TITUS 2:14 PART ONE

TITUS 2:14 PART ONE

Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity,
and purify unto himself a peculiar people,
zealous of good works.”

Titus 2:14

PART I

“A New Nature”

The Good News is this, that “God so loved the world that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever…” God initiated; God was moved toward His creation by the simplicity of a Love that loves because it IS Love. We look for reasons why, we try to understand the sense of it all. We look for value within our own heart and find none. Love is its only reason. Love is the beginning, the journey and the end of man’s relation to GOD. In all of this HIS design is to replicate His nature within us. For nature determines relationship. Without the new birth from the old Adam into the NEW, there can be no relationship with God. Jesus said “you must be born again”. Nature is the result of BIRTH not teaching. We think by knowledge we have access to God, but without the new nature HE knows us not. The reason we are the offspring of God is because in Christ we have been born anew.

Nature is the Foundation of Relationship

Adam beheld all of creation. He named them and understood with great wisdom their creation and design.

“Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field
and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam
to see what he would call them.
And whatever Adam called each living creature,
that was its name”

GENESIS 2:19

What great delight must have been God’s to see what man would call the creatures HE had created! For it is always the joy of the Father to see his children function and live as distinct and active beings! We read in verse 2:18 that it was God’s desire to bring forth a help “meet” (fit or suited) for Adam. So God “brought” every beast of the field and fowl of the air, both male and female, to pass in front of Adam and in so doing HE caused Adam to see and understand the wonder and wisdom of companionship in the midst of creation. In so doing there was a cry that awoke within Adam for his own counterpart; something that was of his own likeness, something that was of his nature with a corresponding ability to answer to the cry of his own heart for relationship. The result of this desire is summed up in verse 2:20 “… but for Adam there was not found a help meet for him”. In the verses that follow we see the glory of God bringing forth one out of Adam that answered the cry of his own heart; one that was “bone of his bone and flesh of his own flesh”. One called “Woman, because she was taken out of man”. God well knew that man would not find that deep companionship with the rest of creation, good as it was. For Adam was of a different nature; and that companion must be of the same nature for there to be a true and deep relationship.

So it is of great importance that we begin to see that our relationship with HIM is only true and real according to the measure that HIS nature is formed within us. Do we not read in the Psalm 42 that “deep calls unto deep”? (Psalm 42:7) Should not this be norm for the true people of God; the depths within us calling out to the depth of our heavenly Father? How can a doctrine, teaching or activity replace this cry for trueness of being? For it is written as we have borne the likeness of the earthly, even so we shall bear the image of that which is heavenly and eternal? Even as Eve came out of Adam so must the Bride of Christ arise out of HIM that we may know of this likeness and companionship. Brought out of HIM by the sovereign Grace of God that we might be presented UNTO HIM that we might ever be WITH HIM throughout eternity that in the ages to come God may show forth the manifold wisdom of God in Christ Jesus! So Peter exhorts us…

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises
that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,
having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust.”

IIPeter 1:4

If in our fallen condition, God took upon Himself the initiative to give HIMSELF for us, our partaking of that nature would freely cause us to give of ourselves to HIM and to ONE ANOTHER that we may see the reality of the Body of Christ in the earth. For it is in loving one another that we reveal our love for HIM (I John 4:20). Nature is the result of birth not teaching. Conduct is the doing of that which is in the nature of a man; by this we know that we are the children of God;

“…and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.”
I John 4:7

“Conduct is what we do,
Character is what we are”

E. M. Bounds

Brian Troxel

MINISTRY IN THE HOME

Teach Them

“And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,
and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up”

Deuteronomy 6:7

His name, His goodness and His praise should ever be on the hearts and minds of His own. Our lives before our children should be lived in the evident love of Him. Even though there are shortcomings and issues we need for our children to see that HE is the love and purpose of our life. Strong homes where God is spoken of constantly, where HE is the over-riding reason for the direction and purpose of the home is a ministry in itself. If our faith is not pervading our home and our children’s lives it is time to seek afresh the priorities of our life and turn again to the good and perfect way of the Lord. The unity and the faith of the home is the strength of the Church. It is in passing on to our children the goodness of the fear and the love of God that we see the next generation arising in their own faith and their own light.

