My God Is Able

“Then Elisha prayed and said, ‘O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.’ So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” -2 Kings 6:17

IMPOSSIBLE 1

The GOD I serve is able to protect HIS own children.

HE does far BEYOND what we could ever ask or think, and if GOD is for us, who can be against us? Let the enemies come at you! The battle belongs to GOD. You need only to stand your ground and be still before the LORD and watch your enemies destroy themselves. My GOD is the Captain of the Heavenly Hosts, and you’re surrounded by His armies. No need to worry because GOD has this. Open your eyes and see the power and might of the LORD who upholds you with His mighty hand. So be strong and courageous. Go forth with the tasks He has given you, and know you are protected on all sides.

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7) and the LORD has made you victorious (Romans 8:37) “and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.” (1 Samuel 17:47)

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?

APPLE TREE 3
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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.

 

This Pretty Much Says It All…

 

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“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.  For by it the people of old received their commendation.” -Hebrews 11:1-2

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;   he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”  –James 1:2-8 (ESV)

 

 

Let Me See



LET ME SEE

Written By Linda A. Knowles



CLOUDS 1 -Internet

Peel back the clouds,

And let me see,

The fullness, the splendor of Your Majesty,

And let me behold my eternal home,

That New Jerusalem,

With layered walls of precious gems,

The streets of gold, the crystal sea.

The fairest bloom and fairest face cannot compare to You,

Who is of unfailing love,

Who bestows unending grace,

And Your mercies ever new.

 

Worth It All

HEBREWS 2

It was that moment I knew I would be standing alone, but I didn’t see where I had a choice if I wanted a deeper walk with the Lord, if I was to do the task He called me to do.  So with every ounce of strength He gave to me, I stepped out in faith and obeyed.  It was like jumping off a cliff, but when it was done, when it was finally done, I felt like I was able to breathe for the first time in a long time, and freedom came rushing in.

It didn’t matter if those around me understood what I was doing.  The only thing that mattered was doing what God wanted me to do, what He told me to do, and simply following the leading of the Holy Spirit.  It didn’t matter if the words I spoke would be received or not.  I simply had to let go and let God, and then I had to get out of the way in full surrender and say, “It’s all yours, God.  I did what you wanted.  You take care of the rest, and I’ll stay out of the way.”

…because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is GOD’S APPROVAL, not man’s …because when all has been said and done, it is knowing and understanding GOD’S GRACE IS MORE THAN ENOUGH to sustain us …because His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts …because of what Christ did on the cross and because of His resurrection, we are able to live a life of victory.


“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.  We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.  Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.” -Hebrews 12:1-2


You do NOT have to explain your relationship with God to anyone nor do you have to explain how God speaks to you.  Just keep following God, leaning on Him, and relying on Him alone for strength.  His grace is more than enough.

CHAIN 2Whatever God has told you to do, just obey.  Yes, it’s worth it all.  It may not be easy and the road may be rocky, but it’s worth it all.  What influences you?  What is stopping you from obeying God?  Who are you listening to?  What are you allowing your eyes to take in? What do you have to lay down in order to have a deeper walk with God, for Him to take you where He wants to take you?  What will you give up?  Do you care more about the approval of God or the approval of man?  Where does your heart lie?

Lay it all down before the Lord.

Nothing short of full surrender will do

Let Him break the chains.

Much love to all,

L.A. Knowles