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Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

                                                                                     Psalm 127
Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing. If God be not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless he crowns them with success.
Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world.

All earthly comforts are uncertain, but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him.
~Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 
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We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy. Acts: 14:17,18

Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans.

As we celebrate the festival of in-gathering, let us be reminded that it is God who provides us with the yields.

Enjoy the festivities giving thanks to God Almighty. 
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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 is asked to preach in Nineveh about the impending destruction God was planning. He refuses to do it, leaves for Tarshish, gets thrown out into the stormy ocean, a big fish swallows him up, 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 on them and did not bring upon them the destruction he had warned them about through Jonah.

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)
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Jeshurun grew fat and kicked; filled with food, he became heavy and sleek. He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Savior. Deuteronomy 32:15

New Living Translation helps us understand it better: Israel soon became fat and unruly; the people grew heavy, plump, and stuffed! Then they abandoned the God who had made them; they made light of the Rock of their salvation.

We read in the verses before that how God nourished Jeshuran. It says, "He made him ride on the heights of the land and fed him with the fruit of the fields. He nourished him with honey from the rock, and with oil from the flinty crag, with curds and milk from herd and flock and with fattened lambs and goats, with choice rams of Bashan and the finest kernels of wheat.You drank the foaming blood of the grape..."

Yet, they abandoned the Lord... how sad is that...

Sadly we too do just the same - from time to time. When blessed by the Lord we tend to forget the one who blessed us and go after the "blessings". With much prayer we start a job or business and soon it takes the upper hand on us - we give into the demands neglecting the closeness with our God who blessed us with the flourishing business in the first place. When health is suffering we cling to His feet and when we feel better we get too busy doing everything else other than sitting at His feet.

It is important to claim God's promises for ourselves and receive His blessings and nourishment for our physical & spiritual needs; but it is even more important to hold on to our Rock & Salvation when we are fat and merry!

A grateful heart is all we can offer and that is all what is expected of us! Is it hard?!
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The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. Romans 13:11-12

For some, their faith has gone cold as it seems forever for the return of the King. Some even disregard His grace completely. We don't have to look far to find evidence of the fearlessness among the multitude, for God.

At times like this it may be difficult to stay focused in our walk. It's like we are running this race and just few yards from the finish line we give up. Today's message comes as a wake up call for us. It is time to be alert because our salvation is much closer than when we first started this journey. Amen!

So, How do we stay awake? Good question! The answer is right there in verses Romans 13:13-14, listed below:

* Let us put aside the deeds of darkness
* Put on the armor of light.
* Let us behave decently, as in the daytime,
* not in orgies and drunkenness,
* not in sexual immorality and debauchery,
* not in dissension and jealousy.
* Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,
* Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

Shall we heed?
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"How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." Psalm 116:12,13

King David asks a very interesting question that often crosses our mind - how will he(we) ever repay the Lord - and he also has an interesting answer - that he will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I visualize it as King David giving a toast (with his drink/cup) in honor of the Lord. 

"Cup" could very well mean our hearts here or it could be the different roles we play. He fills it with His grace to the point it overflows... So, let's get back to the question which is the focus of our discussion for today: How can we repay the Lord for all his goodness to us? Ready to toast like King David?


"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." (Psalm: 16:5)

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."  Psalm 23:5

Amen! Let us be grateful for His goodness in our lives. Happy Sunday!
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* And they(angels) were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3
* Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
I Peter 1:15
* For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
I Thessalonians 4:7
* Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14


No denying that the One who called us is Holy! Now, we are required to follow suit, to measure up to His holiness. Is that even possible?

Prophet Isaiah spoke to God one on one, for himself, for the kings, for the nations; yet he writes: "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6

True! If we try only by ourselves, it is impossible to be holy like the Father is holy. But when we are rooted in Christ, the Holy Spirit will help us to be holy.

We read in John 15:5 as Jesus is saying: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

So, the key here is to remain in Him. To abide in Him. To be filled with His Holy Spirit that teaches us about all things. Then we too can be holy and blameless and pure like the one who has called us. Amen!
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“You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.

Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca (You good-for-nothing)', is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.

First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

“Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison.

Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

~Matthew 5:21-26

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“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. Proverbs 3:7-9

Agur (the author of  Proverbs 3rd chapter) wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a  distance from temptations. He asked daily bread suited to his station, his family, and his real good. There is a remarkable similarity between this prayer and several clauses of the Lord's prayer such as 'Give us this day our daily bread, lead us not into temptations' etc.

If we are removed from vanity and lies; if we are interested in the pardoning love of Christ, and have him for our portion; if we walk with God, then we shall have all we can ask or think, as to spiritual things.

When we consider how those who have abundance are prone to abuse the gift, and what it is to suffer want, Agur's prayer will ever be found a wise one, though seldom offered.

