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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!
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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"

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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!