LOVE REJOICES WHEN JUSTICE PREVAILS

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

1 John 4:8 says that, “God is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes the nature of love and thus the character of God. People are always superimposing their weak, human nature and emotions onto God. They think that God is who they think He is – but they are wrong. God is who He says He is. God says that He is love and He says that, “Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].” (AMP)

God, Himself, is all these things and possesses all these qualities. It is these qualities that make Him God. He is just and righteous and consistent. He never changes; never varies; never lies; and is never selfish, greedy or manipulative. He loves justice and He rules and judges justly and with the utmost integrity. If you are to be like Him, you must also love justice and truth. When you love justice, you submit to justice in your own life. You do what is right because it is right – and for no other reason. If you will be just and do justly, you will prosper and fulfill every plan that God has for your life.

When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

Proverbs 21:15 NIV

The righteous are filled with joy when justice is done, but evildoers are terrified by justice. Justice will bring either rewards or punishments and each person receives justice according to their own choices.

By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.  Proverbs 29:4 NIV

A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice.  Proverbs 17:23 NIV

It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice.  Proverbs 18:5 NIV

Justice, in the hands of a king or president, will affect an entire nation. A just and good ruler will bring blessing to a nation, but a leader who is corrupt, greedy and allows his “justice” and his judgments to be bought, will destroy his nation and pervert the course of justice.

The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice. 11 Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making. 12 Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness. 13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.  Proverbs 16:10-13 NIV

Anyone who is in leadership in any capacity, from the king down, has a divine responsibility to be honest and just. If they love justice and detest wrongdoing, they will establish and strengthen their own longevity. Their justice will come back to bless them.

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.  Proverbs 29:7 NIV

The righteous care about others – they take responsibility for those who are unable to take care of themselves. Those who care about justice are generous and unselfish. They do not think of themselves first. They make judgments according to what is right, not according to what feels good to them, nor to that which is convenient for them. The wicked do not care for justice, but only for their own care and gain.

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.  Proverbs 28:5 NIV

Justice is a mystery to those who love evil. They are not just and they have no capacity to be just. They thrive on injustice and seek to profit from it. Even when their evil brings judgment down upon themselves, they continue to blame the judge instead of those who made the wrong choices – themselves. The righteous, on the other hand – those who seek God – understand justice fully. They know it, they accept it and they walk in it, and as they do, they prosper their own way and receive blessings from the Lord.

Wisdom says, “I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.  Proverbs 8:20-21 NIV

A SMALL SLING KILLS A BIG GIANT WHEN GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE

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

In 1 Samuel 17 the Israelites and the Philistines were facing off against each other – each of them on the side of a mountain with a valley in between. The Philistines were over-confident because they had a champion – a giant called Goliath of Gath – who was almost ten feet tall. He was covered in armor that weighed 5,000 shekels of bronze, the shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam and the head of his spear weighed 600 shekels of iron. He came out every day to mock the Israelites and to challenge them to a fight. Verse 8 & 9 AMP says, “Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants; but if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.”

Everyone in Israel was terrified of Goliath – including King Saul, who stood head and shoulders above his fellow Israelites. Because he trusted in the arm of the flesh, instead of in God, he was afraid. So he offered a reward to the man who would accept the challenge and kill the giant. David was the only one in Israel not afraid of Goliath. David did not trust in himself or his own strength or ability – he trusted in the Lord alone. He shocked, surprised and irritated others when he exclaimed, “For who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” (Verse 26)

Saul heard what David said and called for him. He looked at David and saw what everyone else but God saw – an undersized teenager. He reminded David of how he was only an adolescent, and how Goliath had been a warrior from his youth. He tried to talk him out of it and fill him with fear. When you start to talk faith around people who are fearful, isn’t it amazing how they inevitably try to speak their own fears into and over your life and talk you out of trusting in God and acting on your faith? David had spent time in God’s presence – he was full of faith. He started with small things and worked his way up. With God’s help, he had killed a lion and a bear whilst tending his father’s flocks and herds. Taking the giant was no different in his eyes – he still needed God’s help to do it.

