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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 


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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!

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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.
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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!


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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? 
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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!
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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?
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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!
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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!
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While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. Acts 19:1-7


Our discussion on the Holy Spirit continues... Some might ask if these kinds of discussions are even necessary at the coffee table. In John 8:31-32, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

And that is exactly what we are up to - to know the truth...

Many denominations within the Church argue Holy Spirit is received when a person believes Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior or when the believer takes baptism. True to some extent. When a person is born again he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and has an assurance his sins are forgiven. Definitely Holy Spirit dwells in him. However, this is different from the manifestation of Holy Spirit that we are discussing here.

In the above passage we see that the desciples were believers for a while; yet the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as mentioned in terms of speaking in tongues, prophesying, etc. was a new experience for them. That is what we want - this renewing, regenerating gift which is the infilling of the Holy Spirit!

How and why receiving the anointing of Holy Spirit important?
To live a holy life would be the simple answer, as we have discussed earlier. To continue to abide in Him. To be used for His glory.

How do we receive the Holy Spirit?
By inviting Him into our hearts with a sincere desire for Him. Luke 11:9-10 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

For those who are not sure, you don't have to take my word for it. Try a simple prayer with an earnest heart and God will reveal it to you.

"Our Father in heaven! We come at your presence this morning with an earnest heart to receive the Holy Spirit Lord. If it is true that there is an experience of infilling of the Holy Spirit, then reveal it to me Lord. Teach me according to the Scriptures Lord. You speak into my heart Lord. You guide me Lord. I too want the same experience of the infilling of the Holy Spirit, Lord. Anoint me Lord; Fill me Lord. Give me the gift of the Holy Spirit Lord! In Jesus's name I pray, amen!"

How do we know we have received the Holy Spirit?
We'll discuss that tomorrow...
NRIGirl
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* Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3

* This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. 1 John 4:2-3

* But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. 1 John 2:20

What are the evidences of the Holy Spirit living in us?

The answer is plain and simple from today's Scriptures. Holy Spirit acknowledges that Jesus is Lord; which means that all of us believers who acknowledge that Jesus is Lord already have Holy Spirit living in us!

How can we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 10:45 

What more can we expect from the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit prays for us in accordance with God's will. The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. (Romans 8:26-27)

Holy Spirit brings us a step closer to God. We are no longer mere mankind but His sons and daughters! Amen! We read in Romans 8:15, For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." Amen!

Why do we need more of the Holy Spirit?

It is the power of the Holy Spirit or an overflowing abundance of the anointing of the Holy Spirit we need to strive for, so that we can be His witnesses wherever we go. 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

The more Holy Spirit anointing we receive the more holy our way of life becomes and our thought process, our actions, our hobbies, our prayers will be holy molding us more and more in the image of God.

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14