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Archive for the ‘Faith and Works’ Category

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
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Who is Wise?

“Therefore whosoever hears these sayings of mine,
and does them, I will liken him unto a wise man…”
Matthew 7:24

The scriptures are full of God’s thoughts and His determinations. Those who set their hearts to please and honor Him will have little difficulty discovering these things. It is a simple concept for us to consider; hear His Word and obey it. While many love to discuss revelations, dreams and visions the simplicity of doing His Word will make one wise and pleasing to God. As one man observed, the disobedient scholar has to muddy the water in order to make it appear deep. In reality the wonder of obeying Him brings us to clear waters, pure hearts and a faith built upon the very Rock of our Salvation.

There is no better teacher than obedience for it opens the heart to feel God within. It cleanses the eyes that we may see clearly and it causes our ears to become sensitive to the intonations of His voice. Obedience will always clarify our walk. In obeying we soon discover whether a thing is of God or of ourselves. Those who never obey His voice within are left with obscurity in the things of life. They have never acted on the still small voice within and therefore the ambiguity of His way is never solved. With the passing of time the voice becomes reticent and men and women are left to their own thoughts and ways.

Child-like faith will always reveal the Father. It is to such He comes to show them the wonders of His Son and of His Kingdom.

“But whoever does what is true comes to the light,
so that it may become evident
that his actions have God’s approval”
John 3:21

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“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

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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A Call to Prepare

More Given – More Required

“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will,
and prepared not himself,
neither did according to his will,
shall be beaten with many stripes”
LUKE 12:46

A Word to those who feel secure in being part of the remnant. The remnant are they who prepare themselves for the DAY that is upon us. The remnant are they whose obedience is full; for Obedience is the revelation of our submission to Him! God is not interested in what we know or think we know; HE covers those who hide themselves in HIM.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
2 Corinthians 5:17

The depth of our being in Him is correspondingly expressed by the new life which is exhibited in our daily living*. This is a word to God’s people. This is a word concerning today. Somehow we have to come to think that being born again is like a “get out of jail free” card; we no longer have responsibility or accountability for how we live our daily lives. The context of this scripture is one that should cause us to radically consider our ways and our concept of what it means to be His own.

But and if that servant say in his heart, my lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; the lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more” LUKE 12:45-48

From these very words we can clearly see that HE REQUIRES MORE of His people than of the world. The more we know of HIS Kingdom the more shall be required of us. Greater understanding brings greater accountability. Rather than being puffed up with knowledge we need to be sober and filled with fear and trembling as we walk before Him. The “fear of the Lord is the beginning (chief part) of wisdom”. Men who do not fear Him do not know Him. Men who seek and desire preeminent places of standing, who seek recognition and favor from others, know not God. It is a day to walk lowly and humbly before our God. It is a day to prepare ourselves for the fury of that which is about to break forth in our land.

The Greek word used here for prepare** is the same Greek word translated in the Gospels when speaking of John the Baptist’s ministration as a fore runner to prepare the way of the Lord. It is a warning to us that we are to be prepared. In the Greek it is an active verb which means it is incumbent upon us to be ACTIVE in the fulfilling of this word. The judgment comes to those who do not PREPARE themselves and they who know and do not are in greater judgment than those who knew not. Let us take heed to this. Let us know that our boldness in the day of Judgment is determined by our likeness to Him.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness
in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world
1JOHN 4:17

How we are in this world determines our day of Judgment. The Day of preparation is all about the heart. It is about right motives and intentions; for it is the PURE IN HEART who shall SEE GOD. Our greatest need in this hour is to SEE HIM for that is the only hope we have of becoming like HIM (2 Corinthians 3:18). Malachi prophesying of our day speaks of Him coming to His people as a refiner’s fire…

“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire,
and like fullers ‘soap: And he shall sit
as a refiner and purifier of silver…”
MALACHI 3:2-3

The DAY of HIS appearing is unfolding before our eyes. The distress of nations is upon us. Fear is beginning to grip men’s hearts. The very foundations of society are being removed and men do not know where to put their trust. It is for this Day that the scriptures warn us to be a people who ARE preparing ourselves and are warning those around us as to the day and the hour in which we are living. It is not the Day for business as usual. This is no time for routine Sunday sermons and fire-less prayer meetings; casual Biblical discussions that do not bring conviction, the fear of the Lord and a stirring of the heart unto love and devotion to Jesus.

Many will say in that day “Lord, Lord…” to which Jesus will respond “I never knew you…”

May God stir our hearts afresh to be vigilant and sober that we be not overtaken by the slumber and apathy of this hour.

“Prepare ye the Way of the Lord”

“The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it”
ISAIAH 40:3-4

*NOTE:
It is in view of these truths that I am sending this out to anyone anywhere who desires to meet together, seek His face and cry out unto Him for change, purity of heart and to be found completely HID in Him.  Many are seeing the apathy all around us but somewhere we MUST come to a new abiding place in Him. A knowing of a fresh new faith which brings His resources to us in order that we may live beyond our own abilities. There is a call going forth to gather ourselves unto Him even as Anna and Simeon who spent their days in prayer for they KNEW HE was coming; and they saw HIM!

