Thought for Today – Simplicity

Thought for Today

Simplicity

“Whoever claims to abide in Him
must walk as Jesus walked”
1 John 2:6

In this Epistle John kept truth very simple. His teaching, his life and his depth of knowing Christ produced an unpretentious presentation of Christ. There is little attempt to soften the blow of truth. Grace is not presented in an obscure, generic fashion. Truth is depicted as the verity of one’s walk. Eternal life is set forth as the “now” life, wherein the actions, thoughts and intents of an individual’s heart IS the revelation of their relationship and life in God.

With the simplicity of the Spirit of God the truth in these powerful statements declare that what one does reveals the spirit in which one walks. There is no escaping these blunt statements regarding our condition. In the reading of this Book we are forced to face the authenticity of our own character.

Religious obscurity offers a shelter with enough ambiguity to give the illusion that things are fine. There is a dimming of the light and the promise of a bright future with no correlation to the life now lived. There is a compartmentalization which disconnects our current walk from our future end. Such a concept is a lie.

Whenever and wherever truth is obscured, and teachings and precepts cloud the current state of one’s condition, grace becomes a sentiment which comforts an individual rather than a ministration which empowers them to arise and live godly in Christ Jesus.

The cry of the sincere heart is one of embracing truth, loving truth and desiring the piercing revelation of all Christ is in order to bring change into our current life, our “now” life. The true in heart seek no alternative. They pursue no hiding place from the Light of God in their own hearts. They find no comfort in anything other than His power producing within them the life of Christ. The true in heart love the simplicity of truth and seek the Living Word of God to reprove, correct and cut away all that is not of Him.

Truth is come to make us free. This freedom brings not only an emancipation from sin but a life unfettered and spontaneous which unconsciously expresses the verity of Him. May we find the joy of His Word as it illuminates, reveals and burns away the dross and contagion of self. Let His Truth be simple, powerful and above all evident in the life we live.

Authenticity is simply the fruit
of being free in Christ.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Diligence Within

Thought for Today

Diligence Within

“And the children of Israel did secretly those things
that were not right against the Lord their God”
(2 Kings 17:9)

Truth searches out the deep things. Its ministration is one of illumination and revelation. The secret things are not hidden from the “eyes of Him, with whom we have to do”. These secret things determine our true standing before God. It is here, within the inner workings of our heart, that we find the authenticity of our lives. The desire of the sincere is to guard and protect the condition and the verity of one’s own heart. If there is darkness there it will taint our ability to deal in truth with all those around us.

Compromise brings us little by little into deception and the life of a hypocrite. It is a slow process of the Light of God within becoming dim while one gives way to self-deception. If the light within becomes darkness, how great is that darkness! The Holy Scriptures are full of examples whereby we are to be instructed and warned of this deadly malaise. We must continually set a watch upon our own hearts and pray with intensity that the Lord make known to us the secret things of our own hearts. Many a life has fallen within long before it falls without. It is the gradual decay of neglect, lethargy, and trust in something other than the fire and searching of God within our hearts. Comforting ourselves with doctrine rather than confronting the contradiction within of what God has called us to, is the darkest of all deceptions. The true in heart pursue authenticity as the prize that it is: the power to walk in His light and to know the confidence which comes from a pure and simple walk with God. The Peace which radiates from right-being is profound and liberating but the fear of exposure ever haunts the hypocrite.

“Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks,
and look well to thy herds.”
Proverbs 27:23

It is the inward part of our lives where God seeks to impart His truth to make us free from every impediment to becoming His light in this world.

“Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts”
Psalm 51:6

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Tongue – Part One

Thought for Today

The Tongue

Part One

“If any man among you seem to be religious,
and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart,
this man’s religion is vain”
James 1:26

The mystery of religion is that there exists, embedded within its own truths, an ease with which one can slip into a deep and dark deception. In this verse we are warned of a deception which is fatal in terms of our life in God; one of which I need a constant reminder. The tongue reveals our walk. It is by this member that the seemingly religious are ferreted out and fully exposed. Lately I have been struck with my own carelessness in this matter. It is easy to get caught up in the religious rhetoric of discussion rather than the expression of Christ. How blessed we are to have His word to cut through the vanity of words and bring us back to the real purpose of life.

