REDEEMING THE TITHE

Redeeming the Tithe – It’s Holy to the Lord
Foundation Scriptures: Leviticus 27 verses 30 – 34

And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. 31 And if a man wants to redeem any of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. 32 And all the tithe of the herd or of the flock, whatever passes under the herdsman’s staff [by means of which each tenth animal as it passes through a small door is selected and marked], the tenth shall be holy to the Lord. 33 The man shall not examine whether the animal is good or bad nor shall he exchange it. If he does exchange it, then both it and the animal substituted for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. 34 These are the commandments which the Lord commanded Moses on Mount Sinai for the Israelites.  Leviticus 27:30-34 AMP

In the book of Leviticus, Father God laid out what was required of the children of Israel, concerning tithes and offerings. One of the things they were required to do was to bring ALL the tithe of ALL their increase. They were not allowed to do two-percent, here and there, as they chose. It did not matter what they did for a living, they were to bring one whole tenth of their profits to the Lord. The tithe is holy – holy to the Lord. We must treat it as something holy – something that belongs, not to us, but to the Lord. The tithe is not something to be given, or not given, at our discretion. Bringing the tithe is an act of obedience and submission to God.

People are always trying to argue with God and man over the tithe and find a reason not to do it. Refusing to tithe is an act of rebellion, whichever way you look at it. The Bible uses the word “pay”, not “give”, in reference to the tithe. When you get the revelation that the tithe already does not belong to YOU, but to God, then you will be more apt to do what is right and pay your tithes. If this truth offends you, then realize that you have allowed the devil to lie to you. The devil definitely does not want you to tithe! Your disobedience cuts you off from God’s protection, places you in enemy territory, and gives Satan prime opportunity to wreak havoc in your life and finances. Make a choice, once and for all, to honor God and to reject the enemy’s manipulation and devastation from off of your life.

Something that is very interesting to note, here in Leviticus, concerning the tithe: the Lord gave them a way to redeem the tithe. This meant that if someone had skipped out on the tithe they could come back to the Lord and they redeem it by adding one fifth to their tithe. It was a “back-tithe”. For example: Let’s say that someone worked for a company and, for whatever reason, they were not paid for several months and then that company suddenly paid them up-to-date. The company owed them “back-pay” and would have to catch it all up.

How much more if we skipped out on our tithe for several months? How do we make it up? We add one fifth to it. Let’s say that our tithe was $300 and that we had skipped out three months. This means that we were behind on our tithes by $900 and, in order to catch up, not only should we catch up on our tithe, but, according to the scripture, we should add one fifth. One fifth would be $45, so to catch up we would then pay $945.

When we first came to America, in 1987, some pollsters claimed that 20% of born-again believers paid their tithes. However, most recently, they say that only 6% pay tithes. Can you imagine what the loss to the kingdom of God is on a monthly basis? Literally billions of dollars, that could have been used for the Gospel, are now lost. The needed finances don’t find their way into the Kingdom of God, but people are spending their money on themselves and their every desire. These unfaithful, disobedient Christians don’t realize that they are shooting themselves in the foot. They are missing out on huge blessings from God, because of their rebellion against the Word of God! Only at the judgment seat, will many see the reality of what giving to God was all about and how holy the tithe is to the Lord.

I want to encourage you to look at your life and take stock. Are you really totally committed to God? Are you committed to God in your finances? The tithe is only 10%! The government and your credit card company take much more than that! Why would anyone even think of not bringing the tithe to the Lord? It is His! Remember that He is the one that gives you the strength to get up every morning and to be able to do what you do to earn a living. Why would you not honor him every pay period?

Now, I am not suggesting that you have to work out what you owe as years of back-tithe and add one fifth, but I am suggesting that you should definitely repent and tell the Lord, “I am sorry – from this day onward I will tithe.” Do what the Holy Spirit tells you to do so that you can have a clear conscience before the Lord. Then start tithing, and don’t stop, until the day that the Jesus comes to take you home!

Prayer and Confession:
Lord, You have promised to bless and provide for me, and to rebuke the devourer on my behalf as I commit my tithe to You. From this day, until the day I see You face-to-face, I will honor You with my tithe – with one tenth of all my income.

