“even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, ‘My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.’ So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” -2 Corinthians 12:7-10NLT
Heavenly Father, You are God and You are Lord of All. There is no one and there is nothing that compares to You for You alone are the Almighty Everlasting Father. Above You, there is no other. The new year, O Lord, is just around the corner. Help me to end this year strong and to remain steadfast in the new year 2019. Thank You for guiding me and leading me in Your way. Father, I ask You to continue to guide me in all my ways and to direct my steps as I put my trust in You and acknowledge You in all my ways. Apart from You, O Lord, I can do nothing. In You, I can do all things because You are the One who gives me strength. You are my Hope and You are my Refuge. I cling to You, O God, for You are my Deliverer and Your words sustain me. Father, I delight in You, and because I delight in You, I know You will grant me my heart’s desire. Father, draw close to me as I draw close to You. Help me to remember there is freedom in submitting to You and walking in obedience to Your will and to Your ways. Be the Light which illumines the path I am to walk. Show me the Ancient Path, the good way, that I may walk along the Ancient Path and find rest for my soul. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
As children of God who are walking in obedience to His will and His ways, God does heal. We can be assured our God heals. God doesn’t go against His Word, and God is faithful to His promises.
The confidence that we have is this: If we ask anything according to the will of God, He hears us, and since we know He hears us, whatever we ask, we know we have the petitions we have asked of Him.
What are you believing God for today? Are you in need of healing? Are you in need of being saved from an impossible situation? God is able to deliver you. Do NOT give up because God has NOT given you the spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the God who heals and delivers. You are the same yesterday, today, and forever. Thank You for always being there for me. You, O God, have never let me down, and You have never left me alone. You have been my Guide, and You have been my Light. Father, be my Deliverer, as You always have been, in my circumstances. Show Yourself faithful as You always have for You are my Deliverance and my Song. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
Our Lord is great. He is bigger than any problem or struggle you have. He is the One who catches you, not permitting those who belong to Him to slip and fall. This old hymn of the church says it all, “WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS.”
Remember the Lord hears you calling out to Him. He hears you when you cry out, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
Written By Joseph M. Scriven In 1855
Copyright Status Is Public Domain
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
“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 11:28-30NLT
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.
“Do not present an animal with defects because the LORD will not accept it on your behalf.” -Leviticus 22:20(NLT)
The Levitical Laws, more specifically in this case the ceremonial laws, were a foreshadow of what was acceptable worship and what was unacceptable worship. In order for an animal sacrifice to be made, the animal had to have NO blemishes, NO defects, NO sickness. The animal had to be perfect. If there was the slightest flaw or imperfection in the animal being presented, the animal sacrifice would be rejected by God as shown in this verse, “…the LORD will not accept it on your behalf.”
REFLECTION: The LORD will not accept less than the best. We cannot present the sacrifices of our talent, time, praise, effort and the like to the LORD if we are living lives defiled by pretense and hypocrisy. We cannot present ourselves in worship to the LORD if we are half-hearted in our obedience to Him. When our sacrifice to the LORD is blemished and defective, like the animal sacrifice spoken of in Leviticus 22:20, then we will be the kind of sacrifice He rejects.
“No, O people,
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)
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
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.
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.
“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” -Psalm 51:6 (ESV)
I have fallen in love with this verse because it showed me something I genuinely believe in. GOD IS TRUTH, AND HE DELIGHTS IN HONESTY BEFORE HIM. To pour ourselves out before GOD is to come before Him humbly, to come before Him with a heart open ready to hear His voice and really listen to Him, to come before Him with our minds set on Him, to really think about what GOD desires and what He would have us to do, to worship and adore Him “in spirit and in truth.”
Being able to come to God in prayer is a wonderful privilege given to us by Our Creator, and even knowing what we are capable of, He still desires to commune with us.
There is no better place to be than in the presence and in the arms of the Most High God, to be there fully, with our entire being before Him. One of my favorite examples of this is the woman with the alabaster jar. She fell at the feet Jesus worshiping Him, and it didn’t matter who or what was surrounding her. She poured herself out before Christ, and she gave all she had in worship to Him.
Personally, when I ask GOD to restore or renew me, I am reminded of this verse found in Isaiah 30:15, “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength…'” Those words of that verse have become part of me because I know I find rest and salvation in repentance, and in “quiet confidence” is where I find strength…
And in that place where I meet with Him, I can break open my alabaster box to let Him see all that is there, a place I know that is safe and where I can find healing and restoration and where mercy is granted, grace poured out, joy beyond measure, and more hope found.
And in the “secret heart” that is where God will teach us wisdom and understanding, that place from where emotions, actions, words flow out. GOD gives wisdom to all who ask, and GOD does so generously.
Let Him teach you wisdom in the secret heart. Let Him breathe life into you, and restore what is broken, heal what needs mending, and let Him give you times of refreshing through your genuine repentance and quiet confidence.
It is truly worth it all.
Much Love To You All,
“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.” -Matthew 11:28-30
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,
“For 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,
As children of GOD, our lives are to be a living and pleasing sacrifice. Worship to GOD is not just singing a song to HIM because anyone can sing, but a life lived out to HIM that flows out of wholehearted devotion and obedience to GOD from an inward transformation is worship.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
“Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness.”
How you live will show whom you serve.
Much Love To You All,
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.
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.
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.
I will trust and obey,
Following Your ways,
Determined to do Your Will,
For it does not matter what man may say.
I will proclaim,
“You are my God my Rock,”
For I am safe in You,
And You shelter me.
Let me fall before Your throne at Your feet,
My Attiq Yomin,
Where I can worship You,
And worship You alone,
And bands of angels all about,
Singing praises to Your name.
Ancient of Days,
You’re without End;
You are Everlasting to Everlasting,
You always remain the same.
Written By Linda A. Knowles
O Magnify the Lord with me-
Praise to Him, the King of kings!
And I shall lift my voice to sing of His everlasting goodness,
The goodness of The Mighty Sovereign King!
You reign supreme,
For You are the God Most High,
And none compares to You, My God,
The Holy, Righteous One.
You are the Horn of My Salvation,
Exalted far above all the earth,
And You are strong and glorious,
Mighty to save,
Giver of Life,
And You are One!