Momentary Pleasure

There are all sorts of ads on the radio and on television. Often, when it gets down to the fine print, the announcer speaks so fast that you can’t keep up with him. Why does he speak quickly? He’s reading the part the company would rather you didn’t hear. The important message: Buy it now.

Satan makes the same presentation: Don’t worry about the future; you can have immediate fulfillment now!  The strength of Satan’s temptations is that worldly things are available immediately. You can have them – for a price – and they will provide temporary gratification.

The Enemy doesn’t bring up tomorrow. He invites us to forfeit our future by demanding immediate fulfillment of our desires. There is nothing you or I “must have” now that is worth stepping out of God’s will or losing the privileges and opportunities He has prepared for us. God has a plan for our lives, and there is absolutely nothing that can compare with His will, His purpose, and His goals.

Our relationship with God is the most important aspect of our existence. No experience at any time in our lives compares in the slightest with knowing Him. Yet every day, because we must “have it now,” we’re tempted to choose what Satan has to offer.

We sacrifice our future when we make irrevocable decisions in times of emotional weakness. Jesus Christ can help us face any temptation or trial Satan can throw our way. The Lord is there for us, and He will never leave us or forsake us.

MY WORSHIP

Foundation Scriptures: John 4:19-24

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. 24 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  John 4:19-24 NKJV

1. You worship you know not what.

a.    This sounds like the modern-day church.
b.    As we have traveled around the world, it has been interesting – and in some cases, disturbing – to see what goes on in the “Church” under the guise of “worship”.
c.    Jesus said, in verse 23, that the Father is seeking TRUE worshipers. The Father is seeking people who will worship Him from their mouth AND their heart.
d.    You worship in vain if your mouth worships, but your heart is not submitted to God. Matthew 15:8-9 NKJV – These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
e.    It is unprofitable to offer a sacrifice of worship from a disobedient heart. 1 Samuel 15:22 AMP – Samuel said, Has the Lord as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

2. Being a true worshiper.

a.    Worship is from the heart.
b.    Worship is not a religious act of posture, stance, or tone. It is the heart crying out. Psalms 42:7 – Deep calls unto deep.
c.    10 lepers were healed – only one came back to say thanks. Nine were cleansed, but only one was made whole. Luke 17:15-19 KJV – And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
d.    True worship does not spring forth only in “good times”, it springs forth out of and in the middle of the darkest seasons of life.
–    Jonah in the fish’s belly
–    The three Hebrew children in the fire
–    Daniel in the lion’s den
–    David tending sheep
–    Paul and Silas in prison
–    Jesus in Gethsemane
–    All circumstances don’t have to be the best for worship to be true worship. True worship originates from a heart; whose trust, hope and faith are in the Lord and not in a temporary situation.

3.True worship comes from a pure heart.

a.    A heart that is pure and holy.
b.    A heart that is ablaze – on fire.
c.    A heart full of passion.
d.    A heart full of faith.

4.True worshippers worship the Father in Spirit and in truth.

a.    There is a difference between Old Testament worship and New Testament worship.
b.    OT – God inhabits the praise of His people.
c.    NT – God inhabits His people of praise!
d.    Rejoice and give thanks – always – for all things! Ephesians 5:18-20 KJV – And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
e.    Worship will never stop – for all eternity we will joyfully worship Him!

5. Let this month be a month of worship.

a.    Every day – thank Him and give Him praise for His goodness, mercy, and grace!

The New is Wine is Better

Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'” Luke 5:36-39 NKJV

No one puts a new piece of material on an old garment:

Jesus told the disciples: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.”

He was speaking of the New Covenant compared to the Old and to our new life in Him compared to religious tradition and our own efforts. Isaiah 64:6a NKJV says: “But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags.” When it comes to garments, the material tends to shrink when it is washed, especially when it is new. An older garment has done most of its shrinking, but a new piece of material will still shrink further. When this happens, it will tear away from the garment it has been sown onto.

