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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you! Have a blessed Monday!

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

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

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

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

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

Grieving makes one weak; rejoicing gives strength.

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you!

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Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

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

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

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

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

Psalm 127

I wanted to share from Matthew Henry's commentary for today's coffee: 
Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing. If God be not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless he crowns them with success. Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world.

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

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

All earthly comforts are uncertain, but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him.
~Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 
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How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. Psalm 31:19

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

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

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

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

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


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When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. Psalm 104:28

For today's reading, you may consider Psalm 104

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

Verse 28, When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things, is one of my favorites verse which I use in my prayers all the time, which convinces me that every little blessing comes from the Lord: the breeze, the rain, the good dinner, the beautiful flowers, fresh drinking water, a good night's rest, even a great sale, :) etc.

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

Indeed it is the Lord who satisfies our desires, who feeds us, clothes us and provides for our other needs, not only for us humans but for all living thing. The least we can do is acknowledge Him by giving thanks. Shall we?
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Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I am reminded of a few more Scripture to share:

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

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

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

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

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5 Amen!
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Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. S
ong of Solomon 2:3-4

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

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

We have a date with Him today. He is taking us to the banquet hall. Let us remember one thing - His banner over us is LOVE!
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The next day Moses entered the Tent of the Testimony and saw that Aaron’s staff, which represented the house of Levi, had not only sprouted but had budded, blossomed and produced almonds. Numbers 17:8

Numbers Chapter 17 speaks about the miracle of Budding of Aaron's rod by which the Lord separates the tribe of Levi for His ministry, to help along with Moses. You may read it by clicking here...

I was reading about it in the commentaries and absolutely loved what Clarke's commentary on the Bible says about it and decided to share the passage below:
Everything in this miracle is so far beyond the power of nature, that no doubt could remain on the minds of the people, or the envious chiefs, of the Divine appointment of Aaron, and of the especial interference of God in this case.

To see a piece of wood long cut off from the parent stock, without bark or moisture remaining, laid up in a dry place for a single night, with others in the same circumstances - to see such a piece of wood resume and evince the perfection of vegetative life, budding, blossoming, and bringing forth ripe fruit at the same time, must be such a demonstration of the peculiar interference of God, as to silence every doubt and satisfy every scruple.

It is worthy of remark that a scepter, or staff of office, resuming its vegetative life, was considered an absolute impossibility among the ancients; and as they were accustomed to swear by their sceptres, this circumstance was added to establish and confirm the oath.
Thought for the day: It is not difficult for our Lord to make our rod bud, blossom and yield over night, as long as we are willing to serve! The question is: Are we?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

a time for war and a time for peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“This, then, is how you should pray:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy March 2018!