Thought for Today – Christmas

Thought for Today

Christmas

“And when they were come into the house,
they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
and fell down, and worshipped him
Matthew 2:11

Even though, in the past, I have not been a real enthusiast of the Christmas “season” (Please read: Grace for Others), I have become more aware of the spirit of the world endeavouring to discount its message and to denigrate its observance. I personally go out of my way now in my personal and business interactions with others to make mention of this season. I do this in spite of the fact that it is not the actual date of Christ’s birth, and in spite of the need to ignore the mixture with the fable of some jolly fellow who goes around giving gifts to all who have been “nice”. (In some convoluted way it portrays to a large extent the “gospel” of our day; if you are “nice”, God will give good gifts to you). The real truth of Christmas is the gift of Christ Himself; His person, His Life and His majestic wonder. This may be the one time of year that some may hear His name in a story or a carol.

The three Magi came from afar; their journey was not an easy one nor a convenient one. They followed the heavenly sign and when they found Him, they immediately “worshipped Him”! The true worship of God comes from our seeing of Him. May we be worshippers in our hearts and give freely as we have freely received. His unspeakable Gift to us is one that we can never repay; but that is the purpose and the nature of any true gift.

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“Glory in the highest places to God,
and upon earth peace among men of good will
Luke 2:14
(Wuest Translation and the literal Greek rendering)

Brian Troxel

Faithful Ones

Faithful Ones

“And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, ‘Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.”
Numbers 13:30

All through history there have been those whose walk and faith stood out in their day. There has never been a generation in which God did not have a purpose to accomplish and a call worth dying for. Deep within there was the fire of a living faith which would not compromise or turn back from the Word of God. While many compromised and settled for something less, God has always had a witness of those who stood faithful in their day.

“But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it”
Numbers 14:24

Caleb had another spirit; he had a faith which separated him from the faithlessness of that generation. In every succeeding generation there have been those who pleased God and “obtained a good report” (Hebrews 11:39). Caleb was a Kenezite, not of the house of Israel, but one who by faith had an inheritance given to him among the tribe of Judah. This speaks prophetically of all who would by faith find their inheritance in the Lion of the Tribe of Judah!

There are those who stand in this hour, with undimmed faith, declaring the same Word of victory over the enemies of God; even in the midst of the unbelief, carnality and compromise of a religion which has taken on the ways and wisdom of the world. These faithful ones shining in a dark time continue to believe with the evidence of obedience and purity of heart. They seek no glory for themselves but simply seek to live a life “approving themselves unto God” (2 Corinthians 6:4).

God’s reply to Caleb was:

“They shall surely die in the wilderness. And there was not left a man of them, save Caleb the son of Jephunneh, and Joshua the son of Nun”
Numbers 26:65

It is the nature and purpose of faith to “work out righteousness and obtain promises” (Hebrews 11:33). The faith of God by the very nature of it is never intended to be satisfied with the unfulfilled promises of God. Faith is given to His people unto the obtaining the promises of God! May God stir our hearts afresh to the obtaining of the Glory of Jesus Christ”.

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 2:14

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises…”
Hebrews 11:33

God’s Word when seen through the living faith of Christ has a deep desire to see His promises fulfilled in our day. It is apathy and slothfulness to rest in anything less than His desire for our generation.

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it…”
Hebrews 4:1

We have promises given to us which are yet to be fulfilled. Promises of glory and power unto the unity of the Body of Christ. WE are here to see His purposes fulfilled as Jesus prayed… “Thy will be done on earth AS (to the same degree) it is in heaven”. If we really desire to call ourselves servants of the Most High God then we must feel the intensity of heart to see His prayer and His will fulfilled on earth AS it is in heaven.

Let the enormity of the call of God be met with the faith of Jesus Christ residing and burning within our hearts!

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – The Cycle

Thought for Today

“The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy, from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more”
– Alexander F. Tytler (1747-1813)

This is an accurate description seen  today in the context of both spiritual and political realms. The days ahead will require a living faith to birth the courage and intensity to stand against the darkness,  clothed in the garments of “tolerance”,  declaring that “evil is good and good is evil”.