Saul tried to dress David in his own armor, but it did not fit him, neither was he used to it, so he took it off. Don’t allow the “Saul’s armor” of other people’s expectations to send you in the wrong direction. You can’t try to wear someone else’s anointing – you have to wear your own. Be bold enough to stick with what God has given you, no matter how insignificant it may seem. David laid down Saul’s armor and picked up his own sling. Armor is for defense. As small and unimpressive as the sling was – it was an offensive weapon. David had complete confidence in the Lord. He did not need armor to protect him – he had a sling in his hand – and God on his side. He wasn’t running away from the enemy – he was running toward him – to take him out! Goliath was unimpressed when he saw David. He cursed him and his God and called him a dog.

Then said David to the Philistine, You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the ranks of Israel, Whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will smite you and cut off your head. And I will give the corpses of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands. 48 When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. 49 David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine, sinking into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck down the Philistine and slew him. But no sword was in David’s hand. 51 So he ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath, and killed him, and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their mighty champion was dead, they fled.  1 Samuel 17:45-51 AMP

The giant expected someone with armor and a sword and he was confident that he would prevail. The young boy with a slingshot threw him for a loop – it was the last thing he expected. He was overconfident and he paid the price. God sent a small man with a big heart, who trusted totally in the Lord and not in himself – a man who had spent many hours practicing and who could throw a small stone with strength and deadly accuracy – to find the gap in the giant’s armor and the weakness that was exposed.

Don’t trust in your own abilities – trust in God and the call and anointing that is on your life. Practice obeying God in the small things and you will be ready when He calls you to a big thing.

YOUR FAITH MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

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

For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile-the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?  Romans 10:12-14 NIV

See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. 14 We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. 15 As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.”   16 Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the desert? 18 And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? 19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.   Hebrews 3:12-19 NIV
Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.   3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world. 4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.”   5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.” 6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.  Hebrews 4:1-6 NIV
Everyone must have the opportunity to hear the gospel so that everyone may have the opportunity to receive the Word of God and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. If you have a heart that hungers for the truth, you will recognize it when you see it and hear it. God’s Word is truth (John 17:17). For all those who have heard the truth, recognized it and received it, there are others who have heard it and yet they rejected it. Because of unbelief, they could not enter into God’s promises and His blessings. Because they had no faith in the Word they heard, the message was of no value to them. Even though God’s Word is true and full of power, it can do nothing for the doubter or the unbeliever. It is the same Word preached to all and yet it works for some and not for others. Why? Because some believed and some refused to believe.
When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.  Matthew 13:54-58 NKJV
Mark 6:6 says that, “He marveled because of their unbelief.” Jesus was shocked and amazed at unbelief. Most people are shocked when someone actually believes in the Word of God, but God is shocked when they don’t! So many people, all over the nation of Israel, were healed, delivered, raised from the dead and made whole, and yet these people, in Jesus’ home town, received nothing from God. This proves that people don’t receive miracles – not because God does no miracles – but because of their unbelief.
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”   Mark 5:25-34 NKJV
Because this woman had FAITH in the anointing on Jesus and faith in the power of God on His life, she believed that if she touched His clothes, she would be healed. Because of her faith, when she touched Jesus, she drew on the anointing and He felt power go out of Him. Many people were touching Him, but only one drew the anointing out of Him and received her healing. Your faith makes all the difference. God has made many wonderful promises, but it is YOUR faith that draws on the anointing and power of God that makes the promises come true in your life!

NO CONDEMNATION

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

Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the Law could not do, [its power] being weakened by the flesh [the entire nature of man without the Holy Spirit]. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, [God] condemned sin in the flesh [subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice], 4 So that the righteous and just requirement of the Law might be fully met in us who live and move not in the ways of the flesh but in the ways of the Spirit [our lives governed not by the standards and according to the dictates of the flesh, but controlled by the Holy Spirit].  Romans 8:1-4 AMP

There is NO condemnation for you who are in Christ Jesus – who have accepted Him as your Lord and Savior. You are washed totally clean from ALL sin, iniquity, and transgression. Your sin is not just covered by the blood of Jesus – it has been washed away – as far as the east is from the west. You are acquitted, you are forgiven – God holds nothing against you.

