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Thought for Today

The Wick

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“…and he (Moses) looked, and, behold,
the bush burned with fire,
and the bush was not consumed”
Exodus 3:2

God’s purpose for man is revealed in this verse. The call of God is to bring men and women to this one end: lives that burn with His fire through fragile earthen vessels. In a fully yielded life of surrender we become His light to the world.

The secret of this life is in the wick drawing upon the oil of His Spirit allowing His pure desire and heart to be the flame. The only way the wick will not burn up is by keeping the flow of oil constant through the power of an abiding relationship. Where there is no flow the wick will burn out and become useless, no longer able to shine with the wonder of the flame of God.

The oil without the flame is of little value. So too are the gifts and ministrations of the Holy Spirit apart from the purifying and glorifying flame of God within the vessel. The magnificence of this life cannot be known without these three components: The Flame of God, the Oil of the Holy Spirit and the Fragile Earthen Wick.

“And the bush was not consumed”

Ω

“It is of the Lord’s mercies
that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not”
Lamentations 3:22

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Called with Purpose

“Whereunto I am appointed a preacher,
and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles”
2 Timothy 1:11

Those appointed of God know definitively His divine call upon their lives. The “Christian” experience is not to be one of aimless wandering in some religious wilderness. Those who know their God feel the weight of His call; they are not left to their own ways and choices. There is a sense of accountability deep within their being. While others may go and do, seemingly at will, such is not the life of the called.

Paul in his Epistles declares over and over that his apostolic expression is “not by the will of men”. It is a call that requires separation and obedience. It is a call to God Himself and not to an organization, ministry or selfish motives. God’s call leaves room for no one but Himself. Without hearing and responding to His call we will wander in a barren land without a sense of purpose.

It takes little effort, even in casual conversation, to recognize one who knows the Call of God. There is a fire, a passion and a desire for an apprehension of those things to be accomplished in their lives. There is an intensity that transcends the status quo of attending meetings, hearing messages and having casual religious conversations. Paul cries out with this intensity that he might “…apprehend that for which he had been apprehended”. This cry is not the result of a teaching. The cry is the result of the call. Without the call there is no drive to apprehend; no sense of being held accountable to fulfill His call. Meetings, conferences and sermons will easily satisfy those to whom the call has become distant and dim. The fire fades and the need to obtain and fulfill His purpose loses its hold upon the reins of their life. Retirement and comfort becomes more important than fulfilling the call. Those in whom the fire has gone out distance themselves from those who challenge them to rise up and press into their call.

How good and precious is the fear of the Lord! It holds us to our course. It keeps us attentive to the things of Him in our life. We are constantly stirred by the keeping power of His Spirit to stay on task concerning our portion in Him. It is here, as we seek out others with this fire and intensity, that we discover the real purpose of fellowship. The glory of knowing the call of God brings a sense of walking in an appointed way. This brings a certainty of purpose in the challenges of life.

“And we know that all things work together
for good to them that love God,
to them who are THE CALLED
according to HIS PURPOSE
Romans 8:28

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Faithful and Wise Servant

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant,
whom his lord hath made ruler over his household,
to give them meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant,
whom his lord when he cometh
shall find so doing”
Matthew 24:45-46

Faithfulness is a commendable virtue of God’s servants; those who labor in His fields shepherding and feeding His flock regardless of personal situations and circumstances. However, Jesus by His great work within our hearts, is always enlarging the scope of His ministration through us. It is one thing to be faithful and another thing altogether to be faithful and wise. Here Jesus commends His steward for having the ability to give His people “meat in due season”. One who ministers from a wise heart knows the condition of God’s people and walks in a discerning way. This servant is not just a disseminator of information but one who, in God’s wisdom, understands what God is after in each life and ministers accordingly. The faithful and wise servant seeks not the praises of men but pursues the honor of His Lord. The very essential portion of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. It is His people and therefore His salvation and His divine purposes that are to be fulfilled in each life.

Many appear to be faithful in our day within the confines of church activity and religious endeavors yet without the wonder of His wisdom at work in and through their lives such ministrations will be found lacking. This can be because of ulterior motives or an attemptt to minister from a position (job description) rather than through the ministration of His heart.

