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.”

 

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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

Don’t Forfeit Your Blessing By Grudgingly Obeying God.

LOVE


Having God’s favor upon your life is priceless.  You cannot put a price on His favor because it is so costly, and yet God lavishes His favor upon His true children because He is the God of Goodness.  He gives good things to His children, but did you know that if you grudgingly obey you can forfeit the blessings/rewards He has for you?  Let me explain this way:  The Word of God states, in Deuteronomy 6:7, “Love the LORD Your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your strength.”  Note the words ALL of your heart and ALL of your soul, and ALL of your strength.  ALL of your being must desire to do the task you are doing for God.  ALL of your being must be upright and pure before God while you are obeying Him.


IT REALLY IS A MATTER OF THE HEART.


“Amaziah did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.”

2 Chronicles 25:2(NLT)


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Amaziah did what was pleasing to God, but he did so reluctantly.  He had paid for troops to come from Israel to help him go up against Edom when a man of God came to Amaziah and told him God would not give him victory if Amaziah used the troops from Israel no matter how well he did at fighting.  Amaziah’s heart attitude was not blameless.  He complained about the money he had paid, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?”  God had sent him a warning through the man of God in order to let Amaziah know God was not with the troops of Israel, and instead of giving thanks to God for the warning or thanking the man of God for giving him the message God had for him, Amaziah complained and said, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?”  The man of God told him, “The LORD is able to give you much more than this.”  He reluctantly obeyed God, taking the warning the man of God had just given him, and he discharged the Israeli troops

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Amaziah may have done what was right and obeyed, but in his heart, he was grudgingly compliant.  By the way, Amaziah did go into battle and win. After having the victory in the battle, he had taken the idols of the people of Seir and he set the idols up as his own gods and bowed down before them, offering sacrifices to them.  By worshiping these idols, Amaziah angered God.  When you are obeying God halfheartedly, you are opening the door to other sins.  Amaziah may have done what was right, but in obeying God halfheartedly, it was a slippery slope and his heart led him right into idolatry.  
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Are you obeying God with ALL your heart?  Have you ever done something God told you to do and you did it reluctantly simply because God told you to?  When we do not put our whole heart into obeying God and doing His Will, then we will find ourselves exhibiting ungodly behavior such as complaining about having to do His Will or complaining about His perfect timing.  We can find ourselves exhibiting anger because when we do God’s will halfheartedly, we resent having to obey Him.
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Obeying God is not just about doing what is right.  It’s about loving God.  How you obey God and how you do what He tells you to do matters.  Do you truly love Him with your WHOLE heart?  Will you love Him with your WHOLE heart as you obey Him and do His will?
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Don’t Forfeit Your Blessing By Grudgingly Obeying God.



PRAYER Sovereign LORD and KING, You are worthy of my best, not my leftovers.  You, O God, have been very good to me.  Thank You for all You have done in my life, for providing for me, and for being my protection.  I’m sorry for obeying You halfheartedly and for being reluctant in carrying out the tasks You have set before me.  Forgive me for these sinful attitudes of the heart.  Forgive me, Father, for offending You, and I ask that You cleanse me of these sins as only You can do.  I bow my heart in surrender to You and ask that You take control, giving me new desires and attitudes pleasing to You.  I ask that You, O God, rule and reign in me.  Show me what I need to change in my life and what I need to get rid of.  Take me along Your paths of righteous because what You approve of and have to say is the only thing that matters.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles


“Love the LORD Your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your strength.” -Deuteronomy 6:7(NLT)

For His Glory, Not Your Own.

ELDERLY WOMAN


“Watch out! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others, for you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven.” -Matthew 6:1(NLT)



This Bible verse is very clear:  We are to do good for His glory, not our own.

What we do in the way of good deeds, we do out of our love for God and out of our lives lived out in faith to God.  “Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired by others” simply means we are not to do good deeds to receive the applause and approval of men. If we do good deeds to be seen, to receive the applause and approval of men, that is the only reward we will receive, and then, we lose the reward from God.  Knowing this, let us resolve to do everything for the glory of God to be seen of Him, to seek His approval.  In pleasing God and bringing glory to Him, you will receive the blessing He has for you.

The Word of God, in Galatians 6:14(NLT), states, “As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died.”  If our boast is to be in anything, then our boast should be in the cross, not in what we do.



PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are my God, and I will put my hope and my trust in You.  My faith is in You alone.  You are the only One whose approval I need to seek and the only One I need to please.  Father, help me to always remember that my boast is to be in the cross of Jesus Christ, not in anything I do, and when I do good deeds, I am to do those good works for Your glory.  I ask that You let me be a blessing to others and to continue using me for Your glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope Always

PROVERBS 28


There is hope for the believer and for the sinner who has just repented and turned from their wicked ways.  Does the Lord reject the wicked?  Yes, He does as show to us in Psalm 1:4-5, “But not the wicked!  They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.  They will be condemned at the time of judgment.  Sinners will have no place among the godly.” For the sinner who responds to the call of God, who is truly remorseful for their transgressions, that comes humbly before God and calls on the name of the Lord, he/she is saved, and that one is now a believer and can have full assurance he/she belongs to God and will have eternal life. “For ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved,'” (Romans 10:13NLT).

