Tag Archives: Rodney Howard-Browne 2015

Sing Unto the Lord a New Song

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

Psalms 33:1-3  (KJV)
1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.

In the Bible we are encouraged to sing a new song with a loud noise.  This word “new” does not mean new in that it has not existed before, but new in quality as opposed to that which is used and worn.  When the scripture says that Jesus was laid in a new tomb, it does not mean that it was newly made, but that no other body had ever lain in there.  We must sing a new song to the Lord.  In fact, we must continually be singing new songs to the Lord.  These are not necessarily brand new songs that have never existed before, but it is our heart and our attitude that makes it new.

Because we are redeemed, we can sing a new song of praise and rejoicing and thanksgiving.  Our praise is new every morning, just as God’s mercy is extended to us new every morning.  Every day is a new day.  Every day we are refreshed and renewed.  Every day we rejoice afresh in God’s mercy and His love.  It doesn’t matter that we praised Him yesterday, today is a new day.  He loves and forgives us new every day — we can lift our hearts and voices and praise and magnify Him fresh and new as if we were only just saved.  You can be saved for fifty years and yet still praise His Name anew every morning.

Verse 1 says, “praise is comely for the upright” (KJV); “praise is becoming to the upright” (NAS); “it is fitting for the upright to praise him” (NIV); and “praise from the upright is beautiful” (NKJ).  It is comely, becoming, fitting, and beautiful for the righteous and upright to praise God!  Who are the righteous?  The believers.  Are you a believer?  Praise looks very good on you!  Sometimes people are afraid to praise God freely, because of what others may think.  They feel strange and awkward to lift their hands and voices.  However, according to God’s Word, you look beautiful when you praise the Most High God.  You were made and created for this purpose to praise the Lord  and praise becomes you.
In verse 3, “loud shout” is also translated “shouts of joy.”  You can praise loudly and you should praise joyfully with voices and instruments as you sing your new song to the Lord every day!

Psalm 98:1, 4-6 (KJV)
1 O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvelous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
4 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.
5 Sing unto the LORD with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm.
6 With trumpets and sound of cornet make a joyful noise before the LORD, the King.

Psalm 98:4  (NKJ)
4 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises.

Revelation 5:9-10  (NAS)
9 And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy art Thou to take the book, and to break its seals; for Thou wast slain, and didst purchase for God with Thy blood {men} from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
10 And Thou hast made them {to be} a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth.”

We have a brand-new song to sing every day, the song of the redeemed, purchased with blood and made to be kings and priests reigning on the earth.  Do not hold back one more day, sing your new song in praise of your redeemer today!

Being Full of Joy in Every Situation

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

Galatians 5:22-23  (KJV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. As you allow the Spirit of God to do a work in your heart and life, the natural result will be that the fruit of the Spirit is manifested through you. If you are full of God, you will be full of joy.

1 Chronicles 15:16  (NKJ)
16 Then David spoke to the leaders of the Levites to appoint their brethren to be the singers accompanied by instruments of music, stringed instruments, harps, and cymbals, by raising the voice with resounding joy

When we praise God, we should do so with joy. Joy has a voice. If you are full of joy it will be evident to others around you. They will see joy on you countenance and they will hear joy in your voice and in your song of praise.

1 Chronicles 29:9-10   (NKJ)
9 Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly, because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to  the LORD; and King David also rejoiced greatly. 10 Therefore David blessed the LORD before all the assembly; and David said: “Blessed are You, LORD God of  Israel, our Father, forever and ever.

1 Chronicles 29:16-17  (NKJ)
16 “O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have prepared to build You a house for Your holy name is from  Your hand, and is all Your own. 17 “I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of  my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here  to offer willingly to You.

It is right and scriptural to give willing and joyful offerings to God.

Isaiah 12:1-6  (NKJ)
1 And in that day you will say: “O LORD, I will praise You; though You were angry with me, your anger is turned  away, and You comfort me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; he also  has become my salvation.'” 3 Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day you will say: “Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make  mention that His name is exalted. 5 Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth. 6 Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”

Verse 3 says that with joy we draw forth water from the wells of salvation. In other words, you could say that joy is the bucket we use to draw forth the salvation that God has provided for us. The Hebrew word translated here as “salvation” means deliverance, aid, victory, prosperity, health, help (-ing), salvation, save, saving (health), and welfare. God has already handed salvation to us on a platter. It is up to us to open our hearts to receive it. Joy is a key to receiving from God that which we need.

