WATCH

WATCH

“Blessed are those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching”
LUKE 12:37

In Biblical times the night was divided into watches. In the Old Testament the night was divided into three distinct watches. These were the shifts that the night watchmen would take to be on the alert for an enemy. In the New Testament the night watches were four in number. In the illustrations of Jesus it was the fourth watch that He used to illustrate the necessity of vigilance and sobriety.

“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants,
and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh,
at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all,
WATCH”
MARK 13:34 – 37

It is imperative that we find the strength through His wondrous grace to be actively engaged in the work that He has given us lest we grow weary and the slumber of the world come upon us. It is in these late watches that the weariness of the way sets upon us and our senses are no longer attuned to the things of the Spirit. We may mindlessly go through the actions of a religious life without the fervor or passion of His Life in us. Everyday life becomes a mechanical performance and the lateness of the hour and the subtlety of the thoughts of our hearts deceive us into thinking that everything is all right. Without the watchman calling out to the Church of the Living God there would be no sound of alarm. Soft and soothing words of men declaring peace and safety when the Day of the Lord is at hand are a deadly and beguiling thing. We are clearly admonished to watch for we know not the hour of the unimaginable shakings that are coming upon the earth.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down
with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life,
and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.
For it will come upon ALL who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength
to escape all these things that are going to take place,
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
LUKE 21:34 – 36

The coming of the Lord is no longer spoken of as imminent or of any real importance as to how we live our lives. In this Day of obscurity where evil is abounding all around us, the greatest evil of all is the revelation of our own insensitivity to it. The Darkness is gathering and the Church is being lulled by the seeming peace and tranquility around us. As it was spoken of Noah’s day… “…they knew not until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). In this day we are being tested by the watchfulness of our hearts and the readiness of our lamps. We need to have that extra measure of oil to burn into the late watches of the night.

“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them…”
MATTHEW 14:25

Brian Troxel

The Call Part One

THE CALL

PART ONE

“Get thee out of thy country,
and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house”
GENESIS 12:1

The CALL of God upon a person’s life will always require a rising up and a forsaking of things familiar, of places where we grew up in our spiritual life, and of associations that have become satisfied and static. The CALL necessitates response. The CALL keeps us aware that we are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. The CALL presses us to seek Him above all other things. A loyalty to organizations, ministries, and teachings can become the graveyard of the true Disciples of Christ for the affinity to these things causes us to settle in the earthly rather than the Heavenly. The true pursuit of the CALL causes us to know and feel HIS heart for the UNITY of the Spirit and in that CALL we recognize that every other agenda apart from this one thing is an affront to His Purpose. Every TRUE ministration of His Life is to make men see what is the HOPE of HIS CALLING unto us and to recognize that we are “members one of another”. This UNITY is based upon the work of the SPIRIT OF TRUTH not compromise. It is in becoming true that we have access to the mystery of this UNITY which already exists, (“that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me”), in the heavens.

“Now this I say, that every one of you saith,
I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ”
Is Christ divided?
I CORINTHIANS 1:12 – 13

A Thankful Heart at Year’s End

“You crown the year with Your goodness,
And Your paths drip with abundance”
PSALM 65:11 NKJV

As we stand at the closing of another year we have this sure word of testimony to declare over another chapter of our journey with God. Regardless of the circumstances and the obstacles we have encountered we are able to pronounce with great confidence “You crown THIS year with YOUR goodness”. All the testings, trials, and blessings have been for our good, our benefit and our growth in You. We bow our hearts at this time to THANK YOU for Your ways and Your wisdom; how wonderful is Your love and Your goodness to us! How immeasurable are Your evident mercies received through the merit and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Such abundance and goodness should inspire within us a thankful heart, an eager heart and a heart that is filled with the ardent pursuit of HIM from whom all blessings flow. It is the thankful heart that turns aside from the everyday pace of this world, the clamour of things that ever seek to disrupt our time alone with Him and the staleness of religious activity that appears good and yet somehow leaves us empty within the recesses of life with HIM.

