Nothing But Jesus!

Nothing But Jesus!

“Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power,
unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness”
Colossians 1:11

Patience (endurance) and a longsuffering with joy are only possible by His power and might. Men and women may have measures of this by nature, but the real enduring grace of such a disposition is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Timidity, shyness, and a lack of confidence are not fruits of the Spirit. The Humility of Christ is bold. His boldness is garmented in the wonder of character, unlike any human trait. The lowliness of Jesus is without compromise and its expression has a grandeur beyond words. His passion in cleansing the temple was fearful and filled with the authority of the Father to such an extent that men wondered what was the source of it. His gentleness had an unshakable omnipotent power, His grace with the lost of humanity unfathomable.

Truly all our righteousness is as filthy rags. Our traits, our very selves are lost beyond all hope if it not for the Life of Him within. There is no true grace apart from Him. There are no human counterfeits capable of truly revealing His matchless beauty. The need for the infusion of His substance and life is as essential as the air we breathe.

“Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me…”
Jeremiah 9:23-24

If anyone is to glory, let it be because the grace of God has come. Let it be because His Life is becoming ours. Let there be no human substitutions, excuses, teachings, or concepts which leave us part Him and part us. Let us with full assurance of faith turn to the ONE in whom is the very pulse of true life. The New Covenant presents to us this singular truth:

“He that hath the Son hath life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life…”
1 John 5:12

To be free from the contagion of self, we must live in Him. It is His Life in us that puts to death our own selfish, self-seeking, self-perpetuating lies. Through the power of obedience, we find His Spirit working in concert with our redeemed will.

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

No teaching, sermon, or austere religious methods can bring a soul into the life of Christ. It simply requires a life of obedience and submission to He who lives within. To experience His forgiveness…forgive. To obtain mercy…be merciful. To see God… allow Him to purify your heart. His Way is simple yet “few there be that are finding it”.

“Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that (are) find (ing: Greek participle) it
Matthew 7:14

Brian Troxel

Hope and Love

Hope and Love

“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”
Romans 5:5

Hope’s fulfillment rests in the love that fuels it. The power of hope is in the purity of His love inspiring our lives. A hope with selfish agendas will fail and disappoint us, for love “seeks not its own”.

The simplicity of the Love of God being shed abroad in our hearts BY the Holy Spirit requires a life that is lived IN the Holy Spirit.

See: Abiding in His Love

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Eternal Life

Thought for Today

Eternal Life

“Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you are not having life in yourselves. He who is eating my flesh and is drinking my blood is having life eternal, and I will raise him up on the last day, for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. He who keeps on eating my flesh and drinking my blood, in me is continually abiding and I in him”
John 6:53-56 (Wuest Translation)

The Wuest Translation brings out the correct Greek Parsing in these very significant verses where the “ing” speaks of a continuously feasting upon Him who is the True Bread of Life. They who feed upon the eternal living bread are filled with the eternal living life of Him. If an individual ceases to eat they cease to know of the fire and the life of Him who holds us in the mystery of His Life.

“The appetite grows for what it feeds on”
I.B. Wells

Brian Troxel

The Good Fight

The Good Fight

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life,
whereunto thou art also called…”
1 Timothy 6:12

We are called in Christ Jesus unto Eternal Life. The depth of its wonder and reality in our lives is determined by the fight of the faith residing within our hearts. Eternal life is far more than a gift; it is the very life of Christ ruling and reigning in the sanctum of our lives. The strength of its hold is determined by our freedom from sin, the freedom of His Spirit to have dominion over the affairs of this world, and the consecration of our lives unto His Will. It is short-sighted for us to think that a born-again experience settles the matter of eternal life.

Eternal Life is the very power of Christ dwelling in our hearts by faith. Eternal Life is the living dynamic of Christ putting to death the resident sin nature. Eternal Life is revealed in those who are captivated by the love of Christ living a life of continuous change and transformation.