“When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee,
which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice;
and I am persuaded that in thee also”

II Timothy 1:5

Strong faith, unfeigned faith, faith that is not comprised of principles and concepts, but a faith that is living and real must bring others into their own FAITH and walk. Faith cannot not be handed down like some sort of heirloom it must be ministered. True faith is only known via relationship with the Author. How we need in this day homes and families where HE is exalted, talked about and lived out to the fullest measure we know that in so doing our children will be drawn into the place of their own relationship and journey with God. The next generation of ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ should be rising up within our own families.

“The Christian home is the Master’s workshop where the
processes of character-molding are
silently, lovingly, faithfully
and successfully carried on”

RICHARD MONCKTON MILNES (1809–1885)

Brian Troxel

The Body of Christ Part One

THE BODY OF CHRIST

Part One

FUNDAMENTALS

“And Elisha said, As the LORD of hosts liveth,
before whom I stand…”

II Kings 3:14

Here we see that the ministry of Elijah to Elisha was effectually completed. Elisha spoke from the same place of relationship and standing in God as that which Elijah also knew (I Kings 17:1). He spoke as one who fully understood his accountability unto the Holy One of Israel. Men who are content to have other men accountable unto them know nothing of the Holiness of God. We are not here to HAVE disciples but to MAKE disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. True ministry should always leave the people of God with the sense of their accountability unto God not man. The reason we see so little power, authenticity and abandonment is that we as a collective people have lost sight of HIS WONDER and AWE in our midst. We establish our organizational ladder of accountability and as long as that is followed we “feel” that there is a sense of order in our midst. We call this a successful “pattern” for others to emulate. But, unless there are powerful unique expressions shinning forth, it is only a deathly uniformity that is based on a carnal conformity to an organization not the transforming power of God! Paul writes to the Corinthians that THEY were his letter of recommendation; the quality of their lives and their love for one another. That is why he so passionately reproved them; he was held by the solemn obligation unto the Lord for them to walk and live in righteousness.

How we need a new and fresh sense that WE are accountable unto God for the condition of HIS CHURCH. It is our responsibility to speak forth HIS desire and purposes into the lives of those around us. It is our responsibility to pray and weep over the condition of HIS house. It is our responsibility to see the people of God DISCOVER the call of God upon their lives; to see them arise and understand that the quality of their walk is of vast importance; that they are not simply here to take up space on a pew but they are to influence the lives of those around them; that husbands are to so function as the priest in their home that there is harmony and growth within the individual lives of those in his care; that wives understand their responsibility to so walk with God and interact with HIM that they influence their husbands to be the men of God that they should be. We all have a part in this wonder called the Body of Christ! We all have a voice and we all have an incredible responsibility to see the prayer of John 17 come to pass. It is time for the ministers of God to impart to HIS people that it is unto HIM that we shall ALL give an account of how we walked in the fear of our God.

Men who sit for years listening to others without sensing any compulsion to see the Living Christ arise in their own hearts are dead; they are out of touch with HIS heart and HIS purposes. They have not seen the reality of the Body of Christ that it is made up of living, functioning, and holy members each of which have that awesome sense of a LIVE connection to the HEAD even Christ. The only purpose of true ministry is to minister that sense of a living community made real and alive by each member being held in the bonds of the Love of God to such an extent that we realize in our own hearts that of a truth we are “members one of another”. A living community that is not limited by the walls of a church building, a home group, a set of teachings or doctrines, ministries and organizations, but a community whose life is known by being IN HIM. This community of faith is called THE BODY OF CHRIST!

Brian Troxel

LOOK UNTO ME

LOOK UNTO ME

“Look unto me, and be ye saved”
Isaiah 45:22

Salvation is not a onetime experience. It is a life and a relationship. The complexities of our heart and the trials and tribulations of our faith in an antagonistic world demand a constant looking unto HIM. There are also great changes that must be made within our being to walk with the Almighty God. These bring us the NEED for fresh and new revelations of HIS saving grace in our lives.

