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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit of the Spirit’

Thought for Today

Light my candle

The Treasures of Darkness

“For thou wilt light my candle:
the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”
Psalm 18:28

Darkness comes to all who walk in the light. “And the evening and the morning were the first day”. The days of God are all “evening and morning” until we reach the last Day in which there will be no darkness for eternity. Note that the Days of God begin with the evening; the darkness is only to bring us to a greater light. The ways of God are always progressive.

“But the path of the just is as the shining light,
that shineth more and more unto the perfect day”
Proverbs 4:18

The dark seasons of life are given to us for our good and our development. Adversity and resistance are designed to make us strong, unmovable and steadfast in spirit. There are hidden treasures and supplies within the dark places of our lives; resources to be found in the living Christ as we overcome. In adversity we are instructed to grow in the grace and beauty of our Lord. Let us not despise His ways but wait patiently and expectantly for those treasures that He will give!

“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

Just as Samson found honey within the carcass of the lion that had attacked him His people find the table of His provision in the presence of their enemies. Caleb declared that the giants of the promised land would be bread for them; so are the trials and situations in which we find ourselves. It is here that the fruit of His Spirit grows and ripens to maturity.

The fruits of the Spirit are all interconnected. The patience (endurance) of the Spirit is the fruit of a living Hope; the Joy of the Spirit comes from the power of a Faith to believe in the midst of trials; the Peace of God comes from the power of a love which sends away all fear. These are the treasures of darkness which are found by those who walk and live in Him. Let us be assured that the darkness cannot overcome those who cling to the light of His Life within.

“But he knoweth the way that I take:
when he hath tried me,
I shall come forth as gold”
Job 23:10

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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Thought for Today

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city,
he hungered.
And when he saw a fig tree in the way,
he came to it, and found nothing thereon,
but leaves only, and said unto it,
Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.
And presently the fig tree withered away”
Exodus 3:2

Fruit. God’s purpose for every life is to bear fruit. His purpose in coming was to make the barren fruitful, the desert to blossom and the lame to walk.

Fig leaves represent the response of Adam and Eve to their fallen state. The religious response to man’s need for a covering. It is an inherent desire to be covered on the outside; to appear good, honest and spiritual. This leaves the life barren and unfruitful in the things of God. We may walk in an outward show of righteousness but the inward reality may be void of His Life and power.

Deception comes to those who seek to deceive. The lie of living to appear right will always result in a greater lie.

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse,
deceiving, and being deceived
2 Timothy 3:13

Honesty and integrity are the means to Life in Him. We come as we are, transparent with Him and with those about us. This see-through living will bring us to the blood, the mercy and the covering of His garments of Salvation. In being who we are, fully reliant on all that He is, we can rest confidently in His faithfulness to bring glory to the Father.

Authenticity of Life is the fruit of integrity within and without

Fruit is not religious works. It is the means of glorifying God.

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

His sheep are those who follow Him. They hear His voice and they will not follow the voice of another. He leads them through green pastures, still waters, paths of righteousness, valleys of great shadows and even death; but the assurance to these will always be:

“Surely goodness and mercy
shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever”
Psalm 23:6

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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God’s Family

“Behold my mother and my brethren!”
Matthew 12:49

Within the context of everyday life the Son was ever speaking of His Father’s heart, will and purpose. In the early days of Jesus’ ministry to the multitudes the light and life of God flowed from His lips in such depth and power that men marveled. It was the fresh breath of God after the dankness of the prevalent religious atmosphere. Religion had relegated the wonder of God to rituals, concepts and doctrines that sought to impress its own mark of ownership upon man; man who was created in the very image of God! It usurped God’s purposes by seeking to control the hearts and minds of men and women with its own agenda all in the name of the very God it denied. Within this darkness the Light spoke of love, life and the redemptive heart of God. He spoke truth in the face of men’s lies. He spoke the substance of God into those steeped in the decay and stupor of pious and pompous traditions. The ones who, though being the sperma (Greek word used in John 8:37 natural “seed”) of Abraham, (John 8:37) Jesus said they were actually of their father the devil (John 8:44) because of their works and deeds. The horror of all religion is to blind its adherents to the fruit of a person’s life and replace it with the concept of adherence to a teaching or a doctrine as being the mark of a true child of God. Jesus here is responding to those who informed Him that His mother and brothers wanted to speak to Him:

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples,
and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother
Matthew 12:49-50

The true offspring of God are those (whosoever) are doing the will of the Father. Doctrinal adherence, quoting scriptures, religious prayer meetings, and all of the other related duties of religion avail nothing. Those who are truly borne of the Spirit will be occupied with the “doing of truth” not speculating about it. To the religious leaders of His day who boasted of being the “seed” of Abraham Jesus replied “If ye were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham”. Fruit is always the revelation of the underlying nature of any organism. While some may speak great swelling words, teach from scriptures and boast of revelations and gifts (even of the Spirit) the actual substance of their hearts are revealed by their conduct in everyday life.

“Beware of false prophets,
which come to you in sheep’s clothing,
but inwardly they are ravening* wolves.
You shall know them by their fruits”
Matthew 7:15-16

The Greek word used here for “ravening” speaks of one who uses their official position for the purpose of obtaining another’s property, funds or patronage! How subtle and deplorable are those who come in sheep’s clothing with the hidden agenda of obtaining the patronage of God’s people!

Paul speaks to this error in the Church at Galatia:

“For neither they themselves
who are circumcised keep the law;
but desire to have you circumcised,
that they may glory in your flesh”
Galatians 6:13

These are the religious defilers who point God’s people to a doctrine or a tradition which has an appearance of being of God yet in its very practice draws men and women away from the life of Christ to the works of the flesh. The works of the flesh will always glorify the flesh while the works of the Spirit will always glorify the Son!

Truth is being revealed by the sifting of men’s hearts and this very work is happening even now! The hearts of individuals are being drawn together on the basis of nature. In this Day of harvest everything will be gathered according to its kind. The tares are being gathered with like-minded as they have refused to obey God’s call. To such the voice of God is growing faint and they will reap the wages of apathy and indifference. The lamps of the foolish virgins are growing dim and the oil they so desperately need will not be available; this oil can only be acquired through obedience to His word. Hearing without the subsequent act of obedience will leave a life impoverished and completely unable to withstand the impending storm.

Only those who have followed the Lamb, obeyed His Word and sought refuge under His wings prior to the storm will stand in that day. It is time to humble ourselves; to bring to Him our poverty of spirit and brokenness of heart that we may obtain the provisions of His Life. Let us meet this day with our lamps trimmed, our hearts sanctified and the experiential ability of not loving our lives unto death. Those who do His Will are His Family.

“And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples,
and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven,
the same is my brother, and sister, and mother
Matthew 12:49-50

May God give us ears to hear and eyes to see what the Father’s will is. Many religious works, even supernatural ones, if not carried out in His will with the desire to honor and glorify the Son, are the works of iniquity. Men and women who function in gifts with the intent to garner the parsonage and attention of God’s people are also workers of iniquity. The desire to draw men and women to anything other than Jesus is sin.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven;
but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord,
have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils?
and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then will I profess unto them,
I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity
Matthew 7:20-23

*Note: Greek Word translated “ravenous” indicates extortion(er) or one who swindles – The online free dictionary defines extortion as: 1. Illegal use of one’s official position or powers to obtain property, funds, or patronage. In the five occurrences of this word being used it would be best translated swindler or extortioner in four of them.

Word Origin
from harpazó
Definition
rapacious
NASB Translation
ravenous (1), swindler (1), swindlers (3).

Matthew 7:15 Adj-NMP
GRK: εἰσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες
NAS: but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
KJV: inwardly they are ravening wolves.
INT: they are wolves ravenous

Luke 18:11 Adj-NMP
GRK: τῶν ἀνθρώπων ἅρπαγες ἄδικοι μοιχοί
NAS: other people: swindlers, unjust,
KJV: men [are], extortioners, unjust,
INT: of the men swindlers unrighteous adulterers

1 Corinthians 5:10 Adj-DMP
GRK: πλεονέκταις καὶ ἅρπαξιν ἢ εἰδωλολάτραις
NAS: with the covetous and swindlers, or
KJV: or extortioners, or
INT: covetous and swindlers or idolaters

