rodney howard browne

And baptism, which is a figure [of their deliverance], does now also save you [from inward questionings and fears], not by the removing of outward body filth [bathing], but by [providing you with] the answer of a good and clear conscience (inward cleanness and peace) before God [because you are demonstrating what you believe to be yours] through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  1 Peter 3:21 AMP

There is nothing finer than living with a clear conscience! It is a stress-free, totally peace-filled life. No money in the world can buy a clear conscience, but through the power of God and the blood of Jesus, we can be blessed with inward cleanness and peace. Through our faith in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ and our obedience to go through the waters of baptism, something actually happens in our soul. Baptism saves us from inward questionings and fears—it is as if our head has a resurrection—washing away every thought and desire that are contrary to the word and will of the Father.

Therefore, brethren, since we have full freedom and confidence to enter into the [Holy of] Holies [by the power and virtue] in the blood of Jesus, 20 By this fresh (new) and living way which He initiated and dedicated and opened for us through the separating curtain (veil of the Holy of Holies), that is, through His flesh, 21 And since we have [such] a great and wonderful and noble Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 Let us all come forward and draw near with true (honest and sincere) hearts in unqualified assurance and absolute conviction engendered by faith (by that leaning of the entire human personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness), having our hearts sprinkled and purified from a guilty (evil) conscience and our bodies cleansed with pure water.  Hebrews 10:19-22 AMP

Thank God for the blood of Jesus! It enables us to have full freedom and confidence to enter into God’s very presence. This is a fresh, new, and living way! Jesus is our High Priest and through Him, our hearts are purified from an evil and guilty conscience. There is no way you can come into God’s presence with sin in your heart and with a guilty conscience. The Lord has made a way for us to come into His presence by washing our heart and conscience clean.

Keep praying for us, for we are convinced that we have a good (clear) conscience, that we want to walk uprightly and live a noble life, acting honorably and in complete honesty in all things.  Hebrews 13:18 AMP

If you want to live an honest, noble life—walking uprightly and acting honorably—you can only do it if you protect your conscience. Honesty in all things begins with, and is dependant on, a good, clear conscience before God.

[And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear (unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives]. 17 For [it is] better to suffer [unjustly] for doing right, if that should be God’s will, than to suffer [justly] for doing wrong.  1 Peter 3:16-17 AMP

Keep your heart right and your conscience clear and then even though you may experience persecution, through the evidence of your good life, your critics will be put to shame. If you have done wrong then your punishment is justified. If you have not done wrong, no matter what you go through, the Lord will vindicate you; He will reward you for your righteous, uncompromising stand.

I thank God Whom I worship with a pure conscience, in the spirit of my fathers, when without ceasing I remember you night and day in my prayers. 2 Timothy 1:3 AMP
Worship God with a clear conscience. Your faith in Him—your unqualified assurance and absolute conviction in the truth of His word—will give you the confidence to come boldly into His presence and ask Him for the things you need. The faith and confidence you walk in as a result of your clear conscience will provide an answer to your prayers. 


rodney howard browne

Hebrews 12:11 AMP says, “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.”

Discipline – consisting of instruction, training, and correction – is not pleasant at the time it is being administered, but it produces righteousness in the person being disciplined and ultimately it produces peace. If you value and desire the fruit of righteousness and peace in your life, you must submit to God’s discipline – through His Word and His Spirit.

My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening of the Lord [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof, 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12 AMP

The dictionary meaning of chastening or chastisement is: to discipline; punish; humble; purify; simplify; to correct by punishment or reproof; to take to task; to restrain, to subdue; to rid of excess; refine. Chastening or chastisement is an infliction of punishment, usually in the form of a whipping or a beating. In the Bible, the term chastisement usually refers to punishment or discipline inflicted by God for the purpose of education, instruction, and training and corrective guidance and discipline. Chastisement, discipline and correction are not done for the benefit of the Father, but for the benefit of the child – to quench the will and desires of the flesh, and to bring them under control, and bring forth and release the fruit of the Spirit.

