The Great Call – Part Four

The Great Call

Part Four

“As the Father hath loved me,
so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.”
John 15:9

Jesus continues in John 15 by presenting the disciples with the way for them to enter the Great Call and to remain in His empowering love and grace.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love”
John 15:10

There can be no misinterpretation of the enormity of His call. Discipleship is not a comfortable teaching. It is not a popular invitation, nor an aspiration for those who seek a life of ease and respectability. It is a call of full surrender to the Will and purposes of God, a life of subservience to His Ways. A true disciple obeys His commandments to abide in the power of His Love. Love is the only motive able to transform a selfish, egotistical, and lost soul through the workings of the Cross. In dying to self, we discover the pure wonder of a Love so encompassing, so vast and so freeing that the cost is considered nothing in comparison to the “weight of glory” we will know.

“And he that taketh not his cross,
and followeth after me, is not worthy of me”
Matthew 10:38

There is something radical, even unnerving in His Call. Accepting the offer of Christ is not a trendy and popular decision. It is a Call to selfless living and selfless giving. Obedience is not optional to the disciple. But the Love we hold, or more correctly which holds us to His Way, culminates in pure joy. The context of John 15 leaves little doubt as to His Call or His purpose. Let us see through the eyes of the Spirit the power of all Jesus is implying.

John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.”

John 15:10 “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

In verse 9 Jesus presents to us the all-encompassing love of God; a Love of heavenly origin. It is a Love that knows our condition, that feels the agony and the lostness of humanity. It was a Love that sent Jesus into this world to walk as a man, to feel the oppression of mankind’s sorrow, to experience the corrupt and self-serving religious and political systems of the day. He spoke the truths of love in the parables of everyday life. The common man, the addicted, the afflicted, and the wounded were His focus. He exposed the religious elite who walked in the pride and arrogancy of hypocrisy. The Parable of the Good Samaritan revealed the beauty of a selfless life, caring for others more than ourselves. He called out to the poor and the needy to come and find the solace of heaven. He took notice of the offerings of the poor widow and saw the value of her mite; He was unimpressed with the rich who flaunted their offering. He was God in the flesh. His compassion, His uncompromising and unflinching walk was a source of anger and hate for the religious but a source of inspiration for the common man. He was the breath of heaven clothed in human form. He was and is the image of God’s purpose for all humanity.

Mat 20:25 “But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.”

Mat 20:26 “It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,”

Mat 20:27 “and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,”

Mat 20:28 “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The nature of man apart from Christ is one of self-seeking, self-pleasing, and self-gratification. This focus on ourselves is the source of our own misery. Ask the addicted, the abused, and consider the countless stories of human sorrow which we have all known. It is to this crisis of human nature that the Cross is presented. In its deep work, we find rest, freedom, and the Divine enablement to love as He loved. We are free to forgive injustices and the tyranny of the human condition; to offer to all who would hear the wonder of freedom found in the Love of God!

Feel the depth of the Great Call of God in Christ:

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”
Matthew 11:28-29

The Call goes forth to all who would hear and respond. The “yoke” of Christ is His invitation to enter a rest for our weary souls. The “yoke” of Christ is His Cross whereby we are freed from the poison of self to know His Joy in our hearts. This life of joy cannot be known by sitting in a pew, believing in a teaching, or adherence to a doctrine. It can only be known through the intimacy of a relationship, walking in the yoke of His grace and love.

Jesus spoke of His true intention for us being captured by His Love to a growing obedience:

“…that my joy may be in you,
and that your joy may be full”
John 15:11

See: The Great Call
See: The Great Call – Part Two
See: The Great Call – Part Three

Brian Troxel

Abandonment

Abandonment

Abandonment

“For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.”
Romans 14:8

Abandonment to God is the result of knowing we belong to Him wholly. It is in the secret place that the tendrils of His Spirit enfold our hearts. It is often a quiet and hidden work deep within recesses of our own being.

Few in our land comprehend how near is the day of the Lord. The enemy is arising and many of God’s people are unaware of his wiles. In this darkness God is preparing a people for Himself with lights shining, hearts ablaze, and a growing passion for the King of kings. There is the pulse of a new faith within those in whom His fire burns.

“Unto the upright
there ariseth light in the darkness…”
Psalm 112:4

The light that is arising is upon those who are walking in the obedience of faith. There is a dynamic of Christ beating within their hearts. God will not leave this darkened earth void of a vibrant witness.

The full abandonment to Him is coming. Even now it is growing in those who are upright of heart. The purposes of God to every generation have ever been fulfilled by the faithful.

