Point of No Return

“Then the LORD said to me: ‘Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before Me, My heart would not go out to this people. Send them from My presence, and let them go. If they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you are to tell them that this is what the LORD says: ‘Those destined for death, to death; those destined for the sword, to the sword; those destined for famine, to famine; and those destined for captivity, to captivity.'” (Jeremiah 15:1-2 Berean Study Bible)

I did a doubletake reading this Scripture when I saw it said, “Even if Moses and Samuel should stand before me, My heart would not go out to this people.” Moses and Samuel were both prophets of God. They were two of the greatest prophets amongst the other prophets we see in the Scriptures. The people of Judah had come to the point of no return.

Not even Moses or Samuel would have been able to intercede for the people of Judah at this point. Judah had abandoned God and traded God for the religious systems of men, had adopted the culture of pagan nations, and worshipping the idols/gods of the nations around them. Jeremiah had already been told “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster, ” (Jeremiah 11:14BSB).

Intercession for the people of Judah would have been rendered ineffective even if Moses and Samuel were standing before God interceding on their behalf. God wasn’t even listening to the people of Judah cry out to Him because they only cried out to Him when they were in trouble. God was angry and told Jeremiah, “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I am about to bring upon them a disaster that they cannot escape. They will cry out to Me, but I will not listen to them. Then the cities of Judah and the residents of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to which they have been burning incense, but these gods certainly will not save them in their time of disaster. Your gods are indeed as numerous as your cities, O Judah; the altars of shame you have set up—the altars to burn incense to Baal—are as many as the streets of Jerusalem.” (Jeremiah 11:11-13) They didn’t commune with God. They were committing the act of spiritual adultery, acting as prostitutes giving themselves away to every pagan deity and were told by God through the prophet Jeremiah “How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. Even an experienced prostitute could learn from you!” (Jeremiah 2:33BSB) They had no shame and could not even blush anymore. They flagrantly flaunted their spiritual adultery and their idolatry in the face of God.

GOD DOESN’T PLAY GAMES. God warned them over and over again, but the stench of their sin had risen up before Him, and they were only sorry they had gotten caught in their sin. They were not repentant for their sins of abandoning God and trading Him in for the religious systems of man, their spiritual adultery, and their idolatry.

This cannot get more sobering than this statement made to Jeremiah by God, “As for you, do not pray for these people. Do not raise up a cry or a prayer on their behalf, for I will not be listening when they call out to Me at the time of their disaster.” Will you allow yourself to be found in the same spiritual condition as the people of Judah? Would God tell someone not to pray for you?

THERE IS NO NEUTRAL GROUND WHEN IT COMES TO SERVING GOD. I will be saying that until there is no longer breath in my body. There is no neutral ground when it comes to serving the Lord. CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.

We have been chosen by Christ to go and bear fruit. Every tree that does not bear fruit will be chopped down and burnt up (Matthew 3:10, 7:19).

“You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God. Do you think the Scriptures have no meaning? They say that God is passionate that the spirit he has placed within us should be faithful to him. And he gives grace generously. As the Scriptures say, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’” (James 4:4-6NLT)

Remember God does NOT bless a life of disobedience, but He does bless a life of obedience. He lavishes grace and mercy upon His children who are loving Him with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength. Favor is the shield around His children.

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.” Repent so you are not found in the same position as the people of Judah. God had enough of their foolish behavior. Do NOT bring God to the point where God tells someone not to pray for you anymore because of your stubborn, hardened, and calloused heart. There is a time when God says, “Enough” as we have seen here with Jeremiah.

There is no neutral ground when it comes to God. You are either on God’s side or you’re not. You cannot claim to live for God and love the things of this world; in other words, you cannot be a friend of God if you are a friend of the world. The God of the Old Testament is still God in the New Testament. God promises restoration, hope, and healing for those who are truly repentant with contrite hearts, those who recognize their need of the one and only Savior.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the One and Only God. You are the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth. No one compares to You. You are sovereign and holy, and You do not share Your glory with another. Father, I will seek Your righteousness first and I will follow Your ways. I will obey Your commands and cling tightly to Your truth. I choose to serve You and You alone. Thank You for being my God and my Father. Thank You for Your instruction and Your discipline. Thank You for choosing me to go and bear fruit. Be with me as I follow Your commands and seek out Your ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

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)

 

 

 

Give Rightful Place To GOD

Psalm 139vs23-24



Idols cannot give us life.  GOD, however, is the Creator;  He is the Giver of Life.  “…yet my people have exchanged their glorious GOD for worthless idols,”  (Jeremiah 2:11).   An idol is anything or anyone that takes away GOD’s rightful place in our lives.  To exchange GOD for temporal things is foolishness.  Why would we exchange GOD who is the glory and the lifter of our heads (Psalm 3:3) for something else that is incapable of giving us life, for something which fades or withers away, something which eventually breaks (1 John 2:17).  Why exchange GOD who is eternal for other things which are not lasting?



“You must not have any other god but me.  You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.  You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.  I lay the sins of the parents upon their children; the entire family is affected–even children in the third and fourth generations of those who reject me.  But I lavish unfailing love for a thousand generations on those who love me and obey my commands.”  -Exodus 20:3-6

Since we are commanded not to have any other gods but the Almighty GOD then we must take hold of GOD, and cling tightly to His truth for He is our Sustainer (Psalm 54:4) and He is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19).  When we love GOD, with our whole heart and soul and mind, we won’t want to hurt or displease GOD.  We demonstrate our love for GOD by giving GOD His rightful place in our lives and obeying all He has commanded us to do.  First place in our lives is not for anyone or anything else.

GOD alone is sovereign, worthy of all glory, honor, and praise for Who He Is.  He is worthy because He is GOD and has demonstrated His love and mercy to us by bestowing His love and His blessings lavishly upon His children.  GOD is to be our First Love.  Nothing can give us lasting joy except for GOD, and there is nothing that can replace GOD in our lives.  We can try to replace GOD in our lives, but that would be breaking GOD’s commands which would displease GOD and cause us nothing but heartache.



“So that I may take hold of the hearts of the people of Israel.  For because of their idols, they are all estranged from ME.” -Ezekiel 14:5


“So humble yourselves before God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Come close to God, and God will come close to you.  Wash your hands, you sinner;  purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between GOD and the world.  Let there be tears for what you have done.  let there be sorrow and deep grief.  Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” -James 4:7-10



Let’s not pull away from GOD, but let’s be faithful to our GOD and not dessert Him for things which are fleeting.  Instead, let’s worship Him in spirit and in truth, giving Him our very best because He gave us His very best, loving Him because He first loved us.  GOD is worthy of us following Him wholeheartedly.  We should never give Him our leftovers, but give Him all the honor due Him because He is GOD. 



PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are Sovereign.  There is no other who compares with You for You are glorious and majestic in all Your ways.  Forgive me for the times I have put other things before You.  I never want to displease You.  Help me to always remember that You alone are GOD and You want the best for me.  Thank You for allowing me the privilege to be able to draw close to You.  Thank You for being mindful of me and for lavishly loving me.   Thank You for forgiving me.  Because I love You, I will do as You command and walk in Your ways.  Guide me into all truth.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles