PODCAST – Your Book

Your Book

And the prophetic call

 

And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious. But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee. And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.
(Eze 2:7-10)

Moreover he said unto me, Son of man, eat that thou findest; eat this roll, and go speak unto the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he caused me to eat that roll. And he said unto me, Son of man, cause thy belly to eat, and fill thy bowels with this roll that I give thee. Then did I eat it; and it was in my mouth as honey for sweetness.
(Eze 3:1-3)

Love the Brotherhood

Love the Brotherhood

Part One

“Love the brotherhood”
1 Peter 2:17

The brevity of this statement may cause us to overlook the power of its message. Simple as it might be, it holds within it the very purpose of God. It requires a living faith to even begin to plumb its depths. The “brotherhood” spoken of here is not the segregated few with whom we happen to have fellowship. Nor is it speaking of the alignment with others of the same doctrinal persuasion. The Greek word used here for “brotherhood” literally means of the same womb, not the same mind. It is a brotherhood based upon new birth, new life, and the unifying faith of the Son of God.

“Till we all come in the unity of the faith…”
Ephesians 4:13
(read the context)

The true purpose of the five-fold ministry is to bring God’s people to this wondrous state. This unity cannot be attained by agreement of doctrinal persuasions, ecumenical endeavors, or the diluting of purity and holiness. The true ministry of God has but ONE purpose: to bring every believer to Christ Himself. It is our mutual relationship in Him wherein the unity of the faith is known. The sad truth of our day is that we have a church system that prospers on division. It highlights our differences so that we can propagate our programs, our doctrines and our growth using the same worldly stratagems as the corporate businesses of the world: branding and advertising. Often those with positions in this church are in competition and sadly God’s people are drawn to winning personalities and comfortable teachings. We fail to understand that God is the author of the diversity in the ministries He has placed in the Church.

“For who maketh thee to differ from another?”
1 Corinthians 4:7

GOD does!

The differences are for our growth. We do not have the right to prefer one over another.

Paul prefaced this truth with

“…that in us you might learn not to think beyond the things which are written, that none of you be puffed up against one another”
1 Corinthians 4:6

The carnality of God’s ministers clamoring for more followers at the expense of devaluing others is the carnality which pervaded the Church of God in Corinth. In choosing one ministration over another we are robbing God of His purposes in the diversity of ministry given for the building up and the safety of His Church. The five-fold ministry is comprised of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, teachers and shepherds; this is not debatable. While many love the shepherds who gently tend the flock of God, few care to be around the prophetic or the apostolic; their ministry (divinely appointed) is for correction, maintaining the purity of the life of the church, and dealing with false and heretical practices (things which cause factions to HIS Body). The Church of God at Corinth; (not the Corinthian church — 1 Cor. 1:2), had at least 4 or 5 apostolic expressions who paid regular visits to them, each bearing their own unique ministrations of the Spirit of God. Where would the New Testament be without Peter, Paul, James, Jude and John? Each one had a clear and distinct expression of Christ without which we would be lacking many great truths.

“I fed you with milk, not with meat; for you weren’t yet ready. Indeed, not even now are you ready, for you are still carnal. For insofar as there is jealousy, strife, and factions among you, aren’t you fleshly, and don’t you walk in the ways of men? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” aren’t you carnal? Who then is Apollos, and who is Paul, but servants through whom you believed; and each as the Lord gave to him? I planted. Apollos watered. But God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase. Now he who plants and he who waters are the same, but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers…”
1 Corinthians 3:2-9

In the early church the ministry went from house to house so that the people of God would receive the richness of the variety of God’s wisdom and provision. In the Epistle of John, the evil of the spirit of Diotrephes rose up to cut off others from ministering and sharing in his church. That same spirit is at work in much of the landscape of the church today. Those who refuse the ministrations of others (from outside their circle) often walk in the spirit and works of Diotrephes. It is the nature of carnal fallen men that usurp God’s ways for their own; they will face the judgment of God in the day of His reckoning!

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

There are things that need to be fervently refuted in the truth and power of the fire of God. Love “rejoices in the truth” and contends against all things that would contaminate the purity and wisdom of the living God.

Let us read afresh the beauty of this singular statement:

“Love the brotherhood”
1 Peter 2:17

May the ministry of this day love God enough to confront the adulation of those who would ascribe to them the honor that belongs only to Him. May they minister out of the motivation to facilitate and foster the truth and wisdom of God into the tapestry of His One Church.

“That there should be no schism in the body;
but that the members should have the same care one for another”
1 Corinthians 12:26
(read the whole chapter)

Brian Troxel

The Economy of God

The Economy of God

“Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one:
and every man shall receive his own reward
according to his own labour
1 Corinthians 3:8

The reward is according to the labour.

“He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;
and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully”
2 Corinthians 9:6

The reaping is in proportion to the sowing.

“Then touched he their eyes, saying,
According to your faith be it unto you
Matthew 9:29

The receiving of God is in proportion to our faith.

