The Power of The Gospel

The Power of the Gospel

“For God so loved the world,
that he gave his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life”
John 3:16

The power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ lies not in the words and the doctrine of it; its true power lies in the Love of it. The Love of God IS the Gospel; more than a message, a doctrine or a teaching, the Gospel is in itself the expression of God’s love to His fallen creation. It is the WHY which caused God to send “His only begotten Son”. Until those who declare it comprehend its true power, it will remain an impoverished message. It must be expressed from the lives of those who bear in their hearts the passion of God’s WHY!

“For the kingdom of God is not in word,
but in power…”
1 Corinthians 4:20

What is this power? What is the flame which enabled men and women of old to turn the world upside down? What is the glory of God which fills the heavens with awe, worship and exaltation? It is the God of Holiness and His undimmed fiery Love. A Love so incomprehensible that Paul had to pray for the Church at Ephesus to be “strengthened with might” in order for them to be able to comprehend the “breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of the Love of God.

A loveless gospel is a powerless Gospel. The Church is not perishing for lack of knowledge; she is languishing from the loss of the dynamic of His love (Revelation 2:4-5). Love is the furnace, the fire and the very essence of God Himself. In the midst of all of our correct doctrine God’s decree stands as the Divine witness against our true state:

“He that loveth not
knoweth not…
for God is Love”
1 John 4:8

Those who hold within their hearts even the faintest quintessence of this Love cannot remain untouched in heart. They cannot sit in faithless inactivity or take comfort in a knowledge bereft of the Divine heartbeat. Many would rather discuss the correctness of the words rather than feel the burning power of the God of the message. The world will remain untouched by those who share from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge rather than the power of the Law of Life in Christ Jesus. The Gospel is not a WHAT, it is a WHO.

The cry of God is summed up simply:

“Let this mind be in you,
which was also in Christ Jesus…”
Philippians 2:5

It is impossible to hold the love of God within your heart and not feel the anguish, the urge and the pulse of the Almighty to express His Light and Life into this world.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

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“There is too much theology in the Church now,
and too little of the Gospel”
Lewis Tappan

Brian Troxel

 

 

A True Heart

The True Heart

“Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
try my reins and my heart”
Psalm 26:2

A true heart does not seek to cover sin; it seeks the Lord to expose every wrong and crooked way. Exposure is the path to purity and the hope of salvation and freedom. The Light of Christ penetrates the heart and His eyes burn through the very soul of man. The burning consumes pride, self-seeking and the desire for pre-eminence. It removes the religious fig leaves of those who cloak themselves in garments of piety and false humility.

May our God, as a consuming fire, burn within our hearts until there be no shadows or pretense. Let there be no hidden chambers for sin to hide. He alone can heal the broken and restore righteousness and holiness. He beckons us to the fellowship of the fire; the fellowship of His Light.

The prison of pretense is deep, dark and rooted in sin and hypocrisy. The foundation of this prison is built one lie at a time. Mercy was never meant by God to excuse sin; its purpose is to cause men to come to the Light, to free them from the misery of sin. Mercy’s true triumph is in men and women finding the courage to face the light and allowing it to shine into the hidden areas of their hearts, set free by the “spirit of burning”.

“By mercy and truth iniquity is purged:
and by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil”
Proverbs 16:6

Purity of hearts brings us freedom and the liberty to express Him through the vessel of our redeemed self. As the gem, polished and cut, shines with the luster of its own being, so Christ has called each of us to be a distinct expression of His handiwork. Come to Him, present yourself to the light and fire of all that He is that you may know true liberty.

“…where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty”
2 Corinthians 3:17

An individual’s liberty will be in proportion to their surrender to the indwelling Spirit of Christ.

