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

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“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

Satisfaction In GOD Alone

though none go with me


“The LORD will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.” -Proverbs 10:3 (NLT)



When you trust GOD, you do not need to worry.  You have no reason to because the LORD your GOD takes care of you and He is the One who meets every need you have and sees the deepest desires of your heart.  The Word of GOD says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need,” (Matthew 6:33 NLT).  When you are delighting yourself in the LORD by loving Him with all your heart and following Him wholeheartedly, you are blessed of the LORD.

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Satisfaction cannot be found in anything or anyone else.  Satisfaction can only be found in GOD.  Those who depend on GOD and rely upon GOD alone will always find themselves satisfied.  Because of GOD, through CHRIST, you have been made complete, made whole, which means you have all you need in GOD.  He is your All In All.
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The other side of that:  GOD does not satisfy the wicked.  The ungodly are self-reliant, do not have reverence for GOD, and live for themselves.  Living in disobedience to GOD and His ways and showing disdain toward GOD and His Word brings destruction.  Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame; but those who are faithless without cause will be disgraced.” (Psalm 25:3 BSB).
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For all who are led by the Spirit of GOD are children of GOD.  The Spirit of the Living GOD (Holy Spirit) has been given to you to guide and lead you into all truth.  He is your Comforter, residing in you, a child of the Most High GOD, “The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him,” (Ephesians 1:14 NLT).
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REFLECTION Are you finding satisfaction in GOD or do you look to other things to satisfy you?  Do you truly understand that satisfaction is found in GOD alone and He is the only One who can satisfy your every need and longing?  “Fear the Lord, you his godly people, for those who fear him will have all they need. Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing,” (Psalm 34:9-10 NLT).  Having reverence for GOD and the things of GOD begins first with the fear of the LORD.  To fear GOD is to have deep respect for Him. The deepest need every person has is his/her spiritual need for GOD. The Word of GOD says, Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” To be poor in spirit is to recognize your need for GOD and your need for the Savior.  When you fear the LORD, you have wisdom because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom.  


PRAYER Heavenly Father, You are the Only One Who Can Satisfy the deepest longing of my heart and soul.  You are the Only One able to breathe life into me.  Draw near to me as I draw near to You, and let me learn true reverence and holiness in Your presence.  With joy, let me drink deeply from the Well of Salvation as I cling to You and Your truth.  Fill me with Your Holy Spirit that I might be able to discern what is pleasing to You and what is not pleasing to You.  Guide me into all truth, and open my eyes to see what You want to show me and open my ears to hear You speak clearly.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.



Linda A. Knowles



You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.  I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.  Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you.  I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands.  I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” –Psalm 63:1-5

Times of Desperation Are The Best



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You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?”  Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations.  *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.


“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)

Are these times pleasant when we are going through them?  NO.  However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM.  That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well…  in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations.  *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD.  However, they all went through trying times.  Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty.  Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in.  GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them.  Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations.   Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).  

REFLECTION “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6).  You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD.  Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times.  Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you.  Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you.  Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion.  Without GOD, you can do nothing.  With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life.  No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible.  Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace.  Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Linda A. Knowles

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.”  -Isaiah 50:10

Wisdom Fills Your Heart With Joy

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True wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord, and it is produced in you by the work and power of the Holy Spirit.  Wisdom comes from God alone and is pure and holy, filled with insight and understanding, and the wise are proven by the choices they make. “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will fill you with joy,” (Proverbs 2:10 NLT). Joy fills the heart of the one who chooses wisdom and knowledge, which come from God alone.  Gaining wisdom comes as you walk closely with God, remaining in right relationship with Him and being in tune with the Holy Spirit.  The Lord knows what lies ahead of you, and He will show you what to do and which path to take.  “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere,” (James 3:17 NLT).  Always cling to God, The Giver of all Wisdom, because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

MEDITATION:  “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding,” (Proverbs 9:10 NASB).  Wisdom constantly calls out and is available to all who ask; it will help you discern right and wrong.  The Holy Spirit will lead you into ALL truth, and He will always point you to Christ and His ways and His teachings.  

PRAYER Heavenly Father, You generously give wisdom to all who cry out for wisdom.  You, O God, are the Eternal God, and fear of You is the beginning of wisdom.  Thank You for allowing me to hear wisdom calling out.  Fill me with Your power and might and with Your Holy Spirit so I can have insight and get understanding so I might learn discernment.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Linda A. Knowles

Never Take His Sacrifice Frivolously

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Jesus is the Savior, and if we truly love Him, we will obey Him.  He is our LORD and our GOD.   We are never to treat His sacrifice frivolously as Christ is the only means of salvation provided for us, and never take His mercy and grace for granted.  He came here to earth as GOD in the flesh and dwelt among us.  He is able to empathize with our weakness for He was tempted in every way yet He was perfect.  His power is made perfect in weakness, and His grace is more than sufficient, and He is with you always, and HE is your strength.