Christianity is not just another religion – it is a new life! We have a brand new covenant, based on better promises. You can’t put a new religious patch on an old religion. Jesus did not come to “patch up our religion, nor us” or to patch up the Law – He came to give each of us a brand-new garment – a robe of righteousness. You can’t fix the sin problem by fixing behavior – you can’t fix it from the outside in, with rules, but only from the inside out, by the Spirit of God. Only God can fix the sin problem, and He does it by changing the heart. When you believe the Gospel and you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, you are born again and you become a new creation – your spirit is made brand new! You don’t have a new religion – you have a new life.

No one puts new wine into old wineskins:

Jesus said: “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”

Jesus is speaking here about new wine that has been freshly squeezed. New Wine is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. You can’t put new wine into an old wineskin, because an old wineskin is rigid and unyielding. When the gases of the wine in it expand, it will not stretch, but burst. New wine must be put into a new wineskin that is soft and flexible, so that they can expand together. God puts His Holy Spirit into the heart that has been made brand new by the blood of Jesus.

Even an old wineskin can be pressed into service again if it is first soaked in water and then has oil thoroughly rubbed into it, to make it soft and flexible again. Water is symbolic of the Word of God and Oil is another symbol for the Holy Spirit. Where religion makes us hard and inflexible, liable to burst and tear, God’s Word and His Holy Spirit make us soft, humble and yielded, if they are allowed to do their work on our “wineskin”. If we want God to be able to use us then we must continually soak ourselves in the Word of God and allow it to soak into us. We must allow the Holy Spirit to do His work in us to keep us fresh and full of His wonderful new wine.

Old wine versus new wine:

Jesus said: “And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.’”

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” 6 Now there were set there six waterpots of stone, according to the manner of purification of the Jews, containing twenty or thirty gallons apiece. 7 Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And He said to them, “Draw some out now, and take it to the master of the feast.” And they took it. 9 When the master of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom. 10 And he said to him, “Every man at the beginning sets out the good wine, and when the guests have well drunk, then the inferior. You have kept the good wine until now!” John 2:1-10 NKJV

The first miracle that Jesus did was to turn water into wine at the wedding feast. The master of the feast declared that this new wine was the best tasting wine at the celebration. When people drink too much of the “old wine” of religion, they are not thirsty for the new wine of the Spirit of God. Jesus came to give us His delicious new wine. Once we taste it, we will never want the old again!

Right Relationships

In order to become the people that God wants us to be, it is essential that we choose the right relationships. They are extremely important because without them, we will be unable to accomplish much in life. The relationships that we should pursue are ones that:

Build our confidence in God and in ourselves.

Encourage us when we are troubled and despondent.

Stimulate us to reach our full potential.

Energize us when we are weary.

Comfort us when we are hurting.

Defend us when we are attacked.

Forgive us when we make mistakes.

Love us unconditionally.

Confront us when we go astray.

Serve us when we are overextended.

It is good to ask ourselves if we have anyone in our lives who fills the needs mentioned on this list. It is also important to discover what relationships may be dragging us down or deflecting us from the path of godliness. When this happens, we may have to separate from certain individuals in order to maintain our standards. When separation is not an option—as when the unhealthy relationship involves a family member—we can still persevere to walk with God.

Now, let’s look at that list from a different angle. Ask yourself, Am I the person who lifts and steadies others in their walk with God? We can determine to provide those qualities to those around us. Such relationships are among life’s greatest treasures.

