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For by you I have advanced against a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall. Psalm 18:29

Psalm 18 is a song of King David the servant of the Lord. He sang to the Lord the words of this song when the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul.

If we can learn one thing from King David, it is how to be truly humble. He was a great king who had won many battles. He had the perfect 'rags to riches' story. He could have easily taken the credit for it all; but he was careful not to. For every little thing or big achievement in his life he acknowledged the mercy of God.

Being a king, making such statements that emphasized his dependency on God might have been shunned at by his advisers, ridiculed by his adversaries and was not considered "politically correct" by his inner circle. Yet, he cared the least for what people thought of him and never hesitated to praise the Lord for his advancing career.

He was not ashamed to share about the perils he encountered and the emotional turmoils during the process.  In verses 4,5 &6 he says, "The cords of death entangled me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me. The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.  In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help."

No wonder he was a man after God's own heart!

Now, the question is how many of us can truly say we can relate to King David in these aspects? Are we more like him or unlike him?  Do we realize it is God's grace that we are not consumed? If we answered "No" let us start working on our attitude.

Let us make this our sincere prayer: "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
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* So he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zachariah 4:6
* All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands." I Samuel 17:47
* Yet I will show love to the house of Judah; and I will save them--not by bow, sword or battle, or by horses and horsemen, but by the LORD their God." Hosea 1:7

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

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

You will all agree this is a time saver with guaranteed results. Why not try it then!?
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* 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6

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

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


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

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

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

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

It is all His grace and only GRACE!

But by the grace of God I am what I am. 1 Cor. 15:10
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 If you are not feeling up to going to church today, here's a reminder for you:
“If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
then you will find your joy in the Lord,
and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land
and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14
It doesn't matter which day of the week we choose to gather to worship the Lord;  whichever day it is, let us do it willingly. Then we will find our joy in the Lord.

Let's go enjoy worshiping our Lord!
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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 deliverance 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 how about us? Do we have monuments that remind us of God's grace in our lives? Sure why not, birthdays, anniversaries, years of experience, number of children, all stand as reminders of God's grace in our lives.

But then 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. Let us praise the Lord for helping us thus far!

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"Ask the LORD for rain in the springtime; it is the LORD who makes the storm clouds. He gives showers of rain to men, and plants of the field to everyone" Zechariah 10:1

The message comes loud and clear - Ask the Lord for rain. Rain? What rain? Showers of blessings of course.Whatever pressing needs we have let us bring it all at His feet today. Ask and you will receive! Let us ask our Lord to send us the showers of blessings we have been longing for.

It could be a job, it could be a much needed vacation or financial freedom or spiritual freedom or physical healing or mental healing - whatever it is, you know your need. Let us together bring it all at His feet and pray over these days; let's hold hands:

Dear Father in Heaven! We praise your name in this 4th month and 21st day Lord. Thank you for your provisions in the last three months and past days Lord. Thank you that you are going to provide for us through the rest of this year too Lord. 

Dear Lord, the scripture asks us to ask for rain Lord. We are here gathered in your name - asking for the rain you have promised us Lord. Please send your rain at this very moment Lord, this very day Lord. Thank you Jesus! Please send the rain according to each need we have brought to your feet this morning Lord! Please Lord, we know you are mighty to save! We know your promises are ye and amen! We know you said if we ask we will receive it Lord. Now we are asking Lord. We do believe you are sending us the showers Lord. Please Lord, let the people not be disappointed Lord. Send them the much needed rain Lord! In your beloved son our beloved Savior Jesus Christ's name we pray, Amen!
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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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Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

This morning let us refocus our attention to getting closer to God Almighty. Let us recommit ourselves to do His will. Let us pray for restoring the joy of our salvation.

Let us repeat after King David's prayer for forgiveness and restoration and make it ours today:

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.

Psalm 51:7-12

Amen!
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But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

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

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

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

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

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

Can we too confirm the Lord indeed is our confidence?!
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“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbori and hate your enemy.’

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.

He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?

And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

~Matthew 5:43-48

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Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evil. Psalm 37:8

As you know we have been discussing Psalm 37:3-8 for the past week and today is a wrap up on the portion.

How to refrain from anger? Let's hear from you for a change...

Please post your thoughts on the comments section below.