Brian Troxel

Authenticity – God’s Work

Authenticity – God’s Work

“Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night,
before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice”
Mark 14:30

Peter’s love and commitment was based on emotion and the utter ignorance of his need for brokenness and grace. In his mind his resolve to follow Jesus to whatever end was unquestionable. How utterly confused he must have been by the certainty of Jesus’ statement regarding Peter’s failure to come in the hours ahead.

To be told by his beloved Master of his failure, even down to the time a certain rooster would crow at a particular place, must have been utterly unnerving. How could He know of this sequence of events? How could He be so precise in His Word?

I can only imagine that Peter must have gone to sleep that night mulling over this warning. How he must have resolved in his heart to not fail his Lord! Tears and self-doubt would have dominated his thoughts as he contemplated what the next day might hold. His Master’s words had been uttered with no sense of anger or resentment in His voice, but just a knowing of who Peter really was. In spite of all his soul-searching the night before, the next day, in the heat of the moment, he denied his Lord and wept bitterly.

“And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept”
Mark 14:72

God, in dealing with His own, prepares everything for the Master’s use; the mundane as well as the great. All tools in His hands are to bring His Own to the end of themselves and the beginning of God. As the master builder must build the foundation upon the rock beneath, so God brings us to the Rock of Christ. Only here can the real building start and our true life in God proceed. Authenticity is the only rock upon which He will build. Pretense and hypocrisy, though they may cause others to think well of us for a time, will leave the soul in poverty and lead to spiritual death. Christ knows all, sees all and will judge all. The light we refuse on this side of heaven will surely be faced in the Courts of His Justice in that Day. It is here and now that we must free ourselves from the need to please men and bring ourselves to the piercing light of Christ. Then we may stand in that Day as those who have passed from judgement unto the right-being (righteousness) that can be found in Christ alone. He alone can make us right; He gave His Life to make it so.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as he is, so are we in this world
1 John 4:17

As our love is made perfect in Him, we will have the grace and boldness to be “as He is” in this world and  in the Day of Judgment.

Brian Troxel

Where His Blessings Fall

Where His Blessings Fall

“Blessed are they which do hunger…”
Matthew 5:6

God’s blessings fall in peculiar places. What men esteem wise and good, God sees quite differently.

“…for that which is highly esteemed among men
is abomination in the sight of God”
Luke 16:15

It is the purpose and mandate of the Holy Spirit to lead and to guide us into all truth. Truth is the sole agency by which we grow, comprehend and (most importantly) become true within. In order for us to become a blessing to God the Father we must grow in the understanding of where His blessings fall. His blessings fall upon that which pleases Him.

“Blessed are they which do hunger…”

In the Wisdom of God man was created with needs. In the brief outline afforded us (Genesis), the necessary provisions for the sustenance of man were created before the man. This reveals that the essential element of hunger is God inspired. Hunger is therefore an exposé of a healthy life. It is an inherent ideal of the human composition.

In the fall of Adam, man essentially fell into himself. Instead of God being the provider, sustainer and center of creation, man became the epicenter and focus of his own life. How quickly the joy and simplicity of the first created life became twisted into the paradigm of self. From this new self-centered nature, we see the horror of envy and jealously arise. These result in murder and the corresponding judgment of man being alienated from the righteousness (right being) of God. From this fallen nature man was enslaved by the tyranny of self by which this world was made subject to vanity. Into this bleak and fallen world steps the True Man; the Light and full thought of God clothed in the fabric of human flesh.

In His first discourse to the multitudes Jesus begins with the elemental dissertation of the Kingdom of God: “Blessed are the poor in spirit”. In other words, blessed are those who recognize their own poverty apart from God. Blessed are those who feel the absence and the need for the Life and Wonder of God residing within. There is a blessedness in our poverty of spirit for it is the matrix of all who would enter the Kingdom of God. The rich, the self-sufficient and the self-righteous are excluded from the wonder of God’s provisions. The Kingdom of God stands in stark contrast to those who seek the kingdom of self and all of its associated sorrows.

