Miserable People

Learn to develop a thankful heart and let the fruit of your lips be praise to the Lord Most High. He is worthy of all praise, and we are told in the Word of God to give thanks at all times. Find something to thank God for because God is faithful and He is worthy of all glory.

“Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18BSB

Linda A. Knowles

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”

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More Than Enough

“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

When I Can’t Find My Way

If you are expecting a trouble-free life, I have news for you: That is not going to happen. Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33NLT).

We can take comfort in knowing Jesus is with us until the end, and He has not left us alone. However, we need to trust Him in all things, and that means we will have to push self aside, look to Him, and fully depend and rely on Him. Take heart…Be strong and courageous because our Savior has overcome the World. So put your faith and hope in Him. In all you do and say, trust in Him. Submit and commit yourself to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

PRAYER: When I can’t find my way, “I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, Maker of the Heavens and Earth.”

Heavenly Father, You are my Helper and have not left me comfortless. Thank You for always being here for me and for Your Holy Spirit who guides me into all truth. I know that I can look to you and know You have already gone before me and made a way for me. Lord, be with me as I am putting my hope and trust in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

New Creation In Christ

One of the blessings God has given to those who are in Christ Jesus is that they are no longer what they were before Christ. In Christ, we are new creations. The old is gone, and the new has come. So fix your eyes on Christ and on the road God has marked out before you, and press forward. Step into the plans and the future God has for you.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the God from whom all blessings flow. I thank You that I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Thank You for being the Author and the Finisher of my faith. Father, I am fixing my eyes on You because I know You have great plans for me. I will put my trust in You as I step into the plans You have for me and the future You designed. I ask that You continue to show me the way I am to go as I am relying and depending on You to lead me. My desire is to stay in Your will and to do what You would have me to do. I know You have already gone before me, and I ask for Your help in remaining steadfast before You. Continue Your work in me, O Lord, and light my way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

My Help Comes From You

So often, we look to something else or someone else for help that can only come from God, but the Word of God states (1 Peter 5:7NLT), “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”  When we follow the simple instruction to cast all our cares on Him, we are walking in obedience to God and His Word.

As we go about our day, let us remember our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of the Heavens and the Earth.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are my God, and I thank You for shepherding me.  I give myself to You this day, knowing whatever comes my way, I trust You to help me.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Go Before God With Great Expectation and Faith.

Don’t allow yourself to be tossed about. When you go before God, go before Him with confidence and faith, knowing that He will answer you when you petition Him in accordance with His Will. Go into His presence with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.

When you go before the throne of God, there you will find mercy and grace.

Remember, without faith, it is impossible to please God. You can have faith in God and know your faith is not misplaced when you trust Him.

Linda A. Knowles

The Locust

JUST PRAISE HIM

Fix Your Eyes Him…


Your hope and trust

are never misplaced

when you put your

hope and trust

in God alone.

Let Nothing Come Between You and God

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.

Remember the Message of the Cross…

Remember in your celebration and contemplation of the New Year to come to keep Christ first in all things.  The cross cannot be separated from Christ, and Christ cannot be separated from the cross.  On that cross, Christ paid the price.  He has saved us, healed us, delivered us, and has set us free.  Daily we are being made holy as we die to self.

“For even The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom in the place of the many.” -Mark 10:45 (Aramaic Bible In Plain English)

As we look forward to celebrating the New Year just around the corner, let us remember to continue living in wholehearted devotion to Him, never looking back, and pressing on into the future.  Let us carry out the tasks He has placed before us and continue to grow in the love of Christ.

Linda A. Knowles

The Lord Cares For You…

Your Healer Hears You

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

Remember GOD is with you…

You are not alone.
The Lord Your God has not left you,
and He has not forsaken you.
Your God knows you by name,
And He hears you when you call.