David was a wise man – a man after God’s own heart – and he passed that wisdom on to Solomon. David’s wisdom came from God’s Word as he spent time in God’s Word; as he submitted himself to it; as he applied it to his life. Don’t shrink from the Lord’s chastening; don’t avoid God’s correction and discipline; don’t get tired of, or impatient with, or despise, God’s reproof. Remember that God only corrects those He loves.

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

God corrects us for our good. We should love, welcome, and embrace His discipline; being willing and eager to repent; burning with zeal to be like Him – to be pure as He is pure. We must be hungry for righteousness. We must be enthusiastic about getting right with God, having clean hands and a pure heart. When the Lord corrects us, we should not be petulant or defensive; we should not pout or try to justify our actions. We should rather welcome the positive input, cheerfully make the corrections in our attitude and our life, and be grateful that we have received the truth because we know that all of it is for our good and benefit!

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, 13 That You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.  Psalms 94:12-13 AMP

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

The person on the receiving end of God’s discipline and instruction is a blessed person. God’s discipline and instruction gives you the power to keep calm when everything goes wrong around you. God blesses us with a Spirit of power, of love, of a calm and well-balanced mind, discipline, and self-control. As we receive God’s discipline, we grow and learn and our senses and mental faculties become trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). God disciplines us and trains us, bringing us to a place of self-discipline. Discipline should come from within and, until it does, it must come from without. Outer boundaries must be in effect until inner boundaries are properly established. Immature people need outer boundaries; mature people have developed appropriate and effective inner boundaries.

For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment]. 32 But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.  1 Corinthians 11:31-32 AMP

We must humble ourselves, search our own heart and judge ourselves and, then when we fall short, we must welcome God’s discipline and yield to it. The Lord wants to have the opportunity to burn with His holy fire through us, burning up sin and rebellion and every ungodly presence and force. He wants us to have His fire now so we don’t have to burn with hell’s fire later. God’s judgment and chastisements, here on earth, are a much better option than eternal judgment. You do not want to be judged and punished with the world! God has no desire to condemn you or judge you – He only desires to pour his mercy out on you (John 3:17-18). By respecting and submitting to His authority, you give Him that privilege and opportunity.


rodney howard browne

I am a virtuous wife and a true daughter of Sarah, who honored and respected her husband as the head of their home and family
I covenant with God to love, honor and respect my husband as the head of our home, in obedience to the Word of God
I covenant to be faithful to him
By faith, I submit to my husband’s authority in our home
I do this as a service to the Lord
I subordinate myself to my husband so that the word of God may not be exposed to reproach, blasphemed or discredited
I trust my husband’s leadership and choose to depend on him   
The Lord will protect me and provide for me, because I trust Him enough to obey His Word
Therefore I am not anxious or wrought up
I will do right and let nothing terrify me
I will not give way to hysterical fears or let anxieties unnerve me
I adapt myself to my husband
I make myself beautiful for my husband, but I know that true beauty comes from within
I have a gentle and peaceful spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God
I am temperate and disciplined and I exercise self-control
I love righteousness
By the grace of God:
I am pure and modest and discreet
I am good-natured and kind-hearted
I am gracious and good
I am wise, understanding and prudent
I am earnest and strong in character
I am a crowning joy to my husband
I am trustworthy
I do not give him an occasion to be ashamed of me
My husband can confidently trust in me and securely rely on me
The secrets of his heart are safe with me

I love my husband
I reverence him
I respect him
I regard him
I notice him and pay attention to him
I am sensitive to his needs and desires
I build my husband up
I encourage him
I prefer him
I defer to him
I revere him
I honor him
I esteem him
I venerate him
I appreciate him
I prize him
I adore him
I admire him exceedingly
I praise him
I am devoted to him
I deeply love him
I enjoy my husband

I belong to my husband and my husband belongs to me
My body belongs to my husband and my husband’s body belongs to me
My desire is toward my husband and my earnest desire is to please him
My husband is my best friend
He is a great blessing to me
Thank You Lord for my husband


rodney howard browne

I’m a part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
I have Holy Spirit Power.  The die has been cast.
I have stepped over the line.  The decision has been made.
I’m a disciple of His.
I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still.

