MY JOY by Rodney Howard Browne

A wonderful message on Joy!

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luke 1:41-44 NKJV

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. Luke 2:8-10 NKJV

When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy. 11 And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11 AMP

The whole Christian message is based and rooted in JOY.

Even in the womb, the baby John, who would become known as John the Baptist, leapt for joy in the presence of the unborn baby Jesus.

  • The angels announced glad tidings of great joy to the world, singing and worshiping the Lord. This word “great” here in the Greek is “megas” and means: exceedingly, great; greatest; high; large; loud; mighty. (We get our word “megaphone” from the same root word as the word “great” here)
  • When the wise men saw the star they were filled with ecstatic joy. The KJV says exceeding great joy. The Greek word for “exceeding” means: vehemently; in a high degree; much. The word “great”, as in the previous scripture, means: exceedingly, great; greatest; high; large; loud; mighty.
  • So their joy was as big and loud as joy can get!


ll.  Wherever the presence of the Lord is, there is JOY – whoever the Lord touches is filled with JOY.

  • Psalms 16:11 AMP – You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
  • Acts 2:28 AMP – You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence.
  • Psalms 2:4a NKJV – He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.
  • Job 5:22a NKJV – You shall laugh at destruction and famine.
  • Acts 13:42 Wuest – And the disciples were continually filled with joy and controlled by the Holy Spirit.


Jesus faced and endured the cross for the JOY set before Him.

  • Hebrews 12:2 NKJV – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • Acts 2:23-28 NKJV – Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
  • No matter what Jesus had to endure, He chose to obey His Father. He knew that He would face death, but His hope was in the fact that the Father would never let Him remain in the grave. He knew what great joy lay on the other side of obedience and He expected to experience that joy!
  • Matthew 25:21-22 NKJV – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
  • Eternal joy awaits the faithful, in the presence of the Lord.


lV.  Those who know and serve the Lord have many reasons to be full of JOY.

  • Luke 10:21-22 NKJV – In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
  • Luke 10:20 NKJV – Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.
  • The source of your joy is not in yourself, or your accomplishments, or even in the fact that devils run from you. Your joy is in the fact that Jesus has saved you from death and destruction, brought into fullness of life and that your name is written in His book of life!
  • Isaiah 61:10 AMP – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.


V.  God’s Kingdom—here on earth—is a JOYFUL, JOY-FILLED Kingdom.

  • Romans 14:17 KJV – For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
  • In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not what matters to the Lord. What does matter is a right way of life, peace, and joy, which all come by and through the Holy Spirit.
  • Galatians 5:22-23 AMP – But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
  • The greater the work of the Holy Spirit in you, the more of the fruit of the Spirit will be manifest in your daily life, including the fruit of joy. A joyless religion is just that – religion. Serving Jesus means a life full of the joy of the Lord!
  • 1 Peter 1:8 AMP – Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.
  • Our joy comes from the fact that the blood of Jesus has eternally saved us from sin and death. No matter what else happens in our life, we need have no fear of death, hell or the grave ever again.


Vl.  No matter what you go through, you can still be filled with JOY.

  • John 16:22 NKJV – Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
  • Happiness and joy differ in that happiness is dependent on circumstances and joy is not. Joy comes from a heart filled with the Spirit of God.
  • Job 8:20-21 AMP – Behold, as surely as God will never uphold wrongdoers, He will never cast away a blameless man. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting.
  • True joy can only be experienced by those who fully serve God. The sinner can never experience this joy; the backslider is the most unhappy person on the earth!
  • Proverbs 14:12-13 AMP – There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death. 13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of mirth is heaviness and grief.
  • Without Jesus in your life, your laughter is empty and your happiness is temporary.
  • Psalms 5:11 AMP – But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.
  • Psalms 126:1-6 KJV – When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. 3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. 4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. 5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
  • Philippians 4:4 NKJV – Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

The Gospel Must Be Preached

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 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.” 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? 15 And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” 17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:8-17 NKJV

The Gospel came through Jesus Christ.

Jesus was the first to preach the Gospel. He preached it and He died and rose again to fulfill it.

Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. Matthew 9:35 NKJV

The Gospel must be preached.

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. Luke 4:18-19 KJV

Jesus was anointed to PREACH the Gospel – and He faithfully fulfilled that call and commission. Now He, Himself, calls and commissions all believers – you and me – to pick up where He left off and PREACH the Gospel to EVERY creature.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. Mark 16:15-16 KJV

In order for the Gospel to be preached, a preacher is required.

