Tag Archives: Rodney Howard-Browne Lakeland

The Church – Preaching, Teaching And Making Disciples

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The mission of the local church is: Preaching and teaching; Making disciples; Fellowship; Worship; Missions and evangelism; Maturity of the believer; Ministry in the home; Ministry to material needs.

Preaching and teaching:

In Mark 16:15, Mark records that Jesus commanded the Church to preach the Gospel and in Matthew’s account, He emphasizes the teaching mission of the church (Matthew 28:19-20).

We can see in the book of Acts that the Church did what Jesus told them to do – to both preach and teach:
• Acts 5:42 NKJV – And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.
• Acts 2:42 Kenneth S. Wuest – And they were giving constant attention to the teaching of the apostles and to that which they held in common with them, and to the breaking of the bread and to the gatherings where prayers to God were offered.
• Acts 11:25-26 NKJV – Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul. 26 And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.
• Acts 15:35 NKJV – Paul and Barnabas also remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
• Acts 18:11 NKJV – And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.
• Acts 20:20-21 NKJV – How I kept back nothing that was helpful, buts proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
• Acts 28:30-31 NKJV – Then Paul dwelt two whole years in his own rented house, and received all who came to him, 31 preaching the kingdom of God and teaching the things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ with all confidence, no one forbidding him.

Preach means to herald; to proclaim; to publish. Preaching serves to both recruit and motivate the hearer. Through preaching, new babes are born into the family of God. Teach means to disciple, to instruct; to impart skill, knowledge or comprehension to. Teaching is the maturing ministry of the Church. Through teaching, the babes grow up and are matured from drinking milk to eating strong meat.

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?  1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NKJV

For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Hebrews 5:12-14 NKJV

Making disciples:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.  Matthew 28:19-20 KJV

The Greek word translated “teach” is matheteuo, from mathetes, which means “disciple.” The Church is commanded by Jesus to teach – or disciple – all nations. Discipling involves teaching, but is more than just teaching – it is setting and leading by example. You can tell someone how to do it, but showing them is so much more effective. People learn a little by what you say, more by what you do and the most by who you are! Those who merely teach, have pupils, but those who disciple, make followers.

For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything.  1 Thessalonians 1:5-8 NKJV

The Church must teach God’s word, live God’s word and demonstrate God’s word. This requires that they personally submit themselves to the Word and the Spirit and allow God to do a work in them and through them. Always point people to God and His word, not to yourself; lift Jesus up; glorify the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Disciple by word and deed:
• 1 Timothy 4:12 AMP – Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.
• 1 Corinthians 11:1 AMP – Pattern yourselves after me [follow my example], as I imitate and follow Christ (the Messiah).
• Ephesians 5:1 AMP – Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
• Philippians 3:17 AMP – Brethren, together follow my example and observe those who live after the pattern we have set for you.

The local church will be strong when its members – under a Spirit-filled ministry – learn from one another, grow together and strengthen one another.

Children are a Blessing of the Lord

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

The king [David] shall joy in Your strength, O Lord; and in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice! 2 You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah [pause, and think of that]! 3 For You send blessings of good things to meet him; You set a crown of pure gold on his head. 4 He asked life of You, and You gave it to him–long life forever and evermore. 5 His glory is great because of Your aid; splendor and majesty You bestow upon him. 6 For You make him to be blessed and a blessing forever; You make him exceedingly glad with the joy of Your presence. Psalms 21:1-6 AMP

Because King David obeyed and honored God, God greatly blessed and favored him. We are also blessed through David—through David’s Seed: Jesus. If God does it for one, He will do it for all. If God made David blessed and a blessing then He has made us also blessed and a blessing. All we need to do is to obey and honor God, like David did, believe that God’s Word is true for us personally, and act like it is true! If God says that we are blessed and a blessing, then that means that our children are also blessed and a blessing!

Blessed shall be the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your beasts, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock.  Deuteronomy 28:4 AMP

God promised that many blessings will come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God. The fruit of your body are your children. One of God’s promises to you is that He will bless your children.

For He has strengthened and made hard the bars of your gates, and He has blessed your children within you.  Psalms 147:13 AMP

Your children are blessed even before they are born. This is a promise that you can hold onto—that God’s hand of protection and provision will be upon your children even in the womb. Some people treat their children like they are a burden or a curse, but God calls them a blessing! You must see your children as God sees them—blessed and a blessing!

