GOD JUDGES US ACCORDING

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

1 Peter 1:15-19  (NKJ) says, “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’ And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”

God judges us impartially according to our works. It is up to us to see that we live in a manner that pleases our Father God. God is a holy God, and as His children, we need to walk holy and talk holy and act holy. We can walk in holiness because the precious blood of Jesus has redeemed us. The blood of Jesus has washed away our sins, stripped sin of its power over us, and caused us to be able to continue to walk free from sin.

John 3:16-18  (NIV) says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”

God does not judge us according to some standard that we know nothing about and that is out of our control. He judges us according to our own choices and actions. In other words—we choose our judgement—not God. He offers us the choice of life or death and then acts according to what we have chosen. It is not up to God—it is up to you and me. God did His part—He sent Jesus as a sacrifice to cut a covenant between God and us, so that life and blessing would actually be one of our choices. Without Jesus—there is no choice—death and cursing would be our destiny.

Isaiah 11:1-4  (NIV) says, “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD—and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness he will judge the needy, with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.”

God judges in righteousness and justice. To “judge” simply means “to make a decision”. God makes a decision concerning us according to the decision we make for and about ourselves.

Romans 2:4-11  (NKJ) says, “Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who ‘will render to each one according to his deeds’: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”

God is not partial. He does not like one better than the other. He does not have “favorites”. He treats everyone the same. Whatever we sow—we will reap.

Acts 10:34-35  (NIV) says, “Then Peter began to speak: ‘I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.’”

TO THE PURE ALL THINGS ARE PURE – PART TWO

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

To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled. They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.  Titus 1:15-16 NKJ

 

Matthew 12:34 says that, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” If your heart is pure then your words will be pure and your works will be pure. 1 Samuel 16:7 says that, ”the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” God is always concerned primarily with our heart condition because as Proverbs 4:23 tells us that we should keep our heart with all diligence, “for out of it spring the issues of life.” The condition of our heart determines the course of our life and our eternal destiny. That is why we should guard carefully what we allow to enter our mind and heart through our eyes and ears and make sure that it is pure.

 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.Philippians 4:8-9 KJV

 

Before you were born again you allowed all kinds of things into your life. Your heart and mind were callused and hard. But when you were born again, God gave you a soft and sensitive heart. For instance, before Jesus, you cussed up a storm, but afterward, when other people used the Lord’s Name in vain, you felt like someone had punched you in the stomach. Now that you are a citizen of Heaven and a child of the King, you need to filter the information that enters your eyes and ears, because what you know that what you hear and see is what you will be thinking on. You need to be meditating and thinking on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and a good report if you want to walk in the peace of God. Isaiah 26:3 says that God will keep the person whose mind is stayed on Him and who trusts in Him, in perfect peace.

 

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.  James 3:13-18 NKJ

 

The earth’s wisdom is envious and self-seeking, resulting in confusion and evil. However, the wisdom that comes from God above is first of all pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. God is pure and honest and His motivation is pure and honest, putting others first. We are made in His image, and when we see Him, we will be like Him. We will not walk in any degree of peace in our lives unless we walk in the purity and honesty that He walks in! Peace follows when we are in the will of God in every area of our lives, especially our attitude.

 

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.  I John 3:2-3 NKJ

 

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Timothy 2:22 NKJ

 

When the Holy Spirit and the Word of God have purified your heart, you desire to please God, you desire righteousness, faith, love and peace and you actively pursue them. When you allow God to do a purifying work in your life, as you submit to everything that He tells you to do, then you will begin to have pure desires. You cannot walk in purity and allow unclean desires to rule in your flesh at the same time. Whatever your age, whether you are eight or eighty, you need to flee the lust of the flesh and pursue righteousness with a heart that is pure, and you will walk in peace and blessing all the days of your life.

ARE YOU A BIG WATERED TREE OR LITTLE DRY SHRUB?

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

Thus says the Lord: Cursed [with great evil] is the strong man who trusts in and relies on frail man, making weak [human] flesh his arm, and whose mind and heart turn aside from the Lord. For he shall be like a shrub or a person naked and destitute in the desert; and he shall not see any good come, but shall dwell in the parched places in the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. [Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters that spreads out its roots by the river; and it shall not see and fear when heat comes; but its leaf shall be green. It shall not be anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor shall it cease yielding fruit.  Jeremiah 17:5-8 Amplified

The man who believes in, trusts in and relies on the Lord is blessed. The Lord is his hope and confidence. He is like a tree planted by the waters—spreading out his roots by the river of God—drawing water and nourishment from the fertile soil of God’s Word and His Spirit. He will not feel the heat of the enemy’s attack and he will have no reason to fear it. His leaf is green all the time. He is not anxious and full of care in the year of drought, nor will he cease from yielding fruit.