1 Corinthians 5:11 Adj-NMS
GRK: μέθυσος ἢ ἅρπαξ τῷ τοιούτῳ
NAS: or a swindler– not even
KJV: or an extortioner; with such an one
INT: a drunkard or swindler with such a one

1 Corinthians 6:10 Adj-NMP
GRK: λοίδοροι οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ
NAS: nor swindlers, will inherit
KJV: nor extortioners, shall inherit
INT: slanderers nor swindlers [the] kingdom of God
5 Occurrences

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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The Cedar-Wood

The Fragrance and Stature
of Christ

“As for the living bird, he shall take it,
and the cedar wood,
and the scarlet, and the hyssop,
and shall dip them and the living bird
in the blood of the bird that was killed
over the running water”

Leviticus 14:6

The cedar in the scriptures speaks of stature and character. In the description presented in the Law of the Leper the cedar-wood is immersed in the blood-water of the dead bird. This is a prophetic promise to the leper of a redeemed stature and character that is to arise out of the ministration of the blood and water. It is in us being forgiven and cleansed from our leprous condition that the new man will arise and begin to grow into the likeness of the second Adam.

“Forasmuch as ye know
that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things,
as silver and gold, from your vain conversation
received by tradition from your fathers…”
1 Peter 1:18

The cedar-wood not only speaks of stature and character but of a substance that is fragrant and impervious to rot and decay. It is a life resilient to the decaying forces of the world and maintains its fragrance in all circumstances. This is not the product of self-effort; it is the sweet odor sent forth from the cedar because that is its nature. It is essential for us to understand that only by virtue of the new birth are men capable of being partakers of the divine nature! As we believe and live within the promises of God, by faith, there springs a Nature which enables us to live beyond the resources of our miserable selves. The dregs of that old Adamic life must give way to the fountain of His life flowing through our own. This fragrance and immunity to the decay of this world is dependent upon the life of the Son becoming our source. Only as we live as a branch drawing in and abiding in the life of the vine will the fruit of the Spirit abound in us.

“I am the true vine,
and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit
he taketh away:
and every branch that beareth fruit,
he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word
which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,
except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him,
the same bringeth forth much fruit:
for without me ye can do nothing”
John 15:1-5

Spiritual fruit within the life of any one in Christ is the result of relationship not teaching. It is as we obey His voice within our own hearts that the fruit of the Spirit is formed. Those who do not obey cannot abide within the wonder of the flow of His life. In the parable above (John 15:2) even the branches must maintain their place of abiding in Him by bearing fruit! If there is no fruit, there is no flow. Men who hold to religious teachings and doctrines may have an appearance of a branch but the vitality of the life of the vine no longer flows. Fruit is the unconscious expression of the nature of a thing.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them”
Matthew 7:20

We are not to know men by their words but by their fruits. The fragrance of the cedar is unmistakable.

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness,
which are by Jesus Christ,
unto the glory and praise of God”
Philippians 1:11

Amazingly the fragrance of the cedar lingers long after it is dead for it is an expression of God’s nature. Men and women who have lived and walked in the power of an abiding relationship continue to minister the things of God long after they have passed on from this world.

“A good man leaveth an inheritance
to his children’s children”
Proverbs 13:22

“By faith Abel offered unto God
a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,
by which he obtained witness that he was righteous,
God testifying of his gifts:
and by it he being dead yet speaketh
Hebrews 11:4

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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DESIRE

The Revelation of Life

“…for we also who are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened,
seeing we wish not to unclothe ourselves,
but to clothe ourselves,
that the mortal may be swallowed up of THE LIFE”
2CORINTHIANS 5:4

Contrary to the present day “gospel” of a large segment of the church heaven is neither the theme nor the purpose of the New Testament. Jesus is. The purpose of the New Testament is to produce people whose lives have been gripped by the LIFE of Jesus within their hearts. The New Testament was not given just to take us to heaven but to INFUSE His Own with the DIVINE NATURE (2Peter 1:4). The purpose for which Jesus came was to GIVE us life, HIS LIFE, without which we are not able to live in heaven.