Brian Troxel

 

 

Meditation on the True Life

Meditation on the True Life

“…if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live”
Romans 8:13

Life, His Life is resurrection Life. It is a life which cannot be had apart from death. It is this very life which will carry one through the grave unto the very Throne of God itself. Our entry into this life here is the determining depth of our resurrection then (Hebrews 11:35). True Life is found in mortification, there is no teaching, no strategy or religious work which can emancipate us from the “carnal man” *(see note below) outside of this indispensable work of the Holy Spirit. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. It is only by this operation of the Spirit of God through which an individual will enter the life and the power of the Kingdom of God.

A Baptism of the Holy Spirit which does not bring an individual into the ministration of a life of mortification is not the same Spirit which empowered the disciples in the Book of Acts. Nor is it the same Spirit which throughout the ages has transformed sinners into saints. Mortification is the hallmark of a life which has been introduced into the government and grace of God Himself.

“A man may easier see without eyes, speak without a tongue,
than truly mortify one sin without the Spirit.”
― John Owen.”

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*Note:

“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God:
for it is not subject to the law of God,
neither indeed can be”
(Romans 8:7)

The “carnal man” can never be made spiritual. It cannot be saved, changed or “helped”. It must be crucified in order for us to live unto God.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Our Calling

Thought for Today

Our Calling

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”
1 Peter 2:21-22

Let the majesty of His call penetrate our hearts, and the grandeur of His purposes ascend above our experience. Let His call jolt us into the realization of our need for Him to be our life. We are to “follow His steps”, to climb heights unimaginable and unattainable by our own strength! The righteousness we have been called to must be apprehended upon the potency of faith. This living faith is undaunted by the magnitude of the call and our own utter weakness. How tragic it is for His people to settle for a justification by faith, rather than the full glory of a sanctified life lived unto Him. Those who knew Him, loved Him and pursued Him throughout the ages had a mark set before them. There was a divine aspiration, filling their hearts with a passion that eclipsed the religious of the day.

“Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren,
and exhort you by the Lord Jesus,
that as ye have received of us
how ye ought to walk and to please God,
so ye would abound more and more”
1 Thessalonians 4:1

May we hear the voice of Him who calls us to larger living and deeper places of abiding and drawing from Him; the power to live above and beyond the status quo of our day. May He open our eyes to see the heights and depths to which we have been called, that we may turn from any dependence upon ourselves, and launch our hearts into the great ocean of a grace which is able to lift us up and to make us to stand in this day.

Abounding More and More

Let us pursue an “abounding more and more” unto the perfect day. Let us hear the call with the hearing of the spiritual ear, without which there can be no arising. One who rests in the doctrine of justification, without a passion to know the power and wonder of the true righteousness of God produced and sustained by faith, has ceased to hear the Call of God in Christ!

“So then faith cometh by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God”
Romans 10:17

It is not a day to grow weary or to settle for meager living with faithless horizons. May God give us “ears that hear” that our faith would be energized with the certainty that He who has called us is able to fulfill His Call.

The fervency of an individual’s faith is revealed in its pursuit of Him. Those who see the summits of the call of God in Christ will not allow their experience to determine His Call; they have come to the place where the Call begins to determine their experience.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

To those who are truly justified in Christ, the path is as a shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect Day. A path is not a resting place; a path is the way to get to a destination. It is our great Shepherd who leads those who follow Him, in the paths of righteousness (Psalm 23:3).

“For even hereunto were ye called:
because Christ also suffered for us,
leaving us an example,
that ye should follow his steps…”

Please read Ephesians 1:17-23.
Meditate and feast upon
the Riches available to us in Christ!

Brian Troxel

Living Waters – Part One

Living Waters

Thirsting, Drinking and Flowing

Part One

“If the clouds be full of rain,
they empty themselves upon the earth”
Ecclesiastes 11:3

As the rain falls from clouds that are full, so His Life flows from those who are full in Him.

“…thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over”
Psalm 23:5

The overflowing cup is the fruit of His anointing resting upon those who dwell in the Anointed One. Christ Himself is the Anointed One; it is He from whom all blessings flow. He is the cause and source of the overflowing cup. Just as full clouds cause the rain to fall, the Life of Christ flows as we partake of His abundance. When ministry is lacking in a life there is something amiss in the relationship with Him who is the fountain of all life. Jesus spoke to the woman at the well:

If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you,
‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him,
and he would have given you living water.”
John 4:10

The very purpose of Christ coming was that His people would have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Our lives are to overflow with His goodness and endless supply to others. He gives to all who ask.

