Take an Offering Only From Those Who Have a Willing Heart!

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

Thoughts on Stewardship
Lesson No. 14 from Exodus
Take an Offering Only From Those Who Have a Willing Heart!

Foundation Scripture: Exodus 35 verses 5 – 29

‘Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; 7 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 8 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 9 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. 10 ‘All who are gifted artisans among you shall come and make all that the LORD has commanded: 11 the tabernacle, its tent, its covering, its clasps, its boards, its bars, its pillars, and its sockets; 12 the ark and its poles, with the mercy seat, and the veil of the covering; 13 the table and its poles, all its utensils, and the showbread; 14 also the lampstand for the light, its utensils, its lamps, and the oil for the light; 15 the incense altar, its poles, the anointing oil, the sweet incense, and the screen for the door at the entrance of the tabernacle; 16 the altar of burnt offering with its bronze grating, its poles, all its utensils, and the laver and its base; 17 the hangings of the court, its pillars, their sockets, and the screen for the gate of the court; 18 the pegs of the tabernacle, the pegs of the court, and their cords; 19 the garments of ministry, for ministering in the holy place — the holy garments for Aaron the priest and the garments of his sons, to minister as priests.’” 20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins, brought them. 24 Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought the LORD’s offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. 25 All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 26 And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate, 28 and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done. Exodus 35:5-29 NKJV

1. God told Moses to take an offering from the children of Israel—only from those who had a willing heart.

a. Why did God do this?

b. He did this because God does not want us to give Him an offering out of compulsion—He wants us to give Him an offering out of our love for Him, just as He blesses us out of His love for us.

c. He gave them a choice to bring what they had—from the costliest of treasures, down to acacia wood, to goat’s hair. Every type of offering was needed for a different aspect of God’s house. Every offering was welcomed and received.

2. Verse 29 says that the children of Israel brought to the Lord a freewill offering—those whose hearts made them willing were the ones who gave.

a. Everyone whose heart was stirred, and whose spirit was willing came with something.

b. Many brought bracelets, earrings, rings, tablets, and jewels of gold.

c. God is looking for willing vessels—those who will come to Him and give to Him of their treasure, their time, and their talents.

N.B. Let us always be willing to give God our best.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:

The Lord did not want anything in His house that was given grudgingly—with an attitude of unwillingness or resentment. He wanted only those things that were presented to Him with love and joy. Whatever you give—always give with a willing heart.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:

I have often watched, with interest, as the offering is being received, at how people respond. Some people act like they believe they are giving to a man, or a church, or an organization and either expect something back from them or they give without willingness. I am sure that some only give so others don’t see them not giving. However, I have come to realize that people don’t really get the big picture—for some reason they don’t realize that it is God they are giving their gifts to when they give to His work and His Kingdom. They don’t realize that God sees what they are doing and even looks into their heart at their attitude and intent as they do it. Your giving is totally between you and God. Do it like God is watching. Do it with a willing heart.

Prayer and Confession:

Father I pray that my heart will always be willing to serve You and obey You. In my giving, I will worship You and I give my best to You. All that I have is Yours. I am Yours and my heart has made me willing!

The Repentant Heart

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

So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord.  Acts 3:19 AMP

The root meaning of repentance is: a change of mind (and heart) and purpose. It is deep sorrow, compunction, or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like. The only way to repent is to have true godly sorrow. There is a difference between regret and repentance. Some people are sorry for being caught in the act of sin, but are not repentant of the sin itself. Sin is not a weakness, an unfortunate happening, or a mistake. It is a transgression of divine law; any act regarded as such a transgression, especially a willful or deliberate violation of some religious or moral principle; any reprehensible or regrettable action, behavior, or lapse. Sin is a personal guilt—each one independently will give an account of his/her own sin.

Iniquity is gross injustice or wickedness. Some people have iniquity in their heart. Deep down on the inside, they desire to commit sin even though they have not yet done it for fear of the humiliation of being caught. Sins of the heart also require repentance. Turn to God. Acknowledge your sin and then confess your sin with godly sorrow and the gift of repentance, which only God can give you. Acts 11:18b says, “Then God has also granted to the gentiles repentance unto life.” 2 Timothy 2:25b says, “…if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.” You repent by believing God’s Word. Jonah 3:5 AMP says, “So the people of Nineveh believed in God and proclaimed a fast and put on sackcloth [in penitent mourning], from the greatest of them even to the least of them.”