A thankful heart always returns… to glorify, worship and give thanks to Him.

“Then as He entered a certain village,
there met Him ten men who were lepers,
who stood afar off. And they lifted up their voices and said,
“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” So when He saw them, He said to them,
“Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went,
they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed,
returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks”
LUKE 17:12 – 15

Brian Troxel

TEMPTATION

TEMPTATION

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation;
for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life
which the Lord has promised to those who love Him”
James 1:12

Temptation is neither a sin nor a sign of carnality. It is the everyday reality for all men. The issue is not temptation but the response to it within our heart that matters. It is through enduring and resisting temptation that the victory of the Crown of Life is received. Where there is no battle there can be no crown. The crown of life spoken of here is given to those who by the mercy of our Lord and Saviour have fought the fierce battles that wage in the secret places of our hearts and minds, often while no one is watching. They have known the utter weakness of the flesh, the deceitfulness of their own heart and the pressure that comes to bear upon them in their walk of faith. Left to ourselves the outcome would be certain and the end of the matter sure.

“But thanks be to God,
who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”
I CORINTHIANS 15:57

The Glory of this life of Faith in Christ Jesus is that we are not left to ourselves in the matter of overcoming sin. We are not orphans that are left to our own resources in this matter, nor are we to labour under the rigorous requirements of the Law by our own strength! We have available to us the wonder and the glory of “…the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death!” It is through HIM that we are made “more than conquerors”. In Him we are not only freed from the power of Sin but are indeed made alive that we can walk in the very Spirit of His Life and provision. Such things are not known by simply taking thought. These virtues of His Life are won in the arena of this life. It is the Crown of His life that we receive as we overcome and endure the hardships of temptation and trial. It is in these places that we learn the secrets of dependence and victory; the sufficiency of His Grace in contrast to our weakness; the discovery that “love endures ALL things”; that He is “…able to keep us from stumbling”.

These victories are to be known in the life of every believer. We not only have His rich provision for the victory but even in the midst of defeats and discouragements we have the assurance of forgiveness and mercy to rise up from every one of them and press the battle until the victory has been received.

“For a righteous man may fall seven times
and rises again”
PROVERBS 24:16

The life of the Christian is more than forgiveness, more than mere religious sayings and nice sermons; it is a life of pursuit, of victory and of overcoming as He overcame. It is in growing in Him, learning of Him and discovering the absolute necessity of abiding in Him that we find the wonder of His provision and mercy.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world.
And this is the victory that has overcome the world even your faith.”
I JOHN 5:4

Brian Troxel

THE PURPOSE OF GRACE

THE PURPOSE OF GRACE

(See The Purpose of Grace Part 2)
(The The Purpose of Grace Part 3)
(Grace)

“…and His grace toward me was not in vain;
but I labored more abundantly than they all,
yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me”
I CORINTHIANS 15:10

God’s Grace is not a sentiment but a power. Grace, as with everything in God, is given with purpose and intention. We see here in Corinthians that the REASON Paul laboured so abundantly was BECAUSE of the Grace of God that was with Him. Its purpose is to produce within us a life that reveals God’s salvation, His life, and His righteousness. Grace received which does not bring forth an ardent pursuit of the Living Christ, a labouring in the ministration of His Life, and a salvation that produces a life of a growth in righteousness is a grace that has been received in vain.

“For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly,

righteously, and godly, in this present world”
TITUS 2:11 – 12

This same Grace which brings salvation into the life of every believer is the SAME Grace that “teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and enables us that we should live “righteously and godly in this PRESENT world!” How we misrepresent God when Grace is presented as a sentiment with no correlation to living a life of righteousness in this present world. The grace of God has appeared to ALL MEN but its efficacy and power is known only in those who reveal it by the life they live.

We read here that that Grace produced within Paul a labouring and a life of strenuous discipleship for he was empowered by the grace of God that was working with (syn – Greek Word) him to the Glory of God.

