All posts by admin

Thirty Things that Grace Cannot Do – Part VII

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

14. Grace cannot prevent men from sinning if they choose to do so.

God has empowered man to use free will to choose to serve God or to not serve Him. None of us is a mere puppet. Grace cannot force you to do right or to not do wrong. Grace is not responsible for whether you do right or do wrong.

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? 17 But God be thanked that though you were slaves of sin, yet you obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine to which you were delivered. 18 And having been set free from sin, you became slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:16-18 NKJV (see also Romans 6:16-23)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors — not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:5-13 NKJV (see also Romans 8:1-13)

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. 9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. Hebrews 6:4-9 NKJV

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Hebrews 10:26-31 NKJV

15. Grace cannot force obedience.

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. Revelation 22:17 NKJV

Grace cannot and will not force you to obey God. We must all come freely – of our own accord and our own desire – to receive the water of life, to be hungry for God, and to serve Him.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. John 3:16-20 NKJV

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. Galatians 5:4 NKJV

There is no law that can force you to obey God’s law. God’s grace is a gift that can only be received by faith. The Holy Spirit can influence you to obey God and help you to obey God, but He won’t force you to obey God. We, ourselves, are the ones who do both the sowing and the reaping.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 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. Galatians 6:7-8 NKJV

The Lamb of God Takes Away the Sin of the World

The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29 AMP

Jesus was the Perfect Lamb, sacrificed just like the unblemished Passover lamb, but whose blood was shed once and for all. There is no need for any other sacrifice, for Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice and paid the ultimate price. He will forever be the Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world.

Christ, the Sacrificial Lamb:

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:7 NKJV

The place in the Scripture which he read was this: “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; And as a lamb before its shearer is silent, So He opened not His mouth. Acts 8:32 NKJV

Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18-19 NKJV

The Lamb who, by His blood, takes away the sin of the world:

“Takes away”: Greek: “airo” meaning: to bear in the sense of removing sin; doing away with the guilt and punishment. Sin: Greek “hamartia” meaning: a sin; offence, sinful.

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 KJV

As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Psalms 103:12 AMP

And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. 1 John 3:5 NKJV

The Lamb who takes away our sin and who empowers us to walk in righteousness and to do right:

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. Titus 2:11-14 NKJV

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 1 John 2:1-2 NKJV

If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2:29 NKJV

Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. 1 John 3:9 NKJV

Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith. 1 John 5:1-4 NKJV

We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him. 1 John 5:18 NKJV

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain – to rule and to reign and to receive worship and honor throughout all eternity:

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, 12 saying with a loud voice: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:11-12 NKJV

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10 NKJV

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Revelation 12:11 NKJV

These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful. Revelation 17:14 NKJV

And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. Revelation 22:1-3 NKJV

Four persons with whom we are to have fellowship

What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). 1 John 1:3 AMP

Four persons with whom we are to have fellowship:

1. God the Father:

For thus says the high and lofty One — He Who inhabits eternity, Whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, but with him also who is of a thoroughly penitent and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the thoroughly penitent [bruised with sorrow for sin]. Isaiah 57:15 AMP

Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John 14:23 NKJV

That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. John 17:21-23 NKJV

Foods for the stomach and the stomach for foods, but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 1 Corinthians 6:13 NKJV

That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full. 5 This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:3-7 NKJV

2. God the Son:

For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 AMP

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8 NKJV

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:9 NKJV

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 1 Corinthians 10:16-17 NKJV

3. God the Holy Spirit:

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. Romans 8:9 NKJV

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. 2 Corinthians 13:14 NKJV

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy. Philippians 2:1 NKJV

4. Christians/Believers:

These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. Acts 1:14 NKJV

When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. Acts 2:1 NKJV

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 NKJV

Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:19-21 NKJV

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Philippians 2:1-2 NKJV

Jesus is your Protector by Rodney Howard Browne

Now God was coming to Joshua to tell him, “I’m the same I AM with you as I AM with Moses.” God is coming to us by the power of His Word, saying, “I AM THAT I AM. I AM. As I was with Moses, as I was with Joshua, so I AM with you.” It’s not something you’ve got to try to get. It’s already yours. Just walk in it.

