What does God want for me? Purity

Since purity is a word that has negative connotations in our present culture, I decided to start with a definition.  Purity is the condition or quality of being pure, free from anything that contaminates or pollutes- physically or spiritually- wrong doing, sin, evil, being innocent or virginal.  The words  found in of James and 1 John lay the foundation for what God has in mind when He says He wants us to be pure.  James 1:27  “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”   1 John 3:2b-3 “But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.”    God wants us free from the pollution of the world, helping those less fortunate and striving looking to Jesus.  Our walk of faith is one in which we are desiring to be more and more like Jesus as He indwells and empowers us.

purityMy research into purity revealed multiple reasons that we should desire to be pure.  Here are a few that I found:

Psalm 51:10  “Create in me a pure clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  A pure heart brings a true, steady, faithful heart into the believer.

Matthew 5:8  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”    Purity of heart and actions allows us to see God more clearly.

1 Timothy 1:5  “The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.”  The result of having a pure heart is that we are able to love, act with good conscience and walk in faith.

How can we achieve purity?  Though Jesus’ work on the cross we can receive forgiveness from our sins and through His resurrection we can live in victory.  Hebrews 10:22 “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”   Putting your faith in Jesus requires confession as described in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”    

How can we keep our lives pure?  Once clean, how do we maintain a pure heart?  The Word gives us some guidelines here too.  Psalm 119:9 “How can a young man keep his way pure?  By living according to your word.”   Studying God’s Word will lead you, guide and train you in God’s ways.  It helps us stay away or apart from the worldly desires so present in our world.  Paul gives us another practical way in Philippians 4:8.  “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”  Filling our minds with good and honorable things keeps us moving in the right direction towards Jesus and purity.

purity-2Keeping a pure heart that is open to see God more clearly and ready to help others is no easy task in our present world.  Our walk of faith demands our attention each day and persistence to study God’s Word and keep short accounts with God.  We need to confess  daily our sins and keep ourselves clean- pure vessels, ready to do His work.

Blessings as you walk in faith seeking a pure heart before God.

Linda

 

 

My Manifesto

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Manifesto (noun): a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer

Through my writing, I strive to help people see that God’s Word is not only viable, but should be applied to our lives each and every day of the year.

Whether you are old or young, the message of God’s Word can apply to your life. God promises that His Word will guide us, bring us closer to Him, and give us direction for living. All too often, though, we forget these promises and allow fear to take over.

My passion comes from a deep belief that God’s Word has power.

The written Word of God (the Bible) has just as much power as the words God spoke to create the world. God’s Word can and does change our lives––and the study of God’s Word leads us closer to Jesus, shows us who God is, and demonstrates His character. I am convinced that the more we know about God the closer we can walk with Him, feel His Spirit within us, and grasp the messages that Jesus, the prophets, and Apostles delivered so many years ago in the Bible.

I never expected to write a book.

It all started with a word study about fear. I was experiencing a lot of troubles in my life that were causing me to live fearfully. I once heard someone say that there are 365 references of not being fearful in the Bible. I thought, “I’m a pretty good Bible Student, and I don’t remember seeing that many!” The search began with my own Bible’s concordance and ended with my own book. I discovered 70 instances where we are told specifically to not have fear, and 295 other references about having fear. The fear we are encouraged to have should be directed towards God Almighty.

My writing relies on God.

After writing my first and second books, I began blogging. My devotional blogs and books are written to stimulate your thoughts towards God and show you a way to apply God’s Word to your life the very same day you read it.

It is my desire that through my devotions, you the reader will be led into God’s Word and begin to hunger for the righteousness to be found there. Creating materials that are straightforward, uncomplicated, and based on Scripture available to is essential to my purpose as a writer. I claim Isaiah 55:11 in all my writings. God promises that His Word will not return empty, and God keeps His promises.

I pray my devotional books and blog posts will touch you and cause you to open your Bible to seek His truth for yourself.

If this resonates with you, please consider signing up for my email newsletter. I promise to never spam you or overwhelm your inboxes. My hope is that these occasional emails will be encouraging reminders of His love for us and the promises He’s made us!

Blessings as you open His Word,

Linda Knight

What does God want for me? Forgiveness

This word forgiveness cuts both ways.  First, God wants us to be forgiven.  He wants us to accept the work of Christ on the cross and believe in his resurrection.  He wants us to have eternal life and walk in His forgiveness, redeemed by the blood of Christ.  Second, He wants us to be forgiving towards others since we have received His forgiveness.  You have to have step one first.  Ephesians 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”    1 John 1:9 tells us what to do to receive this forgiveness “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”    The Word tells us that God is forgiving and we can rely upon Him to keep His Word and forgive us when we ask.  Daniel 9:9 “The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving even though we have rebelled against Him.”  Psalm 86:5  “You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call upon you.”

