Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Holiness’

Thought for Today

Get Thee Up

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain”
Isaiah 40:9

In God’s Word there is ever the call to His people to arise to the heights and wonders of His being. Here the prophet tells God’s people to get up into the high places that they might behold their God. The verses preceding this declare…

“The voice said, Cry. And he said,
What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass,
and all the goodliness thereof
is as the flower of the field:
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it:
surely the people is grass.
The grass withereth, the flower fadeth:
but the word of our God shall stand for ever”
Isaiah 40:6-8

These are the good tidings; the pride and strength of man shall not prevail but His Word will stand forever! It is in light of this knowledge that we are called to arise, no longer in the strength of men, but in the power of God. It is time to climb the mountain and behold Him from a new perspective. We, who are withering grass and fading flowers, will find that our hope and our strength is in God alone and will be able to declare to others “Behold your God!”

“O Zion, that bringest good tidings,
get thee up into the high mountain;
O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings,
lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up,
be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah,
Behold your God!”

Isaiah 40:9

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

In the Beginning God…

Part 2

All life begins with God. Without Him nothing exists materially or spiritually. He is the beginning and in Him life is filled with endless beginnings. He is ever making all things new. The glory of creation is always giving way to new wonders and countless beauties. Every sunset has its own glow and signature. Every plant, every creature has a uniqueness which, though it belongs to a certain species, has something distinct about it. No two things are the same. The creator can never be exhausted in His creativity. From birth there is always the first step, the first word, the first moment of conscious thought. At each step of the journey into the expanse of His world we become more aware that we are eternal creatures moving toward a call; the apprehension of a mystery that can only be known in Christ. He is the Word by which we were begotten in the fullness of His time and will. In the mystery of this relationship His thoughts, words, ideas and omniscient care may seem intangible yet somehow there is an inner knowing that He is near.

Relationship is by its nature a mystery. While religious men consider God in abstract terms and religious concepts, something unfathomable transpires in those who touch the hem of His Holiness, Love and Power. It is at times unsettling, more than any mere human is able to comprehend, yet there is a fragrance within the wonder of it all that draws His own near. Isaiah in Chapter 6, caught up to the very presence of God, was immediately struck with God’s glory and the contrast of His own dreadful condition. Yet in the face of such contradiction and terror, He hears God speaking within the Holy Trinity: “Whom will WE send, who will go for US?” There must have been an unspoken love shrouded within that dreaded Holy Place that enabled Isaiah to whisper, “Here am I, send me…” It is in these intimate moments where we catch glimpses of the new beginnings in God. Though Isaiah had already prophesied mightily for five chapters, infallible words from God, we can rest assured he was not the same man after the seeing of Him. So it is with us; when we truly see Him we can never be the same and that ever increasing light leads to deeper places and growth in the knowledge of Him.

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

The light of Him is the life of Him. While many consider light to be the ability to understand certain doctrines and teachings, or to hold scriptures in the intellect, true light is the revelation of His light to us with the intent that it shine through us.

“In him was life;
and the life was the light of men”
John 1:4

The only light we have is the life of Him ruling and reigning within us. It is in the holding of Him we have life. When one wanders from Him the life and the light fades into darkness and futility. The life never leaves the Son for He Himself is the light. People speak of getting saved as an event that occurred at one point in time failing to realize that eternal life is not something a person gets by complying with a statement of faith, it is the very life of Jesus living and abiding within us. He who has the Son has Life; He who has not the Son has not life; a very simple statement yet one that is far reaching in its eternal implications. Eternal Life is not something we hope to get when we die rather it is ours by having Him present tense in our life by relationship. It is here the true believer experiences the continual life of new beginnings. His word, His ways, our seeing of Him is ever increasing, calling us to higher and deeper places of knowing Him. This is not a static religious concept; it is the way of His life within us. To many the way becomes dreary and filled with uneventful meetings, prayers and discussions but to those who hold His life dear within their hearts, life here is but the womb of greater things. We see new songs being sung in the heavens; new creations do new things.

“And they sing as a new song before the throne”
Revelation 14:3

Not just anyone can sing this new song. It is a song reserved for those who follow the lamb wherever He goes. It is for those who are free from the systems of men and walk in a way that pleases Him. The true things of God are not to be had by claiming promises; they are ours as we come to abide in Him.

