On Being Born Again

Nicodemus was a Pharisee – a learned man of the law and a member of the Sanhedrin. Nevertheless, Jesus told him that the only way to enter the kingdom of God was to be born again.

Many people today are like Nicodemus. They’re religious. They’re moral. They compare themselves to others and feel pretty good. They reason, “Somehow this loving, gracious, wonderful God will make it possible for all of us to end up in heaven.” This is absolutely false. Jesus said, “Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again'”(John 3:7)

Our sins separate us from God. Being good cannot close the gap because no matter how good we try to be, we all sin. It is our nature to be sinful, and we cannot change our nature.

The great self-deception is thinking: I can perform well enough to be acceptable to God. The only way to be acceptable to God is to be born from above, by an act of God. Then the soul and spirit are radically changed forever. We experience a regeneration, a giving of divine life to our spirit. We become a new person (2 Corinthians 5:17).

You may be performing well. You may be serving God, reading the Bible, giving, and praying. But has there been a radical change in your soul – a time when you came into a personal relationship with God? Do you have a new nature through the work of the Holy Spirit? If you cannot answer yes to these questions, you need to be born again.

CONTINUE TO LIVE IN HIM

Living for Christ

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ. Colossians 2:6-8 NIV

As we received Christ Jesus as Lord – you need to continue to live in Him! How did you receive Him? Was it by your works or by your effort? NO! If you really received Jesus – not a church, not a denomination, not a religion – but Jesus – then you received Him by FAITH in His GRACE! If you did not receive Him by faith then you did not receive Him at all!

But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:21-24 NIV

We are justified freely by His grace. When we first receive Jesus and we fall in love with Him – we are excited, we are full of wonder and joy, we love to be in His presence, we are hungry for His word, we talk about Him all the time and we tell everyone we meet how wonderful He is. We must continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in our faith as we were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. The only way we are going to maintain a fruitful relationship with the Lord and retain the joy of our salvation is by filling up on the word of God and by spending time in His presence.

The more time we spend with Him, the more rooted we become. The deeper and firmer the root – the stronger the tree! As we fill up with the Word – we are built up and strengthened in our faith. The most awesome thing we experience when we first receive Jesus is FREEDOM! We receive freedom from sin and freedom from religion and tradition. We feel the bondage of sin and the world leaving us and we experience the freedom of forgiveness and acceptance. We lay down our heavy burden and we pick up His light one.

For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!” Galatians 2:19-21 NIV

Christ died to deliver us from sin and the curse of the law. We receive Jesus by faith – not by keeping the law. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.”

There are people who feel that it is their duty to bring you back into the bondage that Jesus saved you out of. You are saved by faith and you must live the rest of your life by faith (Hebrews 10:38). Don’t shrink back from your faith because it is the only way to please God. God is not pleased by your works, which are without faith. Only those things that are motivated and carried out by faith are pleasing to Him.

If we rely on hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ – then we will lose the life and freedom that Jesus paid for so dearly. Man’s wisdom and tradition may sound right and make sense to our minds because it appeals to our intellect, however it is foolishness to God. The religion and tradition of man relies on the efforts of man – long lists of do’s and don’ts – but God tells us to trust Him and not our own effort or ability. Man’s religion and tradition gives us rules and regulations – some of which are most unpleasant and extreme.

Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.Colossians 2:20-23 NIV

There are people who fast — just to punish themselves — not to open their spiritual ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to them. They also mutilate their bodies and inflict pain on themselves, but it does not help to bring their sensual desires under control. This does not please or impress God – neither does He reward us for it. It is nothing but false humility. False humility is when we abase ourselves in order to EARN God’s favor. Our OWN righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6) and is unacceptable to God, but the righteousness God bestows, allows us to come boldly into His throne room any time we choose. We live by faith in God and only the Spirit of God can help us to control and eliminate ungodly, fleshly desires. Jesus died to make us free – let us honor Him and continue to LIVE free!