Now look at God’s promise to Joshua in Joshua 1:5: There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. How can you be afraid of anybody when God is your Protector? Rodney Howard Browne explains that no one’s going to be able to stand against you, because God will not fail you.

Many times people say, “I know Jesus is my protector and I shouldn’t be afraid, but you don’t know my circumstances.” No, you may know your circumstances, but you don’t know God’s promises like you say you do. Rodney Howard Browne teaches that if you really knew Jesus as your protector, you wouldn’t go to pieces, working on your next nervous breakdown.

Can’t you see Joshua getting braver and braver as God tells him:

I will not fail thee nor forsake you. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.

JOSHUA 1:5-7

It takes courage, but when you put your eyes on Jesus, keep them on Him and don’t look to the left or to the right, you’re going to be blessed in every area of your life — blessed coming in, blessed going out, blessed in the city blessed in the field, blessed rising up, blessed lying down, blessed, blessed, blessed, blessed.

Joshua 1:8 says: This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night. This is the secret to success: meditating continually on God’s Word, speaking it and thinking it constantly. Do that with Psalm 91: I will say of the Lord, He’s my refuge. Rodney Howard Browne teaches us to take these scriptures and carry them around with you and think about them. Meditate on the Word of God. To meditate on the Word of God, you learn it and you talk about it with your family. “He’s our strong tower. He’s our refuge. He’s our fortress.” You’re excited about it, so you talk about it.

When you meditate that way, and when you speak that way; the Bible says you’re going to make your way prosperous, and you’re going to have good success. Be strong, He said, and of a good courage; be not afraid; neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest (v. 9). He is also with you!

We Are Assured By God by Rodney Howard Browne

Each one of us fall into one of 4 categories : – We are saved and we think we know it. – We think we are saved, but we are not. – We don’t claim to be saved. – we aren’t saved but would like to be. In which class do you find yourself? Pastor Rodney Howard Browne teaches that deliverance is God’s deliverance of the follower – through Christ – from all the results of sin.

It is God’s work in the human heart, and it’s accompanied by all of the benefits He bestows on us now and forever. Rodney Howard Browne explains that we want to know for sure where we are going to spend perpetuity. That certainty is available to almost every one of us. Do you have that sort of assurance? If you aren’t assured that you have eternal deliverance, I urge you to settle this most vital call of your life at this time. First, realize that God desires to save everybody ( one Timothy 2:4 ). Not only does He need to save everyone, but He also provided the way to deliverance thru His Son ( John 3:16 ) : He has informed us we must believe in Jesus Christ ( Acts 16:31 ), and we must confess Him before men ( Romans 10:10 ). Our heavenly Father is steadfast to keep His guarantees. If you trust in Jesus Christ as your private Savior, he’ll save you from your sin and and welcome you into his folks ( John1:12 ) – without regard to deserve or worth on your side. Eternal life will be yours. Rodney Howard Browne teaches that He offers this present openly to all who believe in His Son. Will you receive it? One thing more.

Follow Jesus Today

Now Jesus, when He saw the great throngs around Him, gave orders to cross to the other side [of the lake]. 19 And a scribe came up and said to Him, Master, I will accompany You wherever You go. 20 And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, Lord, let me first go and bury [care for till death] my father. 22 But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and leave the dead [in sin] to bury their own dead. Matthew 8:18-22 AMP

Great throngs of people were flooding in to receive miracles and healings from Jesus and He gave orders to His disciples to cross over to the other side of the lake. The scribe wanted to follow Jesus, but he had not counted the cost. A disciple wanted to follow Jesus, or so he said, but he wanted Jesus to wait for him. Many people have been called to follow Jesus, but some of them have not counted the cost and they will start out, only to end up giving up halfway. If you start, you must also commit to finish. Others are full of excuses of why they can’t start following Him right now.