“For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen”
2 Corinthians 1:20

All of God’s promises are in the Son and as I grow in relationship with Him they become mine. Just as the life and the fruitfulness of the branch can only be known by abiding in the true vine there are attributes of God which can only be mine by being in Him. It is here that the revolutionary walk of identification and love is known. There is a fountain which ever flows in the Spirit. The psalmist says there is a river which makes glad the city of God. It is a river which has no beginning for it flows from the very throne of God Himself. It flows with the intent that men might walk into it, drink of it and wash themselves clean. Those who separate themselves from others find themselves outside of the flow and the wonder of His life. Jesus walked with the common people, He ate their simple food and He understood the plight of every man. Just as in the parables, the normal things of life become vehicles to convey God’s heart and truth. This is where we will find Him still teaching, still instructing us in heavenly things if we have eyes to see and ears to hear and comply with His whispers. Relationship implies the sharing of personal and intimate things, and we need to be close enough and still enough to have that privilege.

It is here we find those new beginnings with each step we take into the mystery of knowing Him. Abraham went out not knowing where he was going for he had caught a glimpse of the ONE who is the way, the truth and the life. For many it is much more comfortable to linger in things of the past than to take that first step. Fear holds men and women where faith falters. They die to spiritual things and new beginnings are a thing of the past. Life has become a series of days filled with rote and stagnant activities.

But to those who hold Him dear within the very recesses of their hearts He remains precious, living and true. It is in these ones that fellowship is a most desired and coveted thing. As each member beholds Him and shines that forth into the lives of their brothers and sisters we see the manifold work of new beginnings within each life; a Body that beats with His heart for one another!

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

The Blood Sanctifies our Walk

“…and Moses took of the blood of it,
and put it upon …
the great toe of his right foot”
Leviticus 8:23

Election, Godliness and Being Chosen by God

DISCIPLESHIP

“But know that the Lord hath set apart
him that is godly for himself:
the Lord will hear when I call unto him”
Psalm 4:3

It is the godly whom the Lord sets apart for Himself. It is the godly in character and heart whom God hears. It is in this context that men and women must consider God’s grace. God’s election by Grace must be coupled with man’s response. “Many are called, but few are chosen”. Teachings, miraculous deliverances, movings of His Spirit in signs and wonders and even His own goodness are no insurance of entering the Kingdom of God. Israel saw His manifest power as He laid Egypt waste and yet they failed in the wilderness and perished without entering into God’s purpose. It is essential for us to see and grasp the truth of God, His ways and His Holiness.

“Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness”
1 Corinthians 10:1-5

Paul goes on to say that these things were written for our learning and admonition. These were people who grieved God. Despite all the miraculous signs and provisions of God, this generation fell short of God’s desire for them. They did not consider Him in their walk. They lacked the desire to please and bless Him by how they conducted themselves in their daily affairs of life. They went through life choosing the things that would please themselves rather than God. They saw His acts without ever discovering His ways.

“He made known his ways unto Moses,
his acts unto the children of Israel”
Psalm 103:7

We see this same truth in the New Covenant.

“But without a parable spake he not unto them:
and when they were alone,
he expounded all things to his disciples”
Mark 4:34

It is the disciples whom Jesus pulls aside to expound on the hidden truths of the parables. Disciples are those who follow Jesus. They live to learn of Him and because of this “…the Lord sets apart him that is godly for Himself…” They are sanctified by God for His purposes and it is these ones He consecrates (chooses and sets as living stones in the breastplate of His Holiness). These works of God are for those who choose Him, who desire to follow Him, discovering His ways and the wonder of His heart. Discipleship is the path into His Love. The verity of all true disciples will be revealed by the signature of His Love in them.

