Quote for Today – Richard Baxter

Quote for Today

1899-38633

“Spend your time in nothing which you know must be repented of; in nothing on which you might not pray for the blessing of God; in nothing which you could not review with a quiet conscience on your dying bed; in nothing which you might not safely and properly be found doing if death should surprise you in the act”
– Richard Baxter

COME UNTO ME

COME UNTO ME

THE WAY OF SALVATION

“Come unto me,
all ye that labour
and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
MATTHEW 11:28

Within this fast paced world in which we live there is an invitation that goes forth unto His creation, “come unto me”. This call of Christ is the response of God Himself to fallen humanity. It is the solution to the aching caused by unrighteousness, lust, envy and agony of every human heart sowing and reaping unto itself the curse of its own way. The call of God transcends the offerings of the medical and psychological professions of this world; for in reality the disease, suffering and weariness of this world are all issues of the human heart.

“Take my yoke upon you,
and learn of me;
for I am meek and lowly in heart:
and ye shall find rest unto your souls”
MATTHEW 11:29

“Come unto ME” says the one who willingly laid down His life in order that a “new and living way” would be available to the downtrodden ones of every nation and tongue on earth. It is the call of God spoken in every language of the earth. What is the answer of God to all men? His yoke. While religious men look to teachings and strategies (even from the scriptures) the rest and the peace that men so crave is found in the “learning of HIM”! It is in the yoke, in the walking, abiding and learning of HIS HEART where we are saved from the torments of sin, self and rebellion. It is in HIM and learning of HIM our hearts and minds are transformed and the peace OF God is realized and obtained. While men want remedies and strategies God’s answer is a changed heart and mind. For it is in the very essence of who men are that the agony, the pain and the unfulfilled cries of the human heart originate. The need for recognition, the desire for supremacy, the lusting for things outside of the will of God are all causes of the heart’s own misery. God’s answer is HIMSELF. For in Christ we see the sacrificial life, the call to righteousness and the offering of HIS LIFE in the stead of our own. A judicial righteousness, though precious and needful, will not cure the needs. The real answer is to grow, live and learn of that new nature until we become righteous. A simple reading of Romans chapter seven should clear up any notions that simply being born again will rectify this; it is only the beginning of the process. The real work of salvation is in the learning and abiding in HIM whereby we are lifted from this world to live in HIS. In the “seeing” of HIM we are transformed by HIS GLORY and LIFE. This transformation is not a religious exercise by which we conform to a religious teaching. It is a metamorphosis (the caterpillar becoming the butterfly) by which we are made “partakers” of the divine nature. This work of the HOLY SPIRIT is proportional to our submission to HIM. Thus Paul writes:

“I beseech you therefore,
brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, acceptable unto God…
And be not conformed to this world:
but be ye transformed
by the renewing of your mind…”
ROMANS 12:1-2

It is in the transforming work of the renewal of our minds that we are freed from the angst of this world. We can quote scriptures and endeavor to do “good” while still seeking to serve God out of the life and power of self. To what end?

“We know that the law is spiritual;
but I am unspiritual,
sold as a slave to sin.
I do not understand what I do.
For what I want to do I do not do,
but what I hate I do”
ROMANS 7:14-15 (NIV)

This life of wonder that God has called us to in HIS SON is obtained by the abiding, living in and learning of Him. The reason men abide in the crisis of Romans 7 is because we want HIS life while clinging to our own. In order for the LIFE of the Son to be known the other must be forsaken willingly and determinedly. Jesus has come to SAVE US FROM our sins; if we cling to them we will fail to experience the depths of HIS salvation.

“And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people FROM their sins
MATTHEW 1:21

FREEDOM in Christ consists of our being made free by the operations of His Spirit within the human heart. That freedom is experienced in proportion to our knowing of Him by the glory of taking His Yoke upon us. Religious men argue that we will never be freed from sin, self and all of the pains of human nature. Why would men argue such things? Perhaps it is because it leaves no room for us to cling to some area of self. Those who hold to such a compromise rob themselves of the hope that purifies.

