The One Thing

The ONE Thing

“And Abram journeyed, going on still…”
Genesis 12:9

It is the nature of Faith to produce within true hearts a diligence to ever be “going on still” in their walk with God. Faith is relentless in its quest to seek and know its author. Faith generates in the life of every true disciple a “journey” and a quest for God Himself. This journey is the result of a heavenly vision which causes all earthly things to become dim and obsolete in comparison with the growing radiancy of God. There can be no division of heart when God is becoming the “one thing”. As Paul declared:

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

We read of this same “One Thing” in Psalm 27 as David cries out with fullness of heart:

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple”
Psalm 27:4

It is this “One Thing” which characterizes the pilgrims of faith; that separates the Christian Adherent from the True Disciple. Disciples grow in their love and pursuit of the “One Thing” for an individual cannot follow Him for long without being captured by His incomparable beauty. We cannot follow the ONE in whom resides Wisdom, Grace and LIFE and remain attached to the things of this world.

Who can save us from the misery of self? None but Jesus.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”
Acts 4:12

While to the believer Christ brings salvation, to the disciple Christ IS their salvation. To one it is an act, a decree and a doctrine (precious as that is). To the Disciple, salvation is the LIFE of Christ resident and abiding within. To one it is a very important thing, to the other it is the ONLY thing.

“For I determined not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”
1 Corinthians 2:2

May this burning desire become a growing reality in our lives by the wonder of the grace of God empowering, unifying and purifying our hearts; unto the perfect day where we can truly say the desire for the “one thing” has indeed become the ONE THING.

“And when they had lifted up their eyes,
they saw no man, save Jesus only”
Matthew 17:8

Brian Troxel

Purity in the Church

Purity in the Church

“To Do Justly and to Love Mercy”

“But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person
1 Corinthians 5:11

The Life of Christ will naturally conform to and fulfill the Word of God. Christ Himself is the Living Word and His Spirit in us must, by its very nature, empower us to live in its Holy Way. We are here to “do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God”. It is not Mercy to compromise with sin; it is mercy to hate any sin in our lives as it is to confront sin within the Body of Christ. The purpose of Mercy is to enable men and women to give themselves as a “living sacrifice” unto God. It is never intended to give people license to remain in their sin. How short-sighted are those who would preach a gospel contrary to the purpose of God in His Mercy. The ministrations of God’s Justice and His Mercy are never in conflict. (see note below**)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service”
Romans 12:1

Mercy truly received will always produce a life which grows into the very righteousness of God Himself. Those who would pervert mercy as a license to sin have no understanding of what Salvation in Christ means. It is a “different” gospel which speaks of compromise and godlessness; a gospel which leaves men and women powerless with regards to the victory of Christ over sin. Such a gospel leaves the individual bound to their sin and brings them to the very gates of hell itself. Christ came to inject the very dunamis of His Life to save us, empower us and resurrect us unto righteousness and godly living. May we ever be exhorted to “fight the good fight of faith” and to contend in Christ for the ascendancy over sin.

“Thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from* their sins”
Matthew 1:21

*Greek Word: ἀπό (apo) “any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed” Thayer Greek Lexicon

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“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law, but under grace?
God forbid
Romans 6:15

**NOTE: This exhortation of Paul was written to cut off those who live in sin and flaunt it without remorse or desire to change. There are those who struggle against sin, who seek help and ministry, to whom we are to pour out our very souls unto God on their behalf that they may also know of the power and the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. This word of exhortation is that there would be a standard in HIS CHURCH so that sin and the stain of its consequences would not be tolerated in the Body of Christ. Compromise is the downfall and the sin of a worldly and powerless church. It is a day for the Church to begin to arise with His Light and Glory (Revelation 19:7).

“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these…”
2 Timothy 3:1-5

Brian Troxel

Salvation and Sin – Part One

Salvation and Sin

Part One

“All unrighteousness is sin”
1 John 5:17

It is impossible to fully measure the depth and the power of Christ’s Salvation without an accurate appraisal of sin. The power of the Life of Christ in an individual’s heart is readily seen in the change and ongoing growth in His righteousness. While many content themselves with a judicial decree, Christ came to “make us free” in deed and in truth. It is the drowning person who knows the value of a life preserver. It is the condemned prisoner who understands the wonder of pardon! So too, those who have tasted of the heavenly gift of Christ, fear sin. They dread its contamination in their soul and the grieving it brings to the Spirit of God!

“A man who fears not God, will break all his laws with an easy conscience, but one who is the favorite of heaven, who has been indulged to sit at royal banquets, who knows the eternal love of God to him, cannot bear that there should be any evil way in him that might grieve the Spirit and bring to the name of Christ. A very little sin, as the world calls it, is a very great sin to a truly awakened Christian.”
Charles Spurgeon

“All unrighteousness is sin”

Let the Holy Spirit impart to us the weight of His Word and the estimation of the Holy Spirit concerning our lives. Righteousness is doing what is right in God. Treating others as Christ would; whether in speech, actions and even in the hidden intentions of the heart. Righteousness is walking and living through the power and wonder of the Holy Spirit. It is a walk free from unrighteousness, compromise or partiality.

