The Moments that Sustain Us by Rodney Howard Browne

Does peace come naturally for you, or does it feel like a constant struggle? Sometimes, it seems as though so many things are actively working against our peace that our spirits may never know a moment’s rest. How can we quiet these distractions long enough to hear God’s voice?

The key is found within a word that may make you uncomfortable: meditation. Perhaps you’re thinking, Well, all that meditation stuff is what other religions call “finding yourself.” I’m not going to waste my time with that. Oh no! What a horrible misconception. Rodney Howard Browne teaches that meditation is not about listening to yourself; rather, it is about quieting your own mind and listening for the gentle whispers of God.

Think about your prayer life. Whose voice is most prominent—yours or God’s? If you are like most people, the vast majority of your prayer time is spent talking to God, thanking Him for what He’s done, and asking for help with your life. Rodney Howard Brown explains that there is certainly nothing wrong with this, but if you never give Him time to answer, how will you know what He wants you to do?

The time we spend listening is a good indication of how much we respect and enjoy the relationship. Rodney Howard Browne teaches that if we dominate the conversation, then we may be showing God with our actions that His opinions are not as important as our own. Now, we’d never say those words so plainly, but our actions may be proclaiming that very message.

Are you listening to God? Commit your time with Him today to quietly listening for what He wants to share with you.

  • 1.
  • I will extol thee, my God, O king; and I will bless thy name for ever and ever.
  • 2.
  • Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever.
  • 3.
  • Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised ; and his greatness is unsearchable.
  • 4.
  • One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.
  • 5.
  • I will speak of the glorious honour of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.
  • 6.
  • And men shall speak of the might of thy terrible acts : and I will declare thy greatness.
  • 7.
  • They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.
  • 8.
  • The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.
  • 9.
  • The LORD is good to all: and his tender mercies are over all his works.
  • 10.
  • All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee.
  • 11.
  • They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power;
  • 12.
  • To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.
  • 13.
  • Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
  • 14.
  • The LORD upholdeth all that fall , and raiseth up all those that be bowed down .
  • 15.
  • The eyes of all wait upon thee; and thou givest them their meat in due season.
  • 16.
  • Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
  • 17.
  • The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works.
  • 18.
  • The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth.
  • 19.
  • He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them.
  • 20.
  • The LORD preserveth all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy .
  • 21.
  • My mouth shall speak the praise of the LORD: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever.

WORKING OUT YOUR SALVATION

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. Philippians 2:12-13 NKJV

Rodney Howard Browne discusses working for salvation.

  1. The moment you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you become a new creature—your Spirit is made brand new; re-created; eternity comes to live in your heart; eternal life is yours. You are translated out of the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of light. Heaven is now your destination and your new home!
  2. Your soul—mind; will; emotions—needs to be renewed.  This is your responsibility. You work out your salvation by submitting —spirit, soul and body—to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
  3. James 1:21-27
  4. Don’t be a fake. Be real—with God, yourself and others.
  5. God wants a pure heart more than mere good works.
  6. God is full of mercy and grace, but it is a mistake to take God’s grace and mercy for granted.
  7. Hebrews 10:26-29
  8. God is kind, gracious and loving, but He is also righteous and He expects righteousness from us.

Rodney Howard Browne teaches us to walk in love and forgiveness.

  1. If you don’t forgive, the Father cannot forgive you.
  2. Mark 11:25-26 AMP – And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
  3. Luke 17:3-4
  4. Ephesians 4:32

I must not neglect fellowshipping with the Saints.

  1. You are not the only one out there—no man is an island.
  2. God wants us to look out for one another.
  3. Each of us needs to experience truth and grace—people who will tell us the truth and confront the sin in our lives, and people who will love us, accept us, forgive us and encourage us in our walk with God.
  4. Hebrews 10:23-25
  5. Work to live in harmony with each other.
  6. Romans 12:16
  7. 1 Corinthians 12:25
  8. Love each other.
  9. John 13:34-35

Rodney Howard Browne teaches that we must read the Word and pray daily.

  1. Fellowship with God through His Word and prayer.
  2. John 15:1-8
  3. Talk to the Lord. Listen for His voice. Spend time in His presence. Stay hooked up to Him.


I must be involved financially in Kingdom business.

