PODCAST – Relationship

Relationship

Relationship with Christ is the spring from which His Life flows. This flow of Life is the essential element of ministry.

The Womb of Ministry

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in 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.”
(1 John 4:16-17)

 

 

The Secret Power

The Secret Power

The Power of Indebtedness

“I am a debtor both to Greeks and to foreigners, both to wise, and to foolish, so as far as lies in me, I am eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome also”
Romans 1:14-15

The secret of the power of Christ at work within the human heart lies in grasping our total indebtedness unto Him. The same God that saw the need to send His only begotten Son to the earth, desires that we in turn see the necessity to preach the Gospel of God to all who would hear. Notice the secret of Paul: “so far as lies in me”! The power of Christ is pressing and empowering us to make known the wonder of this salvation; expending ourselves in order to make the living Christ known. The power of the Gospel lies not in words but in the unction and the impression of His heart.

The Kingdom of God is not in word. It is not in the multitude of the words we speak amongst ourselves. It is in the dynamic of His Love launching us into “fields” ripe unto harvest. Only by the Love of God have men and women through the ages spent themselves for the sheer honour of declaring Him wherever they were sent.

The preaching of the Gospel has more to do with the power that lies within an individual than in the knowledge of words and religious phrases. Love is the power of the Gospel – it is the Gospel!

“For God so loved the world,
that He gave His only begotten Son”
John 3:16

That same Love burning within our hearts is the epicenter from which we reach the world. Without the breath of the Love of God, the New Covenant becomes nothing more than something to discuss and dissect with others of like disposition. It is a thing rather than a life; a mere idea which produces no wonder of empowerment, no horizons to pursue and no sense of the overwhelming purposes of God in Christ. The result is dimness of soul and a life bereft of participation in the declaration of Christ.

What is the power which is at work within us?

This does not put in question the power of the Almighty God. It does ask if we have allowed Him to empower us within.

“Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power”
Ephesians 3:7

The evidence of the gift of Grace within His own is men and women who are able ministers of Christ. Grace received produces an effectual ministry of grace to others. A genuine receiving of grace leaves us with a deep sense of our unworthiness and an awareness of a Love beyond comprehension. Love by its very nature is sacrificial and selfless. As we grow into the heart and mind of Him, we cannot remain untouched by the human condition within and without the family of believers. There is an abandonment to the will and passion of Christ to make known the Salvation He has provided to all.

Paul was “Made a minister, according to the gift of the grace”. Grace received cannot be held in fireless hearts.

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me
1 Corinthians 15:10

The evidence of grace received
is the labour of the spirit within a life,
just as the evidence of conception
is the labour it ultimately produces.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord,
beseech you that ye walk worthy
of the vocation wherewith ye are called”
Ephesians 4:1

Brian Troxel

Christ Himself

Give me Jesus

Christ alone is the answer.

No program, no strategy and no power apart from His can make me right with God.

“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2

Only by the Crucified Christ can I know and possess the Love of the Father.

“Christ IN you the hope of Glory”

Brian Troxel

 

The Basis of our Salvation

Nothing but the Blood

“…when I see the blood,
I will pass over you”
Exodus 12:13

A great misconception in much of the Gospel today is that the forgiveness of our sins is based upon compassion rather than the sacrifice of our Savior. His justice demanded that our sins be paid for. God’s love dictated that His Only Begotten Son offer Himself upon the Cross to pay the penalty for our rebellion, sin and shame. If we fail in understanding the nature of our God, we will fail to understand the nature and wonder of our salvation. This failure leads to lukewarm living and carelessness in the hearts of many.

“For God so loved the world
that He gave His Only Begotten Son…”

It was because of Love that God sent His Son to die in our stead. Forgiveness was based on the Blood of Jesus, not on the sentimentality of love. The Love of God never violates His righteousness. His Love is pure and holy and those who dwell in Love, walk in righteousness. It is humanistic reasoning that presents a salvation based upon anything less than the Sacrifice of Christ on our behalf. This infusion of humanism into the mixture of the Truth of God robs us of the conviction of sin; of the horror that it actually is. We get the idea that God simply “winks” at our sin because He is Love. It is because of this deadly supposition that many in Christ live at ease with sin and are robbed of touching the power and glory of God in their lives.