The Enemy Is Looking for the Key

And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee,

wherein thy great strength lieth and wherewith thou

mightest be bound to afflict thee.

 

And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven

green withs that were never dried, then shall I be

weak, and be as another man.

Judges 16:6, 7

 

He knew that they could bind him with whatever

they wanted to and they weren’t going to hold him down.

But in the back of his mind he’s thinking, The last time

they bound me, I snapped those cords and took a jawbone

of a donkey and killed a thousand of them. Let’s just play

around with this. They can tie me up again. I’ll just tease

these people a little while, mock them. They think they’re

going to play with me. I’m the great Samson. I’m

indestructible.

 

Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her

seven green withs which had not been dried, and she

bound him with them.

 

Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with

her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The

Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs,

as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So

his strength was not known.

 

And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast

mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee,

wherewith thou mightest be bound.

Judges 16:8-10

 

The devil will come at you constantly and he will

try to find the key to the anointing on your life. Now

remember, twice before, Delilah’s plan had failed.

 

Playing on the Cliff of Your Life

 

But Samson is going to play again. He’s going to

make up some funny story and mock them again. You’d

think he would be wise and say, “No, I’m on the edge of

the cliff about to fall off. I need to be cautious here. I

need to leave this woman. I need to leave this company

and go and do what God has called me to do and stop

messing around here in the camp of the world.”

 

But it seemed good to him to have fun. You see,

people have this idea that they can carry on in the world.

They think they can carry on with ungodly relationships

and ungodly acquaintances and it’s fine. They say, “It’s

not having an affect in my life.”

 

It might not have an affect on you now. But two

or three years from today what type of person are you

going to be? It might not show an affect in your life right

now. But five years from now, where will you be?

 

Will you be more on fire for God five years from

now? If you are less on fire for God than you were five

years ago, then you need to change what you’ve been

doing for the last five years and get to the place where

you can stay on fire for God, full of the Holy Ghost, and

walking in the Spirit.

 

And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with a

new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak,

and be as another man.

 

Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him

therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon

thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in

the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like

a thread.

Judges 16:11,12

GOD’S FAVOR ON YOUR LIFE

Thoughts on Stewardship

Lessons from Exodus

Because of God’s Favor On Your Life, You Will Never Go Empty-Handed

Foundation Scriptures: Exodus 3 verses 19 – 22

And I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go [unless forced to do so], no, not by a mighty hand. 20 So I will stretch out My hand and smite Egypt with all My wonders which I will do in it; and after that he will let you go. 21 And I will give this people favor and respect in the sight of the Egyptians; and it shall be that when you go, you shall not go empty-handed. 22 But every woman shall [insistently] solicit of her neighbor and of her that may be residing at her house jewels and articles of silver and gold, and garments, which you shall put on your sons and daughters; and you shall strip the Egyptians [of belongings due to you]. Exodus 3:19-22 AMP

1. When God stretches out His hand, extending His favor toward you, amazing things begin to happen.

a. The Lord’s favor was on Israel, when He delivered them from Egypt. He told the children of Israel that when they left Egypt, they would not go empty-handed. God is not a robber neither does He condone taking what is not yours. He does however believe that you should receive that which is owed to you. God says that the laborer is worthy of his hire (1 Timothy 5:18) and He also told the Israelites that if their brother is sold to them as a slave, they should work for six years and be freed, with compensation, in the seventh year. “And when you send him out free from you, you shall not let him go away empty-handed. You shall furnish him liberally out of your flock, your threshing floor, and your winepress; of what the Lord your God has blessed you, you shall give to him.” Deuteronomy 15:13-14 AMP

b. God told the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians.

c. The Israelites did not leave with the Egyptian’s junk —the stuff you would usually find at a yard sale—they walked away with their very best clothing, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold. This was their payment for the years they were enslaved and abused.

2. Remember that Israel had been afflicted; they had been misused and abused; they had been in captivity and slavery for 270 years.

a. God heard the cries of the Israelites. God told them that He knew that the king of Egypt would not let them go unless he was forced to do so by a mighty hand.

b. He told them that He would stretch out His hand and smite Egypt with signs and wonders so that pharaoh would let them go.

3. The Lord told the Israelites:

a. I will give you respect and favor in their sight.

b. You will not go empty-handed.

c. You shall spoil the Egyptians.

