Tag Archives: Rodney Howard-Browne doctrine

My Name Is Written Down

The disciples came to Jesus after He had sent them

out to minister. They were so excited, they were jumping

up and down. “O, Jesus, isn’t it wonderful? Demons are

subject to us through Your name. We’ve been casting out

devils and you know what, they listen to us.”

 

Jesus said, in effect, “So what. I beheld Satan as

lightening fall from heaven. He’s defeated. Don’t rejoice

over the fact that demons are subject to you, but rejoice

over the fact that your name is written sown in the Lamb’s

Book of Life.” (See Luke 10:17-20).

 

My name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of

Life! My name may not be down in Who’s Who in the

Zoo. My name may not be down on this roll and that roll

and the bank roll. But my name is written down “when the

roll is called up yonder.” And I’m going to be there!

 

I’m part of the family of God. I’ve been bought

with a price. I’ve been brought out of darkness into light.

I’m an ambassador from the kingdom of heaven. I have my

passport made out. My visa’s stamped in the blood of

Jesus. I have first-class air tickets. I’m sitting on Rapture

Airlines. The flight attendant is serving me living water,

and new wine, and heaven’s bread. That’s something to get

excited about.

 

We don’t serve a dead God. We don’t serve a God

who’s deaf. We don’t serve a God who’s blind. We don’t

serve a God who has no power. Our God is still God. He’s

the same God of Moses and Elijah and Daniel. And He’s

alive in 1992. He wants to manifest Himself in 1992.

Too much importance has been placed on what

church you belong to. “Well, I’m of Paul and I’m of

Apollos,” we say. “We have a 5,000-seat church and a

thousand-voice choir. And you should see our deacons.

They can deke like no other dekes. Our elders can eld like

no other. Our church board is one of the boardest boards in

the city. We’ve got an orchestra. And have you heard our

pipe organ?” Well, who cares?

 

It doesn’t matter what church you belong to. It

matters what family you belong to. You are in either one

of two families. You’re either in the family of the devil or

you’re in the family of God.

 

To be born again is not confirmation. “I’ve been

through confirmation, Brother Rodney.” Well, wonderful.

 

Have you been born again? Jesus never said, “Ye must be

confirmed.” Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”

“Well, Brother Rodney, I’ve been to catechism.”

You can’t “ism” it any other way. Have you been born

again?

 

“Well, Brother Rodney, we joined the church. We

filled in a membership.” Jesus never said, “Ye must fill in

a church membership. Ye must put thy name on the roll.”

He said, “Ye must be born again.”

 

“Well, Brother Rodney, we’ve been baptized in

water.” You can live under water till you get webbed feet.

But I’m telling you right now Jesus didn’t say, “Go under

water.” He said, “Ye must be born again.”

 

“Well, Brother Rodney, we had some water

sprinkled on our head.” You can have water sprinkled on

your head until you grow like a plant. He didn’t say, “Ye

must get water sprinkled on your head.” He said, “Ye must

be born again.”

 

“Well, Brother Rodney, we take communion.

Every week we have the Holy Sacrament.” You can

swallow grape juice or wine and wafers three times a day.

He didn’t say, “Ye must take communion.” He said, “Ye

must be born again.”

 

“Well, Brother Rodney, we observe religious duties.

We go to church regularly every Sunday morning and

 

Sunday night. We’re on every church committee.” He

didn’t say, “Ye must observe religious duties.” He said,

“Ye must be born again.”

 

You see, some people’s idea of the new birth is

adhering to what their father did and what their grandfather

did. But God has no grandchildren. Each one of us must

be born again for ourselves.

 

Many people have only an intellectual conception

of the Lord Jesus Christ. “I believe in Jesus,” they will say.

But is He your Lord and Savior? “Well, I believe in Him.”

Have you been born again? “Well, I believe Jesus, you

know. I believe in God.” The devil believes in Jesus. The

devil believes in God.

 

Even some of the worst sinners believe in God and

the Bible. When they get into a crisis situation, you’d be

amazed at what comes out of their mouth – the Bible.

They’ll quote anything they can think of. They get in a

motor car with a friend and he’s doing 120 miles an hour,

they start quoting scripture. “The Lord is my Shepherd, I

shall not want.” But that won’t save them. Jesus said, “Ye

must be born again.”

 

“Well, Brother Rodney, I’m a moral person,” some

will say, “If God is God how can all the good people in the

world, go to hell?” Because Jesus said, “Ye must be born

again.”

