PSALM 100

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

King David, who wrote most of the book of Psalms, was a man after God’s own heart. One of the reasons God favored him was because he loved to praise and worship Him. The praises of God were on his lips all day and all night. We have a heart after God, like David, when we have a worshipping heart and attitude.

Psalm 100:1-5  (NKJ)

1              Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!

One of the meanings of “joyful noise” is “to split the ears”! God is happy when we worship Him with a joyful heart and a LOUD noise. Usually when people SHOUT about something – it is because they are really passionate about that thing. They feel it deeply. It is okay to shout joyfully in worship of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

2              Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing.

The word “serve” has to do with total commitment – like a slave – except a willing one. “Gladness” is “blithesomeness” or “glee”. It is exceeding gladness, joyfulness, mirth, pleasure, and rejoicing. We sing with a joyful and triumphal voice.

3              Know that the LORD, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

We must worship Him as our creator and the One who knows us best and who knows what is best for us. He made us – we did not make ourselves (evolution from swamp gas?) – and He has all the answers we need for every situation we face. We belong to Him and He rules over us. We bow our knee at His throne and obey Him, yielding to His will and desire.

4              Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

We enter into His presence with songs and confessions of praise, thankfulness and adoration. We kneel and bow before Him as our Lord and King.

5              For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.

The Lord is good, He is kind, and He is gracious. He is as good as good can be. There is not one drop of evil in Him. He is light and has no darkness in Him anywhere. With our sin nature we may find it difficult to imagine total goodness – no evil – but God is ALL good. His mercy, kindness and favor is perpetual and never-ending. His truth stands unshaken and unmoving through every generation.

eople may believe and speak whatever they will, but there is truth that will always be true no matter what men may say. God will always have the final word because it is His truth that has and will stand the test of time. You can try to do things your way, but you will be judged in the end and for eternity by God’s truth and His Word that will never change or die.

Choose to worship God in His way according to His will and be blessed for all eternity!

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS JOY

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

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 NKJ

God is love and in His presence there is great joy and great peace. In His presence are life and blessing and every good thing. The scripture says that there is fullness of joy in God’s presence. Another meaning for the Hebrew word for “fullness” is to be satisfied. When you are satisfied, you have everything you need – you lack nothing. In God’s presence we are filled and satisfied with His joy. We don’t just have a little bit of joy – we have fullness of joy.  

“You shall celebrate the Feast of Booths seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and your wine vat; and you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter and your male and female servants and the Levite and the stranger and the orphan and the widow who are in your towns. “Seven days you shall celebrate a feast to the LORD your God in the place which the LORD chooses, because the LORD your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the work of your hands, so that you shall be altogether joyful. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 (NAS)

Contrary to popular religious opinion, God is not sad and sour and He does not want us sad or sour either. He wants us to be joyful in His presence. When God gave Israel instructions concerning the solemn feast of tabernacles, He told them, “you shall rejoice” and “you shall be altogether joyful!” Even the Hebrew word “solemn” means to move in a circle, more specifically: to march in a sacred procession or to observe a festival. By implication, it means to be giddy. It is translated in the KJV as celebrate, dance, to keep or hold a solemn feast (holiday), or reel to and fro. God loves for us to joyfully celebrate Him.

A joyful heart makes a cheerful face, but when the heart is sad, the spirit is broken.  Proverbs 15:13NAS

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.Psalms 98:4 KJV

When you are full of joy, it will be evident. You will have a cheerful face. You will be loud and bold in your praise.

For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.  Romans 14:17 KJV

The kingdom of God is not about rules and regulations – it is about us being filled with the Holy Ghost and about being made righteous and filled with peace and joy. The Holy Ghost is the author of joy in our lives. We are full of joy, not just happiness. Happiness is temporal and is affected by our feelings and our circumstances. Joy is eternal and it is constant in any and every situation.

Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 KJV

When you are in a time of need, when you feel weak and defeated, there is a strength that rises from out of your spirit with comfort and encouragement, empowering you to overcome the fear and the doubts and the discouragement that try to destroy your life. No matter what you go through or what you have to face, the joy of the Lord will rise up in your heart and cause you to see not just the circumstance you face, but to see God’s answer and His miracle working power.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.John 15:11 KJV

And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.

Acts 13:52 KJV

If you need joy, just get full of the Word and full of the Holy Ghost! When you realize how much the Father loves you and how precious Jesus is and how awesome God’s grace and mercy are, you will be rejoicing with joy unspeakable and full of glory!

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 1 Peter 1:8 KJV

Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Isaiah 12:2-4 KJV

Therefore the redeemed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.Isaiah 51:11 KJV

DEATH AND LIFE ARE IN THE POWER OF THE TONGUE

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

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth, From the produce of his lips he shall be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Proverbs 18:20-21 NKJV

There is a saying, heard most often on the playgrounds of the world, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me!” However, according to the Bible, words are extremely powerful. They are powerful when they are positive and powerful when they are negative. Words have power to replay over and over in our minds. All of us are more strongly influenced by words than any other force.

Why do coaches give pep talks to their athletes before the competition? Because it works! They pump them up with words of encouragement. “Go on! You can do it! You can win! You are the best! You’re a winner!” Those words ring in the athlete’s ears. “I can do it! I will do better than before! I will reach up higher and push myself further! I will do the best that I have ever done! Coach believes in me! I believe in me! I can win!”

A fool’s mouth is his destruction, and his lips are the snare of his soul. The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.  Proverbs 18:7-8 KJV

By the same token, negative destructive words can deeply wound us and bring defeat and heartache. There are people with great potential, who never fulfill that potential because someone told them that they were worthless and useless. These words continue to influence them for years after they were verbalized. They want to achieve more, they want to be successful, but fear and insecurity hold them in bondage. Only the love of God can change them. Only the precious Holy Spirit can go deep on the inside and begin to heal the scars and bring value to that person’s life.

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Luke 6:37-38 NIV

Our OWN MOUTH brings either life and blessing or death and destruction to our OWN LIFE. Whatever we allow to come out of our mouth, whether good or bad, is what we will have to live with. We bring judgment upon ourselves according to the standards we set with our own mouths. The measure we use will be measured back to us. We EAT the FRUIT of our OWN LIPS. The Bible says that we have to be satisfied with the fruit of our mouths. We cannot blame God or anyone else for our harvest

“Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”  Matthew 12:33-37 NIV

You set the standard of your own judgment, so that when you finally stand before the Lord your own words will either acquit you or condemn you. God looks on your HEART. The words that flow out of your mouth, spring forth from your heart. Your heart is the source and your mouth is the fountain that pours forth either blessing or cursing.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. Proverbs 4:23-24 NIV

Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD; keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalm 141:3 NIV

In order to lead a blessed, peaceful and successful life, you need to do two things: guard your heart (get an attitude adjustment) and put a guard on your lips (watch your mouth)!

GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISE

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

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless. 2 I will confirm my covenant between me and you and will greatly increase your numbers.”

3 Abram fell facedown, and God said to him, 4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram; your name will be Abraham, for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you.  Genesis 17:1-6 NIV

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”  Genesis 17:15-16 NIV

19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.  Genesis 17:19 NIV

1 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Genesis 21:1-2 NIV

The Lord always fulfills His promises. He always does exactly what He says that He will do. It took twenty-five years from the time God spoke to Abraham and promised him a son who would be the first of a multitude of descendants, until the fulfillment of that promise, but it did come to pass exactly as He had said. God made the promise – Abraham tried to help God by fathering a child by Sarah’s servant – but this was not God’s plan. Sarah was Abraham’s wife. Sarah was to be the mother of the promised child. Over the years Abraham’s faith in God’s word to him grew stronger and stronger until finally, after all those years, Sarah conceived and Isaac was born.

