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Posts Tagged ‘Encouragement’

Thought for Today

God’s Heart

“A bruised reed shall He not break…”
Isaiah 42:3

God’s heart is ever seeking and desiring to fill the low places within all of humanity. His grace, like water, naturally flows to the lowest place filling the void of the human heart. It is to the bruised ones the Good News of the Gospel is proclaimed in power clothed in the garments of His mercies.

The self-righteous wanted to stone to death the woman caught in the act of adultery. Jesus saw the more grievous evil; self-righteousness clothed in the conceit of the religious.

“A bruised reed shall He not break…”

It was the religious priest and the Levite who passed by the wounded in the Parable of the Good Samaritan. It was the disciples who could not see the heart of the woman who broke the alabaster box and poured the precious ointment upon Jesus. They could not see the brokenness of heart from which the act was inspired. God sees the heart while men behold the vessel. To know the flow of this grace through our own lives we must know His heart.

“A bruised reed shall He not break…”

He comes to speak encouragement to all who struggle within the isolated and seemingly hopeless grip of sin, depression, loneliness, cruelty and oppression of the world. He is never far from those who call upon His name in sincerity and in truth.

“I will not leave you comfortless:
I will come to you”
John 14:18

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

Forgiveness and Sin

“Neither do I condemn thee:
go, and sin no more”
John 8:11

Forgiveness is the means to God’s end not the end in itself. Forgiveness is not for the purpose of continuing in sin; it is the respite required to free us from sin.

The goldsmith does not abandon the gold in the fire because of the dross. He has patience in the process to realize his desired vessel. Justification is not the conclusion of God’s work; it is the vehicle by which we fulfill His purpose.

“…and whom he justified, them he also glorified”
Romans 8:30

The true glory is freedom from sin.

“Whereunto he called you by our gospel,
to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ”
2 Thessalonians 2:14

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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BE VIGILANT

“And it came to pass…
at the time when kings go forth to battle,
that David sent Joab, and his servants with him,
and all Israel;
and they destroyed the children of Ammon,
and besieged Rabbah.
But David tarried still at Jerusalem
2Samuel 11:3

This is the prelude to a very dark time in David’s life. Sin does not suddenly overtake a man; it is usually a result of neglect of our own vigilance to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude 1:21). These things occur when we take our eyes off Jesus. We turn aside from the daily warfare and we seek rest and comfort for ourselves. David was to have been out battling against the enemies of God. Instead he sent Joab and others out while he “tarried” at home. While he “tarried” he encountered temptation in the form of Bathsheba and he fell. The repercussions of this incident impacted him for the rest of his life. These things are written for our instruction whereby we are warned to be sober and alert that we may finish our days in the victory of His Life in us. We dare not relax from vigilance for our enemy is always seeking those whom he may entice and draw away from the life of faith.

”Be sober, be vigilant;
because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion,
walketh about, seeking whom he may devour”
1Peter 5:8

We must keep our eyes upon Jesus and seek out true and living fellowship with others in order to exhort one another to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus. The life of a true child of God is one of being a soldier in His army, constantly on duty, never taking leave of our post in the course of daily life. The call is high, the prize is great and our enemy is ever seeking our downfall. How easy it is to “tarry” from the battle, to become lax in the call to diligence and discipline. We all know from experience that a little “leaven” in our lives will contaminate the very manna of God. Our lives become compromised in lukewarm living where we go through the motions of a religion but in reality are denying the power of God to bring His Light into the world in which we live. A compromised life is an impotent life. It is a life with right words but powerless to bring change into the lives around us.

It is to the vigilant that the promises of God come. It is in standing at our post fully engaged in the “fight of faith” that we reap the rewards from Him. We must stand faithful even in the night watches. The monotony of life tends to lull us to slumber and voices that speak of futility allow the sleep of death to overtake us. It is in the morning watch of each day, where we rise up to drink in of His life, to touch His heart and remain alive unto the things of the Spirit, that we find grace to remain faithful. Faithfulness is simply being full of faith for the task to which we have been called. Blessed are they who find themselves filled with the same heart that beat in the Son:

”…wist ye not that
I must be about my Father’s business?”
Luke 2:49

Even at the age of twelve Jesus was singular in the life that he lived. His Father’s business was the preoccupation of his heart. If He is alive and dwelling in us that same heart beats within us as well.

Let us trim the lamps of our hearts to keep the life we live simple and confined to the one great purpose, to do His Will. We must remain vigilant against the subtleties of this temporal life to be about our Father’s business.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Drowsiness

“…drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags”
Proverbs 23:21

Drowsiness is simply the final interval prior to the fullness of slumber. It is a place of great danger for the Christian. It is very easy to become so alive to this world, its needs, desires and demands that it robs from us from our real need: to stay vitally aware of our life before God. We are exhorted in the scriptures to be vigilant to keep our garments white in this day of great apathy.

“Blessed is he that watcheth,
and keepeth his garments”
Revelation 15:16

In this day of drowsiness and slumber it is essential that we find ourselves in a living fellowship with others who seek out and desire to stir up in one another the fires and ministrations of the Holy Spirit. So few in this day want the ministrations of exhortation and admonition; men do not desire such. They want to hear only good things. Those who have received the “love of the Truth” want the truth. They recognize their own need for the searchlight of God to penetrate the blindness of their hearts. His Word is living and is sharper than any two edged sword. The fact is not all men desire or want accountability. When they are struggling with sin they would rather go to someone who is defeated than to one who has overcome. They want sympathy not victory. This type of “fellowship” will always lead to drowsiness and spiritual death. God has spoken to us of His 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

This is God’s answer to meet the drowsiness of this hour; exhortation and strong encouragement “unto love and good works”. We see so little in terms of exhortation, true love and the doing of good works which honor and glorify our God!

It is obvious the spirit of slumber has taken hold of the people of God in our day. They have become comfortable and sleepy due to the lack of exhortation and the strong admonition of the Word of God. The Word to us from Hebrews chapter ten is a command (so renders the parsing of the original Greek) not a suggestion. We read these things as if they did not apply to us. We read with a faithless sigh of apathy rather than as a promise from God and His way to keep our hearts on fire and awake, ready for His appearing. The fellowship of the Spirit is always full of these things and those who desire “truth in the inward parts” seek out this grace with others.

To yield to the drowsiness of this hour will end in our spiritual garments becoming rags rather than robes of righteousness. God speaking to His Own in the Book of Revelation says…

“Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain,
that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works
perfect before God.
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,
and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch,
I will come on thee as a thief,
and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis
which have not defiled their garments;
and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.
He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father,
and before his angels”
Revelation 3:2-5

Let us turn from the slothful ways of this hour and seek out those who would “walk in white” in the reality of His Spirit. Men reveal their hearts by what they do, not by what they say. It is time for us to seek and search out those who hear the call of God to “strengthen the things that remain”.

“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to sleep:
So shall thy poverty come…”
Proverbs 6:10

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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THE LAMP OF LIFE

“And her lamp does not go out by night”
PROVERBS 31:18

Literally in the Hebrew language “does not go out” is best translated “not extinguished or quenched” (see Song of Solomon 8:7). In the New Testament we find that the Lamp of God is not merely an understanding of the intellect, it is in fact the VERY LIFE OF THE SON living and shining within our hearts.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
JOHN 1:4

We see clearly here that it is HIS LIFE that is the light of men. His Life in me is Eternal Life not a doctrinal statement that I ascribe to, not some formula that I recite, but the very reception rather the very conception of Him within my heart. It is this “Light of Life” (John 8:12) that we hold by the precious faculty of Faith to illuminate our way, to hold us to the path and purpose of God, and to keep us pure in a dark and contaminated world. The lamp spoken of here is a light that the darkness ever seeks to extinguish, pervert and stamp out. The stratagems of the darkness are many and powerful and come at us in a variety of attacks; bitterness, unforgiveness, temptation, compromise, weariness of the way and disappointments to name but a few. However, the Word stands true “HER LAMP DOES NOT GO OUT BY NIGHT”!

It is as we face these things that we are made OVERCOMERS. The lamp burns in the night seasons, the lamp burns in dry places and the lamp burns in and through the storms of life.

