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Soul Patrol

15

Worship Soundtracks from RMIRiverSong on Vimeo.

NH Older lady-rededicated her life-reached up pulled soul winner down kissed him on the cheek-that was from Jesus. I have been on the website a few times and decided to join Soul Patrol at my home church. We out to win souls for the Lord and that Saturday a Catholic was born again! Two others souls were saved that day as well.I never thought I would be bold enough to go out and preach the Gospel but I did through Jesus Christ who strenghtens me in all areas that I lack in.Praise God!

Jackie S
Fort Pierce Florida United States

Taking Risks

God is calling us as Christ followers to take risks—to stop playing it safe and to step out in obedience. While risk-taking creates uncertainty in our lives, there are some things of which we can be certain.


We will be challenged. Whether it’s because of hard work, complex relationships, or situations requiring greater faith, God will stretch us. As we take risks, we may feel doubt, indecision, and fear. Or, we might think we’re incapable or inadequate. These aren’t reasons to refuse God’s assignment; they are opportunities to trust the Lord.

We can count on God’s presence. It is impossible for believers to live a single day without the presence of God. (Hebrews 13:5) Our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ our Savior is a permanent one. His love for us is deep and abiding, and His promises are sure. When God calls us to risk being outside our “comfort zone,” we can obey because He’s there at our side.

The enabling power of the Holy Spirit is ours. The Spirit of God gives us the divine strength to be victorious. When we falter, He strengthens us. When we stumble, He steadies us. When we fall, He picks us up.


What is God asking of you that poses a challenge? Remember that when God asks us to step out amidst uncertainty and take risks, we can rely on His presence and His power to equip us. If you’ve said yes to the challenge, then you’ve become a Risk Taker for God! Feel free to add the initials R.T.G. after your name.

 

  • 1.
  • At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
  • 2.
  • And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
  • 3.
  • For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias’ sake, his brother Philip’s wife.
  • 4.
  • For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
  • 5.
  • And when he would have put him to death , he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
  • 6.
  • But when Herod’s birthday was kept , the daughter of Herodias danced before them , and pleased Herod.
  • 7.
  • Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask .
  • 8.
  • And she, being before instructed of her mother, said , Give me here John Baptist’s head in a charger.
  • 9.
  • And the king was sorry : nevertheless for the oath’s sake, and them which sat with him at meat , he commanded it to be given her.
  • 10.
  • And he sent , and beheaded John in the prison.
  • 11.
  • And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
  • 12.
  • And his disciples came , and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
  • 13.
  • When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart : and when the people had heard thereof, they followed him on foot out of the cities.
  • 14.
  • And Jesus went forth , and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.
  • 15.
  • And when it was evening, his disciples came to him, saying , This is a desert place, and the time is now past ; send the multitude away , that they may go into the villages, and buy themselves victuals.
  • 16.
  • But Jesus said unto them, They need not depart ; give ye them to eat .
  • 17.
  • And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
  • 18.
  • He said , Bring them hither to me.
  • 19.
  • And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed , and brake , and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
  • 20.
  • And they did all eat , and were filled : and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
  • 21.
  • And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
  • 22.
  • And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away .
  • 23.
  • And when he had sent the multitudes away , he went up into a mountain apart to pray : and when the evening was come , he was there alone.
  • 24.
  • But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary.
  • 25.
  • And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
  • 26.
  • And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled , saying , It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear.
  • 27.
  • But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying , Be of good cheer ; it is I; be not afraid .
  • 28.
  • And Peter answered him and said , Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water.
  • 29.
  • And he said , Come . And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
  • 30.
  • But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid ; and beginning to sink , he cried , saying , Lord, save me.
  • 31.
  • And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt ?
  • 32.
  • And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased .
  • 33.
  • Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying , Of a truth thou art the Son of God.
  • 34.
  • And when they were gone over , they came into the land of Gennesaret.
  • 35.
  • And when the men of that place had knowledge of him, they sent out into all that country round about, and brought unto him all that were diseased;
  • 36.
  • And besought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole .

WE HAVE A COVENANT FATHER

He has sent redemption to His people; He has commanded His covenant to be forever; holy is His name, inspiring awe, reverence, and godly fear.  Psalms 111:9 AMP

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 Not according to the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was their Husband, says the Lord. 33 But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel: After those days, says the Lord, I will put My law within them, and on their hearts will I write it; and I will be their God, and they will be My people.  Jeremiah 31:31-33 AMP

1. We have a covenant Father. He has made promises that He will never, ever break.

Adam
Abraham; Isaac; Jacob (Genesis 15:18; Genesis 17:1-21)
Moses (Exodus 2:24-25; Exodus 6:4-5; Exodus 19:5; Exodus 24:7-8; Exodus 34:27-28;
David etc. through Jesus to us (Psalms 98:3; Isaiah 55:3)

2. The Father loves man so very much—He has chosen to be in relationship with us and interact with us. He makes covenant provision for us and gives us the choice to accept it. He gives us choices and even tells us which is the right and good choice that will bring the blessing.

Noah and the Ark (Genesis 6:18; Genesis 9:9-17)
Abraham and Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 18:17-19)
Solomon and wisdom (1 Kings 3:5-14)

3. Come let us reason together.

Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool. 19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; 20 But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken it.  Isaiah 1:18-20 AMP

Jesus came to bridge the gap between God and man ­—to show us the Father. Colossians 1:20 AMP – And God purposed that through (by the service, the intervention of) Him [the Son] all things should be completely reconciled back to Himself, whether on earth or in heaven, as through Him, [the Father] made peace by means of the blood of His cross.
He sent the Holy Spirit to make us one with Him. 1 John 4:13 AMP – By this we come to know (perceive, recognize, and understand) that we abide (live and remain) in Him and He in us: because He has given (imparted) to us of His [Holy] Spirit.
Work out your own contract with God.
He is waiting to hear from you.

4. Things you need to know about your Father.

This covenant is sealed in the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 9:12-14 AMP – He went once for all into the [Holy of] Holies [of heaven], not by virtue of the blood of goats and calves [by which to make reconciliation between God and man], but His own blood, having found and secured a complete redemption (an everlasting release for us). 13 For if [the mere] sprinkling of unholy and defiled persons with blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a burnt heifer is sufficient for the purification of the body, 14 How much more surely shall the blood of Christ, Who by virtue of [His] eternal Spirit [His own preexistent divine personality] has offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice to God, purify our consciences from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the [ever] living God?  
This covenant cannot fail. Psalms 103:17-18 AMP – 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].
This covenant has over 30,000 promises.
This covenant favors you—the recipient—to receive His grace and favor, because of Calvary—the Cross, the Resurrection and Pentecost.

For I will be leaning toward you with favor and regard for you, rendering you fruitful, multiplying you, and establishing and ratifying My covenant with you.  Leviticus 26:9 AMP

Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace], Who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement (covenant, testament), 21 Strengthen (complete, perfect) and make you what you ought to be and equip you with everything good that you may carry out His will; [while He Himself] works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ (the Messiah); to Whom be the glory forever and ever (to the ages of the ages). Amen (so be it).  Hebrews 13:20-21 AMP

The Three-Fold Office of Christ

Before Jesus Christ, no one man was ever anointed as prophet, priest and king. Some were anointed prophets, some priests, and some kings; but in Him, all these offices are combined.

Jesus is:

Prophet to all Mankind:

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds. Hebrews 1:1-2 NKJV

God speaks to us through Jesus. Every word he speaks, we can fully depend on.

High Priest to all Humanity:

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was faithful in all His house. Hebrews 3:1-2 NKJV

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16 NKJV

As He says also in another place, You are a Priest [appointed] forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:6 AMP

Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:20 AMP

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? 12 For the priesthood being changed, of necessity there is also a change of the law. 13 For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. 14 For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. 15 And it is yet far more evident if, in the likeness of Melchizedek, there arises another priest 16 who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life. 17 For He testifies: “You are a priest forever According to the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 7:11-17 NKJV

Jesus is our High Priest. He is the mediator between God and man and, at the same time, He was our sacrifice, purging us of all sin and stain. Because He stood in our place, we can have boldness to come into the presence of the Father with a sense of forgiveness and righteousness instead of a sense of sin or unworthiness.

