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Happy Sunday!

Glad you could stop by for some Coffee with Jesus. Let's read Psalm 136 together and have some fun doing it. I will read each verse and you say: "For His mercy endureth for ever" Shall we?! Here we go...

Me: O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: O give thanks unto the God of gods:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: O give thanks to the Lord of lords:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him who alone doeth great wonders:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that by wisdom made the heavens:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that stretched out the earth above the waters:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that made great lights:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: The sun to rule by day:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: The moon and stars to rule by night:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And brought out Israel from among them:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which divided the Red sea into parts:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And made Israel to pass through the midst of it:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which led his people through the wilderness:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: To him which smote great kings:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And slew famous kings:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: Sihon king of the Amorites:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And Og the king of Bashan:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And gave their land for an heritage:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: Even an heritage unto Israel his servant:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: Who remembered us in our low estate:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever:

Me: And hath redeemed us from our enemies:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Me: Who giveth food to all flesh:
You: For his mercy endureth for ever.

(Let's read the last verse together...)
Us: O give thanks unto the God of heaven:
Us: For his mercy endureth for ever.

Great! We did it!! It was fun doing it together; was it not? Have a great "Son"day folks! Remember: His Mercy endureth for ever...
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The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy. Isaiah 35:1-2

Praise God for this beautiful verse this morning! May it be Yeah and Amen to those who believe. Your wilderness and my wilderness will rejoice and blossom. It will burst into bloom! Hallelujah!

Since this is a very beautiful passage, I decided to post the rest of the chapter too as part of today's Coffee with Jesus. Slowly read the verses; let it sink in! The passage header says in NIV: Joy of the Redeemed. Since we are the redeemed in fact it is talking about us!


The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.
Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way; 
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped. 
Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert. 
The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness.
The unclean will not journey on it;
it will be for those who walk in that Way;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
No lion will be there,
nor will any ferocious beast get up on it;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
and 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.
Gladness and joy will indeed overtake us, and sorrow and sighing will flee away... Amen!
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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 (wo)man from time to time? How does it affect our spouse children when we quarrel? I am sure they too can relate to King Solomon here as he shares exactly how it feels like living with a quarrelsome spouse.

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 rifts, 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 Friday folks!

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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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Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”

When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.

One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.” Luke 11-19

A grateful heart is not common for all. But then we are not called to be a commoner. We are royalty - sons and daughters of the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Let us be grateful for everything God had provided for us this year so far. For all the resources, for good health, for the peaceful mind, for His constant presence, His abundant grace, let us be thankful.

When our heart is filled with gratitude we cannot keep quite about it. We will throw ourselves at His feet and thank Him. We will open our mouths and praise Him out loud. We will be ready and willing to share our testimonies with our friends, neighbors, co-workers, church members, and even complete strangers.

How many of us are grateful this morning? Do we represent the ungrateful majority in today's scripture portion or the very grateful minority? If we are royals, let us not behave like commoners.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Have a blessed rest of the week! May the blessing of the Lord be with you.
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If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

Weseley's Notes explains the Scripture thus:
Seem evil - Unjust, unreasonable or inconvenient. Choose ye - Not that he leaves them to their liberty, whether they would serve God or idols. For Joshua had no such power himself, nor could give it to any other; and both he and they were obliged by the law of Moses, to give their worship to God only, and to forbear all idolatry in themselves, and severely to punish it in others.

But it is a powerful insinuation, whereby he both implies, that the worship of God is so highly reasonable, necessary and beneficial; and the service of idols so absurd, and vain, and pernicious, that if it were left free for all men to take their choice, every man in his right wits must choose the service of God, before that of idols.

He provokes them to bind themselves faster to God by their own choice. He will - But know this, if you should all be so base and brutish, as to prefer senseless and impotent idols, before the true and living God, it is my firm purpose, that I will, and my children, and servants (as far as I can influence them) shall be constant and faithful to the Lord.

And that, whatever others do. They that resolve to serve God, must not start at being singular in it. They that are bound for heaven must be willing to swim against the stream,  and must do, not as most do, but as the best do.

So, what is our resolve this morning?

As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord...

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The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4

Reading through the Book of Proverbs you would notice how often a sluggard is reprimanded. Almost in all those Scriptures immediately following the mention of the sluggard and his curse, is the mention of the diligent and the blessings associated with him. Here's to list a few:

* The lazy man does not roast his game, but the diligent man prizes his possessions. Proverbs 12:27
* Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth. Proverbs 10:4
* Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor. Proverbs 12:24
* Seest thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men. Proverbs 22:29
* The plans of the diligent lead to profit. Proverbs 21:5

Now coming back to today's Scripture, if we are diligent our desires will be fully satisfied.

