Thought for Today – Psalm 34:4

Thought for Today

“I sought the Lord, and he heard me”
Psalm 34:4

Life in God is all about seeking. There is the seeking one and the One who is sought. As with every spiritual relationship there is always one who is the initiator; God being love is the initiator of all things. At the core of all relationships are a seeking and reciprocation. The flow of interaction is what deepens and intensifies the bonds of relationship. In our pursuit of Him we find the One Great Love of the universe responding within the depths and wisdom of His own being. It is the story of the Beloved and the Loved becoming one in Spirit and in Truth. The scriptures declare the wonder of this very well:

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

Our seeking of Him is based upon the reciprocation of Him seeking that which was lost. The impact of His love upon the human heart is always revealed in our pursuit of Him. The Parables of Jesus reveal the intensity of this relationship from both perspectives. The Parable of the Good Shepherd is the story of Him, though unsought by us, finding and rescuing us in our lost and wayward condition. The Parable of the Pearl of Great Price is the description of us seeking Him and selling all to obtain its wonder. Those who are forgiven much love much. His creation was specifically designed to respond to and be governed by love. As a result of the fall, man was separated from the source and power of Love itself; we became slaves to the disorder of self-love, self-realization and depravity. The ongoing work of the Holy Spirit within our hearts is one of reconciliation and growth ever moving onward to full unity in Him and with one another (John 17:21-22).

Our finding of Him will always be in proportion to our seeking of Him. Entering into deeper places of abiding in Him will be in proportion to our knocking at the door of Love’s domain. Seeing of Him brings us to new and fuller experiences of repentance and change; it is impossible to see Him and remain the same. The unfolding of His person brings us to new vistas of His love for us which in turn will be reciprocated by a further depth of our love for Him. True relationships hold the mystery of eternity for within those bonds with one another there is no point of arrival. Relationships stagnate here on earth because of the impurities of pride, stubbornness, unforgiveness and a myriad of other unresolved sins in our lives.

In truly loving God we are struck with the impossibility of holding aught against our brother for this is the very measure God uses to validate our love for Him.

“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

The validity of our seeking Him and being born of Him is revealed in the simplicity of how we live. We not only seek Him in the secret places of prayer but also in the doing of righteousness and in the substance of loving one another in truth. Love is not just a teaching it is a life of becoming more like Him.

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

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Psalm 34:15

Thought for Today

“Depart from evil, and do good”
Psalm 34:15

There is a simplicity to the heavenly life. Its ways are easy to find and the benefits are many. However, as with any journey, there is a departing from one place in order to reach another.

“Depart from evil…”

One must leave where one is in order to reach another destination. To “do good” one must “depart from evil”. It is not possible to habitually abide in darkness and yet expect to have the ability to do good. The Epistle of James asks the penetrating question:

“Doth a fountain send forth
at the same place sweet water and bitter?”
James 3:11

The answer of course is no. Those who speak good religious’ words and yet speak evil of a brother or sister reveal the inner spring of their hearts. Words are the outflow of who a person actually is; the seemingly “good” words are drowned out by the bitter and spiteful words. A fountain can only bring forth one kind of water, not two. It is as we depart from evil that we will find grace to cause the bitter to become sweet.

In the leaving of the evil and the cleaving to the good the heart and soul of every believer is transformed. Our journey of faith is one of travelling the “paths of righteousness”. It is a road filled with countless opportunities to grow in His righteousness and His goodness. The life of Jesus is set forth in the scriptures as one who went about doing good; those in whom He is living cannot keep His goodness from shining forth. Doing good is the result of becoming good in Christ. So let His light shine in our speech and in our works

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost
and with power: who went about doing good…”
Acts 10:38

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Psalm 34:8

Thought for Today

“O taste and see that the Lord is good”
Psalm 34:8

Such is the invitation of the Spirit. There is a calling and a beckoning to come and feast upon Him. The eternal living bread of God is available to all through His blood that we may be strengthened and transformed into His very likeness. The Word of God is to be tasted and savored. Its rich and powerful ministrations of life are to become our sustenance. His Life is not meant to be observed from a distance as a spectator, nor handled as a religious commodity; it is to be eaten as our daily bread.

“For my flesh is meat indeed…”
John 6:55

Those who do not eat cannot see. It is as we partake of Him and taste of His glory that we are enabled to see!

