Our Standing Before God Matters



HOLY FIRE 1



Our standing before God matters. Either we are hot or we are cold.  If we’re lukewarm, God will spit us out of His mouth. The Word of God states, in Revelation 3:15-16(BSB), “I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm — neither hot nor cold — I am about to spit you out of My mouth!”

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Have you ever had a lukewarm drink? It’s not pleasant. It tastes horrible, and like a lukewarm drink was the Church of Laodicea in the mouth of God. The Church of Laodicea was made up of nominal believers. They were self-satisfied and self-reliant, hardened in heart, and didn’t stand up for anything. They were so content with their possessions, having all they wanted, they did not realize they were spiritually bankrupt as we are shown in Revelation 3:17(NLT), where Jesus said to the Church, “And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,” (Revelation 3:17NLT).
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This is not a position any of us want to be in before God.
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REFLECTION: “So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference,” (Revelation 3:18-19NLT). This is the counsel of Jesus Christ to the Church of Laodicea, but it is very much for you today. The purpose of the Lord’s discipline is to turn you back to Him, the only one in whom salvation can be found. If you are finding yourself lukewarm in your devotion to God, then draw close to Him through repentance and confession. Don’t wait. Be washed and cleansed through the reading and study of His Word. Consecrate yourself to Him in both service and worship, and answer His call to you. Let Him restore you. “‘Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches,'” (Revelation 3:20-22NLT).

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PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, salvation is found in no other. Only You are able to restore and make a person whole. Father, I’m sorry for compromising Your Word and for being indifferent to the things of God. I’m sorry for relying on my own self-sufficiency. Father, I ask You to forgive me, and wash me clean.  Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Your presence, O God, and restore me as only You can do.  Father, I give myself fully to You, to live for You and to honor You.  May I seek out Your ways, and may I always stand for the Truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles


“Jesus replied, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our home with him.'” -John 14:23(BSB)
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Jealousy And Selfish Ambition Bring Disorder.

JEALOUS 1

“For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” -James 5:16 (NLT)

Jealousy comes about when you don’t appreciate what you have.  When you lack gratitude for what you already have and allow yourself to covet what your fellow brother or sister in Christ have, you are being ungrateful and selfish, and you are sinning against God.  When jealousy takes root and you covet what others have, you put yourself in competition with others who aren’t even competing with you, others who may not even know you’re jealous of them.  When you allow yourself to be jealous of someone else’s talents and abilities, you are comparing yourself to another.  Instead of allowing yourself to be jealous, focus on being grateful for what God has given you and how He designed you.  Use what He gave you to bless others, and allow your talents and abilities to progress in growth by using them for His glory and for the furtherance of His Kingdom…  If you allow yourself to be jealous and covet what another has, you will not have peace of mind, and you will end up miserable, “A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body; jealousy is like cancer in the bones,” (Proverbs 14:30 NLT).  

Godliness with contentment is great gain, and when you mix godliness and contentment with thanksgiving for what you have, jealousy will be squashed.  Don’t even give it a little room.  Like any other sin, jealousy needs to be confessed and repented of to God.  Renew your mind by the reading of His Word, and apply the Word when jealousy arises.

Remember you were designed to be unique, created with purpose and design by God.  You are fearfully and wonderfully made complex.  Be thankful for what you have which has been given to you by God -talents, abilities, food, shelter, and the like.  See yourself as God sees you -worthy and valuable and costly, all because of what Christ did for you at Calvary. 

Don’t give the devil a foothold.

Linda A. Knowles 

Living As Children of Light

The world we live in today has lost its moral compass, but we are not to be like the world.  We are to shine brightly for God, to be a light in this dark world, and we must be careful not bring shame to the name of Jesus whose name we bear.  Let us always remember we belong to the Lord, and therefore, we are NOT be conformed to the ways and customs of this world.  In other words, we are NOT to let the world influence us;  we are to be led by the Holy Spirit, putting on the full armor of God, to have the attitude of Christ.

 

Let us be the children of God shining as bright beacons of light.

 

You are not in Christ to continue being what you were before Christ. You cannot claim to have a relationship with Christ while still living as you were before Christ. If you are doing so, you are living in darkness and you’re not being truthful as it states in 1 John 1:5-6, “This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in him. If we say, ‘We have a relationship with God’ and yet live in the dark, we’re lying. We aren’t being truthful.”