In the disciple’s mind, he had all this important earthly business to attend to, before he could give himself to answer the call to follow and serve Jesus. His personal excuse was his father – he wanted to go bury him. Firstly, this was a poor excuse, because in the Middle Eastern heat, the dead were buried on the same day that they died. If his father was already dead, he wouldn’t be hanging out with Jesus or anyone else; he would’ve been at home and attending the funeral. It’s more likely that he was referring not to the fact that his father was already dead, but that he had to go home to take care of his father until the old man died. He wasn’t asking Jesus for permission to attend his father’s funeral, but rather for permission to delay serving Jesus until later.

Perhaps he was the firstborn son and he wanted to be sure to receive his inheritance. Perhaps he didn’t want his father to disinherit him or give his inheritance to a younger brother or family member while he was gone. Perhaps he didn’t want his father to be angry at him for abandoning the family business to follow a traveling preacher. Many people choose not to serve God or give Him their all, out of fear of financial insecurity, or family disapproval, or friends abandoning them. Some people want to finish a worldly pursuit or accomplish all their natural goals before they follow the call. In their minds, they can’t do their business and serve God at the same time. However, if you are called to business, you are also still called to serve God in your business. He gives you principles that will bring you success and if you make Him Lord of your business, He will bless it. I’ve had someone, who was on their way into military service, tell me that they couldn’t give their life to Jesus until they came out. If ever you needed Jesus, it would be in a fox hole!

This disciple could have gone back to take care of family business with a plan to follow Jesus later, but his father might have lived ten more years, but Jesus was only around for about 3 and ½ years. While he was hanging out at home, he would have missed out on being with Jesus for those few years. There wasn’t any way that he could have caught up or made up the time. The opportunity he missed would be forever lost. Some people SAY that they want to follow Jesus, but in their heart they don’t truly want to follow Him – so they find any excuse not to.

Whatever his reason, this disciple did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet. Jesus, however, would not accept his excuse. Jesus answers him with these surprising words: “Follow Me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead!” How can people who are dead bury dead people? Jesus isn’t referring to physically dead people – he is referring to spiritually dead people. Ephesians 2:1 AMP says, “And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins.” He is saying: Leave the spiritually dead to bury their physically dead. Spiritually dead people see only what is in front of them and they work all their lives for things that will perish, but spiritually alive people see into eternity and they know that only those things that matter in eternity matter at all!

Jesus never beat around the bush with anyone. He was always very direct and honest with anyone who wanted to follow Him. He always made sure they counted the cost, evaluated their priorities, and laid aside any conditions they might have for following Him. Jesus demands full loyalty and obedience – nothing else can take priority over Him and serving Him. There are so many things that compete for our affections and loyalty, but nothing should be placed above our total commitment to living for Jesus.
Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. Matthew 16:24 AMP

Jesus asks us to bury all attachments to earthly things now – not later – and, whatever else we do, make eternity our priority. When we decide to fully give ourselves to following Jesus, we need to “die” to all our own ambitions and desires, but God’s plans for us are far greater than the ones we have for ourselves. The Lord has plans for us that will exceed our wildest dreams. It’s only in dying to the things of earth, that we are made alive in the things of Heaven!

Your life is not guaranteed. You could step over into eternity at any time. The best choice you can make for your life is to fully follow and serve God today with all your heart!