“So therefore whoever of you who doesn’t renounce all that he has, he can’t be my disciple. “
Luke 14:33

SEE: The Word of Fire

_______________

“Go forth today, by the help of God’s Spirit, vowing and declaring that in life – come poverty, come wealth, in death – come pain or come what may, you are and ever must be the Lord’s. For this is written on your heart, ‘We love Him because He first loved us.”
– Charles Spurgeon

Brian Troxel

 

Take Heed

Take Heed

“Take heed to yourselves of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing which has been completely concealed which will not be uncovered, nor hidden which will not be known. Therefore, whatever you said in the darkness will be heard in the light; and whatever you spoke in the ear in the secret rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.”
Luke 12:1-2

“Take heed”! The Author of our salvation speaks with clarity and is ever bringing us to a clearer presentation of truth in which “there is nothing…which will not be known”. The casual talk, the rumor-mongering, the whispers in secret places, the animosity, and the attitudes of unforgiveness in our hearts from which these things spring, will all be exposed in due time. Jesus speaks to us all “take heed”. Whatever has been said in the darkness will be heard in the Light. It is the unbelieving and religious, with no fear of the Lord, who have no concept of One who hears all things and will bring all things to light.

There is nothing hid!

The true disciple is different from a mere religious one. Those who abide in His Presence are conscious of their words and their attitudes because of their knowledge of Him who beholds all things. Those who are becoming His, live their lives to honour Him. There is a growing dynamic of His Lordship; a Holy presence that curbs the unruly tongue because the unruly heart is growing in its submission to God. Unholy words proceed from unholy hearts; words spoken in secret places. The religious will speak right things in public but are not so careful in secret and seemingly secure places.

Take heed!

These are the words of life our Master speaks to us. Take heed for nothing is hid from Him to whom we must all stand and give an account. If we are undisciplined, untutored, without the true fear of the Lord, speaking flagrantly, freely, and foolishly we will unwittingly lose out in our growth in God. We will not know those deeper places of abiding in Christ. If we govern our ways in the fear of the Lord, we will find ourselves growing in the Light of God.

“I tell you that every idle word that men speak, they will give an account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words, you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:36-37

See: The Sanctified Heart

Brian Troxel

PODCAST – Your Own God!

PODCAST – Your Own God

Hear HIM!

“God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world” (Heb 1:1-2)

In times past God spoke through men, but now in these last days, He is speaking by His Son, in and through YOU! The five-fold ministry is to bring YOU into your unique ministry, to develop and add YOUR voice to THE VOICE of many waters that YOU should become HIS VOICE to others.

God has already apportioned to each of us a mighty deposit of His Spirit, but we don’t enter into it by prayer, but by obedience. God has already given you the land, but now says, “My land is not to be talked about, My land is to be walked about!”

Brian Troxel

Led of the Spirit

Led of the Spirit

“I have led thee in right paths”
Proverbs 4:11

“The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness,
the Beginning of God’s creation”
Revelation 3:14

Christ is the Beginning and the Head of all creation. The scriptures declare “All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made”. He is the initiator of all things and it is through the agency of His Life that we are in the process of becoming. Every act of submission, every ministration of His Faith within us, every impulse of the Divine Nature, hastens our own development. There is no growth apart from our redeemed will coming into harmony with His. The closer we walk with Him the more sensitive we become to the flicker of His Life within. His press upon us is the evidence of His Life. True Faith must produce an evidential response in those who are growing into His likeness.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are children of God”
Romans 8:14

The above scripture is not a teaching or a doctrinal statement. It is the declaration of God describing those who are held in the grip of His Spirit. Being “led” implies that He is inserting Himself into our daily lives whereby we become an extension of His hands and His heart to those around us. Those “led by the Spirit of God” know the Divine imprint of His grace actively at work within the recesses of their hearts. It is a life of joy and adventure which requires a walk of abiding in Him.

“Can two walk together,
except they be agreed?”
Amos 3:3

The Ancient Hebrew pictograph here translated agreed* (see below) means one of “seeing the door”. It speaks of opportunity and an open door. It is more than just a doctrinal agreement, more than mere belief. It means we are moving in Him! As we walk with Him, we can agree to step into the doors of opportunity as we see and feel the impulse of His Spirit. Too few in our day comprehend that the New Covenant is entirely based on relationship, not a teaching or a mental assent to His Word.

The evidence of our relationship with Him is revealed in our seeing “the door” of opportunity and stepping into it. This door can only be entered into by the moving of His Faith, and with Love being the inspiration. The movement without is a result of His movement within. If there is no press from Him, we must tearfully examine the core and the substance of our relationship.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God,
these are children of God”
Romans 8:14

Let His Word strike a powerful chord within us. Let us examine our lives to see whether we be “IN FAITH”. Or do we merely have a belief which births nothing, costs nothing, and therefore brings forth nothing to the honor of His Name?