What does it take to be diligent? Diligence means "making every effort to excel in what we do". Marked by persevering, painstaking effort or in plain and simple words, diligence is striving for perfection.

Being diligence does not mean running after the world; it means being diligent for the Lord, for spreading the Gospel, for living a holy life, for winning souls for Christ!

When we are diligent in godly affairs He will bless us with our desires for everything else.Things will fall in place. With less effort on our part we will reap great benefits.

For the Scripture insists:Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. Luke 12:31

Amen!
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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

The right hand is significantly "honorable" than the left, you might agree.

For God to hold our right hand and still lead us, I imagine God is facing towards us holding our right hand. In today's scriptures we see Moses and King David singing about the mighty right hand of God. Clearly they took no credit for their might or strength or leadership ability for any of their victories but fully acknowledged God's right hand which was holding them and leading them.

The very same right hand is holding and leading us today! Isn't that remarkable? 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!

Amen!

Have a blessed Sunday all!
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I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

I can sense it in the Spirit that today's message comes directly to someone among us - whose heart has been hardened over many situations in life. Rest assured today is the day of "heart transplant" for you, by the Lord Himself.

The Lord promises to give you a new heart with a new spirit in you. He will remove from you the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh! Hallelujah!

Whoever has hurt you in the past, whatever has hardened your heart, however long it has been, however hard your heart has become, this very minute the Holy Spirit is reaching in, removing it, lifting it up and away! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! And here He is replacing it with a brand new heart! A heart full of joy! A heart full of praise! A heart that hurts no more. A heart that is soft and sensitive to His healing touch. Amen!

Lift your hands and praise the Lord! Raise your voice and praise the Lord! Pour out your heart and praise the Lord! It is okay to cry and praise the Lord. It is absolutely okay to jump and dance and clap and sing and snap and shout and praise the Lord!
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Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. 
Hebrews: 3:7-8

What is meant by hardening of our heart?

Gill's exposition of the entire Bible has a beautiful explanation for it, which I wish to share: (sorry it is one very long sentence, but if you pause and read it you will get it.)
There is a natural hardness of the heart; the heart of man is like a stone, destitute of spiritual life, motion, and activity; it is senseless, stupid, impenitent, stubborn, and inflexible, on which no impressions can be made, but by powerful grace: and there is an acquired, habitual, and voluntary hardness of heart, to which men arrive by various steps; as entertaining pleasing thoughts of sin; an actual commission of it, with frequency, till it becomes customary, and so habitual; an extenuation or justification of it, and so they become hardened against all reproofs and sermons, and to all afflictions and judgments; are insensible and past feeling, and openly declare for sin, and glory in it: and there is a hardness which God's people are liable to, and should guard against; and which is brought on by a neglect of private and public worship, and by keeping bad company, and through the ill examples of others, and by giving way to lesser sins; for all sin is of an hardening nature...
 Is our heart harden today? Have we become insensitive to the Holy Spirit? If we have the slightest doubt we need to work on it.

Tomorrow we shall see God's fix for a hardened heart...

Have a blessed Friday  and a happy weekend ahead.
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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

All believers have experienced this "voice" leading our way. This is the Holy Spirit or Counselor promised to be sent to us as Jesus was ascending to Heaven.

There are times we would prefer the voice to be a little louder or even audible to know for sure it is Him talking. We expect to hear thunder and lightning or some extravagant display of God at work.

In I Kings 19:11-12 we read about Elijah encountering this voice from the Lord. It says:
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by."

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

However often times we neglect this still small voice or the gentle whisper and continue on our journey as we please. We are quick to be angry, quick to argue, quick to defend ourselves, quick to blame others, quick to take credit, etc.

All the while the Holy Spirit gently directs: "This is the way; walk in it." Are we listening?
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For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6


Wonderful Counselor - What does that mean? Counselor is one who counsels or advises or instructs. Having God as our Counselor would imply that we should be depending on His guidance or advice. 

In fact, the 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— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. John 14:16

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

The Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

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

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

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

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

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

Lack of peace can surely be linked to not following the counsel of the Holy Spirit. If that is our case today let us recommit our lives to heed to the instructions of our Wonderful Counselor.

Have a blessed day!

