Quote for Today – Charles Spurgeon

Quote for Today

“We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley when the summit of Tabor awaits us. How pure are the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New Jerusalem!

Many saints are content to live like men in coal mines, who see not the sun. Tears mar their faces when they might anoint them with celestial oil. Satisfied I am that many a believer pines in a dungeon when he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land and Lebanon. Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition! Cast away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coldness, or whatever interferes with thy chaste and pure love to Christ. Make Him the source, the center, and the circumference of all thy soul’s range of delight. Rest no longer satisfied with thy dwarfish attainments. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life. Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!” —Spurgeon

“I want to scale the utmost height,
And catch a gleam of glory bright;
But still I’ll pray, till heaven I’ve found,
Lord, lead me on to higher ground!”

“Look unto the heavens, and see…”
Job 35:5

Quote for Today – Florence Nightingale

Quote for Today

“So never lose an opportunity of urging a practical beginning, however small, for it is wonderful how often in such matters the mustard-seed germinates and roots itself”
– Florence Nightingale

The One Thing

The ONE Thing

“And Abram journeyed, going on still…”
Genesis 12:9

It is the nature of Faith to produce within true hearts a diligence to ever be “going on still” in their walk with God. Faith is relentless in its quest to seek and know its author. Faith generates in the life of every true disciple a “journey” and a quest for God Himself. This journey is the result of a heavenly vision which causes all earthly things to become dim and obsolete in comparison with the growing radiancy of God. There can be no division of heart when God is becoming the “one thing”. As Paul declared:

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:13-14

We read of this same “One Thing” in Psalm 27 as David cries out with fullness of heart:

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple”
Psalm 27:4

It is this “One Thing” which characterizes the pilgrims of faith; that separates the Christian Adherent from the True Disciple. Disciples grow in their love and pursuit of the “One Thing” for an individual cannot follow Him for long without being captured by His incomparable beauty. We cannot follow the ONE in whom resides Wisdom, Grace and LIFE and remain attached to the things of this world.

Who can save us from the misery of self? None but Jesus.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”
Acts 4:12

While to the believer Christ brings salvation, to the disciple Christ IS their salvation. To one it is an act, a decree and a doctrine (precious as that is). To the Disciple, salvation is the LIFE of Christ resident and abiding within. To one it is a very important thing, to the other it is the ONLY thing.

“For I determined not to know any thing among you,
save Jesus Christ, and him crucified”
1 Corinthians 2:2

May this burning desire become a growing reality in our lives by the wonder of the grace of God empowering, unifying and purifying our hearts; unto the perfect day where we can truly say the desire for the “one thing” has indeed become the ONE THING.

“And when they had lifted up their eyes,
they saw no man, save Jesus only”
Matthew 17:8

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Ulrich Zwingli

Quote for Today

“Our confidence in Christ does not make us lazy, negligent, or careless, but on the contrary it awakens us, urges us on, and makes us active in living righteous lives and doing good. There is no self-confidence to compare with this”
– Huldrych (Ulrich) Zwingli

Persecution Post – Nigeria

Persecution Post

“In another filmed massacre, 11 Nigerian Christians were executed by the Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) over the Christmas holiday.

Wearing the orange jumpsuits made familiar by similar executions of Egyptian and Ethiopian Christians in Libya, the first Nigerian victim was shot in the head by the black-clad terrorists who then slit the throats of the remaining ten. It is understood to be the largest group killed by ISWAP, a Boko Haram splinter group, so far

“This message is to the Christians in the world,” stated the 56-second propaganda video, released December 26, in both Arabic and Hausa, according to The New York Times.

“Those who you see in front of us are Christians…”
A Report in “Christianity Today”.

The Measure of a Man

These are people with whom many of us might not fellowship over here given our current state of division and lukewarmness; their doctrine may not line up with ours. Yet they stood true to their confession of Christ unto the end. May God work into us the common love of Christ which unites all who are true in heart and spirit. I pray that His grace would bring the power of a Love which unites all who are His into ONE HEART.

It is easy to love and feel empathy for someone we have not met, but unless His Love produces the deeds (1 John 3:18) of love where we live, we know little of the Love of God in Christ.