God’s mercy should never be taken for granted, because some things can never be changed, no matter how sorry you are afterwards. Hebrews 12:16-17 AMP says that Esau sold his birthright for a single meal. “For you understand that later on, when he wanted [to regain title to] his inheritance of the blessing, he was rejected (disqualified and set aside), for he could find no opportunity to repair by repentance [what he had done, no chance to recall the choice he had made], although he sought for it carefully with [bitter] tears.”

REPENTANCE FOR THE SINNER
1. By the preaching of the Gospel
Now when they heard this they were stung (cut) to the heart, and they said to Peter and the rest of the apostles (special messengers), Brethren, what shall we do? 38 And Peter answered them, Repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it) and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of and release from your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Acts 2:37-38 AMP

2. Through the Goodness of God
Or are you [so blind as to] trifle with and presume upon and despise and underestimate the wealth of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)?  Romans 2:4 AMP

3. Remember this very important fact: God’s mercy is extended to ALL
The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9 AMP

REPENTANCE FOR THE BELIEVER
1. Through God’s reproof and chastisement
For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.  Hebrews 12:6 AMP
For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. 11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness—in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God].  Hebrews 12:10-11 AMP
Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].  Revelation 3:19 AMP

2. A New Vision of God
I had heard of You [only] by the hearing of the ear, but now my [spiritual] eye sees You. 6 Therefore I loathe [my words] and abhor myself and repent in dust and ashes.  Job 42:5-6 AMP

3. The Loving Reproof of a Brother
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.  2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV

THREE FRUITS OF REPENTANCE
1. Acknowledgement and confession of sin

2. Humility – asking God for mercy
But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the especially wicked sinner that I am!  Luke 18:13 AMP

3. Very, very important – making restitution (or apologizing)
So then Zacchaeus stood up and solemnly declared to the Lord, See, Lord, the half of my goods I [now] give [by way of restoration] to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone out of anything, I [now] restore four times as much.  Luke 19:8 AMP

CONCLUSION
In order to stay in right standing with God, you must maintain a repentant heart toward Him. You must keep your heart humble and have a teachable attitude and a thankful heart. Never be self-righteous. Check your own temperature on a daily basis. Be very careful with whom you associate and whom you allow to influence you. Allow the Word of God to be your guide and the peace of God to reign in your heart. When you sin, confess immediately. Make right, accept the cleansing of the blood, and walk on. In this way, you ensure that your heart is a consistently repentant heart and is always right in the eyes of God

Watch Your Mouth

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

Foundation Scriptures:

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:23 KJV

A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. 21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.  Proverbs 18:20-21 KJV

1. Death and life are in the power of the tongue – so watch your mouth:

a. When you listen to some people speak, you realize why their lives are in a mess.

b. Your tongue is the rudder of your ship of life. (James 3:2-14)

c. Call those things that are not as though they are. Don’t call those things that are as though they are not. (Romans 4:17-21)

d. Romans 4:17-21 KJV – “(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that    which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully      persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”

e. Faith does not deny the facts, but it looks to the greater truths/facts of God’s Word.

2. Guard your mouth – watch your tongue:

a. Start speaking God’s Word over your life and circumstances instead of speaking the circumstances.

b. Get rid of negativity. Let the weak say, “I am strong.” Let the sick say, “I am healed.” Let the poor say, “I am rich.”

3. God’s Word covers every area of our lives – start speaking and praying God’s Word.

a. God says it; I believe it; that settles it.

b. Numbers 23:19 KJV – “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

c. Here are just a few of God’s mighty promises:

I. I have received abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness and I shall reign in life through Jesus Christ. (Romans 5:17)

II. I am like a tree planted by the rivers of water. (Psalms 1:1-3)

III. I shall not want. (Psalms 23)

IV. I live in the secret place of the most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (Psalms 91)

V. I am blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.

(Ephesians 1:3)

VI. I am seated at the Father’s right hand, with Christ, in heavenly places. (Ephesians 1:20)

VII. I am an heir of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. (Romans 8:17)

VIII. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all I can ask or think – according to the power that is working in me. (Ephesians 3:20)

d. So many scriptures that cover every aspect of our lives. Make a list of them and begin to confess God’s Word over your life and circumstances.