For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. 18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation–he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]  John 3:17-18 AMP

Without Jesus in your heart, you are already judged guilty and will go straight to hell if you die. Jesus was not born into this world in order to judge, to reject, to condemn, or to pass sentence on you. The Father sent Jesus into the world to save you from eternal damnation. The moment you believe in your heart that Jesus died and rose from the dead for you, personally, and confess with your mouth that He is YOUR Lord and Savior, you are acquitted of ALL wrongdoing by the courts of heaven. Your sentence of death passes from you to Jesus. In fact, He carried you, and your sin, in Him, when He died and rose again. This forgiveness becomes manifest in your life the moment you believe that His word is true for you.

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17 AMP

God does not just forgive your sins when you accept Jesus as your Lord – He actually transforms your nature! He takes your inner man; your spirit man; your heart; the real you, who will live forever; and makes it totally brand new! The person you were no longer exists. On the outside, you look mostly the same – except for the twinkle in your eye and the smile on your face. You are still basically the same person, but a much nicer person. Its not that you are never going to think a bad thought again, or say a bad word again, or do a wrong thing again, but now you are more sensitive to your own conscience and to the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit, Who lives in you.

If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].  1 John 1:9 AMP

When you make a mistake or a wrong choice, you don’t have to live with the condemnation of that mistake or choice hanging over you for the rest of your life. You can come to your Heavenly Father and ask Him to wash it totally away! If you want to be forgiven, you must first, completely and sincerely, humble your heart before the Lord and commit yourself into His hands. Bring your sin to the Father; tell Him exactly what you did (He already knows, but you need to admit it); tell Him it was wrong and that you have no excuse; ask Him to forgive you and wash you clean. This is what He is waiting and longing for you to do!

Sin breaks off fellowship and separates you from the Lord, but repentance restores you once more, as if nothing had happened. What you need to do next is to receive that forgiveness by faith, allowing your Heavenly Father to cleanse and purify you and make you whole again. Humble yourself, make an offering of yourself to the Lord as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1), allow His Holy Spirit to do a work in your life, and ask Him to repair the damage done by the sin and to protect you in the future, so that you never allow that sin to have its way in you ever again.

WHATEVER HE SAYS TO YOU – DO IT

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

On the third day there was a wedding at Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited with His disciples to the wedding. 3 And when the wine was all gone, the mother of Jesus said to Him, They have no more wine! 4 Jesus said to her, [Dear] woman, what is that to you and to Me? [What do we have in common? Leave it to Me.] My time (hour to act) has not yet come. 5 His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it. 6 Now there were six waterpots of stone standing there, as the Jewish custom of purification (ceremonial washing) demanded, holding twenty to thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim. 8 Then He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the manager of the feast [to the one presiding, the superintendent of the banquet]. So they took him some. 9 And when the manager tasted the water just now turned into wine, not knowing where it came from–though the servants who had drawn the water knew–he called the bridegroom 10 And said to him, Everyone else serves his best wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then he serves that which is not so good; but you have kept back the good wine until now! 11 This, the first of His signs (miracles, wonderworks), Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory [by it He displayed His greatness and His power openly], and His disciples believed in Him [adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Him]. John 2:1-11 AMP

The first miracle Jesus performed after being baptized in water and the Holy Spirit was to turn water into wine at a wedding. His mother told the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it!” The servants did not know what Jesus was about to do, neither did they understand how He did it, but because they obeyed and did not argue or question Jesus’ command, the miracle took place. Jesus did not touch the water pots, He only gave the instructions. The servants poured water into the pots, the servants drew wine out of the pots, and the servants took it to the superintendent of the feast, who proclaimed it to be the best wine of the feast.

Jesus also wants to use us to do miracles, but it will not happen unless we are obedient. We cannot argue with Him or question His judgment; we must simply commit to obey what He tells us to do. Many Christians want God to use them in a mighty way, but they are too full of opinions, questions, reasonings, and arguments! They say that they have faith, but they really don’t because they will not make a move without an explanation. They want to understand everything before they do what God is telling them to do. They want to give God their opinion. They want to tell Him why it won’t work!

The greatest demonstration of your faith is when you simply believe that any word God speaks to you is true; when you trust God enough to do what He has told you to do without expecting Him to reveal everything to you first; when you trust God enough to do what He has told you to do without needing to have it all figured out in your head. The things God asks you to do may not make sense to your carnal mind and they don’t need to. God may not be hiding anything from you, He may just be hiding what He is about to do from the devil! He hid the plan of salvation in plain view. When we look back in the word, we can see it proclaimed, but until Jesus was crucified and raised up, the whole plan was not revealed. Otherwise the rulers of this age or world would have perceived and recognized and understood the plan, and if they had, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Corinthians 2:8).