Give, and it shall be given unto you;
good measure, pressed down,
and shaken together, and running over”
Luke 6:38

The receiving of God is in proportion to our giving.

Love is the economy of God and is revealed in our involvement in the lives of others. An isolated life, secluded from others, is a life without purpose. Christ walked the streets. He was touched, reproached and loved by people, the common people. His fields, white unto harvest, is who He walked among, where He ate, and where He spoke words of Life. His life was accessible, His grace undeniable; His influence on the sea of humanity was wide. So will ours be, “according” to our faith.

All of God’s transactions with us are “proportional” to the life lived; graces of Christ given, truth sowed, purity pursued, prayers prayed, and tears wept on behalf of others. There is a reward which awaits the faithful; treasures stored up for those who have labored over the lost, the wayward and the deceived.

Deception is any life which does not spend itself for His Glory.

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him
Psalm 126:5-6

Open our eyes and our hearts…

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

 

 

Random Thoughts – Simplicity

Random Thoughts

A Call to Simplicity

“And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross”
Philippians 2:8

Humility and obedience cannot be separated; obedience is the offspring of humility. Pride is the root of all disobedience. It is the barrier between knowing a truth and walking in the truth. It is the great impediment between knowing and doing, between a life of mere confession and one of becoming like Him. The proud rest in the tenets of faith as a crippled man leans upon a crutch. The humble cast aside the impotency and obstinacy of self to discover the joy of obedience.

The validity of an individual’s life in God is not in what they know; it is in what they do. Love is the great law which governs all of God’s works (John 3:16) and so it will be with those who love Him. Love by its very nature is the womb of God’s work through us. Those who love cannot be barren of the good works of God in Christ.

“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works”
Ephesians 2:10

We are not saved by good works; we are saved unto good works.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

Brian Troxel

Grace for Others

Grace for Others

For I know with an absolute knowledge and stand persuaded in the Lord Jesus that not even one thing is unhallowed in itself except it be to the one who reasons it out to be unhallowed. To that one it is unhallowed. For, if because of food your brother is made to grieve, no longer are you conducting yourself according to love. Stop ruining by your food that one on behalf of whom Christ died. Therefore, stop allowing your good to be spoken of in a reproachful and evil manner; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the sphere of the Holy Spirit; for the one who in this serves the Christ is well pleasing to God, and because having met the specifications is approved by men”
Romans 14:10-13 (Wuest Translation)

Paul prefaced this plea to the Body of Christ with:

Who are you who judge another’s servant? To his own lord he stands or falls. Yes, he will be made to stand, for God has power to make him stand. One man esteems one day as more important. Another esteems every day alike. Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks. He who doesn’t eat, to the Lord he doesn’t eat, and gives God thanks. For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself
Romans 14:5-6

(May the very Spirit of Christ be the arbitrator of our hearts).

My previous post (Thought for Today -Christmas) was in response to attending a school Christmas concert of one of my grandchildren. I sat there as each individual class got up to sing some silly song about Santa, reindeer or snow. I found it heart-breaking that there is a generation arising who knows and hears little of the precious Name of Jesus. After 6 or 7 classes, one got up and sang a beautiful song about my Saviour, His birth and resurrection; I found myself thanking God that there was one teacher who was making an effort to make known His Name. I discovered afterwards that she had written the song herself. To me she was a great light shining in the darkness and it made me want to be the same. It encouraged me that there was one who had a heart to make known His Name and do it in such a way that her whole class was being taught the message of His birth, death and resurrection. The ministration of the Gospel went forth in a very simple and yet profound way. She was not afraid of this contentious day; she used it for the Glory of God.

My own experience growing up was in a godless family with a violent father; at one point I was living on the streets at the age of 13. However, I remember back in one of my grade school days, while participating in a Christmas concert, I was singing a certain carol and there was such a joy that welled up in my heart! To this day I know it was God’s grace touching a very lost and lonely life.

My God is above all things; what Satan means for evil, God uses for good. While to some this day is “unhallowed”, to others it is “hallowed”; to me it is neither. I hope, just as this teacher did, only to make HIS NAME known in a world that is perishing for the lack of His Light.

Paul rejoiced whenever and wherever the name of Jesus Christ was made known.

“Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds: But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice”
Philippians 1:15-18

Whether one esteems a day or not, let the LOVE of Christ show through as we are entreated in the Word of God. To me every day is the same; but regarding those who honour the day as unto the Lord and those who do not honour the day, I will not speak evil of them. This is not the spirit of compromise; it is the grace of God lending respect and honour to the faith of God in His people.

Everyone one of us will surely stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ for our words, our thoughts and our actions.

I was totally taken by surprise over the reactions and the flood of comments concerning such a trivial subject. Would to God we would be as zealous over our real issues of life! Issues such as the nature of our thought lives, our lack of charity, and our real need to overcome every vestige of sin and rebellion in our hearts; to the END that we would be immersed in the Love of God.

Be that as it may, to those who have been offended, I heartily apologize as it is not my purpose to stir up controversy or strife.

