Andrew Murray

Quote for Today

Andrew Murray

“Unless we are willing to pay the price, and sacrifice time and attention and what appear legitimate or necessary duties, for the sake of the heavenly gifts we need not look for a large experience of the power of the heavenly world in our work”
– Andrew Murray

The Marks of True Servants – Part Two

The Marks of a True Servant

Paul’s Final Departure
(from Ephesus)

Part Two

“For I have not shunned
to declare unto you all the counsel of God”
Acts 20:27

True servants withhold nothing of God’s counsel for fear of losing the approval of men. They speak the truth because they love the truth. Within their hearts beats the singular desire to live unto the Lord alone. They seek His approval alone.

“But in all things
approving ourselves as the ministers of God…”
2 Corinthians 6:4

To live unto Christ is to be free from the fear of man. Truth is the person and majesty of Christ Himself. This dynamic of His Life can only be known as we abide in Him. This ONE who purged the filth of man’s pollution from the Temple, also revealed the tenderness of mercy to the woman at the well; His Life cannot be held by the mere doctrines of men. The necessity of abiding in Him is what frees us to express Him in the moment, in the situation we are facing. It is the only means by which His Truth can be expressed! To speak of kindness when the Spirit of God seeks to confront a situation, is error. To speak judgment when God’s Spirit is soft and gentle is to miss Him grievously. A carnal concept of God has always been the bane of religion! To try and live by the precepts of Christ will inevitably end in failure and sin for we are to be in this world as HE IS in the moment.

Only His life can rightly express His heart. We are called unto a Life of abiding in Him to the intent that

“…as HE IS,
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

The truth of our walk in Him must culminate in a life of abiding in Him. Present truth can only be known by those who live in the presence of God. As His Life becomes ours, we know the truth; His truth for the moment. Peter in dealing with Ananias and Sapphira did not violate the Love of God; He revealed it. Those who walk in a concept of the love of God will be offended by this expression of truth. Naaman the Syrian had a concept of how the Lord would heal him. Had it not been for the wisdom of one of his servants he would have missed God and remained a leper the rest of his life.

His prophets spoke the Word of the Lord to the situation they found themselves in. The Word spoken was present truth, The Word for His people in the Day in which they lived. It was not a random Word, pulled from history’s pages, but truth for moment.

“…they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruninghooks…”
Isaiah2:4

Yet in another day the word given was:

Beat your plowshares into swords,
and your pruninghooks into spears”
Joel 3:10

His Spirit will never violate the Word but it will breathe the life and wonder of God INTO His Word. Such enablement, grace and wisdom can only be known to those who abide in the ONE who is the sum of all Grace and Truth. Jesus did not come to expose the world to a new teaching or a new religious concept; He came to fill us with Himself. He did not come to give us A new life but to give us HIS Life that we might know the power of His indwelling word.

The “marks” (brands) of the true servant of God are those who withhold not His truth and counsel regardless of the “consensus” of men. Only as we are freed from self are we truly able to be His servant.

“For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
for if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10

The true servant of God is one who is poured out in service to Christ. He seeks no following and does not desire the finances of this world. His only desire is to be true to the ONE who enlisted him into His service. Only then is he free enough to declare the whole counsel of God to his generation.

“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ” ……………………………………. Romans 1:1
“James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ” .. James 1:1
“Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ…. 2 Peter 1:1
“Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ” ………………………………….. Jude 1:1

“For he whom God hath sent
speaketh the words of God…”
John 3:34

Σ

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me”
John 15:4

The Marks of a True Servant is a series of writings revealing the tried and true character of Paul as he met with the Church at Ephesus for the last time. His life was the testimony of a man who had spent his life as a true bond-servant of Christ. May God complete His work in each one of us. Blessings to All who have made it their life purpose to serve and honour Him.
BT

Brian Troxel

H.A. Ironside

Quote for Today

“God is not looking for brilliant men, is not depending upon eloquent men, is not shut up to the use of talented men in sending His Gospel out in the world. God is looking for broken men, for men who have judged themselves in the light of the Cross of Christ. When He wants anything done, He takes up men who have come to an end of themselves, and whose trust and confidence is not in themselves but in God.”
– H.A. Ironside