“Then Jesus told her, ‘I Am the Messiah!'” (John 4:26 NLT)

“If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15 KJV)

“Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” (John 20:28 ESV)

“Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are their ancestors, and Christ himself was an Israelite as far as his human nature is concerned. And he is God, the one who rules over everything and is worthy of eternal praise! Amen.” (Romans 9:5 NLT)

“Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.'” (John 1:51 NLT)

“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6:1-2 ESV)

“The one practicing sin is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. For this reason the Son of God was revealed, so that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 BLB)

“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 KJV)

“This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin.  So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” (Hebrews 4:15-16 NLT)

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9 NASB)

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:20 KJV)

“The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.” (Exodus 15:2 ESV)

“He safeguards the steps of his faithful ones, but wicked people are silenced in darkness because humans cannot succeed by their own strength.” (1 Samuel 2:9 GW)

My Dwelling Place

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In Christ, we find rest, a place of quietness, where we can commune with Him.

Christ gave an invitation and command when He said Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

There is no one like Jesus.  He is the First and the Last (Revelation 1:17), the Beginning and the End (Revelation 22:13), the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 22:13), The Great Shepherd (Hebrews 13:20), The Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4, 1 Peter 2:4), the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9, 7:22; Psalm 90:2, Revelation 1:14-15), Redeemer (Luke 1:68, Colossians 1:13-14), Savior (Luke 1:47, Ephesians 1:7), Friend (John 15:15).  Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20, 1 Peter 2:6), Deliverer (1 Timothy 2:3), and is the One Who Calms the Seas (Mark 4:35-41), the One Who Can Be Fully Trusted (Luke 12:22-28).  He is the Living Word (John 1:14), the Faithful and True Witness (Revelation 3:14), and is King of kings, Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16); He is the Great I Am (John 8:58).  He is Emmanuel God With Us (Matthew 1:23), Mighty God (John 20:28), Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6), and Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6);  He is All in All (John 4:24, 6:35; 1 Corinthians 8:6, 15:28).

His perfect love expels all fear (1 John 4:18) because He has not given us a spirit of fear but of love and of power and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  Christ bears our sorrows (1 Peter 2:24), our illnesses (Matthew 8:17), and our problems (1 Peter 5:7, Philippians 4:6-7).  He takes joy with us when we experience good times (Zephaniah 3:17).  He is our Cleft in the Rock when trouble comes (1 Kings 19:9-18, Psalm 91:1).

Christ was the perfect sacrifice (1 John 2:2), the Lamb of God who was slain at Calvary (John 1:29), risen from the dead (Luke 24:1-12, 1 Corinthians 15:20).  He is Victorious… (1 Corinthians 15:57), conquered Death (Romans 6:9, Hebrews 2:14)), Hell (Revelation 6:8), and the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54-55), and HE IS ALIVE (Luke 24:5)!  He is the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25), The Living One (Revelation 2:8), and He Who holds the keys of hell and death (Revelation 1:18).

How can we not praise Him?  He is our Burden Bearer (Matthew 11:28-30), Yokebreaker (John 8:34-36), and is the Giver of Joy (Romans 5:1-5).  He is our Guide, our Hope (Titus 2:13), our Blessed Assurance (1 John 5:13).  Because He is the Truth, He sets us free (John 8:31-32).  Shouldn’t the fruit of our lips be praise and thanksgiving to Him?  He is the One Who Reigns on High (1 Timothy 6:16, Revelation 11:15), sits at the Right Hand of the Father (Mark 16:19, Luke 22:69), and has given us all we need to sustain us (2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Peter 1:3).

Sing out in praise and glorify His name.  The Lord has done much for us, and He is worthy of all glory, all honor, and all praise;  And He, The Lord, is our banner, and His banner over us is love.

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The GOD Over All Carries You

ISAIAH 49vs1516

By HIS love and HIS grace which is all-sufficient, you are sustained and you are engraved in the palm of HIS hand. He has not forgotten you. Behold your GOD who is mighty. HIS recompense is before HIM. HE, as a loving Shepherd, tends to HIS flock, and HE is carrying you.

“Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.” -Isaiah 40:9-11

 

 

Set Your Face Like Flint Determined To Do His Will!

Romans 8.31NEVER apologize for obeying what God has told you to do (“Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant.” -Galatians 1:10 and “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8).

Always take your complaints and problems to the Lord because He is the one who can guide your steps and give your soul rest (“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 and “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 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.”).

Keep your mind fixed on the things of God because He keeps you in perfect peace (“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.” -Isaiah 26:3-4).

It doesn’t matter what any man or woman says about you, what matters is what God has to say about what you do and say, and it’s more important for you to know God (“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts'” -Isaiah 55:8-9 and “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.” -Hosea 6:6).

WHAT MATTERS MOST is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5) and “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14).