“If you knew…”

If we are simply satisfied with hearing words from the pulpit rather than hearing HIS Living Word in our own hearts, the lack of the flow of Christ from His people will continue. Let His Word sink into our hearts: “If you knewyou would ask, and He would have given you living water”.

James tells us emphatically:

“…ye have not, because ye ask not”
James 4:2

It requires faith, real living faith, to ask intently, earnestly and diligently for this living water. It is not a doctrinal faith, but a faith that arises from the certainty of knowing WHO Christ is and that He is the living fountain from which His Life flows. Those who are content with an ineffective Christian existence, a life of continually beholding the expressions of Christ’s life in others, will never share in the wonder of His fulness.

The ministration of Christ is available (even now) for us to turn, thirst, seek and most importantly find and drink of that living water to the end purpose of it flowing out into the earth wherein we live. The Well of Christ is ever available to all who ask!

“If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you,
‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him,
and he would have given you living water.”
John 4:10

(Continued)

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Worship

Thought for Today

Worship

“And when they were come into the house,
they saw the young child with Mary his mother,
and fell down, and worshipped him:
and when they had opened their treasures,
they presented unto him gifts;
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:11

The wise men knew whom they sought; earlier in Matthew they had come to Herod:

“Saying, where is he that is born King of the Jews?”
Matthew 2:1-2

They had travelled a long distance to worship the ONE who was worthy of their journey and gifts. They did not come empty-handed, nor did they come nonchalantly. They came with great purpose and were not disappointed in beholding this new-born ONE called Jesus.

It is the religious who approach him casually, who greet Him with tepid hearts and indifference. The Pharisee who had invited Jesus into his house greeted Him with a lukewarm reception while a woman of ill repute poured out her costliest possession upon Him. Jesus spoke to the Pharisee:

“He said to Simon, do you see this woman? I came into your house.
You did not give water for My feet, but she washed My feet with tears and wiped off with the hairs of her head.
You gave Me no kiss, but she from when I entered did not stop fervently kissing My feet.
You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with ointment.
For this reason, I say to you, her many sins are remitted, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, he loves little”
Luke 7:44-47

Those who hold His presence within are aware of His mercy and forgiveness toward us. They know themselves and carry within the brokenness of their own unworthiness. The love and worship of Him will always be in corresponding measure to the knowledge of His forgiveness to us.

“…but to whom little is forgiven,
the same loveth little”
Luke 7:47

Brokenness is the grace adorning the hearts of all who live in the richness of His Mercy.

Painting by:Philippe de Champaigne, c.1656 – Public Domain

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Hedged In

Thought for Today

Hedged In

“Why is light given to a man whose way is hidden,
whom God has hedged in?”
Job 3:23

The confinements of God serve His end to those who understand His ways. Liberty in the Spirit often comes to those who feel hedged in in the flesh. The light of God is given in times of darkness. The constrictions of circumstances bring enlargement, patience and strength to those who see beyond the walls of this life. There is a hidden ministry, veiled from the prisoner, during the silent and painful work of a pearl being formed. The graces of God must be fashioned in the life of His own in the dark and lonely experiences of life.

“And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison,
a place where the king’s prisoners were bound:
and he was there in the prison”
Genesis 39:20

There are dark places within the soul of man which require dark times to bring and fill them with the light of God! Joseph could not comprehend the end God had determined for him. He had a dream of authority in the family of God, but he had never even considered the greater sphere in which he would rule and reign! God’s end is always larger than what we can see. What was the secret hidden in Joseph’s captivity?

“But the Lord was with Joseph…”
Genesis 39:21

There is treasure locked within the dark times of our lives. There are purposes to be mined in the deep places of confinement and loneliness. The promise of greater things is bound up within our faithfulness to serve God in these prisons. Joseph’s faithfulness to God was the key to his release. His faithfulness to the gift of interpreting dreams became the very means of unlocking his prison door.

Let not the dark places crush your vision. Let not despondency rob you of your service unto the King of kings. Remain faithful in every circumstance to serve and honor God; for we shall surely reap in proportion to our sowing. We will stand in the Day of harvest, bringing our sheaves to lay at the feet of the One alone who is worthy.

“I have remembered thy name,
O Lord, in the night,
and have kept thy law”
Psalm 119:55

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“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness,
and hidden riches of secret places,
that thou mayest know that I, the Lord,
which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel”
Isaiah 45:3

Brian Troxel