Quote for Today – Richard Sibbes

Quote for Today

Richard Sibbes

“God is goodness itself, in whom all goodness is involved. If therefore we love other things for the goodness which we see in them, why do we not love God, in whom is all goodness? All other things are but sparks of that fire, and drops of that sea. If you see any good in the creature, remember there is much more in the Creator. Leave therefore the streams, and go to the fountainhead of comfort.”
– Richard Sibbes

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 – 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 – It Takes a Seeking

Thought for Today

It Takes a Seeking

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Matthew 7:14

The strait gate and the narrow way that lead unto life in Jesus are, in His own words, found by few. To find a thing precludes that there was effort spent in seeking it. Jesus exhorted us to seek in order to find, to ask in order to receive and to knock in order to enter into the things He has prepared for us.

Much of the preaching of today appeals to the broad and easy way; these lead to destruction. There is very little ministered concerning the “pursuit of God” and finding His purpose for our lives. A gospel which is not costly is a gospel which cannot transform us. The only Life offered us is the resurrected life of Jesus; a life which rises out of our own death to self.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat”
Matthew 7:13

The strait gate speaks of a narrowness of entry; a way that confines the unruly and rebellious heart of the natural man. No wonder it is not a popular message! It is hard to fill our pews by preaching the narrow way. It is hard to promote our programs and agendas when we speak of dying to self, picking up our cross and becoming a disciple of Christ. It is worth noting the context of these two scriptures (Matthew 7:13-14) for Jesus goes on to say:

“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly they are ravening wolves”
Matthew 7:15

It is the false prophets, false teachers and ministers who would present anything other than the strait gate and the narrow way. The disciple of Christ chooses a despised and rigorous way. The way of the cross is the only way into the authentic Life of Christ. The broad way will speak of the life, it will preach about the life but if it does not introduce us to the narrow way of the cross it will remain a theory and a teaching rather than the finding of His Life.

They who seek the narrow way will find it and they who enter through the strait gate have begun the journey into His fullness.

The Narrow Way

The narrow way is the way of contradiction
We trade our life for His
We forsake our liberty to walk in His
We die to self so that we may live
We yield our sense of Justice to know His…
The Perfect One slain for sinners
We receive forgiveness as we forgive others
We give up our love to be ruled by His.

May we heed the invitation of Jesus “Enter in…”. It is the heart and call of God to those who have ears to hear.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

alexander-maclaren

“We must have the glory sink into us before it can be reflected from us. In deep inward beholding we must have Christ in our hearts that He may shine forth from our lives”
– Alexander MacLaren

“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

Quote for Today – Francis Chan

Quote for Today

“We never grow closer to God when we just live life. It takes deliberate pursuit and attentiveness”
– Francis Chan

“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

The More of God

The More of God

“And when they had prayed,
the place was shaken where they were assembled together;
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
and they spake the word of God with boldness”
Acts 4:31

They prayed and the place was shaken. They prayed together (in unity) and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost! They had already received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit but this was a fresh outpouring. Whatever we have received… there is more; whatever may be our current understanding of the Body of Christ… there is more. No matter where we are in Him there is more. In our indifference we settle for ordinary and think nothing of the more. We are not stirred by the prayer of Jesus “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” If our hearts are satisfied with less than His manifest presence in our midst we are a short sighted people.

The secret of His presence is found in the unity of hearts, purity of purpose and a genuine love of His people. This was not a church denomination or some isolated group; this was the Body of Christ giving themselves up to God and His purposes. They were not special; they were simply His. They loved His people without division; they were One in Him and the prayer prayed was the expression of One heart and One Spirit.

Not only was the place shaken when they prayed, but the infilling of the Holy Spirit gave them the boldness to declare the Word of God with power. We speak of the baptism of the spirit in our day but where is the power and the impact of it on our brothers and sisters and the world at large? It is time to turn from our ways, repent and seek Him with earnestness of heart; to recognize the little with which we are satisfied. The result of living in His Spirit is to ONE END and that is to glorify Him alone. He must increase and we must decrease.

“And when they had prayed,
the place was shaken where they were assembled together;
and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,
and they spake the word of God with boldness”
Acts 4:31

This is the testimony of those who live for one purpose: to glorify God and honor Him by the life they live. God will always respond with power and glory whenever and wherever His people please Him.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – The Soul’s Desire –

Thought for Today

The Soul’s Desire

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.”
Psalm 42:1

The soul is the seat of our affections. What the eyes behold the soul pursues. Those who set their affections upon heavenly things know the longing, seeking and pursuit for God. Those who behold earthly things, lust and desire after the things of the world and the praise of men know nothing of heavenly things. It is not difficult to discern the true longing of any heart for it cannot hide the thing it desires most.

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

The heart of a life is revealed in the thing it covets.

“Set your affection on things above,
not on things on the earth”
Colossians 3:2

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info