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In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit. Isaiah 27:6

This is a prophetic verse about Israel which has already come true since the late 1900s. Israel which was barren for many years has been reestablished and the agriculture industry is in full bloom, flourishing with exports to all over the world.

Also, Jesus Christ - the seed that was sown in Israel has been yielding fruits in all corners of the world! That is in the literal and spiritual sense of the verse.

But what is in there for you and me?

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

Several times in the past we have discussed each Fruit of the Spirit in detail. For ease of use here's the links to our discussions on each fruit to refresh your memories.

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

Have a fruitful wednesday!
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Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. Psalm 51:7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why not make it our prayer too this Monday morning? 

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If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,

then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” Isaiah 58:13-14

Who doesn't like to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of  Jacob. No one.After all that's one thing the world runs after.

For God's children (us) the Scripture tells us the "how to". It is simple. Honor the day of the Lord! Let us not get into arguments as to which day is the Sabbath. Whichever day you choose as Sabbath, honor it for the Lord - that is if you want to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of Jacob.

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 





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“It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

~Matthew 5:31-32

"For I hate divorce!" says the LORD, the God of Israel. "To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife." (New Living Translation)

~Malachi 2:16 
The message is clear for someone who needed to hear...
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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." 
1 Samuel 7:12

Throughout the Scriptures we read of several people designating stones as monuments for remembering the deliverence 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 how about us? Do we have monuments that remind us of God's grace in our lives? Sure why not, birthdays, anniversaries, years of experience, number of children, all are nothing but reminders of God's grace in our lives.

But then 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. Let us praise the Lord for helping us thus far!

It's Friday folks! We did it! I mean with God's help we did it! :)

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You may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1

Those who fear him lack nothing Psalm 34:9

Those who give to the poor will lack nothing. Proverbs 28:27

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10


We have a promise given us for today and the days to come, that we will lack nothing. We will lack no good thing. Praise the Lord!

Let us cherish this promise holding on to the Scriptures shared over the coffee table this morning.

May God bless you! Have a blessed Thursday!

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O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. Psalm 51:15
I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. Exodus 4:15

May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. Psalm 119:71

Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.... Ephesians 6:19

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Proverbs 31:8

Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proberbs 31:9

Let us pray:

 Dear Father! Thank you Lord for this new day. Thank you for giving us a good night's rest Lord. Thank you for your grace for today Lord.

Please open our mouths today Lord. Rebuke every bondage of our mouth Lord. Rebuke the spirit of anger, pride, depression and vengeance Lord. Wash us Lord. Cleanse us Lord. Fill our mouths with your praise Lord.Fill our mouths with joyful singing Lord. Fill our mouths with words of confidence, encouragement and compliments Lord.

Please open our mouths so that we can speak up for the destitute among us Lord. Open our mouth so that we can defend the poor Lord. Open our mouths to build relationships Lord. Open our mouths to share our testimonies Lord. Open our mouths so that we can proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ Lord.

Fill us once again Lord, with your joy,peace, love and compassion Lord. Refill us Lord. Use us for your glory Jesus.

In Jesus Christ's most precious name we pray, amen.
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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30


The reward of a gentle spirit and the fear of the Lord is wealth and honor and life. In Proverbs 15:33 we read, The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Now, the question is How to develop this fear of the Lord? The answer is given in Proverbs 2:1-5:

"My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you, 
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding, 
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding, 
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God." 

Oh! That's a long list you might say, but if you look at it closer you will see that it all originates from accepting His words and storing up His commands within us. It all sums up to reading and understanding the Word of God - the BIBLE!

If we were to follow these beauty regimens diligently our Lord Jesus Christ will look at us and say, "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." Song of Solomon 4:7

I would love to hear that; I am sure you would too!
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All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7

There are specific mention of women of beauty in the Bible, such as Sarah, Abigail, Rachel, Tamar, Queen Vashti, etc. To be beautiful is in fact every woman's desire. We take special care to look beautiful.

