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In The Book of Acts, Chapter 12 we read of an account of Peter's miraculous escpe from the prison.

Verses 12 through 16 talks about how Peter was received following his escape; it goes:

When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door. When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!” “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.


This passage actually reminds me of a familiar Scripture:  Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. Revelation 3:20

Jesus is the answer to all our prayers! Jesus is the solution for all our problems! Yet, we ignore His knocking time and time again. It is difficult for many to be convinced that salvation is as simple as that, opening our hearts to Him.

He is still knocking. If you haven't answered His call yet, please do. He is a miracle waiting to happen in your life!
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"Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me" Psalm: 23

A staff is a strong wooden stick with a curved end and held at hand, a rod is a stump or a thick wooden stick, normally worn in the belt.

I often wonder how can a shepherd's rod and staff comfort the sheep. We can visualize it being used to punish a wayward sheep or goat that goes away from the flock; but how can these comfort?

Thinking a little deeper of how else a shepherd might use his rod and staff, we can come up with the list below:

* The shepherd uses his staff to pull a branch of a tree down so that his animals can feed on the leaves.
* The shepherd uses his rod or staff to kill snakes, chase away dogs or other intruders.
* The shepherd uses his rod to instruct discipline to the flock
*The shepherd uses his rod or staff to untangle the bush a goat/sheep may run into
* The shepherd uses his rod to clear the water of fallen leaves or debris, so the animals can drink from it.
* The shepherd uses his rod or staff to examine a sick animal or even carry very sick animal.
* The staff signifies the shepherd so that people know who is in charge of the flock

We see that the rod and staff comfort more than punish. As the Lord is our Shepherd, His rod and staff they comfort us. Of course He also needs to discipline us from time to time; agree?

In Proverbs we read, "He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." It is only natural for our Heavenly Father who loves us dearly, to carefully discipline us too. But as you see His love for us is more intense.

Have a blessed weekend! God bless you!
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"Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you." Numbers 11:23

If you can spare some time to read the whole chapter, here's the link: Numbers 11

We are all familiar with the incident when the Israelites were complaining to Moses that they were too tired of eating Manna every day and not only that, they went on to say Egypt was far better because they got fish for free and lot of vegetables to eat.

We all know how it turned out but our focus today is the conversation between Moses and the Lord. When Moses tells the Lord about the people's complaint, the Lord assures him there will be meat for them the very next day and not for one or two days or weeks but for a whole month!

Now, Moses is in shock! Naturally! If you think about it, they are in a desert land, no shore nearby even for some fish, and it is only the grace of God that they even have Manna every day, but now meat? He immediately does a rough calculation in his mind on what they have available - their livestock - and comes to the conclusion even if they were to slaughter those animals it is not possible to feed over 600,000 people! For a whole month?! Now forget about it!! That was Moses’ reaction and he asks the Lord for clarification.

That's when the Lord answers: "Is the LORD's arm too short? You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you." We will pause right there!

Some of us are always in doubt of how God can work out things on our behalf. We look at our resources, our ability, our experience and say "Nah! you can't really do that!"

To us the Lord asks the same question today: "Is the LORD's arm too short?" What do you say to that? The Lord continues: "You will now see whether or not what I say will come true for you."

Whether we choose to believe Him or not, it will come true. But when we choose to believe before seeing it, we are better off!
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I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21

This was indeed Paul's prayer for the Church in Ephesians. I thought it would be a nice idea to learn to pray for one another in the same lines.

After all it is the same Church we are part of and it is the same faith we still hold on to and it is the same Jesus Christ we worship!

Shall we say Amen?
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Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen!

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With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. Psalm 91:16

Who is the man who desires life and loves length of days that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil And your lips from speaking deceit. Psalm 34:12

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

A long healthy life is a true blessing from the Lord. There are plenty of Scriptures with instructions on what it takes to receive this blessing.

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you peace and prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:1-4

May the good Lord satisfy all of you with a long life and show you His salvation. Have a blessed Monday and a great week ahead!
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The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. Proverbs 13:4

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

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

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

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

Being diligence does not mean running after the world; it means being diligent for the Lord, for spreading the Gospel, for living a holy life, for winning souls for Christ! When we are diligent in godly affairs He will bless us with our desires for everything else.

