Strong Families – Integrity

Strong Families – Integrity

“The righteous who walks in his integrity
— blessed are his children after him!”
Proverbs 20:7

Integrity as parents does not mean that everything we do is right; it means that we walk in an authenticity that is communicated to our children. Parenting is a very demanding and often heart-wrenching experience as we discover our own lack of wisdom, our own selfishness, and above all our need to learn from our heavenly Father. Parenthood offers an opportunity to grow and develop in wisdom. The grace of integrity is what communicates our relationship with Christ in a way that is most understood by our children. Despite our mistakes, shortcomings, and our own ignorance, it is most critical to display a walk of integrity. Duplicity, hypocrisy, and deceit are most damaging to our children. The greatest sermon to our children is the one we live. Mistakes and personal faults are inevitable in our dealings within our families and without. It is what we DO with them that determines the blessings we pass on to our children.

“So speak ye and so do”
James 2:12

The above scripture may be the clearest definition of integrity. It is a description of one whose inward life is correlated with the outward one. In our earnest pursuit of an authentic walk, the words of our mouth are validated by the life we live. This lifelong quest is one filled with moments of inconsistencies and failure yet having the integrity to embrace our deficiencies as a means of our growth in God is a vital lesson for our children to see the grace of God still at work in our own lives.

“Train up a child in the way he should go –
but be sure you go that way yourself”
Charles Spurgeon

See: The Ministry in the Home

Brian Troxel

The Idiosyncratic Life

The Idiosyncratic Life

The idiosyncratic life describes the true Disciple of Christ – Christ likeness creates a life lived outside the norm of any culture, worldly protocols and the conformity to the Ethos of the world. His purpose is to prepare a people who are home in His World and in so doing the disciple must be freed from this one.

“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory…”
1 Peter 1:8

“A real Christian is an odd number anyway. He feels supreme love for One whom he has never seen, talks familiarly every day to Someone he cannot see, expects to go to heaven on the virtue of Another, empties himself in order to be full, admits he is wrong so he can be declared right, goes down in order to get up, is strongest when he is weakest, richest when he is poorest, and happiest when he feels worst. He dies so he can live, forsakes in order to have, gives away so he can keep, sees the invisible, hears the inaudible, and knows that which passeth knowledge. And all the while he may be confounding his critics by his unbelievable practicality: his farm may be the most productive, his business the best managed, and his mechanical skill the sharpest of anyone in his neighborhood”
A.W. Tozer

“Wherefore come out from among them,
and be ye separate, saith the Lord…
and I will receive you
2 Corinthians 6:17

Brian Troxel

What is Truth?

What is Truth?

“What is truth?”
John 18:38

Jesus felt no compulsion to answer this rhetorical and ostentatious question of Pilate. Nor does He respond to those today whose ideas of truth lie only in statements and confessions. Without a living relationship with Christ, truth is merely an opinion, a belief, or a concept born of predispositions or persuasions. There is nothing concrete or absolute in its origin. Some believe one thing; some believe another thing. If truth is simply esoteric in nature and exists only in intellectual assumptions, then the philosophical question “What is Truth?” bears testimony to a lost humanity declaring its own existence as futile and vain. The span of time “lived” between birth and death is inconsequential. Death is merely the end of a consciousness that evaporates into oblivion. Feelings, relationships, and the myriad of human experiences have no real value or meaning.

Religious Deceptions

The comforts of religion are that it assuages the torment of this thought by providing an antidote of belief; somehow the belief itself will mitigate my wrongness and assure me of a noble end. Rather than seeing the need for repentance and change, my rightness is based on an affirmation. Religion dissipates the gnawing and persistent desire to answer this question in earnest. The belief alleviates the need for a definitive answer. It makes me think that if I believe right, I will personally be right regardless of the life I live. The deception is that I can profess to have truth without the need to become true.

This is the ethos of much of the Christian landscape today. There is an insidious concept that I can be disobedient to the teachings of Christ without any ramifications to my eternal standing with God. I can claim to be in the right relationship with Him and yet disregard my accountability to Him. I believe a truth without it becoming true in my own experience. Consider forgiveness… (for example)

“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father, who is in heaven, may also forgive you your transgressions. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your transgressions.”
Mark 11:25-26

To claim Him as my Lord and deny my brother or sister forgiveness is hypocrisy. How many of us hold on to unforgiveness and yet pray to Him without any thought to the ramifications of our standing before God?

