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

Times of Desperation Are The Best



GRACE 2



You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?”  Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations.  *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.


“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

Are these times pleasant when we are going through them?  NO.  However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM.  That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well…  in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations.  *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD.  However, they all went through trying times.  Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty.  Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in.  GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them.  Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations.   Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  

REFLECTION “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6).  You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD.  Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times.  Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you.  Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you.  Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion.  Without GOD, you can do nothing.  With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life.  No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible.  Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.  Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”  -Isaiah 50:10

God Is The Jealous God

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“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame,” (Solomon 8:6).


Our God is a consuming fire, and He will NOT share His glory with another.  His jealousy is like fire.  He burns with a passion for His people who are to look to only Him as LORD and as GOD!

“So be careful not to break the covenant the Lord your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the Lord your God has forbidden this.  The Lord your God is a devouring fire; he is a jealous God,” (Deuteronomy 4:23-24).


This passage shows God’s demand for loyalty and faithfulness to Him.  His jealousy is the kind that is appropriate and good.  God defends His name, His words, and His honor.  His demand for loyalty and faithfulness from His children is as passionate as a consuming fire and is an exclusive one.  GOD is LORD, and no one else is to be treated as such.  In other words, there is NO other God besides your Heavenly Father who is the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  No one compares to Him, and no one ever will compare to Him.  God is jealous for you.Mankind is frail, made of nothing but the dust of the ground, fading away along with everything in this world, BUT GOD is everlasting, the Omnipresent LORD, who does NOT fail.  He is glorious and majestic in all His ways, and He is jealous for you.  Remember to be faithful to the LORD in all you do for our God is a consuming fire and does NOT share His glory with another.

PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the King of Glory, and You do not share Your glory with another.  There is no other god who can compare to You because You are the All-Knowing God worthy of all honor and praise.  Salvation belongs to You alone.  You are full of grace and mercy, and You are the Eternal One.  Help me to remember You are jealous for me and to set my affections on You alone.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Linda 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

The Horrible Crabapple Tree, Plastic Sandwich Bag, & Disgruntled Me

APPLE TREE 1On the property of the house I grew up in, there was a Crabapple Tree, and I despised the tree.  As a kid, I blamed the tree for the miserable apples it produced, giving me the displeasure of having to pick up all the apples falling from it onto the ground. I hated picking up those apples, and I most often could be heard shouting, “I hate this!” and “Stupid apples!”
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I braced myself before I started that chore, put a plastic sandwich bag on my hand because of how rotten they were, and then I would begin.  It was the worst chore, but I had only two options to go outside and complete my chore OR be grounded.  I chose to complete my chore.  All I wanted was for the Crabapple Tree to work with me.  I wasn’t asking for a lot when I shouted at the tree, “Work with me!  Not against me.”
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It was an absolutely beautiful tree, but the fruit was rotten.


WHAT KIND OF TREE ARE YOU?

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Are you a good tree producing good fruit, or are you a bad tree, like the Crabapple Tree in this story, producing rotten fruit?
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Jesus had this to say in Luke 6:43-45, “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit.  For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.  The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”


“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.” -John 15:16



As a child of God, you are chosen by Jesus to go forth and bear much fruit.  How you conduct yourself is very important because unbelievers are watching you especially if you are witnessing to them about the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Some will try to push you to the edge to see how you will react, and so there must be a noticeable difference between you and those who are unbelievers.  Your conduct and your speech must line up together.  If the unbeliever cannot tell the difference between you and them, then there is a problem.  All of us are to be lights in this dark world.  If you live like the world while claiming to be a child of God, you are fooling yourself and still living in darkness (1 John 1:1-8).
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In 1 Samuel 9:2, King Saul is described as handsome.  God, however, saw King Saul’s heart.  King Saul did not do the will of God, bearing the fruits of disobedience and being more concerned about the approval of man.
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God tells Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.” 
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And God is still telling us the same thing today.  God wants us to do His will, and when we do His will out of obedience and devotion to Him, we are producing good fruit.  When we spend time in prayer, the Holy Spirit is working in us, convicting us, changing us.  When we conform our will to the Lord’s will, we will produce good fruit.  The only reason we are able to bear the fruit God wants us to bear is because of His grace and His mercy, and as His Holy Spirit guides and leads us into His Truth, we bear the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control.
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What fruit are you bearing?  Are your actions and your words lining up together?  Are you walking the walk and not just talking the talk?  Is there a noticeable difference between you and the unbeliever?


