Expectation

Expectation

” My soul, wait thou only upon God;
for my expectation is from him.”
Psalm 62:5

Expectation

The expectant soul is one who recognizes their dependence upon God. He has no other expectations than Christ Himself. The greater our vision of Him, the greater will be our need for Him.

To live a life that expresses Him we must know the necessity of His living resources. Our own meager resources will never be sufficient for the demands of the day. Each day He is calling, drawing, and ever desirous that we live in the unconscious wonder of His canopy of love. There is a gracious support of our hearts and minds; He holds sway over our fickleness. The tensions and the demands of our days may distract us from this place of rest, but in returning, we will find our way back to the quiet harbour of His presence. It is in those moments we are instinctively aware of the steadfastness of our Rock.

“…when my heart is overwhelmed:
lead me to the rock that is higher than I”
Psalm 61:2

Paul and his faithful companions knew much of the pressings and trials in their day. We should “find it not strange” that our days are such. There are many who have endured incredible adversities to the very limit of their strength, but God held them steady.

“…we were pressed out of measure, above strength,
insomuch that we despaired even of life”
2 Corinthians 1:8

There are deep waters before us, testings greater than what we know now. It is today that He grooms us, prepares us, and works to free us from our self-reliance, that we may stand in the coming evil day. Paul’s resiliency was found in the power of the following verse:

“But we had the sentence of death in ourselves,
that we should not trust in ourselves,
but in God which raiseth the dead…”
2 Corinthians 1:9

Take heart as He works all things for our good. Let us keep our expectation only from Him and be ever faithful, “abounding in the Work of the Lord”.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord”
1 Corinthians 15:58

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

The Embrace of Discipleship

The Embrace of Discipleship

The Embrace of Discipleship

“Paul called unto him the disciples,
and embraced them…”
Acts 20:1

In the midst of the turmoil and opposition to the preaching of the Gospel at Ephesus one phrase stands out: “Paul called unto him the disciples and embraced them”. The truth of Christ within must culminate in a love so powerful, so overwhelming and pure, that the opposition of the world brings His people to the embrace of fellowship.

Affluence and our self-centered culture have made such an experience rare and even considered to be obsolete and uncouth. Instead of just being “disciples” we have become “disciples of” something other than Christ. We have substituted the central thing which unites His disciples and differentiates them from the tares. The Spirit of Unity can only join the pure with the pure or as the Prophet Ezekiel declares “bone to His Bone”. Discipleship is the path to pure motives and holy living. It is the pure in heart who “see God”. In the seeing of Him we are struck with a Love so powerful, so omnipotent and so pure that men quake in its atmosphere. Truth is no longer a statement, it is a life, it is a way and it is the signature of God being evidenced within the lives of those who are becoming His.

“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another”
John 13:35

Love is the imprint on His Disciples. Love is the pure fruit of truth. Teachings, doctrines, statements of faith, emotional prayers are all for naught without Love. Love embraces, rebukes, exhorts, encourages; above all Love NEVER fails. A fruitless life is a loveless life. Love cannot beat in the heart of any child of God without the works of Christ pouring forth from its endless spring. Love is the inspiration of the Cross of Calvary (John 3:16); it alone is the great impetus of God Himself. They who live in any measure of this ocean must give and empty themselves into the lives of others.

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick…”
Mathew 14:14

“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean”
Mark 1:41

“And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things”
Mark 6:34

The Life of the Son moved in the power of compassion. He walked among the people, ate with sinners and mingled with the publicans. He rebuked the pious, the satisfied and those who had a “form of godliness” but in their pride stifled the power and wonder of His Love. Lives unmoved by love have not yet touched the dominion of His Lordship.

“And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing”
1 Corinthians 13:2

One can give without love but one cannot have love and not give. Love is the womb of sacrificial living, the evidence of the fire of God burning within.