True joy is not manipulated by our circumstances like happiness (which is dependent upon positive circumstances). Even in the midst of a storm, joy is there, strongly anchoring us to the Word of God. We are instructed by God to cast all of our cares upon Him. There is a rest and a joy for us as we allow Him to carry our burdens. When your faith is working for you, you rest in joy, knowing that God is bringing it to pass. Why worry when God is in control!

Zephaniah 3:17  (KJV)
17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in  his love, he will joy over thee with singing.

The Lord rejoices over you. He loves you with an immense, incredible, everlasting love that cannot be stopped. He will never stop loving you. All you need is His love. In His love is every answer to every question you could ever have. He loves you so much that He sings joyfully over you. You can rejoice over the fact that He loves you and that He rejoices over you!

THE COMFORTER – PART THREE

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

OUR TEACHER

“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.

John 16:12-15 NIV

The Holy Spirit is the “Spirit of truth.” God’s Word is true and sure. He never changes and His Word never changes. He cannot lie or deceive. What He speaks comes to pass. All His paths are straight paths. The Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are in one accord. They speak the same things and they do the same things. They never contradict each other — they uplift and confirm each other. Jesus spoke the Father’s words and did the Father’s will and so does the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit exalts and glorifies Jesus. He reveals the character and nature of God to us and He confirms every word that Jesus spoke to us. When we act on God’s word and do what Jesus said to do, then the Holy Spirit acts to confirm the Word with signs and wonders following (Mark 16:20).

But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth.

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit– just as it has taught you, remain in him.  I John 2:20 & 27 NIV

The anointing of the Holy Spirit on us and in us teaches us all of the truth that is revealed in God’s Word. One definition of the anointing is that it is the presence and power of God manifested. The anointing is the tangible presence of God. These scriptures do not mean that no one can teach us anything and that we do not need pastors or teachers or other Christians to instruct us. It means that as we receive God’s Word — whether by reading it ourselves or by hearing it preached by others — the Holy Spirit will give us revelation of what it means to our lives. He will speak to us personally and show us the things that apply directly to us. Everything that the Holy Spirit reveals to us and teaches us will cause us to move closer to God and to become more like Him.

God’s word and His will are not hidden from us – they are revealed in His written word. We cannot understand the things of God -– no matter who tries to teach us — unless the Spirit of God opens the eyes of our understanding. Without the help of the Spirit, it is as if we have a veil over our eyes and we walk in darkness (1 John 2:11). The more of the Spirit we have, the more of God we come to know and understand. The natural mind does not understand the things of the Spirit. When we are born-again, we understand more of Him. When we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, we understand even more. The more we submit ourselves to God and the more we allow Him to work in our lives, the more we come to know Him. We are made in the image of God. He wants us to think like Him, talk like Him and act like Him!

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.  1 Corinthians 2:9-16 NKJ

WALK, STAND AND SIT

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

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Psalm 1:1- 3 KJV

When you put God’s word first place in your life, and when you receive only His counsel for your life (and no other), then His word will cause you to prosper and be blessed. In this passage of scripture we see the progression that takes place in a person’s life — from Walk to Stand to Sit.The Word says that if you start to walk in the council of the ungodly (listening to what they have to say) you will end up standing in the way of sinners (taking their advice) and that will result in you sitting in the seat of mockers (you will be just like them).

It is amazing how many of God’s people want all the best that God has for them, however they are running their lives according to the dictates of this world’s system and then they wonder why they end up in trouble. God created you – He knows what is best for you. Unless you do things His way  –always — you will have trouble.

When God’s word becomes the final authority in your life — you will shut out the council of the ungodly and begin to delight yourself in the Lord. When you delight yourself in the word of God you will be like a tree planted by the rivers of living water and you will bring forth your fruit in season and your leaf shall not wither and whatever you do will prosper.

I encourage you to take stock of your life — locate where YOU are by asking yourself these three questions: am I Walking, am I Standing or am I Sitting?

  1. Am I patterning my life after the world’s standards — does the world dictate the standards I set for my life? If I am living according to the world’s standards, then I would have to conclude that I am walking in the counsel of the ungodly.
  2. Do I fit in with sinners and feel at home with their company — is what they do and what they say — what I do and what I say? I can then conclude that I am now standing in the way of sinners.
  3. Am I in a state of apathy in my walk with the Lord — am I critical of everything that God is doing – am I critical of spiritual leaders and the church in general? I can then conclude that I am now sitting in the seat of mockers.

