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

Thought for Today – Faithfulness

Thought for Today

Faithfulness

The Unrighteousness Mammon

“Howbeit there was no reckoning made with them
of the money that was delivered into their hand,
because they dealt faithfully”
2 Kings 22:7

In the eyes of God all of our dealings are measured and noted. The faithful in heart are faithful in all things. They bear the true knowledge of God; that he is ever beholding the thoughts and deeds of men. Here we see God taking notice that the carpenters and builders were faithful with the funds delivered into their hands. Righteousness and faithfulness are not limited to momentary situations but to a life. God has called us to be faithful in every aspect of our lives, living unto Him in holiness and truth.

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)”
1 Timothy 3:2-5

“Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless”
1 Timothy 3:8-10

We would do well to consider ourselves
and those who are in positions of authority.

“He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?
Luke 16:10-11

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Idle Words

Thought for Today

Idle Words

“But I say unto you,
that every idle* word that men shall speak,
they shall give account thereof
in the day of judgment”
Matthew 12:36

The Greek word translated “idle” used here (see below) portrays the weight of God’s desire for His people. These words from the lips of Jesus speak of authenticity and the need for us to walk circumspectly in our daily lives; it is in these scriptures we are made aware of His constant watch over our words and thoughts. There are several words we need to consider in the light of our accountability:

1. Every idle word” – No word that passes our lips will be unaccounted for in the day of judgment.
2. “Every idle word” The Greek word used here refers to words spoken without a corresponding doing or a performing; religious words that are not backed up by the doing and being in the life of an individual. (See the Greek exposition of this word below; also James 2:12)
3. “Shall give account” Contrary to the modern day Gospel in our land there is a day coming in which every believer will give an account unto Him for how we lived out our lives here on earth. This account will be required of us for every word we have spoken and every deed we have done. How unaware we have become of our accountability. It reveals a lack of our sensitivity to the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
4. “In the day of Judgment” May God press upon us a new awareness of our accountability to Him. Let us seek Him for a new sensitivity in our daily lives so we will walk an authentic walk. The day of Judgment for the true believer is not one of determining salvation. It is one in which we reap the eternal consequences of rewards and judgments for how we lived our lives. Even a cursory reading of scriptures show us this and are easily understood: the parable of the talents/pounds, the promises to the overcomers in the letters to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation, and the parables of Jesus in the Gospels.

The day of Judgment for the true believer is not one of determining salvation; It is one in which we reap the eternal consequences of rewards and judgments for how we lived our lives.

The more we learn of Him, grow in Him and walk with Him the more we are impacted by His desire to make us genuine and true. Words are a reflection of the heart. It is as the heart becomes pure that the words become pure and are backed up by the life lived.

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

The “Law of Liberty” is the Law by which we will be judged. John speaks of the “Law of Life” while James refers to this “Law” as one of liberty. Through the transactions of Christ on our behalf we have been set free and because of this freedom to act and speak we will be held accountable at the end of our time here on earth. Law speaks of government and accountability. God’s word speaks of His Kingdom wherein righteousness, equity and holiness is the atmosphere of His presence. As we become compliant with the workings of Christ in our hearts we will partake in corresponding measure of His eternal rewards. (For those who seek to look into this vital truth please do a simple search on the word “reward” in the New Testament). We must realize that it matters on an eternal level how we live and conduct our lives.

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me,
to give every man according as his work shall be
Revelation 22:12

*Notes:

1 The Greek Word translated “idle”  ἀργός  is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be “words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).

Thayer’s Greek Lexicon: ἀργός
ἀργός, -όν, and in later writings from Aristotle, hist. anim. 10, 40 [vol. i., p. 627a, 15] on and consequently also in the N. T. with the feminine ἀργή, which among the early Greeks Epimenides alone is said to have used, Titus 1:12; cf. Lob. ad Phryn., p. 104f; id. Paralip., p. 455ff; Winer’s Grammar, 68 (67) [cf. 24; Buttmann, 25 (23)], (contracted from ἄεργος which Homer uses, from α privative and ἔργον without work, without labor, doing nothing), inactive, idle;
a. free from labor, at leisure (ἀργὸν εἶναι, Herodotus 5, 6): Matthew 20:3, 6 [Rec.]; 1 Timothy 5:13.
b. lazy, shunning the labor which one ought to perform, (Homer, Iliad 9, 320

Vines Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words connects this word with James 2:20 “Faith without works is dead”

Strong’s Concordance:
ἀργός argós, ar-gos’; from G1 (as a negative particle) and G2041; inactive, i.e. unemployed; (by implication) lazy, useless; barren, idle, slow.

This Greek word is used in the following scriptures:

Mat 12:36
“But I say unto you, That every idle (G692) word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.”

Mat 20:3
“And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle (G692) in the marketplace…”

Mat 20:6
“And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, (G692) and saith unto them, Why stand ye here all the day idle? G692

1Ti 5:13
And withal they learn to be idle, (G692) wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, (G692) but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.”

Tit 1:12
“One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow (G692) bellies.”

2Pe 1:8
“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren (G692) nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Purity of Purpose

Thought for Today

Purity of Purpose

“And having this confidence,
I know that I shall abide and continue with you all
for your furtherance and joy of faith
Philippians 1:25

Paul’s life was set for the singular purpose of seeing God’s people grow into the unity, life and joy of the faith. His course was one of abandonment to this one purpose. He was not interested in winning the applause of others or the adulation of his peers; his passion was simple and pure… to present the Church of the Living God as a “chaste virgin” unto Christ Himself.

“For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy:
for I have espoused you to one husband,
that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ
2 Corinthians 11:2

There existed no ulterior motive of self, there was no desire to raise up a denomination, sect or place for himself, his life was a live offering unto God. Whenever there is a dualistic desire for God and self, God’s purposes will eventually be compromised. The power of the pure love of God beating within a heart will ever bring the life of an individual to the singularity of seeing the holiness, passion and wonder of Christ ruling within the lives of His Own. It is for the furtherance of the faith of others that the ministrations of the Holy Spirit flow forth from the lives of His Own.

The poured out life is a full life, the life offered to God Himself is one free from the stain of self-seeking and self-realization. God’s eye is always upon the motive of heart; not so much on what is accomplished as it is on why a thing is done.

“…for the Lord is a God of knowledge,
and by him actions are weighed
1 Samuel 2:3

The Life of Jesus was lived in the full desire to glorify the Father and to raise us up to live fully in the same.

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself,
that they also might be sanctified through the truth”
John 17:19

Our desire to live a sanctified life is for the sake of others. They who live or seek to portray a sanctified life in order to propagate self profane the truth, beauty and power of its purpose.

Love is the only motive which can produce
the life of Christ within our hearts.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Justice and Mercy

Thought for Today

Justice and Mercy

“Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne:
mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”
Psalm 89:14

God is never arbitrary or slack concerning His ministrations. His mercy and truth are based upon His justice and judgment. His mercy never violates His justice nor His judgments. Mercy is always weighed in the balances of justice; it is in the light of this that He is to be worshiped. Equity is in all of His dealings and it is because of this that the overcoming saints of God will stand in the last days singing the Song of Moses and of the Lamb…

“Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways,
thou King of saints”
Revelation 15:3

His ways are “just and true”; He is no respecter of persons. There is no finding fault with His dealings with us. He alone is worthy. It is on the basis of justice that those who know Him worship Him. It is because of this over-riding sense of His justice (which is the habitation of His throne) that all creation loves and fears Him. His equity is to be our equity and it is in our walking in righteousness that His Church is to distinguish itself from all other people.

“Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?
for thou only art holy… for thy judgments are made manifest”
Revelation 15:4

When mercy is separated from justice it ceases to be mercy.

When mercy is separated from justice it ceases to be mercy. When truth does not produce righteousness it is because there are issues within the hearts of those who hear it. All the glorious attributes of Christ have their origin in the justice and judgments of God. Any deviation from this is a misrepresentation of all that God is.

The manifest justice of God is revealed at Calvary. Christ Himself became our judgment, He became our sin-offering and He became our justice. As a result, we are to know His reign within our own lives and all of our dealings with one another and the world around us are to reveal His Justice, Holiness, Righteousness and Mercy. It is on this foundation that we are to walk within the harmony of His Call and His Being. We are to live free of the obligations of religious sects and denominations and to walk free of the soulish, discriminating love of the natural man. We are to speak truth and live true as we walk in the attributes of Christ Himself.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Hearing of the Wise

Thought for Today

The Hearing of the Wise

“A wise son heareth his father’s instruction:
but a scorner heareth not rebuke”
Proverbs 13:1

The wise hear the Father’s correction and instruction. A proud scorner cannot hear the reproof of the righteous. It is the heart’s condition that determines hearing.

