“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; Yes, our God is merciful. Psalms 116:5 NKJV
The Lord is gracious, righteous and merciful and He expects the same from us, His children. We are made righteous by the blood of Jesus and we are empowered to walk in righteousness by the Holy Spirit. The Word of God is our plumb line, leading us and keeping us on the path God has prepared for us.
I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed. Psalms 37:25-26 KJV
The righteous are just like their Father. They are merciful and generous. This is why the Lord will always see to it that they – and their children – are taken care of. David said that he had never – not even once – seen the righteous or their families let down or going without.
Psalm 112 is a great example of the attributes of a righteous man and the blessing upon him and his house as a result.
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. 4 Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion. 6 Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. 8 His heart is established; He will not be afraid, Until he sees his desire upon his enemies. 9 He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor. 10 The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked shall perish. Psalms 112:1-10 NKJV
The righteous man reverentially fears God. He loves God’s word; he delights in it; it is his joy to do those things that please his Father. The righteous man keeps his heart right with God. He is gracious and compassionate and is always prepared and willing to help others and to share what he has. He thinks of those less fortunate than himself and makes it his business to help the poor. He seeks opportunities to be a blessing. Psalms 37:21 NKJV says that, “The wicked borrows and does not repay, But the righteous shows mercy and gives.” The righteous man’s conduct, in business and his personal life, is always governed by his integrity and the principles of God’s word.
The righteous man is fully aware of all Father God’s promises to him – he counts on Him keeping His word. He is not afraid of evil tidings because his heart is steadfast – he trusts in the Lord completely. He walks in peace and calm assurance even when his circumstances seem totally contrary. He will never be shaken because he chooses to believe God’s word over what he can see. He has already seen the hand of God and His faithfulness in his life, and experienced His blessing, favor and provision and He is humbly confident that God will come through for him yet again.
Psalms 112 says that the generation of the upright will be blessed and wealth and riches will be in his house. The righteous are not just a little blessed – they are super-blessed! The Lord makes the righteous to have a surplus of prosperity (Deuteronomy 28:11) and He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)!
Light arises in the darkness for the righteous man – he has understanding, direction and purpose even when others are scared, confused and deceived. He can see his way out of every adverse situation. The name and deeds of a righteous man will be remembered forever – especially in eternity. The Lord will honor him.
For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield. Psalms 5:12 NKJV
The righteous will endure forever, because God will deal with his enemies – they will not get away with any bad thing they try to do to him. There is a hedge of God’s protection around the righteous. The wicked will see the blessing on the life of the righteous; they will fuss and fume, but they will not be able to harm him. Their plans and desires will perish without coming to pass.
The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalms 92:12-15 KJV
The Lord demonstrates His righteousness by keeping His word to His righteous man all the days of his life. The righteous will be fat, flourishing and fruitful well into a good old age and die only when they are satisfied! God is glorified when men see His blessing on the righteous. They see and know that God is indeed good and that He always keeps His promises!
“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
TWENTY ONE REASONS WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW THE LORD : PART ONE
• By personal fellowship
“What we have seen and [ourselves] heard, we are also telling you, so that you too may realize and enjoy fellowship as partners and partakers with us. And [this] fellowship that we have [which is a distinguishing mark of Christians] is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ (the Messiah). And we are now writing these things to you so that our joy [in seeing you included] may be full [and your joy may be complete]. And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way]. [So] if we say we are partakers together and enjoy fellowship with Him when we live and move and are walking about in darkness, we are [both] speaking falsely and do not live and practice the Truth [which the Gospel presents].” 1 John 1:3-6 AMP
The distinguishing mark of Christians is their fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. If you want to stay in
fellowship with the Father, you have to walk in the light because God is light and there is no darkness in Him. Walking in the light requires walking in the Truth, walking in integrity, walking in love and walking in purity. If we sin and lie and break His commands and then say that we are in fellowship with Him, we are lying.
“I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know (recognize, be aware of, and understand) Him Who [has existed] from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have been victorious over the wicked [one]. I write to you, boys (lads), because you have come to know (recognize and be aware) of the Father.” 1 John 2:13 AMP
• By the fullness of joy in our heart
“And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.” 1 John 1:4 NKJV
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. In other words, the more of Him you have the more joy you walk in.