It is the faithful and wise servant who becomes endued with His authority in His house. Authority is given to those who are under His authority. Only those who are truly His servants (serving Him rather than themselves or a religious agenda) can actually walk and abide in His wisdom. The true wisdom of God is free from partiality and factious loyalties. It knows the fear of the Lord and will not be contaminated with anything that would interfere with the true ministration of His mercy or His judgments. People who function with a view to loyalty to a denomination or a particular faction or gathering of God’s people will forfeit the ability to walk in His wisdom.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure,
then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated,
full of mercy and good fruits,
without partiality, and without hypocrisy”
James 3:17

Those who stand in places of ministry in His house will reveal this union of faithfulness and wisdom in their own lives; in their families, their work and behavior in all circumstances. Paul wrote to Timothy concerning those who would walk and function from the wisdom of God:

“One that ruleth well his own house,
having his children in subjection with all gravity;
(For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
1 Timothy 3:4-5

Faithfulness and wisdom are attributes of an individual not just in a religious setting but in every area of life. It is to this end that we interact with Him and those around us; that we may hear Him say to us “Well done thou good and faithful servant”.

“Who is wise and knowing among you?
Let him show his works by his good behavior,
in meekness of wisdom”
James 3:13

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Necessity

“For though I preach the gospel,
I have nothing to glory of:
for necessity is laid upon me;
yea, woe is unto me,
if I preach not the gospel!”
1 Corinthians 9:16

The Call brings the sense of necessity. Here the hearts of His own are easily searched out. The inner need to express Him is a fire within their being. Those who know their God cannot be silent concerning His Name in the earth. Though few will listen, and many who use His Name are steeped in apathy, it will not dampen the irrepressible fervor to preach His Word. Jeremiah in the midst of the lethargy and the mockery of his generation tried to refrain from speaking His word but to no avail. How can His people remain silent in this day?

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him,
nor speak any more in his name.
But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire
shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing,
and I could not stay”
Jeremiah 20:9

ω

“You cannot preach conviction of sin unless you have suffered it.
You cannot preach repentance unless you have practiced it.
You cannot preach faith unless you have exercised it.
True preaching is artesian;
it wells up from the great depths of the soul.
If Christ has not made a well within us,
there will be no outflow from us”
Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Heart of a Priest

Holy Zeal
Part 9

“And Jehovah spoke to Moses, saying,
Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest,
has turned My wrath away from the sons of Israel
while he was zealous for My sake among them
Numbers 25:15

True priests of the Lord are zealous for God’s glory. They have a burning passion within for His ways, His Holiness and His Glory. They do not sit idly by while men in their insolence disregard His glory and bring dishonor to Him in His house. Those without zeal will not react to the situations before them. They may cringe a bit, they may be saddened or even give themselves to prayer, but the true priests of God act out of a heart that is “zealous for His sake” among the lukewarm people of God.

This rising up of Phinehas happened in the midst of a great judgement from God. Israel’s backsliding had brought the worldly ways of men to the very people of God!

“And Israel lived in Shittim.
And the people began to fornicate
with the daughters of Moab”
Numbers 25:1 (LITV)

While Moses and the true priests of the Lord were weeping before the Tabernacle a brazen act of adultery was happening right in their midst. Zimri* (Song of the Lord) brought into his tent a Midianite woman Cozbi* (false, deceptive, a lie); the pollution of the Song of the Lord by the joining of it to the deceptive things of the world. It is against this backdrop that Phinehas rose up from the place of weeping and took a spear and slew both the Israelite and the Midianite in His zeal for the Lord. God’s response to this act:

“Wherefore say, Behold,
I give unto him (Phineas) my covenant of peace:
And he shall have it, and his seed after him,
even the covenant of an everlasting priesthood;
because he was zealous for his God,
and made an atonement for the children of Israel”
Numbers 25:12-13

Do we not see the Song of the Lord in our day mingled with the flesh and horror of the world? Do we not see apathy in the midst of a carnal church which has been polluted with the ways and the wisdom of this ungodly world? Are there not those who will rise up in such an hour for His Glory to be restored to His Church? Where are the prophets, where are those who sigh and cry over the abominations committed in the very Name of God? The church is filled with those who break fellowship with one another, who allow His own to speak evil and perverse things and none lay it to heart. It is a day of blasphemy and disgrace for the things we allow in our midst. The true priests of the Lord will not be silent in this day. It is a day to rise up, to speak and to do concerning the mixture and pollution we see all around us. We see men who take unto themselves the money of the widows and the sincere to build up empires unto themselves and none lay it to heart! It is a day to respond to the horror of men’s ways; a day to become involved in the purifying of His house. Men and women allow God’s people to withdraw from others; they do not take seriously the ministration of the blood which binds us together with the cords of His love. No one wants to get involved. Every man attends to his own interests alone and in so doing becomes a participant in the tearing down of His house. This is happening because within the lives of many there is no zeal for God; they are content with the status quo. They hide themselves in the religious garment of prayer and do nothing. Prayers which do not lead to obedience and zeal for the Lord are the prayers of religious and vain hearts. True prayer brings us to the threshold of His Glory and in that awesome presence men rise up with the fortitude and love of God beating in their hearts to stand for Him in this day. Men who see and feel nothing do nothing.

This new priesthood is one which contends for God’s purposes in the earth. They stand like beacons in the midst of the apathy and spiritual harlotry of today. They are grieved over the functioning of the carnal church which operates on the same premise as any worldly corporation. They cannot help but speak out to all who would hear “repent and turn from this wickedness”. God will give us a new heart to serve Him in the fervency of His Love for one another.

The call of God is going forth in this hour to those who have a zeal for His Glory in the earth; who become involved in the new wineskin into which God will pour the New Wine. He will give a new heart to serve in the fervency of His Love to one another. Those who respond with the fervor of His Spirit have the heart of a priest unto Him.

“Blessed and holy is the one
having part in the first resurrection.
The second death has no authority over these,
but they will be priests of God and of Christ,
and will reign with Him…”
Revelation 20:6

*NOTE: Hebrew Meaning of Zimri and Cozbi
Zimri:
Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names defines the verb that means to sing or make music, and reads “Song Of The Lord” BTN defines Zimri – “my praise” or “my music” in Hebrew.

Cozbi: כזב
The root-verb כזב (kazab) means to lie (Numbers 23:19, Isaiah 57:11), or to disappoint or fail (Habakkuk 2:3, Isaiah 58:11). Figuratively, this verb is used to describe a brook or stream that has dried up: Job 6:15, Jeremiah 15:18, also see Isaiah 58:11 (and the opposite of a lying river is a river whose water is sure — Isaiah 33:16;
Its derivations are:

The masculine noun כזב (kazab), meaning a lie, falsehood or deception (Judges 16:10, Amos 2:4, Isaiah 28:15).
The adjective אכזב (‘akzab), meaning deceptive or disappointing (Jeremiah 15:18 and Micah 1:14 only).
The Bible considers lies the ultimate opposite of whatever God is, stands for and wishes to bring about. Since God is Truth (Deuteronomy 32:4, John 14:6), Satan is called the father of lies (John 8:44), and an idol a teacher of lies (Habakkuk 2:18).
Abiram Publications

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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The Measure of a Man

PART ONE

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

In this day of declining fervor and passion for God and His purposes, it is always good to be reminded of the measure to which we have been called to love Him. Many in this day take comfort in His Love for us which, while it is incomprehensible and unmerited, is given with purpose and accountability. This Love wherewith He has loved us, when received as a mere teaching, has no real influence upon the human heart. The Love of God when received into the very being of a man will always produce change, pursuit and a love for Him in return.

“We love him, because he first loved us”
1John 4:19

Love received in truth will always bring forth a reciprocating expression of that love back unto Him who is Love. The validity and measure of the love we have received from Him is revealed in the depth and the corresponding love for Him. The call of God goes out in this day (as it has from the beginning of creation) to love Him with our whole heart. Without Love the New Covenant offers little to the people of God, for Love is the very fiber and matrix of all our actions unto Him. Religion is a dry and monotonous exercise in futility without Love. Faith lacks motive, power and purpose when it is held alone without the wonder of God’s Love. Faith needs to be mingled with Love to accomplish the great things of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love
Galatians 5:6 (LITV)

Paul exhorts us in Corinthians chapter 13…

“…though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and have not love, I am nothing”
1Corinthians 13:2

People who are held within the grasp of a true sense of their indebtedness unto Him can never be static, inactive or apathetic in their pursuit of God. Those whose love for God rarely, if ever, has any influence on their daily life must reconsider the eternal ramifications of such a meager existence. True and active disciples are always being moved and led by the love of God beating in their hearts. Jesus in seeing the multitude had compassion

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
and he healed their sick”
Matthew 14:14

They who love little do little. A mere religious belief without the love and fire of God burning within the heart is the horror of religion. Woe to those who are comfortable to minister a Gospel without the fire of God in their hearts. Woe to those who are content with anything less than a pure desire to love God with all of their heart.

“…I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent…”
Revelation 2:4-5

Only “first love” can produce “first works”. People without love are barren and unfruitful in the things of God. The loss of first love in the Church at Ephesus (if not repented from) would result in the removal of God’s Presence from their midst. God’s love is the spring from which all His works flow and correspondingly so it is with His disciples.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.”
John 13:35

Discipleship is the expression of a life which has been captured with the beauty and glory of our God. Love is the only constraint which binds the disciple to the life of following of Jesus.

It is this love alone which determines
the measure of a man in God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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