Quote for Today – J.C. Ryle

Quote for Today

JC Ryle

“It costs something to be a real Christian, according to the standard of the Bible. There are enemies to be overcome, battles to be fought, sacrifices to be made, an Egypt to be forsaken, a wilderness to be passed through, a cross to be carried, a race to be run. Conversion is not putting a person in an arm-chair and taking them easily to heaven. It is the beginning of a mighty conflict, in which it costs much to win the victory.”
– J.C. Ryle

A SOLDIER OF CHRIST

A SOLDIER OF CHRIST?

“No one serving as a soldier
entangles himself with the affairs of this life,
so that he might please the one enlisting* him”
2 TIMOTHY 2:4 (LITV)

Great is the need for soldiers of Christ in our land these days. The degree to which His people are free to serve Him is relative to their entanglement with the affairs of this world. The affairs of this world are many and far reaching; employment, social clubs, politics and connections and commitments of time to a myriad of other things. Men need to provide for their families but that does not include excesses or many of the things that our society considers “essentials”.

The CALL of God is calling us out of this world. We are not here to become entangled in the politics of this world. Paul and the Apostles lived in a day where literally thousands of Christians were being murdered savagely, systematically and mercilessly for entertainment! Yet not once did the Apostles mention these things in terms of political involvement for the Kingdom of God is NOT of this world. We are called by name* (see note below) OUT of this world to please and serve Him. We must order our steps rightly so we do not become encumbered by debt thereby forcing us to be servants to the financial institutions of this world.

“No one serving as a soldier entangles themselves”. This is a statement not a teaching. If we are entangled, we are not free to be soldiers of Christ. Jesus said that we cannot “serve God and Mammon”. We are to be faithful to provide for our families and others in the Body of Christ but never to the point that we are unable to fully serve our King. The Body of Christ has been exposed to the horror of a “Gospel of Prosperity”; a lie from the pit of hell itself. Worldly men teach God’s people to embrace the things of this world, love the things of this world and strive for them because God wants us to be wealthy! He has called us OUT of this World not into it.

“Love not the world,
neither the things that are in the world.
If any man loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him”
1JOHN 2:15

Multitudes of Christians are caught up in politics and current events while His house is anemic and scattered. So many expend their emotions, time and money into the “saving” of America or some other country’s way of life rather than being the Light that speaks of HIS KINGDOM.

“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world:
if my kingdom were of this world,
then would my servants fight,
that I should not be delivered to the Jews:
but now is my kingdom not from hence”
JOHN 18:36

The Army that God has called us to is not a carnal one and does not seek by carnal means to change the spiritual condition of a nation; it will not resort to carnal weapons and anger! The weapons of His Army are Light, Goodness, Forgiveness, Mercy, Truth and Love. These are the weapons that no army on earth can contend with. Those who know of the coming Kingdom of God need not concern themselves with the strategies and politics of men. We are receiving a Kingdom which cannot be defeated for it is Eternal, Spiritual and Real. This army knows no particular race. It is free from the creeds and doctrines of men for it is founded in Him, sustained by Him and His Soldiers are obedient to His commands. They hear ONLY His Voice and they will not follow another.

The CALL is going forth in this hour. Who will answer Him from the depth of his heart “send me” (Isa. 6:8)? It is in the occupation of serving Him that men CHOOSE to be untangled from this world. Love brings men and women to choices; men love what they serve and they serve what they love.

“And that sown into the thorns is this:
the one hearing the Word,
and the anxiety of this age, and the deceit of riches,
choke the Word, and it becomes unfruitful”
MATTHEW 13:22 (LITV)

Love is the only motive that will enable us to respond truthfully and rightly to the CALL.

Ω

In heaven we shall appear,
not in armour, but in robes of glory.
But here these are to be worn night and day;
we must walk, work, and sleep in them,
or else we are not true soldiers of Christ.
William Gurnall

*NOTE: στρατολογέω (4758) (stratologeo from stratos = warfare/army + lego = in this instance lego means “to be chosen”) primarily means to gather or select as a warrior or choose to be a soldier and is used here in the active verb participle form to describe the soldier’s commander calling him by name into this Army.

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info

TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS Part One

TREES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS

PART ONE

“Blessed* is the man
that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly,
nor standeth in the way of sinners,
nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful…
And he shall be like a tree
planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”
PSALM 1:1,3

The Hebrew word written here as “counsel” is better translated advice, way, strategies or schemes. This psalm describes and prescribes to us the way in which we ought to walk in order to become as a “tree planted by the waters”. Within God’s hidden wisdom there is a path and a way for each of us to walk that will lead us to HIS desired END. Today we see much of the “wisdom” of this world interjected into the things of God. We cannot operate with the strategies and ways of the world and expect to lay hold of the wonder of HIS Life and purposes. Such is the folly of religion.

This Psalm has a blessing pronounced upon those who shun the wisdom and the “prudent counsels of this world” to walk in HIS ways. This blessing contains within it the ability to be fruitful and established in HIM and HIS righteousness. While men seek prominence, recognition and authority derived from a position rather than a relationship with God, there is evidence of a withered and empty inheritance.

We have rich examples in the word. Consider how Daniel and his friends refused the enticements of the king and chose to eat the simple fare of God’s provisions. Their faces shone with the health and vitality of walking in God’s counsel rather than the “worldly wisdom” of their day.

Then said Daniel to Melzar,
whom the prince of the eunuchs had set over
Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah,
Prove thy servants,
I beseech thee, ten days;
and let them give us pulse to eat,
and water to drink.
Then let our countenances
be looked upon before thee,
and the countenance of the children
that eat of the portion of the king’s meat:
and as thou seest, deal with thy servants.
So he consented to them in this matter,
and proved them ten days.
And at the end of ten days
their countenances appeared
fairer and fatter in flesh
than all the children which did eat
the portion of the king’s meat
DANIEL 1:11-15

The way and wisdom of God which seems foolish to the natural man is the way of LIFE and BLESSING. It is a way that frees us from the wisdom of this world, introduces us to the paths of humility and grace, and causes us to drink from the streams of mercy and righteousness. Such a path is hidden from the wise and prudent, from those who seek self-promotion, pride and control; for it is the WAY of the Son which leads to LIFE and the true liberty of the Spirit of God.

Truly, blessed are they who walk not in the ways and the “wisdom” of this world for they shall…

“…be like a tree planted by the rivers of water,
that bringeth forth his fruit in his season;
his leaf also shall not wither;
and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper”
PSALM 1:3

Ω

“The way of every man
is the declaration of
the end of everyman”

Ψ

“The kind of Christianity
that relies upon the influence
of its own human and earthly power
makes God sick,
for the Church of Jesus Christ
is a heavenly institution”
A.W. Tozer

* NOTE: The Hebrew Word translated “Blessed” here is plural denoting the manifold blessings of God are showered upon those who DO NOT walk in the way and wisdom of the ungodly, who DO NOT stand in the way (habits, manner of life) of sinners and who DO NOT sit (to dwell, abide or be set) in the seat of the scorner (boastful). Notice the three-fold progression of the posture of those who forfeit the Blessings of God (walking, standing and sitting)

The Hebrew Word translated “walketh” means to move and conduct ourselves…

The Hebrew Word translated “counsel” means advice, strategies and ways.

Brian Troxel