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"You are all together beautiful,my love;there is no flaw in you." - Song of Solomon 4:7

This is one of my favorite verses from the Bible. It amazes me at all times. I take the verse personally for me and encourage all of you to take it personally for yourself too! It is for every one of us indeed, where God says, "You are all together beautiful, my love;there is no flaw in you."

I am sure it makes us pause & analyze our self, to see if it truly fits us; you would agree it always fails. If we were to take an inventory of our flaws it would go miles long... No matter how hard we try, we would still be full of flaws, but the unfailing, unconditional love of God sees us beyond our flaws and lovingly calls us "Beautiful" and "Flawless". I sometime wonder if these are the exact words Jesus uses as He pleads our case with the Father, "... there is no flaw in him/her"

I turn to this verse anytime I need an assurance of the Divine Love which brings instant joy to my heart & sings music to my soul.. Hope it does to you too.

Happy Monday folks!
NRIGirl
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* It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8
* Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. Psalm 146:3
* Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Isaiah 2:22
* Look now, you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man's hand and wounds him if he leans on it! Isaiah 36:6
* Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame.Isaiah 20:5
* This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5

I am sure you noticed how the verses got stronger and stronger as we read through the list above. It starts as a suggestion, becomes a command and ends in a warning.

This is a good reason to analyze our selves if we trust in any men. How about our bosses? Husbands? Neighbors? Parents? Or even your own hands? Are we clinging on to mere men or our ability as our "source" forgetting that the ultimate Source is the Lord God Almighty? This can't be.

Today's take away is from Isaiah 26:4 which once again re insists the importance of trusting in the Lord: Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

Happy Monday!
NRIGirl
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Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.

Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:12-14

Let us make this humble prayer of King David as our prayer also. Hidden faults vs. willful sins, two different things, one almost innocent and the other intentional; both equally sinful.

Let us give a careful thought to the words here and make it our true statement.



Amen!
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“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.

The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

~Matthew 7:24-27

Where have you built your house? Hope it is built on the Rock of Salvation - our Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed Friday!

NRIGirl
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I am sending you grain, new wine and olive oil,

enough to satisfy you fully;
never again will I make you
an object of scorn to the nations...

Surely he has done great things!
Do not be afraid, land of Judah;
be glad and rejoice.

Surely the Lord has done great things!
Do not be afraid, you wild animals,
for the pastures in the wilderness are becoming green.

The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.

Be glad, people of Zion,
rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
because he is faithful.

He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

“I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
my great army that I sent among you.

You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.

Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the Lord your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.

Joel 2:19~27 

Praise the Lord! What a great promise we are given this morning! Have a blessed day.

NRIGirl
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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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Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

When we read about the account of creation in the book of Genesis, at the end of each day for each creation, it states that God saw that it was good. At the end of the 5th day, we read  in Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

However on the 6th day, when He made Adam the first human being, we read in Genesis 2:18, The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” and proceeds to make Eve! Let's pause there for a minute.

Is it just enough for Adam & Eve to be together alone to make it good? Do they even understand each others' emotions or thought process or any of those sorts? Don't they need an interpreter who can help them understand each other and bond better?

How strong is a two cord strand compared to a three cord strand?

The third person recommended for every marriage is the presence of God Almighty who bridges the gaps between the two and acts as the glue if you will, between the husband and wife. When misunderstanding arises the Holy Spirit will guide and comfort them separately mending their hearts, removing their hurts, bringing them together and making them whole again.

This is why it is extremely important to keep our marriage a three strand cord and never a two strand cord and of course not a single strand (or separation) which is considered not good.

Let's invite the Divine presence in our marriages today if we do not sense Him already. Above all let us submit to His leadership in our lives rather than arguing over who is the head; undoubtedly it is Him!
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He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6

This was a prophetic message about John the Baptist who came before Christ to prepare the way, preaching people to repent and be baptized. The exact words are repeated again in Luke 1:17 while Zachariah - John's father, was serving at the temple, an angel of the Lord appeared to him to foretell the birth of his son who was to be called John.