My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning,
smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions,
mundane talking, cheap living and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need pre-eminence, prosperity, position, promotions,
plaudits, or popularity.  I don’t have to be right, first, tops,
recognized, praised, regarded or rewarded.  I now live by faith,
lean on His presence, walk by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way rough, my companions few, my Guide reliable, my mission clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, turned back,
deluded or delayed.  I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy,
ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won’t give up, shut up, let up, until I have stayed up, stored up,
prayed up, paid up, preached up for the cause of Christ.
I am a disciple of Jesus.  I must go till He comes, give till I drop,
preach till all know, and work till He stops me.
And when He comes for His own, He will have
no problems recognizing me—my banner will be clear!  

Written by a young African pastor and tacked on the wall of his house


rodney howard browne

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.


29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.


30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30 KJV


Religious history has portrayed Jesus Christ as a skinny, pale-faced shepherd with a lamb under His arm and Elizabethan English coming out of His mouth. The connotation is that He is weak, but that could not be further from the truth. The Bible says that people marveled at the authority with which He spoke. Luke 4:32 AMP says that, “they were amazed at His teaching, for His word was with authority and ability and weight and power.” People were healed as He spoke the word to them. He also commanded demons to come out and they did.


He was powerfully anointed, commanding respect wherever He went. They tried to kill Him before His time and could not. Jesus was not weak. He was meek – humble, lowly, and gentle. Meek means: enduring injury with patience and without resentment. Jesus did exactly that – He endured the shame, humiliation, agony, and indignity of the cross for every one of us!


Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?


2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.


3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.


4 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.


6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.


7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.


8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.


9 And they made His grave with the wicked –But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.


10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in His hand.


11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.


12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors. Isaiah 53:1-12 NKJV


Jesus went meekly to the cross. He endured the injury and shame with patience and without resentment. He could have called ten thousand angels to His aid, but He chose to die alone – for you and me. That takes a man of powerful character. He did it because, by faith, He saw the final outcome! He saw you and me. He saw us in Him as He died and was resurrected. He saw the joy of our resurrection – our redemption and restoration into the family and kingdom of God! You and I are His joy and His prize!


Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us,


2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.


3 Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. Hebrews 12:1-3 AMP



rodney howard browne

If then you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the world’s crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?–such as]


21 Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them],


22 Referring to things all of which perish with being used. To do this is to follow human precepts and doctrines.


23 Such [practices] have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of no value in checking the indulgence of the flesh (the lower nature). [Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh.] Colossians 2:20-23 AMP


When we were living in the flesh (mere physical lives), the sinful passions that were awakened and aroused up by [what] the Law [makes sin] were constantly operating in our natural powers (in our bodily organs, in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh), so that we bore fruit for death.


6 But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. Romans 7:5-6 AMP


You can be saved and still be a carnal Christian rather than a spiritual Christian. There is a difference between a carnal Christian and a spiritual Christian:


-Carnal Christians have not renewed their mind with the Word of God, or allowed the Holy Spirit to change them.


-They think, talk, and act, like the rest of the world and follow the world’s way of doing things.


-They allow their flesh and fleshly impulses to control them.


-They only function in the sense realm – what they can see, hear, touch, smell and taste.


-They only trust what they can see; they judge things by outward appearance.


-They try to keep God’s Law in their own ability.


-They try to control behavior without changing the heart.


-They try to serve God their way.


-They are afraid of God’s wrath.


-They do not have a revelation of God’s love for them, or His grace and mercy extended toward them, or the freedom that is available to them.