“Examine yourselves,
whether ye be in the faith;
prove your own selves…”
2 Corinthians 13:5

“Be putting yourselves to the test whether you are in the Faith. Be putting yourselves to the test for the purpose of approving yourselves, and finding that you meet the specifications, put your approval upon yourselves. Or, do you yourselves not recognize that Jesus Christ is in you, unless you are those who are disapproved?”
2 Corinthians 13:5-6 (Wuest Translation)

“I being in the way, the Lord led me…”
Genesis 24:27

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* NOTE: Agreed (1349) ac: Repeat co:? ab: Witness: The pictograph o^ is a picture of the eye, the d^ is a picture of the door. Combined these mean “see the door”. As coming to a tent, a tent of meeting and entering in. A place, time, or event that is repeated again and again. (^ the pictographs are not representable in text)

Brian Troxel

True Ministry

TRUE MINISTRY

True Ministry

The touchstone of Discipleship is revealed in our abandonment to His Glory. It is in our touching of Him where we are brought to the place of facing our own inherent desire for recognition and pre-eminence. This is something so vital to our walk and our sharing of Him with others. Freedom from ourselves is the path to our freedom in His Spirit. 

“He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory, but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and no unrighteousness is in him”
John 7:18

John the Baptist

“Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus
John 1:35-37

Do we really want this? Do the ministers of God and the multitudes of church organizations across the land really desire this one thing; for men to rise up and follow Jesus? Our part is to declare “Behold the Lamb of God” and to do it in such a way that men actually rise up to follow Him. We are here to make Him known. Those to whom we minister should hear us speak and then rise up and follow Jesus! How simple and pure ministry is to be! The sad part is that men, their organizations, and their own desire for recognition corrupt this simple truth and lead men to follow them and to “support” their ministry rather than the development of others in their own ministrations.

The purpose of the New Covenant…

“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”
Jeremiah 31:33-34

It is to this end that we labour and preach the wonder of His Name! Purify us Lord for your glory.

BT

 

Political Rights

Political Rights

Political Rights

While in His presence this morning this Word was given to me.

“They who fight for political rights
know little of the cross of Christ”

Brian Troxel

The Quest and the Cost

The Quest and the Cost

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
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

Jesus did not come to annihilate the soul of man; He came to save it. The crucified life is one that chooses to reveal His resurrection in a fragile clay vessel that His power might be seen. Many speak of the cross in a future tense, but such is not the language of the New Covenant.

“I die daily…”
1 Corinthians 15:31

The folly of words that speak of future things while ignoring the call of Christ “Today” is the bane of religion. We are called to live His Life NOW, to walk daily in the wonder of this flesh and bone existence. Those who speak of things in some distant future while they allow the sands of time and the opportunities of today to slip through their fingers live in the danger and peril of a religious faith.

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

The way of the cross is not a doctrine, a teaching, or a concept; it is the doorway into His life, present tense. Jesus did not come to share a new teaching; He came that WE may have life and have that life abundantly!

The life that you and I NOW live
is the revelation of our
daily participation in the Cross of Christ.

“Consecrate yourselves (today),
for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you.”
Joshua 3:5

Our depth of consecration today will determine God’s work in and through us tomorrow.

The Daily Offering

“Beside the burnt offering of the month, and his meat offering, and the daily burnt offering, and his meat offering, and their drink offerings, according unto their manner, for a sweet savour, a sacrifice made by fire unto the Lord
Numbers 29:6

The Old Covenant speaks of New Testament truths in Christ. We are called to participate in the “daily burnt offering”. The offering is one of ourselves, daily, unto Him alone who is worthy. Do we not hear the voice of His Spirit calling out to us in the “now” of our life?

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship
Romans 12:1

This is not some future truth or call; it is the heart and desire of all true disciples. It is the way of life, His Life, in us. The religious adherent talks about the cross in abstract and rhetorical words of philosophical wisdom. The disciple embraces it with the full knowledge that the Life of Christ cannot be apprehended by any other means.

“Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win* (see note below) Christ”
Philippians 3:8

Paul counted the cost in His pursuit for the full apprehension of Christ. His life was spent in the “loss of all things” to the end that he would “win” Christ. Few understand this pursuit to “win” *(see note below) Christ. It is in large part an unknown quest, a mystery which few have looked into. It is however the mystery of the call of Christ unto each of us.