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy, blessed, and fortunate is the man whose quiver is filled with them! They will not be put to shame when they speak with their adversaries [in gatherings] at the [city’s] gate.  Psalms 127:3-5 AMP

Children are a heritage and a reward from the Lord. If you love and obey God, you can stand on this promise and ask Him for children! You are blessed if you have a bunch of them—not cursed. Also, God promised that if you do things His way, your children will grow up to be both good and godly and that they will contribute to society, not be detrimental, to themselves or others, or be an embarrassment to your family. Children have a way of fulfilling their parent’s expectations. Appreciate and value your children as gifts from God and expect them to have the right attitude and to do the right thing. Most importantly, you need to lead by example.

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is everyone who fears, reveres, and worships the Lord, who walks in His ways and lives according to His commandments. 2 For you shall eat [the fruit] of the labor of your hands; happy (blessed, fortunate, enviable) shall you be, and it shall be well with you. 3 Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the innermost parts of your house; your children shall be like olive plants round about your table. 4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord. 5 May the Lord bless you out of Zion [His sanctuary], and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life; 6 Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel!  Psalms 128:1-6 AMP

If you worship and obey God, and teach your children to do the same, He will bless your whole family. Your children will be solid, secure, and prosperous. Even your grand-children will be greatly blessed and you will live to enjoy their company.

If your children will keep My covenant and My testimony that I shall teach them, their children also shall sit upon your throne forever.  Psalms 132:12 AMP

Children are a precious gift—too precious to spoil. You are not a blessing to your child if you are neglectful or abusive, but neither are you a blessing to them if you give them everything for nothing and make them think that they are the center of the universe. They must learn to respect authority—yours and God’s—and they must learn that the most important thing in life is that they learn to always please God and obey Him. In this way, your children will always be blessed of the Lord.

Why We Worship Him

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

Foundation Scriptures: Luke 19:29-40

And it came to pass, when He drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here. 31 And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of it.'” 32 So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. 33 But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, “Why are you loosing the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of him.”35 Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. 36 And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. 37 Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, 38 saying: “‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees called to Him from the crowd, “Teacher, rebuke Your disciples.” 40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”  Luke 19:29-40 NKJV

1. The reason we worship.

  • They threw their garments over the colt and sat Jesus upon it.
  • They spread their garments on the road in front of Him.
  • The whole multitude of disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice.

They praised Him for all the mighty works they had seen!

  • They said—Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! ‘Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!
  • The Pharisees asked Jesus to rebuke His disciples.
  • Jesus told them—If they keep silent, the stones will immediately cry out!

2. We praise Him and worship Him—with no restraint or reservation—lifting up our hands; our hearts; our voices—giving Him our all.

Because…

  • He is our Savior.
  • He is our Deliverer.
  • He is our Healer.
  • He is the Baptizer in the Holy Ghost and Fire.
  • He is our Righteousness.
  • He is our Protector.
  • He is our Shepherd.
  • He is our Provider.
  • He is our Rock; our Shelter; our All in All.
  • He is our Lord and King.

We cannot be quiet about Him!

3. We must shout it from the mountain-tops to the roof-tops until the whole world knows!

If they could wave palm branches and throw their clothes at His feet and raise their voices in praise and adoration to His Name…
…how much more should we worship—we who have been redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb and have the Holy Spirit in us to help us worship!

4. Why people don’t worship.

  • They are worshipping other things—worshipping idols.
  • Idols of TV; sport; movies; possessions; their bellies; etc.
  • Worship—you know what you worship—it’s what you give your time, attention and money to.
  • Idol worship is rife in the 21st century church.

It’s time to worship the King! It’s time to praise Him! It’s time to give Him glory!

THE SOWER SOWS THE WORD

Foundation Scriptures: Mark 4:2-8, Mark 4:14-20

It’s time to pay attention, hear and listen.

Jesus starts this parable in verse 3 with these words: Give attention to this! And ends in verse 9: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
The preacher, preaching the word, is the sower of seed.
God’s word is living and powerful and gives you power and victory over the enemy.
When cultivated it produces fruit in varying degrees: fruit, more fruit and much fruit.
Unless our hearts are prepared to receive the seed of the word, we cannot grow in grace or knowledge.
The devil is the enemy of God’s word in your life and will steal it from you anyway he can.
The devil knows that the best time to destroy a tree is at its genesis—when it is young and small—before or shortly after it starts to grow and definitely before it sends its roots solidly down into the earth.
The seed of the word is the same in each case—it is the soil that makes the difference between success and failure.
YOUR heart and life is the soil.

