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But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don't need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true--it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. I John 2:27

Yesterday we saw we can be only holy if we abide in Him. Today is the follow up on how to abide in Him.

As the Scripture suggests when we receive the Holy Spirit and He lives within us, He will teach us what is true. Here comes a touchy subject that is a cause for so many denominations in the Church today.

Who and What is this Holy Spirit? How do we receive Him? Is it necessary for the Christian walk? so many questions rush to our minds. Let us go to the Scriptures to get our answers as there is no place better than the Word of God for answers to our questions.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Holy Spirit is the third face of God's Trinity. Just like how God the Father is real and how God our Lord Jesus Christ is real, God the Holy Spirit is also real. Now, you may ask how we can even understand that?

It can overwhelm us if we try to dig deeper and understand every details of it; but I believe it can be explained much simpler. We as humans have a trinity - body, mind and soul. Just like that God has a Trinity - Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

In John 14:26 Jesus is preparing his disciples for His ascension to heaven saying: "But 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."

Now to get back to our original discussion today, if we have that Counselor living within us, He will teach us the truth and help us live a holy life just as He is holy.

Now that we have too many unanswered questions, let us discuss it in detail in the coming days - we will learn more about Holy Spirit and how we can receive Him to live within us...

If you have any specific questions, please share in the comments section below...
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* And they(angels) were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3
* Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
I Peter 1:15
* For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
I Thessalonians 4:7
* 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


No denying that the One who called us is Holy! Now, we are required to follow suit, to measure up to His holiness. Is that even possible?

Prophet Isaiah spoke to God one on one, for himself, for the kings, for the nations; yet he writes: "All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags..." (Isaiah 64:6

True! If we try only by ourselves, it is impossible to be holy like He is holy. But when we are rooted in Christ, the Holy Spirit will help us to be holy.

We read in John 15:5 as Jesus is saying: "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

So, the key here is to remain in Him. To abide in Him. To be filled with His Holy Spirit that teaches us about all things. Then we too can be holy and blameless and pure like the one who has called us. Amen!

Tomorrow we will see how to abide in Him...
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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(NIV)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (KJV)

Barne's Notes on the Bible has the following explanation:

Follow peace with all men - Do not give indulgence to those passions which lead to litigations, strifes, wars. This is the temper of the gospel. We are to make war with sin, but not with people; with bad passions and corrupt desires, but not with our fellow-worms.

And holiness - Instead of yielding to contending passions and to a spirit of war; instead of seeking revenge on your persecutors and foes, make it rather your aim to be holy. Let that be the object of your pursuit; the great purpose of your life. Men might in such cases counsel them to seek revenge; the spirit of religion would counsel them to strive to be holy.

What is the difference between us and non-believers if we take offense in every single remark or wrong doing,  arguing our case? Can't we just dust off the comment and move forward forgiving them in Jesus' name? It doesn't seem alright; they truly deserve to hear what we got to say - right? Wrong!

Let us make every effort to live in peace as today's Scripture teaches us. Let us make a difference from the rest of the crowd out there!
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God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

In order to understand what this Scripture actually means let us read the complete passage:

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.
The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. I Thessalonians 4:3-8
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. I Corinthians 6:18
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Ephesians 5:3
Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires... Colossians 3:5
An interesting thing about sin - any sin - is that we do know it is sin; no one has to point it out to us. If any of us struggle with any impurities let us bring it to the Lord's presence this morning,confess and be washed by His blood all over again.
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“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:1-3

Life is full of disappointments and broken promises which makes our hearts troubled. In today's Scriptures we are reminded of our great hope an assured promise that our Lord Jesus will return to take us home with Him.

Now the question is, how do we get ready? There is only one answer: Be Holy!

I Peter 1:13-23 titled "Be Holy" instructs us to:

1. Prepare your minds for action
2, Be self-controlled
3. Set your hope fully on the grace
4. Do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance.
5. Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do
6. Live your lives as strangers here (in this world)
7. Know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
8. Have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.