• By keeping His commandments
“Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:3-6 NKJV
Anyone who says that they know God, can prove it by the way they keep His commandments. Many people say they love Him, but in actual fact, they are doing their own thing – proving that they don’t. We should all check our own heart and judge ourselves in this area. Do we say we love Him? Are we keeping His commandments? If we truly love Him, we will be diligent to keep His commands.
“And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:22 NKJV
God’s blessings will be evident in our lives, when we obey the Lord’s commands and do the things that please Him! He is pleased to bless His obedient children!
• By walking even as He walked
“He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.” 1 John 2:6 NKJV
If we know the Lord then we must obey Him by walking in His footsteps – doing what He did. It is not presumptuous for us to imitate Jesus; it is what He wants us to do.
• By loving one another
“He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” 1 John 2:9-11 NKJV
“In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. For this is the
message that you heard from the beginning, that we should love one another, not as Cain who was of the wicked one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death. Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.” 1 John 3:10-19 NKJV
“And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” 1 John 3:23 NKJV
Don’t worry about what everybody else is doing – you do what you know is right. The world and the world’s system are opposed to the Spirit of God. The bottom line is this: if we know Him, we walk in love – if we don’t walk in love, we show that we don’t know Him at all!
“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
If anyone thinks himself to be religious (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person’s religious service is worthless (futile, barren). 27 External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world. James 1:26-27 AMP
There are many, many people who claim to be “religious” and by that they mean that they believe in God or a god or some kind of higher power. Just because you are religious, or call yourself religious, doesn’t mean that your heart is right with God or even that you are a better person than the next person. There are many religions around the world and yet people still sin and still do bad things to one another. Most “religion” is nothing more than man-made tradition. It is fruitless, useless and powerless. Rather than being religious, we should strive to be godly and to live a godly life, conformed to God’s holy word.
So for the sake of your tradition (the rules handed down by your forefathers), you have set aside the Word of God [depriving it of force and authority and making it of no effect]. 7 You pretenders (hypocrites)! Admirably and truly did Isaiah prophesy of you when he said: 8 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. 9 Uselessly do they worship Me, for they teach as doctrines the commands of men. Matthew 15:6-9 AMP
When people are truly godly, as opposed to merely religious, they:
Are doers of the word
Walk in the love of God
Care about and help others
Keep their hearts right with God – their conscience is clear
Walk in the fruit of the spirit
Do not act like the world – they keep themselves free from sin – unspotted and uncontaminated from the world
Merely religious people display some or all of these traits:
Are not doers of the Word of God
Do not walk in the love of God
Want their own way
Are selfish, self-promoting and self-seeking
Manifest the works of the flesh
Are critical and judgmental
Are covetous, jealous and envious – are not happy when others are blessed
Put on a show – are boastful, arrogant and conceited
Claim to have the only way – believe they are always right
Are angry, hate-filled and even murderous – no natural compassion
Power-hungry and manipulative
Sad, sour, rude and unmannerly
Believe the worst of others
Are impatient and unkind
Are touchy and resentful
Are unforgiving and hold grudges
Are not concerned about injustice
Quench any joy in themselves and others
Cover their sin instead of repenting
Are bound up and seek to put others in bondage
Hate freedom and resent liberty
Religious people are people who don’t realize that God loves them – unconditionally. They don’t feel loved so they can’t love others. They feel judged and so they judge. They need to experience the goodness of God, repent of their bad attitude and be set free.
Religion alone is not a guarantee of heaven, because religion relies on works. Works alone are not enough. Salvation is by faith through grace. Only a personal relationship – with trust and reliance on the Name of Jesus, having believed in your heart, having confessed Him as Lord, having been washed in His blood, having been born again by the Spirit of God – is a guarantee of eternal life. The worst kind of religious person is one who has received Jesus, but either has not let go of old religious ideas, or they try to add to the simplicity of the Gospel with all kinds of man-made traditions.
From the time you receive Jesus, or recommit to Him, you must continually work to renew your mind to His pure, unadulterated word and be conformed to His image. You cannot return to your old life – you cannot start in the Spirit and then go back to the flesh – like a dog returning to its own vomit.
