Thought for Today – The Gospel Purpose

Thought for Today

The Gospel Purpose

“To reveal his Son in me…”
Galatians 1:16

Lost within the gospel message of today lies the true purpose of God in Christ. The great work of the Spirit is always to exalt the Son. He is given without measure to so fill us with the heavenly power that in this earth (our bodies) Christ may be revealed in complete fulness. We are not here to sell Jesus we are to present Him within the everyday life we live.

The above scripture is prefaced with the phrase… “…called me by his grace”. A grace which does not bring us to the place of being a revelation of the Son is a grace wrongly received. Grace must always lead us to Christ like living.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Living for Him

Thought for Today

Living for Him

“And he died for all,
in order that those who live
should no longer live for themselves”
2 Corinthians 5:15

The proof that we are living for Him and not ourselves is revealed in our daily life. The risen Christ becomes the purpose and the intent of our everyday existence. Only those who are truly alive in Him know the fire and the intensity of this pressing to spend themselves for Him.

Many may claim such a purpose but within the confines of daily living there is a discernable lack of that unrelenting determination to please Him in all that they do. Life is to no longer be lived within the tedious rote of religious endeavors; it is to be filled with the adventure of His joy welling up from within as we discover the riches of His will in the now of our today. There is much taught about the “now” life but there must be the works to support our confessions of faith. The real need of His people is not an understanding and acknowledgment of a teaching but the pressing into good works to show our faith.

“But someone will say,
“You have faith and I have works.”
Show me your faith apart from your works,
and I will show you my faith by my works.”
James 2:18

True life is one whereby the faith and works of Christ are realized. It is the divine life flowing through the fragile earthen vessel which honors and glorifies the Father. A life devoid of works is a life devoid of love and faith. Neither of these can remain static or inactive within the heart of “those who live”.

“Let your light so shine before men,
that they may see your good works,
and glorify your Father which is in heaven”
Matthew 5:16

The Son ever lives to glorify and please His Father. If He is alive and ruling within, we will know this power and grace at work in us.

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit…”
John 15:8

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Abiding in His Love

Thought for Today

Abiding in His Love

“If ye keep my commandments,
ye shall abide in my love”
John 15:10

The secret to life is simple. The stratagems and methods of men to bring about the salvation of Christ are as impotent as man himself. The power of the Love of Christ is only realized through the medium of walking in the way of His commandments. It is a life where (in Him) we are lifted out of the strife and sin of this world and made alive by the indwelling wonder of Him. There is no apt description of how such a thing can be, for it is something which cannot be taught, it can only be entered into within the context of our daily lives. The mystery of life unfolds as we step into the wonder of His ways.

“The Lord is my light and my salvation”
Psalm 27:1

All of our needs, our hopes and our daily power to live are hid in Christ Himself. There is salvation in none other. It is in the “today” of our life wherein we are given the opportunity and the privilege to draw from Him grace and glory to run the race set before us.

“Looking unto Jesus
the author and finisher of our faith”
Hebrews 12:1

Brian Troxel

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

The Day of Harvest

Part Two

The Parable of the Wedding Feast

Many of God’s people are drowsy in this day of great peril. The Parable of the Wedding Feast is at this very moment being fulfilled and there are few who understand the eternal ramifications. The cry went out to His Own, but the invitation was met with lethargy and carelessness. The activity of business, the pleasures of the world, the comfort of a deceptive lifestyle, and the preaching of a false gospel are lulling His own into a deep and fatal slumber.

God’s Provision

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
Hebrews 10:24-25

There are many who assemble together today but often the gatherings are filled with false comforts and void of the fear of the Lord. There is a preaching of forgiveness without repentance; of good standing with God regardless of how a life is lived. There is little “provoking unto love and good works”. No wonder His people are so unmoved and careless in response to their God. The Parable of the Wedding Feast portrays this tepid response to the Call of God.

In the Greek the literal translation is terrifying, yet true: “he called the called…” It was the “called” who did not respond. It was His own who failed to give heed to His beckoning. This is often repeated in the history of God with His people.

“He came to His Own and His own received Him not…”
John 1:11

What was the response of the people in the Parable of the Wedding Feast?

“But they made light of it, and went their ways,
one to his farm, another to his merchandise…”
Matthew 22:5

They made light of the call and went their own ways. They fabricated a gospel that everything is well, and God has everything under control; why should I worry? As the Bride of Christ prepares herself, the foolish live on in ignorance concerning the Day of the Lord which is about to unfold. Fires of trial beyond human imagination are about to break upon an unprepared people. Unlike Noah, who saw the day coming and prepared himself (and his family), these slumbering ones do not comprehend the Day we are in.

