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Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

The message is very clear; this is especially true for marriage decisions. Those who are at the cross roads, take heed to the Word of God!

God bless you.
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Teach me to do your will... Psalm 143:10

I am astonished by the connection King David had with the Lord. He was constantly praying, constantly worshipping, constantly praising, constantly learning, constantly improving, constantly repenting, constantly singing the name of the Lord! Our Lord! There are endless Scriptures pointing us to that, let's look at a few of them today.

Here in Psalm 143, he prays, "Teach me to do your will". In Psalm 25:4 he sings, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths". Again in Psalm 119:12 he says, "teach me your decrees". In Psalm 139:24 he asks, "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting".

As a King he couldn't just say words he did not mean. He was indeed making strong statements here. He was constantly seeking God's will in His life. Sure enough God led his path, even when his foot slipped, he was forgiven and set on solid rock!

Many of us wonder from time to time, "How do we know the will of God?" The simple answer is, when we constantly seek the will of God like King David did, God reveals Himself to us.

God answers us in ways we can not imagine - sometimes very subtle - as if it is a secret between you and Him! But sure you will know it when He speaks to you. Just be keen to listen Him speak!

Thank you for gladly joining us here over the coffee table with fellow believers this morning! Have a blessed day.
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"Let not your heart be troubled..." John 14:1-3

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

Very familiar scriptures indeed...

Then why are we troubled often?  What bothers you?

Let us take comfort in His love and accept the peace He offers.  Now.

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you. Psalm 55:22

Let's go enjoy the worshiping service this morning with the godly peace today's coffee offers.

Happy 'Son'day all!

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"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 primary concern.

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. Shall we?

Happy weekend folks!


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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

"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", explains Barne's Notes on the Bible.

Apostle Paul says it was so with him. He looked onward to the prize - Jesus Christ. 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 part to refocus on the goal and continue the race. So...

Ready, set, go!

Go! Go!

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Today's reading: Proverbs 19 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD" 19:14

In most weddings we hear the sermon touching on the verse: "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD" Proverbs 18:22

Few questions today to the wives:
Are we good?
Are we worth to be called 'a favor from the Lord'?
Are we prudent wives?

What does it take to be a prudent wife?
In Proverbs 31:30 we read, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised"; verse 10 says, "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

A prudent wife:
*Fears the Lord
*She is of noble character

Shall we take an up close look at ourselves this morning and strive to become prudent if found wanting?!
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A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. Proverbs 12:16

How many of us are wise based on the standard set forth here by today's Scripture? I feel ashamed to say I am not.

The fact of the matter is we can be gentle and polished outwardly - at work, in the church, with friends for example; but at home we could be way different, annoyed, irritated, frustrated, angry, whatever you want to call it.

Just realized this is foolish and sinful. What do we do then when situation calls for it?? The Scripture teaches us to overlook the insults to stay prudent.

Very hard I am sure. But we can all try.

A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. Proverbs 29:11
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Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us."


Throughout the Scriptures we read of several people designating stones as monuments for remembering the deliverance or encountering of God in that place.

If you recall Jacob had set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him and called it Bethel (Genesis 35:14,15) and Joshua had set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. (Joshua 4:9). King David confessed several times that the Lord was his rock of salvation (Psalm 18:2).

Here Prophet Samuel sets up a monument to remember the return of the Ark of the Lord and names it Ebenezer which means "Thus far the Lord has helped us".

Now the question is, do you have such a monument that reminds you constantly of God's deliverance from certain situation? If you think about it there are easy reminders in our lives such as birthdays, anniversaries, years of experience, number of children, we can go on and on and on.

If these are not enough reminders and/or if we would somehow forget what the Lord has done thus far, we might as well put up some monument as reminders. If we remember already, let us praise the Lord for helping us thus far!

Blessed Tuesday everyone!

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My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27

Today's Scriptures clearly explain there are two things God has already given to us. Grace & Peace. He has given. Means it is served. But have we availed it? Have we received what He has given to us?

If you ever feel pressured or in turmoil - without peace, clearly you haven't availed it. If you are calm and composed in all situation surely you have received it. So, what is your story? Which one do you relate to better?

Grace is composed of His love, His mercies, His kindness, His justice. (Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life.Genesis 19:19)

In Peace we find the rest He promised. (Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28; My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14)

Even the lamenting Prophet Jeremiah writes: The LORD'S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."… Lamentations 3:23-24

Let me challenge you this morning to avail His grace. To find His rest.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter:1:2
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Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty--he is the King of glory. Psalm 24:10

On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:16

Imagine we are standing before our Lord and Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords Jesus Christ! Now how do we visualize our selves? What is our expectation? Are we seeking His presence as the King's mere citizens forgetting that we are His own children?

A while back I happened to read C.H. Spurgeon's sermon The Throne of Grace and loved a passage from it which perfectly fits our discussion today.

Spurgeon says, "We do not come, as it were, in prayer, only to God's almonry where he dispenses his favours to the poor, nor do we come to the back-door of the house of mercy to receive the broken scraps, though that were more than we deserve; to eat the crumbs that fall from the Master's table is more than we could claim; but, when we pray, we are standing in the palace, on the glittering floor of the great King's own reception room, and thus we are placed upon a vantage ground. 