“We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death”
1 John 3:14

It is clear that God’s estimation of our walk with Him is measured by the Love we hold for our brothers (not our little segregated group or “church”) and not according to our “knowledge” or our confession. John goes on to say:

“He that loveth not knoweth not God;
for God is love”
1 John 4:8

There is a growing cry within my heart to know this deep and pure love of God; to Love Him and His people and to hate the sin and the selfishness within myself.

It is high time that we begin to measure our walk with God by our obedience, victory over sin and the authentic love of God in our hearts for His people. This love will be the matrix for the true ministry of one member unto another whereby we will see the ONE BODY of Christ arise in purity and truth. It will not be by compromise but by the vey fire of God welding us together!

God has sent His Spirit into the earth for this very purpose. The cause of divisions are the teachings of men; people growing in a knowledge which “puffs up” the carnal heart unto separation and division. True Love brings an “edifying” of the Body of Christ unto Him.

“Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth”
1 Corinthians 8:1

When people cannot edify and build up the Body of Christ it is a revelation of the lack of the Love of God within them. The reason for our lack of power and glory is the same as it was for the Church AT Ephesus: they had “left” their first love. This is the Day and the Hour when God’s Spirit is moving upon the hearts of those who are truly His to hear what He is saying. Many will refuse to hear the call of God and cling to their isolated little groups and churches and miss what God is doing.

“Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth”
1 Corinthians 2:13

Those who are taught of God must come to the liberating power of the Love of God in all truth and holiness. It cannot be otherwise! The absence of Love reveals a poverty in our knowing of Him.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God”
1 John 4:7

To measure our life in God by any other standard is deception.

Brian Troxel

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.

Σ

“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

Purity in the Church

Purity in the Church

“To Do Justly and to Love Mercy”

“But as it is, I wrote to you not to associate with anyone who is called a brother who is a sexual sinner, or covetous, or an idolater, or a slanderer, or a drunkard, or an extortionist. Don’t even eat with such a person
1 Corinthians 5:11

The Life of Christ will naturally conform to and fulfill the Word of God. Christ Himself is the Living Word and His Spirit in us must, by its very nature, empower us to live in its Holy Way. We are here to “do justly, and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God”. It is not Mercy to compromise with sin; it is mercy to hate any sin in our lives as it is to confront sin within the Body of Christ. The purpose of Mercy is to enable men and women to give themselves as a “living sacrifice” unto God. It is never intended to give people license to remain in their sin. How short-sighted are those who would preach a gospel contrary to the purpose of God in His Mercy. The ministrations of God’s Justice and His Mercy are never in conflict. (see note below**)

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service”
Romans 12:1

Mercy truly received will always produce a life which grows into the very righteousness of God Himself. Those who would pervert mercy as a license to sin have no understanding of what Salvation in Christ means. It is a “different” gospel which speaks of compromise and godlessness; a gospel which leaves men and women powerless with regards to the victory of Christ over sin. Such a gospel leaves the individual bound to their sin and brings them to the very gates of hell itself. Christ came to inject the very dunamis of His Life to save us, empower us and resurrect us unto righteousness and godly living. May we ever be exhorted to “fight the good fight of faith” and to contend in Christ for the ascendancy over sin.

“Thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people from* their sins”
Matthew 1:21

*Greek Word: ἀπό (apo) “any kind of separation of one thing from another by which the union or fellowship of the two is destroyed” Thayer Greek Lexicon

Σ

“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law, but under grace?
God forbid
Romans 6:15

**NOTE: This exhortation of Paul was written to cut off those who live in sin and flaunt it without remorse or desire to change. There are those who struggle against sin, who seek help and ministry, to whom we are to pour out our very souls unto God on their behalf that they may also know of the power and the victory which is ours in Christ Jesus our Lord. This word of exhortation is that there would be a standard in HIS CHURCH so that sin and the stain of its consequences would not be tolerated in the Body of Christ. Compromise is the downfall and the sin of a worldly and powerless church. It is a day for the Church to begin to arise with His Light and Glory (Revelation 19:7).