Jesus is our only truth; His Life within me, changing me, convicting me, and transforming my behaviour. Profession without the corresponding life to validate it is deception.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous,
even as He is righteous”
1 John 3:7

Let no man deceive us. Let us not deceive ourselves. Mere belief does not change an unrighteous life. Jesus came into our hearts to free us FROM our sin; not to allow us to remain IN our sin.

“What shall we say then?
Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid!”
Romans 6:1-2

Paul asks this incredulous question. It is an absurdity to him that it would even enter the minds of those who have truly experienced the power of Christ within.

“If ye know that he is righteous,
ye know that every one that
doeth righteousness is born of him”
1 John 2:29

God’s people to a large extent know little of God’s righteousness. This scripture only has power in those who understand “He is Righteous”. To those who know of this truth, sin is an offense to God. It is something that produces a holy war within our own being, something with which we cannot compromise. Its presence is a revelation that a portion of our life is still not fully His. Those who walk in the truth of Christ are convicted, in contrast to those who base their standing with God on a confession.

“And ye shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free”
John 8:32

Quoting scriptures, believing in the correct theology, and subscribing to sound doctrine will not free you or me from the power of sin and disobedience. The truth of which Jesus speaks is a power and a dynamic extension of His Life working within the recesses of our being. Jesus presents Himself as the truth; not knowing about Him, but He Himself. Our hope is not based on what we believe. Our hope is in Him living and ruling within, changing the very fabric of our being. Paul presents this truth unequivocally to us.

“Christ IN you
the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27

<§>

“…in our day Christ as the truth has… been abolished: we take Christ’s teaching – but abolish Christ. We want truth the easy way. This is to abolish truth, for Christ, the teacher is more important than the teaching… Truth is not a sum of statements, not a definition, not a system of concepts, but a life. Truth is not a property of thought that guarantees validity to thinking. No, truth in its most essential character is the reduplication of truth within yourself… Your life expresses the truth in the striving… The Gospel says that this is eternal life, to know the only true God and the One Whom He sent, the Truth (Jn. 17:3).”
– Soren Kierkegaard

Ω

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

Brian Troxel

The Little Things

The Little Things

the little things

“My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee, Wash and be clean?”
2 Kings 5:13

How often we have missed God’s power in the simple things, the daily things, the seemingly innocuous things because of our own wrong thinking. The revelation of Christ is often found in a lad giving up his five loaves and two fishes; the widow simply pouring out the “little” oil she had on hand; the man putting forth his withered arm despite the scorn of the religious crowd; the woman breaking her prized alabaster box to worship Him lavishly.

“Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven”
Matthew 18:3

It requires a humble heart to see the glory of God in humble things. It takes a pure heart, transformed by the power of Grace, to see His opportunities all around us. His wisdom is buried in the mysteries of our own children, in the circumstances which come our way at home, at work, and in the mundane things of life. The Parables of Jesus were drawn from everyday examples filled with the power of truth. Though many heard, few understood their import. Jesus spoke in parables for He saw His Father’s truth in them. To Him, this world was filled with the Face of His Father everywhere He looked. The proud and haughty hearts of men saw nothing, heard nothing, and therefore continued in their blindness of heart.

It is the heart that determines our seeing and hearing of God. It is the “renewing of our minds” whereby we are able to “know the good, acceptable and perfect will of God”! Without these changes, men may read the scriptures, pray, and do many religious things, but the power of transformation ever eludes them. Life itself becomes mediocre and pedantic.

Paul was one filled with the joy and anticipation of ever learning through the varied experiences of life. He declared that the heavens, creation, and the wonder of nature were resplendent with the evident hand of God. He found glory in His sufferings, weaknesses, and weariness through God’s power and strength. He declared with boundless joy:

“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me”
Philippians 4:11-13

The humble heart sees God in the humble and simple things. The pure in heart behold His wisdom and hand in the things which beset them. Such things are learned by the Holy Spirit working within our hearts through the medium of obedience unto the purifying of our souls.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Your Own God!

