Letters to the Church – Words – Part Seven

Letters to the Church – Words

Part Seven

“For he that will love life, and see good days,
let him refrain his tongue from evil…”
1 Peter 3:10

The sacred scriptures speak much to us of the relationship between the words we speak and the quality of life we are afforded by the Grace of God. This exhortation from Peter is often overlooked. In the midst of the strife, contention and competition in religious circles, these words offer us a warning and a promise from God. Wisdom is the result of the fear of the Lord. In its sway we begin to weigh our words before we speak. We are saved from rash words filled with evil intent and the tendency to inflict upon others the poison of our own hearts. How often we need to be reminded of His omnipresence. He is present at every conversation weighing the words of our anger, foolishness and unsanctified thoughts.

“But I say to you, that every idle* word,
whatever men may speak,
they shall give an account of it in Judgment Day”
Matthew 12:36

There are no words spoken which will not be accounted for in the Judgment Day. All our words will be required of us in that Day. Jesus continues on in His discourse;

“For by your words you will be justified,
and by your words you will be condemned”
Matthew 12:37

The fruit of one’s lips are the revelation of their heart. We see here God’s perspective on the words we speak and the deeds we do. How we need to touch the Holiness of God to see and understand the implications of foolish words and an unbridled tongue! The gossip, slander and the seemingly innocent words spoken to dishonour another brother, or to further inflame situations in the Body of Christ, carry heavy repercussions in this life and judgment in the next.

“Do any of you think you are religious?
If you do not control your tongue,
your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself”
James 1:26

The value of a person’s walk and their relationship with God is readily seen in the words spoken. Regardless of our profession of faith, the religion of one who speaks with an undisciplined tongue is vain and worthless.

“One who brings gossip betrays a confidence,
but one who is of a trustworthy spirit is one who keeps a secret”
Proverbs 11:13

In our daily lives we either justify our walk with God or we reveal the vanity of our religious ways.

“So teach us to number our days,
that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”
Psalm 90:12

Σ

*Note: The Greek Word translated “idle” ἀργός is a compound word comprised of “ergon” (ἔργον) translated as works and deeds and is used 176 times in the New Testament; “ἀ” (the letter alpha which is often used in the Greek as a negative). A simple transliteration would be “words without the corresponding works”. (Words without power, fire or purpose. Words which do not inspire change in the hearers).

Humility is the precious fruit of the Spirit which becomes ours by the seeing of Him. It is in touching the Presence of God where we are delivered from our boastful words and the discrepancy of saying one thing while walking in another.

Our works are to give the words we speak the
weight and verity of Christ living within us.

“So speak ye, and so do,
as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty”
James 2:12
(Please read the context of this scripture James 2:12-26)

“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, DO: and the God of peace shall be with you”
Philippians 4:9

Brian Troxel

Letters to the Church – Part Five

Letters to the Church – Part Five

“And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that He might know how much every man had gained by trading.”
Luke 19:15

The magnitude of God’s grace and the abundance of His gifts are evident throughout the New Testament promises. The depth of His unmerited mercy can only be fully appreciated through the medium of walking out those gifts in faithfulness. We see this throughout the Gospels. The Parables of the pounds, the talents, the sower and others, show the variety and the wonder of His gifts AND their corresponding accountability. To each of the recipients of the Pounds in the above Parable the reward of Christ was determined by their “trading” of the thing given. The individual who received one pound without their diligence to the precious gift given were never able to fully appreciate the gift or the giver’s worth. It remained unchanged, undeveloped and unappreciated. For such the Day of the Lord holds no rejoicing. How did Jesus respond to the one who held His precious things lightly?

“Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant…
and he said unto them that stood by, Take from him the pound,
and give it to him that hath ten pounds…”
Luke 19:22-24

The great gifts of God require our full attention. They become far more developed and valuable as we are faithful to them. In this Parable (unlike the Parable of the Talents) every individual was given the same initial amount; through their faithfulness and investment the one pound became ten, and to another became five. Yet for the slothful one, the one talent remained one. In the Parable of the Sower the one seed sown in a variety of the soils, produced very different outcomes. The fruitfulness of the seed was determined by the soil, not the seed! The same Pound given produced different results in the lives of each of these individuals. The great eternal question to each of us? What have we done with the precious gifts allotted to us?

We read in the great chapter of Faith in Hebrews 11, the faith of our forefather’s lives and the testimony they have left for us that we might walk in like manner.

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward
Hebrews 11:24-26

The reason Moses forsook Egypt and chose to suffer affliction and reproach was because he had “respect” for the eternal rewards of Christ! He accounted the reproach of Christ to be of more value than Pharaoh’s riches! Men and women who fail to develop the great gifts of God hold a disrespect for His Gifts of Mercy and Grace. The verity of Moses having “respect unto the reward” is a New Testament truth declared in the Book of Hebrews; it is a truth of infinite value for the people of God in this day! We live in a Day when the Gospel preached minimizes or denies the reward and the Judgment Seat of Christ unto His Own! (2 Corinthians 5:10) We have a gospel today which speaks of a salvation regardless of how we live our lives where the faithful and the unfaithful all just go to heaven without any eternal consequences relating to the life they lived. Without the solemn truth of the “fear of the Lord” men and women, who are truly God’s children, see no reason to develop the gifts of Christ in their own lives. Much of the “ministry” in God’s house is satisfied  with a people who are undeveloped in their “own” gifts and ministries in God. This false gospel is convenient for the leaders as they maintain their authority with little or no local accountability. It is also convenient for the people as they feel free of their responsibility to God in His purposes for their lives.

“…the priests rule by their own authority;
and my people love to have it so”
Jeremiah 5:31

The result is a poor and impoverished church which lacks power, vitality and the raising up of the Body of Christ through the development of their own ministrations. This arrangement will not alter the accountability of each individual unto God for themselves. His Word is clear and our Day of giving an account of how we lived our lives unto Him remains true and unchangeable.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men”
2 Corinthians 5:10-11

(I do not write these things to be contentious, but because I am compelled to be faithful unto His Word to all who read these things. We want our day of standing before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be a day of joy and great rewards, not of loss and sorrow.)

A gospel which denies our accountability is not only a deceptive lie but a robbery of God’s glory and investment!

“Will a man rob God?”
Yet ye have robbed me
But ye say, ‘Wherein have we robbed thee?’
In tithes and offerings”
Malachi 3:8

The tithes and offerings of the New Testament is for us to give back to God the increase of His gifts to us. If one with a gift of healing, a word of knowledge, a ministry in the Word, or a thousand other ministrations He has lavished on the Body of Christ does not invest that in others, we not only rob ourselves of the reward of Christ but we also rob His Body which is to be built up “by the functioning of every part”! (Ephesians 4:16) If every part is not functioning, the Body of Christ will suffer loss!

Paul in his understanding of this vital truth exhorted and encouraged the people of God to walk and fulfill the ministry that God had given unto them.

“And say to Archippus,
Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord,
that thou fulfil it
Colossians 4:17

Neglect not the gift that is in thee…”
1 Timothy 4:14

“Wherefore I put thee in remembrance
that thou stir up the gift of God…”
2 Timothy 1:6

We must reject a gospel which presents ministry as something for a privileged few and began to read His Word in the truth and solemnity of its simple declarations.

“But to each one is given
the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all”
1 Corinthians 12:7

Read the context of this scripture and do not let any teaching, doctrine or cunning words of men deter you from the truth and grace which has been given to “each one” of us!

When we stand before Him, may we each hear:

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

Brian Troxel

Letters to the Church – Part Three

Letters to the Church

PART THREE

The Value of Every Member

“If the foot shall say,
Because I am not the hand,
I am not of the body;
is it therefore not of the body?”

