The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Thought for Today

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Exodus 3:2

Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.

Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.

Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived
2 Timothy 3:13

Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.

Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without

Fruit is not religious works. It is the means of glorifying God.

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

His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:

“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought For Today – The Wick –

Thought for Today

The Wick

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“…and he (Moses) looked, and, behold,
the bush burned with fire,
and the bush was not consumed”
Exodus 3:2

God’s purpose for man is revealed in this verse. The call of God is to bring men and women to this one end: lives that burn with His fire through fragile earthen vessels. In a fully yielded life of surrender we become His light to the world.

The secret of this life is in the wick drawing upon the oil of His Spirit allowing His pure desire and heart to be the flame. The only way the wick will not burn up is by keeping the flow of oil constant through the power of an abiding relationship. Where there is no flow the wick will burn out and become useless, no longer able to shine with the wonder of the flame of God.

The oil without the flame is of little value. So too are the gifts and ministrations of the Holy Spirit apart from the purifying and glorifying flame of God within the vessel. The magnificence of this life cannot be known without these three components: The Flame of God, the Oil of the Holy Spirit and the Fragile Earthen Wick.

“And the bush was not consumed”

Ω

“It is of the Lord’s mercies
that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not”
Lamentations 3:22

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Love – Thought for Today

Thought for Today

LOVE

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

Life does not consist of what we believe but in how we live.

Love IS the evidence of knowing God.

Ω

“Give me the love that leads the way,
The faith that nothing can dismay,
The hope no disappointments tire,
The passion that will burn like fire,
Let me not sink to be a clod:
Make me Thy fuel, Flame of God”
Amy Carmichael

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

The Crucible and the Crown

Thought for Today

The Crucible and the Crown

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ”
Philemon 1:1

Paul though bound in prison by order of the Roman government never saw Himself as such. His life and all that pertained to it had been fully given to God and His purposes therefore the circumstances were seen as attendant to God’s will.

Absolute surrender is the means to Godly Contentment

It is the surrendered life which is the victorious life. Paul could have called on lawyers and had petitions signed on his behalf to extricate himself from his situation; but it was his surrender to God that freed him from the bitterness of the moment. This victory in Christ can only be realized in the validity of our transaction with God. The rest of God comes with the surrender to God.

“For the which cause I also suffer these things:
nevertheless I am not ashamed:
for I know whom I have believed,
and am persuaded that he is able to keep
that which I have committed unto him against that day
2 Timothy 1:12

God’s keeping power comes from the persuasion that we know in Whom we have placed our trust. It enables His Own to see that the crucible is the means to the crown.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Necessity –

Thought for Today

Necessity

“For though I preach the gospel,
I have nothing to glory of:
for necessity is laid upon me;
yea, woe is unto me,
if I preach not the gospel!”
1 Corinthians 9:16

The Call brings the sense of necessity. Here the hearts of His own are easily searched out. The inner need to express Him is a fire within their being. Those who know their God cannot be silent concerning His Name in the earth. Though few will listen, and many who use His Name are steeped in apathy, it will not dampen the irrepressible fervor to preach His Word. Jeremiah in the midst of the lethargy and the mockery of his generation tried to refrain from speaking His word but to no avail. How can His people remain silent in this day?

“Then I said, I will not make mention of him,
nor speak any more in his name.
But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire
shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing,
and I could not stay”
Jeremiah 20:9

ω

“You cannot preach conviction of sin unless you have suffered it.
You cannot preach repentance unless you have practiced it.
You cannot preach faith unless you have exercised it.
True preaching is artesian;
it wells up from the great depths of the soul.
If Christ has not made a well within us,
there will be no outflow from us”
Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Belief Versus Faith

Thought for Today

Belief versus Faith

“Thou believest that there is one God;
thou doest well:
the devils also believe,
and tremble”
James 2:19

Belief in and of itself is not the revelation of a true heart. We live in a time when people are considered “children of God” because of their beliefs rather than the life they live. Jesus said we would know a life by its fruits, not words.

“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit”
Matthew 7:18

A person’s beliefs will never produce the fruit of the Spirit; Faith must. Our real faith is fully summed up in the life which we now live. It cannot be any other way for faith is in itself the “substance” and the “evidence” of things hoped for.

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God”
Galatians 2:20

Paul’s faith was revealed in the “now” of his life and as such was expressed in his earthly walk. So too our faith is expressed in our everyday life. It is imperative that we do not let our “beliefs” deceive us as to our true condition.