But are we really beautiful? What is the beauty that is expected of us by our Lord? Let's do a quick check based on the Scriptures:

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
I Peter 3:3-4


Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

How beautiful is our inner self? Do we have the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is of great worth in God's sight? Do we fear or in other words regard or respect the Lord?

If the answer is yes, then we are indeed beautiful! If the answer is no, then we better start on the "beauty regimen" the details of which we will discuss tomorrow...
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Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven so that you have to ask, “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?” No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:11-20

The Scripture clearly explains ultimately what it is that we must do to obey the Lord.

There is no long list like you would imagine. It all boils down to a single command we must follow and a single thing we must avoid at all cost.

We must:  Love the Lord our God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees, and laws. Period.

We must not: Be drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them. Period.

As simple as that. Is it hard to follow?


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No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me," declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17

I love promises; especially those that end with 'decalres the Lord' as it is like a 'certified promise' if you will.

Thus the promise above is a certified promise for the servants of the Lord. If we are the servants of the Lord then no weapon forged against us will prevail. Not only that, we will refute every tongue that accuses us.

How? By sending back a stronger weapon? Or by fighting back with stronger words? No, not at all!

If we are true servants of the Lord, we will continue to serve the Lord and He will fight our battles and argue our cases for us.

This is our heritage; let's inherit it!
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No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. Isaiah 62:4

Anyone here whose name is Deserted, who lives in the land of Desolate? Well, this message is for you. The Lord will call you Hephzibah as He delights in you. Your land will be Married, no longer Desolate!

Praise the Lord.

The name Hephzibah equals us to the Bride of Christ, as the Bridegroom rejoices over His bride. Just imagine, the King of kings and Lord of lords calling you Hephzibah - my beloved! Isn't that absolutely overwhelming?! 

Indeed His love for us is overwhelming. And soon we will be married to Christ Himself. What a privilege!

Let us therefore get rid of our feelings of self pity, depression & doubts and celebrate knowing that His love for us is all the more stronger.

Have a blessed day Hephzibah! Let us remain in His love.
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Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
and the moon and the stars grow dark,
and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
and the grasshopper drags itself along
and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
and mourners go about the streets.
Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
and the spirit returns to God who gave it.
 ~ Ecclesiastes 12:1-7 

Have a blessed Thursday!

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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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Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong 1 Kings 3:9

A very interesting conversation goes on between God and King Solomon in the book of I Kings 3rd chapter. Agreed, it was a dream but we all know the dream very much came true.

God tells King Solomon to ask for anything he wants and very clearly, of course very cleverly, King Solomon asks for a discerning heart to govern and to distinguish between right and wrong. What was God's response to that? God gave him what he had asked for plus everything else he didn't dare asking for. Isn't that amazing!

If God is to appear in our dreams tonight, what will be our plea? What do we consider as the most important thing we need?

Are we seeking for a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong? Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. If we have the fear of the Lord in our heart, we already have a 'seed of wisdom' in us. We only need to ask for more to cultivate that 'seed'.

Is asking for wisdom part of our daily prayer? We will discuss the "how to" tomorrow...
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Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Show me, LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4

My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy. Job 9:25

My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Job 7:6

We don't need much proof that our days run faster than ever. We see signs of it everywhere. The mirror gives it away every time we see our reflection in it.

Didn't we just begin the year? Already we are in June and before we know it, it will be July, August, September and then the year end!!

Job and King David felt the same way from time to time. We hear them mentioning it repeatedly in Scriptures. It is interesting how they both focus their attention back to the Lord amidst their panic.

Let us too do the same. As we become more conscious of our fleeting days let us become more appreciative of the Lord's providence and more aware of His favor on us.

His favor would be a full fountain of our future joys. It would be a sufficient balance to our former griefs. Instead of wasting our precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, let us seek the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct. (Ref: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary)



Have a blessed Tuesday!
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* The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit Proverbs 18:21
* For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned Mathew 12:37
* When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
* The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  James 3:6
* This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

Enough said I believe. Let's heed to what the Holy Spirit is prompting us through these Scriptures...
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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. Joel 2:26
* Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood Isaiah 54:4

Dignity is an important motivation. When we think our dignity is lost or when we fear disgrace we lose all hope in life. However if our pride is in our Lord, we will not be put to shame.

