BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD!


“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!

PRAYER LIST – PART TWO

“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

TWENTY ONE REASONS WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW THE LORD – PART FOUR

“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.

PRAYER LIST – PART THREE

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

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
Mark 11:22-26 NKJV

“Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Matthew 18:19-20 NKJV

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

1. Renewing the mind; conquering thoughts;
casting down imaginations
• 3 John 2
• 1 Corinthians 2:16 AMP
• Proverbs 3:5-6
• 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 AMP
• Romans 12:2 AMP
• Joshua 1:8
• Philippians 4:6-9 NIV
• Proverbs 16:3 AMP
• Colossians 3:2
• Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
• 1 Peter 5:7
• 1 John 4:4

2. To walk in love
• Romans 5:5
• 1 John 4:18
• 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 AMP
• Matthew 5:44
• Philippians 1:9-11
• John 13:34
• Ephesians 3:17 AMP
• Romans 8:31 & 39

3. To walk in forgiveness
• Romans 12:10 & 14 & 16-18 AMP
• Ephesians 4:31
• Mark 11:25
• Ephesians 4:32
• 1 Peter 3:11-12

4. To watch what you say
• Ephesians 5:4
• 2 Timothy 2:16
• James 3:2-13
• Proverbs 8:6;7
• Proverbs 21:23
• John 6:63
• Colossians 3:16
• Philemon 6

5. Unity and harmony
• Philippians 2:2
• 1 Peter 3:8
• 1 Corinthians 1:10 AMP
• Matthew 18:19 AMP
• Ephesians 4:2-3 AMP
• 1 Peter 3:8-9 AMP
• John 17:22-23 AMP

6. Boldness
• Acts 4:29
• Ephesians 6:19-20 AMP
• Ephesians 3:12 AMP
• Colossians 2:10 & 15 AMP
• Psalms 68:1
• Hebrews 13:6 AMP
• Proverbs 28:1

7. Giving thanks to God
• Psalms 100:1-5 AMP
• Psalms 92:1 AMP
• Hebrews 13:15
• Psalms 30:4
• Psalms 50:23 AMP
• Psalms 95:2

THE CHURCH – MATURITY OF THE BELIEVER

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

The mission of the local church is: Preaching and teaching; Making disciples; Fellowship; Worship; Missions and evangelism; Maturity of the believer; Ministry in the home; Ministry to material needs.

Maturity of the Believer:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ. 14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. Ephesians 4:11-16 NASB

You are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus Himself the chief Cornerstone. 21 In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]. 22 In Him [and in fellowship with one another] you yourselves also are being built up [into this structure] with the rest, to form a fixed abode (dwelling place) of God in (by, through) the Spirit. Ephesians 2:20-22 AMP

The Lord anoints and calls certain believers to stand in one or more of these five-fold offices: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers. They are given to the Church, to serve the Church, with the express purpose of equipping the saints (believers) for the work of service and to build the body of Christ up. The goal is to attain unity of faith, knowledge of the Son of God, maturity and perfection – every believer becoming more and more Christ-like and more and more solid in the Word of God.

The Church, as it grows up in the Lord, attains maturity in and through the following:

Prayer:
• Colossians 4:12 NKJV – Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

The Word of God:
• 1 Peter 2:2 AMP – Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation.
Colossians 1:28-29 AMP – Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One). 29 For this I labor [unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.
• 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 AMP – However, brethren, I could not talk to you as to spiritual [men], but as to nonspiritual [men of the flesh, in whom the carnal nature predominates], as to mere infants [in the new life] in Christ [unable to talk yet!] 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not yet strong enough [to be ready for it]; but even yet you are not strong enough [to be ready for it].
• 2 Timothy 2:15 AMP – Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

The exercise of faith:
• 1 Thessalonians 3:10 AMP – [And we] continue to pray especially and with most intense earnestness night and day that we may see you face to face and mend and make good whatever may be imperfect and lacking in your faith.
• Colossians 2:7 AMP – Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.

Patience through tests:
• James 1:2-4 NIV – Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
• 1 Peter 1:7 AMP – So that [the genuineness] of your faith may be tested, [your faith] which is infinitely more precious than the perishable gold which is tested and purified by fire. [This proving of your faith is intended] to redound to [your] praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) is revealed.

Love:
• 1 Corinthians 8:1 ERV – Now I will write about meat that is sacrificed to idols. We know that “we all have knowledge,” as you say. But this knowledge puffs a person up with pride, while love helps the church grow stronger.
• Colossians 3:14 AMP – And above all these [put on] love and enfold yourselves with the bond of perfectness [which binds everything together completely in ideal harmony].

Grace:
• 2 Peter 3:18 NKJV – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Spiritual gifts:
• Romans 1:11 AMP – For I am yearning to see you, that I may impart and share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen and establish you.