I Corinthians 12:15

Value. Even in earthly things the value of something is based on what someone will pay for it, not its intrinsic worth. Something that may be of little value to one is priceless to another. In the Church at Corinth there was much dissimulation and controversy because there was much value put on specific expressions while others were minimized. Today we have a similar situation where multitudes of God’s redeemed people sit in ignorance of the wealth and the precious investment that is theirs in Christ Jesus. We all admire a gracious ministration of God in an individual, but the truth of the New Covenant is that Jesus paid the SAME PRICE for every man. He tasted the SAME DEATH for everyone that calls upon HIS NAME. The attitude expressed here “because I am not the hand”, therefore I am of less value is really an expression of unbelief rather than humility. Function does not determine value, rather the price paid! How we need to see things through the eyes of our Redeemer! We hear things such as; “I could never preach like that, pray like that” and that may be true. However, it is the “I” that is the problem, not the giver. For there to be unity, life and glory in the Body of Christ there is no room for I. This is His Body and HE PLACES the members in it as it pleases HIM not us; there is no such thing as something insignificant in God’s Eternal purposes. What HE has purchased is to become a priceless, unique and powerful expression of HIS LIFE. It is UNBELIEF that says “because I am not the hand, I am not of the body…” It is the recipient of the one talent which hid his portion in the ground that received such a stern judgement from the hand of the Lord.

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
II Corinthians 5:11

The FEAR OF THE LORD is the great leveler of men. Paul is stating here that the thing that propelled HIM from one city to the next in HIS declaration of the Gospel was the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord does not paralyze men it enables men to walk, live and be responsible to the investment of the Lord in our lives. It causes us to face our own unbelief and ARISE to walk in HIS PROVISION. It frees us from the fear of man, the fear of inadequacy and the fear of failure. It brings us to the awful recognition that it is to HIM that I must give an account, and that it is a terrible sin to hold the precious things of HIM in faithless inactivity and unbelief. This is the DAY for the people of God to ARISE and LIVE and WALK in the provisions of the SON in OUR FATHER’S HOUSE. All things are HIS, and HE is looking for a healthy return upon the investment that HE has given.

The validity of any ministry is revealed in the degree of life that the people of God exhibit within the sphere of its influence. Unique, powerful and varied expressions pulsate with a life that only lives to bring glory, honour and praise unto HIM from which all things do flow. The purpose of ministry is to bring others into their own ministry by ministering faith and responsibility into the life of each believer. For it is in each member feeling the “weight” of their obligation unto their Lord and Saviour that this body will arise in such glory and power that this world will know that this is indeed the Body of Christ.

“…but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another
I Corinthians 12:24 – 25

It is in the doing of these things that they become the everyday reality of our lives. We must tear down these strongholds for the desire of the Lord is to bring us to the same love one for another that there be no schism in the body of Christ.

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Malachi 3:10 – 11

We hear much of tithing. How repulsive that it has become only a tithing of the unrighteousness mammon and not a tithing of the produce of the Lord within the hearts of the individual believer! How dare we believe that in giving more money the result will be “meat in HIS HOUSE”! Finances will not produce spiritual meat to supply the people of God with strength in the power of HIS MIGHT! The Church of Jesus Christ is a SPIRITUAL House not an earthly organization! A Spiritual house needs spiritual tools to build it, and it is in the functioning of each and every member that this house will arise and be fully completed!

This is the day for the people of God to walk in their gifts and callings and to know the responsibility and necessity of bringing their spiritual tithes into the storehouse, that there may be fullness and blessing in our midst.

Ω

“What difference does it make to you
what someone else becomes, or says, or does?
You do not need to answer for others,
only for yourself”

THOMAS À KEMPIS (C. 1380–1471)

“There is no man living that can do the work that God has got for me to do. No one can do it but myself. And if the work ain’t done we will have to answer for it when we stand before God’s bar”
D.L. Moody

Brian Troxel