With that being said, the rest of the week we will devote to learn more about holiness. Please stay tuned...



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If you are not feeling up to going to church today, here's a reminder for you:
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14

It doesn't matter which day of the week we choose to gather to worship the Lord; whichever day it is, let us do it willingly. Then we will find our joy in the Lord and all of the other blessings promised above will be ours!

Let's enjoy the 'Son'day!
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Do not imitate what is evil but what is good 3 John: 1:11

Here John writes to Gaius his dear friend, about Diotrephes - a bad example. We do come across several such bad examples in our lives. It is very important to take special care not to "become" a bad example ourselves.

Aren't we curious to know what Diotrephes did that made him a bad example. Let's see, my interpretations within parenthesis below...

* First of all, he loved to be first (the me, me, me syndrome - sounds familiar?)
* He Gossiped maliciously (talking ill of Pastors and other ministers doing the work of God)
* He refused to welcome the brothers (not having to do anything with people from different denominations)
* He also stopped those who wanted to welcome the brothers (discouraging friends who do...)
* He put those who welcomed the brothers out of the church (worst, barring such friends from "our type" of gatherings)

Sadly we can immediately associate these characteristics of Diotrephes with some people we know... Let us analyze ourselves too to see if we fall through the crack anywhere...

Let us set a resolution right now not to imitate what is evil but only what is good! Shall we?
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As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. Psalm 84:6

As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs... Who are they?

In the earlier verses (Psalms 84:4-5) we read in detail about them:

* They are blessed
* They dwell in the house of the Lord
* They are ever praising the Lord
* Their strength is in the Lord
* They have set their hearts on pilgrimage in other words, they have decided to follow the Lord.

So, for the promise above to be true in our lives we need to become them.

Then,

As we pass through the Valley of Baca, we  will make it a place of springs... How's that?

Coffee will be served over the weekend too. In case you can't make it, have a godly one.
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"I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs." Isaiah 41:18

These Scriptures speak for themselves; so not much explanation is needed.

However, I would like to stress the message once again. If you beleiev say Amen.

* Our Lord can make streams in our barren situations. Amen!
* Our Lord can turn our deserts into pools of water. Amen!
* Our Lord can make our parched grounds into springs. Amen!

Let us pray:

Our Father in Heaven! Thank you for this time at your feet Lord. There is only one reason for us to be visiting here - which is to dine with you Lord. To commune with you Lord. To hear what you have for us today Lord.

Thank you for the wonderful promise you have given us this morning Lord. We claim it as our own Lord. We trust that you will do as you have promised Lord. You would never give us false hopes Lord. If you say it you will sure do it Lord.

You will surely deliver us from our desert like situation Lord, from our barren heights Lord - from our valleys Lord - just as you have promised us Lord.

Thank you Lord for your grace and mercies. They are new every morning Lord. Fill us with your new grace for this day Lord. Bless all of us gathered here in your name Lord. Be with us, guide us and lead us as we move forward with the day Lord.

In Jesus' name we pray, Amen!

 
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Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Isaiah 55:2

Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. John 6:27

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine -  the best of meats and the finest of wines. Isaiah 25:6

I (Jesus) am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. John 6:51

We all run after things bigger, better, designer wear,  gourmet meal, exotic vacations - but do these ever satisfy us? Sadly, never! We are only broke and exhausted at the end of the day.

There is however one thing that is truly satisfying - which is the joy of His salvation; and the only source it comes from is our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen!

Have you tasted Him?

Taste and see that the LORD is good Psalm 34:8
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans: 13:12-14

So, what does it mean to clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ?

Interestingly, it does not say clothe ourselves like Jesus - which would mean to wear clothes similar to His. But to clothe ourselves with Jesus which implies we should wear Him!

How can we wear a person? Clarke's commentary on the Bible states, "To be clothed with a person is a Greek phrase, signifying to assume the interests of another - to enter into his views, to imitate him, and be wholly on his side."

Scripture tells us when we are baptized we wear Christ (Galatians 3:27). When we wear Christ we start to live for Him, imitating Him, becoming more like Him everyday.

Apostle Paul expands on this matter more in Colossians 3:1-17:
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As you see, it takes conscious efforts to clothe Him on a daily basis. But let's give it a try; shall we?
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans: 13:12-14

Dissension is defined as disagreement that leads to discord or quarrel. For some it is a regular habit to argue over anything and everything. You talk for something they will argue against it and you talk against something they will argue for it; such is their trend. If we argue for argument sake let's not do it; there is much to be achieved for the Lord instead of the time taken to argue over Biblical truth. Just by arguing we are not going to gain any insight.

Jealousy does not need any explanation; it is the aching pang we feel at heart, towards someone else's well being or our lack of it. In fact it is anger directed against God Himself for doing something good for someone else and not for us!

Quite honestly don't you see we are blessed much more than what we deserve? Then why do we feel jealous? It is unnecessary. When we develop godliness with contentment it is great gain the Scripture tells us in 1 Timothy 6:6. If we are not careful to nip off envy at the very bud, soon it will completely overwhelm us taking possession of our body, mind and even the soul. It is a parasite to be shunned at all cost.

Let us pray therefore to remove the "arguing spirit" and the "spirit of envy" from our hearts today. Let us praise God with a grateful heart for His many blessings in our lives this morning!
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans: 13:12-14

We all know what 'day' is and that the opposite of day is night. To quote the Scriptures for further clarification, in Genesis 1:5 we read, God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night."

Apostle Paul instructs us in 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8, "You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet."

As you can see, the suggested wear for the day is faith, love and the hope of our salvation. Do we have these on? Check. Have we put aside the deeds of darkness? Check. Then we are truly sons and daughters of the Light which is Day!

God bless you!
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans: 13:12-14

What does it mean to put on the armor of light?

In 1 John 1:5 we read, "God is light; in him there is no darkness at all." John continues, "... if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7

So, to put on the armor of light actually means to walk in the light as He is in the light so that we can have fellowship with one another, forgetting our differences, denominations, divisions and the like.

How many of us can truly say we have fellowship with one another? The too many divisions in the Church make it clear there is not the kind of fellowship among us as expected by our Lord Jesus Christ, which only means we are not walking in the light as He is in the light. How sad is that?

From now on let us owe to have fellowship with one another; let us commit our self to accept believers of different divisions of the Church, instead of condemning them. How wonderful it will be if the Brethren, the Baptist, the Lutheran, the Methodist, the Pentecost, the Protestants, the Catholics, the Orthodox and the numerous other type of believers can come together to worship the Lord?! Let us make friends with people who are not in our faith; let them see how we reflect our Lord in our ways.

And not to forget, stay away from the deeds of darkness we discussed yesterday as there is no trace of darkness in God. If we are to walk in light as He is in light there should be no trace of darkness in us too! Yes, it is possible! With God's help we can do it! Amen!

Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. Isaiah 2:5
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
Romans: 13:12-14


For the next few days we are going to discuss the same text above, concentrating in each line item. Today's focus is on putting away the deeds of darkness. What really are these deeds of darkness mentioned here?

Apostle Paul explains it in such detail in Ephesians: 5:1-22 which reads,

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a man is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. Therefore do not be partners with them.

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord. Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Now that we know we will put away the deeds of darkness, won't we?
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The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. Romans 13:11-12

For some, their faith has gone cold as it seems forever for the return of the King. Some even disregard His grace completely. We don't have to look far to find evident of the fearlessness among the multitude, for God.

At times like this it may be difficult to stay focused in our walk. It's like we are running this race and just few yards from the finish line we give up. Today's message comes as a wake up call for us. It is time to be alert because our salvation is much closer than when we first started this journey. Amen!

So, How do we stay awake? Good question! The answer is right there in verses Romans 13:13-14, listed below:

* Let us put aside the deeds of darkness
* Put on the armor of light.
* Let us behave decently, as in the daytime,
* not in orgies and drunkenness,
* not in sexual immorality and debauchery,
* not in dissension and jealousy.
* Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ,
* Do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature.


