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

And Samuel said to Saul, You have done foolishly! You have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God which He commanded you; for the Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever; 14 But now your kingdom shall not continue; the Lord has sought out [David] a man after His own heart, and the Lord has commanded him to be prince and ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.  1 Samuel 13:13-14 AMP

When the Israelites begged God for their own king, just like the other nations had, God gave them a king – Saul. God warned them that it was not in their best interests to have a king. He wanted to be able to choose and raise up leaders for them Himself, who would be godly leaders and who would lead them into the will and the blessing of God. God knows what is in men’s hearts and He knows who the best man for the job is. If a leader does not honor God, the people would not honor God – as we can see when we read through First and Second Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. This would bring the nation down. Also, after that king died, the throne would be passed to his son, someone who felt entitled to it, and not too someone who had earned the honor and who appreciated it.

God’s choice is always the humble spirit and not the proud or arrogant. Having a system of kings would not keep the people in the will of God.

Because Israel insisted, God gave them the king that they thought they wanted. Saul was physically impressive – he stood head and shoulders above all the other men – but, unfortunately, his heart was not wholly committed to the Lord. This was a problem for him, his family and all of Israel. Because Saul was foolish, disobedient and proud, God told him that his sons would not sit on the throne after him, but another man, whose heart was perfect toward Him, would become the king. Amazingly, enough, this did not seem to faze him too much. He did not make an effort to change his ways at all – he just became worse.

God had told Saul to wipe every trace of the Amalekites from the face of the earth. He told him, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, I have considered and will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way when [Israel] came out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek and utterly destroy all they have; do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Samuel 15:2-3 AMP) This was a fulfillment of a Word that God spoke to Moses in Exodus 17:14 AMP, “And the Lord said to Moses, Write this for a memorial in the book and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under the heavens.”

Unfortunately, Saul and the people did not obey God – they had a “better” plan – they did not kill the king or any of the Amalekite’s healthy animals. Apparently, they had spared them so that they could “sacrifice” them to the Lord. But God did not tell them to spare them for a sacrifice – He told them to kill them all!

Then Samuel said to Saul, Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me tonight. Saul said to him, Say on. 17 Samuel said, When you were small in your own sight, were you not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed you king over Israel? 18 And the Lord sent you on a mission and said, Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites; and fight against them until they are consumed. 19 Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord, but swooped down upon the plunder and did evil in the Lord’s sight? 20 Saul said to Samuel, Yes, I have obeyed the voice of the Lord and have gone the way which the Lord sent me, and have brought Agag king of Amalek and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21 But the people took from the spoil sheep and oxen, the chief of the things to be utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal. 22 Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as idolatry and teraphim (household good luck images). Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king.   1 Samuel 15:13-23 AMP

When God confronted him, through Samuel, about his disobedience, he first lied, claiming that he had done what was asked of him and then he blamed the people for it. Because of this, Saul was stripped of his kingship and the kingly anointing that was on his life. Only after it was too late did Saul even begin to cry out in repentance, but even then he did not humble himself before God, instead he asked Samuel to go with him to worship the Lord in front of the people so that he did not lose face with them. He was always too worried about what people thought than what God thought and it was his downfall. Saul’s disobedience changed his own destiny. Because of it, God could never again anoint him or use him.

It is always better to obey God than to offer many sacrifices afterwards.


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

No servant is able to serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will stand by and be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (riches, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely). 14 Now the Pharisees, who were covetous and lovers of money, heard all these things [taken together], and they began to sneer at and ridicule and scoff at Him. 15 But He said to them, You are the ones who declare yourselves just and upright before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted and highly thought of among men is detestable and abhorrent (an abomination) in the sight of God.  Luke 16:13-15 AMP

Jesus says that a person cannot serve these two masters – God and mammon. Mammon is riches, money, possessions, or anything in which you trust and on which you rely. God and mammon are diametrically opposed to each other and you will always end up choosing one over the other. When you choose to serve one you are in effect rejecting the other. Nobody can avoid this choice. Every single person on the earth makes the choice either for God or their stuff. You cannot love God and love mammon. You cannot trust in mammon and trust in God at the same time. If you trust in mammon it is because you do not trust God to supply what you need or to take care of you.