God’s Word to me the other day…

“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord”
Genesis 6:8

This was Noah’s portion BEFORE the Flood.

Come together, make everyone come together, O nation without shame; Before the Lord sends you violently away in flight like the waste from the grain; before the burning wrath of the Lord comes on you, before the day of the Lord’s wrath comes on you. Make search for the Lord, all you quiet ones of the earth, who have done what is right in his eyes; make search for righteousness and a quiet heart: it may be that you will be safely covered in the day of the Lord’s wrath”
Zephaniah 2:1-3 (BBE)

**NOTE: ἑτοιμάζω
1. To make ready, prepare
2. To make the necessary preparations,
get everything ready
3 Metaphorically drawn from the oriental custom of sending on before Kings on their journeys persons to level the roads and make them passable (Isaiah 40:3-4)
To prepare the minds of men to give the Messiah a fit reception and secure his blessings.
BLB Greek Lexicon

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Faithful and Wise Servant

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:45-46

Faithfulness is a commendable virtue of God’s servants; those who labor in His fields shepherding and feeding His flock regardless of personal situations and circumstances. However, Jesus by His great work within our hearts, is always enlarging the scope of His ministration through us. It is one thing to be faithful and another thing altogether to be faithful and wise. Here Jesus commends His steward for having the ability to give His people “meat in due season”. One who ministers from a wise heart knows the condition of God’s people and walks in a discerning way. This servant is not just a disseminator of information but one who, in God’s wisdom, understands what God is after in each life and ministers accordingly. The faithful and wise servant seeks not the praises of men but pursues the honor of His Lord. The very essential portion of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It is His people and therefore His salvation and His divine purposes that are to be fulfilled in each life.

Many appear to be faithful in our day within the confines of church activity and religious endeavors yet without the wonder of His wisdom at work in and through their lives such ministrations will be found lacking. This can be because of ulterior motives or an attemptt to minister from a position (job description) rather than through the ministration of His heart.

It is the faithful and wise servant who becomes endued with His authority in His house. Authority is given to those who are under His authority. Only those who are truly His servants (serving Him rather than themselves or a religious agenda) can actually walk and abide in His wisdom. The true wisdom of God is free from partiality and factious loyalties. It knows the fear of the Lord and will not be contaminated with anything that would interfere with the true ministration of His mercy or His judgments. People who function with a view to loyalty to a denomination or a particular faction or gathering of God’s people will forfeit the ability to walk in His wisdom.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy”
James 3:17

Those who stand in places of ministry in His house will reveal this union of faithfulness and wisdom in their own lives; in their families, their work and behavior in all circumstances. Paul wrote to Timothy concerning those who would walk and function from the wisdom of God:

“One that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
1 Timothy 3:4-5

Faithfulness and wisdom are attributes of an individual not just in a religious setting but in every area of life. It is to this end that we interact with Him and those around us; that we may hear Him say to us “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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I Know Your Works

“I know thy works…”
Rev. 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15

This is God’s declaration to His Church. This word is spoken to every church in the Book of Revelation and is based upon what God sees. Somehow, with the passage of time, the marriage of faith and works became separated. Through erroneous teaching they became disassociated in many Christian circles. Faith became a noun; what men believed became their “faith”. Faith became a statement rather than a life. We have come to a very low point when faith now represents our doctrinal persuasion instead of the expression of the living Christ. In Jesus’ world faith was something He saw and heard. The Gospels are full of His response to their faith.

“And, behold, they brought to him
a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed:
and Jesus seeing their faith…”
Matthew 9:2

James tells us it is impossible to have and hold true faith without the corresponding expressions of works. John tells us that Jesus’ works bore witness to who He was. Everything living in God’s creation shows forth works which correspond to the nature within. Jesus spoke to the Jews in His day, “If you were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39).

“Jesus answered them,
I told you, and ye believed not:
the works that I do in my Father’s name,
they bear witness of me”
John 10:25

Within the household of faith many profess great and wondrous things concerning our beliefs but the works and expressions of our lives reveal something far less. The purpose of God in sending His Spirit of Truth into the hearts of men and women is to make our profession harmonious with our walk. To be people of the truth means that the things we say we do. The ministration of truth into our hearts is to make us true to the end that our words and our works bear witness of Him. Peter enjoins us…

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

The enormity of the call of God to us! We are to become true, we are to be liberated from the religious lie of speaking one thing while living another. We are (by means of the living truth and through the power of the blood) to become the verity of the Life of Jesus. Jesus spoke to us concerning the works of faith…

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me,
the works that I do shall he do also;
and greater works than these shall he do;
because I go unto my Father”
John 14:12

Jesus declared that those who believed on Him would do His Works and greater. How is it the church can be so full of believers yet we see very little in terms of authentic, powerful, “greater works” which are to be the testimony of the life and faith of Jesus within our hearts?