We have discussed each one in detail in January. For those who missed it, I'll post them again for the coming days...
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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. Isaiah 35:10

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelation 21:4


What powerful promises this morning! Praise the Lord!

Though it is widely applicable for all of us believers here at Coffee with Jesus, I can sense that it comes as a direct consolation message to someone in particular going through crying and sorrow this very minute - with no one around to care.

Don't ever think you are alone; you have a great Redeemer - who wipes away your tears, eases your pain, embraces you fully and loves you unconditionally. Amen!

May God bless you and fill you with the promised joy this very day! Repeat the promises to yourself and claim it as your own:

Everlasting joy will crown your head. Gladness and joy will overtake you. Sorrow and sighing will flee away! The Lord will wipe every tear from your eyes!

Can you say amen?


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"The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephania: 3:17

Today's reminder for us is "He is Mighty to Save". Whatever is your care and concern for the day, whatever you are worrying about, whatever was going through your mind all night long keeping you wide awake, however bad the situation is, please remember "He is Mighty to Save". Indeed He is.

How powerful these words are! What an assurance we as believers have! Let me repeat the verse once again: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Now let us all say it together: "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing."

Let us say it all through the day - loud and clear: "He is Mighty to Save!" Amen! Have a blessed day! God be with you!
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"How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." Psalm 116:12,13

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." (Psalm: 16:5)

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

King David asks a very interesting question that often crosses our mind - how will he ever repay the Lord - and he also has an interesting answer - that he will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I visualize it as King David giving a toast (with his drink/cup) in honor of the Lord.

"Cup" could very well mean our hearts here or it could be the different roles we play. He fills it with His grace to the point it overflows...


So, let's get back to the question which is the focus of our discussion for today: How will you repay the Lord for all His goodness? Would you toast in His name?
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Like an apple tree among the trees of the forest is my lover among the young men. I delight to sit in his shade, and his fruit is sweet to my taste. He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:3-4

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

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

We have a date with Him today. He is taking us to the banquet hall (worship service). As we eat and drink (listen to the Word of God) and be merry in the fellowship of believers, let us remember one thing - His banner over us is LOVE!
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Many are invited, but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14

No one can deny the fact that they have been invited for the wedding banquet of the Lamb. Message of salvation is spreading so fast that tons of invitations are sent out each day. The catch is, the exact date and time is not mentioned on the invitation. What does that mean? It only means that it could be anytime and the invited are expected to be available in a twinkling of an eye.

Ah! That's the problem. Many of us have accepted the invitation momentarily. But are we ready for the wedding? Have we washed our selves? Do we have our clothes ready? Have we picked the shoes? Do we follow the directions to the wedding hall? No, no let's not panic... We are given specific instructions as to how to be ready. As long as we follow that we are good.

Let's review the instructions real quick that Apostle Paul shares in Ephesians 6:11-18: I will break it down for easier list:
* Put on the full armor of God
* Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist
* With the breastplate of righteousness in place
* And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
* In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
* Take the helmet of salvation
* And the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
* And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
* With this in mind, be alert
* And always keep on praying for all the saints.
With all these checked out, we are all set for the wedding!
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He has taken me to the banquet hall, and his banner over me is love. Song of Solomon 2:4

Let us visualize a banquet hall. A feast has been prepared to celebrate a bride by her groom. All nobles who were invited are seated. There is merriment among the young and the old there. All are rejoicing over the wedding that has just taken place or soon to be taking place, it doesn't really matter. It is a joyous occasion for sure.

Now the groom presents a banner over the bride. I sometimes imagine it like a sash worn by beauty pageants with the words "MY LOVE" written across. Or it could be a flag like banner of fine ruby red linen with golden words "MY BELOVED" embroidered on it in big bold letters that hangs just above the throne where the bride is seated! It is indeed a beautiful sight.

Now imagine, it is all for you - the bride! Isn't that special? Does it not make our hearts swell for Him who has redeemed us from a miry pit and elevated us to such a honorable state known as His bride?!