A TRULY BEAUTIFUL WOMAN-SUBMIT AND ADAPT YOURSELF TO YOUR HUSBAND AS A SERVICE TO THE LORD–PART V

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

The same goes for you wives: Be good wives to your husbands, responsive to their needs. There are husbands who, indifferent as they are to any words about God, will be captivated 2 by your life of holy beauty. 3 What matters is not your outer appearance — the styling of your hair, the jewelry you wear, the cut of your clothes — 4 but your inner disposition. Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 5 The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. 6 Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as “my dear husband.” You’ll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated. 1 Peter 3:1-6 Message Bible

Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; 4 But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves to them as themselves secondary and dependent upon them]. 6 It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you]. 1 Peter 3:3-6 AMP

The Greek word “adorning” is “kosmos” – meaning: fashion; ornament; decoration. The outward adorning mentioned here is referring to clothing, jewelry and hair-styles. Some people have used these scriptures to ban jewelry and make-up for women, but then they should also ban clothing because Peter mentions clothing as well. This is not what Peter is saying at all. He is not condemning these things, but he is talking about the difference between outward attractiveness and inner attractiveness and which is most important. Many people go to extremes in dress and decoration. Being dressed nicely is not sinful or unbecoming to a Christian; however, extravagance is discouraged in both Peter and Paul’s letters to the Church. God does not want us to display arrogance or haughtiness in our outward appearance or our inward appearance. Many people pay way too much attention to the outer man and the appearance, when it is the inner man that is most important!

God does not want us to be obsessed with outward appearance – neither does He want us to neglect ourselves – being clean and neat and well groomed are important. You have to understand that more important than these, are your attitude and your spirit. True beauty starts within. No amount of clothing, make-up or jewelry can cover or beautify a mean-spirited, selfish, self-centered woman. Men may be initially attracted to an outward appearance, but what they treasure in a wife – for life – is a sweet and gracious spirit. You will win your husband over – not by your dress or outward appearance, but by your Christ-like spirit!

Peter refers to Sarah as a role-model. Sarah was Abraham’s wife and they were very wealthy people. You can be sure that Sarah had some nice clothes and jewelry and that she wore these things. When their servant went to find a wife for Isaac – Rebekah – he brought with him a great deal of jewelry, which he gave to her as a gift from Isaac and his family. God is not against nice clothing or jewelry – what Peter is saying here is that the outward decorations cannot cover or make up for a lack of godly character. The things that make a woman truly beautiful are the things that come from within – from the heart.

While looking to attract a great husband, many women make the mistake of presenting only a pretty appearance, when it is the qualities of a godly life that a good man is attracted to. A good husband wants a wife that is going to be faithful and committed to him. A good man is looking for a pretty, yet modest woman, who has strength of character, dignity, confidence and self-respect. If you think that men are so shallow that all they want is a pretty woman, then you are going to attract only shallow men. If you cultivate godly character and you allow that to shine through whatever you wear, then you will attract a man of character and integrity.

There is nothing more beautiful than a woman of godly character, who walks in modesty, kindness and gentleness:

Proverbs 31:10 AMP – A capable, intelligent, and virtuous woman — who is he who can find her? She is far more precious than jewels and her value is far above rubies or pearls.
Proverbs 31:26 AMP – She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].
Proverbs 31:30 AMP – Charm and grace are deceptive, and beauty is vain [because it is not lasting], but a woman who reverently and worshipfully fears the Lord, she shall be praised!

No matter how pretty a woman is on the outside, it soon fades away completely when she is mean and nasty on the inside:

Proverbs 21:9 AMP – It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop [on the flat oriental roof, exposed to all kinds of weather] than in a house shared with a nagging, quarrelsome, and faultfinding woman.
Proverbs 21:19 AMP – It is better to dwell in a desert land than with a contentious woman and with vexation.
Proverbs 27:15 AMP – A continual dripping on a day of violent showers and a contentious woman are alike.
Proverbs 19:13-14 AMP – A self-confident and foolish son is the [multiplied] calamity of his father, and the contentions of a wife are like a continual dripping [of water through a chink in the roof]. House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord.

Faith & Praise

[For Abraham, human reason for] hope being gone, hoped in faith that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been promised, So [numberless] shall your descendants be. 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. 20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, 21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. Romans 4:18-21 AMP

Faith is defined as: confidence or trust in a person or thing; a belief that is not based on observed proof or evidence. Abraham had no proof – other than God’s promise to him – that he would have a son. According to his and Sarah’s advanced age and her barrenness, it was physically and naturally impossible. However, he still continued to unwaveringly believe and trust in God’s word to him. In fact, with every passing year, his faith grew stronger, rather than weaker! The scripture tells us that Abraham grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.

Praise and faith go hand in hand!

