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Archive for the ‘Our Salvation’ Category

Thought for Today

Comfort

“The Lord knoweth the days of the upright”
Psalm 37:18

There is a comfort in God’s nearness and His awareness of our days. Often the trials of His own are feelings of being alone and isolated. This journey of faith will take us down narrow and lonely paths with few companions in the night seasons.

In such times we are reminded of the very foundation of our life; “The Lord knows the days of the upright”! It is a comfort that quietly calms the stormy seas of angst and loneliness. The truth of this one underlying promise, “He knows”, is a consolation that forms as dew upon our disappointments and sorrows.

In the whispering of this one unassailable truth we are reminded of the sure mercies of our God.

“…weeping may endure for a night,
but joy cometh in the morning”
Psalm 30:5

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Part 6

“For Jehovah’s portion is His people”
Deuteronomy 32:9 (LITV)

The true priests of the Lord know deep within the very core of their hearts that God’s people are His portion in the earth. They carry the burden of knowing that the condition of God’s people, their manner of life, their love for Jesus and one another is paramount to all other things. They cannot be content with the prevalent “business as usual” attitude. True priests are concerned with the fervor, the passion and the temper of God’s Church. True priests are concerned with the purity of heart by which the service and the offerings are brought unto the altar of the Lord. It is one thing to go through the motions of a Sunday meeting where the rote of a “service” is conducted; it is another thing all together when the praise and worship unto God proceeds from hearts filled with the wonder of His Love. Men and women who are content with tepid offerings unto God and the religious garb of a priesthood that delights in the pews being full rather than hearts being full, are hirelings. They are satiated with outward things but the fire within has long gone out.

Those who burn with the fire of God’s love know that nothing less than sacrifice offered with the Holy Fire of God is able to bring forth the sweet aroma unto our God. The Epistles of the New Testament burn with words of fire that flowed from hearts that were aflame for God’s glory, not their own. They were concerned about His inheritance; not their church, fellowship or ministry.

True priests minister truth. They are not interested in being popular or accepted. Their estimation of life is to glorify God and to see that the altar receives the sacrifices and offerings unto God which are offered in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:23-24). Worship flows from hearts that know it is on the basis of God’s grace, His shed blood and His mercy that they are able to stand before Him. Those who know they have been forgiven much love much. Little do God’s people realize that as in the Old Testament so also in the New we are to bring forth sacrifices as a holy priesthood!

“…you also as living stones are being built a spiritual house,
a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices
acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”
1 Peter 2:5

We are to be a nation of priests. That ministry is not for a select few; every member is called into their own vital ministration in God’s economy. A human body does not have non-vital members (unless it is unhealthy), if it is healthy every member participates with their own function within the context of the whole.

“But you are “an elect race,” “a royal priesthood,”
“a holy nation,” “a people for possession,”
so that “you may openly speak of the virtues”
of the One who has called you
out of darkness into His marvelous light”
1 Peter 2:9 (LITV)

Lord, we pray over Your inheritance in our land. Move afresh upon our hearts to see the true call to which you have called us. Let us see our portion in the rising up of your Church to the glory, the beauty and the expression of all that you are. Remove the blindness, the shortsightedness and the apathy from our hearts. Cause us to see how we have been backslidden in our singleness of heart to serve you. Move with great power to turn us from our religious ways, from the ways of the world, from our kingdom building and the seeking of pre-eminence. Cause us to be broken over Your inheritance in our land and bring repentance from seeking the things of this world and the building up of our own houses while your house lays waste (Haggai 1:4-7).

It is a day for us to consider our ways and turn back to the good and right way wherein righteousness and glory dwells. Turn us Oh Lord and we shall be turned.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Taught of God

“But as touching brotherly love
ye need not that I write unto you:
for ye yourselves are taught of God
to love one another”
1 Thessalonians 4:9

The culmination of God’s work within an individual is Love; His Love ruling and reigning in the life of His own. While those with “itchy ears” (desirous of hearing something pleasant Literal Greek Definition) clamor to hear teachers who will entertain the intellect and arouse their curiosity, those who are taught of God are brought into the arena of His Love for one another.