PODCAST – Your Own God

Hear HIM!

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb 1:1-2)

In times past God spoke through men, but now in these last days, He is speaking by His Son, in and through YOU! The five-fold ministry is to bring YOU into your unique ministry, to develop and add YOUR voice to THE VOICE of many waters that YOU should become HIS VOICE to others.

God has already apportioned to each of us a mighty deposit of His Spirit, but we don’t enter into it by prayer, but by obedience. God has already given you the land, but now says, “My land is not to be talked about, My land is to be walked about!”

Brian Troxel

Rewards of Faith

Rewards of Faith

“Behold, thy salvation cometh;
behold, His reward is with Him…”
Isaiah 62:11

To the wise and faithful the promise of His coming is one of joy and expectation. Those laboring ones, faithfully sowing, praying, weeping, and burdened with a heavenly care and concern for others, can look expectantly unto Him who is their reward and salvation.

“Who then is the faithful and wise servant whom his Lord has set over His household, to give to them the food in season? Blessed is that servant whom his Lord shall find so doing when He comes. Truly I say to you, He will set him over all His substance”
Matthew 24:45-47

The faithful and wise servants pour out themselves on the behalf of others that the Lord may receive the Glory due His Name. Blessed are those whom He finds “so doing”. The pure in heart have an intensity of spirit to proclaim His Name to all and to exhort all to obedience and submission. There is a fire that burns within for the truth, substance, and reality of His Call. Those with faithless works and dead confessions, with hearts unmoved and unchanged, talk all too freely about God but lack the burning love of God Himself. God has a word for such: Ichabod*! The Glory which once burned within is now a dead and lifeless thing; it has lost its first and foremost love and is content with the words of Him rather than the Life of Him.

“I know your works.
You have the reputation of being alive,
but you are dead”!
Revelation 3:1

Works are the criteria that God uses to assess the faith of His people in each and every Church in the Book of Revelation**! Works are the expression of a living vibrant faith, free from dead prayers, empty words, ingrown cliques, and stagnant lives. Faith which costs nothing is worth nothing. Those who make a difference in the lives of others, who feel within their hearts the ONE Spirit of God and the ONE-NESS to which we have been called; speak out against the lethargy of our day.

Let us lift our voices and cry out to those whose hearts have grown cold and withered, and are lost within the futility of mere religion. Do we not hear the words of Christ unto us? This is the Day of sowing and of harvest, it is not a Day to slumber nor a time for faithless inactivity! It is a Day to “Lift up our eyes” to see with the eyes of faith the opportunities before us.

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I TELL YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, and see that the fields are white for harvest. Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together”
John 4:35-36

<§>

So many Christians in these times are debating with one another about masks, vaccinations, and government restrictions. Let us keep our eyes in the right place. Jesus’ words to us are, “I TELL YOU, LIFT UP YOUR EYES, for the fields are white unto harvest”. How far have we fallen from the simplicity of the Call of Christ? The unfruitful discussions of procedures and politics, and the scepter of fear which has fallen upon the Church, are appalling and are an exposure of our true condition.

Let us consider our ways that we may bring the message of Christ to a world consumed with the same fear which seeks to rob us of the power of His faith and love in us. Let HIS CHURCH ARISE from fear and begin to believe afresh that all these things are for the furtherance of the Gospel.

How sovereign is our God! The truth of His Sovereign power in you is revealed by your faith in Him and the works it produces. Let His Faith be the measure by which you walk.

“He who gathers in summer is a wise son, but he who sleeps during the harvest is a son who causes shame.”
Proverbs 10:5

See: Present Truth Part Six

<NOTES>

*Ichabod – “And she named the child Ichabod, saying, the glory is departed from Israel…” 1 Samuel 4:21

** “I know thy works” see Revelation 2:2, 2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15.

Brian Troxel

True Ministry

TRUE MINISTRY

True Ministry

The touchstone of Discipleship is revealed in our abandonment to His Glory. It is in our touching of Him where we are brought to the place of facing our own inherent desire for recognition and pre-eminence. This is something so vital to our walk and our sharing of Him with others. Freedom from ourselves is the path to our freedom in His Spirit. 