King of all Nations:

I saw in the night visions, and behold, on the clouds of the heavens came One like a Son of man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14 And there was given Him [the Messiah] dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom is one which shall not be destroyed. Daniel 7:13-14 AMP

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6-7 KJV

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. Zechariah 14:9 KJV

He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Luke 1:32-33 KJV

When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. Matthew 25:31 NKJV

Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11:15 NKJV

And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads. 5 There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:3-5 NKJV

The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!

GOD’S WORD IS LIFE

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

Foundation scripture: Proverbs 3:1-2  (NKJ)
1My son, do not forget my law, but let your heart keep my commands; 2For length of days and long life and peace they will add to you.

Proverbs 4:20-23  (NKJ)
20My son, give attention to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. 21Do not let them depart from your eyes; keep them in the midst of your heart; 22For they are life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh. 23Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.

In God’s word we find life. Life springs from God. God is life. There is no death in Him. Every action of God produces life. Every word of God produces life. What is life? Life is every good thing. Life is blessings, life is abundance. Life is everything you could find in God’s presence. Life is healing and wholeness for your spirit, soul and body.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20  (NKJ)
19″I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20″that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

Life is a choice we make. We choose to have life and to walk in life. We choose life by choosing God, choosing His word above all other words, choosing His ways before all other ways, choosing His voice above all other voices.

Proverbs 3:13 & 18  (NKJ)
13Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;

18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her, and happy are all who retain her.

God’s wisdom is a tree of life to us. We allow God to plant His tree in us and it produces the fruit of His abundant life in and through us.

Proverbs 11:30  (NKJ)
30The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.

We become a tree of life to others. Because of the life and nature of God on the inside of us – everywhere we go, we bring life and blessing to others. Everywhere we go, people get saved, healed, delivered and set free – because God’s life lives on the inside of us and flows out of us. We cannot contain it.

Proverbs 21:21  (NKJ)
21He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor.

Proverbs 22:4  (NKJ)
4By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches and honor and life.

When we follow after God earnestly. When we desire Him more than anything else this world has to offer. When we love Him, honor Him, and humble our hearts before Him, He will fill us with His life and His blessing and His life and blessing will be all that we experience. Death and cursing will depart from us as we walk in the presence of the life of God.

GOD IS READY AND WILLING TO SAVE AND REDEEM YOU

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

2 Peter 3:9  (NKJ)

9        The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

 

God is very, very patient with us – earnestly desiring that we should come to repentance. He wants us to realize that we are hopelessly unable to save ourselves and to throw ourselves on His grace and mercy. Many people are under the false impression that God sends people to hell and that He is seeking every opportunity to do so. On the contrary, He is seeking any opportunity to send us to heaven! If He wanted us to go to hell He should not have sent Jesus, His only begotten Son, to be born of a virgin, suffer, die and be raised up again for our deliverance and salvation. He should have and could have left us alone, because we were already going to hell all by ourselves.

 

John 3:16-21  (NKJ)

16      “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

17      “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18      “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19      “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20      “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21      “But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”

 

God does not condemn us. We condemn ourselves by our refusal to accept the way He has made for us. The gospel is as simple, as it is powerful. People try to complicate it, but the truth is not hard to understand for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Jesus bore the penalty of our sin so that we could be born again into the family of God.

 

John 14:6  (NKJ)

6        Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

 

All we do is repent of our sin, believe that Jesus died and rose again, and accept Him as Lord of our life. From that moment on you are translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light and you become a partaker of God’s eternal life. Your heart will be forever changed from within and you will live in the presence of God eternally.

 

Ezekiel 36:24-27  (NKJ)

24      “For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.

25      “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.

26      “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

27      “I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.

 

God’s love and mercy have been extended toward you. He wants you in His family – He wants you as His child and He wants to be your Father. He loves you – you are valuable and precious to Him. He has done everything He can for you – in Jesus – and He is waiting for you to take the next step toward Him. He will meet you at the point of your faith and you will never be the same again!

