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.

JESUS GETS HIS PRAYERS ANSWERED

“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.

JESUS PRAYED THIS PRAYER FOR YOU:

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.

STAY HUNGRY & THIRSTY

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.

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