Enjoy the Resurrection "Son"day folks!
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 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7

"Be still and know that I am Lord" Psalm 46:10

How to be still?
A well known verse from the Bible, yet one we all struggle with. When situation calls for a panic we start running wild, trying to figure out a solution for the issue at hand, instead of submitting it at the Lord's feet and doing things in accordance with His divine guidance.

Only when all our "resolutions" fail we come to the Lord - as our last resort. All the while He was there saying, "Be Still"!

Only when we are still we can know that He is Lord

For example when a child gets hurt with a thorn of some kind, we as parent can't help much unless the child calms down and allows us to intervene. In the same way, our Father Lord asks us to be still; so that He can intervene and take care of our pain and suffering. Why is it hard for us to do? Can we at least try?

Let us make it part of our prayer going forward: "Dear Lord, Please teach us to be still so that we can see your glory. In Jesus' name - Amen"
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Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Psalm 37:5-6

Amen! What a great promise for us this morning. In fact, I believe this is a direct message for me as much as for the rest of you around the coffee table.

The world around us is tough. It speaks foul language. It hates the godly. It ridicules the righteous and deny justice to their cause. On the other hand, it supports the ungodly, goes hand in hand with the foul mouthed and loves their ways. It is difficult to survive such a world on a daily basis - almost impossible on our own!

That's when promises like these encourage our spirits and speaks directly to our souls. It is an assurance that the Lord support our righteous cause; and bring us justice like the bight sun. Just as bright and powerful the sun is at noon, everyone will see us shine through!

However, it all starts with a commitment on our side - to commit to His ways and trust in Him. Which then brings us to our today's discussion: How to commit our ways to the Lord?

When Moses summoned all Israelites and gave them the ten commandments from the Lord, he had given an important instruction which holds true for us even to this day:

Be careful to do what the LORD your God has commanded you; do not turn aside to the right or to the left. Deuteronomy 5:32

Prophet Isaiah's message for Judah and Jerusalem can be as is applied to our lives:

Wash and make yourselves clean.
Take your evil deeds  of my sight!
Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:16-17

King Solomon shares a wise word: Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3.

He repeats in Proverbs 3:6, In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Yet again He says, in Proverbs 4:27, Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.

The Bible is full of instructions on how we can continually commit our ways to the Lord. We only need to read it and apply it in our lives - with a conscious effort.

Then the Lord will bring forth our justice as bright as the noonday sun and our righteousness will shine like the dawn!.

May God bless each one you. Love you all in Christ. Thank you for joining me for coffee this week. Check back on the weekday as we wrap up the series on Psalm 37:3-8

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Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Who doesn't wish for the desires of their heart to be granted! We all wish our desires or dreams would come true, don't we? Well, the Bible assures us of a sure fire way of getting our wishes granted; which is to delight ourselves in the Lord!
Let us discuss How to delight in the Lord? To delight in the Lord means to delight in the things of the Lord. We will look at Scripture examples of things that we can delight in that are of the Lord.:
* If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honorable, and if you honor it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words, then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.” The mouth of the Lord has spoken. Isaiah 58:13-14
* I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight. Psalm 119:174
* Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. Psalm 1:1-2

* He will delight in the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:3

* Blessed is the man who fears the LORD, who finds great delight in his commands.Psalm 112:1

* I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness... Isaiah 61:10

* My soul will rejoice in the LORD and delight in his salvation. Psalm 35:9

Enough said I believe. The Scripture clearly tells us how all we can delight in the Lord. When we do as it says, all the desires of our heart will be granted!

Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

Why not give it a try?!

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Dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Psalm 37:3

As you recall, we are meditating on the same Scripture portion this entire week, Psalm 37:3-8, focusing on specific instructions each day. Today's discussion is: How to dwell in the land?

 In verse 27 of the same Psalm we have the answer; it says: "Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever."

Apostle John insists in his letter to Gaius, "Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." 3 John 1:11

For the upright will live in the land, and the blameless will remain in it. Proverbs 2:21

"Because you have made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, your habitation; There shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come nigh your dwelling. "  Psalms 91:9-10

King David sings, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6

Can we sing the same song?
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Trust in the Lord and do good. Psalm 37:3

"Trust in the Lord!" is a common phrase we have often heard in sermons, Scriptures and from family and friends. Sure enough it is vital for our Christian walk. The question is: How to trust in the Lord?

Looking up the word 'trust' in the dictionary we see:

trust/trəst/

Noun:
Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
Verb:
Believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of.
Synonyms:
noun. confidence - faith - credit - reliance - belief
verb. believe - confide - rely - credit - hope - entrust

So, to trust in the Lord actually means to firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of the Lord! The key is "firmly believe".

The more we know about someone the more we can develop a trust in him/her; developing trust in the Lord is no different from that. We need to spend more time with the Lord, learning more about Him.

The best way to learn how is from examples; what better examples than the great men of faith who have often professed about their trust in the Lord. Let's see a few examples below:

* Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
* Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD. Psalm 4:5
* Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
* He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. Psalm 40:3
* Blessed is the man who makes the LORD his trust, who does not look to the proud, to those who turn aside to false gods. Psalm 40:4
* "But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him." Jeremiah 17:7

Kings and Prophets don't just use empty words. Each words uttered by them are of great value and given utmost importance.

If such mighty men confess they firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability and strength of the Lord, than their mighty chariots or fast running horses or their great wealth or fame or any of the obvious things, how much more we ordinary folks need to trust in the Lord?!



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Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.
Delight yourself in the Lord
and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath;
do not fret—it leads only to evil.  Psalm 37:3-8

Today's Scripture portion is loaded with instructions, for many aspects of life. Each verse is crisp and clear delivering direct message from the Lord! It may be worth spending a few days to discuss each one in detail.

Please stay tuned for the rest of the week as we discuss the following in detail:

1. How to trust in the Lord?
2. How to dwell in the land?
3. How to delight in the Lord?
4. How to commit our ways to the Lord?
5. How to be still?
6. How to refrain from anger?

Have a blessed Monday! God bless you!
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As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.

She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 38-42



Paying close attention to the Scriptures here you will notice that it was Martha who invited Jesus to their home in the first place. She had the genuine desire to spend some quality time with the Lord. But when He stopped by though she got busy, preparing a nice meal, setting the table, arranging the center piece etc, forgetting to fellowship with the Lord. She got so overwhelmed to a point of frustration!

Mary on the other hand cared the least for the meal or what to feed Him and His disciples but chose to sit at His feet listening to the Lord.

Martha is now distraught! She has so much to do and so little time and above all Mary is not helping! Naturally she is irritated and complains about Mary to the Lord.

But to her dismay, the Lord takes the side of Mary. Not that He didn't appreciate the hard work Martha was putting into to make His visit special for Him and His disciples but that Martha didn't come to benefit from the fellowship she could have enjoyed with the Lord.

Mary had truly made the best use of every minute she spent with the Lord. She wanted to hear as much as possible. She wanted to share as much as possible.

Clearly we all fall into either one or the other category. Are we relaxed when it comes to spending time with the Lord or are we upkeep and busy running too many errands that we suppose are equivalent to spending time with the Lord?  Are we distracted like Martha or composed and at peace like Mary?

Do we worry and get upset about many things or have we chosen what is better? Do we cherish His fellowship or be concerned about the details?

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Of all the conversations mentioned in the Bible, the one I truly enjoy is that between Gideon and the angel of the Lord. Gideon at first does not know that it was an angel he was talking to and is quite candid about his faith.

When the angel of the Lord greats him, "The Lord is with you, mighty warrior", without skipping a beat Gideon asks, "If the Lord is with us, why has all this happend to us?" To understand Gideon's aloofness and frustrations we need to know little bit of his background.

In Judges 6th chapter we read, "Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, and for seven years he gave them into the hands of the Midianites. Because the power of Midian was so oppressive, the Israelites prepared shelters for themselves in mountain clefts, caves and strongholds. Whenever the Israelites planted their crops, the Midianites, Amalekites and other eastern peoples invaded the country.

They camped on the land and ruined the crops all the way to Gaza and did not spare a living thing for Israel, neither sheep nor cattle nor donkeys. They came up with their livestock and their tents like swarms of locusts. It was impossible to count the men and their camels; they invaded the land to ravage it."


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

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

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

(If you would like to read the whole conversation and what happens after, continue to read Book of Judges Chapter 6 & 7 )
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* LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6

* I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24

Interestingly King David and Prophet Jeremiah from different times have made the same statements. What do they really mean by saying the Lord is their portion?