When We Are Lonely

Most likely, you know exactly how it feels to be lonely. We have all been in that situation at one time or another. It may be a matter of feeling rejected by someone, or it could be the sense of loss brought on by a substantial geographical distance between you and a loved one. Or, it may even be that you have honestly never felt a deep, abiding intimacy with someone else. Loneliness strikes us in many forms.

Despite the reason, loneliness seems to settle into our lives like a thick fog; no matter where we turn, everything seems dark, gray, and terribly empty. And yet, although we sense it “out there,” loneliness is actually an internal problem. Sometimes, it seems inescapable because it is so firmly rooted in our own hearts.

Loneliness is a serious problem. God does not desire that His children be isolated and alone. In fact, the first thing in all of Creation that God deemed “not good” was Adam’s “aloneness.” (Genesis 2:18)

Sometimes our friends may disappear for a while, and we end up feeling alone. However, there is one relationship that we can count on, above all others, as lasting, pure, and true: that is, of course, our relationship with Jesus Christ. Scripture assures us that He will never leave us, and in Him, we will never be alone. (Hebrews 13:5)

Jesus desires to be your closest companion, and He has made it possible for this relationship to last an eternity. Thank God today for His Son, your Friend forever.

  • 1.
  • Let brotherly love continue .
  • 2.
  • Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares .
  • 3.
  • Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them ; and them which suffer adversity , as being yourselves also in the body.
  • 4.
  • Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge .
  • 5.
  • Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have : for he hath said , I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
  • 6.
  • So that we may boldly say , The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
  • 7.
  • Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow , considering the end of their conversation.
  • 8.
  • Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
  • 9.
  • Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein .
  • 10.
  • We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.
  • 11.
  • For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp.
  • 12.
  • Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
  • 13.
  • Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
  • 14.
  • For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come .
  • 15.
  • By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is , the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
  • 16.
  • But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased .
  • 17.
  • Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves : for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief : for that is unprofitable for you.
  • 18.
  • Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
  • 19.
  • But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.
  • 20.
  • Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
  • 21.
  • Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
  • 22.
  • And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
  • 23.
  • Know ye that our brother Timothy is set at liberty ; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.
  • 24.
  • Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.
  • 25.
  • Grace be with you all. Amen . [Written to the Hebrews from Italy, by Timothy.]

How to pray that gets results

Ephesians 6:18 AMP
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

Luke 18:1
NKJV: Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
AMP: Also [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).

  1. Rodney Howard Browne shows us that prayer is communication with your Heavenly Father.
  2. Prayer changes things—prayer changes people.
  3. If you want results when you pray, you must follow the rules.

    • There are different kinds of prayer in the Bible. You cannot pray the same prayer for every situation.
    • With different kinds of prayer, there are different rules just as different sports have different rules even though they are all sports.
  4. Prayer of consecration.

    • Some people say, “If it be Thy will” every time they pray, but this not the only way to pray.
    • This is a prayer of consecration. Even Jesus only prayed that once—in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Luke 22:42)
    • When it comes to getting something from God, we do not pray, “If it be thy will.” We already have God’s promise in His Word.
  5. Rodney Howard Browne shows us God’s will.

    • We need to realize that it is God’s will that all our needs—spiritual; physical; material—be met.
    • Isaiah 1:19 AMP – If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
    • 3 John 2 NKJV – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
  6. Rodney Howard Browne discusses the Prayer of petition.

    • When you pray—when you ask God for anything— you must pray in faith and expectation.
    • Mark 11:24 NKJV – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
    • Mark 11:24 AMP – For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. You can only pray this prayer for yourself.
  7. Praise and answered prayer.