In prayer we stand where angels bow with veiled faces; there, even there, the cherubim and seraphim adore, before that selfsame throne to which our prayers ascend. And shall we come there with stunted requests, and narrow and contracted faith? Nay, it becomes not a King to be giving away pence and groats, he distributes pieces of broad gold; he scatters not as poor men must, scraps of bread and broken meat, but he makes a feast of fat things, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined."

Indeed we are His children, His royal priesthood!

In Hebrews 4:16 we read, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."

Shall we?
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This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord. 2 Kings 3:18

Whatever is your need this morning, however hard it seems to you, remember it is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord!

To read it in context, "This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord..." 2 Kings 3:16-18

It might not seem like it is going to "rain". There may be no signs of deliverance. You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water! You and yours will drink!

The payment you are worried about, the job search that drains you out, the kids who are rebellious, the health condition of a loved one, the refinance that takes forever - it is all an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord. Amen!

If you read the earlier portion of the same chapter, Elisha makes a strong statement in verse 14. He says,: "I would not look at you or even notice you"; and we read that he ordered for a musician and sang hymns to the Lord.

That's exactly what we are going to do. Let us humble ourselves and look beyond our circumstances - beyond our bank balance, beyond the doctor's report, beyond the government statistics, we are going to praise and worship the Lord singing hymns to Him. I myself am going to do the same for complete healing of my husband's skin issues.

As we do, let us bring all our burdens at His feet this morning based on these words. His promises are yea and amen for those who believe! You may choose to place your hands on the screen or on the same portion of Scripture in your Bible and claim these very words as your own.

This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord! Can't wait to share and hear praise reports on the same...

Have a blessed weekend.
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* Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy Exodus 15:6
* The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things! Psalm 118:16

I was wondering why the Scriptures specifically talks about God's right hand and came up with some thoughts I wanted to share with you.

The right hand is significantly "honorable" than the left, you might agree. We salute with the right hand, we place the right hand on our chest while taking an oath , we write/eat with the right hand, we shake hands with the right hand, in most customs we give/take things to/from elders with our right hand, we say good bye with our right hand, we bless someone with our right hand, etc.

For God to hold our right hand and still lead us, I imagine God is facing towards us holding our right hand pulling us out of a pit. In today's scriptures we see Moses and King David singing about the mighty right hand of God. It was only possible because they took no credit for themselves in any of their victory but gave all the credit to God's right hand which was holding them and leading them.

The very same right hand is holding and leading us today! Isn't that remarkable? Amen! Our God's right hand is majestic in power today; it will shatter our enemy! Our Lord's right hand is lifted high; it will do mighty things!

Amen!

With that we wrap up yet another week! Have a happy weekend!
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* LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6

* I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24

Interestingly King David and Prophet Jeremiah from different times have made the same statements. What do they really mean by saying the Lord is their portion?

A portion or a share is a part of the whole, an allotment, if you will, mostly referred to as an inheritance. It could be a portion of the booty or plunder that one had the right to, or the portion of land that belonged to one in the division of an estate.

So, to say that the Lord is our portion means that we will trust in the Lord for our portion, for our inheritance, for our lot, for our part, for our rightful allotment.

It also means that whatever we enjoy at current times, all the little blessings, are given us by the Lord as our portion and secured lot! The joy in our heart, the peace of our mind, the confidence in our Lord are all part of His grace we enjoy.

Let us praise Him with a grateful heart for securing our lot and for being our portion.

Amen!
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When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

Interestingly the Scripture here points out it is not the wealth or possessions that are considered the gift of God, but the heart that accepts our lot and remain happy in our work - that is a gift of God.

In his letter to Timothy Apostle Paul writes about Love of Money and says "Godliness with contentment is great gain". I Timothy 6:6. Indeed it is!

King Solomon was the richest king ever. He writes in Proverbs 28:25, "A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper." - which shows that his prosperity came from trusting in the Lord and not from greed.

How many of us are content this morning?! Praise God for all those hands that are going up! Let us continue to accept our lot! This is our gift from the Lord! Amen!
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* On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
* But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
* I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. Psalm 16:7
* In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law. Psalm 119:55
* My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalm 119:148

Yesterday we saw the importance of praying in the morning; today's focus is on praying at night. King David has set us a great example as a prayer warrior. He was constantly connected with God, day in and day out.

Prophet Isaiah too insists on praying in the night; he writes: My soul yearns for you in the night Isaiah 26:9

Prophet Jeremiah reminds us in Lamentations 2:19, Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ also prayed at night. In Luke 6:12 we read, One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

We may reason we do not have time to pray; but it is high time we make time to pray. If we don't pray for our children who else would?  If kings and prophets and our Lord Himself chose to pray, what makes us think we can survive without it?

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
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* Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. Exodus 16:21
* In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
* In the morning I will sing of your love Psalm 59:16
* His compassions never fail. They are new every morning Lamentations 3:22,23
* I rise before dawn and cry for help Psalm 119:147

Scriptures show the importance of sitting at His feet in the morning and yet that is one area we mostly neglect. When Israelites were fed by Manna in the desert, every morning they had to gather as much as they needed. When the sun grew hot, it melted away.

