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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
http://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
http://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
http://www.aword.info

The Secret of Receiving from God

“To him that overcometh will I give…”
Revelation 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26-28, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21

His table is set for us in the midst of our perplexities and adversaries (Psalm 23:5). His bread is rich in the spiritual nutrients of grace and the fruits of His Spirit. It is not in the absence of trouble that we grow and develop; rather it is in the midst of the very things which seek to undermine us. It is in the very face of our adversities that we are outfitted to walk and apprehend his call.

Little did Joseph’s brothers know that in their treatment of Joseph they were in fact unwitting vessels setting in motion the fulfillment of God’s purpose. Saul did not comprehend that his pursuit and envy of David were the means through which God raised a man after His own heart. Whether it is apathy, envy or distrust of our brothers and sisters, the forgetful butler (Gen. 40:23) or the unfeeling jailers of God’s people, the vision stands sure. God will accomplish His ends if we hold fast to the faith He has placed within our hearts.

It is not simply those who have vision who will receive of God’s gracious hand. It is those who overcome through hope in God’s vision who receive the prize of the “high calling of God in Christ Jesus”. Doctrinal visions fade with the passing of time. However, a vision received in the heart, held by hope in the ONE who cannot lie, is an unassailable power which will persevere until the day dawns and His purpose is fulfilled.

Overcoming is simply the result of His Life beating within our breast. His Life is the resurrection from death itself. No grave or disappointment can withstand Him. So not only do we hold to His promises but with the passage of time is the realization that we are held by Him! Through the mountains and valleys of our journey the flame of hope lights our way even in the darkest of nights. The flicker of the eternal keeps us bound to the vision He has birthed. As Paul stood before Agrippa bound in chains, held fast within the Roman penal system, he declared with all boldness…

“Whereupon, O king Agrippa,
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision”
Acts 26:19

True vision holds one to a life of obedience regardless of the circumstances. This was not a personal vision which held Paul; it was a “heavenly” one and as such it could not fade because of earthly circumstances. This vision supplies to the beholder faith, obedience and the wonder of Hope as an anchor to our soul. Those who let the vision fade become weary, pragmatic and compromised in a world which seeks to undermine the intense fire of all true pilgrims.

Overcomers are those who keep their feet moving forward, their hearts beating with the fervor of a love which cannot be quenched. In their times of discouragement and failure they rise because of a Hope that cannot be denied. True overcomers are those who follow the “heavenly vision”.

“So often we have a kind of vague,
wistful longing that the promises of Jesus should be true.
The only way really to enter into them
is to believe them with the clutching intensity
of a drowning man”
William Barclay

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Heart of a Priest

Part 11

Continued

WISDOM

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

Those priests of God who are walking in the way of truth begin to be “awakened” to hear His heart within their own. In the mystery of relationship with Him there is a divine enablement to “speak a word in season” to those who are faint and weary. Through the medium of knowing and experiencing Him in our own walk we touch His ways and His heart to the end we may be wise in the ministration of His grace to others. Whether it be encouragement, hope, a kind word or even a word of admonishment it is all with the earnest desire to see our brothers and sisters rise up and finish the race set before us.

The ear of the “learned” is to come to a place of being tuned in to His voice and heart. It is not something which can be learned through books, counselling strategies, Christian seminars and other means of education. The true understanding of such things can only be found in a life “yoked” with Christ in God. He (Jesus) is the sum of all wisdom, love and true knowledge and it is in Him we learn to live and move and become the very extension of all that He is. This heart is really only available to the true disciple who has discovered the wonder and joy of following Him and the necessity of carrying his own cross. This way is fraught with the discovery of one’s self. It is a way of repentance, transformation, and glory. In the Old Testament the priesthood was mainly obtained by birth but in this New Covenant we are made priests by the ministration of His Life within us through obedience and relationship.

“And hath MADE us kings and priests
unto God and his Father;
to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever”
Revelation 1:6

It is His purpose to make us kings and priests unto Him who alone is the “Great High Priest” of better things to come.

“But Christ being come
an high priest of good things to come,
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle,
not made with hands…”
Hebrews 9:11

It is in our learning of Him and His ways that we discover, grow and develop the “tongue of the learned” because our “ears have been awakened morning by morning” to His living word.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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
http://www.aword.info

Heart of a Priest

Part 11

WISDOM

“The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned,
that I should know how to speak a word in season
to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning,
he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned.”
Isaiah 50:4

The priesthood of the individual believer is a vital truth of the New Testament. The power of this truth alone will transform the life and walk of any true believer from one of faithless inactivity into a life filled with endless possibilities and new horizons. Understanding that each of us as individuals are enabled and gifted in Christ to become priests of the Most High God, and minister into the lives of those around us, brings a sense of purpose to daily life. It is to this end have we been called and sanctified. The Old Testament rituals and laws were for the express purpose of teaching us our own need to be set apart unto Him. Paul says all of these things were written for our admonition upon whom the ends of the world is come. Even the smallest details given to us by God are for our own growth and development.

“For it has been written in the Law of Moses,
“You shall not muzzle an ox treading out grain.” Deut. 25:4
Is it that it matters to God as to oxen?
Or does He say it altogether because of us?
It is written because of us,
so that the one plowing ought to plow in hope,
and the one threshing in hope to partake of hope
1 Corinthians 9:9-10

Paul takes one little truth out of the Old Testament to breathe into it the very life and purpose of God. If we fail to see the New Covenant written into the Old we are destined to see God in a very dim light. Even this scripture concerning oxen is woven into the truth of the individual priesthood of every believer; it ministers hope to us to be faithful in the walking out of God’s call. Where the truth of the priesthood of the individual believer is lacking so will the understanding of the Body of Christ be lacking. Those who do not see the necessity of the individual’s ministration will have no ability to comprehend this precious truth. It is in touching the Holy truth of the many-membered Body that our walk in God is transformed. As each member is empowered by His grace to bring forth unique expressions of the Head (the risen Christ), His people will experience new vistas of glory and wonder. In this place of seeing Him within each individual, the variety in God’s wisdom, envy and jealously are displaced by love and deep appreciation for each member. When we see the purpose of God in this we are no longer concerned with our own things; the real purpose of giftings is to see the Glory of the One Body become a living reality in the earth. Paul and all of the other apostolic, prophetic and teaching ministrations in the New Testament were to this end. Paul’s heart was to present His people to Him as a chaste virgin; pure, holy, set apart for Christ alone. There was no pervading thought of them having their own church for they simply saw themselves as instruments through whom others believed. We must return to the pure faith; a faith which sees Christ as the Head of the One Body and by whom we all minister the grace and wisdom of God who has “given severally unto everyone that believeth”. Paul admonishes the carnal thinking which was prevalent in the Church of God at Corinth…

“Therefore let no man glory in men.
For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or life, or death, or things present,
or things to come; all are yours;
And ye are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s”
1 Corinthians 3:21-23

The desire for His people to be one in spirit, faith and life is the transcendent cry of those who carry God’s burden for His people. The true priests seek not their own things. Their desire is to become the echo of His heart in all things.

“For this cause I bow my knees
unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory,
to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
May be able to comprehend with all saints
what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge,
that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God
Ephesians 3:14-19

To be continued…

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info