A portion or a share is a part of the whole, an allotment, if you will, mostly referred to as an inheritance. It could be a portion of the booty or plunder that one had the right to, or the portion of land that belonged to one in the division of an estate.

So, to say that the Lord is our portion means that we will trust in the Lord for our portion, for our inheritance, for our lot, for our part, for our rightful allotment.

It also means that whatever we enjoy at current times, all the little blessings, are given us by the Lord as our portion and secured lot! The joy in our heart, the peace of our mind, the confidence in our Lord are all part of His grace we enjoy.

His mercies are new every morning. Let us praise Him with a grateful heart for securing our lot and for being our portion. Amen!
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The LORD's right hand is lifted high; the LORD's right hand has done mighty things! Psalm 118:16

Your right hand, LORD, was majestic in power. Your right hand, LORD, shattered the enemy. Exodus 15:6

There is an interesting incident of Moses's arms lifted high mentioned in Exodus chapter 17; an excerpt below:
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.
When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 

So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. Exodus 17:8-13

Today Jesus's hand is lifted high for us! Praise the Lord! The same hands that were nailed to the cross, the same hands that healed the blind, the same hands that blessed the food, the same hands that raised the dead, the same hands that wipes our tears, the same hands that provides for us, the same hands that fight our fights, the same hands that prepares a place, the same hands that knocks at the door, the same hands that is lifted high, the same hand doing mighty things - for you and for me!

Amen! Let us worship the Lord lifting up our arms this morning! Let us enjoy His beautiful presence all day. God bless you!
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Today's reading: Proverbs 28 Click here to read online (NIV)

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

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

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

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

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

God bless you all!
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He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers. Malachi 4:6

This was a prophetic message about John the Baptist who came before Christ to prepare the way, preaching people to repent and be baptized. The exact words are repeated again in Luke 1:17 while Zachariah - John's father, was serving at the temple, an angel of the Lord appeared to him to foretell the birth of his son who was to be called John.

The same verse, as is, stand alone, out of context, can still do miracles in our lives. That is the power of the Word of God. We will hold on to this very promise for our families today. Even among the so called christian families rifts between parents and grown children and misunderstandings between adult siblings are not uncommon. Some of us who think we have figured it all out, can't ignore the frictions from time to time. Pride and selfish agenda are main causes for that. Many of us have given up, saying there is nothing we can do about it.

However, prayer can do wonders. Let us pray over our situation using this Scripture today. The Prince of Peace who rules our hearts will heal the wounds and bind the broken hearts. We will rejoice at the family reunion and praise the name of our Lord! Amen!
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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. The Lord is our Mountain - the Rock of Salvation. Amen!
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Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13


Is it even possible to love someone - especially God Almighty with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind? - a lingering question for many. More so the next command, to love our neighbor as our self. Would we? Could we? Should we? I guess we should!

Don't be quick to write it off as "this is asking for too much" but pause and pray to refill us with this much love for others so that we can love them better than our selves and by doing so we will love our God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind!

Let us pray:

Dear Father in Heaven! Thank you for this opportunity to gather in your presence from across the globe in one accord Lord! Thank you for being in our midst as you have promised you will surely be there where two or more people have gathered in your name Lord.

Lord, we are meditating these commands you have asked us to follow which comprise of almost every other command out there Lord. Please fill us with this overflowing love for you that enables us to love you just like you have taught us Lord - with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind Lord.


Also help us love our neighbors as ourselves Lord. This seems even harder Lord- especially when we know and see everyone being selfish around us Lord. But we do not want to be "every one" Lord. We want to be your sons and daughters Lord. Please help us Lord. Mold us into your likeness Lord.

What seems impossible for us will be possible in and through you Lord. Though it seems hard to love others more than we love our self, you can make it easy for us Lord. You can show us the area where we are failing and help us improve in those Lord.

Thank you for being our role model Lord. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior; Amen!
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* His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. Psalm 112:8
* Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.
Hebrews 13:9


Different translations have different words for "secure" such as: confident, steady, upheld, established, resting safely, strengthend, maintained etc. So we get the point!

The question is how to keep our heart secure or established or steady? I believe the answer is given in the second verse above: Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings.

When will we be carried away by all kinds of strange teachings? : Only when we do not know the fundamentals of our christian faith.

How to learn the fundamentals of our faith? : Of course, by carefully reading and learning from the word of God.

