Quote for Today – Ichabod Spencer

Quote for Today

Ichabod Spencer

“If the truths of Christianity were seconded by the devoted and pious lives of all her professed disciples, the unbelief of the world would soon cease. Private example of godliness is what the world most needs”
– Ichabod Spencer

Thought for Today – The Threefold Cord

Thought for Today

The Threefold Cord

“Remembering without ceasing your work of faith,
and labour of love, and patience of hope
in our Lord Jesus Christ”
1 Thessalonians 1:3

Authenticity in a believer is substantiated by the life it produces. Paul is remembering the evident character of the believers in Thessalonica. He is gripped by the substance of their walk and life in Christ! The Apostle is bound by the Spirit of God in him to the authentic expression of Christ in them. Life ever calls out to life, deep calls out to deep as we are inextricably joined to the verity of His life in another. This is the power of the true Body of Christ. The call to relationship, fellowship and active love is the binding agent of all who live and walk in Him. If the Spirit of Christ is ruling within, our heart will be drawn to true relationship with others in Christ. When carnality rules, people are content with exclusive*, powerless and shallow relationships in their lives. In contrast, the threefold cords of love to be found in the true Body of Christ are set forth here with clarity and precision.

ONE:

Work of Faith

Faith, in order to be living, active and pertinent in the lives of His own, will always be expressive of the person, the glory and the substance of the Living Christ. If there are no works of faith it is because the faith of the individual is dead; it is a faith in word only. It is a faith in a doctrine or a teaching which has no life or power. It is stagnant and sterile. One cannot be vitally connected to the Living Christ and live a non-effectual life in this dark world. The Greek Word used here for “work” is where we get the English word “energy”. There is vitality and power associated with a true and living faith within the lives of His own. The Work of Faith is simply the doing which springs forth or originates from the power of His Faith in our lives (Galatians 2:20).

TWO:

Labour of Love

The Greek Word used here for “labour” is literally translated “the beating of the breast”. It is a burden which can only be known by the love of God beating within our hearts over the condition of others. It is the very Love of God producing prayers, intercessions and words of encouragement and admonition. It is a labour to see the Kingdom of God arise in the earth and especially in the household of faith. Those who do not have the love of God beating within their hearts will not know this travail of Spirit over the condition of God’s people in this Day.

THREE:

Patience of Hope

The word “patience” is much better translated “endurance”. Endurance speaks of faithfulness, consistency and self-sacrifice. It communicates a life which is committed to the goal or purpose of God regardless of the obstacles and the apathy of others; it holds true to the mark set before it. The beauty of this grace is born out of a complete abandonment to the promises of God. It is a life which does not falter for it holds the character of God as its surety of recompense. It disciplines the heart to the works of faith and the labour of Love. It is the anchor from which the other graces of faith and love remain constant. The word declares that hope is the “anchor of the soul” to which the wandering tendencies of the human heart is held firm to the end.

This threefold cord is the true revelation of the living Christ ruling and reigning within the lives of His own.

“…a threefold cord is not easily broken”
Ecclesiastes 4:3

*Note: Exclusive relationships are closed, secular and carnal. They are the product of the blindness of the religious endeavors of men who seek the preeminence for themselves and the need for association with others to bolster the assurance of their walk with God. People who only find fellowship within the man-made boundaries of teachings, organizations, ministries and associations have become insensitive to the love of God in Christ.

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – J.C. Ryle

Quote for Today

JC Ryle

“Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, “Show it to Me.” Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, “What are you doing?”
― J.C. Ryle

“Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers;
but as the servants of Christ,
doing the will of God from the heart”
Ephesians 6:6

Untempered Mortar

Untempered Mortar

“So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
Ezekiel 13:14

We live in a day of information overload; books, blogs, writings, conferences and multimedia resources. Much of this data remains ethereal and untempered in the lives of those who are offering these things. The lives of many who travel in ministry would not measure up to the established criteria for deacons and elders within the local assembly! It is a day filled with many voices all clamoring for the affection of the hearts and souls of men and women.

Paul in the wisdom of the Holy Spirit wrote this advice to his son in the faith…

“The husbandman that labors
must be first partaker of the fruits”
2 Timothy 2:6

In other words, the fruit we seek to impart to others must of necessity be reaped within the confines of our own personal life. Character and righteousness are as important as the message itself. In reality the person is the message; Paul called himself a living epistle known and read of all people. The words he spoke were evident in the life he lived. The call is great and those who bear in their lives His living word must know the necessity of abiding within the vast resources of Christ Himself. Paul described the ministers of the Body of Christ in his day as those who manifested the truth in how they conducted their lives.

“But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty,
not walking in craftiness,
nor handling the word of God deceitfully;
but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves
to every man’s conscience in the sight of God”
2 Corinthians 4:2

The untempered mortar and the whitewashed walls of man’s own makings will not withstand the rigors of moral decay in our day. Truth ministered apart from character and integrity robs God’s Word of its force and power. This is why the people were astonished at the Word which proceeded from the living Christ.