4. This is God’s plan for man:

a. God’s plan is that we should use the authority, and the keys of the kingdom, which God has given us, to speak His Word and change the world.

b. Romans 10:8-10 KJV – “But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

c. Believing God’s Word in your heart, and speaking it in faith, is a powerful combination.

d. Watch your mouth.

e. Do not speak the devil’s lies

f. Speak only what God speaks.

A Suitable Companion

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

Now the Lord God said, It is not good (sufficient, satisfactory) that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. 19 And out of the ground the Lord God formed every [wild] beast and living creature of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them; and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was its name. 20 And Adam gave names to all the livestock and to the birds of the air and to every [wild] beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found a helper meet (suitable, adapted, complementary) for him. 21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam; and while he slept, He took one of his ribs or a part of his side and closed up the [place with] flesh. 22 And the rib or part of his side which the Lord God had taken from the man He built up and made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 Then Adam said, This [creature] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of a man. 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:18-24 AMP

God created man – Adam – but He was not finished with him. He said, “It is not good – it is not satisfactory – that the man should be alone.” God had given man dominion over the earth and all its inhabitants, so He brought the animals to Adam to name. Adam saw and named every bird, fish and animal, but not one of them was suitable as a companion for him. I believe that the Lord did this so that Adam would know that Eve was God’s absolute best choice for him. God didn’t give him an animal as a companion; He didn’t give him another man – neither of those was suitable – but he gave him a woman, taken from his own side, to be his more than suitable companion!

When the Lord made Eve, Adam named her too and he welcomed her as his wife, partner, and complimentary equal. They were to be partners in life and in parenting. They were also to be partners for life.

Drink waters out of your own cistern [of a pure marriage relationship], and fresh running waters out of your own well. 16 Should your offspring be dispersed abroad as water brooks in the streets? 17 [Confine yourself to your own wife] let your children be for you alone, and not the children of strangers with you. 18 Let your fountain [of human life] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity], and rejoice in the wife of your youth. 19 Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe [tender, gentle, attractive] – let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love. 20 Why should you, my son, be infatuated with a loose woman, embrace the bosom of an outsider, and go astray? 21 For the ways of man are directly before the eyes of the Lord, and He [Who would have us live soberly, chastely, and godly] carefully weighs all man’s goings. Proverbs 5:15-21 AMP

“Drink waters out of your own cistern, and fresh running waters out of your own well.” Solomon is not speaking here of literal water – he is speaking about the marriage relationship. Men are to confine themselves to their own wives and not be looking at or lusting after other women – and definitely not be sleeping around with them! Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you that everyone who so much as looks at a woman with evil desire for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28 AMP) There is never a valid excuse for adultery! People might try to make excuses, but remember God knows your heart!

If a man goes after a woman for the mere physical relationship – that is all he will ever have. He will know lust, but not real love. He will never experience the fulfillment of a woman who truly loves him and has his heart and trust. He will be empty and lonely inside and he will lose his self-respect. Men who do this are emotionally shallow and come to a place where they cannot ever connect on a deeper level with anyone. They never experience the joys of understanding or being understood by a good woman, unless they truly repent and change their attitude and their ways.

“Let your fountain [of human life] be blessed [with the rewards of fidelity]” There is a great blessing for the man who stays faithful to his wife – he is rewarded with her love and appreciation; he has a companion for life who will honor him and understand his heart. Most of all he has the blessing of a clear conscience and an undefiled spirit. Just as Adam had an ideal companion in Eve, so the Lord has chosen an ideal companion for each one of us, but it requires submission to the will of God, and obedience, on both sides.

“Rejoice in the wife of your youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant doe [tender, gentle, attractive] – let her bosom satisfy you at all times, and always be transported with delight in her love.” It is the husband’s responsibility to keep his love alive for his wife, through their whole marriage. It is up to him to always see her beauty and cultivate her happiness. It is up to the husband to always keep the romance alive even when they are old and grey! Romance is not only the grand gestures. Romance is the small kind and thoughtful things that a husband does for his wife every day. Men – flowers and cards are not soppy or ridiculous! They speak of the fact that you thought about your wife and that you care about the things that make her happy. Tell her you love her every day. Tell her she is beautiful. Find out what her love language is and make an effort to speak it – even if it doesn’t come easily to you.

Men – don’t just sit back and do nothing and order your wife to submit! That is going to get you exactly nowhere fast! If you love her and care about her and you show it – then you will see the fruit of your labor – you will reap the rewards of a wife who goes out of her way to love you, honor you, bless you and meet your needs. Marriage is not designed by God to be a prison! It is a beautiful garden, where you can reap a harvest of blessing if you sow the right seeds and water and tend it!

