Finding My Individual Purpose For My Life—Part Two

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

February: My Mission

Foundation Scriptures: Hebrews 12:1-2 and John 15:1-16

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. 9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  John 15:1-16 NKJV

1. Desire—how to find out what God has called you to do.

Psalms 37:4 NKJV—Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Mark 11:22-24 NKJV—So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
The power of desire is born out of faith—out of your heart when you:

  • Abide in Him and His words abide in you. (John  15:7)
  • 1 Peter 4:11 NKJV—If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
  • Speak God’s desire out of your mouth—God’s mouthpiece.
  • John 15:8 AMP—When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
  • Glorify God by bearing much fruit.
  • Remember that the tongue is the rudder of your ship.
  • James 3:4 AMP—Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines.
  • Have a pure heart. Pure desires spring from a pure heart.

d. John 15:7 NKJV—If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

4. What is your desire?

Your desire is that feeling within that is intense; deep; a yearning; your soul crying out; it stirs you; it’s a fire; a passion; coming out of a pure heart.
Pure heart for God—pure desire from God.
Stir up the gift of God—the gracious inner fire.
2 Timothy 1:5-7 NKJV …when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also. 6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

5. How to find your passion.

Habakkuk 2:2-3—write it down; write the vision; it is for an appointed time.
Out of it, will come the plan of God.
Speak it out—set your course through faith and patience.
Stay focused and don’t allow any distractions from your assigned and chosen course.

Ten Reasons to Give Thanks to God

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

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!  Psalms 118:1 AMP

Ten Reasons to Give Thanks to God:

1.  For He is good

Psalms 118:29 AMP – O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.
Psalms 34:8 AMP – O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
Psalms 73:1 AMP – Truly God is [only] good to Israel, even to those who are upright and pure in heart.
Psalms 86:5 AMP – 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.
Psalms 100:5 AMP – For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.
Psalms 119:68 AMP – You are good and kind and do good; teach me Your statutes.

2.  His mercy endures forever

Psalms 118:1-4 AMP – O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! 2 Let Israel now say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever. 3 Let the house of Aaron [the priesthood] now say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever. 4 Let those now who reverently and worshipfully fear the Lord say that His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever.

3.  The Lord answered me

Psalms 118:5 AMP – Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place.
Psalms 99:6 AMP – Moses and Aaron were among His priests, and Samuel was among those who called upon His name; they called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
Psalms 120:1 AMP – In my distress I cried to the Lord, and He answered me.
Psalms 138:3 ERV – When I called to you for help, you answered me and gave me strength.

4.  He set me in a large place.

Psalms 118:5 AMP – Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place.
2 Samuel 22:20 AMP – He brought me forth into a large place; He delivered me because He delighted in me.
Psalms 18:19 AMP – He brought me forth also into a large place; He was delivering me because He was pleased with me and delighted in me.

5.  He is on my side

Psalms 118:6 AMP – The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?
Hebrews 13:6 AMP – So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm [I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can man do to me?  
Psalms 27:1 AMP – 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?

6.  He takes my part

Psalms 118:7 AMP – The Lord is on my side and takes my part, He is among those who help me; therefore shall I see my desire established upon those who hate me.
Psalms 118:13 AMP – You [my adversary] thrust sorely at me that I might fall, but the Lord helped me.

7.  He is my strength and…

8.  He is my song

Psalms 118:14a AMP – The Lord is my Strength and Song
Exodus 15:2 AMP – The Lord is my Strength and my Song, and He has become my Salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.  
Isaiah 12:2 AMP – Behold, God, my salvation! I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and song; yes, He has become my salvation.

9.  He is my salvation

Psalms 118:14b AMP – He has become my Salvation.
Psalms 118:21b AMP – You have become my Salvation and Deliverer.

10.  He has heard me

Psalms 118:21a AMP – I will confess, praise, and give thanks to You, for You have heard and answered me
Psalms 34:4 NKJV – I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
Psalms 66:19 AMP – But certainly God has heard me; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer.

We have so many great reasons to give thanks to the Lord. He is good to all; always; in every way. He is indeed worthy of all of our gratefulness and praise.

