin and our Savior Jesus Christ paid off the price for our sins and redeemed us from our bondage. We are returning home! Is our mouth filled with laughter and our hearts with cheer? Are we singing and dancing and praising the Lord in our onward bound journey? Or are we oblivious to His grace and just treading along aimlessly, looking back often to our bonded ways?

The journey could be a toil at times with the "sowing" of our faith; but just as the Scripture promises us, we will return with sheaves of yield, winning many souls for Christ! What a great gift that would be to take with us to our Father God who is waiting eagerly to receive us! Amen!
Pin It Now! Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. Jonah 4:6

The book of Jonah is a very interesting book and I hope you have all read through it. If not please take your time one of these days to breeze through the four easy chapters.

Here's the summary to set the context: Jonah was asked to preach in Nineveh about the impending destruction to the city God was planning. He refuses to do it, leaves for Tarshish, gets thrown out into the stormy ocean, a big fish swallows him, he survives inside the belly of the fish for three days and night before finally being spit out. Now he visits Nineveh as how God had told him to. People of Nineveh including the king and the cattle everyone wear sackcloth and fast and pray asking God to relent from His fierce anger. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion and did not bring upon them the destruction he had threatened.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He was not hesitant to let God know how very disappointed he was that he even wanted to die right then and there. If you think about it he had all the reasons to be angry, right? Wrong! That's what God intends to prove by teasing him with a little shade one day and removing it the next. Using that as an example God was able to explain to Jonah why he changed his mind about the hundred and twenty thousand people of Nineveh who could not tell their right hand from their left and the many cattle there. Though the chapter ends there I am sure Jonah was convinced of the reason and continued to serve the Lord, happily ever after...

Application: Like Jonah, we may think too high of ourselves at times and care more for our reputation than the will of God to be demonstrated in peoples lives. To us God asks the very same question today:  “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Jonah 4:11

We were not punished according to our transgressions, why then do we expect others to be punished and not forgiven?! Freely we have received, let's freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
Pin It Now! Beloved: "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1
Lover:  "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens." Song of Solomon 2:2

May Flowers of Blessings series continues... Today's verse though we've heard often makes us wonder a few things such as: Where is Sharon? What is so special about the rose of Sharon?

Sharon is a fruitful pasture land, a place where even David's cattle were fed (1 Chronicles 27:29). Isaiah 35:2 mentions about the splendor of Carmel & Sharon which gives a better picture of Sharon. Barnes's notes on the Bible says: "Sharon" is usually the proper name of the celebrated plain from Joppa to Caesarea, between the hill-country and the sea, and travelers have remarked the abundance of flowers with which this plain is still carpeted in spring.

A rose of Sharon therefore is a common scene, it is not extraordinary. Same way lilly of the valleys is quite common. It is like the bride saying, "I am just a commoner; not quite fit to marry you". But the Lover reassures her that she is very special; in the very next verse He says: "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens."

Of all the "flowers" of the pasture, our Christ has found us to be special, worthy of His love! Isn't that awesome! We are commoners, ordinary folks, fishermen if you will, but our Lord has chosen us to be His bride; His flawless bride is what He is making of us. To conclude, it is not Sharon that is special neither it's roses, it is the love of the Lord that makes us special. Let us cherish His love for the rest of the day...
Pin It Now! "Three cups shaped like almond flowers with buds and blossoms are to be on one branch, three on the next branch, and the same for all six branches extending from the lamp stand." Exodus 25:33

It makes me go 'wow!' every time I read the detailed instructions God gave Moses about the Tabernacle, the lamp stand, the table and its accessories. How very specific including the measurements, color of the thread to use, from where to where, what design, then what metal to cover it with etc etc. I love it! I absolutely adore the decorative sense of God Almighty. The interest He takes on every single detail... isn't that amazing?!

Okay, now the question is how it applies to us. Apostle Paul asks in his letter to the Corinthians, "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" (1 Corinthians 3:16).