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Today's reading: Proverbs 15 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil." 15:16

In his letter to Timothy Apostle Paul writes, "But godliness with contentment is great gain" I Timothy 6:6

I am also reminded of Mark 8:36: "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?"

We are often running after things to satisfy our temporary needs forgetting the eternal life. If you think about it, all that matters in the end is our soul - where it will spend it's eternity?

Let us be thankful for the blessings we have. Let us not focus to acquire more and more of material things. Let us learn to be contented with what we have and focus our attention to the well being of our soul. Shall we?
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* And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other. Matthew 24:31
* In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.1 Corinthians 15:52
* For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Matthew 24:27
* For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17 

The most important event we as Christians ought to look forward to on a daily basis is the The Last Trumpet Call!!

What is meant by the last trumpet call? The last trumpet call is the imminent return of our King and Savior Jesus Christ at the least conceivable time to gather His Church in mid air. The dead in Christ will rise and the faithful living will be transformed to be caught up with Him. This is also widely refered to by the term 'pre tribulation rapture'.

When will the last trumpet call be? No one knows the exact date/time/hour of the last trumpet call - which makes it all the more difficult to be ready for it.

What does it take to be ready? Knowing Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and having our name written in the Book of Life is all it takes to be rapture ready. When Apostle Paul was in prison, a jailer asked him, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul's answer was: "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts: 16: 30-31) If we believe in the Lord, we will be ready.

Are you ready?
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Why leap ye, ye high hills? this is the hill which God desireth to dwell in; yea, the LORD will dwell in it for ever. Psalm 68:16

High hills are normally associated with people worshipping idols. In 1 Kings 14:23 we read, They also set up for themselves high places, sacred stones and Asherah poles on every high hill and under every spreading tree.

Mount Zion on the other hand is not a high hill, but a mount, much smaller in stature compared to these "high places" but our Lord chose it as His dwelling place. It is called the Holy Hill. There are many references in the Scriptures for it; here's to share a few:

* Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. Psalm 9:11
* It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore. Psalm 133:3
* But on Mount Zion will be deliverance; it will be holy, and the house of Jacob will possess its inheritance. Obadiah 1:17
* For the LORD has chosen Zion, he has desired it for his dwelling Psalm 132:13
* In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. Psalm 76:2

It is in this context King David sings that the so called high hills has nothing to boast about because the Lord desires to dwell in Mount Zion and not on these high hills. Elsewhere he sings, "For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?" 2 Samuel 22:32 and again in Psalm 18:2, "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

So King David knew who his Rock was and where He dwelt that he didn't have to look up to any of the other high hills to find his Savior like the heathen did.

If we are on the same page, we will not look up to Hollywood or Washington or upper management or doctors or therapists or gurus or yoga or any other "high places" to find our refuge... We will know to take refuge in the Lord for there is no other rock except our God! Amen!
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If you love me, keep my commands. John 14:15

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.I John 5:3

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30

Praise the Lord! Happy weekend! As we wrap up the week we are also wrapping up our series on Grace & Peace.  

The 4th key to finding His grace and availing His peace is to obey His commands. Scriptures are full of His commands. Anywhere you turn, for whatever circumstances you are presently in, the Scripture has the answers. When we obey the commands of God He will shower His countless blessings on us, which very much includes the promised grace and peace that we are after.

In Leviticus 3rd chapter verses 3-13, God has promised us the benefits of following His commands, which I wish to share with you. Take your time to read  it and re read it, till the contents sink in.

‘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 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 wild 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 26:3-13

Amen! Let us follow His commands so all these promises will be ours.

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Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38


Grace & Peace series continues... The 3rd key to finding grace and availing the peace He offers is to follow His lead.

What does it mean to 'follow' someone? Dictionary.com defines it as:

* to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.
* to go or come after; move behind in the same direction:  
* to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to
* to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey
* to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar

I believe all these definitions were/are meant when Jesus said/says to follow Him. Isn't that how Jesus hand picked His 12 disciples? Didn't they all follow Him based on all these definitions above?

Well and good, aren't we called as well? Why aren't we following then? When was the last time we prayed lead me Lord? Shall we pray like King David?: "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:24

Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Song of Solomon 2:4
Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

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In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31


The 2nd key to finding grace & peace is to take the time.

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

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

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

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

My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1

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Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131:2

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Be still, and know that I am God.Psalm 46:10

Yesterday we started a new series Grace & Peace.Today we will see what is the #1 key to finding the grace and availing the peace God has intended for us, which is to Quiet your soul.