In his letter to the Philippians Apostle Paul writes: "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:13-14

Let us do the same. Let us not cling on to whatever happened in the past, that pulls us down making us less diligent; but put in all our efforts to strive towards the mark for the prize of our calling.

Jesus's teachings as recorded in Matthew chapter 6 goes:

Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:31-34

Shall we strive to build His kingdom? Shall we say Amen?!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 11 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself." 11:25 (KJV)

This verse reminds me of another verse from Luke 6:38: "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

We can find numerous other verses in the similar lines. The bottom line is 'Being generous'.

My Mom always encourages us whenever we get discouraged of giving: "It is a blessing being at the giving end rather than at the receiving end." How true!

Indeed, giving is better than receiving. Even when it comes to prayer, giving praises to God is far better than always asking for one thing or another.

It may seem like no one is watching our giving or that only we are giving all the time. But remember nothing is hidden from the Lord's eyes and He will repay you for what you have given. Let us earn to be givers and not so much of receivers! Because that's the true blessing!
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When God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work--this is a gift of God. Ecclesiastes 5:19

Interestingly the Scripture here points out it is not the wealth or possessions that are considered the gift of God, but the heart that accepts our lot and remain happy in our work - that is a gift of God.

In his letter to Timothy Apostle Paul writes about Love of Money and says "Godliness with contentment is great gain". I Timothy 6:6. Indeed it is!

King Solomon was the richest king ever. He writes in Proverbs 28:25, "A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper." - which shows that his prosperity came from trusting in the Lord and not from greed.

How many of us are content this morning?! Praise God for all those hands that are going up! Let us continue to accept our lot! This is our gift from the Lord! Amen!

Now enjoy your weekend everyone! Coffee with Jesus will be brewing on the weekend too. Do join if you can.
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Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

For the explanation of today's Scripture let us read the complete passage - in Jesus's own words:
I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:25-34

It makes perfect sense; does it not? Yet, we run after the wordly things first - putting aside "seeking His kingdom and His righteousness" as the very last item in our day's agenda as if to say, "if we get to it well and good; if not we can skip it, no big deal".

Then we worry why we can't make the ends meet or whatever happened to our joy and toss and turn through sleepless nights, worrying more and more about how to make things work - still forgetting to seek His kingdom and His righteousness.

When all else fail we get back to our senses and come back to Him. But by then our need is so great we can't really seek after His kingdom but only beg and plead for our rescue. That's why our prayers are always like, "give me, give me, give me" rather than "thank you! thank you! thank you!"

Now, let me challenge you all - for the next couple of days, as soon as you wake up, before you even do anything I want you to sit at His feet - seeking His face, His kingdom and His righteousness. When you have raised up enough thank you's remember your needs, submit it at His feet and go about your day's business. Do this for a week and let me know if indeed the promise worked in your life or not...

God bless you! Happy Thursday!


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“To the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who holds the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you. Revelation 3:1-3

Are we outwardly religious but inwardly decaying? Here's a direct warning to us - the modern day church - who are similar in nature to the hypocritical people of the Church of Sardis.

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary explains it in detail:
Hypocrisy, and lamentable decay in religion, are sins charged upon Sardis, by One who knew that church well, and all her works.

Outward things appeared well to men, but there was only the form of godliness, not the power; a name to live, not a principle of life.

There was great deadness in their souls, and in their services; numbers were wholly hypocrites, others were in a disordered and lifeless state.

Our Lord called upon them to be watchful against their enemies, and to be active and earnest in their duties; and to endeavor, in dependence on the grace of the Holy Spirit, to revive and strengthen the faith and spiritual affections of those yet alive to God, though in a declining state.

Whenever we are off our watch, we lose ground. Thy works are hollow and empty; prayers are not filled up with holy desires, alms-deeds not filled up with true charity, Sabbaths not filled up with suitable devotion of soul to God. There are not inward affections suitable to outward acts and expressions; when the spirit is wanting, the form cannot long remain.

In seeking a revival in our own souls, or the souls of others, it is needful to compare what we profess with the manner in which we go on, that we may be humbled and quickened to hold fast that which remains.

Christ enforces his counsel with a dreadful threatening if it should be despised. Yet our blessed Lord does not leave this sinful people without some encouragement.