It may seem like disgrace temporarily but in the long run we can look back and see that it was not really a disgrace and that His grace was sufficient for us. Amen!

Enjoy your weekend!
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Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

As you know we have been discussing Psalm 37:3-8 for the past week and today is a wrap up on the portion. How to refrain from anger?

Anger is an emotion related to one's psychological interpretation of having been offended, wronged or denied and a tendency to undo that by retaliation.

Attitude behind anger - You owe me!

God's anger is different from man's anger. God's anger is moral, holy and is about the righteousness of God. Man's anger is selfish, immoral and sinful - someone will have to pay.

Issues of anger - ill health, depression, paranoid, suspicious of others, judgmental, messes up our relationship with people and ultimately God Almighty.

Cure for anger: Forgiveness

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Colossians 3:5-8

No one owes us anything - not even an apology. We owe it to ourselves to be anger-free. That's what the Scripture tells us. If we are calling ourselves children of God, believers, would you carry an offense rest of your life, or would you rather forgive it and go anger free?

Forgive! Shall we?

Psalm 86:15 - But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

Ephesians 4:26-27 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.



Man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:20.

With that we wrap up our series on 'Instructions for a godly life'. 

Happy Friday & Happy June 2018!
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Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

"Be still and know that I am Lord" Psalm 46:10

The question is How to be still?

A well known verse from the Bible, yet one we all struggle with. When situation calls for a panic we start running wild, trying to figure out a solution for the issue at hand, instead of submitting it at the Lord's feet and doing things in accordance with His divine guidance.

Only when all our "resolutions" fail we come to the Lord - as our last resort. All the while He was there saying, "Be Still"!

Only when we are still we can know that He is Lord

For example when a child gets hurt with a thorn of some kind, we as parent or even a doctor can't help much unless the child calms down and allows the adult to intervene. In the same way, our Father Lord asks us to be still; so that He can intervene and take care of our pain and suffering. Why is it hard for us to do?

Let us make it part of our prayer going forward: "Dear Lord, Please teach us to be still so that we can see your glory. In Jesus' name - Amen"

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Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6

Amen! What a great promise for us this morning. In fact, I believe this is a direct message for me as much as for the rest of you around the coffee table.

The world around us is tough. It speaks foul language. It hates the godly. It ridicules the righteous and deny justice to their cause. On the other hand, it supports the ungodly, goes hand in hand with the foul mouthed and loves their ways. It is difficult to survive such a world on a daily basis - almost impossible on our own!

That's when promises like these encourage our spirits and speaks directly to our souls. It is an assurance that the Lord support our righteous cause; and bring us justice like the bight sun. Just as bright and powerful the sun is at noon, everyone will see us shine through!

However, it all starts with a commitment on our side - to commit to His ways and trust in Him. Which then brings us to our today's discussion: How to commit our ways to the Lord?

When Moses summoned all Israelites and gave them the ten commandments from the Lord, he had given an important instruction which holds true for us even to this day:

Be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Deuteronomy 5:32

King Solomon shares a wise word: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3.

He repeats in Proverbs 3:6, In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Yet again He says, in Proverbs 4:27, Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

The Bible is full of instructions on how we can continually commit our ways to the Lord. We only need to read it and apply it in our lives - with a conscious effort.

Then the Lord will bring forth our justice as bright as the noonday sun and our righteousness will shine like the dawn!.

May God bless each one you. Love you all in Christ. 
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Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

We all wish our desires or dreams would come true, don't we? Well, the Bible assures us of a sure fire way of getting our wishes granted; which is to delight ourselves in the Lord!

Let us discuss How to delight in the Lord?

To delight in the Lord means to delight in the things of the Lord. We will look at Scripture examples of things that we can delight in that are of the Lord.:

* If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14

* I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Psalm 119:174

* Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

* He will delight in the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:3

* Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands. Psalm 112:1

* 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... Isaiah 61:10

* My soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation.
Psalm 35:9

Enough said I believe. The Scripture clearly tells us how all we can delight in the Lord. When we do as it says, all the desires of our heart will be granted!