    • There is a time to ask and a time to praise and worship God.
    • When Jehoshaphat and Judah were faced with several nations—a great multitude—coming to fight with them, they chose to praise and worship God and He delivered them.
    • 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NKJV – And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
    • Paul and Silas were beaten and chained up, but when they began to praise and worship God, they were delivered.
    • Acts 16:25-26 NKJV – But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
    • Tell God what you want and then just worship Him and thank Him.
  8. Don’t worry.

    • Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
    • Be anxious for nothing means: do not worry about anything.
    • 1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP – Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
    • Cast ALL your cares—not just some of them—on Him.
    • When you believe God’s Word and refuse to worry, some people think that there is something wrong with you.
    • Casting your cares does not mean that you ignore your situation; it means you give it to the Lord—you put it in His hands.
    • Psalms 37:5 AMP – Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
    • When you cast your cares on the Lord and commit your ways to Him, you demonstrate trust and faith in Him to bring it to pass.
    • Many people do not get their prayers answered, because they won’t stop worrying and won’t cast their cares on the Lord.
  9. United prayer.

    • If we, as the Church; as the Body of Christ, join our hearts, faith and voices together to pray and ask God for anything, we will see God do mighty things.
    • Acts 4:23-24a NKJV – And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord…
    • Acts 4:29-30 NKJV – Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.
    • Prayer that is prayed in agreement—in one accord—is answered prayer.
    • Matthew 18:19 NKJV – Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.

Born into Freedom – Delivered from Bondage

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1 KJV

Galatians 4:19-31:

My little children, for whom I am again suffering birth pangs until Christ is completely and permanently formed (molded) within you. Galatians 4:19 AMP

Paul is speaking here about praying for the Galatians – interceding for them in the Holy Ghost – for Christ to be formed in them. That they would come to know Him in his fullness; that they would have a full revelation of what He had done in them and for them; and that they would experience the fullness of the freedom and liberty of the Holy Spirit in their own lives. This is not just a prayer that applies to the Galatians alone – but it applies to each and every one of us. We all need for Christ to be formed in us – we all need to come to know Him in the fullest measure that is possible on this side of heaven – we all need Him to do, and to finish, His work in us, and to bring us progressively into experiencing true freedom.

Would that I were with you now and could coax you vocally, for I am fearful and perplexed about you! 21 Tell me, you who are bent on being under the Law, will you listen to what the Law [really] says? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondmaid and one by the free woman. 23 But whereas the child of the slave woman was born according to the flesh and had an ordinary birth, the son of the free woman was born in fulfillment of the promise. Galatians 4:20-23

Hagar represents the slave woman and Sarah the freewoman. Genesis 16:15 says: “And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bore Ishmael.” And Genesis 21:2-3 says: “For Sarah became pregnant and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time God had told him. Abraham named his son whom Sarah bore to him Isaac [laughter].”

Ishmael, the child of the slave woman, born after the flesh, or the will of man, represents the Law which was given by Moses. It was given because of the sin of the people, to bring correction and to punish wrong-doers. It was born according to the flesh – the efforts of man – and had an ordinary birth. On the other hand, the son of the free woman was born in fulfillment of the promise given by Almighty God.

There was nothing supernatural about Ishmael’s birth, but in the case of Isaac’s birth, it was totally supernatural! Both parents were past the age of childbearing and it was actually impossible in the natural for them to have a baby. Isaac was born ONLY because of the promise and the power and the will of God. Isaac represents the promise which is appropriated by faith and not by works. Isaac represents the freedom of the Gospel of Christ.

Now all this is an allegory; these [two women] represent two covenants. One covenant originated from Mount Sinai [where the Law was given] and bears [children destined] for slavery; this is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is (stands for) Mount Sinai in Arabia and she corresponds to and belongs in the same category with the present Jerusalem, for she is in bondage together with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above (the Messianic kingdom of Christ) is free, and she is our mother. Galatians 4:24-26 AMP

Sarah and Hagar symbolize the Old and New Covenants. Hagar represents the Mosaic Law that produced bondage, and which has been cast out and abolished by the cross. Sarah represents the New Covenant that brings men to God, makes them children of His by the new birth and gives freedom from bondage.