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If you want to be more fruitful, then delight yourself in the Lord.  The more you take delight in God, the more you will produce the fruit of the Spirit.  To delight yourself in the Lord is to take joy in the presence of God and taking pleasure in obeying God and walking in His ways.  
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The purpose of studying and knowing the Word of God is to be able to follow God closely.  When you read His Word and study His Word, you will learn the nature and character of God as well as being able to know the attributes of God.  One cannot know the commands and expectations of God unless they are steadfast in their studying of the Word of God.
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REFLECTION “Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires,” (2 Peter 3:3ESV).  To follow the counsel of the wicked is foolish.  Never join in with scoffers and mockers because, in the end, God will have the last say.  God will not be mocked.  True friends will help you grow closer to God, and they will not hold you back.  Mockers and scoffers do NOT love God, and do NOT care about the things of God and will have their place in Hell.  However, You, Children of the Most High God, have been given eternal life and will be with Your Heavenly Father in Heaven for all eternity.

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PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the Giver of Eternal Life, and You, O God, are the God of Salvation.  There is no one who compares to You for You are the Everlasting God, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  Thank You for choosing me, for saving me.  Lord, teach me and show me what I need to do to gain eternal life.  Teach me Your commands and how to continually delight myself in You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Linda A. Knowles


“Do not fret over doers of evil; do not envy those who do wrong.  For they wither quickly like grass and wilt like tender plants. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and He will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him, and He will do it.  He will bring forth your righteousness like the dawn, your justice like the noonday sun.  Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; fret not when men prosper in their ways, when they carry out wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and abandon wrath; do not fret—it can only bring harm. For the evildoers will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land,” (Psalm 37:1-9BSB)

 

Truth Will Protect You

LYING


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“May integrity and honesty protect me,
for I put my hope in you.”
Psalm 25:21(NLT)
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Since God is the God of Truth, He expects His children to be truthful.  If you lie and you get caught in that lie, you lose your integrity.  Integrity once lost is very difficult to get back and that’s if you get it back at all.  How would anyone trust you again if you choose to lie instead of telling the truth?  Since God says in His Word, “Do not lie,” why would you deliberately disobey what God says in His Word?  The truth will always protect you because the truth will stand the test of time.  The problem is when one chooses to lie.  Lies are always exposed.  When you do your part in telling the truth, God sees your faithful obedience to Him and His Word, and God will protect you.
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REFLECTION:  “No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced, but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others,” (Psalm 25:3NLT).  Disgrace will always come to those who choose to practice sin.  Maintain your integrity by preserving truth, by speaking truth.  Don’t set out to lie or deceive others.  Prove yourself to be a trustworthy person.  Lies and deceit will always destroy unity and cause division amongst the children of God.
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Integrity and honesty are your friends.  When you are honest, you will say that the Lord is right and that you shall walk in His ways.  When you have integrity, you shall consistently walk in His ways and set your face like stone determined to do His will and obey Him.  Those who lie and deceive are disgraced because their sins of lying and deceit have brought them disgrace.  Those who trust in the Lord and put their hope in Him will not be disgraced.  God will preserve those who are faithful and live in truth.
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PRAYER:  Heavenly Father, You are the God who expects faithful obedience to You and to Your Word.  You expect Your children to speak the truth.  Lord, help me to walk upright before You with a spirit of humility and to always walk in truth.  Teach me how to maintain my integrity, and show me how to walk in holiness as You are holy.  May Your truth be my shield and my guard.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Linda A. Knowles
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“Don’t lie to each other,

for you have stripped off
your old sinful nature
and all its wicked deeds.”
-Colossians 3:9(NLT)

BEFORE You Turn Your Life Into A Mess



King



“Then all of Adonijah’s guests jumped up in panic from the banquet table and quickly scattered. Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he rushed to the sacred tent and grabbed on to the horns of the altar.  Word soon reached Solomon that Adonijah had seized the horns of the altar in fear, and that he was pleading, ‘Let King Solomon swear today that he will not kill me!'” -1 Kings 1:49-51

