NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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

King Solomon 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 do?
1. Pray
2. Be sure the Lord alone can help
3. Wait for the Lord
4. Receive your blessing

Is that hard?

With that we have ended July 2016! Praise the Lord!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Then the Lord God provided a vine and made it grow up over Jonah to give shade for his head to ease his discomfort, and Jonah was very happy about the vine. Jonah 4:6

The book of Jonah is a very interesting book and I hope you have all read through it. If not please take your time one of these days to breeze through the four easy chapters.

Here's the summary to set the context: Jonah was asked to preach in Nineveh about the impending destruction to the city God was planning. He refuses to do it, leaves for Tarshish, gets thrown out into the stormy ocean, a big fish swallows him, he survives inside the belly of the fish for three days and night before finally being spit out. Now he visits Nineveh as how God had told him to. People of Nineveh including the king and the cattle everyone wear sackcloth and fast and pray asking God to relent from His fierce anger. When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he had compassion on them and did not bring upon them the destructions he had warned them about through Jonah.

But Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He was not hesitant to let God know how very disappointed he was that he even wanted to die right then and there. If you think about it he had all the reasons to be angry, right? Wrong! That's what God intends to prove by teasing him with a little shade one day and removing it the next.

Using that as an example God was able to explain to Jonah why he changed his mind about the hundred and twenty thousand people of Nineveh who could not tell their right hand from their left and the many cattle there. Though the chapter ends there I am sure Jonah was convinced of the reason and continued to serve the Lord, happily ever after...

Application: Like Jonah, we may think too high of ourselves at times and care more for our reputation than the will of God to be demonstrated in peoples lives.

To us God asks the very same question today: “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?” Jonah 4:11

We were not punished according to our transgressions, why then do we expect others to be punished and not forgiven?! Freely we have received, let's freely give. (Matthew 10:8)
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!
“How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! “Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters." Numbers 24:5-6

Numbers 24 gives an account of an interesting encounter between King Balak and Prophet Balaam. The Israelites are traveling along the desert towards Canan their promised land and on the way they have overcome mighty warriors like Og king of Bashan, Sihon king of the Amorites and the like. When Balak king of Moab heard about it, he gets afraid and calls for Prophet Balaam to put a curse on the Israelites.

Three times he sets up alters just as Balaam suggests but every single time when Balaam opens up his mouth he only blessed the Israelites instead of cursing them because God did not allow him to curse.

Today's verse is part of his blessings over Israel at Balak's third attempt to curse them. They are blessed inspite of Balaam's order to curse them. This is so true for us who are part of the faith walk marching towards our promised land - Life Eternal in heaven.

We as born again believers are the spiritual Israelites and so these blessings hold true for us too. We will be abundantly blessed like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by the Lord, like cedars beside the waters. Let's say amen and claim that today!

P.S: If you have some time today and are looking for an intersting read, I suggest you go back and read Numbers 22 thru 25 to get the full detail of this Balaam/Balak interaction.

Happy Friday folks!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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!"

Have a blessed Thursday!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Our Father in heaven!

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.

Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.

Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
and justified when you judge.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones you have crushed rejoice.

Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
you who are God my Savior,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.

You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart
you, God, will not despise.

In Jesus's name we pray, amen!

~ Psalm 51
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Matthew 5:8

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

Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that has clean hands, and a pure heart; who has not lifted up his soul to vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Psalm 24: 3-5

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


Amen! We are reminded this morning over and over again of the importance of seeking a pure heart. A pure heart is in essence clean and void of any debris if you will. A heart that has forgiven others. A heart that loves the Lord with all might. A heart that loves unconditionally. A heart that is constantly connected with the Maker.

It would be a precious thing to possess - a clean heart. Just imagine, a heart that is not burdened with the past, a heart that knows not to carry vengeance, a heart that is full of joy - joy of salvation, a heart that always praises... Indeed precious!

Let us seek the Lord to create a clean heart in us today so that we can see the Lord one day - face to face! Amen!

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

We all like hearing things like we are loved, dearly loved, His own , His chosen people etc. Good! However sometimes we fail to realize what it really means to be His chosen people, His dearly beloved...

The Scripture is very clear on the roles a dearly beloved of the Lord ought to play. There is a dress code if you will for His chosen people. We are expected to wear compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Now, let's pause there and analyze ourselves.

How compassionate are we? When we came across someone in need did we walk past them or stopped to help? Are we kind to one another or rude always? Humble or proud? Gentle or harsh? Patient or hurried? Those who can say for sure you have mastered it all, you are obviously His chosen people, holy & dearly loved!

Others who have some doubt, let us work towards improving in that area. Doesn't mean we are loved any less. You are also His chosen people, holy and dearly loved. Remember He first loved us even while we were sinners? So let us work to fit in to His perception of us.

As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, let us clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Amen!

God bless you all. Enjoy the week ahead.
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." 
1 Samuel 7:12

Throughout the Scriptures we read of several people designating stones as monuments for remembering the deliverence or encountering of God in that place.

If you recall Jacob had set up a stone pillar at the place where God had talked with him and called it Bethel (Genesis 35:14,15) and Joshua had set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. (Joshua 4:9). King David confessed several times that the Lord was his rock of salvation (Psalm 18:2).

Here Prophet Samuel sets up a monument to remember the return of the Ark of the Lord and names it Ebenezer which means "Thus far the Lord has helped us".

Now the question is, do you have such a monument that reminds you constantly of God's deliverance from certain situation? If you think about it there are easy reminders in our lives such as birthdays, anniversaries, years of experience, number of children, we can go on and on and on.

If these are not enough reminders and/or if we would somehow forget what the Lord has done thus far, we might as well put up some monument as reminders. If we remember already, let us praise the Lord for helping us thus far!

Enjoy the 'Son'day!

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong 1 Kings 3:9


A very interesting conversation goes on between God and King Solomon in the book of I Kings 3rd chapter. Agreed, it was a dream but we all know the dream very much came true.

God tells King Solomon to ask for anything he wants and very clearly, of course very cleverly, King Solomon asks for a discerning heart to govern and to distinguish between right and wrong. What was God's response to that? God gave him what he had asked for plus everything else he didn't dare asking for. Isn't that amazing!

If God is to appear in our dreams tonight, what will be our plea? What do we consider as the most important thing we need?

Are we seeking for a discerning heart to distinguish between right and wrong? Wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. If we have the fear of the Lord in our heart, we already have a 'seed of wisdom' in us. We only need to ask for more to cultivate that 'seed'.

Is asking for wisdom part of our daily prayer? 
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually. Psalm 105:4

I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chronicles 15:2

You, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Psalm 9:10

My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

Seek Him continually! That is the message for us this morning! Above Scriptures clearly explain the benefits of seeking His face.

What does it mean to seek someone/something?

* To try to locate or discover; search for
* To endeavor to obtain or reach
* To go to or toward
* To inquire for; request
* To try; endeavor.
* To make a search or investigation.

Seek God. Then you will find Him. Seek Him continually. Till you find Him! Amen!

Happy Friday!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

* My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8
* I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
* Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Psalm 105:4


King David sets us a good example of seeking the Lord continually, not just on Sundays's not just on mornings but continually - all the days of the week, every hour of each day, every second of each hour...

What does it mean to seek?

The following definitions are given in the dictionary:

1. Attempt to find (something)
2. Attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something)
3. Ask for (something) from someone
4. Search for and find someone or something
5. Go to (a place)

Now, how do we seek the Lord?

Based on the definition of the word 'seek' we can say,

1. Find out more of the Lord
2. Desire more time with the Lord
3. Pray
4. Search the Scriptures more for hidden treasures.
5. Go to His feet more often.

The Scripture assures, those who seek Him will find Him... (Proverbs 8:17)

Hope you will start seeking from now on... Let's start this morning!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
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 is one of my favorite Psalms. It assures the Lord's protection on our household. Anytime I read it, it brings about such a peace of mind over all my situations.I hope and pray you too experience that assurance this morning.

Let us read it all over again and let the words sink in.  Surely, our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Amen!

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.I John 5:3

For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:30

We are wrapping up our series on Grace & Peace today...  

The 4th key to finding His grace and availing His peace is to Obey His commands

Scriptures are full of His commands. Anywhere you turn, for whatever circumstances you are presently in, the Scripture has the answers. When we obey the commands of God He will shower His countless blessings on us, which very much includes the promised grace and peace that we are after.

In Leviticus 3rd chapter verses 3-13, God has promised us the benefits of following His commands, which I wish to share with you. Take your time to read  it and re read it, till the contents sink in.

‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land.

“ ‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you.

“ ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 

I will put my dwelling place among you, and I will not abhor you. I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high. Leviticus 26:3-13

Amen! Isn't that an awesome list of promises?! We are promised this all for obeying the Lord's commands. So it is clearly in our hands to obey and receive the promised blessings.

Praise the Lord!


NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. John 12:26


My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. John 10:27-28

Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38


Grace & Peace series continues...

The 3rd key to finding grace and availing the peace He offers is to Follow His lead.

What does it mean to 'follow' someone?

Dictionary.com defines it as:

* to come after in sequence, order of time, etc.
* to go or come after; move behind in the same direction:  
* to accept as a guide or leader; accept the authority of or give allegiance to
* to conform to, comply with, or act in accordance with; obey
* to imitate or copy; use as an exemplar

I believe all these definitions were/are meant when Jesus said/says to follow Him. Isn't that how Jesus hand picked His 12 disciples? Didn't they all follow Him based on all these definitions above?

Well and good, aren't we called as well? Why aren't we following then? When was the last time we prayed lead me Lord? 

Shall we pray like King David?: "See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 139:24

Let him lead me to the banquet hall, and let his banner over me be love. Song of Solomon 2:4

Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Matthew 4:19

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3


They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31


The 2nd key to finding grace & peace is to Wait for the Lord or take the time.

Taking the time or waiting on the Lord does not come naturally to us.  We would rather take matters in our own hands than "sit around", we reason. From Abraham to Moses to Peter to even us, all have history of impatience and we have seen the consequences of that.

Waiting on the Lord means getting the confirmation on God's will, to surrender the matter at hand at His feet and wait for His leading. Taking the time to read and meditate the Word of God will enable us to hear when the Lord speaks. Our hearts will be in synch with the will of God. Naturally this will result in us finding the grace and peace that has been given to us.

Shall we set aside some time each day to wait on the Lord? Morning or evening or at noon, that is up to you. But take the time!

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1


NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me. Psalm 131:2


Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5

Be still, and know that I am God.Psalm 46:10

Yesterday we started a new series Grace & Peace.Today we will see what is the #1 key to finding the grace and availing the peace God has intended for us, which is to Quiet your soul.

God did not design us human beings to run 24 X 7. We were made to rest systematically. Only to insist that God Himself rested on the 7th day of creation and set aside the Sabbath for us to rest. If it were not so important,it wouldn't have found it's place among the ten commandments.

So, when was the last time you rested completely - quieting your soul? Were all the distractions we were after, worth it? The non-stop text messages, the social networking way into wee hours, were it really truly worth anything? From my own experience I can tell all these distractions are far from quieting us. No wonder we feel edgy and cranky most of the time.

When we quiet our soul like how God had planned for us, we are renewed and refreshed - all body, mind and soul. Only when we quiet our soul, we can hear God speak, thus know the will of God in our lives, which leads to the complete peace - His peace - that has been made available for us.

Then we too can sing as King David sang: He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23:2-3.  

Amen! What a privilege! It all starts with quieting our soul. Shall we make an effort starting today?

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9


Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. John 14:27

Today's Scriptures clearly explain there are two things God has already given to us. Grace & Peace. He has given. Means it is served. But have we availed it? Have we received what He has given?

If you ever feel pressured or in turmoil - without peace, clearly you haven't availed it. If you are calm and composed in all situation surely you have received it. So, what is your story? Which one do you relate to better?