Alone With God

Alone with God

“And Jacob was left alone”
Genesis 32:24

Alone with God. God’s greatest work within an individual is often done in secret, away from the sight of others. God takes aside those upon whom His call rests, to achieve His end within their hearts. Wrestlings, breakings and spiritual insights are common to those who are “the called according to His purpose”. It is the broken vessel which most easily pours forth the fragrance and living waters of Christ. A vessel broken in the hands of God can never be broken by the circumstances of life. Broken ones are strong in God; they know that their weakness is the place of God’s power. They have learned of the One broken for them, from Whom springs joy and delight. In the secret places of God, they have discovered their call, their purpose and their destiny. Many circumvent this sanctified place of the preparation and dealings of God. They choose instead to fill their time with activities, entertainment, shallow relationships and even religious exercises in order to avoid the mystery of this alone time with God. The narrative of Lot (Hebrew meaning: veiled one) is an accurate portrayal of many today. Though righteous (2 Peter 2:7-9), he clung to the vestiges of the world while simultaneously being vexed by it. It is the conundrum of His own: loving God but also hanging on to the ways and wisdom of this world. Loved of God but lacking the intimacy and deep knowledge of Him reserved for those who come to that secret place with God.

The Faith of Lot

“And when the dawn rose, then the angels urged Lot, saying, Rise up, take your wife and your two daughters who are found, lest you be cut off in the depravity of the city. And he lingered. And the men lay hold of his hand and his wife’s hand, and on the hand of his two daughters, Jehovah having mercy on him. And they caused him to go out, and they put him down outside the city. And it happened as they led them outside, he said, Escape for your life! Do not look behind you, and do not stay in all the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest you be swept away. And Lot said to them, Please, no, Lord! Behold, now, Your servant has found grace in Your sight, and You have magnified Your mercy which You have done to me in saving my life. And I am not able to escape to the mountain lest some evil overtake me and I die. Please, now, this city is near, to flee there, and it is a little one. Please let me escape there! Is it not a little thing, that my soul may live?”
Genesis 19:17-20

God’s call was to the mountain but, because of his undeveloped faith, Lot was fearful. He refused and asked God to change His call (on the basis of mercy) and deliver him to a small city! How sad is such a request; how dismal a faith that would forebear the call to be alone with God and choose a smaller inheritance in this world and the one to come. Interestingly, this is the first use of the world “mercy” in scripture. Calling upon God, on the basis of mercy, to deviate from God’s original purpose is a compromise that leaves one, though still righteous, stunted in faith and growth.

“And Jacob was left alone”
Genesis 32:24

It was when he was all alone that Jacob, the conniver, schemer and manipulator, met HIS GOD! It is here that the natural man is crippled, and the inward man begins to rise by God’s grace. It is here Jacob receives the New Name. It is here that the God of Abraham and Isaac now becomes the God of Jacob! Such glory awaits those who embrace the secret of being alone with God. In this place we discover who we truly are and are forced to face the flaws and horror of our true condition. In his wrestling with God, Jacob must respond to this penetrating question:

“What is thy name?”
Genesis 32:27

In other words, what is your nature and motivation?

“And he said, Jacob*
Genesis 32:27

God well knew his name. This rhetorical question was for Jacob to admit and confess the truth of himself. This is an essential requirement for those whom God uses. Jesus told the woman at the well to go get her husband. At that moment she had the choice to be authentic, honest and open with God or remain unchanged and miserable. Her choice determined whether she would receive the revelation of the One who spoke with her or remain a lost and wandering soul. So it is with us. Does our encounter with God bring us to the brink of the truth of ourselves, or do we hide behind a confession of faith, a doctrine or a religious cover? Do we avoid the call to come to Him in truth and instead find a “little one” in which to hide from the penetrating eyes of God?

Alone with God

Do we dare draw near to Him? Do we dare venture alone to tread this holy ground of piercing and revelation? Do we have the stamina of heart to cast aside the offerings of a religion more concerned with covering our sin than to find in Christ the power to be free from our sin. The one leaves us bereft of any sense of spiritual identity; the other brings us to the place of “becoming” like Him in truth!

Alone with God has ever been the experience of those used mightily of God regardless of covenant (New or Old Testament).

We read of John the Baptist:

“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel
Luke 1:80

And Paul:

“…immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus”
Galatians 1:16-17

We read of John on the Isle of Patmos, Daniel, Moses, and many others who by faith drew near to the One who can take “worms” and make them “sharp threshing instruments having teeth” Isaiah 41:14-15

“Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the Lord, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff”
Isaiah 41:14-15

Do not be fearful or tempted to compromise your walk with God in order to fit in with the consensus of many; either the cloistered ones who walk in their own counsel, nor with the multitude who frequent the broad paths. Let the lonely times, when friends, brothers and sisters reject you, be a blessing. Only as we are alone with Him can He truly purge us from the uncleanness of our own ways. Never be afraid to be Alone with God.

