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Archive for the ‘The Measure of a Man’ Category

What is Righteousness?

“Also now, behold, my witness is in heaven,
and my record is on high.
My friends scorn me…”
Job 16:19-20

Throughout all ages those who preach righteousness have done so at great cost. The pursuit of righteousness and truth brings alienation and separates the wheat from the chaff. While many would live at ease, satisfied with doctrinal declarations and teachings, the true seeker of righteousness will know separation and loneliness. Loneliness is not only a result of righteousness it may also be the path into righteousness for it brings the heart to a new and deeper dependency upon God Himself. The cost is trivial compared to the reward of growing in Him. While many accuse of legalism the true seeker of righteousness (His righteousness) knows full well his inherent inability to walk in this righteousness apart from the Life of Christ within. His Life becomes the only hope of a life of purity and authenticity. The covering of the “leaves” of religion will never bring true peace.

“For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink;
but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost”
Romans 14:17

Without righteousness there can be no abiding peace. When one is at home in God there is Peace. Where there is Peace there is a deep and settled Joy in the Holy Spirit. It is the Joy of God Himself beholding and approving our life in Him. These things cannot be apprehended by teaching and religious declarations; they must be wrought in our lives by the working of His Spirit within us.

“Anything the church doesn’t want to do it calls legalism”
A.W. Tozer

The pursuit of righteousness will separate even good friends. God’s end in His own is righteousness not popularity. In truth the separation from friends and companions is part of the way into this righteousness; it affords opportunities to grow in forgiveness and long suffering. It is the means to bring us into the very heart of Christ Himself as Job discovered in the trial with his friends.

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The individual seeking true righteousness will discover sooner or later not only the bitterness of their own heart but an inherent ability to pray for those who withdraw themselves and even speak evil of them. That is the righteousness of Christ. Righteousness is treating others rightly regardless of how they treat us. God spoke to my own heart the other day this powerful truth:

“It is impossible to hold true righteousness
without knowing the Love of God”.

Love must cause us to treat others rightly. Righteousness is the fruit of love. Love is the very righteousness of God expressed in the deeds it produces within an individual’s life. Without Love there can be no righteousness, no real peace and no joy in the Holy Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…
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 3:7,10

Doing right is not optional for the true child of God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Measure of a Man

Part Two

OBEDIENCE

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

In John Chapter 14 we are caught up in the drama of Jesus seeking to prepare His disciples for His impending departure at the hands of a wicked and perverse generation. In these moments we feel the intensity of the Son to convey to them the Father and the coming promise of the Comforter. During this time of great intimacy Jesus speaks of love being the criteria for determining the measure of a man’s obedience.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word”
John 14:23

“The one who does not love Me
does not keep My words”
John 14:24

The simplicity of the Christian Life, when all the words, doctrines and teachings of men are removed, is reduced to these two simple choices; life and relationship with The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; or Religion and death. Let us re-examine these scriptures in their entirety to understand their full ramifications.

“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word,
and My Father shall love him.
And We will come to him and
will make a dwelling place with him
John 14:23

“The one who does not love Me
does not keep My words”
John 14:24

The immensity of the contrast between these two scriptures is solely determined by the love we hold in our hearts. Being Loved of the Father, and the enjoyment of the Father and the Son making their dwelling place within ours hearts, is not determined by what we know but by who we love.

Men are constantly reading books, listening to sermons, joining organizations, holding prayer and fellowship meetings and trying to follow men in order to reach these deeper places of relationship. As important as some of these things may be, we miss the fact that the simplicity of a life filled with loving Him, with all of our hearts, is the Way of access. The measure of our love for Him is found in the revelation of our keeping, obeying and loving His Word.

“But if any man love God,
the same is known of him.”
1Corinthians 8:3

It is this love alone which determines
the measure of a man in God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Measure of a Man

PART ONE

“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul,
and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength”
Mark 12:30

In this day of declining fervor and passion for God and His purposes, it is always good to be reminded of the measure to which we have been called to love Him. Many in this day take comfort in His Love for us which, while it is incomprehensible and unmerited, is given with purpose and accountability. This Love wherewith He has loved us, when received as a mere teaching, has no real influence upon the human heart. The Love of God when received into the very being of a man will always produce change, pursuit and a love for Him in return.

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

Love received in truth will always bring forth a reciprocating expression of that love back unto Him who is Love. The validity and measure of the love we have received from Him is revealed in the depth and the corresponding love for Him. The call of God goes out in this day (as it has from the beginning of creation) to love Him with our whole heart. Without Love the New Covenant offers little to the people of God, for Love is the very fiber and matrix of all our actions unto Him. Religion is a dry and monotonous exercise in futility without Love. Faith lacks motive, power and purpose when it is held alone without the wonder of God’s Love. Faith needs to be mingled with Love to accomplish the great things of God.

“For in Christ Jesus,
neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any strength,
but faith working through love
Galatians 5:6 (LITV)

Paul exhorts us in Corinthians chapter 13…

“…though I have all faith,
so that I could remove mountains,
and have not love, I am nothing”
1Corinthians 13:2

People who are held within the grasp of a true sense of their indebtedness unto Him can never be static, inactive or apathetic in their pursuit of God. Those whose love for God rarely, if ever, has any influence on their daily life must reconsider the eternal ramifications of such a meager existence. True and active disciples are always being moved and led by the love of God beating in their hearts. Jesus in seeing the multitude had compassion

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude,
and was moved with compassion toward them,
and he healed their sick”
Matthew 14:14

They who love little do little. A mere religious belief without the love and fire of God burning within the heart is the horror of religion. Woe to those who are comfortable to minister a Gospel without the fire of God in their hearts. Woe to those who are content with anything less than a pure desire to love God with all of their heart.

“…I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen,
and repent, and do the first works;
or else I will come unto thee quickly,
and will remove thy candlestick out of his place,
except thou repent…”
Revelation 2:4-5

Only “first love” can produce “first works”. People without love are barren and unfruitful in the things of God. The loss of first love in the Church at Ephesus (if not repented from) would result in the removal of God’s Presence from their midst. God’s love is the spring from which all His works flow and correspondingly so it is with His disciples.

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

Discipleship is the expression of a life which has been captured with the beauty and glory of our God. Love is the only constraint which binds the disciple to the life of following of Jesus.

It is this love alone which determines
the measure of a man in God.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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