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Now that we know the secrets for our wishes to be granted, why not give it a try?!
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Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3

We are meditating on the same Scripture portion for the last few days, Psalm 37:3-8, focusing on specific instructions each day. Today's discussion is: How to dwell in the land?

 In verse 27 of the same Psalm we have the answer; it says: "Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever."

Apostle John insists in his letter to Gaius, "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." 3 John 1:11

For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it. Proverbs 2:21

"Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation; There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling. "  Psalms 91:9-10

King David sings, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6

Can we sing the same song? If we turn from evil and do good, then we will dwell in the land forever and of course, sing the same song!
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Trust in the Lord and do good. Psalm 37:3

"Trust in the Lord!" is a common phrase we have often heard in sermons, Scriptures and from family and friends. Sure enough it is vital for our Christian walk. The question is: How to trust in the Lord?

Looking up the word 'trust' in the dictionary we see:

trust/trəst/

Noun:
Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Verb:
Believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.
Synonyms:
nounconfidence - faith - credit - reliance - belief
verbbelieve - confide - rely - credit - hope - entrust

So, to trust in the Lord actually means to firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of the Lord! The key is "firmly believe".

The more we know about someone the more we can develop a trust in him/her; developing trust in the Lord is no different from that. We need to spend more time with the Lord, learning more about Him.

The best way to learn how is from examples; what better examples than the great men of faith who have often professed about their trust in the Lord. Let's see a few examples below:

* Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
* Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD. Psalm 4:5
* Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
* He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3
* Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4
* "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7

Kings and Prophets don't just use empty words. Each words uttered by them are of great value and given utmost importance.

If such mighty men confess they firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of the Lord, than their mighty chariots or fast running horses or their great wealth or fame or any of the obvious things, how much more we ordinary folks need to trust in the Lord?!


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Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.  Psalm 37:3-8

Today's Scripture portion is loaded with instructions, for many aspects of life. Each verse is crisp and clear delivering direct message from the Lord! It may be worth spending a few days to discuss each one in detail.

Please stay tuned for the rest of the week as we discuss the following in detail:

1. How to trust in the Lord?
2. How to dwell in the land?
3. How to delight in the Lord?
4. How to commit our ways to the Lord?
5. How to be still?
6. How to refrain from anger?

Have a blessed day! God bless you all!
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Even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. Zechariah 9:12

Amen! What a beautiful promise from the Lord for us this morning! I am so glad for all of you who didn't miss it over the weekend. May this very promise come true in each one of our lives.

In Isaiah we read, "Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs." Isaiah 61:7

Amen! Such powerful promises we have heard this morning over the coffee table. Let us pause, take a moment to let it sink in! Let us proclaim the promise by our mouth; please repeat this after me:

"Instead of my shame I will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace I will rejoice in my inheritance; and so I will inherit a double portion in my land, and everlasting joy will be mine."

One more time:

"Instead of my shame I will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace I will rejoice in my inheritance; and so I will inherit a double portion in my land, and everlasting joy will be mine."

Amen! It will be so!
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"You, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.

I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.

Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.

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.

Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

~ Isaiah 41:8-14

This is the Lord's promise for us this morning. For those who choose to believe it will be ye and amen!
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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’

Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

~Matthew 7:21-23

A sorry state indeed! And we definitely do not want to be among them...
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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

God bless you and have a godly Tuesday!
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"Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before." Joel 2:23

Joel 2nd chapter is a beautiful chapter and filled with beautiful promises. Please read it if you have a minute today.

I want to leave you with just the verse today:

"Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before." 

Have a blessed day!
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“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.’
~Matthew 6:5-14

Amen!

Is this our daily prayer?

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In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.’” 

Then the word of the  Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 

Now this is what the  Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty.

“Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.” 

Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of  the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the  Lord.

Then Haggai, the  Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the  Lord. So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.

