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

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“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

Have This Mind Today

Have This Mind Today

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

The sheer thought of having His Mind created within us is staggering as well as sobering. God never calls us to heights unattainable. He who measures the talents (minas) to us “according to their ability” knows our frame and our weaknesses. His expectations are not established upon our strengths but are rooted in His provision. The Call of God to us is therefore within the reach of everyone. His grace is not limited by the miry clay of our human composition. It is here where we stand upon the magnitude of an accountability unto Him who has made us able to walk in heavenly places. Grace requires response. Faith is the ability to respond to His Call. The personal Call of God in Christ to each of us requires faith, a faith which is revealed in our obedience to that Call.

Faithless belief will declare its allegiance to Christ, but will fail to respond to the Call of Christ. It is here where we need to forsake the deceptive cloak which we weave for ourselves, a false comfort in something other than truth. Truth pierces our false self – it cuts into the very essence of our being in order to bring us into the wonder of selfless living.

His ministry to us is relentless, His Call is ever filled with the divine enablement to walk in deeper places, to live beyond the veil of human impotency and to reach unto the High Call of God in Christ Jesus. His corrections and His grace bid us to be His hands in this world, to be His Light which reaches into the dimness of humanity to touch the Hem of His Endless Life for themselves. This is not a time to be crowded in by the limitations of fear and isolated living. The “mind of Christ” is ever available to those who by faith hear His Call to Obey the inspiration of His Life.

“No man has the mind of Christ,
except him who makes it his business to obey him”
George MacDonald

See – The Renewing Work of 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

The spirit of Diotrephes

Have This Mind in You

Excerpt from Coming Book
“Have This Mind in You”

The spirit of Diotrephes

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

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

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

John goes on to say:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“For concerning you, my brothers, it was shown to me by those of Chloe that there are strifes among you. But I say this, that each of you says, I am of Paul, and I of Apollos, and I of Cephas, and I of Christ”. (Or in our day – Pentecostal, Baptist, Alliance plus thousands of other names or no names – the little sects that meet in closed cliques which mingle not with others nor reach out with the love of God to the world around them are all an affront to heart and mind of Christ.)
1 Corinthians 1:11-12

“Have this mind among yourselves,
which is yours in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 2:5 (ESV)

The very nature of this mind being formed in us through the ministration of His Word and our abiding in Him is the very essence of our unity. Any heart which “feels” not the call of God in Christ to this is one which is out of touch with Him. The holy bonds of His Spirit are the actual bonds of those who are His. There is a spiritual joining, a joint-communication of the life and power of the Christ which flows between those who live in Him. The Day of the  wheat and tares are being revealed in our day, they who cling to a joining which is carnal and based on something other than Christ Himself will become more evident as we see the bones of Ezekiel’s Vision comes to pass (Ezekiel 37)… The phrase “bone to His bone” is the verity of the New Wine Skin. Only those whose lives are becoming His can partake of this glorious thing. It is the power of His Life which joins us to one another and it is here where the depth of God’s wisdom will reveal the unfathomable truth of His Word… “members one of another”. This is a truth which the natural mind cannot comprehend, its power, its wonder is so Divine in its origin that only those who feel the draw and the call of God to this Holy place can be affected within the core of their being. Few there be in our Day who feel the pulse and the power of all God is preparing in this Day.

“That they all may be one; AS thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me”
John 17:21

May God re-establish the truth within us, that we are here for His Glory, we are here to fulfill HIS purposes for us and they who are growing in their relationship with Him know that we are here to please and honor Him who is worthy of all that we are. Having the “mind of Christ” formed within us necessitates a fervency to live out His nature with our brothers and sisters. A nature which speaks truth, lives truth and walks in the desire to please Him.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created
Revelation 4:11

As Christ came to Glorify the Father may we so allow our hearts to be transformed to “order our steps aright” to glorify His Glorious Name by how we live.

“…to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”
Psalm 50:23

To the heart of those who direct their steps in the Way of Christ there is a unveiling of Himself concerning the wonders and glories of His Salvation.

These truths are hid from the wise, the proud, the seekers of pre-eminence and those who are satisfied with something less than the fulness of Christ Himself.

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight”
Matthew 10:21

It requires the “mind of Christ” to see Him unveiled in His Word and it takes the heart of Christ feel the bonds of His Spirit.

The spirit of Diotrephes is alive and present in the community where I live, and the place where you live. Its dark and sinister work is deeply felt within the Body of Christ world-wide by the schisms and discord sown by its proud and haughty ways. It covers itself with garments of falsehood and hypocrisy. It pretends to follow Christ and usually appeals to its adherents on the basis of being deeper, more spiritual and may even express itself concerned for others while yet by its works reveals the true nature of its spirit by its isolation and spiritual stagnation. The spirit of such refuse others from the Body of Christ liberty to minister to "its own", it receives only from those who hold to its ideology and secretly must acknowledge its leaders to gain access.  It is an malignant evil which will be judged severely in the Day of the Lord.  It is by their works the spirit of such are revealed. It is important that God's people read and meditate carefully upon this writing of Third John for in it is the dark spirit of such revealed. Honesty of heart and pureness of motive will be the safeguard of all those who desire to see the One Body of Christ.