Whenever sin is regarded lightly, the knowledge of God is superficial. God hides Himself from such. It is in His Holy Presence that the true nature of sin becomes known and our repentance is real.

The Holy Love of God
required Sacrifice to procure our Forgiveness.

As we begin to know in truth that our salvation is only because of His Sacrifice we are able to respond to Him sacrificially. Anything less desensitizes us to the incredible cost of our redemption and produces lukewarm hearts, tepid prayers and impotent living.

“But to whom little is forgiven,
the same loves little.”
Luke 7:47

When we estimate our salvation based on a sentiment rather than the sacrifice of God’s Son, the corresponding heart response is artificial, lacking the fire and intensity of all that He is worthy of.

“It is shallow nonsense to say that God forgives us because He is love. Once we have been convicted of sin, we will never say this again. The love of God means Calvary— nothing less! The love of God is spelled out on the Cross and nowhere else. The only basis for which God can forgive me is the Cross of Christ. It is there that His conscience is satisfied”.
Oswald Chambers

Σ

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
By Robert Lowry

Brian Troxel

The Privilege of Knowing Him

To Know the Love of Christ

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God”
Ephesians 3:19

“And to know the love of Christ – The love of Christ toward us; the immensity of redeeming love. It is not merely the love which he showed for the Gentiles in calling them into his kingdom, which is here referred to; it is the love which is shown for the lost world in giving himself to die. This love is often referred to in the New Testament, and is declared to surpass all other which has ever been evinced; see the Rom 5:7-8. To know this; to feel this; to have a lively sense of it, is one of the highest privileges of the Christian. Nothing will so much excite gratitude in our hearts; nothing will prompt us so much to a life of self-denial; nothing will make us so benevolent and so dead to the world.”
– Albert Barnes

Love is the well from which the power and passion of Christ springs and through which His purposes and works flow from our lives into the world around us. Devoid of this love we feel no impulse to preach, teach and reach out into the lives of others. Where there is no impetus to make known the unsearchable riches of Christ there is something lacking. The remedy is simple and glorious.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life”
Jude 20-21

We do God a great disservice when we try to do in our own strength that which only a “faith empowered by love” (Galatians 5:6) can accomplish. If the fire inside fades, spend time with Him “praying in the Holy Spirit”;  only His fire can fulfill His desires. When the flames burn low and the internal inspiration fades turn again to the One in whom ALL glory and mercy resides.

“Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and He strengthened me…”
Daniel 10:18

Brian Troxel

Deep Calls Out to Deep

I Am Come for Thy Words

“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words
Daniel 10:8

There are depths in God which can only be touched through the bonds of relationship. This cry of the inner heart to know the One in whom are “hid All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” is a constant of those who have touched His purity and power. As Paul breathed out in his letter to the Philippians: “That I might know Him…” The seeing of Him leaves us speechless and steals the affection for all other things from our hearts. The hearing of Him rejoices the heart and makes our flesh tremble. No wonder the Bride in the Song of Songs cries out with fulness of heart,

“I sought him whom my soul loveth”
Song of Songs 6:3

This is no casual relationship; not some acquaintance we hold in high regard. This is the eternal Love of God indwelling the human heart. It is a contradiction beyond comprehension: The All-Knowing One, the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity choosing to offer through the mystery of Redemption access, and what’s more, relationship; relationship of the same substance and depth that exists between the Son and the Father! There are no words to convey such things.

“That they all may be one;
as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee,
that they also may be one in us…”
John 17:21

The heart that truly seeks this depth in Him will also seek such depths with His people. The evidence of His faith, His heart and His Life within is revealed by the longings for these things. Faith causes us to apprehend this truth, love necessitates it and hope sustains our pursuit of it. We seek Him because He first sought us. We love Him, because He first loved us. The seeking of Him, the pursuit of Him and the longing for the depths of His Being is the result of Him living in us.

“Deep calleth unto deep…”

This is the pure language of relationship. It is the cry for ever-deepening bonds as One heart reaches out to another. It is a language without words. It cannot be articulated, expounded upon or taught. The reality is that it can only be entered into upon the grounds of His sacrifice and grace. Love by its very nature draws that which it loves to itself. Its disposition is to share, express and replicate itself in all who are near. Seeking is simply the response to this eternal call. Obedience is the result for love ever seeks to please that which it loves. To serve Him is the greatest joy in life.

It is no wonder that Daniel set His heart to understand and to the “chastening” of himself. To such a heart come the words of grace “wherefore I am come for thy words”! To hear such things from God and to know His favor is the sum and purpose of life. It is the great prize for which Paul had set his mark. (Philippians 3:14).

Blessed are those who seek Him with one pure motive: to know Him. Let us set our hearts to have that singular desire.

“Seek ye me, and ye shall live”
Amos 5:4

Brian Troxel

The True Temple

The True Temple

“He who overcomes,
I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God…”
Revelation 3:12

In our day many consider church as somewhere one goes rather than something we are. God’s Church is made up of living stones; purified, united and joined in the harmony of His Spirit. Unity in Spirit is the reality of all who walk in His Spirit. Division and sectarianism are the revelation of the stain of flesh and the ambitions of men.

Those who overcome the spirit of this world become pillars in that heavenly temple. How we walk here, overcoming worldly affinities, determines heavenly realities.

Our Oneness in His Body here reveals the truth of our Oneness in Him. “As He is, so are we in this world”. Whatever is true in spirit must be evident in our walk here. Division and heresy, rivalry, envy and strife, are the works of the flesh. Those who walk in such forfeit heavenly rewards.

He who overcomes,
I will make him a pillar
in the temple of my God…”
Revelation 3:12

Overcoming here is a prerequisite to the reward there. Let no one deceive you in thinking otherwise. Paul in his stinging reproof to the Church at Corinth cried out in the power of the Spirit of God:

“Is Christ divided?”
1 Corinthians 1:13

Those who dwell in the Love of God, love what He loves. Those who walk in the love of the world, love those who love them. We are called by the very love of Christ to “preserve the unity of the Spirit”. Only those who walk in the Spirit know of this “unity”. It is a unity not of this world, nor is it confined to a sect or a select few; it is the world-wide truth of all who walk, live and abide in Him. Paul wrote to Timothy to instruct us in how we are to walk and behave in the household of God, not in some sect or denomination.

“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth”
1 Timothy 3:14-15 (ESV)

To be free from the contamination of pride is to know the depth and power of the fellowship of the Light and Glory of Christ with one another. They who separate themselves cannot know God nor the substance of His Love.

He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

____________________________

“Beloved, if God so loved us,
we ought also to love one another”
1 John 4:11

Brian Troxel

The Power of The Gospel

The Power of the Gospel

“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life”
John 3:16

The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lies not in the words and the doctrine of it; its true power lies in the Love of it. The Love of God IS the Gospel; more than a message, a doctrine or a teaching, the Gospel is in itself the expression of God’s love to His fallen creation. It is the WHY which caused God to send “His only begotten Son”. Until those who declare it comprehend its true power, it will remain an impoverished message. It must be expressed from the lives of those who bear in their hearts the passion of God’s WHY!

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power…”
1 Corinthians 4:20

What is this power? What is the flame which enabled men and women of old to turn the world upside down? What is the glory of God which fills the heavens with awe, worship and exaltation? It is the God of Holiness and His undimmed fiery Love. A Love so incomprehensible that Paul had to pray for the Church at Ephesus to be “strengthened with might” in order for them to be able to comprehend the “breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the Love of God.

A loveless gospel is a powerless Gospel. The Church is not perishing for lack of knowledge; she is languishing from the loss of the dynamic of His love (Revelation 2:4-5). Love is the furnace, the fire and the very essence of God Himself. In the midst of all of our correct doctrine God’s decree stands as the Divine witness against our true state:

“He that loveth not
knoweth not…
for God is Love”
1 John 4:8

Those who hold within their hearts even the faintest quintessence of this Love cannot remain untouched in heart. They cannot sit in faithless inactivity or take comfort in a knowledge bereft of the Divine heartbeat. Many would rather discuss the correctness of the words rather than feel the burning power of the God of the message. The world will remain untouched by those who share from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge rather than the power of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus. The Gospel is not a WHAT, it is a WHO.

The cry of God is summed up simply:

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

It is impossible to hold the love of God within your heart and not feel the anguish, the urge and the pulse of the Almighty to express His Light and Life into this world.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

Δ

“There is too much theology in the Church now,
and too little of the Gospel”
Lewis Tappan

Brian Troxel

 

 

Love and the Man of sorrows

Love and The Man of Sorrows

“He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…”
Isaiah 53:3

Those who would know the Love of God, must know grief and sorrow. Love makes a life vulnerable and keeps it vulnerable. Love, even in its wounding, grows stronger. Adversity, betrayal, rejection and even hatred cannot dissuade the pure Love of God from giving of itself. It is undefeatable. The more men hate, the purer Love’s motives become. It shines in the darkness because God is the source of its power and its glory. It speaks the language of tears and washes itself from the mire of bitterness in the incomprehensible streams of His grace. It can never be sullied for long.

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned”
Song of songs 8:11

Love is helpless, yet needs no defence.
Love suffers rejection, yet ever reaches out.
Love walks in sorrow, yet lives in joy.
Love speaks truth, though seldom recognized.
Love is a fire ever burning, yet is always at rest.
Love is unconquerable, yet conquers all.

Σ

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

Brian Troxel

He Will Rest in His Love – Part Two

He Will Rest in His Love

“He will rest in his love”
Zephaniah 3:17

We see and feel the unrest and turmoil in the world today as men seek to rule by the lust for power and the desire for pre-eminence. The sense of the growing disrespect for one another, the clamour of voices and mounting hatred eroding the last bit of civility left is the precursor of the things to come. The voices for calm and deference are being drowned out in the escalating animosity against all that is good and descent. The pride and arrogance of men and the vanity of the nations all seek to conspire against God and His Anointed. The conferences, peace treaties and all of the political scheming of our day will avail them nothing.

“Why do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed…”
Psalm 2:1-2, Acts 4:25-26

In the Book of Revelation, we read the fulfillment of this Psalmic prophecy.

“And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb…”
Revelation 17:12-14

God’s response to these things?

“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:
the Lord shall have them in derision”
Psalm 2:4

The Great I AM, sits enthroned in glory, majesty and power. The hand-breadth of the universe is merely the created marvel of the One who set man within its vast domain. He who rules all things and is the matrix of all things remains reposed within the power of the greatest of all powers… Love. Love cannot be conquered and it cannot be denied. It forbears the evil, wrath and blind rage of those who spend themselves beating upon its tender breast. It will outlast them all. Let the heathen rage, let men conjure up evil beyond imagination. The Eternal One will triumph in the end. The Cross of Christ still stands to declare its edict against the malice of wicked men and spiritual principalities in high places. It stands triumphant against their seeming victory and the Lamb’s resurrection exposes their weakness and their shame.

Even now in many places His own are hunted out, trampled and murdered for simply loving Him who is Love. These enemies mock and once again declare their seeming victory over the weak and helpless lambs of God. We can hear the taunts and the blasphemous cries of victory and feel the hatred of a world gone mad. Yet God will have His way. It is as we see and touch the eternal purposes of God that we too can rejoice; by the living faith of Christ we feel the certainty of His victory and the triumph of Good over evil. The eternal things of God remain unmoved. His promises are sure and the judgement of the wicked is as certain as the very resurrection of Christ.

God is at Rest in His Love

God is at rest in His Love. His throne is immovable and so are those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

Take comfort oh tossed ones; stay true in fervent love, hold fast to Him and His promises for the storm will pass and the expanse of His Kingdom will be seen. His Banner of Love will wave freely over all who remain true.

“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land; The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell, Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away
Song of songs 2:11-13

“His banner over me was love”
Song of songs 2:4

Brian Troxel