HIS COVENANT

Thoughts on Stewardship
Lesson No. 19 from Deuteronomy

His Covenant and His Mercy
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 7 verses 11 – 15

You shall therefore keep and do the instruction, laws, and precepts which I command you this day. 12 And if you hearken to these precepts and keep and do them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which He swore to your fathers. 13 And He will love you, bless you, and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your land, your grain, your new wine, and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock in the land which He swore to your fathers to give you. 14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt which you knew will He put upon you, but will lay them upon all who hate you.  Deuteronomy 7:11-15 AMP

1.  God promised the Israelites that if they kept His commandments and did them, He would keep His Covenant with them and He would continue to show them mercy and steadfast love, just as He had promised to their forefathers. He said:

a.  I will love you
b.  I will bless you
c.  I will multiply you
d.  I will bless the fruit of your womb
e.  I will the fruit of your land
f.   I will bless your corn
g.  I will bless your wine
h.  I will bless your oil
i.   I will bless the increase of your cattle
j.   I will bless the flocks of your sheep
k.  I will bless you in your own land that I promised to give you.
l.   You will be blessed above all people
m. No male and female among you will be barren
n.  Your cattle will not be barren
o.  I will take away all sickness and disease from you

2.  God promised all this to the children of Israel under the Old Covenant, which is a type and shadow of the covenant we have today–the New Covenant–a more powerful covenant, based upon better promises. It makes you wonder why people today have a hard time grasping the fact that God loves them so much and that He wants to bless them. How much more, under the New Covenant, based on much better promises, would the Lord not want to bless you exceedingly? He loves people and knows what they need. He cares about, and wants to be involved, in the affairs of mankind, but He needs an invitation. One of the pre-requisites for walking in the blessings of this Covenant, and His mercy, is to obey Him, serve Him, and do what He wants you to do–then you will be blessed! Always remember that faith begins where the will of God is known. If you know what His will is, then you will be able to receive His will and walk in His will and you will not settle for anything that the devil has to offer.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
God has given us a free will. We have the right to serve Him or not. However, there is a blessing that comes with obedience and a curse that comes with disobedience. The way it works is: obedience takes you into God’s jurisdiction and disobedience takes you into the devil’s jurisdiction. If we have any sense at all, we would believe God and take Him at His word. We would make sure to keep His commandments and be a doer of the word. One thing that always stands out in the Word of God is just how amazingly generous the Lord is with us. He is always looking for an opportunity to bless us and He always multiplies what He has already given to us.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
One of the things I realized, early in my life, was the fact that God had a plan for my life and that if I was to fulfill God’s plan for my life, then it was up to me to change and do whatever it takes to line myself up with God’s will and His plan. This was hard at first, because people don’t usually want to change–you would rather change your circumstances, your surroundings, or the other people in your life. Change is not easy. Often we would rather blame others and make them the reason why we are not blessed and why we don’t succeed. However, when I lined myself up with the will of God and obeyed Him–then the blessing began to come. I encourage you–make the change today and see the hand of God revealed in your life. Enter into His covenant and experience His mercy!

Prayer and Confession:
Father, help me to obey You and do Your will, and Your will alone. Then I know that I will see Your mercy and Your steadfast love; and Your grace and favor will rest upon me all the days of my life.

GOD – NOT MAN

God – not man – instituted the offering
Lesson No. 17 from Leviticus

Foundation Scriptures: Leviticus 1 verse 1 – 17
The Lord called to Moses out of the Tent of Meeting, and said to him, 2 Say to the Israelites, When any man of you brings an offering to the Lord, you shall bring your offering of [domestic] animals from the herd or from the flock. 3 If his offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he shall offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it at the door of the Tent of Meeting, that he may be accepted before the Lord. 4 And he shall lay [both] his hands upon the head of the burnt offering [transferring symbolically his guilt to the victim], and it shall be an acceptable atonement for him. 5 The man shall kill the young bull before the Lord, and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall present the blood and dash [it] round about upon the altar that is at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 6 And he shall skin the burnt offering and cut it into pieces. 7 And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and lay wood in order on the fire; 8 And Aaron’s sons the priests shall lay the pieces, the head and the fat, in order on the wood on the fire on the altar. 9 But its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire, a sweet and satisfying odor to the Lord. 10 And if the man’s offering is of the flock, from the sheep or the goats, for a burnt offering, he shall offer a male without blemish. 11 And he shall kill it on the north side of the altar before the Lord, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall dash its blood round about against the altar. 12 And [the man] shall cut it into pieces, with its head and its fat, and the priest shall lay them in order on the wood that is on the fire on the altar. 13 But he shall wash the entrails and legs with water. The priest shall offer all of it and burn it on the altar; it is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet and satisfying fragrance to the Lord. 14 And if the offering to the Lord is a burnt offering of birds, then [the man] shall bring turtledoves or young pigeons. 15 And the priest shall bring it to the altar, and wring off its head, and burn it on the altar; and its blood shall be drained out on the side of the altar. 16 And he shall take away its crop with its feathers and cast it beside the altar on the east side, in the place for ashes. 17 And he shall split it open [holding it] by its wings, but shall not cut it in two. And the priest shall burn it on the altar, on the wood that is on the fire; it is a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, a sweet and satisfying odor to the Lord.  Leviticus 1:1-17 AMP