It is in our continual looking unto HIM that we are ever in the ACT of being saved; saved from our short sightedness and our resistance to change and growth.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” is more than a nice scripture to quote. It is in the seeing of HIM that we are lifted up out of ourselves, our outlook and our carnal tendencies and enabled to see the world through HIS eyes.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved” is the WAY of LIFE. It is the only way for growth and development. Yes it is fraught with new responsibilities, trials and testing, but it is the way of LIFE. Whether it is the disciples who walked the Emmaus Road in discouragement, or Peter venturing out of the boat to walk upon the stormy sea, HE is our answer. Growth is the evidence of LIFE. Growth in HIS purposes is revealed in the child like faith of walking with our heavenly Father. Except we “become as little children” we will not enter the Kingdom. This is not just a phrase it is a REQUIRED condition. Our only participation in the ACT of “becoming” is to be continually “looking unto HIM”! He is the Author and the Finisher of our faith. “Our Faith” is a faith that is personal and precious and its development requires our attention and response to HIM. To hear and not do, to see and not respond, are the earmarks of decay and stagnation.

“Look unto me, and be ye saved”. No matter what the circumstances HE is our present help; the ladder out of every pit, our light in times of darkness, our guide when we are lost, our friend when there is no other. HE is OUR SALVATION and HIS name is JESUS!

“Look unto me, and be ye saved”

Brian Troxel

THE BREAD OFFERING

THE BREAD OFFERING

PART ONE

“But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life,
purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience…”

II TIMOTHY 3:10

The Greek Word here for “purpose” is πρόθεσις which is translated “shewbread” in the following scriptures; Matt 12:4, Mark 2:26, Luke 6:4, Heb 9:2. Paul in this portion of Timothy is setting forth the “marks” of a true life in contrast to those who handle the truth in unrighteousness. Often the “shewbread” (see Exodus 25:30) is mentioned as a type concerning the teachings of deeper truths and revelation of the things of God. There is an element of truth in this however the “shewbread” is, first and foremost, an offering unto GOD not man. Unfortunately today there is much emphasis placed upon the ministry of men to the church with very little concept of men ministering unto the King of Kings! The reason this Greek Word is translated “purpose” in some places of the New Testament and in others “shewbread” is that Paul, especially in this context, is seeking to impress upon the heart of Timothy that the purpose of Paul’s life was to be lived as an offering of bread unto the Lord of his life. This offering was without reserve, wholly and completely given to the ONE who was worthy to break it and give it out to others as it pleased HIM. What flowed out of that offering was not Paul’s business; his business was to give his life and it was the Lord’s business to do with it as it pleased HIM (see the feeding of the multitudes).

In light of all that Jesus accomplished at Calvary we have only one offering left to give; ourselves. This offering is no longer given because of a Law that commands us, but it is the highest of offerings. It can only be given by those who have allowed the Spirit of Grace and Mercy to work within their heart. For the law of this offering is only received on the basis of a free will offering unto the ONE who gave HIMSELF for us unto the Glory of the Father. HIS heart, HIS life and HIS love are all any of us have to so freely give. We can no longer present offerings for sin, guilt and shame for that is finished in Christ. We can no longer present offerings for our failures, weaknesses and poverty for the offering has already been given. We can now only respond by giving of ourselves unto HIM and HIM alone.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service”

ROMANS 12:1

February 19, 2010
Brian Troxel

WATCHING DAILY

WATCHING DAILY

“Blessed is the man that heareth me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting at the posts of my doors.”