“For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”
Matthew 24:38-39

Anyone with a simple understanding of English can see it was the foolish who were taken away in the above reference. Noah entered into the Ark; it was the ignorant and the unprepared who were “taken” in their pride and rebellion. Noah preached righteousness for 120 years to a whole generation who were eradicated in the judgments of God. It is time to forsake false teachings and repent of our lethargy. It is a Day to seek out fellowship filled with exhortation unto righteousness and purity of heart. It is a Day to find in Him grace to forsake self and to present ourselves unto God as a living sacrifice. Let us awake, turn from our ways, and seek the welfare of God’s people.

Paul’s word to the Church at Corinth…

“Awake to righteousness, and sin not;
for some have not the knowledge of God:
I speak this to your shame.”
1 Corinthians 15:34

Where are those who would speak the truth; who see the day coming and declare to this generation “Awake to righteousness, and sin not…”? If a declared righteousness is sufficient, why was Paul declaring such things to the Church of God? Why was he speaking this to “their shame”?

A false gospel produces lax living and tepid hearts which cannot respond to the call of God.

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.”
Matthew 24:11-12

Iniquity abounds because false prophets and teachers propagate false and deceptive teachings causing the love of many to become cold.

Brian Troxel

The Day of Harvest – Part One

The Day of Harvest

Part One

Slumber

“…but he who sleeps during the harvest
is a son who causes shame.”
Proverbs 10:5

The call to awake is going forth in our day. It is a day to walk circumspectly and with great care for the mists of slumber are falling undetected upon the children of light. Fellowship and admonition are God’s antidotes for this day of deception. God’s true watchmen see the rise of evil in our land and are sounding the trumpet to prepare for the storm which is about to break. The day of Harvest and Indignation go hand in hand. This is a day of sifting of His own and the words of God are for all who would hear.

“Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither…”
Forsake the foolish, and live;
and go in the way of understanding”
Proverbs 9:4,6

Effectual Prayers – Part Twelve – Praying for Others

Effectual Prayers

Part Twelve

Praying for Others

“And the Lord turned the captivity of Job,
when he prayed for his friends”
Job 42:10

The true efficacy of prayer is only realized when our hearts become Christ-like. The power of the cross brings the heart to see others through His eyes. To be able to pray for those (as did Job) who marginalize, speak evil of you and persecute you is the gift of Christ to us. It is in overcoming the bitterness within we find freedom and healing without.

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”
Matthew 28:18

He who is all powerful expressed that power in forgiveness. It requires more power to forgive than to avenge. It requires the very life of Christ to bring such power into the hidden recesses of our prayer life. It is the life of His resurrection pulsating through us that enables us to be free from the contagion of bitterness and selfish living. It brings new levels to prayer and fresh glimpses of His heart.

Job’s own predicament was changed
as he prayed for his detractors.

It is in our giving that we receive. In our concern for others we place ourselves in His hands. As we forgive others, we draw near to Him in the beauty of truth, peace and joy.

“Whenever you stand praying,
forgive, if you have anything against anyone,
so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you…”
Mark 11:25

Effectual Prayers Part One – Incense
Effectual Prayers Part Two – Love
Effectual Prayers Part Three – Righteousness
Effectual Prayers Part Four – Humility and Repentance
Effectual Prayers Part Five – Wisdom
Effectual Prayers Part Six – Asking Largely
Effectual Prayers – Part Seven – Elisha and Jericho
Effectual Prayers – Part Eight – Ruth and Boaz
Effectual Prayers – Part Nine – Discipleship
Effectual Prayers – Part Ten – Knowing Jesus
Effectual Prayers – Part Eleven – The Fragrance of Prayer

Brian Troxel

A Discipline of Trial

A Discipline of Trial

“All my best friends despise me,
and those I love have turned against me”
Job 19:19

There are treasures hidden within our trials. There are pressings through which the lives of His Own must pass in order for the grapes to produce the wine of the Spirit. Job found himself in circumstances in which every associate, whether friend or family, had turned against him. He walked alone. Loneliness and desolation are difficult places to tread and yet ordained of God. Human comfort cannot be found. It is here as with Job we need the discipline of focus within our hearts. In his isolation he was brought down into the valley of despair and his faith in God is tested to its very foundation. Left without support he had to cast himself on the very power of faith itself. Like gold tried in the fire, like silver purified seven times, the master smith knows the depth and strength of each one of His children. He watches carefully as with Job to ensure our standing in Him.