“In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother”
1 John 3:10

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Righteousness is doing what is right in God

Brian Troxel

Love and the Man of sorrows

Love and The Man of Sorrows

“He is despised and rejected of men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…”
Isaiah 53:3

Those who would know the Love of God, must know grief and sorrow. Love makes a life vulnerable and keeps it vulnerable. Love, even in its wounding, grows stronger. Adversity, betrayal, rejection and even hatred cannot dissuade the pure Love of God from giving of itself. It is undefeatable. The more men hate, the purer Love’s motives become. It shines in the darkness because God is the source of its power and its glory. It speaks the language of tears and washes itself from the mire of bitterness in the incomprehensible streams of His grace. It can never be sullied for long.

“Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it: if a man would give all the substance of his house for love, it would utterly be contemned”
Song of songs 8:11

Love is helpless, yet needs no defence.
Love suffers rejection, yet ever reaches out.
Love walks in sorrow, yet lives in joy.
Love speaks truth, though seldom recognized.
Love is a fire ever burning, yet is always at rest.
Love is unconquerable, yet conquers all.

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

Brian Troxel

The Two Aspects of Hearing God

The Two Aspects of Hearing

How Do We Hear?

In our day the Christian landscape is rife with erroneous teachings and heresies. Most of these are obvious to any child of God with even a limited concept of the foundational truths of Christ. However, Jesus addressed two aspects of hearing with His disciples; each were critical in the measuring of His truth to them. These are clearly set forth for us: take heed WHAT we hear and take heed HOW we hear. The first warning concerns the “hearing” of those who follow Him.

“Take heed WHAT you hear. With whatever measure you measure, it will be measured to you, and more will be given to you who hear
Mark 4:24

Here Jesus is addressing the content of WHAT people hear. There is a divine measuring of truth proportional to what we are willing to hear. If we allocate God’s truth to be for another time and not for us today, we will be unable to hear anything further. The “measure” that we allow will determine what is measured to us. We must “take heed” to these critical warnings. Only then will the Body of Christ be a light and a wonder to the world around us!

God has always been concerned with HOW His people hear His Word. Many may read its content. Many may discuss its implications and even teach its meaning, but few hear with the ears of faith.

It is HOW one hears that determines how one walks.

Hearing is the foundation of an individual’s life in God. This intrinsic and essential faculty determines the whole concourse of our life. Where there is no hearing by the ear of faith there can be no growth in our relationship with Him. The crisis of every heart is reduced in God to this ONE THING. It is here that the eternal destinies of all people are concluded.

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

There is a deception which is of a far higher order than merely taking heed to WHAT we hear; it is in the realm of “HOW” we hear. Throughout the New Testament we are struck with the clear distinction God makes between those who hear and those who do not.

The Parable of the Builders

“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…”
Matthew 7:24

Jesus continued in this Parable to contrast the one who heard correctly from the foolish one who also heard correctly WHAT Jesus was saying but failed in HOW he heard.

“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”
Matthew 7:26

The strength of the House which each man built was not determined by WHAT they heard but in what they DID with what they heard. In other words: in HOW they heard! One man heard the Words of Jesus as the Word of the Lord who is to be obeyed; the other heard the Words of Jesus as a Teacher and viewed God’s Word as something to know rather than something to be obeyed! The “fruit” of these two contrasting lives is clearly set forth in the power of Christ’s Word to His disciples.

Jesus, in a few verses preceding this Parable, set forth what He was clearly meaning.

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 7:21

The eternal question to each of us is, “HOW are we hearing?” Do we hear Jesus as LORD, or do we hear Him as our Teacher? One to be obeyed, or one who came to merely enlighten us with divine teachings? The manner of our walk reveals the evidence of HOW we hear!

“Take heed therefore HOW ye hear: for whosoever hath,
to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not,
from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have”
Luke 8:18

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“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only,
deceiving your own selves”
James 1:22

Brian Troxel

The Good Fight

The Good Fight

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,
whereunto thou art also called…”
1 Timothy 6:12

We are called in Christ Jesus unto Eternal Life. The depth of its wonder and reality in our lives is determined by the fight of the faith residing within our hearts. Eternal life is far more than a gift; it is the very life of Christ ruling and reigning in the sanctum of our lives. The strength of its hold is determined by our freedom from sin, the freedom of His Spirit to have dominion over the affairs of this world, and the consecration of our lives unto His Will. It is short-sighted for us to think that a born-again experience settles the matter of eternal life.

Eternal Life is the very power of Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith. Eternal Life is the living dynamic of Christ putting to death the resident sin nature. Eternal Life is revealed in those who are captivated by the love of Christ living a life of continuous change and transformation.