 

“But look at Brother Joe Blow. He was a good

man. He didn’t rob from anybody. He wouldn’t even hurt

a flea. Do you know that if he found a bug in his house,

he’d go and pick it up and nicely put it out. What a moral

man. What a man of high standing in the community.

Fifty years of marriage to the same woman. His children –

one is a doctor, the other one’s a lawyer. They were all

well respected. Do you mean to say he’s going to hell?

Jesus said, “Ye must be born again.”

 

You can’t be born again until you realize your need

to be born again. And you can’t realize your need to be

born again until you come face to face with the Lord Jesus.

The Bible says there is a way that seems right to man but

the end thereof is death (Proverbs 14:12). We have plenty

of cultured, refined, moral people, but unless they are born

again, they’re going to split hell wide open.

 

There is a Heaven to Gain and a Hell to Shun

There was a certain rich man,

which was clothed in purple and fine

linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

And there was a certain beggar

named Lazarus, which was laid at his

gate, full of sores,

 

And desiring to be fed with the

crumbs which fell from the rich man’s

table: more-over the dogs came and

licked his sores.

 

And it came to pass, that the

beggar died, and was carried by the

angles into Abraham’s bosom: the rich

man also died, and was buried;

 

And in hell he lift up his eyes,

being in torments, and seeth Abraham

afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

 

And he cried and said, Father

Abraham, have mercy on me, and send

Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his

finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I

am tormented in this flame.

 

But Abraham said, Son, remember

that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy

good things, and likewise Lazarus evil

things: but now he is comforted and thou

art tormented.

 

And beside all this, between us and

you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they

which would pass from hence to you

cannot; neither can they pass to us, that

would come from thence.

 

Then he said, I pray thee

therefore, father, that thou wouldst send

him to my father’s house:

 

For I have five brethren; that he

may testify unto them, lest they also come

into this place of torment.

Abraham saith unto him, They

have Moses and the prophets; let them

hear them.

 

And he said, Nay, father

Abraham: but if one went unto them

from the dead, they will repent.

And he said unto him, If they hear

not Moses and the prophets, neither will

they be persuaded, though one rose from

the dead.

Luke 16:19-31

 

This was not a parable. Jesus said, “There was a

rich man.” This actually happened. The rich man, who had

never begged in his whole life, died and he went down to

hell. Lazarus was the beggar who had nothing. All he

could do was eat the scraps from the rich man’s table. He

died and was carried into Abraham’s bosom.

 

The rich man was in torment. This tells me that hell

is a place of torment and that heaven is a place of rest and

peace. The earth is the only hell that the child of God will

ever know; the earth is the only heaven the sinner will ever

know.

 

The Bible says it’s appointed unto man (…once to

die, but after that the judgment (Hebrews 9:27). There are

people who are committing suicide and they’re thinking

that they’re going to end their life and go into blessing and

peace. They go from the frying pad into the fire. They go

straight into hell, a place of eternal damnation and eternal

torment.

 

Did you know they’re trying to pass laws in the

state of California where it’s illegal for a preacher to preach

on hell because he’s causing duress on people’s emotional

state? They’re trying to pass laws in this country where it’s

illegal to preach the gospel and bring people to a place of

decision.

 

If they ever pass that law, they’re going to have to

lock the door and throw away the key on me, because I am

not going to quit preaching the truth of the Gospel of the

Lord Jesus Christ. I’m going to tell people there’s a heaven

to gain and a hell to shun. Hell wasn’t made for man. Hell

wasn’t made fro God’s people. Hell was made for the devil

and his angels.

 

Those who are in hell right now – given the

opportunity – would want to come out because of the

torment. But if you told the, “When you come out, you just

accept Jesus,” they would turn Jesus down. That’s why

they must go to a lost eternity. It’s not because God wants

to keep them there, but because they do not want to accept

Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

 

The rich man said, “If you would send someone out

to talk to my five brothers, they would believe.” Abraham

said, “They have Moses and the prophets. They didn’t

believe them, why are they going to believe someone back

from the dead?”

 

The rich man never begged in this life. Lazarus

begged in this life. But the rich man became a beggar in

the life to come. I’d rather be a beggar in this life and not

beg in the life to come, than be someone who does not beg

in this life but must beg in eternal life. He was begging for

a drop of water to cool his tongue. He was begging that

Abraham would send somebody to go and speak to his

brothers. But even someone from the dead would not

convince some people of their need to be born again.

