Thought for Today – Words

Thought for Today

Words

“So then death worketh in us,
but life in you”
2 Corinthians 4:12

Words are simply containers; in themselves they have little worth. We use them to convey our thoughts, desires, feelings and the chit-chat of everyday interaction. Words in the Christian culture are multiplied in our technological world of books, sermons, podcasts and social media, yet we do not see a corresponding growth and depth of character in the reality of Christ! There must come a realization that in the clutter of words there is a missing ingredient perpetuating this crisis. We must hear in our spirit this one significant truth:

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power.”
1 Corinthians 4:20

Let this sink into the very core of our hearts. “The Kingdom of God is not in word.” There are many who are mere purveyors or merchants of words, ideas and concepts. It is a dealing with information which may tickle the intellect of men and women but never reaches the heart. These words contain no fire, no pulse of the living God. Words with fire bring conviction and produce change. As long as we are content with words without fire, sermons which produce no change and breathe no conviction and meetings in which people leave with the same outlook as when they came we will go no further in our walk with God.

Jesus is God’s Word

Jesus is not only the thought of God, He is the Power, the Substance and the verity of God the Father. The fullness of the Godhead dwelt and revealed itself in His full purity of life, love and wisdom. The words of an individual can only convey what is IN the individual. Where there is no spark there is no fire. When there is no identification of the vessel with the cross there can be no power of the life of Christ. The Gospel is more than words; it is the very communication of the life and power of God.

“For our gospel came not unto you in word only,
but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost,
and in much assurance;
as ye know what manner of men
we were among you for your sake”
1 Thessalonians 1:5

There was a connection between the ministration of the word and the manner of life of those who spoke the word. We cannot communicate something that is not within us. Fire is the result of touching, tasting and abiding in Him who is a consuming fire. Individuals who have no fire cannot give it to others. We must realize that mere words (even the scriptures) when ministered apart from the Spirit are cold and lack His power to convict, to inflame, to bring warmth and the light of change into the lives of those to whom we speak.

Each Sabbath in Israel the words of the prophets were read, but because there was no living ministration of those words they did not “hear” the voices of the prophets crying out concerning Christ!

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers,
because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets
which are read every sabbath day,
they have fulfilled them in condemning him”
Acts 13:27

Jesus said His Words are “spirit and they are life” and to whatever measure we are in Him will it be so of us. It is this relationship which brings vitality and life to the words we speak. The ministration of His Life can only be found in corresponding measure to the depth of His rule and His love within us.

Lord save us from being merchants of words and make us instruments of your life and wonder. Keep calling us to deeper places of abiding, beholding and eating of You so that we will convey You and not just empty words about you.

“Where the word of a king is,
there is power…”
Ecclesiastes 8:4

The power of our words will be found in our submission to the King of kings. There is no other remedy for our condition. To bear the Word of the King one must be ruled by Him. Obedience to Him is the vital element to speaking His Word and it is only then we will see change in the world around us. Obedience is not something we can learn from classes, books or sermons; it is by the actual operation of the faith of the Son of God ruling and reigning within our own heart. No one else can walk this out for us; it is as personal as our relationship with Him.

“For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ,
but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches
deceive the hearts of the simple”
Romans 16:18

Fair speeches and good words are plenty in our day but words ministered without the impetus for men and women to walk and live in them leads to deception.

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Let us Run

Thought for Today

Let us Run!

“Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run”
Habakkuk 2:2

The purpose of the Word of God is to communicate His thoughts and His purpose. They are not to convey a doctrine as it were but to define a “mark”*; Paul the Apostle abandoned his life to this. His Word is to portray vision and exhort quest. The Lord spoke to Habakkuk to make plain the vision of God to the intent that men and women would be empowered, encouraged and set aflame to pursue its fulfillment. While many have knowledge few understand they are to “run the race” set before them. “Run” is a New Testament word; it describes the posture we are to have in life. Paul exhorted the Church at Corinth to run. To what end? That ye may attain!

“So run, that ye may obtain”
1 Corinthians 9:24

In other words, there is no obtaining without the running and pursuit of Him. In the minds of many of God’s people “running” is not even a concept. The ministers of the Word of God have failed to set before His people a goal to be reached. The general message is often one of encouragement to support the church, witness when you can and try and be a good person. The true ministration of the Word of God should be one of exhortation and encouragement to “know Him” and to be “found in Him”. The pursuit of Him is that we might attain His likeness.

Make the Vision Plain
to the intent
That they who have eyes to see
ears to hear may Run…
with endurance the race set before them

Where there is no true and living vision the people of God will compromise with the goals and temptations of the world. They lose the motivation to run and the empowerment of the Spirit to live a life of passion and single-hearted devotion unto Him.

“Where there is no vision (purpose),
the people cast off restraint…”
Proverbs 29:18

Let us run the race* which has been so graciously set before us with endurance. Let us seek Him alone who can spark the fire and wonder of a fresh vision of God and His purposes. May we be the very flame of God to one another that we might run this race with a new fervor and determination to obtain the prize which is Christ Jesus!


* Philippians 3:14
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded…”

* Hebrews 12:1
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience (endurance) the race that is set before us…”

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Let us Run

Thought for Today

Let us Run!

“”Record the vision and inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run”
Habakkuk 2:2

The purpose of the Word of God is to communicate His thoughts and His purpose. They are not to convey a doctrine as it were but to define a “mark”; Paul the Apostle abandoned his life to this (Philippians 3:14). His Word is to portray vision and exhort quest. The Lord spoke to Habakkuk to make plain the vision of God to the intent that men and women would be empowered, encouraged and set aflame to pursue its fulfillment. While many have knowledge few understand they are to “run the race” set before them. “Run” is a New Testament word; it describes the posture we are to have in life. Paul exhorted the Church at Corinth to run. To what end? That ye may attain!

“So run, that ye may obtain”
1 Corinthians 9:24

In other words, there is no obtaining without the running and pursuit of Him. In the minds of many of God’s people “running” is not even a concept. The ministers of the Word of God have failed to set before His people a goal to be reached. The general message is often one of encouragement to support the church, witness when you can and try and be a good person. The true ministration of the Word of God should be one of exhortation and encouragement to “know Him” and to be “found in Him”. The pursuit of Him is that we might attain His likeness.

Make the Vision Plain
to the intent
That they who have eyes to see
ears to hear may Run…
with endurance the race set before them

Where there is no true and living vision the people of God will compromise with the goals and temptations of the world. They lose the motivation to run and the empowerment of the Spirit to live a life of passion and single-hearted devotion unto Him.

“Where there is no vision,
the people cast off restraint…”
Proverbs 29:18

We must rise up out of the drowsiness and lethargy of this hour. Let us seek Him alone who can spark the fire and wonder of a fresh vision of God and His purposes. May we be the very flame of God to one another that we might run this race with a new fervor and determination to obtain the prize which is Christ Jesus!

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Living Now for Eternity

Thought for Today

Living Now For Eternity

“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,
even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me”
2 Peter 1:14

The life of the true believer is lived with the reality of eternity in view. Our life is to be held in the context of our departure and our readiness to stand and give an answer for the life we have lived here (2 Corinthians 5:10)*. Peter’s epistle is the result of seeing his life from the eternal perspective. His exhortation to the people of God is one of “endeavoring” to remind them to continue to add to their faith, to grow in the virtue of Christ unto godliness and love. There is a calm and settled approach to his departure from this world. His care is not for himself; his heart is for the condition and welfare of the Body of Christ. They who live with an eternal perspective cannot be uninvolved in the welfare of His people.

“And I will make every effort to ensure that after my departure,
you will be able to recall these things at all times”
2 Peter 1:15

A life unaffected with a concern for the condition of God’s people is the revelation of a life lived unto itself. The eternal Love of God in Christ must produce within His own an expression in harmony with the things that concern Him; to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. His anointing rests upon those who walk and live as He is.