  • 1.
  • And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved .
  • 2.
  • When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.
  • 3.
  • And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.
  • 4.
  • And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.
  • 5.
  • But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed , saying , That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.
  • 6.
  • And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.
  • 7.
  • And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up , and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the word of the gospel, and believe .
  • 8.
  • And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness , giving them the Holy Ghost, even as he did unto us;
  • 9.
  • And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
  • 10.
  • Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear ?
  • 11.
  • But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved , even as they.
  • 12.
  • Then all the multitude kept silence , and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them.
  • 13.
  • And after they had held their peace , James answered , saying , Men and brethren, hearken unto me:
  • 14.
  • Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name.
  • 15.
  • And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written ,
  • 16.
  • After this I will return , and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down ; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up :
  • 17.
  • That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called , saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.
  • 18.
  • Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.
  • 19.
  • Wherefore my sentence is , that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
  • 20.
  • But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
  • 21.
  • For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every sabbath day.
  • 22.
  • Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren:
  • 23.
  • And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:
  • 24.
  • Forasmuch as we have heard , that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying , Ye must be circumcised , and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment :
  • 25.
  • It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
  • 26.
  • Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 27.
  • We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth.
  • 28.
  • For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
  • 29.
  • That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well .
  • 30.
  • So when they were dismissed , they came to Antioch: and when they had gathered the multitude together , they delivered the epistle:
  • 31.
  • Which when they had read , they rejoiced for the consolation.
  • 32.
  • And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.
  • 33.
  • And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the apostles.
  • 34.
  • Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still .
  • 35.
  • Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.
  • 36.
  • And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas , Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do .
  • 37.
  • And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
  • 38.
  • But Paul thought not good to take him with them , who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
  • 39.
  • And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other : and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
  • 40.
  • And Paul chose Silas, and departed , being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
  • 41.
  • And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

GOD’S WORD FOR RAISING GREAT KIDS

Children are a blessing from God. Many people treat them as if they are anything but a blessing. They will be more of a blessing if you apply God’s Word in the way you raise them. Rodney Howard Browne teaches us to stand on God’s Word for your family. Believe His promises.

For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; he has blessed your children within you.  Psalms 147:13 NKJ

Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. 5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate.  Psalms 127:3-5 NKJ

The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.  Proverbs 20:7 NKJ

Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table.  Psalms 128:3 NKJ

A wise child is an incredible blessing, but a foolish child will bring years of pain and grief. Foolish, undisciplined children disrespect their parents. Your children will give you the respect due you as a parent if you discipline, correct, teach and train them as the Word of God instructs. Rodney Howard Browne teaches us to protect your children and be careful over their friends and whom they associate with.

A wise son makes a father glad, but a foolish son is a grief to his mother.  Proverbs 10:1 NAS

A wise son makes a glad father, but a self-confident and foolish man despises his mother and puts her to shame.  Proverbs 15:20 AMP

A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him.  Proverbs 17:25 NKJ

Whoever keeps the law [of God and man] is a wise son, but he who is a companion of gluttons and the carousing, self-indulgent, and extravagant shames his father.  Proverbs 28:7 AMP

The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice, and he who begets a wise child will delight in him. 25 Let your father and your mother be glad, and let her who bore you rejoice.  Proverbs 23:24-25 NKJ

Take responsibility for the raising of your own children. You shape their future! Eli got in trouble with God because he allowed his sons to do whatever they wanted to do. Rodney Howard Browne warns that undisciplined, untrained children lose out on their inheritance —spiritual and material.

Train up a child in the way he should go [and in keeping with his individual gift or bent], and when he is old he will not depart from it.   Proverbs 22:6 AMP

A servant who acts wisely will rule over a son who acts shamefully, and will share in the inheritance among brothers.  Proverbs 17:2 NAS

Don’t be shocked when your kid does dumb stuff. They are kids! You will need patience and you will need to be consistent in your discipline and training ­—not just for a day —for at least 18 years!

Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.  Proverbs 22:15 AMP

The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left undisciplined brings his mother to shame.  Proverbs 29:15 AMP

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your heart.  Proverbs 29:17 AMP

Withhold not discipline from the child; for if you strike and punish him with the [reedlike] rod, he will not die. 14 You shall whip him with the rod and deliver his life from Sheol (Hades, the place of the dead).  Proverbs 23:13-14 AMP

He who spares his rod [of discipline] hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines diligently and punishes him early.  Proverbs 13:24 AMP (…disciplines him promptly NKJ)

Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.  Proverbs 19:18 KJV (…do not be a willing party to his death. NIV)

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul.  Proverbs 29:17 NKJ (…he will give you peace…NIV)

A child is accountable for his/her attitude and behavior just the same as an adult. “He’s just a kid” is a cop out. Kids are responsible for themselves and should be held accountable.

Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right.
Proverbs 20:11 NKJ

Your leadership style in the home relates directly to your leadership style in other areas. You can act like you have it all together out there, but back home your kids know the real story! Your first responsibility is your own family. You cannot abdicate your familial responsibilities and then expect God to use you in the church. If you want a leadership role in the church you must be a leader in your home. Show some character and integrity in your home and you will be fit to minister to the Body of Christ!

He must rule his own household well, keeping his children under control, with true dignity, commanding their respect in every way and keeping them respectful. 5 For if a man does not know how to rule his own household, how is he to take care of the church of God?  1 Timothy 3:4-5 AMP

Let deacons be the husbands of but one wife, and let them manage [their] children and their own households well.  1 Timothy 3:12 AMP

[These elders should be] men who are of unquestionable integrity and are irreproachable, the husband of [but] one wife, whose children are [well trained and are] believers, not open to the accusation of being loose in morals and conduct or unruly and disorderly.  Titus 1:6 AMP (…wild and disobedient NIV)

Witnesses to the Resurrection

The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Acts 1:1-3 NKJV

Just like the Virgin Birth, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to our faith and salvation. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says: “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.” And 1 Corinthians 15:17 says: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (NIV) Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins and He rose again to give us new life – eternal life. Christianity is not just another religion – it is a genuine experience and a relationship with Almighty God through Jesus Christ. It is a fact that Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Hundreds of people personally witnessed His death on the cross and hundreds were witnesses of His resurrection. They saw Him, they spoke with Him, they touched Him, they ate with Him, and they saw Him ascend into the heavens into the presence of the Father and His angels.

Jesus’ Appearances After His Resurrection:

Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9-11; John 20:11-18):

Now when He rose early on the first day of the week, He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom He had cast seven demons. 10 She went and told those who had been with Him, as they mourned and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they did not believe. Mark 16:9-11 NKJV

The other women at the tomb (Matthew 28:8-10; Luke 24:1-11):

And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. 9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. 10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me. Matthew 28:8-10 KJV

Peter in Jerusalem (Luke 24:34; 1 Corinthians 15:5):

Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. Luke 24:34 KJV

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Mark 16:12, 13; Luke 24:13-35):

After that, He appeared in another form to two of them as they walked and went into the country. 13 And they went and told it to the rest, but they did not believe them either. Mark 16:12-13 NKJV

Ten disciples (without Thomas) behind closed doors (Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-25):

And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. 37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. 38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? 39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. 40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. Luke 24:36-40 KJV

All the disciples, with Thomas (excluding Judas Iscariot) (John 20:26-31; 1 Corinthians 15:5):

And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. 27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. John 20:26-28 KJV

Seven disciples who were fishing (John 21:1-14):

After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias; and on this wise shewed he himself. 2 There were together Simon Peter, and Thomas called Didymus, and Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, and the sons of Zebedee, and two other of his disciples. John 21:1-2 KJV

This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead. John 21:14 KJV

Eleven disciples on the mountain (Matthew 28:16-20):

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. Matthew 28:16-17 KJV

A crowd of 500; Peter; Jesus’ brother, James; and Paul:

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 KJV

Those who watched Jesus ascend into heaven (Mark 16:19; Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:1-11):

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. Mark 16:19 NKJV

Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, 11 who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” Acts 1:9-11 NKJV

Biblical Instruction Concerning Sound Doctrine

Be nourished up in sound doctrine:

If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed. 1 Timothy 4:6 NKJV

A good minister of Jesus Christ faithfully teaches the doctrines of the Gospel – the Word of God. When you are faithful to the Word of God – when you love it, believe it, and trust it – it will nourish and sustain you.

