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Archive for the ‘Our Salvation’ Category

The Invitation

PART ONE

“Whom shall I send?”

“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

God uses men. In His hidden wisdom He delights in His strength being made perfect through our weakness. Isaiah, having been broken by the seeing of God’s glory, his lips purified by the coals of the heavenly altar, was now able to hear the Word of the Lord.

“Whom shall I send…”

An unbroken and impure heart will never hear this word. It is the pure heart which sees God; one free from agendas and self-seeking motives. God sends those who serve Him (Romans 1:1). This invitation came to Isaiah in the midst of seeing his wretched condition and the true condition of all men. The invitation came to Isaiah expressly. For the Word of God to be filled with power and authority it must be to the individual; it must be specific and personal. The vessel to whom it comes must know it to be a transaction of life for life. The Call is costly and absolute; to the one who receives it there is no “plan B”. What was Isaiah’s reward in this world? He was sawn asunder (cut in half). What was John the Baptist’s reward? He was beheaded. What was Paul’s reward? He was beheaded; Peter’s reward, crucified.

God’s question goes forth again:

“Whom shall I send…”

Only those who have seen His glory are able to answer such a call. While many love to discuss end-time teachings and deliberate over visions and prophecies (as good as those may be) there is a Word going forth which only a few can hear; “whom shall I send”? God is not looking for contributions. He is looking for sacrificial hearts. The invitation is “whom shall I send”? There is no clarification as to what the call will look like. It may be to the multitudes or it may be to a prison cell where no one sees. It may be to a life of loneliness, seemingly set aside from all the religious activity of the day, or it may be to confront the earthly powers of the world (religious and political). The call is not to a position; it is to God Himself to send and use us as He sees fit.

The second question is… “who will go for us…” (see Part Two)

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Humility and Obedience

Humility

“And being found in fashion as a man,
he humbled himself, and became obedient
Philippians 2:8

Humility is the precursor to obedience. Only a humble heart can obey God’s Word. True humility is expressed in a life of obedience. It is the stiff necked, self-willed, and obstinate who cannot obey God’s Word. Men may preach, teach and perform many overt signs and wonders but it is God who searches the heart (Matthew 7:21-23). Only those who are truly humbled in heart before God can obey, please and honor Him.

As the Son humbled Himself as a man He became obedient to the Father while clothed in mortal flesh. The book of Hebrews declares:

“Though he were a Son,
yet learned he obedience
by the things which he suffered”
Hebrews 5:8

It is not that Jesus was ever disobedient but in His incarnation, as a Man, He had to learn obedience! He came from Glory into a whole new realm and manner of life. In becoming a man, He had to overcome the testings, the temptations and the frailties of all that we are. Why and to what end?

“And being made perfect,
he became the author of eternal salvation
unto all them that obey him
Hebrews 5:9

In His overcoming here, as a true man, He became the author of a salvation which is available to all who obey Him. The authenticity of the salvation of an individual must culminate in obedience unto Him. Salvation is revealed by our obedience. The depth to which we are saved is revealed in the depth of our submission unto His will.

Those who claim to be “saved” will show forth His salvation by living a life of obedience.

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

While many may say “Lord, Lord” it is in the crucible of obedience that His Lordship is revealed.

The humility of a life
is not known by a timid demeanor,
It is known by the submission
of itself to the Word of God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

God’s Heart

“A bruised reed shall He not break…”
Isaiah 42:3

God’s heart is ever seeking and desiring to fill the low places within all of humanity. His grace, like water, naturally flows to the lowest place filling the void of the human heart. It is to the bruised ones the Good News of the Gospel is proclaimed in power clothed in the garments of His mercies.

The self-righteous wanted to stone to death the woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus saw the more grievous evil; self-righteousness clothed in the conceit of the religious.

“A bruised reed shall He not break…”

It was the religious priest and the Levite who passed by the wounded in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the disciples who could not see the heart of the woman who broke the alabaster box and poured the precious ointment upon Jesus. They could not see the brokenness of heart from which the act was inspired. God sees the heart while men behold the vessel. To know the flow of this grace through our own lives we must know His heart.

“A bruised reed shall He not break…”

He comes to speak encouragement to all who struggle within the isolated and seemingly hopeless grip of sin, depression, loneliness, cruelty and oppression of the world. He is never far from those who call upon His name in sincerity and in truth.

“I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you”
John 14:18

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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“THE TIME OF SEALING”

sound the alarm

“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and punish the men
who are settled
* in complacency, who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil.”

ZEPHANIAH 1:12

In this time of silence preceding the conclusion of all that God began in Christ, there is a searching and a measuring of men’s hearts where eternal destinies are being determined. It is a subtle hour and a most critical time as the lamps of some begin to grow dim as the Bridegroom tarries. The Hebrew word used here for settled* (see below) means to become thick, slow and curdled. It speaks of people who start out well but who, as time passes, become set in their ways and are no longer flexible. They are no longer able to flow in the purposes of their God. Their waiting has turned into stagnation; the brightness of their hope has become dim. The vision has turned from a quest and a pursuit into a doctrinal concept that no longer energizes their hearts and minds. This is a slow and certain death; it is the enemy of us all! Slowly the obscurity falls like a veil over the heart and the whispers of the enemy speak with great cunning and craftiness, “what difference does it make, nothing seems to make a difference, I will just “settle” here and live comfortably…” In other words, “The Lord will not do good, nor evil” I will just pass the time here as other men. If calamity comes I will “then” be ok..

It is in this time throughout the history of God’s dealings with men that there is a marking and a sealing; a determining and a measuring of the hearts of His people. In the silence there are great things at work as God prepares for the unveiling of all that He has purposed. May we consider a couple of examples….

“And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city,
through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads
of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be
done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing,
Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare,
neither have ye pity: Slay utterly old and young, both maids,
and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon
whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary…”

EZEKIEL 9:4 – 6

“And I saw another angel ascending from the east,
having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice
to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees,
till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads”

REVELATION 7:2 – 3

It is a Day for seeking out those who “cry and sigh” over the state of His House; to dig deep and hide ourselves within the secret place of the Most High. It is a Day to speak, encourage and admonish the people of God to fight off the slumber of this hour, to pray and build up our lives on “our most Holy Faith”. It is a Day to seek out that fellowship that will challenge and provoke us unto the ardent pursuit of Christ Jesus our Lord. It is a Day to know in the reality of our hearts the setting aside of all that this world can offer to purchase that Pearl of great price. This is a costly thing, more than just a casual walk, more than just a religious concept; it is the Battle for Life…HIS LIFE.

“TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES…”

Can we not hear the Word to us, “TODAY”? May the Lord press upon our hearts that we are brothers and sisters of one great family, and BECAUSE of that we speak, we cry out and we plead with one another that we may assemble ourselves together in fear of the Lord and in the awareness of the hour in which we live!

*Note: קָפָא qāpāʼ: A verb meaning to curdle, to congeal; to become settled, stagnant. It refers to something standing still or slowing down its movement, becoming thick (Ex. 15:8). It is used figuratively of a person in great suffering being curdled, tossed about like hardening cream (Job 10:10). It depicts a dead or stagnant spirit in a person (Zeph. 1:12). It means, used with reference to the heavenly bodies, to shrink, to lose brightness (Zech. 14:6).  (S. Zodhiates)

Brian Troxel

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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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