PRAYER
Heavenly Father, You are the God who never leaves me, 
and You are the God who never fails.
I know You are with me
and that You know my every tear, You know my every weakness;
But, Father, I put my hope and my trust in You
because You are faithful,
and Your promises are true.
Help me to remain steadfast,
and constantly remind me of Your promises.
In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

“He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.

My Darkness Turned To Light

Those who leave God and His ways have abandoned the very God who created them.  King David spoke of meditating on the law of the Lord, that the commands of God were his delight.  He pondered on the law of God all day long.  We are to be careful to keep from making a practice of any sin, whatever sin it may be which would easily entangle us.  When we keep ourselves pure and holy before God and walking uprightly before God,  and obeying His commands, that is evidence of our love for God.  If we love God, we’ll obey Him.

He turns our darkness into light.

When we are putting our faith in God, we are trusting in Him, and we can stand on the promises of God.  God is faithful, and He proves Himself to be true.  God is who He says He is, and God does what He says He will do.  His words are certain, and when His Word goes out, His Word does not come back void.  His Word goes out and accomplishes the purposes it was sent forth to do.  We can depend on His Word, and we can delight in His Word.  Anyone in direct opposition to God will find that God is contrary to them.

“If even then you remain hostile toward me and refuse to obey me, I will inflict disaster on you seven times over for your sins.  I will send wild animals that will rob you of your children and destroy your livestock. Your numbers will dwindle, and your roads will be deserted. And if you fail to learn the lesson and continue your hostility toward me, then I myself will be hostile toward you. I will personally strike you with calamity seven times over for your sins.  I will send armies against you to carry out the curse of the covenant you have broken. When you run to your towns for safety, I will send a plague to destroy you there, and you will be handed over to your enemies,” (Leviticus 26:21-25NLT).

God opposes those who are proud and haughty, but He gives grace to the humble and those who truly delight in Him and His ways.

PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are my Light and my Salvation.  You have turned my darkness to light.  Just as You are a light for me, be the Light for those who are discouraged and fill them with the strength and boldness they need that only comes from You.  I ask that You be my Guide and instruct me in in the way I should go that I might not fall into any trap set by the enemy of my soul.  Grant me the opportunity to be a light for You in this dark world and give me opportunities to serve You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” -Psalm 37:4NLT

  

Give It All To Jesus

No Slipping And No Falling

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

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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“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

ARISE AND BE STRONG

You are a child of the Most High God, and He has created you with purpose.  He has plans He has designed specifically for you.  As you go through this season, ask Him what He has planned for you.  Seek His counsel and His ways.

If the Lord has laid on your heart to do something and if you have been putting it off, then let me encourage you to rise up and do what God has called you to do.  Do whatever task God has told you to do.

What is stopping you from moving forward into the plans God has for you?  May I encourage you to lay whatever is stopping you before God?  Surrender yourself to God and submit to His will.  Let Him do His work in you, and let Him use you for His glory and to further the Kingdom of God.  Let Him use you to be a blessing to others.

Rise up, Child of the Most High God!  This is not the time to sit back!  Wait on God, and as you wait on Him, do His will.  Obey His Word.  Follow through with whatever God is calling you to do and do whatever He has told you to do.


Heavenly Father, You are the Most High God, and You have created me with purpose and significance.  You have called me according to Your purpose that I might go forth and do Your will, to do the tasks You have called me to do.  Lord, I surrender myself to You, asking You to show Your will and Your way that I might walk into the destiny You have specifically designed for me.  Continue to be my Light and my Guide.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Remember Christ First

Remember in this season and always to keep Christ first.

“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,

and live righteously,


and he will give you everything you need.”

Matthew 6:33(NLT)

Rest In The God of Your Salvation

Have an awesomely blessed day, and remember to take time to sit still and know that He is GOD.

Your Choice: Rebellion or Humility?

