Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! 2 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits–3 Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases, 4 Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; 5 Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle’s [strong, overcoming, soaring]! 6 The Lord executes righteousness and justice [not for me only, but] for all who are oppressed. 7 He made known His ways [of righteousness and justice] to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness. 9 He will not always chide or be contending, neither will He keep His anger forever or hold a grudge. 10 He has not dealt with us after our sins nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. 11 For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great are His mercy and loving-kindness toward those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him. 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father loves and pities his children, so the Lord loves and pities those who fear Him [with reverence, worship, and awe]. 14 For He knows our frame, He [earnestly] remembers and imprints [on His heart] that we are dust. 15 As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. 16 For the wind passes over it and it is gone, and its place shall know it no more. 17 But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children–18 To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts]. 19 The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His kingdom rules over all. 20 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, you His angels, you mighty ones who do His commandments, hearkening to the voice of His word. 21 Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, all you His hosts, you His ministers who do His pleasure. 22 Bless the Lord, all His works in all places of His dominion; bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul!  Psalms 103:1-22 AMP


The word bless in this psalm is the Hebrew word “barak” which means to kneel and to bless God as an act of adoration. Psalm 103 is a psalm of praise, adoration, and thankfulness for all that God has done for us.


You bless the Lord for His benefits, reminding yourself of what He has done and what He has promised. Why is it so important to remind yourself of what the Lord has promised? You must remind yourself so that you don’t ever forget. You don’t live in heaven yet. You have a devil to deal with. He would like you to forget the word and promises of God so that he can take advantage of you and kill, steal, and destroy. The devil knows that if you know God’s word and promises, you will recognize his attack and you will take authority over him and not allow him to continue with his plans and so he tries to keep you ignorant and if he can’t keep you ignorant, he will try to get you to forget and then to become ungrateful.


Many people have a false idea of Who God is and what He will do. They believe that He is a hard, unfair, judgmental God, Who is sparing with His blessings, Who holds grudges against us forever and Who condemns us to hell. They think that our works are what counts with God, but His word tells us another story. He tells us not to forget His benefits.


What are the Lord’s benefits? He forgives every one of your iniquities, He heals every one of your diseases, He redeems your life, pours His love and mercy on you, provides for you, satisfies you, and executes righteousness and justice for you. The Lord is righteous and just and He wants you to know this and to and expect it. The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy and loving-kindness. He does not nag you, argue with you, or remind you of all your faults and failings. He is not angry for long and He definitely does not hold grudges. He loves you so much, that He has not dealt with you after your sins nor rewarded you according to our iniquities. Rather, He has chosen to forgive you and to forever forget the bad things you have done. He has removed your transgressions from you, as far as the east is from the west and He loves you like a father loves his children. He understands all your shortcomings, failings, and weaknesses and He still chooses to love you with all His heart!


Once you have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, you are in covenant with Almighty God and He will never forget this covenant – any promises He has made you will be fulfilled – therefore you can rejoice and praise Him, bless Him, and thank Him everyday as you enjoy all His benefits!



“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write:

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.


8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.


9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars-I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.


10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.


11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.


12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name.


13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.   Revelation 3:7-13 NIV


Philadelphia is the second city in Lydia – about twenty-eight miles southeast of Sardis – adjacent to a wine-growing region. Though not a large city, it was of commercial importance and was built on fine Roman roads. It is built on four hills (or one hill with four summits), picturesque, with a healthy climate and well supplied with trees. It suffered from frequent earthquakes and was rebuilt by Tiberius after the great earthquake of 17 A.D. For a time it was called “Neo-Caesarea” on its coins. Its coins bore the head of Bacchus (Dionysos), the chief deity, and the figure of a Bacchante. The population included Jews, Jewish Christians, and converts from paganism.


Of all the seven churches it had the longest duration of prosperity as a Christian city. Ramsay called Philadelphia “the Missionary City” because it promoted the spread of the Graeco-Roman civilization and then of Christianity, later offering stubborn resistance to the Turks from 1379-1390 A.D. It still exists as a Turkish town under the name of Allah Shehr – “City of God” or “High Town.” Apparently there are some 1,000 Christians there today.


In the mid-19th century, the missionaries Fisk and Parsons were informed by the Greek bishop that the town contained 3,000 houses, of which he assigned 250 to the Greeks, and the rest to the Turks. Apparently, there were five churches in the town, excluding twenty others which were too old or too small to be used. There are six mosques in the town, and one of these mosques is believed by the native Christians to have been the church in which the early Christians assembled, who are addressed in Revelation 3.


There are not many ruins; but in one part there are four pillars, which are supposed to have been columns of a church. One solitary pillar has often been noticed, reminding us of the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:12, “Him that overcometh I will make a pillar in the temple of my God.”


Only Jesus has the authority to open and closed doors in your life.  Neither you nor anyone else has the authority to force a door open or closed in your life.  If Jesus opens a door for you, you can boldly go through it, because there is no man and no demon that can prevent you.


So do not stand back when Jesus has opened a door in front of you and do not rattle the door handles of the doors he has shut. Accept the will of God in your life and embrace his call. The church of Philadelphia had “little strength,” which could mean that they were small in number, short of resources, or had little prestige, and yet they kept God’s Word and refused to deny the name of Jesus Christ even though they were severely persecuted. 


They are those, whether Christian or Jew, who persecute true Christians, thinking that they are working for God, when in reality they are motivated by the devil.  A person who truly loves God will love their neighbor.


When you keep your eyes on Jesus and do only what he is told you to do then even your enemies will come to a place where they have to acknowledge that God is on your side.  They will come to a place, either by choice or by force, where they must submit to Jesus Christ as King of kings and to you as his messenger.  Man cannot fight against God.  When we submit to God to endure patiently whatever comes our way then we will not be shaken or thrown off our course when hardship or persecution comes our way — and it probably will at some point or another.  Don’t allow anyone else to take your crown.  Don’t allow them to cause you to give up or to back down.  Put your eyes on Jesus, obey his Word, and do only what he tells you to do and he will cause you to triumph, always, and in all things.


He who overcomes will be made a pillar in the house of God.  A pillar must be strong and immovable.  A pillar holds up the whole house.  Even if the house is blown away, the pillar still stands.  We might be small in our own eyes, we might not have much to offer the Lord, but if we will commit to Him, he will strengthen us, protect us, and keep us until we see him face-to-face and until we receive our crown of victory — the overcomer’s crown!



For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it.

11 For He Who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not kill. If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become guilty of transgressing the [whole] Law.

12 So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love].

13 For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.  James 2:10-13 AMP

There are some legalistic Christians who say that without the law, you cannot be convicted of sin and therefore you cannot be saved. Also, many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, wrongly believe that your good deeds save you and your bad deeds damn you. This is not scriptural. You are saved by faith alone in the precious blood of Jesus and it is the goodness of God that leads you to repentance (Romans 2:4)!

If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through the Law, you are brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace (from God’s gracious favor and unmerited blessing).

5 For we, [not relying on the Law but] through the [Holy] Spirit’s [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God [our conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action, causes us] to hope.

6 For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love.  Galatians 5:4-6 AMP

Under the New Covenant, you cannot and do not rely on the law to save you or to help you, but on the Holy Spirit instead. If you are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything. Your own works and your own righteousness are worthless. The only thing that counts is your faith, which is activated, energized, expressed, and works through love.

James, inspired by the Holy Spirit, says that you, as a Christian, will not be judged by the Law of Moses, but you will be judged under the law of liberty! What is the law of liberty? The Amplified Bible says that it is “the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love.” You will be judged by the Laws of Love! Jesus gave you your New Commandment, to love God and love your neighbor, which fulfills and supercedes all others. Paul repeats it here in Romans 13:8-10 AMP

Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]. 9 The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 10 Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.

Love fulfills the law. When you stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ, you will be judged not on whether you kept the law or not, but you will be judged on your love walk! Did you walk in the love of God, which was shed abroad in your hearts by the Holy Spirit? Did you show mercy and grace to other people or did you judge and condemn them?

You set the standard of your own judgment by the way you have treated others. If you have shown mercy, mercy will be shown to you. If you have been hard and judgmental, you will be judged by the same high standards of judgment that you meted out on others.

With this in mind, you would be wise to put a guard over your own mouth and mind your own business. You would be wise to judge your own heart, life and attitude and allow God, alone, to judge those around you. You would be wise to

choose a lifestyle of love, mercy and graciousness toward others.

But he who looks carefully into the faultless law, the [law] of liberty, and is faithful to it and perseveres in looking into it, being not a heedless listener who forgets but an active doer [who obeys], he shall be blessed in his doing (his life of obedience).  James 1:25 AMP



Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.


19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.

23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.  1 John 2:18-29 KJV

But you have been anointed by [you hold a sacred appointment from, you have been given an unction from] the Holy one, and you all know [the Truth] or you know all things.  1 John 2:20 AMP

But as for you, the anointing (the sacred appointment, the unction) which you received from Him abides [permanently] in you; [so] then you have no need that anyone should instruct you. But just as His anointing teaches you concerning everything and is true and is no falsehood, so you must abide in (live in, never depart from) Him [being rooted in Him, knit to Him], just as [His anointing] has taught you [to do].  1 John 2:27 AMP


There is an antichrist spirit in the world that denies that Jesus is the Christ; the Messiah; the Savior. If you deny Jesus, then the Word of God says that you are a liar and you do not know what the truth is. 1 John 2:20 says that you – the believer – have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things – you know the Truth – you know that Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords and you know that the Word of God is true.


Verse 27 says that when the anointing abides on you, that the Holy Spirit will be your teacher. He will teach you things that no mere man can communicate to you. Now, this does not mean that you must not have teachers or that you do not need instruction, or else God would not have anointed men and women to be teachers and preachers, but it means that it is the Holy Spirit’s anointing that will cause you to understand and receive revelation concerning what you hear. You see, even if a teacher preaches the truth and you hear the truth, you will not understand it or receive it as the truth unless you have the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you. Without the Holy Spirit, you will hear, but you will not comprehend. It will go right over your head.


God does not hide His Word or His Truth. It is written in His word – plainly for the world to see – but because people do not have the Holy Spirit, they do not understand the Word. Before you were born again, you read the Bible, but you did not understand the Bible. When you received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, the Word began to be unveiled to you. When you were baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire, you understood more, and the more you pressed into the Spirit and the Word, the more revelation knowledge began to flow in your life. The more of the Spirit you have in your life, the more you will know and understand of the Word of God and of spiritual things.


The Holy Spirit will always point you toward the truth of the Word when you abide in Him – when you live daily in His presence. He will encourage you to remain close to the Word and to press in to the Spirit. Some people do and say all kinds of ungodly things in the name of the Lord, but they are self-deceived, because the Holy Spirit will never allow you to transgress the Word. The Holy Spirit will always tell you the right thing, not the convenient thing or the comfortable thing. He will always lead you to submit to the Lord and to the Word. The Holy Spirit will only ever lead you into the Truth. The anointing will only teach you the Truth.


Beloved, let us love one another, for love is (springs) from God; and he who loves [his fellowmen] is begotten (born) of God and is coming [progressively] to know and understand God [to perceive and recognize and get a better and clearer knowledge of Him]. 8 He who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. 1 John 4:7-8 AMP

There are people who claim to be Christians and they claim to know God and yet they don’t love other people. The Bible says that if you do not love others, that you do not know God. If you say that you know and love God, people may believe it initially, but after a while, when they see that you don’t walk in love or practice love toward others, they will realize that you really don’t know God or love Him.

In this the love of God was made manifest (displayed) where we are concerned: in that God sent His Son, the only begotten or unique [Son], into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation (the atoning sacrifice) for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 AMP

God says He loves you and me, and He showed it. God’s love is so generous that He did not hesitate to give His only begotten Son as a sacrifice for us. He did not have ten Sons to choose from—He only had one, and that is the One He sent. He displayed exactly how much He loved us when Jesus hung on the cross. If you ever wonder if God loves you—remember the Lamb that was slain.