“For with the heart
man believeth unto righteousness…”
Romans 10:10

Without a change of heart unto righteousness the “belief” of an individual is merely an intellectual exercise in vanity. Such was the religion of the Scribes and the Pharisees and the same nature as the believing devils of which James speaks.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Forgiveness and Sin

Thought for Today

Forgiveness and Sin

“Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more”
John 8:11

Forgiveness is the means to God’s end not the end in itself. Forgiveness is not for the purpose of continuing in sin; it is the respite required to free us from sin.

The goldsmith does not abandon the gold in the fire because of the dross. He has patience in the process to realize his desired vessel. Justification is not the conclusion of God’s work; it is the vehicle by which we fulfill His purpose.

“…and whom he justified, them he also glorified”
Romans 8:30

The true glory is freedom from sin.

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

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Contentment and Forgiveness

Thought for Today

Contentment and Forgiveness

“I press toward the mark…”
Philippians 4:13

The true heart, the true seeker of God can never find contentment in forgiveness. We are always to find peace and gratitude in His forgiveness but never contentment. Sin in itself is the revelation of His unfinished work within us.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today FRUIT

THOUGHT FOR TODAY

FRUIT

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples”
JOHN 15:8

Life for the Christian is one of living out each day with a single agenda: Glorifying our Father. Simplicity is the very thing that confounds the religious and brings Joy to the disciple of Christ. To glorify our Father is to simply live to bear fruit unto Him every day of our lives. It can be in the small kindness shown to others, speaking His Word of Truth to another, or living with the breath of a prayer in our hearts to Him. It is the unconscious flow of daily life and as we grow it becomes a life of doing. To fully learn something will result in the simplicity of doing it. He is more desirous to direct our steps and lead us into the very arena of HIS WILL than we are to learn. If there is a true desire to do His will there will always be the knowing of what that will is.

“…If any man will do his will, he shall know…”
JOHN 7:17

Fruitfulness and Discipleship cannot be separated. We read in John 15:8 that bearing fruit unto the Father is the badge of life for one who is a Disciple. A Disciple is simply one who gives up his will to serve another. The Disciples became Apostles, the common people became Prophets and Teachers, and the servants of God became men and women who were called “friends” of the Most High. They grew from outward instruction to the inward knowing of His Will. A true Disciple cannot remain a disciple. Discipleship is the school of learning and as such the day must come for the disciple to cease from needing bread to becoming bread for others. Jesus SENT out His Disciples so that they could learn to live in the wisdom that can only come through the medium of doing.

There are those who say they would bear fruit if the opportunity arose, if the conditions were right, or if God would only give them more ability. Religion shapes a strange concept of God when men think that God has withheld from them the ability to Glorify Him! Jesus said that HE came in order for us to HAVE LIFE and to HAVE THIS LIFE ABUNDANTLY. This is either a true and valid saying or it is just another empty religious platitude. If being a Christian is simply adherence to a teaching or a tradition, then we are left with a form of righteousness but no power to be actual living expressions. Disciples are those who are actively walking, following and doing the things they hear and see in Him. This is no theoretical life; it is actual and real because Jesus is alive and working in their hearts. The very heart beat of His Life constrains them to a life of focus and seeking to do His will. The desire to glorify our Father is the chief duty and purpose of all life. The reward is too precious to miss any opportunity afforded us. What is this reward? It is “The Joy of the Lord”. Bearing fruit brings the realization that in glorifying Him we can know of HIS JOY in us which becomes our strength to grow in the wonder of His Ways.

“…but the people that do know their God
shall be strong, and do exploits*
DANIEL 11:32

*NOTE: Literally in the Hebrew the word “exploits” is not there; the verse actually says “shall be strong and do”. They that know their God shall be strong and DO. It is a daily opportunity for us to be strong and to do of His good pleasure.

“And let us consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works”
HEBREWS 10:24

Brian Troxel
www.word.info

THOUGHT FOR TODAY – POTENTIAL – APRIL 3, 2016 –

THOUGHT FOR TODAY
APRIL 3, 2016

POTENTIAL VERSUS TRUTH

The first step of all obedience is not taken in strength, it is initiated by our love and trust in Him. The strength received comes AS we walk, the trust to obey comes as our history with Him grows through the medium of obedience. They that obey their God are strong in their God. A faith that alters not our walk is like seeds that are never sown, deeds never done and love never expressed. Potential accomplishes nothing.

Faith for the future is sown in the deeds of today (Samuel 17:37).

“The way to be strong is to act on the credit of strength being given.
Strength is received in the act of obeying. When the path of duty is clear,
it is want of faith to continue asking for strength, and not to act upon it.”
G.W. Milne

Brian Troxel