Quote for Today – Charles Spurgeon

Quote for Today

“Yet, surely, there must be some who will fling aside the (cowardly) love of peace, and speak out for our Lord, and for His truth. A craven spirit is upon man, and their tongues are paralyzed. Oh, for an outburst of true faith and holy zeal”
– Charles Spurgeon

Carelessness (Revised)

CARELESSNESS

(Revised)

“…But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink;
and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not”
AMOS 2:12

The road to apostasy is paved with carelessness, the watering down of true discipleship, and a refusal to hear the Word of the Lord. The calamities and judgments that followed such a prescription of “religion” are devastating and inevitable. Where the fear of the Lord no longer enters the mind of the people of God, His Holiness and Majesty is watered down to a God who no longer is concerned about righteousness and truth. Truth becomes a teaching rather than a life and righteousness is reduced to doctrinal position in the stead of a heart where the fire of God burns the dross of fallen humanity. Where the majority of the preaching today in its essence declares ‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil”.

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men who are settled in complacency,
who say in their heart,
The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil
Zephaniah 1:12

The result of the religion of men is to reduce God to an idea and a concept which portrays Him as one that neither rewards righteousness nor judges evil. While this is not said in so many words it is the premise of much of the presentation of the gospel in this hour. We tell the world that they need to repent but after having “accepted Him” there is a carelessness about how one lives. The complacency and apathy of the people of God in this hour is evident when we no longer expect from ourselves a life of true righteousness and those who are pursuing this life are told to “drink wine (compromise)” and in effect “don’t take this stuff too seriously”. We hear the expression that a man is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good; in fact it should be stated that unless we become heavenly minded our lives are no earthly good!

May the Lord stir up the prophetic word in this hour to show the error, apostasy and the carelessness of His people. Let there be a WORD going forth in the FIRE of His love and jealously that this is the DAY OF THE LORD. THIS IS THE DAY TO TURN FROM OUR WAYS. It is not a day to live carelessly and walk in the love of the things of this world for the WORD OF THE LORD IS…

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him
I John 2:15

The focus of our life is the revelation of the love of our life. Our prayer life reveals the things that are dear to us. If all we pray for is our needs, wants and troubles, if the only things we hold up in prayer are those things that concern US and OUR little circle then we NEED to find Him afresh. We are here for the “building up of the Body of Christ”; to see the “Unity of the Faith” revealed IN THE EARTH! If the Risen Christ is ever “making intercession for US” that expression of love for others should also be a reality in our hearts.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Augustine

Quote for Today

“Remember this. When people choose to withdraw far from a fire, the fire continues to give warmth, but they grow cold. When people choose to withdraw far from light, the light continues to be bright in itself but they are in darkness. This is also the case when people withdraw from God”
– Saint Augustine

Faithful Ones

Faithful Ones

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”
Numbers 13:30

All through history there have been those whose walk and faith stood out in their day. There has never been a generation in which God did not have a purpose to accomplish and a call worth dying for. Deep within there was the fire of a living faith which would not compromise or turn back from the Word of God. While many compromised and settled for something less, God has always had a witness of those who stood faithful in their day.

“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it”
Numbers 14:24

Caleb had another spirit; he had a faith which separated him from the faithlessness of that generation. In every succeeding generation there have been those who pleased God and “obtained a good report” (Hebrews 11:39). Caleb was a Kenezite, not of the house of Israel, but one who by faith had an inheritance given to him among the tribe of Judah. This speaks prophetically of all who would by faith find their inheritance in the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

There are those who stand in this hour, with undimmed faith, declaring the same Word of victory over the enemies of God; even in the midst of the unbelief, carnality and compromise of a religion which has taken on the ways and wisdom of the world. These faithful ones shining in a dark time continue to believe with the evidence of obedience and purity of heart. They seek no glory for themselves but simply seek to live a life “approving themselves unto God” (2 Corinthians 6:4).

God’s reply to Caleb was:

“They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun”
Numbers 26:65

It is the nature and purpose of faith to “work out righteousness and obtain promises” (Hebrews 11:33). The faith of God by the very nature of it is never intended to be satisfied with the unfulfilled promises of God. Faith is given to His people unto the obtaining the promises of God! May God stir our hearts afresh to the obtaining of the Glory of Jesus Christ”.