The same verse, as is, stand alone, out of context, can still do miracles in our lives. That is the power of the Word of God. We will hold on to this very promise for our families today. Even among the so called christian families rifts between parents and grown children and misunderstandings between adult siblings are not uncommon. Some of us who think we have figured it all out, can't ignore the frictions from time to time. Pride and selfish agenda are main causes for that. Many of us have given up, saying there is nothing we can do about it.

However, prayer can do wonders. Let us pray over our situation using this Scripture today. The Prince of Peace who rules our hearts will heal the wounds and bind the broken hearts. We will rejoice at the family reunion and praise the name of our Lord! Amen!
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Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

Are we grateful this morning? Let us prove it in our worship service today. Have a blessed 1st Sunday of the last month of the year 2018!
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“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:32-36

These Scriptures are spoken by our Lord Jesus Himself. He has given us these instructions for dealing with people we do not really love, we are offended by, we do not approve of. The reasoning behind His expectation is given in verse 36 - because He is kind to the ungrateful (that is us) and the wicked (us including!)

Now tell me do we have any say in it one way or another but to follow in His foot steps? When God has forgiven us so much can't we forgive someone who offended us?

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

Have a blessed December 2018!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 28 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." 28:13

This verse explains the fundamental of salvation. Anyone who is not convicted of their sins and when convicted does not repent and when repented does not discontinue that sin is not truly saved.

Anyone who has been convicted of their sins, has repented for their sins and has discontinued from their sins is truly saved!

This is not just a one time process but a regular practice. As we mature more in Christ more of our sins will be revealed which we might have overlooked in the past. Then we repent for those sins and receive forgiveness all over again. There is no shame in repenting as many times it takes and getting forgiven as many times needed.

For some of us, when the Pastor calls for an alter call following a convicting sermon, though convicted we are reluctant to go upfront and own it publicly. This need not be. Let's forget the whole world around us and get new infilling of the joy of salvation as often as we can.

God bless you all! Praise the Lord! We made it thru' 11 months this year!!
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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!

But those who are already in it, pray for your spouse to receive Christ. In the meantime show them the unconditional love you have so freely received from Jesus the Lord. You may be the only 'Jesus' they see. You better be a good reflection.



May God bless you.
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2 Chronicles 6:40 "Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place."

Today's Scripture is an extract from the Prayer of Solomon offered at the dedication of the temple. Please read the entire chapter if you have some time today.

It is great to be in company of prayer warriors so that we learn how to pray. Prayer connects us one-on-one with our maker! When we pray God listens. When we praise He accepts it. When we call He answers. When we ask He gives. When we knock He opens. When we cry He comforts. Amen.

As believers we are called to pray not only for our needs but for one another also. Even here at Coffee with Jesus we have an opportunity to share our prayer requests and pray for one another. Please make it your regular practice to check out the prayer requests and pray for the shared needs. Please encourage one another by comments and testimonies.

Today's Scripture is my sincere prayer for this blog. Please join me in unison and let us pray the same together: "Now, my God, may your eyes be open and your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place."

Amen!
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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 nature. Romans: 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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* 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

What remarkable promises for us today as we roll the last week of October, 2018!

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!

Whatever "enemies" you face this week or whatever "mighty things" are ahead of you, the Lord's right hand will deliver you! Praise the Lord!

Have a blessed Monday!
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* Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalms 100:2
* Rejoice before the LORD your God, you, your sons and daughters... Deuteronomy 12:12

As we get ready this morning to worship the Lord in the congregation of fellow believers, let us remember these verses and the emphasis today is on gladness.

In Isaiah 35:10 we read, "...the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away."

Aren't we the "ransomed of the Lord"? Are we glad this morning? In spite of everything going on in our lives let us rejoice in His presence singing joyful songs, worshipping Him from the bottom of our hearts.

The more we worship, the happier we get, the joy of salvation will be renewed in us and no man can take that away from us. Amen!
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Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran.

When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.

There above it stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring. I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”

When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”

Early the next morning Jacob took the stone he had placed under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on top of it. He called that place Bethel, though the city used to be called Luz.