Let us consider the power of this piercing word. If we do not bridle our tongue our religion, our profession and our hope of conveying His life to others is pointless. It matters little how much we know His Word, how often we pray or how well we can teach others; if we do not master the tongue we are walking in vain religion.

“I said, I will take heed to my ways,
that I sin not with my tongue:
I will keep my mouth with a bridle…”
Psalm 39:1

The tongue is merely the spout through which the inner waters of our heart flow. It takes very little to discern what kind of waters flow from an individual for they proceed from the abundance of the heart.

“…for out of the abundance of the heart
the mouth speaketh”

Matthew 12:34

The tongue is like a mirror of the heart; it simply expresses what is there. The bridling of the tongue, though a good place to start, is not the cure. The real issue is the state of the heart. Salvation is all about the change and transformation of the heart. It is not about modifying our behavior; it is about the crucifixion of this unruly, unholy and untamed self. It cannot be fixed, managed or made right (Romans 8:7) other than through the inner working of the power of Christ.

The tongue then is simply the revelation of the depth and verity of our salvation. It is in the crucible of everyday life, in our most unguarded moments, that our true relationship with Christ is revealed.

Jesus is God’s spoken Word, He is the summation of God’s being and the matrix of all creation. His purpose is to bring us to the place of such abiding in Him that His words become ours by virtue of relationship. It is here where we become like Him in word and in deed.

Years ago the Lord told me that if I do not watch over my words
He will not entrust me with His.

The things of God are measured out to us according to the development of our life in Him. He may give spiritual gifts without measure and without condition; however, His authority will never be given apart from Himself. He is our salvation. It is not my belief in a teaching about Him whereby I am saved. It is His presence and His person keeping me from sin and iniquity wherein lies the power and substance of my salvation.

In order for us to speak the words of life we must in fact be governed by that ONE who is the Word of life. The Words He speaks are spirit and they are life (John 6:63). To the measure we walk with Him will be a corresponding expression of the very life and power of Christ Himself.

“Let the words of my mouth,
and the meditation of my heart,
be acceptable in thy sight,
O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer”
Psalm 19:14

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Threefold Cord

Thought for Today

The Threefold Cord

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith,
and labour of love, and patience of hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ”
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Authenticity in a believer is substantiated by the life it produces. Paul is remembering the evident character of the believers in Thessalonica. He is gripped by the substance of their walk and life in Christ! The Apostle is bound by the Spirit of God in him to the authentic expression of Christ in them. Life ever calls out to life, deep calls out to deep as we are inextricably joined to the verity of His life in another. This is the power of the true Body of Christ. The call to relationship, fellowship and active love is the binding agent of all who live and walk in Him. If the Spirit of Christ is ruling within, our heart will be drawn to true relationship with others in Christ. When carnality rules, people are content with exclusive*, powerless and shallow relationships in their lives. In contrast, the threefold cords of love to be found in the true Body of Christ are set forth here with clarity and precision.

ONE:

Work of Faith

Faith, in order to be living, active and pertinent in the lives of His own, will always be expressive of the person, the glory and the substance of the Living Christ. If there are no works of faith it is because the faith of the individual is dead; it is a faith in word only. It is a faith in a doctrine or a teaching which has no life or power. It is stagnant and sterile. One cannot be vitally connected to the Living Christ and live a non-effectual life in this dark world. The Greek Word used here for “work” is where we get the English word “energy”. There is vitality and power associated with a true and living faith within the lives of His own. The Work of Faith is simply the doing which springs forth or originates from the power of His Faith in our lives (Galatians 2:20).

TWO:

Labour of Love

The Greek Word used here for “labour” is literally translated “the beating of the breast”. It is a burden which can only be known by the love of God beating within our hearts over the condition of others. It is the very Love of God producing prayers, intercessions and words of encouragement and admonition. It is a labour to see the Kingdom of God arise in the earth and especially in the household of faith. Those who do not have the love of God beating within their hearts will not know this travail of Spirit over the condition of God’s people in this Day.