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

God’s love is the defining feature of His true disciples. Many who are religious will (as the Pharisees) love their own little circle; the stamp of a true disciple is one who loves God’s people with the same Love that beats within the heart of our Heavenly Father. This Love is characterized by a passion and concern for the spiritual condition of His people. Denominational ties are irrelevant as they only see One church, One Flock and One Body. It is a Love that seeks out God’s sheep and God’s approval and cares little about the approval of man. True disciples do not seek positions or prominence; they seek to function within the confines of His calling upon their lives. The mark of God in the life of a true disciple is one of serving God not men. This Love “seeks not its own things…”

“Love has patience, is kind; love is not envious; love is not vain, is not puffed up; does not behave indecently, does not pursue its own things, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in the truth. Love quietly covers all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails”
1 Corinthians 13:4-8 LITV

Those who seek the pre-eminence in the midst of God’s people are not His disciples nor are they His true sheep. Those who encourage the affection of God’s people toward themselves, rather than ministering that His people fall in love with Jesus, have not seen God’s heart. The desire of the true ministers of God is not to draw men to their church, fellowship or their person; it is to Glorify God in all things. The cry of a true disciple is:

“He must increase, but I must decrease”
John 3:30

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

The Blood Speaks of the Remission of Sins

The Remission of Sins
Our Part

God, in Christ having paid the price of our sins and remitted them forever from His presence, now proclaims us forgiven and justified in His sight. He now brings us into the workings of His Love, His Truth and His Spirit to complete His full plan of salvation. Having been declared righteous He now begins in earnest to make us His righteousness in truth. The experience of His joy in our hearts and the incomprehensible knowing we are freed from the penalty and the shame of our past sins is the sure sign of His truth in our hearts. However, we soon discover that the declared righteousness, as wonderful as it is, leaves lingering sins and issues. Even though much of the former sins have passed away we inherently recognize the need for a further work of God to complete that which He has begun.

“…being persuaded of this very thing,
that the One having begun a good work in you
will finish it until the day of Jesus Christ”
Philippians 1:6

This is the point at which His people reveal their desire for religion or truth. Voices of the nominal church will tell the young believer to believe the work of God is done; that they have been forgiven and justified so go enjoy life in this world. These voices of reason speak the words of compromise and death. These are the voices of a thief that would rob His people of the truth and power of the Cross to which we have been called. It would steal from us the riches of the promises of God given to those who overcome. If there is no overcoming there will be no reaping of the rewards which God gives to those who live and overcome by faith.

“To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the tree of life,
which is in the midst of the paradise of God”
Revelation 2:7

“He that overcometh
shall not be hurt of the second death…”
Revelation 2:11

“To him that overcometh
will I give to eat of the hidden manna,
and will give him a white stone,
and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it”
Revelation 2:17

“And he that overcometh,
and keepeth my works unto the end,
to him will I give power over the nations:
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron;
as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers:
even as I received of my Father.
And I will give him the morning star”
Revelation 2:26-28

“He that overcometh,
the same shall be clothed in white raiment;
and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,
but I will confess his name before my Father,
and before his angels”
Revelation 3:5

“Him that overcometh
will I make a pillar in the temple of my God,
and he shall go no more out:
and I will write upon him the name of my God,
and the name of the city of my God,
which is new Jerusalem,
which cometh down out of heaven from my God:
and I will write upon him my new name”
Revelation 3:12

“To him that overcometh
will I grant to sit with me in my throne,
even as I also overcame,
and am set down with my Father in his throne”
Revelation 3:21

These promises are not ours because we were forgiven and justified; they are for those who overcome! These promises are to those who refuse to compromise with the enemies of their own hearts. These promises are to those who desire the true righteousness which is ours by the power of the faith, life and truth of Jesus beating in our hearts. These ones know the truth of “working out their own salvation”; not by the works of the law but because it is God who is at work in their hearts.

“Wherefore, my beloved,
as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only,
but now much more in my absence,
work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
For it is God which worketh in you
both to will and to do of his good pleasure”
Philippians 2:12-13

Our working out of this great salvation is the result of God working in. This is not religious works but the works of faith. Faith cannot exist within an individual without producing these works. They who do little have little faith.

“For as the body without the spirit is dead,
so faith without works is dead also”
James 2:26

The voices of compromise and of a lukewarm spirit will cry out Ephesians 2:8-9

“For by grace are ye saved through faith;
and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast”
Ephesians 2:8-9

What they fail to quote is the verse that follows…

“For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk in them”
Ephesians 2:10

The working out of God’s salvation as a result of His working in brings us to the knowing this one thing: We are not saved by works; we are saved unto good works. Those good works are revealed in overcoming the obstacles of our hearts, our weaknesses, our thinking, and the lusts of this world, the pride of life and the accuser of the brethren. These are the works and victory of His faith in us.