“We then, as workers together with him,
beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain”
II CORINTHIANS 6:1

The Glory of the New Testament is that Jesus HAS COME and IS COME. He is at work within our hearts by the means of HIS Grace to bring forth in us a “working out of our own salvation” because He is ever “working in us” a will to do His Will!

“…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure”
PHILLIPIANS 2:12 – 13

Ω

“Grace is but Glory begun, and Glory is but Grace perfected.”
Johnathan Edwards

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things;
and I will be his God, and he shall be my son”
REVELATION 21:7

Throughout the New Testament we read much about faith and confession yet here in the Last Book of the Bible we read more about overcoming; we read of being called, chosen and faithful. We read of great suffering where all that is dark and evil rises up in great wrath upon all who would live “godly in Christ Jesus.” We read the letters written to the seven Churches where there is much amiss with sin, compromise and lost love. Worst of all we read of one church that shows Jesus on the outside knocking at the door seeking for any individual to open to Him. To each of these churches in their various stages of weakness, compromise and decay we hear the promise of Him saying to “him (individually) that overcomes will I GIVE…” The promise is not to those who say “Lord, Lord…”. The promise is not to those who have great understanding. The promise is to those who by a living faith have discovered in HIM the very LIFE to overcome all the trials and testings that they have encountered. To be sons of God is more than a simple statement of faith; it is more than a teaching, more than an association with a church or teacher. It is a life that reveals the only begotten ONE; a life of identification with the ONE who has overcome all things. It is in knowing that without HIM we can do nothing, but IN HIM we can do all things. Sonship is revealed in the lives of those who are being weaned from earthly agendas, religious affiliations, and causes to support. Our commonality with one another is because we live and move in HIM. We turn our back upon the things that have divided and secularized HIS CHURCH; we place no confidence in anything other than Christ Jesus our Lord. Our brotherhood is true because we have ONE FATHER. We believe in ONE LORD, we have one faith and hope and HIS NAME IS JESUS.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are the sons of God”
ROMANS 8:14

Somewhere in the muddled teachings of this day we have ignored the clear presentation of the Scriptures and have replaced it with a “theology” that offers a “salvation” that is free from effort. The cross is mentioned as if it were optional (“…he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. Matthew 10:38); a religious atmosphere where little is required or expected. The results? People who though precious and loved of the Father have failed to GROW UP and BECOME sons of God through the medium of obedience, faith and death to self. A victorious Christian life is rarely taught or expected. TO HIM THAT OVERCOMES is not an idealistic concept but the earnest expectation of all those who follow HIM, are LED of HIM and above all LOVE HIM with all their whole being. It is time to stop and consider our ways, to stop playing church, to stop consoling ourselves with compromise. In HIM alone is our rest, our peace, our fruitfulness and our JOY! To him that overcomes is the promise given. He that overcomes is the one who can declare with great thankfulness of heart that of a truth JESUS IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE! It is in overcoming that we reveal the truth of this in our lives.

Faith is the means by which truth
becomes the substance and reality of our lives.

In our desire to obey, in our desire to follow Him, and in our desire to know this life of victory we must confront the weaknesses of our own hearts and wills. We must (as Abraham) consider our own body as good as dead in the ability to please God and in this place discover the power of a living faith that believes in HIM who is able!!! In all these things we are more than CONQUERORS THROUGH HIM THAT LOVES US!

Ω

“Any battle for victory, power, and deliverance
– from ourselves and from sin –
which is not based constantly upon
the gazing and the beholding of the Lord Jesus,
with the heart and life lifted up to Him,
is doomed to failure”
Alan Redpath

Brian Troxel

CONTINUE IN PRAYER

“Continue earnestly in prayer”

COLOSSIANS 4:2

The scriptures implore us to continue in prayer not as some religious duty but as the means by which we remain in His Spirit. This is how we maintain the wonder of His Peace and His Goodness in our lives; not necessarily the type of prayer that is always asking for things, but the prayer whereby we live and commune with Him. It is in this place of “continual” prayer we begin to discover the way of abiding and living in Him. This place of abiding is to become a habitual attitude of our hearts for it is the secret place of the Most High. It is to be to us a continual refuge, a sanctuary and a hiding place from the lust, pride and temptation of this world.