THREE:

Patience of Hope

The word “patience” is much better translated “endurance”. Endurance speaks of faithfulness, consistency and self-sacrifice. It communicates a life which is committed to the goal or purpose of God regardless of the obstacles and the apathy of others; it holds true to the mark set before it. The beauty of this grace is born out of a complete abandonment to the promises of God. It is a life which does not falter for it holds the character of God as its surety of recompense. It disciplines the heart to the works of faith and the labour of Love. It is the anchor from which the other graces of faith and love remain constant. The word declares that hope is the “anchor of the soul” to which the wandering tendencies of the human heart is held firm to the end.

This threefold cord is the true revelation of the living Christ ruling and reigning within the lives of His own.

“…a threefold cord is not easily broken”
Ecclesiastes 4:3

*Note: Exclusive relationships are closed, secular and carnal. They are the product of the blindness of the religious endeavors of men who seek the preeminence for themselves and the need for association with others to bolster the assurance of their walk with God. People who only find fellowship within the man-made boundaries of teachings, organizations, ministries and associations have become insensitive to the love of God in Christ.

Brian Troxel

Untempered Mortar

Untempered Mortar

“So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
Ezekiel 13:14

We live in a day of information overload; books, blogs, writings, conferences and multimedia resources. Much of this data remains ethereal and untempered in the lives of those who are offering these things. The lives of many who travel in ministry would not measure up to the established criteria for deacons and elders within the local assembly! It is a day filled with many voices all clamoring for the affection of the hearts and souls of men and women.

Paul in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit wrote this advice to his son in the faith…

“The husbandman that labors
must be first partaker of the fruits”
2 Timothy 2:6

In other words, the fruit we seek to impart to others must of necessity be reaped within the confines of our own personal life. Character and righteousness are as important as the message itself. In reality the person is the message; Paul called himself a living epistle known and read of all people. The words he spoke were evident in the life he lived. The call is great and those who bear in their lives His living word must know the necessity of abiding within the vast resources of Christ Himself. Paul described the ministers of the Body of Christ in his day as those who manifested the truth in how they conducted their lives.

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness,
nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves
to every man’s conscience in the sight of God”
2 Corinthians 4:2

The untempered mortar and the whitewashed walls of man’s own makings will not withstand the rigors of moral decay in our day. Truth ministered apart from character and integrity robs God’s Word of its force and power. This is why the people were astonished at the Word which proceeded from the living Christ.

“And they were astonished at his doctrine:
for he taught them as one that had authority,
and not as the scribes”
Mark 1:22

It takes little discernment to know whether the things someone shares are the untempered mortar of the intellect or the pure gold of Christ Himself. The depth of truth which proceeds from the individual life will always be in proportion to the extent of their identification with the words they share. It is in fact a part of their very lives. Information and truth are very diverse from one another; so is the impact they have upon the human heart.

It is in the touching of His presence that the Glory of God impacts, transforms and breaks the pride and shallowness of all we are by nature. No one can get a glimpse of God and remain the same. It is from this encounter that the truth of Christ flows unhindered into the world around us. We cannot invite others to taste and see of that which we have not eaten ourselves.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good”
Psalm 134:8

Ω

“My one aim in life is to secure personal holiness,
for without being holy myself I cannot
promote real holiness in others”

John Wesley

Brian Troxel

The Things of Esau

The Things of Esau

“How are the things of Esau searched out!
how are his hidden things sought up!”
Obadiah 1:6
(Read the whole chapter)

Esau was a religious man yet a profane man. He sold his birthright for a mess of pottage in a moment of perceived need. He was a man who relied greatly on his own strength. He was an earthly man; he walked in the things of this world and loved the things of this world. Esau was a picture of a man who looks good and speaks with the language of the redeemed but walks in the ways of the world.