Verse 15: The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.

These people receive the word negligently.
They hear the Word with hardhearted indifference.
They are not listening and not paying attention.
They need to hear it, but are not ready or willing to hear.
The devil has no trouble snatching the word away from them.
They walk away with nothing.

Verse 16-17: And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.

The Message Bible: And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
These people actually stop to listen.
They get really excited initially, but it is merely an emotional response, nothing more.
They have not developed any character in their life—they are very shallow.
Because their soil is shallow, the roots of the word can’t get a good grip.
They believe (endure) for a little while.
Like a hot sun, trouble (hardships) and persecution arises on account of the word.
When these people encounter pressure or difficulty, they are instantly offended—they become displeased, indignant and resentful.
They blame it on God and His Word and back off from the word.
They stumble and fall away, turning their back on God.
This outside pressure does not just make them back off it leaves them personally offended. This offence robs them of God’s blessings.

Verse 18-19: And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.

The Message Bible: The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.
Notice that this soil is already full of thorns and weeds.
These people hear the word and receive it and it is able to grow up a little bit.
Unfortunately, they take their eyes off of the word—they become distracted and preoccupied with the cares and riches of this life and the word in them is choked and suffocated to death.
Instead of focusing on the answer—Jesus—they focus on the problem.
Worry, covetousness and lust are weeds that choke the Word of God in your life.
Their fruit does not ripen—the Word of God becomes unfruitful in their life.

Verse 20: And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.

The Message Bible: But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.
The good ground represents the prepared heart that receives the seed and produces fruit; produces a harvest.
These people hear the Word and embrace it—they receive it, accept it, and welcome it for themselves.
This is the only appropriate response to the Word of God—the only one that will produce any fruit.
Luke 8:15 AMP says that those with good soil hold the word fast in a just, noble, virtuous and worthy heart and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.
The Word of God is allowed to grow and keep growing in their heart and life in spite of life’s circumstances; in spite of trials and temptations.
These are genuine disciples.
They produce a harvest of good fruit in varying amounts 30, 60 or 100-fold.

How do I walk in God’s best?

Commit to personally receive and obey the Word of God.
Put your flesh under—don’t yield to fleshly desires.
Don’t believe the devil’s lies—hide the word in your heart so that you will recognize the truth.
Don’t lose your focus—know what you believe.
Don’t cave in under pressure—hang in longer than the devil.

TRIBULATION IN THE WORLD – VICTORY IN JESUS

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

Foundation Scripture: John 16:33 (AMP)

  • 33           I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage: be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [ I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]

 

The word “tribulation” means pressure (literally or figuratively). It is also translated as – afflicted, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, and trouble in the King James Bible. If we live in this world and this world system, it is very likely that we will experience tribulations, burdens and persecutions. Everyone experiences tribulation in one form or another if they live on this earth, whether they serve God or the devil. The difference between the two, is this, those who serve God, are comforted in the middle of the trial and have a really good chance of coming out on top at the end. Those who serve the devil just have a horrible time with no happy ending!

 

Romans 8:35-39  (NKJ)

35         Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36         As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”

37         Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

38         For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

39         nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Nothing that we go through can separate us from the love that our Father God and Jesus Christ have for us. Because of Jesus’ love, He came to conquer the enemy on our behalf, so that we can walk free and victorious! It does not matter what comes your way, you can take comfort and have confidence in this: that Jesus is on your side and if you will place your trust and confidence in Him, He will take you through to the other side – through into the victory! Jesus has already done everything that He needed to do for you when He conquered the world and the devil. You are not waiting on Him – He is waiting on you to take Him at His word and walk victoriously.

 

There are two reasons that you face tribulations – because you are doing something wrong, or because you are doing something right! When you sin, tribulation comes your way as a result of sin. If you subject yourself to the world, to be like the world, you will reap the harvest of your sin and disobedience. If you are on the devil’s turf, you are subject to him. The devil may make you many promises, but there is no good thing in him and if you hang around with him, you will have what he has – distress, frustration, death and destruction – with no way out.

