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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. Amen!

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The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, *be earnest and disciplined in your prayers*.

Most important of all, continue to *show deep love for each other*, for love covers a multitude of sins.

Cheerfully *share your home* with those who need a meal or a place to stay.
1 Peter 4:7-9 NLT

Blessed Sunday ahead :)
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"If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, am your healer." Exodus 15:26

We are often worried and troubled by the news of sickness among our friends, family, church members, colleagues, community etc. Our hearts melt in fear when we have to wait for certain test results at the doctor's office. But these are unnecessary worries. If we worry the same way as a non-believers what difference does our faith make in us?

Instead of worrying over things beyond our control let us praise God for what we have - the joy of salvation, the hope of eternal life,  that we still have breath, that we are able to move around and for everything that works fine in us that we often take for granted.

Even when we are diagnosed with some sickness, however life threatening it is, it does not help to worry. I am sorry if that sounds insensitive. But that is what the Scripture tells us.

Jesus said in Luke 12:25,26: "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?"

Only as long as we have the breath in our nostrils we can praise the Lord; so like King David let us make the most of our life praising the Lord: In Psalm 115:17,18 he says,"The dead do not praise the LORD, Nor do any who go down into silence; But as for us, we will bless the LORD  From this time forth and forever. Praise the LORD!

He is our Healer! Whether He heals us for life or decides to take us home, no denying that He is our Healer. He paid the price for our sickness too on the cross along with our sins. Let us rebuke all fear, doubt, worry and sickness away from our dear ones and get protection under His wings. Let us not take things for granted but remember to praise Him for the countless blessings in our lives.

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. Romans 14:8

So why worry? Only praise!
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Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads... Nehemiah 4:4

Nehemiah the slave cup bearer of King Artaxerxes has this urge to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. He gets permission from the king to go and build it himself. He also requests for needed wood, metal and letters of support for other rulers so that he can do the work.

As he starts to rebuild, the locals Sanballat and Tobiah give him a hard time - ridiculing him, falsely complaining of his intent to the king, making fun of him constantly, sending letters of opposition to leaders of the land, etc. In one instance they even insulted his work so far, saying it is no good, it won't withstand even a fox running over it.

How Nehemiah responded to these nuisance is what sets him apart. He did not argue with them. He brought it up to God in prayer. In Nehemiah 4:4 we read how he prayed: "Hear us, O our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads... "

His prayers were answered and he was able to successfully complete the work he had started, putting to shame the very people who ridiculed his work.

Matthew Henry has expressed the exact thought I wanted to share; here's to quote from his Concise Commentary:

Many a good work has been looked upon with contempt by proud and haughty scorners. Those who disagree in almost every thing, will unite in persecution. Nehemiah did not answer these fools according to their folly, but looked up to God by prayer. 

God's people have often been a despised people, but he hears all the slights that are put upon them, and it is their comfort that he does so. 

Nehemiah had reason to think that the hearts of those sinners were desperately hardened, else he would not have prayed that their sins might never be blotted out. Good work goes on well, when people have a mind to it. The reproaches of enemies should quicken us to our duty, not drive us from it.

So, our take away today is, do not react to insults from others, take it to God and lift it up in prayers. He will handle it all for you! Amen!
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"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10


Grieving makes one weak; rejoicing gives strength.

True, there have been circumstances that made it seem impossible to rejoice at times. But His grace had been sufficient; has it not? If not for that we would have succumbed to our grief and weakness. That is all the more reason to rejoice in the Lord!

We are also asked to share our blessings with the less fortunate amongst us - giving them a reason to rejoice in the Lord. Let us not forget that.

I'll repeat the Scripture again to let it sink in...

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Finally,

Let us not be just hearers of the Word; but doers as well. (James1:22)

For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God's sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous. Romans 2:13


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


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

What does it mean to seek?

The following definitions are given in the dictionary:

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

Now, how do we seek the Lord?

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

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

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

Hope you will start seeking from now on... Let's start this morning!
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How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. Psalm 31:19

King David here exclaims on the goodness of God. He does not tell us how great was God's goodness, for he could not; there are no measures which can set forth the immeasurable goodness of God!

