JUST PRAISE HIM

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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.”

 

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

Are You Weak or Strong In Obedience?

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“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)

Don’t Forfeit Your Blessing By Grudgingly Obeying God.

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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)