GOD CONFIRMS HIS WORD

Today’s Scriptures: Mark 16:15-20

Mark 16:15-20 NKJV
For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands. 
Isaiah 66:2 AMP

And He said to them, “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.” 19 So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. 

After Jesus rose from the dead, and before He ascended to His seat at the right hand of the Father, He sent the disciples out to do His work. He commissioned them to preach the gospel to every person, to get them filled with the Spirit and to heal and deliver them. The key to the signs and wonders and miracles was the preaching of the Word. The signs followed the Word of God! God will not confirm your opinion – He will only confirm the Word.

Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Jeremiah, what do you see? And I said, I see a branch or shoot of an almond tree [the emblem of alertness and activity, blossoming in late winter]. 12 Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.  Jeremiah 1:11-12 AMP

The Lord is not fast asleep – He is active and alert. He is ever watching over His Word to perform it. God’s Word is not like the words of man, which fall to the ground. God’s Word is active, alive and full of power.

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 AMP

Rodney Howard Browne shows us that the power of God is in the Word of God!

For as the rain and snow come down from the heavens, and return not there again, but water the earth and make it bring forth and sprout, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.   Isaiah 55:10-11 AMP

God’s Word is like the rain, which comes down to water the earth and produce food and seed, bringing life and blessing everywhere it falls. You never see land that is well watered, that does not have grass and trees and food growing, supporting and sustaining life. The desert areas of the world are that way because they have no rain to bring life to the ground. In the same way, wherever God’s Word goes, life is produced. God’s Word does not just fall to the ground – it is never useless or ineffective. Whatever God pleases, will be accomplished through and by His powerful Word and whatever He sent it to do it will do. Not only will His Word produce exactly what He sent it out to do, but it will prosper and be multiplied!

The Lord said to Moses, Has the Lord’s hand (His ability and power) become short (thwarted and inadequate)? You shall see now whether My word shall come to pass for you or not.  Numbers 11:23 AMP

Moses got into trouble with God because he asked too many questions after God had already answered him and told him everything he needed to know. He doubted God’s ability to use him for His purposes. If God tells you to do something, it is because something is going to happen as you obey His Word. It doesn’t matter if it makes no sense to the natural mind; it doesn’t matter if you feel worthy or not; God’s Word will produce and prosper when you act on it. Remember, God will not confirm your opinion or your own idea – He will confirm His Word!

Rodney Howard Browne teaches us that we need to have a much greater respect and regard for God’s Word. We should tremble at God’s Word – not in fear, but in utmost respect. We should surrender ourselves – our will and our destiny – to His Word. God’s Word is worthy of our full attention and complete obedience at all times. Only then will we be blessed and prosperous in all that we do.

Eight Things God is to Man

1. Deliverer

I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my foes rejoice over me. Psalms 30:1 NKJV

And he said: “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; 3 The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Savior, You save me from violence. 4 I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. 2 Samuel 22:2-4 NKJV

The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. 3 I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalms 18:2-3 AMP

And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. Romans 11:26 AMP

2. Healer

O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. Psalms 30:2 NKJV

But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole. Isaiah 53:5 AMP

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

3. Preserver

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Psalms 30:3 NKJV

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalms 32:7 NKJV

The Lord shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul. 8 The Lord shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. Psalms 121:7-8 NKJV

And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen! 2 Timothy 4:18 NKJV

4. Holiness

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. Psalms 30:4 NKJV

Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, awesome in splendor, doing wonders? Exodus 15:11 AMP

And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:24 AMP

5. Comforter

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5 NKJV

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 NKJV

This is my comfort in my affliction, For Your word has given me life. Psalms 119:50 NKJV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NKJV

6. Provider

Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” Psalms 30:6 NKJV

And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness [which manifests itself in active goodness, kindness, and charity]. 2 Corinthians 9:10 AMP

7. Protector

Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled. 8 I cried out to You, O Lord; And to the Lord I made supplication: 9 “What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth? Psalms 30:7-8 NKJV

The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. 3 I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies. Psalms 18:2-3 AMP

8. Helper

Hear, O Lord, and have mercy on me; Lord, be my helper!” 11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, 12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever. Psalms 30:10-12 NKJV

Behold, God is my helper and ally; the Lord is my upholder and is with them who uphold my life. Psalms 54:4 AMP

So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me? Hebrews 13:6 AMP

Sound Instruction for a Blessed Life – Part Three

But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine. Titus 2:1 NKJV

But [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians]. Titus 2:1 AMP

The Lord, through Paul, commanded Titus to preach sound doctrine to all people. This is His command to each of us as well.