By mercy and love, truth and fidelity [to God and man–not by sacrificial offerings], iniquity is purged out of the heart, and by the reverent, worshipful fear of the Lord men depart from and avoid evil. Proverbs 16:6 AMP


In contrast, the spiritual Christian has submitted themselves to the Word of God and the Spirit of God, to be taught and to be changed into His image:


-They have died to material ways of looking at things.


-They function not just in the earthly realm, but also in the Spirit realm.


-They trust the unseen – the Holy Spirit.


-They trust the Word of God.


-They know God loves them and they love Him.


-They joyfully submit themselves to God’s Word, obey God’s commands, and serve Him.


-They act on the Word, doing what it commands.


-They practice the love walk.


-They enjoy the liberty of the Spirit.


-They are not afraid of God or His wrath, because they believe His Word.


-They have a revelation of His grace and mercy extended to all who believe. -They think, talk, and act like Jesus.


-They have a revelation of their place in God’s family.


-They see themselves as God sees them.


-They humbly acknowledge that they are nothing without Him and that


He is always to be glorified and lifted up in their lives.


-At the same time, they are bold to stand up and declare and decree a thing, knowing that Heaven stands behind them to carry it out.


-They serve – not under obedience to the old code of written regulations – but under obedience to the promptings of the Spirit in newness of life.



rodney howard browne

There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment,


2 a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.


3 About the Ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming in and saying to him, “Cornelius!”


4 And when he observed him, he was afraid, and said, “What is it, lord?” So he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God.


5 Now send men to Joppa, and send for Simon whose surname is Peter.


6 He is lodging with Simon, a tanner, whose house is by the sea. He will tell you what you must do.”


7 And when the angel who spoke to him had departed, Cornelius called two of his household servants and a devout soldier from among those who waited on him continually.


8 So when he had explained all these things to them, he sent them to Joppa.


9 The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour.


10 Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance


11 and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth.


12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air.


13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”


14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”


15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”


16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.


17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon’s house, and stood before the gate.


18 And they called and asked whether Simon, whose surname was Peter, was lodging there.


19 While Peter thought about the vision, the Spirit said to him, “Behold, three men are seeking you.


20 Arise therefore, go down and go with them, doubting nothing; for I have sent them.” Acts 10:1-20 NKJV


Cornelius was an Italian, a gentile by birth, but he was a God-fearing man and also a generous one. Because the honor he showed the Lord; because of his continual prayers and his generous, consistent giving; he got God’s attention. God promised Abraham that through his Seed – Jesus – ALL the nations of the earth would be blessed.


It doesn’t matter who you are or where you are from: when you humble yourself before Almighty God and you seek him and act in accordance with His word, God will make a way to get to you and show Himself real and alive to you.


God had showed Himself to the Israelites and made them many promises. He had a special plan for them. He would use their nation to be a blessing to all nations through Jesus Christ of Nazareth, an Israelite by birth.


However, they did not appreciate this honor. They took God for granted and did not serve Him with their whole heart. Many of them were downright rebellious and prostituted themselves with foreign gods. They forgot that God blessed them by choice, not because they were anything special themselves. God’s grace extended to them was a privilege, not a right.


By the time Jesus was born, many Israelites were very religious – pious on the outside and rotten on the inside. They were judgmental and exclusive. They wanted God to be a respecter of persons, but God wanted to include ALL and so He gives ALL an opportunity to receive Him – not by works or by lineage – but by faith alone. Faith is the great equalizer – all men have the exact same opportunity to receive God’s precious gift of Life.


The Israelites wanted all of God’s favor for themselves, but they did not honor or serve Him. We must do the opposite – honor and serve Him and reach out to ALL men from every nation, on His behalf! Do not judge another man after the flesh. Do not exclude anyone. If any are to be excluded, let it be by their own choice. You share the Gospel to ALL men and give ALL men the same opportunity to receive the Lord. Jesus paid the price for every person in every nation!


When God showed Peter the vision and told him not to call common and unclean that which God called clean, He was not talking abut food, He was talking about MEN. God was thinking about the three men who were sent by Cornelius at the direction of the angel. God was thinking about Cornelius and his household – his family, friends, and servants. God was thinking about millions of people who now had an opportunity to receive the Son of promise.


