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"For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit." Jeremiah 17:8

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3

Beautiful scriptures shared by the Holy Spirit this morning! Praise the Lord!

We all can visualize such a tree - flourishing, abundant with sweet delicious fruits and shade, a delight to the people around, a true beauty to behold! And of course we all want to be blessed such!

The good news is that we can! Yes we all can! Every one of us here at the coffee table this morning can be and will be blessed as such...

... if only we can do the simple commands preceding these scriptures.

Jeremiah 17:7 But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.

Psalm 1: 1-2 Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law he meditates day and night. 

Isn't that cool folks?  
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And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. Jeremiah 29:7

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee. Psalm 122:6

So, what is peace? The dictionary lists the synonyms as: freedom from disturbance; quiet, tranquility, calm, restfulness, order, harmony, nonviolence, etc.

Peace in other words is the inner joy - quite - calm - rest - harmony - order - we can enjoy in-spite of what is going on in or around us.

In today's scripture the Lord is talking through Prophet Jeremiah that we can still find peace amidst our turbulence's (whatever issues we are facing), during our captivity (whatever worries us at the moment), by seeking and praying for the peace of the city, (situation, family, work, business, etc).

So, dear folks, we are accountable for our own peace. We can claim the ever-eluding peace by praying over the situation and trusting that God is in control of it all and then most importantly to stop worrying about it further.

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be Still!" Then the wind dies down and it was completely calm. Mark 4:39

Let us also submit our storms to His authority so that He can command our worries to stop and give us the calm we need.

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22
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And you will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Now set your heart and your soul to seek the Lord your God. 1 Chronicles 22:19

If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9

So, we get it. There are so many scriptures about seeking God. But what does it mean - to seek? Let's check the dictionary...
seek
1. attempt to find (something)."they came here to seek shelter from biting winter winds"
synonyms: search for, try to find, look for, be on the lookout for, be after, hunt for, be in quest of
2. attempt or desire to obtain or achieve (something)."the new regime sought his extradition"
synonyms: try to obtain, work toward, be intent on, aim at/for
3. ask for (something) from someone."he sought help from the police"
synonyms: ask for, request, solicit, call for, entreat, beg for, petition for, appeal for, apply for
Mostly, we think of 'seeking the Lord' as the 2nd or 3rd definitions above, and hardly the 1st - to find. 

One of my friends who is a Pastor once said, "when your husband comes home, if you are always looking at his hands as to what he brings for you, but hardly at his face to find out how he was doing, how would that make him feel? It is the same way with God. If we are always "seeking" Him to obtain something or ask for, request or solicit something but never look at His face and enjoy His presence we have not fully benefited."

True folks! What are we seeking? The gift or the giver? The providence or the provider? The salvation or the Savior?

King David had figured it out for himself. He sings, "My heart says of you, "Seek his face!" Your face, LORD, I will seek. Psalm 27:8

Let that thought sink in a minute. Ponder over it the rest of the day. Let us earn to truly seek Him - to seek His face, to find out His heart, to know His will for our lives, the next time we meet with Him. Shall we?


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* Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only. Matthew 4:10
* Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalm 100:2
* Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. Psalm 96:9
* You must not worship the LORD your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the LORD hates. Deuteronomy 12:31
* Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. Exodus 23:25

As we get ready to worship the Lord this morning let us remind ourselves of these Scriptures above. As you see, there are instructions on how to worship the Lord and how not to worship the Lord.

Since the verses are self explanatory I do not wish to elaborate on it. However, wanted to stress one point: Let us serve Him only.

Happy "Son"day everyone!
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But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

Be merciful to those who doubt; save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh. Jude 1:20-23 


It is interesting how the disciples of Jesus Christ, who were once common fishermen, developed such wisdom and insight about all things supernatural and eternal. It is the wisdom that comes from knowing the Lord. It is the insight from being led by the Holy Spirit.

Here Apostle Jude calls us to persevere in our faith, staying focused on eternal life. It is as though he knew the current times. He warns us about the scoffers & false preachers in earlier verses, and insists us to safeguard our faith amidst it all.

It is important to hold on to our faith first. Then we could help out those who are in doubt and those on the verge of eternal fire. In doing so, we will stand before God without fault and with great joy! Hallelujah!



Let us heed to the call this morning: by building ourselves up in our faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves in God’s love as we wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring us to eternal life. Amen!

We will see the how to's in the coming days. Stay tuned...
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Let marriage be held in honor among all... Hebrews 13:4

How many of us - born again believers - can vouch that we do respect marriage in general and our, your marriage in particular?

How we treat our spouse says it all! It is sad to see even among seasoned believers marriage is losing it's luster.

Even as I write this, I am guilty of often finding fault with my husband and thus not enjoying the peace and harmony God had intended for our marriage in the first place. But lately this Scripture has worked in me that I am beginning to be cautious of my spoken and unspoken words towards my husband and that of course has made our bond stronger and our joy fuller. Praise the Lord.

My prayer for you is that may the Holy Spirit work in each of your hearts this morning to respect your spouses and honor the marriage unions you share.

God bless you!