I am not sure, why of all Scriptures, I am encouraged to share this for today's coffee. I can sense it is mostly for me but believe it is a specific message for someone else too who needs to hear. While at it, let us all examine ourselves. 

Are we causing our own draught by not building the house of the Lord? Can our homes be called a prayer house? Is there praise and worship and thanksgiving going up from our hearts non-stop? Are we actively taking part in building His kingdom? Are we finding opportunities to serve in our local church?

As the Word says, let us give careful thought to our ways and make honoring the Lord our #1 priority.

Let us focus our attention on building His kingdom. God bless you all!

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Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

If you have the time today please click here to read from verses 25 thru 35.

It makes perfect sense; does it not? Yet, we run after the wordly things first - putting aside "seeking His kingdom and His righteousness" as the very last item in our day's agenda as if to say, "if we get to it well and good; if not we can skip it, no big deal".

Then we worry why we can't make the ends meet or whatever happened to our joy and toss and turn through sleepless nights, worrying more and more about how to make things work - still forgetting to seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

When all else fail we get back to our senses and come back to Him. But by then our need is so great we can't really seek after His kingdom but only beg and plead for our rescue. That's why our prayers are always like, "give me, give me, give me" rather than "thank you! thank you! thank you!"

Now, let me challenge you all - for the next couple of days, as soon as you wake up, before you even do anything I want you to sit at His feet - seeking His face, His kingdom and His righteousness. When you have raised up enough thank you's remember your needs, submit it at His feet and go about your day's business. Do this for a week and let me know if indeed the promise worked in your life or not...

Enjoy the Friday!

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For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

Apostle Paul was zealous in all he did. As a persecutor, he had a zeal to eradicate the followers of Jesus Christ. When he met the Lord though, he became zealous for spreading the Gospel.

As Saul he was ready to kill; as Paul, he was ready and willing to die.

His strong passion for the Lord Jesus Christ is keenly evident in his statement above. He persuades the reader (in this case, the Church in Rome) that nothing can ever separate him from the love of God. He turned out to be the greatest evangelist ever.

In fact, Paul's earnest enthusiasm in spreading the gospel of Christ has made his name revered wherever the Christian religion is known.  His writings make up much of the New Testament of the Bible.

But none of the fame or suffering stood between him and the Lord. Paul held true to his statement through many persecutions he suffered, even to his very death.

He writes in Romans 8:18, "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

The question remains: Are we zealous for the Lord? Can we make a similar statement about our love of God?
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Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

"Be still and know that I am Lord" Psalm 46:10

The question is How to be still?

A well known verse from the Bible, yet one we all struggle with. When situation calls for us to apply the Scripture, we panic, tart running wild, trying to figure out a solution for the issue at hand, instead of submitting it at the Lord's feet and doing things in accordance with His divine guidance.

Only when all our "solutions" fail we come to the Lord - as our last resort. All the while He was there saying, "Be Still"!

Only when we are still we can know that He is Lord

For example when a child gets hurt with a thorn of some kind, we as parent or even a doctor can't help much unless the child calms down and allows the adult to intervene. In the same way, our Father Lord asks us to be still; so that He can intervene and take care of our pain and suffering. Why is it hard for us to do?

Let us make it part of our prayer going forward: "Dear Lord, Please teach us to be still so that we can see your glory. In Jesus' name - Amen"

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
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Yesterday we discussed that we must wait on the Lord before decision making. Today's discussion is on How do we know when the wait is over?

It is a good question, but the wrong motive. It clearly shows how impatient we are already.

Having said that, the answer to the question is that the wait is never over, until the coming of the Lord!!

"Wait a minute, that can't be? We need to make decisions as part of our daily lives and we can't wait forever until eternity", you say. I agree.

For day to day life, we wait for assurance from the Lord; making sure we have taken the matter to God in prayer and petition, get a complete peace of mind, sometimes an assurance with a Scripture portion (Word of God), mostly a calm attitude resulting from being led by the Holy Spirit. That's how we know we have the answer from the Lord for the matters at hand.