It is also true that God created our inmost being; He knit us together in our mother's womb. (Psalm 139:13) Every little detail of our body was designed and made by our God! As we get ready to worship the Lord this morning, let us give a thought to how wonderfully He has made us. Enjoy the "Son"day!
Pin It Now! “How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! “Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters." Numbers 24:5-6

Numbers 24 gives account of an interesting encounter between King Balak and Prophet Balaam. The Israelites are traveling along the desert towards Canan their promised land and on the way they have overcome mighty warriors like Og king of Bashan, Sihon king of the Amorites and the like. When Balak king of Moab heard about it, he gets afraid and calls for Prophet Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites.

Three times he sets up alters just as Balaam suggests but every single time when Balaam opens up his mouth he only blessed the Israelites instead of cursing them because God did not allow him to curse.

Today's verse is part of his blessings over Israel at Balak's third attempt to curse them. They are blessed inspite of Balaam's order to curse them. This is so true for us who are part of the faith walk marching towards our promised land - Life Eternal in heaven.

We as born again believers are the spiritual Israelites and so these blessings hold true for us too. We will be abundantly blessed like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Let's say amen and claim that today!

P.S: If you have some time today and are looking for an intersting read, I suggest you go back and read Numbers 22 thru 25 to get the full detail of this Balaam/Balak interaction.
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"All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall; but the word of the Lord stands forever" 1 Peter 1:24-25

Happy Friday to all!

We don't need details to understand this scripture; it is quite evident all around us in daily walks of life. Remember the tulips and daffodils that filled us with cheer? Where are they now? Gone! Withered!

That's exactly how our life is too on this earth. We are all passerby and shifting shadows if you will here on earth. However His word stands forever so we have a greater hope of Life Eternity with the Lord because His words say so:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16


Have a blessed weekend!!
Pin It Now! * My lover is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Song of Solomon 2:16
* I am my lover's and my lover is mine; he browses among the lilies. Song of Solomon 6:3
* I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me. Song of Solomon 7:10

No doubt the couple depicted in Song of Solomon is head over heals in love with one another; yet repeatedly they reassure their love for each other.

Hopefully it is the same case with our love with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When was the last time we told Him we are His and He is ours? When was the last time we heard Him speak in His slow still voice? Are we sure of our love? Then why aren't we spending time with Him whenever possible?

His love remains constant; it is us who waver from time to time. Let us see what we can do to rekindle our love for our Lord today. At least once tell Him how much you love Him today; it won't be long before you hear Him say the same and more to you.

Let's enjoy His loving presence rest of the day.
Pin It Now! The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Numbers 17:8

Numbers Chapter 17 speaks about the miracle of Budding of Aaron's rod by which the Lord separates the tribe of Levi for His ministry, to help along with Moses. You may read it by clicking here...

I was reading about it in the commentaries and absolutely loved what Clarke's commentary on the Bible says about it and decided to share the passage below:

Everything in this miracle is so far beyond the power of nature, that no doubt could remain on the minds of the people, or the envious chiefs, of the Divine appointment of Aaron, and of the especial interference of God in this case.

To see a piece of wood long cut off from the parent stock, without bark or moisture remaining, laid up in a dry place for a single night, with others in the same circumstances - to see such a piece of wood resume and evince the perfection of vegetative life, budding, blossoming, and bringing forth ripe fruit at the same time, must be such a demonstration of the peculiar interference of God, as to silence every doubt and satisfy every scruple.

It is worthy of remark that a scepter, or staff of office, resuming its vegetative life, was considered an absolute impossibility among the ancients; and as they were accustomed to swear by their sceptres, this circumstance was added to establish and confirm the oath.
Thought for the day: It is not difficult for our Lord to make our rod bud, blossom and yield over night, as long as we are willing to serve! The question is: Are we?
Pin It Now! My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Song of Solomon 1:14

Looks to me the bride here loves henna blossoms and especially those from En Gedi; so she compares her lover to a bouquet of henna blossoms from En Gedi. Since we haven't been to En Gedi or seen those henna blossoms, let's pick our favorite flower or perfume so that we can relate to the context better, shall we?