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 2:14

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises…”
Hebrews 11:33

God’s Word when seen through the living faith of Christ has a deep desire to see His promises fulfilled in our day. It is apathy and slothfulness to rest in anything less than His desire for our generation.

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it…”
Hebrews 4:1

We have promises given to us which are yet to be fulfilled. Promises of glory and power unto the unity of the Body of Christ. WE are here to see His purposes fulfilled as Jesus prayed… “Thy will be done on earth AS (to the same degree) it is in heaven”. If we really desire to call ourselves servants of the Most High God then we must feel the intensity of heart to see His prayer and His will fulfilled on earth AS it is in heaven.

Let the enormity of the call of God be met with the faith of Jesus Christ residing and burning within our hearts!

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – Eric Liddell

A Word in Season

“Many of us are missing something in life because we are after the second best, I put before you what I have found to be the best – one who is worthy of all our devotion – Jesus Christ. He is the Saviour for the young and the old. Lord, here I am”
– Eric Liddell

Quote for Today – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

“Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all sufficient for everything that I can require”
– Alexander MacLaren

Persecution Post – Congo

Persecution Post

Helen Roseveare was an elderly missionary to Congo, Africa when I was still very young. I remember her holding the audience of ten thousand university students spell-bound and then in tears at Urbana ’76. Her life story is a testimony to the grace of God portrayed in the 1989 movie, Mama Luka Comes Home.

She is often asked by young people what she suffered for Jesus. Her simple answer is, “During the Simba uprising in the Congo, I was raped twice. Government soldiers came to my bungalow, ransacked it, and then grabbed me. I was beaten and savagely kicked, losing my back teeth through the boot of a rebel soldier. They broke my glasses, so I could not see to protect myself from the next blow.

“Then one at a time, two army officers took me to my own bedroom and raped me. They dragged me out into a clearing, tied me to a tree, and stood around laughing. And while I was there, beaten and humiliated and violated, someone brought out the only existing hand-written manuscript of a book I had been writing about God’s work in the Congo over an eleven-year period. They put it on the ground in front of me and burned it.

“I asked myself, Was it worth it? Eleven years of my life poured out in selfless service for the African people and now this? The minute I expressed that, God’s Holy Spirit settled over that terrible scene and He began to speak to me.”

‘“My daughter, the question is not “Is it worth it?” The question is, “Am I worthy?” Am I, the Lord Jesus who gave His life for you, worthy for you to make this kind of sacrifice for Me.’ And God broke my heart,” Helen continues. “I looked up and I said, ‘Oh Lord Jesus, yes, it is worth it, for You are worthy!’” She concludes, “When you ask the right question, you’ll always know that He is absolutely worthy of anything you can give Him or do for Him!”

Phil Callaway of SERVANT magazine once asked her, “Did you ever struggle to forgive those men?” “No,” she replied. “There was no sense of bitterness or even anger. I was overwhelmed by the sense that God was graciously using me in His purpose. All He asked of me was the loan of my body. The consequences were His. A year later when I returned to Congo and met the man who had humiliated me, I realized that I did carry some resentment and I wasn’t sure I had forgiven him. But God led me to accept from Him the forgiveness that only God can give, and He gave me His peace again.”[1]
Helen returned to Congo after all the above and continued her life of service for Jesus among the African people.

Have This Mind in You

Have This Mind in You

“…and having put on the new man, having been renewed in full knowledge according to the image of the One creating him, where there is no Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, foreigner, Scythian, slave or freeman, but Christ is all things and in all”
Colossians 3:10-11 (LITV)

It is the “new man” which is being renewed in the knowledge of Christ, freed from racism and bias. Christ is come; He has died for the sins of the world. His sacrifice knows no limits. His offer of Life and Salvation extends to all, with no regard to nationality. It is incumbent upon all who carry His Name to live and walk in harmony with His Heart.

The nature of fallen man is to exclude and to cause separations in order to elevate and promote one’s self. This fallen nature ever seeks recognition and dominance over others. This ethos of the world invades the religious world with the same end in mind. Men segregate and divide the ONE Church into factions in order to hold pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people.