There are all kinds of ways to be in bondage, but only one way to be free. You can be in the bondage of sin and deception, or you can be stuck in the bondage of a religious works program. They are both works of the flesh and require no faith. The “Jerusalem” – God’s Kingdom – which is above, is free and she is our mother. It is only the Kingdom of God – with its way in, which is faith in Jesus Christ – that brings true freedom. True freedom comes only by faith in God through Jesus Christ.

For it is written in the Scriptures, Rejoice, O barren woman, who has not given birth to children; break forth into a joyful shout, you who are not feeling birth pangs, for the desolate woman has many more children than she who has a husband. 28 But we, brethren, are children [not by physical descent, as was Ishmael, but] like Isaac, born in virtue of promise. Galatians 4:27-28 AMP

Just as Isaac was a child of promise, we, who are born again through faith in Jesus Christ, are children of promise. God promised beforehand that YOU would be born into His Kingdom and into His life and His freedom – and you ARE when you believe on Jesus Christ.

Yet [just] as at that time the child [of ordinary birth] born according to the flesh despised and persecuted him [who was born remarkably] according to [the promise and the working of] the [Holy] Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say? Cast out and send away the slave woman and her son, for never shall the son of the slave woman be heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. 31 So, brethren, we [who are born again] are not children of a slave woman [the natural], but of the free [the supernatural]. Galatians 4:29-31 AMP

Genesis 21:9-10 AMP says, “Now Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, mocking [Isaac]. 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son, for the son of this bondwoman shall not be an heir with my son Isaac.” We, like Isaac, are children of promise. We do not fear death or hell or judgment, because the blood of Jesus keeps us safe and keeps us pure. We walk in freedom and liberty, safe in the knowledge that we are in right-standing with the Father. We stand firm in this liberty of Christ and we refuse to allow the bondage of sin OR of religious tradition to bind us up again!

FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE

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

Foundation Scriptures: Psalms 139:1-16 Vs.1 O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. Vs. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. Vs. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Vs. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. Vs. 5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Vs. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

 Vs. 7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Vs. 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. Vs. 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, Vs. 10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Vs. 11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” Vs. 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

 Vs. 13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Vs. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Vs. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Vs. 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

 Sometimes we feel as if God is so far from us that He does not hear us or care, but that is a lie from hell. God always hears us. He knows us even better than we know ourselves. There is nowhere that we can go to hide from Him because He is everywhere—in the darkness, in the light, in the heavens, on the earth and under it! We cannot escape His eyes, or His ears, or His love, or His care. God sees into the darkness as if it were daylight.

God made and formed us in our mother’s womb. In fact, He knew everything about us before we were even conceived. The miracle of birth is indeed that—a miracle. It is very hard to hold onto evolutionary beliefs as you wonder at the miracle of your newborn baby. How could something so perfect and marvelous be a result of chance and a blob of amoebae?

We see an imposing building and we know there was an architect who designed it and a builder who built it. We see an impressive piece of art and we know that an artist somewhere conceived and created it. But the most intricate, specialized creation ever—you and me—some people think just happened by chance. You have to have more “faith” to believe in the evolutionary theories than you need to just believe that there is a Creator and that He did, indeed, create us perfectly—spirit, soul and body.

If God watched over us so carefully as we were forming in our mother’s womb and if He knew our days before we even existed, how much more does He watch over us now! He loves us dearly, cares for us tenderly, and is very near to us all the time. No matter what you feel or see, God is very near to you, watching over you, listening to you, and making your way straight before you. You cannot run away from Him. You might as well surrender and let Him have your life and make something beautiful out of it. He is the Master Planner and He has plans for you!

A LETTER TO THE CRITICS

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

Just because you can’t do it – doesn’t mean I can’t do it.