 

My schoolmates used to mock me and say, “You’ve

wasted your whole life serving God. You don’t run to the

parties, you don’t get drunk like us.”

 

I said, “First of all, I don’t want to do that because I

love Jesus and I’m having great fun anyway. But let’s say,

just for argument’s sake, that there is no God. Let’s say

there is no eternity. When I die and you die, we’ve lost

nothing.

 

“But what if there is a God and there is a heaven

and a hell? When I die, I’m going straight to be with the

Lord. What will you do when you stand before the

Almighty God? What will you say the? God will take you

back to this day when you and I were talking face to face

and you told me it’s a bunch of hogwash. You’ll spend the

rest of eternity in hell realizing the opportunities you’ve

missed.”

 

Hell is a place of torment. The people there are

going to see the missed opportunities they had to accept

Jesus.

 

I shudder to think of people who have come to our

meetings and stormed out because they didn’t want to

accept Jesus as Savior. In hell they will remember and say,

“O God, if only, if only, if only.” The reason they have to

go there is not because God wants to punish people but

because they do not want to accept Jesus Christ as their

Lord and Savior.

 

There’s only one way to God. The new birth is

through one door and that’s Jesus Christ. The new birth is

not through Mohammed. The new birth is not through

Buddha. The new birth is not through Confucius.

 

The difference between Jesus Christ and Buddha

and Mohammed and Confucius is you can go to Buddha’s

grave today and it’s full. You can go to Mohammed’s

grave today and it’s full. You can go to Confucius’ grave

today – it’s also full.

 

But the grave of the Lord Jesus Christ is empty! He

is risen. The stone is rolled away. That’s what makes

Christianity different from every other cult and every other

religion. Jesus Christ is alive. He is risen! If He hadn’t

risen, Christianity would be like every other cult. But He

rose from the dead.

 

Jesus rose and He’s coming back again. When He

left the earth, the angels said the same Jesus you’re seeing

go now is coming back (Acts 1:11).

 

If You Were Arrested for Being a Christian

The Bible says, “If any man be in Christ, he is a

new creature: old things are passed away” (Second

Corinthians 5:17). But if you look at some Christians,

there’s no telling that they’ve passed from death unto life.

 

I heard one preacher ask, “If you were arrested for

being a Christian, would there be enough evidence against

your life to convict you?” Some Christians would get off

on probation. Others would get life sentences without the

chance of parole.

FOR UNTO US IS BORN

Foundation Scriptures

Isaiah chapter 7 verse 14  Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign:  Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel (God with us ).

Luke chapter 7 verses 10 & 11  And when the messengers who had been sent returned to the house, they found the bond servant who had been ill quite well againSoon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and His disciples and a great throng accompanied Him.

1 John chapter 3 verse 8  But he who commits sin (who practices evildoing) is of the devil (takes his character from the evil one), for the devil has sinned (violated the divine law) from the beginning.  The reason the Son of God was made manifest (visible) was to undo (destroy, loosen, and dissolve) the works the devil (has done).

 

It is a historical fact that Jesus was born.  What scholars dispute is whether He was all God or all man or part God and part man.  We know, from the Bible, that He was God manifest in the flesh.  He is completely God and completely man.

 

Think about this:  His birth, life, death and resurrection have affected the earth like none other before or since.  He was the Word made flesh and dwelt among us.  He affected the timetable of a whole planet – this is not something you can deny or ignore.

 

Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6  –  For unto us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father (of Eternity), Prince of Peace.

His name shall be called “Wonderful” because He is so wonderful.  There is none like Him in all the earth.  Our Lord Jesus Christ is so wonderful in His saving, healing and delivering power.  Wonderful in His miraculous virgin birth, wonderful in His sinless life, wonderful in His miracle ministry of signs and wonders.  Wonderful in His conquest of sin, sickness and satan at Calvary.  Wonderful in His supernatural resurrection from the dead.  Wonderful in His present day ministry interceding for us at the Father’s right hand in Heaven.  Wonderful in His power to cleanse and forgive every sin.  Wonderful in His ability to set every captive free.  Wonderful in His grace that heals the broken hearted and breaks every bondage.  He is wonderful because His love reaches out to touch and transform all who will come to Him and call upon His name.

 

Acts chapter 4 verse 2   –  But many of those who heard the message believer (adhered to and trusted in and relied on Jesus as the Christ).  And their number grew and came to about 5,000.