N.B. God’s favor, and His favor alone, will cause you to spoil the “Egyptians”.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:

God has great plans for your life. He does not play favorites—God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). You can have the same favor on your life as Moses and the children of Israel, if you will submit your life and heart to the Lord, unreservedly. Don’t miss out on all the blessings of God’s favor and anointing that could be on your life, because you won’t obey God when He speaks. The Lord told Israel, “Do not say in your [mind and] heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out from before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land–whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.” (Deuteronomy 9:4 AMP) Obedience brings favor—rebellion brings disaster.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:

God had great plans for His people, Israel. He had made promises to them, through their fathers, and God always keeps His promises. His plan for them did not include slavery in Egypt, but for them to live as free people in the land He had promised to them. God does not keep His promises because of us, but because of Him, but unless we obey Him when He tells us to do something, we will not see the promise fulfilled. If we do not obey, we will not receive the promise, just as the same people, who were brought out of Egypt, disqualified themselves from entering the Promised Land because of rebellious disobedience. God planned to bring His people out of captivity and into the Promised Land. This land was a good land—a land that overflowed with milk and honey. This land had enemies in it, but God had already given them the victory. First He had to deliver them from Egypt.

Because of God’s favor on Israel, He moved to deliver them through His signs and wonders (His anointing and power). When you walk with God in obedience—no matter what you may be facing—know that the Lord will deliver you. He will give you favor and deliver you by the anointing—through signs and wonders. There is nothing like Divine Favor. This favor can take you where money cannot take you. In our life and ministry, I have seen the hand of God deliver us many, many times out of impossible situations and give us great favor. People often notice and comment on the extreme favor that is on our lives. This favor does not come without a price—the price is absolute obedience! Get in line with God’s will for your life today—obey the Lord, and let the Lord deliver you and grant you His divine grace and favor.

Prayer and Confession:

Father I thank you, in Jesus Name, for delivering me out of my current circumstances and for granting me supernatural, divine favor. I commit to obey You in all things and I expect to receive Your blessings on my life.

FULL-TIME MINISTER

Don’t Forget the Full-time Minister
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 18 verses 1–8

The Levitical priests and all the tribe of Levi shall have no part or inheritance with Israel; they shall eat the offerings made by fire to the Lord, and His rightful dues. 2 They shall have no inheritance among their brethren; the Lord is their inheritance, as He promised them. 3 And this shall be the priest’s due from the people, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep: they shall give to the priest the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. 4 The firstfruits of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the first or best of the fleece of your sheep you shall give the priest. 5 For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand to minister in the name [and presence] of the Lord, him and his sons forever. 6 And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel where he is a temporary resident, he may come whenever he desires to [the sanctuary] the place the Lord will choose; 7 Then he may minister in the name [and presence of] the Lord his God like all his brethren the Levites who stand to minister there before the Lord. 8 They shall have equal portions to eat, besides what may come of the sale of his patrimony.
Deuteronomy 18:1-8 AMP

1.  This sharing of God’s provision was not man’s idea but God’s idea

  • Verse 1 says the priests should share in His bounty—they were to partake of the offerings brought to the Lord—His rightful dues
  • Ministering before the Lord, on behalf of the people, was the priests’ full-time job
  • If the people did not support them there was nothing else and no one else to sustain them
  • Verse 3 says this would be the priests’ due from the people—it was the people’s duty to support the ministers

2.  The priests were entitled to be blessed from the first fruits of the people

  • The people brought their best stuff to the Lord and to the priests—the choicest parts of their animals, the first fruits of their grain, the new wine, the oil, the first and best of the fleece of their sheep
  • This provision was not only for the priest, but for his sons and his family forever
  • All priests were treated equally and provision was made for all—today, that would be the whole five-fold ministry—apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
When the Lord divided up the Promised Land, He gave each tribe and each family a portion of it. However, He did not include the Levitical priesthood or their families. They were set apart unto the Lord’s work and would not have time to waste working the land, therefore, there was no way for them to be fed and kept unless the people brought the fruit of their labor to the house of God. God made it the responsibility of all those who were given land, to meet the needs of the priests. Each side supported and served the other.