Proverbs 8:34

A Blessed man is a man who is diligent in the affairs of his life. He is attentive, his ears tuned to the whisper of the Holy Spirit whether it be a word of correction, encouragement or teaching. There is a blessing upon those who refuse to give themselves to the distractions of this life. There is a focus and recognition of the great need to walk circumspectly in this hour. It is an hour of great delusion, an hour of great subtlety, as we recognize the gathering of the storm in our land. It is a time of realizing that the resources of this hour will not be sufficient for the things that are coming. It is time for the people of God to seek, pursue, and to give of ourselves unto Him without reservation. He alone is our sufficiency. He alone is the abiding place whereby we find grace and provision for this DAY. The ability to hear and to be instructed is not optional, it is a necessity! The discipline of “watching DAILY” at His Gates, waiting at the posts of His doors and ever seeking to hear His voice must become the posture of our daily lives.

“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit
and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication
for all saints…”

Ephesians 6:18

Prayer is the means by which we stay alive and attentive to the Spirit. It is from this stance that we find our hearts and minds waiting at the door of His moving in our lives. How we need the fellowship that flows one to another from such hearts; to hold one another up in prayer and supplication that we may share in the ministry of our risen Lord! This ministry is to be one that is accomplished with perseverance and love. In the exercise of such things we become more like Him in the everyday flow of life; with and in Him so that we are aware of His Presence daily.

“Prayer is the most important thing in my life.
If I should neglect prayer for a single day,
I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.”

MARTIN LUTHER (1483–1546)

Brian Troxel

THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH

“The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?”

PSALM 27:1

This statement is made by one who has a HISTORY with his God. This is not a doctrinal statement. It is the declaration of a man who has known adversity, failure and victory in his walk with the Most High. We cannot know HIM this way without having experienced our own weaknesses. It is in encountering the situations that are greater than our own resources that we “discover” that in truth HE IS OUR STRENGTH. Even our failures become the very stepping stones into this life of knowing HIM as our strength. The faltering steps of the Disciples slowly turn into the Apostolic Tread that became the foundation of the early church. The lives of believers whose stories grace the pages of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs were just like us yet as they walked with HIM they became strong. They discovered through the medium of faith and obedience that HE WAS in fact their strength. HIS STRENGTH displaced the fear of men and situations, HIS FAITHFULNESS destroyed the fear of their own weakness and HIS LOVE cast out all fear.

People who never “do” never know the reality of stepping into the raging waters of the storms that come but run from the very MEANS by which this truth is discovered. The testings and storms are HIS messengers, HIS servants to a deeper knowing of the blessed truth that HE IS OUR PRESENT HELP in every situation. May the God of all Grace lead us into the full assurance of faith that HE will never fail us in our time of need! May HIS FAITH welling up within our hearts cause us to step out of the boat to walk upon the storms of life, with our eyes fixed upon HIM knowing that HIS very name is FAITHFUL and TRUE.

“The LORD God is my strength,
and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet,
and he will make me to walk upon mine high places”

HABAKKUK 3:15

Brian Troxel

GOD’S INVESTMENT

GOD’S INVESTMENT

“If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand,
I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?”

I Corinthians 12:15

Value. Even in earthly things the value of something is based on what someone will pay for it, not its intrinsic worth. Something that may be of little value to one is priceless to another. In the Church at Corinth there was dissimulation and controversy because there was much value put on specific expressions while others were minimized. Today we have a similar situation where multitudes of God’s redeemed people sit in ignorance of the wealth and the precious investment that is theirs in Christ Jesus. We all admire a gracious ministration of God in an individual, but the truth of the New Covenant is that Jesus paid the same price for every man. He tasted the same death for everyone that calls upon HIS NAME. The attitude expressed here of “because I am not the hand” is really an expression of unbelief rather than humility. Value is not determined by function but by the price paid. How we need to see things through the eyes of our Redeemer! We hear things such as; “I could never preach like that, pray like that” and that may be true. However it is the “I” that is the problem not the giver. For there to be unity, life and glory in the Body of Christ there is no room for “I”. This is His Body and HE PLACES the members in it as it pleases HIM not us. There is no such thing as someone insignificant in God’s Eternal purposes. What HE has purchased is to become a priceless, unique and powerful expression of HIS LIFE. It is UNBELIEF that says “because I am not the hand, I am not of the body…” It is the recipient of the one talent who hid his portion in the ground that received such a stern judgment from the hand of the Lord.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”