God did not design us human beings to run 24 X 7. We were made to rest systematically. Only to insist that God Himself rested on the 7th day of creation and set aside the Sabbath for us to rest. If it were not so important,it wouldn't have found it's place among the ten commandments.

So, when was the last time you rested completely - quieting your soul? Were all the distractions we were after, worth it? The non-stop text messages, the social networking way into wee hours, were it really truly worth anything? From my own experience I can tell all these distractions are far from quieting us. No wonder we feel edgy and cranky most of the time.

When we quiet our soul like how God had planned for us, we are renewed and refreshed - all body, mind and soul. Only when we quiet our soul, we can hear God speak, thus know the will of God in our lives, which leads to the complete peace - His peace - that has been made available for us.

Then we too can sing as King David sang: He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:2-3.  

Amen! What a privilege! It all starts with quieting our soul. Shall we make an effort starting today?

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My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27

Today's Scriptures clearly explain there are two things God has already given to us. Grace & Peace. He has given; means it is served. But have we availed it?

If you ever feel pressured or in turmoil - without peace, clearly you haven't availed it. If you are calm and composed in all situation surely you have received it.

Grace is composed of His love, His mercies, His kindness, His justice. (Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life.Genesis 19:19)

In Peace we find the rest He promised. (Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28; My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14)

Even the lamenting Prophet Jeremiah writes: The LORD'S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."… Lamentations 3:23-24

I encourage you all to avail His grace and to find His rest this morning. We will discuss the howto's in more detail in the coming days...



Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter:1:2
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 But Moses said, “Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, ‘I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!’ Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?” The Lord answered Moses, “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.” Numbers 11:21-23

Once again we have the same message from the Lord for today's Coffee with Jesus: Is the Lord's arm too short?

We are all familiar with the above portion of the Scripture where Moses candidly shares his doubts with the Lord when He tells him that he was going to feed meat to the people for a whole month. That's when the Lord answers Him: “Is the Lord’s arm too short? Now you will see whether or not what I say will come true for you.”

[We also read towards the end of the same chapter that it did come true as promised; however they were punished for their arrogance, rebellion and doubt, which is a whole another discussion for some other time.]

Aren't we like Moses sometimes? We list out the reasons why certain promises cannot be fulfilled in our lives. We do not take promises seriously enough to claim it as our own. We are full of doubts, depending on our own merits and resources. We do not trust completely. We are fallible beings after all.

For us comes the reminder again: “Is the Lord’s arm too short?"

Let us answer Him "No" and claim His promises without a doubt with a grateful heart. Amen!
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Happy September 2019!

I was looking up the words "the first day of the month" in the Bible and was delighted to find a few significant events that occurred in history on this day:

1. Ezra arrived in Jerusalem on the first day of the fifth month. He had left Babylon on the first day of the first month. (Ezra 7:8)

2. Aaron died on the first day of the fifth month on the 40th year since leaving Egypt. (Numbers 33:38)

Of course all of us have passed thru' several 'first days of the months' in our lives! Most likely we do not even recall what it was like last year this time or the years before.

However, we can all truly be grateful for God's providence for us thru' the years past; which only leads to the conclusion that He will prove Himself true for the rest of the years ahead!

For those of you who are somewhat weary this morning, let me share a promise from the Lord:

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. Isaiah 59:1

Amen! Praise the Lord!

Let us repeat it to ourselves: "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear".

I didn't quite "hear" all of you saying it; can we try once more please?

"Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear". Amen!

Now keep telling that to yourself anytime doubts attack you this month. Anytime you are on the verge of giving up, keep reminding yourself of the 'things of past' and continue to trust Him for the 'things of future'.

May God bless you all abundantly! Happy September 2019!
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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."

Wow! Hard to believe but yes folks today we complete August 2019 and thus far the Lord has helped us! Praise the Lord.

Let us thank Him for the provisions all through the year so far and give God the glory and honor and praise due His name.

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


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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 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. 

Jehovah Jireh!
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* 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

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

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

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

Manna for breakfast anyone?!
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You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord. Psalm 128:2-4

In Genesis 3:16-19, we read of a somewhat contrasting scenario:

To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life...” 

I find it amazing how even the curse God gave man, was in fact a blessing in disguise. I am sure you will agree with me that having a job, being profitable by the toil of our hands, having children are all in fact blessings; no denying that!

Let us pause a moment this morning to acknowledge and appreciate the blessings He has showered on us. Let our hearts earn to Him with sincere gratitude.

