“Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.” -Deuteronomy 3:22(NLT)
Linda A. Knowles
“Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.” -Deuteronomy 3:22(NLT)
Linda A. Knowles
God wants to live among His people. He wants to protect them. That has always been His desire since the beginning of time. He desires to commune and have that fellowship with His children. However, His people have rejected Him as their Lord and their God. Those who have claimed God as their own have defiled their own bodies and have exchanged the Most High God for other gods, the creation created by God Himself and the things created by man.
The Church has exchanged what is holy for what is evil and exchanged the truth of God for lies. Rather than seeking the God Who Provides her with all her needs, she seeks after that which is temporal such as power, prestige, wealth, popularity, and the like.
God is not welcomed in most places of worship, and His Word has been dissected and chopped up to the point it is unrecognizable. The Word has been made to suit the lifestyles of the people instead of the people seeing themselves in light of the Word of God, repenting, turning from their evil ways, and humbling themselves before God.
God desires a relationship with His people, but they have kicked Him out of their lives and their hearts. They have kicked God out of their homes and places of worship.
The consequences of their sin are falling on their own heads, and they are blaming God for their suffering. Their choices have them on the broad road to destruction. They are headed to Hell. Their consciences are seared and their hearts calloused.
The anger of God is set against all sinful and wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. The creation clearly shows the invisible qualities of God and so they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Everything is exposed before the eyes of God. He sees all and yet His children don’t believe He sees all they do and hears all they say. They are clever at doing wrong, but they are stupid when it comes to doing what is right. They have chosen death instead of life. They have chosen to be cursed rather than blessed.
To all those who have believed Him and accepted Him, to them, He gave the right to become children of God. Those who do His will and walk uprightly before Him, they belong to Him.
“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor has sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is Jacob, the generation of those who seek Him, who see Your face.”
“Don’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)
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the God of All Peace and You are the Peace That Surpasses All Understanding. Father, thank You for establishing my relationship with You. You are the Peace-Giver. Let me always remember to cast all my cares on You because You care for me, and help me to always remember You, O God, are my Protector. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Having God’s favor upon your life is priceless. You cannot put a price on His favor because it is so costly, and yet God lavishes His favor upon His true children because He is the God of Goodness. He gives good things to His children, but did you know that if you grudgingly obey you can forfeit the blessings/rewards He has for you? Let me explain this way: The Word of God states, in Deuteronomy 6:7, “Love the LORD Your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your strength.” Note the words ALL of your heart and ALL of your soul, and ALL of your strength. ALL of your being must desire to do the task you are doing for God. ALL of your being must be upright and pure before God while you are obeying Him.
“Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.”
Amaziah did what was pleasing to God, but he did so reluctantly. He had paid for troops to come from Israel to help him go up against Edom when a man of God came to Amaziah and told him God would not give him victory if Amaziah used the troops from Israel no matter how well he did at fighting. Amaziah’s heart attitude was not blameless. He complained about the money he had paid, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?” God had sent him a warning through the man of God in order to let Amaziah know God was not with the troops of Israel, and instead of giving thanks to God for the warning or thanking the man of God for giving him the message God had for him, Amaziah complained and said, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?” The man of God told him, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” He reluctantly obeyed God, taking the warning the man of God had just given him, and he discharged the Israeli troops
Don’t Forfeit Your Blessing By Grudgingly Obeying God.
PRAYER: Sovereign LORD and KING, You are worthy of my best, not my leftovers. You, O God, have been very good to me. Thank You for all You have done in my life, for providing for me, and for being my protection. I’m sorry for obeying You halfheartedly and for being reluctant in carrying out the tasks You have set before me. Forgive me for these sinful attitudes of the heart. Forgive me, Father, for offending You, and I ask that You cleanse me of these sins as only You can do. I bow my heart in surrender to You and ask that You take control, giving me new desires and attitudes pleasing to You. I ask that You, O God, rule and reign in me. Show me what I need to change in my life and what I need to get rid of. Take me along Your paths of righteous because what You approve of and have to say is the only thing that matters. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
“Love the LORD Your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your strength.” -Deuteronomy 6:7(NLT)
“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 6:1(NLT)
This Bible verse is very clear: We are to do good for His glory, not our own.