Notes of exclamation suit us when words of explanation are of no avail. If we cannot measure we can marvel; and though we may not calculate with accuracy, we can adore with fervency.

Overwhelming are the proofs of the Lord's favor to believers, history teems with amazing instances, and our own lives are full of prodigies of grace. We serve a good Master. Faith receives a large reward even now, but looks for the full inheritance in the future. ~ The Treasury of David

Everyone who is in agreement with today's Scripture and the explanation above, praise the Lord with me. Indeed, abundant are the good things that our Lord has stored up for us who fear Him.

Let us therefore press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14)

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Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. Proverbs 11:24

He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. Proverbs 19:7

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9


Generosity is a virtue every believer must exhibit; however it is sadly on the decline. The economic downfall in the recent years has only made it convenient to justify our withdrawal.

As today's Scriptures remind us, we need to develop a generous heart. We can do that only when we fully  understand His generous grace on us.

When we believe that the Lord is our everlasting Source and not our jobs or savings or name or fame or anything else we are a step closer to realizing generosity in us. Trusting that He holds our future and desiring to be a blessing to others will land us on opportunities that will enable us to reach out.

Not just money; our time, our talents, our abilities, our fortune can all be used to glorify the Lord. Afterall we are homeward bound; let us act like one!

Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8


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Today's reading: Proverbs 7 Click here to read online (NIV)

Verse of the day: "Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye" 7:2

Here's to share some extracts from different commentaries on this verse:

* Clarke's  commentary on the Bible:
As the apple of thine eye - As the pupil of the eye, which is of such essential necessity to sight, and so easily injured.
* Gill's exposition says:
... the doctrine of Christ,... should be as dear to men as the apple of their eye, and as carefully preserved, that the least injury is not done to it; it should be kept inviolate 
* Geneva Study Bible:
By this diversity of words, he means that nothing should be so dear to us as the word of God, nor that we look on anything more nor mind anything so much...
* Matthew Henry's concise commentary:
We must lay up God's commandments safely. Not only, Keep them, and you shall live; but, Keep them as those that cannot live without them. Those that blame strict and careful walking as needless and too precise, consider not that the law is to be kept as the apple of the eye; indeed the law in the heart is the eye of the soul. Let the word of God dwell in us, and so be written where it will be always at hand to be read. Thus we shall be kept from the fatal effects of our own passions, and the snares of Satan. Let God's word confirm our dread of sin, and resolutions against it.
Let's be careful not to tolerate the sins mentioned in the chapter. Surely, if we keep His commands we will be free from such trap.
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As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you! Isaiah 62:5

God's love has been personified in many roles such as father, mother, master, friend and also lover and here the groom. What that implies is that He perfects each role in its fullest. No one can love us as much as He does in any role. He is the ultimate Mother, Father, Lover, Master, Friend and Groom.

The fondness between a bride and groom is a very special kind of love. To know God rejoices over us like a groom would rejoice over his bride is very exciting, is it not? It implies that the bride (us) ought to love Him (God) like a bride would rejoice over her groom, does it not? Are we?

Do we love Him the best? Are we constantly indulged in thoughts of Him? Are we looking forward to spending time with Him as much as possible? Do we long to see Him?

As we start our day today, let us start with a new kind of fondness, a new perspective, a new infilling of love and a special bonding to fall in love with Him all over again. Let's go celebrate with our Groom!
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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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"Yes, he lured you away from the jaws of trouble into an open area where you were not restrained, and your table was covered with rich foods." Job 36:16

I am not a huge fan of many different translations of Bible - however for this verse I had to look up the God's Word Translation. Just so you know, here's the same verse in NIV and KJV. Pick your favorite!
"He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction, to the comfort of your table laden with choice food." ~ NIV

Even so would he have removed thee out of the strait [into] a broad place, where [there is] no straitness; and that which should be set on thy table [should be] full of fatness. ~ KJV
I love the upbeat personality of King David who exclaims, "He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." (Psalm 18:19) We see the reason for his merriment in the same chapter verse 6: "In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears."