1. The offering is God’s idea:

a. In verse 2, Moses gave instructions to the people of how they were to bring their offering to the Lord.

b. It’s not just about bringing an offering – it’s about bringing an offering that is acceptable to the Lord.

c. Verses 9, 13, and 17 speak of the burning of the offering, by fire, as a sweet, and satisfying odor to the Lord.

d. Barnes’ Notes says: “The substance of the victim was regarded not as something to be consumed, but as an offering of a sweet-smelling savor sent up in the flame to Yahweh.”

e. When you present an offering to the Lord, it is not lost or “consumed”, but it rises as a sweet savor to Him.

N.B. We need to realize that offerings are not man’s idea, but God’s idea. The Lord asks for our offering and He receives it as a sweet and satisfying fragrance or an odor when we bring it in faith as an act of worship and obedience.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
The burnt offering was offered as atonement for sin and it was pleasing to God. A burnt offering can never be retracted by man – you can’t ask for it back. Once it is given and burned it is well and truly God’s. Before you give this offering, you must totally commit it to God and leave it with Him. Ephesians 5:2 says that Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us. He was a slain offering for you and I and a sacrifice to God. He personally became that sweet fragrance. God looks upon the heart. When you give out of love and obedience, your offering smells fragrantly sweet to the Lord.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
When we come to worship the Lord, we build an altar to the Lord and offer our gifts upon this altar. Throughout this passage, as Moses speaks of how God desires the offering to be presented and burned, he mentions the sweet and satisfying odor of the burnt offering to the Lord. God receives our gifts and they come up before Him as a sweet smell and a fragrance. The scripture speaks of our praise and worship as a sacrifice of praise, God is waiting to receive from us, even as we are waiting to receive from Him.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank you that I have the privilege to honor you and worship you with my giving. Please accept these gifts. May they be a sweet and satisfying odor to you!

WATERING CAMELS

Thoughts on Stewardship
Lesson No. 8 from Genesis

Watering Camels – Being a Blessing – will open the Way to Your Destiny
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 24 verses 10-53

And he said, I am Abraham’s servant. 35 And the Lord has blessed my master mightily, and he has become great; and He has given him flocks, herds, silver, gold, menservants, maidservants, camels, and asses. 36 And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old, and to him he has given all that he has. 37 And my master made me swear, saying, You must not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I dwell, 38 But you shall go to my father’s house and to my family and take a wife for my son. 39 And I said to my master, But suppose the woman will not follow me. 40 And he said to me, The Lord, in Whose presence I walk [habitually], will send His Angel with you and prosper your way, and you will take a wife for my son from my kindred and from my father’s house. 41 Then you shall be clear from my oath, when you come to my kindred; and if they do not give her to you, you shall be free and innocent of my oath. 42 I came today to the well and said, O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if You are now causing me to go on my way prosperously 43 See, I am standing by the well of water; now let it be that when the maiden comes out to draw water and I say to her, I pray you, give me a little water from your [water] jar to drink, 44 And if she says to me, You drink, and I will draw water for your camels also, let that same woman be the one whom the Lord has selected and indicated for my master’s son. 45 And before I had finished praying in my heart, behold, Rebekah came out with her [water] jar on her shoulder, and she went down to the well and drew water. And I said to her, I pray you, let me have a drink. 46 And she quickly let down her [water] jar from her shoulder and said, Drink, and I will water your camels also. So I drank, and she gave the camels drink also. 47 I asked her, Whose daughter are you? She said, The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him. And I put the earring or nose ring on her face and the bracelets on her arms. 48 And I bowed down my head and worshiped the Lord and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, Who had led me in the right way to take my master’s brother’s daughter to his son.   Genesis 24:34-48 AMP