“But when the assembly gathered in opposition to Moses and Aaron and turned toward the tent of meeting, suddenly the cloud covered it and the glory of the Lord appeared. Then Moses and Aaron went to the front of the tent of meeting, and the Lord said to Moses, ‘Get away from this assembly so I can put an end to them at once.’ And they fell facedown.” -Numbers 16:42-45(NLT)

Let’s begin with this:  There is absolutely nothing wrong with being ambitious.  The problem is in the motive and intention of that ambition especially when mixed with greed.
Korah, Dathan, and Abiram had seen for themselves the benefits of the Egyptian priesthood -Wealth, position, leadership, prestige, influence in politics, and the like.

Rather than understanding that God Himself chose the Levites, they decided to go against Moses as shown in the account in Numbers 16:1-3(NLT), “One day Korah son of Izhar, a descendant of Kohath son of Levi, conspired with Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth, from the tribe of Reuben. They incited a rebellion against Moses, along with 250 other leaders of the community, all prominent members of the assembly. They united against Moses and Aaron and said, ‘You have gone too far! The whole community of Israel has been set apart by the Lord, and he is with all of us. What right do you have to act as though you are greater than the rest of the Lord’s people?'”

Korah and his followers felt they should be upheld like the Levites.  They wanted the power.  They were greedy and wanted to appoint themselves.  Moses had done nothing wrong.  The Levites had done nothing wrong.  Moses and the Levites were doing the task God had called them to do.  They were doing what God had anointed them to do.  The Levites were responsible for the spiritual leadership and the teaching of God’s laws.  It wasn’t that the Levites and Moses were held above everyone else. They simply were set apart from the rest of the people and were consecrated to God for His service.  God raised them up to positions of leadership for the great nation of Israel.  Korah and his followers did not recognize that.  What they saw was what was in it for them.  They wanted what the Levites had.  They wanted the position Moses had.  They were greedy and failed to realize that God is the One who appoints people to leadership.  Korah and his followers’ greedy ambition was not godly; it was downright evil.

Moses’ ambition was to do what God wanted.  Moses’ ambition was to serve God.  Moses did not have the ambition to control people or lord his leadership over others.  Moses simply was a servant of God, that God called out in order to lead the children of Israel.  He was devoted to God.  Moses’ ambition was a good ambition.

There is no room for greed when you are aservant of the Most High God.

In this passage (Numbers 16:8-11NLT), Korah’s motives are exposed, “Then Moses spoke again to Korah: ‘Now listen, you Levites! Does it seem insignificant to you that the God of Israel has chosen you from among all the community of Israel to be near him so you can serve in the Lord’s Tabernacle and stand before the people to minister to them? Korah, he has already given this special ministry to you and your fellow Levites. Are you now demanding the priesthood as well? The Lord is the one you and your followers are really revolting against! For who is Aaron that you are complaining about him?'”


God doesn’t play games, and His desire is that the Body of Christ understand that all parts are necessary.  We are called to use our gifts and talents.  God has anointed each of us for a particular position or place within the body.  It’s not about us.  It’s about God and where He has put us at this place in time.  We are not to be like Korah and his followers, trying to overthrow others out of their position because we are greedy for power or envy another’s position as leaders.  Leadership is ultimately about servanthood.  Each of God’s children are servants of the Most High God, and we are to conduct ourselves in accordance with the Word of God.

What are your motives for desiring a position of leadership? THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE YOU ARE MODELING FOR WHETHER YOU KNOW IT OR NOT. That point cannot be emphasized enough. What example are you setting for others around you?  You do not have to have the position of pastor or teacher, parent, or some other authoritative position.  There is someone always watching what you say and how you conduct yourself.  This is why it is so important to make sure we are right with God so that those we model for do not stumble because of us.  We must be living what we preach and teach.  We cannot live our lives in a state of rebellion.