“That I may win Christ”

Paul’s pursuit was to “win” or “gain” the fullness of the majesty and wonder of Christ. He was “reaching” unto something beyond the perspectives of man’s concepts and teachings. He was stretching, reaching, pressing unto the fullness. There existed in him a passion for the “One Thing”. In light of this “prize” he could not and would not rest in his current knowledge of Him. Oh, may we see afresh the vast horizons of glory reserved for those who feel the fire and call of God in Christ Jesus!

If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross daily,
and follow me”
Luke 9:23

*Note: κερδαίνω
“Metaphorically used of persons meaning to gain or win someone, i.e., as a friend or patron, referring to Christ (Php 3:8); a brother (Mat 18:15). To gain over to one’s side, meaning to win over to Christ and thus bring to salvation (1Co 9:19-22, where it is equivalent to sṓzō [G4982], to save or to deliver in 1Co 9:22; see 1Co 7:16, where sṓzō is used; 1Pe 3:1).”
“The Complete Word Study New Testament” (Word Study Series) Dr. Spiros Zodhiates

Brian Troxel

The School of Christ

The School of Christ

“Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ”
Philemon 1:1

The school of Christ is the privilege of discipleship. It is a life of instruction filled with the ministration of powerful truths whereby our life in this natural world becomes subject to the realities of the Kingdom of God. Paul, writing from a Roman prison, lived and dwelt in dark and damp quarters, yet referred to himself as “a prisoner of Jesus Christ”. His view was heavenly. The intense lessons of the school of Christ had brought him to the place of sowing and reaping in all circumstances of life. He was not a prisoner of Rome; he was in fact the emissary of Christ!

The known world at that time was largely under a one world government and for the most part ruled by the iron fist of Roman decrees. Many of our brothers and sisters today live under the oppression of tyrannical regimes and savage Christian persecution. I have had the privilege of meeting with the underground church in a couple of countries and it was both humbling and inspirational. There is a feeling of oppression in our land of “freedom” which does not seem to exist for them. There is a liberty of the Spirit of God of which we have much to learn. These precious ones go forth each day with a boldness to declare the love of God in Christ which is both refreshing and convicting. Many of the things we call freedom here are based on our “legal rights” and reveal themselves in a spirit of entitlement and arrogancy rather than the humility of Christ. This so called religious freedom is founded in worldly declarations instead of the true liberty arising from a grace wrought by the power of the Holy Spirit. In those persecuted countries the true freedom of spirit is garmented in meekness in contrast to our demands to maintain our legal rights. The freedom in which they walk is that of the Spirit and not of man. It is one which has at its foundation the truth of our heavenly rights*. This freedom is only known to the extent to which we are freed from the life and the dominion of self. The truth of the Sovereignty of God can only become real in those who are in truth dead to self and alive in Christ.

True freedom is only known in our submission to Him. Wherever self reigns, there can be no freedom of the Spirit. The natural life will always reflect its natural surroundings, so also in the spirit. Those who live in the Spirit cannot but reflect the graces of the Spirit regardless of their natural surroundings. Bitterness, envy and anger are expressions of the carnal natural life. The school of God brings us to dark and trying circumstances that we might learn how to live in heavenly places. In our oppressive situations there are opportunities for us to discover hidden treasures of great value.

“And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord…”
Isaiah 45:3

The school of Christ is a difficult and arduous journey. It is the “way of the cross” and blessed are those who follow the Lamb through obedience. There is a grace which quietly works within those who choose His way above their own, and a freedom which comes from His bonds at work in our lives. We will know the power of true fellowship as we walk in His growing light and develop in obedience and submission to Christ.

The life of Paul abounded in this rigorous school of Christ. His heart was set upon learning and growing in God. These lessons are reserved for the true disciples of Christ. The graces learned result in a life of victory in all circumstances.

“Not that I speak as to need, for I have learned to be content in whatever state I am. And I know to be humbled, and I know to abound; in everything, and in all things, I am taught both to be filled and to hunger, both to abound, and to lack. I have strength for all things in Christ the One strengthening me”
Philippians 4:11-14 (LITV)

Prayer for Today

Heavenly Father let the confines and the circumstances of the moment become the Secret Place of your indwelling. Let the fragrance of your Spirit bring its healing balm to our hearts. May our limited surroundings give way to vistas of your Glory. Bring to us the clarity of your wisdom by which you are weaving your graces into the very fabric of our lives. Let us learn that in all things you are working out the mystery of your Sovereign Will for our good.

“For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory, for ever”
Matthew 6:13
Amen

Freedom from self
brings us into the
liberty of His Spirit.

* Note: “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake”
Philippians 1:29

Brian Troxel