This is a downhill progression. I don’t start off sitting in the seat of mockers. This deception takes place over a period of time. I slowly digress to the place where my life is totally open to poverty, lack and the attack of the enemy. This all happens because I have placed something else first in my life other than God and His counsel. In order to change and to begin to experience the blessing rather than the curse, I have to make some radical changes in my life and my habits.

  1. I need to separate myself from those who are ungodly. I can minister to them, but I do not allow them to minister to me. I will pull them up to my level and not allow them to pull me down to their level.
  2. I must not allow sin in any form to take hold in my life. I must guard my heart first because my heart attitude is central to every other aspect of my life. My thought life must be yielded to the Word and the Spirit of God.
  3. I must keep myself free from a critical spirit and make sure that my heart stays pure. I must avoid becoming cynical and ending up a mocker.
  4. I need to make sure that my life follows the pattern that God’s word has laid out for me and that I daily meditate in the Word of God. God’s Word must be my delight.

When these steps are a way of life then I know that according to God’s word I will be like a tree that is planted by the rivers of living water.  I am going to bring forth good fruit and whatever I do will prosper.

DO NOTHING OUT OF SELFISH AMBITION OR VAIN CONCEIT

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

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:1-11 NIV

If you want to make a success of your life, you must have visions and goals. It is good to have hopes, dreams, aspirations and a purpose, because without a vision, you have no direction, you go nowhere and you achieve nothing. If you aim for nothing—you are bound to hit it! However, your goals should not be met at the expense of others. Your ambitions should not result in the destruction of other people. God’s way is to think of others, putting them before ourselves—to be a giver not a taker. The world’s way is one of selfishness. If you are selfish—thinking only of yourself—you will end up hurting people and in the end you will destroy your own life. The Bible is clear—selfish ambition is a work of the flesh. It springs from your old unrenewed nature. You need to allow the Holy Spirit to do a work in your life to where your desires are only toward the things of God and your ambitions are directed toward the building of God’s kingdom and the edification of God’s people.

The Bible says that we should do nothing out of selfish ambition—thinking only of our own desires and interests—or out of pride and vain conceit. Pride is a destructive force. It causes us to put our needs and feelings above the needs of others. It causes us to focus only on ourselves rather than the plan of God and we end up missing God’s wonderful plan for our lives. Selfishness makes you shortsighted. You don’t see the big picture—you miss God’s eternal purpose. Selfish ambition divides and separates us. If the devil can divide us, he can bring strife and every evil work into our midst. As believers, we should be one in spirit and purpose. We need to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus, who humbled Himself to take upon Himself the appearance of man and to die upon the cross. Because He did this, God has highly exalted Him, giving Him the Name above all names. Every knee will bow before that Name and every tongue confess that He is Lord!

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:13-18 NIV

Selfish ambition goes hand-in-hand with envy. When we are envious and jealous of others and when our ambitions are selfish, we will become competitive toward others. We think that we have to bring others down so that we can be lifted up, but we are unwise, we are deceived and we are strangers to the truth. God’s wisdom is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. If we want to be wise, we must humble ourselves and we must work for the good of others. Our ambition should be that we would be a blessing to everyone we meet. If we work to be a blessing, the Lord will be the One who promotes us and exalts us. When God promotes you, no man can bring you down. If you will put God and others ahead of yourself—God Himself will bless you and take care of you!

A SURPLUS OF PROSPERITY

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

1 If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.  Deuteronomy 28:1-2 NIV

11 The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity–in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground–in the land he swore to your forefathers to give you. 12 The LORD will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.  Deuteronomy 28:11-12 NIV

God is a God of abundance. Anything He does, He does in a big way. He says that if we will obey Him in all things and if we will carefully follow all his commands, then He will bless us and open up His good treasury to us. Not only does He promise to bless us, but He also promises us that He willabundantly bless us. The Amplified Bible says that the Lord will make you have a surplus of prosperity. This word “good” is also translated as bounty, bountiful, graciously, joyful, kindly, precious, prosperity, wealth, welfare, well favored.

31 This is the way he governs the nations and provides food in abundance. Job 36:31 NIV

11 You crown the year with your bounty, and your carts overflow with abundance.  Psalms 65:11 NIV

When you obey God and keep His commandments, there will always be blessings on your life. God blesses His children when they love righteousness and also when they are cheerful, generous givers. When you have done everything you know to do to please God – there is a blessing coming your way!