Our part in the remission of sins is summed up in this scripture.

“John did baptize in the wilderness,
and preach the baptism of repentance
for* (unto) the remission of sins”
Mark 1:4

While much of the church would preach and believe in the remission of sins on God’s part, few would dare to preach or believe we are called to walk out the remission of sins in our own lives. We are to co-operate with God’s work of salvation in our lives. We also are called to “send away from ourselves” our sins. John the Baptist preached the baptism of repentance in which people would be convicted and brought by the power of the Holy Spirit to the place of repentance. Repentance is the power of God at work in lives to “turn” from their sins. John preached this repentance unto the remission of sins. This is the preaching of the Gospel whereby people are convicted in their minds of the horror and bondage their sins have brought upon them and in that sorrow they find in God divine enablement to remiss (turn away, send away) their own live sins. It is here we discover the power of God’s salvation working within the hearts of men to bring them to the point of action: the turning away from sin. How the truth and power of the Gospel has been polluted! It is here, by grace, we enter into a covenant with God. It is a covenant that He instituted by the death of His Son through the shedding of His Own Blood. How can we linger in sin any longer?

“What then? shall we sin,
because we are not under the law,
but under grace?
God forbid”
Romans 6:15

God forbid that we should compromise with sin because we are under grace. God forbid that the battle of faith within my own life should cease until everything within my heart is brought under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Brian Troxel
http://www.aword.info

Read Full Post »

“I Have No Need of Thee”

The Condition,
the Cause
and
The Way to Fullness of Life

“And the eye cannot say unto the hand,
I have no need of thee:

nor again the head to the feet,
I have no need of you”

1CORINTHIANS 12:21

THE CONDITION

The scriptures clearly speak of the ONE Body and all the exhortations that follow are based on the simple premise that all believers, who have Christ living and dwelling in their hearts by faith, are to be growing and pursuing the ONENESS for which Jesus prayed (John 17, Ephesians 4:2-6). We do not have the right (whether by deed or by thought) to dismiss or ostracize our brother or sister except for matters of heresy or behaviour that brings dishonour to His Name; (even then all actions are done to minister reconciliation and restoration). A cavalier attitude and callous ability to disassociate our brother is the revelation of a heart that knows not God. A true heart that has touched the life of God feels the necessity to flow in the administration of His life from member to member. ANYTHING that impairs this flow of the vitality of the LIFE is an antichrist spirit. For a believer to declare by actions (though in words they may say differently) that they have no need for another member is contrary to the heart and mind of God! It is what we do that reveals the truth of who we are. Men can speak of the Body of Christ in word while in deed they do great violence to the very heart and wonder of it.

THE CAUSE

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the declaration of a heart and a life that is lived out carnally, selfishly and blindly in the throes of a dead religion. “I” is the declaration of life in which the centre of all being revolves around self and its own independence and carnality. “…I have no need of thee…”  Those who declare such things by their deeds end up anemic, impotent and fruitless.  To enter into HIS LIFE requires the death of our life, our independence and the seeking of our own good. There is no room for “I” in the Body of Christ for the true heart of Christ is to see each member grow with the increase of God to such an extent we fulfill the very purpose of God in the New Covenant.

“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour,
and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD:
for they shall all know me,
from the least of them unto the greatest of them…”
JEREMIAH 31:34

The true ministers of God know this and so interact with their brothers and sisters to SEE this PURPOSE come to pass.  Carnal men who hold places of pre-eminence in the Body of Christ are intent on “having disciples” rather than “making disciples” of Christ.  The Day of Judgement is come to separate the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares and the true from the false. Such is the contrast between the natural and the spiritual man; the Spirit of Christ seeks only to exalt the Son and the religious carnal man seeks to exalt self by the “…I have no need of thee…” use of the things of God.

“…I have no need of thee…”

is the outcome of those who have been indoctrinated into the teachings of men and not of the Holy Spirit; whose religion is based on the ways and methods of men and is thereby disconnected from the LIFE of the VINE. Men who do and say such things are blind and insensitive to the moving’s of the Spirit of God. If the prayer and the heart of Jesus is that we may be ONE AS HE AS HE IS WITH THE FATHER, yet we live contrary to this understanding, how can we in truth say that we know HIM?