How to Train the Human Spirit

 

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

Foundation Scripture: Hebrews 8:10

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint My laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Hebrews 8:10 AMP

I.  How to train the human spirit:

  • By giving the Word first place in your life
  • By meditation in the Word
  • By practicing the Word
  • By instantly obeying the voice of your spirit
  • By praying in the Spirit

II.  Give the Word first place in your life

  • First place means first place. First place means that you exalt the Word of God above all the words of man.
  • First place means that when you have a choice, you believe the Word of God and not your circumstances, your feelings or what your head tells you.
  • Proverbs 4:20-22 AMP – My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. 22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.
  • Proverbs 7:1-3 NKJV – My son, keep my words, And treasure my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and live, And my law as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart.
  • The only way you can make the Word of God first place in your life is if you know it—if it is in your heart and mind—if it abides in you and you abide in it.
  • This is how you make the Word part of who you are:

III. Meditate on the Word

  • The Word of God will not work for you if you just mentally assent to it (agree with it). It will only be effective if it becomes part of you—if every thought you have, every word you say and every action you take is governed and regulated by the Word that is in your heart.
  • Joshua 1:8 AMP – This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.
  • Meditate means to reflect on, contemplate, or ponder something.
  • The Hebrew word for “meditate” means “to murmur. It is also translated in the KJV as “mutter”; “imagine”; “roar”; “speak”; “study”; “talk”; “utter”.
  • Psalms 1:1-3 NKJV – Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.
  • This man is truly blessed—because he fully embraces God’s life-giving Word!
  • Because you delight in the Lord, you drink deeply from His Word and you meditate on His Word day and night; the result is that you bring forth fruit in season, your leaf doesn’t wither, and whatever you do prospers!

VI.  Practice the Word

  • James 1:21-22 AMP – So get rid of all uncleanness and the rampant outgrowth of wickedness, and in a humble (gentle, modest) spirit receive and welcome the Word which implanted and rooted [in your hearts] contains the power to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the Word [obey the message],Italic and not merely listeners to it, betraying yourselves [into deception by reasoning contrary to the Truth].
  • If you refuse to be led, directed and changed by God’s written Word, how in the world do you think that you will recognize or obey the voice of His Spirit?
  • 1 John 5:8 NKJV – And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
  • Water is symbolic of the Word. The Spirit and the Word will never contradict each other.
  • Matthew 7:21 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.
  • Romans 6:17 AMP – But thank God, though you were once slaves of sin, you have become obedient with all your heart to the standard of teaching in which you were instructed and to which you were committed.

V.  Instantly obey the voice of your spirit

  • Proverbs 20:27 NKJV – The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart.
  • The Lord will lead and guide you through your heart—not your head.
  • You can trust your heart when it is trained in the Word of God and submitted to God and His Word.
  • Romans 9:1 AMP – I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience [enlightened and prompted] by the Holy Spirit bearing witness with me.
  • Your spirit and your conscience are one and the same.
  • Hebrews 5:14 AMP – But solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary either to divine or human law.
  • When you spend a lot of time in the Word of God, even your senses become trained to know what is right and wrong.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV – (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) 5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.
  • Do not allow your carnal mind to rule you. Submit your thoughts completely to God’s Word.

VI. Pray in the Spirit

  • Praying in tongues helps you develop a sensitivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit and your own spirit.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:14-15 NKJV – For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. 15 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.
  • When you pray in tongues, your spirit man rises up, even as your mind grows quieter.
  • 1 Corinthians 14:2 NKJV – For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.
  • Jude 20 NKJV – But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit.
  • Praying in the Holy Spirit builds you up in your faith, drawing you closer to God and His will for you.

 

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE THE HEAD OF YOUR HOUSEWHAT IT MEANS TO BE THE HEAD OF YOUR HOUSE

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

But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3 AMP

For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.
Ephesians 5:23 AMP

According to the will and the Word of God, Jesus Christ is the Head of the body of Christ. He is the head of every man and every woman. On earth, and in the family, He has set the husband as the head of the wife and therefore the head of the family. What does it mean to be the head of your house? If you desire to please God, then it certainly does not mean that you lord it over your family or boss them around, neither does it mean that you get to control them. Ephesians 5:21 AMP says, “Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).”

