Love Is Truth

“What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.”
Isaiah 5:20 NLT

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My Help Comes From You

So often, we look to something else or someone else for help that can only come from God, but the Word of God states (1 Peter 5:7NLT), “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”  When we follow the simple instruction to cast all our cares on Him, we are walking in obedience to God and His Word.

As we go about our day, let us remember our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are my God, and I thank You for shepherding me.  I give myself to You this day, knowing whatever comes my way, I trust You to help me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

One Act of Revenge



Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a present to his wife. He said, ‘I’m going into my wife’s room to sleep with her,’ but her father wouldn’t let him in.  ‘I truly thought you must hate her,’ her father explained, ‘so I gave her in marriage to your best man. But look, her younger sister is even more beautiful than she is. Marry her instead.’  Samson said, ‘This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.’ Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails.  Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines.  He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain.  He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.   ‘Who did this?’ the Philistines demanded.   ‘Samson,’ was the reply, ‘because his father-in-law from Timnah gave Samson’s wife to be married to his best man.’  So the Philistines went and got the woman and her father and burned them to death.  ‘Because you did this,’ Samson vowed, ‘I won’t rest until I take my revenge on you!’  So he attacked the Philistines with great fury and killed many of them. Then he went to live in a cave in the rock of Etam.  The Philistines retaliated by setting up camp in Judah and spreading out near the town of Lehi.  The men of Judah asked the Philistines, ‘Why are you attacking us?’  The Philistines replied, ‘We’ve come to capture Samson. We’ve come to pay him back for what he did to us.'” Judges 15:1-11(NLT)



Don’t be like Samson.  He began with one act of revenge and one act of revenge after another occurred.  Letting any emotion control you is dangerous, but in Ephesians 4:26-27(NLT), the Scripture states, And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’  Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” 

Anger, when left unchecked, will play on every other emotion.

One act of revenge done out of anger, spite, and jealousy can cause a ripple effect.  If you get revenge, then the person may retaliate against you due to that person being angry.  Then you will want to seek revenge again if you don’t deal with issues of anger, spite, and jealousy that had the best of you when you initiated the first act of revenge.  Be careful not to sin in your anger.

First, those who have a short fuse make for bad company. Second, jealousy’s apparel doesn’t look good on anyone, and thirdly, why are you acting like you are a child on the playground misbehaving and hurting others out of spite?  

Stop the nonsense, and grow up.



Linda A. Knowles

Time To Check In Our Baggage



WORRY-ANXIETY



Is being anxious a sin?  Yes, it is.  Anxiety is as much of a sin as lying, stealing, cursing, bitterness, resentment, and anything that satisfies the lusts of the flesh.
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Anxiety and Worry are synonymous.  If you are anxious, you are worried, and if you are worried, you are anxious.  The Merriam-Webster Dictionary characterizes anxious as “extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency:  WORRIED, resulting from or causing anxiety: worrying.”
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The Scriptures speak about being anxious.  Anxiety involves lack of trusting in God and lack of putting our faith in Him.  Anxiety will make us focus on our problems, trials, and circumstances; Anxiety doesn’t allow for us to look to God first and foremost.  Anxiety, like any other sin, will wear us out and drag us down into the muck and mire, wallowing in ourselves.
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Jesus has a most awesome prescription to handle anxiety.  This is what His prescription is and is shown to us in Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT), “Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’”
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Did you see that?  Jesus is not asking or suggesting.  He’s not making a recommendation.  Jesus has just given a direct command.  In a nutshell, He has just told us to come to Him (HELLO HE IS WELCOMING US TO THROW ALL OUR ISSUES ON TOP OF HIM), all of us who are weary and carry heavy burdens. Let’s take Note Jesus’ commands to us:  (1) Come to me, (2) Take My yoke upon you, (3) Let me teach you.  And if we follow those commands, look at the promises:  (1) Jesus will give us rest, (2) He’s humble and gentle and will show us what to do, and (3) He will give us rest for our souls, (4) Jesus doesn’t topple us over with manmade rules and manmade traditions.  His commands are not burdensome and what He tells us to do and gives us won’t weigh us down.
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Jesus also said to us as shown in Matthew 6:34 (NLT), “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”  Even the Apostle Peter urges and tells us to, “Cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you.”  Anxiety comes with a whole host of emotions.  If we’re anxious, we will end up being scared, and if we end up getting scared because we’re anxious, then we’re going to end up being sad.  If we end up sad because we are scared because we’re anxious, we’re going to end up confused.  If we end up confused because we’re sad because we were scared because we’re anxious to begin with…  Well, we can see where this is going…
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bag-man7
We end up looking like this gentleman in the photo to the right -weighed down by multiple suitcases, unable to barely take a step, and when trying to take a step land on our faces because the load is too much to bear.
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Christ is our Yokebearer, and He can handle whatever baggage we have to give Him.  He is the Lord who is Savior and the One Who Has Redeemed Us.  Our God is the One Who Delivers Us from all our troubles (Psalm 34:19), and there is nothing like giving it all over to Him.  Part of surrendering our lives to Christ is trusting Him in all things, to trust His love and His heart for us.  He is looking out for us.  He is the One who tells us, “Come to me.”
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When we shift our focus back on to God and begin to praise Him, we will find our cares lifting as we surrender our anxiety to Him.   As we continue to praise the Lord and lift our voices in song to Him, we will find all the things of this world become so insignificant in His presence.  The Lord Your God never slumbers and never sleeps, and He is the Shepherd of our Heart!


