Rodney Howard Browne | The Gift of Inadequacy

Many of us would scoff at the concept of inadequacy as any sort of blessing. Too many of us have been tortured by such feelings instead of sanctified by them. At the same time, Christians can use them as stepping stones to blessing : Our inadequacy forces us to do our work in the power of the Holy Spirit. Anything that places us on our knees and drives us to God needs to be good. An awareness of our limitation can relieve us of the load of attempting to do God’s will in our own strength.

Without the Holy Spirit, we’re going to be crushed by weights we can’t carry. Another blessing is that such awareness “frees” God to use us to the maximum of our potential. When we are lowly enough to feel our need, then God will raise us to great heights. Recognizing our inabilities permits God to get all of the glory for His work.

Spiritually minded folk can tell when something is of God and when it is not. If you are in the Spirit, the glory will justly go to the Lord. Inadequacy can enable us to live in happiness and silence of spirit. Either we’re going to give God our burdens and stop attempting, or we intend to proceed in our own strength and become overwhelmed. Like Paul, we shouldn’t claim adequacy in ourselves, but rather recognize that our adequacy is from God.

( two Corinthians 3:5 ) What area in your life are you attempting to manage in your own power? Relinquish control and watch for God’s blessing.

The Minority Report – Part I

And they returned from scouting out the land after forty days. 26 They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the Israelite congregation in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh, and brought them word, and showed them the land’s fruit. 27 They told Moses, We came to the land to which you sent us; surely it flows with milk and honey. This is its fruit. 28 But the people who dwell there are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; moreover, there we saw the sons of Anak [of great stature and courage]. 29 Amalek dwells in the land of the South (the Negeb); the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite dwell in the hill country; and the Canaanite dwells by the sea and along by the side of the Jordan [River].

30 Caleb quieted the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it. 31 But his fellow scouts said, We are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], for they are stronger than we are. 32 So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature. 33 There we saw the Nephilim [or giants], the sons of Anak, who come from the giants; and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. Numbers 13:25-33 AMP

Twelve scouts – one from each tribe of Israel – were recruited by Moses to spy out the Promised Land. At first they all brought a good report that it was indeed a land flowing with “milk and honey” and offered the enormous cluster of grapes as proof. However, ten of them immediately followed that up with an evil report – a negative, fear-filled report – of how large and powerful and intimidating the inhabitants were. Only two of them, Joshua and Caleb, brought a good report.

Caleb quieted the frightened crowd and confidently told them, “Let us go up at once and possess it; we are well able to conquer it!” His confidence was not in himself or in Israel, but in Almighty God, who had promised to give them this fine land. Unfortunately, the crowd shouted Joshua and Caleb down and the decision was made to not go up to take the land. They immediately started wailing, crying, complaining, and wishing they were back in Egypt. What short memories they had of how bad it was in Egypt – they forgot how they cried for freedom from the Egyptians, which was why God sent Moses to get them OUT in the first place – and they had already forgotten the great miracle of their deliverance from Egypt. Now they are crying because God wanted to take them INTO the Promised Land! What a bunch of shallow, whiny babies!

And all the congregation cried out with a loud voice, and [they] wept that night. 2 All the Israelites grumbled and deplored their situation, accusing Moses and Aaron, to whom the whole congregation said, Would that we had died in Egypt! Or that we had died in this wilderness! 3 Why does the Lord bring us to this land to fall by the sword? Our wives and little ones will be a prey. Is it not better for us to return to Egypt? 4 And they said one to another, Let us choose a captain and return to Egypt. 5 Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of Israelites. 6 And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among the scouts who had searched the land, rent their clothes, 7 And they said to all the company of Israelites, The land through which we passed as scouts is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord, neither fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their defense and the shadow [of protection] is removed from over them, but the Lord is with us. Fear them not. 10 But all the congregation said to stone [Joshua and Caleb] with stones. But the glory of the Lord appeared at the Tent of Meeting before all the Israelites. Numbers 14:1-10 AMP

Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb begged them not to rebel against God and begged them to trust the word of the Lord. Instead the people committed treason against God, in their hearts, and planned to stone them. It took God, himself, showing up to stop them from killing Moses, Aaron, Joshua and Caleb. In the end, God did not take these rebellious people up into the Promised Land. He assured them that they would remain in the desert until all of them died there – except Joshua and Caleb – and that their children who grew up in the wilderness would be trained to obey God and would eventually go up and take this land and enjoy it in their generation. This was not God’s choice for them – they chose this course. The majority ruled, but unfortunately the majority was dead wrong!