Now Jesus, when He saw the great throngs around Him, gave orders to cross to the other side [of the lake]. 19 And a scribe came up and said to Him, Master, I will accompany You wherever You go. 20 And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head. 21 Another of the disciples said to Him, Lord, let me first go and bury [care for till death] my father. 22 But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and leave the dead [in sin] to bury their own dead.
Matthew 8:18-22 AMP

Great throngs of people were flooding in to receive miracles and healings from Jesus and He gave orders to His disciples to cross over to the other side of the lake. The scribe wanted to follow Jesus, but he had not counted the cost. A disciple wanted to follow Jesus, or so he said, but he wanted Jesus to wait for him. Many people have been called to follow Jesus, but some of them have not counted the cost and they will start out, only to end up giving up halfway. If you start, you must also commit to finish. Others are full of excuses of why they can’t start following Him right now.

In the disciple’s mind, he had all this important earthly business to attend to, before he could give himself to answer the call to follow and serve Jesus. His personal excuse was his father – he wanted to go bury him. Firstly, this was a poor excuse, because in the Middle Eastern heat, the dead were buried on the same day that they died. If his father was already dead, he wouldn’t be hanging out with Jesus or anyone else; he would’ve been at home and attending the funeral. It’s more likely that he was referring not to the fact that his father was already dead, but that he had to go home to take care of his father until the old man died. He wasn’t asking Jesus for permission to attend his father’s funeral, but rather for permission to delay serving Jesus until later.

Perhaps he was the firstborn son and he wanted to be sure to receive his inheritance. Perhaps he didn’t want his father to disinherit him or give his inheritance to a younger brother or family member while he was gone. Perhaps he didn’t want his father to be angry at him for abandoning the family business to follow a traveling preacher. Many people choose not to serve God or give Him their all, out of fear of financial insecurity, or family disapproval, or friends abandoning them. Some people want to finish a worldly pursuit or accomplish all their natural goals before they follow the call. In their minds, they can’t do their business and serve God at the same time. However, if you are called to business, you are also still called to serve God in your business. He gives you principles that will bring you success and if you make Him Lord of your business, He will bless it. I’ve had someone, who was on their way into military service, tell me that they couldn’t give their life to Jesus until they came out. If ever you needed Jesus, it would be in a fox hole!

This disciple could have gone back to take care of family business with a plan to follow Jesus later, but his father might have lived ten more years, but Jesus was only around for about 3 and ½ years. While he was hanging out at home, he would have missed out on being with Jesus for those few years. There wasn’t any way that he could have caught up or made up the time. The opportunity he missed would be forever lost. Some people SAY that they want to follow Jesus, but in their heart they don’t truly want to follow Him – so they find any excuse not to.

Whatever his reason, this disciple did not want to commit himself to Jesus just yet. Jesus, however, would not accept his excuse. Jesus answers him with these surprising words: “Follow Me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead!” How can people who are dead bury dead people? Jesus isn’t referring to physically dead people – he is referring to spiritually dead people. Ephesians 2:1 AMP says, “And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins.” He is saying: Leave the spiritually dead to bury their physically dead. Spiritually dead people see only what is in front of them and they work all their lives for things that will perish, but spiritually alive people see into eternity and they know that only those things that matter in eternity matter at all!

Jesus never beat around the bush with anyone. He was always very direct and honest with anyone who wanted to follow Him. He always made sure they counted the cost, evaluated their priorities, and laid aside any conditions they might have for following Him. Jesus demands full loyalty and obedience – nothing else can take priority over Him and serving Him. There are so many things that compete for our affections and loyalty, but nothing should be placed above our total commitment to living for Jesus.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to be My disciple, let him deny himself [disregard, lose sight of, and forget himself and his own interests] and take up his cross and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying, also]. Matthew 16:24 AMP

Jesus asks us to bury all attachments to earthly things now – not later – and, whatever else we do, make eternity our priority. When we decide to fully give ourselves to following Jesus, we need to “die” to all our own ambitions and desires, but God’s plans for us are far greater than the ones we have for ourselves. The Lord has plans for us that will exceed our wildest dreams. It’s only in dying to the things of earth, that we are made alive in the things of Heaven!

Your life is not guaranteed. You could step over into eternity at any time. The best choice you can make for your life is to fully follow and serve God today with all your heart!

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.