“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
“Elijah the Tishbite, of the temporary residents of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before Whom I stand, there shall not be dew or rain these years but according to My word. 2And the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3Go from here and turn east and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan. 4You shall drink of the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there. 5So he did according to the word of the Lord; he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, east of the Jordan. 6And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning and bread and flesh in the evening, and he drank of the brook.”
1 Kings 17:1-6
No matter what is going on in the world, God takes care of those who are His, if they will trust in Him. God had a plan to provide for Elijah in the middle of drought and deprivation. When everyone else had no food, the Lord had already made a plan for Elijah’s provision. God told Elijah that ravens would feed him at Cherith and he believed it enough to go there. His life depended on his obedience. He had to trust the word of the Lord even if it sounded ridiculous. Ravens? Bringing food? Every day? Who would have believed it? But God’s faithful provision was right there where He said it would be – every day – at the place called There! God has made provision for you. Don’t be afraid to trust His word to you. In the will of the Lord, is the safest place you can be.
“After a while the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. 8And the word of the Lord came to him: 9Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you. 10So he arose and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her, Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink. 11As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand. 12And she said, As the Lord your God lives, I have not a loaf baked but only a handful of meal in the jar and a little oil in the bottle. See, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and bake it for me and my son, that we may eat it–and die. 13Elijah said to her, Fear not; go and do as you have said. But make me a little cake of [it] first and bring it to me, and afterward prepare some for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: The jar of meal shall not waste away or the bottle of oil fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth. 15She did as Elijah said. And she and he and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of meal was not spent nor did the bottle of oil fail, according to the word which the Lord spoke through Elijah.”
1 Kings 17:7-16
Elijah trusted in God not in ravens or in other people! When the circumstances changed, God already had another avenue prepared – the widow woman. All God told Elijah was that He had commanded a widow in Zarephath to provide for him. Elijah obeys God and goes to Zarephath, but when he gets there, he realizes the person who is supposed to support him has nothing with which to do it. He found out that all she had was a handful of meal and oil – enough for one last meal for two people – definitely not enough for three people for the duration of the drought. He did not get flustered; he did not doubt God; he did not look to man as his source; he continued to trust that God had it all worked out.
He had faith in God’s word – an expectation that if God said it, it was true. He confidently expected that God would perform yet another series of miracles! If all the woman had was enough for one meal, then God was definitely about to perform a miracle! He trusted the word of the Lord and commanded her to bake the first cake for him and promised her that if she did, God would continue to provide for them until the rains came. She believed the word of the Lord to Elijah and to herself and when she obeyed, God performed the miracle that day, and for many days after that, until the drought broke.
When God told him to go “there” Elijah had faith in God’s word to him. He did not doubt even when it looked impossible. Trust God with your life. Trust that where He leads you, He will also provide for you as long as you need Him to. Always remember that God and not man is your source and supply. Just get yourself into the will of God – the place called “there” – and see God miraculously provide for you!
“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
We know we know the Lord because:
6. We have overcome the world and Satan
“I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name’s sake. I write to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young men, Because you have overcome the wicked one.I write to you, little children, Because you have known the Father. I have written to you, fathers, Because you have known Him who is from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, Because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the wicked one.” 1 John 2:12-14 NKJV
“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.” 1 John 5:4 NKJV
“We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him.” 1 John 5:18 NKJV
Because we know the Father; because we are born of God; because His word abides in us; because our faith is in Him; because we keep ourselves and choose to not sin – therefore we have overcome the wicked one and he cannot touch us.
7. We hate the world and the things of the world
“Do not love or cherish the world or the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things] — these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]. And the world passes away and disappears, and with it the forbidden cravings (the passionate desires, the lust) of it; but he who does the will of God and carries out His purposes in his life abides (remains) forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 AMP
The child of God, who knows God, does not love the world or things of the world. The more we come to know the Father; the more time we spend with Him; the less we desire worldly carnal things.