He makes honorable mention of the faithful remnant in Sardis, he makes a gracious promise to them. He that overcomes shall be clothed in white raiment; the purity of grace shall be rewarded with the perfect purity of glory.
Sure a wake up call for some of us; what are we going to do about it?
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Today's reading: Proverbs 28 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy." 28:13

Today's verse explains the fundamental of salvation. Anyone who is not convicted of their sins and when convicted does not repent and when repented does not discontinue that sin is not truly saved.

Anyone who has been convicted of their sins, have repented for their sins and have discontinued from their sins is truly saved!

Salvation is not just a one time process. It should be our regular practice. As we mature more in Christ more of our sins will be revealed which we might have overlooked in the past. Then we repent for those sins and receive forgiveness all over again. There is no shame in repenting as many times it takes and getting forgiven as many times needed.

For some of us, when the Pastor invites for an alter call following a convicting sermon, though convicted we are reluctant to go upfront and own it publicly. This need not be. Let's forget the whole world around us and get new infilling of the joy of salvation as often as we can.

God bless you all!
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Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad! Psalm 14:7

Amen! I praise God for these wonderful promises this morning!

It does not say, "If the Lord restores.." but says with assurance "When the Lord restores...". So there is absolutely no room for doubt here. If any of you experience even the slightest trace of doubt, you must rebuke it in the name of the Lord. His promises are yes and amen!

In his letters to the Corinthians Apostle Paul writes about the same:

For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:20-22

"Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." Matthew 8:25

He commands the winds and water and they obey Him! Is it hard for Him to solve our needs? Is it difficult for Him to restore our fortunes? Is it beyond His abilities to make us rejoice and be glad?

Why then it is hard for us to still trust in Him completely? Why are we holding on to our heavy burden? Why not cast it all at His feet and walk free?!

Repeat this verse after me and claim it as your own this morning: Oh, my salvation would come out of Zion! When the LORD restores my fortunes, I will rejoice and be glad! Amen!

Go in peace! Love you in Christ!
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Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. Hebrews: 3:7-8

What is meant by hardening of our heart?

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

Not too long ago we had discussed Ezekiel 36:26 which promises us that the Lord will remove our stone hearts and give us a heart of flesh. Let us reach out to Him this morning.

 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
 
Let's look closely at how to turn away from our wicked ways as part of our discussion on 2 Chronicles 7:14.

Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14

Ask any behavioral experts, they will tell you that one can't really get rid of a bad habit, but only replace a bad habit with a good habit. That's exactly what we see in today's Scripture. Turn from evil and do good!

Every one of us, whether we are believers or non-believers, young or old, rich or poor, we all know for sure what is good vs. what is evil. That is the only way we humans differ from animals - the sense to know the good from the evil. Which ultimately means only one thing - we are solely responsible when we choose to live in wicked ways. No, it is not satan, nor the world; but the self in us is to be blamed.

This self dies when we are born again, resulting in a brand new sparkling fresh self! This is what we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17,  If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

So, the ultimate solution to turn from wicked ways is to give our hearts to Jesus Christ! He will guide us in the paths of righteousness. Then we will turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Amen!
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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

As part of our ongoing discussion on 2 Chronicles 7:14, today we will see how to seek His face?

King David sings, As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he shows us his mercy. Psalm 123:2
 

If a King could so humble himself and relate to a slave or maid while seeking His face, why is it hard for us to humble ourselves?

True, we are His royal priesthood, His own children, but when it comes to seeking His face, we need to humble ourselves like a servant or slave or maid. A slave or maid has one goal and one goal only - that is to please the master. Such should be our desire to serve our Maker!

When we come before His presence let us acknowledge how limited our abilities are compared to the awesomeness of His power. Let us develop a servant's heart to bless our Master.

He who looks at the heart will embrace us as children and will grant us our petition. Praise the Lord!
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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Our focus for today is: how to pray?