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

In the Book of Revelation John, speaking of that Heavenly Jerusalem, declares what is required to ENTER into the gates of this Glorious City…

“But nothing unclean will ever enter it,
nor anyone who does what is detestable or false,
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life…”
REVELATION 21:27

The prerequisite to being found in the Lamb’s book of life is to HAVE the LAMB’S LIFE. It is in having HIS LIFE in us by the which we are freed from the falsity and detestable expressions of the fallen nature of man. This LIFE is found in having HIM not by reciting or adhering to some religious teaching or doctrine.

“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life;
and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”
1JOHN 5:12

Eternal life is not about longevity of life. It is HIS eternal LIFE in us by virtue of our HAVING HIM! Our enjoyment of it, our growth and development IN it, is found in our partaking (sharing and communing) of that LIFE (2Peter 1:4). Peter tells us the reason the New Testament promises are given is that we may become PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE. May God open our eyes to see beyond the rote of sitting in a pew listening to sermon after sermon while the true purpose of preaching is to motivate God’s people to arise and participate in HIS LIFE.

Life, whether it is heavenly or earthly by its nature, is filled with longings, desires and pursuits. As the natural life is filled with unholy lusts and affections so the heavenly life is filled with holy pursuits and desires…

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh:
and these are contrary the one to the other”
GALATIANS 5:17

The life of an individual is known by the thing it covets and pursues. They that have the life of the Son seek and pursue the things that are consistent with His nature. A lack of desire or longing for more of God reveals a heart that is not under the influence of that LIFE. Paul speaks of this groaning and burden which is the echo of the LIFE of the Son within (see Romans 8:22-23 and 2Corinthians 5:4). This desire is the fruit of the Spirit of God within an individual. Lust for the things of this world is the expression of a worldly man. The expression of a believer is the groan and cry to be “swallowed up” in the LIFE of the SON.

“IF ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above”
COLOSSIANS 3:1

Ω

Where there is no cry for heavenly things
There is no heavenly life.

Brian Troxel

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PRIDE
The Great Destroyer

“But when his heart was lifted up,
and his mind hardened in pride,
he was deposed from his kingly throne,
and they took his glory from him”
DANIEL 5:20

Pride has been the downfall of many. From the lowest of men to one of the highest angelic creatures pride has corrupted and destroyed. We see it everywhere; in the halls of government, the justice systems, the corporate world of business, the world of sports, the dark corners of crime and even the pulpits and pews of the religious world. Pride is the contagion of the human heart. It lifts its head in the high thoughts of men and is the same power that causes men and women to wallow in discouragement and despair. It is a power that feeds on the selfishness of man. It is the “ME” that it thrives on. It fastens itself to the enlargement and gratification of the need for recognition and sympathy. It is insatiable in its desire for attention and acknowledgment. It cares little for the needs of others unless there is something to be gained by doing so; even its good is corrupted by the self-serving motive that lies behind its deeds. It will make men become whatever is necessary in the acquisition of its end. It will serve one master for a season until a more useful one comes along and then it will change as a chameleon in a new environment. It has no loyalty and hates truth though it will use it for its own ends. In the end, however, it will be the means of destruction for all who live by its sway. The only means of deliverance is through the power of TRUTH. Truth is the means by which humility is born. Truth is the tree upon which the fruit of the Spirit is produced.

Truth is not a fruit. It is the only means by which fruit can be produced. The Holy Spirit is never called the Spirit of love, for even love is the key fruit of truth.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:
against such there is no law”
GALATIANS 5:22-23

It is in the ministration of the Truth that the fruit of the Spirit is formed. For in the ministration of TRUTH we see the condition of our own hearts and of those around us. It is in seeing HIM that we truly know ourselves and, in seeing ourselves, we are no longer surprised by what we see in others. Truth is the leveler of all men. Truth is only known in the seeing of Him and in the seeing of Him we are transformed by HIS GLORY. There is no change, of any lasting value, wrought within the heart of man except by seeing HIM who alone is true.

