“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!

Being Filled With The Spirit

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

Foundation Scriptures:Ephesians 5:18-20

18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit. 19 Speak out to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, offering praise with voices [and instruments] and making melody with all your heart to the Lord, 20 At all times and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.
Ephesians 5:18-20

To Be Filled With The Spirit You Must Be Empty

  • Empty yourself of yourself.
  • Empty yourself of sin.
  • Things of the world
  • Desires that are not of God
  • Deal with the things of the past; cut them off

Colossians 3:5 AMP – 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).

  • Once you empty yourself you must do something about filling yourself up.

You Must Be Thirsty

  • If you hunger and thirst after righteousness you will be filled, if you draw nigh unto me.
  • Matthew 5:6 AMP – Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous (in that state in which the born-again child of God enjoys His favor and salvation) are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness (uprightness and right standing with God), for they shall be completely satisfied!
  • James 4:8a AMP – Come close to God and He will come close to you.
  • As the deer panteth for the water.

Psalms 42:1 AMP – As the hart pants and longs for the water brooks, so I pant and long for You, O God.

You Must Be Hungry

  • Spiritual appetite—develop it
  • How can you be filled with the Spirit when you are filled with everything else?
  • Spiritual junk food
  • Isaiah 55:1  (Message Bible)  “Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything’s free! Why do you spend your money on junk food, your hard-earned cash on cotton candy? Listen to me, listen well: Eat only the best; fill yourself with only the finest. Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words.

You Must Come Expecting To Be Filled

  • Filled with the New Wine
  • Filled with the Holy Spirit—filled with God Himself
  • Ephesians 3:19 AMP – [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that you may be filled [through all your being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself]!

You Must Allow the Lord To Fill You

  • With joy shall ye draw forth water out of the wells of Salvation.
  • Isaiah 12:3 AMP – Therefore with joy will you draw water from the wells of salvation.
  • We have all been made to drink unto one Spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:13 AMP – For by [means of the personal agency of] one [Holy] Spirit we were all, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free, baptized [and by baptism united together] into one body, and all made to drink of one [Holy] Spirit.

You Must Give Out So That You Can Start The Whole Process Again

  • Empty, thirsty & hungry, expectation, allow God to fill you—give out.
  • But be ye being filled
  • Constantly filled and emptied, filled and emptied…
  • Ephesians 5:18 AMP – And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but ever be filled and stimulated with the [Holy] Spirit.



“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.


“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


“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:

• 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.

• 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].

• 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.


“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.

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