In time you will see the wisdom of obedience and you will understand why God told you to do a specific thing, but for now you need to simply trust Him.

In John 9:1-7, Jesus healed a man who was blind from his birth. Jesus spat on the ground and made clay, or mud, with His saliva and spread it like an ointment on the man’s eyes. Then He told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. The man went and washed his eyes in the pool and received his sight.

In Luke 17:12-14 AMP it says, “And as He was going into one village, He was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance. And they raised up their voices and called, Jesus, Master, take pity and have mercy on us! And when He saw them, He said to them, Go [at once] and show yourselves to the priests. And as they went, they were cured and made clean.”

If the blind man had not believed Jesus when He told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam or if the lepers had not believed Jesus when He told them to go show themselves to the priest, none of them would have received their miracle of healing. Make up your mind today to humble yourself before the Lord, to hear what He is telling you to do, and to obey Him without an argument. You will see the blessing of God on yourself and the unfolding of His wonderful plans for your life. Trust Him today; believe Him today; obey him today; be a conduit of His anointing; be a vessel to do His will today; be His hands, be His feet, be His mouth today. Walk in His blessing today!

Marriage Confession for Wives

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

I am a virtuous wife and a true daughter of Sarah, who honored and respected her husband as the head of their home and family
I covenant with God to love, honor and respect my husband as the head of our home, in obedience to the Word of God
I covenant to be faithful to him
By faith, I submit to my husband’s authority in our home
I do this as a service to the Lord
I subordinate myself to my husband so that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach, blasphemed or discredited
I trust my husband’s leadership and choose to depend on him
The Lord will protect me and provide for me, because I trust Him enough to obey His Word
Therefore I am not anxious or wrought up
I will do right and let nothing terrify me
I will not give way to hysterical fears or let anxieties unnerve me
I adapt myself to my husband
I make myself beautiful for my husband, but I know that true beauty comes from within
I have a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God
I am temperate and disciplined and I exercise self-control
I love righteousness
By the grace of God:
I am pure and modest and discreet
I am good-natured and kind-hearted
I am gracious and good
I am wise, understanding and prudent
I am earnest and strong in character
I am a crowning joy to my husband
I am trustworthy
I do not give him an occasion to be ashamed of me
My husband can confidently trust in me and securely rely on me
The secrets of his heart are safe with me

I love my husband
I reverence him
I respect him
I regard him
I notice him and pay attention to him
I am sensitive to his needs and desires
I build my husband up
I encourage him
I prefer him
I defer to him
I revere him
I honor him
I esteem him
I venerate him
I appreciate him
I prize him
I adore him
I admire him exceedingly
I praise him
I am devoted to him
I deeply love him
I enjoy my husband

I belong to my husband and my husband belongs to me
My body belongs to my husband and my husband’s body belongs to me
My desire is toward my husband and my earnest desire is to please him
My husband is my best friend
He is a great blessing to me
Thank You Lord for my husband

 

Sowing in Famine

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

Thoughts on Stewardship – Lessons from Genesis

Sowing in Famine
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 26:12 – 14

Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings. 13 And the man became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and distinguished; 14 He owned flocks, herds, and a great supply of servants, and the Philistines envied him.  Genesis 26:12-14 AMP

1. Isaac sowed seed in the land – not in a time of plenty – but in the time of famine.

a. When it comes to cultivating the land, in this natural world, the middle of a drought and famine is definitely not the optimum time to sow seed.

b. However, in God’s economy, it does not matter when you sow seed. He is the Lord of the harvest!

c. Sowing seed in a time of famine takes great faith in God, because you have to have confidence that you will reap a harvest in spite of the fact that all odds are against you.