“If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes,
and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
And the world passes away, and the lust thereof:
but he that doeth the will of God abides for ever.”
1 John 2:15-17

Esau was a self-righteousness man; he looked upon the calamity of others with callousness and pride. He distanced himself from the afflictions of his brother. In his pride he said, “Who shall bring me down to the ground?” When Jacob was being carried away into captivity Esau was unmoved.

“For thy violence against thy brother Jacob
shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off forever.”
Obadiah 1:10

God considered Esau’s indifference to Jacob’s trouble an act of violence and His recompense was severe. We see throughout the history of God’s people that indifference and complacency brought great injury and judgement to His House. It was the Levite and the Priest who passed by the beaten man; it was the Pharisee who looked at the woman who wept at Jesus’ feet with contempt; it was the Pharisee who prayed thanking God that “he was not like other men”.

The indifference of our hearts to the needs of others who have fallen, been beaten and are suffering will result in us missing the blessings of our God. We reveal our hearts by what we do.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy”
Matthew 5:7

For the believer the way to receive is to give. The way to live a life filled with His Blessing is to give of what we have to those around us. The loaves and fishes from a child can feed the multitudes. A word of hope to one that is struggling or an act of kindness to a stranger should be the daily outflow of a life lived in Him.

“And there are also many other things which Jesus did,
the which,if they should be written every one,
I suppose that even the world itself
could not contain the books that should be written.
Amen.”
John 21:25

Jesus’ life here on earth was active; He was constantly about His Father’s business. His life was neither passive nor uneventful. Neither should our life be one of faithless inactivity. Let us provoke one another unto love and good works.

Ω

“Faith, like light, should always be simple and unbending;
while love, like warmth, should beam forth
on every side and bend to every necessity of our brethren.”
Martin Luther (1483–1546)

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Invitation – Who Will Go For US?

The Invitation

PART TWO

“Who will go for us?”

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
Isaiah 6:8

In other words, who will represent Me (God) in godliness, righteousness and show forth my character in all their ways. It is one thing to have a dream, a word or a gift. It is another thing entirely to reveal the very character of God Himself.

True Leadership in God’s house exists when His call is fused with character and quality of being. Had David rejoiced in Saul’s death he would not have been a “man after God’s heart”. Had Moses, when God tested him to stand aside while God destroyed Israel to make Moses a great nation, agreed to such a proposal he would have utterly failed to represent God’s heart. Had David slain Saul when God presented the divine opportunity to seize the Kingdom by carnal means he would have failed to represent the heart of God. Those who are called to places of authority will know of such testings and it is in knowing His heart that the approval of God is gained. The Gifts of God without the character of God will always lack His authority and His approval. The gifts may bring a vessel honor and fame in this world but they will never gain the approval of God. There will always be an emptiness which will haunt the disobedient and gifted one.

Within God’s House there are vessels of honor and dishonor.

“But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth;
and some to honor, and some to dishonor”
2 Timothy 2:20

In the verse preceding this one Paul states… “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. This is the true test of the authentic vessels of the Lord. Saul prophesied and Balaam prophesied an infallible word of God yet they were perverse in heart and spirit.

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”
Jude 1:11-12

These are blemishes within the assembly of God’s people. They may function in gifts, ministries, and places of leadership and yet be utterly false in the eyes of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23). They may see and hear right things but it is by their fruits they are known; how they conduct themselves and whether or not they seek the welfare of God’s people even in the face of adversity and rejection.

“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

The true ministrations of God approve themselves by their conduct in all phases of life.

“Who will go for us?”

This is a far more penetrating question than many realize. It is a question which has more to do with who we are than what we do or say.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall SEE God”

Ω

“God’s plan is to make much of the man,
far more of him than of anything else.
Men are God’s method.
The Church is looking for better methods;
God is looking for better men
― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

What is Righteousness?

What is Righteousness?

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Job 16:19-20

Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.

“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
A.W. Tozer

The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:

“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.

Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
In this the children of God are manifest,
and the children of the devil:
whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,
neither he that loveth not his brother
1 John 3:7,10

Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info