The best passage on prayer in my opinion is from the Gospel of Matthew chapter 6, verses 5-14 especially because these words were spoken by Jesus Himself:
And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

"This, then, is how you should pray: "'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

It is interesting to note that forgiving others is mentioned as part of the prayer. So even if we pray for hours together but have not forgiven our neighbors, our prayer is of no use. A clear conscious is key for effective prayer. Ready?
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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

A man's pride brings him low, but a man of lowly spirit gains honor. Proverbs 29:23

Yesterday we discussed 2 Chronicles 7:14 and understood that one of the reasons our prayers have not been answered yet is that we may not have humbled ourselves. Today we will see how to humble ourselves.

Humble by definition means: "Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance."

Right away some of us DO NOT want to humble ourselves. Mainly because the world teaches and expects one to be just the opposite - to think high of his/her own importance.

But the word of God clearly says that God opposes the pride but gives grace to the humble. Anytime pride shows up to steal the credit for an achievement, let us be careful to quickly shun it and give all glory to God Almighty who enabled us in the first place.

Let us repeatedly remind ourselves it is His grace that keeps us hale and healthy, happy and contend. It is His grace that enables us to work, to buy a home or any other material things we have. It is His grace that keeps our family bonding together filling our hearts with peace, love and joy! It is His grace we are saved. It is His grace we are not fallen. It is His grace we have risen every time we fell.

As we remind ourselves with such thoughts, we will automatically develop a dependency on God and would stop thinking too high of ourselves. It will come naturally to us - being humble at heart. Soon our prayers will be answered.

Seeing our humble heart, God will lift us up! Amen!
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If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14

Some of us wonder why our prayers are not answered. Here is the direct message for us. The reason could be one or more of the following:

* We have not humbled ourselves enough
* We have not prayed
* We have not sought His face
* We have not turned from our wicked ways

There is no better time than now to humble, pray, seek and turn like the Scripture teaches us.That is, if you would like your requests heard, receive forgiveness and healing for the land.

If you don't know how to humble, pray, seek and turn, stay tuned for the next couple of days; we will discuss each one in detail.

On the other hand if you have been there, done that - humbling/praying/seeking & turning from wicked ways - then please go ahead and share your testimony so that others at the Coffee table can benefit from your experience.

God bless you!
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“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

We as believers are given one commission and one commission only - to go and make disciples. 

A disciple is a learner or pupil, who is committed to a leader or teacher. Making disciples takes on our part:

* Time
* Relationship
* Truth
* Humility

The discipleship model is:

* I do it; I follow Christ
* I do it, you watch (Follow my example)
* You do it, I watch (Making sure you can do it)
* You do it; You follow Christ

Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ". True we can follow someone who follows Christ. But just as a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy can get blurrier and blurrier, following a follower of a follower of a follower of a follower of Christ could soon lose it's essence. We need to be connected one on one with the real thing - the original who is Jesus Christ!

Are we making disciples? Are we following the Lord in the first place so that we can influence others to follow Christ? Let us recommit ourselves to the great commission to follow and thus making disciples.


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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 Jesus Christ was slain for our sins the description of Him as a slain Lamb aptly fits Him. Let us focus our attention today 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 ourself ready!

Happy 'Son'day!
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I will remember your miracles of long ago Psalm 77:11

Most of the psalms of King David are around giving thanks, recalling the incidents of past, and giving more thanks to the Lord. What really amuses me is how he often goes back to the very beginning of how God led the Israelites out of Egypt or even before that when God separated Abraham out of his folks, etc. giving thanks for various things that happened many generations before his own generation. Isn't that something?

Have we ever done that? May be we have remembered our grandparents and said thank you lord for blessing me with fine grandparents. But the generation before that? Have we thought of them and thanked the Lord for them in our prayers? Most likely not. Okay, now how about our great great grandparents? Have we ever wondered about them and thanked the Lord for them? Not me. That's what sets apart King  David from most of us.

King David had a very grateful heart that appreciated every single detail of how God worked in his life and the life of his ancestors whom he had read about. Here he sings: "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds."

King David sets a great role model here. Let us follow his example and give thanks to our Lord for everything He has been to us and especially for the elders of generations past who had received the joy of salvation that they had passed on to us.

As for me, I am rejoicing in the Lord for His countless blessings in my life.
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* So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zachariah 4:6
* All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." I Samuel 17:47
* Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them--not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God." Hosea 1:7

Sometimes we tend to depend on our might or power, our skills or education, our strength or confidence. We actually think a little too much of ourselves as if we can take care of situations. We tend to forget that our battle cannot be won with our merits. We try hard with all our might and only when all else fail we succumb to the Lord.

