A Sound Heart

A Sound Heart

“Let my heart be sound in thy statutes;
that I be not ashamed”
Psalm 119:80

“We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.

See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart towards the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise, we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!

Many will be ashamed in the last great day when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions, and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught, and did what the Lord commanded, will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day”   Charles Spurgeon

Soundness of heart is an authentic heart, a heart free from duplicity and hypocrisy. The inward reality is congruent with the words spoken and the life lived.

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart”
Psalm 15:1-2

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

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“…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

Nothing But Jesus!

Nothing But Jesus!

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness”
Colossians 1:11

Patience (endurance) and a longsuffering with joy are only possible by His power and might. Men and women may have measures of this by nature, but the real enduring grace of such a disposition is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Timidity, shyness, and a lack of confidence are not fruits of the Spirit. The Humility of Christ is bold. His boldness is garmented in the wonder of character, unlike any human trait. The lowliness of Jesus is without compromise and its expression has a grandeur beyond words. His passion in cleansing the temple was fearful and filled with the authority of the Father to such an extent that men wondered what was the source of it. His gentleness had an unshakable omnipotent power, His grace with the lost of humanity unfathomable.

Truly all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Our traits, our very selves are lost beyond all hope if it not for the Life of Him within. There is no true grace apart from Him. There are no human counterfeits capable of truly revealing His matchless beauty. The need for the infusion of His substance and life is as essential as the air we breathe.

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me…”
Jeremiah 9:23-24

If anyone is to glory, let it be because the grace of God has come. Let it be because His Life is becoming ours. Let there be no human substitutions, excuses, teachings, or concepts which leave us part Him and part us. Let us with full assurance of faith turn to the ONE in whom is the very pulse of true life. The New Covenant presents to us this singular truth:

“He that hath the Son hath life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life…”
1 John 5:12

To be free from the contagion of self, we must live in Him. It is His Life in us that puts to death our own selfish, self-seeking, self-perpetuating lies. Through the power of obedience, we find His Spirit working in concert with our redeemed will.

“…if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

No teaching, sermon, or austere religious methods can bring a soul into the life of Christ. It simply requires a life of obedience and submission to He who lives within. To experience His forgiveness…forgive. To obtain mercy…be merciful. To see God… allow Him to purify your heart. His Way is simple yet “few there be that are finding it”.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that (are) find (ing: Greek participle) it
Matthew 7:14

Brian Troxel

Hebrews 11

Hebrews 11

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen…”
Hebrews 11:1

The nature of faith is that it holds the evidential expression of its Author.  It is that divine substance that is expressed in Hebrews 11. Men and women were not validated by belief aloneRather, what they did validated what they believed.

Hebrews 11:2 “By faith the Elders obtained Witness…”
Hebrews 11:4 “By faith Abel offered a greater sacrifice to God than Cain”
Hebrews 11:7 “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house…”
Hebrews 11:8 “By faith Abraham… obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went”
Hebrews 11:11 “Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed…”
Hebrews 11:17 “By faith, being tested, Abraham offered up Isaac…”

Faith is authenticated by the expression of Christ in you. The doing corroborates the belief.

“…the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God”
Galatians 2:20

Brian Troxel

Hope and Love

Hope and Love

“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”
Romans 5:5

Hope’s fulfillment rests in the love that fuels it. The power of hope is in the purity of His love inspiring our lives. A hope with selfish agendas will fail and disappoint us, for love “seeks not its own”.

The simplicity of the Love of God being shed abroad in our hearts BY the Holy Spirit requires a life that is lived IN the Holy Spirit.

See: Abiding in His Love

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

Our Salvation

Our Salvation

“Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him.
that glory may dwell in our land”
Psalm 85:9

In the purposes of God, salvation and glory are inextricably linked. His Glory is the reason for His gracious dealings with us. When we separate these two, we make salvation something very different; we make salvation about ourselves rather than about Him.

“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake
Psalm 79:9

The end of His saving grace unto us that His Name is glorified in the earth. We receive His mercy that we may then shine forth His divine attributes into a dark and dying world. His salvation is the world’s hope of glory. Those who honour His salvation shine as lights and ambassadors in the foreign landscape in which we live. A nation loses its way when the church has lost her way.

God’s answer is us! In His wisdom, He uses His people to communicate His likeness and heart as we are faithful witnesses of His salvation.

“Ye are the Light of the World”

May these words strike us with the full force of His Spirit. His intent is for us to breathe in the Spirit of those words and let them be the ignition of His quickening grace. “You are the light of the World”; not your pastor, not your teacher, not someone on television. The word carries little power until it is YOUR Word. Until our hearts reverberate with His word, until we see that His salvation is to result in the manifestation of His Glory, we have missed the wonder of it.

“Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory”
2 Timothy 2:10

A salvation concerned only with itself is stunted. Salvation ought to produce in us a desire to live right that others may “obtain” His grace, that they also may shine forth His “eternal glory”.

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Fire of God

The Fire of God

The Fire of God

“Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way,
and while he opened to us the scriptures?”
Luke 24:32

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Strange Woman

The Strange Woman

(23 minutes long)

The Strange Woman

“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil: But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.”
(Prov 5:3-5)

 

PODCAST – The Only Two Questions

The Only Two Questions
We Ought to Ask

Knowing the Will of God

“And he said, WHO art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, WHAT wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
(Acts 9:5-6)