God was thinking about you and me! For generations before Jesus was born, God had bided His time, waiting for this moment when people from ALL the nations would enter into His blessing by receiving new life through their faith in Jesus: faith the blood of Jesus; faith in His death, burial, and resurrection!


Through faith in Jesus Christ you are clean! Let no man call unclean what God has called clean!




rodney howard browne

Proverbs 6:19 says that God hates “he who sows discord (or strife) among his brethren.”


What leads to strife (discord and feuds) and how do conflicts (quarrels and fightings) originate among you? Do they not arise from your sensual desires that are ever warring in your bodily members? 2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3[Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures. James 4:1-3 AMP


In the Body of Christ, strife between believers is caused by the sensual desires that are constantly warring in their own bodies. The root of strife is in the individual himself or herself. Most of the time, it does not occur to the person who is stirring up the strife that they actually causing it – they are convinced that it is the other person’s fault! Strife is caused when people are jealous of what other people have – they covet their blessings. If you pointed out to most strife-causers that the root of their desire to fight with others is jealousy and covetousness, they would probably be shocked and surprised to learn what is really in their own heart. If you are armed with this truth, you will be able to recognize when your carnal nature is being stirred up with covetousness and jealousy and you will be better able to stop it in it’s tracks, and even avoid it completely, by allowing the Word of God and the Holy Spirit to regulate your thought life and to help you overcome your own flesh in these areas.    


Cleaning up your life in this area is not optional – it is crucial. God commands that you face your sin and deal with it, because it will destroy your life and the lives of those with whom you war and fight. When you jealously covet another person’s blessings, you demonstrate that you have no faith in God to provide for you, too. There are two reasons you will not be blessed: one is because you don’t expect God to provide for you, so you don’t ask, and the other is that you are greedy and even when you do ask God for things, it is with a totally wrong motive. God cannot answer a prayer that is never prayed and He will not answer a prayer that is prayed with evil, selfish motives. When you behave like this, you just shoot yourself in the foot as far as God is concerned. If you want God’s blessing then stop being jealous of others, stop wanting what they have, be happy that they are blessed, start to find out what God requires of you, become a giver not a taker, find out how you can be a blessing to others, be motivated to be a blessing to others at all times, let your requests be made known unto God, and trust God to supply everything you need!


For you, brethren, were [indeed] called to freedom; only [do not let your] freedom be an incentive to your flesh and an opportunity or excuse [for selfishness], but through love you should serve one another. 14 For the whole Law [concerning human relationships] is complied with in the one precept, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself. 15 But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another. 16 But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).  Galatians 5:13-16 AMP


Fill up and complete my joy by living in harmony and being of the same mind and one in purpose, having the same love, being in full accord and of one harmonious mind and intention. 3 Do nothing from factional motives [through contentiousness, strife, selfishness, or for unworthy ends] or prompted by conceit and empty arrogance. Instead, in the true spirit of humility (lowliness of mind) let each regard the others as better than and superior to himself [thinking more highly of one another than you do of yourselves]. 4 Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others.  Philippians 2:2-4 AMP


If you want to avoid strife and be blessed in every way you must be motivated by the love of God – you must know that God loves YOU and you must know that He loves everyone else, too: you must love God and love people as you love yourself; you must serve others in and through the love of God; you must walk and live in the Holy Spirit as a habit; you must be controlled and guided by the Holy Spirit; you must be sensitive to Him and responsive to Him; you must not give in to your carnal nature – do not gratify the cravings and the desires of your flesh; you must not be motivated by selfishness or contentiousness; do not be prompted by conceit or arrogance; you must have a humble estimation of yourself; don’t think of yourself as better than anyone else; think more highly of others than yourself; do not think only of your own interests – what you want and what you need; think about the interests of others; think about how you can help them and bless them. If we will love others, stop focusing on ourselves alone, and reach out to bless and to be a blessing, we will cut all the strife out of our lives and God will be pleased!