However, our wait on the Lord is never really over. Each day, each minute we ought to be waiting and depending on the Lord knowing clearly each moment is His precious gift to us and we make it through each day only by His mercy and grace.

I know the answer is disappointing, but that is what the Scripture tells us:

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! James 5:7-9

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25-16



Have a blessed Tuesday!
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They that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

'Waiting on the Lord' is a frequently mentioned term among christians. But what really does Waiting on the Lord mean?

Looking up the thesaurus for 'wait' we have the following:

Definition: pause, rest

Synonyms: abide, anticipate, await, bide, bide one's time, cool it, dally, delay, expect, fill time, foresee, hang around, hang onto, hang out, hold back, hold everything, hold on, lie in wait, lie low, linger, look for, look forward to, mark time, put on hold, remain, save it, sit tight, sit up for, stall, stand by, stay, stay up for, stick around, sweat it, tarry, watch

Antonyms: carry out, do, forge, forward, go, go ahead

So, to say we must wait on the Lord implies we have to abide in the Lord, expect from the Lord, delay our own decision making, linger in His presence, tarry, hold on, look forward to His answer, stand by for His deliverance etc. In addition it also means not to carry out things in our whim or fancy, not to go ahead with our own conclusions, not to move forward without hearing from Him etc.

Wait on the Lord, wait at His presence, bring it to His feet, raise it to His hearing, tarry for a definite answer from Him on all matters concerning. The business idea you have, the marriage proposal at hand, the job offer you like, for all things big and small, pause, consult with the Lord, wait on Him and then do it according to His will. Don't move an inch before you have heard from Him. Do not proceed!

Pause. Pray. Listen. Act.

Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4

How do you know when the wait is over? We will discuss that tomorrow; please stay tuned...

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Happy Sunday morning! Just thought we can enjoy some music for a change. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did... Suggested reading for today: Ezekiel 47

It is hard to understand if Ezekiel is talking about a literal river or as some people interpret it, a symbolic river. To tell you the truth I believe it is a literal river which is going to change part of the dead sea into fresh water. How it will come about, I have no clue, but since the Word of God says it will come true, I believe it will!

Google search doesn't reveal much which makes me wonder why, but I am sure God is in the works however hard man tries to keep Him under covers. His words are Ye and Amen!

As we listen to the song here, let us believe for the spiritual river of God in our lives today!



Enjoy the Sunday!

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"Give thanks to Him... Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever" Psalm: 136:23

I am sure we all have experienced lows in our lives sometime or other. It could have been a health condition or unhappiness or joblessness or something else that we can all relate to.

Those were the days when help wasn't near; we were not sure whom to run to, what to do, how to manage. Faith was being tested to a great extent. Friends were rare and we were at the lowest of our lows.

But God remembered us! Our faith was restored & our joy was renewed.

Now, let us go back in time to see how God remembered us in our low estate - just scanning it all in our minds - and thank Him for that. Let's share our testimonies on how God led us through certain hardships, with our friends, family and especially our children. Let us also be kind to those who might be in dire situations like we once were and help the best way we can...

For some of us, may be these are the lowly days... Our Lord remembers you as we speak - He has not forgotten you! What more proof we need than looking back this past 4 months of the "New Year 2018" and see how His grace has been sufficient for us?!

Let us remember to thank the Lord who remember(ed) us in our low estate!

Have a memorable Saturday!

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"I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth when I restore your fortunes before your very eyes," says the LORD. Zephaniah 3:20

The problem with us believers is that we are sometimes hesitant to claim certain promises as our own. Some even dismiss it as from the past, for certain people, at specific times, within certain context, etc.

True, all Scriptures were written in some context, however these are 'living and enduring word of God' (I Peter 1:23) making it true for all generations.

Here's further explanation on that by Apostle Paul: For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 1:20


As the children of God, born of Christ, washed by His blood, these promises are ours to claim as our own! What a privilege!

Why then is it hard to believe that He will restore our fortune and give us honor and praise among the peoples of the earth? Let's shake off any doubt and claim it as our own; shall we?