Beloved, if God loved us so [very much], we also ought to love one another.12 No man has at any time [yet] seen God. But if we love one another, God abides (lives and remains) in us and His love (that love which is essentially His) is brought to completion (to its full maturity, runs its full course, is perfected) in us! 1 John 4:11-12 AMP

When you realize how much God loves you, the least you can do is to show love toward others as well. God has forgiven you of so much and shown so much love to you, and on top of that, He has poured His love into your heart by the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). He expects you to receive His love and mercy and to turn around and show love and mercy to others. People on earth haven’t seen God and cannot see God. They can only see the nature and character of God in those who are born of God. When you love people, they see God in you and they come to know Him. If you are a Christian, you have a divine responsibility to love people so that they can experience the love of God through you and so that they can come to know Him too. You will be held accountable before God for how you represented Him on the earth. If you do not love others, you have abdicated your responsibility and call.

And we know (understand, recognize, are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and believe (adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love God cherishes for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him. 17 In this [union and communion with Him] love is brought to completion and attains perfection with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment [with assurance and boldness to face Him], because as He is, so are we in this world. 1 John 4:16-17 AMP

The more you walk in love, the more God makes His home in you and the more you come to know Him and the more you become like Him. When you walk in love as a way of life, love is perfected in you. Because you die to your flesh and selfishness and become more like Jesus, the more confidence you will have for the Day of Judgment. Because you walk in love, you judge your own heart and life and you do not judge others—therefore you have no fear of being judged on that Day.

There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection]. 1 John 4:18 AMP

When you understand how much God loves you and you accept His love and yield yourself to Him, you lose your fear of being punished by God. You realize that because He loves you so much, He has completely forgiven you and not one trace of your sin remains.

We love Him, because He first loved us. 20 If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. 21 And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also. 1 John 4:19-21 AMP

The Word of God is plain—if you say you love God and you hate your brother—you are a liar. If you can’t love the brother you see, how can you love God Whom you can’t see? We, who love God, have a command from God—that we love our brother. You are ordered by God to love your brother and you have no other options, but to obey Him.


1 John 4:8 says that, “God is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes the nature of love and thus the character of God. People are always superimposing their weak, human nature and emotions onto God. They think that God is who they think He is – but they are wrong.


God is who He says He is. God says that He is love and He says that, “Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God’s love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end].” (AMP)


God, Himself, is all these things and possesses all these qualities. It is these qualities that make Him God. He is just and righteous and consistent. He never changes; never varies; never lies; and is never selfish, greedy or manipulative. He loves justice and He rules and judges justly and with the utmost integrity. If you are to be like Him, you must also love justice and truth. When you love justice, you submit to justice in your own life. You do what is right because it is right – and for no other reason. If you will be just and do justly, you will prosper and fulfill every plan that God has for your life.

When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.

Proverbs 21:15 NIV


The righteous are filled with joy when justice is done, but evildoers are terrified by justice. Justice will bring either rewards or punishments and each person receives justice according to their own choices.

By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down.  Proverbs 29:4 NIV

A wicked man accepts a bribe in secret to pervert the course of justice.  Proverbs 17:23 NIV

It is not good to be partial to the wicked or to deprive the innocent of justice.  Proverbs 18:5 NIV

Justice, in the hands of a king or president, will affect an entire nation. A just and good ruler will bring blessing to a nation, but a leader who is corrupt, greedy and allows his “justice” and his judgments to be bought, will destroy his nation and pervert the course of justice.

The lips of a king speak as an oracle, and his mouth should not betray justice. 11 Honest scales and balances are from the LORD; all the weights in the bag are of his making. 12 Kings detest wrongdoing, for a throne is established through righteousness. 13 Kings take pleasure in honest lips; they value a man who speaks the truth.  Proverbs 16:10-13 NIV


Anyone who is in leadership in any capacity, from the king down, has a divine responsibility to be honest and just. If they love justice and detest wrongdoing, they will establish and strengthen their own longevity. Their justice will come back to bless them.

The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern.  Proverbs 29:7 NIV


The righteous care about others – they take responsibility for those who are unable to take care of themselves. Those who care about justice are generous and unselfish. They do not think of themselves first. They make judgments according to what is right, not according to what feels good to them, nor to that which is convenient for them. The wicked do not care for justice, but only for their own care and gain.

Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the LORD understand it fully.  Proverbs 28:5 NIV


Justice is a mystery to those who love evil. They are not just and they have no capacity to be just. They thrive on injustice and seek to profit from it. Even when their evil brings judgment down upon themselves, they continue to blame the judge instead of those who made the wrong choices – themselves. The righteous, on the other hand – those who seek God – understand justice fully. They know it, they accept it and they walk in it, and as they do, they prosper their own way and receive blessings from the Lord.

Wisdom says, “I walk in the way of righteousness, along the paths of justice, bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full.  Proverbs 8:20-21 NIV


The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].  James 5:16b AMP

When a righteous man prays a continued, earnest, heartfelt, prayer, there is a tremendous power that is released – a dynamic active power that effectively goes to work – producing the desired result. If you want our prayers to be answered, there are a few things that you must do to ensure the desired result – you must walk righteously before the Lord, you must pray sincerely and fervently – and very importantly – you must pray according to God’s will.

5 Then he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, `Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6 because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7 “Then the one inside answers, `Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. 9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. 11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”  Luke 11:5-13 NIV

Jesus uses many examples of natural principles to help you to understand spiritual principles. In this case, He speaks of a man for whom it is an inconvenience to get out of bed to give his friend the bread he is requesting. He tells him to go away and stop bothering him and his family. However, because the friend persists and does not give up, the man eventually climbs over his sleeping kids, gets out of bed, grabs the bread and gives him the three loaves. He probably asked him if there was anything else he needed, and gave it to him while he was up, because he did not want to get out of bed again.

The spiritual principle here is one of persistent faith – not taking no for an answer. When you pray an “if it be Thy will” prayer, there is no faith involved because there is no expectation of an answer. This is the prayer of a person who wants to take no responsibility for their own destiny – they want God to take the responsibility for everything that happens to them. This is also the prayer of a person who does not want to get their hopes up and then be disappointed, so they don’t even look for a specific answer or result. If it happens – they would be happy. If it doesn’t – they haven’t lost anything. This is not the way the Lord tells you to pray. He tells you to ask and to keep on asking as if you expect an answer!

He even assures you that even as you, as a natural parent, are good to your children and bless them when they ask for something, your Father God is even more wonderful and faithful to answer your specific prayers and requests and give you the good things you asked for.

1 Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up. 2 He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. 3 And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, `Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 4 “For some time he refused. But finally he said to himself, `Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, 5 yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!'” 6 And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. 7 And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? 8 I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”  Luke 18:1-8 NIV

If an unjust judge would try a woman’s case and give her justice, just because of her persistence, then how much more will your God, Who loves you, hear you and move on your behalf when you are persistent in your faith. The woman knew that the law was on her side, all she needed was for the judge to do his job. You must know what the Word has promised you and then you must persist in your faith until you receive all that has been promised to you.


“Sing, O barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,” says the LORD.


2 “Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes.


3 For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.


4 “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.


5 For your Maker is your husband–the LORD Almighty is his name–the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.


6 The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit–a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God.


7 “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back.


8 In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.  Isaiah 54:1-8 NIV


This passage of scripture is addressing the nation of Israel, but the same principles apply to us as Christians. We are spiritual Israel. We know that the Lord never changes – He loves Israel, He loves


Christians, and He even loves sinners! In reality, every one of us without God in us, are sinners, whether we are born to a Jewish family or a Gentile family. It is our faith in God that saves our souls. God is merciful and compassionate beyond what we have a capacity to understand.


At our human best, we feel compassion for other people and we try to help them and rescue them and save them. Many people have a heart of compassion for animals and spend their lives saving them and taking care of them. God’s love, mercy and compassion are way beyond our human understanding!


Religion paints a picture of a stern, judgmental God, Whom we must appease so that He does not squash us like a bug. But this is so far from the truth. He is kind and compassionate, patient and long-suffering with us – ever ready to remember the covenant we broke and bring us back into fellowship with us.


His greatest desire is for an unbroken fellowship with us. Who are we, who are so unworthy and yet the Almighty Lord of Heaven and earth would consider us worthy of His love and mercy and He would and pour out His life for us?


9 “To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again.