Nowhere in the Bible does it tell us to just sit back and do nothing while God does all the saving He wants to do. People are not predestined for salvation or not at the whim of God. God says that He is unwilling that any soul should perish. In other words, if it were all up to Him, alone, everyone would have no choice, but to get saved. The fact is that He created us with a free will to choose our own eternal destiny. People will have the opportunity to be saved once they hear the Gospel preached. That is why it is so vital that preachers preach the Gospel – with faith and boldness – so that all are able to hear. Not only five-fold preachers preaching, but every believer, everywhere.

The preacher must be sent.

The preacher of the Gospel must be sent – by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Sent, ideally, from both God and the Church – the body of Christ. Ministry is not something you do on your own – you must be anointed for the task and sent out with faith, prayer, and direction from the Holy Spirit.

And He sent them out to announce and preach the kingdom of God and to bring healing. Luke 9:2 AMP

Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” John 4:34 NKJV

As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. John 17:18 NKJV

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21-22 NKJV

The Gospel must be heard.

How can they call on Him if they don’t believe? How can they believe if they have not heard? Faith comes by hearing the word.

With many such parables [Jesus] spoke the Word to them, as they were able to hear and to comprehend and understand. Mark 4:33 AMP

The Gospel must be believed.

And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women. Acts 5:14 NKJV

In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:13-14 NKJV

The Gospel must be obeyed.

And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him. Hebrews 5:9 NKJV

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 NKJV

Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us. 1 John 3:24 NKJV

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 1 John 5:2 NKJV

By One Man’s Sin Death Reigned by Another’s Obedience Life Came

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

Foundational Scripture: Romans 5:12-19

V12         Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for all that all have sinned.

V13         (For until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

V14         Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

V15         But not as the offence, so also is the free gift.  For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

V16         And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

V17         For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

V18         Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

V19         For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 

As born-again believers, it is very important that we understand exactly what transpired at Calvary’s Cross.  Jesus was paying the price for the sins of the world.  He was the second Adam and He came to get back what the first Adam lost.  When Adam sinned and committed high treason, he bowed his knee to the devil and death reigned.  For this reason Jesus had to pay the price, being obedient to die on the cross.  Even as by Adam’s disobedience death reigned, so by Jesus’ obedience, life came.  He didn’t do it for Himself, but for us.  He went to the cross as 100% Man and 100% God.

 

Phillipians 2:5-8

V5           Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

V6           Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.

V7           But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

V8           And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

 

He was despised for us – He bore our grief – He carried our sorrows – He was wounded for our transgressions.  He was bruised for our iniquities – He was chastised in order to obtain peace for us – He

bore stripes so that we could be healed.  He bore the iniquity for us all – He was oppressed – He was afflicted – He was cut off from the land of the living.  He was stricken for the transgression of His people –

He made His grave with the wicked and the rich man in His death.  He was bruised and put to grief by God’s pleasure for us – He was made an offering for sin.

 

Isaiah 53:1-10

V1           Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?

V2           For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

V3           He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and we hid as it were our faces from him: he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

V4           Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

V5           But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

V6           All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

V7           He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

V8           He was taken from prison and from judgment; and who shall declare his generation? For he was cut off out of the land of the living; for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

V9           And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

V10         Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

 

Adam, by His disobedience, went to the tree of knowledge of good and evil and brought death upon mankind.  Jesus, by His obedience, went to the cross and died, resulting in eternal life for us.  Jesus took your and my place.  By His obedience we have life.  Adam’s disobedience was a selfish act, motivated by sin, resulting in death.  Jesus’ obedience was an unselfish act, motivated by a love that knows no limits.  Jesus’ act of unselfish love resulted in our eternal life.

WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION

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

Philippians 2:12-16  (NKJ)

12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,

15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

Some people believe that your salvation is completely God’s responsibility and others believe that it comes by your own efforts. However we can see from God’s Word that although He did all the hard work, it is still up to us to allow that work of salvation to take place in our lives. God will do great things in us—with our cooperation.

From the moment that you accept God’s incredible blessings of grace and mercy that come to us by the sacrifice of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ and you receive Him as your Lord and Savior, you are born-again! You are saved from hell, eternal damnation, and all of the penalties of sin. Your spirit is made brand-new and you receive eternal life immediately. There will never be any death for your spirit again. Your body will eventually cease to exist in its present form when your spirit leaves your body and your body dies, but your spirit—the real you—will live on in God’s presence.