Sometimes, however, you are doing everything you know to do and yet it seems as if nothing has happened for you yet. Remember that the blessings of the Lord almost always arrive unexpectedly. If you keep your faith activated – even though one moment you may see nothing, the very next moment the blessing will be pouring out of heaven!

This is how it works: You could be hiking in the canyons in the western United States on dry ground with not a cloud in the sky, but 30 miles away there is a sudden downpour. Because you are downstream, all that water is coming your way! It is called a flash flood! One moment you are walking on dry, dry ground and the next moment you are being swept away by a wall of water! When the blessing of God is headed your way, it might seem as if one moment nothing good is happening to you, but the very next moment, you could be overtaken and overwhelmed by the blessing of God!

25 They captured fortified cities and fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with all kinds of good things, wells already dug, vineyards, olive groves and fruit trees in abundance. They ate to the full and were well-nourished; they reveled in your great goodness.  Nehemiah 9:25 NIV

When we serve the Lord, He blesses with an abundance of all things. We will eat and be well nourished. The Scripture says that the Lord will open up His good treasure, the storehouse of His bounty, to us. Why? Firstly, He blesses us because He loves us, and secondly, He blesses us with more than we need, so that we can pass the blessing along to others.

13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. 14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality.  2 Corinthians 8:13-14 NIV

The Lord God has promised His obedient children a surplus of prosperity. He will show Himself abundantly generous toward us if we will be generous toward others.

THE POWER TO PROFIT AND BE WEALTHY

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

Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His precepts, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 Lest when you have eaten and are full, and have built goodly houses and live in them, 13 And when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all you have is multiplied, 14 Then your [minds and] hearts be lifted up and you forget the Lord your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  15 Who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, but Who brought you forth water out of the flinty rock, 16 Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. And beware lest you say in your [mind and] heart, My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth. 18 But you shall [earnestly] remember the Lord your God, for it is He Who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.  Deuteronomy 8:11-18 AMP

Verse 18 does not say that God gives you wealth – it says that He gives you the power to get wealth. There is something that is required of YOU. You are the one who get the wealth – by the power of God! Some people think that they need do nothing while God does everything, but God requires your willingness and your obedience.

The first thing you must do in order to prosper is to work. 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says that, “If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” The second thing you must do is to give to the Lord – your first-fruits, your tithe and your offerings. Malachi 3:8-10 says that you are robbing God and under a curse if you do not bring your tithes and your offerings to God’s storehouse.

However, when you bring God your whole tithe, there will be food in His house and blessings on you that you won’t have room for! Tithing and giving are not optional to the child of God, they are required. The moment you accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are washed in His blood and His covenant of blessing is established in your life.

You are in covenant with Almighty God – what is His is yours, what is yours is His. One tenth of your income is a very small offering compared to what God gave you – His all and His only! The Lord gives you the power to get wealth in order that His covenant with you would be established or fulfilled. God will never owe anybody anything – He always pays what He owes and gives what He promised to give!

Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy one of Israel: I am the Lord your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way that you should go. 18 Oh, that you had hearkened to My commandments! Then your peace and prosperity would have been like a flowing river, and your righteousness [the holiness and purity of the nation] like the [abundant] waves of the sea. 19 Your offspring would have been like the sand, and your descendants like the offspring of the sea; their name would not be cut off or destroyed from before Me.  Isaiah 48 17-19 AMP

The Lord is the One who teaches you to profit – if you will pay attention to Him and His Word. First, do what you know to do – work and give. Then pray. Ask God for wisdom. Use your faith to trust God to open doors for you and give you favor. Trust Him to give you ideas and innovations. Be faithful with everything God gives you – starting with the small things and moving on to bigger and bigger things. If you – the Church – will put the Kingdom of God first, if you will obey God and give, if you will reject covetousness and embrace generosity, then God will teach you to profit and yourpeace and prosperity will be like a flowing river!

RESPECT THE ANOINTING AND THE AUTHORITY OF GOD’S WORD

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

When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”  10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.   Luke 7:1-10 NIV

Matthew 8:10-12 NIV says that, “When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

The centurion’s great faith was a shock to Jesus! This centurion was a Gentile, a Roman officer, and not a son of Abraham! And yet even among the Israelites, the “sons of Abraham,” Jesus had not yet seen such great faith.

The centurion asked Jesus to come to his house to minister to his servant and Jesus consented, but while Jesus was still on His way, he sent word to Jesus that He did not have to come to the house itself, because he did not feel worthy to receive a personal visit from Him. He let Jesus know that all he expected Him to do was to speak a healing word over his servant, because he was convinced that that was all it would take for his servant to be healed. He fully expected his servant to be healed simply by one word from Jesus!