In any specific area in our lives that feels like a failure, let us claim this promise and pray that He restores our fortune.

Happy Friday folks!

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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 says 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 Thursday!
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Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Today's Scripture is the chief commandment in the Law of the Lord. How many of us can assure that we follow it just as it says.

Do we love the Lord, with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, with a superlative love, above everyone else, with the whole of our hearts, with a fervency of our spirits, with such sincerity of our souls, with every little strength we have?

Well then; you rock!

But for those who are not so sure, let us take a pause.

If God is not your first love, who else is? If it is not possible for you to devote your heart, mind and soul to God, who/what has hold of your being? What prevents you from getting closer to God?

Is there anything you can do about it this year? This month? Today?

Is there some way you can show Him that you do love Him above all else?

Can we help in anyway we can? Please share...
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How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,

who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
“Your God reigns!”
Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices;
together they shout for joy.

When the Lord returns to Zion,
they will see it with their own eyes.

Burst into songs of joy together,
you ruins of Jerusalem,
for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.

The Lord will lay bare his holy arm
in the sight of all the nations,
and all the ends of the earth will see
the salvation of our God.

Depart, depart, go out from there!
Touch no unclean thing!
Come out from it and be pure,
you who carry the articles of the Lord’s house.

But you will not leave in haste
or go in flight;
for the Lord will go before you,
the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

~ Isaiah 52:7-12
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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.

His mercies are new every morning. Let us praise Him with a grateful heart for securing our lot and for being our portion. Amen!
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* Love one another. As I have loved you. John 13:34
* Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other Ephesians 4:32
* Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Colossians 3:13
* Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Romans 12:10
* Encourage one another and build each other up. I Thessalonians 5:11
* Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

The Scripture calls for it repeatedly (as we see in the above verses) to be right in our relationships with one another. Doing so however is really tough. Relationships are complicated; no denying that.

May be when we were children it was possible for us to love all unconditionally. But over the years as we get older, day by day there is a subtle change in us; keeping us away from friends/family members/in-laws/neighbors/church members/strangers who are not in tune with us.

We make every effort to stay clear of further bonding. We drift aloof and indifferent from their company, which of course we can justify from every possible angle. But the question is: Are we okay in our relationship with God then?

We would like to answer a beaming "YES!" But won't we be fooling ourselves if we did?! In the coming days over the coffee table let us wait to hear from the Lord to lead us in the paths of righteousness.

Let us look forward to rebuilding our relationships with one another, in Christ. Stay tuned. God bless you all!

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"As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my Joy may be in you and that your Joy may be complete." John 15:9-11

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

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

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

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

"Dear Lord, we come at your presence rejoicing in the joy of our salvation Lord. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sin and for the sins of other believers in Christ who have joined me around this coffee table today Lord. Yet there are some of us who are not quite sure of this joy of salvation Lord. Prepare their hearts Lord; open their eyes Lord. Speak to them Lord. Guide them Lord. Help them understand you have died for their sins too Lord. Help them see that they are free indeed Lord. Bless them with the joy of your salvation Lord - right at this minute Lord. We praise and glorify your name this morning Lord. You alone be glorified! May all the glory, honor and praise be to you alone Lord. Thank you for the joy of salvation you have renewed in our hears too Lord. In Jesus' joyous name we pray, Amen!"

Here's wishing all a joyous Saturday!
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Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. I Chronicles 16:8

Giving thanks - okay we can understand; but what does it have to do with 'making it known among the nations'?

Words have the influence to claim someone for or against a matter. Marketing specialists, can assure you that "word of mouth" is one of the most effective way of marketing technique out there. James chapter 3 goes on and on about the power of the tongue, associating our tongue to the rudder that can steer a huge ship.

In the Gospel of Luke we read of the scene when Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem where people put down the palm branches and their cloak for His colt to walk on. The crowd was singing and praising in loud voice of His many miracles and the disciples rebuked them. Jesus's response was, "if they keep quite, the stones will cry out."

That is true for us too. If we keep quite from proclaiming of His wonders, the stones will cry out - putting us to shame.

