Thought for Today – Faith into Grace

Thought for Today

Faith into Grace

“Therefore, it is of faith
that it might be according to grace,
so that the promise might be sure”
Romans 4:16

It is the element of faith that brings us into the realm of Grace. The prevenient grace* of God brings an individual to faith and through the operation of faith one enters into the the dominion and efficacy of God’s grace. While many speak of grace in our day it is mentioned as a sentiment of God rather than the work of God within the human heart.

“…through whom also we have access by faith
into this grace in which we stand”
Romans 5:2

Grace brings to us the ability to stand. Regardless of our situation in life, grace makes the promises of God sure (certain); faith releases the grace of God into our lives.

Noah “found grace in the sight of God”. By that grace he labored through 120 years of ridicule and difficulties in building the Ark. It was grace that kept him faithful. It was grace that gave him the wisdom and the perseverance to see its completion; and it was grace that delivered him and his family from the day of judgment as God had promised.

The grace of God enables those who receive it the power to overcome, to persevere and to stand strong in the face of all opposition to the promises of God. The end and purpose of Grace is to make the promises of God certain to us. It brings us to the place of receiving those promises.

Faith is the doorway into His Grace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith”
Ephesians 2:8

* Note
Prevenient grace
is not to be understood through the eyes of some who use this term to wrongly present God’s salvation, it is to be known through the sovereignty of God’s call and our response (it is our response which unites our hearts to His Call).

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit”
John 15:16

“And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father”
John 6:65 and also John 6:44

“Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock…”
Luke 6:47-48

* The Call is God’s prevenient grace, our hearing is the manner by which the faith arises (Romans 10:17) and the doing of His Word is the corroboration of His grace working by faith in our lives (1 Corinthians 15:10). It is the wondrous chain of relationship, the call, the response and the works of faith being the evidence of His grace!

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Joseph Parker

Quote for Today

Joseph Parker

“I am the resurrection and the life”: does the declaration end there? Does it not go on to say, “He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live”? Is the old thunder “come forth” nothing now but a hollow and impotent whisper? Is not Jesus Christ the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever? If ye then be risen with Christ, prove your resurrection by your consecration
– Joseph Parker

Thought for Today – Prepare ye the way of the Lord

Thought for Today

“Prepare ye the way of the Lord…”
Mark 1:3

Truth is the precursor of Love. Love is not an emotion. It is not a sentiment nor is it a license to practice evil. God is Love. His love is expressed in His actions, His Words and His ways. Love is a quality of being and from that eternal substance flows the righteousness, holiness, forgiveness and redemption of God in all purity of thought and intent. There can exist no evil, duplicity of soul, variableness, and malice toward others where love reigns. Love can only grow where truth and verity of heart is fixed in the person and heart of Jesus Christ.

The only way in which love may be known in any measure will be to the degree to which the human heart is freed from its deception and self-love. This is essential for the ministration of God to our innermost being with all of His fire and penetrating light.

The love of God is His perfection in man.

“Love… thinketh no evil”
1 Corinthians 13:5

It takes the power and the light of all that God is to bring us to a heart that is incapable of thinking evil. Truth is not just something we know, it is something we do by virtue of Him who is ruling and reigning in our hearts. The day is upon us and the hour is late; His call goes forth to prepare the way of the Lord within the sanctum of our own hearts.

The cry of the Spirit to “prepare ye the way of the Lord” is calling us to repentance in order to receive Him in fullness into our hearts. The measure of truth residing within is revealed in the love we give.

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

“We know, in order to follow; we follow, in order to know. Light prepares the way for love. Love opens the mind for new love. The gifts of God are interwoven. They multiply and reproduce each other, until we come to the perfect state of eternity…”
Albert Barnes

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

alexander-maclaren

“Faith does not grasp a doctrine, but a heart. The trust which Christ requires is the bond that unites souls with Him; and the very life of it is entire committal of myself to Him in all my relations and for all my needs, and absolute utter confidence in Him as all sufficient for everything that I can require”
– Alexander MacLaren

 

Thought for Today – It Takes a Seeking

Thought for Today

It Takes a Seeking

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way,
which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”
Matthew 7:14

The strait gate and the narrow way that lead unto life in Jesus are, in His own words, found by few. To find a thing precludes that there was effort spent in seeking it. Jesus exhorted us to seek in order to find, to ask in order to receive and to knock in order to enter into the things He has prepared for us.

Much of the preaching of today appeals to the broad and easy way; these lead to destruction. There is very little ministered concerning the “pursuit of God” and finding His purpose for our lives. A gospel which is not costly is a gospel which cannot transform us. The only Life offered us is the resurrected life of Jesus; a life which rises out of our own death to self.

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate,
and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction,
and many there be which go in thereat”
Matthew 7:13

The strait gate speaks of a narrowness of entry; a way that confines the unruly and rebellious heart of the natural man. No wonder it is not a popular message! It is hard to fill our pews by preaching the narrow way. It is hard to promote our programs and agendas when we speak of dying to self, picking up our cross and becoming a disciple of Christ. It is worth noting the context of these two scriptures (Matthew 7:13-14) for Jesus goes on to say:

“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,

but inwardly they are ravening wolves”
Matthew 7:15

It is the false prophets, false teachers and ministers who would present anything other than the strait gate and the narrow way. The disciple of Christ chooses a despised and rigorous way. The way of the cross is the only way into the authentic Life of Christ. The broad way will speak of the life, it will preach about the life but if it does not introduce us to the narrow way of the cross it will remain a theory and a teaching rather than the finding of His Life.

They who seek the narrow way will find it and they who enter through the strait gate have begun the journey into His fullness.