Jesus washed his disciples’ feet and told them that their job was to love and serve others, just as He had loved and served them. Jesus laid down His very life for us and He asks us to do the same for others. Why would we serve others and not our own family? The husband is head of the wife, just as Jesus is Head of the church. Jesus put us ahead of Himself. He considered our need as greater than His own.

Ephesians 5:25 tells husbands to love their wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. How does Jesus love His Church? That’s how you should love and treat your wife. The word for “love” here is agape – the God-kind of love – not mere human love, but God’s love. The love that sees others as valuable and precious; the love that can love sinners; the love that can love the unlovable! Not a conditional love, but an unconditional love.

Jesus is never mean or selfish with us, neither is He controlling or manipulative. He respects our free will and He gently, yet firmly, leads and guides us. All His plans for us are good and beneficial plans. He brings freedom and peace and joy to our hearts and lives. Ephesians 5:28-29 tells husbands to love (agape) their wives as much as they love their own bodies, because she is your own body – you are one flesh! It also says that the husband who loves his own wife loves himself. No man ever hated his own flesh, but he nourishes, carefully protects and cherishes it, just the same way that Christ does the church.

Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. Colossians 3:19 AMP

In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.] 1 Peter 3:7 AMP

The Bible does tell wives to submit to their own husbands. However, the Lord is not pleased when husbands demand submission from their wives. He is not pleased when a husband is harsh, bitter or resentful toward his wife. In fact, if you treat your wife roughly, the Lord will not answer your prayers! If a husband treats His wife like Jesus treats the Church, she would willingly and happily submit to him. If she doesn’t, then she obviously needs you to take your place as the priest and prophet of your home and love and pray for her! There are very few wives who wouldn’t respond to the God-kind of love from their husbands. Wives naturally want to please their husbands and to make them happy. If you are kind and understanding with your wife and if you make an effort to meet her emotional needs, you will have a happy wife and a happy life!

The Hebrew word for “head” means captain or chief. Husband, you are the captain of your own ship – your family. The direction your family goes in is in your hands. Joshua declared, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15) The first and most important thing you need to do is to serve God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, yourself, and to teach your children to do the same. They will follow and serve God if they know how much He loves them. You teach them how much God loves them, by loving and nurturing them yourself.

The Bible says that a man who seeks to serve and have a position of leadership in the Church must have unquestionable integrity and be the husband of only ONE wife. That not only means “one at a time” it means “only one”! This is good advice for every husband, not just ministers. If you are a minister, remember that your ministry is only as strong as your marriage.

Husbands, your first priority is to love God with all your heart; your second priority is to love your wife with all your heart; your third priority is your children; your fourth is your career or your ministry. A man who has his priorities in order, and who obeys God’s word regarding his wife and family, will have the fruit of a beautiful loving family, who serve the Lord together with him.

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments. 2 His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Psalms 112:1-3 NKJV

Seven Commands for Believers from Hebrews 10



Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25 NKJV

1. Draw near to God with a true heart:

“…let us draw near with a true heart…” Hebrews 10:22

These people draw near Me with their mouths and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far away from Me. Matthew 15:8 AMP

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. James 4:8 KJV

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:39 KJV

2. Have a pure conscience:

“…having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience…” Hebrews 10:22

And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. Acts 24:16 KJV

Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.

1 Timothy 1:5 NKJV

Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck.

1 Timothy 1:19 KJV

3. Have clean bodies:

“…our bodies washed with pure water…” Hebrews 10:22

Not only should we have a clean heart, but we should have clean hands as well. Clean in motivation and in works. We are washed by the Word of God.

That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. Ephesians 5:26 KJV

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? 4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. Psalms 24:3-4 KJV

4. Have unwavering faith:

“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering…” Hebrews 10:23

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Romans 1:17 KJV

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all. Romans 4:16 KJV

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Romans 4:20 KJV

Be keeping a watchful eye ever open. Be standing fast in the Faith. Be showing yourselves to be men. Be mighty in strength. 1 Corinthians 16:13 Kenneth S. Wuest

5. Provoke others to good works:

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…” Hebrews 10:24

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 KJV

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 KJV

In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility, 8 sound speech that cannot be condemned, that one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you. Titus 2:7-8 NKJV

6. Be regular church attendees:

“…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some…” Hebrews 10:25

Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 KJV

7. Exhort one another daily:

“…but exhorting one another…” Hebrews 10:25

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:13 KJV

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.