So, to answer our question, making known among the nations, means to make a bold statement that we acknowledge or support or affiliate with the brand called Jesus! We are not just stopping with a quick thank you, but we will announce, proclaim, make known of what He has done for us among the nations! You are with me on that - right?!
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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

After singing about many aspects of his walk with the Lord such as the law of the Lord, the precepts of the Lord, the fear of the Lord etc., King David ends his song with a little prayer, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight..."

Following is an extract from Barnes Notes on the Bible commentary which helps us understand it better:
Let the words of my mouth - The words that I speak; all the words that I speak. And the meditation of my heart - The thoughts of my heart. Be acceptable in thy sight - Be such as thou wilt approve; or, be such as will be pleasing to thee; such as will give thee delight or satisfaction; such as will be agreeable to thee. This supposes:

(a) that God has such control over our thoughts and words, that he can cause us to order them aright;
(b) that it is proper to pray to him to exert such an influence on our minds that our words and thoughts may be right and pure;
(c) that it is one of the sincere desires and wishes of true piety that the thoughts and words may be acceptable or pleasing to God.
Though a simple prayer, it has such deep meaning in it. It would be a great idea to add it to our prayers everyday too; what do you say?
NRIGirl
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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

Here's some Scriptures on what Jesus Himself has commanded us to do when it comes to dealing with those 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!)

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
NRIGirl
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Trust in the Lord and do good. Psalm 37:3

"Trust in the Lord!" is a common phrase we have often heard in sermons, Scriptures and from family and friends. Sure enough it is vital for our Christian walk. The question is: How to trust in the Lord?

Looking up the word 'trust' in the dictionary we see:

trust/trəst/

Noun:
Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Verb:
Believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.
Synonyms:
nounconfidence - faith - credit - reliance - belief
verbbelieve - confide - rely - credit - hope - entrust

So, to trust in the Lord actually means to firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of the Lord! The key is "firmly believe".

The more we know about someone the more we can develop a trust in him/her; developing trust in the Lord is no different from that. We need to spend more time with the Lord, learning more about Him.

The best way to learn how is from examples we read about in the Scriptures. Let's see a few examples below:

* Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
* Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD. Psalm 4:5
* Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
* He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3
* Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4
* "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7

Kings and prophets don't just use empty words. Each words uttered by them are of great value and given utmost importance.

If such mighty men confess they firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of the Lord, than their mighty chariots or fast running horses or their great wealth or fame or any of the obvious things, how much more we ordinary folks need to trust in the Lord?!

As we start a new month today, let us focus our attention to trusting in the Lord...

Have a blessed May 2018 folks!


NRIGirl
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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!
NRIGirl
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Nehemiah was a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes - king of Babylon. Most Israelites had been taken exile during that time and the walls of Jerusalem were broken down. When Nehemiah heard it, he wept, prayed and had a desire to rebuild the wall. Since he had found favor with the king, the king sanctioned his pettition to rebuild the wall.

When it was all set and done, Nehemiah made sure the city was concecrated for the Lord, the temple grounds reestablished, by bringing in Levites and Priests to serve there, appointing a choir, and reminding people about the laws and festivities Moses had taught their forefathers to do.

It is in this context we read about how he restored the Sabbath - the day of rest, God had commanded us to follow. The following text explains exactly how he restored it.
In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food.

Also men of Tyre were living there who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem. Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day? “Did not your fathers do the same, so that our God brought on us and on this city all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

It came about that just as it grew dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and that they should not open them until after the sabbath. Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that no load would enter on the sabbath day.

Once or twice the traders and merchants of every kind of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem. Then I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will use force against you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day. For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness. Nehemiah 13:15-22

The question to us this morning is: Have we restored the Sabbath?! Do we give it the atmost reverence to spend in the fellowship of believers to worship the Lord? OR Have we allowed certain "merchants" in?!

It doesn't matter which day of the week we have consecrated for the Lord. The important matter is to concecrate one day, and do it as He commanded us.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

Let us restore our Sabbath!