II Corinthians 5:11

The FEAR OF THE LORD is the great leveler of men. Paul is stating here that the thing that propelled HIM from one city to the next in HIS declaration of the Gospel was the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord does not paralyze us it enables us to walk, live and be responsible to the investment of the Lord in our lives. It causes us to face our own unbelief and ARISE to walk in HIS PROVISION. It frees us from the fear of man, the fear of inadequacy and the fear of failure. It brings us to the awful recognition that it is to HIM I must give an account; it is a terrible sin to hold the precious things of HIM in faithless inactivity and unbelief. This is the DAY for the people of God to ARISE and LIVE and WALK in the provisions of the SON in OUR FATHER’S HOUSE. All things are HIS, and HE is looking for a healthy return upon the investment that HE has already made.

“And if you call on the Father, who without partiality
judges according to each one’s work,
conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear;
knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things,
like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct…
but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish”

I PETER 1:17 – 18

Brian Troxel

HE IS ABLE PART ONE

HE IS ABLE PART ONE

“Blow ye the trumpet in the land:
cry, gather together, and say,
Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the
defenced cities (stronghold – Hebrew)”

Jeremiah 4:5

It is the DAY of the Trumpet; it is the DAY of Alarm. Who will hear and turn? The Trumpet is beginning to sound where even the careless are starting to feel the distant rumblings. The Word that is to be heard is one of assembling ourselves, not in the old form of meetings and programs but in the sense of the fear of the Lord with the intent of entering into the stronghold of our God. God’s people are to hear and respond to the Word going forth. The disillusionment of the past, the weariness of the present and the desire to ignore the things that are about to break forth are the enemies of responding to the Alarm.

“Ye that put far away the evil day…”
Amos 6:3

It is a day to gather ourselves together, to seek His Face, to shake off the slumber of a faith that has been dimmed in the obscurity of the day. It is a day to pour out our hearts unto Him who is able to kindle a new faith burning in the fire of a LOVE that will not be quenched; a love that compels the people of God to new depths of caring for one another in a fellowship of the Life and the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The dead bones of former things are indeed dead; men raising up edifices and programs to give themselves names as they sought to draw men to “their truths” while neglecting the simplicity of a Love that speaks “we are members one of another…”. It is a day to seek the welfare of our brothers and sisters; a day to reveal a love that melts the walls of division and sectarianism. It is a DAY for TRUTH to destroy false teachings, wrong concepts and immoral living; a ministration of the TRUTH that sets people free to live in the fear and the glory of our God without compromise.

In the midst of this call to assemble ourselves together there is much that would mock the thought of such a thing, but the Word of the Lord stands as a testimony to the hour in which we live and the dismal state of the Church. It is a DAY of apostasy, lukewarm and immoral living, broken families and decayed foundations. The God who brought creation and order out of a world that was formless and void can and will raise up a Church against which the gates of Hell will not stand. Why do we stand in our disbelief? Is this the Church that Jesus prayed about in John 17 where HE prays to the Father that the LOVE wherewith thou hast loved me might be in them… that the world may know…”? How can we read such things without daring to believe that HE IS ABLE!!! How do we accept this divided, segmented and fragmented present day expression as something that even dimly compares to the majestic prayer of the SON?

Faith is revealed in what we do. Faith is revealed in a people who walk, live and move in the power of the living God. It is a day to seek out and to become a part of this great assembling to our God. Truth and reality can only start in the heart of each individual. If it starts not in our hearts, in our day and in our community, rest assured others will rise to respond to the call of this day. This will be to our shame and our sorrow. Faith does not rest in what it sees; Faith rests in what it hears.