To continue in prayer is much more than a duty; it is the WAY of Life. It is the place where His springs flow in difficult places, where we are constantly built up to withstand the assaults that come without warning. It keeps us prepared and looking for the moving of His hand in our life. In this place of continual prayer we become sensitive to the needs of those around us. We become cognizant of His will and it keeps us walking in the wisdom of God. His presence is the only safe-guard in our daily life.

“Prayer is surrender –
surrender to the will of God and cooperation with that will.

If I throw out a boathook from the boat
and catch hold of the shore and pull,

do I pull the shore to me, or do I pull myself to the shore?
Prayer is not pulling God to my will,

but the aligning of my will to the will of God.”
Eli E. Stanley Jones

Prayer is the means by which my heart is stilled; it is the fruit of being in His Spirit. It is in touching Him that we are subdued and held within the PEACE of Him that passes understanding.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee…”
ISAIAH 26:3

Brian Troxel

BY FAITH – PART FOUR –

BY FAITH

PART FOUR

“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which he obtained witness that he was righteous
and through it he being dead still speaks”
HEBREWS 11:4

Since FAITH is the evidence of things not seen we must embrace that the expressions and works it produces in us have an eternal aspect to them. We read here “through it” {FAITH} Abel, being dead, still speaks. His life that was lived by faith still speaks! His life is still a living sermon to all who should believe afterwards. Faith must produce eternal expressions. It must bring forth works that have eternal implications. It must bring us to new depths of living, seeing and walking in HIM who is the author of such within our lives.

In today’s religious world faith is considered to be a certain doctrinal persuasion that one holds to, a set of teachings that expresses our belief system, something we can print out and hang on our wall to show others who we are. In God however faith is the LIFE THAT WE LIVE, the expression of His heart through us in this world. True faith cannot be debated in terms of mere discussion; it is a life that demonstrates the reality of unseen things. It is the SUBSTANCE of things not seen; the very knowing of His Will. It is in itself the growing of a confidence in HIM who is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. It is a power that grows in us through obedience and suffering ever bringing us to a deeper dying to self in order that we may fully live unto Him!

We need to take note that this SAME faith that enabled Abel to offer a more excellent sacrifice “still speaks” today to all of us who now believe. May there be a greater abandonment to a faith that will produce within our lives expressions of HIM that leave eternal consequences in this world.

“through it he being dead still speaks”
HEBREWS 11:4

Ω

“Faith, as Paul saw it,
was a living, flaming thing leading to surrender and obedience
to the commandments of Christ”
A.W. Tozer

Brian Troxel

BY FAITH – PART THREE –

BY FAITH

PART THREE

“By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
through which he obtained witness that he was righteous…
and through it he being dead still speaks”
HEBREWS 11:4

It was the element of faith that made Abel’s sacrifice more excellent than that of Cain. We must come to realize that it is not the thing that is offered but the measure of faith in which the thing is offered that pleases God. God’s ways are higher than ours and His way of evaluating the offering of our hearts is different. We see (as did the disciples) the greatness of the religious buildings of our day and we marvel at their size and scope and yet Jesus sees rubble and sand. We see great programs, “evangelistic strategies” and great religious endeavours in which vast amounts of resources are used to “market” the Gospel and build up a particular church or fellowship without any concept that we are here to be “witnesses unto HIM”. Looking back over the history of the church we see that her most fruitful servants had little of the world’s resources, but they were rich in Faith and Love; because of that God bore witness to their simple preaching and thousands were swept into the Kingdom. We must consider our ways and allow God to search out our hearts that we may find ourselves living and moving by a faith that is springing forth from a pure heart.