I will cry unto God Most High, Who performs on my behalf and rewards me [Who brings to pass His purposes for me and surely completes them]! Psalms 57:2 AMP

God has a plan for us. He performs on our behalf. He does those things that He said He would. He rewards us by bringing to pass His purposes for us. Not only does He begin His work in our lives, but He also completes it. He follows through with His promises. He does everything that He says He will do. He will never let us down or take us only half way. He will take us all the way. If He said it – He will do it! He will fulfill His promises to us.

Numbers 23:19 NKJV says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?  The NIV says, “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?”

If God said it – you can take it to the bank! If He said it – you can believe it and you can act on it.

10 For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.  Isaiah 55:10-11 KJV

When God speaks a word, when He makes a promise, it never comes back to Him empty, useless or void, without producing any effect. God’s Word always accomplishes what He pleases, purposes and desires. It always prospers everywhere He sends it. It always achieves the purpose and succeeds in the matter for which He sent it – it always produces fruit!

In Luke 1:37 KJV, the angel tells Mary, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The ASV says, “For no word from God shall be void of power” and the TLB says, “For every promise from God shall surely come true.” Mary says to the angel in verse 38, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to do whatever he wants. May everything you said come true.” Because Mary immediately believed God’s Word and received God’s Word, she conceived by the Holy Spirit and nine months later she gave birth to Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God. How wonderful for us that she was a godly woman, who took God at His Word so that now we can receive God’s promise too.

God’s Word is powerful and His promises are true. God’s Word never returns to Him void – without accomplishing His purpose and succeeding in its mission. Will you believe the Word that God has spoken to you? Will you receive the fulfillment of His promise to you? God always keeps His Word. Will you believe His Word and so see it manifested in your life?

MY YOKE IS EASY AND MY BURDEN IS LIGHT

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

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

The Amplified version says, “28 Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good – not harsh, hard, sharp or pressing, but comfortable gracious and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.”

Jesus gives an invitation to everyone of us who are weary, fatigued, heavy-laden and overburdened – because we have been working hard, toiling, and laboring in our own strength – to come to Him. He offers help and a solution. He was not talking only to us about physical labor alone, but also about mental, emotional and spiritual labor. There are some burdens that we were not designed to bear. We were not designed to bear the burden of sin and everything else that hell has to offer. We were designed, by the Father, to live in His presence and to draw our life from Him and to be sustained by Him, not to be lone rangers – struggling and limping along under the weight of our heavy burdens. There is no help, no salvation, no relief from our burdens in anything that is in our wisdom, strength or ability – nothing we can do ourselves can come close to what the Father does for us if we will humble ourselves to receive from His hand all that He has already provided for us.

The term heavy-laden means to be loaded up like a pack animal, or in a figurative sense, to be overburdened with ceremony or spiritual anxiety. That is what religion does. It loads you up with burdens, and yet offers no solutions, no way out and no relief. No wonder religion makes some people miserable and grumpy and others just run away. Unfortunately, they run away from God as well. The meaning of religion, in the dictionary, has to do with a belief in and a commitment to something or someone. It also means that a person is bound to the something or someone. Now commitment to God and being bound to Him is not a bad thing, but the problem is that most people are bound to a set of rules and regulations, most of which were instituted by man, not God!

God is not religious! Yes, you read it right! He hates religion with a passion. Jesus, Who speaks for the Father, tells us what He thought of religion and tradition. In Matthew 15:1-9, the Pharisees asked Jesus why His disciples broke the tradition of the elders by not ceremonially washing their hands before they eat! But Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for breaking the command of God for the sake of their tradition and called them hypocrites because they honored God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. He told them that they worshipped God in vain because their teachings were nothing more than rules taught by men.