God bless you! Have a blessed day today.



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He turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water. Psalm 114:7-8

Remember the incident in Exodus when the Israelites were very thirsty God gave them water to drink out of the rock? Well, that's the exact scene King David is referring to here in today's scripture from Psalm.

Isn't this true in our case too? There have been times when we were so pressed for a need and out of nowhere God provided help at the eleventh hour. When we thought there were no possibilities of how a certain need could be met, God made a way for us somewhere somehow... I can recall many many many such incidents.

Without insurance huge medical needs for my in-laws were met miraculously. When there was no hope of finding a solution at work for an issue, I fasted and prayed for three days and you won't believe the third day just minutes before our management was going to announce to our clients that we can not provide them the solution, God gave me the solution through a simple change in my code! When we were almost giving up on hopes of selling our home which was in the market for nearly a year, an offer came through the very same night! When there was no more hopes of finding a full time job for me, God blessed me with the finest job I could ever imagine, I could add more and more to the list.

I am sure, all of us are living testimonies of how God can indeed turn the rock into a pool and the hard rock into springs of water. Let us share our testimonies today to edify the glory of the Lord. God bless you all and have a great week ahead!
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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 in tune 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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In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Today's Scripture is an excerpt from Jesus's final address to His disciples - before His death & resurrection that is.

Soon after these words, Jesus prays for Him to be glorified, prays for His disciples, prays for all believers and then they cross over the Kidron Valley, into the Garden of Gethsemane where He gets arrested; the crucifixion follows..

The passage starts with these words: Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 

The disciples were totally confused. What was He talking about? They had left everything to follow Him and now what?

Jesus clarifies their doubts in the preceding portion of the Scriptures in the same chapter, the highlights of which I wish to share:

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. (verse 20)

Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (verse 23)

 Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (verse 24)

What is in these portions for us today? That we will have trouble. Yet we will rejoice. In Him. Because of Him. 

I know for some these words are vague, just plain words. But for those of us who believe these are great promises. It ascertains our future. It confirms our faith. Let us take heart!

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Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

Many have promised us many things in the past. Most have been broken.

During childhood there were friends who said they would stay connected no matter what, only to find our self drifting far and away from them. As young adults we were given promises only to end up in heartbreaks. Even as we married our spouses promised in front of the guests, the priests and God Himself that he/she would be with us thru' everything; yet there have been countless instances when we have felt alone.

All promises ever given to us by any human being are broken one way or other. Of course they will come up with solid excuses for breaking their promises; and most likely it would be "our fault". They would easily blame us and move away.

Well, if we think about it we too are no different. We break promises all the time, don't we?

This morning we are given a TRUE promise however. One unlike any other "promise" we have ever received or given.

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

God the Father, the Lord Himself promises us that His unfailing love will not be shaken and His covenant of peace will not be removed from us! Amen!

He quotes the mountains and hills which are not so easily removed and even if they did shake or move, His love for us will stand firm! The Lord Himself has said this! Amen!

Let us always keep this in mind. No matter what, God's love for us is constant. Amen!



Have a blessed Friday. God bless you!
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For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. Psalm 33:9

I just love this verse so much that I use it in almost all my prayers, be it for me or someone else. The power of His word is so powerful.

If you recall the incident when a centurion comes to Jesus requesting healing for his servant, he said: "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed." Matthew 8:8

In Genesis 1:3 we read, And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. The rest of the creation was also created simply by His spoken words.

Elsewhere in the Scriptures we read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1

Little Samuel was taught by Eli to respond by saying "Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening."

Jesus rebuked satan by saying, "Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God."

In  Mark 4:39 we read: He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

Romans 8:34 says, "Christ Jesus, ... is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

If we sit down to look for more Scriptures that emphasis the power of His Spoken Words, I am sure we can find many many more. Don't you want Him to speak for you today? I do.

Let's hold on to these verses and pray to our Lord thus: "You spoke, and it came to be; You commanded, and it stood firm. Please speak to me Lord. Please speak for me Lord!" Amen!
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Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:20

I know it is too personal, but let me ask you; do you hate a brother or sister? Yes, you heard it right. Do you hate a brother or sister?

If we do, today's Scripture calls us a liar. It goes on to discuss further that if we can't love a brother or sister whom we can see, we can't possibly love God, whom we cannot see. In that case, the flip side is also true. If we truly love God we will surely love our brothers and sisters. 