The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created]. 10 All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your loving ones shall bless You [affectionately and gratefully shall Your saints confess and praise You]!  Psalms 145:9-10 AMP

THE CHARACTER OF GOD – PART THREE

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

But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.

Psalms 86:15 KJV

Our Father God is:

1. Full of compassion:

Psalms 111:4 KJV – “He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.”

Psalms 112:4 KJV – “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.”

Psalms 145:8 KJV – “The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.”

Compassion: “a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.” Compassion feels the suffering and moves to do something about it.

Compassion saves and redeems:

Matthew 9:36 KJV – “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”

Compassion heals and delivers:

Matthew 14:14 KJV – “And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”

Matthew 20:34 KJV – “So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.”

Compassion feeds and provides:

Matthew 15:32 KJV – “Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.”

2. Gracious and Merciful:

Psalms 103:8 KJV – “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”

Psalms 116:5 KJV – “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.”

Exodus 22:27b KJV – “…and it shall come to pass, when he crieth unto me, that I will hear; for I am gracious.”

Exodus 33:19 KJV – “…I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.”

When you turn to God in repentance, you will be met with His compassion.

2 Chronicles 30:9 KJV

It’s because of God’s compassion and graciousness that many are not destroyed in their sinful state. He did not abandon them, even though they abandoned Him. Because of His graciousness, He does not snub us or turn us away when we humble ourselves and turn to Him for help.

Nehemiah 9:17

Nehemiah 9:31

Jonah 3:1-10 and 4:1-2 – God forgives Nineveh.

Joel 2:12-13 KJV – Rend your heart, and not your garments – He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.

1 Peter 2:2-3 – You have tasted that the Lord is gracious – desire His Word.

3. Longsuffering:

Longsuffering: long and patient endurance of injury, trouble, or provocation.

Numbers 14:18 KJV – “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.”

The Lord is longsuffering, merciful and forgiving, but He cannot forgive those who will not repent.

Romans 2:4 KJV – “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

God is patiently good to us as He waits for us to turn to Him in repentance.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 KJV – Paul is an example of the longsuffering of Jesus.

1 Peter 3:19-20 KJV – God waited patiently for one hundred years for Noah’s generation to repent.

4. Plenteous in mercy:

Mercy: kindness; beauty; favor; pity.

Psalms 103:8-11 KJV – “The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. 9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. 10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.”

Exodus 20:6 KJV – “And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”

Exodus 34:6-7

Titus 3:5-7 – According to His mercy, He saved us.

Jude 21 KJV – “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.”

5. Plenteous in truth:

Psalms 85:10 KJV – “Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.”

Here we have four attributes of God – mercy, truth, righteousness, and peace – working in harmony to bring salvation to those who fear God.

God’s Truth is sent forth to make known to all the will of God.

Righteousness expects and demands obedience to the Truth.

Mercy forgives man of all sin.

This forgiveness and righteousness produces peace.

Deuteronomy 32:4 KJV – “He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.”

6. If you’ve seen Jesus, you’ve seen the Father:

John 8:3-11

The scribes and Pharisees tried to catch Jesus breaking the Law with a woman caught in adultery.

He didn’t contradict the Law of Moses.

He didn’t validate her sin, nor did He excuse it

He acknowledged that, under the law, she was deserving of punishment.

He demonstrated that not one man there, other than Himself, was in a position to judge her, or to carry out her punishment.

He demonstrated forgiveness.

He sent her on her way, saying, “Go, and sin no more.”

The Father, through Jesus, forgives you when you repent – so go on and serve Him.

1 Samuel 12:24 KJV – “Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.”

PREACHING THE LIBERTY OF THE GOSPEL

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

There were many Jews in the Early Church, who had received Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Of course, all Jews were circumcised at birth, but Gentiles were not. Some of the more legalistic Jews – the Judaizers – insisted that only Jews could become Christians and so any Gentile wishing to be saved must first also be circumcised and become a Jew. Even today there are Christians who try to return to Jewish traditions, believing that you are not fully a Christian without it. This is simply not true. The Judaizers accused Paul of preaching a false gospel, but they were the ones preaching a false gospel. Paul calls these men “false brethren”. The good thing was that they had a high regard for the Law and the Scriptures and God’s choice of the Jews as His chosen people. Their concern was that His commands may be overlooked or broken. However, they proceeded to add their own human traditions and standards to God’s Law and they also ignored the fact that God’s promises are to all nations!

