Discipleship Is Very Costly

“Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: ‘Ye were bought at a price,’ and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship


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Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace?  Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it?  Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.”  -Romans 6:1-4


When you seek counsel from God about any situation and when you decide you want to go deeper with the Lord in your walk with Him, BE CAREFUL.  Discipleship is costly.  Be careful what you ask God for.  Be careful when you ask Him to act on your behalf.  He may tell you what you have to give up, what you need to let go of, and He may tell you there is an influence over you that has got to go.

Are you willing to do whatever it takes for you to draw closer to God?  Are you willing to give up whatever God wants you to?  What are you willing to give up?  Do you want God to answer your prayers?  Are you in right relationship with Him?  Are you applying His Word to your life?  Are you spending time in His Word and in His Presence?  Is there sin in your life you haven’t repented of?  Don’t be surprised when you have to take a step of obedience or a giant leap of faith to do what God tells you to do? No one said living for God would be easy, but He gave us the greatest example:  Jesus Christ.  Look to Christ.  He was obedient unto death (Philippians 2:8), and He is our Teacher (Matthew 11:28-30).  Those who do the will of the Father are His family.  <> “Pointing to His disciples, He said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers.  For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.'” -Matthew 12:49-50  <>  “Then Jesus told His disciples, ‘If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.  What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?'”  -Matthew 16:24-26  <>  “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and for the gospel will save it.” -Mark 8:36

When you abandon it all for Him, you won’t regret it.  He will give you the strength as you step out in faith and obey Him.  Answer His call, and do what He has called you to do.  Be deliberate in your walk with the Lord.  Be determined to do His will, and don’t let anyone or anything stop you from obeying God.  If God before You, who can be against you?

Much love to you all,

L.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

 

 

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Hidden In The Cleft

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O You are the God in whom I trust,

You’re the God in whom I trust,

And You are the Solid Rock,

Upon which I stand;

I’m hidden in the Cleft,

Your Child I am.

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You prepare a table for me,

In the presence of my enemies,

And they will not triumph over me.

I’m determined to do Your will,.

And drink deeply from the Well.

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I shall trust in You, My Lord and My God,

As I walk this narrow road

The path of victory-

You have placed me on.

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I will trust and obey,

Following Your ways,

Determined to do Your Will,

For it does not matter what man may say.

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I will proclaim,

“You are my God my Rock,”

For I am safe in You,

And You shelter me.

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Set Your Face Like Flint Determined To Do His Will!

Romans 8.31NEVER apologize for obeying what God has told you to do (“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” -Galatians 1:10 and “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8).

Always take your complaints and problems to the Lord because He is the one who can guide your steps and give your soul rest (“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 and “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.”).

Keep your mind fixed on the things of God because He keeps you in perfect peace (“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” -Isaiah 26:3-4).

It doesn’t matter what any man or woman says about you, what matters is what God has to say about what you do and say, and it’s more important for you to know God (“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” -Isaiah 55:8-9 and “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6).

WHAT MATTERS MOST is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14).

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

Nothing Distracted Jesus

BIBLE 1“Jesus clearly understood the reason for His coming to earth and never allowed popularity, success, opposition, threats, or even dissention within His ranks to distract Him. He remained steadfastly focused on that mission, though not without due care for those around Him. He worked hard to make the truth plain. He often repeated the invitation to embrace the truth. But He never allowed the failure of others to pull Him off course.” -Charles R. Swindoll (Walk With Jesus: A Forty-Day Journey to the Cross and Beyond)

I am so thankful nothing stopped Jesus from completing His mission.

Where would you be without the love of Christ? Without the love of Christ, I do NOT even want to think of where I would be today. I am grateful Jesus has given us life, that He paid the ransom in full (Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45), no longer bound to sin (Romans 8:12). And out of the abundance of thankful hearts, let us not forget to give all glory and praise to Him who has redeemed us (Hebrews 13:15), loving Him because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).

“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. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” -Hebrews 12:1-3

Nothing distracted Him from His mission, and so let us not get distracted but each of us should continue doing whatever task God has set before us to do. Do not look to the right or the left. Do not get caught up in the temporal. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, and with grateful hearts, press forward and do that which you have been called to do. The grace of God will sustain you. His love will uphold you, and His mercy will not fail you.

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L.A.Knowles

Deeper Still

Magnolia Tree 3



DEEPER STILL

Written By Linda A. Knowles



Deeper still,

where He leads,

In His ways,

Where He treads,

There I shall go.

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