What we do in the way of good deeds, we do out of our love for God and out of our lives lived out in faith to God. “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others” simply means we are not to do good deeds to receive the applause and approval of men. If we do good deeds to be seen, to receive the applause and approval of men, that is the only reward we will receive, and then, we lose the reward from God. Knowing this, let us resolve to do everything for the glory of God to be seen of Him, to seek His approval. In pleasing God and bringing glory to Him, you will receive the blessing He has for you.
The Word of God, in Galatians 6:14(NLT), states, “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.” If our boast is to be in anything, then our boast should be in the cross, not in what we do.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are my God, and I will put my hope and my trust in You. My faith is in You alone. You are the only One whose approval I need to seek and the only One I need to please. Father, help me to always remember that my boast is to be in the cross of Jesus Christ, not in anything I do, and when I do good deeds, I am to do those good works for Your glory. I ask that You let me be a blessing to others and to continue using me for Your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
YOU RESCUE ME
Written By Linda A. Knowles
I will praise You in the morning,
And I will praise You in the night,
even when it seems there is no hope in sight;
For You, O God, are my Deliverer,
And You are my Strength;
And You, O Lord, are the One Who Rescues Me
from the hands of my enemies.
“I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation, I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him.” –(Psalm 34:1-7NLT)
“The enemy runs at the sound of your voice.
When you stand up, the nations flee!” –Isaiah 33:3 (NLT)
Linda A. Knowles
“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)
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
“Huddle together, you nations, and be terrified. Listen, all you distant lands. Prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Yes, prepare for battle, but you will be crushed! Call your councils of war, but they will be worthless. Develop your strategies, but they will not succeed. For God is with us!” -Isaiah 8:9-10
Your enemies can devise all the schemes and plans they want to try to take you down. They have one major problem; they have to get through the blood of Christ in order to get to you. They can come up with clever word games and other manipulative tactics, but they can never thwart the plans of God for your life. The Word of God is not chained, and when the Word of God goes out, the Word of God will accomplish the purposes for which it was sent. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies cannot be stopped by any mortal. Immanuel (God With Us) is a declarative name, and because God is with you, you are made victorious. The Lord Your God is your Immanuel, and God being with you rescues you from the clutches of the enemy. “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Keep standing on the promises of God and obeying His commandments as He is fighting your battles and as He is taking care of your enemies. Always remember the battle belongs to the Lord.
REFLECTION: “If you love me, obey my commandments,” (John 14:15). Christ said, “But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you.” In dealing with your enemies, you do not deal with them as the world does. You don’t pray for their demise or for something bad to happen to them. Vengeance belongs to God alone. As a child of the Most High God, you are to continue walking in obedience to the teaching of Christ and to know, as well as to keep at the front of your mind, that your responsibility is to love your enemies and do good to those that hate you. If you love the Lord, you will obey Him and His teachings and keep trusting in Him to take care of those who are against you. Let God be God, and you remain blessed by loving your enemies, praying for them, and doing good to those who hate you.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, to You be all the glory. You alone are God, and You said vengeance belongs to You. Bless my enemies by meeting their deepest need to know You and who You are. Lord, teach me how to do good to my enemies and show me ways to bless them. Forgive me for the times, I have desired revenge, and help me to remember Your ways are not my ways. Help me to remember you work all things out for good. Father, fill me with your Holy Spirit and strengthen me as I continue to do Your will and obey Your teachings. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
Linda A. Knowles
“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
MY SWEET SONG, MY SWEET MELODY
Written By Linda A. Knowles
My Sweet Song,
My Sweet Melody,
My God to whom I sing.
You are my song-
Through every day,
Through every night.
You are the sweetest song I know,
My Sweet Melody;
And I will glory in who You are,
And sing praises to Your name.
Every Halloween, it’s a mad dash to get out of the house as fast as possible by exactly 4:30 p.m. to avoid Trick or Treaters. I am one who absolutely loathes Halloween as does my husband. We don’t celebrate Halloween, and the idea of passing out candy every two minutes for four and a half hours doesn’t sound appealing at all… EVER.
The first year we were at our current residence, we were leaving the house, and I caught a glimpse of a parent with his child in his arms. Something about seeing a child dressed as a vampire was highly disturbing, and the fake blood on the fangs just made it worse until I saw a newborn dressed as an ax murderer and found myself shuddering.
Figuratively speaking, people wear masks and costumes all the time. The masks conceal what the person’s face actually looks like versus how the person shows him/herself to others. For instance, when someone is wearing a mask/costume, he can portray himself as if he is an angel. When in actuality, he lacks compassion, has the intrusive nature of a cockroach, and has the character of a shark and alligator combined. If someone is shy, she may not be shy when wearing a mask. She can feel free to be outgoing and speak her mind because no one knows it’s her, allowing her not to fear rejection, and being able to share her thoughts and ideas without anyone trying to stop her from talking, and there’s no one to stop her from meeting other people who are wearing masks and costumes just like her.
HOWEVER, THE PROBLEM WITH MASKS AND COSTUMES is eventually they have to be taken off. When masks and costumes are stripped off, be careful because you may find the person was a wolf for the entire time you knew them. At that point, you have to decide what you will do. You will either stick around and be devoured by the wolf until there is nothing left of you except a skeleton, or you will run and get away from the ravenous wolf who is staring at you like you are dinner with its fangs exposed and ready to pounce on you.
If you choose the second option, you, at least, have a chance of survival.
Linda A. Knowles
The world we live in today has lost its moral compass, but we are not to be like the world. We are to shine brightly for God, to be a light in this dark world, and we must be careful not bring shame to the name of Jesus whose name we bear. Let us always remember we belong to the Lord, and therefore, we are NOT be conformed to the ways and customs of this world. In other words, we are NOT to let the world influence us; we are to be led by the Holy Spirit, putting on the full armor of God, to have the attitude of Christ.
Let us be the children of God shining as bright beacons of light.
You are not in Christ to continue being what you were before Christ. You cannot claim to have a relationship with Christ while still living as you were before Christ. If you are doing so, you are living in darkness and you’re not being truthful as it states in 1 John 1:5-6, “This is the message we heard from Christ and are reporting to you: God is light, and there isn’t any darkness in him. If we say, ‘We have a relationship with God’ and yet live in the dark, we’re lying. We aren’t being truthful.”
MEDITATION: “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy,” (Ephesians 4:23-24 GW). There is something drastically wrong with the church when you can no longer tell the difference between the world and the church. You are to be like Christ. Christ did not follow the vain imaginations of men and He did not subscribe to the world’s philosophy. He came and began preaching “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Repentance and confession are still part of the believer’s life today. Repentance is turning away from your wickedness and having a complete change of mind. Christ said, “Blessed are those who are poor in spirit.” In other words, you are blessed because you realize your need for Him and to have Him as your Lord and Savior. In Christ, you are a new creation, and therefore, you have thrown off the sinful nature and have taken on the new nature, putting on the mind of Christ and following after His teachings and applying them to your life. You understand being in Christ means you are no longer your own. You belong to Christ first, and secondly, you are a part of the body of believers. Therefore, you must conduct yourself according to the new nature Christ has given you.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for not leaving me without power. Thank You for equipping me to live a life that is pleasing before Your sight. My desire is to seek Your approval in all that I do, to live as You would have me to live. Let me be a beacon of light shining brightly for You so I may bring glory to Your name. Father, be the One Who Lights My Way in this dark world. Teach me Your ways and Your laws that I might meditate on them through the day and through the night. Fill me with Your Spirit in order for me to produce the fruits spoken of in Your Word. I ask for You to go before me wherever I go, and I ask that You be with me throughout my day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
That’s right: Let GOD fight your battles for you. Our GOD is THE GOD of JUSTICE, and it is difficult to let go of whatever is going on around us that we’re facing. However, letting go and letting GOD do what HE has to do is something we won’t regret. I learned many years ago, never to repay evil with evil because the WORD OF GOD states, “And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile,” (1 Peter 1:17 ESV). We conduct ourselves as GOD would have us to conduct ourselves. GOD has set the standards of morality and ethics. GOD has set the standard of holiness, and therefore, we need to conduct ourselves knowing GOD sees all we do and hears all we say. Eventually, we will have to give an account to HIM for every idle word spoken (Matthew 12:36) and everything we have done (2 Corinthians 5:10). “And he said, ‘Listen, all Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: Thus says the Lord to you, Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed at this great horde, for the battle is not yours but God’s.'” (2 Chronicles 20:15 ESV)
We simply need to take our position and stand our ground, fix our eyes on GOD, giving HIM glory and honor and obeying whatever command HE gives us.
