Thought for Today – Union in Christ

Thought for Today

Union in Christ

“If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12

Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for our brothers and sisters. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14

There are many in this day who find refuge in obscurity where the true inner condition remains hidden from the view of others. It is a refuge of darkness and in this hiding place men and women live a life of duplicity and bondage. The light of God does not penetrate the self-made cloak of iniquity to bring healing, freedom and life. This dark place becomes a habitation of judgment and unreality. Those who choose such a place will never know the freedom and glory that the ministration of truth brings to the soul of man.

The natural outflow of a healthy heart seeks depths of relationship with others. It is free from the need to hide and conceal the true, secret life within. Indifference to the true condition of the lives of those around us is the fruit of a life lived within the obscurity of its own making. The Love of God differs greatly from the love of self. The Love of God seeks purity within for only the “pure in heart” can see God. The blazing light of God shining within the human heart exposes the falseness and perversity of our very being; it pierces the deception of our own selfishness.

The relationship which God has called us to is one of union and oneness, not worldly and distant.

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ,
and every one members one of another.”
Romans 12:5

The relationship that Jesus has called us to is not a casual one. The depth of relationship we are called to is of the same nature and power as “He is with the Father”. There will be no real change in the paradigm of the Body of Christ until the desire for true relationship is the cry of our hearts. The unity of the faith will never be realized outside of our being ONE in Him. A shallow relationship with HIM will be evident in our relationship with our brothers and sisters. To be ONE with Him is to desire and pursue the same depth of relationship with the other members of His Body.

“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light,
and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.”
1 John 2:10

Σ

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me,
that they may be one, as we are”
John 17:11

Brian Troxel

IS OUR LOVE DIFFERENT?

IS OUR LOVE DIFFERENT?

“And if ye salute your brethren only,
what do ye more than others?
do not even the publicans so?”
MATTHEW 5:47

The Greek word for “salute” would best be translated here to embrace or literally as Thayer’s Greek Thesaurus translates this word, “to draw to one’s self”. It is translated “embraced” in Hebrews 11:13. In the verse preceding this one Jesus states that if we love {agapao Grk.} only those that love us, how do we differ from the publicans? May the weight of these things impact us as we look around and see this love displayed to varying degrees throughout the church today. Does this not vividly describe the condition of the sectarian ways to which we have fallen? We see churches and various groups holding on to the close confines of those that “fellowship” with them and the common definition of the church or body today has mistakenly come to mean the ones that we meet with.

To add weight and importance to the above verse Jesus follows with…

“Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect”
MATTHEW 5:48

In other words our Father in Heaven is nothing like this. His Love knows no bounds; He does not show impartiality nor is He a respecter of persons. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust and His Son died for the sins of the world. We speak of “our” church, “our” pastor and “our” ministry as if we owned something or that because of our goodness these things have become ours. In Corinthians Paul states…

“For who makes you differ from another?
And what do you have that you did not receive?
Now if you did indeed receive it,
why do you boast as if you had not received it?”
1CORINTHIANS 4:7

If we seek only to meet with those of like mind we remove from us the wonder of His mosaic and the richness of the variations of His Wisdom. When we exclude or diminish another for differing from us we reveal the love of this world. We wonder why the world has not seen the Glory of our God in our midst while we live divided and walk in a love that loves only those that love us.

Peter, one of the Chief Apostles, started to segregate himself from the “gentiles” in his midst and was strongly rebuked by Paul and rightly so. The carnal man seeks to distinguish himself from others thus elevating one’s self. The need for recognition and distinction is at the core of that fallen nature. Jesus HAS broken down the middle partition between Jew and Gentile, between “Baptists” and “Pentecostals” and whatever other walls may be added through the “names” of teachings and doctrines. The gathering of the people is to be unto Him and Him alone.

Sadly the Proverb speaks to our day with such clarity…

“Only by pride cometh contention”
PROVERBS 13:10

Ω

“Division has done more to hide Christ from the view of men
than all the infidelity that has ever been spoken”
G. MacDonald

Brian Troxel

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

SPIRITUAL HABITAT

“…in his temple doth every one
speak of his glory”
PSALM 29:9

The common law of life is that whatever a man loves he speaks of and pursues. Where a man dwells determines what he sees. Every life form in God’s creation has a habitat and an environment with which it is compatible. Whether it is a palm tree or a fir tree it lives and grows in the climate that is conducive to its growth and development. The Polar Bear and the Panther live in the land for which they are most suited. As it is in the natural so also is it in the things of the spirit. The demon possessed man of the Gadarenes lived amongst the tombs for there was the dwelling place consistent with the nature of the spirits that inhabited him. We also read …

“…there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel,
of the tribe of Aser…
which departed not from the temple,
but served God with fastings and prayers night and day”
LUKE 2:35 – 37

Anna’s life was one of focus and a continual desire to serve and worship the ONE that she loved. She “departed not” from the life of prayer and worship which are the means by which we abide and grow in Him. She did not miss HIS appearing. While the multitudes were taken up with their “religious” duties she and Simeon beheld the Promised One and ministered unto HIM! Such are the privileges of those who find their lives “hid with Christ in God”! While many people are looking for a temple to be built in Jerusalem God HAS set HIS TEMPLE, the TRUE ETERNAL TEMPLE made without hands in the very PERSON OF HIS SON…

“I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple”
REVELATION 21:22

And again…

“Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building,
and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
But he spoke of the temple of his body
JOHN 2:19

They who desire to live and dwell in HIM are only able to speak of HIS GLORY! They no longer give nor seek the praises of men. They are not impressed by the extravagant buildings and organizations of men for they have seen glimpses of a GLORY that will not fade away; a GLORY that blinds the eyes, that humbles the heart and becomes the perspective by which all things are weighed. They are not mislead by the teachings and doctrines of men for they have seen the ONE in whom the fullness of the Godhead dwells and are freed from the paltry offerings of this world. They are pilgrims in this world of temporal things as they seek that which “fadeth not away” with the passing of time. They have been gripped by the unseen HAND of God and HEARD the ETERNAL CALL; ruined for anything religious or manmade.