This Christmas, reflect again on the goodness of God and the fact that Jesus really is the reason for the season!  As Christians, we have something to shout about and celebrate, because Jesus lives and in Him we live and move and have our being.

 

Rejoice, child of God, for unto us a son is born, a Savior who is Christ the Lord!

WORSHIP AT A SET PLACE

Thoughts on Stewardship
Worship at a Set Place
Foundation scriptures: Deuteronomy 12 verses 5 – 19

But you shall seek the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His Name and make His dwelling place, and there shall you come; 6 And there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the offering of your hands, and your vows and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock. 7 And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you put your hand, you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you. 8 You shall not do according to all we do here [in the camp] this day, every man doing whatever looks right in his own eyes. 9 For you have not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God gives you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God causes you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about so that you dwell in safety, 11 Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause His Name [and His Presence] to dwell there; to it you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes and what the hand presents [as a first gift from the fruits of the ground], and all your choicest offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, and your menservants and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no part or inheritance with you. 13 Be watchful not to offer your burnt offerings in every place you see. 14 But in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all I command you. 15 However, you may kill and eat flesh in any of your towns whenever you desire, according to the provision for the support of life with which the Lord your God has blessed you; those [ceremonially] unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the hart. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the ground as water. 17 You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your new wine or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herd or flock, or anything you have vowed, or your freewill offerings, or the offerings from your hand [of garden products]. 18 But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God shall choose, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your towns; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake. 19 Take heed not to forsake or neglect the Levite [God’s minister] as long as you live in your land.  Deuteronomy 12:5-19 AMP

1.  Even though this is an Old Testament passage concerning, the children of Israel, and the altar—the place of worship—we believe that several aspects of it apply to us today:

a. It is not scriptural to hop from church to church.
b. It is not scriptural to not go to church at all.
c. God sets the solitary in families.
d. We are not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together—even the more so when we see That Day approaching.
e. It’s not a matter of control—it’s a matter of covenant.

2.  We believe in the local church as the modern day “altar”—the place where we bring our worship and our offerings (our sacrifices).

a. God does not live in tabernacles made with hands.
b. We understand that He lives in us and that we are His temple.
c. Corporately we come together to fellowship with one another, to worship, and to bring our offerings, in the place that God chooses.
d. Not every church is where you should be but you should be where God sends you. Bring your families; your kids. Be rooted and grow. Come to a place of maturity.
e. Those who refuse to do these things are out of order—they are not under God-given authority. The apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ”. The prerequisite for leadership is that they must follow Jesus and point you also to Jesus and not themselves. If they do not do this —what are you doing there?
f. Put your seed into good ground—that which produces for eternity.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
If you call yourself a Christian and you are not submitted to God in every area of your life, especially giving, then you are nothing less than rebellious. If you do what seems right to you and you do not obey the written word or allow the Lord to lead you on all these things, you have idols of self-will and un-submissiveness in your heart (Ezekiel 14:4 AMP). Pray about which church you should commit to and then commit, through thick and thin. Don’t follow the line of least resistance. Commit to a church and allow God to burn the junk out of your life.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
This passage is very plain. God did not want people sacrificing on any altar available. Even though we are on television, we have always believed that you are to tithe to the local church. The tithe does not go anywhere other than where you are being fed. That would be like living in your parent’s house, eating at your parent’s table, using their electricity, their covering, their wisdom, and paying board to the next door neighbor. You would be supporting those who do not even care for you. It is important for your spiritual well-being, just like the commitment of marriage. You don’t go around sowing your seed all over the place—only with the wife of your youth. You must be committed to a local church and bring your offerings and sacrifices there.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, this day I commit to support Your work in the place You have chosen for me. In faith I give and I worship You with my giving.

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!

THE WORD IS THE SEED – HOW GOOD IS YOUR GROUND?

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

Mark 4:14-20  (NKJ)

14″The sower sows the word.

God sows the seed of the word in our hearts. His word is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart (Hebrews 4:12 NKJ). However, as powerful as the word is, it can not have any kind of positive effect in our lives unless we receive it into our hearts, keep it and act upon it. God determines the quality of the seed – you determine the quality of the ground!

15″And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts.

The word does not go very far into some people. It lands right beside them, not inside them. They allow the devil to steal it immediately. The moment they hear it, they have already forgotten it. “In one ear and out the other!”

16″These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness;

17″and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble.

