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

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

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

But what is in there for you and me?

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

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

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Kindness
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why not make it our prayer too this Monday morning? 

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

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

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

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

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





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

~Matthew 5:31-32

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

~Malachi 2:16 
The message is clear for someone who needed to hear...
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Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." 
1 Samuel 7:12

Throughout the Scriptures we read of several people designating stones as monuments for remembering the deliverence or encountering of God in that place.

If you recall Jacob had set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him and called it Bethel (Genesis 35:14,15) and Joshua had set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. (Joshua 4:9). King David confessed several times that the Lord was his rock of salvation (Psalm 18:2).

Here Prophet Samuel sets up a monument to remember the return of the Ark of the Lord and names it Ebenezer which means "Thus far the Lord has helped us".

Now how about us? Do we have monuments that remind us of God's grace in our lives? Sure why not, birthdays, anniversaries, years of experience, number of children, all are nothing but reminders of God's grace in our lives.

But then if these are not enough reminders and/or if we would somehow forget what the Lord has done thus far, we might as well put up some monument as reminders. Let us praise the Lord for helping us thus far!

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

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

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

Those who fear him lack nothing Psalm 34:9

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

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


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

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

May God bless you! Have a blessed Thursday!

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

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

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

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

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

Let us pray:

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As simple as that. Is it hard to follow?


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Praise the Lord.

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

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

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

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

Have a blessed Thursday!

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

Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

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

Psalm 19:12-14

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

Enough said I believe. Let's heed to what the Holy Spirit is prompting us through these Scriptures...
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You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Joel 2:26
* Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood Isaiah 54:4

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

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

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

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

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

Attitude behind anger - You owe me!

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

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

Cure for anger: Forgiveness

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

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

Forgive! Shall we?

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

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



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

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

Happy Friday & Happy June 2018!