8. We are one with the Body of Christ
“They went out from our number, but they did not [really] belong to us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us. But [they withdrew] that it might be plain that they all are not of us.” 1 John 2:19 AMP
Those who know the Father have fellowship with Him and with each other. They are not exclusive, neither do they separate themselves. They do not fight against each other, but they do everything to walk in peace with each other.
9. We are anointed by the Spirit
“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth. Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us — eternal life. These things I have written to you concerning those who try to deceive you. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.” 1 John 2:20-27 NKJV
You cannot fake the anointing – you are either anointed or you are not. Those who know the Father also know and recognize the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
10. We know the truth that sets us free
“I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” 1 John 2:21 NKJV
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, ‘We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.’ ” John 8:32-36 NKJV
We know the Truth because we know the Father. The Truth sets us free from sin and from the bondage of sin. We are free indeed.
11. Because we acknowledge God and His Son Jesus Christ
“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. Therefore let that abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the
beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that He has promised us —
eternal life.” 1 John 2:22-25 NKJV
We know the Father, and we know Jesus, because we acknowledge that He is Lord, God and Savior. Because we believe, we have eternal life now.
“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.
Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4:21-24 KJV
The Church – the Body of Christ – was in the heart and the mind of God from the foundation of the world. The world had never seen anything like it – it was a mystery known only by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Jesus talked about the Church, but, not until He died and rose again, was she revealed for all to see. This Church is not a mere organization, but it is a Kingdom – the Kingdom of God – that has no geographical boundaries, no cultural boundaries, no racial boundaries – no boundaries or limitations at all. The invitation to salvation is extended to every generation and every family, tribe and nation on the face of the earth.
Worship is the hallmark of the Church. That is what we do – we worship God and Him alone. We worship Him in spirit and in truth. We worship Him in every way possible! We don’t worship at a particular place, in a particular way with mere rituals or lip service – we can and should worship God from the heart anywhere, anytime. In the local church and wherever Christians gather, they worship God by singing, praying, preaching, giving and serving. An important mission of the local Church is to promote and sustain an atmosphere that is conducive to worship, prayer and praise. The Lord should always feel welcome in our midst.
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV
We are a peculiar people – God’s own purchased, special people – a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy, dedicated nation. Set apart to show forth and publish His praise, virtues and excellence. We worship God personally because of what He has done for us and also for Who He is. At the same time, by our worship, we reflect the goodness and greatness of our God to the world He loves and died for.
For here we have no permanent city, but we are looking for the one which is to come. 15 Through Him, therefore, let us constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name. Hebrews 13:14-15 AMP
In the Old Testament, the offering of animal sacrifices was usually a part of their worship of God, but in the New Covenant, the Church offers up to God a sacrifice of praise. We worship in Spirit and in truth by praising with heart and lips – thankfully acknowledging and confessing and glorifying His name. The spirit of worship, prayer and praise, is what brings revival, renewal and growth to the Church.
I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Romans 12:1 AMP
Another way we worship God is by presenting ourselves – spirit, soul and body – to God, as a living sacrifice. We worship God by refusing to allow sin to have its way in us and by dedicating ourselves to holiness and godliness with the help of the Holy Spirit. Our godly lives serve to worship and bring glory to God. This is our reasonable service – the very least we can do for such a wonderful Savior!
What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding.
1 Corinthians 14:15 NKJV
We worship God in Spirit, by the Holy Spirit, sincerely from our hearts. We worship God in Truth, according to, and conforming to, His precious word and His image. We worship with our mouth, in our earthly language, and in words we know and choose. We worship in the spirit, in tongues, in our heavenly language with words that come directly from the Spirit Himself. In the spirit, we can worship gloriously and with no reservations or limitations. The Holy Spirit worships our most wonderful, glorious, majestic, mighty, gracious Heavenly Father, through us, with words more fitting that mere human language could ever express! Thank God, that He gave us a way to truly express how much we love and appreciate Him and all He has done!