Here are few more references on the same topic:

* We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. Psalm 66:12
In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and he answered by setting me free. Psalm 118:5

So, let us not be restrained by the sin, fear, terror, guilt, addictions, temptations, doubts or whatever else that had a hold on us over the past year(s); Our Loving Savior has lured us away from the jaws of such, and has set a rich table for us in the open area. Amen!

Table is all set; come let's go eat!
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On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”


~ John 2:1-8

A familiar passage indeed! The focus this morning however is on the highlighted text above.

Thoughts to ponder: 

Have we ran out of wine during our festivities? Is that because of the empty jars in our lives? When was the last time we got filled? Did we care to offer some to the Master of the banquet?

For the choice wine to return in our lives, let us do so whatever He tells us to do this morning!


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“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End." Revelation 22:12

Today we are a day closer to His return than we were yesterday. Tomorrow we will be a day closer than we are today. Next week we will be a week closer, and in the coming months we will be a lot closer; no denying that.

For most, this very idea seems foolish and they go on living their life like there is no end. For some the thought causes certain panic attack, confusion and a lot of uncertainty. They begin to doubt if they are ready because mostly they depend on their ability rather than on His grace.

But for those of us who are saved by His grace, it is indeed an exciting news! Amen!

The question is, what are we going to do about it?

Each one of us has a circle of influence that only we can reach out to. Not our pastors, or any evangelists, as they may never encounter them. But we do. They are our friends, our family, our neighbors, our coworkers. Only we can minister to them. We are the messengers of the Good News - the great news that salvation is near, freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

As we anticipate His return each day, can we get involved in building His kingdom? Can we start this very day, before it gets a day closer for His return??

At the very least could you share a link of this blog? Please do. God bless you!

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"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." Proverbs 14:1


Let's consider a puzzle board, what is easy to do, building up or tearing down? I am sure you will all agree tearing down is easier to do than building up as in tearing down we don't really care how each piece falls, if it piles up or lays flat,which piece goes where or any of the mess it creates. However when we build up something, more care is needed to put the pieces in certain way, in proper order.

We as women have greater responsibility in building up our homes, one heart at a time. It is a tedious process I agree. It gets difficult at times and we feel like tearing it all down... trust me it will be more hard to put things back together than fixing the single area that needs attention.

Keeping peace in the family should be every home maker's primary focus - of course peace in alignment with God's Word. Agree, men too have the same responsibility, but it falls on the mothers and wives more because we are called to build. Even amongst birds and animals it is the female of the species that builds the nest or finds a cave etc. A peaceful home is every mother's primary need.

Thrashing seems easy to do but always results in pain. Building results in joy though hard labor. If we set a role model as thrashers, it is hard to expect our children to be builders. Yes, sometimes it takes a selfless effort to build. It seems no one else cares but you. Keep building anyway.

So, to repeat the Scripture: The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

Happy building my friends. God bless you.
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Unless the Lord builds the house,
its builders labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Sons are a heritage from the Lord,
children a reward from him.

Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are sons born in one’s youth.

Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.

They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 127
Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing. If God be not acknowledged, we have no reason to expect his blessing; and the best-laid plans fail, unless he crowns them with success. Our care must be to keep ourselves in the love of God; then we may be easy, whether we have little or much of this world.

Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust in him. They are a great support and defence to a family. Children who are young, may be directed aright to the mark, God's glory, and the service of their generation; but when they are gone into the world, they are arrows out of the hand, it is too late to direct them then.

But these arrows in the hand too often prove arrows in the heart, a grief to godly parents. Yet, if trained according to God's word, they generally prove the best defence in declining years, remembering their obligations to their parents, and taking care of them in old age.

All earthly comforts are uncertain, but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who serve him.
~Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary 
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“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.


~Matthew 7:1-5

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


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

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

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

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

Didn't we just begin the year? Already we are in February and before we know it, it will be March, April, June and then the year end!!

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

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

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

God bless you! Have a blessed Thursday!

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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.