How to learn the Word of God?: By reading, meditating, studying, listening and why not - by googling too! :)

Any teaching or doctrine or "vision" or "calling" that can not be traced back to B-I-B-L-E which is the Book for you and me; has to be dismissed as 'strange teachings'.

Then our heart will be secure, we will have no fear; in the end we will look in triumph on our foes! Amen!

Happy April 2017!
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May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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

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

(a) that God has such control over our thoughts and words, that he can cause us to order them aright;
(b) that it is proper to pray to him to exert such an influence on our minds that our words and thoughts may be right and pure;
(c) that it is one of the sincere desires and wishes of true piety that the thoughts and words may be acceptable or pleasing to God.
Though a simple prayer, it has such deep meaning in it. It would be a great idea to add it to our prayers everyday too; what do you say?
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"How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord." Psalm 116:12,13

"LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure." (Psalm: 16:5)

"You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows."

King David asks a very interesting question that often crosses our mind - how will he ever repay the Lord - and he also has an interesting answer - that he will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I visualize it as King David giving a toast (with his drink/cup) in honor of the Lord. 

"Cup" could very well mean our hearts here or it could be the different roles we play. He fills it with His grace to the point it overflows...


So, let's get back to the question which is the focus of our discussion for today: How can we repay the Lord for all His goodness? How about give Him a toast? Tell Him what it means to you to be His child. Tell Him how much you love Him. Thank Him for His many blessings. Shall we?
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“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

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

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

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“ ‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
And 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 other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
~Matthew 6:5-14

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It is mine to avenge; I will repay. Deuteronomy 32:35

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath. Romans 12:19
* Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. Leviticus 19:18
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"Give thanks to Him... Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever" Psalm: 136:23

I am sure we all have experienced lows in our lives sometime or other. It could have been a health condition or unhappiness or joblessness or something else that we can all relate to.

Those were the days when help wasn't near; we were not sure whom to run to, what to do, how to manage. Faith was being tested to a great extent. Friends were rare and we were at the lowest of our lows.

But God remembered us! Our faith was restored & our joy renewed.

Now, let us go back in time to see how God remembered us in our low estate - just scanning it all in our minds - and thank Him for that. Let's share our testimonies of how God led us through certain hardship with our friends, family and especially our children. Let us also be kind to those who might be in dire situations like we once were and help the best way we can...

For some of us, may be these are the lowly days... Our Lord remembers you as we speak - He has not forgotten you! What more proof we need than looking back this past nine months and see how His grace has been sufficient for us?!

Let us remember to thank the Lord who remember(ed) us in our low estate!

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* The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1
* The heavens proclaim his righteousness Psalm 50:6
* The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness too Psalm 89:5
* When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3,4

I am a sky gazer. I love looking at the skies. Looks like King David did too. He has beautiful reflections on God Almighty looking at the skies.

If you don't normally care for the skies, please take a moment to gaze it next time you are out. You too will be able to reflect on the Creator.

We will become so insignificant in the vast expanse of the skies. The more insignificant we get, the more significant He gets! It is an awesome experience folks; care to try?!
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Sustain me according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed. Psalm 119:116

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that hard?
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On the coffee table today, let's read a passage from the Bible together: 2 Samuel 6:12-23

As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. 2 Samuel 6:16

Our focus today is the highlighted text. Does it sound familiar? How often do we despise our spouses - first in our hearts - and then by our words - and next by our actions?!

Let us be aware that this is the reason for our lack of blessings.(refer to verse 23)

Let us sincerely respect our spouses. Let us use our words carefully while discussing with them about things we don't agree with. Every thought or word or action we do by despising our spouse is recorded against us - true for both guys and girls.

While at it, here are few more things the Scriptures teach us NOT to despise:

* Do not despise a thief if he steals to satisfy his hunger when he is starving. Proverbs 6:13
* Do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke. Proverbs 3:11
* Do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. Job 5:17
* Do not despise your mother when she is old. Proverbs 23:22
* Do not despise one of these little ones (children) Matthew 18:10
* Do not despise prophecies I Thessalonians 5:20

Good to know; right?

Happy Friday!
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See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Deuteronomy 30:11-20

 So, what we need to do? There is no long list like you would imagine.  It all boils down to a single command we must follow and a single thing we must avoid at all cost.