Who shall not reverence and glorify Your name, O Lord [giving You honor and praise in worship]? For You only are holy. All the nations shall come and pay homage and adoration to You, for Your just judgments (Your righteous sentences and deeds) have been made known and displayed. Revelation 15:4 AMP
For all eternity, the Church, together with the angels and heavenly creatures, will worship and praise their God and King!
As a minister you truly have to be ready in season and out of season cause you never know what the Lord may require of you. I’m learning through my internship how important it is to keep the unity in the body of Christ cause there is so mush to be done for the kingdom so many lives at are stake. Communication and walking in love towards one another is key as we work together as body to carry out the vision of the house.
During many financial challenges, I had nothing but the word of God to stand on. However, there’s never been a time where God didn’t come through. Amen. This is also my opportunity to see if I’m really called to full time ministry. It’s going to be a time where I’m going to be stretched and challenged in many areas but it’s not about me.
“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, 2 When they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence [for your husband; you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him — to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband]. 1 Peter 3:1-2 AMP
This passage starts off using the phrase, “In like manner…” or “Likewise…” referring to the instructions that precede this passage. The chapter before it, talks about having a respectful attitude toward authority. It also talks about doing the right thing because it’s right and also because we belong to Jesus. He is our example – we follow Him and do what He did! 1 Peter 2:15-16 AMP says, “For it is God’s will and intention that by doing right [your good and honest lives] should silence (muzzle, gag) the ignorant charges and ill-informed criticisms of foolish persons. 16 [Live] as free people, [yet] without employing your freedom as a pretext for wickedness; but [live at all times] as servants of God.”
In chapter 3, wives are encouraged to follow Jesus by being submitted first to Jesus and secondly to their own husbands. You honor Jesus by honoring your husband as the head of the family.
When men get saved, they often bring their whole family into the Church, but when a woman gets saved, often she has to go back into a home where her husband is not serving the Lord…yet. This passage is wisdom on how you win your husband to Jesus! Peter reassures wives that they don’t have to only “preach” to their husband to win him, but husbands could be won rather by the way you love them, honor them and be the best wife you can be. One thing is sure – a man is highly unlikely to be won over by a nagging, whiny wife. No one likes to be told what to do or what to believe or ordered around. Love and a smile works far more effectively. No one can fight the love of God and win!
Whether your husband is saved or not – you are still “one flesh”! This oneness merges two people – husband and wife – in such a way that there is little that can affect one without affecting the other. Being “one” in marriage doesn’t mean that either of you lose your personality in the personality of the other person, it just means caring about your spouse as much as you care about yourself, learning to anticipate their needs and helping them to become the best they can be. God created men and He created women. He instituted marriage and He knows how we can have a wonderful marriage. He gives us His wisdom on what we can do to make our marriage great. Men and women are very different. If we can respect our differences and do what Father God tells us to do, then we will get the most out of our relationships. He tells men to love their wives and women to reverence their husbands. When you quit arguing and questioning His wisdom, and start just doing it, even if it doesn’t make sense to you – then you will be surprised at how effective His counsel is!
A wife, who is pure and modest and who adapts herself to her husband and who reverences him, is sure to make a good impression on him. Men will respond way better to a woman who behaves like a lady than one who tries to behave like a man or who tries to dominate, or compete with him. If a wife is motivated by the God-kind of love in her heart and chooses to lovingly and unselfishly serve her husband, she is bound to get his attention and make a good impression. If you are an exemplary wife, your unsaved husband could – at the least – allow you to go to Church and serve God. At the best, he could end up going to church with you and giving his life to Jesus. The key here is to be a great wife because it’s right in God’s eyes to be a great wife – not just to manipulate your husband into going to church with you!
If your husband is already a Christian, then you are not off the hook! You can’t get lazy or behave badly or act like the world, just because your husband is already serving God! Being a good and a godly wife is just who you are, if you are a believer, no matter if your husband is saved or unsaved. Verse 2 says that you are to reverence your husband – to feel for your husband all that reverence includes. Reverencing your husband is not just an act – you have to feel it – you have to be sincere; you have to mean it.