If we want the blessing of God on our lives, we must be bound by and to the commands of God, but not the traditions that are set in place by man. Your prayer should be, “Father, burn every bit of religion and tradition out of me. Let me be filled with love and devotion to You and to Your Word alone.” Those who do not practice what they preach and who put unfair religious burdens on others – burdens that they themselves are unwilling to bear – anger the Lord (Matthew 23:1-4). We should not lay any burden on someone other that what God requires and what we ourselves are willing to do.

The yoke is a wooden frame or bar with loops or bows at either end, fitted around the necks of a pair of oxen, etc. for harnessing them together. It represents a coupling – something that binds, unites, or connects, such as the marriage relationship. People use the term “the yoke of matrimony.” Figuratively, it has to do with servitude – a law or an obligation. We are yoked to the Lord, but it is neither a hard or unpleasant yoke. A burden is, literally, freight or, figuratively, a task or service. It should not be difficult for us to serve God – if we do it right! It should be a joy and a pleasure. If you are serving God and you are not having the time of your life, then you better check out what you are doing and believing, because according to Jesus, our yoke should be easy and our burden should be light! Cast your cares on Him today. Stop trying to work for your salvation and stop trying to please God in your own strength or ability. Stop! And receive His grace and His mercy, which will refresh your souls!

1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1 NIV

HIS MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING

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

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.  Hebrews 13:8 KJV

Jesus said, “I and the Father are one – if you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” If Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever, then the Father and the Holy Spirit are the same yesterday, and today, and forever. They never change – you can depend upon them to always be constant and consistent. You can depend upon God and you can depend upon His Word.

Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them. Isaiah 48:6 KJV

God never changes, but He has hidden things that we don’t know about. He has many new things to tell us and to show us – when we are ready to receive them.

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.  Malachi 3:6 KJV

God’s character and nature remain the same – above all else He is a merciful God. Because He does not change, He is always looking for an opportunity to pour out His mercy rather than His wrath. When God pours out His wrath, it is because His mercy was not received. We can see from the Bible that God had to withdraw His hand of protection and blessing from Israel many times because of their sin, disobedience and rebellion, and yet, He never did utterly destroy them. Religion and the devil have portrayed God as a killer and a destroyer, but that is a lie!! He is first of all, loving, caring, compassionate and merciful. It is only when He withdraws His hand from the life of a rebellious child that they experience the pain of being in the devil’s territory. For all the awful things that men have done to God and against Him – if God was as bad as they say, then we should all have been wiped out a long time ago. No – He is a good and a merciful God and He does not change and that is why we have a hope and a future!

Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:19 KJV

God’s new thing is always a way of mercy, love, provision and blessing. Father God will reach out to us to bless us with whatever we will humbly receive from Him. It is not that He doesn’t have it; it is not that He won’t give it to us; it is that we don’t know how to reach out and receive it because many times our heart attitude and our motivation are wrong.

Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.  Jeremiah 31:31-34 KJV

God loves doing new things in our lives. He loves to show us His heart and His character and His mercy. It gave Him great pleasure and satisfaction to offer us this New Covenant, even though it was established at the great price of the precious blood of His only begotten Son. God delighted in outwitting the devil and bringing men into a relationship and a covenant with Himself that could not be annulled or broken. You have to understand that the devil (when it suits him) is a legalist and if he caught God in a lie, then He, and we, would be in big trouble. God cannot and will not violate His own Word. The devil will never catch God out in a lie, but he is always trying. God follows the rules and we must follow the rules – if we want to receive the blessing!

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 24 The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him. 25 The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 26 It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD.  Lamentations 3:21-26 KJV

The good news for this New Year is that God’s mercies and compassions are new every morning. It does not matter what mistakes you have made, what sins you have committed – if you will humble your heart before the Lord, God’s grace is enough to wash away your sin and to restore you into fellowship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit once again.

 

IF YOU LOVE GOD-SHOW IT

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

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8 He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 AMP

There are people who claim to be Christians and they claim to know God and yet they don’t love other people. The Bible says that if you do not love others, that you do not know God. If you say that you know and love God, people may believe it initially, but after a while, when they see that you don’t walk in love or practice love toward others, they will realize that you really don’t know God or love Him.