It is still the same today. It is the minister’s responsibility to handle the Word of God honestly, and every other believer’s job to generously support those men and women of God who serve them in full-time ministry. Even Paul made tents for a season, but ministers—or their wives—should not need to work another job all the time, just to put food on the table, because the Church is disobedient. God’s order is for the minister’s needs to be met by those believers who work in the marketplace. If we all fulfill our purpose, submit to the Word of God, and joyfully do what God tells us to do, we will see the will of God manifested on the earth!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
It’s interesting that, in the day and age that we are living, that people in the full-time ministry always seem to come under more scrutiny and criticism for their income, than other people. It is as if the religious world has this idea: Lord, You keep them humble and we’ll keep them poor! I am not saying for one moment that there are not abuses that have not taken place on both sides: there is the minister, who is without integrity, but also the believer who will not obey God and give. Even though people do not always do as they should—still we must remember—that it was God who instituted this mutual dependence. It was not instituted by man as a way to extract money from people—it was instituted by God, in order that the needs of the ministry—and God’s servants—could be met.

We discussed an Old Testament passage above, but the New Covenant declares that those ministers who perform the duties of their office well, be considered doubly worthy of honor and of adequate financial support, especially those who labor faithfully in preaching and teaching (1 Timothy 5:17 AMP). Although I was not raised in a preacher’s home, we were around ministers all the time and we were taught, as children, to look after them, to take care of them, and to bless them. Still today, even though I am in the ministry myself, I have a love for full-time men and women of God, and a desire to bless them.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, Your word declares that if we receive and welcome and accept a prophet, because he is a prophet, we shall receive a prophet’s reward, and if we receive and welcome and accept a righteous man, because he is a righteous man, we shall receive a righteous man’s reward. You also said that if we give to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water, because he is Jesus’ disciple, that You would surely reward us (Matthew 10:41-42). Father, I thank You that my heart is right with You for I purpose to bless those who minister; I purpose to bless Your servants.

A GOOD, CLEAR CONSCIENCE

Whereas the object and purpose of our instruction and charge is love, which springs from a pure heart and a good (clear) conscience and sincere (unfeigned) faith. 6 But certain individuals have missed the mark on this very matter [and] have wandered away into vain arguments and discussions and purposeless talk. 7 They are ambitious to be doctors of the Law (teachers of the Mosaic ritual), but they have no understanding either of the words and terms they use or of the subjects about which they make [such] dogmatic assertions. 8 Now we recognize and know that the Law is good if anyone uses it lawfully [for the purpose for which it was designed] 1 Timothy 1:5-8 AMP

As we grow in God and the knowledge of His word, we also grow in the love of God. Genuine love springs from a heart that is pure, a conscience that is clear, and faith that is real. Before sin came into the earth, man had unbroken fellowship with God Almighty. Man’s heart was pure and righteous and there was nothing to separate him and God. However, after the fall, Adam was filled with guilt and shame and felt unable and unworthy to be in God’s presence, and so he ran away and hid from God. Ever since that time God has endeavored to bring man back into His presence. Jesus died so that sin, with its accompanying guilt and shame, could be washed away in His blood and man could once more be dressed in robes of righteousness, having a good, clear conscience, and once more fellowship with God, Himself.

Some people completely miss the point of the Law. The Law was given to make man aware, not only of what God expected of him, but also that he could not keep the whole Law and needed a Savior. Some people spend so much time arguing about the Law that they forget to keep it themselves. The Law is not about petty rules and regulations; it is about loving God, loving your neighbor, and being kind and merciful.

When Gentiles who have not the [divine] Law do instinctively what the Law requires, they are a law to themselves, since they do not have the Law. 15 They show that the essential requirements of the Law are written in their hearts and are operating there, with which their consciences (sense of right and wrong) also bear witness; and their [moral] decisions (their arguments of reason, their condemning or approving thoughts) will accuse or perhaps defend and excuse [them] 16 On that day when, as my Gospel proclaims, God by Jesus Christ will judge men in regard to the things which they conceal (their hidden thoughts).   Romans 2:14-16 AMP

When God created man, He created him with a conscience. One of the things that sets man aside from all other creatures is his conscience. The fact that man has a conscience, that is disturbed when he does wrong and at peace when he does right, is one huge reason to doubt the theory of evolution. The essential requirements of God’s law are written in every man’s heart no matter what country he lives in, what language he speaks, and what he has been taught about God. His own conscience alerts him not only to God’s principles, but to the very reality of the existence of God.