If you truly trust in God, then you will not be dependant on money or possessions – it makes no difference to you whether you have any or not – you know that God will take care of you on a daily basis. If you do not trust God to take care of you and supply your needs, you will be clinging to your mammon for dear life. The Pharisees were supposed to be spiritual leaders, but they did not love God anywhere near as much as they loved money. The very reason that they were angry and offended at Jesus is because they were covetous and lovers of money. If they were not, they would not have been offended at all. Jesus hit the nail on the head and exposed their sin and so they reacted violently. Instead of receiving the word and humbling their hearts before God, they derided Jesus – they sneered at Him, ridiculed Him, and scoffed at Him. This is a religious spirit.

A religious spirit hates it when you talk about money and giving and being a blessing. A religious spirit makes the appearance of being humble, but in reality it is very proud at heart. A religious spirit makes the appearance of honoring God, but it is serves and promotes itself. A religious spirit makes the appearance of obeying God, but it does what it thinks is right without asking God what He wants. Many religious people are sincere, but they have been taught wrong principles and ideas by their religious leaders and they just don’t know what the word of God actually says about their situation.

The devil likes to cloak himself in religion and deceive people into rejecting the living word of God that will break bondages and bind him up. The devil knows that if you tithe, God will rebuke him and not allow him to destroy you or your family. The devil knows that if you get a hold of God’s word and begin to put God first in your life and begin to obey Him in your giving, that God will begin to bless and prosper you. The devil is going to try to prevent people from getting to the truth because when they know the truth, they will realize that they can take authority over him!

Colossians 3:5 AMP says, “So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God).”  Covetousness is idolatry. You worship money and stuff instead of God. 1 Timothy 6:10 AMP says that, “the love of money is a root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have been led astray and have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves through with many acute [mental] pangs.” Covetousness will cause you to sin – to be jealous of what others have, to steal from them, to lie, and even to kill. The devil wants to control and destroy you and if he can get you to make mammon your idol, he can do both!

Luke 12:15 AMP says, “And He said to them, Guard yourselves and keep free from all covetousness (the immoderate desire for wealth, the greedy longing to have more); for a man’s life does not consist in and is not derived from possessing overflowing abundance or that which is over and above his needs.”  Covetousness, according to the Amplified Bible, is the immoderate desire for wealth and the greedy longing to have more. Covetousness will cause you to reject God in your pursuit of possessions. The most important thing you need is eternal life and this you can only get from God. Money cannot buy salvation. The devil knows this and this is why he tries to fill you with either fear or arrogance or both – so that you will keep your focus on your stuff and trust in your stuff and neglect to pursue God, Who holds the key to heaven and your freedom.

Let your character or moral disposition be free from love of money [including greed, avarice, lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be satisfied with your present [circumstances and with what you have]; for He [God]  Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor  give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not,[I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor  let [you] down ( relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!]  Hebrews 13:5 AMP


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

And Moses said to the heads or leaders of the tribes of Israel, This is the thing which the Lord has commanded: 2 If a man vows a vow to the Lord or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break and profane his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth. Numbers 30:1-2 AMP

In this day and age, it is becoming rarer to find a person who always keeps his or her word. So many people today think nothing of promising what they cannot or will not deliver. They don’t ever plan on keeping their word, but they give it anyway. They promise to do something and then “forget” and never show up; they promise to pay something and then default on the loan; they marry and promise to be faithful and then they cheat on their spouse; they promise to give something and then never follow through. It is time for us as Christians to come clean and make a fresh start. If you make a promise or a pledge or a commitment, you should do everything you can to fulfill it.

It is a snare to a man to utter a vow [of consecration] rashly and [not until] afterward inquire [whether he can fulfill it]. Proverbs 20:25 AMP

You cannot and should not make a promise if you have no idea whether or not you have the means to actually keep that promise. If you make it a priority to always keep your word then you will not be rash with your promises. If you commit to keep your vows, then you will be careful to promise only what you are prepared to fulfill.