Your soul (mind, will, intellect and emotions) and your body are not instantly redeemed at the moment you were saved as your spirit was. That is the salvation you have to work out “with fear and trembling.” When you were born-again, it was not the end of your salvation, but the beginning. Fortunately for us, God is working in us to bring about His will and His good pleasure. All we have to do is yield to His working and submit ourselves to His will.

Titus 2:11-14  (NKJ)

11 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,

13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

14 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.

In order to inherit the salvation of our body and soul, we must depart from sin and ungodliness and we must live soberly, righteously and godly, keeping our eyes and hearts open for Jesus’ return and eager to do what is good.

Romans 12:1-2  (NKJ)

1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

If you present your body unto the Lord as a living sacrifice, then you will not be likely to yield it to the lusts of your flesh—which is the root of all your sin problems. Your flesh desires the pleasure of sin, but unfortunately sin has very unpleasurable consequences, both here and in eternity. The only way you can cease conforming to the world and begin to be transformed and recognize God’s will for you is to renew your mind to the Word of God.

You did not earn the salvation of your spirit—it was a free gift purchased in the blood of Jesus that you received. God’s grace and mercy is still working in your life for the salvation of your soul and body. It is your responsibility to work out this salvation, by continuing to allow God to do the work in you that He desires to do—until you see Him face-to-face!

JESUS – THE WORD OF GRACE AND TRUTH – MADE FLESH

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

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God–children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testifies concerning him. He cries out, saying, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'” From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  John 1:1-17 NIV

Jesus is the Word of God who became flesh and made His dwelling among us here on earth. He was with God and He is God. He existed before time began. He is the beginning and the end. He was there when God made the heavens and the earth and they were made with Him and by Him. Nothing was created without Him or apart from Him. What an incredible sacrifice He made for us. He created the universe and yet He humbled Himself to come down to earth to regard our plight and put up with abuse and persecution to give Himself as an offering for us.

Jesus is the light of the world and the way, the truth and the life. God sent John the Baptist ahead of Jesus so that he could testify about Jesus and prepare everyone for His coming. John was not the light, but he came to tell everyone who would listen that Jesus was the light of the world. Even though Jesus created the world and everything in it, the people He created did not recognize nor acknowledge Him. He came to His own – the seed of Abraham and the nation He was physically born into (His people after the flesh) – but they did not receive Him. They rejected and crucified Him.

God offered His salvation to the Jew first and then to the Gentile. God is not a respecter of persons. To whoever believes in Jesus and recognizes Him as the Messiah, Savior and Redeemer, He gives the power – authority, liberty and right – to become the children of God. Children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. The first time we were born of the flesh into a legacy of sin and death and lack – cut off from God. The second time we are born of the Spirit – made alive unto God with a legacy of life, liberty, divine health and the provision of God.

The Law came through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. You can worship the letter of the Law or you can worship the God of the Law. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6). The Bible calls Jesus “the Word of God”. You can allow the Word to put you into bondage or you can allow it to set you free. 1 Corinthians 8:1-3, in the Amplified Bible, says that even if we have plenty of Bible knowledge, we don’t really understand it if we don’t understand the love of God. The law was given to give men guidelines to live righteously, but at the same time it made men aware that they needed a Savior – because it was not possible to keep the Law in the body of this flesh.

As we read the Word of God we must keep in mind God’s great love and grace and mercy and we will come into the freedom God intended for us and not into the bondage of religion. A religious spirit tries to keep you bound, but Jesus came to bring you into the liberty of righteousness, so that you can have boldness to come into the presence of God and you can also have boldness on the Day of Judgement. He gives you the freedom of a life washed in the blood of Jesus and forgiven of all sin and iniquity. Thank God that he sent the Word, Jesus, in the flesh to redeem us and bring us freely into His presence!

DO NOT GROW WEARY IN DOING GOOD

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

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good.

II Thessalonians 3:13 NKJ

 

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches. Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:6-10 NKJ

 

The word says that whatever we sow – that is what we will reap. So we should not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing good and doing right. We will reap in due time and at the appointed season if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faith. There are three things we must do to reap our harvest. Do the right thing. Keep on doing the right thing – don’t let weariness or discouragement stop you. Keep your faith in God’s word activated as you do the right thing.