10 Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.



1 “O afflicted city, lashed by storms and not comforted, I will build you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with sapphires.


12 I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones.


13 All your sons will be taught by the LORD, and great will be your children’s peace.  Isaiah 54:9-13 NIV


God will never stop loving those who are in covenant with Him, and compassionately reaching out to them when they return to Him. He promises to build us a shelter – not just of wood and stone, but precious stones!


This is one more great example of His lavish generosity toward us. It is hard for us to grasp how God can be so kind and so generous to people who are so inconstant and inconsistent! He even makes promises to us about how He will teach and bless our children. If you give the devil an open door into your life – he will come in with plans to utterly destroy you. If you give God an open door into your life – He will come in with plans to bless and prosper you!

14 In righteousness you will be established: Tyranny will be far from you; you will have nothing to fear. Terror will be far removed; it will not come near you.


15 If anyone does attack you, it will not be my doing; whoever attacks you will surrender to you. Isaiah 54:14-15 NIV


If you are established in righteousness, you will have nothing to fear. Whoever and whatever comes against you will just have to surrender to you, because God is on your side. You don’t have to fight the enemy in your own strength – just be submitted to God and He will fight the battle with you and for you.


16 “See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to work havoc;


17 no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:16-17 NIV


No weapon that is formed against you will prosper. Every tongue that rises against you in judgment, you will show to be wrong. This is the heritage of the children of God and the servants of the Lord. Your righteousness and vindication are from the Lord.



By Dr F.L.K. Howard-Browne (1905 – 1998) PhD, ThD, DD

Dr F.L.K. Howard-Browne was my uncle – a preacher, a teacher, a theologian and a fiery Pentecostal pioneer. He was a wonderful man of God and a great inspiration to me. This is one of his many inspiring messages.


What’s in a name?  Some say that “Pentecost” means fifty.  Technically they are correct, but to every Spirit-filled child of God it means vastly more than a mere technical definition.  There are words in our language that mean more to us than mere technicalities.  For instance, the word “Sterling” stands for a certain quality in silverware. 


When we buy Sterling silver we know that we are obtaining a certain definite standard of silverware.  We are assured of its genuineness.  We know it will stand the test of time.  We know it has value.  We also know there are cheap imitations on the market, and if we are looking for quality we know enough to let such spurious articles alone.


Pentecost!  What does it mean?  It represents a pattern – a standard.  It signifies, in its spiritual significance, an empowered church.  It represents a Spirit-filled experience.  It stands for revival fires.  It holds within its inner meaning a burden for the lost; conviction for sin; repentance and faith toward God.


The early church walked in the light of Pentecostal fires and these were the results that followed.  Not only was the Gospel preached uncompromisingly, but also signs and wonders accompanied the preaching of the Word.  Pentecost meant something more than a name to the early Church. A Spirit-endued people aroused opposition from unbelievers. 


Persecution not only meant glory and shouting and great joy; it meant also being despised by the world – hated – stoned – being beaten with stripes – imprisonments – and many other trials.


Pentecost!  What does it mean today?  From a Scriptural standpoint it means as much as it ever did.  It is a proven fact that those who are truly Pentecostal, with a Pentecostal message and a Pentecostal experience backed up with a Pentecostal life of holiness, will have Pentecostal results in Pentecostal meetings in a Pentecostal way. 


Instead of putting the soft pedal on Pentecost, let us magnify the work of the Lord as manifested in Pentecostal power and glory.

Pentecost has meant something wonderful to us.  It has meant the mightiest revival the world has ever seen since the days of the apostles.  It has meant the conversion of hundreds of thousands. 


Likewise untold thousands have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and have been set on fire of God.  The sick and deformed have been miraculously healed.  Restitution has been made in numberless cases.  A life of holiness has been the experience of those who have come under the blessing of Pentecost.  Churches have been revived.  A great evangelistic movement at home and in foreign fields has been established.  Sadness and sickness, sin and shame, half-heartedness and indifference have given way before the mighty God-sent avalanche of Pentecostal revival.


8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  Acts 1:8 NKJV


1 Now when the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.


2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.


3 Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.


4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.  Acts 2:1-4 NKJV