Once we have received His forgiveness we are indwelt by His Holy Spirit and are continually in the process of becoming more and more like Jesus as we grow in Him.   Part of growing requires us to adopt His attitude of forgiveness.  Scripture is filled with admonitions for us to have the attitude of forgiveness in our hearts.  Forgiveness is an attitude that results from gratefulness for all that God has done though Christ in forgiving or sin.  Here are a few:

  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:32
  • “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  Matthew 6:14-15
  • “Do not judge and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn and you will not be condemned.  Forgive and you will be forgiven.”  Luke 6:37
  • “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”  Colossians 3:13

If we consider the magnitude and filth of our sin that God forgave us through the sacrifice of His only Son, it is expected that we forgive others and treat them with similar compassion.   Jesus told the parable of the Unmerciful Servant when asked how many times should one forgive?  Read Matthew 18:21-35.  A servant begs his master to forgive his debt and yet he goes out and demands payback from one who owes him.  He treats the one who owes him without mercy.  When the master finds out he throws him in prison.  Jesus’ point was that we are forgiven and are expected to treat others with forgiveness in our hearts.

Forgiving does not mean forgetting.  We need to remember wrongs done so that we will not put ourselves in those situations again.  But we need to let go of heartache and bitterness so that we can heal. Our forgiving is essential and commanded as a follower of Christ but it is not dependent upon the other person accepting!  We cannot make someone else accept our forgiveness but God requires us to forgive.  There is freedom in forgiveness and God wants us to be free in Christ.

Blessings as you strive to be more like Jesus with forgiveness in our heart towards others.

Linda

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What does God want for you? Honesty

honesty-roadsignWe all are familiar with the 10 Commandments.  “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor, no adultery, no stealing and no coveting.”  Exodus 20 14-17  All of these break trust and involve dishonesty.  God commands us not to engage in them.  Where else does God desire us to be honest?    Here are some examples:

Romans 12:17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody.”   That means- no seeking revenge and endeavoring to act appropriately towards other whether we want to or not.

Psalm 15:1-2  “He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart.”   That means obedience to His Word and speaking the TRUTH from our heart.

Proverbs 12:17 “A truthful witness gives honest testimony, but a false witness tells lies.”

Considering the desire of Christ for us to walk honorably with integrity, the author of Hebrews asked the Christians in Hebrews 13:18 “Pray for us.  We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.”    Peter was speaking about the return of Christ and encouraged the Christians this way, “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him.”  2 Peter 3:14.  This tells us that we need to pray for one another and support one another as we strive to live honorably for Christ.

Honesty in all things is our goal.  In the way we live our lives- let it be authentic, in our speech- let it be honest and forthright, in our faith- let it be centered upon Jesus.  You may ask, How can we possibly do this?  It is impossible.    Peter gives us insight into how we can achieve an authentic honest life in Christ.   “His divine power has give us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.  Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”  2 Peter 1:3-4    Through the indwelling Holy Spirit we have power to live for Him in the way He desires.  Know His promises and claim them each and every day.

divine-godlinessNeed help with Promises?  2 Peter 1:3-4 were the verses I claimed for my book Promises for Dynamic Living.  Know them, Know His Word, and He will guide you.  On this webpage you can check out my book. Order one today or contact me and I’ll send you one.

Blessings as you seek to live an honest life before Him,

Linda

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A New Year is before us- fill it with HOPE and LOVE

Happy New Year!!   It is 2017!  Are you entering this year holding onto the failures and disappointments of 2016?  Are you entering this year with expectation and hope?  Failures, disappointments, expectations and hope are all real feelings we have to grapple with from our own perspective.  Perhaps instead of filtering them though our own system- we should filter them through God’s Word.  Since we know that God is Sovereign, we must believe that He alone has the total perspective on all that happens to us.

lamentations3-300x300Lamentations 3:21-26.  “Yet this I call to mind and there fore I have hope:  Because of the LORD’S great love we are not consumed, for his compassion never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.’   The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one  who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”

These verses tell us that our hope is in the Lord.  His motivation for saving and treating  us  with compassion is His great LOVE.  We are assured that His mercies are new each morning and that HE alone is faithful.  Waiting patiently needs to be my resolve as I look to His plans and His solutions.  He will answer and follow through.   Resolved waiting is filled with HOPE, intense seeking, and counting upon His salvation and unending Love.   What better way to start a New Year?  I can filter all my hurts and disappointments through Him and He is faithful to answer with HOPE and LOVE!