We must:  Love the Lord our God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees and laws.

We must not: Be drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them.

As simple as that. Is it hard to choose?

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* The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit Proverbs 18:21
* For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned Mathew 12:37
* When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise. Proverbs 10:19
* The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.  James 3:6
* This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live. Deuteronomy 30:19

When we are frustrated with certain situation how do we handle it? Do we tame our tongue and turn to God who is able to solve the issues or turn to offensive slangs, letting off steam, taking matters in to our own hands?

When a friend talks to us ill of his/her boss, spouse or co worker, what is our response? Are we nodding in agreement, adding fuel to the fire, thus not taming our tongue or are we setting an example by responding wisely offering to pray over the situation thus ending such conversation?

Do we backbite? Do we rather praise men than God? Do our words hurt instead of heal? What is the fruit of your tongue? Is it life or death?

Shall we choose life today?
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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(NIV)

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. (KJV)

Barne's Notes on the Bible has the following explanation:

Follow peace with all men - Do not give indulgence to those passions which lead to litigations, strifes, wars. This is the temper of the gospel. We are to make war with sin, but not with people; with bad passions and corrupt desires, but not with our fellow-worms.

And holiness - Instead of yielding to contending passions and to a spirit of war; instead of seeking revenge on your persecutors and foes, make it rather your aim to be holy. Let that be the object of your pursuit; the great purpose of your life. Men might in such cases counsel them to seek revenge; the spirit of religion would counsel them to strive to be holy.
What is the difference between us and non-believers if we take offense in every single remark or wrong doing,  arguing our case? Can't we just dust off the comment and move forward forgiving them in Jesus' name? It doesn't seem alright; they truly deserve to hear what we got to say - right? Wrong!

Let us make every effort to live in peace as today's Scripture teaches us. Let us make a difference from the rest of the crowd out there!
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"You, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.

I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.

Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.

Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.

~ Isaiah 41:8-14 

This is the Lord's promise for us this morning. For those who choose to believe it will be ye and amen!
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“Two things I ask of you, Lord; do not refuse me before I die: Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. Proverbs 3:7-9

Agur (the author of  Proverbs 3rd chapter) wisely prayed for a middle state, that he might be kept at a  distance from temptations. He asked daily bread suited to his station, his family, and his real good. There is a remarkable similarity between this prayer and several clauses of the Lord's prayer such as 'Give us this day our daily bread, lead us not into temptations' etc.

If we are removed from vanity and lies; if we are interested in the pardoning love of Christ, and have him for our portion; if we walk with God, then we shall have all we can ask or think, as to spiritual things.

When we consider how those who have abundance are prone to abuse the gift, and what it is to suffer want, Agur's prayer will ever be found a wise one, though seldom offered.

Food convenient; what is so for one, may not be so for another; but we may be sure that our heavenly Father will supply all our need, and not suffer us to want anything good for us; and why should we wish for more? (Excerpt from Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary) 

Why not make it our prayer too this morning?
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Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 1 Peter 4:7

The last but not the least, in the Fruits of the Spirits is Self Control. What really is self control? It is the control of one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will or in other words, the ability to exercise restraint or control over one's feelings, emotions, reactions, etc.

Why is it important for us believers to practice self control? Mainly because it is one way we can set apart ourselves from the world. We can not consider it fun what the world calls as fun. We have to exercise the fear of the Lord along with our merriment.

King Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes 11:9, "Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment."

King David instructs in Psalm 2:11, "Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling."

These wise kings don't say it for no reason. They have practiced it in their lives. Let us also make it our priority to develop self control. God bless you all!
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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 Friday!

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When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Luke 1:41

There are two babies we read about in Luke Chapter 1, baby John and baby Jesus. Both babies were special. Both were foretold decades ago. One to set the path straight and make the way for the Other. One to set the path straight and make the way for the rest of the world!

No wonder baby John leaped upon sensing the presence of baby Jesus! Both were anointed by the Holy Spirit, even from their conception.

You must read John Chapter 1 to fully understand how John testifies Jesus time and time again. He says in verse 15 “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’” in verse 20: John confessed freely, “I am not the Christ.”

When the priest's people insisted John to tell who he really was, he said:  “I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.”

When John saw Jesus, right away he knew He was the Lamb of God who is to be slain to take away the sins of the world.