It is here in this great contradiction of life where we are afforded the wonderful opportunity to consider our ways, to allow the truth of where we are to permeate our hearts and to pierce our very souls. The response of repentance and brokenness to Him is in itself the very beginnings of a new work of faith within our hearts. Only His Life and Nature can produce the works of the Son. “He that has the Son has Life”. Works are the revelation of the nature of any living thing. What it is determines what it does; a simple statement yet filled with eternal ramifications (1 John3:7-10) . People who are bitter are filled with bitter expressions. The works of men who are self-seeking will result in the eventual revelation of their motives. Those who profess great things without the corresponding works reveal the horror and deception of a vain religion.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man,
that faith without works is dead”
James 2:20

It is a day for us to consider our ways. It is time for us to contemplate the words of our lives in contrast to the works of our lives. Truth by its very nature must reveal that which is untrue. It is in the ministration of this that men turn and recognize the essential need of a Saviour. Men and women love the promises of God, we love to hear about our position in heavenly places and that we have been translated from death to life in Christ. We are satisfied with the hearing of these things all the while ignoring the validity of these things in our lives. This is the womb of deception. There is no greater deception than that of a religious self-induced one. People who are at ease with the hearing but devoid of the doing deceive themselves.

“But be ye doers of the word,
and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves…”
James 1:22

The verity of His Life in us is revealed in a genuine and demonstrative love for His People. The innate cry for relationship with each one is the mere echo of His heart. The lack of concern over His Body in the earth is the piercing revelation of how far we have strayed from the Truth. For the sole purpose of truth is to bring us to the Love of God beating within our hearts. We have no room to glory in revelations and the understanding of God’s Word if our works betray us.

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another
1 Thessalonians 4:9

Who are those who are taught of God? Those who love their brothers and sisters! It takes very little scrutiny of our lives to conclude how little we know Him. Love is the revelation of the measure of truth which we hold in our hearts.

Faith without Works is Dead
Religion without Love is Vain

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the Lord.
Let us lift up our heart with our hands
unto God in the heavens.
We have transgressed and have rebelled…”
Lamentations 3:40-42

God’s greatest gift to His people is the gift and wonder of repentance. The divine enablement to turn from our ways to walk and live in His. His mercy never ceases and His grace is new to us as we respond from our hearts in truth. Repentance brings us to new and wondrous places in God, it frees us from the weights of wrong thinking, wrong speaking and wrong doing. It is because of His mercies we can rise up and become in thought, word and deed expressions of a love “that surpasses knowledge”. A Love which is beyond all human ability and a love which is nothing less than the very life of Jesus living and reigning within our very hearts. Even so Lord come and find your resting place in us. Amen.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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IF and THEN

Part One

PROVERBS 2:1-5

“…IF you will receive My words, and treasure up My commandments with you, so that you attend to wisdom, you shall extend your heart to understanding”
Proverbs 2:1-2

“…IF you cry for discernment, lifting up your voice for understanding”
Proverbs 2:3

“…IF you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures”
Proverbs 2:4

THEN you shall understand the fear of Jehovah and find knowledge of God”
Proverbs 2:5

In understanding the fear of the Lord we are given access to the knowing of Him. We live in a day in which understanding is relegated to teachings and concepts but the true knowing of God must be on an experiential basis not a doctrinal one. There is a Way that we can grow into the understanding of the fear of the Lord; it is a way fraught with conditional promises. Religion does not like the word “if” for it denotes responsibility and accountability; the pathway to discipleship is full of this word. “If” in the scriptures confirms the exercising of our own will and choice. It is the determining factor of a person’s walk with God and God’s walk with them. The beauty of God is that all of His “ifs” to us culminate in His “then” to us, for He desires relationship and investment on both of our parts. God has invested His Son and we are asked to simply comply with His “ifs”. Every promise given by God is conditional. It requires faith and faith is revealed by doing. “If” implies more than an intellectual acknowledgement; it is in itself a conditional statement requiring our response.

“IF you…”

This is the phrase given to us. A quick glance at these two words brings us not only to a conditional response, but more importantly a personal one. Many wait for someone else to do a thing or pray that somehow the “then” will come to pass. The promises wait for those who fulfill the “if” which must precede the blessing of the promise.

God will never circumvent the fulfilling of the promise without the corresponding “if’s” being met in our lives on a personal basis. No amount of prayer will short circuit God’s desire for our obedience.

Religion is expecting God’s approval without walking in God’s way.

God Never Tells Man To Do Something
That Man Cannot Do

* Noah built the ark ---------------------God flooded the earth
* Moses stretched forth his hands---------God parted the waters
* Joshua marched around the walls---------God tore them down
* Elijah smote the water------------------God parted the waters
* Elisha threw the stick in the river-----God made the iron swim
* Naaman dipped 7 times-------------------God healed his leprosy
* We lay hands on the sick----------------God will heal

“IF and THEN” are the realities of His Way to the fulfillment of His Life in us.

* List Courtesy of
The Dusty Scholar

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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