Therefore, I was left alone, and saw this great vision, and there remained no strength in me: for my comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength. Yet heard I the voice of his words…”
Daniel 10:8-9

*Note: Jacob - “Adjective עקב ('aqeb) means overreacher; adjective עקב ('aqob), insidious or deceitful; adjective עקב ('aqob), tricky or treacherous (of terrain). Noun עקבה ('aqeba) means deceitfulness and noun עקב ('eqeb), consequence..” Abiram Publications

Brian Troxel

Honouring God

Honoring God

“So speak ye and so do”
James 2:12

We live in a very strange time when individuals can study the scriptures, memorize them, and readily discuss them with others; yet live their lives contrary to the very words they speak. The only way to honor His Word is by obeying it. Obedience is the evidence of a life who truly honors and treats His Word for what it is: Holy. If we do not reverence His Word through obedience we will reap the consequences. How foolish it is to speak His Word and yet not honor it not with our lives.

“For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense; how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation
Hebrews 2:2

They who esteem His Word lightly, lightly esteem the One who speaks it.

“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle,
note that man, and have no company with him,
that he may be ashamed”
2 Thessalonians 3:14

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – A.W. Tozer

Quote for Today

“I wonder if there was ever a time when true spiritual worship was at a lower ebb. To great sections of the church, the art of worship has been lost entirely, and in its place has come that strange and foreign thing called the “program.” This word has been borrowed from the stage and applied with sad wisdom to the public service which now passes for worship among us”
– A. W. Tozer

Johann Arndt

Quote for Today

“Give me … a compassionate heart, quickly moved to grieve for the woes of others and to active pity for them, even as our Lord Jesus Christ beheld our poverty and hasted to help us. Give me grace ever to alleviate the crosses and difficulties of those around me, and never to add to them; teach me to be a consoler in sorrow, to take thought for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan; let my charity show itself not in words only but in deed and truth.”
— Johann Arndt (1555-1621)

The Purpose of Life

Quote for Today

“My Lord, I have nothing to do in this World, but to seek and serve thee; I have nothing to do with a Heart and its affections, but to breathe after thee. I have nothing to do with my Tongue and Pen, but to speak to thee, and for thee, and to publish thy Glory and thy Will”
– Richard Baxter

Spiritual Warfare – Thankfulness

Spiritual Warfare – Thankfulness

“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name”
Psalm 100:4

SELAH

“Do all things without complaining and arguing”
Philippians 2:14

To what end?

“that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without defect in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you are seen as lights in the world”
Philippians 2:15

I am slowly discovering (and I do mean slowly) the power of thankfulness. Thankfulness is a major weapon in warfare for the child of God. It is a disposition which protects us from bitterness and self-pity. There is a resiliency in the thankful heart; in its hold the child of God can overcome many obstacles. Bitterness and acrimony undermine God’s graces; they rob us of the power to see clearly. There is a buoyancy and a freedom that comes if we can remain untouched by the contagion of self. The nature of self is prone to complaining and resentment. These can easily gravitate to animosity, anger and the deadly sins which lurk in those dark places. Prayer is a vital link to overcoming bitterness.

“Continue in prayer,
and watch in the same with thanksgiving
Colossians 4:2

One of the greatest miracles of God in His work within His children is to create a life which walks uprightly in this world full of compromise and sin. It takes the power of Grace to so enable us to hold to the way of God. Temptation and darkness without, weakness and frailty within is the everyday conflict of the Christian life. Let us consider and give thanks unto Him who alone can make us stand as lights in the growing darkness.

In this Day of growing hostility, it is essential that we be arrayed with thankfulness unto Him who, by His grace, can make us stand. It is a Grace by which we can be untouched by all of the stratagems of Satan himself.

“Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”
Hebrews 12:15

____________________________________

“In every thing give thanks:
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”
1 Thessalonians 5:18

Brian Troxel

C.R. Oliver

C.R. Oliver

(Excerpt from his monthly newsletter on the exegesis of Paul’s Epistle to the Church at Ephesus).

“…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened;
that you may know what is the hope of His calling”
Ephesians 1:18 NKJV

“Evidence of spiritual blindness in the modern church is still a factor of concern. Paul was not addressing those outside the church, those who still had the veil of ignorance. He was praying for the church to have full comprehension of the hope of His calling. This is the hope of glory. This is the depth of His provision. To know Him is to see the vastness of His power and the encompassing of His love. Paul wants his congregation to experience what he experiences. He wants them to have “God Eyes” and take His view of things as reality rather than the circumstances around them. From a prison, he prayed for them to see the “big picture” and become a part of true fellowship”
– C.R. Oliver

C.R. Oliver is a very dear brother to me; his wisdom and kindness have been a refreshing fountain of God’s grace in my own life. The fire that burns within his heart has often kindled my own. I encourage any who read this to visit his site and to avail themselves of the wellspring of Christ within him.

Zadok Publications