Same is true for our Spiritual Manna - the Word of God. We need to gather it every morning before the sun rises as when the day progresses we may altogether skip it.

We all know the Lord's prayer, "Give us each day our daily bread" Let us take an effort to eat it every day, possibly as breakfast for a healthy start.

Trust me, it is such a refreshing experience sitting at His feet first thing in the morning. His presence will overwhelm your thoughts and your heart will be filled up to the rim and overflowing with His love and mercies.

Is there any better way to start our day?
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If you are not feeling up to going to church today, here's a reminder for you:
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbathand from doing as you please on my holy day,if you call the Sabbath a delightand if you honor it by not going your own wayand not doing as you please or speaking idle words,then you shall take delight in the Lord,and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the landand to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14

It doesn't matter which day of the week we choose to gather to worship the Lord; whichever day it is, let us do it willingly. Then we will find our joy in the Lord and all of the other blessings promised above will be ours!

Let's enjoy the 'Son'day!
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You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3

Do we trust in the Lord? Do we have a steadfast mind? Then God will keep us in perfect peace!

There is peace; then there is perfect peace.

I believe this is the peace God promised us, peace as defined in John 14:27: 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.

There is a trick to earn this peace, which is explained in Philippians 4:6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7



Here's wishing you all this perfect peace from above! 
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How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. Psalm 31:19

King David here exclaims on the goodness of God. He does not tell us how great was God's goodness, for he could not; there are no measures which can set forth the immeasurable goodness of God!

Notes of exclamation suit us when words of explanation are of no avail. If we cannot measure we can marvel; and though we may not calculate with accuracy, we can adore with fervency.

Overwhelming are the proofs of the Lord's favor to believers, history teems with amazing instances, and our own lives are full of prodigies of grace. We serve a good Master. Faith receives a large reward even now, but looks for the full inheritance in the future. ~ The Treasury of David

Everyone who is in agreement with today's Scripture and the explanation above, praise the Lord with me. Indeed, abundant are the good things that our Lord has stored up for us who fear Him.

Let us therefore press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

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"Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." Matthew 3:2

Kingdom of God is surely at hand - nearer than when it was first preached by John the Baptist some 2000 and odd years ago!

For some this message comes across as foolish and a mockery. They say, "Right! That's what they have been saying for 2000 years - that it is near! But where is it?".

Just because 2000 years is a long period in human hours doesn't mean that the Word of God can be mocked at. Indeed it is true that the Kingdom of God is near - definitely nearer each new day!

For those who still have a tough time understanding it, my suggestion would be to look at themselves in the mirror.There is no denying the fact that each new day we are a day older than we were the previous day. The weeks and months and years all seem to roll up together and before we know it, whether we like it or not our time on this earth will come to an end.

The eternal life spreads forever before us. Kingdom of God prepared for His children.

The call is still on: Repent! Shall we heed?

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This is what the LORD says: "If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me..." Jeremiah 15:19

"I will restore you that you may serve me"! You will notice that it is a conditional blessing. True, He will restore us to serve Him, but only on the condition that we repent.

The fact that He will restore us to serve Him implies that we 'used to' serve Him once but not anymore. Something came between God and us downgrading us from the honor of serving Him.

We see that all around us - don't we? People are on fire for the Lord one minute, and fall back cold the next. Why even us! Our stronghold on God is stronger only when things seem a little shaky for us; normal days we are normal self - neither cold nor warm - don't you agree?

It is our pride, doubt, fear, unbelief, diffidence (shyness), and impenitence (not feeling regret for sin) that come between us and our Lord.  God's promise is that the minute we realize our wrong doings and repent of it, He will restore us to serve Him. Amen! That is the highest honor one can enjoy here on earth - serving the Lord!

So, let's not delay our repenting. Let us this very minute close our eyes, open our hearts and repent of our wrong doings. Let us start serving the Lord. Have a blessed day!
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Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.Matthew 5:5

The meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37:11

What is meek? 

It is an adjective used to describe a person ": having or showing a quiet and gentle nature : not wanting to fight or argue with other people".

Lowly, humble, modest, down-to-earth, unpretentious are some of the synonyms of meek while arrogant, egoistic, proud, high-and-mighty, haughty are few of the antonyms.

How is it that the meek inherit the land? 

Because the favor of God is upon the meek. The Scripture clearly tells us, God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble. James 4:6

Further more we read: 

Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar. Psalm 138:6

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor.  Proverbs 29:23  

What we must do to find God's favor?

Humble ourselves. The more we uplift Christ in our lives the less significant we will become in our own eyes. We will become lowly just while we give the Lord the highest honor.

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  James 4:10
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Today's reading: Proverbs 8 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD." 8:35

In other words, whoever finds Christ finds life and receives favor from the Lord.

Who is this Christ? Jesus Christ is the Son of God who came down to earth in human form; to die for our sins; resurrected from dead; ascended to heaven and lives forevermore. The only thing He seeks in return is our heart, not by force but by showing His grace.