How little we appreciate the necessary intensity for us to fight with great diligence the war of faith within and without. Read Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “lay hold” on eternal life by fighting the “good fight”. Few Christians today know of this battle to find themselves “apprehending” the promises and purposes of God; few comprehend the dimensions of His Victory to be wrought in each of our lives. We have been deceived into thinking of salvation as simply being saved from some distant judgement with no real and eternal consequences for the thoughts we think and the life we live now.

“Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

Can we not grasp the language of the Holy Spirit throughout the sacred scriptures? We have been called to “lay hold” on eternal life and to “take hold” of that which to which we have been called. This is no passive Gospel as the one that is often presented. We have been called by the God of all Glory to “fight the good fight”, to discover the weapons of our warfare with the intent that we may “lay hold” of the eternal riches of Christ’s life.

Even a casual reading of the message of Christ to the seven churches in the book of Revelation shows the promises of God are given only to those who “overcome”. May we read afresh the call of God to be found in the “fight of Faith” whereby we are enabled by His Spirit “to war a good warfare”.

If there is no fight within a child of God,
there can be no crown.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”
Revelation 3:21-22

Brian Troxel

Trusting God in the Now

Trusting God NOW

“What I am doing you do not understand now”
JOHN 13:7

Can we trust that this is so in the now of our life? Is there a situation, a perplexity, a painful circumstance that seems to linger without any “proof” that there is an end in sight? Can we with the faith and trust of a child look to the unseen hand of God and believe that even in this HE IS AT WORK? His ways are higher, deeper and motivated by a love and desire to bring us to a greater relationship with HIM. He will not waste or squander the short and precious time that we have here. It is our part to behold HIS work and believe in the hidden hand of HIS wisdom to work for us “the exceeding, and eternal weight of glory”while we by faith walk in the circumstances before us.

“What I am doing you do not understand NOW”

This is the statement of a wise and gracious Father who is working, at this moment, to bring to pass HIS PURPOSES in our life. Though we may not yet see we believe that HE who knows us best loves us most! The clay must be firmly and painfully pressed and molded, the gold heated and tried in the furnace. The lukewarm heart must be subjected to circumstances to revive its warmth and passion for Him, the prodigal son “must come to himself”, and the fruitful branch must be pruned. All these things ARE FOR OUR BENEFIT AND LEARNING.

“What I AM DOING you do not understand now”

Can we see above the storm clouds that this is HIS HAND? Could Joseph possibly grasp that his “brothers” selling him into the hands of rough and heathen men was God’s “DOING”? From God’s perspective HE was sending a man into Egypt, (Psalm 105:17) to one day be the means of deliverance to these same brothers. From the misery and drudgery of slavery and prison rose a wise and tested PRINCE; one whom the fires, darkness and testing did not destroy but were actually servants of the MOST HIGH GOD.

“For You, O God, hast proved us: you have tried us, as silver is tried.You brought us into the net; You laid affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but you have brought us out into a wealthy place”
PSALM 66:10 – 12

A wealthy Christian life is one that is going through the processes of HIS LIFE. These are not ones who cry and despair of their poverty; they have discovered and have tasted of the wealthy place. Their waters fail not in drought; their resources are hidden and true. They are like trees that “bear fruit”in every season for their roots are drinking of the River of Life (Revelation 22:2). Let us not succumb to the present circumstances but let us in FAITH and TRUST believe in the ONE that says

“WHAT I AM DOING YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND NOW,
BUT YOU WILL KNOW AFTER…”

JOHN 13:7

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“We cannot always trace God’s hand,
but we can always trust God’s heart”
Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – The Sea of Glass

The Sea of Glass and the Tabernacle of the Testimony

We read again of the “sea of glass” in Revelation 15:2

And I saw, as it were, a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had come off victorious from the beast and from his image and from the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God.”

In this case the “sea” is no longer described as a “crystal,” but as “a sea of glass mixed with fire.” Where John had seen the sea in front of the throne, here we see the overcomers “standing upon the sea of glass.”

Words from THE Church in Iran

Words from THE Church in Iran

“Disciples forsake the world and cling to Jesus ’till he comes. Converts don’t,” the leader said. “Disciples aren’t engaged in a culture war. Converts are. Disciples cherish, obey, and share the word of God. Converts don’t. Disciples choose Jesus over anything and everything else. Converts don’t. Converts run when the fire comes. Disciples don’t.”

This is the cry of His people coming out of Iran. God is moving, empowering and raising up a living testimony in Iran and to the whole world! Please go to this link: The Church in Iran

Pray for our brothers and sisters!

Meditation Moment – Salvation

Meditation Moment

Salvation

“He saved others;
He is not able to save Himself”
Matthew 27:42

The truth in Christ is they who would would save their own life will have nothing to give to others. They who lose their life for Him will have much to give. The disciple is to follow in the footsteps of their master; He who saved not Himself upon the cross bids us to follow in like manner.

In losing we find
In saving we lose

“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it”
Matthew 16:25

Brian Troxel