THE WAY TO LIFE

In contrast to the declaration of “I have no need of thee…” the Love and Heart of Jesus as the Good Shepherd seeks out His own, searches for the lost and broken and ever seeks to minister the Good News of reconciliation. They who have the Love of God beating within their hearts “seek not their own way…” but walk in the way and the heart of the Good Shepherd. They ever seek to minister righteousness and truth for without these the possibility of true and vital relationship is nonexistent. It is in us becoming HIS righteousness that we are enabled to deal truthfully with one another. It is not in ignoring sin that this ONENESS is known.  It is in the functioning of the Holy Spirit through one another that the entrance into this glory is realized.

“Whom we preach, warning every man,
and teaching every man in all wisdom;
that we may present every man
perfect in Christ Jesus:
Whereunto I also labour,
striving according to his working,
which worketh in me mightily”
COLOSSIANS 1:28-29

Love is the very reason that God sent His Own Son into the earth to save His People FROM their sins. It is in us being freed from sin and self that the world will marvel at how we love one another. Where sin and self seeking are allowed to exist, love, righteousness, peace and joy will not be found. Purity of heart is the lens through which we see God. The reason Paul spent his life warning and teaching every man was to this end: to “present EVERY man perfect in Christ Jesus”. It is only from this place of the full development of the life of Christ within each member that we are able to be built into “a spiritual habitation” (1Peter 2:5) for God Himself. True hearts will welcome the correction, the teaching, the exhortation and edification of the people of God.

“…rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
Give instruction to a wise man,
and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man,
and he will increase in learning”
PROVERBS 9:8-9

Whenever and wherever the people of God gather we are exhorted to…

“…consider one another
to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,
as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another:
and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching”
HEBREWS 10:24-25

Do we not see the DAY approaching? Do we not “hear the voice of the Day of the Lord” (Zephaniah 1:14)? Is there not a cry within our hearts for the prayer of Jesus to be answered? Do we not feel the same grief and burden of the Spirit of God over the division and apathy of His Body? Can we not comprehend that it is ONLY in this place of UNITY that the full revelation of HIS ETERNAL LIFE will be experienced by the people of God?

“Behold, how good and how pleasant
it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
It is like the precious ointment upon the head,
that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard:
that went down to the skirts of his garments;
As the dew of Hermon,
and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion:
for THERE the LORD commanded the blessing,
even life for evermore
PSALM 133

If we expect this life apart from our brothers, if we want this life plus our own independence, and if we want this life while clinging to the life of self, it will never be! It is in the very Love of God beating within our hearts as we interact with our brothers and sisters that we are fused together in unbreakable holy bonds. This LOVE burning as a Holy Flame within HIS OWN, to the consuming of all things that are not holy and pure; is the way to HIS END. It is to this end we labour “that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”. We are here to fulfill His purposes by obediently treading in His Word.

May The Lord stir the hearts of all who “have ears to hear” to walk, live and seek out the welfare of the Body of Christ.

Ω

“There are two freedoms –
The false, where a man is free
To do what he likes; and the TRUE,
Where a man is free to do
What he ought”
Charles Kingsley

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

GOD IS LOVE

OVERVIEW

DIMENSIONS OF HIS LOVE

“THE BREADTH AND LENGTH AND DEPTH AND HEIGHTH”

“GOD is Love” 1 JOHN 4:8, 16

Having felt impressed to write a single article on God’s love it is now apparent that this will be a series of short writings in an attempt to present a brief outline of this majestic subject. The enormity of such an undertaking, and the sense of total ineptness on my part, is coupled with a prayer that HE who chooses the weak things to confound the mighty, the base things to confound the wise, may be pleased to do so here.

I remember probably 30 years ago pondering the responsibilities that God has given to men and the great need we have to draw from HIM the resources to be found faithful in all of the different aspects of our lives. The man of God must be a good husband learning by Christ’s example to love his wife AS Christ loves the church. The man of God must be a good father who discovers through his experience with the Heavenly Father to raise his children in the fear and the admonition of the Lord. Failure in these prevents us from having the experience and understanding to be expressions of wisdom in the Church. The man of God must be a good employee/employer as we recognize our accountability unto Him. The man of God must also be a witness and an example to the world without where we walk in wisdom and righteousness. As I contemplated these things the scripture in Ephesians 3:18 came alive and I was struck with the fact that there are four dimensions of knowing Him and His Love that we are to discover and experience.