How do we find Him? Whoever seeks Him with earnest heart will find Him. If nothing pray to God to reveal Himself to you and He will. Give Him control of your heart to reign and rule. In return accept His grace and the joy of salvation.

If you have any specific questions that you don't want to comment publicly but wish to share, please email me at starlh at hotmail dot com.

Let us find Christ and receive favor from the Lord!
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Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He has risen. Luke 24:5,6

Happy resurrection Sunday every one! 

Arguments aside on whether we should call it Easter, it is a day of remembering the fundamental truth of Christianity, if not for which our life would be in vain. 

Praise the Lord! He has risen! Indeed He has risen! 

I myself am witness that my Lord Jesus Christ is alive and well! Praise the Lord!

Do you still seek Him among the dead? Please don't. He is not there. He has risen!

Want proof? Just ask the Risen Savior to reveal Himself to you. And He will.

Because I live, you also will live. John 14:19


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Today's reading: Proverbs 24 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Do not say, “I’ll do to him as he has done to me; I’ll pay that man back for what he did." 24:29

Once again here is an example of a characteristic of human nature in contrast with godly nature. It is natural in human nature to feel the urge to take revenge; however, it is not fit for the faithful, who is to leave it up to God to avenge.

Proverbs 20:22 goes hand in hand with this verse; it says: "Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you."

"It is mine to avenge; I will repay", says the Lord (Deuteronomy 32:25)

It may look like a failure as we can't reciprocate right away; but hang in there, God will repay.

Amen!

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Happy Good Friday everyone!

I know most of us keep a grim face today as we recall the suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross. But I believe we need to rejoice for His sacrifice as otherwise we would be doomed forever. Now we are redeemed! Praise the Lord! So indeed it is a day of celebration and not necessarily a day of mourning for us believers.

As with the norm in many churches worldwide let us also quickly look at the words spoken by our Lord on the cross, for our coffee this morning.

People give extreme importance to a person's last words, do they not? When we hear of someone's demise one of the first questions we ask is, what did he/she say last or when did you speak to him/her last. Jesus's words on the cross are therefore important too, though these are not His last. He lives and continue to speak! Amen!

* "Father, forgive them: for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)

* "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." (Luke 23:42-43)

* "Dear woman, here is your son!" Then He said to the disciple, "Here is your mother!" (John 19:27)

* "I Thirst."  (John 19:28)

* "It is finished." (John 19:30)

* "My God, my God, Why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46)

* "Father into thy hands I commend my spirit" (Luke 23:45-46)


God Himself in human form came down to rescue us. He submitted fully even unto death to redeem us - the human race. He died a painful death thus fully paying off for the punishment of every sin ever committed by any person - whoever believe(d)!

I do believe! I am sure you do too. He Lives! Let us rejoice!
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17 On the first day of the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?”

18 He replied, “Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’” 19 So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.

20 When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. 21 And while they were eating, he said, “Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

22 They were very sad and began to say to him one after the other, “Surely you don’t mean me, Lord?”

23 Jesus replied, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him. But woe to that man who betrays the Son of Man! It would be better for him if he had not been born.”

25 Then Judas, the one who would betray him, said, “Surely you don’t mean me, Rabbi?”

Jesus answered, “You have said so.”

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[a] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. 29 I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

30 When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

~ Matthew 26:17-30

As we remember our Lord Jesus's last supper today, let us pause and meditate on the scripture portion above and take part in His communion mentally. Remember this was all for us. for you. and for me!

P.S: If any of you would like to share a few words on this portion please feel free to type in the comment section below. Thank you!
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For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

Did you notice one thing? It is not we who are holding His right hand, but the Lord holds our right hand. That clearly shows how protective He is of us. It is like we care for our children when they are little. We always hold their hands not trusting that they will hold our hands.

We know that they could be easily distracted by things around and get lost if we do not hold them. We know that they could fall and get hurt if we do not hold them. Same way, our Lord doesn't expect we will hold on to Him as strongly as He is holding on to us. Isn't it comforting to know our Lord holds our right hand?

Whatever it is you are facing today - may be an interview, may be a corporate decision, may be a test result, may be about a transfer order, whatever it is, remember He holds your right hand.

King David sings in Psalm 16:8, "I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." True! Because He is at our right hand we will not be shaken! Praise God!

Let us repeat the verse, slightly altered: "You are the Lord, my God, who takes hold of my right hand and says to me not to fear and that you will help me."

Amen!
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Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. Deuteronomy 29:18

See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. Hebrews 12:15

The first scripture here is an excerpt from Moses's address to the Israelites at the end of their journey; the second is from Paul's letters to Hebrews.

The idea is the same: Do not develop bitterness yourself; neither do let others induce it in you! Both will lead to falling short of the grace of God. Let us see how we can work on these.

How do we get rid of our bitterness? Ephesians 4:31-32 has the answer. It says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."

How do we safeguard against people who produce bitterness? For one, by praying the Lord's prayer "Lead us not into temptation  but deliver us from evil" (Luke 11:4).

