The Adventure

The Adventure

“For as in Adam all die,
even so, in Christ shall all be made alive”
1 Corinthians 15:22

The key for life, any life, is to be in Christ. There are no formulas, teachings, or concepts that can replace the pulse, the purpose, and the indomitable press of Him. Jesus is the Life and the secret to His vitality is found as we abide in Him.

“He that hath the Son hath life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”
1 John 5:12

There is something so essential in the LIFE of His own, simple and yet so powerful. The Holy Spirit has been given for this reason: to lead us into this growing relationship.

“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me…”
John 16:13

The Life of Christ is the sum of all truth; not just an addition or influence. He is the fountain of doing and reasoning. It is this Presence that transforms life from a series of unrelated events to an adventure full of purpose.

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear,
then shall ye also appear with him in glory”
Colossians 3:4

The quest for an ever-deepening relationship with Him is the joy and purpose of life. There is no point of arrival; His depths are eternal and blessed are those who are captivated by His sheer beauty. This pursuit is fueled by the mystery that unfolds within the common course of life. No wonder the Psalmist cries out with joy:

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

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“For too long, we’ve called unbelievers to “invite Jesus into your life.” Jesus doesn’t want to be in your life. Your life is a wreck. Jesus calls you into his life. And his life isn’t boring or purposeless or static. It’s wild and exhilarating and unpredictable”.
Russell D. Moore

Brian Troxel

Arise and Shine

Arise and Shine

“Arise, sleeping ones and stand up out of the dead ones, and Christ will shine on you”
Ephesians 5:14 (LITV)

The shining forth of Christ from an individual is realized by the vigilance of a heart to stay alert and awake to the Life of Christ within. How easy it is to let the awareness of His presence slip (Hebrews 2:1); and to pass through life with His Words on our lips without the corresponding passion within our hearts. A common deception among believers is the presumption that belief alone is sufficient. However, the evidence of His Life is that we “live, move and have our being” in Him. If we do not know the wonder of new revelations of His Life, the movings of His Spirit within and without, and the experiencing of His ever-changing work in us, we have fallen into a life of slumber.

“For in Him we live, and move,
and have our being…”
Acts 17:28

The absurdity of claiming to hold the King of kings within our hearts without the power of His Spirit producing the evidence and demonstration of His heart to the world around us is deception.

“They profess that they know God;
but in works they deny him…”
Titus 1:16

“Let us rouse ourselves in so far as we can, most beloved brethren, and, breaking the sleep of old inertia let us awake to the observing and keeping of the Lord’s precepts. Let us be such as He Himself ordered us to be when He said: ‘Let your loins be girt, and your lamps brightly burning, and you yourself like to men waiting for their Lord when He shall come from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks, they may open to Him. Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He comes, shall find watching.’ We ought to be girt, lest, when the day of departure comes, it finds us burdened and entangled. Let our light shine forth in good works and glow, so that it may lead us from the night of this world to the light of eternal brightness. Let us always with solicitude and caution await the sudden coming of the Lord, so that, when He knocks, our faith may be vigilant, ready to receive from the Lord the reward of its vigilance. If these mandates are kept, if these warnings and precepts are maintained, we cannot be overtaken while sleeping by the deceit of the devil; we will reign as vigilant servants with Christ as our Lord”
– Cyprian

BT

The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ

The Love of Christ

“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Matthew 11:19

The contrast between the narrow perceptions of the religious and the wideness of the love of Christ is evident within this singular verse. The perfect and Holy One extending Himself to the common and flawed sea of humanity, being fully able to mingle with what some considered beneath the reach of their conceptions of God. “A friend of sinners” was the allegations they hurled at Him with the acrimony of disdain and utter contempt.

It is here we must pause and reflect upon our own interactions with the world and the same lost sea of humanity that is in the face of everyone we meet. Do we harbor fear, disdain, or a desire to remain uninvolved in the world around us? Are we like the priest in the parable of the Good Samaritan able to pass by the broken without the slightest inclination to get involved in the real issues of others’ lives? Jesus ended His statement to them by declaring that the true wisdom of God is revealed in the works (deeds) of those who live in Him.

Deeds are the revelation of God’s wisdom abiding within His Own. It is the stage from which those who walk in the fear and the Love of God become involved in the lives of others. The religious on the other hand will speak great things, declare and discuss doctrinal issues of the Day yet remain isolated.  The wise like Jesus reveal their truth in the works of Christ through them and are able to love without compromise. Kindness is the love of God expressed without fear or compromise.

Is His “wisdom justified by her deeds”
in our life?

“My little children, let us not love in word,
or in tongue, but in deed and in truth”
1 John 3:18

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“Whoever wishes to meet Jesus must meet him in places where brothers and sisters of Jesus are hungry, thirsty, naked, unwanted, sick, or in prison. Whoever keeps himself distant from these places remains distant from Jesus”
– Richard Wurmbrand

Brian Troxel

Kingdoms in Uproar

Kingdoms in Uproar

Kingdoms in Uproar

“Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds apart and cast away their cords from us.”
Psalm 2:1-3 (Also quoted in the Book of Acts 4:25-27)

The stage of human history is set for the eventual fall of all wickedness and the eternal Glory of Jesus Christ. Though there be stifling times of pure evil and darkness it is Christ alone who will stand revealed and glorified at the end of Days. Even the night which is falling upon us with its contrary winds and evil tidings will only further serve His end and purposes.