There may be family dynamics, parents' partiality or misunderstandings that can often cause a rift among siblings, cousins and other relationships. It may be hard to love them in spite of it all. However, if we are constantly filled with the love of God, none of those causes would actually affect us. We will still be able to carry forward with the relationship without any bitterness or vengeance or envy. This is only possible with the help of God.

There was a period in my life where I felt absolutely no love for my in-laws. All I remembered was everything they said or did against me. Not that I didn't say or do anything, but in my mind my reciprocal was justified and so I felt no remorse for that. 

During a Sunday sermon one day I realized it was sinful not to forgive them. I started to pray for God's mercy and love to fill my heart so that I remember their offenses no more. It seemed hard in the beginning but trust me within few weeks of my earnest prayers I could completely forgive them. My hurt was wiped away as if it never was. Today I can honestly say I love my in-laws. Praise the Lord!

So, if any of you suffer with similar syndromes today, I urge you to reach out to God Almighty. Ask Him to refill your hearts with the joy of salvation once again. He will enable you to truly forgive your brothers and sisters. He will make it all possible to love them unconditionally - all over again. Not only that, your love for the Lord will be renewed. Praise the Lord!

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:35

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* LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6

* I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24

Interestingly King David and Prophet Jeremiah from different times have made the same statements. What do they really mean by saying the Lord is their portion?

A portion or a share is a part of the whole, an allotment, if you will, mostly referred to as an inheritance. It could be a portion of the booty or plunder that one had the right to, or the portion of land that belonged to one in the division of an estate.

So, to say that the Lord is our portion means that we will trust in the Lord for our portion, for our inheritance, for our lot, for our part, for our rightful allotment.

It also means that whatever we enjoy at current times, all the little blessings, are given us by the Lord as our portion and secured lot! The joy in our heart, the peace of our mind, the confidence in our Lord are all part of His grace we enjoy.

Let us praise Him with a grateful heart for securing our lot and for being our portion.

Amen!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 19 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Houses and wealth are inherited from parents, but a prudent wife is from the LORD" 19:14

In most weddings we hear the sermon touching on the verse: "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD" Proverbs 18:22

Few questions today to the wives:
Are we good?
Are we worth to be called 'a favor from the Lord'?
Are we prudent wives?

What does it take to be a prudent wife?
In Proverbs 31:30 we read, "Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised"; verse 10 says, "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies."

A prudent wife:
*Fears the Lord
*She is of noble character

Let us look at ourselves up close. Then we will know if we have what it takes to be a prudent wife. I guess the same principles would apply for husbands too.

Have a blessed day.
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Today's reading: Proverbs 18 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe." 18:10

The Name by itself is very powerful. People like to name-drop to show they have friends in the higher places. We feel good if someone remembers us by our name. Names have meaning. Names even determine one's personality. Have you ever seen a Joy who is not always happy? Or how about an Angel who is not beautiful? Or an Israel who is not blessed?

More than any name Jesus's name is the most powerful. How can we say that? Because the Scripture says, in Philippians 2:9: "God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name."

Even while we pray we are taught to end our request in Jesus's Name! We are also warned against misusing God's name in vain: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain" Exodus 20:7

The take away for today is The Name of the Lord is a great tower; we can run into it to take refuge! Amen!

Happy "Son"day!
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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 only 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 and wish to share it 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!

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Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8

The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Job 1:7

The sudden loneliness & mood swings we experience from time to time, the self pity we so carefully tend to at times, the lurking depression though we do not fully admit it, are all nothing but the "roars" of the prowling lion in disguise. Fear, anger, enmity, depression & death are different ways he could attack us. We could fall prey to his cunning tactics so easily if we are not self-controlled and alert against him.

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:7

It is my prayer that the love of Jesus Christ fill your hearts once more - eradicating the fear, anger, enmity, depression and/or thoughts of death anyone reading this might be experiencing this morning.

Resist the devil. Be self-controlled and alert! Submit yourself to God. Jesus loves you! I too love you!
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But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:20-23 


Here Apostle Jude calls us to persevere in our faith, staying focused on eternal life. It is as though he knew the current times. He warns us about the scoffers & false preachers in earlier verses, and insists us to safeguard our faith amidst it all.

It is important to hold on to our faith first. Then we could help out those who are in doubt and those on the verge of eternal fire. In doing so, we will stand before God without fault and with great joy! Hallelujah!