Vow and pay to the Lord your God; let all who are round about Him bring presents to Him Who ought to be [reverently] feared. Psalms 76:11 AMP

Some people solve the problem of unfulfilled vows, by never committing to anything. This is not a solution. You need to commit to give to the Lord in as many areas as you can—generously. He is so generous with you and me! You need to decide for yourself what you will give—of your time; your effort; your money—and you need to give it freely and joyfully.

I will come into Your house with burnt offerings [of entire consecration]; I will pay You my vows, 14 Which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in distress. Psalms 66:13-14 AMP

Many people make all kinds of promises to God while they are in distress, but when He comes through for them, and when they are all fine and dandy, they just conveniently forget about the vow they made. These people have no respect for Almighty God. It is very important that we acknowledge God’s hand in our deliverance. It is very rude to ignore the One Who saved you. If you made God a promise in exchange for His help, then you must follow through and keep your word to Him. He did what you asked of Him and He expects you to do what you said you would.

When you make a vow to the Lord your God, you shall not be slack in paying it, for the Lord your God will surely require it of you, and slackness would be sin in you. 22 But if you refrain from vowing, it will not be sin in you. 23 The vow which has passed your lips you shall be watchful to perform, a voluntary offering which you have made to the Lord your God, which you have promised with your mouth. Deuteronomy 23:21-23 AMP

When you make a vow to the Lord, you should not be slack in paying it. God requires that you keep your word. It is a sin for you to be slack in your promise.

Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter a word before God. For God is in heaven, and you are on earth; therefore let your words be few. 3 For a dream comes with much business and painful effort, and a fool’s voice with many words. 4 When you vow a vow or make a pledge to God, do not put off paying it; for God has no pleasure in fools (those who witlessly mock Him). Pay what you vow. 5 It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. 6 Do not allow your mouth to cause your body to sin, and do not say before the messenger [the priest] that it was an error or mistake. Why should God be [made] angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? 7 For in a multitude of dreams there is futility and worthlessness, and ruin in a flood of words. But [reverently] fear God [revere and worship Him, knowing that He is]. Ecclesiastes 5:2-7 AMP

Don’t be rash with your mouth; don’t be hasty to make promises before God. It’s great to have plans and dreams, but it takes much time and effort to make them happen. Just because you talk about doing something, doesn’t mean it will just happen. You need to work the dream; you need to do what you say you’ll do. Pay what you vow. It is better to never make a promise than to promise and not keep it. Don’t just be a talker, be a doer. If you will keep your word to God, He will keep His word to you.


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

I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another. 35 By this shall all [men] know that you are My disciples, if you love one another [if you keep on showing love among yourselves].  John 13:34-35 AMP

Jesus gave us – His children; His disciples – a commandment to love one another. Love is what sets us apart from the rest of the world. The unselfish love we continue to show each other is what tells the world that we are not like they are; that we are like Jesus; that we are His disciples.

But concerning brotherly love [for all other Christians], you have no need to have anyone write you, for you yourselves have been [personally] taught by God to love one another. 10 And indeed you already are [extending and displaying your love] to all the brethren throughout Macedonia. But we beseech and earnestly exhort you, brethren, that you excel [in this matter] more and more, 11 To make it your ambition and definitely endeavor to live quietly and peacefully, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we charged you, 12 So that you may bear yourselves becomingly and be correct and honorable and command the respect of the outside world, being dependent on nobody [self-supporting] and having need of nothing.
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 AMP

Love is not love until you DO something. We must extend and display our love for one another, living together quietly and peacefully. Believers need to take care of each other so that none of us are dependant on the world for anything. We must be a blessing to one another. We need to be able to get help from each other when we need it, without taking advantage of each other. We also need to care for one another without poking our nose into each other’s business. We need to mind our own business first, making sure that we faithfully attend to our own responsibilities, and making sure that we have a right attitude at all times. When we bear ourselves becomingly and when we carry ourselves correctly and honorably, we will command the respect of the outside world.