6. Preach to men-concerning grace:

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.

Titus 2:11-12 NKJV

God’s grace has appeared to bring salvation to ALL mankind. This grace, that forgives and saves, also teaches us to:

Deny ungodliness

Deny worldly lusts

Live soberly

Live righteously

Live godly

The Greek word for “teaching” is paideuo, which means instruction as to children.

Truly I say to you, whoever does not accept and receive and welcome the kingdom of God like a little child [does] shall not in any way enter it [at all]. Luke 18:17 AMP

How can a person “receive the Kingdom of God like a child”? It means to have a humble, teachable spirit. It means that you trust Father God and you believe His word – just as a child believes the word of an adult who loves him and whom he trusts. We should be willing to be guided and taught by the Word of God. We should be willing to learn, grow and change.

7. Preach to men concerning the rapture and the second coming:

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13 NKJV

One of the truths of the Gospel that we should believe, trust, and preach is that Jesus is coming back in His glory. In these last days, there are people who deny the second coming, but God’s Word tells us that we should comfort each other with these words. If we believe God’s Word about the resurrection and salvation then we should believe Him about the second coming.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 NKJV

8. Preach to men-concerning redemption:

Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works. Titus 2:14 NKJV

Jesus gave Himself for us:

To redeem us from iniquity

To purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works

9. Preach with authority:

Speak these things, exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no one despise you. Titus 2:15 NKJV

Four admonitions to Titus:

1. These things speak.

Speak these things – preach, say, speak, talk, tell, utter. The Gospel must be preached. It can only be preached when we open our mouths and tell it.

For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” 14 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:13-14 NKJV

2. These things exhort.

Exhort – means to call near; invite; invoke; beseech; call for; be of good comfort; desire; entreat; pray. We are to exhort others concerning the Gospel – we are to invite them, beseech them and entreat them.

And we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in [spreading] the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, to strengthen and establish and to exhort and comfort and encourage you in your faith.

1 Thessalonians 3:2 AMP

Therefore encourage (admonish, exhort) one another and edify (strengthen and build up) one another, just as you are doing.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 AMP

3. Rebuke with all authority.

When you preach the Gospel, preach it with boldness and authority, because when you speak, you speak with the whole of Heaven backs you up.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

4. Let no man despise you.

What man thinks of you is of no consequence in eternity. Only what God thinks counts. Do not worry about what people think. Go ahead and boldly preach the Gospel.

The Work of Your Hands

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

II Thessalonians 3:10-12  (NAS)

10 For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone will not work, neither let him eat.

11 For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies.

12 Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread.

Paul gives very clear instruction and direction to the church in this passage concerning how they were to apply their time and resources. He told them to mind their own business, work and lead a disciplined life. You see their lives were turned upside-down when they received Jesus and were baptized in the Holy Ghost. They spent their time meeting in houses, learning more about Jesus. It was all so new and different for them. They gained new friends and lost some old ones. Everything changed for them. Some of them were called into full-time ministry. They left their jobs and went out preaching. But in the course of time, these new Christians needed to find some direction for their lives and Paul supplies it here.

The same thing happens today when we get born again.  Everything changes for us. We are different on the inside. We learn new things, some of which are totally contrary to the things we have learned in the past. In the world, we are told to hold on to what we have, but God tells us to give. In the world we wear ourselves out to supply our families with the basics, but God tells us that if we will obey and serve Him, He will meet our needs. This can be confusing for new Christians. Indeed, some people think that because God helps us we can sit back and do nothing and He will just do everything.

