Quote for Today – J.C. Ryle

Quote for Today

JC Ryle

“Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, “Show it to Me.” Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, “What are you doing?”
― J.C. Ryle

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers;
but as the servants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart”
Ephesians 6:6

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

Thought for Today – Religious Sin

Thought for Today

Religious Sin

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned:
for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord,
and thy words: because I feared the people,
and obeyed their voice
1 Samuel 15:24

The above scripture taken from the narrative of Saul’s life is one of a long and sad commentary on his reign in Israel. This event serves as a stern warning to us as to what the Lord considers obedience. Saul’s “partial obedience” is confronted by the Prophet Samuel concerning the Amalekites.

“And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?”
1 Samuel 15:18-19

“But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”
1 Samuel 15:21

Saul had partially fulfilled the Word of the Lord to him. He had destroyed the Amalekites, but he kept the king alive and allowed the people to keep the spoils of battle to “sacrifice” them to the Lord.

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king”
1 Samuel 15:22-23

In God’s eyes partial obedience is sin and disobedience. Religious sin is when His ministers obey the voice of the people rather than God. It is one of the greatest of all sins for when those who are directly responsible for expressing God’s will and way in the earth corrupt their allegiance to Him, God’s name is blasphemed. Religious sin is always cloaked in the pretense of worshiping God, honoring God or serving God. Yet He who weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart sees it as disobedience and rebellion. The religious sin of appearing to serve the Lord (see the sin of Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1-11) is ever shrouded in deceit to appear spiritual to those around us. Things which should be destroyed or forsaken are instead offered up to God as a sacrifice.

Religious sin is found wherever and whenever men and women listen to the voice of the people rather than to God. When the appearance of a thing is more important than obedience, when that which the Lord has spoken is compromised with the desire to be pleasing in the sight of the people rather than in the sight of God, the result is rejection and sorrow.

“Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
he hath also rejected thee from being king”

Obedience is the highest and purest expression of true worship and sacrifice.

“For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – True Life

Thought for Today

“The seed dies into a new life,
and so does man”

George MacDonald

All true life is that which arises from death. The receiving of the eternal is known by the forsaking of the temporal. All creation is but the textbook for the true follower of Christ (Romans 1:20). In our yielding to the will of Him who is eternal life we find the withering of the passions and desires for the shadows and illusions of this world. Clarity comes to the pure in heart.

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

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Contradiction

Thought for Today

Contradiction

We know that the Law is spiritual
I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do, I do not do.
But what I hate, I do.
And if I do what I do not desire,
I admit that the Law is good.…”
Romans 7:14-16

The Gospel of today seeks to eradicate the ministry and the goodness of the Law. The natural man, though religious, hates the light and will seek any means to avoid its penetrating radiance. The ministration of the Law reveals the contradiction between who we are and who we are called to be. The Law is Spiritual and exposes all that is carnal. It is in embracing the contradiction of what we are compared to what we should be that the ministration of the Law has accomplished its purpose. Those who seek authenticity readily welcome its piercing revelation. The Law brings us to Grace. Those who ignore the ministry of the Law will speak flippantly of grace but remain ignorant of its power and efficacy. To willingly choose to ignore the light of the Law is to condemn oneself to a life of contradiction and defeat.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster
to bring us unto Christ…”
Galatians 3:24

The Law brings the true heart to Christ. It is in Him that contradiction and defeat are consumed by the power of His Life. He brings us from the contradiction of the Romans Chapter Seven experience into a life of authenticity and genuine expression of the living Christ as declared in Romans Chapter Eight. The desire to do right becomes the ability to DO right in Christ; the ministration of truth must make us true by the Law of His Life reigning in our hearts.

“For what the law could not do,
in that it was weak through the (our) flesh,
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh”
Romans 8:3

To what end?

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”
Romans 8:4

The compromised gospel of today which condones the inability to do what is right and the inability to have victory over sin is the LIE of the devil. It is the work of those who hold the truth in unrighteousness. The professors of such a “gospel” hate the light and shroud themselves in a religious garment of obscurity so that they may hide from the Light of Him. Jesus has conquered and condemned sin in the flesh to the intent “that the righteousness of the Law may be (fully) fulfilled in us”! How? Through the ministration of His life holding us, keeping us and enabling us to “walk in the Spirit”!

A life of contradiction brings condemnation and sorrow; a life of authenticity brings peace. It is our victory in Christ over sin that enables us to shine His life into the lives of others. The process of victory is in being truthful within our own hearts. Instead of hiding from the light we embrace its work by faith knowing the power of His grace will bring us to the harmony of truth. What we are externally is a transparent revelation of our inner being. Hypocrisy cannot exist where truth reigns.

Authenticity
is the life of speaking and doing

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

 

How to know that we know Him

How to Know That We Know Him

“And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments”
1 John 2:3

The true Christian life is one of simplicity. Those who keep His word love Him; they seek to honor Him in every aspect of their lives. Those who profess to love Him but do not keep His word are liars.