“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had”
LUKE 21:2 – 4

Our focus is too often upon the external appearance rather than the true spiritual value of a thing that is done or spoken. God looks to the heart of a thing. He sees past the appearance and looks into the heart, to see what motivated and initiated the thing that was done.

“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things”
ACTS 5:1 – 5

We may need to be reminded that this is a New Testament truth and if we have difficulty reconciling this with our concept of God we need to seriously consider our ways. In this day of apathy this story often repeats itself, without the dire consequences, because God’s greatest judgement is to leave us to ourselves and our own ways. True living faith is not interested in the appearance of a thing but only with the pleasing and glorifying of its Author. Faith ever seeks to bring Glory to God!

That is why by FAITH Abel offered up a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.

Ω

“Wheresoever we be, whatsoever we are doing, in all our work,
in our busy daily life, in all schemes and undertakings, in public trusts, and in private retreats, He is with us, and all we do is spread before Him. Do it, then, as to the Lord. Let the thought of His eye unseen be the motive of your acts and words. Do nothing you would not have Him see. Say nothing which you would have not said before His visible presence. This is to do all in His name”
H. E. Manning

Brian Troxel

BY FAITH ~ PART TWO ~

BY FAITH

PART TWO

“For by it (Faith) the elders obtained a good testimony*
HEBREWS 11:2

Faith is the only means by which men can please God. Faith is the “essentia” of man’s witness unto God and the only expression which garners God’s approval. Through faith these men and women of old OBTAINED a worthy commendation from the living God! By their lives being governed by the promises of God they “reckoned”, “accounted” and “judged” God faithful to see them through. Just as “faith without works is dead” so are works without faith dead and worthless. We must see that the life OF FAITH, a life lived IN FAITH and a life lived BY FAITH is the only thing acceptable to our God!

“…for whatsoever is not of faith is sin”
ROMANS 14:23

Faith is to be the indispensable element of our daily walk whether at home, work or any other situation of life. Faith is the criteria by which all our actions are weighed. Whatever point we are at in the development of our faith is what we reveal in the common flow of our life. We cannot live in the estimation of others for true faith is only concerned with the pleasing of our Heavenly Father. As our faith develops so will the revelation of that faith be in our life. Many try to live their lives according to the acceptability of what others may think, to attempt to please or impress others with their carefully planned actions, but this is neither faith nor a life pleasing to God. Faith seeks ONLY to glorify its Author. There is a freedom in simple childlike faith that gives us liberty from the opinions of men, living solely for His pleasure.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith:
as it is written, The just shall live by faith”
ROMANS 1:17

The righteousness of God can only be revealed through our lives to the degree that Faith has been developed within us. Our life of faith is progressive “from faith to faith”, a living dynamic gift that God has given to us by His Mercy. Faith must grow through the experiences of life, through trial, tribulation and seeing God’s hand move in the daily aspects of our life! How good He is to those who trust Him! How faithful He is to those who rely on Him in all that we go through! How can we not desire that our trust in Him grows as well as our love FOR Him? Is He not to be the sole purpose of our life? Can we not seek to live our lives to the fullest extent of the faith that is at work in us, so that we may please Him more and more in the passing of our days?

“We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren,
as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly”
II THESSALONIANS 1:3

Ω

John Paton was making a translation of the Scriptures into a language spoken in the country where he was a missionary, and searched long for the world for “Faith”. The natives had no word for “believe” One day, while working on his translation, a native entered his room, exhausted and flung himself down on the nearest chair, and placed his feet on the chair across from him. The native remarked how good it was to lean his whole weight into that chair. Dr. Paton noted the word he had used for “lean his whole weight.” He had his word for “believe”.
John G. Paton

*“Literally, “were witnessed of;” that is, an honorable testimony was borne to them in consequence of their faith”
Barnes New Testament Notes

Brian Troxel