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Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12

Today's message once again reinforces the bonding in a marriage. When we read about the account of creation in the book of Genesis, at the end of each day for each creation, it states that God saw that it was good. At the end of the 5th day, we read  in Genesis 1:31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

However on the 6th day, when He made Adam the first human being, we read in Genesis 2:18, The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” and proceeds to make Eve! Let's pause there for a minute.

Is it just enough for Adam & Eve to be together alone to make it good? Do they even understand each others' emotions or thought process or any of those sorts? Don't they need an interpreter who can help them understand each other and bond better?

How strong is a two cord strand compared to a three cord strand?

The third person recommended for every marriage is the presence of God Almighty who bridges the gaps between the two and acts as the glue if you will, between the husband and wife. When misunderstanding arises the Holy Spirit will guide and comfort them separately mending their hearts, removing their hurts, bringing them together and making them whole again.

This is why it is extremely important to keep our marriage a three strand cord and never a two strand cord and of course not a single strand (or separation) which is considered not good.

Let's invite the Divine presence in our marriages today if we do not sense Him already. Above all let us submit to His leadership in our lives rather than arguing over who is the head; undoubtedly it is Him!

With that we end this series. Tomorrow is a new month! We will try something new. Enjoy your weekend and God bless you!
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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 is 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
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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?

The question I most often struggle with is, "Why should I? They also read the Bible; all these instructions are for them too; then why should I be the one always making peace?"

The only response to that is, "Why shouldn't I?"

What do you say? Please share your thoughts which will help fellow brothers and sisters rebuild their relationships.

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* Love one another. As I have loved you. John 13:34
* Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other Ephesians 4:32
* Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Colossians 3:13
* Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Romans 12:10
* Encourage one another and build each other up. I Thessalonians 5:11
* Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

The Scripture calls for it repeatedly (as we see in the above verses) to be right in our relationships with one another. Doing so however is really tough. Relationships are complicated; no denying that.

May be when we were children it was possible for us to love all unconditionally. But over the years as we get older, day by day there is a subtle change in us; keeping us away from friends/family members/in-laws/neighbors/church members/strangers who are not in tune with us.

We make every effort to stay clear of further bonding. We drift aloof and indifferent from their company, which of course we can justify from every possible angle. But the question is: Are we okay in our relationship with God then?

We would like to answer a beaming "YES!" But won't we be fooling ourselves if we did?! In the coming days over the coffee table let us wait to hear from the Lord to lead us in the paths of righteousness.

Let us look forward to rebuilding our relationships with one another, in Christ. Stay tuned. God bless you all!

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* 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

* It is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves... I Samuel 17:47

* The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Eccelesiastes 9:11


Do we need anymore assurance than what we have in these Scriptures that our victory belongs to the Lord?

Our might or power can not compare to the Spirit of the Lord. No sword or spear can save us as much as our Lord.

There is no guarantee that the swift will win a race or the strong the battle. Can't take it for granted that the "wise"will be fed or  the "brilliant" will be wealthy or the educated will be "favored".

To sum up, nothing in us is worth anything when it comes to providing for our needs. It is all by His grace we survive. It is a little too hard to accept; as we mostly believe we make our living. But that is not true. There are so many things beyond our control that need to work together for us to live our life. No amount of money can ever buy love, joy or good health.

It is all His grace and only GRACE!
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Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker. Psalm 96:9

It is such a privilege we enjoy to be able to freely worship the Lord. I say privilege because most are denied the fellowship of believers and some are even persecuted and killed for coming together and worshipping the Lord!

Even those of us who live in a free country must consider it a privilege and thank the Lord for the good health and transportation which enable us to go and worship the Lord.

True! We can worship Him everyday within the confines of our homes by ourselves; but it is nowhere close to the sheer joy of worshipping the Lord in the fellowship of believers. When we come together as a Church to worship Him we are made complete - as we are one body - His bride!