In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 AMP

God says He loves you and me, and He showed it. God’s love is so generous that He did not hesitate to give His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for us. He did not have ten Sons to choose from—He only had one, and that is the One He sent. He displayed exactly how much He loved us when Jesus hung on the cross. If you ever wonder if God loves you—remember the Lamb that was slain.

Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another.12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! 1 John 4:11-12 AMP

When you realize how much God loves you, the least you can do is to show love toward others as well. God has forgiven you of so much and shown so much love to you, and on top of that, He has poured His love into your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). He expects you to receive His love and mercy and to turn around and show love and mercy to others. People on earth haven’t seen God and cannot see God. They can only see the nature and character of God in those who are born of God. When you love people, they see God in you and they come to know Him. If you are a Christian, you have a divine responsibility to love people so that they can experience the love of God through you and so that they can come to know Him too. You will be held accountable before God for how you represented Him on the earth. If you do not love others, you have abdicated your responsibility and call.

And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. 17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:16-17 AMP

The more you walk in love, the more God makes His home in you and the more you come to know Him and the more you become like Him. When you walk in love as a way of life, love is perfected in you. Because you die to your flesh and selfishness and become more like Jesus, the more confidence you will have for the Day of Judgment. Because you walk in love, you judge your own heart and life and you do not judge others—therefore you have no fear of being judged on that Day.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].1 John 4:18 AMP

When you understand how much God loves you and you accept His love and yield yourself to Him, you lose your fear of being punished by God. You realize that because He loves you so much, He has completely forgiven you and not one trace of your sin remains.

We love Him, because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. 21 And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also. 1 John 4:19-21 AMP

The Word of God is plain—if you say you love God and you hate your brother—you are a liar. If you can’t love the brother you see, how can you love God Whom you can’t see? We, who love God, have a command from God—that we love our brother. You are ordered by God to love your brother and you have no other options, but to obey Him.

THE GREATNESS OF HIS POWER IN AND FOR US WHO BELIEVE

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

I pray to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant me a spirit of wisdom and revelation, of insight into mysteries and secrets, in the deep and intimate knowledge of Him,

I pray that I would have the eyes of my heart flooded with light, so that I can know and understand the hope to which He has called me, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints, His set-apart ones,

And so that I can know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe, as demonstrated in the working of His mighty strength,

Which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places,

Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named – above every title that can be conferred – not only in this age and in this world, but also in the age and the world which are to come.

And He has put all things under His feet and has appointed Him the universal and supreme Head of the church – a headship exercised throughout the church,

Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all – for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere with Himself.

Paraphrased from Ephesians 1:17-23 AMP

Because of my faith in Him, I dare to have the boldness, courage and confidence of free access

Because of my faith in Him, I can unreservedly approach God with freedom and without fear.

So I will not lose heart, I will not faint, or become despondent through fear,

Because of the greatness of this plan by which we are built together in Christ, I bow my knees before the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

For Whom every family in heaven and on earth is named

I pray that He would grant me out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in my inner man by the Holy Spirit, Himself indwelling my innermost being and personality.

I pray that Christ, through my faith, may actually dwell, settle down, abide, and make His permanent home in my heart!

I pray that I may be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love,

That I may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints, God’s devoted people, the experience of that love – what is the breadth and length and height and depth of it;

That I may really come to know, practically, through experience for myself, the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge without experience; that I may be filled through all my being unto all the fullness of God.

That I may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself!

Now to Him Who, by and in consequence of the action of His power that is at work within us, is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly, far over and above all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams–

To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen – so be it.

Paraphrased from Ephesians 3:12-21 AMP

These are two powerful, spiritual prayers that Paul prayed for the Ephesians and they apply to every Christian. These prayers reveal the will of God for His children. In Hosea 4:6 God says that His people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. This is not because God’s will is hidden – it is in plain sight, openly revealed in His Word – but because His people do not take time to read and study His Word and then take it personally.