“But we all, with open face
beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same image
from glory to glory,
even as by the Spirit of the Lord”
2 CORINTHIANS 3:18

Isaiah, a prophet of the Most High, had been commissioned by God to prophesy for some time in Israel but in chapter six we read…

“In the year that king Uzziah died
I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne,
high and lifted up …
Then said I, Woe is me!
for I am undone;
because I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips:
for mine eyes have seen the King,
the LORD of hosts”
ISAIAH 6:1,5

One glimpse of the majesty of the Lord and Isaiah was undone. In the beholding of the Holy One he not only knew his own condition but he was made aware of the general condition of fallen man. A man who has touched that Holy Presence is no longer swayed by either the accolades or the criticisms of those around him for he has seen the One to whom he must give an answer. When Jesus rode into Jerusalem to the chorus of voices shouting Hosannas the scriptures declare that “Jesus did not entrust himself to them” for He well knew how fleeting were the praises of men. A short time later that same crowd was shouting “crucify Him”.

“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast,
many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing.
But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them,
because he knew all people
and needed no one to bear witness about man,
for he himself knew what was in man”
JOHN 2:23-25

“On the next day much people that were come to the feast,
when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,
Took branches of palm trees,
and went forth to meet him, and cried,
Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel
that cometh in the name of the Lord”
JOHN 12:12-13

God’s answer to all men is truth, living truth, that penetrating ministration of HIS LIFE that cuts asunder the heart of man, piercing us to the very separation of bone and marrow even to the dividing asunder of the thoughts and intents of our hearts. It is at the very core of who we are that our motives must be laid bare in order for mercy and grace to bring forth the fruit of His Spirit within us. Humility is the garment of all who would participate in the ministration of truth to others for it is the grace that frees us from the opinions of men to speak and do as HE leads. Meekness is the power to persevere under the most strenuous of ordeals with the patience and steadiness of Christ Himself. Joy is that inward sense of His approval that strengthens and encourages us with a power that is unconquerable and radiant. Joy is not to be confused with cheerfulness or happiness.

As we contemplate these and other aspects of the fruit of the Spirit, and realize the immensity of their power and glory, we are reduced to a singular pursuit of HIM in whom alone we have hope of their realization. They are never to be “our” fruit. They are, and always will be, the Fruit of the Spirit. For them to flourish we must live and abide in HIM.

“Abide in me, and I in you.
As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself,
unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you,
unless you abide in me”
JOHN 15:4

Brian Troxel

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APPROVING OURSELVES

“But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God,
in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,
In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings,
in fastings; By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness,
by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned…”
II CORINTHIANS 4:5 – 6

The approval of one’s ministry is revealed not only by the MINISTRATION of the LIFE OF CHRIST to others but by the REVELATION of the CHARACTER of Christ as we conduct ourselves in the course of everyday life. It is in the crucible of this life that we reveal the true state of our heart. We can speak great swelling words, do mighty works, associate with men of God, and have great knowledge in the things of God, but it is in our reaction to the circumstances around us that we either approve or disapprove ourselves unto God. Character is the revelation of a man’s walk with God. What we do reveals what we are.

“I will show thee my faith by my works”
JAMES 2:18

Faith is given in order for us to BECOME expressions of its author. We are all works in progress. Nevertheless if we do not equate FAITH with BEING we will deprive ourselves of all that God has purposed. Every trial that comes our way is to one end; that we are changed to more of a likeness of HIM.

“For our light affliction, which is but for a moment,
worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”
II CORINTHIANS 4:17

What is this “eternal weight of Glory”? Is it not HIS character and HIS likeness wrought into our very being? The true value of FAITH is to make us witnesses of HIM, not only in word, but more importantly in DEED. The nature and purpose of FAITH is to make us live BEYOND our own resources, to make available to us the riches, the substance and the goodness of our God. Where faith is real so is character. Men who claim great faith without revealing great character have deceived themselves.

We are living in a day of revelation. This day will reveal the one who built his house upon hearing the Word of God without doing and the one who built his house by the hearing and doing of God’s Word. For the flood is coming and with that flood will come the revelation that the strength of a man’s house is not in the house but that upon which it is built.

May the Lord work in us a fresh realization that it is in the daily grind of life we are to ever be about our Father’s business, which is to reveal HIS SON in each one of us.

“But when it pleased God,
who separated me from my mother’s womb,
and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me…”
GALATIANS 1:15 – 16

Ω

“Character in a saint
means the disposition of Jesus Christ persistently manifested”
Oswald Chambers

Brian Troxel

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