“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)


TIME TO CHECK IN OUR BAGGAGE
Heavenly Father, You have been the Shepherd of my Heart.  You always take care of me. You have not forgotten me because You, O LORD, have engraved my name in the palms of Your hand.  I confess my sin of anxiety before You, O LORD, and ask that You forgive me as I am giving all of my cares and concerns to You right now in Jesus’ name.  I thank You that I am able to look to You, knowing You are my Redeemer and Deliverer, trusting in the finished work of Christ on the cross who shed His blood that I would be healed and set free.  Thank You for being my Yokebreaker.  Help me to always put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that my soul need not be downcast because my hope is in the Lord.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles


“To all who mourn in Israel,
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness,
they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted
for his own glory.”
(Isaiah 61:3 NLT)

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 

Standing Alone?

CHAIN 4

You may be left standing alone as you stand for what you believe.

You do NOT need man’s approval.

You need God’s approval because

His approval is the only thing that matters.

DO NOT COMPROMISE FOR ANYONE.  Mankind is as temporal as everything else.  First John 2:15-17 states, “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.  For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.  And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.”

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Just like everything else, mankind is temporal, not eternal.

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Even if you were deserted by family and friends and neighbors, be assured you are NOT standing alone, God is The One Who Has Got You Covered all around.   He is your Hedge of Protection, your Strength, your Shield, your Portion.  He is your All and All; He is Everything.

“‘I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning!  I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished.  Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other!  From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against.  ‘Father will be divided against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.’  Then Jesus turned to the crowd and said, ‘When you see clouds beginning to form in the west, you say, ‘Here comes a shower.’ And you are right.  When the south wind blows, you say, ‘Today will be a scorcher.’ And it is.  You fools! You know how to interpret the weather signs of the earth and sky, but you don’t know how to interpret the present times.  Why can’t you decide for yourselves what is right?  When you are on the way to court with your accuser, try to settle the matter before you get there. Otherwise, your accuser may drag you before the judge, who will hand you over to an officer, who will throw you into prison.  And if that happens, you won’t be free again until you have paid the very last penny.'”-Luke 12:49-59

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

An Attitude of Gratitude Goes A Long Way So Don’t Be Like Eeyore The Donkey.

eeyoreDo you have a roof over your head?  Do you have clothes on your back?  Food on the table? Do you have family… friends?  Did you wake up this morning?

IF YOU HAVE ANSWERED YES TO ANY OR ALL OF THOSE QUESTIONS, YOU ARE BLESSED.

Put a smile on your face.  Count your blessings.  You have been given another day, a fresh start, another chance.  Rather than focusing on yourself or all things negative, DO SOMETHING nice for someone else.  Look for opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS.  Believe it or not, those opportunities to commit random acts of KINDNESS happen quite frequently.  Extending yourself to help someone else will help begin the mending of a broken heart or a crushed spirit.

The most miserable people are those who have not learned to be content with what they have and not learned to be grateful.  Develop an attitude of gratitude; it will carry you through good and bad times

Much love to you all,

L.A. Knowles

“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” -1 Timothy 6:6