“…as poor, yet making many rich”
2 Corinthians 6:10

The validity of the true poverty in spirit will always be revealed in the lives of those who make others rich by the pure ministration of the wealth and wonder of God. God’s grace ever fills the empty with the fullness of Himself. He pours out the living waters upon those who thirst; His living bread is food for those who hunger. The weak are made strong and the pure in heart “see” God. How good is our God and His ways past finding out.

“…blessed are those who hear and obey God’s word”
Luke 11:28

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Florence Nightingale

Quote for Today

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself”
– Florence Nightingale

Persecution Post – Nigeria

Persecution Post

“In another filmed massacre, 11 Nigerian Christians were executed by the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) over the Christmas holiday.

Wearing the orange jumpsuits made familiar by similar executions of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians in Libya, the first Nigerian victim was shot in the head by the black-clad terrorists who then slit the throats of the remaining ten. It is understood to be the largest group killed by ISWAP, a Boko Haram splinter group, so far

“This message is to the Christians in the world,” stated the 56-second propaganda video, released December 26, in both Arabic and Hausa, according to The New York Times.

“Those who you see in front of us are Christians…”
A Report in “Christianity Today”.

The Measure of a Man

These are people with whom many of us might not fellowship over here given our current state of division and lukewarmness; their doctrine may not line up with ours. Yet they stood true to their confession of Christ unto the end. May God work into us the common love of Christ which unites all who are true in heart and spirit. I pray that His grace would bring the power of a Love which unites all who are His into ONE HEART.

It is easy to love and feel empathy for someone we have not met, but unless His Love produces the deeds (1 John 3:18) of love where we live, we know little of the Love of God in Christ.

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death”
1 John 3:14

It is clear that God’s estimation of our walk with Him is measured by the Love we hold for our brothers (not our little segregated group or “church”) and not according to our “knowledge” or our confession. John goes on to say:

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

There is a growing cry within my heart to know this deep and pure love of God; to Love Him and His people and to hate the sin and the selfishness within myself.

It is high time that we begin to measure our walk with God by our obedience, victory over sin and the authentic love of God in our hearts for His people. This love will be the matrix for the true ministry of one member unto another whereby we will see the ONE BODY of Christ arise in purity and truth. It will not be by compromise but by the vey fire of God welding us together!

God has sent His Spirit into the earth for this very purpose. The cause of divisions are the teachings of men; people growing in a knowledge which “puffs up” the carnal heart unto separation and division. True Love brings an “edifying” of the Body of Christ unto Him.

“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth”
1 Corinthians 8:1

When people cannot edify and build up the Body of Christ it is a revelation of the lack of the Love of God within them. The reason for our lack of power and glory is the same as it was for the Church AT Ephesus: they had “left” their first love. This is the Day and the Hour when God’s Spirit is moving upon the hearts of those who are truly His to hear what He is saying. Many will refuse to hear the call of God and cling to their isolated little groups and churches and miss what God is doing.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth”
1 Corinthians 2:13

Those who are taught of God must come to the liberating power of the Love of God in all truth and holiness. It cannot be otherwise! The absence of Love reveals a poverty in our knowing of Him.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God”
1 John 4:7

To measure our life in God by any other standard is deception.

Brian Troxel

The Call to Prayer

The Call To Prayer

There is a call in the Spirit of God to prayer, intercession and repentance. There is a move of God coming filled with the power and glory of Himself to visit our land and to purify HIS CHURCH from her worldly ways and sinfulness. It is a move which will be precipitated by a people receiving “the spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zechariah 12:10) The moving of this wonder being poured out upon His people will produce a “looking upon me (Christ) whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10) resulting in “a great mourning” (Zechariah 12:11) to come upon the people of God. This mourning of great sorrow and repentance will usher in the “spirit of burning” and cleansing of a magnitude which has never been seen for this is THE DAY OF THE LORD (the Last Days). This is the DAY of GOD and the fulfillment of His promise to those…

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5)

There is a salvation which has been reserved and kept for this DAY. There is a final unfolding of that which Paul and the early church pursued with all of their heart, strength and soul. There is to be in this day an apprehending of the FULNESS of all that God has purposed in sending His Son into the earth. It is in this day that the Call of God is going out unto all who have “ears to hear” and hearts to obey. A glorious day of repentance is upon us, how blessed is this grace given and may our hearts receive its wonder and transforming power!

This Word came to me as I was revising a former writing here below…

ARISING IN THE NIGHT

”And I arose in the night”
Nehemiah 2:12

The test of faith is not only what we do in the times of light and blessing but how we respond in those times when we cannot see our way. Here we see a dark time for the people of God; the City of God was burned with fire, the gates destroyed, and rubble filled the streets. The enemy was strong in the Land and the oppressors kept diligent watch that there should be no rising up of the people of God.

Nehemiah had a call from God to see the City arise from the rubble. There was a cry in his heart for the City not for himself. The burden caused him to arise, the vision was strong upon him, his purpose was clear and his God was Great. He did not wait for others to “catch the vision”; he did not wait for the “conditions” to improve.  He arose to fulfill the cry of God in his heart.

True Vision produces DEEDS of FAITH. True vision brings us into the reality that our God is willing, able and faithful to provide substance and strength for the purpose for which we have been apprehended. While men linger in the night the tares are planted…

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat”
Matthew 13:25

While men sleep the enemy sows deception and error; thoughts that sound right but destroy the truth of the seed that was planted. Excuses and reasons why we cannot arise, why the people of God should be content to just maintain the status quo while the City of God remains divided, weak and barren, are all tares sown in the night.

“The slothful man saith, there is a lion in the way…”
Proverbs 26:13

LET US ARISE even in the night to see HIS Glory once again covering, filling and empowering the Church of JESUS CHRIST. Let us arise, lay aside the seeking of our own prosperity, and find HIS heart to seek the welfare of the Children of God!

The Word of the Lord declares…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

God responds to the prayer of the contrite and broken. God hears the prayers of those who in trueness of heart “turn from their (own) wicked ways” and seek His Face on behalf of HIS NAME in the earth. Many pray today with a heart of pride as the Pharisee who considered himself above the others around them deceived into thinking they are not like other men… These are the prayers of the Pharisee spirit, “I thank thee, that I am not as other men are” (Luke 18:11) Jesus testified of such that he “prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11). The prayer of such never ascended unto God.

Daniel in his heartfelt prayer on behalf of Israel cried out in anguish of soul…

“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee” (Daniel 9:8)

The condition and the state of God’s people when addressed in their day by those whose hearts are true and right in His sight always included themselves in the backslidden condition of all! For it is the Spirit of Christ within them birthing these prayers and intercession. He came and took on our sin and our iniquity, He came to identify with our miserable state and as such His heart within us should produce the same identification with His people.

While “The Pharisee prays thus with himself” the true prophets of God identify with the state of His people with prayers of brokenness and godly sorrow and the deeds of repentance which is acceptable and pleasing unto God.

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“God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain. Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless”
Andrew Gih

Brian Troxel

Is Christ Divided?

Is Christ Divided?

ONE BODY IN CHRIST

“For as the body is one, and hath many members,
and all the members of that one body, being many,
are one body: so also is Christ.”
I Corinthians 12:12