Just because you can’t see it – doesn’t mean I can’t see it.

Just because you won’t do it – doesn’t mean I won’t do it.

 

Where you see hopelessness – I see hope.

Where you see lack – I see supernatural provision.

Where you see barriers – I see bridges.

Where you see weakness – I see God’s strength.

Where you see darkness – I see a light shining.

Where you see hindrances – I see God’s favor.

Where you see no way – I see a path.

Where you see desert – I see a river of life.

Where you see fear – I see faith in God.

Where you see sickness – I see healing power.

Where you see man’s limitations – I see God’s unlimited resources.

Where you see the curse – I see God’s abundant blessing.

Where you see sin – I see grace and mercy.

Where you see pain – I see restoration.

Where you see confusion – I see wisdom.

 

The critic says, “Don’t do anything. Just stand there.”

God says, “Don’t just stand there. Do something.”

 

God gives the grape.

The critic makes vinegar. The believer makes wine.

 

2 Corinthians 4:18  (NKJ)

18         while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.

 

Ephesians 3:20-21  (NKJ)

20        Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

21         to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

FAITH COMES BY HEARING THE WORD OF GOD

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

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.   Romans 10:8-17 NKJ

Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. Doubt and unbelief come from listening to the world’s opinions and ideas and the devil’s lies. Faith means simply ”believing that God will do what He says He will do”. Your faith in God is built on what you know about Him and His plan for you and His will for your life. There is only one place you can go to find what you need to know about God and that is His Word.

Shortly before you were born again, you heard the Word of God and faith rose in your heart. You acted on your faith, believing in your heart that God’s Word was true – that Jesus died for you and that God raised Him from the dead and so you confessed with your mouth that He is your Savior and your Lord and you were transformed. Faith for healing and the blessing of God comes to you the same way – you hear the Word. Your faith is what makes the promise of God as reality in your life. Jesus made this statement regularly, “YOUR faith has made you whole!” At other times He rebuked people for their doubt and unbelief. YOU are the one who chooses to walk either in faith or in doubt.

After the death of Moses the servant of the LORD, it came to pass that the LORD spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them– the children of Israel. “Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses.  Joshua 1:1-3 NKJ

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:8-9 NKJ

God told Joshua to take the children of Israel across the Jordan because He had given them all the land of Canaan. He told Joshua that He would be with them and would cause them to be victorious over their enemies. Joshua had never fought a battle, never mind led anyone else into battle. He had to use his faith and trust that what God said would be, would be. God gave him some sound advice to build up his faith and give him wisdom. God told Joshua to take the Book of the Law and read it and study it and meditate on it. He needed to get it from his head into his heart. You will never move God’s Word from your head to your heart, unless you meditate on it constantly. It must become part of you so that you see it as your ultimate reality and you believe every word and your faith is established in and on God.

The Hebrew word “meditate” also means to murmur; to ponder; to imagine; to mutter; to roar; to speak; to study; to talk; and to utter. If you want the Word of God to build your faith, you must take time to not only study it, but to speak it out loud to yourself all day. Even if you just take one scripture and mutter it to yourself over and over – the Holy Spirit will cause it to become revelation to you and it will drop down from just being head knowledge into a heart understanding. Knowledge without understanding is not very effective. Faith comes from your heart so you must put God’s Word deep down into your heart.

People want God to just pour faith into them without any effort on their part. Some people wait many years for this to happen, but it never does. God is not going to just douse you in faith. You have to make a decision to fill yourself up with God’s Word and when you do, doubt will never bother you again. You will be saturated in God’s Word and infused with faith in God. So then faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the Word of God!

THE INTEGRITY OF GOD’S WORD

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

For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.  Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJ

 

The word of God is not just dead words in an old dusty book. It is not man’s ideas or man’s philosophy. It is alive and it is powerful. It is precise and discerning, cutting to the heart of the matter and bringing forth the truth. Nothing is hidden from His eyes. Everything is like an open book to Him. He sees and knows everything – all the way into our hearts and our thoughts. We have no way to lie or cover up because there is nothing to hide behind and no excuses we can make – because we know that He knows and He sees all.