Let us be mindful of that as we go on to worship the Lord today. Let us go into His presence with singing, dancing and a heart full of praise. Let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker!

It is His love that connects us across the miles. It is the same Savior we all serve. It is His salvation that makes us one big happy family of faith.

Come, let us bow down in worship! Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker!
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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

Nowhere else we see such a direct call to go and lay down our burdens. I don't think no one else ever opened up such an invitation. Even we our self would not call out in a similar fashion to our family, friends or neighbors, for fear of adding to our burdens.


As humans we are limited in our capacity to ease out other's weight. May be we will add to it like Job's friends did when he was suffering. Of course they thought they were helping him out but did they. Hardly.

That's one reason why this invitation stands out in the crowd in a special way.

Let us take heed and go to Him this morning with all our burdens and take the rest He offers in return!

The rest comes naturally from knowing that He handles our cares.Isn't that awesome!
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It is mine to avenge; I will repay. Deuteronomy 32:35

Tit for tat is how we like it sometimes. If someone doesn't invite us for some get together, we remember to "forget" them when we play host. When someone doesn't pick up our calls, we don't either. Agree, this is in the simplest form, but what I mean to say is, avenging or repaying is in our blood, even if in it's minuscule form. One might argue it is only natural.

But let us ask ourselves: Is it not the "natural sin" the blood of Jesus Christ has delivered us from? If we behave the same way like everyone else, what difference we make as believers?

We are done wrong, I do not deny that. But let's move past that not letting anyone or anything take up space in our minds making us dwell on thoughts of how to avenge or repay them back.

The Scriptures promise us time and time again that it is the Lord's to avenge. But sometimes it may seem to take forever for Him to do anything on our behalf. That's when King David cried out in Psalm 94:1, "O LORD, the God who avenges, O God who avenges, shine forth."

Sometimes it may appear we are given an easy opportunity to pay back in vengeance. Let us be careful not to fall into that tempting trap. Remember King Saul was right there for King David to avenge, but he had clearly made up his mind against that. He said in 1 Samuel 26:10-11 "...the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed..."

Here are few more verses to remind us in those lines:

* Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath. Romans 12:19
* Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus 19:18
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Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you." Isaiah 60:1

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Today's portion of the Scripture calls us to be the light of the world. Interesting. This rises few questions; let's look for answers from within the Scriptures itself.

Why should we be the light of the world?
So that others will see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

How to be the light of the world?

* Good eyes“No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. “If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” Luke 11:33-36

* God's Word: Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105

* God's Commandments & Laws: When you go, it shall lead you; when you sleep, it shall keep you; and when you wake, it shall talk with you. For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. Proverbs 6:22-23

How to gain good eyes?

* Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25
* My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways. Proverbs 23:26

Arise, shine, for your light has come; the glory of the LORD rises upon you!
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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

After singing about many aspects of his walk with the Lord such as the law of the Lord, the precepts of the Lord, the fear of the Lord etc., King David ends his song with a little prayer, "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight..."

Following is an extract from Barnes Notes on the Bible commentary which helps us understand it better:
Let the words of my mouth - The words that I speak; all the words that I speak. And the meditation of my heart - The thoughts of my heart. Be acceptable in thy sight - Be such as thou wilt approve; or, be such as will be pleasing to thee; such as will give thee delight or satisfaction; such as will be agreeable to thee. This supposes:

(a) that God has such control over our thoughts and words, that he can cause us to order them aright;
(b) that it is proper to pray to him to exert such an influence on our minds that our words and thoughts may be right and pure;
(c) that it is one of the sincere desires and wishes of true piety that the thoughts and words may be acceptable or pleasing to God.
Though a simple prayer, it has such deep meaning in it. It would be a great idea to add it to our prayers everyday too; what do you say?
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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

We had discussed the same Scripture yesterday as to how Jesus is our portion and our delightful inheritance is Home Eternal. Today's focus is on how it is also true for our lives here and now.