rodney howard browne

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV

God’s people are a peculiar people. When we use the word peculiar, in the English language, we sometimes mean “strange” or “unusual” and, indeed, God’s people do sometimes seem peculiar to the world’s way of thinking. However, the word translated “peculiar” from the Greek New Testament, according to Strong’s Greek-Hebrew Dictionary, has to do, not with being strange, but with acquisition and, by extension, preservation. It means obtain, purchase, and/or save. Peculiar, in 1 Peter 2:9 AMP is rendered this way, “But you are…[God’s] own purchased, special people…”

If Jesus is your Lord and Savior you are chosen generation – a generation planned and ordained by God, hand-selected, and unique; a royal priesthood – you are not just a servant, but a son of God and a member of his royal family; a holy (dedicated), nation – set apart by God Himself; God’s own special, purchased (peculiar) people – you are His priceless, precious treasure! You have been purchased by God – with the blood of Jesus – and you now belong to Him, not yourself. He bought you and He has made Himself responsible for you.

Then those who feared the Lord talked often one to another; and the Lord listened and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who reverenced and worshipfully feared the Lord and who thought on His name. 17 And they shall be Mine, says the Lord of hosts, in that day when I publicly recognize and openly declare them to be My jewels (My special possession, My peculiar treasure). And I will spare them, as a man spares his own son who serves him. 18 Then shall you return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves God and him who does not serve Him. Malachi 3:16-18 AMP

The word “peculiar” in the Hebrew Old Testament means to shut up as in wealth being closely shut up or protected. If a person owns something precious or valuable, they will treat it differently than the stuff that does not have so high a value. They will put it in a place where it cannot be stolen or damaged. Some things are valuable because they are rare, some things are valuable because they are expensive, but some things are valuable because they mean something to the owner – they have sentimental value. In any case, most of the time, something is valuable only because someone believes it is valuable. In Solomon’s day, there was so much prosperity that there were silver dumps outside the city (1 Kings 10:21)!

God has declared you as valuable to Him – extremely valuable! You are God’s jewel. You are His peculiar – special – treasure. Not only are you precious to Him, but you are protected by Him as well. God has declared that He will protect you, preserve you, and save you. You are kept and guarded by God Himself!

Now therefore, if you will obey My voice in truth and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is Mine. Exodus 19:5 AMP

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Titus 2:11-14 KJV

God does not treasure or protect the disobedient. What causes you to become God’s treasure – His peculiar possession – is the fact that you have obeyed His voice and kept His covenant. You are purified by the blood of Jesus. You have been “decontaminated” from the impurities of this carnal world. To do His will and keep His commandments is your joy.

This day the Lord your God has commanded you to do these statutes and ordinances. Therefore you shall keep and do them with all your [mind and] heart and with all your being. 17 You have [openly] declared the Lord this day to be your God, [pledging] to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes and His commandments and His precepts, and to hearken to His voice. 18 And the Lord has declared this day that you are His peculiar people as He promised you, and you are to keep all His commandments; 19 And He will make you high above all nations which He has made, in praise and in fame and in honor, and that you shall be a holy people to the Lord your God, as He has spoken. Deuteronomy 26:16-19 AMP

For you are a holy people [set apart] to the Lord your God; and the Lord has chosen you to be a peculiar people to Himself, above all the nations on the earth. Deuteronomy 14:2 AMP

What makes a man or woman peculiar is the fact that they are set apart from the rest. They have made a deep commitment to God – His will and His ways. They are not bound by sin and death and they do not walk, talk, or act like people who are. They are a holy, consecrated people! They are free and they are blessed!