It is very important to learn the word of God on a regular basis so that we know the solution as soon as we smell the problem. We will right away come to the Lord crying, "Not by my might Lord, not by my power too, only by you this can be done Lord; My horses won't save, nor my horsemen, please take charge of the situation Lord and bring victory to your name ..."

You will all agree this is a time saver with guaranteed results. Why not try it then!?
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Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. Psalm 32:1,2

We tend to relate blessings to the matters of this world forgetting that this life we live right now is only temporary - a make-shift phase in God's eternal plan. If someone has huge wealth, great fame and good fortune we call them blessed. But are they?

The Scripture here tells us if our transgressions are forgiven and our sins covered and there is no deceit in our spirit, then we are blessed!

Do you have the assurance your transgressions are forgiven? Yes! Do you believe your sins are covered? Amen! How about the third checking point - a spirit with no deceit? Well...

Barnes Notes on the Bible gives us a beautiful explanation as to how to develop a spirit with no deceit:
And in whose spirit there is no guile - Who are sincere and true. That is, who are not hypocrites; who are conscious of no desire to cover up or to conceal their offences; who make a frank and full confession to God, imploring pardon. The "guile" here refers to the matter under consideration. The idea is not who are "innocent," or "without guilt," but who are sincere, frank, and honest in making "confession" of their sins; who keep nothing back when they go before God. We cannot go before him and plead our innocence, but we may go before him with the feeling of conscious sincerity and honesty in making confession of our guilt.

Let us go before the Lord baring everything from the inner most parts of our heart - not trying to hide anything. Let us ask for sincere forgiveness and receive the assurance our sins are covered; that is what makes us blessed!
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* "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty. Malachi 1:6

* "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? Luke 6:46

* If you love me, keep my commandments. John 14:15

Often times we take the Lord and His grace for granted. We don't always forgive, we don't always love, we don't always confess, we sometimes have selfish ambitions, and yet we justify our actions and believe we are better than most.This is termed "Cheap Grace".

In his book The Cost of Discipleship, German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes, "cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline. Communion without confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ."

Is this our story too? I hope not. If not, Where is the honor due to our Father? Where is the respect due to our Master? If you love Him, keep His commandments...
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Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

King David often talks to his inner self, which I find quite interesting. Often he is upbeat and tells himself: "Praise the Lord,O my soul!", "Forget not His benefits,O my soul", "Bless the Lord, O my soul". Then there are times his despair is quite evident such as: "Why are you downcast, O my soul?", "Be at rest once more, O my soul", "my soul is troubled exceedingly...", etc.

Here, in Psalm 62: 5 King David reminds his soul to be calm about the prevailing situation and encourages that his help comes from the Lord. He is giving hope to a soul that is ready to give up waiting.

Barne's notes on the Bible explains:
The idea here is, that all that he expected or hoped for must come from God. He did not rely on his fellow men; he did not rely on himself. God alone could deliver him, and he confidently believed that God would do it.

Often are we in such circumstances that we feel that our only "expectation" - our only hope - is in God. All our strength fails; all our resources are exhausted; our fellow-men cannot or will not aid us; our own efforts seem to be vain; our plans are frustrated, and we are shut up to the conclusion that God alone can help us.

So we get the message. We need not panic or despair; but train our souls to be calm. Let us repeat King David's statement to ourselves: "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him!"
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* The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 118:6
* In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? Psalm 56:11
* In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? Psalm 56:4

I absolutely adore the total confidence in which King David sings about his trust in the Lord. No, these are not just words he wrote to fill up his page; he speaks from the abundance of his heart. The scripture says in Luke 6:45: ...of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. Very true of King David otherwise we will not find the consistency in his words across the different psalms.

He is not just sitting idle either. If we look at these verses closely we can see what more he did for his part:

1. The Lord is with him - Or in other words, he is with the Lord
2. In God he trusts - not on his own strength
3. He will not be afraid - of any man
4. In God, whose word he praises. - he reads the word of God and praises based on the word of God.
5. He trusts in the Lord - all over again
6. He will not fear of man - he is determined not to fear men.
7. He understands mortal man is no match for his Immortal Lord. - Amen!

