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)

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The Measure

The Measure

“One forgives to the degree that one loves”
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

The quality of love can only be known by the deeds it produces.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk
but in deed and in truth
1 John 3:18

Love without deeds is the fiction of religion.

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

The Measure of a Life
is easily known.
By the life lived,
and the seeds sown.

Turn Us O’Lord.

See: Love One Another

BT

The Embrace of Discipleship

The Embrace of Discipleship

The Embrace of Discipleship

“Paul called unto him the disciples,
and embraced them…”
Acts 20:1

In the midst of the turmoil and opposition to the preaching of the Gospel at Ephesus one phrase stands out: “Paul called unto him the disciples and embraced them”. The truth of Christ within must culminate in a love so powerful, so overwhelming and pure, that the opposition of the world brings His people to the embrace of fellowship.

Affluence and our self-centered culture have made such an experience rare and even considered to be obsolete and uncouth. Instead of just being “disciples” we have become “disciples of” something other than Christ. We have substituted the central thing which unites His disciples and differentiates them from the tares. The Spirit of Unity can only join the pure with the pure or as the Prophet Ezekiel declares “bone to His Bone”. Discipleship is the path to pure motives and holy living. It is the pure in heart who “see God”. In the seeing of Him we are struck with a Love so powerful, so omnipotent and so pure that men quake in its atmosphere. Truth is no longer a statement, it is a life, it is a way and it is the signature of God being evidenced within the lives of those who are becoming His.

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

Love is the imprint on His Disciples. Love is the pure fruit of truth. Teachings, doctrines, statements of faith, emotional prayers are all for naught without Love. Love embraces, rebukes, exhorts, encourages; above all Love NEVER fails. A fruitless life is a loveless life. Love cannot beat in the heart of any child of God without the works of Christ pouring forth from its endless spring. Love is the inspiration of the Cross of Calvary (John 3:16); it alone is the great impetus of God Himself. They who live in any measure of this ocean must give and empty themselves into the lives of others.

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick…”
Mathew 14:14

“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean”
Mark 1:41

“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things”
Mark 6:34

The Life of the Son moved in the power of compassion. He walked among the people, ate with sinners and mingled with the publicans. He rebuked the pious, the satisfied and those who had a “form of godliness” but in their pride stifled the power and wonder of His Love. Lives unmoved by love have not yet touched the dominion of His Lordship.

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

One can give without love but one cannot have love and not give. Love is the womb of sacrificial living, the evidence of the fire of God burning within.

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

Love is the impetus of God

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – True Worship – Part Two

True Worship – Part 2

And Abraham said unto his young men, “Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you”.
(Genesis 22:5)

The Real Love

The Real Love

“Lovest thou me?”
John 21:15

“He who doesn’t love me
doesn’t keep my words…”
John 14:24

Jesus clarifies the verity of an individual’s love for Him. The criteria are simple as is the faith to walk in it. Many may declare their allegiance to Him, they may pray, they may speak of deep and esoteric things, they may ascribe to teachings and associations, but the Spirit of Christ cuts to the core. Obedience reveals the truth of our hearts toward Him.

Isaiah declares who it is that God sets His eye upon:

“…but I will look to this man, even to he who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at my word
Isaiah 66:2

One who understands the enormity of God’s Word, and the inherent need to draw from Him the grace to walk in it, captures His notice. The religious readily acknowledge His Word yet feel no need to honour it with a life of obedience. They are not loving Him for who HE is, but for the sake of easing their conscience. They ascribe to His Salvation but not to His Lordship; they use grace to absolve themselves of the doing. They find refuge in His promises but remain unaffected by the power and love of Him through which the heart becomes subservient to that Word.

Jesus asks a penetrating question:

“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord,
and do not the things which I say?”
Luke 6:46

There is no time like the present to face the truth concerning our relationship with Him. Jesus does not leave us with any ambiguity as to our condition. Do not let the obscurity of a false gospel blind us to His clear word. Religion will rob God’s Word of its authority and leave the conscience untouched. Rather let us allow the Word to strike our hearts with His full power and intent.

“He who doesn’t love me
doesn’t keep my words…”
John 14:24

The litmus test for our heart is not in what we know, how well we pray, or in how many good things we may involve ourselves. The proof of our love for Him is always obedience.

“If ye love me,
keep my commandments”
John 14:15

The true life is the simple life.

Those who truly love will truly obey.

Allow nothing else to cloud our hearts. Let our growing obedience to Him be the sole measure of our love. Love always serves the object of its desire. Those who love themselves will end up serving themselves – even in the Name of God. Those who love Him, serve only Him.

“…having been perfected,
He came to be the Author of eternal salvation
to all the ones obeying Him
Hebrews 5:9

“God Himself – His thoughts, His will, His love, His judgments are men’s home. To think His thoughts, to choose His will, to judge His judgments, and thus to know that He is in us, with us, is to be at home”
– George MacDonald

See: Love and Lethargy

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

PODCAST – Relationship

Relationship

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

The Womb of Ministry

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.”
(1 John 4:16-17)

 

 

The 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

PODCAST – The Mind of Christ

The Mind of Christ

Eldership and The Home

“If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phil 2:1-5)

 

 

Thought for Today – Love and Righteousness

Thought for Today

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour:
therefore love is the fulfilling of the law”
Romans 13:10

Consider love as the ruling agent to all of our interaction with others…

We do not steal because it is offensive to Christ (first and foremost), besides being injurious to others it also brings dishonour to that glorious Name to whom we owe our life!

They who love with His Love cannot but seek to keep the commandments for His Love inspires us to treat others with the same grace He has treated us. “Love thinks no evil.” If we are held in the power of His Love I am not able conjure up or hold evil thoughts of others. They who have tasted of His love and forgiveness cannot and dare not hold unforgiveness towards another.

Where Love reigns so will the righteousness of Christ shine forth.

The “end” or the fulfillment of all the commandments of God are to bring us to this ONE END… The Love of God flowing out of a pure heart, lives lived in a clear and clean conscience and a living faith which is genuine and authentic.

“Now the end of the commandment
is charity out of a pure heart,
and of a good conscience,
and of faith unfeigned”
1 Timothy 1:5

Brian Troxel