2 Timothy 4:2 KJV

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 KJV

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. Titus 2:15 KJV

WHAT IT MEANS TO BE THE HEAD OF YOUR HOUSE – PART II

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

But I want you to know and realize that Christ is the Head of every man, the head of a woman is her husband, and the Head of Christ is God. 1 Corinthians 11:3 AMP

The husband is the head of the house. What does that mean? It means that you are responsible – you are responsible before God for the well being of your family – your wife and your children. To be responsible means to be accountable – especially to the Lord. The Lord has given you a divine position and a divine responsibility and you will give an account on how you led your family – whether you loved them, provided for, and protected them – or not. How can you fulfill the responsibilities of this position and live up to the expectations that God has for you? Not in your own strength! You have to trust in Him and not lean on your own wisdom or understanding!

As the head, the leader, the chief, and the captain of your own ship, you are ultimately responsible for the direction your family goes in. No matter what choices anyone else makes – for good or bad – you must still follow your Heavenly Father and do what you know is right from the Word of God.

Some men blame their wives for all the problems in the home and some wives blame their husbands, but each person is responsible before God for their own role and their own attitude and choices. As the husband and head of the home, if there is a problem that seems insurmountable and issues that can’t be worked out, do not be too afraid or too prideful to take your family into counseling with a godly counselor – with the emphasis on godly!

In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God’s unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.] 1 Peter 3:7 AMP

As the head of the house by God’s design, you are instructed love your wife like Christ loves the Church – giving your life for her; you must realize and understand that she is more sensitive than you are physically and emotionally; you must be gentle, kind and considerate toward her. If you don’t do this and if you treat her harshly, roughly or inconsiderately, then your own prayers will be hindered and remain unanswered.

House and riches are the inheritance from fathers, but a wise, understanding, and prudent wife is from the Lord.
Proverbs 19:14 AMP

Only the Lord can give you a godly wife. This means that the Lord can give you a great wife to marry – OR – if you are already married to a wife, who is not so great, then the Lord can work on her and change her heart and make her a great and a godly wife! A great marriage takes two people, who are committed to God’s will and plan for their lives, above all else. Pray for a wife from the Lord. When you get a wife, treat her like the gift from God that she was intended to be.

Nevertheless, in [the plan of] the Lord and from His point of view woman is not apart from and independent of man, nor is man aloof from and independent of woman; 12 For as woman was made from man, even so man is also born of woman; and all [whether male or female go forth] from God [as their Author].
1 Corinthians 11:11-12 AMP

Contrary to modern opinions and attitudes, men and women do need each other. Not all men and women, but one special man for one special woman. Men are not superior to women and women are not superior to men. Comparing men to women is like comparing apples and oranges – they are completely different, but they are both important. Men are created differently from women – and women from men. Men are important and women are important. They each have a specialized function and a unique place in the family. We can say that they are “hard-wired” differently by God. This unique hard-wiring gives husbands and wives each their special place, specialized gifts and specialized strengths.

God created us all differently so that we could “complete” each other and not “compete” with each other. Competing is completely fruitless and unproductive, but cooperation can accomplish great things.

Husband, your job is not to Lord it over your wife and kids, but to be the priest and prophet of your house and to lead them with the help or the Lord. In order to do this, you must be completely submitted to the Holy Spirit. Serve God yourself – honor His word and His Spirit. Never use scriptures to dominate, manipulate or control your family, but to bless and edify them. Remember that it takes a huge dose of unselfishness to be a great husband and father!

For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. Ephesians 5:31 AMP

A man must leave his family behind on the day he gets married. That means that he and his wife are starting a fresh new family. If a man can’t “cut the apron” strings, then he shouldn’t get married. If a man is not ready to grow up and leave the safety and comfort of his parent’s protection, then he is not ready to get married – no matter how old he is. Love and honor your mother and father, but do not allow them to control, interfere with or meddle in your marriage. You are the new head of your house – stand up and take your place! You are the head of your new family and must make godly decisions on their behalf.