If we follow in his foot steps, we too need not fear any man. We can boldly say:

* The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
* In God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?
* In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?

Happy Monday everyone! Let us rejoice in His presence rest of the week!
NRIGirl
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For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. Isaiah 44:3

Some among us are spiritually barren. We are so overwhelmed by the worldly affairs of life that there hasn't been much fruits in us. Our love has gone cold. Our hearts have gone dry.

Just like when the land is dry it gets parched and broken and non-pliable our hearts become hard and non-flexible, insensitive. It takes Divine intervention to heal the dry land. The rains come down and the water softens the land.

As rain starts pouring season after season, the land starts to come alive with plants and trees and birds and flowers and fruits and what not! The land becomes much desired. It is now a fertile land that people flock to. It yields its fruit in season making it profitable. The air is fresh, water is plenty and there is an abundance of healing and blessing around it.

Same way, we need a Divine intervention in our Spiritual barrenness! We need rain. We need the pouring out of the Holy Spirit! Only the continual infilling of the Holy Spirit can make us thrive with joy and health and life! The Spirit empowers us to be refreshed in His love thus making us refreshing to others. The Spirit dwells in us teaching us, guiding us, showing us the way to go.

It takes the Holy Spirit to enable us to become an image of God. Our hearts become sensitive to His touch. Our lives become fruitful for the Lord! We will be barren no more but fertile!

How many of us wish to become such a fertile land this morning? Are we thirsty for His Spirit this morning?

Let us ponder over these thoughts and get thirsty for the Lord.
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"Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." Joshua 3:5

What a beautiful message we have this morning. Let us come together and consecrate ourselves. Let us get cleansed once again by the blood of Jesus Christ. Let us prepare ourselves for the 'amazing things' God has promised us for tomorrow.

Let us remove any dross or impurities from our hearts. Let us call out to the Lord to cleanse us as white as snow!

"Listen to me, Levites! Consecrate yourselves now and consecrate the temple of the LORD, the God of your fathers. Remove all defilement from the sanctuary. 2 Chronicles 29:5

We are the temple of the Lord; let there be no detestable thing among us. Let us remove all defilement from our hearts.

Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.Hebrews 10:22

For the rest of the day let our hearts have one prayer and one prayer only which is: "Cleanse me Lord!"
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Don't I have a right to complain? Don't wild donkeys bray when they find no grass, and oxen bellow when they have no food? Job 6:5

Have you ever felt the way Job did? In Job 10:1, we read of Job saying, "I loathe my very life; therefore I will give free rein to my complaint and speak out in the bitterness of my soul."

Some people complain for everything. They complain when it rains, they complain when it shines, they complain if they are late, they complain if they get early, they complain if they have plenty, they complain when they don't, they complain about the neighbors, co workers, spouses, kids, you can go on adding to the list.  

What kind of complaints do you most often hear? Does complaining serve any purpose or does it do any good?

There are lots of ways to describe us when discontentment boils over: whiners, grumps, moaners, mopers. We get snappish, crabby, and edgy. You know the type - sort of like Eeyore, the gloomy donkey of Winnie the Pooh fame. No matter what cheerful circumstance he and his friends are in, his melancholy mindset makes his ears and tail droop ever lower. We can always find something to complain about if we try.

But this is not a godly attitude.

Luci Swindoll, a famous Christian Author writes:
My most painful experiences have given me my greatest strength and fiber - what I most needed to mature. Through them I was forced to rely on the Lord, deal with reality for what it was, defer reward - in short, quit griping and grow up! The very things I hated have been the making of me.
Being grateful in all circumstances is what the Bible teaches the believers to do. The idea is to be content. Shall we strive for it?

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
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Today's reading: Proverbs 19 Click here to read online (NIV)

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

"He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD" Proverbs 18:22

Happy August 2013! On this first day of the new month let us ask ourselves these questions:

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

What does it take to be a prudent wife?

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

A prudent wife/girl:

*Fears the Lord
*She is of noble character

Let us look at ourselves upclose. Then we will know if we have what it takes to be a prudent wife.

It goes without saying, the same is true for guys too: A man of noble character, the one who fears the Lord is a hard find. Take best care of yours if you have found one. :)