Food convenient; what is so for one, may not be so for another; but we may be sure that our heavenly Father will supply all our need, and not suffer us to want anything good for us; and why should we wish for more? (Excerpt from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary) 

Why not make it our prayer too this morning?
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By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. Psalm 137:1

River by default refreshes ones soul; however, here we read of a river that is not a refreshing sight but one of great mourning. In order to understand this verse, we need to understand the context of Psalm 137.

Looks to me this is not one of King David's psalms but one of a later time when Israelites were taken as captives to Babylon - modern day Iraq. The captors forced the captives to sing songs of Zion but they could only cry thinking of their Zion they had left behind.They refused to sing their joyous songs by hanging their harps on the nearby plants and sitting down to cry.

We do not know how many captives were there - but I am sure they were a multitude of people. Imagine all of them sitting by the river side, crying in loud voice, remembering their home land... what a tragic sight it would be!

Clearly the captives were not trying to please their captors but on the other hand they even provoked more  anger by refusing to sing. The psalmist goes on to insist the reader to remember Jerusalem - the Zion.

Here is few more verses in the same context:

* Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May those who love you be secure. Psalm 122:6
* "Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her Isaiah 66:10

Take away for today: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem!

We are Zion bound too so let's sing some songs of Zion today... No need for us to mourn as we are set FREE of our captivity by the blood of Jesus Christ! Amen!
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The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people. Zechariah 8:12

May God give you of heaven's dew and of earth's richness--an abundance of grain and new wine. Genesis 27:8

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

The land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us. Psalm 67:6

That is so beautiful, receiving such showers of blessing today; is it not?

Claim them; it's yours!
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There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: 

* haughty eyes,
* a lying tongue,
* hands that shed innocent blood,
* a heart that devises wicked schemes,
* feet that are quick to rush into evil,
* a false witness who pours out lies, and
* a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. Proverbs 6:16-19


I am sure we are familiar with this list of things that are detestabe (odious - abhorrent - loathsome - abominable - hateful) to the Lord.

If we think deeper most of us are guilty of atleast one of these!

It is a shocking realization for us "grown" Christians that we could even be part of the "rest of them" out there.

We have never arrived until our last breath or until the Lord returns whichever occurs first. Till then it takes a constant effort to walk in faith, staying clear of things that are detestable to the Lord.

With God's help we can! Amen!
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A beautiful psalm to memorize this weekend! :)

Even if you can't memorize the whole psalm try and memorize your favorite ten verses from this psalm. God bless you all!

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.

They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.

In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.

The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.

The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.

They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.

By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

But who can discern their own errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.

Then I will be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
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Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:12

Kissing is a token of expressing affection. We don't just kiss anybody, but people related to us. So, if we are to kiss the Son, we should have established a personal relationship with Him.

Who is the Son? How do we develop a personal relationship with Him? In I John 4:15 we read, "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."

Romans 10:9 says, "That 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."

I John 5:5 we read: "Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."

So, to answer our question: Jesus is the Son of God and by believing in Him we can develop a personal relationship with Him.

Then we can kiss the Son, lest he be angry and we be destroyed in our way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are we who take refuge in him. Amen!
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Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!"

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." Revelation 19:5-9

Those of us who are born again, have a wedding feast to look forward to! The wedding of the Lamb! As a matter of fact it is OUR(the Church) wedding with the Lamb!! We don't want to miss out on our wedding; do we?

In fact it is an open invitation to all. Though it says 'blessed are those that are invited', what it really means here is 'blessed are those who have accepted the invitation'.

I was browsing the Internet for an illustration to share with you all at the coffee table. Here's one that brought tears to my eyes... How beautifully the trumpet call and the rapture is explained here!

Are we ready? The invitation is still open - but only for little while. Let's accept it, get ready for it and pass it on...


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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. Please read it fully if you can.

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!
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

~Matthew 5:27-30

I know the (coffee) Word of God is strong this morning. Let us humbly abide to what it says...

God bless you all!
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* My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8
* I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
* Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4


King David sets us a good example of seeking the Lord continually, not just on Sundays's, not just on mornings, but continually - all the days of the week, every hour of each day, every second of each hour...

What does it mean to seek? The following definitions are given in the dictionary:

1. Attempt to find (something)
2. Attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something)
3. Ask for (something) from someone
4. Search for and find someone or something
5. Go to (a place)

Now, how do we seek the Lord? Based on the definition of the word 'seek' we can say,
1. Find out more about the Lord
2. Desire more time with the Lord
3. Pray
4. Search the Scriptures more for hidden treasures.
5. Go to His feet more often.

The Lord assures those who seek Him will find Him... (Proverbs 8:17)
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Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.1 Chronicles 4:10

Jabez's prayer was simple, yet powerful. Simple because it was short and to the point. Powerful because God granted him his request.

Before we conclude it was the short prayer that did the trick, let us read verse 9 which gives us a glimpse of who Jabez was: "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain."

