Build Your Foundation On The Rock

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.” -Luke 6:46-49 ESV

The foundation upon which you build your life upon matters. Eventually when the storms of life strike that is when the foundation of your life will be tested and tried. Are you building your life upon Jesus Christ, the Sure Foundation, or are you building your life upon what is temporary? Be like the wise man who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house upon the rock that could not be shaken when it was struck.

Linda A. Knowles

Judgment Begins In The Household of God

As I was reading and studying the Word this morning, I couldn’t help but find myself with a very sobering thought:  Judgment begins in the Household of God.  No one can escape God’s judgment, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God,” (Romans 14:12).  The closer the return of Christ is the more we see things in this world unravel.  It is important that we remain vigilant in our walk with the Lord.  This is not a time to be slacking.  This is a time to rise up.  Stand up for God’s truth.  Do not back down.

The prophet Ezekiel was given a message to the people of Judah.  The Temple of the Lord had been defiled.  They had chance after chance to repent and turn from their wicked ways, but they still chose to disobey and live lives of evil.  God’s mercy and grace gives us a chance to repent.  God’s mercy and grace gives us a chance to turn from our evil ways.  God’s mercy and grace also provides us with warnings.  When we do not heed the warning of God, then we find ourselves in positions where the ax of God’s judgment will strike.

If you are a leader of any kind, you are not exempt from God’s judgment.  Those who are in leadership are judged more harshly than those they lead. James 3:1 says, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. ”  And this is where I find myself saying, “God, never let me go” because verses like this make me shudder.  We are responsible to those we lead, those who follow our example.  We are either godly leaders or we are leading people to destruction.  The leaders of Judah knew this too well.  The people should have been able to look to their leaders to learn about the Word of God and they should have seen their leaders living examples of godly lives, instead, they defiled the temple, and the judgment of God began with them.  Check out this verse found in Ezekiel 9:6, “‘Slaughter the old men, the young men and maidens, the women and children, but do not go near anyone who has the mark. Now begin at My sanctuary.’ So they began with the elders who were before the temple.”  You are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, and YOU are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  If you are truly living for the Lord, then you will do everything you can such as following the laws of God and His commands so that you do not grieve the Holy Spirit.  

Remember in Ezekiel, the glory of the Lord had to leave the Temple because the Temple had become so defiled.  The Spirit will not always strive with man.  You will either submit to the ways of God now and surrender or you will end up paying the consequences of not serving God.  God’s holiness is perfect, and because the Temple was no longer a place the glory of God could dwell, the glory of the Lord left the Temple.  

Is there anything in your life that is grieving the Holy Spirit?  Are you truly loving God with all your heart?  Have you determined to set your face like flint in order to do His will?  Are you lukewarm or complacent?  Are you backslidden? 

I encourage you to resolve to live for God no matter what the cost.  It truly is a matter of spiritual life and death.  Don’t sacrifice your eternal destiny for the things this world offers you.  This world cannot offer you salvation.
Matthew 3:9-10 says, “And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax lies ready at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. ”  The ax of God’s judgment is ready to cut any tree at its root that does not bear spiritual fruit.  In other words, if you are claiming you have a relationship with Christ but living in whatever way you want, you are a tree that is not producing spiritual fruit.  

According to the Word of God, GOD DOES SAVE, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  The good news is there is hope for those who are repentant and turn from their wicked ways.  There is peace for those who have their minds fixed on God because they trust in Him.  Remember to resolve yourself to live for God and follow His commands, His ways.  

Heavenly Father, You are the Lord of all Creation.  You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  You are from Everlasting to Everlasting.  I surrender to You, O Lord, to live as You would have me to live.  Give me the courage to stand up for Your truth and Your ways.  Fill me with Your Spirit and give me the wisdom and discernment to know right from wrong.  Be my Instructor in all things.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Point of No Return

“Then the LORD said to me: ‘Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My heart would not go out to this people. Send them from My presence, and let them go. If they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you are to tell them that this is what the LORD says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword; those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity.'” (Jeremiah 15:1-2 Berean Study Bible)

I did a doubletake reading this Scripture when I saw it said, “Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before me, My heart would not go out to this people.” Moses and Samuel were both prophets of God. They were two of the greatest prophets amongst the other prophets we see in the Scriptures. The people of Judah had come to the point of no return.

Not even Moses or Samuel would have been able to intercede for the people of Judah at this point. Judah had abandoned God and traded God for the religious systems of men, had adopted the culture of pagan nations, and worshipping the idols/gods of the nations around them. Jeremiah had already been told “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster, ” (Jeremiah 11:14BSB).

Intercession for the people of Judah would have been rendered ineffective even if Moses and Samuel were standing before God interceding on their behalf. God wasn’t even listening to the people of Judah cry out to Him because they only cried out to Him when they were in trouble. God was angry and told Jeremiah, “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to bring upon them a disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they have been burning incense, but these gods certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, O Judah; the altars of shame you have set up—the altars to burn incense to Baal—are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.” (Jeremiah 11:11-13) They didn’t commune with God. They were committing the act of spiritual adultery, acting as prostitutes giving themselves away to every pagan deity and were told by God through the prophet Jeremiah “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!” (Jeremiah 2:33BSB) They had no shame and could not even blush anymore. They flagrantly flaunted their spiritual adultery and their idolatry in the face of God.

GOD DOESN’T PLAY GAMES. God warned them over and over again, but the stench of their sin had risen up before Him, and they were only sorry they had gotten caught in their sin. They were not repentant for their sins of abandoning God and trading Him in for the religious systems of man, their spiritual adultery, and their idolatry.

This cannot get more sobering than this statement made to Jeremiah by God, “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster.” Will you allow yourself to be found in the same spiritual condition as the people of Judah? Would God tell someone not to pray for you?

THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING GOD. I will be saying that until there is no longer breath in my body. There is no neutral ground when it comes to serving the Lord. CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

We have been chosen by Christ to go and bear fruit. Every tree that does not bear fruit will be chopped down and burnt up (Matthew 3:10, 7:19).

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:4-6NLT)

Remember God does NOT bless a life of disobedience, but He does bless a life of obedience. He lavishes grace and mercy upon His children who are loving Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Favor is the shield around His children.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Repent so you are not found in the same position as the people of Judah. God had enough of their foolish behavior. Do NOT bring God to the point where God tells someone not to pray for you anymore because of your stubborn, hardened, and calloused heart. There is a time when God says, “Enough” as we have seen here with Jeremiah.

There is no neutral ground when it comes to God. You are either on God’s side or you’re not. You cannot claim to live for God and love the things of this world; in other words, you cannot be a friend of God if you are a friend of the world. The God of the Old Testament is still God in the New Testament. God promises restoration, hope, and healing for those who are truly repentant with contrite hearts, those who recognize their need of the one and only Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the One and Only God. You are the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. No one compares to You. You are sovereign and holy, and You do not share Your glory with another. Father, I will seek Your righteousness first and I will follow Your ways. I will obey Your commands and cling tightly to Your truth. I choose to serve You and You alone. Thank You for being my God and my Father. Thank You for Your instruction and Your discipline. Thank You for choosing me to go and bear fruit. Be with me as I follow Your commands and seek out Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles