The Great Call – Part Four

The Great Call

Part Four

“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9

Jesus continues in John 15 by presenting the disciples with the way for them to enter the Great Call and to remain in His empowering love and grace.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love”
John 15:10

There can be no misinterpretation of the enormity of His call. Discipleship is not a comfortable teaching. It is not a popular invitation, nor an aspiration for those who seek a life of ease and respectability. It is a call of full surrender to the Will and purposes of God, a life of subservience to His Ways. A true disciple obeys His commandments to abide in the power of His Love. Love is the only motive able to transform a selfish, egotistical, and lost soul through the workings of the Cross. In dying to self, we discover the pure wonder of a Love so encompassing, so vast and so freeing that the cost is considered nothing in comparison to the “weight of glory” we will know.

“And he that taketh not his cross,
and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”
Matthew 10:38

There is something radical, even unnerving in His Call. Accepting the offer of Christ is not a trendy and popular decision. It is a Call to selfless living and selfless giving. Obedience is not optional to the disciple. But the Love we hold, or more correctly which holds us to His Way, culminates in pure joy. The context of John 15 leaves little doubt as to His Call or His purpose. Let us see through the eyes of the Spirit the power of all Jesus is implying.

John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

John 15:10 “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

In verse 9 Jesus presents to us the all-encompassing love of God; a Love of heavenly origin. It is a Love that knows our condition, that feels the agony and the lostness of humanity. It was a Love that sent Jesus into this world to walk as a man, to feel the oppression of mankind’s sorrow, to experience the corrupt and self-serving religious and political systems of the day. He spoke the truths of love in the parables of everyday life. The common man, the addicted, the afflicted, and the wounded were His focus. He exposed the religious elite who walked in the pride and arrogancy of hypocrisy. The Parable of the Good Samaritan revealed the beauty of a selfless life, caring for others more than ourselves. He called out to the poor and the needy to come and find the solace of heaven. He took notice of the offerings of the poor widow and saw the value of her mite; He was unimpressed with the rich who flaunted their offering. He was God in the flesh. His compassion, His uncompromising and unflinching walk was a source of anger and hate for the religious but a source of inspiration for the common man. He was the breath of heaven clothed in human form. He was and is the image of God’s purpose for all humanity.

Mat 20:25 “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.”

Mat 20:26 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,”

Mat 20:27 “and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,”

Mat 20:28 “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The nature of man apart from Christ is one of self-seeking, self-pleasing, and self-gratification. This focus on ourselves is the source of our own misery. Ask the addicted, the abused, and consider the countless stories of human sorrow which we have all known. It is to this crisis of human nature that the Cross is presented. In its deep work, we find rest, freedom, and the Divine enablement to love as He loved. We are free to forgive injustices and the tyranny of the human condition; to offer to all who would hear the wonder of freedom found in the Love of God!

Feel the depth of the Great Call of God in Christ:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29

The Call goes forth to all who would hear and respond. The “yoke” of Christ is His invitation to enter a rest for our weary souls. The “yoke” of Christ is His Cross whereby we are freed from the poison of self to know His Joy in our hearts. This life of joy cannot be known by sitting in a pew, believing in a teaching, or adherence to a doctrine. It can only be known through the intimacy of a relationship, walking in the yoke of His grace and love.

Jesus spoke of His true intention for us being captured by His Love to a growing obedience:

“…that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full”
John 15:11

See: The Great Call
See: The Great Call – Part Two
See: The Great Call – Part Three

Brian Troxel

Being of Him

Being of Him

“I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.”
– Charles Spurgeon

“And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.”
John 17:11

One cannot be of this world and know the unity of His Spirit. To “be of the world” is to be at variance with His people, His nature, and His Life. To prefer our brother or sister over ourselves, to feel the call to union with Him is to seek that in His people. The unity of Him is simply the resplendent nature of Him drawing us to one another, this drawing is the joy and fruit of those who live in His Spirit.

“For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.”
Luke 6:32-33

Love of the Truth
is the Nature Of God in Man
The Love Of the Truth
Causes us to Love IN Truth

See: Holy Love

BT

The Eloquence of Love

The Eloquence of Love

“When the heart is right,
the tongue will be eloquent for God”
Joseph Parker

Throughout the Song of songs, there is a recurring theme that winds its way like a golden thread amidst the colours of its rich tapestry; “My Beloved”. There is something hidden in the Divine Love of God that stirs the hearts of those who have touched His substance. This wonder sets the heart aflame with a reciprocating response. Love begets love; it is by its very nature intense and purifying. Love can never rest in itself for its yearnings to know more deeply the One by whom it has been captivated produces quest and pursuit. It is a power that necessitates an outreach into the world around it. The power which compelled The Father in sending the Son would create within His Own that same desire to reach out to proclaim the Love of God in Christ.

We see in the scriptures that common uneducated fishermen were transformed by this same love into the eloquence of the Holy Spirit. The untutored, the common man and the outcasts of society would speak with wisdom and would frame such words of grace that men would be moved under their power. May we be moved by the same love to be expressions of the Most High God.

The Love of God
“Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky”
Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai

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The love of God loosens the tongue and frees the heart. His presence graces the lips of men and women with praise and fills their lives with joy.

“…in thy presence is fulness of joy”
Psalm 16:11

Brian Troxel

Established in Love

Established in Love

Established in the Love of God

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.”
Ephesians 3:17-19

Love is the foundation from which we are able to comprehend the vastness of God. Without this foundation, we are left with words, concepts, and a small view of all that God is. As we open ourselves up to the word of God, He will highlight things to us, and we see something we can build our life upon. Here Paul is writing to the Thessalonians. (Recognize that whereas James, John, Jude, and Peter are writing to the whole church, Paul’s is a more specific apostolic ministry). He writes to the church in different locations and even personal letters to address and strengthen and encourage them in those areas where they have a particular need. He is laying foundations whereas the others are calling God’s people to build on those foundations. Allow these words in the Epistle to the Thessalonians to enter your heart:

“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Love is the most stabilizing grace in God. As we grow in the love of God we grow in His stability because love is the character and foundation of His relationship with you and me. All His working and doing in us is because He loves us. Whom the Lord loves He chastens. Whom the Lord loves He blesses. Whom the Lord loves He fashions and strengthens and encourages that we might strengthen and establish others. The Greek word used here, “that He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness” is the same one that Jesus used when He spoke to Peter, “When you are converted, strengthen your brothers.” As you grow in your establishment and as we allow Him to convert us from our selfish ways, God allows you to strengthen others through the same love that has established you. Even in the biggest mistakes you make, you keep discovering this unfathomable love of God and you wonder… why does He stay with me? Because He is your foundation.

As you grow in God, He develops patience in you for others, because the love wherewith He has loved you is now being formed in you to love others to the end that they may be established. He is telling Peter, when you are converted, strengthen others; the depth of your conversion is revealed in the divine enablement for you to strengthen others. Knowing Him who is love enables us to love others with the same love wherewith He has loved us.

In Thessalonians, Paul addresses the day of God’s return. The man of sin is going to arise, there will be shakings and desolation, false prophets, etc. As you read this book there is a “flavor” all the way through of the Love of God. There were false epistles being written to them saying that the resurrection had already happened, and they had missed it. Paul is calming them down in the Spirit, asking them to remember the former things that had been ministered to them. “Don’t you remember when we were with you, and we told you the things that were going to characterize the day of the Lord?” (1 Thessalonians 3:4) He is settling them. God wants to produce in us that ability to settle, to strengthen, to confirm, to correct, and to reprove each other; that we may be established in the power and the wisdom and the glory of God.

BT

My Beloved

My Beloved

“My beloved is to me a cluster of henna blossoms
from the vineyards of En Gedi.”
Song of songs 1:14

THE SECRET PLACE OF COMMUNION

Our time of communion with Him brings intimacy; a knowing, touching, and seeing fresh revelations of Him. Our understanding of Him grows more personal as He draws near.

“My beloved is to me…”

Throughout the Old and New Testaments, one pervading beat resonates within the hearts of His Own: “My Beloved, My Shepherd, My God”. While many may know Him on a basic level, there are always some who know Him in a deeper way. This knowing transcends teachings and concepts. It is knowledge born of personal relationship. Those who speak of this ONE no longer speak within the confines of information and intellect. They speak of wonder, burdens, waves of affection, and gentle repose. The clouds of reason cannot dissuade, arguments and debates of the religious cannot disturb; it is the knowledge of His presence. Those who have touched this wonder can no longer tarry in the realm of man’s surmising and wisdom, of carnal thoughts and esoteric reasonings. The wonder and beauty of Christ eclipses all other things and makes them dull and withering by comparison.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another…”
1 John 1:7

In the sharing of who He is we experience that deep and personal fellowship with one another. There is an exhilaration in life that increases the depths of love and devotion for Him. This brings change, conviction, and awe to all involved.

“…in his temple doth every one
speak of his glory”
Psalm 29:9

Those who live and abide in Him can speak of nothing else. There is a communication of love, a release of His grace, within the atmosphere of those who meet in His Name (His Nature, His Spirit). They cannot find rest in the mundane and trivial words of men.

“To see thy power and thy glory,
so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary”
Psalm 63:12

True ministry arises effortlessly from those who behold Him in the sanctuary of their own hearts.

“My beloved is to me…”

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Four-Fold Revelation

The Four-Fold Revelation
of
Christ in You

“And I looked, and behold, a windstorm came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire flashing itself, and a brightness to it all around. And out of its midst, like the color of polished bronze, it came, out of the midst of the fire. Also from its midst came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was how they looked: they had the likeness of a man, and four faces were to each, and four wings to each of them, and their feet were straight feet and the sole of their feet like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like the color of burnished bronze.  And the hands of a man extended from under their wings on their four sides. And their faces and their wings were to the four of them,  joining each one to the other by their wings. They did not turn in their going, each one went toward the front of their face.  And the likeness of their faces: the face of a man, and the face of a lion, on the right side to the four of them; and the face of an ox on the left to the four of them, and the face of an eagle to the four of them. So their faces were. And their wings were spread upward, to each, the two wings were joined, and two wings of each covering their bodies.  And each went toward the front of their faces. To where the spirit was to go, there they went; they did not turn in their going.  And the likeness of the living creatures: they appeared like coals of burning fire, like the appearance of torches; it was continually circling among the living creatures. And the fire was bright, and out of the fire went forth lightning.  And the living creatures kept running and returning, like the appearance of a flash of lightning
Ezekiel 1:4-14

Brian Troxel

The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Matthew 11:19

The contrast between the narrow perceptions of the religious and the wideness of the love of Christ is evident within this singular verse. The perfect and Holy One extending Himself to the common and flawed sea of humanity, being fully able to mingle with what some considered beneath the reach of their conceptions of God. “A friend of sinners” was the allegations they hurled at Him with the acrimony of disdain and utter contempt.

It is here we must pause and reflect upon our own interactions with the world and the same lost sea of humanity that is in the face of everyone we meet. Do we harbor fear, disdain, or a desire to remain uninvolved in the world around us? Are we like the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan able to pass by the broken without the slightest inclination to get involved in the real issues of others’ lives? Jesus ended His statement to them by declaring that the true wisdom of God is revealed in the works (deeds) of those who live in Him.

Deeds are the revelation of God’s wisdom abiding within His Own. It is the stage from which those who walk in the fear and the Love of God become involved in the lives of others. The religious on the other hand will speak great things, declare and discuss doctrinal issues of the Day yet remain isolated.  The wise like Jesus reveal their truth in the works of Christ through them and are able to love without compromise. Kindness is the love of God expressed without fear or compromise.

Is His “wisdom justified by her deeds”
in our life?

“My little children, let us not love in word,
or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

_____________

“Whoever wishes to meet Jesus must meet him in places where brothers and sisters of Jesus are hungry, thirsty, naked, unwanted, sick, or in prison. Whoever keeps himself distant from these places remains distant from Jesus”
– Richard Wurmbrand

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Heart of a Father

PODCAST – The Heart of a Father

The Heart of a Father

“For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.”
(1 Cor. 4:15)

Listen to and download our other Audio Messages

Geoffrey T. Bull

Geoffrey T. Bull

Geoffrey T. Bull

“Even Christ pleased not Himself. He was utterly consumed in the zeal of His Father’s house. As man He ever moved for God. As God He ever moved for man
– Geoffrey T. Bull

In the development of Christ within us, we too shall be moved for the welfare of “Our” Father’s House with the same zeal and the same love to see her radiate His Glory and to reveal His Unity among the true saints of God. The life of Him within will ever move us for His purposes and will in so doing by His Spirit we too will know the moving of God for man.

“As He is
so are WE in this world”
1 John 4:17

See The Full Knowledge

Geoffrey T. Bull
Missionary to Tibet and Prisoner Of Communist China (1950-1953)
In which he suffered greatly and triumphed in Jesus Christ.

Brian Troxel

The Higher Life

The Higher Life

The Higher Life

Mat 5:44 “but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you,”

Mat 5:45 “so that you may become sons of your Father in Heaven. Because He causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust.”

Mat 5:46 “For if you love those loving you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?”

Mat 5:47 “And if you only greet your brothers, what exceptional thing do you do? Do not the tax-collectors do so?”

Mat 5:48 “Therefore, you be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.”

The higher life is a lowly life. This call to truth, to the actual living out of His life in us is impossible in our own self; the true godly life is self-less. His Life is required in order to live His Life! There are no substitutes, teachings or strategies which will avail us of this wondrous reality.

This phrase struck me this morning: “Love your enemies”. We all have those who marginalize, disrespect, and even plainly hate us. God is gracious to provide us with real-life opportunities to become sons of His by discovering His nature within; to love in word and in deed those who mistreat us. While many look for signs, wonders and overt acts of God, the greatest display of God’s power is found in loving those who mistreat us.

“Love your enemies” is the resplendent Call of God. In the doing of such love, we fulfill the purpose of the Call of God in Christ: “Therefore, you be perfect even as your Father in Heaven is perfect”. Perfection in Christ can only be realized by our doing the love we have been called to. The love of which God speaks is revealed in the deeds it produces. It is beyond words.

“My little children, let us not love in word,
neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth
1 John 3:18

John follows this remarkable truth with another:

“And hereby we know
that we are of the truth…”
1 John 3:19

Love is the evidence of truth. Our standing in the truth of Christ must be assessed by the Word of God and not by our own carnal estimations. The divisions and secular composition of the Body of Christ, the lack of His Truth in our midst, belies our true condition.

“For if you love those loving you,
what reward do you have?”
Matthew 5:46

Our attitude toward others is the revelation of the depth our abiding in Him.

Brian Troxel