 

Being a giver is the right thing to be. Giving is the right thing to do. We must be givers, as a way of life, and we must resist the temptation to change what we are doing and to stop giving when we are weary and frustrated. We must be a blessing to those who minister spiritually into our lives and also to our church family. We must do the right thing because it is the right thing, not because we feel like it or not. The devil is sure to apply pressure to us from time to time, trying to prevent us from doing God’s word and His will. He does not want us to be blessed or fruitful in any way. We must not be moved by what we see and feel and we must DO right because it IS right!

 

“You have said harsh things against me,” says the LORD. “Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'” Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name.    “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.  Malachi 3:13-18 NIV

 

Sometimes Christians begin to think that they are hard done by. They feel like they are trying hard and getting nowhere. The “poor, little, old Christian” is struggling along, barely making it, while the devil shows them the ungodly and disobedient and he tells them that these sinners are more blessed and prosperous than they are. The devil tells them that the sinner is getting away with what he is doing. He tries to convince the Christian that all their faithfulness, commitment and devotion to God are for nothing, while the sinner escapes justice. To the frustrated Christian, who believes this lie, it seems as if the sinner is better off than they are and so they begin to gripe at God.

 

God rebukes us for even thinking that any one individual escapes justice. God is merciful and He is very, very patient with every one of us, but you can be sure that no one gets away with anything. There is a day of reckoning for every one. On that day you do not want to be the one who must give an account of how you stopped doing what you knew to be right just because you were looking at other people. You do not want to be rebuked by God because you had a bad attitude, which prevented you from receiving all of the blessings of God in your life.

 

There is a scroll of remembrance written in the presence of the Lord, concerning those who fear Him and honor his name. God sees and knows every small thing we do that is right and He will bless and honor us for it. There is a reward waiting for us. No matter how comfortable and prosperous the ungodly seem now. No matter how much it seems that they are getting away with – there is coming a time when the whole earth will see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. We are His treasured possession and He loves us and is watching over us with compassion. He is taking note of every right and good thing we do and He is also watching our heart attitude as we do it. Take heart and do what you know is right.

BRING YOUR WHOLE TITHE INTO THE STOREHOUSE

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

Malachi 3:6-18  NIV

6 “I the LORD do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.”

God is a good God. Psalms 145:8-9 says that “the LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all,

And His tender mercies are over all His works.” God is good – always good – and He does not change, therefore we benefit from His mercy and compassion. Even though we try His patience and we do not deserve His grace, He offers it anyway.

7 “Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, `How are we to return?’ 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, `How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me.”

We invest our treasure where our heart is. If we love someone – we give him or her our devotion, our time and our possessions. If we really love God, we give our best offerings to Him. God is not the One who draws back or who deserts us. We are the ones who draw back from Him. When we draw back from God spiritually, we also hold back our substance – our money – from Him. By our stinginess toward God, we demonstrate our lack of love and devotion toward Him. God says that when we fail to pay our tithe to Him, that we are robbing Him and we have brought a curse upon ourselves.

10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.

If we love God we will give to Him. Every time we receive an income – we should bring our whole tithe (ten percent) to the Lord. The devil would like us to operate in fear instead of faith in the area of our finances. He wants us to think that if we give our money away to God, then we will have less for ourselves, but God says that if we give to Him, we will receive a blessing so huge that we will not even have room for the whole blessing!

11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the LORD Almighty.

Our tithe releases God’s blessing upon us. God not only promises to bless us, but to protect and bless the work of our hands. The work we do will be exceptionally blessed. It will produce more than what we would expect normally.

12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

We will be so blessed that other people will notice how blessed we are.

13 “You have said harsh things against me,” says the LORD. “Yet you ask, `What have we said against you?’ 14 “You have said, `It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'”

We need to put a guard over our mouth. God is not our problem, nor the source of our problems. Sometimes we complain to the Lord and we say hard things against Him. We think that our sacrifices are for nothing. We think that God does not see or care that we have sacrificed for Him and we want to stop our giving and tithing. Sometimes we look at sinners and we think that they are more blessed than we are. We think that they have a better time than we do; we think that they are getting away with their arrogance and defiance. But we are wrong!

16 Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. 17 “They will be mine,” says the LORD Almighty, “in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.

God sees and notes everything we do. You can be sure that your love, obedience, tithing and giving will be rewarded – here on earth and in heaven!

