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You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6

He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised. Deuteronomy 26:19

Amen! What a special anointing we can sense this morning! To be known as the Lord's chosen people, His royal priesthood, God's treasured possession, is truly special.

These are not mere words, but He means it. If not for that, He wouldn't have ransomed His only Son on the cross to redeem us.

From time to time we experience a certain dullness in our Spirit. We begin to doubt His words. We reason. We look up the context of the Scripture Promises like these and say it was spoken some time in history for certain group of people. We do not believe it is meant for us.

Today's message is to awaken our Spirits. To strengthen us once again that we are indeed the chosen people of God Almighty. He has redeemed us. He has bought us with a price. We are His. His treasured possessions. Amen!

Let us keep that in mind the rest of the day. Let us declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Amen!

Happy July 31st!
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If serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. Joshua 24:15

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

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

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

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

So, what is our resolve this morning?

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Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things. Philippians 4:8


Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:12

It is very easy to conform to the pattern of this world; however it takes extra efforts not to conform to the pattern of this world. If we go with the flow, nod to everything we hear around us, feed into every gossip, laugh at every mocking, soon we will be conforming to the world - without even knowing it. 

We as God's children, should be careful to save our integrity in all areas of our lives. How we behave at work vs. home vs. Church - does it all reflect the same characters of us or do we use different masks for each role?

Do we sit with the mockers and stand in the way of sinners which Psalm 1 prohibits us not to? Are we more focused on pleasing our evil desires or are we constantly reminded of godly affairs? Are we ashamed of our faith at work place or willing to share our testimony at the first opportunity?

As I said, it comes easily to conform to the pattern of this world. It takes effort not to. Would you, could you, please try not to? It takes us believers to make Jesus known to the unchurched. Our integrity will bring glory to the Lord; our lack thereof will only shame.

Today and going forward let us give careful attention to our attitude, our thought process, our actions and reactions and see how we can un-conform ourselves from the world. 

God bless you! Have a blessed Wednesday!


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* Therefore I tell you that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus be cursed," and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 12:3

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

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

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

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

How can we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit?

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

What more can we expect from the Holy Spirit?

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

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

Why do we need more of the Holy Spirit?

It is the power of the Holy Spirit or an overflowing abundance of the anointing of the Holy Spirit we need to strive for, so that we can be His witnesses wherever we go. You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

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

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


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

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

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

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

How do we know we have received the Holy Spirit?
We'll discuss that tomorrow...
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Nehemiah was a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes - king of Babylon. Most Israelites had been taken exile during that time and the walls of Jerusalem were broken down. When Nehemiah heard it, he wept, prayed and had a desire to rebuild the wall. Since he had found favor with the king, the king sanctioned his pettition to rebuild the wall.

When it was all set and done, Nehemiah made sure the city was concecrated for the Lord, the temple grounds reestablished, by bringing in Levites and Priests to serve there, appointing a choir, and reminding people about the laws and festivities Moses had taught their forefathers to do.

It is in this context we read about how he restored the Sabbath - the day of rest, God had commanded us to follow. The following text explains exactly how he restored it.
In those days I saw in Judah some who were treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sacks of grain and loading them on donkeys, as well as wine, grapes, figs and all kinds of loads, and they brought them into Jerusalem on the sabbath day. So I admonished them on the day they sold food.

Also men of Tyre were living there who imported fish and all kinds of merchandise, and sold them to the sons of Judah on the sabbath, even in Jerusalem. Then I reprimanded the nobles of Judah and said to them, “What is this evil thing you are doing, by profaning the sabbath day? “Did not your fathers do the same, so that our God brought on us and on this city all this trouble? Yet you are adding to the wrath on Israel by profaning the sabbath.”

It came about that just as it grew dark at the gates of Jerusalem before the sabbath, I commanded that the doors should be shut and that they should not open them until after the sabbath. Then I stationed some of my servants at the gates so that no load would enter on the sabbath day.

Once or twice the traders and merchants of every kind of merchandise spent the night outside Jerusalem. Then I warned them and said to them, “Why do you spend the night in front of the wall? If you do so again, I will use force against you.” From that time on they did not come on the sabbath. And I commanded the Levites that they should purify themselves and come as gatekeepers to sanctify the sabbath day. For this also remember me, O my God, and have compassion on me according to the greatness of Your lovingkindness. Nehemiah 13:15-22

The question to us this morning is: Have we restored the Sabbath?! Do we give it the atmost reverence to spend in the fellowship of believers to worship the Lord? OR Have we allowed certain "merchants" in?!