“For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also”
MATTHEW 6:19 – 21

Our lives reveal the place where we dwell, by the things we speak and treasure.

Brian Troxel

IN THE BEGINNING GOD…

“In the beginning God…”

GENESIS 1:1

This is an eternal statement not an historical one. God is Eternal and because of that HE is the ever beginning one, the eternal Spring ever at work “making all things NEW”. From Genesis to the Book of Revelation we read of NEW THINGS, NEW PROVISIONS, NEW MOVINGS OF HIS SPIRIT and the ever progressive REVELATIONS of NEW glimpses of HIS GLORY. We see in the Old Testament a God who is constantly bringing forth fresh ministrations of life and new and greater ways of approaching Him. We see the provisions of the garments of redemption for Adam and Eve; we see the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We see the Tabernacle and the Temple and the various prophetic expressions of Samuel, Elijah, and Elisha. We hear the voices of the multitudes of the prophets that God raised up to speak His purposes; while all these things were “new” in their Day the progressive purpose of God moves on while men cling to former things. The Feasts and all the other types and shadows of the Old Testament are meant to speak to us of greater things and a greater fulfillment that God had in mind. Jesus sums it all up in one verse…

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life;
and these are they which testify of Me”
JOHN 5:39

(HE is the center and sum of all God’s purposes. The Government of God rests upon HIS shoulders {Isaiah 9:6}; He is the GREAT HIGH PRIEST and in the offering of HIMSELF at Calvary HE abolished all offerings in regards to sin {Hebrews 10:18}. Blessed be the name of the Lord!)

“In the beginning God…”

It is in our entering into these things that we are made new; in the appropriating of HIS TRUTH that we touch upon the NEW THING for ourselves. The beginning of that truth in our own lives is the start of a new walk and a new expression of the eternal truth.

“…the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world”
REVELATION 13:8

Jesus the precious Lamb of God, in the ETERNAL purposes of God, was a “lamb slain from the foundation of the world”. However, all eternal truth must become a reality here. We read “that when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth HIS Son…” (Gal. 4.4). The eternal truth must become the actual truth HERE and be appropriated into my life through the mediums of faith and obedience. Thus begins my journey of the truth of HIS life in me.

On the Day of Pentecost Peter declared “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel”. That prophetic word spoke of the “Baptism of the Holy Ghost” hundreds of years before it happened. It was the beginning of a NEW DAY for the people of God. It was God beginning a NEW and powerful expression of Himself on the Day of Pentecost! A feast had been celebrated and observed by the children of Israel for thousands of years yet the day came that the intent and purpose of God became a deeper and more profound truth. While men still look for the old, God’s Spirit is always pressing us to leave the former things and step into the reality of the “present” truth. The real purpose of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not just so we may manifest a wonderful and precious gift of the Holy Spirit but that we would become a people who would walk, live and reveal the righteousness of God in our daily lives. It is to be much more than just giftings and ministrations but that it would unite us to the Cry of the Son in the establishment of the Kingdom of God in the earth.

Those who have the “firstfruits of the Spirit” know of this groaning and of this CRY for the things that remain unfulfilled.

“For we know that the whole creation
groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit,
even we ourselves groan within ourselves,
eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.
For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope;
for why does one still hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see,
we eagerly wait for it with perseverance”
ROMANS 8:22 – 25

By virtue of Him being in our hearts we have become partakers of that same burden to see the full expression of His Salvation in this earth.

“Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully,
who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
searching what, or what manner of time,
the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating
when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ
and the glories that would follow.
To them it was revealed that, not to themselves,
but to us they were ministering the things
which now have been reported to you
through those who have preached the gospel
to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven”
I PETER 1:10 – -12

Brian Troxel

The Call Part One

THE CALL

PART ONE

“Get thee out of thy country,
and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house”
GENESIS 12:1

The CALL of God upon a person’s life will always require a rising up and a forsaking of things familiar, of places where we grew up in our spiritual life, and of associations that have become satisfied and static. The CALL necessitates response. The CALL keeps us aware that we are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. The CALL presses us to seek Him above all other things. A loyalty to organizations, ministries, and teachings can become the graveyard of the true Disciples of Christ for the affinity to these things causes us to settle in the earthly rather than the Heavenly. The true pursuit of the CALL causes us to know and feel HIS heart for the UNITY of the Spirit and in that CALL we recognize that every other agenda apart from this one thing is an affront to His Purpose. Every TRUE ministration of His Life is to make men see what is the HOPE of HIS CALLING unto us and to recognize that we are “members one of another”. This UNITY is based upon the work of the SPIRIT OF TRUTH not compromise. It is in becoming true that we have access to the mystery of this UNITY which already exists, (“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me”), in the heavens.

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith,
I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”
Is Christ divided?
I CORINTHIANS 1:12 – 13