Jeremiah goes on to say…

“The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the gentiles
is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate;
and thy cities shall be laid waste, without inhabitant”

Jeremiah 4:7

These things are already set in motion. His hand will not be stayed. It is the DAY of the Lord. It is the day of sifting, the day where every man’s work will be revealed and the day of His Judgements. It is the day to turn from our ways; it is the day to depart from evil, and to turn with all of our hearts back unto Him. We have forsaken faith to walk in the wisdom of this world. We have gathered to ourselves riches and things while HIS house suffers the violence of kingdom builders. We have not considered the “ancient paths”. Rather we have forged “new” ideas and embraced the traditions of men instead of the leading of His Spirit. We have taught “our shepherds” and “our clergy” and have forgotten that unlearned fishermen and tax collectors were the vessels of choice in former days. So many sit in a pew not even aware of the precious gifts and ministries that have been entrusted to us to function in, that we might see the wealth and the wisdom of a Church that is living and pulsating in the purity and power of God.

It is a day to ASSEMBLE ourselves together unto our God. No longer meeting in the names of men, but gathering unto HIM in simplicity of FAITH, and in the intensity of a devotion that is birthed by the Love of God burning in our hearts. HE IS ABLE!

Lord, we pray that you will tear down the walls of unbelief, that you would cause us to ARISE and WALK in the call of this NEW DAY. Give us FAITH that is not affected by the things we see, but a FAITH that has fixed its eyes upon the ONE who said HE would Build this Church and that it would stand triumphant in His Power and His Love. We pray that you would so move by your Spirit that in this day we would be drawn into the LOVE of God that will unite us in a unity that will reveal the full power of your redemption for all to see. Amen

HE IS ABLE!

Brian Troxel

FOUNDATIONS OF PRAYER PART ONE

FOUNDATIONS
of
PRAYER

PART ONE

BY FAITH

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him:
for he that comes to God must believe that he is”

HEBREWS 11:6

Men who believe little pray little. The basic reality of the Christian’s prayer life is predicated BY HIS FAITH. The proof of our FAITH is revealed in our drawing nigh unto HIM. We must believe that HE IS in order to enter into that HOLY PLACE of prayer and communion with HIM. The true prayer life is one of relationship and intimacy with our GOD and FATHER. It is BY FAITH that we draw near unto HIM; it is by FAITH that the substance of the unseen relationship is realized. The recurring thought throughout the FAITH CHAPTER in the Book of Hebrews is: “BY FAITH”. So it is in the life of PRAYER by which we are to be “building up ourselves on our most holy faith, PRAYING IN THE HOLY GHOST” (Jude 1:20).

BY FAITH is the means by which all deeds are birthed and brought unto perfection. Without FAITH we have no means to draw from the “wells of salvation”. Without FAITH we have no “handle” upon which to lay claim to the precious promises of God. Without FAITH we have no ability to understand HIS WORD. Without FAITH we are left to the miserable resources of self that will always wither in the hour of greatest need. BY FAITH men DO, GROW and BECOME like their GREAT HIGH PRIEST. The deeper and more intimate our life of PRAYER becomes, the more there is a growing realization that we are no longer praying just for our selves. Rather we are becoming participants of HIS HEART for HIS PURPOSES in the lives of others. For that is the HEART OF OUR GREAT HIGH PRIEST…

“I pray for them”
JOHN 17:9

Let us get a glimpse of THIS HEART that ever beats and is ever working and praying on our behalf that we might become pure and holy expressions of the SON. “Faith without works is dead” and nowhere is this truth more evident than in the life of HOLY, POWERFUL and FERVENT PRAYER.

Religious men may pray, they may mouth and speak great words that sound right and good but, as Jesus commented, the Pharisee “prayed thus with himself”. His prayer had no HOLY WITNESS but was borne of self, concerned with self and prayed unto self. This prayer never left the man.

But we, By FAITH, have access to the HOLY ALTAR of INCENSE that burns with the FIRE (singular) of HIS LOVE and DESIRE. On this ALTAR the Incense of God is added to the prayers of HIS SAINTS that they may ascend as sweet fragrant offerings unto HIM who alone is worthy!

“I will therefore that men pray every where,
lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”

I TIMOTHY 2:8

Brian Troxel