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” Genesis 28:10-22

Blessed day all! The Scripture here describes the first ever encounter of God, Jacob had in his life. When he was running all alone, fearing retaliation of his brother Esau. The God whom he had heard a mention of by his father Isaac, his grandfather Abraham, now meets him face to face!

Jacob took it to heart, made a wow, and was blessed accordingly, just as he was promised.

The same promise is given us this morning, to all of us who have gathered here in His name!

"... I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Whether we claim it as ours, what we do with it, is entirely up to us. In my case, I choose to believe! Amen!

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For our 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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Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field. Exodus 23:16

Festival of Harvest is celebrated for the first fruits of the year; Festival of Ingathering is celebrated for the last harvest of the year.

Even us who are not in agriculture field can relate to the first fruits and last fruits in terms of our finances. We can fully attribute our yields to the Lord God Almighty who gave us the strength all year long to work and benefit from the works of our hands.

Let us not let the year slip without celebrating the important feast of ingathering. A grateful heart is all that is expected of us by the Lord.

Let us give Him thanks for His many blessings. God bless you all!

Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow citizens!

NRIGirl
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Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:18

Easier said than done, you would agree- to give thanks in all circumstances. We all have something to be thankful for; but honestly can we say we are thankful for everything? Paul instructs us we should be!

There  is an illustration I had read somewhere, where everyone was asked to  bundle up their problems and throw it in a basket; and later each person  was asked to take one bundle from the basket; interestingly most of  them walked away with their original bundle. What this tells us is that  what one might frown as "problem" is nothing compared to what someone  else is going through.

Once I fell down in an airport  elevator trying to handle two toddlers by myself. Got some scratches on  my foot and felt terrible about the situation. What my little daughter -  hardly four at that time - told me, made me to think. She said, "It's  okay Mommy! It could have been worse!"

How true! Since  then I have learnt to take things in the lighter sense which has helped  me remain grateful in most circumstances - if not all, which I am striving for.

As we get ready for our annual feast of  Thanksgiving let us learn to look at our problems from a different angle  today, from an outsider's perspective; see if it is not something to be grateful for after all?!

Let me remind you once again: Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Amen!
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Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.

Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:12-14

Let us make this humble prayer of King David as our prayer also. Hidden faults vs. willful sins, two different things, one almost innocent and the other intentional; both equally sinful.

Let us give a careful thought to the words here and make it our true statement.

Amen!
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The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. Psalm 28:7

One way to learn how to pray is from seeing/listening to people of God pray. It is therefore a good idea to pay special attention to Scriptures that are prayers made by great people of God. Psalm 28 is one of King David's prayers to God Almighty, please take some time to read it today.

Prayer is no pre-written script or memorized portions of text. It comes from the heart spontaneously, revealing our inner most thoughts, correcting us in the process, and making us whole again. Prayer is our means to directly communicate with our God.

We need not have a recommendation by someone to mediate between us and the Lord. No person, animal or thing, living or dead can pass on our requests to God. It has to come from within, by ourself, to our Lord. And the best part is His ears are open to our supplications!

We read in I Peter 3:12, For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer. Psalms 145:18 says, The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. What a great promise that is!

Let us call onto Him today for all our needs. Whatever it is that bothers us let us bring it to His presence, even now around this coffee table, let us lift our burdens to Him in one accord and pray for a deliverance from whatever troubling circumstances we are in. Surely He is near to us and His ears are attentive to our prayers. Amen!

If any of you want to pray for the rest of the people here today, please write it at the comments section below. God bless you all as you continue to trust in Him.
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Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
The Lord strong and mighty,
the Lord mighty in battle.

Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory. Psalm 24: 7-10

We celebrate Palm Sunday today, remembering the day our King of Glory entered Jerusalem, fully knowing that only six days later He would be crucified. In today's Scripture we read of a Triumphant King entering a city with gates. Let us take this opportunity to check our hearts and ask this question:

Do I have any ancient doors that are shut for my King?

Barnes Notes on the Bible has this beautiful explanation on this passage:
Lift up your heads ... - The repetition here is designed to give force and emphasis to what is uttered. The response is slightly varied both times; but the same general sentiment is expressed. The design is to announce in a solemn manner that the symbol of the divine presence and majesty was about to be introduced into the place of its permanent abode, and that this was an event worthy to be celebrated; that even the gates of the city should voluntarily open themselves to admit the great and glorious King who was to reign there forever.