Two: Psalm 1: 1-2, Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockersbut whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

So, to sum it all up: Forgive, pray, do not associate with the wicked, delight in the Word of God! Shall we try?
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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(NIV)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (KJV)

Barne's Notes on the Bible has the following explanation:
Follow peace with all men - Do not give indulgence to those passions which lead to litigations, strifes, wars. This is the temper of the gospel. We are to make war with sin, but not with people; with bad passions and corrupt desires, but not with our fellow-worms.

And holiness - Instead of yielding to contending passions and to a spirit of war; instead of seeking revenge on your persecutors and foes, make it rather your aim to be holy. Let that be the object of your pursuit; the great purpose of your life. Men might in such cases counsel them to seek revenge; the spirit of religion would counsel them to strive to be holy.
What is the difference between us and non-believers if we take offense in every single remark or wrong doing arguing our case? Can't we just dust off the insult and move forward forgiving them in Jesus' name? It doesn't seem alright; they truly deserve to hear what we got to say - right? Wrong!

Let us make every effort to live in peace as today's Scripture teaches us. Let us make a difference from the rest of the crowd out there!
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* "Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs" (Psalm 100:2)
* "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28)
* "I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." (Jeremiah 31:25)

A quick reminder as we get ready to go worship the Lord today! Let's do it with gladness; and let's come before Him with joyful songs.

Some of us may not be in a mood for joyful songs. Always remember when the burden gets heavy there is only one solace, the foot of the cross.

The weary and burdened find rest at His presence as He refreshes the weary and satisfies the faint.

Wishing everyone a refreshing worship today! Enjoy!
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Glad you could stop by for some Coffee with Jesus this morning. Let's read Psalm 136 together and have some fun doing it. I will read each verse and you say: "For His mercy endureth for ever" Shall we?! Here we go...

Me: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: O give thanks unto the God of gods:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: O give thanks to the Lord of lords:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him who alone doeth great wonders:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that by wisdom made the heavens:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that stretched out the earth above the waters:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that made great lights:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: The sun to rule by day:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: The moon and stars to rule by night:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And brought out Israel from among them:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which divided the Red sea into parts:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which led his people through the wilderness:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which smote great kings:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And slew famous kings:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: Sihon king of the Amorites:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And Og the king of Bashan:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And gave their land for an heritage:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: Who remembered us in our low estate:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And hath redeemed us from our enemies:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: Who giveth food to all flesh:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

(Let's read the last verse together...)
Us: O give thanks unto the God of heaven:
Us: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Great! We did it!! It was fun doing it together; was it not? Have a great weekend folks! Remember: His Mercy endureth for ever...
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* I  am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Revelation 3:11
* Only hold on to what you have until I come. Revelation 2:25

The message for today is: Hold on to what you have!

Hold on to what we have? What do we have? Let's see what the Scripture tells us:

* Hold on to the good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21
* Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called.  1 Timothy 6:12
* She (wisdom) is a tree of life to those who embrace her; those who lay hold of her will be blessed.     Proverbs 3:18
* Let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. Hebrews 4:14
* Stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you. 2 Thessalonians 2:15
* Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Proverbs 4:13

To sum it all up in one sentence, let us hold on to the good, our hope, eternal life, wisdom, our faith, the Scriptures and the promises given to us. Hold on tight! Don't loosen the grip!

Happy Friday everyone! Hold on tight. 
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and 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, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful natureRomans: 13:12-14

Don't we always think about how to gratify ourselves? I mean don't we always look to satisfy the desires of our heart? Looks like that is bad. Certain sins are so subtle that we may not even consider it a sin. We may term it as 'habit' or 'that's just me' or whatever, but not sin. This is where learning and meditating the Word of God can help us improve.

I would like to share an extract from Barnes notes on the Bible on this:
The gratification of the flesh was the main object among the Romans. Living in luxury and licentiousness, they made it their great object of study to multiply and prolong the means of licentious indulgence. In respect to this, Christians were to be a separate people, and to show that they were influenced by a higher and purer desire than this grovelling propensity to minister to sensual gratification. It is right, it is a Christian duty, to labor to make provision for all the real needs of life. But the real wants are few; and with a heart disposed to be pure and temperate, the necessary wants of life are easily satisfied; and the mind may be devoted to higher and purer purposes. 
Many apostles have written about why we should not gratify the desires of our sinful nature; here's to quote a few:

* Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. I Peter 2:11
* For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. I John 2:16
* So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Galatians 5:16

Have a blessed day!
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Today's reading
: Proverbs 29 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor." 29:23

Few other scriptures here in similar lines:
* "Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Matthew 23:12
* "Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up." James 4:10
* "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34
If there is one person who had all the reasons to have pride - it would be King Solomon! Why? Because the Bible says there was no one before him or no one after him who would be as wise as him!

But, King Solomon himself stays away from pride as carefully as possible. We can repeatedly see many references in Proverbs where he shuns away from pride and warns us to the consequences pride can lead us into. I am sure he had found it out to be true that being humble at heart would help receive the grace of the Lord.