It doesn't matter which day of the week we have consecrated for the Lord. The important matter is to concecrate one day, and do it as He commanded us.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. Exodus 20:8-11

Let us restore our Sabbath!
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Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Psalm 119:116

It is not just us who get weary when the blessing we hope for is delayed. Every one can relate to it. Let us therefore learn from some examples from the Scriptures on godly men on how they handled the stress associated with delayed hope.

King David reverts to prayer and supplication. There are numerous accounts of him praying and pleading thru' his psalms. He was certain his help would come from the Lord. He sings: Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me. Psalm 54:4

Prophet Jeremiah learnt to wait for Him; he writes in Lamentations 3:21-24: My soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”

Then there is the renewed hope when the wait is finally over and when we receive His blessings. In Ezekiel 37:11 we read: They (People of Israel) say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’

The Lord says in verse 37:13-14 "Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord."

So what do we need to do?
1. Pray
2. Be sure the Lord alone can help
3. Wait for the Lord
4. Receive your blessing

Is that hard?
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"Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone..." Luke 11:42

Who are Pharisees? Looking the term up in the dictionary gives:
  1. A member of an ancient Jewish sect, distinguished by strict observance of the traditional and written law, and commonly held to have pretensions to superior sanctity
  2. A self-righteous person; a hypocrite
There are many references in the Gospels where there are accounts of Jesus condemning the Pharisees to the extent that it appears that He even makes the sinners look better compared to them. I was curious to know why and my search lead me to www.rbc.org which gives us the explanation below:
Jesus condemned the Pharisees' self-righteous hypocrisy because it blinded them from seeing their need for repentance and a Savior.

Many Pharisees prided themselves in their strict avoidance of obvious, outward sin. But they refused to look inside themselves and acknowledge the presence of inner sin that didn't fall within the boundaries of their man-made rules. Jesus knew that in spite of their obsession with outward perfection, they willfully resisted consciousness of their inner corruption and need for grace.

We are all sinners, both inwardly and outwardly. Although we may not be notorious "public sinners," we all share a fallen nature and are often controlled by the "flesh" -- the "sin principle" -- within us (Romans 8). Jesus' stern warnings to the hypocritical Pharisees make it clear that sin we ignore and deny is no less serious in its effects than the sin of the public sinner.

Now, the question to us is, are we like the Pharisees - self righteous and stubborn? Or do we accept we are sinners and acknowledge the grace of God that forgives us?
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But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Romans 12:3

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 2 Corinthians 3:5

What we read in these Scriptures is the exact opposite of what we see and hear around us. The world defines self confidence as confidence in oneself or one's own abilities. But for us - the believers - the Lord must be our confidence!

Paul has set a very good example for us in his statements. Great King Solomon - the wisest ever lived has said: The Lord Is My Confidence. Proverbs 3:26. My favorite King David has sang, It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8

The Lord has spoken through Prophet Isaiah: "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Can we too confirm the Lord indeed is our confidence?!
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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

For today's coffee I would like to share an illustration from John Bunyan's book The Pilgrim's Progress.

Christian - the lead character in the book, is on a journey - from the City of Destruction to the Celestial City. Christian is weighed down by a great burden, the knowledge of his sin, which he believed came from his reading "the book in his hand", (the Bible). This burden, which would cause him to sink into Tophet (hell), is so unbearable that Christian must seek deliverance.

He meets Evangelist as he is walking out in the fields, who directs him to the "Wicket Gate" for deliverance. He is diverted by Mr. Worldly Wiseman into seeking deliverance from his burden through the Law, supposedly with the help of a Mr. Legality and his son Civility in the village of Morality, rather than through Christ, allegorically by way of the Wicket Gate.

Once again the Evangelist meets the wayward Christian as he stops before Mount Sinai on the way to Legality's home. It hangs over the road and threatens to crush any who would pass it. Evangelist shows Christian that he had sinned by turning out of his way, but he assures him that he will be welcomed at the Wicket Gate if he should turn around and go there, which Christian does.

At the Wicket Gate begins the "straight and narrow" King's Highway, and Christian is directed onto it by the gatekeeper Good Will. To Christian's query about relief from his burden, Good Will directs him forward to "the place of deliverance."

Christian finally reaches the "place of deliverance" (allegorically, the cross of Calvary and the open sepulcher of Christ), where the "straps" that bound Christian's burden to him break, and it rolls away into the open sepulchre.

After Christian is relieved of his burden, he is greeted by three shining ones, who give him the greeting of peace, new garments, and a scroll as a passport into the Celestial City — these are allegorical figures indicative of Christian Baptism and the journey continues all the way to the Celestial City. (Excerpts from Wikipedia)

The point of focus for our discussion is, when we lose our burden of sin and guilt at the cross, we pick up a lighter load and continue on the journey. This lighter load indicates the teachings of the Scriptures, the areas in which we need to improve, loving, forgiving, etc to become more like Jesus every day. Compared to our original bundle of sin, this yoke is very light and not a difficult task at hand. Might seem so at times but by His grace we can do it! Amen!