In Revelation 3:20 we read, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me"

Imagine our King standing at the door and knocking... Shouldn't we all open our gates for Him already?

Happy Sunday everyone! 
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Sing to the Lord a new song;
sing to the Lord, all the earth.

Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
proclaim his salvation day after day.

Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous deeds among all peoples.

For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
he is to be feared above all gods.

For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.

Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and glory are in his sanctuary.

Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
bring an offering and come into his courts.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of hisa holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;

let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;

they will sing before the Lord, for he comes,
he comes to judge the earth.

He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in his truth.

~Psalm 96
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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'.

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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The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”


Jesus's miracle of feeding the crowd of five thousand adults with five loaves of bread precedes today's Scripture. The fact that this conversation above is also mentioned in the same chapter explains how soon the disciples had forgotten the miracle and started to worry about "how to feed the crowd".

Aren't we like them too? We forget how God delivered us through certain incidents in the past and keep worrying about the future far and near. Why is it hard for us to trust that the Lord will see us through all the way? Why do we still depend on our abilities and merits and resources?

Why are we talking about having no bread? Do we still not see or understand? Are our hearts hardened? Do we have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t we remember?

Why o why?

I know it is a lot of questions to handle in one day... but let's take some time to analyze ourselves. Let us learn to look up to our Source(Jesus) which never dries out; instead of forever worrying about our low resources...

It is high time we fully trust beyond what is seen, don't you think?


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Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:13 

In the book of Joel we read of many end time prophesies and here in Chapter 2 a detailed description of an army of locusts. If you have some time today I encourage you to read the full chapter to get a glimpse of the impending danger by an invasion of locusts. It is dreadful to realize that such destruction could be caused by swarms of locusts. It is absolutely horrifying even to read.

The chapter does not end with just the warning; but goes on to explain how we can escape the ordeal. This clearly shows the love of the Lord to protect us from these calamities. In verses 12-13 we read:
“Even now,” declares the Lord,
“return to me with all your heart,
with fasting and weeping and mourning.”

Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. Joel 2:12-13

You may ask, what does rending our hearts or repenting have to do with escaping the army of locusts. The answer is in verse 32: And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 2:32 Amen!

If we are in tune with the Lord, we will be caught up in the sky when Jesus Christ returns to gather His Church before such calamities strike the earth. Praise the Lord!

We have been warned. Let us heed to it. It is time to return to the Lord with all our heart! Yes, today!
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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 He 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 His 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 you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Amen!
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“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14

Something strikes me about today's Scripture. It is a wonderful promise indeed; but it requires for us to do something. What? Actually 'not doing anything' is what we are required to do. In other words, being still is what we must do!

It is the simplest commands of all; yet we all know very well how difficult it is to obey it - especially when our situation calls for a panic or temper tantrum or a quick fix. You can't just be still when there is a roaring sea in the front and chariots of army behind, can you? Right, we can't; not without a strong faith in Him.

Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

That's why it is extremely important to know these scriptures, the Word of God, the promises already given to us. Then when the situations call for panic we will not fear; we will not despair; we will not take matters into your own hands; we will not jump to your own conclusions; we will not lean on our own understanding; we will not fight our fight!

We will stand firm and be still believing that our help comes from the Lord! And it will! Amen!
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The LORD is near to all them that call on him, to all that call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? Deuteronomy 4:7


The Lord is near to those who call on Him, those that call on Him in truth. Which makes us believe there are people who call on him not in truth. We see it all around us. Sadly for many, the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, has become a curse word, they use the name of the Lord in vain.

Let us be careful not to use the Lord's name in vain. Let us regard Him when we call upon His name. Then we will know He is near. He will hear our cry when we call Him in truth, when we actually mean it!

Keep calling the name of the Lord in truth, to keep Him near - how about that?! 

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near.  Isaiah 55:6

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8 

Be blessed everyone. Enjoy the 'Son'day!
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How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

How long will my enemy triumph over me?
Look on me and answer, Lord my God.