Pride is a trap. Once we fall for it, it is very difficult to come out. These verses are here to warn us. Let us avoid pride at any cost!
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The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord
forever. ~ Psalm 23


The fundamental question I want to set forth for our meditation this morning is:

Is indeed the Lord is our shepherd? Are we under His care, counted among His flock?!

Have a blessed day as you ponder over these thoughts... 
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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8


Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:12

It is very easy to conform to the pattern of this world; however it takes extra efforts not to conform to the pattern of this world. If we go with the flow, nod to everything we hear around us, feed into every gossip, laugh at every mocking, soon we will be conforming to the world - without even knowing it. 

We as God's children, should be careful to save our integrity in all areas of our lives. How we behave at work vs. home vs. Church - does it all reflect the same characters of us or do we use different masks for each role?

Do we sit with the mockers and stand in the way of sinners which Psalm 1 prohibits us not to? Are we more focused on pleasing our evil desires or are we constantly reminded of godly affairs? Are we ashamed of our faith at work place or willing to share our testimony at the first opportunity?

As I said, it comes easily to conform to the pattern of this world. It takes effort not to. Would you, could you, please try not to? It takes us believers to make Jesus known to the unchurched. Our integrity will bring glory to the Lord; our lack thereof will only shame.

Today and going forward let us give careful attention to our attitude, our thought process, our actions and reactions and see how we can un-conform ourselves from the world. 

God bless you! Have a blessed Monday!

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"Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness... " Psalm 96:9

As we are getting ready to worship the Lord this morning, let's remember to worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness! In a different translation we read, "Worship the Lord in holy attire" which reminds me of the guest at a King's wedding banquet who did not have the wedding clothes on and was later thrown out into the darkness. (Mathew 22)

Attire or clothes can be related to our salvation or righteousness as in Isaiah 61:10 we read "I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."

Let's make sure to wear our garments of salvation and not forget our robes of righteousness as we get ready for our King's banquet!

Are you ready?!
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"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

Grieving makes one weak; rejoicing gives strength.

True, there have been circumstances that made it seem impossible to rejoice at times. But His grace had been sufficient; was it not? If not for that we would have succumbed to our grief and weakness. That is all the more reason to rejoice in the Lord!

We are also asked to share our blessings with the less fortunate amongst us - giving them a reason to rejoice in the Lord. Let us not forget that.

I'll repeat the Scripture again to let it sink in...

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Finally,

Let us not be just hearers of the Word; but doers as well. (James1:22)

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Romans 2:13

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When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

When was the last time we feasted on the Word of God? Can we relate to the verse above where Prophet Jeremiah says he ate His words which were his joy and his heart's delight.

Apparently it is not just Jeremiah who enjoyed the words of the Lord. King David sings: How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Job too loved them, he said: I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. Job 23:12

It is a true joy 'eat'ing the Word of God. Why not have some today? Here's some for starters... Psalm 19

Have a blessed day!
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She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:17

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously. Psalm 37:21

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. Matthew 10:42

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
2 Corinthians 9:6

If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. Deuteronomy 15:7

Rather, be openhanded and freely lend him whatever he needs. Deuteronomy 15:8

A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9

He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses. Proverbs 28:27

Need I say more? Do something. Start today!
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The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 1 Peter 4:7

Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 1 Peter 1:13

You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near. James 5:8

Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour...

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.

As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.

I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming.

If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him. 1 John 2:18~29

I think the Scriptures above are self explanatory. Surely, the end is near. Let us be alert and of sober mind.

God bless you!


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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.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127

I wanted to share from Matthew Henry's commentary for today's coffee: 
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.

Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust in him. They are a great support and defence to a family. Children who are young, may be directed aright to the mark, God's glory, and the service of their generation; but when they are gone into the world, they are arrows out of the hand, it is too late to direct them then.

But these arrows in the hand too often prove arrows in the heart, a grief to godly parents. Yet, if trained according to God's word, they generally prove the best defence in declining years, remembering their obligations to their parents, and taking care of them in old age.

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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How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. Psalm 31:19


King David here exclaims on the goodness of God. He does not tell us how great was God's goodness, for he could not; there are no measures which can set forth the immeasurable goodness of God!

Notes of exclamation suit us when words of explanation are of no avail. If we cannot measure we can marvel; and though we may not calculate with accuracy, we can adore with fervency.

Overwhelming are the proofs of the Lord's favor to believers, history teems with amazing instances, and our own lives are full of prodigies of grace. We serve a good Master. Faith receives a large reward even now, but looks for the full inheritance in the future. ~ The Treasury of David

Everyone who is in agreement with today's Scripture and the explanation above, praise the Lord with me. Indeed, abundant are the good things that our Lord has stored up for us who fear Him.

Let us therefore press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

Amen!

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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, When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things, 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, even a great sale, :) 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. Shall we?
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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3


Of course, we all want to be part of the kingdom of heaven. As per today's scripture the poor in spirit inherit it.

It leads us to a basic question: What does it mean to be poor in spirit?

I believe it is a crushed spirit, it is a spirit that is too low to stand on it's own, a spirit that is in need and want of God. It takes a crushed spirit to repent for sins. It takes a low or poor or a spirit in need to want God's forgiveness. It is almost a humble heart; but not quite.