 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.'” And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  John 1:1-17 NKJ

 

Jesus is the Word made flesh. He dwelt among us as one of us. He came from the Father’s presence to bring us grace and truth. In Him is life and this life is the light of men. His light shines the truth into the heart of every man. His light shone in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend it. He created the world, but the world did not know Him. He came to His own, but they did not receive Him. Those who did recognize Him and receive Him saw His glory.

 

By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.  Hebrews 11:3 NKJ

 

God created the universe with His words and with the “Word” – Jesus. The worlds we see were created from a world we cannot see. The spirit realm created the natural realm with words.

 

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.  I John 5:7 NKJ

 

The Father, Jesus (the Word), and the Holy Spirit are one. They always agree. They always say the same thing. God’s will is God’s word. God’s word is His will.

 

For this reason we also thank God without ceasing, because when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe.  1 Thessalonians 2:13 NKJ

 

The word of God is just that – the word of God. It is not the word of man. The word works effectively in those who believe in the power and integrity of the word of God.

 

I will worship toward Your holy temple, and praise Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word above all Your name.  Psalms 138:2 NKJ

 

God’s name is awesome, but His word is magnified above His name. That is because your name is only as good as your word. You only have a good name when you are a keeper of your word – when you do what you say you will do. That is having integrity – people know that they can trust you because you always do what you say you will do. Your name carries weight. Both sinners and saints will respect you. God always keeps His word. We can trust His word because He always keeps His word. He says what He means and He means what He says.

DON’T BE ENVIOUS BECAUSE GOD IS GENEROUS

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

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire men to work in his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for the day and sent them into his vineyard. “About the third hour he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace doing nothing. He told them, `You also go and work in my vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. “He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour and did the same thing. About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, `Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?’ “`Because no one has hired us,’ they answered. “He said to them, `You also go and work in my vineyard.’ “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, `Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and going on to the first.’

“The workers who were hired about the eleventh hour came and each received a denarius. So when those came who were hired first, they expected to receive more. But each one of them also received a denarius. When they received it, they began to grumble against the landowner. `These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, `and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the work and the heat of the day.’ “But he answered one of them, `Friend, I am not being unfair to you. Didn’t you agree to work for a denarius? Take your pay and go. I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” Matthew 20:1-16 NIV

God is calling for laborers to work in His vineyard. He even tells us to pray for laborers in Matthew 9:37-38. “Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”  There is plenty of harvest waiting to be reaped. The Lord needs more of us to hear and heed the call to be His voice and His hands in the earth today.

We are each a part of the body of Christ. Even though we have differing functions, we are all equally important in the grand scheme of things. We all have a place in this world and it is important that we do what God asks us to do – that we perform our function and meet our responsibilities. We need to forget about who gets paid what and we need to concentrate on pleasing God and doing only what He has asked us to do.

The Lord rewards us for whatever we do that He has asked us to do. He does not judge one ministry as better or more important than another. He rewards us according to our obedience, not according to the size of our ministry. He is not a respecter of persons. Romans 2:11 says that, “there is no partiality with God.”  God is impartial. He treats us all the same. If we labor in His vineyard, He will bless us all the same.

In Matthew 20:11-12, the laborers who were hired first, grumbled against the landowner because, at the end of the day, he paid everyone the same wage even though they had worked all day and others had worked a shorter time. Some of them had only worked for an hour! They had agreed to the wage and had no right to complain. They were envious because the landowner was generous!

We have no right to be envious just because God is generous. God rewards us all the same. As we obediently work to do what He has asked us to do – He will reward us accordingly.

Rodney Howard Browne | The outpouring of the Holy Spirit across America

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