Brian Troxel

Have This Mind – Part Two

Have This Mind

Part Two

The Divine Will

“I have accomplished the work
which you have given me to do”
John 17:4

The wonderful prayer of Jesus in John 17 will require eternity to reveal the depth, power and heart of our King and High Priest. This prayer ascends unto the Father from the heart of the “Man, Christ Jesus”. Here He was, the perfect man approaching the greatest of all sacrifices, standing at the precipice of becoming the sin offering. The scourge, the filth, and the shame of all humanity was to be laid upon Him. Yet in the power of faith, he was able to declare “I have accomplished the work which you have given me to do”. It is beyond our ability to understand this fulness and yet if that same Spirit dwells in us there will be the necessity to discover and finish His Will in us. Individuals who feel not the wonder of this call know little of the One in whom this fire burns.

We are afforded glimpses of the intensity of this overcoming prayer of the sinless One as he faced the immensity of the eternal contradiction: The Holy One, the sum of all purity and love exposed to the contempt, the pure hatred, and the violence of evil and ignorant men, submitting Himself to the cruelest of all deaths on their behalf.

“I have finished the work…”

Undaunted by the enormity of all that was soon to transpire He declares His faithfulness to the divine Will of the Father. Until we grasp in some measure that it was the “man” Christ Jesus who prayed and declared this with firm resolve to “finish the work” of God the Father, we will fail to perceive His purpose for those “in whom He lives and moves” to have the same intensity of heart. What was/is true in Him is to be the truth in us!

“…as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you…”
John 20:21

The undeniable evidence of the Son living and ruling within our own hearts is in the press of Him within us to “finish the work” He has purposed for us. Those who have Him living within desire that same passion to fulfill the work He has called us to. This same intensity of purpose and over-riding cry within was evident in the life of Paul.

“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

The fire of God burning within brings an understanding that we have been “apprehended” for a purpose. There is an inextricable cry to fulfill HIS WILL. We cannot settle for a life of mediocrity. We cannot find rest in religious phrases or earthly pursuits of comfort. We desire to live fully in the same Spirit which propelled the Son unto the complete fulfillment of the will of the Father.

The cry of the Son to “finish the work” is revealed in those who are truly partakers of His Spirit. It cannot be otherwise.

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

⊃⊂

“My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me,
and to finish His work
John 4:34

Brian Troxel

Have This Mind – Part One

Have This Mind

Part One

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

“We would see Jesus”

Truth became incarnate in Jesus Christ. We are told many times in the scriptures that Truth is a person; He is the embodiment of the heart and character of God Himself. Jesus boldly declared to His disciples “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father”. Things buried within the Gospel of John are significant and to the human intellect often cryptic and obscure. Only by the gracious illumination of the Holy Spirit do we begin to see the veiled wonders of God. At this particular juncture Jesus chose the words “he that hath seen me” while in other places Jesus would declare “they who are of the truth, hear my voice”. On this occasion the aspect of “seeing” was the vital truth Jesus sought to convey to His disciples.

The life of Christ was lived before His disciples to an extent that others were not privy to. They beheld Him in His private moments, and they knew that He spent time alone with His Father. They witnessed the power of God flow into the lives of countless multitudes in healings, in deliverances and in the demonstration of God’s character such as in the case of the woman taken in adultery. Their exposure to Him in all facets of His life was a comprehensive revelation of the Father.

The response of Jesus to Philip’s seemingly innocent request (John 14:8) was/is heart rending and filled with a piercing truth for us as well; Truth is more than a teaching; more than something learned by the accumulation of knowledge. It is beyond the reach of human thought!

“He that hath seen me
hath seen the Father”
John 14:9

This powerful truth ought to revolutionize our seeking of Him. Truth cannot be contained or held within the precepts of men, for truth must be seen by the same Spirit which initiated His very conception in Mary. Truth is a person. To see Him correctly we must walk, live and abide in that same Spirit who alone can make Him known to us.

He that hath seen me
hath seen the Father.

In other words, Philip, when you beheld me feeding the five thousand by the power of compassion, when you heard me confronting the blindness of the Scribes and the Pharisees, when you saw the lepers healed, the gift of sight given to the blind, me washing the disciple’s feet, and the demonstration of power when I rebuked the storm, all of these things were the revelation of my Father. Truth is more than words; it is expressed in character and works. It is shown in our ability to minister Him to our children, it is revealed in the concourse of everyday life. It is not only the Sunday sermon; it is the Life Christ Himself shining through the medium of our humanity in our every day life. In His life as a man, within the frailty and the humanness of Christ, the glory of God was evident to such an extent that Jesus declared unequivocally: “he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father”.

“It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher,
and the servant like his lord”
Mathew 10:25

The Call of God is much more than becoming familiar with His Word, more than the formation of correct doctrines and promises believed. His call to His disciples is to bear His likeness, His character, and His heart in this world!

“But we all, with unveiled face seeing the glory of the Lord as in a mirror, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit”
2 Corinthians 3:18

It is in our “seeing” of Him that transformation occurs. While it is good to read the promises of God, the purpose of the Holy Spirit is to cause us to WALK in the promises of God. The contrast between these two is as vast as the gulf between life and death. May we allow the power of the Testimony of Jesus to impact us to the core of our beings with the enormity of His Call.

He that hath seen me
hath seen the Father

Where there is no beholding of Him there can be no change.

Let us consider the words of faithful Job:

“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:
but NOW mine eye seeth Thee.
Wherefore I abhor myself,
and repent in dust and ashes”
Job 42:5-6

Repentance is the fruit of seeing Him. Only in the seeing of Him are we freed from the limitations and confines of our fallen natures to experience the power of His Resurrection Life within.

May our hearts echo the desire of those who came to Philip:

“Sir, we would see Jesus”
John 12:21

Ω

Hearing Him brings us to obedience
Seeing Him brings us to His Likeness

Brian Troxel