“For the time will come
when they will not endure sound doctrine;
but after their own lusts
shall they heap to themselves teachers,
having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,
and shall be turned unto fables”
2 Timothy 4:3-4 (LITV)

The Gospel of God speaks of righteousness and grace. It presents to us a bruised and broken Son of God, delivered to wicked men to be crucified on our behalf, that we should no more be slaves of sin but would become servants of righteousness. The gospel of pleasant things is “another gospel” prevalent in preaching of today. The verse preceding the above one is Paul’s instruction to Timothy of what his preaching should be.

“Preach the word; be instant in season,
out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort
with all longsuffering and doctrine”
2 Timothy 4:2

We are to preach the Word, reproving, rebuking, and exhorting one another in the fervor and passion of the Holy Spirit. In our day those who live and preach such things are ostracized and ridiculed for being “legalistic”. In reality the Word declares just the opposite.

“Having a form of godliness,
but denying the power thereof:
from such turn away
2 Timothy 2:5

It is those who live in the realm of appearances and hold to a form of righteousness from whom the Apostle exhorts Timothy to turn away. We have perverted the Gospel to such an extent that the “professors” of religion are accepted while those who seek to preach righteousness are turned away even by many who call themselves by His Holy Name. People desire to hear only “pleasant things”; things that soothe the soul and anesthetize the conscience from that word that would pierce asunder “soul and spirit” and make manifest the ulterior motives of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).

Those who are taught of God know of His Love which corrects, chastens and reproves that they may grow in the righteousness of God in Christ. Those who love religion and appearance are comfortable with a form of goodness and have no desire to come to the truth.

To be taught of God is to desire His word of reproof, exhortation and rebuke from all who walk in the light of God. Truth is the only means by which we can know in the depths of our hearts what God’s Love is. The Holy Spirit is never called the Spirit of Love; it is called the Spirit of Truth. It is in the ministration of truth, that piercing revelation of all who Jesus is, that we have any concept of the Holy Love of God. God’s love does not overlook sin; it atones for it!

Love is the end of God within His people. Those who know God love His people and have His heart, His call and His desire for them beating within their own hearts. It is from such that His ministrations of truth proceed. Those who speak only “pleasant things” are those who desire only pleasant things. Those who compromise with sin in their own hearts will easily overlook the sins of others. Those who shun those who speak truth are those who also shun truth in their own hearts; for by their works men reveal their true condition. It is a day of the unveiling of all things. The Revelation of Christ is also the day of the revelation of all hearts. In the shining forth of Him all things hidden will be exposed and “the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day”.

To Love someone is to care
To care for someone is to speak truth
To speak truth is to reveal Jesus
To reveal Jesus is to Honour the Father
To Honour the Father is to Love the Son

Whether or not we are taught of God is revealed by the depth of His Love which flows from our hearts to others. The validity of an individual being taught of God is revealed in the Love they walk in. If we only love those who love us we know not God.

“And if you love those who love you, what thanks is there to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what thanks is there to you? For even the sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what thanks is there to you? For the sinners lend to sinners so that they may receive the same. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be much; and you will be sons of the Most High, for He is kind to the unthankful and evil ones”
Luke 6:32-35

Ω

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

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Garment of Salvation

“Speak unto the children of Israel,
and bid them that they make them fringes
in the borders of their garments
throughout their generations,
and that they put upon the fringe
of the borders a ribband of blue”
Numbers 15:38

The Old Testament is the picture book of all which God has purposed in the New. He has never deviated from His original purpose of having a man in His Image. His Spirit remains in the earth until He has fully accomplished all that He has purposed in Christ Jesus. We see here in even the garments of the “children of Israel” additional embellishments were added as they walked with God.

The “ribband” of Blue mentioned here is the result of an Israelite profaning the Sabbath of God. In the midst of this severe judgement God announces to the children of Israel to add to their garments the fringe of blue, which would ever remind them of His Holiness. By the sewing of this blue into their garments they were to ever be cognizant of this living truth. That blue was to become a part of their garments which were worn in the common course of their everyday life.