Don’t be like Korah and those who followed his example of rebellion.  It didn’t end well for Korah and his followers as recorded in Numbers 16:28-35(NLT), “And Moses said, ‘This is how you will know that the Lord has sent me to do all these things that I have done—for I have not done them on my own. If these men die a natural death, or if nothing unusual happens, then the Lord has not sent me. But if the Lord does something entirely new and the ground opens its mouth and swallows them and all their belongings, and they go down alive into the grave, then you will know that these men have shown contempt for the Lord.’  He had hardly finished speaking the words when the ground suddenly split open beneath them. The earth opened its mouth and swallowed the men, along with their households and all their followers who were standing with them, and everything they owned.  So they went down alive into the grave, along with all their belongings. The earth closed over them, and they all vanished from among the people of Israel.  All the people around them fled when they heard their screams. ‘The earth will swallow us, too!’ they cried.  Then fire blazed forth from the Lord and burned up the 250 men who were offering incense.”


The line has been drawn in the sand.  Will you choose to serve God or will you choose to live in opposition to God?  Might I suggest you choose to serve God and to do so wholeheartedly?  Complacency and indifference toward God is not acceptable nor pleasing in the sight of God.

Live your life to influence others for God.
Don’t let the world influence you.
 

For those who choose to serve God and continue to live for Him, they will live a life of blessing and enjoy true joy and peace that comes from God alone.

Rebellion will only cause you problems, and rebellion will only bring about the consequences of sin which is destruction.   Remember it is not a title or position that elevates you.  When you walk in a spirit of humility before God, God is the One Who will lift you up.  “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time,” (1 Peter 5:6).  

PRAYER Heavenly Father, there is no one like You for You are the Eternal God who reigns in majesty.  My desire is to please You in all that I do and say so that I might be able to influence others for You.  Help me to always remember that there is nothing worth losing my soul for, and help me to stand firm that I don’t let the world influence me.  May I constantly be reminded that You require me to walk humbly before You, to love mercy, and to act justly because that is good.  Father, let me be a beacon of light for You in this dark world.  Teach me Your ways so I might not rebel like Korah and his followers, and let me be able to lead others to You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Linda A. Knowles

Just Stand Firm

stand firm


“Do not be afraid of the nations there, for the Lord your God will fight for you.” -Deuteronomy 3:22(NLT)



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You do not need to be afraid of those who are against you for you have been made more than a conqueror. God is the One who is taking care of all your enemies in accordance with His promises.  He is the One who has made you victorious, has made you and overcomer, and He protects His own.
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Those who are your enemies are the enemies of God because they do not love God, are of this world, and do not know God.  Your enemies are not worth your time or effort.  Remember your time and effort is best spent doing what God wants you to do and focusing on the tasks He has placed before you.
You need only to stand steadfast, be firm, and as you are keeping your hope and trust in God, placing your confidence in Him, He is the One fighting for you.  You will see your enemies begin to fight one another.  Remember your God has promised to fight with and for you.
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Heavenly Father, You are the God of victory, and You have made me victorious.  Thank You for being my Shield and my Defense.  My confidence is securely placed in You, and I know You help me stand against my enemies and that You are the One who fights for me.  With You, O God, I can crush an army and scale a wall for You are the One who has strengthened me.  Continue to help me to stand firm in Your ways as I continue to obey You and keep my eyes fixed on You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Linda A. Knowles

From the Quiet Place…

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.

GNBThe 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.

ROMANSThe 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.

HEBREWSEverything 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.”