“Keep thy heart with all diligence;
for out of it are the issues of life”
Proverbs 4:23

The issues of life are determined by our hearts; for life is about affection, desire and love. What the heart pursues determines the course and end of each person’s life. Those who love truth, will hear the truth. The self-seeking will hear only that which will promote them and their agendas.

Judas heard the words of Christ, he saw the wondrous works of the Father, and the love and grace of Christ, with no effect.

It is within the confines of loving truth, embracing truth and becoming true that His Own show forth the verity of His Salvation. Those who are of the truth desire it; even if it means receiving correction, admonition and rebuke. To love truth is to seek it out.

David cried out in the Psalms:

“Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness:
and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil…”
Psalm 141:5

The proud, the religious and the self-seeking do not heed the corrections of the Father. Those who love truth receive graciously the words of truth from foe and friend alike; therein is the promise of life and honor. God can use even the words of our foes for our benefit; words that search our hearts and cause us to take heed to our ways. The hungry in heart find instruction in all things for they know that all things are ordained of God for their learning.

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:
rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee”
Proverbs 9:9

The scorner (the proud of heart) hates reproof and correction whereas the wise one loves truth enough to receive those words as from the Lord.

“My sheep hear my voice,
and I know them, and they follow me”
John 10:27

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Love and Lethargy

Thought for Today

Love and Lethargy

“For this cause, when I could no longer forbear,
I sent to know your faith…”
1 Thessalonians 3:5

The love of God in the life of Paul initiated inquiries. Faith, seen in its proper light, is a living thing; an attitude with which one faces the battles of life. Faith is the gift of God. It is not an intellectual understanding but truly an impartation of Christ Himself. Paul was inquiring about the state of their living faith. Were they keeping it alive, pertinent and growing within their hearts?

“…lest by some means the tempter have tempted you,
and our labour be in vain”
1 Thessalonians 3:5

Paul goes on to say that his labour of love for them would be in vain if their faith was not a living dynamic. We have little comprehension of this love in our day. Do we reach out to others to inquire about the status of their faith? Do we feel the love of God pressing us to encourage one another to remain in the hold of faith’s power?

“For this cause, when I could no longer forbear,
I sent to know your faith…”

The Love of God pressed Paul to check the temperature of their hearts to see if they were growing in Christ’s dominion in their lives. It is easy to see the lethargy of this hour; the heartbeat of God’s love is so low that there seems little concern over the status of the FAITH in the lives of others. God’s Love is revealed in its concern for others.

We live in a day of unprecedented communication yet there is an apathy and lack of God’s love concerning one another. Faith and Love are to be the hallmarks of our relationships with one another; these are the glue and the bonds of the Body of Christ. When we care so little for the state of each other’s hearts we clearly reveal the lethargy of the hour in which we live. It is no wonder that the world is not greatly impacted by us.

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

Love does not ignore the life of another. Love inquires and seeks to know the faith of God’s own. It is nothing less than the Heart of the True Shepherd reaching out to all who are His.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Without Measure

Thought for Today

Without Measure

“And they gathered it every morning,
every man according to his eating
Exodus 16:21

The manna fell without measure. God’s abundant provision always exceeds man’s need. Each man’s portion was not determined by God, but by every man’s need. So it is today.

Jesus is the true manna. He alone is that living bread freely given without measure to His Own. The measure of our portion is in accordance with our appetite and not His giving. The promise of God stands true to every generation:

“Blessed are they which do hunger…
for they shall be filled…”
Matthew 5:6

The filling will always be proportional to the hunger and so will the blessing. The blessing of God rests upon those who hunger for His Word and His righteousness. Righteousness in a life is the result of partaking of Him, hungering for Him, and thirsting for Him. It is a life measured according to our need. Those who see little, who need little… gather little. Those who truly see Christ as the only hope of righteousness know the intensity of their own need to feed upon the wonder and the power of Christ Himself.

“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth (continually in the Greek) my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.”
John 6:53-58

The eating spoken of here is an incessant feasting, an unbroken action of continually communing and feasting upon the wonder and sustenance of His very life. As necessary as our daily food is to the natural man so much more is our daily partaking of Him. The secret of dwelling in Christ is discovered through the medium of “eating His flesh and drinking His blood”!

“So the people of Israel did as they were told.
Some gathered a lot, some only a little.”
Exodus 16:17

Brian Troxel