And whoever offers a sacrifice of peace offering to the Lord to make a special vow to the Lord or for a freewill offering from the herd or from the flock must bring what is perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish in it. 22 Animals blind or made infirm and weak or maimed, or having sores or a wen or an itch or scabs, you shall not offer to the Lord or make an offering of them by fire upon the altar to the Lord. 23 For a freewill offering you may offer either a bull or a lamb which has some part too long or too short, but for [the payment of] a vow it shall not be accepted. Leviticus 22:21-23 AMP


Anytime you vow a vow, anytime you commit to do something for God or give something to Him it must be the best you have, not the worst. Under the Old Covenant, it was a matter of law; under the New Covenant it is a matter of the heart; however God has always emphasized how important our attitude is in everything we do—under the Old and the New. God is extremely generous. He does not do things in a measured way; neither does He hold back His blessing; He always gives His all and His best. You are the one who puts the limits on God when you have a bad attitude and when you refuse to give your all, and your best, to Him. It is your choice to give God your best or to give Him your junk, but be forewarned that He will not accept your offering of junk. An unaccepted offering is the same—or maybe worse—than no offering at all.


But cursed is the [cheating] deceiver who has a male in his flock and vows to offer it, yet sacrifices to the [sovereign] Lord a blemished or diseased thing! For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and My name is terrible and to be [reverently] feared among the nations. Malachi 1:14 AMP


When you make God a promise to give God something that is your best and then you change your mind, God is not satisfied with your offering and does not receive it from your hand. It is an insult. Don’t think that He won’t notice or won’t care, because you could not be more wrong. Just how little respect do you have for Him? It is arrogant and stupid of you to try to deceive and cheat the Lord. He is not some stranger, who does not count in your life—He is your Father, the One who has always given you nothing but the best and who loves you with an undying love. What kind of ungrateful, spoiled brat child are you to give Him a blemished, diseased offering? What kind of a slap in the face have you given Him? You are cursed for giving God your rubbish when you committed to give your best.


If you return to the Almighty [and submit and humble yourself before Him], you will be built up; if you put away unrighteousness far from your tents, 24 If you lay gold in the dust, and the gold of Ophir among the stones of the brook [considering them of little worth], 25 And make the Almighty your gold and [the Lord] your precious silver treasure, 26 Then you will have delight in the Almighty, and you will lift up your face to God. 27 You will make your prayer to Him, and He will hear you, and you will pay your vows. 28 You shall also decide and decree a thing, and it shall be established for you; and the light [of God’s favor] shall shine upon your ways. 29 When they make [you] low, you will say, [There is] a lifting up; and the humble person He lifts up and saves. 30 He will even deliver the one [for whom you intercede] who is not innocent; yes, he will be delivered through the cleanness of your hands. Job 22:23-30 AMP


When you make God your precious treasure, you give Him His rightful place in your life; you delight in Him; you adore Him; you worship Him; you look to Him alone as your source and supply; you give Him both those things for which He has asked of you and the things which you have promised Him. All these things work together to get God’s attention and to cause His promise to you to be activated, and His blessing to be released onto your life. When you are faithful to keep covenant with Him and pay Him what is owed to Him—the things He has asked you for and the things you promised to Him—you will lack nothing. God’s favor will be upon your life. You have honored Him and He will honor you. You will ask for something and He will do it for you. He will even listen to you when you stand in the gap to pray a prayer for someone who is not deserving of His mercy. If you honor Him with your best, you position yourself as a person of covenant, a person after God’s own heart, and a friend of God Almighty, Himself!


Offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High, 15 And call on Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall honor and glorify Me. Psalms 50:14-15 AMP


When you are faithful to keep your promises and pay your vows, God will be prompt and diligent to deliver you whenever you are in trouble. Then you will have yet another reason to praise and thank God.


In God have I put my trust and confident reliance; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? 12 Your vows are upon me, O God; I will render praise to You and give You thank offerings. 13 For You have delivered my life from death, yes, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life and of the living. Psalms 56:11-13 AMP


I place my trust in my God. When it is time to pay my vows, I do it. I do it cheerfully and willingly and I praise and honor Him. Because I honor Him by paying my vows, He delivers me. Because He delivers me, I praise, thank, and honor Him by paying my vows! It’s a glorious cycle!