Being Faithful to the Call of God

The anointing is not taught; it is caught. The only

way to get the anointing is to be where the anointing is

being poured out. Doing what God has called you to do

will cause His power to flow through you.

 

One of the problems many ministers face is that

they get discouraged when things don’t go the way they

would like. They end up quitting the ministry just prior to

their breakthrough.

 

I believe the Lord is looking for those who will be

faithful to obey the call. He will test you in the ministry

before you see an increase. The scripture says if you are

faithful over little, God will make you a ruler over much.

 

A Case of the Forgotten Son

 

The story of David is a wonderful story of a

young man whom God had chosen to be king. God had

spoken to the prophet Samuel and told him to anoint a

king in Saul’s place. Samuel went and stood in front of

Jesse’s sons and none of them was found eligible for the

position of king. God had chosen David because of his

faithfulness with a few sheep and the attitude of his heart.

 

Even though he was out with the sheep, God knew where

he was and anointed him in Saul’s place.

David had been in preparation for the ministry. He

was faithful to take the lion and the bear. Little did he

know that God would have him take on a giant. Many

even in the ministry today want the giant, but are not

prepared or faithful to take the lion and the bear.

We live in a day and age of instant results. Many

judge success by monetary gain or achievement of how

many you have in your church, or how big your radio and

television ministry is, or how big a mailing list you might

have.

 

Success Is Doing What God Has Called You to Do

 

Success is doing what God has called you to do. I

have had the privilege of being around some of the great

men of God who pastor large churches. One of them

publicly made the statement to other ministers that it

didn’t matter if you only had 100 people in your church.

If that was what God had called you to, then you should

be content and happy in that ministry.

 

Privately I heard him make the statement about a

pastor of a small church, “When he gets a thousand

people in his church, then let him come and talk to me.”

In other words, he was saying the man was not worthy to

talk to him because he was not in the same league.

I am reminded of a statement I used to tell the

Bible students at a school in South Africa where I

lectured several years ago. “Always remember the little

man on your way up, because you might need him on

your way down.”

 

If the grace of God did not lead you to a certain

place, then the grace of God cannot keep you there.

Legends in Their Own Mind

 

Another minister informed me – comparing his

ministry to the ministry of another – that his ministry

was a Cadillac and the other was a Yugo. I thought to

myself, then I must be the hubcap on the Yugo. One

preacher informed a friend of mine that he was one of the

top five speakers in the world today. I thought to myself,

I must be one of the bottom five.

 

It is not what you have done or achieved in man’s

eyes that counts; it is faithfulness to the call of God.

When I stand before my heavenly Father I desire to hear

Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.

Enter into the joy of the Lord.” I don’t want to hear, “Well

done, thou good and successful servant You have already

received your reward, it’s the praise of men.”

 

The Danger of Forgetting Where You’ve Come From

 

Is it not amazing that God visits an ordinary

individual and anoints him? The man rises out of the dust

to achieve greatness in God. Later when asked what was

the key to his success, he gives a ten-point guideline to

would-be followers about the secret to success.

 

But it had nothing to do with the ten points. It was

the touch of God in the individual’s life which resulted in

the call. He remained faithful to fulfill the call and

succeeded. It is as simple as that.

 

 

A Wonderful New Life

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 NKJV

He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves:

Jesus died for us – all of us. He saved us and made us brand new creations in Christ. The love of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Now that we belong to Jesus, His love doesn’t allow us to be selfish – we don’t live for ourselves any more, but now we live for Him and we live to serve others. We live no longer for ourselves, but for Him who rose again for us.

From now on, we regard no one according to the flesh:

We don’t regard Jesus Christ after the flesh and we don’t regard one another after the flesh either. Jesus is not a mere man, but He is God in the flesh – He died and rose again and is seated at the right hand of God. It doesn’t matter who you were before you met Jesus; it doesn’t matter who anyone says you are; it doesn’t matter what you’ve done; it doesn’t matter what you think of yourself or what anyone else thinks of you; it doesn’t matter what anyone says about you. If you are born again then the only thing that matters is what Jesus thinks and says about you – YOU ARE WHO HE SAYS YOU ARE!

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away and all things have become new:

The old you has passed away! Your old life has passed away! Your old ways of thinking and doing have passed away! Now your heart is new and your life is new. Your future is changed! Eternal life is in your heart and heaven is in your future.