A religious spirit is always judgmental and feels compelled to stuff everyone into the same mold. Because these men were perverting the gospel, Paul did not give them an opportunity to air their views. They were not interested in the truth – all they wanted to do was argue – but Paul refused to be dragged into a fight. Paul had been even more legalistic than they and had been set free and brought into the liberty of salvation through Jesus Christ. He knew all their opinions and he knew they were wrong. There was nothing else to discuss.

The Judaizers accused Paul of perverting the truth, but he had received his message from Christ Himself. Galatians 1:10-12 (KJV) says, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

“The Judaizers said that Paul was a traitor to the Jewish faith, but he had been more advanced in Judaism than most of his contemporaries and more zealous for the traditions of his fathers’ than any of them, until his encounter with Jesus on the Damascus road. For the first time, Paul experienced God’s grace and was completely set free. The change was so great that God even changed his name! He was now as zealous for the Gospel as he previously was for the Law – yet with no malice!” (Galatians 1:13-17)

“The Judaizers said Paul compromised and preached a watered down message to the Gentiles, but he had met privately with the other apostles and they, themselves, had declared that the message Paul preached was indeed the true Gospel. Not that he needed their approval because he had God’s approval, but out of courtesy, he met with them. In speaking to Paul, the apostles realized that God had indeed called him to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles and gave him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship. They only asked one thing of him: that he would remember the poor, which he was already eager to do.”
(Galatians 2:6-10)

The Judaizers said Paul was disregarding the Law of Moses; however, all he did was to put the law in its proper place. The Law was given to show people where they have sinned and it points them to their need for a Savior – Jesus Christ.

“What purpose then does the law serve? It was added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was appointed through angels by the hand of a mediator. 20 Now a mediator does not mediate for one only, but God is one. 21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could have given life, truly righteousness would have been by the law. 22 But the Scripture has confined all under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. 23 But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. 24 Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”
Galatians 3:19-29 NKJV

If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise!

In Season and Out of Season

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

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  2 Timothy 4:2 KJV

The Great Commission was a call to EVERY believer to preach the Gospel — anywhere, to anyone. Then there are those whom God has called, anointed and raised up into full-time ministry, to preach and to teach. This is more of a “pulpit” ministry; however, we are to be prepared and willing to preach the Gospel wherever we are — whether one-on-one or to a gathering of people. There is NO time, place or “season” when the Gospel should NOT be preached. The Gospel should be preached in season and out of season: whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable; whether it is convenient or inconvenient; whether it is welcome or unwelcome; whether it is popular or unpopular; whether it is invited or uninvited! It is always the season to preach the Gospel — to every creature in every nation!

I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom: 2 Herald and preach the Word! Keep your sense of urgency [stand by, be at hand and ready], whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable. [Whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it is welcome or unwelcome, you as preacher of the Word are to show people in what way their lives are wrong.] And convince them, rebuking and correcting, warning and urging and encouraging them, being unflagging and inexhaustible in patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when [people] will not tolerate (endure) sound and wholesome instruction, but, having ears itching [for something pleasing and gratifying], they will gather to themselves one teacher after another to a considerable number, chosen to satisfy their own liking and to foster the errors they hold, 4 And will turn aside from hearing the truth and wander off into myths and man-made fictions. 5 As for you, be calm and cool and steady, accept and suffer unflinchingly every hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fully perform all the duties of your ministry.
  2 Timothy 4:1-5 AMP

We cannot afford to preach based on what people want to hear — we must preach the truth of the Gospel even, and especially, when it’s not what they want to hear. Many preachers today are preaching to the “itching ears” — preaching what they think people want to hear, but that is not the truth of the Gospel. The Gospel is offensive to the carnal minds of sinners, but it brings Holy Ghost conviction to the heart, resulting in conversion and deliverance!

Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives. 24 [All] are justified and made upright and in right standing with God, freely and gratuitously by His grace (His unmerited favor and mercy), through the redemption which is [provided] in Christ Jesus, 25 Whom God put forward [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment. 26 It was to demonstrate and prove at the present time (in the now season) that He Himself is righteous and that He justifies and accepts as righteous him who has [true] faith in Jesus.  Romans 3:23-26 AMP

Since the day Jesus died and rose again, it has been the NOW season for ALL men to be saved and the NOW season to preach the Gospel!

[The Servant of God says] The Lord God has given Me the tongue of a disciple and of one who is taught, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He wakens Me morning by morning, He wakens My ear to hear as a disciple [as one who is taught].  Isaiah 50:4 AMP

The Holy Spirit promised to give us a word to speak in season. That means the right word at the right time to the right person, producing a right result. The Spirit of God knows exactly how to reach each person. Even if they reject His word, they are then without any excuses on the Day of Judgment.

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

We are to pray and to expect God to answer at all times – on every occasion, in every season. God is not limited by circumstances — He will hear and answer every faith-filled prayer.

And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.  Galatians 6:9 AMP

Keep faithfully sowing the seed of the Gospel in every season — in due season you will reap and see a bountiful harvest.

Tearing Down Strongholds Part Two

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

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10: 4-5 KJV

All sinful, evil, and fearful thoughts, feelings and imaginations are strongholds in our mind and life. Therefore, it stands to reason that it is very important to take authority over and control those thoughts, feelings and imaginations. Whether good or evil, the things we are exposed to, through our five senses, influence our thoughts and are stored in our minds. The goal of the enemy is to bring us into bondage and destroy us and he uses our own mind to do this.

Genesis 6:5 AMP says, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination and intention of all human thinking was only evil continually.” Before you knew Christ, you were a child of the devil and your mind was only carnal and sinful. You knew no other way. 2 Corinthians 4:4 AMP says, “For the god of this world has blinded the unbelievers’ minds [that they should not discern the truth], preventing them from seeing the illuminating light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ (the Messiah), Who is the Image and Likeness of God.”

Proverbs 15:26a AMP says “The thoughts of the wicked are shamefully vile and exceedingly offensive to the Lord” and Romans 8:7 says that the carnal mind is enmity against God. The AMP says, “That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot.”

The carnal, sinful mind is blind to the truth and hostile to God and His laws. God is against all forms of sin and carnality. Why—because He is a party-pooper? No, because He loves you and sin brings nothing with it but bondage and death and destruction! If your mind is carnal, then you can’t and won’t submit to God and His commands. If your thoughts, feelings and imaginations are yielded to the flesh and the devil, then you will continue on in the strongholds of wickedness, bondage and fear. You are a product of your thought life—you are what you think about—which is why the devil tries to erect and maintain these strongholds in your mind.

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23 NKJV

Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Galatians 5:19-21

Nothing good comes from the carnal nature. Before we are born again we are completely carnal, wicked and ruled by our flesh. Our thoughts are carnal, our actions are carnal and our works are carnal. All these works of the flesh do nothing, but hurt us and others. When the Gospel is preached to us, the light of God’s word and His truth shines into our heart and mind ( 2 Corinthians 4:6)

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the LORD, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. Isaiah 55:7 NKJV

You were taught to leave your old self. This means that you must stop living the evil way you lived before. That old self becomes worse and worse, because people are fooled by the evil things they want to do. 23 You must be made new in your hearts and in your thinking. 24 You must become a new person, made to be like God–made to be truly good and holy. Ephesians 4:22-24

The moment you are born again, you are washed in His blood, you are forgiven and you are made a new creature in Christ, by the work of the precious Holy Spirit. Your mind, however, needs to be renewed and that is your job! The difference, now, is that you have His power to change the way you think and to walk free from the devil’s strongholds.