Reverence means this: to respect, defer to, revere him, to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband. Love is a decision – it is a choice – you choose to love and reverence your husband. You choose to honor your husband; you choose to esteem him, to appreciate him, to prize him and to adore him! You choose to admire him, to praise him, and to be devoted to him! You choose to deeply love and enjoy your husband! It is not just about what he does for you – it’s what you choose to think, feel, and do – that makes the difference. It is an activation of your faith. By faith you choose to do these things and treat your husband like this – trusting the Father to do His work in your husband. You would be amazed at how, when you make the choice to act in this way toward your husband, that he will react favorably toward you and before you know it, you will have the marriage your heart desires!
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. Mark 11:22-24 NKJV
Jesus commands us to, “Have faith in God.” If people could put as much faith in the Word of God as they do in the word of man – then they would assuredly get their prayers answered. If people have faith in God, their prayers would be answered without any human effort. Prayer would be a simple transaction of everyday business between them and God. If you claim to have faith in God, then your actions should bear that out. Most people won’t come out and admit that they place no confidence in God’s word, or that they do not believe that God is faithful to His word, but by their actions, they prove it’s so. They are happy to believe that unanswered prayers are God’s fault or God’s will. They will fight tooth and nail and go to court with other people over broken contracts, but they don’t exercise any faith in God to keep His contracts. God goes out of His way to emphasize to us that He will keep His word to us if we will claim all the promises of that word!
God speaks to every generation to remind them of His faithfulness and that He will never do anything that’s contrary to His word. He means what He says and He says what He means! God obligates Himself to His word and He keeps those obligations as long as we extend our faith according to His word, with nothing wavering. All failure is on the part of man, not God, so the sooner you realize that and make the adjustments or the corrections, the sooner you will see God answer your prayer.
Listen to good preaching
Good preaching is not a matter of style or technique – three points and a poem!
Good preaching is preaching that:
– presents the truth of the Word of God
– preaches the integrity of the Word of God
– tells us of all the great things that God has done
– inspires us to believe His word
– inspires us to believe that He’ll keep His word today
For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith. Romans 1:17 AMP
When we hear all the great miracles God has done and how He blessed and protected and delivered His people, when we hear personal testimonies of God’s faithfulness, then our faith rises. We realize that whatever God has done – He can and will do, to keep His obligations to give us what He has promised. Our faith is built up and we have a powerful expectation of answered prayer. Believe and accept any record of what God has and will do that is in harmony and agreement with the Word of God.
And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 NKJV
Reject all bad preaching
When we go to churches where the minister belittles the Word of God or explains it all away as either something that didn’t really happen or something that’s “passed away”, or he claims that God didn’t really mean what He said, then our faith is hindered and squelched.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, And bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” 20 Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the disputer of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world through wisdom did not know God, it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 NKJV
The message of the cross is foolishness to the world, but to the believer it is the power of God! On the other hand, the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 1 Corinthians 3:18-20 NKJV
No one can listen to preaching where man’s wisdom is exalted, and where God and His word are criticized, and expect to have their faith built up. If you want to develop a simple, unwavering faith, you cannot listen to preaching that contradicts the Word of God. Any man-made traditions or religions or sects that are faith-killing, Spirit-quenching, and truth-destroying, must be rejected if you want to build your faith and get results. Don’t tolerate any church or any preacher who slanders God’s word – for it is the source of your faith and your eternal life.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. 2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalms 100:1-5 KJV
Make a JOYFUL noise unto the Lord, ALL ye lands!
All the nations of the earth are created by Almighty God. He loves them and He is ever reaching out to them. It is the believer’s responsibility to preach the Gospel to every creature and to all nations. Mark 13:10 AMP says, “And the good news (the Gospel) must first be preached to all nations.” He is not just the God of certain tribes and nations, He is God over all nations, whether they know it or not. He is the only one with the power and right to rule the nations. All of them are not only under His dominion, but also recipients of His benevolence, and at the end will give an account to Him alone.