When Joshua had led the people of Israel into the land flowing with milk and honey, one of the first things the Lord prompted him to do was to give each tribe their allotment of land, or their inheritance or portions. You can read Joshua chapters 14  through 21 for the complete listing.

Even in present times aging parents allot their estate among their children according to what they have decided in their mind. When the family gets together to discuss their lots, it leads to lot of disappointments, heartbreaks and divisions among family members as they are not happy with their allotments.

However, here King David seems to be very happy about his lot. He sings confidently, "... the boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance".

What makes him so confident? What keeps his joy going? What makes his heart singing? It is his unshakable trust in the Lord that He will give him only the best or that whatever he has been given will turn out to be a blessing for him.

Knowing every little blessing is from the Lord given as our portion, our cup and our delightful inheritance is important to keep our heart singing too. If on the other hand we murmur over our lot, disregard our rightful inheritance, abandon our portions, devalue our spouses, kids, jobs, family we will be the most miserable lot.

Let us therefore cherish the lot God has blessed us with - which includes our family.

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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

The passage here has amazing resemblance to something our Lord spoke about, as written in the Gospel of John 6:51-56:
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."

Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"

Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

Don't you see the remarkable resemblance here? One is the offer made by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to share in His body (which is our portion) and His blood (which is our cup); the other is King David's claim that his portion and his cup was is from the Lord, due to which he is assured of his delightful inheritance.

Isn't that what is promised for us who share in His broken body and His shed blood? Our delightful inheritance is our eternal life. Amen!

Not only that, even here on the other side of heaven, God has given us our portion, our cup. He has made our lot secure. We will see the same in more detail tomorrow...

Happy Monday May 20th 2013!
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* "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!" Revelation 5:12
* "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29
* "To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!" Revelation 5:13
* "Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready" Revelation 19:7

As you see the Lamb and Christ are used interchangeably in these scriptures. Since Christ was slain for our sins the description aptly fits Him. Let us focus our attention on the verse: "... his bride has made herself ready".

Who is this "bride"? In Ephesians 5:15-16 we read, "...Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless"

Clearly we - the Church is "the bride"! Let's sing: "Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!"  Our wedding with the Lamb is near; as His bride let's make our self ready!
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Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:21-24

In the Gospel of Mark we read an account of Jesus healing an evil possessed boy. Here's the link to the passage if you are interested.

Our focus today is on the conversation between the boy's father and Jesus. It is evident that the father was not fully convinced that Jesus could heal his son. True, he had some hope otherwise he wouldn't have brought his son to Jesus. But he was not very sure if Jesus could indeed help him. His doubt came out in the words he used like 'if', 'but', 'anything' etc. and Jesus did not miss noticing it.

So, He asks the father, "(What do you mean) 'if you can' ?" and goes on to assure, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”

The boy's father admits the slightest doubt he still has and pleads Jesus to help him overcome his unbelief. Jesus performs the miracle rebuking and chasing out the evil spirit from the boy, thus proving to the father, "Yes, I can!".

In our lives also, though we are steadfast believers, we do struggle with some trace of doubt from time to time. We can't deny that. To us Jesus gives the same answer He gave to the boy's father: “(Why doubt?) Everything is possible for him who believes.”

Are we ready to admit our unbelief and pray to overcome it? When we do, our help will be near...
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“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign Lord,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.
People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the Lord,
but they will not find it.
Amos 8:11-12

Walking through the streets of New York, I am sure in any big city, town or even villages, we come across many preachers of the Good News. Believers who do their part to proclaim the Gospel. Believers who give out tracks. Believers that read out the Bible - out in the public. 

Churches are going above and beyond to connect to the un-church-ed, to reach out, to bring the Gospel to the streets if people are not going to come into the churches.

Internet is overflowing with the Word of God. Freedom of religion is at great show over the Internet. Everyone wanting to do something for the Lord, for the fellow believers, for the unsaved, willingly share. 

