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Posts Tagged ‘Grace and Growth’


Christ our Righteousness

“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

Beholding is the path to becoming. It is in the seeing of Him that we are actually changed.

“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

From Genesis through Revelation we read of those who had one purpose in life: to see Him who is the matrix from which all things come into being. He is the One by whom all things are created and for whom all things are created. The pursuit of this one thing has been the uniting purpose of all who have His Spirit within their hearts.

Righteousness is the vehicle through which we see Him. I cannot immerse myself in sin and iniquity and expect to see Him. The cry for righteousness within the human heart arises out of a pure desire to see Him. The pursuit for holiness or righteousness with any other motive will always lead into an abyss of religion and darkness.

“I will behold thy face in righteousness”

“I will” speaks of confidence and the assurance of one who knows the grace and the wonder of his God. There is no doubt concerning this. This righteousness is the result of a heart submitted to the purging, dealings and searching of His Spirit.

“Little children, let no man deceive you:
he that doeth righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7

Religion concerns itself with words; God concerns Himself with the reality of a life. The true substance of righteousness is revealed in the doing not in the speaking. Righteousness is revealed in the things we do for they are the true expression of what we are.

It is in the desire for authenticity that our true need for Him is discovered. The greater the desire for true righteousness, the greater is our need for the grace to make it so. This is the righteousness of God in Christ for it brings us to complete dependency upon Him for its growth and development. His life reigning in us reveals His righteousness.

The pursuit of God is an ever growing, ever living and ever deepening journey into the life and righteousness of God Himself.

“For therein is the righteousness of God revealed
from faith to faith…”
Romans 1:17

It is a continual unfolding of His righteousness in us through the development of our growing faith to walk and live in Him. This desire is summed up by David:

“I shall be satisfied,
when I awake, with thy likeness”
Psalm 17:15

To settle for anything less is unthinkable.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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BUTTER AND HONEY

PART TWO

“…for butter and honey shall every one eat
that is left in the land”
Isaiah 7:24

Earlier, (See Part One) in the fifteenth verse of this chapter, we read the prophetic word given to Isaiah concerning Jesus the long awaited Messiah and Saviour. Here we read that what was true of Him is to be true of those who remain in the land after His judgements and dealings; they will also eat of “butter and honey”. The grace and beauty of the Son are to become ours also through the power of His Life ruling and reigning in us. Throughout the ages men and women of God have seen the power, majesty and purpose of God for His people. Faith has brought them to the place of embracing His Power in spite of their weaknesses. The Son becomes their “life” in substance and reality by a Grace not limited by their own doubts and blindness.

“By Grace we become what God is by nature.”
Athanasius

Even in this hour there are people who know the wonder of Life working within. This deep and powerful work of God brings clarity and separation in the midst of religious flippancy. It necessitates an obedience, submission and yielding of themselves to His Word and the moving of His Spirit. The intensity of His fire has one purpose: to purify and cleanse in order that He may empower with a fresh and Holy Expression of God in the earth.

The Word of God is not to be held in the intellect; it must be eaten and digested as butter and honey. Those who eat of His word cannot remain unchanged. There is no salvation in hearing, no safety in quoting the scriptures or listening to Sunday sermons and following great teachers.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you,
Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man,
and drink his blood, ye have no life in you…”
John 6:53

The power and life contained within the Word, when assimilated, will never leave the recipient unchanged. Those who only hear the word but do not obey will not experience lasting impressions. The effects of the Word are momentary and temporal (James 1:24). Some are ever learning but never come to the truth. Others, who eat of the “butter and honey” of God’s Word, will know the fire within that consumes and purifies from all that is not of Him. By this “refiner’s fire” His people come to “discern between the righteous and the wicked” and “between him that serves God and him that serves him not” (Malachi 3:18). They are not fooled by the appearance of those who claim to serve God but in reality are serving themselves and their worldly ambitions.

“Butter and honey shall he eat,
that he may know to refuse the evil,
and choose the good”
Isaiah 7:15

Ω

“Ordinary human motives will appeal in vain
to the ears which have heard the tones of the heavenly music;
and all the pomp of life will show poor and tawdry
to the sight that has gazed on the vision
of the great white throne and the crystal sea”
Alexander MacLaren

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

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VICTORY IN JESUS

“My little children,
these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not”
1JOHN 2:1

John’s writing here could be viewed as a stark contrast to what we call the gospel today. He presents here the reason why he wrote this magnificent epistle; the same reason we are to minister grace and truth to one another. All of our interactions with God’s people are to impart life and faith that we may grow up INTO HIM in all righteousness and truth. It is not by our own power that these victories are obtained. These things are only known by living in His Spirit.