“I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all”
Ephesians 4:1-6

“Glory in the highest places to God,
and upon earth peace among men of good will
Luke 2:14
(Wuest and the literal Greek rendering)

Σ

“For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ”
(2 Corinthians 4:6)

May HE Shine through each of you in the coming year!

Blessings
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

Thought for Today – Worship

Thought for Today

Worship

“And when they were come into the house,
they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
and fell down, and worshipped him:
and when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts;
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:11

The wise men knew whom they sought; earlier in Matthew they had come to Herod:

“Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews?”
Matthew 2:1-2

They had travelled a long distance to worship the ONE who was worthy of their journey and gifts. They did not come empty-handed, nor did they come nonchalantly. They came with great purpose and were not disappointed in beholding this new-born ONE called Jesus.

It is the religious who approach him casually, who greet Him with tepid hearts and indifference. The Pharisee who had invited Jesus into his house greeted Him with a lukewarm reception while a woman of ill repute poured out her costliest possession upon Him. Jesus spoke to the Pharisee:

“He said to Simon, do you see this woman? I came into your house.
You did not give water for My feet, but she washed My feet with tears and wiped off with the hairs of her head.
You gave Me no kiss, but she from when I entered did not stop fervently kissing My feet.
You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with ointment.
For this reason, I say to you, her many sins are remitted, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little”
Luke 7:44-47

Those who hold His presence within are aware of His mercy and forgiveness toward us. They know themselves and carry within the brokenness of their own unworthiness. The love and worship of Him will always be in corresponding measure to the knowledge of His forgiveness to us.

“…but to whom little is forgiven,
the same loveth little”
Luke 7:47

Brokenness is the grace adorning the hearts of all who live in the richness of His Mercy.

Painting by:Philippe de Champaigne, c.1656 – Public Domain

Brian Troxel

Partakers of Christ

Partakers of Christ

“For I want you to know
how great a struggle I have concerning you…”
Colossians 2:2

It is easy to know those who are partakers of the living Christ; His heart and cry is readily discernable in those who know of the struggle, the angst, and travail over the condition of God’s people. The threads of His heart are woven into His Own. By virtue of relationship, what is in His heart becomes the dominate cry of our own. The true purpose and power of faith is that it invests itself in the purposes of God. True faith can never be without the works of faith. It is impossible.

Legalism and Faith

An inactive faith is the result of legalism. A faith which is the outcome of legal (positional) truths of scripture becomes passive and inactive. Its foundation is established upon the legal declarations of God and has very little to do with relationship with God. It sees and views salvation as a legal decree and rests upon these truths. There is no heartbeat of the living Christ; no passion or pursuit; no imperative pressing from within to declare the matchless wonder of Christ. There is no experience of “groanings which cannot be uttered”, birthed of the Spirit of God (Romans 8:25). The condition of the Church in our day is of little concern. It is easy to talk about its condition, but we must know the burden, the struggle and the groanings of God to see HIS purposes fulfilled in her. Men and women content with “their” church do not see and feel the heartbreak of a mindset that says “I have no need of you” to the other members of the Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:21). While many would never say such a thing in so many words, by their “works” they plainly reveal their true attitude. In the seven letters to the Church in Asia Jesus declared to each of them, “I know your works”. He was clearly saying that the “works” of their lives was the declaration of their faith. When people cut themselves off from the other members of His Body they are declaring emphatically “I have no need of you”. When they remain un-invested in the lives of others around them, when they only “fellowship” with like-minded ones, when they are content with isolated and insulated living, they do know not the heart of a God who so loved this world that He gave Himself.

“Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways”
Haggai 1:3-5

While men labour tirelessly over “their” church/fellowship/ministry there remains a blatant disregard for God’s house. Any ministry who does not minister in such a manner that the hearers are moved by the compassion of God unto the unity of the faith are falling short of God’s purpose; they seek their own and not the things of Christ. Any ministry content with something less than the prayer of Jesus in John 17 knows not the heart and purpose for which Christ came and unto which end He also labours.

Those who live in the Father’s Name know of this one, over-riding prayer… that they may be ONE. While many may know of His salvation, while many know of the mercies of God, there are those who in the very depth of their being cry out for union with one another IN Christ and in the Father. The works, the groanings and the labour of their lives reveal the truth and the verity of His heart.

“Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me,
that they may be one, as we are…”
John 17:11

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Love and Service

Thought for Today

Love and Service

“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said,
I will serve thee seven years for Rachel
thy younger daughter”
Genesis 29:18

Love is the fountain from which true service unto the Lord flows. It is to be the inspiration for all of our actions. A river flows regardless of external things. When love is the source, service unto God is the natural flow of life. The work of God can only be accomplished by the love of God. Love robs the flesh of boasting of its accomplishments. It brings all things unto the worship of God rather than the promotion of self. Our service becomes an offering unto Him; our reward is His Joy welling up within. It is the feast of life to love and serve our God.

“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel;
and they seemed unto him but a few days,
for the love he had to her.”
Genesis 29:20

Brian Troxel