On the contrary, the man who is strong in his own strength; who trusts in and relies on frail man; whose power comes from weak, human flesh and whose mind and heart turn away from the Lord is cursed with great evil. He is like a shrub—like a naked person—destitute in the desert. He will not see any good come to his life, but he will remain permanently in the parched places—in the wilderness—in an uninhabited salt land.

Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’–and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.  Revelation 3:17 NKJV

You can put your trust in God and you can drink from the river or you can put your trust in yourself and live in a parched wilderness. You can choose to draw your life and your strength from the Lord or you can struggle out there on your own. When you put your trust in the Lord, you are not afraid of the weather, you are not afraid of what life may throw at you. When you trust in and rely on the Lord—no matter what comes your way it will not hinder or prevent you from prospering.

You can choose to serve God and honor Him, or you can serve your own interests and dishonor Him. You can choose to be blessed or you can choose to be cursed. You can be a big tree next to a river or you can be a little shrub in the hot desert. You can be gloriously attired in green leaves or you can be a naked, small bush. You can spread your roots out—increasing your capacity to receive nourishment, life, strength and blessing. You can tighten your grip on God and draw in closer to Him—your life can become ever more entwined in His life and it will be even harder to remove you from your foundation.  But if you have little shrubby roots, they could just be ripped from the soil.

You can yield much fruit or you can be devoid of any fruit at all. You can have your roots in the water and your branches covered in green leaves and not be afraid of the heat or you can be dried up and destroyed by it. You can live in comfort, peace and safety or you can live in fear and anxiety—exposed to the elements, constantly fearing for your life.

You can be comforted in God’s presence or you can be destitute in the desert. The shrub in the desert has nothing to offer anyone—no shade and no food. But the tree planted by the river gives shade, protection and fruit. Those who trust in the Lord will be abundantly blessed and will be a blessing to all those they touch, but those who trust in themselves have nothing to offer anyone else because they are in need themselves. The blessed man only knows abundance, but the cursed man only knows lack.

Make up your mind to trust in the Lord, to look to Him for guidance and sustenance. Firmly plant yourself on the banks of His river, yielding to His will, His Word and His Spirit. When you remain in His presence, drinking the waters of life, you will live a long, prosperous life of peace and safety.

WISDOM LOVES PEACE

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

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

Everybody thinks that they are wise, but only if you compare your words and deeds to the Word of God, can you know for sure. Good deeds that originate from a humble heart are evidence that a person is wise. However, if a person harbors bitter envy and selfish ambition in their heart, then they are not wise at all, but they are foolish.

You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men?  Corinthians 3:3 NIV

Jealous and quarrelsome Christians are behaving like people who have not yet been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. They are worldly and they behave like the world. As children of God, we should live our lives in a way that is pleasing to our Heavenly Father.

NIV – He who loves a quarrel loves sin; he who builds a high gate invites destruction. TLB – Sinners love to fight; boasting is looking for trouble.  Proverbs 17:19

If you fight and quarrel and love it—you are a sinner and most likely an arrogant and boastful one at that. Pride and strife are partners. They usually go together. At the very least, a proud person will be touchy and defensive. At their worst they will aggressively pick fights with others. They are touchy and reactionary and it doesn’t take much to make them angry. Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbor. It is a very proud person who has little or no respect for God and who thinks nothing of fighting and striving with their neighbor.

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.  James 3:16 KJV

Where you allow strife to exist—you also allow confusion and evil to manifest. This is why devils make stirring strife a priority. Learn to recognize when the devil is stirring strife and cut him off. The problem is that we look at the people we can see and we think that they are our problem, when really it is a spiritual problem and we have to deal with it in a spiritual way. We need to choose a path of peace. You cannot make another person behave one way or another, but you can control your own feelings, emotions and reactions. Eliminate strife and you will shut the door on the devil.

Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Philippians 2:3 KJV

Humility is a good antidote for strife. A humble person is not concerned about winning the fight or being “right.” The wisdom that is from above is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. If you are wise, you will conduct yourself in such a way that you promote peace in your life and your relationships.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Romans 12:17-18 NIV

It doesn’t matter who tries to fight with you, you can make the choice to eliminate strife, live in peace and do right.

THE HERITAGE OF THE SERVANTS OF THE LORD

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

“Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD. 2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. 3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities. 4 “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. 5 For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. 6 The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit–a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. 7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. 8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.  Isaiah 54:1-8 NIV

This passage of scripture is addressing the nation of Israel, but the same principles apply to us as Christians. We are spiritual Israel. We know that the Lord never changes – He loves Israel, He loves Christians, and He even loves sinners! In reality, every one of us without God in us, are sinners, whether we are born to a Jewish family or a Gentile family. It is our faith in God that saves our souls. God is merciful and compassionate beyond what we have a capacity to understand. At our human best, we feel compassion for other people and we try to help them and rescue them and save them. Many people have a heart of compassion for animals and spend their lives saving them and taking care of them. God’s love, mercy and compassion are way beyond our human understanding!

Religion paints a picture of a stern, judgmental God, Whom we must appease so that He does not squash us like a bug. But this is so far from the truth. He is kind and compassionate, patient and long-suffering with us – ever ready to remember the covenant we broke and bring us back into fellowship with us. His greatest desire is for an unbroken fellowship with us. Who are we, who are so unworthy and yet the Almighty Lord of Heaven and earth would consider us worthy of His love and mercy and He would and pour out His life for us?

9 “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. 10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

11 “O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires. 12 I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. 13 All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.  Isaiah 54:9-13 NIV

God will never stop loving those who are in covenant with Him, and compassionately reaching out to them when they return to Him. He promises to build us a shelter – not just of wood and stone, but precious stones! This is one more great example of His lavish generosity toward us. It is hard for us to grasp how God can be so kind and so generous to people who are so inconstant and inconsistent! He even makes promises to us about how He will teach and bless our children. If you give the devil an open door into your life – he will come in with plans to utterly destroy you. If you give God an open door into your life – He will come in with plans to bless and prosper you!

14 In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you. 15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. Isaiah 54:14-15 NIV

If you are established in righteousness, you will have nothing to fear. Whoever and whatever comes against you will just have to surrender to you, because God is on your side. You don’t have to fight the enemy in your own strength – just be submitted to God and He will fight the battle with you and for you.

16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc; 17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:16-17 NIV

No weapon that is formed against you will prosper. Every tongue that rises against you in judgment, you will show to be wrong. This is the heritage of the children of God and the servants of the Lord. Your righteousness and vindication are from the Lord.

GOD GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE – PART 2

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

What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?   6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.  James 4:1-10

If you want God’s grace in your life, then you owe it to yourself to lay down your pride and humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. Pride prevents the blessings of God in your life, but humility welcomes and makes way for them.

Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. 12 There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you—who are you to judge your neighbor?  James 4:11-12

When you slander or criticize your fellow Christians, you are setting yourself up as a judge. The problem is that there is only one Lawgiver and Judge. If you realized that when you judge another you are trying to take a place and a position that belongs only to the Lord, then you might be quicker to put a guard on your lips. This judgmental attitude—setting yourself up as better than another—stems from your pride. Your pride will always get you into trouble!

John 3:17 AMP says that, “God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.”  If Jesus does not even judge you, then you certainly have no right to judge each other. Remember—you might have a reason to judge others, but you still do not have a right.

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14 Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15 Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16 As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.  James 4:13-16

As many of you may already have found out, you cannot say, “I will do this” or “I won’t do that” to the Lord. Just when you make up your mind, He changes your direction. You must lay down the pride that causes you to try to do things on your own—trusting in your own judgment, intelligence and wisdom—and yield to His superior wisdom and understanding. When you humble yourself to daily receive direction and wisdom from the Lord, then you will prosper in everything that you do.

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.  James 4:17

You are accountable for what you know. If you know what is the right thing to do—then do it. Otherwise it will be counted as a sin to you. Make sure that you are a doer of the Word and not merely a hearer. Humble your heart to receive both correction and direction from the Lord and He will prosper your way.