“Not by might, nor by power,
but by my spirit,
saith the LORD of hosts”
Zechariah 4:6

Do you have mountains standing in your way which mock you and prevent you from this life of freedom? Seek the Lord, follow Him, commune and spend time in His presence. He died for us to walk in Him and be free. He paid the penalty for the shame and the defeat of our weaknesses. He ever lives to intercede on YOUR behalf that this life might be so. Faith is the undefeatable ministration of HIM to YOU. It will not fail, it will not allow for compromise and defeat. With every failure it rises up again for it is an eternal substance (Hebrews 11:1) with its author’s heartbeat. Men can be defeated, strong men will fail, but the man of Faith cannot succumb to any circumstance; they who are held in its power are kept by the very power of God unto a full and complete salvation (1Peter 1:5). It is time to throw off the sad and powerless teaching of today that tells you anything different. It is time to “Hearken unto the Lord” who speaks of much better things. It is time to let the faith of God arise in your heart as HE did in Zerubbabel’s day…

“Who art thou, O great mountain?
before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain:
and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof
with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it”
Zechariah 4:7

It is time to speak to the mountains that would hinder you from becoming strong in your God. It is time to realize that the obedience of the SON is of GREATER POWER than the disobedience of Adam! It is time to stop listening to the voices of defeat and compromise and begin to walk in the power of the SON! This ministration is not based upon man’s strength or power but it is within reach of us all because GOD has founded it upon faith that it may be sure!

“Therefore it is of faith,
that it might be by grace;
to the end the promise
MIGHT BE SURE to all the seed…”
Romans 4:16

We have an Advocate. We are not left to our own resources. HIS Word declares that “greater is HE that is in you than he that is in the world”. These words are true and it is unto those who believe, who rise up after defeats, who refuse to settle for anything other than victory, who will know of the POWER of HIS SALVATION. Let the weak say I am strong, the weary be filled with the JOY of His salvation, and let us rise up together in the goodness and mercy of our God. Jesus came to heal the lame, the halt and the crippled of this world and HE is still doing that today!

It is because of this that John writes these words of power…

“My little children,
these things write I unto you,
that ye sin not”
1JOHN 2:1

Ω

Now unto him
that is able to keep you from falling,
and to present you faultless
before the presence of his glory
with exceeding joy”
Jude 1:24

Brian Troxel

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GRACE

“Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved,
let us have grace,
whereby we may serve God
acceptably with reverence and godly fear”
HEBREWS 12:28 (NKJV)

The ability to serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear, is by the power of His Grace given to us. Grace is given in order that we may serve our God and glorify Him in our daily lives. Grace received is revealed in the fruit of our lives. It produces a desire to serve Him, to lay aside my own will and submit to His. Without grace we are left to our own resources, our own thoughts and our own ways. Grace is to be in us a power to live beyond our own abilities. Failure to receive of this Grace causes us to wither and become ineffective in the world around us.

The scriptures declare that Noah “found” grace in the sight of the Lord and because of that he OBEYED God and built an ark to the saving of him and his family. Grace is the great enabler that produces within us a life that testifies of Him and desires to please Him. Grace received will never leave us barren nor unfruitful; it will always honor and glorify the giver!

“That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
may be glorified in you, and ye in him,
according to the grace of our
God and the Lord Jesus Christ”
2 THESSALONIANS 1:12

The measure of Grace in which we walk today is good and precious. It is to be guarded and appreciated. It is given from our Lord Jesus Christ with the intent that we would grow in the apprehension of it and its influence in our lives.