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

Good things make a positive contribution and evil things make a negative contribution to your mental outlook, that why it is so important to regulate what you hear and see. You have to begin to think differently before you can expect to act and live differently. You must take your thoughts captive by submitting to the Word of God and the will of God, through Jesus Christ, and with the help of the Holy Spirit. From now on, if you see or hear anything that is not pure or wholesome or that is contrary to the Word of God, you must immediately throw it out. You must make a daily effort to keep your thoughts and imaginations godly and pure. If your thoughts, feelings and imaginations are submitted to God, then you will walk in His life and freedom, now and in eternity.

Jesus Birth Foretold in Prophecy – Part I

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

As we celebrate Christmas once again, we should remember that we are actually celebrating Jesus. We are celebrating the fact that the Father sent His only begotten Son, born as a baby into the body of a man, to die on the cross and to be raised up again for our justification and salvation. Revelation 13:8 says that Jesus is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. God had a plan to rescue man even before Adam sinned. The coming of Jesus, the Messiah, was foretold thousands of years before He was born and recorded in the Old Testament. Here are some of the prophetic scriptures together with the scriptures of fulfillment.

He was the Seed of a woman:
-Genesis 3:15 NKJV – And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.
-Galatians 4:4-5 NKJV – But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

He was a descendant of Abraham:
-Genesis 12:3 NKJV – I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
-Matthew 1:1 NKJV – The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

He was a descendant of Isaac:
-Genesis 17:19 NKJV – Then God said: “No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.
-Luke 3:34 NKJV – the son of Jacob, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham…

He was a descendant of Jacob:
-Numbers 24:17 KJV – I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.
-Matthew 1:2 NKJV – Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.

He was from the tribe of Judah:
-Genesis 49:10 NKJV – The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
-Luke 3:33 NKJV – …the son of Perez, the son of Judah.

He was the descendant of Jesse:
-Isaiah 11:10 NKJV – “And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; For the Gentiles shall seek Him, And His resting place shall be glorious.”
-Romans 15:12 NKJV – And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

He was a descendant of David:
-Jeremiah 23:5-6 NKJV – “Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord, “That I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, And execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Judah will be saved, And Israel will dwell safely; Now this is His name by which He will be called.
-Matthew 1:1 NKJV – The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham.

He will shepherd His people:
-Ezekiel 37:24 NKJV – David My servant shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd; they shall also walk in My judgments and observe My statutes, and do them.
-Matthew 2:6 NKJV – “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.”

He was heir to the throne of David:
-Isaiah 9:7 NKJV – Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
-Luke 1:32-33 NKJV – He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.

He was born in Bethlehem:
-Micah 5:2 NKJV – “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, From everlasting.”
-Luke 2:4-7 NKJV – Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The timing of His birth:
-Daniel 9:25 NKJV – “Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times.
-Luke 2:1-7 NKJV – And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world
should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David,
which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed
wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And
she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

JESUS BIRTH FORETOLD IN PROPHECY – PART TWO

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

He was born of a virgin:
• Isaiah 7:14 NKJV – Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

• Luke 1:26-27 NKJV – Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

• Luke 1:30-31 NKJV – Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.

He was worshipped by shepherds:
• Psalms 72:9 NKJV – Those who dwell in the wilderness will bow before Him, And His enemies will lick the dust.

• Luke 2:8-15 NKJV – Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of Lord a Lord, who is Lord the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising Lord and saying: 14 “Glory to Lord in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

He was honored by great kings:
• Psalms 72:10-11 NKJV – The kings of Tarshish and of the isles Will bring presents; The kings of Sheba and Seba Will offer gifts. 11 Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him; All nations shall serve Him.

• Psalms 72:15 NKJV – And He shall live; And the gold of Sheba will be given to Him;Prayer also will be made for Him continually, And daily He shall be praised.

• Isaiah 60:3 NKJV – The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.

• Matthew 2:1-11 NKJV – Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, 2 saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” 3 When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5 So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: 6 ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler Who will shepherd My people Israel.’” 7 Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. 8 And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.” 9 When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 There would be a slaughter of children:
• Jeremiah 31:15 NKJV – Thus says the Lord: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted for her children, Because they are no more.”