  1. Tithes—local church.
  2. Malachi 3:8-12 AMP – Will a man rob or defraud God? Yet you rob and defraud Me. But you say, In what way do we rob or defraud You? [You have withheld your] tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with the curse, for you are robbing Me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes (the whole tenth of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer [insects and plagues] for your sakes and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground, neither shall your vine drop its fruit before the time in the field, says the Lord of hosts. 12 And all nations shall call you happy and blessed, for you shall be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.
  3. Offerings—local church and missions.
  4. 2 Corinthians 8:12-15
  5. 2 Corinthians 9:6-12
  6. Poor and needy.
  7. 2 Corinthians 8:7


I must live my life as a daily witness to Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

  1. Acts 1:8 AMP – But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
  2. Sharing Jesus by my actions.
  3. 1 John 3:18 AMP – Little children, let us not love [merely] in theory or in speech but in deed and in truth (in practice and in sincerity).
  4. Sharing Jesus by my words—witnessing.
  5. Proverbs 11:30 NKJV–The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.

N.B. (Important note) I must be a soul–winner!

Forget Not All His Benefits

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. Psalms 103:1-2 KJV

We bless the Lord from our heart and soul and ALL that is within us – as an expression of our desire to worship and honor Him with all we have and with all we are. As we bless Him, we should remember all His benefits. Every child of God should know what benefits have been made available to them, but what are those benefits?

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases. Psalms 103:3 KJV

Benefit 1: He forgives all of our sin.

Benefit 2: He heals all disease.

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.

Psalms 103:4 KJV

Benefit 3: He redeems our lives from destruction.

Benefit 4: He crowns us with loving kindness.

Benefit 5: He crowns us with tender mercies.

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. Psalms 103:5 KJV

Benefit 6: He meets every need and satisfies us with good things.

Benefit 7: He renews our youth like the eagle’s.

The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. Psalms 103:6 KJV

Benefit 8: He executes justice for all oppression.

He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. Psalms 103:7 KJV

Benefit 9: God gives His children knowledge of His ways.

Benefit 10: He gives His children knowledge of His acts/deeds.

The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. Psalms 103:8 KJV

Benefit 11: He is merciful and gracious toward us.

Benefit 12: He is patient – longsuffering – slow to anger.

Benefit 13: He is abundant in mercy.

He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever. Psalms 103:9 KJV

Benefit 14: His reproof is temporary. He brings correction, but He does not continue to harp on it.

Benefit 15: He will not retain His anger forever. His anger will pass. He is slow to anger and quick to forgive.

He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. Psalms 103:10 KJV

Benefit 16: He deals mercifully with our sins. He is patient with us when we sin.

Benefit 17: By His mercy, He does not give us what we deserve – the punishment. By His grace, He gives us that which we do not deserve – forgiveness and righteousness.

For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

Psalms 103:11 KJV

Benefit 18: He shows infinite mercy to those who respectfully fear and honor Him.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:12 KJV

Benefit 19: He thoroughly removes our sin – so far – that it will never show up on our account ever again. It will never, ever again be held against us.

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Psalms 103:13 KJV

Benefit 20: He feels the same way toward us, and treats us the same way, that a loving father would treat his very own children.

For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. Psalms 103:14 KJV

Benefit 21: He knows all our faults and flaws and He knows all our weaknesses and frailties, and He loves us, even so.

Benefit 22: He is understanding, gentle and kind toward us in spite of our sin and disobedience.

As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more. Psalms 103:15-16 KJV

Benefit 23: Even though our lives are short compared to the span of time and eternity, the love of God gives value to every life lived, no matter how long or short.

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children. Psalms 103:17 KJV

Benefit 24: Eternal mercy upon them that fear Him.

Benefit 25: Eternal righteousness unto them that fear Him.

Benefit 26: Eternal righteousness also unto their succeeding generations, as they raise and teach them to fear God.

To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them. Psalms 103:18 KJV

Benefit 27: He bestows the blessing of righteousness to covenant keepers.

Benefit 28: He bestows the blessing of righteousness upon the obedient.

The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. Psalms 103:19 KJV

Benefit 29: A dependable, eternal throne of grace and a God who rules over all.

Benefit 30: We have membership in the kingdom of God.

Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. 21 Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul. Psalms 103:20-22 KJV

ANOINTED WITH POWER TO DO GOOD

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

Foundation Scriptures: Acts 10:34-48 (NIV) Vs. 34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.  Vs. 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear Him and do what is right.  Vs. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. Vs. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached, Vs. 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how He went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with Him.  Vs. 39 We are witnesses of everything He did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed Him by hanging him on a tree, Vs. 40 but God raised Him from the dead on the third day and caused Him to be seen. Vs. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen, by us who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.  Vs. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that He is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.  Vs. 43 All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”  Vs. 44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.  Vs. 45 The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on the Gentiles.  Vs. 46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.  Then Peter said, Vs. 47 “Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water? They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.”  Vs. 48 So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days.

 

When you are baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit and power you know it.  It is not maybe or I hope so.  After receiving the Holy Ghost, they all spoke in other tongues.  When a believer gets hungry for God and desires to be empowered by the Holy Spirit, all they have to do is ask in faith and expect to receive.  God will always meet you at the point of your faith.

 

The Holy Spirit has been sent to every believer (if they will receive Him) anointing him with power (Vs. 38), so that they can go about doing good, healing and delivering all who are under the power of the devil!  Acts 1:8 says, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (NIV).  Every time the Holy Spirit anoints a believer, He anoints them with power.  You are anointed with power to do good.  Healing people and saving and delivering them from the devil’s influence is doing good.  It’s a crazy world when you have ignorant and/or religious people calling healing and deliverance the work of the devil and then calling death and destruction the work of God!  Jesus came to show us the work of the Father.  Everywhere He went He displayed God’s power by healing, forgiving, delivering and raising people from the dead.  The power of the Holy Spirit was at Jesus’ disposal to do good.  When we are anointed, we display God’s power and anointing in our lives by doing good and delivering those under the influence of the enemy.

 

It is interesting to note that even though Jesus was the son of God, He did not begin to preach or do miracles until He was baptized in the Holy Ghost.  We are given the same Holy Ghost.  We can do the works of Jesus, because He lives in us and the Holy Ghost has anointed us, just as He anointed Jesus.

 

John 3:34-35 (NKJ)

Vs. 34 “For He who God has sent speaks the words of God, for does not give the Spirit by measure.”  Vs. 35 “The Father loves the Son and has given all things into His hands.”

 

God gave Jesus the Spirit without measure because of His obedience and consecration. Even though we have the same Holy Spirit, we do not have Him in the same measure because we are limited by our carnality.  However, the more we yield to the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives, the more He cleanses and purifies us and the more He can flow through us.  The Holy Spirit can flow through us in great power as we yield our will to Him.

THE LIVING WORD

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

2 Timothy 3:14-17  (NIV)

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it,

15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,

17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Millions of people, across the nations, have never seen a Bible. However, there are also countless numbers of people who do have Bibles, yet they never, ever open them up, nor do they apply God’s principles or commands to their lives. People are deceived into worshiping the Bible as a holy object that they proudly display in their homes, but the power and the glory of the Word can only be manifested in one’s life if the Book is opened and read and received and acted upon! Having a Bible in your house won’t help or save you. Having the Word in your heart and acting upon it, allowing it to work in you, is what will make the difference in you.

The devil would like to keep Bibles out of people’s hands. The Bibles that people do have, he would like to keep closed. If the Bible is kept closed, then it will have no impact on lives and families. Whole so-called “Christian” denominations all over the world have forbidden their members to read Bibles, telling them that the leaders of the “Church” will interpret the Bible for the masses. While there is nothing wrong with having someone explain and clarify the scriptures, the Bible stands on its own, with no explanation necessary. The Holy Spirit is our teacher, instructor and guide (1 John 2:27). He is the one who unveils God’s Word to our hearts.

The Bible is not hard to read or understand, unless you are reading with a veil over your own face (2 Corinthians 3:13-15). Even children can receive God’s Word and understand the Bible. The Bible should not be read with religious glasses and should be taken as literally as possible. God says what He means and He means what He says. You can take Him at His Word and you can believe everything He tells you.

2 Corinthians 13:1b  (NKJ)

1 “By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established.”

The Bible is not a book written by mere man, like so many other publications that people regard as sacred. Man recorded the Bible, but it was breathed and inspired by God. Scholars have determined that even though many men wrote the Bible over a period of several thousand years, it fits and flows and agrees together so perfectly, that for it to have been fabricated by man, every man, who wrote a book of the Bible, would have had to write his book last! Any one with half a brain should realize that this is not a credible scenario. The Bible is undoubtedly the work of God and not man.