I therefore, the prisoner for the Lord, appeal to and beg you to walk (lead a life) worthy of the [divine] calling to which you have been called [with behavior that is a credit to the summons to God’s service, 2 Living as becomes you] with complete lowliness of mind (humility) and meekness (unselfishness, gentleness, mildness), with patience, bearing with one another and making allowances because you love one another. 3 Be eager and strive earnestly to guard and keep the harmony and oneness of [and produced by] the Spirit in the binding power of peace.  Ephesians 4:1-3 AMP

Paul begs us to lead a life worthy of the divine calling to which we have been called. He encourages us to behave in a way that is a credit both to God and to the call of God on our lives. If we want to serve God and we say we are serving Him, then there are requirements we must fulfill. The way we conduct ourselves tells the story – it testifies as to whether we are serving God or ourselves. God asks us to humble ourselves and be meek and patient with each other, to bear with each other and to make allowances because we love each other. This does not just come naturally, without the influence of the Spirit of God, but it is something we must cultivate and develop with His help. God expects us to submit to the Holy Spirit and to eagerly work to preserve harmony and oneness between ourselves. Peace is the result and peace is what binds us together. This peace testifies to the world that we are His.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. 4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.  Philippians 2:1-4 NIV

Selfish ambition and vain conceit cause division and strife amongst people – even God’s people. Love and humility is the antidote. Therefore, it is so important for us, the Body of Christ, to be humble and to consider others better than ourselves. We need to be like-minded; we need to have the same love for one another; we need to be one in spirit and one in purpose. We need to not only think of ourselves and our needs, but we should care about each other and make sure that we are a blessing to one another. If we ALL do this, we will accomplish the will and purpose of God.

Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.  2 Timothy 2:22 AMP

If we, the Body of Christ, are to live together in peace and harmony, then it is essential that we all make a quality decision to personally press into God, allowing Him to have His way in our lives, and also to walk consistently in the love of God toward one another.

Obligating God with Your Offering

Obligating God with Your Offering
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 22 verses 1-14

Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. 4 Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. 5 And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” 6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. 7 But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 And Abraham said, “My son, God will provide for Himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” So the two of them went together. 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. 10 And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” So he said, “Here I am.” 12 And He said,”Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” 13 Then Abraham lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”  Genesis 22:1-14 NKJV

1. God spoke to Abraham and asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac.

a. He said, “Take now your son, your only son, whom you love.”

b. These words have significance. They are a type and shadow of that which is to come.

c. God and Abraham were in covenant together and God wanted to see the extent of Abraham’s commitment to Him.

d. He wanted to see what Abraham was willing to sacrifice—what he was willing to give up.

2. This was a test from God to see if Abraham would give up his son—his only son—and if he did, then it would put God in a position where He would then be obligated to give “His Son, His only Son”! Abraham represented all of mankind when he passed this test.

a. God provided a Lamb for the sacrifice.

b. In verse 14, Abraham called the name of the place, where God provided the ram, Jehovah-Jireh—The-Lord-Will-Provide.

c. The Bible says that the Lord will even provide seed to the sower.

d. The covenant was in full force here. Abraham was willing and obedient to obey God’s commands and he experienced the abundant, supernatural provision of God.

f. Obligating God: God challenges us to obey His Word. He even says, “Prove Me!” (Malachi 3:10) When God makes a promise, He obligates Himself to keep it. When we do what is required of us, He does what He said He would. Obey God, and you obligate Him to keep His Word. You can obligate God through your obedience to His word and His commandments.

Pastor Adonica’s thoughts:
When God makes you a promise and you meet the conditions of that promise, God WILL do what He said He would do. God has blessings in store for you. Do you really trust God? Do you really believe His word? Do you dare to step out in faith and obedience so that you can see God prove Himself true and faithful to you once again?