“And it shall be unto you for a fringe,
that ye may look upon it,
and remember all the commandments of the Lord,
and do them; and that ye seek not after
your own heart and your own eyes,
after which ye use to go a whoring:
That ye may remember,
and do all my commandments,
and be holy unto your God
Numbers 15:39-40

In the New Testament the Salvation of Christ is presented to us as “robes of righteousness”, garments of salvation and the garments of praise. It is a living garment (His Life and Covering) given to us upon the moment of rebirth through faith and repentance. A garment of pure white wherein the Spirit of God would “weave” into it the attributes and graces of the living Christ (see Exodus 39:2-3). While many today settle for a declared righteousness there is a failure to realize the necessity to “keep their garments white” (Revelation 3:4, 16:15) from the contagion of the world and the horror of religion. We are to so walk with God as there would be the ongoing embellishment of His beauty, holiness and graces woven into the very fabric of our lives (2 Peter 1:5-10). Failure to add these graces results in spiritual blindness and great loss to the believer’s reward in Christ. A salvation which grows into His likeness through the experiences of walking with Him.

“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord,
my soul shall be joyful in my God;
for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation,
he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments,
and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels”
Isaiah 61:10

These garments of glory are a picture of His righteousness becoming ours. It is in our being clothed in Him that His salvation becomes ours, His life being our covering and His righteousness becoming the breastplate of our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6:13-17). The day is breaking and the great tribulation is even now at the door of all them that dwell upon the earth. It is a day of the revelation of the Word going forth with great judgement as He treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of the Almighty God (Revelation 19:15). Within the scope of this great and terrible day John sees a people who stand before the throne of God worshipping Him that “liveth forever and ever” …

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude,
which no man could number,
of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues,
stood before the throne, and before the Lamb,
clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands”
Revelation 7:9

Upon the seeing of this multitude clothed with “white robes” John enquired as to who  these were and from whence have they come?

“These are they which came out of great tribulation,
and have washed their robes,
and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Therefore, are they before the throne of God,
and serve him day and night in his temple:
and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.
They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more;
neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.
For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne
shall feed them, and shall lead them
unto living fountains of waters:
and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes”
Revelation 7:14

It is a day for us to walk circumspectly before our God. It is a time of entering into the Holiness and the Glory of the Lord. The only safe place in the hour that is upon us is a life which is “hid with Christ in God”. Being clothed in the robe of His Righteousness, bringing forth His judgements and justice, seeking Him with all of our hearts. For those who “dwell in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the Shadow of The Almighty” (Psalm 91:1).

“Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth,
which have wrought his judgment;
seek righteousness, seek meekness:
it may be ye shall be hid
in the day of the Lord’s anger”
Zephaniah 2:3

It is the life of dwelling and abiding IN HIM wherein the security and the ability to stand is ours. This is the day of seeking, doing and dwelling in Him for the storm is about to break and the foundation of everyman’s house will be revealed.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man,
which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came,
and the winds blew, and beat upon that house;
and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine,
and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man,
which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came,
and the winds blew, and beat upon that house;
and it fell: and great was the fall of it
Matthew 7:24-27

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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BE VIGILANT

“And it came to pass…
at the time when kings go forth to battle,
that David sent Joab, and his servants with him,
and all Israel;
and they destroyed the children of Ammon,
and besieged Rabbah.
But David tarried still at Jerusalem
2Samuel 11:3

This is the prelude to a very dark time in David’s life. Sin does not suddenly overtake a man; it is usually a result of neglect of our own vigilance to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). These things occur when we take our eyes off Jesus. We turn aside from the daily warfare and we seek rest and comfort for ourselves. David was to have been out battling against the enemies of God. Instead he sent Joab and others out while he “tarried” at home. While he “tarried” he encountered temptation in the form of Bathsheba and he fell. The repercussions of this incident impacted him for the rest of his life. These things are written for our instruction whereby we are warned to be sober and alert that we may finish our days in the victory of His Life in us. We dare not relax from vigilance for our enemy is always seeking those whom he may entice and draw away from the life of faith.

”Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
1Peter 5:8

We must keep our eyes upon Jesus and seek out true and living fellowship with others in order to exhort one another to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus. The life of a true child of God is one of being a soldier in His army, constantly on duty, never taking leave of our post in the course of daily life. The call is high, the prize is great and our enemy is ever seeking our downfall. How easy it is to “tarry” from the battle, to become lax in the call to diligence and discipline. We all know from experience that a little “leaven” in our lives will contaminate the very manna of God. Our lives become compromised in lukewarm living where we go through the motions of a religion but in reality are denying the power of God to bring His Light into the world in which we live. A compromised life is an impotent life. It is a life with right words but powerless to bring change into the lives around us.