Grace is composed of His love, His mercies, His kindness, His justice. (Your servant has found favor in your eyes, and you have shown great kindness to me in sparing my life.Genesis 19:19)

In Peace we find the rest He promised. (Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.Matthew 11:28; My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest. Exodus 33:14)

Even the lamenting Prophet Jeremiah writes: The LORD'S loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."… Lamentations 3:23-24

Let me challenge you this morning to avail His grace. To find His rest.

Here's keys to finding peace & availing His grace:

* Quiet your Soul
* Take the Time
* Follow His Lead
* Obey His commands

We will discuss each of these in detail for the next couple of days. Please stay tuned...

Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 2 Peter:1:2

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life ?

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

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’

For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

~Matthew 6:25-33

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!


Beloved: "I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1
Lover: "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens." Song of Solomon 2:2

Where is Sharon? What is so special about the rose of Sharon?

Sharon is a fruitful pasture land, a place where even David's cattle were fed (1 Chronicles 27:29). Isaiah 35:2 mentions about the splendor of Carmel & Sharon which gives a better picture of Sharon. Barnes's notes on the Bible says: "Sharon" is usually the proper name of the celebrated plain from Joppa to Caesarea, between the hill-country and the sea, and travelers have remarked the abundance of flowers with which this plain is still carpeted in spring.

A rose of Sharon therefore is a common scene, it is not extraordinary. Same way lilly of the valleys is quite common. It is like the bride saying, "I am just a commoner; not quite fit to marry you". But the Lover reassures her that she is very special; in the very next verse He says: "Like a lily among thorns is my darling among the maidens."

Of all the "flowers" of the pasture, our Christ has found us to be special, worthy of His love! Isn't that awesome! We are commoners, ordinary folks, fishermen if you will, but our Lord has chosen us to be His bride; His flawless bride is what He is making of us.

To conclude, it is not Sharon that is special neither it's roses, it is the love of the Lord that makes us special.

Let us cherish His love for the rest of the day...
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Show me, LORD, my life's end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. Psalm 39:4

My days are swifter than a runner; they fly away without a glimpse of joy. Job 9:25

My days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and they come to an end without hope. Job 7:6

We don't need much proof that our days run faster than ever. We see signs of it everywhere. The mirror gives it away every time we see our reflection in it.

Didn't we just begin the year? Already we are in mid July and before we know it, it will be year end. Even this past week went by in a blink. The days and weeks and months and years seem to roll one into another seamlessly.

Job and King David felt the same from time to time. We see them mentioning it repeatedly in Scriptures. It is interesting how they both focus their attention back to the Lord amidst their panic.

Let us too do the same. As we become more cautious of our fleeting days let us become more appreciative of the Lord's providence and more aware of His favor on us.

His favor would be a full fountain of our future joys. It would be a sufficient balance to our former griefs. Instead of wasting our precious, fleeting days in pursuing fancies, let us seek the forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance in heaven. Let us pray that the work of the Holy Spirit may appear in converting our hearts, and that the beauty of holiness may be seen in our conduct. (Ref: Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary)

God bless you! Have a blessed weekend!

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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. Luke 11:9-10


When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. James 4:3

What is it we are asking Him this morning? What is the motive behind our plea? Do we intend on spending whatever we are asking for - for our pleasure or for His glory?

In the Gospel of Mark chapter 10 we read of an interesting conversation between James/John and Jesus:
Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

“What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said.

Do we know what we are asking this morning? Let us get right with our motives before we ask for anything. Then it will be given to us.
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!


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

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

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

As you can see, the suggested wear for the day is faith, love and the hope of our salvation. Do we have these on? Check.

Have we put on the armor of light? Check.

Have we put aside the deeds of darkness? Check.

Then we are truly sons and daughters of the Light which is Day!

God bless you all!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Come, O house of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD. Isaiah 2:5
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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


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

Apostle Paul explains it in such detail in Ephesians: 5:1-22 which reads,
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

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

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

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

Need I say more?

NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. Romans 13:11-12

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

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

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

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


We will discuss each one of these in detail in the coming days...
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

"... these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well." ...the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16:14-20

"... you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8

All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. Acts 2:4


Listed here are few Scriptures that talk about the external manifestation of the indwelling or the infilling of the Holy Spirit within us. I do not think further explanation is needed as these Scriptures are self explanatory.