 

MEDITATION:   “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy,” (Ephesians 4:23-24 GW).  There is something drastically wrong with the church when you can no longer tell the difference between the world and the church.  You are to be like Christ.  Christ did not follow the vain imaginations of men and He did not subscribe to the world’s philosophy.  He came and began preaching “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”  Repentance and confession are still part of the believer’s life today.  Repentance is turning away from your wickedness and having a complete change of mind.  Christ said, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit.”  In other words, you are blessed because you realize your need for Him and to have Him as your Lord and Savior.  In Christ, you are a new creation, and therefore, you have thrown off the sinful nature and have taken on the new nature, putting on the mind of Christ and following after His teachings and applying them to your life.  You understand being in Christ means you are no longer your own.  You belong to Christ first, and secondly, you are a part of the body of believers.  Therefore, you must conduct yourself according to the new nature Christ has given you.

 

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, thank You for not leaving me without power.  Thank You for equipping me to live a life that is pleasing before Your sight.  My desire is to seek Your approval in all that I do, to live as You would have me to live.  Let me be a beacon of light shining brightly for You so I may bring glory to Your name.  Father, be the One Who Lights My Way in this dark world.  Teach me Your ways and Your laws that I might meditate on them through the day and through the night.  Fill me with Your Spirit in order for me to produce the fruits spoken of in Your Word.  I ask for You to go before me wherever I go, and I ask that You be with me throughout my day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Linda A. Knowles

Let God Fight Your Battles For You

LION 1That’s right:  Let GOD fight your battles for you.  Our GOD is THE GOD of JUSTICE, and it is difficult to let go of whatever is going on around us that we’re facing.  However, letting go and letting GOD do what HE has to do is something we won’t regret.  I learned many years ago, never to repay evil with evil because the WORD OF GOD states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,” (1 Peter 1:17 ESV).  We conduct ourselves as GOD would have us to conduct ourselves.  GOD has set the standards of morality and ethics.  GOD has set the standard of holiness, and therefore, we need to conduct ourselves knowing GOD sees all we do and hears all we say.  Eventually, we will have to give an account to HIM for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36) and everything we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10).  “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV)

We simply need to take our position and stand our ground, fix our eyes on GOD, giving HIM glory and honor and obeying whatever command HE gives us.

DO NOT DEBATE your enemies and DO NOT ENGAGE your enemies.  The WORD OF GOD states clearly, “Not defending yourselves, dearly beloved; but rather give place unto the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” (Jubilee Bible 2000).  The wicked will perish, and GOD scoffs at the wicked (Proverbs 1:26);  and “However, the one who receives instruction in the word must share in all good things with his instructor.  Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked.  Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life,” (Galatians 6:6-8 BSB)

ALWAYS REMEMBER:  THE LORD is your SHIELD and your DEFENSE, and He is the GOD WHO UPHOLDS YOU.  It is better to be a friend of GOD than to be HIS enemy (James 4:4), and GOD always takes care of HIS own children (Psalm 16:5).

“The LORD is my strength and my shield, In Him hath my heart trusted, And I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, And with my song will I praise Him,” (Psalm 28:7 JPS Tanakh 1917).  “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust,” (Psalm 91:2 KJV).

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

Huldah & King Josiah

HULDAHShe inspired King Josiah and a nation to repent.  Her name?  Huldah, a prophetess who lived in the 2nd District of Jerusalem during the time of King Josiah’s reign.  Not a lot is said about her.  However, her role in the nation of Judah was one of great significance.

Here is their story:  King Josiah, eight years old, had become king and reigned for 31 years.  He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s eyes, followed the example of his ancestor King David, and continued doing what was right.  (Reference 2 Kings 22:1-7)

Fast forward to the 18th year of his reign,

“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the court secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the Lord’s Temple!’  Then Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan, and he read it.  Shaphan went to the king and reported, ‘Your officials have turned over the money collected at the Temple of the Lord to the workers and supervisors at the Temple.’  Shaphan also told the king, ‘Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.’  So Shaphan read it to the king.   When the king heard what was written in the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes in despair.   Then he gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the court secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal adviser: ‘Go to the Temple and speak to the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah.  Inquire about the words written in this scroll that has been found.  For the Lord’s great anger is burning against us because our ancestors have not obeyed the words in this scroll.  We have not been doing everything it says we must do.’” -2 Kings 22:8-11

Josiah’s response was a fitting response given the fact He had heard the Words of the Lord.  He listened to the Book of the Law which was now found, filled with despair, he tears in clothes in act of remorse.  The king was not dignified in that moment of despair.  Even Josiah himself took note, “We have not been doing everything it says we must do.”  King Josiah wanted to know what they should do.  As a result, he sent Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah to go to the temple, speak to the Lord for him (King Josiah), the people, and Judah.  King Josiah had recognized God was angry at them because of their ancestors’ disobedience to the Words written on the scroll.