“But know this, that in the last days, grievous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, not lovers of good, traitors, headstrong, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these…”
2 Timothy 3:1-5

Brian Troxel

The Call to Prayer

The Call To Prayer

There is a call in the Spirit of God to prayer, intercession and repentance. There is a move of God coming filled with the power and glory of Himself to visit our land and to purify HIS CHURCH from her worldly ways and sinfulness. It is a move which will be precipitated by a people receiving “the spirit of grace and of supplications” (Zechariah 12:10) The moving of this wonder being poured out upon His people will produce a “looking upon me (Christ) whom they have pierced” (Zechariah 12:10) resulting in “a great mourning” (Zechariah 12:11) to come upon the people of God. This mourning of great sorrow and repentance will usher in the “spirit of burning” and cleansing of a magnitude which has never been seen for this is THE DAY OF THE LORD (the Last Days). This is the DAY of GOD and the fulfillment of His promise to those…

“Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5)

There is a salvation which has been reserved and kept for this DAY. There is a final unfolding of that which Paul and the early church pursued with all of their heart, strength and soul. There is to be in this day an apprehending of the FULNESS of all that God has purposed in sending His Son into the earth. It is in this day that the Call of God is going out unto all who have “ears to hear” and hearts to obey. A glorious day of repentance is upon us, how blessed is this grace given and may our hearts receive its wonder and transforming power!

This Word came to me as I was revising a former writing here below…

ARISING IN THE NIGHT

”And I arose in the night”
Nehemiah 2:12

The test of faith is not only what we do in the times of light and blessing but how we respond in those times when we cannot see our way. Here we see a dark time for the people of God; the City of God was burned with fire, the gates destroyed, and rubble filled the streets. The enemy was strong in the Land and the oppressors kept diligent watch that there should be no rising up of the people of God.

Nehemiah had a call from God to see the City arise from the rubble. There was a cry in his heart for the City not for himself. The burden caused him to arise, the vision was strong upon him, his purpose was clear and his God was Great. He did not wait for others to “catch the vision”; he did not wait for the “conditions” to improve.  He arose to fulfill the cry of God in his heart.

True Vision produces DEEDS of FAITH. True vision brings us into the reality that our God is willing, able and faithful to provide substance and strength for the purpose for which we have been apprehended. While men linger in the night the tares are planted…

“But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat”
Matthew 13:25

While men sleep the enemy sows deception and error; thoughts that sound right but destroy the truth of the seed that was planted. Excuses and reasons why we cannot arise, why the people of God should be content to just maintain the status quo while the City of God remains divided, weak and barren, are all tares sown in the night.

“The slothful man saith, there is a lion in the way…”
Proverbs 26:13

LET US ARISE even in the night to see HIS Glory once again covering, filling and empowering the Church of JESUS CHRIST. Let us arise, lay aside the seeking of our own prosperity, and find HIS heart to seek the welfare of the Children of God!

The Word of the Lord declares…

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”
2 Chronicles 7:14

God responds to the prayer of the contrite and broken. God hears the prayers of those who in trueness of heart “turn from their (own) wicked ways” and seek His Face on behalf of HIS NAME in the earth. Many pray today with a heart of pride as the Pharisee who considered himself above the others around them deceived into thinking they are not like other men… These are the prayers of the Pharisee spirit, “I thank thee, that I am not as other men are” (Luke 18:11) Jesus testified of such that he “prayed thus with himself” (Luke 18:11). The prayer of such never ascended unto God.

Daniel in his heartfelt prayer on behalf of Israel cried out in anguish of soul…

“O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee” (Daniel 9:8)

The condition and the state of God’s people when addressed in their day by those whose hearts are true and right in His sight always included themselves in the backslidden condition of all! For it is the Spirit of Christ within them birthing these prayers and intercession. He came and took on our sin and our iniquity, He came to identify with our miserable state and as such His heart within us should produce the same identification with His people.

While “The Pharisee prays thus with himself” the true prophets of God identify with the state of His people with prayers of brokenness and godly sorrow and the deeds of repentance which is acceptable and pleasing unto God.

Σ

“God’s program for reviving His people is definite and clear. First Elijah repaired the altar of Jehovah that was thrown down. That is the place to begin. All the ruin that sin has wrought must be cleared away by confession. Things must be made right with God; restitution must be made where it is due. Unless this is done definitely and thoroughly, prayer for reviving is vain. Too many are praying today without repairing the altar by confession of sin, without digging a trench of separation from the world and without a surrender that is even unto death. No wonder such prayer is fruitless”
Andrew Gih

Brian Troxel