DO NOT DEBATE your enemies and DO NOT ENGAGE your enemies. The WORD OF GOD states clearly, “Not defending yourselves, dearly beloved; but rather give place unto the wrath of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord,” (Jubilee Bible 2000). The wicked will perish, and GOD scoffs at the wicked (Proverbs 1:26); and “However, the one who receives instruction in the word must share in all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. Whatever a man sows, he will reap in return. The one who sows to please his flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; but the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life,” (Galatians 6:6-8 BSB)
ALWAYS REMEMBER: THE LORD is your SHIELD and your DEFENSE, and He is the GOD WHO UPHOLDS YOU. It is better to be a friend of GOD than to be HIS enemy (James 4:4), and GOD always takes care of HIS own children (Psalm 16:5).
“The LORD is my strength and my shield, In Him hath my heart trusted, And I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth, And with my song will I praise Him,” (Psalm 28:7 JPS Tanakh 1917). “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust,” (Psalm 91:2 KJV).
Much Love To You All,
In Christ, we find rest, a place of quietness, where we can commune with Him.
Christ gave an invitation and command when He said “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
There is no one like Jesus. He is the First and the Last (Revelation 1:17), the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13), The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), The Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Peter 2:4), the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9, 7:22; Psalm 90:2, Revelation 1:14-15), Redeemer (Luke 1:68, Colossians 1:13-14), Savior (Luke 1:47, Ephesians 1:7), Friend (John 15:15). Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6), Deliverer (1 Timothy 2:3), and is the One Who Calms the Seas (Mark 4:35-41), the One Who Can Be Fully Trusted (Luke 12:22-28). He is the Living Word (John 1:14), the Faithful and True Witness (Revelation 3:14), and is King of kings, Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16); He is the Great I Am (John 8:58). He is Emmanuel God With Us (Matthew 1:23), Mighty God (John 20:28), Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6); He is All in All (John 4:24, 6:35; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:28).
His perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18) because He has not given us a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7). Christ bears our sorrows (1 Peter 2:24), our illnesses (Matthew 8:17), and our problems (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6-7). He takes joy with us when we experience good times (Zephaniah 3:17). He is our Cleft in the Rock when trouble comes (1 Kings 19:9-18, Psalm 91:1).
Christ was the perfect sacrifice (1 John 2:2), the Lamb of God who was slain at Calvary (John 1:29), risen from the dead (Luke 24:1-12, 1 Corinthians 15:20). He is Victorious… (1 Corinthians 15:57), conquered Death (Romans 6:9, Hebrews 2:14)), Hell (Revelation 6:8), and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-55), and HE IS ALIVE (Luke 24:5)! He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), The Living One (Revelation 2:8), and He Who holds the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18).
How can we not praise Him? He is our Burden Bearer (Matthew 11:28-30), Yokebreaker (John 8:34-36), and is the Giver of Joy (Romans 5:1-5). He is our Guide, our Hope (Titus 2:13), our Blessed Assurance (1 John 5:13). Because He is the Truth, He sets us free (John 8:31-32). Shouldn’t the fruit of our lips be praise and thanksgiving to Him? He is the One Who Reigns on High (1 Timothy 6:16, Revelation 11:15), sits at the Right Hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69), and has given us all we need to sustain us (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Peter 1:3).
Sing out in praise and glorify His name. The Lord has done much for us, and He is worthy of all glory, all honor, and all praise; And He, The Lord, is our banner, and His banner over us is love.
“He entered Jericho and was passing through. And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich. And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was about to pass that way. And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully. And when they saw it, they all grumbled, ‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.’ And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.'” (Luke 19:1-10)
Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus, and he did whatever he had to in order to see Jesus. In his case, he ran ahead and climbed a tree because Jesus was soon to pass by that way. Jesus took notice of Zacchaeus and his heart because Jesus knew the heart of man.
WHY DID JESUS WANT TO GO TO ZACCHAEUS’ HOME?