It is to the vigilant that the promises of God come. It is in standing at our post fully engaged in the “fight of faith” that we reap the rewards from Him. We must stand faithful even in the night watches. The monotony of life tends to lull us to slumber and voices that speak of futility allow the sleep of death to overtake us. It is in the morning watch of each day, where we rise up to drink in of His life, to touch His heart and remain alive unto the things of the Spirit, that we find grace to remain faithful. Faithfulness is simply being full of faith for the task to which we have been called. Blessed are they who find themselves filled with the same heart that beat in the Son:

”…wist ye not that
I must be about my Father’s business?”
Luke 2:49

Even at the age of twelve Jesus was singular in the life that he lived. His Father’s business was the preoccupation of his heart. If He is alive and dwelling in us that same heart beats within us as well.

Let us trim the lamps of our hearts to keep the life we live simple and confined to the one great purpose, to do His Will. We must remain vigilant against the subtleties of this temporal life to be about our Father’s business.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Oh my soul you have said to Jehovah,
You are my Lord; My goodness is nothing apart from you”
PSALM 16:2

True righteousness in the life of the individual believer is always His Righteousness. It is as real as He is for within the power of true faith there is a laying hold of His Life. Faith is not an ethereal or make believe thing; it is the living conduit by which the Life of the Son becomes ours. The branch does not “pretend” to draw in the life of the vine. It does not try to put forth a good show of imitating what the life of the vine might look like; it lives by the unconscious daily ministration of that life.

In the religious world today we have many kinds of “righteousness”, from the declared judicial righteousness to the rigorous and strict self-made righteousness on either end of the spectrum. The declared one is generally filled with apathy, contradiction and carelessness. The self-made, strict one is filled with striving, contradiction and varying degrees of pride and condemnation. Both these extremes will, in some form or another, be part of the journey of a true believer. However as we grow in Him we begin to discover the need for a true and lasting power to sustain a righteousness that is no longer made up of smoke and mirrors or of self striving. The sincere heart begins to search out the true source of real righteousness with an unfeigned display of genuine life.

True Righteousness is a relationship with Christ. It is not a doctrinal position (though the initial steps of a child of God start there); it is as vital as the branch abiding in the vine. Only a real relationship with Him can bring forth a real righteousness. Within this relationship there is a continual current of interaction between the parties involved. Jesus Christ the vine pouring into us the power, substance and desire for righteousness, and we the branch receiving from this flow the divine enablement to embrace the cross and make the received righteousness a living reality. It is in this precious outworking of life that we grow into His Righteousness by the wonder of a living faith. Paul declares in the book of Roman’s…

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,
for it is the power of God to salvation
to everyone believing both to Jew first, and to Greek;
for in it the righteousness of God is revealed
from faith to faith; even as it has been written,
“But the just shall live by faith”
Romans 1:16-17

It is clear that the Gospel of Christ (not men) produces a revelation of the righteousness of God from faith to faith. A life that is not expressing a growth in righteousness is not living in the Gospel of Christ! When men teach another gospel, one that leaves out the cross of Christ, the result is an impotent and powerless message in which victory over sin is preached but never realized. We can grow into the realization of a life energized and sustained by the living Christ or we can settle for a form of righteousness which is devoid of any real and lasting vitality. Faith is the medium and His Righteousness is the crowning jewel of His work in us.

“For me to live IS Christ…”
PHILLIPIANS 1:21

Brian Troxel

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THE NATURE OF TRUE VISION

“Except a man be born again,
he cannot SEE the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:3

This verse has become in some ways the message of the modern church. It presents a vital and eternal truth; a man MUST be born again. The word “except” precludes any other way. Yet within the confines of man’s relationship with God it is the matrix into eternity but not the Kingdom of God. It is by being born again that man is awakened and enabled to SEE the Kingdom, not enter it. Entering the Kingdom is vastly different than the mere seeing of it. How sad it is that men are satisfied with seeing rather than entering. The nature of Vision is that by stepping into the one, it always offers glimpses of another. Being born again is the beginning of our walk not the end. Most of Christendom is satisfied with seeing, a good and wholesome start, yet only the beginning of the wonder of eternal life. Some venture into the truths of the ceremony of baptism in water and even into the baptism and birth of the Holy Spirit where giftings become an experiential reality. Jesus goes on to say…

“Verily, verily, I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God”
JOHN 3:5