 

If, on the other hand, you choose to serve God only and you devote yourself to Him, you will face much opposition from the devil and the world, but the tribulation of persecution cannot defeat you, because your life is in God’s hands and your enemy is His enemy. That is bad news for the devil. Jesus told us to be of good cheer and be confident because He has conquered the world and deprived it of its power over us!

FORGIVE SO THAT YOU MAY BE FORGIVEN

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

Mark 11:25-26  (NKJ)

25      “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

26      “But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

 

All of God’s promises come with conditions (doing things God’s way) – not because God wants to make our life difficult – but because we have to learn God’s ways (which are different to ours) and the ways that God’s kingdom functions. We have been exposed, all our lives, to the world’s system, which is destructive and wreaks havoc in our lives as we function in the “way of the world.” God’s kingdom leads to life and blessing, but we must learn to function in this higher kingdom of God’s ways and then we will reap all the blessings that He has for us.

 

We have the blessing and privilege of praying and then receiving from our Father, God, but we must be walking in love or our prayers will not be heard. It is not possible to walk in love and unforgiveness at the same time. Unforgiveness disqualifies you from getting the answer to your prayer. You cannot blame God for unanswered prayer – He plays by the rules. God is all-powerful and can do anything, but He will not go against His Word. If you line up with His Word, you will reap the benefits.

 

Matthew 18:21-35  (NKJ)

21      Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

22      Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

23      “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

24      “And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

25      “But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made.

26      “The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’

27      “Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.

28      “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’

29      “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’

30      “And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt.

31      “So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done.

32      “Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me.

33      ‘Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’

34      “And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him.

35      “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

 

God longs to forgive us and extend His mercy toward us, but He cannot do it if we do not forgive and extend mercy toward others. God’s mercies are new every morning – He is ready again to forgive us again every day. He asks us to be ready to forgive others every day. When we have been hurt, we want to hurt others and hold them permanently responsible for their actions by not forgiving them. We think we are affecting them, but we are only affecting our own fellowship with God in a negative way. We are not holding them in bondage – we are holding ourselves in bondage.

 

If we forgive others, we release them and ourselves and God is able to forgive and bless us. Thank God, He does not treat us the way we sometimes treat each other. Thank God He is so merciful to us and so patient with us. If we treat others the way we would like to be treated then we will have no problems with an unforgiving heart.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS GOODNESS

“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

There are several different Hebrew and Greek words translated as goodness in the KJV. When referring to goodness as an attribute of the character God or man, the Hebrew words mean goodness, kindness, graciousness, beauty, gladness, and welfare. The Greek words mean virtue or beneficence and moral excellence – in character or demeanor.

When the Bible speaks of the goodness that is extended toward us and that follows us the Hebrew word for goodness means beautiful, bountiful, cheerful, joyful, kindness, loving, merry, favor, glad, pleasant, pleasing, pleasure, precious, prosperity, wealth, welfare and well-favored.

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?  Romans 2:4 NKJ

So many people – Christians and non-Christians – present our Father God as an angry, hard, judgmental, demanding God, who expects us to keep a whole bunch of rules and regulations. We think that He loves to punish us and so when we sin, we try to run away and hide from Him. We try to defend ourselves and justify our actions, instead of just running to Him in repentance, and asking forgiveness.

Our sin destined us for hell, but God’s grace paid in full, by the blood of Jesus, destines us for heaven! It is the goodness of God that draws us to Him. We realize how much He loves us and how kind and gracious and merciful He is toward us and we come running into His arms to receive forgiveness and mercy. The goodness of God leads us to repentance. We repent because we know that God’s mercy will be poured out on our heads and the bondage of sin will be destroyed from off of our lives. What a good God we serve and how good He is to us!

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD!

Psalms 27:13-14 NKJ

God’s goodness and kindness toward us are extended to every area of our lives here on earth. He is on our side and He is concerned with our welfare. He provides every good thing that we need – spirit, soul and body. In the middle of any adverse circumstance and situation we find ourselves in, we can know that God is not the author of the disaster (as some believe), but He is the answer and the solution to every problem that we encounter. He is the way out of the problem not the cause of it! We can be encouraged as we wait on Him and put our trust in Him to save us and to bring us out in victory. If we believe that God is the author of our trouble, then our courage will fail because we see ourselves in a hopeless situation. But if we know that He is our answer and that He has made a way for us and that He is ever ready to save us – we can have hope in His goodness and we can see our way out into His blessing and provision!