Why not? Coffee with Jesus itself is a result of such a desire, an endeavor which focuses on connecting people from far of places around a virtual coffee table with our Loving Savior. It's a means to hang out with Him - out in the public, yet within our confinements and according to our convenience.

Surely there is an 'abundance of the Word of God' everywhere we look. Can't deny that.

However, as today's Scripture warns us, all these are surely coming to an end. 

When the faithful are taken away in the rapture there will definitely be less people to write/share/preach/proclaim/pray/warn. Who knows, the so called "religious freedom" might be locked down by the then government. All leading to a famine for not food or drink but the Word of God. Alas!

Don't you worry; we will be gone. Aren't you glad?!

Happy Friday/Weekend everyone. Thank you for staying with Coffee with Jesus all week long. Stop by over the weekend too if you can.

God bless you all!
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The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. Luke 17:5-6

Yesterday we saw that only according to our faith it will be done to us. Today's coffee focuses on How to increase our faith?

Interestingly the disciples had the same question. Jesus's response was that it had to be developed from within.

In other words, external forces can not increase faith.Faith is heart related and not mind focused. It has to be felt and can not be forced.

Before we proceed any further, let us take a quick look at the dictionary definition of faith.
Noun
Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

Synonyms
belief - trust - confidence - credence - credit

Antonyms: disbelief, distrust, doubt, misgiving, skepticism, suspicion

Based on these definitions we can rephrase the question in two parts:

How to increase our confidence in the Lord? And further more, How to decrease our doubts, disbelief, skepticism & suspicion of the Lord?

The Scripture has a simple answer:So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17

Reading, hearing,meditating on the Word of God will increase our faith. If that is true, then the opposite is also true: Not reading, hearing or meditating on the Word of God will decrease our faith.

On explaining the parable of the sower Jesus said: "The seed is the word of God.... the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop." Luke 8:15

Clearly a noble and good heart is the starting point for increasing our faith! 

A noble and good heart hears the Word of God. 
A noble and good heart retains the Word of God.
A noble and good heart perseveres - does not waver.
A noble and good heart produces the crop - which is FAITH! 

Amen! Let us seek a noble and good heart within us.

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According to your faith will it be done to you. Matthew 9:29

What is Faith? Complete trust, strong belief are some words used to describe faith. Hebrews 11:1 gives us a clear definition of what is faith; it reads: "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

Please read Hebrews 11 which is also known as the Faith Chapter if you have a few minutes today by clicking here.

It lists a few scenarios of faithful people such as Enoch, Abraham, Noah etc. They chose to believe the promises of God without looking for a logical reasoning and it sure it came true in their lives. It was credited to them because of their belief.

No doubt, if they had not believed it would not have been fulfilled.

That's exactly what happened to the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, since leaving Egypt. In spite of witnessing the miracles of God in their day to day life, they did not have complete trust or strong belief that they would indeed inherit the promised land. We read that not one of them entered the land except for Joshua and Caleb who had chose to believe the promises.

So, the bottom line is, we are blessed according to our faith.

I think it is fair; what do you say?
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The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head." Micah 2:13

Praise the Lord! For the last several days I have been reminded of this particular Scripture. Though I do not fully know how, I take comfort in knowing that the Lord - our King - my King is leading the way!

Amen! Let's claim it! The One who breaks open the way will go up before me; I will break through the gate and go out. My King will pass through before me, my Lord at my head.

So, what kind of path He leads us through? Let us look for answers from the Scriptures:

He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:2-3

The path of the righteous is level; you, the Upright One, make the way of the righteous smooth. Isaiah 26:7

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16

But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the LORD will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard. Isaiah 52:12

Who is wise? Let them realize these things. Who is discerning? Let them understand. The ways of the LORD are right; the righteous walk in them, but the rebellious stumble in them. Hosea 14:9

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

Amen! Let us be keen to follow our Leader.

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
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Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep toa those he loves.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127
Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing. If God be not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless he crowns them with success. Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world.

Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust in him. They are a great support and defence to a family. Children who are young, may be directed aright to the mark, God's glory, and the service of their generation; but when they are gone into the world, they are arrows out of the hand, it is too late to direct them then.

But these arrows in the hand too often prove arrows in the heart, a grief to godly parents. Yet, if trained according to God's word, they generally prove the best defence in declining years, remembering their obligations to their parents, and taking care of them in old age.

All earthly comforts are uncertain, but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him.
~Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
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Today's reading: Proverbs 5 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "For a man’s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths. " 5:21

There is nothing hidden from the Lord. Even our deepest thoughts, our fondest desire, our sincere prayer are all in FULL view of the Lord. Sure, why not?! It is all good.

But how about the Lord knowing all about our secret sins, the perverse heart, the gossipping tongue, etc. ? Definitely not good.

In Hebrews 4:13 we read, Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Indeed we are uncovered and laid bare before the Lord. Would it be a pretty sight or are there things we need to take care of first? Let us make a commitment today and pray as King David did below:

* See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:24
* How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Psalm 19:12 (NLT)

Happy 'Son'day you all!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 2 Click here to read online (NIV)

Here's some excerpt:

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—
indeed, 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.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
He holds success in store for the upright,
he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless,
for he guards the course of the just
and protects the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand what is right and just
and fair—every good path.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
Discretion will protect you,
and understanding will guard you.

Verse of the day: "... He holds victory in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless..."

My two cents: Nowhere else we see such a direct plea for us to get some wisdom than in Proverbs Chapter 2. Here's few highlights of how we should pursue wisdom:

* Accept His words
* Store up His commands
* Turn your ear to wisdom
* Apply your heart to understanding
* Call out for insight
* Cry aloud for understanding
* Look for it as for silver
* Search for it as for hidden treasure

.... then we will understand the fear of the Lord - which is the beginning of wisdom. Few add-ons that come along with wisdom are:

* He holds victory in store for the upright
* He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless...
* He guards the course of the just
* He protects the way of his faithful ones

 Now would you like some wisdom? I certainly do!
NRIGirl
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* Peace I leave with you; my Peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27
* And the Peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Shalom is a regular greeting among the Jews, very similar to our usage of 'Hello, how are you?'. These salutations and benedictions are generally matters of custom and polite ceremony, given without much thought to it. However here the Prince of Peace is not talking mere empty words but brings the attention to the word PEACE as in consolation. When He says 'my peace' He means the kind of peace only He can impart. This promised peace is very different from the empty promises given by the world.

When we are at peace it gives us a tranquil spirit. We are not in a rush to find a solution for matters. We learn to unwind at His feet and be still. We completely surrender for His will. Have you sensed this peace lately?

If not, please join me over this little prayer:

"Our Heavenly Father! Thank you for this new day at your presence Lord! Thank you for the heavenly peace you have promised us Lord. Often times we are so overwhelmed by many things that we tend to overlook the peace you have promised us Lord.

Today we surrender all such matters at your feet  Lord. Please forgive us for running away from your presence trying to figure out our own solution Lord. Thank you that you are in control and you will take care of all matters Lord. The battle is yours Lord.

Please fill us once again with this promised peace Lord. May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard our hearts and our minds Lord. We thank you and praise you for the peace you are giving us all this very moment Lord. All glory, honor and praise be to your holy name Lord. In our Prince of Peace's name we pray, Amen!"

Have a blessed weekend folks! The Lord's peace be with you!
NRIGirl
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“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Luke 12:32

Interesting how this little promise finds it's way in the same passage in which Jesus tells us not to worry about what to eat or drink or wear but to seek His kingdom, considering the birds and the lilies that are taken care of without much toil on their part. When we do that He assures everything else will be given also.

Immediately following is this promise: “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom." It is as though He could sense us getting more anxious over His instructions.

He then teases us saying, "if you were to test me on this then - Sell your possessions, and give to the needy."