We have a tendency to give credence to the majority and to allow the majority to rule and to decide what’s right, but we can see from this example that the majority opinion is not an accurate measurement of right and wrong. The voice of the minority is drowned out and usually not considered or given a hearing. However, TRUTH cannot be measured by numbers and for the most part truth stands against the majority’s opinion. The devil tries to convince people that there is no absolute truth and you can have and live your own version of the “truth”. However, truth is something that cannot be bent and twisted. There is only one TRUTH, which is unchangeable, because it is guaranteed by the character of God! God IS truth and His word is the last word on anything and everything! Most often, you must stand alone in order to stand on the side of truth, but take heart and know that you are not alone, because, at the same time, you are standing on the side of God! And when you are on God’s side, your adversaries become God’s adversaries! If God be for you – who can be against you!

Communion- The Lord’s Supper

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

For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread. 1 Corinthians 11:23 NKJV

The night Jesus was betrayed was the night of the Passover meal. He instituted Communion, also known as the Lord’s Supper that same night. Passover celebrated Israel’s deliverance from Egypt. The Lord’s Supper celebrates our deliverance from sin and death through Jesus’ death and resurrection.

And when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:24 NKJV

The bread represents the body of Jesus, which was broken, marred and scourged for us – for our healing and restoration. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV says, “who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.” We partake of communion as a memorial of what Jesus did for us – we remember and celebrate it on a regular basis.

In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” 1 Corinthians 11:25 NKJV

The cup is a symbol of Jesus’ blood, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. It symbolizes His blood that sealed the New Covenant, which is based upon better promises. The New Covenant does not replace the Old Covenant, but it completes and fulfills it. By eating the bread and drinking the cup, we signify and proclaim that we are remembering Jesus’ death for us, and also renewing our commitment to serve Him.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.

1 Corinthians 11:26 NKJV

“As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup…” This means that there is no set schedule for partaking of the Lord’s Supper. You can receive Communion as often as you need to or want to. We remember Christ in the Lord’s Supper by thinking about what He did and why He did it. We look back to His death and at the same time, we look forward to His second coming. If we partake in Communion out of ritual or religion, it loses its significance, but if we remember what He did and look forward to His return, it becomes a powerful point of contact for our faith. Don’t partake of Communion without preparing yourself spiritually. Gratefully remind yourself of what Jesus has done for you and allow the reality of your forgiven sin to inspire you to live passionately for Him like never before.

Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 11:27 NKJV

We should not partake of Communion irreverently, unworthily, or in an unfit manner. Those who wish to partake should first be born again – a sinner would be unworthy to partake. We should take the Lord’s Supper thoughtfully; we should take it worthily, with due reverence and respect; we should take it with respect toward His body and also toward His Body, the Church; we should prepare our hearts and come humble, submitted and yielded to Him.

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 1 Corinthians 11:28 NKJV

Before we partake of Communion, we should examine ourselves for any unconfessed sin or bad attitudes toward Him or others.

For he who eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. 1 Corinthians 11:29 NKJV

The Lord’s Supper is not a normal meal. If you do not treat it with the respect it deserves, you invite judgment on yourself. In a sense, no one is “worthy” to participate, but because of Jesus, we can share in His Supper, knowing that, by His grace, we are forgiven and righteous before Him.

For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many sleep. 1 Corinthians 11:30 NKJV

By Jesus’ stripes, we were healed. When you partake of the Lord’s Supper with respect to what it represents, by faith you receive His life, His strength and His healing power. If you do not believe that His broken body represents your healing, then you will stay sick. It is not a meaningless ritual, but it is a living, powerful celebration.

