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

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“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

Thought for Today – Love and Service

Thought for Today

Love and Service

“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said,
I will serve thee seven years for Rachel
thy younger daughter”
Genesis 29:18

Love is the fountain from which true service unto the Lord flows. It is to be the inspiration for all of our actions. A river flows effortlessly because of its source. When love is the source and ruler of one’s heart, service unto God is the natural course of life. The work of God can only be accomplished by the love of God. Love robs the flesh of boasting of its accomplishments. It brings all things into the worship of God; our service becomes our offering unto Him. Our reward is His Joy welling up within our hearts. It is the feast of life to love and serve our God.

“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel;
and they seemed unto him but a few days,
for the love he had to her.”
Genesis 29:20

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Call to Remembrance

Thought for Today

Call to Remembrance

“I call to remembrance my song in the night”
Psalm 77:6

The real purpose and value of our history in God is to give us hope in our present circumstances. Many times in the Psalms those who knew God would call to remembrance His former graces to lighten their current situation. The God who answered them in the night seasons of life would surely answer again. He who gave songs of hope in the past will surely arise now. The songs of former times are to be unto us present encouragement. How good God is!

“I call to remembrance my song in the night”

Note here it was not just a song that the Lord gave unto David in a specific night season; it was HIS song given to him for future strength and provision. Faith always takes the truths of God and makes them personal truths. The Song of the Lord becomes MY song by the living faith of Christ within.

Whatever our present circumstances are in this day there are resources to call to remembrance whereby we may arise renewed and strengthened in Him.

“Who delivered us from so great a death,
and doth deliver: in whom we trust
that he will yet deliver us”
2 Corinthians 1:10

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Delivered – past tense
Does deliver – present tense
Will yet deliver – future things to come

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Weeping

Thought for Today

Weeping

“Woman, why weepest thou?”
John 20:15

Weeping expresses some of the deepest emotions of our humanity. It reveals life, empathy and love. Weeping in the valleys of our own life is the precursor to a greater purpose; weeping with and for others. These experiences give us the grace to identify with others.

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:4

The comfort gained in our own trials brings a depth and capacity to share the comfort of the Lord with others. Compassion is a grace produced by sorrow. It is the press of this sorrow from which the wine of the joy of the Lord flows. His workings in us are not solely for our benefit; God always has a higher end in mind. He is ever looking for the seed of a thing to become a harvest. He sees the harvest and the multiplication of the Christ in each of us into the lives around us. He so desires us to see beyond the limited horizon of our own selves to the “fields which are ripe unto harvest”.

“For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.”
2 Corinthians 1:5-6

The cause of Mary’s weeping became the fountain of her greatest joy.

Why weepest thou?”

Weeping has purpose and as we grow in our walk with Him the why reveals the maturity and depth of our life in Him. At every stage within the disciple’s walk weeping has tremendous purpose and it is as the wine matures and deepens within us that our tears for ourselves are turned into the tears for others.

How good and wise are the ways of God and may we in the valleys see the distant prospects of a harvest unto our God and Father by the very life of the Son arising from the ashes of our own experience.

“Blessed are they who mourn
for they SHALL be comforted”
Matthew 5:4

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Nature of Love

Thought for Today

The Nature of Love

God’s Love by its very nature is an active and creative power within the soul of man. Creation is proof of God ever seeking, ever desiring to expend and lavish His love in new dimensions. The Word declares that we were “created for His pleasure” and it is His pleasure to pour out Himself in unmeasured and unmerited means. His Love in us seeks, desires and ever works to color everything within its reach; not to own, rule or control but to inspire others to live fully in God.

The infinite and all-encompassing God whom our forefathers sought with passion calls us to depths unknowable and heights unsearchable.

“Deep calleth unto deep”
Psalm 42:7

The Love of God is the call and His Love in man is the response.

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

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“He said “Love…as I have loved you.”
We cannot love too much.”
Amy Carmichael

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Love

Thought for Today

Love The Fruit of Obedience

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in
obeying the truth through the Spirit
unto unfeigned love of the brethren,
see that ye love one another
with a pure heart fervently:”
1 Peter 1:22

Obedience is the means by which God brings His own unto His end: a pure heart. Love is the perfection of God within an individual’s life. Those who “love not, know not God”. It takes little effort for others to see Him when God’s Love is resident in a life. Understanding deep things, functioning in gifts and ministrations are all good but if we have not love “we are nothing”. To be devoid of love is to be empty of God. When people stop caring over the condition and state of another life they have essentially stopped living. Life consists of loving, caring, encouraging and exhorting for all of these expressions proceed from the same Source.

“For whom the LORD loves He reproves,
Even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights”
Proverbs 3:12

“As ye know how we exhorted and comforted
and charged every one of you,
as a father doth his children…”
1 Thessalonians 2:11

The well-spring of all true expressions of the Holy Spirit flow from the Father’s heart into the lives of those who through the medium of obedience have their hearts purified with a fervent love of God’s people.

The Staff and the Rod of the Shepherd are both wielded by the same heart
to bring us to the same end. David found comfort in both and so should we

The measure of an individual’s life is known by the love beating within one’s heart for the life of the Son in those around us.