“But grow in grace,
and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
To him be glory both now and forever.
Amen”
2 PETER 3:18

Ω

“Grace is an energy; not a mere sentiment;
not a mere thought of the Almighty; not even a word of the Almighty.
It is as real an energy as the energy of electricity.
It is a divine energy; it is the energy of the divine affection
rolling in plenteousness toward the shores of human need.”
Benjamin Jowett (1817–1893)

Brian Troxel

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LEARNING RIGHTEOUSNESS

“Let grace be shown to the wicked,
Yet he will not learn righteousness;
In the land of uprightness he will deal unjustly,
And will not behold the majesty of the Lord”
ISAIAH 26:10 (NKJV)

Righteousness is not the product of our environment nor is it the result of favor being shown to us. If everything was to go our way, and the blessings of all that this world has to offer were given to us, it would not help us to learn righteousness. For Righteousness is an issue of the heart not of our surroundings. The righteousness of God is known on the basis of Judgment, not favor. In the verse that precedes this one (which gives us the flow of God’s thought here) it states…

“…For when Your judgments are in the earth,
The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness”
ISAIAH 26:9

The righteousness that is available to us in the New Covenant is because of the terrible Judgment that was poured out on our Blessed Savior. Men who fail to appreciate the reason for the cross are never really impacted by the corresponding grace that flows from Him. Righteousness is not only a gift it is a life that we LEARN by walking with Him. Men who take sin lightly will never learn righteousness; the change of whom and what they are is temporary and ethereal. Our environment and how we are treated will not change what we are in heart. Righteousness must be learned by walking and interacting with our God.

The true child of God knows of His discipline and His chastening. It is of necessity that we know of this in our lives. For it is in these things that we LEARN and GROW in righteousness.

“My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord,
nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth…”
HEBREWS 10:5-6

“Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous,
but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth
the peaceable fruit of righteousness
unto them which are exercised thereby”
HEBREWS 10:11

How good and right are His ways with us. As a loving Father with a child HE deals with us according to His plan and purposes. Joseph did not know that the path laid out for him was the means by which he was made ready to rule and reign. God waited and watched carefully over Joseph until the “Iron entered into his soul” and his word came!

“He sent a man before them, even Joseph,
who was sold for a servant:
Whose feet they hurt with fetters:
he was laid in iron:
(Hebrew “Iron hath entered his soul”)
Until the time that his word came:
the word of the LORD tried him.
The king sent and loosed him;
even the ruler of the people, and let him go free.
He made him lord of his house,
and ruler of all his substance:
To bind his princes at his pleasure;
and teach his senators wisdom”
PSALM 105:17-22

His judgments are always meant to be remedial and redemptive in purpose. Men who spurn His discipline and harden their hearts toward Him pay the bitterest of prices. For it is those who are “exercised” by His chastening that receive the peaceable fruits of righteousness. May we be a people who are quick to submit ourselves to His dealings that we may grow in His righteousness and love. He knows the things that lie before us and His preparation work is that we may become “vessels of honor” unto His Glory in the days ahead.

“…Or despisest thou the riches
of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering;
not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart
treasurest up unto thyself wrath
against the day of wrath and revelation
of the righteous judgment of God”
ROMANS 2:4-5

Ω

“The steady discipline of intimate friendship with Jesus
results in men becoming like Him”
Harry Emerson Fosdick

Brian Troxel

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“Captivated by Beauty”

“After this many of his disciples
turned back and no longer walked with him.
So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”
Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go?
You have the words of eternal life”
JOHN 6:66 – 68

The “seeing” of Him is the essential element of TRUE discipleship. Discipleship on any other basis is simply religious fervor that leads to legalism and fanaticism. On the other hand, men who have not seen the unparalleled beauty of the Son pursue nothing. They are quite satisfied with the knowledge of being a child of God without any real desire for a deeper relationship with Him than what they have now (Philippians 3:7-14).

We see here in Peter’s response to Jesus that they could not go away for they had discovered in Him the words and the source of eternal life; their hearts had been captivated by a beauty beyond compare. In one of the parables of Jesus concerning the Kingdom of God Jesus said…

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it”
MATTHEW 13:45 – 46

The ardency of the pursuit of Christ is the revelation of what one has seen. The fruit of seeing is a life of following and seeking. The true beauty of Christ ruins us for the trappings of religious contentment that knows not the cry for a knowing of Him. It is in the FINDING OF HIM that the merchant goes and sells all that he has to purchase this great treasure.