111253053264377766rhugbavrcBlessings in this New Year.  God will keep you in the palm of His hand as you are engraved there for eternity. (Isaiah 49:16)  Look to Him and draw near to  Him with resolve in 2017 and you will be rewarded.  (James 4:7-8)

Linda

 

Our God is Great!

greatness-of-godThinking about the New Year, 2017, that is before us and the old year that lies almost behind us, 2016, consider the words of David in Psalm 77:10-13.  Then I thought, “To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High.”  I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago.  I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds  Your ways O God, are holy,  What god is so great as our God?

Blogging for Advent is always a blessing as it brings the Christmas Story, all the miracles that surrounded Jesus’ birth, into sharper focus.  This year letting my focus be on the attributes of God and what they reveal to us about God within the Christmas story helped me (and I hope you) see and know God more clearly.   We saw God as Savior, filled with Grace,  as Creator, His Omnipotence,  His Sovereignty, His Faithfulness, His Holiness,  Him as Preserver, Merciful, Immutable, Long-Suffering, Omniscient, His Perfection, His Incomprehensibility,  as Wise, Provider, as Glorious, Accessible, Righteous, Just,  Infinite, Impartial, Father, Guide, Eternal and Love.    I pray that of these 25 attributes you found some that were new thoughts and many that stimulated you to expand your concept of who God is and what He has done for you.  David came to the conclusion that there is no god greater than our God.  I do pray that you arrived at the same conclusion.  See if you can discover God in a new way each time you pick up your Bible.  Look for His attributes as He reveals Himself to us in His Word.

Enjoy the rest of 2016.  See you in the New Year!

Living in amazement of our Great God!who-is-god

Linda

Christmas reveals God’s great LOVE

isaiah-9-6-7“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end, He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever.  The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”  Isaiah 9:6-7

The words of Isaiah resound on this Christmas morning proclaiming God’s attributes to us in the birth of His Son, Jesus the Messiah, the Christ.  We see God’s wisdom, might, eternality, relationship to us as Father, peace, kingship, justice, righteousness, savior, power and glory in His birth.  Yet, over all of these we see God’s Love.  Have you ever stopped to think about God’s motive for sending Jesus to earth as our Savior to restore our relationship so we could commune with Him?  What could God possibly gain from all this?

The attribute that shines throughout the entire Christmas story is LOVE.   God has always been love.  Before He created the world the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit loved one another.  God’s love never fails and He loves the whole world.  He showed His love by sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, as Savior.  When we receive His Son as our Savior, we can then be in a loving relationship with God.  There are many promises we can claim that assure us of God’s love for us.  John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”  Paul describes the purpose of God’s love in Romans 5:8 “God demonstrates His own love for us in this:  While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”    Isaiah 54:10 describes the durability of God’s love for us, “Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”   Paul describes the depth and scope of God’s love in Romans 8:38-39  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Be comforted and assured this Christmas Day of the unending Love God has for you.  You are more precious to Him that anything else in all creation. He wants you to know His Son so you can have an eternal relationship with Him. Thank and Praise Him today for sending Jesus to make that possible.  Jesus is the one who opens the door to life eternal with God.

Giving thanks for my loving God this Christmas Day,  Merry Christmas!god-is-love

Linda

A time of reflection- past and future with Christ

Tomorrow is Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of the Christ.  His birth was foretold by the ancient prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born…”   The place was foretold in Micah 5:3  “But you Bethlehem…”.    He came to earth that day born as a human child, yet one who would lead a sinless life and die to save us from our sins.  We are believing that only God’s Son, Jesus, could satisfy Holy God and bring us into relationship with God again.  Isaiah foretold in Isaiah 53:5 “But He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him.”   So where does that leave us?  If we believe He was born miraculously as a man and died as God’s Son to save us from our sins, what more is there for us to believe?   return-of-christHe is coming again.  1 Thessalonians 4:16-18  “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage each other with these words.”  As we celebrate Jesus’ birth, we need to remember the story does not end in the manger or at the cross.  The story of the redemption of mankind will end with us living with God for eternity.  Just as His first coming was hearalded by angels so will His second coming.  Just as His first coming was miraculous, awesome and breathtaking so will His second coming be worthy of King Jesus when we meet Him in the air.

What do these events say about God?  God is eternal.  God exists outside of time.  He is not measured by anything.  We measure time by the movement of the planets and stars, which God created.  God has always been and always will be.  No one is like Him.  We are not eternal because we have a beginning and an end.  Because God is eternal, He can give us eternal life.  David described God in Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, form everlasting to everlasting you are God.”  John wrote in Revelation 4:8 “Holy, holy, holy is he Lord God Almighty, who was, and is and is to come.”

