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Thought for Today

sinnomore

Sin and the Knowledge of God

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not;
for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame”
1 Corinthians 15:34

Those who do not address sin in themselves know little of the righteousness of God. The knowledge of the righteousness of Christ is revealed in corresponding measure to our hatred of sin.

Our attitude toward sin is the revelation of our perception of Him and His Righteousness.

To love righteousness is to hate iniquity.

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore God, even thy God,
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”
Hebrews 1:9

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Invitation

PART TWO

“Who will go for us?”

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying,
Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?
Then said I, here am I; send me”
Isaiah 6:8

In other words, who will represent Me (God) in godliness, righteousness and show forth my character in all their ways. It is one thing to have a dream, a word or a gift. It is another thing entirely to reveal the very character of God Himself.

True Leadership in God’s house exists when His call is fused with character and quality of being. Had David rejoiced in Saul’s death he would not have been a “man after God’s heart”. Had Moses, when God tested him to stand aside while God destroyed Israel to make Moses a great nation, agreed to such a proposal he would have utterly failed to represent God’s heart. Had David slain Saul when God presented the divine opportunity to seize the Kingdom by carnal means he would have failed to represent the heart of God. Those who are called to places of authority will know of such testings and it is in knowing His heart that the approval of God is gained. The Gifts of God without the character of God will always lack His authority and His approval. The gifts may bring a vessel honor and fame in this world but they will never gain the approval of God. There will always be an emptiness which will haunt the disobedient and gifted one.

Within God’s House there are vessels of honor and dishonor.

“But in a great house
there are not only vessels of gold and of silver,
but also of wood and of earth;
and some to honor, and some to dishonor”
2 Timothy 2:20

In the verse preceding this one Paul states… “Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity”. This is the true test of the authentic vessels of the Lord. Saul prophesied and Balaam prophesied an infallible word of God yet they were perverse in heart and spirit.

“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots”
Jude 1:11-12

These are blemishes within the assembly of God’s people. They may function in gifts, ministries, and places of leadership and yet be utterly false in the eyes of the Lord (Matthew 7:21-23). They may see and hear right things but it is by their fruits they are known; how they conduct themselves and whether or not they seek the welfare of God’s people even in the face of adversity and rejection.

“Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed: But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things” 2 Corinthians 6:3-10

The true ministrations of God approve themselves by their conduct in all phases of life.

“Who will go for us?”

This is a far more penetrating question than many realize. It is a question which has more to do with who we are than what we do or say.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall SEE God”

Ω

“God’s plan is to make much of the man,
far more of him than of anything else.
Men are God’s method.
The Church is looking for better methods;
God is looking for better men
― E.M. Bounds, Power Through Prayer

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

The Cross of Change

Change: The Validity of Life

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

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.

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 of 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 in 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

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Come Away

Come Away!

“My beloved spake, and said unto me,
Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.”
Song of songs 2:16

The call of God to His own is always one to new places of intimacy in relationship. Not only does He call but He speaks words of endearment to those who follow after Him. His own know Him as “Beloved” and He calls us “my fair one” There is no plurality here; He is not speaking to a congregation or a crowd. He is calling out to one who is the object of His great love.

In religious circles the call is broad; it is a generic call and the references are impersonal. Those who are His know this intense and personal relationship. There is a singular flow of His life and love unto those who are following Him. The focus of the individual’s heart is all about Him. In the seeing of Him the world becomes dim and distant and its temptations start to lose their power and attraction. It is out of this wonder of Him drawing near that we feel the power of His love rising in our hearts to respond to the call of a deeper knowing of Him. This call is characterized by words of incomprehensible beauty: “my fair one”. Who can resist such undeserved love? Who is able to fathom such redemptive love? How can we ever measure or understand its cause or the depths from which its flows?

Lost within the broad landscape of religion, and a world gone mad with the voices and the rantings of men who think they have the answers, there is the “still small voice”. It draws the heart with whispers of grace and affection; “come away my fair one… come to Me”.

Within this growing relationship the need to fortify our place in Him with the teachings and doctrines of men disappears for His love itself becomes our surety and solace. His love constrains us to willingly arise from where we are to follow on to deeper places of affection and wonder. We touch the holy atmosphere of His cords of love that embrace us setting our own hearts ablaze with their fervency. The words flowing between the “beloved” and the “my fair one” are the language of this holy union:

“I am my beloved’s,
and my beloved is mine”
Song of songs 6:3

He is hers because she is His!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Get Thee Up

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain”
Isaiah 40:9

In God’s Word there is ever the call to His people to arise to the heights and wonders of His being. Here the prophet tells God’s people to get up into the high places that they might behold their God. The verses preceding this declare…

“The voice said, Cry. And he said,
What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof
is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever”
Isaiah 40:6-8

These are the good tidings; the pride and strength of man shall not prevail but His Word will stand forever! It is in light of this knowledge that we are called to arise, no longer in the strength of men, but in the power of God. It is time to climb the mountain and behold Him from a new perspective. We, who are withering grass and fading flowers, will find that our hope and our strength is in God alone and will be able to declare to others “Behold your God!”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up,
be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!”

Isaiah 40:9

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Exodus 3:2

Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.

Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.

Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived
2 Timothy 3:13

Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.

Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without

Fruit is not religious works. It is the means of glorifying God.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit”
John 15:8

His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:

“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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God’s Family

“Behold my mother and my brethren!”
Matthew 12:49

Within the context of everyday life the Son was ever speaking of His Father’s heart, will and purpose. In the early days of Jesus’ ministry to the multitudes the light and life of God flowed from His lips in such depth and power that men marveled. It was the fresh breath of God after the dankness of the prevalent religious atmosphere. Religion had relegated the wonder of God to rituals, concepts and doctrines that sought to impress its own mark of ownership upon man; man who was created in the very image of God! It usurped God’s purposes by seeking to control the hearts and minds of men and women with its own agenda all in the name of the very God it denied. Within this darkness the Light spoke of love, life and the redemptive heart of God. He spoke truth in the face of men’s lies. He spoke the substance of God into those steeped in the decay and stupor of pious and pompous traditions. The ones who, though being the sperma (Greek word used in John 8:37 natural “seed”) of Abraham, (John 8:37) Jesus said they were actually of their father the devil (John 8:44) because of their works and deeds. The horror of all religion is to blind its adherents to the fruit of a person’s life and replace it with the concept of adherence to a teaching or a doctrine as being the mark of a true child of God. Jesus here is responding to those who informed Him that His mother and brothers wanted to speak to Him:

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples,
and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother
Matthew 12:49-50

The true offspring of God are those (whosoever) are doing the will of the Father. Doctrinal adherence, quoting scriptures, religious prayer meetings, and all of the other related duties of religion avail nothing. Those who are truly borne of the Spirit will be occupied with the “doing of truth” not speculating about it. To the religious leaders of His day who boasted of being the “seed” of Abraham Jesus replied “If ye were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham”. Fruit is always the revelation of the underlying nature of any organism. While some may speak great swelling words, teach from scriptures and boast of revelations and gifts (even of the Spirit) the actual substance of their hearts are revealed by their conduct in everyday life.

“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening* wolves.
You shall know them by their fruits”
Matthew 7:15-16

The Greek word used here for “ravening” speaks of one who uses their official position for the purpose of obtaining another’s property, funds or patronage! How subtle and deplorable are those who come in sheep’s clothing with the hidden agenda of obtaining the patronage of God’s people!

Paul speaks to this error in the Church at Galatia:

“For neither they themselves
who are circumcised keep the law;
but desire to have you circumcised,
that they may glory in your flesh”
Galatians 6:13

These are the religious defilers who point God’s people to a doctrine or a tradition which has an appearance of being of God yet in its very practice draws men and women away from the life of Christ to the works of the flesh. The works of the flesh will always glorify the flesh while the works of the Spirit will always glorify the Son!

Truth is being revealed by the sifting of men’s hearts and this very work is happening even now! The hearts of individuals are being drawn together on the basis of nature. In this Day of harvest everything will be gathered according to its kind. The tares are being gathered with like-minded as they have refused to obey God’s call. To such the voice of God is growing faint and they will reap the wages of apathy and indifference. The lamps of the foolish virgins are growing dim and the oil they so desperately need will not be available; this oil can only be acquired through obedience to His word. Hearing without the subsequent act of obedience will leave a life impoverished and completely unable to withstand the impending storm.

Only those who have followed the Lamb, obeyed His Word and sought refuge under His wings prior to the storm will stand in that day. It is time to humble ourselves; to bring to Him our poverty of spirit and brokenness of heart that we may obtain the provisions of His Life. Let us meet this day with our lamps trimmed, our hearts sanctified and the experiential ability of not loving our lives unto death. Those who do His Will are His Family.

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples,
and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother
Matthew 12:49-50

May God give us ears to hear and eyes to see what the Father’s will is. Many religious works, even supernatural ones, if not carried out in His will with the desire to honor and glorify the Son, are the works of iniquity. Men and women who function in gifts with the intent to garner the parsonage and attention of God’s people are also workers of iniquity. The desire to draw men and women to anything other than Jesus is sin.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity
Matthew 7:20-23

*Note: Greek Word translated “ravenous” indicates extortion(er) or one who swindles – The online free dictionary defines extortion as: 1. Illegal use of one’s official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage. In the five occurrences of this word being used it would be best translated swindler or extortioner in four of them.

Word Origin
from harpazó
Definition
rapacious
NASB Translation
ravenous (1), swindler (1), swindlers (3).

Matthew 7:15 Adj-NMP
GRK: εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες
NAS: but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
KJV: inwardly they are ravening wolves.
INT: they are wolves ravenous

Luke 18:11 Adj-NMP
GRK: τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἅρπαγες ἄδικοι μοιχοί
NAS: other people: swindlers, unjust,
KJV: men [are], extortioners, unjust,
INT: of the men swindlers unrighteous adulterers

1 Corinthians 5:10 Adj-DMP
GRK: πλεονέκταις καὶ ἅρπαξιν ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις
NAS: with the covetous and swindlers, or
KJV: or extortioners, or
INT: covetous and swindlers or idolaters

1 Corinthians 5:11 Adj-NMS
GRK: μέθυσος ἢ ἅρπαξ τῷ τοιούτῳ
NAS: or a swindler– not even
KJV: or an extortioner; with such an one
INT: a drunkard or swindler with such a one

1 Corinthians 6:10 Adj-NMP
GRK: λοίδοροι οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ
NAS: nor swindlers, will inherit
KJV: nor extortioners, shall inherit
INT: slanderers nor swindlers [the] kingdom of God
5 Occurrences

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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