 

One Act of Revenge



Later on, during the wheat harvest, Samson took a young goat as a present to his wife. He said, ‘I’m going into my wife’s room to sleep with her,’ but her father wouldn’t let him in.  ‘I truly thought you must hate her,’ her father explained, ‘so I gave her in marriage to your best man. But look, her younger sister is even more beautiful than she is. Marry her instead.’  Samson said, ‘This time I cannot be blamed for everything I am going to do to you Philistines.’ Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails.  Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines.  He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain.  He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.   ‘Who did this?’ the Philistines demanded.   ‘Samson,’ was the reply, ‘because his father-in-law from Timnah gave Samson’s wife to be married to his best man.’  So the Philistines went and got the woman and her father and burned them to death.  ‘Because you did this,’ Samson vowed, ‘I won’t rest until I take my revenge on you!’  So he attacked the Philistines with great fury and killed many of them. Then he went to live in a cave in the rock of Etam.  The Philistines retaliated by setting up camp in Judah and spreading out near the town of Lehi.  The men of Judah asked the Philistines, ‘Why are you attacking us?’  The Philistines replied, ‘We’ve come to capture Samson. We’ve come to pay him back for what he did to us.'” Judges 15:1-11(NLT)



Don’t be like Samson.  He began with one act of revenge and one act of revenge after another occurred.  Letting any emotion control you is dangerous, but in Ephesians 4:26-27(NLT), the Scripture states, And ‘don’t sin by letting anger control you.’  Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” 

Anger, when left unchecked, will play on every other emotion.

One act of revenge done out of anger, spite, and jealousy can cause a ripple effect.  If you get revenge, then the person may retaliate against you due to that person being angry.  Then you will want to seek revenge again if you don’t deal with issues of anger, spite, and jealousy that had the best of you when you initiated the first act of revenge.  Be careful not to sin in your anger.

First, those who have a short fuse make for bad company. Second, jealousy’s apparel doesn’t look good on anyone, and thirdly, why are you acting like you are a child on the playground misbehaving and hurting others out of spite?  

Stop the nonsense, and grow up.



Linda A. Knowles

Peace With God

1 peter 5


“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)



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Peace with God is so important that the ceremonial law for peace offerings is detailed in Leviticus 3.  The peace offering was an expression of gratitude, and it was a way for the people to maintain fellowship with God.  Part of the offering could be eaten by the one who was presenting the offering because it was symbolic of peace with God.
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Peace is a fruit produced in us through the work of the Holy Spirit.  Peace with God comes by having faith in God and His promises.  Peace with God is not cheap, but it comes through a sacrifice of praise and joying in the God of your salvation.  Because of the peace of God, you are able to drink deeply from the well of salvation.  Peace comes from knowing that your enemies cannot prevail against you and that God upholds you with His victorious right hand.  Peace of God comes from waiting upon the Lord, fully trusting in Him.  As you wait on Him, He will renew your strength, and you will mount up with wings like eagles.  This is the kind of peace you can experience and should be experiencing as a child of God.  Remember no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, no matter how many enemies you have surrounding you, you must know fully that God has established His relationship with you.  Because God has fully established His relationship with you, you have peace with God.
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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.