Your new life is the opposite of your old life. In your old life, sin dominated every aspect of it, but in your new life, sin has no more power over you. The more you come to understand the greatness of the love and forgiveness that has been poured out on you, the more you live to please God and serve righteousness. The more you yield to the righteousness of God and allow it to work in you, the less power sin has over you.

Now all things are of God:

All things are of God in your new life. His presence and His blessing fill every aspect of His life. If you are truly saved, you won’t allow anything in your life that is ungodly or un-Christlike, because you have experienced true life and you know that your old life has nothing to offer compared to your new life. Your new life revolves around your new family – Father, Son and Holy Spirit and also your brothers and sisters in Christ. You live to please Him, because you have experienced the true liberty of the presence of God in your life.

God, the Father, reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ:

The word reconciliation means “to restore to favor”, or for those to make friends again who were once enemies. We were once enemies of God, but we have been reconciled to Him and restored to favor.

He has given us the ministry of reconciliation:

Since we have been reconciled to God, he has put us in the ministry of introducing others to Him, so that they too can be reconciled to Him!

He has committed to us the word of reconciliation:

The Father has committed to us a message that will bring reconciliation between Him and the world. The message is that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them. Jesus took the full brunt of the punishment for sin so that we could be fully forgiven and stand boldly in the presence of God.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us:

When we preach the good news of the Gospel, God Himself is speaking through us, pleading with those who need His love and forgiveness. You are His ambassador – you speak for Him and you stand for Him. You have the most wonderful, powerful, precious message for the world that they have ever heard. You implore them on Christ’s behalf, “Be reconciled to God!”

We have all these blessings because:

He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

WHY WE WERE CREATED

Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:7

So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.  Genesis 1:27 AMP

Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath or spirit of life, and man became a living being.
Genesis 2:7 AMP

1.  Man was created by God – formed him out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.

  • We did not evolve—the theory of Evolution is exactly that: a theory—not a law.
  • But now [in spite of past judgments for Israel’s sins], thus says the Lord, He Who created you, O Jacob, and He Who formed you, O Israel: Fear not, for I have redeemed you [ransomed you by paying a price instead of leaving you captives]; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.  Isaiah 43:1 AMP
  • Even everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for My glory, whom I have formed, whom I have made.  Isaiah 43:7 AMP
  • I made the earth and created man upon it. I, with My hands, stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.  Isaiah 45:12 AMP

2.  We were created as a result of God’s divine purpose.

  • Isaiah 43:7 says, “I have created man for my glory.”
  • Man is a created being, purposed by God to bring Him glory.
  • God said, “Let us—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” make man in OUR image.
  • Even as [in His love] He chose us [actually picked us out for Himself as His own] in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated and set apart for Him) and blameless in His sight, even above reproach, before Him in love. 5 For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent]–6[So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. Ephesians 1:4-6 AMP
  • [For it is He] Who delivered and saved us and called us with a calling in itself holy and leading to holiness [to a life of consecration, a vocation of holiness]; [He did it] not because of anything of merit that we have done, but because of and to further His own purpose and grace (unmerited favor) which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began [eternal ages ago].  2 Timothy 1:9 AMP

3.  Six things that set you and I apart from all of God’s creation.

  • Man is created by God.
  • Man alone—of all created beings—received the very breath of God.
  • Man is formed in God’s image.
  • Man is created for God’s glory.
  • Man was planned and designed in a council of the triune God.
  • Man has been redeemed by the God-Man, Jesus Christ. (Jesus was all God and all man.)


4.  Man was created in God’s image.

  • Not a physical image—God is a Spirit.
  • A personal image—one who designs, plans and communicates, wills and feels (is pleased and displeased).
  • God saw everything He had made and behold it was very good (Genesis 1:31)
  • Man is a moral being—man was created with a sense of accountability to his Maker.
  • Man has a conscience.
  • When man does right, his heart assures him—when he does wrong his heart condemns (convicts) him.
  • Man has a social image—to love a wife, who is from his side, to be equal to him; near his heart, to be loved by him; under his arm, to be protected by him.
  • Man was commanded to multiply and replenish the earth.
  • Out of the Ten Commandments—six concern our relationships with our fellow man.
  • Man was made to have communion with God, his family, and his friends.
  • Man is a living soul—a whole being—a spirit and a soul in a body. The body was fashioned to live forever, but when sin entered the world that changed and death began to work in the body.