For I know their works and their thoughts. And the time is coming when I will gather all nations and tongues, and they will come and see My glory. Isaiah 66:18 AMP
All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left. Matthew 25:32-33 AMP
All nations will be judged by Him. If they only knew the truth, they would come flocking to Him, to worship Him and to acknowledge that the Lord is God!
We acknowledge Him as Almighty God when we come into His presence to worship Him, to serve Him, to sing and to shout our praises.
Almighty God is not just one of the many gods worshipped out there – He IS God! We must come to know Him as God and Lord and Savior in our own personal life. We must know that He is the only true God – King of kings and Lord of lords. He asks us to come into His presence to worship Him willingly and of our own accord – with sincere gladness and joy in our hearts and on our lips. He won’t force us. He doesn’t want us to come out of religious duty, but rather with unfeigned faith and a sincere joy-filled heart; making ourselves available to Him in every way – to be touched and changed – and to let His will be done in every area of our lives.
A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. 24 God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). John 4:23-24 AMP
He answered and said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. Mark 7:6 NKJV
We acknowledge Him when we appreciate His status as our Creator.
Before the mountains were brought forth or ever You had formed and given birth to the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting You are God. Psalms 90:2 AMP
He created us – we did not create ourselves. We do not belong to ourselves, but to Him. Many people live life as though they created themselves; they are the center of their own little world. This mind-set leads inevitably to pride, greed, and idolatry. Then when they lose everything, they lose all hope as well. When you know that God created you and everything else, then you will want to give to and be a blessing to others even as He has provided for you and blessed you. You have confidence that even if you lost everything you have, you still have Him and He will take care of you.
The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works [the entirety of things created]. 10 All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your loving ones shall bless You [affectionately and gratefully shall Your saints confess and praise You]! 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power. Psalms 145:9-11 AMP
Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created. Psalms 148:5 AMP
We acknowledge Him when we accept His authority in every detail of life.
Jesus is the Head of the Church – the Body of Christ. He is the Word, made flesh, and dwelling amongst us. We acknowledge His authority and headship when we submit ourselves to the Word of God – as we renew our minds to it and as we conform ourselves to it. He is our Lord and Master – we serve Him – not He us. We must also submit to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, as He leads us through our own spirit, according to the Word of God. We do not do our own thing, but we do what He tells us to do.
We acknowledge Him when we enthusiastically agree with the guidance He gives us and when we obediently do what He commands.
Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? Romans 6:16AMP
Why do you call Me, Lord, Lord, and do not [practice] what I tell you? Luke 6:46 AMP
Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father Who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21 AMP
We acknowledge Him when we express our thanks for His unfailing love.
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! 1 Chronicles 16:34 AMP
Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. 2 Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother — this is the first commandment with a promise — 3 That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 AMP
Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12 AMP
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. Deuteronomy 5:16 AMP
Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. Matthew 19:19 AMP
Jesus gave us two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. This love is agape – seeing others as valuable and precious – the love of 1 Corinthians 13. He defined your neighbor as being every person you know – this includes family. Each of us is commanded to love with no exceptions – therefore we have no excuses not to love. Husbands are commanded to love their wives and their children. Wives are commanded to love their husbands and their children. Children are commanded to love their parents and they show this love by honoring and obeying and being courteous toward their parents.
Both children and parents have a responsibility to each other. Children should honor their parents even if they think that their parents are demanding and unfair. Parents should gently and kindly care for their children, even if the children are disobedient and disagreeable. Both should be thoughtful and loving toward each other, putting each other’s interests above their own.
Children are to honor and obey their parents because:
It is right
It is a commandment
It’s a blessing of well-being
Long life is promised
This is the fifth of the Ten Commandments and the first commandment that has a promise attached to it. The promise is that your life would be lengthened, or extended, and that it would go well with you in the land which the Lord gives you. What a great promise – you will live longer than you would have otherwise – that means that you will be healthier than you should be at every age. A blessing of long life, favor, possessions, health, and blessings are pronounced over you when you honor and obey your parents!