PROVIDE FOR HONEST THINGS

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

As it is written, He who gathered much had nothing over, and he who gathered little did not lack. 16 But thanks be to God Who planted the same earnest zeal and care for you in the heart of Titus. 17 For he not only welcomed and responded to our appeal, but was himself so keen in his enthusiasm and interest in you that he is going to you of his own accord. 18 But we are sending along with him that brother [Luke?] whose praise in the Gospel ministry [is spread] throughout all the churches; 19 And more than that, he has been appointed by the churches to travel as our companion in regard to this bountiful contribution which we are administering for the glory of the Lord Himself and [to show] our eager readiness [as Christians to help one another]. 20[For] we are on our guard, intending that no one should find anything for which to blame us in regard to our administration of this large contribution. 21For we take thought beforehand and aim to be honest and absolutely above suspicion, not only in the sight of the Lord but also in the sight of men.  2 Corinthians 8:15-21 AMP

If you consider yourself a Christian, if you are a born-again child of God, you are obligated to live according to the Word of God – it is your duty and your privilege. It is very important that you are honest in all things, especially money. You ought to conduct yourself in such a way that you are above reproach and above suspicion. Paul said that he provided for honest things (KJV), which means that he took thought beforehand – he planned and he aimed – to be honest and absolutely above suspicion in financial matters. He did this in the sight of God and of man.

If you want to be honest before God then you must be completely and absolutely honest, for He sees everything you do and He knows what is in your heart – you cannot fool Him. Paul said that he planned, he took thought beforehand, and he aimed to be honest. You have to have a plan, you have to set a standard for your life so that when the occasion arises that your character is tested, you do not have to then decide how to conduct yourself, because you have already decided to do the right thing.

Who then is the faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant, whom his master has put in charge of his household to give to the others the food and supplies at the proper time? 46 Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is that servant whom, when his master comes, he will find so doing. 47 I solemnly declare to you, he will set him over all his possessions. 48 But if that servant is wicked and says to himself, My master is delayed and is going to be gone a long time, 49 And begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with the drunken, 50 The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour of which he is not aware, 51 And will punish him [cut him up by scourging] and put him with the pretenders (hypocrites); there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.  Matthew 24:45-51 AMP

God gives everyone of us a chance to prove ourselves and to prove what is in our heart. He gives us authority and responsibility and then He leaves us alone to do it. He does not stand over us and nag or beg, He does not force us, but He leaves us to prove our faithfulness and integrity.

In this parable, before the master leaves, he puts his servant in charge – he gives him authority over the other servants and the responsibility to take care of them and to provide food and supplies at the proper time. The faithful, thoughtful, and wise servant is honest and he does what is expected of him even though no one is watching over him, because he knows that the master could come back at any time and he wants to please him. If that same servant was foolish and wicked, he would take advantage of the situation and instead of doing his duty and taking care of his fellow servants, he would get drunk and beat them. The problem is that when his master came back, unexpectedly, he would be in big trouble. His master would discover that he had been unfaithful and dishonest and he would punish him and put him with the other hypocrites.

Abstain from all appearance of evil.  KJV Abstain from evil [shrink from it and keep aloof from it] in whatever form or whatever kind it may be.  AMP 1 Thessalonians 5:22

You need to be faithful and honest at all times because God is watching over you. You need to run away from evil – even the appearance of it. If you avoid even the appearance of evil, you will protect yourself from evil itself. Run from evil and choose to do right and the blessing of God will be on your life.

THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT LIGHT OUR WAY

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

Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven [stands firm as the heavens]. 90 Your faithfulness is from generation to generation; You have established the earth, and it stands fast. 91 All [the whole universe] are Your servants; therefore they continue this day according to Your ordinances. 92 Unless Your law had been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. 93 I will never forget Your precepts, [how can I?] for it is by them You have quickened me (granted me life). 94 I am Yours, therefore save me [Your own]; for I have sought (inquired of and for) Your precepts and required them [as my urgent need]. 95 The wicked wait for me to destroy me, but I will consider Your testimonies. 96I have seen that everything [human] has its limits and end [no matter how extensive, noble, and excellent]; but Your commandment is exceedingly broad and extends without limits [into eternity]. 97 Oh, how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day. 98 You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies, for [Your words] are ever before me. 99 I have better understanding and deeper insight than all my teachers, because Your testimonies are my meditation. 100 I understand more than the aged, because I keep Your precepts [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying them]. 101 I have restrained my feet from every evil way, that I might keep Your word [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it]. 102 I have not turned aside from Your ordinances, for You Yourself have taught me. 103 How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 104 Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. 105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:89-105 AMP

God’s Word is settled in heaven – it stands strong and sure. Nothing can stand against God’s Word – nothing can endure longer than His Word. Everything human has its limits and limitations, but God’s Word is limitless, enduring and extending into eternity. God’s Word is the lamp that lights my way and leads me in the way I should go.