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God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 1 Thessalonians 4:7

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

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.

The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did  not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit. I Thessalonians 4:3-8

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. I Corinthians 6:18

But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Ephesians 5:3

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires... Colossians 3:5

An interesting thing about sin - any sin - is that we do know it is sin; no one has to point it out to us. If any of us struggle with any impurities let us bring it to the Lord's presence this morning,confess and be washed by His blood all over again.
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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 evidence 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.

Have a wide awake Wednesday! :)
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* My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises. Psalm 119:148
* On my bed I remember you; I think of you through the watches of the night. Psalm 63:6
* I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways Psalm 119:15

Do we stay late any night just to meditate on His promises? May be if you are a Pastor you would. But for others it might be the least priority in a day's schedule. In yesterday's post - Healthy Start, we saw King David rose up early every morning to praise & worship the Lord. (Psalm 5:3, Psalm 59:16, Psalm 119:147).

Here we see that he also stayed awake late in the night to meditate on the promises. He was a king, he had a big family, he was running for his life from time to time, yet he found time to sit at His feet both early mornings and late nights. Clearly his first priority was the Lord. No wonder he was a man after God's own heart (1 Samuel 13:13) or in other words 'A friend of God'.

My sincere desire is to be a friend of God; you too wish the same? Well, now we know what works...

Blessed is the man whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. Psalm 1:2
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* Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. Exodus 16:21
* In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3
* In the morning I will sing of your love Psalm 59:16
* His compassions never fail. They are new every morning Lamentations 3:22,23
* I rise before dawn and cry for help Psalm 119:147

Scriptures show the importance of sitting at His feet in the morning and yet that is one area we neglect. When Israelites were fed by Manna, every morning they had to gather as much as they needed. As the sun grew hot, it melted away.

Same is true for our Spiritual Manna - the Word of God. We need to gather it every morning as when the day progresses we may altogether skip it. We all know the Lord's prayer, "Give us each day our daily bread" Let us take an effort to eat it every day, possibly at breakfast for a healthy start.

Manna for breakfast anyone?!
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Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." John 6:68

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35


I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51


On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. John 7:37


How many of us can say we have feasted enough on the Bread of life this morning?! Can we set aside all other distractions, silence our peripherals and turn to the Scriptures for a brief moment this morning?


Let us read the above scriptures one more time and let the meaning of it sink in. If He is the Bread, are we having enough of Him? Are we hungry and thirsty for Him? Why wouldn't we take the time to eat and drink of Him if it will lead us to eternal life?


Let these Scriptures ponder your thoughts as you start the day. Pause once in a while to feast on His words.


May God bless you! Have a blessed Sunday!


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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...
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Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say. Exodus 4:12

We would think Moses, having been raised by the Princess of Egypt in the Palace of the Pharaoh himself, would be well with words. He might have learned a thing or two that improves his presentation and communication skills, wouldn't he?

On the contrary. We read in Exodus chapter 4 of Moses trying to evade God's call to lead the Israelites out of slavery from Egypt, blaming it all on his poor communication skills. Turns out he had a stutter or stammer, a speech disorder.

That's when God assures him,  "Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

But Moses begs and pleads all the more to be excused from this great commission. Upon his insistence  God gives him a helper Aaron. In addition the Lord also promises in verse 15, " I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do."

I find it interesting how even Aaron needed God's instruction on what to speak. Be it Moses with his speech disorder or Aaron who has good communication skills, ultimately it is the Lord who instructs them what to speak.

Let's pause there for today's coffee. How good or bad is our skills? Are you afraid of  opening your mouth, sharing your ideas, presenting your project, preaching His Gospel, making statements of Faith?

Remember, the Lord who taught Moses and Aaron to undertake the exodus is alive and well today. Take courage this morning, as He promises to teach us what to say.

Let us make it our prayer like King David, "Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." Psalm 25:5

Amen! Happy Friday folks!

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Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Trials could be overwhelming. Every human being suffers one way or another. Daily decision making, child rearing, balancing workload, relationship issues, physical health, financial needs could all add to our trials.

Many run away from the Lord, during tough times, instead of clinging closer to the Lord. They might even go to the extent of denying their faith to satisfy their own agenda and come to their own conclusion of matters.

But enduring the trials with steadfast faithfulness on God Almighty, will surely be rewarded.

Even Paul the great apostle writes, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 2 Timothy 4:7

Jesus confirms, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 

Paul insists:
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Attitude is key in all. How we handle our trials? How we react to temptations? 

Job had the best attitude we can learn from:

Job's wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”
He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said. Job 2:9-10

So, let us too hold fast to our faith. Stand firm through our tests. Persevere under trial, to seek refuge in Him and Him alone!

Have a blessed day!

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You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Joel 2:26
* Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood Isaiah 54:4

Dignity is an important motivation. When we think our dignity is lost or when we fear disgrace we lose all hope in life. However if our pride is in our Lord, we will not be put to shame.

It may seem like disgrace temporarily but in the long run we can look back and see that it was not really a disgrace and that His grace was sufficient for us. Amen!