1. Abraham wanted a wife for Isaac, so he sent his servant, Eliezer, with a solemn pledge that he would not come back without a wife for Isaac. Eliezer prayed and asked God to bring the right girl to him. When he asked Rebekah for a little water from her jar, she offered to water his camels as well—all of them—which was a huge undertaking! Eliezer brought ten camels and camels will drink about 25 gallons each! At that time, wells were set down low in the ground, where the water was, and also to minimize evaporation. You would need to go down about 50 steps to draw water in jars that usually held about 3 gallons apiece. That means that Rebekah had to make 8.33 trips per camel—83.3 trips or 4,165 steps for 10 camels.

2. This was no easy task—it was no walk in the park—but her humility, hospitality, and generosity opened wide the door of God’s blessing in her life. This seemingly small moment in her life changed her destiny and established her place in history as a mother of a nation. What seemingly insignificant moment in your life will turn out to be a hugely significant and pivotal moment depending on your response to the opportunity? One act of humility, generosity, and hospitality may determine your destiny.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
People don’t always recognize opportunities when they come, because they are selfish and self-centered and looking for the blessing of God for themselves, but not for opportunities to BE a blessing. God wants us to focus on being a blessing to others and trust Him enough to allow Him to bless us as He sees fit. God expects us to be submitted to His Word and to do the things He tells us in His Word. When we do, we will not miss His master plan for our life, because we will do the right thing when our opportunity comes and we will find ourselves in the center of His will!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
Many people miss their God-ordained destiny, because they are waiting to be served rather than being willing to serve. There are opportunities that pass people by on a regular basis—the word declares that whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. When I was a child, I purposed in my heart that I would get involved in everything that I could in order to serve God. I cleaned toilets and helped in every area of ministry, from tape duplication, to sound, to ushering, etc. If you take the opportunities the Lord gives you to serve, then He will open other doors for you. When I started out in the ministry, I would take time to drive men of God around and wait on them and serve them. Even now, if I get the opportunity to serve a man or a woman of God, I do it—whatever it takes—if it means getting up early or going without sleep; if it means going out of my way or going without. No matter how much God promotes, we are called still to be a servant. I know that the Lord will bless me as I serve His people and as I sow into the lives of other people. Always remember to be willing to give and to serve.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, please help me to be more of a servant in my daily life and to be willing to do even the smallest of tasks to benefit others. Help me to never become proud or arrogant, so that I will not miss my date with destiny.

IF GOD HEARS YOUR PRAYER

And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15 And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
1 John 5:14-15 AMP

The Bible tells us that if God hears our prayers that He also answers them. How can you have confidence that He will hear your prayers and therefore answer them?

For we do not have a High Priest Who is unable to understand and sympathize and have a shared feeling with our weaknesses and infirmities and liability to the assaults of temptation, but one Who has been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning. 16 Let us then fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].  Hebrews 4:15-16 AMP

Only the righteous can come into God’s presence to ask for help and be heard. If you are washed in the blood of Jesus and if He is your High Priest, you can have confidence to come into God’s presence to ask boldly for what you need. The guilty are not bold to come into God’s presence, but God expects the righteous to be bold! Boldness is a manifestation of faith —faith in God’s grace and His promises—and God always honors faith.

You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.  James 4:2-3 AMP

If you want an answer, you need to first ask. If you don’t ask God for what you need, how can He give it to you? Also, if you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives, with the intention of satisfying your carnal desires, then God will not answer you then either.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.  Psalms 66:18 AMP

Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened at all, that it cannot save, nor His ear dull with deafness, that it cannot hear. 2 But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear.  Isaiah 59:1-2 AMP

God is not powerless or unwilling to help you, neither is He deaf so that He cannot hear, but if you are disobedient and if you sin willfully, then He will not hear your prayers, because your sin has separated you from Him and His presence.