The Narrow Way

The narrow way is the way of contradiction
We trade our life for His
We forsake our liberty to walk in His
We die to self so that we may live
We yield our sense of Justice to know His…
The Perfect One slain for sinners
We receive forgiveness as we forgive others
We give up our love to be ruled by His.

May we heed the invitation of Jesus “Enter in…”. It is the heart and call of God to those who have ears to hear.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Richard Baxter

Quote for Today

1899-38633

“Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of; in nothing on which you might not pray for the blessing of God; in nothing which you could not review with a quiet conscience on your dying bed; in nothing which you might not safely and properly be found doing if death should surprise you in the act”
– Richard Baxter

Thought for Today – Arise and Shine

Thought for Today

Arise and Shine

“Arise, shine! For your light has come,
and the glory of Yahweh has risen on you.
For look! darkness shall cover the earth,
and thick darkness the peoples,
but Yahweh will rise on you,
and his glory will appear over you”
Isaiah 60:1

God calls to us to shine though darkness is covering the earth. He sends His light to us in the face of Jesus Christ that we may “arise” in the growing night. It is in Christ that the arising glory of God empowers and strengthens His own to be beacons of Hope to the lost. Our light has come; His life in us is the light of men. His Life is our Light.

“In Him was life
And the Life is the Light of men”
John 1:4

The Life of Christ within is our salvation. Teaching is good and necessary for a season but the teaching must give way to the Life. Teaching must produce a hunger for Him to live and reign within our hearts. In hearing of His life, the true in heart launch their lives into the great ocean of all that He is. The teaching of His extraordinary grace must produce lives that are not content with the “hearing” of His goodness; but like Paul we cry out to know experimentally the “width and length and depth and height” of all that He is (Ephesians 3:18). There is an inward pursuit to “know Him” (Philippians 3:10) for it is in the true knowing of Him we are enabled to walk in the power and wonder of His salvation.

Our living Hope is not based on outward words; our hope is sure because of the Christ within. He is our hope, He is our salvation and He is the substance and surety of all that God has promised.

“To them God willed to make known
what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles:
which is Christ in you, the hope of glory”
Colossians 1:27

May we arise in this hour being fully persuaded of His promises. Come to Him with full intent to drink of the waters of His salvation from the living well of His own being.

“Ho, everyone who thirsts
Come to the waters…”
Isaiah 55:1

Ω

“Blessed are those who hunger
and thirst for righteousness…”
Matthew 5:6

Quote for Today – William Penn

Quote for Today

William Penn

“Men must be governed by God or they will be ruled by tyrants”
William Penn

“And I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them. And the people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and every one by his neighbour: the child shall behave himself proudly against the ancient, and the base against the honourable”
Isaiah 3:4-5

Like All the Nations

Like All the Nations

“Now make us a king (a leader) to judge us
like all the nations”
1 Samuel 8:4

Samuel, the holy man of God, was very displeased with this request. He knew instinctively how power corrupts the weak and wayward hearts of men. In praying and seeking God over this grave matter God spoke with clarity:

“Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you;
for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me,
that I should not reign over them
1 Samuel 8:7

The desire for human authority within the Body of Christ is a rejection of God’s authority. His purpose and design is for each member to be led by His Spirit; to come to the place of hearing and knowing God within the sanctuary of their own hearts. The whole purpose of ministry is to bring His people to this one place. This vital task has been committed to His five-fold ministry for the purpose of ushering in the “unity of the faith” (Ephesians 4:11-13)! When the ministry becomes the end of the thing, instead of the means to God’s end, confusion, strife and competition replace the beauty of the unity of His Spirit. Men invariably hold on to the functions of His ministrations rather than the purpose of the ministrations.

“…for you are still carnal.
For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you,
are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?
For when one says, “I am of Paul,”
and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?”
1 Corinthians 3:3-4

The operation and organization of the general “church” today resembles the carnal business model of the corporate structures of this world. Financially and administratively there is very little distinction. Is this not enough to testify of our condition and the reason for the conflicts and agendas which have corrupted and separated the true Body of Christ? We must reconsider our ways! Is not our innate desire to have someone over us to take away the responsibility of hearing God for ourselves? Is this not a rejection of His Lordship over us?

“And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it and do it.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 – 27

The reason for this sad dilemma is that His people generally do not really want to hear His voice for themselves; that would bring accountability and responsibility. We prefer to hear His word from the pulpit, a minister or a book for the impact is decreased. We can reject words from another person but who can run from the voice of the Almighty? In functioning like the world we drown out the voice of God in our lives. The invitation of God is always to the person; the individual. His work of salvation is to bring us to the hearing of His voice and the doing of His will. The purpose of all true and valid ministrations in the Body of Christ is to that one end. A personal knowing of Him, hearing of Him and a walking with Him.

The Body of Christ is unlike anything in or of this world. It is not an organization it is an organism which lives and breathes by the very Life of Christ within. It cannot be contained within the confines of a corporate entity; it seeks no affiliation with this present world, for it is a heavenly truth.

“But ye are come unto mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect…”
Hebrews 12:22-23

David speaking prophetically of the true Jerusalem, the heavenly Zion (Psalm 48 and 87); a united people fused in the holiness and the purity of His Love. A Body which is bone of His bone and the very expression of His heart and His will; freed from the agendas of men to serve the living God. It is to this end we have been redeemed, forgiven and washed in His blood. While the unbelieving say this is a dream and an unrealistic goal, let us be reminded that Jesus prayed to this end and it is unconscionable to allow the damnable unbelief of the age to even consider the prayer of Jesus to go unanswered.

“Glorious things are spoken of thee,
O city of God.

Selah”
Psalm 87:2-3

Ω

“Be ye not conformed to this world,
But be ye transformed…”
Romans 12:2

Brian Troxel