Have a blessed day folks!
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Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God stays for ever. 1 John 2:15-17

I must confess I am no exception when it comes to loving things of the world. Shoes, bags, watches  and perfumes are my temptations. I have an appetite for fine things. According to the Scripture this morning, I do understand these are vain fancies I run after, which needs to be at once curtailed.

Clearly the Scripture says the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are of this world and not of the Father. If I love the Father I must confess and denounce my craze for things of the world, which I do.

Dear Father: Thank you for the conviction of my sin at the coffee table this morning Lord. I am sorry for lusting after things of this world Lord. There are enough of everything you have blessed me with Lord. I need not and must not desire more of anything but you Lord. Please forgive me Lord. Please help me control my spending habit Lord. Please let me be very careful about using the funds you have given me to please you Lord. Please forgive me Lord. Please let me not repeat the same mistakes again Lord. Thank you once again for your mercy Lord. For your grace that is ready to forgive me Lord. Thank you Jesus for embracing me once again in your love Lord.

If there is anyone else here who needs a special touch this morning, please reach out to them Lord. Let them experience your presence Lord. Let them enjoy your embrace Lord. 

All glory, honor and power to you alone Lord.

In Jesus Christ's most precious name I pray,
Amen!

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.1 Timothy 6:6-8
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You may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4

The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. Psalm 23:1

Those who fear him lack nothing Psalm 34:9

Those who give to the poor will lack nothing. Proverbs 28:27

The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. Psalm 34:10


Shall we say amen!

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Have a blessed Sunday!
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’

But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.

If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.

Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

~Matthew 5:38-42

Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

~Romans 12:19

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Jesus Himself prayed the following prayer. Let us repeat it every day of our lives, even many times during the day if possible and meditate on the meaning of our prayer. The most difficult line here is "forgive us as we forgave" which means if we haven't forgiven, we are not forgiven. How strong these words are. Let us reexamine our self and be ready and willing to forgive others so that our sins will be forgiven for us too.

 " 'Our Father in heaven,
   hallowed be your name,
 your kingdom come,
   your will be done
      on earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us today our daily bread.
 Forgive us our debts,
      as we also have forgiven our debtors.
 And lead us not into temptation,
   but deliver us from the evil one.' For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:9-15

Let us pray, "Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for teaching us to pray. I understand it is important for me to forgive others so that I will be forgiven. But I find it difficult to forgive others at times, Lord, please help me in this area, please help me forgive others. Fill me with your love and joy. Thank you for forgiving my sins Lord. In Jesus' name, Amen!"
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The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Romans: 13:12-14

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

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

Quite honestly don't you see we are blessed much more than what we deserve? Then why do we feel jealous? It is unnecessary. Scripture says, "godliness with contentment, it is great gain" (1 Timothy 6:6.)

If we are not careful to nip off envy at the very bud, soon it will completely overwhelm us taking possession of our body, mind and even the soul. It is a parasite to be shunned at all cost.

Let us pray therefore to remove the "arguing spirit" and the "spirit of envy" from our hearts today. Let us praise God with a grateful heart for His many blessings in our lives this morning!

Have a blessed Thursday!
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This is what the LORD says: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded," declares the LORD. Jeremiah 31:16

I can sense that today's verse is meant for someone for whom it is much needed! Whoever is crying continuously over something, this message comes from the Lord to you: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded".

King David cries out in Psalm 56:8: "You tell my wanderings: put you my tears into your bottle: are they not in your book?"  Indeed our every tear drop has been recorded and accounted for by our Lord.

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

So, the message today comes loud and clear for whoever needs to hear: "Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears, for your work will be rewarded". Amen!

Hugs to you my friend. Please be comforted in the Lord. Remember, the Joy of the Lord is our strength...
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Then Samuel brought Saul and his servant into the hall and seated them at the head of those who were invited—about thirty in number. Samuel said to the cook, “Bring the piece of meat I gave you, the one I told you to lay aside.” 

So the cook took up the leg with what was on it and set it in front of Saul. Samuel said, “Here is what has been kept for you. Eat, because it was set aside for you for this occasion, from the time I said, ‘I have invited guests.’” And Saul dined with Samuel that day. 1 Samuel 9:22-24

It is an interesting incident how Saul comes to Prophet Samuel looking for his father's donkeys and gets to know that he is to be king over all Israelites. The Lord had already revealed it to Samuel that Saul would be coming to meet him. 

What amazes me most is that Saul had no clue of what was going on about his matters to the very last minute. All that time he was looking for the lost donkeys, preparations were going on at the town of Zuph where Samuel was preparing the festive meal for Saul - a choice portion of the sacrifice!

These very thoughts had encouraged me many years ago while I was looking for a job. The Holy Spirit had assured me that my choice portion was awaiting me, while I was worried looking for "some lost donkeys"! 

I used these very verses in my prayers asking God to bless me with my choice meat that was already set aside for me. Within days I had received my blessing!

Today the Holy Spirit is sharing the very same message to all of you joined here at the coffee table. Your portion awaits you this morning. It is a great feast and you are among the invited! Stop worrying about the lost donkeys and start praising the Lord for His mercies. Amen!

Have a blessed new month! Happy August!