“But unto the Son he saith…
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”
Hebrews 1:8-9

Ω

“Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?”
– Alexander MacLaren

Θ

* “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10

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 – Unbelief and the Good News

Thought for Today

Unbelief and the Good News

“Why could not we cast him out?
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief”
Matthew 17:19

God’s movings and the shining forth of His salvation are proportional to our faith. It is in the crucible of the realities of life that the true condition of the church is revealed. Truth is the vehicle and the means whereby His thoughts concerning us are expressed. We often speak of truth in terms of His love for us, in terms of His promises and His plans and purposes; but Jesus is always “laying the axe to the root” of our lives. His words can be sharp and to the point. We must see that these words in truth are also the proof of His love.

“Because of our unbelief”

This child would have gone on in the condition in which he came. The agony of his father would have remained unchanged, the situation unaffected by the prayers of the unbelieving disciples. It is here that Jesus presented the truth of the matter. It was not a word given to condemn; it was given to them to arise from where they were into where He had called them to be.

Unbelief is not something about which we should feel condemned. It is His desire that we face our unbelief with the certainty that He has something better, fuller and more blessed concerning our walk in Him. His sharp word spoken to our unbelief is filled with the heart of One who is calling us to better things. It is our response to His word wherein lies the crisis. Do we turn a deaf ear to this reproof or do we acknowledge it. The truth is that the our powerlessness is in the condition of our heart and not in His power? Are we offended by this word or do we feel the promise pulsating within it?

There is always a cure for unbelief, but there is no cure for a heart that refuses the verdict of Jesus. His exhortations are always given to us in order that we may lay these things to heart and not make excuses; to let His words cut asunder our hardness of heart and turn to Him for the fuller measure of all that He is.

“Ye have sown much, and bring in little…
Thus saith the Lord of hosts;
Consider your ways”
Haggai 1:6-7

We must consider our ways for unbelief is the fruit of how we walk, how we think and how we live. Let us hear these words of exhortation and count them as promises of greater things. His heart is full and His call goes out to any who would hear.

“Unto you first God,
having raised up his Son Jesus,
sent him to bless you,
in turning away every one of you from his iniquities”
Acts 3:26

It is called the Good News for in turning from our ways we will find His!

“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness
and forbearance and long-suffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God
leadeth thee to repentance?”

Romans 2:4

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Psalm 34:4

Thought for Today

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me”
Psalm 34:4

Life in God is all about seeking. There is the seeking one and the One who is sought. As with every spiritual relationship there is always one who is the initiator; God being love is the initiator of all things. At the core of all relationships are a seeking and reciprocation. The flow of interaction is what deepens and intensifies the bonds of relationship. In our pursuit of Him we find the One Great Love of the universe responding within the depths and wisdom of His own being. It is the story of the Beloved and the Loved becoming one in Spirit and in Truth. The scriptures declare the wonder of this very well:

“We love him, because he first loved us”
1 John 4:19

Our seeking of Him is based upon the reciprocation of Him seeking that which was lost. The impact of His love upon the human heart is always revealed in our pursuit of Him. The Parables of Jesus reveal the intensity of this relationship from both perspectives. The Parable of the Good Shepherd is the story of Him, though unsought by us, finding and rescuing us in our lost and wayward condition. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price is the description of us seeking Him and selling all to obtain its wonder. Those who are forgiven much love much. His creation was specifically designed to respond to and be governed by love. As a result of the fall, man was separated from the source and power of Love itself; we became slaves to the disorder of self-love, self-realization and depravity. The ongoing work of the Holy Spirit within our hearts is one of reconciliation and growth ever moving onward to full unity in Him and with one another (John 17:21-22).

Our finding of Him will always be in proportion to our seeking of Him. Entering into deeper places of abiding in Him will be in proportion to our knocking at the door of Love’s domain. Seeing of Him brings us to new and fuller experiences of repentance and change; it is impossible to see Him and remain the same. The unfolding of His person brings us to new vistas of His love for us which in turn will be reciprocated by a further depth of our love for Him. True relationships hold the mystery of eternity for within those bonds with one another there is no point of arrival. Relationships stagnate here on earth because of the impurities of pride, stubbornness, unforgiveness and a myriad of other unresolved sins in our lives.