The “stony ground” people receive the word and allow it past their ears into their heart, but because the ground of their heart is hard, the word is not allowed to dig down and become rooted in them. The slightest bit of persecution or pressure that they encounter, the word goes right out the window and they are back to square one.

18″Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word,

19″and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Some “weedy” and “thorny” people hear the word, but because they allow worries, greed, lust and covetousness into their hearts, the word is choked right out of their hearts. You can’t have the weeds and the good seed of the word growing together. The nature of weeds is to overtake and destroy the good plants. You will have to weed your garden and root out all the bad attitudes if you want the word to produce in your life.

20″But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.”

Your heart is good ground only if you hear the word, accept it and bear fruit. The word must be allowed to take root in you in a clean, soft patch of heart that is not being choked by the weeds. Each person’s fruit is going to be different – thirty, sixty or one hundred fold – depending on how good the soil is, how deep the roots go and how often it is watered. You cannot just be a hearer of the word you must be a doer too.

James 1:23-25  (NKJ)

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Luke 6:46-49  (NKJ)

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?

“Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: “He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. “But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”

THINK ON THESE THINGS

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

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy– meditate on these things.  Philippians 4:8 NKJ

 

As most of us were growing up, we were taught by parents, teachers and even religious leaders, to modify and control our outward behavior, but not necessarily our thought life. However, the Lord made it very clear in the Old and New Covenant that our thought life influences our behavior and therefore it dominates the success or failure of our life. Proverbs 23:7 says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. He may say one thing with his mouth, but his thoughts represent what he truly thinks and feels.

 

In order to truly influence a person, you must influence their mindset, not just their behavior. You can dominate someone in order to control their behavior, but if you do not influence their opinions, then when they leave your presence they will go ahead and do whatever they have decided to do anyway. As we raise our children, we should watch over their attitudes and keep them on track as much as we watch their behavior. When you bring correction to your children you must see that your discipline influences their attitude and straightens it out and the desired behavior will automatically follow. The bottom line is that they should have a soft heart toward God, not a hard one. And, most importantly, YOU make sure that you set a good example. BE who you want THEM to BE.

 

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.Matthew 5:27-28 NKJ

 

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”  Mark 7:20-23 NKJ

 

If you have sinned in your heart, then you have sinned. Deal with sin at the root level – in your thought life – and it will not be able to destroy your life, because even at the current rate of inflation, the wages of sin is still death! Whatever we feed our heart and mind is what we will think about and what we will eventually be saying and doing. Many times even people who are born again have friends who are a bad influence. They think that the crude, worldly talk will not influence them, but before they know it they are talking and acting just like those friends and they have left Jesus behind!

 

If you regularly expose yourself, by what you hear and see, to any form of uncleanness – lies, bad reports and any unjust, impure, unlovely, ugly, critical, evil, ignoble things, then they will begin to play in your mind like a video. If you don’t get rid of the thoughts and stop allowing yourself to think on them then you will be in big trouble before long. The Lord looks on the heart, because our heart, with all its attitudes and opinions, is who we really are. We may be able to fool other people for a while with our outward show, but God knows who we really are and what we really think. We think that we are fooling people, because we are secure in the privacy of our own imagination, but many times even they eventually see through the façade. Your thoughts are revealed in your face more than you think they are!

 

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; But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. 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.

Psalms 1:1-3 NKJ

 

If you want to change the course of your life – change the way you think and what you think about. Stop thinking negative, evil, destructive, unproductive thoughts and fill yourself up with God’s word, meditating on it day and night. The devil may have lied to you and told you that you will never make it as a child of God because you are trapped in this twilight zone of evil thoughts that dominate and control you. You find yourself thinking them even when you don’t want to. Your only answer is to meditate on God’s word – constantly – and it will begin to crowd out the devil’s trash and burn it up. All that you need to do is to make a quality decision that you WILL be FREE, WHATEVER it takes!

DO NOT ALLOW A ROOT OF BITTERNESS TO SPRING UP AND DEFILE YOU

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

Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.

Hebrews 12:14-15 NIV

Other people may do and say things that we don’t like, but we are not responsible for them. We are not accountable for other people, but we are accountable for ourselves. We are accountable for our own behavior and attitudes. We are responsible for our own responses. We cannot change other people, they must change themselves, but we cannot allow them to affect or influence us negatively either. We must choose to walk in peace, no matter what choices the other person makes. If you allow someone else to make you angry and if you fight with them then you have given them power over you. They have the power to provoke you and get a response out of you. But if you refuse to respond in anger and you keep your emotions under control, then you will have the power and be in control of the situation.