King David sings in Psalm 23:5 "You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

Surely He will prepare a table for you and me in the presence of our enemies and will anoint our heads with oil and fill our cups to the rim and will fly His banner over us, which reads: "My Beloved"! Let us never ever doubt that. Amen! God bless you all.
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As God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

Didn't we just undergo a beauty treatment? Next we need a new wardrobe! Of course, filled with beautiful clothes for the beautiful YOU! Here's the Designer suggested list on things we need to accumulate on: Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience so that we can clothe ourselves with these.

Now let's add some 'forgiveness' to the look - please note, it is not just the cheap namesake 'forgiveness' we are talking here; go for the best quality - the name brand - the kind that forgives whatever grievances - the Jesus brand - yes, that's the best!

Oh! Don't forget to spray on some Love! This binds you together in perfect unity - with God, with yourself, with your family and the rest.

Wow! You look stunning! Stay blessed! :)
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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

Hope you are with me on the beauty regimen we have been discussing the last couple of days. I am truly enjoying it and hopefully becoming more beautiful:) Today we will discuss how 'the fear of the Lord' adds to our beauty.

Interestingly the fear of the Lord goes hand in hand with 'the gentle and quiet spirit' we had discussed yesterday. Proverbs 22:4 in the Basic English translation goes: The reward of a gentle spirit and the fear of the Lord is wealth and honour and life. In Proverbs 15:33 we read, The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

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

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

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

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

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


Unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit! Yes, that's our first check in our 'Beauty Regimen', a continuation of yesterday's post.

I am sorry to say this, but in this light most of us look 'ugly' as we hardly have any trace of this quality of 'a gentle and quite spirit' in us. We are defensive! We talk back! We fight! We argue! We kick and scream and what not?!

On the other hand, our Lord Jesus Christ is the best example of one with this unfading beauty. About Him we read in Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.

The Gospel writers who have seen Jesus face to face write about this very nature. Matthew writes in verses 27:12, "When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer". Mark notes, "Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed" in chapter 15 verse 5.Luke 23:9 says, He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. Again in John 19:9 we read, "...but Jesus gave him no answer".

The opposite of Gentle Spirit is Pride. We read about that in Proverbs 23:9, Proverbs 16:19 and Ecclesiastes 7:8.

In his letter to the Philippians Apostle Paul insists, Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. Philippians 4:5

Gentle Spirit comes with it's own reward in addition to the unfading inner beauty. In Proverbs 22:4 we read, The reward of a gentle spirit and the fear of the Lord is wealth and honour and life.

Our Lord Jesus Christ in His own words said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

So, Gentle Spirit also gives us rest - the beauty rest! Why not desire it with our whole heart?! Those of us who seek to develop this 'beauty' in us will have to take the effort to practice it consciously. The next time the need arises for us to defend ourselves, let's remember this and save those words! We will turn out beautiful!
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All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you. Song of Solomon 4:7

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

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

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


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

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

If the answer is yes, then we are indeed beautiful! If we are unsure, then we better start on the "beauty regimen" the details of which we will discuss tomorrow...
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Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

What do mean by a pure heart? In simple terms a heart which is not impure or dirty is what we mean by a pure heart.

Is our heart pure or dirty? If our heart is filled with good stuff it is a pure heart; if filled with junk stuff it is a dirty.

What are some of the good stuff we can fill our heart with? Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, humility, honesty, integrity, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Chronicles 29:17)

What are some of the dirty stuff one could have in their heart? Evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. (Mark 7:21)

How good is your heart?

Now that the facts have been laid out, if your answer is that you have a pure heart, very well; keep it pure.

In case you answered 'impure' please get it cleaned by the Blood of Jesus Christ! Repeat a sincere prayer after King David as in today's Scripture: Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Few more Scriptures for you to ponder...
"Be holy, because I(Jesus) am holy." 1 Peter 1:16

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:45

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23


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* He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend. Proverbs 22:11
* Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8
* Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.Proverbs 16:3


What really is pureness of heart? How to develop a pure heart?