GOD’S GRACE AND MERCY ARE NEW EVERY MORNING

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

People all over the earth make New Year’s Resolutions at the end of every December, but they usually don’t last even into the 2nd of January! We have a hard time acting out our good intentions even if we have the help of the Holy Spirit. But no matter how many times we make mistakes or mess up, God walks patiently with us to help us and to reach out to forgive us the moment we repent and turn to Him. Just as every 1st of January is a New Year and every morning is a new day – in God there is a new beginning for every one of us! In fact, we don’t even have to wait for a New Year. God extends His mercy and grace to us new and fresh every day.

Through the LORD’S mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJ

Every morning, God is ready to forgive us again. His mercies are new every morning and His faithfulness is immeasurable. We may break our covenants and let Him down, but He never breaks a covenant and He never forgets or neglects His promises, even to a thousand generations.

You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand [generations] of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:5-6 NIV

“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” Deuteronomy 7:9 NKJ

People are intimidated and held in bondage by the devil because they are focused on the fact that because of the sins of the fathers the curse is passed down to the third and fourth generations. But that pales in comparison to God’s covenant of blessing and mercy which is extended to a thousand generations of those who love Him! Beside all that, the curse was on those who hate God. Do you hate God? No, you love Him. He is your Lord and Savior. The curse was removed the moment you said, “I do” to God. You said, “I do repent and turn from sin. I do believe that Jesus died and poured out His blood to save me. I do believe that God raised Him from the dead. I do believe that He is coming back for me”. When the devil tries to treat you the same old way, lying to you and trying to put you back into bondage to the curse, tell him to pack up his lies and go back to where he came from. You can boldly stand up to walk in the fullness of your covenant with Almighty God, because His blessing is on your life and His tender mercies are extended, fresh and new, to you every morning!

 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22 NKJ

Jesus tells us to forgive each other an unlimited number of times and He does what He tells us to do. The blood of Jesus washes away all sin – past, present and future. While we do not deliberately sin as a way of life, when we do do something wrong He is ever ready to forgive us up to seventy times seven every day!

 Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.           “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:6-9 NKJ

God’s ways of mercy, grace and pardon are what are so much higher than ours are. We think that God should judge and destroy, but He chooses to love and forgive. We cannot understand how God could love us so much that He would send His only begotten Son to suffer and die and yet He did it. We don’t understand how God could love and forgive the most rotten sinner and make them the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and yet He does.

Our God is great and He is worthy of our praise and adoration. Thank God for His abundant and most precious mercy and grace. Just because it is free, does not mean that it is cheap. God’s grace, purchased at a great cost with the blood of Jesus is offered to us at the inexpensive price of simply believing.

WHAT DO YOUR EYES SEE?

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

Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.  Ephesians 1:15-23 NKJV

When the Bible talks about your “eyes” as it does in this passage of scripture, it means “eyes” in a figurative sense. It is referring to your attitudes and opinions – the way you see God, yourself and others. Your attitudes toward God, the world around you and other people, is colored by your experiences and the information your have received through your five physical senses. You are what you know and you are what you believe. In a sense you do not and cannot choose what information comes to you to try to influence you, but you can choose what you will receive. You can’t stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from making a nest in your hair! You can decide what to hear and what to see out of all the information that comes your way. You can close your eyes and ears to the negative and all that is bad and open your eyes and ears to all that is pure and good.

Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” Genesis 3:4-11 NKJV

Adam and Eve had the most wonderful relationship with the Father, at first. They had not known or experienced evil in any form. Disobedience opened their eyes to know evil. They were naked before they sinned, but they were not ashamed. Their “eyes” saw only the good in everything. Sin changed their focus. Their eyes were suddenly opened to shame and guilt.

The Father wants us to be restored to Him in our attitudes and outlook. He wants us to see the awesome things that we have in Him and where we are in relationship to Him. He wants the eyes of our heart and our understanding to be enlightened so that we might know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe

You chose the way you see things. You choose the way you see your world by what you feed yourself on – what you see, hear and meditate on. You need to feed yourself on God’s word so that your eyes will be enlightened to what you have in Christ Jesus. The Father wants us to open our eyes to understand and know Him and His kingdom. He wants us to understand what He has done in us and for us and to understand the relationship He desires to have with us. Open your eyes to see Him!

RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP

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

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. 26 What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?  Matthew 16:24-26 NIV

The Bible contrasts the difference between those bound by religion and tradition – who put their trust in their own efforts – and those who trust in God alone. The Lord has reached out to us with life and liberty – if we will lay down our (lower) life, we can take up His (higher) life.

Looking at his disciples, he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.  Luke6:20 NIV

If we read the whole of the word of God in context, we will see that it is the blessed of God who are not poor. Every one who willingly obeys God eats of the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). Every one who serves God with their whole heart is blessed and prosperous (Joshua 1:8). Wealth and riches are in the house of the righteous (Psalms 112:3). “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God means that we need to recognize that we are nothing without Jesus.

“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Luke 6:24 NIV

If we think that we don’t need Jesus – we are wrong. If we think that we can earn our salvation – we are very wrong. We need Him! In Him we live and move and have our being. Those who think that they don’t need Jesus, have all the blessings they are ever going to have. Earth is the only heaven a sinner will ever know and the only hell the child of God will ever know!

Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.  Luke 6:21 NIV

Revelations 3:17 NIV says, “You say, `I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”  We need to be hungry for God. We need to recognize that we need Him. We cannot afford to be self-confident or self-sufficient. God is our source and our supply. We need to recognize Him as our all-in-all. We need to be prepared to weep – to give Him our best – to commit to Him no matter what it takes – no matter what we have to lay down. We need to be willing to lay everything down for Him.

Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep.  Luke 6:25 NIV

If we put our needs above His – if we think of ourselves first and take care of ourselves first – we will be found lacking.

Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. 23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.  Luke 6:22-23 NIV

Those who stand up to be counted as a child of God, those who preach the unadulterated word of God and those who will contend for the supernatural will be persecuted. However, it is not something to be sad about, but to rejoice about. We are not being treated any differently than our Lord and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.  Luke 6:26 NIV

You can be religious and you can try to please people and tickle their ears and they will speak well of you, but it is nothing to be proud of. The fact that people like you is no indication that God is pleased with you as well. On the contrary, if you will please God and not man, the devil is sure to stir up people against you to oppose you. Rejoice if you are being persecuted for the word’s sake – it means that you are on the right track!

THE DOER OF THE WORD LIVES A STABLE LIFE

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

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.   James 1:2-8 NIV

Why does it seem as if some people are stable and solid and blessed whilst others seem to be constantly unstable and always in the middle of a crisis?

These unstable people are blown all over the place by every wind of adversity that comes their way. Their circumstances totally control them – controlling their attitude, their mouth and their actions. They are full of doubt and fear. The word of God says that if you are a doubter, you are like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. You don’t know what it is that you believe. You are double-minded and therefore unstable in all you attempt to do. Because you are unstable and you don’t know what you believe and you can’t make up your mind what it is you want – you don’t receive anything from the Lord!

On the contrary, the man of faith – who knows what he believes and in whom he believes and what it is that he wants – is solid and stable. Because he asks clearly and he believes absolutely that God’s word is true, he receives what he asks for!

“Why do you call me, `Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice. 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”   Luke 6:46-49 NIV

You can call God your Lord, but do you really believe that He is your Lord? Do you really act like He is your Lord? “Lord” means “Master” – the boss! The boss tells you what to do. Do you do what He tells you to do? The only ones who have a right to call God “Lord” are those who do what He tells them to do and who put His words into practice. The person, who is a doer of the word, digs down deep to build the foundation of his house. He digs down into God’s word and he lets God’s word dig down deep on the inside of him! He builds his house – his life – on the foundation of God’s word by receiving it as if it is written to him alone and by applying it as if it is a command to him.

The person who hears God’s word, but does not receive it personally by doing it or acting on it is building his house – his life – without any foundation. Even though it may look good on the outside it is neither solid nor secure and the first storm is going to blow it away!

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-he will be blessed in what he does.  James 1:22-25 NIV

Those who hear the word and still do not receive it as written to them, nor put it into practice, are trapped in the bondage of self-deception. God’s word gives freedom. Those who receive God’s word and don’t forget it, but are careful to do it, will be blessed in all that they do.

If we want to be blessed, we should read God’s word as if it says on every page, “This means YOU!”