What man is he who desires life and longs for many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit. 14 Depart from evil and do good; seek, inquire for, and crave peace and pursue (go after) it! 15 The eyes of the Lord are toward the [uncompromisingly] righteous and His ears are open to their cry. 16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. 17 When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles. 18 The Lord is close to those who are of a broken heart and saves such as are crushed with sorrow for sin and are humbly and thoroughly penitent.  Psalms 34:12-18 AMP

The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, but the eyes of the Lord see the uncompromisingly righteous and His ears are open to their cry. The righteous are those who have humbly received the grace of God and who know that they are made righteous only by the grace and mercy of God. They work daily to keep their heart right with God. When the righteous cry for help, the Lord pays attention to them, and delivers them out of all their distress and troubles.

The Lord is [rigidly] righteous in all His ways and gracious and merciful in all His works. 18 The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him sincerely and in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desires of those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them.  Psalm.s 145:17-19 AMP

When you reverently and worshipfully fear the Lord and when you call upon Him sincerely and in truth, He will hear your cry and will save you and fulfill not only your needs, but also your desires.

GOD’S DIRECTION

Thoughts on Stewardship – Lesson 26 from Deuteronomy
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 15 verse 1-11

The poor you will have with you always
God’s direction concerning our attitude and actions toward those in need

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, his brother, for the Lord’s release is proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner you may exact it, but whatever of yours is with your brother [Israelite] your hand shall release. 4 But there will be no poor among you, for the Lord will surely bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance to possess, 5 If only you carefully listen to the voice of the Lord your God, to do watchfully all these commandments which I command you this day. 6 When the Lord your God blesses you as He promised you, then you shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow; and you shall rule over many nations, but they shall not rule over you. 7 If there is among you a poor man, one of your kinsmen in any of the towns of your land which the Lord your God gives you, you shall not harden your [minds and] hearts or close your hands to your poor brother; 8 But you shall open your hands wide to him and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need in whatever he lacks. 9 Beware lest there be a base thought in your [minds and] hearts, and you say, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand, and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and it be sin in you. 10 You shall give to him freely without begrudging it; because of this the Lord will bless you in all your work and in all you undertake. 11 For the poor will never cease out of the land; therefore I command you, You shall open wide your hands to your brother, to your needy, and to your poor in your land.  Deuteronomy 15:1-11 AMP

1.  God’s way of ensuring that there was no poor amongst His people was to apply what was called a Sabbath Year of Release every seven years.

a. This meant that anyone, who had lent money or goods to his neighbor, and not been repaid after six years, was to forgive his neighbor of that debt
b. If it was a foreigner – an outsider – who owed the debt, they could still collect it

2.  There shall be no poor among you, for the Lord will bless you to be a blessing

a. The Lord will bless you if you will carefully listen to the Lord your God and watchfully do all His commandments and bless your neighbor
b. When you bless your neighbor and then when the Lord God blesses you as He has promised: i) you shall lend to many nations and shall not borrow; ii) you shall rule over many nations, but they will not rule over you

3.  Directions given by God on what to do when your neighbor is in need:

a. You must have a soft heart and an open hand to the needy
b. You should open your hand wide to him – you shall lend him sufficient for his needs
c. If you try to ignore your obligation and squirm out of it, you will get into trouble with God!
d. You will give it to the needy freely, without grudging. Because of this, the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake

4.  The poor will never cease out of the land

a. You will always have the needy people to help
b. You should always open wide your hands to your brother and the poor and needy in your land

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
God loves people and He expects us to love and care for one another. Most people read the Law and see the rules and the regulations; they see the penalties and punishments. They look on the external. However, if you understand that God is love and you realize that mercy is His primary motivation, you read the Law with different eyes. You see that the whole law can truly be summed up in just two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. Also – obey God cheerfully, with your whole heart, not grudgingly. It is not merely actions that God rewards, it is attitude. When you get a revelation that you are God’s hands in the earth and that you are doing His work and that He will make sure that you are personally blessed and abundantly taken care of, and you freely give your help, then you will open your life to the full blessing of God. If you consider the poor, God will deliver you in your time of trouble, preserve you and keep you alive, bless you on the earth, protect you from your enemies, and strengthen and sustain you when sickness attacks! (Psalms 41:1-3)

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
It is amazing to me how many people expect the blessing of the Lord on their life, and yet they are stingy and selfish when it comes to forgiving others of their debts or blessing the poor. God, under the Old Covenant, ensured that people could get a new start. Today, the only way for a person to get a new start is through bankruptcy – which is not a blessing. Some people have a negative attitude toward the poor and the needy. They feel that it’s not their problem, or that the poor are taking advantage by asking. However, God has compassion on the poor. He said that he who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, and that which he has given He will repay to him. (Proverbs 19:17 AMP)

Prayer and Confession:
Father God, I thank you for a heart that is soft toward the things of God and toward the needy. Thank you, Lord, that I am generous and willing to help people and also to release people from debt if necessary. Therefore I thank you for your blessing upon my work and on all that I undertake.