Hebrews 4:12  (NIV)

12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

God’s Word is not dead words on dead pages. It is real, alive and powerful. It will deeply impact and radically change your life, if you will give it the pre-imminence it deserves and if you will it allow it to have an influence on your heart and life!

THE MINISTRY OF RESTORATION BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE SPIRITUAL

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

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:19-24  NKJ

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load. Galatians 6:1-5  NKJ

If we yield to the lusts and desires of our flesh as a way of life, the works of the flesh will be evident in our lives. If we allow the Spirit of God to work in our lives and wash us clean, the fruit of the Spirit will be made manifest in and through us. The more we allow God to do His work in us, the more truly spiritual we become. People think that spirituality is something you say or do, but it is who you are. People can try to act spiritual or try to talk spiritual and yet still be manifesting the works of the flesh, because they are still yielding to their flesh and by that they prove that they are actually still very unspiritual. You can be quite “normal” and yet be filled with the power and anointing of God – as opposed to being a super-spiritual “spooky” Christian with no power and no wisdom.

Being truly spiritual has nothing to do with a certain way of talking or acting, but it has to do with being totally yielded to the Spirit of God in every area of your life. When the Lord is allowed to have His way in your life, there is a sweetness, a holiness and a purity of attitude and speech that will be manifested in and through you that cannot be manufactured. The fruit of the Spirit is manifested through you even in the midst of extreme stress or pressure.

When a believer falls into sin, spiritual believers are required to help by ministering to them and helping to restore them back into fellowship with God and their spiritual family. A spiritual believer will not judge or criticize their fellow fallen Christian, but instead they will walk in love and kindly and gently help them to repent and find God’s forgiveness and be restored into fellowship with God. In this way we help to bear their burdens. Unfortunately, many believers who commit sins that badly destroy their fellowship with the Lord have a hard time finding help from the Church, because there are no spiritual believers to be found.

When you help to minister to a fallen believer, you get to know all their weaknesses and failures. If you have not dealt with your pride and if you think more highly of yourself than what you should, then you will begin to compare yourself with them or to judge them. If you do this, you will not be able to help them at all. If you are going to be of any help to your brother or sister, you must remain totally neutral. Do not judge or have any personal opinion, just speak the Word. God is the only One who has the right to judge. Do not condone the sin, but show mercy to the sinner as you know Jesus shows His mercy to them. Help them in the same way that you would like to be helped were you found in the same situation. Don’t discuss the situation with any one else either. Cover your fellow believer. Do not expose their personal situation to other people if they are looking to be restored. Some people disguise gossip about someone else by asking for prayer on their behalf and telling all the juicy details. Don’t do this.

Be sure to consider yourself and your own heart and your own attitude as you help another person. If you must bring a rebuke or a correction, do it in love, to help not to condemn. You may have a reason to judge another person, but you don’t have the right. Many people have judged another person for their sin and then ended up in the same sin or a similar sin within two years themselves. We are all responsible for only our own actions, not those of another person. Do not seek after spirituality itself. Seek after God and His presence and you will be filled with all the fullness of God and be a vessel that God can effectively use to minister to the hurting.

DO NOT GROW WEARY IN DOING GOOD – PART TWO

“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

 

Don’t grow weary in doing good. Don’t allow discouragement to stop you from doing what is right. If you know the right thing to do – do it – and don’t give up. The devil would love for you to quit doing good. He will lie to you and tell you that all the good that you have done is worthless and in vain. He will try to make you feel like a failure. But he is a filthy, rotten thief and liar and he is wrong about you! God sees and knows and has a record in eternity of all you have done for Him and it will never be erased.

 

Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.  Luke 18:1 NKJ

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  Luke 18:1 NIV

 

God is watching you – and not from a distance either! He is listening to every word you speak. When you pray according to His will, He hears you and He answers your prayers. You cannot allow circumstances or the devil’s lies to distract you and make you think that God does not hear and He does not answer. If you say that you trust God and if you truly do trust Him, then you will not give up or lose heart – you will continue to talk to Him and to expect his reply.

 

Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 NKJ

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart. But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 NKJ

 

Because we have already received God’s mercy and we have experienced His life and His liberty, we should not give up or lose heart, but we should continue to allow the Spirit of God to transform us. There is nothing to go back to. Your past is past. It has nothing to offer you. Look forward to more of God and continue in the truth of God’s word.