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Praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord, you his servants;
praise the name of the Lord.

Let the name of the Lord be praised,
both now and forevermore.

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets,
the name of the Lord is to be praised.

The Lord is exalted over all the nations,
his glory above the heavens.

Who is like the Lord our God,
the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look
on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes,
with the princes of his people.

He settles the childless woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.

Praise the Lord.
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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!
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 The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD thunders over the mighty waters. Psalm 29:3

Thunder surely feels like God's voice, does it not?! If you have some time today, please read Psalm 29 and see what else God's voice is capable of doing. This is a beautiful passage.

When I visited Niagara Falls for the first time, I was so filled with the Holy Spirit that I was only speaking in tongues and praising and worshipping the Lord - the creator of such a magnificient thundering water fall! That's when I truly understood the meaning of this verse.

Many times we talk about only the love of God and forget how powerful He really is. He is Almighty! All Powerful! Yet loving! Isn't that something?!

Psalm 81: 7 says, "You called in trouble and I rescued you; I answered you in the hiding place of thunder..."

Let's remember this as we start the weekend.
NRIGirl
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Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. Hebrews 13:4

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a wo/man with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her/him in his/her heart. Matthew 5:28

Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. 1 Corinthians 6:18

Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 1 Peter 2:11

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Romans 6:12

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Romans 12:1

Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Let us heed to the strong corrections the Holy Spirit is talking in and about our lives this morning.

Happy Friday!

NRIGirl
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Set a guard over my mouth, LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Psalm 34:13

I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth while in the presence of the wicked." Psalm 39:1

Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin. Proverbs 13:3

Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity. Psalm 21:23

I am guilty of talking and talking too much at times, which only results in sin (Proverbs 10:9). For today and for a week I am going to pray and concisely control my tongue.

Would you like to join me? Or if you have already mastered the art, could you please share some tips?

NRIGirl
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Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Our heart is the precious of all organs - vital for our survival. No wonder the scripture says we need to guard it with all diligence. While looking up this verse I came across a sermon by Rev. Adrian Dieleman. Thought of sharing thoe highlights with you for today's coffee.

What does the Bible say what heart is:
* Heart is a physical organ and food & drink strengthens it
* The heart is the focus of intellectual life. The heart is connected with thinking
* Acts of the will are considered to arise in the heart
* Heart is closely connected to the feelings and affections of a person: joy, fear, discouragement, sorrow, hate, love.
* The heart is spoken of as the conscience.
* The heart represents a person's true nature or character.
* The heart is the place where God does His work in the individual.
* The heart is the dwelling place of God.

Who can attack our heart?:
* Sin & Satan - God lives in our heart. But so does sin and Satan. The two cannot coexist. This means our heart is a battleground between God and Satan. Both lay claim to our heart. Both want to be master of our heart. Both want the allegiance of our heart.
* World - The world hates Jesus along with His followers.
* The acts of our sinful nature
The devil is our opponent who attacks us from the outside. The world is the hostile environment in which we live. And our own "flesh" is the enemy within us.

How do we guard our heart?:
To "guard our heart" our heart needs to belong to God.
* We need to listen to the Word of God if we want to guard our heart
* Be part of a church in the fellowship of believers
* Steer clear of sin.

Our heart is precious. Our heart is under attack. So, let's guard our heart!
NRIGirl
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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 Are we the sinners who acknowledge our sins and repent to be forgiven?
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Good morning folks!

Praise the Lord! I am sure all of us have testimonies to share. It is one thing to read the Scriptures and another thing to share His testimonies. Sharing our testimonies brings glory to God. It edified fellow believers. It encourages crushed spirits. It reaffirms our faith in God's providence. It refills us once again with love, joy and peace.

Let us take the time today to share His praises among the community of fellow believers, with friends, neighbors, family members, passerby's etc.

You can also share a word here at the Coffee table, in the comments box below.

On my part, I am grateful to God Almighty for His many mercies in our lives. Especially grateful for completely healing a severe eczema my daughter suffered for years! Praise the Lord! Nothing is impossible for our Lord. Amen.

May God bless you all! Happy Monday.


NRIGirl
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And to man He said, "Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding". Job 28:28

Wisdom is another thing the human race is in pursuit of, completely forgetting that the key is already provided for in the Scriptures.

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

It all starts with the fear of the Lord!

So, what then is the fear of the Lord?

Fear here does not mean being afraid of God.

Fear of the Lord, is the positive reverence for God. It is honoring God in all areas of our lives.

How is our spiritual life? Do we seek Him with all our heart? Do we spend quality time at His presence? Do we keep still to hear Him speak? Do we obey His commands? Do we acknowledge Him for our achievements? Do we consult Him for our decision making?

How is our personal life? What kind of entertainments we get drawn to? How is our dealings with friends, family, fellow believers, total strangers? Is there integrity in our lives that reflects our faith or do we play multiple facets? Do people notice we are different from the rest of the world? Can they tell we are heavenward bound?

See, fear of God is a way of life. It is a part and parcel of every day behavior. It is a commitment.

But what it offers is way more rewarding that what it calls for. It promises wisdom and understanding, which the scripture says is far more precious than rubies!