5.  Ten facts about the body.

  • It is a mortal body that will return to the dust out of which it was fashioned (Genesis 3:19; Psalms 104:29).
  • Even though the body is made from the dust of the ground—it is wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14-16).
  • Man’s body is only a temporary tabernacle for man to live in (2 Peter 1:14; 2 Corinthians 5:1).
  • Man’s body will be glorified in the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:44a & 53).
  • The body of the born-again man is the temple of the Holy Spirit. This is why it should not be used as an instrument of sin (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
  • When you dedicate yourself to God, your body is a living and holy sacrifice (Romans 12:1).
  • The redeemed man’s body is a weapon against the devil (Romans 6:13).
  • Redeemed man enjoys certain benefits of Christ’s redeeming work in the Body even in this world (Matthew 8:16-17).
  • You will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ on what you have done in the body (2 Corinthians 5:10).
  • Man’s body of dust, which he inherited from Adam, bears the image of Adam as well as the image of God (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).

SOWING IN FAMINE

Thoughts on Stewardship – Lessons from Genesis

Sowing in Famine
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 26:12 – 14

Then Isaac sowed seed in that land and received in the same year a hundred times as much as he had planted, and the Lord favored him with blessings. 13 And the man became great and gained more and more until he became very wealthy and distinguished; 14 He owned flocks, herds, and a great supply of servants, and the Philistines envied him.  Genesis 26:12-14 AMP

1. Isaac sowed seed in the land – not in a time of plenty – but in the time of famine.

a. When it comes to cultivating the land, in this natural world, the middle of a drought and famine is definitely not the optimum time to sow seed.

b. However, in God’s economy, it does not matter when you sow seed. He is the Lord of the harvest!

c. Sowing seed in a time of famine takes great faith in God, because you have to have confidence that you will reap a harvest in spite of the fact that all odds are against you.

2. Not only did Isaac reap a harvest at all, but he reaped a miraculously huge harvest – a 100-fold harvest – 100 times as much as he had planted!

a. Some people don’t believe that you can trust God for a 100-fold return on your giving, but Jesus talked about it several times. In Matthew 13:23 and Mark 4:20 Jesus said that those who hear the Word, understand it, receive, accept, and welcome it, will bear fruit – some yielding 30, some 60, and some 100-fold! In Matthew 19:29 and Mark 10:30 Jesus said that those who have had to give up relationships or property for His sake would receive it all back multiplied by 100 here in this lifetime and they would also inherit eternal life.

b. Of course most of us would love to have the 100-fold return, but even a 20 or 30-fold return is better than “no-fold”! It is dependant on your faith and your walk with God – the more you obediently submit your life to Him, the more you can be trusted with, the more He can bless you.

3. The Lord favored Isaac with blessings

a. Proverbs 10:22 AMP says, “The blessing of the Lord–it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].” When God blesses you, He really blesses you. You must realize that it’s not dependant on your works alone, but on your faith in God.

b. The favor of God: when God’s favor is on your life, you don’t even need the money to get things done. Favor will make a way for you and take you where money alone cannot.

c. The Lord has many blessings available to those that are counted as His own.

4. Isaac became great, and gained more and more, until he became very wealthy and distinguished.

a. He owned flocks, herds and a great supply of servants – so much so that the Philistines envied him.

b. Because Isaac trusted in God, and not in himself or in the elements, he prospered while others were struggling. If you obey God, He can multiply you in the midst of the worst circumstances of life and grant you favor. Even in the middle of famine – when everyone else is decreasing, losing, and going under – you can be prospering, increasing and multiplying!