Joseph: From the Pit, to the Prison, to the Palace

Genesis 37:11-14 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying. And his brethren went to feed their father’s flock in Shechem. And Israel said unto Joseph, Do not thy brethren feed the flock in Shechem? come, and I will send thee unto them. And he said to him, Here am I. And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.

Joseph was only age 17; his brothers hated him because his father favored him.

Genesis 37:20 Come now therefore, and let us slay him, and cast him into some pit, and we will say, Some evil beast hath devoured him: and we shall see what will become of his dreams.

Do not allow anyone to stop you from dreaming. It’s time to dream again.

Genesis 37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stript Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him.

Genesis 39:1-8 And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites, which had brought him down thither. And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand. And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him: and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he had he put into his hand. And it came to pass from the time that he had made him overseer in his house, and over all that he had, that the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field. And he left all that he had in Joseph’s hand; and he knew not ought he had, save the bread which he did eat. And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured. And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me. But he refused, and said unto his master’s wife, Behold, my master wotteth not what is with me in the house, and he hath committed all that he hath to my hand.

Potiphar’s wife lied and said that Joseph tried to commit adultery with her.

Genesis 39:20-23 And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison. But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison. And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it. The keeper of the prison looked not to any thing that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.

It’s how you handle the pit and the prison that will determine if you make it to the palace.

Pharaoh’s butler and baker were thrown into prison. Joseph interpreted their dreams correctly that in 3 days the butler was restored and the baker was hanged.

Genesis 41:1 And it came to pass at the end of two full years, that Pharaoh dreamed: and, behold, he stood by the river.

Genesis 41:8 And it came to pass in the morning that his spirit was troubled; and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof: and Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.

Genesis 41:14-16 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it. And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

Joseph interprets Pharaoh’s dream that there will be 7 years of plenty and 7 years of famine and then he gave Pharaoh the strategy or blueprint to save not only Egypt but ultimately all countries.

Genesis 41:39-44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt. And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 41:57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands.

Deuteronomy 15:6 For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee.

God gave Joseph position and favor. He had such Godly wisdom and insight that when the entire world was in a famine, they came to buy from him. He had the solution.

The wealth of the world came to Egypt.

The wealth of the world did not change Joseph.

God is raising up “Josephs.”

Joseph was in the right place when he was in the pit, prison, & palace.

Forgive everyone who has ever hurt you. Do not allow an offense to hinder your promotion.

It’s time to dream again.

YOUR EYES ARE THE LIGHT OF YOUR BODY

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

Foundation Scripture: Luke 11:33-34  (AMP)

  • 33       No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or crypt or under a bushel measure, but on a lampstand, that those who are coming in may see the light.
  • 34       Your eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye (your conscience) is sound and fulfilling its office, your whole body is full of light; but when it is not sound and is not fulfilling its office, your body is full of darkness.
  • 35       Be careful, therefore, that the light that is in you is not darkness.

 

According to the scriptures, the word “eye” is used to denote more than just your physical eye. The word “eye” is used to represent your attitude as well. As you can see from the scripture above, your conscience is the thing that influences your behavior and your attitude and even what you choose to look at with your natural eye.

 

Your physical eye is an extremely important organ in your body. If it is damaged or destroyed, it could threaten your life, because you need your eyes to keep you from danger and to find food and shelter. If you are blind, you are not 100% self-sufficient – you need to be helped by others. Heathen nations, in past generations would put out one or both of their enemy’s eyes because it humiliated them and left them powerless.

 

Judges 16:21  (NKJ)

21         Then the Philistines took him and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza. They bound him with bronze fetters, and he became a grinder in the prison.

 

The word “eye” is also used figuratively as the eye of the heart or mind – the organ of spiritual perception, which could be either blind to the things of God or enlightened or opened to see and understand spiritual things.