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him”
John 7:18

John the Baptist

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus
John 1:35-37

Do we really want this? Do the ministers of God and the multitudes of church organizations across the land really desire this one thing; for men to rise up and follow Jesus? Our part is to declare “Behold the Lamb of God” and to do it in such a way that men actually rise up to follow Him. We are here to make Him known. Those to whom we minister should hear us speak and then rise up and follow Jesus! How simple and pure ministry is to be! The sad part is that men, their organizations, and their own desire for recognition corrupt this simple truth and lead men to follow them and to “support” their ministry rather than the development of others in their own ministrations.

The purpose of the New Covenant…

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

It is to this end that we labour and preach the wonder of His Name! Purify us Lord for your glory.

BT

 

Spiritual Union

Spiritual Union

If we love one another, God dwelleth in us,
and his love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12

God measures our life in Him by the Love we have for one another. Love is the bond, the ligaments as it were, of the Body of Christ. Love is never content with shallow religious affiliations. It seeks out, pursues, and ever desires full knowledge of another. Within its own heart is the flame of relationship and union in Christ. Its reach into another heart is for the purpose of apprehending oneness; the same oneness for which Christ prayed unto the Father. This union of hearts is the very essence and heartbeat of His Spirit within His own. It is a cry which can only be fulfilled in the purity and wonder of His Holiness becoming in truth our holiness. Many fear such depths of fellowship for in the intimacy of holy bonds there is no room for the hypocrisy and pretense of an insincere heart. Holiness in Christ is the fearful abode in which only the authentic can live and be at home. The depth of our abiding in Him corresponds with the depth of our relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. The measure of our own partaking of His resurrection life is revealed in the love we have for His people. Only the deceived can find rest in a life lived outside of the love of God.

“We know that we have passed from death unto life,
because we love the brethren.”
1 John 3:14

Authenticity is the fruit of a life lived in God. The Life of Christ is the sole bonding agent which fuses one member to another. Obedience is the means to this purity by which our relationship with our brothers and sisters becomes filled with the wonder of God Himself. An impure heart is filled with mixed motives, carnal and self-seeking desires which by their very nature prevent the true union of His Spirit and Life with Him and one another.

Having purified your souls in the obedience of the truth through the Spirit to unpretended brotherly love, love one another fervently out of a pure heart…”
1 Peter 1:22

See: UNITY

Brian Troxel

Unity

UNITY

Unity is simply being ONE in Christ.

“that they also may be one in Us”
John 17:21

Transformation and change are the natural order of those who are active and current in their relationship with Jesus. Those who merely subscribe to the tenets of the “Christian” faith remain unaffected by the wonder of His life and Being. Change comes from seeing Him who is invisible, tasting of His Goodness, Mercy, and Holiness. One cannot touch His presence and not grow in the reverence of who He is. Without change, there is no understanding of the fear of the Lord.

“Because they have no changes,
therefore they fear not God”
Psalm 55:19

Knowledge may increase, familiarity with the things of God may have the appearance of being good and deep, but it is in the crucible of growth that our relationship is revealed. He came moreover He is come to work within our hearts fundamental and revolutionary transformations from what we are into the image of Christ. This transition from fallen Adam to the Risen Christ is the vehicle and means by which we are moved from an isolated and selfish entity into the substance of being “members one of another”. The validity of our walk with God is revealed in those who are being united by faith into One Body, One Life, and One Heart! Jesus prayed for this, He gave Himself up to cruel and wicked men to pay the price of redemption to this end. Not only did He give Himself as an offering but He is even now giving  Himself to us to make it so. Those who do not feel the pull and the cry for this union of hearts within the wonder of His life have become distant and unable to hear the Spirit of Truth.

“Again I write a new commandment to you which is true in Him and you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true Light already shines. The one saying to be in the light, and hating his brother, is in the darkness until now. The one loving his brother rests in the light, and no offense is in him. But the one hating his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness blinded his eyes”
1 John 2:8-11

Indifference is hatred held in apathy. They who are indifferent to the members of the Body of Christ around them are walking in the darkness. Darkness is the absence of light. Light is simply the life of Jesus beating within our hearts.