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts
Our relationship with the Lord is a faith relationship. It’s not based on our five senses. It is not performance based. The Lord is always trying to get us to recognize and acknowledge the fact that He Himself is the Beginning and the End, the Author and the Finisher, the Creator and the Master of all, our Source and Supply. If you trust in yourself, you can try your best, and never accomplish what you could accomplish through simple faith in God and obedience to His Word. Sowing seed, when you can least afford to, is a powerful demonstration of your faith and gives God a mighty opportunity to prove Himself and to show Himself strong in your behalf, that will turn out to be a sign and a wonder to those who do not believe! God will bless you because He loves you and at the same time He will show His glory through you to those who have not yet bowed their knee. Trust and obey God. Give Him an opportunity to use your life as a witness at the same time as He blesses you super-abundantly!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts
Back in South Africa, in 1982, this truth changed our lives. You can read about it in depth in our mini-book called “Sowing in Famine.” When Adonica and I were in a situation of famine in our own lives, we sowed a seed that changed our lives. This seed broke the Spirit of poverty off of us and changed our lives. Since the Lord opened our eyes to this truth, we have applied this principle and have truly experienced the 30, 60, and 100-fold return. God’s Word is amazing – it never returns void. He always goes over the top to bless and reward faith and obedience.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank You for Your Word that is true. Today I realize that if I have something in my hand, and it is not enough to meet my need, then it must be seed. Help me not to eat my seed, but sow it and believe You for a miracle of supernatural provision. If you can do it for Isaac, then you can do it for me because You are no respecter of persons. Thank You, Lord, for blessing me as I honor You with my faith and obedience.

Matters of the Heart

Worship Soundtracks from RMIRiverSong on Vimeo.

Who are you? What really matters? What’s in you? What are you really made of? These are a few of the questions that come to mind as I sit in this week long class discussing the matters of the heart. Personally I’m drawn to look inward to who I really am, as a Christian, not only that, a believer, a child of God—what does this mean to me to know that God has called me to his own possession and by the shed blood of Jesus. I have truly been redeemed, delivered from the bondages of this world, the corruption and its lust, liberated into a new life in Christ, free from laws and regulations but to serve God with every faction of my being. Sounds nice, almost poetic, but has this reality truly infiltrated down to the very core of who I am where it’s the operating system of my life, every decision that I make, every place that I go, my speech, what I look at.

Pastor Adonica mentioned that these truths have to be rooted down on the inside of us, whatever is in us will come out of us, Jesus said in Mark 7 that it is from within that defiles a man. Luke 6:45 says, “…out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Jesus also said, Matthew 12:35 , “…that the good man out of the good treasures of his heart brings forth good things.” Have I been filled with Him, have I allowed the Holy Spirit to do a work on the inside of me? This is very important because it is only when I allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, can He work through me. This class causes me to gain a more sensitive awareness of the Holy Spirit when He speaks not neglecting my conscience concerning direction and/or correction. It’s vital, because I desire to be all that God has called me to be and do great exploits for His glory, and God is definitely using Pastor Adonica to insist that not only I but we all allow God to go deep in the heart and deal with those things now that will hinder, even stop God from moving in and through our lives.

In a general sense, we as believers ought to display the character of God, primarily in love. First, we must love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, and strength, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves. The only way to be an effective Christian we must remove anything that hinders our relationship with the Father. Its foundation, everything, let me repeat, everything comes from the heart and unless we have the foundation in tact nothing will stand, everything that we do with a heart that is not totally given over to God, it will all be in vain. Jesus said that many will say that they have cast out demons, etc., in His name, but He will say depart from me, I never knew you (Matthew 7:23 ).

Whatever it takes, whatever I have to give or receive from Him, that I may walk in His fullness. This life means nothing, if in eternity I stand before Him and have nothing, wood, hay, and stubble. From this class I am pressing in for precious gems, silver and gold. And the only way for this to happen, is that everyday I acknowledge who God is to me, who I am in Him and what really matters in eternity.

STEWARDSHIP

Thoughts on Stewardship

Stewardship Will Only Work as We Love and Obey God
Foundation scriptures: Deuteronomy 11 verses 8 – 28

Therefore you shall keep all the commandments which I command you today, that you may be strong and go in and possess the land which you go across [the Jordan] to possess, 9 And that you may live long in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give to them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 For the land which you go in to possess is not like the land of Egypt, from which you came out, where you sowed your seed and watered it with your foot laboriously as in a garden of vegetables. 11 But the land which you enter to possess is a land of hills and valleys which drinks water of the rain of the heavens, 12 A land for which the Lord your God cares; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. 13 And if you will diligently heed My commandments which I command you this day–to love the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being–14 I will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the latter rain, that you may gather in your grain, your new wine, and your oil. 15 And I will give grass in your fields for your cattle, that you may eat and be full. 16 Take heed to yourselves, lest your [minds and] hearts be deceived and you turn aside and serve other gods and worship them, 17 And the Lord’s anger be kindled against you, and He shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the land will not yield its fruit, and you perish quickly off the good land which the Lord gives you. 18 Therefore you shall lay up these My words in your [minds and] hearts and in your [entire] being, and bind them for a sign upon your hands and as forehead bands between your eyes. 19 And you shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you rise up. 20 And you shall write them upon the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 That your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth. 22 For if you diligently keep all this commandment which I command you to do, to love the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, and to cleave to Him–23 Then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you shall dispossess nations greater and mightier than you. 24 Every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread shall be yours: from the wilderness to Lebanon, and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the western sea [the Mediterranean] your territory shall be. 25 There shall no man be able to stand before you; the Lord your God shall lay the fear and the dread of you upon all the land that you shall tread, as He has said to you. 26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse–27 The blessing if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you this day; 28 And the curse if you will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you this day to go after other gods, which you have not known.  Deuteronomy 11:8-28 AMP