 

Matthew 13:13  (NAS)

13         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

 

Ephesians 1:18  (NKJ)

18         the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,

 

“Eye” is used as an index of the mind or disposition of man. According to the Bible, you can have a “good” or “bountiful” eye or “proud” or “haughty” eyes or “lowly” or “adulterous” eyes. Emotions, such as anger, are also reflected in and through your eyes.

 

Proverbs 22:9  (NKJ)

9          He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.

 

Proverbs 6:16-17  (NKJ)

16         These six things the LORD hates, yes, seven are an abomination to Him:

17         A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood,

 

Psalm 18:27  (NKJ)

27        For You will save the humble people, but will bring down haughty looks.

 

Matthew 5:28  (NKJ)

28        “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

 

When your conscience is sound – it is honest and righteous. When your conscience is honest and righteous – it is fulfilling its office and doing what it should do and your whole body is full of the light of God’s presence. God’s Spirit will shine through you for others to see. When your sound conscience directs your thoughts and actions, you will not think or do things that are sinful or evil.

 

You protect your conscience by protecting your eyes and being careful of what you look at with your eyes. You also protect your eyes with your conscience – you will not stare at a woman lustfully if your conscience is doing its job. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that you are shining with the light of God. You must be living and walking in a way that glorifies God. If you are sinning then you walk in spiritual darkness, even though you are saved.

 

So, protect your eyes and protect your conscience and your whole body will be full of the light of God.

BLESS THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU

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

Matthew 5:10-16  (NKJ)

10      Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11       “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12      “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

13      “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

14      “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.

15      “Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.

16      “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

When you are born again, filled with the Spirit of God and doing the works of Jesus – don’t think that it is going to be an easy ride. The devil stirred up the religious folks against Jesus and he will stir them up against you. You cannot afford to get angry and to fight with people, because they are not your problem. Neither can you back away from the truth and the power of God or compromise. You have to realize that you cannot take persecution personally. Be bold to let your light shine brightly. God will specially bless you for your patience and your faithfulness and people will acknowledge your good works and glorify God.

 

Matthew 5:21-24  (NKJ)

21      “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,’ and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.

22      “But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

23      “Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

24      “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

 

It is important that you walk in love and forgiveness toward your brother (or sister) in the Lord. If you have hate, anger and bitterness in your heart, your fellowship and relationship with the Lord will be negatively affected. We cannot have boldness in the presence of God with unforgiveness in our lives. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God.

 

Matthew 5:43-48  (NKJ)

43      “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

44      “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

45      “that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

46      “For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?

47      “And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so?

48      “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

 

Most people are kind and pleasant to those they love and who love them, but God says that we should love, forgive, bless and pray for those who are mean to us and who persecute us. When you bless your enemies, you demonstrate that there is something different about you – different than the rest of the world – you are a child of God. When you are angry and bitter, you are all bound up and in debt to the one you hate. When you bless your enemies you are released and free. They have no power over you. When you walk in forgiveness and bless your enemies – they have no power to affect you negatively. You are lifted above the fray.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS PEACE

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

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

Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 NIV

On the cross, Jesus bore the punishment that was due us, to bring us peace. The peace He paid for is peace with God. Unless you are reconciled to God and He has forgiven you and you are brought into right standing with Him – you cannot begin to know peace in any form.

“There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.” Isaiah 48:22 NKJ

For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us. Ephesians 2:14 KJV

When sin entered into the heart of man, peace departed. Where there was once fellowship with God, there was suddenly a wall of partition, with God on one side and man on the other. It was an impenetrable wall that divided God and man and held them at a distance, man having become an enemy of God. Never again would man know peace without divine intervention, because his heart was wicked and full of sin. Jesus came to earth, God in human form, to pay the price, shed His blood, die and rise again, bringing down the wall that separated man from God. Man could once again freely enter into the fellowship and presence of God!

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NKJ

In God, our future is peace. He desires peace for us and His plans for us are peaceful plans, to give us hope and a future. We can walk in His peace and we can know His peace if we will walk in obedience to His Word. When you are at peace with God and when your heart is right with God, you will live always in peace.

Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace. Psalms 37:37 NKJ

We can walk in His peace and we can know His peace if we will be full of His Word.

Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. Psalms 119:165 NKJ

My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you. Proverbs 3:1-2 NKJ

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 NKJ

God’s Word will fill you up with faith and hope. You must meditate on it day and night, filling up your mind and thoughts with God’s Word. God’s Word needs to be in your mind and on your lips. It must become a real and living thing to you and you need to see and understand God’s plans for your life now and in your future. If you meditate on what the devil wants you to meditate on – his thoughts and plans for you – you will be tormented and full of fear. You must fill your thoughts with things of the Spirit of God, not with the things of the flesh. God’s plans for you must dominate your thought life if you truly want to walk in His peace. Peace is not the absence of conflict in your circumstances, but it is the presence of God in your life that will carry you through every adverse circumstance of your life.

For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Romans 8:6 KJV

1 John 5:14-15 says that if you pray according to His will, He hears you and if He hears you, then He will answer your prayer. Do not be worried or anxious about anything. Whatever you need – you can tell God about it and then you can relax and enjoy His peace, knowing that your situation is in God’s hands and that He is faithful and can be trusted to work everything out for your benefit. Then His peace will guard and garrison your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJ

CAN GOD TRUST YOU WITH UNLIMITED ANOINTING?

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

For since He Whom God has sent speaks the words of God [proclaims God’s own message], God does not give Him His Spirit sparingly or by measure, but boundless is the gift God makes of His Spirit! The Father loves the Son and has given (entrusted, committed) everything into His hand.  John 3:34-35

Jesus had an unlimited supply of the anointing of the Holy Spirit upon His life. He was not anointed sparingly or by measure, but the Father furnished Him with a boundless quantity of His Spirit. This is because Jesus spoke the words of God. He spoke the words that His Father told Him to speak and only those words. He added nothing in and He left nothing out. He proclaimed God’s own message. He was not a lone ranger. He did nothing on a whim. He was completely led and directed by the Holy Spirit and totally yielded and submitted to Him. God trusted Him implicitly.

Jesus came into this world with a mission. God had a specific plan and a purpose for Him. His whole life, death and resurrection were planned and mapped out by the Father and He submitted His will to the will of God. Jesus said what God told Him to say, He did what God told Him to do and He went where God told Him to go. He did nothing on His own.

In Deuteronomy 18:18-20 there is a prophecy about Jesus, “I will raise up for them a prophet (Prophet) from among their brethren like you, and will put My words in his mouth; and he shall speak to them all that I command him. And whoever will not hearken to My words which he shall speak in My name, I Myself will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.”

It was Jesus’ responsibility to speak the words that God put in His mouth and our responsibility to hear and obey those words. We are held accountable for the Word that we know and yet do not submit to. We must be doers of the Word and not just hearers only.

Then they said to Him, “Who are You?” And Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been saying to you from the beginning. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but He who sent Me is true; and I speak to the world those things which I heard from Him.” They did not understand that He spoke to them of the Father. Then Jesus said to them, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He, and that I do nothing of Myself; but as My Father taught Me, I speak these things. And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.”  John 8:25-29 NKJV

Just as Jesus submitted Himself to the will of the Father, so too must we submit ourselves to His will if we desire to please Him. Jesus was God Himself, equal with the Father, and yet He submitted to the Father. We ought also to submit to the plan of God for our lives. We should commit ourselves to first hear from God and then to speak what He tells us to speak.

We have a responsibility, before God, to speak His words and not our own. Under the law, the punishment for a prophet who claimed to speak for God when God had not commanded him to speak—was death. A prophet who spoke on behalf of another god would also die. We live in a dispensation of God’s grace, but our responsibility before Him is the same. There is an ultimate truth—God’s Word is truth. We must embrace the truth, we must love the truth, and we must speak the truth. The anointing follows the truth and confirms the truth.

Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.  John 17:17 NKJV

Everybody is searching for the truth. Many people, who do not believe God’s Word, claim to have found the truth outside of God’s Word, even though the “truths” they have found are different from other people’s “truths.” People try to say that the truth is whatever you decide that it is. But there can be only one truth. That one truth is rigid and unmoving. Truth is truth and it cannot change—that’s what makes it the TRUTH. You can’t bend it and you can’t twist it. God’s Word is the ultimate truth. It is not our job to decide whether God’s Word is true or not, but it is our job to obey itcompletely and speak it accurately and boldly. The anointing is on the Word of God. If we want God’s anointing, we will do His will and speak His Word.

I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.  John 5:30 NKJV

The life and ministry of Dr. Rodney Howard Browne

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