“He that saith, I know him,
and keepeth not his commandments,

is a liar, and the truth is not in him”
1 John 2:4

Those who leave off the doing of truth are not able to come to the glorious light of Jesus the Christ. Without the doing of truth there can be no growth in the light.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

The simplicity of our life with Him is easily discerned by those who have objective hearts. The beauty is we can make changes at any given moment for He who died for us ever lives to bring us to a deeper, more vibrant walk in Him. To continue to declare that we love Him and not keep His commandments is the LIE that will condemn us on the last day. Those who hate reproof hate the light. It is in this crucible that the fate of all men and women will be determined.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved”
John 3:20

Ω

Hereby do we know we know Him

To obey the truth reveals the love of His Light.
To hate reproof is to hate the light.

Brian Troxel

Christ our Righteousness

Christ our Righteousness

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Beholding is the path to becoming. It is in the seeing of Him that we are actually changed.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 Corinthians 3:18

From Genesis through Revelation we read of those who had one purpose in life: to see Him who is the matrix from which all things come into being. He is the One by whom all things are created and for whom all things are created. The pursuit of this one thing has been the uniting purpose of all who have His Spirit within their hearts.

Righteousness is the vehicle through which we see Him. I cannot immerse myself in sin and iniquity and expect to see Him. The cry for righteousness within the human heart arises out of a pure desire to see Him. The pursuit for holiness or righteousness with any other motive will always lead into an abyss of religion and darkness.

“I will behold thy face in righteousness”

“I will” speaks of confidence and the assurance of one who knows the grace and the wonder of his God. There is no doubt concerning this. This righteousness is the result of a heart submitted to the purging, dealings and searching of His Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

Religion concerns itself with words; God concerns Himself with the reality of a life. The true substance of righteousness is revealed in the doing not in the speaking. Righteousness is revealed in the things we do for they are the true expression of what we are.

It is in the desire for authenticity that our true need for Him is discovered. The greater the desire for true righteousness, the greater is our need for the grace to make it so. This is the righteousness of God in Christ for it brings us to complete dependency upon Him for its growth and development. His life reigning in us reveals His righteousness.

The pursuit of God is an ever growing, ever living and ever deepening journey into the life and righteousness of God Himself.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith…”
Romans 1:17

It is a continual unfolding of His righteousness in us through the development of our growing faith to walk and live in Him. This desire is summed up by David:

“I shall be satisfied,
when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

To settle for anything less is unthinkable.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Witnessing –

Thought for Today

Witnessing

“Am I now seeking the approval of men,
or of God? Or am I striving to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10 (BSB)

The Holy Spirit IS come to make His people “witnesses” unto God, not men. We are not here to conduct ourselves in order to gain men’s approval. We are here to live inwardly and outwardly to seek God’s approval.

“But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
Acts 1:6

The power is given unto us that we might live lives solely unto Him. We are not here to please men but to serve God. We live in a day where the church in general is trying to live “nice” secular lives in order to persuade people to come to their church or fellowship. To live in this mind set Paul declares that we are no longer the “servants of Christ”! Jesus said if HE be lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself. We are here to live by Him, unto Him and through Him and in so doing we are freed from the horror of trying to please people. Authenticity is the freedom to live out of the well of all that we truly are in Him.

The Holy Spirit is come to make us witnesses UNTO God. The power of God is given to glorify Jesus.

“…because as he is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Mercy –

Thought for Today

Mercy

“You have magnified Your mercy
which You have shown to me in saving my life.
And I am not able to escape to the mountain
lest some evil overtake me and I die.
Behold, now, this city is near, to flee there,
and it is a little one. Please let me escape there!”
Genesis 19:19

This is the first instance in which mercy is mentioned in the scriptures. God’s impending judgement upon Sodom could not be executed until Lot left the city (because of Abraham’s prayer). God told Lot to go to the mountain to be safe but Lot was fearful and called upon God’s mercy to circumvent God’s will! Rather than obeying God he used God’s mercy to walk in a partial obedience. Such is the half-hearted response to God throughout the history of man. God granted Lot’s request but it is a sad testimony.

This scripture came to mind the other day as I was praying. I found myself asking God for His mercy to do His will. Not only did the above scripture come to mind but also the following:

“For this reason I make request to you,
brothers, by the mercies of God,
that you will give your bodies as a living offering,
holy, pleasing to God, which is the worship
it is right for you to give him”
Romans 12:1 (BBE)

These two passages show the contrasting ways in which we avail ourselves of God’s mercy; one for partial obedience and the other as a complete offering of ourselves to God. Though God may allow the partial we must recognize our tremendous need of His mercy to walk in full submission to Him. True obedience is only possible by the outworking of His mercy in our lives.

The natural man cannot walk with God; the unregenerate heart will always insist on its own way. To whatever extent our lives are yielded to Him will be the measure of His ministrations of grace and mercy being received.

“Thou in thy mercy
hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed”
Exodus 15:13

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