In John 8:1-9, when the scribes and Pharisees brought to Jesus a woman caught in adultery, trying to trip Him up with the Law so that they could accuse Him of something and arrest Him, Jesus did not argue over the Law. He simply directed them back to their own consciences, to do what their heart would let them do. Of course, they could not deny their own short-comings and they dropped their stones, hung their heads, and walked away. Verse 9 (AMP) says that, “They listened to Him, and then they began going out, conscience-stricken, one by one, from the oldest down to the last one of them, till Jesus was left alone, with the woman standing there before Him in the center of the court.”

To the pure [in heart and conscience] all things are pure, but to the defiled and corrupt and unbelieving nothing is pure; their very minds and consciences are defiled and polluted.  Titus 1:15 AMP

When your heart is pure, your conscience is clear and clean. Because you have pure motives, you expect that other people do as well. However, someone who is not submitted to God or His word, and has allowed sin to defile and corrupt him, expects the same from others. He thinks that everyone is as corrupt in his thinking and doing as he is.

This charge and admonition I commit in trust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with prophetic intimations which I formerly received concerning you, so that inspired and aided by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 Holding fast to faith (that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence) and having a good (clear) conscience. By rejecting and thrusting from them [their conscience], some individuals have made shipwreck of their faith.
1 Timothy 1:18-19 AMP

The devil does not want you to have a clear conscience, because if you do, you will come boldly into God’s presence to fellowship with Him, be filled with Him, and be like Him! God wants you to come boldly into His presence and ask for what you need. The devil can’t fight with God and he doesn’t want you teaming up with God. The devil wants to defeat you, so he tries to separate you from God by means of guilt and condemnation. That is why he tempts you with sin. Do not refuse to hear and obey your conscience or you will shipwreck your faith and the devil will succeed! This is the war we fight. You must submit to and obey God, so you can live with a clear conscience. Allow God to purify your heart by His word and His Spirit. Allow God’s Word to wash you clean and produce in you a good, clear conscience!

THE POWER OF THE SEED

Thoughts on Stewardship
Lesson No. 5 from Genesis

The Power of the Seed
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 1 verses 11-12

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so.12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:11-12 NKJV

1.    God said, “Let the earth bring forth:
– Seed yielding grass and herbs
– Fruit trees that produce fruit after its own kind with its seed in itself

Then God said: It is good. God instituted the principle of sowing and reaping into the earth. He placed power in every seed to produce a harvest—to exactly duplicate itself and to greatly multiply.

2.    Everything starts out as a seed

a. According to the Word of God seed will produce after its own kind
b. Whether we realize it or not, our money is a seed
c. Our money is our seed and it will produce a harvest if it is sown into good ground

• We must make sure that we are sowing into good ground
• By good ground I mean ground that will produce   eternal fruit
• Sow in faith
• Give to the poor
• Ask yourself, ask the Lord, what you can do to help others
• Give to the Gospel
• Sowing into the Gospel will produce a harvest of souls

3.    Remember this: that this is a Law of God—God deposited multiplying power in the seed

Seed will always produce after its own kind. Galatians 6:8 says that, “he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” When you sow into God’s kingdom, your giving will not only cause treasure to be laid up in heaven, but it will also produce a stream of income, on the earth, that will result in more provision coming to you as well as favor and open doors.

4.    This power is in your hand right now. Everything you need from now on out is in your hand in the form of a seed.
a. Don’t eat your seed. Plant it in good ground and watch it bring forth good fruit.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:

Mark 4:26-29 NKJV says, “And He said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.'”  The earth yields crops by itself because God designed it that way. You can do nothing to make a seed grow into a fruit producing plant. All you can do is follow the procedure and put the seed into good ground. The rest is done automatically. All the farmer has to do is to plow the ground, and plant and water the seeds, and when the fruit is ripe, harvest the crop.