• Matthew 2:16-18 NKJV – Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all it’s districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. 17 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: 18 “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”

The flight to Egypt:
• Hosea 11:1 NKJV – When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.

• Matthew 2:14-15 NKJV – When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, 15 and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”

TRUST GOD WITH YOUR LIFE – HE IS YOUR REFUGE AND FORTRESS

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. 2 I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! 3 For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. 4 [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler.  Psalms 91:1-4 AMP

There is a secret place that is in the presence of God where his children can find refuge and be safe and secure. It has nothing to do with the circumstances. Even in the middle of chaos and confusion, the presence of God is a haven of peace and protection for those who trust and are confident in Him. We can’t just do nothing and wait for God to come to us – He has already reached out to us and invited us into His presence. We must take that step toward Him – by pressing into His word and believing it! If you believe God’s word to you and you press in to it, then you will find that secret place. If you continue to trust only in Him, then you will come to permanently dwell in that secret place. When you trust in God, you will remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty – not blown about by every wind of adversity. No foe can withstand the power of God! Your confession should be: “The Lord is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I confidently trust!” When I believe and I speak my faith, then God will show Himself strong on my behalf! He will deliver me from traps – whether set by man or the devil. He will deliver me from sickness, disease and disaster.

Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear, revere, and worship You, goodness which You have wrought for those who trust and take refuge in You before the sons of men! 20 In the secret place of Your presence You hide them from the plots of men; You keep them secretly in Your pavilion from the strife of tongues.  Psalms 31:19-20 AMP

God is good! You have to trust God; you have to believe in His goodness in order to experience it. In the secret place of His presence He hides you from the plots and plans of men; He protects you from the strife stirred up by other people’s tongues; He protects you from gossip and slander. It’s not that those things won’t try to take you out, but if you continue to trust God and allow Him to fight your battles, you can just keep going and keep doing what He has called you to do. If you stay in His will, He will vindicate you and bring you through the storm.

Unto you, O Lord, do I bring my life. 2 O my God, I trust, lean on, rely on, and am confident in You. Let me not be put to shame or [my hope in You] be disappointed; let not my enemies triumph over me. 3 Yes, let none who trust and wait hopefully and look for You be put to shame or be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause. 
Psalms 25:1-3 AMP

But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. 12 For You, Lord, will bless the [uncompromisingly] righteous [him who is upright and in right standing with You]; as with a shield You will surround him with goodwill (pleasure and favor).
Psalms 5:11-12 AMP

If we trust in, lean on, rely on, and are confident in the Lord and not the arm of the flesh, then we will not be put to shame or be disappointed. Our enemies will not triumph over us, but they will be ashamed instead. If we are uncompromisingly righteous and if we take refuge and put our trust in the Lord, then we can sing and rejoice and praise Him. He surrounds us with goodwill and favor like a shield.

But the salvation of the [consistently] righteous is of the Lord; He is their Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble. 40 And the Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuge in Him.  Psalms 37:39-40 AMP

I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my Strength. 2 The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; my God, my keen and firm Strength in Whom I will trust and take refuge, my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my High Tower. 3 I will call upon the Lord, Who is to be praised; so shall I be saved from my enemies.  Psalms 18:1-3 AMP

Then shall my enemies turn back in the day that I cry out; this I know, for God is for me. 10 In God, Whose word I praise, in the Lord, Whose word I praise, 11 In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are upon me, O God; I will render praise to You and give You thank offerings. 13 For You have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life and of the living.
  Psalms 56:9-13 AMP

I know that God is for me! If I cry out to Him, He will answer and save me! The Lord is my salvation! He is my Refuge and secure Stronghold in the time of trouble. He is my strength; He is my Rock, my Fortress, and my Deliverer; He is my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, and my High Tower! What can man do to me! He will deliver my life from death and my feet from falling!

As for God, His way is perfect! The word of the Lord is tested and tried; He is a shield to all those who take refuge and put their trust in Him. 31 For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the Rock save our God. Psalms 18:30-31 AMP

The life and ministry of Dr. Rodney Howard Browne

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