Shall we strive to achieve this wisdom at all cost? Let's then start fearing the Lord.



NRIGirl
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Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God. Psalm 146:5

The entire human race is in pursuit of happiness, not knowing where to start.

But we as believers are given the keys to happiness, without much toil on our part.

Now, as believers if you say you are not happy, clearly you have misplaced the key.

So, what is the key to happiness?

Having the God of Jacob for our help and putting our hope in the Lord, is the key to happiness.

King David who was a fugitive most of his life, says this confidently, "For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Lord, from my youth." Psalm 71:5 

No wonder he often sang happy songs, praising the Lord.

Prophet Jeremiah writes: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that send out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit" Jeremiah 17:7-8

I am sure there are many references we can find of people putting their trust and hope in the Lord, thus enjoying ultimate happiness. Shall we also give it a try?
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Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”

“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

The message this morning  is very clear; this is especially true for marriage decisions. Those who are at the cross roads, take heed to the Word of God!

But those who are already in it, pray for your spouse to receive Christ. In the meantime show them the unconditional love you have so freely received from Jesus the Lord. You may be the only 'Jesus' they see. You better be a good reflection.



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

Don't we always think about how to gratify ourselves? I mean don't we always look to satisfy the desires of our heart? Looks like that is bad. Certain sins are so subtle that we may not even consider it a sin. We may term it as 'habit' or 'that's just me' or whatever, but not sin. This is where learning and meditating the Word of God can help us improve.

I would like to share an extract from Barnes notes on the Bible on this:
The gratification of the flesh was the main object among the Romans. Living in luxury and licentiousness, they made it their great object of study to multiply and prolong the means of licentious indulgence. In respect to this, Christians were to be a separate people, and to show that they were influenced by a higher and purer desire than this grovelling propensity to minister to sensual gratification. It is right, it is a Christian duty, to labor to make provision for all the real needs of life. But the real wants are few; and with a heart disposed to be pure and temperate, the necessary wants of life are easily satisfied; and the mind may be devoted to higher and purer purposes. 
Many apostles have written about why we should not gratify the desires of our sinful nature; here's to quote a few:

* Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. I Peter 2:11
* For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. I John 2:16
* So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. Galatians 5:16

God bless you! Enjoy the Thursday! Sure; why not?! :)
NRIGirl
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Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.

Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 19:12-14

Let us make this humble prayer of King David as our prayer also. Hidden faults vs. willful sins, two different things, one almost innocent and the other intentional; both equally sinful.

Let us give a careful thought to the words here and make it our true statement.

Amen!

NRIGirl
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Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Proverbs 4:23

Our heart is the precious of all organs - vital for our survival. No wonder the scripture says we need to guard it with all diligence. While looking up this verse I came across a sermon by Rev. Adrian Dieleman.

Thought of sharing the highlights with you for today's coffee...

What does the Bible say what heart is:
* Heart is a physical organ and food & drink strengthens it
* The heart is the focus of intellectual life. The heart is connected with thinking
* Acts of the will are considered to arise in the hearts
* Heart is closely connected to the feelings and affections of a person: joy, fear, discouragement, sorrow, hate, love.
* The heart is spoken of as the conscience.
* The heart represents a person's true nature or character.
* The heart is the place where God does His work in the individual.
* The heart is the dwelling place of God.

Who can attack our heart?:
* Sin & Satan - God lives in our heart. But so does sin and Satan. The two cannot coexist. This means our heart is a battleground between God and Satan. Both lay claim to our heart. Both want to be master of our heart. Both want the allegiance of our heart.
* World - The world hates Jesus along with His followers.
* The acts of our sinful nature
The devil is our opponent who attacks us from the outside. The world is the hostile environment in which we live. And our own "flesh" is the enemy within us.

How do we guard our heart?:
To "guard our heart" our heart needs to belong to God.
* We need to listen to the Word of God if we want to guard our heart
* Be part of a church in the fellowship of believers
* Steer clear of sin.

Our heart is precious. Our heart is under attack. Let's guard it with all diligence!

NRIGirl
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“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ lend to ‘sinners,’ expecting to be repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Luke 6:32-36

These Scriptures are spoken by our Lord Jesus Himself. He has given us these instructions for dealing with people we do not really love, we are offended by, we do not approve of. The reasoning behind His expectation is given in verse 36 - because He is kind to the ungrateful (that is us) and the wicked (us including!)

Now tell me do we have any say in it one way or another but to follow in His foot steps? When God has forgiven us so much can't we forgive someone who offended us?

How long you want to hold on to a grudge over an insensitive comment a family member some years ago?! How about pick up the phone and call that person sometime today? It might even go straight to voice message; making it easy on you. All you may have to say is, "Hi! It's me! Just wanted to say hi!" That's all.

Try it and see how refreshing you feel afterwards.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22
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“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

By their fruit you will recognize them.

Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

~Matthew 7:15-20

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“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

~Matthew 6:19-21

The question that is in front of us this morning is: Where is your heart?

Happy pondering and a happy weekend folks!