As a military man, the centurion had an understanding of the power and the ability and also the limitations of a man in authority. He had experience being under authority and he had experience being in authority. He must have known what good could be achieved by godly authority. By his faith in Jesus and the authority of His word, this man showed greater respect toward Jesus than those of His own nation – Israel. He was not blinded by religion nor was he confident in his own worthiness before God, but he recognized the anointing upon Jesus and also His power and authority over sickness, disease, demons and anything else hell has to offer. This “heathen” man had no foundation of godliness in his life that we know of and he was not in covenant with God through heritage, yet he came to Jesus completely by faith and dependent on His grace and that is why he got what he asked for!

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. 55 “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? 56 Aren’t all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” 57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown and in his own house is a prophet without honor.”  58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.  Matthew 13:54-58 NIV

You cannot receive from an anointing that you do not respect. If you respect an anointing, then it is not hard to receive from that anointing. If you honor the anointing, you will be blessed by that anointing. If you judge and condemn that anointing, how can you receive anything from it? Many times respect has very little to do with the respectability of the person being judged and disrespected as it does with the prejudices of the person doing the judging. Receiving requires humility. Until you humble yourself before the Lord and believe that He is willing and able to help you, you will not receive the things you need from Him. As long as you judge and disrespect those whom God anoints, you will not be able to receive anything from their anointing or their ministry.

The centurion had complete faith in the authority of Jesus over sickness and infirmity. In contrast, Jesus’ own home-town folks had no respect for Him whatsoever. In Nazareth He could do “no mighty works,” but because of the centurion’s respect for Jesus’ authority and for the authority of His word, his faith activated the power of the anointing on Jesus and his servant was immediately healed!

NO COMPLAINING ALLOWED

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

Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you [yourselves] may not be judged.Look! The Judge is [already] standing at the very door. 10[As] an example of suffering and ill-treatment together with patience, brethren, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord [as His messengers]. 11 You know how we call those blessed (happy) who were steadfast [who endured]. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the Lord’s [purpose and how He richly blessed him in the] end, inasmuch as the Lord is full of pity and compassion and tenderness and mercy.  James 5:9-11 AMP

There are times in life when we feel that we have been mistreated by others. Sometimes it is true that someone has deliberately mistreated us, but sometimes it is just a matter of our perception of what occurred! For instance, you know that children often feel mistreated just because Mom made them wash the dishes or Dad told them to go to bed or clean up their room before their favorite cartoon was over. Now anyone with common sense will realize that the parents are making decisions that are in the best interests of the child and preparing them for the realities of life and responsibility. They will eventually appreciate their parent’s “tough love.”

Unfortunately, even adults sometimes do not know the difference between a deliberate mistreatment and feeling mistreated just because they did not get their own way! There are many people, who complain continuously about how they have been abused by others, when all it is, is that they would not let them have their own way in the situation. People who regularly behave like this are usually selfish and self-centered, with a victim’s mentality. This is not how Christians should behave.

God makes provision for every situation and circumstance you find yourself in: if people are treating you badly- whether real or imagined – the Lord tells you to walk in love and in forgiveness. He tells you not to murmur or whine or complain. In fact, when you complain, you bring judgment upon yourself, because with your complaining, God says that you are judging the other person and His Word already says that if you judge, you will be judged with the same measuring stick!

Therefore you have no excuse or defense or justification, O man, whoever you are who judges and condemns another. For in posing as judge and passing sentence on another, you condemn yourself, because you who judge are habitually practicing the very same things [that you censure and denounce]. 2[But] we know that the judgment (adverse verdict, sentence) of God falls justly and in accordance with truth upon those who practice such things. 3 And do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? 4 Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)? 5 But by your callous stubbornness and impenitence of heart you are storing up wrath and indignation for yourself on the day of wrath and indignation, when God’s righteous judgment (just doom) will be revealed. 6 For He will render to every man according to his works [justly, as his deeds deserve].  Romans 2:1-6 AMP

God has plenty to complain about concerning you and me and He has every right to do so, but He chooses to love us, forgive us, be patient with us and be kind to us. In this way, He leads us to repent. He expects us, as His children, made in His image, to behave like He does – not just for the sake of others, but for our own sakes. If you will open your eyes and realize that the way you treat others is the way you will be treated and the way you judge others is the way you will be judged, then you will finally begin to behave in the ways in which the Lord is leading you. If you are His disciple, then you will walk, talk and behave like Him – you will walk in love, forgiveness and kindness and you will leave God to judge those who do not obey the Word. Other people are not your responsibility – they are responsible for themselves before God – you are your responsibility – so take care of your own attitude and do not complain about other people! Love others in the same way that the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit love you.