I would like to quote here from Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible, which lists the characteristics of a pure heart in one very long sentence...:
Though man's heart is naturally impure, and all that is in it, the thoughts, affections, mind, conscience, understanding, and will; yet there is such a thing as pureness of heart; as where the grace of God is; where there it pure love to God, Christ, and to holy and heavenly things and persons; where there is pure and unfeigned faith in Christ, and a purifying hope of eternal life by him; where the Holy Spirit dwells as a sanctifier, and Christ dwells by faith; where there is sincerity and integrity; and where the heart is sprinkled by the blood of Christ from an evil conscience: and, though none are entirely free from impurity of flesh and spirit, yet every good man hates the impurity that is in him, and loves purity, and is desirous of it, and makes use of all means for it; and he loves a man of a pure heart, he loves pureness of heart in himself and others...

We will continue on the same discussion for tomorrow as well. In the meantime if any of you wish to share on these lines, please leave your comments in the comments section below.

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Over the last few days we went over Relationship Series which I would like to conclude today.  What can I say more, than insisting the importance of putting what we have learned over the days into action. Where else we will turn to, other than the Scriptures that reiterates these very points. Please pay attention to every word as you read the below portion and put it to practice in your lives - starting today!

My dear brothers(/sisters), take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:19-27


God bless you all! Have a blessed weekend.Yes, coffee will be served over the weekend also; so join us if you can. Love you all in Christ Jesus!
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Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13


Is it even possible to love someone - especially God Almighty with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind? - a lingering question for many. More so the next command, to love our neighbor as our self. Would we? Could we? Should we? I guess we should!

Don't be quick to write it off as "this is asking for too much" but pause and pray to refill us with this much love for others so that we can love them better than our selves and by doing so we will love our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind!

Let us pray:

Dear Father in Heaven! Thank you for this opportunity to gather in your presence from across the globe in one accord Lord! Thank you for being in our midst as you have promised you will surely be there where two or more people have gathered in your name Lord.

Lord, we are meditating these commands you have asked us to follow which comprise of almost every other command out there Lord. Please fill us with this overflowing love for you that enables us to love you just like you have taught us Lord - with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind Lord.


Also help us love our neighbors as ourselves Lord. This seems even harder Lord- especially when we know and see everyone being selfish around us Lord. But we do not want to be "every one" Lord. We want to be your sons and daughters Lord. Please help us Lord. Mold us into your likeness Lord.

What seems impossible for us will be possible in and through you Lord. Though it seems hard to love others more than we love our self, you can make it easy for us Lord. You can show us the area where we are failing and help us improve in those Lord.

Thank you for being our role model Lord. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; Amen!
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Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:33

Isn't it awesome God has given us instructions about every aspect of life - even to the detail of how we must treat our spouses. To make matters even simpler there is actually only one condition to the husband and to the wife.

Husbands must love their wives. Wives must respect their husbands. That's all!

Behavioral experts will tell you, a man's primary need in a relationship in respect while the woman's primary need is love.

As long as the husband feels respected he loves his wife. When respect is compromised he acts out. Same way, the wives are happy as long as they feel loved by their husbands and can't remain happy when love is compromised in their marriage.

So you see this causes a vicious cycle - as she can't respect a husband who does not love her; and he can't love a wife who does not respect him. The only way this trend is developing is downhill and before long the marriage union will suffer.

So, what is the solution? Today's Scripture has the answer! Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Now we ask, who should do what first? Good question; but wrong motive! Of course it will be convenient if our spouse stops this vicious cycle explained above; but as long as we have an equal part why not we apply the breaks?

When the need arises to snap back next time, keep calm, hum a song, praise God, and at any cost avoid further damage to your marriage! No, you haven't lost anything; but will gain his/her heart over time! Isn't that worth the try?!

The wise woman/(man) builds her/(his) house, but with her/(his) own hands the foolish one tears hers/(his) down. Proverbs 14:1