“And they were astonished at his doctrine:
for he taught them as one that had authority,
and not as the scribes”
Mark 1:22

It takes little discernment to know whether the things someone shares are the untempered mortar of the intellect or the pure gold of Christ Himself. The depth of truth which proceeds from the individual life will always be in proportion to the extent of their identification with the words they share. It is in fact a part of their very lives. Information and truth are very diverse from one another; so is the impact they have upon the human heart.

It is in the touching of His presence that the Glory of God impacts, transforms and breaks the pride and shallowness of all we are by nature. No one can get a glimpse of God and remain the same. It is from this encounter that the truth of Christ flows unhindered into the world around us. We cannot invite others to taste and see of that which we have not eaten ourselves.

“O taste and see that the Lord is good”
Psalm 134:8

Ω

“My one aim in life is to secure personal holiness,
for without being holy myself I cannot
promote real holiness in others”

John Wesley

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Religious Sin

Thought for Today

Religious Sin

“And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned:
for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord,
and thy words: because I feared the people,
and obeyed their voice
1 Samuel 15:24

The above scripture taken from the narrative of Saul’s life is one of a long and sad commentary on his reign in Israel. This event serves as a stern warning to us as to what the Lord considers obedience. Saul’s “partial obedience” is confronted by the Prophet Samuel concerning the Amalekites.

“And the Lord sent thee on a journey, and said, Go and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. Wherefore then didst thou not obey the voice of the Lord, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst evil in the sight of the Lord?”
1 Samuel 15:18-19

“But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the Lord thy God in Gilgal”
1 Samuel 15:21

Saul had partially fulfilled the Word of the Lord to him. He had destroyed the Amalekites, but he kept the king alive and allowed the people to keep the spoils of battle to “sacrifice” them to the Lord.

“And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king”
1 Samuel 15:22-23

In God’s eyes partial obedience is sin and disobedience. Religious sin is when His ministers obey the voice of the people rather than God. It is one of the greatest of all sins for when those who are directly responsible for expressing God’s will and way in the earth corrupt their allegiance to Him, God’s name is blasphemed. Religious sin is always cloaked in the pretense of worshiping God, honoring God or serving God. Yet He who weighs the thoughts and intents of the heart sees it as disobedience and rebellion. The religious sin of appearing to serve the Lord (see the sin of Ananias and Sapphira Acts 5:1-11) is ever shrouded in deceit to appear spiritual to those around us. Things which should be destroyed or forsaken are instead offered up to God as a sacrifice.

Religious sin is found wherever and whenever men and women listen to the voice of the people rather than to God. When the appearance of a thing is more important than obedience, when that which the Lord has spoken is compromised with the desire to be pleasing in the sight of the people rather than in the sight of God, the result is rejection and sorrow.

“Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord,
he hath also rejected thee from being king”

Obedience is the highest and purest expression of true worship and sacrifice.

“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

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – True Life

Thought for Today

“The seed dies into a new life,
and so does man”

George MacDonald

All true life is that which arises from death. The receiving of the eternal is known by the forsaking of the temporal. All creation is but the textbook for the true follower of Christ (Romans 1:20). In our yielding to the will of Him who is eternal life we find the withering of the passions and desires for the shadows and illusions of this world. Clarity comes to the pure in heart.

“Blessed are the pure in heart
for they shall see God”

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Contradiction

Thought for Today

Contradiction

We know that the Law is spiritual
I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do, I do not do.
But what I hate, I do.
And if I do what I do not desire,
I admit that the Law is good.…”
Romans 7:14-16

The Gospel of today seeks to eradicate the ministry and the goodness of the Law. The natural man, though religious, hates the light and will seek any means to avoid its penetrating radiance. The ministration of the Law reveals the contradiction between who we are and who we are called to be. The Law is Spiritual and exposes all that is carnal. It is in embracing the contradiction of what we are compared to what we should be that the ministration of the Law has accomplished its purpose. Those who seek authenticity readily welcome its piercing revelation. The Law brings us to Grace. Those who ignore the ministry of the Law will speak flippantly of grace but remain ignorant of its power and efficacy. To willingly choose to ignore the light of the Law is to condemn oneself to a life of contradiction and defeat.

“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster
to bring us unto Christ…”
Galatians 3:24

The Law brings the true heart to Christ. It is in Him that contradiction and defeat are consumed by the power of His Life. He brings us from the contradiction of the Romans Chapter Seven experience into a life of authenticity and genuine expression of the living Christ as declared in Romans Chapter Eight. The desire to do right becomes the ability to DO right in Christ; the ministration of truth must make us true by the Law of His Life reigning in our hearts.

“For what the law could not do,
in that it was weak through the (our) flesh,
God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh,
and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh”
Romans 8:3

To what end?