The literal meaning of Jabez is sorrowful. In fact, the gist of his prayer was to be free from pain. God saw that he was honorable and granted his request. He was not sorrowful anymore but filled with joy.

If there is someone here unhappy today, please repeat Jabez's prayer with a sincere heart. God will grant the request for each one of us today.
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Those who honor me I will honor. I Samuel 2:30

Constant mention of God's love somehow gives a wrong idea that we can take Him for granted. We forget where we came from and who God really is.  He is the King of kings; the Lord of lords; the Beginning and the End; we were among the dirt, wearing rags, decaying in our souls.

Yet He chose to love us, cleansed us by His blood, made us holy, clothed us with garments of righteousness, wrote His name on us... and now we have forgotten that.

In Malachi 1:6 we read, A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. He goes on to explain we have defiled His alter by offering the blind and lame animals, in other words, we have not given Him the best of what we have. We can't deny that, can we?

According to Proverbs 3:9 let us honor the LORD with our wealth, with the first fruits of all our crops. The keyword here is 'all' not just 'some' or 'any' or 'one' or 'none' but 'all'. In all areas of our lives (including our finances) let our first priority and our best service be to God and godly affairs.

Those who honor the Lord will be honored by Him. What a privilege that is!
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He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. Psalm 147:14

Peace is defined in the dictionary as follows:
1. The absence of war or other hostilities.
2. Freedom from quarrels and disagreement; harmonious relations.
3. Public security and order
4. Inner contentment; serenity: peace of mind.

Our Lord is also called Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). To know that our Lord is the Prince of Peace is to understand that He has the authority to impart peace to us. In fact, Jesus says in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you."

When someone gives us something, it is important we receive it and put it to use. It is not enough to know God gives us peace; we need to accept it and use it.

When doubts arise, when our hearts are troubled, we need to remind ourselves of the peace our Lord gives us. The inner contentment or serenity or peace of mind comes from knowing that our Lord is in control. Amen!

May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels. Psalm 122:7
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Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32:1,2

We tend to relate blessing to the matters of this world forgetting that this life we live right now is only temporary - a make-shift phase in God's eternal plan. If someone has huge wealth, great fame and good fortune we call them blessed. But are they?

The Scripture here tells us if our transgressions are forgiven and our sins covered and there is no deceit in our spirit, then we are blessed!

Do you have the assurance your transgressions are forgiven? Yes! Do you believe your sins are covered? Amen! How about the third checking point - a spirit with no deceit? Well...

Barnes Notes on the Bible gives us a beautiful explanation as to how to develop a spirit with no deceit:

And in whose spirit there is no guile - Who are sincere and true. That is, who are not hypocrites; who are conscious of no desire to cover up or to conceal their offences; who make a frank and full confession to God, imploring pardon. The "guile" here refers to the matter under consideration. The idea is not who are "innocent," or "without guilt," but who are sincere, frank, and honest in making "confession" of their sins; who keep nothing back when they go before God. We cannot go before him and plead our innocence, but we may go before him with the feeling of conscious sincerity and honesty in making confession of our guilt.

Let us go before the Lord baring everything from the inner most parts of our heart - not trying to hide anything. Let us ask for sincere forgiveness and receive the assurance our sins are covered; that is what makes us blessed!

Happy Friday folks! Enjoy the weekend.
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Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak." But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." Genesis 32:26

This is one of my favorite passage from the Bible - where Jacob wrestles with God Himself and does not let go of Him until he was blessed.

I would say we are at a "daybreak" too - current year is setting and new year is dawning.

Let us not let go of God without blessing us at this daybreak. Let us hold on to Him saying, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." just like Jacob did. Sure we can enjoy such liberty with our Father; can't we?

On a side note, if you have any special prayer needs please share in our Prayer Requests Page. All requests are prayed over earnestly and faithfully.

Have a blessed Thursday!
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O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still. Psalm 83:1

From time to time in our Christian walk we experience a kind of  'silence' from the Lord. We don't immediately realize it and for a day or two we can ignore it and then suddenly we start to panic.

Looking up the Scriptures we can see a few did relate to similar terms.

In today's Scripture Asaph the music director of King David cries out to God: O God, do not keep silent; be not quiet, O God, be not still.

King David on several occasions has shared the same sentiments:

O LORD, you have seen this; be not silent. Do not be far from me, O Lord. Psalm 35:22
O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent Psalm 109:1
O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer Psalm 22:2
To you I call, O LORD my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit. Psalm 28:1

If you were to read each of these psalms you will note that this is when the psalmists pour out the contents of their heart about their enemies, what they did to them and how God can punish them etc etc. and almost always they find solace at the end of the psalms just from doing that. It works wonders like a therapy if you will.

We can try it out too - speaking openly with God about the unfairness around us and asking Him to work wonders on our behalf. He does listen and lessens our burden in no time.

Happy November all!