Yet, I would like to discuss one subject 'Speaking in tongues' here which is constantly argued about among believers - mostly between believers who have received the gift of speaking in tongues and believers who have not received the gift. Some go to the extent to say one cannot go to heaven if they don't speak in tongues and some go to the other extreme that people talking in tongues are evil possessed.

We have to be very cautious about making such statements because any such remarks are against the Word of God. The Scripture says, "Whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin." Mark 3:29. So it is extremely important to refrain from doing so.

The Scripture says, "Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever" Hebrews 13:8. Therefore the Scriptures on the manifestations of the Holy Spirit are also true yesterday, today and forever, not just for the first century as some claim.

Just because one hasn't manifested in Spirit certain way doesn't make him any less holy than the one who has manifested and vice versa one who speaks in tongues must not boast against the one who does not. Paul instructs us in I Corinthians 10:31, "whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." and again in I Corinthians 14:40, "...everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

So, coming back to our original discussion on Speaking in tongues:

Is it true? Yes, absolutely.
How do I say it so confidently? Because I have experienced it myself.
How does it help? Helps me pray better especially during my personal prayer time and during worship.
What is the advantage? I can connect better with the Almighty, loving Him better with body, mind and soul. The Christian walk has been more rewarding as I can sense a constant companionship in the Father, Son & Holy Spirit. The whole concept of 'being holy like the One who called us is holy' is less challenging with the constant reminder from the Holy Spirit about things good vs. evil.

With that, we will end this series on Holy Spirit. However, if you have unanswered questions, bring it on! We will discuss it on the coffee table. God alone be glorified in and through us!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!


* And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:5

* Because you are sons, God sent  the Spirit of his Son  into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father."  Galatians 4:6

First and foremost the gift of the Holy Spirit pours out His love into our hearts - an abundant overflowing love, for Christ our Lord, for the neighbors, for fellow mankind, for the sinners and for all.

In addition to that we now have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us that calls out "Abba, Father" thus giving us a sense of closeness with God.

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible states:
This love is the spring of all our actions; it is the motive of our obedience; the principle through which we love God, we love him because he first loved us; and we love him with a love worthy of himself, because it springs from him: it is his own; and every flame that rises from this pure and vigorous fire must be pleasing in his sight: it consumes what is unholy; refines every passion and appetite; sublimes the whole, and assimilates all to itself. And we know that this is the love of God; it differs widely from all that is earthly and sensual.

The Holy Ghost comes with it; by his energy it is diffused and pervades every part; and by his light we discover what it is, and know the state of grace in which we stand. Thus we are furnished to every good word and work; have produced in us the mind that was in Christ; are enabled to obey the pure law of our God in its spiritual sense, by loving him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength; and our neighbor, any and every soul of man, as ourselves.

True, speaking in tongues and prophesying are other signs that accompany the infilling of the Holy Spirit. But if we lack the fundamental love the Scripture here talks about then these external signs are of no use or it is voided.

This is exactly what Paul writes in I Corinthians 13:1-3
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

So, now you know if you have received the gift or not. If you have the assurance you have received the gift of the Holy Spirit, Congratulations! Continue to abide in His love! If you are not sure, continue to pray for the gift.

In the next couple of days we will see further manifestation of the Gift of the Holy Spirit such as speaking in tongues and prophesying. May God be glorified in and through us!
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!


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

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

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

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do we know we have received the Holy Spirit?
We'll discuss that tomorrow...
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

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

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

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

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

Who is the Holy Spirit?

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

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

In John 14:26 Jesus is preparing his disciples for His ascension to heaven saying: "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you."

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

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

If you have any specific questions, please share in the comments section below...
NRIGirl
Pin It Now!

* And they(angels) were calling to one another: "Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory." Isaiah 6:3
* Just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.
I Peter 1:15
* For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life.
I Thessalonians 4:7
* Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14


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

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

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

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

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

Tomorrow we will see how to abide in Him...

By the way, Happy July everyone!