Attend to sound doctrine – give time, attention, and honor to it:

Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 1 Timothy 4:13 NKJV

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV

You cannot be a true and faithful minister of the Gospel, if you do not reverence the Word of God and biblical doctrine. The function of a minister is to read and teach the Word of God, and to encourage others to do the same.

Hold Bible doctrine in sincerity:

For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:17 KJV

In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility. Titus 2:7 NKJV

We, as ministers and believers, show by our sincere lives that we believe the word that we preach. A true believer believes that the Word of God personally applies to him or her, and lives accordingly.

Hold steadfastly on to sound doctrine:

Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:13 NKJV

Holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict. Titus 1:9 NKJV

The devil will send all kinds of temptations across the path of the believer, to get him or her take his or her eyes off the Word of God. He might suggest that the Word of God is irrelevant, that it does not apply today, or that it is not necessary to obey it. However, the Word of God tells us to hold fast to the pattern of sound words that we have heard, and to hold fast to the faithful word, as we have been taught. This is so that by sound doctrine, we are able to exhort and convict those who contradict it.

Continue in sound doctrine:

Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:16 NKJV

Continue in sound doctrine. Run your race in such a way that you are able to finish your race. Preach the word to yourself and to others. Allow God’s Word to do its work in you, even as it works in those who receive it from you.

Speak things that are becoming to sound doctrine:

But [as for] you, teach what is fitting and becoming to sound (wholesome) doctrine [the character and right living that identify true Christians]. Titus 2:1 AMP

Sound, or wholesome, doctrine is that which combines correct knowledge and understanding with consistent practice. Wholesome doctrine is found in the Bible. It is consistent with the Bible as a whole. It keeps Jesus at the center, and it results in good attitudes, behavior and actions. It promotes sound spiritual health in us and in others.

Obey sound doctrine from the heart:

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Romans 6:17 KJV

Abide in sound doctrine:

And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42 KJV

Those who obey the doctrine of the Word of God, walk faithfully in it:

[Tell] bond servants to be submissive to their masters, to be pleasing and give satisfaction in every way. [Warn them] not to talk back or contradict, 10 Nor to steal by taking things of small value, but to prove themselves truly loyal and entirely reliable and faithful throughout, so that in everything they may be an ornament and do credit to the teaching [which is] from and about God our Savior. Titus 2:9-10 AMP

Obedience leads to surer knowledge of sound doctrine:

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. John 7:17 NKJV

Those who oppose sound doctrine tend to be proud, ignorant and argumentative:

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions.

1 Timothy 6:3-4 NKJV

Those who oppose sound doctrine are not to be received by the Body of Christ:

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds. 2 John 10-11 NKJV

Those who oppose sound doctrine are to be avoided:

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. Romans 16:17 NKJV

The wicked do not endure sound doctrine:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 NKJV

I PREDICT FOR 1999!

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

I predict for ’99 – a harvest of the spiritual kind
Souls plucked from the jaws of hell
As men the good news of the Gospel do tell
This is the former and the latter rain
That was spoken of by the prophets
Again and again
The glory of the latter house will be greater
Than the former – you will see
The harvest will be greater than you’ve ever dreamed
Though the world will get worse and worse it will seem
Wars, rumors of wars, only talk of peace
Droughts, weather upheavals, disease will not cease
Nations will fall and nations will rise
But it’s getting closer and you would be wise
To prepare your heart for the coming of the Lord
For He will come swiftly and with a sword
To judge the living and the dead
Sinners and those who’ve rejected Him will dread
The great white throne – where all men will see
Those who are righteous, those who are free
Rise up now, this army of the Lord
Run, run, run, with His Word
The time is short – the end is at hand
The glory of God will be seen in this land
By Rodney M. Howard-Browne
The Bible says that no man knows the day or the hour that Jesus will return, as promised by the two men in white apparel (Acts 1:9-11) the day He ascended into heaven after He was raised from the dead, but we know that God always keeps His word.  We should be always ready to meet Jesus, whether He comes first to us or we go first to be with Him.  Even though things in the world get worse, in Jesus things get better and better as we trust in Him and His word.  If your trust is not in God, you will be afraid when uncertain times come, but the good thing about uncertain times is that men begin to look for God and if we stand strong, we will be there to point them in His direction!  May God richly bless you this coming year and as you pull in closer to Him, may you know His love, joy, peace and provision in every area of your life.
God bless you abundantly. We love you.

