Thought for Today – Redeeming the Time

Thought for Today

Redeeming the Time

“Redeeming the time,
because the days are evil”
Ephesians 5:16

Time is one of the most precious commodities given to humankind. The experience of every moment becomes the very fabric of our human existence. Every day, every moment, and every breath are God’s gift to us. Each minute that passes is one less left in our journey here on earth. We are exhorted by God to see these gifts of time as opportunities in our walk with Him.

“So teach us to number our days
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”
Psalm 90:12

In Jesus’ life here on earth, no time was squandered. Each moment was filled with purpose and design. He was here to reveal the Father; to please His Father. He came that we might live our life with the same intensity of heart. His Life was active, yet ever at rest. His hands were busy in destroying the works of the devil. His words were filled with power and wisdom. His thoughts towards God’s fallen creation were pure. His feet took Him from the darkness of the synagogues to the lost woman at the well. In each situation men and women were struck with the very light of God. In short, His Life was not His own. John declared:

“Now there are also many other things that Jesus did.
Were every one of them to be written,
I suppose that the world itself could not contain
the books that would be written”
John 21:25

The Son of God was always engaged in the “now” of life. His heart was and is ever attentive to the will of His Father. Nothing was arbitrary or lost in His short 33 years. The secret of our life is to discover this same perspective. It is the surrendered life, free from our own pursuits, wherein we discover the divine enablement to be sensitive to the opportunities around us. It is here we “redeem the time” allocated to each of us. Discipleship is a journey of following in the Way of the Master; a life of cultivating and developing a sensitivity to His Spirit in our daily lives. The opportunities to extend His Love into the world are all around us.

“Do you not say,
‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’?
Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes,
and see that the fields are white for harvest
John 4:35

Life is to be lived in the moment. The deception of religion is that it concerns and consoles itself with either past or future concepts and ideas; Christ was always in the “now” of His Father. While people were and are looking toward an event, Jesus told His disciples to lift up their eyes to see that now, in the present, the fields are white unto harvest.

The secret to redeeming the time
is discovered in the “now” life we live.

Ω

“Only one life, ‘twill soon be past
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”
– C.T. Stud

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Light in the Darkness

Thought for Today

Light in the Darkness

“Unto the upright
there ariseth light in the darkness”
Psalm 112:4

God does not keep His own from the dark places, but He does keep His own in the dark places. There are treasures to be discovered in the fearful and gloomy paths we must sometimes walk. As we hold on and walk uprightly even in the darkness, we can trust that the God of all grace will cause His Light to arise in those circumstances.

The Christ of our hope and our strength, the Christ who cannot fail will come to us in unexpected ways. There will be an unveiling of Himself which could not have been appropriated in the light. There are graces to be formed within our hearts which require dark and foreboding places. Courage and tenacity find their roots in the testings of life. In these perilous experiences we learn our weakness and discover His strength.

This is how character is built within the hearts of the upright. It is in these places that the disciple sees and hears of the greatness and mercy of our God. As the metal of a heart is forged and the reliance on other things purged, God’s work of preparation is accomplished.

“He sent a man before them,
even Joseph, who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters:
he was laid in iron:
Until the time that his word came:
the word of the Lord tried him…”
Psalm 105:17-19

Has God spoken a word to you? Has that word been a trial and a source of consternation? Have you felt the fetters of confinement, the rejection of friends and family? Have you sat in darkness alone and seemingly barren? Rejoice in the ways of God! Let His light arise in the darkness. Trust in Christ alone and walk uprightly before Him. Do not let despair rule; stay strong and purposed in God. The Word whereby He has caused you to hope will surely come. As the night must give way to the dawn, so will He surely arise in thee.

“O love the Lord, all ye his saints:
for the Lord preserveth the faithful”
Psalm 31:23

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Persistent Heart

Thought for Today

The Persistent Heart

“For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images.”
2 Chronicles 34:3

Whenever and wherever a soul begins to seek God in truth, the result will be a purging of unclean things both within and without. Those who declare they are earnestly seeking God but have not this heart, have not yet found God. It is one thing to seek Him; it is another thing to find Him.

“For in the eighth year… he began to seek God
and in the twelfth year he began to purge…”

God is not found overnight. He is not found in a few days of seeking. The true in heart set their lives apart to seek Him. It is not a quick and easy process; it takes learning, discovering and an earnest cry within the human heart for Him alone. He is unfathomable, eternal and infinite. The is no end to His Glory nor His purposes for us. One cannot touch Him and remain the same. The life that constantly seeks Him shall surely be filled with the constant finding of Him.

The promise stands sure to all who would find Him.