Confessing (speaking out) God’s Word will personalize it for you and make it a reality, first in your mind and heart and then in every aspect of your life. Don’t just do it as a religious ritual, but as you pray these prayers, listen to what you are praying and make them yours. If you will pray these two personalized prayers on a regular basis, then you will begin to walk it out in your everyday life and reap the wonderful benefits of the life, blessing, and power of the awesome Word of God, that is more precious than silver and more costly than gold!

WHO IS USING YOUR MOUTH?

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

Now when Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, Who do people say that the Son of Man is? 14 And they answered, Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets. 15 He said to them, But who do you [yourselves] say that I am? 16 Simon Peter replied, You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 Then Jesus answered him, Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) are you, Simon Bar-Jonah. For flesh and blood [men] have not revealed this to you, but My Father Who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter [Greek, Petros–a large piece of rock], and on this rock [Greek, petra–a huge rock like Gibraltar] I will build My church, and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it [or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it]. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven; and whatever you loose (declare lawful) on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven. 20 Then He sternly and strictly charged and warned the disciples to tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ. 21 From that time forth Jesus began [clearly] to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders and the high priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised from death. 22 Then Peter took Him aside to speak to Him privately and began to reprove and charge Him sharply, saying, God forbid, Lord! This must never happen to You! 23 But Jesus turned away from Peter and said to him, Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way [an offense and a hindrance and a snare to Me]; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.  Matthew 16:13-23 AMP

 

Jesus was Who He was – the Son of God, born to die as a sacrifice for the sins of every man – and He could not and would not deny it. He could not deny that He was the Son of God just because some people were offended by it, but He did not go around announcing it either. Privately, He asked His disciples who they thought He was and Peter, always quick to speak and reveal what was on his mind, replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus acknowledged Peter’s answer with a blessing – he was blessed because he had heard from heaven. No person showed him that Jesus was the Christ – it was revealed to him by the Father Himself. Every one of us must receive revelation and direction from heaven concerning the things of God. You cannot just listen to what other people have to say and blindly follow them – they might be very wrong. When the blind lead the blind, they both fall into the ditch (Matthew 15:14). Read God’s word for yourself and let the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. Judge every situation according to your own born-again spirit and not your head.

Romans 8:6-7 AMP says, “Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. 7[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.” Your carnal mind – the mind of the flesh – tries to reason and make sense of things without the Holy Spirit and fails hopelessly. If you follow your carnal mind it will result in death – spiritual death, premature physical death, and finally, eternal death. This is because the mind of the flesh cannot and does not submit itself to God’s Law. On the other hand, the mind that is yielded to the Holy Spirit results in life and peace, now and forever.

Do you know that it is possible to yield to the Holy Spirit one minute and then to the devil the next? Peter found out the hard way. Jesus knew very clearly what His purpose was and even how He would suffer and die. When He shared it with the disciples, Peter pulled Him aside and rebuked Him. Peter did not want Jesus to die and Jesus, in Himself, did not want to die a painful death either, but He had committed Himself to the will of the Father. When Peter rebuked Him, he was not speaking the will of God over Jesus’ life. It was a voice from hell trying to talk Jesus out of His mission. So Jesus turned away from Peter and addressed the devil. He said, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are in My way; for you are minding what partakes not of the nature and quality of God, but of men.”

Be very careful that you do not yield yourself to the devil, to be used by him. The devil is always going to try to speak to you and drop little thoughts into your head that are contrary to the will and the word of God. Do not receive these thoughts and suggestions and definitely do not speak them out and do them! Be yielded only to the Holy Spirit. Do and say only what He says to you. How do you know the difference? You must spend time reading and absorbing the word of God, spend time praying in the Holy Ghost, and spend time in God’s presence in worship. Lay aside your preconceived ideas, let your mind become still and listen to your own spirit – that is where the Holy Spirit will speak to you – and then you will be more yielded to the Lord and not the devil in your thoughts, speech and actions and your life will bring glory to God.