“O taste and see that the Lord is good”
Psalm 34:8

Life has but one purpose and that is to grow into His likeness by the participation of our lives with Him. Without the tasting and eating and digesting of Him our life is lived from an ethereal realm of statements, teaching and doctrines. The heartbeat of the living Christ is absent. Our life becomes one of an outward appearance rather than an inward reality.

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste!
yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
Psalm 119:103

“O taste and see. Make a trial, an inward, experimental trial of the goodness of God. You cannot see except by tasting for yourself; but if you taste you shall see, for this, like Jonathan’s honey, enlightens the eyes. That the Lord is good. You can only know this really and personally by experience. There is the banquet with its oxen and fatlings; its fat things full of marrow, and wine on the lees well refined; but their sweetness will be all unknown to you except you make the blessings of grace your own, by a living, inward, vital participation in them. Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Faith is the soul’s taste; they who test the Lord by their confidence always find him good, and they become themselves blessed”
– Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Psalm 34:5

Thought for Today

“They looked unto him, and were lightened:
and their faces were not ashamed”
Psalm 34:5

There is light in none other. It is the Light of God shining forth in the face of Jesus Christ whereby men and women are enlightened. The light of His life is what causes His people to arise out of the clutches of this world; its darkness, its ways, its offerings and temptations. In seeing Him, in beholding His countenance, we are lifted into heavenly places; the veil is parted and we behold His Glory.

“…unto them that look for him shall he appear”
Hebrews 9:28

Looking implies dependence; the eyes are guided by that which one desires. We look for Him for He is our salvation. He is our comforter. He is the hope which makes us not ashamed to declare Him to the world and more importantly to one another. In the seeing of Him the offenses and rejection of friends and foes are dissipated. “Their faces were not ashamed”; their hopes of life and godliness renewed. The ability to rise up from every circumstance and every failure is invigorated by His light of pure wonder. Let us not shrink back because of disappointments in life. Let us ever be renewed in the beauty and power of the light that beckons us to higher and deeper things.

“Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith”
Hebrews 12:2

Brian Troxel

The Instruction of Wisdom

The Fear of the Lord
The Instruction of Wisdom

“The fear of the Lord is THE instruction of wisdom;
and before honour is humility.”
Exodus 26:20

Let the power and substance of this verse sink deeply into the very core of our being. “The fear of the Lord is THE instruction…” His fear in our lives is what teaches us the true wisdom of His ways. It is in knowing “the fear of the Lord” where access is given to the “hidden wisdom” of His ways. Without the fear of the Lord there is a limitation in understanding the wonders of His Covenant or the mysteries of His righteousness.

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him;
and he will shew them his covenant”
Psalm 25:14

The fear of the Lord is His way of instructing us and keeping us free from the snares of man’s methods, ways and teachings. It is His way of preserving us from the “wisdom of this world” and the folly of the religious ways of men.

It is the fear of the Lord that causes us to walk circumspectly and to consider our words, our thoughts and the motives of our hearts. Without this hidden operation of touching His Holiness there is a dimming of the wisdom, understanding and spiritual discernment of our God. The religious ethos of any generation in which the fear of the Lord is lacking will be revealed in the lawlessness of “every man doing that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6).

“But what things they do not know; they speak evil of these. And what things they understand naturally, like the animals without reason, they are corrupted by these. Woe to them, because they went the way of Cain, and gave themselves up to the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the speaking against of Korah! These are sunken rocks in your love feasts, feasting together with you, feeding themselves without fear, waterless clouds being carried about by winds, fruitless autumn trees, having died twice, having been plucked up by the roots; wild waves of the sea foaming up their shames, wandering stars for whom blackness of darkness has been kept forever”
Jude 1:10-13

This is not the description of those without, it is a warning to those within!

“They feed themselves without fear”

Wherever grace is promoted at the expense of righteousness hypocrisy and worldliness will flourish.

Can we not hear the crying out of wisdom unto all who would be instructed in the way of the Lord? His way is the way of life and it is in our knowing the “fear of the Lord” wherein we are instructed to abide within the walls of His salvation.

“Come, ye children, hearken unto me:
I will teach you the fear of the Lord”
Psalm 34:11

Brian Troxel