Linda A. Knowles

When You Curse The Lord’s Anointed

proverbs
“As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him.  ‘Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!’ he shouted at David. ‘The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!’ ‘Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?’ Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. ‘Let me go over and cut off his head!’ ‘No!’ the king said. Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?’ Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, ‘My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.’ So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David.” -2 Samuel 16:5-13(NLT)
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So there’s King David minding his own business when a man comes charging at him, not just any man though but a man named Shimei who was from the same clan as King Saul and his family.  He was angry and did not control the words of his mouth as he was breathing curses against King David.  Shimei showed no respect for King David who was the Lord’s Anointed, as he let a steady stream of curses flow from his mouth toward King David.  However, it wasn’t enough for him to curse out King David.  Adding insult to injury, Shimei followed them, still cursing the King, and now throwing stones and dirt at King David.
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King David had nothing to do with King Saul’s death so Shimei’s sinful attitude and sinful behavior was completely unjustifiable, but rather than exercising his right as a king, King David turned down Abishai’s offer to execute Shimei and tolerated the abuse because, “If the LORD has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”
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Shimei was going against God’s civil law found in Exodus 22:28, “Do not dishonor God or curse any of your rulers.”  Shimei was sinning in the eyes of God by cursing King David and by throwing stones and dirt at him.  By doing this, Shimei was flying in the face of the Lord’s Anointed One.  God chose King David, not man.
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Facing unjustifiable criticism is emotionally draining and trying, especially when having to maintain your composure. If you are facing criticism that is unjustified, don’t get revenge.  God knows what you are facing, and if you are in the right, God will vindicate you.  Just keep doing what God wants you to do without compromising and keep obeying Him and His Word.
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“Do not touch My anointed ones; do no harm to My prophets,” (Psalm 105:15BSB).  Let’s talk about this verse.  If you are a child of God, you are God’s chosen one whether you are in a position of leadership or not because you are anointed by the Holy Spirit, empowered to live for the Lord.  Even Abimelech recognized Abraham and Sarah, and he said (Genesis 26:11BSB), “Whoever harms this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”  Like King David, Abraham and Sarah were God’s chosen ones.  Let’s go further.  Each land has governmental officials, rulers, and authority.  If you don’t agree with their policies, that’s all right.  You don’t have to agree, but you do have to understand for whatever reason, God has those people in place.  You don’t get to threaten death against them or cause them bodily harm.  They have been put in the positions they are in for a reason.  As a citizen of the nation you live in, you need to obey the authority of the land and pray for your leaders in government.  Also you need to pray for your church leadership, God has them in the positions they are in because God has them there for a reason as well.  Those who are children of God, you are anointed, and the Lord protects and defends His own.  “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.  Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity,” (1 Timothy 2:1-2NLT) and “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they watch over your souls as those who must give an account. To this end, allow them to lead with joy and not with grief, for that would be of no advantage to you,” (Hebrews 13:17BSB).
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It’s important to note, that does not mean you obey authority or leadership if they tell you to go against the Word of God.  God is to be obeyed first and foremost, and we are never to go against the Word of God.  Show honor and respect to whom honor and respect is due.  When you show honor and respect, God will bless you.
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Do NOT be like Shimei and act out against authority and leadership. Things did not end well for Shimei.
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In 2 Samuel 19:18-23, King David returned back as king after Absalom’s death.  Shimei fell down before King David, pleading for forgiveness and for King David to forget the terrible things Shimei had said and done to him.  Shimei was pleading for forgiveness because he was trying to save his own life.  However, King David showed him mercy because it was a day of celebration and not a day of execution, and again, King David turned down Abishai’s advice.  King David turned to Shimei, “Your life will be spared.”  
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King David’s vow to spare Shimei’s life did not make Shimei innocent.  King David simply showed mercy on a day that was for celebration.  Shimei’s life was spared until King Solomon took over in 1 Kings 2:8-9.  King David told his son, King Solomon about Shimei.  He told King Solomon that he was very wise and would know how to arrange a bloody death for Shimei, “The king also said to Shimei, ‘You certainly remember all the wicked things you did to my father, David. May the Lord now bring that evil on your own head. But may I, King Solomon, receive the Lord’s blessings, and may one of David’s descendants always sit on this throne in the presence of the Lord.’ Then, at the king’s command, Benaiah son of Jehoiada took Shimei outside and killed him,” (1 Kings 2:44-46NLT).
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Remember there are consequences for touching the Lord’s Anointed and doing His prophets harm.  Those who are anointed are the children of God.  Is it any wonder why we are told that life and death are in the power of the tongue.  When you speak against God’s chosen people (His Anointed) and those whom God has ordained for leadership positions and those in positions of authority, you will reap what you sow.  If you are going to be like Shimei breathing curses against those in authority and leadership, your curses are going to come back at you.  God is going to protect His chosen one because He has ordered their steps.  King David lived on. Shimei’s curses didn’t hurt King David.  God was for and protected King David.  However, Shimei paid the consequences for abusing him, bringing physical harm to him, and cursing him.  In the end, Shimei was executed for his crimes he committed against the Lord’s Anointed.
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Let’s us take heed and follow the Word of God when the Word of God tells us in Exodus 22:28, “Do not dishonor God or curse any of your rulers.”  Pray for your government. Pray for those in authority.  Pray for your church leaders, ministry directors, and pastors.  Their job is not easy, and they are responsible before God to carry out the tasks that have been set before them.  Pray for the Lord’s will to be done in their lives and that the Lord would have His way.  Pray God gives them wisdom.
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PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are the God of all Wisdom.  You are the One who has ordered my steps.  Lord, I thank You for the leadership and the authority You have provided me with.  Help me to remember that those in authority and leadership have been ordained by and placed in their positions by You.  I ask that You fill my mouth with Your words, O God, that I might speak life and not death, that I might speak blessing and not curses.  Help me to live according to Your Word so I become a blessing to those around me as well as those who are in authority over me.  Fill my leaders with wisdom and strength so they may be able to complete the tasks before them.  Show me ways to bless them.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles

Are You Weak or Strong In Obedience?

king


“Finally, all the elders of Israel met at Ramah to discuss the matter with Samuel. ‘Look,’ they told him, ‘you are now old, and your sons are not like you. Give us a king to judge us like all the other nations have,'” (1 Samuel 8:4-5NLT).


Israel was never meant to be like the other nations.  Israel had a set of laws from the hands of God and God had chosen them as His very own, specifically set aside to do the work had for them to do, set apart as a holy nation.  Israel was not to be like the other nations, and we can see this throughout the entirety of the Old Testament.
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In this passage, Samuel is getting counsel from the Lord.  The Lord God was to be their King, but they pushed God aside and wanted a mortal man as their king so they could be like all the other nations.  So God had this to say (1 Samuel 8:7-9NLT), “‘Do everything they say to you,’ the Lord replied, ‘for they are rejecting me, not you. They don’t want me to be their king any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually abandoned me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about the way a king will reign over them.'” 
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Israel’s sin can be put into one word:  DISOBEDIENCE.
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Understand Saul had already been chosen by God to be their king.  God knew what they were going to do, that they were going to insist on getting their way, and Samuel did tell them what having a human king would be like.  Saul ended up being their king.  However, their problems still continued just under a human king.  What was Israel’s sin that the problems still continued only under another administration?  DISOBEDIENCE.  They were defiant towards God.  They continually disobeyed, and they had no regard for God or His laws.  Because of their disobedience, their problem worsened, and they ended up getting paid the wages of the sins they had committed.
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Who is your king?  Are you serving God or yourself?
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If you are not obeying God and you are defiant towards God continually, you are weak because you are relying on self and dependent on your own will.  God will not force Himself on you.  If you love God, you will obey Him.


REFLECTION: “Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man loves me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him,” (John 14:23KJV).  
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As a child of God, you are made holy, set apart, and to live by the standards God has set.  As a child of God, you do not live as the world does, and you are not to live as the world dictates.  Remember there is hope for those who choose to repent and turn from their wicked ways.  When you are obeying God and truly loving Him, blessings will follow as you enjoy a right relationship with the Father.  If you want God to rule and reign in your life and you want God to guide your family and your personal life but are living by the world’s standards, then you are not truly obeying God nor are you honoring Him.  Honoring and obeying God must be a part of every area of your life, not just in the areas you want.  Are you truly obeying God, honoring Him in all you do? If you are not truly obeying God and honoring Him in all you do, what is holding you back?  


PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are the God of faithfulness, and You expect no less from those who are Your children.  Father, help me not to be like Israel.  I am sorry for disobeying You.  Please forgive me, and renew a right spirit within me.  I surrender myself into Your hands. I ask that You teach me how to honor You and ask You to instruct me in Your ways.  Discipline me, O Lord, when I sin.  Lead me on Your paths of righteousness that I may become more like You. Show me Your ways, and reveal Yourself to me that I might know You more and more.  In Jesus’s Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles



“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4(ESV)