Jesus begins to speak of the higher things of God. Now instead of SEEING the Kingdom He speaks of ENTERING the Kingdom. He speaks of being BORN of water and of the Spirit. This is a new call to ASK and SEEK for these things to become real in the lives of His disciples. Jesus told His disciples that He had many more things to share with them but that they were not ready to bear them. Their development of character was not sufficient (in the original language) but he said that when the Holy Spirit came HE would lead and guide them into ALL TRUTH. If being born again was to be the sum total of His Truth to us why would Jesus speak of greater things to come by the ministration of the Holy Spirit? Our failure to seek and hunger for the greater things makes us settle for seeing rather than apprehending. Paul cried out in Philippians that he was on a quest to “apprehend” something and that in the pursuit of the ONE THING he counted the loss of all things as dung in order to lay hold of it. This should be our cry as well. We settle for far less than what God has for us because the pursuit of that call involves a cost. It is a cost that few men are willing to pay. As a result of faithless inactivity their eyes grow dim, their hearts wither and they settle for the comfort of a teaching that will soothe and often even quench the fire for more of Him.

Let us consider the Call to Abraham the “Father of our faith”.

“Lift up now thine eyes,
and look from the place where thou art northward,
and southward, and eastward, and westward”
GENESIS 13:14

Abraham’s faith had brought him thus far. He had obeyed the call and left the UR of the Chaldees. He had passed through many places and built several altars unto his God. Men and women of faith cannot settle and abide in the Land of their Birth for faith is an active thing; a living thing that is filled with purpose and quest. Abraham had obeyed, had followed his God, and remained a sojourner in his day. The original call was to Abraham alone, yet Abraham brought Lot with him on his journey contrary to the call to leave all. Finally, in the dealings of God Lot and Abraham separate, Lot choosing the land that was compatible with his heart and Abraham remaining in the land of his promise (Genesis 12:7).

“And the Lord said unto Abram,
AFTER that Lot was separated from him,
Lift up NOW thine eyes…”
GENESIS 13:14

It was AFTER Lot had finally departed, after the separation that God came to him and spoke that word of wonder… “Lift up NOW thine eyes and look…” Obedience is the key to VISION. It was after Abraham and Lot were separated that the word of God came. For many years Abraham kept Lot in his company. Lot in the original means “veiled one” and we see the result of Lot’s faith in choosing the cities of Sodom to dwell in. This walk of separation is the price paid by those who walk in the faith and the obedience of The Call. It is costly and at times lonely; yet a small price to pay in comparison to hearing God say “Lift up NOW thine eyes…”

Vision lifts the beholder out of the “present world” and shows the promises of God. The danger of any vision is that it becomes stagnant and remains undeveloped. Men are prone to letting vision be the end rather than the womb of something greater. Every vision is only the beginning of a new journey, a new impetus into the deeper and higher things of God. Had Abraham been content with the seeing of the earthly land of promise he would not have become the father of our faith.

Vision in our language means to see; vision in God’s language means to enter into, walk in and possess. The great tragedy is that men become content with seeing. They enjoy discussions, teachings and even prayers concerning what they see. People gather together on the basis of a vision but with the passing of time the vision fades from a pursuit to an ideal. Faith once passionate and living now becomes a doctrinal statement and a forlorn distant concept. Those to whom the promise was once given, (through unbelief fail to enter in) their bones bleach white in the wilderness of disobedience. The vision remains and it waits for a new generation who will rise up out of the failures of the former and enter into a fresh aspect of God’s purposes.

The entering in to the new land of promise requires a greater vision to obtain it. It is one thing to cross over the river. It is quite another to have the vision of seeing God afresh, for that new land is filled with powerful enemies that must be conquered. There is no end to a new seeing of Him in our walk. One victory leads us to new battles and new victories for those who are gripped by the power of a living faith. The Call is not a High Call. It is an UPWARD CALL, one that is filled with an ever-increasing discovery of the Eternal Riches of Christ in God. There is no point of arrival for the unsearchable riches of Christ are eternally unveiling new vistas, new wonders and new dimensions of Grace and Glory!

“After this I looked, and, behold,
a door was opened in heaven:
and the first voice which I heard
was as it were of a trumpet talking with me;
which said, Come up hither,
and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter”
REVELATION 4:1

Brian Troxel

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