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.

~ Psalm 13

A perfect example of how King David was like every one of us. Again, a perfect example of how King David was unlike most of us.

He was like us with his despair; yet he was unlike us in his ability to rejoice in his despair.

He starts this psalm in agony but ends it with such joy.

His questions seem like he is doubting God; but the answers come right back with such assurance of his salvation.

He was hurting, on the verge of giving up, yet not quite. He had mastered the art of quieting his soul time and time again when situations called for an uproar.

King David is indeed a great example to learn many things from.

Let us pray for such a heart - a heart like King David's. A heart that trusts in God's unfailing love, even though the human nature of despair overtakes us. A heart that praises more and complains less. A heart that always seeks the Lord. A heart that is forever connected and in tune with the Maker. A heart that claims to be a friend of God. Precious.

God bless you folks! Enjoy the weekend.
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Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory. Psalm 115:1

There appears to be a hurriedness about King David's words here; as if he had the slightest inclination to take some pride but immediately decided against it.

Or it could be that someone went on and on praising the king and he gives all that glory to God Himself. Either way we can understand that his focus was on giving glory to God.

Is that our focus too? When someone praises us for something, do we take it with a "thank you" or do we say, "it's all because of the Lord" thus giving glory to God's name?

When the slightest pride shows up on our accomplishment do we feed on it or rush to eliminate the pride and give glory to God alone?

How often do we say, "Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name be the glory..."?
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But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. I John 2:27

Yesterday we saw we can be only holy if we abide in Him. Today is the follow up on how to abide in Him.

As today's Scripture suggests when we receive the Holy Spirit and He lives within us, He will teach us what is true. Here comes a touchy subject that is a cause for so many controversies/denominations in the Church today.

Who and What is this Holy Spirit? How do we receive Him? Is it necessary for the Christian walk? so many questions rush to our minds. Let us go to the Scriptures to get our answers as there is no place better than the Word of God for answers to our questions.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit is the third face of God's Trinity. Just like how God the Father is real and how God our Lord Jesus Christ is real, God the Holy Spirit is also real. Now, you may ask how we can even understand that?

It can overwhelm us if we try to dig deeper and understand every details of it; but I believe it can be explained much simpler. We as humans have a trinity - body, mind and soul. Just like that God has a Trinity - Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

In John 14:26 Jesus is preparing his disciples for His ascension to heaven saying: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

Now to get back to our original discussion today, if we have that Counselor living within us, He will teach us the truth and help us live a holy life just as He is holy.
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* 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 He 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!

Tomorrow we will see how to abide in Him...
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The Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” Genesis 4:9


Yesterday we learned about God's question to Adam: Where are you? Adam accepts his mistake though in a roundabout finger-pointing way.

But now Cain has killed his brother Abel and when God asks a question in a similar fashion: Where is your brother Abel we see that Cain has absolutely no remorse. No finger pointing is involved this time around. He is adamant and has a "so what?" attitude. He lies to God saying, "I don't know" and then quickly questions back the Lord as if to cover up his lie, "Am I my brother's keeper?". How sad is that?

It was not an accident that Cain killed Abel. It was premeditated; planned out well in advance; it was a calculated strike. We see that the sin has now advanced from Adam's case, to much more than mere disobedience. Jealousy, hatred, pride, anger, disregard for God are some of the other sins that were bundled into his action. Still no remorse. This clearly shows that Cain is farther away from the Lord than his father Adam was when he committed sin. Now we understand why sin is fatal.

Coming back to the question, where is your/my brother? Do we know where our brothers and sisters are? Do we know of their well being in Christ? Are they in the Lord? If not, what are we doing about it? Are we helping them grow in faith or worst have we "killed" any by our words or deeds?

To answer Cain's question: Yes, we as believers definitely are our brother's keepers!

Where is your brother?
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LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:9

Let us go back to the Garden of Eden for a minute. It was such a paradise and Adam and Eve had everything they needed, they didn't have to work hard, food was readily available as the earth was yielding its fruits in abundance, the animals were tame & friendly, birds obeyed to their call, they were in their honey moon with the least of care and best of all God was their friend. He stopped by to enjoy a conversation with them every day...