Everyone of us needs to have a regular “check-up”. Not at the doctor, but a heart check-up. We need to make sure that our daily attitude and conduct match up with the Word of God. We must measure our attitude and conduct against the standard of the Word of God and make the adjustments so that we can continue to walk in the freedom and liberty of the Holy Spirit.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty! (2 Cor. 3:17)
These past few weeks have been stretching me especially, being away from my family. The Lord has shown Himself faithful and He has been taking care of my family’s needs. He has been making a way for me to continue with the internship program.
“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. 17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. 18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:15-18 KJV
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus did not say that He would build His church on Peter, but that He would build it on this fact: That Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God.
The English word “church” is derived from the word kuriakon which means “belonging to the Lord”. It does not mean a building and is never used in the New Testament to designate a building. In the English New Testament the word “church” is used to translate the Greek word ekklesia, which means “an assembly of people”. In some passages, it is simply translated as “assembly”. Ekklesia is derived from two Greek words, ek meaning “out from,” and kaleo which means “to call.” The Greeks used the word when speaking of their legislature – the people designated and called out to represent their community in the legislature. We are “called out” of the world and gathered together to serve and represent the Living God here on earth and also in Heaven!
In Matthew 16:18, Jesus is putting the emphasis not on the word “Church”, but on the word “My”, as in “I will build MY Church…” The Church is unique, not merely because it is called a Church, but because it is the Body of Christ – an assembly of believers who belong to Jesus! Jesus is the Head of the Church:
Ephesians 5:23 AMP – For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is the Head of the church, Himself the Savior of [His] body.
Colossians 1:18 NIV – And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
Hebrews 12:22-24 NIV – But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.
In the New Testament, the word “Church” is used to designate the Church in general – the whole Body of Christ – and also a specific local church or assembly of Christians. However, it is not referring to a particular group or denomination.
The local church, in a particular area, is vital to the growth, development and expansion of the Body of Christ in that area. It is important for each of us to be a part of a local body of believers, with people who love and accept us, and also who hold us accountable as we grow in our faith. Hebrews 10:24-25 AMP says, “And let us consider and give attentive, continuous care to watching over one another, studying how we may stir up (stimulate and incite) to love and helpful deeds and noble activities, 25 Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.”
The mission of the local church is:
Preaching and teaching
Missions and evangelism
Maturity of the believer
Ministry in the home
Ministry to material needs
And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole human race]. 16 He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. 17 And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; 18 They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well. Mark 16:15-18 AMP
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
Mark emphasizes preaching and Matthew, teaching, but they are agreed on the overall role of the Church. The Church’s mission is to get people saved, delivered, healed, baptized in water and the Holy Spirit, and then to take care of them, disciple them, and send them out to continue to do the work of the Church.
You cannot come to God on any basis other than faith:
KJV – But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
AMP – But without faith it is impossible to please and be satisfactory to Him. For whoever would come near to God must [necessarily] believe that God exists and that He is the rewarder of those who earnestly and diligently seek Him [out].
K. E. Wuest – Now, without faith it is impossible to please Him at all. For he who comes to God must of the necessity in the nature of the case believe that He exists, that He also becomes a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out.
GWNBS – No one can please God without faith. Whoever goes to God must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
It is impossible to please God if you have no faith in Him. Having faith in God, means that:
You believe in Him – you believe that He exists.
You believe His word and His testimony to you.
You believe that if you diligently seek Him, that you will receive an answer or a response.
You believe that if you diligently seek Him, that He will reward you.
Diligently seek means: to search out; (figuratively) investigate; crave; demand; worship; enquire; seek after (carefully, diligently). It means constant in effort to accomplish something; attentive and persistent in doing anything; pursue with persevering attention; painstaking. You can’t give up halfway – you have to press into God, and continue to press in – expecting to receive from Him and you will receive.
Faith is believing without seeing, or before seeing:
KJV – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
AMP – Now faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of things [we] do not see and the conviction of their reality [faith perceiving as real fact what is not revealed to the senses].
ERV – Faith is what makes real the things we hope for. It is proof of what we cannot see.