We live in dark and ominous times and the Word tells us the “…love of many, shall grow cold”. Religion, traditions, the programs and the institutions of men seek to replace the simplicity of relationship with the Lamb of God and adherence to doctrines seeks to replace the life of obedience. We have ceased contending for the faith and have succumbed to a life of passivity and impotence. Men like John the Baptist are considered uncouth, the zeal of Paul untactful and the burning statements of James, Peter and Jude out of touch with the “seeker friendly” atmosphere being presented today. It is in such an hour as this that we must be held by the precious LIFE of Him.  His Life never fails to keep us safe and secure within the cords of His Love and because of this…

“…her lamp does not go out by night”

Ω

“He who breathes into our hearts the heavenly hope,
will not deceive or fail us when we press forward to its realization”
Anonymous

Brian Troxel

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WATCH

“Blessed are those servants,
whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching”
LUKE 12:37

In Biblical times the night was divided into watches. In the Old Testament the night was divided into three distinct watches. These were the shifts that the night watchmen would take to be on the alert for an enemy. In the New Testament the night watches were four in number. In the illustrations of Jesus it was the fourth watch that He used to illustrate the necessity of vigilance and sobriety.

“For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey,
who left his house, and gave authority to his servants,
and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh,
at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you I say unto all,
WATCH”
MARK 13:34 – 37

It is imperative that we find the strength through His wondrous grace to be actively engaged in the work that He has given us lest we grow weary and the slumber of the world come upon us. It is in these late watches that the weariness of the way sets upon us and our senses are no longer attuned to the things of the Spirit. We may mindlessly go through the actions of a religious life without the fervor or passion of His Life in us. Everyday life becomes a mechanical performance and the lateness of the hour and the subtlety of the thoughts of our hearts deceive us into thinking that everything is all right. Without the watchman calling out to the Church of the Living God there would be no sound of alarm. Soft and soothing words of men declaring peace and safety when the Day of the Lord is at hand are a deadly and beguiling thing. We are clearly admonished to watch for we know not the hour of the unimaginable shakings that are coming upon the earth.

“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down
with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life,
and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.
For it will come upon ALL who dwell on the face of the whole earth.
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength
to escape all these things that are going to take place,
and to stand before the Son of Man.”
LUKE 21:34 – 36

The coming of the Lord is no longer spoken of as imminent or of any real importance as to how we live our lives. In this Day of obscurity where evil is abounding all around us, the greatest evil of all is the revelation of our own insensitivity to it. The Darkness is gathering and the Church is being lulled by the seeming peace and tranquility around us. As it was spoken of Noah’s day… “…they knew not until the flood came and took them all away” (Matthew 24:39). In this day we are being tested by the watchfulness of our hearts and the readiness of our lamps. We need to have that extra measure of oil to burn into the late watches of the night.

“And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them…”
MATTHEW 14:25

Brian Troxel

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THE PRESENT TRUTH

PART ONE

“For this reason I will not be negligent
to remind you always of these things,
though you know and are established in the present truth”

II PETER 1:12

The Apostle here is writing with the full understanding that he was soon to leave this world as a martyr. There was no panic or concern for himself; his concern was for the welfare of the people of God. We see him here showing a priestly diligence to remind and exhort the people of God to be faithful. The phrase he uses here “…established in the present truth” in the Greek reveals the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord to Peter many years earlier…

“But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail;
and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren”

LUKE 22:32

The Greek word translated “established” is the same Greek word translated “strengthen” in the Lord’s statement to Peter! We see the impetuous Peter despite all of his weaknesses becoming the man seen here revealing the priestly heart of the Lord Jesus Christ. How encouraging it should be to us to see Peter, even in his last days, ever seeking to encourage and strengthen people in their walk with Christ. Let us be encouraged that the promises of God are TRUE, and that HE is ever here to watch over HIS WORD and HIS PURPOSE for our lives. Let us not become discouraged, but let us be established and strengthened in HIS ability to see us through. Let us conduct our daily lives with the hope that our strength and our confidence is in HIM not in ourselves. Our part is to be obedient, diligent and faithful for HE is not a GOD who can lie; one who will not leave us as orphans but HE who died for us now lives for us that we may be “more than conquerors, through HIM that loved us”!

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest,
that is passed into the heavens,
Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the
feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are,
yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need”

HEBREWS 4:14 – 16

Brian Troxel

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