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”
Matthew 7:7-8

The secret to finding Him lies in the persistency of seeking.

It is a lifelong pursuit which intensifies in passion because of the beauty that beckons the hungry heart onward. Faith will not be deterred. The human element which seeks for other purposes grows weary in its search; the faithful heart expends itself all the more. The Syrophenician woman would not be dismayed by the seeming rebuffs of Jesus, crying out “even the dogs under the table eat of the children’s crumbs” (Mark 7:28). Jesus responded with great delight at the display of her great faith.

It is incumbent upon us to set our hearts afresh to seek Him and to remain faithful in our pursuit of Him. His promises are sure and those who find Him will speak to the world around them of righteousness and purity of heart. The anointing falls on the life of those who love righteousness and hate iniquity.

“Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God,
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness…”
Hebrews 1:9

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Christ the Fulfillment

Thought for Today

Christ the Fulfillment

The Law of the Sin Offering

“Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying, this is the law of the sin offering: In the place where the burnt offering is killed, the sin offering shall be killed before Jehovah. It is most holy…”
Leviticus 6:25

The expressions of Christ revealed in the Old Testament are breath-taking, heart-breaking and life-making.

In the place where the burnt offering is killed,
the sin offering shall be killed
before Jehovah”

Here we catch a glimpse of the fact that the True Sin Offering arises out of the Burnt Offering. Christ, our Burnt Offering, is seen as the perfectly obedient Son offering Himself to the Father. The obedience of Christ also made Him the Sin Offering. His walk as a living sacrifice to the Will of the Father is what validated Him as our Sin Offering. We can only stand in holy awe of His perfection as both our Burnt Offering and our Sin Offering. The one gives power to the other. The truth of the Burnt Offering results in the full acceptance of Him as our Sin offering. They were killed as our sacrifice in the same “place”. Calvary is the Holy Ground upon which these offerings took place. All praise and honour unto Him!

We need to meditate upon these wonders of Christ as revealed in the Old Testament. We must see Him as the fulfillment of all that was spoken of Him. May the power of this perfect sacrifice cause us to desire His reign within our own hearts; to find the divine enablement to obey our heavenly Father because of the Life of the Son in us. He has come to make us pure in thought, word and deed. Only in Him are such things made possible. May we not grow weary in our pursuit of His fulness.

“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

To have boldness in the Day of Judgment is the fruit of being like Him in this world! Only the perfection of the Love of God in us is can give us the boldness and the assurance of our standing in that Day. It is not in what we know but what we have become because of Christ being our Lord and Saviour.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Love and Service

Thought for Today

Love and Service

“And Jacob loved Rachel; and said,
I will serve thee seven years for Rachel
thy younger daughter”
Genesis 29:18

Love is the fountain from which true service unto the Lord flows. It is to be the inspiration for all of our actions. A river flows regardless of external things. When love is the source, service unto God is the natural flow of life. The work of God can only be accomplished by the love of God. Love robs the flesh of boasting of its accomplishments. It brings all things unto the worship of God rather than the promotion of self. Our service becomes an offering unto Him; our reward is His Joy welling up within. It is the feast of life to love and serve our God.

“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel;
and they seemed unto him but a few days,
for the love he had to her.”
Genesis 29:20

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Repent Frequency

Thought for Today

Repentance and The Religion of our Day

 

The above graph  shows the frequency per million words that the word  “repent” is  used from 1540 AD to now.

“And saying, Repent ye:
for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”
(Matthew 3:2)

It is interesting to note that the high usage of this word occurred when the Bible was made available to the common people and during the subsequent awakenings of the Church. Contrast this with the powerless preaching of the Gospel in our day.

For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation,
which brings no regret.
But the sorrow of the world produces death”
2 Corinthians 7:10

A Gospel which does not lead to godly sorrow cannot produce repentance. This is necessary for change and the restorative work of God within a redeemed soul. Repentance is the conduit through which the power of God is released. It is by repentance unto salvation that the lost are brought into life and liberty.

“The Lord is not slow concerning his promise,
as some count slowness; but is patient with us,
not wishing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance
2 Peter 3:9

 The power and life of the church is known by the gospel it presents and the corresponding depth of the transforming work of God within His people.

God’s word to the Church in Asia, in six of the seven letters, was to repent of their ways, their teachings and their spiritual condition. This is the last written communication in the Holy Scriptures. It is to His people that the word “repent” goes forth. Let us not marginalize the need for repentance in sharing the purity of the Gospel with one another.