Men who have not truly found Him do not pursue Him; there is no compulsion within to know this ONE PEARL of great price. It is only in KNOWING HIM that we are privileged to see the surpassing beauty of His Glory. To such an end have the promises of God been given…

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness:
for they shall be filled”
MATTHEW 5:6

“Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
For every one that asketh receiveth;
and he that seeketh findeth;
and to him that knocketh it shall be opened”
MATTHEW 7:8

Let us take note of the tremendous assurance of His promises; Ask… IT WILL BE GIVEN, Seek…YOU WILL FIND, Knock… IT WILL BE OPENED! The real beauty of these promises is “for EVERYONE that…”! How can we sit idle or find comfort in simply knowing Him from afar? How can we linger with such promises given?

We live in a day of such apathy and ungodly contentment; where men and women hold the “knowledge” of God in a lukewarm and casual manner. We speak of salvation as a one -time event that having now been born again the work of God is complete and I can live my life with very little ongoing growth or development. We are content with remaining servants without any desire to grow from servants to friends with God.

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Henceforth I call you not servants;
for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:
but I have called you friends;
for all things that I have heard of my Father
I have made known* unto you”
JOHN 15:14 – 15

Friendship with God requires obedience and hearing. It requires one who is coming to know the heart and the ways of God. It is a RELATIONSHIP that is ever growing and it necessitates change on my part. It requires a seeking and a desire to know HIM who is the ONE GREAT LOVE of the FATHER.

Where else can we go, to whom else can we turn? Nowhere but to Him who is the source of all life, hope and glory!

*γνωρίζω gnōrizō; to make known; it is used here as an aorist verb. See John 17:26 where Jesus in speaking to His Father said “…I have declared unto them thy name, and will (continue to) declare it”

To learn is to grow and to to grow is to live.

Brian Troxel

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Children or Sons?

PART TWO

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child,
I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.
When I became a man,
I gave up childish ways”
1CORINTHIANS 13:11

What a man speaks, thinks and reasons reveals what he is. The true revelation of what one has become is by what one does. By virtue of being born anew we all start our journey in Him as children. What a privilege it is to taste of the free unmerited Grace of God! Peter encourages the young ones in Christ…

“As newborn babes,
desire the sincere milk of the word,
that ye may grow thereby”
1 PETER 2:2

It is in drinking the sincere milk of the Word that we grow. That desire for His Word is the hallmark of one who has the Spirit of God living and dwelling within; a desire to know and understand this God who by Grace has called us unto Himself. That very milk of the Word is to produce growth and change where we go from being fed and nurtured into the place of BECOMING bread and substance for others. We begin to put away the childish things and begin to care more for our Father’s will than our own. We aspire to see HIS HOUSE become a place where HE is honored and glorified. We learn to care less about what others think of us and more about living life to honor Him.

This process of growing and becoming is only known through the life of Discipleship; the reality of knowing His Life is found through the medium of identification. The true giving up of childish things can only be realized by the process of BECOMING a man (…when I became a man, I put away childish things…). The idea of becoming is a concept that few understand for we have equated salvation as an ACT rather than a journey. Salvation is a LIFE not an event. The cry of Paul’s heart was…

“Not that I have already attained,
or am already perfected; but I press on,
that I may lay hold of that
for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.
Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended;
but one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind
and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,
I press toward the goal for the prize
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Therefore let us, as many as are mature,
have this mind”
PHILLIPIANS 3:12 – 15

The only way for one to know such a cry is through the process of becoming a man in His image. We may fill our lives with teachings and intellectual understanding but to know of this heart one must be a partaker of HIS LIFE. This pursuit is not a desire of the natural man; it is the CRY of the Spirit of God to go from a child into the maturity of Christ.

We live in a time of complacency and compromise; childishness and immaturity are commonly accepted. Little is expected of one another and as a result little is changed. May God press us into greater heights and depths in the knowing of HIM. May His Grace so abound in us that we know in reality the joy of counting our lives expendable for the sake of knowing and pleasing Him!

“…THAT WE SHOULD NO LONGER BE CHILDREN,
tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,
by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
but, SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE,
MAY GROW UP in all things INTO Him who is the head even Christ
from whom the whole body,
joined and knit together by what every joint supplies,
according to the effective working by which every part does its share,
causes growth of the body
for the edifying of itself in love”
EPHESIANS 4:14 – 16

Ω

“The spheres God brings us into are not meant to teach us something
but to make us something”
Oswald Chambers (1874–1917)

Brian Troxel

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