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness.  Psalms 107:8-9 NKJ

God is so kind and gracious to us. He is good and He fills us with His goodness. He is not stingy. He does not use a tiny teaspoon to dish out His goodness to us – He fills us – He does not stop until we are overflowing with His bountiful joy, favor, pleasure, prosperity, wealth, and welfare!

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.  Psalms 23:6 NKJ

God promises us that if we obey and serve Him that His bountiful joy, favor, pleasure, prosperity, wealth, and welfare will be following us all the days of our lives. Not just some days – or when He feels like it – no – every day we will be saturated in His blessing and His abundance. Thank God for His goodness – what a good God we serve. What a joy it is to serve Him!

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

Romans 15:13-14 NKJ

We must be as good to one another as God is good to us. We should be kind and merciful, gracious and honest. We should be generous and hospitable and we should lavish blessings on one another.

Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.  II Thessalonians 1:11-12 NKJ

BRING YOUR FRAGRANT CALAMUS TO THE LORD – LAVISH HIM WITH THE FAT OF YOUR SACRIFICE

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

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, the people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise.

“Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel. You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense. You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses.  “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. Your first father sinned; your spokesmen rebelled against me. So I will disgrace the dignitaries of your temple, and I will consign Jacob to destruction and Israel to scorn.  Isaiah 43:18-28 NIV

God created us to proclaim His praise. He loves us with an everlasting love – a love that gives all, without holding anything back. It is hard for us, as people who have experienced a world contaminated by the presence of evil and sin and death, to comprehend or even fully appreciate just how much God does love us. And yet He continues to reach out to us and demonstrate His mercy and grace at every opportunity. He makes a way in our wilderness and He causes rivers to flow through our dry places. He says that even the animals have the good sense to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate Him as the source of provision and blessing.

He is the God of the second chance. He is always ready to forget yesterday and to forgive our past sins, mistakes and rebellion. He encourages us, also, to forget about yesterday. He offers us a new day and a new beginning over and over. And yet instead of appreciating all He does for us and all that He is to us, we offer Him nothing but trouble in return. We burden Him with our sins and weary Him with our iniquities. We take, but we don’t give. We take His graciousness for granted as we continue in our sin and rebellion and selfishness – expecting Him to step in and pick up the pieces every time we mess up and then to step back out of our lives again until we need something more from Him.

God goes out of His way to take care of us, but we are too lazy or too self-absorbed to take the time or to make the effort to press into His presence and to seek His face. We won’t do anything that requires more than the minimum of effort. We want everything done for us, but we are not prepared to put ourselves out in the slightest for the Lord. We let our flesh rule us – we don’t rule our flesh.

He has been infinitely patient with us, while making very few demands. We ought to love Him, appreciate Him, and generously lavish Him with gifts and offerings. We should offer Him the best we have – not just the dregs. We should honor Him with our lips and honor Him with our gifts. Every day we should be looking for ways to please Him and to bless Him and make Him happy. Many people say that they love God, but they don’t act like it. If we truly love God, we will affectionately reverence Him, promptly obey Him and gratefully recognize His blessing! We will bring to Him the best we have – we will lavish Him with our offerings. We will give it with open heart and open hand – holding nothing back! For He is our light and the length of our days – our Rock, our Fortress and our Provider – our Savior, Healer, Deliverer and Lord! He is worthy of the very best that we have to give!

I WILL REMEMBER YOUR SINS NO MORE

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

Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. The LORD executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. Psalms 103:1-7 NKJV

The Lord has made known to His people His heart and His deeds—His ways and His acts. He wants us to know Him and to know what His heart is toward us. He gives us His Word so there can be no excuses. The only reason we may not know what He wants us to know is because we choose to ignore or disregard His Word. He does not want us to be ignorant or misled about His character or about how He feels about us. He wants us to KNOW what He has done for us and what He will do for us. He daily loads us with benefits. He is the One Who forgives ALL our iniquities, Who heals ALL our diseases, Who redeems our life from destruction, Who crowns us with loving kindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies our mouth with good things and Who renews our youth like the eagle’s. He is on our side and He will defend, deliver and protect us.

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in mercy. He will not always strive with us, nor will He keep His anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor punished us according to our iniquities. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust. Psalms 103:8-14  NKJV

The Lord is infinitely patient with us. It takes a lot to make Him angry and it takes a long time for Him to get angry, neither does He stay angry for long. You don’t want to be on the wrong side of God when He is angry! But thankfully—for us—He is long on patience and mercy! He has graciously not dealt with us according to our sins nor punished us according to our iniquities. He has poured out mercy on us, when what we actually deserved was hell. He knows all our weaknesses and limitations and so He purchased our redemption Himself.