Love you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
NRIGirl
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Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19

For some of us gathered here this morning, things of past is where our heart is at. Like the Israelites we keep referring to our Egypt. Like Lot we keep turning back at our Sodom. This is sure a distraction in our spiritual walk. We can not enjoy the freedom and full benefits of God's leading as long as we cling on to things of past. 

Alright, childhood was carefree. Younger days were more fun. Old was gold. But we have to move on! We can't appreciate what is in store for us if we are not looking forward to the life ahead. 

I am reminded of a beautiful childhood chorus we sang at Sunday School which goes:

Move on brothers!
Move on sisters!
This is a moving day. 
Move a little forward
Take your stand with Jesus
Move on brother move on...

So, let us move on today; forgetting the former things and not dwelling on the past. God is doing a new thing in us,among us. He is making a way in our wilderness and streams in our wastelands. Let us be expectant of that. Praise the Lord!

God bless you all. Have a blessed Friday!

NRIGirl
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Today's reading: Proverbs 26 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.." Proverbs 26:21

Just yesterday we learnt how not to be a quarrelsome woman; today interestingly we are going to discuss how not to be a quarrelsome man.

As in the verse above, a quarrelsome man is like fuel to the fire, always finding faults and starting a strife. I would imagine it would be extremely difficult to live with someone who is a ticking time bomb! People would normally try to find excuses such as an abused childhood, or something similar to justify their action. But bottom line is lack of godliness is what is going on.

Here are some scriptures that talk about anger:
* James 1:19 "Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry" 
* Eccelesistes 7:9 "Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."
* "Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger..." Ephesians 4:31
* "He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth." Isaiah 53:7

You know yourself better than anybody. If you believe you are always angry raise your hands as we pray over you today. If you know of someone else be it your father, husband, mother, brother or anyone who struggles with anger, let us bring them also in our prayers:

Dear Father in Heaven! Thank you for the beautiful day and for this wonderful opportunity to gather at your presence Lord. For the last two days you have been convicting us that anger is sin Lord. Please help us get rid of anger from our hearts in any shape, size or form Lord. Please help us get rid off even the very trace of anger from our hearts Lord. We can not do it all by ourselves Lord. We need your help Lord. You have already set an example where you were like a lamb that was silent Lord. We too humble our hearts Lord. Please erase all our past sins Lord.

Please help us live a quarrel free life Lord.  Fill us with your love and peace Lord. Guide us Lord. We love you so much Lord. Please bless each and every one of us gathered here in your name Lord. There is no other reason than your Holy name which connects us together Lord. We remember our loved ones who struggle with anger in their life Lord. Please Lord open their eyes so that they can see, open their ears so that they can hear, open their hearts so that they can heal Lord. We continue to praise your Holy name Lord. In Jesus's most precious name we pray, Amen!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 25 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife." Proverbs 25:24

This may be one of the verses that is hardly discussed in Bible studies or sermons or elsewhere for fear of retaliation from the ladies. But we are going to discuss it today anyway as it has great truth in it for us to learn from.

How many of us are guilty of being a quarrelsome woman from time to time? How does it affect our husband & children when we behave thus? I am sure they too can relate to King Solomon here as he shares exactly how it feels like living with a quarrelsome woman.

Now the question is, how to avoid being a quarrelsome woman? Here is a list of tips that worked for me; I am sure we can definitely trace these back to the scriptures:

* By accepting the differences and learning to love unconditionally
* By learning to be still and know that He is Lord who holds everything under control.
* By understanding that no one is perfect, just like we are not perfect.
* By learning to retreat to prayer and petition anytime anguish tries to engulf us.
* By being contended with what/whom we have.
By not dwelling in the past - neither his nor ours
Let's try these tips cautiously for a week, two weeks, a month, 6 months and before we know it, we will stop being a quarrelsome woman and will start making our home a happier place for our husband and children. Also, be assured you will be a whole happy you too!
NRIGirl
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“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12

Do not fear the reproach of mere mortals or be terrified by their insults. Isaiah 51:7

During our Christian walk, we have come across situations where the world is quick to insult us believers. They call our ways foolish. They say we don't know to have fun. They mock our humility. They quote Scriptures against us.

We have heard of incidents where believers have been falsely accused and persecuted because of their Christians faith. 

We read of Job in the Scriptures that even though God Himself testified of his merits, he was no exception to their friends' insults. In Job 22 we read, they falsely accused him of corruption, wickedness, greed, selfishness, where as only the opposites were true.

Even as our Lord  & Savior Jesus Christ was led for crucifixion, He addressed the wailing women and tells them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.... For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” Luke 23:28~31

Compared to the sufferings the disciples, apostles and many more martyrs have gone thru' in this world, for the sake of the Gospel, no insult is too big to walk with a chip on our shoulder for the rest of our lives.

We read of the apostles in Acts 5:41 "they went on their way..., rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name." And they continued to preach the Gospel.

Let us too count it a joy when we are insulted for His name sake. We are blessed and homeward bound. Let us continue to live out our faith. Amen!