Truth by its very nature is simple, but the implications of its simplicity are profound and costly. Truth demands change in order for us to enjoy and walk in the power it brings. Truth is the root from which all the fruit of the Spirit is formed. Without truth all things are a counterfeit and a sham. In the presentation of the Gospel of John we see in the introduction the simple statement, “In the beginning was the Word…” This Word is not a truth written in ink on paper. This is the LIVING SON who alone IS TRUTH. It is therefore vital that in the forming of HIS life in the individual believer there be a ministration of TRUTH to make us TRUE in the core of our lives. Truth only has one purpose, one end; to make the recipient TRUE in character and expression. Truth is not knowledge, it is not opinions, and it is not a supposition. Truth is power, truth is substance and it is nothing less than Jesus Christ Himself. Jesus did not say I give you a truth. He said I AM THE TRUTH! Truth is the WORD becoming flesh. To the extent that we reveal HIM in our daily lives is the revelation of the TRUTH that is in us. In the actual development of TRUTH in our hearts, we must begin to see that there is ONE BODY because “so also is Christ”! (Many members, ONE BODY.)

We look today over the landscape of what men call “Christianity” and wonder how such a unity could ever be. IF HOWEVER, we look into the POWER and LOVE of God through the eyes of faith, we must say, “How can these things NOT BE?” In 1 Corinthians 1:13 Paul asks the most profound question…

“IS CHRIST DIVIDED?”

I Corinthians 1:13

IS HE? The issue is not what we see, but what we know to be truth. FAITH is the doing of that which is the TRUTH in Christ. It is not concerned with what is, for FAITH can only reveal that which is REAL in the Spirit. By faith Peter walked on water; at that moment of time he walked in truth by faith. He saw JESUS walking on the water and his FAITH translated what he saw in JESUS into what he walked on earth. That is the true nature of FAITH. Faith is not statements, teachings or ideas. Faith is substance, revealed by our walk. If I believe there is ONE BODY even as there is ONE CHRIST then my life will reveal it. IF the question Paul presents here “Is Christ divided?” is answered by a resounding NO within our hearts then it is of necessity that our lives reveal this truth! Our speech, our behaviour and our prayer life must certainly be indicative of our individual abiding in HIM. To have and walk in the LOVE OF CHRIST can only mean that we love what HE loves.

This ONE BODY can only be the product of TRUTH. For the corporate expression of the RISEN CHRIST will require HIS LIFE to arise within the life of each individual believer who would know of this oneness. The difficulty of this is measured only by the condition of our hearts. Peter asked Jesus about John, and Jesus replied “What is that to thee? Follow thou me”. Man always tries to quickly excuse our response by looking at someone else, but the truth lays within our own heart not someone else’s. This reality can only be known as truth is truth in the individual. For this unity WILL SURELY COME to pass, but only through the medium of faith will it be so with us.

Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, but the efficacy of the blood can only be appropriated by faith within the heart of each life. Faith is the conduit through which the life of Christ is received and appropriated into our own being. It is in my own heart becoming united in its love and pursuit of Christ whereby I will touch the wonder of that unity in my brother and sister. Unity is the natural state of being where God reigns.

Jesus set forth in a clear and definitive way those who are His brothers and sisters…

“For whosoever shall DO the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother”
Matthew 12:50

It is not by some religious profession which constitutes the family of God; The true children of God are they who DO His Will and walk in His Ways. The Lordship of Christ is the basis of this unity and all they who are of the truth hear His Voice and grow into the unifying reality of the Power of His Love.

“Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently”
1 Peter 1:22

This unity and its unspeakable glory can only be approached by the obedient heart individually; for the purity of our hearts can only be realized by a life which obeys the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit.

 “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

Doing is the path to Becoming.

HE IS ABLE!
HE IS COME FOR THIS PURPOSE!
(John 17)

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“I have never yet known the Spirit of God
to work where the Lord’s people were divided”
D.L. MOODY

Brian Troxel
(Updated writing from “He is Able” Series Part Two)

Meditation Moments – Faith

Meditative Moments

“Through faith also Sara herself received strength
to conceive seed…”
Hebrews 11:11

“Faith is the linkage of the Power of God
and the Weakness of man,
where the man’s weakness
is made strong
                IN its weakness
Brian Troxel

“…out of weakness were made strong”
Hebrews 11:34

Brian Troxel