“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”  (2 Peter 3:9)



 Much Love To You All,
L.A.  Knowles

Digging Cracked Cisterns

CISTERN 3For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me-the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!”  –Jeremiah 2:13

If we look at the first four chapters of Jeremiah, you will notice that Spiritual Adultery and Idolatry are used interchangeably.  In the eyes of God, these two issues are the same issue.  To commit spiritual adultery is to be unfaithful to God and to commit idolatry is to worship another god.  Both require no loyalty, commitment, faithfulness, or courage to stand for what’s right.

Looking at the above verse from Jeremiah, the people of Israel were digging cracked cisterns for themselves.  Cisterns hold water, but in this particular passage, the cracked cisterns were the false religious systems and their continual idolatry of false gods the pagan nations served.  Whenever the Israelites turned away from God to serve the gods of pagan nations, they were building cracked cisterns that could not hold the amount of spiritual adultery, the pagan rituals they adopted along with the adoration of foreign gods.  The cracked cisterns represented everything temporal which would eventually fade away or erode.

However, the Fountain of the Living Water holds Truth and Life, and the Fountain of Living Water is eternal, unbreakable, the Source of Our Hope, and the Source of Life.  The people of God traded in their God, The Creator of Heavens and Earth, for gods made out of the hands of man.  Note:  Not even the pagan nations traded in their national gods as we can see in verses 11-12 which states, “Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones even though they are not gods at all?  Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!  The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay, says the Lord.”

Nowadays, we’re no different from the Israelites.  We could call them foolish people, but today, we’re just as foolish as they were.  We trade in the Fountain of the Living Water for cracked cisterns of our own making called money, power, wealth, prestige, religious systems, or whatever it is taking first place in our lives.  First place in our lives belongs to God and Him alone.  Why would we trade our glorious God for what is going to fade away?  Why would we trade our glorious God for what is broken and cracked when He offers what is whole and eternal?  Why should we cling to cracked cisterns when God is faithful to His promises of restoration and renewal, promises of hope?

God has shown us He does not change.  He is our Constant and Assurance.  He knows the motivations and intentions of the heart.  God does not look at the appearance of any man or woman.  He sees us digging cracked cisterns or if we are drinking from the Fountain of the Living Water.

If we have dug cracked cisterns for ourselves, then we must know we are being called back to a place of repentance.  God promises restoration for those who truly have a broken spirit and contrite heart before Him and does not turn away those who are humble and broken, truly repentant before Him.

What cracked cisterns do you have?  Are you truly willing to lay them down at the feet of God?  No one can answer those questions for you.  You must answer for yourself.

God must be First place in our life, our First Resource, not our last resort.  Let us come before God to be renewed, to be restored and purified.  Let us come bow our hearts before Him, seeing ourselves in light of who He is.

“You do not desire a sacrifice, or I would offer one.  You do not want a burnt offering.  The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.” -Psalm 51:16-17

 

Much Love To You All,

L.A. Knowles

 

 

 

Thankful Heart

Praise The Lord

You, O LORD, are glorious, from everlasting to everlasting.  You are the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.  You are the only Rock, the only Way;  You are Life and Truth. You are Holy, and You are King of kings and Lord of lords.  YOU, O God, are my Shield and my Buckler.  No one compares to You.  I put my hope and trust in You alone, and there is no other foundation except the foundation You have laid.  Thank You for being my Salvation, my Portion forever.  To You, Abba, I offer the sacrifice of praise, giving You thanks because You are worthy of all glory, of all honor, and all praise.

THANKSGIVING 1

 


PSALM 138 – A Psalm of David


I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
On the day I called, you answered me;
my strength of soul you increased.

All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth,
and they shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies,
and your right hand delivers me.
The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands.

 

Resolving

 



RESOLVING

Written By Linda A. Knowles



CALLED 1Your holiness,

Your perfect ways,

Not striving,

But resolving,

To remain steadfast,

Walking the old path,

You marked out long ago.

We Will Not Back Down



WE WILL NOT BACK DOWN

Written By Linda A. Knowles



ARMOR 1

We pledge allegiance to God Almighty,

Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.

Representing Him who holds our citizenship in Heaven,

we will strap on the full armor of God

so our loyalty will not waver as we stand firm

in the face of opposition.

We will be strong and courageous,

without fear,

without dismay.

Leaving everything behind,

we offer our lives as a living sacrifice

unto Him who spared no expense to rescue us.

As we are striving to serve Him wholeheartedly,

we know the battle is not ours, but God’s.

With a steadfast determination and the strength He gives,

we will not back down.