HEIGHTH

The first dimension is the height of this LOVE. It is here that we must see that every aspect of God’s dealings with us is to enable us to discover that HE IS HOLY. Failure to understand this will dim and corrupt our ability to know His other dimensions; knowing HIS breadth, length and depth. Scripture is clear that “without holiness, no man shall see the Lord”. It is the responsibility of all those who minister to the people of God to set forth a clear presentation of the Living Christ. In so doing the hope would be that each life would see THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE and forsake everything in pursuit of the acquisition of it. Without the aspect of Holiness men will not see HIM as HE is.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding

PROVERBS 9:10

There is a much today in terms of instruction, and scriptural facts concerning the Christ, but it is not the “knowledge of the holy” which is the true understanding of God. Men who know not of “the HOLY” know not God as they ought for God IS HOLY.

“For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit…”

ISAIAH 57:15

In our religious world today there are many forms of contriteness and humility but unless these qualities are the RESULT of seeing Him they will always fall short of being the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. Watchman Nee remarked in the book “Release of the Spirit” that there are many types of brokenness but the only brokenness of any value is that which brings the release of the Spirit of God into the lives of others. So it is with every facet of the Fruit of the Spirit.

The absolute truth that God is Holy and that God is Love is the revelation of WHO and WHAT HE is in HIMSELF. These are not attributes. They are HIS intrinsic self (HIS NATURE) and as such all that HE does flows from the great substance of HIS BEING. We can no more remove the wonder of HIS Holiness from HIS Love than we can take the element of hydrogen from water and still expect to have water. The church of today has in fact removed that element from HIS expression and because of this it is left with a love that is soulish, tepid, shallow and devoid of the power and the pulse of the Holy Spirit. This will taint the expressions of love that are poured forth from the life of the individual believer. The most blatant result seen today is the lack of LOVE between the members of the Body of Christ. Those who have the fear of the Lord know that they are not free to pick and choose which brother they will interact with for the LOVE of GOD is without partiality. They have a holy sense of the connectedness of the Body of Christ and are able to extend that LOVE of GOD to other believers because they ARE His body. They know the flow of that LOVE for it is based upon HIS Nature not upon a brother’s worthiness or capacity. This is where the breadth and length of the expressions of God’s love is determined by the height of a man’s understanding. If there is no comprehension of the height the love becomes earthly and human in its expression. Without the height men become very comfortable with the status quo of the day, exhortation and reproof are seen as expressions that contradict this “love”, and we become apathetic and comfortable with our current condition.

In the letter to the seven churches in the Book of Revelation we see a God who pronounced judgment upon the Church at Ephesus for leaving their “pre-eminent love”. In the Church at Pergamos we see false teachings were being embraced because God’s Holiness was not presented in their lives. We could expound on the other issues found in each of these locations but the cure for all of them is a people who live in the fear of God. Men who fear God have no interest in the approval of men.

BREADTH

Concerning the breadth of God’s love we must come to see that HIS love in us will love not only every brother who is truly a part of the Body of Christ but also those who are contrary and opposed to all that God is. A love that truly loves its enemies prays for them even to the point of blessing them. The absolute breadth of such a love is truly beyond understanding. This love is beyond the manufacture of men, beyond human ability or desire, and it almost seems to contradict our very understanding of Justice and Truth. The breadth of such a love is revealed in the first martyr as we see Stephen being stoned and asking God to forgive them! It is one thing for us to forgive men for their deeds but it is another thing altogether to ask God to forgive them eternally! It is no wonder Paul prays for us to be “strengthened to lay hold” of such a love.