Now, let's see if we can compare our Lord to our favorite perfume. Does His sweet fragrance constantly attract us to Him? Do we want to smell like Him? Do we remember to "spray" some of Him before we step out to start our day?

Elsewhere in Proverbs we read, Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart (Proverbs 27:9) I believe this truly fits the description of our Lord. His love surely brings joy to our hearts, does it not?

Interestingly Apostle Paul also has shared similar thoughts in his letter to the Ephesians church, in which he says: "...and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2)

It feels so good to be associating our Lord with our favorite perfume. Now I can almost smell Him! I am sure you do too. Let's enjoy His sweet presence rest of the day!
Pin It Now! "Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Genesis 3:11

We all know how Adam and Eve both disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit. We are not going to discuss Adam & Eve here but see how we can apply the situation to our self.

Are we eating any forbidden fruits? How do we react to temptations, false preaching and the lures of the world? Are we bold enough to stand up in our faith or so weak that we are stumbling at every small obstacle? Or worse yet, are we taking the grace of our Lord for granted thinking we can sin once and later ask for forgiveness?! This is how some of us have diluted His shed blood for us, taking it too light.

In the Lord's prayer we pray, "Lead us not into temptations..." Let us make this our daily prayer and stay away from temptations, false preaching and the lures of this world. Let us NOT eat from the "tree" our Lord has commanded us not to eat from.

If you have some time today, please read Matthew 5:21-48 where Jesus explains the commandments in His terms to understand what some of these "forbidden fruits" are.
Pin It Now! Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:3-4

Those of us who have experienced the love of the Lord can assure to the fact that His love is the best! It is unconditional to begin with; it is sacrificial love, love that is always constant and does not depend on our merits.

As believers we make up His Church which is personified as the bride here. There may be other attractions around us in the world, but He is the best! His love supersedes every other "love". Like the apple tree is the best among all wild trees in a forest; our Savior is set apart as pure gold from all other glitter.

We have a date with Him today. He is taking us to the banquet hall (worship service). As we eat and drink (listen to the Word of God) and be merry in the fellowship of believers, let us remember one thing - His banner over us is LOVE!
Pin It Now! "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.’” Luke 13:6-9

Yesterday we had discussed the parable of a sower and today again, we have a parable: The parable of a fig tree. It doesn't take an expert to understand these parables. These were simple stories which any common man could relate to. Also, these parables were preached by Jesus Himself which make it even more interesting.

Here we see, a fig tree master getting disappointed with no yield from his tree and in his anger wants it cut down. But the gardener pleads for the tree and buys some more time. Do you think the gardener then just left the tree to itself? No; he took special care to prune it, trim it, feed it and water it more often. He toiled hard to make it live. Let's pause right there.

Don't you see a similarity of Christ our Savior pleading our case to the Father God here? Yes, that is correct. Every time we anger Holy God who cannot look at sin, and whenever He is ready to punish us according to our sins, Jesus Christ comes in between asking God to give us another chance. Then He takes special care of us, giving us more and more opportunities to improve. Do we appreciate His efforts and try to make it or do we neglect it and remain the same without much fruits in our lives? Hope we improved!

Let's ponder over these thoughts as we kick off the weekend...
Pin It Now! For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations. Isaiah 61:11

May Flowers of Blessings is going in full pace and I hope you are enjoying the series. For those who are new to Coffee with Jesus, welcome on board! It is great to have you join us on the coffee table with our Lord Jesus Christ!

Last month we discussed rain related scriptures in a series called April Showers of Blessings! This month we choose to discuss the scriptures that talk about flowers/garden or something in those lines....

It is no news that a good soil is a must for a thriving garden. In other words, our hearts need to be ploughed and mended for us to yield good fruits. Here's an illustration of Jesus' parable about the four kinds of soil. Let's make sure our heart is made of "good soil" so that we can yield "good fruits". Have a great weekend! Coffee with Jesus is served on weekends also; don't forget to join us if at all you can...