For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. 1 Corinthians 11:31 NKJV

If we repent of our sin, God will forgive us. God cannot and will not forgive unrepentant sin. When we judge ourselves and ask for forgiveness, our sin is washed away forever. If we do not examine and judge ourselves and repent, then our sin remains and will be judged in eternity.

But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.

1 Corinthians 11:32 NKJV

When God deals with us and convicts us of sin, He is disciplining us like a parent disciplines a child – a small pain now to avoid a bigger pain later.

Therefore, my brethren, when you come together to eat, wait for one another. 34 But if anyone is hungry, let him eat at home, lest you come together for judgment. And the rest I will set in order when I come.

1 Corinthians 11:33-34 NKJV

Partake of the Lord’s Supper out of consideration for others. It is not time for a dinner party. The Corinthians were turning the Lord’s Supper into a carnal feast – the wealthier ones eating their fine food in front of the poorer ones, who did not have as much to eat.

Paul admonished them, “If you are hungry, eat at home!” The Lord’s Supper is not an occasion to feast, but an opportunity to remember Christ’s sacrifice.

As you receive Communion, celebrate what He already did and celebrate that He is coming again very soon!

Don’t Try To Explain Away The Supernatural

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

1 Corinthians 2:4-5  (NKJ)
4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

One day, I was reading a Bible commentary written by a theologian who had decided to explain away every passage of scripture that contained any reference to the anointing or the supernatural power of God.  He said that it was asinine to think that in this day and age the anointing can actually be transferred by the laying on of hands.

He had chosen to overlook the supernatural aspect of God’s Word.  He said that the supernatural occurred by the laying on of hands under the Old Covenant, but under the New Covenant it was merely symbolic.  He was confused. The Old Covenant is symbolic (types and shadows), while the New Covenant is the substance.  The Old Covenant made promises, but the New Covenant delivers them!

The laying on of hands for impartation is New Testament.  It is one of the basic doctrines of Christ (Hebrews 6:1-6).

In many church circles they deny the power of God its rightful place.  Why?  Because they deny that the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Apostle Paul moves now like He did in Bible days.  Many also believe what is called the “passed away” theology – that everything in the Gospels and the book of Acts passed away with the last Apostles.  I DON’T BELIEVE THAT – NEVER HAVE AND NEVER WILL.

I BELIEVE THAT JESUS CHRIST IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER (Hebrews 13:8).

It is no wonder that many people, especially our youngsters, are turning to rock, heavy metal music, grunge music, drugs, alcohol, free sex, and alternate lifestyles.  The yuppie generation is turning to the cults, the psychics and the New Age movement.  This happens because they have a hunger in their hearts for the supernatural.  They want something that is real.  The Church is not meeting or fulfilling the need of the heart of man for the touch of God.

The church has become a referral system.  Alcohol and drug addicts are sent first to other places for rehabilitation, instead of being set free by the power of the Holy Ghost.  God is so awesome and so powerful that if the world could see Him as He really is – they would be changed!

One of the things I have a hard time understanding is that people would want to have a church meeting without God and without His presence.  Is it because, maybe they are afraid that if God manifested His presence then He might offend someone?  Or is it because they might have to change?  Why is it that some people pray for revival, but they don’t welcome or accept it when it comes?  Is it because it is not packaged the way they want it packaged?

They want something that is dignified and something that is acceptable to man.  However the move of God must not become acceptable to man, but man must become acceptable to the move of God.  If you are going to have a church meeting involving Almighty God then something is going to happen.  It is impossible for God’s presence to be made manifest and then nothing happens.

Don’t tell me that the anointing of the Lord was present in a meeting, but nothing happened!  You might have a large church, thousands of people, a beautiful robed choir, beautiful chandeliers, clarinet solos, celebrity speakers, and a large television ministry, but without the anointing and the touch of God – you have nothing at all.

GOD HUMBLES HIMSELF

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

Psalms 113:1-9

“Praise ye the LORD. Praise, O ye servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD. Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore. From the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same the LORD’s name is to be praised. The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. Who is like unto the LORD our God, who dwelleth on high, Who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven, and in the earth! He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth the needy out of the dunghill; That he may set him with princes, even with the princes of his people. He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.”