Pastor Rodney’s thoughts:
The Bible is a record of God’s interactions with man through the ages. It is a record of His Word, His Will, and His Plan for man. God does have a definite plan for each person and He presents tests—opportunities to make the right choice—to all of us. The question is: Do we have faith? Do we really trust God enough to obey, even when the thing He asks us to do doesn’t make sense to us? Even if we have obeyed God in the past, He may once again test us to see if we are prepared to go to the next level. It is about trust and faithfulness—can you be trusted to obey Him; will you be faithful with what He tells you to do? The Lord wants to see how far you will go. Are you prepared to go to the next level? Will you do what God has told you to do—without fear? God will probably ask you for something that means a lot to you—your treasure. Because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. From what I have seen, every man or woman that God has used in an extraordinary way has been at the same place that Abraham was, and passed the test. Will you?

Don’t Come Empty-Handed – Joyfully Give Your Freewill Offering

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

Don’t Come Empty-Handed – Joyfully Give Your Freewill Offering
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 16 verses 10–17

Then you shall keep the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God with a tribute of a freewill offering from your hand, which you shall give to the Lord your God, as the Lord your God blesses you. 11 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your son and daughter, your manservant and maidservant, and the Levite who is within your towns, the stranger or temporary resident, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place in which the Lord your God chooses to make His Name [and His Presence] dwell. 12 And you shall [earnestly] remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you shall be watchful and obey these statutes. 13 You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths for seven days after you have gathered in from your threshing floor and wine vat. 14 You shall rejoice in your Feast, you, your son and daughter, your manservant and maidservant, the Levite, the transient and the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns. 15 For seven days you shall keep a solemn Feast to the Lord your God in the place which the Lord chooses; because the Lord your God will bless you in all your produce and in all the works of your hands, so that you will be altogether joyful. 16 Three times a year shall all your males appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed: 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
Deuteronomy 16:10-17 AMP

1.  God asked them for a free-will offering

a. A freewill offering is an offering that is your choice—you decide what to give
b. Note: It is not called a free-will offering, because you have a choice on IF you are going to give, but
only because you are deciding WHAT you are going to give, when it is time to give
c. Your gift should be in proportion to the blessing of the Lord that you have received
d. You are to bring it to the place of worship with rejoicing—cheerfully and joyfully
e. Remember—remind yourself—where the Lord has brought you from so you will remember and
appreciate all His blessings on your life

2.  The Lord instructed us—His people—to come and worship Him with our giving—joyfully—as a celebration and a solemn feast.

a. The word, translated “solemn” here means: properly; to move in a circle; to march in a sacred
procession; to observe a festival; by implication—to be giddy. It is translated in the KJV as celebrate;
dance; keep or hold a solemn feast or holiday; to reel to and fro!
b. God promised—if you obey—to bless you in all your increase and in all the work of your hands
c. You are to give joyfully—in expectation of the upcoming blessing
d. Giving and joy go hand in hand
e. It is more blessed to give than to receive! (Acts 20:35)

3.  Verse 16 says, you should not appear before the Lord empty-handed

Do not come to worship God with nothing in your hand
You can’t give what you don’t have, but…
…every man (and woman) is to give as he/she is able, according to the blessing of the Lord

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
The Feast of Tabernacles was “party-time”—a time to really celebrate all of God’s generosity and faithfulness! Not one of us likes to be taken advantage of or taken for granted. None of us appreciates a gift that is cheap, stingy, or given grudgingly. When that happens, what you want to do is just hand it back to the person who gave it to you. Why, oh why, do we think that God is happy with that kind of treatment? The tithe is not optional, but freewill offerings are. Both are essential. The tithe reflects your obedience to God. Your freewill offerings reflect your love for God. Get a revelation of how much God has blessed you, how much He wants to bless you, and how much He has promised to bless you, and you will really begin to enjoy generously and joyfully blessing Him back!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
Why is it that when a minister of the Gospel stands up to receive the offering, people get either sad or mad? Why do they have a long face? This should be a celebration! We get to worship God with our giving! I guess there are just some things I don’t understand. It’s almost as though people treat God like a debt-collector. It’s giving; it’s celebration; it’s worship! Let’s not come with long faces—as if we are about to lose something —let’s come with celebration, thanksgiving and gratitude to honor the King!

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank you for all Your blessings, what You have done for me, and where You have brought me from! I come joyfully and I worship You with my giving for You have greatly blessed me.


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

Jesus answered them, Do you now believe? [Do you believe it at last?] 32 But take notice, the hour is coming, and it has arrived, when you will all be dispersed and scattered, every man to his own home, leaving Me alone. Yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me. 33 I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.] John 16:31-33 AMP

The Word of God declares that Jesus is seated at the Father’s right hand and that He ever lives to make intercession for you and me (Hebrews 7:25). While He was on the earth, He prayed this prayer below for you and me. Be encouraged—Jesus gets His prayers answered! Read this and pray it along with Jesus. May it be a source of strength to your life.


These things spoke Jesus, and having lifted up His eyes to heaven, He said, Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son in order that the Son may glorify you, even as you gave to Him authority over all flesh, in order that all that you have given Him as a permanent gift, He should give to them life eternal. And this is the eternal life, namely, that they might be having an experiential knowledge of you, the only genuine God, and of Him whom you sent on a mission, Jesus Christ.

4-10 I glorified you on the earth, having carried through to completion that which you have given me to do. And now glorify me, Father, beside yourself, with the glory which I was constantly having with you before the universe existed. I made known your Name to the men whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and your word they have held to firmly. Now, they have known that all things, as many as you have given to me are from you, because the words which you gave me, I have given them, and they themselves received them and recognized truly that from your presence I came forth, and they believed that you sent me on a mission. As for myself, I make request concerning them. Not concerning the world do I make request, but concerning those whom you have given me, because they are yours, and all things that are mine are yours, and the things that are yours are mine, and I stand glorified in them.

11-15 And as for myself, no longer am I in the world, but they themselves are in the world, and I am coming to you. O holy Father, maintain a watchful care over them in your Name, which you have given me, in order that they may be one even as we. When I was with them, I constantly maintained a watchful care over them in your Name, those whom you have given me, and I guarded them, and no one of them was lost except the son of perdition in order that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now to you I am coming, and these things I am speaking in the world in order that they may be constantly having the joy which is mine, which joy having been filled full may exist in the state of fulness in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they are not of the world even as I am not of the world. I do not ask that you should take them out of the world, but that you should guard them safely from the reach of the Pernicious One.

16-23 Of the world they are not, even as I am not of the world. Consecrate them in the sphere of the truth. The word which is yours is truth. Even as me you sent off on a mission into the world, so I sent off them on a mission into the world. And on behalf of them I am setting myself apart, in order that they themselves also, having been set apart for God in the sphere of the truth, may continually be in that state of consecration. But not concerning these only am I making request, but also concerning those who believe on me through their word, in order that all might be one, even as you, Father, are in me and I in you, in order that they themselves also might be in us, to the end that the world may be believing that you sent me on a mission. And as for myself, the glory which you have given me, I have given them, in order that they might be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, in order that they, having been brought to the state of completeness with respect to oneness, may persist in that state of completeness, to the end that the world might be understanding that you sent me on a mission and that you loved them even as you loved me.

24-26 Father, that which you have given me as a permanent gift, I desire that where I am, also those might be with me, in order that they might be continually beholding the glory which is mine, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the universe. O, righteous Father, though the world did not know you, yet I knew you, and these knew that you sent me on a mission. And I made known to them your Name, and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me might be in them and I might be in them. John 17:1-26 (Wuest)

Often, when we are going through tough situations in our life, we have a tendency to think that we are all alone. The fact of the matter is that we are not alone. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). He is for us; He is on our side; we have His Word; He loves us; He cares for us! As you meditate on this prayer that Jesus prayed, I encourage you to take it personally. Receive it as if He is standing with you and praying this prayer over you—because He has and He is!