The spirit of Diotrephes

“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the pre-eminence among them, receiveth us not…”
3 John 1:9

Self-promotion is the curse and the damnation of the Church of Jesus Christ. The wickedness of a self-seeking, self-promoting serpent nature is alive and very prominent in the Body of Christ today. Men pretend to be walking in the Spirit of God yet by their works reveal the factious ways of the world (the Greek relates such works to the political factions of the world). The result is division and strife. We see these secular and isolated groups throughout the history of the Church inflicting great pain and sorrow on the people of God while bringing damnation and eternal judgments upon themselves.

“Because of this, if I come, I will recall his works which he does, ranting against us with evil words. And not being satisfied with these, neither does he receive the brothers; and those intending it he prevents, and thrusts them out from the assembly”
3 John 1:10

John goes on to say:

“Beloved, do not imitate the bad, but the good. The one doing good is of God; but the one doing bad has not seen God
3 John 1:11

It is what people DO that reveals the spirit in which they walk, not their profession!

They profess that they know God, but by their deeds they deny him, being abominable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work”
Titus 1:16

In order for this infection to stop God’s people need to grow in discernment. It is not what men say but what they do that reveals the spirit in which they walk. We see much of the spirit of Diotrephes across our land. The cry for people to join an organization or sect, follow a teacher or a movement, is heard far more prominently than the true Call of God to “Come unto Christ”. The waning influence of the Church is partially a result of the horror of calling people to something other than Jesus.

“And I, if I be lifted up from the earth,
will draw all men unto me”
John 12:32

The Gospel today is one of setting forth the ambitions of men to “grow” our churches, our fellowships, our teachers (or teachings) in competition with the other “churches” who also promote themselves in the same spirit of rivalry. Somehow, we convince ourselves (in spite of our carnality) that we are representing the Spirit of Christ and the work of His Salvation in the earth.

“Now I exhort you, brothers, through the name of our Lord Jesus Christ that you all say the same thing, and there be no divisions among you, but you be united in the same mind and in the same judgment”
1 Corinthians 1:10

This Word from Paul is aimed forcefully at those in the Church at Corinth because of their carnality:

“For concerning you, my brothers, it was shown to me by those of Chloe that there are strifes among you. But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ. (Or in our day – Pentecostal, Baptist, Alliance plus thousands of other names.)
1 Corinthians 1:11-12

Paul then asks the powerful question which we need to hear:

Is Christ divided?

1 Corinthians 1:13

Our unbelief and carnal ambitions are the cause of this unholy and defiling spirit at work amongst God’s people. We have “churches” which deny the Baptism of the Spirit; what does the Word of God say? We have “churches” that propagate a myriad of their own teachings that are not consistent with His Word yet declare that they are representing Him. How can the message of the Love and the Purity of Christ be declared accurately to the world around us? The Word of God is NOT ours to interpret, it is ours to believe and obey. We are always to be open to correction and enlargement through other members of the Body of Christ.

It is a Day to repent of the despite we have done to His Glorious Name! Those who walk in the spirit of Diotrephes need to be confronted. Those who espouse a ministry over another as the Church at Corinth did, need to be challenged. Ministries that promotes themselves against other ministries in the Body of Christ need to be exposed as Heretics! The Greek Word for heresy means to cause factions and sects within the Body of Christ. It is the spirit of Satan working through man’s ambitions and carnal desires which allows this malignancy to continue.

Can we not hear the Spirit of Christ pleading through Paul to the people of God?

If therefore there is any exhortation in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any tender mercies and compassion, make my joy full, by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind; doing nothing through rivalry or through conceit, but in humility, each counting others better than himself…”
Philippians 2:1-3

Paul concludes this plea by saying,

“Have this mind in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5

Σ

“And have put on the new man,
which is renewed in knowledge
after the image of him that created him”

Ω

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

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Quote for Today

Cheap Grace Versus Costly Grace

“Cheap Grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.

Costly Grace is the treasure hidden in the field; for the sake of it a man will gladly go and sell all that he has. It is the pearl of great price to buy which the merchant will sell all his goods. It is the kingly rule of Christ, for whose sake a man will pluck out the eye which causes him to stumble, it is the call of Jesus Christ at which the disciple leaves his nets and follows Him.

Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock.

Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer from his book “The Cost of Discipleship”