The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple.  Psalm 119:130 AMP

For the commandment is a lamp, and the whole teaching [of the law] is light, and reproofs of discipline are the way of life.  Proverbs 6:23 AMP

Your word have I laid up in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Psalm 119:11 AMP

The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly.  Proverbs 20:27KJV

The spirit of man [that factor in human personality which proceeds immediately from God] is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts.  Proverbs 20:27 AMP

For what person perceives (knows and understands) what passes through a man’s thoughts except the man’s own spirit within him? Just so no one discerns (comes to know and comprehend) the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God.  1 Corinthians 2:11-12 AMP

God has given us His Word and His Spirit to lead us and guide us into truth and into blessing. When God’s Word is laid up in our heart, we will walk in His ways and we will do what is right and the Spirit of God will remind us of the Word and point us toward His Word. It is the Holy Spirit that reveals God’s Word to us, it is the Spirit that gives us understanding of all the wonderful things He has done for us.

But when He, the Spirit of Truth (the Truth-giving Spirit) comes, He will guide you into all the Truth (the whole, full Truth). For He will not speak His own message [on His own authority]; but He will tell whatever He hears [from the Father; He will give the message that has been given to Him], and He will announce and declare to you the things that are to come [that will happen in the future]. 14 He will honor and glorify Me, because He will take of (receive, draw upon) what is Mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, transmit) it to you.  John 16:13-14 AMP

IN THE DAY OF MY TROUBLE I WILL CALL ON YOU

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

A Confession of Faith in God’s Hand of Protection on My Life

For You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive our trespasses, sending them away, letting them go completely and forever; and You are abundant in mercy and loving-kindness to all those who call upon You. Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; and listen to the cry of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call on You, for You will answer me.  (Psalms 86:5-7)

I belong to Jesus and have already defeated and overcome the enemies of Christ, because Jesus, Who lives in me, is greater and mightier than he who is in the world.  (1 John 4:4)

No weapon that is formed against me shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against me in judgment I shall show to be in the wrong. This peace, righteousness, security, and triumph over opposition is the heritage of the servants of the Lord; this is the righteousness and vindication which I have obtained from Him.  (Isaiah 54:17)

The Lord is my Shepherd – He feeds, guides, and shields me – I shall never lack. He makes me lie down in fresh, tender, green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes me and restores my life; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Even if I walk through the deep, sunless valley of the shadow of death, I will fear and dread no evil, for Jesus is with me; His rod to protect me and His staff to guide and comfort me. He prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies. He anoints my head with oil; my brimming cup runs over. Surely only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house and the presence of the Lord shall be my dwelling place.  (Psalms 23:1-6)

For behold, Your adversaries, O Lord, for behold, Your enemies shall perish; all the evildoers shall be scattered. But my horn – emblem of excessive strength and stately grace – You have exalted like that of a wild ox; I am anointed with fresh oil. My eye looks upon those who lie in wait for me; my ears hear the evildoers that rise up against me. I am uncompromisingly righteous, therefore I shall flourish like the palm tree, I will be long-lived, stately, upright, useful, and fruitful; I shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon – I will be majestic, stable, durable, and incorruptible. I am planted in the house of the Lord and I shall flourish in the courts of our God. I am growing in grace and I shall still bring forth fruit in old age; I shall be full of the sap of spiritual vitality and rich in the verdure of trust, love, and contentment. I am a living memorial to show that the Lord is upright and faithful to His promises; He is my Rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.  (Psalms 92:9-15)

The Lord is my Light and my Salvation – whom shall I fear or dread? The Lord is the Refuge and Stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid? Though a host encamps against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, even then in this will I be confident. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and insistently require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord – in His presence – all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty, the sweet attractiveness, and the delightful loveliness of the Lord, and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me; He will set me high upon a rock. And now shall my head be lifted up above my enemies round about me; in His tent I will offer sacrifices and shouting of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud; have mercy and be gracious to me and answer me! Lord, You have said, “Seek My face – inquire for and require My presence as your vital need.” My heart says to You, Your face and Your presence, Lord, will I seek, inquire for, and require. Although my father and my mother have forsaken me, yet the Lord will take me up and adopt me as His child. What, what would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living! I will wait and hope for and expect the Lord; I will be brave and of good courage and let my heart be stout and enduring. Yes, I will wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.  (Psalms 27:1, 3-8, 10, 13, 14)