When you sow a seed into the Kingdom of God and you water it with your faith, you can sleep and wake and the harvest will grow up without you doing anything else. Natural laws follow spiritual laws. If it works in the earth, it’s because it already works in Heaven. There is also an appointed time for the harvest. Don’t give up because of impatience and doubt. So sow your seed in faith and trust God to bring forth a ripe harvest of blessing in your life!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:

When you receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior, there are many amazing promises that become available to you. All you need is the knowledge of what’s available and the faith to claim them for yourself. Every Christian has the same opportunity to flourish and be blessed because of these wonderful promises, but not all of them are. It really amazes me that some people just refuse to believe the Word of God and refuse to do what they need to do to activate the blessing. They don’t have anything and they are not happy about it, but they won’t change; they won’t do what the word says to do.

The Lord says that, “you have not because you ask not” (James 4:2). He also tells us not to fear because, “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). You can have two people sitting next to each other—both with the same Bible—one blessed and the other not. Why? Does God play favorites? Absolutely not! He responds to faith—to those who believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

Prayer and Confession:

Father, I thank you for the seed you have given me. I sow in faith and by faith. I believe you for a mighty harvest in eternity and favor and open doors on the earth.

HOW TO TRAIN THE HUMAN SPIRIT

The Foundation Scripture: Hebrews 8:10 Hebrews 8:10 AMP

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.

I.  How to train the human spirit:

  • By giving the Word first place in your life
  • By meditation in the Word
  • By practicing the Word
  • By instantly obeying the voice of your spirit
  • By praying in the Spirit


II.to give the Word first place in your life

  • First place means first place. First place means that you exalt the Word of God above all the words of man.
  • First place means that when you have a choice, you believe the Word of God and not your circumstances, your feelings or what your head tells you.
  • Proverbs 4:20-22 AMP – My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.
  • Proverbs 7:1-3 NKJV – My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.
  • The only way you can make the Word of God first place in your life is if you know it—if it is in your heart and mind—if it abides in you and you abide in it.
  • This is how you make the Word part of who you are:


III. Meditate on the Word

  • The Word of God will not work for you if you just mentally assent to it (agree with it). It will only be effective if it becomes part of you—if every thought you have, every word you say and every action you take is governed and regulated by the Word that is in your heart.  
  • Joshua 1:8 AMP – This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.
  • Meditate means to reflect on, contemplate, or ponder something.
  • The Hebrew word for “meditate” means “to murmur. It is also translated in the KJV as “mutter”; “imagine”; “roar”; “speak”; “study”; “talk”; “utter”.
  • Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV – Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
  • This man is truly blessed—because he fully embraces God’s life-giving Word!
  • Because you delight in the Lord, you drink deeply from His Word and you meditate on His Word day and night; the result is that you bring forth fruit in season, your leaf doesn’t wither, and whatever you do prospers!


VI.  Practice the Word

  • James 1:21-22 AMP – So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message], and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
  • If you refuse to be led, directed and changed by God’s written Word, how in the world do you think that you will recognize or obey the voice of His Spirit?
  • 1 John 5:8 NKJV – And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
  • Water is symbolic of the Word. The Spirit and the Word will never contradict each other.
  • Matthew 7:21 AMP – Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven.
  • Romans 6:17 AMP – But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.


V.  Instantly obey the voice of your spirit

  • Proverbs 20:27 NKJV – The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
  • The Lord will lead and guide you through your heart—not your head.
  • You can trust your heart when it is trained in the Word of God and submitted to God and His Word.
  • Romans 9:1 AMP – I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me.
  • Your spirit and your conscience are one and the same.
  • Hebrews 5:14 AMP – But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.
  • When you spend a lot of time in the Word of God, even your senses become trained to know what is right and wrong.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV – (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
  • Do not allow your carnal mind to rule you. Submit your thoughts completely to God’s Word.


VI. Pray in the Spirit

  • Praying in tongues helps you develop a sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit and your own spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 NKJV – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
  • When you pray in tongues, your spirit man rises up, even as your mind grows quieter.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV – For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
  • Jude 20 NKJV – But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
  • Praying in the Holy Spirit builds you up in your faith, drawing you closer to God and His will for you.