And goes on to explain,
"Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Luke 12:33

Our Father has desired to give us the kingdom! Period. The question is are we seeking His kingdom?

What do we treasure this morning?! I hope it is His Kingdom and nothing but the Kingdom. Amen!

God bless you all! 

 
NRIGirl
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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?
NRIGirl
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* It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man. Psalm 118:8
* Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. Psalm 146:3
* Stop trusting in man, who has but a breath in his nostrils. Isaiah 2:22
* Look now, you are depending on Egypt, that splintered reed of a staff, which pierces a man's hand and wounds him if he leans on it! Isaiah 36:6
* Those who trusted in Cush and boasted in Egypt will be afraid and put to shame.Isaiah 20:5
* This is what the LORD says: "Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD. Jeremiah 17:5

I am sure you noticed how the verses got stronger and stronger as we read through the list above. It starts as a suggestion, became a command and ends in a warning.

This is a good reason to analyze our selves if we trust in any men. How about our bosses? Husbands? Neighbors? Parents? Or even your own hands? Are we clinging on to mere men or our ability as our "source" forgetting that the ultimate Source is the Lord God Almighty? This can't be.

Today's take away is from Isaiah 26:4 which once again re insists the importance of trusting in the Lord: Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Shall we?
NRIGirl
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Of all the conversations mentioned in the Bible, the one I truly enjoy is that between Gideon and the angel of the Lord. Gideon at first does not know that it was an angel he was talking to and is quite candid about his faith. When the angel of the Lord greats him, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior", without skipping a beat Gideon asks, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us?" To understand Gideon's aloofness and frustrations we need to know little bit of his background.

In Judges 6th chapter we read, "Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country. They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it."

It is beyond our comprehension to even imagine how it would be to live in constant fear like that not for one or two days but for seven long years! Even as the angel is talking to him, Gideon is actually  threshing wheat in a wine press. Wheat is normally threshed in the wheat field - right?, but to save it from the Midianites he was threshing it in a wine press. So you get a picture of his plight.

The Angel's response was, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel " Let's stop at that for today's coffee!

Go in the strength you have, against your "Midianites"; the victory is yours...

 (If you would like to read the whole conversation and what happens after, continue to read Book of Judges Chapter 6 & 7 )
NRIGirl
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* Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalms 100:2
* Rejoice before the LORD your God, you, your sons and daughters... Deuteronomy 12:12

It is a beautiful new day, a brand new week - is it not?! As we get ready to go worship the Lord in the congregation of fellow believers, let us remember these verses and the emphasis today is on gladness.

In Isaiah 35:10 we read, "...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."

Aren't we the "ransomed of the Lord"? Are we glad this morning? In spite of everything going on in our lives, we are still breathing - which alone is enough to be singing joyful songs at His presence.

For the rest of the day let us cast away our cares and go before him with joyful singing... shall we?
NRIGirl
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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 enormous. 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."

We had a while ago discussed how Jesus commanded the wind and the sea. In  Mark 4:39 which goes: He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

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

Even here at Coffee with Jesus, day after day we are encouraged by His spoken Words!!

If we sit down to look for more Scriptures that emphasis 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: "For You spoke, and it came to be; You commanded, and it stood firm."  Amen!
NRIGirl
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So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and threw him into the lions’ den. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”

A stone was brought and placed over the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet ring and with the rings of his nobles, so that Daniel’s situation might not be changed. Then the king returned to his palace and spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being brought to him. And he could not sleep.

At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”

Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”

The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

~ Daniel 6:16-23

We too serve the same Lord, don't we? Daniel's God is our God, is He not?

Do you still doubt He can deliver you from the "lion's den" you are currently in? Remember this: He will send His angel to rescue you out! Amen!

Let us continue to serve Him and Him alone. Be blessed. Enjoy the weekend.

 
NRIGirl
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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!
NRIGirl
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Happy May 2013!

I was looking up the words "the first day of the fifth 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 fifth 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 May 2013!