“When the drama of history is over, Jesus Christ will stand alone on the stage. All the great figures of history … will realize that they have been but actors in a drama produced by another”
– Helmut Thielicke

Every Knee Shall Bow and Every Tongue Confess
That Jesus Christ IS Lord!”

“I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear
Isaiah 45:23

BT

Separation and Life

Separation and Life

Separation and Life

“Therefore go out from their midst, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch no unclean thing; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty”
2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Separation from the world is an issue of the heart; it is in itself the revelation of our salvation. We are not sanctified by our confession, we are sanctified by the living truth of Christ working within to sanctify us without.

“Sanctify them through thy truth:
thy word is truth”
John 17:17

It is in the Word becoming the truth in us, whereby we know what sanctification is. Obedience is the only path to sanctification.

“Do not have Jesus Christ on your lips,
and the world in your heart”
Ignatius

BT

Spiritual Growth

Spiritual Growth

Growing in the Spirit of Truth

“No man also having drunk old wine
straightway desireth new: for he saith,
The old is better”
Luke 5:39

Spiritual growth is often the result of a series of spiritual crises and the rending of former things in order to embrace deeper and higher things in God. It is an easy thing to read of in the scriptures; the Spirit of God draws men and women from the former things into the new. However, when it is your own faith, your own beliefs and your own forsaking of things, it is a different matter.

 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth. ’But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common”
Acts 11:5-9

The true living faith of Christ within a heart is able to make that transition from one place into another for it is ever drawn by the Author and Perfecter of it. Peter’s ability to step into New Testament Truth was the result of a faith that knew his God. Many of God’s people are stuck in former things simply because it is comfortable and known. There is an inability to go beyond the elemental because of a faith which is rooted in something other than a living relationship with Christ.

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways”
1 Corinthians 13:11

It is an easy thing to recognize and observe the natural growth of a child. Those with children or grandchildren are amazed at the constant changes and development they see in them from week to week and month to month. Spiritual growth however requires faith to move from the things of a child into the truth of the fullness of Christ. There are consequences to those who move on in God; there may be losses of friendship, changes in responsibilities, a battling of new enemies within and without. Yet it is these transformations which bring the adventure of walking with God. The years of holding on to the hands of a teacher (good for a season), must give way to the experiential touching and walking with God for themselves. The teachings and doctrines of others must give way to the ministration of His Life in order that His Name and His Power be made known. Clinging to forms of truth, without walking in them, will leave us stunted and undeveloped in our spiritual growth.

The compulsion to leave the shadows and forms of a thing to walk in the reality is a vital step of faith; the same one multitudes of God’s people have stepped into before us. Paul declares in Romans “from faith unto faith”. Every step taken is one of the joys of the Christian experience; not only for us but even more so for the joy it brings to our heavenly Father. May each of us hear His call to “Come up hither” (Revelation 4:1). To linger in the former things is to deny this call.

The stepping of Peter out of the boat, the young man’s lunch feeding the multitudes, the stretching forth of the withered hand on the Sabbath (in opposition to all in the Synagogue), are all examples of those who obeyed the faith stirring within. As Pilgrims of a living faith may we venture into the world around us with His Light, Love and Life.

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“The greatest spiritual crisis comes when a person has to move a little farther on in his faith than the beliefs he has already accepted”
– Oswald Chambers

See: NOT SO!

BT

The Measure

The Measure

“One forgives to the degree that one loves”
Francois de La Rochefoucauld

The quality of love can only be known by the deeds it produces.

“Little children, let us not love in word or talk
but in deed and in truth
1 John 3:18

Love without deeds is the fiction of religion.

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

The Measure of a Life
is easily known.
By the life lived,
and the seeds sown.

Turn Us O’Lord.

See: Love One Another

BT

Freedom and Law

Freedom and Law

freedom and law

“The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings capable of law, where there is no law, there is no freedom
John Locke

Lawlessness is the atmosphere of Satan himself. Chaos, destruction and mayhem is the short-lived expression of men without reason, hearts without feeling and actions without purpose. It is the justice of God to decree that every form of evil has within its own expression the deeds of its own destruction.

The followers of Mao were imprisoned and murdered by the very mobs they once were a part of. The Brown Shirts of Hitler brought their own destruction upon them by the very evil they perpetuated. There are many other examples of this one truth; one simply needs to read the annals of all civilizations to comprehend the days in which we live. History declares the sure end of all who walk in the ways of darkness. The sad testimony of history is that it ever rises to repeat its own sorrows.

Yet in the midst of all the darkness the power of the incomprehensible love of God is ever within reach to all who would come.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

BT

 

Spiritual Development

Spiritual Development

“But he that doeth truth
cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

“The significance of this statement bears eternal repercussions. Its decree brings to every man the responsibility for his own growth and development in the call and the purposes of God”
– Brian Troxel

See How to know that we love Him