Suddenly everything turns upside down. They have had the forbidden fruit and are running around to hide from God. They are running away from Him as far as possible. They are overcome by guilt, shame, agony so much that they didn't have the strength to face their creator anymore.

That's when they hear His voice, "Where are you?" Definitely God knew where they were. Why then He asked?

Wesley's Notes says:
This enquiry after Adam may be looked upon as a gracious pursuit in order to his recovery. If God had not called to him to reduce him, his condition would have been as desperate as that of fallen angels.
Aren't you glad He asked? Our Lord extends the same question to all of us today: "Where are you?" It is important to analyze our selves every now and then to make sure we are on the right track - walking towards Him and not away from Him.

Are we in His bosom enjoying His nearness or are we far away from Him filled with guilt, shame, sorrow and agony?

Have we acknowledged and answered to His call? Where are you?

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1Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
10He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
13He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
16The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
19He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
20You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
22The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
23Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.
24How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
26There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
31May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.

~ Psalm 104
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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; has 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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* Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5
* A man's spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14

What these verses tell us is that mighty kings too felt downcast and crushed at times like the rest of us. Knowingly or unknowingly we get pulled into a broken spirit from time to time; which is hard to avoid.

When things don't work out, when the bills are mounting but resources have dried up, when a loved one's health gets affected, it is only natural to get low.

But what we do about it is what makes us different. Let's see how King David handled it:

* He puts his hope in God.
* He keeps praising the Lord.
* He acknowledges the Lord as his Savior.
* He sings praises for His Holy name

Let us learn from his example. Let us put our hope in our Lord. He will fill us all over again with His joy of salvation in no time. Absolutely no doubt about it!
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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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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!
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I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:4

“‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. Jeremiah 2:2

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold... Matthew 24:12

As much as we don't want to admit, there is a complaint against us this morning - that we don't love the Lord enough - not as much as we used to.

When love becomes cold in any relationship, it doesn't take too long for total disaster of 'growing apart'. Growing apart from God's love would be a tragedy in the real sense.

What do we do about it? How do we get back to our first love? Who can tell us what need to be done? Let us not panic. We have the answers for our questions in the Scriptures itself. Let us look at a few:

* Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30
* Let those who love the LORD hate evil. Psalm 97:10
* He who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13
* Get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. James 1:21
* Rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. I Peter 2:1
* Each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:25
* Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. I Peter 1:22

As you can see, loving the Lord involves a total re hauling of our inner being, a complete makeover if you will - getting rid of the unwanted, bringing in the must-have's, washing, cleaning, scrubbing, loving the good, hating the evil, purifying our hearts, obeying the truth, humbling ourselves, accepting the word, the list goes on... as we read more of the Scriptures.

Let us make it our priority to love the Lord - as much as it is expected of us. Let us get back to our former love - the way we first loved Him!



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I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Revelation 2:14-15

It was not my intention to share these Scriptures today; I truly believe it is from the Holy Spirit for those who need to hear.

The church in Pergamum had many good things about them - they remained true to His name, they did not renounce the faith in Christ.

Yet, they went wrong in who they were associating with - there were people who believed in idols and those who followed false teaching, among them.

So, whom are we associating with today? Do we stand firm in our faith that Jesus is the only Way? Or do we reason saying there may be more than one "ways"?  Do we know the absolute Truth from the Scriptures or waver at every new "doctrine" out there? Do we stay clear of idols and sexual immorality that are justified by the false teachers? Are we sensitive to the Word of correction the Holy Spirit reminds us about or ignore it and carry on our lives in sin?

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

Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do. I Peter 1:15

We got the message; let us be holy!
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 So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

~ Daniel 6:16-23

We too serve the same Lord, don't we? Daniel's God is our God, is He not?

Do you still doubt He can deliver you from the "lion's den" you are currently in? Remember this: He will send His angel to rescue you out! Amen!

Let us continue to serve Him and Him alone. Be blessed. Enjoy the weekend.

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Sara Grove's song "How is it between us" is one of my favorites. Sure, go ahead click here to turn it on!