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Psalms 68:19
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I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore. ~ Psalm 121

This beautiful Psalm almost always calms my anxieties. I strongly advise you to by heart it if you haven't already. This way, we can recollect it from memory any number of times during any situation. Trust me, the help won't be too long!

Have a blessed Tuesday!

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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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It is a land the LORD your God cares for; the eyes of the LORD your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end. Deuteronomy 11:12


The 'land' here can very well represent us, our household, our territory. It is true God cared for us all through this year. His eyes were continually on us from from Monday through Sunday - from the beginning of the year to today - from the beginning of our birth to today! Praise the Lord!

The stress is on the word 'continually'. We were not even seeking His presence continually. Yet, His eyes were on us continually. But why?

Because, the devil roams the earth continually also - back and forth looking to devour. (The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it." Job 1:7. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8)

As we start this new day, let us acknowledge His continual care in our lives. Let us be grateful for His protection and His providence. Let us earn to seek Him continually as well.

God bless you all. Enjoy the "Son"day!

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No weapon forged against you will prevail. Isaiah 54:17

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Psalm 91:3-6

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 

Some of  us might be overwhelmed by the thought of a constant "Spiritual warfare" at hand. The war against our flesh, the war against sin, the war against the fallen world. By war I mean the conflicts, a constant repelling force which makes our faith walk all the more harder.

Today's message comes as a reminder that we can find solace in His presence where we can rest. As we start loving Him more, as we start enjoying His presence, the journey gets better. We will truly cherish His company rather than be afraid of the attacks on the way. 

We can be confident that the One with us is mightier than the army with them. How so? Because the Bible tells us so! Amen!

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33

Praise the Lord! It's a new day!

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Across the Bible we find various references to preparing a room for something or someone. Paul writes to Philemon: "Prepare a guest room for me, because I hope to be restored to you in answer to your prayers." Philemon 1:22

Jesus gives specific instructions to His disciples on how and where to prepare for Passover (or the Last Supper as famously known). We read in Luke: “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him to the house that he enters, and say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ He will show you a large upper room, all furnished. Make preparations there.” Luke 22:10-12

A rich Shunammite lady wanted to set up a nice room for the visiting Prophet Elisha. She shared with her husband: "Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us.” 2 Kings: 4:10

Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." John 14:2

Today, we are also going to prepare a room. Yes; a room in our hearts to host our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ!

Quite often there is hardly any room in our hearts for our Savior as too much of junk gets accumulated over there. Worries, anger, sadness, vengeance, self pity, enmity and the such occupy most of the space. Spouse, children, job and family take the rest of the space. Where then is the room for Christ in our lives?

Today I urge you to clean out a corner for our Lord, a spacious enough corner where He can live and reign; where He can help us clean the left over debris; where we can sing and dance in joy; where we can be completely in awe of His presence.

When you have prepared the room, invite Him in; He will come and dine with you!

Happy Friday all!
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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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Everyone born undertakes a journey. However you slice and dice it, the journey called life can be divided into only two types. A journey that leads to destruction or a journey that leads to life, for eternity.

By default we are on cruise control towards destruction. When we accept the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal savior, we hop on the journey that leads to life. Others continue on the journey to destruction.

For discussion this morning are two questions:

1. What role does Jesus play in our journey?

For some "christians" Jesus is nothing more than a mere travel insurance. The journey then becomes a set of do's and don't's making it all the more cumbersome. They are prone to dismiss it as difficult or impossible half way thru' and hop on the high way to destruction.

For true believers however, Jesus is the GPS (Global Positioning System). He shows us the way. He leads us and guides us. During our times of trouble or waywardness He takes us back on the journey to life. He is our constant companion. He is the ever-present help. Amen!

In the Scriptures we read,

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

The second question is:

2. What role do we as individuals play in our journey?

True, salvation is God's gift to us. 

Once saved however, we are called to do good works God. 

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

As God's handiwork, we are expected to do good works. 

Tomorrow we will see what are these good works that is expected of us...

For now, have a blessed day!



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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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But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. I Peter 2:9

Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine, and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Exodus 19:5-6

How many of us feel like royals this morning? Hardly any. But indeed we are royal priesthood, holy nation and God's special possession! Amen!

We are a chosen people, called out of darkness, called in to His marvelous light. Praise the Lord!

The Scripture goes on to remind us that, Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. I Peter 2:10

Therefore, 

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 
I Peter 2:11-12

It is on our part to live such a life worthy of our calling so that the pagans amongst whom we live, see our lives and glorify God.

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You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy. Psalm 45:7

"Rejoice!" is an often mentioned command throughout the Scriptures.  Yet, that is one area we Christians fail from time to time. All it takes is one criticism or one sickness or one crisis, or <you name it>, to offset us from our joy of salvation.

"Rejoice!" by it self implies that it is something within our capacity to do, not necessarily something others can do for us. If it were so, the command would have been something like "Make him/her rejoice".

One may wonder how we can rejoice irrespective of the circumstances. Or is it even possible to rejoice always? Yes, when God anoints us with the oil of joy we can rejoice in all situations! What it takes to be anointed with oil of joy? According to today's Scripture, when we love righteousness and hate wickedness God will anoint us with the oil of joy.

To add, anytime we feel that the joy within us is lost, we need to repent and cry out to the Lord for restoring our joy. We are familiar with Psalm 51 where King David cries out "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me."

Let this be our prayer too today: "Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me." Amen!
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1Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.
2Sing to him, sing praise to him;
tell of all his wonderful acts.
3Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4Look to the Lord and his strength;
seek his face always.
5Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
6you his servants, the descendants of Abraham,
his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
7He is the Lord our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
8He remembers his covenant forever,
the promise he made, for a thousand generations,
9the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.
10He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant:
11“To you I will give the land of Canaan
as the portion you will inherit.”
12When they were but few in number,
few indeed, and strangers in it,
13they wandered from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another.
14He allowed no one to oppress them;
for their sake he rebuked kings:
15“Do not touch my anointed ones;
do my prophets no harm.”
16He called down famine on the land
and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17and he sent a man before them—
Joseph, sold as a slave.
18They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
19till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20The king sent and released him,
the ruler of peoples set him free.
21He made him master of his household,
ruler over all he possessed,
22to instruct his princes as he pleased
and teach his elders wisdom.
23Then Israel entered Egypt;
Jacob resided as a foreigner in the land of Ham.
24The Lord made his people very fruitful;
he made them too numerous for their foes,
25whose hearts he turned to hate his people,
to conspire against his servants.
26He sent Moses his servant,
and Aaron, whom he had chosen.
27They performed his signs among them,
his wonders in the land of Ham.

37He brought out Israel, laden with silver and gold,
and from among their tribes no one faltered.
38Egypt was glad when they left,
because dread of Israel had fallen on them.
39He spread out a cloud as a covering,
and a fire to give light at night.
40They asked, and he brought them quail;
he fed them well with the bread of heaven.
41He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
it flowed like a river in the desert.
42For he remembered his holy promise
given to his servant Abraham.
43He brought out his people with rejoicing,
his chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44he gave them the lands of the nations,
and they fell heir to what others had toiled for—
45that they might keep his precepts
and observe his laws.
Praise the Lord.

~Psalm 105

P.S: Hang in there and hold on to your promises of God. He remembers them and will bring it to pass very soon.
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1Praise the Lord, my soul.
Lord my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2The Lord wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent
3and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds his chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4He makes winds his messengers,
flames of fire his servants.
10He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains.
11They give water to all the beasts of the field;
the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12The birds of the sky nest by the waters;
they sing among the branches.
13He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
14He makes grass grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to cultivate—
bringing forth food from the earth:
15wine that gladdens human hearts,
oil to make their faces shine,
and bread that sustains their hearts.
16The trees of the Lord are well watered,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
19He made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
20You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
21The lions roar for their prey
and seek their food from God.
22The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
23Then people go out to their work,
to their labor until evening.
24How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
25There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
26There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
31May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works—
32he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains, and they smoke.
33I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
Praise the Lord.

~ Psalm 104
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1Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
19The Lord has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
20Praise the Lord, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.

~ Psalm 103

Ready, Set, Praise!
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A prayer of an afflicted person who has grown weak and pours out a lament before the Lord.
1Hear my prayer, Lord;
let my cry for help come to you.
2Do not hide your face from me
when I am in distress.
Turn your ear to me;
when I call, answer me quickly.
3For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn like glowing embers.
4My heart is blighted and withered like grass;
I forget to eat my food.

11My days are like the evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.
12But you, Lord, sit enthroned forever;
your renown endures through all generations.
13You will arise and have compassion on Zion,
for it is time to show favor to her;
the appointed time has come.

15The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
16For the Lord will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.
17He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
~ Psalm 102 (An excerpt)

Ready? Steady? Pray!
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1I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
2I will be careful to lead a blameless life—
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
3I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
4The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
5Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
I will not tolerate.
6My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
will minister to me.
7No one who practices deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.
8Every morning I will put to silence
all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
from the city of the Lord.

~ Psalm 101

Ready, Steady, Sing...
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1Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
2Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
3Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
4Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
5For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations. 
~ Psalm 100

Ready? Steady! Shout!!