The grace of God is extended toward you and others, alike. If you think that other people are your problem, then you will become angry toward them and if you do not deal with those emotions, you will become bitter toward them. Realize that your emotions are your own responsibility. Most times other people don’t even know that they have done anything to you to offend you, but you have allowed yourself to be angry with them and then this anger turned into bitterness. Bitterness is a root that will grow into a tree that will cause trouble for you and will cause you to be defiled. Ultimately, bitterness will bring destruction to your own life – not to anyone else’s.

You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:22-32 NIV

Bitterness is listed here with rage, anger, brawling, slander, and every form of malice. God tells us to get rid of it. There are people who are angry and bitter against someone. They never miss an opportunity to tell others what this person did to them. They continually sing the “somebody done somebody wrong song”. But the problem is that they are the only ones who are all messed up. The bitterness on the inside of them is destroying them. They have opened the door to sin in their own life, while they criticize the other person. Your bitterness eats you up on the inside and it opens the door to the devil in your life.

“Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.  Matthew 7:1-5 NKJV

Bitterness, criticism and a judgmental spirit go together. You are in dangerous territory when you judge another person, because you are setting a standard by which you will be judged. Critical, judgmental people always have big problems of their own. Either they are sinning themselves, or they open themselves up for sin to take control of them. Even if we are in a position where we have to help another person straighten themselves up, the Bible tells us to be very aware and careful of our own attitude even as we bring a correction to theirs.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Galatians 6:1 KJV

You need God’s grace in your life on a daily basis. Don’t hinder His grace by allowing bitterness to have control of you. Stop the cycle and forgive and release whomever it is that you are bitter against. God will forgive you and His grace will be extended toward you.

GOD LOVES A CHEERFUL GIVER WHOSE HEART IS IN HIS GIVING

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

2 CORINTHIANS 9:1-15 NIV

Verses 1-5 There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. 2 For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3 But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. 4 For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we-not to say anything about you-would be ashamed of having been so confident. 5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

We must adjust our attitude about our giving. Our gift (offering) must be given generously and willingly – not extorted, not wrung out of us.

Verse 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

If we sow sparingly and grudgingly, we will also reap sparingly and grudgingly. If we sow generously – in order to be a blessing – we will also reap generously and with blessing.

Verse 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Make up your own mind – purpose in your heart to give. You decide – you choose – when, where and how to give. Not reluctantly, not sorrowfully, nor under compulsion. God loves, takes pleasure in, prizes above other things and is unwilling to abandon, or to do without a cheerful, joyous, prompt to do it giver, whose heart is in his giving. God is not pleased with a grumpy, selfish minimal giver.

Verse 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

For the generous cheerful givers – God is able to make all grace – favor, earthly blessing – come to you in abundance. So that you may always, under all circumstances and whatever the need – be self-sufficient. You will possess enough to require no aid or support and you will be furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation. When you are a generous, cheerful giver – you will lend and not borrow. You won’t need anyone to help you, but you will be the one who has and who gives to those who have a need.

Verse 9 As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” 

The benevolent person scatters abroad – he has a lot to give to a lot of people. He thinks of others and gives to the poor. His giving amounts to deeds of goodness, kindness, benevolence and justice. His giving has eternal consequences – the results of his giving go on and endure forever.

Verse 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

God provides seed for the sower and bread for the eater. God will provide seed and also multiply your resources for giving. If you are a giver – God will get stuff to you to give. He will increase the fruit of your righteousness. The fruit of your righteousness is active goodness, kindness and charity. The more you give – the more good and kind and charitable you become. The more good and kind and charitable you become – the more you give. It’s a wonderful cycle of blessing and increase in every area. Giving will change your heart for good. Make a decision to give and keep on giving – you will get free – you will begin to enjoy your life!

Verse 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

God will bless you and enrich you in all things and in every way so that you can be generous. Your generosity glorifies God – it brings forth thanksgiving to God.

Verse 12-13 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.

People will glorify God for your loyalty and obedience to the Gospel of Christ and for your generous-hearted liberality to them. You can say that you believe the Gospel, but your giving proves that you do.

Verse 14-15 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

God’s gift – Jesus – eternal life – is free. But we Christians must decide to be a part of bringing this Gospel – free – to all those who have yet to hear!