NIV – Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
GWNBS – Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.
HCSB – Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
BBE – Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the sign that the things not seen are true.
Faith believes in the unseen over what is seen or perceived with the senses. If you have a title deed to a piece of property, it is the proof that you own it and it belongs to you, even if you have never actually seen it yourself. That title deed is a sure thing – it will hold up in a court of law. Faith is like the title deed – it’s the proof that you have what you are believing for, without having actually seen the manifestation of it yet. Once you see it – you no longer require faith. People say, “I’ll believe it when I see it,” but when you see it, you will know it. Believing is only operational before you see it!
Unbelief and fear do not please God:
Do not throw away therefore your confidence which is of such a nature that it has great recompense of reward, for you have need of patience in order that, having done the will of God, you might receive the promise. For yet a little, a very little while, and He who comes will come and will not delay. Now, my righteous person shall live by faith. But if he draw back in fear, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But as for us, we are not of the shrinking-back kind who draw back to perdition, but of the believing kind who believe to the end of the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:35-39 K.E. Wuest
Your faith – your confidence in God and His word – will result in a great reward. Faith is a requirement for receiving anything from God. He is only moved by our faith – not just our hoping – and we can receive nothing from God without faith. We need to have faith in God for salvation, healing, provision, protection, and any other thing that He’s promised us. If we shrink back in fear, or allow unbelief to quench our faith, we risk displeasing God.
There is only one way to get faith – by hearing and believing God’s word:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 KJV
You can’t pray for faith. The Bible tells us that faith comes when you hear God’s word and faith increases the more you hear and meditate on God’s word and His promises. Surround yourself daily with God’s word and with people who speak faith in God’s word. At the same time, refuse to allow negativity, doubt and unbelief to come into your spirit through unbelieving, faithless sources. Don’t share with unbelievers what you are standing in faith for and look for their input – you know it’s going to be a faith destroying conversation! If you have to be around them, don’t ask for their opinion on spiritual things. Your faith has to be stronger than their unbelief, or they will end up pulling you down.
When you hear God’s word, in order for it to benefit you or profit you, you have to believe it and put your trust in it:
KJV – For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.
AMP – For indeed we have had the glad tidings [Gospel of God] proclaimed to us just as truly as they [the Israelites of old did when the good news of deliverance from bondage came to them]; but the message they heard did not benefit them, because it was not mixed with faith (with the leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) by those who heard it; neither were they united in faith with the ones [Joshua and Caleb] who heard (did believe).
The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17 KJV
This is one of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. A God who is great and MIGHTY – Jehovah Elohim – and yet who is so loving and so kind and so generous with His people! His heart is to save us – not punish or destroy us. The word “save” means that He wants to free us; avenge us; defend us; deliver us; rescue us; help us; preserve us; cause us to be victorious. He will rejoice – be bright; be cheerful; be glad; joy; make mirth – over us with joy and gladness – joyfulness; blithesomeness; glee; mirth; pleasure. He will rest in His love – His love is more than enough; His love is big enough; His love is the reason for it all; His love makes all things right. Then He will joy over us – spin around; be joyful – with singing – with a shout of joy; cry of joy; proclamation; triumph.
Our God is rejoicing over us, singing over us, dancing over us, shouting over us, triumphing over us, and we are wrapped in His love and His delight. It doesn’t get any better than that! Meditate on this verse and let it sink into your spirit – how much the Father loves you and how good He is and how good He is to you!