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.” (John 2:23-25)
No one had to tell Jesus what the heart of men was like. He knew their thoughts and their ways. While no one else sees the heart of another, Jesus did and still does. Our Savior didn’t need to be told, and even in Jeremiah, the prophet noted what the heart of man is like: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” BUT Jesus knew Zacchaeus’ heart, and Jesus called out to Zacchaeus who was in the tree. Zacchaeus HEARD JESUS CALL HIS NAME, PROMPTLY OBEYED JESUS, QUICKLY CAME DOWN FROM THE TREE and RECEIVED JESUS JOYFULLY because Jesus was coming to his house. Zacchaeus wanted to hear what Jesus had to say and responded to Jesus’ message. Note these words of the passage, “So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.” Zacchaeus RECEIVED Jesus joyfully. Because the message of Jesus made a difference in Zacchaeus’ life, we can see the result of Zacchaeus’ changed life and his repentance. It took an act of genuine repentance on Zacchaeus’ part. Zacchaeus not only received Jesus, he also turned from his wicked ways, made restitution giving back more than he took in cheating people, and had a change of thinking. In that act of repentance and in the act of Zacchaeus changing his wicked ways, Jesus brought salvation to Zacchaeus and his household. The evidence of Zacchaeus being saved was demonstrated. How you live before God matters.
Claiming to have a relationship with Christ is more than words. Having a relationship with Christ means daily communing with Him, and loving Christ means obeying His commands, being faithful and loyal to Him no matter what the cost. Having a relationship with Christ means having a heart of contrition and repentance, receiving Jesus and His message, turning from your wicked ways, and changing the way you think so that your thoughts are aligned with God’s thoughts. Having a relationship with Christ is about laying down your will and your ways and walking in the ways of God, following the example Christ has set for you. Having a relationship with Christ means laying down your life for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, concerning yourself with mercy and justice and faithfulness, and walking humbly before Him. Saying you follow Christ without your life matching your words means nothing.
While you have breath there is a chance for repentance, changing your ways, and changing the way you think. Take an example from Zacchaeus and his attitude before Jesus. Zacchaeus didn’t just speak words of contrition. His words of contrition were backed up by his actions, changing his ways and turning from his wickedness, gladly receiving the message of Christ.
“Then Jesus called the crowd to Him along with His disciples, and He told them, ‘If anyone wants to 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 and for the gospel will save it. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in His Father’s glory with the holy angels.’” (Mark 8:34-38)
One day each individual will have to stand before the God the Creator of all things, and each will be called into account for every idle word spoken and every action taken. So what will you do with what you know about Jesus? Who do you say Jesus is? Will you accept or reject Him? What you do with Christ is a matter of spiritual life and death, and what you do with Christ will determine where you will spend life after death. Don’t miss out on eternity with God by rejecting the only means of salvation God provided through His Son Jesus Christ. Choose life with Christ. Living a life truly sold out in devotion to Christ is worth it.
Much Love To You All,
I wish people would stop putting themselves in temptation’s path. It’s bad enough that temptation will find you, but why make it easy for the temptation to try to take hold by stepping in front of it? It is one thing if the temptation comes to you, but to willingly throw yourself in its path is just foolish; that would be like stepping into oncoming traffic expecting not to get run over. Why give yourself the opportunity to find out whether or not you can handle it? Why give yourself the opportunity to fail?
Let me just make one thing very, very clear: BEING TEMPTED IS NOT A SIN. The sin is when you take temptation’s bait and then commit the sinful act.
“…BUT I’M STRONG I CAN HANDLE IT”
When I have heard people make this statement, “…But I’m strong. I can handle it,” I cringe EVERY single time. For me, personally, I know that if I come to the point of saying “I can handle it” that’s when I know I cannot handle it and usually means to slow down, get a grip, and know the only reason I’m able to take anything on IS BECAUSE OF GOD’S MERCY AND GRACE. I’m reminded pride comes before destruction and haughtiness before the fall. For any of us to think we are standing strong is when we need to be careful, and to think we cannot fall is faulty thinking.
What are you entertaining? The Scripture says in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” That means, Folks, we can bring our thoughts under control. We do not have to entertain sinful thoughts. If sin actually showed itself to us in its actual appearance, rather than dressing itself up deliciously tantalizing, we would run clear in the other direction.
I can only speak for myself so I will. Back in the middle of March of 2017, God had spoken to me about certain shows that were absolutely off limits and that He no longer wanted me to watch. In keeping with honesty, my response to God was not one of enthusiasm, and it sort of went like, “Okay, God.” The shows weren’t helpful nor were they beneficial, and most definitely, the shows would not help me at all in my spiritual growth, so television is never on during the day except at night to watch a family show. I was confronted by God who gave me a command, and I chose obedience. HOWEVER, I NOTICED WHEN I TOOK THE FIRST STEP OF OBEDIENCE, God removed any desire I had for those shows I previously watched.
