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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?
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Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty--he is the King of glory. Psalm 24:10

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

As we stand before His throne today in our prayer & worship, how do we visualize our self? What is our expectation? Are we seeking His presence as the King's mere citizens forgetting that we are His own children?

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

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

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

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

Shall we?
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For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3

Sometimes we get a revelation or promise from the Lord through a dream or vision or a word or song or a message. But it may not immediately come true.

If that is your case, the Bible says, "Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19

Sometimes things may not work out the way we are expecting it, but it definitely does not mean His promises have failed. In course of time it will all come clear for our understanding. For now let us accept the limitations and move forward.

One thing to remember is: "All things happen for good for those who love the Lord." Amen!

Hang in there; His promises are Yeah and Amen!
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Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

For some of us gathered here this morning, things of past is where our heart is at. Like the Israelites we keep referring to our Egypt. Like Lot we keep turning back at our Sodom. This is sure a distraction in our spiritual walk. We can not enjoy the freedom and full benefits of God's leading as long as we cling on to things of past. 

Alright, childhood was carefree. Younger days were more fun. Old was gold. The Ex (a friend, spouse, a job, a house etc.) was not that bad after all. Life was indeed good, better those days.

But we have to move on! We can't appreciate what is in store for us if we are not looking forward to the life ahead. 

I am reminded of a beautiful childhood chorus we sang at Sunday School which goes:

Move on brothers!
Move on sisters!
This is the moving day. 
Move a little forward
Take your stand with Jesus
Move on brothers move on...

So, let us move on today; forgetting the former things and not dwelling on the past. God is doing a new thing in us and among us. He is making a way in our wilderness and streams in our wastelands. Let us be expectant of that. Praise the Lord!

God bless you all. Have a blessed Friday!
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"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Life can get weary sometime. The routine toil day after day could easily overwhelm us. Where will we go then? What will we do? How will we find solace? Only by taking it all to God Almighty giving heed to His invitation: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, I will give you rest".

Interestingly the invitation is forever open, it is us finding time to attend to it that prevents us from enjoying it's benefits.

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

Often times our burden gets heavier because we have not sought after God first. Let us set aside a regular prayer time and list all our needs at His feet and see if His invitation stands true in our case.

I am 100% positive it is! Tested & true! Would you like to try it yourself?
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You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7

"Rejoice!" is an often mentioned command throughout the Scriptures.  Yet, that is one area we Christians fail from time to time. All it takes is one criticism or one sickness or one crisis, or you name it, to offset us from our joy of salvation.

"Rejoice!" by it self implies that it is something within our capacity to do, not necessarily something others can do for us. If it were so, the command would have been something like "Make him/her rejoice".

One may wonder how we can rejoice irrespective of the circumstances. Or is it even possible to rejoice always? Yes, when God anoints us with the oil of joy we can rejoice in all situations!

What does it take to be anointed with oil of joy? 

According to today's Scripture, when we love righteousness and hate wickedness God will anoint us with the oil of joy.

To add, anytime we feel that the joy within us is lost, we need to repent and cry out to the Lord for restoring our joy. We are familiar with Psalm 51 where King David cries out "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

Let this be our prayer too today: "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."
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* I  am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Revelation 3:11
* Only hold on to what you have until I come. Revelation 2:25

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

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

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

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

Have a blessed day. 
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"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. I Samuel 15:22

It is true that the Lord had given specific instructions about burnt offerings and sacrifices in the Old Testament. In course of time it became an easy way out for many with rebellion and disobedience. King Saul was reprimanded by Prophet Samuel for his disobedience. Saul could have thought he could quickly undo his act by making some amendments in terms of offerings.

King David on the other hand seems to have a clear handle on what is expected by the Lord. He says in Psalm 51:16-17:  You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

In Proverbs 21:3 we read: To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the LORD than sacrifice.

Prophet Micah has said: What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8)

In Jeremiah 7:22-23 God clarifies His commands about sacrifices: He says, "When I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you."

It is evident from these Scriptures that no sacrifices will please God than our humble spirit, broken heart and obedience. Is that hard?
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"Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more." Isaiah 54:4

Praise God for this wonderful Scripture this morning!

Fear, shame, humiliation and disgrace are sure dreadful. All of us can recall incidents when we have suffered such situations. For some it leaves a permanent scar, making them fearful of further shame or disgrace.

Today's message is for those of us who are constantly conscious (in fear) of humiliation. It means we are not confident, we feel intimidated, we do not speak up for our rights/faith/belief, etc. We are afraid that we will be picked on, called upon, shunned at. Before long the fear turns to anger and we shy away from friends and family withdrawing from social circles. Many fall prey to depression...

This is surely one of satan's cunning tricks as he knows that with as little as casting a shadow of doubt he can lure some of us to death, away from the life we have found in Christ. He doesn't have to work hard at it if we are unaware of what the Word of God promises us.

Knowing the Scriptures will enable us to stand firm and rebuke him in the Name of Jesus!

So, it is important we read the Scriptures and by heart a few for our every day use. It will help us eradicate every single doubt that ever so lightly crosses our minds.

Let us repeat today's verse together:

"Fear not, for you will not be put to shame; And do not feel humiliated, for you will not be disgraced; But you will forget the shame of your youth, And the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more." Isaiah 54:4

Now let us say it again customized for us:

I will not fear, for I will not be put to shame; I will not feel humiliated, for I will not be disgraced; But I will forget the shame of my youth, And the reproach of my widowhood I will remember no more. My Lord has said so!

Go ahead! Claim it as your own! It is the Holy Spirit who is sharing! Amen!
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Be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them." Psalm 126:2

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man. Ecclesiastes 12:13

And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13

We get the message - Fear the Lord and serve Him with all your heart! Don't we?
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Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number. Jeremiah 2:32

You have forgotten God your Savior; you have not remembered the Rock, your fortress. Isaiah 17:10

Israel has forgotten his Maker... Hosea 8:14

I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Revelation 2:4

 It is no accident you are here this morning hearing what the Holy Spirit has to share with us  - loud and clear.

Just as how unnatural it is for a girl/lady to forget her jewels/fine clothes it is unnatural for us to forget God and cherish not the fond memories of our past affection. Yet some of us have gone astray. We have forsaken our first love.

Hope this is not entirely true in our case. But if we are not conciousely making every effort to stay in love, we will be easily carried away by worldly affairs making us remember the Lord less and less. If we are not watchful very soon we will be far from the Lord heading into darkness.

Definitely it is not something that will go unnoticed by God. He would sense the slightest withdrawal from us. We will be crucifying Him all over again when we do that.

What is it that we lack in Him that we forget Him from time to time? That we do not make time for Him? That we go days on end without hearing from Him or talking to Him?

Don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. James 4:4

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

Agree it is very strong message this morning; but it is the Holy Spirit sharing...
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"If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer." Exodus 15:26

We are often worried and troubled by the news of sickness among our friends, family, church members, colleagues, community etc. Our hearts melt in fear when we have to wait for certain test results at the doctor's office. But these are unnecessary worries. If we worry the same way as non-believers what difference does our faith make in us?

Instead of worrying over things beyond our control let us praise God for what we have - the joy of salvation, the hope of eternal life,  that we still have breath in us, that we are able to move around and for everything that works fine in us that we often take for granted.

Even when we are diagnosed with some sickness, however life threatening it is, it does not help to worry. I am sorry if that sounds insensitive. But that is what the Scripture tells us.

Jesus said in Luke 12:25,26: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"

Only as long as we have the breath in our nostrils we can praise the Lord; so like King David let us make the most of our life praising the Lord: In Psalm 115:17,18 he says,"The dead do not praise the LORD, Nor do any who go down into silence; But as for us, we will bless the LORD  From this time forth and forever. Praise the LORD!

He is our Healer! Whether He heals us for life or decides to take us home, no denying that He is our Healer. He paid the price for our sickness too on the cross along with our sins. Let us rebuke all fear, doubt, worry and sickness away from our dear ones and get protection under His wings. Let us not take things for granted but remember to praise Him for the countless blessings in our lives.

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8

So why worry? Only praise!
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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6

Wonderful Counselor - What does that mean? Counselor is one who counsels; or advises; or instructs. Having God as our Counselor would imply depending on His guidance or advice. In fact Holy Spirit is our constant Counselor. Just as Jesus was getting ready for His ascension He had promised to send us the Counselor - Holy Spirit - the Spirit of truth, who would live with us and be in us!

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— he Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16

One of the prime expertise of  Holy Spirit - our Counselor - is  explained in John 14:26

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. John 14:26

Even as we pray for our children let us pray over these blessings on them that they are led by the Lord so that their peace shall be great.

Isaiah 54:13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.

I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. 3 John 1:4

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21

If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea. Isaiah 48:18

Lack of peace can surely be linked to not following the counsel of the Holy Spirit. If that is our case today let us recommit our lives to heed to the instructions of our Wonderful Counselor. Shall we?
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On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. Luke 2:21

Jesus! Say it with me, Jesus! You will agree it is the most popular name ever, of all ages and times. It is the name above all names! Jesus!

For those who still think Jesus was just human, here's something to think about. Only for about 3 1/2 years Jesus was publicly preaching, doing miracles and the like. There was no TV or Internet to broadcast His messages across the universe at that time. How do you suppose His name has stood the test over thousands of years?! Can you change a life by telling someone about any other person who have lived on this earth - past & present? good and bad? How is it that the name Jesus is still changing lives? Still working wonders?

Philippians 2:5-11 has the answer. It says, Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Amen! Jesus is the name above every name. We are so privileged to have such a personal relationship with Him. Not only that. He knows us by our name and loves us the best. Isn't that something?!
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Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. 
~ Isaiah 40:28-31

Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God. Genesis 21:33

El-Olam - God Eternal! Eternal or everlasting means forever and ever! There are numerous Scriptures about the everlasting nature of God. Here in Isaiah we further understand how this Everlasting God - El-Olam helps us renew our strength like eagles.

In Hebrews we read, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrew 13:8)

Indeed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is El-Olam! All glory, honor and power be unto Him forever and ever. Amen!

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She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." Genesis 16:13

El-Roi! "I have seen Him!", was Hagar's excited statement when she encountered God as she was running away from Sarai while with child Ishmael for Abram.

How many of us would love to encounter our Lord face to face like Hagar did?! I know I would! It has been my sincere prayer every night that I should see my Lord in a dream/vision - even a glimpse as I once had when I was a child.

King David was hopeful of seeing the goodness of the Lord in his life time; he has written in Psalm 27:13, "I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living."  We know for a fact he did see the goodness of the Lord just as he had hoped.

Job was looking forward to seeing the Lord in his life after; he assured: "I myself will see him with my own eyes--I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!" Job 19:27

Some of us like King David want to see Him now; the rest of us would be okay to wait till our life after. But the fact is, whether we are looking forward to seeing Him or not, every one (from past/ present/future - which includes you and me) is going to see Him face to face one day!

The Scripture says in Revelation 1:7, "Look, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen."

The question today is: Are you ready to meet El-Roi - the God who sees?
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Blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand. Genesis 14:20

How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth! Psalm 47:2

Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High Psalm 50:14

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills his purpose for me Psalm 57:2

El-Elyon in the original Hebrew Scriptures is always interpreted as God Most High in the English translations. (If English is not your Mother tongue, I strongly recommend you read these exact Scriptures in your language to get a full idea of it's meaning.)

God Most High implies there is nothing/nobody in past/present/future who is higher than Him. There is no superior to Him. He is it! We have reached the highest in the authority chain - to whom we can compliment, complain, request, hang out with, make petitions to, stay in touch with, take pride to connect with, regarding the situations we are in. The one and only God Most High our El-Elyon!

Prophet Isaiah has prophesied about God Most High that gives us a glimpse of how majestic He is:

This is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. Where is the house you will build for me? Where will my resting place be?

Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the Lord.

“This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word. Isaiah 66:1-2
Points to ponder this morning:
* Do we hold Him in high esteem ourselves?
* Is He the God Most High - El-Elyon in our lives?
* Do we have the humble and contrite spirit that trembles at His words, that He desires in us?

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When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. Genesis 17:1

Then God said, "I am El-Shaddai--'God Almighty.' Be fruitful and multiply. You will become a great nation, even many nations. Kings will be among your descendants! Genesis 35:11

I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai--'God Almighty'--but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them. Exodus 6:3

El-Shaddai - God Almighty! An often used phrase in our prayers and worship and sermon etc. But have we given much thought to it's meaning?

El-Shaddai according to some Bible translators stands for 'God Almighty' but not all agree. No doubt El means God; it is the Shaddai that causes controversies among Bible translators. Some say it means 'mountain' and some claim it means 'destroyer'. Putting these arguments aside, let us consider the almost universal meaning - God Almighty.

Dictionary defines the word 'Almighty' as "having complete power or control"; with synonyms such as: absoluteall-powerful, invinciblemightyomnipotentsupremeunlimited, etc.

So when we pray to our El Shaddai - our God Almighty - we are in fact standing in the presence of Omnipotent, Supreme, All-Powerful, God. He is the very same God who created the whole earth and all that is in it by His mere words.

King David acknowledges Him by singing, "He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm." in Psalm 33:9

Knowing our Lord as God Almighty will give us a new perspective when we pray. There is nothing He cannot do. There is nothing impossible for Him. He is Almighty! Our El-Shaddai! Amen!

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Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9

Finding someone's name is one of the very first things we do when we meet someone new. It is our first step to getting to know that person up close. As we get closer we get to know their nick names, other names, family names, childhood names and so on. Surely this helps with bonding and we get to know more of that person.

Same way, knowing Jesus Christ as Lord is great! But learning about various other names will help us know Him better. It will teach us many things we haven't known of Him already.

Today's Scripture has made is clear, there is no other name ever given to anybody in the past, present or the future that would be elevated as high as the name of Jesus Christ!

Jesus Christ is the name above all names! In heaven, on earth and under the earth every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord - even those who haven't quite confessed it yet!

How about we learn more about Jesus Christ - our Savior - by learning more about His other names?! I am sure during this process we will come to know a lot more about Him we might have missed otherwise.

So, stay tuned as we start our new series: Name above all else. Share the link with your friends/family and invite them all to the coffee table; the more the merrier!

God bless you all!
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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:7

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


Generosity is a virtue every believer must exhibit; however it is sadly on the decline. The economic downfall in the recent years has only made it convenient to justify our withdrawal.

As today's Scriptures remind us, we need to develop a generous heart. We can do that only when we fully  understand His generous grace on us.

When we believe that the Lord is our everlasting Source and not our jobs or savings or name or fame or anything else we are a step closer to realizing generosity in us. Trusting that He holds our future and desiring to be a blessing to others will land us on opportunities that will enable us to reach out.

Not just money; our time, our talents, our abilities, our fortune can all be used to glorify the Lord. After all we are homeward bound; let us act like one!

Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8
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Remember me with favor, O my God. Nehemiah 13:31
* O LORD; remember me and care for me Jeremiah 15:15
* Then Samson prayed to the LORD, "O Sovereign LORD, remember me..." Judges 16:28
* According to your love remember me. Psalm 25:7
Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people. Psalm 106:4
* "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." Luke 23:42
* If only you would set me a time and then remember me... Job 14:13

Several people from the Scriptures such as Nehemiah, Jeremiah, King David, Job, one of the thieves on the cross, had one prayer in common: "Remember me".Some of their agony is clear from their crying out: "Will you forget me forever?" or "Why do you hide your face from me?"

Taking a closer look at the list we can understand that they were among prophets, kings, nobles and also criminals, which means that the feeling of abandonment occurs to people from all walks of life, including you and me!

How do we tackle this feeling; now that is the question. King David sings, "My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you " Psalm 42:6 which has the answer for us.

So, whenever we feel downcast, rejected or abandoned, let us remember our Lord!

Makes sense right?
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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 October and before we know it, it will be year end. Even this past week went by in a blink. The days and weeks and months and years seem to roll one into another seamlessly.

Job and King David felt the same way from time to time. We see 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 cautious 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)

God bless you! Have a blessed month ahead!

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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

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

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

There is peace; then there is perfect peace.

I believe this is the peace God promised us, peace as defined in John 14:27: Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

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

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

Here's wishing you all this perfect peace from above! Happy Saturday!
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In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

They that wait upon 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


So the key here is Wait for the Lord or take the time.

Taking the time or waiting on the Lord does not come naturally to us.  We would rather take matters in our own hands than "sit around", we reason. From Abraham to Moses to Peter to even us, all have history of impatience and we have seen the consequences of that.

Waiting on the Lord means getting the confirmation on God's will, to surrender the matter at hand at His feet and wait for His leading. Taking the time to read and meditate the Word of God will enable us to hear when the Lord speaks. Our hearts will be in sync with the will of God. Naturally this will result in us finding the grace and peace that has been given to us.

Shall we set aside some time each day to wait on the Lord? Morning or evening or at noon, that is up to you. But take the time!

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1
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Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

The hard thing about this verse is, often times we do not recognize the devil. On the contrary to our imaginations he doesn't come with baring teeth and twisted horns...

He is so subtle and cunning that at times it is hard to even recognize it as the devil. We might mistake him for self pity, temptation, depression, tiredness, sickness, sadness, etc.

Remember this: Anything that spoils our joy of salvation is of the devil. So right away resist him and he will flee from you.

That brings us to a very important question: How to resist the devil?

In the same verse we read, "Submit yourselves, then, to God"
* I Peter 5:8 says, "Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour"
* In I Peter 5:9 we read, "Resist him, standing firm in the faith..."
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. Ephesians 6:11

And when you do recognize him say, "I command you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to stay away from me satan... I take victory in the blood of Jesus Christ!"

He will take off! As simple as that!
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King David has set us a great example as a prayer warrior. He was constantly connected with God, day in and day out.

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

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

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

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

Seek the LORD while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6
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* My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalm 119:148
* On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
* I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways Psalm 119:15

Do we stay late any night just to meditate on His promises? May be if you are a Pastor you would. But for others it might be the least priority in a day's schedule. In yesterday's post - Healthy Start, we saw King David rose up early every morning to praise & worship the Lord. (Psalm 5:3, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 119:147).

Here we see that he also stayed awake late in the night to meditate on the promises. He was a king, he had a big family, he was running for his life from time to time, yet he found time to sit at His feet both early mornings and late nights. Clearly his first priority was the Lord. No wonder he was a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:13) or in other words a friend of God.

My sincere desire is to be a friend of God. You too wish the same? Well, now we know how to...
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* Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. Exodus 16:21
* In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
* In the morning I will sing of your love Psalm 59:16
* His compassions never fail. They are new every morning Lamentations 3:22,23
* I rise before dawn and cry for help Psalm 119:147

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

Same is true for our Spiritual Manna - the Word of God. We need to gather it every morning as when the day progresses we may altogether skip it. We all know the Lord's prayer, "Give us each day our daily bread" Let us take an effort to eat it every day, possibly at breakfast for a healthy start.

Manna for breakfast anyone?!
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For today's "coffee" I wish to share this beautiful psalm that touches my soul. Let us read it together, line by line, word by word letting it all sink in. God bless you. Happy 'Son'day!

Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.

He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.

The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.

But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.

The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.

Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.

Praise the Lord, my soul.
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* Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall. Psalm 55:22
* Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:7
* I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. Hosea 14:8
* And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you Matthew: 6:30
* You saw how the LORD your God cared for you all along the way as you traveled through the wilderness, just as a father cares for his child. Deuteronomy 1:31

Today's message is specially for those who constantly worry about this or that. The verses here make it crystal clear that our Lord will sustain us through our tough times as long as we cast our cares on Him. What does it mean to cast our cares on the Lord?

It simply means bringing our burdens to His feet, praying it over from the depth of our hearts, crying it over (if we feel like) at His feet (not to anyone else), and then no longer be burdened by it but rejoice in His love. You might ask how is it even possible not to be burdened by it?

The answer is if you truly believe God will answer your prayers and handle it for you, you will know better to refrain from worrying further. Or in other words if you continue to worry it only means you have not trusted Him to lead you through.

I am casting all my worries right away; hope you will join me too!
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The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:6-10


I am sure most of us made a conscious effort to make our words be few, lately. Once again we are reminded of taming our tongue this morning. This time rather than speaking little, it is speaking the right words that is being insisted upon.

Is our tongue starting fires or quenching fires? Is it full of venom against past, people, self, spouse or is it filled with love and praise for what/whom we have? Do we bless or curse mostly?

Let us give heed to the Scriptures that show us the way. Let us tame our tongue with God's help.

May our words be kind.

Kind words are like honey--sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Proverbs 16:24
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Let your words be few Ecclesiastes 5:2

The prudent hold their tongues. Proverbs 10:19

Fools multiply words. No one knows what is coming - who can tell someone else what will happen after them? Ecclesiastes 10:14 

A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. Proverbs 29:11


All of us have opinions of things good and bad. We have a point to make, good & bad. We often share our thoughts without the filtering process, which is the Word of God that gives us the divine wisdom. 

We might think we are being straight forward, but the Bible tells us we are fools if we don't control our tongue. Many a times I am guilty of it myself :(  

Today's message challenges us to speak less, hold our tongue, nod, listen, cook, clean, do something but don't talk. Enough if entertaining our guests and neighbors and friends and colleagues with our constant blabbering. We have shared our opinions time and time again. Now is the time to hold. Pause. Heal. Be.

Let our words be few. Today. Tomorrow. This week. Next week. For a month. For 6  weeks. Until it becomes our very nature. Then we will be prudent.

With God's help we can. Amen! 
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The blessing of the LORD brings wealth, without painful toil for it. Proverbs 10:22

Isaac planted crops in that land and the same year reaped a hundredfold, because the LORD blessed him. The man became rich, and his wealth continued to grow until he became very wealthy. Genesis 26:12-13

Remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth... Deuteronomy 8:18 

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7

Amen! Precious blessings this morning!

Let us be careful not to make it our priority to accrue wealth. Our priority or primary focus in this life is to do the will of God. Whether we seek after or not wealth will follow, as long as we first seek Him - with all our heart.

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

God bless you all!

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Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:3-11

Pure and simple Scriptures this morning for Coffee with Jesus. As we read above, let us make every effort to confirm our calling and election.



Have a blessed Tuesday!
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How beautiful your sandaled feet... Song of Solomon 7:1

Interesting how the bride and groom alternate compliments on each other in the book of Song of Solomon. Further more interesting is the fact that we are the bride personified here while Jesus is the Groom. It makes it all the more important for us to pay close attention to these Scriptures so that we can compare to the described bride.

Here, the Lover admires how beautiful His bride's feet are. Not just the bare feet, but her 'sandaled feet'.

What kind of sandal it would be? In Ephesians chapter 6, where we read about getting ready in the full armor of God, in verse 15 it says: "... with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace".

So, it is not just any sandal we are talking about here; it is 'the readiness' that is implied. Readiness? Readiness for what? Clearly it mentions 'readiness that comes from the gospel of peace'.

In Isaiah 52:7 we read: 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!"

Let us check if we are fitted with the 'sandal' our Groom so admires. If not, let's get fitted with readiness by accepting the gospel of peace.

Have a blessed Monday.
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 If you are not feeling up to going to church today, here's a reminder for you:
“If you keep your feet from breaking the 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
It doesn't matter which day of the week we choose to gather to worship the Lord;  whichever day it is, let us do it willingly. Then we will find our joy in the Lord.

Let's go enjoy worshiping our Lord!
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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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These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. Revelation 3:8

Just yesterday we learned how our King who breaks open the way will go up before us ... Today again as a reiteration of the same message, what the Holy Spirit shares with us is that the door He opens no one can shut.

I am sure it is for strengthening us in the Lord, that we are reminded of the same message a second time! Amen!

Whatever doors are shut before you, God is going to open it for you. He knows you have little faith, yet you have kept His word and have not denied His name. God knows it all - even if it looks like no one else cares.

Let us continue to hold on to His words and not deny His name. The doors are going to be open - very soon... and no one can shut it!

Amen! Praise the Lord!
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One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the LORD at their head. Micah 2:13

Let us read the verse once again slightly differently - emphasizing the words in bold:

One who breaks open the way will go up before mewill break through the gate and go out. My king will pass through before me, the Lord at my head.

Let's repeat the verse one more time...

Loud and clear!

One who breaks open the way will go up before mewill break through the gate and go out. My king will pass through before me, the Lord at my head.

 Let's keep praying this verse against all the "closed doors" in our lives.

When our King takes the lead before us, He will break open the way for us. Amen!

If you believed, you would see the glory of God!

If only we believed...
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A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. Luke 6:45

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:6

Need I say more?

Have a blessed Wednesday!

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When a man or woman wrongs another in any way and so is unfaithful to the Lord, that person is guilty and must confess the sin he has committed. He must make full restitution for his wrong, add one fifth to it and give it all to the person he has wronged. Numbers 5:6,7

I once read this story of a reporter who wrote ill of a politician on his newspaper. Soon one day he happened to bump into the politician quite unexpectedly in an elevator or restroom, somewhere confined. The reporter felt very bad and was quick to apologize to the politician about his article, to which he simply replied, "I'd have rather had you criticize me in private and apologized in public."

"So true!" we exclaim; but don't we all do just the same? We offend our spouses, children, neighbors and walk around as if we have done no wrong, or do a name sake gesture one day to think we have made up for it, don't we?

Believe it or not, this is against the Scriptures! If we have wronged someone in any way, and by doing so we are unfaithful to the Lord, we are guilty. Period. No sugar coating it. No reasoning it out. No justifying it.

The remediation the Word of God suggests is to confess (first to God and next to the offended) our wrong doing and pay back more than what we owe - in fact as much as five folds more. So, if we lacked respect, we owe it five times more, if we lacked courtesy we owe it that much more, same for love, peace, joy, a smile, you name it.

I am sorry if this post itself offends you; it's not me but the Holy Spirit sharing... Hope you are listening...
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When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

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

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

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

How many of us are content this morning?! Praise God for all those hands that are going up! Let us continue to accept our lot! This is our gift from the Lord! Amen!

Have a blessed week ahead!
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"Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done." Revelation 22:12

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Revelation 3:11

He who testifies to these things says, "Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. Revelation 22:20

Jesus is coming soon! It is what we as believers look forward to, or do we?

I remember as a child and as a young adult, I have expected His return every day. Going to bed my prayer would be, "Lord, if you return tonight please count me in"; waking up my prayer would be, "Lord if you return today, keep me holy and take me along".

However, I admit over the years, His tarrying has made me lose the expectancy of His return, to a point where for days together I have gone without much thought about it.I am sure, all of you believers can relate to this one way or another.

Today's message comes as a reminder that indeed He is coming soon. We must stay focused, not giving yield to the distractions life throws our way. A child like faith, that fully trusts the Word of God, without any reservation or bias, is what is expected of us.

Being always ready for the imminent return of the Lord, should be our constant state of mind. The assurance of forgiveness of our sins and the joy of salvation is what it takes to make us ready for His return.

If anyone here does not have that assurance, please seek Him today. I guarantee you, you will find Him. Amen!

Jesus is coming soon. Until then, happy waiting!
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First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 2 Peter 3: 3-10

The scripture highlighted above gives us the answer to the question we have for discussion today. God's word is true and will come true! Amen. 
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Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the LORD our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison. Deuteronomy 29:18

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Our heart is the precious of all organs - vital for our survival. No wonder the scripture says we need to guard it with all diligence. While looking up this verse I came across a sermon by Rev. Adrian Dieleman. Thought of sharing the highlights with you for today's coffee.

What does the Bible say what heart is:
* Heart is a physical organ and food & drink strengthens it
* The heart is the focus of intellectual life. The heart is connected with thinking
* Acts of the will are considered to arise in the heart
* Heart is closely connected to the feelings and affections of a person: joy, fear, discouragement, sorrow, hate, love.
* The heart is spoken of as the conscience.
* The heart represents a person's true nature or character.
* The heart is the place where God does His work in the individual.
* The heart is the dwelling place of God.

Who can attack our heart?:
* Sin & Satan - God lives in our heart. But so does sin and Satan. The two cannot coexist. This means our heart is a battleground between God and Satan. Both lay claim to our heart. Both want to be master of our heart. Both want the allegiance of our heart.
* World - The world hates Jesus along with His followers.
* The acts of our sinful nature - The devil is our opponent who attacks us from the outside. The world is the hostile environment in which we live. And our own "flesh" is the enemy within us.

How do we guard our heart?:
To guard our heart, our heart needs to belong to God.
* We need to listen to the Word of God if we want to guard our heart
* Be part of a church in the fellowship of believers
* Steer clear of sin.

Our heart is precious. Our heart is under attack. So, let's guard our heart!

NRIGirl
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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 and believers of Jesus Christ, 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
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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"

Shall we?
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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 denies 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!.

Praise the Lord!
NRIGirl
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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 - 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 truly sing the same?

If we turn from evil and do good, then we will dwell in the land forever and of course, sing the same song!

Have a blessed September 2018!
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; 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
* "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 confessed that they firmly believed 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?!