THE LORD ALWAYS BRINGS TO PASS HIS PURPOSES FOR ME

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

Now the LORD had said to Abram: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Genesis 12:1-3 NKJV

When Abram was seventy-five years old God took him out of his own land, separating him from his family and his people, and made him a promise. Abram had no children at that point, but God promised to make a great nation of him and to bless him and those who blessed him.

Then Abram fell on his face, and God talked with him, saying: 4 “As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you.  Genesis 17:3-6 NKJV

hen God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. 16 And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” 17 Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!” 19 Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you. Behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall beget twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. 21 But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this set time next year.” 22 Then He finished talking with him, and God went up from Abraham.  Genesis 17:15-22 NKJV

When Abram was ninety-nine, God changed his name to Abraham – “father of many nations.” God changed his wife’s name too, from Sarai to Sarah. God began to call her “mother of many nations.” Because Sarah and Abraham had tried to take things into their own hands, they produced Ishmael, whose mother’s name was Hagar, Sarah’s maid. Sarah was Abraham’s wife. God planned for Sarah to bear the son He had promised to Abraham. If God makes a promise – He keeps it. We should not try to make it happen – we should keep our eyes on the promise and let God bring it to pass. There is an appointed time for the promise to be fulfilled and it will happen without your “help”!

And the LORD visited Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did for Sarah as He had spoken. 2 For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. 3 And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him–whom Sarah bore to him–Isaac. Genesis 21:1-3 NKJV

It took twenty-five years from the first promise to the fulfillment of that promise, but God did exactly as He said He would. If God has spoken a word to us – then He will not let us down. He will fulfill the promise exactly as promised! Stay in faith. Continue to rejoice. Thank Him for the promise fulfilled.

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

Psalms 57:2 AMP

ANSWERED PRAYER – PART TWO

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

The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].  James 5:16b AMP

When a righteous man prays a continued, earnest, heartfelt, prayer, there is a tremendous power that is released – a dynamic active power that effectively goes to work – producing the desired result. If you want our prayers to be answered, there are a few things that you must do to ensure the desired result – you must walk righteously before the Lord, you must pray sincerely and fervently – and very importantly – you must pray according to God’s will. As a Christian, yielded to the Spirit of God, you have the right to represent yourself in God’s presence and ask for the things you need. Because you have the right to come boldly, you can approach God with confidence.

14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.  1 John 5:13-15 NIV

The Bible says that if you ask God for anything – according to His will – you can have absolute confidence that He is hearing your prayer. Some people pray as if God isn’t even listening, but the Bible says that if you ask anything according to His will, He does hear you. The Bible says that if you know that He hears you, you also know that He gives you whatever you asked for. Obviously that means that if He hears, He answers and if He does not hear, He does not answer. It is not hard to receive from God those things you ask for as long as you know that He is actually hearing you. Therefore you need to pray in such a way that you know that He will hear your prayer – your prayer must be in line with His will. His will is His Word. You must pray the way that the Word tells you to pray and you must pray the things that the Word tells you to pray, because God will only give you the things that He has already promised that He will give you.

The Lord says that His people are destroyed for the lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6). People are generally misinformed about God – He is not looking for an opportunity to punish you or deprive you of anything – He is looking for an opportunity to bless you, but there is a process that you must go through. You must purify your heart and come both humbly and boldly into His presence to ask according to His will – which is already revealed to you in His Word. He has shown you how to ask – you need to get the revelation of it and do as He says if you want to see a result. If you are not going to pray properly, according to God’s guidelines, then you are basically wasting your time. It would be better to find out what He wants – do it – and reap the blessing!

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:26-28 NKJV

If you want God’s best for your life then you should spend time praying in the Spirit. When you pray in the Spirit, the Holy Spirit within you prays through you. The Holy Spirit prays the perfect will of God for you through your own mouth. The Spirit stands before God and makes intercession for you, praying God’s will over you on your behalf. You must open your mouth to pray and the Spirit of God will give you the utterance and pray through you. He will pray things through you and over you that only the Father, Jesus, and He (the Holy Spirit) understand and know about. The Holy Spirit asks God for things we cannot ask for, or do not know what to ask for, or do not know how to ask for. Remember, God always speaks things before He does them. He always speaks His will into existence. You are made in His image. If you want to see results, then you must do things the way He does. If He speaks things into existence, then you must also speak things into existence. When you pray God’s will, you are speaking God’s will for your life into existence. God has good plans for us – to give us hope and a future.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

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

Rodney Howard Browne Brings Revival in America