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

The Unity of His people will never come from God moving without… Its wonder can only be known by the work of Grace within our hearts. It is not an event, it is a life, it will not come with observation (Luke 17:20). They who live in His Light know of this unity. Just as Jesus prayed… “that they may be ONE IN US”. Unity is the fruit of our relationship in Christ.

Brian Troxel

The Fulness of Time

The Fulness of Time

“But when the fulness of the time was come,
God sent forth his Son, made of a woman…”
Galatians 4:4

In God’s purposes, “the fulness of the time” happened to be during the tyrannical control of the one-world government of Rome. The Jewish faith had deteriorated into darkness, and the common man had little reason for hope. Just prior to the birth of Jesus, Herod, fearing a “coming Messiah”, decreed that hundreds of babies be murdered. Factious, religious elements were constantly rising to challenge the Roman rule of the time.

The Fulness of Time

God’s measure of time is different than ours. The things men fear, loss of liberty, loss of religious freedom, and oppression by worldly governments, do not hold the same estimation in His eyes. The fulness of time is about the person of Christ, not the common lot of men. He is the Light and Life of another realm. He is the salvation of God for all. He stepped out of eternity into the limitation of time to breathe into all creation the atmosphere and wonder of heaven. The Man of Sorrows has come to instill His Joy and Peace into fallen humanity, even unto those who call upon His Name.

The Fulness of Time

The fulness of time has once again come to mankind. God’s purpose is to bring an end to the sin and corruption of a dying world. We may seek to delay this hour, to cling to a form of government which cannot rectify our condition, to maintain a religious “freedom” that has failed to bring us into the liberty of His Spirit.

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot—they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them all—so will it be on the day when the Son of Man is revealed”
Luke 17:26-28

Read about of the judgments of God in times past (which Christ declared would typify His return): the world laid waste in Noah’s Day; the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by the fire and brimstone of God’s indignation. These were precursors to the Day we are in.

The fulness of time has now come upon us. It is not a day for protesting and rebellion, nor is it a day to cower in fear. It is a day to submit our hearts afresh unto Him who rules and reigns over the affairs of men. This day of darkness*, blasphemy and destruction must come for the culmination of this creation must pass away in order that the new may arise. Christ crucified is God’s answer for the human race. Christ crucified is the end of this creation and His resurrection is the beginning of a new creation. It is incumbent upon those who walk in the Spirit of Christ to walk in the light of this truth:

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!”
2 Peter 3:10-12

The Day of the Lord is the end of a realm, it is the long-anticipated execution of a sentence passed on Calvary. Christ was crucified and that we may be co-crucified with Him, to be prepared for HIS coming.

“But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world”
Galatians 6:14

The fulness of time is upon us and the revelation of every person’s walk, our works, and the verity of our faith, will be fully revealed and tested by fire “for the Day of the Lord will declare it”.

Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the DAY shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward”
1 Corinthians 3:13-14

Peter’s faith was revealed in spite of his loud professions. The fulness of time is upon us and the untested faith of many will be revealed; religious confidence will fail and even the gold will be tested to the very limits of its endurance. It is time to cry unto Him for the substance of faith and purity of heart to face this Day in the strength of Him.

“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake:
but he that endureth to the end shall be saved”
Matthew 5:22

* “Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light”
Amos 5:18

Those who know not the manner of His appearing or the true condition of their own hearts speak with the bravado of the foolish. Those with a glimpse of the Day respond with a deep sense of our need to be “hid in Christ”. God is calling out in this hour:

“Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come”
Joel 1:15

“But who may abide the day of his coming?
and who shall stand when he appeareth?
for he is like a refiner’s fire…”
Malachi 3:1

God is raising up prophetic voices to call His people to repentance; to Spirit-inspired intercessions beyond the casual prayer meetings of the day. His voice is going forth to all who have an ear to hear and a heart that responds to His Call.

“Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision**!
For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision**
Joel 3:14

** Hebrew חָרוּץ – From the Ancient Hebrew Root meaning “A sharp cutting instrument…” The transliteration of this verse would read “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of the sharp threshing instrument…” This verse speaks of the Word of the Lord in the Book of Revelation:

“And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, ‘Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: FOR THE TIME IS COME for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe”
Revelation 14:14-19.

Brian Troxel