The Source of Our Joy

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

I John 1:1-4  (NKJ)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have  looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life–2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was  with the Father and was manifested to us–3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

The Word of God and the message of the awesome salvation He purchased for us in the precious blood of Jesus, is a source of great joy to us  His people. This fellowship that we now have with the Father and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, does not bring us a little bit of joy, or partial joy, but joy that is FULL. Full also means, “complete”. Jesus brings us complete joy. We don’t need any more joy  we have access to a joy that fills every aspect of our being  crowding out all other things. Christians who walk in sadness need to dwell on God’s Word and get a revelation of what it means to have a relationship with, and to be in fellowship with, Almighty God.

Isaiah 61:1-3  (NKJ)
1 “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor;  he has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to  those who are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn, 3 To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of  praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that  He may be glorified.”

This passage quoted by Jesus in Luke 4:18-19, says that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to comfort those who mourn, to give them beauty where there once were only ashes, the oil of joy to replace mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. Because of what Jesus did for us in His death and resurrection, we have a reason to rejoice! How good our God is to us!

1 Peter 1:8-9  (NIV)
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and  are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

We cannot see God with our natural eye, but we have felt His presence and experienced His work in our heart. We love Him and are filled with joy unspeakable  joy that cannot be adequately expressed – as He continues to touch us and change us and as we renew our minds and continue to grow in Him. Not only does He give us a new spirit – He restores our souls (mind, will and emotions) and our bodies. If we do not allow His Spirit to work in us, we will not have or experience His joy.

Romans 14:17  (NIV)
17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy  Spirit,

There are so many things that try to distract us from the things that really matter. People get caught up in the “do’s” and the “don’ts” instead of focusing on the important things  God’s grace and His mercy and what HE has done for us. If we keep our eyes on the Holy Spirit, we will enjoy His righteousness, peace, and joy.

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS FAITH

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

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

The Greek word for faith means a firm persuasion, belief, believe, trust, trustworthiness, confidence, acceptance, fidelity and moral conviction. It means reliance upon Jesus Christ for salvation. Faith has to do with what you believe and also the strength of that belief. The word faith is also used to refer to your belief system.

Simply put, faith means believing strongly in God and believing strongly that everything that He says is true. It means to be firmly persuaded. We must have faith in the grace and mercy of God. The only way we can obtain God’s grace and mercy is by faith – we cannot work for it. If you could earn God’s grace then you would not need faith in God. Our faith is essential – not only to ensure our salvation, but in order that we may receive the fulfillment of every promise of God that has been made to us.

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring– not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all.      As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed– the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead– since he was about a hundred years old– and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Romans 4:16-21 NIV

Faith is not believing in God only — faith is believing in God without wavering. Faith calls those things that are not as though they are! Faith agrees with the Word of God and not with what we see or feel. Faith speaks the Word of God only — not doubt and unbelief. If you swing between faith and doubt then you don’t have faith at all. You can only have one or the other – not both. Doubt neutralizes your faith. Faith is only faith if you don’t have a plan B.

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord;he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8 NKJ

We don’t get from God the things that He has promised just because He promised them, we get them because we believe that His promises are true.

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”

16      But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.  Romans 10:8-17 NKJ

When we believe God’s Word in our heart then we will speak it out of our mouth. Faith comes by hearing and hearing and hearing the Word of God. You will only be full of what you meditate upon. Luke 6:45 says that we speak out of the overflow of what is in our heart in abundance. And our confession must be in line with our faith or we will not get what we say we are believing for. The fruit of the work of the Spirit in our life is an increase in our faith and trust in God. The more we learn of God, the more we learn to trust Him, because He is faithful who has promised (Hebrews 10:23)!

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