John baptized Jesus with water in the river Jordan. The Holy Spirit in the form of Dove rested on Jesus which was the confirmation message for John that Jesus was indeed the Lamb of God!

John lived and died preaching about repentance, making the way straight for the Lord. Jesus on the other hand died and lives and continues to make our paths straight. Amen!

If there is anyone here who has not found this Light, not washed by the Blood of this Lamb, I pray that you experience His Love and be redeemed!

And those of us who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ, let us testify of Him making the way straight for salvation of the rest of the world! Amen!
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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 is very clear; this is especially true for marriage decisions. Those who are at the cross roads, take heed to the Word of God!

God bless you.
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"You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall and like the heat of the desert" Isaiah 25:4

If you have time today please read Isaiah 25th chapter. It is a praise and worship song by prophet Isaiah, no wonder it sounds like a chapter from the Psalms. If your native tongue is different from English, I strongly encourage you to read and grasp the full meaning of today's verse in your language. You will appreciate the in depth meaning of the passage.

When the ruthless attack us with their storming words and heated arguments, it is the Lord who gives us shelter against them. He is the refuge for us in our distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat.

On the other hand, intentionally or unintentionally when we become ruthless to the poor, using unkind words against the needy, showing fierce anger against the less fortunate, causing them distress, or "storm", then they will look upon the Lord who shelters them.

As much as we don't want to be treated by the ruthless, let us not become ruthless also. Even very "good" Christians get carried away by race, status, ethnicity and the such,  looking down upon people of different backgrounds. Let us remember always that when we mock a poor we mock his Maker who is God Almighty.

Let us examine our self if over the years we have become ruthless somehow. How do we treat our spouse and children? Can our children see us as a role model that they can follow? If you have the slightest doubt now is the time to repent and be free.

Good day folks!
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The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty." Haggai 2:9

Some of us are still looking back to our former house, our former jobs, our former positions, etc missing out on the current blessings God has in store for us. If I hadn't sold that house, if I hadn't left that job, if I had stayed in that town, if I had accepted that offer, etc etc.

Today's verse comes as a reminder that whatever God has blessed us with in the current times is definitely better than what we had before. Wherever we are at, our god will grant us peace. Let us be thankful for what we have right now rather than worrying over the past bad decisions and the such.

In Isaiah 43: 18-19 the Lord declares, “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 desert and streams in the wasteland..."

In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we read, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Indeed the new has come! Let us cherish it with a grateful heart.
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* Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Psalms 100:2
* Rejoice before the LORD your God, you, your sons and daughters... Deuteronomy 12:12

It is a beautiful new day, a brand new week! As we get ready to go worship the Lord in the congregation of fellow believers, let us remember these verses and the emphasis today is on gladness.

In Isaiah 35:10 we read, "...the ransomed of the LORD will return. They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away." 

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

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

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. I Peter 5:6-7


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Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:30

The reward of a gentle spirit and the fear of the Lord is wealth and honour and life. In Proverbs 15:33 we read, The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.

Now, the question is How to develop this fear of the Lord? The answer is given in Proverbs 2:1-5:

"My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you, 
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding, 
and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding, 
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure, 
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God." 

Oh! That's a long list you might say; but if you look at it closer you will see that it all originates from accepting His words and storing up His commands within us. It all sums up to reading and understanding the Word of God - the BIBLE!

If we were to follow these beauty regimens diligently our Lord Jesus Christ will look at us and say, "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." Song of Solomon 4:7

I would love to hear that; I am sure you would too!
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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."

Throughout the Scriptures we read of several people designating stones as monuments for remembering the deliverance 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!

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

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

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

Today's take away is from Isaiah 26:4 which once again re insists the importance of trusting in the Lord: Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Shall we?
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"I'll restore your health and heal your wounds," declares the LORD Jeremiah: 30:17

Some of us have been hurt; financially, physically or even spiritually we have been wounded - which has impacted our health, joy and peace of mind.

In Jeremiah 3:22 we read, He will cure us of backsliding - which means that backsliding is also a wound.

The word of God today assures us that He will restore our health and heal our wounds. Amen!

Yet another scripture goes like this: I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. (Jeremiah 33:6)

Jeremiah prays, "Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." (Jeremiah 17:14).

Let us also ask for healing this morning. Healing from stress, healing from backsliding, healing from financial insecurities, healing from ailments, healing from fear, and anything and everything you want to be healed of.