“…as my Father hath sent me,
even so send I you”
John 20:21

Love is the impetus of God

Brian Troxel

Discouragement and Fruitfulness

Discouragement and Fruitfulness

discouragement and Fruitfulness

“…the soul of the people was much discouraged
because of the way”
Numbers 21:4

The purpose of the Way of God is to bring purity and freedom. By design it shatters our self-seeking and self-realization. It is not an easy way. Our concepts and aspirations will be crushed in the wilderness. It is there our presumptions must die in order to prepare us for the Land of Promise. The Land of Promise is where “we live, move and have our being” in Him. It is where resurrection Life arises out of the grave of self.  That carnal self ever seeks to have the pre-eminence; it is the antithesis of all that God has purposed in Christ. Unity in Him is the result of a people who have laid aside their carnal selves for the joy of relationship in Him. They understand and feel the cords of Life binding them to one another. Humility is a necessity for those who seek the reality of being “hid with Christ in God”.

The Way will dry up the springs of self. Obedience is the Way into the provisions of Christ. The life of obedience is what gives us access to the “Tree of Life” and the abundance of all Christ is.

“Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter in by the gates into the city”
Revelation 22:14

The Tree of Life gives its fruit in every season. It is rooted deeply in the River of Life and in fact the River runs through this living Tree.

“…on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month…”
Revelation 22:2

Let us be not discouraged by the Way of Christ. Let us not fall victim to self-pity, murmuring, blaming others, and the bitterness that can so easily contaminate our being. The Way of Christ is sure. His end is glorious and His Wisdom beyond our own. Blessed are we if we continue to “do Truth” in spite of the hardness of the way. The Passover was eaten with “bitter herbs”; a reminder that the bitter way brings us to sweet waters and the “oil of Joy for mourning”.

Faithfulness is revealed in our obedience to Him regardless of our feelings and disillusionment. It is here the mettle of our faith is tried, the reigns of our hearts tested, and the power of His Life is increased within us.

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation”
Habakkuk 3:17-18

He is worthy of a faith life which continues to do of His good pleasure regardless of the situations in which we find ourselves.

“And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, he came, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet”
Mark 11:13

May we be of such a disposition that when He comes to our tree He may find fruit even in the time when by “nature” the season has not yet arrived. Save us oh Lord from a life of fig leaves (the religious garments of Adam) and cause us Lord to bear fruit in every season!

See “In the Morning”

Brian Troxel

The Lesson of the Fig Tree – Part Two

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

Part Two

“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”
Matthew 21:18-19

The lesson of the fig tree is one of great value to those who seek truth. Its message is for our growth and development.

Jesus came to the fig tree looking for figs. He came looking for fruit consistent with its capability. So it is with us. The righteousness of God prevents Him from an expectation that is beyond the ability of the tree to produce. The God who measures the talents to every child of His according to their ability, is the same God who holds each of us accountable to Him for that gift. This truth brings our accountability into perspective. It is also meant to be instructive to us as parents and ministers of God that we walk in His wisdom regarding the lives of our own children and of every believer. We are not to expect Paul to minister as Peter, nor Jude to speak as Apollos. Such expectations are the result of religious doctrines and confines. The Life of Christ within regards the individual gifts and capacities of others and looks for the corresponding fruit. When the fruit of an individual is consistent with the call and the gifts of God given, there should be a collective rejoicing unto the Giver of all good things. When the fruit of a life is missing or lacking the vitality of its call and capability, there is great need for the ministration of exhortation and admonition. Ministers who fail in this vital aspect of ministry will find themselves accountable to the Chief Shepherd of our souls.

Stewards and Shepherds

We are stewards of the grace of God and as such we are to shepherd His flock with a desire to see Him glorified in each and every child of His. It requires a pure heart to walk in such things knowing full well our own accountability unto Him. The fear of the Lord is the ground upon which His true ministers walk and function. John the Apostle declared that he had no greater joy than to “see his children walking in truth”; the truth of what has been given to them. The one who has been given prophetic insight, that is the thing to which God will hold them accountable (1-see below). The one who teaches must teach the truth of God to the end that every life will grow in the holiness and wisdom of God. (2-see below). Those who exhort must do so with purity and simplicity (3-see below) As to the Apostolic, there is to be a faithfulness to call God’s people to the obedience of faith (4-see below). The list is as endless as the diversity of God’s creation.