God is so awesome! He is so great and so mighty—the Creator and the Ruler of the universe! The Lord is high above all nations—His glory is high above the heavens! The whole of creation bows down before Him! Praises ring out to Him from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same! Every created being has to bow their knee at the very mention of His Name! And yet—He humbles Himself to regard the heavens and the earth. It is so wonderful that someone so important and so incredibly magnificent would make the time and the effort to come down to where we are to reach out in love and kindness toward us and to draw us to His side. He comes down to show us that He loves you and me so much! He knows us inside out and He cares about us and pays attention to every detail of our lives.

How wonderful that He would send Jesus—the best that He had, in fact, all that He had—His only begotten Son—to be the mediator of an everlasting covenant between God and man. The Lord came down from Glory to lift us out of the dust and the ash heap and the dunghill of life—and seat us at His own right hand to eat at His table. This is not just for heaven—this is for right here down on earth. The Bible says that there will always be poor people with us, but the good news is that they don’t have to stay poor. There will always be people on the ash heap of life, but they don’t have to remain on that ash heap. God, Himself, has reached down to lift us up out of whatever mess we have gotten ourselves into and to set us at the table of restoration and honor and blessing and provision.

Psalms 138:4-8

All the kings of the earth shall praise thee, O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth. Yea, they shall sing in the ways of the LORD: for great is the glory of the LORD. Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. The LORD will perfect that which concerneth me: thy mercy, O LORD, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.

Even though there is none higher than the Lord and all the kings of the earth praise Him—when we humble our heart in repentance before Him, He reaches down to us, extending His mercy to work on our behalf. He takes all the little broken pieces of our lives—all the things we have messed up, all the things that have gone wrong through the years, all the bad things that have happened to us—and He makes them all right. He will wipe out the past and bring us into a place we have only dreamed of. He turns things right side up and restores the years that the locusts have eaten and He perfects the things that concern us. Who else, but God, would take people from the dunghill and set them at the princes’ table? What an awesome God we serve!

Don’t waste time wallowing in the dust and the ash heap of your sin and your disappointments. Come running to God in humility, admitting your sin and mistakes, and He will wash you, restore you and set you at His table! No matter what life has thrown at you—God can wipe it away and bless you beyond your hopes or dreams!

MAKING A QUALITY DECISION

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

Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.  Luke 9:51 NKJ

 

As we read this passage we can see that Jesus had purpose in His life. He knew exactly what He had to do and the Bible says that when the time had come, He steadfastly, or resolutely, set His face to go and do what He was born to do. When the passage says that He “steadfastly set His face,” it is telling us several things about Jesus.

 

Number One – He knew what His purpose was.

Number Two – He was committed to that purpose.

Number Three – He let nothing distract Him from going to fulfill that purpose.

 

He had made a quality decision.

 

One of the things that I have begun to realize more and more, over twenty years of ministry, is that the reason why some people do and some people don’t make it in their endeavors and in their walk with God is that they are double minded most of the time. You have to make up your mind what you want and go for it. If you don’t know what specific path God has for you personally – don’t sit and wait – doing nothing – go and do what the Bible already told you to do! As you get up and GO into all the world, the Lord will lead you to the next point in your journey. Only a moving ship can be steered, but those that are anchored in the dry docks of indecision will go absolutely nowhere.

 

You need to make a quality decision. A quality decision is one from which there is no turning back. It is set in stone. You make up your mind and you don’t change it for anything or anybody or any pressure or any persecution. We need to make this kind of decision concerning every aspect of our life in order to be successful in life and in order to overcome the plans the enemy tries to have for us.

 

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.  James 1:5-8 NKJ

 

Let me give you some examples of moments in a person’s life, when it is crucial to exercise a quality decision, so that he or she will not be an unstable person and make a mess of their life.

 

Number One – When someone accepts Jesus as his or her Lord and Savior, it must be a quality decision. Otherwise they will be lukewarm, wishy-washy believers – one day up and one day down. One day they will proclaim Him Lord and the next day, when pressure comes, they will deny Him. They will serve Him one day, and the next, when the fleeting pleasure of sin calls to them, they answer the call. Make up your mind whom it is that you will serve!

