JUST PRAISE HIM

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Goodbye, 2018!

As I sit here and think about the Year 2018, I can’t help but wonder about the faithfulness of God. He has truly shown Himself to be the God of Justice, and He has vindicated me in ways I would never have imagined. He has shown me up front and personal about how sin destroys and the consequences it brings through situations and circumstances that were far beyond my control. He has taught me strength, patience, and wisdom. He has carried me and upheld me by His victorious and righteous right hand.

My God continues to show Himself as the God of the Impossible and has shown Himself to be my Protector and my Hope. The Lord has been my Song, the Sweet Melody I can sing in the calm, the storm, the day, the night, times of sorrow, and times of joy; and as I go into the year 2019, I can’t wait to see what God has in store.

HAVE A VERY SAFE AND BLESSED NEW YEAR TO ALL MY BLOG READERS AND NEIGHBORS AROUND THE GLOBE!

Much Love To You All, Linda A. Knowles

“Yet I call this to mind, and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s loving devotions we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!” -Lamentations 22:21-23BSB

Exalting Him…

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“…I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the LORD; let the oppressed hear and rejoice. Magnify the LORD with me; let us exalt His name together” -Psalm 34:1-3BSB



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You, O GOD, are the Lord of all Creation.

You are worthy of all glory, of all honor, and of all praise.

You are my Redeemer, my Deliverer, and Friend.

You are my God, and there is no one else like You.

You alone are the Rock Upon Which I Can Stand.

You are the Sure Foundation,

and You are my Savior.

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May Your name, O GOD, be magnified in all the Earth.

May Your children proclaim Your goodness

and testify of Your enduring faithfulness.

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LORD, I can look to no other,

for You are the One Who Set Me free

through Your redemptive blood

that You shed at Calvary.

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Thank You for giving me life

that I might live for You,

to commune with You,

to worship You.

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May I bring glory to You for You are great

and greatly to be praised.

I exalt You, O LORD, for You are

the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Above You, there is no other.

You are the Alpha and the Omega,

the Beginning and the End

the First and the Last.

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You are my Strong Refuge,

my Strength,

my Hope,

my Joy.

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My spirit rejoices in You,

GOD MY SAVIOR,

and my soul delights in You Who Calls Me By Name,

The One who is my Portion forever,

The Faithful and True GOD.

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I praise You, O LORD,

for You are the Shield around me,

and You are my glory;

You are the Lifter of my Head.

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Let me always sing of Your lovingkindness,

of Your compassion, mercy, and truth.

To God be all the glory!

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In Jesus’ Name,

Amen.

It Will Cost You Everything

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“‘I have not troubled Israel,’ Elijah replied, ‘but you and your father’s house have, for you have forsaken the commandments of the LORD and have followed the Baals.'” 1 Kings 18:18(BSB)



Will serving and loving God cost you anything?  Yes, it will cost you everything (Luke 14:25-34), but the results are so worth it.  It is not enough to call yourself a believer.  It is not enough to be exposed to the Word of God.  You must be loving the Lord Your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.  You must be applying His Word to your life and obeying God and His Word out of that love for Him.  It really does come down to choosing whom you will serve.

When leaders choose to worship other gods, it causes problems for the nation or church or organization or households.  Why?  Because whatever the leader’s spirit is will be what the leader will be ministering with.  Don’t get me wrong.  God used a donkey to get His point across to Balaam the prophet in Numbers 22:28.  After all, nothing is too difficult for God. 

Either a leader will lead with the guidance of the Holy Spirit or a leader will be leading by the flesh.  When one leads with his/her flesh, there will always be major issues and problems.

With that being said…

There is one God, but Ahab and Jezebel worshiped Baal (most popular of the Canaanite gods).  However, Elijah was in the midst of the people, and eventually, Elijah challenged the people to take a stand. Either they would choose God or remain Baal worshipers.

When people have to give up their sinful pleasures in order to serve God, you can see their reluctance and walking away because they are not willing to surrender to God.  Their actions will make it quite clear whether they served God or not.  If you take a stand for God, you cannot live the way you want to.