God is pleased with us when we have faith in Him:
By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:5-6 NKJV
He takes pleasure in those who reverently respect and fear Him:
The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy. Psalms 147:11 NKJV
He delights in the humble:
For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation. Psalms 149:4 NKJV
He delights in those who are upright:
I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You. 1 Chronicles 29:17 NKJV
They who are willfully contrary in heart are extremely disgusting and shamefully vile in the eyes of the Lord, but such as are blameless and wholehearted in their ways are His delight! Proverbs 11:20 AMP
He delights in the prayer of the upright:
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight. Proverbs 15:8 NKJV
He delights in prospering the upright:
And the Lord your God will make you abundantly prosperous in every work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, of your cattle, of your land, for good; for the Lord will again delight in prospering you, as He took delight in your fathers, 10 If you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being. Deuteronomy 30:9-10 AMP
He rejoices over us to do us good:
And they will be My people, and I will be their God. 39 And I will give them one heart and one way, that they may [reverently] fear Me forever for the good of themselves and of their children after them. 40 And I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will not turn away from following them to do them good, and I will put My [reverential] fear in their hearts, so that they will not depart from Me. 41 Yes, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly and in truth with My whole heart and with My whole being. Jeremiah 32:38-41 AMP
He delivers those in whom He delights:
He brought me forth into a large place; He delivered me because He delighted in me. 21 The Lord rewarded me according to my uprightness with Him; He compensated and benefited me according to the cleanness of my hands. 2 Samuel 22:20-21 AMP
Because He delights in us, we are comforted:
And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and be glad in My people; and the sound of weeping will no more be heard in it, nor the cry of distress. Isaiah 65:19 AMP
The Lord gives an inheritance to those in whom He delights:
If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land flowing with milk and honey. Numbers 14:8 AMP
He is especially joyful whenever anyone repents and is saved or restored:
I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:7 NKJV
Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. Luke 15:10 NKJV
And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry. Luke 15:23-24 NKJV
He rejoices over us like a bridegroom rejoices over his bride:
For as a young man marries a virgin, So shall your sons marry you; And as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, So shall your God rejoice over you. Isaiah 62:5 NKJV
We have SO many reasons to praise our God and here a just a few:
1. Praise God for He is good.
2. Praise God for His mercy endures forever.
O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever! Psalms 107:1 AMP
3. Praise God for He redeems us from the enemy.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has delivered from the hand of the adversary. Psalms 107:2 AMP
Let the redeemed say, “I am redeemed!”
4. Praise God for He gathers His people.
And gathered them out of the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the [Red] Sea in the south. Psalms 107:3 AMP
5. Praise God for He delivers us from distresses.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He delivered them out of their distresses. Psalms 107:6; 19 AMP
6. Praise God for He is leading us to a city – His city.
He led them forth by the straight and right way, that they might go to a city where they could establish their homes. Psalms 107:7 AMP
The Lord promises to provide us with homes – both here on earth and in heaven. Ultimately, He will provide us with a brand new home when He establishes a new heaven and a new earth.
7. Praise God for His goodness and wonderful works.
Oh, that men would praise [and confess to] the Lord for His goodness and loving-kindness and His wonderful works to the children of men! Psalms 107:8; 15; 21; 31 AMP
8. Praise God for His power to satisfy the soul.
For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with good. Psalms 107:9 AMP
9. Praise God for salvation from distresses.
Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. Psalms 107:13 AMP
Then they cry to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. Psalms 107:28 AMP
10. Praise God for deliverance from darkness and the shadow of death.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke apart the bonds that held them. Psalms 107:14 AMP
11. Praise God for liberation from bondage.
…and broke apart the bonds that held them. Psalms 107:14b AMP
For He has broken the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron apart. Psalms 107:16 AMP
12. Praise God for physical healing.
He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. Psalms 107:20 AMP
Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases. Psalms 103:3 AMP
Saying, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord Who heals you. Exodus 15:26 AMP
Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5 NKJV
And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases. Matthew 8:17 AMP
The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. John 10:10 NKJV
Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:14-16 NKJV
Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed. 1 Peter 2:24 NKJV
13. Praise God for deliverance from destructions.
He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction. Psalms 107:20 AMP
14. Praise God for deliverance from storms.
He hushes the storm to a calm and to a gentle whisper, so that the waves of the sea are still. 30 Then the men are glad because of the calm, and He brings them to their desired haven. Psalms 107:29-30 AMP
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Mark 4:39 KJV
15. Praise God for material prosperity.
He turns rivers into a wilderness, water springs into a thirsty ground, 34 A fruitful land into a barren, salt waste, because of the wickedness of those who dwell in it. 35 He turns a wilderness into a pool of water and a dry ground into water springs; 36 And there He makes the hungry to dwell, that they may prepare a city for habitation, 37 And sow fields, and plant vineyards which yield fruits of increase. 38 He blesses them also, so that they are multiplied greatly, and allows not their cattle to decrease. Psalms 107:33-38 AMP
Israelites borrow from the Egyptians and then they experience miracle debt elimination
Exodus 3:21-22 And I will give this people favour in the sight of the Egyptians: and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty: 22 But every woman shall borrow of her neighbour, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and ye shall put them upon your sons, and upon your daughters; and ye shall spoil the Egyptians. Exodus 14:30 Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore.
The Lord’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed
Deuteronomy 15:1-6 (NIV) At the end of every seven years you must cancel debts. 2 This is how it is to be done: Every creditor shall cancel the loan he has made to his fellow Israelite. He shall not require payment from his fellow Israelite or brother, because the LORD’s time for canceling debts has been proclaimed. 3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel any debt your brother owes you. 4 However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
Debt (taxes) eliminated
1 Samuel 17:22-25 (NIV) David left his things with the keeper of supplies, ran to the battle lines and greeted his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, Goliath, the Philistine champion from Gath, stepped out from his lines and shouted his usual defiance, and David heard it. 24 When the Israelites saw the man, they all ran from him in great fear.
25 Now the Israelites had been saying, “Do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his father’s family from taxes in Israel.”
Widow woman’s debt eliminated
2 Kings 4:1-7 Now there cried a certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets unto Elisha, saying, Thy servant my husband is dead; and thou knowest that thy servant did fear the LORD: and the creditor is come to take unto him my two sons to be bondmen. 2 And Elisha said unto her, What shall I do for thee? tell me, what hast thou in the house? And she said, Thine handmaid hath not any thing in the house, save a pot of oil. 3 Then he said, Go, borrow thee vessels abroad of all thy neighbours, even empty vessels; borrow not a few. 4 And when thou art come in, thou shalt shut the door upon thee and upon thy sons, and shalt pour out into all those vessels, and thou shalt set aside that which is full. 5 So she went from him, and shut the door upon her and upon her sons, who brought the vessels to her; and she poured out. 6 And it came to pass, when the vessels were full, that she said unto her son, Bring me yet a vessel. And he said unto her, There is not a vessel more. And the oil stayed. 7 Then she came and told the man of God. And he said, Go, sell the oil, and pay thy debt, and live thou and thy children of the rest.
Axe head was borrowed, lost, and returned
2 Kings 6:4-7 So he went with them. And when they came to Jordan, they cut down wood. 5 But as one was felling a beam, the axe head fell into the water: and he cried, and said, Alas, master! For it was borrowed. 6 And the man of God said, Where fell it? And he shewed him the place. And he cut down a stick, and cast it in thither; and the iron did swim. 7 Therefore said he, Take it up to thee. And he put out his hand, and took it.
Nehemiah’s workmen had their mortgages and debts canceled
Nehemiah 5:1-4, 11-12 And there was a great cry of the people and of their wives against their brethren the Jews. 2 For there were that said, We, our sons, and our daughters, are many: therefore we take up corn for them, that we may eat, and live. 3 Some also there were that said, We have mortgaged our lands, vineyards, and houses, that we might buy corn, because of the dearth. 4 There were also that said, We have borrowed money for the king’s tribute, and that upon our lands and vineyards. 11 Restore, I pray you, to them, even this day, their lands, their vineyards, their oliveyards, and their houses, also the hundredth part of the money, and of the corn, the wine, and the oil, that ye exact of them. 12 Then said they, We will restore them, and will require nothing of them; so will we do as thou sayest. Then I called the priests, and took an oath of them, that they should do according to this promise.
10,000 talent debt elimination
Matthew 18:23-27 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
Jesus had a debt
Matthew 17:24-27 And when they were come to Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and said, Doth not your master pay tribute? 25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers? 26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free. 27 Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.
Zacchaeus restored fourfold
Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
Onesimus debt canceled by the Apostle Paul
Philemon 1:18-19 (NIV) If he has done you any wrong or owes you anything, charge it to me. 19 I, Paul, am writing this with my own hand. I will pay it back-not to mention that you owe me your very self.
Greatest debt elimination – Jesus eliminates our debt of sin on the cross
Colossians 2:13-14 (NAS) And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us and which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.