The men made their way over to consult Huldah about what they had found.  For them to go to her, it was obvious she was respected, and she had a message from the Lord for them,

“She said to them, ‘The Lord, the God of Israel, has spoken! Go back and tell the man who sent you, This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this city and its people.  All the words written in the scroll that the king of Judah has read will come true. For my people have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to pagan gods, and I am very angry with them for everything they have done.  My anger will burn against this place, and it will not be quenched.  But go to the king of Judah who sent you to seek the Lord and tell him: This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the message you have just heard: You were sorry and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I said against this city and its people—that this land would be cursed and become desolate.  You tore your clothing in despair and wept before me in repentance.  And I have indeed heard you, says the Lord.  So I will not send the promised disaster until after you have died and been buried in peace.  You will not see the disaster I am going to bring on this city.  So they took her message back to the king.’” -2 Kings 22:15-20

Huldah spoke boldly and confidently.  She gave the men the message the Lord had her to give without hesitation.  The message the Lord gave her was clear, and she had the courage to tell them exactly what God wanted.  Huldah was willing to be used.

King Josiah’s response to the message God gave Huldah to give him is remarkable:

“Then the king summoned all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. 2 And the king went up to the Temple of the Lord with all the people of Judah and Jerusalem, along with the priests and the prophets—all the people from the least to the greatest. There the king read to them the entire Book of the Covenant that had been found in the Lord’s Temple. 3 The king took his place of authority beside the pillar and renewed the covenant in the Lord’s presence. He pledged to obey the Lord by keeping all his commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul. In this way, he confirmed all the terms of the covenant that were written in the scroll, and all the people pledged themselves to the covenant.”  -2 Kings 23:1-3 

He took the warning Huldah gave and he acted on the Word of the Lord.  King Josiah took the lead, called everyone together in one place for the reading of the Word of God, and they pledged themselves to the Covenant.  The King vowed to keep the commands, laws, and decrees with all his heart and soul in the presence of God.  King Josiah gave himself over to the ways of God.  He removed the idolatrous priests who offered sacrifices to pagan gods, removed pagan worship and shrines of prostitution from the Temple of the Lord, idolatrous priests were not allowed to eat of the unleavened bread with the other priests, destroyed altars on the palace roof and the upper room of the palace and any other altar for worship to other gods, and the list goes on of the actions King Josiah made.  He took drastic action.  (Reference 2 Kings 23)

Like Huldah, are you willing to be used by the Lord to carry out the task He has given you?

Are you willing to be shaped and molded by the Lord like King Josiah was?

Will you, like Josiah, set your face like stone determined to do the will of God?

Will you push aside God’s Word, or will you draw close to Him and take immediate action on what needs to change in your life?

Is there anything you have to do so your life falls in line with God’s Word?

Remember our God never fails.  He is the One who strengthens you and delivers you. You need only to go to Him and call out to Him.  But if you go to the Lord for counsel and He tells you what to do, then be prepared to jump into action and follow every instruction He gives you.

“And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.” -1 Samuel 15:22

 

L.A. Knowles

Living Life Out Loud & Not Behind A Mask

LIVE 1

I have found it better to live life out loud because I have found when you conceal everything about yourself rather than letting others get to know you, you will never allow yourself to be held accountable.  Accountability and taking responsibility are part of life.  Concealing your struggles and pretending you’re a picture-perfect person will never allow you to heal.  When wounds are exposed, those wounds can be cleansed and then can heal… and in this life, I have quickly learned one thing:  There are only very few I will allow myself to be accountable to and allow myself to receive Godly counsel from.  I don’t just let anyone speak into my life.

MASK 1*Remember thisIf you decide to wear a mask, you will only be able to wear it so long before (1) your mask begins to fall off, (2) before your mask shows who you are little by little slowly slipping off(3) before your mask completely falls off, or (4) before someone strips the mask off your face for you.  Free yourself up, and take off the mask.  At least if you take off the mask, you won’t have to worry about someone stripping it off for you.  When you strip the mask yourself, it’s on your terms, not on someone else’s terms.  Be genuine because it’s okay for you to be yourself.  The right people will come along who will accept you just as you are, flaws and all…

 

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

Temptation

TEMPTATION 3

I wish people would stop putting themselves in temptation’s path.  It’s bad enough that temptation will find you, but why make it easy for the temptation to try to take hold by stepping in front of it?  It is one thing if the temptation comes to you, but to willingly throw yourself in its path is just foolish;  that would be like stepping into oncoming traffic expecting not to get run over.  Why give yourself the opportunity to find out whether or not you can handle it?  Why give yourself the opportunity to fail?

Let me just make one thing very, very clear:  BEING TEMPTED IS NOT A SIN.  The sin is when you take temptation’s bait and then commit the sinful act.