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

“Now a great crowd of the Jews heard that He was at Bethany, and they came there, not only because of Jesus but that they also might see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also, 11 Because on account of him many of the Jews were going away [were withdrawing from and leaving the Judeans] and believing in and adhering to Jesus. 12 The next day a vast crowd of those who had come to the Passover Feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. 13 So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him. And as they went, they kept shouting, Hosanna! Blessed is He and praise to Him Who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel! 14 And Jesus, having found a young donkey, rode upon it, [just] as it is written in the Scriptures, 15 Do not fear, O Daughter of Zion! Look! Your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt! 16 His disciples did not understand and could not comprehend the meaning of these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified and exalted, they remembered that these things had been written about Him and had been done to Him. 17 The group that had been with Jesus when He called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from among the dead kept telling it [bearing witness] to others. 18 It was for this reason that the crowd went out to meet Him, because they had heard that He had performed this sign (proof, miracle).”
John 12:9-18 AMP

The crowd praised and glorified Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem and He was indeed worthy of all their praise. However, they did not praise Him for the right reasons – because of who He was or because of His message – but because of the signs and wonders and miracles. The people who had been at the tomb were telling everyone that He had raised Lazarus from the dead and they all wanted to see Jesus and Lazarus. Even today, you can draw a crowd with sensational news of miracles. However, just a few days later when He was arrested, everyone abandoned Him. Not one came to His defense. The atmosphere was so negative that even Peter was too scared to admit his
association with Jesus.

“But when He was in Jerusalem during the Passover Feast, many believed in His name [identified themselves with His party] after seeing His signs (wonders, miracles) which He was doing. 24 But Jesus [for His part] did not trust Himself to them, because He knew all [men]; 25 And He did not need anyone to bear witness concerning man [needed no evidence from anyone about men], for He Himself knew what was in human nature. [He could read men’s hearts.]”
John 2:23-25 APM

Jesus knew the fickle nature of man and He was well aware that He was only popular with these people because He performed miracles to meet their needs. He did not resent all the good things He did for them; because He loved them and He came to save, heal deliver them. It is His nature and His purpose to do good and heal all. However, He also had a message to bring them that they were not as interested in.

“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty miracles performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.”
Luke 10:13 AMP

“So when the Samaritans arrived, they asked Him to remain with them, and He did stay there two days. 41 Then many more believed in and adhered to and relied on Him because of His personal message [what He Himself said]. 42 And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ”. John 4:40-42 AMP

Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and miracles happen, you [people] never will believe (trust, have faith) at all.”  John 4:48 AMP

The Samaritans believed on Jesus because of His message, but He was expected to do signs and miracles before the Galileans would give Him the time of day. They were hard-hearted and cynical.

In John 6:1-70, the crowd came looking for Jesus because He healed their sick. Then, after He fed the multitude with only five loaves and two fish, they wanted to make Him their king! Jesus had to walk back across the Sea of Galilee to get away from the people, but they still followed Him to the other side. Jesus knew why they were there. He told them, “You have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied.” (Verse 26 AMP) You can tell what their priorities were – their belly! Jesus told them that they needed to believe on Him for the right reasons – because God had sent Him.

Right away they asked Him to do another miracle so they could believe – like bread from heaven! Jesus told them that He was the true Heavenly Bread. He said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 NKJV) He also told them that if they believed on Him, that He would give them eternal life, but all they did was get mad at Jesus, find fault with Him and grumble and murmur. Then when Jesus began talking about them eating His flesh and drinking His blood, they totally lost it! At that point, everybody got up and left Him, even many of His own followers. They passed up on eternal life, because they did not like to hear the truth. The truth is not always welcome, but it is always essential.

It is time to worship, glorify and serve Jesus for Who He is and not just for what He can do!


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

What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. 1 Corinthians 14:15a NKJV

Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. James 5:13a AMP

In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.] 1 Peter 3:7 AMP

1. Pray for R.M.I.: Open doors; Provision
• Acts 4:29
• Mark 16:20
• Philippians 4:19
• 1 Corinthians 16:9
• 2 Corinthians 2:12
• Colossians 4:3
• Revelations 3:8
• Matthew 9:38
• Hebrews 13:20-21

