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

Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Effectual Prayers

Part Eleven

The Fragrance of Prayer

“While the king was at his table,
my perfume spread its fragrance”
Song of songs 1:12 (BSB)

The life of prayer brings us to many different experiences and aspects of our relationship with Him. At times while sitting in His presence we are simply struck with Him and are left without words. We are overwhelmed with just the wonder of His presence. It is in these times of quietude there is simply the wonder of His peace resonating through the silence. We feel the simplicity of a love arising from our hearts filling the moment with the fragrance of our worship for Him. It is here where prayer touches the unknowable and in the silence speaks the unspeakable elements of a shared love.

This spontaneous worship is worth life itself. Holy bonds of grace arise from the giver of all good things touching the heart of a redeemed soul binding it in the cords of His love. These are rich and precious times where we are sitting at His table and are bidden to simply feed upon the very presence and glory of Himself.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
If anyone should hear My voice and open the door,
then I will come in to him and will dine with him,
and he with Me.” (BLB)
Revelation 3:20

It is the hearing ear and the obedient heart which gives way to such communion with Him. He ever stands at the door of our hearts beckoning us unto Himself. It is in the Holy chambers of our time with Him that our hearts are made right, our fears alieved and our love for Him intensified.

“Jesus saith unto them,
Come and dine”
John 21:12

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Love and Words Contrasted

Thought for Today

Love and Words Contrasted

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I have become
a sounding brass or a clanging cymbal”
1 Corinthians 13:1

Eloquence and refinement of speech without the fire and love of God are nothing more than clatter. Words and quoting the noteworthy thoughts of others (though true) will not carry the weight and wonder of the original. Love alone is the power of God. Love cares, it sees, it feels the very thoughts of God concerning the lives of those around us. Love does not speak just to be heard; it speaks to bring men and women into their own vital relationship with God. It cares little about the opinion of others for it is fully immersed in the Will and Desire of God Himself. The great need in the Church of Jesus Christ today is people motivated and energized by the Love of God. It is Love that brings the weight of God’s Glory and the inspiration of His Life to this dark and lost world.

Words, apart from the Agape (Love) of God, are powerless and superficial; though they may speak OF God, God is not IN them.

“These are wells without water”
2 Peter 2:17

The pursuit of God is simply the pure desire to know Him. True Fellowship with others is the mutual desire and thirst to apprehend and participate in the Mystery of God Himself.

“The goal of our instruction is the love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and a sincere faith. Some having missed the mark and are turned aside to empty talk”
1 Timothy 1:5-6

Ω

Words without Life
Come from Lives without Love

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Prepare ye the way of the Lord

Thought for Today

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord…”
Mark 1:3

Truth is the precursor of Love. Love is not an emotion. It is not a sentiment nor is it a license to practice evil. God is Love. His love is expressed in His actions, His Words and His ways. Love is a quality of being and from that eternal substance flows the righteousness, holiness, forgiveness and redemption of God in all purity of thought and intent. There can exist no evil, duplicity of soul, variableness, and malice toward others where love reigns. Love can only grow where truth and verity of heart is fixed in the person and heart of Jesus Christ.

The only way in which love may be known in any measure will be to the degree to which the human heart is freed from its deception and self-love. This is essential for the ministration of God to our innermost being with all of His fire and penetrating light.

The love of God is His perfection in man.

“Love… thinketh no evil”
1 Corinthians 13:5

It takes the power and the light of all that God is to bring us to a heart that is incapable of thinking evil. Truth is not just something we know, it is something we do by virtue of Him who is ruling and reigning in our hearts. The day is upon us and the hour is late; His call goes forth to prepare the way of the Lord within the sanctum of our own hearts.

The cry of the Spirit to “prepare ye the way of the Lord” is calling us to repentance in order to receive Him in fullness into our hearts. The measure of truth residing within is revealed in the love we give.

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

“We know, in order to follow; we follow, in order to know. Light prepares the way for love. Love opens the mind for new love. The gifts of God are interwoven. They multiply and reproduce each other, until we come to the perfect state of eternity…”
Albert Barnes

Brian Troxel