It does not work that way. God will help us and bless us, but we must do our part. We must be disciplined and we must love to work. Working with God on your side is different from doing it all by yourself, by the sweat of your brow. It is much easier because you have the mind of Christ. He leads you and gives you wisdom so that your labor is productive. He blesses the work of your hands; but, if your hands are not working, He has nothing to bless. If God has called you into ministry, He will not call you out of your job into NOTHING. He will call you into a time of study or preparation or He will call you into ministry which is WORK. Usually there is a transition time. One thing phases out as the other takes over. You start to minister and you get so busy ministering that you don’t have time to do secular work.

Some people claim that God has called them into a life of faith, so they quit working. Many times it’s not a life of faith, but a life of hope. “Gee, I sure HOPE that God comes through for me while I sit here doing nothing!” God will bless the work of your hands not the seat of your pants. Whether you work in business or in the ministry, it is all WORK. Being called of God is no excuse to be lazy. There is a joy and a satisfaction in working hard and doing something worthwhile with your life. When you make up your mind to discipline yourself, to work hard, and not be lazy or sloppy, God will begin to bless the work of your hands.

Psalm 128:1-4  (NIV)

1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.

2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.

3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive

shoots around your table.

4Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.

Training Your Children to Serve God — Part Two

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

Proverbs 29:15  (KJV)

15The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.

Many people, even highly educated ones, seem to lack wisdom or common sense. They know a lot, but it isn’t enough to help them to make a success of their lives. If we are wise parents and if we spank and instruct our children the way God tells us to, they will be wise children and we will not be ashamed of them when they are grown.

Proverbs 19:18  (KJV)

18Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.

The NKJ says, “Chasten your son while there is hope, and do not set your heart on his destruction.” And the NIV says, “Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.” The Hebrew word tiqvah (tik-vaw’) translated “hope” here, means literally, a cord (as an attachment); figuratively, expectancy. Translated in the KJV as expectation, expected, hope, live, thing that I long for. We need to bring correction into our children’s lives while there is hope for them. The younger your child is, the more hope there is.

Proverbs 13:24  (NKJ)

24He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him promptly.

According to the Bible, if you love your child you will discipline him early in his life and you will not hold back from spanking him. Start correcting your children early in their lives – don’t wait until you see bad fruit before you try to bring correction. The root is the problem and the root is established when the “plant” is a seedling. In most cases, we only see the “fruit” in their teenage years which is almost too late. You must keep sowing spankings and correction and direction into their lives from babyhood and in due time you will reap the precious harvest of a soul who loves God and loves righteousness.

Proverbs 29:17  (NKJ)

17Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.

When we put the time and effort into raising our kids God’s way when they are young then we will have peace and joy in them when they are older.

Proverbs 23:24  (NKJ)

24The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him.

Wise and righteous children are not born that way – they are shaped by wise and loving parents who will raise them God’s way.

The first thing you must do, as a parent, is to love your kids with all your heart with an unconditional love. The love you show them should not be dependant on the way they are or the way they behave, but just because you love them. They must know that you still love them no matter what they do or say. That is the way God loves us and we are God’s representatives to our children.

The second thing that you must remember is that you must be the person you want your kids to be. Children are born imitators. They act just like we do. Don’t expect your kids to do the right thing if you are doing the wrong thing. No matter how many times you tell them what to do and how to do it, they are going to follow you and do what you are doing. So set a good example, because they are going to be just like you.

The third thing you must do is to never correct them in anger. Correction is done for their benefit, to equip them to live as contributing members of society. If we are angry then the focus is on us and not on them. The issue is their bad behavior and not our feelings about it. They are not being corrected because we are angry, but because they are wrong. And they need to receive correction in a spirit of repentance.

The fourth thing is that the “punishment” should fit the “crime”. Don’t over or under discipline the child. Lies and a rebellious attitude are serious problems and should be dealt with accordingly. Also, silly mistakes are not the same as deliberate sin. Don’t be severe on the child when they have only made a mistake.