 

Concerning Spiritual Gifts

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 1 Corinthians 12:1

Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 KJV

God does not want us to be ignorant about spiritual things. He wants us to know and understand and operate in them. The Greek word translated “spiritual gifts” is “pneumatikos,” which literally means “spirituals,” or “things of the Spirit.” They are gifts in the sense that they are given by God and do not originate with man.

Diversities of Gifts:

The word “gifts” here is “charisma,” which means: a (free) gift; a (divine) gratuity; (specifically) a (spiritual) endowment; (subjectively) religious qualification, or (objectively) miraculous faculty. These gifts are bestowed by the Holy Spirit and cannot be merited or earned. They operate through Spirit-filled people, but are gifts to the Body of Christ. They all originate from, and are given by the same Spirit.

Differences of Administrations:

There are differences of administrations – or ministries. The word “administrations” is the Greek word, “diakonia,” meaning: services; ministries; offices. The spiritual gifts are “gifts” because they come from God, but as “ministries” as they are applied. The person who exercises his/her spiritual gift in the Body of Christ, also ministers to the Body. As many spiritual gifts and spiritual offices there are, so are there also as many spiritual ministries, and they are all by the same Lord Jesus Christ. Spiritual gifts are not given as rewards or payment, or primarily to bless and benefit the possessor, but the Holy Spirit imparts the gifts that the Body may receive ministry. Their value is in their capacity to bless, profit, and edify the Body of Christ.

Diversities of Operations:

The Greek word translated “operations” is “energema,” which means: operation: working. It also means an effect; or active principle. Our English word “energy” comes from the same root word. The activities of the Spirit, through us, produce spiritual gifts, which result in spiritual effects. The Spirit energizes the operations, which produce effects in the Body. All of these are under the control of one and the same God, Who is head of all.

The Manifestation of the Spirit:

The manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all. The Greek word “manifestation” is “phanerosis,” which means: exhibition; or making visible. The visible manifestations would be the things we can see: healings, miracles, prophecies fulfilled, tongues, interpretation, words of wisdom, words of knowledge, discerning of spirits, and other spiritual discernment. Every operation of the spiritual gifts is a manifestation of the Spirit. A manifestation is defined as an outward evidence. The gifts of the Spirit bring the Holy Spirit into manifestation, or into outward evidence, where His work can be seen. The operation of the gifts in the Body causes believers to become aware of the presence of God, producing in them the desire to praise and worship Him – it brings glory to Him.

Every Spirit-filled believer has the capacity to operate in these gifts / manifestations. It is given to every man to profit all. The exercise of the gifts is a manifestation of the Spirit, not of the person it flows through. The fruit of the genuine gift is that it edifies and profits the whole Body of Christ.

Diversity; Differences:

The Greek word translated “difference” and “diversity” is “diairesis,” meaning: a distinction or (concretely) variety. Every believer should make themselves available to be used by the Holy Spirit in these things. There is a great variety of gifts, administrations, and operations, but only one Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the Trinity – who originate all of these spiritual things.

Dividing to Every Man Severally as He Wills:

But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:11 NKJV

The Holy Spirit operates these gifts, distributing them to individuals, as He wills. You cannot operate these gifts by your own will-power or desire. You must yield to Him and allow Him to flow through you and use you as He sees fit. Do not strive – be content with what He gives you.

The Purpose of Spiritual Gifts:

Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. 1 Corinthians 14:12 KJV

The purpose of the spiritual gifts it for the edification of the Body of Christ. “Edify” means: to build up spiritually. If they do not edify and build up, then they are useless.

Let all things be done unto edifying. 1 Corinthians 14:26b KJV

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 1 Corinthians 14:3 KJV

The Gifts Operate Through Love:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV

The gifts and manifestations are fruitless – worth nothing – without love. Do everything in generosity, and the agape love of God, and to bring glory to Him alone.

BLESSED IN THE PRESENCE OF MY ENEMIES

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Psalms 23:1-6

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Psalm 23
Verse 4 – Even though we walk under the threat of death and destruction, if we do not fear, God’s presence will be with us to protect and preserve us.  Winston Churchill made a true statement, when he said, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself!”

It does not matter what threat of disaster comes your way, it cannot actually touch you, as long as you realize that God is on your side and He walks with you to comfort and encourage you. Only if you take your eyes off Jesus and His Word and allow the devil and the circumstances to intimidate you, will you fail or fall. As long as you keep your eyes on Jesus and His Word and you continue to trust in Him, you will make it through and you will come out in victory on the other side. Your victory is not dependent on the severity of the attack, but on the strength of your trust in God.