Pin It Now! "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights." Habakkuk 3: 17-19

True, we all expect buds and blossoms and fruits and crops in our lives! All the time! In season and also out of season! We claim the promises, we maintain a positive attitude and we sort of get too carried away in our success sometimes as if it is our born rights.

But what happens when our expectant blessing gets delayed or worse yet, not come at all? Do we tend to apply a hard stop and turn away from the Lord? Is that what our faith is all about? Or can we sing like Prophet Habakkuk does: "Yet I will rejoice in the Lord!" and continue to trust in the Lord?

Of course it is God's desire to prosper us, but the question is: Would you still follow when prosperity is out of the equation. As long as our reason to follow Jesus Christ is not for mere worldly blessings, we will be happy irrespective of the yield. When life flourishes we will praise the Lord and when it does not, then too we will praise the Lord. Amen!

Let's keep this in our mind as we enjoy the rest of the day....
Pin It Now! In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. Isaiah 27:6

This is a prophetic verse about Israel which has already come true since the late 1900s. Israel which was barren for many years has been reestablished and the agriculture industry is in full bloom, flourishing with exports to all over the world. Also, Jesus Christ - the seed that was sown in Israel has been yielding fruits in all corners of the world! That is in the literal and spiritual sense of the verse.

But what is in there for you and me? Well, is it not a great promise? Then let's claim it! Let's also work on our Fruits of the Spirit so that our fruits can fill all the world around us...

Few months ago we had discussed each fruit of the Spirit in detail. For ease of use here's the links to our discussions on each fruit to refresh your memories.

* Love
* Peace
* Patience
* Kindness
* Goodness
* Faithfulness
* Gentleness
* Self-control

Have a worry free Wednesday!
Pin It Now! The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. Isaiah 35:1-2

Praise God for this beautiful verse this morning! May it be Yeah and Amen to those who believe. Your wilderness and my wilderness will rejoice and blossom. It will burst into bloom! Hallelujah!

Since this is a very beautiful passage, I decided to post the rest of the chapter too as part of today's Coffee with Jesus. Slowly read the verses; let it sink in! The passage header says in NIV: Joy of the Redeemed. Since we are the redeemed in fact it is talking about us!

The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and the ransomed of the Lord will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.
Gladness and joy will indeed overtake us, and sorrow and sighing will flee away... Amen!
Pin It Now! And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. Matthew 6:28

Any of us not worry about what to wear? It seems like a great worry at times, is it not? Looks like it was true in Jesus's time also and hence this message. Instead of trying to elaborate it in my own words I thought we will read the rest of the passage as spoken by Jesus Himself. Here we go...

...They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that 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, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:28-34

Jesus asks us a few questions to make us think and then finally He derives at His message. It is a great message to start a new month with - is it not?

Instead of worrying, let us seek His Kingdom first; then all these things (like food & clothing) will be taken care of by Him. Amen!
Pin It Now! Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land. Song of Solomon 2:12

Happy May everyone! Thought it will be a good idea to be meditating Spring related verses from the Bible this month and hence the series May Flowers of Blessings!

As you all know the book of Song of Solomon is a set of love letters between the Beloved (the church) and the Lover (our Savior). Sometimes the terms seem to be used other way round also. But we get the point the relationship between the church (us) and Christ is that of a bride and groom in love with one another, strong and intimate.

When you are a bride-to-be those are special times - have you noticed? Everything looks beautiful, makes you smile, makes you want to dance, fly and a very light hearted, merry feeling. The reason is you are indulged constantly in thoughts of your fiance the groom! You are counting days to the big day, and forget the parental home and bliss dreaming in thoughts of your husband and the home you are going to make! We beautify our self by going to spas and what not? Am I right?

That is exactly the same kind of emotions that is expected of the Church which is soon to be "married" to the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pause there for the day and ask our self if we feel the same way? Are you constantly indulged in thoughts of Him? Are we counting down days to the Big day? Are we ready? Are we looking our best?

If not, let us start working on it as the Wedding of the Lamb is near. Hear the wedding bells?!