The fifth thing is that you should make sure that they repent of their sin, because it is sin in God’s eyes. They need to see you allowing the Word of God to be the final authority in your life and they need to be taught to govern their lives by the Word and the Spirit of God. The Word is the answer to all of life’s situations and our children need to see us allowing God to work in our lives and allowing Him to correct and discipline us. And then they will receive correction and direction from us. When children are spanked or corrected and do not repent, they become resentful and later they become rebellious.

Always reassure them that you love them. Make sure you hug them and that they hug you back and display a forgiving attitude toward you for being the one who brought the correction. Remember God’s Word always works!

OUR TRIBUTE TO AMERICA – PASTORS RODNEY AND ADONICA HOWARD-BROWNE

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

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.  Psalm 33:12

 

This great land of the United States of America was founded because of man’s desire to be free and to have religious freedom. In this land, one can have a dream and can see that dream become a reality, regardless of race, color or creed. This is what America stands for. It is a nation founded by pioneers who had to brave the first winter and the ruggedness of this land to establish what is still known as the greatest country on the face of the earth.

 

God called us to America and opened the door for us to come here in 1987. He told us that just as America had sown missionaries into the nations of the world over the last two hundred years, so He was going to raise people up from other nations and send them to the United States. He told us to come and stir up the churches and tell them to get ready for the coming revival. Thank God that not only did He tell us to get ready for revival, but He also sent us a revival! We have an overwhelming desire to see America saved and changed by the power of God and filled with the fires of revival. That is what motivates us, compels and constrains us. We count it a great privilege to be called as missionaries to the U.S.A. We have made America our home and are proud to be Americans – living in the land of opportunity, choosing to be pioneers, and braving new frontiers.

 

Let us share with you a few bold statements that have been made about America and about the things that make her such a great nation and that reflect the way we feel about her.

 

Bring me men to match my mountains. Bring me men to match my plains.

MEN WITH EMPIRES IN THEIR PURPOSE AND NEW ERAS IN THEIR BRAINS.

– Sam Walter Foss

 

America has been settled by people of all nations. All nations may claim her for their own. We are not a narrow tribe of men. No, our blood is made as the flood of the Amazon, made up of a thousand noble currents all pouring into one. We are not a nation, so much as a world.

– Herman Melville

 

You who have been born in America I wish I could make you understand what it is like to not have been born an American, not to have been an American all of your life, and then suddenly with the words of a man in flowing robes, for that moment and forever after, one moment you belong with your Fathers to a million yesterdays, the next you belong to America to a million unborn tomorrows.

– George Magar Mardikian

 

Throughout the centuries there were men who took the first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision.

– Ayn Rand

 

What kind of a man would live where there is no daring? I don’t believe in taking foolish chances, but nothing can be accomplished without taking any chance at all.

– Charles Augustus Lindbergh

 

Our way of living together in America is a strong but delicate fabric. It is made up of many threads that have been woven over many centuries, by the patience and sacrifice of countless liberty loving men and women.

– Wendall Lewis Willkie

 

AMERICA by Dr Rodney M. Howard-Browne.

From the harbor brightly shining, the lady her beacon beams

To all those tired and weary, come to freedom’s dream

And now that freedom threatened, revival her only hope

America your time has come, to fulfill your heavenly goal

From the grandeur of Alaska, to the blue of the Florida Keys

From the Aloha of the Islands, to Maine it’s plain to see

Fifty nations, it seems to fill your shores, as weary travelers come

To seek the joy that freedom brings, and to bask beneath your sun

The cry my heart desires, as one born out of due time

The burning cry of revival, from one of your newest sons.

America, America, may your Eagle soar again

High above the clouds of darkness, back into His glory once again.

DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD

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

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

20 You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4:17-32 NIV

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. How do you grieve the Holy Spirit? You grieve Him by ignoring Him; by speaking or acting in a way that is contrary to His will; and by refusing to obey Him when He speaks.

How do you please the Holy Spirit? You must acknowledge Him every day in every way. You must not only believe and say that He is Lord and Master of your life, but you must behave that way too. You must hear Him and obey Him when He speaks.

When your heart is hard, you are insensitive to God and ignorant of the truth; your understanding is darkened and your thinking is futile; you are separated from the life of God. You sin constantly and it doesn’t bother your conscience at all—because you don’t have a conscience. You have seared your conscience and hardened your heart. Even if the Holy Spirit spoke to you, you would not hear Him. Being spiritually deaf is like being physically deaf. When you are physically deaf, sound does not cease, rather there is sound all around you, but you cannot hear it. It is the same in the spirit. The Holy Spirit could be talking, but you will not hear Him.

The Holy Spirit will prosper your way if you will let Him minister to you. If you want the Holy Spirit to minister to you, help you, teach you, guide you, and warn you, you must open your spiritual ears to hear Him; you must acknowledge His voice and presence in all your ways; you must be yielded to Him and submitted to Him. Just as you would honor a certain person by paying attention to him, listening to what he has to say and doing what he tells you to do—so you should also treat and honor the Holy Spirit, because He is greater than any man.

You cannot tell me that you are a Christian who hears and listens to the Holy Spirit if you are negative, critical and deceitful, because the Holy Spirit is going to shine His light on you and convict you of your sin. If you say something mean about another person, you will sense in your heart that the Holy Spirit is grieved. Then you must quickly repent, so that the Lord can forgive you.

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.  1 John 2:20 NIV

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.  1 John 2:27 NIV

The Holy Spirit is your teacher. He will tell you the truth and He will lead you into the truth. Listen to Him, acknowledge Him and give Him place in your life.

USE YOUR TALENTS OR LOSE THEM

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

“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 “His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

22 “The man with the two talents also came. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 “His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

24 “Then the man who had received the one talent came. `Master,’ he said, `I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

26 “His master replied, `You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

28 “`Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’  Matthew 25:14-29 NIV

Jesus said that the kingdom of God is like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. He gave them one, three and five talents—most likely in accordance with their abilities and proven faithfulness—and then he went off and left them to do what was required of them. Two of the servants, who had three and five talents respectively, went out and put their money to work, doubling their investment. However, the servant who had the one talent did absolutely nothing with it. He was so afraid of his master and so afraid to fail that he did nothing at all. He went out and hid his talent in the ground.

After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. He was very pleased with the servants who had used their talents and increased their initial investment, but he was angry with the servant who wasted his talent by hiding it. He called him wicked and lazy. The first mistake the servant made was to be motivated by fear—believing that the master was hard and unfair—at least that was his excuse! The second mistake he made was to be lazy—he tried to take the path of least resistance. However, the “easy” way turned out to be the hard way—he ended up losing his talent, his job and his place in the master’s house.

God is not a master to be feared—unless we are wicked and lazy servants. However, He is a master to be respected. We show our respect by our submission to God—to do His will—not just doing what we want to do. God expects us to work. He gives us talents and abilities and He requires that we work and use them.

God is not angry with us when we try and we fail. He is angered by our laziness, wastefulness and lack of faith. We should not be afraid of using the gifts and talents God has given us. He gives the abilities—we work and use them. As we prove ourselves faithful and trustworthy, we are entrusted with more, until we are promoted permanently into a place of honor in His presence. Take the talents that God has given you and put them to work. Use them so that you will be pleasing to the Lord Who made you and graced you with those gifts.

CELEBRATE YOUR BRIDEGROOM

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

1 On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” 11 This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory; and His disciples believed in Him.  John 2:1-11 NKJV

The Word of God, on many occasions, likens the relationship between God and the Church to a marriage relationship. The wedding between a man and a woman is symbolic of our first true commitment to the Lord, when we are changed from within and when we become born-again from the dead. The marriage is symbolic of our ongoing relationship with Him – coming to know Him more and to love Him more every day.

The first miracle Jesus performed was at a wedding, not healing anyone or raising up the dead, but changing water into wine. The wedding wine is symbolic of the Holy Spirit in our lives. It represents joy and rejoicing. Many people treat their relationship with God more like a funeral than a wedding. They come together at church – sad, somber and stiff – but it is not a funeral, it’s a wedding! We should be glad, we should rejoice, we should enjoy our time with the Bridegroom!