THE JOY OF BEING A WOMAN, WIFE AND MOTHER

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

And whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in [dependence upon] His Person, giving praise to God the Father through Him. 18 Wives, be subject to your husbands [subordinate and adapt yourselves to them], as is right and fitting and your proper duty in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives [be affectionate and sympathetic with them] and do not be harsh or bitter or resentful toward them. Colossians 3:17-19 AMP

Doing “everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” means bringing honor to Him in every aspect and activity of your daily life. You are a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ and you represent Him everywhere you go and in everything you do! Even and especially in your home! The “do everything in His Name” rule applies to husbands and to wives in the context of their marriage and family as much as it does to outside of the home. Husbands and wives have a specific role and specific function in the home, two working together as one, to accomplish the same goal – a blessed and godly family. It’s not a competition to see who’s smarter or better, but it is a team effort toward the same end result.

Husbands are instructed to love their wives with the agape love of God. Not mere selfish human love, but unselfishly and unconditionally. They are called and ordained by God, to be the head of, and the leader in, their homes. Every endeavor needs a head or a leader. Just as the human body has one head, so also the Body of Christ has one leader, Jesus Christ, and the family has one leader, the husband and father. As the saying goes, “Anything with no head is a monster and anything with two heads is a freak!” In order to have order in the family, as in anything else, there needs to be one head. God made us and He says that this responsibility belongs to the husband. Therefore, if a wife will honor God in her own life and respect His word, she will be content to allow, support, and encourage her husband to be the head of the family that God intended him to be.

In this passage in Colossians, mentioned above, and the next few verses after that, Paul gives the rules for three sets of household relationships – a) husbands and wives; b) parents and their children; and c) masters and slaves, or servants. Each category has mutual responsibilities – to love and to submit; to encourage and to obey; to work hard and to be fair. We must measure ourselves against God’s standards, and work to make sure that our life and relationships line up with His word. A godly marriage involves mutual submission, submitting ourselves to the lordship of Jesus Christ, and subordinating our own personal desires for the good of the ones we love. Marriage is not 50-50, it is 100-100! When we each put our spouse first, then we can’t help but have a successful marriage. The same goes for children. Raising a successful, happy family requires a great deal of unselfishness and sacrifice on the part of the parents. You put their welfare above your own. God also put our welfare above His own when He gave up his only begotten Son on our behalf!

Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). 22 Wives, be subject (be submissive and adapt yourselves) to your own husbands as [a service] to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body. 24 As the church is subject to Christ, so let wives also be subject in everything to their husbands. Ephesians 5:21-24 AMP

The word “submit” or “submission” means: to subordinate yourself; to put under; to be under obedience; to give over or yield to the power or authority of another; to defer to another’s judgment, opinion, decision. Men were created by God to be focused, to make decisions easily and to be natural leaders. Women were created by God to be very adaptable and flexible. Every team needs a captain. The team is lost without a captain to pull it all together, but a captain would be nothing without his players. If a team needs leaders and followers, if a business needs leaders and followers, then so does a family. In God’s eyes neither one is less than the other. When each takes their place with humility and grace, they are all together a powerful and successful team.

The devil has tried to make women feel inferior to men. When they do then they either become doormats or they fight so hard to show that they are equal or better than men that they lose sight of the beautiful gift of God that they are to their husband and family. Being the vice-captain of your team is not a more lowly job, it is a very important supportive position. The husband is there to cover, defend and protect his wife, and the wife is there to nurture, support and encourage her husband. Submission is not a dirty word. It is a collaborative and cooperative word. They say that behind every successful man there is a great woman and that is the truth. The virtuous woman, in Proverbs 31, is the ideal wife that the wise man seeks and hopes to find.

Proverbs 31:11-12 says that the virtuous wife’s husband trusts in her confidently, relies on her, and believes in her and is secure in the knowledge that she will do him only good, as long as there is life within her! He can trust her with his money; he can trust her with his children, with his heart and with his life. She is his comforter and encourager. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would be our comforter, standby and help. As women, we are created, ordained, and anointed, by God to fulfill this great earthly role in our husband’s life! It is not a burden, but it is a privilege! Proverbs 31:23 says that the virtuous woman’s husband is known in the city’s gates, when he sits among the elders of the land. In other words, he has a prominent place in the community – he is a successful man – and she has a huge part in that.

A woman who takes her rightful place – as a strong, secure woman – under the headship and leadership of her husband is not a weak woman. She is a woman of strong character and a woman who pleases God.

A virtuous and worthy wife [earnest and strong in character] is a crowning joy to her husband, but she who makes him ashamed is as rottenness in his bones. Proverbs 12:4 AMP

Rodney Howard Browne bringing Revival to Louisville KY

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