2. Not only did Isaac reap a harvest at all, but he reaped a miraculously huge harvest – a 100-fold harvest – 100 times as much as he had planted!

a. Some people don’t believe that you can trust God for a 100-fold return on your giving, but Jesus talked about it several times. In Matthew 13:23 and Mark 4:20 Jesus said that those who hear the Word, understand it, receive, accept, and welcome it, will bear fruit – some yielding 30, some 60, and some 100-fold! In Matthew 19:29 and Mark 10:30 Jesus said that those who have had to give up relationships or property for His sake would receive it all back multiplied by 100 here in this lifetime and they would also inherit eternal life.

b. Of course most of us would love to have the 100-fold return, but even a 20 or 30-fold return is better than “no-fold”! It is dependant on your faith and your walk with God – the more you obediently submit your life to Him, the more you can be trusted with, the more He can bless you.

3. The Lord favored Isaac with blessings

a. Proverbs 10:22 AMP says, “The blessing of the Lord–it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].” When God blesses you, He really blesses you. You must realize that it’s not dependant on your works alone, but on your faith in God.

b. The favor of God: when God’s favor is on your life, you don’t even need the money to get things done. Favor will make a way for you and take you where money alone cannot.

c. The Lord has many blessings available to those that are counted as His own.

4. Isaac became great, and gained more and more, until he became very wealthy and distinguished.

a. He owned flocks, herds and a great supply of servants – so much so that the Philistines envied him.

b. Because Isaac trusted in God, and not in himself or in the elements, he prospered while others were struggling. If you obey God, He can multiply you in the midst of the worst circumstances of life and grant you favor. Even in the middle of famine – when everyone else is decreasing, losing, and going under – you can be prospering, increasing and multiplying!

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts
Our relationship with the Lord is a faith relationship. It’s not based on our five senses. It is not performance based. The Lord is always trying to get us to recognize and acknowledge the fact that He Himself is the Beginning and the End, the Author and the Finisher, the Creator and the Master of all, our Source and Supply. If you trust in yourself, you can try your best, and never accomplish what you could accomplish through simple faith in God and obedience to His Word. Sowing seed, when you can least afford to, is a powerful demonstration of your faith and gives God a mighty opportunity to prove Himself and to show Himself strong in your behalf, that will turn out to be a sign and a wonder to those who do not believe! God will bless you because He loves you and at the same time He will show His glory through you to those who have not yet bowed their knee. Trust and obey God. Give Him an opportunity to use your life as a witness at the same time as He blesses you super-abundantly!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts
Back in South Africa, in 1982, this truth changed our lives. You can read about it in depth in our mini-book called “Sowing in Famine.” When Adonica and I were in a situation of famine in our own lives, we sowed a seed that changed our lives. This seed broke the Spirit of poverty off of us and changed our lives. Since the Lord opened our eyes to this truth, we have applied this principle and have truly experienced the 30, 60, and 100-fold return. God’s Word is amazing – it never returns void. He always goes over the top to bless and reward faith and obedience.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank You for Your Word that is true. Today I realize that if I have something in my hand, and it is not enough to meet my need, then it must be seed. Help me not to eat my seed, but sow it and believe You for a miracle of supernatural provision. If you can do it for Isaac, then you can do it for me because You are no respecter of persons. Thank You, Lord, for blessing me as I honor You with my faith and obedience.

Remembering The Goodness of the Lord

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

Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 26 verse 1 – 16

When you have come into the land which the Lord your God gives you as an inheritance and possess it and live in it, 2 You shall take some of the first of all the produce of the soil which you harvest from the land the Lord your God gives you and put it in a basket, and go to the place [the sanctuary] which the Lord your God has chosen as the abiding place for His Name [and His Presence]. 3 And you shall go to the priest who is in office in those days, and say to him, I give thanks this day to the Lord your God that I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us. 4 And the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the Lord your God. 5 And you shall say before the Lord your God, A wandering and lost Aramean ready to perish was my father [Jacob], and he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and numerous. 6 And the Egyptians treated us very badly and afflicted us and laid upon us hard bondage. 7 And when we cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, the Lord heard our voice and looked on our affliction and our labor and our [cruel] oppression; 8 And the Lord brought us forth out of Egypt with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, and with great (awesome) power and with signs and with wonders; 9 And He brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 And now, behold, I bring the firstfruits of the ground which You, O Lord, have given me. And you shall set it down before the Lord your God and worship before the Lord your God; 11 And you and the Levite and the stranger and the sojourner among you shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you and your household. 12 When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce the third year, which is the year of tithing, and have given it to the Levite, the stranger and the sojourner, the fatherless, and to the widow, that they may eat within your towns and be filled, 13 Then you shall say before the Lord your God, I have brought the hallowed things (the tithe) out of my house and moreover have given them to the Levite, to the stranger and the sojourner, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all Your commandments which You have commanded me; I have not transgressed any of Your commandments, neither have I forgotten them. 14 I have not eaten of the tithe in my mourning [making the tithe unclean], nor have I handled any of it when I was unclean, nor given any of it to the dead. I have hearkened to the voice of the Lord my God; I have done according to all that You have commanded me. 15 Look down from Your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Your people Israel and the land which You have given us as You swore to our fathers, a land flowing with milk and honey. 16 This day the Lord your God has commanded you to do these statutes and ordinances. Therefore you shall keep and do them with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being.  Deuteronomy 26:1-16 AMP