2. Pray for The River at Tampa Bay Church
• 1 Corinthians 1:10
• Ephesians 4:11-16
• 1 Corinthians 3:9

3. Pray for our children, our schools, RBI and RSW
• Deuteronomy 6:5-7
• Deuteronomy 28:4&11
• Isaiah 54:13
• Proverbs 22:6
• Philippians 2:15-16
• Daniel 1:17
• Ephesians 5:1-5
• 2 Timothy 2:22
• Colossians 2:3
• Pray also for homeschooling families
• The right school system for the River Church
• Building and accommodation for the River School

4. Pray for the will of God and godly wisdom and understanding
• James 1:5-6
• Colossians 1:9
• Proverbs 2:2
• Proverbs 1:2-5 AMP
• Proverbs 4:5-13 AMP
• Proverbs 3:5-6
• Proverbs 3:13-18 AMP
• 1 Corinthians 1:30
• Colossians 2:3
• Proverbs 2:7
• Psalms 32:8
• John 10:3-5
• Psalms 23:3
• Ephesians 5:15-19
• Psalms 16:11

5. Provision and blessing; success in business
• Philippians 4:19
• Malachi 3:8-12
• Deuteronomy 8:18-19
• 2 Corinthians 9:8
• Romans 8:17
• Colossians 1:12
• Philemon 1:6
• Proverbs 16:3
• Philippians 2:13
• Ephesians 4:28
• 1 Timothy 5:8
• Hebrews 1:14
• Matthew 5:14-16
• Proverbs 22:29
• Proverbs 2:9

6. Health and healing
• James 5:14-15 NIV
• 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
• Psalms 107:20
• Isaiah 53:4-5
• Proverbs 4:20-22
• Psalms 103:3-5
• Romans 8:11
• 3 John 2

7. Protection and safety
• Psalms 91
• Psalms 34:7
• Proverbs 3:23-26
• Isaiah 49:25
• Proverbs 3:23-26
• Psalms 112:7
• Isaiah 26:3
• Psalms 3:5
• Psalms 4:8 AMP
• Psalms 127:2
• Zechariah 2:5
• Luke 21:18


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

We know we know the Lord because:

15. We are cleansed from sin

“But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.” 1 John 1:7-10 NKJV

“And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin. Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him. Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.”
1 John 3:5-10 NKJV

The freedom that we have in Christ is not the freedom to sin because we think He will forgive us anyway, but it is the freedom to live for Him and walk in righteousness. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. There is a clear distinction between the child of God and the child of the devil. Before we are saved, without the cleansing blood of Jesus, sin has dominion over us and it pulls us anyway it wants. Even though we want to do right, we keep doing wrong. Once we are washed in His blood, our heart draws us toward Him and toward righteousness. Our desires change. Sin no longer satisfies. The fact that we are cleansed from sin and we live righteously indicates that we truly know Him. If someone says that they know Him, but they practice sin, they make themselves to be a liar.

16. We are free from condemnation

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1-2 NKJV

“For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” 1 John 3:20-23 NKJV

Thank God, we are free from condemnation through Jesus Christ. We no longer fear God’s wrath and punishment; we no longer have a guilty conscience because of sin; we walk in the peace and freedom of His forgiveness. Because we know God and we know His character, we can now come confidently into His presence. Sin cannot stand in the presence of God. Because we are free from sin, we are free from the condemnation of sin and we have confidence toward God – confidence in His love, care and concern for us.

17. His Spirit dwells in us

“Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.”
1 John 3:24 NKJV

“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 NKJV

“By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.” 1 John 4:13-14 NKJV

“[He has also appropriated and acknowledged us as His by] putting His seal upon us and giving us His [Holy] Spirit in our hearts as the security deposit and
guarantee [of the fulfillment of His promise].” 2 Corinthians 1:22 AMP

The fact that the Holy Spirit lives in us is proof that we know Him. The Spirit cannot dwell in an unclean vessel – only in a vessel that has been washed and cleansed and made brand new by the blood of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit, Himself. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that makes us a brand new creature in Christ. It is the work of the Holy Spirit that builds character in us and grows and increases the fruit of the Spirit in us. It is the Holy Spirit that anoints us and endows us with spiritual gifts and graces. All this work of the Holy Spirit in us is evidence that we truly know God.

Bringing good news to South Africa

This site is protected by