Paraphrased from the Amplified Version

THE MIND OF CHRIST

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

Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God. 13 And we are setting these truths forth in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the [Holy] Spirit, combining and interpreting spiritual truths with spiritual language [to those who possess the Holy Spirit]. 14 But the natural, nonspiritual man does not accept or welcome or admit into his heart the gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God, for they are folly (meaningless nonsense) to him; and he is incapable of knowing them [of progressively recognizing, understanding, and becoming better acquainted with them] because they are spiritually discerned and estimated and appreciated. 15 But the spiritual man tries all things [he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things], yet is himself to be put on trial and judged by no one [he can read the meaning of everything, but no one can properly discern or appraise or get an insight into him]. 16 For who has known or understood the mind (the counsels and purposes) of the Lord so as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ (the Messiah) and do hold the thoughts (feelings and purposes) of His heart. 1 Corinthians 2:12-16 AMP

You, who are born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit, have been separated from the world by the work of the Holy Spirit. You are no longer deceived by the lies of and/or blinded by the devil. Your eyes have been opened and you now see the truth. If you will continue in God’s Word, the devil will never again be able to blind your eyes. It is the Holy Spirit Who reveals to you all the wonderful things that God has done for and in you and all the magnificent gifts He has so lavishly and freely bestowed on you, so that you might comprehend them and also appreciate them. The more influence the Holy Spirit and the Word of God have in your life, the more aware you become of spiritual things and the more spiritual you become. Not religious—spiritual—conscious of God.

The person who is not born again, not filled with the Spirit, and who is not open to the Word of God, is carnal, natural, and non-spiritual. He cannot perceive the truth that is right in front of him—he is oblivious to things of the Spirit. The gifts and teachings and revelations of the Spirit of God are spiritually discerned, estimated, and appreciated. Because of this, they are meaningless nonsense to the carnal person and so he does not accept, or welcome, or admit them into his heart. Everyone who is spiritual can easily discern the carnal man’s state and his situation. Although the spiritual man discerns all things, no one can discern him—no one can appraise or get an insight into him. In other words, the spiritual man can see into the heart and life of a non-spiritual person, but the non-spiritual person cannot figure the spiritual person out.

In the same way, you don’t know everything there is to know about the Lord. No matter how much you learn of spiritual things, you will never know enough to be able to advise Him. That is just not your job or your place—it never will be. But when Jesus lives in your heart, when the Holy Spirit has burned the junk of the world out of your life, and when God’s Word has become alive in you, you grow to be more like Jesus every day. You begin to walk like Him, talk like Him, think like Him, see like Him, feel like Him, and act like Him. You have the mind of Christ; you hold the thoughts, feelings, and purposes of His heart. You are not God, but you represent Him to the world.

Beloved, we are [even here and] now God’s children; it is not yet disclosed (made clear) what we shall be [hereafter], but we know that when He comes and is manifested, we shall [as God’s children] resemble and be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He [really] is. 3 And everyone who has this hope [resting] on Him cleanses (purifies) himself just as He is pure (chaste, undefiled, guiltless). 1 John 3:2-3 AMP

I have heard a person say, “I have the mind of Christ, therefore every thought I have is from Christ.” This is not totally true. Your thoughts come from your head, not from heaven. You cannot trust every thought you have to be a godly thought. Sometimes the devil will place thoughts in your mind. Of course, you ought to resist and reject those thoughts! Remember that godly thoughts and inspirations come primarily from your heart—your regenerated spirit. The Spirit of God will speak to your heart—you need to train yourself to recognize His voice. Your mind, on the other hand, is a work in progress until you see Jesus face to face. When you see Him, you will be like Him, but until then, you are not perfect by any means. You need to renew your mind to the Word of God, regularly and consistently. You need to humble yourself and lay down your agenda.

As you yield yourself to Him, as you make yourself available to Him, to be used by Him, He will work in you and through you to do His will, and you can safely say, “I have the mind of Christ!”

Bringing you closer to God