Matthew 14:26-32
26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. 29And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? 32And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased.

Peter stepped out of the boat and walked on the water. This is a major miracle, defying all the natural laws of physics, even on a totally calm day. Peter, however, took his eyes off Jesus and looked at his surroundings, his circumstances, the wind and the waves, and he began to sink. He did not sink because he was on water – he sank because he considered the circumstances above Jesus’ word, “Come”. It does not matter what you are going through, your faith in God’s Word makes water solid ground under your feet. The good news is that Peter walked back to the boat, on the water, with Jesus.  You must deal with your fear if you want to make it through.

Psalm 23
Verse 5 – It does not matter what terrible circumstances you have to live through, or what the enemy is trying to do to you, God promised to prepare a table before you – to meet all your needs. Not only that, He anoints your head with oil. The word ‘anoint’ has to do with ‘fatness’ and ‘fullness’ – in other words –abundance. God also promises not only to fill your cup, but cause it to overflow! Even though you might face a strong enemy and a mighty battle, if you will trust God, He can bless you exceeding abundantly above all you can ask or think. Great victories come from great battles – as long as you do not lose heart or faint!

2 Timothy 1:7
7For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Giving That Gets God’s Attention

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Acts 10:1-6

1 Now [living] at Caesarea there was a man whose name was Cornelius, a centurion [captain] of what was known as the Italian Regiment,

2 A devout man who venerated God and treated Him with reverential obedience, as did all his household; and he gave much alms to the people and prayed continually to God.

3 About the ninth hour [about 3:00 p. m.] of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God entering and saying to him, “Cornelius.”

4 And he, gazing intently at him, became frightened and said, “What is it, Lord?”  And the angel said to him, “Your prayers and your [generous] gifts to the poor have come up [as a sacrifice] to God and have been remembered by Him.

5 And now send men to Joppa and have them call for and invite here a certain Simon whose surname is Peter;

6 He is lodging with Simon a tanner, whose house is by the seaside.”

Cornelius was a gentile, but he venerated and reverenced God, as did his household.  He prayed continuously to God and he gave a lot of money to those less fortunate than himself.  These two things – his praying and his giving – came up as a sacrifice before God.  They got God’s attention.  Because of this, God moved supernaturally on his behalf to bring salvation to him and his household.  When you honor God with your heart and with your actions, He notices you and remembers what you did.  He will move on your behalf to bless you.

When God created man, He gave them a garden with everything they needed.  They lacked no good thing.  When their disobedience removed them from this garden and their abundant supply, they began to know lack and deprivation for the first time.  It was not in God’s plan for man that they be in lack and want.  Even though man has been disobedient, God loves them and cares for them and desires to bless and provide for them.  God wants those of us who have – to share with those of us who don’t.  God never blesses you so you can be selfish – He blesses you to bless you – and to bless those who cross your path.

Proverbs 14:31  (NIV)

31 He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.

When you are kind to those in need and when you do what you can to help them, you are showing respect and honor to God. When you overlook the poor and you pass over opportunities to help – then you show contempt toward God – no matter what a good Christian you claim to be.

Proverbs 19:17  (NAS)

17 He who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed.

When you are gracious (showing grace and mercy) to a poor man – you are lending to the Lord.  God sees, remembers, and repays you.  You give to the poor as much for his sake as yours.  God watches your attitude.  He watches to see if you walk in love and generosity toward everyone – not only to those in your own circle.

You might not have much to give.  You might only be able to give $5 or $10 or $20, but that could mean the difference between someone else being able to eat that day or not!  It is not the amount – it is the fact that you care enough to be generous toward others with what God has given you.

2 Corinthians 8:9  (NKJ)

9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.

God provided for every one of us to be redeemed from poverty through the sacrifice that Jesus made.  The way you tap into the blessings available to you is to give – and one of the ways you give is to give as much as you can to those less fortunate than yourself.  God sees, He hears, He remembers – and He supernaturally brings to you the things you need the most!

Rodney Howard Browne bringing revival to America…

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