 

And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak, knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus, and will present us with you. For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:13-18 NKJ

 

You cannot look just at outward things and judge the work of God in your life according to them. You must look at the inward things. Look at the work of God in your heart. Just because you face opposition and persecution it does not mean that you are in the wrong or that God has forsaken you. It could mean that you are doing precisely the right thing and you are just being persecuted for the word’s sake! We do not lose heart – we cling to the word of God and His promises, which we know, are true. His word is yes and amen – if He said it then He will do it. Don’t give up on God and He won’t give up on you!

 

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.  Revelations 3:5 NKJ

 

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.  Revelations 3:21 NKJ

 

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.  Revelations 21:7 NKJ

UNLESS THE LORD BUILDS THE HOUSE

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

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep.  Psalms 127:1-2 NKJV

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.

The word “house” here means a house in the greatest variation of applications, but it especially represents family. It could be used of your very own family or God’s family – the church. In either case, each member is a part of the whole house. You can try to build a family or a ministry, but unless God is at the helm of your vessel, even your best efforts will fail and come to nothing.

God is not our co-pilot. We need to make Him the pilot and we need to obey Him in everything. He is the author and the finisher of our faith. He is the architect and the builder. We must trust His judgment and His wisdom enough to follow it in spite of our own opinions to the contrary. God’s word is tried and proven and it stands as a rock and a testament to His truth and His faithfulness.

If you labor in vain – you labor uselessly. There is no fruit of your labor. The result you desired will not be achieved. Why spend all your efforts on something that is going to fail anyway? You need to step back, take your hands off of the helm and allow God to have His way – always, in everything. Only then will your efforts produce the desired result. You see – some people do nothing when they should be doing something, while others work really hard and yet they are both unfruitful, and they wonder why! You have to put an effort in, however, it must be led, guided and inspired by the Lord or it will be all your own efforts and it is destined to fail.

Unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

If you serve and honor God in your life, He promises to watch over you and protect you in all your ways of obedience and service. Without Him, you are exposed to the elements. With Him, you are safe in the direst of situations. You cannot waste time worrying about your life. It won’t help one bit. All your worrying will be for nothing – you might as well just trust Him! You need to live your life, trusting in Him and He will take care of you.

It is vain for you to rise up early and to sit up late.

There is nothing wrong with getting up early or going to bed late unless you are doing it because of fear or because you are relying on yourself alone. You might as well get some sleep because you cannot do everything yourself – you need the Lord’s help anyway.

It is vain for you to eat the bread of sorrows.

“Sorrows” is grievous or painful toil. Deuteronomy 24:19 says that God will bless the work of your hands. If you are a believer, if you are serving God with all your heart, He will bless the work of your hands. It is unprofitable for you to work and sweat and struggle by your own efforts. Trust God, obey Him, allow Him to guide your way and your work will be blessed and fruitful. You will reap a multiplied harvest of blessing.

 For so He gives His beloved sleep.

You don’t need to worry

You don’t need to fret

God has never failed you yet

You can close your eyes and float away

As He watches over you until the light of day

You don’t have to stay up worrying about your way

He is in control every day

There is a rest for the people of God

It is faith in His power, His wisdom, His love

God loves you so and He watches you close

Give Him your all and rest in His hands

HONOR GOD WITH THE FIRST FRUITS OF YOUR INCREASE

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

9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.  KJV

9 Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.  NKJV

9 Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;

10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.  NIV 

If you are truly a child of God, your desire is to honor the Lord. One of the first ways that you honor Him is with your substance; your possessions; your wealth. No one can serve God and mammon; money; possessions at the same time. You can only put one first place in your life.

“No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”  Luke 16:13 NIV

You honor God when you bring Him the first fruits of your increase. By offering the first fruits of the increase of your substance, you demonstrate that God is number one in your life. When you make God your priority, He will make you His priority! God says that if you will honor Him with your substance and your first fruits then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. You will be abundantly blessed. You will have more than enough. You will have enough for what you need today and for what you will need tomorrow!