We could never earn salvation on our own merits—the price was so much higher than what we could ever afford. His mercy is as high as the heavens are above the earth and He has removed our transgressions as far as the east is from the west. How far is the east from the west? East and west will never meet. They are continually moving in the opposite direction—away from each other. Our sins keep moving away from us—never to return.

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV

“I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence.”  Isaiah 43:25-26 NIV

God blots out our sins and He remembers them no more. You may have a hard time forgetting and the devil will try to accuse you, but you need to remind yourself of God’s Word on the matter. God wants to argue—discuss—the matter of your innocence. He knows the offer of mercy that He has made you, but do you know it? Think of your eternal destiny as being decided in a court of law. Father God is the judge. The devil is the prosecutor. Jesus is your advocate and the Holy Spirit is the bailiff. God’s desire is that you would walk out of court a free man or woman. He has made a way for you to be free, but you have to stand on your rights. You have to know what you believe and why you believe it.

The devil accuses you before God—stating his case of why you should be consigned to hell. You must know, without a doubt, what your rights are. You must know that you have a right to live eternally in the presence of God—not because of your good works, but because of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. You have received Him as Lord and Savior and justice has been served. Jesus was already judged, sentenced and executed in your place. He rose again to bring you into right standing with the Father. The words “judge” or “judgment” mean, “to make a decision.” Almighty God, the Righteous Judge, makes a decision concerning your life according to the decision you have made for your life. There is only one sin that will send you to hell forever and that is the sin of not receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. There is only one good thing that you can do in order to go to heaven and that is to believe that Jesus died and rose again for you and to confess Him as Lord of your life.

THE HEALING AND MIRACLE MINISTRY OF JESUS

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

Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.  Luke 5:17 NKJV

As we study the Gospels, we find a record of the healing and miracle ministry of Jesus. Over seventy percent of His life and ministry was healing the sick and casting out devils. Modern day religion and tradition says that the day of miracles is over, however, God’s Word says that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV). He has not changed. What He did then – He still does now!

Salvation – Greek word “soteria” – is translated in the KJV as deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. It means rescue or safety (physically or morally). Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words says that, “soteria” denotes deliverance, preservation, and salvation for our spirit, soul and body. “Salvation” is used in the New Testament of deliverance from everything that threatens us, whether in spirit, soul or body. If we serve God, He promises to deliver us personally and also as a nation. He will deliver us from the bondage of sin and also keep us safe from all physical dangers that threaten our life, our health and our well being, including sickness and disease. He will deliver Israel at His second coming and He will save His Church from the wrath that will be poured out on the ungodly at the culmination of the ages. The Lord’s salvation includes all the blessings bestowed by God on men in Christ through the Holy Spirit

When Jesus died at Calvary, He paid the price – not only for our sins, but for our sickness, too. For those who think that we are only saved from sin and nothing else – think about this: it is ridiculous to think that Jesus would save you from your sins and eternal damnation, only to make you live in hell all the way till you get to Heaven! It is evident in the ministry of Jesus that He wanted to heal people and perform miracles, because He is compassionate and He is good.  That is what the Gospel is all about – Good News! Good news to the lost – you don’t have to be lost any more. Good news to the sick – you don’t have to be sick any more.

The healings and miracles that are recorded in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are not the only miracles that Jesus did, because the book of John 21:25 NKJV says that, “there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.” This means that during Jesus’ three and a half years of earthly ministry, He performed miracles every day – healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out devils, forgiving and restoring people – spirit, soul and body.

9 Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, `Show us the father’? 10 Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. 11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves. 12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.  John 14:9-12 NIV

Jesus did nothing on His own. His Father did the works through Him. In the same way, Jesus works through us to perform miracles to bless and help people. When He ascended, He gave the His power and ability to His disciples and to ALL who believe His Word. He said to us in Mark 16:15-18 NKJV, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

By God’s Word and with His power, we can lay hands on the sick and see them healed. He is the Healer – we just lay our hands on the sick. Always expect something to happen when you lay hands on the sick. You and I are an extension of the healing and miracle ministry of Jesus. The healing and miracle ministry of Jesus is still alive today – in us.