 

Number Two – A quality decision needs to be made when two people enter into a marriage covenant. If this is not a quality decision, then you will be thinking and talking divorce at the slightest conflict. You cannot be selfish and you cannot always have your own way. You are two completely different individuals. You will feel differently about different things. Make a quality decision to work at your marriage and resolve issues – not to run away from them and each other.

 

Number Three – Everyone must make a quality decision before they enter the ministry. No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.  Luke 9:62 NIV

 

Number Four – In a vocation (a job or career) you must be single minded or else you will be unhappy all the time. You will always be looking for the greener grass on the other side of the fence instead of focusing your talents and energies into the task at hand and doing the best job that you can. You cannot be half-hearted about it. Either stay where you are and work hard, or if you hate your job, hurry up and make the change. Once you make the decision, then you need to bloom where you are planted.

 

There are many other areas that I could bring up. However I wanted to give you some practical, everyday examples that will help you live a life of stability, consistency and joy. Remember you are in it for the long haul. Your life is a steady marathon, not a fleeting 100-yard dash! We have our eyes on the finish line and run we will! Make a quality decision today about every area of your life, that you will do it God’s way and that you will be consistent. You will see stability, peace, and success come to you in everything!

YOUR LABOR IN THE LORD IS NEVER WASTED

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

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].  1 Corinthians 15:58 Amplified

If you are a Christian and you want to please God and be victorious in all you do, the first thing you must be is immovable.  You must be firm in your convictions and steadfast in your commitment.  You must have made up your mind what it is you believe and you must be prepared to stand firm against all opposition and all persecution.

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.  Colossians 2:6-7 NIV

The more you press in to His presence and His Word, the more you are built up in Him and strengthened in your faith and the more solid you become.  You are a rock that does not budge—no matter how huge the waves of persecution and adversity may be.

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”  John 6:28-29 NIV

Everybody thinks that they know what it is to do the works of God.  They imagine that it is something they do by their own effort, but it has much more to do with your faith than your own works.  The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent—Jesus.  The works that please God are the works that spring out of your faith in Jesus—who He is, what He did for us and what He told us to do.  He told us to preach the gospel, to cast out devils, to speak in tongues, to not be afraid of serpents or poison and to lay hands on the sick (Mark 16:15-18)!  We must love, give, pray, forgive, be kind, be patient and be truthful.  These are the works that we should be doing.

We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers.  We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.  1 Thessalonians 1:2-3 NIV

Some people do works that are based on religion, tradition and what they think God would like.  However, your work springs from your faith.  If you really believe something, then you will do only those things that support and spring out of what you believe.  The only work that pleases God is the work that is done according to your faith in God.  Your labor must be prompted and motivated by love.  Anything you do must be because of love—because you love God and because you love people.  Some people labor for recognition or money, but we must labor because we want to serve and to bless.  Your endurance is inspired by hope in Jesus.  You can endure anything, because of the hope that sustains you. You have a hope—a favorable confident expectation—that God’s Word is true and that Jesus is real.  You believe that God is for you, Jesus is with you and the Holy Spirit is in you as your strengthener, teacher, guide and comforter.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.  It is the Lord Christ you are serving.  Colossians 3:23-24 NIV

Whatever work we do must be done as if it is for God Himself.  We should always abound in the work of the Lord—always doing superior work, excelling in what we do, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord.  Because He always does exceedingly abundantly more than we can dream of for us and on our behalf.  He is El Shaddai—the God who is more than enough.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Galatians 6:9 NIV

God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.  Hebrews 6:10 NIV

Your labor in the Lord is not futile—it is never wasted or to no purpose.  Nothing you do is overlooked or forgotten.  God sees everything.  He records every good thing you do.  There is a great reward for you—both here on earth and in eternity.

GOD’S REWARD

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

So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor.