Let us heed to the call this morning: by building ourselves up in our faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves in God’s love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us to eternal life. Amen!
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“Therefore 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 than food, and the body more 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? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers 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—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 6:25-33

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Buy the truth and do not sell it; get wisdom, discipline and understanding. Proverbs 23:23

Truth here means Jesus Christ.  We read in John 14:6, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Salvation is the ultimate gift God has made available for all those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ! It is God's master plan to reunite with man since his fall at Eden. Yet, many don't want anything to do with it. That's because they are deceived by the father of all lies to believe in lies instead of the Truth.

In Matthew 13:44 we read, "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary explains it further in very simple words:
Buy the truth, and sell it not; be willing to part with any thing for it. Do not part with it for pleasures, honours, riches, or any thing in this world.
Jesus Himself said these words, as Apostle John notes, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32

So, those of us who have found the Truth, let us not sell it for anything or anybody; and those who have not, please buy it at all cost.  Whatever you lose in order to gain Him, you will receive it in many folds.

"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven." Matthew 10:32-33
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Teach me to do your will... Psalm 143:10

I am astonished by the close relationship King David had with the Lord.

He was constantly praying, constantly worshiping, constantly praising, constantly learning, constantly improving, constantly repenting, constantly singing the name of the Lord! Our Lord!

There are endless Scriptures on that:

Here in Psalm 143, he prays, "Teach me to do your will".

In Psalm 25:4 he sings, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths".

Again in Psalm 119:12 he says, "teach me your decrees".

In Psalm 139:24 he asks, "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting".

Just the fact that he repeatedly asked these questions indicate how keen he was to follow the will of God.

How are we doing? Are we constantly seeking the will of God?
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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 


NRIGirl
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Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

Please take some time to read Psalm 17 which is a prayer by King David. I love prayers of different people from the Bible as it shows their heart and teaches us to pray as well.

King David's prayers are candid, coming straight from his heart without any filtration by the head.

In this prayer, King David sets before the Lord the contrast between him and his adversaries: He is righteous; they are wicked. He does not sin with his mouth ; but they speak arrogance. He keeps himself from the way of violence but they are crouching in cover to prey on him.

He then pleads for God to confront his enemies on his behalf and ends it with no doubts of his deliverance.

We can sure learn a great deal from this prayer. Knowing that in spite of our righteousness, in spite of our enemies wickedness, amidst our plea, the deliverance is at hand should make our faith stronger.

We have thus disqualified our merits, nullified the fear of our enemies' wickedness, accepted that God alone can save us and look forward to receive our victory!

Amen!

NRIGirl
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Today's reading: Proverbs 7 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye" 7:2

Here's to share some extracts from different commentaries on this verse:

* Clarke's  commentary on the Bible:
As the apple of thine eye - As the pupil of the eye, which is of such essential necessity to sight, and so easily injured.
* Gill's exposition says:
... the doctrine of Christ,... should be as dear to men as the apple of their eye, and as carefully preserved, that the least injury is not done to it; it should be kept inviolate 
* Geneva Study Bible:
By this diversity of words, he means that nothing should be so dear to us as the word of God, nor that we look on anything more nor mind anything so much...
* Matthew Henry's concise commentary:
We must lay up God's commandments safely. Not only, Keep them, and you shall live; but, Keep them as those that cannot live without them. Those that blame strict and careful walking as needless and too precise, consider not that the law is to be kept as the apple of the eye; indeed the law in the heart is the eye of the soul. Let the word of God dwell in us, and so be written where it will be always at hand to be read. Thus we shall be kept from the fatal effects of our own passions, and the snares of Satan. Let God's word confirm our dread of sin, and resolutions against it.
Let's be careful not to tolerate the sins mentioned in the chapter. Surely, if we keep His commands we will be free from such trap.
NRIGirl
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I, the LORD, am your healer. Exodus 15:26

Here's a beautiful song you can sing along and pray with for your healing today.



I pray that you experience the Lord Jesus Christ as your Jehovah Rapha this very day. Amen!


NRIGirl
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“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:27-36

Today's Scripture portion is Jesus's own words to the multitude. If so, how much more direct it is for His children - you and me?!

If this is His instructions for handling our enemies, how much more important it is to treat our family and friends according to these instructions?

What do you say? 
NRIGirl
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“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14

Something strikes me about today's Scripture. It is a wonderful promise indeed; but it requires for us to do something. What? Actually 'not doing anything' is what we are required to do. In other words, being still is what we must do!