1. God promises His children blessings—as long as they obey Him and serve Him.

a. Many people want God’s blessings—however, they want to have them without obeying and serving Him.
b. Remember, the blessings originate from God— wherever He is, they are—we must stay close to Him to stay in His blessings.
c. He loves us; He loves His children; He wants to bless us.
d. He cannot bless disobedience and sinfulness.
e. The blessing of the Lord makes one rich and He adds no sorrow with it. (Proverbs 10:22)

2. If we obey we are blessed; if we disobey then we are cursed.

a. With every one of the promises of God there are conditions—if we meet the conditions then we will receive the promises.

b. Can God trust you with the blessing? Can you be trusted with riches? Will you continue to serve Him or will you be turned away after idols or other gods?

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
Many people have a major problem submitting to God. Some people are outwardly compliant, but inwardly rebellious. Obedience is not just an act—it’s an attitude. The devil wants you to think that you are losing something or giving something up if you submit your life to the Lord. What you don’t realize is that if you are not submitted to or obeying God, you are in fact submitting your life to the devil. You might think that you are in control of your own life, but you have given the devil place in your life. Yielding to your flesh is yielding to the devil’s will for your life. Make a choice today to submit to the Father, who loves you and wants only the best for you!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
It amazes me how many people in the Body of Christ, worldwide, think that God is obligated to bless them, no matter how they live their lives—whether or not they obey or serve Him! However, God’s Word is plain. The blessing comes from loving Him and serving Him. I have wondered how to get that message through to people, when they don’t seem to want to hear it. I have decided the best thing is to just keep on preaching the truth of the Word—some people will eventually grab a hold of it and they will walk in the blessings of God.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank You for Your blessings in my life. I purpose to love and obey You all the days of my life. I purpose always to put You first place and to submit to and follow Your Word.

THE SOWER SOWS THE WORD

It’s time to pay attention, hear and listen.

  1. Jesus starts this parable in verse 3 with these words: Give attention to this! And ends in verse 9: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
  2. The preacher, preaching the word, is the sower of seed.
  3. God’s word is living and powerful and gives you power and victory over the enemy.
  4. When cultivated it produces fruit in varying degrees: fruit, more fruit and much fruit.
  5. Unless our hearts are prepared to receive the seed of the word, we cannot grow in grace or knowledge.
  6. The devil is the enemy of God’s word in your life and will steal it from you anyway he can.
  7. The devil knows that the best time to destroy a tree is at its genesis—when it is young and small—before or shortly after it starts to grow and definitely before it sends its roots solidly down into the earth.
  8. The seed of the word is the same in each case—it is the soil that makes the difference between success and failure.
  9. YOUR heart and life is the soil.

 
Verse 15: The ones along the path are those who have the Word sown [in their hearts], but when they hear, Satan comes at once and [by force] takes away the message which is sown in them.

  1. These people receive the word negligently.
  2. They hear the Word with hardhearted indifference.
  3. They are not listening and not paying attention.
  4. They need to hear it, but are not ready or willing to hear.
  5. The devil has no trouble snatching the word away from them.
  6. They walk away with nothing.


Verse 16-17: And in the same way the ones sown upon stony ground are those who, when they hear the Word, at once receive and accept and welcome it with joy; And they have no real root in themselves, and so they endure for a little while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, they immediately are offended (become displeased, indignant, resentful) and they stumble and fall away.