13 Thou shalt observe the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in thy corn and thy wine: 14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite, the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates. 15 Seven days shalt thou keep a solemn feast unto the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD shall choose: because the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the works of thine hands, therefore thou shalt surely rejoice. Deuteronomy 16:13-15 KJV

The feast of tabernacles was a “solemn” feast at which God’s people were commanded to rejoice. The Hebrew word for “solemn” means “to move in a circle; to march in a sacred procession; to observe a festival; by implication, to be giddy; to celebrate, dance, and to reel to and fro.” This sounds more like a celebration than a mournful occasion!

This solemn feast was a celebration of the goodness of God. Because the Lord God blesses us in all our produce and in all the work of our hands, we could and should be altogether joyful. In the New Testament, we are to celebrate the Lord. We are to celebrate His presence in our lives and His goodness to us every day, not just a few times a year.

Every time we come together to worship the Lord, it is like a wedding celebration. Even though a wedding has a serious and sacred purpose, it is also a happy occasion. Even though we come together to worship and honor the Lord, to seek His face and to offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice, we come with a joyful expectation that He will meet us there.

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. Psalms 22:3 KJV

But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Psalms 22:3 NKJV

11 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 NKJV

God dwells in the praises of His people and in His presence is fullness of joy. We come together – as the Church, the Bride of Christ – to praise Him, to seek His presence, and to experience the fullness of joy that is found only in His presence.

TRUST THE LORD – NOT THE ARM OF THE FLESH

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

May the LORD answer you when you are in distress; may the name of the God of Jacob protect you. 2 May he send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion. 3 May he remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings. Selah 4 May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. 5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. 6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. 7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. 8 They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm. 9 O LORD, save the king! Answer us when we call! Psalms 20:1-9 NIV

David wrote this psalm and began it with a prayer. The prayer asks that the Lord would answer you when you are in distress; that His Name would protect you; that He would send you help from the sanctuary and grant you support from Zion; that He would remember all your sacrifices and accept your burnt offerings; that He would give you the desire of your heart, make all your plans succeed and that He would grant all your requests.

David sings, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.” Whenever one of us is successful and victorious it is a time for all of us to rejoice. A victory for one is a victory for all because Jesus is the One Who gives us the victory.

The Lord saves His anointed children and answers them from his holy heaven with the saving power of His right hand. You can trust the Lord to save you and protect you when you call on Him. If you trust Him, He will not let you down. Even though some people love God, they still do not trust God. They trust in what they can do themselves – they trust in what they have in their own hand – and they utterly fail.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses – earthly resources and natural strengths – but they are brought to their knees and fall. We trust in the name of the Lord our God and – because we trust Him – we rise up and stand firm.

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.  Zechariah 4:6 NIV

If we want the Lord to move mightily on our behalf, then we better wake up and realize that we are going to have to trust Him and not ourselves and that we must trust Him completely. We must allow Him to do things His way because He knows the best way. It is only when we demonstrate our faith in Him by showing that we trust Him, that He is able to supernaturally deliver us. When we run out of our own strength and power that is when we see His ability at work in our lives. It is not by our might nor by our power, but by the Spirit of God!

When God called Gideon and the Israelites to defeat the Midianites, Gideon had only about 32000 men on his side, but their enemies that had settled in the valley were as thick as locusts and their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore (Judges 7:12). The natural mind says that Gideon would have to find a lot more men than that to fight at his side before he could hope to defeat an army that large, but the LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands.” (Judges 7:2) To make sure that Israel could not boast against God that their own strength had saved them, God cut their numbers down to only 300 men  and only then did He send them up against Midian (Judges 7:7). God defeated Midian and Israel had to give Him the glory.

In Joshua 6:1-27, the Lord sent the priests out ahead of the people with trumpets and the Ark of the Covenant. Joshua and the people marched around the city as God told them to do and when they shouted, the wall of the city fell flat and they easily took the city. When we do things God’s way, it will always be the easy way in the end. Marching around the city did not make sense to their natural minds, but their obedience opened the door for God’s salvation and victory to be made manifest in their lives.

Don’t look for the answers to your problem in natural things or in your own talents and abilities. Look to the Word of the Lord. Obey what He tells you to do and see His saving hand give you the victory!

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