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Quote for Today

William Booth

“I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell”
– William Booth

“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine. 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 4:2-4

 

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Serving God

Part One

“And Jesus answering, said to him,
“It has been written:
‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and you shall serve Him only”
Luke 4:8

Serving God will always be proportional to the condition of our hearts. Divided loyalties result in a tainted service unto Him. Jesus said unequivocally “No man can serve two masters…”. It takes the work of the Holy Spirit to bring an individual to the singular desire to serve God. Purity of heart (a heart void of mixture or agendas) is the criteria for wholly serving God. Within the core of human nature lies the unbridled and undisciplined chaos of the fall. This results in the lawlessness of the cravings and relentless pursuit for self-realization, self-gratification, and self-promotion. This inherent evil produces the conflicts, wars and grievous atrocities in the Body of Christ around us.

“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you?
Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?”
James 4:1

It is the war within that produces the conflicts without. The horrific need for control and recognition and satisfaction is the curse of the religious world. The great deception here is the promotion of self under the guise of serving God. Those who crucified Jesus did so in the name of God through the innate evil of self-serving ambition. Lust, self-love, covetousness, envy and jealousy are mitigating factors that rob the heart of its singular desire to serve and honor God. A divided heart is an evil heart. A divided heart is an unstable heart. A heart driven by a passion for anything other than the love of God will, in the end, betray Him. Dying to self is the only means to a pure and single heart. God has no other answer for the human condition.

“…knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him,
that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin”
Romans 6:6

Freedom in Christ comes by our co-crucifixion with Him. It is in our daily walk of following Him that we are freed from the desires and lusts of self. Our ability to serve God with a whole heart will be proportional to the depth of our co-crucifixion with Him.

“By this all will know that you are My disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
John 13:35

In the discipleship of picking up our cross and following Him His Love will be seen. Only disciples have the ability to show forth the wonder of the Love of Christ. True disciples of Christ are easily seen by the purity of love that flows to others.

Brian Troxel

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Thought for Today

Humble Service to God

“Neither shalt thou go up by steps unto mine altar,
that thy nakedness be not discovered thereon”
Exodus 26:20

Religion has a way of elevating those who minister. In the fabrication of lofty concepts of ministry we unwittingly provide the means of pride and thereby the downfall of many. True service unto the Lord is in humility; those who are His will not allow the altar upon which they serve to be elevated. The true servants of God do not serve organizations, ministries and people; they live unto Him alone.

“Serving the Lord with all humility of mind”
Acts 20:19

Whenever pride enters the hearts of those who serve at His altar the ministration is doomed to fail and the nakedness and shame of one’s life will be sure to follow. It is the horror of religion that men and women seek the elevated place and in turn people give undue honor unto those who do so.

Those who truly serve the Lord touch His glory. It is in this touching of His glory that they know the authentic humility of the Spirit of God. Pride cannot exist where His Glory dwells.

“Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him”
Deuteronomy 6:13

Brian Troxel

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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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