In truly loving God we are struck with the impossibility of holding aught against our brother for this is the very measure God uses to validate our love for Him.

“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 3:10

The validity of our seeking Him and being born of Him is revealed in the simplicity of how we live. We not only seek Him in the secret places of prayer but also in the doing of righteousness and in the substance of loving one another in truth. Love is not just a teaching it is a life of becoming more like Him.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Faith into Grace

Thought for Today

Faith into Grace

“Therefore, it is of faith
that it might be according to grace,
so that the promise might be sure”
Romans 4:16

It is the element of faith that brings us into the realm of Grace. The prevenient grace* of God brings an individual to faith and through the operation of faith one enters into the the dominion and efficacy of God’s grace. While many speak of grace in our day it is mentioned as a sentiment of God rather than the work of God within the human heart.

“…through whom also we have access by faith
into this grace in which we stand”
Romans 5:2

Grace brings to us the ability to stand. Regardless of our situation in life, grace makes the promises of God sure (certain); faith releases the grace of God into our lives.

Noah “found grace in the sight of God”. By that grace he labored through 120 years of ridicule and difficulties in building the Ark. It was grace that kept him faithful. It was grace that gave him the wisdom and the perseverance to see its completion; and it was grace that delivered him and his family from the day of judgment as God had promised.

The grace of God enables those who receive it the power to overcome, to persevere and to stand strong in the face of all opposition to the promises of God. The end and purpose of Grace is to make the promises of God certain to us. It brings us to the place of receiving those promises.

Faith is the doorway into His Grace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith”
Ephesians 2:8

* Note
Prevenient grace
is not to be understood through the eyes of some who use this term to wrongly present God’s salvation, it is to be known through the sovereignty of God’s call and our response (it is our response which unites our hearts to His Call).

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit”
John 15:16

“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father”
John 6:65 and also John 6:44

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock…”
Luke 6:47-48

* The Call is God’s prevenient grace, our hearing is the manner by which the faith arises (Romans 10:17) and the doing of His Word is the corroboration of His grace working by faith in our lives (1 Corinthians 15:10). It is the wondrous chain of relationship, the call, the response and the works of faith being the evidence of His grace!

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Prepare ye the way of the Lord

Thought for Today

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord…”
Mark 1:3

Truth is the precursor of Love. Love is not an emotion. It is not a sentiment nor is it a license to practice evil. God is Love. His love is expressed in His actions, His Words and His ways. Love is a quality of being and from that eternal substance flows the righteousness, holiness, forgiveness and redemption of God in all purity of thought and intent. There can exist no evil, duplicity of soul, variableness, and malice toward others where love reigns. Love can only grow where truth and verity of heart is fixed in the person and heart of Jesus Christ.

The only way in which love may be known in any measure will be to the degree to which the human heart is freed from its deception and self-love. This is essential for the ministration of God to our innermost being with all of His fire and penetrating light.

The love of God is His perfection in man.

“Love… thinketh no evil”
1 Corinthians 13:5

It takes the power and the light of all that God is to bring us to a heart that is incapable of thinking evil. Truth is not just something we know, it is something we do by virtue of Him who is ruling and reigning in our hearts. The day is upon us and the hour is late; His call goes forth to prepare the way of the Lord within the sanctum of our own hearts.

The cry of the Spirit to “prepare ye the way of the Lord” is calling us to repentance in order to receive Him in fullness into our hearts. The measure of truth residing within is revealed in the love we give.

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

“We know, in order to follow; we follow, in order to know. Light prepares the way for love. Love opens the mind for new love. The gifts of God are interwoven. They multiply and reproduce each other, until we come to the perfect state of eternity…”
Albert Barnes

Brian Troxel