Fixated

When our minds are fixated on those who oppose us, who are the children of GOD, we are only adding fuel to the fire of our anger and our confusion. Those who oppose us are not ours to worry about. GOD will take care of the opposition. Unless we truly let go, we will never have peace of mind. When we are fixated upon those who oppose us, those who speak ill of us, those who are trying to harm us, then we are not trusting in GOD.

SHIFT THE FOCUS: In Isaiah 26:3-4 (Berean Study Bible), it states, “3You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You. 4Trust in the LORD forever, because GOD the LORD is the Rock eternal.” Rather than focus on the opposition, which is as fleeting as the grass that eventually withers away, focus on what is eternal such as reflecting on the laws and the commands of GOD and concerning yourself with obeying Him, not caring about the approval or the applause of people. When you begin to think and speak about the goodness of GOD, you will find yourself experiencing the peace that comes from GOD alone. Your soul cannot remain in a downcast state when you are letting the fruit of your lips be thanksgiving and praise to GOD, and you will experience true joy rising up within you. Your mind will not stay overwhelmed and weighed down when you are thinking about what is noble, honorable, trustworthy, and of good report. Trust in GOD, and let it go.

“6Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.7 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)

Linda A. Knowles

Destruction or Success?

“Wickedness never brings stability, but the godly have deep roots.” -Proverbs 12:3 NLT

The path of the wicked only leads to destruction.  The wicked continue to grow eviler, more contemptuous toward what is good and holy, and their hearts continue to harden.  Their deceptive words crush the spirit and they hate discipline. Their mouths spout foolishness.  They devise evil schemes.  Whatever success they do have is not permanent, and that temporal success costs them their integrity and honor.  That temporal success comes at the expense of their character. They are NOT successful according to God’s standards.

The godly, however, are successful by God’s standards.  They are deeply rooted in Christ and grounded in the Word of God.  They maintain their purity before God.  They walk in righteousness, and their words build up and encourage others.  The success they have gained in the sight of God and in living for Him is lasting because the godly live by God’s commands and laws; they walk uprightly before God, protecting truth, and keeping up their integrity. 

If you want true success that is lasting, then follow God’s ways and live by His standards. Obeying God and doing things His way will always bring about blessings.

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, every good and perfect gift is from You.  You are my Lord and my God, and my desire is to live for you.  Remind me that true success comes by living for You and following Your laws and Your commands.  True freedom is found in surrendering to Your will and Your ways, walking in obedience to you.  Help me to maintain my integrity and to continue walking uprightly before You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Don’t Be Chaff

“But not the wicked!  They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.  They will be condemned at the time of judgment.  Sinners will have no place among the godly.  For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.” -Psalm 1:4-6 NLT

Are you the chaff or are you the grain?

Chaff is the husk, outer shell of the grain, and it goes through a process of threshing (getting the edible part of the grain loosened, a separating of the valuable kernel of grain from the outer shell) and winnowing (tossing the grain in the air to separate the inedible chaff from the edible grain).  What is the difference between the kernel of grain and the chaff?  The grain is useful and valuable.  However, the chaff is worthless and is of no use to anyone or anything.  The chaff and the grain are tossed in the air, the chaff is very light and is blown in every direction by the slightest wind.  In other words, the chaff has no direction, no substance, and is no good to eat.

Each of us has been designed with purpose and significance.  However, not every person, who has been designed with purpose and significance, will choose to walk in the purpose and step into the destiny that God has for them.  EACH OF US HAS A CHOICE IF WE WILL WALK IN THE PURPOSE GOD HAS DESIGNED US FOR.  We will either choose to be chaff or grain.

As children of God we have been chosen by Christ to go and bear fruit as we see in John 15:16 which states, “You didn’t choose me.  I chose you.  I appointed you to go and produced lasting fruit…”

How do you know whether you are the chaff (wicked)?“But not the wicked!  They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.” The chaff in this verse are those who are wicked, those who do not follow the ways of God, those who are living for themselves, those who treat what is holy as common, and those who are indifferent to the things of God.  The chaff are those who are “Sinners” and “will have no place among the godly.  For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.”

How do you know if you are the grain (godly)?  If you are the grain, then you do NOT take counsel from those who are the chaff (wicked).  You do NOT entertain mockers or scoffers or those who practice a life of sin (unrepentant life of any sin).  You delight yourself in His instructions and His laws.  You reflect on God and His ways and seek to do what pleases Him day and night.  You walk in obedience because you love Him.  Because you are grain, you are what Psalm 1:3 says, “They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.”

Today is the day to choose because none of us are guaranteed tomorrow:  “CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE.” Being the grain or being the chaff is a matter of spiritual life or death.  Be like Joshua when he said, “But as for me and as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD “

No one can make the choice for you or me.  Each of us is responsible before God as to how we live whether we live for God or whether we live for self.  All is exposed before the eyes of God.  CHOOSE you this day whom you will serve.

May each of us resolve before God to live uprightly before Him, to be righteous and holy, to be the grain and not the chaff.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the keeper of the vineyard.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.  You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” -John 15:1-3 NLT

Linda A. Knowles