Love is the fire which births the words of life, the fire of life and the works of life.

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

 

Thought for Today – The ING of Life

Thought for Today

The “ING” of Life –

“If you will not believe,
surely you will not be established”
Isaiah 7:9

Believing in God is not a one-time event. In a true and vital reality, it is to be more equated to breathing than some momentary experience. The Hebrew words used for “believe” and “established” are expressed here in the imperfect tenses. The imperfect tense would suggest (for the sake of clarity) these words culminating in an “ing”, indicating an ongoing and uncompleted work. It is in our believing that our lives will be in the ongoing work of being established. The work of the Holy Spirit is ever embellishing, ever rooting and establishing us in Christ. It is in the ongoing reliance upon Him where His work takes on the power and substance of true in-wrought character and stability in our lives.

“If ye continue in my word,
then are ye my disciples indeed”
John 8:31

Discipleship is not a fleeting momentary experience. It is a life-long necessary experience. As breathing is to our natural life so is believing, trusting and faithing in our relationship with Him. The life of the branch consists in its live and continuous connection to the vine. Jesus in this parable uses the word “abide”. It is here within the context of this one living principle that we discover the wonders and glory of the increasing of His Kingdom within our own hearts.

“If ye abide in me,
and my words abide in you,
ye shall ask what ye will,
and it shall be done unto you”
John 15:7

This life of abiding, believing, and trusting in Him is an active principle of life. Any true expression of faith is revealed in obedience and response to His Word. To abide in His word means to respond to its influence and lordship. It is not uncommon to see a dead branch connected to a living plant. The connection is there but the dead branch no longer has a live relationship with its source. The identity of the branch is known by the fruit it bears. We see a branch bearing grapes we know that it is a grape vine. The fruit is the signature of the life of the vine. They who do not abide in Him lose their identity and confidence in Him. When people lose their identity they have no ability to impact the lives around them. Faith becomes a thing rather than a life. It becomes an ideal or a teaching rather than a heartbeat. This is what death is in our spiritual lives. Faith without works, branches without fruit and cold dead hearts without His life being the continuous inspiration of our very breath are the symptoms of a decaying branch.

“Every branch not bearing fruit in Me,
He takes it away”
John 15:2 (BLB)

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“But become doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. Because if anyone is a hearer of the Word, and not a doer, this one is like a man studying his natural face in a mirror; for he studied himself, and has gone away, and immediately he forgot of what kind he was. But the one looking into the perfect law of liberty, and continuing in it, this one not having become a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in his doing”
James 1:22-25

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

Thought for Today – Spiritual Temperature

Thought for Today

Spiritual Temperature

fervent

“fervent in spirit”
Romans 12:11

In this day of apathy and lukewarm expressions of faith we need this simple statement of the Holy Spirit to remind us of our calling. We are surrounded and bombarded by the world, the lust of the flesh, the ease of life and the deception of the status quo. We watch in horror how His people treat one another; divided by secular organizations (all in His Name) and fully capable of all manner of evil to one another with no sense of  accountability to Him. This dreadful state is the result of a people who are not “beholding the Head” or walking in His Life. Fervency of spirit is the result of His Spirit burning within our lives.

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace, whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear:
For our God is a consuming fire
Hebrews 12:28-29

There are many who preach grace from the pulpit but it is a grace that ministers a human comfort, a consoling message to our sin, worldliness and cold hearts. This “grace” brings an apathy to people who are no longer aware of the Day which is upon us. It is a false grace, the Lie of the very Devil who would lure God’s people into a deadly slumber of spirit which will result in the judgment of a Holy God.

The true ministration of Grace brings forth lives who are enabled to serve God acceptably with “reverence and godly fear”. The Church of Jesus Christ is in need of burning expressions of His Light and His Glory to re-ignite the flame of God within the sanctuary of our hearts. If our God is a consuming fire what should be the temperature of the hearts of those who claim He is alive in them? We cannot sit Sunday after Sunday hearing sermons (which may be good) without the intensity of something rising up within us to be empowered and inspired as a flaming torch for Him! How can this slumber continue without a sense of life passing us by; without the tasting and seeing of His wonder being expressed from our own hearts?

Jesus commenting on John the Baptist declared:

“He was a burning and a shining light…”
John 5:35

Should not this be the normal testimony of Jesus concerning each of us?

“He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said,
out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”
John 7:38

Do we believe this? The revelation of our belief is in the outflow of lives held by the fervency of His Spirit. How can we be comfortable with a life which has no resemblance to this? The complacency of spirit, the dead thing men call life in our day, the standards of the life of a Christian are so low that even the world takes note of our impotency.

“For the name of God
is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you…”
Romans 2:24

Read the context of this scripture and feel the passion and heart of God beating in Paul’s heart. Let us hear the admonition of His voice in our Day. Let us turn from our wicked, self-deceiving, and worldly ways and offer ourselves afresh unto Him who can turn our cold and dead hearts into flaming expressions of living sacrifices.

It is the empty altar which receives no fire.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God”
Romans 12:1

The evidence of His mercy received is a free-will offering unto Him. The greater the reception of mercy the greater is the depth of our offering.

“Our God is a Consuming Fire”

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info