“That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us,
who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit”
Romans 8:4

The compromised gospel of today which condones the inability to do what is right and the inability to have victory over sin is the LIE of the devil. It is the work of those who hold the truth in unrighteousness. The professors of such a “gospel” hate the light and shroud themselves in a religious garment of obscurity so that they may hide from the Light of Him. Jesus has conquered and condemned sin in the flesh to the intent “that the righteousness of the Law may be (fully) fulfilled in us”! How? Through the ministration of His life holding us, keeping us and enabling us to “walk in the Spirit”!

A life of contradiction brings condemnation and sorrow; a life of authenticity brings peace. It is our victory in Christ over sin that enables us to shine His life into the lives of others. The process of victory is in being truthful within our own hearts. Instead of hiding from the light we embrace its work by faith knowing the power of His grace will bring us to the harmony of truth. What we are externally is a transparent revelation of our inner being. Hypocrisy cannot exist where truth reigns.

Authenticity
is the life of speaking and doing

So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

 

How to know that we know Him

How to Know That We Know Him

“And hereby we do know that we know him,
if we keep his commandments”
1 John 2:3

The true Christian life is one of simplicity. Those who keep His word love Him; they seek to honor Him in every aspect of their lives. Those who profess to love Him but do not keep His word are liars.

“He that saith, I know him,
and keepeth not his commandments,

is a liar, and the truth is not in him”
1 John 2:4

Those who leave off the doing of truth are not able to come to the glorious light of Jesus the Christ. Without the doing of truth there can be no growth in the light.

“But he that doeth truth cometh to the light…”
John 3:21

The simplicity of our life with Him is easily discerned by those who have objective hearts. The beauty is we can make changes at any given moment for He who died for us ever lives to bring us to a deeper, more vibrant walk in Him. To continue to declare that we love Him and not keep His commandments is the LIE that will condemn us on the last day. Those who hate reproof hate the light. It is in this crucible that the fate of all men and women will be determined.

“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light,
lest his deeds should be reproved”
John 3:20

Ω

Hereby do we know we know Him

To obey the truth reveals the love of His Light.
To hate reproof is to hate the light.

Brian Troxel

Christ our Righteousness

Christ our Righteousness

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Beholding is the path to becoming. It is in the seeing of Him that we are actually changed.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 Corinthians 3:18

From Genesis through Revelation we read of those who had one purpose in life: to see Him who is the matrix from which all things come into being. He is the One by whom all things are created and for whom all things are created. The pursuit of this one thing has been the uniting purpose of all who have His Spirit within their hearts.

Righteousness is the vehicle through which we see Him. I cannot immerse myself in sin and iniquity and expect to see Him. The cry for righteousness within the human heart arises out of a pure desire to see Him. The pursuit for holiness or righteousness with any other motive will always lead into an abyss of religion and darkness.

“I will behold thy face in righteousness”

“I will” speaks of confidence and the assurance of one who knows the grace and the wonder of his God. There is no doubt concerning this. This righteousness is the result of a heart submitted to the purging, dealings and searching of His Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

Religion concerns itself with words; God concerns Himself with the reality of a life. The true substance of righteousness is revealed in the doing not in the speaking. Righteousness is revealed in the things we do for they are the true expression of what we are.

It is in the desire for authenticity that our true need for Him is discovered. The greater the desire for true righteousness, the greater is our need for the grace to make it so. This is the righteousness of God in Christ for it brings us to complete dependency upon Him for its growth and development. His life reigning in us reveals His righteousness.

The pursuit of God is an ever growing, ever living and ever deepening journey into the life and righteousness of God Himself.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith…”
Romans 1:17

It is a continual unfolding of His righteousness in us through the development of our growing faith to walk and live in Him. This desire is summed up by David:

“I shall be satisfied,
when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

To settle for anything less is unthinkable.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

Thought for Today – Witnessing –

Thought for Today

Witnessing

“Am I now seeking the approval of men,
or of God? Or am I striving to please men?
If I were still trying to please men,
I would not be a servant of Christ”
Galatians 1:10 (BSB)

The Holy Spirit IS come to make His people “witnesses” unto God, not men. We are not here to conduct ourselves in order to gain men’s approval. We are here to live inwardly and outwardly to seek God’s approval.

“But ye shall receive power,
after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me…”
Acts 1:6

The power is given unto us that we might live lives solely unto Him. We are not here to please men but to serve God. We live in a day where the church in general is trying to live “nice” secular lives in order to persuade people to come to their church or fellowship. To live in this mind set Paul declares that we are no longer the “servants of Christ”! Jesus said if HE be lifted up He would draw all men unto Himself. We are here to live by Him, unto Him and through Him and in so doing we are freed from the horror of trying to please people. Authenticity is the freedom to live out of the well of all that we truly are in Him.

The Holy Spirit is come to make us witnesses UNTO God. The power of God is given to glorify Jesus.

“…because as he is, so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info