A poor spirit is the key to the kingdom of God because that's what brings about the quest for salvation. Our search for God or the seeking starts with a low spirit.

A poor spirit despairs, regrets, repents. A poor spirit seeks and finds the one true Living God! A poor spirit cares after godly affairs. A poor spirit acknowledges the lack or void within and understands it can only be filled with the love of God.

Now the question is, do we have the poor spirit that qualifies us for the Kingdom of God? Do we depend on God Almighty day in and day out for our fill of happiness? If the answer is yes, well and good. If not, seek Him now.

These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word. Isaiah 66:2



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Often times in a marriage the love turns cold. Many, including good believers fall prey to this excuse to walk away from their commitment to their spouses. Even those who withstand the ordeal can not deny the fact that the thought has crossed their minds too. This is a very subtle & cunning way of the devil at work - to destroy the harmony of a marriage union.

It is therefore very important to watch out that we are not deceived by the enemy's devious plans. Anytime our mind ponders over unnecessary thoughts let us refocus our attention to "whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." as mentioned in Philippians 4:8

I am reminded of a few more Scripture to share:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
in the sight of God and man.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
fear the Lord and shun evil.
This will bring health to your body
and nourishment to your bones.  - Proverbs 3:3-8

Finally, remember you are always special in the eyes of the Lord, whose love for you never turns cold!

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5 Amen!
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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. S
ong 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. Let us remember one thing - His banner over us is LOVE!
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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?

Also, anyone in the Lord's ministry are hand-picked by Him. We have no rights to criticize servants of God who are our Pastors, leaders and evangelists. Many - sadly even Christians - get carried away with accusing God's chosen servants. Let us not be counted one among such accusers. Let us leave it up to God to correct His servants. Shall we?
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There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:1-11
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Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another... Romans 13:7,8

Do you owe anything to anyone? I know you didn't expect this question at the coffee table this morning... But we might as well get it cleared and out of the way, as the Scripture suggests today.

I do not suspect any of us have problem giving back monetary debts we owe people. But sure all of us have problem with the other kind of debt we owe others such as respect, honor, love etc.

Our justification may be "He/She doesn't deserve it!" But that's not true; it's just a lame excuse. Every one of them deserves love, respect, and honor. It is almost a birth right if you will, though no one can expect it without offering it to others first.

In Love, we can never payback as it is a continual debt, an obligation, and we don't think of it that way. Without loving fellow men we can not possibly praise the Lord. In other words, if we do praise the Lord, we can not curse fellow men.

James writes in his letter to the tribes:
With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. James 3: 9,10
Let us therefore pay off our debts in terms of taxes, revenue, respect, honor & love as we start a new week. Happy Monday!
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“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’

For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
~Matthew 6:5-14

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Today's reading: Proverbs 23 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." 23:17,18

It is human nature to envy others but not a godly one. As we grow spiritually we need to get rid of envy from our heart. We can not be believers and also envy others. If we envy others we are not truly believers. As long as we fear the Lord and shun from envy and other sinful ways, our hope is not in vain.

I love the explanation for this verse in the Gill's Exposition which I wish to share with you:
For surely there is an end,.... Both of the prosperity of the wicked, which is but for a short time; and of the afflictions of the righteous, which are but as it were for a moment; and therefore there is no reason to envy the one, nor to be fretful under the other; the end to a good man will be peace and prosperity for ever: there is a "reward" for the righteous, though not of debt, but of grace; upon which account they have ground to expect much here and hereafter...
So, points taken: Let's not envy others; Let us be zealous with the fear of the Lord; Our hope will not be cut off! Amen!

Have a blessed weekend.
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"Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." Luke 12:15

What is greed? I am sure all of us know what greed means; however I thought it will be a good idea to start with the definition. Greed means: 'An excessive  desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth'.

We sometimes tend to wrongly measure our happiness against what we have, which causes us to envy others and greed for more. Some may ask what is wrong with greed as it only motivates us to 'be better off'? Is it so?

Well, if you think about it, greed makes us selfish, workaholics, spendthrifts, debtors and in the long run we will tend to lose focus on our priorities and run after things of this world soon forgetting the importance of the Eternal Glory we ought to be bound for.

Greedy people mostly look after only themselves. They don't spare for the poor. They are never satisfied with all the wealth they have acquired. They worship money, gold, fame, fortune and other forms of it. Soon pride is to follow.

That's the very reason why Jesus warns us to be on our guard against all kinds of greed. He also reminds us that the measure of our life is not in terms of our possession.

Here is another verse to set us on our track rest of the way.In I John 2:15 we read, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him."

King David shares in similar lines in one of his Psalms. In Psalm 62:12 he writes, "...though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them."

What do you think, is it hard to heed to these instructions?
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Their Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is his name. He will vigorously defend their cause so that he may bring rest to their land. Jeremiah 50:34

We are going to claim this verse as our promise today. Let's read it again custom fit for our needs: My Redeemer is strong; the LORD Almighty is His name. He will vigorously defend my cause so that He may bring rest to my land.