It is the simplest commands of all; yet we all know very well how difficult it is to obey it - especially when our situation calls for a panic or temper tantrum or a quick fix. You can't just be still when there is a roaring sea in the front and chariots of army behind, can you? Right, we can't; not without a strong faith in Him.

Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

That's why it is extremely important to know these scriptures, the Word of God, the promises already given to us. Then when the situations call for panic we will not fear; we will not despair; we will not take matters into your own hands; we will not jump to your own conclusions; we will not lean on our own understanding; we will not fight our fight!

We will stand firm and be still believing that our help comes from the Lord! And it will! Amen!
NRIGirl
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You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. Acts 1:8

One of the most evident manifestation of the gift of the Holy Spirit is that we will be witnesses for Jesus Christ.

Witness by definition goes:
a. One who can give a firsthand account of something seen, heard, or experienced.
b. One who furnishes evidence.

By witnessing we share our story of how we got saved. Every believer has a story to share; a story of three part:

1. How you were before you met Christ
2. What happened when you met Christ
3. What you have become after you met Christ.

More than us God is interested in reaching souls. He will make every opportunity available for us where we can be a witness for Him just by sharing our story - at work, among friends, with neighbors, over Facebook, the possibilities are endless!

Now, are you willing?
NRIGirl
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"... these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." ...the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:14-20

"... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4

Listed here are few Scriptures that talk about the external manifestation of the indwelling or the infilling of the Holy Spirit within us. I do not think further explanation is needed as these Scriptures are self explanatory.

Yet, I would like to discuss one subject 'Speaking in tongues' here which is constantly argued about among believers - mostly between believers who have received the gift of speaking in tongues and believers who have not received the gift. Some go to the extent to say one cannot go to heaven if they don't speak in tongues and some go to the other extreme that people talking in tongues are evil possessed.

We have to be very cautious about making such statements because any such remarks are against the Word of God. The Scripture says, "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Mark 3:29. So it is extremely important to refrain from doing so.

The Scripture says, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever" Hebrews 13:8. Therefore the Scriptures on the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are also true yesterday, today and forever, not just for the first century as some claim.

Just because one hasn't manifested in Spirit certain way doesn't make him any less holy than the one who has manifested and vice versa one who speaks in tongues must not boast against the one who does not. Paul instructs us in I Corinthians 10:31, "whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." and again in I Corinthians 14:40, "...everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

So, coming back to our original discussion on Speaking in tongues:

Is it true? Yes, absolutely.
How do I say it so confidently? Because I have experienced it myself.
How does it help? Helps me pray better especially during my personal prayer time and during worship.
What is the advantage? I can connect better with the Almighty, loving Him better with body, mind and soul. The Christian walk has been more rewarding as I can sense a constant companionship in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. The whole concept of 'being holy like the One who called us is holy' is less challenging with the constant reminder from the Holy Spirit about things good vs. evil.

If you have unanswered questions, bring it on! We will discuss it on the coffee table. God alone be glorified in and through us!
NRIGirl
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* And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

* Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." Galatians 4:6

First and foremost the gift of the Holy Spirit pours out His love into our hearts - an abundant overflowing love, for Christ our Lord, for the neighbors, for fellow mankind, for the sinners and for all.

In addition to that we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us that calls out "Abba, Father" thus giving us a sense of closeness with God.

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible states:
This love is the spring of all our actions; it is the motive of our obedience; the principle through which we love God, we love him because he first loved us; and we love him with a love worthy of himself, because it springs from him: it is his own; and every flame that rises from this pure and vigorous fire must be pleasing in his sight: it consumes what is unholy; refines every passion and appetite; sublimes the whole, and assimilates all to itself. And we know that this is the love of God; it differs widely from all that is earthly and sensual.

The Holy Ghost comes with it; by his energy it is diffused and pervades every part; and by his light we discover what it is, and know the state of grace in which we stand. Thus we are furnished to every good word and work; have produced in us the mind that was in Christ; are enabled to obey the pure law of our God in its spiritual sense, by loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and our neighbor, any and every soul of man, as ourselves.

True, speaking in tongues and prophesying are other signs that accompany the infilling of the Holy Spirit. But if we lack the fundamental love the Scripture here talks about then these external signs are of no use or it is voided.

This is exactly what Paul writes in I Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

So, now you know if you have received the gift or not. If you have the assurance you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, Congratulations! Continue to abide in His love! If you are not sure, continue to pray for the gift.

In the next couple of days we will see further manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and prophesying. May God be glorified in and through us!