Every now and then things get too busy in our lives that we take a little too long to catch up with the Lord. Hours, days, weeks could slip by so fast without a moment of pause.

When was the last time you had a conversation with the Lord? I am not talking about a quick customary "hi and bye" kind of conversation. I mean a true heart-felt conversation; a one-on-one, where you put down your guard and pretense and come to His presence - just the two of you - you and Him?!

How is it between you and the Lord? How is it between you both? How is it? When did you talk to Him last, and what has happened since?

Did you thank him for the autumn leaves? Did you tell Him about your youngest child? Did you laugh out with Him about the comment she made? How about the birds you see, the coffee you smell, the clothes you tried, the new perfume you got, does He know what you feel about it all?

Did you complain about the long commute it took only to realize it could have been worse? Did you inquire about the new pimple you spot? Did you share your fears about your aging Dad? Did you plead your case to lose some weight?! Does He know you love the clouds?

You know, these catching up could also be counted towards prayer as you are communicating with the Lord?! He is at the table, waiting for you to join; would you? could you? Join Him too? Hope you do...

Happy Friday folks! Love you all in Christ Jesus! <3 p="">
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 Today's reading: Proverbs 20 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Gold there is, and rubies in abundance, but lips that speak knowledge are a rare jewel" 20:15

A beautiful cross reference is found in Job: "Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies." Job 28:18

We get the point; don't we? Wisdom is much more precious than precious metals and gems.

Let us seek for wisdom like we would seek for treasures.

Have a blessed day!
NRIGirl
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Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, As in the day of Massah in the wilderness... Psalm 95:7-8

So, how exactly does God speak to us? For some God speaks to them in visions, dreams and even audibly. But for most part, God speaks to us through His Scriptures - the Holy Bible! The Holy Spirit residing in us, will make us conscious to specific Scriptures, as we read it. That's why it is vital to read the Word of God on a regular basis, with an expectation to hear from Him.

We would wish He was "louder" at times. But it is against His very nature to force an entry in our lives. He simply knocks. Gently provokes. Quietly talks. If our hearts are sensitive to His call and ears are attentive to His voice , we will open at once, obey immediately & listen patiently.

True, sometimes we will hear what we don't want to hear. That's when most of us suffer the "hardening of the heart" syndrome. We twist and turn and make things work out the way we had intended it to, in the first place. We come up with logical reasoning as to why we can't do what the Lord prompts us to do. We find excuses to downplay His voice - the gentle reminder from His Scriptures.

But today, if you hear His voice, please do not harden your hearts, as you have done several times in the past...

Today we will obey!
NRIGirl
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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 1 John 1:7

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O LORD. Psalm 89:15

Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. Isaiah 2:5

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." John 8:12

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Matthew 5:14

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Beautiful Scriptures! Definitely enlightening! :)

Light is defined in the dictionary as "the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible". Let it be our prayer that we become the natural agent that stimulates sight and make things visible for those still in darkness around us.

More importantly let us put away traces of any deeds of darkness that may be hidden in us...

Blessed Tuesday!
NRIGirl
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Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LordI will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18

Ask any believer he/she will share with you the times when his/her prayers did not get answered (the way they expected that is). What happens then to our faith?! Do we continue the Spiritual walk or find it an excuse to stray?

Here Habakkuk makes a strong statement which attests to his faith during difficult times. Of course his hope is that the fig trees would bud and there would be plenty of grapes in the vines, the olives would not fail and his fields would produce food; he absolutely wishes for his sheep to multiply.

But what happens if his desired outcome is not met? Will he be upset with the Lord? Will he be heartbroken and depressed? No! Absolutely NOT!! In fact he says he would continue to rejoice in the Lord and that he would be joyful. Amen!

In other words his joy is not based on external circumstances but comes from within. Irrespective of the outcome of his yield he will rejoice in the Lord!

Didn't Job have similar take on life? When he was bombarded with all those calamities including loss of his precious children, he said:

The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21

We are familiar with the fiery furnace incident in Daniel 3rd chapter; in verses 16-18 we read:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:16-18

What is our story? What material our JOY is made of - external or internal?