  1. The Message Bible: And some are like the seed that lands in the gravel. When they first hear the Word, they respond with great enthusiasm. But there is such shallow soil of character that when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.
  2. These people actually stop to listen.
  3. They get really excited initially, but it is merely an emotional response, nothing more.
  4. They have not developed any character in their life—they are very shallow.
  5. Because their soil is shallow, the roots of the word can’t get a good grip.
  6. They believe (endure) for a little while.
  7. Like a hot sun, trouble (hardships) and persecution arises on account of the word.
  8. When these people encounter pressure or difficulty, they are instantly offended—they become displeased, indignant and resentful.
  9. They blame it on God and His Word and back off from the word.
  10. They stumble and fall away, turning their back on God.
  11. This outside pressure does not just make them back off it leaves them personally offended. This offence robs them of God’s blessings.


Verse 18-19: And the ones sown among the thorns are others who hear the Word; Then the cares and anxieties of the world and distractions of the age, and the pleasure and delight and false glamour and deceitfulness of riches, and the craving and passionate desire for other things creep in and choke and suffocate the Word, and it becomes fruitless.

  1. The Message Bible: The seed cast in the weeds represents the ones who hear the kingdom news but are overwhelmed with worries about all the things they have to do and all the things they want to get. The stress strangles what they heard, and nothing comes of it.
  2. Notice that this soil is already full of thorns and weeds.
  3. These people hear the word and receive it and it is able to grow up a little bit.
  4. Unfortunately, they take their eyes off of the word—they become distracted and preoccupied with the cares and riches of this life and the word in them is choked and suffocated to death.
  5. Instead of focusing on the answer—Jesus—they focus on the problem.
  6. Worry, covetousness and lust are weeds that choke the Word of God in your life.
  7. Their fruit does not ripen—the Word of God becomes unfruitful in their life.


Verse 20: And those sown on the good (well-adapted) soil are the ones who hear the Word and receive and accept and welcome it and bear fruit—some thirty times as much as was sown, some sixty times as much, and some [even] a hundred times as much.

  1. The Message Bible: But the seed planted in the good earth represents those who hear the Word, embrace it, and produce a harvest beyond their wildest dreams.
  2. The good ground represents the prepared heart that receives the seed and produces fruit; produces a harvest.
  3. These people hear the Word and embrace it—they receive it, accept it, and welcome it for themselves.
  4. This is the only appropriate response to the Word of God—the only one that will produce any fruit.
  5. Luke 8:15 AMP says that those with good soil hold the word fast in a just, noble, virtuous and worthy heart and steadily bring forth fruit with patience.
  6. The Word of God is allowed to grow and keep growing in their heart and life in spite of life’s circumstances; in spite of trials and temptations.
  7. These are genuine disciples.
  8. They produce a harvest of good fruit in varying amounts 30, 60 or 100-fold.


How do I walk in God’s best?

  1. Commit to personally receive and obey the Word of God.
  2. Put your flesh under—don’t yield to fleshly desires.
  3. Don’t believe the devil’s lies—hide the word in your heart so that you will recognize the truth.
  4. Don’t lose your focus—know what you believe.
  5. Don’t cave in under pressure—hang in longer than the devil.

Signs, Wonders, and Miracles

Signs, wonders, and miracles, were a hallmark of the Early Church in the book of Acts. We are still in the book of Acts. The final chapter has not yet been written. Those, who are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, will do exploits in Jesus’ name. Here are some of the signs, wonders, and miracles of the book of Acts:

Wonders at Pentecost:

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. Acts 2:4 KJV

Miracles by the apostles:

And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Acts 2:43-44 KJV

And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.

Acts 5:12 KJV

Lame man cured:

And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. Acts 3:7-9 KJV

Death of Ananias and Sapphira:

Upon hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great dread and terror took possession of all who heard of it. Acts 5:5 AMP

And instantly she fell down at his feet and died; and the young men entering found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Acts 5:10 AMP

Many sick healed:

Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one. Acts 5:15-16 KJV

Apostles delivered from prison:

But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, 20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life. Acts 5:19-20 KJV

Miracles by Stephen:

And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people. Acts 6:8 KJV

Miracles by Philip:

Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. 6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city. Acts 8:5-8 KJV

Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Acts 8:13 KJV

Aeneas made whole:

And Peter said unto him, Aeneas, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole: arise, and make thy bed. And he arose immediately. Acts 9:34 KJV

Dorcas restored to life:

But Peter put them all forth, and kneeled down, and prayed; and turning him to the body said, Tabitha, arise. And she opened her eyes: and when she saw Peter, she sat up. 41 And he gave her his hand, and lifted her up, and when he had called the saints and widows, presented her alive.