1.  The children of Israel were given strict instructions on what they were to do with the first fruits and tithes.

  • They were to go to the place the Lord had chosen to place His Name and Presence
  • They were to confess and to acknowledge where they had come from, how God delivered them, and how He had brought them through into victory and blessing
  • They were to talk about the land the Lord had given them and to be thankful, to worship the Lord, and to rejoice
  • They were also to declare that their tithe was not eaten or handled in mourning, but with joy
  • They were to remind the Lord (and themselves) of the covenant that He swore to their fathers

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
The thing that jumps out at me in this passage is how much our attitude counts before God when we bring Him offerings, first fruits, and tithes. God would not accept any offerings that had any death or mourning attached to them. As Cain learned, it’s not what you bring, but what God accepts, that counts! God made the Israelites bring the offering in a specific way. He made them do and say specific things. Not because He loves empty rituals, but because He was training them to live a lifestyle that was focused on the goodness of God. If we forget what God has done, if we don’t expect Him to do anything for us in the future, then we have no reason to serve Him today, never mind bring Him an offering. Everything they were to do and say was to give them many reasons to keep serving and worshipping the Lord God and not to go off track to worship and serve any other foreign gods. Everything they were to do and say was a reminder to them, so they would remember what God had done, so that they would be grateful for what God had done and so that they would to continue to believe that He would fulfill His future promises! All this was for their blessing and benefit as it is for ours today.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
The Lord laid out a clear plan for His people in this passage. The tithe and the first fruits were a reminder to them of His deliverance – to them and all their generations. It was a way for them never to forget where they had come from. As you bring the Lord your tithes, your offerings and your first fruits, remember where He has brought you from and where you could have been and then rejoice!

Prayer and Confession:
Father, thank You that You have delivered me from sin, hell, sickness, disease, poverty, lack, judgment, torment, and eternal death. Today I honor You with my substance and I rejoice in Your goodness!

GOD KEEPS HIS WORD

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

Foundation Scriptures: Psalms 119:89-90, Luke 1:37

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven [stands firm as the heavens]. 90 Your faithfulness is from generation to generation; You have established the earth, and it stands fast.
Psalms 119:89-90 AMP

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment.
Luke 1:37 AMP

The ASV says, “For no word from God shall be void of power.”
The TLB says, “For every promise from God shall surely come true.”

God’s Word is True.

  1. Psalms 119:160 KJV – Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever.
  2. Psalms 138:2 – You have magnified Your Word above all Your name!
  3. Proverbs 30:5 AMP – Every word of God is tried and purified; He is a shield to those who trust and take refuge in Him.
  4. John 17:17 NKJV – Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.

Every Word God Speaks is Full of Power and Potential.

  1. Every word that God speaks is a true word. Every word that God speaks is a word that comes to pass.
  2. Isaiah 55:11 AMP – 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.
  3. God never wastes His words. He only speaks words that He means, words that produce life and words that produce results.
  4. Numbers 23:19 KJV – God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

 

  1. God is Faithful to Keep His Word.
  2. Psalms 105:8 AMP – He is [earnestly] mindful of His covenant and forever it is imprinted on His heart, the word which He commanded and established to a thousand generations.
  3. 2 Timothy 2:13 AMP – If we are faithless [do not believe and are untrue to Him], He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.
  4. 1 Kings 8:56 AMP – Blessed be the Lord, Who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. Not one word has failed of all His good promise which He promised through Moses His servant.
  5. Hebrews 10:23 – He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word.
  6. 2 Peter 3:9 – The Lord does not delay His promises, but He patiently waits for us.