It is amazing how God will fill you with the strength you need to carry out whatever command He has given you. He knows when you are ready, and He knows exactly how to get your attention. He deals with you on the level you are at. Just as God dealt with me, He can deal with you. He can reach you right where you are at your point of need.
In 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, it states, “We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
Do you struggle with temptation or a particular sin? Then you need to ask yourself what you’re entertaining. Whatever it is you are putting into your mind will affect you if not soon then later.
Do you want to draw closer to God? Any show you watch that is not pleasing to God is definitely not going to be beneficial to your spiritual growth; if anything, whatever you are taking through your ears and eyes, may stop you from progressing in God and eventually finding yourself off to the wayside and/or separated from Him. Your thoughts will not align with God’s thoughts unless you are spending time in the Word of God.
It is of great importance to read the Bible in order to have a storehouse of Scripture in your mind to combat carnal thoughts. The Psalmist declared, “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” For each carnal thought you have that opposes God and His Word, there is a biblical truth to combat each one.
Have you been rejecting the prompting of the Holy Spirit? Do NOT say God has not spoken to you nor complain that He is silent when you haven’t opened your Bible to study or read it and if you are resisting the prompting and conviction of the Holy Spirit, and in Romans 8:12-14, it clearly states, “Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.“
Will you choose to obey God and be led by the Holy Spirit, or will you live by your sinful nature and its dictates?
Choose you this day whom will you serve.
Much Love To You All,
And Wow, Yeah, 2017 has been an incredibly awesome year in experiencing the preservation and deliverance of God in my own life, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for 2018.
With the New Year around the corner, it was time for me to seek out verses as a reminder of what I should always seek God for, a command to always keep at the forefront of my mind, and one that gives me a focal point for praise and worship.
Here are my theme verses for 2018-
MY LIFE VERSE THEME FOR 2018:
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fulness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
MY PRAYER LIFE THEME FOR 2018:
“This is what the LORD says: ‘Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls…'”
MY LIFE OF PRAISE AND WORSHIP THEME FOR 2018
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.
I will be glad and exult in you;
I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.
When my enemies turn back,
they stumble and perish before your presence.
For you have maintained my just cause;
you have sat on the throne, giving righteous judgment.
You have rebuked the nations; you have made the wicked perish;
you have blotted out their name forever and ever.
The enemy came to an end in everlasting ruins;
their cities you rooted out;
the very memory of them has perished.
But the Lord sits enthroned forever;
he has established his throne for justice,
and he judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with uprightness.
The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the Lord, who sits enthroned in Zion!
Tell among the peoples his deeds!
For he who avenges blood is mindful of them;
he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.
Be gracious to me, O Lord!
See my affliction from those who hate me,
O you who lift me up from the gates of death,
that I may recount all your praises,
that in the gates of the daughter of Zion
I may rejoice in your salvation.
The nations have sunk in the pit that they made;
in the net that they hid, their own foot has been caught.
The Lord has made himself known; he has executed judgment;
the wicked are snared in the work of their own hands.
The wicked shall return to Sheol,
all the nations that forget God.
For the needy shall not always be forgotten,
and the hope of the poor shall not perish forever.
Arise, O Lord! Let not man prevail;
let the nations be judged before you!
Put them in fear, O Lord!
Let the nations know that they are but men!”
May 2018 be a wonderful year for all my neighbors around the globe, and may all of you be abundantly blessed in the new year to come!
Much Love To You All,
There is no better place that I have found than to be in the arms of the Eternal God and Savior. He is unchanging, everlasting, the First and the Last, and He is Yahweh Shammah, The Lord Is There.
May you be filled with joy and peace in this season and beyond.
Much Love To You All,
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
“You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.”
You, O LORD, are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise.
Thank you for never letting me go.
…And I cry, “Abba, Father”
Mere mortal words escape me;
And I cannot express
nor convey the depths of this soul.
…And I cannot speak
But only in unknown tongue
not known to mere man,
But, You, Abba, and only You
can truly comprehend.
“Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit. A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions.” –Matthew 7:15-20
Much Love To You All,