Acts 9:40-41 KJV

Peter delivered from prison (see also Acts 12:6-10):

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. Acts 12:11 KJV

Elymas struck blind:

And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand. Acts 13:11 KJV

Miracles by Paul and Barnabas:

Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands. Acts 14:3 KJV

Lame man cured:

The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, 10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.

Acts 14:9-10 KJV

Unclean spirit cast out:

And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. Acts 16:18 KJV

Paul and Silas delivered:

And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. 26 And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. Acts 16:25-26 KJV

Special miracles:

And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: 12 So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Acts 19:11-12 KJV

Eutychus restored to life (see also Acts 20:10-12):

And Paul went down, and fell on him, and embracing him said, Trouble not yourselves; for his life is in him. Acts 20:10 KJV

Viper’s bite made harmless:

And he shook off the beast into the fire, and felt no harm. Acts 28:5 KJV

Father of Publius, and many others, healed:

And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him. 9 So when this was done, others also, which had diseases in the island, came, and were healed: Acts 28:8-9 KJV

BLESSED IS THE MAN

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

Foundation Scriptures: Psalms 1:1-4 (Amp.) Vs. 1 Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. Vs. 2 But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.

 Vs. 3 And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. Vs. 4 Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.

Blessing and prosperity come to those who delight in God and His Word and who meditate in it all day, every day. Notice the downward progression of the person who does not delight in God and His Word, as described in verse one. First, he walks in the counsel of the ungodly, following their advice. Then he stands, submissive, in the path of the sinners. Then he sits down, resting and relaxing, with the scornful and the mockers.

You cannot counsel with the ungodly. If you listen to them and take their advice, before you know it, you will be submitting to sinners and soon you will be joining in with the mockers, and you will be lost. You will begin to make decisions that send you on a downward spiral. For example, we know people who were once saved and excited about the Lord who began to fellowship with so-called Christians who criticized the church. Then they started in on the minister, then the move of God. Before long, they all were totally backslidden, and acting and living like the world. Be careful who you listen to—it is a slippery slide!

When you delight in God and His Word, you make a habit of reading, studying and meditating on His Word. The Hebrew meditate does not mean just “to think about it.” It has to do with speaking (muttering) to yourself. You need to take the scriptures and think on them, speaking them over and over to yourself. When you hear your own voice speaking the Word, it becomes reinforced in your heart.

2 Timothy 3:16, 17 (NKJV) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

 Meditating on the Word of God is profitable. It may bring correction and discipline, but if you will receive it, you will be made whole. When you receive God’s instruction, you will become thoroughly equipped to do what God has for you.

Jeremiah 17:7, 8 (NKJV) Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.

When you delight in God and His Word, you are blessed and prosperous in all seasons and at all times, no matter what happens to those around you. Trees do not produce leaves or fruit in drought, but when your roots are deep in the river of God, you never experience the drought or the killing heat. Your blessings are not dependent upon your surroundings, but God’s power is constantly at work in you. You will be fruitful constantly and consistently. Thank God for His Spirit and His Word.

JESUS – OUR PEACE

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

Isaiah 9:6-7  (NKJ)

6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 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 2:13-14  (NKJ)

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Jesus is our peace. Hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth, the Holy Spirit spoke through the prophets to declare that He would be the source of our peace. The only true peace you can have is peace with God.

Isaiah 48:22  (NKJ)

22 “There is no peace,” says the LORD, “for the wicked.”

There is no peace for those who do not know or fear God. The devil makes all kinds of promises  wealth and fame etc  but the one thing he can never give is peace. Peace comes only from the presence of God.

Isaiah 53:5  (NKJ)

5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

Jesus paid the price on the cross and with His blood in order for us to be reconciled to God and to have His peace.

Ephesians 2:13-18  (NKJ)

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace,

16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.

17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.

18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

It doesn’t matter what storm rages around you  Jesus has given you His peace. As long as you have peace with the Father, you have peace in any storm.  On the other hand, you may have everything going your way and yet, if you have no relationship with God, you will never know true peace. Because we are justified by faith and made righteous by the blood of Jesus, we have perfect peace with the Father.

Romans 5:1-2  (NKJ)

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

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