God is a Righteous Judge.

  1. He keeps His promise to reward and His promise to punish.
  2. Ezekiel 12:25 AMP – For I am the Lord; I will speak, and the word that I shall speak shall be performed (come to pass); it shall be no more delayed or prolonged, for in your days, O rebellious house, I will speak the word and will perform it, says the Lord God.
  3. Daniel 9:14

God Expects You to Believe Him When He Speaks.

  1. 1 Thessalonians 2:13 AMP – And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].
  2. Romans 4:20-21 – Abraham was fully assured that God would keep His promises.
  3. Hebrews 11:11 – Sarah received because she believed.

God’s Promises are Conditional.

  1. God has made us over 30,000 promises.
  2. If you want to receive His promises and walk in His blessings, you must believe and obey His word.
  3. Luke 11:28 AMP – But He said, Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it!
  4. Deuteronomy 28:1-2
  5. Proverbs 13:13 AMP – Whoever despises the word and counsel [of God] brings destruction upon himself, but he who [reverently] fears and respects the commandment [of God] is rewarded.

Reasons Why God’s Word Doesn’t Work for You.

  1. God only ever speaks truth. He never jokes and He cannot lie.
  2. If you don’t believe your own words—if you talk nonsense most of the time, joke around, and/or tell lies yourself—then you will have a hard time believing anyone else’s words: even God’s words.  Ephesians 5:4 – Clean up your mouth.
  3. God takes our words seriously and He expects us to take them seriously.
  4. Matthew 12:36-37 AMP – But I tell you, on the day of judgment men will have to give account for every idle (inoperative, nonworking) word they speak. 37 For by your words you will be justified and acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned and sentenced.
  5. Religion and tradition robs God’s Word of its power in your life.
  6. Matthew 15:6
  7. God’s word + faith = results. God’s word + no faith = no results.
  8. Hebrews 4:2 NKJV – For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you.  1 Peter 1:25 AMP

Why Did Jesus Come to the Earth?


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

Foundation Scriptures: Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:20-23

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

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” 22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”  Matthew 1:20-23 NKJV

I.  Emmanuel means “God with us”

  • Jesus came as one of us; to live with us; to die for us; so He could dwell and abide in us; so we could live eternally in His presence!
  • Hebrews 8:10-12 NKJV – For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.  11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.  12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.
  • The Father sent Jesus to die for us and pay the price for our sins so that each one of us could personally, intimately know the Father.
  • Emmanuel—God IN us—not just a God far out in the heavens.
  • Jesus came to show us the Father’s heart and to introduce us to Him.
  • We can have our own relationship and fellowship with the Father through Jesus—we don’t need to go through another human.

II.  Jesus came to save “whosoever”

  • John 3:16-18 NKJV – For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.  17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
  • Jesus came to save the world—not to reject, to condemn, or to pass sentence on the world (John 3:17 AMP).
  • Romans 10:11-13 NKJV – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
  • Whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.
  • Galatians 3:8-9 NKJV – And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel to Abraham beforehand, saying, “In you all the nations shall be blessed.”  9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with believing Abraham.
  • Jesus died for every person in every nation. There is no one, who comes to God in faith, whom He would ever reject.
  • The Lord is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).

III.  Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and set the captives free

  • 1 John 3:7-9 NKJV – Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
  • For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Jesus came to destroy sin and everything that is a fruit of sin.
  • Acts 10:38 NKJV – How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.
  • Sin, sickness, disease and death are a product of sin. Jesus came to “do good” and to save us and to completely deliver us from the devil and all his evil works.
  • Luke 4:18-19 KJV – The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, 19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
  • Jesus came to preach good news and to do good works.
  • Luke 19:10 AMP – For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost.
  • The Greek word for “save” is sozo (sode’-zo), which means to save; to deliver; to protect; to heal; to preserve, to do well, to make or be made whole.
  • Luke 9:56a KJV – For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.

IV.  Jesus came to give us abundant life

  • John 10:10 NKJV – The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
  • The Amplified Bible says: The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).

Rodney Howard Browne Brings Revival in America