With our finite minds, the eternality of God is difficult to grasp.  However, we can be assured that God is who He says He is and will do as He has planned for eternity. Jesus is the one who holds the key to our eternal life. john-4-14 John 4:13-14  Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”   Come to Him this Christmas and be filled with His eternal blessing.  Look  past the manger, past Easter and look forward to His return!

Grateful for our eternal God,

Linda   

This poster seems to help me put things into the correct perspective.  I hope it helps you too.

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Mary and Joseph guided once again

After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child’s life are dead.”  So he got up , took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel.  But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there.  Having been warned in a dream he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth.  So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: “He will be called a Nazarene.”  Matthew 2:19-23

This is the last portion of Jesus’ birth story recorded in the gospels.  Mary, Joseph and Jesus are now settled in Nazareth as the prophets had foretold and will remain there until He starts his ministry at about age 30.    This last account is linked to the previous parts of Jesus’ story by angelic guidance.  God sent his angel Gabriel to Mary to guide her into acceptance of her being chosen as mother of the coming Messiah.  An angel was sent to guide Joseph into keeping Mary as his future wife and knowing the future child would be the Savior, Jesus.  The angels guided the shepherds to worship the Savior.  The Magi were warned in a dream not to return to Herod.  An angelic messanger was sent to guide Mary, Jospeh to Egypt to escape murderous Herod. Finally, an angel was sent to guide them to a safe place to settle, Nazareth.

guidance-our-wayWhat does this story tell us about God?  God is our guide and will direct us just as He did Mary and Joseph into the right path.  God leads us in the way we should go.  Today God uses His Word and His indwelling Holy Spirit to teach us how we are to live and think. Because God gives His children the Holy Spirit, they recognize His voice and follow Him.   We can trust God to lead us in the right way.  Without God’s guidance, we stumble and fall like people in the dark.   There are many promises in Scripture about God’s guidance. Here are two that I hold dear.   Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” 

How will you apply this knowledge of God being your guide today?  Will you pray and ask God for His help?  He can and does help us with physical, emotional and spiritual guidance.  Open His Word and read His words of comfort, hope and assurance.  Prayerfully, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in making decisions.  God will guide you as you wait upon Him. Patience and trust are essential and looking to Jesus for guidance is a must for the Christian desirous of walking day by day with Jesus.  Never easy, but always rewarding, purposeful and bearing fruit, is our walk with the Savior.

Trusting in the perfect Guide,guidance-steps

Linda

 

 

The Father saves Jesus

flight-to-egyptWhen they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt.  Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.”   So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.  And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.”   When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.  Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:  “A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”  Matthew 2:13-18

Joseph and Mary were obedient to the angel’s direction and fled to Egypt.  (The bringing of Jesus into and back from Egypt parallels the bringing of the infant nation of Israel into Egypt for safety during the famine and then out of Egypt after 400 years of slavery.)  God’s plan to protect Jesus from ruthless and power hungry Herod included a trip to Egypt.  It is not known how long Mary, Joseph and Jesus stayed in Egypt but Herod died in 4 B.C., and they returned after his death.   God provided a safe place, Egypt, and the means to get there, the gifts of the Magi.  Those gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh were very costly gifts and could have been sold to provide for them in Egypt.   We have to trust God to deal with the murderous Herod as vengeance belongs to God.  A promise we can claim in the name of those slain children is Hebrews 10:30-31 “It is mine to avenge:  I will repay, and again, “The Lord will judge his people.  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

How do we see God in this event?  God was Jesus’ Father and protected Him.  As the Creator, God sustains and provides for all He has made, but He is the Father only of those who believe in His Son Jesus Christ.  He gives us His Spirit, adopts us into His family and makes us His children.  He has a loving relationship that lasts forever with every believer. He speaks to us personally through  His Word  the Bible, and we speak to Him in prayer.  Even the best human father has flaws but God is always good, wise and loving.  God loves, protects, care for, trains and disciplines His children.   Jesus was His Son and He protected and cared for Him in that distant land of Egypt.  The gospels tell us that Jesus spent time in prayer talking with His Father, communing with Him, drawing from His strength and receiving His comfort while here on earth.  God did not have to discipline Jesus, as He does us, as Jesus was perfect and without sin.  Therefore, Jesus was perfectly obedient to His Father and fulfilled all that God sent Him to accomplish, our redemption.

fatherDo you look upon God as your heavenly Father?  As a believer, do you allow Him to love protect, care for, train you?  Do you willingly accept His discipline?  Many people struggle with the image of God as their Father as they have had a flawed earthly father in their lives.  If this is your experience, pray and ask God to establish His relationship anew with you, to repair you sight and heal your understanding so you can relate to Him as your heavenly Father.  He is a good, good Father and will not let you down.  He is perfect in all of His ways.

Thankful for my good, good Father,

Linda