NRIGirl
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LORD God called to the man, "Where are you?" Genesis 3:9

Let us go back to the Garden of Eden for a minute. It was such a paradise and Adam and Eve had everything they needed, they didn't have to work hard, food was readily available as the earth was yielding its fruits in abundance, the animals were tame & friendly, birds obeyed to their call, they were in their honey moon with the least of care and best of all God was their friend. He stopped by to enjoy a conversation with them every day...

Suddenly everything turns upside down. They have had the forbidden fruit and are running around to hide from God. They are running away from Him as far as possible. They are overcome by guilt, shame, agony so much that they didn't have the strength to face their creator anymore.

That's when they hear His voice, "Where are you?" Definitely God knew where they were. Why then He asked?

Wesley's Notes says:
This enquiry after Adam may be looked upon as a gracious pursuit in order to his recovery. If God had not called to him to reduce him, his condition would have been as desperate as that of fallen angels.
Aren't you glad He asked? Our Lord extends the same question to all of us today: "Where are you?" It is important to analyze our selves every now and then to make sure we are on the right track - walking towards Him and not away from Him.

Are we in His bosom enjoying His nearness or are we far away from Him filled with guilt, shame, sorrow and agony?

Have we acknowledged and answered to His call? Where are you?

NRIGirl
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This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15:8
The interesting thing about a fruit bearing plant is that the plant does not 'think' about producing fruits. It just comes naturally. Same way, in our lives, we do not 'have to work' to produce fruits. It will come naturally, if we remain in the True Vine.

The sap within the branches that keeps the branch connected to the vine, can be compared to the Holy Spirit, who enables us to connect with Jesus one on one, on a continuous basis. When the sap runs dry, the branch starts to wither, and soon dies. Same way, when there is a decline in our experience of the Holy Spirit, when we don't thirst as much for the new infilling of the Holy Spirit on a continuous basis, our connection with Jesus will soon suffer.

Remain in the Lord Jesus Christ.Do not let anything or anyone hinder your joy of salvation.Do not let any offshoots of false doctrine, take your focus away from the True Vine.

Here's a complete list of the fruits that is expected of us, which we have discussed several times in our study.

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

When we bear fruits, much fruits, it is ultimately for the Father's glory! Bearing fruits is the only way we believers can clearly distinguish ourselves from the rest of the world. Praise the Lord!

 Thank you for joining me every day for Coffee with Jesus. Have a blessed Sunday!

NRIGirl
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 In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Today's Scripture is an excerpt from Jesus's final address to His disciples - before His death & resurrection that is.

Soon after these words, Jesus prays for Him to be glorified, prays for His disciples, prays for all believers and then they cross over the Kidron Valley, into the Garden of Gethsemane where He gets arrested; the crucifixion follows..

The passage starts with these words: Jesus went on to say, “In a little while you will see me no more, and then after a little while you will see me.” 

The disciples were totally confused. What was He talking about? They had left everything to follow Him and now what?

Jesus clarifies their doubts in the preceding portion of the Scriptures in the same chapter, the highlights of which I wish to share:

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. (verse 20)

Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. (verse 23)

 Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (verse 24)

What is in these portions for us today? That we will have trouble. Yet we will rejoice. In Him. Because of Him. 

I know for some these words are vague, just plain words. But for those of us who believe these are great promises. It ascertains our future. It confirms our faith. Let us take heart!
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Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

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

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

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

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

The rest comes naturally from knowing that He handles our cares. Isn't that awesome!

Have a good weekend!
NRIGirl
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“Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14

Something strikes me about today's Scripture. It is a wonderful promise indeed; but it requires for us to do something. What is that? Actually 'not doing anything' is what we are required to do. In other words, being still is what we must do!

It is the simplest commands of all; yet we all know very well how difficult it is to obey it - especially when our situation calls for a panic or temper tantrum or a quick fix. You can't just be still when there is a roaring sea in the front and chariots of army behind, can you? Right, we can't; not without a strong faith in Him.

Romans 10:17 says, "Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ."

That's why it is extremely important to know these scriptures, the Word of God, the promises already given to us. Then when the situations call for panic we will not fear; we will not despair; we will not take matters into your own hands; we will not jump to your own conclusions; we will not lean on our own understanding; we will not fight our fight!

We will stand firm and be still believing that our help comes from the Lord! And it will! Amen!
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Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him. Psalm 2:12

Kissing is a token of expressing affection. We don't just kiss anybody, but people related to us. So, if we are to kiss the Son, we should have established a personal relationship with Him.

Who is the Son? How do we develop a personal relationship with Him? In I John 4:15 we read, "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."

Romans 10:9 says, "That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."

I John 5:5 we read: "Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."

So, to answer our question: Jesus is the Son of God and by believing in Him we can develop a personal relationship with Him.

Then we can kiss the Son, lest he be angry and we be destroyed in our way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are we who take refuge in him. Amen!
NRIGirl
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When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16

When was the last time we feasted on the Word of God? Can we relate to the verse above where Prophet Jeremiah says he ate His words which were his joy and his heart's delight.

Apparently it is not just Jeremiah who enjoyed the words of the Lord. King David sings: How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103

Job too loved them, he said: I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. Job 23:12

It is a true joy 'eat'ing the Word of God. Why not have some today? Here's some for starters... Psalm 19

Have a blessed day! Happy July 4th to my fellow citizens!
NRIGirl
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My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. John 15:1-2

What does a gardener do? Of course he tends to the garden. He waters the plants. He enriches the soil with needed minerals. He fertilizes the ground. He removes the weeds among the plants.

Gardener gets strict with the branches that do bear fruits. He prunes them so that they can bear much fruits. But any branch that is no good for fruits, he cuts off only to be thrown away in the fire.
Pruning involves removing any and all offshoots from the plants. Offshoots are little branches that drain the nutrients off the plant but produce no fruit.

Pruning is painful yet not fatal. Cutting off on the other hand is beyond repair.  He does that only when there is no sign of ever finding any fruits in them even after much toil. He cuts off the unfruitful branches with a heavy heart.

The plight of the gardener is well explained in Jesus's own parable in Luke 13:6-9, “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’
“ ‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’ ”

Knowing how much our Gardener - Father God cares to see us fruitful, are we willing to let Him prune our offshoots? Our distractions? Are we willing to surrender to His care completely? Are we ready to acknowledge His supremacy over us?

Those who are willing, say amen! Amen!
NRIGirl
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The Lord says: "These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men. Isaiah 29: 13

As we get ready to worship the Lord today, let us take a closer look at how we worship. Is our worship made up of only rules taught by men? OR is our worship streaming from sincere desire of our heart?

Do we only go to Him with our mouth and honor Him with our lips, OR do we truly love Him heart of heart?

Are we giving more importance to what we wear (or what we do not), or are we concerned to keep our inner beings holy and presentable to God?

If knowingly or unknowingly we have been trapped in to "rules taught by men" as opposed to true form of worship, let us seek to free our selves today.

Let us be careful not to blindly follow any form of "worship" or teachings that are not in sync with the Word of God.

Let us worship our Lord with sincere hearts. Remember He is worthy of all of praises and honor and power and majesty and only He is worthy to be worshipped.

Enjoy the "Son"day! God bless you all!
NRIGirl
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Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

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

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

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

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

You got it! Let's stop worrying about mundane things and start seeking His Kingdom!

Happy July 2017 everyone!
NRIGirl
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Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 17:8

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amen!

NRIGirl
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Then a voice came from the throne, saying: "Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!"

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!

For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'" And he added, "These are the true words of God." Revelation 19:5-9

Those of us who are born again, have a wedding feast to look forward to! The wedding of the Lamb! As a matter of fact it is OUR(the Church) wedding with the Lamb!! We don't want to miss out on our wedding; do we?

In fact it is an open invitation to all. Though it says 'blessed are those that are invited', what it really means here is 'blessed are those who have accepted the invitation'.

Are we ready? The invitation is still open - but only for little while. Let's accept it, get ready for it and pass it on...


NRIGirl
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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 and His eyes are 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 are 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. Happy Wednesday!

NRIGirl
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The disciples had forgotten to bring bread, except for one loaf they had with them in the boat. “Be careful,” Jesus warned them. “Watch out for the yeast of the Pharisees and that of Herod.”

They discussed this with one another and said, “It is because we have no bread.”

Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked them: “Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not see or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t you remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

“Twelve,” they replied.

“And when I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many basketfuls of pieces did you pick up?”

They answered, “Seven.”

He said to them, “Do you still not understand?”


Jesus's miracle of feeding the crowd of five thousand adults with five loaves of bread precedes today's Scripture. The fact that this conversation above is also mentioned in the same chapter explains how soon the disciples had forgotten the miracle and started to worry about "how to feed the crowd".

Aren't we like them too? We forget how God delivered us through certain incidents in the past and keep worrying about the future far and near. Why is it hard for us to trust that the Lord will see us through all the way? Why do we still depend on our abilities and merits and resources?

Why are we talking about having no bread? Do we still not see or understand? Are our hearts hardened? Do we have eyes but fail to see, and ears but fail to hear? And don’t we remember?

Why o why?

I know it is a lot of questions to handle in one day... but let's take some time to analyze ourselves. Let us learn to look up to our Source(Jesus) which never dries out; instead of forever worrying about our low resources...

It is high time we fully trust beyond what is seen, don't you think?

Have a blessed Tuesday!
NRIGirl
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First of all, what is refuge?

Looking it up in the dictionary we get the definition: "a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble."

So taking refuge in the Lord means finding safety or shelter from pursuit, danger, or trouble - in the Lord. Meaning, anytime we are afraid, troubled, pursued we will run to His presence.

King David could relate to being in danger, he was being pursued; he was troubled all the time. Yet he sings constantly, 

* "But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge." Psalm 94:22

* The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 9:9

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

* I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." Psalm 91:2

* I have become a sign to many; you are my strong refuge. Psalm 71:7

Just the fact that he keeps on repeating the same idea proves that he was very much in the habit of doing it - taking refuge in the Lord.

How do we fare? When the enemy strikes, how do we react? Do we at least know these Scriptures to give us comfort? Do we fight it ourselves or run to God who is our refuge? 

May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge."
Ruth 2:12