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King David was very old, unable to keep warm, and Abishag was taking care of him.  It was also around this time, Adonijah had taken it upon himself to begin boasting, “I will make myself king!”  Making a claim to the throne was an act of treason and was never taken lightly.  Adonijah got greedy, craving the power and wealth, and Kingship, and he made himself king when it was not his place to do so nor did he have the authority to do so.  Adonijah gathered together chariots, charioteers, and recruited 50 men to run in front of him (1 Kings 1:5). Adonijah then went further by having the best animals sacrificed, inviting his brothers, the other sons of King David, and all of the royal officials throughout Judah.  Adonijah had two people helping him become king as shown in 1 Kings 1:7-8(NLT), “Adonijah took Joab son of Zeruiah and Abiathar the priest into his confidence, and they agreed to help him become king. But Zadok the priest, Benaiah son of Jehoiada, Nathan the prophet, Shimei, Rei, and David’s personal bodyguard refused to support Adonijah.”
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Adonijah did things HIS way, not God’s way.
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Can you understand the magnitude of the disaster Adonijah’s life was about to become? He commits an act of treason by claiming the throne which did not belong to him, betraying his own father.  He then proclaims and declares himself as king, going against King David who was still on the throne, appointing himself.  Then he finalizes it with a celebration.  However, Adonijah’s evil schemes were exposed, and it would cost him his life unless the King decided to have mercy on him.
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Nathan the Prophet went before King David when Bathsheba told him what was going on.  Adonijah’s act of treason had been found out and reported to King David who then immediately made his decree (1 Kings 1:33-35), “the king said to them, ‘Take Solomon and my officials down to Gihon Spring. Solomon is to ride on my own mule. There Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet are to anoint him king over Israel. Blow the ram’s horn and shout, ‘Long live King Solomon!’ Then escort him back here, and he will sit on my throne. He will succeed me as king, for I have appointed him to be ruler over Israel and Judah.”
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Treason was punishable by death.  Simply put, by Adonijah’s foolishness in having to do things his way because his heart was not pure before God, he could now be put to death for treason.  He may have been King David’s son, but being King David’s son did not exempt him from the death penalty for the act of treason. 
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Had Adonijah sought God’s counsel before acting out and speaking prematurely, he could have avoided the disaster he made out of his life.
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REFLECTION:  We, at times, do things that we think we will not be caught doing, but that’s not the case. God sees everything we do and hears everything we say. There is no escaping His presence. Eventually, what is done in the dark comes into the light. He is the God who sees all, and everything is exposed before Him.

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“Then all of Adonijah’s guests jumped up in panic from the banquet table and quickly scattered. Adonijah was afraid of Solomon, so he rushed to the sacred tent and grabbed on to the horns of the altar. Word soon reached Solomon that Adonijah had seized the horns of the altar in fear, and that he was pleading, ‘Let King Solomon swear today that he will not kill me!’ Solomon replied, ‘If he proves himself to be loyal, not a hair on his head will be touched. But if he makes trouble, he will die.’ So King Solomon summoned Adonijah, and they brought him down from the altar. He came and bowed respectfully before King Solomon, who dismissed him, saying, ‘Go on home,'” (1 Kings 1:49-53NLT).
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Solomon had granted mercy by allowing Adonijah, giving him a reprieve by saying, “If he proves himself to be loyal, not a hair on his head will be touched.  But if he makes trouble, he will die.” Adonijah was given a chance to make things right.  Unfortunately, Adonijah fashioned another evil plot.  He committed another act of treason by requesting to have Abishag as his wife.  To ask for the King’s concubine was the equivalent to making claims to the throne (1 Kings 2:19-22).
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Adonijah had not learned his lesson the first time, and his sin made him pay far more than he ever expected to pay, “Then King Solomon made a vow before the Lord: ‘May God strike me and even kill me if Adonijah has not sealed his fate with this request. The Lord has confirmed me and placed me on the throne of my father, David; he has established my dynasty as he promised. So as surely as the Lord lives, Adonijah will die this very day!’ So King Solomon ordered Benaiah son of Jehoiada to execute him, and Adonijah was put to death,” (1 Kings 2:23-25).
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Grab on to the horns of the altar before going forward with your plans before you turn your life into a mess.  Seek God and consult God first.  Get His counsel.  Take a lesson from Adonijah’s evil scheme.  He didn’t grab on to the horns of the altar UNTIL he knew he had been caught.  Sometimes, a person has to get caught in the act before he/she gives up his/her sin.  Sometimes, a person has to get caught before he/she comes clean.  Just go before God and seek His face where you can find mercy.  Seek out God’s perfect will, His ways, and His counsel.  Consider what God wants rather than what you want.  When you do things your way, you will not succeed.  When you do things God’s way, you will be blessed, successful in your ways, and you will have peace of mind.  Before you go off on your own and do things your way, ask God what He wants you to do and how to do it.  Do not wait until after you’ve done things your way and created a disaster.
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PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the God of All Wisdom and the God of All Truth.  I ask that You always help me to think before I act and speak.  Give me the understanding and insight to always look at the long-term consequences of my actions.  Empower me with the Spirit of the Living God to walk uprightly before You with a pure heart that I might bring honor to Your name.  Let me seek You out for Your counsel and give me your words to devour, guiding me in Your righteousness.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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Linda A. Knowles



“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” –Proverbs 4:23