How little we appreciate the necessary intensity for us to fight with great diligence the war of faith within and without. Read Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “lay hold” on eternal life by fighting the “good fight”. Few Christians today know of this battle to find themselves “apprehending” the promises and purposes of God; few comprehend the dimensions of His Victory to be wrought in each of our lives. We have been deceived into thinking of salvation as simply being saved from some distant judgement with no real and eternal consequences for the thoughts we think and the life we live now.

“Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect; but I press on, that I may take hold of that for which also I was taken hold of by Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:12

Can we not grasp the language of the Holy Spirit throughout the sacred scriptures? We have been called to “lay hold” on eternal life and to “take hold” of that which to which we have been called. This is no passive Gospel as the one that is often presented. We have been called by the God of all Glory to “fight the good fight”, to discover the weapons of our warfare with the intent that we may “lay hold” of the eternal riches of Christ’s life.

Even a casual reading of the message of Christ to the seven churches in the book of Revelation shows the promises of God are given only to those who “overcome”. May we read afresh the call of God to be found in the “fight of Faith” whereby we are enabled by His Spirit “to war a good warfare”.

If there is no fight within a child of God,
there can be no crown.

To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches”
Revelation 3:21-22

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Alexander MacLaren

Quote for Today

“Men come and go; leaders, teachers, thinkers speak and work for a season, and then fall silent and impotent. He abides. They die, but He lives. They are lights kindled, and, therefore, sooner or later quenched; but He is the true light from which they draw all their brightness, and He shines for evermore”
– Alexander MacLaren

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

Eternal Life and the Resurrection – Part One

Eternal Life & The Resurrection

Eternal Life

Introduction

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us,
even eternal life”
1 John 2:25

Jesus did not come to give us eternal existence. All of humanity has an ongoing existence after this life. Christ came to bring His creation into life!

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
John 10:10

Life is so much more than the continuum of time; life is to be filled with an abundance of knowing, loving and worshiping Him who is the LIFE. Many believers consider eternal life in reference to something they receive after they die, rather than in terms of their relationship with God in the now. This is where we lose the impact and the wonder of all that Christ is. Jesus Himself defined eternal life and His definition was clear and concise; eternal life is defined by our relationship with Him and His Father.

“And this is life eternal,
that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 17:3

The depth of our knowing of Him and the Father is THE determining factor in the power and wonder of our own resurrection.

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection
Hebrews 11:33-35

Eternal life is not something we earn; it is simply the gift of God. Through grace we are given this gift in the person of Jesus Christ without merit or works of our own. He IS eternal life; it is not a commodity given apart from Him. It is my relationship with Him which determines the power and the marvelous working of His life in mine. Relationship is never earned; it is fostered and nurtured by the entwining of one life with another. Love always denotes action, sacrifice and pursuit.

“And this is the record,
that God hath given to us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.”
1 John 5:11

Eternal Life is IN the Son and my partaking of Him determines the depth, the power and the influence of Him within my being. The branch must abide in the vine to partake of the power and life of the vine. As I yield to His Life and His government eternal life is at work. Jesus did not come to bring a new teaching; He came to bring unto us His Life in the “age” of our time* (see note below). Eternal life is not a futuristic notion. It is in the here and now that we are afforded the opportunity to deepen and grow in our life IN Him. In this present tense of life, we are made partakers of His promises and His goodness. The word of the Lord is ever “Today if ye will hear His voice harden not your hearts”. It is the present tense of our relationship with Him that gives value and depth to eternal life. Paul says in Galatians:

“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

Eternal life is the “now” life. It is Life held within the frailty of the earthen vessel. It is what we DO with His life which determines the power of His resurrection within us. The parables of the Talents, the Pounds and the Sower all clearly reveal our part in this mystery. The story of the talents was not about how many talents were received; the truth conveyed in the parable is all about what they did with what they received. Same with the story of the Pounds. The fruitfulness of the various lives represented in the parable of the sower were NOT predicated on the life of the seed; fruitfulness was determined by the soil into which the precious seed fell. So too with us. It is the soil of our lives which determines the fruitfulness of Christ. No one can hinder or cause us to be unfruitful or to be fruitful. It is our own relationship with Him which allows and determines the growth of the seed.