Why wouldn’t anyone want these great promises over their lives? Unfortunately, too many people are too ungrateful, angry, unforgiving, selfish, self-centered, and/or entitled to obey God’s Word and honor their parents. We don’t honor our parents just because they are super, duper parents, because no one is perfect. Some parents did a better job than others; however, we are to honor them just because they ARE our parents.
When society honors their elders, then the wisdom of the elders is passed down the generations. However, when the younger generation thinks they know it all and that their elders are ignorant then society can do nothing else other than spiral downward.
If you are angry at your parents: Ask yourself why you are angry. Take it to the Lord; measure it against the Word of God. Ask yourself if you have a right to be angry. You may be angry because of things they did or didn’t do or it may be because you responded badly to things that happened or because you just had a bad attitude. Confront those feelings; acknowledge your anger and also the cause of your anger; ask the Lord to help you to release the anger to Him. Make a conscious decision to forgive them and to let it go and let it drop. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for the anger you have held onto.
If you are bitter and unforgiving: Do the things above. Forgive; let it go; let it drop. Ask the Lord to forgive you and to help you get rid of bitterness.
If you are selfish or self-centered: Repent and as the Lord to help you to walk in love. Start preferring others before yourself. Go and serve your parents in any way you can. Love them; be kind and patient and generous with them.
If you have a victim mentality: STOP! Remember that you are not the center of the universe and the sun does not revolve around you! Forgive – and then go help and serve others.
If you are ungrateful: Stop focusing on the negatives. Look for the positives. Make up your mind to appreciate all the good things your parents have done for you and the positive influence they have been for you. If you think you can’t find anything good then at least be thankful that they gave you life. Most of us have much more than that to be thankful for anyway.
If you have a sense of entitlement: Acknowledge that you have been spoiled. Realize that you might be an ungrateful person and decide to start appreciating things and people and to be grateful. Realize that no one owes you anything at all. Life is an empty cup – you must fill it!
Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Colossians 3:20 AMP
Children are to obey their parents in everything. This means to obey: in all things; all (manner of, means); always; daily; in as many as; thoroughly; whatsoever; in the whole (completely); whosoever.
The obedience God requires includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts. There is a difference between obeying and honoring. To obey means to do as you are told; to honor means to show respect and love. One is an outward act; the other is an attitude of the heart. We obey God first and parents second. Obedience to parents does not include or involve disobedience to God and His Word. Adult children are not asked to be subject or subservient to domineering parents. While children are under their parents care, they are to obey. However, the responsibility to honor your parents is for your whole life long.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18 NKJV
The initials, DNA, stand for deoxyribonucleic acid – the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms. DNA is inherited by children from their biological parents. This is why they share traits with their parents such as skin, hair, and eye color. DNA is what makes us who and what we are. Our spiritual DNA comes from God, at the New Birth.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NKJV
The life of God in us made us a new creature – one who follows in the footsteps of his/her Heavenly Father, not merely in the footsteps of our earthly parents. We have been given His nature and He commissions us to GO with the Great Commission in our heart – and also to bear good fruit.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8 NKJV
By bearing fruit, we prove that we are His disciples. A very important property of DNA is that it can replicate itself, or make exact copies of itself. Just as we pass our DNA, inherited from our parents, to our children; so we are to pass along our spiritual DNA, inherited from Father God, to others. This can only happen when our spiritual DNA shows in our lives. Your disciples will be just like you. We must be what we want others to be – more like Jesus. Always point people to Jesus and let them see Him in you.
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45 NKJV
When we preach the Gospel with power, great things will happen – increase and multiplication will take place. The Kingdom of God will advance and light will dispel the darkness. Our DNA at The River – as the Church – must be to obey the Great Commission. It is impossible for one man to do everything, so everyone must do something. Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Make them to be disciples – to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:21-25 NKJV
“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 NKJV