“Beloved, now are we the sons (children) of God,
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be:
but we know that, when he shall appear,
we shall be like him;
for we shall see him as he is.
And every man that hath this hope
in him purifieth himself,
even as he is pure
1JOHN 3:2-3

Purified EVEN as HE is PURE! How wonderful, glorious and beyond all understanding are HIS promises to us.

Can we embrace this call to CHRIST HIMSELF? Can we find mercy to submit our lives unto HIM to pick up OUR CROSS (His Yoke) and follow and learn of HIM? It is to such that HE WILL APPEAR! The purpose of the YOKE is to bind within us the very LOVE of GOD; that is the fulfillment of the LAW and the revelation of the LIFE of Jesus the Christ in our hearts.

“Love thinks no evil”
1CORINTHIANS 13:4

Brian Troxel

THE QUESTION

THE QUESTION

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly
above all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works in us”
EPHESIANS 3:20

The “exceeding” and “abundantly” doing of God is in proportion to the power that is at work in us. Men want God’s working dynamic in external things without the working of God within our hearts and minds. We want the life without the death. We want the freedom of the Holy Spirit without the necessary disciplining work of Grace. God is far more interested in the internal state of our hearts than the empty religious works of men’s hands or even the overt acts of miracles and wonders. Have we not seen enough in these days of the multitudes flocking to see “acts” of power only to witness man’s failure in righteousness bringing dishonor and reproach to God’s name?

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty;
and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city”
PROVERBS 16:32

The power of God which works IN us is to produce a life that testifies of Him. It is in our WALK that we reveal the power of Him who has and is saving us from our very selves. This is the real import of His Salvation. His name is Jesus, for HE came to save us FROM our sins (Matthew 1:21). Salvation is the work of God to free us and deliver us FROM OUR sins; from wrong thinking, wrong doing and wrong being. Salvation is the work of God to save us FROM this wrongness INTO HIS actual righteousness. This is all the work of HIS Spirit “according to” or in proportion to “the power that works IN US”! The power that works in us will be proportional to the yielding of our lives TO HIM.

“Therefore, brothers,
I call on you through the compassions of God
to present your bodies a living sacrifice,
holy, pleasing to God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this age,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
ROMANS 12:1-2

The transforming work of God is DEPENDENT upon the offering and presenting of ourselves unto HIM as living sacrifices. The great work of being renewed in our thinking will always be proportional to this offering of one’s self. Men who fail to develop are those who have failed to submit themselves to the continual, transforming work of God. To go only so far and allow stagnation, spiritual laziness, and age to dampen our pursuit of Him is the great tragedy of life. Without going on in the full purposes of God, there is a numbing and slumber that will surely overtake all who succumb to the weariness of the age. The greatest trial HIS people will ever face is the apathy and carelessness from without becoming the apathy and carelessness within.

“Moab hath been at ease from his youth,
and he hath settled on his lees,
and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel…
therefore his taste remained in him,
and his scent is not changed”
JEREMIAH 48:11

Men become comfortable and settled in their present “vessel” (mode of fellowship and understanding). They fail to so pursue God and be pliable and surrendered unto Him that they remain in an old thing that may be comfortable but is in fact stagnant and dead. We see Moses…

“Esteeming the reproach of Christ
greater riches than the treasures in Egypt:
for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
By faith he forsook Egypt…”
HEBREWS 11:26-27

By FAITH Moses was poured from one “vessel” into another for HIS heart was fixed upon the reward of Christ! The “power” that is at work IN us is revealed through the life we live. Words and sermons mean little; FAITH is revealed by what we do. Men who remain unchanged after years of being a “Christian” have “settled on their lees” and have become comfortable and restricted the “power” that would work in them to produce vessels “FIT and PREPARED for the MASTER’S USE” (2 Timothy 2:21).

The great and penetrating question of this hour for all of us…

“What is the power that is at WORK in US”?

 Brian Troxel