God’s love does not insist on its own rights or its own way, because it is not self-seeking, it is not touchy, fretful or resentful. Love takes no account of the evil done to it and it pays no attention to a suffered wrong. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes and love is always ready to believe the best of every person (1 Corinthians 13:5&7 AMP paraphrased). If you will not complain when people do the wrong thing to you, if you will walk in love and patience and joy, then God will bless you and protect you and whatever has been taken from you will be restored to you with interest!

THE BLESSINGS OF GRATEFULNESS

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

All these curses shall come upon you and shall pursue you and overtake you till you are destroyed, because you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which He commanded you. 46 They shall be upon you for a sign [of warning to other nations] and for a wonder, and upon your descendants forever. 47 Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude] for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you], 48 Therefore you shall serve your enemies whom the Lord shall send against you, in hunger and thirst, in nakedness and in want of all things; and He will put a yoke of iron upon your neck until He has destroyed you.  Deuteronomy 28:45-48 AMP

Deuteronomy 28 is a record of the blessings of obedience, and of honoring and serving God, and the curses that come from refusing to honor and obey God. God would love for you to walk in abundant blessings and in a surplus of prosperity. He is not the one withholding blessings from you. It is your choice – you position yourself to receive or not. A major key to tapping into the blessings of God and protecting yourself from the attacks of the enemy is in your attitude. If put God first in your life, if you are grateful to God for all His blessings, and if you serve Him with joyfulness of mind and heart, the blessing on your life will increase. However, if you are ungrateful and you complain and do not appreciate the blessings you do have, you will open the door for the devil and bring curses on yourself and your family.

Gratefulness keeps you close to God and keeps you trusting in Him. You see His hand in every area of your life. You appreciate what He has already done for you yesterday, what He is doing for you today, and you look forward with a joyful, confident expectation to what He will do for you again tomorrow. If you slip into an ungrateful way of thinking, you begin to doubt God. You begin to think that He has not done enough for you. Maybe you doubt that He did anything for you at all – maybe it was you who did it for yourself. You start to think, “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth!” (Deuteronomy 8:17) You even begin to resent Him because you think He has done little or nothing for you. All the blessings you have received begin to grow smaller and smaller in your mind and your troubles and trials begin to grow bigger and bigger.

All this time, the state of your attitude has had nothing to do with what God has actually done or not done, but it has everything to do with your own perception of what He has done or not done. You begin to push away from God when you really need Him the most. Of course, when you leave the presence of God, you step into the devil’s territory. This is why the devil loves to stir up ungratefulness in people. It brings them into a place where he can control, manipulate, and have dominion over them.

But if one loves God truly [with affectionate reverence, prompt obedience, and grateful recognition of His blessing], he is known by God [recognized as worthy of His intimacy and love, and he is owned by Him].  1 Corinthians 8:3 AMP

Your grateful recognition of God’s blessing in your life is an expression of your love for Him. Love is a decision, not a feeling. God already loves you. You must decide to respond to His love and you must love Him back. It is a win-win situation for you and for God! Ungratefulness denotes a lack of love. When husbands begin to be ungrateful toward their wives or when wives begin to be ungrateful toward their husbands, for who they are or what they have done or not done, it erodes the love they felt for each other at the beginning and signals an end to the relationship – unless they get an attitude adjustment. When children do not appreciate their parents, it makes for a rocky relationship. Some kids have been raised by wealthy parents who gave them everything they wanted. Even so, they were greedy and ungrateful – they did not love or appreciate their parents. The more they got the more they wanted and so they even went so far as to murder their parents and siblings to get it all. However, they just ended up losing it all when they were put in jail!

The devil doesn’t care how you end up, as long as it is in a big mess. God does care for you – He wants you to experience abundant life in every area of your existence. He has done so much for you and has so much more planned for you. He wants to be able to do things for you, so wonderful that you haven’t even dreamt them up yet, never mind asked for them. He wants to be able to carry out His purpose and do exceeding abundantly above all that we dare ask or think – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams! (Ephesians 3:20)

Open up your heart and your life for the blessings of God by remembering to joyfully and gratefully thank Him every day for everything He has done, everything He is doing, and everything He is about to do for you!