Who is a Redeemer?
* A close relative who is capable of freeing us from debt;
* A savior

How Jesus redeemed us?
* By paying the price of our sin upon the cross Himself
* By freeing us from the penalty of death that was the wages of our sin, but gave us eternal life instead.
* Saved us from God's wrath by His blood.

What more our Redeemer is capable of doing today?
* He can free us from our financial burden
* He can pay off our debts
* He can free us from worries and depression and the like
* He can heal us from sorrow
* He will defend our cause vigorously
* He will bring rest to our land.

Job during his severe affliction reminded himself, "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me! Job 19:25-27

We all know how Job was redeemed and his health, wealth and fortune were restored.

King David sings in Psalm 25:3, "No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame." Amen!

This was true in the life of Job, King David and many other saints from the old and new testament. Why then it is hard to accept we will be redeemed too?!

Happy March 2018!
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But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear, hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:20-23


It is interesting how the disciples of Jesus Christ, who were once common fishermen, developed such wisdom and insight about all things supernatural and eternal. It is the wisdom that comes from knowing the Lord. It is the insight from being led by the Holy Spirit.

Here Apostle Jude calls us to persevere in our faith, staying focused on eternal life. It is as though he knew the current times. He warns us about the scoffers & false preachers in earlier verses and insists us to safeguard our faith amidst it all.

It is important to hold on to our faith first. Then we could help out those who are in doubt and those on the verge of eternal fire. In doing so, we will stand before God without fault and with great joy! Hallelujah!

Let us heed to the call this morning: by building ourselves up in our faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves in God’s love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us to eternal life. Amen!
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For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5

We see two characteristics of God's very nature here - former as a Judge who cannot tolerate sin and the latter as the Father who cannot and will not tolerate the punishment upon us; rather would bear it upon Himself!

This description of God's slowness to anger, and readiness to save, is given by King David - someone who is deeply acquainted with God.

The Lord spoke through Prophet Isaiah:

"For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer. Isaiah 54:7-8

Be encouraged He is angry no more! Praise the Lord! Joy comes in the morning! Amen!

Have a blessed day!
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For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13

Don't know about you but I can blindly believe this verse without asking for any proof. I love the concept of our God holding our right hand. Clearly it shows how protective He is of us.

Let us repeat the verse, slightly altered: For you are the Lord, my God, who takes hold of my right hand and say to me not to fear and that you will help me. Amen!

As if to reiterate the statement, in the very next verse He says: Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 41:14

To sum it all up: Do not fear about anything. Just as He has promised He will help you! He Himself will help you!! Remember He is holding your right hand... Praise the Lord!

Have a blessed Monday!
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Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

This morning let us refocus our attention to getting closer to God Almighty. Let us recommit ourselves to do His will. Let us pray for restoring the joy of our salvation.

Let us repeat after King David's prayer for forgiveness and restoration and make it ours today:

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51:7-12
Amen!
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You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6

He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised. Deuteronomy 26:19

Amen! What a special anointing we can sense this morning! To be known as the Lord's chosen people, His royal priesthood, God's treasured possession, is truly special.

These are not mere words, but God really means it. If not for that, He wouldn't have ransomed His only Son on the cross to redeem us.

From time to time we experience a certain dullness in our Spirit. We begin to doubt God's words. We reason. We look up the context of the scripture promises like these and say it was spoken some time in history for certain group of people. We do not believe it is meant for us.

Today's message is to awaken our Spirits. To strengthen us once again that we are indeed the chosen people of God Almighty. He has redeemed us. He has bought us with a price. We are His. His treasured possessions. Amen!

Let us keep that in mind the rest of the day. Let us declare the praises of him who called us out of darkness into His wonderful light. Amen!
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God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

In order to understand what this Scripture actually means let us read the complete passage:

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.

The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did  not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. I Thessalonians 4:3-8

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. I Corinthians 6:18

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Ephesians 5:3

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires... Colossians 3:5

An interesting thing about sin - any sin - is that we do know it is sin; no one has to point it out to us. If any of us struggle with any impurities let us bring it to the Lord's presence this morning,confess and be washed by His blood all over again.
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I am the LORD, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy. Leviticus 11:45

In order to follow this commandment we need to clearly understand what holiness means.

What does it mean that the Lord our God is Holy? Holiness is the absence of even a trace of sin. Holiness is the devoid of even a glimpse of darkness. Holiness is the perfection of all things good - perfect love, perfect mercy, perfect forgiveness, perfect deliverance, perfect healing - that our God alone can offer.

The Lord God Almighty - the Maker of heaven and earth is pure and holy and just in all His dealings. He sets the best example of being holy for us believers to follow. He insists we too can live our lives in a holy fashion. He demands we be set apart from the rest of the crowd - be known as His chosen generation, His royal priesthood, His holy nation. Praise the Lord!

Is it even possible to be holy just as He is holy? Indeed it is! If it were not so, the Scriptures wouldn't have instructed us so. It gets easier in fact much easier with the infilling of the Holy Spirit.

Rest of the day, let us ponder over the commandment, "Be holy as I am holy" and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us through.

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14