The Marks of True Servants – Part Three

The Marks of a True Servant

Paul’s Departure
(from Ephesus)

Part Three

“Therefore watch,
remembering that for a period of three years
I didn’t cease to admonish everyone
night and day with tears
Acts 20:31

The true servant of God knows the great battle between flesh and spirit. He is well aware of the weakness of the flesh to grow weary and to compromise. Paul is reminding the Elders of the Church at Ephesus of his own diligence to warn and admonish the believers when he lived among them. His life was an example to them that they must ever be alert and awake to the state of God’s people. We see no letup with Paul; his admonitions were accompanied night and day with tears; for he was filled with the love of God.

This gracious and all-pervading ministration which flowed from Paul was the true expression of one filled with the unction of the Holy Spirit! There was no room for the false comfort of the gospel of today. The fire burned, the admonition flowed.

In the Epistle to the Church at Rome Paul beseeches them to offer themselves unto God as a “living sacrifice”; he left no room for a nominal Christian experience. Beating within him was the insatiable desire to fully apprehend that for which God had so graciously apprehended him. His life burned with purpose and intent. The Christian life was a journey, not a one-time experience. It was a journey filled with temptation and great battles and storms. Yet in a corresponding measure it was also one of growth and glory. Admonition flows from a life which has seen and touched heavenly things.

The individual who has tasted of heavenly things will be in a relentless pursuit of the glory and honour of the One in whom they “live, move and have their being”.

Let us take note of this heart which beat within Paul. May there be a divine SELAH to allow the heart of Jesus to fill our own. Let the apathy of all that is around us be consumed by the passion and the ministration of the Holy Spirit.

“I didn’t cease to admonish everyone
night and day with tears”

SELAH

May we consider the “marks” of the true servant of God and feel anew that fire burning within our own being. Let “this mind be in you” as Paul admonished the Church of God at Philippi. May we know the same intensity and the same care and concern for God’s people that filled the early Church. Let us repent of the status quo and turn again unto the One who can ignite the human heart.

The heart of a true servant of God seeks to bring every life into the Kingdom and dominion of God. It will risk the disapproval of others in order to be pleasing unto God.

Admonition will be a mark of one who serves God in truth.

Brian Troxel

Johann Arndt

Quote for Today

“Give me … a compassionate heart, quickly moved to grieve for the woes of others and to active pity for them, even as our Lord Jesus Christ beheld our poverty and hasted to help us. Give me grace ever to alleviate the crosses and difficulties of those around me, and never to add to them; teach me to be a consoler in sorrow, to take thought for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan; let my charity show itself not in words only but in deed and truth.”
— Johann Arndt (1555-1621)

Jonathan Edwards on Prayer

Quote for Today

“The true spirit of prayer is no other than God’s own Spirit dwelling in the hearts of the saints. And as this spirit comes from God, so doth it naturally tend to God in holy breathings and pantings. It naturally leads to God, to converse with him by prayer”
– Jonathan Edwards

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

Quote for Today – William Dunlop

Quote for Today

“Should the whole frame of nature be unhinged, and all outward friends and supporters prove false and deceitful, our worldly hopes and schemes be disappointed, and possessions torn from us, and the floods of sickness, poverty, and disgrace overwhelm our soul with an impetuous tide of trouble; the sincere lover of God, finding that none of these affects his portion and the object of his panting desires, retires from them all to God his refuge and hiding place, and there feels his Saviour incomparably better, and more than equivalent to what the whole of the universe can ever offer, or rob him of; and his tender mercies, unexhausted fullness, and great faithfulness, yield him consolation and rest; and enable him, what time he is afraid, to put his trust in him”
– William Dunlop

Let us not stop in our pursuit of God until this be the temper and the very spirit of all that we are.

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – God’s Time Piece

Thought for Today

Time Piece

God’s Time Piece

“And the evening and the morning were the third day.”
Genesis 1:13

Time in God is marked by things accomplished. The third day was completed upon God finishing the work He had purposed for that given day. His life and works are recorded as things accomplished not as things promised. This living truth is the heartbeat and focus of those who are in Him.

“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already been perfected,
but I press on to take hold of that
for which Christ Jesus took hold of me”
Philippians 3:12

In reading the third chapter of Philippians it takes very little effort to see the centrality of Paul’s life and heart. It was one of pursuit and purpose. His life was about the apprehension of the purpose of God. His passion was wrapped up in accomplishing the thing that God had purposed for him and not just the contentment of a promise.

“But I have a baptism to be baptized with;
and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!”
Luke 12:50

This is the most poignant description of the passion and heart of Jesus. His whole being was bent to the accomplishment of the Will of His Father. He did not rest in the promises concerning Him but was motivated to the fulfillment of them; so it should be with us.

“Let us therefore fear, lest,
a promise being left us of entering into his rest,

any of you should seem to come short of it”
Hebrews 4:1

We are not to rest in doctrines, teachings and promises but we are to press toward the accomplishing of His will in the earth.

“I press toward the mark for the prize
of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”
Philippians 3:14

Ω

“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course…”
2 Timothy 4:7

 

Brian Troxel

Quote for Today – Jacob Böehme

Quote for Today

Jacob Boehme

“A Christian is he who lives in Christ, and in whom Christ’s power is active. He must feel the divine fire of love burn in his heart. This fire is the Spirit of Christ, who continually crushes the head of the serpent, meaning the desires of the flesh. The flesh is governed by the will of the world; but the spiritual fire in man is kindled by the Spirit. He who wants to become a Christian must not boast and say: ‘I am a Christian!’ but he should desire to become one, and prepare all the conditions necessary that the Christ may live in him. Such a Christian will perhaps be hated and persecuted by the nominal Christians of his time; but he must bear his cross, and thereby he will become strong”
– Jacob Böehme