(1) “Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith” (Romans 12:6)
(2) “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus” (Colossians 1:28)
(3) “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 1:3)
(4) “By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name” (Romans 1:5)

In the book of Romans, Paul exhorts God’s people to receive all of these diversities as the gifts and the wisdom of God. Those who refuse these expressions deny God’s wisdom and subject themselves to His judgment. Division is the result of man’s wisdom and pride.

“Only by pride cometh contention…”
Proverbs 13:10

The Lesson of the fig tree is that He comes to each of us looking for corresponding fruit. His expectation is consistent with His grace given. In the Parable of the Talents, the man with one talent was judged severely for his faithlessness to the gift given (Matthew 15:30). In the Parable of the Vine, the branch which bore no fruit was “cut off” (John 15:2,6). The lesson of the Fig Tree was meant for our admonition and learning to that same end.

The response of Jesus to the two individuals who were faithful to their respective talents was the same! Different talents yet the same reward for their faithfulness to God’s measure.

“His lord said unto him, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord”
Matthew 25:21,23

The purpose of these diverse ministrations is:

“That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work…”
Colossians 1:10

Brian Troxel

Substantive Life

Substantive Life

“That I may cause those that love me
to inherit substance”
Proverbs 8:21

God’s purpose has always been to make those who love Him, evident tokens of Himself. In things pertaining to the spirit there is a transpiring within whereby the thing believed becomes the reality of the life lived. In Hebrews chapter eleven we read that “Faith is the… substance…”; those in whom faith is real become the very evidence of things hoped for. The reality of Christ within must, by His nature, produce within an obvious revelation of Him without. It is inconceivable to have the majestic Christ within without radical and continuous changes to our walk in this world. The power of His Word infused with the wonder of His Holy Spirit is to the end that we would bear His image in this world.

“Herein is our love made perfect,
that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:
because as He is, so are we in this world
1 John 4:17

The reason for a confidence in the Day of Judgment is because we have allowed His Life to produce in us a likeness of Him in this world! The substance of His life developed in us what we are to impart to those around us. Peter declared to the crippled man

“…but such as I have give I thee:
In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk”
Acts 3:6

Spiritual substance is the result of our yielding to the power of His Spirit; the forming in us of the Pearl of Great Price! He is the precious treasure. In Him we are no longer barren, poor or found wanting. As the power of the Living Christ makes us One with Him, His virtues become ours through a vital and substantive relationship with Him.

“That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life”
1 Timothy 6:18-19

Those who are rich in Christ internally, will be rich in the good works of Christ externally. The power of the good works is directly related to the substance of Christ internally. We can only distribute the substance of Christ in proportion to the substance we have.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom;
teaching and admonishing one another…”
Colossians 3:16

The depth of our teaching and the power of our admonishing one another will be according to the depth and power of His Word which dwells within us.

Let us be encouraged in His heart and His purposes for us. He has made a covenant with us to cause us to inherit substance, His substance, that we may be light in this world.

“That I may cause those that love me
to inherit substance”
Proverbs 8:21

Σ

“…that as He is
so are we in this world”
1 John 4:17

Brian Troxel

A Word in Season – Adam Clarke

Quote for Today

“If you go forward in the spirit of the original apostles and followers of Jesus Christ, trusting not in man but in the living God, he will enable you to pull down the strong holds of sin and Satan, and that work by which he is pleased will prosper in your hands”
– Adam Clarke

Quote for Today – CT Studd

Quote for Today

studd2-300x300

“Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill.
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what s done for Christ will last”
C.T. Studd

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be”
– Revelation 22:12

 

Quote for Today – R. Brownrig

Quote for Today

Fruitfulness

“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

John 15:8

“Trees have their seasons at certain times of the year when they bring forth fruit; but a Christian is for all seasons”
Ralph Brownrig