You may be thinking, “I’m not a leader.”  Yes, you are.  All of us lead someone at some point.  Even if you think you are not a leader, you are being watched by someone (children, spouse, professors, teachers, supervisors, co-workers, list goes on).  How you act, what you say, and whether or not you stand for truth matters to whoever watches how you are living your life.  There are those who will watch to see if your walk and your talk line up with each other.  Make sure you keep yourself in right relationship with God, keeping Him first in all things.



 

Just like Elijah had challenged the people so did Joshua.  The Word of God gives this account in Joshua 24:24-27(BSB):  

“Now, therefore, fear the LORD and serve Him in sincerity and truth; cast aside the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if it is unpleasing in your sight to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living. As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”

The people replied, ‘Far be it from us to forsake the LORD to serve other gods!  For the LORD our God brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and performed these great signs before our eyes. He also protected us all throughout our journey and among all the nations through which we traveled. And the LORD drove out before us all the nations, including the Amorites who lived in the land. We too will serve the LORD, because He is our God!’

But Joshua said to the people, ‘You are not able to serve the LORD, for He is a holy God; He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your rebellion or your sins. If you forsake the LORD and serve foreign gods, He will turn and bring disaster on you and consume you, even after He has been good to you.’

‘No!’ replied the people. ‘We will serve the LORD!’

Then Joshua told them, ‘You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen to serve the LORD.’

‘We are witnesses!’ they said.

‘Now, therefore,’ he said, ‘get rid of the foreign gods among you and incline your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.’

So the people said to Joshua, ‘We will serve the LORD our God and obey His voice.’

On that day Joshua made a covenant for the people, and there at Shechem, he established for them a statute and ordinance. Joshua recorded these things in the Book of the Law of God. Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak that was near the sanctuary of the LORD.  And Joshua said to all the people, ‘You see this stone. It will be a witness against us, for it has heard all the words the LORD has spoken to us, and it will be a witness against you if you ever deny your God.'”

 



Taking a stand is never easy.  However, either you will choose to serve God and live for Him, or you will reject Him.  When it comes to living for God, there is NO neutral ground.  This is not the time to be backing down.  It is time to rise up and move forward doing whatever task God has called you to do.  You may be in this world, but you are not of this world.  Be a godly influence in this world, but do NOT let the world influence you. 



Linda A. Knowles



“Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.  And I know that I will not be put to shame.” –Isaiah 50:7(NLT)

 

 

 

Truth Will Protect You

LYING


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“May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.”
Psalm 25:21(NLT)
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Since God is the God of Truth, He expects His children to be truthful.  If you lie and you get caught in that lie, you lose your integrity.  Integrity once lost is very difficult to get back and that’s if you get it back at all.  How would anyone trust you again if you choose to lie instead of telling the truth?  Since God says in His Word, “Do not lie,” why would you deliberately disobey what God says in His Word?  The truth will always protect you because the truth will stand the test of time.  The problem is when one chooses to lie.  Lies are always exposed.  When you do your part in telling the truth, God sees your faithful obedience to Him and His Word, and God will protect you.
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REFLECTION:  “No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others,” (Psalm 25:3NLT).  Disgrace will always come to those who choose to practice sin.  Maintain your integrity by preserving truth, by speaking truth.  Don’t set out to lie or deceive others.  Prove yourself to be a trustworthy person.  Lies and deceit will always destroy unity and cause division amongst the children of God.
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Integrity and honesty are your friends.  When you are honest, you will say that the Lord is right and that you shall walk in His ways.  When you have integrity, you shall consistently walk in His ways and set your face like stone determined to do His will and obey Him.  Those who lie and deceive are disgraced because their sins of lying and deceit have brought them disgrace.  Those who trust in the Lord and put their hope in Him will not be disgraced.  God will preserve those who are faithful and live in truth.
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PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are the God who expects faithful obedience to You and to Your Word.  You expect Your children to speak the truth.  Lord, help me to walk upright before You with a spirit of humility and to always walk in truth.  Teach me how to maintain my integrity, and show me how to walk in holiness as You are holy.  May Your truth be my shield and my guard.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Linda A. Knowles
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“Don’t lie to each other,

for you have stripped off
your old sinful nature
and all its wicked deeds.”
-Colossians 3:9(NLT)

He Knows The Hopes of the Helpless

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“LORD, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.” -Psalm 10:17 (NLT)



The LORD is with you, and He sees you when it feels like everything is surrounding you or even when it feels like everything is caving in on you.  The LORD your GOD knows those who are your enemies are arrogant and proud, and even though it seems all is well with them, they are not well.  The wicked will perish.  Though trouble surrounds you, the LORD is delivering you out of your troubles.  The LORD is the GOD of all comfort, preparing a feast before you in the presence of your enemies.
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We can take comfort in the presence of GOD.  Our GOD is the One we can run into because He is our Strong Tower, and when we run into Him, we are safe.  He is the Cleft of the Rock who shelters us in the time of storm.
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REFLECTION: “The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him,” (Nahum1:7 NLT). In this passage of Scripture Nineveh had slipped back to their old ways and was now worse than ever before.  Nineveh had reason to be terrified because Nineveh was contending with GOD.  The words in this context of this passage may be disconcerting to the unbeliever, but to those of us who believe, it is great comfort.  Because we trust in GOD, living for Him, though we may find ourselves in a situation where we feel helpless, remember GOD is sovereign.  He is still on His throne, and He upholds you with His righteous right hand.  We are not left without hope no matter what the situation, no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.  The LORD is our Helper, our Strong Refuge, and our GOD is so very good.

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Keep trusting in GOD.  Keep pressing into GOD through prayer.  Keep on in steadfastness and walking in obedience. Through your GOD, you shall do valiantly. You are victorious.  You are the Child of the Most High GOD, and you are a conqueror. Your GOD does NOT fail.
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PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the GOD who never fails.  You are the GOD of Victory.  Thank You for teaching me about Your protection and Your faithfulness.  Thank You for making me victorious.  Thank You for being My Father.  You, O GOD, are my Helper, and LORD, remind me You are my Refuge and my Strong Tower and that I need not fear because You have empowered me to persevere through my trials and to triumph over my enemies.  Continue Your work in me, and make me a light for You in this dark world; and may I be a living testimony to proclaim Your faithfulness and Your goodness to those around me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles



“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV)

Let God Handle Your Enemies

EXODUS



“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!” -Isaiah 8:9-10


Your enemies can devise all the schemes and plans they want to try to take you down. They have one major problem; they have to get through the blood of Christ in order to get to you. They can come up with clever word games and other manipulative tactics, but they can never thwart the plans of God for your life. The Word of God is not chained, and when the Word of God goes out, the Word of God will accomplish the purposes for which it was sent. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies cannot be stopped by any mortal. Immanuel (God With Us) is a declarative name, and because God is with you, you are made victorious. The Lord Your God is your Immanuel, and God being with you rescues you from the clutches of the enemy.  “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these?  If God is for us, who can ever be against us?”  Keep standing on the promises of God and obeying His commandments as He is fighting your battles and as He is taking care of your enemies.  Always remember the battle belongs to the Lord.



REFLECTION:  “If you love me, obey my commandments,” (John 14:15) Christ said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.”  In dealing with your enemies, you do not deal with them as the world does.  You don’t pray for their demise or for something bad to happen to them.  Vengeance belongs to God alone.  As a child of the Most High God, you are to continue walking in obedience to the teaching of Christ and to know, as well as to keep at the front of your mind, that your responsibility is to love your enemies and do good to those that hate you.  If you love the Lord, you will obey Him and His teachings and keep trusting in Him to take care of those who are against you.  Let God be God, and you remain blessed by loving your enemies, praying for them, and doing good to those who hate you.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, to You be all the glory.  You alone are God, and You said vengeance belongs to You.  Bless my enemies by meeting their deepest need to know You and who You are.  Lord, teach me how to do good to my enemies and show me ways to bless them.  Forgive me for the times, I have desired revenge, and help me to remember Your ways are not my ways.  Help me to remember you work all things out for good.  Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me as I continue to do Your will and obey Your teachings.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



“Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame.” -Isaiah 50:7

Linda A. Knowles