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten:
be zealous therefore, and repent”
Revelation 3:19

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Living for Him

Thought for Today

Living for Him

“And he died for all,
in order that those who live
should no longer live for themselves”
2 Corinthians 5:15

The proof that we are living for Him and not ourselves is revealed in our daily life. The risen Christ becomes the purpose and the intent of our everyday existence. Only those who are truly alive in Him know the fire and the intensity of this pressing to spend themselves for Him.

Many may claim such a purpose but within the confines of daily living there is a discernable lack of that unrelenting determination to please Him in all that they do. Life is to no longer be lived within the tedious rote of religious endeavors; it is to be filled with the adventure of His joy welling up from within as we discover the riches of His will in the now of our today. There is much taught about the “now” life but there must be the works to support our confessions of faith. The real need of His people is not an understanding and acknowledgment of a teaching but the pressing into good works to show our faith.

“But someone will say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Show me your faith apart from your works,
and I will show you my faith by my works.”
James 2:18

True life is one whereby the faith and works of Christ are realized. It is the divine life flowing through the fragile earthen vessel which honors and glorifies the Father. A life devoid of works is a life devoid of love and faith. Neither of these can remain static or inactive within the heart of “those who live”.

“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

The Son ever lives to glorify and please His Father. If He is alive and ruling within, we will know this power and grace at work in us.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit…”
John 15:8

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Abiding in His Love

Thought for Today

Abiding in His Love

“If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love”
John 15:10

The secret to life is simple. The stratagems and methods of men to bring about the salvation of Christ are as impotent as man himself. The power of the Love of Christ is only realized through the medium of walking in the way of His commandments. It is a life where (in Him) we are lifted out of the strife and sin of this world and made alive by the indwelling wonder of Him. There is no apt description of how such a thing can be, for it is something which cannot be taught, it can only be entered into within the context of our daily lives. The mystery of life unfolds as we step into the wonder of His ways.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation”
Psalm 27:1

All of our needs, our hopes and our daily power to live are hid in Christ Himself. There is salvation in none other. It is in the “today” of our life wherein we are given the opportunity and the privilege to draw from Him grace and glory to run the race set before us.

“Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith”
Hebrews 12:1

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – True Ministry

Thought for Today

True Ministry

“And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom;
for Moses had laid his hands upon him”
Deuteronomy 34:9

The purpose of all true ministry is to raise up and encourage others in their own ministration of the living Christ. All who would faithfully minister from the heart and love of God will inherently seek this for the welfare of the Body of Christ and the glory of God. This desire is not for the perpetuation of a church but for the growth of the One Church. Sadly, the church in our day has seen little of the fruit of ministry in terms of producing powerful and unique ministrations. The error of today is that rather than making disciples unto God we have perverted this truth to mean having disciples of a ministry, organization or dogma. With each passing generation the light of God becomes more dim as the life of ministry fades. Things which were once light slip into traditions; a peculiar gift of one individual (though unique and powerful in itself) becomes a model to imitate. This form, which in itself has no light or power, is passed on from one generation to another rather than receiving God’s gift from Christ Himself. God’s creativity cannot be replicated.

Joshua’s walk with God was his own. Moses had instilled in him the solemn charge to obey God and Him alone. The fear of God is the only hope for a generation; it is God’s answer to the fear of man. Only the fear of God can rescue His people from the adulation of men.

Conformity is the law of religion;
transformation is the life of His Church.

There is no life in a copy.

All the works of God are unique, fresh and filled with His power. When people seek to emulate another they rob themselves of God’s purpose. Emulation, jealously and envy are the trappings of those who have not found their own call in God; the fruit of an individual who is not walking in a personal relationship with God. It is the horror of a generation who has not made God the Lord.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God
Galatians 5:19-21

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Visitations of God

Thought for Today

The Visitations of God

“Thou hast granted me life and favour,
and thy visitation hath preserved my spirit”
Job 10:12

Nothing less than the presence of God can preserve, restore and refresh the soul of His Own. The heart of the true child of God was made for His presence. The focus of life is to live in Him and to have His life holding us in the firm grip of grace and glory.

“Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee”
Psalm 73:25

The longing and pursuit of life is summed up in knowing Him. The Pearl of Great Price incites a singularity of purpose (Matthew 13:45-46). In His beauty the desire for other things is dissipated and drained of force and power within the human heart. Life becomes a journey consumed in the one great love, the one great quest and the one boundless pursuit of knowing Him.

Religion with all of its rituals, precepts and demands fail man’s inherent need… the visitations of God Himself! It is by His Presence we are preserved, refreshed and made right. He is our salvation, He is our strength and in Him alone are we kept clean from this present world.

“Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name:
the upright shall dwell in thy presence”
Psalm 140:13

Brian Troxel