1 Corinthians 3:7-8 NIV

God told Noah that for every seed time there would be a harvest (Genesis 8:22). God is also a rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him out (Hebrews 11:6). We plant, we water, but God gives the increase. He rewards us according to our labor. It is God’s garden. He knows what He wants and where He wants it. We are responsible to find out what our job description is and to do it. God is the One who will pay us our wages at the end of the day.

One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done.  Psalms 62:11-12 NIV

“I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”

Jeremiah 17:10 NIV

Nothing you do for God is forgotten or overlooked. God is watching us. He is searching our heart and examining our mind. There is a reward and He rewards us according to what we have done. We choose the reward we receive according to our deeds, our works and our acts of service.

A kind man benefits himself, but a cruel man brings trouble on himself. The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. The truly righteous man attains life, but he who pursues evil goes to his death.  Proverbs 11:17-19 NIV

Misfortune pursues the sinner, but prosperity is the reward of the righteous.  Proverbs 13:21 NIV

There are no shortcuts in God’s kingdom, no get-rich-quick schemes and no manipulation of the system. You cannot step on other people or abuse them, neither can you lie to God or fool Him. He sees, He knows and He rewards you justly according to your deeds. You must follow His plan and His directions. You must accept His way and follow His path. Then you will be blessed and you will reap the harvest you deserve.

 Hebrews 13:16 says, “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” and Titus 2:14 says that Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.” 

Jesus redeemed us from all wickedness and purified us so that we would have a heart change and be eager to do good. God is pleased when we do good and He rewards our good deeds.

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. He chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.  Hebrews 11:24-26 NIV

Moses, one of God’s great leaders, chose to step down from his exalted and privileged position as Pharaoh’s daughter, to obey and serve God. He took his place with his brothers, choosing to suffer mistreatment and disgrace rather than the treasures of Egypt because he was looking forward to God’s reward. The highest reward you can receive in heaven and on earth is God’s reward.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.  Matthew 16:24-27 NIV

You could own the whole world with a gold fence around it, but it could not compare with God’s reward for those who have laid down every thing for Him and given Him their every thing. If you want God’s reward, you must lay down your life and you must place it in His hands. God is your rewarder!

BE WISE AND YOU WILL LIVE LONG AND PROSPER

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

When the time drew near for David to die, he gave a charge to Solomon his son. 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth,” he said. “So be strong, show yourself a man, 3 and observe what the LORD your God requires: Walk in his ways, and keep his decrees and commands, his laws and requirements, as written in the Law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all you do and wherever you go, 4 and that the LORD may keep his promise to me: `If your descendants watch how they live, and if they walk faithfully before me with all their heart and soul, you will never fail to have a man on the throne of Israel.’  1 Kings 2:1-4 NIV

David was a great king because he was a humble man, righteous and upright. Because he honored God all the days of his life, God placed him on the throne and kept him on the throne, promising him that his descendants would always sit on the throne as long as they honored Him. God’s promise to David was so powerful that even though David’s descendants were disobedient and lost control of Israel, God still kept them on the throne of Judah.

David was a wise man because he was submitted God and to His commandments. He accepted the will of God for his life and even when he sinned, he bore the consequences of his sin humbly and did not try to justify himself or blame God in any way for his own mistakes. He tried to teach Solomon what to do to prosper and to remain on the throne as God had promised to David’s seed. David realized that access to the throne was a privilege and not a right.

At Gibeon the LORD appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 6 Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day. 7 “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties. 8 Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. 9 So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” 10 The Lord was pleased that Solomon had asked for this. 11 So God said to him, “Since you have asked for this and not for long life or wealth for yourself, nor have asked for the death of your enemies but for discernment in administering justice, 12 I will do what you have asked. I will give you a wise and discerning heart, so that there will never have been anyone like you, nor will there ever be. 13 Moreover, I will give you what you have not asked for-both riches and honor-so that in your lifetime you will have no equal among kings. 14 And if you walk in my ways and obey my statutes and commands as David your father did, I will give you a long life.”  1 Kings 3:5-14 NIV

In verse 9 in the Amplified Bible, it says that when God asked Solomon what He could give him, Solomon asked God for an understanding mind and a hearing heart that he might discern between good and bad in order to justly judge God’s people. He recognized that the people were God’s people and not his. He also acknowledged that he needed God’s help. Because he did not ask for long life or for riches or for the lives of his enemies, but for understanding to recognize what is just and right, God gave him a wise and discerning heart, riches and honor and – as a condition: if he would walk in God’s ways keeping and obeying His statutes and commands as David his father did – God promised to lengthen his days as well.

My son, do not forget my teaching, but keep my commands in your heart, 2 for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity.  Proverbs 3:1-2 NIV

If you want to live a long time and prosper then be wise – do not forget the word of God and make sure that you keep His commands in your heart.

JESUS-OUR JUBILEE

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

The Lord began dealing with me recently about the Year of Jubilee. I believe that this is our Year of Jubilee! In Nazareth, at His local Synagogue, Jesus was handed the book of Isaiah and He read from chapter 61:

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed one, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], 19 To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound.] Luke 4:18-19 AMP

Jesus preached that the acceptable year of the Lord was here—the Year of Jubilee, which took place every 50th year—the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound (Leviticus 25). What Jesus was really saying was, “I am your Year of Jubilee!”

THE LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 Say to the Israelites, When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a sabbath to the Lord. 3 For six years you shall sow your field, and for six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its fruits. 4 But in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord; you shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. 5 What grows of itself in your harvest you shall not reap and the grapes on your uncultivated vine you shall not gather, for it is a year of rest to the land. 6 And the sabbath rest of the [untilled] land shall [in its increase] furnish food for you, for your male and female slaves, your hired servant, and the temporary resident who lives with you, 7 For your domestic animals also and for the [wild] beasts in your land; all its yield shall be for food.8 And you shall number seven sabbaths or weeks of years for you, seven times seven years, so the total time of the seven weeks of years shall be forty-nine years. 9 Then you shall sound abroad the loud trumpet on the tenth day of the seventh month [almost October]; on the Day of Atonement blow the trumpet in all your land. 10 And you shall hallow the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his ancestral possession [which through poverty he was compelled to sell], and each of you shall return to his family [from whom he was separated in bond service]. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee for you; in it you shall not sow, or reap and store what grows of itself, or gather the grapes of the uncultivated vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you; you shall eat the [sufficient] increase of it out of the field. 13 In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his ancestral property. 14 And if you sell anything to your neighbor or buy from your neighbor, you shall not wrong one another. Leviticus 25:1-14 AMP

Under the Old Covenant every seventh year was a time to let the ground rest so that it could recover and come back stronger, producing a stronger, healthier, more abundant harvest. But the fiftieth year—Jubilee—was an extra special year. It was a Holy year. In the last year, before the year of rest, God caused the ground to produce three times as much fruit so that His people could eat and be satisfied whilst the ground rested and whilst they rested in His goodness.

Jubilee is a year of faith—where you rest from your own labors and your own efforts—allowing God’s goodness to lead you and feed you. God wants us to remember that it is He Who watches over us, feeding us, guiding us, and providing for us. If we forget this, we will wear ourselves out with our own efforts, but if we remember that He is the source of our life and every good thing in our life, then we can relax in Him and focus on worshipping Him and yielding to Him.

Jubilee is a time to let slaves go free, to redeem what has been lost and to reach out and help both family and neighbors and those who cannot help themselves. In the year of Jubilee, even though you do not plow or prune or sow, you are still able to eat of the fruit that the ground produces.

You cannot reap from a field that you have never sown, but when you have faithfully sown and sown and sown and then God calls a Jubilee year for you, then you know that it is a year of rest for you, a year of extra blessings, a year of eating from the abundance of the provision that your Father has provided for you as you rest in Him.

When Jesus said, “Today is this scripture fulfilled in your ears,” the people of Nazareth were very angry with Him and did not receive Him, but I declare to you today that Jesus is YOUR Jubilee—if you receive Him you will go free! Jesus has come to restore your joy, your family, your property and your inheritance. Every promise that God has made you in His Word is yours.

So receive Him as your Jubilee—rest in Him and enjoy His blessings.