These places are in reality the foundation of our wealth and standing in God. Those who have reached past the limit of their own resources have discovered His infinite supply. It is a supply which can only be discovered when we are at the end of our own. When we hold on in sheer trust in His character, without any visible sense of hope or power, we discover the wonder of true faith. God’s end in us is fruit; abundant fruit of such a nature that it fully reveals the truth and character of Christ Himself.

In our testings let us hold fast to Him who cannot lie, cannot disappoint and cannot fail! Even the grave itself must give way to the resurrection Life of Jesus.

“For thou, O God, hast proved us: thou hast tried us, as silver is tried. Thou broughtest us into the net; thou laidst affliction upon our loins. Thou hast caused men to ride over our heads; we went through fire and through water: but thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place.”
Psalm 66:10-12

The true wealth of a Christian is not in what they know but in the gold purchased in the fires through which they have walked (Revelation 3:18)

Brian Troxel

The Conversations of Jesus

The Conversations of Jesus

Luke 10:25-29

“Luke 10:25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
Luke 10:26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
Luke 10:28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
Luke 10:29 But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”
Luke 10:25-29

Even the most casual conversations of Christ demonstrate depth, wisdom and power as revealed in the magnificence of His Word.

“And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

The seemingly innocent question of a respected teacher of the law, as seen through the eyes of the Spirit of God, is in fact a man tempting God. Jesus saw his heart and knew that the mask of sincerity was meant to hide the intent of exposing the Living Christ as a fraud. The question was an effort to catch Jesus in His Own words that the Pharisees might find fault with Him. The religious ones of His day were ever seeking to discredit Him for His very presence; His life and wisdom were a constant reproach to the wickedness of their own hearts.

Jesus the Son of God was never lax in His abiding in the Father; he had no moments to Himself. His diligence and life of separation was on display for the world to see. May God grant to us the unction, the grace and the power to be ever alive in Him; no “me time”, no moments of casual conversation where our words are unguarded and carnal. There is a life, (oh a deep life of wonder) where we are held within the dictates of a Grace so abounding, so deep and so consistent that our words are birthed and directed by His Spirit ruling and reigning within.

“He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?”

Jesus responds not with what the Word says. Rather the wisdom of God turns the questioner into the one being questioned with “how do you read”? Often what a person reads and how a person reads are two very different things. The contradiction lies in the heart, not in what is written. Now the man is forced to answer in front of all.

“And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

The man answers correctly. His belief is right but his standing with God is not. How we need the penetrating light of God to bring what we believe into the light of doing and becoming what we believe. Jesus responds to him:

“Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live…”

His belief was right, but this gave the man no assurances of the “eternal life” he desired. When we separate the life that we now live from the “eternal life” offered to us in the Son we reveal a disconnect with the purposes of God.

Jesus was bringing this man to the fundamental truth that the “eternal life” he sought was found in the life he now lived.

“…this do, and thou shalt live…”

Can we not feel the prompting of His Spirit to live and walk this day in the power and wonder of the “now life”? “This do and live…” Let these words penetrate and lay hold of our hearts. Let them grip us with such force that every day is seen as a great adventure into further depths of Him!

“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, and who is my neighbour?”

Here is where the fault lay within the heart of this man. Whenever our response to truth is one of justifying ourselves, we can be assured we are not walking in “eternal life” in our own personal experience. It is the horror of religion to believe one thing and walk in another. Eternal life must be found within our own hearts and the verity of the life we now live. The discrepancy between these two (what we believe versus how we live) is the thermometer of how far we have progressed in our journey into Him who is the Life. Paul stated to the Church at Corinth:

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves”
2 Corinthians 13:5

Paul was not talking about doctrinal faith in the things they knew. He was speaking of the faith which determined the life they now lived. This is the crucible of every believer. It is here where doctrinal adherents are separated from true disciples. The continual quest to know Him or, as Paul declares, “to apprehend” this Christ comes from a heart that knows its inherent need of Him in order to walk correctly every day. Paul goes on in his discourse to the Philippians to say, “not that I have obtained… but I press on…”. The discrepancy was not a cause of condemnation; it was the very matrix from which Paul’s pursuit of Christ was birthed. We must see that it is not what we believe but what we do because of the truth whereby we discover His Life.

“…but if ye through the Spirit
do mortify the deeds of the body,
ye shall live
Romans 8:13

“…and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me”
Galatians 2:20

Brian Troxel