PERSECUTION ON ACCOUNT OF THE WORD

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

They are Hebrews? So am I! They are Israelites? So am I! They are descendants of Abraham? So am I! 23 Are they [ministering] servants of Christ (the Messiah)? I am talking like one beside himself, [but] I am more, with far more extensive and abundant labors, with far more imprisonments, [beaten] with countless stripes, and frequently [at the point of] death. 24 five times I received from [the hands of] the Jews forty [lashes all] but one; 25 three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. three times I have been aboard a ship wrecked at sea; a [whole] night and a day I have spent [adrift] on the deep; 26 Many times on journeys, [exposed to] perils from rivers, perils from bandits, perils from [my own] nation, perils from the Gentiles, perils in the city, perils in the desert places, perils in the sea, perils from those posing as believers [but destitute of Christian knowledge and piety]; 27 In toil and hardship, watching often [through sleepless nights], in hunger and thirst, frequently driven to fasting by want, in cold and exposure and lack of clothing. 28 And besides those things that are without, there is the daily [inescapable pressure] of my care and anxiety for all the churches! 29 Who is weak, and I do not feel [his] weakness? Who is made to stumble and fall and have his faith hurt, and I am not on fire [with sorrow or indignation]? 30 If I must boast, I will boast of the things that [show] my infirmity [of the things by which I am made weak and contemptible in the eyes of my opponents]. 31 The God and Father of the Lord Jesus Christ knows, He Who is blessed and to be praised forevermore, that I do not lie. 32 In Damascus, the city governor acting under King Aretas guarded the city of Damascus [on purpose] to arrest me, 33 And I was [actually] let down in a [rope] basket or hamper through a window (a small door) in the wall, and I escaped through his fingers. 2 Corinthians 11:22-33 AMP

After God dramatically got Paul’s attention, on the road to Damascus, Paul gave his whole life into God’s hands. He was totally committed and radically sold out to obeying God and spreading the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ far and wide. However, the price he paid was intense persecution and many other hardships, so much so that he almost died on several occasions. There is no biblical evidence that he had an eye disease as some people have claimed. Paul, himself, never mentions it when he tells us of all the things he suffered for the Gospel’s sake. However, what he did suffer was bad enough! And yet, he was so committed to his Lord and Savior that absolutely nothing he went through could stop him from fulfilling the call of God on his life.

Matthew 13:21 and Mark 4:17 tell us that persecution comes on account of the Word. The devil will try anything to stop the Word of God in your life. He will attack you directly through circumstances and indirectly through other people.

Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves. 17 Be on guard against men [whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God]; for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues, 8 And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the Gentiles (the nations). 19 But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment, 20 For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 21 Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child; and children will take a stand against their parents and will have them put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake, but he who perseveres and endures to the end will be saved [from spiritual disease and death in the world to come]. 23 When they persecute you in one town [that is, pursue you in a manner that would injure you and cause you to suffer because of your belief], flee to another town; for truly I tell you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes. 24 A disciple is not above his teacher, nor is a servant or slave above his master. 25 It is sufficient for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant or slave like his master. If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub [master of the dwelling], how much more will they speak evil of those of His household. 6 So have no fear of them; for nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, or kept secret that will not become known. 27 What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered in the ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; but rather be afraid of Him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (Gehenna). Matthew 10:16-28 AMP

Jesus was persecuted to death. We, His servants, are not better than Him. The reason they hated and persecuted Jesus is the same reason they hate and persecute His disciples. You need to realize that you are in God’s hands and He will take care of you. Jesus endured the death of the cross and despised the shame for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). If you have a revelation of the joy that is set before you, you will not hesitate to obey God in spite of the threat of persecution, and even death, for the Gospel’s sake.

Rodney Howard Browne brings good news to Cocoa Florida

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