LENGTH

In our consideration of the length of this love we must grasp the enduring love of God who has gone to great lengths of patience and longsuffering with us in our walk with Him. This same love will produce in us a love that will continue to love in the face of indifference and rejection. This is the love that will enable us to suffer long with a brother who refuses to grow, develop, or overcome the obstacles of life. It is a love that, because of God’s Holiness, will not compromise with a brother’s walk but will ever seek to raise them up to the CALL of God to holiness and righteousness. In this dimension there is a suffering born of the knowledge of God’s provisions and HIS own priestly concern over the life of every one of HIS. This is a love that will go to every length within its sphere to see HIS people rise and walk with their Holy God!

DEPTH

When I began to contemplate the mystery of this fourfold knowing of HIM and HIS LOVE I was impacted by the realization that in earthly things my concepts were only three dimensional. Having enjoyed drafting and drawing buildings and such when I was younger it occurred to me that one of those words used in Ephesians 3:18 was beyond my capacity to know. In studying the Greek words used for all of these dimensions I came across the word that is translated depth. This Greek word is a mariner’s term used to describe the ocean and its depths. As sailors they understood they were merely moving upon its surface but that below that surface there was a whole other realm of life about which they knew nothing. Praise the LORD! It is the same Greek word that Jesus used when He invited the disciples …

“Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets…”

LUKE 5:4

Can we not hear HIM inviting us to leave the shallow waters of men’s concepts, traditions and teachings and launch ourselves into the depths of HIS BEING where light, glory and LIFE abound? Do we not instinctively sense depths within HIM that surpass knowledge and words, books and sermons, where the Apostle Paul himself declares that he saw and heard things which cannot be uttered? These are things which men cannot articulate for they are beyond the speech of men, beyond the reach of the human mind and are only shown to those who have made holiness of life and purity of heart their pursuit.

“Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God”

1CORINTHIANS 2:9

My prayer is that together we will explore the unfathomable dimensions of His Love, for to love Him is to know Him and to know Him is to love Him.

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

HOLY WORDS
HOLY LIVES

“Now when they heard this,
they were cut to the heart…”
ACTS 2:37

True and anointed Words of the Holy Spirit convict and bring men to places of decision and repentance. They are Words that are living, powerful, penetrating and convicting. They are words of truth that reveal all that is untruthful; words that bring men and women to places of CHANGE. Faith without works is dead and so is repentance without change. John the Baptist declared in his day…

“Therefore bear fruit in keeping*
(Grk congruous or of equal weight)
with repentance”
MATTHEW 3:8

The depth of our repentance is revealed by the depth of change wrought within our lives. Where there is little change there is little power in the words spoken. How accustomed we have become to powerless sermons and teachings that bring information without change. Every Sunday, all across our land, sermons are given and songs are sung in our many gatherings yet we see so little in terms of CHANGE in the lives of those that hear. If there is no conviction there is no repentance and if there is no repentance there is no change.

The disciples of Christ were of the common sort. They were fishermen, tax collectors, political zealots and such. They faltered, misinterpreted him, misunderstood him, and had very little inkling of the call that was upon them. However, after three and one half years of being with HIM, walking with HIM and waiting and seeking the promise of the comforter, on the day of Pentecost they became flaming ministrations of the HOLY SPIRIT! Let us consider the contrast of what we see in our land today.

Where are those words of life that bring conviction and change? Where are the hearts of those who would dare seek to represent HIS TRUTH in this hour? Where are the sermons that cut men to the very core of who they are? Where are those who cannot continue with a religion that has no power or reality?

We are more concerned with sympathy than conviction. We surround ourselves with those who make us feel good about ourselves. We associate with those who will not and cannot challenge us beyond the depth of our present walk. The unsaved and unbelieving are comfortable in our midst and can sit in our meetings without the slightest concern over their condition. Why and how can this be?

We speak of witnessing rather than being witnesses. We speak of truth as something that can be held in our intellect rather than being a power that produces change within ourselves and in the lives of those around us. We cannot compromise with sin in our own lives and expect to have a word that will convict others. If that Word of Life does not produce change within us, how can we give to others what we have not experienced ourselves? It is a day to consider our ways; a day to objectively consider what we have wrought in this life. Have we impacted the lives of others in terms of righteousness and truth and pointed them unto HIM who can transform into vessels of righteousness and glory?

Holy words proceed from Holy Lives

Ω

“Let us search and try our ways,
and turn again to the LORD”
LAMENTATIONS 3:40

Brian Troxel

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »