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

What does it mean to have a pure heart? In simple terms a heart which is not impure or dirty is what we mean by a pure heart.

Is our heart pure or dirty? If our heart is filled with good stuff it is a pure heart; if filled with junk stuff it is a dirty heart.

What are some of the good stuff we can fill our heart with? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, humility, honesty, integrity, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Chronicles 29:17)

What are some of the dirty stuff one could have in their heart? Evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, folly and the like. (Mark 7:21)

How good is your heart?

Now that the facts have been laid out, if your answer is that you have a pure heart, very well; keep it pure.

In case you answered 'impure' please get it cleaned by the Blood of Jesus Christ! Repeat a sincere prayer after King David as in today's Scripture: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Amen. Psalm 51:10

Few more Scriptures for you to ponder...
"Be holy, because I(Jesus) am holy." 1 Peter 1:16

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23


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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 breakup or a death or a health scare 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 renewed.

Now, let us go back in time to see how God remembered us in our low estate - just scanning through them all in our minds - let's thank Him for that. Let's share our testimonies of how God led us through certain hardship 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 our past 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!
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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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The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. Romans 13:11-12

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

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

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

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

We will discuss each one of these in detail in the coming days...
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Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:3-4

Those of us who have experienced the love of the Lord can assure to the fact that His love is the best! It is unconditional to begin with; it is sacrificial love, love that is always constant and does not depend on our merits.

As believers we make up His Church which is personified as the bride here. There may be other attractions around us in the world, but He is the best! His love supersedes every other "love". Like the apple tree is the best among all wild trees in a forest; our Savior is set apart as pure gold from all other glitter.

We have a date with Him today. He is taking us to the banquet hall. Let us remember one thing - His banner over us is LOVE! Praise the Lord.
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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

For the explanation of today's Scripture let us read the complete passage - in Jesus's own words:
I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

You got it! Let's stop worrying about mundane things and start seeking His Kingdom!
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But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10


Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

What we read in these Scriptures is the exact opposite of what we see and hear around us. The world defines self confidence as confidence in oneself or one's own abilities. But for us - the believers - the Lord must be our confidence!

Paul has set a very good example for us in his statements. Great King Solomon - the wisest ever lived has said: The Lord Is My Confidence. Proverbs 3:26. My favorite King David has sang, It is better to trust in the LORD Than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8

The Lord has spoken through Prophet Isaiah: "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Can we too confirm the Lord indeed is our confidence?!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 25 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 25:24

How many of us are guilty of being a quarrelsome woman from time to time? How does it affect our husband & children when we behave thus? I am sure they too can relate to King Solomon here as he shares exactly how it feels like living with a quarrelsome woman.

So, what is the solution?

In John 4:1-3 we read:

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.


Makes us think; does it not?

Whatever is the cause of our rift, let us learn to take it to our Lord, even before we bring it up to our spouses. Then His grace will be sufficient for us and His peace will engulf us both. Amen!

Blessed Thursday folks!

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

What remarkable promises for us today!

Amen! Our God's right hand is majestic in power today; it will shatter our enemy!

Our Lord's right hand is lifted high; it will do mighty things!

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

Have a blessed day!
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Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it will be provided.” Genesis 22:13-14

Abraham revealed God in a practical way. The Lord who provides! Abraham had thus professed to his son Isaac even as they were going up the mountain, even as he was getting ready for the sacrifice, even as the knife came down.

At the very last minute God provided! Indeed He provides!

God could have provided the ram earlier at the start of their journey, at the bottom of the hill. But He provided it at His appointed time.

Have we missed out on God's blessings because we didn't or couldn't wait for His timing?

God provided manna to the Israelites - every day - sufficient for that day. They even had instructions not to collect it for more than a day. But some did anyway. They wanted to sleep in, instead of going out in the cold to collect manna. So they gathered little extra to cover for the next day. But what they saw next day in place of the manna they had stored away was only worms. By doing so they had missed out on that day's fresh manna.

Do any of us have an issue with depending on God everyday? Day after day? Do we wish for a lot of grace to cover the next couple of days so that we can be 'independent of God? Or, Are we awake early sitting at His feet, receiving new grace every morning?

Indeed the Lord provides, according to His timing and as per His conditions. Amen.

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Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:21-24

In the Gospel of Mark we read an account of Jesus healing an evil possessed boy. Here's the link to the passage if you are interested.

Our focus today is on the conversation between the boy's father and Jesus. It is evident that the father was not fully convinced that Jesus could heal his son. True, he had some hope otherwise he wouldn't have brought his son to Jesus. But he was not very sure if Jesus could indeed help him. His doubt came out in the words he used like 'if', 'but', 'anything' etc. and Jesus did not miss noticing it.

So, He asks the father, "(What do you mean) 'if you can' ?" and goes on to assure, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The boy's father admits the slightest doubt he still has and pleads Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief. Jesus performs the miracle rebuking and chasing out the evil spirit from the boy, thus proving to the father, "Yes, I can!".

In our lives also, though we are steadfast believers, we do struggle with some trace of doubt from time to time. We can't deny that. To us Jesus gives the same answer He gave to the boy's father: “(Why doubt?) Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Are we ready to admit our unbelief and pray to overcome it? When we do, our help will be near...
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Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100

Let's now go & shout joyfully to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!  Happy 'Son'day!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 30 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: “Two things I ask of you, O Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God" 30:7-9

These Proverbs were not written by King Solomon. These were sayings of Agur son of Jakeh decalred to Ithiel and to Ucal...

Today's verse of the day, as you see it is a little prayer and these little prayers are my favorite - such as Prayer of JabezPrayer of JonahPrayer of Davidthe Lord's Prayer, and here the Prayer of Agur. Prayer is an important aspect of christian walk and these little snippets of prayers by great men and Jesus Himself give us an idea of how to pray.

I find it necessary to by heart these prayers to add them to my regular prayers too; it only helps improve our prayer experience.

So, let's by-heart these verses today, adding it to our regular prayers. No, we don't want too much that might distract us from our journey towards the cross and at the same time we don't want to go too little and become robbers. Let us only pray for our daily bread. Amen!
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But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

What we read in these Scriptures is the exact opposite of what we see and hear around us. The world defines self confidence as confidence in oneself or one's own abilities. But for us - the believers - the Lord must be our confidence!

Paul has set a very good example for us in his statements. Great King Solomon - the wisest ever lived has said: The Lord Is My Confidence. Proverbs 3:26. My favorite King David has sang, It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8

Can we too confirm the Lord indeed is our confidence?!
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Awake, north wind, and come, south wind! Blow on my garden, that its fragrance may spread abroad. Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits. Song of Solomon 4:16

Here we see the desperation of Shulamite to prepare her garden for her Lover. Are we preparing our gardens for our Christ? Do we have the fruits and fragrance that are desired by our Lord?

It is time we take inventory of our stocks and see if we have what it takes to be prepared for the coming of our Lord. If we bear fruits well and good, if not let us call in the winds from the North and the South to come blow on us so that we become fruit bearers.

The wind we need to desire is the Holy Spirit, who will enable us to bear much fruits. There is not much time left for Christ our Lover to return. We are in End of Times. The coming of our Lord is at hand. Not to threaten anyone but to awaken our hearts, let me use the same words John the Baptist used as he prepared the way for Christ:
The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

"I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:10-12

Amen! Our King's return is imminent! Let us get ourselves ready!
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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!

Happy August folks!
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The ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away. Isaiah 35:10

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4


What powerful promises this morning! Praise the Lord!

Though it is widely applicable for all of us believers here at Coffee with Jesus, I can sense that it comes as a direct consolation message to someone in particular going through crying and sorrow this very minute - with no one around to care.

Don't ever think you are alone; you have a great Redeemer - who wipes away your tears, eases your pain, embraces you fully and loves you unconditionally. Amen!

May God bless you and fill you with the promised joy this very day! Repeat the promises to yourself and claim it as your own:

Everlasting joy will crown your head. Gladness and joy will overtake you. Sorrow and sighing will flee away! The Lord will wipe every tear from your eyes!

Can you say amen?

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You will not have to fight this battleTake up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you. 2 Chronicles 20:17

The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes Deuteronomy 1:30

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still Exodus 14:14

* You yourselves have seen everything the LORD your God has done to all these nations for your sake; it was the LORD your God who fought for you. Joshua 23:3

There are plenty of Scripture verses stressing the same point repeatedly that our Lord will fight our fights; so it has to be true!

Whatever be our circumstances, whatever be our battle, we can trust that our Lord will fight it for us. Let us by heart these verses and repeat it in our prayers, claiming victory over our battles.

Now, stop fighting it all yourselves. Have a blessed week!
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Do not be over wicked, and do not be a fool--why die before your time? Ecclesiastes 7:17

Agree, this doesn't quite fit in for the morning devotion. However I am urged in the Holy Spirit to share this. Seems to me there is someone among us who is often having suicidal thoughts. This is a direct message from the Holy Spirit for that person.

Whatever is your burden it cannot justify your "solution".

God has the solution for all your problems. He invites you with open arms: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

You need to do just that! Take all your burden, all your tears, all your frustrations, all your failures, all your disappointments, the heaving heart, the broken spirit, the hurting body, everything, all - bundle them up, drag it to the cross and toss it there! Now do not carry them back.

Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ died on the cross for it all. He died so that you can live. He gives you rest. He grants you peace. He fills you with joy! He loves you unconditionally. You are set FREE! The price has been paid for.

What more do you need? Why die before your time?

Rebuke the wicked thoughts in Jesus's name. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.(James 4:7)

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Don't ever miss the crown over few trials. Your reward in heaven is greater. Amen!

Jesus says, as recorded in the Gospel of John:

"I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:9-11

Wishing everyone joined at this coffee table, this life in full that God has given us. Remain happy in the Lord!

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

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

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

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

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

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

We have been warned. Let us heed to it. It is time to return to the Lord with all our heart! Yes, today!
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Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does. James 1:22-25

The past few days we discussed about the enemies of the heart. Now what? That is the question.

As today's Scripture says we should not merely listen to the Word of God which will be decieving ourselves. Let us follow what we have learned. Then we will be blessed in what we do.

So, here's a reiteration of what we learned over the days.

* Let us cure our guilt by confession
* Let us get rid of our anger by forgiveness
* Let us overcome our greed by generosity
* Let us be free of our jealousy by celebration

Hope you enjoyed the series as much as I did. Love you all in Christ Jesus our Lord! God bless.Have a blessed weekend!

Note: This study is an excerpt from my Sunday School notes which was based on Andy Stanley's  book Enemies of the Heart. 
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Jealousy is an emotion and typically refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something that the person values, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of presenting emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust. It is not to be confused with envy. [Wikipedia]

The attitude behind jealousy: God owes me!

We read in the Scriptures that God is jealous (Exodus 34:14); but His is the right kind. In Deuteronomy 32:21 we read, they made me jealous by what is not god and angered me with their worthless idols.

There is a difference between ambition, determination, motivation and being jealous.

Cure for jealousy: Celebration. Acknowledging what we have is much more than what we deserve.

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:1-3

Let us celebrate what we have! Let us praise His Holy name with a grateful heart. Let us keep jealousy far from us. Are we not blessed much more than we deserve?!

Have a blessed Thursday! God bless you!

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Guilt is defined as feelings of culpability especially for imagined offenses or from a sense of inadequacy : morbid self-reproach often manifest in marked preoccupation with the moral correctness of one's behavior.

Attitude behind guilt: I owe you.

Guilt can be a killer when we are really at fault. It is a result of our unconfessed sin.

Cure for guilt: Confession

We need to confess our sins to God obvisousely but we also need to confess it to one another - whoever we offended.

King David writes:  I decided to confess them to you, O LORD. ... I said, I will confess my transgressions to Yahweh, and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Psalm 32:5

James writes: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16

Confession will set you free!

Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:34-36

Amen!  Instead of carrying the burden of our guilt, let us confess it to the ones we offended and also to God and accept the deliverance only He can give. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!
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Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. Ecclesiastes 5:10

“What comes out of a man is what makes him ‘unclean.’ For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man ‘unclean.’” Mark 7:20-23

Greed is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth.

Attitude of the greedy is - I owe me!

A greedy person can become dishonest, deceitful because he/she is always looking out for more.

Luke 12 talks about a rich fool. He was called a fool because he failed to realize where his increase came from. He had forgotten who blessed him with the harvest in the first place. He claimed it all as his.

Greed is not a financial issue; it is a heart issue. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Luke 12:34

Cure for greed - Generosity. Acknowledging that God has blessed us and what we have belongs to Him and being willing to share our blessings with others less fortunate.

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

King David prayed, Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Psalm 119:36.

Can we make this our prayer too?
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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

Next few days we will discuss certain enemies of the heart, a series which we have discussed couple of years ago. The first enemy of the heart we will focus on is 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, judgemental, 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?

Let us choose what the Scripture tells us - Forgive! Shall we?
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Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him," declares the LORD. Jeremiah:31:20

Who is this Ephraim? Ephraim is Joseph's second son. Ephraim and his brother Manasseh were born to Joseph in Egypt before his father Jacob and his brothers came to him during the draught.

When Jacob sees Ephraim and Manasseh, he adopts them both as his own. (Gen 48:5) however Ephraim is set apart and seems like Jacob has a soft corner for him. Probably he recalls his younger days of being a second son to his own father and sees himself in Ephraim.

Very important point is that Ephraim became a blessing or greeting in Israel. People would bless their children, "God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh".

Later in Joshua we read, when Ephraim got his inheritance they (the tribe) did not drive out the Canaanites that dwelt among them (Judges 1:29)

Interestingly in Jeremiah 31:9, we read the Lord saying, "Ephraim is my firstborn"! In fact he was the second son to his father Joseph and the youngest if counted as a "son" of Jacob, yet he was as special as a first born in God's eyes.

You might be excited to know - as I am - that Joshua is a descendant of Ephraim! Plenty of other references can be found on Ephraim.

Why did God speak against Ephraim? I understand his main sin was not chasing away the Canaanites from his inherited land. I am sure he endured issues due to that.

Does it sound familiar? We too hold on to some "Canaanites" in our lives. Let us not take God's compassion on us for granted. It is true we are very dear to Him, but there are times as we continue to rebel, God's anger is directed towards us, but when we repent, almost immediately His mercy is revealed...

So, to sum it all up, we are God's delight; His dear sons & daughters! Amen!
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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! God's delight! Remain in His love.
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As the ark of the LORD was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, she despised him in her heart. 

When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!”

David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord.
I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”

And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.   2 Samuel 6:16

A familiar portion from the Scriptures. For those who are not sure, here's the cotext: King David was bringing the ark of the Lord into the city of David and he is so full of joy and merriment that he danced on the street, in front of the cart that was carrying the ark of the Lord. Seeing this from the palace window, his wife who was Saul's daughter despised him.

Not sure whether King David counted it against her or not, but looks like God did not approve of that as in the verses that follow we read, "And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death." 2 Samuel 6:23

How often do we despise our spouses - first in our hearts - and then by our words - and next by our actions?! First in private, then in public. First alone, then in front of others. I am guilty of this very action myself from time to time. May be we give it a different name such as, 'sharing our heart out', 'letting it all out', etc. but the Scripture calls it despising - without any sugar coating. Let us be aware that this is the reason for our lack of blessings.

You may ask, what then we ought to do when differences of opinion arise. The answer is to take it to God in prayer.He will give us a peace of mind and bring about a solution in the situation - not necessarily our way, but His way! Isn't that the best anyway?!

Let us sincerely respect our spouses. Let us use our words carefully while discussing with them about things we don't agree with. Every thought or word or action we do by despising our spouse is recorded against us - true for both guys and girls. I know it doesn't come naturally. The natural tendency is to act out, but the godly nature is to overcome this natural sin. This is something we need to consciously work on.With God's help we shall overcome.

Have a blessed Friday folks! God bless you all!
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Do not revile the king even in your thoughts, or curse the rich in your bedroom, because a bird in the sky may carry your words, and a bird on the wing may report what you say. Ecclesiastes 10:20

What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs. Luke 12:13

It is not uncommon to come across people who are opinionated. They are full of complaints about everyone around them, from the President of the country to the local weather man, and disguise it under a broad umbrella called, "Freedom of speech".

May it be far from us believers - the children of God - to be like one of them. Let us be careful about our words about everyone around us. The more we abuse it the more insensitive we become to the effect of our words.

The Bible tells us that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45). Which means that if our heart is full of love, grace, joy, wisdom, peace, contentment, fear of the Lord, etc. our mouth will reflect that. It will not complain much. It will build not destroy. It will heal not hurt. It will draw closer not chase far off.

Apostle James has dedicated almost an entire chapter to the topic of taming the tongue.

In James chapter 3 verses 5-6 we read, "...the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 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."

Every child of God must master the art of taming the tongue. This is one area we can clearly differ from the ungodly.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was a perfect example of One who had mastered it all! We read in Isaiah 53:7, "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth."

 Let us make this our desire too. Let us make this our regular prayer: "May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer." Psalm 19:14
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Elijah cometh nigh unto all the people, and saith, 'Till when are ye leaping on the two branches? -- if Jehovah is God, go after Him; and if Baal, go after him;' 1 Kings 18:21(Young's Literal Translation)

Elijah went before the people and said, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him." (NIV)

We are not getting into details on the context of today's text. However, if you wish to understand the context, please click here to read the full chapter.

How many of us can relate to wavering between two opinions? What causes us to waver?

* When a promise is delayed we waver
* When our faith is tested we waver
* Out of fear of someone or something we waver
* To avoid conflicts we waver...
* To sum it all up, in plain and simple words, we waver between hope and fear.

We do want to believe in God's promises (hope) but at the same time we want to consider the 'what if it is not true' scenario (fear or doubt).

The Scripture says: A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

Wavering or being unstable has huge consequences. If you recall Reuben, he received curse from his father Jacob instead of blessing. Jacob's words in Genesis 49:4 goes: "Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel"

King David sings in Psalm 26:1 "I have trusted in the LORD without wavering". In his letters to the Hebrews Apostle Paul writes: Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm Hebrew 10:23

As part of His sermon on the mount, Jesus said: "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." Matthew 5:37

Knowing these Scriptures will help us to improve in our faith and reduce our doubts. Any doubt about that? :)
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Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. John 7:37

How many of us can say we have feasted enough on the Bread of life this morning?! Can we set aside all other distractions, silence our peripherals and turn to the Scriptures for a brief moment this morning?

Let us read the above scriptures one more time and let the meaning of it sink in. If He is the Bread, are we having enough of Him? Are we hungry and thirsty for Him? Why wouldn't we take the time to eat and drink of Him if it will lead us to eternal life?

Let these Scriptures ponder your thoughts as you start the day. Pause once in a while to feast on His words.

May God bless you! Have a blessed Tuesday!

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Today's reading: Proverbs 17 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue"  17:28

If this is true, then interestingly the opposite is true as well:

"Even a wise is thought foolish if he does not keep silent, and not discerning if he does not hold his tongue"  

It is so difficult to keep silent when it comes to defending ourselves- right? Wrong! That's what I have figured out lately. These days I practice silence when I actually need to defend myself and it works wonders!

When someone doesn't talk much it is difficult to find out what really goes on in their mind and they have time to contemplate their thoughts and rephrase it if needed. How nice?! On the other hand if we are quick to say something it is hard to undo the damage.

I am so glad to find such practical wisdom stressed in the Scriptures. Let us pray for a discerning tongue. Definitely this is one area I am trying to improve.
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When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:28

For today's reading you may consider Psalm 104

It is a beautiful chapter telling of the many wonderful works of our Lord from sea to mountain to the plains, and explains how God's hands provide for the needs of every living thing from wild animals to men to birds.

Verse 28 here is one of my favorite which I use in my prayers all the time.

It convinces me that every little blessing comes from the Lord: the breeze, the rain, the good dinner, the beautiful flowers, fresh drinking water, a good night's rest, etc.

A related verse can be found in Psalm 145, verse 16:You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

Indeed it is the Lord who satisfies our desires, who feeds us, clothes us and provides for our other needs, not only for us humans but for all living thing.

The least we can do is acknowledge Him by giving thanks.
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Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

We all love to receive gifts - don't we? Thankfully we have a generous Father who heaps us with abundance of gifts. Doesn't mean we will love all the gifts received. There may be times when things seem not up to our likes.

Those are the times we remind ourselves of the related Scriptures to help overcome our anxiety.

In Romans 8:28 we read, "In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

Matthew 7:11 says, "If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!"

Let us accept everything God allows for us with a cheerful heart. Let us not let anything bog us down from our joy of salvation. Let us repeat to our self: "All things happen for good for those who love Him" and it will be so. Amen!
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Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Psalm 105:4

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:2

You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8 


Seek Him continually! That is the message for us this morning! Above Scriptures clearly explain the benefits of seeking His face.

What does it mean to seek someone/something?

* To try to locate or discover; search for
* To endeavor to obtain or reach
* To go to or toward
* To inquire for; request
* To try; endeavor.
* To make a search or investigation.

Seek God. Then you will find Him. Seek Him continually. Till you find Him! Amen!

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

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

This is a good reason to analyze our selves if we trust in any men. How about our bosses? Husbands? Neighbors? Parents? Or even your own hands? Are we clinging on to mere men or our ability as our "source" forgetting that the ultimate Source is the Lord God Almighty?

Today's take away is from Isaiah 26:4 which once again re insists the importance of trusting in the Lord: Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Shall we?
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Today's reading: Proverbs 22 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend." 22:11

We see of different people in the Bible who were friends with God. King David was a friend of God, Abraham was a friend of God, Job was a friend of God, Adam was a friend of God, Moses was a friend of God, also little Samuel was a friend of God.

Jesus is our King. He is indeed the King of kings. What does it take to be friends with Him? Today's verse has the answer - simple and straight forward.

1. He who loves a pure heart AND
2. He whose speech is gracious  - will be friends with the King!

In Matthew 5:8 we read, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."

Proverbs 16:13 says, "Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth" - which only reassures the fact that a man/woman who loves pure heart and whose speech is gracious will be a friend of the King.

It is my desire to be a friend of God. I will work to consciously keep my heart pure and my speech gracious. Please do the same if you too wish to be friends with our King!

Happy Wednesday!
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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? 
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Today's reading: Proverbs 16 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord" 15:16

Here's a verse which reminds us that God indeed is in control of all things. I remember yet another verse anytime I come across this one: "The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD." Proverbs 21:31

Doesn't mean we shouldn't train the horse for the day of battle or that we shouldn't be prepared to meet the worst. What it really means is that when we are finally granted victory, it is not because of the strength of the horse or our merits. The victory is from the Lord. It is because He fights our fight! Amen!

We need not fear about our circumstances at work or in the government or the world around; as ultimately what God allows for us will only happen, not what man intends.

I encourage you all to hold dear to these verses as you practice dependency on God every single day.

Happy Monday!
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For the Day: 

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

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

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

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

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

Is there any better way to start our day?

For the Night:

* On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
* But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:2
* I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. Psalm 16:7
* In the night I remember your name, O LORD, and I will keep your law. Psalm 119:55
* My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalm 119:148

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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Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

Who doesn't wish for the desires of their heart to be granted! 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

Why not give it a try?!
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Blessed is the man who does not sit in the seat of mockers. Psalm 1:1

Different translations use different words for mockers such as, scoffers, scornful, pestilence, scorners, etc. We have an idea who a mocker is however, it doesn't hurt to start with the dictionary; does it?

Who is a mocker?

Webster's online dictionary defines a mocker as, a person who causes repeated emotional pain, distress, or annoyance to another.

Another gives this detailed explanation for the term 'mock':

* To treat with ridicule or contempt; deride.
To mimic, as in sport or derision. See Synonyms at ridicule.
To imitate; counterfeit.
To frustrate the hopes of; disappoint.

Now, the scary part is, some of us might be mockers according to these definitions. Let us search our hearts this morning thoroughly. If we analyze deeper we can't deny some trace of mockery in the hidden corners of our heart, whether intentional or not.
Have we treated others with ridicule or contempt? Have we  mimicked others? Have we imitated or counterfeited someone? Do we frustrate the hopes of someone? Do we cause repeated emotional pain, distress or annoyance to another - may be our parents, our spouse, how about God?

Clearly we need to repent of it this morning. Shall we all bow our heads and pray this simple prayer?

Our Father in heaven! 
Thank you for the conviction the Holy Spirit has revealed to us this morning, that we need to repent of our mocking. We are very sorry for having mocked others, Lord. We are sorry for causing repeated emotional pain, disappointment, distress and annoyance to our spouses, parents, siblings, children, neighbors, friends and coworkers, Lord. We are sorry for our hurting,mocking words, Lord. We did not realize it was sin Lord. 
But today we have been exposed at this coffee table Lord. We are convicted of our sin Lord. Please forgive us Lord. Please wash us once again Lord. Please help us stay away from mocking any more Lord. With your help we can do it Lord, only with your help Lord. Thank you Lord, for dying on the cross to forgive our sins Lord. Thank you Lord for proclaiming us as forgiven this very minute Lord. Thank you Jesus. Thank you Savior. Thank you for your forgiveness Lord.
Bless us Lord. Use each one of us joined here, for your glory Lord. We love you and praise you and glorify your name Lord. Your name be magnified Lord. We thank you and praise you from the very bottom of our hearts Lord.
In our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's most precious name we pray, amen.
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* Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked. Psalm 1:1
* The counsel of the wicked is far from me. Job 21:16
* Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked. Psalm 64:2
A city is exalted by the blessing provided from the upright, but it is destroyed by the counsel of the wicked. Proverbs 11:11
* One who acts wickedly pays attention to evil counsel; a liar listens to a malicious tongue. Proverbs 17:4
For the LORD detests the perverse but takes the upright into his confidence. Proverbs 3:32

So, the first condition for the blessings we discussed yesterday, is not to walk in the counsel of the wicked.

The trouble we have, is recognizing the wicked!

What do the wicked look like? How do we identify a counsel of the wicked?  Once we identify, how can we keep safe from them?

Interestingly, wicked look no different from us. They talk and walk very similar to us, which makes it all the more harder to recognize them.However, we have a great tool given in our hands, the Holy Bible, the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit that can help us decipher the wickedness behind their smooth talking.

A wicked person is an ungodly person. They could be explicitly ungodly or disguised as "godly". They have no godly counsel to give you. They are wise in their own eyes and consider us who trust in the Lord, a little foolish. They don't hesitate to say us so.

He/she has no regard for the Lord, no consideration for fellow beings, no fear for authority, no regret for their wickedness. They have hardened their hearts to do evil. They seek their own good.

We are not to be so. We are not to walk with such. Because the Scripture tells us:

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

Amen! We are different. We are special. We are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. 

Any counsel or advice or suggestion that is not in line with God's Word is wicked counsel of a wicked person. Period.  The only way we can be sure of this, is by knowing the Word of God ourselves and getting the understanding on it from God (Holy Spirit) Himself.  

We are called to be righteous, which is step one for becoming a 'tree planted by the streams of water'. 

Amen!
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He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers Psalm 1:3

We all want this blessing in our lives - that we want to prosper in whatever we do. The conditions behind the blessing seem to be quite simple:

* Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked
Do not stand in the way of sinners
Do not sit in the seat of mockers.
Delight in the law of the Lord
Meditate His law day and night.

Are we meeting these conditions? Is there an area we need to improve on?

Over the next few days, we will take some time to learn in detail about each one of these conditions.

Please stay tuned...

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Have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son?

It says,

“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”

Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?

If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all.

Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live!

They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.

~Hebrews 12: 4-13

It's not my words folks, the entire passage is from the Scriptures. And therefore let us heed to it.

Blessed Tuesday all!
NRIGirl
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Here's an interesting passage from the First Book of Samuel Chapter 3:
Then Eli realized that the Lord was calling the boy. So Eli told Samuel, “Go and lie down, and if he calls you, say, ‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.’” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!”
Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
We as believers look forward to hearing the Lord speak to us. But when He actually does, are we listening?! It doesn't seem so - not always.

We only "listen" to the part we want to hear and not to what is being spoken.

We take the promises without the conditions, demand forgiveness without repentance, want to be loved without commitments...

This can't help us mature in our Faith.

Today let us prepare our hearts to say "Speak Lord, I am listening"

NRIGirl
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Here's wishing you all a Blessed July 2018!

Blessings from Scriptures below.

“‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God.

“‘Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord.

“‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees of the field their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

“‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove savage beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.

“‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. Leviticus 26:1-13

Let us be careful to obey His commands and follow His decrees; so that all these promised blessings will be ours! God bless you all very much. Jesus loves you!




NRIGirl
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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!

With that folks we wrap up half the year 2018 already!
NRIGirl
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My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Song of Solomon 1:14

Looks to me the bride here loves henna blossoms and especially those from En Gedi; so she compares her lover to a bouquet of henna blossoms from En Gedi. Since we haven't been to En Gedi or seen those henna blossoms, let's pick our favorite flower or perfume so that we too can relate to the bride in this context.

Now, let's see if we can compare our Lord to our favorite perfume. Does His sweet fragrance constantly attract us to Him? Do we want to smell like Him? Do we remember to "spray" some of Him before we step out to start our day?

Elsewhere in Proverbs we read, Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart (Proverbs 27:9) I believe this truly fits the description of our Lord. His love surely brings joy to our hearts, does it not?

Interestingly Apostle Paul also has shared similar thoughts in his letter to the Ephesians church, in which he says: "...and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God" (Ephesians 5:2)

It feels so good to be associating our Lord with our favorite perfume. Now I can almost smell Him! I am sure you can too. Let's enjoy His sweet presence rest of the day!

Happy Friday. Enjoy the weekend.

NRIGirl
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Be careful that you do not forget the LORD Deuteronomy 6:12

Have we ever forgotten the Lord? In order to answer this question, we need to understand the accurate meaning of the word 'forget'.

Online dictionary defines forget as follows:
1. To be unable to remember (something).
2. To treat with thoughtless inattention; neglect.
3. To leave behind unintentionally.
4. To fail to mention.
5. To banish from one's thoughts.
6. To disregard on purpose.
7. To cease remembering
8. To fail or neglect to become aware at the proper or specified moment.
Now that we know what it actually means to 'forget', let us repeat the question to ourselves: Have we ever forgotten the Lord?

I am afraid we are all guilty of doing just that based on the definitions above. Unable to remember, cease remembering, neglect, fail to mention... does any of these sound familiar? Yes, unfortunately.

That is why King David kept reminding his soul: "Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits." Psalm 103:2

Let it be our reminder too. Have a blessed day!
NRIGirl
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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 in 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?
NRIGirl
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You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

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

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

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

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

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

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

Let us keep that in mind the rest of the day. Let us declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Amen!
NRIGirl
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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/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!

NRIGirl
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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 advices; 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 Holy Spirit. If that is our case today let us recommit our lives to heed to the instructions of our Wonderful Counselor.

Have a blessed Sunday!