The story of the talents was not about how many talents were received; the truth conveyed in the parable is all about what they did with what they received

Relationship is the great Mystery of God; a mystery which cannot be taught or learned intellectually. It can only be surrendered to, explored and developed. Faith is the portal and love the motive for our relationship with Him who is the Life.

“The Life which I now live…”
Galatians 2:20

This is true for all of us. The life we are now living is the expression of who He is in us. We must embrace the witness of the scriptures concerning our present and true spiritual condition. Religion seeks to insulate us from the truth of the words of Christ but there is a stark reality we must step into if we would walk with Him. In the shining forth of Him there is a beholding of ourselves. It is in this crucible of “present truth” that we are faced with our present need. How good is the living word of God! Let it cut and reveal the verity of what we are that we may run to Him for Grace. It is in Him “where we (can) live, and move” and fully become a new creation. How can we settle for a sip here and there when the living waters of His life are available? How can we continue to hide from ourselves and those around us our true condition when the power of His Life is available to us freely and without measure? It is in our ability to face ourselves that we discover the abundant resources of the living Christ. Truth, to be truth, must expose all that is untrue within us. Truly it is the goodness of God that ever leads us to repentance. Of all the gifts that have been given the gift of repentance excels them all!

Continued in Part Two

* Note: The Greek word translated “eternal”
[166 (aiṓnios) does not focus on the future per se, but rather on the quality of the age (165 /aiṓn) it relates to. Thus believers live in “eternal (166 /aiṓnios) life” right now, experiencing this quality of God’s life now as a present possession. (Note the Gk present tense of having eternal life in Jn 3:36, 5:24, 6:47; cf. Ro 6:23.)]

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Living Now for Eternity

Thought for Today

Living Now For Eternity

“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,
even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me”
2 Peter 1:14

The life of the true believer is lived with the reality of eternity in view. Our life is to be held in the context of our departure and our readiness to stand and give an answer for the life we have lived here (2 Corinthians 5:10)*. Peter’s epistle is the result of seeing his life from the eternal perspective. His exhortation to the people of God is one of “endeavoring” to remind them to continue to add to their faith, to grow in the virtue of Christ unto godliness and love. There is a calm and settled approach to his departure from this world. His care is not for himself; his heart is for the condition and welfare of the Body of Christ. They who live with an eternal perspective cannot be uninvolved in the welfare of His people.

“And I will make every effort to ensure that after my departure,
you will be able to recall these things at all times”
2 Peter 1:15

A life unaffected with a concern for the condition of God’s people is the revelation of a life lived unto itself. The eternal Love of God in Christ must produce within His own an expression in harmony with the things that concern Him; to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. His anointing rests upon those who walk and live as He is.

“But unto the Son he saith…
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”
Hebrews 1:8-9

Ω

“Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?”
– Alexander MacLaren

Θ

* “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Resurrection

Thought for Today

“I am the resurrection”
John 11:25

Wherever and whenever the heart of a wandering soul, a lost soul or a dying soul meets the wonder of Him, resurrection and life are the immediate result. He is not only the Resurrected One, He is the ever resurrecting one. Regardless of age, status in life or circumstances, He is our resurrection. Newness of life, joy, worship and praise are the on-going expressions of any life beholding Him. Death, sorrow, fear, discouragement and despair flee from His presence as shadows disappear from radiant light.

Linger not in the shadows of human reasoning or the stains of sin or unbelief. Come to the fountain which will never fail; whose waters are filled with the abundance of His Life, cleansing, refreshing and replenishing us with the vigor of His eternal life.

“Come ye saints, look here and wonder,
See the place where Jesus lay;
He has burst His bands asunder;
He has borne our sins away;
Joyful tidings,
Yes, the Lord has risen to-day”
Thomas Kelly