Abraham praised God and gave Him glory and all the time his faith was also being strengthened. Ephesians 1:12 AMP says, “So that we who first hoped in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him have been destined and appointed to] live for the praise of His glory!” When we put our confidence in Father God and in Jesus Christ, we have a reason to praise and rejoice! At the same time, praising Him and rejoicing in His goodness, strengthens our faith in Him.

For we [Christians] are the true circumcision, who worship God in spirit and by the Spirit of God and exult and glory and pride ourselves in Jesus Christ, and put no confidence or dependence [on what we are] in the flesh and on outward privileges and physical advantages and external appearances. Philippians 3:3 AMP

But Christ (the Messiah) was faithful over His [own Father’s] house as a Son [and Master of it]. And it is we who are [now members] of this house, if we hold fast and firm to the end our joyful and exultant confidence and sense of triumph in our hope [in Christ]. Hebrews 3:6 AMP

A true follower of Christ puts no confidence in the flesh, but in God’s word alone. A true follower is also a true worshiper. We are indeed members of the household of faith if we hold fast and firm to the end, with a joyful and exultant confidence in our hope, who is Christ. We don’t praise God only because everything is going well for us – we praise Him no matter what the circumstances – we praise Him because He is the answer to our problems and the way out of our predicament. We praise Him for all He has done, for all He is doing and especially for all He is going to do!

I like what it says in Hebrews 3:6 (AMP) also: that we should have a “sense of triumph”! Hallelujah! We can praise and worship God in hope, with a sense that we have already won the battle – and indeed we have for Jesus has already defeated our foe! We WILL triumph – we WILL be victorious – if we keep believing and if we keep praising! If praise and worship – in faith – to God could bring Jericho’s impenetrable walls down, then praise and worship and faith will bring down any walls that the devil has erected against you!

Here are some scriptures that demonstrate faith and worship in action and the wonderful benefits of both:

In the reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children shall always have a place of refuge. Proverbs 14:26 AMP

O God, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]! Psalms 108:1 AMP

The [uncompromisingly] righteous shall be glad in the Lord and shall trust and take refuge in Him; and all the upright in heart shall glory and offer praise. Psalms 64:10 AMP

And He has put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many shall see and fear (revere and worship) and put their trust and confident reliance in the Lord. Psalms 40:3 AMP

But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits. Psalms 5:11 AMP

What time I am afraid, I will have confidence in and put my trust and reliance in You. 4 By [the help of] God I will praise His word; on God I lean, rely, and confidently put my trust; I will not fear. What can man, who is flesh, do to me? Psalms 56:3-4 AMP

For You are my hope; O Lord God, You are my trust from my youth and the source of my confidence. 6 Upon You have I leaned and relied from birth; You are He Who took me from my mother’s womb and You have been my benefactor from that day. My praise is continually of You. 7 I am as a wonder and surprise to many, but You are my strong refuge. 8 My mouth shall be filled with Your praise and with Your honor all the day. Psalms 71:5-8 AMP

A New Creation in Christ – Part II

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV

Therefore if any person is [ingrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come! 2 Corinthians5:17

If anyone is in Christ, he is a brand new creation. ALL old things have passed away. ALL things have become new. Your old life is dead and so is your sin nature. You are dead to sin and alive to God.

Old things have passed away:

The old covenant has passed away and a new one has taken its place:

And this will be My covenant (My agreement) with them when I shall take away their sins. Romans 11:27 AMP

“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:16-17 NKJV

Your old sin nature is dead – you are dead to sin – sin has lost its power over you:

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV

We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with Him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, that we might no longer be the slaves of sin. 7 For when a man dies, he is freed (loosed, delivered) from [the power of] sin [among men]. Romans 6:6-7 AMP

Your sin is forgiven – it is dead and buried:

Blessed and happy and to be envied are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered up and completely buried. 8 Blessed and happy and to be envied is the person of whose sin the Lord will take no account nor reckon it against him. Romans 4:7-8 AMP

All things have become new:

Everything in your life is new: you have a new heart; a new nature; a new covenant; a new Lord; a new perspective; a new outlook; a new beginning; a new way of life. You have been born again by the Spirit of God.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 NKJV

You are made alive in Him:

And you [He made alive], when you were dead (slain) by [your] trespasses and sins. Ephesians 2:1 AMP

You are born of Him:

If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him. 1 John 2:29NKJV

You have been made righteous and your spirit is now alive unto God:

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 5:21 NKJV

But now since you have been set free from sin and have become the slaves of God, you have your present reward in holiness and its end is eternal life. Romans 6:22 AMP

You are resurrected with Christ:

Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Romans 6:4-6 NKJV

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. 3 For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3 AMP

Resurrection life is operating in you from the inside out:

But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you]. 11 And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you. Romans 8:10-11 AMP

Clothe yourself in this new nature:

Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, 10 And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it. Colossians 3:9-10 AMP

Bringing good news to South Africa