“…BUT I’M STRONG I CAN HANDLE IT”

When I have heard people make this statement, “…But I’m strong.  I can handle it,” I cringe EVERY single time.  For me, personally, I know that if I come to the point of saying “I can handle it” that’s when I know I cannot handle it and usually means to slow down, get a grip, and know the only reason I’m able to take anything on IS BECAUSE OF GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE.  I’m reminded pride comes before destruction and haughtiness before the fall.  For any of us to think we are standing strong is when we need to be careful, and to think we cannot fall is faulty thinking.

What are you entertaining?   The Scripture says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”  That means, Folks, we can bring our thoughts under control.  We do not have to entertain sinful thoughts.  If sin actually showed itself to us in its actual appearance, rather than dressing itself up deliciously tantalizing, we would run clear in the other direction.

I can only speak for myself so I will.  Back in the middle of March of 2017, God had spoken to me about certain shows that were absolutely off limits and that He no longer wanted me to watch.  In keeping with honesty, my response to God was not one of enthusiasm, and it sort of went like, “Okay, God.”  The shows weren’t helpful nor were they beneficial, and most definitely, the shows would not help me at all in my spiritual growth, so television is never on during the day except at night to watch a family show.  I was confronted by God who gave me a command, and I chose obedience.  HOWEVER, I NOTICED WHEN I TOOK THE FIRST STEP OF OBEDIENCE, God removed any desire I had for those shows I previously watched.

It is amazing how God will fill you with the strength you need to carry out whatever command He has given you.  He knows when you are ready, and He knows exactly how to get your attention.  He deals with you on the level you are at.  Just as God dealt with me, He can deal with you.  He can reach you right where you are at your point of need.

In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, it states, We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do.  We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.  We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”

Do you struggle with temptation or a particular sin?  Then you need to ask yourself what you’re entertaining.  Whatever it is you are putting into your mind will affect you if not soon then later.

Do you want to draw closer to God?  Any show you watch that is not pleasing to God is definitely not going to be beneficial to your spiritual growth;  if anything, whatever you are taking through your ears and eyes,  may stop you from progressing in God and eventually finding yourself off to the wayside and/or separated from Him.  Your thoughts will not align with God’s thoughts unless you are spending time in the Word of God.

It is of great importance to read the Bible in order to have a storehouse of Scripture in your mind to combat carnal thoughts.  The Psalmist declared, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  For each carnal thought you have that opposes God and His Word, there is a biblical truth to combat each one.

Have you been rejecting the prompting of the Holy Spirit?  Do NOT say God has not spoken to you nor complain that He is silent when you haven’t opened your Bible to study or read it and if you are resisting the prompting and conviction of the Holy Spirit, and in Romans 8:12-14, it clearly states, Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.  For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

Will you choose to obey God and be led by the Holy Spirit, or will you live by your sinful nature and its dictates?

Choose you this day whom will you serve.

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

2018 BRING IT ON

PSALM 18VS2

 

And Wow, Yeah, 2017 has been an incredibly awesome year in experiencing the preservation and deliverance of God in my own life, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2018.

With the New Year around the corner, it was time for me to seek out verses as a reminder of what I should always seek God for, a command to always keep at the forefront of my mind, and one that gives me a focal point for praise and worship.  

Here are my theme verses for 2018-


MY LIFE VERSE THEME FOR 2018: 


“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy;  at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Psalm 16:11

 


MY PRAYER LIFE THEME FOR 2018:


“This is what the LORD says:  ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls…'”

Jeremiah 6:16

 


MY LIFE OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP THEME FOR 2018


“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

 

When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.

For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.

 

You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.

 

But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.

 

The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.

And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

 

Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!

Tell among the peoples his deeds!

For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

 

Be gracious to me, O Lord!

See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.

 

The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.

The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.

Selah

 

The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.

 

For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.

 

Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before you!

Put them in fear, O Lord!

Let the nations know that they are but men!”

PSALM 9:1-20

May 2018 be a wonderful year for all my neighbors around the globe, and may all of you be abundantly blessed in the new year to come!

 

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

Get Ready To Throw & Then Do So

“I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back.” -Maya Angelou

 

When we give of ourselves to help those around us, we demonstrate the love of Christ; and in the Gospels, when we see our Savior being moved with compassion, we also should be moved with compassion as we follow His example and help those around us.

May we always remember to be His hands extended.

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

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BLESS 1

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.” -Luke 6:38

“For God is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for him and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, as you still do.” -Hebrews 6:10

“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” -Hebrews 13:16

 

 

 

Learn To Embrace Changes

butterfly

Change is not an easy thing for us, but change is necessary if there is to be growth.  We can either let circumstances and problems shape us through the time they are happening or let them defeat us, but it is through the process of change, our metamorphosis, our character is strengthened;  that time of change is a time for learning what our strengths and weaknesses are.  Rather than fight whatever problem or circumstances you find yourself in, embrace it.  Ask yourself what can you learn even through the most difficult times of life.  The end result of change is all of us being made more beautiful.