Our living, loving Father God affirms that He will restore our health and heal our wounds. Amen!
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“Purify my heart, let me be as gold, pure gold”.

How often we have sung this song! I wonder if any of us really understand the process involved. To purify gold, it must go through different levels of purification, each time the temperature of the furnace is increased, until all the impurities come floating up leaving the pure gold below.

That is exactly how our hearts are purified, in the furnace of our affliction, trials and hardships. Maybe, today what you are going through is part of that process.

Hold on, child of God, when this is over you will come forth fine as gold.

 Proverbs 17:3 The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart.


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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?

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Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?

The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.

Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.

~ Psalm 24: 3-6
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Continue to work out your salvation... Philippians 2:12

In order to understand this verse first we need to fully understand what is salvation. Thinkexist.com has a beautiful explanation which goes, "The redemption of man from the bondage of sin and liability to eternal death, and the conferring on him of everlasting happiness.

We as believers have experienced this salvation - the assurance that all our sins have been washed by His blood and that we are forever His. How do we continue to work out our salvation? Now that's the question.

We have the answer given to us in the following verses: Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe... Philippians 2:14,15

Amen! Let us do everything without complaining or arguing. We need to take an effort to continue to work out the salvation which we have received so gracefully. Shall we?
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For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3

Sometimes we get a revelation from the Lord through a word or song or a message. But it may not immediately come true.

If that is your case, the Bible says, "Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."

"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19

Amen!

Hang in there; His promises are Yeah and Amen!
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Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2

Many of us wonder how we can find out the will of God in our lives. Today's Scripture gives us the answer for that.

If we do not conform to this world, but are transformed by the renewing of our mind, then we will know what is the perfect will of God for us. Isn't that simple? I believe it is smart, holding us responsible for knowing the will of God! Instead of saying, ask your pastor or check with your parents to find out what God's will for your life is, the Scripture clearly says it is within our capacity to know His will!

That arises further questions: What does it mean to conform to the world? How not to conform to the world? How to be transformed by the renewing of our mind?

In the Gospel of Mark when we read about the parable of the sower, chapter 4 verse 19 says, "...the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful." 

This is conforming to the world. This is what the ungodly do - they worry for this life, they deceive for wealth and they desire worldly things. But not so are the godly. We need to live a life without conforming to the world.

Ephesians 4:17-32 explains how we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds:

So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. 

... You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. 

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. 

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Can we try these suggestions? Then our mind will be transformed and we will not conform to this world. His perfect will will be proven in our lives. What say?

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5

Let's take a tally of our love for our Lord. How is it going? If the answer is 'strong and steady' well and good. But if we are not too sure, it is time to refocus our attention on our Lord. God's love is always constant, you can't do anything better to increase it nor anything worse to decrease it. It remains the same. It is our love that wavers from time to time.

We are head over heels in love with Him one week, and down in the valley the next. Our focus shifts from God to job to men to things to self and before we know it, we are consumed by everything else other than God. As in any relationship, when we do not spend time together getting to know each other we will only grow apart.

If we love our Lord with all our heart, soul and strength, it is practically impossible to not spend time with Him. On the flip side, if we don't spend enough time with our Lord, it is practically impossible to love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength.

So, how is yours going & how are you showing?!
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My lover is to me a cluster of henna blossoms from the vineyards of En Gedi. Song of Solomon 1:14

Looks to me the bride here loves henna blossoms and especially those from En Gedi; so she compares her lover to a bouquet of henna blossoms from En Gedi. Since we haven't been to En Gedi or seen those henna blossoms, let's pick our favorite flower or perfume so that we can relate to the context better, shall we?

Now, let's see if we can compare our Lord to our favorite perfume. Does His sweet fragrance constantly attract us to Him? Do we want to smell like Him? Do we remember to "spray" some of Him before we step out to start our day?

Elsewhere in Proverbs we read, Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart (Proverbs 27:9) I believe this truly fits the description of our Lord. His love surely brings joy to our hearts, does it not?

Interestingly Apostle Paul also has shared similar thoughts in his letter to the Ephesians church, in which he says: "...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" (Ephesians 5:2)

It feels so good to be associating our Lord with our favorite perfume. Now I can almost smell Him! I am sure you do too. Let's enjoy His sweet presence rest of the day!