1 Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, and said, “I have acquired a man from the LORD.” 2 Then she bore again, this time his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. 3 And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the LORD. 4 Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat. And the LORD respected Abel and his offering, 5 but He did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his countenance fell. 6 So the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.” 8 Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.  Genesis 4:1-8 NKJV

Cain and Abel both brought an offering to the Lord. Abel brought the firstborn of his flock and their fat, but Cain brought only an offering of the fruit of the ground – not the first fruit of his harvest. God accepted Abel’s offering, but He did not accept Cain’s offering. Cain was angry with God for rejecting Him, when it was he who had rejected God first because did not honor Him with his first and best. If we do not honor God in a way that is acceptable to Him, it is because we do not have the right heart attitude. If we do not have the right heart attitude, then sin will rule over us. God does not want sin to rule over us. He wants us to rule over sin, for our own sake.

Cain did not kill Abel because god had rejected him and his offering. Cain killed Abel because he had a jealous, covetous spirit. His covetousness was the reason God rejected him in the first place – because he kept the best for himself instead of offering it to God. God sees your heart and God sees your offering. Give of the first fruits of the increase of your substance with a willing heart and the Lord will accept you and your offering.

4 Moses said to the whole Israelite community, “This is what the LORD has commanded: 5 From what you have, take an offering for the LORD. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the LORD an offering of gold, silver and bronze; 6 blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; 7 ram skins dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; 8 olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; 9 and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece.  Exodus 35:4-9 NIV

As a church, we are going to honor God with the first fruits of our increase in the month of January 2002. All those, at The River, who are of a willing heart and mind are going to bring a week’s worth of our salaries and wages and we are going to offer it to the Lord as our first fruits. We are trusting the Lord for a blessing upon us and our families in this New Year, where our barns will be filled to overflowing, and our vats will brim over with new wine!

ANSWERED PRAYER – PART ONE

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

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV

Let your requests be made known to God. Everything God does, He speaks out. He commands even the elements with His Word and they respond every time. He expects us to function as He functions. He designed us to function as He functions. Whatever we expect or desire, we must speak it out and pray it out to the Lord. Most people don’t have what they say, because they are to busy saying what they have! That means that whatever you speak out over your life that is what you will have. If we speak good things with our mouth, in faith, we will have good things in our life. If we speak doubt and unbelief and other bad things with our mouth, we will have bad things in our life. Sometimes we have bad things happening because we sowed those bad seeds with our mouth. Sometimes we have bad things happening because we have simply neglected to sow any good seeds with our mouth. Your life is like a garden – you have to weed the bad stuff out of it and you have to plant the good seeds in it.

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.  James 5:16b NKJV

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.   James 5:16b NIV

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 we want our prayers to be answered, there are a few things that we must do to ensure the desired result – we must walk righteously before the Lord, we must pray sincerely and fervently – and very importantly – we must pray according to God’s will.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.  2 Chronicles 16:9a KJV

Sometimes, when we don’t get our prayers answered according to our timetable, we think that God can’t or won’t hear us, or that maybe He is just ignoring us, but if we are washed in the blood of Jesus and submitted to God’s Word, then that is not true. The Bible says that God is constantly on the look out for righteous people – those people whose hearts are perfect toward Him – so that He can show Himself strong on their behalf. His eyes go to and fro across the earth trying to find them. Not only are we searching for God, He is searching for us! When He finds that righteous person, He shows up in their situation and He moves on their behalf.

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. 1 Peter 3:12 KJV

God’s eyes see every move the righteous make and His ears are open to hear every word they pray. He protectively watches over the righteous and He waits for and pays attention to their prayers. God makes His righteous family His responsibility, but He is not obligated to those who do evil – He turns His face from them – they are on their own with no defense against the devil. This is not God’s choice, but theirs.  God gives us the choice to obey and serve Him and to reap life and blessing, or the choice to serve ourselves and reap death and curses.

The desire of the righteous is only good, but the expectation of the wicked is wrath.   Proverbs 11:23 NKJV

Our righteousness is not our own, it is bought with a price – the precious blood of Jesus. We cannot buy it or earn it – we must simply surrender to His will in order to receive it. When we are yielded to God and we have allowed the work of the Spirit in our lives, our desires are in line with His desires.

17 The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.

18 The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The LORDwatches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.   Psalms 145:17-20 NIV

God fulfills the desires of the righteous – those who fear Him. God answers the prayer of the righteous man or woman, who asks according to His will.

Spiritual encounters with the living God